Posted on: January 30, 2008 6:09 am
Edited on: January 30, 2008 6:12 am
 

Yes I Cry at Football, is this a problem?

It's early morning here.  My husband is playing his videogame and I'm perusing the sports stories.  He just happens to look over at me as I'm wiping tears off my face and blowing my nose.  All he goes is "football?" .  I nod and then start laughing.  My husbands favorite line, "gotta love my wife, only person I know that cries over football".  I guess I should feel foolish but I don't, but then, he's the only one who sees me cry.

No, it's not the loss or win of a game that brings me to sobs.  Although regular season losses just leave me feeling down, and post season losses just want to make me get drunk.  I can "man up" with the best of them and accept the loss as a fan, graciously.  Well...ok...I ummm...do grieve at the loss during a playoff game, but I hide in the closet when I do this.

It's the human side of football that often brings me to tears.  A player or a coach that I admire retiring.  Yep I cried when I saw Bettis holding the trophy after his last game of his career.  And yes, I did cry when I read that Bill Cowher was retiring also.  Some tears were shed when I saw the various NFL players pitching in to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  At one point, I had to stop watching the NFL Network because there was always something nice that would reduce me to tears...but then again, no one was watching. 

This season I found the waterworks in full force as I followed the story of Buffalo Bills player Kevin Everett's miraculous struggle with a spinal cord injury earlier in the season.  Yes, even when he returned to the stadium for the last game of the season, some tears escaped as I heard and read about it. 

Now this morning, it was Pete Prisco who had me in tears.  No, not his writings, I actually enjoy them, but it was his story on Domenik Hixon and how he'll be playing for Everett in the Superbowl.  "Playing for two", as it's stated in the article.  It was a little heartwrenching to read how that hit by Hixon on Everett and the susequent injury not only haunted him, but inspired Hixon. 

There's a human side to the NFL.  It's not just stats and points and player information.  Not just game plans and Sunday games.  We often feel for the players who get hurt and spurn those who cause those injuries.  Prisco's article shows us the effects that incidents like the Everett injury has on those who cause them. 

Yes I cried.  I cried when Art Rooney passed on, I cried when Terry Bradshaw came back to Pittsburgh, after his self-exile.  Tears were flowing when they showed the 75th All-Star team for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Yep, the waterworks were turned on quite a bit these past few seasons.  Thanks Pete for flipping that faucet again.  Anyone have a tissue?

Note:  Pete Prisco's article can be found here:   www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/106073
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Posted on: January 26, 2008 7:47 am
 

The Perfect Recipe

No this isn't a blueprint or a recipe on how the Giants can beat the Patriots on February 4th.  Actually, I hadn't intended to do a blog on a sportsboard for recipes, but since someone threatened a petition requiring me to do one, I figured I'd be proactive.  So here's a recipe for those who requested it. 

Feel free, if you want to add one of your own to it.  (My apologies in advance).

                                                   Savory Chuck Steak

1 (3lb) boneless chuck roast, trimmed

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp garlic salt

1/4 c all-purpose flour

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 (1.8 oz) pkg dry onion and mushroom soup mix

3/4 c sweet sherry

1/4 c brewed coffee

1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

Rub roast with vinegar.  Cut 8 to 10 slits in roast; sprinkle garlic salt into slits.  Dredge roast in flour.

Brow roast on all sides in hot oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.

Stir together soup mix, sherry and coffee; Pour over roast.  Add sliced mushrooms.

Bake, covered at 350 degrees for 3 hours. 

Serves 6 to 8

When this is finished the meat just falls apart. 

(I'm sorry, really, really, really sorry about this)

Category: General
Tags: Food
 
Posted on: January 25, 2008 2:38 pm
 

Weekly Rant

Okay, honestly, I'm not experiencing any hormonal effects here this week, since it may seem that I've climbed on my soapbox.  It's just the nervous energy being emitted lately has got me tense.  Some people have, in the past, thought I was empathic.  I scoffed at that idea (and then ran to www.m-w.com to find out what that meant).  Okay, so it doesn't mean pathetic, which at times I can be.  Trust me, you haven't seen me when I'm sick. 

- Empathy:  2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this

I'm thinking of how I just now made my dear grandmother (a retired english teacher), smile from her grave by learning a new word and passing it on.  It could be possible that I'm empathic.  If that's so, my Patriot fan friends may want to think of taking up yoga, meditation or valium to stay calm, just so ya'll quit affecting my ulcer.  (Just teasing).

It's going to be a long two weeks for those of us addicted to football.  Many of us have already resorted to watching old games and perusing information on past superbowls.  We'll try to keep ourselves busy, ignoring the mild shakes and withdrawals.  I suspect many of us come week two will be seeing pink elephants and suffering serious DTs. 

