Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hit the Ground Running

College ball kicks off tonight and we get to look at the LSU Tigers, #2 in the land. It will be interesting to see if QB Matt Flynn will be championship caliber like all the predictions are claiming. Not that MSU is a great team, but from what I saw last year, they play tough and don't exactly give games away to anyone. They have pulled out an occasional upset in the last few years. Hopefully, LSU isn't looking forward towards the Virginia Tech game, or they could get caught off guard.

Boise State returned tonight as well. Let's hear it Bronco fans, give your time some love. I have been talking about Boise for the last 7 years or so, and a friend of mine who happens to be an OU fan would say, " Those teams like William & Mary, Delaware State, and Boise State will never compete with the big dogs." (he's always sarcastic). Well, last years Fiesta Bowl was one of the best nights ever. I was very surprised he answered his phone when the game was over. With Weber State being the Bronco's 1st game, they will certainly start out on the right foot this year.

Iowa State's new chapter also begins. As a fan of Big 12 football, I hope new coach Gene Chizik starts his first year out on a high note. Playing Kent State, I think that he will.

Rutgers and Louisville also have games on the 30th. It will certainly be interesting to see how these teams look at the start of the season, with both of them meeting on November 29 at "the Ville", with possible BCS implications.

College ball is FINALLY HERE!!

High school ball also kicks off this weekend. Leave a comment and give your school some run. HSF is one of the best ways to spend a Friday night. I encourage you to get out there and support your school, and young athletes as they start the new season, Here in Kansas, it's pretty big. Maybe not like Texas or Ohio, but pretty big just the same. In the Wichita City league, there are some good teams that can compete with some of the best in the country. We have the #1 recruit in the country in Arthur Brown for Wichita East and his brother Bryce is the #1 junior. You'll be able to see them on ESPN in a few weeks vs. Dodge city.

Hope this weekend is great for you. Here's to FOOTBALL!!!

Cuts, Cuts, and More Cuts

The NFL regular season is almost here. The preseason is almost over, fantasy drafts are taking place, and the rosters are shortening. One of the most exciting parts of the preseason is when the roster cuts take place.
With some good players not making the cut, it is exciting to see where they will end up, if any place at all. Unfortunately, some players may be at the end of their road. It doesn't look like Rod Gardner will catch on in any NFL offensive system. That just proves that you can have all the physical talent in the world coming out of college, and not be able to make it in the pros. I remember watching him in college and thinking that ht was a big play, electric type receiver, but aside from his first couple of seasons in Washington, he hasn't really had a reason to wear cleats on Sunday.
Some others will also not have a job in a week or so, but some will, and the possibility of someone coming to your team, getting a fresh start and making the team better is exhilarating!
David Terrell and Cedric Hobbs are just two of many who have a lot to prove. Teams who aren't strong at RB or WR may want to look at giving them a shot. But these young kids have to want it. Making it in the NFL is no easy task. Drew Olson was cut in Baltimore; can he really be so bad that he couldn't beat out Kyle Boller for a job? Tim Dwight was cut by the Jets; you know he can win a game if it's a tight one.
Well, it will be a crystal clear picture in a couple of weeks when 32 teams roll out on the field to kick the season off. Good luck to all those who are trying to earn a roster spot.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I watched the Giants vs. Ravens the other day, and John Madden said that is the referees see corner backs grab cloth, they will throw a flag. What? Why can't they let corner backs play defense anymore? A rule like this is going to flood the Hall of Fame with sub par wide outs. I know the league has finally realized that fans like to see a good passing game once in a while, but I don't think any team has a problem selling tickets; at least not yet. Note to the NFL: LET THEM PLAY!!!! Maybe I'm just a little outdated, but I happen to like great defense and a power run game, but then again, so do most Cornhusker fans. I know I know, every year there are rule changes, and every year we get used to them, usually by game 3, but it's still worth talking about.
One last quick topic for all you die hard CFB fans. When should a program not be considered elite or a national power anymore? I'm hearing a lot of chatter about programs like Michigan, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Florida State not being powerhouses anymore. I'll admit that my Huskers, as well as these other teams haven't been dominating like they used to, but I think they still matter in a big way. They still recruit in the top 20 or better. They haven't lost any of their wins. Michigan still goes to the Rose Bowl. So why is it that after a few years of not being on top teams like this are downgraded? They still matter don't they? Nebraska and Michigan have over 800 wins. Who else can say that? It won't be long before these programs will be back in a big way, and college football will be better for it.
~til tomorrow~

Isn't There a Season Left to Play?

