Tale of the Quarterback: Eyes on NFL Training Camp

My nose is acute with the smell of fresh practice field grass, my lips are already fixed for criticism on a cover two versus a man to man, my fingers are (wo)manned on my mouse ready for my impending fantasy draft in a few short weeks. Yes, ladies and gentleman, training camp is upon us, which only means one thing: FOOTBALL IS BACK- CAN I GET AN AARON RODGERS BELT THRUST!? And before you say anything, yes, I’m a die hard Bears fan but you just can’t hate him. Trust me I’ve tried.

This past week NFL players have been reporting to the confines of their cozy college dorms where they will study playbooks and play obscene amounts of NCAA and Madden 12 like the grown up frat boys they are. Throw in some two a days and we have got ourselves some content my friends. I would like to take a look at just which teams will have the most eyes on them this preseason. And so it begins…

Once Upon a Time, there was a quarterback of an NFL football team. His name was (insert really important football sounding name here) and he played for (insert team here), this is their story…

The Denver Broncos: If Peyton Manning doesn’t scream football player name, I don’t know what does. He was literally born to play this role: see related Mannings i.e. Eli and/or Archie. Following (a couple) hush hush neck surgeries and Manning sitting out the entire 2011 season, not only is he back, but he is back with none other than John Elway’s Denver Broncos, despite his already published legacy with the Indianapolis Colts. This Broncos team easily has the biggest target on their back as far as the media sh*tstorm goes. I have to say I have a good feeling about this, and not just because I’m listening to Avicii. The way I see it, Peyton wouldn’t even attempt to come back unless he had complete and total faith that he would return to Peyton Manning form. If Peyton Manning has faith in himself, who the hell are we to say or think otherwise? If Peyton says it, it must be so. End of story. I can’t wait for this next chapter in his career, and have to give a special shout-out to three guys from a certain southwest school I also attended who will be along for the ride. Brock- you learn everything you possibly can from that man, I know I don’t have to tell you twice. O, words can’t describe how excited I am to see you back on that field- and with the Champ! G-Rob, do your thing- and don’t you dare drop a Peyton pass! SD4L 🙂

The New York Jets: Ahh, The Timmy Tebow Saga continues. I can’t wait to see what Rex Ryan version .50 has up his sleeve. Wildcat? Convert Tebow to fullback entirely? Make him the starter entirely? I have to say when they picked Tebow up I totally thought that was it for Sanchez. He’s got the SC quarterback curse, all hope has got to be lost. But maybe Mr. Hard Knocks hasn’t given up just yet. And side note: seriously, can they make Hard Knocks permanently on the Jets? That was by far the most entertaining season. I’m not wrong.

The Washington Redskins and/or The Indianapolis Colts: Picking up the first two picks in the draft, both quarterbacks, mind you, you can bet these teams are on the radar. RGIII was pronounced starter out of the gate. With a definitive ‘guy’ you have to think Shanahan will show at least glimpses of those glorious Denver days. With the Peyton Manning departure, and Andrew Luck of the draw in place, look for the Colts to show up like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. They may not be effective right away, but with the ever accelerated learning curve of Mr. Stanford grad, you gotta think they will get it right by midseason, maybe in time to catch the playoffs? Wildcard at least?

And last but certainly not least, for my own personal benefit, The Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler is healthy. They have signed their workhorse Matt Forte to a sufficient deal. They have gelled their offensive line quite a bit as well as made a key offensive pickup in Brandon Marshall, a familiar target to add to their Cutler-y (ya see what I did there?). The defense, yes, is becoming increasingly more ‘veteran’ but with a more high powered offense hopefully we can preserve those guys a few more years by not having them take the field every 37 seconds.

All I can say is thank God we have the Olympics to hold us over til the real fun begins. Happy training season everyone!

Advertisements

America’s Favorite… Nap time?

This will probably be one of very few, if not the only editorial post I do about baseball because of my miserable apathy towards the sport, despite having not one, but two teams I could potentially root for in this city. The sad part is, I’m not alone in my lethargy. Granted it may be because my Twitter is inevitably biased but all I hear are cries of “IS IT FOOTBALL SEASON YET?!” all over my timeline. Why is that?

I recently read an article by Mr. Rick Reilly (I seriously think I love that man) on ESPN.com about baseball’s pace of play problem. It takes EONS to get through a game- no wonder no one watches it. It’s seriously on par with golf, acting as my non-narcotic sleep aid on a lazy Sunday afternoon. In the article Reilly pointed out that there actually is a ‘Pace of Play Procedure’ list which dictates time restraints on certain aspects of the game. Whaaat? You mean I don’t need to watch the batter step out of the box, adjust his glove 51,381 times before the first pitch, only to stand there motionless and then wait another 30 seconds while the pitcher delivers the next ball? The answer is no, I don’t, because it’s in fact AGAINST THE RULES which state as follows, according to the article:

“Umpires will not grant time for batters to step out of the box if to do so would unnecessarily delay the game.”

WHAT A CONCEPT.

But say the umps do wise up, start picking up the pace and shave off a few milliseconds of the game. Would that change how I feel? Better yet, would it make me feel something– ANYTHING- for such a historically rich and traditional sport?

The answer is probably not.  If I think back on alllll my 23 years (ha) do I ever remember a time when I cared? I don’t know- wait, maybe, almost… YES, got it! The only time I ever cared about baseball was when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were duking it out for the home run record. This epic battle would later be tarnished by the Steroid Papers, both Sosa and McGwire were on the juice. Sigh.

Still, baseball was exciting back then. Things happened. Sure, all the guys were juiced up on stashes of roids that would make Ronnie from Jersey Shore spontaneously combust on the spot. But people cared. People were excited. The MLB’s revenues were through the roof. The bottom line is that these guys were choosing to take these drugs. What if… and I know I may be chastised for saying this… but what if, we just let them?

Now hear me out. I’m not talking about the heavy duty illegal stuff, but what if we just allowed the guys to get a little more ‘creative’ shall we say in their supplements? If the players want to do it and it means producing more action and higher revenues, could it really be so bad?

Or forget the supplements, what about the uses of more technologically advanced equipment? Like bats? More home runs sounds all good to me. Bottom line is there needs to be something done about the state of the MLB. Probably starting with a commissioner other than Bud Selig.

The Steroid Scandal era was the Dark Age of baseball… isn’t it time for a renaissance?