2 Cent Tuesday: NFL Two Minute Warning a Football Oxymoron

2 Cent Tuesday sports blogToday’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog unmasks the NFL two minute warning as another football oxymoron.

Like instant replay, the painfully protracted final two minutes of an NFL game fails to live up to its simple description.

Calling this game ending sliver of time a two minute warning is anything but a 120 second admonition.

If you believe this football expression, I’m certain you also bought swampland in Florida, time share in the Pocono Mountains and a pet rock from a salesman named Slick.

Any sane football fan knows that the final two minutes of a game takes at least twenty minutes, or more.

Calling it a two minute warning is a slap in the face to anyone who takes time keeping seriously. This football oxymoron is a complete travesty.

Two Minute Warning in FootballThe play clock will seem as if it’s stuck at times during the final two minutes of an NFL contest. Coaches’ challenges, intentional QB groundings and endless booth reviews will choke the life out of it.

The Final 2 Minutes of any NFL Game is an Eternity

The final two minutes of an NFL seem to last an eternity when masterful clock manipulators like Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Joe Flacco have the ball in their hands. They can squeeze precious extra minutes out of a handful of seconds and extend a televised Sunday afternoon game all the way into the 60 Minutes time slot.

Corporations should hire these NFL All-Pro QBs to teach efficient time management to their companies.

So be forewarned when any NFL sportscaster announces the two minute warning because it’s the ultimate football oxymoron.

Plenty more can still happen in the game, and trust me, it certainly won’t happen in 120 seconds! And that’s my 2 cents!

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MIKE on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: NFL Blue Collar Teams

blue collar

The Steelers are a blue collar team.

Today’s Friday Sports Funny should furnish some levity for this coming weekend’s NFL television viewing.

Whether their uniforms are red, green, black or orange, blue collar teams can be found in every sport.

Blue collar workers are a blast from the past. It’s a reference to those with jobs requiring physical brawn and a tireless work ethic and not those farmed out to distant lands like India or the Philippines.

Even today, when describing hard scrapple NFL teams, this sports cliché still resonates.

Steelers, Bears & Packers: Blue Collar Teams

The Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, and Green Bay Packers are traditionally recognized as NFL blue collar teams. They perennially field squads that embody the strong work ethic of their fans.

Plus, blue collar teams in the NFL have traditionally played smash mouth football. They regularly run the ball off tackle and boast stout, aggressive defenses.

You may never witness ESPN or the NFL Network featuring NFL players carrying aluminum lunch pales, sporting hard hats and donning blue collared shirts.

However, the slobber knocker, “three yards and a cloud of dust” mentality that these tough teams embody guarantees fans lots to root for.

Because blue collar teams will always work hard and never back down in any NFL game they play.

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Enjoy this weekend’s NFL games.

MIKE on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: 1927 New York Yankees’ Murderers’ Row

1927 New York Yankees RowToday’s #TBT sports blog looks back at the 1927 New York Yankees championship team also known as baseball’s Murderers’ Row.

Baseball historians have called the legendary 1927 Yankees the best Major League Baseball team ever.

Yet, back in the 1920s, fans, opposing players and the media that covered this New York Yankees team simply referred to the key members of this frightening, famed squad as Murderers’ Row.

With a name like that, it’s easy to see why I booked these “murderers” in the #1 spot of my sports comic book Deadly Sports Stuff.

The first six batters in the Yankees’ line-up (no pun intended) in 1927 posted the most staggering statistics ever witnessed during a single Major League Baseball season.

Yankees’ Murderers’ Row Batters “Killed” Pitchers

The Murderers’ Row batters simply killed opposing pitchers. Their dizzying numbers included a remarkable .307 team batting average, a whopping .489 slugging percentage and an incredible 975 total runs scored. That’s 371 more runs than the teams they faced.

The Yankees easily ran away with the American League pennant that year by a 19 game margin with a 110 – 44 record. They also swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series.

As a team, the 1927 New York Yankees were written about in a 1962 book entitled Murderers’ Row and were featured in a 1966 film by the same name.

Plus, the team’s amazing 1927 performance included stellar individual seasons by American League Most Valuable Player Lou Gehrig who hit .373 and drove in an MLB record 175 runs.

That same year Babe Ruth posted similar MVP numbers. Ruth batted an impressive .356, batted in 164 runs, belted a league record 60 home runs and recorded the highest slugging percentage ever at .772.

