YouGabSports Blogs
Monday Moaning 4-18-11
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB NHL The Beeze Music Royal Wedding Dolts Boomtown Rats

  So here I sit, late Sunday night and wondering what to write about...First let me start with linking an outburst I had last week, in case you missed IT...

What else happened? The Mrs. and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary...We had a great dinner at the Fish House since that's where this whole thing began...The took great care of us, really hooked us up...Christ, they should have since I've spent 15 years working for them...

Then there was the Hockey...Yes, the NHL playoffs have not been going as well as I would have liked...Mainly since the Rangers are down 2-1...They squeaked out their first win Sunday afternoon...The big problem is the same one they've had all year...They are struggling to score...They're also really missing Ryan Callahan...Kid played on the Penalty Kill, the Power Play, and they couldn't get his regular shift out there enough...Callahan was injured at the end of the season, blocking a shot...One of the probably 200 he blocked all year...

Chris Drury is back from injury, but he's covered in rust...Gaborik who has battled injuries all year, and his whole career has had tons of ice time, with little to show for it...Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has spent all year caring the team, and he's going to have to do it through the playoffs if the Rangers are going to go anywhere...

The Bruins have not looked like the same team they did during the regular season, and the Habs are loving it...I was thinking the Chicago Blackwawks could really shake up teh experts and knock-off the Canucks, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen, as Vancouver is up 3-0...

Moving on, Baseball season is in full swing now...We're a couple of weeks in and the monotony is already setting in...I know people love Baseball and Hell I do, but the season seems too long for me...Thankfully there is Fantasy Baseball, which helps me stay focused...I know people think I should be fired up about Baseball since the Indians are doing so well, but I'm not sold...It's early, and I don't thing the young rotation will be able to keep tearing it up like this...Plus I really hate those red hats they wear at home on weekends...Not to sound like a gay fashion guy, but they just look bad!

Oh, and on the topic of Baseball...There was that awful incident with the Giants fan getting beat down by Dodger fans...First, Just another reason to hate LA...Second, Now teams are getting rid of there half-priced beer nights, and are talking about cutting back beer sales...Fuck that for a couple reasons...1. Once again, the many are being punished because of the acts of a few...2. I don't know if you've noticed but there have been a lot of empty seats in the Baseball Stadiums this year...Even places like Wrigley...These teams need to do whatever they can to get people to show up, and cheap beer works...And cheap is a relative term....They over-charge so much for beer, that even half-price isn't that great!

You know, some things aren't the fault of booze...They're simply the fault of stupid fucking idiots!

Some thing else I need to get off my chest..."The Royal Wedding" Fuck this shit...Fuck the Prince, and this skirt he's banging...Most importantly, fuck the media that has been building this shit up for the last two months...Why is there a story about this on the evening news, in the United States, every fucking night...

These twats aren't our powerless, figureheads...They belong to England, yet the U.S. media just keeps cramming this shit down our throats...And then of course there are the mindless Americans that actually care...They act like this wedding, this marriage, is going to do something amazing to the world...It's not dummies...It's not going to bring world peace...It won't fix the economy, here or world wide...It won't save Japan from breaking into a million Nuclear reactive pieces...It has no meaning or long-term affect on anything, except for the lives of these two dopes who are getting hitched...

Oh, please talking head, news reporter, please list the guest list snubbs...My day won't be complete until I know which waste of sperm isn't invited to the shindig...Sweet Jesus, please do another story on how the Bride's life will change once she marries the Prince! Here, I'll knock it out real quick for ya...Bitch is gonna be rich as fuck, and not have to work for anything for the rest of her life! Done...

Why the fuck is America so enamored by the country our Forefathers fled from?

Now I'll close with a Brit song...




Have a week...

Later, The Beeze.

 

Thoughts From the Couch -- 04.18.11
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

 

 
This past Friday, Major League Baseball celebrated one of the most important days in the sports calendar as they remembered the cultural and historical impact that Jackie Robinson had on the game of baseball -- and the world -- when he became the first African-American to suit up and take the field for the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 15, 1947. 
 
The pain and suffering that Robinson had to endure to partake in America's Pastime was nothing short of brutal. Suffering through repeated racial epithets and death threats simply because of the color of his skin would have made most men run home crying, never to return to the diamond. But not Jackie. He endured. He played through the pain and suffering. He played through the hate. He played the game he loved, and he set forth a legacy that is still felt to this day.
 