As the anticipation for the new season grows, most of us try to watch as many football games as humanly possible. But for those of us who love college football, that anticipation can also bring the desire to shove a foot through the television screen as a few sportscasters are in too much of a hurry to give the crystal football away.

If any of you have been falling Mark May at all, then you know all too well that he has already crowned USC. I mean he makes it sound as though USC could dominate the '85 Bears. I know, I can hear all of you USC fans screaming at me right now, but just hear me out. I'm not saying USC isn't going to win it this year, but let's face it, there are other teams out there that deserve a little respect. And let us not forget the infamous dark horses; the long shots if you will, who come out of nowhere to crash the party. Does anybody remember the 2000 Sooners? All of a sudden BAM! There they were in the Orange Bowl. All you heard was how they didn't have enough offense to hang with Florida State, but in the end they were victorious. How many of you wish you would have bet the under? The same thing happened in 2002 when the Fiesta Bowl hosted the great and powerful Miami vs. Ohio State. Seemed like a total mismatch, but Cane fans were completely blown away.

I don't have "much" of a problem when people make predictions, but when they make it sound like the season doesn't even need to be played, it aggravates me, and I'm sure millions of others out there feel the same way. I really dislike being told that it's going to be another wasted season, and that my team has no chance. Hey, why not just give it all to USC or Texas every year? I'm sure fans of teams like OU, Florida, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and Cal won't have a problem with that. You see, the point most of these overpaid analysts are missing is that they don't have any more of a clue than you or I. And when it's all said and done, isn't it our opinions that really matter since we are the ones buying the tickets to the games and all of the officially licensed merchandise that we proudly display? So one way to look at it is that we are responsible for the product that is seen on the field. I am in no way trying to single out Mark, he is just one example of far too many.

I want to make it clear that you in no way have to agree with what I have written here. Please feel free to post your comments and let your opinion be heard because it matters. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, in fact, that's what makes places like this great, and football great. The passion the fans have for football is unmatched. Period.
~until tomorrow~

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Guide to a Great Tailgating Experience

Ah yes the fun of tailgating! Sitting out in the great outdoors (okay probably a great parking lot) and enjoying good food, good drinks and great friends! What can be better than an old fashioned tailgate party before the game? With football season fast approaching, wanted to bring you a short guide on how to have a great and successful tailgate party this year and every time you throw one!
Step 1: Preparation
The key to having a great tailgating party is to prepare ahead of time. Make sure you have everything that you need well ahead and save yourself the rushing around like a running back on the way to the end zone! To have a great tailgating party, you will of course need a few things: a cooler big enough to store everything in, a gas grill to cook your food, bbq tools for cooking all that great food and of course the food and drink! A great way to get all the above is to purchase the Vulcan Ultimate All-In-One Tailgating Kit at We Have Picnic Baskets! It includes all the above in one neat package.
It has an enormous size cooler to store all your food and drinks, a gas grill to cook your burger, hotdogs or sausages on (propane not included) and a 3 piece bbq set to use with your gas grill! All of this can be shipped right to your door in time for opening kickoff! Of course you will need food for your tailgating party. It is recommended that you use easy to cook food though you could go gourmet if you wanted to! The most popular are burgers, hotdogs and sausages. All of which can be easily stored in your cooler and kept cold. It is very important to keep all of your meets as cold as possible to avoid food poisoning, which would really ruin your game!
Step 2: Game Day
On the day of your tailgating party, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get ready before you leave. Make sure all of your food and drinks are stowed away in your cooler and pack lots of ice around them. Do this even if you are going to be outside in the dead of winter! You want everything to go off perfectly and this is not the time for salmonella to win the game instead of your favorite team! After that, it is time to pack the car or truck and transport all the gear to the stadium parking lot. Once you have arrived there, unpack your cooler, bbq and other supplies and fire up the grill! Of course you probably won’t want to be standing the whole time you are there.
That is why We Have Picnic Baskets has outdoor chairs for you to sit on as well! The Sports Chair features a fold out side table and an insulated drink holder! As well, for the cold games in the dead of winter, you don’t want to sit on a cold hard chair or metal bench at the game, so we have the Stadium Seat to keep you comfortable even through an overtime thriller! That is it! Follow this simple guide, along with all your essentials from We Have Picnic Baskets and you are sure to be a hit in the parking lot with your Vulcan Ultimate All-In-One Tailgating Kit and in the stadium with your Stadium Seat! Enjoy the football season!
Note: This article may be re-used, re-distributed or re-printed without permission of the author as long as the following resource box is left intact.
Chris Weaver is the President of We Have Picnic Baskets We Have Picnic Baskets offers wicker picnic baskets, outdoor furniture and tailgating supplies to the U.S.A. market. Shipping is also available to other countries. See the website for details.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Can You Feel It??

