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Average Adam On Vacation

29 Jun

 

I hate to break it to you Ants, but I may not be able to post anything for the next week.  We are heading out on the road for the good old fashioned family vacation.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter as I plan on tweeting anything humorous or interesting that happens on the trip.

>The Real Issue Surrounding Carolina Panthers’ Steve Smith’s Broken Arm

24 Jun

>There is a current story in the sports world that has been over shadowed by last second World Cup Goals and marathon Wimbledon Matches.

All-Pro wide receiver, Steve Smith broke his arm this past Sunday…………playing flag football at a Charlotte YMCA.

The first question that crossed your mind was probably, why would an NFL player risk injury by playing flag football.

While that is a very good question, it is not the biggest question out there.

As always, I am here to help and will share with you the extremely volatile issue that is being brushed under the carpet with this incident.

This is an issue so unspeakable, I am having trouble getting the words out on my keyboard.

How could the YMCA permit a team in their flag football league to have a ringer like Steve Smith?

Isn’t the Y supposed to be about fair play and community?  Do Tyson Chandler and Tyrus Thomas play in their basketball league?  

As I think about this situation, I just can’t get the following scenario out of my head:

Johnny Anderson leaves his office after work, eagerly anticipating his upcoming flag football game.  He is the lock down corner for the Fifth Third Bank Bandits and leads the league in interceptions as well as pulled hamstrings.

Anderson arrives at  the Charlotte Y early, which happens to be five minutes before the scheduled start.  Just enough time to stretch those sensitive hammys.

As he waits for the step and sculpt aerobics class to finish at the MAC gym, he notices the other team looking extremely confident.  They all seem to be laughing and taking turns throwing the football to the same player, who looks remarkably fit for this league.

The aerobics class finishes and the Fifth Third Bank Bandits take the floor ready to do battle.  Johnny lines up against the remarkably fit player for the other team.  This guy looks strangely familiar to him, but he just can’t quite place it.

It doesn’t matter, Johnny’s hamstrings feel surprisingly good, so he is ready for a challenge.  The ball is hiked and the five foot nine inch wide receiver blows past Johnny in a blur.  Bam!  Just like that the Bandits are down 6-0.

Johnny can’t believe it.  The other team is laughing and high-fiving each other.  It is at about this point that one of his teammates probably says something like, “I still can’t believe they are allowing Steve Smith play in this league.”

As the game goes on, Johnny begs for help.  The bandits try to double and triple cover Smith, but it doesn’t seem to work.

The game is agonizing for the Bandits.

This is nothing compared to the horror they are going to feel.

The score is 67-0 to nothing with no end in sight.  Smith’s quarterback drops back for another sure touchdown, when Johnny’s teammate, Lenny Spadowski, breaks through the line and hurries the throw.

The ball leaves the quarterback’s hand and is one of the ugliest ducks ever released at the Charlotte Y.

Johnny breaks forward and goes up to challenge Steve Smith for the ball.  Smith comes down awkwardly and a loud snap is heard in the MAC gym. 

The senior accounts manager can’t believe it.  He is now responsible for seriously injuring one of the most famous athletes in both Carolinas.

Unbelievable.

STEVE SMITH IN HIS OWN WORDS

Steve Smith happens to also be one of those athletes that isn’t afraid to say what he thinks, so he is always good for a few quotes.

I leave you with what Smith had to say about the injury when he called in to WFNZ-AM.

Obviously, I put my team and myself in a bad situation by playing, but that wasn’t my intention and wasn’t what I thought the outcome was going to be.

I wish I could take it back, but I am a regular guy outside of football. I mow my grass, too. I can get my finger chopped off fixing my lawnmower. I could roll my ankle playing tag or slip-n-slide with my kids. In hindsight, yeah, I won’t do it again. But I was just having fun, playing with some guys.

If you get out of your little shallow box, you would understand it’s more than just money for me in this game.  This is what I grew up playing, and it was my off-season. Until freaking Father’s Day, nothing had happened.

