#TBT Sports Blog: The NBA Rash Bruce Bowen

ESPN NBA announcer Bruce BowenKnown by his itchy nickname the Rash, Bruce Bowen scratched, clawed or chafed his way to become an NBA Champion.

Bruce Bowen is my pick for today’s #TBT sports blog.

Not only did fans love Bowen’s clever nickname the Rash, but they admired his tireless defending on the basketball court that helped his team win three NBA Championships.

Bowen did not get drafted out of Cal State Fullerton in 1993. Instead, he bounced around in his early professional basketball days.

After playing for teams in France and in the CBA, and later for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA, Bowen finally found a home for eight years with the San Antonio Spurs.

Bowen discovered his special skill with the Spurs. He established himself as a terrific, tireless defender. Spurs teammate Sean Elliott originally referred to Bowen as the Rash. Elliott cited Bowen’s irritating pressure on the other team’s leading perimeter scorer and said, “Bowen’s just all over you like a rash.”

Bruce Bowen: Five-Time NBA All-Defensive team

As a five-time NBA All-Defensive First team, Bowen was vital to the Spurs’ success. Not only could Bowen knock down three pointers from the corner, but he could also be counted on to annoy, hound and harass high scoring opponents like Ray Allen, Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant. A frustrated former Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson even called on the NBA to investigate Bowen for his overly aggressive play on his Mavs’ top scorers.

The defensive-minded Bowen blended brilliantly with his offensive-minded Spurs teammates Tim Duncan, Man Ginobli and Tony Parker. The Rash celebrated three NBA World Championships with Duncan, Ginobli and Parker in 2003, 2005 and 2007. The San Antonio Spurs organization recognized Bowen’s unsung contributions to the team’s success by retiring Bowen’s #12 jersey in 2012.

Bruce Bowen is now a well-spoken NBA talking head on ESPN. The bow tie clad announcer shares with sports fans how he became a key member of three NBA Championships teams.

Bowen laughs that his on-court talent, named after an unsightly skin irritation, ended up serving as his ultimate claim to fame – the Rash.

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#TBT Sports Blog: The Late NFL Minister of Defense

NFL Hall of Famer Reggie WhiteToday’s #TBT sports blog remembers the late Reggie White, an ordained pastor and Hall of Fame lineman, who brilliantly embodied his Minister of Defense nickname.

During a storied 15-year NFL career, this imposing defensive lineman known as the Minister of Defense delivered his football version of a fire and brimstone sermon by dominating opposing offenses.

Whenever Reggie White set foot on the football field, he constantly administered defensive pressure.

And, when away from the gridiron, he tirelessly catered to the needs of inner-city youth and those less fortunate through his work as a Christian minister.

Reggie White Rated #7 NFL Player Ever

NFL.com rated White as the #7 NFL player of all-time, and ESPN Sports Nation named him the greatest player in Philadelphia Eagles history. His storied career validates their lofty choices.

White graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1984 after being named SEC Player of the Year during his senior season. The Minister of Defense then played two years in the now defunct USFL with the Memphis Showboats, earning the 1985 USFL Man of the Year Award.

After the USFL folded, White proceeded to the NFL and starred for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1985 – 1992.

While in Philadelphia, The Minister of Defense proved why he personified his respected title. He was awarded the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1987 and led the league in sacks in both 1987 and 1988. Philadelphia fans loved him, and the franchise retired his #92 in 2006, the same year he was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

Following his eight years in Philadelphia, White played for the Green Bay Packers from 1993 – 1998 before retiring in 2000 after one season with the Carolina Panthers.

During his NFL career, this Minister of Defense played as if his bully pulpit was his unstoppable bull rush into the offensive backfield. Plus, he reaped an earthly award by winning a 1997 Super Bowl XXXL title with the Green Bay Packers.

White ended his career as the NFL’s all-time sack leader with 198, a record subsequently broken by Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills.

The NFL “Minister of Defense” Passed Away in 2004

Sadly, the Minister of Defense answered to a heavenly calling when he passed away prematurely from a respiratory disease in 2004.

Reggie White is best memorialized by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, “Reggie White was a gentle warrior who will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history. Equally as impressive as his achievements on the field was the positive impact he made off the field and the way he served as a positive influence on so many young people.”

And all football fans, not just those in Philly, say, “Amen” about the NFL icon fondly known as the Minister of Defense.

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#TBT Sports Blog: The Old Boston Garden

MIKE Comic Old Boston GardenToday’s #TBT sports blog remembers the old Boston Garden.

