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Friday, April 30, 2010

Miami Dolphins should fire GM Jeff Ireland

Jeff Ireland 
Although this isn't going to happen, yet, the Miami Dolphins should fire Jeff Ireland. After asking then-Oklahoma State and now Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute, then reportedly appologizing for the insult, Ireland used Sports Illustrated to rub salt in the wound.

S.I.'s Jim Trotter reports the following alleged interaction between Dez Bryant and Jeff Ireland and says it comes from unnamed sources but essentially clears Jeff Ireland because Jeff claims Dez said his own father was a pimp:

"My dad was a pimp."
"What did your mom do [for a living]?"
"She worked for my dad."
"Your mom was a prostitute?"
"No, she wasn't a prostitute."

Jim Trotter didn't get the message from Dez Bryant, who calls his blog post a "lie" according to the Palm Beach Post and ESPN's Ed Werner. Dez Bryant says its not true and Pro Football Talk.com explains that ESPN failed to report Bryant's version of the story until after Miami's Jeff Ireland countered Dez Bryant in another publication.

But Jeff Ireland's out of line and should be fired, or at the very least suspended for several weeks without pay.

The NFL needs to send a message that insults that defame the character of NFL Players are not to be allowed. This message needs to be sent to NFL front-offices and Jeff Ireland should be the example Commissioner Roger Goodell uses.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Caleb Campbell, 2008 NFL Draft hit, returns to Detroit Lions

Viewers of this bloggers videos from the NFL Draft will remember the All-American hit Caleb Campbell, from the 2008 NFL Draft.

Campbell's an Army 1st Lt. a 7th round pick of the Detroit Lions who the U.S. Army originally allowed to delay his entry in the Army to play in the NFL, much to the delight of NFL fans at Radio City Music Hall in 2008 as the video shows.

But in July 2008 The Army reversed field and said Caleb Campbell could not as a soldier play in the NFL.

But now, Caleb's getting his chance to play in the NFL according to The Detroit Free Press. Awesome. And because Caleb's a nice very respectful person this blogger had the pleasure of meeting at the NFL Draft in 2008. The whole room at Radio City gave Caleb a standing ovation, making one of the most moving moments I've ever witnessed at The NFL Draft.

Caleb's attending the Lions Minicamp, and signed a contract with the team this week according to Pro Football Talk.com.

Best of luck to him.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jerry Rice - NFL Hall of Famer's advice to rookies

New York, NY - San Francisco 49ers NFL Hall of Fame Inductee Wide Receiver Jerry Rice shared his advice to 2010 NFL Draft rookies, especially those coming to The San Francisco Bay Area.

Rice says rookies should just "enjoy the moment. But also you've got to realize that if you're the 1st round draft choice, or the top five or top ten (pick) you've got to realize there's a lot expect of you. You're going to have to conduct yourself the right way to represent the NFL."

He added that choosing the right friends is important because "Everyone around you, basically, is not good for you. If they don't have your best interest at heart, they're not good for you."

There's a cultural adjustment that young black athletes from the South have to make in the diverse, pretentious, pedantic, self-important Bay Area that some times makes for an unhappy growth period.

Jerry Rice's said the best thing to do is, "just be yourself, man." Then Rice continued "Don't try to be someone else. I had that problem when I first went in (to the Bay Area). I'm a country boy. The way I talk. The way I do. And I had some people say 'Well I think you need to do this. You need to do that.' And then I lost myself for a second and then went back to being just that plain country boy."

The Country Boy Jerry Rice will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in July. It's a well-deserved honor for the greatest NFL player in history.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tiki Barber on The NFL Draft, NY Giants, and an NFL lockout (video)

This NFL Draft installment (thanks to the Inn at Irving Place, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of The World brand) comes from New York, Radio City Music Hall - New York Giants Football Legend Tiki Barber took time to talk with "Dr. Football" and Football Reporters Online and NFL Business New Blog Managing Partner Bill Chachkes and this blogger as video-blogger on the state of New York Giants Running Backs after the 2010 NFL Draft.

Barber and Chackhes
After being drafted in the second round ("almost first" he said to Chachkes) from Virginia in 1997, New York Giants Running Back Tiki Barber retired at the end of the 2006 postseason as the Giants all time leader in yards rushing and catches.

