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Michael Vick Deserves Some Compassion

July 28, 2009 1 comment

vick
For the last two and a half years, the media and animal rights activists have saturated our daily lives with the Michael Vick coverage. To me, there are a lot of lessons to be learned by Vick, and a lot of coat-taling that needs to come to a hault.

In life, everyone should own up to their wrong doings for what its worth, but it is only fair, that if there is a wrong, there should be a chance of making it right. Who ever said two wrongs dont make a right should be given a humanitarian award.

With Vick’s release, the media, NFL executives, owners, and even the social networks have waged a full blown discussion on the Mike Vick issue all over again. This time inquiring minds would like to know if he was sufficiently punished, if his head needs to be examine by a neurologist, or whether the NFL should give him a second chance to play right away?

If you ask me for my two cents on this issue, my responses would be simply this: the players union has been taking a back seat on this issue and yes he should be alowed to play. The NFLPA ha been extremely silent, even though they have the resouces to assist troubled players with rehabiliation, or do they? If it was not for Tony Dungy taking a humane approach to this situation amd reached out to Vick, most people would turn the other cheek. As a matter of fact, Terrell Owens came to Vick’s defense even before the Player’s Union.

Supposingly, now we hear that the NFLPA will include the NFL’s disciplinary actions in their pending labor talks. As if, they need one more item on the agenda which already seems taunted. Unforntunately for Vick, he is thrown right in the middle of the circus. However, I am concerned with the fact that he needs some serious damage control in the form of a good publicist and/or someone from the union’s player development department. Vick is a player who had his fair share of ups and downs with the Falcons, but still enjoyed good publicity and was not exposed to or heavily scrutinized by the savage media, as he will now.

Yes, he was a human highlight reel, but he only did his fair share of in depth interviews as a player. In that regard, he would need the media savvy skills and a point man from the union at his side. After all the NFLPA needs their branding too. He will need to land on his feet firmly, but some help might be required.

The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in my opinion, needs to firmly stipulate to Vick about his future. As I am not quite sure what the conditional reinstatement entails. Commission Goodell seem to have a bigger problem, as his body language spoke volumes at the press conference. In my humble opionion, he showed little on no compassion is his announcement. Someone should ask him, if he has ever been given a chance with anything in life. For his usual “god-like” posture is a leading indicator of his lack of care.

But really and truly, Vick placed himself in this “fracass” (as they say in Jamaica), and only he can get himself out. My advise to him would be to keep Tony Dungy on his speed dial and reach out to Deon Saunders, who have given an ear to a few troubled players in the past.

To me, Vick owes it to the fans to prove his critics wrong, now that he has been given a chance at the NFL. He should embrace the idea and be positive, passionate and prepared. He should take full control of is life abd be the owner of all his decisions and must definitey – his destiny.

As for the NFL, maybe the executives need some lessons in human relations – some of the greatest classes are given at Harvard (speaking as a former particpant). Make no mistake, the NFLPA will take the league to task during the ongoing labor talks about the disciplinary actions and how those should be rendered. But as of now Vick need their help.

The NFLPA should help Vick put together a plan to get his life back on track. After all I assume he is a paying union member or was, and his rights and dues are as good as the next player. Second chances, sympathy and compassion are incentives given to humans, as life surely calls for this some times. We dont have to reject seeing the right side of a wrong-doer, some times his regret should warrant some compassion.

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Karma Is Gonna Get You Brett Favre

July 25, 2009 4 comments

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As the NFL season begins to unfold with the start of training camp, I believe it will be my duty to call out the injustices with the coaches and players as I see it fit. If you are wondering, I am not bias, I am as sharp as a baseball umpire, I call it like I see it. And from where I stand looking in, the Brett Favre-Vikings fiasco has gotten outlandish.

I admire the former Green Bay Packers’ quarterback, and literally jumped off his bandwagon two seasons ago. But the kinder gentler me, thought that a second chance was in order for the old gunslinger. So I watched a few Jets games last season in his support, having to eat my words in the first half of the season, when Favre looked like the Favre of old.

However, during the second half of the season, when Favre got hurt, his efforts seemed far fetched and his numbers slipped, calling into to question his ability to finish the season or even come back to play the next. But after the season ended, Mr. Favre created a broadway skit of song and dance again. This time, he adapted lines from the play Hamlet and his return was simply dubbed “to be or not to be”.

As the speculations heightened, the media, the fans and Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings starred in the long-running off broadway musical. We have gone through daily updates of Favre riding his lawn mover, to him hanging out with high school students. Then there was the on again off again meeting with Brad Childress. At this point I was in the I do not care about Brett mode.

To me, Brett Favre will always be a warrior, whether or not he plays in the NFL this season. He has already carved out his legacy, when he played for the Green Bay Packers. My question now will be whether or not his legacy is scared from all those indecisions. Maybe someone should send Brett a memo and ask him to write a note self (Go Out While The Going Is Good).

A NFL quarterback holds and retains certain honors and commands a lot of respect from his team and his other colleagues. The quarterback position, is one in which, you automatically assume, that this player is a leader. Oh well, so much for my assumptions, because Brett Favre has simply broken that mold.

So while I am here penning my frustrations with you Brett, lead me through your decision making process. As a fan who once thought the sun rises and sets with you in Green Bay. What’s up with the new edition Brett Favre? You should also be aware of the fact that I am not the only one asking for the old version of Brett Favre to come back.

I am fully aware of your shoulder injury, the surgery and all that jazz. But you have played for 18 seasons before and should be a good judge as to your ability or inability to return. After all you have been knocked down and out before. Help me here Brett.

Where is your assertive style, where are your killer instincts, how can I help you over this hurdle? If I must be honest with you Brett, this whole mellow drama is a made for a Reality Show sure fire hit. You see Brett you are missing your other calling. And by all means the script needs no tweaking. I think I am about to say “Action”. The main characters for this reality show will be no other than you, your agent Bus Cook and yes I said it here first – Brad “I Know Karma Is Gonna Get Him” Childress. At this point I am not sure who will stir the ratings more, you or Brad.

Coach Childress has been playing dodge ball with the fans, the media, his team and most of all his current quarterback. It would be only fair that we establish one fact going in – Karma is real and it will get you. Karma will be real for you, if you continue to string the Vikings along, and will be a reality for Childress, if he strings the current quarterback along waiting for you.

As you fully well know, no evil and calculating sins go unpunishd and the way I see it, you have been hogging the spotlight for that extra 15 mins for the last few years. Say it ain’t so Brett, tell me if its your ego that’s making you do this – come on blame someone or something else.

One piece of advise buddy – you can get off this moving train right now by throwing Childress under it. You can issue a press release eluding to the fact that Childress forced this drama upon you. Please Brett, just say you will not be bullied into coming back. Then submit your resume to the networks and join the “talking heads clubs”.

Leave the idea of playing to the players who has a one way ticket with their lugguge all packed to go. Withdraw yourself from the possibity of having karma hitting your way. On the other hand too, stay retired, cause karma is sure to get the Vikings and Coach Childress.

My Parting Shot To The Training Camp Bound NFL Players

July 24, 2009 Leave a comment

NFL-Training-Camp-R
So after a long wait the National Football League aka NFL aka the No Fun League will roll up the curtains to welcome another pre-season, training camp and regular season. And as if, we did not have enough drama during the offseason, I am eager and a bit anxious to see how things will rollout for all 32 teams.

I have been following all the changes with the various coaching staff league-wide, and is even more intrigued by the movement of the players. I noticed that certain players have signed with teams where they are either a perfect match or will be a misfit. Knowing all of this, it will make for an interesting season.

