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Steeltown Boy

Steeltown Boy

John Elway

Golden Boy

 

 

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The 1983 NFL Draft is famous for several reasons, but a big one is the fact that it produced three Hall of Fame quarterbacks. The most important position in football, but more than that, it produced two of the top five quarterbacks of all- time in John Elway arguably the best all around quarterback of all-time and Dan Marino the best pure passer of all-time. Then you add Jim Kelly to the draft a quarterback who won four conference championships and played in four Super Bowls and.

Jim Kelly one of the greatest winning quarterbacks of all-time and then you add Tony Eason who played in Super Bowl 20 with the New England Patriots, we haven’t seen another NFL Draft like that before or since, but a draft that produces not just two of the best quarterbacks of all-time and in Jim Kelly arguably three of the best quarterbacks of all-time but, also in Elway and Marino two of the best players of all-time as well which makes it an incredible draft.

But that’s not the whole story, this draft was also about workers rights. In this case football players do they have the right to decide who they work for and in this case who do they get to play football for and in John Elway’s case a California boy from Los Angeles who played college football at Stanford in the Bay Region, should he be forced to play football on the East Coast in Baltimore, Maryland for the Baltimore Colts.

The Colts offered him a job, but the question posed by John Elway’s management team was. Can an employer force someone they’ve just offered a job to, to work for them or does the potential employee, in this case a football player have a say in who he works for and in this case play football for. And that’s what the Elway team was going to find out. Where are football players rights to decide where they can play football for. And Elway won in the fact that he wasn’t forced to work for the Colts.

The whole draft brings up a more important point. What rights do workers including football players and pro sports athletes in general have in determining where they get to work. Because it’s really only pro sports where the franchises or employers basically have all the power. As far as deciding who works for who and where with the players not having much if any say in deciding where they would play.

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Baltimore Colts Marching Band

Baltimore Colts Marching Band


This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

If you look back at the Baltimore Colts, their last few seasons, especially in the early 1980s, up until 1984, when they relocated to Indianapolis, it was very dark very gloomy. The team was bad and they weren’t drawing, playing in an aging stadium, that was basically designed for baseball, where the Orioles play. Playing in a rough area in North Baltimore. I know, I went to Orioles games there and went to a Stallions game there as well. Like the stadium, as far as watching games there.

But Baltimore Memorial Stadium, it wasn’t the right stadium for NFL football, as far as allowing a franchise to be profitable there. By 1984 when the Colts left, there were probably more reasons to not go to a Colts game, then there were reasons to go to a Colts game, to the point, that this is also an interesting story and I won’t go very far into it but the Colts actually drafted John Elway in 1983. Elway being the smart guy from Stanford that he is, knew that the Colts by this point were one of the worst franchises in the NFL. Decided that he didn’t want to be part of a long-term rebuilding project, especially for a team that might be relocating and told the Colts he wouldn’t play for them.

The Colts traded John Elway to the Denver Broncos in 1983. Dan Reeves the Broncos head coach/general manager ends up getting a steal in this trade. The most talented QB in the NFL, on a team that was already a playoff contender, but as it so happens, the Broncos end up playing the Colts at Baltimore Memorial Stadium, week 1 of the 1983 NFL Season. Baseball is still going on at this point, the Orioles are still playing, so the football field, half of it is dirt, for the baseball field. (The other half is dirt for the football field also, ha ha)

Week 1 in Baltimore in September and in Maryland at this point it’s still summer time, a very hot humid day in Baltimore, temperature in the 90s, plus add-on the humidity very common late Maryland summer weather and the Colts take their frustration out on John Elway, beat up the rookie QB, the whole game, pounding him into the hot dirt field the whole game. This one game in 1983 against the Broncos, sums up the state of the Colts at this point. After the Colts leave Baltimore in 1983, Baltimore football fans, had one goal and one mission at this point and only one mission.

Was to land another NFL franchise, to prove to the NFL they can support an NFL franchise, even if that means building a new stadium, which is what you see in the beautiful Ravens Stadium, that opened in 1998. Which is how they got the Baltimore Stars of the United States Football League and won the USFL Championship in 1985. With players like running back Kelvin Bryant who ended up playing for the Washington Redskins, how they were able to get NFL preseason games and draw big crowds for all of those games.

In the early 1990s, how they got so close to landing an NFL expansion franchise in 1993, with a plan for a new stadium. How they landed the Baltimore Stallions of the CFL in 1994 and won the Eastern Conference Championship in 1994 and the Grey Cup in 1995. And how they landed the Cleveland Browns in 1995 over to Baltimore for the start of the 1996 season and of course they became the Ravens.

