IMMORTALITY, USUAL SUSPECTS, HARD KNOCKS, THE NEWSROOM & HALL OF FAME SPEECHES

August 8, 2013

How long do you want to live?? That was a question posed by the Pew Research Center to over two thousand adults in what they called a representative survey. With the current average age being 76.2 years for men and 81 for women—those surveyed were asked if  given the choice —would they like to live to be 120 years old???

Those asked in this hypothetical survey would benefit from medical advances to slow down aging and thus lengthen your lifespan. Amazingly 56 percent said they wouldn’t want to live that long while 38 percent said count me in!!

Count me among the 38 percent—I would love to see my grandkids and their kids grow old with me. I figure I could finally see the Cubs win the World Series and make up for lost time for all the years I couldn’t enjoy a college football playoff !!! Of course there would be other benefits….

Immortality one of many subjects in this week’s short jog around the Naborhood which we truly hope doesn’t take years off of your life….

USUAL SUSPECTS: Instead of spreading things out, I thought we would combine the unattractive threesome of A-Fraud, Johnny Football and Riley Cooper this week.

I begin with the incomparable Alex Rodriguez. Nobody can take the phrase “it can’t get any worse” and knock it out of the park like ARod. Its pathetic watching every press conference where he never denies any guilt yet claims to be “fighting for my life” Fighting for what?? That’s a rhetorical question, ARod knows the end is near and is hanging on to every game and paycheck that he can.  I have no sympathy for a two time offender in the steroid era—how dumb can this guy be?? The sad part is I think he believes that some of us are buying his story.

Then we have the plight of Johnny Football. I have defended along his wild and wacky Heisman offseason— knowing that when I was 20 I would have been doing many of the same things. Now you have the  latest autograph allegations–this doesn’t look good. I believe college athletes should be paid and the big stars should have the right to profit from things like autographs but with the rules in place, Manziel is really stupid if these allegations are true. He didn’t need the money as he comes from a wealthy family—he just got greedy and for that I wonder if he’ll ever play another college football game???

Finally who would have thought that Riley Cooper would wind up having the best week of our Three Amigos. Cooper made a huge and to some an unforgivable mistake but since then has handled things perfectly. He has been contrite with the media, sincere to his teammates and took to team counseling. I still think the NFL dropped the ball in a huge way by not suspending him but Cooper hasn’t made a mistakes since the biggest mistake of his life.

HARD KNOCKS: HBO airs my favorite reality TV show of all time and its not even close. Hard Knocks, its annual all access look at a select team’s training camp never disappoints. I love this show so much, I feel empty when its over—-you are left wanting so much more! Covering many training camps, I know they could easily air two hours a week—I wouldn’t protest. Its first episode with the Bengals was a winner with many plots but the most eye opening was the injury of Cincinnati’s defensive lineman Larry Black who was seen crying profusely after finding out his season is over with a fractured ankle. Compelling and heartbreaking television—nobody does it better than NFL Films!

THE NEWSROOM: Speaking of HBO, I have seen every episode of “The Newsoom” but  have been disappointed with its second  season. I still have my favorite characters like Will and Jim but the storylines are less compelling and many of the characters have failed to grow much. Last season, it seemed every plot was interesting but this year that hasn’t been the case. My real pet peeve with this show in both seasons is the actors talk way too fast—its seems Aaron Sorkin is shoving two many words into an hour show. Still, the first season was so good, I will stick around for awhile—I just hope Season two picks things up.

HALL OF FAME SPEECHES: I’m a sucker for Hall of Fame Speeches and this years’ NFL class of 2013  delivered once again. Listening to these speeches is why I love covering sports—-its more than just the game, its learning about the people that play the games. I got to see my two favorite speeches of all time in person at Canton where Michael Irvin and Curtis Martin’s were outstanding where I saw Irvin express remorse for his past and Martin admit he became a Hall of Famer despite never loving the  game.

This year’s Hall class, the star of the show was Chris Carter who seemed to appreciate becoming a Hall of Famer more than anybody I’ve ever seen. He had a great line when talking  about his love for former teammate Reggie White, “I grew up in a single parent home and Reggie was the first man to tell me he loved me, I was 22.” Powerful statement, one of many from Carter who was golden in his gold jacket.

I’ve never been a fan of Warren Sapp but thought his speech was entertaining. I thought it was interesting that he gave equal time to Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden. I was also wondering if Sapp would express regret on how he treated the Bucs fan base when he was a player, but that didn’t happen—its not his style.

Bill Parcells speech was typical Parcells. Lots of great stories where I loved the fact that he wanted to have the Hall place his bust near Lawrence Taylor so “he could keep an eye on him.” Great stuff from an annual event which I always look forward to.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT…. Its amazing to me how in this era of camera phones, Facebook and Twitter how the Manning family keeps plugging along with a spotless reputation. What are the odds that you have two kids in one family who were both Number One overall  picks and Super Bowl champions yet haven’t had any bad publicity along such an amazing ride.

Add to that, they have given us such great highlights of the field. Peyton Manning’s commercials and Saturday Night Live appearances have been fantastic but now the family has come together for quite the encore performance in its recentDirect TV ad. If you haven’t seen it join the over Four Million who have clicked this YouTube link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn5zytfm9No

Love the cameo by Archie Manning! Yet another hit for this family.

EXTRA POINT: Have always loved Al Roker—did you see recently, he hit the snooze button too many times and missed his first segment in 39 years of broadcasting?? Thanks for making us all feel normal Al!!

UNTIL NEXT BLOG,

Mike.

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