Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Remember This Guy?

This is one of several Reebok commercials starring Terry Tate, Office Linebacker, that I found on YouTube.

And for kicks, here’s the original pilot from which the Super Bowl commercial was made from.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Few Random Football Thoughts

Remember, the LFL now stands for the Legends Football League
1.  Fine Tom Brady $10,000 for his slide that ran his cleat into Ed Reed's leg.  I'm sorry, but if Suh from the Lions can get fined with his leg whip that the NFL cannot say was intentional, Tom Brady can be fined for his leg staying up and trying to poke hole in Ed Reed.

2.  I thought that Tim Brown wasn't all there, but this is nuts.  Imagine that a Head Coach even has the thought of throwing the Super Bowl.  I can't.  If this would have happened, I would have expected it at the most a week or two ofter the Super Bowl.  This is 10 years later.  Timmy had his feathers ruffled when Jerry Rice came to Oakland and became the #1 receiver.  He complained about that this past week as well.  I think that he either needs medication or needs a psychiatrist.  Either one would help him.

3.  I am already tired of the Harbaugh stories.  Leave them alone.  I don't need to hear about their childhoods and how John bullied his younger brother, Jim.  Speaking of being tired of things about the Super Bowl, the Ray Lewis story is still the same from years ago.  Talk about how the Ravens defense has transformed itself to where Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are not the main playmakers for the defense.  Talk about Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick and how they are different types of QBs.  Talk about how the 49ers defense hasn't played up to expectations in the playoffs.  There are so many storylines that should be talked about rather than the ones that will be beaten to death.  Somebody please start talking about them.

4.  Sean Payton is back.  Now the Saints can finish third in the NFC South next year with him on the sidelines.

5.  Jerry Jones is still mad with power.  He needs to fire himself as the GM of the Cowboys.  Although, he did do one good thing and brought in an Offensive Coordinator, taking away play-calling duties from Jason Garrett.  Now to get football people that can have real power in the front office of the organization and the Cowboys could become a force in the NFC.

6.  Finally, Manti Te'o was either a guy involved in a hoax to get more notoriety for the Heisman or he was duped by a fraudster.  There are 2 lessons involved here and neither involve Te'o.  Lesson #1:  The administration and boosters of Notre Dame don't care anything for the players that play there, they are more concerned about keeping the Prestige and Reputation of Notre Dame clean and pristine.  Look at the way they have managed the information of this case and compare it to the death of a female student on campus that was being harassed by friends of the football team.  Nothing like brushing that little problem under the rug.  Lesson #2:  NFL players should never be seen as heroes.  Front office personnel are actually hoping that Te'o was involved in the plot.  Why?  Because that shows that he isn't naive enough to fall for things that will be thrown at him in the NFL.  In fact, the personnel say that if he did do the hoax, that he would fit right into the league, and wouldn't affect the grades that teams will put on him in the combine or draft.  Just another seedy side of the NFL coming to the forefront.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

They're back!

The NHL is back on the ice and I for one am excited to have them back.  And I know it's just one game, but the Bruins appear to be back in form as well.  They took control of the game from the outset against the Rangers, the team most are picking to go to the Cup Final, and never really relinquished it.  They were the superior team in puck possession, especially in the defensive zone and carrying it out through neutral ice into the offensive zone.  They also vastly outshot the higher offensive Rangers nearly 2 to 1.
If not for the Vezina winner being in net, the game would not have been as close as the final 3-1 score.  Tuuka Rask was really not challenged the whole game, with the exception of Brad Richards' goal that no one could've stopped.  Tonight was the debut of the Bruins' young 19 year old defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, who acquitted himself well given that he wasn't scored upon or needed his butt saved by the goalie.  Good to get that one under his belt.  Shawn Thornton stood toe to toe with Rangers' forward Mike Rupp, who has 3 inches and 25 pounds on him -- and obviously a serious reach advantage -- and gave as much as he took, finally taking Rupp to the ice. 
Then there was Chris Bourque, who, after a trade with the Caps, was able to suit up for the team he watched his legendary father play for and the one he longed to someday play for.  He didn't play a whole lot of minutes but did a decent job.  The one highlight is that he had the puck just inside the center line with an open net ahead late in the game, and obviously the adrenalin of the moment got the best of him because he shot the puck well above the open net.
The Bruins appeared to be in midseason form, showing off one of the deepest teams in the league and arguably the best all-around defensive team in the league, all the while putting over 30 shots on net against another very good defensive team.  Could be a great year to be a Bs fan.
Wanna talk about your team's debut?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pats Game

