Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
Source: Haiku Deck

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Chuck Mac 1979: Video: CBS Sports: NFL 1986-NFC Divisional Playoff-Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears: Art Monk Highlights

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

What you are seeing in this video is that how great of an all around wide receiver that Art Monk was. And how good Jay Schroeder was when he was good. Perhaps as athletic, strong and accurate a quarterback as John Elway when he was on. But what we also saw how great a receiver Art Monk really was. Someone who was stereotyped as a possession WR. You go to him when you need a first down or you are in the red zone or going to a possession passing game. When the fact is he was 6'2-6'3 210 pounds or so of muscle with great track and football speed.

Art Monk was an all-purpose receiver and how the Chicago Bears stayed in man-to-man coverage against him in this game, when they didn't have a great cover corner, I may never know and perhaps only head coach Mike Ditka and defensive coordinator Bill Tobin of the Bears knows that answer. But Monk was big and fast, which meant if you play him man-to-man, you need a great cover corner. Like a Rod Woodson of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Someone who can run and tackle with real size. The Bears didn't have that at corner, at least in 1986.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Relive Retro Network: Video: CBS Sports: NFL 1987-NFC Divisional Playoff-Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears: Pat Summerall Intro

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Pat Summerall with another classic NFC intro for CBS Sports. But even with Jim McMahon, who I'm not sure if he even finished this game, because the Redskins defense which was really good in 87 and if anything better than the Chicago Bears, hit him and the Bears very hard on that cold frigid Astroturf Solider Field. Summerall was right that the Bears were definitely different offensively in with him healthy and in the lineup. Because it meant the Bears had a passing game, or at least a QB at could consistently throw the ball.

The problem that the Bears had in this game, is that they were playing one of maybe three teams in the NFL that had the personal and intelligence to not only play against their 46 defense, but the manpower to do it. With an accurate QB who could throw deep or short in Doug Williams, an offensive line that could at least shut down the Bears defensive line and the receivers that could get open and beat man-to-man coverage. The Redskins were a passing team first in 1987, unlike what they were from 1981-86. Because their great tailback George Rogers was hurt most of the season.

So what the Redskins did in this game was to spread out the Bears 46 and use all of their receivers. Their wideouts Art Monk, Gary Clark and Rickey Sanders, their tight end Clint Didier and halfback Kelvin Bryant in the passing game. Or go max protection and look deep to Sanders, Monk or Clark and the come back with the quick running game with either Kelvin Bryant, George Rogers and Timmy Smith. With the Bears on offense not being able to do much against the Redskins defense most of the game.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NY Giants: Video: CBS Sports: NFL 1986-NFC Final-Washington Redskins @ New York Giants: Pat Summerall Intro

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Another classic Pat Summerall NFL intro and another classic Pat Summerall Redskins-Giants intro and he and John Madden were a big part of the great Redskins-Giants rivalry. Because they did so many games between these two great franchises. I just the wish especially as a lifelong Redskins fan that he had a better game to call and we would've really of heard how great an announcer that he was. And how great an analyst that John Madden was. But the Giants got on top early on the Redskins early in the first quarter and never looked back.

The Redskins never established their great power running and outside running games in this game. The Giants essentially stacked the line of scrimmage against them early on. And then with the big lead, went into the trademark elephant two-deep zone defense so Redskins quarterback Jay Schroeder couldn't beat them deep in the air with those great Redskins speed receivers like Art Monk and Gary Clark. Which left the Redskins really just to short and medium-range passes when Schroeder could hit them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bob Smith: Video: CBS Sports: NFL 1986-NFC Final-Washington Redskins @ New York Giants: 2nd Half

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

On paper at least this was a great matchup. Two big physical very good teams on both sides of the ball. I think under normal conditions this is a one touchdown game and perhaps the New York Giants would've won again, but not in a shutout. Even when the Giants did beat the Redskins in this era, their victories tended to be very close even at Giants Stadium. But this obviously wasn't normal conditions, at least for the Redskins. The Redskins are from Washington, where it doesn't tend to get very cold until January. Winter tends to start in New York/New Jersey in November.

