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Found 49 results

  1. I dismissed Mitch Trubisky having been drafted as the top quarterback in the 2016 NFL draft (with the #2 overall pick) as a boneheaded decision, but when some guy named Patrick Mahomes went as the second quarterback (with the #10 pick) ahead of Deshaun Watson (the #12 pick), I took it personally. The Trubisky pick was unwise, but Patrick Mahomes? This kid is *unbelievable*! Who knows whether he's going to last, but in just his second NFL season, he's the odds-on favorite for NFL MVP, and has as many touchdown passes this year as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers - combined! As much as I love Deshaun, I just have to take my hat off to Mahomes, and nod with respect. Look at this play from Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts Baltimore Ravens: The Chiefs were down 24.-17, with 1:29 left in the 4th quarter, and it was 4th-and-9 from their own 40-yard line. How was this possible? http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-cant-miss-plays/0ap3000000997603/Can-t-Miss-Play-Mahomes-hits-Hill-for-INSANE-fourth-down-conversion In case anyone thinks Mahomes is a fluke, he led the NCAA in Passing Yards in 2016.
  2. Clemson University Bio for Deshaun Watson Aug 30, 2016 - "Deshaun Watson Opens Up on Mom's Cancer Battle: 'She's Living Life to the Fullest" by Campus Insiders on watchstadium.com Deann Watson had tongue cancer, similar to what Grant Achatz had - they are two of the fortunate ones who (this seems fitting) licked it after brutal treatments of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Dec 29, 2016 - "Clemson's Deshaun Watson Embraced the 'Student' in 'Student-Athlete" by Rick Bonnell on charlotteobserver.com Watson earned his Bachelor's Degree in Communications in Dec, 2016. "'It was a lot of early mornings and late nights,' Watson said. 'I just tried to nap here and there.'" Jan 24, 2017 - "Dabo Swinney Compares Deshaun Watson to Michael Jordan" by Joseph Zucker on bleacherreport.com Apr 29, 2017 - Deshaun Watson buys his mom her first new car.
  3. DonRocks

    Football Trivia

    Riddle me this: A hypothetical NFL game had no field goals by either team, and only one touchdown scored by either team. The team that scored the touchdown failed on the extra point (a kick, not a two-point conversion), but won 7-0. How? Answer (mouse over): The kick was blocked, an opposing player recovered it, and was tackled in the end-zone for a one-point safety.
  4. The Wisconsin Badgers have a very real chance of finishing this season undefeated, and still not making the College Football Playoffs (CFP). "What Will the CFP Committee Do with an Unbeaten Wisconsin?" by Heather Dinich on espn.com I think the answer to this problem is that the CFP isn't designed to get the four-best teams into the playoffs; it's designed to get the *best* team into the playoffs, and I don't think it has ever failed in that regard. --- Bonus trivia question: What is the only team (of 14 teams total) in the Big Ten Conference which is not a public school? Mouse over for the answer: Northwestern University
  5. Forgive my exuberance, but I went to Clemson for both undergraduate and graduate school, and after being there during the glorious 1981-1982 National Championship season, it has been 34 years of non-stop heartache. They've been good, and at times excellent, but they've never come close to repeating that one, unforgettable accomplishment. --- "Clemson Tigers Banned from Social Media during Season" on si.com Supposedly, "to keep players' focus on football as opposed to the outside world." I read it more as, "to keep any stars from getting trashed at 2 AM and tweeting something stupid." Can you imagine completely giving up social media for four months in this day and age when you're in college? This is the 21st-century version of saltpeter.
  6. To anyone attending Clemson University during the glorious 1981-1982 season, when Clemson defeated Nebraska 22-15 in the Orange Bowl to become undefeated national champions, the name "William Perry" is universally beloved and just as famous as the name Brooks Robinson is in Baltimore. The Fridge has fallen upon unspeakably hard times, and barring a miracle, his best days are behind him, but he will always be remembered with fondness and affection. Thank you, William, for enriching all of our lives - we all love you. And I can personally vouch for any and all anecdotes you might hear about Perry's athletic exploits as being 100% true - he was a physical specimen unlike any other. Jan 6, 2016 - "How William 'The Refrigerator' Perry Changed Betting Forever" by Adam Chandler on theatlantic.com
  7. "Amid Concerns over Concussions, High Schools Struggle To Fill Football Rosters" by Zach Schonbrun on nytimes.com It makes for an interesting psychological and sociological train of thought - my going gaga over Clemson in recent years, and the thought that this is all going to be forgotten a century from now.