While I will miss players like Brian Dawkins from the Eagles, Ray Lewis will stay in Baltimore and oh yes Jason Taylor came back home to the Dolphins. Chad Ohcocinco will be back with the Bengals and Larry Fitzgerald will still be a Cardinal.

But as I sit and wonder about all the teams and where they will finish at season’s end. My focus returns to the players and the part they play in this big win-loss equation. Which leads me to the main event of this blog – my send off rant to all NFL Players;

The Players Commandments:

1. Thou shall honor thy contract; after all you signed it;
2. Thou shall not be late for pratice; even if the coach sets the clock ten minutes fast;
3. Thou shall not disrespect your team mates while in camp; even if he hits you hard during practice
4. Thou shall not foster any talks of a hold-out; your job is not guaranteed and there is a recession
5. Thou shall not plan any golf outing during the season; less your sexual discretion and or judgmnet
comes into question, and you end up using words like didn’t would’t or haven’t
6. Thou shall adhere to the NFL Conduct Policy; for further clarification, see the Mike Vick or Plaxico
Burress Rules at subpart “just dont do it”
7. Thou shall adhere to the sacred vows of your marriage; so it stay drama free, less someone gets
shot
8. Thou shall not slap, punch, kick or imprison your significant or non-significant other; for futher
explanation see the NFL Conduct Policy at sunsection Roger Goodell
9. Thou shall not exercise your option to be a diva, divas have estrogen and thats in violation of the
substance abuse policy
10. Thou shall not whine, cry or write a book about throwing you the darn the ball

11. Thou shall not make a list about the DBs who can not cover you, lets face it catch the darn ball, and
we will see it for ourselves

12. Thou shall not put your coach on blast whether on the sideline or at your press conference

13. Thou shall not trash talk the Referees, one is a judge and you might have to face him during the
offseason
14. Thou shall not ask for a name change during the season if you are not getting the ball, who do you
think you are – Chad Ochocinco

15. Thou shall not make it rain in the strip joint, nobody thought that was cute

16. Thou shall not take any banned substance and even try to mask it as estrogen, diet pills or Jamba
Juice
17. Thou shall not break out in tears after a lost in an attempt to get some me time, and please leave
the QB out of your meltdown

So if you are a player in the NFL, have fun this season, make the team, be an outstanding citizen, live drama free and entertain the fans like your career depended on it. Shout out to the Eagles lets go baby.

Dear NFL Rookie

July 22, 2009 Leave a comment

MichaelCrabtree

The time has come for you to know about the thoughts on the minds of the fans for years now. You see the fans, play an integral part of your lives, believe it or not. So I am gonna roll out some issues that are pressing, on behalf of the millions of fans not ginned up enough to write you a blog post.

First things first, let me congratulate you for making it into the NFL, and kudos to you, if your agent was skillful enough to secure your contract, before the start of training camp. You are to be thankful for this big step, because as far as the economy goes, earning a pay check anywhere is a privlege these days.

You have been playing football since the Pee Wee league, and I assume that you have sought after the your career and dreams as a player in the NFL. It is no longer okay to expect that Coaches will give you special treatment, and whining to get to the ball is seriously not an option. College is ways behind you now and darn it guys this is the pros.

Your playbook should be your best friend, as you are still trying to make that 53-man roster. While in camp, working on the things that make you a great player and consummate the skills to make yourself a even better team-mate. Seek counsel from the player(s) who come(s) in early and leave(s) late.

Watching practice or game film is not only for earning you brownie points on “cut day”, but it will get you to a few pro bowls and even to Canton, Ohio. Rest and relaxtion, to an athlete or even a John Doe is a fair blance in achieving success, so enjoy your down time and do not take your eyes off the prize.

There have been a lot of changes to your life since draft day and you will learn to adapt. But as you can see, even the Veterans have major slip ups. Playing in the NFL is a privilege and not a right, and only 1% of the best of the best earns the chance to play. Its a great gig, but you have to chose the song to dance to. Again, the league is full of stars, role models and mentors, so pick, choose or refuse.