Without Jackie Robinson, there's no Willie Mays to make the amazing catch in the '54 World Series. Without Jackie Robinson, there's no Hank Aaron to break Babe Ruth's home run record of 714. Without Jackie Robinson, there's no Bob Gibson posting a 1.12 ERA during the '68 season. Without Jackie Robinson, our generation would be cheated out of seeing great players like Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Felix Hernandez, Ubaldo Jiminez, Mariano Rivera, and Ichiro Suzuki.
 
Jackie Robinson did more than just play a baseball game on that spring afternoon in 1947. He provided the opportunity for generations of players who would have never been able to play the game had it not been for his bravery and dedication to finish what he started and be the best baseball player he could be, regardless of the terrible treatment he had to endure.
 
It makes me proud to be a baseball fan when I see all the players wearing the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day, and it brings out a sense of pride that baseball chose to honor the man who made such an impact on the game. Sure, baseball has had its problems over the years -- most notably with steroids -- but if there is anything they do right, it's the way they choose to honor one of the most important figures in their history.
 
Those of you who have read my work for some time know how critical I am of Bud Selig (or how much I hate him, however you want to say it). I do believe that Bud Selig is a terrible commissioner, but one thing that he has handled with class and dignity is Jackie Robinson Day. One of the best things that Selig has done since he became MLB Commissioner was to retire the number 42 across the entire league in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of Robinson's debut. Selig walked out onto the field at Shea Stadium in New York in the middle of the 5th inning of the Mets/Dodgers game and made a speech announcing that the number would be retired. 
 
Here's a snippet of what Selig said to the crowd that day in New York:
 
"No single person is bigger than the game. No single person other than Jackie Robinson. ... No. 42 belongs to Jackie Robinson for the ages. ... Number 42, from this day forward, ... will never again be issued by a major-league club."
 
Even though the number 42 was retired throughout baseball in 1997, Jackie Robinson Day didn't become a league-wide event until 2004. Since then every player on every team has worn the number 42 on April 15 to commemmorate the greatest moment in baseball history, and I for one hope this tradition continues for as long as Major League Baseball exists.
 
Thank you, Jackie Robinson. Thank you for enduring the pain, and for providing the dream to play in the major leagues to so many people who would have been turned away if not for your courage and your heart.
 
Well, that's all I've got for this week. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
 
Until next Monday...
Special K's FEARLESS TOP 10 PREDTIONS RACE #8 TALLADEGA
Category: Racing
Tags: RACING NFL NCAA NEWS FEATURED

Welcome to this weeks edition of Special K's FEARLESS TOP 10 PREDICTIONS. This week both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series are at the Talladega Motor Speedway, the 2nd restrictor plate race of the season and the 8th race of the 2011 season for the Sprint Cup series. Yesterday Kyle Busch won the Nationwide series race with a wrecked/damaged car. Todays race willf eature 2-car drafts just like we saw at Daytona. This being a wild-card race makings picks is very difficult because you can always expect the unexpected as well as the "The Big One" which is ususally casued by mediocre drivers like Paul Menard, Regan Smith, AJ Allmendinger and Brad Keseclownski just to name a few. It usually happens early or late in the race most of the time. It will have a few cautions and a couple of green flag pit stops. Last week yours truly only had 4 drivers in the Top 10 including Carl Edwards who I correctly picked to finish 3rd. I also had 4 other drivers in the Top 20. Here are this weeks picks.

1.---Kyle Busch is a former winner here and won his 1st Nationwide race here yesterday. He is either checkers or wreckers at restrictor plate tracks.

2.---Denny Hamlin has the best driver rating at Talladega. My favorite driver is always fast at the restrictor plate tracks and usually has a car that pushes very well.

3.---Tony Stewart was fast in practice and is a former winner here and should be able to overcome crew cheif Darrian Grubb.

4.---Jeff Gordon has 6 wins here and is starting from the pole.

5.---Jimmie Johnson is also starting up front and fhas casued the Big One several times. Will he put out his teammates to dry???

6.---Matt Kenseth has been fast all season and seems to be clicking with new crew chief Jimmy Fennig.

7.---Jeff Burton is usually fast at restritor plate tracks and will need help from teammates.

8.---Joey Lagano has finished no worse than 9th here and should bbe up front.

9.---Klassless Harvick likes to bump draft in the wrong place on the track and take out the filed. He blew a motor at Daytona and I hope he is just as lucky today.

10.--Kurt Busch ran well at Daytona but is really a single car team as teammate Brad Keseclownski is rarely up front being a very medocre driver.

Other drivers to watch include Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, Dale Jr and Mark Martin. It should be a exciting race and fun to watch. Thank God we are halfway through the FOX/HMS Network and their horrible coverage of the races.only 6 more counting today. I will not miss their horrible coverage.

