Tag Archive: nfl lockout

Football is Back, So Did It Ever Leave?

August 15, 2011 Randy Neil

Seriously. The powers that are controlling football may very well be the smartest marketing group on the planet. I don’t doubt the lock-out was real. What I doubt is the fear and panic ESPN and the NFL tried to instill in fans and viewers this summer. Was anyone really going to walk away from a multi-billion dollar business?

What they did was genius, though. They single-handedly doubled everyone’s interest in football in a few short months. Now, the commentators and analyst get to say things like, “Now that football’s back” or “Thank God we have football again” like we missed something during the summer.

Fans are grateful for a football season that we all fretted wasn’t going to start until… well… when it normally starts.

With that being said, THANK GOD FOOTBALL IS BACK, THOUGH!!

To start the season right, the NFL gave us the Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony. Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Shannon Sharpe… screw the Hall-of-Fame award, give them Academy Awards! Did you see their award speeches? All of them were over-the-top tear-jerkers that would make any grown man cry. “Whether you hate him or love him, you knew him as…. PRIME TIME.” I suppose I’d be full of myself if I was being inducted into the Hall-of-Fame, too. I just wouldn’t want everyone to cry about it.

David Akers, long time kicker for the Eagles, was traded this year. As the longest active Eagle in football, he wanted to thank all the fans for his time spent in this wonderful city. He rented an entire billboard on I-95 for a month just to say thank you. Well, I’d like to say, “Thank you, David Akers. That, was a super classy gesture.” I wonder what would happen if McNabb pulled something like that when he was traded.

Speaking of classy, I didn’t get much of a chance to bitch about caddy Steve Williams. It’s a funny thing that the media does to people. As Tiger Woods caddy, Williams never discussed anything with the media and often shunned them. After being fired, he became the most vocal person in the world. It’s kind of a double-edge sword though. The media made this a story. They took it and blew it up into something much bigger than it should have been.

Now, I can’t say that Williams isn’t to blame for this, but when the spotlight was shined on him more brightly than ever, he did what any man would do, and talked. It’s tough to remain steadfast in your morals when you find yourself being discussed on national television.

What’s most ironic is how the media turned on the man after the story got so big it imploded upon itself. You can’t ever blame the media, because it’s not a real person. The media is, and always will be, a blameless entity. Were they partially at fault for trying to manifest interest in something that really shouldn’t have been that big in the first place? Probably. It’s remarkable that they can then change the story to, “Steve Williams draws too much attention to himself.” as if that wasn’t their doing in the first place.

The media begged him for his story, and then when he delivered, they scolded him for selfishness and poor timing. Just as they did with Lebron, and countless others, it’s how the story goes.

On the lighter side of things, Bert & Ernie from our beloved Sesame Street released an announcement (again) to the press this week that they were in fact, not gay. A group of people started a petition online to suggest that “the couple” gets married on television to inspire kids and help the cause for same-sex marriages. The Children’s Television Workshop (producers of the characters) then had to release a statement stating that “the two are not homosexual, because they are puppets, and puppets have no sexual-orientation.”

That is hilarious. Whether you’re for or against same-sex marriage, the idea of puppets transforming themselves to any sort of figure for civil rights is comical. My rebuttal to CTW (if I had one) is, “What about Kermit and Ms. Piggy?” Wasn’t she always trying to get with Kermit? Isn’t that sexual orientation? Ugh, I can make an argument out of anything….

Enjoy your football. Til next time folks….


The Wild Wild West Football Jamboree

July 27, 2011 Randy Neil

Football is back!  The lock-out is over.  The entire off-season free agency saga will be shoved into a few small weeks and teams are scrambling like never before.

Players are getting cut.  Free-agents are getting signed.  It’s gotta be pretty tough for players who sat through the entire lock-out, supporting their teams, their teammates, enduring their “harsh” summer, only to find out the day an agreement is made for football to resume that they’ve been cut and no longer have a job.  There’s a huge list of players out of a job now and their time frame to get a job back is shorter than ever.

Derrick Mason.  Marion Barber.  Sidney Rice.  Kevin Kolb.  Donovan Mcnabb.  Vince Young.  Plaxico Burress.  Terrell Owens.  Kyle Orton.  There’ s a veritable buffet of free agents just waiting to be woo’d to a specific team.  And it’s all happening in 15 days!!

I almost wish the NFL forced this every year.  This free-for-all is much more exciting to watch than a 8 month long snooze-fest.  Teams are frantically fighting over highly-desired free agents and we get to sit back and watch all the madness like the mob sitting in a saloon peering out at the duel between gunslingers.  Get ta’ slinging.

Carson Palmer, on the other hand, has taken the reigns himself in what may be the most stubborn, career-ending move since Jake “The Snake” Plummer.  If you don’t recall, “The Snake” was set to be traded by Mike Shanahan (of the Broncos) to the Buccaneers, and instead, decided to retire.  He was 31 at the time (I believe) and left football with a 39-17 record.

