Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Da Bears Twitter-Gate

Jay Cutler and television personality girlfriend Kristin Cavallari

The story of Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler's questionable MCL knee injury has gripped the city of Chicago, and the nation, by storm. Sports fans in the windy city are on a witchhunt after losing to their rival Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship this past Sunday. It appears their quitting quarterback has been targeted to be tarred, feathered and burned at the stake in the public square.

The social networking service "Twitter" is fueling the flames in this crazy story. Whether Da Bears quarterback was seriously hurt when leaving the game in the third quarter or just "punk'd" by the Packer defense are the arguments hitting the air, data and journal waves.

Cutler, who's hasn't been well received in his young 6-year career due to his a$$itude, made matters worse by dining in public at Maestro's restaurant with his girlfriend hours after the 21-15 loss to the Pack. The crime Cutler committed:

He allegedly took the stairs to Maestro's upstairs dining area on a bad knee, but couldn't man-up and stand in the pocket throwing passes on it.

What may have been just a hungry, injured athlete trying to forget one of the most disappointing losses of his career is being spun into an in-your-face "screw da bears" flipoff by angry fans. If he'd won the game I'm sure Maestro patrons would've carried his sore a$$ upstairs to dine.

C'mon Chicago, leave that stuff to Philly and let the man heal. Here's an excerpt from an article in the Chicago Tribune today:

Or maybe the whole MCL tear story is an elaborate ruse to divert attention from the fact that Jay Cutler started the O'Leary fire, helped throw the 1919 World Series and actually is Steve Bartman.

And they wonder why the Cubbies can't win a World Series!

note: In other Chicago news a car salesman in the windy city was fired for wearing a Green Bay Packers necktie to work monday, the day after the loss. Now THIS is a story worthy of twittering.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pro Bowl Punter

Shane Lechler does former Raider Ray Guy proud by appearing in his sixth Pro Bowl this coming weekend. Lechler' consistancy has been the sweetest ingredient on a Raiders lackluster squad of past years. We don't call him "Sugar Shane" for nothing. He's the NFL's current all-time leader in career punting average.

Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2010
Punts 855
Punt Yards 40,429
Punting Yard Average 47.3

Closing In On 50 In Dog Years

If you've been around sports long enough you'll have days where father time taps you on the shoulder with a look back at sports memories that seem like eons ago. You'll open a newspaper or online sports page and see a name, event or incident that warps you back to a time and place so familiar that you question whether it could've been so long ago. Not surprising that the older you get, the more father time seems to tap your shoulder with glimpses into the past.

And so it was for me this morning, that familiar tap from father time as I scanned the front page of my morning newspaper seeing that Jack LaLanne, the Godfather of Fitness, had passed away at 96 years old. I never knew he was from Oakland, California.

Though Jack may not conjure up memories of competitive sports, his television show in the 60's introduced myself and many other Americans to physical exercise as a way of improving health and stamina. Mind you I entered kindegarten with the muscular image and encouraging words of Jack LaLanne as part of my preschool home training. No Fear!

Other names that provoked a poke from father time this morning were:

Marcus Camby, the tall shot blocking center from UMass. Memories of Camby helping his team to the NCAA Final Four in 1996 with an overall tourney record 43 blocked shots in 11 games. This is his 15th season in the NBA. Fifteen frickin seasons since the #1 seeded University of Massachusetts Minutemen took on the eventual tournament champion Kentucky Wildcats. Camby earned the 1996 National Player of the Year award.

Vince Ferragamo, who quarterbacked the 1980 Los Angeles Rams to its first Super Bowl appearance. Thirty-one years since Ferragamo led a wild-card team with a new female owner (Georgia Frontiere) mighty close to upsetting the dynastic Pittsburgh Stealers in Super Bowl XIV. Didn't know he was once a Cal Golden Bear, competing against the likes of Steve Bartkowski, before transferring to Nebraska.

Steve Bartkwoski, I remember him getting the snot beat out of him while trying to quarterback a pitiful Atlanta Falcons team. Here's what I didn't remember about the Bartman: Bartkowski was chosen with the first overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft, ahead of Walter Payton, by the Atlanta Falcons and was the NFL Rookie of the Year as well as The Sporting News NFC Rookie of the Year in 1975. He was the first client of sports agent Leigh Steinberg.
Bartkowski is one of only eight quarterbacks in NFL history who have achieved consecutive 30-touchdown passing seasons (1980 & 1981) at least one time in their career. The others are Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Dan Fouts, Jeff Garcia, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and Y.A. Tittle. Bartkowski was selected to the Pro Bowl after both the 1980 and 1981 seasons and was selected 2nd Team All-NFC following the 1980 campaign. Bartkowski led the NFL in passing in 1983 with a passer rating of 97.6.

New York Jets, though they couldn't overcome the Pittsburgh Steeler scoring barrage this weekend, I'm sure many New Yorkers like myself were reliving every morsel of memory from the 1969 Super Bowl Champions. The Jets feisty comeback to make the game respectable allowed images of Broadway Joe (Joe Namath) to surface, if only for a stinking quarter. Maybe, if only QB Mark Sanchez had guaranteed the win, yesterday's outcome would've been different. Then again, maybe not.

Rest Well Jack !
Jack LaLanne

One of Jack's great quotes shouted at a San Francisco Chronicle reporter:
"Would you give your dog a cigarette and a doughnut for breakfast every morning?"

Clips from The Jack LaLanne Show:
The Dog Diet
The Slave
Bad Habits
Body and Mind Connection

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Raiders Press Conference

"We Want To Be Great"

Today's press conference where owner Al Davis introduced new Head Coach Hue Jackson was inspiring. If you wanted good Big Al sound bites, you got it. If you wanted Al throwing out statistics and history, you got it. If you wanted Al threatening to pull out a blackboard, you got it. But most importantly if you wanted to know who Hue Jackson is, you definitely got it.
Hue didn't do a Mike Singletary "we want winners" speech. Instead he reminded us that the Raiders have winners and his job is to put those winners in a position to compete for the Super Bowl championship come next season.

Hue was courageous and clear about his appreciation for the opportunity and his outlook to return the Raiders to greatness. Hue made his presence known without needing Al to hold his hand, something past Raiders head coaches lacked. Hue spoke and the press parted the waters to allow his vision to flow through the airways unimpeded. The man's confidence in himself and the Raiders was felt. Rex Ryan ain't got nothing on Hit'em Hard Hue.

It may turn out to be one of the best press conferences in recent Raiders history. No dodging questions, no pointing blame, no getting sidetracked by accusatory questions. The press was civil in their questions and "Coach Al" along with Coach Hue obligingly delivered. Much was said about the success of last season, but Hue said it best when he wrapped up his vision and that of the Raiders organization in five words:

"We Want To Be Great"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Someone's Gotta Answer For Disrespecting Jets


Hue Wanted It. Hue Got It!

Oakland Raiders welcome the promotion of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to Head Coach. We all know the story of how Hue put a spark in the 2010 Raiders offensive production. Now we'll see if Hue can lead the entire team to the next level.

Hue's resume' carries 25 years of history in both professional and college. The good with Hue is that the team maintains some continuity in the coaching staff. Not sure who if anyone will take over calling the offensive plays from Hue.

Hue The Man Hue!

Now we await defensive coordinator John Marshall's replacement. Could be former Raiders DC Rob Ryan returning for a second tour of duty. Whatever it takes to get us to the promised land.

Ageless Wisdom in Senior Moment Movie

from the movie "How About You"

My review on the movie "How About You." Its movies like this that remind us to stop bitching about what life hasn't given us and begin appreciating the privilege of being alive for a day. Life really does have a brilliant sparkle to it if we remove the lens of hate, prejudice, fear and selfishness. Honestly it does!

This movie snuck up and surprised me with its wisdom and lessons on life. You always hear how older people carry much wisdom for the young to learn from. Well in this movie that theory is a bit flipped and its the younger person reminding the older of how to continue living a joyful life, even if getting old, as they say, is a pain in the rear end.

