Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

Reasons Sports Fans Love Christmas

December 25, 2012

Dodger jersey

Every good sports fan loves getting an autograph at a game, or a rookie card of their favorite player, or an authentic jersey. There’s just something about owning a small piece of merchandise that represents your team t

Why am I telling you this? Is it really worthy of a blog post? No, probably not. But I’m borderline giddy at some of the gifts I received this Christmas, so go ahead and indulge me, huh? In no particular order:hat brings a childish sense of glee to a sports fan.

Clayton Kershaw Jersey

Brownie points for the girlfriend! With my James Loney jersey rendered useless when the current Tampa Bay Ray was sent to Boston last season, I was down to zero relevant Dodger jerseys. Absolutely unacceptable. And with the influx of money through the new ownership, Kershaw should be a Dodger for life. Win!

Autographed Kershaw Photo

What are better than brownie points? Chocolate cake points? Because along with that jersey came an authentic, autographed picture of Kershaw delivering a pitch (undoubtedly a strike…) from his left arm. Sports fans LOVE getting autographs – even if it’s one in 100, it feels like one in a million.

Book of Dodger History and Photos

When you truly love a sports team, knowing everything about them becomes priority. I consider myself an expert on the Dodgers already, but this will only make me more knowledgeable. And the old-school, black and white pictures will give me even more respect for my team’s history.

Dodgers and 49ers Ornaments

A nice blue Dodger cap and a 49er football that lights up a snowman’s face when turned on? Yes, please! Ornaments are a Christmas tradition, and no matter how juvenile or otherwise-useless they may be.

Ballpark Calendar

With the exception of May 2013, every month in the ballpark calendar my sister got me absolutely rules (AT&T Park represents that horrid month). It even has old-school Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I don’t usually use calendars, but this one will be run ragged.

Kirk Gibson Bobblehead and Bobblearm

Okay, so I got this one myself. I couldn’t help it! I’ve been wanting the greatest bobblehead in bobblehead-related history since it came out in the middle of this summer. Now, I finally own the 1988 World Series Game 1 bobblehead of Kirk Gibson, rounding the bases with his bobblearm fist-pumping away. Totally, awesomely worth it.

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The Art of Fair Weather Fandom

December 12, 2012

imageI know what you’re thinking: Jeremy, how would you know? You are the most hardcore, dedicated, handsome Dodgers and 49ers fan this side of Matt Kemp!

First of all, thank you. I agree. And yes – believe it or not, Dodgers star center fielder is a diehard 49ers fan.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two about fair weather fandom. Take, for example, the fact that I “root” for the Seattle Sounders because my ex-girlfriend’s dad got me hammered drunk at the only game I’ve attended.

As far as I know, that’s the coolest soccer team in the country because of one very hazy experience I had.

Or let’s talk about the Indiana Pacers; Reggie Miller was my favorite NBA player growing up, so naturally, I rooted for the Pacers. It was weird, unique, different. And like a good little Jew, I loved three-pointers (It’s the SAME thing, for one more point! Why doesn’t everyone just shoot threes?).

We all know Reggie was the three-point master. And don’t mistake “fair weather” for “frontrunner.” Those are vastly different labels. I liked the Pacers, good or bad, because I thought they were cool.

I like the Sounders because the beer at their stadium does very interesting things to my body when taken in large quantities. Honestly, I have no idea if they are any good and I don’t care.

Being a “frontrunner” means you live near the Bay Area and didn’t know what a baseball looked like until 2010 when the local San Francisco Giants won their first World Series title. If you now root for them, wear their gear, and try to tell me why they are the best team around – you are a frontrunner. Once they regress, so does your fandom. And that year’s World Series champion will grace your clothing.

On the contrary, being a fair weather fan means you root for a team for whatever reason, but only pay attention when you feel like it. That’s how it goes for me with basketball. It’s a sport I mostly understand, but never really played and definitely can’t objectively analyze.

I’ve been a fair weather Warriors fan for years (very obvious example of not rooting for a first-place team), but luckily I don’t have to put my heart and soul into rooting for them. So all those tortured fans out there probably both hate and envy me.

