I Have a Gripe

February 5, 2017

Why Tom Brady will Never be “The Greatest”

Today is the greatest day in sports. And we are going to watch two teams fight it out for the Vince Lombardi trophy. The funny thing is if you watch the coverage, it sounds like one team has already won. The Patriots, and more specifically, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

I can’t stand either of these men. There, I said it.

In my opinion, both these men will forever have an asterisk next to their names due to the ongoing allegations (and proven allegations) that they are cheaters.

I have read plenty of articles about how Tom Brady is “the greatest football player of all time.” I couldn’t disagree more.

It is no secret I am a life-long Niners fan and I will argue to the death that Joe Montana is the greatest. However, there are several others that are in the same class.

Terry Bradshaw – This is a four-time Super Bowl winner, who played 16 seasons. He is a two-time Super Bowl MVP and a member of the Hall of Fame. I have always considered him the most underrated quarterback in NFL history. Yes, he was part of a great time, but he definitely brought them to a higher level than they would’ve achieved without him.

Roger Staubach – While playing the man was just stellar. He retired in 1980 with the highest rated passer of all time. For regular-season games, he had a .750 winning percentage. The man was brilliant when it came to his ability to scramble and a Super Bowl winner puts him at the top of the game. Above all that, he served his country admirably in the United States Navy. Imagine what his numbers would’ve been if he didn’t serve?

John Unitas – Now, I know I am reaching back, but let’s look at this man’s accomplishments. He is considered the QB who invented “modern-day quarterbacking.” He threw for 287 touchdown passes in his career and gained 14.2 yards-per-completion. You can’t argue with that.

Dan Marino – Now before you say “he never won a Super Bowl,” hear me out. When he retired in 2000, Marino owned almost every important passing record in the game’s history; most of which stood for 10 years. He had a quick QB mind, a cannon for an arm, and a grace under pressure that was just awesome.

Joe Montana – Last but not least, I have my man, Joe Cool. The man had ice in his veins. He played in four Super Bowls, won three MVPs and threw 11 TDs with no interceptions. Let me say that again – ZERO interceptions. His 10-yard touchdown pass to John Taylor is still the single greatest moment in Super Bowl history in my humble opinion. And no one handles the two-minute offense better – now or since. Period.

So where does Tom Brady sit? With Belichick as a cheater. A documented cry baby who will forever be associated with the Tuck Rule. Does the man have ability? Absolutely. Is he the greatest of all time? Absolutely not.

I want to also mention that these QBs played in eras where it was open season on quarterbacks. They had their clocks cleaned on a regular basis without a second thought. And my back still hurts from watching that hit Montana took against the Giants. Could Brady handle that? No way. He would cry home to his wife.

So sorry Brady fans, you will never convince me otherwise.

What do I say today? Go Atlanta!

 

January 16, 2017

My Problem with Pink

Filed under: Fashion,General Annoyances,Outdoors — alvb1227 @ 6:04 pm
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I hate pink. There I said it.

Yes, I am a girl and I’ve never liked pink. I’ve always liked blue. My formal china has blue in it, most of my clothes are blue, even my car is blue!

pink-shirtSo when I recently went on Bass Pro Shops to place an order, I always check out the latest hunting and fishing shirts. I saw one that I really liked. The problem? It was pink.

You have a “reel women” saying…but it is pink.

Needless to say I didn’t purchase it.

Yes, I am an angler – do I really need to have a pink shirt? I looked at the other shirt options they had available. Almost EVERY other shirt had some kind of pink in it. Pink camo? Seriously?

I remember a similar annoyance brought to attention by Alyssa Milano. She was annoyed that the only women’s shirts for NFL teams were – you guessed – in pink. So she launched her own line of NFL wear. I love it! It is stylish and you get to show off the love for your favorite team with more than just a pink jersey.

So what do I say to Bass Pro? Recognize that the women looking at your merchandise do not want pink. You will make more sales if you offer more colors and grown-up styles.

August 30, 2016

Freedom of Expression vs. Freedom from Consequences

“There’s a place in the world for the angry young man. With his working class ties and his radical plans. He refuses to bend he refuses to crawl. And he’s always at home with his back to the wall. And he’s proud of his scars and the battles he’s lost. And struggles and bleeds as he hangs on his cross. And likes to be known as the angry young man”
~ Billy Joel

So last week Colin Kaepernick turned a hose on the hornet’s nest by choosing to sit during the National Anthem before a pre-season game when the San Francisco 49ers took on the Green Bay Packers. His reason was to protest the treatment of minorities by police and other groups within the United States.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

I have been a fan of the Niners since childhood. I had a SERIOUS crush on Joe Montana. I thought it was terrible when Alex Smith was traded and Kaepernick took over as the first string quarterback. But, I went with it. I thought he was a good player, but I didn’t think it was right that Smith lost his job because he was injured.

