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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rex Grossman to Join Circus?

Well, Chicago Bears quarterback, Rex Grossman, was finally benched this week after yet another poor performance against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Grossman is from my hometown here in Bloomington,Indiana, so he is a favorite among many where I live. I personally have never really felt any sort of "hometown allegiance" to him simply because he went to play his college ball in Florida instead of staying here and trying to help our long-suffering football program out here at Indiana University. I used to see him in some local eye clinic commercials here in Bloomington while he was starting for the Bears last year and thought it was cool. I thought he was helping out his hometown by doing the ads but then I found out his DAD was the doctor at the eye clinic and he was just helping his already wealthy family make even more money. You can't blame his dad for using him for some commercials, of course, and there's nothing wrong with that, or with making money. It's just that I don't feel he really cares about Bloomington and I'm not going to feel any unreciprocated special affection for him because he's a hometown guy. I appreciate him just like I appreciate any other NFL player, based on their skills and what they do for the game of football and, unfortunately, Rex seems to have ended up not doing a whole lot.

Grossman seemed to be a franchise player for the Bears who have long been in need of consistency at the quarterback position. After recovering from a couple disappointing seasons halted by injury I honestly thought that Grossman, once given a chance to be healthy, would be a great quarterback. I'm not sure exactly what it is that made Grossman so bad. Some have said he suffers from his "small hands". Others like Hall of Fame quarterback, Steve Young, question Grossman's effort and willingness to work hard to be great. Ron Rivera, former defensive coordinator for the Bears and now linebackers coach for the San Diego Chargers, before the Bears game against the Chargers this year, actually told his guys they could easily rattle Grossman because he is a "mental midget". So with Grossman being a "mental midget" with unusually "small hands," and with Brian Griese taking the snaps for the Bears this Sunday, perhaps Grossman can be part of a circus side show or something? A year from now after Grossman is released from Chicago and no other team wants him I can hear the guy outside the tent yelling, "Step right up, folks, and see the mental midget with small hands! Oh and get this-- he used to be a bear!"

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Brett Favre is Back. Packers 3-0

One thing I always like to see is great football players showing the world that they still have what it takes to make it in the NFL. I've always been a big Vikings fan so I used to not care too much for Brett Favre, especially during the '96 and '97 seasons when the Packers were a Super Bowl caliber team. I just got sick of watching them kick the pudding of the Vikings-- but that changed a little in '98 when the Vikings acquired Moss, huh? Hahahahahaa. One of the best moments of my life was watching the Vikings play the Packers on Monday Night Football on the big screen in some local bar during the 1998 season when the Vikings went 15-1. I was sitting next to a Packers fan whom I didn't know but every time Moss caught a pass I started laughing and ribbing the guy. At first the guy tolerated me, trying to smile and looking upon it as friendly "trash-talking". I got more and more drunk, though, and more and more obnoxious when it was certain the Vikings were going to break Green Bay's 17-game home win streak at Lambeau Field. Finally, the guy got mad and told me to get the heck away from him. I had helped ruin the guy's night as he appeared genuinely saddened by the Packer's loss that night. When I woke up the next day I actually felt bad about giving him a hard time.

As the years go by, though, I've learned to appreciate Brett Favre. The Packers have started the 2007 season out a surprising 3-0. Brett is around my age. His beard is starting to grey, like mine, and when he gives interviews he talks real thoughtfully and ponderously, totally honest about himself and his team and you can't help but respect the guy. He is this tough, leather-skinned "old" quarterback who still can throw the ball so hard it will poke a big hole in you. He is also making jeans commercials where he cashes in on his rugged country boy sex appeal. I can see why alot of chicks dig him. Tomorrow the Packers play the Vikings. In the past Bret has always had a hard time playing in the Metrodome but for the past three or four years the Vikings have stunk so bad that I'm actually considering rooting for Favre to remain unbeaten. It would be awesome to see Favre take the Packers to the Super Bowl this year. With the Bears struggling, the Packers could very well win their division and with the NFC being so down as of late, stranger things could happen.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