That is my personal favorite…..”Until freaking Father’s Day, nothing had happened.”

I’m going to sit in my bubble. That’s what I’m going to do for the rest of my career. That would be better for everybody. 

>How To Watch A World Cup Match

23 Jun

>

By now you have probably heard about U.S.A.’s dramatic victory over Algeria today.  I was aware the game was happening but had no intentions of watching it.

Honestly, how could I get excited about watching a sport in which the U.S. could conceivably go through pool play without every losing and still not advance to the tournament?

Only in soccer…..

A funny thing happened to me.  I was on my way home for lunch and the game happened to be on the radio.  At this point, I decided I would watch some of it while enjoying my meal.

Little did I know that I would soon discover the best way to watch a World Cup Match.

As I got home, I proceeded to fix my kids lunch along with my own.  I turned the game on around the 65 minute mark of the match.

Shockingly!  It was 0 to 0.  Ahhh, soccer.

After I fixed lunch, I settled in for a few minutes of watching grown men roll around on the ground as they faked injuries, looking like they were about to cry.  I also anticipated plenty of throw ins and drop passes.

Pretty exciting stuff.

As I started to watch I got plenty of what I expected.  Man, soccer players come off as complete wimps sometimes!

At this point, a surprising thing started to occur.  The game began to get interesting.

The U.S. started to apply more pressure and missed on a few near goals.  My son and I actually started making audible groans as the U.S. failed to score on what seemed like sure things.

Time expired as the game reached the ninety minute mark.  The U.S. appeared to be packing their bags.

Thanks to the oddity that is injury time, a ref wearing a green jersey held up a little sign that showed there would be four minutes of injury time.

What a deal for the Americans.  They had four more minutes to attempt to extend their World Cup lives.

The game reached the ninety-one minute mark and then it happened……

I couldn’t believe it! I actually jumped out of my seat and gave my son a high five.

All joking aside, it was a very exciting moment.

Not only had the U.S. won and advanced to the tournament for the first time since 1930, I discovered the best way in which to watch a World Cup Match.

Step 1: Ignore the match for the first 65 minutes.

Step 2: Fix a meal and get comfortable.

Step 3: Ignore the fake injuries and men acting like little babies.

Step 4: Watch the last 20 minutes of the match, which is obviously where all the excitement happens.

This is fool proof!

Who cares if you miss a goal or two. You’ll be sure to see plenty of replays of what you missed.

>And The Most Disliked Person In Sports Is…..

21 Jun

>

……still Michael Vick

According to a recent E-Poll, commissioned by Forbes Magazine, Vick takes the award for the second year in a row.

I understand what Vick did was absolutely horrible.  However, at what point do we start to move on to other things? 

There are plenty of people that are more deserving of this honor for recent transgressions. 

Here’s the rest of the list along with my thoughts on their selection:

2.  Al Davis

I’ll give you that Al Davis is the most out of touch owner in all of professional sports.  I do give him some credit for caring about how his team is run, even if it is extremely misguided.

The same can not be said for other owners.  Current Pittsburgh Pirates’ owner, Bob Nutting, refuses to spend any money on his team and seems like he could care less that his team has been in last place the entire time he has owned it (2007).

To make matter’s worse, he approved the firing of one of their racing pieces of food.  The Pirates recently fired their racing pierogi for criticizing the contract extensions of the general manager and manager on his Facebook page. 

If you ask me, I think the pierogi is on to something. 

3.  Ben Roethlisberger

Dirty Old Man Roethlisberger should be way ahead of Vick for most disliked person in sports.  Especially, if you look at his actions this past year.


Not only is he pathetic for the premeditated seduction of  drunk nineteen and twenty year olds, he had the gall to continue this disgusting behavior after his first close call with the law in 2009. 

How arrogant can one athlete be?
 
