Archive for February, 2010

Come on Number Four, give us just One More!!

Posted in Favre with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2010 by Jorge

Should I Stay or Should I go? I say stay Brett,  as a Fan of the game, I say stay.

Much has been said in the last few years about Brett Favre’s inability to stay retired.  In 2008, after a tearful and heartfelt retirement announcement from his beloved Green Bay Packers, he changed his mind that summer and got reinstated.  Needless to say, the Packers faithful were thrilled to see their great legend come back.  However, after a summer full of controversy between him and the front office, Favre was traded to the NY Jets.  He started the 2008 season strong, going 7-1, but finished 2-6 and missed the playoffs, mostly due to a shoulder injury he suffered in the second half of the season.  This time, without much fanfare, he decided to call it quits…. a second time.  After his release from the Jets, Favre was lured back into the league by long-time friend and coach, Brad Childress.  The unthinkable was about to happen…. Number 4 in Purple.

So the story begins, Favre comes back for the 2009 season playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay’s archrival. Without a doubt, it had Packers fans upset, calling radio shows and sports bloggers to share their discontent for such a travesty.  Their beloved number 4, wearing purple…. Atrocious.

So-called experts were pessimistic of Favre’s ability to play at a high level for a full season.  They made reference to what happened in 2008, saying he was too old and didn’t have IT anymore.  His legacy will be tarnished and that he should stay retired.

Well, Favre had other plans.  He came back into the league, late august of 2009.  He had missed training camps, off-season work outs and was still recovering from his surgically repaired shoulder.  Yet, he started his first pre-season game with his new team just hours after he landed in Minnesota.  He knew he needed to make believers out of his teammates first, and that he did… they named him a Team Captain by the first game of the season.

What followed was something so amazing, no one saw it coming.  A story about a 40-year-old playing as jubilant as a little kid. A story that would take a football team all the way to the NFC Championship game.  A story that has yet to be finished.

In 2009, Favre posted career bests in completion percentage, TD-INT ratio and Passer Efficiency rating.  He also passed for over 4,000 yards, scored 33 TD’s and had his second highest YDS per game in his Career.  By doing so, he earned the hearts and minds of the Vikings faithful and was in the Most Valuable Player discussions throughout the season, an honor he’s earned three times in his stellar career.

Favre is great for the game of football.  It’s refreshing to see a man who truly enjoys the game and wants nothing but to play  every down.  He’s the “Iron Man”, having started 309 consecutive games, including the playoffs.  I love watching him run towards the end zone and body slamming his receiver after a touchdown… or trying to redeemed himself after an interception by trying to tackle a Defensive lineman.. or trying to chop block a Linebacker in a run play.  The man just wants to play…

So, why not let him take his time?  Why not give this legend the opportunity to walk away when he chooses to?  He’s earned that much.  He’s the missing piece in a Super Bowl ready team.  With Adrian Peterson, arguably the best running back in the game, and a dominating defense that features Allen and the Williamses, this team is primed for another super bowl run.  Favre is surrounded with talented players on both sides of the ball, with good veteran leadership and young talent.  Why not give it one more shot?

In 2008, during his retirement announcement, Favre said: “I’ve given everything I possibly can give to this organization (the Packers), to the game of football, and I don’t think I’ve got anything left to give, and that’s it”… Liar, you still have plenty…  plenty of joyful celebrations and painstaking interceptions…. come one number four, give us just one more. Continue reading

Take the Quiz: Who Will Win the Most Championships?

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2010 by Jorge

Chuck Noll: The greatest coach of all time.

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2010 by Jorge

Granted, he didn’t create an offense that revolutionized the game, neither did he go undefeated for a season.  He didn’t have a signature outfit nor a hoo-rah speech that Companies around the globe now use.  He was a very humble, detailed oriented, passionate leader that didn’t feel the need to say much but when he did… he did so with authority.

Debating who the greatest coach of all time is can be opinionated and full of emotion.  As a fan, we tend to be biased, we want our team/coach to win… so for the sake of argument, we will use numbers (here’s that whole sales thing again).  To narrow the list down to six, I am only going to use coaches who have won multiple championships, have appeared in multiple Super Bowls and have a .500, or better, coaching record.

