Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bob "Bullet" Hayes A Hall-Of-Famer

The NFL Hall of Fame committee announced their selections for this year's hall of fame inductees. Of the six inducted, one is from my early football era and was the reason I excelled at wide receiver in football.

#22 for the Dallas Cowboys from 1965-1974 was Bob "Bullet" Hayes. When I first saw him play on television in 1970, I was mesmerized by his quickness and ability to gallop past opposing players. He was as fast as my favorite comic book hero "Flash," with one added bit of attraction: he was Black like me.

I was still kinda new to football in the early 70's. My home team New York Jets, with Joe Namaith, had won the Superbowl a year earlier and everyone was still deifying Broadway Joe. I on the other hand was trying to emulate "Bullet" during street football games. Though I didn't have the bursting speed of "the Bullet," I did have a decent pair of hands, that and a pair of Keds sneakers, allowing me to catch deep passes.

At the time, my cousin was a Washington Redskins fan and he chose Charley Taylor, running back converted to receiver, as his man to emulate. With our football models set at a young age we both went on to have decent pop-warner and high school football careers. I got to wear #22, Bob's number, for one year before they made me change to a split-end number in the 80's numbering range.

Back then I didn't know that Bob Hayes was an Olympic gold medalist. Heck, I didn't know that he was a former sprinter. All I knew about him was that on Sundays he was a deep receiving threat for the Dallas Cowboys and he wore #22. His style of running was unique in that he ran with a sort of limping quick flow that left defenders grasping at empty space where his legs once were. The best quote I read about Bob Hayes is that he wasn't just fast but that he had great football speed. Meaning, he had at least three different speeds (gears) and knew when to use which at the most opportune time.

Many football critics, past and present, have claimed that Bob Hayes didn't put up Hall-of-Fame numbers. That may be so, but we all know that getting into the Hall is not just about numbers. What Bob Hayes did was changed the way defenses played the game. Because of his speed and moves, as well as being able to catch the damn ball, Bob Hayes forced defenses out of man-to-man play and into zones.

Today zone defenses are standard but back in Bob's day everything was geared toward stopping the run. When the "Bullet" came to town, that changed. You can ask any Hall-of-Famer from that era if he remembers having to game plan for one player, many will mention Bob Hayes. While speaking with another great receiver from the 70's, #21 Cliff Branch, I shared my admiration for Bob Hayes. Branch agreed that "Bullet" was one of the great ones and deserved Hall-of-Fame status.

I believe that there are many players deserving of the Hall-of-Fame that are not in yet, including Raiders WR Cliff Branch. But there are not many players throughout the years who brought about a change in the way the game is played. If for no other reason than this, Bob Hayes is deserving of his induction into the Hall today.

As for myself, a biased fan of Bob Hayes who when just hearing the nickname "Bullet" dredges up emotions of childhood street football, today is a glorious day. I am so proud to have chosen as a football model "Bullet" Bob Hayes. He was and always will be a Super Hero among sports legends in my book.

congratulations to all the other 2009 inductees:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jim Beam Commercial Is My #1

I don't know what to expect in commercials come Super Bowl Sunday, but I was caught off guard by a Jim Beam commercial on ESPN tonight. Talk about a smooth shot of bourbon. The perfect mix of sex, sports and alcohol makes this my #1 commercial. Even if you close your eyes and just listen, its one hot skit. Cheers!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Can Raiders And 49er's Share A Stadium?

Absolutely NOT! Why? Look at the Democrats and Republicans, The Irish and Brits, The Palestinians and Israelis, The Catholics and Protestants, Males and Females.

These rivalries have endured through natural disaster, world war, civil war, economic hardship, plague, revolution, terrorist attack, slavery and the holocaust.

Asking a sports fan to "SHARE" a stadium with one of his teams most hated rivals is like tying him down, putting a funnel in his mouth and force feeding him Alpo. Sure Alpo may be more nutritious and healthier for him than that cold crusty Roundtable slice sold at the game, but it's not what experts tell us is good for our sporting health, its what our inner gut tells us. And the inner gut of many Raiders fans says "I won't tolerate any team playing home games in my stadium unless they're wearing Silver and Black," period, end of story.

You can spin the numbers all you want about how profitable a joint football stadium in the Bay Area could be (A la The Meadowlands). To have the Raiders and 49er's share a stadium is like inserting a gasoline soaked fuse into the already unstable explosive dynamite. Sooner or later one too many Niner fans will come to a Raiders game wearing red and gold with something to prove, igniting what is already an explosive relationship. Ka Boom! And then of course there would have to be retaliation come the following week. Ka Boom! A regular West Bank/Gaza Strip scenario in the Bay.