The Resurrection of Randy Moss

Gliding like a cheetah across the emerald grass of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Randy Moss is showing the football world that he is back on the attack. After former Raiders' coach, Art Shell said Moss had "lost his legs" and many said he wasn't a team player, Moss has poked his head back up from the water. After many brilliant games with the Minnesota Vikings ending in bitter disppointment; after two miserable seasons rotting away in a dismal Oakland cellar, Moss has risen from the ashes to once again dazzle fans with his lightning-quick speed. He is once again putting razor-sharp pangs of fear into the hearts of opposing defenses with his deep-ball threat. There is nothing more exciting-- when Moss is on the field-- than watching his quarterback drop back in the pocket, knowing that Moss is blazing down the field at the receiving end. The next thing you see on the TV is Moss catching the ball for a touchdown. I've seen it happen with quarterbacks Randall Cunningham, Jeff George, Daunte Culpepper and even a few times with Kerry Collins-- but the most awesome catches of Moss' career are yet to come and they shall come from Tom Brady the Golden God.

The Patriots torched the San Diego Chargers last night, 38-14, proving that they are the team to beat so far in NFL despite the past week's controversy over the "SpyGate" cheating scandal. Randy Moss embraced Tom Brady. Bill Belichick's players all hugged and rallied around their venerable, genius coach. There is nothing more dangerous than a team as good as the Patriots playing with a chip on their shoulders. Patriots linebacker, Teddy Bruschi, said that last night's victory was actually the most satisfying of his career- and this guy has won three Super Bowls! The Patriots have something to prove, that they can win without cheating, and Randy Moss is like a gleaming gem on the field with them, a sparkling ruby that shines in the eyes of blinded opponents even brighter that the glare shimmering forth from the Pats' previous 3 Super Bowl rings. Moss' deep-ball threat opens up the offense. Ex-Patriots receiver, Deion Branch, is like a withering worm compared to the grandeur of Moss. Randy's blazing speed and big, talented hands are once again catching touchdowns, and this time they will finally win him the Super Bowl ring he deserves.

John Madden knows the specialness and brilliance of Randy Moss. That's why he selcted Moss to be put on the "horse trailer" after Sunday Night's game. Madden has always talked highly of Moss and he, like many others, realizes how beautiful and good for the league it is to see this sleeping giant resurrected, to see an awesome player able to revive himself and resurrect his career by not only returning to a Pro Bowl level of play but being an integral part of what may very well prove to be the best team of this millenium so far. I still remember a dazzling performance Moss had for the Vikings against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving in 2000. John Madden awarded Moss with the coveted, ceremonial Turducken after the game and said to Moss, "Randy, you're the best player in the NFL." And I watched in awe as Randy Moss bit into the Turducken leg, knowing I was witnessing the most exciting wide receiver to ever play the game chew on a piece of meat just like the rest of us.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Adam Vinatieri Has A Rare Bad Day

The Indianapolis Colts barely held off the Tennessee Titans for a 22-20 victory, continuing the recent trend of these two divisional rivals playing each other tough. Vinatieri had an extra point blocked early on in the first quarter. Blocked/missed extra points are always annoying because it seems like they always come back to haunt you. If the Titans would have managed to kick a last second field goal to win 23-22, it would have. It was a rare bad day for Vinatieri. In addition to having the extra point blocked, he had a field goal blocked which thumped against the cross-bar but still managed to go through. Adam Vinatieri actually appeared to be a little rattled later in the game by the two prior blocked kicks because he missed a field goal wide left in the 4th quarter.

It was a close, stressful game for Colts fans, especially toward the end. Blow-outs like the game last week against the Saints, if you've followed the Colts the last three years, don't happen very often. The Houston Texans won today, making them 2-0, possibly for the first time in their history (?); and they are the Colts' next opponent. That game probably won't be an easy one, either.

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OJ Simpson Arrested

As a follow-up to the entry I made a few hours ago, OJ Simpson has now been arrested in connection with a robbery which took place in a Las Vegas hotel. It seems that while one of the memorabilia owners which OJ allegedly robbed said he would not press charges after he spoken with OJ, apparently another has decided to do so or for some other reason OJ has been arrested and taken in for questioning. If it is indeed a publicity stunt to sell the new book "What If I Did It?" the police would have to be involved which doesn't seem likely. Regardless, with the autobiographical hypothetical confessional book having just been released, this is definitely quite a coincidence!

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O.J. Publicity Stunt?

