Tag Archives: football

George Blanda R.I.P.

From the Hartford Courant’s AP feed.

The Oakland Raiders announced the death of legendary quarterback and kicker George Blanda on their website Monday.

Blanda, who was 81, played 26 seasons in professional football, including stints with the Chicago Bears, Baltimore Colts and Houston Oilers before playing his final nine seasons with the Raiders. He retired in 1976 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.

He holds several league records, including most PATs attempted (959) and made (943), oldest person to play in an NFL game (48 years, 109 days) and most seasons played.

In tribute, here’s a link to my piece suggesting that he’s the center of the football universe.

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Filed under Degrees, football, pigskin

Is It Time To Retire The Football Helmet?

Slate pointed me towards this Wall Street Journal article from a year ago. It’s something that I have thought of before. I don’t think it was an original thought, I may have picked it up in one of the various cybersalons I hang out in. It’s ironic, that safety equipment such as a football helmet makes a sport more dangerous. I think gloves make boxing more dangerous, too. But the freak I am was enthralled by this little snippet:

Robert Cade, who is better known as an inventor of Gatorade, created a shock-absorbing helmet that was used by a number of NFL players in the 1970s.

I want to read up more about Cade. He sounds like a possible connector that I could write about.

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Quarterback Mayhem I Don’t Understand

This ad doesn’t make sense to me. Why is the driver looking at his left towards the football team then crashing into the motorcycles? Isn’t he heading straight into the team and shouldn’t he crash into some offensive linemen forming a pocket? If he’s looking to the left while staring at the team, he’s driving 90 degrees incorrectly down the road, perpendicular to the path of it. In any case, this ad was funnier to me before I figured out that it’s part of a series featuring Mr. Mayhem.

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Filed under football, pigskin, TV

More Free Darko On Football


I got back into basketball pretty organically. It just sort of happened one summer. Once it took over my life, it wasn’t long before I wanted — or saw that it made sense to be — a generalist. Year-round sports, more material to mine, and the ability to hold my own in any basketball convo that, you know, veered off into another pastime. Comparisons are the devil, but if it weren’t for parallels, life would have no movement to it. If I’m being totally honest, and tired, I’ll have you know that the rush of fantasy sports had something to do with it, too. But I was lazy, uninspired, and it didn’t stick. I don’t think I got that every sport was special in its own way — perhaps too special.

I don’t always agree with Beth Shoals, but I like him as a writer more than any other sports guys. Someone should do a Free Darkoesque blog on baseball. I’ve tried, but failed. One could argue that baseball used to be more Free Darko in it’s glory days, but became less so as athletes with Willie Mays like qualities veered towards other sports. (Mays was a triple threat back in HS. He was a QB not unlike a Vick or Pat White and his best sport may’ve been hoops.) Why did this happen? This wouldn’t be the whole reason, but maybe the AFL and ABA bidding for the services of players showed high school stars that they could make more money playing those than baseball. Joe Namath was a more pivotal figure in sports labor history than I think folks give him credit for.

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Filed under baseball, basketball, beisbol, football, Hoops, pigskin

UConn Power Line

Okay, the Huskies didn’t have a good weekend. but I want to bring some attention to this article from the Journal Inquirer. In particular, I want to highlight this portion:

UConn doesn’t find offensive linemen, it creates them.

“I am looking for guys who are big, athletic and have a good frame,” (O Line coach Mike) Foley said. “They might not be 300-pound guys coming out of high school, but they are athletic and have the frame to build up.”

“The biggest thing is feet. You have to be able to run — not a 40-yard dash, but within a box and have quick feet. We want people light on their feet. To me, it’s easier for us to get them bigger and stronger as opposed to someone who is big and strong, but doesn’t have good feet. It’s tough to make guys quicker.”

The Huskies have done well recruiting players who played the defensive line, and even tight end, in high school. It takes several years to bulk them up to offensive line weight, but once they do, they are much more nimble and athletic than the often-sloth-like 300-pound high school recruits.

“It s good when we bring in guys who we think can possibly play defensive line,” Foley said. “That means they can run. If they can play some defense, that’s a very good thing for an offensive line coach.”

I found that part interesting. While I like football, I’m no expert. Is that the MO of other schools? Do they convert players from other positions or do they normally pick guys who played the oline in high school? BTW, I dig sportswriting like this that goes beyond the basics.

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This Would Have Been An Interesting Post-Baseball Career

Heard this guy on the radio today talking about Hurricane Earl. Thought he might’ve been John Cangeolosi and not John Cangialosi.

In other, unrelated, news Carson Cistulli showed up in my dream the other nite. I don’t recall talking baseball with him, but we discussed the Travers Stakes and fantasy football. The odd thing is that I have no idea what happened in the Travers Stakes this year. I’ve been up to Saratoga a couple of times to see it and it’s a blast, but I haven’t seen my horse racing friends much lately. As for fantasy football, a feeble attempt was made to bring the league together this year, but it looks like it ain’t happening.


Filed under baseball, beisbol, football, Other sports, pigskin

Twenty-Four Precepts From Football Outsiders

Just in time for the football season. Talk to me, people. Wiser folks than me have suggested that “The Curse of 370” is less light than heat, but the rest of the list looks solid.

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