Archive for the Football Category

Post As If…: The Horror of Social Network Irresponsibility

Posted in ESPN, Football, Life, NFL, people, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2009 by Rick

I have long thought about the new phenomenon of social networking, web logging and comment threads that has become a normal part of life for anyone that frequents the internet. Because it’s still fairly new, the rules/code of conduct are still being written. Most sites have a general, politically correct code of conduct forbidding crude and offensive language, hate-speak and such. But after that anything goes in most cases. This makes way for, otherwise normal people, to broadcast their brilliance, creativity, compassion and humor or their ignorance, shallowness, hatred, and lack of humor (and the death of English syntax). I’m sure time will produce more social networking norms and mores but until then keep the following in mind.

Things you post on the internet can normally be seen by anyone and are usually permanent. Years from now someone, with the will and desire, can dig up Myspace comments you’ve posted, blog posts, Tweets and Facebook status updates. With that in mind, don’t post anything that may get you divorced, arrested, expelled, excommunicated, or…drum roll please…FIRED! A recent ESPN report tells of a former part-time employee of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dan Leone, who was dismissed by phone for expressing his disappointment with the teams decision not to re-sign Pro Bowl Safety Brian Dawkins (this act falls a close 2nd to getting expelled via text message). This is what Dan’s Facebook friends saw that day: “Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver … Dam Eagles R Retarted!!” Ironically, the last phrase of Dan’s criticism can be used to describe his act as well, right down to the insensitive and misspelled term ‘retarded'(maybe he wanted to add emphasis by misspelling the word).

Firing a, relative, peon in these tough economic times is not the best look for a sports franchise many people regard as overpaid. They could have handled this in-house, reprimanded the guy and allowed him to keep his part time position. But Dan could have helped his own cause by understanding that big businesses take crap from every direction and will not stand for harsh critical words from a person under its employ. Dan learns a tough lesson for the good of posterity. God bless him as he tries to make ends meet and love a team that spurned him. Maybe Brian Dawkins can shoot him a bone of support to a foolish fan.

When it comes to the internet, I post as if God is standing over my shoulder. If you don’t acknowledge God, post as if your boss is standing over your shoulder.

Social Network Rule #1. Don’t Trash Your Employer Online Unless You Have or Intend to Resign.

What do T.O. and Dan Leone have in common?

What do T.O. and Dan Leone have in common?



Posted in Football, NFL, Sports with tags , , on September 4, 2008 by Rick

It’s “Don’t call or text me I’m watching the game” time!

It’s “Sure Honey! I’ll change the baby…at half time” time!

It’s “He did NOT just do that!” time!

It’s “My team just lost. I’m not hungry.” time!

It’s “Please God, let him catch it!” time!

It’s non-stop beer commercial time!

It’s “I can’t believe he just called that!” time!

It’s “Please don’t invite me to dinner on Sunday” time!

If I intimidated just one kid in this uniform…I did my part. Try maintaining that haircut after sweating in a helmet.

*Thanks to my wonderful wife, Heather, for not only granting me the time and space to drown in testosterone the better part of Sunday, but also for willingly learning the rules of the game and joining me in pigskinular bliss! She IS the one. A good thing too cause I’ve committed to her already.

Talent Kicks Character’s Butt Once Again!

Posted in Football, NFL, people, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2008 by Rick

Thank you Mike Brown! That is, Cincinnati Bengal team owner Micheal Brown. After making strides to change the image of his NFL team most noted for filling the Cincinnati police blotter than the Bengals’ win column, Brown decides to re-sign serial arrestee, wide receiver Chris Henry. Whether it’s gun charges, possession of marijuana, DUI or providing alcohol to minors Henry keeps the ‘Nati Blue Boys busy. His off field escapades lead to 3 suspensions in 2006 and an 8-game-whopper of a suspension in 2007 for violating the NFL’s conduct policy (only to be out-done by former West Virginia teammate Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones with a full season suspension). After an April 2008 assault arrest, owner Mike Brown stated “Chris Henry has forfeited his opportunity to pursue a career with the Bengals. His conduct can no longer be tolerated.” A seemingly mandatory move for an owner that wants to make-over his teams image. Thanks to key injuries to three of the Bengals’ receivers, including pro-bowlers Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Mike Brown returned to his own vomit and re-signed Chris “Can’t-get-right” Henry. Brown’s gesture sends a clear message of what’s most important to him. Alienating himself from coaches and good players…or winning, it’s hard to assess right now. Henry is in training camp and will return to the Bengals after serving a four game suspension for violating the conduct-blah-blah-blah….

I am in full support of people getting another chance and getting opportunities to redeem themselves. Besides, if God held me to the letter of the law for each of my transgressions I’d be doing life in purgatory right now. The Bengals gave Chris several opportunities to change and prove that he’s more than a privileged thug. He swiftly spit in their faces with more indiscretion. After his last assault arrest he was not remorseful. He tried to justify his actions by saying he mistakenly assaulted an 18 year old thinking he was a different guy that owed him money. He doesn’t deserve another opportunity with the Bengals organization. The fans, players and coaches deserve better.