This was a Giants game in Giants weather at Giants Stadium where they were extremely difficult to beat. Very similar to the Green Packers at Lambeau Field when they are good. And now the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. The Giants got off to a very hot start in this game putting up seventeen points in the first half. With the weather being the way it was and with the Giants defense in 1986, that was more than enough for a shell-shocked Redskins team that weren't prepared or didn't seem to be able to deal with the stadium and the weather.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ian Ward: Video: NFL 1987: The Story of the Washington Redskins

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

The 1987 Redskins to me exactly goes to the brilliance of General Manager Bobby Beathard and Head Coach Joe Gibbs. A strike season where the NFL decides to play on with replacement players. That Beathard and his staff had to find for Joe Gibbs and his coaching staff. And Coach Gibbs and his crew having to determine which of these part-time NFL players can even play under these conditions and against NFL players that decided not to strike and how to use those replacements in the best way possible. Because the Redskins still had a job to do, which was to win as many games as possible in 1987.

The 1987 NFL season also goes to the depth of the Redskins with the players they lost to the players strike and the player they lost to injury. They had two starting quarterbacks in 1987, both Pro Bowl caliber quarterbacks that could start for a lot of NFL teams in Jay Schroeder and Doug Williams. They lost their starting tailback in George Rogers, another Pro Bowl running back. They had injuries on the offensive line and had to bring in new starters like Raleigh McKenzie. Gibbs was constantly having to change his lineups around on offense and defense.

The 87 Redskins perfectly exemplifies the Joe Gibbs era in Washington. As a club that just had great depth everywhere and perhaps the best depth in the NFL. They didn't have the most talent in the NFL, but they arguably had the best players and the most good players and talent in the NFL. And when the strike was over and had they had all of their key players back, that is when the NFL got to see how really good of a team that they had. I believe especially on defense where they dominated the NFC Playoffs and Super Bowl. And on offense that could pile up points in the air and dominate on the ground.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Elias Estrada: Video: MSG's New York Giants Chronicles: Giants QB Phil Simms, Mr. Clutch

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

My thoughts about Phil Simms as a football player and now as an NFL analyst for CBS Sports, are quite frankly mixed. I should separate how I feel about him both as a player and analyst. But my thoughts about him as a player are mixed, because I'm a Redskins fan and I hate the New York Giants obviously because of the great Redskins-Giants rivalry. But sports hate and personal hate are two different things. And if you are familiar with the NFC East division, you know that the fans in the division hate every other team in their division, but they respect the good teams, especially the players.

My best memory of Phil Simms as a fan, is a 1989 game against the Redskins and perhaps I should save this for a post I write about Dexter Manley. But Dexter sacks Simms five times in that game and I still have that memory in my head of Simms looking like he just got struck by a machine gun every time that Dexter nailed him in that game. The Giants won that game, but I still have those five plays of Dexter nailing Simms as some of my greatest memories as a Redskins fan. Now to get to the good moments of Phil Simms career.

The one thing that I can't get out my head about Phil Simms career is that he gets almost no consideration and talk about the NFL Hall of Fame. Even though he was definitely one of the best quarterbacks of his era especially the 1980s. I know he officially only gets credit for winning one Super Bowl as a starting quarterback in 1986, but the Giants don't get that far without Simms in 1990 and until he got hurt late in the 1990 season and missed the 1990 NFC Playoffs. If Simms plays Super Bowl 25 against the Buffalo Bills, the Giants win that game by 10-14 points because they would've had the whole playbook especially in the passing game.

