Archive for August, 2022

Just got married

Sunday, August 14th, 2022

After 50 years of being a bachelor, I just got married.


Pro Football 2022 Hall of Fame Game Raiders Recap

Sunday, August 7th, 2022

Pro Football 2022 Hall of Fame Game Raiders Recap

The 2022 NFL preseason began. The Las Vegas Raiders played the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. 

Last year the Raiders had turmoil no team should ever go through. The team started 3-0. Then 2 weeks later Jon Gruden was forced out as coach due to an NFL hit job involving emails he sent a decade earlier when he was not even in the league. Then a few weeks later wide receiver Henry Ruggs was involved in a driving accident that killed a woman. Despite being 6-7, interim coach Rich Bisaccia had the team together. They rattled off 4 straight wins in harrowing fashion. The finale against the Chargers took all 5 quarters. The Raiders won 35-32 to make the playoffs and knock the Chargers out. The Raiders in their wildcard playoff game took the Cincinnati Bengals to the limit. This time the cardiac kids in silver and black came up short. They were less than 10 yards from tying the game but lost 23-16. The 2021 Raiders set an NFL record with 6 wins on the final play. 

Rather than preserve continuity, Mark Davis blew up the front office. The new coach is Josh McDaniels, who previously coached the archival Denver Broncos and spent many years as the offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. 

The game was delayed 40 minutes due to lightning, just as their regular season finale against the Chargers was. 

Now it was time to play football in this new season. Derek Carr, newly acquired Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow and most of the starters got the night off. Jarrett Stidham, who played in New England, got the start. On the first play from scrimmage, there was a tribute to Al Davis with a bomb. Stidham was hit as he threw so the ball floated in the air, but somehow it was complete for a 31 yard gain. Roughing the passer added 15 more yards. One star who did play was Josh Jacobs. His first carry gained 12 yards. The Raiders last year kicked too many field goals and scored not enough touchdowns.

Although the Jaguars were the worst team in the league last year, they have a decent defense. The starting defense played early on. They are now coached by Doug Pederson, who won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles. Trevor Lawrence had the night off and backup CJ Beathard was injured. 3rd string quarterback Jake Luton got the start. The defense forced a 3 and out. 

On the next Raiders drive on 2nd and 10, Jacobs banged ahead for 9 yards. On 3rd and 1, Jacobs showed his mettle by going up the gut again for 5 yards. McDaneils kept feeding Jacobs. It seemed strange to have him play, but the team declined his 5th year option. McDaniels was determined to see what he had in Jacobs. Jacobs showed how good he was, as he took a screen pass from Stidham for 14 yards. Zamir White is the newly drafted Raiders running back putting the heat on Jacobs. White’s first carry gained 15 yards. Consecutive sacks of Stidham, including one by top draft pick Trayvon Walker and another by former Raiders player Arden Key, killed the drive. Yet Daniel Carlson buried a 55 yard field goal in the rain to make it 6-0 Raiders. 

Luton finally got the Jaguars offensive going as the Jaguars crossed midfield. Yet a 3rd and 5 bomb was overthrown incomplete. Doug Pederson brought in kicker Brian Santoso for a 60 yard field goal try, which he would not do in a regular season game in that situation. The kick was long enough but just wide no good. 

This allowed the Raiders to begin their 3rd drive at midfield. Stidham was out and 3rd string quarterback Nick Mullens came in and immediately fumbled the snap. Yet the Raiders escaped with only a one yard loss. Jacobs was done for the night. Mullins then executed screen pass to Amir Abdullah for a 17 yard gain as the first quarter ended. 

The second quarter began with a 3rd running back in Kenyan Drake getting the carry. McDaniels said he was going to do running back by committee. Mullens then found Tyron Johnson over the middle for a 25 yard gain down to the 8 yard line. A pitchout in the rain is always risky, but Abdullah took it around the end for a touchdown and a 13-0 Raiders lead. On the next Jaguars drive, a completion by Luton went for a first down past midfield, but then a pair of helmets on the ball meant a fumble that the Raiders recovered. 

The Raiders took over at their own 45. On 3rd and 1, White got the carry up the middle and got stopped inches short. Josh McDaniels decided to go for it, since it’s easy to be brave in the preseason. On 4th and inches, White got the carry again and gained 2 yards. Another well executed screen pass went to White for 19 yards. On 3rd and 16 from the Jacksonville 41, Mullens was sacked. Josh McDaniels decided against a 58 yard field goal try, and the punt went for a harmless touchback. The defense forced a 3 and out.

In a surprise move, Stidham came back in the game. on 3rd and 11 form his own 30, Stidham found Johnson on the sideline for a 12 yard gain that was ruled incomplete. Josh Mcdaniels called a timeout to review the play, which appeared to be a catch. On further review, it was reversed to a catch and a first down as McDaniels won his challenge. On 3rd and 1 from the Jacksonville 46, White took a pitchout wide, banged a defender short of the sticks, and plowed ahead for 3 yards. A bomb to Johnson at the goal line was on target, bobbled, and dropped incomplete. Keenan Cole took a pitchout for 12 yards and a first down but suffered a helmet to helmet hit that was not called. Cole got up under his own power. 

At the 2 minute warning, the Raiders faced 3rd and 7 at the Jacksonville 27. Stidham found DeMarcus Robinson for 12 yards. Robinson was with the Chiefs for 6 years and should be a positive addition. On 3rd and 8 from the Jags 12, Stidham rolled out and had a wide open lane. He waltzed into the end zone for another touchdown. The Raiders took that 20-0 lead into the locker rooms. 

The second half was uneventful. Yes, the Jaguars were the worst team in the league last year. Yet the Raiders offense looked good, even great at times. They scored on 4 possessions. Both Mullens and Stidham directed a touchdown drive. All 3 running backs had some good yardage. The Raiders defense pitched a shutout in the first half. Meaningless game or not, a 20-0 lead is a positive by any standard.

The Jaguars kicked a field goal late in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Jaguars returned a punt for a touchdown only to have it called back by an illegal block. The Jaguars went for it on 4th and 1 near midfield. 3rd string quarterback Kyle Sloter fumbled the snap, resulting in a huge loss. The Raiders took over at the Jacksonville 42. On 3rd and 9, 4th string quarterback Chase Garbers fired over the middle for a first down. On 4th and 3 from the Jags 24, McDaniels went for it and Garbers completed a crossing route that went for 16 yard gain. Austin Walter took a pitchout for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 27-3 Raiders midway through the fourth quarter. All 3 quarterbacks who played led a touchdown drive. Derek Carr was the only quarterback not to have a touchdown drive, but he will be the starter. The Jaguars scored a meaningless touchdown late to close the scoring. 

The 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is now in the books. 27-11 Raiders


Pro Football Hall of Fame 2022 Induction Ceremony Recap

Saturday, August 6th, 2022

Pro Football Hall of Fame 2022 Induction Ceremony

Football heaven was back, from Canton, Ohio. ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman was again the master of ceremonies. 

Leroy Butler — The Green Bay Packers strong safety created the Lambeau Leap. 

He praised his mother for reminding him that “It’s not about what you have on or what you have, it’s how you act.”

“I don’t say hello to fans at Pick ’n Save. I say hello to owners.”

The Packers are owned by the fans, who have non-voting shares of stock. 

Sam Mills — The New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers linebacker was nicknamed “The Field Mouse.” He was only 5 ft 9. 

This is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the National Football League Hall of Fame. Mills won championships with the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League. Mills died in 2005 at age 45 from stomach cancer. His motto “Keep pounding” is the official Panthers mantra. A statue of him is outside Panthers stadium. 

Along with Vaughn Johnson, Pat Swilling and Ricky Jackson, Mills was a member of the feared Dome Patrol.

His widow Melanie Mills spoke about Sam Mills the person. 

“He never forgot he was just a man.”

“He’d go bowling with anyone who asked.”

“Keep pounding everyone. That’s what Sam would want you to do.”

