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NFL Reflections

Posted by JoAnn on October 19, 2009

Week 7 Reflections

Saints Alive! Dolphins Be Warned.

Dolphins had a bye this weekend, so not much to report. The good news is, Henne has had two good games and seems to be doing what he needs to do: nothing fancy, just don’t lose the game. He’s playing well, Tatasbut the verdict is still out. If the Dolphins want to beat the Saints this weekend, they need to keep Reggie Bush and Drew Brees off the field. The best way to do that is to run the ball, eat the clock and dominate time of possession while scoring on each drive. It’s what the Dolphins do best.

WildCat This!

There has been much discussion in the past week and a half about the Wildcat offense and whether or not it’s a gimmick. It didn’t help that Jets linebacker Calvin Pace whined about it after losing to the ‘Fins. He called the formation nonsense. To which Channing Crowder kindly pointed out that the Dolphins “Nonsensed their ass all the way up and down the field.” Well put and to the tune of 110 yards, I might add. Look, is the wildcat an unconventional formation? Of course. Is it a gimmick?  Absolutely not, unless you’re the team getting embarrassed by it. The wildcat is an offensive formation, that if you have the right personnel, can be a great offensive threat. If it were a gimmick, you wouldn’t have so many teams adding it to their playbooks, college and pro. Miami has two phenomenal running backs, one with a steady throwing arm. They have two versatile quarterbacks. Right now, no team in professional football has a better team to run this formation than the Dolphins, though others are trying. But my point is this: Just because it’s fairly new and being used a lot now by a team, doesn’t make it a gimmick. Let us not forget that a forward pass wasn’t always part of the game. I’m sure it, at one time, was called a gimmick.

Cold Reality for Sanchez

Speaking of the Dolphins and Jets, it’s inevitable that when it comes time for the Dolphins to play the Jets again, this time in New York, people will speculate that the Dolphins will stumble because it’s a warm weather team. Did you see Mark Sanchez‘s performance against Buffalo this weekend? Five interceptions in the unseasonably frigid October. Henne played college ball at Michigan. And grew up in Pennsylvania (Unrelated tidbit: Henne graduated from the same high school as Kerry Collins.) But I digress. Sanchez is a California boy. I still can’t figure why New York thought he would be a good fit for them in the long run. Weather may be a factor, but maybe not in the way New York hopes.

Remember the Titans? They Don’t.

Three teams are going into week 7 without a single win: St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Truly pathetic in a league with a salary cap designed to keep things competitive. It’s especially sad in the Titans’ case, after the beatdown they received this past weekend courtesy of the New England Patriots. It really makes you wonder how a team could fall so far from one season to the next.

Open Letter to Washington Redskins Coach

Dear Coach Zorn,
I hear Wal-Mart is hiring.
Best wishes,

Coach Q.B. Controversy Is At It Again

This is the second and last time I plan to talk about Browns Coach Eric Mangini. Dude needs to pick a quarterback and stick with them. Geez! He pulled this same tap dance when head coach of the Jets. Look, I get that your options are pretty gimpy, but unless you can acquire someone else, those are the options you have. You need to name a quarterback and then let them play enough games to properly evaluate them. Playing duck-duck-goose with your quarterbacks is a horrible way to manage a team.

Really McNabb? You Realize Your Getting Paid Millions to Play this Game, Right?

Someone needs to get Donovan McNabb the “Idiot’s Guide to Football.” (I’ll even help you out. Here’s a link: Amazon: Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Football Like a Pro.) Yes, Donovan, games can end in ties. And sorry Donovan, but each team only gets 3 timeouts in a half. So when you’re trying to score with seconds left in the first half of a game, don’t like the defensive formation and want to call a timeout to evaluate, it’s best to first evaluate if you have a timeout available. Of course, I don’t entirely blame McNabb for this one. Andy Reid clearly lost his clock-management mind when he called two timeouts following incomplete passes that stopped the clock anyway.  I really don’t know who wanted to lose more yesterday: Reid, the Bills or Mark Sanchez. Each of those did all they could to tank their team. Reid and Sanchez were successful.

Silver Lining for Jim Zorn

In honor of Coach Zorn, I bring you some press conference highlights. As the husband so poetically stated, he is a Coor’s Light commercial in the making. For the second video, skip to 39 seconds in. That’s where Bill expects the Coors Light guys to grill Zorn for buying beer that’s not Coors Light.

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NFL Reflections

Posted by JoAnn on September 28, 2009

Week 3 reflections … this was not fun.

