Blogs are not like radio and TV stations, which in order to maintain their FCC licenses are required to air a certain amount of public affairs programming. That is no excuse for us as a citizenry to be uninformed. In that spirit, the Sports Blog Movement has assembled a McLaughlin Group-like discussion panel comprised of an eclectic group of ex-NFL kickers to offer the most diverse range of opinions possible, moderated by SBM’s own J-Dub.
You may ask why did we pick kickers? First of all, many kickers never made any real money during their careers, and as you will notice as you read the biographies of our newly-assembled panel, they didn’t make a lot of money afterward. This means kickers are to football players what bloggers are to the main-stream media. What better kindred spirits could we have?
With that being said, allow us to introduce the panel.
For those of you who may not know, and we’re guessing that’s all of you, Ali Haji-Shiekh was a placekicker for the University of Michigan in the early 80’s, then went on to a rather short and mediocre NFL career. Now, he’s the main man on the floor buffer at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and he’s a little bit bitter about it. Despite that, has some unique perspectives, so including him on the panel was a no-brainer. What’s the worst that could happen?
Somehow, Danmeier made the journey from the University of Sioux Falls to a five-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings. One of the last straight-on kickers in the NFL, retirement saw Danmeier return to South Dakota and the isolation of his wheat farm.
After immigrating from Nigeria, Igwebuike split the uprights for Clemson. His NFL days were spent mostly in more fruity colors with Tampa Bay. Now, his foot finds itself on the gas pedal of a Washington, D.C., taxi, and he’s clearly taken to the weight room in an attempt to over-compensate.
America never seemed to suit Herrera. After a career kicking for UCLA, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Seattle Seahawks, Herrera returned home and became a 19th-century Mexican warlord.
Uwe von Schamann
After his five seasons with the Miami Dolphins, von Schamann returned to his college stomping grounds in Oklahoma, amassing bazillions of dollars in the oil business and spending his time plotting world domination. Dropping a kid from the recently de-Reiched Germany of the into the “Yee-Haw” environment of Oklahoma of the 1970’s could only have the alkali-metal-tossed-into-the-fish-tank effect need to exemplify the “Adolf Eichmann-meets- J.R. Ewing”-type calculating evil of von Schamann.
J-Dub: Well Gentlemen, two of you had the Patriots, and two of you had the Giants. Lets’ start with one sentence each…your key moment of the game. Ali, your old team wins it’s 4th Super Bowl…seems fitting we let you tee off today’s discussion.
Haji-Shiekh: Key moment for me…the Chase Blackburn interception.
Igwebuike: I really thought the Patriots were going to take control after Brady drove them down the field at the end of the 2nd quarter.
Danmeier: When Manning completed 9 straight passes; told me Manning could throw at will against them Patriots.
Von Schamann: To me, the key factor was the fact das Patrioten could not catch the ball when it mattered.
Herrera: El retén del Mario Manningham!
J-Dub: Funny how you two both mention catches either made or not made. There’s a large number of Patriot fans are ready to hand Wes Welker the goat horns for that dropped pass in the 4th quarter.
Herrera: Wes Welker aspira los testículos del burro! (sprays beer into the air)
Von Schamann: Welker’s drop was crucial, but what about the rest? Look at what happened after the Giants missed that two-point conversion. Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez both drop balls they should have caught in a far more critical situation than the Welker drop. The whole team underperformed, to single out Welker is both mistaken and lets the others off the hook. If there’s one player to single out, it is Tom Brady. He was horrible against the Ravens, and from the first play last night Brady played terribly, with the exception of the drive Donald mentioned earlier. There was the safety on the first play, there was the Blackburn interception on a ball that was horribly underthrown, then there was the ball to Welker which was overthrown. If Brady hits Welker in stride on that play, the Patriots score and likely win the game. Welker made a great play just to get his hands on a ball that was thrown two feet over his head.
Haji-Shiekh:That’s exactly why I picked the Blackburn interception as my key moment. It was when you could tell if the Patriots were going to win this game, it wasn’t going to be because of Brady. It’s also when you knew that the odds of the Patriots winning without a big Brady performance were not all that good.
Igwebuike: I have no idea what that fool was thinking on that grounding penalty. Did you see how Brady death-stared the refs for calling that penalty? Like they had the audacity to call a penalty on Tom Brady.
Danmeier: I caught that too. Do you think this might mean we might have a new “golden boy” in this league?
J-Dub: It’s funny you mention that. I thought exactly the same thing. Think of it this way, Brady’s career gets launched by that “Tuck Rule” call against Oakland, and this intentional grounding call might just be the mark we look back at five years from now signifying the of the end of the Brady era. You really can make an argument that right now, Monday, February 6th, 2012…the two biggest stars in the NFL are Eli Manning and Tim Tebow. Manning for obvious reasons, and while I don’t quite get why, Tebow drew crowds wherever he went in Indianapolis.
Herrera: Ayayayayay! But what about Peyton?
J-Dub: I’m done talking about that guy until there’s something actually to talk about. Besides, let’s keep this to the game.
Haji-Shiekh: Did anybody else notice how Al Michaels tried to give my Giants the “kiss of death?” He pointed out that the Cardinals had the worst running game when they made it to the Super Bowl, then he pointed out the Colts had the worst running game when they made it to the Super Bowl, and noted the Giants also fit the category.
Igwebuike: Then that fool Cris Collinsworth chimes in with his crap in 2nd quarter about how the Giants should hve been favored. Real brave considering they were leading at the time he said it. Boy, I’d like to snap that guy’s neck!
Von Schamann: Nobody seemed to notice that the Giants running game improved dramatically during the play-offs. The Giants dominated using the running game, and by pressuring the quarterback. The passing game is like Blitzkrieg, its wunderbar for a shock and awe effect, but at the end of the day he who controls the ground wins.
J-Dub: I’ve said that same thing hundreds of times, but we live in a fantasy football world which eschews the fundamentals in favor of the flashy.
Herrera: (firing pistol into ceiling) Arriba!
Be sure to send us topics you would like to see the Ex-Kickers Round Table discuss in the future!