Grab Yourself A Raincoat

She is here, but not here.  I’m parked in front of the Frontier terminal, which is more towards Sun Country’s entrance, right next to a sign that says, “Immediate Pick Up Only.”

The engine’s shut off and my headlights are turned down.  Am I rebellious or am I rebellious?

I love waiting, yes, I don’t always like waiting for certain types of personalities.

The ungrateful ones.

You’re far too kind 17

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God Philippians 4:6

I appreciate you.

There is no way I can put this into words, this level of gratitude I hold for you is inexpressible.

That’s why I think sometimes you’re hurt by me.

Because my actions are supposed to speak louder than words, but if I can’t even form the words to generate the energy to appropriately exhibit the feelings … of course that upsets you.

I specifically remember how heartbroken I was.

You sat in the passenger and immediately noticed my distress. Like … yo.

I’m supposed … You asked what was wrong. Nothing. Yeah, right. I just got booted from a full-time position at the Faison School for Autism. The tears were dried, bro. You guessed right. How the heck did you guess right.

I gave you the option. You may leave. That was an authentic suggestion. Leave me behind. Find someone else who has a job. You said no.

You said no to six more …

I’m going to sleep.

To whom it may concern

I am about to fill this blank space with a piece of my heart.  Therefore: this may, or may not, relate to what you are going through.  If it does speak to you, I would hope it is only through the power of Jesus, not mine.  If it does not, feel free to exit anytime.

I am uncertain how long this entry will take to finish.  It’s getting late, and I usually log in privy around this hour before my eyelids droop.

2015 has been one onerous year.  I assumed 2014 was both “rock bottom” and “people’s elbow” for me, but no, God had snuck in a surprise fart bomb in my life stocking.  Last year January, I was living with my parents, arguing with them constantly about my career outlook, watching Frozen, working at a hibachi restaurant, attending AA Meetings, moving out to room with a coworker in a basement, helping him translate with lawyers, dealing with his legal issues, applying to George Washington’s grad program to pursue a special education teaching degree, getting rejected, winning a contest on Baltimore Beatdown and getting selected to write for the staff, contacting Fairfax County Public Schools, going to the headquarters to retrieve my FCPS badge, getting fingerprinted, learning I was ineligible to intern due to a reckless driving misdemeanor charge on my record, getting denied a position to work on NFL.com’s editorial staff, moving to Richmond to seek job opportunities, losing 25 pounds, working Coach Shaka Smart’s summer basketball camp, sending my best friend Paden off to Oregon, somehow miraculously working for the Redskins’ team store, applying to job after job, sleeping on couches to beds in basements, landing a gig at The Boathouse, getting fired by them, paying a nonrefundable amount on an apartment lease, not ending up living there, moving in with a high school art teacher, special education educator and a football coach, piercing my cartilage again, volunteering for the VCU Men’s Basketball team for the third consecutive season, serving tables at Sushi King, eventually working at Godwin High School in Henrico County as a part time instructional assistant, meeting Belinda and Zane, serving more tables at Angela’s Japanese sushi place, Ichiban, balancing three jobs at once while volunteering as a coach for the Godwin Eagles freshman football team, almost getting fired for getting falsely accused of holding a female student’s hand, meeting Tyler Bradley, a music director at Community West Church, sleeping at his house for two weeks because his place was only five minutes from work, moving out of the serene Mechanicsville because it was 25 minutes away from work, relocating to a single house near Short Pump with Tyler and a seven-foot tall goofball named Jordan, filming all of the VCU Rams home games … and working at Sushi King during an unpaid winter break.

At all times I maintained a high level of appreciation and joyfulness.  Jesus provided a light beneath my feet whenever walking the paths.  I did not ever once doubt God’s providence would end.  I know my purpose. That is to serve God and keep Him first at all times.

That was 2014.

You’re far too kind 16

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God Philippians 4:6

Thank You, God.

You never forget, even when I feel like You’re long gone.

Yesterday, I came to a fork in the life-road. A fork I am shamefully far too fond of.

The cliche that goes, “Everything happens for a reason,” to me, personally, has become, “Trust in God’s plan.”

Seriously.

I knew what You put me through 365 days ago prepared me for yesterday. Similar incident happened 730 nights ago. My stomach sank. Life knocked the wind out of me. Again?

Mentally I couldn’t have been more prepared. I appreciate the tribulations, God. Physically, I could handle the long walks. Emotionally, my heart overflowing with joy was capable of extenuating the once-unbearable aching.

I immediately reached out to you. My friend, you may never know how eye-opening your extension was.

Who am I to say never, though?

Your pure, clean act of kindness will some day carry you to heights undetectable even by the world’s strongest telescope. Nothing man-made could ever see what you did for me in humble secrecy.

I will thank God for your kindred spirit. I will.

You’re far too kind 15

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God Philippians 4:6

The Gratitude Spree

continues…

You certainly are not neglected. You certainly should have made this list a year ago. But timing is everything, and there’s a reason you are on here now, as opposed to 2014’s gratitude-igans.

Listen. You are worth more than diamonds. God loves you. What you went through last year … that was tough. Everyone deals with adversity at some point in their lives, but you held it down. …

Mental toughness is an exaggerated understatement when discussing your mind’s fortitude. Meeting me was not a blessing in disguise–trust me, it’s probably the other way around. I said you should attend church at least once; you kept your promise, and topped it off by going thrice more.

To God be all the glory, make sure you never forget that. I am prayerfully rooting for your future endeavors to pan out the way you envision them to. Thanks for letting me sleep in your basement. I hope that your reconciliation with The Father will set your heart ablaze to work for the Kingdom rather than yourself. God’s providence is inexplicable, and due to my faith in Him, I am forever joyful for you and the many more characters I will encounter in the coming years.

You’re far too kind 14

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God Philippians 4:6

The Gratitude Spree

continues…

We met two summers ago, at Coach Smart’s basketball camps in Richmond, Va. I did not, I repeat, did NOT think that we would be this close. Distance is nothing but a number, a measurement, but man, friendship-wise, we would connect on all levels inside a skyscraper.

You realized I did not know many of the musicians you mentioned, and that, was sad, but thankfully you did not pass judgment.

Anyways, being transparent about your past history had much impact on my emotional development. Last week when you shared with me your experiences, I could not believe the amount of space I had left for complaints. I rarely complain (that sounds like a joke), but there’s no ‘gotcha!’ anywhere in sight.

Thanks for the rides, taking me back and forth around LA. Thanks for introducing me to your friends–they were…cool. Hah, seriously!

I hope that you will someday work as the head coach of San Diego State’s basketball team. That is a prayer, and yes, God will direct your steps. Make sure you prioritize reading the Word, for God’s whispers and answers and challenges will light your path.

Your trials, ups-and-downs, will later serve a huge, HUGE, role in the shaping of the future church, as long as your faith doesn’t dwindle, God will use your testimony in unimaginable ways. Don’t let up hope and strive for your goals … with a humble heart and transformational motives.

I appreciate you for providing me a bed (your bed), last weekend. MULA was not a success, but again, I met great people there.

Thanks _____ _______, keep in touch. Stay healthy!

You’re far too kind 13

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God Philippians 4:6

I have gone AWOL … and I apologize for that.

Over the past few weeks, no, months, God has stuffed my already-jam packed basket with more gratitude. So without further ado. …

The Gratitude Spree

We met in middle school.

Until you arrived I was the new kid in the sanctuary. Regardless, your godlike basketball skills launched your fame to the apex while I loitered around the foot of the pyramid. You befriended me first, maybe because we went to the same school–who knows why–but I appreciate that you cherished our friendship.

I still recall you breaking my ankles at will. I think I might be over-thanking you for making me the laughingstock of pick-up basketball exhibitions but on second thought, without you I guess I would not have built my tolerance for failure and defensive hustle.

You left back for California, slept over my house in high school to attend a conference in D.C., and since then, what, 2005? I haven’t had a chance to reach out. That all changed when I dropped by LA last week, to compete against 499 other emcees for a chance to hoist a TeamBackPack trophy. … eh. I’m not saying that the auditions were fixed, but … eh.

Thanks for the food, man. Thanks for the rides, too. I never asked for anything. I wanted to stop by NFL Network in Culver City and was shocked to find out you only lived four minutes away from the NFL headquarters. More than the materialistic things, I think you really hit the bull’s eye when you told me you were quitting your job to pursue your lifelong passion. I hope the best for you. A future as a computer programmer sounds awesome. You inspired me to chase after a passion, which is to someday work with people with all ages. Well, more than that, serving the Great Commission holds most–if not all–my heart.

So thanks, guy, for taking me to around, showing me the beach, and most importantly, leading me closer to God. That’s big time!

Until later, my friend. Keep well.

You’re far too kind III

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

Philippians 4:6

Summer 2011

Brashness, in moderation, is a wonderful gift. When applied at the right time, lives change.

Your abrasive tone, condescending voice, full of pep, worked wonders one humid day in Harrisonburg, Va. I sat in my car, drenched in viscous sweat, nervous like the first time I lost. … control. Ten hours ago I was driving from Northern Virginia to visit a buddy of mine at James Madison University. Twenty minutes ago I had your phone number in my VCU inbox:

daniel…
a— p—– here….you can call me at 301-xxx-xxxx

That’s all you wrote. The first letter of my name wasn’t even capitalized. I dialed and you answered. I had a few questions to ask you about my career path. My behemoth dreams to someday work for the worldwide leader in sports alongside you and your staff were overtly naive. How did you start? What must I do?

Do you have any internships under your belt? No? You better go get them. Journalism doesn’t fall on your lap, son!

At least you called me “son.” You spanked me over the phone, the exact opposite of what I expected. Thank you for not babying me. Journalism does not fall on one’s lap, you were correct. What was I thinking; how dare my inexperienced a– ask if there were any immediate openings at 980?

I heeded your insight. I did exactly what you advised me to do. During the summer of 2012, I applied for two internships at VCU. Fortuitously or not, I ended up landing a spot with The Blacksheep Journal and The Commonwealth Times as a satire writer and a sports features writer, respectively. I conducted interviews and reached out to VCU’s student-athletes. One pole vaulter. The founder of the university’s first-ever club football team. A volleyball team captain, Annett Farkas. She made the issue’s front cover, but after picking up the paper she texted me later, saying how much she loathed the feature.

Funny thing is, I emailed her my final draft before sending the piece to my editor(s). Farkas thoroughly enjoyed the rough draft. But after my editors tweaked the narrative and published the piece for circulation, they had altered too much material. My mentor at the time, who you’ll read about soon in these You’re Far Too Kind series, recommended me not to “burn bridges with him.” I obeyed.

She, my adviser, assured me everything would be fine. So I held my tongue and the lead sports editor decided not to assign me with another project until I reached out to the chief-editor if I could interview the pole vaulter.

Moreover, I am still on the path and humbly walking the steps that you told me to take.

Taking the high road made all the difference.

You’re far too kind II

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

Philippians 4:6

Gratitude is a bottomless pit. Not everyone dives in. I did.

I currently work with the 16th-ranked VCU Men’s Basketball team under Head Coach Shaka Smart in Richmond, Va. Many of you do not know how this journey started, or how this internship transpired into something greater than I could ever imagine.

October 2012

One more, just one more internship, God.

With seven months left I begged God for an opportunity. Anything, literally, would have decorated my jejune resume. At the time I was a sports journalist for The Commonwealth Times and authoring articles on the side for The Blacksheep Journal, a satirical publication. … basically I was doomed. One night, while perusing my VCU inbox, I noticed that the womens’ basketball team sent out a school-wide notice seeking student-managers. I applied.

The head manager replied and invited me to a team practice. Due to a scheduling conflict I could not attend. I was anxious when he didn’t respond to my correspondence. I continued to pray. After apologizing to him, I received an email from the head manager of the mens’ team a week later and set up an interview.

My God, the Rams basketball team? Final Four 2011?

We met at Jimmy John’s. When you asked about my experiences with basketball, I told the truth. I hustle when I play, but no, sorry. My basketball IQ is low; my dreams to start for an NFL team under center were shot down back in 2002 when the optometrist broke the news to my parents of my tearing retina. You were seeking a videographer. An iPhone camera, the only device I handled and filmed with up until this point.

We spoke about our respective high schools. I graduated from WSHS, you went to CHS. Shared a laugh about how I went to your school’s senior prom. You reached out your hand; I was hired.

God knew the internship I needed.

God blessed me, and I know He blesses you. I recorded all of our squad’s home games, practices and workouts. God blessed me with a summer job, serving alongside other managers and graduate assistants for our head coach’s summer basketball camp. I will forever be indebted to you extending your time and hand. Without you emailing back, where would I have ended up?

That question is pointless–I am still with the team, two years later.

You’re far too kind

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

Philippians 4:6

This simple, yet at times incomprehensible, Bible verse is the sole purpose for why I am writing my You’re Far Too Kind series. Every night, around this hour, I will express my gratitude for the individual (who will remain anonymous), and specify the reasons why I am thankful that he or she is, or was, in my life.

Summer of 2012

I entered your office with spirits of hopelessness, uninvited like an annoying tagalong. That was me, a soldier on the edge of a diving board elevated over a whirlpool of insecurity, incompetency and beat-less dreams.

My grade point average was handcuffed to a past of heartbreaks and hedonism. My ambition to someday write for the National Football League was dwindling faster than the embers of a dying campfire in the middle of winter. Promises to graduate in 2010 were overdue; the once audible, vivacious cheering markedly grew faint from the stands. I was losing the game. My parents were losing their voices.

I asked you to reassess my outlook. How many more semesters? Am I to officially quit school?

You reviewed my transcript, a palette of hideous colors no painter at any level would dare attempt to hold in their left palm. But you did. You logged into your eServices and pulled up your records. Your annals were a carbon copy of mine.

“Daniel, you can do it too.”

Really? You are transparent, incisive and inspirational.

“I was in college for seven years.”

Sharing with me these documents with the sparking my ambition by allowing me to review your struggles (possibly worse than mine), during your formative years at VCU. After three years of falling victim to complacency, you capped off your undergraduate studies with a 4.0 GPA for eight consecutive semesters. You pitched to me that unchaining myself from laziness would require courage and ambition. Courage to combat the distractions, ambition to keep me hungry.

Click

Walk-ins were welcome. Thank you.

NFL Week 1 Predictions

NO @ATL SUN 1:00

The cup is tilting for the team on the left more than it is for the hosts. Drew Brees will be playing in his 14th NFL season. He wants to win another ring, like Manning does, and this could be the year that the Saints could make noise. Atlanta, on the other hand, is a team that demands respect and their bite is a lot less vicious than their bark. Eat my words, say you?

NO 38 ATL 30

CIN @BAL SUN 1:00

The Ravens and the Bengals already find themselves in a must-win situation. Both teams will try to attack the same way on Sunday: run the ball and chip away before throwing the long bomb. We’re all excited to watch Steve Smith Sr. take the field and Joe Flacco needs time behind the line if his offense wants to take it to the next level. Watch out for the one-two punch in Cincinnati’s backfield: Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Statement game won by Baltimore.

CIN 20 BAL 23

BUF @CHI SUN 1:00

Sammy Watkins will be challenged in his debut. The Chicago Bears have all the utensils they need to find themselves atop the NFC. They could challenge the Eagles, Saints, Panthers, 49ers, Seahawks, Packers and Detroit comfortably. That’s what I call a bold opinion.

BUF 14 CHI 30

WAS HOU SUN 1:00

The Redskins are the worst team in the NFC East. Their defense is still suspect. Let me rephrase that: the pressure lies on their defensive front seven, really, as their secondary is still suspect. The Texans are the exact opposite. Their defense looks sharp, whereas their offense looks – and feels – too shaky for my personal investment. Look for Jadaveon Clowney to run down and pressure Robert Griffin III who will frantically run around to spot his A-list receivers in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.

WAS 24 HOU 14

TEN KC SUN 1:00

Nothing really stands out from this game. The scoreboard won’t reflect who the better team is. Watch the Titans offensive line and how they protect Jake Locker. The Chiefs defense will look to impose from the first snap and whistle blow.

TEN 14 KC 19

NE MIA SUN 1:00

The New England Patriots play sharp like their quarterback’s hairstyle. The Dolphins look to avenge their woes from last season but won’t muster enough firepower to take down the mighty Patriots. Look for a close first half.

NE 34 MIA 20

OAK NYJ SUN 1:00

Congratulations to Derek Carr. He earned the starting nod over Matt Schaub. Geno Smith, who is running slim on excuses now with Chris Johnson in the backfield and Eric Decker lined up wide. The Jets defense is underrated (already!?) and the Raiders won’t click on all cylinders from the jump. Jets’ edge.

OAK 17 NYJ 20

JAX PHI SUN 1:00

Jacksonville Jaguars made many strides to bolster both tips of the football this offseason. The Eagles did, too, and will be shocking it they lose their season opener under Head Coach Chip Kelly. The lesson here is that Nick Foles is aiming towards breaking his PR of 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions. The problem is that the secondaries are also aware — and they’re significantly much more relieved the Eagles cut DJax. They will also scissor JAX.

JAX 15 PHI 23

CLE PIT SUN 1:00

Cleveland is the AFC North’s phantom. They will come in like they know somebody and leave alone like they were just swinging by. Between Brian Hoyer and ‘Money’ Manziel, never mind. The Steelers better not underestimate the Browns’ defense, who is now strong at the safety and cornerback positions with Donte Whitner, Tashaun Gipson and Joe Haden opposite Buster Skrine.

CLE 21 PIT 24

MIN STL SUN 1:00

Like the Titans and the Chiefs game, this game piques our interest all for the wrong reasons. Matt Cassel starts, along with Adrian Petersen, Cordarrelle Patterson and  Greg Jennings. This is an exciting offense to watch, if their quarterback is capable of executing the plays. Look for Kyle Rudolph to get behind a solid defensive front in the St. Louis Rams. It’s hard envisioning the Rams winning a game of spin the bottle without their quarterback Sam Bradford.

MIN 24 STL 23

SF DAL SUN 4:25

Yum, what a delicious scoop of game. I love this match. San Francisco is dealing with their own unique set of issues. The Cowboys know exactly how to play the 49ers: contain Kaepernick, cover Vernon Davis and bracket coverage Anquan Boldin. Dez Bryant wants to win and that’s exactly what Dallas will do.

SF 20 DAL 31

CAR TB SUN 4:25

Don’t relax on Tampa Bay. They are sensitive and will attempt to release their anger and frustrations from last season with any chance they get. Look for fights and facemask grabbing. That boiling heat in Florida will be the team’s Achilles’ heel.

CAR 14 TB 10

IND DEN SUN 8:30

Denver is an early favorite to make the trip to the Super Bowl in February. Wes Welker is suspended and won’t play but when was the last time Peyton Manning lost a game because of a receiving missing in action? Hmm. As far as I know, Andrew Luck will play without his best receiver, who we know as Reggie Wayne. The Colts defense will be battle tested at the Mile High.

IND 17 DEN 35

NYG DET MON 7:10

The New York Giants better run the ball well this season to give them a chance at winning games. Do they have a game plan to defeat the Lions? Yes, if they meet in the playoffs. For now, the Lions’ high-powered offense is buzzing with talent. Jim Caldwell is a coach’s player who can corral this team like he did with the Ravens.

NYG 16 DET 34

SD ARI MON 10:20

Flip a coin, just kidding. This is another rare gem – early statement game – for both sides. The Cardinals don’t want to trail behind the Seahawks and 49ers (or the Rams) for the Division Title. The Chargers, same thing, can’t fall to the Chiefs, Broncos (or the Raiders). The intensity levels are high. I like …

SD 21 ARI 27

—————————– ALREADY PLAYED ————————————————

GB @SEA THU 8:30

Game is played in Seattle, one of the toughest spots to win anything. (I couldn’t take home a stuffed animal trying to make a basket at a carnival in Seattle.)

We’re curious to see how the Green Bay Packers’ offense will look. How will they fare without Jermichael Finley, James Jones? How will Eddie Lacy be deployed in their new-look offense? The Seattle Seahawks lost a pound of blood on their defense (Red Bryant/Chris Clemons), too, so don’t expect a blowout.

GB: 24 SEA 30

Redskins at Bon Secours Live #NFLTrainingCamp

Again it is a blessing to be sitting here (in a lawn chair this time). God is good, you know the rest. I am drowning in a sea of fans donning burgundy, gold, and navy blue and we have an hour before the players set foot.

It’s torrid in Richmond and the only thing on my mind is how displeased my mother will be with my brown skin.

I’m working towards my dream, mom, you’ll understand later.

On my watch today

Reds-kies: how are the rookies doing?

83 Bolser, Ted TE 6-5 249

26 Breeland, Bashaud CB 5-11 197
-practiced as a gunner in punting drills

45W Campbell, Stephen FB 6-1 245

5 Clingan, Blake P 6-0
-fan:”release him, 2-second hang time. Ouch.

35 Davis, Akeem S 6-1 200
-practiced as a gunner in punting drills

18 Doss, Lee WR 6-1 178
-very fast running up field

14 Grant, Ryan WR 6-0 193
-practiced as a gunner in punting drills

4 Hocker, Zach K 6-0 186

87 Hoffman, Cody WR 6-4 210

17 Lawrence, Rashad WR 6-1 190

60 Long, Spencer G 6-5 311

48 Madison, Ross S 5-11 200

76R McDonough, Jake DE 6-5 280

76 Moses, Morgan T 6-6 318

93 Murphy, Trent LB 6-5 258

24W Redd, Silas RB 5-10 200
One carry, has quick feet

19 Ross, Rashad WR 6-0 167

35W Seastrunk, Lache RB 5-9 200
-practiced as a gunner in punting drills

37 Shepherd, Bryan DB 5-10 180

75R Thomas, Robert DL 6-3 325

79R Towns, Jeremy DE 6-4 290

46R Compton, Will LB 6-1 230

62 Stevens, Tevita OL 6-3 302

32 Thompson, Peyton CB 5-11 180
-practiced as a gunner in punting drills

Defensive backs: Thomas, Clark, Hall, Rambo, Amerson?

39 Amerson, David CB 6-1 194
-practiced as a gunner in punting drills

30 Biggers, E.J. CB 6-0 185

20 Crawford, Richard CB 5-11 192
-practiced as a gunner in punting drills

23 Hall, DeAngelo CB 5-10 198

38 Minnifield, Chase CB 6-0 185
-practiced as a gunner in punting drills
-very fast running up field

22 Porter, Tracy CB 5-11 188

25R Clark, Ryan S 5-11 205

48 Madison, Ross S 5-11 200

31 Meriweather, Brandon S 5-11 198

24 Rambo, Bacarri S 6-0 211

34 Robinson, Trenton S 5-9 193

41 Thomas, Phillip S 6-1 223

Griffin III

Feeling a bit chilly here after watching him orchestrate the offense. First play resulted in a sack. Second play pass complete to Jordan Reed on a slant in front of the ILB. Vince Wilfork picks a tipped pass in the backfield intended for … Santana Moss??!! Helu knifes his way out of traffic up the right gap between guard/tackle for large gain. Here’s a first: a reverse?! Ryan Grant with the ball. Evan Royster is quick, he takes a screen pass from Kirk Cousins for large gain.

DeSean Jackson is open on a lot of plays. Defensive backs are caught staring in the backfield and leave their zones. #FindDJax

Washington Redskins 2014: built for attrition

Redskins Logo

Like a shot from the doctor I’ll make this quick. But like they all say, “This may sting.” 

In 2012, you NFL-lovers know, the Redskins selected Robert Griffin in the first round, right after the Colts ‘napped Andrew Luck.

The burgundy-and-gold’s season started like a children’s roller coaster ride, spoiling the Saints in their season opener, then losing consecutive games-one to the Rams (Thank Josh Morgan for the unsportsmanlike conduct), and the other in D.C. to the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Let’s get to the point, shall we? The Redskins won, you NFL-lovers know, seven straight games to incredibly finish with a 10-6 record and the NFC East title. (Had they lost to the Cowboys in Week 17, the title would have gone to Dallas. Sweet baby Jesus.)

That happened. Oh, RGIII injured his knee in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens, and Kirk Cousins rallied the team to victory, finishing 2-2, 26 yards and a touchdown. Cousins played in one more friendly against the Cleveland Browns (yes, I called it a friendly), before Griffin returned to the field for the final pair of must-win games against the Eagles and Cowboys.

Yes they–well Alfred Morris–terrorized the “D” in Dallas on a cool Sunday night on national broadcast. 

The Seahawks stomped on the Redskins in the Wild Card game a week later, and that’s that. (And although we could watch Trent Williams slap Richard Sherman so many more times. … life moves on.)

Then the offseason hustled on over. Questions about RGTweak flurried from mid-January until the end of August. Darryl Tapp was signed. Pat White boarded the R train. Bolstering and bolstering. Defensive end Adam Carriker and cornerback Josh Wilson are placed on the active PUP. Washington embraces their new chicks picks, David Amerson, Jordan Reed, Jawan Jamison, Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas.

Quarterback protection is more vital than ever since learning that Griffin would be scrambling behind the line of scrimmage with a knee brace on. This is an offense that finished top-five in the League’s ranks, fourth in points scored and fifth in total yards. They hauled in defensive players to tighten up a bunch that ranked 28th in yards allowed.

Summer practices in Richmond were frenetic. Random hurricanes and humid weather, the two things that stuck on me after 17 days of volunteering. Thousands upon thousands the Stans gathered and chanted, mistaking Griffin for Jesus. These moments really jeopardize someone’s psyche, I’d say.

After much controversy between coach and quarterback, the Redskins struggled to launch. The bar they raised from just nine months before was staggered and lowered, playing games by ear and lost on the field. No hoopla could stir the hearts of Redskins fans, besides maybe the final home game of London Fletcher’s phenomenal career, and even that game they lost to their Texas rivals.

The players, coaches, cheerleaders, front office, writers, chefs, cooks, FedEx and owner finished 3-13, and Head Coach Mike Shanahan was fired on December 30th to cap the hideous season. 

Now we’re here again. Flags are raised high. Hopes are restored and dignified. The Redskins are built for attrition. The team went through the highest of highs–a seven-game winning streak–and then an eight-game losing streak. Roller coasters are built for strong stomachs, and Redskins Nation can finally, after digesting this truth, believe in their team again to rise out of the pit

Never enough gratitude

Proverbs 16:9, oh how this verse comforts me.

Thank you, Mr. Andy Pollin – for setting a college student’s heart ablaze with one shaky phone call. “Journalism doesn’t fall on your lap, you’ve got to go out and get it.”

Never did I expect to come this far, and nearly all of it I owe to your brashness.

Thank you, Mr. Gregg Rosenthal – for the five words you emailed me. when I asked you for your advice “Read and write every day.”

Thank you, Mr. Seth Wickersham, Mr. Kevin Van Valkenburg, Mr. Ohm Youngmisuk, Mr. Greg Burton, and Mr. Pat Tomka, for the words of wisdom and the insight that you planted in this relentless soul.

Thank you, Mr. Jeff South, for saying that I could potentially scare off employers if I showed them my 15-years worth of journals stashed in a shoe box. I learned that you only scare away the wrong people.

Thank you Mr. Ohm Youngmisuk, for usually responding to me whenever I message you on Facebook.

Thank you, Dr. Wiegardt, Mrs. Kim Hanneman, Counselor Holly Guelig, for the infinite guidance and genuine encouragement. Your support and concern will never be forgotten.

Thank you, VCU Men’s Basketball Staff – Coach Smart, Coach Ballard, Coach Rhoades, Coach Wade, Video Coordinator Don Lind, Dwight Perry, Coach Morrell, Coach Bopp, Coach Roose – ah, I cannot explain.

Thank you, to the sharpest and best graduate assistants and student managers at VCU Basketball: Rafik, Paden, Brad, Graham, Nathan, Mak, David, Neal, Clayton, Tre

Thank you, Mr. Kevin and Greg Kristof, for the stints with Zero Gravity Basketball. And the Jameson.

Thank you, Johnny Vy, for helping someone across the States and retrieving Mr. Justin Hathaway’s email address.

Thank you, NFL Films internship coordinators Mr. Ron Schreier and Ms. Cara Angelucci, for that one-hour interview. I will earn my way in.

Thank you, NFL Producer Mr. Jay Jackson, for ignoring me at the right time, especially when I needed more fuel to keep the fire burning.

Thank you Paden and Brad, I’m proud that I can say that I know you studs.

Thank you Redskins.com writing staff, Brian Tinsman and Stephen Czarda, for providing me a VIP pass to get a closer look during the training camp in Richmond. And thank you Tinsman, for setting up a unique and once-in-a-life-time opportunity and allowing me to sit alongside you and the staff in the press box.

Thank you, Mrs. Caitlin Byun, for taking your time to talk with me about God’s plans. You’re 100 percent correct; I’ll succeed only if it’s God’s will.

From the first to the last bit of gratitude,

I’ve thanked, do thank, and will thank, God for directing my steps and keeping me safe to get to this point. 

Losing in a must-win situation: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 10

Hello readers, what’s new?

Oh, not much here for me, just another depressing weekend of Fantasy Football. I sure did fall off the league’s map with this soon-to-be-loss, looking at a (probable) 2-6 record.

Ra, ra. If only they paid out the worst record by season’s end. If only.

FF W10

Hopefully I find a league commissioner who’ll invite me in 2014.  I promise I’ve learned from my shenanigans.

1. I kicked Calvin Johnson off my team for Adrian Peterson. So far, so not-so-good. That’s a lot of so’s.

Two for the price of one: Eddie Lacy and AP are performing at a substandard level, of course, the bar that I raised and set for them. …

2. I thought Rueben Randle would outperform (even if it wasn’t by much), Victor Cruz for the remainder of the season. Still might happen.

3. “COMING TO A THEATER NOT NEAR ME”: C.J. Spiller Gets Hurt. Which means that I should’ve gotten more value for Fred Jackson. …

4. Players fighting Injuries this season, or the other way around — either way — Injuries are winning. Good bye, Mike Williams. Nice knowing ya.

5. Whew, I know you’ll like this sweet delightful scoop of blueberries: I picked up Drew Davis in the nick of time. Speaking of nicks, maybe Hakeem Nicks should think about pushing for a trade to Atlanta. …

6. Denarius Moore suffered the Terrelle Pryor virus against the Steelers yesterday.

7. It is highly, HIGHLY possible that Seattle’s Russell Wilson puts up 50 points against a shambled, battered, Rams defense.

Wait, who am I kidding? Of course he wouldn’t. …

 

#RootForYahoosUnluckiestFFOwner

2-6 to 7-6, you ready?

Injuries, headaches, and saltiness: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy owner Episode 4

W3

W3

Guess who isn’t looking forward to this week?

Danny Amendola is officially out,  Lance Moore isn’t healthy and now Miles Austin isn’t contributing as much as expected.

Great. Just what I need, another loss. The 49ers defense is surgerized by Dr. Andrew Luck … and San Francisco’s offense can’t generate enough plays to get down the field … leaving Phil Dawson to kick an extra point-pity touchdown that the Colts surrendered.

This is the third week in a row that at least 1 player has scored 0 points. Thanks, Garrett Graham, you’re a sweetheart.

Eddie Lacy is still out, D-Rich gone, and crossing my fingers until they break for Fred Jackson not to outshine Gio/Gore. He was close (13.30).

Can’t wait for next week!

Popping champagne bottles until then . . .

Yahoo Fantasy Football Mock Draft 2013

I have perfected my fantasy football drafting skills (for the upcoming season). Ah, that feeling.

With the ninth choice in the snake draft here are my results:

Round 1 (9) – Jamaal Charles (RB – KC)

The key to the FF draft is DON’T PANIC. EVER. You have a thousand players on the board, relax. Among the runningbacks Charles, Alfred Morris , Matt Forte, and CJ2K (the list goes on), the Chiefs (seemed) to have the easiest schedule. With new acquisition Head Coach Andy Reid, look for Alex Smith to check down his receiving options and dump it off to a wide open and super-quick Charles on his swing routes along the coast of the line of scrimmage. Rookie Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) is capable of playing multiple positions (guard, tackle) and is expected to make a huge impact on the offensive line that’ll protect former 49ers QB Alex Smith ahd open holes for Charles and McCluster.

Round 2 (16) – Maurice Jones-Drew (RB – JAC) 

I would’ve slapped myself in the face if I passed up MJD.  I’ve now two dynamic runningbacks on my team. MJD is durable and a workhorse, I expect him to bail Blaine Gabbert/Chad Henne when they’re struggling late in games. And don’t forget. Runningbacks that play in warm-weather games (Jacksonville, Fl) flourish.

Round 3 (33) – David Wilson (RB – NYG)

I crossed my fingers for Reggie Bush to stay afloat. Of course not. But for insurance reasons, I picked up an extra runningback that was a hybrid of MJD and Charles. Fortunately enough, Wilson called out, and I extended my hand … and clicked “Draft.”

Round 4 (40) Wes Welker (WR – DEN) 

Flip a coin: heads, Welker, tails Decker. In Denver, every one is a primary target for Sheriff Manning. It’s true, the gunslinger doesn’t favor anyone above the others, it sometimes appears that way. He may target a wideout more than the other, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a completion. Welker is a beast until proven otherwise – don’t doubt the wise man from the slot.

Round 5 (57) Anquan Boldin (WR – SF)

I’m comfortable with my three running backs. I learned a valuable lesson last year: don’t need more than three. I confess my biases. I love Boldin. He developed and gained the trust of Joe Flacco in the quarterback’s third year in Baltimore, and I believe with the wisdom and attained from experience (and a Super Bowl ring), the wide receiver will enhance Colin Kaepernick’s development in San Francisco.

Round 6 (64) Mike Wallace (WR – MIA)

Two possession receivers are enough for me. What must I do now? That’s right. Pick up the best deep threat out there on the board. That plays in warm weather (again with the sunny weathered teams). Call it love, call it lust, whatever you want. All I know is that Wallace may blow up out of the Miami water like a huge marlin (or dolphin) in 2013.

Round 7 (81) Michael Vick (QB – PHI)

My favorite team. Not my favorite quarterback. This new Chip Kelly thing excites me. He’s looked sharp in the three preseason games that they’ve won. Intrigue me more.

Round 8 (88) Zach Sudfield (TE – NE)

I don’t know about you but, is the sky blue? This pick had to be done this early.

Round 9 (105) Emmanuel Sanders (WR – PIT)

It only makes sense when Sanders proves his worth on the Steelers with 83 receptions and 1,198 yards. Until then, don’t question my logic.

Round 10 (112) Bernard Pierce (RB – BAL)

Flaccco is sick with the Super Bowl flu and the running game might cure the offense’s/QB’s hangover this season like a bowl of boiling pho’. Never tried Pho? You’re missing out. When Ray Rice sits, the Pierce leads. I like my backups…that backup superstars.

Aaron Dobson (129)

Philadelphia (136)

Dan Bailey (153)

Brandon Lafell (160)

Tyler Eifert (177)

New England at Detroit: What To Look For

Depending on coaching styles, starters may or may not see more playing time this weekend. Some quarterbacks will be behind center, in drives up until the middle of the third quarter, presumably based on the head coach’s discretion and ultimately their satisfaction with their assessments.

As players are getting weed-whacked off roster lists and personnel coaches are trimming down their depth charts, here’s what NFL Fankind needs to direct their focus on tonight in the Patriots/Lions matchup.

The Lions showed both aggressive and passive identities in their first two matches. Versus the Jets, Matt Stafford completed a lousy total of 3 passes (3/8) all to Calvin Johnson for 58 yards. That formula last season equaled a 4-12 answer. Detroit must diversify their play calling.

Ghana rookie Ezekiel ‘Ziggy’ Ansah picked off a Mark Sanchez pass and returned it for a defensive touchdown. Good for the rookie’s confidence. So-called ultra-threat Reggie Bush rushed for five yards on three carries against the Jets.

In the scrimmage against the Cleveland Browns, Bush didn’t impress. He rushed for 15 yards on eight attempts. CJ1.9K didn’t play, which is why Bush hauled in five passes for 44 yards. Again, the problem emerges: a running back shouldn’t be the leader in the Receivers stat column, even in a winning effort (they lost to the Browns). Detroit’s defense is showed problems of the past. It’s still early but when quarterbacks Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, Mark Sanchez, Kellen Moore and Shaun Hill have easily solidified their candidacies on their respective depth charts, thanks to the Lions.

Opposing quarterbacks statline: 49/65 559 yards passing 5 TD, 1 INT, 8.6 Yards per Attempt, 75 percent accuracy

The Patriots sport one of the deepest pockets in their backfield. Behind Tom Brady, men named Stevan Ridley, Legarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen are all more than capable of carrying the load. Knowing Tim Tebow‘s skillset, they may consider him a running back (with an arm!), too.

If you’re rooting for Tebow to make the team, take notes on how he drops back and throws the ball as opposed to tucking it in and scrambling out of the pocket. The quarterback definitely gets too jittery at times and Coach Bill Belichick hates (I think) his QBs with insecurity issues. Remember, this is the final season of BB’s contract and it’s a fragile time in New England right now.

It’s Belichick-Mate for the Patriots if they miss the playoffs this season, and as far as we can tell, the AFC East crown is theirs to keep. No one today affiliates the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills with “teams on the rise,” so if the Pats can steady their boats through stormy weather, they’ll creep into the playoffs.

Go long, until next time.

My Summer

My post-grad life actually started in the final days of January 2013.

Determined to finish my final semester at VCU on a high note, a 3.5 grade point average attested to that, and making it on the Dean’s List for the first time in my life confirmed how much I’ve matured over the last four years.

Acknowledging the fact that my college years were coming to a close, I applied to jobs earlier than most of my fourth-year peers to get an early headstart. About sixty jobs, I think? The hunt was a grueling chase, writing cover letter after cover letter strengthened my patience.

On top of the job searching process, I juggled Senior class assignments and projects, wrote for two publications at VCU (the Blacksheep Journal and The Commonwealth Times), retyped NFL.com articles for more practice, blogged, performed at open mics, and filmed VCU Basketball games and practices. Whenever the laptop was connected to the T.V. (HDMI cable), NFL Network was streaming in the background.

Scatterbrained? A bit. Goal-driven.

May rolled around as did a throng of rejection letters. What hurt more than them informing me that I couldn’t, was my mother’s dissatisfiction after my graduation ceremony. She’s pushy, saying that I should’ve been done with school three years ago. Moms are always right, but it pained me nonetheless.

I applied to a few more positions after May 11, NFL Films being one of them. The Producer position enticed me most.

As a Producer intern,  I would learn the NFL Films style of storytelling and perpetuate Mr. Steve Sabol’s vision. The opportunity of a lifetime for any avid NFL follower.

When checking your bank account,  expect to be surprised. I’m in dire need of money and I formed a bad habit of transferring funds from my credit card to my debit. Cash advances cost an extra $10? No problem…

Quick cash.
With two and a half years of restaurant experience,  I decided that applying to the food and beverage industry would make the most sense. I rented a bike every other day and rode to Kitchen 64, Osaka, Tarrant’s, Bistro 27, Three Monkeys, Sticky Rice, Can-Can, Mellow Mushroom and a high-end diner in Carytown. No response.

If you know me, you know where I stay, and how ridiculous it was for me to bike to some of those places.

Soul Search
This is something that you shouldn’t be doing too often. 24 hours. That’s how long you’re allowed to rent out a VCU road bike. During the day, I’d write and edit and submit my articles to FootballNation.com, then apply to those places aforementioned. After sunset, I figured it wouldn’t hurt my chances to explore the city and check out RVA’s night life.

There’s a method to it. Everyday, a different bar. Happy hour here, open mic there. I chatted with new people and indulged myself to the practice of having an engaging conversation without stepping on a stranger’s toes. More importantly,  I focused on talking to a diverse group of men and women without bringing up “football.”

If they broached the topic, then so be it. Other than that, football was the forbidden fruit to not be touched for four hours.

I received numbers. I gave mine out. What mattered is what we did with the ten digits afterwards: stayed in touch.

Bonchon
After no callbacks, I notified my dad about my car. I needed to go the distance now, local restaurants didn’t want me. God is fair. I applied to Bonchon and the manager, Erica, hired me on the spot. I’d make enough cash in the first 40 hours to pay off my lingering credit card debt.

After befriending the managers (all of the coolest brothers by the way), I opened up to them and shared my career goals with the kitchen staff. The story intrigued Sonny,  impelling him enough to tell me about his cousin who works for the NFL Network as a photographer. Unreal. Surreal. I ask how I could reach out to him. A Facebook message later, Mr. Vy and I are on the phone discussing my next plan of action. He knows Mr. Justin Hathaway, NFL.com’s Senior Editor and texts me his email addy.

Moments later, Mr. Vy texts me again,  stating this time that Mr. Hathaway suggests me to send Mr. Gregg Rosenthal an email.

For those who don’t know me,  I emailed Mr. Rosenthal two years ago and asked for his advice. God connected me again to the man who I asked for help,  this time for employment attached with a resume.

Rosenthal is super busy editing articles on the website, and therefore hasn’t written back. As for Mr. Hathaway,  he recommended me to intern for NFL Films and contact him seven months from now. Well, uh, I didn’t even get the position yet.

I quit Bon Chon after a week due to personal problems; we’ll keep it at that.

