Category Archives: Football

Super Bowl LVI

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Rams!

Early in the season I saw the Rams play a couple games. I thought they were head and shoulders better than everyone else. They came back to the pack and actually struggled some there in the middle.

The Cincinnati Bengals, a team I’ve never cared for, built a great Cinderella story.

I wrote prior to the game:

For the record, I predict the Rams will win.

I am hoping for a close game.  I don’t really care who wins, but since
the Bengals have been pathetic for so long, I will partially root for
them.  The Rams were the best team in the beginning of the year.  I
did not see anyone being able to beat them.  Then life happened.

Anyhow, rooting for a close game.  Would like to see the Bengals win, but expect the Rams will prevail.

I always like putting the prediction on record before the game.


And that pretty much is how the game went. It was a close game, but one (at least me) could see the Rams would be able to come back at the end.

The NFL was blessed with a terrific post-season this year. It doesn’t always happen, but the playoffs were outstanding ending with a competitive Super Bowl.

Blocked Punt

Weird memory that just resurfaced . . .

My youth was spent playing sports. I was good at sports, but never the star. Certainly that was true for football. I was primarily an offensive guard and a defensive tackle. I didn’t score touchdowns for the team.

In 1977 we were really good. So good, that we ended up undefeated and unscored upon! Looking to get us competition, our coach scheduled us against Oaklyn. It was a night game.

I had never heard of Oaklyn before. It was a rainy night. The field was not manicured; there were large puddles on the field. It was a sloppy game.

We dominated. At some point, our opponents punted. I busted through the line and blocked that kick. I remember sliding through the puddle on the field after I did so.

Our team had our own bus. We were the hit of the league with that. On the way back from the game there was a lot of talk about the different plays we had executed. The blocked punt came up. The heroics were assigned to someone else.

I don’t remember exactly how I broached it, but I said something to the boy who was given the credit for the block. I said I had blocked it. I may have even had a bruise. He said something to the effect of “just go with it.”

I did.


I was reared a Penn State fan. Joe Paterno never left his players showboat. The feeling was when one scored a touchdown to act like you’ve been there before and hand the ball to the referee.

I suppose not drawing attention to myself was akin to that.

While those who know me well know I think quite well of myself, I do not seek the glory. I do not advertise my exploits at work. That helps explain why I am never heralded.

My time of accomplishment is nearing the end. I will fade into memories that will probably not be reflected upon much.

I don’t know why I thought of this today. A blocked punt from 43 years ago means nothing. It meant so little at the time that I didn’t speak up for the credit I deserved. Yet, it has festered, I suppose, in the intervening years.

I blocked that damn punt!

Dallas vs. Green Bay Divisional Game

The call was correct. Plain and simple. Bryant did not control the ball once it hit the ground. Imo, there is no question about it.

But here’s the thing . . . the man made the catch. The way the rule is written, he didn’t follow through with a football move. But he made the catch.

And that is all that should matter.

There is no way Green Bay coach McCarthy had certainty of the challenge. Someone who had access to the replay said to challenge it, I am sure. Even so, no one knew going into the commercial break what the outcome would be.

That is highly problematic!

The NFL has worked hard to not have games decided on bad calls. To its credit, it has strict definitions now and it is easy to say the right call was made based on those, as it was in this case. But the wrong outcome of the play was had. The man caught the damn ball; you know it and so do I.

That doesn’t mean Dallas would have won, but the end of the game would have been different.

Good football was robbed because of NFL’s tight-fisted control of the game. It should not come down to technicalities. Oh sure, I am no Dallas fan and it would be easy to say, “Karma’s a bitch”, but the plain fact of things is that the man made the catch and they were not credited with the play.


If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or
without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting
the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches
the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching
the ground, the pass is complete.

The above is the rule that was employed on the play in question. As written, this rule is confusing.

The first part, “If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground” clearly is where the referees found ground to overturn the call. Bryant did not maintain control throughout the process of contacting the ground. That was clear.

But the second part of the rule, presumably the clarifying part, if the rule on its own, would have the play called a catch.

If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

The problem here is the order of things. Bryant had control, touched the ground, and then lost control. The “clarifying part” would never be evoked because he did not lose control and then the ball touch the ground. He hit the ground and then lost control.

The little bit I have heard from former NFL players and coaches has all agreed with me: correct call, but the rule stinks.

