The Mystery of Momentum

Carson Wentz After Loss
Carson Wentz after the Eagles blew a 17 point Fourth Quarter lead at home to the Carolina Panthers on October 21, 2018

What’s wrong with Wentz? (And the rest of the Eagles, for that matter)  The Eagles lost momentum, and they lost the game because of it. Wentz played adequately and respectively for three-quarters, and then the bottom fell out.  With less than a minute left in regulation AT HOME, on the potentially game willing drive, Wentz forced a pass into double coverage to Alshon Jeffrey, a pass that should have been intercepted in the end zone, when a WIDE OPEN Wendell Smallwood was clearly within reach.  If you could see me right now, as I write this blog, I’m just shaking my head. I spoke to a dear friend Sunday night after the game, and he was still heated; we were HOLLERLING at each other about how bad the Eagles played compared to how good we were last year. 

The sportsman’s Bible says this: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for wins, for they shall be rewarded with victories.”

Ok, ok, ok, no that’s not exactly what the actual Bible says, but it’s close.  Hunger and thirst are perquisites for accomplishing and achieving our goals.  Last year, my Eagles were flying high; they had all of the right ingredients to win, and they won big. They had coaching, running, receiving and a defense that could actually stop the other team when necessary. And they had momentum, right up through the Super Bowl; through injuries and replacement players and a backup QB leading us to front and center in the football world. But that was then. And this is now.

Now, my Eagles couldn’t stop granny from robbing a bank with a Beebe gun. They can’t seem to stop the bleeding because they can’t even afford to pay attention. This Eagles team couldn’t stop payment on a check for $0 if their life depended on it. The Eagles had a 17 point lead over the Carolina Panthers in the FOURTH QUARTER and still lost! They allowed Cam Newton to drive downfield for touchdowns on three consecutive possessions, AND allowed a two point conversion. They allowed the Panthers to come back. When it mattered most, the Birds couldn’t hold onto the ball to sustain a drive to save their lives.  Yeash. 

So, here’s the question: will Wentz wither away or will he WILL himself and his teammates back to respectability and out of this abysmal mess?  It’s like my parents used to tell me when my sisters and I wanted something that we probably weren’t going to get; we’ll see. The Eagles were celebrating prematurely, and the Panthers saw it and seized “it” right from under their noses. 

So . . . , let’s learn the lesson. Don’t lose momentum. DON’T give your opponent the ball when they have the momentum. Don’t do it. Do whatever it takes to hold onto the ball and maintain possession, especially when they have the hot hand. Note to file, NEVER EVER give the ball back to the other team when they have the hot hand.

Momentum is energy and force and motion. It means to push and to drive forward no matter what. But momentum is a funny, tricky thing. Momentum is electric and elusive.  Momentum will spark your battery and spur your inner horses. You can’t really quantify it, but it’s tangible nonetheless.  Either you have it or you don’t. And when you have it, you protect it with your soul and you hang onto it for dear life; because you never want to lose it, or worse yet, give it away.  The irony is, you know when you have it, and you can barely fathom when you lose it. Because momentum is “it”, and you’ve got to have “it” to win.

Spiritually speaking, momentum lies in your heart.  The Bible says to “keep your heart with all diligence, for out it flow the issues of life.”

The Carolina Panthers couldn’t spell touchdown for three-quarters of football, and yet all of a sudden they seized the momentum from the Eagles. All of a sudden, they flipped the script. All of a sudden, they could drive down the field like it’s a walk in the park and punch it in. Seriously?  C’mon Man!  How’d they do it? They realized the mystery of momentum.

Which Way Are You Trending?

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We have heard this and we have seen this sit-com before; “The Eagles are for real!” The Eagles are for real.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. But this time we mean it, right?

My Eagles have a penchant for “being for real” at the begging of the season. In fact, last year this time, we were all screaming, “the Eagles are for real” when they began the season 3-0. But they ended the season 7-9, Doug Pederson’s first year in Philly as head coach. And the year before that, we began the season with high hopes, but also finished a disappointing 7-9. And thankfully, that was Chip Kelly’s last season in Philly (I MEANT that thankfully thing).

The Eagles tend to start hot and end cold. They tend to fly high and then land hard. They tend to raise expectations to heaven and then dash hopes to smithereens. But this year is different, right?

