Nov. 2, 2017 – Touchdown Celebrations – A good or bad thing?

This season the NFL decided to lighten up their stance on touchdown celebrations. Their reasoning, put the fun back in football and the players and fans want it. Hmmm? Did you take a vote on that? I think there are other changes that could be made to put the fun back in football.

Now maybe I’m in the minority here but WHY is there a need to celebrate you did your job? Why can’t players just hand the ball over to the referee? The celebrating is getting out of hand and ridiculous. It’s not just players scoring touchdowns, it’s sacking the quarterback, recovering a fumble. Everything’s a celebration. It’s become a production. A premeditated skit. How many people do a dance when they have a success with their job? Then again, maybe we should all start and we’d have more fun at work.

One thing Mr. Goodell did say was no twerking, no sexual gestures, or offensive acts. That’s a good thing. Or is this because you’re leaving that to the cheerleaders. Have you watched them lately Mr. Goodell? But that’s a whole other blog.

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Oct.29, 2017 – I Can Do That Job!

This year, referees no longer run to the sidelines and “go under the hood” for play reviews and challenges. Nope not any more hiding while reviewing. Modern technology has caught up with them and the NFL. Now, they will go to the sideline, but not the back of the sideline like before. Someone, hired by the NFL, will meet them carrying a Microsoft Surface tablet.

What do I say to that? I can do that job! For those that haven’t read my book, Tailgating Tales: Diary of a Female Football Fan, this was a segment after each home game diary entry, of a job I know I could do during games. Well, I have found one more! I mean, really, what qualifications does one need? Must be able to walk, recognize which one of the guys in the white stripes is the Referee (hint: think white cap), be capable of carrying at least 5 lbs, steady hand, make sure the screensaver is set for over two minutes, and jog off once the Ref has determined the correct call. I can do all of that!

How do I apply? Job seems simple enough, and I’d sill be able to watch the game, and from the sideline no less. I love this game!

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July 4, 2017 – NFL’s 100th Anniversary Potential Kick-off Game

In 2019, the National Football League (NFL) will celebrate its 100th anniversary. It was recently announced to kick-off the celebration of the momentous occasion, they potentially will open the season where else but in, China. What? China? Seriously? The NFL, National Football League, wants to have the opening game of its 100th season in China? This has to a serious overlook on the writer of this announcement. Shouldn’t that be the season will open in Chicago? Was Chicago misspelled initially and auto-spell thought it was to be China and the author missed it? The NFL cannot be serious.

The birthplace of the NFL is designated as Canton, Ohio, which is why the Hall of Fame is located there. There is however, no team that plays in Canton. Most of the original teams have come and gone, except for two, the Chicago Bears and the now Arizona Cardinals. Originally the Bears were the Decatur Staleys for the first two years and the Cardinals were the Chicago Cardinals. The Cardinals moved from Chicago to St. Louis and are now in Arizona. The Bears, since 1921, have played in Chicago. The Green Bay Packers, not an original team, but joined in 1921.

So why on earth would the NFL grossly insult their original franchise teams and fans and not have one of them kick-off the season. The NFL’s viewership numbers are down. The number of fans attending games is decreasing. There was a great line in the movie “Remember the Titans” which was “Attitude reflects Leadership.”  This is your answer.

By even announcing the game could be in China and by continuing to add games to be played outside the United States, the NFL (not the IFL-International Football League) is telling their fans, the ones that buy tickets, concessions, clothing, memorabilia, and watch on television, the ones that created a revenue for you of between $13B and $14B in 2016, yes, that’s billion, with a B, you don’t care about them. The fans who have made you the King of all Sports don’t mean anything.

You tell your fans, I think so much of you I’m going to move your games to London, Mexico, and now China. You have also told your fans, it doesn’t matter how devoted you are to your team, Super Bowl tickets are going to be so pricey, most fans can’t afford to go. There are many other examples that could be mentioned. So, by not watching and not going to games, the fans are saying, you don’t care, we don’t care. There are plenty of other things we can spend our time and money on.

So please Mr. Goodell, and the National Football League, please reconsider where you want to have the kick-off of the 100th season to be played. Tell us you do care! Otherwise, fans unite and let your voice be heard. Comment on this, email the NFL, contact your team. Let’s do something!

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January 1, 2017 – Happy New Year!

A new year begins! So many hopes and dreams are being written, better known as New Year’s resolutions. What will you be targeting to accomplish in 2017? It’s also the final day of football season. Week 17, Game 16 for all 32 teams. For several teams today, it’s win and play another game, lose, and it’s over. For some, the season has been over for many weeks and they’re playing for their draft spot. For 12 teams the season will continue. They are going to the playoffs and visions of spending the first weekend of February is still a potential reality.

It’s been a long season for me, my Bears were out of playoff contention basically in September. Injuries aren’t to be used as an excuse but 19 on injured reserve didn’t make things easy. Though you always want to see your team win, we’ve been playing for our draft pick for weeks.

One more game. I can’t believe the season will be over. Today will be a day of mixed emotion, my heart wants them to win, my head knows a loss would be a better draft pick. Oh the challenges of being a sports fan.

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December 31, 2016 – Final Day – Final Game

Today is the last day of 2016. The year is ending as will my football season tomorrow. Today and tomorrow many of us will reflect back on the year and evaluate. Were goals met? Accomplishments achieved? Tomorrow new goals will be set.

Looking back and evaluating the football season, is it obvious since it’s ending tomorrow, goals were not met, not accomplished, since the goal of every team, every fan, is to make the playoffs and go to the Super Bowl. That’s the reason every player plays, every fan goes to games and supports their team. Sure we love the game, the excitement, the intensity, the joy of victory but in the end, we want the trophy!

Our season started in Houston, site of the Super Bowl. That day was filled with excitement and hope. We wanted, as every team, for our season to end in Houston. That would signify we did it, we made it to the Super Bowl.

That’s not going to happen. So as I will reflect back on my personal goals and recognize those I still need to work on, so will my football team. Today, 2016 ends. It becomes a memory. Tomorrow, my football season ends and “wait ‘til next year” becomes our hope.

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Dec. 11, 2016 – Cleats for a Cause

Last Sunday was Cleats for a Cause Sunday. The NFL allowed players to design their shoes to represent a cause they are passionate about. Super kudos to the NFL! It was an idea 18 months in the making between players and the NFL. You got it right! This was a super fabulous idea and I personally love it! What a great way to bring awareness to so many great cause and raise money. Some players auctioned their shoes after the game.

In this day of NFL players being suspended for illegal drug use, domestic violence charges, drunken driving, and illegal hits, it was a great way to show players in a more positive light. There are good guys that care and want to use their talents and popularity for the good and to help others.

I hope this becomes an annual event. NFL and players, please continue this wonderful idea. I encourage everyone to read about all the great stories about the various Cleats for a Cause. If you can, choose one or several and do what you can to support the charity.

Oct. 1, 2016 – Is it ever ok to root for your team to lose?

As week four approaches, and my team is 0-3, with too many injuries to count, I ponder is it ever ok for you to root for your team to lose? If so, at what point? At what point does one say there is no chance of us going to the playoffs. I want to win but I question if getting a higher draft pick would be a better option in the long run? Does that make you less of a fan? When do you take your heart out of the situation and listen to your head?

I go into every season believing the Bears will go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl. Those dreams usually are quickly shattered. Every week in my football pool I still pick them to win every week. Every week. No matter what their record is I pick them to win. Is that too much fandom? If I pick them to lose is that being a bad fan or is it being a smart player who just wants to win them self.

Growing up and living in the Chicago area where the Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908, I know what it’s like to lose. Though the Cubs could break that curse this year. (Full disclosure – I’m more of a White Sox fan but don’t hate the Cubs as I’m not a huge baseball fan.) The Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cup championships in the last seven years. Is this playing a factor in my feelings towards my beloved Bears?

Maybe week four is too early to throw in the towel and give up hope. We still have 13 games to play. Who knows what could happen? I mean that’s why they play the game isn’t it? They could turn it around right? Oh geez, there goes my heart talking again.