Tonight, the Warriors beat the defending-champion Miami Heat and reigning-MVP LeBron James. I turned it on for the sheer idea of a distraction and because my alma mater’s pride and joy, Klay Thompson, now graces the Warriors’ front court.

Twenty seven points for Klay later, the Warriors were jumping up and down on the Miami home floor, celebrating a two-point victory and the continuation of a gritty, undefeated (so far) road trip.

I found myself leaping out of my seat when the final buzzer sounded – emotions usually reserved for a Vernon Davis touchdown or Clayton Kershaw anything.

And that is the art of fair weather fandom. If you can watch a team play a game and feel no personal connection to them, but still become emotionally moved by their performance, you can root for them.

Just admit that you are fair weather, and nobody will get hurt. Tonight, I admit to being a fair weather Warriors fan. For the rest of this season, I am officially declared as a supporter of the Dubs (see, I even have the lingo down!).

I mean, why not? Technically my favorite basketball team is 1-0 this year when I watch them play and as their biggest fan, I couldn’t be happier.

If you are a fair weather blogger, follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Monday, July 9th, 2012: The 2nd Worst Day of the Year

July 10, 2012

The worst part of the first worst day of the year is that it comes two days after the second worst day of the year. So today is technically worse than Monday in my world. But we’re talking about number two. I don’t think I can handle number one.

No, I didn’t get fired or dumped. No, the Dodgers didn’t lose (in fact, the National League won the All-Star Game…so THERE!). No, my pets’ heads aren’t falling off.

But Monday was one of two calendar days the entire year that no MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL games were scheduled. None. Zero. I…nearly cried.

I don’t even really watch hockey. But if it was on, I would have made an exception. Instead, I was stuck with the always-entertaining Home Run Derby that had as much significance to the 2012 baseball season as the Pro Bowl has on…life. And stuff.

Tonight, I had the ESPY’s as an option. Thankfully, it was my father’s 87th 57th birthday…so I got out of the house instead of watching a glammed-up popularity contest.

But do you know how I felt turning on MLB Network only to see fluff and replays of ancient All-Star Games? Or turning on Sportscenter to find cricket as the lead story?

Like this.

That was about apocolyptic as it gets for someone like me. Taking sports away from me is like stealing a rattle from a baby. A bone from a dog. A joint from Tim Lincecum. The sports gods took away the thing I’ve loved my whole life and left me hopeless, cold and alone.

Have you ever watched one of those awful documentaries about drug addicts having withdrawals and recovering in rehab? That was me. Scratching at myself, shivering, foaming at the mouth. It was really uncomfortable.

Technically there was ONE game tonight. Real athletes in real uniforms playing a real sport in a real stadium in front of real fans. But it was the MLS and it was two Canadian teams.

So, my sickness remained.

Luckily, I have great friends and family to pull me through rough days like this. My girlfriend and one of our close friends (through the MLB Fan Cave process, naturally) had a perfect remedy for my illness.

No baseball, football, basketball, hockey, curling, darts, poker, Bolivian shuffleboard or even NASCAR on TV? No problem.

Because I went to a Minor League baseball game. Thanks for pretending you’re surprised.

Football in Arlington

May 31, 2012

Well, this is my last daily Jam Shots. After this, I’ll be moving to a weekly format. I know what you’re thinking (I will give you 50 bucks if you watch this whole thing).

And I apologize. But because I’ll have six extra days to think about each entry, you will get a super big, nutritious helping of Jam Shots each week.

There’s not a lot of baseball going on today – just three games. CarGo hit a homer in his fourth straight at-bat earlier today against the Astros, but that’s cliche at this point.

So let’s talk baseball from yesterday. My buddy Paddy suggested I write something honoring the 21-8 blowout in Arlington, TX yesterday. So here goes!

I, for one, had no idea that the Cowboys and Seahawks were playing a very, pre, pre-season game. Shut up, that joke is always funny.

But seriously, the Mariners absolutely obliterated the Rangers in Texas by the count of three touchdowns to one. And the Cowboys tried to make a furious come back, tacking on a two-point conversion, but it was far too late.