With your future and fame comes a lot of high and low points over the duration of your career. Learn to balance the good and bad. See the good in people and allow them to see the good in you. Utilize the elements of trust and allow the process of elimination to rain eternal in all your decision making.

Employ the art of soul searching, give back to your NFL community or the charity of your choice. Look for ways to lead and only follow in the footsteps of the great men who came before you. Enjoy your family and even your extended family, respect yourself and all the people you will come to meet.

Learn to adhere to the conduct policy of the league and get familiar with them. Use your resources in your quest to being that all round player. Respect your team-mates, understand that we all come from different places and backgrounds.

You will meet thousands of women during your careers, please, please respect the word NO for what it means and stands for. Learn to be a leader and a great example to your friends and colleagues off the field, whether they are good, bad or ugly.

Finally, Rookie you owe it to yourselves to protect the NFL Brand. The fans depend on you, because they love their teams and bleed the colors. The most important thing is Rookie is about your team pride.

In closing, I will leave you with the words of my favorite football philosopher, Vince Lombardi who said: “winning is not everything, its the only thing.” Win on game day, win for the fans, win in practice, in the huddle, off the field, as a team-mate and as a friend.

Good luck in camp, project your positive self.

How Sports Imitates Life

July 20, 2009 1 comment

Britain Open Golf
I have learned a few things about life over my long year of existence and I am only too proud to share them, as I have also realized that a few people could learn a few things from me. My father who was a wise man and my favorite philosopher, always tell me that sports tell the story of life, but its only in my later years, that I was able to realize this whole notion.

Which leads me to a few examples of sport imitating life over the last few days. There was the historic run at the British Open for Tom Watson who came up short, and the likely, but unlikely winner Stewart Cink, who won his first major. There was also the buzzing news about world’s number one golfer Tiger Woods, missing the cut for the firs time in his professional life. For Tom Watson, his rally over three days of the tournament was nothing short of excitement. This humble man with that killer smile, who was a force to reckon with in his early days, gave 59-year olds around the globe, a fresh new look on life, whether they were golfers or not.

But Stewart Cink, who had been knocking for sometime now, seized the moment after not even being on the leader board for the entire week. Cink grabbed the opportunity when Watson missed his putt, challenging Watson in the playoff to earn his very first British Open. So much could be said about resilience in Watson’s case and in Cink’s case, it could be said that he was ready when opportunity knocked. Either way no one can say that both men were not successful, even though Mr. Cink was the titleholder.

Lamar-Odom
We move on the NBA free agency and Lamar Odom, who earlier last week was seemingly, from all reports, returning to the Los Angeles Lakers. Odom was a sure fire bet to return to the Lakers, after all, he was a key part of the Lakers’ success in the NBA Finals, and Trevor Ariza did moved on to the Rockets. Later in the week, we learned that the Lakers’ deal was off the table and that neither Miami Heat nor the Dallas Maverick was able to match what the Lakers were offering. So the last I heard was that Odom was making phone calls to Lakers, seeking to reopen the talks, in an effort to salvage the offer.

What could we learn from this? As an agent, the first lesson you learn, it’s always best to do comparison shop, before you commit your client to a deal, because if you walk away from money, there is always someone out there who will take it. Chances are also; the terms by which you accept to reopen a deal might be one you live to regret. Note to self: “never go back on your vomit” – words from my wise dad.

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Moving on to Brett Favre, with his eternal decision of NFL R&R. Where I come from “R&R” stands for rest and relaxation, and although I have not consummated the skill to either of the two at my tender age – but I am not a pro football quarterback.

In the case of Brett Favre, R&R for him means retire and return. A concept that I have not been able to understand. But after the last few weeks of back and forth with Favre, the Vikings and the sports media. I can tell you what life lesson there is to garner from this one – always leave the room when you still have an audience. For me, I honestly think, Brett should be like Tony Dungy, who left while the going was good, that’s if he want to protect the integrity of his legacy.

