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NFL's visions for Europe blinded by greed

NFL's visions for Europe blinded by greed The Ravens first three home games are all evening prime time events and while that might make some folks happy, don’t count me among them. Give me a good old-fashioned Sunday 1 o’clock kickoff any day of the week and 16 times on Sunday! But the league continues to try and expand their brand and to reach a new audience on different days of the week. They are also delving into their female audience a bit more (see Alyssa Milano). It’s all about growth and let’s face it, if men aren’t on board already, they never will be. Football for them (for some unconscionable reason) just doesn’t work. So after women, what’s next? Well, how about kids? The NFL is doing a great job reaching kids on various levels with their NFL Play 60. It’s community centric, the lessons are valuable and in ways it becomes a built-in farming system for future die-hard fans. It’s a win-win! What is NOT a win-win is this silly idea that the NFL can be succ...

Has the NFL gone up in smoke?

Has the NFL gone up in smoke? I’ve had the pleasure of being on the sidelines during Ravens practices. I have knelt with notepad in hand and watched 250 pound chiseled athletes who run at abnormal speeds for bodies that big, race past me from about 5 yards away. Just a few fleeting seconds after they pass you feel a breeze go by, the byproduct of mass and velocity. And then you can’t help but be left with the thought, “What if someone that big and that fast hit you when you weren’t looking?” It happens every Sunday on an NFL field. Obviously professional football is a violent game. You see it on TV but believe it or not despite the technological advances in television where you can almost smell the grass while watching the game, the violence as seen from your living room doesn’t approach that on the field. I remember playing flag and touch football in men’s leagues for the better part of a decade from my early 20’s to early 30’s. Towards the end of my R...

Pay me now or pay me later

Thrifty NFL teams must spend in 2013
Pay me now or pay me later The Broncos, Bucs, Titans, Jaguars, Bills, Seahawks and Bengals all reportedly have over $25 million of cap space. However in 2012 they DO NOT have to use it because there is no floor. But they better be careful. Tightwads like the Bengals’ Mike Brown can’t just sit on their dusty wallets and make the cash flow of a half-filled stadium work. In 2013 the NFL floor for team spending will be reinstated and if team cap coffers swell too much they will have to spend foolishly next year on players who may not be deserving. With that in mind, it would not surprise me to see the Bengals make a play for restricted free agents like the Steelers’ WR Mike Wallace and/or the Ravens’ CB Lardarius Webb. Both are already young, impactful players with upside. The Bengals have two first round picks this season to burn and the signing of either player not only improves the Bengals it also weakens the Steelers, the Ravens or both. 

Lewis & Levens understood the risks

Lewis & Levens understood the risks NFL players today understand the risks they take when they step out on to an NFL field. Most of them have understood the risks for quite some time.  They are accepted as occupational hazards. There’s nothing new about this and most players are willing to roll the proverbial dice in order to play a game they love while being paid handsomely all the while hoping they never suffer a life altering injury. This week we learned that the Ravens all-time leading rusher Jamal Lewis along with former Green Bay Packer Dorsey Levens filed a lawsuit against the NFL and NFL Properties in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. The suit alleges that the NFL has known about the potential long-term harm caused by concussions for many years. Today’s players are bigger, faster and stronger. That isn’t news to you, me or Messrs. Lewis and Levens. We and they have all seen how yesterday’s players like Mike Webster, Andre Waters, Terry Long and of course John Mackey have suffered fro...

The NFL's Fortunate Son Raises Ire of Opposing Fans

The NFL's Fortunate Son Raises Ire of Opposing Fans Without a doubt Tom Brady is a media darling and a favored son of the NFL. And he is the most coddled member of the league’s Fitness Protection Program. If a defensive player so much as touches his knee with the forcefulness of a feather, flags will rain upon the field like octopus at a Detroit Red Wings game. And being the competitor that he is, Brady milks it for all it’s worth. Who can blame him really? It’s a bit like Duke always getting the charging calls when the rest of the world sees that they are flopping like a French soccer player. If you can get the calls, why not go for it if it gives you a competitive edge? This past Sunday London Fletcher was flagged for Unnecessary Roughness against, well who else, Tom Brady. Down 20-17 the Patriots were knocking on the door of the red zone, facing a second and 4 from the Redskins 23 yard line. Brady was flushed from the pocket and tried to use his legs to get the first down. Fletcher converged quickly on Brady an...