Barber almost immediately rose to media stardom as a correspondent for NBC's Today Show and Football Night in America. Barber is a legend among NY Giants fans, so it was fitting that one of New York's biggest Giants fans, Bill Chachkes talked to Tiki.

Barber was at the NFL Draft representing Yahoo! Sports and "just covering what's going on here," he said. "Feeling the vibe of some of the teams."

Barber observes that the NFL's "hype-filled" machine works to raise an incredible level of interest and awareness of the NFL Draft and builds the expectations of the college players and fans to equally high levels.

The NFL Draft Running Back Class

Tiki thinks there are "four or five guys" who are going to make it; he named four: San Diego Chargers' Ryan Matthews, Buffalo Bills' C.J. Spiller (who both Chachkes and Barber thought would be a New York Giant), Detroit Lions' Jahvid Best, and Minnesota Viking's Running Back Toby Gerhart.

On Gerhert: "he goes to Minnesota. Watch Adrian Peterson run. He pounds people, but he's a finess guy, a speed guy. Now with Toby Gerhart, they're going to have a formidable rushing attack. It's exciting to see what's happening with the Vikings. Now, defenses are never going to get a break. Adrian's more of a slasher-type running back. Toby? He wants to be bloodied.

Barber compared C.J. Spiller to himself:"He can return kicks. He's going to be used on 3rd down. Then they'll line him in the "I" and get some every-down carries."

Barber thinks the NFL's close to a 2011 Lockout

Asked about the possibility of a labor strike or "lockout", Barber answered in the affirmative: "It's a lot more dire than people want to pay attention to. The league and the players are very far apart in their demands and their comprehension of the issues is so completely different. And until something can bring them closer together we're in significant danger of having a lockout."

Barber and Bill agree that a lockout would wreck the NFL, much as it did hockey in America. Barber asserts that America will not be sympathetic to the needs of "athletes making tons of money."

Bill and I thank Tiki for taking the time to make this video at the NFL Draft.

Stay tuned.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jahvid Best Detroit Lions 1st NFL Draft pick interview (video)

This NFL Draft installment (thanks to the Inn at Irving Place, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of The World brand) comes from New York, Radio City Music Hall - Former Cal-Berkeley and now Detroit Lions 2010 NFL Draft 1st round pick Running Back Jahvid Best sat down with the media for the first time after he was selected by the Lions as the 30th pick in the first round.

Jahvid Best seemed relieved to have gotten over with the whole thing. Plus, note Cal Alums that Best was wearing a RED TIE! More on that below, because I got after him about it.

Here's the transcript of the interview, with some corrections to match the video above that the FastScripts people missed:

JAHVID BEST: I feel great. This is a dream I've had since I was a little kid growing up just to play in the NFL. So this moment here, just experiencing it with my family and my friends and just getting selected is just amazing.

Q. What about Tyson?
JAHVID BEST: I'm happy for him, but I almost stood up cheering when I heard his name called. He's a great player and so this is a good pick for him.

Q. Did you know it was you they were coming after?
JAHVID BEST: Actually the phone rang and the TV didn't even say they traded a pick yet. They were like, why is the Lions calling me when it's not their turn and they told me they were going to trade and I got really excited. I was so excited, I can't even have words for this moment right now. It's hard to express my feelings.

Q. How would you compare yourself to other running backs?
JAHVID BEST: It's hard to compare myself right now because I haven't played yet, I haven't even played a down yet. I just have to go out and work hard and make a name for myself in the NFL because everything I've done up to this point is irrelevant.

Q. You said yesterday that you had not had much contact yesterday, are you surprised?
JAHVID BEST: Yeah, I'm surprised. I had a great conversation at the Combine but after the Combine it just stopped. It was a little bit of a surprise for me but it was a great experience.

Q. Around the Internet, people are saying that the Lions were targeting you.
JAHVID BEST: Yeah, I was aware of it. (Correction: Best said he was not aware that the Internet chatter was that the Lions were going to draft him; I made the statement.)

