Category: NFL

Tuesday Morning Quarterbacking the AFC East

So…everyone has had a chance to take a step towards Tampa.

Some moved Towards Tampa (Bears, Eagles, Steelers, Cowboys, Giants)

Some moved away from Tampa (Colts, Vikings, Jaguars, Chargers)

One saw their season completely crumble before their eyes.

(oh SURE, Matt Cassell is Tom Brady 2.0…whatever helps you sleep at night Patriot fans)

Let us take a look at the AFC East after one Week.

AFC East

Jets – Guess that Favre pick-up is going to work out well for them after all, huh.  Something tells me Favre is going to go out like he does every year, with a game killing Pick in an overtime playoff game.  Better than closing up shop in December I suppose.

Patriots – I think Daunte Culpepper is somewhere staring at his phone.  In Futility.  The Patriots will rally together and pull out the division, but eventually Mr. Career Backup will prove himself to be just that.  And somehow it will all be Randy Moss’ fault.

Dolphins – Baby Steps. Anything is better than last year.  Chad Pennington will keep them competitive, and win half of the games they almost won last year.  So instead of losing 8 games by a touchdown or less, they will only lose 4, giving them a nice round 6-10 record.

Bills – This is a scrappy bunch that you DO NOT want to see in Buffalo.  All the pieces are together, it is just a matter of time to watch them grow up.

 

Week One Power Rankings

1a.Patriots-Next Sunday will tell the tale

1b.Jets- See 1a

3. Bills – Plays in Jacksonville Sunday…We shall see how much the Baby Bills have grown up.

4. Dolphins – baby Steps.  Enjoy the view, The Dolphins are going to be here for a while.

The Ink’s NFL Pick em league.

You have been invited to join Inkognegro’s Private Group in Yahoo! Sports Pro Football Pick’em.
In order to join the group, just go to Pro Football Pick’em, click the “Sign Up” button (or “Create or Join Group” if you are a returning user). From there, follow the path to join an existing private group and when prompted, enter the following information…
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Password: Twitter

Click Here to go join

Come join the fun..even if you miss tonight’s game….you can still get in by 1pm ET on Sunday.

Hell must have Slurpees today.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…within the span of 20 minutes…I learned two things…both of which defy the imagination.

  • Brett Favre is now a New York Jet

This particular fact is not completely surprising, since ESPN has devoted the past month to all Favre all the time.  I have a particular thought about all this but I am saving it for just the right moment.  Now isn’t that moment.  I will say this though.  Brett Favre is getting exactly what he deserves.

Bill O’Reilly cannot be pleased at all.

Keith Olbermann just had an orgasm.

As for me?   All I can say is:   WooooooooooooW.  (Flav,F)

RIP Myron Cope G.O.A.T.

A legend is gone.

No individual local sportscaster  represented his hometown team like Myron Cope.  You can name all the names you want…you aint touchin’ Mr. Cope.

I met Mr. Cope once downtown (dahntahn for you Yinzers).  They don’t really  come much nicer than him.

Even if his voice annoyed you to no end(and it did) Myron Cope is a legend to anyone who is from Pittsburgh or reps the Steelers.

Younger Steelers fans and Fans not from Pittsburgh don’t really understand the Love/Nails on the Chalkboard relationship that most Black Pittsburghers have with Myron Cope.

We thought it was much ado about not a whole lot, but such is the nature of growing up Black in Pittsburgh.  Sometimes he seemed Bigger than the players to Pittsburgh, and that annoyed us, but in the same way, Billy Conn is bigger than Joe Louis, depending on who you ask.  It was just the way it was.  We didn’t complain, we just gave him his space and loved him from afar.

My mother banned his sports talk show from the house, because his voice was just THAT annoying.

But even she had to shed a lil tear today.

We all did.

And then we dried our tears with the Terrible Towel, cause he would have wanted it that way.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Cope.

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Third Day of Black History Month: Being First is much easier than Getting in position to be first

Today, when all the hype finally dissipates and Big Blue and the Evil Empire gathers in the middle of the field to FINALLY play the damn game, history will shine on one man.

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The short story is that Mike Carey will be the first African-American to referee the Super Bowl.

The long story is that he didn’t just roll up on this prime gig overnight.

He got his start refereeing Pee Wee games back in 1972.  And he took the long road to history.

I know people think that this kind of thing happens overnight.  Fool around on YouTube today and six months later the Head Coach of the University of Wisconsin Basketball team is Supermanning dat OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh.

you thought I was lyin, didn’t you.   Nope…it’s easier to tell the truth nowadays.

Anyway.

Today’s lesson, good folk, is that when you see a first, remember the work and sweat that went into making that possible.

