Category Archives: Sports Rant N Rave

A Life Lession for Auburn Quarterback Nick Marshall

“He understands he made a mistake. He has been remorseful,” Malzahn said during an appearance on ESPN’s Numbers Never Lie. “Up until that point, he had been a model student, citizen, all of the above, but he made a mistake. He’s our quarterback. The quarterback is the face of our program, so he’ll have some things he’ll have to pay for. I have not decided that for sure right now, but it will be in a short period of time I’ll have that figured out.”

Gus Malahn – Head Football Coach – Auburn Tigers

Life sometimes teaches us lessons that if the lesson does not kill

Nick Marshall Auburn QB on many watch lists this year for athletic awards./Getty Image
Nick Marshall Auburn QB on many watch lists this year for athletic awards./Getty Image

us it makes us stronger people. Nick Marshall got caught on the other side of the law during a July traffic stop in Georgia. He  received a ticket for eight to nine grams of marijuana  when police pulled over his purple Dodge Charger for illegal window tint,  and  released him.

” I am aware of the situation that happened earlier today with Nick,” Head Coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement given  to the media.  “I’m very disappointed and I will address it with him accordingly”.

“He understands he made a mistake. He has been remorseful,” Malzahn said  during an appearance on ESPN’s Numbers Never Lie. “Up until that point, he had been a model student, citizen, all of the above, but he made a mistake. He’s our quarterback. The quarterback is the face of our program, so he’ll have some things he’ll have to pay for. I have not decided that for sure now, but it will be in a short period of time I’ll have that figured out.”

Passion of marijuana  of less than one ounce is  a misdemeanor under Georgia state law. Possession is  punishable by probation and a fine, which the court sets.

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As the face of the Auburn football program heading into the 2014 season  Marshall made a huge mistake. As a role model for many young people and being in the national spot light under consideration for athletic awards his off the field incident  has already proved costly for the rising senior.

Some of the football related consequences for Marshall’s off the field action this summer rolled in just as the story went virile on the internet . He did not attend   2014 SEC Media Days as planned  in Hoover, Alabama, according to Auburn spokesperson Kirk Sampson.

Senior tight end C.J. Uzomah  attended in his place.

Anyway you look at it, using or possessing Pot is wrong. It can damage your brain and wreck your future going forward in life. This young college quarterback  needs to stop using marijuana and get back on the right path in life. He needs to also realize his actions have far-reaching impact on other people, as he serve as a leader on and off the field for the Auburn football program to many young kids who watch him play on Saturday afternoons.

The really sad thing about this drug possession citation is it may very well have lasting results on the Tigers football campaign in 2014. Marshall is old enough to know that pot is illegal in Georgia. He also knows  he should not be in possession of  this drug or using it.  It does not matter that he is a college football starter or  not. Marshall should have to follow the laws just like the rest of us. He should not receive any special treatment when it comes to marijuana or any illegal drugs. Although Marshall may not understand this so now, the best thing that could have happened is he got caught with the drugs. Now he can step up and be a man, facing the conquests that go along with his earlier actions.

If Mr. Marshall continues on the path of smoking the Devil’s weed he is subject to having his life and athletic career  come  tumbling down like a bulldozed house. So now that his drug use has come  to the light, it’s not too late for him to turn things around and get back on the correct path in his life.

As reported by USA Today in mid-July that Marshall’s mother paid his drug citation, so this means the legal aspect of his drug possession is over. He will not have to attend a court hearing on September 10. But he still faces consequences   and punishment  from Coach Malazahn.

Auburn’s drug policy  states that “voluntary disclosure of the use of a banned substance by the student athlete will be considered a positive drug test. However, the penalty in this situation will not include loss of playing time and is available only for the first drug offense.”

Under Auburn’s drug policy, the first penalty for a positive test for marijuana includes no loss of playing time, weekly testing and counseling sessions. A second positive test includes suspension for 50 percent of a team’s competitive season, and a third positive test results in being dismissed from athletic competition and athletic facticity

Gus Malzahn announced after the first practice of training camp on August 1, although the senior will play in Auburn’s season-opener, Marshall, will not start against Arkansas This means Jeremey Johnson, a raising sophomore will get the call to start for the Tigers.
Following a 3-9 season in 2012, Marshall led Auburn to a SEC title and within seconds of a BCS National Championship victory in his first season as quarterback.