Q. Who was on the phone and what did they tell you about the reaction there?
JAHVID BEST: Everybody came on the phone, and they just told me when they got the green light to pick me that the room just erupted being everybody was excited about it.

Q. (Inaudible).
JAHVID BEST: He texted me before the Draft and he was at home watching, too.

Q. (Inaudible).
JAHVID BEST: I'm just going to be a back ‑‑ whatever they need me to do, return game, I can be an every down back for them. I can definitely bring the home run ability to the offense and just make it a more high‑power offense. I'm definitely going to bring some things to the table.

Q. What about the concussion ‑‑
JAHVID BEST: I've seen so many doctors, definitely, I think I'm passed that.

Q. (Inaudible).
JAHVID BEST: I'm excited, those are two guys I used to watch all the time and those are great players right there, so just adding myself, and then Suh, he went earlier. That's a couple of names that added to that team.
So we might be able to do some things.

Q. You come from a great tradition in Cal, successful running back; how did your time there prepare you for the next level and how do you feel you'll do once you get there?
JAHVID BEST: My time there? I mean, the running back coach, he prepares us ‑‑ he prepares us like nobody else. All of the running backs I was talking to, Justin for Seth when I was training for the Combine and everything, and he was telling me if you just listen to Coach G., you'll be fine when you get to the next level because Coach, he prepares all of his running backs to play in the NFL.

Q. (Inaudible).
JAHVID BEST: He was on me on the field but off the field he was also on me as well, everything about me, my lifestyle, what I eat, constantly on me. So I kind of see him as a father figure, just always making sure I'm doing the right thing no matter what I'm doing besides the football, just making sure I'm in the classroom and just doing everything right.

Q. Do you think about inspiring people in the whole economic climate and giving them a reason to come to Ford Field on Sundays?
JAHVID BEST: Oh, yes, that's part of our job as athletes is to bring excitement to the city. I plan to do my job and do that in Detroit, as well.

Q. Do you think you'll have a chance to make an immediate impact?
JAHVID BEST: Yeah, definitely, I think it will, but there's a lot of things I have to work on still. I have to go in and work real hard to get on the field so I'm not going to be ‑‑ I'm not going to be expecting to be given anything.

Q. What was your day like today? What did you do to pass the time?
JAHVID BEST: I woke up real slow. Just took it kind of slow. I got about 20 people here supporting me and we all went to eat lunch and then I got dressed and then came here.
So it was a real slow day.
It's kind of in between, some parts feel like a dream, some parts feel like reality, so just going to ride the wave a little bit.

Q. Did you think it wasn't going to happen tonight?
JAHVID BEST: For a second. It was in the back of my mind. Me and my agent kind of had teams we felt like were our best candidates and those teams were passing, so I was thinking about that. I wasn't really too worried about it, because at the end the day, all I need is an opportunity. But then the Lions gave me an opportunity so I'm going to take it and make the best of it.

Q. If you could play offensive coordinator, how many times would you touch the ball per game?
JAHVID BEST: As many times as I need to win? It's all about winning. I don't really care about numbers, I don't really care about stats. I just care about winning.

Q. You don't care about stats? You're an explosive guy. Do you expect friends who play fantasy football to start calling you now?
JAHVID BEST: I'm pretty sure they.

Q. What are you going to tell them?
JAHVID BEST: I'm going to tell them to pick me.

Q. Do you have any thoughts in the back of your mind, growing up and playing college ball out west in California and now going to the Midwest, different climate and lifestyle in general, do you think about that or just thinking about football?
JAHVID BEST: I'm just thinking about football right now. I'll deal with that when I get out there but I'm pretty sure it won't stop me from playing the game.

Q. Do you have to go back for classes?
JAHVID BEST: I'm going to get the classes whenever I can. It's not a high priority, because obviously I came out early, so my priority is football right now. Down the line, at some point in the future, I intend on getting my degree, so that definitely is in the plan.

Q. Can you talk to Kevin Johnson or Russell White ‑‑ inaudible.
JAHVID BEST: I haven't talked to any of the legends but I've been talking to a lot of guys in the NFL right now, Justin for Seth, I was talking to ‑‑ mostly those two guys and they were just giving me advice on how to handle this process.