Though the storied arena was demolished in 1998, its lore lives on and remains a beloved part of Boston sports history.

In addition to playing host to Stanley Cup Finals and multiple NBA Championships, the old Boston Garden may best be remembered for the incredible sports atmosphere it evoked.

The old brick building provided a huge home court advantage and incredible championship memories for Boston sports fans.

The venue created an energized and cramped atmosphere that housed raucous spectators rooting from boisterous balconies. Some fans even had to crane their around obstructed views to see what hey paid for.

In addition, the arena’s lack of air conditioning further contributed to the home court edge and legendary mystique of the arena. Melting ice and fog during spring hockey games and exhausted, wilted players during NBA Playoff Games combined for perhaps the most unique and antiquated venue in sports.

Originally Called Boston Madison Square Garden

Initially designed in the late 1920’s by boxing promoter Tex Rickard, the old Boston Garden was originally called the Boston Madison Square Garden. Named after New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, it cost $10 million to construct. The arena was the third in what Rickard hoped would become a chain of seven Madison Square Gardens located in major cities around the US.

Like its New York City namesake, Boston’s Madison Square Garden was developed as a then state-of-the-art, multi-use entertainment complex constructed over the city’s vibrant rail transportation hub.

The Boston Madison Square Garden stood above Boston’s northern bound train terminal, also known as North Station, which serviced the city’s Amtrak and Massachusetts Transportation Authority’s needs for destinations as far away as Maine.

Old Boston Garden: Home to Concerts, Prize Fights & More

Few would have imagined how popular the arena would eventually become. The original Boston Madison Square Garden lived through several name changes and played host to concerts, prize fights, ice shows, professional and collegiate hockey and basketball games and even the circus.

Elvis, the Beatles, the Jackson 5, Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead are just a few of the popular acts which performed in New England’s premier sports and entertainment arena.

The original Boston Garden’s first ever event pitted prize fighters Dick Finnegan and Andre Routis on its November 17, 1928 card. The fight drew a great opening night crowd which raved about their proximity to the actual ring.

Rickard bragged that there would be no bad seats in his house because the Boston Madison Square Garden “was built to see the sweat on boxers’ brows.”

Ironically, the fight’s attendance paled in comparison to the first hockey game ever played in the new arena only a few days later.

An exciting 1 – 0 Montreal Canadiens victory over the Boston Bruins shoe horned more than 17,000 spectators into the old Garden. The game unwittingly set a precedent that the Boston Garden would not only play host to premier boxing bouts. Hockey would also be right at home in this sparkling new showplace.

More than hockey found its way into this historic venue. Following its name change in 1936 to simply The Boston Garden, it became home to both the Boston Bruins and eventually the Boston Celtics.

The Old Boston Garden Famous Parquet Floor

In 1952 the arena unveiled its famed parquet floor. This uniquely identifiable playing surface differentiated the Boston Garden from all other NBA arenas. Plus, while sitting so close to the gorgeous floor, rabid Celtics fans for many years provided a huge home court advantage for the team.

Fortunately today in the gleaming new TD Garden, the same NHL and NBA championship banners hang as proudly as they did for years from the creaking rafters of the antiquated, original Boston Garden.

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#TBT Sports Blog: New York Rangers Mark Messier

MIKE sports comic - former New York Rangers Mark MessierToday’s #TBT sports blog remembers one of the greatest NHL players ever – Mark Messier. This former New York Ranger earned his fitting nickname – the Messiah – in the Big Apple during the 1994 NHL Playoffs.

The Messiah moniker was a clever adaptation of New York Rangers’ hockey savior Mark Messier’s name.

That’s because New York sports fans attribute the Rangers’ first Stanley Cup Championship in 1994 to this 33-year-old hockey Hall of Famer who boldly led his team to “Hockey’s Promised Land.”


Mark Messier’s lore got its genesis just prior to facing elimination in Game 6 of the 1994 NHL Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils. Messier audaciously predicted a Rangers’ victory in the same fashion as Babe Ruth prophesied his “called shot” and Broadway Joe Namath predicted his “Super Bowl III guarantee.”

The Hockey “Messiah’s” Prophecy

Ensuring that his “prophecy” came to fruition, the Rangers’ long awaited hockey Messiah found the back of the net three times in the decisive third period to close out the series.

