Surfing Football

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Football is a huge sport in America. I mean of course it is or it wouldn’t be America’s Sport right? And in football, so many things happen through out the year its hard for Broadcasters to catch everything. The NFL has their own website with many new and old stories, stories that were ended on t.v., and stories you probably haven’t heard about yet. Also, most people assume that football is just enjoyed by older people, but that isn’t true. Kids love watching NFL football. And the NFL knows this, which is why they started the play 60 movement, initiating kids to go outside and play for 60 minutes. And if they’re not outside playing they can exercise their minds with the NFL Rush, a site for kids for the NFL.

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Another place to go if you’re looking for football stories is CBS Sports. They have they latest action on their website week in and out. If stats are something you’re looking for, then Football Outsiders is the site you want to go to. Football Outsiders has a bunch of analyst on the site that know what they’re talking about. plus they have all the right and accurate statistics in the sports of football.

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For most people who are athletes or at least was an athlete at on point in time, getting and wearing sports gear is a must for us. There is something about wearing sports gear that is so comfortable for people. Dick’s Sporting goods is a great place to get this gear at. Any and everything you need involving sports, Dick’s will have it. If you feel that maybe Dick’s is a little too expensive (don’t worry I do sometimes too) then one place you should go is Modell’s. Modell’s Sporting Goods always have decent prices for really good sporting gear.

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Where Football Has Brought Me

IMG_1222To be where I am in life, I’m proud of where I came from. My hometown Springfield is the third biggest city in Massachusetts and its the birthplace of basketball. But the origins of where I grew up wasn’t the best. Being a city, Springfield does have problems with gangs, drugs and poverty. Growing up with things like that in front of you becomes distracting. In my life time of being a Springfield resident, I’ve seen things that people who grow up in small towns would never see. Like gang fighting in the schools, shutting down classes, or shootings after school, or my brother getting his life taken at the age of 17. But seeing these things made me fight harder to get where I am now.

When I was 8 years old my uncle, who was a 5A North Raider football coach, got me into the sport of football. After my first year of playing football I knew it was something I wanted to do for as long as I possible could. He had a motto that we had to go by if we wanted to play on his team, and that was “Home, School, Football”. You had to be doing everything you were suppose to be doing at home, your grades at school had to be good, and then you could play football. And I wanted to play so I made sure I was doing everything I could to get in. I made sure my grades in school were good and I stayed out of trouble at home.

When I got to high school, the fight of gangs and drugs became harder. Growing up with older cousins involved in gang violence, you tend to see a lot and if you have a close family you tend to be around a lot. In my early high school years, my cousin LD was always around. We were in the same grade, but he was part of a gang. With him being my cousin I stood up for him just like he would stick up for me, but I wasn’t part of the gang. We both played football also. I was the schools Quarterback and he was a starting corner back. Unlike him though, I didn’t let the gang violence detour me from what was important, getting out of Springfield. My last two years of high school I made sure I did what I had to do to get into college. I was even recruited by big named Division 1 schools to play football for them, but financials put a damper on that. Then one day Westfield State came to my school telling me that they wanted me to come play for them. Now three years later, I’m the first one in my family out of all my cousins that played football coming up to play more than 1 year of a college sport.

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Football really changed my life. I can honestly say that if I didn’t come up playing football, or even basketball, I would not be here at Westfield State, going into my second semester as a junior. I thank my uncle everyday I put those pads on, whether he knows it or not, for getting me into this sport I love so much.

The Media’s Cover-2

(contribution: from Michael Drew, writer of Mike on the Mic)

One of the more underlooked aspects of football is the treatment given to it by the media. Today’s 24/7 culture of communication, coupled with the prominence of football as the king property of American sports, combines to make the NFL the most widely covered topic in American sports media. Specifically, the broadcasters covering each game have a tricky task in terms of how they interact with the players/coaches who will be on the field during the course of a preparation week.

The fact of the matter is some players/teams are much more cooperative with broadcasters than others are. Why? Well it starts with how the head coach’s attitude is towards the media then it trickles down to the players. Patriots coach Bill Belichick is renowned for his bland, emotionless approach to dealing with the media. Therefore, whenever his players are interviewed before, during or after a game, they reflect his methods and are careful not to say too much. Here’s a quick example of Bill’s….style.

Humorous as it may be, this style of communication can be very frustrating for media members who are simply trying to compile more information they can use to do their jobs effectively. As a contrasting example, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is known for being very open with the media. Rodgers is not afraid to let his guard down and give broadcasters interesting tidbits they can refer to during a broadcast (i.e. the type of plays his offense wants to run early in the game).

In short, a very interesting dynamic exists between football players/coaches and the media members who cover them. The next time you watch an NFL game on TV, pay attention to what the broadcasters are saying (or perhaps more appropriately, not saying). You’ll quickly get an idea of the personalities that exist on the two teams being covered.

‘Tis the Season for Sports on TV

Mike on the Mic

[Guest Contributor: This post comes courtesy of Dayvon Williams, author of the “Fourth and Long, Is Football All Done?” blog.]

In sports broadcasting there are a few times of the year when the media coverage just doesn’t stop. This time of the year is one of those times. Yes, I know there’s always some type of media coverage on some sports every day during the year. If there wasn’t, ESPN employees would be out of a job. But this time of the year gets nuts. You have college football, which can be a show in and of itself with the many games being played throughout the week. This is the time where every game really counts. Then you have the NBA, which just opened its season. Some people say that the beginning of an NBA season doesn’t really matter, but that is false because every game matters.

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Is Fantasy the New Football?