Q. Barry Sanders is here tonight, did you meet him at all?
JAHVID BEST: Not tonight, I met him yesterday but it was just a brief meeting. He didn't have time to give me words of advice.

Q. You mentioned Jackson, did you ever race him in a sprint and if you did who won?
JAHVID BEST: We raced one time. We run two separate sides of the field so from my angle it looked like I was, and when we walked to each other, he said he was.

Q. If there's one thing you could tell the fans what would you say?
JAHVID BEST: Go get season tickets.

Afterward, Jahvid Best went to the backstage media room for more talk, and thanked Cal Football fans for "having my back all those years" but it was clear he moved on. I teased him about wearing of all things a red tie! He chuckled about that, but to Cal Alums like me a major Cal star like Jahvid Best sporting a tie and shirt that match the rival Stanford Cardinal cause me to ask if Jahvid Best really enjoyed Cal at all.

I make this statement because at NFL Play 60 on Wednesday, Jahvid Best said he would miss his players and coaches, but said nothing about Cal itself. In retrospect I hope I'm wrong about all this, but I doubt it. My impression is Jahvid Best didn't enjoy his Cal experience as much as this Cal Alum hoped he would have. Ok, one doesn't have to be a rah-rah person, but I do think Cal athletes should show some school sprit.

That's my view and I'm sticking to it.

Stay tuned and GO BEARS!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NFL Draft: Jahvid Best will miss Cal teammates

See > nfl, nfl draft, nfl play 60, 2010 nfl draft, Jahvid Best, cal berkeley, luxury hotels, new york,

New York, NY - This NFL Draft update: Jahvid Best says he will miss players, coaches at Cal. This NFL Draft installment (thanks to the Inn at Irving Place, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of The World brand) comes from Wednesday's NFL Play 60 Event in Central Park.

Jahvid Best 
When this blogger arrived in New York City and to the NFL's second annual "NfL Play 60 Event" the first player sought was Cal Running Back Jahvid Best. Standing at what was the "50" yard line of the touch football playing field, Best seemed to be just taking in the busy scene of college players, media, "secret service" level security men, NFL officials, and Jillian Michaels with a calm smile, but also still trying to figure out where he was.

Best, who said he was just enjoying being in New York, briefly talked on video about what he would miss in leaving Cal for the NFL, his Oregon State injury, and the value of athletics at Cal.

The guess of where Jahvid Best may go in the 2010 NFL Draft varies. Some NFL Mock Drafts had Best going in the 1st round to the San Diego Chargers, while others had him going to the Detroit Lions in the 2nd round. While Best says he will play wherever he goes, the focus really is on leaving Cal Berkeley. Best made the decision to "go pro" after his junior year last season.

"I'm gonna miss my relationships with my players and coaches. My running back group, I love those guys. It's gonna be hard leavin' em. And also my running backs coach (Cal Assistant Head Coach / Running Backs, Ron Gould). He's one of the best coaches I've had my whole life. He's like a father figure to me. But that's what I'm gonna miss the most."

The Oregon State game was the pivotal step in Jahvid Best' college career. The Cal star jumped over would-be Oregon State defenders and to the Beavers' end zone, but while he was in the air was pushed by an OSU defender. Jahvid Best turned in the air and fell on his neck and head in the end zone. He froze motionless and was taken off the field on a stretcher, having suffered a concussion.

But if Best had just scored and got up, would we be standing at the NFL Play 60 event talking? "Honestly, when you get a concussion it kind of blocks your memory a bit. So at that point I was just sit and coming back to, and everything was kind of fuzzy. After a while, I came to and felt like I just got knocked out."

Best' best runs at Cal

Jahvid Best had so many "best runs" it's hard for him to pick out one. For this blogger, it was his rapid 75-yard-touchdown run to open the 2009 season against Maryland. For Best "there's a lot of different plays. Sometimes even a cut block would be considered one of my best plays, but there's just a lot of plays I made that could be coined 'the best play.'"

Best feels he can play in any NFL offense because Cal, under Head Coach Jeff Tedford, has ran so many different formations, from single-back to two backs, and at times no backs in the backfield. Bsst says he's prepared for whatever a team asks him to do, including playing the slot receiver position.

