Dak Prescott And  Ezekiel Elliott Are In The Hall of Fame ALREADY?

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If you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan, right about now, you’re licking your chops. Why? Here’s why.

Former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott has played just six NFL games, but his jersey already is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And so has his rookie roommate and running mate, Ezekiel Elliott.

The Canton, Ohio-based Hall of Fame has acquired the jerseys of Prescott and Elliott, as announced in a Twitter post.

Prescott and Elliott have become the first quarterback/running back rookie duo ever to pass for 1,000 yards and rush for 500 in their first five (now six) games. They have helped Dallas lead the NFC East with a record of 5-1. The Cowboys’ fourth-round draft pick, Prescott, emerged as the starter in the preseason after Tony Romo sustained a fracture in his back.

Prescott is 125-of-182 for 1,486 yards and seven touchdowns. He is closing in on the all-time NFL record for most passes to start a career without an interception, a mark currently held by Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Elliott has rushed for 703 yards in SIX Games, and averages 5.1 yards a carry. He has five touchdowns. Goodness gracious. 

Yes, they’re in the Hall of Fame  — ALREADY!

Why Philly Fans Are On The Wentz Wagon

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The Cleveland Browns TRADED their No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to the Philadelphia Eagles, enabling the Eagles to draft Carson Wentz. THANK YOU CLEVELAND! In effect, the Browns said we don’t need some whiz kid called Carson Wentz. Ooops.  And this just in: word on the street is that the Browns fired their recruiters for this major gaff. 

As for the No. 1 Pick, the Rams, who also considered Wentz but passed on him, selected Jared Goff, allowing the Eagles to snatch Wentz. And hopefully, the rest will be history.

This week, the winless Browns will be on their third starting quarterback of this season, with rookie Cody Kessler set to follow Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown. Kessler becomes the franchise’s 26th different starter at the position since 1999. With RGII hurt (again),” an NFL truism is on its way to being reinforced: whatever the Browns think about a quarterback, believe the opposite.” So says Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

And so all of the Philly faithful owes its now promising football future to the Rams and, most importantly, to the Cleveland Browns. And don’t forget the Vikings. Yes Bradford fared well for his new team in his first game against the Packers, but I’ll take Wentz over Bradford any day.  

So why are we jumping on the Wentz Wagon?

Wentz is ahead of the curve and the pack and the field and all early expectations. If you told me that we’d be 2-0 and looking this good with a relatively unknown rookie QB a month ago, I’d‘ve told you to stop sniffing the super glue.

According to ESPN, Wentz is the fifth rookie quarterback since the merger to start and win the first two games of his team’s season, joining John Elway, Ryan Leaf, Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco. Elway is a Hall of Famer. He and Flacco were Super Bowl MVPs. But Leaf became regarded as one of the sport’s all-time draft busts and Sanchez has not exactly been a star.

So the course of Wentz’s career has not been determined, no matter how promising the beginning has been. Yet you’d certainly rather be the Eagles, with Wentz, than the Browns, without Wentz, at this point. The Browns traded the No. 2 pick to the Eagles, apparently unconvinced of Wentz’s prospects to become an NFL franchise quarterback. Too bad. So sad.

So the next time someone passes on you and passes over you and you are picked by someone else and land somewhere else, just remember Carson Wentz. If you’re a believer and you believe in miracle finishes (and miracle starts!), just remember that God knows just how to place you and displace others so that you are situated just where you need to be to succeed and be victorious.

Who Won The 2016 NFL Draft? (I’ll Tell You Who Didn’t!)

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Who da heck is Carson Wentz? From North Dakota? Seriously? I mean, really? We’re going to win with this guy? Oh well — that’s what they said about David. Wentz is an unknown, unheard of unlikely lad who apparently got the attention of the Eagles Organization and now . . . well, he’s an Eagle. Eagle’s fans can only hope for the best.

In other news, NFL prospect Laremy Tunsil’s Twitter account Thursday night briefly showed a video of the Ole Miss offensive tackle huffing what could have been marijuana through a gas mask attached to a water pipe. Did someone say timing is everything? Poor guy. He still may make millions, but his stock has certainly  stumbled. 

For Tunsil, the timing couldn’t have been worse: Thursday was the night of the NFL Draft in Chicago. Tunsil, one of the highest-rated players in this year’s draft, was initially touted as a possible No. 1 choice, but wound up being picked No. 13 by the Miami Dolphins.