Now if the Niners were to change their colors to Silver & Black, keeping the Sucka Free "SF" on their helmets for nostalgia's sake, then maybe we could have a truce and a winning forecast for the future of both teams.

Call it childish, call it Bay Area football suicide, but I believe the feelings of most Raiders fans would be; "sure, build it and we'll come, but don't expect us to change our attitude toward any breathing mammal in another team's jersey come game day."

If you wanna feed us Alpo and tell us its hamburger helper, then fine; but don't let us peel back the label and find an Alpo label underneath. Don't slip up and leave the SF Insignia on the field the day of a Raiders game. Or have red and gold show up anywhere in the stadium on a silver and black weekend. If so, we go back to that wet, gasoline soaked fuse being inserted into the dynamite. And this time its lit and sizzling toward the explosive stick faster than you can say "First Down." Ka Boom!

So go ahead, build the damn stadium. Maybe our newly elected President Barack Obama can give the opening ceremony unity speech and inspire us all to get along.

With the 49er's and Raiders having two of the three oldest stadiums in the league, its just a matter of time before facility and land leasing circumstances force the hand of one to go shopping elsewhere for a home soon. Time will tell. Until then.............Niners Suck!

Prescription Drug Abuse Conspiracy

A lady calmly walks into a drug store and tells the pharmacist she needs some
Cyanide.



The pharmacist asks, "Why in the world do you need cyanide?"



The lady explains she needs it to poison her husband.



The pharmacist's eyes get big and he says, "Lord have mercy", I can't give
you cyanide to kill your husband.

That's against the law! I'll lose my license and they'll throw both of us
in jail and all kinds of bad things will happen!

Absolutely not, you CANNOT have any cyanide!"



The lady then reaches into her purse and pulls out a picture of her husband
in bed with the pharmacist's wife.


The pharmacist looks at the picture and replies, "Well, Hell, you didn't
tell me you have a prescription.


Some cyanide, please

Friday, January 23, 2009

Herm Edwards Fired As Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach

Could the Raiders benefit from bringing in Herm Edwards to steer the Jolly Roger? Herm is a great motivator, but hasn't really won much over the years. But I believe if you give Herm some good young talent, like the Oakland Raiders have, then he can mold that talent into a winning team. Sure, Al should at least see if Herm is interested. Just another rival finding a new home in the Silver&Black.

"You Play To Win The Game"

Ever Laugh Until You Cry?



I laughed so hard I passed gas....Twice. Its the classic case of contagious laughter. The news announcer who starts out calm and collectively telling the story turns into a huffing, hissing and helpless man overtaken by "Mutley" laughter. The looping of the video clip kept the announcer's composure from ever returning. I can still hear him laughing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

HISTORIC~


When is a picture more than just a picture? When it dredges up visions of what once was, what is today and what can be tomorrow. In other words, history past, present and future. The swearing in of America's first Black President is historic to so many in so many different ways. The beauty of it all is that we can all share in the glory of this historic moment regardless of race, creed or color. If the past administration's policies made Americans feel divided and abandoned as a result of political games and lies, then citizens should rejoice in seeing the end of such an era and the beginning of a new era of hope and change.

Mr. Bush, you may not have been the one who devised the plot to divide and conquer America, but you sure didn't seem much interested in making accountable those who did wrong. The new leadership believes we're a strong enough country to right the wrongs and heal the wounds inflicted on us these past eight years. I believe this to be so. And with that belief I bury my grief from the past. I dust myself off, lift my head high and march onward toward this new way of living in America. HOPE!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII BOUND

The Pittsburgh Steelers of the AFC will meet the NFC Champion Arizona "Freakin" Cardinals in Tampa, Fl. for Super Bowl XLIII.

No, it's not April Fool's day. The Arizona Cardinals are IN THE SUPER BOWL for their first time ever, and they just might win it all. Then again, the question for Cardinal Coach Ken Whisenhunt is how to protect QB Kurt Warner against that Steeler defensive pass rush. The same pass rush that made Joe Flacco look every bit the rookie quarterback he is.