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

12-02-05 Super Bowl

With the digital photographs behind me, I have begun working on the books. Beetle‘s books are now complete. I have begun The Boy‘s. I think this project will actually end . . . If my father were still alive, my parents would have celebrated their 52nd anniversary this week . . . Memories. I listened to a Joe Walsh bootleg today. It was from the summer of 1983 in Chicago. I saw him early that summer. In the middle of Rocky Mountain Way he breaks into Rainy Day Women ? 12 & 35. I remember that! A 29-year-old memory that lay dormant is now active again. I love it! . . . I tweeted my Super Bowl predictions prior to the game . . .

For the record, I am rooting slightly for the Pats; I loathe the Giants. I think, however, the Giants are going to win. #SuperBowl

— RDOwens (@rdowens) February 5, 2012

Really, I want a good game that is compelling to watch all the way through. #SuperBowl

— RDOwens (@rdowens) February 5, 2012

. . . It turns out I was correct . . . I also was lucky. I purchased a couple squares for the game. One of the squares was 9-0. Nines are usually losers as that is not a normal number in football. But with the safety, I ended up winning the first and second quarter pool. Yahoo! . . . A good barbecue day: I grilled a NY strip for breakfast, smoked several pounds of wings (we purchased some sauces from Buffalo Wild Wings), and smoked a rack of pork ribs . . . With football now over, we can look forward to pitchers and catchers reporting . . .

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

Making This a Good Year

The gym was closed today. Who knew? Of course, I didn’t find out until I pulled up out front and there wasn’t one car on Mulberry. Not to be deterred, as I wasn’t going to keep my ass in a chair all day, I stopped off at a school on my way home and did 200+ yards of burpees. I had calculated I needed to do somewhere between 16 and 18 football fields to make a mile. Yeah, I was considerably short of that . . . Last week for the NFL has been ho hum . . . Once again, haven’t touched my schoolwork during the break. Sigh . . . Gert disassembled three of the 13 Christmas trees today . . . Speaking of Christmas, mass was sparsely attended today . . . Hey, it’s only five or six weeks until spring training begins! . . . I have a huge speech coming up on a topic I don’t have much interest in. The things we agree to do when asked . . . Apparently I read 253 books last year. Sure, most of them were children’s books . . . My dislike for superlatives is well-established, but I am a completist as well. So when the topic is Best of 2011, I selected this photograph. It probably isn’t, but it is one that will definitely remind me of the year . . . Now that I am back to working on the books, it’s quite likely I will complete my 100 books for my BookCrossing project this year. Of course, none of the books I released beginning a year ago have been logged . . . Watched Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules with the children. I liked it! Of course, I am a fan of the books . . . So, the reality is I have been putting on weight the last two months. I haven’t been unaware of this fact, but it’s more than a trend at this point. I need to get my mojo back. I think I have my head aligned to where it needs to be; I now need follow-through. I refuse to let this get me down . . . As I grow older, the more I realize that the Boy Scout motto is important: be prepared! The more prepared I am, the more efficient I proceed. That leads to a smoother life for me . . . I gave up Facebook months ago. I tire of reading about FB and how great it is. Blech! Likewise, I tire of reading about IOS-only apps. GymPact is getting lots of attention today. It sounds wonderful, but I’ll be damned if I am going to switch cell hone contracts to try it out. If it’s (or any other app, for that matter) that good, port it to Android . . . Charles Barkley is now hawking for Weight Watchers. Huh . . . I note it’s been 2.5 months since Scoble posted a CinchCast. When he stops using a service, I imagine it’s not a thriving company. Time to back up those files . . .

Super Bowl Puzzler

I haven’t watched much of the pregame to the Super Bowl today. I did tune in for O’Reilly’s interview of President Obama. I turned back about five minutes prior to the game. There was some segment about freedom and our government. Prominent former players were on location speaking. Colin Powell was part of this too.


It all was fine, but it has absolutely nothing to do with football. The Super Bowl is football, not politics. There should not be politics preached from the pulpit nor should there be politics pitched from the sidelines.

