THE NFL SEASON APPROACHES!!

Finally the dark months of February – July have passed us by and we are now in the sacred month of August where our favorite NFL teams report to training camp and the dream of winning the Super Bowl begins.

Every year fans give predictions and talk their trash about how good their team was last year and how the trend will continue and also how their 2-14 team will break .500 and contend for the division. No matter what end of the spectrum you’re on, football season is a great time for all and I’m glad its back!!

In this blog post I will list my preseason predictions and sleeper picks

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers, for obvious reasons I’m picking them to win this division pretty easily. With a three headed monster like Big Ben, Bell and Brown its kind of hard to pick against them. Sure their defense is not what it used to be and some may foolishly say that Tomlin is on the hotseat this year but I think they finish with a nice 11-5 record.

AFC South – Houston Texans, ok I already hear you screaming “HOW CAN YOU PICK AGAINST THE COLTS WHEN THEY WIN THIS DIVISION EASILY EVERY YEAR”….just hear me out…number 1, Luck is hurt…clearly he’s gonna miss at least 2 games and even when he comes back there’s no guarantee that he’s going to be 100%. And I know they don’t have a solidified QB (a proven winner) but with Miller and Hopkins and with Watt and that defense I don’t think this is too far fetched.

AFC East – New England Patriots, duh! it’s no surprise here…and as much as I can’t stand him, Tom Brady just flat out gets it done!! As long as #12 is out on the field they will be the perennial winners of this division and it’s not even close.

AFC West – Oakland Raiders, this team was my “sleeper” pick last year and they didn’t disappoint!! I truly believe that if Carr doesn’t get hurt then they go further in the playoffs. Coupled with Mack anchoring that defense and Carr’s return, I believe the Raiders will prove last year was NO fluke!

NFC East – Dallas Cowboys, yeah yeah yeah I know what you’re going to say…”but YOU’RE a Cowboys fan!!” ok and?? Anyone who knows me knows I’m a realistic Cowboys fan. I truly believe that Dak Prescott will take another step forward (no I’m not saying he’s gonna be Rodgers or Brady, I’m just simply stating that the kid will NOT hit a sophomore slump. Any young QB in the league would LOVE to have a Zeke or a Bryant or Witten at their disposal, not to mention the best OL in football. Yes I know the defense still has to show and prove but even without a good defense they have been contenders.

NFC South – Atlanta Falcons, normally I wouldn’t pick a team that blew the most historic lead in Super Bowl history to do anything the next year but, lets be real…Ryan is the reigning MVP, he has Julio (arguably the best WR in football) and a pretty good running game…and lets not forget that their defense is pretty good.

NFC North – Minnesota Vikings, ok first off, FUCK AARON RODGERS!! and second, Minnesota might have the best defense in the NFC and I know they don’t have AP and I know Sam Bradford is the QB (or Bridgewater) but I feel this young team took a big step last year and they don’t show signs of slowing down.

NFC West – Seattle Seahawks, yeah I know this is a safe pick but to be honest I don’t really see anyone else in this division threatening them for the title (barring injury). I know there’s been some turmoil in the locker room there but I highly doubt Carroll will let that deter them from whats important and thats winning!

Now it’s time for my sleeper picks: (WHEN I PICK A TEAM AS A SLEEPER PICK I’M JUST SIMPLY SAYING THEY ARE GOING TO BE BETTER THAN LAST YEAR AND THEY ARE GOING TO SURPRISE SOME PEOPLE)

AFC – This year I’m going to pick the Chargers, yeah I could’ve gone Chiefs but I’m going with the Chargers off the pure stupid logic that….Philip Rivers is DUE! lol. He really is a good QB and I can’t imagine him ending his career without at LEAST playing in an AFC championship game or Super Bowl.

NFC – My sleeper pick for this year is going to be….the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! I actually like young Winston and the energy he brings to the team. They have a good young offense and if they can get SOME help on defense they might actually make a push for the division.

 

 

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Farewell to Mr Cowboy Tony Romo

I had always hoped that this day would never come. I always envisioned Tony Romo winning the Cowboys a championship and retiring as a Cowboy and then entering the Hall of Fame. Although he’s still a lock for the Hall of Fame (check his numbers before you come at me), it’s going to be tough to watch him winning for another team because I, like many Cowboys fans know that he still has a lot left in the tank.

