Gadget

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Late Show With David Letterman: Jon Stewart on Things November 13th, 2014



As far as kids, glad I don't have any! And so far I've done a hell of a job up achieving one of my goals in life which was not to have kids. I'm not even crazy about being an uncle, as my two nieces and nephew may tell you. Not saying that having kids is not important and that kids don't have a place in the world. Last time I checked, people don't start off as adults in life. I'm a perfect example of that and some may say I haven't finished childhood yet. I'll say one thing nice about kids. I'm glad my parents decided to have them and more importantly at least to me, I'm glad they had me.

As far as Halloween, I'm glad that's over for me. I mean it was useful to me as a kid, because it meant about a week or a few days of free candy. Depending on how successful I was at tricker treating and not scaring the hell out of people who may give me candy. Like dressing up as Charlie Manson, Ted Bundy, Saddam Hussein. But one thing I discovered as an adult with a job, that if I want candy, I don't have to ask my parents. I can just go buy it, like I did on Friday and besides candy is not that important to me anyway. A couple of things you learn as an adult.

As far as freedom in Egypt and the Middle East, or Arabia. This may sound harsh, but are they ready for freedom, I mean what would happen if all the sudden they had it, would they know what to do with it? I think freedom to people in that part of the world they where they grew up and living as adults in such an authoritarian statist environment, where you are told what to do by your own damn government all the time, you come to expect that. It is a reason why these countries are called police states. Because it essentially like living in prison where you don't have to make decisions for yourself.

I think learning to live freely for people who've only known an authoritarian system, would be like trying to learn how to drive without an instructor right after you learn how to, well drive for lack of a better word big wheels. I think their would be a real learning curve there. And if you free the people there, then you are also freeing authoritarian radicals who want to tear down the current police state to establish their own. Not saying that freedom couldn't work in a large like Egypt to use as an example, but there would have to be smart people there who have to know how to establish it. And an overwhelming majority of the country that actually wants it.

CBS Sports: NFL 1986-NFC Divisional Playoff-Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears: Art Monk Highlights

Source: CBS Sports: NFL 1986-NFC Divisional- Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears: Art Monk Highlights

What you are seeing in this video is that how great of an all around wide receiver that Art Monk was. And how good Jay Schroeder was when he was good. Perhaps as athletic, strong and accurate a quarterback as John Elway when he was on. But what we also saw how great a receiver Art Monk really was. Someone who was stereotyped as a possession WR. You go to him when you need a first down or you are in the red zone or going to a possession passing game. When the fact is he was 6'2-6'3 210 pounds or so of muscle with great track and football speed.

Art Monk was an all-purpose receiver and how the Chicago Bears stayed in man-to-man coverage against him in this game, when they didn't have a great cover corner, I may never know and perhaps only head coach Mike Ditka and defensive coordinator Bill Tobin of the Bears knows that answer. But Monk was big and fast, which meant if you play him man-to-man, you need a great cover corner. Like a Rod Woodson of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Someone who can run and tackle with real size. The Bears didn't have that at corner, at least in 1986.

Chris Myers: FOX Sports CMI- Charles Barkley Interview



Now we are talking about Charles Barkley the basketball analyst, which I think he does a great job as and even one of the best NBA analysts in the business right now. And we are also seeing Charles Barkley the political and social commentator. We already saw Charles Barkley the great basketball player and again I see him as one of the top 5-10 players of all-time in the history of the NBA. But now at fifty-years old, but he's been what he is now since he's left the NBA as a player. He is now a professional commentator on things more than just basketball and the NBA.

If Charles Barkley doesn't have a column or blog, I wish he would start one. Which is what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has already one with Time. Because I don't agree with him on everything, but he makes a good intelligent case about everything that he says and believes. Which is all you ask from a commentator in life. You want them to make a good interesting case for why they believe about what they are talking about. You can't expect to agree with everything that they say. Just for them to make a good interesting case for why they believe what they believe about what they are talking about.






Ian Ward: Video: NFL Films Era of Excellence the 1980s



The 1980s National Football League was an era of cookie-cutter stadiums, concrete hard Astroturf fields, dome stadiums especially for teams who played in cold weather cities, like Minneapolis. And it was basically the birth of the passing age in the NFL. The illegal contact rule and the new blocking rules of 1978 and new offensive-minded head coaches like Bill Walsh, Tom Flores, Joe Gibbs, Dan Reeves, Don Coryell, Joe Walton, Sam Wyche really opened up offensive football and the league has only continued to move in that direction ever since.

It was an era where the dominate Steel Curtain Pittsburgh Steelers were no more and where the Los Angeles Raiders who probably should've taken over for the Steelers as the new dominant team in the NFL, didn't quite live up to that. Even though all in all they had a pretty good decade winning two Super Bowls, but 1986 or so were no longer a championship contender in the NFL. And became a franchise just trying to make the AFC Playoffs every year. And what happened was the San Francisco 49ers took that mantle instead from the Steelers. And became great team on offense and defense throughout the decade.

But what is great about football, it is not what I call arenaball, what is called arena football. As much as Roger Goddell might want to change that and turn the NFL into a total offensive league, there is still two sides of the game, offense and defense. And there were still great defensive teams and players in the 1980s. Like with Chicago Bears 46 defense led by Buddy Ryan, who took that to Philadelphia as the Eagles new head coach. And in New York with their elephant two-deep defense that the Giants played led by head coach Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick.

The 1980s was an era for the NFL where the great teams of the 1970s like the Steelers, Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings took a step back and needed to regroup and come back in the 1990s as championship contenders again. And where new teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Redskins, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns stepped up and either became champions or at least championship contenders. And a decade where the NFL just became more popular and more balanced. Where offenses and defenses were now treated equally under the rules.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

CBS Sports: NFL 1987-NFC Divisional Playoff-Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears: Pat Summerall Intro



Pat Summerall with another classic NFC intro for CBS Sports. But even with Jim McMahon, who I'm not sure if he even finished this game, because the Redskins defense which was really good in 87 and if anything better than the Chicago Bears, hit him and the Bears very hard on that cold frigid Astroturf Solider Field. Summerall was right that the Bears were definitely different offensively in with him healthy and in the lineup. Because it meant the Bears had a passing game, or at least a QB at could consistently throw the ball.

The problem that the Bears had in this game, is that they were playing one of maybe three teams in the NFL that had the personal and intelligence to not only play against their 46 defense, but the manpower to do it. With an accurate QB who could throw deep or short in Doug Williams, an offensive line that could at least shut down the Bears defensive line and the receivers that could get open and beat man-to-man coverage. The Redskins were a passing team first in 1987, unlike what they were from 1981-86. Because their great tailback George Rogers was hurt most of the season.

So what the Redskins did in this game was to spread out the Bears 46 and use all of their receivers. Their wideouts Art Monk, Gary Clark and Rickey Sanders, their tight end Clint Didier and halfback Kelvin Bryant in the passing game. Or go max protection and look deep to Sanders, Monk or Clark and the come back with the quick running game with either Kelvin Bryant, George Rogers and Timmy Smith. With the Bears on offense not being able to do much against the Redskins defense most of the game.

NBA-TV: Video: Charles Barkley, Sir Charles at 50: Still Larger Than Life



Charles Barkley can't be completely written about in just a few posts. The man is now fifty-years old and you spend weeks writing articles and spend years writing books and producing films and doing interviews about the man and still not cover everything. And all of this could be said when the man finished his playing career fifteen years ago. There's just so much about him and not just his playing career where he might be one of the top ten players of in NBA history. Certainly one of the top ten forwards and perhaps the greatest player who has ever played power forward in the NBA.