What does this mean? I’ll tell ya:

1) Texas pitching is (still) overrated. Mark my words – the Rangers will make the playoffs again, and the pitching will ruin them again. They need to upgrade the rotation before they can win it all.

2) The Seattle Mariners of Pullman (Go Cougs!) are actually going to be pretty solid soon. The offense is young and raw, but chocked full of talent. If the M’s go out and get a big bat this off season (don’t count them out of the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes) and one more solid arm (how does Zack Greinke or Cole Hamels sound?), they are legit contenders in the American League.

Ironically enough, Tony Romo threw out the first pitch at the Rangers game yesterday. Surprisingly, he didn’t fumble the snap like last time he was in a pressure situation against a Seattle team.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Thanks for reading the daily version of Jam Shots. It’s been a great run. Starting this coming Sunday, I’ll be putting out one per week. Keep an eye out, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Brian Banks’ Big Break…Finally

May 26, 2012

Sometimes life just isn’t fair. Like when you drive to work and get a flat tire. Or you just have a really bad day, only to get home to realize you’ve had a booger on your cheek since breakfast. You know, things that can make you cry out of frustration.

For example, why can’t white people jump…except for this dude? Why wasn’t I blessed with those kinds of leg muscles?

Anyway, did you see that celebration in the video? That’s nothing compared to how Brian Banks must have felt the other day when he was finally cleared of all charges, stemming from a rape accusation that sent him to five years in prison. Even though there was no DNA test that proved him guilty.

“Life isn’t fair,” doesn’t even begin to do justice for what Banks has gone through since that fateful “makeout session” in high school. A once-promising prep football star had five years of his life ripped away by a conniving young girl, a corrupt legal system, and the worst lawyer of all time.

I’ll try to stay away from the details of the case, because my opinion really doesn’t matter at this point. Let’s just say that the accusation held about as much merit as Bobby Valentine calling another team’s coaches immature and unprofessional

So after all that torture. After seeing his dream ripped away from him on an evidence-less case by a robe and gavel he’ll never forget…what is the one thing Brian Banks wants to do as a free man?

He wants to play football. He wants a shot at NFL glory. And ohhhhh man, what a story that would be. I for one, am rooting for the kid. Anyone in a situation like this deserves a shot at reclaiming his dream. 

But would he be able to compete in the NFL? I did a little research. 

Initially, I could only find a report from ProFootballWeekly.com, that touched on his exoneration and included a little bit of background on his football career. And apparently, Banks was a star linebacker for Long Beach Poly in Southern California, an annual prep football powerhouse. 

He turned down scholarship offers from Ohio State and Michigan to verbally agree with USC. Linebackers from USC are historically good, most recently churning out Clay Matthews.

Video is hard to find. I couldn’t place any actual scouting tapes of Banks on-field. But anyone who gets scholarship offers to those three schools had to be taken seriously at some point. The game has changed in the last ten years, and it would certainly take Banks a while to get used to the NFL.

But if given a chance at a practice squad contract, and a little coaching, this guy could be a tackling monster. Check out his YouTube channel to see him working out at a local gym. The squats, box jump and dead lift are no joke. This guy is jacked, and could get even bigger and faster with an NFL training regimen.

He’s only 26, and could be had for at least 5 years or more once he gets used to the league. 

I’ll tell you one thing – I’m hoping Banks gets a shot. He’s a Californian, let’s have my 49ers jump on this and see if he can make an impact as a second or third-string linebacker. 

Life isn’t fair. But Banks being free, finally, is justice served.

Football, Jamilton and Announcements

May 25, 2012

I swear, I’m not just talking football today out of a semi-depression that my Dodgers lost to the ASTROS yesterday. Again. With Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Sigh.

I’ll forget the fact that we have been outscored 15-1 by Houston in our last two meetings combined. And just talk about something exceptionally exciting: the San Francisco 49ers, my hometown football team. My Dodgers of the NFL.

