Tag Archive: nfl

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….


Humble as I Mumble to Spaghetti Junction

August 12, 2011 Adam Thomas

1.) Did you know that the Outkast classic Stankonia is 11 years old?  Can you believe that?  Do you feel old?  I do.

Stankonia was one of my favorite albums in high school, but I hadn’t listened to it in years.  In fact, as time passed, I started to feel like it was a tad bit overrated. Rolling Stone ranked it as the 359th greatest album of all time. Pitchfork had it at 13 of the greatest albums of the 2000s.

Well, I listened to it yesterday.  I am listening to it now.  Is it overrated?  Hell NO!  If anything, it may be a tad bit underrated.

Listen to the album from start to finish, skits and everything. It is incredible.  Special shout outs to “Humble Mumble,” “Spaghetti Junction” and “Red Velvet” and the skits “Drinkin’ Again” and “Cruisin’ in the ATL.”

I cannot believe that this album is 11 years old.  I feel like if it was released 11 years from now, it’d still sound ahead of its time. It combines fun, tragic, upbeat, emotional and unsettling tracks all into one great album, and it’s hard to find an album that fuses so many musical elements together as successfully and seamlessly as this one.

“B.O.B.” is the lynchpin to the whole album. The song is just flat out incredible.  It is no surprise that Pitchfork ranked it as the best song from the 2000’s. As they so eloquently put it, “”B.O.B.” is not just the song of the decade– it is the decade.”

I couldn’t have said it any better.

2.) Speaking of Outkast, has any artist ever had a more impressive 3 album run than them?  ATLiens, Aquemini and Stankonia.  What artist can match up with that?  The only one I can think of is Radiohead with The Bends, O.K. Computer and Kid A, but they aren’t as great as the three Outkast albums (too depressing).

If anyone says anything about the Beatles in the comments, they automatically get disqualified. I’ve never listened to a Beatles album start to finish.  Blasphemy?  Nope, just the product of being one of Big Neil’s progeny.

Listening to the Beatles for me is like watching tapes of basketball from the 1960’s.  I’m told how great a player was (just like folks try to sell me on the Beatles), but then when I see them in action (or hear them play), it just doesn’t do it for me.  They look slow.  They sound boring.

3.) Michael Lombardi’s “Blue Chip” player thing is quite possibly the stupidest ranking system I have ever heard.  Really, Mike, the best NFL teams are the ones with the most “Blue Chip” or “good” football players?  You don’t say.  My mind is freaking blown.

4.) Can we have a moment to recognize the awfulness that is Vince’s dad in Season 5 of Friday Night Lights? If I hear that man talk about how much he likes pie in one more episode, I am going to scream!

5.) The Phillies are pretty good, eh?  I may have been juuuust a bit off when I predicted that they wouldn’t make the playoffs…just a little bit.

Until next time…


Fire Jeff Davidson

September 13, 2010 Randy Neil

altWho is Jeff Davidson?  A moron.  The offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers (yes, I’m a Panthers fan… bring on the boos) who has to be probably the most idiotic play caller in the history of football.

Hear me out.  Yesterday in Carolina’s loss to the New York Giants (who are supposed to suck, and will suck), the Panthers walked into the locker rooms at half-time up 16-14 after a 19 yard pass to Steve Smith with 7 seconds left.  It was awesome. 

That’s pretty much where the greatness ended, and Carolina’s red zone offense turned into Tom Coughlin’s skin: a big sloppy mushy pale-colored mistake.  

Let me read you the result of each drive the Panthers had after halftime.  Fumble, Punt, Intercepted Pass, Intercepted Pass, Fumble, Punt.

Most notably in the 4th quarter, Jeff Davidson kept calling PASS after PASS even after it’s continuing unsuccessful results.  One drive, with 14 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Davidson calls 14 pass plays in a row.  FOURTEEN!!  We managed to get a 1st and goal on the 4 yard line and instead of using our 2 incredibly talented running backs, Davidson calls 4 pass plays which results in a interception, no points. 

The next two possessions…. a pick and a fumble whilst trying to throw.  Neither drive lasted longer than 2 plays each. 

