Tuesday, December 19, 2006

In Minority Over Spitting Incident

Maybe I'm too insensitive, but I'm having a hard time understanding why the Terrell Owens "spitting incident" is such a big deal. T.O. was fined $35,000 for spitting on Falcons defensive back D'Angelo Hall. Hall wanted him suspended. Former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin went on record saying it's the worst possible thing you can do to a player on the football field.


I know it's degrading. I know it's inappropriate. I know it's ignorant. But, the worst possible thing you can do to a player?

I never played professional football, but I did play in high school and college. I've been punched, bitten and scratched. I've been grabbed in inappropriate places. I've been chop-blocked below the knees. I've been clipped. I've had my facemask yanked. And, yes, I've been spit on. And frankly, the spitting doesn't rank very high on the list. It made me mad, and it was disgusting, but I wiped it off and went on beating the poor sap between the whistles.

I talked extensively with Eric Williams about this issue. Williams played ten years in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins. He said what T.O. did was extremely uncool.

"It's a dirty enough game to get turf burns and have people chewing tobacco, and all the stuff you get from the astro turf," Williams said, "and to have someone spit in your face, that's a rough one. It doesn't happen often, or it happens more and people just don't complain about it, but it was uncalled for."

Interesting point there. "It happens more and people just don't complain about it." Isn't that what the NFL is all about? This is the most violent sport a person can play. Dirty, violent and mean things happen all the time.

"People do rude stuff on the field," Williams added. "They hit where they shouldn't hit, they stomp on people with cleats, they spit, they gouge, they poke people in the eye. It's a violent sport, and when you get those emotions going, people do crazy stuff."

Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning that kind of behavior, but I'm also not saying it doesn't have a place in the sport. Players with attitudes like Michael Irvin wouldn't have made it in the "old school" NFL. In the "glory days" of the NFL, the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, players ripped your helmet off, kicked you, spit on you, then went back to the huddle to do it all over again on the next play. If you couldn't handle it, you got off the field. It wasn't a game for sissies.

I'm from that school. Hand the ball to the ref after you score a touchdown. Play the game with ferocity, as if your life depended on it. Hit, bite, scratch, claw... do whatever it takes to get the job done. If you get spit on, no, *when you get spit on, give the jerk a cold stare, wipe it off, go back to the huddle, and pop the guy in the mouth as hard as you can during the next play, and the next play, and the next play, until he regrets ever playing the sport. And, if you can't handle it, go play tennis.

Friday, December 15, 2006

NFL's Plan To Rule The World Is Succeeding

About 60% of East Texas is in a panic this week as they scramble to find somewhere to watch Saturday night's Cowboys game against the Atlanta Falcons. The game is being carried on the NFL Network, which can only be seen by Dish and DirecTV customers. That means, anyone with cable or with an antennae, will be out of luck. Cowboys fans are attacking the cable companies for not carrying the NFL Network. They are trying to declare this a national emergency to get them to carry the game.

NFL, I applaud you.

Before the season it sounded innocent enough. A mere eight games would be carried by the NFL Network, which is owned by the NFL owners. But take a closer look at those eight games, and you will see that every region of the country is represented, from Seattle, to Dallas, to Green Bay, to Atlanta, to New York. At least once this season, somewhere in the country, this desperate plea to the cable companies is happening. The NFL owners are successfully rallying football fans into demanding the NFL Network, and blaming the cable companies for it's absence. Somehow, the $100 million ransom the NFL Network is asking the cable companies for is being lost in the riot.

Ultimately, the cable companies are going to cave, or lose another giant wave of customers to the satellite companies (they lost me years ago). In fact, the NFL is ENCOURAGING football fans to threaten their cable companies with a mass exodus. They are providing toll free numbers on their website to do just that! (1-866-NFL-NETWORK) All that means is more exposure, more control over the product and yes, a lot more money for the NFL owners.

So again. NFL, I applaud you.

Your plan to rule the world is moving full steam ahead...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ETBU Finds Perfect Fit

With the hiring of Mark Sartain, East Texas Baptist University found the perfect man for the job. He may not be the ONLY perfect man for the job, but then again, that depends on if you believe there is only ONE person for each of us. Of course, that's a different article all together.

Each coaching job requires a unique personality. In other words, what may be right for Brownsboro, may not be right for Tatum, which may not be right for Robert E. Lee, which may not be right for All Saints, etc.

Sartain's style worked at Trinity Valley, but it has the potential to thrive at ETBU. There are certain beliefs that cater to a certain type of situation. ETBU's emphasis on four years of personal, educational and spiritual development, embody what Sartain strives to instill in his programs. When you only have two years with the kids in a junior college setting, and the players goals are to "get in and get out", there is only so much of that you can do. That's not a knock against junior colleges. There are countless examples of students and athletes that would be lost without that unique opportunity. Maybe it's more about the spiritual message a coach like Sartain can only instill within an extended time span.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gander Mountain Hunting Tip: Move S-L-O-W

Gander Mountain has been nice enough to share some hunting and fishing tips to help you get the most out of your experiences in the outdoors. This weeks tip comes from Pro Staff Member Craig Boddington:

The most fundamental mistake most of us make in the deer woods is not watching the wind. The second most serious mistake lies in moving too fast. It doesn’t matter whether you’re hunting from a stand or still-hunting, pussyfooting slowly through good cover. It also doesn’t matter whether you’re in head-to-toe camouflage or blaze orange (although camouflage, where legal, always helps!). If a whitetail gets your wind he’s gone, but if the wind is in your favor the next most likely thing to spook him is movement. Sudden movement is the kiss of death, but sometimes you can get by with slow, steady movement. Just because you can’t see a deer doesn’t mean there isn’t one nearby, so concentrate on keeping all movements slow and steady, all the while looking around—moving only your eyes as much as possible, and keeping head movements slow. If you see a deer (or think you do) and you can see his head, then he can see you. Freeze. Do not bring up your binoculars or your gun or bow until the head is completely hidden, and then move slowly and deliberately. Sometimes you have no choice but to go for it, but don’t let a deer startle you into rapid movement. As long as he’s stationary or moving slowly, take your time. The best way to turn an easy shot into a lost opportunity is to bring your gun or bow up too fast.

Craig Boddington
TV Host of Tracks Across Africa & Guns and Ammo
Elite Gander Mountain Pro Staff Member