There's a part in this movie that I connected with so much, even though I haven't reached that big five-o year yet. Possible Spoiler Alert:

Its where a terminally ill senior is sitting and reflecting on life with the young aide she's recently befriended. The scene itself is almost dreamlike as the two are sitting in the winter foilage next to a stream with snowflakes falling.

The senior says, "You see things properly just as you're about to leave. And its as if you're seeing them for the first time. Everything seems to shine."

Now maybe it was the medicinal marijuana the young lady had given the senior to puff on that gave her this profound vision on life, but I'd like to think it was the result of being closer to her maker that inspired feelings of connectivity to everything in the world. Either way, its a moment that echoed through the rest of the movie for me.

Many, like myself, who've survived a debilatating illness, remember similar feelings like this senior woman had at that moment. Life seems to sparkle at you from all corners of the universe during or after a near-death experience. And if we recognize that sparkle we can't help but return a sparkling smile at life, just as this senior did.

Ageless wisdom at its finest!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jets Sleepover In Foxboro

The AFC's No.1 seed has been put to bed by the 6th seeded New York J.E.T.S. Jets, Jets, Jets.

QB Tom Brady and the Bill Belichek coached New England Patriots, the football darlings of nearly every media outlet, was out-scored, out-coached and flat out out-played by the brash Jets.

The New York team appeared to be the better team with their consistent defensive play. The Jets made the Patriots vaunted offense look helpless at times and frustrated Brady throughout the game. I've never seen a team employ a three-man rush to shut down a quality passer like the Jets employed today. Brady had plenty of time to throw but the Jets limited his long ball and big play ability.

New England gave their home crowd brief windows of hope a few times, but the Jets kept coach Rex Ryan's bare beefy foot on the Patriots necks just enough to put them to sleep. By the time Jets RB Shonn Green fell to sleep in the endzone following a 16-yard scoring rush, Patriots players and fans appeared to be tapping out of the contest.

Final Score
Jets 28
Patriots 21

AFC Divisional Playoff Matchup

I've really been trying to stay away from all the media stuff being slung between the New York Jets and New England Patriots. But I must admit I couldn't ignore some of the creative internet postings that reflect the total hatred these two fan bases have for one another. You guys are BRUTAL!

Among accusations that Patriots QB Tom Brady is a wimp and Jets trash talkers writing a check their a$$es can't cash, the hyped internet football fans are slinging some vicious insults (assaults) of their own.

Just so happens that this final game of four this weekend, scheduled to kickoff in less than 30 minutes, is the third one to pit division rivals against one another. So who will win this Nor'easter? The buttheads or the wimps! I'm riding with the buttheads, even if they do resemble a tuckrule infraction in this characterization.

B.R.A.D.Y video still a smash hit on Youtube!

Only Al Davis knows for sure............

This sentence says more about the future of Oakland Raiders football than any other attempting to define the machinations of the organization today.

Only Al Knows!

Its been the truth about the organization since 1972 when Al Davis led a coup d' etat to wrestle control from his partners via a revised partnership agreement. Check out how it supposedly went down:

In 1972, while managing general partner Wayne Valley was attending the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Davis drafted a revised partnership agreement that made him the new managing general partner, with near-absolute control over team operations.

So as principal owner/general managing partner of the Raiders of today, and still demonstrating an uncanny ability of taking behind the scenes risks, Big Al has ousted a head coach and defensive coordinator without us the fans, the supposed 12th-man partner in the Raider Nation, given as much as a hint about future generalship of the team.

You'll find plenty of speculation on what Al's coaching, as well as player, plans are for the 2011 NFL season. The speculation heated up when it was revealed that Pro Bowl cornerback
Nnamdi Asomugha became a free-agent by contract default and could begin shopping his shutdown skillz around the league. This morning it began sizzling with the teams' release of Defensive Coordinator John Marshall. But Al ain't talking and risking tilting his hand, even as grievance charges are filed against him by fired coach Tom Cable as we speak. Let'em talk.

