“We Were the Oilers, Luv Ya Blue!” — film to celebrate 1978-79 Houston Oilers

“We Were the Oilers, Luv Ya Blue!” — film to celebrate 1978-79 Houston Oilers

We are excited to announce our first video documentary, We Were the Oilers — Luv Ya Blue! Filming began last weekend, and former Oilers Dan Pastorini, Willie Alexander, Billy Johnson (aka Billy “White Shoes” Johnson), Robert Brazile, Andy Dorris, Gregg Bingham, Mike Barber, and Ed Biles were interviewed. The film looks to run as a one-hour episode on Fox Sports Southwest in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl 51 in Houston. We’re also exploring ways to get sponsors involved and make the documentary available to fans in other mediums. Stay tuned for more info.   Discussing the Oilers playoff years with Dan Pastorini ORDER “THE GAME BEFORE THE MONEY: VOICES OF THE MEN WHO BUILT THE NFL” ON AMAZON.COM

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 […]

University of Texas to host “Real Stories of the NFL,”featuring The Game Before the Money

The University of Texas Odyssey Free Lecture Series welcomes “Real Stories of the NFL” on Monday, June 13, in Austin, Texas. The Game before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL author Jackson Michael will moderate the event. Two former NFL players have been announced as panelists, both football legends on the University of Texas campus. The night promises to entertain and enlighten attendees, providing a unique look at what NFL life is truly like. Dan Neil played eight seasons with the Denver Broncos, winning two Super Bowls. Dan also starred for the University of Texas, earning consensus All-American honors. The Longhorns upset Nebraska in the first ever Big 12 Championship Game during his senior season. Dan enjoys spinning yarns about the teammate he was paid to protect from his offensive line position, John Elway. Doug English played defensive tackle for 10 seasons with the Detroit Lions as part of the famed “Silver Rush” defense. Doug earned All-Pro honors […]

The Game Before the Money at Tucson Festival of Books

The Game before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL will be featured strongly at this week’s 2016 Tucson Festival of Books. Come visit with author Jackson Michael and pick up an autographed copy of The Game before Money. 2016 Tucson Festival of Books The Game before the Money events: Author Pavilion – Central, Sat Mar 12th, 10 am – Noon Author Pavilion – Tent Talks, Sat Mar 12th, 12:30 pm – 12:40 pm Univ. of Nebraska Press Booth 120, Sat Mar 12th, 4pm – 4:30pm The Game before the Money lets readers experience college and pro football history through the eyes of legends like Bart Starr, Frank Gifford, and Jack Youngblood. Author Jackson Michael interviewed 40 former players who played between the 1930s and the 1970s. The book provides firsthand accounts of major events in pro and college football history, and players discuss their life histories from childhood through the current day. Step into the locker rooms of Lombardi, […]

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 […]

Best I Remember: Super Bowl Moments

As always, I’ll preface this segment by saying these are the best I personally remember as I type this column. I might be forgetting the obvious. Also, I’m too young to remember the Dolphins back-to-back wins and remember only part of the Steeler dynasty — SBs 13 and 14. That said, I have watched 39 Super Bowls, starting with Super Bowl 11. My most vivid memory of that game was Raider defensive backs Jack Tatum and Skip Thomas hitting Vikings receiver Sammy White so hard that White’s helmet flew 10 yards downfield. Most impressive was that White held on to the ball. I don’t remember Willie Brown’s interception return (forgive me, I was 6 years old), otherwise that might have made this list. As always, I won’t base this list on “That’s my favorite play because my team scored” kind of memories, but you sure can in the comments section! Let’s get to it! The Top 10 10. Super Bowl […]

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 […]