I’m not gonna defend Jake Delhomme, I simply can’t, but I remember two years ago in the NFC Championship game where Jake threw 5 picks after an insane run of 40+ pass attempts and <10 rushing attempts after being down 1 TD to the Cardinals.  Don't send Matt Moore down the same sad road.

You have 2 of the elite running backs in the game on your team and don’t put the ball in their hands ONCE on the 4 yard line?  2 years ago we were 12-4 with an almost identical roster.  We were 4-1 with Matt Moore in the last 5 games of the season last year.  Stick to what works.  Stick to what has worked.  Run the ball. 

Even the commentators were clowning Davidson’s ass during the game.  Time to give ol’ dirty John Fox the responsibilities. 



Tony Dungy, I’m So Puzzled By You

August 23, 2010 Randy Neil

altObviously in the past few weeks people have been hearing the big “controversy” of Tony Dungy and his criticism of Rex Ryan’s coaching methods.  Dungy has made it a point to call out Rex Ryan on the use of profanity in his training sessions and airing it on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” show where people are exposed to the vulgar words.  

In what he calls a ‘not personal’ attack on Rex Ryan, Dungy explains how he wouldn’t give Ryan a job based on his constant use of the ‘F’ word, repeatedly saying it’s unnecessary and that the NFL commissioner should take action against him being able to do so.  He warns how children and even some adults may be exposed to the vulgarity that is not representing the NFL well. 

I have a few different takes on this whole ordeal, but really the first thing that comes to mind is : If your so upset at Rex Ryan for coaching in a way that may represent the NFL in a bad light, shouldn’t you be upset at Roger Goodell for signing a contract with HBO to profit from something he gave the green light to? 

If anyone should be held accountable for the actions you’ve deemed to be so terrible, wouldn’t it be the NFL themselves?  They are not only promoting the ‘Hard Knocks’ television show, they are profiting from it.  Ya’ boy Roger Goodell is running the show.  You think he wasn’t aware of what would be representing the NFL when this show aired?  Is he complaining about it? 

To think that NFL players and coaches don’t use profane language is obviously foolish and naïve.  Everyone knows it, but it’s true that not everyone should be exposed to it.  What Tony Dungy is saying really isn’t all that awful.  The idea behind his self-righteous douchebag crusade really is that he doesn’t want vulgar language representing the NFL.  Ok, that’s valid.  Kinda dumb, but valid.  I don’t ever have a problem with the idea of trying to make something cleaner and more morally sound.  Dungy is just doing it in a such a stupid way, he can’t help but receive criticism. 

I don’t want to dip too much into Dungy’s personal life, but it’s obvious that his religious morals are behind a majority of his decisions.  His very public opinion on banning same-sex marriage doesn’t fair well for him, I don’t agree with it, but I do know that there are a large majority of Americans who think just like he does.  Somehow in the past few years, he’s also turned into the “go-to mentor” for almost every black athlete that’s been involved in criminal activity, most notably Michael Vick.  How’s that going for ya Dungy?  Bad?  Yea… real bad.

It’s foolish for Dungy to think that his religious morals will influence others to make major changes in their lifestyles, and it’s also foolish for him to believe that NFL training camps won’t have cursing.  With that being said, the man has also done some incredibly positive things in his life.  People often use their religious beliefs to back what would normally be very noble opinions, and thus the opinion gets lost.  He’s a positive role model.  It’s not a terrible critique of the NFL’s image, but he’s being a douche bag about it, and he’s essentially blaming the wrong people, in my opinion.

All I’m saying is, there’s often two sides to every story.  I understand the difference between the family side of the NFL, and the going to Lincoln Financial Field during a Cowboys-Eagles game side of the NFL.  You can’t ask the fans to stop cursing Tony Romo’s name in the stands, because it’s just simply not going to happen.  It’s about me exposing my child (or even myself) to the game.  I’m going to show my kid Remember the Titans, not Any Given Sunday.

They’re both very real sides of the NFL.  You can get mad that they exist, and try to prevent them from being so prevalant in the NFL, but Rex Ryan ain’t running the show Mr. Dungy.