Thinking Out Loud — Johnny Manziel

Thinking Out Loud — Johnny Manziel

The NFL hasn’t experienced rookie hoopla like Johnny Manziel since, well, since Tim Tebow. There’s a reason why players dub the league “Not For Long.” Tebow had his fifteen minutes of Tebow Time in the NFL and it’s over. Debating whether Manziel will prove a star or another Tebow (or Colt McCoy, or Heath Shuler, or Ryan Leaf) is a hot topic. The real answer is that nobody knows, not even Johnny himself. Maziel gave the finger to the Washington bench Monday night. Speaking on the Mike and Mike show, Washington safety Ryan Clark, leaked the trash talk that set Manziel off. It was akin to, “Hey kid, this ain’t college. We’re all faster than you.” Nothing much more than one of my favorite sayings: “The fastest player in college is the slowest player in the NFL.” Few rookies break into the NFL with complete poise, but many shake off such comments. Other rookies undoubtedly heard similar things this weekend. Finger Gate tells me one very important thing about Manziel: the […]

Best I Remember — Running Backs

I’ll preface by saying I never saw Jim Brown play. I’m also too young to remember O.J. Simpson or Larry Csonka in their primes. I won’t dig into statistics about yards per carry, adjusted yards per offensive line, or total yardage in games 34 degrees or cooler. Posts under the heading “Best I Remember” are simply that – the best players I personally remember. The category is completely subjective and based solely on my fading memory. Hopefully, it will be fun for you to compare your list. That said, let’s run with it! 10. Roger Craig: We’re not talking about his entire career, but for a few seasons Craig churned out yardage like a tiller working a garden. The first player I remember having 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. My goodness, he even led the NFL in receptions. What other running back can say that? Nobody. When I think of Roger Craig, I think of a […]

Letter From a Champion — Robert Kahler of the 1944 Packers

We tracked down Bob Kahler a while back. At the time he was the last surviving member of the 1944 World Champion Green Bay Packers. He requested we asked questions via snail mail rather than by phone. True to his word, Mr. Kahler promptly wrote us back. Here are his responses in his own outstanding penmanship. (Click to view larger.) Perhaps Kahler’s speed impressed Coach Lambeau. Bob set an American indoor record on the 70-yard low hurdles at Nebraska, making it to the finish line in 7.8 seconds. The Packer’s “high school facilities” paled in comparison to Nebraska’s, but what perhaps surprised Bob most was the cigarette smoking in the Packer locker room. Even Don Hutson, whom Bob had the unfortunate assignment of covering during practice, puffed away. Kahler, who was born in 1917, passed away in April of 2013 at the age of 96. He was one of only a handful of men alive who played for Curly Lambeau in Green Bay. Those Packers […]

Legendary Insights — Eric Hipple: Depression affects many after NFL career ends

My father-in-law and I recently heard former Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple speak. Hipple, who quarterbacked the Lions to the 1983 NFC Central Division title, reviewed his career and shared about his current work at the University of Michigan Depression Center. He noted that 50% of NFL players battle depression after retirement. ALMOST DIDN’T SURVIVE ACCIDENT BEFORE COLLEGE Hipple accepted a scholarship to play at Utah State. A serious dune buggy accident nearly ended everything for him about six weeks before leaving for Logan. His vehicle flipped, and Eric suffered a fractured skull and separated shoulder. His doctor told him he’d never play football again. Eric’s father promptly fired that doctor, and Hipple began recovering under another doctor’s supervision. Hipple recovered well enough that he led the Aggies to conference championships his junior and senior years. He placed sixth in the NCAA for passing his senior year. The Detroit Lions drafted him as the first pick of the fourth round […]

QB Reality – Why Most Teams Stand No Chance

UPDATED: Super Bowl 48 was a bit of an anomaly. Maybe. We’ll see if Russell Wilson wins another Super Bowl, which he’s already in position to do. Stark reality looms for teams without a quarterback sporting a championship ring: Out of nearly 50 Super Bowls, only 31 quarterbacks have won. Of those 31 quarterbacks, 11 have won multiple Super Bowls. That equates to 28 of the 48 Super Bowls, roughly 60 percent of the games. The trend stays fairly steady through the Free Agency Era. Multi-winning quarterbacks have won 11 of the 21 contests, and only 15 quarterbacks won championships. Before Free Agency, 16 quarterbacks won those 27 SBs. Dawson in Super Bowl 4. Wilson and Joe Flacco won the last two, perhaps slightly bucking the trend. In the Super Bowl era, however, Super Bowls 3-5 were the only three straight SBs in which the winning quarterback didn’t win multiple times on Super Bowl Sunday. Even that statistic’s a stretch, […]

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