We dont need another hero!

Simply because the Patriots seem to have found one, and he’s not any of the big name players you would ever have heard of. Its fair to say that there may be other NFL players who do similar things in the off season, but he’s the first one I’ve heard of, and yes, I hope that he gets a well deserved Superbowl medal tonight. Because in truth, he deserves one more than Brady, Gronkowski, Belichick and co probably do. Thats not to say they dont deserve one, just that this guy has really earned his, if they win tonight, and not for what he’s done on the football pitch.

Yes, its Superbowl tonight. For my US readers, its taking place at a sane hour, and you get to watch it. Me, it starts at 11.30 pm, and I have to be in work tomorrow, so its not going to happen! Hopefully I can catch the highlights tomorrow, or Tuesday, even if I will know the score by then.

The article?

http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/268116/from-making-11-an-hour-to-super-bowl-behind-the-surreal-year-for-patriots-bernard-reedy

I know, never heard of him, and lets face it, he’s only been with Patriots for about 3 months, on and off. But he’s on today, on the biggest night of the season, and thats the main thing. As I say, this piece isnt about the big names taking part in the game, though they will draw far more attention today, its about this lesser known guy, and what he does when he’s not playing football. Please note, he stayed in Tampa when the rest of the team escaped the hurricane last year, just so he could help!

There is one thing, love them, or hate them, that the Patriots have always been shrewd about, and thats picking up players rejected by other teams. Will Reedy prove to be one of those, who knows? As he says, regardless, give it a couple of weeks off, and he’s going back to his other job, regardless.

Will this make me a Patriots fan, I hear you ask? For tonight, definitely. Beyond that, who knows? Put it this way, Kate wouldnt have to work too hard at present for that to happen. I know, I’ve supported Buffalo for decades, but in truth, I’ve seen so much ghastly racist, and white supremacist stuff posted on their fan boards this season to feel comfortable about being involved with them any more. Logical options for me would be one of the Los Angeles teams, or Kansas City, but fine, a feelgood story like this, then well…?

But yes, definitely for tonight, go Patriots, if only for Bernard Reedy! Of course, if Kate wants to ‘convince’ me to make it more long term, I’m more amenable at present than ever before, just saying… 😉 Mentioning Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma could work. 😉 A joke that she might get, but others wouldnt, just saying…

You might have worked out the video from the title, if you havent, why not? This is quite a stunning live performance from 2009 though, not the original video. Yes, I think Clara might have enjoyed some of those outfits lol!

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Pats in the Championship Game again

Yes, I know one dear friend who will love this blog when she sees it, given who she supports, and the fact that as a non Patriots fan, I’m writing nice things about them. Oh fine, she’s one of 2 people from Oklahoma that I care about a lot, and she was born a long time after the other one. Seemingly it was Kay Francis’s (30’s actress) birthday yesterday, and I fondly described her as the second most famous actress born in Oklahoma in 1905. That is a major exaggeration, as the one I was putting above her, was of course, Clara Johnson. And yes, Kay had the far bigger career lol!

But yes, strictly, other than a tie up to Kate, in that sense, this is all about the Patriots. They do seem to be one of those teams you either love, or hate, and generally, for me, as a Bills fan (of sorts), I’d be a hater. But fine, Kate influences me, lol! And well, they are the only way I would ever put a finger in a Superbowl ring, so… Yes, this is my finger! (Taken at Patriots Place, Foxborough, by Kate)

Anyway, to get back to serious matters, last night, they qualified for their 7th consecutive AFC Championship game. The last time they didnt? 2011, beaten by the Jets, who they had thumped in the regular season only weeks before. And thats it, ever since then…its been Patriots, and someone! Quite an incredible record. So yes, however much it might hurt me to say it, congrats, Patriots, thats quite a record.

Funnily enough, I have a connection to 3 of the stadiums being used this weekend, even if I’ve never been in any of them. Pittsburgh is the one miss, though I have been to the city, but never seen the stadium. New England, yes, been to Patriots Place, where the stadium is, as the picture shows. Philadelphia, I’ve stood across the road from, when I went to a baseball game in town. Minneapolis is the most fascinating one, because I have been in a stadium, on that site. But yes, its the now demolished one, replaced by their current building, and I was there for baseball, not football. The only other NFL stadium I’ve been in? Again, that was for baseball, and now the only one that hosts both, Oakland Coliseum! And that will be losing football in a couple of years, seemingly! Though its gained my favorite football man, the gorgeous Jon Gruden. Yes, I’m still waiting my invite from him, lol!

The video tonight, I’ve played with the title, for the blog. You know all these stupid things they say about which pop star who died young that you’d love to see in a concert, here’s mine!

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!

What a feeling to fly

So now we know the 2 teams left for that great sporting institution in the US, the Superbowl. Fine, the baseball World Series might mean even more to me, but this is pretty big all the same.

Its fair to say that the first team in the big match will surprise few people, its the New England Patriots. Yes, I know, the ‘marmite team’, or for those who dont get that comment, a team you either seem to love, or hate, nothing in between! Me, I’m one of those in between brigade, but only because my dear friend Kate is a supporter of them, I suspect. Otherwise, as a longstanding Buffalo fan, fine, I’d probably hate them too.

The other team are more of a surprise, or are at least if you are a pundit, expert, or just blindly followed prices at the start of the season, as its the Atlanta Falcons. Now me, I knew what their offense could do, thought they had a chance, but if you’d told me that Seattle would be ordinary, and that Carolina would be awful before the season started, then yes, I would have laughed.