If anyone can game plan to neutralize the Steeler defense it would be Coach Whisenhunt. Prior to becoming head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2007, Whisenhunt was Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator. I'm sure he's familiar with the Pittsburgh defensive players and their schemes since his offense had to go up against them in practices. That might be the only hope Arizona has in this matchup, that and a Freak of a Specimen in Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald, with a gazillion touchdowns in this postseason, has to be the hottest receiver, possibly player, in this year's playoffs. Warner throws the ball his way and it seems nine times out of ten Fitzgerald comes down with it. He may be the reason hall of fame WR Jerry Rice chose Arizona over Atlanta to begin the playoffs. I remember hearing two radio sports analysts mocking Rice for his Cardinal pick over Atlanta. Now we know why they're in a booth talking about sports while Rice, with little talent for television, is on a network sports panel making predictions.

I know many fans have already tuned out from the Super Bowl matchup thinking Arizona doesn't have a ghost of a chance. But non-viewers beware, these Arizona Cardinals with Larry Fitzgerald could possibly give us a show that'll make Dave Tyree's catch in last year's Super Bowl look like an easy toss and catch.

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals for their Conference Championships.

Two Weeks Until The Showdown In Tampa.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Jon Gruden "Chucked" Out of Tampa Bay


I wonder if Gruden's firing is indirectly related to the Bucs loss to the Oakland Raiders; the loss that knocked them out of the playoffs. I suppose that 31-24 Raiders win can now be added to the Silver & Black treasure chest of games that rocked the league. There has been a "fire-Jon-Gruden fan campaign for some time. I guess some Buccaneer fans have the Raiders to thank for getting their wish.

Headline: Jon Gruden Fired in Tampa Bay!

Imagine Gruden's sneer when he got the Friday afternoon boot. I don't think anyone saw it coming, least of all Chucky himself. Here's the way I picture the exchange:

Owner:
Hey Jon, I've called you into my office to give you some news that hurts me more than anything. These past seven years with you at the helm of the Buccaneer battleship has been a wonderful adventure. You took our team to that next level and won us a championship, and for that I am grateful. Nobody in Tampa will ever say it was a Tony Dungy built team that won it all. Tony may have built it, but you drove it to the finish line Jon and nobody can take that away from you. But you're driving skills have diminished and that last crash and burn against a silver and black hoopty is unacceptable. Actually, it was downright embarassing, getting knocked out of the playoffs by a hoopty out of Oaktown. The stockholders have made their decision and I'm backing it Jon.

Now I need you to get in that Chuckymobile you arrived in 7 years ago and drive yo Ass out of our Buccaneer complex, pronto. Your fired!

Buccaneers fire Gruden after late collapse.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sharks Drop a Close One - Streak is Broken


Unable to watch beyond the fumble in the 2002 "Snow Bowl" between the Raiders and Patriots on ESPN Classic Games this evening, I tuned into some NHL Hockey. Why not? The Sharks of San Jose are kicking butt throughout the league. What better time to tune in than a night after the Warriors triple over-time failure against the Sacramento Kings. I was drawn to the Sharks like a blind man to an evangelist, wanting to be "Saved."

I will say this Bay Area Sports fans. The Sharks are definitely the best game in town right about now. If you're looking to be "Saved" from the losing Hell of local sports of late, I strongly recommend having the Sharks exorcise those damned demons and raise up your spirits of hope and salvation.

When I tuned in it was about middle of the second period, a 2-2 tie. Their opponent, the Calgary Flames, were playing like it was a playoff game. I now know that many teams come into the "Shark Tank" and play their best games not only because the Sharks are the team to beat this season, but also because of their record streak of wins in regulation games at home. They haven't lost at the tank in a regulation game since February 2008.

Unfortunately, tonight that changed when a Flames shot was deflected by a Sharks stick and slithered its way into the net for the winning goal. Though the Sharks played gallantly tonight, defending remarkably during "In-The- Penalty" and "Empty Net" situations, their offensive shots just seemed to keep clanging off the Calgary goal posts. I'd swear one of those shots that hit the post crossed over the red goal line and should've been counted as a goal. I was waiting for a coaches challenge and hoping to hear those three suspenseful words; "Upon Further Review." But then again, I'm just learning the game, who am I to question that non-call.

What I liked about the Sharks style of play is their composure under pressure and never-say-die attitude. The guys fought with grit in a game where the tempo seemed off the charts. I was getting winded watching the back and forth play. The pace was really too fast for any brutal fights to break out, not that there were no teeth shattering collisions, there were many. These two teams went at each other like their seasons depended on it. The action was simply Awesome! If this is what regular season NHL play is all about, then I'm not only tuning in more often, I'm buying a Sharks ticket for some Live action soon.