With a newNFL Owner/Player
Collective Bargaining Agreement due this 2011 season, it appears Al is just playing the table and not ready to show his cards yet. He'll stall, exhibit various facial expressions, remain silent and continue plotting while all the time observing the table and his opponents. When the time is right he'll make a call and show his cards. Until then expect Al to confide in nobody, not even a minority partner.

To us who know Al and feel entitled to a peek behind the scenes, we should know better. For the outsiders and enemies wanting to be the first to critique Al's method of thinking and weaken his control of the table, its very simple; only Al knows.

And if you were to ask Al directly I'm sure you'd get a wise-guy answer like "Its Just Business." Because when it really boils down to it, it might be sports to many of us, but to Al first and foremost its just business. Only Al knows.



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sarah Palin Gives Riveting Response

I believe this Sarah Palin clip was intended to be her scripted response to the violent attack in Tuscon, Arizona where six people died and twenty were injured last Saturday. If you ask me the clip comes across as a politicking ad campaign and reflects little if no healing message for our country or those devastated by this terrible disaster. Where's the love Sarah? Where is the sincerity in sharing their pain, our pain? She should have stopped about 30 seconds into the script.

Sarah probably delivers one of her best scripted speeches on record, however, the moment sadly called for a less practiced and more genuine talk (see President Obama memorial speech) with a grieving nation. Its not what she said as much as what she didn't say or show. She didn't show true compassion. Now, because of her winded plea for ........... party peace, the Jewish community is outraged at her use of the term "Blood Libel." We as a nation should pray for Sarah. Hopefully she'll get it someday.

A Youtube commentor said it best: Thank You Koiman23

I have never seen a more crafty, albeit stupid, sociopath than Sarah Palin. She has an ability to take a national tragedy and turn into something about HER, and while doing so, make it look like she's FOR something positive for the nation. I understand how gullible people think she's great... I have a trust, however, that a significant majority of us see her for what she is: a narcissistic, self-serving megalomaniac. But that's just me, I'm just a PhD in clinical psychology.

koiman23 6 minutes ago koiman23 6 minutes ago

Low Risk - Big Reward

The sparkle of the flag of Thine
Is victory that is shining.
The Stars and Sun of it
Forevermore shall never dim.

Land of the sun, of glory, and loving,
Life is Heaven in Thine embrace.
'Tis our joy, when there be oppressors,
To die because of Thee.
(ending verses of original Philippine National Anthem)

Current WBC Super-Welterweight Champion
Current WBO Welterweight Champion
Won 10 world titles in 8 different weight classes
Fighter of the Decade (2000)
Fighter of the Year (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010)
So why at 32 years old is Philippine Congressman Pacquiao still putting on boxing gloves and climbing into the ring defending his boxing crown? To continue showing the world the never dimming sparkle of Philipine Pride, A Pride to Die For!

Here's a link to an interesting article about the May 7th Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Mosley welterweight title fight coming soon. It basically states what many in boxing already know; Pacman is the current "cash cow" in the sport and promoters are milking the heifer like there's no tomorrow.

Can you blame a promoter for doing what he does best, cashing in on opportunity? As of today, Pacman is the hottest boxer in the sport. Sugar Shane is a 39-year-old former welterweight champ who still draws money. At 39, Sugar may still pack a punch but can he match the speed and quickness of Pacquiao? Let's not be ridiculous, we all know the answer to that. And yet we'll pay to see it won't we?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guns Don't Kill People (NRA)

My heart went out to all the victims, witnesses, families and lone gunman involved in the tragic Phoenix, Arizona incident this past weekend. Many questions are being asked and there's probably just as many blameable reasons for how something like this can happen. And No sports fans, the weird yet loveable character Uncle Fester of Addams Family fame (shown above),was never a suspect.

The fact is that it happened and the most urgent question we need answered is how to prevent something like this from happening again? For me the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" applies here. One look at the picture of this obviously disturbed young man below tells me he was out of touch and in need of some type of outreach.