I never thought I could love a player in any sport more than I loved Michael Jordan, but Tony Romo has taken that spot for me. Did Tony ever win a Super Bowl with us? NO! Was he ever named MVP of the league with us? NO! But what he did do can’t be measured by numbers and wins. What he did was give hope and excitement to a franchise that desperately needed it. No matter who the Cowboys were playing we always felt like as long as #9 was out there we had a chance to win and that made watching games on Sunday with Tony under center so much more enjoyable to watch.

I’ll always remember his smile after making a good play, I’ll always remember the fist pump and I’ll damn sure always remember the “romo spin”. I often times felt like we as Cowboys fans didn’t deserve to have Tony as our QB. He literally gave his body up for the team week in and week out and in return he was subjected to slander and boos from fans who failed to see his value to the team and love of the game.

No matter where Tony ends up I will always root for him! If the Cowboys make it to the Super Bowl and the team he plays for makes it as well then dammit I’ll have to split my soul from my body and root for both teams. I hope where ever he ends up at, the fanbase welcomes him and shows him the respect he deserves.

I was in the bathroom at work today watching Romo highlighs and sitting in the corner like Jim Carrey in “Ace Ventura” when he found out Louis Einhorn was a man. It just doesn’t feel right how this whole thing is transpiring and it makes me want to throw up. It’s like getting rid of the car you had in high school that you created so many memories in when you went and got a newer shinier model. You like the new car but something about the old one will always hold a place dear in your heart.

Thank you Tony for being MY QB! Good luck where ever you go and we’ll see you in February!

My Thank You to Tony Romo

The date was October 15th, 2006 and I was sitting at home watching my Dallas Cowboys play against the Houston Texans. Our starting QB was Drew Bledsoe of New England Patriot fame and a pretty descent QB in his own right. Much older now, Bledsoe showed nearly NO mobility and less zip on the football, but with WR’s like Terrell Owens out there he could surely cover up for any of Bledsoe’s shortcomings.

Late in the game Bledsoe goes down, along with our hopes of making the playoffs…even worse…who was our backup!!! Then we hear the announcer say “coming in for the Cowboys is #9 Tony Romo”….WHO?!! Me like every other Cowboys fan across the nation let out a collective “what the hell is a ROMO???” So here comes this baby faced guy that NO one has heard of, he completes a long pass to Sam Hurd then a TD pass to T.O….hmmm not bad not bad.

From the next week on when he permanently replaced Bledsoe as the starter, Tony Romo showed week in and week out, season after season why an undrafted kid from a division II school belonged on the games biggest platform. During his time in a Dallas Cowboys uniform Romo proceeded to wow and amaze Cowboys fans across the globe, be it when he was throwing for 500 yards and 5TDs or leading the Cowboys on a game winning 2-minute drive with no timeouts. Romo always gave it 110% and left it all on the field, yet tons of Cowboys fans felt that HE was the reason the Cowboys never reached the Super Bowl or NFC championship game for that matter. But lets look at the facts…

Romo has become the Cowboys all-time leading QB in EVERY major statistical category. Completely shattering the records of a QB who most Cowboys fans feel was the best in the teams history, Troy Aikman. Actually Tony Romo’s numbers for his career hold steadfastly against other QB’s who are either in the Hall of Fame or headed to it.

Throughout Romo’s tenure as the QB of the Dallas Cowboys we’ve seen great games and great seasons which fell short and we saw mediocre seasons that didn’t live up to its preseason billing. Now was it ALL on Romo…of course not…actually if it wasn’t for Romo the 8-8 seasons we did have, we wouldn’t have won those 8 games without him. Now I know some are going to point out the “bobbled snap” in Seattle and the late game Int’s and the year we were the number one seed and lost to the Giants in the second round.

To those people I say this, lets look at some of those games…the Jets when he threw the late Int to Revis, fans exploded but what people didn’t realize was Dez Bryant ran the wrong route which resulted in the Int, lets look at the Detroit game where our defense gave up 300 yards to ONE player and even through all of that Romo took us on a game winning drive and scored with only 47sec left on the clock…Detroit with no timeouts drove down the field and won the game…and lets not forget the game against Denver where he threw for 500 yards and 5TDs and the 1Int that came late in the game because he tripped over someone’s foot, but people overlook the fact that his defense failed to force a punt the ENTIRE GAME!

Now I get Giants, Eagles and Skins fans not liking Romo, I expect it…but Cowboys fans who REALLY know football know that there is NO legitimate reason to dislike Romo. And although I know how the business side of the NFL works, I just never thought I’d see the day where Romo would be leaving and be playing in another jersey. My biggest regret is that Tony never got the respect or recognition from the “fans” that he actually deserved! The man literally gave his body for this franchise and there are people who call themselves fans that are happy that he’s leaving.