Pennington Out with Shoulder Injury

Pennington at 2009 spring training

Though the Dolphins haven’t officially said yet, it appears Quarterback Chad Pennington is done for the season with a dislocated shoulder. To say I’m disappointed is a total understatement, but it’s the reality we have in Miami and one we unfortunately have to live with. That brings Chad Henne, former Michigan quarterback, to take charge of Miami’s offense. Since day one, I’ve stated that Henne is overrated and will likely disappoint, but time will tell. I could be wrong. For the sake of my Dolphins, I hope I am. Some folks said I was an idiot when I said Brady Quinn would be a bust. Did anyone see the Browns play Sunday? But I digress. Pennington has been great for Miami. He’s provided stability, confidence, poise, excitement and leadership. Unfortunately, Miami and its fairweather fanbase never truly embraced him. They cheered him when he was winning, but were always ready to bench him in favor of youth. Now, they’ve had one brief look at Henne, and are throwing up their hands crying the season is over. One of my biggest pet peeves is fairweather fans. Every city has them, but Miami’s seem to be in excess. A sportswriter once wrote that Miami doesn’t deserve the Marlins because of the way the “fans” treat their baseball team. I think the same could be said about Pennington. Miami didn’t deserve him. Now they have to live with Henne. For the sake of my Dolphins, I hope Henne quickly improves because he’s going to be under center this season.

Who called Mangini a Genius?

Speaking of the Browns, who’s idea was it that Mangini should be a head coach? The Browns owners seem to be working their way through the Belichick coaching tree. Maybe they should come up with a new strategy.

Throwback this!

So again speaking of the Browns, I’m not a fan of the throwback uniforms, especially since it’s just another way for the NFL to make money by selling more jerseys. This past weekend, we saw the New York Jets wearing the old New York Titans uniforms and the Tennessee Titans wearing the the old Oilers uniforms from when the team used to be in Houston. Basically, you had the ghosts of Titans past channeling the ghost of Titans present. So that made me realize, the Baltimore Ravens could never really pull a throwback uniform game, because they were once the Cleveland Browns. I don’t think today’s Browns, which are considered an expansion team since the original team was sold and moved to Baltimore, would take too kindly to a bunch of Ravens in their old uniforms. Quite the quagmire! That would be kind of fun to see. Dear football czars, if you insist on these throwback jersey games, can we please make one of them a Browns v. Ravens showdown. Pretty please.

Ochocinco & Co. Shock Steelers

I  thoroughly enjoyed the Bengals v. Steelers game. Sorry Pittsburgh fans. Actually, that’s a lie. I’m not sorry. I loved every nailbiting second.

Jeers to Michaels and Collinsworth

So the stellar NBC crew calling last night’s Indy v. Arizona game had me defending Peyton Manning. For years, sports analysts said Manning could not be considered a great quarterback because he never won a Super Bowl. While I disagree with that because it takes an entire team to win a Super Bowl (As Dan Marino well knows), but whatever. Well, Manning got his Super Bowl victory in 2007. Fast forward to last night’s game and you have Michaels and Collinsworth debating whether you could consider Manning a great quarterback because he only won one Super Bowl. **Head hits table** Really, guys? Please. Greatness isn’t always measured in Super Bowls. (DISCLAIMER: If you’re a Steelers fan, please avert your eyes.) Ben Roethlisberger is a good quarterback. Very good. But he’s not great. He has two Super Bowl rings. But that doesn’t rank him among the elite. In fact, his first Super Bowl victory came with the lowest quarterback rating (22.6) ever logged in a Super Bowl by a winning quarterback. He “redeemed” himself in Super Bowl XLIII, but he has played with some great players.  Nevermind the fact that he didn’t win the MVP award in either Super Bowls, which is odd since they seem to bend over backwards to give it to the quarterback (ref Super Bowl XLII). He’s had two chances and come up short both times. So while I think Roethlisberger has earned his fair share of accolades, if I was choosing between him or Peyton Manning to lead my NFL team, I’d take Manning every time. So to that I say BOOOOOOO to NBC and its crack commentators for making me defend Manning. Will you analysts ever be satisfied?

Speaking of Manning

Peyton Manning’s commercials have really disappointed me so far this year. I’m bummed about that. I don’t like him on the football field, but man, he made some funny commercials!