All of Philly is hyped, amped, excited, and overjoyed. Why? Because the Eagles are 5-1 and looking good doing it.  Yes, you gotta believe that my Eagles Are For Real! This time.

Carson Wentz and the Eagle “D” stood up to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 28-23 in Carolina, and they looked good doing it (for the most part). Except for too many penalties (do I hear the conspiracy theorists crying foul) and a few missed reads by Wentz, the Eagles looked great on both sides of the ball.

So all of Philly is hoping and praying that this year is different. Because you tend to follow your tendencies, right?

What about you? What are your trends and tendencies? What are your propensities and predispositions? Are they good or not so good? Either way, let’s all work or how we trend. Let’s work on which way we lean. You want to trend up, not down. You want to trend the right way, not the wrong way. You want to continue to progress, and not regress.

So, we all have work do. Let’s all work on finishing, and not just starting.

Cam Newton On Female Reporters: “I Guess The Joke’s On Me”

cam-newtons-video-apology-for-seWhat’s wrong with Cam’s comment about females? Everything.

This is what Cam said after a female reporter asked him a question about his receivers running their routes:

“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.” Wait, what?  Really? I mean, seriously?  Cam?  Do you realize what you’ve done?  

Cam belittled a female reporter commenting on and complementing Carolina Panther receivers running good routes.  Please note: it was a COMPLEMENT!  It wasn’t a criticism or a critique. So it shouldn’t matter who it comes from. Cam, Cam.

Sometimes we all say dumb things. Sometimes the male chauvinist in men still comes out. Unfortunately for Cam, his comments were stated on camera but were off-color and now his overreach is under scrutiny.

Cam Newton has, after a little over a day that has almost felt like weeks, issued his apology for remarks made to Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue at a Wednesday press conference.

http://a.msn.com/02/en-us/AAsXNh1?ocid=se

“After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women,” he said. “And to be honest that was not my intentions. If you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize. I’m a man who tries to be a positive role model in my community and tries to use my platform to inspire others. I take ownership to everything that comes with that and what I did was extremely unacceptable.”

Newton continued, saying that he’s a father to two daughters, and tries to inspire them to be whomever they want to be.

So what’s the lesson Cam needs to learn? Don’t down women.  Don’t do it.  Putting down someone or anyone and especially an entire segment of the population is not a good idea. It’s not funny and it’s no joke. 

Don’t Pick A Bad Time To Have A Bad Game 


There really isn’t a good time to have a bad game, but here is a bad time to have a bad game.  And last night on MNF, the formerly playoff bound Washington Redskins laid a rotten egg. Against the Carolina Panthers, led by Cam Newton, the ‘Skins looked as bad as you can look. The ‘Skins lost a  critical, pivotal game AT HOME to the Panthers who are no way near where they were or what they were last year. Cam and the Panthers are generally a shell of their former selves that went 15-1 last year en route to the Super Bowl.

Kirk Cousins lost a fumble and threw an interception, and both turnovers couldn’t have come at worser times. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

Last night, the Redskins in general, and their usually trustworthy, productive and reliable tight end, Jordan Reed, had a night to regret. Reed’s Monday night couldn’t be any worse. The Redskins tight end, who is playing through a shoulder injury, caught one pass for 6 yards through the first three quarters against the Panthers. And he didn’t get a chance to improve those numbers in the fourth quarter.

His night was over because he threw a punch at Kurt Coleman late in the third quarter, which led to a flag and his ejection. Not too smart.

So, the moral of the story is plain. Don’t pick a bad time to have a bad game. Keep you cool and your composure, because it’s not about you. It’s about your team. Because you’re better together.

Cam Newton: Dissapointed and Dissapointing

Cam Newton Presser After Super Bowl

I’m disappointed for and disappointed with Cam Newton, both at the same time.

First, I’m disappointed for Cam because I like Cam. I do. The Carolina Panthers were arguably the best team in football this year and were the favorite to win Super Bowl 50. With a 15-1 regular season record, they seemed destined to win it all. But it just wasn’t meant to be.  And Cam has been up and down and all around as a pro and as a collegian. He’s been beat up and beat down; he’s taken a lickin’ and he keeps on ticking.  Like him or not, you must admit that his story is compelling.

