Friday, January 31, 2014

Why Bet Against Peyton? Seahawks Defense

Okay, you heard it here first, Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman not only intercepts Peyton, but puts the game on ice with a final drive defensive play.  Sherman has been the talk ever since ending the San Francisco 49ers season in the NFC Championship game.  Now he has a chance to back up his claim of being the best, against the best. That best would be Broncos quarterback Peyton 'Omaha' Manning.

It took me two weeks of hearing everything about these two teams and it kind of reminds me of the Raiders vs Buccaneers 2003 Super Bowl match-up pitting the best offense versus the best defense.  The difference here will be a starting center hiking to Peyton.  Last I checked Broncos center Manny Ramirez hadn't frozen up on the week leading up to the big game and taken off for Atlantic City on a drinking and gambling binge.  But the weekend is still young.

I envision the Seahawks defense preventing Broncos receivers from getting off the line of scrimmage clean, causing Manning to hold the ball longer, something Manning hasn't had to do much of late.  Longer hold time for a quarterback against the Seattle defense means more pressure and eventually mistakes.  As much as I would like to see Peyton get another Super Bowl win and cement his all time greatness into the history books of sports, this weekend will go to Sherman and the Beast.  So get your Skittles ready!

Predicted Final Score
Broncos 17
Seahawks 30

Seahawks X Factor Percy Harvin

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nike To Honor Bo - Your Last Ball Player

If you weren't around in the late 80's early 90's to see one of the best, if not thee best, athlete to ever play professional sports, then you are missing a crucial era of evolution in the world of sports.  Not only was it an era of the super athlete the likes of Michael Jordan, but the marketing of these athletes as mega-stars had just taken off.  It was also a time where twenty-four hour sports news and highlights became available via ESPN year around. In 1987, ESPN gained partial rights to the National Football League.

In a newly evolving sports culture at that time, sneakers and other sports apparel were making star athletes celebrities while pulling in big bucks from signature products.  It was when nike became NIKE and the swoosh became internationally recognized as a pro brand. 

The super athlete who began it all was no other than the Raiders own Bo Jackson.  Bo actually didn't belong just to the Raiders, as a multi-sport athlete he had fans in baseball as well as from his track days at Auburn.  But it was football and baseball that put Bo on the sports map, wowing fans and rocking the foundations of professional sports. Imagine a professional baseball player during the off season playing running back in the NFL as a Hobby! A Freakin Hobby!

Bo Jackson had such athletic ability that even today sports analysts and historians say their is no precedent to the feats Bo accomplished in such a short time. We're all left to wonder what could've been had his football career lasted longer.

The documentary I just watched on Bo was an important reminder of not only who Bo was, but what his arrival onto the sports scene at that time meant.  Bo was a physical specimen that a sports Darwin would have marveled over.  There had never been someone that size with the speed and athleticism to do what he did.  The closest was American Indian Jim Thorpe, a 1912 olympic gold medalist and charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The great negro league baseball player Buck Leonard compared Bo's mighty swing to Babe Ruth and Josh Gibson based on ball hitting sound and distance.

Bo came along and changed everything we thought we knew about running a football and hitting or catching a baseball.  Just to give you a little taste of Bo, at the combine he ran a 4.12 40-yard dash time (officially hand timed). He didn't leave behind record stats in either pro sport, but the clips that show his unbelievable athleticism on the field put him in rare company. Interesting that in the documentary its pointed out that it was a good thing steroids wasn't around at the time or surely Bo was of been accused of doping.  It would've been the only way to explain his feats on the field.

Bo's football career ended on a hip injury from a tackle that at the time seemed freakish. Now we know it was Bo's super speed that was the key contributor to the injury he sustained.  And yet he came back with a replaced hip to play major league baseball a few more seasons, the only athlete ever to play any professional sport with a hip replacement. 

Bo has many firsts in professional sports.  The 30 for 30 segment on Bo is one I'm glad to have finally caught. With Nike bringing back a rendition of the "Bo Knows" campaign, it seems almost a duty for us Raiders fans both old and new, to acquaint or reacquaint ourselves with Bo.  If you thought you knew Bo, after watching this segment you'll realize you might've missed something.

 Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson
 Raiders (1987–1990)
 "We Salute You"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Frontline: NFL Concussion Crisis

Last night I watched a PBS documentary titled League of Denial: The NFL Concussion Crisis.  The show is a must for all fans of football.  We as fans should not look away from the medical facts about concussions and the possibility of long-term brain injuries.

I won't try to preach for or against on how the NFL is handling the concussion crisis, but I am rethinking my views on kids playing the game. What got me about the documentary is that the NFL has been researching the effects of concussions on players since 1994, and are still saying they do not have enough information to determine if concussions are causing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in football players.  

The show compares the NFL's response to the issue with the denials that the tobacco industry gave when they were called on the carpet about the adverse health effects of cigarette smoking on the body.  The NFL is finally addressing concussions in the game, but still claiming they need more data.  

Former NFL players are suffering from memory loss and other brain related diseases that may or may not be caused by all the hits to the head they incurred while playing the game they loved.  We fans may not like some of the new NFL rules put in place to protect the players, but once we accept that former players and their families lives are being affected possibly by vicious hits taken when they played the game, we might welcome those rules.  Because when it comes right down to it, football is a game. And if nothing else, the men who choose to play this game have a right to know all the medical risks they're taking should they decide to play the game.

As shocked as I was after hearing about former player Junior Seau's suicide, this documentary about the brain disease that may have attributed to Seau's death leaves me speechless.  Seeing Seau's childrens' tears when talking about their dad's demise and death drives the issue home.  Does  playing football cause brain disease?  When 45 of 46 brains of former players autopsied show CTE, I don't see how it cannot!

How Nutrition Can Help Concussions 

Judge Rejects $765 Million NFL Concussion Settlement

Monday, January 27, 2014

Warriors Torch Blazers

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 26: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 26, 2014 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors rediscovered their defense yesterday in a win over the very hot shooting Portland Trail Blazers.  Unlike the start of the season, it was starting to look as if the Warriors had fallen back into old habits of allowing opponents to score at will and being bitten by the turnover bug.  Well not this game. 

Not every team has a Kevin Durant, who this season is just in a freak'in scoring zone. Mind you, Portland's Damian Lilliard, an Oaktown native, can cause a defense fits, but the Warriors clamped down and held the Trail Blazers to 34% shooting.  

On offense the Human Torch was flame-on the entire game, scorching the Blazers for 38pts. When Stephen Curry walked onto the home court sporting sparkling gold sneakers, it should've been a sign of flames to come. He wasn't the only player sporting golden footwear, but his 5 of 8 shooting from beyond the 3pt arc might lend credence to his Johnny Flame aka Human Torch nickname,  flame thrusters and all.

Flame On!
His primary ability to envelop his body in fiery plasma without harm to himself, in which form he is able to fly by providing thrust behind himself with his own flame, and to generate powerful streams and/or balls of flame.

Final Score
Trail Blazers 88
Warriors 103

"Cocaine is a Selfish Drug"

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Florida Congressman Trey Radel says he is sorry for a misdemeanor cocaine charge during a November press conference.

Whether it be athletes, clergy, academic professionals or politicians, the lure of drugs and their addictive properties leads to apologies and loss. Think before you selfishly indulge.  Think about who besides yourself will be negatively affected by your drug use.  As Florida Congressman Trey Radel states in his apology to those he let down, "and even though he doesn't know, I've let down my 2-yr old son."

Free Addiction Help Line 1-866-925-7411

Addiction does not discriminate, it destroys the lives of all it touches regardless if they are poor, wealthy, black, white, male, or female, etc. One thing is certain when it comes to addiction, as we seek the help of others we take the first step in gaining strength over it. Whether we are an addict ourselves or the loved one of an addicted person, we all deserve to have the help of those who have been in our place before and know what it takes to get the answers we so desperately need.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Efforts To Save Pro Bowl

Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, right, heckles Hall of Famer Deion Sanders during a news conference for the NFLPro Bowl Draft, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, Kapolei, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia) MARCO GARCIA — AP

Read more here:

When I first tuned into the Pro Bowl I was confused. First the uniforms looked like Oregon vs a version of the old Tampa Bay pospsicle orange in trim.  I could't identify NFC vs AFC. I couldn't figure why players from the same teams were hitting each other. Then I saw an Uncle Remus-looking Deion Sanders on the sideline for what was dubbed Team Saunders.  The happy-go Jerry Rice was on the other sideline with his team Team Rice, sporting a cleaner, more tapered uncle remus look.