OJ Simpson was recently accused of breaking into a Las Vegas hotel room and robbing memorabilia collectors at gunpoint, demanding personal items that were stolen from him. He was supposedly accompanied by 3 or 4 other men. Now all of a sudden one of OJ's accusers says he is on OJ's side and wants to drop the charges. Doesn't the timing of this event seem a little coincidental? And if you look at the end of the article there is actually a mention of the just-released book, "If I Did It," the pseudo-hypothetical-confessional book written by OJ Simpson, with proceeds now supposedly going to the Goldman family. There is even a link to Amazon.com in the article where you can buy the book!

Now, I'm musing over the possibility of this whole thing being a publicity stunt simply because it worked on ME! I had actually forgotten all about this OJ "confessional" when it was stopped from being published the first time around. But I was just perusing the web, innocently looking for football news and I saw a link to this article. Then I clicked the link to Amazon.com and then I, yes, bought the book! Hahahahhaa! Only in America, folks, only in America.

This book interests me from a football history as well as a psychological, criminal profiling perspective. I just finished reading Tony Dungy's book, "Quiet Strength," a great, inspirational autobiography written by a classy guy and from a Christian perspective, so this OJ thing is kind of like exploring the polar opposite, maybe.

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Notre Dame Stinks This Year

So is this how it's going to be? I mean, is Notre Dame content to just call 2007 a "throwaway" year? I mean, I know they lost Brady Quinn, wide receiver, Jeff Samardzjia, and a few other players but it wasn't accepted that they would absolutely STINK this year, was it? I can't imagine that the school, fans and alumni are at all happy with this. What happened to recruiting? Charlie Weiss has been doing fairly well with them the past two years but when he loses a few of the players he inherited from Ty Willingham it seems he can't get it done. He does realize a big part of being a college coach is recruiting, right? And that he needs to replace the players he has lost? I watched Michigan pound them 38-0 yesterday and the question was whether Michigan had found a spark and was getting back on track or is Notre Dame really that bad? I think Notre Dame really is that bad! They are like a high school team out there!

Notre Dame actually has USC still on their schedule for this year! HAHAHAHA!!! I know that when big time college teams lose a few players they often come down a notch for a year or two. They might go down a little bit in the rankings (like Ohio State) and not contend so much for a national championship, but they are still solid and respectable; but Notre Dame is sad, painful to watch. Weren't they supposed to be "reloading" in anticipation of the loss of players? I mean, they KNEW Brady Quinn and Samardzjia were leaving, right? I'm just asking because it seems that Demetrius Jones, the quarterback who started Notre Dame's first game this year up and transferred in the middle of the night to Northern Illinois and the coaching staff was totally oblivious to it! They were sitting on the bus to the Michigan game, wondering where he was! Hahahahaaaa.

In a week where Bill Belichik has lost some of his coaching credibility and a taint to his legacy in the NFL, his pal and former offensive coordinator for the Patriots is making people wonder if he, too, really is the "genius" that everyone once thought he was. I like Charlie Weiss, Bill Belichick and like watching Notre Dame, so the events of these first few weeks have been a real disappointment.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bill Belichik and Patriots Caught "Cheating"

So Bill Belichick was caught with his "pants down" this week. The New England Patriots were caught videotaping the defensive signals of the NY Jets defensive coaches. There's been debate going on all week as to how much of an advantage this actually gives a team and the logistics of actually putting this info to use during a game in progress seem sketchy. Regardless, Belichick was fined $500,000 after NFL commisioner Roger Goodell looked at the tapes. Just when I was feeling excited and happy for Randy Moss that he has finally found a good program, team and stage to showcase his talents, this stuff happens! What must Moss be thinking? I'm sure he's focused on tomorrow's game with the Chargers, but it has to be very annoying and disappointing to him and all the rest of the Patriots players to have to deal with this and answer questions about it all the time.

It was determined that the videotaping had no effect during the actual Jets game last week, that New England's 38-14 romping of them was legitimate, but this is still a major taint to whatever the Patriots accomplish this year and to their legacy. I personally will just forget about it in time but there are all sorts of people saying they should forfeit their three Super Bowl rings which is ridiculous. Now all these Eagles players are suddenly looking back on Super Bowl 39 and wondering why New England got away with so many successful screen plays against them. Hey, Philadelphia! You lost the Super Bowl! Again! Face it and forget about it! The Patriots were just a better team that year and McNabb couldn't stop puking in the huddle.