League rules barred him from being included in the 1927 MVP voting because he had won the same award the previous year.

The Other 1927 New York Yankees “Murderers”

A list of other “murderers” in the 1927 New York Yankees line-up contributed mightily to the team’s overpowering success. These players also had eye-popping batting averages. Earle Combs batted .356, Mark Koenig .285, Tony Lazzeri .309 and Bob Muesel .337.

Along with their manager Miller Huggins and pitchers Herb Pennock and Waite Hoyt, Ruth, Gehrig, Combs and Lazzeri were all inducted into Cooperstown.

The 1927 New York Yankees’ Murderers’ Row continued their tormenting ways for a second season. It resulted in their sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1928 World Series.

In 1927, the death knell may have come quickly on the baseball diamond to those pitchers who faced them. However, this super team of New York Yankees lives on in baseball lore.

It’s arguably the best Major League Baseball team ever assembled.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: Ref Swallowed His Whistle

MRO 34 Ref Swallowed WhistleToday’s Friday Sports Funny pokes fun at the old sports cliche – the ref swallowed his whistle.

It’s easy to see in this blog’s comic that the screaming coach and the agitated players are incredulous that the ref hasn’t blown his whistle. This could easily happen in a FIFA, MLS, NCAA or biddy soccer league match.

No one seems to happy with the official’s failure to make a call. Well, that’s because the guy is gasping for breath as his whistle is precariously lodged in his throat.

However, the question begs.

Why isn’t anyone on the soccer pitch offering to perform the Heimlich maneuver on the choking ref?

Let’s all agree that regardless of the sport, referees take lots of heat for the impossible roles they perform. Much to our chagrin, they just can’t make every right call every time they officiate a game.

That’s why fans routinely hoot, heckle and holler at refs, whether they’re commenting court side, from the upper deck, at a sports bar or even from their own living rooms.

This clever comic brings to life the popular sports adage the ref swallowed his whistle. It captures the accusation that a ref intentionally swallowed his whistle during a key play in the match.

This soccer illustration metaphorically proves a point.

The actions of the soccer players should decide the outcome of a close game – not a really bad call from an overzealous ref who really should have swallowed his whistle in the first place.

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MIKE on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Phillies’ Hall of Fame 3B Mike Schmidt

Philadelphia Phillies' Mike SchmidtVoted in 1983 as the greatest player in franchise history, this slugger spent his entire 18 year career in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform.

More than 25 years after hanging up his cleats, Mike Schmidt, or Schmitty, still holds 12 individual offensive records as a Phillies player.

Whether with a bat at the plate or a glove at third base, Schmidt’s total body of work in Philadelphia was impressive.

A sure-handed third baseman, Schmidt won 10 National League Gold Glove Awards while protecting the hot corner on the lightning fast synthetic turf of Philadelphia’s old Veterans Stadium.

Schmitty also utilized his raw power as a sculpted 6’2” and 205 lb. slugger to win eight home run titles during his career.

Schmidt Ranked 15th All-Time in MLB HR’s

In spite of an unorthodox batting stance, Mike Schmidt finished 15th all-time in Major League Baseball history with 548 dingers.

Schmidt kept himself in such great shape that legendary teammate Pete Rose made the following comment in his authorized biography Pete Rose: A Biography by David M. Jordan. “To have his (Schmidt’s) body, I’d throw in mine and my wife’s and some cash, too!”

He’s also an easy walk-off pick for my #3 spot in my FREE sports comic book  Philadelphia Sports Icons.

Philadelphia Sports Stars and LandmarksIn addition to winning the National League MVP award in 1980, 1981 and 1986, the 12-time all-star retired with an enviable .267 batting average, 2,234 total hits and 1,595 RBI’s, 36th all-time.

Perhaps the highlights of Schmidt’s career were twofold: he hit four home runs in one game on April 17, 1976, and he won the MVP award while guiding the Phillies to the franchise’s first ever 1980 World Series title against the Kansas City Royals.

It’s no surprise that baseball writers voted Mike Schmidt into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1995 on the first ballot with 96.52% of the total vote. That ranks as the 4th best all-time.

The Phillies formally retired his #20 in 1990. In addition, the franchise honored Schmidt by adding him to the team’s Wall of Fame in Citizen’s Bank Park and erecting his statue. It was fittingly placed just outside the stadium’s third base gate to the ballpark.

