Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Old Football Historian: Video: ESPN Films 30 For 30: Elway to Marino, the Story of the 1983 NFL Draft


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The 1983 NFL Draft is famous for several reasons, but a big one is the fact that it produced three Hall of Fame quarterbacks. The most important position in football, but more than that, it produced two of the top five quarterbacks of all- time in John Elway arguably the best all around quarterback of all-time and Dan Marino the best pure passer of all-time. Then you add Jim Kelly to the draft a quarterback who won four conference championships and played in four Super Bowls and. 

Jim Kelly one of the greatest winning quarterbacks of all-time and then you add Tony Eason who played in Super Bowl 20 with the New England Patriots, we haven’t seen another NFL Draft like that before or since, but a draft that produces not just two of the best quarterbacks of all-time and in Jim Kelly arguably three of the best quarterbacks of all-time but, also in Elway and Marino two of the best players of all-time as well which makes it an incredible draft.
But that’s not the whole story, this draft was also about workers rights. In this case football players do they have the right to decide who they work for and in this case who do they get to play football for and in John Elway’s case a California boy from Los Angeles who played college football at Stanford in the Bay Region, should he be forced to play football on the East Coast in Baltimore, Maryland for the Baltimore Colts. 
The Colts offered him a job, but the question posed by John Elway’s management team was. Can an employer force someone they’ve just offered a job to, to work for them or does the potential employee, in this case a football player have a say in who he works for and in this case play football for. And that’s what the Elway team was going to find out. Where are football players rights to decide where they can play football for. And Elway won in the fact that he wasn’t forced to work for the Colts. 
The whole draft brings up a more important point. What rights do workers including football players and pro sports athletes in general have in determining where they get to work. Because it’s really only pro sports where the franchises or employers basically have all of the power. As far as deciding who works for who and where with the players not having much if any say in deciding where. They work coming out of college.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Leonardo Nascrimento: Video: ESPN 30 for 30, The Band That Wouldn't Die: How NFL Football Came Back to Baltimore


This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStatesPlus on Blogger, May, 2012

If you look back at the Baltimore Colts, their last few seasons, especially in the early 1980s, up until 1984, when they relocated to Indianapolis, it was very dark very gloomy. The team was bad and they weren't drawing, playing in an aging stadium, that was basically designed for baseball, where the Orioles play. Playing in a rough area in North Baltimore. I know, I went to Orioles games there and went to a Stallions game there as well. Like the stadium, as far as watching games there.

But Baltimore Memorial Stadium, it wasn't the right stadium for NFL football, as far as allowing a franchise to be profitable there. By 1984 when the Colts left, there were probably more reasons to not go to a Colts game, then there were reasons to go to a Colts game, to the point, that this is also an interesting story and I won't go very far into it but the Colts actually drafted John Elway in 1983. Elway being the smart guy from Stanford that he is, knew that the Colts by this point were one of the worst franchises in the NFL. Decided that he didn't want to be part of a long-term rebuilding project, especially for a team that might be relocating and told the Colts he wouldn't play for them.

The Colts traded John Elway to the Denver Broncos in 1983. Dan Reeves the Broncos head coach/general manager ends up getting a steal in this trade. The most talented QB in the NFL, on a team that was already a playoff contender, but as it so happens, the Broncos end up playing the Colts at Baltimore Memorial Stadium, week 1 of the 1983 NFL Season. Baseball is still going on at this point, the Orioles are still playing, so the football field, half of it is dirt, for the baseball field. (The other half is dirt for the football field also, ha ha)

Week 1 in Baltimore in September and in Maryland at this point its still summer time, a very hot humid day in Baltimore, temperature in the 90s, plus add on the humidity very common late Maryland summer weather and the Colts take their frustration out on John Elway, beat up the rookie QB, the whole game, pounding him into the hot dirt field the whole game. This one game in 1983 against the Broncos, sums up the state of the Colts at this point. After the Colts leave Baltimore in 1983, Baltimore football fans, had one goal and one mission at this point and only one mission.

Was to land another NFL franchise, to prove to the NFL they can support an NFL franchise, even if that means building a new stadium, which is what you see in the beautiful Ravens Stadium, that opened in 1998. Which is how they got the Baltimore Stars of the United States Football League and won the USFL Championship in 1985. With players like running back Kelvin Bryant who ended up playing for the Washington Redskins, how they were able to get NFL preseason games and draw big crowds for all of those games.

In the early 1990s, how they got so close to landing an NFL expansion franchise in 1993, with a plan for a new stadium. How they landed the Baltimore Stallions of the CFL in 1994 and won the Eastern Conference Championship in 1994 and the Grey Cup in 1995. And how they landed the Cleveland Browns in 1995 over to Baltimore for the start of the 1996 season and of course they became the Ravens.