Having said this, let the argument be made for Don Shula….. the Undefeated Season.  I was actually quite surprised to find out that Shula had made it to 6 Super Bowls but won only two.  Now granted, he won them back to back and has an undefeated season under his belt.  Nonetheless, he coached for 33 years, yet two rings?  Sorry Shula, you are last on this list.  His coaching record is impressive, .678, but he came out short on the big stage…

Moving on up, Tom Landry… notorious for his hats and suits on game day.  He was a dominant figure on the sidelines, always ready to play.  His career record is .607 and went to 5 Super Bowls.  However, just as Shula, he had an under .500 record in the Super Bowl, losing three out of the five.  His 70’s Cowboys would’ve been a Dynasty…  but Chuck Noll was creating one of his own during the same decade.

Next on the list, Bill “Hoody” Belichick.  Bill and his Patriots, shocked the world when they beat the  heavily favored Rams in 2001, on their way to their first super bowl win.  That marked the beginning of his legacy as one of the best in the game.  His Patriots are the last team to win back-to-back championships, 2003 & 2004 .  Under his leadership, the Patriots have become  perennial contenders in the AFC and are always considered a threat in the playoffs, finishing second in most wins in a decade.  He also has an undefeated season under his belt… Regular season that is.  His 2007 Patriots finished the season 18-0 only to lose to the NY Giants in Super Bowl XLII.  That’s the reason he’s not higher on this list, he’s 3-1 in the big game.

Going up the ladder of greatness…. Bill Walsh, the innovator.  He revolutionized the game of Football as we know it today thanks to his short and medium ranged passing philosophy, also known as the West Coast Offense.  His 49ers dominated the 80’s, winning three Super Bowls rings in a ten-year span; he’s 3-0 in Super Bowl games and finished his career with a .609 winning record.  He’s also regarded as a great mentor, having influenced many other coaches throughout the NFL with his philosophies and study of the game.   Bill Walsh is arguably the most influential coach the NFL has ever seen, which made his ranking 3rd, all that much difficult.

Now, this is very, very tough.  The Great Motivator… Vince Lombardi, takes the number two spot.  If you don’t know anything about football, know this…. once a upon time, there was a man who believed that the greatest moment in a man’s life is when he lay exhausted in the field of battle… Victorious.  Know that this man’s teachings, processes and work ethic transcended the game of Football.  His philosophies are taught around the world in Corporate America just as much as in Pewee Football.  Know that this man was greater than life and got the very best out of every man he tutored.  He was the Great Motivator, the Great Vince Lombardi ( The championship Trophy is named after him).  He only coached for 10 years and won two Super Bowls.  His coaching record is an astonishing .738 and won  back-to-back championships in 1966 and 1967.  In many ways, he’s the greatest of all time but we decided to use numbers as our measuring stick… so here’s to number one.

Chuck Noll.  And I am not picking him just because he coached for the Steelers, his numbers speak for themselves.  Art Rooney in his book “My 75 years in the NFL” refers to Noll as a “Renaissance Man”.  He was a man of conviction, a man of values.  Religion, Family and Football, in that order, is how he lived his life.  He’s mostly ignored in most “best coach ever” discussions because he was a very reserved man.  He respected the media and knew they had a job to do, but he never played to them.  Therefore, It’s easy to ignore the fact that he took over a franchise that had only a handful of winning seasons in its 30 plus years of existence (he became the Steelers Head Coach in 1969)  It’s also easy to over look how he was able to build the dynasty teams of the 70’s, through the draft.  Chuck Noll is the only coach in NFL history to win four Championships.  He’s 4-0 in Super Bowls and his Steelers of the 70’s have the most players in the Hall of Fame than any other team on any decade.  He’s the only coach in the history of the NFL to win back-to-back championships twice in a ten year window.  He coached for 23 years and finished his career with a .566 record.

In closing, Chuck Noll is the greatest of all time.  Not only is his record impressive, his championships, but the manner of how he achieved success.  He never deviate from his priorities, he didn’t allow football to consume him.  It drove him, it pushed him, but it never defined him….God, Family and Football.  HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!

Big Ben… The next Joe Montana?

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2010 by Jorge

I know what you are thinking: “here we go again, another Steelers Fan going off the reservation”.  But hear me out, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.  For all of your 49ers fans that would think  comparing the Great Joe to another human being is sacrilegious, relax… Big Ben can potentially be much better.  Numbers don’t lie my friends, that’ why I am in sales.

