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Posts from the ‘American Football’ Category

Brady bunch

I have long had a aberrant dislike of Tom Brady, mostly resulting from my aversion of anything New England sports related. Yet when Brady chose Tampa as his and Giselle’s retirement home last summer I was intrigued to see if he was going to Florida to just collect one final big pay day ($50m) or was he really Michael Jordan with pads.

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That is what is needed now by Team Oracle USA. They were comfortably beaten twice today by challengers Emirates Team New Zealand to take the Americas Cup final points board to 6-1. In fact in the 2nd race Burling humiliated Spithill who failed to box in his rival before the start line and had to watch Burling accelerate into a 13-second lead before Spithill had even crossed the start line. Cameras showed Burling wave at Spithill as he raced past him.

An Oracle miracle is now needed. Yes, 4 years ago in San Francisco the Americans came from 1-8 to beat the Kiwi challengers 9-8 in what is described by people who know nothing of Charlton’s win over Huddersfield in 1957 as the best ever comeback in world sports.

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Miami Dolphins 24 – 27 Green Bay Packers

Sat in the top tier open to the blazing sun, it was a very hot and sweaty afternoon at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium yesterday (photo taken 30 mins before kick off) as the Packers rallied late to win 27-24 after Aaron Rodgers threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Quarless with three seconds left.

With many empty seats around the 80,000 capacity stadium (the official attendance was given as 70,875) there appeared to be as many Green Bay fans as there were home ones sat on the bright orange seats, and they made themselves heard after Rodgers moved the Packers down the field to eventually pass to Nelson for a 9-yard touchdown after less than 5 minutes.
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In a warm Miami this morning after a journey back from a very snowy Colorado yesterday evening.

In the last three days we were in Beaver Creek 36 inches of snow fell, the most at this time of many years. This had caused earlier airport issues with a bountiful of cancellations and the tiny Eagle airport near Vail was stretched to breaking point yesterday, as was my patience.

Our flight had a weight problem, so they had to throw a few fatties off and some luggage which caused a lot of consternation and an hour delay all the while after I had to push a wheelchair, carry 7 bags, and herd a 4-year old.
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Firing and firing

In America’s National Football League yesterday is known as ‘Black Monday‘ the day after the regular season ends. Six of the 24 franchises that did not make it through to the end of season play-off’s released or fired their head coach and the majority of the coaching staff on the one day. None of them were really a surprise and following the play-off’s NFL owners may still reach for the axe if coaches don’t live up to lofty expectations.

So, how is this different to English football? Well it’s not, except for one thing. Owners nearly always wait until the end of the season before making a head coach change, this despite the frying pan heat to win every week that a 16-game season brings, which for me makes the NFL season far more exciting than say a 162-game baseball regular season.
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Boston weekend

I enjoyed my little saunter to Boston this past weekend. The weather was glorious despite snow being on the ground from the Nor’easter storm earlier last week, though why they insist on spelling this kind of weather pattern wrong is beyond me. Anyway sat outside for four hours watching the New England Patriots beat Buffalo Bills on Sunday could have and should have been a very cold experience but instead the stadium was basked in beautiful sunshine.

Boston is one of that small band of American cities that relies on people walking it, supplemented by an excellent underground train network. The city is a cluster of neighbourhoods stretching south-west from the airport and we stayed in the North End, which is only a spit away from the airport across the Boston Harbour.
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Patriot Sunday

Off to Boston this morning which has made me not too popular at home as both my girls, young and not so young, have spent the whole week sick.

I  have been invited to the attend the New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills game on Sunday. It starts at 1pm and the way the flights work make it a ‘necessity’ for me to leave here this morning, which conveniently allows for a night in Boston and then a lie in followed by going to the Patriots stadium in Foxborough, about 20 miles south-west of the city
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New kits the NFL way

Charlton are due a home kit change next season, and there are rumours out there that we might take on Nike as the kit manufacturer, which would be disappointing as for ‘lesser clubs’ they only ever seem to put out generic kits.

We did sign a 4-year deal with Macron though two summers ago and I have been pleased with what they have produced for us, especially the current home kit. The more red the better.

So, it was with interest that I read today of the NFL’s new Nike jersey release (via Facebook). The NFL control all things to do with whoring themselves out for the most dollars and they replaced Reebok with Nike on a 10-year deal starting next season.
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Unlikely heroes

It wasn’t a classic but it certainly was an exciting end to a tight game. Eli Manning was MVP, the winning quarter back always is, although I thought there were more deserving lesser known heroes.

One such was Ahmed Bradshaw, who with the New York Giants trailing New England by two points with one minute, four seconds left, ran in for what was the winning touchdown unopposed.
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Superbowl XLVI

Hot dogs, buckets of Bud, half-time shows, wardrobe malfunctions, pizza, multi million dollar TV adverts, chips and sickly cheese, an out of tune national anthem, chicken wings, gallons of cough mixture coloured Gatorade thrown over the winning coach, oh and a game of American Football.

The Superbowl, the biggest day in the American sporting calendar.
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Oh boy!

Up until 2 years ago I used to join a collection of mates from both sides of the Atlantic for Superbowl weekend in a chosen city, but then baby came along and some of the finer things in my life had to be ended or put on hold.

Fortunately the Superbowl weekend was only on a temporary hold and tomorrow morning I fly to Orlando to meet up with some of the lads to play, explore downtown Orlando (I’ve been before and there’s not much to see, unless it is a mouse called Mickey) and then spend the whole of Sunday in a pub somewhere watching men in tight pants run into each other while chasing after an oval ball on a gigantic television screen whilst drinking a few lagers.
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The Giant Apple

An early start tomorrow as I’m off to New York for a couple of days with work. NYC saw its first real snow of the winter on Saturday (photo) but fortunately for me it has rapidly cleared as the temperatures warmed with it supposedly set for 50°F (11°C) tomorrow.

The trip will be typical of many, i.e. airport, office, bar, restaurant, hotel, office, airport but I’m looking forward to being away from my desk which has been a bit mental since the new year.
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Superbowl XLV

There are not many ‘local’ rivalries in American sports, but one is Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Separated by 200 miles Wisconsin and Chicago are intertwined by the transient nature of the people in America’s midwest.

I have a lot of friends from Chicago that are Wisconsinites or Cheese Heads to give them their real name, I adopted the University of Wisconsin and their college football team as my own and spent many a weekend up in the eastern ridges alongside the lake and the sparse but stunning sandstone buttes and moraines of it’s central plain drinking beer with friends proud of where they come from.

It’s hard not to like the people of Wisconsin. They drink beer, eat cheese and sausage and the ones I know can laugh heartily at themselves, so therefore when their illustrious football team beat my Bears in the NFC Championship title game a fortnight ago, I couldn’t help but root (as the Americans say) for the green and gold of that northern outpost of Green Bay despite the rivalry and the hundreds of jokes I have had at their expense.

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