Friday, August 7, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Football is Coming!

Happy Friday, folks.  By the time you read this, I'll have been on a mini-staycation for a couple of days!  Yay me!  

Let's get to it.
Roddy Piper was never the biggest WWF star, but he was irreplaceable because he grounded all the good-versus-evil theatrics. He made it OK to root for a heel, not because he was transcendent or postmodern but because he was honest. He was human. It’s why casting him in They Live was such an inspired choice — [George] Nada was an average drifter suddenly burdened with world-altering power. He was a nobody who had to give up his life to destroy the alien menace, but not before he flipped them off. He was quite possibly wrestling’s most relatable heel: We could see ourselves in him even though he was provoking our heroes. Piper battled cancer in the 2000s and beat it.
Piper wasn’t a superhero — not when he was staring down Hogan and certainly not when he was a “good guy.” There was nothing nice about that guy, no. But unlike Piper himself, the rest of us could never look away when he was onscreen.
What a great obituary. I hadn't remembered that Piper was Hogan's opponent at the first Wrestlemania or that he'd played such a big part in selling Hogan's feud with Andre the Giant for Wrestlemania III. In fact, it's hard to remember any of Piper's in-ring work at all. But he was certainly an iconic force in the (then) WWF, a guy that you couldn't take your eyes off.

Also: They Live is one of my top five all-time favorite movies.

The Chinese government has said that at least 150 “economic fugitives” are living in the United States. In addition, thousands of officials are believed to have sent their spouses and children abroad, to help funnel money out of the country and avoid prosecution. The assetless functionaries left behind are popularly known as “naked officials.”

You hear a lot about how these guys in China are trying to buy a place in the U.S. as a potential bolt-hole for when things inevitably go bad over there politically. Hopefully it won't ever get as bad as it could get, but it's not hard to understand their fears.

3. #WatchMeDance
The official song of the Milford YMCA's Race4Chase program, 2015.

4. Report card for Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley (
On any given set of reps, Tebow can impress with a run to the side, highlighting his speed, and then zip a pass over the middle. On the next play, however, he could throw the ball 10-yards over the head of his receiver, or right into the ground.
The good news for Tebow is that all of the quarterbacks have struggled, so his poor play at times hasn't stood out.
Tebow will likely make the team, and if he is strong during the preseason games, he will soon have his spot locked up.
Oh man, the Eagles look like such a mess.  I can’t wait for Tebow to make the team, and God willing, to play when it really matters.
On a more serious note, Sam Bradford is supposedly healthy for the first time in a long time.  The report was that he hasn’t played particularly well, but he’s well ahead of the crew of Tebow, Sanchez, and Barkley.  A bit of rust is understandable in a guy who spent all last season on the bench with a torn ACL, and I hate to wish ill on the guy, but as a Giants’ fan, I confess that I would greatly prefer to see Tebow or Sanchez under center for Philly.
Freshman quarterback William James said he came into camp, weighing 216 pounds. James lost about 10 pounds during Beast Barracks, West Point’s freshmen boot camp. But, James has nothing but positive things to say about the training.
“Beast was awesome,” James said. “Words can’t even describe it and most people wouldn’t understand it unless they went through it. We are so close with those guys and girls that you left behind. It was like funeral when we left because they were so sad and we were sad to leave. We wish them the best and they told us to go kick butt in camp.”
Freshman linebacker/safety James “Gibby” Gibson said he, “hated to leave Beast.”
I guess these guys are gonna miss Lake Frederick?  That seems so weird that I can’t even imagine it, but times have changed, there’s no question about that.
For those wondering, Yearling Ahmad Bradshaw is currently listed #1 on Army’s depth chart at quarterback.  I’ve said before that I won’t be surprised if he winds up starting.  Reports from practice were that A.J. Shurr looked good throwing the ball, though, so for now we have a genuine competition.  It’s also worth mentioning that Plebe Kenneth Brinson is listed as Army’s #2 Rush End.  Army plays a version of the 3-4, so Brinson’s is a hybrid outside linebacker role.  Brinson is Army’s top football recruit this year, famously choosing West Point over Stanford[1].  He and Punter D.J. Mote are the only plebes listed on the depth chart, though reports are that a few others might earn playing time as the season progresses.  The class of 2019 is Army’s best recruiting class in decades, so there’s no doubting that Coach Monken would like to get his guys involved as quickly as possible.  In fact, as of this writing there are more plebes on the team than upperclassmen.
Between the Swim Across the Sound two weeks ago and the Race4Chase, my kids' first triathlon, last weekend, it's been an exhausting couple of weeks.  Now that it's August, I'm in high hopes that things will be a little less about the grind of the work week and a little more about spending time with my family, getting some rest, and enjoying real life.  I'll still have to work some this month, but the girls are in camp next week, my buddy Chris is coming up for a visit next weekend, and at the end of the month we head to Maine.  

Life is nice.  It's been really busy, but it's definitely been good.

[1] I can relate.  I chose West Point over Harvard as a swimming recruit way back in 1991.

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