It's going to be a long two weeks for sports analysts too.  Having already gone through analyzing the stats, they're looking at other areas to report on.  Pete Prisco has introduced us to the possible drama that may unfold between Tom Brady and the paparrazi.  See Brittany, looks like you may not be the only one with those dread photographers following you all over.  I'm waiting for Clark Judge to come back and tell us about how Eli Manning was caught at a late night stop through a Wendy's drive through.  Sorry guys, I know there's only so many things you can write about and the different angles until it comes time to start reaching.  I wish all analysts luck for the next two weeks.

Steelers lost another casuality from the pro-bowl.  Troy Polamalu has bowed at due to an injury with his knee.  Guess it's the wisest thing, especially since he's been there before, why aggravate the injury?  But geesh, how many more injuries are going to come up for the Steelers.  Tyrone Carter dropping after the Denver game, Aaron Smith going on IR, Willie Parker in the Rams game.  It was reported that Hines Ward had knee surgery and now Polamalu with his knee strain.

Looking around the NFL and seeing the number of injuries being nursed, to include the surgery on Philip Rivers knee, I' m going to try to convince my daughter that sports medicine is the way to go once she looks into med school.

Okay I've heard of rats abandoning the ship when it's sinking, but not crawling back onto it.  Though Gamecock fans may not be too happy with the current game of duck, duck, goose, I think it's funny that Brian VanGorder decided to go back to the Falcons  as their DC after being hired by Spurrier.  Yes Steve, I'm sure you're neck was red for awhile.   Of course, news in the NCAA corrider does report that Ellis Johnson will be replacing VanGorder.  Can't blame VanGorder though, he is probably the best one that would know the strengths of the Atlanta Defense.  It will be interesting to see what Mike Smith will do with that team.

With Mike Smith leaving the Jacksonville Jaguars to become headcoach for the Atlanta Falcons, one has to wonder how that change is going to effect the Jaguars next year.  I'm sure Del Rio will find a capable replacement.

Anyway here's hoping for a good weekend...oh wait, there is no football.  Okay here's hoping we all survive the withdrawals that will accompany this weekend due to no games. 

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 24, 2008 6:24 am
 

Entering the Inner Sanctum-Come on I can take it

It hasn't really been that long, a decade, two, maybe three, when female journalists, in an attempt to futher their opportunites, made the push into sports journalism.  Once limited to society pages and fluff pieces, women in this career field sought the same opportunities and recognition that their male counterparts were afforded.  With this came two questions.  1) Would women know enough about the sport to be able to report on it and 2) How to handle the after the game interviews, when most male reporters were in the locker rooms, gathering quotes and information to compose their stories?  Would they be content to stand outside the lockerroom, once the players emerged or should they be able to enter into that chamber of male domain to get the story they sought?

I'm not a journalist nor can I find any recorded fact on this, but it was rumored that there was a first time, when a woman reporter walked into the locker room, found herself in the middle of a testosterone pumped group of men in various stages of disrobe and found herself uncomfortable with her surroundings.  It was also rumored that some of the burly he-men had found themselves a little shy, when she entered the lockerroom.  There were rumors that since then, players were to remain dressed until the press coverage was over.  Perhaps, this is just an urban legend.  But it does lead one to ponder.  If, we as women, want to enter the male domain, especially an area where brute strength, muscles, adrenaline and testosterone is it's very essence, should we expect them to change just to accomodate us.

No, this is not about a rant on women's right, nor am I using this as a soapbox for feminism.  Yes, it may come as a shock that I'm a feminist but perhaps my thought process is different from others.  Personally, if I look to enter the inner sanctum of male bonding, I don't expect those who reside in that domain to change just for me.  Nor do I expect different treatment just because of my gender, but I also do not expect to be personally attacked because of my gender.

The other day, I was watching a thread on the NFL board that was like a bad trainwreck.  It was fascinating.  Yes, it could be determined that it was demeaning to women, very demeaning to women.  As I watched and posted to it, I saw the different twists and turns it took.  I guess I should have been insulted, but I wasn't (and I'll explain why in a moment).  After one comment I made, someone came back to me in a private message and apologized, saying he didn't think that women would be reading the thread and he meant no disrespect, it was all in fun.

I often view these sportsboards as the inside of a lockerroom.  An opportunity for male bonding, a competition of one-upsmenship, who can write their name the furthest in the snow, and the overall conversation on topics that they enjoy.  It's this world that I invaded, where many women don't venture, or if they do, sometimes lurk in the shadows, just reading, being quiet, not making their gender known.  It's into their world that I stepped into, knowing what I was getting myself into.  Since I was the one who invaded, why should I ask them to change just to accomodate me?

I guess I've been lucky in the respect that I haven't been "verbally" assaulted or "stalked" on a constant basis, as some of the women have been.  Perhaps, it's because, for the most part, I ignore it, when those attempts are made.  I'm not sure and really I don't care.  Yet it can be difficult for women on this board, because there are those who will seek them out and harrass them just because they are women.  It has, in the past driven knowledgeable women away from the site. 

