In the end, the game comes down to one thing: man against man. May the best man win.
~ Sam Huff
- Page 1 of 40
- 3 ...
If you’re a watcher of “Inside the NFL” on Showtime, you know James Brown serves as the host with Phil Simms and Chris Collinsworth. They’re all excellent and with NFL Films work included, it’s a must see.
This season, they’ve added a different Hall of Famer as a guest every week. Darrell Green caused a bit of stir a few weeks ago when he suggested that Robert Griffin III is not a leader. Darrell backtracked a bit, but it was good to hear his opinion.
This past week, Steve Largent was the guest Hall of Famer. Not only is he one of the great players of all time, he’s one of the great post-football success stories. Largent served in Congress as a representative from Oklahoma and continues to live and work in D.C., representing the cell phone industry.
As part of the show, the group sat down to discuss the disappointing success rate for ex-players. JB cited a “Sports Illustrated” story that said 78 percent of former players wind up filing for bankruptcy within five years of the end of their careers.
The three former players talked about their own experiences in making the transition from player to ex-player. The problem is, all three are the exception rather than the rule. I covered Simms during his prime with the Giants as a radio reporter with WFAN. He was not only a great interview, but he knew where he was going. I used to see him corner Peter King, who was working for Newsday at the time to find out what was going on around the league. He knew his future would be as an analyst. And he’s become one of the best. Collinsworth went to law school – while he was still playing. They were both ready to go when their playing days ended. And obviously, so was Largent.
It would be great if all ex-players could look to their success and try to emulate it. It’s not realistic. Telling players who are in their early 20’s and making high six-figure salaries at least, to start preparing for their post playing days while living the good life is going to fall on deaf ears.
The only good suggestion came from Collinsworth, who said it’s up to the NFL and the players association to take the money on the front end of contracts and put it into bigger pensions. For example, if a rookie is making $500 thousand a year, pay him $300 thousand put the other two into plan that will pay him when he’s through playing. He’d never miss the difference at the beginning, but would greatly appreciate getting it at the end.
Finally, as Simms said, “enough seminars.” The players clearly are not listening to what they’re being told at these rookie symposiums. The young players are kids and think they know it all. They don’t. And for their security as adults, treat them more like kids. Handle their money for them. It’ll be for their own good.
View Comments (0)
Meaningful December Redskin games, which were once a given in the 1970’s and 80’s, have become a rarity. You can almost count on one hand the number of Decembers that games really mattered since Joe Gibbs retired the first time in 1993. And in fact, two of those Decembers were coached by Gibbs in his second go-round.
Welcome to another meaningless December, which is made even more meaningless by the fact that their first round draft pick is going to St. Louis as the final piece of the trade for the rights to Robert Griffin III. They won’t even be playing for a draft pick. The worse they do, the better it is for the Rams. They can’t win for losing.
Last year’s run gave us all hope that it could happen again – until the Monday night debacle at FedEx Field. Even an unthinkable 5-0 finish only makes the Redskins .500. The 5-0 and 4-0 December sprints under Gibbs in 2005 and 2007 made the Redskins 10-6 and 9-7.
As bad as it looks right now, all five remaining games are games they can win. The Giants are here next Sunday night and they finish the season at New York on the 29th. They’ve played well against the Giants in recent years – even when New York won it’s two Super Bowls. In between there’s home games against Kansas City and Dallas, with Atlanta in between. The Chiefs may be 9-2, but they’ve lost their last two and are starting to get beat up. But let’s stop the nonsense. This is the most hopeless outlook for December in the four seasons Mike Shanahan has coached the Redskins. To review:
2010 – Rebuilding a roster ravaged by the Vinny Cerrato years, the hope was veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb would make the team respectable enough to at least stay in contention for a playoff spot. They entered December at 5-6, the mark that Gibbs’ teams had during the runs of ’05 and ’07. But after losses to the Giants in New York and home against Tampa Bay, Shanahan shut the door on the McNabb experiment and turned to Rex Grossman for the last three. Rex actually wasn’t terrible. He lost a close game at Dallas (33-30), beat Jacksonville in overtime and lost the season finale to the Giants. It actually gave Shanahan reason to believe he could get through the next season with Grossman and John Beck, who was sold to us as being untested. Kyle Shanahan said he’d actually stood on a table in the Houston Texans draft room trying to convince his old team to take Beck out of BYU.
2011 – By the time they reached December, Beck had proven to be a bust with awful games at Buffalo (10 sacks) and San Francisco, where he made Roy Helu a Redskin record-holder with 14 receptions. Problem was, each pass was a dump off and the yardage total was 105 – ridiculous. Rex returned, but going into December, the record was 4-7. He started the last five games, wining only one – an improbable 23-10 victory over a Giants team in New York that would go on to win the Super Bowl.