In losing, the San Jose Sharks won a new fan to the game of Hockey. Go Sharks!

Final Score

Flames 3
Sharks 2

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oscar Grant - YA BASTA!


I participated in a protest march this evening. I was proud to be a part of a peaceful protest that stood up and shouted THAT'S ENOUGH (Ya Basta) to killer police in Oakland and throughout the nation. I was proud of the many races, ages and religious groups uniting to shout out in one voice as one people, ENOUGH.

We marched from Oakland's City Hall to the County Administrative Office shouting our slogans of protest and anger over the negligent Killing of Oakland resident Oscar Grant on a Bay Area Rapid Transit platform on New Year's Eve. I listened while speaker after speaker spoke passionately about fighting injustice and lawlessness in the Oakland community, be it negligent officer's or thug citizens. The Message was simple.

I AM OSCAR GRANT!

I heard this chant over and over sometimes finding myself shouting it myself with fist raised....I AM OSCAR GRANT!

And when Oscar Grant's father spoke, he made sure that the young people participating understood the responsibility they took on when shouting out the slogan. He let them know that his son, Oscar Grant III, was a responsible, loving and positive young man. And he would know, because He is Oscar Grant Jr., a man who confessed his transformation from irresponsible youth on the streets of Oakland to responsible citizen today. He was simply a father who'd had enough and was doing whatever it took to bring about a change.

I listened as guest speaker after guest speaker spoke not just revolutionary rhetoric, but laid down some heavy politics on community unity and cool headed strategy to bring about change in the Oakland community. From Father to coach to reverend, speakers rose to the challenge. Even comedian Mark Curry had his say culminating in a wild applause.

I believe the spirit of Oscar Grant was present at the protest this evening. What else could have kept the estimated crowd of over 1,500 from exploding and destroying all in their wake. And justifying it with the fact that it took 14 days for the district attorney to arrest and/or bring in for questioning the Bart policeman who shot and killed Oscar Grant. As one speaker wisely commented, this evening's protest may have been the only reason the district attorney arrested the Bart policeman today, to avoid another night of destructive outburst from the frustrated citizenry. The speaker did add that if and when the final verdict of this case is read and the verdict is not just, then the protest on that evening will be far from peaceful. The Fire Next Time!

My feelings are this: Since when does any police/patrol officer kill a citizen in these United States and not be detained for questioning? Unprecedented?

If a security guard while on-duty shot and killed the son of a district attorney, would the D.A. allow that security guard 14 days to quit his job to avoid any statement, flee to another state for his own so-called safety and not wonder why nobody is telling him anything pending a full investigation which doesn't include the perpetrator? Forget the fact that it was caught on camera from different angles and played on national news networks. Why even O.J. Simpson was contacted out-of-state within hours after the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and returned to be questioned.

I feel that not only the Bart policeman was negligent and possibly criminal in his actions, but the district attorney and Bart itself were negligent in allowing a potentially unstable criminal to walk away from a homicide and possibly harm other citizens. At least they could've had the policeman submit to a psychiatric evaluation to see if he is a harm to himself or others.

Bottom line is a young man is dead by accident or criminal intent. Can we expect truth and justice from a court who may have been negligent in their handling of this case from the start? Time will tell. Until then I encourage everyone to take a stand against police brutality and judicial injustice everywhere. Peacefully if possible, violently if necessary. Every creature on this earth has a god given right to defend itself against oppression.

"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

Frederick Douglass, 1857


Prayers to you, the child you left behind and those grieving you Oscar Grant. May your soul find peace from and forgiveness for the trials placed on its existence here on earth.

College Football Coaches Plunge Four Stories

Ever heard of the American Football Coaches Association? Don't worry, I'll bet most football fans haven't either, so you're not alone. From what I can tell, the AFCA (not to be confused with the NWCA) was established in 1922 to emphasize the ideals and and principles of mutual honor and respect among coaching peers and those they coached. A "Code of Ethics" if you will.

Well after reading about the unfortunate incident that happened at this years' annual AFCA Convention, I'm sure the ethics committee will be re-visiting some of their fundamental ideals about how coaches conduct themselves while staying in hotels during convention week.

