Category Archives: Football

The Denver Quarterback Battle: Door 1 or Door 2?

Picture yourself on a blind date game show featuring a cheesy host with fake teeth and weird hair. You’ve just eliminated the gentleman behind Door #3 because he raised the “I live in my mom’s basement and I work as a clown for kids’ parties” red flag.

You’re left with the reckless, daring, and thrilling one-night stand behind Door #1 who you wouldn’t bring home for Thanksgiving dinner. Door #2 has revealed himself to be clean-cut, safe, and the driver of a Volvo station wagon because, well, it’s a reliable and economic car to transport the whole family.

You aren’t just choosing the man behind the door; you are potentially choosing the future life that comes with the guy too. Questions begin to race through your head.

Will the wild guy settle down? Can he ever care for anyone but himself? Can you ever really trust him? Is he going to get arrested? How do you feel about being the look-out during bank robberies? All valid questions for the bad boy.

And for the good chap behind Door #2: Will he ever try something new? Can he protect you in a New York subway? Does he own any pants that aren’t khaki? How do you feel about going to bed at 9:30 p.m. on Friday nights?

Making decisions based on potential and less on available facts are more of a leap of faith than anything else. You can ask all the questions you want and you can even go on a date with the bad boy and a date with the choir boy, but in the end, you just have to take the plunge and go for it.

This is what’s happening in Denver with their current quarterback situation. Only one quarterback can play at a time and a wrong choice can lead to a disastrous season. But a right choice can lead to glory. And Denver has two quarterbacks just itching to go on a date and strut their stuff.

Door #1 - Tim Tebow: the risky wild child on the field...

Door #1 is Tim Tebow. While he is as straitlaced as

they come off the field, his football game is extremely risky. There has never been a quarterback quite like him and it’s impossible to predict the outcome of his career. He could easily bomb and he could easily be great just like the bad boy who could leave his youthful follies behind as he ages or spend 25-to-life behind bars.

Door #2 is Kyle Orton. He’s the safe pick because there have been hundreds of quarterbacks like him throughout history; average arm strength, average accuracy, average talent, and average results. But the range of failure to success is much smaller than with Tebow. The chances of Orton completely bombing are minimal, but the chances of Orton winning the championship are also minimal. He’s the definition of the safe choice just like the choir boy who’s guaranteed to be the designated driver for every guy’s night (that is, if he even has guy’s nights).

Door #2 - Kyle Orton: he's plain and average and safe...

The Denver coaching staff is currently sitting on the stool next to the host with the weird hair and creepier smile asking Tebow and Orton “What’s their idea of a perfect date?” or “If you’re a car, what kind of car would you be?” And how will they answer? In the form of four preseason games and currently, Orton is slightly ahead of Tebow so it appears Denver is leaning toward playing it safe rather than taking a risk.

Life is too short to be dull and everyone knows you can’t change a person who doesn’t want to be changed. Knowing that, good luck Denver. Choose wisely…

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Filed under Dating, Football, Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow

The Yips

Parallel parking is easy when practiced in front of your house with cones and trash cans. It does, however, become infinitely more difficult when attempted in front of a swanky restaurant in between a BMW 7-Series and a Maserati with outdoor diners picking apart your every mistake. Soon, passerby begin to gravitate just to watch you take the wrong angle and start over for the umpteenth time. Put enough pressure on yourself while allowing the situation power over you, and you’ll fail more at parallel parking than Meadow Soprano.

Meadow can't park...

If you’re the type who’ll park three blocks away and pay $10 to avoid parallel parking in front of everyone, then you may have a case of the yips.

The yips are dangerous. Powerful enough to end careers and contagious enough to shun those afflicted, the yips are that little anxiety monster that grows and grows and eventually takes over in pressure situations.

In the athletic arena, it could look like Chuck Knoblauch launching short throws from second base into the stands, or Jean Van de Velde scattering golf shots all over the last hole to lose the British Open, or Mark Wohlers unable to find the strikezone, or LeBron James disappearing in the fourth quarter in the NBA Finals, or any Florida State kicker when trying beat the University of Miami. Those are just a few examples but the list is miles long of athletes who can do their task without trouble when no one is watching only to fail miserably when the lights burn brightest.

Some call it ‘white line’ syndrome. Step on the playing surface between the white lines of the football field, basketball court, baseball field, or parking space and the athlete can begin to over-think the most mundane of tasks. Short field goals become tricky, free throws are impossible, throwing strikes are out of the question, and parallel parking is calamitous.

