Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! A Gridiron-Infused Holiday Song…

Yesterday brought cold, blustery weather to much of the country.  Instead of fighting the bitter wind and the (at times) bitter-like crowds at the mall, I decided to stay in and do a little online shopping.  I wrote out my Christmas cards and wrapped presents, perfectly positioned in front of the TV so I could watch a slew of great NFL games!  Spending the day like that truly put me in a festive mood and reminded me why this is one of my favorite times of the year.

 In the spirit of the holidays and with yesterday’s games in mind, I give you my gridiron-infused version of the classic holiday song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”!  Feel free to sing along to my version or, better yet, click the video to enjoy the traditional song by Johnny Mathis!  Hmm…maybe I have had a bit too much eggnog??!!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

With Favre’s shoulder still swelling

And Giants fans yelling

A win may be near

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

 

It’s the hap-happiest season of all

With 2 Jets defeatings

In rival team meetings

The Pats will stand tall

It’s the hap-happiest season of all

 

There’ll be playoffs for hosting

Mike Vick will be toasting

The Vikings will clear out the snow

There’ll be more Dallas stories

And tales of the glories of

Romo from long, long ago

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

There is Matt Ryan knowing

His record is glowing

And playoffs are near

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

 

There’ll be victories for boasting

Locker room toasting

Celebrating after the show

There’ll be ESPN stories

And tales of the glories

Of playoffs long, long ago

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Some teams will be going

The beer will be flowing

The fans can cheer!

It’s the most wonderful time

It’s the most wonderful time

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Advertisements

Five Fabulous Reasons to be Thankful this Football Season…

As we pause to reflect upon the people and things in life that we are grateful for, we of course think of our families, special friends – both near and far – and other wonderful blessings.  As football fans, we are also thankful for the 2010 season and the excitement it has brought us thus far.  Here is our top five list of what we are most thankful for this football season…

#5 –  The Hokie Bird

Thanksgiving has a variety of traditions, like turkey and football, and what better turkey to represent the day than the Virginia Tech mascot?  The maroon and orange turkey may not be as ferocious as a lion or tiger, but he does have spectacular spirit as he struts his stuff around Lane Stadium.  In the 4th quarter as he dances the “Hokie Pokie”, you must admit there’s really no other mascot quite like him!

#4 – Mid-Season Coach Firings

After watching two of the most incompetent NFL coaches bumble along this season, we are grateful that the Cowboys and the Vikings had the courage to fire their head coaches.  Minnesota’s Brad Childress lost control of the team early in the season.  But his handling of Randy Moss truly epitomized his incompetence.  Now at 3-7, it will be interesting to see if interim head coach Leslie Frazier can salvage the season.  The Cowboys also made the bold move of firing head coach Wade Phillips mid way through the season.  Newly appointed Head Coach Jason Garrett seems to have shaken things up, as the Cowboys are playing much more motivated, disciplined football compared to when Phillips was coach.  It remains to be seen if these coaching changes will result in any real improvement in team play.  But, at the very least, we are thankful that we no longer have to endure the awkward and embarrassing behaviors of Childress and Phillips.

#3 –  Fantasy Football

While my team may not exactly be winning (ok, ok..we are in next to last place), entering a fantasy league for the first time this season has been one of the most fun and exciting things I have done in a long time.  Each week, as I set my starting line up in hopes of achieving the perfect team to annihilate my opponent, I love the strategy involved.  With players on my roster from throughout the league, I am interested in more games than ever before.  It is a great, new way to enjoy the gridiron and I am so thankful to be in such a great league (Go, HokieHokieHokie!)

#2 – Denard Robinson

He may not be as popular as Heisman hopeful Cam Newton of Auburn, but there’s something about Denard Robinson that makes us smile!  The University of Michigan QB, known as “’Shoelace”, is just plain fun to watch.  As he leads the Wolverines with his untied shoelaces and signature dreadlocks, he poses a dual threat to opposing defenses.  He alone has accounted for nearly 70% of Michigan’s total offense.  He is the first quarterback in NCAA history to pass for more than 1500 yards AND rush for 1500 yards in a single season.  At 7-4, Michigan’s season has been disappointing, which is one of the reasons Robinson may not be as highly touted as other Heisman candidates.  But nothing beats his pure athleticism and raw talent.  He is truly one of the most dynamic players in college football today and one of our very favorite things about this football season!