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

I was contacted by NBC-10 out of Philly to use a YouTube video of mine for their piece on the wild turkeys in town. I assented, but the piece ran without my footage . . . Gov. Chris Christie is off-base with some of his pension reforms. Denying COLA increases for retirees is low. Let’s see, spouses of state retirees who are long out of the work force are going to take the hit because Christie and the string of governors before him have not paid the bill to the pension fund? Puhlease . . . Goodbye It’s been a long time coming. The site started with great promise, but by late 2005, it was beginning to have trouble. Nothing was done to remedy those problems despite the bluster that said they were. Now it will be put out of its misery. Finally . . . Remember the election antics that Cumberland County Democrats engaged in last year? Many of them running promised to work for less than the position paid. Yeah, I suspect we won’t see that kind of politicking again now that Doug Ranier reneged on that promise. You have to love how someone can become elected using that and then change his mind once elected. I know, why am I expecting integrity from elected leaders? . . . My NFL watching has trailed off a lot over the last decade, the last several years in particular. The Thursday night game is always forgotten. MNF is tough. Tonight, SF v. AZ. Both teams are 3-7. Outside Phoenix and Haight-Ashbury, who cares about this game? . . .

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .


I read this in an article about low attendance at the Cumberland County Fair . . .

First-time fair vendor Dean Margarites of Monmouth County said he likely will skip setting up his Greek-A-Licious stand here next year because of poor sales.

“If I have something else going on, I’ll probably stick to something closer,” Margarites said.

As far as I am concerned that will improve the fair. Greek-a-Licious served me the absolute worst gyro I have ever eaten . . . Several years ago I noticed that had picked up eCache in its feeds. It’s an interesting site, although it never generated much traffic here. A couple years ago the url for eCache changed. I contacted them to update it several times. They never did and I stopped trying. Just now in one of my feeds, I stumbled across this site again. I too a quick look. Not only have they not updated my feed, they have me classified as liberal. Bahaaaawwww . . . “Terrell Owens says he’s concerned teams are swayed by the perception that he’s a troublemaker and that’s why none have signed the free-agent receiver.” You think? I will be sorry to see Terrell retire. Since we have the same surname, my students always feel a kindred spirit. I use T.O. as an example throughout the year whenever my students fall into “me first” mode. We pound our chests just like the clueless one. Who will I use when he is no longer relevant? . . . Newspapers employing paywalls is poor business, imo, but Lancaster Online has taken the cake. Their new model uses a paywall only for obituaries. After reading seven obits, one will have to pay for the eighth. Yeah, that will work . . . Scoble is a media whore. He’s been pimping his “secret” all week. We’re all impressed . . . The other evening the handle fell off my Weber Performer. The grill is eight years old. The handle had rusted. I e-mailed the company, forwarded photographs, etc. In the mail right now to me is a replacement lid and thermometer free of charge. Weber has outstanding customer service . . .

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

I’m a “classic rock” kind of a guy, but The Who sounded really old the other night at the Super Bowl. I recall listening and recording their “final” show 28 years ago. “Hope I die before I get old” . . . Congratulations to the Saints! It was an entertaining game. The first quarter sure had signs of a blowout against a green team. That they came back as soundly as they did is truly a credit . . . Here’s the obligatory comment about the commercials: I didn’t watch them. I think I am immune to these things. I watched Gary Vaynerchuk’s comments about the commercials, but not the commercials themselves. So much for those advertising dollars . . . I posted road conditions the other day for Millville. How would they have been better seen? Perhaps I will run my Twitter stream through the blog again . . . Millville Public Library didn’t answer telephones Monday morning. Left a message that has yet to be returned. Called the Vineland branch and got service immediately . . . Made some red beans and rice. This place has smelled great all day . . . We followed it up with a tasty heart-shaped cheesecake. It’s Gert‘s grandmother’s recipe. Wonderfully delicious! . . . Time for a change . . . Signed up for today. I don’t understand the buzz. Help me out if you do . . . If you need to believe in miracles, a man was found alive in the wreckage in Haiti, four weeks after the earthquake . . . According to Millville’s superintendent, one-third of all Millville High School students are suspended each year. Yikes! . . . And at VPS, 46% are suspended . . . Gov. Christie finally declared a state of emergency for southern NJ three days after the blizzard hit. The timing probably doesn’t matter, but I am not encouraged by all the photo-ops last weekend. As I noted on Sunday, Christie should not be using snow plows as props . . . Christie stated he worked with the BUP to restore power to those without it. The BUP only doles out money and ensures Nick Asselta has a cushy job. It’s Atlantic City Electric that can actually do something to restore power . . . My classroom recently participated with Art Goes to School. I love this program. It’s one of those programs I look forward to yearly. Excellent job. This year we analyzed Velazquez’s Las Meninas, Picasso’s Las Meninas, and Dali’s Portrait of Juan de Pareja Fixing a String of His Mandolin and how they are all related. Very kewl! . . .