Happy Wednesday. It is the middle of the week and more often than not, NFL news is rather scarce because these are no grudge matches being played and news of such matches has likely died down. Thus, I present to you Wednesday’s new segment “3rd & Long.” Every Wednesday I’ll (try my best to) bring to you interesting (most likely funny) snapshots & soundbites around the league from past to present, and I’ll add in my two cents. Whether any of it actually has anything to do with football is for you to find out. I’ll try to compile articles & media that you might have missed while scrolling through the 1000 articles in your Google Reader. Whether you’re a Bronco-lover (like me) or a Patriot-loather (like me), you’re sure to find at least one out of the ten items each week to be entertaining. (I know 1-of-10 isn’t good odds, but I bet that one thing will make reading my blog all worth it.)
In honor of this being the last few hours before the regular season (in case you forgot, regular season starts today – you must not be a true football fan), I’ll kick off this segment with my top 10 moments of this off-season & preseason.
10. Sunday’s (8/26) FOX broadcast of San Francisco at Denver, the analysts (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, & Terry Bradshaw) were so bored (most likely by Niners’ inability to produce on defense) near the end that they resulted in comparing Bradshaw & Aikman’s singing “careers.” (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find video/audio evidence of Aikman’s singing…but if you were a true NFL fan, you would have probably already heard it – or already erased it from your memory.)
9. Although the Patriots rarely make any noise (worth making fun of) in the off-season, this years has been different. There is a new sheriff in town, and his name is….GRONK! He gets his own spot in this countdown because of this, this, this, this, this, this, and much, much more, but we would be here all day.
8. By now, you’ve probably watched too many “Call Me Maybe” videos for your own good. If the damage is already done, might as well pile on more. So, here is one of the last teams you would imagine doing this (Patriots being dead last)…the Pittsburgh Steelers! They sure do make Steelers training camp look like the happiest place on earth.
7. Tim Tebow is excited to be Jet. ‘Nuff said.
6. I might be the only one who finds this next one absolutely hilarious. It might be because growing up as a Bronco fan, I had a certain image of Mike Shanahan in my mind, but this next photo kind of shattered it…
5. The only reason people watch preseason games is because they have been deprived of football for 6 months, and they are willing to settle for any type of action. Once in a blue moon, there is indeed something entertaining that happens during a game. Last season, Jerome Simpson amazed us all with an incredibly acrobatic catch, and he backed up his athleticism this preseason.
4. One of the biggest headlines of the off-season for Peyton Manning’s free agency. As a Bronco fan, Manning-watch was particularly intriguing. All of Bronco country was following Manning’s every move. Once Manning was actually signed, it was hilarious to see all the varying reactions around the league. (And then there’s this one with the worst timing possible – right before Manning signed with the Broncos.)
3. If you’ve watched television at all this summer, you have probably seen all the new DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket commercials. You might want to check out the outtakes as well – they are quite hilarious. If you make a life of hating on the Manning brothers, you might want to pass on watching these videos.
2. To the dismay of many fans (not to mention coaches and players), the replacement refs are set to officiate Week 1 of the regular season. Although I do agree that these refs have most definitely botched calls in many games (ie SF @DEN), sometimes it is best to sit back & simply laugh at the – dare I say – stupidity of it all. Take this flag on a punt, which took over 5 minutes to resolve and gave the ref plenty of TV air time to make a complete and utter fool of himself.
1. The thing that has probably made the biggest wave this off-season and preseason is the presence of replacement refs. They sure do know how to stir up controversy. Just like Gronk is known for his off-the-field antics, Vikings’ punter, Chris Kluwe – although probably not as well-known – is equally as entertaining on Twitter. From his tweets on the bounty scandal to those about the replacement refs, he brings a breath of fresh air to the often stuffy nature of NFL politics. I may not always agree with his opinions, but his undeniably logical and humorous approach never ceases to make me pause and think if only a little. Now I leave you with this amazingly hilarious 4-act play.
Enjoy the 2012 NFL season opener!