Ask Mike Carey

John Smallwood: Carey is taking his Super step in stride

PHOENIX – Until there is the first, you can’t get to the second, the third or, most important, the point where it no longer matters.

So when Mike Carey steps on the field tomorrow for Super Bowl XLII, he will do so with great pride knowing that he is the first African-American to be the referee of America’s greatest sporting event.

“Obviously, it means a lot to me,” said Carey, who is in his 18th season as an NFL official. “I’m proud, honored, humbled, blessed to have the

opportunity.

“The thing about sports in America is that it is a lot like our politics. It’s really a window to the social atmosphere of our country. What we’re seeing is that everybody is capable of

accepting anybody with competence.

“It’s the erosion of one more stereotype that all of us know should be gone. Someone asked me if this was groundbreaking. I said it’s ‘ground paving,’ because it’s just what is going to happen in America and the world. You can’t deny it.”

Carey is an official, and officials are at their best when they do their jobs without being noticed. So, no, this has not received the amount of attention that Doug Williams did in 1988 when he became the first African-American quarterback to play in and win a Super Bowl.

And it’s not like last year, when the Chicago Bears’ Lovie Smith and the Indianapolis Colts’ Tony Dungy became the first African-American head coaches to reach the Super Bowl.

But this is significant in its scope.

In 1965, Burl Toler became the first African-American official in the NFL. Johnny Grier was the first to work his way up to referee in 1988; Carey is the second.

“I may be the first [to referee a Super Bowl], but I’m just part of that path,” Carey said. “You’ve got to remember Johnny Grier, Al Jury. There are a lot of superior African-American officials who paved the way for this to happen.

“The community of officials is such a tight brotherhood. I’ve been getting e-mails, voice mails, and text messages of congratulations. Being able to represent them on that stage is humbling.”

Carey, 59, who was a running back at Santa Clara University and graduated with a degree in biology, began officiating in 1972 when a friend suggested he

officiate Pop Warner games in his native San Diego.

He worked his way up to

junior varsity high school games, varsity high school games, junior college and small-college games in the San Diego area.

In 1985, the Western Athletic Conference hired him. The NFL hired him as a side judge in 1990 and he was promoted to referee in 1995.

“You can’t get to this level unless you start with the little Pop Warner kids and work your way up,” said Carey, who was an

alternate official for Super Bowl XXXVI. “At every level, I was

fortunate enough to be athletic enough to get to the right positions to make good calls.”

(Click here to get the your Paul Harvey On)

And now…the longest 14 days in Sports

There is no longer period in the world than the fortnight that stands between the end of the NFL Conference championship games and the kickoff of the Super Bowl.  In what has to be some sort of karmic cycle we recieve some kind of inverted Red Sox/Yankees matchup with the Patriots playing the part of the Yankees evil empire and the Giants playing the part of the proud underdog who carry the hopes of a nation that pleads to be saved from an off season of crowing from the land of white chowder.

But for ME…it’s a bit personal.

I am the ex-husband of a Giants fan and my appreciation has thus far extended beyond the marriage itself.

The current Mrs. Ink is a NY native as well who has an intermittent soft spot for  the Giants.

The fact that I spent 11 yrs in the DC area rooting against the Redskins and am finishing up 3 years in Fort Worth rooting against the Cowboys hasn’t hurt my affinity for the G-Men.

So, in recognition of the 2007 NFC Champs, a few props.

Once upon a time,  Plaxico Burress was the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the official NFL team of the Inkognegro world.   He had good days and bad days with the Steelers, ultimately running afoul of the dominant portion of Steeler Nation, the part that treats Steeler football less like an enjoyable part of their life and more like a religious obsession.  Toss in the usual amount of cultural incompatibility and a few poorly timed dropped balls and you have the usual irrational hate.   After losing a home game to the Evil Empire in the 05 AFCCG, Plax went and got his $ from the NY Giants.   As a dedicated fan who knew that Burress would be a better pick than Chad Pennington for the Steelers, I have always appreciated his skills.

Today, Plex did the thing, bum ankle and all.  I hope Eli appreciates him.   He has saved Eli again and again.

Manning, Rivers, Rothlisberger.  These three, much like the class of 84 and the Class of 99, will be linked together forever.  Way back when Manning orchestrated his landing in NY, I was positive that Ben was the best of the three, followed by Rivers and THEN Eli.  Between his pedigree and the way he bullied his way into NY, I freely admit that I was amused by whatever struggles he had and I was always standing by, shovel in hand, waiting to smooth out the dirt over his football playing grave.  After tonight?  He gets a lifetime pass.

Still not better than Ben.  But his pass from me has been stamped.

I will not say a bad word about the long term prospects of Eli Manning ever again.

and Now….we wait.