Palmer is getting ready to do the exact same thing.  Carson is threatening to retire if he isn’t traded from the dysfunctional Bengals before the season starts.  Now, I don’t blame him for wanting to leave the Bengals, because they suck.  He knows it.  I know it.  They don’t run an organization very well.  The Bengals don’t want to trade him (mainly because of that little thing we call a contract, that… ya know… legally binds you) and owner Mike Brown held a press conference yesterday saying Palmer was “retired.”

This could get ugly.  Does anyone remember last year when Ochocinco threatened to do the exact same thing?  He wanted out of Cincinnati, and guess where he played last year?  Cincinnati.  Me thinks this may have the same outcome.  Otherwise, the Bengals are stuck with their back-ups, Palmer #2, Jordan, or draft pick Andy Dalton.

There’s another trading block that deserves some attention.  A small, small amount of attention.  The MLB trade deadline is Sunday and the only big names that could be traded are Heath Bell and Carlos Beltran.  It’s laughable listening to some of these analysts discuss Beltran’s worth.  They’re talking about him like he’s going to be the tipping point for some team to get to the World Series.  Beltran??  Really??

Halfway through the season, I’ve got my World Series picks already.  Yankees/Phillies.  That’s it.  Bring it on.



She Says the Jungle… It Just Came Alive and Took Him.

July 20, 2011 Randy Neil

Alright, I have to start off by discussing how epic Adam’s bachelor party was.  Usually when I wake up at 8 am to do anything, I’m tired, frustrated, cold, irritable, and just no fun to be around.  Thankfully, it didn’t matter.  This sort of behavior was encouraged when we went paintballing with around 15 of our friends and some guy who looked like a cross between Rambo and a native American.  Rambo, and his army of children, led us into the backwoods of Delaware to engage in epic warfare through 95 degree weather.

Now, aside from the strange discipline Rambo was instilling on his kids (like having them face a wall for 10 minutes straight when asking for a slice of pizza), the highlight of the event had to be the BACHELOR RUN.  Adam, and his brother Noah (a.k.a. the Wolfman, a.k.a. the best man, a.k.a. Chett Gentry), were forced to run a 100 yard dash across an open field with 14 other gentlemen firing as many rounds of paint as they could at their poor defenseless bodies.

Picture a wall of arrows from the opening scene in Gladiator.

Although I originally envisioned me standing atop a mound of bodies with two guns in my hands and a cigar, I have to say I did alright.  What does “alright” entail?  Mostly me hiding in a patch of trees and shrubbery frantically shooting at nothing through foggy goggles.  Most of the matches ended with me either being shot from someone I never saw, or running out of ammo and CO2.

In order for me to feel satisfied, I had to have a better round.  It was our last match, and I decided to go full-on Arnold Schwarzenegger and just rush the center.  I held down a bunker for the entire match and took out 3 people.  I had used every paintball in my hopper, and exited the field knowing I had given it my all.  Hear that?  That’s the sound of me patting myself on the back.  Well done, Randy.

With sports finally coming off the most boring stretch of time during the year, I’ll pick apart some of this week’s gems.

Shut up about the lock-out.  Nobody cares.  I don’t care.  ESPN has religiously been covering 120 agonizing days of legal scrutiny that has no bearing over fans whatsoever.  Don’t try to make it sound like it does either.  If NFL rookies can’t get their salaries raised for another year, guess who that affects?  The rookies.  That’s it.  Not me, not how I watch football, not how hard they play… pretty much nothing except for the ticket price.  Stop making this relevant news when it was really meant to be a ‘behind closed doors’ kind of lawsuit.  To think that people would walk away from a multi-billion dollar business and post-pone football is stupid.  This, i declare to be, drama-fluff.

Danny Valencia hit a 2-run walk-off single last night for the Twins.  Not a big deal right?  Cool part about the story is that he did it off of his old college roommate who happened to be shit-talking before the game.  Basically, the Indian’s closer Chris Perez said something like, “I’ll just pitch him sliders.  He can’t hit sliders.  You can tell him I said that, too.”  So it was fitting that with 2 on, 2 outs, bottom 9, Danny Valencia comes up to bat against his long-time friend Perez and hits a single.  Best part is, there were 4 pitches in that at-bat and Perez never through a slider once.

Shaq has officially become an NBA analyst and already started talking smack on his old time rival, Chris Bosh.  Actually, I can’t even call this a rivalry.  Shaq just bullies the shit out of Chris Bosh.  When Shaq was still playing and Bosh was on the Raptors, O’Neal said something like, “Chris Bosh is the RuPaul of big men in the league.”  Ouch.  Bosh’s rebuttal was pretty pussified at the time and thus the fire simmered down.  Well in his debut as an analyst, Shaq excluded Bosh from the “Big 3” of the Heat and simply referred to Wade and James as the “Big 2.”  He’s pretty much owning Bosh.  Let this be a lesson kids : Don’t ever take the Ja Rule way out of a fight.  You either win that debate or die trying.