From what I've gathered about 22-year old Jared Loughner, the signs were there and alarms had been triggered in the past. I wonder though if he sported the same look of ecstasy when buying the gun, that he does here in this picture of him moments after killing 6 and injuring 14 with it? If so, then what does that say about the salesman who sold him the gun? Hell, what does it say about us Americans?

I return to another saying I used to see on bumper stickers as a youngster: Guns don't kill people, People kill people!

Let Us Pray.

Jared Lee Loughner's Disturbing Mugshot

EmailPrint..Saul Relative Saul Relative – Tue Jan 11, 1:55 pm ET

The mugshot photo of Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused of shooting 20 people, six of whom were killed, in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday morning, is nothing if not disturbing. Too reach for a more mundane descriptor, it is "creepy." And it isn't disturbing or creepy simply due to some unfortunately strange features of Loughner. Quite the contrary, for Loughner seems to have a rather unremarkable set of features. The mugshot photo of Jared Lee Loughner is unsettling because of the self-satisfied smile and his seemingly eager, intense gaze.

The mugshot is anything but the typical jailhouse photo of the disheveled, the drunken, the sullen, and/or the shamed.

Loughner stares straight at the camera, a seemingly unnatural intensity to his gaze that a pop psychologist might refer to as concentrated, direct, even defiant and a wide-eyed sort of way. A quick off-the-cuff reactive diagnosis might see Loughner labeled as "psychopathic," especially in light of the heinous act he had committed just minutes before the photo was taken. And the smile would only add to the pop psychologist's choice of descriptive words about a man that seems satisfied with himself, perhaps even smug and prideful, almost to the point of giddiness and laughter.

But it is definitely the self-satisfied smile upon the bald young man's face that lends the "creep" factor to the mugshot.

Mugshots of those who commit crimes are offered to the public as a way to put a face with the name, to allow the public its moment of scornful condemnation for a criminal act, and to add to the onus of shame being placed upon the suspected or arrested criminal.

There is little doubt that actor Nick Nolte's now famous wild-haired mugshot photo is a source of shame for the talented thespian. And there is little doubt that Lindsay Lohan has flashbacks of regret when she sees that sullen-eyed younger version of herself staring petulantly from the mugshot taken of her after her arrest for DUI and cocaine possession.

But there is none of that in Loughner's mugshot. He seems to be sharing a joke with himself, ready at any second to burst out laughing. The image is -- in a word -- unnerving.

The photo only seems to reinforce what is generally known about the 22-year-old college student that showed up at a Tucson political outreach gathering held by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, representative to Arizona's 8th District, and began shooting into the crowd. The mugshot can easily be seen as a reflection of a man driven, easily the same man that had posted rambling writings of perceived conspiracies of government interference in the lives of the governed, not to mention a seeming persecuted dissatisfaction with the government altogether. The image seems supportive of the idea that Jared Lee Loughner was (and is) mentally unstable in some way, a troubled young man who somehow allowed his political fears and convictions to over-ride normal personal and social constraints to commit a heinous act of premeditated and wanton violence against his fellow Arizonans.

Loughner has refused to talk with authorities about the shooting. He has as yet refused to cooperate with authorities, leaving investigators and the public at large only speculation thus far as to his true motive for committing such a horrendous crime.

Loughner was charged with five counts at his arraignment in an Arizona courtroom on Monday. His charges included the attempted shooting assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who appears to have been his primary target, and who still clings to life in critical condition at University Medical Center in Tucson. Loughner was also charged with the killing of federal employees, including a staff aide to Giffords and District Court of Arizona Chief Justice John Roll.

Loughner also faces non-federal charges in the shooting incident.

Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own articles

Should Mentally Ill Be Locked Up?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oregon Does Pac-10 Proud in BCS Title Game

Its was the best BCS Championship game I've seen since witnessing Texas with Vince Young take down a USC Trojans team that featured Reggie Bush and Matt Leinert.