  8. "Cartersville QB, Clemson Commit Trevor Lawrence Once Again the No. 1 Recruit in the Nation" by Marcel Louis-Jacques on independentmail.com "Clemson Football: Trevor Lawrence's Name Mentioned with All-Time Greats" by Andrew Boardwine on rubbingtherock.com In addition to Hunter Johnson (who will be a sophomore next year) and Zerrick Cooper (also a (redshirt) sophomore), Trevor Lawrence (a true freshman) addles this situation enormously next year: "Clemson Football: Kelly Bryant Ranked No. 1 Heisman Candidate for 2018" by Andrew Boardwine on rubbingtherock.com I'm not sure I can envision Kelly Bryant (a senior) winning the Heisman - I just don't think he's complete. And I've never felt sorrier for Hunter Johnson, who is a terrific quarterback who deserves - needs - to be in a better situation. Anyway, I guess you'll be hearing the name "Trevor Lawrence" in the coming years. In addition to his Wikipedia entry (above), here he is playing at Cartersville HS:
  9. Most of us know him as "the chef at Grapeseed who makes your hand disappear when you shake his," but in his previous life - which now must seem an eternity ago, Jeff played for one of the most legendary high school football teams in the history of the Washington, DC area, the dynastic Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles of Germantown, MD, who hold a record 12 Maryland State High School Football Championships, even though the school opened fairly recently in 1974. During Heineman's time at Seneca Valley, they won the Class A State Championship his freshman and sophomore years, 1979-1980 and 1980-1981, going undefeated at 12-0 his sophomore season. Heineman was listed as 6'4", 275, and was a two-way starter, at Center and Offensive Tackle on offense, and Defensive Tackle on defense (whew!) He was All-County in the Montgomery Journal (since absorbed into the Washington Examiner). He was an Honorable-Mention All-Met in the Washington Post, and was named one of the Top 100 Linemen in the Nation in USA Today, as well as being named one of George Michael's "Golden 11" Football Players (here's an example with the 2006 list). He is in the Seneca Valley Athletic Hall of Fame, and was recognized as the Best Defensive Lineman at Seneca Valley in the 1982-1983 season. However, his football career was not yet over. Oct 11, 1986 - "Unlikely Indians: 4-0 and No. 5" by Neil H. Greenberger on washingtonpost.com With Heineman a four-year starter at defensive tackle (he started one game his freshman year), the William & Mary Tribe in Williamsburg, VA was an NCAA Division I-AA Independent school during his tenure, but they made the Division I-AA Playoffs for the first time in school history, in Dec, 1986, his final season, with only 16 teams in the country qualifying - they ran into a juggernaut, losing to the University of Delaware in the first round, 51-21, but their football program was founded in 1893, and Heineman's squad broke a 93-year drought of no post-season football. I suspect the win over the University of Richmond, one week before, in what was then known as the "I-64 Bowl," (now called the Capital Cup) was Heineman's sweetest, with the Tribe defeating the Spiders on their own turf for Heineman's final football victory of his career. Heineman's athletic career was still not over after football, however, as he dropped 30 pounds and became an international rugby player. After his football career in college, Heineman played Club Rugby, and was named All-East Coast in 1988. He then moved to New Zealand, and made the All-Province Team playing Second Row (that's a position) for North Otago in 1990-1991. I suppose at some point he realized he was going to have to work, and so after stints in various restaurants, he opened Grapeseed in 2000, and they just celebrated their 16th anniversary last week, on Thursday, Apr 7, 2016. Congratulations, Jeff, on having wedged two very successful lifetimes into one.