Phil Simms is one of the best clutch quarterbacks of his era, if not all-time and had a 95-64 record in the regular season and was 6-4 in the playoffs. I know he doesn't have the stats of Dan Marino, Joe Montana, John Elway and even Jim Kelly. But those guys played in mostly passing offenses and didn't play at least eight games every year at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. One of the coldest and windiest stadiums in the NFL. And no one was as good or better than Simms under those conditions and in the clutch as Phil Simms. Great quarterback in the clutch with a great proven record and that alone should at least get him consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Elias Estrada: Video: MSG's New York Giants Chronicles: Mark Bavaro, The Giants Horse

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

When I think of great all around tight ends, I think of guys who can block first, which is the most important job of a tight end. Has good hands and catches the ball well and catches the ball well in traffic. And can run with the ball, doesn't have to be fast, but who gets open and can gain yards after the catch. Mark Bavaro had all of those skills and was great in all of those areas and then some perhaps to the point that when he was healthy, you are not only talking about the greatest tight end of the 1980s, but perhaps the greatest tight end of all-time when he was healthy and in his prime.

Today's tight ends are almost thought and only thought of as big receivers who are supposed to catch the ball, especially on third down and in the red zone. "Yeah and if he can block, great, but we are going to throw the ball forty times a game anyway. And we may just run the ball to give our quarterback's arm a little break". But there's a really important reason why the tight end lines up next to the offensive tackle. Because the TE is an extension of the offensive line and his job is to block and help the OT with double teams.

If your tight end doesn't block, you are not going to run the ball very well. Because now the defense will always have a linebacker free on the outside to stuff the run or rush the QB. And the smart defenses will lineup their best blitzing outside linebacker against the weak pass catching TE. To take advantage of that matchup, but if you do that against Mark Bavaro, you are now risking your best blitzer getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Because Mark Bavaro was like another offensive tackle with his ability to block.

Mark Bavaro was perfect for New York City and North Jersey and Bill Parcells. Tough blue-collar Italian guy like Bill Parcells who fit in so perfectly with that community. Not just Italian-Americans in that area, but the broader working class of the New York area. And had it not of been for his leg injuries, we are not only talking about a first ballot Hall of Famer who would already be in the Hall of Fame right now, but perhaps the greatest all around tight end of all-time. That is how great Mark Bavaro was.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Basketball Doc: Video: ESPN's SportsCentury: Dr. J Julius Erving, The Doctor Runs Basketball House

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

If you think about Dr. J as the dunker and watch all of his dunking highlights and that is all you know about him from mostly a basketball pop or hip hop culture perspective, what you know about Julius Erving is probably only what you've seen about him on ESPN or YouTube. And you are even too dumb or too young and perhaps both to truly understand the greatness of Julius Erving. Julius wasn't a great dunker, but a great basketball player who also happens to be perhaps the best dunker of all-time. But that was just part of Julius's greatness.

The Doctor of Basketball was also a great defender and a great rebounder. Think about it, 6'6 or 6'7 small forward with thirty-thousand career points and ten-thousand rebounds. How many other small forward have done that, no one else. A great man-on-man defender who could stop his man, but always knew what else was going around him. How did he get all of those great breakaway dunks, by playing the passing lanes and picking off passes and exploding to the bucket for those great dunks. Or running the floor with someone else feeding him the ball.

The Philadelphia 76ers of the late 1970s and early 1980s were perfect for Dr. J. Because they were a great defensive team that scored a lot of their points by taking the ball away from the other team and running the floor. Which fit Julius perfectly because that is how he played. And then add Moses Malone to the picture in 1983 and now you have a great defensive and breakaway team that now has a dominant force in the middle on both offense and defense and the 76ers became complete.

Dr. J became a great team player in 1983 with Moses Malone, because now he had another great player around him and no longer needed to do everything for the 76ers to win. And could rely on Moses and make his other teammates better and use them as well and just play his great all around game on both offense and defense. And what you had as a result are the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers as simply one of the best pure teams of all-time with Julius leading the way. And we got to see how truly great a player Julius was and he and the 76ers got the rewards of his greatness.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show- George Carlin on Life in 1986

Source: Johnny Carson- George Carlin-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

About being lazy. Who hasn't been lazy unless you are a workaholic, or a drug addict addicted to speed or something. We've all woken up in the morning feeling like we shouldn't have woken up. "Why did I wake up feeling like this" and go back to bed and perhaps are real late for work. I know that has happened to me more times than I care to admit to. Actually I don't even care to admit to that, so consider that a gift. And don't bother trying to return that gift, because you'll probably be charged for returning it, because nobody is going to want it.

