Archive for January, 2014
Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman just can’t seem to keep his mouth shut. In the media frenzy surrounding Super Bowl week, he actually went on sacred ground and said that Broncos’ future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning throws “ducks”. Peyton, to his credit, agreed with him, “I do throw ducks. I’ve thrown a lot of yards and touchdown ducks, so I’m actually quite proud of it.” You go Peyton!!!!!!
Be sure to tune in to the Super Bowl, Sunday 6:30 EST on Fox. For all other Super Bowl related news, check out the big game’s official site, www.superbowl.com. And, remember in non-football but super bowl related news; Bruno Mars is performing at halftime and grammy award winning soprano Renee Fleming is performing the National Anthem.
Enjoy the game!!!!!
WATERCOOLER CHAT: MEDIA DAY STORIES, LYNCH QUIET BUT SIGNS SKITTLE CONTRACT, WILL THOMAS FACE SHERMAN
Tuesday was “media day” for the Super Bowl players and the big story was that Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch answered questions for 6 minutes and 21 seconds but stood and stared into space for another 40 minutes so he wouldn’t get fined by the League. He also avoided any questions that related to football. Maybe Lynch was pre-occupied with the deal he signed on Tuesday with the candy skittles. Apparently he’s going to have his own brand of skittles.
The other major stories during the media blitz was whether Peyton Manning will retire after the season and whether Broncos’ wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will line up on the left or right side. If he lines up on the right side, he’ll face Seattle’s cornerback Richard Sherman. It will be fun to see this matchup!No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: WILL MANNING RETIRE, WEATHER ON GAME DAY, RICE BEATS DEION IN PRO BOWL, LAKERS EYE ANTHONY
In the NFL, the media is circling the stars of the Super Bowl, and their target is, of course, Peyton Manning. The first question for Manning has been, “will Manning play after this season”? Manning has said that he “certainly” wants to play beyond the Super Bowl. Manning continued saying that his career took a big turn when he switched teams, and he’s taking it all year by year. He said his goal coming into this year was a Super Bowl, and right now, he’s not looking past that game. We’ll all be anxious to see what he decides to do after the big game.
And speaking of the Super Bowl, both teams are in town and starting their practices. The first thing they see: snowy practice fields. This is exactly what they were worried about, as neither team wants weather conditions to affect the game. That’s probably unavoidable considering the NFL’s decision to put the Super Bowl in New York. Both teams are hoping for no wind. This Super Bowl could be highly controversial if weather plays a major factor.
And, in a meaningless but fun game to watch, Jerry Rice’s team beat Deion Sanders’ team in the Pro Bowl Sunday night in Hawaii. The format was very different this year as Rice and Sanders got to choose their team (fantasy football style) from the terrific athletes chosen for the Pro Bowl (which is a huge honor). The game itself is purely for fun and if a player was chosen for the Pro Bowl but is on the Broncos or Seahawks, they obviously weren’t eligible to play. Can you imagine if Peyton Manning played Sunday night in the Pro Bowl and got injured and couldn’t play in the Super Bowl?
Finally, in the NBA, the Lakers are clearly struggling this season. They are looking towards the future, and eyeing some key free agents. One of most likely free agents of the off-season will be Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks. The Lakers would love a big name like Anthony, and told Kobe they would love if he would help court him. But Kobe has said that he would do no such thing. As of now, the Lakers are still Kobe’s team. He would love the help, but he wants nothing to do with finding a replacement icon for the Lakers.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: PERCY HARVIN BACK FOR SEAHAWKS, BROWNS NAME HEAD COACH, LOLO JONES MAKES OLYMPICS AMID CONTROVERSY
The Seahawks got some great news. They will have a huge weapon in their Super Bowl against Denver, as wide receiver Percy Harvin will be back, strong, and ready to go. The Seahawks brought Harvin in to be a big receiving threat — they even traded draft picks for him. But Harvin had to sit out most of the season with a knee injury, and was out for the NFC Championship Game because of a concussion. Having a deep threat on the field for the Super Bowl will give the Broncos something significant to worry about.
The Cleveland Browns have decided on their head coach. They’ve opted for Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. While Pettine may turn out to be a good hire, it still begs the question why they fired first year head coach Rob Chudzinski after just a year. Some thought the Browns would target a big name coach like a Bill Cowher or go after one of the college hot shots. But to select a relative no name like Pettine makes you wonder what is going on in the organization.
