Monday, December 30, 2013

Mike Ditka on Talent

Perhaps ESPN execs had these thoughts in the back of their heads after the Week 17 NFL Countdown Show.

But we shouldn't be too hard on "Iron Mike" after his televised nap.  After all,  Ditka did suffer a minor stroke in November 2012.  And neither the New York Jets nor the Miami Dolphins were playoff-bound. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Unexpectedly Forged from the Iron Bowl Smelter

The number one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide had a perfect 10 and 0 recording playing against their arch-rival number five ranked Auburn Tigers.  With seconds left in the game and the score tied at 28-28, the Crimson Tide attempted a long field goal to stop  the game from going into overtime.

Going into the game, senior Alabama placekicker number 43 Cade Foster had a 91.7% success rate for field goals.  But during the 2013 Iron Bowl, Foster missed three field goal attempts.   But with one second left on the game clock, the Crimson Tide put in red shirted freshman Adam Griffin for a 57 yard field goal attempt.  Griffin had kicked a 60 yard field goal in practice and the Crimson Tide had favorable winds.

The resulting play inspired an iconic play-by-play call by Auburn Football radio announcer Rod Bramblett:

The 109 yard punt return by Auburn Tiger Chris Davis, Sr. winning the game 34-28 along with the exuberant announcing by Bramblett will long be remembered as an exciting end to the Iron Bowl.

A few days after the event, former President George W. Bush wrote Cade Foster a short note.

While it is easy to bask in the glory of a miraculous last second victory, it is admirable to offer encouragement in a "personal growth moment" suffered on a sports field.  

Kudos to the class of "43".

Friday, December 6, 2013

Two Minor Earthquakes in Seattle

[L] Saints QB Drew Breiss, [C] Seahawk DE Michael Bennett  12/02/2013

The last  NFL Monday Night Football game pitted the New Orleans Saints (9-2) against the Seattle Seahawks (10-1) at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.    Many sports writers, including hometown ESPN sports personas were betting against the Seahawks in this battle against NFC leaders.

However, Seattle  took control early in the game due to fumble recovery by  Seahawk Defensive End Michael Bennett who then ran the football 22 yards for a score.


The stomping in the stands and the eruption of cheers by the 68,387 Seahawk fans generated a sound which measured  137.6 decibels, which set a Guinness Book of World Record outdoor stadium record.   Seismologists from the nearby University of Washington estimated that the cheering generated between a 1 to 2 magnitude earthquake which could have been felt outside the stadium.

The Seahawks went on to victory at 34-7, increasing their record to 11-1.

The second minor earthquake occurred during an after game interview when Michael Bennett was interviewed by 710 ESPN Radio Seattle personality Jim Moore.  The sports broadcaster expressed chagrin that he thought that the Saints would win.  When the humbled host asked the Michael Bennett how wrong he was, the defensive end’s answer was another amusing earthquake.

When Obamacare becomes a punch-line amongst jocks even in the bluest of blue states like Washington, the political  ground may be shifting even in the Pacific Northwest. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Roger Bannister on the Four Minute Mile

British running Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile in 1954. Now, the Mile world record holder is Hicham El Guerrouj of Morroco who ran 3:43.13 in Rome in 1999.  And the new "King of the Mile" Guerrouj also lived.