#1 – Michael Vick

Is there a better story in football this year?  After 21 months in federal prison because of his involvement in dog fighting, most people wrote Michael Vick off.  He lost his QB position with the Atlanta Falcons, declared bankruptcy and became one of the most despised figures in America.  Upon release from prison, most people expected him to return to his old lifestyle and friends and fade into obscurity.  But with the help of former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who mentored him while in prison, Vick changed his attitude, his work ethic, and in the end, his life.  His story is one of redemption and should give each of us hope.

As the starting QB for the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick’s performance this season has been phenomenal.  He is a serious contender for this year’s MVP.  Under the watchful, fatherly eye of Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid, Vick appears to be thriving both on and off the field.  With his unparalleled physical abilities, he is arguably the best overall athlete in the NFL.  Like our #2 favorite, Denard Robinson, we just love watching Vick play!  That immeasurable, distinctive ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs are simply magical and make him our VERY FAVORITE thing about the 2010 season so far!

Happy Thanksgiving fellow football fans!  Enjoy the rest of the season!

It’s Thirsty Thursday! Tailgaters Prepare for the Battle of the Techs

Tonight’s ESPN prime time college football game features the battle of the techies, as Virginia Tech hosts ACC defending champs Georgia Tech (5-3) at Lane Stadium.  VT started the season with high expectations.  The phrase “national championship” was even bantered about by sports analysts during the summer, as it was widely believed the Hokies had one of the most talented offensive rosters in their history. 

After a loss to Boise State and a stunning defeat by James Madison, the Hokies have won their last 6 games.  Now Virginia Tech sits at 22 in the BCS rankings and is slowly trying to climb its way to a major bowl appearance. 

So, what does tonight’s match up look like?  The Hokies are undefeated in conference play and are the team to beat in the ACC.  They have lost to Georgia Tech 2 consecutive years, but this Hokies squad should be able to break that streak. 

The Hokies offense seems to be clicking, with a powerful, healthy backfield and QB Tyrod Taylor taking charge of the offense.  The dual-threat Taylor has thrown for over 1600 yards this season and rushed for over 500.  With just 95 more total yards, he will become VT’s all time leader for total offense.

Defensively, the Hokies are a young unit. But Georgia Tech’s offense is pretty one dimensional, with 21 of their 28 TDs this season coming off run plays.  VT Defensive Coordinator, Bud Foster, is a strategy guru and will likely load the box, forcing struggling Georgia Tech QB Josh Nesbitt to throw.

It has been a rainy day in Blacksburg and the temperature at kickoff (7:30 pm) is expected to be around 45 degrees.  Despite the conditions, Hokie fans are out in force today, ready to support their team.  Campus parking lots have been swarming with tailgaters all day.  Classes?  It seems many students have decided to forgo class and tailgate vigorously as they prepare for this rivalry game!

Tonight’s bone-chilling weather calls for a hot tailgate beverage!  One of our fall favorites is our version of spiked hot apple cider.  Pair it with some great grilled burgers and hot dogs for a terrific tailgating treat.  So mix up a nice, big batch of our hot spiked cider and sit back and enjoy the battle of the two Techs!

Hot “Spike the Ball” Cider…

  • 2 quarts water
  • 8 orange spiced tea bags
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 2 cups Captain Morgan’s spiced rum
  • cinnamon sticks

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, adding the orange spice tea bags. Cover pan and steep approx. 5 minutes. Remove tea bags.  Next, stir in brown sugar, apple cider, rum, and 4 cinnamon sticks. Heat just to warm, do not boil.   Pour hot spiked cider into large thermal carafes to keep warm until game time.  Ladle cider into insulated mugs, garnishing each with a cinnamon “swizzle” stick and enjoy!

