“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: 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 […]

New Will Smith Movie “Concussion”

Will Smith stars in the new movie Concussion. The film focuses on Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-born physician who first discovered the disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in football players and wrestlers. Dr. Omalu discovered the disease while performing Steeler legend Mike Webster’s autopsy in 2002. The new discovery tied Webster’s mental problems and premature death at age 50 to repetitive head trauma suffered playing football. Dr. Omalu found similar patterns in the brains of Terry Long, who committed suicide at age 45, and Andre Waters, who committed suicide at age 44. With the new movie coming out, I thought it important to repost an earlier piece regarding my talks with former NFL players about brain injuries. I’ve posted the article below the movie’s trailer. Discussing Concussions and Other Brain Injuries with NFL Players 4.86/5 ( 97% ) based on 7 ratings The Game before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL introduced me to dozens of […]

What Would Expanded College Football Playoffs Look Like?

We’ve all heard the talk promoting an 8- or 16-team college football playoff. Commentators both celebrated the death of the BCS, and lamented the new system. The Big 12’s exclusion from the 2014 playoffs amplified calls for expanded playoffs. Arguments for Stanford rang out this year, proponents insisting the Pac-12 compiles the strongest conference schedule. Expanded playoffs grant more teams a shot at the national championship. Simple. Obvious. Why not give Baylor and TCU a chance last year? Stanford has an Outland Trophy winner and maybe a Heisman winner in 2015. Why not let them in? Wouldn’t more teams generate more excitement? In principle, playoff expansion is simple. Let’s dig a little deeper, however, and question if expanded playoffs are better for the game. EIGHT-TEAM PLAYOFF USING 2015 FINAL RANKINGS The college football playoff committee selected Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma as the 2015/2016 national championship field. An 8-team playoff in 2015 would pit Clemson against Notre Dame in the first […]

Stanford’s Garnett wins Outland Trophy

Stanford guard Joshua Garnett won the 2015 Outland Trophy. Garnett’s win marks the first time a Stanford player claimed the award, and the first time an offensive guard won the award since 1997, when Nebraska’s Aaron Taylor took the honors. Garnett helped pave lanes for Stanford Heisman Trophy candidate Christian McCaffrey. Garnett’s muscle also helped Stanford amass 30 or more points in each of their last 12 contests while leading the nation in time of possession. Noteworthy blocks like this prompted voters to check Garnett’s box for the Outland. Watch #51 as he blocks downfield: The Outland Trophy cements a tremendous NCAA football career for Garnett.  The story began with Garnett suiting up as Stanford’s first true freshman offensive line starter since 2000. He logged 14 games as a sophomore on one of the country’s top offensive lines. He made Athlon’s preseason all Pac-12 team as a junior. His senior season put him atop many preseason lists, and culminated by […]

An Appreciation: Bart Starr Part 1

(Painting by Robert Hurst) Before I had the privilege of meeting Bart Starr, I repeatedly heard the same things from his teammates and others who had met him. “Oh, he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.” “Bart’s the perfect man.” “Salt of the earth.” Bart’s one of those rare people that all those good things you hear about him beforehand turn out to be true. I first met him at a Tri-Star autograph show in Houston, hoping to interview him for The Game before the Money. He didn’t have time that day to interview, but gave me a number to reach him at later. He did, however, have time to chat with everyone who wanted to meet him. He granted everyone who wanted to meet him a good amount of time, and was kind and respectful to all. He and I had a pleasant conversation about Wisconsin, the people and the weather there. I could do a post on how […]