Just a damn good college football game. The #1 Tigers were probably the better team, but the #2 Oregon squad made adjustments, made defensive plays and if not for a weird play where the Tiger runner was ruled not-down may have found themselves battling into an over-time scenario.
Game tied at 19-19 with seconds to play. You cant ask for much more in a Championship game.

The Pac-10 was well represented in this battle. Congratulations go out to Auburn QB Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers, 2010 NCAA Football Champions!

Final Score
Oregon 19
Auburn 22

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Raiders Cut Cable, Press Conference "Blacked Out"

Oakland Raiders majority owner Al Davis has cut the coach who did the most for the team since Jon Gruden. I'm completely numb.

If football is a business, then Al's decision to cut coach Tom Cable is either the most genius of moves or the most idiotic. Time will tell. So far nobody has been named as the new coach. Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson is scheduled to meet with the San Francisco 49ers today regarding their open head coach position. I suppose the Cable guy might carpool across the bay bridge with Hue to see what positions, if any, he might find available to him in niner-land.

I can't give a clear opinion on this move of Al's since he hasn't come out and said what direction he's leading the team toward. Players have made comments and statements out of frustration and shock, but I'm going to wait and see what Big Al pulls out of his ..........(be nice)..........sleeve.

At this time I'd like to take a moment to thank Coach Tom Cable for bringing repectability back to the Silver & Black. Here's to Coach Cable, a blue-collar coach who proved himself worthy of promotion. Always a Raider Tom, Always a Raider!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Oakland Raiders SWEEEEEEP AFC West

The Oakland Raiders accomplished two key goals this season. They went 6-0 in their division and ended the season with an overall record of 8-8. Today's 31-10 annihilation of the division winning Kansas City Chiefs is a tasty treat to chew on during the off season. When Kansas City loses in the playoffs, I will be the first to say of their opponent; we could of beat them wimps.

Thank you coaches Tom Cable / Hue Jackson and staff for restoring Raider Nation's confidence in the organization and team. We fans who stayed the course through the very lean years have been rewarded with a talented team full of promise in the NEAR future.

Message to Al Davis is this: Don't throw out the baby with the bath water next season.

I believe the Oakland Raiders are on the cusp of doing some great things. If the inevitable changes to come in 2011 take away from the accomplishments of 2010 instead of adding to them, I will be looking into other ways to spend my football Sundays. I sure hope to find myself seated in section 225 at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum come next football season. Big Al and company will help determine if my butt files for divorce from my season seat of three seasons past, or if the relationship has truly been reconciled and the love affair resumes stronger than ever.

Raiders Division Champions

Saturday, January 01, 2011

97th Bowl of Roses

Today is the first day of the year 2011. For many this first day symbolizes a clean slate, a fresh start, a new beginning. However, for football players fortunate enough to have qualified for a New Years Day bowl game, today is a day to finish what they started last year. Its a day that'll define the past months of blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice.

For one team it will be a glorious day to remember for the rest of their lives. For the other this day will haunt and torture the young men for many years to come. Its the BCS Rose Bowl, and millions of televisions will be tuned in as the #5 Wisconsin Badgers meet the #3 Texas Christian Horned Frogs.

Of the many Bowl games this New Years weekend, this is the one nobody wants to miss. The big story here is that both teams come in carrying the burden of proof; The Badgers feel they represent the BCS and must have a dominant showing to prove that those outside the BCS conference don't belong on the same field as BCS conference teams, much less in Bowl games.
The Horned Frogs, besides proving that a team courageous enough to rep. a horned frog as the team symbol and mascot, come to the Rose Bowl carrying all the hopes and dreams of non-BCS football teams. These BCS outsider teams have waited for the day when one of their own would be given the chance to prove themselves worthy of a BCS bid.

Well sports fans, court is in session today as both claimants present their case. David and Goliath will clash on the gridiron in Pasadena, California. Whether you're rooting for the big and bold Badgers or the fast and furious Horned Frogs, it will be a game of football that fans will not want to miss.

15 minutes until kickoff at the Rose Bowl. Time to stop speculating and start witnessing. I suppose you know who I'm speculating will win it. Ribbit, Ribbit!