Draft Day Disaster

This past August I joined a fantasy football league.  After years of watching from the sideline and not quite comprehending how fantasy football actually works, I decided to strap on a helmet and give it a try.  Little did I know that I would actually need that helmet!  This is serious game play and is definitely not for the weak-hearted.

Our league has twelve teams, made up of ten college guys and just two girls.  Having never been part of a fantasy league, I scoured online fantasy draft pick information from all the leading “experts”.  On my desk sits an entire folder devoted to my pre-season research, along with every fantasy football draft magazine I could lay my hands on this summer.  My laptop has files of assembled information, including spreadsheets with categories like PPR (Points per Reception), rankings by position and bye weeks. Suddenly the letters SOS no longer meant an emergency cry for help, but something much more critical – Strength of Schedule.

Next came the dilemma of naming my team.  Did I want a fierce, intimidating name to scare the opposition into retreat?  Or a funny name that made my team the envy of those who wished they could be so clever?  Searching the web, I found a huge variety of “female” fantasy football names, many of which were just too crude to consider.  I wanted a name to represent me, yet have a football connection.  Finally, an epiphany!  My team would be called The Blonde Side.  It would pay tribute to one of my favorite football movies of all time, “The Blind Side”, while allowing me to make my team stand out from my male competition.  Oh, and it also embodied my natural (ahem) blonde hair color.

On draft day, we all assembled in the team manager’s tiny college apartment.  One of the guys had graduated the previous spring and so “attended” the draft through Skype.  We chose ESPN to host our league.  I was assigned the next to last pick, but was undaunted since I felt I had a great strategy in place.  I had my list of desired players and was certain I would be able to get at least some of them.

From research and talking to friends who had played in fantasy leagues for years, I decided to load up on running backs and wide receivers in the early rounds and not even think about my quarterback to the later rounds.  As a HUGE Peyton Manning fan, I desperately wanted him as my first pick, but decided to put my emotions aside and allow my diligently prepared plan of attack to play out. Other favorites, like T.O. and Ladainian Tomlinson would have to wait as well.  Instead, I would listen to the expert advice I had gathered and ignore the gut instincts that were telling me to make completely different choices.

As the draft began, I was shocked at how quickly the guys made their picks.  By the time it was my turn, the top ranked player remaining on my list was RB Frank Gore from the San Francisco 49er’s and I quickly grabbed him.  Next, I chose WR Reggie Wayne of the Colts and felt pretty secure about my choices.  But by the time the third round came around, my list of prospects had dwindled and I was suddenly scrambling to make a pick.  I scoured my spreadsheets, notes and brain for my next pick as the 2 minute draft clock ticked down.  Ochocinco, I shouted out, when I realized T.O. had already been snagged.

The rest of the draft is a blur as I frantically tried to choose my next player in round after round.  The other players, more seasoned and experienced, seemed to glide through their picks with ease.  Why did I feel so incompetent and disorganized?  After all, I had books and spreadsheets and files of information that should have made draft day a breeze!

By the end of the draft, my roster was complete – a complete mess, that is.  I had two players from my original list of prospects and the rest was a jumble of players I had haphazardly thrown together.  How did this happen?  I honestly am not sure, but part of my problem was that I ignored my women’s intuition AND fell victim to peer pressure!

So what did I learn from my draft day disaster?  Well, lots of things actually.

  • First, do your research.  It is important to know who the top prospects are and to understand how your league’s scoring system works.
  • Make sure you have information on the less known players.  Despite my spreadsheets, I was not as prepared as I should have been in this area and ended up making choices on players whom I barely had any knowledge about.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the boys.  I think of myself as a pretty independent person, with strong opinions, yet time after time was swayed into picking a player based on what others were saying at the moment.  I was a rookie and assumed the veterans knew more than me.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol during the draft!  Depending on how your league organizes draft day, it can end up being a party atmosphere.  As prepared and serious as I started out, I must confess that one too many Jager Bomb’s may have wreaked havoc on my roster.
  • Most importantly, listen to your gut instinct!  As women, we all know that inner voice that whispers (and sometimes shouts) out to us.  I don’t care what anyone says, that little voice is right 9 times out of 10!