There's very little that effects me.  How can I be appauled by the visions of scantily dressed women, when on the sidelines every sunday there are scantily dressed women cheering on the crowd?  How can I be appauled in threads that demean women when I've participated in forums where there was at least a little male bashing going on?  I guess I should, but in an arena where they're also bashing each other and not just women, all I can do is shrug my shoulders and be thankful that I'm neither their wife, girlfriend or mother.  What does effect me are blatantly vicious and personal attacks on others.  I can take it when they're directed at me but at others it becomes intolerable for me.

Yet despite all this, there is the vast majority of the male population on this board who seek not to offend and when they sense it is needed, steps into the protector roles.  There's a genuine desire to hear the opinion of female fans, in every sport.  But to be able to do this, we must take the bad with the good and use the TITO principle (trash in, trash out) and not allow those who wish to drive us off this site, regardless of our gender, to win.  Those of us ladies who have survived on this site and just shrugged it off and not allowed it to upset us and moved on.

Eric Kay commented about my first blog entry that he was fascinated about a woman blogging on the site, in one of his Raw Sewage blogs.  Of course, as I do with others who reference my gender, I just had to tease him a bit.  However, it did lead to my answering a question I had.  Why do I stay here?  Because so many have come to accept me and have allowed me to use this forum.  So many have allowed me to make a fool of myself and let me enjoy it. 

I guess the reason for this blog is two fold..1) Don't change and don't feel uncomfortable around me, I can take it and 2) to survive on here, we all need a thick skin and the ability to overlook the idiots that have nothing better to do in life then to try to make the time we spend on here (male and female) intolerable. 

 

Category: General
Posted on: January 21, 2008 8:40 pm
 

The Making of a Perfect Cheesecake

It may look simple, add a bunch of ingredients together, throw them in a pan and let it bake.  However, if you ever made a cheesecake you'd understand, it's not as easy as it seems, and the perfect cheesecake is always elusive.  It may happen a few times in a serious bakers time but not often, because there would be some tiny flaw, something that takes away that perfection and just makes it a great cheesecake.

How does one go about making that perfect cheesecake.  To be honest, I have yet to be able to do it, but I'll continue trying.  It's going to take time, I've tried recipe after recipe and I think I've found the right one for the basis.  Since then I've played with it, adjusted it.  Sometimes I was forced to use less quality ingredients, to save on costs.  It would turn out okay, even good...but not great, not perfect.  Then I'd get the right ingredients but it would either be underbaked or worse yet, overbaked.  Sometimes, when this occurred, they would be total losses, a toss in the trash and hope to do better with the next one.

I'll be honest, I think I've got it, or at least getting there.  It's a good recipe, reliable, basic.  Yet I want it to be great so I'll continue to experiment.  I've added ingredients to it, this liquor, that flavoring to see how well it would work.  Some flavors you'd think may not have worked, turn out surprisingly well, and others that seem they should, disappointment.  Often it comes out tasting very good, but when you pull it out of the oven, there's cracks in it, or worse, it falls apart when you cut that first slice, the crumb crust crumbling.  So instead of serving that piece to your guest, you hide in the shadows and devour it, enjoying it's taste.  It's not pretty but it sure taste good.

There was once I came close, it was supposed to go over to a friends house for dinner.  It was beautiful and when I came home from work, to my horror, a slice had been taken out of it.  So much for perfection.

Master baker Bill Bellicheck may have just come up with the perfect recipe.  He had a very good base and with some additions and subtractions, has the Patriots one game away from being the first undefeated team since the 1972 Dolphins.  It had taken him years of coaching to get to where he is this year.  Coming into the season, he had already a strong, quality team ready to contend.  With the addition of Randy Moss and Wes Welker to the WR corps, he brought just the right ingredients to give Tom Brady every option needed to make the offense perfect.  Already having an oline that protected him and a strong running back, the package became complete.  Add to that a solid defense and it makes, what seems to be an unstoppable force. 

There were times that it came close to cracking, but in the end, the Patriots prevailed, having gone the entire season without a loss.  Now with one game left, will the Patriots emerge from the Superbowl as perfect, or will that one slice be taken from it in the end?  Only time will tell, until then, it is still something that Patriots, and all fans of football can savor.

 

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 18, 2008 5:34 am
 

When Twilight Comes, Time to Call it a Day

After the Pittsburgh Steelers had won Superbowl XL in February 2006, there were whispers as to whether Bill Cowher would retire that year or not.  Cowher denied thoughts of retirement that year but during the 06-07 year, Steeler fans noticed a difference in our teams coach.  Normally use to seeing him animated, passionate and filled with energy, we noticed that it was, at the minimum, subdued, if not, gone.  Steelers went on to have a .500 season that year finishing 8-8.  Grant it, alot of that had to do with Ben Roethlisberger's motorcycle accident  and then his apendectomy, which caused the quarterbacks focus to shift from getting insync with his offense to getting physically better.  However, one still had to wonder if the desire in coaching was truly gone from Cowher.  We found out when he announced his retirement at the end of the season.