Case and point:

Time: Tuesday at 4:10 AM
Arena: Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel Room, fourth floor (Nashville,TN)
Event: AFCA Convention
Bout: Wrestling
(non-sponsored activity)
Combatants: Assistant Coaches S. Coy and D. Demeio

Tale of the Tape:
Coy - wt. 300 pds, ht. 6ft 2in, age 29,
hometown-Newcastle, Pennsylvania
Demeio - wt.225 pds, ht. 6ft 4in, age 24,
hometown-Clinton, Ohio

Scorecard: No Decison (participants unable to return and continue bout)

Reason for stoppage: four story plunge from hotel room arena after crashing through double-paned window

Ringside Judges: Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker and Jim Beam
Referee: Old Granddad

Quote:
"These are really substantial, weather-resistant, double-paned plate glass windows. So (it's a) very strange, unusual occurrence for someone to literally come crashing through them and down onto the ground below," said Kim Keelor, Opryland Hotel spokeswoman.

Comment:
OK, so let me get this straight. Two guys. Wrestling. In their underwear. In a room. At the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Something tells me there may be more to the story.

The Storyline: Click to Read

Prayers & Get Well Gifts Send To: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Monday, January 12, 2009

R U KIDDING ME?> ARIZONA CARDINALS

This weekend's NFL Divisional Playoff games made fools of us all. The defending champion NY Giants were dethroned by the Eagles. The Pride of the AFC, the Tennessee Titans, were deflowered by the Ravens. San Dog's loss to the Steelers wasn't too much of a surprise, with Ladanian Tomlinson out of the lineup. And then there's the biggie; the Cardinals of Arizona took apart the tough defense of the Carolina Panthers in the NFC.

The Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals. Desert Storm. Kurt Warner & The Birds. You can call'em what you want to, the Arizona Cardinals are not only playing in their first NFC Championship game in the modern era, their hosting it. And many are favoring them over the Philadelphia Eagles to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLIII. Count Me In!

The Cardinals of Arizona have looked every bit the part of a champion this post season with two wins under their belt. They very well may be the Giants of 07 with one exception; Nobody Believes It.

If the Arizona Cardinals advance to the Super Bowl and win it all, it'll be hailed as the most shocking Championship run ever. Sure the N.Y. Giants won three games on the road against tough opponents, but they had a high ranked defense to ride on. The Cardinals are riding their own momentum, that's all. They seem like a team transformed and transfixed. Their coach has them believing they are Champions and it's reflected in their style of play.

Yes, the Arizona Cardinals are rewriting Football History and we're fortunate enough to witness it in HD.

Look out sports world, you're roaming into Cardinal territory. It still just doesn't sound real does it?

Florida Gators Are BCS National Champions Again!

The #2 Florida Gators convincingly defeated the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners to claim the BCS Championship last week. Gators Quarterback Tim Tebow has announced this week that he'll return for another year. Look out NCAA Football 09'.

Congratulations Florida Gators Football 2008.
Final Score
Florida 24
Oklahoma 14

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Monday, January 05, 2009

Texas Longhorns Win Fiesta Bowl

Texas running back Chris Ogbonnaya, left, breaks away from Ohio State linebacker Jermale Hines during the third quarter of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Jan. 5, 2009, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

The Texas Longhorns gave us a never-say-die performance in their come from behind win over the Ohio State Buckeyes. The two teams made Monday Night's Fiesta Bowl game a worthy preview to this coming Thursday's BCS Championship game between #1 Oklahoma and #2 Florida.

The Longhorns scored the winning touchdown of the game with 16 seconds left on the game clock. The Buckeyes fought gallantly but Texas, on their final drive with about 1:42 left, seemed determined to matriculate the ball down the field and get into the end zone.

Congratulations Texas Longhorns

Final Score
Longhorns 24
Buckeyes 21

Friday, January 02, 2009

Justin Miller Sprinting Toward NFL Recognition


Oakland Raiders kick-return specialist, #22 Justin Miller, has been named AFC special-teams player of the month (Dec-08).

He's may not be Usain Bolt,

Jamaican gold medal sprinter just named Athlete of the Year, but he sure looks faster than a speeding bullet while whizzing through opponent kickoff coverages for two touchdowns in December.

Miller, acquired from the New York Jets midway through the season, has given the Raiders special teams a knockout punch that compliments Johnnie Lee Higgins jabbing punt return success. Retaining both these young returners is almost as important as resigning punter Shane Lechler to a new contract. I beg the Raiders organization to not let the one phase of our team which showed consistent success this season, keeping us in some close games, leave the building. Please don't dismantle our Special Teams just when all three phases of our team is coming together.

Congratulations Justin Miller for forcing the league to recognize outstanding play by a Silver & Black clad soldier.


The December wind was a Raider
Blustering in from Sea
With a rollicking Song he swept along
Swaggering boisterously