But after news of the video spread, Tunsil’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, defended Tunsil, telling ESPN that the player’s Twitter account had been hacked. In addition, Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze told the sports network that the video was “from a long time ago.”

And Finally, Ezekiel Elliot choose to wear a very distracting crop-top shirt to Draft Night. Seriously. A crop-top is the male equivalent of a mid-drift, and there are definitely places ladies should not wear this garment. So the same should go for the guys, right? Walking the NFL Draft’s red carpet on Thursday night, the Dallas Cowboys’ new running back, Ezekiel Elliott, unbuttoned his baby-blue suit, revealed the world’s most distracting male crop top, and surprised everyone with his impeccable abs. (Or were you just looking at his creamy-white pants?)

“I wanted to be a little different than everyone else,” the 20-year-old explained, wearing a silk bow tie and loafers in robin’s-egg blue. “I’m known as the hero in the half-shirt, so I had to go out on the red carpet with a crop top.”

Indeed, he “thinks” he had to: The former Ohio State running back was known for rolling up his jersey during the team’s 2014 national championship season. When the NCAA banned crop tops last year (yes, that really happened), an entire campus fought to see Elliott’s abs: Nearly 12,000 people signed a change.org petition to bring his crop top back, “Because Ohio State and football fans want to see their players continue to wear the things that have made them beloved by fans worldwide.”

It is noted that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell immediately fined Elliot for the boneheaded “play.” 

So what have we come to? Kids these days, right? You don’t have to do something unbecoming or stupid or unorthodox to be different and defy conventional wisdom. Being yourself is one thing; going out on a limb just because you want to is another.

Can Cam Carry Carolina?

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So who ya got? Who are you picking to win Super Bowl 50? Peyton or Cam? The Broncos or Carolina? Defense or offense? For me, there are a plethora of plots and subplots in this year’s golden goose of a game, the 50th Super Bowl. But unlike any other Super Bowl, this one will be remembered and recalled and ruminated upon for years to come. And, the play of the quarterback, as always, is front and center stage.

And so the question is this: Can Cam carry Carolina?

As stated earlier in this blog and elsewhere, Cam is the hottest thing since sliced bread when it comes to the NFL. When it comes to gloating and floating and doting over the game that took ownership of a day of the week from the institutional church, Roger Goodell is no dumbbell. He may have missed it way right in 2015 with Brady and “Deflategate” and Goodell may have blown it way left in 2014 with the Ray Rice “Incident,” (https://godandsports.net/2014/09/18/roger-goodell-and-the-nfls-week-from-hell/)  but Goodell certainly can tell that Cam can be a bombshell and this William Tell can ignite a groundswell that can define and carry the entire NFL for years to come. And that’s the storyline of this Super Bowl in a nutshell.

As for Cam, he has carried his team thus far. First of all, Cam can carry his own weight. He was drafted No. 1 and he wears No. 1 and he wants to be No. 1, but he will have to get past Peyton first. And if he loses, all of those records and stats and firsts and figures mean nothing. But if Carolina wins it all . . . Sure there might be next year, but next year will be easier to win again if they win right now.

Cam is carrying his team and his teammates and his conference and his city and his race and his religion and everything else that his haters want to dump on him. And he’s carrying them all, with grace. But how does he do it?

Warren Moon described how Cam is carrying all of this so, so well:

First, we had to prove we could play the position,” Moon said. “Then we had to face questions about our leadership abilities. Even when you look at the guys who played the position in my time — myself, Doug Williams, even a Randall Cunningham — we were all laid back. Now it’s more of a ‘me’ generation and you can show more of your personality. It used to be that you had to be more like a politician than a football player to be a black quarterback. Cam plays the game with his personality.

That’s it! That’s absolutely it. Cam is being HIMSELF. He’s playing the game with his personality. Yes many clam that Cam is a ham, but I beg to differ. If you or I had been through half of what this young man has been through, and he went through all of his stuff in the fishbowl of the public spotlight, we may have acted and reacted differently. Cam has set more records and run for more yards and scored more touchdowns and put up more points than you can shake a stick at. And that’s why winning the Super Bowl is so important for him. As if he hasn’t already validated himsellf.

 

So here’s to a great game. I like Peyton Manning. I do. And if he wins, I will be glad for him. Because this Super Bowl is really a “win win.” Cam or Peyton, both are so deserving and so admired and so well-liked that it’s hard not to root for both of them. So, as they say, may the best team, not necessarily the best quarterback, win.