Now, whispers have started turning into rumblings as those who follow the NFL wonder if another coach will look to retire.  The whispers started at the end of the 05-06 season, when we learned of the death of James Dungy.  It had been asked as to whether or not the Indianapolis Colts coach, Tony Dungy would retire after that season.  Those whispers were suppressed and the next year the Colts would go on to win the Superbowl.  At the end of this year, the whispers are once again turning into rumblings about the possibility of Dungy retiring from coaching.  To add fuel to those rumors were  Jim Irsay's comments about accomodating Dungy with his son's game.   In that, and the announcement that assistant coach Jim Caldwell would replace Dungy, should he choose to retire, has lead us to begin to believe that, this offseason, indeed Tony Dungy's twilight has come in the NFL.  Still remaining though, Dungy himself has not announced it.

There seems to be a change when a coach begins to contemplate retirement.  It may not be tangible or even noticeable at a glance, but if you look closely, you'll notice it.  We noticed it with Bill Cowher.  Question is, if Dungy comes back next season, would he still have enough passion to coach the game?  Would the players spend the season wondering if this is their last year with their coach. and if so, what would the energy level be on and off the field for the team? 

Tony Dungy has had a great career in the NFL but perhaps it's time to call it quits if he's no longer enjoying it as he once did.  A person has to be true to himself to be true to those around him.  As with any career, there comes a twilight, and Coach Dungy since you're seriously contemplating calling it quits, perhaps it's time to recognize that twilight and call it a day.

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Dungy
 
Posted on: January 17, 2008 1:25 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2008 9:13 pm
 

Cheesecake, Family and Football

It's my personality, that when I find something that brings me immense pleasure, I latch onto it, savor it, enjoy it.  In short, I develop a passion for it.  It may be a certain style of music,  a book that I cannot put down and have to read over and over again.  Some passions dissipate, others hang on for a lifetime.

Cheesecake, I've carried the passion for a good, gourmet cheesecake since I first tasted one.  The more exotic, the better.  I'm not talking Sara Lee now, I'm talking a homebaked New York cheesecake that has fresh fruit piled on top, or an amaretto chocolate cheesecake decorated with chocolate shavings.  It is something that I will look forward to with excitement and anticipation and once in front of me, slowly savor each bite, tasting a bit of heaven.  Once finished, an instant sadness overcomes me and once again, I anticipate for the next time that I can enjoy another piece.

My greatest passion is the passion I carry for my husband and daughter.  Often they are the very air that I breath and the reason I get out of bed in the morning.  They have been my greatest pleasure and at times, my deepest sorrow.  The love that I have for them is unconditional and regardless of the ebb and flow in the dynamics between all of us, it is the love that we have for each other that pulls us all through even the most trying of circumstances.

It's often said that a woman cannot carry a passion for football because she cannot really play it.  It is true, there's very little opportunity in the US for a woman to play football, especially professionally.  The closest I've ever come to playing an actual football game were the touch football games that were played on the dorm lawns on Sundays before the NFL games.  The co-ed games that were used as an excuse to deliberately, accidentally grope the female members of the opposite team.  And it's true, a woman probably couldn't have the same passion that a man who has played the sport has, but can still have a passion for it. 

I've often been asked for tips on how to get a girlfriend or wife interested in football, in reality, this is something I cannot answer.  Having grown up in Western Pennsylvania, football tends to be the big thing there, whether it's high school, college or the NFL.  At the time, I was a team supporter more then a football supporter, watching only when my team played - whether it be the Steelers or my high school Jayhawks.  That began to change though when I left home.  I started watching other teams, especially the 49ers and the Dolphins, along with my beloved Steelers.  After all, I justified, Marino and Montana were both western PA boys.  In time, it grew into a love of the game, period. 

As I get older, I find myself following more, long after the year is over.  Where I once had no interest in the draft or who was acquired via free agency, I now follow it religiously.  This, in part, because of my husband.  This was something he taught me.  From there I started to watch the proceedings at the Combine and followed Scouts day.  Today I'm as immersed in the NFL and all things football almost as much as I am with my family. 

So my passion is the Steelers, but I'm still in love with the game and because of this, I'm still here, watching the teams race to February, having in mind who will go and sympathizing with the fans who's teams didn't make it. 

Welcome to my blog.  Perhaps this is the best place to start, a little background and a love for the game....(and no...this will not replace my Monday Morning Musings...I promise).

Category: General
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com