Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Jones’

NFL 2010..One Roller Coaster of a Season!

The 2010 NFL Season had more ups and downs than all the roller coasters in Cedar Point combined!  We love roller coasters and since the NFL season had just as many thrills and chills, we thoroughly enjoyed these past months on the gridiron.  Here are just a few of our favorite highs and lows….

High Points:

Michael Vick’s comeback! 

This is no doubt the “feel good” story of the year.  Vick’s phenomenal performance after being incarcerated on dog fighting charges and being relegated to back up behind both Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb could truly be a movie script.  The perfect ending may have to wait, though.  Only a Super Bowl Championship seems like the larger than life finale fitting Vick, Andy Reid and the Eagles.

Ndamukong Suh PAT attempt 

In early November in a game vs. the NY Jets, 307 pound Ndamukong Suh, a rookie tackle for the Detroit Lions, lined up for the extra point attempt after the starting kicker got injured.  While he missed the extra point, the sight of Suh making the attempt was definitely a highlight of the 2010 season!

Celebration dance by B.J. Raji 

In the NFC title game vs. the Bears, Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji intercepted a Bears pass and “ran” 18 yards for a TD.  His hula hoop-like dance was one of the most amusing, fun moments of the playoffs!  Click below to see Raji in motion.

The Chicago Bears

The Bears made it to the NFC title game, despite the preseason prediction by most pundits who beleived they were a below average team with little hope.  In 2009, they went 7-9 and had failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive year.  The Bears ended the 2010 season at 11-5.  Some people believe that luck was a big factor in their winning season, as they faced a number of back up QBs and a 7-9 Seattle Seahawks team in the playoffs.  In Week 1 against the Lions, a Detroit TD was overturned by a little known, controversial call with just a minute to play, giving the Bears the win.  Lucky or not, it was good to see the Bears return to the playoffs once again!

Aaron Rodgers 

The Packers’ QB finally emerged from Brett Favre’s shadow.   His stellar play this season earned the Packers a Super Bowl Championship, but nearly as important, gave Rodgers the recognition he deserved.  During the regular season, he earned a passer rating of 101.2 – the third best in the NFL.  He also ranked third in rushing yards by a QB.   In the post season, Rodgers had a passer rating of 109.8 and showed his composure and exceptional ability to read defenses.  What we love most about the Aaron Rodgers 2010 story is that in addition to being a great QB, he seems to be a genuinely good guy as well!

Low Points:

Mike Shanahan   

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan started a streak of behavior in October that slowly spiraled into a complete lack of respect for veteran QB Donovan McNabb by the end of the season.  Trailing by 6 and with less than 2 minutes left in a game against Detroit, Shanahan benched McNabb and put in back up Rex Grossman.  On the next play, Grossman fumbled the ball, Detroit returned it for a TD.  After that fiasco, most coaches would have tried to apologize for their poor decision.  But Shanahan went in front of the media and awkwardly tried to explain his decision by first claiming he benched McNabb because he didn’t feel he could run the 2 minute offense.  His statement was perceived as a criticism of McNabb’s intellectual ability by many in the public, so Shanahan changed his reason, stating that he actually thought McNabb didn’t have the physical endurance to effectively run the two minute offense.  Later, he modified his statement once again and claimed McNabb was suffering from sore hamstrings.  The tension between Shanahan and McNabb was quite evident.  Later, with only 3 games left in the regular season,   Shanahan benched McNabb in favor of Rexman and actually publicly demoted him to 3rd string.  The Redskins had a myriad of problems this season.  But it appears that Shanahan chose to focus on McNabb rather than recognize other issues hurting the team, including the coaching staff and their poor decision making over the course of the season.

