Cincinnati, never really noticed you before

Let me just say that anyone that knows this song is at least as old as me, and must have been a fan of this group, given this was the B side of one of their early hits. And sadly, thats why I cant find a ‘live’ video of it, I guess?

Most of the PR stuff I’ve seen coming out of the NFL this season, especially fan wise, has not been pretty, so I thought I’d better mention this, to try and balance the books. At the weekend, was the final week of the regular season. Remarkably, after 17 years of playoff frustration, Buffalo were still in contention for a place. Admittedly, a couple of results had to go their way, one of which involved them winning, which they did, but with a few minutes to go in other games, it was not going to be enough to break that jinx.

Why, because Baltimore were winning, Tennessee had already won, and if things stayed that way, then those 2 teams were going into the playoffs, and Buffalo would miss out yet again. But then, in Baltimore, the Cincinnati quarterback, Andy Dalton threw up a pass, someone caught it, scored a touchdown, took the lead, and suddenly Buffalo were in the playoffs! Yes, delighted, but thats not what this is all about.

You see, Andy Dalton, and his wife have set up a foundation that donates money to childrens causes in both Cincinnati, and the Fort Worth area (which I assume is where he is from?), and all of a sudden, some grateful Buffalo fans started making donations to it, mainly $17 (relating to the years of hurt), and then it all went viral! As of earlier today, grateful Buffalo fans (and possibly players, officials, and owners?) have donated over $200,000 to his foundation!

And all because of one pass, from a player on a team for whom victory wasnt going to change anything, but now… a lot of children will be very grateful to him for doing it. A moment that has turned into a wonderful story.

OK, the video, or tonight, the non video, of a moving kind at least. This 1971 B side seemed the most obvious song to use, somehow!

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Sudden death with Buffalo

No, dont worry, its nothing serious thats happened, just the opposite in fact. But I had to do something to fit in with the video lol!

Yes, within the next hour or so, all the American Football left this season will be sudden death, knock out stuff. As I write this, the last ‘normal’ Bowls are being played, the last NFL season games were played yesterday, so after that…

Firstly, tonight, we get the 2 college football ‘semi finals’ for want of a better word, where Georgia take on Oklahoma, and Clemson take on Alabama. A week later, the two winners get to meet for their Championship. The most interesting thing for me has been the multiple shots of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, to be honest. Well, except that with a little more discovery work today, I now know where, and when a certain young lady was born in Oklahoma! Yes, on 6th September 1905, a baby girl was born somewhere in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. Thats right, a baby named Clara Elaine Johnson! Tried googling for Oklahoma birth and death records, tried her name on the site, then lo, and behold… Looking at a map, she wouldnt have been a million miles from where Oklahoma University would have been! Of course, given she left Texas for LA in 1925, how long she lived there, no idea?

Ah, the title of the blog? Yes, thats the NFL bit. For over 30 years, through thick and thin, I’ve supported the Buffalo Bills. The late 80’s, and most of the 90’s were pretty good times, but other than that, no! Until yesterday, they were the team with the longest interval since previously being in the play offs, 18 years. Not now!
It wasnt hard to see them winning before I went to bed last night, and Baltimore were losing, 2 facts which meant they would be in, but there was still about a half of football to go for each. Bills won, but until nearly the end, Baltimore were clinging on for a win seemingly, then Cincinnati scored, Baltimore lost, and Buffalo were in the play offs.

Oh fine, I found out when I opened my emails this morning (one was from team, mentioning they were in play offs), which made a nice way to start 2018! They now get to play Jacksonville, who were last in the play offs in 2007, and last played a home play off game in 1999, the last time Buffalo made the play offs! No, they didnt play each other then! Oh, and I’d better mention the Los Angeles Rams, who won their division, leading to the first play off game in LA since 1994, though for much of that time, no team was in town! By coincidence, leading to another Georgia team heading to LA!

Right, video time. For those of you who read both, I used this video on the other blog recently, so you’re not seeing things. For those who dont, enjoy a classic 30’s musical! And all those girls sharing sleeping berths, shocking stuff lol! 😛

Last cut is the deepest

Its hard to believe that its nearly time for the NFL season to start seriously again, but this time next week, we’ll be looking at the opening game, and Kate and I will be gently teasing each other, as its Kansas City, against New England, so that will be fun! Its just a shame that its 2 days before we could have watched it together, and stirred each other up together, but such is life. The likely possibility, given New England wont be playing on the Sunday, is that I will get to see the Buffalo Bills, play the New York Jets, 2 teams that pretty much seem to be throwing away their seasons before they even get started. Yes, strictly the Bills are my team, but I’ve seen so much awful right wing, racist stuff written by their fans on social media of late (mostly about the anthem stuff), that I find it hard to get involved with them, in truth. Oh, and not to forget, the Monday night game, and my one chance this autumn to see the gorgeousness that is Jon Gruden! Swoon!