Yours truly even yipped a stop sign some years ago. You know, those big, red octagonal warnings that have stop written across? I had a date in the passenger’s seat and my mind was preoccupied and sure enough, whoop-whoop! The policeman lectured me on paying more attention (no ticket!) and did understand that the sign was behind a large banyan tree. But had I been driving alone I certainly would have been locked in on the stop sign. The circumstances of my date and trying to think about saying all the right things led me to completely yip a stop sign!

Fortunately, no one was hurt and I have since learned from that experience. I have yet to miss a stop sign since! The yips can drive those afflicted one of two ways: Learn from them and improve, or, succumb to them and wash out.

When Rory McIlroy yipped away the Master’s many thought he would struggle in future similar situations. But he learned from the experience and won the very next major tournament convincingly. The aforementioned Van de Velde never came close to winning another major tournament ever again.

From champion to wading in muck: The Yips

So fear not. You may have badly screwed up that last date when you spilled all that wine on his smartphone and white Brooks Brothers shirt. Now you know you have to concentrate a little more when pouring wine. But don’t avoid that same situation; that would be succumbing to the yips. And don’t avoid parallel parking either. Find a teensy-weensy spot during happy hour between a Bentley and a Mercedes and yell “Take notes!” as you put on a show one-timing the parking job and saying “You’re welcome,” to the group ready to pounce on your smallest mistake.

No one really knows how to defeat the yips, but apprehension certainly isn’t the cure. Might as well be aggressive…

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Filed under Baseball, Basketball, Dating, Football, Golf, Yips

Inflated Numbers

Here are some truths about guys:

Guys really, really, really like the song “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It does something to our brains. It makes us drive faster and do goofy air-guitar solos in the middle of Best Buy regardless of who’s watching.

Guys will cry, no, bawl whenever they watch Brian’s Song. The movie is based on the story of Brian Piccolo, the undersized fullback who blocked for Gale Sayers on the Chicago Bears. Piccolo contracted cancer mid-season and eventually died. I would review the movie, but I don’t feel like turning into a blubbering mess.

Guys also tend to inflate their “number.” Ask them how many girls they have been with, and you will get a number with less credibility than OJ Simpson. For a more realistic number, take his number, and divide it by three.

Sports work the same way. The Colorado Rockies baseball team usually scores more runs than anybody else because the altitude makes baseballs travel farther.

The Denver Nuggets basketball team has a ridiculously good home record because the visiting teams can’t breathe due to the thin mountain air.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders college football team (in the Mike Leach days) usually had the quarterback who threw for the most touchdowns and yards. However, that team threw on virtually every play.

The casual observer would be convinced that home runs hit by Rockies’ sluggers, the games won by the Nuggets at home, and the statistics amassed by Red Raider quarterbacks are legitimate.

However, those same Rockies struggle to hit homers on the road at sea level, the Nuggets barely win on the road, and Texas Tech quarterbacks rarely get drafted into the NFL.

Their numbers are inflated much like how the typical guy inflates the total number of his conquests.

Statistics, whether it’s with sports or love, need to be accepted with a certain air of skepticism. Homers hit with steroids or Grammy’s won with auto-tune can certainly have their legitimacy questioned.

But the argument of Clemens’ steroid-fueled wins versus Perry’s spitball-aided victories makes sports fun to talk about.

So whatever number you end up being told, just know there are a variety of different circumstances needing to be taken into account whether it’s homers, touchdowns, or sexual encounters…

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Filed under Baseball, Basketball, College Football, Football, Numbers

Miranda Priestly is Bill Parcells in a dress

You are probably wondering who in the name of Michael Kors is Bill Parcells?

Well, he is currently the executive vice president of football operations in Miami and probably the man most responsible for resurrecting the Miami Dolphins from a 1-15 record in 2007-08 to an 11-5 record in 2008-09. He also won two Superbowls as a coach for the New York Giants and has enjoyed terrific success as a coach for the Jets, Patriots and Cowboys.

Of course, on this blog for this audience, Miranda Priestly needs no introduction. After all, The Devil Wears Prada is one of those movies you just keep on watching no matter when you tune in (this coming from the guy who thinks Will Ferrell can do no wrong).

