Monday, July 16, 2012

FFHL OFF-SEASON UPDATES – MISCELLANEOUS


FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER
 
Hello Football Fans,
The NFL supplemental draft came up last week, so thought I'd send out another football newsletter.  There's some other good stuff in there (don't miss out), and four quiz questions for Debbie, Krueg, and the rest of you.
The Olympics start July 28th, and should provide some excitement during the football offseason.
More coming in August,
The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL

The supplemental draft is coming up this week, so I’m kicking out another letter.  I’ll throw in some stuff that’s been accumulating over the summer.

NFL SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT – THIS WEEK

The supplemental draft is being held electronically on Thursday, July 12th.  There are eight players eligible, and an NFL team can give up a 2013 draft pick for the same round in which the team picks them up, if not already taken by another team ahead of them.  (“Say What!??”).  The “lesser” teams will get first shot in each of the 7 rounds.
Last year, only one player was selected: QB Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State) in the 3rd round by Oakland.

Following are the players eligible this year:

LIKELY TO BE SELECTED (4th or 5th round)
WR     Josh Gordon           Suspended by Baylor in 2010 and transferred to Utah but never played for
                                                  the Utes; he’s got speed to burn (sub-4.35 forty) and size (6’4”, 220#)
                                                  Off-field issues (including drug arrest at Baylor)

WOULD LIKELY BE SELECTED, BUT HE’S A RUNNING BACK (7th round?)              
RB      Ed Wesley              Left TCU after injury-filled junior season in 2010 and unproductive
2011 season, stating “family reasons” for his departure this summer.

GOOD LUCK GETTING SELECTED
DB      Quaylon Ewing        Boise State
RB      Adam Harris            Syracuse
OT      Adrian Haughton      Iowa State
LB       Larry Lumpkin         Carson-Newman     Got bad recommendation from prior position coach
DE      Montez Robinson     Georgia                 
WR     Houston Tuminello   McMurray

If not selected, the players will be free agents and can then sign with any team willing to pick them up.

2012 PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

When Mr. Schrader, Mr. Schmidt, and I visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, we did notice that there was an emphasis on Pittsburgh in various exhibits within the Hall.  Maybe it is due to the proximity of the city of Pittsburgh to Canton (about 2-hour drive).

Now, for at least 2012, there seems to be a Pittsburgh bias in the inductee selection process.  Of the six inductees this year, four have a significant connection to Pittsburgh.
INDUCTEES:

JACK BUTLER, age 84, played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1951-1959.  A knee injury ended his nine years, mainly as a cornerback.  He still had 52 career interceptions in his brief nine-year stint, with three 1st-team All-Pro seasons.  He also played sparingly as a WR, adding 4 TD receptions on only 7 career receptions.
Butler’s story is quite amazing, but I’m watering it down here.  He never played football in high school.  When he enrolled at St. Bonaventure, his roommates were football players and talked him into “walking on” to the team.  He was a WR in college.  He was not drafted into the NFL, and went back to his hometown of Pittsburgh to find work.  The Steelers found him, and the rest was history.  I’d like to have lunch with this guy, just to hear his stories.

CURTIS MARTIN was born in Pittsburgh and was a running back for the University of Pittsburgh.  He didn’t start playing football until his senior season in high school.  It didn’t stop him from being productive in the NFL.  He played for New England (1995-97) and then the NY Jets (1998-2005), and is currently the 4th leading all-time rusher with 14,101 yards from scrimmage.  He was only the second player ever to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of his first 10 years in the league.  (See Quiz Questions at end of newsletter for more info.)

DERMONTTI DAWSON played center for the Pittsburgh Steelers his entire NFL career, from 1988 through 2000.  He came out of the University of Kentucky, and was named 1st-team All-Pro six times.  He had to step in and follow legendary Hall of Famer “Iron Mike” Webster.  Dawson did quite well for himself, and played in 170 consecutive games during his career.