In a controversial move, track and field star and bobsleder Lolo Jones was named to the US bobsled team. There were many athletes competing for a spot that were considered much more qualified. The buzz is that NBC had a role in securing Jones a place on the team. Jones was a celebrity at the summer Olympics because of her amazing athletic ability, but also her attractiveness and having her at the Sochi Olympics will certainly help interest in the sport and NBC’s rating. NBC has denied this claim.
The major story of the day was out of the baseball world. After months of wondering which team Japanese superstar pitcher Masahiro Tanaka would sign with, a winner has emerged. Surprise, surprise, the New York Yankees have signed Tanaka to a 7-year deal worth $155 million. Wow! Now that’s a commitment to a guy who has never even thrown a pitch in the major leagues. The Yankees likely felt that they needed to make a splash given that they missed the playoffs last year. Adding a potential ace like Tanaka to the mix will give fans something NEW to root for.
And in the NFL, former Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young has fallen on tough times. Young, a quarterback who led the University of Texas to a BCS Championship, was once touted as the must-have quarterback in 2006. When he came into the league he was frequently out of shape and had a number of behavioral issues. He went from one team to the next, and now has hit rock bottom. According to reports, Young filed for bankruptcy last year. He burned through millions of dollars. And records even surfaced that showed he used to take his friends out to $30,000 dinners. The best of luck to Vince Young, and maybe there is a team out there that is willing to give him a job.No comments
This year, the Pro Bowl is undergoing more of a playful, fantasy reconstruction. Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders are drafting the teams, and Tuesday, Jerry Rice kicked off the Pro Bowl draft by selecting Drew Brees at quarterback and Robert Quinn, the St. Louis Rams’ defensive end. Picking Quinn that early is a huge sleeper pick for Rice. Then Sanders began his draft, taking Kansas City Chiefs’ superstar running back Jamaal Charles and Houston Texans’ defensive tackle J.J. Watt. This is a fun format so let’s hope it brings some ratings and interest to the game. Watch the 2014 Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm from Aloha Stadium on NBC.
And in coaching news, the Cleveland Browns are the last team looking for a head coach. Reports showed that they had their sights set on Adam Gase, the young offensive coordinator prodigy for the Denver Broncos. He, along with Peyton Manning of course, is a big reason that the Broncos were racking up points this year. But there are also reports that a lot of coaches don’t want to take the Cleveland job because they think it’s a loser job, and if they fail there, they may never get another shot at a head coaching opportunity. On Tuesday, Gase pulled his name out of the running for the Browns gig. He will stay at Denver for the time being, and likely wait until the time is right to jump ship.
Finally, in some interesting news from NFL’s past, reports are coming out that the Indianapolis Colts had every intention of drafting Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL Draft. However, Leaf didn’t want to play for Indy, and wanted to play in the sunshine of San Diego (the #2 pick). Problem is, players don’t get that choice — they have to manipulate it. Leaf’s agent at the time knew that Leaf couldn’t rub Colts owner Jim Irsay the wrong way, because, apparently, Irsay didn’t let a QB’s ego phase him. Instead, the agent figured that Leaf would have to annoy current head coach Jim Mora, who was all about punctuality and respect. So Leaf’s agent told him to skip a scheduled meeting with Mora, who would in turn tell Colts owner Irsay that they simply can’t draft Leaf, and would have to settle for Manning. Can you imagine they thought they were settling for Manning. Clearly, that missed meeting changed the fate of football forever.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: SHERMAN’S BRILLIANT MARKETING, ABOLISHING THE EXTRA POINT, BELICHICK CALLS WELKER OUT
As expected, the talk of the last couple of days is about Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman’s post-game rant. As I mentioned in Monday’s post, Sherman called out 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree saying that Crabtree was a “sorry, mediocre” receiver. Apparently, these two had bad blood well before this game, and Sherman knows how to call attention to himself. He’s great at self-marketing, and that outburst is just a sliver of his personality. He is now going to be a very big storyline heading into the Super Bowl. I guess he knew exactly what he was doing.
And in some other NFL news, commissioner Roger Goodell is considering abolishing the extra point. It’s just too easy for kickers, and there were only 5 missed extra points this year out of some 1,200 attempts. He thought an interesting way to change it would be for touchdowns to be worth 7 points, with the team getting an option to go for a play to make it 8 points. However, if they miss, the touchdown is only worth 6. This would be a pretty major shakeup for the traditional NFL, and would change a lot of teams strategies. On the other hand, the extra point can be considered a bit outdated. In the past, teams didn’t have polished kickers (they used fullbacks) so the extra point was dramatic and important to the game.