Have a great day everybody.

Special K


 

The Best Middle Linebackers Not In The Pro Football Hall of Fame
Category: NFL
Tags: Pro Football Hall of Fame NFL USFL AFL Denver Broncos Atlanta Falcons Philadelphia Eagles Dallas Cowboys Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cincinnati


Randy Gradishar
6'3" 233
Linebacker
Denver Broncos
1973 - 1984
Ten Seasons
145 Games Played
20 Interceptions
4 Touchdowns
7 Pro Bowls
1978 NFL Defensive Player of the Year


Randolph Charles Gradishar was drafted in the first round of the 1973 draft by the Denver Broncos. He was the 14th player chosen overall.

He attended college at Ohio State University under legendary coach Woody Hayes. Hayes, who sent over 98 players to the professional football level in his Hall of Fame career, called Gradishar the finest linebacker he ever coached.

Not only is he a member of the schools All-Century Team and their Hall of Fame, but Radish is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. An excellent student in college, he is also inducted into the GTE Academic Hall of Fame and is on the ABC Sports All-Century team.

Denver brought him along slowly in his rookie year, starting just three of 14 games behind veteran Ray May. May was the 1971 NFL Man of the Year and a member of the Super Bowl V champion Baltimore Colts.

He started every game the next year, the last season the Broncos would run a base 4-3 defense during his tenure with the club. He was named to the Pro Bowl after grabbing three interceptions and taking one in 44 yards for a touchdown. He scored once again the following year off of another three picks and had seven quarterback sacks.

Denver went into the 1977 season running the 3-4 defense under coach Joe Collier. With players like Gradishar, Louis Wright, Tom Jackson, Bill Thompson, Reuben Carter, Bob Swen sen, Lyle Alzado, and Barney Chavous, the Broncos had one of the most feared defenses in all of football history.

They were dubbed the "Orange Crush", and a soft drink named after them soon became very popular. Five members of the defense was named to the Pro Bowl that year and four were named First Team All-Pro, including Gradishar.

They led Denver to a 12-2 record and an appearance in Super Bowl XII. Though they lost the game, the defense left a permanent mark on NFL history with their excellence by allowing just 10.6 points per game that year.

Radish may have had his finest season the following year, where he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by both the Associated Press and UPI. He also was named the winner of the George Halas Award and Linebacker of the Year by Football Digest.

Denver's defense was second in the league in points allowed, and Gradishar was one of five Bronco defenders to go to the Pro Bowl.

Football Digest named him NFL Linebacker of the Year again in 1979. He was once again selected to the Pro Bowl.

Though he failed to make the Pro Bowl in 1980, he did take one interception a career long 93 yards for the last touchdown of his career. He was also named First Team All-NFL by the Sporting News.

Gradishar made the Pro Bowl the next three years before retiring after the 1983 season. He never missed a game in his entire career, an amazing feat for someone playing such a violent position where he had to give up his body on virtually every play to prevent the opponents from success.

Not only was he durable, very intelligent, quick on his feet, and a big hitter, but Gradishar was also a masterful technician. He had the innate ability to diagnose a play and was seldom fooled.

This, along with his foot speed, allowed him to defend just about any opponent on a pass play. This ability allowed Denver the luxury of blitzing their outside linebackers, knowing he could cover their assignments.

His specialty may have been the short-yardage situation. With a superb ability to sift would-be blockers, he often filled the holes the opposing running backs would run to. Though he didn't have the toothless snarl of Jack Lambert or easily seen nastiness of Dick Butkus, he was just as good as those two Hall of Famers.

Some of the best running backs in NFL history, Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett, are on record espousing his tremendous hitting ability. "The chance for a real good shot comes very seldom, but when it's there I take full advantage of it." Gradishar once said.

There have been few linebackers to take the gridiron on his level. He is a member of the Broncos Ring of Honor and Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Why he has yet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is beyond bewildering. He has been a finalist twice and a semi-finalist four times.

Now he is in a gigantic pool of candidates in the Seniors Committee list. Though he should have long been inducted before he made it that far, he is caught in a quagmire of a selection process where no more than two candidates yearly can just make it to the final vote process.

It would behoove Canton to double that, allowing the Seniors Committee to try to induct at least four each year. The backlog of excellent players is too long, and it is frustrating seeing lesser modern players go in as superior players are caught in a numbers crunch that is much harder to win than a slots machine jackpot at a casino.

Watching a player as great as Randy Gradishar wait this long to get his deserved respect truly shows the ineptness of the Canton voter.