Peyton Manning’s streak of INTs

11 INTs over a three game span brought forth criticism about Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning.  Some questioned his age, while others questioned his ability.  Manning had to deal with a porous offensive line, a slew of injuries to his receiving corps and no running game all season.  Despite his 4700 yards of passing this year, Peyton could not carry the team alone.  But to question Manning’s ability is absurd and short sighted.  It was one of the low points in the season for us, but Manning himself seemed unscathed by his critics.  That focus and drive makes him one of the game’s all time greatest QBs!

Vince Young meltdown 

In a game vs. the Redskins, Young injured his hand.  When Titans coach Jeff Fisher put back up Kerry Collins in, Young became agitated and a childish tantrum ensued.  He paced the sidelines, swearing and mumbling to himself, and then tossed his shoulder pads and jersey into the stands as he stormed into the locker room at the end of the game.  That day was his last as the Titans’ starting QB.  Owner Bud Adams recently announced that Young will not be on the roster next season.  He will either be traded or released. 

Inconsistent fines by the NFL 

The NFL established a reactionary, subjective policy early in the season in response to a number of head injuries.  While we applaud their efforts to protect players, this policy fell short and needs to be revamped before next season.

Super Bowl XLV seat fiasco  

In the most technologically advanced and extravagant stadium in the history of football, Jerry Jones’ Cowboys Stadium came up short on the most important day for the NFL.  400 fans attending the Super Bowl were unable to be seated because their seating area was not completed in time.  The seats were valued at $800 and the NFL issued a refund of $2400 to each of those affected.  Fans had the option to watch the game in the $350 “Standing Room Only” section or on monitors in the North Field Club.  Despite these allowances by the NFL, fans were understandably upset.  There is no excuse for incomplete seating areas in a venue like the Super Bowl!

New York Jets Tripping 

The Jets Strength and Conditioning coach, Sal Alosi, admitted he intentionally tripped Miami’s Nolan Carroll as he raced down the sideline on punt coverage.  Alosi’s role in the NFL was to help players become physically stronger and healthier, yet he showed a complete lack of judgment when he tried to trip an opponent running at full speed.  Alosi was subsequently fined and suspended by the Jets.  Later, the NFL levied a $100,000 fine against the Jets.  Alosi announced his resignation from the team January 31st.

The NFL’s decision to postpone the Eagles vs. Vikings game 

In late December, the NFL postponed the Eagles/Vikings game because of a predicted winter storm expected to dump 18 inches of snow on the city.  Since when does FOOTBALL get postponed due to weather?  This isn’t soccer and the NFL set a bad precedent by postponing the game when both teams were in the city and capable of playing.  Vince Lombardi must have turned over in his grave!

We hope you have enjoyed our review of our favorite ups and downs of this past season.  It truly was an exhilarating ride, but like any good roller coaster, seemed much too short!

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Art, Architecture and Football!

When Jerry Jones acquired the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million dollars, it was viewed as a poor business decision.  The team was just an average team that was losing money.  The original Texas Stadium was a mundane steel and concrete structure that offered few amenities, except for some simple suites.  It did not have air conditioning and was suited only to football.

But the larger than life Jones eventually turned the team into the highest valued sports franchises in the history of the U.S.  He also built Cowboys Stadium, the site for this weekend’s Super Bowl XLV.  As we prepare for the big game, we thought we would share some background about this one of a kind, high-tech sports and entertainment venue. 

From the start, Jones wanted a larger, more luxurious stadium befitting his beloved Cowboys.  When they decided to build a new stadium, he and his family immersed themselves into the world of art and architecture so that they could be active participants in the design process.  They traveled extensively to visit everything from ancient ruins to the most modern, cutting edge architecture.

The Cowboys hosted a design competition to solicit ideas for the new stadium.  Ultimately they chose HKS – a Dallas based architecture firm that was relatively new.  The architects at HKS were all in their 20s and 30s.  They had never designed a stadium from scratch, but had worked on some renovations of other sports venues.  Jones chose the firm over the more established architects in the competition because of their unconventional ideas and the feeling that he could easily work with them.     