And that they are coming off a 13-3 season that was two muffed punts away from turning into a march to the Super Bowl. And that they are better this year. And the whole top-ranked defense is back. And our rookies are going to be game-changers. And we have brand new wide receivers. And we have no Chilo Rachal. And we have a healthy (finally) Michael Crabtree, who oh by the way, put up ELITE numbers in the second half of 2011. And we have a full off-season under Jim Harbaugh (also known as God, in my circles) for the players to learn his playbook and gel even more as a team.

All I have to say about that, is watch out everyone. If there is still any doubt in a fan’s mind that the 49ers are to be taken seriously as one of two or three legitimate Super Bowl contenders at this point in the summer, said fan is insane. Or a Raiders fan. Okay, so definitely insane.

Can you tell I’m excited?

As for dominant teams and players, I’ll stray away from the Dodgers for once. Remember, they lost to the Astros last night? Yeesh.

How about the Texas Rangers? Again. They dropped 14 runs today and Nelson Cruz had 8 RBI. That’s all the attention Nelly will get from me though. I’m here to talk about their best player, and possibly the best player in baseball: Josh Hamilton.

I’m not going to heap praise on the guy, I just want to ask one simple question: Can Jamilton hit 62? After hitting one today, he’s got 19 on the season in less than 50 games. I’m no math whiz, but considering there are 162 games in a season, I’d have to say he’s on pace for approximately 60.

Who’s to say he can’t go on another ridiculous streak and bomb 8 in one week? He’s certainly got the eye, the strength and the swing to do more damage. My only problem is he hasn’t played a full season…ever? Chances are, Hamilton will miss a chunk of about 15-20 games, which could greatly hinder his home run chase.

My verdict: Hamilton goes nuts this year. But not nuts enough. I’ll give him an average well over .300, 52 homers and 145 RBI. Those numbers will earn him the MVP and two of the three Triple Crown categories. But the home run record will remain Roger Maris’.

Suck on that, Barry, Mark and Sammy.

Last on the agenda today, a sad announcement. Jam Shots will be moving to a weekly format, instead of daily. I’ve been writing this (almost) daily since January 23rd, a span of 130 days by the end of this month. This is my 113th post, out of 125 days.

I’m impressed with myself. That’s like…like…a .900 batting average! Unheard of! Incredible! Hall of Fame worthy!

Alas, I can’t keep up. I’m hanging up my keyboard and going into more of a player/manager role. I do anticipate a couple of things: my weekly blogs will be even MORE epic. And, I get to also post weekly on my old blog, Jamblin’ Man! That one won’t be about sports, so 90 percent of my audience will actually read them. If you like my sports, stick with Jam Shots. Otherwise, be ready for the revival of an old friend.

And there will just be so much more room for activities.

Jam Shots will be strictly for sports, posted once a week. Jamblin’ Man will show off my freelance writing SKILLZ, with just thoughts, ramblings, poetry, travel writing, creative writing and everything in between. And of course…that will be posted once a week as well.

Thanks to everyone who has clicked my silly links every day in 2012, and hopefully, when June rolls around and this baby goes weekly, you’ll stick with me and continue to read.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Bountylicious

May 2, 2012

Holy freakin’ Toledo, Batman! This bounty scandal keeps getting juicier and juicier.

So now Jonathan Vilma is suspended for the ENTIRE year. Three more of the Saints’ better defenders are also suspended for a certain amount of games though all are appealing.

Was it justified to give Vilma the Sean Payton treatment? I don’t know. The details will determine that.

I’m guessing Vilma was either the ring leader of the bounty attacks or there was sufficient evidence to point to his hits actually injuring opponents.

Either way this is a huge blow to the Saints. Their D needs all the help they can get, and this is clearly the exact opposite of “help.”

And for Vilma personally, he’s already in his peak so missing an entire season could be absolutely devastating to his career.

We’ll have to wait for the undoubtedly gruesome details of the investigation. But I highly doubt these suspensions get overturned, based on how strict Roger Goodell had been so far.

All I know for sure is that not even Drew Brees can save this team now. The Saints’ reign at the top of the NFL may have just crumbled into obscurity.

