A chat with Andre Boyd, the man behind #NotRayLewis

On Halloween, I received a text. At the time of receipt, I was fully engaged in trying to cheer my beloved North Carolina State Wolfpack onto victory against the number one team in the country. I quickly glanced at the text and said to myself, “I’ll check it later once I get stationary.”

November 1. I finally settled in to catch up on what I had missed that weekend. I soon found out there was a party going on and I was beyond fashionably late. The internet was all abuzz. My social media feeds were filled with people talking about it. The unexpected was happening.

Andre Boyd had gone viral.

Continue reading “A chat with Andre Boyd, the man behind #NotRayLewis”

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And the people rejoiced, for the NFL is back!!!

OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!

I can hardly contain my excitement. The day I have waited for since February has finally arrived.

Since I am a writer and I love sports, I know you all are expecting me to issue some predictions. I have said over and over that I hate doing predictions. They hinge on so many things: who stays healthy, who performs the way that they should, which coach best utilizes its players, yada, yada, yada. However, without predictions, it would not give journalists much to talk about, huh?

So you are expecting a Super Bowl prediction. Oh boy. Can I pick two teams? Sure I can. It is my blog. I fully expect Denver to be in the Super Bowl again. Aaaaaaaand I expect their opponent to be an NFC team. Haha. Ok, for real because I do not think Seattle will repeat, I am going to go with New Orleans. Denver will win and Peyton can ride off into the sunset like Ray Ray.

I would have loved to have picked my beloved 49ers. Sadly, I think I window of opportunity may have closed. I do not even want to get into it. Even with the departures, suspensions and distractions, I still think we have tremendous talent and players in place to win it all. The question is, can they gel together to get it done? Only time will tell. I hope my prediction is wrong!

I think my beloved Panthers will be solid again this year but I do not expect them to have the same success as last year. I honestly cannot even tell you why. Just a gut feeling. I hope my prediction is wrong!

 

 

So here we go, my predictions for the week…

Seattle over GB
NO over ATL
STL over Minnesota
Cleveland over Pittsburgh
Philly over Jax
Jets over Oakland
Cincy over Baltimore
Buffalo over Chicago
Wash over Houston
KC over Tenn
NE over Miami
Panthers over Bucs
9ers over Dallas
Denver over Indy
Detroit over NYG
SD over AZ

We shall see what happens.

Enjoy the first weekend of the NFL!!!

 

Why they mad, bro??

I knew it was coming.

From the time Richard Sherman opened his mouth after his Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship Sunday night, I knew it was coming. Yesterday, it dropped. The apology. Ugh.

I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, the unpredictable would happen. I was hoping that maybe this would be the one time an athlete seized his first amendment right with no apologies. I was hoping that maybe there would be an unequivocal silence that would speak for itself.

However, I get it. As a PR consultant, I totally get it. It had to be done because this story had become bigger than the result of the game. More than 36 hours later, Sherman is still the number one trending topic on Twitter. Some are praising him. Some are enjoying the moment. Some are calling him names. There are memes, spoofs and t-shirts popping up all over cyberpace. I have read articles of support, articles of condemnation and articles of indifference. I have shaken my head so many times

Thug. Bully. Uneducated. I have seen those words thrown around so many times I need an assistant to keep count. Thug. Bully. Uneducated. Maybe there is a different Richard Sherman people are referring to. Surely, none of the talking heads are referring to the Richard Sherman who graduated second in his high school class with a 4.2 GPA and holds a degree in Communication from Stanford. Oh, and he graduated from there with a 3.9 GPA. Surely, they are NOT referring to THAT Richard Sherman.

As I sit here, typing earnestly, at the computer, I am wondering when did sports become so watered down that everyone has to place nice in the sandbox at all times even in the midst of battle. I think a lot of people have forgotten that we all are different. Every player does not study the game the way Peyton Manning does. Every player does not display the fiery passion for the game that Ray Lewis did. Every player does celebrate their on-field accomplishments the way Deion Sanders did. However, is that not part of what makes sports so enjoyable for most? Men and women from all walks of life with different personalities competing for the same goal.

As I have stated previously, Sherman’s actions at the end of the game were less than desirable. However, I stand by my previous statement that I have no problem with his words and the more I think about it, I am beginning to think I do not have a huge problem with his actions. Was the pat on the behind and the “friendly” extension for a handshake from Michael Crabtree necessary? Absolutely not. That had potential fisticuffs written all over it. Things could have gone left really quick and no one in their right mind believes Sherman was thinking good sportsmanship in that moment. That is sports!! If he apologized for anything, it should have been for the that. Again, I get it. I really do. Sherman had just made the biggest play of his career, thus far, to send his team to the Super Bowl. Many of us would be excited in that moment, operating off pure adrenaline. Many of us would want to celebrate. Many of us would want to rub that in the face of the opposing player whom the play was made on. Yet, some have crucified him for being caught up in the moment as if we have never gotten “caught up” when someone cuts us off in traffic.