HKS put forth some basic themes for the stadium – transparency and light, clarity, flexibility and state of the art technology and communication.  Despite the stadium’s home of Arlington having mostly traditional architecture, including the nostalgic Texas Rangers ballpark, Jerry Jones and HKS decided upon a contemporary design that was suited not just for football, but a variety of sports and entertainment. 

Here are some fun, albeit useless, facts about Cowboys Stadium!  As you watch the Super Bowl this weekend, you can impress your family and friends with trivia about Jerry Jones’ amazing architectural feat!

Everything’s Bigger in Texas!

  • The original budget in 2004 was $650 million, but when the stadium was completed in 2009, the final price tag was a whopping $1.2 billion.
  • The 160 foot wide x 72 foot high digital media board hanging in mid-field cost between $40 – 50 million.  It weighs an unbelievable 1.2 million pounds and is suspended from the ceiling 90 feet above the field. 
  • The two arches in the stadium are made of steel imported from Luxembourg.   They were made in Oklahoma and taken by truck to the site.  At 1225 feet, they are the longest single spans ever built.  Structurally speaking, there were far less expensive alternatives to the arches, like corner columns, but Jones wanted a modern look to the building and paid the enormous additional costs to make sure the stadium had the progressive look he desired.
  • The roof is 661,000 square feet and is the largest of its kind in the world.  The domed top can open or close in just 12 minutes to cover the opening above the field.
  • The stadium is approximately 3 MILLION square feet inside.  It is a quarter mile in length.  The Statue of Liberty could stand up inside the stadium.
  • There are more than 80,000 seats, but the stadium was built with flexibility to expand the seating to over 100,000.

Sweet Deal!

  • Cowboys Stadium is the only stadium with field level sideline suites, each with private patios.
  • The luxury suites feature plush leather seats, flat screen TVS, private full service bars, private restrooms and removable glass panels that open up so that that the entire suite is open to the playing field.
  • Suite owners and club seat ticket holders have exclusive access to the American Airlines Lounge and the Sony Lounge.  Each lounge is on the opposite side of the stadium and has 3 story atriums with windows that span floor to ceiling.

Field of Dreams

  • There are 3 different synthetic fields at the stadium – one for NFL games, college games and high school games.  There’s also a blank field that can be painted to accommodate any other sport.
  • The end zones each feature 5 retractable glass doors.  At 120 feet high, they are the largest movable glass doors in the world.   The doors can be opened in 8 minutes to create a 180 foot entry way into the plaza.

Let There Be Light

  • HKS used light as a major theme throughout the building.  The use of glass and transparent materials allows patrons to feel like they are outside, rather than in a building.
  • The roof retractable and is covered in a translucent material that brings in an abundance of natural light. 
  • The retractable end zone doors are made of glass, so that even when closed, there is a feeling of openness.
  • The roof and the base are connected by curved glass walls.  They are each 900 feet long and are fritted.  The frit is a pattern of very tiny dots on the glass.  The bottom of the fritted glass wall is 90% covered, while the top is 10% covered.  This allows for a unique play of light that sets different moods depending upon the time of day.

Stadium or Art Gallery?

  • The stadium is filled with world-class, contemporary art.  Rather than the ordinary sports photos, statues of famous athletes and other sports-related items, the Jones’ decided to fill the stadium with the some of the most cutting edge art around.
  • There are 21 pieces in the art collection, occupying almost 100,000 square feet of space.  Most of the major contemporary art museums do not have this much square footage devoted to art.

Cowboy Stadium truly is one of the most unique venues to have ever hosted a Super Bowl.  Its high tech, highly sophisticated architecture, combined with amazing works of modern art, make it the most cutting edge sports venue of its kind.  This Sunday, as you enjoy the intensity and action packed Packers and Steelers game, take time out to appreciate the beauty and sophistication of Cowboys Stadium.

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!

This Cowboy is Riding Off Into the Sunset…Finally!

