Football, NFL, Sports, Uncategorized

My ‘Untitled’ Peyton Manning Piece

Hmmmm, where do I start?

Do I start with naming the countless records he holds? Or do I start with by highlighting his career with the Indianapolis Colts then proceed to his career with the Denver Broncos? Or do I start with the way he revolutionized the game of football?

Or do I just start with what today means to me?

I think that is a good place to start.  Continue reading “My ‘Untitled’ Peyton Manning Piece”

Controversy, Football, NFL, Uncategorized

The Domestic Violence/Stephen A. Smith Wake-Up Call

No need for an introduction paragraph. Let me get straight to the point.

I debated for a while if I would address this Stephen A. Smith controversy. As a communication major, the word implication urks me to my core. To use the word implication brings in to the conversation that you interpreted my words a certain way whether that is what I meant or not.

We saw it happen last week with Coach Tony Dungy. His statement regarding the drafting of Michael Sam was very clear. If he was still coaching and had the opportunity to draft him, he would have chosen not to because he would not have wanted the distractions that came along with drafting Sam. Somehow, this implied that he would not draft him because of his sexuality. Somehow, this implied that Dungy hated Sam because of his sexuality. Somehow, this implied that Dungy was a Bible thumping Christian who hated people who do not live according to his beliefs.

Seriously? Assumptions were made without research being done. Assumptions were made by people based off what they saw on social media. Assumptions were made simply based off Dungy’s religious beliefs. There were numerous discussions I shut down by pointing out this one simple fact: what Dungy said lined up with his philosophy that he used for years while coaching in the NFL-minimize distractions. Think about it. When he was coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, how many times did you hear of negative happenings in their camp? When Dungy was coach of the Indianapolis Colts, how many times did you hear of negative happenings in their camp? Exactly.

People are quick to twist your words whether you pretzeled them or not.

Back to Smith. I have been a follower of Smith’s work for years. I have always loved his passion for sports and his unique views when addressing certain topics. When I returned home Monday, I was surprised to learn that he was in “hot water” because he “alluded” to the fact that women can provoke men to be abusive while discussing the two game suspension of Ray Rice(who was charged with assault on his then fiance earlier this year). My first reaction was um ok. What did he say wrong? If that is all he said, then what is the issue. However, I knew what the issue was. I have been engulfed in this world of communication long enough to know where this was headed. Unfortunately, I knew it was towards a place that throws up another barrier when it comes to addressing issues that are plaguing our country.

This morning I watched the clip of Smith’s original diatribe on Friday. I also watched his apology that he issued on Monday and I have concluded that what is being lost in this country right now is the right to opinion. Mainly, the right to have an opinion that differs from what is “politically correct” at the moment. Everyone in this country is entitled to their opinion. Everyone in this country is technically protected by the First Amendment guaranteeing them free speech. With that being acknowledged, I acknowledge the fact that there are some things that are unacceptable when it comes to what comes out of ones mouth. However, you are still entitled to your opinion.

What Smith offered up was just that, an opinion. It was not the one that you have probably heard spewed all over the media though. Not once did Smith say that it was ok for a man to hit a woman. Not once did Smith say that a woman deserves to be hit by a man. Not once did Smith insinuate that domestic violence is ok. In fact, he REPEATEDLY reiterated that domestic violence is NEVER ok.

What Smith did was open the door to discuss what has increasingly become an issue that is rarely addressed. Now before you tangle my words, let me be clear. Domestic violence is NEVER ok. NEVER. Let’s break this down though because I understood exactly what Smith was saying. When he alluded to women provoking men, I got it. We(women) know the kind of power we have. Well, most of us do. Most of us also know that there are a lot of men out here who respect women enough to to not lay hands on us. However, there are a lot of men who were raised in environments where this was ok. In turn, they are teaching their young sons that this is an acceptable way to handle their business simply because this is all they know.

At the same time, women know how to push buttons. Been there, done that. If we have not done it ourselves, we have been witness to a woman pushing a man’s buttons so hard that it takes everything in that man to not act on instinct. I have seen women unleash verbal assaults on men that were so lethal that my defending instincts were put on alert. From what I have heard, Smith called in to question the roll Rice’s wife played in the situation. Reports have consistently stated that she was also verbally and physically abusive towards him that night. He also brought up the fact that up until this point, this was out of character for Rice.

Honestly, we can take the domestic aspect out of the conversation and just look at it from a standpoint of person to person. While growing up, there were times that I provoked my mama into reminding me who was the parent. After my lips stop stinging from the quickness of her backhand, I duly noted in my young mind that I might not want to do that again. Did I deserve it? Some will argue no. I say yes. That is the way she chose t discipline me at times. I caused that reaction from her. I provoked her. If I had just gone to my room and pitched a fit behind closed doors, like I did most times, then my lips would not still be tingling minutes later.

While the outcomes of parental discipline and domestic violence are different, the root is the same in some instances. Most people can only take so much chastising, verbal abuse and insults before they reach their boiling point. We all know that when people reach their boiling point things sometimes happen that can take the calmest person out of their character. Domestic violence is not just physical. It is mental as well as emotional. A man that abuses physically can be provoked by a woman who abuses emotionally. Is he wrong? Yes. Is she wrong? Yes.

In opening up the avenue for discussion about this topic, Smith created a firestorm. It is one that I hope will now lead to a discussion that needs to be had on a daily basis and not for just five minutes on ESPN.

Until next time…TOODELLS.

 

Controversy, NFL, Sports

Irsay what???