Bottom line is this: its football! A brutal sport that is not for the weak. It is rough, you have to be tough and trash talk happens, a lot. There are some players who passion oozes out through the way they approach the game. Then, there are players whose passion oozes out through their words in a way that scares some. At the rate things are going, soon players will not be able to express themselves at all for fear of being labeled everything they are not. Well, unless you are Tom Brady because then you can berate officials all you want and no one will say a thing.

Yeah, this San Francisco 49ers Faithful went there.

Still Forever Faithful…

Ugh. So close. Sooooooooooo close. I still can not believe it. Less than 10 yards away, maybe it was 15 from my team winning it all. Ugh.

This is not the blog I expected to write. I expected to come on here and tell you all about how much I screamed and hollered and lost my voice during my victory celebration. I expected to come on here and tell you all how I cried after my team hoisted the Lombardi trophy into the air. I expected to tell you all that I sprinted out of the house(ala Aldon Smith when he gets a sack) after the clock hit zero. However, it was not meant to be. Ugh.

My 9ers. My 9ers. My 9ers. Oh, my 9ers. They left me with a broken heart. They are making me avoid ESPN for the rest of the night. Um, I will also have to avoid ESPN at least another day. Tragic. They left me deleting posts off my Facebook page from people who wanted to rub it in. Some may call that being a sore loser and that is fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I call it being passionate about my team. In that moment I was sad and I did not want anyone adding to my sadness. Some losses sting. Some losses leave me shaking my head. And some losses just down right hurt. This was one of those hurtful losses. I was sad. Very sad. I think I even had a tear in my eye. To battle back the way that we did and still come up short is aaaah. I do not even have the word for it. Ugh.

I refuse to blame our loss on the refs, the secondary, the defense, the coaching staff, etc. Sure, there were some penalties I thought the refs missed. Sure, the secondary made huge mistakes., Sure, there was some questionable play calling but hey it is all a part of the game. How you react to those factors is what decides who wins and loses. Overall, I still think we had the better team on the field but the Baltimore Ravens refused to be denied. They are to be commended for their effort and for a great season. Although I am avoiding ESPN for another day or so, I am sure at some point I will search for the coverage of Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Torrey Smith and offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell all hoisting that trophy. Ok, probably not but it sounded good. I have great respect for those guys and that organization. Congrats to them and their fans. Look at me coming out of my sadness. I did not even end this paragraph with ugh. See :-}.

If there is one bright spot, it is the fact that we have a very young team that is only going to get better. I am pretty sure we have found our QB. I am pretty sure we still have the best O-line in the game. And I am pretty sure we will be drafting some secondary players this offseason. Once this team can consistently put together a complete game, I think you will see that 9ers dynasty rise, once again, from The Bay. Last year, we lost in the NFC Championship game. This year we lost in the Superbowl. If the trend continues, then this time next year I can scream with pride, Ladies & Gentlemen, the San FranSIXco 49ers!!! And this member of the Faithful still loves the sound of that!!!

Until next time….TOODELLS.

P.S. The 9er motto for the postseason was #QuestForSix. I think without a doubt, the motto for next season should be UNFINISHED BUSINESS. I think I will tweet them and let them know.

P.P.S. What am I going to do until August?! Ugh.

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WE ARE GOING TO THE CHIP….Championship Weekend Recap

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OMG GEEEEEEEEEEE!!! MY NINERS ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!!!! OMG GEEEEEEEEEEE!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! Excited. Thrilled. Overjoyed. Happy. None of those words describe how I felt when Navorro Bowman knocked the ball away from Falcons receiver Roddy White with 1:13 remaining in the game to seal the come from behind victory. None of those words describe how I feel now. OMG GEEEEEEEE!!! The scream I let out yesterday at the restaurant scared everybody. Eh well :-}. And I must admit, my eyes watered a little. It has been a long time coming!! The years of continuing to be part of the Faithful(nickname for the legion of 49ers fans) has paid off. I was 12 the last time my 9ers went to the Super Bowl. I was a fan then but I am a die-hard now and this is a feeling I can get used to. Down 17-0 early in the second quarter, my 9ers begin to mount a comeback to pull within three only to let the Falcons score before the half to take a 24-14 lead into halftime. However, there would not be a repeat of last year! My 9ers scored two touchdowns in the second half including Frank Gore’s go ahead touchdown with 8:23 remaining to seal the fate of the Falcons. Gore nicely showed them how to do the ‘Dirty Bird’ before jogging off the field. The Falcons, who dominated offensively, in the first half could not get anything going and was shut out by the league’s number one scoring defense in the second half. The Falcons made it interesting driving the length of the field while draining the clock. My nerves were shot until Bowman took matters into his own hands and allowed Faithful everywhere to celebrate in a way we have not been able to in 18 years. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! WE ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!! I think my reputation as a Faithful speaks for itself. You would not believe how many phone calls, texts, Facebook messages and tweets I received from people offering up their congrats. I think my 9ers need to put me on payroll. I am representing hard on the East Coast! Oh and shoutout to my little cousin who owes me a Zaxby’s meal. Poor little Falcon fan. Eh well!!! SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS. NFC CHAMPIONS. The Quest For Six continues….