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And finally, there is the issue of Mike Vick. Enough has been said and written about Vick and the hideous crimes he committed with respect to the dog-fighting ring. But Vick was sentenced by a judge and as his sentence ends today. We can only hope the ordeal that he has faced over these few months has taught him some lessons in life.

As to what will happen with his future, one will never know, as he is scheduled to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sometime here in the near future. Mr. Goodell who has been commended and critized for the approach that he is taking with players’ conduct, should take a step back and look at how sports imitates life. Goodell and Vick should both realize how the decisions they make can hurt or improve moral for the least among us. This is a decision that Vick has to take serious as it could be the beginning or ending of his life as a pro-athlete and Goodell needs to realize that the American dream is most times about second chances.

So today, as I wrap up this blog post, I would hope that every reader sees where I am coming from with this story idea. I am a big gunner for the underdog, and hopes that even the prized fighter, will learn through his successes or failures. Sports fan or not, life is always big or small; it depends on how you see your road ahead. So, stop, take a look, learn, feel, and celebrate you wins as well as your losses.

NFL Networks The Place To Be For All 65 Pre-Season Games

July 15, 2009 Leave a comment

According to a press release from the NFL. The NFL Network will be home to all the NFL preseason games for the first time with 65 games airing on the only network dedicated entirely to football. In addition for the first time, the entire NFL preseason schedule will be seen in high definition nationally including 12 live preseason games, the most in the network’s history.
Week 1 of the 2009 NFL preseason on NFL Network features five live games highlighted by the debuts of first-round quarterback draft picks MATTHEW STAFFORD and MARK SANCHEZ.
The live coverage kicks off with a doubleheader on Friday, August 14 at 8:00 PM ET with the St. Louis Rams vs. New York Jets, followed by Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers. Saturday, August 15th features the first-ever live tripleheader with the Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions beginning at 4:00 PM ET, followed immediately by Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks vs. San Diego Chargers.
In addition to the pre-season games, the NFL Network is the only place for A-List Fantasy Football fans to prepare their picks and depth charts for the 2009 regular season with NFL Network and NFL.com’s all-encompassing coverage of the 2009 preseason.
All 12 live preseason games will include halftime shows featuring NFL Network’ steam of analysts from its Los Angeles studios and five-minute NFL Network Now updates between game broadcasts reporting the most up-to-date news and information. NFL Network’s schedule includes a total of 162 telecasts as it includes every game, live games and game replays of all the preseason action.

Terrell Suggs Signs Six Year Deal

July 15, 2009 1 comment

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Sources close to the Baltimore Ravens are reporting that the team has come to terms with linebacker Terrell Suggs. Suggs agreed to terms Wednesday on a six-year contract, a deal that provides a long-term solution to his unsettled status as the team’s franchise player.
Suggs has been the Ravens’ franchise player for the past two seasons. The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder had until 4 p.m. Wednesday to work out a deal or face being stuck with the franchise tag for another year.
Had Suggs not signed, he would have played the season for $10.17 million and become a free agent next season.
“Getting a deal done with Terrell is consistent with our history of retaining our best Pro Bowl players, like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden, Todd Heap and Jamal Lewis,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “Securing Terrell for six seasons gives us a premier pass-rusher whose ability to stop the run does not get enough credit.”
During his six years with the Ravens, Suggs has 53 sacks and has not missed a game. He led Baltimore with eight sacks last season and added four more in the postseason, including two in the AFC championship game against Pittsburgh after missing an entire week of practice with a shoulder injury.
“This will be Suggs’ seventh season, and he is still a young player,” Newsome said. “Remember, he came to us as a 20-year old rookie after his junior year in college. This is a good day for the Ravens franchise.”
The 26-year-old Suggs was selected by the Ravens out of Arizona State with the 10th overall pick in the 2003 draft. The three-time Pro Bowl selection is considered one of the best pass-rushers in the league, and has also returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

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