Friday Sports Funny: Kicker Tacking on Extra Point

MRO 95 Kicker Tacking on Extra Point copy

The old football cliche “the kicker is tacking on the extra point” makes up today’s Friday Sports Funny.

Even in an era of high def Jumbotrons in 80,000 seat NFL and NCAA college football stadiums, the kicker tacking on the extra point remains a relevant sports expression.

Not long ago, guys like the one in this comic actually tacked on the extra point after touchdowns.

The simple, manual job involved just a tool belt and hammer.

Today’s sophisticated operators have traded brawn and physical labor for tech sense and fancy computer degrees as they currently keep score in stadiums and arenas.

NCAA Kickers Still Maintain High Percentages

NCAA kickers still maintain high percentages of easy chip shot extra point attempts. However, the near perfect percentages of NFL kickers in years past has stumbled a bit due to the league moving the attempt back to the 35 yard line to add a little more excitement and intrigue to the pro game.

So, whether we witness a relic of a high school scoreboard or a high tech Jumbotron, football fans still love reciting this timeless cliché after a touchdown that the kicker is tacking on the extra point.

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#TBT Sports Blog: Former NY Jets QB Broadway Joe Namath

Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath

Today’s #TBT sports blog recalls one of the NFL’s most outspoken players – former New York Jets Super Bowl III winning QB Broadway Joe Namath.

Jazz singer George Benson crooned about the neon lights shining bright on Broadway. But, New York’s neon lights were never brighter than when New York Jets QB Joe Namath stole the spotlight during the 1968- 69 NFL season.

Just a short cab drive away from New York City’s theater district, Broadway Joe Namath was the main event at Shea Stadium where the New York Jets played.

Namath Featured in FREE Sports Comic Book

Namath talked big, played bigger and lived life even larger. That’s why he steps out on the stage in the #6 spot in my FREE sports comic book New York Sports Icons.

As chronicled in an HBO Sports documentary, Broadway Joe led his underdog New York Jets team to an upset Super Bowl III victory in 1969 over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Miami’s famed Orange Bowl.

Sherman Puckett, Namath’s teammate with the Jets, first called Namath Broadway Joe. Puckett saw how Namath loved the New York nightlife and the attention of the New York press.

Plus, Namath was not shy. He wore an assortment of full length fur coats on the Jets sidelines during games. This all happened before the NFL set specific rules on what NFL players could wear on game days.

In both his personality and appearance, Joe Namath was no member of the New York Jets’ chorus line. He was the highly costumed star and the central figure on his talented NFL team.

Broadway Joe Namath: Toast of the Town in New York City

And, in New York City, he was the toast of the town. Broadway Joe Namath began forty years ago the path of sports celebrity that today’s modern athletes like LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Kobe Bryant, Eli Manning, Tom Brady and others have followed.

In addition to dominating sports and entertainment headlines off the field, Namath excelled on the turf too. NFL.com rated this two-time AFL MVP and five-time AFL All-Star among the top 100 football players of all time.

Though #12 last laced ’em up on the football field in 1977, Namath’s reputation still lingers, especially among New York sports fans.

Since the late 1960s, many Broadway shows have come and gone in New York City. But, the curtain has never fallen on one of sports’ most unforgettable celebrities – Broadway Joe Namath.

It should be surprise to see Broadway Joe Namath’s name at #6 on the marquee of New York Sports Icons. Click HERE to safely download the FREE book.

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2 Cent Tuesday: America’s Favorite Stadium The Rose Bowl

2 Cent Tuesday sports blog

Today’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog celebrates America’s favorite stadium!

It hosted last night’s incredible Rose Bowl Game between USC and Penn State.

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA has served as the venue for many of America’s top sports events over the past century.

Last night’s epic 52 – 49 USC victory ranks as one of the best sporting events in the heralded history of California’s iconic landmark.

However, the Rose Bowl Stadium is more than just a football stadium.

Sports Illustrated Ranked it #1

Because of the Rose Bowl’s rich and diverse history, Sports Illustrated ranked it number one in its 2007 poll of best college stadiums.

It’s no surprise that many others in sports media have attributed the enviable moniker “America’s Most Famous Stadium” to California’s Rose Bowl. Sorry, Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft!

Constructed in 1922 for only $272,198, the original horse shoe shaped stadium was designed by Myron Hunt to mirror the Yale Bowl in New Haven, CT. It officially became known as the Rose Bowl in 1923.

Now owned by the City of Pasadena, the Rose Bowl has earned its status as a National Historic Landmark.

This venerable venue has successfully transformed over the years. Its first collegiate game featured Cal defeating USC on October 8, 1922.

An evolutionary stadium, it has since played host for many of our nation’s most publicized athletic events.