If you want something bad enough, you basically have to do anything (you know that’s legal and perhaps within in other limits) to get what you want, to show whoever you have to prove to, that you are not only willing, but able to support whatever transaction you are trying to land. Thats how Baltimore and the State of Maryland felt about pro football, they were pissed off over losing the Colts and decided to use that anger to get the Ravens.

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Look for the Redskins to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday not because they are a good team. But because they aren’t as bad as the Jaguars. And no kidding, this doesn’t qualify as high praise, but the Redskins last week showed they are suffering from similar issues that they had last year. With an inability or want to stretch the field offensively and give up plays on defense that they shouldn’t especially to a mediocre quarterback like Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Houston Texans.

The good news for the Redskins is that they are playing the Jaguars, who might be the worst team in the AFC if not NFL all together this year. With a journeyman QB in Chad Henne, a very young and not very good offensive line and rookie wide receivers. And practically no running game. Not exactly ingredients for success, but perhaps what the Jaguars may have going for them is that they are playing the Redskins. Who last year and last week have a habit of making mediocre and sub par teams and talent look pretty solid.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden got his first NFL game out-of-the-way last week and now has a pretty good idea of how is club looks both on offense and defense. And I expect him to open it up offensively and have his defensive coaches attacking a very inexperienced Jaguars offense and defense. At least this is what should happen when you are the Redskins playing the Jaguars. Playing a team that is very young, inexperienced, with probably very little to no confidence right now.
Fed Ex Field

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

My only question about the 2014 Ravens is can they run the ball at all in 2014. And they’ll get a very good test against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has one of the better run defenses in the NFL. Ravens running back Brandon Pierce is now finally healthy and if he’s anything like he was in 2012, that will be enough for the Ravens to run the ball and their offensive line is good enough to give Pierce enough running lanes.

The Ravens passing game will be much better and I believe Joe Flacco who I have more confidence in than Andy Dalton, will be much better with a healthy Pierce, wide receivers Steve Smith and Torrey Smith (no relation, Smith is a very common name) and tight end Daniel Pitta.

If the Ravens were playing a great quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, etc, with a lot of weapons around the QB, then I would be a lot more worried if I’m rooting for the Ravens in this game. But the Ravens have a very good defense that will be even better in 2014 because they are all healthy now and we should see a much better pass rush against Andy Dalton and the Bengals. Who are somewhat limited on offense once you get past EG Green. And I expect the Ravens to play very well especially at home, with their offense just scoring enough points to win.
Bengals vs. Ravens

Redskins vs. Texans
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

I like the Redskins to beat the Houston Texans on Sunday and no not just because I’m a Redskins fan. Even with the shaky preseason that Redskins QB Robert Griffin had, he’s still better than Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who has made a career of not much more than turning the ball over, losing and moving on to another team. Which is what tends to happen to quarterbacks who turn the ball over a lot and lose a lot of games. The Redskins offense is obviously just not Griffin. Especially when you’re talking about running back Alfred Morris, wide receivers Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, tight Jordan Reed and others.

Defensively the Redskins will be much improved this year. Especially when it comes to tackling and rushing the quarterback and safety Ryan Clark to go along with Brandon Meriweather should make the Redskins secondary good enough to win in 2014. And Arian Foster will not be good enough to beat the Redskins by himself running the ball especially with the Redskins defense gaming to take him out of the game and force Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat them. The Texans defense is still very good, but their offense won’t help them much and the Redskins have a better rounded team.

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The Master

The Master

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

When you talk about the greatest quarterbacks of all-time as well as greatest players of all- time who ever played, whether they are still playing, or not you have to talk about John Unitas as well or its a meaningless conversation. Because John Unitas changed the way the game was played and introduced things that were never done before. He called his own plays, was the field Coach, everyone on the Colts teams knew who was their most important player and the one guy they couldn’t afford to lose, every team that played the Colts knew who was the one player that they couldn’t let beat them.

Without Johnny Unitas, the Colts are a solid team perhaps a winning team but with Unitas the Colts were a championship contender from the mid 1950s until the early 70s, he was their Larry Bird or Earvin Johnson, Jim Brown whoever you want to put on that list. That one guy who was the Colts MVP every year he was there practically and a guy who could’ve won the NFL MVP almost every year he played, because he was that guy he was that great the difference in the Colts winning the Championship or being a mediocre team.

The only other two guys that I would compare to Unitas after he retired as far as what they meant to their teams and how great they were would be, Joe Montana and John Elway. You take those two guys away from the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos and you can make a very good case that both franchises are still looking for their first Super Bowl Championship.If you judge players by whether they were great or not and should be in the Hall of Fame or not, I have four standards that players have to pass just to be eligible with me.

Was the player one of the best players at his position during his career?

Was he one of the best players in the league during his career?

Would he be a great player in any era that he played and was he a great player based on the previous standards for a long enough period of time?

Typically great NFL Players play around 10-13 seasons. So for me, most players aren’t great as soon as they walk in the league. They need about three seasons to see whether they can be a great player or not, sometimes longer then that. And a lot of great players aren’t great towards the end of their career, Jim Brown would be an exception to that. So for me if a player is great 6-8 years lets say, as well as meeting the other standards I just laid out then they are a Hall of Famer as far as I’m concern. But John Unitas had all of that plus so much more. You’re not going to find a tougher QB or a better QB in the clutch. Plus the fact that he was the Colts offensive coordinator on the field. He called their plays, he invented the Two Minute Drill and made fourth quarter comebacks popular and exciting.

John Unitas wasn’t a QB but a great player who played QB. “What do I have to do to win the game”. Thats all he cared about, if you took the lead late in the fourth quarter against the Colts in the fifties and sixties with Unitas, you were probably going to lose. Because now you have to face the master and you have to figure out how to defend one player with eleven and most teams couldn’t do that. The New York Giants found that out the hard way in the 1958 NFL Championship. They tried to take away the pass and Unitas calls a trap play up the middle and Alan Ameche runs for 20 plus yards that put the Colts in field goal position. Which would’ve won the game in overtime. But they had Unitas and were thinking Touchdown and that’s why the Colts won the most important game in NFL History.
NFL Films: Johnny Unitas

Sarah Michelle

Duh & Uh

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

I don’t want to sound like a preacher because I’m completely unqualified to be one, which doesn’t stop many other people from preaching by the way. But it stops me from doing it, so one up for me but having said that I do like offering my views on everyday life. And when I see hypocrisy I like to jump on it, like an obese person at a free all you can eat buffet.

But Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann represent what happens when we as people put style over substance and give people attention, responsibility and allow them to run for public office because we like them, we think they are cool, (oh I’m sorry awesome) or they have a great sense of humor deliver a lot of great humor intentionally and unintentionally and I can give you a long list of people in both parties. So long that we would have to tear down almost every tree in the country, or at least in the Northwest to have enough paper to finish this list. But since this is about Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann I’ll start there and if I need more paper, I’ll chop down a tree or save myself some time and buy some paper.

Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachamnn aren’t political stars because of their great depth and intelligence on anything. Because they don’t have any great depth or intelligence about anything. Sarah Palin didn’t even know the role and responsibilities of the office she was running for back in 2008 when John McCain nominated here for Vice President. (Hint, hint pretty big clue there) Kinda like when you have a hot stove and instead of putting your hand on the hot stove to decide if its hot or not, you already know that its hot because you feel the hot air from it.

Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann are popular at least among the Far-Right in the Republican Party and outside of the party (at least among the Far-Right that doesn’t see women as property), because they’re likable, funny, attractive. And yes to use a word I try not to overuse, except when I’m impersonating valley people, awesome or at least considered awesome. Sarah Palin is famous because John McCain was scared to death about losing the presidential election in 2008.

Because Senator McCain was the Republican Leader replacing George W. Bush and had to have a running mate that the Republican Party would love and could appeal to the Far-Right and they either knew about Sarah Palin going in about how unqualified she was for any high Federal office. And figured they would try to teach her in the McCain Administration or perhaps nominate someone else for Vice President in 2012. Sorta how George H.W. Bush felt about then Senator Dan Quale in 1988. Or didn’t do their homework about Palin at all and believed she was worth the risk. It was the ultimate riverboat gamble that blew up in their face, but they were probably going to lose anyway. Thats why Sarah Palin is famous in America and makes for great TV because she is very entertaining and attractive. Just not cut out for public office.

Michelle Bachman is famous because she’s the first mental patient to ever get elected to Congress, House or Senate and is very provocative, funny (sometimes intentional a lot of times not) and very attractive so she shows up well on TV and in public. But knows very little to anything about anything she’s talking about and has a habit of attacking people based on quotes that were given to her. But then when’s she’s asked about where she got her info, she doesn’t know because she didn’t actually the read the info herself. Which is what happened when she got on Rick Perry about health care back in a Republican debate in September when GOV. Perry was the frontrunner.

Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann aren’t famous and popular with their bases because of their intellect or depth on any on the important issues that we face as a country, but because they both make for great “reality TV” and both represent the dumbing down of American politics.

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