Leaving the NFL

Which out-of-the-box athlete said this:

Everyone asks him if he’s ready for the next chapter in his life. “No, this is the first chapter,” he corrects them. “That football stuff, that was just the prologue.”

Just as long as his book is not about a certain illegal plant:

Besides, he adds, it wasn’t a need for weed that forced him out of the NFL for his infamous hiatus. It was an epiphany: You’re allowed to look at the world any way you want.

Sure, but it works both ways. Act poorly and the world forms that opinion of you.

A Pittsburgh Steeler Has Communist Blood?

Are you ready for the super-big NFL game looming between the Steelers and the Broncos? Unfortunately for the terrible toweled, one of the Steelers’ stars is going to sit out this Sunday:

Ryan Clark sat down in Mike Tomlin’s office and did something a little out of character for the normally verbose Pittsburgh Steelers safety. He listened.

And when Tomlin told Clark he couldn’t play in Sunday’s wild card game at Denver because of a sickle-cell trait that becomes aggravated when playing at higher elevations, Clark just shrugged his shoulders and nodded.

Ryan Clark, Pittsburgh Steelers Safety

Ryan had some blood-work done this week and it yielded surprising results. I had a spy in the lab and got some advance intel. Fresh from under the microscope, here’s an actual picture of the bloody slide:

Ryan Clark’s blood, Sickle Cell Trait

Just kidding, obviously. The sickle cell trait is serious:

People who inherit one sickle cell gene and one normal gene have sickle cell trait. That’s compared to people who inherit one sickle cell gene from each parent, who may get sickle cell anemia, the most severe form of sickle cell disease.

People with the trait usually do not have the symptoms of sickle cell disease, but they might experience complications of the disease, such as pain crises, which occur when the sickled cell becomes stuck in the blood vessel, causing painful swelling. In rare cases, people with the trait can face harm when they’re dehydrated, in an atmosphere with increased pressure – like when scuba diving – or when they are in areas with high altitude and low oxygen.

Stay healthy, Ryan. Since it is not quite the Super Bowl, but still a very important game, fans (well, one fan, me) have taken to calling it the Super Soy Sauce Bowl. You know, one of these tiny things:

Go Broncs!

The Accidents of a Navy Pilot, a Fashion Model, a Tennessee Family, and an NFL Player

Aviation related accidents are particularly nasty due to a host of reasons: moving parts, speed, high/low temperatures, expense, altitude, and stupidity among others.

We were once pre-flighting our EP-3 and I was testing my communication gear at my seat. The 3P (the co-co-pilot) sat in the cockpit, twenty feet away from me, checking the flaps. He did not do a visual glance outside (as the pubs – publications – prescribed) and he punched a hole in a flap on the port wing. A ladder stood in the way and it produced an air vent where one was not before.

The Flight Engineer (FE) stormed past me muttering: “I really wish you had not done that, sir.” And less than five feet behind him trailed an ashen-faced LTJG, the co-co-pilot. Outside they went to inspect the damage.

It delayed us for hours while we fueled and pre-flighted another bird. An investigation was launched and the co-co was even drug-tested.

Sadly, another type of aviation accident occurred when a fashion blogger (whose blog was called lolo) walked into a propeller:

Lauren Scruggs of  http://blogbylolo.com/   

The parents of model and fashion blogger Lauren Scruggs said today that their daughter is responsive and making a slow recovery after she suffered severe injuries from accidentally walking into the propeller of a small plane.

Scruggs, from Plano, Texas, edits an online fashion magazine and had also worked in the wardrobe department of the TV show “Gossip Girl.” The 23-year-old suffered horrific injuries including the loss of her hand Saturday night after had just finished riding in a single-engine plane to get an aerial view of Christmas lights with a friend.

The pilot had landed at a private airport north of Dallas when Scruggs exited the plane and walked directly into its propeller. The blades sliced the left side of her face and shoulder and severed her left hand. She is now stable at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

Where was the pilot? Safety should be his/her priority. Please say a prayer for Lauren if you are so inclined. . .

Our second accident involves fire. A Tennessee family watched their house burn to the ground after an accidental fire erupted:

Bell Family, South Fulton, Obion County, Tennessee

A Tennessee couple helplessly watched their home burn to the ground, along with all of their possessions, because they did not pay a $75 annual fee to the local fire department.

Vicky Bell told the NBC affiliate WPSD-TV that she called 911 when her mobile home in Obion County caught fire. Firefighters arrived on the scene but as the fire raged, they simply stood by and did nothing.