  10. In our Sports Forum, we have a thread on your rookie quarterback, Deshaun Watson. I've followed Watson carefully for the past four years, and have watched every single moment, of every single game, that he has played for the past two years. If you're concerned that Watson can't be an "NFL-style," pocket quarterback, well, I think that's a legitimate concern, but I also think that Watson - even though he can scamper - has a pocket-quarterback mentality in his head. The scrambling quarterback works best in college; the pocket passer works best in the NFL, and I honestly believe that Watson has the tools and the discipline to be both. Here in Washington, DC, we suffered through the agony of watching Robert Griffin III, who won the Heisman Trophy for Baylor, and for whom the Washington Redskins gave up a *fortune*. RGIII was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and *deserved* it, producing one of the greatest seasons in NFL history by a rookie quarterback. However, RGIII was never taught to be a pocket passer, and the Redskins allowed him to be a sitting duck for the NFL's monster linebackers, who used him as a tackling dummy. The Redskins didn't take him out when he became visibly injured (it was very, very hard to watch), and just like that, RGIII's career was over (or, at least, it's probably over). Don't think for a moment that Deshaun Watson isn't acutely aware of the sad tale of RGIII. All he needs is to be taught how to transition from college to the NFL, and you just may have yourself an All-Pro-caliber QB for the next decade. I'm going to be pulling for the Texans, and for the great Deshaun Watson - I only hope that he has someone down there who can teach him properly; otherwise, all bets are off. One thing you shouldn't worry about is all these articles about Watson's interceptions. The articles fed off themselves; I actually *watched* every play Watson made for the past two seasons, and he threw a total of about five lousy interceptions; the rest of them came with a large dose of sheer bad luck, irrelevant situations (an 80-yard, Hail Mary with 2-seconds left in the half, for example) or missed patterns by his receivers - the interception tally wouldn't worry me in the least. You've got yourself a champion on your hands, and at least one person up here in Washington, DC who will be pulling for him. Cheers, Rocks
  11. Freshman Justyn Ross, who doesn't yet even have a Wikipedia entry.
  12. This column appeared online two days ago, Dec 31, 2014, dated Dec 31, 2014. "Bruce Allen's Five Worst Answers At His Season-Ending Press Conference" by Mike Steingarten on washpost.com I posted this comment: --- This column appeared online yesterday Jan 1, 2015, also dated Dec 31, 2014: "Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen Sidesteps The Most Important Questions" by Jason Reid on washpost.com I posted this comment: To which someone replied: To which I replied: To which another person replied: This column appeared online today, Jan 2, 2015, also dated Dec 31, 2014: "Washington Redskins Are The Victim Of Top-Down Organizational Dysfunction" by Sally Jenkins on washpost.com It was the best column I can remember reading by Sally Jenkins. No, I don't think I caused her to write it, but I feel strongly enough about this issue where I'm going to sign my full, real name to my writing, and not deviate from a position I've developed over the long-term, despite giving up some much-cherished personal privacy. I would have simply linked to columns and comments, saying it was me, but there's something very wrong with either the Post's comment software, or how my ChromeBook interacts with it - it took me a good fifteen minutes just to write this post. These are my opinions on the team's one - and only - problem (singular): Dan Snyder. And I proudly sign my opinions with my real name. Happy New Year to all, Don Rockwell.
  13. I don't care what people say about Robert Griffin III being a "bust" - he was a *great* athlete and college football player, whose career was basically ended because he wasn't properly trained to play in the NFL, and because he was left in a game when he was so badly injured that he could barely walk. When I first saw Griffin's highlight video coming out of Baylor, I could not believe the things I was seeing: plays such as Griffin running to his left, then stopping on a dime and throwing a 50-yard laser cross-field to a receiver sprinting down the *right* sideline for a touchdown. During his rookie season with the Redskins, even his detractors grudgingly came around to admitting that this kid was phenomenal, and two-thirds of the way through the season, there wasn't merely unanimous accord about him being the Rookie of the Year, but also serious talk about him being the NFL MVP. Yet, there was that college-style game he was playing - the equivalent of storming the enemy without wearing a bullet-proof vest, and the Redskins were doing nothing to help him transition from a college-style game to become more of an NFL pocket passer, because he was taking them to the playoffs and they were thinking short-term. Griffin's career-ending injury occurred when he was left in the game with an injury so obviously severe that everyone could see it - the announcers were incredulous - and the next play would essentially be his final one in the NFL. A superstar done in by being rushed along and not coached into becoming an NFL player who could survive in the long-term. Maybe so, but he'll always have *my* respect, and I hope he has a lifetime of happiness with his millions of dollars, even though he'll never have the Hall of Fame career which was his for the taking. And it's absolutely *not* his fault - he was a *kid* who only knew one speed: overdrive, and it was the coaches' job to reign him in, to develop him, and to protect him. Look at what the Nationals did in 2012 when they had the best record in the National League, and Stephen Strasburg hit his (arbitrary) "maximum pitch count" before the season was over - why didn't they bench Strasburg *before* he hit that pitch count so that they could use him in the playoffs? I have never heard a satisfactory explanation to this confounding decision when Strasburg was showing *no* signs of physical problems. Whatever their rationale, they chose not to save Strasburg even when it was obvious they'd make the playoffs without him, and then they lost to the Cardinals in the National League Division Series, 3 games to 2. Would Strasburg have made a difference in a five-game series? What the hell do you think? If the Redskins had given Griffin one-tenth of the protection that the Nationals gave Strasburg, we might have a superstar quarterback leading us to the playoffs right now, year after year; instead, we have someone who was made into a scapegoat for the Redskins' stupidity, and is wrongly and unfairly called "one of the biggest busts in NFL draft history." RG3: World-class athlete, Hall of Fame potential, the definition of class when he was forced to go an entire season without taking a single snap, and no more of a bust than Bo Jackson.