Marshall threw for nearly 1,976 yards, rushed 1.068 and accounted for 26 touchdowns on his own.

His explosive 2013 season found the rising senior on a number of preseason Heisman watch lists as well as the Maxwell award watch list.

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Falcons Ryan Not an Elite Quaterback,Although Bank Statement Claims Otherwise

Atlanta Falcons Starting Quarterback in 2013
Atlanta Falcons Starting Quarterback in 2013

If a player’s bank statement was the best indicator of rank,Matt Ryan would easily be included among the elite. His five-year deal is the seventh richest contract in the NFL and the fifth among quarterbacks, according to Spotrac.com. But elite based on money as a measure of greatness is a country club ideal—that mentality does not work at the NFL level of play.

In football a quarterback gets labeled elite because of touchdown passes, wins (typically playoff wins, but huge clumps of regular-season wins can get a player to the elite level), a sort of moxie on the field that few have, and drive after successful drive, leading a team in every facet of the game.
Drew Breese is elite. So are Tom Brady, Payton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. But that’s where the list ends for quarterbacks playing the game. The problem is there’s no clearly defined way that lays out a course for how a quarterback becomes elite.

Matt Ryan on the field in 2008. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Matt Ryan on the field in 2008

After a seven-year audition as first-string quarterback, Ryan needs to step up or step aside. Author Blank and the Atlanta Falcons are just throwing money away on Ryan when they could draft or trade for a better quarterback. This franchise needs to wake up and check back into the world of reality.

Coming into the NFL a player has the dream of one day winning a Super Bowl ring. The faithful fans of Atlanta want to see their Falcons in a Super Bowl in the near future. After all, the team has not played in a Supper Bowl game since 1998 in Miami, Florida under the filed   leadership of Chris Chandler, who is long gone from the league now.

Well, Falcon players and coaches it’s  time to raise up and get back to the Super Bowl. After watching Ryan play  in the 2013 season, I would simple say he is clearly not the player the team needs to win the  Super Bowl. It’s  time to find a new starting QB.

The falcons rewarded Ryan with a new contract of $103.75 before the start of the 2013 campaign, paying him like an elite QB, but he has failed to show that he is an elite player on  field. Listen to the sports media or watching the sports shows on television or joining a conversation people talk sports, however few believe he is an elite. This is also a feeling shared by former teammate Tony Gonzales.
“Matt an excellent quarterback,” Gonzales explained, as reported by Seth Wickersham in ESPN The Magazine.“But he’s not elite. He’s this close. He’ll get there, but he has some learning to do.”

Ryan is coming off a horrible 2013 season, where he threw 26 touchdown passes and committed 21 turnovers. This veteran quarterback could not hit the broad side of a barn in 2013 if his life depend on it.  However, he was great throwing the ball to the players on the other teams. It was this type of play that frustrated Falcon fans and caused the organization to miss the playoffs last season.

Now the question is how long will the Falcons wait on Ryan to develop into the player, the organization him on the field  in order for this team to return to the Super Bowl game.

Many of the faithful fans are sick of waiting on Ryan and Atlanta to become a Super Bowl Caliber team. So the organization better move fast or cut their loses with Ryan.

As the 2014 draft has come and gone, it’s saddens me that the Falcons missed their opportunity to pick up a  quarterback, as there where many talented quarterbacks in this draft. The organization could have simple made a deal with one of the other NFL teams, to move up in the draft to snag a quarterback. Instead the higher-ups choose to fill a defensive need in their first draft pick of 2014.

A seven-year wait is long enough for any fan of professional football to see his team make the Super Bowl, so it time for Ryan to show his elite play  on the gridiron and lead the Falcons to a Super Bowl victory. Or Blank needs to show him the door and cut his lose, if he is unable to make a trade for him. Ryan needs to remember that his actions on the field speak louder than his excuse in the media for not getting the job done.