I have great respect for policemen and fire-fighters. They serve their communities, often in harm’s way. This troubles me:

South Fulton Mayor David Crocker defended the fire department, saying that if firefighters responded to non-subscribers, no one would have an incentive to pay the fee. Residents in the city of South Fulton receive the service automatically, but it is not extended to those living in the greater county-wide area.

Can’t they come up with a monumental penalty, say $5,000, to put out fires for folks who did not pay the $175 fee?

The third accident is not a traditional accident, but one done out of gametime exuberance. Cam Newton is a rookie star in the NFL. An Auburn grad, he has rushed for 13 touchdowns, a rookie record. And on the last of his three rumbles into the endzone, he gave the prize gameball to a fan. Why not, the Panthers were rolling to a 38-19 victory against the buck-toothed Bucs (4-8, 4th in the NFC South.) Still the team wanted the football back:

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

When Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newtonscored his third touchdown in Sunday’s game, he made a beeline to the 16-year-old girl in the back of the end zone wearing a shirt that said “Mrs. Newton” on the back.

Katie Brown had spent the previous night designing the T-shirt and, with the help of some fans sitting around her, had attracted the attention of the rookie superstar earlier in the game. Newton acknowledged her with a smile and a laugh. Now, he was running over to give her the ball he had just carried across the goal line.

But the team asked Katie to return the ball for historical reasons. For Cam’s “accidental” gift, the Panthers gave her a kicking tee, a game ball and four hats. And they also promised to send her a gift in the mail. Tickets, probably.

I would take an errant gameball over a house fire or a plane propeller accident. Practice safety, folks.

A Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Loses Twitter

Dallas Cowboy cheerleader Melissa Kellerman

Melissa Kellerman is a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys. And she was cheering on the sideline of the Thanksgiving NFL game between the Jacksonville Jaguars Miami Dolphins and her Dallas Cowboys.

The Tight End for the Cowboys, Jason Witten, collided into her. Check out the video. And the purty words:

Kellerman, a 22-year-old student in her fourth year with the team, became a national sensation on Thanksgiving when she was accidentally tackled on the sideline by Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

So Melissa tweets about her experience. The Cowboys are a media-savvy team. They have a CMT show (Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team) dedicated to their cheerleader auditions. Surely they are okay with media-ness-mess? Her tweets:

Cowboys cheerleader knocked over by Witten forced off Twitter

I think her tweets are both funny and classy. It took me a second to recall what Melissa was referring to in the second one. A “trust fall” is an exercise, often done in groups by actors, where you “trust” the other person/people to catch you. You fall into a circle and the folks around you “cradle” your fall. It takes trust, hence the name.

So the punchline? Her twitter account is suddenly de-activated. Did the Dallas Cowboys delete it? I don’t think she strayed over the line. But maybe Jerry Jones did. . .

Update: It turns out Melissa turned off her own Twitter.

Saluting with the Left Hand

I am driving onto base. A civilian stands with a clipboard, waiting for me to pull up. He checks my ID and salutes. I narrow my eyes. Did he really just do that? Salute with his left hand? Grimacing, I salute back. He is a civvie after all.

Eric Decker, Broncos, Saluting the Troops

Another salute story gone wrong? A Denver Bronco, Eric Decker, popped off a salute in honor of the troops this last weekend.

Him and his fellow Broncs were in a dog-fight of a game and he wanted to render honors. So he dropped to one knee and rogered off a quickie after scoring a touchdown on a 56-yard huck from Tim Tebow. One tiny problem, league rules forbid celebrating from the ground. And one knee constitutes the ground:

Rules truly are rules in the NFL. To the league’s credit, they don’t allow exceptions. . . Eric Decker got a taste of that on Sunday when he dropped to one knee and saluted the American veterans, which of course was against the rules because he went to the ground to celebrate.

Um Mr. Decker, you were a Minnesota Golden Gopher, right? That is, you played wide receiver in the Big-10 (or whatever it might be known as by the time you read this)? Surely you had a ROTC program at that venerable establishment. Or perhaps, you’ve watched movies of military folks saluting?

Eric Decker

We love the military love over here, but let’s work on getting the correct hand involved. In America, we salute with our right hand. Not our left.

Also, you look a little too Chris Columbus off the Florida Keys, sighting land. (Florida Keys, not historically accurate, but literarily – not literally – more vibrant than the actual locale.) Less Dora the Explorer and more Colonel Nathan Jessup next time, please.

Not Eric Decker

In a not-so-completely random connection, when I was deployed to that sandy paradise us Navy folk like to refer to as not home, Kid rocked it up and down our block. For a USO-ish visit.

And Rock brought several other miscreants along for his military tour, folks like the comedian Carlos Mencia and a young almost-country singer by the name of Jessie James.

Jessica Jessie James

Lil’ Jessie was talented. She now goes by the more serious name Jessica James. Good choice. Lose the outlaw, maybe gain an in-law. . .