  14. Cousins was a terrible pick for the 'skins. Picking Cousins undermined RGIII. When Cousins played, he played just well enough for the 'skins to tag him, but not well enough to get the team anywhere, and not bad enough to not pay him year to year. So year after year, the 'skins didn't make the play-off and didn't suck enough to get a high draft pick. So how's picking Cousins brilliant?
  15. I'll let other folks comment on the game; right now, I want to report that Redskins Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green carried the Vince Lombardi trophy at the end of the game - I am * so glad* to have watched this wonderful person have this honor. Congratulations to the great Philadelphia Eagles for winning their first-ever Super Bowl. Congratulations also to the great New England Patriots for continuing to establish themselves - perhaps along with the Green Bay Packers - as the greatest NFL team in history.
  16. My junior year in college, Clemson won the National Football Championship - all seemed right with the world; then, but my college-football world was about to come to a screeching halt. James Cofer and Terry Minor, two high school players from Knoxville, told Clemson coach Danny Ford, on National Signing Day, that they wanted to back out of their commitment, and attend the University of Tennessee. Ford said no (he had already denied other players scholarships based on their commitment), and they claimed Clemson bribed them - they even sued for $12 million and lost. To this day, I don't know what really happened, but the names "Cofer and Minor" were ones I had always associated with Clemson - who went 9-1-1 the following two years (when ties were allowed) - on probation, and unable to play in any bowl games. Maybe they were right, but the way they did this was smarmy as hell, essentially blackmailing Clemson. There are plenty of stories about the probation itself on the internet, but Cofer and Minor themselves disappeared - the University of Tennessee declared them "too toxic," and didn't want them. They dropped out of college during their first semester, and I had never heard about them again. Until today, when I did a little bit of research: "Rule Changes May Cut Cofer's Drug-Case Sentence" by Jim Balloch on archive.knoxnews.com (you may need to Google this, as direct access seems to be prohibited - if you follow the Google link, you can read the article). "Feb 25, 2013 - U.S. Case Law" on cases.justia.com It seems James Cofer, Jr. was involved in a narcotics ring, in cahoots with James Cofer, Sr. (the one who started the probation ball rolling). Yes, writing this post is petty, but it's also therapeutic, and as they say, "Karma's a bitch" (it would have been honorable if they immediately reported Clemson, but they willingly accepted gifts (or, "bribes," depending on your perspective), and only complained when Clemson didn't let them out of their signed commitment). To this day, I still don't know the extent of the transgressions, or who was involved - perhaps Coach Ford turned a blind eye, I don't know.
  17. Once the established RB at KC was injured, fantasy football players snatched up Hunt like crazy. Of course they couldn't imagine how great his first games were going to be. But they valued him. (I don't play FF currently but cripes it took me 2 seasons to get over withdrawal symptoms).
  18. The NFL season starts tonight, and the Pats are favored by 9.5 against the Chiefs. Who would you pick against the spread and why?
  19. Drew Kaser kicked one of the greatest punts I've ever seen - 69 *beautiful* yards in the air, bouncing at a perfect angle on the 1/2-yard line, and grabbed by his own player right by the goal line. Watch it here - it's a thing of magnificence. When Kaser was a sophomore at Texas A&M, he kicked a 76-yard punt against Rice - from the point of contact, to where the ball bounced, it was over 80 yards in the air:
  20. Just as I have an intellectual void about soccer, some of us (including, to some degree, me) may have a similar void about football. In case there is any confusion about the terms "linebacker" and "defensive back," they are not the same positions, at least not in any definition that I've ever heard. The good news is that it's very easy to remember, just from the names: A "linebacker" backs up the line. They are very strong, and play behind the defensive line to prevent escaping runners, and to defend against short passes (generally less than ten yards). During a blitz, they'll often come in to try and sack the quarterback. A "defensive back" backs up the defense. They are mobile and quick, and play behind the entire defense to prevent the long pass, and as the final resort against breakaway runs - both "cornerbacks" and "safeties" are defensive backs.