But is doesn't end there with Chuck just as a basketball player. Here's a man who stands 6'4-6'5 who on the street and any other profession would be a very tall man. If he played point guard in basketball he would be a tall basketball player. If he played shooting guard he would've had the right height. Chuck was short for a small forward, let alone power forward and he is the greatest height for height if not the greatest rebounder of all-time. A man who is 6'4 going up against guys who are 6'8-6'10 every night and yet no power forward in the NBA could box the man out. At least not on a regular basis.

And this is just about part of Chuck's career as a basketball player. I think he is the greatest player to ever play power forward. Not the greatest power forward, I would rather take Karl Malone and Tim Duncan over him. But no other full-time power forward has had the skills and great at so many different aspects of basketball than Charles Barkley who has played power forward. And that includes Larry Bird who played perhaps played as much power forward as the small forward position in the NBA.

But this again is just part of one of Charles Barkley's career as a basketball player and an aspect of his life. Other posts should and have been written about different aspects of his career. Like why the Philadelphia 76ers didn't win more with him, when they should've remained an NBA Finals contender for the rest of the 1980s and into the 1990s. But they weren't run very well post Julius Erving and Bill Cunningham and John Nash. And you can go into Chuck as the NBA analyst, the cultural analyst and the comedian. But those are for future posts.

Top Gunna: NFL 1991-Washington Redskins Highlights



What I remember about the 1991 Redskins as a fifteen and sixteen year old, is how dominant they were. They didn't win games, but they simply beat teams on both sides of the ball. Probably the most physical defense that they've ever had. Which is saying something, because they were always big and strong on defense under Joe Gibbs in the 1980s. But if you watch the 1991 Redskins, you see them simply hammering the opposition on defense game after game. The Lions, Falcons and Eagles games come to mind very quickly.

What I remember about the 91 Redskins is all of those blowouts that they won. They scored 485 points and only gave up 224, which meant they more than double points that they gave up. You do that by winning a lot of blowouts. They had probably the best running game in the league that year with the best offensive line. And then add quarterback Mark Rypien who was pretty good and accurate when he had a running game and pass protection and throw in The Posse as his receivers. Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders, someone was always open for Ryp to throw the ball to.

Not saying that the 91 Redskins are the best Redskins team ever, but they were the most dominant and perhaps the most complete. Really no weakness's on either side of the ball. But they played a fairly weak schedule, including the Falcons twice, the Lions twice. And then the AFC Central where the only winning team in that division was the Houston Oilers. I rather have Joe Theisman as my QB and John Riggins running the ball, with Dave Butz and Darryl Grant in the middle of my defense. With Dexter Manley as one defensive end to go with Charles Mann. But the 91 Redskins are about as dominant a Super Bowl champion that has ever played.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Cullen Bryant: Video: CBS Sports: NFL 1978-Week 6-San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams: First Quarter



This really looks like a mismatch on paper with the San Francisco 49ers finishing 2-14 in 1978 and the Los Angeles Rams finishing 12-4 and running away again with the NFC East title as they made a habit of doing in the 1970s. And if it wasn't for the great 49ers-Rams rivalry, at least when the Rams were in Southern California, I wouldn't of bothered to of post this. But this was a great rivalry in the 1950s, 1960s to a certain extent, the 1970s and the 1980s. With a lot of great games with the teams not liking each other.

The Rams were sort of in transition in 1978, with head coach Chuck Knox moving on to Buffalo to coach the Bills and this being the last season for the 49ers before Bill Walsh completely took over the football operations there in 1979. He inherited a bad football team with a few good young players. Like offensive lineman Keith Farnhorse, Randy Cross, wide receiver Freddie Solomon and a few others. But the 1978 49ers season is why they went to Bill Walsh in 1979.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NY Giants: Video: CBS Sports: NFL 1986-NFC Final-Washington Redskins @ New York Giants: Pat Summerall Intro



Another classic Pat Summerall NFL intro and another classic Pat Summerall Redskins-Giants intro and he and John Madden were a big part of the great Redskins-Giants rivalry. Because they did so many games between these two great franchises. I just the wish especially as a lifelong Redskins fan that he had a better game to call and we would've really of heard how great an announcer that he was. And how great an analyst that John Madden was. But the Giants got on top early on the Redskins early in the first quarter and never looked back.

The Redskins never established their great power running and outside running games in this game. The Giants essentially stacked the line of scrimmage against them early on. And then with the big lead, went into the trademark elephant two-deep zone defense so Redskins quarterback Jay Schroeder couldn't beat them deep in the air with those great Redskins speed receivers like Art Monk and Gary Clark. Which left the Redskins really just to short and medium-range passes when Schroeder could hit them.

Athlete Sport-ESPN's SportsCentury: Karl Malone, The Mailman Delivered



I'm stuck between Karl Malone and Tim Duncan as far as who is the best power forward of all-time. I think Duncan is the better all around player than The Mailman, but that is a little different than who is the better power forward. Players are exactly that and positions are that as well and besides Duncan is really a center/power forward or vice-versa, he's played a lot of both positions throughout his career. But The Mailman is certainly the best power forward of the 1990s and perhaps the 1980s as well.

When you think of the prototypical power forward, the classic power forward, the total package as a power forward and then some, Karl Malone is exactly that. When you are talking about a man who was 6'9 255-260 pounds, with the quickness and shooting ability of a power forward and the physical strength of a center. He would've dominated at either position, but not being much of a shot blocker, better suited at playing the big forward, than playing center, at least playing center full-time. He was The Mailman because he delivered basically all of the time for the, I still feel strange saying this, but the Utah Jazz.

Malone put the Jazz on his back and carried that team his entire career. He was the only great and big scorer on his team almost his entire career. The only great rebounder and perhaps even good rebounder on his team throughout his career and the only great big man for the Salt Lake Jazz as I prefer to call them that the Jazz have ever had. And yet they were a title contender throughout the 1990s. And John Stocton was a big part of that as far as quarterbacking the Jazz being the great point guard that he was. But if Karl has a bad night offensively and they are playing a good team, the Jazz probably lose.

To go back to my point about the prototypical power forward, The Mailman was exactly that. He and Elvin Hayes might be the top two pure power forwards of all-time. Charles Barkley was more of a hybrid forward, someone with great skills at both the power forward and small forward. And I believe a better all around player than Karl and perhaps the best height for height rebounder of all-time at around 6'5. But Karl was exactly what you want from your power forward and then some. Tall, big, strong, quick, great inside scorer, great rebounder and an excellent defender and passer in the post.

Karl Malone was called The Mailman, because he was exactly that. He delivered for the Jazz time and time again and took them as far as he could almost by himself in the 1980s and 1990s. And perhaps just a few plays away from winning at least one NBA Finals in the late 1990s against the Chicago Bulls. Had the Jazz had a great swingman, small forward or shooting guard or good if not all-star caliber center to go with Malone and Stocton, maybe they would've won two NBA Finals in the late 1990s, instead of none. But they got very far with The Mailman delivering as much as he could.


Truman Tucker: Video: A Little History of the Minnesota Vikings


This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStatePlus on Blogger

When you look at teams that should've won championships but didn't, I look at teams that were really the best at what they did in their league for that year. Teams that had everything on paper, the talent, the chemistry, the character, the coaching. Teams that stayed healthy and finally, but definitely not last, teams that lost their big game to a team they should've not only beat, but lost to a team they should've whipped, that's the 1998 Minnesota Vikings.

