From time to time, I've posted sports-themed posts on my other blogs, DiscConnected (music reviews and news) or Back In The USSR (political).

I decided to see if I could give ESPN 8 (The Ocho) a run for their money and started this blog.

I lifted the title from John DeBella's Philadelphia morning radio show back in the eighties.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


To my younger sister, who went to college in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid-eighties, the members of the 1985 Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears team ranked just slightly behind the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.

I remember hearing her talk about the "Super Bowl Shuffle" when she called in a rather inebriated state after that contest.

A few years later, rebellious quarterback Jim McMahon was an Eagle, and he challenged the stereotype of the quarterback's role by jumping over the top of the pile and taking punishing hits then getting back up for more.

During his career with the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and other teams, McMahon never started a full season. His tough and sometimes reckless style of play meant he suffered many, many injuries.

Now, 16 years after he retired, he is experiencing an injury that can't be fixed by a surgery or therapy.

At 53, McMahon is in the early stages of dementia. He is part of the group suing the NFL that says they hid the effects of concussions.

"Being injured, if you don't play, you don't get paid. If I was able to walk out on that field, I was gonna play," he said in an interview at his Arizona home.

McMahon is part of a group of more than 2,000 players whose concussions have filled their retirement with dementia, memory loss, and in some cases, a bitter end.

McMahon's teammate, Dave Duerson, committed suicide and asked for his brain to be studied. He was found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the same disease found in other players who have died under tragic circumstances.

The NFL has made strides in improving how concussions and head injuries are treated. Though problems still exist, like Colt McCoy being sent back in the game last season when he was not healthy, the culture around head traumas is changing.

But the retired players who sacrificed their bodies to create the exciting game we all know and love today should not be forgotten.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I was away over the weekend, but saw enough on the Sunday night NFL highlight shows that I thought I could have a post in the making.

I got home from the airport and turned on the TV to this play and all of a sudden the post was writing itself!

At the end of the Seattle Seahawk's 14-12 "win" over the Green Bay Packers, the refs ruled that Seattle WR Golden Tate scored a game-winning touchdown on a simultaneous catch with Green Bay DB M.D. Jennings.

The problem is that the play shouldn't have been ruled a simultaneous catch, it should have been ruled an interception and a touchback

On every angle played on the replay, Jennings clearly had posession, with Tate getting a hand on the ball later.

I'm not Packers fan, but this is clearly a case of the replacement officials' lack of experience deciding the outcome of a game.

See for yourself...

If you watch the replay, you see Jennings alone with posession and down by contact.

The league is obviously not going to expedite the dispute with the striking officials.

So what's a fan to do?

Sadly, Americans are apathetic, and do not realize how much influence they could have on their lives if they were to organize.


Now I know Americans are not strong-willed enough to all not watch football for a weekend, but if from Thursday night through Monday night no TV were tuned to the NFL, no one went to a sports bar and most important, no one showed up at a game, the NFL would take notice.

But I know American won't skip their trips to the bar, and also recognize that the ticket prices are so high that to simply not go is a pretty big budget hit. Plus by not going to the game, the players are punished for the sins of the owners and the league commissioner.

But here is something that would be pretty easy to pull off.


Again, I know Americans cannot not drink beer for a weekend (althoiugh wouldn't it be nice to see some discipline among our general population).

But what about this?

Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors spend a fortune ($134m and $88M last season, respectively) advertising on NFL games.

What if no one in America bought those beer brands from 5pm Eastern on Thursday through 8 am Eastern on Tuesday?

Buy something else to tailgate before the games, and get good and looped so you don't buy a drop in the stadium.

You'll still be drunk and obnoxious in the stands, you'll just have a liquor hangover instead of a beer hangover on Monday morning.

In sports bars and at home, enjoy a local microbrew for a change, or a nice Guinness, and no matter how many Bud Light girls wander through your sports bar in skimpy cheerleader outfits, hold fast.

Do not drink a drop.

I promise you, the beer companies will make sure the league takes notice.

You might learn some things in the process (micro brewed beers taste good, you can make a difference if you're willing to stand up for something, if you're over thirty those bar girls are only flirting with you to sell beer, if you're sober you can actually follow the game).

If you drink less, you might even find yourself able to remember the game without having to watch the highlight show.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


NFL Films President Steve Sabol has died after an 18-month battle with brain cancer at age 69.

NFL FIlms, based in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, has won more than 100 Emmy Awards, with Steve Sabol receiving 40 of those for writing, cinematography, editing, directing and producing. In 2003, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Sabol was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 2, 1942, and started his career in 1964 as a cameraman working for his father’s company.

Sabol spent the next 50 years working for the NFL and transformed the way NFL Films chronicled games, incorporating super-slow motion, wireless microphones on players, reverse-angle replays, so-called follies films of bizarre plays and custom-composed musical scores.

In 2007, the Pro Football Hall of Fame honored Sabol with the Dan Reeves Pioneer Award, which recognizes innovative ideas that have contributed to the game of professional football.

Sabol is survived by his wife, Penny; a son, Casey; his sister, Blair; and his parents.