Kickoff is just 2 WEEKS AWAY for college, the NFL pre-season is underway, and 2 a days are going strong at high schools across America. Can you feel it? It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year!!
As the NCAA season kicks off, many questions will be answered. Can anyone stop USC? Will LSU live up to the hype? Will Florida fall off a little? Can anyone in the Big East run the table? Will Oklahoma have the offense to hoist the trophy? Is Nebraska back? Can Texas make it without a hiccup? Is it the year Cal knocks off SC to win the Pac-10? Where will the Big 10 stand after losing 2 BCS games last year? Will someone else emerge and dominate?
The NFL should have it's share of drama as well. Can the Colts repeat? Can the Saints, who were one bad water park accident away from a bad season break through to the big game? What will Eli look like this year? Will Donovan be back to his old self? Can the Raiders get better? Will the Chiefs settle on a QB? Will the Chargers have the same voltage? How 'bout dem Cowboys? will Randy be the difference in New England? Can Vince Young break the curse? Can Garcia put some wind in the Bucs sails? Time will only tell, and I can't wait. The entire league will deliver excitement that all of us neanderthals, as most wives call us this time of year, crave.
Well, I hope this blog think works out. My wife sorta started this thing for me. I'm not sure why, but I think it's so I'll stop talking to her about football.
~til tomorrow~

Welcome and Rambling

Welcome everyone to the inaugural post of the Pigskin, Cleats, and Bail Money blog; a blog dedicated to the greatest sport of all; where anything related to football in any way can be discussed. Absolutely nothing is off limits; however, I would like to keep the language as clean as possible.
If you enjoy talking about football as much as I do, you're going to like it here. Whether it's high school, college, or pro ball on your mind, it certainly has a place here to be talked about.
Now, to answer the question I know you're just dying to ask... Why pigskin, cleats, and bail money? Well, the answer is simple; especially for those of us who have turned on a television in the last few weeks. I chose to include the bail money portion of the title because I wanted people to know that even off field incidents are open for discussion. We have to face the fact that what happens off the field doesn't always stay off the field. The ramifications of poor decisions made in the player's personal lives can carry over onto the field, and have an overwhelming affect on the game. My sincere hope is that Roger Goodell will be able to clean the tarnished image the NFL has been given over the years. But it is important to note that the NFL is not the only league plagued with controversy, it is also prevalent in high schools and colleges around the country, and the problem only seems to worsen with time.
This brings me to the first topic I would like to discuss... Michael Vick. Amazing what the mere mention of his name makes you think about these days. Does the fact that he was a first round draft pick in 2001 even matter now? He has a $100 million dollar contract, but he allegedly has been betting a couple grand here and there on dog fights. Huh? Then there is PacMan, and Tank Johnson, and I could list more. What the heck is wrong with these people? I keep hearing that the young athletes out there are afraid of losing their "street cred" but give me a break!! When you are making $100 million dollars, the world is your oyster. Do you really need "street cred"? I mean what weighs more "street cred" or respectability? I've heard that "street cred" is a form of respect, but I think Michael Vick is learning the hard way that it doesn't mean a damn thing. His so called friends have no respect for him, themselves, or anyone else. As they fold like cheap dime store tents, Michael Vick will take the fall. And what an expensive fall that will be.
I just don't get it. Why can't they just be happy playing football for the NFL? They don't need to live paycheck to paycheck, constantly worrying about how to pay their bills. They can raise their families with the finest luxuries you and I can only dream about. And what about giving back to their communities? Was that just a passing phase? I for one would think living life to it's fullest would be more fulfilling, than breaking laws to impress "friends", but that's just me.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard a member of the media refer to what I've been talking about as a race issue. In fact, they make sure to cram it down your throat so many times that you just want to choke. But I believe the problem lies in the mindset of today's youth, no matter who you are, where you are from, and what color your skin is. What is going on out there? It seems that kids are taking even more drastic measures these days to impress each other, or prove themselves worthy. I remember when I was a kid, we just played. For the most part, everyone got along, and the majority of the time, it was a sport of some kind that brought us together. Sure, there were scraps in the neighborhood, but it was handled one on one, with fists. No one ran to assemble their gang, or grab a weapon to settle it. My how times have changed.