The Sporting News Honored Mike Schmidt Twice

The Sporting News recognized Schmidt’s stellar career twice. The publication named him Major League Baseball player of the decade in the 80’s. It also honored Schmidt as #28 on its list of top 100 greatest players ever and as the highest ranking third baseman on the esteemed list.

A rotator cuff injury derailed Schmidt’s career in 1989, but his memory continues to flourish in Philadelphia.

That’s why this Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman is an easy choice at #3 in Philadelphia Sports Icons and the subject of today’s #TBT sports blog.

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MIKE on Sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: US Women’s Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Feels Disrespected

Wikimedia Photo: Pierre-Yves Beaudoluin

Wikimedia Photo: Pierre-Yves Beaudoluin

This Friday Sports Funny about US women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe departs from my normal sports comic; however, the intent of this post remains the same.

Today is Friday and my post is funny. Actually, it’s absurd, ironic and I personally find it ridiculously funny.

Earlier this week, Seattle Teign FC  star Megan Rapinoe knelt during the playing of the national anthem at a sparsely attended National Women’s Soccer League game.

Rapinoe’s silent protest was in support of San Francisco 49ers’ QB Colin Kaepernick’s first sitting, then kneeling protests for awareness of what he called police brutality in America.

As strongly stated in a previous 2 Cent Tuesday sport blog concerning Kaepernick’s protest, I adamantly support free speech in our country and everyone’s right to exercise it.

But, in Kaepernick’s case, I abhor the struggling QB’s selfish public defiance at a team oriented event where he disrespected our nation’s flag – long held as a beacon of hope for millions and a symbol of unity for all races, creeds, cultures and colors that comprise our imperfect nation.

Following Kaepernick’s lead, Rapinoe, an outspoken homosexual, opted to jump on the Kaepernick inspired bandwagon by kneeling in a game in Seattle. The US Women’s National Soccer Team star then expected to continue her social activism during another soccer game earlier this week in Boyds, MD.

However, the organizers of the Washington Spirit versus Seattle Reign contest chose instead to play the National Anthem before kick-off while Rapinoe and her team were still in the locker room.

Rapinoe reacted by claiming the organizers’ actions were disrespectful.

No, I’m not kidding. Yes, Rapinoe said disrespectful. Cluck, cluck.

How ironic! How childish! How ridiculously offensive that she would accuse the hosts of being respectful.

But, what beautiful karma!

That’s because I find it funny, even hilarious, that the petulant little girl with the pretty pixie hair cut would find this scenario so upsetting.

Rapinoe Felt Disrespected That Her 2nd Disrespectful Protest Was Cleverly Avoided

Sports fans could probably hear her mutter and mumble something like, “How dare they dis-respect my protest to dis-respect our nation’s flag!”

Now, that’s funny to me on this wonderful Friday.

Poor Megan didn’t get a second shot of offending the Washington Spirit, their fans and the millions of other Americans who find her actions repulsive.

Kudos to the Spirit for not tolerating Rapinoe’s perverse “right” to exercise her free speech to besmirch our nation’s flag.

And, thanks for giving me and so many other sports fans a good laugh at Megan Rapinoe’s expense.

Next week, I promise to return to posting a real Friday Sports Funny instead of ranting about what I thought was funny, or ridiculous, in the world of sports!

One more thing…

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MIKE on Sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Former Florida Gator Now New York Met Tim Tebow

heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow

Today’s #TBT sports blog looks back when new New York Mets signee Tim Tebow tore it up on the field as a college football player.

Sure, he may now need to prove himself as a minor league baseball player. But, not too long ago Tebow was college football’s best player.

As famous for his public displays of faith as he was for his spectacular career at the  University of Florida, Tim Tebow never continued his collegiate success in the NFL.

After getting released by the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, Tebow never lost hope of starring one day in the professional ranks.

However, few fans could have ever imagined that his last hope as a professional athlete would be in Major League Baseball.

In today’s #TBT post, let’s take a look back at Tebow’s famous college football days.

#Today’s #TBT Blog Rewinds Clock on Tebow

Former Gator QB Tim Tebow may have unintentionally provoked some college football fans who thought he flaunted his Christian faith on the football field. However, no college football fan could argue that #15 enjoyed one of the best college careers of anyone who’s ever laced up football cleats.