CHRIS DOLEMAN played defensive end for the Pittsburgh Panthers in college.  He was drafted by Minnesota and played nine years with the Vikings (1985-1993), and then with Atlanta (1994-95) and San Francisco (1996-98), before going back to the Vikes in 1999 to end his career.  He is 4th among the all-time sacks leaders with 150.5 (excluding head-slapping Deacon Jones and maybe others, who played before that statistic was tabulated).  Doleman had an amazing 44 forced fumbles during his career.

And the two inductees without discernable ties to Pittsburgh are:

WILLIE ROAF, an offensive left tackle out of Louisiana Tech, was drafted by New Orleans and played nine years with the Saints (1993-2001) before ending his 13-year career with Kansas City (2002-2005).  He was an 11-time Pro Bowler.

CORTEZ KENNEDY, a defensive tackle out of Miami of Florida, was drafted by Seattle and played his entire 11-year career with the Seahawks (1990-2000) that included 8 Pro Bowl selections.

See Quiz Questions below for one other non-player inductee.

THE FUGITIVE VENTS (it’s early, but I need to do this)

Donovan McNabb is a piece of work.
He thinks there is no doubt he should be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

April 18, 2012:
When asked the question about whether he should be in the HOF, he responded “Absolutely.  See, one thing that people don’t realize—I never played the game to make it to the Hall of Fame.  I played the game because I love it.  I played the game to win.  I’m a competitor.  When I step out on the field, I feel like I’m the best player on the field [Editor’s Comment: he’s digging the whole deeper as he continues to flap his lips].  Even these last two years, when people may look at it and say, ‘Oh, he’s done, or whatever’.  I’m 34, 35 years old but still, I played at the pinnacle, I played at the highest level of my career.  I played there.  And I would vote for myself for the Hall of Fame.”
If he played at his pinnacle when he started at QB for the Minnesota Vikings to start the 2011 season, he definitely won’t be elected into the Hall of Fame.  The prior year, he stunk it up for the WSH Redskins and was benched by ‘Skins Coach Mike Shanahan.

March 29, 2012:
After having failed in Washington, Donovan the McMuffin opined that the ‘Skins rookie QB Robert Griffin III will be a failure in Coach Mike Shanahan’s offense, but that it won’t be RG3’s fault.  He stated that the father-and-son Shanahan coaching combo (son Kyle is the offensive coordinator) will try to force Griffin into their own offensive system, rather than modifying their offense to capitalize on RG3’s strengths (do I hear sour grapes oozing?).  He went on to continue to bash Shanahan and his failures with QB’s ever since John Elway retired.  McNabb compared his own talents to Griffin’s talents, and he indicated that Shanahan doesn’t know how to use a QB with those talents.  “I was misused [in Washington].  Absolutely, I was misused.”  And McMuffin thinks Griffin will be misused by Shanahan, too.

March 30, 2012 (the next day):
In his appearance on NFL First Take, McNabb criticized Tim Tebow, and First Take sidekick Skip Bayless interjected to stir the pot in saying that Tebow receives more criticism than he deserves, “Tim Tebow is the most unfairly, over-criticized QB in the history of the league.”
McNabb’s follow-up, “Negative-I am.  Nobody has been criticized as much as I have.” And he
then proclaimed himself the most unfairly maligned QB in NFL history, saying that no other passer has ever had to deal with the same stuff that he has. 

He should not do interviews and commentary unless he is off his “meds”.

Guess The Fugitive is a little bitter that the McMuffin ruined the Vikings season last year (with some help from his teammates).

I just cannot stop…. one more.
In June of 2012, McNabb said he’s about 80% to 90% that he’ll play in the NFL in 2012.  He said he’s looking at about three teams.  However, I wonder “Are any teams looking at him??”  I doubt it.

OTHER MINUTIA

NFL “LATE” GAMES
Just in case you are planning your football weekends early this year, make sure you note the later start times for the “late afternoon” nationally televised games.  The break between the 10AM (Pacific; 1PM Eastern) early games and the late games at 1:25PM (Pacific) will be 10 minutes longer.  Previously, the late games started at 1:15PM.  The goal is to reduce the overlap in the early and late games.  According to the NFL, if the change had been implemented over the prior three seasons, the number of overlapped games would have been reduced from 44 to 15.

