One Hit Away: The Cruel Reality of Contact Sports

NFL, Alex Smith, Joe Theismann, Lawrence Taylor, American football, injury
Joe Theismann (center) and Lawrence Taylor (left) enjoy each other’s company, but in 1985, the two were involved in a play that ended Theismann’s NFL career. The type of injury Theismann suffered then draws some eerie parallels to an injury suffered by Alex Smith in mid-November 2018. Image taken via screenshot. (Video)

Players in contact sports are one hit away ­— from a lost season or the end of their career. Fans of particular sports, especially American football, are reminded of this every year. My reminder came twice this year. One came earlier this year as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with an ACL tear (albeit it was a non-contact injury). The other reminder came a week ago yesterday.

On Sunday, November 18, 2018, Alex Smith, the quarterback for the Washington Redskins, suffered a catastrophic injury during his team’s loss to the Houston Texans. Although this post is a little late, I wanted to talk about the injury and how I feel about it and the 2018 season overall.

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Enough, Already! Why I Really Don’t Care for Circle Jerks (Part 3)

circle jerks, Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, quarterback, NFL

In my last post, I discussed one of the two quarterbacks that are the focus of a number of NFL circle jerks. Jimmy Garoppolo is one and Patrick Mahomes is the other. Both had made NFL starts, but Garoppolo has made a bigger impact so far.

With Garoppolo, the amount of hype that’s building is understandable yet relatively tame, but the discussion about Mahomes has been acrimonious at points. Mahomes is not the problem, but he has been weaponized in various Internet fights this season.

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Enough, Already! Why I Really Don’t Care for Circle Jerks (Part 2)

circle jerks, Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers, NFL
Jimmy G is a handsome man, and he’s gone 7-0 as a starter. But let’s not go overboard with it, folks.

Originally, when I started writing about the topic of circle jerks, I had two people in mind. One of them is Jimmy Garoppolo. I have nothing against him personally (in fact, he is on one of two of my favorite NFL teams), but I have been picking up on some disturbing trends involving his fans.

As many NFL fans know, the quarterback position receives the most focus. For the most part, it’s understandable, because the QB touches the ball on offenses on almost every play. They are facilitators and they are responsible for conveying the plays, making adjustments, and getting their unit in position to execute those plays.

I acknowledge how tough it is for quarterbacks. The amount of football knowledge and preparation it takes is insane and they often receive much of the blame when their team loses. In that respect, I feel for these players. But I refuse to play along and heap all types of praise on just one player.

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What Contributed to That Wild Finish on Thursday Night Football?

Thursday Night Football, NFL, referees, Roger Goodell, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, New York Jets, game fixing, the fix is in
These guys figured in too many games this season.

On October 19, the Kansas City Chiefs visited the Oakland Raiders for a Thursday Night Football game.1 The Raiders were essentially handed a one-point victory after numerous calls at the goal line (although I wonder why a touchdown by their tight end was taken away in the first place). The result left many people scratching their heads and questioning how the officiating could be this bad.

This past week (October 15-21) saw some of the worst officiating I have ever seen for NFL games. And Last Sunday, the most-talked about game was the Patriots vs. the Jets — for all the wrong reasons.

In that game, There were two very bad calls and at least on non-call that went the Patriots’ way. The first bad call and non-call helped to get the Patriots in the game. They were previously down 14-0 early on. Then last questionable call took a touchdown away from the Jets when they could have pulled within three points of the Patriots.

The final score was Patriots, 24-17. The Jets might have been able to take that game to overtime at the very least without those questionable calls.

That Sunday game left many people questioning if the fix was in. That might have also led to them to website about sports scandals and speculation of the same name run by the author of the book of the same name.2

What do I think about the accusations of vote-rigging? Well, since I have been hearing this for a while, I wanted to put down my thoughts on the subject. I’m not particularly bothered by the accusations (yet), but I am by the debate itself.

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Athlete Protests: Who Are You Calling an S.O.B?

athlete protests, NFL, NBA, Donald Trump

The past weekend was dominated by the news Donald Trump made when he went on rants about athletes from the NBA and the NFL. It all started on Friday, September 22, when Donald Trump went after the NFL.

Of course, this elicited a swift response from athletes and officials from the concerned sports on Twitter and off. And of course, Trump doubled down on his comments.

Now, Trump’s attacks against Goodell or the league at large were nothing new. A few years ago, Trump made tweets when the Ray Rice scandal hit. He also made when Deflategate was in full swing. Just last year, Trump minimized the concern over head injuries in the NFL.

This also wasn’t the first time Trump made comments against the NFL protests. While at a Kentucky rally in March, Trump singled out Colin Kaepernick, who started the silent protests during the National Anthem.

While I was personally disgusted by what Trump said, and I was taken about by how sports and politics were being tangled up together, I kinda of liked the response from various athletes and officials. However, those comments alluded to greater problems in American society.

Before I can get into that last part, I must discuss what Trump said and the responses to his comments.

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Famous Sayings: #47 — ‘Any Given Sunday’

February 3, 2017

On any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team.

1916 Penn Quakers backfield, any given Sunday, famous sayings
Here is Bert Bell (left), when he played quarterback for Penn. He is standing next to teammates Ben Derr (halfback) and Joe Berry (fullback).
If you watch American football like I do, chances are you have heard some version of the above sentence, or just the phrase “on any given Sunday.” Heck, you have heard it if you know of the film “Any Given Sunday,” starring Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, and Cameron Diaz.

As I did the research for this post, the answer I was looking for was pretty straightforward. But the interesting information concerns the man who is credited for coining the phrase in question.

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News I Missed (Jan. 18, 2017)

news I missed, Write Anything Wednesday

This past Sunday, I was preoccupied with NFL football to really get a full post reader for my news roundup. So, I thought I’d use Write Anything Wednesday to include stories I found but failed to summarize, along with other news I missed.

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My Thoughts on the 49ers’ Firings (Jan. 2017)

49ers's firings, Jed York, San Francisco 49ers, press conference

To start off the New Year, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York fired his general manager and head coach. The 49ers’ firings occurred because team had finished the 2016 NFL season with a 2-14 record, only beating the Las Angeles Rams twice.

As York has often repeated, the team has not met a certain standard from year to year. Only this time, the team’s performance called for a change of course. In this case, that meant Trent Baalke (the GM) and Chip Kelly (the coach) had to go.

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Famous Sayings: #32 — ‘Put Your Money…’

October 16, 2016

Put your money where your mouth is.

Colin Kaepernick, Muhammad Ali shirt, put your money where your mouth is, put your money, famous sayings

This phrase has bubbled up for me because of a topic I have addressed before: Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the National Anthem.

For those who don’t know, Kaepernick is the QB of the San Francisco 49ers, an NFL football team. Last week, he was named the starter for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. More about that later.

For now, let’s look into the origin of famous saying in question.

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Should There Be A New American National Anthem?

Colin Kaepernick, national anthem, American National Anthem, NFL, QB, 49ers

In July of this year, I dedicated a post that talked about the American National Anthem, the “Star Spangled Banner.” It turns out that was kind of a timely article. Although, I had to consult sources that broached the themes I ultimately tried my best to cover, there is now a renewed interest in the national anthem.


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