Regarding the current debate on the value of athletics at Cal, where some Cal professors have called for the entire athletics effort to be disbanded in the wake of California's massive budget deficit, Jahvid Best says the program "is essential. It's a two way street as far as the academics and the athletics. I mean the athletics bring a lot of money to the university, so it's a two way street. They need each other."

But what Best needed was a map and a compass, because he had no idea he was in Central Park and on a man-made area of grass that was the NFL Play 60 event until someone told him where he was. "I love New York. I didn't even know we were in Central Park until five minutes ago."

Something tells me Best isn't going to have the problem of knowing where he is again after this week.

Stay tuned and GO BEARS.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

NFL Draft: Tim Tebow says Jerry Jones just having fun

In the latest NFL Draft news, Tim Tebow continues to show why so many people just plain like the quarterback. Asked about the now-famous rant by Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones that was caught on cell phone camcorder, where Jones said Tebow would "never get on the field," Tim Tebow gave a good natured response:

"I really haven't even thought about it. I don't even take that as an offense. He's just having fun."

Which may be Tim Tebow's christian way of saying, "Yeah, and when I play the Cowboys, I'm gonna kick their butts up and down the field." If you didn't see the video, here it is with my take:

Since then Jerry Jones has said Tim Tebow is an "outstanding" young man, but that the Cowboys don't have a need for a quarterback. Jones also said he has special feelings for former head coach Bill Parcells, now President of The Miami Dolphins Organization.

Parcells said he and Jones "talked it out."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens reunited at Washington Redskins?

See: donovan mcnabb, terell owens, washington redskins, philadelphia eagles, stephen a smith

Will Donovan McNabb be reunited with Terrell Owens at the Washington Redskins? Right now, given that at least McNabb is there, having been the focus of a trade from his old home with the Philadelphia Eagles, you can't rule out the idea.  But first, some history.

For those of you who don't know this, Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens played together in  Philadelphia and lead the Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida (The very same Super Bowl this blogger tried to land for Oakland.), where they lost to The New England Patriots.

The next season, the McNabb / Owens friendship unraveled as a then-less-mature T.O. blamed Eagles losses on McNabb not getting the ball to him and publicly dressed McNabb down during a game that year.  Eventually, and dramatically, T.O. was sent packing.

Since that time McNabb and Owens have made up - but to the extent of being reunited?  That's a good question.

For the present, a McNabb / T.O. pairing exists only in the head of sports writer and media commentator Stephen A. Smith. Smith issued the idea from his Twitter page @stephenasmith via this tweet from Pennsauken NJ 08110 USA:

I'm starting a movement on the Stephen A. Smith Show right now: McNabb and T.O. need to be REUNITED in Washington D.C. Yeah, I said it :-)
about 2 hours ago via web

Given the Redskins need more playmakers on offense, it's a good idea. It would also sell tickets. But practically, the Washington Redskins would certainly have more proven all-pros on their offense if they were to get Terrell Owens. The idea that Terrell's a locker room cancer is overblown, and his pass catching production in Buffalo did not decrease. Overall, this corner thinks it's a good idea.

But this corner also loves polls and this is a great chance to do one! What do you think? Take the poll below:

run your own opinion survey on pollsb.com

Brandon Marshall trade from Broncos to Miami Dolphins has Twitter abuzz

See: brandon marshall, miami dolphins, twitter tweets,

That NFL Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall's one of the NFL's most effective pass catchers when he get the ball is not lost on the general public, at least if Twitter is any read. As of this writing, Brandon Marshall is a top trend on Twitter.

The announced trade of Brandon Marshall from the Denver Broncos to the Miami Dolphins for the Dolphine 2nd round pick in the 2010 and 2011 NFL Draft has Twitter tweets claiming the "Fins" got the steal of the year, and some wondering why other NFL teams, like the San Francisco 49ers, didn't try to get Marshall.