Without a doubt, the most anticipated football matchup this week is the Denver Broncos vs. the Indianapolis Colts. Peyton Manning vs. his old team. Peyton Manning vs. his “replacement” Andrew Luck.

As if this matchup was not already hyped up enough, Colts owner Jim Irsay decided to add fuel & kerosene to an already smoking fire this week by making one of the most ridiculous statements I have heard in a while…..”(Tom) Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these (championship rings,” Irsay told USA Today. “Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated. You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the Star Wars numbers from Peyton and Marvin (Harrison) and Reggie (Wayne). Mostly, you love this (referring to his Super Bowl ring).

Hol lup, did he REALLY just say that? Now most of you already know how I am when it comes to #18. Rarely do I have to defend him because no one ever has anything really bad to say about him. The only knock on him has been that in the postseason he has “choked” many times. That, in my opinion, is just that, an opinion. Yes, there were times where something #18 did cost them a chance to score. There were times when he did not put up the numbers that we were used to seeing. There were times where he just simply had bad games. Hey, it happens. He is human. Remind me again how many rings Dan Marino won?

We all know this one fact: no one has done more for the Indianapolis Colts franchise than Peyton Manning. And he deserves more respect than what he is getting right now from his former boss. To me, Irsay sounds bitter. Sounds like he is not confident in his decision to release #18. I honestly do not blame him for not being confident. Unless you have been up under a rock, you know that #18 is having his best season ever. That says a lot because we are talking about a four time MVP here.  The fact that a lot of times when the Colts are brought into the conversation it is because of what #18 is doing in Denver has got to be eating Irsay up.

Of course Irsay will claim he is not bitter. If that is the case then there was no need to make this ridiculous statement two years after the fact. If you felt that way then you should have said something back then. Or how about just keeping your mouth shut. Everything that is thought does not need to be said. And when Tony Dungy starts inserting himself into the mix, to essentially defend #18, then you have a real issue on your hands because Dungy NEVER shares details of private conversations. Just when I thought things could not get even more interesting…

To say I am ready for Sunday’s showdown, Pony vs. Pony, would be an understatement. I hope #18 torches the Colts. I am talking record number torch. It would be the best thank you gift he could provide Irsay with.

49ers, Controversy, Football, Hockey, NFL, Sports, Wolfpack

Wildcard Weekend Roundup

What an interesting weekend of football!!! It was great, right? Lets rekap.

The biggest story of the weekend had to be Ray Lewis playing his last home game as a Baltimore Raven.

As I stated on Friday, his story of resilience and redemption is one that all can learn from. Lewis had a team high 13 tackles, wore a menacing face mask that made him look like he was going to war with the Deceptions and was on the field for the final kneeldown. Doesn’t get much better than that. He sealed his farewell with his patented “squirrel dance” (yeah, I just found out yesterday that it had a name) and exited to a deafening ovation for the crowd. Very fitting for a man who put a franchise and city on his back and gave it everything he had. On Saturday, my faves will go head to head. Peyton vs. Ray Ray. I think I shall remain neutral. Go Broncens!! Go Ravecos!!!

Oh, I guess you know the Ravens beat down the Colts.

Now onto Sunday’s other showdown…Rookie vs. Rookie. Elusive QB vs. Elusive QB. Russell vs. RG3. I know there was not any question as to who I was pulling for. Was it just me or did Russell look like he had been playing in the league for years? His composure in the pocket especially during a blitz is a thing of beauty. He does not get razzled easily. I tweeted last night that I was so happy that the nation was getting a chance to see what us Wolfpackers got to see for years. Russell is a baller!!! That Seahawks team makes me nervous. The combination of Russell, RB Marshswn Lynch and that defense is scary. I fully expect to see them in the NFC Championship playing against my 9ers. My boys better be ready!! By the way, Russell, the 75th overall draft pick, is the last rookie QB standing. Whoop whoooop!!

Yes, I talked about Russell before I addressed the RG3 controversy. Hey!!! I had to give Russell his flowers. I know you are waiting on my opinion about the RG3 debacle. I missed the first half but I heard he got hit early, was limping and was not very effective from that point on. I get the warrior attitude especially in the playoffs but when does a player’s health become bigger than the game? It is obvious that RG3 should have been pulled early in the game. Give the team a chance to win. It is not like the Redskins do not have a decent backup. Knees are nothing to play Russian Roulette with. Keeping RG3 in did not produce the result the team was hoping for. Putting Cousins in earlier could have changed the story.

As much as I talked about Sunday’s games, I almost forgot about Saturday’s. I was pulling for the Bengals because I wanted Coach Marvin Lewis to get that elusive first playoff win. As usual, the Texans found a way to win. They do not impress me, at all. I fully expect the Patriots to send them back to Texas for an early start to their summer vacay.

The Packers vs. Vikes game….snoozefest. I just woke up! Woke up to see Vikings back up QB, Joe Webb, on the ground, again. Po fella. Vikings did not stand a chance. Better luck next year.

:: My picks ::
Broncos vs. Ravens….Broncos
9ers vs. Packers….9ers
Texans vs. Patriots….Patriots
Seahawks vs. Falcons….Seahawks

:: Championship Weekend ::
9ers vs. Seahawks….9ers
Broncos vs. Patriots….Broncos

:: Super Bowl 47 ::
My 9ers vs. My boo #18 and the Broncos…..I will reveal my pick later this week :-}

P.S. The “melt” is on!!! Hockey is back!! Yes! Yes! Yes!!

Until next time….TOODELLS.