My hiatus is over. I've had some adventures over the past few weeks, none as exciting as my trip to South America. While scouring the Amazon jungle for certain herbs and roots that could help cure any number of diseases, with nothing but my back pack full of fruit cake and my trusty carbine by my side, I did a lot of self-reflection. I realized that time is of the essence. I realized that we've got to grab hold of our dreams and follow them, even if those dreams are a mash up between Cirque du Soleil and a Gwar video. As I sat on a log and nibbled a piece of fruit cake, I realized that just 54 days remain until the league kicks off the 2013-2014 season. Munching that fruit cake made me realize I was going to be late for my rendezvous with Bear Grylls.
When I came upon the survivor extraordinaire, I was shocked to find him watching this on his wind-up pocket television. "Bear," I said. "I didn't know you were a football fan!" "No mate, I was trying to get Arsenal vs Manchester on the teli, but I guess this will do in a pinch." Bear replied as he munched on a snake's head. About that time the "thwump-thwump" of the helicopter could be heard overhead. Bear gave me the thumbs up and I hooked onto the line being lowered down. Bear hooked onto me and we were pulled up from the canopy floor through the trees, past snakes snoozing on branches, and monkeys trying to toss Bear some lunch. As we crested the canopy I saw a big blur to my right. It was Chris Long and Survivor Man Les Stroud! Chris was oddly wearing his full uniform. He mumbled something barely intelligible about being a one trick pony before he and Les were pulled away by their own helicopter and extraction line. Bear and I just made it to the airport to catch a flight back stateside so that I could make the publishing deadline for the article you now scroll through eagerly. Enjoy.
Give a listen to ESPN NFC West Blogger Mike Sando addresses a few issues facing the Rams. Namely the team's back and forth with the CVC on stadium improvements. Sando thinks a new stadium is the likely end point for this circus.
Snap a ball perfectly 289 times. Can't do it? This guy can. Jake McQuaide will be a Ram for a long time. Not bad for a walk on player out of THE Ohio State University.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com talks about Chris Givens and the breakout year to come. I'm no soothsayer but Gregg and I agree on this one. Chris will be the Ram's leading receiver this year. Unless of course Tavon Austin takes the NFL by storm. I wouldn't mind either way.....
The saga over brain injuries continues between former players and the NFL. A federal judge in Philadelphia has ordered both sides into mediation and issued a gag order. Whatever your opinion on the matter, it's sad to see the league and former players in court.
While the few are not representative of the many in the NFL, one has to be troubled by the number of arrests the league has seen over the last few years. The league has a strict player conduct policy in place, but that doesn't seem to deter young, suddenly rich men from tearing the club up. What, if anything can be done about the prevalence of thuggery in the NFL?
Oday Aboushi. If you don't know the name, click on the link above. The challenges faced by players are often thrown up on the flat screen during the NFL draft for "people" pieces. This man has faced a lot, and succeeded. Kudos brudda!