Though no one can question the recent inductions of linebackers like Andre Tippett, Ricky Jackson, and Derrick Thomas, no one would ever say that any were better football players than Gradishar.

Though deserving, it is a travesty the much more deserving Gradishar continues to wait on his rightful placement in the hallowed walls of Canton.







Tommy Nobis
6'2" 240
Linebacker
Atlanta Falcons
1966 - 1976
11 Seasons
133 Games Played
5 Pro Bowls
1966 NFL Rookie of the Year



Thomas Henry Nobis Jr. was the first draft pick ever by the expansion Atlanta Falcons in the 1966 NFL draft. He was also the first player chosen overall.

Nobis is a legend in Texas. He was was the only sophomore starter on the Longhorns' 1963 National Championship team.

No bis averaged nearly 20 tackles per game at Texas, and was a two-way player on teams that were ranked first in the nation at some point during each of his three years.

He graced the covers of Life, Sports Illustrated and Time magazines. Nobis won the Knute Rockne, Outland, and Maxwell Awards and finished seventh in the Heisman voting.

Nobis was selected to the Football News All-Time All-America Team, Sports Illustrated's All-Century Team, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-Century Team.

He is also a member of the Texas and Georgia State High School Halls of Fame, Thomas Jefferson High School Alumni Hall of Fame, the San Antonio Hall of Fame, the Longhorn Hall of Honor and the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame.

Nobis started right away for the Falcons, and was very busy on a new team that struggled to a 3-11 record.

He set a Falcons record, that still stands today, when he amassed 294 tackles. It may be an NFL record, but that stat is unofficial and kept by individual teams.

He was named to the Pro Bowl and was the 1966 NFL Rookie of the Year.

Nobis intercepted the first three passes of his career the next season, and returned one for a touchdown. He was also selected to his second Pro Bowl and only First Team All-Pro honor.

In 1968, he was named to his third Pro Bowl, as the struggling Falcons went through a coaching change by hiring Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin after the third week of the season.

Nobis was injured in the fifth game of the following year, and missed the rest of the season. He came back in 1970 and was named to the Pro Bowl. He then was injured in the fourth game of the following season, and missed the rest of the year.

Nobis would only miss two games for the rest of his career. He made his last Pro Bowl in 1972, and also scored the last touchdown of his career.

The 1973 season would be the best record the Falcons had during Nobis' career. They went 9-5. Atlanta won 50 games in his eleven seasons.

His number 60 the first number retired by the team, and he is a member of the Falcons' Ring of Honor, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, and the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame.

He has also been named the NFL Man of the Year (Dodge and Vitalis), and Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. award, due to his work with the Special Olympics as a member of the Falcons front office, and in his own foundation.

Nobis is on the NFL's All-1960s team, which is quite an accomplishment if you consider he didn't even play half of the decade.

It is TRULY astounding that 'Mr. Falcon' still has yet to be inducted into Canton. While he played on many lousy teams, but he was outstanding.

Atlanta got little publicity during his time as a player, but the voters cannot use this as an excuse. These voters are supposed to represent the whole NFL, not just the media driven franchises.

They are supposed to be experts, or at least this is what their positions as voters implies. The exclusion of Nobis for all of these years belies that thought.

Tommy Nobis epitomizes what a Hall of Fame football player is supposed to symbolize. Both on and off the field. It is truly disgraceful, and disrespectful, that he is not in Canton.







Lee Roy Jordan
6'1" 221
Linebacker
Dallas Cowboys
1963 - 1976
14 Seasons
186 Games Played
32 Interceptions
18 Fumble Recoveries
3 Touchdowns
1 Safety
5 Pro Bowls


Lee Roy Jordan was the Dallas Cowboys first draft pick of the 1963 draft. He was the sixth player chosen overall. Jordan was already a gridiron legend in college, after a spectacular career at Alabama University.

In his last game with Alabama in the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma University, Jordan piled up a whopping 30 tackles and was named the games MVP. He is a member of the Alabama Hall Of Fame and the College Football Hall Of Fame.

He only suited up for seven games in his rookie year, but started each game at outside linebacker on the left side. He ended up swiping three interceptions and recovering a fumble.

He was moved to middle linebacker in 1966 and would stay there the rest of his career. This was the time the famous "Doomsday Defense" was at its beginnings, and Jordan was the leader.

He picked off one pass that year and returned it 49 yards for a score that year. Jordan had three interceptions the next year for a career best 85 yards, while scoring another touchdown and recording a safety.

The Cowboys would end up making it to the 1967 NFL Championship Game before losing to the Green Bay Packers in the famous "Ice Bowl". He was named to the first of three consecutive Pro Bowls that season.