How can you not root for Tim Tebow?

How can you not root for Tim Tebow? Without a doubt Tim Tebow is a major lightening rod and strangely enough, a polarizing one at that. And I wonder why. In Tebow we see a man of strong faith and spiritual conviction. He willingly accepts blame and enthusiastically distributes credit. He lacks prototypical NFL quarterback talent yet he continually finds a way to get the job done in Denver and is 7-1 as a starter. So what’s wrong with that? Why aren’t we as Americans universally behind Tim Tebow? This great country of ours has been built upon overachievers pursuing a dream. Why then can’t a winning quarterback be built the same way? And how Tebow wins today doesn’t necessarily mean that he plans on winning the same way in the future. By his own admission he is a work in progress – one who I might add is progressively working! The hate makes no sense – unless of course the strength of Tebow’s faith leaves those who lack such convictions feeling a bit insecure. But his...

Football Isn't Just a Game!

Football Isn't Just a Game! For many years and as recently as 2005 I worked as an Account Executive for commercial finance companies offering equipment financing solutions for mid-sized to Fortune 500 companies. It was a great career that provided challenges and lifelong friendships. Yet the job wasn’t really the one I had envisioned for myself during my formidable years. But sometimes life can get in the way and as you take on more debt and obligations you are forced to think rationally, logically and you seek paths from point A to B to C and so on and so forth. Logic stymies imagination which in turn makes the realization of dreams that much more of a long shot. Many of us learn that the hard way and looking back I wish that I hadn’t been in such a hurry to advance from point to point. But it’s water under the bridge and as a father the best way to utilize my experiences is to churn them into lessons for my children. Since this side of their toddler years I’ve always told my kids to p...

Thank You Smokin' Joe!

Thank You Smokin' Joe! As a kid I looked up to my Pop. I still do. I remember way back when the way we used to take in the games together given the relatively limited technology available to access the sporting world. Memory lane includes summers with extension cords, rabbit ear antennas and tin foil to take a portable black and white TV on to the patio to watch O’s games; listening to Chuck Thompson and Vince Bagli on WCBM, hanging on their every word as the Colts competed to pull off another win; trying to work through the fuzzy static on Channel 20 in my parent’s bedroom – the best vantage point in the house to soak in the signal and take in the Bullets game. “Bullseye!”, exclaimed Jim Karvellas. And then there was professional boxing. Boxing seemed like a very macho sport for men only. Moms in the neighborhood didn’t care much for it but the Dads embraced it with the same affinity that they did basement poker games with their buddies and cheap cigars. Some might g...

Easy Eddie & Son

Taking a break from football to share a great story!
Easy Eddie & Son STORY NUMBER ONE Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago . Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder. Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time. To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block. Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him. Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good educat...

Eagles paint themselves into corner with Vick

Eagles paint themselves into corner with Vick The moment that the Eagles contemplated trading Kevin Kolb you just knew a big pay day was in store for Michael Vick who yesterday agreed to a six year, $100 million deal that includes $40 million in guarantees. What other choice did they have? The club lost all of its bargaining power the moment Kevin Kolb became an Arizona Cardinal. Vick dazzled the NFL and captivated Eagles fans in 2010. And now he has the club and those who bleed green by the short hairs. It’s easy for a player with a checkered past to walk the straight and narrow, to talk the talk and to toe the line of conformity when the personal stakes are high. Just two years ago Vick left a federal prison. He paid dearly. He did the time and his financial bleeding was significant. He had no one to blame but himself for the butchered dogs and a shattered career. Then like Mighty Mouse, along came Andy Reid to save the day for Vick once he was released from the pokey. Vick’s journey since he again joined the ...
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