After the Cowboys suffered a 45-7 pounding from the Packers Sunday night, team owner Jerry Jones fired head coach Wade Phillips on Monday.  It is a move that’s not surprising, but does shows the desperation Jones is feeling as the season slowly slips away. 

The Cowboys now stand at 1-7.  They were pre-season Super Bowl favorites and are generally believed to have the most talented roster in the NFL.  The Cowboys also have the highest payroll in the NFL. 

Will firing Wade Phillips save the season?  It is hard to predict if the Cowboys will suddenly start playing better with just the firing of a single man.  But Phillips’ mid-season dismissal certainly sends a potent message to the players that their current attitude and effort is unacceptable.  For weeks, Jerry Jones insisted that Phillips would remain the coach for the season.  This latest move shows that Jones has decided he is not going to tolerate the status quo.  It is a wakeup call to the team.

Phillips will be replaced by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett for the remaining games.  Garrett has a much stronger personality than Phillips, who often appeared weak and detached.  The team has shown a lack of discipline throughout the season and at times they have appeared downright apathetic.  The penalties, turnovers and other mistakes seemed to have no consequence under Phillips. 

Garrett’s temperament will definitely change the football culture of the team.  Garrett seems to be more of an authority figure who is not concerned whether players like him or not.  But is Garrett the one to take the team into the future?  As interim coach, he has just eight games to prove himself.   

Jerry Jones has invested billions of dollars into “America’s Team” and expects to win. Five straight losses finally prompted him to do whatever is necessary to become a winning organization once again.  If it means more coaching or player changes, Jones looks like he is ready to hold everyone accountable for their actions.  Firing Phillips is likely only the first change Jones is going to have to make to save his beloved Cowboys.  There may be many more Cowboys riding off into the sunset in these next weeks and months.  One thing is certain, this is going to be one wild rodeo!

It’s Week 9 and Oh What a Season it has Been!

Here we are, in week 9 of the NFL schedule, which means we are half way through the regular season!  Time flies when you’re having fun.  As we reflect on what has unfolded in the NFL thus far, we were inspired to say it with poetry.  (Don’t ask why, frankly, we really don’t know)

 

The NFL season is already half completed

Some of our teams have won, others were defeated

Players have been benched, a few were even traded

Coaches have been praised, a few are truly hated

So at this point in the season, we look at where things stand

One thing we know for certain, this season has not been bland!

 

The great and mighty Saints were expected to be dominant

But here in 2010, they’re not so prominent!

The trendy “who dat” slogan was such a catchy phrase

 But the way the Saints are playing, was it only just a phase?

So as New Orleans struggles to find a way to win

Will another team replace them as America’s new darlin’?

 

All throughout the league, quarterbacks are making news

With so many controversies, it’s easy to feel confused

In Philly, Vick was out…then in..then out again

The Steelers had their own QB troubles – the behavior of Big Ben

McNabb was benched for Grossman, a decision that boggles the mind

Grossman fumbled his first play, and the Redskins fell behind!

 

The Vikings made a trade to pick up Randy Moss

Four short weeks later, they gave him quite the toss

Randy’s open praise of his former coach and team

Caused coach Childress fury and to fire him it seems

Randy’s now a Titan, playing in Tennessee

Will he find a home there?  Or will he have to flee?

 

Jerry Jones’ Cowboys now stand at one and six

How does this happen to a pre-season Superbowl pick?

The Bills are once again at the bottom of the pile

Will frosty Buffalo fans ever find reason to smile?

The Panthers and 49ers are also down this year

Their fans are not celebrating, but drowning in cold beer

 

The Patriots are once again winning, doing it with flair

Even with Tom Brady and his Justin Bieber-like long hair

The Giants and the Falcons are tied for first in the NFC

Who will win their division?  We will have to wait and see

The Ravens, Chiefs and Colts seem to be true contenders

While the Jets, Packers and Steelers may just end up pretenders

 

The season’s only half way through, there’s lots more games to play

Some teams will continue to win, some may go astray

Football is a game of inches, so the saying goes

It’s a game that can’t be predicted, as any true fan knows

So enjoy the “second half”, it will be an adventurous ride

It’s what makes football the greatest game – that cannot be denied!