Messier cemented his legacy as a New York sports legend when the Rangers advanced to defeat the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals. It marked the New York franchise’s first title in its 54 year history. The Messiah’s goal in the second period of Game 7 turned out to be the deciding factor in the Rangers’ victory.

Winning Stanley Cup Trophies was not new to Messier. He remains the only player in NHL history to captain two different teams to championships. The 26-year NHL vet won five titles when he played in his hometown in Alberta, Canada with the Edmonton Oilers.

Also known as Moose because of his strength and aggressiveness on the ice, the rugged Hockey Hall of Famer did more than accumulate team awards.

A 15-time all-star, Messier also won the sport’s highest individual accolades during his lengthy NHL career. He won the Hart Trophy in both 1990 and 1992 as league MVP. He was also awarded the Conn-Smythe Trophy as MVP of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.

A crowd favorite, Messier pocketed two ESPY awards for Best NHL Player and for Outstanding Performance Under Pressure. The NHL acknowledged Messier’s storied career by naming one of its annual trophies the Mark Messier Leadership Award. And, Hockey News recognized him as #12 on its list of greatest players ever.

Messier Inducted to Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007

In 2007, the Hockey Hall of Fame inducted the Messiah in his first year of eligibility. The hockey legend’s staggering NHL career statistics guaranteed his spot. The former Ranger and Oiler retired as second all-time in regular season points (1,887), playoff points (295) and regular season games (1,756).

Though he may be remembered as one of hockey’s best players to never have won an Olympic medal, Mark Messier will never be forgotten as New York’s hockey Messiah.

Because of his brilliant play and leadership that led the Rangers’ to its first Stanley Cup Championship in 1994, Mark Messier is an easy open net goal at #9 in my FREE sports comic book New York Sports Icons.

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“Spiritual” NCAA Nicknames in Best About Sports

Fomer Illinois running back Red Grange“Spiritual” nicknames are especially defining in NCAA sports, and there’s certainly no shortage of them.

Out of 300+ NCAA Division I and hundreds of Division II and III athletic programs, many boast spiritual type nicknames and mascots and not just those of Gators, Ducks, Eagles, Tigers, Bulldogs, etc.

Clever “spiritual” nicknames and mascots capture the essence of a team, and they also personify a school’s history, geography, tradition or playing style or, in this case, its religious affiliation.

This unique group of divinely inspired college sports nicknames flies in to the #7 spot in my FREE sports comic book Best About Sports.

Best About SportsThis “spiritually” themed assortment of nicknames covers everything from spirits in the sky to demonic entities of the underworld.

Perhaps the greatest singular “spiritual” college nickname of all-time belongs to the University of Illinois’ legendary Galloping Ghost, a phantom-like figure on the football field.

In addition to Red Grange, college sports boast a much broader collection of team oriented “spiritual” nicknames, covering the gamut from heavenly emissaries to dastardly hellions from the underworld.

The Friars (Dominican order of Catholic priests) from Providence College, the Battlin’ Bishops (honored leaders in the United Methodist Church) from Ohio Wesleyan University and the Dons (esteemed nobles in church hierarchy) from the University of San Francisco serve as both ambassadors of their faiths and noble nicknames for their respective schools.

Spiritual protectors also figure prominently in my collection. The Maccabees (Old Testament Jewish rebels) from Yeshiva University, the Griffins (Biblical winged lions) from Canisius College, the Threshers (Old Testament temple laborers) from Bethel College and the Crusaders from Holy Cross College and Valparaiso University all preside vigilantly over their respective campuses.

The spiritual references don’t stop at the campus gates.

The Quakers from the University of Pennsylvania, the Fighting Saints from St. Lawrence University and the Angels from Meredith College add to the spiritual collegiate atmosphere, making proud biblical scholars and church historians alike.

Because we’re talking college sports here, godly emissaries and fighters for their faith need to be particularly strong every time they suit up for their college or university.

These spiritual mascots do figurative battle against more than just fleshly competitors. As the Bible suggests, they war against principalities with equally strong and talented teams sporting different kinds of spiritual nicknames.

The university landscape is littered not merely with heavenly representation, but with demonic entities that challenge their authority.

Demons & Devils: Spiritual College Nicknames of a Different Sort

For example, demons and devils of every color, size and shape line up on the other side of the ball against righteous Friars, Dons, Bishops, Crusaders and Saints.

In addition, demons of the underworld try their talons against one another. Blue Devils from both Duke University and DePaul University may be the most famous nicknamed scoundrels in college sports.

However, scores of other imps and villains ply their devilish trade in college sports.

