Archive for the ‘football’ Tag

11/30/2022 “Football Geniuses”   1 comment

These last few weeks I’ve been inundated with football facts, game reviews and a general feeling of unease. That means that I’ve got no dog in the Super Bowl hunt this year. Without a team to support I find almost everything else a little boring. I’m not by any stretch of the imagination an avid sports fan and now I remember why. I’ve always been bored watching games but listening to the hundreds of so-called experts’ blather on and on makes me nauseous. I’ve dug down deep into my trivia files and have found a few interesting quotes from some of our gallant football gladiators. Here they are . . .

  • “If you can’t make the putts and can’t get the man in from second on the bottom of the ninth, you’re not going to win enough football games in this league, and that’s the problem we had today.” Sam Rutigliano – Cleveland Browns coach
  • “He fakes a bluff.” Ron Fairly – New York Giants commentator
  • “I don’t care what the tape says. I didn’t say it.” Ray Malavasi – St. Louis Rams coach
  • “I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.” Terry Bradshaw, player/announcer
  • “I’m not allowed to comment on lousy officiating.” Jim Finks, New Orleans Saints general manager
  • “I want to rush for 1000 or 1500 yards, whichever comes first.” George Rogers, New Orleans Saints running back
  • “He (his coach) treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings.” Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver

RAH! RAH! RAH!

11/24/2022 “Football History”   Leave a comment

It’s unusual for me to post about sports but occasionally I do so anyway. My favorite sport by far is baseball but over the years football has wormed its way into my life. It all started back in the seventies with the “Steel Curtain” and the “Immaculate Reception” and my one and only hometown team the Steelers. Football has slowly become Americas pastime by not so gently nudging baseball aside. Today I would like to do a short history lesson about football, it’s origins, during the years 1861 – 1946 (my birth year). Read on, you may learn a few interesting things beacuse I certainly did.

  • 1861: The first documented football game that was essentially rugby and was played at the University of Toronto..
  • 1874: McGill University and Harvard play a hybrid version of rugby. The rule changes affect the game in the United States.
  • 1875: The official game ball becomes an egg-shaped rugby ball. The field is now 100 yards long by 53.5 yards wide and teams are cut to 15 players per side referees are also added to the game.
  • 1876: With the addition of the crossbar official goalposts now look like the letter “H”.
  • 1880 – 1885: Game fundamentals are introduced such as the down system (going 5 yards in three downs equals a first down), along with a scrimmage line and yard lines. Teams are now eleven to a side. A field goal is worth five points, a touchdown and conversion, four points each, and a safety is two points. The first play calling signals and planned plays are introduced.
  • 1894: The officiating crew is increased to three; a referee and two bodyguards, also known as the umpire and linesman.
  • 1896: Only one backfield man may now be in motion before the snap, any can be moving forward.
  • 1897: A touchdown now counts as five points.
  • 1909: Now a field goal is worth three points.

  • 1910: Seven players must now be on the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped, establishing the basic offensive formation concept. The forward pass becomes commonplace in college football.
  • 1912: A rules committee determines that a touchdown is now worth six points and adds a fourth down. It is now practical to punt.
  • 1922: The American Professional Football Association becomes the National Football League.
  • 1932: The NFL begins keeping statistics.
  • 1933: There is a major NFL rule change: the passer can throw from anywhere behind the line of scrimmage.
  • 1934: The modern football takes its current shape after a gradual evolution from the oddly shaped egg like rugby ball.
  • 1939: Helmets became mandatory in college football, and the pros followed within a decade.
  • 1941: It’s the end of the dropkick era. Ray McClean boots a conversion off the turf in the NFL championship game. In 2005, Doug Flutie created a sensation by doing it once again.
  • 1946: The NFL’s first major rival league, the All-American Football Conference begins play. It lasts just four seasons with the Cleveland Browns winning all four titles.

It took another eight years before I realized from my father that I had been born a Pittsburgh Steeler fan. I first became a rabid baseball fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the next 20 years. Slowly but surely football reached out and grabbed me and when the 1970’s hit I was hooked. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much to cheer about with the Steelers in recent years. I was fortunate enough to move to New England and got to enjoy all of the years of Tom Brady and the Patriots. My allegiance wavered when Brady moved to Tampa Bay, but everything must come to an end at some point. Now I’m what would be called a fair-weather fan.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

and

GO VIKINGS!

11/05/2022 “Sports Experts”   Leave a comment

I can’t tell you how many times in my life that I’ve been assured by so-called experts that things were good and ten minutes later another so-called expert is screaming “doom and gloom”, it’s damn confusing. It’s amazes me how many experts or so-called experts exist especially when discussing sports. Let’s look into sports a little and listen to the real experts.

BASEBALL

  • “If Jesus were on the field he’d be pitching inside and breaking up double plays. He’d be giving high fives to the other guys.” Tim Burke, Montréal Expos pitcher
  • “They shouldn’t throw at me. I’m the father of five or six kids.” Tito Fuentes, National League infielder
  • “I am a four-wheel-drive pickup type of guy. So is my wife.” Mike Greenwell, Boston Red Sox outfielder

FOOTBALL

  • “Man, I want you just thinking of one word all season. One word and one word only: Super Bowl.” Bill Peterson, Florida State football coach
  • “I don’t care what the tape says. I didn’t say it.” Ray Malavasi, St. Louis Rams coach
  • “Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.” Joe Theismann, player/commentator

BASKETBALL

  • “Left-hand, right-hand, it doesn’t matter. I’m amphibious.” Charles Shackleford, North Carolina State player
  • “I have won at every level, except college and pro.” Shaquille O’Neal, former Los Angeles Laker player
  • “A lot is said about defense, but at the end of the game, the team with the most points wins- the other team loses.” Isaiah Thomas

SOCCER

  • “If we play like that every week, we wouldn’t be so inconsistent.” Bryan Robeson
  • “I’m going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes.” Unnamed senior, University of Pittsburgh
  • “What I said to them at halftime would be unprintable on the radio.” Gerry Francis
  • “He’s one of those footballers whose brains are in his head.” Derek Johnstone

YOU KNOW, I THINK I’M AN EXPERT TOO!

09/28/2022 ⚾Sports Trivia🏈   Leave a comment

While I’m not much of a sports fan these days, I did play a lot of sports over the years. I loved playing sports but watching them now is as much fun as watching paint dry. I’m still a lover of trivia too so it’s about time I matched them up. Here are a few sports trivia facts you may not have been aware of.

  • Wilt Chamberlain averaged 48.5 minutes per game in 1961–62. That means he played every minute of every game and every minute of every overtime.
  • Pittsburgh is the only city where every one of its professional sports teams wears the same colors.
  • Major league baseball uses approximately 900,000 balls every season.
  • Prior to the 1930s in the NBA a jump ball used to follow every made basket.
  • One of the greatest pitchers in MLB history was known to run off the field during games to chase firetrucks. Rube Waddell was fascinated with firetrucks and managers had a difficult time keeping him on the mound if one drove by. It didn’t stop him from being one of the greatest strikeout pitchers in the history of the game.

  • Wilt Chamberlain once averaged over 50 points per game for an entire season.
  • Before Babe Ruth, MLB’s career home run record was just 138. When the babe retired, the new record was 714.
  • Jackie Mitchell, one of the first (and only) female player in the major league baseball system, once struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in consecutive at-bats. The strikeouts occurred during a minor league exhibition game against the Yankees.
  • For 43 years, the NFL record for the longest made field goal was held by a man (Tom Dempsey) with no toes on his kicking foot.
  • Jackie Robinson was not the first black player in major league baseball. William Edward White, a former slave, served as a one-game replacement player in 1879. Moses Fleetwood Walker lasted slightly longer, playing nearly a full season in 1884, 63 years before Jackie Robinson made his historic debut.

PLAY BALL ! !

05/15/2022 Sports Cont’d   Leave a comment

I was pleased to see that yesterday’s post on sports trivia was well received. I thought I’d expand it a little more today.

  • In 1994 NY Giant’s linebacker Lawrence Taylor played his last game. He took a small but poignant souvenir from that game which was the referee’s yellow flag. He felt that he deserved it because the refs “throw it against me often enough”.
  • Walter Payton the famous Chicago Bears running back missed only one game during his 13-year career. He carried the ball more often (3838 times) for more yards (16,726) and scored more rushing touchdowns (110) than anyone else.
  • In 1925 the Dartmouth football team contained 22 members of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
  • Golfing great Ben Hogan is also known for his famous reply when asked how someone can improve their game. It’s short and simple answer is still true today, “Hit the ball closer to the hole.”
  • After retiring as a player, Babe Ruth spent one year as a coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.
Roger Bannister
  • In 1912, at the Stockholm Olympics, electric timing devices and a public address systems were used for the first time.
  • Famed fullback Jim Brown while attending Syracuse University in the mid-1950s also played lacrosse. and made All-American.
  • In June 1938 the Cincinnati Reds southpaw pitcher John Vandermeer pitched two no-hitters. They were the only two he ever threw, and they were consecutive. He pitched the first one against the Boston Braves and then his next game he pitched one against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Ty Cobb was the only major league baseball player to have a brand of cigarettes named after him.
  • In 1979 New York Yankee manager Billy Martin had a confrontation with a marshmallow salesman and lost his job.
  • In in 1954 Roger Bannister, was named the Sports Illustrated magazines first Sportsman of the Year for breaking the four-minute mile.

BACK TO WORK TOMORROW

11-08-2015–Useless or Useful Factoids!   Leave a comment

thWDKS8043

Today feels exceptionally uninteresting.  It’s a little blah, a little gray, and a little cold which means I’m suffering from a total lack of interest.  I was just advised by my better-half that I’d be spending the better part of this day being dragged along on her shopping safari.  Thank God I recharged my Kindle last night so I’m now good to go. That means I get to sit in the car and read while she shops.

If I use my head and offer up a little charm I might just convince her to buy me some sort of breakfast.  I have a serious need for bacon and I need it right now.  I swear it’s a worse addiction than cigarettes or coffee.  It’s maybe the only thing that keeps these shopping forays bearable for me.

th81R8YIBY

This blog needs a bit of a breather from stories about my life and times. Today I’ll supply the world with a few really useless but possibly interesting tidbits of information.  It’s been a while since I’ve dished out a dose of these factoids and today’s the day.  Here we go . . .

  • The average American two-car garage is 25 percent bigger than the average Tokyo home.
  • The European Union exports more to Switzerland than to China.
  • During the first year of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the Red Army issued 800,000 death  sentences to it’s own soldiers.
  • The first year in which there was no recorded lynching of a black American was 1952.
  • There were 658 suicide bombings around the world in 2007 – more than double the number in any of the previous twenty-five years. Afghanistan and Iraq were responsible for 542 of them.

I didn’t say that all of the factoids would be funny or uplifting because life on this planet leaves a lot to be desired at times.

  • In 1976, the United States had 30 percent of the world’s college students. By 2006, that had dropped to 14 percent.
  • Intel employees collectively send or read 3 million emails a day.
  • The Mafia accounts for 7 percent of the Italian GDP, more than any single business.
  • There are as many fake doctors practicing in India as real ones.
  • The average male orgasm lasts eight seconds, the average female orgasm twenty seconds.

I guess that last one explains a lot of things.  Women not only orgasm longer but get to have multiples as well. That’s just unfair.

  • In the United States, adult bookshops outnumber McDonald’s restaurants three to one.
  • Napoleon often masturbated before going into battle.
  • Red Bull is illegal in Norway, Denmark, and Ireland.
  • In 2007, twenty-four people killed themselves jumping under Paris Metro trains. On the New York City Subway the figure was twenty-six, and on the London Underground fifty.
  • Men produce twice as much saliva as women.

I think that’s enough for today. I wouldn’t want you to overdose on all this useless stuff.  It’s Sunday, watch some football, drink a beer or two, eat some nacho’s and belch like you have a pair.   That’s what I call “a day of rest”.

HAPPY SUNDAY

09-01-2013   Leave a comment

Not being a huge football or sports fan has distinct advantages for me.  I can ridicule any team at any time for any reason and I do as often as I can.  It’s difficult because so many people admire, desire, and worship these football heroes (I use the term loosely) that they’ll attack anyone who isn’t awed by the mere sight of them.  My hero worshiping days were short lived after all of the scandals: cheating, lying, steroid use, and criminal activities.  No more sports heroes for me thank you very much.  I’ll stick to the real heroes, our servicemen and women who sacrifice so these hulks can make millions of dollars and be praised by the masses.

Here are a few notable quotes, past and present, by some of those sports heroes.  Thank God all of their colleges found a way to help them graduate.

* * *

Shaquille O’Neal on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece: "I can’t really remember the names of all the clubs that we went to."

Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson on being a role model: "I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me."

New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season…"I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."

"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." Joe Theismann

Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson hooking up again with promoter Don King: "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for four years, not Princeton."

Shaquille O’Neal, on his lack of championships: "I’ve won at every level, except college and pro."

Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regime of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He’s a guy who gets up at six o’clock in the morning regardless of what time it is."

Pat Williams, Orlando Magic general manager, on his team’s 7-27 record: "We can’t win at home. We can’t win on the road. As general manager, I just can’t figure out where else to play."

Tommy Lasorda, Dodger manager, when asked what terms Mexican-born pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela might settle for in his upcoming contract negotiations: "He wants Texas back."

Steve Spurrier, Florida football coach, telling Gator fans that a fire at Auburn’s football dorm had destroyed 20 books: "But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet."

Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I told him, ‘Son, what is it with you. Is it ignorance or apathy?’ He said, ‘Coach, I don’t know and I don’t care.’ "

* * *

What more needs to be said?  The more they insist on standing up and talking to the media the more material I’ll have for postings like this.  Keep close tabs on your sports programs for those pregame, half-time, and post game interviews.  They’re almost as entertaining as the games.

08-28-2013   Leave a comment

Football Season is fast approaching and for those of you who are fanatical, you’re probably already in a serious state of FAN (Football Arousal Narcosis).  You find yourself sexually aroused by wide screen HD televisions, satellite NFL packages, and the occasional busty cheerleaders. I must warn you that you’re playing with fire.  Sometime in January when the end of the season is approaching and the withdrawal starts setting in you may find yourself becoming sexually attracted to Terry Bradshaw.  If that happens proceed directly to rehab, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollars.

I’m not a sports fanatic in any way, shape, or form.  The only sports I watch religiously are as many games of the Little League World Series as I can. Those games seem more real and genuine to me than watching a bunch of grown men spending more than three hours to play nine innings of baseball for a few million dollars a year and all the steroid and drug enhancements they can consume.  This time of the year is when the pregame and postgame analysis programs kidnap prime time TV and fill the airways with an ungodly number of continuous sports metaphors and clichés.  It makes me just a little crazy.

Unfortunately those metaphors have slowly and insidiously made their way into our daily language.  If you didn’t already know that, WAKE UP.  We have "ballpark figures", "drop back and punt", and "going the whole nine yards". It’s also a sprint, a boxing match, even a demolition derby. It has leaders and trailers, boasts knockout punches, and will go down to the wire, the buzzer, or the final whistle.” Check these out:

“I was blind-sided by all the talk about the mortgage and someone else bought the house before me.”

“Critics of President Obama used bump and run tactics to impede the implementation of a Republican directive.”

“When Tom retired Larry carried the ball for the next 9 months and the project was completed.”

“If we get the new machinery, we will be dancing in the zone in September.”

‘”Paul fumbled the sale when he failed to return the client’s call.”

“The Democrats game plan totally revolved around the promise of jobs.”

“The lawyers decided to settle after a brief huddle.”

“After John’s failure to win the building contract, his colleagues only made things worse with their Monday morning quarterbacking.

“President Obama caves in over and over again. He punts on first down.” 

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg.  As we progress through the season begin listening carefully to the everyday newscasters, pundits, and anyone else speaking to you from your television screen.  You’ll be absolutely amazed.

AND FOR MY LATER FATHER’S BENEFIT – GO STEELERS!

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