But this team has run up points against just about everybody, and certainly impressed me even more than I expected. So fine, I might expect the ‘dark force’ to win out, as usual, but I know who I’ll be rooting for, the underdogs! Besides which, they’ve never won this, only once before been to a Superbowl, so yes, it would be nice for someone new to win, and…sorry Kate! xxx

The video, its the wrong bird, would be more apt for Philadelphia, but it was as close as I could get!

After 10 years of waiting…

Yes, there may be a few on here that know, that when it comes to the NFL, I’m a long standing Buffalo Bills fan. Fortunately, soon after I started supporting them, a quarterback named Jim Kelly signed with the team, and shortly after that, the glory years began. Since he retired, its fair to say that things have gone a bit downhill since then! So much so, that its been 15 years since we last made the play offs. And it had been 10 years since we last had a winning season.

So fine, we still havent got to post season, but we had a winning year, though not quite in the way I expected us to! With 2 weeks of the regular season to go, the Bills were 8-6. Yes, one win, from 2, for a winning year. Snag, one of those games was against the New England Patriots, in New England, and we hadnt won there for 12 years! Thankfully, or so it seemed at the time, the other game was against the pretty awful Oakland Raiders, admittedly in Oakland, but surely we couldnt lose to them? We did, 26-24!

With that, went our very bleak chances of making the play offs, and as this week played out, we wouldnt have made it, even if we’d won! But now, to break that awful streak, we have to beat the Patriots, in Foxboro, ah well…

The only blessing, other results in Week 16 meant that the Pats were the number 1 seed, regardless of what happened this week. So just maybe, they’ll take it easy, and…on the other hand, they hate losing at any time, to divisional rivals, so…

Tom Brady started, but despite that, we took the lead. When Brady got sacked, just before half time, they took him out of the game, and we managed to stagger across the winning line, to a winning season. Its not real success, but its better. No, Kyle Orton wasnt Jim Kelly, but he did pretty well, but…he retired after this! So sheesh, we’re looking for ANOTHER quarterback for next season, ah well…

Sorry, this was the best video I could find, I’d just give it a pass, in all honesty

I went to a fight…

…And a game of Ice Hockey broke out. Yes, I know, its an old joke, but for me at least, a pretty apt one, as the only 2 games I’ve seen live both included at least 1 fight!

Why do I mention this now, well, isnt it obvious, the NHL season finally gets under way tomorrow, almost as late as a Trans Pennine Express train, and a much reduced service, looks again at my ‘wonderful’ train company lol! In case you’re wondering, no this ranks no higher than a distant 3rd for me in the ‘big 4’ American Sports, only beating the NBA for me. Comes 2nd in terms of regular season matches watched though, but only with 2, a long, long way behind baseball!

I sort of follow (extremely loosely) the Buffalo Sabres, for my pains. Hey, its only because I was following the Bills, Buffalo had an ice hockey team, and so…Funnily enough, their ‘junior’ team in the AHL happens to be in Rochester, but guess what, their last home game (unless they make playoffs) is the Saturday I arrive in town, so no, I’m not likely to add to my collection. I assume even in the AHL that playoff games (should they make them?) sell out to regulars anyway? If not, I might add to my collection, but…There will also be an indoor football league game on the Sunday in Rochester, but its a few miles out of town, so not sure if I will be able to get there or not. If I can, that will be my sports fix for sure, though. Roc City Thunder, I’ll give them a shout, who knows where it might lead? Rochester Americans are the ice hockey team, being fair to one and all.

This weekend, there are also a couple of more important NFL games, not that sadly due to timing, and an early start back to work on Monday, that I shall see much of them. Well, one half of one, none of the other in fact! I suspect the parking at Patriot Place might be quite full on Sunday evening lol. Yes, despite being divisional rivals of my team, I’ll have to cheer for them, I’ve been to their place this year. Stood outside the stadium, visited their excellent display, and had my picture taken ‘wearing’ a Superbowl ring too. Oh, and saw the trophies too! No, I dont think Kate, or the Patriots brainwashed me to say that, I’d have enjoyed it far too much to forget that lol! Hopefully the 49ers as well, given thats the 2 cities I know and love that are left.

Right, the video, back to the ice hockey joke!

We mustnt forget

Some would quite rightly say, one of my more serious posts on here. Tomorrow is the 11th day, of the 11th month, and 94 years ago, it held even more significance than now. Yes, the end of WW1. We cannot possibly imagine what they went through in that war, I doubt we could even imagine it as awful as I suspect the reality was. No, I’m not going to get critical of leaders on either side, just admire those brave men who followed their orders. All survivors are now gone to a better place, to join their friends from those awful battlefields once again. Indeed, earlier this year we lost the last survivor of the Battle of Britain, a whole war later.  So please, wherever you are, at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, take a few moments to remember them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4NtSqZcT_4

On a slightly more lighthearted item, it was when I was doing my NFL picks this week, that I noticed one fixture, which probably means more to two people than most, Buffalo @ New England. A better placing in the schedule, and it would have been a game I might have been going to. But as the weather recently has proved, we did the right thing by not waiting for now to take that holiday lol!

One last addition to this, tomorrow is a very special persons birthday, and I just like to mention it here. No name, they will know who I mean, and for the rest, its just a nice milestone in their life. Someone who has done a lot for me, and surely will again, given the chance. Thank you.