Posts Tagged "NFL"

Sunday, Solitaire, Blogging, and Bengals

Dear Kid,

Since you are not a blogger, I don’t know if you’re aware of the Important Role solitaire (and Diet Coke) play in creating a blog.

As you may be aware, I forgot to get a psychology degree. Actually, I’m not sure I’d want a psychology degree (I don’t like people today and psych degrees seem to involve working with people). So I guess it’s less of having forgotten to get that particular degree as not having it. But the result is the same. I am not certified. (Certifiable, I know, but not certified.)

Degree or not, I think the reason solitaire is so important is it uses the solitaire part of the brain leaving the blogging part of the brain free to think about the next sentence of the blog.

Having tested this theory thoroughly, I can tell you it doesn’t make much difference which particular game of solitaire you play, although it’s easier (for me) to switch back and forth between solitaire and blogging when they are both electronic.

Some days, solitaire seems to inspire more than others.

Today is (duh) one of the others.

Although I’m also writing tomorrow’s blog about the Bengals. It is an absolutely accurate, unbiased, and thoroughly detailed account of the game. And by “absolutely accurate, unbiased, and thoroughly detailed” I mean “I’m reporting everything I choose to report in the manner in which I see them.” Doubt the NFL is going to offer me a job.

Love, Mom

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Happy Birthday Professional Football | 5 Things You Don’t Know About Football

Dear Kid,

Happy Birthday Professional Football DearKidLoveMom.comWhere were you August 20, 1920? If you had been in Canton, Ohio, and if you had wandered into the Jordan and Hupmobile Auto Showroom, you might have stumbled into a meeting to organize a professional football league. Eventually, the group of seven formed the American Professional Football Conference (which became the American Professional Football Association which became the NFL). Three weeks after the APFC was formed, salary disputes and rule changes began proving that it was a) professional and b) organized. Mission accomplished.

All of which means that today is the birthday of organized professional football. You can feel free to celebrate at any time during the day.

Professional football began in the 1890s in Pennsylvania. Today it is a game played professionally in cities around the country and on many Division I college campuses. The first teams in the league were the Akron Pros, the Canton Bulldogs, the Cleveland Indians, and the Dayton Triangles. Yes, they were all Ohio teams even though the first professional team was in in Pennsylvania (the Allegheny Athletic Association). Guess how many of those teams remain?

So what have we learned?

  1. Professional football began August 20, 1920, except it really didn’t.
  2. Issues around player salaries, game attendance, and college eligibility have been around longer than football.
  3. Joe Neanderthal was big football fan (it was of course all amateur back then).
  4. It is important that the cost of 3 hot dogs at a professional football game is roughly equivalent to the annual budget for some small cities. This allows the team to pay for roughly one week of the lowest paid athlete.
  5. Watching football is fun.

Love, Mom

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NFL Facts You Probably Don’t Know

NFL Facts you probably don't know DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

As you probably know, there is now no question of who holds the field goal record in the NFL. Prior to yesterday, four players were tied with 63-yard field goals each. Now, Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos stands alone at the top of the field goal podium with a 64-yard boot through the uprights. Congrats, Matt!

Which started me thinking about other interesting NFL facts. (For the record, there are more facts about football than I care to count. I’ve chosen just a few to share with you today. I know this has nothing to do with studying for college finals, but I thought you might need a quick break from cramming lots of information into your brain.)

Emmitt Smith had the same number of rushing yards in his last season as he did in his rookie season (937). I love symmetry.

My favorite score in football is the safety, mostly because the signal is so darn cute. Turns out that a safety is the only score that is not credited to a single player. Because of that, when a team forfeits a game, the score is recorded as 2-0.

Even more interestingly, the forfeit rule has never been applied because the only time there was a forfeit was December 4, 1921 when the Rochester Jeffersons forfeited to the Washington Pros. The problem was that the NFL (which was called the American Professional Football Association at the time) was just a baby (1 year old) and they hadn’t written that particular rule yet. So the score was recorded as 1-0.