Interesting to hear George Carlin say that he's in good health except for his heart attack. Which is like a football team saying that al they did was lose fifteen games, but they did manage to win one. "Hey we aren't completely imperfect, just mostly". You get a heart attack and you're one step away from death. And if that is not motivation enough to at least perhaps get you to change your lifestyle, nothing will. Maybe a suicidal person who is also an idiot at the same time and perhaps that is why they are suicidal and are so stupid, they even fail at killing themselves, wouldn't understand that.

I liked Johnny Carson's dumb question to George asking him, " did your heart attack scare you?" Well again unless you're suicidal or have balls harder than concrete of course that would scare you! I mean what is the next question, "how did the heart attack make you feel?" Well again not to make this whole post about suicide, but of course you'll feel scared about that and perhaps think you are going to die. If you're suicidal you might be thinking, "come on God, I'm ready to go!".

Bad names for kids. Not a problem I have to worry about considering I don't have kids and perhaps will never have kids (knock on wood). But for all you caring parents out there who care about your kids health and reputation and success in life, do your kids justice and give them a responsible name. Don't name your son Leslie, unless you are want them to be gay or something. Give your son a real guys kind of name that commands respect. So you don't have to worry about him getting beat up, or losing his lunch money. Same thing with girls, give them a real feminine name, but don't name them Buffy or something where they have to worry about bimbo jokes.

As far as dumb people. Who would we have to make fun of if America was a country that mostly produced perfect people and other genius's? That is where humor comes from, from watching people screw up and a big part of being human is screwing up and experiencing things before we know what they mean, or how to react to them. That is how we learn in life. So eliminate the stupid people and you'll see unemployment sore in America especially in Los Angeles with all of the out-of-work comedians and other entertainers.

Just a little look at life from human being.
Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- George Carlin's Funny Interview About His Wacky Health Problems: In 1986

Monday, November 10, 2014

Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- Elizabeth Taylor on Her Countless Marriages: In 1991

Source: Johnny Carson- Elizabeth Taylor-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

I'm going to try to write this post without sounding like too much of an asshole, but no promises. Because I truly love, admire and have the utmost respect for The Great Elizabeth Taylor and that is exactly what she was. At least when she was healthy and sober and not starving poor countries because she couldn't control her appetite. Or denying the rest of the world alcohol because she would drink anything with a smell of alcohol in it. Like I said, no promises.

But again when she was on her game, you were talking about a beautiful baby-face adorable brunette, no matter how old she was, who was funny enough to go toe-to-toe with the great comedian, The King of Late Night  Johnny Carson. As you see in this video and when you lived the life that she did, which was exactly what she did, lived her life and didn't just be alive trying to please others with how she lived, but she lived her life with a lot of ups and downs because she took a lot of risks that came though for her and also backfired. And when you live like that, you leave yourself open for satire.

The only way Liz Taylor was the stereotypical actress, was with her personal life. That being such a great beautiful, adorable and funny actress I guess didn't bring enough fame for her and how she lived her personal life if anything made her just as famous. Marrying so many men, that there were lonely women in Los Angeles, gorgeous sexy lonely women in Los Angles. And in a lot of cases married and why was that, because all of those men were with Liz at least at one time or the other.