So what do Miranda Priestly and Bill Parcells have in common besides salty grey hair do’s?

meryl_streep_miranda_priestly_devil

bill parcellsThe two are known for being ridiculously demanding. Priestly remarked in the movie that she took her magazine from a little publication to the premier fashion magazine in the world. Parcells has a reputation for rebuilding franchises. Every team he takes over is struggling, but after a year or two, that team makes the playoffs.

Both have incredible quotes and catch phrases. Miranda’s top three are: 1) “By all means move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.” 2) “The details of your incompetence do not interest me.” 3) “Bore someone else with your questions.”

For Parcells: 1) When asked about how injured wide receiver Terry Glenn was healing, Parcells, who is often frustrated with lengthy recuperations, responded with, “She’s making progress.” 2) “…No matter how many championships, no matter how many Superbowls, you’re not winning now, so you stink.” 3) “Something goes wrong, I yell at them – ‘Fix it’ – whether it’s their fault or not…”

Both have exceptionally prickly demeanors and only a certain type of person can thrive under them (just look at the above photos. Aren’t you scared?). For Miranda, Nigel and Andy flourished while many others couldn’t take it and were forced out. Parcells is the same way. Drew Bledsoe and Chad Pennington were at their best when they were the quarterbacks for Parcells. But many players were run out of town for things as small as spending too much time in the training room.

Both figures act decisively with unwavering precision. Miranda concocted the grand scheme in the end that still has me confused. She wanted to screw over Jacqueline but keep her magazine but in the end, Nigel is the one most hurt. But she doesn’t care. It’s all about her and the good of her operation; co-workers, feelings, relationships be damned.

When the Dolphins begged Parcells to rescue their embarrassed franchise, Parcells acted quickly. In a matter of weeks, he fired the coach, general manager and all but two members of the old staff that won just one game all season. This all took place a few days after Christmas around New Year’s Day. He didn’t care. Parcells wanted to win, so he brought in his own people, and as French fashion models often say, voila! The Dolphins are division champions.

So while Parcells may not purse his lips when he is displeased (he yells, cusses, and shoots lightning from his eyeballs) and Miranda may not have a nickname as cool as the Big Tuna (Parcells’ nickname), the two are a match made in heaven (or hell depending if you are on the receiving end of an angry tirade).

The next time The Devil Wears Prada is on TV (and it’s on just about every night by the way), lean over to your male companion and say, “Hmm. That Miranda Priestly played by the excellent Meryl Streep reminds me so much of Bill Parcells.” And he’ll say, “Uh, what?” And you’ll say, “Don’t you watch football? Bill Parcells? He coached the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys and he’s doing a marvelous job with the Dolphins.”

Isn’t learning sports fun?

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Filed under Bill Parcells, Devil Wears Prada, Football, Miami Dolphins

The Project

Webster’s Dictionary defines a project as “an extensive undertaking requiring concerted effort.” That’s why no one likes 8th grade science (the projects) and why it is so difficult to change that boyfriend you describe as a work-in-progress.

Let’s face it. You ladies enjoy undertaking a project to change your guy for the better (in your opinion). Maybe he drinks, watches too much sports, plays too much golf, hangs out with his friends, never reveals what he’s really thinking, etc. You know, all the behaviors that make males so very male.

The point is you see a guy you like and after getting to know him, you realize he is about 83% of the perfect man. The remaining 17% is all you. You will convince him that golf on Sundays is boring and that Pottery Barn is far more entertaining. You will convince him that The Bachelor is more engrossing than the Rose Bowl. And you will convince him that his friends are all drunken morons (probably true). His potential at 100% of the perfect guy helps you to live with the rough edges until he eventually succumbs and you win.

The same idea takes place every year in pro sports. This year, Michael Vick, John Smoltz and Allen Iverson are all projects teams are willing to shell out millions with the hope that they become great once again. In the meantime, they will have to live with the interceptions, homers, and turnovers that all resemble a toilet seat left up for the umpteenth time or a forgotten dinner engagement with your mother.

Vick, now more famous for his dog fighting, was once the most electric quarterback of all time. He was a lethal combination of arm strength and foot speed much like the dual threat that is the one and only Cher. But after spending more than a year in prison, Vick probably lost some of that physical ability. By signing him, the Eagles are taking a risk because he may never come close to his once dominant self, but if he does, Philadelphia just added a potent threat capable of taking any team to the playoffs.

