Detroit Lions – Second Half Will Be A Challenge

Stafford:  Calm and Cool.  But more heat is on the way.
Stafford: Calm and Cool. But more heat is on the way.

Well all right.  Lions win another thriller this time coming back 21 points down against the Atlanta Falcons.

I had mixed feelings about getting up extra early to catch the game that aired at 6:30 since it was being played in London.  And I’m pretty sure that I was thinking the same thing that every Lions fan was thinking…they are asleep and the Falcons are going to walk all over them.

We all know that an offense can go flat…but what doesn’t go flat is defense.  And even when Nick Fairly went out, the Lions D came out in the second half and played like the number one defense they are.  They stuffed the run, rattled Matt Ryan into making a very bad decision and didn’t panic when they did not make the 2-point conversion.

And isn’t it fitting that it came down to a field goal?  Matt Prater, the 3rd kicker the Lions have used this year, could be steal of the year.  Granted, he had his issues but I am certain the Lions brain-trust did their due diligence in vetting him…and Prater appears to have put his troubles in the past.

If that’s true, he could be the Lions kicker for the foreseeable future.

And how about that Golden Tate?  Lions have now won three straight with out Calvin Johnson and without Reggie Bush.  I applaud the decision that Caldwell has made to keep them both out until after the bye since we are going to need them with all of the divisional games coming up.

If the Lions defense can keep them in the game until the offense gets healthy, we have a great shot at winning the division!

Russell Wilson – Not Black Enough? Does it Really Matter?

Russell Wilson has the Seahawks pointed in the right direction.
Russell Wilson Not Black Enough?  What does that mean?

I have been hesitant to discuss this. But since this blog (being me) has stated that no subject is off limits even if it makes people uncomfortable, I have decided to voice my opinion.

I had planned on doing a ton of research about what it means to be a black man. Doing a Google search gave me plenty of material to refer to. In the end, it really didn’t help much because there are many, many different attributes that can be attached in how to define a black man.

Here some of the items that I came across on what it means to be a black man:

  • Accepts the consequences of his actions
  • Demands only what he willing to give
  • Forgives
  • Always tells the truth
  • Respects women
  • Controls his emotions
  • Defends his family
  • Admits he’s wrong
  • Takes care of his responsibilities
  • Is a nation-builder
  • Always seeks to improve himself

I gathered these from a Washington Post survey (Washington Post – Being a Black Man Survey). What struck me first and foremost is that is one helluva list to live up to.

What struck me as second is that this shouldn’t be limited to defining a black man…this should be what every man, Black, White, Asian, Arabic, Slavic…and whatever other nationality you can think of should aspire to.

When I look at Russell Wilson, I see a person who is attempting to do what is on this partial list. I also see a very, very good quarterback in the NFL and person who thrives on making his team better by making himself better.

And now to the crux of the matter: Russell Wilson has been accused of not being “black enough.” Despite the many articles and opinions that are out there, I still don’t know what that means. And a lot of that is due to the subjectivity of the many definitions that are out there on the subject.

I grew up in Detroit, lived there for 30 years. I have inter-acted with a variety of people and have had mostly positive interactions with them. I don’t know, maybe I got lucky with that. I was raised to see differences but also to embrace the differences because that’s what makes Americans great.

Did I mention I am white and was raised in an upper-middle class family? Does that make a difference to anyone? Should it?

I have always had an open hand when I meet people. I recognize they are different from me and am comfortable in saying it doesn’t matter to me. Why? Because I want to hear what anyone, man, women, child, Black, White, Armenian, Italian, Japanese, Irish and whatever other nationality you can think of has to say.

I want to understand different cultures. Not to belittle them but to grow as a person and hopefully be able to relate to others better.   And I would hope to have the same happen to me…that anyone can reach out to me and try to understand me better.

And the foods! OK, maybe that’s why I like everyone so much…because of all the different foods and tastes that are available. And I would be proud and honored to be invited to break bread with others and feel free to discuss anything without any repercussions….and I hope that I would be able to invite you into my home and make you feel comfortable.

Maybe it’s as simple as that: Open our collective homes and everyone just bring a special dish and we all just talk…talk about anything not just what socially relevant.

Why can’t I talk to you about what it means to be a black man?

Seattle Seahawks: Trade of Percy Harvin Isn’t A Bad Thing

Percy Harvin

 

I will admit when I first heard that Percy Harvin was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick, I was as surprised as anyone.

I’m sure I had the same reaction to the trade as many others:  How can you trade that kind of explosive talent?  How will the Seahawks stretch the field without Harvin’s speed?

But after reading about some of the issues that Harvin had with teammates, most notable were altercations with former Hawk Golden Tate (black eye) and current Hawk Doug Baldwin (cut on chin), I can understand the move better…and can also relate to it on a personal level.

Back in Michigan, many years ago, I was looking for a softball team to play on.  I had my fill of playing on Class A and B teams, the schedule just demanded too much of my time and was looking for a team that I could just play for fun but still feed my competitive spirit.

We were at a party at a friends house and one of the guests there was the player coach of a team and on the look out for talent to help his team.  Me, after having a few beers, began bragging on my talents and the coach took me up on it…figuring if I could play as half as well as I said I could, he’d fill a need.

Here’s the thing:  While I did brag upon myself a bit (OK, a lot), I backed it up.  I loved the game, loved to practice and just loved everything about it.  From putting the glove in your face and taking a deep breath of that leather smell to tracking down a fly ball against a crystal clear blue Michigan sky.  I showed up to practice and was always at least at the field 30-45 minutes before game time.

There was another player on the team…we’ll call him Bob.  Bob was a talented player but you never knew what you were going to get from him or even if he was going to show up on game day.  Quite often, he would stroll in about 5 minutes before the game and expect to be great.

But it was also his sense of entitlement that rubbed a lot of his teammates the wrong way.  Bob expected to be playing left-center field and batting third.  Imagine his surprise to find me in his place when he showed up a few minutes before the first pitch.

Predictably, he threw a fit and sulked while being on the bench and peppering the coach to put him in the game.

Long story short, Bob played only in a few more games before the coach cut him loose.  We went on to play some very good softball and just missed the playoffs my first year and went on to win it all the second.

The point to all this is that Bob had been with this team for a long time and they never finished above .500.  And when it came to crunch time, he didn’t come through because he didn’t practice…in short, his teammates couldn’t count on him.

Harvin’s teammates, both in Minnesota and here in Seattle, couldn’t count on him.  All players have to have some selfishness in wanting the ball in crucial moments of the game.  But great teammates will support and do their jobs without question if someone else gets the call.

 

Seattle Seahawk Fans – You Have A Special QB

Russell Wilson has the Seahawks pointed in the right direction.

 

When Russell Wilson was facing a 3rd down and 4 just before the 2-minute warning, I thought it was going to be a run play to Marshawn Lynch.  Conventional wisdom would dictate you give it to Beast Mode and let him do his thing.

But then these Seattle Seahawks are not exactly a conventional team.

Instead, Wilson fakes the hand-off to Lynch, drifts back to pass and there are three Washington players ready to drill him.  But Wilson glides away to his left and with remarkable accuracy, flips a pass to Lynch for 30 yards.

For those of us who have watched Wilson, now in his 3rd season with the Hawks, this is what we have come to expect.  And all he is doing right now is getting better and better.

What’s downright scary is the fact that he can improve…and most likely will since his craving is to be the best.

Call him a game manager, call him too small to play quarterback, heck, call him anything you want.  But name me one football fan who wouldn’t take Wilson’s success over the last 3 years…say compared to Robert Griffin III?

Seahawk fans, you have a very special player in Russell Wilson and I get the feeling the Hawks are going to be a contending team for at least the next 12 to 15 years because of him.