Tag Archives: national football league

Minitron is MegaAwesome

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Thank you Julian Edelman.  In a society where it is not particularly fashionable for people to stand up for Israel, the New England Patriots Wide Receiver is seen in this picture showing his support for Israel.  Although unlikely, perhaps this will send a message to those celebrities who have been conspicuously quiet over the past few months.

The NFL (National Football League) is not exactly an organization from which you expect or require a political voice, so for Edelman to make this statement, albeit subtly, shows true strength of character and conviction. With a last name like his, Edelman’s father is Jewish, we shouldn’t be that surprised, but in my opinion it’s still great to see.  Nicknamed Minitron as a reference to his exceptional talent as a much smaller Wide Receiver than the superstar Receiver Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions, Edelman has become a favorite target of Quarterback Tom Brady over the past 2 years.   Now he’s become one of my favorites as well.  My one regret is not holding on to him when I had him on my fantasy football team.  Sorry Julian.  I thought I was getting good value in the trade.  I clearly made a mistake.

Thanks again Julian Edelman.

 

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My 92 Year Old Mother Weighs in on the NFL and off the field Violence

momdayEarlier today I had a conversation with my mother regarding the violent behavior of football players in the National Football League.  It is important that I clearly indicate that the football players I am referring to play in the NFL because my mother, Sipora Groen, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor from Holland, takes umbrage in the fact that we call the sport football.  I’ve heard her say countless times, ” That’s not football. They call it that but it’s not football.”  For my mother, what Americans call soccer is the REAL football.  It’s no secret how she feels about American football either.  She hates it.  And for her, the recent rash of violence from its players is vindication for her opinion.

The point she wants to make, and specifically asked me to relate to my readers, is that the nature of the sport creates an inevitability of this behavior.  She believes that a sport with constant violent hits, and men jumping on top of each other to keep the other men down, sometimes in large piles, creates such a pent-up aggression that these men are left with a need to relieve this aggression in some manner or another.  She is appalled by the domestic violence as any other normal person would be, but she also feels that the sport is not a normal sport and that as it exists in its current form will ultimately lead to more violence off the field.

She went on to say that she even believes that boxing is better because it only involves two people and the actions of these 2 people in the ring are carefully monitored.  She dismissed out of hand my notion that football is carefully monitored as well because in football men just haphazardly pile on top of each other.  She  is very clear about her opinion.  Unless the actual sport of football changes, more players will be involved in off the field violence.  She feels so strongly about this that it is her opinion that Ray Rice would not have hit his fiance, now his wife, in the elevator if it were not for his involvement in football.  I disagreed with this, but she insisted she was right, and at 92 and sharp as a tack, she very well could be.

Once my mother was done giving her opinion I promised I’d write this, but also told her I had to go.  I wanted to watch the football game.

 

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Of Course Holland lost..They’re my team

USP SOCCER: WORLD CUP-ARGENTINA VS NETHERLANDS S SOC BRABehind every perception of destiny, irony sits waiting and ready to pounce.  But I will get back to that.  The title of this post is by no means rooted in self-pity. Pity is never the feeling I have regarding the futility of the teams I support.  As a somewhat well-adjusted individual, I generally get past the pain of my sports teams’ demise within an hour of it happening.  I must say I am pretty good when it comes to that.  After all, and this is the root of the title, I have a lot of experience with it.

We can of course start with the most recent result of which irony played a major factor as well.  But again, I will get back to the irony later.  When the Netherlands lost to Argentina yesterday in the FIFA 2014 World Cup semi-final, I knew that another World Cup would be played without Holland lifting the trophy.  I watched Holland once again secure its position as the best team to never win the World Cup.  I took solace in the fact that they lost with class to a team with class, but nevertheless, once again, their World Cup ended in defeat.

I move on to the National Football League.  I credit the great New York Giant linebacker Lawrence Taylor with getting me into football.  Sure I watched the game and followed the playoffs and Super Bowl, admiring the skills of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice in particular, but it was LT who got me excited about the game.  And living in New York I cheered on the football Giants when they won their Super Bowls with Taylor, Simms, etc.  But it was not till I began to admire the tough character and skill of Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Donovan Mcnabb, and enjoyed games with my family that I considered myself a true fan of a team.  The Eagles would go on to 4 straight NFC Championships and one Super Bowl, but would never win the big one.  And as football fans know, they still haven’t.

In 1976 I began what would be 4 years of school in London, England.  I picked a team.  Sure, I could have picked Arsenal just as easily, a team that won titles and cups, but no, I picked Tottenham Hotspur, probably the most consistently mediocre team in any sport in any country.  And since they are exceedingly mediocre, that’s all they are getting in this piece.

Being a marginal Basketball fan I put my allegiances behind the home team New York Knicks and watched as they always came up short against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.  Except of course for the times the Bulls were without  MJ when the Knicks came up short against Hakeem Olajuwons’s Houston Rockets.  Whatever, they came up short.

Then there is the team I am most emotionally invested in on a yearly basis, the Philadelphia Flyer of the National Hockey League.  Having lived in Philadelphia during their 2 glorious Stanley Cup victories, I will always be a devoted fan.  Even if we end up never winning another cup.  Does it count at all when the Los Angeles Kings win?  Flyers fans and educated hockey fans understand that question.

Lastly I will speak of Major League Baseball’s New York Mets.  In 1985 when I moved to New York I picked a team as my local team.  I picked the very charismatic and entertaining Mets.  In 1986 I got my immediate reward, s the Mets not only won the World Series, they won it in the most dramatic and exciting of fashions.  The 1986 Mets have been the reason I have remained a fan of theirs till now, despite the fact that they are generally not very good.  And since I am a fan, when I say it that way, I am being nice.  The greatest overall significance of my support of the Mets now is that their 1986 team is the last team I am a fan of to win a championship in their sport.  Yes, that is almost 30 years.

And on it goes.  Yes I pushed the idea of Holland’s World Cup destiny, and the fate surrounding the teams they would need to beat, and of course started the online campaign of “Win it for my mother”, but in the end it was not to be.  My mother, whose maiden name was Rodrigues-Lopes, or in every day use, just Rodrigues, was the son of Marcel Rodrigues.  My grandfather’s nickname was Max.  So he was indeed known by many as Max Rodrigues.  So when Argentina needed just one more goal in penalty kicks to put them through to the finals and send Holland packing, I looked down, smiled wryly, shook my head and mumbled to myself, “of course”.  Stepping up to take the kick was Argentinian football veteran Maxi Rodriguez, who subsequently put the ball in the back of the net and guaranteed Holland would once again not the win the World Cup.  I guess I was right.  Sports destiny did play a factor.  It just did so with a tremendous sense of irony.  Good thing it only takes me an hour to get over it.