September 24, 2013
As The Ball Bounces: Week 3
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net
Tim Mazzetti used to kick in these parts. He was a bartender who turned into one of the more famous walk-ons in NFL history. After he helped the Atlanta Falcons advance in the 1979 playoffs with a walkoff field goal against Philadelphia, he came to Boston to kick in this new league. In 1983, the one season the USFL Breakers played in Boston, he was their kicker. Mazzetti was no Franklin, no Vinatieri, no Gostkowski, but he was a colorful guy with a cool history. He can only reach the ten-yard line with kickoffs, so we got a chance to run this one back.
September football is not fun. It's terrific that football's back. But it's not fun.
Football is a cold weather game. It's too humid in the south and too hot in the southwest. Two years in a row Fresno State has played a home game with a kickoff temperature in triple digits. And that's fan temperature, not field temperature, which is 20 degrees hotter.
It's early in the season. You really don't know what you have. It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish. The Giants started 0-2 and handed the Patriots their only loss of the season in the Super Bowl in the same year.
Monday Night Football is much more fun to watch when it's dark out at kickoff. On the west coast, it's still light until the time change. In September, you're still into summer and baseball. Football just doesn't seem right on Monday nights until October.
Face it, we keep coming back to football because of November, December and January. Not because of September.
This gem is courtesy of Peter King of Sports Illustrated. Detroit finally won in Washington this week. First time ever. The last time Detroit won against the Redskins on the road, the game took place at…
…the same place that went wild Friday night watching the Olde Towne Team celebrating the AL East title clinching.
Geek of the week: Aldon Smith needs to get his act together. No, he didn't allegedly murder someone, but it's still serious.
The Cleveland quarterback situation is crazy. Paul Brown was the only guy who got it right (Otto Graham). Brian Sipe was perhaps the best of the rest (remember, Bill Belichick showed everyone that Bernie Kosar wasn't all he was hyped up to be).
So now, Brandon Weeden needs to go. Ugh.
By the way, who was that Browns QB who got them that W in Minnesota? Someone named Brian Hoyer.
My daughter is a Packers fan. Try and think of the last time a Patriot fan had to endure a game like the Packers' loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.
What is up with the Kansas City Chiefs? Out goes Scott Pioli, in comes Andy Reid, and now they're 3-0 and whipping tail against Reid's old team on the road.
Carolina 38, Giants 0. I still don't want to play the G-Men in February.
Here's the problem with Rob Gronkowski's impending return. He will need to look like one hundred times his old self, with a little Wes Welker mixed in, for everyone to maybe feel a little bit happy.
For starters, he needs to ditch the parties, the sound bytes, and Bibi Jones.
Nice that you don't hear about Tampa Bay's rushing the victory formations anymore. Greg Schiano has all he can handle right now.
Back to school: Thank goodness the non-conference schedule for UMass is done. Now it's time to get nasty with all those exciting league matchups. So, how many of you are heading to Bowling Green this weekend? Ready for the grudge match with Eastern Michigan?
All the while, down I-84 in East Hartford, UConn gave Michigan a good game before losing in the final minutes. UMass is light years away from giving Michigan a good game. Heck, their FCS team from 2010 actually did give Michigan a good game in the Big House before losing by five.
Everyone outside of western Pennsylvania marveled at what Chicago did on Sunday night. They went into Heinz Field and shut all those Steeler fans up.
At present, Steeler Nation doesn't care. The Pirates are in the postseason for the first time since Barry Bonds left town. They'll deal with football later.
Raider fans also need to shut up, but for a different reason. Deal with that infield surface, guys.
Because Oakland Coliseum is the one remaining venue in the USA that hosts both football and baseball. And the Red Sox had better nail down home field or their wonderful 2013 season may come to and at the home of Mount Davis.
So, the running back position isn't what it used to be, as Trent Richardson demonstrated with his recent trade to Indianapolis.
Balderdash. The Patriots would have won Super Bowl XI with a quarterback with a sub-.500 completion percentage if not for that bad call.
Give me Leon Gray, John Hannah, Bill Lenkaitis, Sam Adams, Shelby Jordan, Don Calhoun, Andy Johnson, Sam (Bam) Cunningham and Steve (6.6 yards per carry and an NFL record 12 rushing TDs for a QB) Grogan. We'll take on anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Okay, you can't compare different eras. I'd still like to try it and see what happens.
My former all-time favorite football name: Oudious Lee (1983 USFL Boston Breakers).
My new one: Barkevious Mingo (Cleveland Browns linebacker).
Remember him: One guy the AFL didn't get their grubby hands on was the top pick of the 1966 NFL Draft. Texas linebacker Tommy Nobis did sign with the expansion Falcons, and unlike other players (like Otis Taylor, among others), Nobis was kept away from the AFL scavengers. Nobis did enjoy a nice 11-year career, all with the Falcons, going to the Pro Bowl five times and earning one All-Pro selection. But the AFL got their merger that same year, Nobis never got a whiff of the playoffs in Atlanta, and to this day neither Atlanta nor Houston (the AFL team that drafted Nobis, now known as the Tennessee Titans) have ever won a Super Bowl.
Be patient, Raider Nation. Hold on to Terrelle Pryor. Give him a chance. JaMarcus Russell really was a dud. Pryor may not be.
If Danny Amendola would simply stop getting hurt, we'd stop talking about Wes Welker in these parts.
The NFL heads to London this weekend. Never mind that both teams playing have zero combined wins. What is the point of having the annual game at Wembley Stadium? A London expansion team someday?
Some perspective. It is 4,792 miles as the crow flies from CenturyLink Field in Seattle to Wembley. It is 3,292 miles from Gillette Stadium to Wembley (different vector from Seattle versus Foxborough). LAX is closer to Foxborough than Wembley.
If the NFL really wants to go international, you have Toronto and Mexico City. The Bills play an annual game at the Rogers Centre in front of capacity crowds or close to it. If Baltimore and Washington can coexist, so can Toronto and Buffalo. Mexico City has huge Aztec Stadium, a city with more people than New York City, and an Arizona-San Francisco game in 2005 drew over 103, 000 fans. But Mexico's inherent poverty may not allow the sustenance of an NFL franchise.
London is too far away and, like Mexico, over there football means soccer. They already have the Premier League. They don't need the NFL.
And we don't need London.
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