For skeptics who can look beyond Tim Tebow’s scripture messages in his eye-black or his Tebowing (kneeling on a football field with head bowed to celebrate a touchdown), they can certainly admire the brilliance of this hybrid QB and his unmatched ability to win close football games.

While at Florida, Tebow helped lead the Gators to BCS National Championships in both 2006 and 2008. Along with his heralded team accomplishments, #15 was a one man wrecking crew in collecting numerous personal awards and accumulating amazing individual statistics.

In addition to being named the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow received the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback. He also picked up two Maxwell Awards as the nation’s top college football player and the James E. Sullivan Award as the country’s best amateur athlete.

Besides becoming the first ever FBS QB to both run and pass for 20 touchdowns in one season, Tebow capped a sensational college football career in Florida’s 2010 Sugar Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bearcats. During the game, Tebow amassed a staggering 533 yards in total offense on 31 – 35 passing, and he accounted for four TDs.

This former Gator never duplicated his college success as the NFL QB so many of his fans had hoped he would become.

However, as a spokesperson for top brands like Nike, EA Sports, Jockey and TiVo, Tim Tebow has flourished as a fan favorite and continued his genuine and unapologetic demonstration of his faith.

The polite, articulate 6’3” and 240 lb. son of Baptist missionaries still personifies all that is good about college football. As a former 1st round draft pick in the NFL, Tim Tebow has utilized his fame and new found fortune by starting the Tim Tebow Foundation.

The foundation’s mission best describes this, at times, polarizing individual: “The Tim Tebow Foundation exists to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.”

No wonder why Tim Tebow also barrels in at the #3 spot of NCAA Football Favorites.

MIKE NCAA Football FavoritesClick on the blue cover above to safely download the ebook for 99 cents from Amazon.

And that’s something for us all to be grateful for – or even Tebow about.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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2 Cent Tuesday: College Football’s Unique Mascots

NCAA sports mascotsToday’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog features one of my favorite things about college football – the unique mascots of NCAA schools.

There’s no doubt that highly heralded players, marvelous marching bands, beautiful bouncing cheerleaders and inventive in-game entertainment give expectant viewers every reason to tune into the endless array of televised games.

However, there exists more than spectacular catches, bone jarring hits and perfectly executed screen plays that contribute to the overall popularity of college football.

One of the unmistakeable benefits of being a fan of college football is both enjoying and embracing the story behind each school’s unique mascot – my focus in today’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog.

Every NCAA School Boasts Its Own Unique Mascot

Every college and university not only boasts its own individual football tradition, but also is identified by its very own mascot.

That’s why I believe that mascots capture the purity of college sports. They make college football fun and help distinguish one school from another.

Nothing epitomizes college football like the likeable mascots parading the sidelines of stadiums, encouraging loyal fans to cheer, clap, stomp, yell, do the wave and, sometimes, even do the ridiculous.

Fans, both young and old, are attracted to the creativity and childlike fun of mascots and to their back stories.

From Navy’s Bill the Goat to the University of Texas’ Bevo the Long Horn Steer, and from the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Sammy the Slug to Big Al the Alabama Crimson Tide elephant, unique mascots bring smiles to the faces of sports fans of all ages no matter whom they’re supporting.

Mascots come in all shapes, sizes, colors and animal species. They even represent all kinds of weather.

Color palettes range from Ace Purple at the University of Evansville to Buzz of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and from the Orange of Syracuse to Blue the Bobcat of the University of Kentucky.

Weather-conscious fans are entertained by Gael Force the Knight of the St. Mary’s of CA, Husky of the St. Cloud State Blizzard and Sebastian the Ibis of the Miami Hurricanes.

Every form of animal species on the planet is represented by a colorful, creative mascot singing, dancing, clapping and hamming it up on the sidelines during college football games.

Fans love UGA – the University of Georgia bulldog. Klawz – the University of Northern Colorado bear. Mario – the Drexel University dragon. Big Stuff – the Winthrop University eagle. And Zippy – the University of Akron’s beloved kangaroo.

Whether they’re a Lion (Columbia), Tiger (LSU) or Bear (California); a Pirate (East Carolina), Vandal (Idaho) or Rebel (UNLV); a Demon (Wake Forest) or a Devil (Arizona State); a Chanticleer (Coastal Carolina) or a Commodore (Vanderbilt); a Blue Hen (Delaware), Blue Hose (Presbyterian) or even a Blue Devil (Duke), mascots bring out the kid in all of us.