The Colts were the first NFL team to have cheerleaders.

In 1932 the Chicago Bears and Portsmouth Spartans played in the first ever playoff game in NFL history. The game was to be played at Wrigley Field in Chicago. However, because of extremely cold weather, the game was played inside the Blackhawks’ hockey arena, Chicago Stadium. The dirt field was only 80 yards long so the ball was automatically moved 20 yards back every time a team crossed the 50-yard line.

In an act of Art-Meets-Sport, in 1948 the Ram’s halfback Fred Gehrke started the tradition of insignia decorated helmets by hand-painting the Ram’s helmets. Marketers ever since say silent thank-yous daily.

And finally, when Clint Murchison, Jr. was trying to get League approval for a team in Dallas, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall objected. Strenuously.  So Murchison bought the rights for the team song “Hail to the Redskins”. Murchison basically gave Marshall the option of letting him establish his Dallas team or paying a royalty fee every time the team played their fight song.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled study schedule.

Love, Mom

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Football Combine | College and High School Evaluations for Football

Kid and Pi FootballDear Kid,

Pi is off to the High School Football Combine.

I thought the Combine was called the Combine because it combined several different physical tests.

Nope. Grandpa Hank, who knows all kinds of interesting bits of information, explained that in Days Gone By (that is prior to 1982), NFL teams had to schedule individual visits with the players they were considering recruiting from different colleges. All of this dispersed testing was not only difficult for the coaches and players, it was expensive for the owners. On the plus side, it meant that the sports writers got lots of trips to exotic places like East Nowhere in order to interview everyone and report on the potential for a promising collegiate upstart to break his leg three games into the season.

Not caring one whit about the discomfort of the sports reporters, but caring deeply about their gross profits, the NFL owners decided to Combine these different tryouts. Why they don’t call ‘em tryouts, I have no idea. Clearly, no one asked me. The Combine is now permanently in Indianapolis.

I did some sneaky in-depth research of my own and discovered that none of the tests requires cramming anything but pasta the night before.

In case you’re interested, the tests/evaluations include:

  • 40-yard dash (to test for speed)
  • Bench press (to test for strength)
  • Vertical jump (to test for springs)
  • Broad jump (to test for horizontal springiness)
  • 20 yard shuttle (to test for directional changes)
  • 3 cone drill (to test for ice-cream eating ability)
  • 60-yard shuttle (to test for long-distance direction changes)
  • Position-specific drills (to see if you really can do the job they’ve watched you do in college games for the past four years)
  • Interviews — each team is allowed 60 interviews in 15-minute intervals (to test for ability to deal with sports writers)
  • Physical measurements (no comment)
  • Injury evaluation (You break it, you bought it. Who wants dented merchandise?)
  • Drug screen (to test for inoperable stupidity)
  • The Cybex test (to test joint movement)
  • The Wonderlic Test (to test brain movement. The Wonderlic test was invented by super genius Kathy Kolbe’s dad. Different story.)

Turns out that—as with many things—past behavior/past performance is a much better indicator of success than any of these nifty test. However, the Combine gives sports journalists and broadcasters much more convenient access to everyone.

In high school, pretty much nothing is combined and—at least at our school—the results don’t have much to do with being on the team (although it might impact Varsity/JV status).

I’m hoping the HS version doesn’t include an injury evaluation or your sister will be there twice as long as anyone else. One of her big goals for the summer is to get all her muscles and joints and whatnot in reasonable working order so she can compete as a healthy athlete. Or at least start the season as a healthy athlete. Sigh. Oh, Pi.

As you are no doubt aware, the child has every intention of making the Varsity team (now that someone has graduated and left a critical kicking vacancy there). If determination and attitude have anything to do with it, she’s a shoe-in. If size is at all a factor, maybe not so much.

Cross your fingers, toes, and kicking cleats for her please.

Love, Mom

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