I always dreamed that Romo and Witten would win an NFL championship together and now that dream is at an end. I just want to say THANK YOU to Tony Romo for being the best QB he could be for this franchise. He showed up day in and day out and did it the right way. Never got in any trouble and has always handled himself above reproach. So many times Tony could have taken the “low” road and thrown a teammate under the preverbial bus but every presser, every interview no matter whose fault it was, his response was always “I have to get better”. Leaders like Tony Romo come once in a while and I am just fortunate and thankful to be able to say he was my QB.

No matter what the future holds for Tony Romo I wish him and his family all the best and I will continue to root for him, just like he told the current starting QB for the Cowboys…”You’re the kind of guy I root for” and I can say the same about Romo. I’m going to miss his smile and his energy on the field. There are over 1500 players in the NFL and not ONE…has ever had anything negative to say about him and to me that speaks volumes.

I wanna say thank you to Tony for creating some of the most exciting moments in my life and for giving me the biggest thrill in my favorite game against the Bills where he threw 5Ints and still led us downfield in FG position to win the game…moments like that live in infamy and the excitment and joy those moments create can’t be forgotten.

To whatever team Tony goes to, I hope the fan base there treats him with more respect and dignity that some of the Cowboys fans treated him with throughout the years. Tony has ended up not only being my favorite Cowboys player of all-time but my favorite player in NFL history and I am going to greatly miss seeing his #9 jersey on sundays in Cowboys colors.

Thank you Tony Romo for waking up at the crack of dawn and watching extra film to prepare for an opponent, thank you for staying late after practice to work on routes with young up and coming WRs, thank you for handling yourself with class and dignity even when the so called fans treated you like your name was Drew Henson and most of all thank you for setting an example for the next young up and coming QB Dak Prescott and showing him what it means to be a professional and what it takes to succeed in this league.

See you soon in the Super Bowl Tony…all I ask is don’t throw for too many touchdowns against us 🙂

Good Luck Tony!!

A “useful” Pro Bowl?!

When I was younger, I would look forward to the Pro Bowl. Seeing players like Dion Sanders, Michael Irvin and Joe Montana on the same field intrigued me and from what I can remember, people actually used to watch. It being in Hawaii and signifying the end of the season just felt….right.

Fast forward to the last 10-15yrs…the Pro Bowl has become a toss and catch contest between teams who for the most part don’t really take the game serious and are just out there to converse with their friends and teammates. Now to be fair…can you blame them? I mean what’s the point in going out and playing your hardest when the game is pretty much meaningless. No player (especially a pro bowler) wants to go out and get hurt in any game, let alone a meaningless one such as the pro bowl.

When the MLB faced this issue years ago they came up with an idea to make their All Star game mean something, have ramifications. The end result was home field advantage to the winning side in the World Series. Seemed like a good idea, I mean players who were playing and their team was in the hunt would actually show up to play because it could benefit their team and those guys whose teams weren’t in it may have still slacked off but would be covered up by those who were actually trying.

Now with the NFL, of course you can’t grant home field advantage to the winning side of the pro bowl for a few reasons…one, because the game is played at the end of the season…and two, the Super Bowl is played on a neutral field. The key here is to find a way to make the Pro Bowl meaningful again, get the players actually caring about it and in turn give the NFL fans a great product to watch.

Here is what I suggest the NFL do with the Pro Bowl and just hear me out on this before you blow my mentions up. Play the pro bowl at the beginning of the season (i.e. the hall of fame game). So for example, the players voted to the pro bowl this year would be in the pro bowl game at the beginning of preseason. Now I know what you’re thinking…but thats stupid because it’ll add an extra week to the preseason. NO! We use the Pro Bowl as the “hall of fame” game. Another reason you have it at the beginning is because if you’re like me, you have been suffering the last few months without football, you know those months of February – August. So living through the dark ages without the NFL, you are quick to welcome a preseason game where you get to see your favorite players for what…one maybe two drives and the rest are guys trying to make the team. Why not reward us by giving us big name players who don’t have to play the whole game because, hell they’re ALL big name players.

Ok so I know some folks are reading this and saying “but what if they get hurt, its more chance of them getting hurt” ok…sooooo…them playing the game at the end of the year or beginning of the year will increase their chances of getting hurt?? Give me a break!! Most of these guys play in preseason games anyways, even if it is for one drive or so. They can get hurt at anytime so miss me with all that. Ok so we’ve solved the issue of getting people to tune in and be interested, now how to make the players get into and give us a good game to watch. The winning side (AFC/NFC) those player’s teams will get either one extra challenge a game without having to win two first or get to kick their extra points from the 2yd line like before. The winning side, those coaches from those teams will have to have a majority vote. Once the vote is made it cannot be changed for the season. The choice will last only during the regular season.