NuFlavaent Steal of the year Broncos trade Brandon Marshall to Dolphins for 2010 & 2011 2nd rd picks..
35 minutes ago from UberTwitter

MoesesSoulright RT @streetcredceo: RT @BoxKev: Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins for a 2nd Round Pick??? THATS IT! Come on Niners! You make me wanna cry sometimes
36 minutes ago from UberTwitter

centerofsports Sports Update!!, Scouts Inc.: Marshall just what Fins needed - http://tinyurl.com/y65jjl8
36 minutes ago from WordTwit

But before this mornings news, it seemed Brandon Marshall was off to become a Seattle Seahawk and not a Dolphin. Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll must be thinking this certainly isn't USC, where trades and backdoor deals were not part of the college landscape. Obviously, whatever the Seahawks were offerings, cheap though it may have been, it didn't match what the Miami D Dolphins offered Denver.

Interestingly, The 12th Man Rising blog, reports that Denver wanted one of Seattle's two picks in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft - not happening. But that Denver was willing to part with their star wide receiver says a lot about Denver Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniel's ability to really connect with strong personalities, be it Marshall or Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan. He's got to work on that, or he's going to fail as an NFL head coach.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jets Superfan Fireman Ed Shouldn't let his Hatred syand in the way of a Superbowl Trophy

By TJ Rosenthal and Dr. Bill Chachkes-Football Reporters Online

So now we have heard it all. The Jets have hired a fan out of the stands to work in the personnel department. What you didn’t know Fireman Ed Anzalone was actually on the Jets front office payroll? I guess he is, the way he’s been getting and giving interviews as of late, regarding the Jets possible signing of soon to be former Dolphin Jason Taylor.

I don’t want to belittle the man for his “fan-ship” of the Jets, or the fact that he has a tough “Day Job” as a NYC firefighter, which is something I have a great deal of respect for. Regardless of how much bashing some people want to do to the Jets front office, I am sure they know a lot more about Football then at least some people give them credit for. Fireman Ed may be a passionate fan who knows a little something about football, but for him to not want Jason Taylor on the Jets because of the past comments traded back and forth is absurd.

Fireman Ed, as a “super fan,” can't afford to get in the way of the Jason Taylor saga. The symbol of Jet fans can't personalize the
trash talking that has gone on between Taylor and Jet fans for years. The rivalry has been too fierce, had too many wild endings, and has affected the outcomes of seasons on both sides for too long in a 44-year history.

Here's the reality. The Jets need a third down pass rusher. Taylor, if used wisely, can be a threat for the next two years and be expected to provide 8-10 sacks minimum given the talent that surrounds him along with the schemes devised by Rex Ryan.
Taylor's "Jet fans are class minus the C and the L" comments have to be taken with a grain of salt and instead viewed as an intensity that will be a welcome addition to a team just a few players away from being complete.

What Taylor must do, is stop the nonsense about his desire to skip OTA's. As a new member of a cohesive team as the Jets currently are, Ryan can't be forced into a corner where there are different rules for different players. Ryan was upset that Leon Washington missed OTA's in 2009 and rightfully so. What Taylor needs to do in order to ingratiate himself with the fans and his new teammates is to show up. Period. Tomlinson will. He's a future hall of famer.

Taylor will be an upgrade in a position that the Jets sorely need production out of ASAP. A blindside strip and sack of Tom Brady,
will make fans like Fireman Ed warm up quickly to him. Asking to skip out on early season team functions will however, make Taylor's entrance a more difficult one.

Let's not confuse the two though. Ed is wrong if he thinks that Jason Taylor won't make the Jets better in 2010. He will make a difference right away. When and if the Jets do sign Taylor, they will be one piece closer to the missing championship they desperately want.

Texas Stadium implosion end of beginning of Dallas Cowboys

Watching the video of the implosion of Texas Stadium is a hard thing for this blogger because it marks the end of the beginning of The Dallas Cowboys as America's Team, and the end of a period in American Culture where Dallas, Texas was new and all things seemed possible. The Texas Stadium implosion also sadly marked the end of one major tactile memory of my teenage and college years.

I was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. Not the typical fan, though. I was attracted to the Dallas Cowboys because my Mom had befriended Oakland Raiders Defensive End Otis Sistrunk. Otis was a large and very nice man who announcers joked was from The University of Mars. Sistrunk came over for a visit in 1976; I was underwhelmed. At the time, football had no place in my life.