Managed to get tickets to the Pats - Texans game.  My wife needs to stay friends with these ticket holders:).  Row 26 looking across the 5 yard line.  Seeing a pro game this close makes you realize how big the players are.  OK Welker still looks small. 

The game was great.  It was funny to hear about the bad ref calls the next day.  The calls really were bad in person.  Other notes...  Schaub is not that good;). Brady is that good.

One sort of ironic note is that I had a brisket sandwich at Gillette while the Pats were playing the Texans...

Go Pats

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Somewhat Shocking

I returned home from my eye doctor appointment and was somewhat shocked to learn that the Toronto Maple Leafs have fired Brian Burke as general manager. Longtime second in command Dave Nonis will take over on a permanent basis. As a result, my Twitter stream has blown up with rumors as to why “Burkie” was let go – I mean, kicked upstairs to become a senior advisor.

I say somewhat shocked because I saw this coming. It’s the timing that caught me off guard. I was expecting a “playoffs or else” edict coming down from Rogers/Bell, the two giant telecommunications companies that own the Leafs, once the season got underway. But I wasn’t expecting this before the start of training week. (I refuse to call it a camp this season.)

Is this a good move? While his salary dumps on the Anaheim Ducks were great moves, in retrospect I’d say this had to happen sooner or later for the following reasons:

  • March 4, 2009 – Leafs trade Nik Antropov to the New York Rangers for a 2009 second round pick. Kenny Ryan, whom the Leafs selected with that pick, is with the AHL Marlies and projects to become a third or fourth-line defensive forward at best. Ouch.
  • Mike Komisarek – One of Burke’s first free agent signings, Komi has proven in the past three seasons not have a sufficient amount of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence or belligerence. At the end of last season, he was told to lose 10-15 pounds and there’s a chance he’ll be a buyout candidate under the new collective bargaining agreement.
  • Nazem Kadri – Burke’s first Leafs first round pick is a bust. Not only has he had issues with his skating and defensive play, but his poor showing in fitness testing at this year’s Marlies training camp now have people questioning his maturity and drive. Especially since he spent the summer training with Leafs legend and fitness nut Gary Roberts to get in shape. He’s only 22 years old, but potential top-six NHL forwards his age normally would be in the league to stay and show more maturity than the one they now call #FatKadri on Twitter.
  • July 1, 2009 – Burke trades Pavel Kubina and Tim Stapleton to Atlanta for Garnet Exelby and Colin Stuart. You don’t trade a top-four defenseman for a turnstile and someone I’ve never heard of and expect to make the playoffs. Not even for a salary dump.
  • Phil Kessel – While Kessel is a legit first-line right wing, he is not a franchise player or a leader. Would I rather have Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight? Dumb question and an even dumber trade.
  • Dion Phaneuf – At first this looked like a genuine fleecing of the Calgary Flames. The Leafs gave up Matt Stajan, Jamal Mayers, Niklas Hagman and Ian White for Phaneuf and spare parts. But was it a fleecing? Phaneuf, who was named Leafs captain, does a lot of yapping. But yapping does not equal leadership and I feel he’s not worthy of wearing the “C”. Phaneuf is not a unique talent. There are other comparable players in the NHL with more leadership skills that could easily take his place. Like for example, Ian White.
  • Colby Armstrong – I liked Army as a player and person, but pay him $9 million for three years to play a third-line role? After two injury-filled seasons, Burke bought out this contract and it will live on as a $1 million salary cap hit every year until 2014. Just like Darcy Tucker’s buyout from 2008.
  • First Line Center – In Burke’s tenure the Leafs never signed or developed a first-line center to play between Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. That failure falls squarely on Burke’s shoulders.
  • Goalie – While James Reimer had his moments two seasons ago, there’s no guarantee the Leafs are better off with a Reimer/Ben Scrivens combo in net this season compared to the 190-foot missed save Vesa Toskala/ancient Curtis Joseph/on his way out of the league Martin Gerber/who the hell is Justin Pogge? mess Burke inherited five seasons ago.