I think this will force players to take the game a little more seriously and in turn will give us a good show. Let me know what you all think.

 

Are you a homer?!

Are you a homer?! Meaning are you someone who roots for your hometown sports teams. Me being from D.C., whenever football is brought up, people always assume I am a Redskins fan. I quickly correct them and let them know that I am a proud Dallas Cowboys fan!! 90% of the time people ask, “man how you from D.C. and like the Cowboys?” I explain that my entire family likes the Skins, I wanted to be rebellious and there you have it. And just to be clear, at that time the Redskins were actually winning Super Bowls so its not like I liked the Cowboys cause they were on top.

Now when it comes to Baseball, Basketball, College Football/Basketball and even Hockey…I love the Nationals, Wizards, Terps and Capitals. So often on Twitter or Facebook I will come across arguments stating “YOU CAN’T BE FROM SO AND SO AND LIKE SO AND SO TEAM!!!” Says who?!! What’s wrong with a person living in Seattle and liking the Green Bay Packers or someone living in Los Angeles and liking the Boston Celtics?!?! I don’t believe your geographical location should dictate what sports team you root for…thats absolutely crazy!!

The only time I believe in the exception to the rule is when it comes to a college/university you have attended. If you went to the University of Arizona then dammit root for them no matter where you are in country. Now if you’re one of the many that did not attend college and you live in Kentucky but you’re a Duke fan, then more power to you!

I say all of this to say, we all have many different reasons why we like a certain team…for some they grew up watching a certain player and fell in love with that player and that became their team. Some people were bred from birth to like a certain team as sort of a passing of the torch type of deal. And for some they just like the damn uniforms…yes it happens! But to say “hey, we live in Philly so we HAVE to like the Eagles is a damn travesty. Maybe you live in Philly but like the way Philip Rivers plays so you’re a Chargers fan now…cool…nothing wrong with that AT ALL!!

Now lets think about this…sure, if you’re a Patriots fan or a Spurs fan then its easy work being a homer! right? That’s easy, you guys get bragging rights on an average of every 1.8 years…now those who are reading this that are homers of those sports teams that continuously fail and underachieve year after year ala the Browns or the 76ers, to you I say…be strong!! If Cubs fans can wait 108 years in between championships and remain loyal then dammit so can you. It takes a lot of gusto to be a homer of a bad franchise and you homers are what makes sports great!

 

Hollywood Shift

For as long as I can remember, Hollywood, CA has been the gold standard for making movies big and small. Big A-listers such as Denzel Washington, Harrison Ford and Tom Hanks have all made huge blockbuster hits in Tinseltown.

And while its nothing new for producers and directors to opt for shooting on location out of the country, I mean look at films that date back as far as the first Star Wars, it seems that in recent years Hollywood has shifted its sights to shooting in “money saver” locations…mainly Georgia.

Films with huge budgets such as Marvel’s Captain America Civil War and the upcoming  Avengers: Infinity War are choosing to opt out of filming in Hollywood and taking their talents to Georgia. While I love Hollywood and the walk of fame and the Hollywood sign and etc, I think its a GREAT move for studios like Marvel and Fox to start filming in locations that allow their films to stretch their budgets as far as possible.

Now I know some are going to say “well just because a movie has a huge budget it does NOT mean its going to be a success, just ask Michael Bay and his Transformers movies”. And yes I totally agree with those people but lets be honest here can you really tell the difference between a movie shot in Hollywood and one shot in Atlanta? NO! People went and enjoyed Captain America Civil War and NOT ONE person said “hey…that movie was great, but it would’ve been a lot better if it was shot in Hollywood.

I say this to say I’m glad this shift is taking place, sort of like how the Super Bowl used to just be played in Florida or California…now it seems every city is getting a chance to host the big game. Even if your team isn’t in the Super Bowl, if its in your city, the city is just alive and fun. I remember when I was in D.C. and Transformers 3 came to film there, the entire city was a buzz and excited. Did we get to see actual transformers in action? no…actually all we saw was a bunch of pyrotechnics and cameras following invisible robots, but when we saw “bumblebee” and “optimus prime” drive on set we lit up with emotion. So why can’t fans all over the country feel that same joy about seeing their favorite actor or fictional character?