4.  Tiger Woods

Enough has been written about this and I don’t want to give this any more thought or time.  He is number four on the Forbes list.  Enough said.
 

5.  Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones can be an arrogant ass.  That being said, I don’t see how he out ranks a great deal of people in the sports world. 

I haven’t forgotten his drunken rant about Tim Tebow and Bill Parcels.  It was pretty ridiculous, but I don’t think it was worthy of getting him top five on this list. 

Keep in mind he is a Texan.  They do everything BIG there.  Admit it, you think that gargantuan size video screen at Cowboys Stadium is cool. 

   

6.  Mark McGwire

Obviously, McGwire is being judged by the public for his admission of using performance enhancing drugs during his career.  This one surprised me as well.

I don’t condone his actions by any means, but I give him credit for admitting this and apologizing for his mistake.  What more do people want from these guys? 

Why aren’t  Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa higher on this list than McGwire?  Although belatedly, he admitted his wrong doing.  Bonds and Sosa have yet to come clean about their obvious use of these substances.

I digress.  After all, I didn’t come here to talk about the past….

7.  Terrell Owens

As long as this list exists, and T.O. is playing or active in the media, I have a feeling he has a reserved spot.  I truly had a hard time trying to find something he did this year to be deserving of being disliked.

His numbers were a bit off on the field of play, but that’s not why he is disliked so much.  There’s only so much of an egotistical drama queen the public can take, I guess.

8.  Alex Rodriguez

Finally, we get to a New York Yankee!  Why A-Fraud isn’t higher up on this list is beyond me.

He may be quite the ball-player, but he personifies the image of  the pampered, spoiled, athlete.  He doesn’t need a sordid scandal to help with this either.  It is just the way he comes off.

No one was surprised when he came clean about his use of performance enhancing drugs.  However, many people don’t realize that he probably never would have come forard if Selena Roberts wasn’t about to release a book about it. 

I bet he would sound like a little girl if someone slugged him in the stomach.  He would then probably pay someone to beat the crap out of whoever hit him while he was getting a manicure. 

9.  Allen Iverson

Iverson is in a very similar position that Terell Owens is.  For some reason, he is an athlete that many love to hate.  There is really nothing he did this year that has earned him this selection.

If anything, he showed a bit of his softer side as he cried upon his return to the 76ers.  It has come to light recently that Iverson may have drinking and gambling problems. 

10. Gilbert Arenas

Any professional athlete that stores fire arms in their locker deserves to be on this list.  Arenas was suspended in January for this very offense.

I am not a professional athlete and have no clue as to what their lives are like. 

But at what point do you say to yourself, “I have a few unloaded weapons that need to be stored.  My locker would be perfect!  I’ll just move my towels and my game shoes over and there should be plenty of room!”

Happy Father’s Day, Coach

20 Jun

I wanted to take a minute or two and write about my Pop.  Pretty appropriate this weekend if I do say so myself.

Last week he came down to visit so he could watch my son play in an all-day baseball tournament.  Like my dad before me, I coach my son’s team.

It was fun to watch my dad in the bleachers and listen to everything he would say to my son and his teammates.

You see, my dad can’t just watch a little league game.  The coach in him is way too difficult to suppress.  I think he only made it an inning or two until he couldn’t contain himself from sharing helpful hints to all of our players.

Watching him made me thankful.  He was a big influence in my life in terms of instilling in me the love for the game of baseball.  A gift that I will have with me for my entire life.

Watching him also started me thinking about all of the things he did for me as my coach.

My dad started as my coach when I was eight years old.  We didn’t have your typical season.  Back in April, I shared with you the improbable completion to my first little league season.  We lost every one of our regular season games, but wound up winning the league tournament.

Read Little League Legacy to catch up on all of the details.

Needless to say, my dad helped me learn quickly that baseball, like life, is filled with triumphs and trials.

Now that I am a coach myself, I marvel at his patience.  He never yelled at umpires, players, coaches, or parents.  He never got too caught up in the competition, never made it about him over the kids.  He just coached.

