Behind the Mic – February 4th


  1. How can anyone possibly watch the pre-game shows, which started at 11:00 AM? I watched from 6:00 and that was more than enough pre-game for me!
  2. The Sandy Hook Elementary School choir was outstanding and Jennifer Hudson only added to the beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful”.
  3. Alicia Keyes is REALLY, REALLY talented, BUT can’t anyone sing the National Anthem anymore without drawing it out and adding words or notes at the end? The pace was too slow and the ending was unnecessary.
  4. I just cannot accept the sincerity of Ray Lewis or forget his past. He seems to know when the camera is on him and “acts” accordingly.
  5. Off-sides, illegal formation, interception, fumble – These early mistakes were disastrous for the 49’ers. They did not seem ready to go in the playoffs until things got desperate. Then they really turned it on.
  6. We would really be talking about the fake field goal on 4th and 9 by the Ravens if they had lost.
  7. Look closely at the missed field goal by David Akers and the subsequent penalty for “roughing the kicker”. I watched it many times. Akers fell on his own and I do not think he was even touched.
  8. Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick’s Super Bowl performances just added their names to the list of some great, young quarterbacks in the NFL right now. Kaepernick’s accuracy and arm strength are amazing. Flacco’s demeanor and skills are equally impressive.
  9. Everyone, including the CBS announcers, seemed to blame the power outage for the 49’ers comeback. Perhaps, San Francisco made some defensive halftime adjustments to limit the effectiveness of the Raven offense and figured some things out on the offensive side to combat the Raven defense.
  10. I wonder how many people turned the game off (28-6) when the outage occurred?
  11. Colin Kaepernick is adopted. His parents lost two children shortly after they were born before adopting him. It is quite a story. Check it out.
  12. The Harbaugh parents must have loved and hated the game. How could they enjoy the success of one son at the expense of the other? I hope they enjoyed Beyonce!
  13. Speaking of Beyonce, everyone at the gathering I attended to watch the game agreed her halftime show was terrific. I really liked the stage rising up from behind her and the graphics and special effects that went along with the song. She did not seem to give much acknowledgement to her roots, Destiny’s Child, however.
  14. Is pass interference pass interference no matter when it occurs during the game? Do you agree with the adage that you let the players win or lose the game? I believe non-calls often decide who does win or lose a game.
  15. With all the millions spent on Super Bowl ads, the big winner this week was TCCD International. They distribute BuckPower Antler Velvet legally to vitamin stores and Walgreens. Ray Lewis allegedly used the deer antler spray to recover from a torn bicep. And all their publicity was free!!
  16. My top five commercials were, in no particular order were:
    1. GoDaddy geek-supermodel kiss
    2. Budweiser Clydesdale reunion
    3. Audi prom story
    4. Best Buy with Amy Poehler
    5. Taco Bell’s nursing home rebellious clients
  17. I was not impressed with the:
    1. Coke Chase
    2. GoDaddy’s other commercial about coming up with new ideas
    3. E-trade’s baby spot
  18. The beer that is poured from black bottles looks like beer poured from regular glass bottles.
  19. CBS cleverly added their #1 new show, “Elementary”, to their program lineup to follow the Super Bowl. Not so clever with the power outage adding a half hour to the Super Bowl broadcast and the new show ending well past midnight. Even TiVo could not anticipate the late start. I’m sure it seemed like such a good idea at the time.
  20. XLVIII is being held outdoors at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and it will be in February! I’m sure it seemed like such a good idea at the time.





(Last week – 0-1)

(88-55 for the season – 62%)

Behind the Mic – January 30th

President Obama was inaugurated for the second time this past weekend and gave a challenging, competitive inaugural speech aimed at the opposition party. Everyone heard his words and had an opinion about what he said on “both sides of the aisle”, as they say. He also made a comment that did not garner nearly as much attention; however, as a sports and football fan, it warranted some investigation and thoughts.

“I’m a big football fan,” Obama told the New Republic, “but I have to tell you, if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.” I still remember my own mother refusing to sign the permission form to let me play football. She finally relented when I went to high school and I played for four years.

This week, Rolling Stone magazine did a study: “This is Your Brain on Football” (Jan., 2013) which concluded that high school football is America’s most dangerous game.

The latest statistics indicate that 3.8 million Americans suffer a concussion on the playground or playing contact sports. The number is probably above 4 million because it is assumed that many concussions go unreported when they do not cause unconsciousness. As a result, the number could realistically be much, much higher. Many neurosurgeons are of the belief that no child should play tackle football until they turn 14. They report that concussive symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, fatigue, inability to focus, memory failure and lightheadedness can linger indefinitely. These symptoms can affect school, activities, and future mental development.

Those of us who played sports wonder why this problem is much more serious than it used to be. Kids have, without a doubt, gotten bigger, faster, and stronger. Doctors say, however, that the development of neck muscles have not. Combining the two has created some devastating consequences.

If the past is a precursor to the future, parents need look no further than the current state of the NFL in the court system. 4,000 former players are currently pressing claims for permanent brain damage. Every week, we watch games where some hits are so vicious that we feel somewhat guilty about enjoying the game so much. We know that these men are being paid quite well to take those hits, so I suppose this helps us assuage our reservations about the game.