Hell lets start filming big budget films in Idaho for all I care, lets film Justice League in Mississippi, lets just roll the dice and see where they fall!!! I’m sure those fans in those states would love to see Brad Pitt just eating in a local diner or Will Smith shopping in a mall.

And yes I love Hollywood and the history and mystique of it just like everyone else and NO I don’t think that choosing to film less and less there will somehow diminish its meaning to the movie world. A great director and producer can film in the darkest cave or a barren moon and make it great.

Ask anyone who wants to be an actor where they want to move to and 90% will say “Los Angeles”, but in recent years I’ve heard more and more people opting to move to Atlanta because they know more and more major films and tv shows are being filmed there and they may have the same opportunity there that they would have in Los Angeles (Hollywood).

In closing, anyone reading this who wants to pursue a career in acting should definitely make Atlanta an option. Cheaper cost of living and less congested and I promise you that only more and more big budget productions are going to be made available to you.

 

 

 

The 2016-2017 Dallas Cowboys…A dream deferred

The 2016-2017 season for the Dallas Cowboys was supposed to be filled with fun, excitement and of course be capped off by their 6th Super Bowl win. With a healthy Tony Romo and a 4th overall pick in Ezekiel Elliott coupled with a healthy Dez Bryant and the best O-line in football, things were looking up.

Ask any Cowboys fan and the answer was the same…”I can’t wait for the season to start”. Now here comes the dreaded preseason, where winning is secondary to just making it out healthy with all your players. Then BOOM a headline we Cowboys fans have come all to familiar with over the past few years “Down goes Tony Romo with an injury”. Needless to say in the past years when we’ve heard this news our collective Super Bowl dreams flush down the toilet with Romo’s absence, so why would we think this time would be any different?

And then out of the shadows (or the depth chart) comes a 4th round pick by the name of Dak Prescott who showed great prowess and poise in the preseason when he got his chance but…its just preseason right? I mean he’s not going up against “starting” talent and he’s going up against guys who probably won’t even make the team, so no need to get excited about this guy right?

Well here comes the regular season and WOW!!! The kid shows he belongs in this league week after week. Him and Elliott prove to be a great 1-2 punch for our offense. Sprinkled in with Dez, Beasley, Witten and Williams our offense looks almost as good and efficient as if Tony was behind center. I think the biggest surprise came from our defense who really stepped it up there year and finished ranked in the top 1o.

So the regular season is at an end and aside from a few bumps and bruises here and there, safe to say we made it through the regular season pretty healthy AND with home field advantage AND a first round bye. Now those of us fans who remember what happened the LAST time we had home field advantage and a first round bye we failed to show up, but this season had been so magical and fun we didn’t have ANY reason to believe history would repeat itself. No way we lose when we have a rookie who’s leading the league in rushing and a rookie QB who is 3rd in the league in QB rating and a playmaker like Dez Bryant on the outside and a top 10 defense, how could us Cowboys fans NOT talk our trash and feel proud.

So we find out we play Green Bay (who we OWED) from 2 seasons ago, and this time we have them at OUR home and not in disrespectfully cold Lambaeu field. The game starts out with Green Bay scoring on their first 3 drives against us and the game spiraling out of control with us matching Green Bay’s TD’s with FG’s. But as this team has all year they showed great grit and tenacity to get back in the game and eventually tied it up late in the 4th qtr with it looking like Overtime was imminent. Comes down to a 3rd and 20…and just to give some backdrop…I remember the McNabb 3rd & 29 that was completed on us and countless other 3rd and longs and 4th downs that had been converted against us in our Romo tenure, so when I saw it was 3rd and 20 my palms were sweaty and heart was racing. I shouldn’t have been worried right? I mean we had the momentum from just scoring and our defense was ranked top 10 this year, bring on your putrid 3rd and 20 we dont care!

Then just like they’ve done SO SO SO many times before, they let the ONLY thing that can happen, the most impossible play that can be made, they let it be made!!! A tip toe catch on the sideline with only seconds to spare IN FG range!!!

Needless to say, to have your magical season come to an end in such a manner is gut-wrenching. And the “well there’s always next year” and “the future looks bright” quotes do little to ease the pain. In a season where we had a legitimate chance to hoist the Lombardi trophy and reclaim dominance atop the NFL throne, it just seems no one wants to hear the “participation trophy” mantras.

In closing I will say I am very proud of this young team and how they showed growth from losing that first game of the year against the NY Giants and going on to claim the number 1 seed. Im hoping for great things in the near future for my Cowboys and the 2017-2018 season can’t get here fast enough.