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NFL Reflections

Posted by JoAnn on September 22, 2009

With a few good games under our belt, here are some thoughts …

Dolphins Owner Misses Mark

Stephen Ross,  the new owner of the Miami Dolphins, has no clue how to nurture and grow a loyal fan base. After enduring last night’s home opener against the Colts, the live Jimmy Buffett concert on the plaza  is the only positive addition of all the superficial changes.  The “Orange Carpet” where celebrities enter the stadium divides the plaza and creates an annoying traffic issue. The new “Fins Up” signal where celebrities tell us to put our hand up to rayour forehead looks more like a rooster than a dolphin. And while I love Buffett and think his new Fins song is great for games, it’s a lousy fight song. (Nevermind the fact that the cameras are always zooming in on Landshark Stadium employees to give the appearance that everybody is doing the Fins dance.) I’m glad they ditched the T-Pain remake of the real fight song, but now Ross needs to listen to the fans and restore the original fight song. It’s sad when your team scores and a laid-back song immediately quiets the crowd. Yes, the old fight song is hokie. But it’s tradition and football fans like tradition. Apparently, these changes are designed to fill seats. In an interview with the Miami Herald, Ross said he realizes that winning games would fill the stadium, but he’s designing a game-day experience that will fill the seats even when the team sucks (paraphrasing, of course.) To me, that is a horrible statement to make. He’s so focused on walking in the celebrity circles, he basically told the fans he’s not worried about building a winning program. The one good nugget in all of this is that Ross is smart enough to leave the football up to Parcells and Coach Sporano. Ross may not care about winning, but these guys do. And while the first two games of the season have ended badly for the Fins, the heartbreaker against the Colts showed some very promising signs. The offense controlled the ball for 45 minutes of the game and the running attack was phenomenal. Unfortunately, Ted Ginn continues to show that he can’t catch a ball, even when it hits him in the hands … twice … in the end zone! And, the defense gave up 27 points to the Colts, whose offense was only on the field for a total of 15 minutes. They have some serious work to do there. I can’t wait to see what adjustments they make this week. Go Fins!

What’s in a Name

In watching the score updates on the CBS crawl on Sunday, I had to laugh every time I saw C. Ochocinco stats run across the screen. I can’t help it. I like this guy.

Burress’ Barney Fife Routine Lands Him Excessive Sentence

Plaxico Burress drew the short end of the sentencing stick. I think what he did was stupid. But two years? Really, New York?  Michael Vick got 23 months for his dogfighting activities, which I thought was on the mark. He acted with malice and showed a grotesque lack in judgment. Donte Stallworth got a whopping 30 days in jail for manslaughter after driving drunk and killing a human being. Granted, it was an accident and the victim was improperly crossing a very busy causeway, but a human was killed. And Stallworth was driving drunk!  Burress broke the law by illegally carrying a handgun. His accident was in shooting himself in the leg. He didn’t hurt anyone else. I think he should be punished, but believe his penalty should have fallen somewhere between animal killer and manslaughter. But I guess that’s the difference between committing a crime in Miami and committing one in New York.

Jerry Jones is Acting Like Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones

Yes, the new Cowboys stadium is very cool. You know what’s even cooler? The fact the the inaugural game was a loss. There are three teams in the NFL who have really annoying, arrogant and outlandish owners. The Bengals, the Raiders and the Cowboys. Nothing personal Cowboys fan, but I love the shots of Jones whenever his team is about to lose. And I hope the kickers of every opposing team that plays in that new stadium this year make an effort to hit that jumbotron. It’s a great feature, but it clearly needs to be raised. The NFL isn’t asking for anything unreasonable. Jerry Jones is just being Jerry Jones.

Rex Ryan is OK in My Book

I’m not a Jets fan, but I like their new coach. NFL coaches have become way too politically correct, which is going to make for some really lame Coors Light commercials down the road. Glad to see some old schoolers are still making the rounds.

Favre Continues to Unimpress

Brett Favre is still annoying me. Did I mention he took himself out of Sunday’s game for a bent fingernail. *sigh* Granted, they were winning and it happened toward the end of the game, but still, it’s a fingernail. Keep it up and he won’t be able to do his rugged Wrangler commercial anymore. I guess he has Sears to fall back on. At least those commercials are funny.

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Favre, 0 for 2 in Retirements

Posted by JoAnn on August 18, 2009

brett-farve-funny-t-shirt-we-will-never-forget-you-brentIt’s official. Brett Favre is dead to me.

There were three stories I was dreading heading into this football season, knowing the media would saturate the insanity with useless commentary and less than insightful reports. The first is the new Dallas stadium. The second is the criminal trifecta of Vick, Stallworth and Burress. Third is Brett Favre and the ‘will he or won’t he retire’ drama.

I thought we would dodge the third one, but alas, Favre has pulled … well … a Brett Favre by signing with Minnesota.

So now we have another football season where we will hear uninspiring and ignorant commentators constantly speculating as to whether Brett Favre will retire at the end of the season. (The answer is yes and he will re-unretire at the end of the 2010 training camp.)

Meanwhile, somewhere in a locker room in Philadelphia, Michael Vick is heaving a hearty sigh of relief. The NFL media circus has a new idiot to fill the preseason doldrums.

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In a follow-up to “Really? I mean … really?”

Posted by JoAnn on August 3, 2009

3737021384_a7c00e1372Newport News postpones ‘celebration’ for Michael Vick

And just like that, someone in the Vick camp grows a brain.  After much planning and a weekend’s worth of backlash, Michael Vick suddenly remembers he can’t attend a “community celebration” in his honor because he has a prior date with the Humane Society in Atlanta.  A photo op is a photo op … the city is not important.

Original Post:  Really?  I mean … really?

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Really? I mean … really?

Posted by JoAnn on August 3, 2009

GYI0050751573.jpgIt appears, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is hosting a — and I quote — Michael Vick Community Celebration day.

***scratches head***

So what exactly does a Michael Vick Community Celebration day entail? Apparently, face painting, pony rides, music and other kitschy activities. Vick plans to speak at the event and spread Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of non-violence. So how does such a fun-filled day for the whole family to enjoy come about? It seems the shin-dig was Vick’s idea. One of the event’s organizers told the Associated Press — and again, I quote — “Vick wanted to give back to the community, like he always does.”


Look, I think what Vick did was atrocious, grotesque and maniacal. But he was convicted, sentenced and served his time. He should be given a chance to redeem himself.  HOWEVER … Michael Vick Community Celebration day? Really?  Shouldn’t he … ya’ know … actually redeem himself  … before celebrating himself?

I smell a publicity stunt … and one that may produce the exact opposite reaction that Vick’s camp is hoping for. If he really wants to get out and endorse an event that promotes non-violent solutions, perhaps he should have elected to keep his name out of it. If he wants to rebuild the public’s trust, he needs to earn it.

Right now, Michael Vick is not a role model. He is a rehabilitated convicted felon. There is nothing about that which merits a community-wide celebration. Maybe over time that will change. Maybe he really has learned from his criminal behavior and he will lead a life worth celebrating someday. Only time will tell. But when the people of Newport News get together and celebrate a day of pony rides in his name, I can’t help but think that in a jail cell somewhere in North Carolina, Rae Carruth is planning Rae Carruth Day at the local women’s shelter … to take place in five to 10.

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Take Note University of Other

Posted by JoAnn on June 2, 2009

According to a study out of Marshall University, changing the name of a college or university apparently does little to boost enrollment. The study examined data from more than 160 institutions across the country that changed their names. Most of his research focused on institutions in West Virginia, which had the largest percentage of “college-to-university” rebrandings of any state. Since 1970, 11 West Virginia schools have changed their names. The impetus behind most changes was to gain prestige and boost enrollment and fundraising efforts. But in most cases, enrollment slowed. At schools where enrollment grew, the rate was not as great as before the name change.

As noted in a previous blog entry, WVU-P is considering a name change. According to Mr. Owston, it’s probably best to stick with what you’ve got.

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University of Other

Posted by JoAnn on May 20, 2009


Apparently, West Virginia University of Parkersburg — affectionately referred to as WVU-P  — is considering a name change, which I think is a marvelous idea. This may come as a shock to some of you,  but I’m not particularly fond of WVU. But according to some online survey, the majority of the 800 folks who responded are against a change.

However, for those who were in favor, their top pick of the choices offered was Parkersburg State College. LAME!  I’m more partial to the responders’ second choice which was “Other.” So for anyone listening, I would like to cast my vote for the University of Other.

Mark it, dude.

(Oh, and to the person who participated in the online survey and did a write-in suggestion of Marshall at Parkersburg, I award you a gold star for the day!)

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Where does one find 1,052 red and white striped shirts in New Jersey?

Posted by JoAnn on April 3, 2009

Rutgers University broke the Guinness World Record for The World’s Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Where’s Waldo?.  In total, 1,052 students were in attendance April 2 at the historic State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. 

Rutgers University broke the Guinness World Record for The World's Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Where's Waldo?. 1,052 students were in attendance April 2 at the historic State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ.

1. This is something I’d expect from a Big East school.

2. Why is this a category in the Guinness Book of World Records?

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