Cam was a back up to Tim Tebow at Florida. Go figure. Then he was dismissed from the Florida Gators program and fell from grace. Cam landed at a Texas Jr. College, won the JuCo National Championship and then worked his way back to Auburn where he won it all – the BCS Championship game, that is.  His is a rags to riches to rags story, for sure.  

But I’m disappointed with Cam because of his attitude and his ingratitude. Hundreds of NFL veterans would kill to play in a Super Bowl. And while I get it that “you play to win the game! Hello!!!” (thank you, Herman Edwards), you simply can’t win them all. No one does.

But Cam didn’t see it that way. Cam can be a ham but his leg of lamb just got cooked by the Denver Bronco’s battering ram of a defense. So while Cam expected to hit a grand slam, his offense hit a log jam. And it wasn’t pretty. Cam gloated and gloried through the regular season and playoffs and he acted as if the Super Bowl was his to have. His entitled spirit has more than a  touch or a tinge or a twinge of conceit and condescension. And so, it appears that his self-inflicted wounds are what’s probably burning him up the most.

And to add insult to injury, Cam’s countenance fell and his body language went to hell as he soured and sulked and slumped and pouted and puttered and muttered through the game that he felt his team should have won. Yet he got beat like he stole from his own momma. It happens at least once to every athlete. He’s been playing competitively almost all of his life, so he should know what it means to be a good sport, and yet he still doesn’t know how to lose. At least not gracefully and respectfully.

So I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed, not that he lost, but that he handled the loss so poorly and so unprofessionally. He stormed out of the presser (post game press conference) after a unbelievably crass appearance as he responded to reporters questions with haughtiness and hubris. Cam’s arrogance was altogether distressing, disturbing and displeasing. And it was unacceptable.

It just goes to show ya, the Bible is STILL right: pride does come before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Denver’s Defense Does It and Peyton Goes Out On Top

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You can’t be mad. You can’t (unless of course you’re Cam Newton and his offensive line). Unfortunately, Cam was a sham, but it wasn’t all his fault. Not entirely. Denver’s dominant “D” punished the Panthers as Carolina’s “O” line looked like Swiss cheese. They just couldn’t keep Demarcus Ware and Von Miller, the Super Bowl MVP, off and away from the MVP of the NFL.

Peyton Manning wanted to make one thing perfectly clear when he arrived in the Golden Gate City for the golden anniversary of the Super Bowl: “Our defense is what got us here.” Two years ago, Manning brought along the league’s top offense — in fact, the highest-scoring team in NFL history — and things didn’t work out. This time, he’s tagging along with the league’s No. 1 defense.

The “Orange Rush” finished first in the NFL in sacks, yards per play, pass defense and total defense. But to earn their place atop or even alongside the ’85 Bears or ’00 Ravens, Denver’s fearsome front-seven and star-studded secondary did what few thought they could do: they corralled Cam Newton and beat up and beat down the favored Carolina Panthers.

So, congrats to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Now Peyton, who just won his 200th game, the most in NFL history, can ride off into that orange sunset with a second Super Bowl ring. Manning mustered an almost magical performance this season out of his 39-year-old body and that quick mind. And he deserves all of the accolades he can get. It wasn’t easy and sometimes it wasn’t pretty, but in the end, the old man got it done.

And I’m especially happy for Denver Coach Gary Kubiak. Kubiak is a first year coach who was fired by the Houston Texans mid-season in 2013. Winning the Super Bowl in your first year is not bad and not too shabby, either.

So we get another moral, mystical message and another spiritual, theological lesson from Denver and Manning and Coach Kubiak. Denver lost the Super Bowl two years ago in horrific fashion, and this year, they won going away. So it just goes to show ya: you can comeback from way back and you can turn it all the way around.

Super Bowl or Super Bust?

best-super-bowl-commercials

Is it me, or do this year’s Super Bowl commercials stink?  I mean I haven’t seen a really good one yet.  And I don’t know what’s worse, the game or the commercials. Cam is playing like bad spam, and Peyton hasn’t proven that he can win the game with his arm. For those of you who love defensive games, you must be in hog heaven. But for the rest of us who want to see some offense, COME ON!

Ok, so Cam still has a half to go, so let’s hope that the 2nd half commercials, and the game, are better that the first half. And for us late bloomers, isn’t that what we hope and hunger for too? We all pray and pine and yen and yearn for a better tomorrow. And we all hope that our end is better than our beginning and that our best is yet to come.