If you want something bad enough, you basically have to do anything (you know thats legal and perhaps within in other limits) to get what you want, to show whoever you have to prove to, that you are not only willing, but able to support whatever transaction you are trying to land. Thats how Baltimore and the State of Maryland felt about pro football, they were pissed off over losing the Colts and decided to use that anger to get the Ravens.

Baltimore Colts Marching Band

Saturday, September 13, 2014

CBS Sports: Video: Pete Prisco & Pat Kirwan: Jacksonville Jaguars at Redskins Preview


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Look for the Redskins to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday not because they are a good team. But because they aren't as bad as the Jaguars. And no kidding, this doesn't qualify as high praise, but the Redskins last week showed they are suffering from similar issues that they had last year. With an inability or want to stretch the field offensively and give up plays on defense that they shouldn't especially to a mediocre quarterback like Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Houston Texans.

The good news for the Redskins is that they are playing the Jaguars, who might be the worst team in the AFC if not NFL all together this year. With a journeyman QB in Chad Henne, a very young and not very good offensive line and rookie wide receivers. And practically no running game. Not exactly ingredients for success, but perhaps what the Jaguars may have going for them is that they are playing the Redskins. Who last year and last week have a habit of making mediocre and sub par teams and talent look pretty solid.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden got his first NFL game out of the way last week and now has a pretty good idea of how is club looks both on offense and defense. And I expect him to open it up offensively and have his defensive coaches attacking a very inexperienced Jaguars offense and defense. At least this is what should happen when you are the Redskins playing the Jaguars. Playing a team that is very young, inexperienced, with probably very little to no confidence right now.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

CBS News: Video: Walter Cronkite's First CBS Evening Newscast

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

CBS News making history and for good reasons in 1963 with the first half-hour newscast. Which was a huge deal back in the early 1960s when TV networks were all about entertainment and sports, because that is where the money was back then. And whatever time they had left over and the minimal amount of time that the Federal Government required them to cover current affairs, meaning news, that is what they would dedicate to news coverage. Which back then was news in the morning and covering major events like press conferences, presidential speeches and political conventions.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Oak Park Studio: Video: CBS Evening News, Dan Rather-George H.W. Bush Tiff The Day After

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I haven't seen this video in about three years and I saw it then on YouTube. And if I heard anything about it as a kid in 1987 when this interview was conducted when I was 11-12 at the time, I don't remember. So I don't remember this interview very well to say the least, but a post about that interview and the interview itself will be on this blog in the future. What I can say about it is whatever you think of Dan Rather, the man was a tough hardball interviewer who liked to go after people in power. George H.W. Bush was Vice President of the United States at the time, so he obviously qualified.

Vice President George H.W. Bush

Saturday, September 6, 2014

CBS Sports: Video: Cincinnati Bengals at Ravens Preview


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

My only question about the 2014 Ravens is can they run the ball at all in 2014. And they'll get a very good test against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has one of the better run defenses in the NFL. Ravens running back Brandon Pierce is now finally healthy and if he's anything like he was in 2012, that will be enough for the Ravens to run the ball and their offensive line is good enough to give Pierce enough running lanes. The Ravens passing game will be much better and I believe Joe Flacco who I have more confidence in than Andy Dalton, will be much better with a healthy Pierce, wide receivers Steve Smith and Torrey Smith (no relation, Smith is a very common name) and tight end Daniel Pitta.

If the Ravens were playing a great quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, etc, with a lot of weapons around the QB, then I would be a lot more worried if I'm rooting for the Ravens in this game. But the Ravens have a very good defense that will be even better in 2014 because they are all healthy now and we should see a much better pass rush against Andy Dalton and the Bengals. Who are somewhat limited on offense once you get past EG Green. And I expect the Ravens to play very well especially at home, with their offense just scoring enough points to win.


CBS Sports: Video: Pete Prisco & Pat Kirwan: Redskins at Texans Preview


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I like the Redskins to beat the Houston Texans on Sunday and no not just because I'm a Redskins fan. Even with the shaky preseason that Redskins QB Robert Griffin had, he's still better than Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who has made a career of not much more than turning the ball over, losing and moving on to another team. Which is what tends to happen to quarterbacks who turn the ball over a lot and lose a lot of games. The Redskins offense is obviously just not Griffin. Especially when you're talking about running back Alfred Morris, wide receivers Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, tight Jordan Reed and others.

Defensively the Redskins will be much improved this year. Especially when it comes to tackling and rushing the quarterback and safety Ryan Clark to go along with Brandon Meriweather should make the Redskins secondary good enough to win in 2014. And Arian Foster will not be good enough to beat the Redskins by himself running the ball especially with the Redskins defense gaming to take him out of the game and force Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat them. The Texans defense is still very good, but their offense won't help them much and the Redskins have a better rounded team.