This signing has been generating quite a bit of talk in St. Louis. I personally love this move. Titus Young is the perfect low risk high reward kind of guy. If we were still in the Spags/Devany era I would be nervous. They wouldn’t have taken a chance with this guy because of their “4 Pillars” approach which didn’t produce on the field. Jeff Fisher is a different animal. He knows how to handle problem players as well as anyone in the league. How often have any of his players tore apart a team? People can point to Vince Young but that had little to do with player/coach relationship as it was about coach/owner relationship. I think Fisher can handle Titus Young. If he doesn’t handle him I can promise that he won’t let Young tear apart the team, he’ll send him packing.

My top 10 Super Bowl moments

This week our local ESPN sports radio affiliate, 101.1 ESPN’s  drive home show “The Fast Lane” hosted by Randy Karraker, Super Bowl Champion Demarco Farr, and World Series Champion Chris Duncan, has their weekly top ten poll. This week’s category was their favorite Super Bowl moments. That made me think of enough things that I decided to compile my own list with videos.

#10

The Whitney Houston National Anthem.

I was a 14-year-old freshman in 1991 for this one. Growing up during a time of peace, you really don’t get a sense of what it really means to be patriotic. A few weeks before this moment, I stayed awake all night with my eyes glued to CNN watching the first hours of Desert Storm unfold. I didn’t realize what it really meant to be an American until that war began. During the lead up to the Super Bowl all of the talk of extra security surrounding the event really helped to understand the magnitude of what was going on halfway around the world. Patriotism was at an all-time high when Whitney Houston stepped up to the mic and moved a nation to tears. It is still to this day my favorite version of the Stars Spangled Banner that I have ever heard. The game that day was also one of the best games to ever be played, but for me, it was this that really stands out.

#9

Leon Lett

Let me start by saying, I was a fan of Leon Lett. The guy was a hell of a football player, and he was flat-out dominant at times. But this was one of those time that you have to steal the words of the late great Fred Sanford (played by St. Louis native Redd Foxx) “YOU BIG DUMMY.” I was Dallas Cowboy fan at the time since our city didn’t have football. This play had nothing to do with outcome of the game, so I really couldn’t be mad about it, but it was just a really bone headed play. I was much angrier at him the following Thanksgiving.

#8

9-11 Commercial

This commercial turned the room completely silent. When this commercial was finished, everyone looked around the room and just mouthed “wow” toward each other. Powerful, powerful commercial. The best memory, of what was otherwise an awful day for me. One of the worst days of my life as a sports fan.

#7

Thank you Giants

As 101 The Fast Lane’s Randy Karraker would say, this was the day the Giants “saved the world” from the Patriots going undefeated. I have always respected the Patriots, but after learning all of the “spygate” stuff it was nice to see them get knocked off of their fake throne. They would have been known as the “greatest team in NFL history”, but the Giants righted the universe. Somewhere, the football gods are smiling.

#6

The Quarter

I admit being an offensive guy, this should be higher on my list. The only problem is that I didn’t see it actually happen live. I set my VCR that morning to record the game just so that I could watch it throughout the year until football started again. Kids, back in our day we didn’t have youtube and stuff like that to just pull things up and watch them. When the first quarter ended a friend and I went outside to throw a football around. We went back inside at halftime and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the score. Needless to say, I watched the video of that 2nd quarter countless times. Doug Williams was ridiculous in that quarter.

#5

Marcus Allen

This was the very first Super Bowl that I ever remember watching. That was back when the Big Red were still here in St. Louis and I remember watching the Redskins play them that year and I thought the Redskins were awesome. I knew for sure that the Redskins would be the Raiders. Even thought the game was one-sided I still thought that somehow, someway, the Redskins would come back. I thought that until this play happened. This was the first time watching football that I had that “How did that happen” kind of moment. This run was amazing

#4

Jordan vs. Bird

I am even surprised myself that I put this up this high. For myself, and millions others, the Super Bowl commercials are as big as the game itself. There have been many years that I didn’t care that much about the game but just couldn’t wait to see the commercials. This is the first “big” commercial that I remember ever seeing. This one had everyone talking. There have been many great commercials before and since this one, but this is the commercial that got me hooked on the commercials.

#3

Super Bowl Shuffle

Has their ever been a more badass move in NFL history? People like to make a big deal of Joe Namath’s guaranteed  victory. While that was great, this wasn’t just one person, this was a WHOLE TEAM coming out and doing a music video. They knew that they were going to beat the asses of whoever they played. And this video is the proof. That team was awesome!

#2

Joe Cool

The day that I realized who the best quarterback of all-time is. I was actually rooting for the Bengals that day because I was 12 and a fan of the “Ickey shuffle.” Watching this unfold ticked me off. That’s when I realized, when the game is on the line Montana just doesn’t miss. Of course the legend grew even more as the years went by hearing the story about the timeout before the drive. Legend has it that when the 49ers got into the huddle Montana, almost starstruck, pointed out actor Tom Candy in the crowd. The message the team got from that was Montana had no doubt they were going to get it done, that he was that excited to see an actor in the stands watching him perform. If there is a 2-minute drill that my life depends on…I want Joe Montana at the helm.

#1

St. Louis gets a trophy of its own

The greatest day of  my life as a sports fan! I was six years old in 1982 when the Cardinals won it all so I don’t really remember that. The Cards (and Don Denkinger) broke my heart in 85, and again in 87. The Cardinals and the Blues took turns breaking my heart. The funny thing with this team…I wanted to believe, but those past heart breaks made me skeptical. There was a point that year that I tried to talk myself out of the fact that they looked the like the best team in the league. Heard all of the critics saying “they haven’t played anybody” and yes, that had me worried. When the playoffs started and we played the Vikings, they drove right down the field and took an early 3-0 lead. It took the Rams one play to respond.  Kurt Warner connected with Isaac Bruce and the track meet was on. I had little doubt from there on out. The Rams did make me sweat through the NFC Championship game and the Super Bowl was the most nervous I think I have ever been. I could not eat or even drink a beer that day. I was that nervous. I decided to be seated in the back of the room because I was one of the ones most likely to have to stand up, and I didn’t want to be in anyone’s way. The last play of the game, I was in front of everyone, on my hands and knees praying for the stop. Mike Jones made the tackle, we all kind of held our breath for a moment when the official turned on his microphone and said “the runner was stopped short of the goal line, the game is over”, then…all hell broke loose. The guy who owned the home the we were in lifted me up and put a bear hug on me that damn near crushed my lungs. It was madness for a few minutes. I decided to be the driver that night because I really didn’t need to drink, I was walking on air. The owner of the house insisted I had a glass of champagne and how could I resist that? While driving to downtown St. Louis we were listening to the Rams radio broadcast and they kept playing the clip from Rams play by-play guy Mike Bush “ST. LOUIS, THE GATEWAY TO THE WEST, IS NOW THE GATEWAY TO THE BEST FOOTBALL TEAM IN THE WORLD!” It gives me chills every time I hear it.

The radio broadcast signed off that night by playing Van Halen’s “Standing on top of the world” with audio clips from the game. It was a perfect way for the station to sign off. Once that was over, we put on a not yet released CD of our former roommate’s cousin, some guy by the name of Nelly, and we headed downtown. We stayed down on Laclede’s landing until about 3am that night. Problem was, I had to be at work at eight. Fueled by adrenaline I decided when I got home, I would watch the highlights of the game (yes I had recorded it) and drink Mountain Dew and just not sleep. I did that and made it through the work day just fine, but I did tell them I didn’t feel good and may not be there the next day. When the work day was finished I went downtown and got set up for the victory parade, the first one I ever had the chance to see. It was cold, but the parade was incredible. I took pictures with a cheap disposable camera, so I stopped at Walgreens on the way home to get them developed. I went to a pizza joint next door and had dinner so that by the time I was finished the pictures were also finished. I picked up the pictures, and a 6 pack of Budweiser. That may have been the greatest 12 hours of sleep in my life.

My Favorite Super Bowl Team

Since it’s “the big weekend” or any of that other stuff that people say so not say the banned “SB” word, I have to post my absolute greatest postseason football memory…awesome

The reason I watched the Pro Bowl

The Pro Bowl is possibly on its way out the door. There is discussion that there may never be another Pro Bowl game played ever again. I won’t be upset if the game does go away and is never played again. If the Pro Bowl goes away, my biggest wish is that it would take the NBA, NHL All-Star games with it. The concept of these games aren’t bad, but when it comes down to it, these are merely exhibition games. Major League Baseball’s All-Star game does decide which league gets home field advantage in the World Series so it technically counts, even though I don’t agree with it. There’s something fundamentally wrong to me about guys that play for the Kansas City Royals or the Pittsburgh Pirates could decide who get home field advantage in the World Series. Suffice to say, I am not a fan of All-Star games, and I usually don’t spend my time watching them. This year’s Pro Bowl was the exception.

Yesterday morning as I was thumbing through a local newspaper, I noticed the Pro Bowl rosters, and I knew I had to watch. Even though the Pro Bowl has become little more than a flag football game, it is still football. There has been much talk about the NFL lately being a”gladiator” sport, or a sport that only the “biggest,fastest, strongest” survived. That’s the reason that the game is so popular and watched by millions. On this day however the reason that I wanted to watch the Pro Bowl centered around watching a 5 foot 9 inch linebacker.

The 1999 football season was one of the greatest experiences that I have ever enjoyed as a sports fan. That year, my St. Louis Rams went from rags to riches to win the first ever Super Bowl title in the history of this city. There were so many people who defined this team and what this team was all about. Nobody defined this team more than their middle linebacker London Fletcher.  Here is a  guy that  went to a Division III school (John Carroll) and wasn’t even drafted into the NFL. He was signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 1998.  He played well in 98 but it was during training camp before the 1999 season his name really started to generate some buzz. He was really impressing the coaching staff and pushing Lorenzo Styles to become the starter. I went to the first preseason game that year, and from that moment on I was a London Fletcher fan. When you first saw him on the field, he just didn’t look the part. Everyone towered over him, not exactly what a middle linebacker looks like. When play started though, it became pretty easy to see that he was ALWAYS around the football. Fletcher seemed to be in on every tackle. Fletcher did win the starting job during training camp and as they say, the rest is history.

During his first full season as a starter he anchored the Rams 6th ranked defense to help lead them to the franchises only Super Bowl championship. Two years later he anchored another, rebuilt, Rams defense to another top ten ranking and helped lead them back to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the Rams were upset by the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl which turned out to be the last game London Fletcher ever played as a Ram. During that offseason, the Rams had a big decision to make. Both London Fletcher and defensive end Leonard Little were set to hit the free agent market. Both were great players that were due big raises  on their next contracts. The Rams brass figured that replacing a middle linebacker would be easier than replacing an elite pass rusher so Little was signed and Fletcher was allowed to walk. He eventually signed that offseason with the Buffalo Bills. One player certainly doesn’t make a team, but I have always felt that letting the heart and soul of the defense walk away played a big role in the demise of the Greatest Show on Turf.

London Fletcher has enjoyed an outstanding career. In addition to his stop in Buffalo, he has spent the last six seasons with the Washington Redskins. Over the past 12 seasons (according to nfl.com)  Fletcher averaged 140 tackles per year. He has 37 sacks  and 23 career interceptions and he was just named to his 4th career Pro Bowl. London Fletcher still remains undecided if he is going to play again next year, or if he is going to ride off into the sunset and call it a career. On Sunday night, I couldn’t help but watch the Pro Bowl considering it might me the last time that this little giant plays professional football.

Zip

Johnny Football’s Heisman respnsibilites

Texas A&M’s AD has a chat with Johnny Manziel about Heisman responsibility | Dr. Saturday – Yahoo! Sports.

Former St. Louis Ram Super Bowl Champion and current sports talk radio host on 101.1 ESPN in St. Louis Demarco Farr predicted the future with Johnny Football. Leading up to the Heisman vote this season Farr’s co-hosts were endorsing Manziel as their pick to win the Heisman. Demarco Farr agreed that Manzeil’s numbers made him worthy of the award, but argued that it should never go to a freshman. His reasoning was that there is no way that a freshman could handle all of the responsibility and scrutiny that comes from being a Heisman Trophy winner. It’s interesting now looking back to that day because I had never thought about the responsibilities that comes with having the “Heisman Trophy Winner” next to your name. I love the quote from this article from the Texas A&M Athletic Director Eric Heyman

I told them he’s no longer a freshman, and he’s no longer a sophomore, junior or senior. He is a “Heisman.”

It’s (about) education, and we’ve got to help the family and Johnny with the transition into being a Heisman award winner. There are things you have to learn, and we have to help him with that.

That’s a special fraternity, but you also have to understand (Manziel) is 20 years old. It’s a tremendous responsibility — but it is a responsibility.

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