Atlanta needs to replace Ryan soon so the team can get to and win a Super Bowl. There are a lot of great quarterback around the league that would make a good replacement for Ryan. Some journalist in the media have mentioned Phillip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers as a replacement for the veteran  quarterback if Atlanta where to make a trade for him. While the recent draft had a number of excellent signal callers available. Maybe the Falcons should have taken a quarterback as one of their draft needs in 2014.

Ryan really needs to member that actions on the field speak louder than words. He needs to improve his play to become an elite quarterback or face the options of a backup role,being traded away from the ATL or being cut from the Falcons all together. And as a football fan I like cut him optionand finding a new quarterback.

 

 

 

 

New York Jets Gain Great Value for Tajh Boyd in Round 6 of 2014 draft

 

Tajh Boyd  NY Jets  Quarterback out of Clemson University great late round value for New York Jets in 2014 NFL Draft. Photo Courtesy of  www.wikipedia.com.
Tajh Boyd NY Jets
Quarterback out of Clemson University great late round value for New York Jets in 2014 NFL Draft. Photo Courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.com.

The Jets did not meet everyone’s expectations during the 2013 season. Some sports writer’s predicted a third-place finish in the AFC East before the 2013 campaign got underway last season. Others had predicted a 5-11 season record, however the Jets did better than that.

Finishing 8-8 in what many consider a weak AFC Eastern division dominated by the New England Patriots, left the Jets sitting home for the third consecutive year in 2013 watching the playoffs on television.

Tajh Boyd scrambles during a 2013 game vs. the Maryland Terrapins Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Tajh Boyd scrambles during a 2013 game vs. the Maryland Terrapins Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

With the NFL draft in the rear-view minor the New York Jets selected Tajh Boyd, in the 6th round as the 213 pick over-all.The rookie quarterback is happy   he  is a Jet while he looks to silence his critics and show he can play in the NFL.

One of the reasons he wasn’t picked earlier may have been Boyd’s low arm slot. Jets quarterbacks coach David Lee is trying to get him to change that, Boyd explained to the press during Jets minicamp this spring.

As a Tiger, Boyd was a strong leader and willing public face of the program. In  Clemson’s up-tempo offense last season, Boyd threw for 3,851 yards, 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The previous year, those numbers were 3,896, 36 and 13. And as a sophomore: 3,828, 33 and 12.

The newly acquired signal caller is  eager to learn the Jet’s system going into training camp this summer. He now  sits dead last on the organization’s  depth chart at  QB. Boyd faces two major challenges this off-season to avoid being cut from the Jets roster. First Boyd will need to earn a roster spot. The second challenge is he will compete for the 3rd QB slot, a backup roll with current third stringer Matt  Simms. If Boyd can land this developmental  third string spot on the roster he can red shirt a season, just as he did in 2009 at Clemson.

The former Clemson star stands 6-1 and weights  222 pounds. There are questions about his height and how it might limit him in the NFL. He did not line up under center  for the Tigers and will have to adjust to a pro-style offense with the Jets’ West Coast system.

His biggest asset is his arm strength, which Ryan and Jets general manager John Idzik got to see at Boyd’s pro day.

“I think he brings some important things, including arm talent,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said, according to NFL.com. “At his pro day, he put on a show. He’s as athletic as can be. He reminds me of Troy Smith when he came out of Ohio State. At this point in the draft, to get a guy with that arm talent and athleticism is pretty exciting.”

A few media reports have surfaced saying that the Jets  coaching staff may try Boyd at different positions on the field besides quarterback during training camp. One such report implies Boyd could be looked at as a running back by the Jets coaching staff.  However, the former Clemson star has his heart set on playing QB for the team.

During a recent interview with the press Head Coach Rex Ryan addressed the issue of Boyd maybe playing a new position.

 

. , “I really like the late-round passer”

New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan.

 

Rex Ryan Jets head coach had special connection with Clemson University, as son Seth Ryan provided some information to dad on Tajh Boyd. Seth was a freshman walk-on for the Tigers football program. Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons.
Rex Ryan Jets head coach had special connection with Clemson University, as son Seth Ryan provided some information to dad on Tajh Boyd. Seth was a freshman walk-on for the Tigers football program. Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons.