So that pretty much sums up my draft day disaster.  As for the season thus far?  Well, let’s just say that there have been a few fumbles and missed tackles along the way.  In the next few months, I will share The Blonde Side’s victories and defeats in hopes of helping other ladies in their future fantasy football endeavors.  So like Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford, I view this season as a rookie learning experience. Hopefully next season will bring far less thrown interceptions and better play calling ability that will allow me to dominate my male competition!

TGIF – Thank God it’s Football!

TGIF!  It is finally Friday and that means the end of a long week of work, classes, or hectic mom schedules and the start of a weekend that hopefully brings some well deserved fun and relaxation.  Here at gridironglamourgirl, it also marks the beginning of a whole weekend of football!  Let’s take a look at a key matchup on the college gridiron for tomorrow.

The number one ranked Oklahoma Sooners take on eleventh ranked Missouri in a prime time game on ABC, with kickoff at 7 pm central time.  Both teams are undefeated and have a real shot at the BCS title.  So who has the edge in this electrifying matchup?

It is homecoming weekend for the Missouri Tigers and ESPN’s College GameDay will be on campus all weekend broadcasting live.  This is GameDay’s first visit to a Big 12 school this season.  While the presence of Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreet, Desmon Howard, Chris Fowler and the very classy and fashionable Erin Andrews certainly creates great buzz and hype among students, alumni and fans, is it enough to overcome the dominating Sooners?

History is not on the Tiger’s side, with Oklahoma winning the last seven games and possessing an overall series record of 19-1.  But, hey, this is college football and upsets are an every weekend occurrence!

Most “experts” predict an Oklahoma victory, but we think this Missouri squad will give Tiger head coach Gary Pinkel his first win over his long time rival.  Here are some of the reasons we think the Tiger’s have a slight edge in this matchup:

  • The intangibles – like the frenzy of being in the national spotlight, the emotion of being the underdog, and the crazy fan chaos of playing in The Zou, which is ranked the second toughest stadium for opponents to play in –  give Missouri a great advantage.
  • The Tigers have the 6th ranked defense in all of college football, but on Saturday they face their toughest challenge this season, as the Sooners’s overall offense is  ranked 3rd in the Big 12 and 17th nationally.  But a key component in this game is the pressure the Tiger defense can bring.  Missouri ranks 6th in sacks and with their leading pass rusher, Aldon Smith, expected back after missing the last few weeks with a broken fibula, Sooner QB Landry Jones will need to have eyes in the back of his head.  If Sam Bradford was still the QB, it may not be as significant of a factor, but we think the Tiger’s pressure on Jones will be a major disruption to the Sooner’s offense and will help contain phenom wide receiver Ryan Broyles.
  • If the secondary can force a few turnovers and the defense can contain the Sooner’s big plays, the Tigers have a real chance to win this one.  The Tigers defense is also dominating in the red zone, allowing opponents to score only 26.7% of the time
  • Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert has a great pass efficiency rating on first and second down.  Yes, on 3rd downs he is only completing 44% of his passes and ranks 98th out of 109 passers on 3rd downs nationally.  Luckily, the Tigers offensive line is one of the best they’ve had in years and should provide the ever-improving Gabbert with enough time to make his completions.  The Tiger offense does not have enough razzle-dazzle to pull off a win by itself, which is why a dominating defensive performance is key to their win.
  • Though the Sooners are undefeated at 6-0, they have struggled in many of their games, especially on the road.  We sense the Tigers smell upset and when teams possess that fervor and indefinable grit and will to win like they seem to be feeling at the moment, they are unstoppable.

Saturday night at The Zou!  It is going to be a wild and crazy one that you won’t want to miss, even if you aren’t a Big 12 fan.  Watching the number one team in a lively, GameDay atmosphere is what college football is all about!

photo by Shane Epping

%d bloggers like this: