The Damaging Side Effects of the College Football Playoff is Finally Starting to Show 

12-19-16

2014… “I WANT FOUR TEAMS IN! At least then teams with arguments won’t get snubbed! Plus, that way there are still bowl games of merit to be played!

2015… “LET’S MAKE IT 8! This is better but there still isn’t enough fairness in it! Plus if you keep it to eight you’ll still get those other bowl games in and satisfy the other teams.

2016… “SERIOUSLY. ENOUGH. EXPAND THE  PLAYOFFS AND END THE BOWLS! It’s not like the players or fans want them anyways! Ask me, just an excuse for family vacations and something for me to poke at on the television with my paid holiday time-off!

It took three short years for a great impact to be made to a long-held tradition that was Holiday Bowl season! Now, its livelihood lays heavily in question following the NCAA’s Division I College Football Playoff birth in 2014. (1) The introduction was like when a sitcom adds a new quirky character to spice the show up, you forget all about the original quirky guy/girl. The CFP WAS/IS essentially that with the Bowl season format. The new quirky character to replace and help us forget the old one. Every now and again you see something that reminds you why you love the old character but in the end you realize the change was for the overall better of the show. That still does not keep the people who fell in love with the original oddball character from being loyal to an almost die-hard’s point of view! Unfortunately, the new characters warrant new dialogue among the existing characters and can change the overall format and outlook the show takes in general. In three short years the CFP has managed to be that new quirky character that has ostracized the quirky character that was Bowl Season and even changed the format to our favorite autumn seasonal show of College Football.

So far, Leonard Fournette of Louisiana State University and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford University have been the biggest characters to opt for the new dialogue of skipping their school’s respected bowl game bids and the explanations as to why follows the bread crumbs back to the introduction of the CFP.

Since the CFP was conjured, there feels to be less reward in a trophy that reads Belk Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl and even some would argue Cotton Bowl. The lure just isn’t there for the players to be as jazzed about a Music City Bowl invite because of the College Football Playoff that has brought with it a mentality of “Playoff or Bust” for big collegiate names like Fournette and McCaffrey.

Before the playoff, the bowl game was something made of respect. Something that players participated in to either go out strong on their college careers, present a case for their program’s strength heading into next year or prove they deserved more credit out of the current season, and the results were some pretty quirky and ridiculously entertaining finishes! For instance, the Boise State vs. Oklahoma epic Fiesta Bowl of 2007! (2) Not to mention it was one final chance for players to prove their stock as NFL prospects before the oncoming spring’s NFL Draft. But for stand-outs like McCaffrey and Fournette, since the addition of the playoff, games like the Sun Bowl and the Citrus Bowl lack beneficial NFL Vitamin D! (3,4) Instead, they see the bowl games as added jeopardy to that very things.

Essentially, this is causing what many college football purists have feared when you mention a “Playoff or Bust” mentality within players. Certainly, each participating team has a few players who actually look forward to their not most glamorous bowl game. Say, you’re a member of the Indiana University Hoosiers and trying to win the school their first bowl game in history to literally make history! (5) Maybe some players just love the “Swag Bags” that each bowl game awards the players with. (6) It could be a change for some to play close to home and let the bowl game double as a family reunion of sorts. And maybe for some players it’s just a chance to enjoy a break from their cold weather surroundings while playing the sport they love in a setting like the Bahammas for the Popeye’s Bowl *cough… Eastern Michigan! (7)

Unfortunately, not all players agree with the benefits of a bowl game and see the bowl game as a possible career-damning game no thanks to previous injury examples highlighted by Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame University in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. (8)

Yes, there are many reasons to disagree with collegiate athletes adding wear and tear to their bodies via an extra overall “meaningless” game but what did these student athletes exactly think they were signing up for when they chose to participate in College Football? Fact is, they could just as easily be injured performing NFL Draft workouts and get dealt an empty payout with nothing to show for their college days in terms of trophies even if it is from the Foster Farms Bowl that was played in poorly attended NFL stadium along with no NFL future.

One can’t blame McCaffrrey and Fournette, who have seen this year as football purgatory awaiting for their NFL eligibility to clear. But that doesn’t justify things for the diehards that are witnessing the death of the once beloved Bowl Mania Season fade before their eyes!

McCaffrey and Fournette are sitting out of lesser known bowls that don’t have great prestige associated with them. But, how long before it’s players skipping the Rose Bowl or the Cotton Bowl because, “what’s the point of it’s not for the National Championship?”

The College Football Playoff evolved from the BCS National Championship which was an isolated affair between two teams and ONLY two in four different feature games with one understandably being for the true National Championship. The NCAA chose to re-format it to accommodate those that felt excluded from National Championship rights. What may go unrealized is that the idea of the four BCS Bowl games layout it gave those teams dying respect to say maybe we were good enough for a Championship. Now, it’s simply a process of elimination to defy that a team is not more than it is.

At the end of the day the NCAA has gone with a “the more the merrier” viewpoint and finding out that’s far from the reality. All the College Football Playoff has done instead is get more people complaining that they deserve a shot at the title and fewer people interested in the Bowl games that helped generate so much revenue for the sport. Sadly, they’ve made something better but at the some time made something worse.

Hopefully, the Bowl Season can find a way to co-exist with the CFP. That way we can have our Holiday cookies and milk too, indulging in Holiday hibernation watching those marathons of football games that we’re only vested in because we gambled on them in the employee bowl pick bracket without asking ourselves what a growing amount of the participants in the field already are; “Why are we playing this game anyhow?”

I have a feeling even the NCAA doesn’t have the answer for these participants. Carrying with it the fear of why the question was presented in the first place which is; the birth of College Football Playoff!

Sources;

  1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_Football_Playoff
  2. http://www.espn.com/college-football/recap?gameId=270010201
  3. https://www.google.com/amp/mobile.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/sports/football/christian-mccaffrey-stanford-skip-sun-bowl.amp.html?client=safari
  4. https://www.google.com/amp/amp.usatoday.com/story/95529388/?client=safari
  5. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Indiana_Hoosiers_football_bowl_games
  6. https://www.google.com/amp/www.sbnation.com/platform/amp/college-football/2016/12/17/13857064/bowl-game-gifts-2016?client=safari
  7. http://www.bahamasbowl.com/
  8. http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=14480100
Advertisements

Over-Dose-Reaction; Week 5. *No Surprises*

10-11-2016

**No Surprise Week!: Sorry over-reactors… This week was not for you! The week five trey of games presented almost no surprises and while some may try to make you believe otherwise the Lloyd-rage O-D-R is here to help tighten your football helmets and provide that cushion from over-reaction brain trauma. Rest assured, week five was about as according to plan as it should have been here’s the explanations as to why.

–THURSDAY–

Arizona Cardinals 33, San Francisco 49ers 21

Does it really surprise anyone that another Thursday Night Football game example of retina torture? Blaine Gabbert and the ‘9ers vs Drew Stanton and the Cards. Frankly, I would rather have seen this quarterback match up five years ago when these guys QB’d Mizzou and Michigan State. Maybe at that level either tosser would have thrown for more than 200 yards. Between the two only 286 passing yards were produced with 162 going to Gabbert. In the end, it was Arizona’s better roster that won out the QB drool duel. This out come was about as surprising as Collin Kaepernick finding a way to steal head lines despite still kneeling the bench as a backup.

–SUNDAY–

New England Patriots 33, Cleveland Browns 13

Does it really surprise anyone that Tom Brady’s comeback when flawlessly for the future Hall of Famer? Does it surprise anyone that the footnote of the Brady-back game came at the expense of Cleveland? Does it surprise anyone that we can forget all about the Garoppolo take-over talk? No? Okay, moving on.

Detroit Lions 24, Philadelphia Eagles 23

It should not surprise anyone that the Eagles regressed Sunday and suffered their first loss of the season. Why? Because as good as Carson Wentz has proven to be, it doesn’t change the fact that sometimes it’s hard to kick-start a team coming off a bye week, especially on the road. The Lions aren’t awful, their just not efficient; that reputation leads to a label that they’ll carry on through the year — Sleeper Team. No real surprise in the Lion win.

Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 23

Adam Vinatieri is immortal! Is that surprising? No! I’d it surprising that Andrew Luck drove his 16th game-winning drive of his five year career? No! (1) Is it surprising that the Bears Jordan Howard (16 carries for 118, three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown (2)) had a pro-bowl day against the saloon-door Colts D, again? Meh, not really. The dysfunctional Colts squeaked out a win over the dysfunctional Bears. The only surprise to this game was the elixir Vinatieri seems to have running through his veins (5/5 field goals, longest 54(3))?

Buffalo Bills 30, Los Angeles Rams 19

Why does it surprise anyone that a team that calls home in LA would struggle in northern New York? The Bills were at a major advantage of playing at home against the Rams who are destined to go 8-8 by reputation, who by the way are now 3-2. With the time difference playing such a big factor this was a no surprise out come Sunday.

Tennessee Titans 30, Miami Dolphins 17

Does it surprise anyone that Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins is a recipe for disaster? Does it surprise anyone that Marcus Mariota was able to counter off of of Demarco Murray’s +100 yard performance (121 yards off 27 carries) (4) to help him run for a touchdown and throw for three? Tannehill was sacked six times Sunday in the Miami loss and his only hand-up came in the form of “BOO’S” from the MIA crowd. No surprise that Tannehill has under-performed again or that the Titans were actually able to move the ball efficiently once their run-game got going, making for a predictable final verdict.

Washington Redskins 16, Baltimore Ravens 10

To this point in 2016 the Raven’s margin of score differential is five points. Their having a nail-biting season where they either linger with the team they trail or let the team their playing longer too long. So, Baltimore’s slim loss the Redskins is fitting considering their struggle to close. It want so much that the Redskins held out for the win as much as the result was settled by the Ravens typically lingering behind too long.

Minnesota Vikings 31, Houston Texans 13

(Known coming into the game) No J.J. Watt for the Texans. (5) Stout defense in the Vikings; sixth best in the league. (6). So, reduced defense for Houston with an expected struggle week for the Brock Osweiler led offense vs. the Vike’s D. So where’s the surprise in the Minnie 18 point victory? EXACTLY!

Pittsburgh 31, New York Jets 13

If anything was a surprise i the result of the Steelers vs. the Jets Sunday afternoon it was that Ryan Fitzpatrick landed a goose egg in the INT column of the box score. Fitz’ struggles have become a highlighted eyesore in recent weeks (nine in two weeks prior(7)), so to see the IVY league product stay out of the blame position for a week was a nice change of pace. Still, the AFC contest went as expected with the Jets being on the road against a believed superior opponent, falling behind early and not being able to keep up with Ben Roethlisberger and the Steeler’s unbending offense.

Atlanta Falcons 23, Denver Broncos 16

Although Denver was probably due for a loss, entering week five 4-0 with a tandem of rookie quarterbacks running things, it’s still surprising that of all people it was to the Falcons who traditionally aren’t road warriors. The Falcs tend to struggle outside the ATL, while the Broncos tend to thrive at home, however it was Tevin Coleman and the visitors who made themselves comfortable Sunday at Mile High stadium. Coleman used just four catches to mount 132 yards and a touchdown in the win for the NFC Southers. (8) Along with Atlanta’s surprising win is Coleman’s ability to perform considering while he battled the Denver conditions with his noted sickle cell troubles. (9)

Dallas Cowboys 28, Cincinnati Bengals 14

How can one be surprised by this out come? Given the Cowboys offensive line it was Ezekiel Elliot who had the shining star day in Dallas over rookie QB Dak Prescott. Elliot had 134 yards from 15 carries with two touchdowns, while Prescott went efficiently 18 for 24 passing with 1 TD and 224 yards. (11) The name’s associated with the headlines will favor a shocker of a result, with the two rookies but with the Cowboys offensive line Bartolo Colon could gallop for +100 yards on NFL defenses! The major letdown was Andy Dalton and the absent for three quarters offense of Cincinnati with the only off-the-norm tendency to this inner-conference match-up. The Bengals couldn’t put things together when they had the pigskin against a Cowboy D that is missing more names than a community college class check-in sheet. The Bengals need to be worried as they fall to 2-3 of losing grip of their season.

Oakland Raiders 34, San Diego Chargers 31

What a surprise, Phillip Rivers kept the Chargers in a game long enough for someone not named Phillip Rivers to blow it for them. After working an offensive scheme for the Chargers to put them in 36-yard field goal range for the tie, rookie Drew Kaser couldn’t fumbled ultimately costing SD. (12) The close score shouldn’t be a shocker either as this is a divisional contest featuring rivaled teams that know each other well. Add in a more mixed crowd due to geographical availability and you have the making for what SHOULD be a closely contested football game. Sadly for Rivers, he had to watch familiarity take over once again with his squad as has gotten all too repetitive over the past three seasons.

Green Bay Packers 23, New York Giants 16

The Packers are now 9-1 with Mike McCarthy coming off of bye weeks. (14) They were at Lambeau Field for their contest with the Giants and The only surprise of the Sunday Night feature should have been Odell Beckham Jr. Making up with the sideline kicking net. (13) Still, people are looking for over-reactions so why not blame the guy with the most too lose; Aaron Rodgers. People are saying Rodgers looked choppy in the win over the Giants; (15). Sure Rodgers didn’t have the most successful night, believe me I have him on FFL, I know. But it’s not like Rodgers didn’t throw for two touchdowns in the Packers win. Green Bay’s defense managed to keep Eli Manning at arms reach at the end of the game and cheese-head running game of Eddie Lacy helped seal a victory. Sounds like a typical Sunday night in ‘Scansin to me!

–MONDAY–

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17, Carolina Panthers 14

Another game of week five that has spectators turning their heads without reason is the Monday Night game that featured the Panthers and Bucs in an NFC South showdown. Did I mention who the Panther’s quarterback was? With Cam Newton out on concussion protocol the Cats of Charlotte left the pack in the arms of former Cleveland Browns starter Derek Anderson who showed why his main experience as an NFL starter has came while he resided in Cleveland. Anderson committed a bad fumble that killed one drive and threw into double coverage, forcing a pass to tight end Greg Olsen, who looked as mighty as Thor in the Monday Night Showcase. Despite Olsen’s nine catches good for 181 yards of offense, (16) Anderson’s three turnovers turned out to be too much for the Panthers to overcome as Tampa Bay and rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo sealed the victory with a last-second 38 yard field-goal to seal it. No surprises should be held in the Carolina loss, their defense played well enough to win had the Panthers had a quarterback capable of doing so. Unfortunately, Carolina learned through Derek Anderson the hard lesson that you can’t paint over Brown, no matter how bright the teal blue is.

Sources:

  1. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/gwd_active.htm
  2. http://www.espn.com/nfl/game?gameId=400874548
  3. http://m.espn.com/nfl/playercard?playerId=1097&src=desktop
  4. http://www.espn.com/nfl/game?gameId=400874581
  5. http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/2666751-jj-watt-injury-update-star-undergoes-season-ending-back-surgery
  6. http://www.espn.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/total/position/defense
  7. http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/gamelog/_/id/8664/ryan-fitzpatrick
  8. http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874607
  9. http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/22859/tevin-coleman-with-sickle-cell-trait-unsure-about-playing-in-denver
  10. http://www.espn.com/nfl/scoreboard/_/year/2016/seasontype/2/week/5
  11. http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874630
  12. http://www.espn.com/nfl/recap?gameId=400874636
  13. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/10/10/good-news-odell-beckham-jr-and-the-kicking-net-have-made-up/
  14. http://www.foxsports.com/wisconsin/story/green-bay-packers-mike-mccarthy-aaron-rodgers-have-had-success-coming-off-bye-week-102015
  15. http://www.espn.com/nfl/recap?gameId=400874640
  16. http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/2978887

Football And Dining-Out… Similar American Traditions!

10-06-2016

Going out for dinner is an American luxury these days! The joys that American eateries can produce in some kitchens is remarkable and it’s all presented to you with hopefully helpful and worry-free service. The way we experience these visits to your favorite restaurants or diners has a common parallel in how we go about our ordering preferences with another things that’s beloved in the fifty states; football!

Like dining out, football is mainly consumed over the weekend and interestingly follows a similar timeline as our dining experiences.

Typically when you dine-out, you follow a routine with tendencies going to certain parts of the meal. An appetizer is your first choice and while you can live without the warmed-up warmer-upper, sometimes you just find yourself craving a a little taste.

The NFL’s weekly Thursday Night Football game in terms of the Football Weekend Timeline (FWT), is the appetizer.

The Thursday Night Game rarely is an essential game of the weekend but at that point of the week you can’t drone on around the office or warehouse having to hear about Gina’s daughter’s eighth grade back-up volleyball team, pretending to care as you smile and nod at her rant about the volleyball coach’s politics. It’s usually a divisional game for added intrigue, with temptation as the first stab of the weekend of football whale, some will toss that harpoon and give-in–most do. Just like the appetizer at the eatery of your choice. Usually, by the time the game is done and those fried jalapeno poppers are gone the reality does set in that you didn’t need to order that appetizer or watch that AFC South contest!

Typically, viewership of the Thursday Night game, like when ordering appetizers depends on how much time the customer has for such things. Still, restaurants and the NFL do not care about time restrictions… They care about business!

This quote from Scot Consentino, owner of Goodfellas Pizzeria added this selling tip on appetizers, backing the notion that appetizers or Thursday Night Football are simply was to get us to divulge in the products.

“We are in the business of selling,” Cosentino says. “If your staff doesn’t know that, then you’d better retrain them. If every wait staff employee can add an appetizer to the bill, it adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and can make the difference between the success and failure of a business.” (1)

Much like Consentino’s business promoting, the NFL throws out a little nibble of the feasting/FWT tradition early in the Thursday night game not because you necessarily need it but more because your mind thinks you do! By weekend’s end when you’re wondering where your money/time is going and you feel you have to really start reconsidering your ordering/scheduling priorities. But when those little plates are dished out with a basket of wings to pass around and those NFL Color Rush jersey are put on for the Thursday Night game, you’re just enjoying the gorge.

While you were sitting in your booth and getting comfortable, going over the rigmarole of the week’s happenings with whatever loved ones bother to discuss them, you have a server with a pasted smile ask, “What can we get you to drink today?” The drink order… the NCAA games of the FWT and probably the biggest pivot point decision of the entire meal!

Drink orders and College Football games are never easy in America! Go to your nearest grocery store on Friday afternoon and observe the people analyzing the beer isles. Now, you’ll have your diehards that go in grab that 30-pack of Old Milwaukee and B-line it back out the store! These are the NCAA die-hards. They have their team/drink that they’ve been devout to their whole lives and that’s all they need. Then there are the rest of the observers who are pulled in more directions than a high school four-star recruit. There’s the prestigious beers that have higher prices (Guinness/Notre Dame), or the bountiful light beers that have more people’s attentions (Bud Light/Alabama), then there’s exotic beers and you just don’t know how good the really are (Sam Adams Grapefruit/Louisville). Than there are spirits that are sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet but never boring (Gin/Michigan or Rum/USC). Which will you choose? It’s sort of like college football Saturday football TV slates, where for the most part loyalty is tossed to the side and you are willing to give as a football fan any program your interest.

beer-selection

Your diehard drink choices are there week in, week out like your domestic pours. But that new season Oktoberfest brew just came in to the Top 25 rankings and you gotta find out what the fuss is about. Teams like Boise State, Texas Christian University and the University of Houston are your exotic beers that ma have some added flavor you’ve never witness/tasted. Which ever you choose is a gamble, as most NCAA games are as unpredictable as to what goes into a drink order. There’s the added risks that the kegs may be skunked out or nearing expiration. The bartender might be new and not know how to make a proper Old Fashioned, making for a long night of stomach turning like when a National Championship contender suffers a tough upset defeat. It’s a pivotal choice, but a great part of the FWT and the dining timeline as well. But now it’s time to answer the old lady and address the question, where’s the beef?… It lies with Sunday’s feast of NFL football or the dining-out main entrée.

Unlike the endless options of the drink-menu that is the NCAA, the NFL reserves people to 32 options. A much more considerable menu of devotion with fewer distractions but still added temptations to divert your intentions. For example, you may be a steak/potato guy (Steelers, Eagles, Packers fan) but tonight you have invested interest in the special (Panthers, Seahawks, Texans). Fantasy football in the NFL derives our attention as easily as that hot sizzling plate of fajitas that just whizzed by your table, causing you to wonder how important the game you want to watch is. The seasoned Tex-Mex dish can send you another direction and rethink your loyalty to that beefy-filet. Usually, it doesn’t sway you from that classic bacon burger with fries but it’s not like the NFL is going to limit you to that bun and beef sandwich. Perhaps you just want a homeland side like Texas toast (Dallas Cowboys) to go with your Mahimahi (Miami Dolphins), the NFL Sunday smorgasbord of games is just the right amount choices and ends your weekend of football/dining experience full and complete and hopefully with no backlash from poor service or preparation.

You’re sitting there. You’re full, slightly uncomfortable and contemplating how much alcohol potency is left in the backwash 1/12th of that tall draft beer you ordered. Do you get a box for that fourth of the steak that you can’t bear to look at anymore or acknowledge your inner-conscious to stop world hunger? The bill is looming of Monday and work, taking you away from the weekend and football. That moment when that server you seemingly forgot about whose smile has grown since you ordered that appetizer (Thursday Night Game/imported seasonal beer (Saturday Night Wisconsin vs. LSU) /large steak (Steelers Sunday afternoon game) with an added special side of grits (Atlanta Falcons Sunday night game) and they ask you “Now, has anyone left some room for dessert?”

Commonly, the dessert option is turned down, but sometimes you just have to give in! From basic ice cream/pie to the new frozen yogurt creation the NFL has this equivalent in the Monday Night Football game.

Monday Night Football, like dessert is a traditional glutenous classic. It’s something you hardly ever need but you always kinda long for. Even more similar to the FWT with dessert and dining-out you are worn down from the weekend’s long buffet of games/meals and drinks but you may just have to get that last bite in for good measure.

The Monday Night game has lost it’s luster as has ordering dessert in America over the years. (5) People don’t tend to flash out the extra bucks or attention to the weekend football finale just like they turn down the tempting spinning cake in the diner’s window. Perhaps, like the discomfort of realization of how much food you consumed or football you watched over the weekend has hit hard by Monday routine/sudden indigestion. It’s time to play catch-up with work or the slow down button with diet consumption and you more than likely just don’t need that last piece of the FWT or dining agenda. That doesn’t keep everyone away however.

According to a poll conducted by Monmouth University; “One in ten diners said they always order dessert, while 42 percent of diners never do. Diners in the west and southeastern regions of the U.S. are more likely than those in the Midwest to order dessert.” (2) However, that probably has more to do with the fact that desserts are seen in America as a means of celebrating and the Detroit Lions/Chicago Bears/Minnesota Vikings haven’t had much to celebrate over recent decades.

“No, no, you’re thinking of dessert—that’s food we have after we have our food. We eat tons of food. ” — Jim Gaffigan on American’s consumption of food. (3)

Football and Dining; two great and very similar traditions of Americana.

Thursday Night is the appetizer that we love to use to kickoff our gluttony early.

Friday/Saturday Night college football is the drink order, offering a plethora of options that leaves us always wondering, “What the hell that industry will come up with next?”

Sunday NFL Football is the main course and the entrée of our weekend where we really get what we want and pay the most attention to.

Since 2011-12, “Sunday Night Football” has led all of primetime television in the 18-49 demo and total viewers. (4)

And Monday Night is the never-ending struggle of the dessert option. It’s not necessary to most but still tend to give into it. MNF/Dessert leaves us lingering with something to work off/out of our systems for two work days as we finally receive that bill that we question on all of Tuesday and Wednesday.

The experience ends and you wonder if your service was worth it? Should that drink have cost that much? Did that waiter/waitress smile often and vibrantly enough? Will I come back to this establishment again? Most likely, yes to all. Why? Because it’s the entertainment value of American culture. Dining out and watching football are basic grains of American joy and both do a great job of reminding us in the expanded fifty colonies something we have in common… A feeling to gorge on our beloved things; in this case it’s football and dining!

Sources:

  1. http://www.pmq.com/September-2014/Appetizers-Get-smarter-with-your-starters-and-boost-your-sales/
  2. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/12/dining-out-poll-reveals-popular-eating-and-drinking-habits/
  3. https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/40017077-food-a-love-story
  4. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/sunday-night-football-tv-ratings-1201855511/
  5. http://www.forbes.com/sites/brandonkatz/2016/09/13/nfls-monday-night-football-takes-a-sack-in-the-ratings/#a0397608964b

Over-Dose-Reaction; Week 4

PANIC or SETTLE IN Week — Week 4… the first of four quarterly bench marks of the NFL’s sixteen week season. The week where identities are almost fully established. There is still room for anything to happen but it’s definitely the week where you realize where your team stands. The fear of reality comes into play following week four since most teams now have seen at least one divisional rival and enough to know where there team stands. It’s the week that has some teams settling in and realizing they have something good in front of them and has other teams reaching for that bright-red panic button!

–THURSDAY–

Cincinnati Bengals 22, Miami Dolphins 7

What happened to the good looking Dolphins orange? Thursday Night’s color-rush uniforms once again featured horrifying jerseys as Miami sported all-orange jerseys that looked like they had been ran through the wash with bleach, giving a peachy hint to it. The extra sweet uniforms were replicated in the Dolphins tackling ability as exploited by A.J. Green’s ten catches for 166 yards. The Dolphins defense looked about as bad as Ryan Tannehill’s off-season contract extension is starting to look. The Dolphins need to pound that PANIC button after their week four loss. The Bengals are now 2-2 but with their losses coming to Pittsburgh and Denver, are feeling like they have solid ground in the AFC with their shellacking of the Dolphins on the road in a shortened week.

–SUNDAY–

Jacksonville Jaguars 30, Indianapolis Colts 27 [In London]

Apologies to England. Hard to say from America whether our neighbors across the pond really appreciate these publicity-stunt football games or if the NFL is just trying to compensate Americans that live overseas and trying to cure their melon-shaped football cravings. Either way, there was nothing of good coming from the 8:30 A.M. Central Standard Time kickoff between the AFC South Rivals. It was close but both of these teams still need to be striking the PANIC button. The Colts still have issues on the O-Line and now are showing signs of poor mental-strength defensively as dumb penalties plagued the Colts throughout the game. To the Jags credit they took advantage of the untimely Indy mistakes to give themselves enough of a lead to hold off another late surge by Luck and Co. who are starting to gain another bad reputation trait of being slow-starters. The Jags need to hit the PANIC button for a different reason. The AFC South is ug-lay! If they ever wanted a year of mediocre Jacksonville football to reach the playoffs they need to press-on hard in 2016 and make something out of this season!

Buffalo Bills 16, New England Patriots 0

So the Ryan brothers aren’t totally incompetent. Thankfully for Buffalo, they had a week of tape to prepare for Jacoby Brissett who finally started looking like a third-stringer in the Patriots goose-egg at home against their AFC East foes. It was the first time Bill Belichick had been shutout in New England. (2) Meanwhile, The Ryan’s found footing after being hung by the media following week three but who knows how long it will provide them with air supply. The Patriots can now SETTLE IN physically thanks to their upcoming week 5 bye week and from a roster stand-point as Tom Brady looks to reclaim his throne in Foxborough behind center. The Bills will once again ROUTINELY hit the PANIC button, as will be their full-season reaction thanks to the hole they just reached out of at 2-2.

Chicago Bears 17, Detroit Lions 14

The NFC North Toilet bowl part one. Both these teams have a recent history of mediocrity and inability to finish out games. While one, Chicago, is learning they need not be so reliant on Jay Cutler thanks to Brian Hoyer’s performances in relief. The other, Detroit, is learning they can not just expect Matt Stafford to handle the burden of a lackluster roster week after week. The Bears are hitting the short and long term PANIC button due to their predicament at quarterback and need to figure out where they stand with Cutler before he comes back. Detroit’s going to have to enter SETTLE IN mode. Falling to 1-3 with their line win coming to the Colts in week one they need to realize who’s worth keeping or cutting for post-2016.

Washington Redskins 31, Cleveland Browns 20

Washington benefited Sunday from a weak opponent in the Browns who have too many overall problems to be anything but a loser in 2016. However, the Redskins should also ease the seat back and realize their playoff meal ticket. A.k.a. the NFC East. Enjoy the easy wins like Cleveland when you can, but Washington’s real weekends will consist their most familiar foes.

Seattle Seahawks 27,  New York Jets 17

New York; SETTLE IN for a losing season. Here’s why. You didn’t PANIC and buy-in on Ryan Fitzpatrick this off season. That seems to be a good thing as of right now. Fitz is giving Jets fans just that between his nine interceptions to one touchdown pass in the past two games. (2) The Patriots are going to command the AFC East again, just accept the rebuild 6-10/7-9 season and get the cement wet. Seattle; SETTLE IN, once again they slow played the start of the year but the Seahawks will get their offensive wings flapping as the leaves turn colors. Russell Wilson played insanely well (23-32 with 309 yards and three TDs, through injuries). (4) Don’t look back on the first quarter with heavy eyes Seattle just actually prep for be Rams this time around.

Oakland Raiders 28, Baltimore Ravens 27

Both teams SETTLE IN; this should have been the package sent to London as this actually looked like two playoff teams. Granted, due to Denver and Pittsburgh they maybe relegated to Wild Card slots, both are appearing to be teams with something of merit through the first quarter.

Atlanta Falcons 48, Carolina Panthers 33

Carolina- PANIC! PANIC! PANIC! The secondary without Josh Norman looks as unrecognized to the 2015 Panthers as the Presidential campaign’s running mates. (5) Hard to say if they will have a chance to defend their NFC title from a year ago given they just lost an in division game to an Atlanta team that finally has the football world double-taking the Georgia product. The Falcons just need to SETTLE IN and focus on redemption of their week one loss to the Bucs and they’ll be able to enjoy their early leg up on the Saints and Panthers in the NFC South.

Houston Texans 27, Tennessee Titans 20

And so begins the ugly war for the AFC DIRTY SOUTH!  ALL AFC SOUTH TEAMS SHOULD BE PANICKING! The Texans no-longer have their eye-catcher with J.J. Watt’s season ending back injury and the Titans can’t seem to get a big enough advantage to propel their run-game properly. (7) Meanwhile the Jags are the Jags and the Colts are a hot mess week in and week out. Since there is no consistency in the AFC South all teams should be on red-alert if an of them really want a shot at the playoffs. Luck fully for the foursome of mediocre squads, and unfortunately for the remaining AFC soon-to-be snubs, one of these teams will be enabled a playoff spot as a matter of South champion default. The question is who will execute the right amount of PANIC to SETTLE IN to that spot?

Dallas Cowboys 24, San Francisco 49ers 17

Okay San Francisco, jokes over. You can now SETTLE IN to the bad year you were expecting. However, PANIC because now comes the story line of when does Colin Kaepernick actually get a chance to play again? (8) Holy Willy Beamen! Dallas now has a real dilemma. Who knows when or if Tony Romo comes back this season, but if/when he does there is now a question of who should start with legitimacy being cemented in Prescott’s ability to lead the Dallas offense back against the 49ers in week four (trailed by 14 in the second quarter). Like the 49ers, Cowboys fan’s should also be PANICKING about their QB controversy. Unlike the 49ers, the Cowboys may have two legit QBs and SF has two letdowns of QBs.

Los Angeles Rams 17, Arizona Cardinals 13

Both of these teams need to PANIC. Arizona is now 1-3 and gave up a chance to really neutralize the state of the NFC West Sunday during their contest with the Rams. The loss from Zona however pushed the Rams into a 2-1 start out in the division, making them the likely favorite to claim the divisional auto-playoff bid. (9) Not too mention, the Cardinals offense. Yes, the Rams are one of the league’s perceived better defensive teams. But to only put up thirteen points at home is puzzling and worrisome. Los Angeles also needs to PANIC by what appears in their rear-view mirror. That opening week loss to San Fran may comeback to haunt them if they don’t continue to push through the NFC West and claim that top spot in the division, because as recent history has shown the Rams are underdog-dominant but when it’s time to step up they lose their balance.

New Orleans Saints 35, San Diego Chargers 34

San Diego, New Orleans both SETTLE IN; neither have nothing but old names under center. Phillip Rivers and Drew Brees are both great… The team’s they play for are not. No need to PANIC, both of these teams will be battling for the number one pick of next may’s draft.

Denver Broncos 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7

PANIC TAMPA BAY, that global warming thing… may be real. (10) As far as our NFL franchise goes, nah you’re good. You have time to let Winston continue to progress himself as an NFL diamond, right now he’s half way through the buffing process as a coal. Get some more players around him, the Bucs are about a year away. Denver – SETTLE IN. WE GET IT YOUR FRANCHISE IS PROPERLY RAN!

Pittsburgh Steelers 43, Kansas City Chiefs 14

The Steelers played like pros Sunday Night, following a bad loss they came back and opened a can of whoop-ass when in question. Just like pros do. However, they still need to PANIC. Here’s why; in the long term of things playing in the Steel city come January will be key, especially if they find themselves against Tommy Brady. Due to the Pats 3-1 start without Brady they are just as likely to claim HFA in the AFC playoffs. If Pittsburgh settles they may lose their chance at a home stadium come playoff time. Let’s face it, no one wants to go to Foxborough in the winter (football player or not). KC, don’t feel bad, the Steelers were sort of destined to win this game. Unfortunately the Chiefs also need to worry and PANIC! Because the Raiders may be very much for real, and the Oakland-Kansas City rivalry ma imply a playoff spot this season since it doesn’t seem the Broncs are regressing at all in 2016.

–MONDAY–

Minnesota Vikings 24, New York Giants 10

SETTLE IN Minnesota. Your team is for real! The D is nasty (NFL first ranked in Give/Take) and Sam Bradford is finally playing like a first round draft quarterback. (6) Just take care of the team’s remaining roster health and carry on! New York Giants; PANIC! Not only have they fallen to 2-2 with consecutive losses but they are looking like they are losing their own sideline as well. Really makes you wonder if letting the Tom Coughlin regime end before his time was really the right move, because right now they look about as opposite the Coughlin standard teams as possible with the antics of their stars like Odell Beckham Jr.

Sources:

  1. http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/a-j-green-has-big-game-as-bengals-dominate-dolphins-22-7-093016?cmpid=feed:-sports-WIS-SportsData-NFL
  2. https://www.google.com/amp/www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/sunday-was-the-first-time-the-patriots-have-been-shut-out-in-a-very-long-time/amp/?client=safari
  3. http://www.nfl.com/player/ryanfitzpatrick/2506581/careerstats
  4. http://www.nfl.com/player/russellwilson/2532975/gamelogs
  5. https://www.google.com/amp/www.nbcnews.com/storyline/data-points/amp/poll-vice-presidential-candidates-mike-pence-tim-kaine-largely-unknown-n658731?client=safari
  6. http://www.espn.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/givetake/position/defense
  7. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2666751-jj-watt-injury-update-star-undergoes-season-ending-back-surgery
  8. http://thebiglead.com/2016/10/04/the-nfl-should-make-chip-kelly-start-colin-kaepernick-thursday-night/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ColinKaepernick
  9. http://www.nfl.com/teams/schedule?team=LA
  10. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lightning-may-increase-with-global-warming/

NFL Over-Reaction-Dose; Week 2

09-20-16

***Quick reactions to all of the National Football League’s previous week’s games.***

(3)

–THURSDAY–

New York Jets 37, Buffalo Bills 31

And we are back to the beauty of the true Thursday Night Football games that feature ugly uniform renditions, mediocre story lines and just enough intrigue to kickoff your football week. The TNF game is pretty much that bar restaurant appetizer; something to catch your eye and munch on while you linger on the real menu that awaits ahead.  The Jets had two players answer off-season lingering questions in the week’s early game. Ryan Fitzpatrick helped to settle the debate that he was worth an off season contract extension with a 24 of 34 night and 374 yards passing yards with a touchdown on the side. Meanwhile, Matt Forte answered the questioning of age that people associated with him in the off season. Forte rushed for three touchdowns and 100 yards exactly as he and the J-E-T-S Jets put another damper-day on the early 2016 Rex Ryan/Buffalo campaign. The Bills “stand-out defense” gave up 37 points and followed up humility with apparent stupidity by firing Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman.  The problem wasn’t the offense Thursday, the problem was the defense couldn’t get the Jets off the field (39:12-20:48 Time of Possession NYJ). The Bills have a flat tire and they’re looking under the hood.

–SUNDAY–

Carolina Panthers 46, San Francisco 49ers 27

Kelvin Benjamin… Freak. Cam Newton… Freak. Carolina Defense… Freaks. The Panthers are just freaky! Benjamin ended with seven catches and 108 yards catching, the defense forced three turnovers including a scoop-score by Shaq Thompson, and Cam shut-up anybody questioning the NFL’s concussion protocol by putting up numbers that epitomized QB’s with clear thoughts. Odd how with both this games contestants being 1-1, our general reaction is that the Panthers are for real in 2016. While still at 1-1 you got to wonder, “What the hell is San Fran offering us this year?”

Baltimore Ravens 25, Cleveland Browns 20

Hard to believe that after the opening quarter the Browns held an 18 point, 20-2 lead over the Ravens… not so hard to believe… they threw it away. The over-reaction for Baltimore; Flacco is bacco to the days of old and the Ravens are a legitimate NFC North contender. The over-reaction for the Browns; none… they are just marking the checklist off of annual Browns problems. Injured/New quarterbacks every week; check. Humiliating losses; check. Still somehow keeping fans coming back; check. Hope you enjoyed that NBA parade Cleveland, next summer’s a LONG ways away.

