Armed Rob-bery

15 Dec

rob-parker-suspended-espn

Rob Parker, yeah Atlanta fans, that fine gentleman that said Falcons fans were too busy eating pork sandwiches and drinking tea to be “real” fans may have really stepped in it this time.  Rob Parker is regular sports columnist on ESPNNewYork.com, ClickOnDetroit.com, and a regular on ESPN’s First Take.  Parker was on the show on Thursday along with regulars Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, and moderator Cari Champion.  Parker took it upon himself to question Robert Griffin III, Quarterback of the Washington Redskins’ “Blackness” by asking the question, “Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother.”  Champion went on to ask him what he meant and Parker went on to say, “He’s not real.  OK, he’s black, he kind of does the thing, but he’s not really down with the cause.  He’s not one of us.  He’s kind of black but he’s not really, like the guy you want to hand out with because he’s off to something else.”  When Champion asked why he asked that particular question Parker said, “Well because that’s just how I want to find out about him.  I don’t know because I keep hearing these things.  We all know he has a white fiancée.  There was all this about how he’s a Republican, which I don’t really care, there’s no information at all.  I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue.  Because we did find out with Tiger Woods.  Tiger Woods was like, I’ve got black skin but don’t call me black.”

Of course there was a great deal of outrage from all sides involved, but the unfortunate part of this is that there are more people who think as Mr. Parker does.  My question is who is Rob Parker to question anyone’s “Blackness”.  As an African-American man, I have a hard time when anyone defines what it is to be black.  As far as race relations are concerned America has slowly started to progress in the right direction although there is still a long way to go.  Ironically, if he were white he would have been fired soon after making the statement and it would have been publicized immediately to save face.  Rob Parker has had a history of making statements to polarize an audience but this has definitely crossed the line.  I’m not one to say that someone should lose their job but he just may be collateral damage.  It will be interesting.

Start Taking It Personal

9 Dec

Josh Brent

Josh Brent at the Irving Police Department. (AP)

 

Two weeks, two tragedies.  As the public is beginning to move forward from the Jovan Belcher story, here comes the tragic death of Jerry Brown, defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys.  He was in a car accident with alleged drunken driver Josh Brent, his college and professional teammate.  Dallas travelled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals and found out on the plane.  It is a sobering reminder, excuse the pun, that players are not beyond the scope very public problem and often reflects a microcosm of society.  However, when will personal responsibility take over in these kinds of situations.  Please keep in mind, often times in NFL Cities, the NFL Players Association provides a car service for the players at little or no cost to them.  Judging by the statistics, a lot of players are not choosing to use this service, in fact between 2000-2008 out of the 385 arrest of NFL Gridders, 112 were for DUI.  When will personal responsibility take over some players.  I can somewhat understand that players may not want to leave their high-end vehicles in some remote place, however if a player is locked up for killing someone then the chances of enjoying that ride are slim to none.  So now you can add Josh Brent to names such as Leonard Little and Donte’ Stallworth and sadly you can add the name Jerry Brown to countless others that have died as a result of carelessness of drunken driving.  So while the NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell is suspending players for illegal hits, maybe he should suspend players for the next person they might hit.

A Letter to the Falcons

3 Dec

Dear Falcons,Atlanta Falcons

 

Congratulations for winning the NFC South.  It looks like you are well on your way to getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  I’m so very proud of your 11-1 record so far.  However, I do have some concerns about the team.  I’m concerned that the running game is inconsistent and Michael Turner just doesn’t look the same.  As we go into the playoffs, we’re going to need at least an efficient running game to keep teams off-balance that have studied you so well.  I’m also worried about stopping the run and our pass rush.  We did a pretty good job against Tampa Bay last week and Chris Ivory didn’t run wild against us in the New Orleans game but otherwise teams have “gashed” us in the run game.  John Abraham has looked “ok” at times and Kroy Bierman is always giving his all but the pass rush has been inconsistent and needs to improve if we hope to go further in the playoffs this year.  We are also very injured in the secondary.  Asante Samuel’s shoulder is a major concern and I’m sure he will be resting these next few weeks.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the team.  The changing of both coordinators was welcomed and for the first time in a while I feel confident that regardless of the situation the team can make a stop and get a score if we’re behind.  But no one is giving us a chance in the playoffs or very much respect despite our record.  Please prove the critics wrong this season, win the whole thing.  That’s right, not just one playoff game……Let’s win the SuperBowl!!!  Is that too much to ask???  Thank you for everything and keep up the good work!!

 

Sincerely,

One of Your Biggest Fans!

Image

The Fal-cans Going Forward

17 Dec

One of Roddy White's Two Touchdowns

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 15: Roddy White #84 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Georgia Dome on December 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

After the 41-14 “thrashing” of the Jacksonville Jaguars on last Thursday night, the Falcons appear to be peaking just at the right time  They have put themselves in a great position to make the playoffs barring a major collapse or catastrophe.  This game was not the test case to see if the ”Birds” are Super Bowl contenders but this is still the National Football League where all wins are quality.  The Falcons are likely a 5th or 6th seed in playoffs, with an outside shot of repeating as NFC South Champs but they must win at least one of their last 2 games to feel secure.  The defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers were in a similar position last season, barely getting into the tournament but doing the ultimate damage when they got the opportunity.  The Falcons have in place a team that can follow in the Packers footsteps, however they must do the following;

1. Remain injury free.  They are not deep enough in certain positions to afford them.

2. Pass rush must show up.  Hopefully John Abraham’s 3.5.sacks against Jacksonville was a sign of things to come.

3. Offense must remain balanced.  You must run the ball in this league for sustained excellence and the Falcons can be one of the most balanced in the league with their great skill position players.

4. Brent Grimes must return to form.  Chris Owens and Dominique Franks have provided a ”band-aid” for that spot and have gotten good experience but Brent Grimes is your Pro Bowl corner.

5. Speaking of stopping the bleeding…the Falcons must sure up the offensive line or a quick trip will not just be a gas station.

If all of these things followed along with a little luck there should be no reason why this Falcons Team should not make a deep playoff run.