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The Oakland Raiders Shuffle

The current misdeeds of the Oakland Raiders is void of player and coaches involvement, they have done everything to uphold the “Just Win Baby” mantra.   After the long losing spell of thirteen years the franchise is experiencing a rebirth and winning ways. The loyal fans of the Raiders, ever so brash are over the top excited about the future of their beloved team.    After years of downward spiraling and revolving doors for coaches and quarterbacks they finally found their leaders.  Read More →

When Your Teams Loses …Poor Falcons

After the amazing comeback by the Patriots, I was sad.   Sure Brady and company pulled off one the greatest victories of all time, all at the expense of the poor Falcons.   I am not a fan of either but felt that was one of biggest gut punches any team could take.   New England wanted that victory more than anything.  It preserves their place in the annals of NFL football history.   Their fans are euphoric, while over in Atlanta the remake of Gone with the Wind was airing.

When you see the opposing team storm the field after they won the big game it feels like someone either threw rubbing alcohol on an open wound or you just sit dumbfounded by the turn of events. I personally acknowledge the bitter taste of defeat, which then turns into anger and then it manifests into a dumb stupor.   The next day, I try to blurt it out of my brain and focus on positive things like puppies and strawberry short cake.   In reality, I try to ask myself why did spend so much damn time getting wrapped up in the lives of millionaires while I watch their games in my underwear eating a bowl of cereal.  After much introspection, I realize I put up with the silliness of being a loyal fan because the team I follow is part of me.

As much as I don’t want to get emotionally sucked in the daily ups and downs of my favorite teams, I eventually come around and get concerned if things are not going so good. Hey!  They lost five games in a row, I better listen to sports talk radio and find out what the hell is going on.  The worst roller coaster rides are the NBA and MLB seasons because they drone on forever and there are mini seasons that happen within the big season.  First, your team starts out, guns a blazing, winning and getting everybody excited, then about half way through the season they hit a road block and skid off the tracks.  Players become injured and now the team has to trade a bundle of young prospects to get a player who might come in and save the day.  Sound familiar?   That’s the MLB every year and the NBA is almost the same except they save most of their torture for the end at the playoffs.  The NBA and the NHL have piled on four rounds of playoffs that they make you endure for three months.

As a loyal fan if you have lasted through the marathon season and managed to give a damn to the end, you now you get to bite your nails down to the nubs and watch the playoff rounds.   If your team manages to move forward into another tier of the playoffs you get to change your life and normal behavior into the scheduled time of the games.  You make arrangement for food choices and who you will watch the game with.  If you fly solo and want to be left alone in your living room while you sweat it out, you get the luxury of talking to yourself.  I have done this plenty of times and find it liberating to cuss, burp and yell in privacy.  I personally like to be around a gathering of people during a big sporting event because it distracts you from having to watch every single minute of every single play.

If your team is fortunate to win the big game, you get to walk on cloud nine for a brief moment in time. You get to gloat and talk trash against all of the naysayers and best yet you get to buy clothing that said your team won the championship.  If your team loses the championship game you get mixed emotions. Those mixed emotions are cross between anger, sadness, despair and denial.  I go into denial that it never happened and try to act as if it was no big deal.  But in reality it hurts and you first want to blame those athletes and coaches who blew it and chocked and sometimes it’s the referees and umpires faults.   This is all part of the deal when you become a loyal fan and if you are Cleveland Indian fan then you have endured more abuse than normal  Maybe it’s their year but if it doesn’t happen, I suggest do not watch professional team sports.  Decompress and watch another sport, perhaps the X games, but just in case you are interested spring training is only weeks away.

Photo – www.inquisitr.com

The New England Patriot Way

It’s the New England Patriots again in the Super Bowl and we all have to sit and watch them. We love our football and must watch the Super Bowl whoever is in it.  You will have to pick a side, eat your cocktail wieners and hopefully your football poll numbers cash in.  Okay, some of you actually want the Patriots to win and some of you like Tom Brady.  I would say a majority of you will pull for Atlanta just because they haven’t won the big one. Read More →

Frank Gore… the Ultimate Teammate

In a world of Franks, first there is Frank Sinatra, then there is probably Frank Lloyd Wright but the next big Frank could be Frank Gore. Most NFL players might know who Frank Sinatra is, most will not know who Frank Lloyd Wright is but they do know who the legendary Mr. Gore is. I have heard the stories of Frank Gore looking completely distraught after a football loss that still carries on today in the twilight of his career.  After a long career, those stories have been verified over and over again.   Ask any current or former teammate of Frank Gore and they will tell you he is the ultimate teammate.  He plays like every play could be his last from the beginning to the end of a game. He is all heart, all of the time.

Let’s just get the statistical stuff out of the way and mention that Frank is now 8th on the All-Time rushing list with 12,830 yards.  If he plays next year which should be possible due to good physical shape and no current significant injuries, he can end up in the top five rushers of all time.   He also has over 3,300 yards of receiving and 74 touchdowns, good numbers that will land him into the Hall of Fame.  Ironically, It won’t be the stats that people will remember about him, or not having a Super Bowl Ring (could still happen), it will be his desire.  It such a clichéd word but Frank has shown for ten years that the typical 3 to 4 year career of an NFL running back doesn’t apply to him.  What makes a player withstand that type of physical toll and still be an effective offensive weapon? , its desire for success.   He is Mr. Football.

When he left the Forty Niners, I couldn’t believe they let him go to another team.   He is the glue guy in the locker room.   He is not the drama dude on the team that needs so many touches with the ball that he will get pouty and want to be traded to another team.  Sure he wants the ball, he wants to carry the load but not at the cost of the team.  He is a role model guy that every team needs, especially when it comes to teams that have a large amount of first and second year players.

Frank carried the load for so many Forty Niner teams and games it is wonder the guy can walk.   His durability is remarkable for a thirty three year old running back that came out of the University of Miami with both knees surgically repaired.  He has had most of the common NFL injuries from concussions to busted knees to hips and back issues but he has never missed a whole season.  I remember when he had the hip issue when he was on the Niners, but it didn’t keep him out of the lineup for too long.  What goes on the trainer’s table is one thing but when Frank said he could play it was going to take some kind of referendum from management to keep him off of the field.

Frank is a throwback type player, old school, whatever you want to call it.   He doesn’t except losing, plays with pain, and speaks well of his teammates.   It is difficult to capture Frank Gore in a short article but if go to YouTube you can see him in full display. Judge for yourself.frank-gore-nfl-underrated-bulge-football-players-2014

Drew Brees Stills Get its Done

When you look at the statistics for NFL quarterbacks for the past ten years, Drew Brees will always be at the top.    When I look at Brees, I really don’t think of him as just as a statistical sure thing and fantasy football marvel but more as the embodiment of a franchise and the city of New Orleans.  As a Forty Niner fan, I could only wish we had a player of his caliber and presence to capture my city and team.   Instead we have a quarterback that can’t figure who he wants to be and has built a wall around himself with the public and media.  No denying that Brees benefits from having a great passing arm with amazing accuracy but he also is a respected leader. Read More →

The NFL is Here…The Year of Mystery Begins

The NFL season has arrived and for some reason I don’t have my usual excitement. I will watch but right now it is not must see TV.   Maybe this will wear off as the season goes.  Maybe it’s because I am not playing Fantasy Football or gambling on a game like Cleveland versus Houston.  So when you strip those things away, you have to just watch because you really like to see Cleveland and Houston play.

I found last year with all of the rule changes, televised games, at times were unwatchable.  Some teams racked up more penalty yards than rushing yards and the constant stoppage of play extended games into the four to five hour timeframe.  The commercial breaks become nauseating especially between quarters and halves.   It has gotten to point where I will record a game and watch it back speeding through the breaks.  You can watch a game in hour.  I know the NFL cringes when they hear this but until they see a drop off in viewership or attendance, not much is going to change.

Now we have to endure round two of Deflategate, endless Kaepernickgate and concussiongate.   So this is what America’s number one sport has become, a barrage of messy situations.   What gets lost in all of the tabloid hoopla is the sport and its franchises.  Who is going to win the whole enchilada this year?