He coached me, my brothers, our neighbors, our friends, and anyone placed on one of his teams.  There were no favorites.  Everyone was coached.

It may not sound like much to some of you.  If it doesn’t, go out to your local little league field and watch some of the coaches.  You will realize how rare the traits I listed above truly are.

As I grew older, I developed into a decent ball player.  There were plenty of regular season and all-star games.  He never missed any of them.

Inevitably little league ended and I moved on to high school baseball.  My dad didn’t stop coaching me.  He never over stepped his boundary as a parent with my high school coaches.

When I would find myself in a slump, he would take me to the batting cage and simply suggest I alter small things with my hands or my stance.  Even though the adjustments were slight, they almost always worked.

During my games I became pretty adept at ignoring all of the noise and chatter from the stands.  There is one exception.  I could always hear my dad very distinctly.  It could be a huge at bat with dozens of people yelling something.  It didn’t matter.  The only person I could hear was my dad.

Relax in there number 10.  Find your natural rhythm.  Now you see him Jason.  Watch the ball.  You can do it.

I came to rely on it.  He was always my coach.

At 33 years old, I am only reaching the tip of the ice berg in terms of understanding this crazy game of life.  One thing I do know, I appreciate all of the sacrifices my dad made for me.

Thanks Coach.

Happy Father’s Day.

>Marvin Harrison Still So Quiet

18 Jun

>

Time to update you on one of the earliest topics we covered here on Average Adam. Back in January, I produced a post entitled, Marvin Harrison: Why so quiet?

The post was a summary of an article I read in GQ Magazine (of all places) that included an eye witness account of Marvin Harrison participating in an assault as well as a gun fight with the same victim. 

According to an eye witness, the gunfight occurred in broad daylight.

Click the link above to catch up on all of the details.

It seems as though this incident will not go away for the former Indianapolis Colt. 

ESPN is reporting that after being pulled over in Philadelphia on Wednesday, a nine-millimeter hand gun was confiscated from him that may be very incriminating.

The 37-year-old former Pro Bowl receiver was driving the wrong way down the one-way street in a Cadillac Escalade when the patrolman stopped him along with the driver of a second car that was trailing him, the sources said.

According to the law enforcement sources, the patrolman saw Harrison place something that appeared to be a weapon in the seat console of his car. When the officer asked him to step out of the vehicle, Harrison produced a car registration and a permit to carry a weapon, both of which were in order. When he was asked whether he had a weapon, however, he answered no, the sources said.

This story continues to baffle me for a number of reasons.

1.  The incident that began this whole saga took place in April of 2008.  It is now two years later, the victim of the beating was later found shot to death.  His death remains unsolved.

Is this indicative of what many people believed after the O.J. Simpson Trial?  People that  have enough money can buy their way out of being convicted of a serious crime in this country.

2.  Why do some professional athletes get tied up in this type of lifestyle when they have everything they need and more in terms of material wealth? 

3.  Why are cases like Tiger Wood’s infidelity and Ben Rothlesberger’s sexual assaults over-covered and a story like this receives very little coverage in the national media? 

It doesn’t seem consistent.  Take a look at the headlines from today’s ESPN NFL page below:

 4.  Harrison is a player that I enjoyed following for years.  I respected his game, and how he handled himself on the field.  He was not a chest thumping, look at me player.  When he made a big play, he simply tossed the ball to an official that said to me “I expected to do that.”

Our culture tends to think we know every detail about celebrities because we see them on television.  We feel we can make statements about the type of people they are after observing them under the microscope that is the camera lens. 

Obviously, it is easy for us to be fooled.
 

>Statman’s Interview With John Madden

16 Jun

>Statman never ceases to amaze me.  Somehow he has landed Average Adam’s first ever interview with a nationally known sports figure.  Enjoy!

-Average Adam 

One recent evening I had the luxury to have an intelligent…errr well a conversation with the one and only John Madden.

