90’S FLASHBACKS, BREES & SABAN, A PELINI PASS,THE SPECTACULAR NOW, T-SHIRTS & JUNIOR HIGH HOOPS

September 19, 2013

What in the world is going on here? The more things change well…..you know the rest— but its really true.  Its 2013 but I feel like I jumped back in a time machine and landed in 1992.

Arsenio has a talk show again.

Keith Olbermann is back on ESPN.

Michael J Fox is debuting a brand new TV Show.

For crying out loud—the Pirates have clinched a winning season and are back in a pennant race and dare I say the Buffalo Bills are showing promise???!!

Its great to have  ipad’s and ipod’s but i credit those that can stand the test of time and technology. Staying on top of your game one of many thoughts as we scamper around this edition of the Naborhood.

BREES & SABAN:  We stay on that time travel theme where it seems Drew Brees and Nick Saban will always be linked in the sands of football time. Their paths cross in different fashions and eras. First, with Johnny Football failing to beat Alabama in successive seasons, who is the last college QB to beat Saban in back to back years??? How about Drew Brees when he was at Purdue and beat Saban in his Michigan St years.

To take this relationship to a more serious level, I have always wondered covering Brees and the Saints the past eight years—what if Saban would have signed Drew in Miami back in 2006 when he could have? Can you imagine how our football worlds would have been different—let’s just play the “what if” game…this is how it “could” have played out.

*Bobby Petrino would have been Alabama’s Head Coach?—looking for a big hire after Saban and Rich Rodriguez turned them down—Petrino would have left Louisville before going to the Falcons—where the dominos just begin to fall. Who knows where this goes—does Bama win multiple National Titles or does Petrino further disgrace the Bama program post Mike Price? I know some of you are throwing out Crimson motorcycle jokes here….

*Falcons hire Herm Edwards —Instead of going to Kansas City, Edwards goes to the ATL.  Current Falcons Head Man Mike Smith wasn’t a hot candidate at the time,still being groomed as a Ravens assistant along with Rex Ryan.  Edwards would have dealt with the post Michael Vick world where it would be interesting to see if he could have hung in there for the Matt Ryan era or maybe they don’t draft Matt Ryan?

*Speaking of Matt’s —the New Orleans Saints now needing a QB draft Matt Leinart instead of Reggie Bush and fail to give the Who Dats its heartwarming post Katrina story. The franchise subsequently doesn’t win a Super Bowl in 2009 and Sean Payton, upset he never has a quality QB to work with goes to Dallas and restores order with Tony Romo.

So the moral of this Brees/Saban story is that the Saints and Tide are the big recipients of their lack of commitment. The two will always be linked though– where the possibilities of the what if’s will forever leave us all wondering how our present football world would be different—and how good would the Fins have been with Brees and Saban?

BUCS FUTURE: Speaking of retro revival—the Bucs fan base probably feels like its back in 1992 but I think the franchise’s future is brighter than most give it credit for. They could be the Jaguars who might field a team that would lose to Alabama. They’re not the Raiders and they’re certainly not Cleveland who all of a sudden is giving up after week two dealing Trent Richardson? That’s a head scratcher….

I was a big fan of the Greg Schiano hiring and  haven’t given up on him now. If he had a QB, this team would be dangerous because they seem to have everything else.  Sure Schiano is a micromanager but he took over Raheem Morris‘ tenure and had to be. Let’s face it—if you are a taskmaster and win (see Belichick,Payton, & Coughlin) nobody has a problem with how you manage. Winning cures all—but all those guys had franchise QB’s to bail them out.

Covering the most recent Bucs/Saints game, I saw a much improved defense with several young playmakers on the  line, linebacker and secondary. Oh yeah Darrelle Revis is pretty good too. On offense they own a solid line (especially if they can get Carl Nicks back), great skill players in Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams but Josh Freeman isn’t the answer and I side with the Head Coach on this one.  With that kind of support staff, the Bucs just need a franchise QB  but they are stuck with Freeman for this season. Its one thing to make  poor decisions on the field but the Bucs QB is also a problem off of it —not a leader and seems to have some personal issues as well. What a waste for a franchise that unlike so many others has a great supporting cast but no leading man?!