Sober healthy Liz, I don't think there is a better actress as far as delivery, personality, intelligence, sense of humor, wit, the women had it all and is better than anyone else. And then you add the facts that she was again a beautiful sexy baby-face brunette who was about as sexy as any great biker or rocker chick you may ever see, as you see in this video in her late fifties and she was the definition of total package when it came to actress's. But when she wasn't sober and unhealthy, meaning overweight if not obese, you're talking about a punching bag for comedians. What a life.
Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- Johnny Carson & Elizabeth Taylor On Marriage: In 1991

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson-Joan Rivers is Hilarious on Johnny Carson: From 1986

Source: Johnny Carson- Joan & Johnny-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

This is going to sound like an obvious statement to anyone lets say under thirty-five or so, but Joan Rivers is right. Wisdom does come with age and for people to get wisdom they simply have to be around and experience things and learn from those experiences to achieve it. Which is why I get so tired of hearing Y Generation people always putting down things simply because they have been around for a while or as old as yesterday. They are the everything is now generation and to hell with anything that happened when they were kids or hadn't been born yet.

Now that's it, I'm tired of being serious and if I go down that road too much longer, I'm going to fall asleep at the computer, but I just wanted to get that off my chest. As far as skinny women vs. curvy women. For you football fans out there, that would be like asking me which team would  I rather have, the 17-0 1972 Miami Dolphins, or the 0-14 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Do you want to win, or lose, you want a women with a body or someone who gets knocked to the ground every time there's a light breeze in the air.

As far as bimbos. I believe bimbos actually serve as a useful purpose. Not that I would want a whole football team of bimbos. Not even the cheerleading squad, because you would still need cheerleaders who are smart enough to do the cheers. Cheerleading is not just sexy curvy women swinging their legs in the air. It requires some degree of intelligence like being able to follow instructions. But what bimbos do, is give smart people, people to make fun of. And parents to tell their kids, "hey Sally, that is not what you want to be in life. Get your education and everything else".

As far as guys checking out women. There's a way to do it like a man and the way to do it like you've been locked up solitary confinement for twenty-years straight and never saw a women in person, or on TV, or heard one on the radio, or saw one in the magazine, no females came to visit you in the joint, even your mother. All of the prison staff are men and they are all straight by the way. The guy just getting out of long-term isolation drops the quarter in front of the sexy women to get her to lean over and pick it up. The man enjoys the view and what it in front of him and doesn't do anything obvious at least before they exchange eye-contact and then they take it from there.

Joan Rivers was great on Johnny Carson and one thing I loved about her routine, was that she was real and didn't do anything that wasn't Joan. She knew who she was and where she came from and was damn proud of that and the fact that she also had a great sense of humor and the ability to communicate in a hysterical way about what she saw in life and learned from it and express the weakness's of others in a humorous constructive way, just makes her that much better. She wasn't a bitch, but some who critiqued in a way that could make people better and teach others.
Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- Joan Rivers is Hilarious on Johnny Carson: From 1986

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- Card Tricks With Angie Dickenson in 1981

Source: Johnny Carson- Angie & Johnny-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

Angie Dickenson still as cute as a baby in her late forties talking to Johnny Carson in 1981 on The Tonight Show. Talking about cards and stunts. Cards is obviously a very popular activity in Los Angeles and that just didn't start with poker revolution or whatever from 10-15 years ago in Hollywood. But that has been around probably as long as Los Angeles has been the entertainment capital of America. Going back to the 1930s or even longer. Which is one reason why entertainers love going to Las Vegas.

And Johnny Carson of course was well-known for doing card tricks. Which he did quite frequently on The Tonight Show that was one his most popular skits on the show. So they obviously had some things to talk about besides. "Hey Angie, how have you been able to stay so adorable and gorgeous as the same time all of these years?" With Angie answering "well I eat right, work out, get my sleep and besides I'm filthy rich, even after the divorces. And I can afford plastic surgery whenever I feel I need it". Actually she was naturally baby-face adorable and gorgeous. But the card routine saved them from some cheesy dialogue.
Johnny Carson: The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson- Card Tricks With Angie Dickinson

Sunday, November 2, 2014

ABA History-HBO Films: The History of the ABA

Source: The ABA History: The History of The ABA

The old American Basketball Association is not that different then the old American Football League. The National Basketball Association had around 16-18 clubs, in a country at the time of around 200M people. The National Football League in 1959 had twelve clubs in a country of around 150M people. One of the reasons why the AFL was able to establish itself because there were more cities that wanted pro football clubs than the NFL was willing to respond to. Similar situation as the ABA they knew there were cities ready for major league basketball clubs, that weren't in the NBA. Like Richmond, Lexington, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, San Diego and others.