So why would I mention the young lass? According to wikipedia, she is dating no other than Chris Columbus Eric Decker, the serial mis-saluter.

Since when did wikipedia start tracking the dating life of the starry set? I shudder for the poor squirrel in charge of editing Warren Beatty’s or Madonna’s entry. (In a stunning display of statistics, both actually dated each other! Which is not how I came up with their names. My thought: who is the biggest male getter around’her? And the biggest female get’her arounder? Answer: Warren and Oh Donna.)

Dora the Explorer

Jessica James is clearly patriotic. She toured the mid-east after all. With Mr. Rock (the musician, not the wrestler-turned-method-actor.)

Please, no one tell Jessica that her wide deceiver boyfriend can’t salute. Truly, we forgive him. As already stated, us in the military love the love.

Final score of the game, Denver Broncos 17 – Kansas City Chiefs 10. Deep thought: what are Chiefs doing in Kansas City anyway? There’s no Navy base for miles. Dunkin’ Donuts, on the other hand.

Gisele Bundchen, Mrs. Tom Brady, Tricks Her Son

I am roaring northward on the mighty 15 Freeway in San Diego. The nasally one, Mark Levin, drones from the radio, eviscerating some poor schlob from Vermont.

I pass a car plastered with bumper stickers. It is disease this, reading bumper stickers, and I got the fever. One catches my attention. It says something along the lines of:

If animals could speak English, you would not eat them!

I turn Levin down. Light, his show is not. And I think, is this true? That speech-enabled animals would turn me away from my a-gnawing habit of lunching on them?

And what if I did not speak English? Does the Russian shrug off the New Yawkah cow who warns him: hey, yous hold it right there, mistah! Would not the uncomprehending Russian just sip his vodka mouthwash and go about his business?

Of course, if the bovinely, four-stomached* one uttered: Эй мудак, посмотреть его, in a grassy, Siberian-accented drawl, than perhaps the message would be received.

Ever my friend, Google, had a veritable buffet of vegan links speaking to this issue, of animals having the ability to talk. Over 3 million drooly posts.

Funny forum responses to this question: Yeah and what if your corn and arugula could speak? Shut up pig (shotgun blast)!

No one was swayed by this logic. That if our t-bone once quoted Goethe, we would stop eating meat. . .

Shall we review some other interesting grub-related stories of the week? I say yes! (Imagine this bumper sticker: If a blogger can write in tasty English, would you dine on his writing?)

Gisele Bundchen, Billionaire Broccoli Lover

Mrs. Tom Brady herself, Gisele Bundchen, had this to say about her son:

My children, they are like white canvases. When Benjamin eats broccoli, he thinks it’s dessert!

It is clear that this Patriot supermodel has her psyops down. Although easily tricked, little Benny Brady has got some good genes.

My hope for him is that he is able to read prevent defenses and can throw a tight spiral 60 yards downfield. But knowing how wacky this world is, perhaps he will grow up reading audiences from catwalks and throwing parties for androgynous wo-mannequins.

Last question for the billionaire Gazelle Gisele: why did she not adopt the last name of her pass-happy (in football-lingo only) husband? Does not Gisele Brady have a nice ring to it? I think so. Or is it too Brady Bunch? Or Brady Bundchen? She had better be careful about having too many kids. Her life may come to resemble a television show. The Bundchen Munchkins.

Have you heard about this restaurant in Germany that caters to cavemen, cavewomen, and cavekids? Here is the meat:

No cheese, bread or sugar are available at a recently opened Berlin eatery.

In fact, guests are served dishes made only of ingredients that would have been available to their hunter-gatherer ancestors.

The Stone Age fare is prepared by adherents of the Paleolithic movement, who say their restaurant is the first of its kind in Europe.

The restaurant menu shows a stereotypical image of modern humanity’s forbearer, the jutting profile of a hirsute caveman.

Inside, diners eat at candle-lit tables with a contemporary cave painting hanging in the background.

MesSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, GEICO caveman

These hints aside, Berlin’s Sauvage restaurant looks similar to many of the German capital’s other trendy eateries.

But the chalkboard out front announcing a “Real Food Revolution — Paleolithic Cuisine!” alerts diners to the fact that their Stone Age menu might offer up some surprises.

Alright, I gotta run. I got a cheeseburger with my name on it. Notice I did not say: I have a cheeseburger saying my name. . .

* I stand corrected: Per cow-likipedia: Cattle have one stomach with four compartments. They are the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum, with the rumen being the largest compartment. (Readers: do you not find it oddly comforting that the largest compartment is named rumen?)

