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Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

3 Things That Would Bring More Viewers Than the Pro Bowl

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The Pro Bowl is on this weekend….. (chirping)……

Exactly. Who cares?

Despite nearly every person I talk to saying that they do not care about the Pro Bowl, the NFL said “12.3 million viewers” tuned in to watch. In fact, it was the most-watched Pro Bowl in ten years.

I can’t believe it. Were people watching the entire game? Was there really nothing else on? No Top Chef? No Murder, She Wrote?

Personally, I don’t really watch the Pro Bowl. Not watch it, like a regular game, type thing. I might tune in to see a play, shrug, and turn it off. I think the Pro Bowl is important as far as the popularity contest aspect. It’s nice to get riled up when a favorite player doesn’t make it in. It’s good recognition for those that do. But watch the actual game? No way. In fact, here are three things I think would gather more viewers than the Pro Bowl game.

The NFL Has Talent anyone? >>

Why Getting Snubbed for the Pro Bowl Was Good for Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers failed to get voted into the Pro Bowl this year, and while at this point he couldn’t have gone anyways (what with his first appearance in the Super Bowl and all), I contend that there are some good things about this “snub.”

It Helped Him Focus on Games and Winning

Last year at the beginning of the season Rodgers was asked what he wanted for the upcoming football year and he said he wanted to go to the Pro Bowl. He didn’t say: I want to win games for my team or I want the Packers to go all the way. Instead, he was focused on himself and his numbers.

You can’t blame the guy. We’ve all been focused on his numbers. He followed a legend and the natural tendency is to compare. The first year Rodgers started we heard about comparisons to Favre in almost every game. Each new announcing pair would weigh in, and we’d hear comparisons to his height, hand size, throwing motion, ability to read a defense, and lord knows what else.

The thing about stats, though, is that they don’t mean much. Big Ben had awful numbers in the game against the Jets, but he found a way to lead his team to victory. Wins are the most important stat.

More on why “the snub” was a good thing after the jump >>

Jay Cutler NFC Championship Game: Another Viewpoint

My esteemed writing colleague, Cherie Burbach, wrote about the Jay Cutler debacle as created by the media, judgmental football viewers, and others in her article, Who Gets to Judge Jay Cutler? In keeping with the “Jay Quitler” theme, the story lays out all of the NFL twitterheads’ comments and the prevailing opinions of others regarding what people believe Jay Cutler should have done.  I come at this entire situation from the other side.  My contention is that what people who would comment about what Jay Cutler should have done – is:  “can it”.

The reality is simple, none of us, NFL players included, could possibly have known the extent of Jay Cutler’s injury and its impact on his ability to effectively play out the rest of the NFC Championship game.  In this day-and-age of instant feedback – we can’t stop people from shooting their collective mouths off about such experiences.  It’s especially humorous coming from those of us who have never played a meaningful down of high performance football in our lives.  Frankly, it’s alarming that it would come from fellow union members in the NFLPA.

Another reality is this:  Short of a Chicago Bears comeback win with Jay Cutler at the helm, there was no good ending for this for him.

1 – He leaves the game or is pulled from the game by staff.  We all know how that turned out already.  It involves uninformed and unnecessary criticism of Jay Cutler before the facts are ever revealed.

2 – He stays in and plays poorly.  He gets criticized, as he sometimes deserves, for his erratic play and he has “choked” in a big post-season game.

3 – He stays in and plays poorly and it’s later revealed that he has a severe knee injury, now known to be a grade 2 sprain of his medial collateral ligament with a partial tear.  He and/or the training staff are vilified for allowing him to remain in the game and sink the team’s chances to win the NFC Championship Game.

Hurray for Jay Cutler.  He loses anyone you slice it if he doesn’t win this game, regardless of the circumstances.  Why?  Because we allegedly know better – what, with all of our knowledge and NFL experience.  In the words of Chicago Bears General Manager, Jerry Angelo, “I think it’s crap.”

Why we should leave Cutler alone after the jump >>

Man Fired Over Packers Tie

Rivalries can get pretty darn fierce. The Packers/Bears rivalry is no exception. If anything, it’s one of the bad ones. One of the long, ugly, nasty rivalries.

But people need to keep their heads on straight.

Like John Stone, who was fired for refusing to take off his Packers tie. He worked as a car salesman (a good one, by the sounds of it) but his boss, Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, Illinois, did not appreciate the tie he wore to work Monday after the Packers beat da Bears. For those of you who don’t know where Oak Lawn is, it’s right over the border, so it is likely that there was a Packer fan or two Stone could have sold cars to.

