By Cheval John
The most anticipated event of the year in the National Football League (NFL), the 50th SuperBowl is set to become reality tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. eastern, 3:30 p.m. pacific.
For a lot of people, this SuperBowl is the most spread out in history.
According to the Houston Chronicle‘s John McClain, the NFL’s media center headquarters is in the city and county of San Francisco, while the media day event that took place on Monday night is in San Jose, 48 miles south of San Francisco.
Another observation that Mr. McClain noted in his article for the Chronicle is that the teams who are participating in this momentous event are based in different parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Denver Broncos are practicing and staying at a hotel in the city of San Francisco.
The Carolina Panthers are practicing and staying in San Jose.
So the logistics of the whole SuperBowl events taken place in the San Francisco Bay area, are in a lot of ways a nightmare.
For veteran sports journalists like Mr. McClain, who have covered the NFL for the Houston Chronicle for 35 years, and Charean Williams, writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who is in her 22th year of covering the NFL, the travel will be challenging and at the same time fun.
As Jackie McMullan mentioned years ago during an behind the scenes of ESPN’s, “Around The Horn,” the SuperBowl is where journalists are working extremely harder because they have to cover stories like never before.
They have to showcase every angle of what is happening at the city that is hosting the SuperBowl.
In the case of this SuperBowl being held in the San Francisco Bay area, these journalists will have to travel long distances to do interviews with the football players who are participating in the SuperBowl, go to the NFL Awards show, plus go to the NFL meetings where the commissioner of the NFL address the state of the football league that he is in charge of.
One can ask, what if the 49ners was still playing their football matchups at the old CandleStick Park in the city of San Francisco, would there have been a SuperBowl in the Bay area?
I can honestly guess that the San Francisco Bay area would not have hosted the SuperBowl if the 49ners have played their home matchups in their old stadium.
But because of the newly built Levi’s Stadium in the city of Santa Clara, which has a population of over 120,000, they were able to lure the NFL to host the big matchup in their area and bring in a whole lot of revenue to their respective cities.
Plus, they will be able to gain more national and even international attention like never before.
For example, the mayor of Santa Clara, Jamie L. Matthews, was featured in the New York Times about how he will not attend the SuperBowl despite getting a free ticket.
Though it was not planned, Mr. Matthews’ “refusal” to attend the SuperBowl that is being hosted in his city, has gotten a lot of press because people were curious to know why he would turn down a free ticket when many others are paying thousands of dollars to be at the stadium.
So for those who have traveled to the San Francisco Bay area for the SuperBowl, I commend you because y’all can say that you were at the most wide-spread SuperBowl event in history.
As for the predictions of who will win the SuperBowl?
I will say that the Denver Broncos will surprise everyone and defeat the heavily favored Carolina Panthers.
And everyone else who live in the Denver area like my friend and coach, Tamara McCleary, are also believing for a Broncos win.
By Cheval John
The National Football League (NFL) playoffs began yesterday.
You can say that the playoffs set the tone for what we are anticipating to see.
Except someone forgot to tell the Houston Texans.
The Texans was shutout by the Kansas City Chiefs 30-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 71,000 people at NRG Stadium.
It was the worst loss in playoff history for the Texans.
Video courtesy of NFL
The last time Houston, who was at the time the Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) experienced a loss in the opening round of the playoffs was in 1993 against the same Kansas City team.
Joe Montana,who was a former San Francisco 49er quarterback, led the Chiefs to a 24-21 nailbiter at the Astrodome.
What is ironic is that another former 49ner by the name of Alex Smith, led the Chiefs to that epic beatdown that left the city of Houston wondering why they could not score a single touchdown.
In reality, the Texans was doomed from the start when Knile Davis returned the opening kick-off for a 106-yard touchdown that took the life out of the crowd.
The kick-off return was the second longest in playoff history.
Then the Texans offense could not muster a drive for most of the matchup as Brian Hoyer, a.k.a., Mr. Interception waiting to happen, threw four interceptions and had a fumble.
One of those interceptions happened when the Texans were in the red zone as they were trailing 13-0 at the closing minutes of the second quarter.
Before that, head coach Bill O’Brien send out J.J. Watt, who led the league in sacks,and Vincent Wolfork out on offense to try and throw off the Chiefs’ defense.
Watt, who was suffering from a hamstring injury and a broken bone in his wrist, was stopped at the line of scrimmage for a 1-yard loss.