Jordan ended up playing in Super Bowl V, the first Super Bowl after the NFL/ AFL merger. The Cowboys ended up losing in the waning seconds to the Baltimore Colts in a game dubbed "The Blunder Bowl" because it was a game that featured 11 turnovers by both teams and 10 penalties against Dallas.

Jordan had two interceptions and a career best three fumble recoveries in 1971. The Cowboys would go on to beat the Miami Dolphins 24 - 3 in Super Bowl VI. It is the only Super Bowl where a team was prevented from scoring a touchdown.

Jordan had two more swipes in 1972, then had a career high six interceptions in 1973. In one game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Jordan picked off three passes in a five-minute span.

He took one ball for a 31 yard touchdown, and was named to the Pro Bowl after the season. He made his final Pro Bowl in 1974 after getting two interceptions.

The 1975 season saw Jordan tie his career high of six interceptions, while leading the Cowboys to Super Bowl X. The Cowboys ended up losing a close game to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jordan again started every game in 1976, but did not record any turnovers for only the second time of his career.

He then retired after that season as the franchises all-time leader in tackles, and his 32 interceptions are still tied for the third most ever by a linebacker in NFL history. Jordan is a member of the Cowboys Ring Of Fame.

There are a few theories as to why Jordan still awaits his call to Canton. One is that he was a member of a fantastic defense that featured Hall Of Fame Defensive Tackle Bob Lilly, along with such greats as George Andrie, Chuck Howley, Jethro Pugh, Charlie Waters, Cornell Green, and Cliff Harris.

Then there is some that say is was because of the genius diagramming of Hall Of Fame Coach Tom Landry that the "Doomsday Defense" was so effective.

Others believe that the voters have some anti-Cowboys bias from that era as well. Maybe all those points have some validity, but you cannot ignore the facts that Jordan has placed in front of all to see through his play on the field.

He was a true leader who always gave it everything he had on every play without fail. Not only was he a tackling machine, but the man helped get the ball back for his teams offense over 50 times in his career.

Jordan gathered a turnover in every 3.72 games he played in his career, an outstanding percentage. His three interception game was named one of the ten most memorable moments in the history of Texas Stadium in 2008.

Not a big man in size or stature, Jordan's heart was immeasurable, and he was one of the top linebackers in the NFL almost every year that he played.

When you see the late Derrick Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs inducted, though deservedly so, it can make one wonder. Thomas was known for just rushing the passer, and was not the complete player that Jordan was.

Lee Roy Jordan certainly is deserving of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.








Sam Mills
5'9" 229
Linebacker
New Orleans Saints
1986-1997
12 Seasons
181 Games Played
23 Fumbles Recovered
4 Touchdowns
5 Pro Bowls


Samuel Davis Mills Jr. went undrafted in 1981, then tried out with the Cleveland Browns and was cut. He then tried out with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and was cut again.

The United States Football League began playing in 1983 and Mills tried out for the Philadelphia Stars. Not only did he make the team, he became an instant success. Nicknamed the "Field Mouse", the 5'9" Mills was known for his leadership and intensity both on and off the field.

The USFL folded after 1985, but it did have many successes. Six members of the USFL are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including four players. Mills played in the USFL Championship Game all three seasons, winning twice. He is a member of the USFL All-Time Team, and was named All-USFL, their version of the Pro Bowl, all three years.

David Dixon created the USFL. He also was instrumental in bringing the Saints to New Orleans. His connections with the USFL proved to be valuable when that league folded as he signed many former USFL personnel.

He hired Jim Mora Sr. as his head coach, Bobby Hebert as his starting quarterback, Chuck Commiskey as a starting offensive guard, Buford Jordan as the starting fullback, Antonio Gibson as the starting strong safety, Mel Gray as the return specialist, and Mills and Vaughn Johnson as his starting inside linebackers. Mora had coached Mills, Commiskey, and Gibson in the USFL.

The Saints already had Hall of Famer Ricky Jackson at one outside linebacker slot, and had just drafted future Pro Bowler Pat Swilling to bookend him. Teamed with Mills and Johnson, New Orleans has one of the best linebacker corps in NFL history. The group was so devastating that they were called "The Dome Patrol".

Mills was the leader of the group and made his first Pro Bowl in his second season. He was always around the ball and averaged almost 100 tackles a year in his nine season with the Saints. He also took two fumble recoveries in for touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl four times total.

When his contract expired in 1994, the Saint allowed the 36-year old to leave despite the fact he had just piled up a career high 155 tackles that year for them. Mills signed with the expansion Carolina Panthers determined to show he had a lot of football still in him. He became an instant hero for the Panthers.