새벽 예배 (Early Morning Service)
My mother,  thankfully,  woke me up at 5 a.m. and took me with her to these prayer services when I was a child. That part of me still exists. God helped me realize that I need to rely on him,  not more,  but most. When you’ve nothing to lose,  the best thing to do is to wake up at 6 a.m. and head to the nearest church. I Googled RKPC, Richmond Korean Presbyterian Church; they open at 6.

I woke up at 7:20 the next morning and assumed that I had more than enough time. Don’t assume. No cars were parked in the lot when I arrived. Trying to get in, a woman who was leaving caught glance of me and stopped.

She’s never seen me before and asks if I’m lost. I tell her that I just came to pray. This short lady old enough to be my mom re-parks her car and unlocks the church’s side door. She walks me through the hall and leads me to Pastor Lee Young Ho’s office.

He’s surprised to see me, as well. The head pastor interrogates me, wondering what brings me here. I share tidbits of my upbringing, tell him about my murky future and relay my prayer requests. He’s more compelled as soon as I answer his question, Who’s your favorite team?, in which I reply The Eagles.

He smiles, and stands up to shake my hand. How coincidental, the pastor grew up in Philadelphia.

We wrap things up with a prayer and I’ve been doing my best (by God’s grace) to wake up at six for early morning service.

NFL Films
I receive an email from them requesting from me a date and hour for an interview. The drive to NJ was tough, I got lost for nearly two hours and arrived to Super 8 by 3:30 am. The interview went well, however didn’t say everything I wanted to say. I’m praying that this is where God places me for the next seven months.

Redskins in-seat serving
Centerplate catering services at FedEx Stadium interviewed me to serve Redskins fans in their premium-level seating. They’ve invited me to work for them this season.

Redskins Training Camp Ambassador
Welcome to Richmond! Finally, a professional football team in my vicinity. I was fortunate to be selected as a training camp assistant and I’m hoping that this experience is what I imagine it to be.

VCU Basketball
Out of 32,000 students I was selected to film for the VCU Basketball team. If you know me, you know that I am horrible at basketball. God works in funny ways, yes. I reported to work and never complained. The grad assistants and student managers are awesome.

I’m thankful that I had a chance to work for Coach Smart, Coach Ballard, Coach Rhoades, Coach Morrell, Coach Roose, Coach Eddie, Coach Bopp and former Coach Wade.

Special Thanks
In no specific order:
Joe, Josh, Young, Lea, Janice, Esther, Brian,  Brian Lee,  Danny, Jon Chung, Graham,  Dwight, Paden, Nate, Brad, Coach B., Coach Smart, Mrs. Smart,  Holly, Mrs. Hanneman, Dr. Wiegardt, Sandy, Juliette Cho, Jackie Ho, Slavic, Rebecca, Mrs. Bridgette, Michelle, Mostar, Hannah, Kenny,  (Hoa, Andrew, Jonathan, Mike you know why), Grace Min, Kevin Kim, Mr. Kevin/Greg Kristof, Sunny, Greg, Chris N., Johnny Vy, Mr. Andy Pollin, Gregg Rosenthal, Brian Nachman, Nedra M., Ellen, Brandon B., Austin, Alex C., Mr. Headley, Kenneth, Thomas,  Rafik, Kevin van Valkenburg, Rory, Tashunda, Slimm, Z, Chung, Sonny, Suhan, AJ, Mike Lim, PG. Eva, Chris, Jonas, Kyle, Sean Hicks, Christina Johnson, Curt, Mike Krooked Smilez, Chef Dane, Erik.

Andddddd of course my dad for always supporting me, my brother for our bond, and my mom … because she once told me that working for the NFL is like pulling a star off the night sky.

Always, always give God thanks and do everything for His glory, not yours.

To WNFL or Not to WNFL? That is the question.

Since its inception in 2004, the Lingerie Bowl has endured its share of flops. (No pun intended.)

Yep, people all across the country watched 7-on-7 women’s tackle football featuring curvy female athletes in underwear and sports bras — but wasn’t as big of a hit we thought it would jiggle out to be.

After a brief, three-year fallout period (from 2007-09), the ladies strapped up once again. The second-go around was worse than watching a botched flea-flicker play.

The thinly-clad sport now is no longer Pay-per-View.  It’s on MTV, home of Jersey Shore and other wacky T.V. shows.

Will or will the female population not attempt to fight for a league of their own, the WNFL?

Basketball, softball, volleyball, golf, tennis, billiards…the list goes on. Poker even features female-only circuit events. But why not football!?

Don’t get me wrong, these girls are world-class superstars in their own right. Their physicality is off the charts. Stressing over purple circles on their thighs after their games? Expected. In no way am I biased against female athletes (I’m actually more attracted to them), so with a few rule modifications let’s (please) get these girls under full pads and real helmets, the long pants that the men wear, and cover their bare chests with actual jerseys.

Sam Gordon Visits the NFL Network

Sam Gordon, has a nice hall-of-fame-player-ring to it doesn’t it? She’s outrunning boys that are older and larger than her. She’s laying out heavier kids and most awesomely, breaking necks as her Pop Warner suitors fall on their knees over and over again.

Oh yea, guess what. She’s only nine-years-old.

This could be a new beginning, a fresh start for the women who love footall. The Lingerie Bowl should take another hiatus, sit back and think of a new way of attacking the market. Take a legitimate shot at building the WNFL. Please.

Wishful thinking

NEW ORLEANS — Neither head coach from the Super Bowl XLVII will fly home on a bitter note, as the City of Brotherly Love has relocated from Philadelphia to New Orleans just for the night.

Both coaches broke into tears at mid-field after the game, a spot where usually the two men would glance at each other, mumble a few words before walking towards their respective locker rooms following a firm handshake. This special moment was different, only because it deserved to be, with two brothers by blood embraced one another and whispered compliments back-and-forth like an intense match of table tennis.

Technically–neither coach “won” this game or “lost”, as the tremendous support and respect that they have for each other  will inevitably be overshadowed by their unique relationship–as siblings.

In this retrospect, I’d like to claim that this Super Bowl resulted in a tie, a result that I’ve been yearning for since the conclusion of the AFC and NFC Championships.

The loyalty and patience of Ed Reed deserves a ring on one of his fingers that got a hand on the deflected passes or interceptions he’s accumulated throughout his career. Randy Moss, who’s overcome much adversity throughout his football life from the lows with the Tennessee Titans, to enjoying the highs in New England, deserves to hoist the Lombardi Trophy with his hands that had to outstretch in order to receive an overthrown ball from Kerry Collins (who quarterbacked for the Raiders and the Titans whenever Moss was there) or snag the pigskin one-handed against Charles Woodson (I’ve a football card for proof).

Both coaches should hoist the trophy together, Ed Reed and Randy Moss should play for the same team next season and the 49ers will unravel their sixth NFL Super Bowl  banner at Candlestick Park on Monday morning.

and the winner of Super Bowl XLVII is . . .

Mike Jones secures the Rams victory by tackling Titans receiver Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line with no time remaining. Credit source: WashingtonPost.com

Mike Jones secures the Rams victory by tackling Titans receiver Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line with no time remaining. Credit source: WashingtonPost.com

The grand finale is titled “Ravens vs. 49ers” for specifically that reason–because if this game was John vs. James (Jim for short), I’d open up a Bible to see that the gospel John has 21 chapters whereas the short-and-sweet latter contains 5.

And so let’s not be thrown off by that sixteen chapter differential, or expect the Ravens to blowout the candles (49ers play at Candlestick) by that many points.

Because if the Ravens win this thing, I’m predicting it won’t be by much.

When it comes down to it–as low as the dirt underneath the belly of a snake–football will perpetually be a team sport. The statement is unprecedented–no ifs, ands or buts could counter this proverbial truth.

So as avid fans of this game, we might as well now edify ourselves as much as we can to predict–make an educated guess–how the Super Bowl will be played out. No matter how loudly I cry for the game result in a tie, the only “tie” here will be the tongues of our newest NFL champions in their post-game interviews (tongue-tied). (Ed’s note: I tried)

My take: It is not a good idea to study this upcoming game by comparing it to their 2011 meeting in which the Ravens somewhat ‘stole’ (imo) a victory from the 49ers by ten points. The double-digit margin does not truly signify how close this game really was—if only the referees had made a pass interference call on Ravens CB Lardarius Webb before he intercepted Alex Smith, then maybe I can rest my case. This time around, the 49ers won’t be missing Webb while he recovers from an ACL-injury he suffered in October (get well soon) and the Ravens won’t be forcing Alex Smith to lose fumbles (1), hitting him (12), and picking him off (1) because they’ll be running with/against a bigger problem named Colin Kaepernick. If containing Kaepernick has been a nightmare for your favorite team in the last few weeks, don’t sleep. That nightmare’s accomplice, who goes by the name of Frank Gore, has adjusted well to the read-option and imposes a darker, more vicious threat to even-solid defenses. The thought-provoking idea of how the unique athletes on a Packers defense (packed with experience, btw) couldn’t shelter a young 25-year-old Kaepernick intrigues me the most. The scarier thing about the CK-Experience is that it’s not required of him to run for x amount of yards to win. Both of their defenses are stout and more importantly, smart. The 49ers’ secondary has been caught off guard in recent weeks, so it won’t be a surprise package if we see Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith burning them from time to time. The best treat from this game isn’t #52 in purple passing the torch to another #52 in scarlet, or a 25-year-old quarterback leading his team and winning the Super Bowl after the starting quarterback goes down (Tom Brady already has that covered) because the best treat of this game (if it happens) will come from the two legendary players in mid-air. What a breathtaking sight, if spectators had the privilege to watch Randy Moss raise his arm after slipping behind the ball-hawking safety Ed Reed, watch the ball sail over the Baltimore secondary, and wonder who’s basket the pigskin will finally land in.

The epic suspense is killing me too.

My prediction: 49ers 28, Ravens 26

No wonder Colin Dapper-nick has played exceptionally well this year! His offensive linemen just simply don’t miss any games. A great quarterback is always behind a solid line.

Final Score: Raiders 20 Baltimore 55

For this blog post, I figured that I show everybody in class of a football game under a microscope. Sure, we can watch football and enjoy our snacks and beer while we do it, but for there are a select few who work hard every week to provide the public a fresh look, a shot of what goes behind the scenes before the game starts. So for this week, I chose a game, playing in Baltimore, with the Ravens hosting the Oakland Raiders in silver and black. Put on your lab coats, step into my laboratory, and let’s dissect this game.