Thanks for reading and tune in tomorrow for more Jam Shots. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman.

And the Bounty Increases

April 5, 2012

I really do try to stray from football news, especially on Opening Weekend for Major League Baseball. STOKED for that, by the way. Check out my predictions for today’s games, if you missed it last night.

But when something as ridiculous as the Saints’ Bountygate, as it’s come to be known, dominates the headlines, I have to take a look. And then when aforementioned gate of bounty pops up and is directed specifically at my San Francisco 49ers, I get all Mama Bear on it. Hah. That’s funny to imagine me trying to protect monsters like Patrick Willis and Justin Smith.

Anyway, check out the audio from Gregg Williams, the Saints suspended defensive coordinator:

Pretty messed up, huh? I’ve already heard people defending Williams – “All coaches talk like that in the locker room!” Well, first of all…no, they don’t. Secondly, if a large majority of them do, something needs to change. I can totally get behind “BASH HIS BRAINS IN! LAY HIM OUT! JACK HIM UP!” to get players pumped up before a play. But calling out specific players and where to hit them is absolutely ridiculous.

Kill Frank Gore’s head? First of all, that doesn’t make sense. If you’ve killed a person’s head, chances are you’ve killed his entire body. But I wouldn’t expect an idiot like Williams to understand basic human biology. Anyway, how about taking out Michael Crabtree’s ACL, or hitting Kyle Williams (a very inconsequential player in the whole situation) in the head when he’s already displaying concussion symptoms? That’s something the NFL takes very seriously anyway, and now their coaches…er, former coaches…are targeting those injuries?

This makes James Harrison look like a very intimidating altar boy. I’m glad Roger Goodell cracked down so hard, and I really expect him to uphold the suspensions. Especially after this audio came out today.

By the way, Gregg. How did all that talk work out for you? Smith was scared in pre-season was he? Well he looked pretty good planting and confidently throwing the game-winning touchdown to Vernon Davis to knock your sorry asses out of the playoffs last year.

Maybe coaches of teams like this (high-powered offense, hardly a lick of defense to speak of), should teach their players how to properly tackle or cover a receiver before worrying about breaking a guy in half for a measly sum. It might have helped in that game. Just sayin’.

Oh. And the best part of this? Nobody on the 49ers went down in that game. But someone on the Saints sure did. Irony is fun.

Let’s Play A Game

March 22, 2012

Thank you to Jillian Clark for reminding me today about all my different rage-isms.

I’ve recently discovered internet rage is a flaw of mine. Very similar to something else I have (road rage), it means when someone does something stupid online or the web page is loading too slowly, I feel a sudden burning urge to:

a. Punch a hole through my computer screen

b. Punt the nearest baby or puppy (I only have one of those, and she is really good at fetch so I don’t want her getting hurt)

c. Post an angry comment on some online forum that I’ll never look at again but that will significantly decrease my stress levels

I also have walking rage. So, if you’re walking down the sidewalk, especially in a group, please observe normal humans doing it first so I don’t have to twist and turn like a goddamn Gumby doll to get by you. Assholes.

So now you know. After an exceptionally long intro, let’s focus on that internet rage. We’re going to play a game. Mostly using Yahoo! as my source, we’re going to find all the stupid shit that pisses me off and make a list of things that are falsely portrayed as news. Then we’ll compare it against things that do matter. Why? Because it’ll make me feel better.

NOT NEWS:

1. There was a name mix-up in Diamondbacks camp? How cute! In more important news, that blister on my toe finally popped. This is exactly why people don’t take Yahoo! Sports seriously – 90 percent of their stories are fluff like this.

2. Someone really hates Peyton Manning. Another gem from Yahoo! It’s unique, it’s a little bit morbidly funny, but I don’t know who the dead guy is. I don’t care. Another two minutes of my life wasted.

3. This one makes me want to set a garbage can on fire. So a hot chick has a boyfriend, but Tim Tebow thinks she’s purty and wants her to know that. But oh no, so does Mr. Hockey Player guy on Twitter, even though he was clearly joking! You know what this means…DRAMA! LOVE TRIANGLE! SCANDAL! Shut the hell up.

