Behind the Mic: New Year’s Resolutions



Since this is my final blog for 2013 (Scott Barr and Jim Best will fill in for the next two weeks), I thought this would be a good time to look at New Year’s resolutions. Early research indicates that 52% of people want to lose weight; 43% want to improve their general health; 18% want to start a fitness program; and 15% want to curb stress and anxiety.

That all sounds like a great start to a healthy 2014, doesn’t it? However, only 11% of people polled thought they would actually stick to their resolution; 68% would abandon them in January; and 11% said they did not think they could even get through the first six days of the New Year.

Let me offer up 10 possibilities that you may WANT and actually BE ABLE to achieve:
1. Travel
2. Socialize more; Facebook a little less
3. Buy less expensive coffee on your way to work
4. Talk more than text
5. Watch less reality TV
6. Read a good book
7. Save more money
8. Leave work on time more often
9. Learn to use Twitter; it can be fun
10. Walk more

Trying to do the things on this list should improve both your physical and mental health (weight loss is optional). Plus, they all seem very doable. So by this time next year, you might actually get a little self-gratification, too. And that’s not a bad thing.

1. Can anyone figure out the NFL? San Diego beats Denver; Miami beats New England; Minnesota beats Philadelphia; St. Louis destroys New Orleans; Pittsburgh over Cincinnati. If you need a reason NOT to bet on NFL games, this weekend should prove that to you.

2. We know that CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) has been found in football and hockey. Now they have found it in baseball. One year after the suicide death of Cincinnati player, Ryan Freel, the Boston University School of Medicine has diagnosed Freel with Stage 2 CTE. Stage 2 CTE caused by concussions is associated with erratic behavior and memory loss. This year alone, 18 baseball players were placed on the disabled list after concussions – 10 of them were catchers.

3. Did you notice that the Eagles played Green Bay when the Packers did not have Aaron Rodgers (a win!); they played Detroit without Reggie Bush (a win!); they played Minnesota without Adrian Peterson and the Vikings only won three games with him (48-30 loss! What??).

4. Remember Liberty’s Darrun Hilliard? The junior scored 21 points this past Sunday to lead #9 Villanova to their 10th consecutive win this year without a defeat. I saw two of our best local high school players last Friday night – Central Catholic’s Muhammad Ali Abdur Rahkman and Dieruff’s Tyler Kohl. They scored 57 points – Rahkman: 32; Kohl: 25. They should both be playing major college basketball this time next year. Get out and see them play!

5. Finally, I want to thank all of you for the kind comments throughout the 2013 sports season and I want to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday and a very Happy and Healthy New Year!! See you in 2014!

(Last week – 9-7) (140-83-1 overall – 63%)

Behind the Mic: NFL Parity – A Worthwhile Goal?


NFL Parity – A Worthwhile Goal?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
“Parity” is defined as “the quality or state of being equal or equivalent.”

“Competition” is defined as “the act or process of trying to get or win something that someone else is also trying to get or win.”

The NFL prides themselves on creating a league where parity is the goal; therefore, taking competition to the highest level – where, well, you know… “On any given Sunday…”

The NFL is designed to help those teams that are struggling, and vice versa to put up roadblocks to those teams that are always successful. They do it by a draft system, which allows those with the least success the previous season the opportunity to take the best college players first. There is free agency, where teams can negotiate with players from other teams when their contracts have expired, and a salary cap where there is an agreed upon limit that a team can spend on players. The ultimate goal is to give every team a fair shot at success. This, of course, gives every fan the feeling at the start of the season that their team can, not only compete, but win. And, it seems to be working.

This past week, New England lost to Cincinnati (what?) and Tom Brady did not throw a TD pass for the first time in the last 53 games. The Cleveland Browns have won three games in a row (what?). No one in the NFC East has a winning record (what?). Pittsburgh is 0-4! Kansas City is 5-0 (they won two games last year)! Based on the Vegas odds, there were six upsets this past week out of 13 games, and one game where the point spread was not covered. In almost half of the games, the underdog won.

Parity has arrived, but is it good? Well, it does appear that the “On any given Sunday…” adage has been achieved. However, it also appears to this fan that mediocre football has also been achieved. I cannot believe how inept the Giants look; how awful the Steelers are; how very average the Patriots appear to be; how bad the Eagles (who are currently tied for first place in their division) have looked, and so on and so on. Perhaps the best example is how Dallas now deserves to be only Dallas’ team, not America’s.

I have spent the first few Sundays watching NFL Red Zone and I love it. This week, however, I watched a game from start to finish and I was shocked. NFL Red Zone, for the most part, shows teams moving down the field as they are about to score; in other words, at their most successful moments. When I watched only two teams play one complete game this weekend, I saw what Red Zone does not show me – how bad teams are MOST of the time.

To this NFL football fan, parity has been achieved – almost every team now plays MEDIOCRE FOOTBALL!

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK (8-6: Last week; 48-29 overall 62%)