That’s why these fun and unique mascots also make my list at #4 in my sports comic book NCAA Football Favorites. Just click on the blue cover below and safely download NCAA Football Favorites for 99 cents from Amazon.

MIKE NCAA Football FavoritesEnjoy the read. Better yet, share with me your picks for favorite or unique mascots which make the college game so much fun to watch.

And, that’s my 2 cents.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!Football footer

Labor Day: No Rest for Refs, Officials & Umpires

NFL instant replay

Labor Day is traditionally a national day of rest for American workers.

But, refs, umpires and hard working sports officials who oversee all the action on the playing field, basketball court, hockey ice, soccer pitch, etc. never seem to get the day off.

Today’s sports blog asks fans to take a moment and appreciate refs, officials and umpires.

That’s right. I am asking you to show some love for the guys wearing the stripes and squatting behind the plate.

After all, it is Labor Day today. We’re all probably resting while the guys and gals in stripes are probably working somewhere in the heat or rain and taking their share of non-stop, unmitigated abuse.

Fans Don’t Appreciate Refs

Sports fans usually don’t appreciate refs. And, that includes me!

Refs normally work every holiday. Not just Labor Day, but Christmas, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Flag Day, ML King Day, National Grandparents Day, Ground Hog Day and every other holiday. In doing so, they allow fans to enjoy their sports while lounging on the sofa in front of a big screen or relaxing at a bar with friends while devouring a basket of chicken wings.

Every sports fan sees refs, officials and umpires at every game in every sport at every level. The guys and gals with the whistles never actually play in a game, but they’re most deserving of our appreciation; otherwise, there wouldn’t be any games at all.

Their presence is absolutely essential. These invaluable people who preside over games, blow the whistles, make the calls, enforce the rules and enact all the penalties.

They work tirelessly both indoors and out, in both good weather and bad, and during all hours of the day.

Refs Get No Rest

They never get to rest, but remain on their feet or skates for the entire length of their respective assignments.

In the blink of an eye, these under-appreciated, but essential participants in every game make critical decisions that can be carefully reviewed and callously criticized countless times on national television – often with the benefit of super slow motion and high definition cameras.

indisputable video evidence

Acting as both judge and jury, they make crucial calls that can effect legacies, decide championships and even determine the future worth of player contracts. Yes, they’re the guys under the hood on NFL sidelines.

Plus, their hazardous professions go completely unnoticed by the average sports fan. When working behind the plate, these non-players take fastballs off their shins. Also, they occasionally get steamrolled on the football field by 300 lb. linemen.

Too often, they find themselves checked into the boards by overly aggressive defense men and struggle to keep up with gazelles on both the basketball court and soccer pitch.

Few ever know their names. They’re mocked, yelled at, glared upon, ridiculed and cursed.

Only referenced at sports events when their judgment is brought into question, these non-athletes never receive the credit they deserve.

Yes, they’re the zebras, the blind mice and the dastardly devils that may – or may not – blow their whistles in your team’s favor.

These officials, umpires or refs, maintain order on the hardwood, the ice, the pitch, the gridiron and the baseball diamond.

Without them, there would be no games at all. Let’s all try appreciating refs, officials and umpires. Go on, sports fans, you can do it, too!

MIKE on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: A Pitchers’ Duel in Baseball

MIKE Sports Comic: Pitcher's Duel

Today’s Friday Sports Funny perfectly brings to life the commonly used baseball expression – pitchers duel.

Just like you’d never see NFL football receivers stop on actual dimes or NBA basketball players literally jump out of the gym, you’d never witness saber-wielding pitchers on an MLB baseball mound.

These older, but widely accepted, sports clichés help us better understand a situation in sports.

This baseball comic makes up the #12 chapter in my sports comic book Favorite Sports Comics.

Favorite Sports ComicsThat’s because it cleverly demonstrates the excellence of two pitchers. As they metaphorically duel it out on the pitcher’s mound, they successfully quiet the bats of their opponents.

If it were a current day sport, ESPN would soon be showing highlights of this great pitching duel.

Email me at mikeonsports@yahoo.com if you have a favorite sports comic you’d like to see featured in a future Friday Sports Funny.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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