First, I jot down a few basic things, their records. 
Oakland’s record: 3 wins, 5 losses.
Baltimore’s record: 6 wins 2 losses. 

Then, I research the Oakland Raider’s Offensive statistics:
21.4 points per game (ranked 19/32) 
358.5 yards per game (ranked 15th)

For the formula that I created, I need a few important numbers:
Score when the Raiders play Away games, and their Opponent’s Defensive Rank:
Week 2 OAK 13 MIA 35 (24TH)
          4 OAK 6 DEN 37 (10TH)
          6 OAK 20 ATL 23 (19TH) After Bye Week
          8 OAK 26 KC 16 (17TH)

Score when the Raiders play Home games, with Opponent’s Defensive Ranks:
Week 1 SD 22 (9TH) OAK 14
          3 PIT 31 (1ST) OAK 34
          7 JAC 23 (27TH) OAK 26
          9 TB 42 (29TH) OAK 32

Next I like to find out who’s injured and how some of the injuries in the recent past have affected the team’s losses and wins:
RECENT INJURIES AND IMPACT:

WEEK 8 @KC WIN

Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. McFadden SHOULDER 29 114 0 28
M. Goodson HIP 4 22 0 21
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
B. Myers KNEE 3 49 0 29
R. Streater KNEE 1 9 0 9
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
S. Janikowski LEFT GROIN 4/4 36 2/2 14
Defense T-A SCK INT FF
M. Burris ELBOW 7-0 0.0 0 0
M. Mitchell ANKLE 2-0 0.0 0 0
R. Seymour KNEE 2-0 1.0 0 0
M. Shaughnessy SHOULDER 2-0 0.0 0 0
D. Bryant ELBOW 1-0 0.0 0 0
WEEK 9 TB LOSS
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. McFadden SHOULDER 7 17 0 7
T. Jones KNEE 1 2 0 2
M. Goodson  TOE 2 0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
S. Janikowski LEFT GROIN 1/1 29 3/3 6
Defense T-A SCK INT FF
R. McClain TOE 5-1 0.0 0 0
D. Bryant ELBOW 1-1 0.0 0 0
 
D. Tollefson SHOULDER 1-0 0.0 0 0
M. Shaughnessy KNEE 0-1 0.0 0 0

WEEK 10 @BAL (UPCOMING GAME)

Miles Burris LB Full Participation in Practice
Marcel Reece RB Full Participation in Practice
Brandon Myers TE Limited Participation in Practice
Darren McFadden RB Did Not Participate In Practice
Keenan Clayton LB Full Participation in Practice
Dave Tollefson DE Full Participation in Practice
Shawntae Spencer CB Did Not Participate In Practice
Michael Mitchell S Full Participation in Practice
Coye Francies CB Full Participation in Practice
Sebastian Janikowski K Limited Participation in Practice
Richard Gordon TE Full Participation in Practice
Matt Shaughnessy DE Full Participation in Practice
Willie Smith T Full Participation in Practice
Desmond Bryant DT Full Participation in Practice
Richard Seymour DT Did Not Participate In Practice
Mike Goodson RB Did Not Participate In Practice
Matt Giordano S Limited Participation in Practice
Khalif Barnes T Limited Participation in Practice

As you can see, the Raiders are plagued with injuries. Without strong personnel to show in week 9, they lost against a visiting Buccaneers team. The Raiders still don’t look too healthy when they fly east to play the Ravens. Now comes the fun part–crunching numbers.

Margins of Oakland Away Games: -22 (lost by 22 points), -31, -3, +10 (won by 10 points) = -46/4 games= -11.5 is the differential when Oakland plays away

There are 32 teams in the NFL. For the Raiders, playing a team such as the Ravens, will be similar to playing a few teams that they played against in the past. The Ravens have a similar style to the following that I will mention. 

Playing against teams when their offense is ranked #8-24.
#
23 MIA, -22 (lose by 22)
#14 PIT +3 (won by 3)
#8 ATL -3
#16 KC, +10

= -12 points / 4 games
= -3, meaning that they’ve lost by a close margin of 3 points against teams with similar style of play. I then will categorize the Ravens’ defense as a “loose defense” and compare how the Raiders fared against the bottom 16 teams in the NFL.

Against Loose Defenses (#16-32):

#24 MIA = -22 (lost by 22),
#19 ATL = -3
#27 JAC = +3 (won by 3)
#17 KC = +10
#29 TB = -10

= -22 – 3 + 3 + 10 – 10
=-22/5
= -4.4, the Raiders, on average, lose by 4.4 points against the bottom 16 teams. 

Now, with all the numbers that I’ve calculated, I’ll combine them all to see the total production of the Raiders.

= -11.5 – 3 – 4.4 = -18.9 = meaning that the Raiders lose games by 18.9 points against teams similar to the Ravens.

Last but not least, we’re almost done here, is just an easy calculation of what the Raiders usually put up on the scoreboard against “Loose Defenses.” The reason for this is because I need to know how the Raiders average when they’re not playing in the comforts on their home field.

Offense Points RECORDED AWAY against Loose Defenses:

13(MIA)+20(ATL)+26(KC)
= 59/3
=19.333, shows that the Raiders score about 19.333 points when they’re not at home!

So with the two numbers that I’ve calculated, -18.9 (The number that signifies how the Raiders fare against Ravens-type teams) added to the average of how many points they usually put on the scoreboard. The final answer is .433 = -18.9+19.333 = .433 OAKLAND. 

This .433 is a very odd number, as I’m letting football fans know that the Raiders will score .433 points against the Ravens, which could be rounded up to 0 points.

Now that we’re finished with the Raiders breakdown, I will break down the Ravens team to wrap things up.

Baltimore Offense:

24.9 ppg (11th)
346.0 ypg (19th)

Home Game/Margin/OppDefRank
CIN 13 BAL 44—31—20TH
NE 30 BAL 31—1—22TH
CLE 16 BAL 23—10—23RD
DAL 29 BAL 31—2—5TH

AWAY GAMES/MARGIN/OPPDEFRANK

BAL 23 PHI 24— -1—15TH
BAL 9 KC 6—3—17TH
BAL 13 HOU 43– -30 –3RD
BAL 25 CLE 15 –10—23RD

INJURIES FOR WEEK 9

Defense T-A SCK INT FF
D. Ellerbe HAND 4-5 1.0 0 0
E. Reed SHOULDER 4-1 0.0 1 0
T. Suggs ANKLE 2-1 0.0 0 0
B. Pollard CHEST 1-6 0.0 0 0
D. Tyson FOOT 0-2 0.0 0 0

MARGIN AGAINST HORRIBLE DEFENSES:
+31, +1, +10, +3, +10
55/5
=11

MARGIN AGAINST WEAK OFFENSES RANKED #8-24:
17TH CIN – 31, 10TH PHI -1
16TH KC 3, 12TH -30
31-1+3-30
=3/4
=.75 Meaning that the Ravens usually win by 1 point against teams whose offenses rank #8-24.

POINTS RECORDED AT HOME AGAINST LOOSE DEFENSES:
44, 31, 23
= X/3
32.666

Just as I did for the Raiders team, the two numbers I need to solve this final score of this game will be 1) The hypothetical number of points the Ravens put up against Raider-style teams, (11 + .75) and the actual amount of points that they put on the scoreboard when they play at home (32.666)

11 + .75 + 32.666
= 44.41 The Ravens can score 44.41 points, whereas the Raiders will only put up .433. 

In conclusion, before you turn on the Oakland Baltimore game, you’ll know at least what to expect on the scoreboard with Daniel Park’s pregame analysis. My final prediction is that the Baltimore Ravens will blow out the visiting Oakland Raiders, and my math says that the differential will be 44 points. 

So it’s not just cheesy fingertips from munching on Doritos and stretching my beer belly with the Yuenglings that I’m sipping on every week. There’s as lot more to football than you think!

Enjoy!

The Final Score: Oakland 20, Baltimore 55. The Margin? 35. My margin of 44 is close enough. Took 2 hours to research all this but it definitely feels good.

Mafia-Ball

Good afternoon!

As Election Day nears and citizens set to bubble in their ballots, I’m thinking about the politics of football. Like the campaign, there are two major sides, as we know them as the Democrats, and the Republicans.

In the NFL, there are 32 teams, sixteen in each Conference labeled as the NFC, National Football Conference, and as the AFC, the American Football Conference. The NFC, like the Democrats, is designed by blue colors, whereas the AFC, like the Republicans, is decorated in red. Some conspiracy theorists are always trying to expose the corrupted government and detox the myth that our democracy is run by a secret, heavily-funded group. Those who obsess over the idea of nepotism in politics might want to research some of the conspiracies that go on in the National Football League.

Because there are times before I go to bed and think that the sport I love is run by the Mafia.

Yes, I said Mafia. Somewhere in a mansion in Barbados Al Pacino has his feet up on a golden desk, puffing on Cuban cigar. In his basement are gambling lords with their laptops set up, researching data to determine the betting lines for the upcoming week. A betting line looks like this:

DET@CHI O/U 46.0 Chi -3

Let’s analyze that real quick:
DET@CHI – Detroit Lions play the Bears in Chicago.
O/U 46 – Over/Under, the final score will sum up to 46 points
Chicago -3 – Chicago Bears are giving the Lions an additional 3 points

As a gambler, a fan will need to research the following: Will both teams score more or less than a total of 46 points? If the final outcome reads 26 Detroit Lions, 30 Chicago Bears, the total is 56 points. Meaning, if I bet money on the Over, I’d profit.

Let’s say that the Chicago Bears do win 30 to 26. Remember that -3 after the Bears? You subtract 3 points from that 30. What do you get? Right, the math says 27. The Bears, in the Wager World, wins the game by a 1 point margin, 27-26. So if my $5,000 bet was on “Bears, over” I’d profit $15,000, with a $20,000 in my account next Tuesday.

$5000 + $5,000 (for choosing over) = $10,000 x 2 (for getting both correct) = $20,000

Bettors swarm the line making phone calls to their Bookies until the very last minute before a game starts. A Bookie is the man who collects the money and records your name and phone number in his book. Be smart, pay your losses. The Bookie is the man who isn’t afraid to cut off your fingers for a measly amount of money. Basically, you have a better chance running away from Jigsaw.