Sun Devils from Arizona State University, Dust Devils from Texas A & M International, Sea Devils from Cape Fear College, Red Devils from Dickinson College and Devils and Devilettes from Mississippi Valley State University wreak their havoc on the hardwood, track, football field and baseball diamond.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, you’ve got to love the diversity of “spiritualnicknames that pervade the landscape of college sports.

That’s why as a group, “spiritual” NCAA nicknames rank as my #7 pick in my FREE sports comic book Best About Sports.

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#TBT Sports Blog: Pittsburgh Steelers’ Steel Curtain

The Steel Curtain

This immovable football wall stood stoutly as the best defensive team ever assembled in the history of the National Football League.

It blitzes into today’s #TBT sports blog.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Steel Curtain defense of the 1970s totally tyrannized opposing NFL offenses.

The stellar defense helped the Steelers franchise capture all four Super Bowls they appeared in during that era – IX in 1975, X in 1976, XIII in 1979 and XIV in 1980.

Football fans apply the Steel Curtain nickname to Pittsburgh’s defensive ends L.C. Greenwood and Dwight White and defensive tackles Ernie Holmes and Mean Joe Greene, who won NFL Defensive Player of the Year in both 1972 and 1974.

Steel Curtain Reference Began as a Pittsburgh Radio Station Promo

However, the Steel Curtain reference began as part of a 1971 Pittsburgh radio station promotion.

The sports station asked fans to create interest from the Steelers’ fan base and coin a clever name to capture the team’s ultra tough and stingy 11 man defense.

Out of only 17 entries, WTAE Radio chose ninth grader Gregory Kronz’s Steel Curtain entry.

Blue-collared steel mill working Pittsburgh Steelers fans immediately embraced the Steel Curtain nickname. It quickly became a source of pride not only for the team, but also for the City of Pittsburgh.

Led by four future Hall of Famers, defensive tackle Greene, defensive back Mel Blount and linebackers Jack Ham and Jack Lambert, the 1976 Steel Curtain defense is perhaps the best the NFL has ever witnessed.

The team led the league in scoring defense with a 9.86 ppg average and total defense average of 260 ypg.

Anchored by the 1976 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Jack Lambert, the Steelers recorded five shutouts. Pittsburgh kept teams out of the end zone a remarkable eight of nine games during one stretch.

Pittsburgh’s Defense Dominated the 1970’s

During the 1970s the dominant Steel Curtain finished in all top 10 defensive categories every season. As a result of the play of two of their Hall of Fame athletes, the NFL instituted new rules.

Because of their inability to block defensive lineman Joe Greene, NFL offensive linemen could now utilize their hands to block.

And, because of defensive back Mel Blount’s blanketing bump and run coverage, receivers could not be touched after they were five yards off the line of scrimmage.

Admiring fans may struggle to find the right words, like immovable or invincible, to accurately label the Steelers’ defense of the 1970s.

My suggestion is simple. Just refer to these Steel Curtain defenders as four time Super Bowl Champions.

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#TBT Sports Blog: NFL Immaculate Reception

Franco Harris Immaculate ReceptionToday’s #TBT sports blog recalls the Immaculate Reception – arguably the greatest play in NFL history.

That’s because in two days December 23 will mark 44 years since this legendary heavenly heave inexplicably became one of the most controversial plays in the annals of sports.

The Immaculate Reception is a clever twist and play on words. It’s designed around the miracle and two thousand year-old belief in the Catholic faith known as the Immaculate Conception or the birth of Christ to his virgin mother Mary.

Pittsburgh Sportscaster Myron Cope First Used the Name Immaculate Reception

Pittsburgh sportscaster Myron Cope first used the brilliant name in the media. He described a last second pass play in a 1972 NFL Playoff Game between the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cope called Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie Franco Harris’ miraculous catch, or reception of a deflected pass, in the 1972 playoff game’s final possession the Immaculate Reception. He credited Steelers fan Michael Ord for creating the nickname.

With the Steelers trailing 7 – 6 with 22 seconds to go, quarterback Terry Bradshaw tossed a desperate fourth down pass toward running back John Frenchy Fuqua. Oakland safety Jack Tatum collided with Fuqua at the time of the pass’ arrival. The deflected pass found the fingertips of running back Franco Harris. The Steelers’ running back miraculously caught the ball and fought off one Raiders defender. He then scored moments later, giving Pittsburgh an unexpected, last second 13 – 7 victory.