After such an amazing game, it was hard for me to concentrate on the AFC Championship game. I was still on a natural high from earlier. Plus the Wolfpack was playing soooo yeah my mind was elsewhere for a while. This year’s AFC Championship was a rematch of last year’s. Last year, the Patriots were the victors and New Englanders were already expecting a repeat of last year’s outcome. Some even went so far as to put up a billboard letting everyone know that Ray Lewis’ retirement party would start Sunday night in Foxborough. Welp, Lewis and the Ravens had other plans and they made sure, just like my 9ers, that they did not have a repeat of last year. Down 7-13 at the half, the Ravens came out and dominated the second half on both sides of the ball. The defense held one of the leagues most prolific offenses to zero points in the second half. The Ravens left no doubt as they scored three more touchdowns to advance to the SuperBowl. Looks like New Englanders will have to wait another two weeks for Lewis’ party to begin although they are unlikely to attend.

So there you have it folks. SuperBowl XLVII(47 for those of you who can never figure out those Roman numerals) is set. My SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS(I plan to call them the San FranSIXco 49ers after we win) vs. the Baltimore Ravens. Jim Harbaugh vs. John Harbaugh. Little Brother vs. Big Brother. The HarBowl. This is going to be classic, smashmouth football. I know the Ravens have tons of motivational factors on their side but I am rolling with my Niners all the way. I mean, that is how the FAITHFUL rolls!!!

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Divisional Weekend Roundup

Is anybody else tired besides me? This weekend of football wore me out. Sheesh. I need a nap. One of those good kindergarten naps. On a cot.

So where shall I start? I knooooow!!! Lets start with my team, the San Francisco 49ers!! Whoop whoooop!! We left shredded cheese all over The Stick. Green Bay started out hot but any chance they thought they had of winning quickly diminished when the legend of Colin Kaepernick was born. So did the hopes of Alex Smith getting his job back. In his first playoff game, Kaepernick completed 17 of 31 passes for 263 yards while throwing two touchdowns and one interception. That is not even the highlight of the game. He was the game’s leading rusher with 181 yards including a 56 yard touchdown run. Yeah, I know Green Bay’s defense is not the greatest but it held arguably the game’s best running back, Adrian Peterson, to 99 yards last week. Plus they have Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson. Serious ballers. None of that would matter as the 9ers pounded the Packers to advance to their second straight NFC Championship. Cheese for everyone!!!!

The game of the weekend had to be the Denver Broncos vs the Baltimore Ravens. The Broncos, led by future Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning duked it out with the Ravens, led by future Hall Of Famer, Ray Lewis. The game had everything you wanted. Lead changes. Ties. Hard hitting. -2 weather. Snow. A prayer in the form of a football thrown by Ravens QB Joe Flacco caught by Ravens WR Jacoby Jones in the closing seconds of regulation. Overtime. Double overtime. A bad throw by Manning that was intercepted. A game winning kick by a rookie kicker to send the Ravens to their second straight AFC Championship. After all that, I am tired again.

The first game on Sunday looked to most like it would be a snoozer but like I tell anyone, if you have Russell Wilson as your QB, you always have a chance. The Falcons soon found out as the Seahawks came back from a 20 point deficit to take the lead with less than a minute left in the game. Everyone including me assumed that the game was over and that San Fran would host the NFC Championship game for the second year on a row. Wrong. The Seahawks defense that had been so intimidating and in your face all year, allowed Matt Ryan to throw two passes that would give the Falcons enough yards to kick a game winning field goal. To make matters worse, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, calls a timeout that he claims he did not call but they have it on tape, just as Atlanta’s kicker misses the field goal, wide right. I guess you know what happens next. Matt Bryant drills the field goal. The Falcons win. And my 9ers have to travel across the country to pluck feathers next week.

The last game of the weekend…..boooooring! New England easily defeated Roland Martin’s Houston Texans. I do not think anyone was surprised.

As far as predictions, I have my 49ers finally getting back to the Super Bowl. Their opponent will be the Baltimore Ravens. Bring on the “Harbaugh Bowl.”

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.