I’m not old enough to say that I’ve seen it all. Just last week a friend called me and asked if what my thoughts were on the game on Monday night. I created a formula last year to predict the outcomes of these games and I’ll say that I chose an average of 4 out of 6 games correctly on a weekly basis. But these swings are insane. A team winning 13-0 for 58 minutes looking good to help you profit from your bet. 2 minutes before the final whistle, the opposing team scores a field goal and the final score leaves you bummed: 13-3. The spread, which claimed that Team X would be giving Team Y 11 points, just lost money for you. (Subtract 11 from 13, and you get 2)

If becoming an overnight millionaire is part of your plan, although possible, I would not recommend investing your life savings on these games. The unpredictable finales don’t really help the fan enjoy the game, and the last thing you want to do eating your Doritios is choking on the cheesy chip after you blow away your paycheck.

Self-challenge post: Pull a Dave Dameshek

what could have been :(

Good evening Richmond, it is I..

My favorite week of the NFL season is almost here (Week 7: October 18-22).

And you must know why: When the 2008 season kicked off, the majority of my friends who, woefully support the Washington Redskins, basically rubbed their team’s outlandish success in my face.  In their first five games, the squad held a miraculous 4-and-1 record. They jived the hardest at my heartbreak in Week 5–a game the ‘Skins pulled a rabbit out a helmet in Philadelphia (my favorite team). Their taunting literally depleted my energy enough to make me miss a couple of classes. (just kidding) But I wasn’t exhausted for too long because, in week six,  they lost to a St. Louis Rams team–a team that tallied only two marks in their wins column all year. The best part of the story? M0i Eagles clinched a playoff spot while the Redskins’ fans bemoaned their hot start by losing six games out of their last eight, finishing with 8 wins and 8 losses.

So that’s what I  did: I promised myself to avoid, at all costs, judging a team by its cover for the first six weeks. Bad habits, good habits, both are meant to be broken. Sometimes the willpower to win loses its battery life. And that is why week 7 is my favorite, because by then I’ve obtained a near-full grasp on what’s going on in the crazy world of the NFL.

This post will be just as challenging to write as it will be to read (for non-football fans). In honor of Dave Dameshek, I wanted to do something special to inform my readers and display the ability to think outside of my  treasure box, and as astronomical as Mr. Dameshek’s “N ‘if’ L” segments go, I’m reaching for heaven’s gates on this one.

Dave Dameshek is a writer for http://www.nfl.com and is featured in his own videos. He is knowledgeable when it comes to analyzing the game and when he records these eccentric “N ‘if’ L” segments, you’d be surprised as they are highly informative. He usually starts with a hypothetical question and then educates his listeners–putting a wild, left-field spin on the dreidel as he changes the history of the NFL.  Watch one to see what I mean. Dave isn’t a former professional football player but he analyzes the game, which makes him one of my role models.

Well, it’s time for a special edition of the N ‘if’ L, in absence of Mr. Dameshek right now I will do my best to fill his clown shoes…

What if Roy Williams didn’t horse-tackle Terrell Owens?
Junior year of high school I remember wearing my Terrell Owens jersey every Monday after an Eagles’ victory. For 13 weeks between September and December  you could bet that I was the loudest in the hallways, triumphantly marching and prophesying, “an Eagles’ Super Bowl season.” The 2004 team clinched a home-field advantage: meaning others had to travel through Philadelphia to get to the final showdown in Jacksonville. The Minnesota Vikings didn’t strum any strings of doubt in my mind of pulling an upset as much as the Michael Vick-led Falcons did. But when we took care of business against Vick , 27-10 spanking on a cold January afternoon, I was positive that the Eagles would achieve their first Super Bowl ring. I remember betting an odd total of $83 with fifteen different students that winter. 

After three years of adversity and fan-gering (fan+angering), the Eagles overcame their obstacles and were headed to their second Super Bowl appearance since 1980. 2004 was the fourth consecutive year that the Eagles had come one game from reaching the Super Bowl, and they finally stripped the baboon off their backs. Could you imagine getting dumped the night before your wedding? Well the Eagles do; they were stood up three weddings straight.

Three years in a row the team muted the media and chose not to acquire that one big playmaker that they desperately needed. I guess they were waiting to find someone who could fit their style of offense. Their defense, was always known for their consistency, tenacity and aggression. The Eagles offense was somewhat shaky and in denial; so they took a leap of faith when they signed the demon-possessed, superstar wide receiver Terrell Owens to a $49 million, 7-year deal. The Eagles abused what they paid for–maxing out on every square inch of the expensive toilet paper roll they bought, even finding use for the cardboard piece. Potentially the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 season, “T.O.” recorded 1200 yards in 77 receptions before suffering a disheartening injury on December 19th against the Cowboys. That afternoon, when I saw our Prize from Hell take a weird fall, I fully understood what murder felt like.

The safety Roy Williams, usually known for his hard-hits, dragged our superstar down by his horse collar (the back-inside of his shoulder pads). T.O. sustained a severely sprained ankle and a fractured fibula, making the day in December even more bitter and cold for Eagles fans. I obviously went into a diatribe after the final whistle, asking why God put a curse on our team, wishing bad on Williams’ fate, casting all sorts of spells. The disaster he caused didn’t even faze the guy, I mean, how could it? The Cowboys were going to win 6 games that year, and clearly jerking  our best player down with his own selfish hopes didn’t mean anything to the apathetic fella.

The injury only meant that Owens would have to sit on the bench until the day of the Super Bowl, and even that the doctors didn’t recommend. He shocked the world when he rushed his healing process by receiving treatment in a hyperbaric chamber, just so he could play on the world’s stage. And play he did. With the universe watching, he caught 9 passes for 122 yards. Running on a sprained ankle with a metal chip installed, he sprinted his routes and silenced a lot of skeptics. But as we all know, the skeptics don’t stop chirping until the last play–a Tom Brady kneel that nailed the coffin in the 4th quarter with under half minute left. Burying the Eagles in the graveyard sealed the Patriots 3rd Super Bowl victory in a span of four years. But back to the original question: what if Owens wasn’t hurt?

…In Super Bowl XXIII (23) one of my all-time favorite quarterbacks, Joe Montana, lead his arsenal down the field with 3 minutes and 10 seconds left losing by three points against the Cincinnati Bengals. Deep into their own territory, what we simply know today as “the Drive,” started from their own 8-yard-line. Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver in the history to play the game, recorded 4 catches in the final stretch and set a Super Bowl record by receiving for 222 yards. Montana and Rice sounds like a great Korean dish, but not this particular one. A defense’s headache, calmly executed and moved the chains together with ease. Later in the drive Montana threw a game-winning touchdown to end the game 20-16. On that drive alone, Jerry Rice was monumental, being targeted five times and catching four–only because one pass was overthrown into the sidelines. Rice was clearly the biggest benefactor in the memorable drive, as he kept the 49ers’ hopes alive in winning the Super Bowl.

…Jerry Rice mentored Terrell Owens for the 8 years they spent together in San Francisco. When Rice, the legend, went down with an ACL tear in 1997, that made way for the young Owens to solidify his ground and apply the teachings of his injured master. Sure Owens was only a 15-year-old teen when ‘the Drive,’ described above, occurred but I’m sure he watched and admired the record-breaking performance. Little did he know when he got drafted in 1997 he’d play alongside the greatest of the greatest.

From the man he adored and emulated growing up, T.O. probably attained wisdom in training camp alongside Jerry. Rice had swale, a new term I use for ‘steez.’ If Owens wasn’t nursing an injury during that Super Bowl bout, it indefinitely could have boosted Donovan McNabb’s confidence, the Eagles quarterback, to go down the field trailing 24-21 with 46 ticks left on the clock to potentially tie the game. McNabb was seen throwing-up mid-drive, probably due to the confusion: who do I throw it to this drive? Donovan wasn’t as coolheaded as Joe Montana was on “his drive,” but MAYBE, just maybe I could agree that Montana’s faith in Rice appeased his nerves. One could imagine the success McNabb might have had if only, just only, he had the same swale Joe did. Owens was already having a spectacular game, his stats with 46 seconds left were already at 9 /122. If he matched Rice’s performance, let’s say, McNabb throw TO 5 more passes for the remainder of the game and sets up kicker David Akers to hit the game-tying field goal–that’s 5 catches for another 66 yards–ending up with a total of 14 and 188.

The magic trick only ties the game, and in overtime (OT), we flip that acronym to famously labeling it the ‘TO.’ Healthy TO demands the ball from McNabb every play, adds another 50 yards to the stat sheet and shatters Rice’s numbers with 238 total. After a long game of holding pigskin, the last thing we see is the MVP proudly cradling the silver Lombardy trophy.

In the 2005 offseason, TO drastically changes his ways: he put his team first, takes a paycut so the Eagles organization could resign other members and bolster up the defense. TO never blames Donovan for his lack of leadership, or compares him to Brett Favre. And instead of a Silver-and-Black #5 jersey throwing the ball to another future Hall of Famer wide receiver, Randy Moss gets traded to Philadelphia to assure another Super Bowl ring. The Eagles give birth to a dynasty and quickly catch up to their state rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have won 6 for their franchise. Owens and Moss get inducted into the Hall of Fame, as they develop one of the most inseparable friendships in the NFL. They eventually retire together and open up a cheese-steak shop and call it the “Hall of Fame Cheese Steaks” because they insist that neither of them would put their names before the other’s. 🙂

If only Roy Williams didn’t horse-collar tackle Owens and sabotage his career…

Who knows, maybe Mr. Dameshek might come across this someday and use it for his segment.

Enjoy the rest of your weekends!

preseason week 4.0

10 completions 12 attempts 122 yards and 2 touchdowns.

There’s the Mr. Peyton Manning we all knew and admired. Like two watered-down soda performances before today’s crisp pop beverage, I’ll have to admit, I’m a bit confused. If I’m sitting in front of my laptop the night of my Fantasy Football draft and Manning is available in the 3rd round, do I … ?

If I were to randomly be abducted today, held at gunpoint and the masked shooter strangely forced me to choose you or another quarterback, I’d deny. Sorry Mr. Manning, inconsistency is an issue. It’s not you, it’s the whole offense. I just don’t feel comfortable trusting that Eric Decker, or Willis McGahee, or Demaryius Thomas, or Lance Ball, OR Brandon Stokely will … stay healthy for all 16 regular season games. In three possessions you shredded 2011′s #4 ranked defense in the San Francisco 49ers. Your effort was heart-warming. You even took a crucial hit on that long completion to Lance Ball. Great touch especially with Parys Haralson blitzing.

Frankly, I just don’t see the Denver Broncos with any match-ups in their favor this season. It’s a coin-flip away when deciding who’s victorious facing division rivals, Oakland and Kansas City.