Tennessee Titans 16, Detroit Lions 15

Last week, Detroit flirted with a loss to the Colts, procrastinating a last second field goal clinching win on the road. So, naturally being the Lions that allowed them a chance to regress against another AFC South opponent in week 2. The Lions are like the girl next door of the NFL. You wouldn’t mind giving them a shot at long-term legitimacy and success, but the mystery that comes with short-term mediocrity just suits them so much better. In the end this contest SCREAMED even! Hardly anything separated the two teams on paper, but in the end someone has to win and a veteran helped a Tennessee young’n to step up and do it when Andre Johnson snatched a lofted Macus Mariotta ball with what was the game-winning score in Motown. Detroit’s continuing an annually ongoing trend of mediocrity while the Titans simply took advantage of it.

Houston Texans 19, Kansas City Chiefs 12

The game featured more 3-pointers than a Golden State Warriors shoot around. A DeAndre Hopkins 27-yard touchdown proved to be the difference maker of Sunday’s snoozer. NRG Stadium lacked just that in Sunday’s match-up between the Texans and the Chiefs… Energy. Besides the geographical closeness that both teams share there just isn’t much here to look forward to between the two AFC teams. Even the story line of a rematch of last year’s Wild Card contest that saw a Chiefs 30-0 blowout didn’t seem to sell intrigue between the two. Main reason; both teams are boring! There just wasn’t much to levy at-home remotes to punch the numbers to watch this match-up. Despite their attached boredom, both these teams are looking like they will have a chance to fill AFC Playoffs spots with guilt by Divisional association therein lies this contest’s over-reaction; both these boring teams will make the playoffs.

New England Patriots 31, Miami Dolphins 24

New England started out the 2014 season losing to the Miami Dolphins and you would have thought riots were ensuing the game based on the NFL’s audiences reaction. For the sake of NFL Media reaction; the Patriots have seemed to have vowed to never allow that reaction to happen again. Miami will simply continue to struggle against the Pats as long as Belichick is there, because obviously the Pats could put Jonathon ‘Mox’ Moxon at quarterback and still win as second stringer Jimmy Garoppolo left the game due to a shoulder injury leaving the reins to Jacoby Brissett. Brissett didn’t dazzle, but he did salvage a win. Fact is, in New England the name on the front is more important than the back no matter the position because the name on the back just simply isn’t recognizable. The Pats will go undefeated without Brady and are even scarier post deflate-gate punishments, while the Dolphins continue to just simply inhabit an abundance of talent with little production value.

New York Giants 16, New Orleans Saints 13

On Sunday “Game of Thrones” won an Emmy for Best Drama Series. (2) Speaking of wins that went unnoticed; the Giants are now 2-0 in 2016 following a squeaker over the Saints 16-13. The Saints are 0-2 but there two losses are close games with teams expected to be playoff contenders come January. The overreaction here is to be okay with the NOLA early flood of losses. Eventually, their schedule will soften once their division (NFC Sad South) schedule inserts itself to their record. Meanwhile the Giants will silently earn themselves an NFC home field advantage spot this post season. All silent that is except for their contest with Washington that will feature the UFC’s unofficial rematch between Josh Norman and Odell Beckham Jr.

Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Cincinnati Bengals 16

Speaking of UFC; BENGALS VS. STEELERS; LET’S GET IT ON! Well… Wait… nevermind. The letdown of a rendition of AFC North Rival drama didn’t present itself between Cincy and Pitt Sunday, but they did play one hell of a game of pigskin toss! Sunday’s contest felt and looked like a playoff match-up where legacies build or break resumes. Andy Dalton continued to break his resume while James Harrison continued to build his. Dalton threw just one touchdown in the eight point loss that was daggered by Harrison when he forced a fumble of Tyler Boyd on the Bengals final drive. Dalton is a legitimate QB in the NFL but his resume continues to fail to add that reliable late in games moment. Harrison continues to be one of the most feared men in the NFL, behind the Steelers continued success he will cement himself as an NFL All-Timer this season!

Dallas Cowboys 27, Washington Redskins 23

Dakota Prescott finally seemed to look outside his check-down option and remembered that Dez Bryant also wears a Cowboy uniform. Bryant and the Cowboys had a highlight Sunday that enabled an NFC East victory over the Washington Redskins that continue to wonder how much they “like that” when they look at their quarterback situation with Kirk Cousins. However, neither of these teams will be fighting for the NFC East crown (which is still the bronze medal divisionally of the NFC) come playoff time. Questionable QB play only works in Foxborough (New England). Not D-town or the Nation’s capital. As tape comes out on Prescott the weekends of 22-30 and 292 yards will end as the exposition of Cousins continues to come to fruit.

Los Angeles Rams 9, Seattle Seahawks 3

If there isn’t a petition circling the Greater L.A. area to force the Rams to make the Royal Blue and Mustard jerseys the only colors they’re allowed to wear then I will work on a draft right after this post! The Rams finally looked good and they had snazzy uniforms to match their play as their defense held the Seahawks out of the end zone long enough to secure a win in the Los Angeles opener. Don’t be fooled by this game’s result from Los Angeles. Somehow those horn swirls seem to always make those hawks look cross-eyed when they meet. Seattle has lost four of their last five contests with the Rams so their is no big surprise there. (4) However… Seattle’s off to another slow start but this one looks different in 2016. The Offensive line play looks rough and there is something more of validity with the week two defeat. This may be the year legion of boom buffers too long and costs themselves a playoff spot!

Denver Broncos 34, Indianapolis Colts 20

Tank-season may not be over in Central Indiana! With early season injuries piling up and noticeable lack of experience on the front-line, Indianapolis may want to consider securing a top draft pick already so that they can trade it away for a large abundance of picks to fill the many position problems they face. That said, the Broncos D is just plain nasty!

Arizona Cardinals 40, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7

How much must the Colts miss Bruce Arians? The Cardinals got back to winning ways following the opening hair-puller of a loss with the Patriots by trouncing the still rebuilding Buccaneers. Hard to have an overreaction from this one; the Bucs will be either 8-8 at the end of the year or just below it. Sunday’s match just proves they’re still in the NFL but not ready to own it. The Cardinals reestablished themselves as NFL Landlords, pulling credibility with their 1-1 balance win. The main over reaction that could be taken from this is that the Jameis Winston bandwagon lost a wheel this weekend with a four interception performance.

Atlanta Falcons 35, Oakland Raiders 28

Right when we thought the Raiders had things turned around, they remind us that they are still the Raiders and are fully capable of losing… However, this is the over reaction. The Raiders lost to a team many think isn’t very good in the Atlanta Falcons. But, to me this is more of a statement win for the dirty birds then it is a demoralizing loss to the Bay Area Pirates. The Falcons will turn things around and contend for the top half of the AFC South from this week on and the Raiders will bounce back. Come years end, this won’t be the colossal upset that it seems to be today.

San Diego Chargers 38, Jacksonville Jaguars 14

Not enough is said for the East Standard Time to Western Standard Time migration timezone adjustment. The Jaguars were probably groggy entering the Chargers game mentally due to the time difference and the Chargers took full advantage building a 35-0 lead by the end of the third quarter. Timezone adjustments is a typical trait with young teams but with a trip to London looming on Jax’s schedule they better figure out how to set multiple alarms on their iPhone 7’s if they don’t want to cost themselves another game in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, let’s hope the SD fans enjoyed the shellacking of the spotted-cats because it may be  one of the few times they get to celebrate all year!

Minnesota Vikings 17, Green Bay Packers 14

Defense and/or Adrian Peterson… Those were the two legs the Vikings had to stand-on entering the 2016 season and they managed to balance on one leg pretty well after All-Day went down with a torn meniscus early in the Sunday Night Football NFC North contest. The purple people eaters held an off-nighted Aaron Rodgers and Packers offense to just 263 total yards. The Vikings quarterback flavor of the week, Sam Bradford, actually left a good enough taste in the mouth of Minnesota fans to be worth another serving following Sunday night’s two touchdown performance. Things may not be as sparkling as their new stadium in Minnie, but there is definitely reason to be optimistic.

–MONDAY–

Philadelphia Eagles 29, Chicago Bears 14

Chicago and Jay Cutler are like that couple that fights all the time but neither one is willing to admit that it’s time to break-up. Cutler made poor decisions in the Bears gut-wrenching Nationally televised blowout event Monday as Carson Wentz exposed a worn down Chi-town second half D to put up 20 points in the second half and keep the eagles undefeated! Don’t fly too high Philly fans, the two wins have came against two highly dysfunctional opponents in Cleveland and Chicago. However, the early walk-through wins may be just the tune-up the North Dakota State stand-out needed as the schedule gets trickier and Breast Cancer Awareness month approaches. The Windy City needs to finally nut up and break things off with Jay. Sadly, in the fourth quarter when Cutler left the game the offense looked smoother under the control of Brian Hoyer, who may have a starting NFL spot again come season’s end by default.

–Week Two Takeaway —

Week Two of this season is officially going to be labeled as this year’s “Injury Week.” Every weekend the NFL has certain trends that effect all teams. From Garoppolo, to AP to the majority of the Indianapolis roster, the NFL will have to readjust and prove their TEAM’s worth in entirety moving forward. Although most hate injuries due to Fantasy Football stats, the injuries just help to promote variety and new narratives to be written along with new legacies to be built. After all, where would names like Brady, Wilson and (insert Pittsburgh running back name here) be without the ugly beauty of the NFL injury week?

Sources

  1. http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2014090705/2014/REG1/patriots@dolphins?icampaign=GC_schedule_rr#menu=gameinfo%7CcontentId%3A0ap3000000392475&tab=recap
  2. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-st-emmys-live-updates-jimmy-kimmel-and-the-emmys-tout-and-1474276601-htmlstory.html
  3. http://www.sbnation.com/2016/9/19/12963844/2016-nfl-scores-highlights-week-2-injuries-patriots-vikings-jimmy-garoppolo-cowboys-dak-prescott
  4. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/game_query.cgi?tm1=sea&tm2=ram&yr=all

 

HEADLINERS! 08-15-16

**Headlines from the weekend of 8-12-16 — 8-14-16**

Hope Solo Calls Sweden Cowards After USWNT Loses In Olympic Quarterfinal

Quick Reaction: U.S. Women’s Soccer carries with it an expectation to win anything and everything they compete in. So, when they lose as they did to Sweden in the quarterfinals in a shootout it can cause for some expected heated reactions. Hence, what was produced by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo who called out the Sweden National Team saying, “… But, I thought we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today.” (1) Solo has faced extreme scrutiny since Friday for her comments of Sweden’s successful tactics on the pitch. But why the scrutiny when Solo is actually just doing what we as Americans do… sorely lose? When we get pushed back as a country our first motive is to go and push the pusher even harder. Look at the damning things that have happened to our country throughout it’s history. Great Britain taxes the U.S. unfairly from afar… U.S. goes to war with Great Britain. Japan attacks Pearl Harbor… the U.S. gets involved in World War II. The Twin Towers are attacked… the U.S. declares war on terrorism and Middle East. Does Hope Solo’s comments mean an actual war should be declared on Sweden, HELL NO! but should a soccer war to prove we are the dominant county be declared from Solo’s comments, HELL YES! Let’s just hope that the Women’s National team mirrors the intesni we should expect to see from Solo the next chance they get at redemption in their next soccer competition! While some can claim that Solo is representing the U.S.A. poorly with her comments after a loss, I will play the other card and say she instead is being correctly patriotic in her actions.

Michael Phelps Writes Perfect Ending in Final Olympic Race

Quick Reaction: Michael Phelps swam off into the sunset after winning his 20th gold medal in the American’s Olympic triumph of the Men’s 4X100 Medley Relay Saturday night. Since the race concluded and Phelps announced it would be his last race as an Olympian it caused reasons of questioning in the sports media as to whether Phelps is actually done or if he’ll make a return for the 2020 games. (2) A lot can change in four years just ask your yearbook from freshman year as opposed to your yearbook from senior year. Or to keep it in the realms of sports and avoid the recalls of acne and bad fashion trends let’s compare a different American hero; Peyton Manning. In 2012, Manning set multiple passing records and looked as young as ever coming off a neck surgery as a newly acquired Denver Bronco (5). By 2016, Manning struggled gripping the football and was basically an overpaid “game-manager”. However, Manning still brought Denver a Super Bowl four years later and in four years Phelps could still grab another gold medal, but for once let’s show patience and see what the swimmer strokes like in 2020 before we go calling him back from the sunset.

Giancarlo Stanton ‘out for rest of the year,’ according to reports

Quick Reaction: The Miami Marlins have discovered an internal injury and we’re not just talking about ticket sales within the franchise (ranked 27th of 30 MLB teams). (8) Marlin standout Giancarlo Stanton was diagnosed with a grade three groin strain that will likely place him in the dugout for the remainder of the 2016 season. The loss of Stanton has the Marlins, who are fighting for the second National League Wild Card spot, searching for an immediate answer. The Marlins organization is no stranger to the idea of quick fixes and fast team-builds as they have kind of built a reputation for being the “hit it and quit it” MLB franchise when it comes to success. Of those quick solutions presented, one mention was recently dismissed New York Yankee; Alex Rodriguez. Doesn’t that just sound basic? A New Yorker heading for South Beach to end out their days? Instead, the Marlins should take a step back breathe in that salty southern Ocean air and realize this could be an opportunity to let a different former Seattle Mariner and much more respected MLB legend, Ichiro Suzuki, become the possible savior for the franchise. As of now, the plan for the Marlins is to stick with Suzuki and for the sake of baseball and the avoidance of a basic label or further embarrassment of watching A-Rod continue his career, let’s hope it remains that way. (3)

L.A. Rams Fans Celebrate Historic Win in Preseason Opener

Quick Reaction: Hard to believe anything that’s not an NFL Blooper could be labeled as historic when it comes to the NFL Preseason, but Saturday night saw the return of football to the city of Los Angeles. The Rams pulled off a second half comeback to down the Dallas Cowboys in a 28-24 victory and Rams fans seemed delighted to be rejoicing the win at the end of Saturday night. (4) Hopefully those Rams fans don’t get too horny for more wins! It should be noted that those were not the Rams the fans will see in the regular season kick-off that made that comeback Saturday night. The Rams that will take the field and truly represent the city of L.A. are led by rookie quarterback Jared Goff and trailed 24-7 to the Cowboys at halftime, gave up an opening kick-off touchdown return and allowed Dak Prescott to go 10/12 passing and look as comfortable as he was in college at Mississippi Sate. (7) The Rams need to remember what preseason games really are; a mirage of what might exist on the horizon and something you probably shouldn’t venture towards detering from reality’s true destination. Judging by the first team/half of Saturday’s game that reality is a rough season ahead for the spiral domes of the NFL.