Rose Bowl Stadium

The stadium’s capacity has mushroomed from its original 57,000 seats and now accommodates seats for up to 92,542 fans.

1980 Super Bowl XIV between the Pittsburgh Steelers and original Los Angeles Rams saw the stadium break a single game attendance record.

In one of the NFL’s greatest title games ever, the storied stadium swelled to 103,985 spectators.

The stadium’s greatest attendance record was set way back in 1973 when 106,869 spectators watched USC defeat Ohio State University in that year’s Rose Bowl Game.

Besides hosting five Super Bowls on its pristine natural grass surface, the Rose Bowl has served as home for the UCLA Bruins since 1982.

More than a sports stadium, the Rose Bowl welcomes visitors to one of our nation’s top outdoor flea markets during the second Sunday of every month.

The Rose Bowl’s iconic status has been solidified over the years. The 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games boasted activities at this beloved stadium.

The 1994 Men’s World Cup, the Women’s World Cup in 1999, various CONCACAF Cups and other major international soccer exhibition games have all been held here.

One sports event catapults the Rose Bowl above and beyond its peers. Each year, it plays host to the “Granddaddy of Them All,” when its field opens to the final and most prestigious college football bowl of the season – The Rose Bowl Game.

Except for a brief hiatus during World War II, this is where the Rose Bowl has pitted BIG 10 and PAC 12 championships teams.

In addition, four Bowl Championship Series Title Games (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014) kicked off in the Rose Bowl and the site figures prominently in the newly organized College Football Playoffs.

Rose Bowl Has Undergone Extensive Renovation

Over the past few years, the Rose Bowl has undergone an extensive $180 million renovation. With wider hallways, expanded tunnels, 10 new giant LED panels, 10 new electronic game clocks, 54 luxury suites, 48 luxury boxes, 1,200 club seats and a totally modernized broadcast booth, the famous stadium is poised to continue its long tradition of hosting the top sporting events in America.

Plus, with its stunning location overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains, it’s no surprise that the Rose Bowl ranks as America’s favorite stadium.

And, that’s my 2 cents.

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Friday Sports Funny: Shot Themselves in the Foot

MRO 38 Shot Themselves in FootToday’s Friday Sports Funny brings to life the obvious sports cliche: Shot Themselves in the Foot.

Words aren’t necessary to describe the pained player or the dismayed coach featured in this comic.

Whether in NFL, NCAA or even high school football games, players can fail to perform their best when making ill-advised decisions.

Rather than merely losing a game, they also suffer from knowing they were responsible for inflicting harm on their own team.

Sports minded Americans opposing our country’s constitutionally protected Second Amendment should be pleased. The comic employs a sling shot doing the shooting rather than an actual gun.

Regardless of the weapon, nobody on a football team wants to know they’re responsible for their team’s loss for being the ones who shot themselves in the foot.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on 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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Friday Sports Funny: NFL Blue Collar Teams

blue collarToday’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 industrious men 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 – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: NFL Immaculate Reception

Franco Harris Immaculate Reception

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

That’s because tomorrow, 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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2 Cent Tuesday: Bowl Dodging Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey

2 Cent Tuesday sports blogToday’s 2 Cent Tuesday blog explores the latest trend in college sports – bowl dodging.

2016 Heisman hopefuls and projected NFL 1st round draft picks Leonard Fournette of LSU and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford announced that they would be skipping, or bowl dodging, their teams’ upcoming college football bowl games.

Both elite college football running backs plan to focus on preparing for the NFL Draft in lieu of suiting up and risking injury for their teams’ rather pedestrian Citrus and Sun Bowl games.

Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey

Leonard Fournette’s and Christian McCaffrey’s bowl dodging decisions have unleashed a sports media debate involving journalists, fans, coaches, alumni and even former players. Their choice to skip the culmination of their college seasons has deemed them either selfish or wise depending on whom you ask.

For example, Stanford players have openly supported McCaffrey’s decision and have tweeted their support. And, in Fournette’s case, few are decrying his choice as he is still not 100% healthy from a deep ankle sprain that caused him to sit for four games this year.

Many in the media have publicly excoriated Fournette and McCaffrey for sullying the true spirit of collegiate sports in order to shield themselves from injury. These same pundits fear that the pair has initiated a new trend of bowl skipping that will render future bowl games less exciting for fans and less marketable for sponsors.

However, others, including me, support Fournette and McCaffrey. The college football bowl system has become a farce. Schools may pocket huge money even though some teams wallow in mediocrity with .500 records only to get invited to participate in lightly attended contests that matter little.