Harris’ catch, or Immaculate Reception, allowed the Steelers to advance to the AFC Championship Game the following week against the undefeated Miami Dolphins.

To this day, the play is still passionately debated by faithful Oakland Raiders fans. They insist that Harris’ grab was illegal because Bradshaw’s pass struck Fuqua first before Tatum made contact.

NFL Rules Should Have Ruled Play Incomplete

According to NFL rules at the time, the pass would have been ruled incomplete. Oakland would have won the game if the pass did indeed touch Fuqua first. However, the refs ruled otherwise.

Even today, Pittsburgh Steelers fans talk about Franco Harris’ catch as the Immaculate Reception. They insist that divine intervention took place on the football field during that 1978 NFL Playoff Game.

Because of it, the Steelers won the game. But, the incredible win is said to be the turning point in the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise.

The Immaculate Reception helped turn a historically losing franchise into a winner and eventually into a five-time Super Bowl Champion.

That’s why this miraculous pass fittingly captures the #1 spot in my sports comic book cleverly called Spiritual Sports Favorites.

Click on the red cover above to safely download Spiritual Sports Favorites for 99 cents from Amazon. Enjoy the read.

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#TBT Sports Blog: Remembering “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe

Hockey great Gordie Howe

Today’s TBT sports blog remembers Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe.

The godfather of modern day hockey – Gordie Howe – also checks in at #4 in my sports comic book highlighting my all-time Hockey Favorites.

Here’s a chapter excerpt from my sports comic book about hockey.

“No one will ever argue that Gordie Howe’s lengthy, unmatched career earned him the nicknames Mr. Hockey and the King of Hockey.

The legendary #9 began playing hockey professionally in 1948 at the ripe age of 20.

Five decades later, Howe retired in 1980 at the unconscionable age 52.

Upon retirement, Gordie Howe held nearly every individual record in professional hockey. The 6’1” and 205 lb. right wing played an amazing 2,421 games, scored 1,071 goals, assisted on 1,518 others and made 29 all-star appearances.

Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe: Six-Time NHL MVP

Mr. Hockey was awarded six Hart trophies as the NHL Most Valuable Player and six Art Ross Trophies as the league’s leading scorer. He finished among the top five in scoring in the NHL for an incredible 20 consecutive seasons.

MIKE Hockey FavoritesIn addition to celebrating four Stanley Cup Championships with the Detroit Red Wings, Howe enjoyed an unprecedented accomplishment when he played for the New England Whalers, part of the now defunct World Hockey Association.

In a grueling sport that would certainly age most players prematurely, Gordie Howe displayed amazing longevity.

Howe became the only father in the history of professional sports to play with his own kids. In Howe’s case, he skated on the same pro hockey team with sons Mark and Marty in the 1973 – 74 WHA season.

Wayne Gretzky Wanted to Be Like Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe

Howe was so revered as the complete hockey player by Wayne Gretzky, that Gretzky was quoted as saying about this King of Hockey, ”I wanted to eat, sleep, look like and play hockey like Gordie Howe.”

Howe’s amazing longevity, rugged durability and incredible skill gained him entrance into 11 different sports halls of fame.

Also, the Canadian government bestowed upon him the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honor.

Well deserved, Mr. Hockey!”

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The Heisman Trophy: A Brief History

college football's highest honor

Standing 13.5” tall and weighing in at a hefty 25 lbs., the iconic Heisman Trophy is unquestionably the most prestigious award in college sports.

The big bronze trophy easily stiff-arms all other potential choices to be the focus of today’s blog.

Tonight’s 83rd annual award ceremony will feature sterling quarterbacks Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma and Lamar Jackson (the 2016 Heisman winner) of Louisville as well as a mercurial talent at running back Bryce Love of Stanford.

A Brief Heisman Trophy History

Every December since 1935, the Heisman Trust in New York City awards the beautiful bronze trophy to “the nation’s most outstanding football player whose performance best exhibits the finest of excellence with integrity.”

Votes from 870 sports journalists, geographically located in six sections across the United States, plus previous Heisman Trophy winners and one collective vote from ESPN sports fans, are submitted to the Deloitte accounting firm. There the ballots are tabulated and governed by the Heisman Trust.

The annual winner is ceremoniously selected in New York City before a national television audience on ESPN.

Quarterbacks and running backs have dominated the Heisman Trophy selection process over the years. No primary defensive player has ever won the coveted trophy, although Michigan’s multi-talented Charles Woodson won the prize in 1997 as a game-changing defensive back, kick returner and punt returner.