Smoltz and Iverson are similar because their best days are behind them. Smoltz was just released from the Red Sox after getting beaten like Rihanna (too soon?). But now the Cardinals are gambling that the 42 year-old can regain his form in time for the playoffs. And he has by winning his first start for St. Louis.

Many consider Iverson the greatest little-guy of all time in the NBA. But the last few seasons have proven that his bad attitude and me-first persona outweigh his ability. So much so, Iverson cannot find a team to play for and the NBA season is only about two months away. The team that does sign him will be taking a major risk because Iverson makes the locker room about as harmonious as a Flava of Love house.

So take heart when your guy forgets your birthday or when his eyes wander to another woman. You can always dump him and you won’t owe him a blessed thing. But when the Raiders signed a project in the form of DeAngelo Hall last year to a seven year/$70 million deal with $24.5 million guaranteed, the team was on the hook for big money when (surprise, surprise) Hall played terribly, sulked, and was eventually cut from the team.

Sports (and dating) reveal there is a fine line between potential and pipe dream…

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Filed under Allen Iverson, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Projects

Looking for an athlete?

By now, you should be a little more knowledgeable when it comes to the world of sports. Maybe you don’t know the difference between a 3, 5, and 8-second violation, but you are no longer clueless like Alicia Silverstone. Maybe you are feeling saucy and want to date an athlete.

But which sport?

Well, football players can be a little violent, the lineman can be obese, all are prone to concussions, and the average NFL player’s lifespan is significantly shorter than someone who doesn’t smack their head against some other big guy’s head repeatedly at a dangerous rate of speed for a living. The average player’s salary is $830,000 per year, which is nice, but you can do better.

Pro baseball players earn boatloads of money (average salary is $1.15 million), but they have their weaknesses too. The season is 162 games long,  so they are never around, chances are pretty good they took steroids at some point in their careers (steroids cause a man’s testicles to shrivel up), and they have a gross habit of spitting saliva, sunflower seeds, or tobacco or a rarely seen, but captivating combination of all three.

The average basketball player earns $2.75 million per year so things are looking good there. But the behavior patterns of some of the elite players can be a bit unsettling. For instance, Allen Iverson chased his naked wife down a street out of love, Wilt Chamberlain boasted about having sex with 10,000 women, and Shawn Kemp has more kids depending on him than Santa Claus. Plus, I am 6’4″ and I am dwarfed next to pro basketball players.

Hockey guys make $1.15 million per year and are really normal. They aren’t tall. They aren’t short. They are just normal dudes missing a lot of teeth. Anyway…

So while the major American sports may not tickle your fancy, try looking at a sport that travels more than 200 miles per hour in the most exotic locales on earth. Yep, Formula One racing is where you will find Mr. Right.

The top driver in the world earned $51 million last year while the tenth best driver made $4.5 million. Wealth? Check.

If you are looking for an exotic flair, none of the drivers are American. In fact, Italy, Germany, Brazil, England, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, France, Spain, Poland, and Finland are the countries represented among the drivers. Not to mention, the drivers are all very smart. They have to understand wind resistance, fuel capacities, tire degradation, and other complex car physics. Let’s just say they are a bit brighter than the average ballplayer who never went to college.

And you like to travel right? Well, New York and San Francisco are pretty cool, but the Formula One races only take place in the coolest cities on earth. The schedule includes Australia, Malaysia, China, Bahrain, Spain, Turkey, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, Singapore, Japan, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, and the crown jewel of the circuit, Monaco. You should be able to do some hardcore shopping in these places when you are not mingling with royalty or the uber wealthy.

Formula One money is ridiculous. It makes horseracing money look like a pittance even with the $1,000 mint julep drinks served at the Kentucky Derby. For example, Ferrari spent nearly $250 million on its racing team in 1999 and even the worst team that year spent $50 million. The elite teams today spend staggering sums of money.

Still not convinced? Ashley Judd married Dario Franchitti, a Scottish Indy Car driver. Ashley Judd never makes bad decisions, unless when it comes to choosing scripts in which case she makes awful decisions. Don’t judge her by Twisted or Eye of the Beholder. She’s having a ball watching Franchitti win races.

Which makes me long for a female Formula One driver. They are all male so my ticket to travel the world and live the aristocratic European life will have to wait. And no, Danica Patrick. I am not interested in your Indy Car races. Sorry, I have standards…

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danica

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Filed under Auto Racing, Baseball, Basketball, Danica Patrick, Football