Archive for May, 2011

My picture from the NFL game at Wembley in 2010

Was very interested to get an email from the NFLUK website saying that ticket prices for the NFL regular season game in London, the fifth consecutive of its kind, will be frozen at the 2010 prices.

Whilst this is good news (well not as good news as prices dropping) I cant fail to dismiss the elephant in the room – namely that fact we are nearing 100 days of an out of season NFL strike.

Listening to the ESPN Football Today podcast over the weekend (from last Friday) I heard Ross Tucker talking about the NFL Rookie Symposium being the first major event on the NFL calendar post the 2011 Draft to have been cancelled.

The Rookie Symposium is the equivalent of university orientation week. From someone who attended a university orientation week (albeit back in 1995) it was a bit dull and I was spoke to a lot, but it certainly helped me to meet new people and it overwhelmingly made me feel that I was not alone wandering round a new town looking for lecture rooms, libraries and bookshops.

Postponing this sort of event for NFL rookies will only be a bad thing as it means that valuable advice from NFL players and staff that have ‘been there, done it and worn the sweat soaked t-shirt’ will be missed.

I’m sure in their heart of hearts NFL officials from head office will be kicking themselves that this date has been missed. After all we don’t want the 2011 NFL rookie crop turning to the dark side of crime, disorderly conduct, and worse of all, as demonstrated by Cowboys WR, Dez Bryant, being found guilty of wearing trousers in a manner ‘too baggy for shopping mall patrons decency’.

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Joe Perry (2nd from left) one of the members of the 49ers 'Million Dollar Backfield' all of whom are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Was very sad to hear of the passing of former San Francisco 49ers fullback (as he was known back then) Joe Perry.

As a huge fan of NFL history and record breakers I was well aware of some of the accomplishments of Joe ‘the Jet’ Perry,  including;

–  the fact that he was the first running back in NFL history to have back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons (1953 and 1954)

– he was one of the members of the 49ers ‘Million Dollar Backfield’ – consisting of QB Y.A. Tittle, fullback John Henry Johnson and half back Hugh McElhenny (all of whom went on to become members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame).

Some of the more interesting facts that I was not as aware of about Perry include;
– Perry served in World War II;
– Perry retired as the leading all time NFL rusher in 1963 with 9,723 yards, having held the all time title from 1958 to 1963 (when it was broken by Jim Brown);
– Perry is one of only three running backs in the top 30 all time rushing yardage leaders to have retired with a career average of 5 yards a carry or over (5.0). Only Barry Sanders (5.0) can match him and only Jim Brown has ever topped that (5.2 career average per carry);
– Perry is still the #27th all time rusher in NFL history even today.
As someone who wallows joyously in NFL statistics the achievements of Perry are remarkable, and the fact he wasn’t even drafted makes his feats even more unbelievable.
For a guy who was playing football for the Alameda, California Naval Training Station after the end of World War II to become the NFL’s all time rushing leader is stuff that should become a Hollywood blockbuster. With a smile as wide as Perry’s maybe give the job to someone like Chris Rock !

The logo 49ers players and staff will wear in the 2011 season to honour Joe Perry.

I am also very pleased the 49ers organisation are going to honour Perry’s achievements by having a #34 decal placed on every players helmet throughout the 2011 season (if we do indeed have one).
If you haven’t heard of Joe Perry before – make sure you check out his career stats at the very least. This guy was a legend.
Rest in peace Joe ‘Jet’ Perry – whilst I never had the honour of seeing you play, you are and will continue to be one of my NFL idols.

Yes this ball of lard has a Super Bowl winners ring !

Was doing a bit of fantasy football research today, and it meant stumbling across a picture of former New York Giants Super Bowl winning QB (well clipboard holding Super bowl winning QB) Jared Lorenzen.

The former Kentucky gun slinger is setting the Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL) as the starting quarterback of the (and I’m not  making this up) Northern Kentucky River Monsters.

The team are currently 10-2 and Lorenzen is tossing touchdowns to the likes of Otterbein University alumni Ricardo Lenhart and former ACC championship winner Willie Idlette.

Lorenzen looks like he is holding a child’s nerf football (which is bizarelly red, white and blue in the UIFL) in one picture I saw, as his side-on image looks like he is wearing half a dozen flax jackets. On closer inspection he is battling the stitching in his #22 shirt.

Lorenzen was always a ‘larger than life’ quarterback, but seeing him bigger than a 1990s offensive lineman with a burger eating disorder was even a shock to me.

Everyone loves someone who is created outside of a prototypical mould, whether they are tiny like Darren Sproles or Danny Woodhead, or man mountains like Jonathan Ogden or Shaun Rogers, but in all my years of watching various football leagues around the world I have never seen a quarterback that looks like a sweating barrel on two legs.

All I can say is Jared – you are my new hero – where can I buy your Fathead hahahahahahahahaha

Follow the River Monsters on Facebook. They rock.

eeermmmm - not sure I want to buy this merchandise

I joined the Texans by making J.J. Watt my first rookie pick

I have to admit I am like a small child in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory when it comes to making fantasy rookie NFL player picks.  It sends a sugary buzz up to my brain as I pour over the players I want to pick, and for that brief time slot every day I feel like a proper NFL GM.

I know the truth is its all nonsense, but selecting rookies in fantasy leagues where I manage a full squad of 50-55 players is one of the most fun things an NFL fan can be involved in.

Most of the fantasy football game leagues I am in have exclusive rookie player drafts AFTER the real NFL draft, but two leagues I am in (UFL – Utah Football League and the NFL – Not Quite Football League) both conduct the first three rounds of their rookie drafts a week BEFORE the real NFL draft.

This mean you really do become a fully fledged GM as you don’t know which NFL team your drafted player will end up playing for.

In the UFL I had 5 picks in the top 61 (#7, #21 from trade, # 27, #41 from trade, and #61) . Bearing in mind I made all 5 picks a week before the 2011 NFL Draft here are the picks I made…..

#7 – J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin (went to Texans Round 1 #11)
#21 –  Jimmy Smith CB Colorado (went to Ravens Round 1 #27)
#27 –  Corey Liuget DT Illinois (went to Chargers Round 1 #18)
#41 – Phil Taylor DT Baylor (went to Browns Round 1 #21)
#61 – Christian Ponder QB Florida State (went to Vikings Round 1 #12)

So there it was – All 5 of my picks went in the first round of the real NFL Draft 7 days later.  Perhaps the biggest shock was that I managed to get Christian Ponder at #61.

I actually was primed to pick Jonathan Baldwin the Pitt WR at #61 but I made a quick double check on my cheat sheet and then checked the first 60 picks made and realised no-one had pulled the trigger on Ponder.

Yes the Vikings needed a new QB but many so called ‘experts’ didn’t see Ponder getting selected at #12. Their hand was forced after Jake Locker went at #8 to the Titans and then Blaine Gabbert shockingly was selected at #10 by the Jaguars.

I know defensive tackles are not ‘sexy’ picks but my team needed defensive help everywhere. I think getting  Phil Taylor 20 picks later than when he was actually drafted was good value.

What do you people think – how would you have drafted?