The 1996 season was one of his best. He was named to the Pro Bowl and was also given his only First Team All-Pro honor. Mills had a career best 5.5 sacks to go with 122 tackles and became the oldest player in NFL history to recover a fumble and return it for a score.

He retired after the 1997 season and became a linebackers coach for Carolina. He found out he had intestinal cancer and only had a few months to live in 2003, but kept coaching and pleading for his players to "keep pounding". This inspired Carolina to reach Super Bowl XXXVIII that year.

Mills died in 2005 and the Panthers have a statue of him outside of their stadium in his honor. He is a member of the Panthers Hall of Honor, the Saints Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey, and the College Football Hall of Fame.

There is still a good chance Mills will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day. Though critics may say his five Pro Bowls with the NFL isn't enough for induction, that means they are discounting what he did in the USFL.

The USFL was professional football, and Mills was a huge star in that league. The building in Canton has the words Pro Football" engraved on their buildings, signs, and letterheads everywhere. The USFL obviously had tremendous impact and influence on the NFL as well.

His is a story of perseverance. The "American Dream" that became reality. Even if Mills never gets into Canton, he is probably the greatest inside linebacker the Saints franchise ever had wear their jersey.








Bill Bergey
6'4" 243
Philadelphia Eagles
1969-1980
12 Seasons
159 Games Played
27 Interceptions
21 Fumble Recoveries
5 Pro Bowls


William Earl Bergey was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 1969 AFL draft out of Arkansas State and was an AFL All-Star in his first year. Bergey started for the Bengals for five years.

He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1974 for two first-round and one second-round draft picks because he had signed a "futures contract" with the World Football League.

The WFL folded, so he went to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Bergey went to four straight Pro Bowls, and became the highest-paid defensive player in the league.

He earned Eagles MVP status three times. Bergey recorded 233 tackles in a single season with the Eagles. After Philadelphia lost to Oakland in Super Bowl XV, Bergey retired in 1980 with 48 turnovers, which means he got the ball back for his teams every 3.3 games.

Bergey is a member of the Bengals 40th Anniversary Roster, the Eagles Honor Roll, and the city of Buffalo's Hall of Fame. Though he was excellent in Cincinnati, it was with Philadelphia he enjoyed his best years in the NFL.

In his five years with the Bengals, Bergey had 9 interceptions and 6 fumble recoveries.

He accumulated 18 interceptions and 15 fumble recoveries in seven seasons as an Eagle.

He was a tackling machine that allowed fellow Eagle linebackers John Bunting, Frank LeMaster and Jerry Robinson to excel.

When you talk of the rich history of the Eagles, names like Van Buren, Bednarik, McDonald, White, Montgomery, Carmichael, and Bill Bergey roll off the tongues of most die hard Philly fans.

He may not get into Canton, but he is a Hall of Fame player in my book.








Hardy Nickerson
6'2" 230
Linebacker
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1987-2002
16 Seasons
225 Games Played
1990s All-Decade Team
5 Pro Bowls


Hardy Otto Nickerson was drafted in the fifth round of the 1987 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. After spending his rookie year as a reserve, he soon moved into the starting lineup and became a solid member of the team.

He signed with the Buccaneers as a free agent in 1993, and blossomed in the 4-3 base defense that head coach Tony Dungy ran. He was named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl in his first season after setting a team record with a whopping 214 tackles that still stands today.

Though he never exceeded 147 tackles in a season for the rest of his career, Nickerson was the fiery, intelligent leader of the defense and was called "The Dragon" by teammates and fans.

In 1996, he went to the Pro Bowl again, something he would continue to do until 1999. He also was named First Team All-Pro in 1997, and was honored with the Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award for his work in the community and country.

He became a free agent after his last Pro Bowl season of 1999, so he signed a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He got hurt after six games, missing the rest of the season.

The 2001 season saw him get a career high three interceptions and nine defended passes. He then signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2002, then retired at the end of the season.

Nickerson is a member of the NFL 1990's All-Decade Second Team. No other Buccaneers middle linebacker has more tackles than him and he has the third most in team history.

His getting inducted into Canton may seem a long shot to some, but Nickerson's career stacks up next to some of the greatest middle linebackers in NFL history. His longevity also shows how tough he was and how much he had.








Karl Mecklenburg
6'3" 240
Linebacker
Denver Broncos
1983-1994
12 Seasons
180 Games Played
79 Sacks
6 Pro Bowls


Karl Bernard Mecklenburg was drafted in the 12th round of the 1983 draft by the Denver Broncos, the 310th player chosen overall. He made the team as a rookie, but started out playing defensive end.