This Chris Henry knows that

This Chris Henry knows that

THIS Chris Henry can get him out of anything!

THIS Chris Henry can get him out of anything!

So if you’re keeping score, chalk one up in the win column for talent and give a disapproving glare to character. Is dog fighting the only unforgivable sin in sports?

Makes Me Wanna Holla…

Posted in Early Death, Football, Fox Sports Radio, NFL, Sports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 21, 2008 by Rick

Fox Sports Radio wants me to remember that when former Oakland Raider Guard and NFL Players’ Association head, Gene Upshaw died, FOX SPORTS RADIO broke the story FIRST!!!

because that’s what’s most important right?….it was crucial that I find that out at 5:30am instead of 6:30am…right?

God’s peace to the Upshaw family.

Goodbye or Good Riddance? Sean Taylor

Posted in Football, Sean Taylor, Sports, Tragedy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2007 by Rick

I’d like to state for the record that I titled this piece in a way to grasp attention. As you read further you will hopefully understand that I am reasonably grieved over this tragic occurrence. But the media’s poor handling of this story and casual attitude towards the loss of a human being is much more troubling to me.

I am an avid sports fan. It can get to sinful levels when it comes to NBA basketball and NFL football but I’m sure I’m not on an island in that department (don’t mean to excuse transgression). I was not shocked to hear that Washington Redskins safety, Sean Taylor had passed away after hearing a description of his injuries. I was hoping for the absolute best, but a gunshot wound near the femoral artery is not a good situation to recover from without immediate medical attention. I instantly thought of his family and the child he was leaving behind and I nearly cried. I felt for his friends and teammates who would be left to wonder what happened to their brother. As the reports came in it was difficult to hear accounts of the incident without the disclaimer of his ‘questionable past’. The footprint of his criminal history seemed strategically woven through each head and tag line. Once the pundits finished reporting Taylor’s history of indiscretion outweighed the sorrow of his death. A previous break-in, alleged threats, past DUI’s and a spotty up-bringing all trumped the travesty of a senseless death. What police are deeming a random burglary gone horribly wrong, is being heavily scrutinized and doubted by many of sports’ talking heads and it is raking my soul.

Colin Cowherd, Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Jason Whitlock and Doug Gottlieb are just a few names of sports columnists and commentators who have brought light to the fact that this crime was more likely provoked by Taylor rubbing an old associate the wrong way. It bothers me so because the truth of this story is only beneficial to the Taylor family, Miami-Dade Police and residents. Why dig into this story unless the intent is to assist police in bringing the assailant to justice? I don’t get the feeling that Colin Cowherd is solving Miami murders from a radio studio in Bristol, CT. So why all the talk?

I believe many of these writers, much like there tabloid contemporaries, rush to identify the Sean Taylors (I am not condemning him) of the world as bad elements so they can sit back and say ‘See? When you do wrong, bad things happen to you’. This is the credo that helps them all to sleep at night. They also confide in the converse of that statement ‘If you work hard and do right by others good things will happen for you’ and at the very least no horrible things will happen to you. The truth is much more difficult to digest, especially when you don’t believe in an all knowing, all powerful God. Here’s what Solomon of the Bible says to that:

Ecclesiastes 7:15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
a righteous man perishing in his righteousness,
and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

Solomon was not God but God allowed him to write this and include it in His holy book. Solomon notices that sometimes good people meet calamity and an early end though they are blameless. He’s also seen evil people live long, seemingly worry-free existences. Thankfully, God has promised that he will not forsake the righteous nor will he ignore the wicked. He promised it would happen but always on this this side of the sun.

Back to Sean’s judges. Random deaths and adversity don’t add up in the ‘get-what-you-deserve’ context. The safe theory is that if you stay out of certain neighborhoods, distance yourself from ‘thugs and gangstas’, mind your business, pay your taxes and take care of you then things will be fine. That’s the kind of thinking that leave many shaking there fists in anger and confusion when the formula falls short of expectation. The assurance of authentic Christian living is that God does not deal in the random. God allows and often causes things to happen, both benefit and calamity. You can rest assured that even when an event seems fortuitous God has a purpose.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything (good and bad),
and a season for every activity under heaven:

No smart person would be arrogant enough to claim to know God’s intention for allowing an act to take place. It can be comforting to think that a perfect God is in control when it feels as though no one is. Sean Taylor’s death, untimely as it may seem, was allowed to happen for some reason. It’s not up to ESPN, Fox Sports radio or anyone else to speculate. The media can, however, help by reporting the facts and speaking well of an imperfect life that still made lasting positive impacts in the lives of family, friends, sports fans and teammates.


As I complete this entry Miami-Dade police have arrested four youth in conjunction with Taylor’s murder. Confessions have been made and a gun was recovered. It appears at this point that this was indeed a robbery attempt that took an unintended fatal turn. I hope this changes the tone of media coverage.