2012 – It wasn’t just the 7-game win streak to close the season after the 3-6 start that gave us so much hope – it was the quarterback. In Robert Griffin III, it appeared certain that the Redskins had one. Eleven months later? Can you still say that?
December has blown in again. Even though the 3-8 record isn’t that much worse than it’s been for the last three years through November, this one feels far worse. Bundle up Redskin fans. It’s going a cold month, but one red hot with anger and dissatisfaction.
View Comments (0)
We are in sports documentary heaven these days. The fine 30 for 30 series on ESPN cranked out some good ones this year, "A Football Life" on the NFL Network always does a good job and Showtime has one coming up this weekend. "Turning the Tide" tells the story of Sam "Bam" Cunningham coming into Tuscaloosa in the early 70's and blasting Alabama. It paved the way for long-overdue integration of college football in the deep South.
What aired Thursday on the CBS Sports Network was a dandy. "Marching On" tells the story of the 1963 Army-Navy game and the role it played in healing the nation after the death of John F Kennedy. The game, scheduled a week after the President's death, was under consideration to be cancelled. But Jackie Kennedy urged the service acadamies to play because her husband had loved the game so much. Kennedy had attended the game the year before and spent a half on each sideline. But truth be told, the former Navy war hero was all in on Navy. However, the show tells a tale I'd never heard. It seems that after Army fired overall-winning (16-11-2) coach Dale Hill after the 1961 season for losing to Navy all three years, President Kennedy called former Army assistant Vince Lombardi to see if he'd be interested in the job. Lombardi, who had just won his first NFL title in Green Bay, declined. The job went to Paul Dietzel.
The most chiling part of the documentary, produced by the way by longtime network legal correspondent Jack Ford, was what former Navy sports information director Budd Thalman recalled. After winning the Heisman, Roger Staubach's picture appeared on the cover of Time magainze. Thalman says he received a call the same day saying that Life magazine planned to do the same thing the following week. Thalman asked, "is there anything that keep him off?" He was told, "only a national catastrophe." On November 22nd, the national catastrophe occurred.
The Kennedy assassination is my earliest memory. I don't remember the '63 Army-Navy game. "Marching On" gave me it's significance. It's only an hour - worth your time.
View Comments (0)
The time had come for a new car in the spring of 1999. After years of driving old cars, thanks to riding Tony Kornheiser's coat tails to ESPN Radio, I was able to afford a new set of wheels. There was no question it would be a Honda Accord. I bought one when I first got married in 1986 and it had served me well - more than 125,000 miles.
With the help of one of our radio sales guys, I was set up at Ourisman Honda in Bethesda. I met with Omar, who sold me a new Accord. It was the EX model, just above basic. There were still a few DX models being sold with hand-cranked windows. The EX had power windows, but cloth seats and no sunroof. I thought it was perfectly fine for my needs.
When I first met Tony, he was driving an Ourisman Honda Accord with cloth seats. I thought I'd get a big thumbs up from him. Not exactly. "Cloth seats and no sunroof!? How could you not get leather? Leather is great!," he said - screamed.
I explained to him that the extra cost wasn't worth it. The self-admitted, number-challenged Tony then ran through the numbers of what it would cost per day to add the leather and sunroof. He then turned it into hours of matierial that helped define my radio persona. I was the guy driving the Honda with the cloth seats and no sunroof. What a schlepper!
The car turned out to be one of the best purchases I ever made. It happily carried us from one youth soccer, basketball and baseball game to another. It was the car that both Samantha and Jeremy learned to drive in and never complained about the various dings it took as the kids became better drivers. it was the moving van that took Samantha for her freshman year to the Univeristy of Wisconsin. And three years later, it once again stepped up for the same duty to take Jeremy to Indiana University for his freshman year and made several other trips to Bloomington during his four years there. The miles rolled up, but the cost of maintaining it never did. And it NEVER broke down. Snow? With the front wheel drive I easily zipped past stuck Mercedes and BMW's.
Two years ago, Samantha needed a car for a teaching job connected to her studies at American University Law School. Guess what car she got? I used the opportunity to purchase my midlife crisis convertible, but it wasn't easy to say goodbye to my old reliable friend. And just as it had served me so well, Samantha had just what she needed for getting around town.
Thursday, the end finally came. Samantha's job as a clerk for Judge Johnson in Montgomery County circuit court provided enough income for a new car. So, we headed back to Ourisman to trade in old reliable. Again Omar was our salesman and he couldn't believe the car he sold me nearly 15 years ago had over 187 thousand miles on the odometer! Samantha picked out a new Civic. Tony will be happy to know it has a sunroof, but no leather - cloth seats.