I'm left wondering what the hell is going on in Hawaii.  Who knew that the NFL was gonna go all fantasy football-ish and let uncles Jerry and Deion do an eenie-meenie-miney-moe choosing of teams? How else was it done? Did they draft teams?

It all added up to another NFL gimmick of trying to make the Pro Bowl more interesting.  And believe it or not, the sh!t might've worked.  

The game had some hard hitting and serious competing by the all-pro players.  Everybody put on a show and the game came down to a touchdown and two-point conversion by Team Rice to come back and win it. I watched all of the final minutes of the game, but it sure looked as if it had been an exciting and fun-filled day.  Forget that the turnout in the stadium looked weak, the game, based on the highlights, didn't look half bad.

But I felt a bit old when seeing the peppery gray beard of Deion.  I could've sworn it was just last year that Deion looked as if he could suit up and go out and play.  The full grown beard made'em look like an African griot ready to tell the children stories about tribal ancestors of long ago.  Sorry D, just calling it like I saw it. Come'on man, you're in Hawaii, at least put some black dye on it for the viewers sake. Its not like you were there to coach, captain.

Final Score
Team Rice 22
Team Sanders 21

Article: Efforts out in force to save Pro Bowl

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dutch Sensation Caro Emerald

Posting this for my boy, a fellow blogger from Lard Biscuit Enterprises, D. Trull.  The man sure knows how to pick'em.  

Trull is a fan of plus size women, fine cuisine, star wars and various music. His blog enlightens you to the sumptuous good taste of all these delights.  As a new fan of Caro Emerald's, Trull is getting the word out about the singer who's taking the european music world by storm.  Trull so eloquently states about the rising star: 

As pretty as Caro is, I find she's one of those women who looks her best in motion rather than in stills, and you can't hear a picture sing. So check her out, behold her hypnotic splendor, and you can thank me later.

Thank You Mr. Trull and may the force continue to be with you.  

interview with Caro Emerald

The Rant Heard Around The World

A male sideline reporter might've handled it better, not been intimidated by the passion and gotten Sherman back on track.  The female reporter was rattled and chose to go for the "ah ha" moment. When she asks Sherman who was talking about him it spurned him on instead of leading him to talk about his game-ending play or the game.  She chose the gossip over the glory of the moment and it ended up costing her and the viewers.  Careful what you ask for. 

My initial feelings about Sherman's response was shock.  Nowadays we are so accustomed to seeing players in control of their emotions at all times that we forget what may lie beneath the surface.  Most of us didn't know the Sherman/Crabtree backstory that led to Sherman's hostile post-game rant.  Sounds like its just a case of professionals acting badly. Had we known we might have been better prepared for it.

The real guilt falls on us and our expectations of sports figures as well as the media packaging of players and the game.  I keep saying that football was not a family entertainment event in its beginnings.  I remember when most women simply refused to watch it and wondered how guys could sit in front of a television and cheer it. They thought men barbaric back then and I'm sure many women were reminded of its barbarity with Sherman's raw rant.  

Then along came ESPN and advertisers with a grand idea for marketing the game and making lots of money for all involved.  
They did the old Las Vegas reinvention tip; getting rid of the world of vice image and making it fun for the whole family. Problem with the NFL holding down that family image is that so much of what goes on in the football world, unlike Vegas, is caught on tape.  What happens on the field and sometimes off does not stay there. People talk, media sticks a microphone and camera in front of someone and the rest is entertainment.

Don't believe me ask Hank Williams, Jr. of Monday Night Football fame. Hank said some things that were politically incorrect to say the least.  The league and media hung Hank out to dry and cut all ties in record time. The Monday Night party went on without Hank and his theme song that ushered in those games.

In the end the NFL owners, players, sports media and advertisers are bringing in bigger profits than any other sport could ever generate. And we entertainment junkies continue to buy our sports apparel, get out our popcorn,  and consume hours of our favorite gladiator sport with all its trash talk and torn ligaments. So tell me, "are you ready for some football?"