He was able to work his way on the field by impressing the coaches with his determination. After getting a pair of sacks as a rookie, he was used as a pass rush specialist the next year and got seven more. He also picked off two passes and returned them for 105 yards.

Denver knew they had to find a way to get Mecklenburg on the field, and they also wanted to upgrade their linebacking unit. Joe Collier, the Broncos legendary defensive coordinator, decided to try him at inside linebacker.

Though he split time with incumbent starter Rick Dennison, Mecklenburg was still able to rack up a career high 13 sacks. He was named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl despite starting just nine games.

He took over as a full-time starter in 1986 and was named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl again after getting 9.5 sacks. Denver would reach the Super Bowl, but lost.

The Broncos would go back to the Super Bowl in 1987 and 1989, but lost each time. Mecklenburg was a big reason for their success. In 1987, he went to the Pro Bowl after getting the last three interceptions of his career.

He was named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl in 1989 after scoring the first touchdown of his career, which came off of a fumble recovery. He scored off another fumble the next year, as well as recording a safety.

From 1986 to 1997, Mecklenburg was one of the best linebackers in all of football. He wasn't just a pass rusher, though he did pile up 55.5 sacks over that time, but he was also a tackling machine.

Starting in 1986, Mecklenburg had at least 100 tackles every year until 1986 except for the 97 he had in the strike shortened 1987 season. He had 99 tackles in 1997. After getting 68 in 1998, his lowest total as a full-time starter, he retired.

Nicknamed the "Albino Rhino" by teammates, he has the second most tackles and sacks in Broncos history. His 180 games played are the third most ever as well.

No other Broncos linebacker has been to the Pro Bowl six times, and his three First Team All-Pro nods are tied as the second most in franchise history. He is a member of the Broncos Ring of Honor.

Mecklenburg was a winner, as shown by his helping Denver reach the Super Bowl three times. His was career not expected, so the term "self-made man" certainly applies in his care.

Through determination, he ended his career on the same level as Randy Gradishar. Many consider Gradishar the greatest Broncos linebacker ever, but Mecklenburg is not far behind.

Besides missing seven games in 1988, and one the next year, he took the field every time his team did. Consistent, tough, and fiery, Karl Mecklenburg had a career certainly worthy of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.








Jessie Tuggle
5'11" 230
Linebacker
Atlanta Falcons
1987-2000
14 Seasons
209 Games Played
6 Touchdowns
5 Pro Bowls


Jessie Lloyd Tuggle Jr went undrafted in 1987 despite having a career at Valdosta State University that had him inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He signed with Atlanta and soon found himself starting at left inside linebacker after 1980 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Buddy Curry went down with a career-ending injury.

He split time with Joel Williams the next year, starting in eight games. He was still able to rack up 103 tackles and score a touchdown off of a fumble recovery. Atlanta then handed him the job full-time the rest of his career, and he missed just three starts over that time.

After getting 183 tackles in 1989, he had 201 tackles and a career high five quarterback sacks the next year. He also took a fumble 65 yards for a touchdown.

He followed that up in 1991 with a career-best 207 tackles, and scored again off of a fumble recovery. He also had his first career interception.

The 1992 season saw him finally get recognized as a Pro Bowler after somehow not being named in either of his two previous stellar seasons. He had 193 tackles, and interception, and he scored off a career-long 69 yard fumble recovery.

After getting 185 tackles the next year, he returned to the Pro Bowl in 1994 after getting 93 tackles. The 1994 season was the last time he exceeded 100 tackles, when he had 111.

He also had a career high three interceptions, the last of his career. One was returned for a touchdown, and he made the Pro Bowl again.

After making the Pro Bowl in 1997, he made his last Pro Bowl the next year. He also scored his last touchdown, which happened off of a fumble recovery.

The Falcons would reach Super Bowl XXXIII, their only championship appearance in franchise history, but lost.

He had 3.5 sacks in 1999, but missed two games. After missing half of the 2000 season, he retired with a Falcons record of 1,640 tackles.

His five fumble recoveries for touchdowns was an NFL record until Jason Taylor of the Miami Dolphins surpassed it by one in 2009.

"The Hammer" has his jersey retired by the Falcons, and he is a member of the team's Ring of Honor.

Tommy Nobis may be the best Falcon middle linebacker ever, but Tuggle is right up there with him. Being the ultimate team player that he was, Tuggle still has a shot at induction into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.