U.S. Men’s Basketball Hangs on to Defeat France at Rio Olympics

Quick Reaction: It seems there is no pleasing spectators when it comes to the Men’s basketball event in Rio for the U.S. Men’s basketball team. The U.S. men started off the tournament destroying their opponents and faced scrutiny for not having entertaining close games. Then, the team beats Australia by a mere TEN points and the sports World responds with criticisms that it was TOO close. Saturday, the men held off a surging, and Tony Parker-less, France National team for a SLIM 100-97 victory. (6) Yet, the talk isn’t about how the Men’s team is playing “entertaining” games. Instead, the talk is about what is wrong with the U.S. Men’s National team. Essentially, we as Americans are acting like college basketball March Madness fans of a number one seed. We don’t want to see a sixteen seed advance for our own well-being but we lose to see that one-seed sweat like a piece of cooked chicken on a grill. We need to remember as fans while we can take this route and play this tight rope of reaction inconsistency that as learned in 2004 that chicken taste a lot better at the end of the night when it’s golden, not charcoal!

 

  1. http://nesn.com/2016/08/hope-solo-calls-sweden-cowards-after-uswnt-loses-in-olympic-quarterfinal/
  2. http://time.com/4451492/phelps-gold-medals-rio-2016-olympics-swimming-ledecky-simone-manuelgolden-finale-for-phelps-final-farewell/
  3. http://www.sbnation.com/2016/8/14/12476348/marlins-giancarlo-stanton-out-for-rest-of-the-year-according-to-reports
  4. http://abc7.com/sports/la-rams-fans-celebrate-historic-win-in-preseason-opener/1469165/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Denver_Broncos_season#Peyton_Manning
  6. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/14/team-usa-basketball-france-pool-play/88724218/
  7. http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400873867
  8. http://www.espn.com/mlb/attendance

Is It Worth It? The Zika Virus Will Make the Rio Olympics Better.

06-29-16

You’ve felt that sting… That quick pain on that hard to reach spot. Maybe you were at a neighbor’s house for a grill-out, camping or just out and about at a random event and all of a sudden you yell, “SONUVA… !” and smack yourself, even though you know that the damage is already done. We suffer a mosquito bite and await the painful consequences that will follow.

You scratch that itch for awhile and throughout the following days the bite will reduce and eventually fade and we’re no longer bothered by the reminder that we didn’t douse enough OFF! spray on ourselves before partaking in nature’s activities.

But imagine that bite-mark doesn’t just go away.

Imagine it stays with you after you obtain it during a one-week getaway to an exotic destination. The bite infects your blood stream. It enters your body and you carry it with you. You receive a rash and irritated red eyes, plus start having pains in your ankles, elbows and knees. Even worse, if you have the sex drive to fight though your newly acquired illness, you pass it on to your wife/loved one at the end of date night to keep the fire alive between you two. Imagine that the desire to keep your passion going results in a pregnancy, and now that measly mosquito bite has engulfed your pedigree and been biologically passed to your newborn. You have basted the infant’s bloodstream with disease marination thanks all to a bite on the back of your thigh, causing life-long problems to your soon-to-be child like microcephaly (shrunken head). (1)

So, not only have you been dealing with your own personal illness, you have passed it along to your lover and even worse the spawn of that love affair will now suffer birth defect traumas. It doesn’t seem worth the risk does it? Ironically, that one-week getaway is now the deathblow you never  expected from what was supposed to be a time to get away from all stress. Instead, you’ve gone to a place that essentially created more of it within your life.

So, the vacation to paradise becomes a vacation to a hell that has no known heavenesque solution. At the end of the day your left with the self-questioning of was that vacation worth it?

… But you think on that and I’ll present another topic while you weigh it out.

Here’s a fun fact, according to a study on http://www.insidethegames.biz, Olympian athletes on average spend more than 10,000 hours in the four year leading up to upcoming Olympic events training to prep themselves for the quadrennial games. (2) Imagine now; that those games have chosen to be held in that vacation of hell destination from the topic discussed before. In this particular 2016 calendar year, that destination is Rio, Brazil. The illness faced; the Zika Virus.

Olympians battle enough obstacles as it is just to earn the right to represent their respected country in the Olympics, but now there is one more added in factor to go through; Zika. Is it fair to request from these athletes to risk their future health to partake in these games?… Makes your answer to ‘is that vacation worth it?’ seem pretty minimal in comparison doesn’t it?

The potential Olympians are faced with a hell of a dilemma for the upcoming August games. Do you participate and risk health and the spreading of disease for the glory and praise of being able to call yourself an Olympian? Or do you throw away those hours of training, the hardships, the dedication, the desire all because of a potential infection/outbreak?

For some of the athletes, it is not such a dilemma of questioning.

Famous PGA golfers, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy have both withdrawn from the games due to the virus. (3) Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors will not play with the USA Men’s National team, stating “other factors” as reasoning for not competing, leading people to believe Zika fear is involved. (4) Negate the inital reaction to ridicule the athletes for not representing their country and just ask yourself, are you planning a vacation to Brazil anytime soon?

You can’t blame Curry or the PGA stars or most of the athletes pulling out of the games due to Zika. Going to Rio risks they’re ability to work as professional athletes, jeopardizes they’re future legacies that are already rolling in other events and let’s not forget we already know these athletes from more relevant events!

McIlroy became a household name in 2011 thanks to a stunning performance, not in the Olympics, but in the U.S. Open! Rory doesn’t need the Olympics to promote his legacy, he has the PGA tour. Stephen Curry is famous for his work in the NBA with the Warriors, not the Americans in the Olympics. It’s fair to believe a gold medal from Rio means less to him than the gold trophy or colorful checks he receives from the NBA.

Though, not all athletes benefit from their professional media like McIlroy or Curry.

Think of the big names we get to know thanks to the Olympics and the athletes that rely on the Olympics to build their athletic storylines. Ussain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Shawn Johnson; all names we know thanks solely to the Olympics. Olympic success is essential to these athletes, if not for the Games they would be irrelevant.

Hogwash you say?… When was the last time you put time aside to watch a track event featuring Bolt or a swimming meet of Phelps’ that didn’t have an Olympic medal on the line?… EXACTLY! These athletes need the games where athletes like McIlroy and Curry can rely on their other sources to create their legacies and self-worth not only as athletes but professionally and financially.

So, why might a Zika infected Rio Olympics be a better thing for us, the viewers?

The elements of risks were high enough in the Olympics before Zika even entered our infection radars in society. It’s the climax of athletic drama to see athletes train vigorously for hours, days, YEARS all for a sudden moment of glory that may never present itself again! We know as viewers of all the pain and self-torment/discipline that they have put themselves through just in general to get to the point of Olympic competition. Now, add in the idea that the athletes are piling on the risk of their future health to earn these achievements due to the Zika virus.

It’s the equivalent of telling you to concentrate enough to walk a tightrope and then saying balance an empty Culligan water container on your head all the while!

The desire needed to risk involvement with the Rio Olympics is peaking thanks to Zika! This August you can plan on seeing the athletes that are willing to risk their reputations as athletes as well as their health as human beings to earn the right to be called an Olympian. If you need more than that to be intrigued by these games and can honestly tell me you don’t think having read this blog post that you won’t admire these athletes any more because of the added threat of Zika, then book a flight to Rio in August and tell these athletes that yourself! If you hesitate to do so because of fear of Zika for yourself then you can rest assured that you have no argument against their heart, desire and passion to literally risk everything for the right to do so. They may not be the gladiators of the Olympics we were expecting but they demand the respect and viewership for their risk-taking that their more famous fellow athletes have backed away from!

Sources:

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/
  2. http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/11108/elite-athletes-spend-10000-hours-training-for-london-2012
  3. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/0/rio-olympics-which-athletes-have-withdrawn-over-zika-fears/
  4. http://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/06/17-athletes-not-going-to-rio-so-far-2016