I personally think that Seattle is coming back with a vengeance with Carolina, New England, Green Bay, rounding out the top four elites. The second tier of wannabes are Minnesota, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Arizona, New York Giants and Kansas City.   Then you have your teams that can surprise and those are Dallas, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Denver and Buffalo.  You have to have a dark horse of the league and that is Oakland, who is legit this year with all their blue chippers coming of age.  My secret surprise and intriguing pick is Baltimore who is basically not talked about by anybody.

This will be the year of the quarterback for the fact that it’s a year of who’s who. Who will be playing from week to week is anybody’s guess.  Tom Brady is still everybody’s pick to pull off another championship run just because he will be ticked off and playing like a bad ass.   There will be questions every year about who will ascend in their performance but this year has more question marks than certainties.  Here are my top five question marks; 1.  Denver, who’s on first?  2. Dallas, can a cool hand kid come up big? 3. Was the 2015 Carson Palmer a mirage? 4. Is Russell Wilson the best Quarterback in the league?  5. What is the fate of Colin Kaepernick?

Okay, the opening night kick off is less intriguing for me but then again, I will probably watch and will be on board again.   Even though, I have zero dollars invested in the season, I might find myself Jonesing for a taste of the gambling dough after getting hit with a slew of sites offering bets as low as dollar.  How is this legal?   Duh…this is the NFL, aside from politics we look the other way when comes to anything that appears too messy to mess with.  Now kick the damn ball!

 

 

 

Colin Kaepernick and the Dog Days of Summer

Why they call them the dog days I haven’t clue, I guess if I googled it would come with a Wikipedia description.   There is typically a small window of slow sporting news where football training camps are subject for boring reading and baseball is in grinding days before the big rush to the end.   Late August has now presented a socio political firestorm mixed with football for a few days or weeks to light up the media airwaves and columns.  The Kaepernick actions and comments are out there for everybody to debate and suddenly we have people talking about a real issue.  Of course it not a traditional sports related story on the surface but a topic runs deep to core of every citizen in the United States. Read More →

Choke, The Worst Word in Sports

  1. To choke – to become too tense or nervous to perform well:
  2. Our team began to choke up in the last inning

 

I’ve been hearing this word a lot lately and personally the word is getting cheapened and over used.   If your team or the team you bet on loses, choking gets thrown about.  If you are tagged as a choker, then you also get called a loser, the double whammy.   You then have to live with this moniker the rest of life while the rest of world will always remember that time when you didn’t bring home the trophy, the blue ribbon or the big award.  Such is life, such is sports. Read More →

The Super Bowl, Quarterbacks and Hot Wings

So another year and your team is not in it. So everyone must pick a side as they say but you are torn.  Okay maybe not torn as much as maybe you don’t really care as long as it is a good game.  For instance, last year, the game came down to the last plays so most of the watching world put down the hot wing for a minute to see the crescendo ending.   For those Seattle fans who took the brutal loss on the jaw, you got another year to recover and hopefully you find your way back.  Last year also had two teams that didn’t have the beloved player that everyone roots for to succeed.  Tom Brady and Richard Sherman are both polarizing characters that do not garnish a lot of love outside of their teams fan base  so the game was more about the matchup of two good teams. Read More →

The Game Manager, Just Win Baby

In the last few years, I have been hearing the “Game Manager” moniker used to describe quarterbacks.   If you are a quarterback, is there a more insulting term to hear than that?  When that tag gets placed around a quarterback’s neck assume right away that he doesn’t have lofty statistics and a supermodel wife.  Describe him as somebody that has the personality of a soap dish and can barely throw the ball farther than ten yards.  Lastly, go on to believe that he barely made his high school football team and went to junior college or played in the Arena Football League.

Seriously, why does a quarterback get labeled the dreaded “Game Manager”?   I really think the term got started and pinned on the Baltimore Raven quarterback, Trent Dilfer.   Poor Trent Dilfer, he wasn’t lighting up the Fantasy Football charts and these scrupiless fantasy owners only used him if they were forced.  Forget about the fact that he was the QB on a winning team, and that he was on the field when the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2001. Read More →