But why now, why the blog title, you ask? Well, tonight marks the last round of pre season games (other than the one in Texas, cancelled for obvious reasons), and after that, the huge squads that the teams currently carry, have to be trimmed back drastically. Most of those getting the chop will be players we’ve never heard of, but some of whom will either be plucked up for practice squads, or selected when injuries start to take their toll on teams. There will also be a number of relatively ‘more famous’ players who will be cut, for salary reasons. Again some will be plucked by other teams, some will get picked when injuries strike, but for a few, that will be it.

Before I sound too sorry for them, lets just remember what crazy salaries these people earn! In some cases, cutting 1 player cuts $6 million from a wage bill! But yes, for those young men, its still a tough time, if you’re the one thats cut. And thats on top of those who should have, but never got called to a team this summer…whistles innocently…

No, I’d have made a lousy cheerleader, even when I was young, lol! 😛

The video, you could say, as so often, there is a clue in the title. This is pretty much the original version of the song, Cat Stevens, from 1967! Yes, I really am that old, I was 9 then!

Fake news has its moments!

Generally I find all these ‘fake news’ websites about as entertaining as watching paint dry, yes, really that good. Generally, for me at least, they are so ridiculous that even if you dont know they are fake (some are less subtle about the matter than others), that anyone with half an ounce of sense can see through them. Unfortunately, at times there seem to be more than a number of people who clearly lack that half ounce, but in a sense, it doesnt matter, I just laugh it off, and move on…

But yes, sometimes, they just get scary!

Let me just say that it didnt take me very long to spot one big difference between the UK, and the US, its the playing of the national anthem at sporting events. Over here, generally, unless its an International match (or a cup final) of some kind, the national anthem doesnt get played. In the US however, its played everywhere, and every time! Fine, each to their own, and I always sing the US anthem when at a sporting event over there, and indeed the Canadian one, when I went to a baseball game in Toronto. Oh, and an Ice Hockey game in Seattle, when the opponents were from north of the border too! In truth, I prefer both to our own, but anyway…

Last year, rightly, or otherwise, a quarterback from San Francisco (though the team actually now play some distance from that city) decided not to stand for the US national anthem, to protest against police violence, or something. Personally, I think he was wrong, but if it was his stance, and he was free to do so…?

Anyway, to keep it brief, end of last season, he, and his team parted ways. I believe he was a free agent, but as a ‘fair’ player of his position, you’d expect him to be snapped up by someone as a back up at least. No, they havent! Related issues, quite likely, it seems!

OK, as a follower of the Buffalo Bills (no, I dont get passionate enough about any sports team to really qualify as a fan), I sort of follow a few related pages about them. Last night, on Facebook, someone posted an obviously fake news page saying that this quarterback (Colin Kaepernick, if you hadnt already worked it out) had signed for one of their divisional rivals.

Basically several hundred comments erupted on the thread, and if ten of them could be read by children, I’d be amazed! The vitriol relating to what they would do to Kaepernick, Jets staff, or in general, anyone even who supported the Jets was awful! Let me say that I dont know if this is a general rabid NFL fans syndrome, specifically a Bills one, or what? Given its only a fan board, I’m not expecting the team to comment on the matter, but if that kind of Neanderthal thinking sums up Bills fans only, I think I want to support another team! I suspect its worse than that, but hopefully not! Equally, I guess this is the reaction only of a small minority, but it makes me sad, all the same.

So no, I might not agree with Kaepernick’s stance, but if this is the reaction of others, to a piece of fake news, then yes, it scares, and depresses me!

Video time. A piece of 70’s kitsch, and not even a good one. But given what his original protest was about the treatment of, by police, I couldnt resist. Yes, clothes were really this awful in the 70’s believe me!

Panic in the offices of the NFL, and their teams

Strictly, we are just over a week into the new NFL season, and we already have our first sacking, clearly the signs of panic in the offices of the Buffalo Bills, who unfortunately I support! Admittedly, they are the only team to have lost 2 games already, which isnt saying a lot, but given I rate the coach as highly as I rate Trump (not at all), in truth, I’m not surprised.

What is ironic though, is that its the offensive coordinator who paid the price, even though they scored 31 points on Thursday. Its just that the incompetent defense gave up 37 points, but oh, the defensive coordinator is the brother of the head coach, so he couldnt possibly be blamed for that lol!

Dont get me wrong, if there are long term issues, then changes do have to be made, but 1 week into the season isnt long term! Sadly, and probably why I’m going off so many sports nowadays, is the demand that win now, or be gone, is becoming the attitude of both team management, and the fans! Not that it only happens in the NFL, happens in a lot of sports nowadays, I’m afraid.

Fine, I’d be tempted to change my affiliation to the L.A team, but they look as bad as Buffalo, though they havent sacked anyone yet. Mind, given they dont play their second game until tomorrow…give them time?

