Thinking Out Loud: Ray Rice Announces He Would Donate NFL Salary

Thinking Out Loud: Ray Rice Announces He Would Donate NFL Salary

Former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice announced today that he’d donate his entire NFL salary should a team sign him for the 2016 season. Rice admitted he deserved the criticism he received after well-publicized domestic violence charges. The charges, although later dismissed in court, forced Rice out of the National Football League. Rice states his offer isn’t a ploy to earn the good graces of the NFL and convince a team to sign him based on goodwill. Rice claims that he recognizes the seriousness of domestic violence, and that he’s moved by a heartfelt conviction to assist domestic violence victims. The outrageous number of scandals, arrests, and DUIs in today’s media landscape make it difficult to judge one’s true intentions. Many celebrities make transparent statements amounting to nothing more than a bully’s teacher-enforced apology during recess. Most athletes and other celebrities get to move on with their careers as if nothing happened. Rice wasn’t as fortunate. He finds himself faced with the possibility […]

Thinking Out Loud: 3 Thoughts on Super Bowl 50

Writers spewed reactions immediately after Super Bowl 50, but I let things stew a bit. The outcome didn’t surprise me, so I didn’t have much to sort out. I also don’t care for sensationalized stories, so forgive me for taking time to jot down a few post-game thoughts. Peyton’s Place   Peyton Manning played terribly. He reminded me of Joe Namath, the only time I saw Namath play. Namath went into a Monday Night game for the Rams, and looked like Great-Grandpa among boys. I had read all these stories \and thought, “THAT’S Joe Namath? The legendary Joe Namath?” I texted a friend late in Super Bowl 50 and said, “Manning looks 100 years old.” My friend responded, “He looks like he’s aged 30 years since the first quarter.” The Broncos won despite Manning’s limitations, and Peyton continued the long-standing tradition of a small group of quarterbacks hogging Super Bowl rings. Here’s the important insight: Manning was more important in […]

Thinking Out Loud: Super Bowl 50 Prediction

Super Bowl 50 presents a compelling matchup. Many people pick the Vegas-favored Carolina Panthers to win. Here are my two cents. Below are the factors I believe will most likely determine the outcome. BRONCOS PASS RUSH VS CAM  Denver’s pass rush did an outstanding job against Tom Brady. Will it be as effective against Cam Newton? Newton’s athleticism extends plays and provokes defensive nightmares. Will he be as effective against Denver? When writing The Game before the Money, I asked Hall of Fame defensive end Jack Youngblood what he found effective against Roger Staubach. Jack said the key to limiting Roger was maintaining pass rush lane integrity. The Broncos did that while rushing Brady, collapsing the pocket around him rather than forcing him to the outside. Von Miller or another linebacker would then be waiting around the line of scrimmage in the middle of the field, forcing Brady to hurry. A similar strategy could contain and frustrate Cam. If the Broncos do […]

Thinking Out Loud — The Super Bowl 50 Golden Team

In honor of Super Bowl 50, Pro Football Hall of Fame voters selected a Super Bowl Golden Team team this week. Like with the FWAA’s 75th Anniversary All-American team, picking and debating these teams can be a lot of fun. Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers (8), Dallas Cowboys (4), Oakland Raiders (3), Green Bay Packers (3), and San Francisco 49ers (3) dominated the roster. The Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, and New York Giants each placed one player. Additionally, two players (Charles Haley and Deion Sanders) who played in Super Bowls for both the Cowboys and 49ers earned spots. Adam Vinatieri, who played in Super Bowls for both the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts was named kicker. Let’s look at who made the team, and then discuss what players could have been included. OFFENSE   QB – Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers RB – Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys RB – Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers WR – Lynn Swann, Pittsburgh Steelers […]

Thinking Out Loud: The 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class

SENIOR NOMINEES The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced two senior nominees for its 2016 induction class. The Seniors Committee, comprised of nine members on a rotating basis, selects the senior nominees. Nominees must be retired for at least 25 years. We’ve discussed My recent post countered Peter King of Sports Illustrated, declaring Stabler as more than worthy. King, however, has an actual vote in the process, and it will be interesting to see whom the rest of the voters agree with. Who else has three of the most iconic plays in history – the “Sea of Hands” game, the “Ghost to the Post,” and the “Holy Roller” – to his quarterbacking credit? Stabler also almost nearly won the “Immaculate Reception” game with a 30-yard scramble to put the Raiders ahead 7-6 in the fourth quarter. Most arguments against Stabler tend to be statistically based. Here’s a statistic to mull over: of the quarterbacks who rank in the Top 50 […]

Thinking Out Loud: Remembering NFL legend Frank Gifford

The headline regarding Frank Gifford’s death shocked me. The family reported that he died suddenly from natural causes. I was privileged to meet and chat with him in January 2013, while working on The Game before Money. He just lit up talking about the old days. His youthful energy resurfaced remembering his playing days with Tom Landry, Andy Robustelli, and Harland Svare. His eyes gleamed with delight. His eyes really stood out. The televisions of the 1970s lacked the definition to convey the color. They were a light shade of blue I’ve never seen before or since. And this is coming from a guy who doesn’t pay attention to the color of a man’s eyes. Only Gifford’s stood out that much that they were memorable. Iconic. Football changed dramatically from the time Gifford started playing in high school to the time he left Monday Night Football. Gifford told me that he expected to follow his father’s rugged footsteps into the […]

Thinking Out Loud: Ken Stabler and the Pro Football Hall of Fame

My first NFL memories involve during Super Bowl 11 and explained the meaning of the NFL’s biggest day while Stabler led the Raiders to ultimate victory. The Holy Roller play remains a cherished memory, and one of the first epic plays I witnessed live on television. Stabler helped characterize the 1970s NFL. His bearded face symbolizes Raider football. The Hall of Fame has yet to induct “The Snake,” a position defended by Sports Illustrated writer and Hall of Fame voter Peter King. Many fans, however, disagree. Count me in that group. King argues that statistics and career consistency don’t land in Stabler’s favor. I get that, and statistics play a huge part. Being great for 5 years is much different than being great for 10 or 15. Yet we call it the “Hall of Fame.” The moniker implies the word “famous,” and nobody can deny #12’s fame throughout his career. Similar to the old E.F. Hutton commercials, when Stabler played, […]

Thinking Out Loud: Two Thoughts on Deflategate

THOUGHT ONE The “Deflategate” news train keeps rolling. Tom Brady has been found guilty in both the court of public opinion, and by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. His four-game suspension, currently under appeal, has been lauded by many. The media circus surrounding this controversy reminded me of what Irv Cross mentioned in The Game before the Money. He discussed the difference between today’s media and his approach while working on The NFL Today. “We reported,” Cross said. “You just didn’t wing things and sing things off the top of your head. If Tom Landry did something and I reported it, it actually happened. I had it verified, and had probably talked to the player directly involved. Today I hear, ‘I think this and I think that,’ but I don’t see much reporting.” True indeed. Few pundits bothered to read the Wells Report, duplicating the scenario that took place when baseball’s Mitchell Report hit the streets. Opinions abound, but nobody will […]

BACK TO TOP