I saw football as a major part of an American cultural problem. When I was six, my late grandfather said I should play football; But I said all the blacks played; I wanted to coach. I thought it was weird that the all the players on TV were black but all the coaches were white. That was why I paid no attention to football; I was into science fiction and Star Trek.

But when I figured my Mom was going to be friends with this guy, Otis Sistrunk, who I'd never heard of, I'd better read something about the game. So I found and bought - well, had bought for me at the time - a big thick book called An Encyclopedic History of Pro Football.

The book had different sections and Otis was in it. But nothing interested me except a chapter at the back called "A Strategic History of Pro Football". This part of the book had diagrams of plays that were ran through the history of the game. And it had a special area on Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry.

The segment explained that Landry used multiple offense and "pre-shifting" and brought "engineering concepts of feedback and control theory" to the development of The Flex Defense. As one who was interested in engineering, I found a reason to be interested in football and a fan of The Dallas Cowboys.

I subscribed to The Dallas Cowboys Weekly, and yes kept my issues for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader centerfolds. But my dream was to visit Texas Stadium. On August 21st, 1979, I got my wish.

My Mom took me to Dallas and Texas Stadium as a one-day birthday gift. It was The Dallas Cowboys v. The Pittsburgh Steelers in a preseason rematch of their epic Super BowlXIII. What struck me at the time was how simple Texas Stadium was. The corridors were wide, but all concrete. I guessed the luxury I expected to see was reserved for the famous luxury boxes. I read that Dallas Cowboys Marketing Director Tex Schramm sold them to pay a private bond issue to build the stadium. In fact, that was how I learned what bond issues were.

After the game, I was hooked on the Cowboys and their defensive strategy. That led to a letter I wrote to then Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator and NFL Hall of Famer Ernie Stautner. In the letter, I asked what "keys" Bob Breunig, then the Cowboys middle linebacker, looked for while running the "Flex Defense."  To my surprise, the letter he wrote back invited me to the Dallas Cowboys offices! So in July of 1980, I went back to Dallas.

I was allowed to see six reals of film: Dallas Defense v. The I Formation One, Dallas Defense v. The I Formation Two, Flex Strong: Quality Control, Flex Weak Quality Control, Flex Strong, and Flex Weak. What I noticed was that because the defensive lineman in the Flex started over the offensive player, then moved to a gap, an offensive lineman could actually block a defender before that person moved to their gap position.

That happened to Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle Randy White, who was head up on New England Patriots Guard John Hannah. The Patriots were in what the Cowboys called at that time "Brown Right" formation. In that, the tight end was on the right, the fullback behind the quarterback and the halfback behind the weakside offensive tackle. The fullback at the time was Sam "Bam" Cunningham. The Cowboys were in "Flex Strong", which is why White was head up on Hannah; White's assignment was the gap between Hannah and the Pats center. He never got there.

John Hannah blocked Randy White so hard and fast that the gap opened because the other defenders were flowing to their positions but not White, and Cunningham flew through the truck-sized hole and raced 56 yards for a touchdown.

When Ernie Stautner came in to check on me, I asked him about that, and he gave me a chalk talk on where White should have been. But with all of that, my love for The Cowboys and for Dallas and Texas Stadium was cemented. I found The University of Texas at Arlington because I wanted to study city planning in Dallas.

Dallas, Texas was growing at the time and basking in the glow provided by the success of the Cowboys and the TV show Dallas. I lived in Oakland; Dallas was everything the Bay Area was not: hot weather, steel and glass buildings, cranes all over and new. Everything seemed shiny new.

Of course, then I went to college and while I enjoyed my four years at UTA and the friends I met and still have today, I felt that Dallas and "The Metroplex" was 15 years behind the Bay Area socially, so I worked to come back. I was accepted at at graduate school and The City Planning Program at Cal Berkeley in 1985.  But before I left, I got a chance to go to a number of games at Texas Stadium.

The one I will remember isn't a Dallas Cowboys game; it's an SMU game.  SMU played Texas-Arlington at Texas Stadium and SMU, which had Eric Dickerson and Craig James, ran all over us.