Why You Should Watch The NFL Draft

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I never watch much of the NFL Draft. Maybe the first few picks of the Frist Round, but that’s it and that’s all. Why people watch much beyond that is way beyond me. Until this year.

This year I will watch the NFL Draft (OK, I’m just talking the First Round here, but you gotta’ start somewhere, right?) Anyway, like I said, I’m going to watch the NFL Draft. And you should too. I’m going to watch more than before because of history. This year will be a history making draft. Just watch.

Some NFL Drafts are more sizeable and more significant and more substantial than others. Take 1965 and 1985. Gayle Sayers and Dick Buctkus were both drafted, Third and Forth, by Chicago in 1965. Twenty years later, Bruce Smith, Jerry Rice and Hershel Walker were all drafted in 1985. The difference? Smith was the overall No. 1 pick, Rice was No. 16, and Herschel fell to the 114th pick. Go figure. These were spectacular Drafts. Yes there were other sensational draft years as well, but this year’s figures to be one of the best yet.

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The significance of the Draft is that you never know who’s going to pan out or who’s going to flame out. You never know who’s going to win a glut of games or how long it’s going to take them to win a Super Bowl, if they win one at all. The number ones’ could end up duds, and the passed over could emerge as superstars. Just ask Kurt Warner, among others. You never know.

So what’s the spiritual tie in? What does the NFL Draft have to do with your life? Growing up playing street football and pick-up basketball, I was never picked first. And even if you were the first pick in the street ball draft, in the end, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish that counts.

We all desire to be “drafted” and to be chosen and to be selected. And God has done just that. We are a “chosen generation” (1 Peter 2:9). Since we have been chosen, we should desire to live up to expectations. Since God chose us, he has certain expectations of us. We should be faithful and graceful, noble and honorable, honest and upright, and a bunch of other things too.

We will have obstacles and obstructions and hitches and hurdles. But these are just stepping-stones to stand on. Any and all of the 2015 NFL Draft class will begin as rookies and for each of them, some of the same obstacles may apply. But for each of them, the sky is the limit. And that’s goes for you and me too.

Don’t Count Me Out: a.k.a., It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings

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Don’t count me out. That’s what every weary, wounded and washed up warrior says to all those who dont wish them well but instead wish them woe and want them to throw in the towel. And that’s what RGIII is saying to the watching football world right now.

RGII, Robert Griffin III, was the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He won the 2011 Heisman Trophy, for Pete’s sake.  He was selected by the Redskins with the second overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.  He had nothing but “ups” coming out of college and coming into the NFL. And everybody loved him. That was then.  This is now.

Now, RGIII, the once up and coming quarterback of the Washington Redskins, has been benched in favor of the 3rd string QB, Colt McCoy.  Talk about a fall from grace.  His play this season has been less than stellar, and he has been injured and on the sidelines just as much as he has been agile and on the field. 

But don’t count him out.  I like RGIII. I do. I like him a lot. Even though he’s the quarterback for my Eagles archrival, the reviled Washington Redskins, he’s got heart.  And because of his heart and his soul and his guts and his gusto and his ambition and his determination, I hope and pray that he gets back up, dusts himself off, and tries again. Isn’t that what we all must do after heartache and heartbreak? After being letdown and being put down? After fallouts and washouts? After a setback, don’t we all wish for a comeback? 

We must hope and pray that it’s not over for RGIII. We should not presume to know the outcome of RGII’s career, or any event, for that matter, which is still in progress. We must caution against assuming that the current state of RGII’s career is irreversible and determines how or when his football life will end. We can only hope and pray that he’s got a lot of football left in him and that his best is yet to come.  After all, it ain’t over till the Fat Lady sings.

By the way, where did that phrase come from?  The phrase is most commonly used in association with organized competitions, particularly sports. The phrase comes from and is generally understood to be referencing the stereotypically overweight sopranos of the opera. The imagery of Richard Wagner’s opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and its last part, Götterdämmerung, is typically the one used in depictions accompanying reference to the phrase. The “fat lady” is the valkyrie Brünnhilde, who is traditionally presented as a very buxom lady with horned helmet, spear and round shield (although Brünnhilde in fact wears a winged helmet). Her aria lasts almost twenty minutes and leads directly to the end of the opera. As Götterdämmerung is about the end of the world (or at least the world of the Norse gods), in a very significant way “it is [all] over when the fat lady sings.”

Biblically speaking, the Apostle Paul may have said it best:

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.  Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 

2 Corinthians 4:8-10, New Living Translation