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The game of football is changing, and it has been for the past few years. The sport of football, in what used to be a hard nose running game of “our back and line is better than your defense and you can’t stop it” and a quarterback that threw off the running game, now consists of spread offenses with multiple wide receivers or tight ends and a running back catching the ball out the backfield.

Change, in most cases is good. When it’s suppose to be for the betterment of the game, it should be enforced. But when things are being changed to make one side better than the other, and the other side isn’t receiving the same treatment, things become unfair. the league now is so fascinated by the big numbers quarterbacks put up today. It’s almost impossible for any other position in football to win MVP of the league because of it. Since the 2001 season, only 3 running backs have received the MVP award and that was due to their unbelievable running game. Adrian Peterson was the last non-quarterback to win the award back in the 2012 season where Peterson was 9 yards away from breaking the all-time rushing record. With a season like that you can’t deny him the MVP. But in my eyes, the voters in the league is tell us something that we can’t ignore. They’re saying “we don’t wanna run the ball, we want it thrown by elite quarterbacks”.

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Since the 2001 season, 5 different quarterbacks have won the NFL MVP Award, with Peyton Manning taking the reign with 5 titles (the most by any other player, ever in the league) and Tom Brady with 2.  In two of the award-winning season for Peyton Manning he broke the touchdown record, setting the record at 55 last season. I bring this all up to prove one point. THEY’RE CHANGING THE LEAGUE TO A PASSING LEAGUE! That’s why there are so many rule changes for the offense. with the offense thriving, quarterbacks throwing for 300 yards and 3 TDs, the receivers with 9 receptions 100 yards  and a TD and the running back racking up 100 yards and a TD, you’re looking at major points in FANTASY FOOTBALL!

The rules of football have been modified ever so slightly to make things in fantasy a lot better for teams. You don’t have to worry about your QB going down, the defense can barely touch him. Your receivers will do good because the defense can’t touch them after five yards. Tight ends have become the go to in most offenses now with their speed and big bodies, sizing up most of the defensive backs in the league and beating most linebackers with speed. All in all, with the major rule changes in the game and the fast scoring offenses in the league, the participation of fantasy football has grown tremendously. And nowadays people aren’t even rooting for their teams anymore. They start to just key in on the players from their fantasy team. This for the TV company’s like Comcast or DirecTV was a door opener to probably the most effective cable networking in sports; the introduction to REDZONE and NFL Sunday Ticket. These two NFL packets have made watching football a lot more easier to keep up with your fantasy players. Now I do have REDZONE for Comcast and boy do I enjoy it on Sundays. But through my own experience and through the way I see myself and friends watching football now, I tend to ask myself, is Fantasy the new Football?

The 80/20 Rule

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Football is probably the best sport for taking risks. In most sports you need about 80% skill and 20% luck. And in the sport of football, that 20% plays a huge roll in determining the outcome of a lot of games. In some cases, the players 80% is so good they rarely rely on their luck. But in others, like Eli Manning, their luck made them the player they are now. And it’s all in taking a risk. It’s 4th and 6, you have one timeout that you need to save, your down by 4 so you have to score, theirs 1:47 left in the game and you can’t turn the ball over. You have the best receiver in the conference, but he hasn’t done much this game. Do you trust in your stud receiver to come through for you in a game changing decision or do you risk throwing the ball to someone else in hopes that’s they’ll come through for you and the game?

My biggest risk would have to be going back to playing quarterback. My freshmen year I came into college playing quarterback, just coming off a Super Bowl loss to Putnam High School. Thinking I had something to prove I didn’t like how I wasn’t getting playing time and I didn’t think the coaching staff would ever start me as their QB. I don’t know if it was my style of play or if they just like someone else better. But I felt I needed to be on the field so I switched my sophomore year to wide receiver. This was already a huge risk for me. Going to a position I haven’t played since 7th grade. Now with our star running back leaving for graduation along with our starting line, changes in the offense are going to have to be made. And these changes are going to mean more throwing the ball with a dual threat quarterback. By dual threat I mean someone who can run the ball and throw it on the money when needed to. And that’s all I did in high school. That was how I brought my school to their first Super Bowl in nine years.

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But with the same coaching staff minus a few people, I feel like the risk is bigger than the reward. Taking that risk to go back to quarterback is like sitting at a poker table with the best in the world and you’ve only played it once with your friends. The odds are very much against you and that 20% luck goes out the window. I’m basically choosing if I want to play my senior year of football. By not switching back my chances of playing and starting are great. I’ve played their for two years. I’ve been on the field and I’ve produced. At QB it’s only what they’re seeing. I haven’t played a college football game at quarterback. Now if we got a whole new coaching staff it’s a different story. They have no biases so they can’t judge me until I show them. That’s why I haven’t taken my biggest risk. I’m still debating it. It’ll probably be a spring ball decision. All I can do now is work harder than the next man.

The Beauty in America’s Sport

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In the sport of football, togetherness is something that is always seen. Whether if it’s a little league game, high school, college football, or in the professional league. Watching the sport is always better when you have friends and family around. You get the chance to actually be yourself while watching the sport and not worry about being judged by anyone. Because chances are, if you’re one of those crazy football fanatic fans, your friends or family is too.

Football is one of those sports where being loud and crazy, painting your face and bringing posters and noise making gadgets are acceptable. Also tailgating is one of those things that separates football from any other sport. You can’t just go out in the parking lot and Bar-B-Q for any other sport and it be look at as normal. Tailgating brings rivalry fans together and allows people to put aside their sports differences to have a burger and a beer together. Tailgating is probably the oldest and greatest tradition in the sport of football in showing and having togetherness in a sport.