Kaepernick’s decision has sparked commentary, debate, and anger from what seems like every side of the ongoing discussion about race in the United States today. Personally, I disagree with his decision to sit down. I feel it is disrespectful to all of the members of the military and their families that sacrifice for our freedom. I love my country and I can’t imagine not standing.

The NFL does not have a policy on making players stand during the National Anthem. I know of people who do not stand during the Pledge of Allegiance or the Anthem and while I disagree with their decision to do so, it is their right to not participate.

Everyone makes their own decisions. That’s what this country is all about. We need to be willing to tolerate decisions made by others, even when we don’t agree. It is when people refuse to listen to each other when we don’t agree that debate turns to hateful vitriol.

Now what?

So Kap stirred up debate across the country. He has everyone’s attention. Now what? I would hope he uses this attention to do something positive. Go into communities where you feel there are issues and start a dialogue. Listen to everyone. Respect flows both ways.

Here’s the rub…

Now here’s where things get rough. Exercising your freedom of expression can come with consequences. There are rumors that Kap may be released from the Niners. He hasn’t been performing well, but it is interesting that this rumor begins to circulate right after he refuses to stand for the National Anthem. The point to remember is that if you are going to go out on a limb you need to be ready for whatever comes your way. Some people will be supportive and understanding, while others will vocally disagree. Still others will reduce to name calling and other nonsense.

“I believe I’ve passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage. I found that just surviving was a noble fight. I once believed in causes too. I had my pointless point of view. And life went on no matter who was wrong or right.”
~ Billy Joel

There have been times over the years where I opened my mouth in the name of what I felt was right. Sometimes the wind was with me and other times I got hit hard. I used to be a pretty serious hot head. Call it getting old (I prefer to call it “wisdom in age”), but maybe I am learning to approach things differently. I try to remember the old “honey vs. vinegar” line. I try to remind myself that I have not walked in someone’s shoes. Yes, I still get angry, but I try to stay calm and hear the other side before I spin like a top. When someone starts yelling, I stop listening, so I assume others will do the same. It doesn’t always work, but I try to remember that we are all works in progress.

January 27, 2014

The NEW JERSEY Super Bowl

I love football. And even though my team isn’t in it this year (they were robbed by bad calls in Seattle), I was looking forward to watching the game taking place in my home state. Note the use of the word “was.” My gripe? The fact is everyone from advertisers, to the news media to the NFL seems to have forgotten that the game is actually in New Jersey – not New York.

From the moment I saw the logo with “NY” listed first, I knew we were in for an uphill battle. The Verizon commercial deciding if Terry Bradshaw or the little girl will go to New York sent my blood pressure to the stratosphere. And as much as I love Bradshaw, I turned off the post-game activity the moment he asked about how Seattle feels about going to New York.

Um, you realize if they go to New York they will miss the game, right?

The teams are landing in NEW JERSEY.

The teams are staying in NEW JERSEY.

The game is being played in NEW JERSEY.

New York is shutting down Broadway for a huge NFL/Superbowl event. Meanwhile, the parties in New Jersey were denied use of the logo by NFL.

Seriously?

As expected, New York will gain the majority of the financial windfall that comes with hosting a Super Bowl, meanwhile, New Jersey will get stuck paying the bill for security and logistics. It reminds me of co-hosting a party where one person does all the work and the other person, just because he or she is an extrovert, gets all the credit. Meanwhile, you’re out a ton of money and are stuck cleaning vomit out of the carpet.

Just like Rodney Dangerfield often said, “no respect.”

September 27, 2013

What Ever Happened to Loyalty?

Filed under: Celebrity,Economy,General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 1:38 am
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“I’m just enjoying being here, and I’m going to enjoy the last day, being here with all these guys. Nobody said I’m leaving; nobody said I’m staying. I haven’t decided anything yet.” ~Robinson Cano

I have enjoyed watching sports since I was a kid. Whether it was football on Sunday or sitting with my Uncle Sonny on Saturdays as we ate the olives that were supposed to be for Sunday’s salad while we watched baseball. But I really can’t believe what professional sports is now.

I grew up watching Bradshaw play for the Steelers and Mattingly play for the Yankees. They played for the same teams their entire careers. They believed in loyalty and fans rooted for a team and typical working-class people could actually afford to go to a game or two during the season.