For example, Boston College got pasted in ACC games by lopsided scores of 49 – 0 to Virginia Tech, 52 – 7 to Louisville and 56 – 10 to Clemson. Yet, the 6 – 6 bowl eligible Eagles will face equally mundane Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl Bowl in Detroit. The 6 – 6 Terps also got waxed 59 – 3 by Michigan and 62 – 3 by Ohio State.

Like the Quick Lane Bowl, many college football bowl games hold little interest for fans and scream caution for those talented players expected to play at the next level. The risk to participate in meaningless games is huge for a handful of elite players.

Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame: Brutal Knee Injury

Sadly, in 2015 certain high 1st round pick Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame suffered a career threatening injury in his team’s Fiesta Bowl game against Ohio State. The brutal knee injury dropped Smith from a high 1st round pick to 34th overall and arguably cost him millions in guaranteed salary.

Compounding the matter is coaching hypocrisy. Some successful college football coaches jump ship at this time of the year. They abandon their teams for better gigs and bigger contracts, leaving their recruits and alumni in the lurch. Coaching at these games is left to assistants to motivate players who’ve been scorned by striving coaches pining for more money and a bigger spotlight.

Sure, I love the intoxicating spirit of college sports and eagerly await the college football playoff games which really offer true meaning to the sport.

But, the broken college football bowl game system is in need of repair. Too many games. Too little consequence. And, too many opportunities for promising careers, like Jaylon Smith’s, to be derailed.

That’s why I support bowl dodging Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey.

And, this is my 2 cents!

Shop for College Fan Gear at Fanatics.com!Also, for fans interested in authentic college football merchandise or collectibles, simply click on the Fanatics logo above.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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New FREE Sports Comic Book: Annoying Stuff in Sports

To celebrate the holidays, I’m now releasing my new FREE sports comic book: Annoying Stuff in Sports.

Check out the book’s following introduction and then safely download the PDF by simply clicking HERE.

Book Introduction: Sports fans not only like to boast about what they admire about an athlete, a team or a game. They also love to pontificate about the sports related stuff that irritates them.

That’s why I penned this FREE book on the top 10 things I find most annoying in sports.

As a prolific sports commentator, I consider it my personal obligation to speak up about the personalities, situations, ill-advised behavior, etc. in sports that stoke my embers of my very own distaste.

In Annoying Stuff in Sports, I’ve accumulated my own list of the obnoxious things that agitate me the most.

In this book, you’ll probably agree with some of the universally annoying stuff that figures prominently on my list.

Read About the Irritating Things in Sports

Irritating things in sports that I write about include: the NFL two minute warning, spitting in baseball, grunting in tennis, flopping in soccer, non-sport sports like NASCAR, pool and curling, and the formerly mega-rich, but now retired, broke athletes.

Some entries that squeezed into Annoying Stuff in Sports may surprise you. But, they really disturb me. That’s why each warrants a special chapter in my book.

These surprising choices that I categorize as annoying stuff include: Dick Vitale in the broadcast booth, the high cost of attending a game, whining in the NBA, adjusting the fellas in baseball, and basketball’s missed free throw celebration.

Remember, this is my book.

It chronicles my collection of the stuff I find annoying in sports.

Consider it a mini reservoir of my personal angst.

This book overflows with my vituperative views on things I find irritating in sports.

These are my opinions, and my personal picks.

If you disagree or want to share what irks you in the world of sports, then email me at mikeonsports@yahoo.com.

Otherwise, enjoy Annoying Stuff in Sports.

Shop for Official Game Day Gear at Fanatics!Also, for fans interested in authentic sports merchandise or collectibles, simply click on the Fanatics logo above.

Note that if you opt to purchase a Fanatics product, we earn a small commission from each sale. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: Time to Step Up

MRO 18 Time to Step Up

Today’s Friday Sports Funny brings to life the widely used sports cliche “time to step up!”

Whether you call it crunch time or gut check time, no explanation is necessary for this cliche.

All sports fans know that at critical junctures, a team needs to step up their game.

When there’s a huge championship trophy at stake, players need to rise up to meet the challenge. That’s when they embrace the time to step up.

It doesn’t matter if the crucial moment arrives during an NFL, NCAA or high school football game. Fans and players always understand how vital it is to marshal every bit of energy and will power.

If they want to climb the steep stairs to claim the championship trophy, winning football teams will always step up to the challenge.

I love how the old school coach wearing a fedora is exhorting his players to step up by pointing to the red trophy at the top of the long staircase.

Somehow, I believe his players will ultimately step up and succeed.

Shop for Official Game Day Gear at Fanatics!Also, for fans interested in “stepping up” and purchasing authentic sports merchandise or collectibles, simply click on the Fanatics logo above.

Note that if you opt to buy a Fanatics product, we earn a small commission from each sale. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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