Finally, after taking a beating from the Broncos, Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick has taken a shot at his former player, Wes Welker. Welker laid a serious hit on Patriots’ cornerback Aqib Talib. This caused Talib to get ruled out of the game, and put a hole in the Pats defense. Belichick says he believed Welker’s hit was intentional and that it was a very dirty play. Welker responded by saying he was only trying to set a pick on Talib to take him out of the play and had zero malicious intent. It’s hard to know what’s true, but it just adds more fuel to the story that Welker left the Pats because he didn’t like Belichick.No comments
First up was the highly anticipated Denver Broncos hosting the New England Patriots. All week, we saw Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady stories. These future hall of fame quarterbacks made for a highly anticipated matchup. Peyton Manning looked calm and in control all game. He finished with another 400 yards passing and didn’t make any major mistakes. In fact, it was a pretty drama free game. Broncos 26, Patriots 16
And in some fun news, Peyton Manning raised $24,800 in donations for his foundation for at risk youth for his shouting “Omaha” at the line of scrimmage. Manning’s “Omaha” call gained national attention last week in his game against the San Diego Chargers. The donations were organized by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce with eight companies participating.
The second game of the day featured the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. The game was close and intense until the fourth quarter when 49er QB Colin Kaepernick had three turnovers. The deciding play of the game was when Kaepernick threw to his intended receiver, Michael Crabtree, with 22 seconds left in the game. Cornerback Richard Sherman deflected the pass and Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith made the interception. At this point, the game was over. What happened a minute later will be talked about for the next two weeks. Sherman was interviewed at the end of the game and went on a rant that took everyone a little by surprise (especially interviewer Erin Andrews). He yelled:
“I’m the best corner[back] in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you going to get.” This un-classy and inappropriate ranting will likely set up a storyline for the next two weeks where Broncos fans will point to Peyton Manning and his exemplary conduct vs the “bad sport” Seahawks’ Sherman. Seahawks 23, 49ers 17
Tune in for the Superbowl Sunday, Feb. 2nd, 6:00 pm ET
In the NFL, another coaching vacancy has been filled. The Minnesota Vikings parted ways with Leslie Frazier and hired Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to run the ship. Zimmer has an excellent reputation as a defensive specialist, and even gained some celebrity with his multiple appearances on HBO’s Hard Knocks show. Zimmer is very liked by players, and should be able to do some interesting things in Minnesota.
In other NFL coaching news, the New York Jets have decided to stick with their man Rex Ryan. Ryan had two pretty bad seasons with the Jets, but it looks like they’re chalking it up to too many injuries and not the right player personnel. After all, Ryan did turn around the Jets organization, and they’re banking on him continuing to stay relevant. Is Geno Smith the answer at starting quarterback? Probably not, but at least Ryan won’t have to worry about his job, and can make the right decisions next season — not ones he think will please ownership.
Finally, if you watched the Denver/San Diego game last Sunday, the only word that comes to mind is “Omaha!”. Peyton Manning yelled it so many times at the line of scrimmage that it became the catch phrase of the game. Now 5 companies in the Omaha area are hoping to exploit this in a good way. They said that everytime Manning yells “Omaha!”, they will donate $500 to charity. Hopefully Manning doesn’t change his “Omaha” call at the line to something else… say “Lincoln”?No comments
In the NFL, another head coaching change. The Lions named former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell as their new coach. Caldwell was the head coach during the second phase of Peyton Manning’s glory days with the Colts (Tony Dungy was there the first half). Caldwell has been to the Super Bowl, but lost to Drew Brees’ Saints. The Lions feel that he is the guy that can turn this franchise around.
The Chicago Cubs have unveiled their first ever mascot: “Clark” a bear cub. It’s a very cute looking little bear, but apparently, Cubs fans aren’t too happy about it. They took to Twitter and Facebook expressing some negative thoughts. The Cubs management said they thought the online backlash was despicable. Management commented that adults like sports, but so do kids, and sometimes you have to appeal to the next generation of fans.
A relic has been found. A shoe has been unearthed that is likely one of the first prototypes of the original Nike sneaker. It has a “fat belly” swoosh, which was the original design. The shoe has gone on to sell at auction for $1500 to a famous shoe collector. This story reveals some interesting trivia about Nike’s history — namely that its iconic “swoosh” logo was designed by a Portland State graphic design student Carolyn Davidson, for just $35. Here is a picture of the shoe: