Archive for the ‘nfl’ Tag

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!

11/10/2021 My Terrible Two’s – 1948   Leave a comment

I know that some of you are going to find this hard to believe but as a child of two I was a serious problem for my mother and father. The term “Terrible Two’s” really meant something to them as they reminded me so often over the years. I was a bit rebellious even then and stayed that way for most of my adult life. In 1948 I was two years old and it was also a year of transition for the country due to the end of World War II. Here are a few facts and figures from 1948 for your amusement.

  • Harry S. Truman was named President of the United States but never appointed a vice president when he first took over the office after the death of FDR. The population of the United States at the time was 146,631,000.
  • The number of births recorded in that year were 3,637,000.
  • There were 563,000 males graduated from high school as did 627,000 females.
  • Average salary for a full-time employee was $2900.00 and the minimum wage per hour was $.40.
  • The Cleveland Indians defeated the Boston Braves in the World Series.
  • And in NFL news, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Chicago Cardinals to win the championship..
  • The PGA championship was won by Ben Hogan.
  • The popular word game Scrabble made its debut in 1948 and soon became the source of stimulation and fun for families on cold winter nights. Many of the favorite toys of the time were interactive and included Lincoln Logs, the game Cootie, Jack-in-the-Box, model airplanes, and electric trains.
  • The Hallicrafter Company developed and marketed a small television with a 4 inch screen (B&W Only) that was more affordable and convenient for some families.
  • Terry Bradshaw, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was born on September 2. Ozzy Osbourne, rock singer and musician, was born on December 3. Samuel L Jackson, actor, was born on December 21 and Orville Wright, aviation pioneer, died on January 30, 1948.
  • Here are some prices you can hardly believe: a loaf of bread-$.14, a pound of bacon-$.77, a pound of butter-$.87, a dozen eggs-$.72, a gallon of milk-$.44, 10 pounds of potatoes-$.57, a pound of coffee-$.51, 5 pounds of sugar-$.47, 1 gallon of gasoline-$.26, movie tickets-$.36, postage stamps-three cents, and average family car-$1250, and last but not least a single-family home-$7700.00
  • During a Yankee Stadium anniversary event on June 13, 1948, Babe Ruth stepped to the microphone, thanked friends and fans for their support, and retired. On August 16, at 8:01 p.m. he passed away.
  • The 1948 Winter Olympics were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and were the first Olympics since 1936, due to World War II.
  • The Summer Olympics were also revived, with London hosting the games. For the first time the games were televised allowing Americans to view athletes from the United States and 58 other nations. Germany and Japan however were barred from participating. The United States closed the games with 84 medals, 38 of which were gold, making America by far the top medal winning nation.
  • On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence, technically ending it’s civil war, but the conflict between Arab and Israeli groups continued.
  • The World Health Organization was established on April 7, 1948.
  • The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, The Adventures of Sam Spade, and Inner Sanctum, were some of the favorite radio stars and shows of 1948.
  • The top hit song of the year was “Buttons and Bows” by Dinah Shore.
  • Some of the most popular movies for the year were Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Fort Apache, Key Largo, The Three Musketeers, and The Treasure of Sierra Madre.

So ended my Terrible Two’s which allowed me to move up to my Terrible Three’s and then my Terrible Fours. I pretty much stayed “Terrible” until Monday of last week.

SAY GOODBYE TO 1948

12-12-2013 Political Correctness in Sports   4 comments

I’ve been fighting the good fight against political correctness for more years than I care to admit.  All in all it’s made no difference whatsoever.  It hasn’t changed my thinking in the least but I’m out numbered by people and government institutions that have more money and power than I.  They’ve made political correctness a permanent part of the American landscape and I’m not sure what it will take to get us back on track.  The only thing I’m absolutely sure is that I won’t be alive to see the change if it ever comes.

I’ll continue to fight the good fight and ridicule those politically correct fools whenever possible and use my sarcasm as a weapon against them.  With that in mind I present for your edification the following article.  It was sent to me by a long time friend in KC who is another warrior against political correctness.  It made me laugh and then after I thought about it some more I stopped laughing.  You sports fanatics will appreciate this.

* * *

I agree with our Native American population—I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins.  One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as warriors, but nay nay….   We must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward.

Let’s ditch The Kansas City Chiefs, The Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians.  If your panties are in a bunch because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns as well.

The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of the militant Blacks from the 60’s alive.  Gone.  Offensive to us white folk.

The New York Yankees offend the Southern population.  Do you see a team named for the Confederacy?  No!  There is no room for any reference to that tragic war between the states that cost this country so many young men’s lives.  Besides, the South shall rise again!!

I’m also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our football team names.  Totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres.  The fact that there are birds on their shirts does not protect either the Arizona or the St. Louis Cardinals—gone!

Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged as their way of life.  We are talking the horrible Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates!

Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children—and it is all about the children. The Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Rams–promote gay men.  Wrong message to our children.

The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible spending habits.  Wrong message to our children.

The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity–a growing childhood epidemic.  Wrong message to our children.

The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates.  Drugs is definitely a wrong message to our children.

The Milwaukee Brewers—well, that goes without saying….   Wrong message to our children.

So, there you go.  We need to support any legislation that comes out to rectify this travesty, because the government will likely become involved with this issue, as they should.  A high priority directly behind efficiently managing our country’s health care.

* * *

We will soon be watching the Unicorns vs Kittens on Sunday afternoons.  GO UNICORNS, KICK THE HELL OUT OF THEM KITTENS!  Can I get an amen?

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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