GIVE PELINI A PASS: The recent news surrounding Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini bothered me a lot but not for the reasons you may think. A recording of Pelini cussing out Husker fans was released this week where he caught hell from fans, alumni and critics all over the country but let’s put this in perspective.

First it was TWO years ago? Second and most importantly it was off the record and whomever released this recording is not only a coward but should receive most of the blame. Do you know how many times coaches have said things like this off the record right after an emotional game? That’s why they have cooling off periods for the media.

Thirdly, how many of us have needed a cooling off period. We’ve all said things to those close to us which we want to keep private and would be embarrassed if they became public??? Give Pelini a pass for being a human being and save the criticism for his team and his defense getting blown out at home to UCLA.

 ITS SPECTACULAR NOW: After an extremely lame run of movies this summer, we are seeing some great ones lately. Loved The Butler and really like, “Its Spectacular Now”—a small budget movie which is worth your time and maybe the 90.00 dollars they charge for popcorn these days?

Anyway…the movie based on a Finalist for the  2008 National Book of the Year with the same title, surrounds High School senior Sutter played by Miles Teller. Its the story of a kid who like many of us back in high school was more caught up in the here and now then worried about the complicated future of dealing with college and adulthood. As the film develops, Sutter  discovers more about himself and those family and friends around him. The main plot is his developing love interest with another kid trying to find herself, Aimee, portrayed by Shailene Woodley. Its the kind of story that we can all relate to about people we have all run in contact with. Great acting, writing and storyline.  I would highly recommend it—great feel good movie.

T-SHIRT OBSESSION: I have many flaws but a glaring one is that I own too many T-shirts and find it hard to say goodbye to any of them. It seems I’m not alone. According to a recent survey by Customlink, the average person owns not one but– 13 T-shirts that either have holes, are faded or don’t wear anymore but refuse to get rid of. In fact the survey says 87% of us have a sentimental T-shirt we refuse to toss.

“We’re more likely to bond with others when we share an emotional event together, says Dr Jennifer Baumgartner, a clinical psychologist and the author of You Are What You Wear. “T-Shirts from group gatherings and memorable occasions become a representation of that emotion.”  Thanks Dr Baumgartner and I refuse to throw away my T-Shirt from Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant in Toronto which is full of holes but is one of my favorites. Oh and I’ve never wore by “Pitch to Barry”  Bonds shirt from San Francisco I bought over ten years ago. I know they don’t sell them anymore, so I can’t let go of that one either.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT: It was a life changing moment as I picked up my 11 year old from school this week. As she entered the car,  she asked me if I would take her to her middle school’s first girls’ basketball game?? That was a layup—of course!! It was the first time she asked to go to a sporting event….big news folks.

It was a fun experience but also a culture shock. Being a veteran of dance recitals and summer plays—I’m a rookie when it comes to seeing how intense parents get at these kids’ sporting events?? We’re talking middle school girls competing in an extremely one sided hoops game, which I think was literally 24-2 at the half —but these parents were going crazy?

I was impressed with a few of the girls on the court who were nailing their free throws and launching three’s but overall it was a great bonding experience with my oldest girl. Still—it made me feel old as I remember those middle school games I played in—and its hard to believe that was over 30 years ago???

EXTRA POINT: Its sure a changing of the guard in college football where several former powerhouses are struggling. Thanks to a loyal fan of the blog Trace Trylko for this nugget—when USC, Texas, Florida and Notre Dame all lost on the first Saturday of the season—that hasn’t happened since 1976.

UNTIL NEXT BLOG,

Mike

 

 

 

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