Then “Mr. Interception waiting to happen,” threw an interception that killed the drive and hope of a chance for the Texans to make a comeback.
The fans booed their team like they deserved.
And despite the worst loss in playoff history, I still see the Texans and their fans as being one of the classiest and well-run organizations in the NFL.
Which leads me to the Cincinnati Bengals and their fans’ lack of class.
The Bengals was trying to win their first playoff game since 1990 when Boomer Esiason was their quarterback.
Cincinnati’s previous 6 losses were heartbreakers.
Many were questioning if head coach Marvin Lewis, who have a 112-90 regular season record with the Bengals was the correct person to be their coach since all of his previous 6 playoff appearances were losses.
But before we get into the implosion of the Bengals, let’s focus on the fans.
When Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlesberger went down with a shoulder injury, the fans not only cheered, but they threw stuff towards his direction.
That classlessness by the Bengals fan base made the Philadelphia Eagles’ fans look like saints.
It was clear that they were bad blood between the Bengals and Steelers.
However, one have to understand that it is just a game and life moves on.
The fact that some of the fans or the majority of them threw stuff at Roethlesberger showed their true characters.
And maybe their disgraceful behavior inspired the Bengals defense to commit two stupid penalties on one play with less than a 1 minute left that allowed the Steelers to kick a game-winning field goal.
The Bengals scored 16 unanswered points to take a 16-15 lead with about two minutes left.
Then Jeremy Hill fumbled the football trying to run out the clock.
During the Steelers march across the field, Roethlesberger fired a pass for receiver Antonio Brown and Brown missed the football.
On that same play, defensive player Vontanze Burfict hit Brown in the head and was called for a 15-yard unneccesary roughness penalty.
During that moment when the referees was discussing the penalty, Bengals’ defensive player Adam Jones threw a punch at Steelers’ assistant Joey Porter that led to another 15 yard penalty on the Bengals.
All of a sudden, the Steelers was in field goal range and they were able to convert the game-winning field goal that sent the Bengals packing.
Video courtesy of NFL
If those two stupid penalties did not occur, Cincinnati would have broken their playoff winless streak and Mr. Lewis would not have to worry about having an 0-7 playoff record.
However, this also shows the lack of leadership that Cincinnati has because coach Lewis allowed his team to lose control.
He did not stress to his team that despite the bad blood, they had to maintain their professionalism during critical moments of the game against the Steelers.
If an employee was to act like an idiot during an important meeting with a potential client that would lead to them gaining business for their company for the better, the CEO and executives would not only fire that employee, they would fire their boss as well.
The reason is because the employees are a reflection of their bosses.
If they act correctly for the better, then their bosses will look good in front of the CEO.
In this case, the lack of discipline by the Bengals defense made coach Lewis look bad in front a national audience.
And if coach Lewis is not fired because of the mediocrity and lack of discipline that the Bengals shown during his time as their coach, then the Bengals organization is sending a message that we accept mediocrity.
By Cheval John
According to a report by Gabe Zaldivar of the Bleacher Reporter, Favre’s agent Bus Cook commented that the future Hall-of-Famer can make a comeback to the NFL.
Favre, who retired officially three years ago, seems like a person who loves the limelight.
Cook says that he is not trying to start any rumors about Favre’s possible return.
Really? And I’m not trying to say that pigs can fly.
Could it be that Mr. Favre, who also does the Wrangler Jeans commercials, is a little envious of the attention that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is receiving after he dissected the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football?
Or is it the fact that Manning became the first quarterback to throw for an NFL-record 12 scores and no interceptions by week 3 and has the possibility to break Favre’s career touchdown record?
I don’t know.
But the only thing I can say is that I don’t want a guy, who purposely held the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings hostage, to make a return to the NFL.
Mr. Cook’s announcement shows that Favre is willing to step over people to bring attention to himself.
If it was anyone else, you would hear an outcry on how selfish they are to get their agent to put out a report in the middle of one of the greatest accomplishments by Manning.
I understand that he is a future Hall-of-Famer and has passed for over 70,000 yards, 500 touchdowns, won a SuperBowl and is considered the “Iron Man” because of his consecutive games played.
Because it was Favre, he gets a pass and that will encourage him to continue doing what he does best:Grabbing as much attention as he can possibly get.
Like if you agree with this commentary. Comment if you disagree.