Another change this year is that last year’s playoff overtime rules will be implemented in the 2012 regular season games, which means that overtime games could take longer in some cases.

To further complicate matters, regionally televised games that began at 1:05PM (Pacific) will continue to begin at the same time this year.

THE GB PACKERS
Did you hear about this, Pack fans?
The Green Bay Packers are going to celebrate Aaron Rodgers Day on December 12, 2012.
Rodgers wears jersey #12, and the date is 12/12/12 (a Wednesday).
That’s true, but it is only part of the story.
The real question is:  Why didn’t the team have Brett Favre Day on April 4, 2004?
Favre’s jersey number was 4, and the date was 4/4/4, and he was still on speaking terms with the team at that point.
I guess their excuse would be that it wasn’t during the regular season.

WILDCATS FOOTBALL
An ESPN.com report of the 99 public schools in Division I-A (FBS) shows that only 19 turned a profit in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, after student fees were removed from the bottom line.
Texas was only #2 ($16.6MM), Michigan was #6 ($10.6MM), Ohio State was #9 ($9.5MM), IOWA was #15 ($4.7MM).  Sorry, I didn’t get the whole list; the info came from the Des Moines Register, biased toward the Big Ten.
Hey Fuge, who was #1?
That would be Kansas State, at $20.1MM profit after student fees.  Nobody would have guessed that one.

EARLY NFL
Speaking of money, back in 1962 the NFL was paid $4.65 million annually for a single-network deal with CBS.  My how times have changed, as the league has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
[Note: 1 billion is 1,000 millions; and if you are keeping track of the US national debt, 1 trillion is 1,000 billions.  That means 1 trillion is one million millions.  Very hard to comprehend.]

THREE FEEL-GOOD STORIES

University of South Florida OL Danous Estenor

Back in February, USF lineman Estenor (6’3”, 306#) stopped at an on-campus eatery, and as he was exiting his car, heard a woman screaming for help.  As he made his way toward the commotion, he saw two men and the female attempting to lift a Cadillac off a 34-year old tow truck operator who had somehow gotten himself trapped underneath the 3,300 pound vehicle (it was in Florida, so that makes sense to me).
In Estenor’s words “I just see his legs.  The car is crushing him.  He’s not moving; I’m thinking ‘Oh, God, this guy is going to die’.  I tried to lift the car, and when I first tried, it didn’t budge.  I backed up..I don’t know.. but I felt this energy come and I lifted it.  I don’t know how, but somebody pulled him from the car.”
The tow truck driver had lost a lot of blood, as the Cadillac’s front right tire had run over his torso and dragged him about 10 feet.  Somehow, he sustained only cuts, bruises, and a dislocated shoulder that was pinned beneath the rear tire.  He was back towing cars two weeks later.

University of Texas WR Marquise Goodwin

Goodwin won the track-and-field long jump title at the USA outdoor national championships in June of 2011, leading him to announce a few days later that he would concentrate on track and take a redshirt year in football for the 2011 season..  After falling one centimeter (2.54 inches) short in the long jump finals of the World Championships in South Korea in September, he returned to the UT Longhorns football team, where he finished third on the team in receptions and receiving yards.

After the season, he resumed training for the Olympics.  At the US Olympic track finals in late June of 2012, Goodwin leaped farther than he ever had, setting a personal best of 27’, 4” to win the event and earn a spot on the USA Olympic team.  The opening ceremony for the London Olympics is scheduled for Friday, July 27th, and the closing ceremony is set for Sunday, August 12th.  No problem; the U. of Texas doesn’t play a regular season football game until September 1st.

Kansas City Chiefs TE Leonard Pope

Granted, this was over a year ago, but for some reason I still had the news article cluttering up my house.
Pope was back home in Georgia in mid-June 2011 during the NFL lockout (remember that chaos?), taking in a pool party at a neighbor’s house.  He was inside, while the kids were flopping around in the pool outside.  Six-year old Bryson was in the water with the other kids.  “All of a sudden”, the mother saw her son going down in the water and started screaming.  Leonard came out of nowhere and dove into the water without any hesitation, cell phone in pocket and all.  He saved the youngster’s life.
Apparently, Pope was the only adult at the scene who knew how to swim (it was in Georgia, so that makes sense to me).
That kid’s mother may have been the only person alive that was truly thankful for the NFL lockout.


ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE - UPDATE

Playoff Picture – Through July 6th only

National Conference
San Antonio Talons (12-3) are 3 games ahead of Chicago Rush (9-6) for the Central Division title, and have clinched a playoff spot.
Arizona Rattlers (12-4) are only 1 game ahead of Utah Blaze (11-5) for the Western Division title, but have clinched a playoff spot.

American Conference
Philadelphia Soul (13-3) has clinched the Eastern Division and a playoff spot.
Cleveland Gladiators (7-9) still have a chance at a wild-card playoff spot.
The Southern Division is up for grabs, with the New Orleans VooDoo at 8-7 and Georgia Force & Jacksonville Sharks at 8-8 in contention for the division title and/or a wild card berth.

Two non-division winners from each conference get wild card berths in the 8-team playoffs.

Championship
The Arena Bowl XXV championship game is scheduled for Friday, August 10th in the New Orleans Arena.

USFL (United States Football League)

The resurrected league began its search for eight host cities on June 27th, with USFL President and CEO Jaime Cuadra and COO Fred Biletnikoff visiting LeBron James’ hometown, Akron, Ohio to get the process started.  Former NFL DL Bob Golic will serve as the USFL’s liaison in Akron.

Future city tours have been scheduled for Austin/San Antonio, Portland, and Salt Lake City.
The USFL plans to start its 14-game season in the spring of 2013.

FOOTBALL QUIZ QUESTIONS

QUESTION #1:  The Buffalo Bills have the longest absence from the playoffs, 12 years of futility.  Which NFL team has the longest current streak of futility in not having won a playoff game?
HINT:  It’s not Buffalo.

QUESTION #2:  Which NFL team was the only team to win over 50% of their games in the 2011 regular season without making the playoffs?
 
QUESTION #3:  On August 2nd, the night before the 2012 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, former AFL and NFL QB Len Dawson will receive the 2012 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame for “long-time exceptional contributions to radio and TV in professional football”.  The prestigious honor comes 26 years after Dawson entered the Pro FB HOF as a player, making him only the third player to ever accomplish both.  Name the other two.
HINT:  If you are over age 50, you may be able to get both of these.  If you are under 50 and get both, you are banned from entry into the FFHL.  According to the FFHL collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner (that’s me) has the undisputable right to rule on such matters.  Take it to the Supreme Court if you wish, but your legal tricks will not work on me or our league.

QUESTION #4:  2012 HOF inductee Curtis Martin rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first 10 years in the league.  Only one other player has done that.  Who was he?
HINT:  He was a great running back in the NFL.






ANSWER #1:
The last playoff win by the Cincinnati Bengals was on January 6, 1991 (1990 post-season).
Ouch!
The Detroit Lions are second in futility to the Bungles.

ANSWER #2:
The Tennessee Titans were 9-7 and missed out on the playoffs on a tiebreaker to Cincinnati.
The Super Bowl Champion NY Giants were 9-7 and won the NFC East outright.
The Denver Broncos were only 8-8, but won the AFC West on a tiebreaker over San Diego and Oakland.
Five other teams that finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs were Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, NY Jets, and Arizona.

ANSWER #3:
Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf
Len Dawson worked as a game analyst for NBC for six years, and has been the Chiefs’ radio analyst since 1984.  A lot of his “success” was attributed to being a pioneer with Inside the NFL on HBO and being on the show for 24 years.
As a player, he led the KC Chiefs to three AFL titles (the first coming when the Chiefs were the Dallas Texans), two Super Bowl appearances, and one Super Bowl victory.

ANSWER #4:
Barry Sanders, who is #3 on the all-time rushing leaderboard with 15,269 yards rushing.
The #2 all-time rusher is Walter Payton with 16,726 yards, and #1 is Emmitt Smith with 18,355.

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