Sadly, the NFL head office hasnt looked a lot better so far this season, to be honest. After all the fuss made about protecting players, and concussion protocols being talked up in the summer, that didnt even last through the first game, last Thursday. Cam Newton was battered by the Denver defense, and near the end of the game, took a hit that really should have seen him taken from the pitch, and checked out. But because it was near the end of the game, and on a potential winning drive (it didnt in the end), somehow he stayed on the pitch!

I know, prime time TV, and an exciting finish, but if you are going to say that these are the rules, you have to stick to them!

Now, they have the kick off issues too, which they are making a joke of. They changed the rules, to try and eliminate kick off returns, the most dangerous part of the game collision wise, but if the first week is anything to go by, it hasnt worked. Maybe because kickers are now trying to drop the ball into the field of play, so teams have to return it, rather than just starting with a touch back, ah well…

So yes, we have panic in the NFL offices, and team offices, not a good thing for a game desperately seeking respect, as more parents decide they dont want their children to play Football, because of the dangers involved!

OK, the video. No idea why, because its more about politics, than sport, but this came to mind

Lets get physical!

Yes, you know summer is nearly over, when the start of the NFL season is fast approaching. Yes, the season proper starts on Thursday evening (Early Friday morning here in the UK), and thats a pretty good clue that Autumn/Fall is beginning to draw near. Yes, I know, different titles each side of the pond, and given where most of my readers are lol.

I’ll be honest with you, anyone looking for shrewd advice on who are going to be good, who are going to be bad this season, not a clue. The AFC seems a total mess, as no one seemingly knows how good the Denver QB is going to be, and New England will be without Brady for 4 weeks, so how things will play out there, not a clue. In the NFC, Minnesota may have looked a decent outsider until their QB got injured, and is out for the season. Dallas, as always will be talked up, but their QB situation is even more of a mess! But yes, you can make a case for Carolina, Seattle, Green Bay, and Arizona at least, I guess?

Of the teams I sort of follow, Kansas City might have a chance in the maelstrom that is the AFC, but Buffalo just look as big a mess as ever, and though I’d love to see them do well (30 years of support), I cant see it! Of course, the other team I guess I will keep an eye on this year, due to location, is the Los Angeles (formerly St Louis) Rams. Mind, I cant see them being any good either, but…

Yes, sort of makes it obvious if you look at the schedule, the one game I’d love to be at this season. Yes, Buffalo, in Los Angeles, simple as that! Not going to happen, not going to be on TV over here, so if someone has got piles of unwanted money, and wants to spend some on me? No, didnt think so!

Oh, and lastly, while we’re talking LA sporting action, I got one piece of great news this week. My second favorite Dodger (after Vin Scully), Clayton Kershaw is finally back in action, did a minor league game last night, so fingers crossed, he’ll be back with the Dodgers soon. Just think, this year, he might not be burnt out if we reach the playoffs, and actually perform well. Fine, he might not, but dreaming, you bet!

Lastly, the video. Clue in the blog title, you bet! And ONJ is in this, but its not the original video!

I’m going to live forever

No, not me hopefully, unless its living as a robot, anyway! To be truthful, the human me is so beaten up already, that while not saying I’m ready to die just yet, I certainly dont want to live that long, either!

One thing I’ve noticed that most North American based sports have, and which seem now, to be creeping into more sports, is the ‘Hall Of Fame’ thing. I’m not saying its a bad thing, because as a historical lover of sports, it makes people think about players whose career is over, and in many cases, whose lives are over, and remember what they done. Most are remembered for one sport, or another, though there are a few (Jim Thorpe is the obvious name that comes to mind), who were famed in more than one sport, though generally in times when perhaps the depth of talent in most sports was not as deep as it is now.

Its not that long ago, baseball had its big ceremony, and this weekend, the NFL does the same. Yes, and that does mean, the first pre season game, is on Sunday! Given that one of the teams involved is starting a Quarter Back that no one has heard of, is miles down their depth chart, and everything else, its not to be taken too seriously. To be honest, apart from the one time, many years ago, that I saw a pre season game at Wembley, live, I dont take them seriously in the slightest. I know it was the Raiders, but who they played, no idea? At this point in time, ironically, for one of my 2 favorite US sports, I still havent seen a regular season game live, in person, but one day, I hope I will.

In truth, if anyone offered me a ticket, to any game this season, it would be an easy choice to make. Oh please, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan, and they’re playing the Los Angeles Rams, in Los Angeles, so yes, no contest! In fact, we are just a week away from the first pre season game in L.A, the first in town in, well, forever! Though this one is at the Coliseum, as the new stadium wont be available for a couple of years yet.

Maybe I’ll be a L.A citizen by then? Yes, and pigs fly, lol! But oh, I wish!

The video, well, the clue is in the title, its fair to say?