  21. Wake Forest is an underrated football team in this 2017 season, with a record of 4-1, having lost only to Florida State last weekend, 26-19. One thing that most people don't realize is that, after five games, they *lead the nation* in "Tackles for Loss" with 50 - that's 10 per game.
  22. Current List Of NFL Starting Quarterbacks ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- List of NFL 2014 Opening-Day Starting Quarterbacks ---------------------------------------------------------------------- AFC ----------------------------------------------------------------------- North Ben Roethlisberger 2004, #11, Miami (Ohio) Joe Flacco 2008, #18, Delaware Brian Hoyer 2009, Undrafted, Michigan St. Andy Dalton 2011, #35, TCU East Tom Brady 2000, #199, Michigan Ryan Tannehill 2012, #8, Texas A&M EJ Manuel 2013, #16, FSU Geno Smith 2013, #39, WVU South Ryan Fitzpatrick 2005, #250, Harvard Chad Henne 2008, #57, Michigan Jake Locker 2011, #8, Washington Andrew Luck 2012, #1, Stanford West Peyton Manning 1998, #1, Tennessee Philip Rivers 2004, #4, NC State Alex Smith 2005, #1, Utah Derek Carr 2014, #36, Fresno State ---------------------------------------------------------------------- NFC ----------------------------------------------------------------------- North Aaron Rogers 2005, #24, California Matt Cassel 2005, #230, USC Jay Cutler 2006, #11, Vanderbilt Matthew Stafford 2009, #1, Georgia East Eli Manning 2004, #1, Mississippi Tony Romo 2004, Undrafted, Eastern Illinois Robert Griffin III 2012, #2, Baylor Nick Foles 2012, #88, Arizona South Drew Brees 2001, #32, Purdue Josh McCown 2002, #81, Sam Houston State Matt Ryan 2008, #3, Boston College Cam Newton 2011, #1, Auburn West Carson Palmer 2003, #1, USC Colin Kaepernick 2011, #36, Nevada Russell WIlson 2012, #75, Wisconsin Austin Davis 2012, Undrafted, Southern Miss
  23. UCLA scored 35 unanswered points on Saturday to defeat Texas A&M, 45-44, in the second-biggest comeback in NCAA football history. That said, I believe if their final touchdown was reviewed correctly (or, at all), it *might* have been overturned: Only one foot landed in-bounds, and the ball was in the process of sliding out of the receiver's hands until it was stopped by his leg. There probably isn't enough conclusive evidence to overturn the call, but I think that if it wasn't for his leg, the ball would have slipped through the receiver's hands. Judge for yourself: "LOOK: Was UCLA's Game-Winning TD Pass vs. Texas A&M Actually Incomplete?" by Ben Kercheval on cbssports.com <--- Scroll down. The key issue is: If the receiver had control of the ball when his right leg came down, then it's a touchdown. One way of looking at the sequence is: 1) Right leg lands in the end zone. 2) Ball is slipping, but is stabilized by leg. 3) Left leg lands out-of-bounds. And unless he had "control of the ball" at the time #1) occurred, it's not a touchdown. An alternative way of looking at it is: 1) Receiver catches ball over his head, and has control at that point. 2) Right leg lands in the end zone. 3) Ball starts slipping out *after* the right foot landed. In which case it's a touchdown. Looking at it from this point of view, you can't overturn the call. This is a tough one, but unless it's definitive, the call must stand. I've watched this probably 100 times, and I can't tell for sure, but it seems to me like: 1) Receiver catches ball over his head, and has control at that point. 2) The ball hits the receiver's right rib cage, and the ball is jarred loose. 3) About 1/100th of a second after that, the receiver's right leg lands in the end zone. 4) The receiver stabilizes the ball with his leg. 5) Left leg lands out-of-bounds. Only God knows for sure what happened, but I think the analysis immediately above is correct. In other words, he didn't have control, but you can't possibly overturn this call. You'll need to watch the video loop 20 times just to clearly see the time difference between #2) and #3). To me, the most interesting thing is that, if the play was ruled incomplete, there wouldn't be enough conclusive evidence to overturn that call either - so either way it was called, the call must stand. Whew! (Don't forget, even if the pass was called incomplete, it would have been only 2nd down, so UCLA would have had 3 more chances.)
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