Tim Tebow and Sandwiches

Denver BroncosDenver Broncos

Let’s talk Denver Broncos, more specifically, their quarterback, Tim Tebow. Are you familiar with him? Are you a fan? Do you not know who he is?

His story is quite a compelling one whether or not you root for his success. He is the fifth son of a pair of Christian Baptist missionaries and was born in the Philippines.

The circumstances surrounding his birth were challenging and it was suggested by the doctor that the Tebows consider an abortion:

Doctors later told Pam (Tim’s mother) that her placenta had detached from the uterine wall, a condition known as placental abruption, which can deprive the fetus of oxygen and nutrients.

Tim Tebow Heisman Winner

Doctors expected a stillbirth, Pam said, and they encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy.

“They thought I should have an abortion to save my life from the beginning all the way through the seventh month,” she recalled.

Of course, she did not abort and Tim grew up to be one of the most celebrated of college quarterbacks, winner of various awards and championships, including the Heisman. He did not avoid controversy in college at the University of Florida, but it was not of the usual type:

In 2010, a new rule for the next NCAA football season, dubbed “The Tebow Rule” by media because it would have affected him, banned messages on eye paint.

Tim Tebow John 3-16

During his college football career, Tebow frequently wore biblical verses on his eye black.

In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, he wore John 3:16 on his eye paint, and as a result, 92 million people searched “John 3:16” on Google during or shortly after the game.

Additionally, later, when Tebow switched to another verse, there were 3.43 million searches of “Tim Tebow” and “Proverbs 3:5-6” together.

Tebow stated of the searches “It just goes to show you the influence and the platform that you have as a student-athlete and as a quarterback at Florida.”

Tebowing- Praying During a Game

His final, collegiate numbers are truly staggering: he passed for over 9000 yards and rushed for almost 3000. Turning pro, he was drafted 25th in the first round of 2010 National Football League Draft by the Denver Broncos.

On December 19, 2010, he started his first game and set an NFL record for his 40 yard scamper into the endzone for a touchdown. It remains the longest touchdown run for a quarterback in Denver Broncos’ history and the longest NFL touchdown run by a quarterback during his first professional start.

Tim Tebow, Friar Tuck and Run

So this last Sunday, Tim played in the place of the sputtering Kyle Orton.

From wikipedia: When Coach John Fox announced hat Tebow would start against the Miami Dolphins, 75,000 tickets were sold in one day. In that game, Tebow and the Broncos rallied from a 15-0 deficit in the last 4 minutes to win the game 18-15 in overtime.

By all accounts, the game was ugly:

For 3 1/2 quarters, the Dolphins throttled Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who completed just 4 of 14 passes for 40 yards before his team got the ball trailing 15-0 with 5:23 left.

Then Tebow led them to an overtime victory that was described by one ESPN analyst as “magical.” Go to the above link to read it all.

Still, there are many valid criticisms of Tebow. He is an inaccurate passer with a strange delivery. As for me, I don’t have an NFL team. But I am a Tim Tebow fan. He is a good guy and I want him to succeed. I can’t help it.

I did not like him when I first heard him speak. He enunciates his words as if his tongue is too large for his mouth. I can’t explain it and surely this is petty, but this remains my first impression. But it changed after I learned more. . .

As for the sandwiches in the title above, Eagles Defensive End Brandon Graham is the guilty party. He packed on twenty pounds during an 8 week period:

Sandwich Man Brandon Graham, Eagle Eater

Apparently the Eagles defensive end has been on the offensive end of some of Philly’s finest food.

The 2010 first-round draft pick tore his ACL last December and spent two months on crutches. His weight jumped from 270 to 290 during his recovery. He has a culprit, though.

“You know what got me real big? The Philly cheesesteaks,” Graham told the appropriately named Philly.com. “Jim’s. That’s all I eat.”

Thas’ a lot of samiches. . .

Is It Possible

That a bayonet can double as a flash drive?

That one of the top blogs in Mexico is antinarc?

That Miss Iceland turned in one of the FBI’s Most Wanted after befriending a cat?

That Amish men are now running in gangs?

That the Arab Fall is really the Arab fail?

That you want to attend the Wall Street protests?

That a naval officer is being cut from the New England Patriots for deploying?

That UK’s top religious figure, a man with obvious political leanings, now decries politics?

That Seve Jobs’ real father was a Syrian Muslim man named Abdulfattah John Jandali?

That movies are now being filmed with iPhones?

That Al Qaeda is questioning the legality of us killing terrorists?

That there is another kind of protest happening, one about guitars?

That a well-known blogger can write a taut thriller about Iran, the country of his birth?

That a SEAL is peddling weapons from Iraq and Afghanistan?

That Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids?