This football season, between all of the human interest stories, columns, pictures and videos, I’m going to write two fictional series. One about the NFL and another about college football.
The NFL story is called The Veteran, it’s a story about NFL journeyman, Cale Trent, who details his ninth NFL season in his journal. He’s finally playing for his favorite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys. Here’s the first installment. Enjoy.
Wednesday July 30th – It’s been a crazy couple of days so I haven’t had the chance to write in my journal like I normally do. I was mowing the lawn when Paris came out to tell my phone was ringing. I love her, but I’m not the most faithful person, so I was nervous as shit wondering which one of these Thots was trying to put my life and my relationship in danger. Thankfully, it was the Dallas Cowboys’ General Manager. They needed more bodies in camp.
My NFL career might not stop at eight years, I could possibly get nine. The fact that I’ve lasted this long is crazy in and of itself. I’m just beyond grateful. I’ve never been a star, ever. I’ve just always figured out ways to make it. I was good in high school, but didn’t make the Virginia All-State team. I was a preferred walked-on in college at LSU. I was a decent starter, but not great. I somehow made it to the NFL by mashing for my dreams and dominating on special teams.
Fuck the broken ankle that ended my career last season just six games in. I’m in camp now, I’m not supposed to be here. The best thing about it is that I have a chance to play for my favorite team. The Dallas Cowboys. Yeah, I’m born and raised in Hampton, but I’m the son of two military parents who were both high school sweethearts born and raised in Clarksville, Texas. So, although we were deep in Redskins country, we stood proud as Cowboys fans.
I had no time to get to training camp in Oxnard, CA. I hate to admit this, but I should have had a bag packed and ready to go just in case I got the call. I guess I didn’t have faith that it would happened. I packed as fast as I could kissed my girl and two kids goodbye and got on a plane.
I thought I was in shape, but you’re never really in football shape until you put on the pads. The first four days of practice have been rough. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t like hitting people anymore and I don’t want to be hit anymore. It’s like I want to play, but I don’t want to be at training camp. I know for a fact this is my last year.
I’ve worn #24 my entire career, but the stud new rookie, Rocky Sanders, is wearing it. They gave me #26. It doesn’t look at good on me, but whatever, I’m here and that’s all that matters. The defense that they run is complex as hell! They blitz a ton and it’s going to be hard as hell picking everything up especially since I’m going to be playing slot corner most of the time. The special teams will come on it’s own, that’s what I’m known for, but I’ve got to get this playbook down and make some plays if I want to be on the 53 man roster.
I’ve done well so far and I’m picking up everything fast. The most interesting thing that’s happened is that the first training camp fight was because of me. It was earlier today at practice. I really didn’t do anything wrong to be honest. I was in the slot running on the scout team. I blitzed, the running back blocked me, we got tangled up because he was holding me and he flung me to the ground. As I hit the ground and start to roll, I clipped the quarterback’s legs and he fell, but he popped right back up. It was close because that’s typically how ACL injuries happen. Well, the offensive linemen didn’t take too kindly to it. So here I am, only 5’9″ 185lbs going toe to toe with two 300lbs motherfuckers. I ain’t no bitch though. I stood up to them, but I got mushed in the face masked and tossed right back down to the ground. I can’t remember which one thought it was WWE and gave me the people’s elbow.
We got broken up. Or rather, they both were peeled off of the top of me. I got cursed out by every single offensive coach for being throw into the quarterback and by my position coach for allowing the RB to block me. I figured it was over for me after that. I was at dinner later fearing the worst, but the grim reaper didn’t come around asking for my playbook.
Our first game is August 7th, against the Chargers. I’ve got to get everything down. Right now, I need football more than it needs me. Ever since last season ended, I’ve felt depressed like it was all over. I didn’t graduate college. I’ve got a few more credits, but what the hell am I going to do with an African-American studies degree. I don’t want to teach. I haven’t been good with my money either. All I know is football and I’m not ready for it to end just yet.
I’ve got so much on my mind, I haven’t been calling home as much as I should. I know Paris is pissed off at me too. I feel bad saying this but I don’t really miss her or the kids. Hell it’s only been four days and I needed the break. I’m sure I’ll feel different in a couple of more days.
I’m out of here. I’ve got to get back to this playbook.Read more
It’s not easy being a leader. Some teammates won’t respect you, and some fanbases will rebel and turn their back on you if you can’t deliver. When you get to this stage, some players just don’t want that responsibility, content to make their money playing a game while slinking into the background. And who can blame them after seeing the way some are treated through the media?
Today, with the recent unveiling of the Nike Field Generals Collection at Champs Sports putting the spotlight on five of the league’s best leaders — Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck — we’re taking a look at the very best in the NFL.Read more
Every time an NFL player steps on the field he’s got something to prove. Football is a man’s game. It’s organized machismo chaos. Football parallels life on so many levels. In both, you get knocked down and you get right back up. There’s always something to prove, because there’s no such thing as the perfect game and there’s always room to improve. Well, if you have a disappointing season, you’ve got a ton to prove and should have plenty of motivation as well. Check out the NFL players with the most to prove in 2014.Read more
Diva. Loud. Brash. Cocky. Those are the adjectives normally used to describe a wide receiver, but Andre Johnson isn’t your typical wideout. He’s quiet, consistent, and a likely first ballot Hall of Famer. Today is Johnson’s birthday and what better way to big him up than to highlight his best catches. Happy birthday, Andre.
Check out his Top 10 catches here.Read more
Tradition has always been a staple of college sports. Lately, the “new” tradition has been alternate uniforms. Of course, the grumpy old fans want to keep the same uniforms, but the younger fans want to change it up. Bottom line, these jerseys get the players and recruits excited. To win in college football you have to recruit and new uniforms are a huge recruiting tool.
Yesterday, one of the most traditional schools in the country decided to unveil their alternate jerseys. As a former Sooner myself, I like em!Read more
Majority will always rule when it comes to the court of public opinion. It’s divided on several things: vanilla vs. chocolate ice cream, iPhone vs. Android, Fallon or Kimmel. But one thing it’s not divided on is who is the best wide receiver in the NFL. It’s Calvin Johnson and it’s not up for debate.
He’s not as popular as Johnny Manziel, nor has he won any Super Bowls (let alone a playoff game), but I put money on it that your granny with the single gold tooth in her mouth knows Megatron is the best WR in the NFL.
If you want more proof on how revered CJ is, he just recently had his second signature sneaker drop, the CJ Trainer 2. With Darrelle Revis’ line fading, it’s by far the most popular line among football players.
We all know Johnson is the game’s top talent, but who’s coming in as the second-best WR? We took a look here.Read more
Calvin Johnson is an athletic genius. He stands 6-5 and weighs 240 pounds. He runs with the grace of a gazelle and the speed of a cheetah, topping out at 4.35 seconds in the 40. Let’s not forget to mention his 42.5-inch vertical jump.
Megatron has been in the league for seven years and has been the best wide receiver in the world for about nine.
I said he was an athletic genius, but I did not say he was super human. Every dog has its day. Michael Jordan missed some game-winners and Calvin Johnson has bad games. Although they are few and far between, there are some cornerbacks in the NFL that give Calvin a little bit of trouble.
I spoke with former Detroit Lions starting cornerback, Chris Houston, who faced Johnson everyday in practice for four years, and I asked who could stop Calvin Johnson.
“Really, nobody can hold him period without some help over the top,” he told me. “But I’ll say Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman, and Patrick Peterson are your best bets because they are longer corners and have the size to match up.”
I agree with Chris and say the men for the job are those three corners. Here are their secrets.Read more
5’8″ 147 lbs is a tiny, tiny person. Way too small to play football right? Not if you’re ultra quick and very fast. The video above from a recent Miami Hurricanes football camp doesn’t show how fast Emmanuel Greene is, but it show’s that he’s quicker than annoying fly in your living room.
The kid isn’t all hype either, the Coconut Creek HS junior has received scholarship offers from Cincy, Clemson, FAU, Kentucky, Louisville, NIU, USF, TCU, Temple, Tennessee and WVU. Oh, but there’s a new player…the school that every kid from South Florida dreams of attending, The U, has offered a scholly. Maybe offers from FSU and UF are around the corner.Read more
Help The Harbaughs and Dockers fight the good fight against Dad Pants.Read more
by: Richard Boadu
Last night, The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation of northern California paid for a “Proud to Be” commercial that aired during the NBA Finals last night.
I’m not really sure why this is even a discussion. Is the nickname, Redskins, offensive? Yes. Okay, so if it’s offensive why doesn’t Dan Snyder change the name? Why do some fans want to keep the name and why do others not care?
The team was founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves and changed their name to Redskins a year later. Now, I wasn’t born in 1932 so I can’t say this for certain, but I don’t think those were the most racially progressive times for America, just a hunch. A 2013 recent poll found that 79% of Americans didn’t have a problem with the term Redskins. Oh, that’s nice. I have a few questions though, who did they interview? White people, Black people, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans? Also, it really doesn’t matter who they interviewed if enough Native Americans feel insulted by the name. And even if some Native Americans don’t take offense to the nickname that doesn’t make it right. As a black male, I know better than to use the “n” word. I still use it at least 20x a day, and I know it’s not right, and I definitely will get offended if someone outside my race uses that word.
And why would you want to keep the name? Don’t tell me tradition. What does tradition even mean? “We’ve been doing this so long, we’re not going to change.” Women weren’t voting for the longest. Black people were enslaved. Had those “traditions” not changed we wouldn’t have a Black president now and the possible chance of our first female president in two more years.
I laugh when I read quotes from Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, stating that he’ll never change the name. Sure he owns the team, he can do what he wants with it. I’m still not sure why the NFL hasn’t just stepped in and done something, but let me not get on a tangent. On the surface, it makes sense why Snyder doesn’t want to change the name. He was born and raised in Maryland and more than likely sang “Hail to the Redskins” in his sleep. So it was possibly his childhood dream to own the Redskins and changing the name would distort his dream that’s become his reality. I get it. What I don’t get that as a Jewish man, Snyder, doesn’t understand why people would be offended and why he’s so stubborn about changing the name.
The nickname has been around for 81 years, that doesn’t mean it’s been right. Not all traditions are good. The nickname Redskins doesn’t honor Native Americans it disrespects them. I’m not surprised that Snyder and many other Americans don’t understand what the big deal is and want to fight idiots to keep the name. It’s our tradition as Americans to ignore other ethnicities sensitivities, be disrespectful, and live and lose by our “Get Over It” mantra.
Seriously, let’s just change the damn name. Doesn’t Washington Warriors have a nice ring to it?Read more