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Sept. 30, 2016 – Can Injuries Ever be an Excuse for Losing?

In the NFL, injuries aren’t supposed to matter. They’re not supposed to be a reason, an excuse, for losing. If you’re a player on a team in the National Football League you’re expected to be ready to play, to compete. If a starter gets hurt it’s next man up. That player is expected to come in and play just like the starter. But, they’re not a starter for a reason. They don’t get practice time like a starter. Is it fair or sensible to say injuries don’t matter?

The theory is if you’re good enough to be on the team that is all that matters.The thinking is that a team, a good team, a smart team, will only have individuals on the roster that can help the team to win. That if the starter goes down, no one will notice anything changed in regards to the play on the field and the results. The only thing different is the number on his jersey. The expectation of the Coach and General Manager is they have put together a team full of “starters” so it’s an even trade when an injury occurs. Is this reality? Very rarely.

For some teams, very few teams, this is how it works. Player down, next man up, no worries. For most teams, it spells disaster when a key starter goes down, their quarterback for example. Most of the time when this happens, the wind is sucked out of the team and their fans. Unless of course you’re Bill Belechick in New England where he’s 6-0 with rookie starting quarterbacks. What? That’s crazy!

Let’s face it, the fans know when one player goes down you can probably survive, unless it’s your quarterback, two down, it’s questionable, three or more, it’s time to study college football’s best players and start counting down to the draft.

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Sept. 28, 2016 – Why are so many Players getting hurt?

Is it me or does it seem like there are MORE injuries in the NFL than in the past? The most recent collective bargaining agreement, signed in 2011, made major changes to the way teams practiced during the off season, training camp, and during the regular season. There are less days with pads and no two a day practices. Is this why there are so many injuries? Did the agreement actually hurt players when it was meant to make the game safer and have less injuries? Are players not “game” ready when kickoff comes?

Concussions are down which is a great thing. But is that due to simply changes made in the rules to attempt to decrease concussions? Players aren’t allowed to hit or basically play defense the way we knew it years ago. It’s changed incredibly just in the years, ok, decades, I’ve been watching. Many of the old time players can’t believe how much it’s changed. Football as we knew it is long gone.

So if it’s supposed to be safer why are there so many injuries? Players now practice mainly without using pads so they’re not really hitting each other. Now I agree during practice you can’t have players of the same team hitting each other like in a game cause you sure don’t want your own team member to take out another player. But players have to be somewhat in shape and ready to take the hits before the game. Should there be more days in pads? I’d like to research and see how the number of injuries now really compares to the number say in the 60’s and 70’s when training camp was brutal and defense was about taking a guy out. I mean could Dick Butkus and Ed O’Branovich play the game today with all the changes? Would they want to play it?

So with so many players going down, can it be used as an excuse for losing? Stay tuned.

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Sept. 24, 2016 – The Day Before Game Three

It’s the day before game three. How are you feeling about your season so far? I’m feeling pretty crappy and with very little hope. I try to stay positive, I mean we’ve only played two games. The problem is, we’ve looked really bad in more than half of each game. The bigger problem is we have more injured players than healthy. Ok so that’s not quite the case but it sure feels like it. Last Monday night it was one player after another. Why are so many players getting injured? Why? Why? Why? Is it due to the lack of true game like practice? But that’s another blog. Stay tuned.

If your team is 2-0 you so far are feeling pretty good. If you’re like me and your team is 0-2 you’re not too excited. Again, I try really hard to stay positive and if the games were close I’d be ok. Not so much. They looked terrible and now key players are out. I won’t give up yet but statistics for a team to go 0-3 and make the playoffs are like slim to none. I mean only five teams have made it since 1970 that have started 0-3. It’s tough to feel your season is over by week three. I know there are worse things in the world but when you wait six months and your hopes and dreams are dashed in three weeks it’s heartbreaking. Especially for the fans that spend their hard earned money going to games home and away. It’s a choice yes but it’s also a passion, it’s an escape. It’s football for crying out loud and some of us just love it. Is it too much to ask to just give us a little hope for a little more than three weeks?

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