Madden has the highest winning percentage in NFL history, and led the Raiders to a superbowl victory.

He followed that up with a hall of fame broadcasting career and is the face of the award winning Madden video game franchise.

All the answers to Statman’s questions are actual John Madden quotes.

Statman (SM): With the draft concluded, what advice what you give to rookie quarterbacks like Jimmy Clausen, Tim Tebow, and Sam Bradford?

John Madden (JM): If the quarterback throws the ball in the end zone and it is caught, that’s gonna be a touchdown.

SM: That seems a little obvious doesn’t it?

JM: Don’t worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon.

SM: (blank lookOkay……  Moving on, what effect do you think Mike Shanahan will have on Donavan McNabb in D.C?

JM: Whenever you talk about a Mike Shanahan offense, you’re always going to be talking about his offense.

SM: Your new video game comes out this summer. Lets see how you rated some of the teams for the upcoming year.

JM: BOOM!

AFC East

Jets 89

Patriots 86

Miami 78

Buffalo 67

SM: I take it you must like what the Jets have done with their defense?

JM:
If they don’t score any points, then they’re probably not going to win the game.

SM: That is an outstanding defensive summary, so what does it take to win a game in the NFL these days?

JM: The team who scores the most points will win the game.


AFC North

Baltimore 90

Cincinnati 86

Pittsburgh 84

Cleveland 70

SM: What did you think of the Big Ben issues this off season?

JM: That was a dumb play. Dumb play. You know that was a dumb play. I mean that was a dumb play. I’ve seen dumb plays, but that was a dumb play.

SM: Agreed

AFC South

Indianapolis 91

Houston 78

Tennessee 77

Jacksonville 74

SM: What makes Peyton Manning so much better than other players in the league?

JM: 90% of the game is half mental

SM: (pulls out calculator)…….lets try this why is the Colt’s offense so lethal?

JM: To get more yards, it’s best to move the ball from the line of scrimmage down the field

SM: How is that different than any other…….nevermind lets look at the AFC West

AFC West

San Diego 85

Denver 78

Kansas City 71

Oakland 71

SM: What do you think of the playcalling skills of Phillip Rivers?

JM: They’re either going to run the ball here, or they’re gonna pass it.

SM: Do you think Denver’s effective running game is due to their offensive line?

JM: Hey, the offensive linemen are the biggest guys on the field, they’re bigger than everybody else, and that’s what makes them the biggest guys on the field.

SM: There’s no arguing that logic

NFC East

Dallas  87

NY Giants: 81

Philadelphia  80

Washington Redskins: 76

SM: Do you think Eli Manning sees defenses well? It seems he has thrown some costly picks in recent years.

JM: Now here’s a guy that, when he puts his glasses on, he can see better.

SM: It is documented that Coughlin is a hard coach to get along with. How did you handle discipline when you coached the Raiders?

JM: The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break.

SM: Explains a lot for that franchise

NFC North

Minnesota 88

Green Bay  87

Chicago  77

Detroit 68

SM: Why is Adrain Peterson such an explosive back?

JM: When a guy runs he goes faster.

SM: Now I see why you won a Superbowl.

JM: You want a coupon for a bloomin onion?

NFC South
New Orleans 92
Atlanta  83
Carolina  75
Tampa Bay 69

SM: Why has Tampa Bay struggled so much at quarterback?

JM: When your arm gets hit, the ball is not going to go where you want it to.

SM: What about ball security? How important is turnovers in a game?

JM: A fumble is a fumble when he fumbles.

NFC West

Arizona  79
San Francisco 79
Seattle 75
St. Louis  66

SM: What can the Rams do to improve their offense this season?

JM: The best thing would be a touchdown and the second best thing would be a field goal.

SM: Finally, what advice would you give the millions of ants reading this interview?

JM: The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.

Thank you John Madden for your insightful look into the upcoming season.