They called Craig and Eric, "Dicker-James" and I think it was KRLD's radio announcer Brad Sham who came up with the name.  What I remember was my friend at UTA Shelly Gruwell saying "Look at them go" in that Texanese drawl of hers, over and over again.

My love for the Dallas Cowboys never diminished until a man named Bill Walsh came along with an innovative passing game - that's another story for another time. But part of that reason too was how new Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones handled the late Coach Tom Landry; by announcing on radio that he fired him. That was how Landry learned of his ouster.

Gil Brandt was the Cowboys Director of Player Personnel and the architect of the great Cowboys teams as well as the pioneer of using computers in the player scouting process. Gil was locked out of the Cowboys Headquarters.

It took me a long time to get over that. I've since met Jerry Jones and really admire him as a business man. But the "Landry issue" will always stick with me. Texas Stadium was a symbol of that. But also of a certain hubris and free-spending era, too.

In defense of Jerry Jones, Jones discovered a lot of fiscal overspending by the Cowboys management when he took over the organization. Jones cut the fat and caused the Cowboys to turn a profit.

One can say the new Cowboys Stadium is Jerry Jones way of saying "The Cowboys were OK then, but this is what they should be. An example for the sports World."

I'll miss Texas Stadium. May it rest in peace.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Get your copy of the 2010 Gridiron Draft Guide Now!!

The 2010 Gridiron guide to the NFL draft is now available. Click the link above or go directly to: www.gridirondraftguide.com to order and don’t forget to use Paypal it’s free and safe…

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Eagles trade of Donovan McNabb to Redskins dumbest in NFL history

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The Philadelphia Eagles traded their legendary Quarterback Donovan McNabb to their NFL NFC East Division rival Washington Redskins for a 2nd round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft depending on how well Donovan McNabb does. He will do well.

The Philadelphia Eagles trade of Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins is the dumbest in NFL history. The McNabb trade is dumb for several reasons: first, the Eagles traded their six-time pro-bowl quarterback to a team they play twice each year.

Second, the Eagles sent McNabb to a team that will play an offense almost like the one he played in for 11 years. new Washington Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan knows the same Bill Walsh West Coast Offense that Andy Reid coached to Donovan McNabb for all those years.

McNabb will have zero "adjustment" period on the field.

Third, Donovan McNabb knows the Philadelphia Eagles Defense like the back of his hand because he practiced against them. On other other hand, the Eagles have no idea what the Washington Redskins will do on offense because they're a new organization.

Fourth, the Eagles insulted Donovan by trading him for a second round pick to a division rival that plays the same offensive design, in effect saying "We don't think you're good. In fact, you're so bad we'll send you to our division rival because we know you can't beat us."

That's stupid.

The Eagles just penciled in two losses for the 2010 season at the hands of The Washington Redskins. Kevin Kolb is not the Eagles quarterback of the future, even if Andy Reid says he is. Michael Vick, who's an even better passer, will press Kolb for the starting job because he has something to prove. If Andy Reid doesn't start Vick, people will wonder what's wrong with him.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Bank of America no longer NFL sponsor

According to a tweet without a link and from Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal (@dkaplanSBJ) and confirmed by National Football League (NFL) Spokesperson Brian McCarthy, Bank of America is no longer an NFL Sponsor.

The NFL sponsorship ended March 31st after talks between the NFL and Bank of America failed to yield a deal either side was happy.

Asked if the NFL planned to seek a new bank sponsor, Brian McCarthy said the NFL is "exploring what's out there," and suggested a call to Bank of America was best to get their point of view.

Jon Schwartz of Bank of America Global Media Relations explained that "After many months of negotiations, Bank of America and the NFL could not arrive at a mutually beneficial set of terms for the sponsorship."

But a parting of the ways with the NFL does not mean Bank of America will seek to terminate its NFL team sponsor relationships. "While we couldn’t reach an agreement with the League,"Schwartz said via email. "It is our intent to continue to reach their large and highly-engaged fan base through our existing NFL team sponsorships, which we’re excited about.

While it's not crystal clear that the economy is hampering sports sponsorship across the board, the hypothesis here is that corporate sponsors want to know they're getting a better bang for their sponsor buck.

Stay tuned.

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