4. Please don’t make me explain why this is a waste of the good ol’ World Wide Web…

5. And the grand daddy of them all. The one that pissed me off so much that I decided to boycott Yahoo forever. I’m currently in the process of moving over to Gmail. Why? Because this was the LEAD story on Yahoo! a couple of days ago. It was ahead of my #1 for what IS news (see below…and try not to rage at the fact that it was buried underneath Beyonce’s stupid baby bump).

WHAT IS NEWS:

1. This isn’t the Yahoo! story, but it’s very similar. I tweeted out about my personal boycott (I’m sure all 75 followers were very impressed…), but maybe it did make a difference. Because no less than five minutes later, the stories were switched. Sierra Lamar was in the lead, and Beyonce’s belly was not. All was right with the world. But I’m still holding this grudge. Also, this is unbelievably sad – let’s not forget about what really matters.

2. Roger Goodell actually does something right! Normally, that wouldn’t be a story. But paying professional athletes to purposely hurt other professional athletes is not only disgusting and immoral, but sets a turrible example for any aspiring young football player. I’ve been vehemently in favor of harsh punishment of the New Orleans Saints over the “bounty” system that was in place under former coordinator Gregg Williams. Goodell really put the hammer down on the organization, and it’s a huge step in the right direction for the NFL.

3. Wow, this is just incredible. A player collapsing from cardiac arrest on a soccer pitch is a fantastic story, and something that should open up the eyes of everyone in sports. This player is my age and nearly died from a freak heart flaw in the middle of a match, if not for the heroic efforts of the medical staff. The prices we pay for the games we love are crazy.

4. The Million Hoodie March is something I can definitely get behind. If you haven’t heard Trayvon Martin’s tragic tale, Google that immediately. There are many, many layers of further importance buried within this story, from race issues to gun laws. It’s one of those things that just makes me question everything about the country I live in and its policies. Nobody deserves to die the way Martin did.

5. Another star of the 90s is going to retire. And it hurts my heart. Chipper will always be one of those guys I grew up admiring and modeling my game after. Atlanta Braves fans should feel lucky to have had such a stellar player on their team for so many years. I hope he has a fantastic final year and goes out with a bang.

There you have it – now you know. Unless you want angry Jamblinman, you stop supporting the bogus news stories listed above. Start paying attention to the things that matter, whether they are in the sports world or the real world. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.

Three Things I’m Happy About Today

March 21, 2012

Yes, it’s that simple. Three things. Today. That make me happy. Lezzgo.

1. Alex Smith resigning with the 49ers made me jump for joy. Literally. I looked ridiculous. I can finally re-open my Smith shrine. And I’m fully looking forward to charging the public per visit once he wins the Super Bowl in 2012-2013. Seriously, the 49ers are a legit Super Bowl favorite now after somehow convincing Alex to forgive them. Don’t forget, they added two very good wide receivers and re-signed all 11 defensive starters. Uh-oh, here comes troubleeeee! (Opposing teams.)

2. Sean Payton was suspended by the NFL and Fuhrer Goodell for the entire season for the bounty mess. I like Payton a lot and I like the Saints, but this was absolutely deserved. If you’re going to pay your players to hurt other players, instead of just preaching old-school, hard-nose football, you are going to pay the price. What ever happened to the desire to win being enough motivation? I’d be happy if Gregg Williams never coaches again in the NFL.

3. Tim Tebow is traded to the New York Jets. This simply makes me happy because I have way too many friends who are Tebow fans. This will not only prove that last year was a fluke (the Jets are a much worse defensive team compared to the Broncos), but it’s going to be absolutely hilarious to watch Tebow and Mark Sanchez try to throw passes. If you like watching car wrecks, welcome to your new favorite team, the New York Jets. Oh, and Rex Ryan is a little bitch.

That’s all I have for you today. Bye-Bye Tebow. Sucks to be you, Ryan and Sanchez. Bye-Bye Payton. Helloooooo Alex Smith! We missed you.


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