Alabama’s bruising RB Derrick Henry won the award in 2015, while Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Florida State’s Jameis Winston, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, all exciting, dual threat quarterbacks, have been the other most recent recipients of the venerated award.

Current NFL stars Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers QB), Mark Ingram, Jr. (New Orleans Saints RB) and Sam Bradford (St.Louis Rams QB) received the honor in 2010, 2009 and 2008 respectively.

OSU’s Archie Griffin Only Two Time Winner

Ohio State University’s Archie Griffin is the only two time winner (1974 and 1975) of the Heisman Trophy. Florida’s Tim Tebow became the first sophomore winner back in 2007, and Winston (2013) and Manziel (2012) emerged as the first freshmen.

In addition, Ohio State University and the University of Notre Dame have witnessed seven winners each from their universities, while USC is the only NCAA school to have its Heisman winner, Reggie Bush in 2005, vacated for accepting improper benefits. Despite its rich football history, Alabama’s only Heisman winner has been Ingram.

What originally began as a great idea by former Auburn, Clemson and UPenn Coach John W. Heisman in 1935 has transformed into college athletics’ most celebrated acknowledgement.

Heisman Trophy winners form college football’s most famous and well-respected fraternity. These players will always be recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments.

Just like the famed Heisman Trophy pose, every college football player would stiff-arm and side-step all would-be competitors to carry home college football’s most prestigious annual award.

And, later this evening, sports fans will find out the name of that deserving college football player.

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Best About Sports: FREE Book & Favorite Football Cliches

MIKE Comic 164 Take What Defense Gives YouHere’s another lighthearted blog for a busy weekend full of both NFL football and anticipated holiday cheer.

Without a fleet of blockers in front of them, my top 10 favorite football clichés easily rush into the #23 spot in Best About Sports.

These ridiculous and sometimes exaggerated expressions capture the way we like to describe teams, plays and games.

They’re all couched in the language of metaphors and hyperbole, but sports fans easily relate.


How funny would it be if these figurative football clichés were actually taken literally?

The following is an excerpt from my FREE sports comic book Best About Sports.

Click on the yellow cover below to safely download.

Best About Sports

Check out my coveted top 10 list:

10. The quarterback’s pass was a wounded duck – Much to the dismay of animal rights activists everywhere, this football cliché offers fans a perfect word picture of a quarterback under-throwing an open receiver with a wobbly, barely flight ready pass resembling an injured duck.

9. The other team is icing the kicker – It would definitely be a hoot watching a bunch of defenders dipping the other team’s kicker into a frozen pond?

8. The quarterback has a rifle for an arm – Anti-gun lobbyists wouldn’t be too happy about this one. Imagine seeing a player load a rifle or in this case his “arm” as he drops back to pass during a nationally televised game.

7. The quarterback has happy feet – I’d love to see athletically gifted quarterbacks like Russell, Cam Newton and Ty Taylor dancing around the pocket while musical notes rather than pieces of grass and dirt would form a wake behind their feet.

5. As seen in this blog’s comic, coaches always encourage their players to follow the game plan, don’t rush and always take what the defense gives them. Yet, these surprised players weren’t actually expecting flowers, candy and a gift box with a bow on it.

4. The fullback is pushing the pile – Instead of diving head first like a battering ram into a pile of linemen, imagine a 6’2” and 250 lb. blocking fullback actually pushing a gigantic pile of dirt and stones with helpless defenders atop it into the end zone. Priceless.

3. The running back coughed up the football – What a sight this one would be. Picture a fast and quick NFL running back, crouched down on his hands and knees. A series of retching up chucks a slimy football onto the grass.

2. The defense flushed the quarterback out of the pocket – I’d love to see a bunch of linebackers and defensive backs handling giant fire hoses pointed at the opposing team’s quarterback. Their objective is met as he’s washed away on his butt farther down the football field.

1. The defense just buried the quarterback – As players from both teams stand somberly around the grave site holding shovels, can you imagine a group of big, burly defensive linemen lowering a casket with the opposing team’s quarterback in it?

The expressions above represent only 10 of the countless football cliches that sports fans utilize every weekend when they tune into an NFL or NCAA game. Maybe I overlooked your favorite cliche.

Write me at mikeonsports@yahoo.com if you have a few favorite football cliches that you believe should be on my list.

You might see your picks in my next book on what’s Best About Sports Volume 2.

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