It upset my stomach when I realized how sad the New York Jets offense will be this year. On paper it’s like a movie script that no A, B, or C-list actor will want to read off. I don’t think an extra with a complementary lunch offer and promised minimum wage would want to be in the scene. The potential of the offense is a dry throat and a dry toast. Their defense will be one exhausted backbone as they toil on the turf for three hours. (three and a half quarters.) Offensive teams will win by seven field goals in the Meadowlands.

Terrell Owens, sir. Look on the bright side, you can pet your cockiness every night. Beat that cockiness like it owes you money, as David Chapelle might say.

Sorry to say Redskins and Colts fans, between RG3 and Andrew Luck, I’m going to stick with neither. I don’t see any future with either quarterback. After all the hype downs down, I see the two struggling. It’s something about where they grew up and what University they played at. They’re fascinating and majestic to watch, but the buzz around them will flatten and shrink like a deflated balloon.

It appears that the NFL has truly accepted the label of being a ‘quarterback’ league, where games are decided by how well a quarterback performs.

Not?

Team chemistry wins games, when all 53-men all play for each other and not themselves. There’s always a Lucifer lurking around in each team but once the sly snake is hacked off the tree, THEN we’re talking winning record, baby.

Walking around serving guests at Silver Diner, I glance at the HDTV hanging from the ceiling at the counter  to get a quick fix on the NFL Network. Of course I changed the channel . What intrigued me to write about in this entry was how sad it is to be a back-up quarterback. You thought starting quarterbacks had it hard? No way, get real. The BACK-UP actually has the hardest job if you sit there and think about it. Unless you’re a compassion-less, hard-headed brute, a speck of sympathy will help you see clearly what I mean.

Let’s take a look at a few back-ups quarterbacks.

Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns. Filling in for a game against the Kansas City Chiefs after Charlie Frye took a hot hit, Derek Anderson lead the victorious way in a rock-and-roll fashion. He was instrumental after throwing two touchdowns in a comeback 31-28 win after regulation hours. Then he had a successful season after that, filling in for Mr. Frye again and accounted for 5 TDs in a gun-war against the Bengals. (*Carson Palmer had 6 so …) He took the Cleveland Browns on a 10-5 journey (not starting 1 game), and made the 2008 Pro Bowl as an alternate. Bright future from a young man, or we expected. The man went to Arizona on a great deal and wasn’t as successful. After suffering a couple concussions, he sat on the bench with Max Hall finishing for him. He is with the Carolina Panthers now.

Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel, Matt Flynn, Matt Leinart, Kevin Kolb, Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Jay Cutler, and a strew of many backup quarterbacks are suffering the same symptoms. It burns my heart to see the great talent’s fire die out like a star with a short life. They twinkled for a few weeks and faded into the a dirt and rocks we call ‘space’.

You have my sympathy

<3thank you

preseason week 3

bal@JAC

Mr. Flacco must have read my last entry! =). Didn’t think it would travel that far but something is boiling over there in Baltimore. Wait wait, that was against the Jaguars. 48-17 blow out only means that Jacksonville’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd string defenses are not in a position where they want to be. Now perform well against the Eagles Mr. Flacco, and I just might hand you the ‘quarterback of the future’ scratch and sniff sticker. Because last year’s quarterback rating [stunk].

gb@CIN

Aaron Rodgers with what? 2 rushing touchdowns? Is this some sort of sick joke? I knew this man could scramble and run when flushed out of the pocket but both touchdowns on his feet were both to the front corner of the end zones with the ball grazing over the pylon. What we know of Mr. Rodgers is not what you witnessed. We usually see him throw a safe 12-yard pass to the corner or a back-shoulder fade. But it’s interesting that Mr. Rodgers developed a 4th check down, by carrying the ball for 6 points himself.

ari@TEN

With the three stooges on the Arizona Cardinal quarterback list, I can only let out a chuckle. One of those shoulder-raising-hand-over-mouth giggles. I can’t imagine what Ken Whisenhunt is imagining right now. He must be holding his breath when the quarterback lets go of the ball and not just holding his breath but crossing his fingers hoping to God the ball is at least in the vicinity of Larry Fitzgerald, Todd Heap or … Michael Floyd. A lot of other receivers on that roster but I honestly can’t give you any analysis on these young bucks yet. “Big, strong hands, and awareness” sounds a bit too cliche when it comes to constructively criticizing the younger generation. Jake Locker seems to be locking up the spot but who really knows for now?

<3thanks

preseason week 2.5

For those wondering why this is a short entry, I just wanted to post a quick update before the library closes in thirty minutes.

I’ll begin with a question. Why do we stop eating at specific restaurants?

Because they become less valuable.

Now what does this question pertain to, you ask? OK.

Let’s take a look at Mr. Joe Flacco and Mr. Ryan. Quarterbacking is the hardest job in all of sports and in my opinion, all of history. I think Barack Obama endures less pressure than these human beings. Obama definitely does not deal with mammothic and gigantic beasts chasing him down after every action or move he makes, right? So anyways before I get sidetracked.

This tandem I put under the microscope for special reasons. For one, they’re both 28. I’d include Fitzpatrick (29), Alex Smith (28) and Matt Moore (28), but they do not qualify for this conversation for me to make a valid statement. Ryan and Flacco are proven, and have acquired a bittersweet taste for the playoffs. A few years ago, these fine men were labeled as the quarterbacks of tomorrow, with auspicious moments and flashes of promise to their cities. Matt Ryan’s QB Rating has actually improved throughout his career meddling around the upper 80s and low 90s, while Mr. Flacco’s took a downhill turn with a bad swing in 2011. (93.6->80.9). So what’s my point?

Right. Readers. Brace yourselves for this wild pitch. It won’t even make it to the catcher’s mitt. Joe and Matt have become average at best, and their “quarterbacks of the future” stickers need to be stripped from their chests. Sometimes being consistent is not good enough. Look at Eli Manning, for example. The man has developed himself nicely, whether or not it takes outstanding wide receivers to get the job done. Yes, we know that Mark Sanchez (not a QB) has “lead” his team to the conference championships as a young buck. BUT, what must be realized is that the Jets had a solid defense to sort of, bail him out, in situations.
Value, my friends. When they raise the prices for the #1 meal menu at McDonald’s, I predict many to boycott the company.

#2. Andrew Luck is great. Just from watching his preseason game (alone, yes, at a bar), his drive in the last minute of the 2nd quarter is what compelled me to type the latter sentence. He brushed himself off of the two interceptions before and marched his troops down to end the quarter on a Vinatieri field goal. Brilliant man.

#3. Last things last. I sat and watched the Eagles handle the Patriots. Yes, a few notes.

a. stop with the roughing the passer penalties! nullifying the great interceptions and handing the opponent a first down and 15 yards is basically like setting the die in a game of Monopoly for you to land on Free Parking and scoop up the stash. SO annoyed.

b. Foles. Nick Foles. I think the man just took the #2 spot with the sweet performance. Well, maybe only because he ran with the first string offense.

c. Michael Vick needs to stop getting punished. It’s just preseason sir, save those hits for game-winning touchdown throws in the Super Bowl. Please. PLEASE.

<3thank you

preseason week 1.89

cin@ATL
the Bengals got off to a relaxing start last week, prevailing in Tim Tebow’s debut. A.J. Green dropped a touchdown pass against Darrelle Revis, what would’ve capped a beautiful drive by the Bengals. Look for the Falcons high powered offense to challenge the Bengals’ secondary.

cle@GB
The Browns should approach this game like the Super Bowl. And the Packers should treat this game like a light scrimmage. Either way, both teams will build some solid chemistry.

ten@TB
Matt Hassellbeck needs to keep his job but his offensive line might be in charge of that. He’s turning 37 come September, and Jake Locker is just twiddling his thumbs. Tampa Bay has a flimsy offense and their defense doesn’t play football all the time.

det@BAL
Eh. What’s a Raven to a Lion? The two quarterbacks are on the brink of blowing up.

The preseason is solely for players to brush off their rust and show the coaches that they know their assignments. Team chemistry is built throughout the season, I believe, as it develops its roots for a team when they head into the postseason. Once a group of 53 men and the coaching staff find their niche and GROW on that solid foundation, THEN they will succeed.

Stay evolving, my friends.

preseason week 1

When my child takes his first baby steps I’ll probably cry. Tears of joy swelled up the eyes of Colts and Redskins fans last week. The Colts seem to have found their successor and Mr. Dan Snyder [finally] might have a spent good money.

Andrew Luck’s first pass, although a four yard completion, resulted in a long 63-yard touchdown scamper. 10 for 16, 2 touchdowns and scoring on three of four possessions!? A rookie? Did this against the first string defense of the…St. Louis Rams? You knew it was coming. I’m the biggest protester when it comes to a successful performance against a battered team, such as the Rams.

Look at how the Colts’ backup quarterback finished:

Drew Stanton 8/11 for 83 yards,
Chandler Harnish 3/3 52 yards and a touchdown. Oh, yeah and Harnish was Mr. Irrelevant, the last player drafted.

So I’ll be the skeptical jerk who dons the first overall draft pick’s performance, “standard”. And the comparisons start to roll in, as Jim Irsay tweeted something about history repeating itself, in regards to Peyton Manning’s first preseason pass going for a touchdown. The only thing Luck impressed me with was his calm demeanor. Please stay healthy.

10 impressions:

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing how Pierre Garcon and RG3 mold together when the season starts.
  2. Rookie QB Russell Wilson and Braylon Edwards, revival in Seattle?!
  3. Tim Tebow? not a QB. Mark Sanchez? not a QB. The Jets still do? Not have a QB.
  4. Houston stay healthy in order to WIN the AFC South.
  5. Alex Smith out, Kaepernick in. That would be sweet. The 49ers backfield is stacked.
  6. Welcome back Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs need receiver star power. Where art thou Mr. Bowe?
  7. Kevin Kolb needs to trust his receivers and throw the damn ball.
  8. The battle of the hags Tom Brady and Drew Brees was as dry as wheat toast.
  9. Julio Jones did the dirty bird and was allowed to because his touchdown catch was flyy.
  10. Ray Lewis 17 years at linebacker. Omg. This has to be his last one, it’ll be glorious.

Happy 3-year anniversary with the Eagles, Michael Vick!

I didn’t get to watch my Eagles play live but I know there’s a whole lot of injuries right now. Nnamdi and Nate Allen collided trying to break up a pass on Monday. Vick’s throwing hand still banged up. Updates on my Eagles later.

thanks for reading<3