Mike Curtis
6'3" 232
Linebacker
Baltimore Colts
1965-1978
14 Seasons
166 Games Played
25 Interceptions
3 Touchdowns
4 Pro Bowls
1970 AFC Defensive Player of the Year


James Michael Curtis was drafted in the first round of the 1965 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts. He initially played fullback and even ran the ball six times as a rookie, as well a catching a pass.

The Colts switched him to linebacker the next year, where he played on the weak side. Though he started seven games in 1966, he did score off a fumble recovery. He got hurt in the third game of 1967, missing the rest of the year.

Curtis rebounded strong in 1968, helping lead the Colts to Super Bowl III after being named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl. In Baltimore's first playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings, Curtis took a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown.

He had an interception in the Colts 34-0 win over the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship and helped hold Cleveland's powerful running game to 58 yards.

Baltimore switched him to middle linebacker in 1969. Curtis responded by being named First Team All-Pro. He got a career best five interceptions in 1970, helping the Colts win their division.

After getting an interception in a first round win over the Cincinnati Bengals, he picked off another pass in Super Bowl V as the Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys 16-13.

He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year by the NFL 101 Club for all of his accomplishments that year.

He was a captain on the Colts most of his time with them, known for his intensity and mean streak. Many called him the meanest player of his era.

He made the Pro Bowl in 1971 and 1974 again for Baltimore, and was named the team MVP in that 1974 season. He got hurt in 1975 and was able to play just six games.

The Colts left him exposed to the expansion draft, so the Seattle Seahawks grabbed him. He was moved to outside linebacker again, where he started every game.

Curtis, who grew up in suburban Maryland, asked to be traded closer to home. Seattle acquiesced by dealing him to the Washington Redskins before the 1977 season. Curtis retired after 1978.

Many fans who saw him play think Curtis is one of the most underrated middle linebackers of his era, in spite of the many accolades he attained. They point to Hall of Famers like Willie Lanier and Nick Buoniconti being in his way of more Pro Bowl accolades.

The fact is that Curtis was more than a vicious hitter who brought violent collisions. He was very athletic, being one of the very first players to ever retire with at least 20 interceptions and sacks in a career.

His 21 interceptions with Baltimore is still the third most ever by a Colts linebacker. His presence also helped fellow linebackers, and Colts legends, like Stan White and Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks be even more effective.

As the years pass, his chances for going into Canton dwindle. Yet Mike Curtis certainly did have a career worthy of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Whatever. whenever, whereever- The future
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Cardinals Pujols and the future


    Thoughts from and Island Girl

 

 

 

     I was fretting recently over the potential loss of future Hall-of-Famer,   Albert Pujols and it indeed looked like this season was going to be a trainwreck.    The Cardinals in the offseason signed Lance Berkman and although he appeared to be a nice get,  it wasn't a deal  that made you feel good about the upcoming season,  or the future,   Boy, was I wrong.     I know that it is very early in the season and baseball is a game of streaks,   however this winning streak and hot play,   has come at just the right time.   

 

   As it is I am still ruminating over the things that are going on in my life.    From the disappearance of Marizela Perez,  the Japanese disasters,   to my own struggled with depression,  I need this,     I need a chance to breathe and 

 

some instant clarity.       St. Louis started off fast last year too but that was a different team and I believe management may know a lot more than some college girl,  about running an organization.     As erxpected the Cincinnati Reds seem to be the team to beat,  but at least now the Cardinals are not like six games under .500 and they just scored three more runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers,  to garner a 5-1 lead,  in the fifth inning,  

  As the Cardinals go,  so go I and for now,  the going is acceptable.    Kyle Lohse is having a good run too at 2-1 and Jaime Garcia strong at 2-0.    We were seeing signs last year of the demise of Chris Carpenter and he has struggled this year,  giving us a sense that his days are numbered.    Depending on how this season goes,  he could be traded.    I am still not too worried about the start by Jake Westbrook.   I believe he will be fine.  

    Another thing that has bothered me is the bashing of Ryan Mallet.   It seems that ESPN and their merry band of clucking hen reporters,  are still trying to get back at Coach Bobby Petrino for leaving the Altanta Falcons and Mike Vick,  to the Arkansas Razborbacks.     Arkansas is now getting the last laugh in that matter.       But back to Mallet,   the spread rumors about the guy but let criminals like Scam Newton slide.     We all know that Scam is dirtier than a drunken prostitute on skid row,   but the haters want to bash Mallet.     In time,   Scam will take a seat next to fellow con man and smoke some Hippie Lettuce,   while Mallet and Tim Tebow,   make liars of the frauds who call themselves objective reporters.

 

http://youtu.be/weRHyjj34ZE 

 

 

 

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