We’ll see,”Head coach Rex  Ryan told the madia recently . “Right now, it’s 100 percent quarterback, but we’ll see as it gets going. Certainly he’s got the running skills and all that type of stuff we saw in college that you might consider doing different things with him, but right now it’s 100 percent quarterback.”

Asked about branching out, Boyd was quick to say in a recent interview with reporters: “I can’t see myself playing another position.”

While at Clemson, Boyd saw plenty of action out of the pistol and arrives at Florham Park with ample read-option experience. Play-caller Marty Mornhinweg was  fond of the Tiger last season — too fond — and might find a way to dip Boyd into a subpackage. That said, the fleet-footed Michael Vick is a far superior option for any funny stuff.

Boyd signed his first professional football contract with Jets , The Post and Courier confirmed in its online edition of the newspaper prior to the start of Jets minicamp.

The first-year quarterback  will earn $2.3 million on his first four-year contract, including a $78,680 signing bonus.

Only the signing bonus is fully guaranteed up-front, but if the rookie remains on the Jets’ roster, Boyd’s 2014 salary is $420,000, increasing  each ensuing season to $510,000, $600,000 and $690,000 in 2017 if he stays active.

Now this is a choice I absolutely love. After the 2012 season many considered Boyd  a 2nd round prospect if he came out. He stayed for the 2013 season and some below average performances really hurt his stock. When the game tape gets worse than expected and then you don’t have the prototypical measurable statistics for the place, you start to drop.However he has one of the better arms in the draft, apparently he put on a clinic at his pro day. Add in his natural athletic ability and getting a player with this much talent in the 6th round of the draft represents unbelievable value if you ask me. He is a fantastic leader and competitor and I fully expect him to stick with the team. It’s a pretty exciting choice in my opinion.

Boyd was a great late value pick for the Jets, while the organization hopes that down the road Boyd can have the same impact on the N.F.L. as he did in college.

 

 

Jets Fans Have Spoken Loud and Clear on Jets Signing Michael Vick

The New York Jets fans have spoken out loud and clear without stuttering over the signing of Michael Vick.

Michael Vick: Michael Vick warming up in 2009 as a Philadelphia Eagle. Photo courtesy of www.wikipedia.com
Michael Vick:
Michael Vick warming up in 2009 as a Philadelphia Eagle. Photo courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.com

A large majority of the team’s faithful fan base are extremely upset over this dog-killing quarterback being on the Jets roster. This past spring, Vick inked a one-year 5 million dollar deal with the organization signing as a free-agent after being released by the Philadelphia Eagles. As reported by the press he will compete with Geno Smith for the starting signal-caller job.

Heading into training camp this summer the Jets’ look to improve last seasons campaign of 8-8 after missing the playoffs for the third consecutive year in 2013. Jets owner has explained to the press that his team must improve in 2014 because 8-8 just is not good enough.

Fans in the Big Apple who are loyal to Gang Green are angry over Vick being on the team’s roster. Some long time faithful fans have commented on the Jets Fan Page and Facebook that they will not support or follow the team as long as Vick’s a member of their team. Some fans have even turned their season-tickets back in to the orgaination in protest of Vick being part of the 2014 squad.
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It seems the Jets missed the memo on Vick back in 2007 issued by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons dropped Vick like a bad disease off their roster after  a court  convicted him on federal charges of financing a dog-fighting ring on the property of his Virginia home.
Even if he is sorry about what he did I don’t think they should let him back in the league . He had plenty of money, and what he did was just cruel. Sure, he can have a second chance at life or what he wants to do, but the NFL no. These are people who we look up to and although we all make mistakes, not everything is fixable with “I’m sorry, and I’ve learned my lesson.” He paid only part of what all those animals paid. A life is a life no matter what, and those dogs felt great pain. Plus it’s not worth it for the NFL to take him back. Too much negative publicity around him and his age is not going down.

New York signed Vick  this spring, however a petition is circulating attempting to prevent him from taking part in Jets training campus of SUNY Cortland. This petition has over 26,000 signatures (and counting) on the petition to keep Vick off the college campus because of his dog-fighting past.