Fast forward to today…

Now, there are mega-stadiums with ticket prices that are just beyond reality. Tickets for a NY Giants game run from $110 to a ridiculous $725 and the cost to just park your car starts at $30. And why not? You have professional sports players like Robinson Cano of the Yankees expecting a $305 million for a 10-year deal, and if the Yankees don’t cough it up, he’ll just go somewhere else. Period.

Um, any of these guys ever hear of loyalty?

My husband and I will on occasion watch a Yankees game and always discuss how many empty seats there are behind home plate.

Now the capitalist in me says that they should  be able to charge what they want for tickets and players’ salaries should be based on what teams are willing to pay. But I have to say this is just so beyond reality it is offensive.

A large number of these guys can barely put two sentences together intelligently and speak like they have marbles in their mouth. In the football off season this year NFL players were arrested or charged with crimes at least 37 times, including 10 players accused of driving drunk and a murder indictment for ex-New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, according to an article in USA Today.

Way to be good role models guys.

My beloved state will play host to the Super Bowl this season. I really wanted to get tickets figuring this is the closest I will ever get to see one in person. Do you know how much it will cost for nosebleeds? $3,000! So much for going to the game.

What happened to fathers taking their sons to a baseball game?  Can anyone afford this any more? I am guessing this is why minor league ball is becoming so popular. People can actually afford the prices.

There are lessons that can be learned from sports – being a good winner, a gracious loser, teamwork, fair play, work ethic, the list could easily go on. Unfortunately, all too many players today are about greed, excessive lifestyles, a lack of education, and a complete lack of respect for the law.

Oh yeah, and a lack of loyalty.

Like I said, way to be good roles models guys.

March 12, 2011

Letter from Roger Goodell – Shameful

Filed under: Economy,General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 4:54 pm
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has appealed directly to the fans by emailing out a letter to everyone on their mailing list. I received this email and I was outraged.

I sent Mr. Goodell the following response:

Dear Mr. Goodell,
I received your email to the fans of the NFL and wanted to express my outrage for everyone involved.

In today’s economy people are out of work, barely hanging on to their homes and truly struggling. And what is happening here? Both sides are fighting over how to split up the billions made by the NFL. I think it is important to remember it is the fans who pay the outrageous ticket prices and purchase over-priced jerseys. In my opinion, all involved are incredibly selfish and insensitive.

The players make millions doing exactly what they want to do. Add to that the endless opportunities for product endorsements and the potential for television analyst jobs after their playing career has ended.

The owners spend more and more on mega-stadiums and expect the fans to pay, often in the minimum triple-digits, for tickets. Add to that the cost of parking, some food and a souvenir of some type, and you can could be looking at a thousand-dollar day for a family to see a game.

Meanwhile, the NFL, and you specifically Mr. Goodell, sent out a letter to the fans of the NFL saying “First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.” Well, I would have to say sir, the fans are last on the list of all those involved.

I would like to remind you all of the ramifications of the last lock-out. It took a long time to win back the fans of the NFL. If it happens again in the midst of so many struggling to make ends meet, the NFL will suffer more now than the last time. It will appear just as it seems to me – millionaires fighting over billions.

Shame on all of you,

Do I think he will see or read this? I highly doubt it. However, the NFL, the players union and the owners need to understand exactly what is at stake if the season goes to a lock-out and doesn’t happen. As usual, many who make millions, even if they are self-made, have forgotten what “normal” day-to-day life is all about. Honestly, I doubt they really care.

February 7, 2011

NFL Players Union vs. Owners: The Ultimate Nonsensical Showdown

While the football season is over by less than one day, reports on the news about collective bargaining have already begun. Some are already even talking about a lockout for the next season. I’m sorry, but if you ask me, both sides need their heads smacked together like Moe.

So most of these team owners are billionaires and most of the players are millionaires, plus the  millions they make in endorsements. The NFL wants to extend the season by two games, the players want more money (big shock) and the owners don’t want to share (again, big shock).

So, let’s make the assumption that everyone doesn’t play nice and they go to the lockout. Who is this really going to hurt? The guys who sell the hot dogs, the people who take the tickets and all the other people with jobs related to the games, but don’t play in them. I seriously doubt that any of these individuals are millionaires.

So what is this really all about in my opinion? One word: Greed! The median salary for an “average” player is roughly $700,000. The median salary for the “average Joe” is $46,000.

Also, let’s think about the prices of tickets for a game. In 2010, Giants tickets increased 26 percent to $111 for an average ticket and Jets increased 31.8 percent to $114 on average according to an article on the New York Post website. So, when a father wants to take their child to a game, when you count up two tickets, parking, a couple of hot dogs and sodas and maybe some kind of souvenir, we are up around $500 for the day. Seriously, who can really afford that?

So while all the boys posture for position, I suggest they remember who their fans are and what it costs for them to attend a game. Ultimately, if they go to lockout, it will hurt the NFL big time. In today’s society of high unemployment and making tough family budget decisions, I think the fans will retaliate and just like the last lockout,  it will take a long time to win back the fans.

Trust me, the NFL, the owners, the players; they will gain sympathy from no one. They all need a dose of reality.

It is Our National Anthem – Don’t Embellish

Filed under: Celebrity,General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 12:15 am
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So today is one of the unofficial American holidays – the Super Bowl. I love watching football. As a kid, there was nothing like Sundays in my house. We had fans of the Giants, the Steelers, the Redskins, the Niners (me), the Houston Oilers (yes, that’s how long ago I’m talking), the Cowboys and probably more that I am forgetting. While we are a proud Jersey family, there were three Giants fans in my house throughout my life.

I have to say I really enjoyed the pre-game Fox did this year. The reading of the Declaration of Independence was great. What bugged me was the National Anthem.

First of all, it is our National Anthem. There should be ZERO embellishment. If singers want to embellish or put their own spin on something, then do that with your own songs. Not the song of America. I know some of you are thinking “this is America, we are all about individualism.” Yeah, well, not when it comes to the song that defines us as a nation.

Second of all, KNOW THE FREAKIN’ WORDS! Yes, this is a huge venue. Yes, I’m sure there is pressure. But you know what? You’re supposedly a professional – act like it. If you can’t handle the jitters, then don’t accept the gig.

So, what do we take away from this Christi–uh–children? Play is straight and know the words. You’re an American after all.

Yes, this makes me nuts. This is why…I have a gripe!

December 28, 2010

Philly’s Wussy-Bowl

Filed under: General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 9:17 pm
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I have to agree with Pennsylvania’s Governor Ed Rendell, we are a nation of wussies.

For the first time since the 1940’s, a football game will be played on Tuesday night. This is due to the blizzard that occurred up and down the eastern seaboard over the weekend.

Now, I hate the cold. I would NEVER go to a game in this type of weather, however, this is what football is all about. We all remember watching the old NFL films of “the frozen tundra.” This is classic football. What about now you ask? Now we are a feel-good, everybody wins/nobody loses kind of society. This is about more than a football game. This speaks to our society as a whole.

You may think I am over-reacting, but I think not. As I seem to be saying it a lot lately, we need to “man-up” as a country. We can start with the simple things. Like having guys who make a boat load of money actually play football in the snow. Vince Lombardi must be spinning in his grave.

October 16, 2010

Football, Loyalty and Perfection

OK, I’ll admit, many may see this as a post discussing something somewhat, well, silly, compared to the major issues of today. However, trust me when I tell you, read to the end and you will see there is a message here.

I love professional football. I grew up watching football in a household with Giants fans, Pittsburgh fans, Houston (Oilers, that is) fans, Redskins fans and San Francisco fans (me). Sunday was an awesome day in my house. Grandma’s macaroni and fried meatballs, my cousins over, playing gin with my Uncle Tony, and of course, football. It was a great day.

Those were the days of Staubach, Bradshaw, Montana, Swann, Payton and Rice. Whenever I play the “Pick Six” in New Jersey, I actually have a set of numbers that are all the jersey numbers of my favorite players. I remember watching “The Steel Curtain” and loving every minute of it.

Now, why am I telling you all this, you are probably wondering at this point? It is simple, these players, and those teams, represented two things to me; the constant pursuit of perfection and loyalty. They worked as a team and not as an individual just trying to increase their numbers so they could negotiate a better contract. There was no such thing as collective bargaining and there was respect for your coach. You started your NFL career with a team and you ended your career with that team. I mean, seriously, can you imaging Bradshaw playing in Minnesota? Payton in Buffalo? Never. Period.

When Montana left San Francisco to go to Kansas City, I was not just mad at San Francisco management for treating a player that defined the meaning of excellence, but I was mad at him. He was a 49er. How could he ever be part of any other team? It killed me. Over time, I got over it, but it still killed me. This is my favorite player of all time. He was single-handedly the reason why I was, and always will be, a San Francisco fan. Just like back then with the players, fans stick with their team through good times and bad.

Players today could learn by taking a page from these classic players. They believed in teamwork and loyalty. They played for the love of the game. They were aware that their actions off the field were a reflection on not just them, but their team. Everyone is entitled to make a good living, but the showboating and bragging that goes on today and the attention they require is shameful. Look at that nonsense with Darrelle Revis this year. Shameful.

These players taught important life lessons, not just lessons on the field.

See? I told you there was a point. I hope I made it.

 

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