His boss, however, didn’t agree. He felt the tie “salted the wounds” of the Chicago loss. Well…. duh. Of course it did. Why wear an ugly tie like that if you aren’t going to proudly show your employer that they rooted for the wrong team? Heck, even the President of the United States rooted for the wrong team in that game!

It gets worse. Stone wore the tie in part to honor his late grandmother, who passed away just days before the game. And yes, she was a big Packer fan.

The dealership felt that the tie went against their marketing mojo, since it spent $20,000 a month on advertising with the Bears. I’m of the opinion that this publicity is too good to be purchased, so maybe the dealer should consider giving Stone his job back. Then again, if a Bears fan had worn a tie like that in my company, I might have done the same thing.

Ochocinco Changing Name Back to Johnson

What’s in a name? A player by any other name would still smell as…. well, you get the picture. When you think “name” in terms of the NFL there is but one person that pops to mind: Chad Ochocinco.

Ochocinco used to be Chad Johnson, but he wanted everyone to call him Ochocinco because of his number: 85. Except that “eight, five” isn’t the same as “eighty-five,” but why split hairs when you’re a publicity magnet? Ochocinco he wanted to become, and in 2008 Ochocinco he became.

Now, (probably since we’ve all adapted to Ochocinco and the novelty has worn off) he is changing his name back to Chad Johnson.

The first thing I wondered at this was whether he might be leaving Cincinnati. He’s publicly said he wants to stay with the Bengals, but it still makes me wonder. While there is a good chance he could go somewhere else (Jets or Pats have been talked about in the most un-serious of ways) and if that’s the case he might not get number 85 on his jersey. That would be awkward. When your name is “eight, five” and you get say, “eight, zero” as your number? How gauche.

Throwing a Super Bowl Party Like A Boss

Throwing A Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl isn’t just the world’s single biggest sporting event. In the United States, and many countries all over the world, it’s a national holiday. With just over a week left until the big game, it’s time to get ready for the party. Unless you’re heading to one of the official Super Bowl parties in Dallas, then you’ll need this DIY guide to make your party just as good as theirs.

What was once about football is now about commercials, pageantry, joie de vivre, and booze. For you the choice is simple: either find a way to be a part of the festivities, or spend the night in your adult onesie from Target, eating ice cream alone, re-reading Harry Potter with your dog.

Adult Onesie Guy

If you want part of the action, then what easier way is there than throwing a Super Bowl party like a boss. All you need is food, booze, booze, booze, and a few games to keep your guests engaged. Take notice: these tips will make your party more exciting than the game itself!

More tips on hosting the ultimate Super Bowl party after the jump >>

Who Gets to Judge Jay Cutler?

I’ll admit it, when I saw that Jay Cutler was out of the NFC Championship Game so quickly, I was like Dude, suck it up and play. Turns out I wasn’t alone. Several NFL players were vocal, either on radio or via Twitter, about Cutler and his “level of toughness.”

Here’s a sampling:

Derrick Brooks from Tampa Bay said via Twitter, “I have to be crawling and can’t get up to come off the field.” A few minutes later, after the Bear’s third string quarterback was in, Brooks continued, “There is no medicine for a guy with no guts and heart.”

Heart was the question of the day when it came to Cutler. Deion Sanders said, “I never question a player’s injury, but I do question a player’s heart.”

If Cutler had shown the least bit of pain for his MCL tear, we might feel differently. If he had shown the slightest bit of disappointment. Instead, he mentally shut down, furthering the belief that his heart was not in the game. He had a zombielike stare while watching his teammates play their butts off.

Read more judgments of Jay Cutler after the jump >>

B.J. Raji Gets His Super Bowl Grove On

B.J. Raji and the rest of the Green Bay Packers are going to the Super Bowl, thanks, in large, large part to Raji’s interception/touchdown return, which, after avoiding a Leon Lett moment, also featured one of the best touchdown dances you’ll ever see. In fact, Raji’s play was the most crucial of the game, a contest that became a defensive struggle with neither offenses doing, well, much of anything.

On Chicago’s side, you had the Jay Cutler debacle — Memo to Maurice Jones-Drew: Don’t EVER miss another game in your career, ace. — which introduced Caleb Hanie to the rest of the world. On Green Bay’s side, after they moved the ball on their opening drive, it didn’t become a trend; and if they were moving the ball, the Packers couldn’t convert those yards into points.

Enter dancing machine B.J. Raji. After dropping back into zone coverage, Raji found the ball coming his way, and, well, the rest is dancing history.

After the jump, Raji’s hypnotic dance is preserved forever in lovely gif form >>