As much as I love Brian Burke for being a stand up guy, a great father and for his work with the You Can Play team, this was the right move for the Leafs regardless of the excuses they give in the coming days.

Monday, January 07, 2013

But in the end...

I'm an NHL and Boston Bruin fan.  So I was frustrated and disappointed at this work stoppage.  But I'm not an investor -- I have no investment in the sport or team in any way; I'm not out anything but free entertainment, unless I choose to go to a game.  Just because I can't choose to go to a game because they're on strike is not worth me hating the sport and never wanting to come back. 
Seriously, what did they really do to me?  Granted, lots of people are employed related to the sport and I feel their pain when their revenues and incomes are cut, and they certainly have a right to be angry.  But the league and its players owe me nothing, not a free or cheaper ticket or free Center Ice or anything.  It was my choice to do other things with my time and money when the NHL wasn't an option, and it will be my choice whether to spend that time and money going forward.
Why should a lockout change that simple equation?

Sort of in that vein:  I'm going to try to get to Nassau Coliseum before the Islanders start playing in Brooklyn in 2014-15.  Will they still be or want to be called the Islanders?

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Are you excited?

I know I am, though it feels hollow at the moment given that the announcement that there will be an NHL season just happened, coinciding  with the first weekend of the NFL playoffs.  But when the games begin and I have an opportunity to watch, I will.  Go Bruins!
Yes, I'm very disappointed that we've had two serious work stoppages in the last 7 years but I am an NHL fan second only to MLB (yes, obviously a glutton for punishment).  So when my Bruins are playing, especially when playing well, I will follow fairly closely and watch quite regularly.

This post is meant as an open forum to comment however you'd like now that the lockout is over.

Another Championship: Back To Back For NDSU

In what was supposed to be revenge for the Sam Houston State Bearkats, the Division I FCS Championship Game didn't go as planned.  The rematch from last year's title game was one sided after halftime as the North Dakota State Bison overpowered Sam Houston State 39-13.

Quarterback Brock Jensen ran for 3 Touchdowns and the Top-ranked defense of the Bison came up with 4 turnovers as the high-powered Bearkat offense stayed stuck in neutral.  SHS averaged over 40 points per game this year and even when playing competition like Baylor and Texas Tech, the defense averaged giving up just over 20 points per game.

I was worried after the first half.  The Bearkats were driving up and down the field.  The only thing that was stopping them was the Offensive Line could not hold the powerful D-Line of the Bison for pass plays that took time.  It also looked like the Bison were getting the short end of the stick where the officials were concerned.  But it appeared like the Craig Bohl chewing out of his kicker after a 50 yard field goal attempt went 40 yards on the field after time ran out and officials were sorting out penalties woke the Bison up.  It was surreal when the Head Coach of a team is out on the field just screaming at his kicker.  And while reading the lips of the Head Coach, my virgin eyes couldn't believe what they were seeing.  A 10-10 tie going into halftime and during an interview going into the locker room, Coach Bohl was asked about his talk to the kicker on the field, and the D-I FCS Coach Of The Year said that the kicker missed the kick and that we need to practice more to ensure that they convert on the next kick.  Classic.  The point of the game that I knew that the Bison were going to win is the extra point after the TD that made it 23-10.  The snap was flubbed by the holder, he picked up the ball, got hit flipped the ball back to the kicker.  The kicker tried his best Garo Yapremian impersonation, but actually threw the ball forward into the End Zone where a Defensive Lineman that plays on the Field Goal Protection team goes up and grabs the pass for a two-point conversion.  After that, it was just watching a game that I was confident in knowing who the winner was.

The story for next year is a Three-peat.  For this game, there were four Bison starters that are Seniors.  That means 18 will be returning.  Coach Bohl just received a multi-year contract which pays him over $200,000 for a base salary.  The Bison are 10-1 in BCS playoff games.  And that 1 was a job to Eastern Washington by the refs.  The new Quarterback has a strong arm and should get the Bison offense out of second gear.  The only thing that the Bison haven't achieved the past 2 years is an undefeated season.  Three points each season has come between the team and undefeated seasons.  I am expecting perfection in the results next season.  Although if that doesn't happen, a Three-peat is a good consolation prize.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A Great Start To A Great Weekend

I put the NDSU logo on top because that is the most important thing from a Sports perspective to me this weekend.

  1. The U.S. Junior Hockey Team Won Gold at the World Juniors with a 3-1 win over Sweden.  The Canadians lost to Russia in the Bronze medal game.
  2. The before mentioned Bison (pronounced Bizzon) will defend their Division I FCS Championship at 1PM EST on Saturday vs. the BearKats of Sam Houston State.  Rematch from last year's title game in what is essentially a home game for SHS since the game is about one hour from their campus in Frisco, TX.
  3. Finally, the Green Bay Packers will slay the purple scourge that is the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild card game Saturday night.  Having Vikings fans come over and watch the game with the banter between my son who is a Packers die hard and them will be fun and another memory for him when it comes to sports.

More NHL Indifference

Brent made some solid points in his last post, and I’ve got a few to add myself. I’ll keep this short and to the point.

The NHL wants their teams to buy out two contracts? Fine. Let’s go one step further. Let’s buy out two franchises like Phoenix and Florida. Better yet, contract this league to a more manageable 24 teams. Moving to hockey hotbeds like Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Dallas were stupid ideas fed by blind greed. And these morons want to give out two more expansion franchises? What is this, the ECHL?

Trust me on this. Fans wouldn’t miss six folded NHL teams. The talent pool is heavily diluted as it is, and the league could use an improvement in the overall quality of play. Need proof? How many teams have three quality third-line forwards to put together a decent checking line? Or even two? And most fourth liners are either meatheads that have no discernible hockey talent, or “skill” players that in some cases aren’t even good enough to play on the first line of an AHL club.

The NHL wants to curb salaries? Don’t blame the players for this. Is it Wade Redden’s fault he’s getting paid $5 million a year to play for the Connecticut Whale? Is it Chris Pronger’s fault he has to wait until next year to retire due to Philly circumventing the salary cap rules for big contracts given to players past 35 years of age? No. Do something about stupid general managers and team owners foolishly giving away millions of dollars and/or finding creative ways to get around the salary cap.

The NHL has lost a lot of credibility during the past six months, and I know for a fact it will take a long time –if ever—to come back from this. Maybe things are strong in traditional markets like the East Coast and Canada, but here in Southern California this lockout will have dire consequences.

No one talks about the Kings winning the Stanley Cup. Or cares. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s almost as if last June never happened.The once-sorry Clippers own LA.

Some people are surprised Anaheim has an NHL team. They still think it was a bad movie from two decades ago.

Even with revenue sharing, I would not be shocked if one of these franchises moves or folds if the NHL scraps this season over what amounts to a petty dispute to assert their will over the players to cover their own mistakes. This scenario could also play out in Phoenix, Miami, Tampa Bay and Dallas in the next few years if we lose the season.

But what do I care? The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is on in three weeks. Let’s go racin’.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Frustration At The NHL

I am a big hockey fan.  In fact, that is the Professional sport that I like far better than anything else that is out there.  With that being the case, I have been frustrated since this lockout has begun.  The owners at the beginning were shooting for the moon in their demands and the players resented that.  Now, both sides have had their feelings hurt and are just being stupid.