The best thing the Patriots can do right now is just destroy the San Diego Chargers tomorrow. This scandal won't easily die away but if anything they have even more motivation to completely dismantle the competition than ever. Go Randy Moss! Long live Belichick and Tom Brady the Golden God! (though New England is my second-favorite team behind the Colts)

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Seattle Seahawks to Win NFC

Okay, so my pick to win the NFC this year is the Seattle Seahawks. Mike Holgrem always has these guys in contention and they have a healthy Sean Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck. Do I like the Seahawks? No, not really. They are just one of those teams that seem a little bland and uninteresting to me for some reason. I dig Huskie Stadium and know they have a huge home advantage with the whole "12th Man" thing they do by raising the fans' flag before every game. Though they might not be all that interesting I look for them to be solid. They put a convincing 20-6 thumping on the Buccaneers last week. Let's see how they do at Arizona tomorrow.

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Colts Thump Saints In Season Opener!

I'm an Indiana native, have lived here all my life, so needless to say I'm a big Colts fan. It was very satisfying to see them win the Super Bowl last year, the first real professional sports championship Indiana has ever seen. I don't care about or even count the ABA titles the Pacers won years ago and I sure as heck don't include the Baltimore Colts' Super Bowl 5 title. I don't include the Baltimore Colts history with the Indianapolis Colts' history at all, consider them to be two totally different teams. Just like Johnny Unitas disavowed the Ravens, I disavow the entire Colts Baltimore history. I understand why the Irsay family wanted to continue the Colts tradition but to an Indiana fan, who really cares what they did in Baltimore? I wish the Colts would have done like the Houston Oilers did when they moved to Tennessee, just changed the entire franchise name and begin an entirely new INDIANA FOOTBALL HISTORY. Do you know why? Because I don't care about Baltimore, that's why! Hahahahahahaa! It's been over 20 years now since the move and I've finally accepted that they are the "Colts" but I just want to forget about all that stuff in Baltimore.

It was nice seeing the Colts lower the Championship banner and even nicer to watch them give the Saints a good butt-pounding, putting the rest of the NFL on notice that the Colts fully intend to win it all again this year. Sure, the New Orleans Saints did go to the NFC Championship last year and they were a nice story with Katrina (their emotional win against the Falcons on MNF last year was good theater), but let's keep in mind that the Saints were only 10-6 last year. They LOST SIX GAMES and there aren't many teams that have gotten to the Super Bowl with just 10 wins. I think the Bills made it to the Super Bowl at 9-7 one year. All I'm saying is that, sure, the Saints were good last year but they weren't that good. They only made it to the NFC Championship because the NFC was weak. In the AFC they more than likely would have been a wild card team and gotten put out of the first round of the play-offs. So while the Colts' victory against them was sweet and convincing, especially on defense, I want to see them lay the wood to some championship caliber teams like the Chargers and Patriots. Hey, it's a long season but the Colts are off to good start!

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Randy Moss Torches The Jets

Hell yeah! My hero, Randy Moss, had an awesome game against the NY Jets last Sunday, catching 9 passes for over 180 yards. I've always been a big-time Minnesota Vikings fan. I watched the Vikings, under Dennis Green, make the playoffs nearly every year but they weren't really a Super Bowl contender until Moss hit the scene in 1998. Any Vikings fan can tell you that when Moss came out his rookie year for the Vikings it was electric! He was the most exciting player I had ever seen. I think alot of what makes Moss so fun to watch is his ability to catch the "deep ball" which is one of the most exciting plays in football.

After the Vikings were blown out by the NY Giants in the 2000 season NFC Championship, 41-0, the Vikings weren't really the same. 2001 and 2002 were horrible years where they didn't make the playoffs. They had the "Disaster in the Desert" with that crushing last-second loss to the Arizona Cardinals in 2003 which kept them out of the post-season. They became the second team to win a playoff game at 8-8 when they beat the Packers in 2004, but after that Randy Moss went to the Oakland Raiders where it looked like he was going to rot away and fade into obscurity.

Now that he's in New England I hope he can revive his career. It was so exciting and felt so good seeing him make big plays again against the Jets. I don't think I've ever cheered for one single player the way I cheer for Moss. Even though he is no longer with the Vikings I still have alot of emotions invested in him and, to tell you the truth, his big plays through the years have made me happier than most things in my life. I wonder how many football players realize how important they really are to their fans and how happy they can make them. People say that football is "just a game" but I don't really believe that.

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