Richard Seymour — The New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders defensive tackle was a key defensive cog in three Super Bowl wins for the Patriots. While everyone knows quarterback Tom Brady, many people forget that those early Patriots teams were carried by their defense. This is especially true of the 2001 team that started their dynasty. Seymour playfully reminded us of this.

“I didn’t get here alone. None of us did. None of us could have.”

“Football may be what I do, but family is who I am.”

Seymour fought back tears as he praised his high school sweetheart turned wife Tania. 

His mom drove him to his first football tryout, and he was scared to get out of the car. 

“We had a young quarterback, but we made it work.”

Despite only playing four years for the Raiders, he had kind words for the Raider Nation.

About Al Davis, “He believed football was a game of values.”

Art McNally — He is the first official to be enshrined in Canton. The 97-year-old Canton spent 57 years in the NFL, many of them as a referee. 

His phone number was actually in the Philadelphia phone book. Fans called him up to argue calls, and he would take their calls as long as there was no profanity.  He helped develop the instant replay system. He believed that the game should be officiated with “a heavy dose of common sense. Due to his age, he watched from his home while his grandchildren gave very brief remarks in his honor. 

Tony Boselli — The offensive tackle was the very first pick in the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who began their existence in 1995. Injuries cut his career short after only seven seasons. This is why his entry in Canton took so long. He is the very first person associated with the Jaguars to make the Hall of Fame. 

He played other positions in high school and was even a waterwboy.

“I was a d@mn good waterboy.”

He thanked his wife Angie’s parents “for not messing her up.”

He had special praise for former Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin, known for his strict rules.

He concluded by celebrating his father, who passed away from cancer in May of 2021. 

Bryant Young — The San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle won a Super Bowl his rookie year. In his second season he suffered a gruesome and devastating leg injury that had people wondering if he would walk again, much less play football. In his third season, he was the comeback player of the year. The bulk of his speech focused on his family. Those who heard his words understood why. 

He said that his wife represents everything the Hall of Fame gold jacket represents. “Sacrifice, selflessness, integrity.”

He praised his brothers, one who beat cancer and another one who fought in Operation Desert Storm. Yet his most emotional moments came in talking about his son. Colby Young died of brain cancer at age 15. 

“From my pain, I found purpose.” 

“In an isolated world, personal connections matter more than ever.”

Cliff Branch — The Oakland Raiders wide receiver was known for his blinding speed. He was the heart and soul of the long ball offense that Al Davis loved. In 1983 he combined with Jim Plunkett for a 99 yard touchdown catch. He was a member of all three Raiders Super Bowl wins. He passed away during Hall of Fame weekend in 2019. Owner Mark Davis called Branch his “best friend.” Branch’s sister Elaine Anderson spoke in his honor. 

His entry into the Hall of Fame was “delayed but not denied.”

“21 (Cliff Branch’s number) is seated front and center with Al Davis and John Madden.”

When he was drafted by the Raiders, Cliff’s “blood turned silver and black.” He loved that the fans kept showing up to games with signs that read “speed kills.”

Dick Vermeil — The former Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs coach was known for being very emotional, hugging everyone and crying. He did not disappoint. While everyone else was given six minutes, Vermeil as the final speaker went for 24 minutes. 

He kept giving credit to his players and deflecting it from himself. 

“Players win games.”

He named a bunch of other coaches that he felt deserved to join him in the Hall of Fame. 

Of Philadelphia Eagles fans, Vermeil said “I feel like I know each one of you personally.”

Vermeil mentioned that the Hall of Fame should start adding assistant coaches, beginning with Mike Martz and al Al Saunders. 

He said that he saved his family for last because otherwise he “wouldn’t get through the rest of it.”

Of his wife, he said that, “As a football coach, Carol Vermeil has no equal.” They have been married 66 years. 

He named a bunch of other coaches that he felt deserved to join him in the Hall of Fame. Mike Holmgren, Dan Reeves, Marty Scottenheimer, Mike Shanahan, George Seifert, and Don Coryell were among those he felt should be enshrined. 

He wrapped it up by praising the Greatest Show on Turf players who helped him win a Super Bowl ring with the 1999 Rams.