Monday, January 20, 2014

What's So Exciting About Omaha Besides Audible?

Is it possible that Super Bowl bound quarterback Peyton Manning's "Omaha" audible is a hint for us to stop sleeping on Creighton University basketball out of Omaha, Nebraska? Well Peyton, after tonight's game I think if we didn't know now we know.

The Creighton Blue Jays took down the #4 ranked Villanova men's basketball team with a hail of three point shots that broke a school record. Not sure what the NCAA record is but the Blue Jays can't be far off the mark from shooting it down.

Creighton made 25 of 35 three pointers and led the Villanova squad by as many as 41 points.  So either there's something wrong with the ranking system and Villy isn't who we thought they were, or Creighton is much more than anyone thought they were and have now caught the attention of  NCAA Big East teams and fans alike. 

We'll keep an eye on Creighton to see whether this game was just a one-trick-pony or if just maybe the Creighton Blue Jays will continue their high-flying three pointer act deep into the Madness that is March. 

As for Peyton Manning, expect to see him yelling out his favorite cornhusker town in two weeks when he takes on the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.  

Angel Jan

Today is the day my Lord hath Made

While visiting a cemetery I might have caught a glimpse of something very special

Its moments like this, unintentionally caught by camera phone,  
that makes one rejoice and be glad in this day

Its also glimpses like this that are meant to be shared

Enjoy This Haloed Blessing!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

NFL Championship Week.

Its such a dream weekend of NFL football that the thought of a loser's bowl, where the two losing teams play each other, is a welcome wish.

Today, the best teams in the NFC and AFC square off to settle who will pack for New Jersey to play in Super Bowl XLVIII come Feb. 2, 2014.  As wonderful a day as the Super Bowl can be, it really doesn't get any better than today's championship round.

Today football fans get a repeat of the Brady/Manning match-up that took place during the regular season in New England's freezing northeast temperatures. Today's game takes place in frosty, air-deprived Denver. In the day's second match-up we get to witness what the term "smash mouth football" is all about when 49ers/Seahawks unleash two of the league's most punishing defenses. Its gonna be a "Beast" of a game.  So much has been said leading up to this clash that nothing more need be added. Well maybe one more thing:

It's Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. It's a day that brings jitters to every fan that loves football and weathered the week-long sports talk hype and  analysis of these four teams.  It's the popcorn moment before the day of the Big Show that is Super Bowl Sunday.  So football fans across the globe get ready, strap on & suit up with your team colors and go out and represent the game we all have grown to love and cherish.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

God On Trial

This is one excellent film.  For as many movies I've seen with the holocaust as its backdrop, never has the accusing finger pointed at anyone but Hitler and his Nazis until now. In 'God on Trial' the accusation is very real; did God breach the covenant contract he'd established with the peoples of Judaism through Abraham?  

The question is being posed and challenged by Auschwitz inmates, many of whom are only hours away from the gas chamber and know it.  It truly is the trial of the century and the actors deliver the arguments for and against with stunning passion. 

For some reason I'm reminded of the story 'The Devil and Daniel Webster,' where a famous lawyer battles the devil in court over the soul of a mortal and fellow citizen of New Hampshire.

'God on Trial' is a history lesson about the Jews as a chosen people, as well as an overall lesson on what is God. Seeing Jews both accuse and defend their God has never been shown with such raw passion.  To say more might spoil it for those who've yet to see it.  I urge anyone who's ever questioned God's grace and wrath to watch this gem.  It might be one of the best trials on film, in a courtroom wreaking with the ugliness and stench of murder.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Hunted Slave


This illustration is titled "The Hunted Slave", painting by Richard Ansdell.  I grew up with a large black and white lithograph of it hanging in the hallway of our upstate New York home.  It gave a face to the oral history of enslaved black peoples here in the land of the free and home of the brave.  "The Hunted Slave" had an early influence on my understanding of what it means to be black men in America.  

The illustration shows a strong and fearless black man fighting off a pack of vicious hunting dogs with an ax. A dangling wrist cuff suggests the man has broken the shackles of slavery and is forging through the dismal swamp toward freedom for himself and his mulatto woman.  A vivid image of survival and endurance against all odds is what I imagine the message to be. I believe if you look hard enough you'll see a fourth hound lurking in the tall grass.