Joe Montana played from ’79 through ’94 and won four Super Bowls (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV).  He holds every conceivable playoff record and he’s 4-0 in Super Bowl appearances ( Brett Favre recently surpassed him on yardage and TD’s but he doesn’t have four rings to show for it).   He’s also the only QB to never thrown an interception in any of his Super Bowl appearances.  He’s arguably the best QB to ever played the game.  He’s best known as the “comeback kid” due to his unshakable demeanor when the game was on the line, with 31 come-from-behind wins. Impressive

Impressive indeed, and at 27, Big Ben leads all QB’s in the NFL with 15 come-from-behind wins.  2010 will be his sixth year in the league; therefore,at this rate, if he were to play 15 seasons as Joe Montana did, he will shatter Montana’s come-from-behind numbers.  He’s also undefeated in his two Super Bowl appearances.  As Montana, Big Ben won two Super Bowls in a four-year span. Ben Roethlisberger has arguably a better Defense to rely on than Montana did during his Super Bowl years so it is conceivable that Big Ben has a real shot at becoming the best QB to ever play the game….

Now, this is where reality hits.  The game has evolved, from the rules to the players.  They are bigger, stronger, and smarter than they were years ago.  Competition is fierce and in today’s NFL, we have more talented QB’s than we did in the 80’s.  Joe Montana didn’t really have a QB he could measure himself up with, his teams dominated the 80’s. Big Ben on the other hand, has Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers ( every one of them, except the latter, has won at least one championship in the last decade ) and let’s be honest, if you don’t have an elite QB, you are not winning the championship.

Given Big Ben’s success at such an early stage in his career can have many thinking, he’s well on his way to be … The Greatest Quarterback to ever lived.  However, one man can not do it all (ask Peyton Manning)  it’s a team sport and you win and lose as a team.  Big Ben broke a lot of Steelers’ records , in passing, completion percentage, yards per game, just to name a few, yet we didn’t even make the playoffs, thanks to a five game losing streak that stretched from November into December, mostly due to the defense’s inability to find a way to compensate for the loss of key players Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu…

All I am saying is that there is a chance, a chance that in 2004 the Steelers might have drafted the next Joe Montana… or better yet… the ONLY Big Ben.   Bring on 2010, HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!

Why Peyton? Why?

Posted in Peyton on February 15, 2010 by Jorge

Peyton Manning will  be the greatest quarterback of all time…. Statistically that is.  However, to be considered the greatest quarterback of all time in a list that includes Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, you must have the  hardware.  All these great quarterbacks have multiple championships under their belt.  Peyton just has one and his window of opportunity is shrinking and fast.

Tom Brady is still around so he will continue to challenge Peyton for a chance at another championship.  There is also great talent at QB now with Big Ben from the Steelers, Phillip Rivers from the Chargers, Eli Manning with the Giants and Drew Brees with the Saints.  Even younger with Matt Ryan and Aaron Rogers with the Falcons and Packers, respectively; so needless to say, Peyton’s chances at multiple championships is getting thinner and thinner.

Peyton has a .500 record  in the playoffs.  People argue that it’s due to the lack of talent… may i remind you, he had Marvin Harrison to throw to for the first 8 plus years he’s been in the league.. he’s a first ballot hall of famer.  He also had Edge ( Edgerin James) to hand the ball to for most of his career in Indy. Now the argument could be made on the defensive side.  but again, he’s had Freeney and Mathis along with Sanders ( though he’s never played a full season since he’s entered the league)  Indy’s got Bracket manning their middle so I can’t agree with the “lack of talent” excuse.

However, there is something to be said about the coaching and attitude of the Colts.  Joe had Bill Walsh, Tom has Bill Belichick, Bradshaw had Chuck Noll, Troy had Jimmy Johnson and what did all these coaches have in common?  Intensity, Passion , a killer instinct if you will.  They were fiery, dedicated coaches, consumed by the desire to conquer all and be the very best.  you could see them on the sideline, screaming, cursing, yelling at their players and/or referees, they expected greatness from their players and wouldn’t settle for anything else.

This is the reason Peyton doesn’t have multiple championships,  not due to talent, but to coaching.  The Colts are the winningest team of the decade, yet they only have one championship to show for.  The Pats and Steelers are second and fourth on that list, respectively; yet Tom Brady has three and Big Ben already has two.  Unless the attitude within the organization and coaches changes ( like going for the undefeated record instead of sitting their starters ) Peyton will always be regarded as a consistent, stat compiling QB, but never as a Great QB.  The story has not been fully written on Peyton and I am still a big fan of his, but as I mentioned earlier, his window is closing.  He needs to have that killer instinct, that ability to be ruthless in the football field.  Forget about what people might think about you, this is your legacy Peyton, it’s time to take charge.   It’s time to claim your rightful place among the greats.