Pre-Pro Bowl and Super Bowl NFL Happenings

Yes, I am aware the world is burning.

I will deal with it on Monday.

It’s not like I can do a d@mn thing to solve the problem, so I might as well watch and wait like everybody else…and of course relax poolside.

This has been an action packed week of football news, and the Raider Nation should be very pleased with the offseason move they made this week.

Adding Al Saunders to the offensive coordinator position under Hue Jackson was a great move, and the Raiders made another fantastic move after that. Longtime Oaklnd Raiders lineman Steve Wisniewski has been hired by Al Davis to be the offensive line coach. Wisniewski was a perennial pro bowler. On this pro bowl weekend, it is good to have him back.

Wizniewski was going to retire after the 2000 season when the Raiders fell one game short in the AFC Title Game. He had played 11 years. Al Davis personally asked him to come back for one more year, and he did. Sadly, that season ended in the snow due to a tuck rule. Had he stayed on one more year he would have gone to a Super Bowl. The Raiders sure could have used him. He is a leader, and the offensive line will be much improved under his leadership.

The shocker comes in Tennessee, as Jeff Fisher is no longer the coach of the Titans after 17 years. There was a power struggle between Fisher and malcontent quarterback Vince Young. Owner Bud Adams wanted to keep them both, but Fisher refused. Adams appeared to do the right thing by getting rid of Young. Yet then out of nowhere, he and Fisher mutually agree to separate. With all of the other jobs already taken, Fisher will most likely take a year off and then be the top coaching prospect next year. He will have zero problems finding employment.

The news out of Chicago is that the Bears circled the wagons and rallied around Jay Cutler. The way Cutler was treated by the media was disgusting. MSNBC leftist Ed Schultz usually spends his week spewing idiotic and wrongheaded political bile. Yet he took time last week to spew idiotic and wrongheaded sports bile. He, like others, attacked Cutler for not “manning up.”

Now we know that Cutler did have a torn MCL, and playing the rest of the NFC Title Game could have risked his career. Cutler is a punching bag because he comes across as quiet and aloof. Just because he does not yell and scream does not mean he doesn’t care. He does care, and he is a god quarterback. Lovie Smith is also low key. So is Mike Martz. They are both good coaches. As for Brian Urlacher, nobody will question his toughness. His comments about Cutler were appropriate, and the essence of leadership.

The Super Bowl between the Steelers and the Packers could be a good one. I really hope the media for once in their wretched lives can avoid asking stupid questions, especially with regards to the quarterbacks.

Aaron Rodgers should not be asked a single question about Brett Favre. I love Favre, and will miss him on the field very much. I love the guy. Yet this is about Aaron Rodgers and the current Packers. Let them enjoy it.

Ben Roetlisberger should not be asked questions about the details of what got him suspended earlier in the year. It’s over. He served his time. Remember, he was not only not convicted of anything, but he was not even charged with anything. THe focus should be on the game.

My favorite player on the field will be Charles Woodson. He was fantastic when he was with the Raiders. I can only dream about what it would have been like if he had stayed on Oakland and then we got Nahmdi Asmugha. When the Raiders played the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl 8 years ago, Woodson and Tory James both played the entire game with broken legs. Woodson even had an interception on the 3rd play of the game that led to the Raiders leading 3-0. Sadly the lead did not hold up at all.

After the Packers beat the Bears last week, Woodson sent an autographed jersey to President Obama, a Bears fan. The inscription said, “See you at the White House.” I love it. Only in sports can somebody give the president a hard time and get away with it. Barack Obama can bomb another nation, but all his powers could not get the Bears the win. Football is just a great game, and it can be heartbreaking whether one is a president or a regular fan.

As for the game itself, I think the Packers will win because the most important player will be one that as of now is not expected to play at all. Maurice Pouncey has been  rock of gibraltar at center for the Steelers. He was injured last week in the AFC Title Game. With a backup center playing, One fumbled exchange from center cost the Steelers a safety and nearly the game. Again I refer back to the Super Bowl between the Raiders and the Buccaneers. All season Barrett Robbins was a fantastic center. Then he suffered an emotional breakdown a couple of days before the game. No excuses are allowed, but the distraction did not help matters. Losing Pouncey is a  tough blow, and it could be decisive.

Anyway, the Super Bowl is a week away, and the stress of life will return Monday. This Sunday let the soothing sounds of Hawaii relax us all. I almost went to the game, but business took me to Colorado instead. That is what televisions are for.

Enjoy the Pro Bowl.

Now a word from a sponsor.

Injuries Could Play A Factor At Super Bowl XLV

The date is set, the contestants are clear and the betting lines for the Super Bowl @ BetUs are posted. The Green Bay Packers are favored to win the Lombardi Trophy when they face-off with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium on February 6th.

But as the two teams prepare for the biggest game of the year, there are injury concerns on both sides that somewhat lurk in the shadow. It’s not that any one player in particular will be questionable right up until game time but there are definitely some injuries that come into play that may not receive much attention.

For starters, there are those who wonder whether quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion in the NFC Championship game. He took a vicious blow to the head in a helmet-to-helmet hit from Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers and he never quite looked the same afterwards. He’s shot down that speculation but there are doubters who wonder if he in fact did suffer his third concussion of the season.

On the Pittsburgh side of things, their star safety Troy Polamalu is dealing with an ankle injury and while he will undoubtedly play, some wonder how healthy he really is. Outside of one big play against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game, he looked somewhat invisible. The Steelers also have another injury concern with center Maurkice Pouncey, who is dealing with a high ankle sprain and is the most like to be affected or miss time.

On the season, the Packers have significantly more injuries though and that simply can’t go unnoticed. They have put 15 players on injured reserve including four opening day starters. It’s amazing that they continue to chug along.

As we get set for the NFL championship game, there aren’t a ton of injuries in the forefront but without a doubt, both teams have lingering concerns about their key stars being healthy for the Championship game.

This concludes the word from the sponsor.

Time for the Pro Bowl.


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