After finishing the paperwork, we drove away in the new car, but not before saying farwell to the Cal Ripken of cars. Goodbye Accord with cloth seats and no sunroof. Thanks for the ride.
View Comments (1)
Thanks again to all of you who have spread the word about the Sports Reporters on Sportstalk 570. While it's been quite a transition from having the show in the afternoon for 14 years, working with talented people like Czabe and all the others who sat in with us from 5-7 over the years, I'm starting to get my legs under me working solo. And I use the word, "solo" only in the sense of being the only one behind a microphone in the studio. Producer Greg Hough has done a great job in keeping things on track and making sure all the guests appear in their spots.
While I have worked the morning drive hours (6-9am) over my 36 years in radio, I haven't, until recently, hosted a morning show. I really enjoy the fact that we get the first crack at the day's sports news. And to be talking about local sports in the morning is something that's been sorely missed around here for many years.
I hope you will continue to spread the word about the show make it part of your daily commute. Next week we have only three shows because of the usual move to the Monday Morning Quarterback show on ESPN980 and the Thursday night game at Minnesota, which means another MMQB Show on 980 on Friday. However, I am looking forward to Tuesday when I talk to the producer of the next 30 for 30 film on ESPN. It's called "Bernie and Ernie" - Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld, who were superstar teammates at Tennesee and have remained life-long friends. I was sent a preview tape of it and found it quite good. Also Tuesday, we add a new regular. Longtime local basketball coach Pete Strickland will be on every week through the Final Four.
Every new show takes time to develop. Thank you for helping us get off to a good start. And don't forget to tell your friends where we are.
View Comments (0)
Sometimes you try to find news and sometimes news finds you. And on Thursday, news found us. A collision of social media and a newsmaker, who had no idea he was about to be one, provided one of the wildest experiences of my 36 years in radio. If i stay on the air another 36 years, I'll likely never have happen what happened with Brett Favre appearing as a guest on the Sports Reporters.
I've known Jon Saraceno for many years. Last February at the Super Bowl, I ran into Jon and he told me that he was working his last assignment for USA Today. After 30 years, he was leaving the paper to seek out something new. What he wanted to do most, was radio. So, we talked for a while. I gave him a few pointers and wished him good luck.
About six months later, the "Sports Reporters" show was dropped by ESPN 980 and I wound up on Sportstalk 570 in the morning 6-9 am. About a month ago, Jon happened to call me and we got to talking about radio opportunities. I told him he was welcome to sit in on the show and he'd at least have some example of his work to show potential employers his radio work. He agreed to do it. And after looking at our calendars, we settled on October 24th for Jon to come in.
A couple of weeks ago, he emailed me a list of some of the biggest names in sports and asked if I'd be interested in having any of them on the air when he appeared on the show. I figured, sure, why not. Two of the names he said he could get were Bob Costas and Brett Favre. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but I really didn't expect Jon to deliver. Well, in fact, he did.
Early Thursday morning, Jon arrived at the studio and said he was ready to go and so were Favre and Costas at their scheduled times. Even though Favre lives in the central time zone, what was 6:45 in the morning (7:45 eastern) would work and he would be first. Costas was scheduled for 8:30.
About half an hour before Favre's scheduled appearance, Adam Schefter of ESPN sent out a tweet that said Favre had been contacted by the St. Louis Rams about making another comeback, but had declined. NOW we not only had Favre scheduled, but we had news. Sure enough, Favre posted on time and said he had not been personally contacted by the Rams, but said it was quite possible that his agent, Bus Cook had been. Although he had made it clear to Cook he's not interested in playing again. That alone, was news. But there would be more.
Favre wound up staying on the phone for more than half an hour. We covered a variety of topics, including memory loss he says he's been having, his willingness to go back to Green Bay to have his number retired and his desire to have his wife induct him in the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in three years.
When the interview ended, the fun was just beginning. ESPN ran it as the lead story on Sportscenter at 9 am. And it ran all over the country throughout the day. It was a big moment for a show that launched six weeks ago. My only regret is that Jon hasn't received enough credit for what happened. The only reason that Favre agreed to appear in the first place is because of Jon and their relationship. Without that there would have been no interview. I've gotten alot of credit for the "Favre scoop", but I just happened to be there at the right time. Jon Saraceno made it happen. For the record, he deserves the credit. Thank you Jon. Or as Pat Bohlen said after the Broncos won the Super Bowl, "this one's for Jon!"
View Comments (0)
- Page 1 of 40
- 3 ...