As a child the illustration made me wonder about my ancestors and their trek from the south to the north.  What hounds of human oppression had they fought off to make it out of a land that practiced ownership of black chattel? As an adult I look at the illustration and understand the hounds to be the weapons of a people and ideas more vicious and biting than any attacking dogs.  And today I am proud to carry the blood of such courageous men and women who struggled against slavery and endured so that someday their offspring could drink from the fountain of freedom.

Out of the Shadows

Slavery and the Making of America

Slavery by Another Name

Strange Fruit

Monday, January 06, 2014

#1 Florida State Seminoles R BCS Champions

It was yet another college championship game that'll go down in history for its gritty comeback and clutch performances.  The Florida State Seminoles overcame and out-scored the #2 Auburn Tigers 34-31 in a very explosive BCS Championship game.  

It truly was a tale of two halves as the Seminoles overcame an early18pt. deficit and saw their Heisman winning quarterback answer the final bell and deliver a knockout game winning touchdown toss with 13 seconds left on the game clock.  Exciting!

Congratulation FSU On Your 2013 National Championship Title

Bay Area Sports - Sunday Silencers

While the San Francisco Bay Area glistened with golden sunshine and mild temperatures this weekend, the rest of the country were in the clutches of a wet, wintry cold that's a reminder of the real reason the Clampetts "loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly."

So far California hasn't suffered the pouring rains that visit us in the winter months. Maybe its a sign; three of our NoCal sports teams are out of town raining down havoc on opponents and keeping the fan base here in the bay area as bright and cheery as the weather. the ice - the San Jose Sharks struck down the mighty Blackhawks in Chicago 3-2 with two goals scored in a shootout. The Sharks hadn't won in the windy city in six straight tries. And as the headline reads, "Victory Drought in Chicago Over." The two teams share the NHL Western Conference lead. Interesting to note, the Sharks did it with 33 saves from goalie #32 Alex Stalock, playing in place of starter Antti Niemi.

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) gets past Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
On the hard-court - the Golden State Warriors shot lights out in the third quarter, showering down a hailstorm of baskets that froze the Wizards and completed a comeback to ice the game. Warriors forward #11 Klay Thompson led the Warriors scoring going 6-for-9 on three point attempts and 26 total points. Final score was 112-96. The Warriors 30-5 run in the third helped extend their winning streak to nine straight games, five on the road.  One of those road wins was against the time-time defending champion Miami Heat.  The Warriors leave the nation's capitol tie for first place in the Western Conference with the L.A. Clippers.
On the gridiron - the San Francisco Forty-Niners, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, won their first playoff game in Green Bay in four tries, 23-20.  On a cold and blistery Lambeau Field, the Niners found a way to beat the Packers on a game ending field goal.  The game was a back-and-forth struggle full of  clutch performances by both teams. Every time the home team gained momentum the visiting Bay Area team would snatch it right back.  Credit the arms and legs of Kid Kaepernick for keeping his team on course toward the divisional playoff round.  When Packers fullback John Kuhn botched his 'Lambeau Leap' touchdown celebration in the fourth quarter, I saw it as I sign of things coming up short for the home team.  Kuhn's 1-yd TD run gave the Packers their last lead of the game.

And just for posterity sake, the California Women's basketball team made history at home in their 101-98 overtime win against Oregon. It was the most combined points ever in a women's basketball game at Haas Pavilion. The No.23 ranked Golden Bears, coached by Lindsay Gottlieb, went on a second half 21-11 run that the Oregon Ducks weathered and bounced back from to tie at 88-88, sending the game into overtime.  The Ducks are led by coach Paul Westhead, former L.A. Lakers coach (1979-81), who's fast tempo offense and pressing defense was a good early season test for the Bears. They  passed the exam thanks in part to a gutty performance by junior forward-center Reshanda Gray's 33 points.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Get Ready For Battles Of Epic Proportions: THE PLAYOFFS!

Where concussions don't count and the only injury timeout is to remove waste. There will be one survivor and only one.  Its the Playoffs!