“I love SUNNY Cortland, and cannot abide welcoming this sociopath onto our campus with open arms,” The Change.org petition read (WARNING: There’s a photo of a mutilated dog on the site). “We need to stand by what is right as a university by barring him from the grounds. I don’t want him anywhere near my beloved college or community. We MUST send the message that we won’t be party to the torture of animals by conveniently forgetting what he has done. If we welcome Vick onto our campus, we are complicit in his crimes.”

It’s addressed to Erik J. Bitterbaum, Cortland’s president, with the goal set at 35,000 signatures. It was discovered by various sites including FoxSports.com after being posted.

The Jets need to go back to the drawing broad on this player decision. This QB is poison to his current team and the league itself. Vick’s career is   over as he should have gotten banned for life for his actions and role in the dog-fighting attempt he was a big part of.

It sad to see the Jets sacrifice their fans for Vick, just to keep the team under a media microscope and focused on the organization. Maybe one day hopefully soon the organization will realize what a bad choice, signing Vick really is. Winning is important at the professional sports level for organizations and coaches but not at the cost of departing fans who promise to never follow your team again. Get a grip Jets and come back to reality and dump Vick while you still can.

The fans have spoken loud and clear without stuttering so be smart and listen up before the franchise looses all the loyal fans and the team is playing to empty stadiums. The message is crystal clear the fans dislike Vick and do not want him on the team.

 

 

 

Going Beyond Fantasy Sports and Stats

For or a long while now I have ranted against fantasy sports, mostly because it consumes a person’s life, requiring countless hours of your day to research, assuming that you want to do decently and win some money. But more than anything it makes sports into a mere numbers-crunching excise.

While I don’t  judge if you play a fantasy sport, I think it’s important for people to understand that sports can often be a lot richer when you go beyond the numbers.

Sports Fans all over the Globe are involved in some kind of fantasy sport,/Picture courtesy of www.pixabay.com
Many sports fans all over the Globe get involved in a fantasy sports leagues ,/Picture courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com

 —Jame Wilson—

Instead of simply enjoying the game, we start to abjectly the players, thinking things like “How many yards did Matt Ryan  get for this week? I really need some fantasy points for my fantasy team.” Really people. whatever happened to seeing athletes as human beings?

Not everyone has forgotten the human element of professional sports or sports in general. A while back, I scanned a Sunday edition of a New York Times and saw an article about how Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher Clayton Kershaw went on a mission trip to Africa in January 2011. Stories like this interest me because they display the personal side of athletes.

Don’t get me wrong, I use to love the raw sports statics. When I was in middle school I spent many a Saturday on baseball performance.com reviewing old players’ stats inside and out. This was not a great idea for my social development at the time, but I managed to compensate  for it later on.

Once I even joined a fantasy baseball league, although I never  kept up with it.  In order for me to win the league (weather for a cash reward or something else), I would have I would have needed to sit in front of the computer screen on a daily basis, tracking the likelihood that a given hitter or pitcher was going to get on a hot streak. Even as a middle school student that just seemed like too much time.

But fantasy sports leagues are not completely bad. One benefit I see is the camaraderie they inspirer in groups of people. Families and friends gather around the television on Sunday, eagerly anticipating how the players and teams on their fantasy squads will do. It becomes a fun and intense personal competition. But whatever happened to the days of cheering for athletes for more than just their raw stoical performance?

I once wrote a feature on a high school classmate of mine that failed an art class during our sophomore year and could not play soccer that spring. Devastated  this  soccer player became  the laughingstock of the school. It is pretty puzzling how someone could fail an art class, but it happened. However, he and his teammates won a state championship the year after that (once his grades improvised), and he earned a Division I soccer scholarship.

The last time I checked the athletic site for his college’s soccer team, he was a stoical ghost because he hadn’t played much and hadn’t scored many goals and such. Still, I find his story interesting because it’s a testament to the hard work that goes far beyond simple sports statistics.

While I don’t  judge if you play a fantasy sport, I think it’s important for people to understand that sports can often be a lot richer when you go beyond the numbers.