And the ABA had the management and financing and believed with the NBA which wasn't a very popular league yet still trailing the NFL and MLB in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  That they believed they could attract the management, coaches and players to play in their league by paying their players more and giving them more playing time up front. Because in the NBA some draft picks they were told that they would have a chance to make the team. But the ABA were telling potential draft picks that they would make the team and play. And thats how they lured so many players to the ABA. Players like Julius Erving arguably the best all around player in pro basketball in the 1970s, George Gervin who's in the Hall of Fame, Artis Gilmore, Rick Barry who are also in the Hall of Fame. And many others including head coaches like Larry Brown who's also in the Hall of Fame.

The ABA was also very exciting kinda the way the NBA used to be twenty years ago or so. With a lot of run and gun basketball, fast break teams trapping defenses, the three point shot, the red, white and blue basketball. But one thing that the ABA wasn't able to do was TV. If you weren't going to the games, you probably didn't get to see an ABA game unless you lived in a market with an ABA club and they had local television. Unlike the AFL in the 1960s that had a national broadcast contract with ABC. The ABA wasn't able to get that pro football was more popular than pro basketball at the time.

Football is still more popular that basketball today and had the ABA landed a national broadcast contract like the AFL and even the USFL twenty plus years later, a lot more people would've gotten to see how good of a league the ABA was. Because especially in the early and mid 70s, the ABA playoff teams and champions were just as good as the NBA playoff teams and champions. Teams like the New York Nets, Richmond Squires and Indianapolis Pacer because they had players like Julius Erving, Artis Gilmore, George Gervin and many others. 

What the ABA proved was that they were major league basketball and that they were an NBA caliber league if not better. And that they deserved to merge with with the NBA in the late 70s. Teams like the Nets, Pacers, Rockets, Nuggets, Jazz, are all in the NBA right now and for the most part all making money and prospering.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Greg Worthington: Video: ESPN's 30 For 30: Marcus Dupree, The Best That Never Was

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

If talent and the ability to play football were the only things that people needed to be successful football players, then maybe Marcus Dupree ends up as the great running back whose ever played. Because he was 6’3 225-230 pounds of muscle, speed and vision. Sounds like Eric Dickerson right, but Eric Dickerson is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with a college degree and is very intelligent. And not the feature in an ESPN film called the Best That Never Was. 

Maybe instead Marcus is in a film called The Best Who Ever Lived winning awards at Sundance and so-forth. Marcus Dupree unlike Eric Dickerson didn’t even finish his first year of college at Oklahoma. Not calling Marcus a dumb man, but he didn’t have the education, maturity and probably people around him to show him that "you are blowing this you are blowing a golden opportunity to be a great football player. Perhaps the greatest who ever ran the ball, why are you doing this?" 
Marcus Dupree is the perfect example of why there should be a minor league pro football system in the United States. A place to go for high school football players who’ve at least graduated from high school, but not ready at least for major college. And perhaps not college at all who do not even have any interest in attending college and wouldn’t do the work at college to be successful. 
If the NFL had that back then like baseball and hockey already have in America, Marcus plays 3-4 years of minor league football and get’s drafted in the NFL by a team that wants him. And knows how to utilize him and Marcus probably goes down as the top pick or one of the top picks in the. 1985 or 86 drafts. Never tries to play in the United States Football League and probably has a 12-13 year career in the National Football league headed to the Hall of Fame. Because Marcus wasn’t college material as a student, but someone with a great gift to play football.
The Best That Never Was is the title for a player who would’ve been the greatest running back of all time. But never lived up to that because he was a guy who went to college even though he probably shouldn’t have been in college. Because he was there to play football not be a student who needed other options post high school to be successful as a pro football player. But who didn’t have those options for him at the time.