Year End Odds ‘N Ends

Loyalty: In keeping true to the language of baseball, Theo Epstein, the general manager of both the Red Sox in 2004 and the Cubs in 2016, after nearly a combined two-centuries of losing, brought World Series Championships to both those beleaguered big league towns. Thereupon, he decided to funnel his charitable contributions through his aptly named, “The Foundation To Be Named Later.” I feel compelled to mention that Mr. Epstein is the only general manager to have had a grandfather and great-uncle who together wrote a screenplay for a major motion picture. Those were the brothers Epstein and their movie was the immortal “Casablanca.”

Production: Often overlooked, literally and figuratively, Drew Brees this year will reach 5,000 yards passing for the fifth time. No other quarterback in NFL history, not Peyton or Favre or Brady or Unitas or Rodgers or Graham or Van Brocklin or Rivers or Eli or Montana or Bradshaw or Marino or anybody, has ever done that more than once. Helmets off in tribute to Drew Brees!

Terry Bradshaw is an enigma wrapped up inside a puzzle. He played fourteen seasons with the Steelers and finished with a touchdown passing total to interception ratio of 212-210. Most great quarterbacks are somewhere in the two-or-three-or four-to-one ratio. Peyton Manning at 529-215 and Tom Brady at 453-152 are more the norm. Yet Bradshaw won four Super Bowls. How? When the Rooney family handed the reins over to Chuck Noll in 1969, the Paul Brown protege had the patience of a saint and the wisdom of Solomon in choosing players. Putting together runners Franco Harris and Rocky Blier, receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth and a defense known as the Steel Curtain of L. C. Greene, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, and Mel Blount, all Hall-of-Famers, with Mean Joe Greene as its anchor, Bradshaw shrewdly led that team to fame.

Tim Tebow was never destined to be as successful in the NFL as he was in his Heisman days at the University of Florida. Having gained more yardage running than passing in college, he passed at a paltry 46% completion rate with the Denver Broncos. He came up in a decade of college option quarterbacks, along with Vince Young, Colin Kaepernick, Johnny Manziel, Michael Vick and RG III, none of whom blossomed as stars. In the NFL, Bradshaw notwithstanding, a quarterback must throw at a 65% completion rate with far fewer interceptions than touchdown passes. Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, and Andrew Luck, all pocket passers, are the quarterbacks most likely to be leading teams deep into the playoffs in the coming years.

The Von Ryan Express has run off the rails once again. Taking over a defense ranked second in the NFL in Buffalo in 2014, the Brothers Ryan managed to move the Bills to number fifteen in team defense in each of the last two seasons.

That is the very definition of firing with cause.

15 responses to “Year End Odds ‘N Ends

  1. Did we forget Mathew Stafford?

    • Matthew is indeed next man up. With the year he is having, and without Calvin Johnson to boot, after seven years of play, he might be the leader down the road. Huge chance for him this weekend against Rodgers and Co.

  2. Robert Chambers

    Hey Coach, well well well we are at the end of another year and the longing will soon begin. Maybe a will catch a rerun of Casablanca to pass the time. And speaking of passing it is rumored that Terry Bradshaw was the backup to Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty at LA Tech. Leaders are leaders and never the two shall meet.

    • I’ve always thought Bradshaw among the most underrated quarterbacks in NFL history. And, I consider him the best pre-game and half-time announcer around. His future duck job, I’ll have to wait on that.

    • Unrelated, but was it not Hollywood Henderson who said Terry Bradshaw couldn’t spell cat even if you spotted him the c and the t. All time great line.

  3. Barbara slloum

    Happy new year. Keep those stories coming. 🤗🤗

  4. Funny thing about CASABLANCA is that many of the actors thought the entire enterprise was a disaster, and couldn’t wait until the shooting ended. Naturally, it turned out to be a classic!

  5. So many classic lines and Victor Laszlo leading the band in “La Marseillaise” was just priceless. That song is what really sold that movie.

  6. Don’t ask me why-two movies I have never seen, Alice in Wonderland and Casablanca-maybe later this week.

  7. Terry Parssinen

    In the recent verbal dustup between Terry Bradshaw and Coach Mike Tomlin of the Steelers, Tomlin responded to Bradshaw’s insult by quoting former Cowboy Hollywood Henderson, who once said of Bradshaw, “He couldn’t spell cat if you gave him the C and the A.”

    • Henderson won 28 million in a state
      lottery a few years after retiring. Terry
      has had a long broadcasting career as
      well as a HOF induction. Let’s call
      Henderson vs Bradshaw a draw. Tomlin
      is lucky indeed to have Ben, who is
      perhaps Terry incarnate.

    • Nice year for your Temple Owls, Terry. I thought they were going to take Wake Forest down the stretch. 10-4 a great finish.