They had the best offense in the NFL in 1998, running basically (what I call) the Spread Vertical Offense the offense that Sid Gilman invented in the 1950s with Sid Gilman with the Los Angeles Rams, with Norm Van Brocklin, Leroy Hirsch and company. That Al Davis adopted in the 1960s with the Oakland Raiders, where you have at least wide receiver if not two WR running a post-route on every play. You push the safety's back to open up the rest of the field so you can also work passes to your slot-receivers, tight ends and even running backs. Basically forcing the defense to cover the whole field, it takes a great offensive line and quarterback to be successful in an offense like this.

You also need a great QB who can throw deep and accurately, but doesn't get too greedy and who works the rest of the field. You need a solid running game as well to keep defenses honest. But again we are talking about the 98 Vikings here right, they had all of that. Randall Cunningham showing the world how great a QB he could be and not just a great talent. The OL with offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, center Matt Birk, tackle Corey Stringer,all Pro Bowlers, all big strong and mobile. Pro Bowler Robert Smith at RB and all purpose RB, reminds me a little of Marcus Allen, had he not retired early would probably be in the Hall of Fame.

The 1998 Viking had really three deep threats who were all big and tall at WR that could all run. Randy Moss as a rookie Chris Carter the 2nd best WR of the 1990s behind only Jerry Rice and Jake Reed as your third WR. Moss and Reed running post-routes with Carter running the inside routes with a lot of room to run. The Vikings were a speed team playing in a dome stadium perhaps the loudest stadium in the league in the Metrodome.

The Vikings played on turf they had the perfect environment playing the two-gap cover-two defense with four pass rushers up front led by defensive tackle John Randle who'll be in the Hall of Fame. Keeping your safety's deep so even if you don't get the pass rush, you prevent the big play. They didn't have a great defense, but when you're scoring 35 points a game and you give up 20 your defense is good enough. But it wasn't good enough in the 1998 NFC Final to the Atlanta Falcons losing to a team that was 7-9 in 1997, they hadn't made the playoffs since 1995 and went 9-7 that year to make the playoffs. The 98 Vikings were a team that had the total package, kinda like a fast break basketball team that would get some early stops and run you out of the building on offense.

Super Bowl 33 played in January 1999 (with the famous Ally Landry Tostitos Commercial is really the only thing I remember about that game. The best team in the AFC in the Denver Broncos that were I believe 13-3 in 1998 coached by Mike Shanahan with QB John Elway, TE Shannon Sharpe, RB Terrell Davis and company. Against a jump start Atlanta Falcons team coached by Dan Reeves who was a big reason for their success and a lot of players that had career years and didn't do much before or after that. With QB Chris Chandler, WR Tony Martin, TE OJ Santiago and others. When it should've been the Vikings and Broncos in Miami playing one of the best Super Bowls ever.










Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Joey Mesa: Video: ABC Sports: NFL 1978-MNF-Baltimore Colts @ New England Patriots: Joe Washington Highlights



I'm posting this because as a Redskins fan who is not quite old enough to have a very good memory of the Baltimore Colts before escaped to Indianapolis in 1984, I remember Joe Washington with the Redskins in the early and mid-1980s. He was what the NFL calls now and perhaps then a hybrid on offense. Someone between a wide receiver and running back. Someone you could run out of the backfield in a traditional set, but run draws, catch screens and swing passes out of the backfield. But you also line him up in the slot position as a possession receiver, or even big play receiver.

Hybrid offensive players tend to not be big for running backs and not tall for receivers. They tend to be about 5'9-5'11 around 190-200 pounds or smaller than that. Strong enough to run the ball out of the backfield and catch the ball as a wideout and get open. But not quite big enough you want that player to be doing full-time, at least as your go to runner or receiver. The guy who really reminds me of Joe would be Eric Metcalf who played for the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons in the 1990s. And played both halfback and wide receiver, as well as return kicks and punts.

Bob Smith: Video: CBS Sports: NFL 1986-NFC Final-Washington Redskins @ New York Giants: 2nd Half



On paper at least this was a great matchup. Two big physical very good teams on both sides of the ball. I think under normal conditions this is a one touchdown game and perhaps the New York Giants would've won again, but not in a shutout. Even when the Giants did beat the Redskins in this era, their victories tended to be very close even at Giants Stadium. But this obviously wasn't normal conditions, at least for the Redskins. The Redskins are from Washington, where it doesn't tend to get very cold until January. Winter tends to start in New York/New Jersey in November.

This was a Giants game in Giants weather at Giants Stadium where they were extremely difficult to beat. Very similar to the Green Packers at Lambeau Field when they are good. And now the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. The Giants got off to a very hot start in this game putting up seventeen points in the first half. With the weather being the way it was and with the Giants defense in 1986, that was more than enough for a shell-shocked Redskins team that weren't prepared or didn't seem to be able to deal with the stadium and the weather.

Timothy Wehrfritz: Video: NFL Network's Missing Rings, The 1990s Buffalo Bills: The One Super Bowl That Got Away From The Bills


This post was originally posted at FreeStateExtra on Blogger

When I look at the Buffalo Bills of the late 1980s and early 1990s, I see very good football teams and in the early 90s the best teams in the American Football Conference. But there's an issue right there. From 1984 except for maybe the underachieving Raiders of the mid 80s and the 1987 Browns, 1988 Bengals, 1990 Bills and the two best teams in the NFL were not in the AFC and AFC Champions. But were in the NFC, the top two teams in the NFC the champion and finalist. In 1986 the two best teams in the NFL were the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, but they not only played in same conference, the NFC. 

And by 1992 the two best teams in the NFL were always in the NFC, until 1997 with the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl. This was not a good era for the AFC, 1985, 1986, 1987 the Super Bowls were all blowouts, the NFC team beating the AFC team. In 1989 the San Francisco 49ers blew out the Denver Broncos 55-10, 1992 the Dallas Cowboys blew out the Bill 52-17. 1994 the 49ers blew out the San Diego Chargers 49-23. The Bills of the late 80s and early 90s were the best team in the AFC. And won four straight AFC Final's from 1990-93, but in the worst era for the AFC. I'm not taking anything away from the Bills of this era, they had very good teams and would've been very successful in the National Football Conference, but they wouldn't of dominated the NFC like they dominated the AFC.

If you look at those four Super Bowls that the Buffalo Bills lost from 1990-93, they were only favored to win one of them the, 1990 Super Bowl when they played the New York Giants. But the Giants were a very good football team, they still had one of the best defenses in the NFL. Even though they were getting older and they still had their ball control offense, power run, possession passing, shorten the game and limit the Bills chances on offense to have the ball and score. Giants running back OJ Anderson was the SB MVP, quarterback Jeff Hostletter completed passes when he had to. And had TE Marc Bavaro I believe the best all around TE in the NFL at the time and had WRs Chris Calloway, Mark Ingram and Steve Baker.

The Giants could throw when they wanted to and when they needed to and the strength of their offense fit in perfectly with the weakness of the Bills Defense. They had a power offense going up against and somewhat finesse undersized 3-4 Bills defense with a small 270 pound nose tackle in Jeff Wright. And the Bills were able to stay in the game because even though they didn't have the ball much, they moved it almost every time they had it. And when the Giants scored they used a lot of time to score, keeping the Bills in the game. 

1990 was the best chance for the Buffalo Bills to win a Super Bowl and they were favored in that game and they only lost 20-19 and had plenty of chances to win that game. But missed a lot of tackles probably because they were so tired, because their defense couldn't get off the field. But the other three Super Bowls they were a clear underdog playing teams, like the Redskins and Cowboys twice that were much bigger and stronger which is what the NFC was back then over the AFC. Run the ball, stop the run, rush the QB, protect the QB and win the turnover battle. And the Bills happened to be the best of a weak American Football Conference.







Ian Ward: Video: NFL 1983: The Washington Redskins Yearbook


This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStatePlus on Blogger

Even though the 1983 Redskins won the NFC Championship but lost Super Bowl 18 to the Los Angeles Raiders in a blow out, I believe they are the best offensive team the Redskins have ever had in the Super Bowl era. The only other team that I would consider would be the 1982 Redskins that did win Super Bowl 17 over the Miami Dolphins because they were better defensively, but the 1983 Redskins had a dominant offense, one of the best ever scoring something like 540 points.

The 1983 Redskins blew teams away and also playing a toughest schedule just to get to the Super Bowl. In the NFC East alone, playing the Dallas Cowboys twice and the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Cardinals that were still competitive. Playing three conference finals teams in the regular season, the San Francisco 49ers, Raiders and Seattle Seahawks. Playing the Anaheim Rams (as I called them) twice in 1983 including in the NFC Playoffs, playing the Atlanta Falcons that were in the NFC Playoffs in 1982.

The Redskins played a lot of playoff teams in 1983 and still won 16 games including in the NFC Playoffs and lost 3 including the Super Bowl. They also had some close games, but those games were against playoff teams, including against the Cowboys twice. The 1983 Redskins were also in a bunch of shootouts as the game against the Raiders would indicate. Because even though their run defense and pass rush were still very good, the pass defense slipped a bit because they were working in people like rookie corner back Darrel Green who's in the Hall of Fame and safety Ken Coffey. But offensively they were much more explosive.

Super Bowl 18 against the Raiders where the Redskins lost 38-9, the score is a little misleading. I'm not saying the 1983 Raiders didn't have a great team, because they obviously did if you look at their team, their head coach Tom Flores, where they ranked in the NFL and who they beat. But the Redskins made some key mistakes in that game, first on defense trying to cover Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch who I believe should be in the Hall of Fame with a rookie CB Darrel Green, they should've double teamed Branch the whole game at least on post routes.

And on offense when the Raiders were playing 8-9 Man Fronts on defense, with the Redskins consistently trying to run and getting nowhere against those fronts they should've thrown the ball against them short routes worked the tight end throw screen passes, to both tailback Joe Washington and work TB John Riggins in the pass offense as well when they couldn't use him in the run offense. And the late in the first half when they were trailing 14-3 deep in their territory instead of throwing that (infamous) screen pass to Joe Washington that worked for a long TD against the Raiders in the regular season, they threw that same pass, but it was picked off by linebacker Jack Squirek for a TD making the score 21-3. Because the Raiders defense saw that same play and remembered it and saw it coming. They should've tried to run out the clock instead.

I'm not saying the Redskins would've beaten the Raiders in Super Bowl 18 had they had a better game plan, but without that INT in the first half for a TD, its probably 14-3 Raiders at the half. And the Redskins scored a TD to start off the 2nd half but got the extra point blocked. This should've been a 14-10 game Raiders leading in the 3rd quarter with the momentum with the Redskins. Their defense feeling recharged thinking they are back in it. Super Bowl 18 should've been one of the best Super Bowls of all time, had the Redskins had a better game plan instead of a 38-9 blowout as it was.










Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wayne Barros: Video: NBC's The Tonight Show: Steve Martin Interviewing Richard Pryor in 1978



Sounds to me Steve Martin was going dry trying to interview Richard Pryor on The Tonight Show. And what I mean by that for all of you who just speak English, is that Martin was struggling to think of stuff to ask Big Richard (ha ha) and was having to go off the top of his head. And apparently not having much upstairs to pick from to talk to Pryor about. With Pryor doing the best with what Martin would eventually find to talk to Pryor about. This interview to me is sort of like a blind date involving two people that basically have nothing in common. Perhaps their friends put them together as a practical joke.

Which is strange to me because Steve Martin is obviously not just a very funny man and great comedian, but a very bright guy. Otherwise he wouldn't of gotten the opportunity to fill in for the great Johnny Carson. But this interview to me looks like a couple of complete strangers being forced together and forced to talk to each other like their life depended on it. And they basically get down to "nice weather we're having. Yeah the weather tends to be nice around here in May. What's you favorite color? I had a cold recently, but it wasn't that bad".

But being the two great professionals that they were despite Steve Martin's lack of preparation and homework, (ha ha) I think they did pretty well together, despite the lack of and material and topics they had to work with. Because of Steve Martin not knowing what he was doing in that big chair and perhaps not understanding what the job of the comedic interviewer was. Perhaps The Tonight Show Staff didn't give him the memo, or Steve's dog ate his homework.

Ian Ward: Video: NFL 1987: The Story of the Washington Redskins



The 1987 Redskins to me exactly goes to the brilliance of General Manager Bobby Beathard and Head Coach Joe Gibbs. A strike season where the NFL decides to play on with replacement players. That Beathard and his staff had to find for Joe Gibbs and his coaching staff. And Coach Gibbs and his crew having to determine which of these part-time NFL players can even play under these conditions and against NFL players that decided not to strike and how to use those replacements in the best way possible. Because the Redskins still had a job to do, which was to win as many games as possible in 1987.

The 1987 NFL season also goes to the depth of the Redskins with the players they lost to the players strike and the player they lost to injury. They had two starting quarterbacks in 1987, both Pro Bowl caliber quarterbacks that could start for a lot of NFL teams in Jay Schroeder and Doug Williams. They lost their starting tailback in George Rogers, another Pro Bowl running back. They had injuries on the offensive line and had to bring in new starters like Raleigh McKenzie. Gibbs was constantly having to change his lineups around on offense and defense.

The 87 Redskins perfectly exemplify the Joe Gibbs era in Washington. As a club that just had great depth everywhere and perhaps the best depth in the NFL. They didn't have the most talent in the NFL, but they arguably had the best players and the most good players and talent in the NFL. And when the strike was over and had they had all of their key players back, that is when the NFL got to see how really good of a team that they had. I believe especially on defense where they dominated the NFC Playoffs and Super Bowl. And on offense that could pile up points in the air and dominate on the ground.

Cherie Altuaimeh: Video: Steel Curtain Tribute: The Steel Curtain Steeler Dynasty


This post was originally posted at FreeStateExtra on Blogger

The 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers are what a great team looks like and to me the definition of what a great team looks like so to the point as their cover corner back Mell Blount saying that "the NFL changed its rules in 1978 to slow down the Steelers so they weren't so dominant". That they went from being a power run ball control offense in the mid-1970s to a vertical pass offense with two deep threats in wide receiver in John Stallworth. Who to me is the Michael Irvin of his generation with his size and strength, but with great speed and could get by you just by running by you. Which made QB Terry Bradshaw's job a lot more fun because he had a big strong accurate arm that could go deep.

Bradshaw had the WRs to throw the ball to and the Steelers still had their power running game with tailback Franco Harris and tailback Rocky Blier. And they still had their Steel Curtain Two-Gap defense that could stuff the run and attack the QB just with their front four. With defensive tackle Joe Greene arguably the best defensive lineman of all-time. Defensive end LC Greenwood who should be in the Hall of Fame and DE Dwight White. And with middle linebacker Jack Lambert the best MLB of his era and Jack Ham the best outside linebacker of his era. With the Steelers front seven they could stuff the run, attack the QB and cover the whole field.

With those players and with CB Mell Blount I believe the best CB off all-time, you hated being the top WR on the other team because it meant the QB wasn't going to throw you the ball. And with safeties Donnie Shell and Mike Wagner, you weren't throwing the ball deep against the Steelers. You couldn't really run the ball on the Steelers even though you really only had to block four players. Pass protection was almost impossible with the Steelers front four and even if you had time to throw, who you going to throw the ball to, no one is open.

The 1978 Steelers were so great not so good, but so great that the NFL changed the rules to slow them down. And so they were so dominant, other than the Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys and maybe the Miami Dolphins no one could give the Steelers a hard time before the 1978 rule changes. Which were aimed at the Steelers Steel Curtain defense. The illegal contact rule, meaning you couldn't jam a WR after five yards. The new blocking rules aimed at Joe Greene that outlawed head slapping. But that didn't slow the Steelers because they just adapted to the new rule changes meaning that their defense was probably not going to be as dominant anymore.

But again these are the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have Chuck Knoll as their head coach, Terry Bradshaw as their QB and Franco Harris the at TB, with John Stallworth and Lynn Swann at WR. Which meant they just needed to open up the offense and score more points. Go to the vertical pass offense to complement their power running game. The Steelers didn't change to fit in with rest of the NFL, but they adapted and overcame and made themselves better to utilize the other talent that they had and not rely so much on their defense and power running. That's what the 1978 Steelers were and what a great team looks like. You make a move at them they make another move and get better than they were already are. 

There are a lot of teams to choose from as the best team of all-time and I'm referring to the Super Bowl era including the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. But I take the 78 Steelers because of their head coach who was also their general manager in Chuck Knoll, who was great at both jobs. And could go to the Hall of Fame in either role, who was a defensive head coach as he built the Steel Curtain defense. But understood offense well enough that he knew what type of offense he wanted the Steelers to have. And then go out and get the players to play in that offense and of course not just the talent but how well they played together and how dominant they were.





Real World 51: Video: Redskins Magic: The Story of the 1982 Washington Redskins


This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStatePlus on Blogger

Of the three Super Bowl Championships that the Washington Redskins won, the 1982 Championship is my favorite because no one other than the Redskins themselves, expected them to do anything. I believe the Redskins knew they were good. Joe Theisman knew he was a good quarterback and could play. John Riggins knew he was a good tailback who just needed an opportunity and be able to play the right position tailback not fullback. They knew they had a very good offensive line, if not the best in the NFL. They knew they had a good defense, giving up the fewest points in the league in 1982.

But no one else knew, because the Redskins were a collection of players, their main players that other teams had given up on or didn't bother drafting. Like offensive tackle Joe Jacoby who will be in the Hall of Fame, offensive guard Russ Grimm who's in the Hall of Fame by the way. Center Jeff Bostic was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles a big rival of the Redskins. So as a Redskin fan myself, it's great that we took both QB Sonny Jurgenson and Jeff Bostic from the Eagles. And a lot of the other players were holdovers from the George Allen regime, the "Over the Hill Gang".

People like OT George Starke, defensive tackle Dave Butz, kicker Mark Mosely who was the NFL MVP in 1982. But some of the Redskins key players were drafted after Bobby Beatherd became general manager in 1978 replacing George Allen and drafted some of the players, so the Redskins were starting to regroup in the late 1970s. With players like tight end Don Warren, linebacker Monte Coleman, LB Mell Kauffman, LB Rich Milot, LB Neal Olkewitz who the rest of the NFL probably thought was too small. But started for two Super Bowl Champions in Olkewitz's case.

The 1982 Redskins were a collection of holdovers, free agents that no one else wanted or drafted and a group of players that were drafted before the Joe Gibbs era. And Joe Gibbs knew that he had a good team with the Hogs on the OL, QB Joe Theisman, TB John Riggins, WR Art Monk, WR Charlie Brown, one of the best defenses in the NFL. Not one of the most talented, but one of the best and that's different. With defensive end Dexter Manley, DT Darryl Grant, DT Dave Butz, the LBs that I just mentioned. Vernon Dean and hard-hitting Mark Murphy in the secondary.

But the rest of the NFL didn't know that the Redskins were a good team and nobody else respected them as NFC East Champions or the number one seed in the NFC. Which was perfect because the best time to strike is when your opponents aren't ready for you. And the way to earn your respect is by winning, winning playoff games and winning championships. Which is exactly what the Redskins did in 1982, take out their disrespect against their opponents.

That's what made the 1982 Redskins so special and I believe are still the best Redskins Super Bowl Champion. They were a collection of very good players that most people never heard of, all put into one championship package. Led by Joe Gibbs and his coaching staff the 1982 Redskins were so good that they could take it to the best defense in the NFL if you look at their talent in the Dallas Cowboys with their Doomsday Flex Defense. That probably had the best defensive line in the NFL with DE Ed Jones, the best DT in the NFL in Randy White, arguably the best DT of all-time, and DE Harvey Martin.

The Redskins ran the ball down the Cowboys Flex Defense throat with John Riggins and the Hogs and they ran it down Randy White's throat with OG Russ Grimm smashing and blowing Randy White out-of-the-way play after play and it was great. That's how good the 1982 Redskins were and I'm not sure a lot of people understand that.





Monday, November 24, 2014

HBO: Real Time With Bill Maher- Bill Maher Tells American Socialists to Come Out of the Closet


Forget about me saying at risk of slapping myself on the back, because I'm just going to slap myself on the back so much, you would think I was being whipped with a belt by a gay lover. Because I've made at least part of the point over and over of what Bill Maher is saying here. We not only still have closet gays in America, but we have closet Socialists as well. We have Americans who say "I hate socialism, oh by the way, you even think about touching my damn Medicare, I'll kill you". And that is the nice version, but who do you think runs Medicare, Jesus Christ? Medicare is a socialist centralized federal government-run program that is financed through taxes that we the people pay.

But there's even more, because we also have Americans who say they aren't Socialists. They just speak highly of socialism and defend socialism, as if their lives or Unemployment Insurance depended on it. Sort of like the Christian fundamentalist preacher who says he hates homosexuality and that it is a sin. While at the same time he's having affairs with men that his wife and ten kids don't know about of course. But the difference being the closet Socialist on the Left, doesn't have the balls to admit they are a Socialist. The person on the Right doesn't support socialism broadly. So I'll cut them some slack.

But the closet Socialist on the Left is a Socialist, perhaps knows they are a Socialist and just doesn't want to admit it. Because admitting to being a Socialist in America or admiring it, is liking a man admitting he likes boys, or admitting to being a rapist or something. It is not socialism that Americans hate, but the word itself because it gets linked to communism and other leftist authoritarian ideologies. It is not that we don't have Socialists or gay lovers of gay socialism in America. It is that we have Socialists who don't have the balls to admit to what they are. And Americans who do not understand what socialism actually and look down at and people who actually admit they are Socialists.

Whether you want to call the lets say hard core Left in America especially in the Democratic Party McGovernites, which is how they were labeled in the 1970s and 80s, or Progressive Caucus in the 1990s and even today, or the modern label Occupy Wall Street, these are the stuck in the closet with the door bolted down that an Army tank couldn't knock the closet door down Socialists in America. The Bernie Sanders of this movement actually has the balls to admit he's a Socialist and damn proud of it. But a lot of his followers don't and go by Progressive, or what makes me want to try to ram a brick wall down with a head, I hate saying this but they some call themselves Liberals.



Elias Estrada-MSG: New York Giants Chronicles- Giants QB Phil Simms, Mr. Clutch



Source: NY Giants- QB Phil Simms-
Source: Elias Estrada: New York Giants Chronicles- Phil Simms

My thoughts about Phil Simms as a football player and now as an NFL analyst for CBS Sports, are quite frankly mixed. I should separate how I feel about him both as a player and analyst. But my thoughts about him as a player are mixed, because I'm a Redskins fan and I hate the New York Giants obviously because of the great Redskins-Giants rivalry. But sports hate and personal hate are two different things. And if you are familiar with the NFC East division, you know that the fans in the division hate every other team in their division, but they respect the good teams, especially the players.

My best memory of Phil Simms as a fan, is a 1989 game against the Redskins and perhaps I should save this for a post I write about Dexter Manley. But Dexter sacks Simms five times in that game and I still have that memory in my head of Simms looking like he just got struck by a machine gun every time that Dexter nailed him in that game. The Giants won that game, but I still have those five plays of Dexter nailing Simms as some of my greatest memories as a Redskins fan. Now to get to the good moments of Phil Simms career.

The one thing that I can't get out my head about Phil Simms career is that he gets almost no consideration and talk about the NFL Hall of Fame. Even though he was definitely one of the best quarterbacks of his era especially the 1980s. I know he officially only gets credit for winning one Super Bowl as a starting quarterback in 1986, but the Giants don't get that far without Simms in 1990 and until he got hurt late in the 1990 season and missed the 1990 NFC Playoffs. If Simms plays Super Bowl 25 against the Buffalo Bills, the Giants win that game by 10-14 points because they would've had the whole playbook especially in the passing game.

Phil Simms is one of the best clutch quarterbacks of his era, if not all-time and had a 95-64 record in the regular season and was 6-4 in the playoffs. I know he doesn't have the stats of Dan Marino, Joe Montana, John Elway and even Jim Kelly. But those guys played in mostly passing offenses and didn't play at least eight games every year at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. One of the coldest and windiest stadiums in the NFL. And no one was as good or better than Simms under those conditions and in the clutch as Phil Simms. Great quarterback in the clutch with a great proven record and that alone should at least get him consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Eagle Forum: Cal Thomas- "What Works? Common Sense Solutions": Traditional America vs. Modern America

Eagle Forum: Cal Thomas- What Works? Common Sense Solutions

Right-wing commentator, columnist and author Cal Thomas, who I do like and respect, had a book come out this year called What Works. And in his book he lays out what works in America and what he believes is the best way for Americans to live. Essentially built off the two-parent family with a mother and father. Where romantic couples don't live together until they are married. Obviously no pre-marital sex and basic lets say common values of 1950s and before America pre-cultural revolution of the 1960s. Where Americans in huge numbers felt more individualistic and free to live their own lives.

As I've blogged before, what I call the Traditional Values Coalition that Cal Thomas and of course the Eagle Forum is part of, sees America as going downhill really since the 1960s. Probably starting in 1963 when the civil rights movement gained national strength and put on center stage on the national agenda by the media and others. After President John F. Kennedy comes out in favor of civil rights for African-Americans and gets behind a strong civil rights bill that he finally sent to Congress in the summer of 1963 and then you have the March on Washington with entertainers getting behind that movement in the summer of 1963.

The civil rights movement itself is not the main issues with the Traditional Values Coalition. It more has to do with how the country was changing culturally in the summer of 63 and everything that happened in that decade after 63 with the hippie movement. The TVC calls this the point where America starts going downhill culturally and morally. With the rise of single-parent families, rise in divorces, gays coming out of the closet, women feeling free to enter the workforce after college and financially supporting their kids just like their husbands.

What I don't think the Traditional Values Coalition seems to understand is that America pre-cultural revolution didn't work for all Americans. Sure it was really good for Anglo-Saxon Protestants men especially, because they had most of the power in the country. But that population certainly does not represent America as a whole. And this way of life didn't work for women of all ethnicities and races. Sure it may worked for some, especially Caucasian women who were more culturally conservative. And were perfectly satisfied staying home and raising their husbands kids.

But this traditional Anglo-Saxon way of life simply didn't work for the rest of the country. For millions of African-Americans who wanted the freedom to live their own lives and support themselves and build their communities. And perhaps most importantly be treated equally under law and have their constitutional rights enforced equally. It didn't work for women of all races and ethnicities who wanted to again be treated equally under law and treated equally as men in society. And it didn't work for young Americans again of all races and ethnicities who didn't want to live their grandparents and parents lifestyle. And it didn't work for gays who were trapped in the closet and wanted to come out.

Modern America that we have today that is so culturally, racially and ethnically diverse, vs. traditional America where Americans were expected to act and live in a a certain way. That was common with one specific population in America, but not something that satisfied the country at-large. Which was a big part of the cultural revolution and why it broke out in the 1960s. And what the Traditional Values Coalition people like Cal Thomas, Phyllis Schlafly and others say is that, "America has been going downhill ever since and we need to get back to what works". Their way of life.









Harry Ransom Center: The Mike Wallace Interview- Diana Dors in 1957

Source: Harry Ransom Center- Diana Dors-
Source: Harry Ramsom Center: The Mike Wallace Interview- Diana Dors in 1957

I don't know a whole lot about Diana Dors. Over the last few months I've been watching a few of her films to get to know more about her, because what I've seen and heard about her, has been very interesting and have been pretty impressed. The so-called Silent Generation of people born in the mid to late 1920s and 1930s lets say, produced several very attractive Hollywood goddess's that all had multiple talents. Gorgeous, sexy baby-face women that all had multiple talents. Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Diana Dors are all from this era.

There are several others from this era including Kim Novak, Angie Dickenson and Barbara Eden. But I mention Marilyn, Jayne and Diana, because they were very similar in talents and abilities and perhaps even personalities and how they presented themselves. And were all advertised as Hollywood bombshells that could do multiple things. Both Marilyn and Jayne just didn't bomb out, but both died in their mid-thirties from apparent suicides from drug abuse. Diana by far had the longest and most successful career from these three entertainers.

That is a big reason why I'm so interested in Diana Dors. She made it, unlike Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. She had a fairly long career, especially compared to the others and wasn't just a Hollywood bombshell or a blonde bimbo. She wasn't a bimbo, but someone who had a very good career as an actress and had staying power. And had a successful career as an actress for thirty years until she did in the mid 1980s. She died early as well in her early fifties, but had a very good and even long career, unlike Marilyn and Jane.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Best Domain Vidz: Video: NFL Films: NFL 1958-Championship-Baltimore Colts @ New York Giants: The Most Important Game in NFL History


This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger

Was the 1958 NFL Championship game the best game ever played, well if you look at the 5-6 turnovers in that game and both teams getting in the red zone and not scoring and other mistakes like that of course not. The 1967 NFC Championship between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Back Packers especially if you consider the weather conditions and where the game was played in Green Bay, Wisconsin, was a much better played game. 

But the Cowboys and Packers still manages to play very well in that game. Even though it was played under those conditions. And the Hall of Fame head coaches Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi coaching that game and all the Hall of Fame players that played in that game. Cowboys DT Bob Lilly, WR Bob Hayes, CB Mell Renfro. For the Packers QB Bob Starr, OT Forrest Gregg, OG Jerry Kramer, DE Willy Davis, LB Ray Nitchke and others. I believe thats the greatest game ever played as far as the quality of the game.

And that's different from the most important game ever played. Because the 1958 NFL Championship had more to do with the future of the NFL as well as pro football. It made it easier to form the American Football League because of the attention that the 58 NFL Championship got, because now it was clear that there was room in America for more than twelve Pro football franchises, that were all in the NFL. And the NFL wasn't looking to expand, but instead consolidate the revenue that it had. 

The NFL had just survived the Korean War where it lost players to that war, World War II obviously same thing the Great Depression and somehow survived financially from that and came out better and on top from where it was before. What makes the 1958 NFL Championship and yes it was a very well played game and even a great game to watch as far as how entertaining it was, was for one it was the most important game ever played. You're talking about the two best teams in pro football playing for the NFL Championship in New York at Yankee Stadium in front of a live national televised audience, with two great football teams that had great coaching. 

For the Baltimore Colts coached by Weeb Ewbank who's in the Hall of Fame. For the New York Giants, forget about their head coach Jim Lee Howell and (I know with a name like Jim Lee Howell how can you forget that name) but you got Vince Lombardi as the offensive coordinator and Tom Landry as the defensive coordinator. As they say in Brooklyn, forget about it! That's all you need to know about the Giants coaching staff.  

And then you Hall of Famers for the Colts like QB John Unitas the greatest ever, RB Len More, RB Alan Ameche who scored the winning TD in the game, OT Jim Parker maybe the greatest OT of all time. WR Ray Berry one of the greatest possession WR of all time. DE Gino Marchetti maybe the greatest DE of all time, CB Johnny Sample and many others. The 1958 Giants as far as Hall of Famers, on offense RB Frank Gifford, on defense DT Andy Robostelli, DT Rosey Greer, MLB Sam Huff. 

These are three of the greatest defenders of all-time and they had the best defense in the NFL as well and scored enough points to win. With  Frank Gifford, FB Alex Webster, WR Tobin Rote and QB Charlie Connerly who could both run and pass and do them well. Anytime you get a matchup like that, under those conditions in a championship final on network TV and radio with all the major newspapers covering the game, you got something special, the NFL at this point was a major sports league. 

But Major League Baseball was still number one and college football was probably number two as far as team sports. But this game set the stage because of the audience it drew, still one of the highest rated programs and intended games in pro sports history, for the NFL by the early 1970s to be the dominant sports league in America if not the world. 

What the 1958 NFL Championship Final did, was set the stage for the NFL and the AFL to become the number one sports league in America because of the teams that played it, the players that played in it, how well they played. And of course the audience it drew, because now America could see how great of a sport pro football was and decided they wanted to see a lot more of it. 



Rob Paschall: New York Giants Chronicles- Mark Bavaro, The Giants Horse


Source: Rob Paschall: New York Giants Chronicles- Mark Bavaro

When I think of great all around tight ends, I think of guys who can block first, which is the most important job of a tight end. Has good hands and catches the ball well and catches the ball well in traffic. And can run with the ball, doesn't have to be fast, but who gets open and can gain yards after the catch. Mark Bavaro had all of those skills and was great in all of those areas and then some perhaps to the point that when he was healthy, you are not only talking about the greatest tight end of the 1980s, but perhaps the greatest tight end of all-time when he was healthy and in his prime.

Today's tight ends are almost thought and only thought of as big receivers who are supposed to catch the ball, especially on third down and in the red zone. "Yeah and if he can block, great, but we are going to throw the ball forty times a game anyway. And we may just run the ball to give our quarterback's arm a little break". But there's a really important reason why the tight end lines up next to the offensive tackle. Because the TE is an extension of the offensive line and his job is to block and help the OT with double teams.

If your tight end doesn't block, you are not going to run the ball very well. Because now the defense will always have a linebacker free on the outside to stuff the run or rush the QB. And the smart defenses will lineup their best blitzing outside linebacker against the weak pass catching TE. To take advantage of that matchup, but if you do that against Mark Bavaro, you are now risking your best blitzer getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Because Mark Bavaro was like another offensive tackle with his ability to block.

Mark Bavaro was perfect for New York City and North Jersey and Bill Parcells. Tough blue-collar Italian guy like Bill Parcells who fit in so perfectly with that community. Not just Italian-Americans in that area, but the broader working class of the New York area. And had it not of been for his leg injuries, we are not only talking about a first ballot Hall of Famer who would already be in the Hall of Fame right now, but perhaps the greatest all around tight end of all-time. That is how great Mark Bavaro was.


Blitz Burghed: Video: The Immaculate Reception: The Starts of the Raiders-Steelers Rivalry


This post was originally posted at FreeStateExtra on Blogger

To me for a rivalry to be great or for it to even be a rivalry, the two teams involved have to at least be good. Not just consistent winners, but consistent playoff teams. Not teams that generally 8-8 or 9-7 or worst and every few years sneak into the playoffs. But teams where just getting to the playoffs is not enough for them to have a successful season. Teams that have it as their goal every year to win their division and win the league championship. 

The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcon Fans and even though both teams are good now and making the playoffs and in the Saints case winning the Super Bowl in 2009, but historically both franchises have either been mediocre or bad. The Falcons didn't make the playoffs until 1978, their twelfth season and are now in their forty-eighth season and they have only made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons once. The Saints didn't even have a winning season until 1987 their 21st season and played and won their first Super Bowl Iin 2009 their forty-third season. So Falcon-Saint games traditionally haven't meant much.

Unlike Packer-Bear games, Packer-Viking games, Bear-Viking games, Redskins-Cowboys, Redskins- Giants etc. It's when the games are important that they have meaning is when they become rivalry's because that's when both teams prepare real well and tend to play their best and when the games are played real hard and physical and get real tense and you see big hits and borderline cheap shots and everything else. And the fans really get into it and even go to the other teams stadiums to watch their team play that the games become rival games. Which is exactly what you get in the NFC East where everyone is a big rival of the other.

That's exactly what the Steeler-Raider rivalry was in the 1970 and 80s to a certain extent. Because every time they played in this time period, their games were about who would have home field advantage in the AFC Playoffs. And have the better chance of winning the AFC Championship and going to the Super Bowl. And the rivalry that the Pittsburgh Steelers had with the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s, is similar to the rivalry the Steelers have with the New England Patriots today because they are playing for home field advantage in the AFC Playoffs almost every time they play each other.

But with the Steelers-Raiders rivalry of the 70s, you're talking about two of the three best franchises of the 70s that made the AFC Playoffs a total of sixteen times, that won fifteen division championships between the two of them. Won five AFC Championships and won five Super Bowls. They knew to get to where they wanted to go they were going to have to beat the other team. It was really that simple because both teams in this decade both had the same goal every year, win the Super Bowl. And since they were both in the AFC, that meant beating the other team especially in the AFC Playoffs just to get to the Super Bowl and this why this rivalry was so great and intense. 

Rivalry's are between two good teams and franchises, otherwise they don't mean anything. They're just another game, rivalry games are important, even when one team may be having a down year because they can make their season by beating the other team. Which would be like their championship. "We didn't do much this year, but at least we beat that team and made their season a little more difficult. Perhaps cost them a home game in the playoffs". And the team who lost that game remembers losing that game, takes that with them going into the next season and try's to get their revenge, which makes the rivalry that much greater.






Zuguide Movie Trailers: Video: Wag The Dog 1997 Trailer: A Movie About a Real Made Up Presidential Scandal


This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStatePlus on Blogger

The late 1990s was a crazy and fascinating time for many reasons politically and other things and also one of the best periods for Hollywood as far as making movies. Some of my favorite movies of all-time come from 1997-99. Wag the Dog 1997 being one of them, Jackie Brown 1997 being another as far as I'm concern the best Quentin Tarratino movie of all-time. Out of Sight 1998 being another one, Primary Colors 1998 another one of my favorite movies. Cop Land 1997, The Big Lebowski 1998 maybe my favorite comedy of all-time with a great comedy duo in Jeff Bridges and John Goodman. Very Bad Things 1998 another very funny movie, Wild Things 1998 very funny.

But one movie in particular because it fit in perfectly with the times especially politically. The Monica Lewinski scandal breaks in January 1998 the same month that the Pope visits Cuba which I doubt made the United States Government very happy especially with their embargo policy of Cuba. And also when President Clinton was probably at his most popular. Wag the Dog came out about a year earlier, in the Summer of 1997, two American embassies in East Africa were bombed and then America attacks both Sudan and Afghanistan. 

Because the Clinton Administration believed that the Sudanese Government had a role of the African bombings. Again we attack Afghanistan as well that same month August 1998, but here's the thing and why Wag the Dog is so relevant. That movie is about people working for the White House creating the appearance of a war in order to get the media and people's attention off the latest sex scandal of the President.

After America attacked Sudan and Afghanistan by sending in missile strikes, Republicans in Congress Senator Dan Coates of Indiana whose generally a pretty rational and responsible person, right away questions whether the missile strikes had something to do with the Lewinski scandal. And was done as a distraction just like in the movie Wag the Dog and even said something to that effect. "I wonder or I hope this is not a Wag the Dog moment for President Clinton". The movie came out just a few months before the Lewinski scandal broke. Wag the Dog is a movie about the President being in trouble with another sex scandal. He's a popular President up until the scandal and looks like he's flying to reelection.

But the scandal breaks and of course his opponent in the race a U.S. Senator played by Craig Nelson try's to make the most out of it. Senator Nelson lets say is way down in the polls and is looking for anything he can to break through. Someone in the White House calls in a veteran big shot political strategist to deal with the scandal played by Robert DeNiro and he gets the idea that what the President needs is a distraction. To get the country's attention off of the sex scandal and comes up with the idea of a fake war and hire a Hollywood producer played by Dustin Hoffman to put this show together. 

Wag the Dog is a great movie for several reasons, one because of how relevant it is, perhaps not realistic though especially in the information age. And this movie did come out in 1997 as far as them being able to cover up a fake war without the Defense Department, CIA or someone knowing about it. But it's still a very funny movie, well written and a great cast Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Bill Macy, Ann Heche, Craig Nelson, Dennis Leary and others. And how desperate that these politicos were to save a Presidency and would even create a fake war to do that.






Frank Russo: Video: Captain: The Thurman Munson Story: Mr. New York Yankee of The 1970s


This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger

I'm not an expert on Thurman Munson, he died in 1979 and I didn't start watching baseball until 1983 but what I've heard about Thurman Munson, is that there's not nearly enough information or reporting about him one of the most underrated and under appreciated baseball players of all time. We are talking about one of the best all around Catchers of the 1970s, right there with Carlton Fisk and Johnny Bench. Same skills as both players but ran better and could hit for a better average. 

This was a catcher who was a 300 hitter and back then that almost never happened. Besides I'm a Baltimore Orioles fan and the New York Yankees are our arch rivals and Orioles fans hate the Yankees and we had a very good rivalry with each other in the 1970s and 80s and the Yankees cost the Orioles a three division titles in the mid and late 1970s, 76-78. But again what I've heard and know about Munson, is a great all around catcher who was headed to the Hall of Fame. 

And even though he only played eleven seasons 1969-79, again since he was one of the best all around catchers of an entire decade that alone should be enough to give Thurman Munson consideration for the Hall of Fame. Anytime you're one of the best players at your positions and one of the best players in the game for an entire decade, that alone should give you strong consideration to be in the Hall of Fame. But thats not up to me but it took a plane crash in the Summer of 1979 to keep Thurman Munson out of the Hall of Fame because he's a player that played in pain constantly, similar to Mickey Mantle another great Yankee and who was headed to the Hall of Fame.

If you want to know if Thurman Munson was a great baseball player or not, you need to know what makes a great baseball player. To me thats someone with no glaring weakness's and at least with a few glaring strengths and you show these skills consistently for a solid period of time, 5-7 or ten years to me for a catcher to be a great Catcher, you can't just be a guy that calls a great game, defends his position well and throws the ball well, Rick Dempsey of the Orioles did all of those things very well. 

And for about ten years about as well as they could be done. But he was basically a 230 hitter with very little if any power and not much of a run producer his entire career. But he was a good clutch hitter in the playoffs but that alone even with being a great Defensive Catcher. Doesn't get you in the Hall of Fame, the reason why Thurman Munson was a great catcher because he did everything that Rick Dempsey could do if not better. 

But he was also a 300 Hitter who drove in runs. Who also had solid power but not great power but definite threat to go deep. In the American League the two best catchers in the 1970s were Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson and you could go either way and for that decade I would lean towards Munson, because he played through injuries without losing production. Fisk missed a lot of time because of injuries. When I think of the term captain as it relates to sports, I think of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers who his teammates called Cap. 

But captain also fits Thurman Munson of the New York Yankees who was not only the captain of his teams but the leader the quarterback, the on field coach of that team that his teammates knew they better do their jobs or the captain was going to get on them. Who always did whatever he could to make sure his players were in the best position that they could be so they could play as well for the Yankees as possible. Thurman Munson was the Captain of the New York Yankees.





Saturday, November 22, 2014

ESPN: SportsCentury- Dr. J Julius Erving, The Doctor Runs Basketball House

Source: ESPN: SportsCentury- Dr. J Julius Erving

If you think about Dr. J as the dunker and watch all of his dunking highlights and that is all you know about him from mostly a basketball pop or hip hop culture perspective, what you know about Julius Erving is probably only what you've seen about him on ESPN or YouTube. And you are even too dumb or too young and perhaps both to truly understand the greatness of Julius Erving. Julius wasn't a great dunker, but a great basketball player who also happens to be perhaps the best dunker of all-time. But that was just part of Julius's greatness.

The Doctor of Basketball was also a great defender and a great rebounder. Think about it, 6'6 or 6'7 small forward with thirty-thousand career points and ten-thousand rebounds. How many other small forward have done that, no one else. A great man-on-man defender who could stop his man, but always knew what else was going around him. How did he get all of those great breakaway dunks, by playing the passing lanes and picking off passes and exploding to the bucket for those great dunks. Or running the floor with someone else feeding him the ball.

The Philadelphia 76ers of the late 1970s and early 1980s were perfect for Dr. J. Because they were a great defensive team that scored a lot of their points by taking the ball away from the other team and running the floor. Which fit Julius perfectly because that is how he played. And then add Moses Malone to the picture in 1983 and now you have a great defensive and breakaway team that now has a dominant force in the middle on both offense and defense and the 76ers became complete.

Dr. J became a great team player in 1983 with Moses Malone, because now he had another great player around him and no longer needed to do everything for the 76ers to win. And could rely on Moses and make his other teammates better and use them as well and just play his great all around game on both offense and defense. And what you had as a result are the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers as simply one of the best pure teams of all-time with Julius leading the way. And we got to see how truly great a player Julius was and he and the 76ers got the rewards of his greatness.