P.S.: Girls are twice as likely as boys to suffer concussions when you consider all of the sports played by both genders which may subject them concussions. These include: soccer, lacrosse, hockey, or the leader in head trauma – competitive cheerleading! Did you know 37,000 cheerleaders in the US were taken to ER’s in 2011 alone?

Only football results in more traumatic injuries.

The good news (if there is any) is that prevention of these injuries is being studied by the medical and athletic communities. However, the quandary for parents remains: Would you let your son play football?



  1. This past weekend, the Lafayette women’s and the Lafayette men’s basketball teams both beat their archrival, Lehigh. This feat had not been accomplished since February 23, 2008. They did not just win – the women won by 16 at home and the men won by 21 at Lehigh. It all happens again on February 23 and 24.
  2. “I went to the Pro Bowl and a basketball game broke out”. NFC-62 AFC-35. I would like to comment on the game, but I did not watch it (again)!
  3. San Francisco vs Baltimore on Sunday. Can anybody prove they had these two teams in the Super Bowl this year before the season began? QB’s Colin Kaepernick vs Joe Flacco – no Brady, no Brees, no Manning or Manning – go figure. By the way, the over/under in Vegas is 47.5. I would lean towards the under. The 49’ers are favored in Vegas by 3 ½. Although I am picking the 49’ers, I would lean towards Baltimore with the points.
  4. Speaking of predictions, Vegas picked Alabama to win the BCS championship next year. Notre Dame came in 11th as a 25-1 long-shot.
  5. “60 Minutes” interviewed USADA on Sunday and the head said Lance Armstrong lied throughout the Oprah interview and if he does not testify truthfully in front of that group, he will never compete again in cycling. I wonder what Dr. Phil will learn from the man who pulled the hoax on Manti Te’o?


(Last week – 1-1) (88-54 for the season – 62%)


Behind the Mic – January 22nd

The Bible says, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This past week, the passage from John 8:32 was put to the test by two outstanding athletes, who exhibited less than stellar actions in their athletic pursuits.

In the case of Lance Armstrong, he admitted to Oprah Winfrey that his career as the premiere cyclist in the world was a fraud. Armstrong rose to the top of his profession and deservedly garnered the adoration, admiration and acclaim of cycling fans and those of us who admire any athlete who seems to accomplish the impossible. In addition, after his bout with cancer, Armstrong was seen by virtually everyone as someone who not only overcame this setback, but worked tirelessly to help fight for a cure with one of the greatest charitable organizations, Livestrong. We, then, discovered that these accomplishments were won with the aid of performance enhancing drugs. The situation was compounded by years of lying to the governing bodies of cycling and to the adoring public, who so much wanted to believe him.

He admitted those lies in an interview with Oprah this past week. Did the “truth set him free”? Based on the reaction from the media, the admission came much too late. The overwhelming response is that Armstrong is still arrogant, barely repentant, and bitter.

In my opinion, the passage from John 8:32 should be two affirmative sentences: “You will know the truth. The truth shall set you free.” Armstrong knew the truth all along and took much too long to admit it. Going on Oprah years later will not and did not set him free.

Manti Te’o is one of the best college football players in the nation and played for Notre Dame University. By now, you know he claims to be the victim of an on-line hoax that established a relationship with a non-existent girlfriend, who later supposedly died. Here the Bible wins out. It is said Te’o found out the story was a hoax in late December and notified the University. Wasn’t this the perfect time to disclose to everyone that this was a hoax perpetrated on an unsuspecting athlete? Particularly, since Notre Dame was playing in the national championship game the first week of January. To paraphrase the Bible, “now the truth WAS known, so let it set you free”. Sure, there would have been questions, but there, also, would have been timely and, hopefully, appropriate answers.

Now those questions, we have been told will be asked by Katie Couric. The answers did not work so well for Armstrong.

We are left in both situations to believe that both these athletes and Notre Dame are not really upset with what they did, but that they got caught. They all need to read more passages from the Bible to get it!!




  1. My Super Bowl pick at the beginning of the year was San Francisco. There is hope.
  2. Some pundit called the Super Bowl the “Har-bowl” (Harbaugh vs Harbaugh). Clever. By the way, SF’s Jim Harbaugh was last year’s coach of the year. Should it go to brother, John, this year? It would keep peace in the house.
  3. Is San Francisco’s QB Colin Kaepernick in the same category as RG III and Andrew Luck or is he better? By the way, I would start my NFL team with Atlanta’s WR Julio Jones. He is amazing.
  4. There is a new sport that is catching on – it’s called the Tough Mudder. There are no winners and contestants help one another get through the course. It is a 12-mile extreme obstacle course which includes walking through a vat of ice, a crawl through thick mud with barbed wire hovering over your head, and another walk through more mud with live electrical wires (10,000 volts) dangling overhead. There are 53 events in 47 cities and 13,500 people signed up for a Tough Mudder event in Sarasota in early December. Up for it?
  5. The Lance Armstrong story this week made me think of an incident I had on a vacation cruise. My wife and I were invited to dine with the captain and other officers and guests. I asked the purser (the only American officer) to find out why and was told the captain had heard I was a sports announcer and he was a big sports fan. I was seated right next to him and all he wanted to talk about was Greg Lemond, the great American cyclist and an international icon. I had virtually no knowledge of cycling or of Lemond. I faked the conversation as best I could. Perhaps, the “truth would have set ME free.” Oh well, the escargot was good.


(Last week – 1-1) (88-54 for the season – 62%)