Falling Star…Is the Season Over for the Dallas Cowboys?

Last Sunday, NY Giants linebacker Michael Boley sacked Dallas Cowboy QB Tony Romo early in the second quarter, driving his left shoulder into the ground.  Romo suffered a broken left clavicle and it appears he will be out for at least 8 weeks, if not the entire season.  For a team that was 1-4 before last week’s game, the injury to Romo is devastating and will make it nearly impossible for the Cowboys to salvage this season.

So what happened to America’s Team?  The Cowboys entered this season as a Super Bowl favorite.  Most sports analysts affirm that the Cowboys have the most talented roster in the NFL, yet their performance has been abysmal. 

The Cowboys have played sloppy, undisciplined football these past few weeks.  Penalties, mistakes and an apparent lack of enthusiasm seem to characterize this team.  Why does a team that has appeared in 8 Super Bowls, more than any other team in the NFL, seem to be so unmotivated? 

Perhaps the problem lies at the top.  Team owner Jerry Jones perceives himself as a football expert and his enormous ego leaves no room for a coach who can outshine him.  Jones is a “hands on” owner and Head Coach Wade Phillips is just the kind of weak pawn Jones can use in his life size game of chess.    

A headstrong, opinionated coach takes the spotlight and control away from Jerry Jones and, in the end, it really does seem to be all about him.  In the 1990s, Jimmy Johnson coached the Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories and was responsible for some of the best draft picks and trades in NFL history.  Johnson left the Cowboys after he and Jones simply could not work together, due in large part to Jones’ insistence on so much control in the day to day coaching aspects of the organization.

One thing is for certain, the Cowboys are now facing a much more difficult challenge since Romo’s injury.  With the trade deadline passed, Dallas must rely on backup QB Jon Kitna to lead the offense.  Is it just me, or is it absolutely shocking that the 38 year old Kitna is the backup QB on a team as prestigious as the Cowboys?! 

Kitna came into the Giants game last Sunday and seemed totally unprepared and overwhelmed.  Isn’t it his JOB to be ready to go into the game at a moment’s notice? A quality, heads-up coach would not have a QB the caliber of Kitna as their backup.  Sorry, but there is simply no excuse for it!

Today the Cowboys face the 3-4 Jacksonville Jaguars at home.  The Jaguars defense has been struggling, especially against the rush.  But the Cowboys haven’t had an effective rushing game this season, so in all likelihood, the Jags will be able to control this part of the game.  This means Kitna will be forced to throw the ball to his very capable receivers.  The problem is Kitna’s tendency to drop back deep to pass.  Expect the Jaguars to aggressively pass rush and hit Kitna hard and often to rattle the backup and give the Jags a victory.

It seems unlikely that the 1-5 Cowboys can make the playoffs.  So at this point, they need to look to next season and the future of the organization.  Will Jerry Jones be able to put his ego aside and hire a new coach capable of instilling discipline and motivation to this very talented roster?  Or will his thirst for fame make it impossible for him to give up control of the team to someone who is more knowledgeable about the game? 

This year’s Super Bowl will be held at Jones’ new, beloved Cowboys Stadium.  Jerry Jones will be relegated to spectator, rather than participant, despite all the predictions his team would be playing for the championship.  This humiliation alone may be enough to force Jones to hire a more capable coach who can do the things necessary to start winning. 

The injury to Romo cannot be used as an excuse the rest of this season for poor performance by the Cowboys.  That was happening long before the loss of Romo.  Instead, the Cowboys need to use the injury as a wakeup call and make the organizational changes that will allow this gifted roster to continue the winning tradition.  It is time for Jones to bring the Cowboys back to their “America’s Team” status.

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