With the recent efforts by the National Football League to crack down on head-hunting and brutal hits on defenseless players – sad is the news of Dave Duerson’s suicide. Duerson was found dead in his home located in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Dave Duerson apparently shot himself in the chest.
In a strange and sobering twist, he chose to send a text message to his family prior to taking his own life. In it, he informed his family that he wanted his brain used for research at the Boston University School of Medicine. I presume that he was all-too-aware of the impact his professional playing career may have had on the depth of his feelings of despair before leaving this world. Left behind are his three sons and daughter born of his marriage to ex-wife, Alicia Duerson.
Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel promised he would shave his beard after the season ended, and he’s holding up his end of the bargain. Keisel has had some fun with his trademark bushy beard, and even talked about it during media week before the Super Bowl.
He’s had plenty of PR mileage from the beard, which he called his “beautiful thing” and even joked (at least we think he was joking) about the beard having magic powers. Keisel isn’t just yakking about his beard for nothing. He’s raising money to help in the fight against children’s cancer, by selling tickets to a “Shear the beard with Brett Keisel” event which will be held at the Diesel Club Lounge in Pittsburgh on February 24th.
Here’s what he looked like before all that facial hair, incidentally:
Looks like a totally different, guy, doesn’t he? If you want to get a piece of that magical beard, tickets are $25, and before and after photos will be available for purchase. What’s more, you can also purchase a lock of that scraggly beard, which probably has so many food particles in it by now that it could feed a family of four.
Good for Keisel for raising money for charity over this whole thing!
To the victor goes the spoils, the rings, the trophies, the “Got Milk” ads, the “I’m going to Disney World” exclamations and, well, considering it’s the Super Bowl winner/MVP we’re talking about, I’m sure Rodgers can get just about anything he asks for, especially in Green Bay. While those perks are great and all, there’s also another item Rodgers received for his Super Bowl MVP efforts which might be worth more to him than the rest of that stuff: his championship belt.
At different times during the season, Rodgers put on his imaginary belt as a way of celebrating key plays and touchdowns. Clearly, Rodgers knew it was all leading up to the biggest stage in football, if not all of sports, and when the time came to collect the belt, Rodgers delivered in spades. In fact, his performance was so belt-worthy, Rodgers was presented with a real belt, courtesy of Dana White and Chuck Liddell. He then reminded the world the belt is his when he accepted the Lombardi Trophy from Roger Goodell:
We’re big fans of Super Bowl commercials here at IF, and after watching the above, my jaw’s on the floor. Game over, man. Game over. The fight’s over before it even started. Hand Volkswagen the championship belt because they’ve turned in what will be the best commercial of Super Bowl XLV. That’s it. That’s the list. In fact, this might be one of the best of all time.
I’ll admit that when Rodgers first took over as quarterback for the Packers, I thought all the talk about him being “elite” and at the “top of league” was way too early. Now, three years later, he’s becoming the quarterback fans hoped he would be. This year he silenced critics with his three playoff wins (all on the road), which is incidentally the number Brett Favre had in his entire career. Also, in Favre’s last ten years with the Packers he only won three playoff games total, and Rodgers did that this year alone.
And this, folks, is the play that sent the Pittsburgh Steelers to the AFC Championship game. Granted, Rashard Mendenhall’s touchdown provided the actual go ahead score, but that’s not happening without Brown’s stick-em-on-the-helmet-like catch. As for the purists out there, where does Brown’s catch rank in relation to David Tyree’s miraculous catch against the New England Patriots (I still enjoy watching Rodney Harrison fail there)? In order for the playing field to be completely level, you’d have to take out the fact Tyree’s obviously occurred on an even bigger stage, and at an even more crucial moment.
While advancing to the Conference Finals is nice, winning the Super Bowl clearly trumps all.
How much does this win add to the legend of Ben Roethlisberger, one of the more polarizing players in the NFL, for obviousreasons? Love him or hate, he simply makes plays, and in the NFL — well, considering the Cam Newton situation, we should change “NFL” to “football in general” — that’s clearly all that matters.
Maybe it’s because I lived in Chicago too long. I’ve been around Cubs fans and Bear fans enough to know they hedge their hearts with a lot of “they’ll find a way to lose” thoughts. Maybe it’s so they won’t be so disappointed at the end result – but they usually are just that – disappointed. This weekend will be no different.
Pittsburgh Bests Baltimore
Maybe I’m hedging my heart here, I’m sure Pittsburgh will find a way to … wait a minute, I don’t live in Chicago anymore! Pittsburgh will win this slugfest. I love these games. In the last three years, they’ve met eight times (Steelers on top 5-2). The average margin of victory in these contests? 3.5 points.
For me to say whoever can turn over the ball less wins, well – that’s pretty simple. Talk is that Joe Flacco has more freedoms in this year’s offense. For the Ravens, they’ll need him to be fantastic to get his first win against a Big Ben-led Steelers team.
Who likes what more? Does James Harrison like hitting quarterbacks (and other offensive players) more than the NFL likes hitting Harrison’s wallet or is it the other way around? Whatever the case, it certainly looks like the two entities have a symbiotic relationship. Harrison provides the NFL with highlight material, and make no mistake about the NFL’s hypocrisy when it comes to using hard hits in their promotional materials, and they, in turn, love taking money from Harrison with the same vigor he hits defenseless receivers with.
For the 2010 season, Harrison has already totaled $125,000 worth of fines, all of which came from questionable hits.
His latest fine comes from the hit he laid on Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a blast that cost Harrison $25 grand. PFT has itemized the others:
[Harrison] previously has been fined $75,000 for a hit on Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, $20,000 for a hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees and $5,000 for a hit on Titans quarterback Vince Young.
The funny thing is how much these fines vary. It also makes me wonder how the NFL determines their punishments. Where, exactly, was the $50,000 difference between the hit on Fitzpatrick and the hit on Massaquoi? Further, I thought repeat offenders were punished more severely if their behavior continues. Judging by the NFL’s fine scale for James Harrison, that is apparently false.