The NFL Doesn’t Suck

NFL doesn't suck.Is it possible for an organization to have a worse P.R. week and a half than the NFL has? Multiple NFL players have committed or are accused of committing horrid abuse upon defenseless woman and children.

And we the fans (short for fanatic, unbalanced or obsessive behavior according to http://dictionary.reference.com/) continue to watch. In fact, according to onlyagame.wbur.org, NFL Ratings rose.

Should we football fans feel guilty for watching the NFL, despite the actions of the players and the league’s handling of these actions? Should we shrug and say we’re simply out of control fanatics who need our fix of football? I say no.

And that is not only because the team I root for – the Philadelphia Eagles – have begun the season 2-0 despite falling behind by 14 or more points in their first two games. This, by the way, is the first time that has ever occurred.

No, that is not the reason the NFL doesn’t suck. The NFL is a huge organization which includes nearly 1,700 players plus owners, coaches, trainers, and other personnel.  As has been brought to light, some of those associated with the NFL have conducted themselves in ways that they should be ashamed of. However, as everyone has heard many times, don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Devon Still reminds us that not all NFL players are uncontrolled brutes.

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Tony Dungy and What Makes Sports Great

Football/Sports fieldAcross the NFL, teams are beginning training camp. Endless analysis is available about every imaginable aspect of the game. However, the biggest story is only marginally related to the game itself. That story, of course, is the controversy related to Tony Dungy.

Here’s some background for those of you who are not football fans or don’t know who Tony Dungy is. Dungy played briefly in the NFL before becoming a coach in the league.  Eventually, he became a head coach. His first head coaching job in the NFL was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He is most famous for his second head coaching job which came with the Indianapolis Colts.  It was with the Colts that he led a team to a Super Bowl victory. Dungy has since retired and is now a football analyst for NBC.

While I don’t know Dungy personally, the sense I get from listening to him and hearing others talk about him is overwhelmingly positive. He comes off as decent, respectable, and graceful. To be clear, Tony Dungy has been a stand-up guy.

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Under Pressure

I am always surfing wordpress for new sites to follow. A couple of months ago I came across http://didthatjusthappenblog.wordpress.com/

The post was from a fan gloating about a Cowboys victory over the Eagles. I had to reply to this annoying Cowboys fan. Well, this led to an exchange of comments with the blogger. I found that this Cowboy fan had a sense of humor and was almost conciliatory.

Since then, Kate and I began following each other’s blogs. Her posts focus on her life as a single mom who is always there for her family and friends. Despite that she swears she is not a future winner of the mother of the year award. However, she has sure enjoyed the journey.

Thanks to Kate for your contribution. I hope you all enjoy her writing as much as I do.

Read below and see how she deals with pressure.

There is this great song by Queen called “Under Pressure”.  I’m sure you know it, and you know that the most excellent David Bowie is featured.  It came in at #31 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s, just in case you wanted some trivia with your blog today.

I was recently asked to be a guest blogger.  I was shocked.  I was surprised.  I was beyond honored.  I was all of the sudden (wait for it…) Under Pressure!

I mean this is a big deal.  Memyselfandkids.com was the first blog that I followed that wasn’t a friend of mine.  I’ve enjoyed his writings and they’ve inspired me.  And he wants me to appear as a guest blogger? What would I write about?  How could I compare to his musing? Would I completely alienate his audience? Oh man, please don’t un-follow his blog if you really hate my guest post!!!

I thought about it all afternoon.  I wondered what would be a good topic to write about.  I figured that it needed to be somewhat generic, since you probably don’t follow my blog, writing about my usual cast of characters would leave you cold and in the dark.  And, I should keep it light and fluffy; bring a smile to your day.  Most importantly, I should stay on track! My blog is didthatjusthappenblog.wordpress.com/ Named so because I can’t tell you how many times a week that I have to stop and ask myself that question!  Truth is stranger than fiction really applies in my life! And a lot of it is really random stuff – so how do I pick something to share with you about me, how far do I go and seriously – what do I write about??

So, I called my girlfriend, E, like I do every day.  Okay, that’s a lie, I seldom call her.  She calls me.  I’m a great friend, but I’m horrible about calling the people in my life.  If I don’t talk to my dad for a couple of weeks, he’ll call just to make sure I’m alive.  I have a good dad! Back to the point.  I told E as soon as I could about being invited to guest blog.  We gushed over it as only girls can do.  Then we moved on to other things.  About 30 minutes later, out of nowhere, I blurted out, “What am I going to write about? I am drawing a complete blank!  It has been stewing in the back of my mind for the last 30 minutes.  I’m completely obsessed about what I will write about.”  Seriously, it was close to panic time.  There was no way I could live up to the expectation.  What would I write about?

Then E and I realized how funny it was that I spent all day worried about the guest post. Was I really  drawing a blank about what I would write about?  CDO totally kicking in (it’s like OCD, but the letters are in order like they should be!) and lurking in the back of my mind all day long.  I was cracking up at myself and then we realized – what a wonderful post it would make!  I’m sitting here obsessing about what to write about – yes, that really did just happen!

My Wife’s Team

I give my children a bath. I make dinner a few nights a week. I do the weekly food shopping. I thank my wife when she makes dinner. I remember my wife’s birthdays and our anniversary. I ask about work. I’m a good husband. No, not great. I’ll keep my ‘areas in need of improvement’ to myself. Anyway, somewhere my wife is reading this, shaking her head, and making a list.

“It was a nice visit dear,” my mother said to my wife of nearly a year.
“Yeah, we enjoyed it.”
“I’m just sorry the Eagles didn’t win.”
My wife looked at my mother and added, “Yeah, it’s a shame.”
Shortly thereafter, we were on the SEPTA train headed out of Philadelphia to Trenton. From there, we took a New Jersey Transit Train to Penn Station and Manhattan. As we settled in to our seats, my wife turned to me, “Did you hear what your mother said to me while we were waiting on the platform?”
“What? You mean about the Eagles?”
“You heard that?”
“Yeah, I heard. So what?”
“I just can’t believe that she would say that the weekend would have been better if the Eagles would have won.”
“Well, it would have.” (No, we are not the real life version of the Solatano family of Silver Linings Playbook, though I did note some similarities.)
“What is wrong with you guys?”
“You like football too.”
“I know but still.”
She does like football. My wife that is. In fact, her interest in sports was one of the things I enjoyed about her from the beginning.
However, there was a problem. You see, she is a Notre Dame fan. Huh? My family did not like Notre Dame. Nope, they were not the good guys. They won too often and were cocky.
Yet, my wife liked Notre Dame. What would I tell my family? Well, I eventually broke the news to them, and they took it in stride. However, the question kept coming up – why?
What can I tell you? When she first started watching college basketball, she thought one of the players on Notre Dame was cute. Hence, a fan was born.
You can be sure it came up when I brought her home to meet my family for the first time. I had to be a mediator.

Later this month, my wife and I will celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. We have had our ups and downs. Like most couples, we have had to adjust for each other. Some of the adjustments have been harder than others. For instance, I have learned to not dislike Notre Dame.
That brings me to the BCS National Championship game tonight. It features Alabama verses Notre Dame. Yep, you heard right. Can you guess who’s rooting for Notre Dame? Yep she is, and so am I (though I not enthusiastically). After all, I did say I was a good husband. Go Irish.