Friday, July 30, 2010

Driving & The Idiots Who Do It

Okay, so on my way home from Starbucks today (pulling out of the parking lot to be precise). Now, it's a short road to get back to the interstate, turning right out of parking lot and getting over into the left lane.

A truck driver waived me out, so I started to pull out and signaled to get further over to the left lane. First lady was talking on phone, sped up, wouldn't let me over. Second lady, same deal. Finally someone was going to let me over, when the idiot girl in the car behind me who jumped out of the Starbucks parking lot right after me, jumped over and took my spot getting over.

The two women who sped up to not let me over were both getting onto the interstate. The lady behind me who jumped out on my spot and cut me off, instead of having to turn left onto the interstate, was just going straight (which the right lane does).

I've said for years that everyone is just in a hurry to go nowhere. So much so, that the stop at Starbucks consumes so much of this time that they don't actually need, that they have to cause everyone else a few more seconds of trouble in their own trip to nowhere. All it does is piss everyone else off along with you being so miserable that 3 seconds was taken out of your trip to wait for someone to get over into the next lane on a short road so that they could get onto the interstate instead of driving out of the way to turn around and come back.

People do not appreciate their lives or the world in which their lives serve some God-given significance to the universe. These people would much rather focus on their cell-phone than to drive safely and wise (I ended up passing both of the cell users within a half mile on the interstate and lost them in my rearview, without speeding). They would much rather pull a stupid move to cut you off in your lane-change to go straight when you needed that lane change in order to make your turn.

All I'm saying is, take a few seconds to realize that losing a few seconds in your day to help everything move smooth for everyone else will only make things move smooth for you as well.

Washington Redskins vs. Albert Haynesworth

Okay, I know this damn topic has been run into the ground, but I've got to add some thought to it, especially after the transgressions of the past few days.

It all started Wednesday when Albert Haynesworth showed up a day early to training camp to meet with coaches [Mike] Shanahan and [Jim] Haslett (and I'm sure the defensive line, linebackers, and safeties coaches were all present as well). Haynesworth committed to the team for training camp on Wednesday and was cool with being told he'd have to participate in conditioning drills in order to get on the practice field with the team. Apparently all was well.

Haynesworth showed up 32 lbs. lighter than his standard 352, down to 320, he's looking like a 4-3 DT, or a 3-4 DE (which in all honesty COULD be the exact same position). This is enough to show me he's somewhat committed to this job.

Haynesworth was asked to run three trials of a 300 yard sprint (this is more than most coaches would ever think to request of the players on their team). From what I've been told, Haynesworth ran the first and second, and skipped out midway through the third to use the facilities (no, not in the way he's BEEN using them all offseason). But then apparently came back out and worked out with Haslett on the sidelines learning the scheme a bit.

Last night when walking off of the practice field, Albert apparently told NBC4, "I'm tired of this bullsh*t, I just want to get on field & play." I've been told by Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes that "hey, it happens" in regards to Haynesworth needing to use the bathroom; so I'm willing to forgive and forget if Haynesworth can come out without a bathroom issue and finish his test. As far as getting on the field and playing... I hope Haynesworth has committed 100% to this team.

Warren Sapp told me once that, "Haynesworth has a great reason to be displeased with the scheme change, because his job is now to get beat up rather than do the beating." Speaking with common sense, I can't see a coach utilizing players to their weaknesses and not their strengths. I really don't believe that Shanahan told Haynesworth he'd DEFINITELY be a full-time Nose Tackle in our 3-4 defense, and with the weight-loss, it appears Haynesworth has DEFINITELY committed to being a 3-4 DE.

Considering the conditions of the field at yesterdays practice, I'm happy to hear that Albert didn't collapse from exhaustion, dehydration, heat stroke, or even severe cramps from the heat and humidity, which is very common.

I'm ready for the season, that's what training camp does to people. And if Haynesworth, even for just one season, wants to play football for the Redskins, I am ready to forget the horrible offseason he has had. And I just hope that he lives up to all the potential he's got, because at DE in a 3-4 scheme, Albert Haynesworth could truly cement his legacy.

Sly Stilla

I'm very upset at the moment. I've just encountered via FB, another person who goes by the name Sly Stilla.

I've been using the name Sly Stilla since I was about 11 years old (so roughly around 1998). This upsets me, because I never once saw someone else use the name on Myspace or FB, nor anywhere else for that matter. Any searches of Sly Stilla in Google normally redirected to myself.

For a little background on the name, it all started from a fight during a game of basketball with some of my friends and a couple people who played basketball with us at the school behind where I used to live. This guy and I got in a fight over a hard foul (fairly commonplace material). He hit me and ran around the school, and a friend of mine told me to cut him off because he was just going to cut around. I ran up around the other side of the building and hid behind the corner, peeking around to make sure he was coming. I waited for him to get close enough, and then jumped out and hit him. He dropped.

Now while it WAS a cheap shot, it was fair play and revenge for the cheap shot he threw on me, not only with the punch, but the hard foul as well. Anyways, my friend Devin quickly remarked, "Aye he hit him smooth on the sly... stealin' niggas..." and that's where the name was born... Sly Stilla, the sneak attack.

So while this other guy sits here on FB with the name and his petty 2 friends and picture rapping into a pop-filter... I've got the story, blood, sweat, and tears behind my own name. Sly Stilla is ME, and I never thought I'd have a copycat with this name.

Reminiscing (v.England & France)

Okay, so in an effort to get a scrapbook of my trip together, I'm going through pictures of the vacation and memories are flaring up left and right. To point out the obvious, it's amazing what photographs can capture. It's more than just an image, it's capturing a moment which triggers the memory of a series of moments. Looking through this folder, I'm pretty much reliving every moment of the trip.

I didn't get to partake in visiting every major landmark, and definitely not even half of the things worthy of visiting in London, or France for that matter. As a result of going back to the flat before rushing back out, I missed my opportunity to visit one of my favorite landmarks in Tower Bridge (we crossed it on bus plenty, but didn't go up in it to cross it at the top). We didn't walk on board the H.M.S. Belfast, or suffer in line (even in April) for Madame Tussauds. We didn't risk passing out waiting to buy tickets only to wait longer to take the lift up the Eiffel Tower, nor did we walk into the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Back in London, we didn't walk across the Millenium Bridge or witness the Changing of the Guards.

Needless to say, I've still got plenty to do when I return to England. And instead of a weekend, I think a day trip is in order for France (there's only so many beggars with default signs I can handle).

For anyone who is trying to decide whether to take these trips or not, if you've got the means, please just do it. From someone who actually never considered leaving the country, let alone choosing France as one of the places I'd be going... I can assure you that I know you'd regret never going if you've got the opportunity. If even just to common around and shop and not really visit the historical landmarks... both countries are still incredible and breathtaking.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jack Tatum... Rest In Paradise

Born in 1987, growing up in the 90's in DC suburbs... Maryland had 2 directions to follow in professional football. The obvious choice (and quite obviously the one I went with) was to root for the home team, the Washington Redskins. And what better time, in the midst of a dynasty, Coach Joe Gibbs and his Hogs, Riggins, Monk, Green, Manley, Mann, Grimm... the Redskins had won three titles in the Joe Gibbs era, the third coming early in my life, 1991 vs. the Buffalo (Bitch of the NFC East) Bills.

Then there was the disgusting, putrid, bandwagon love of the Cowboys so many had so quickly when Dallas won back to back championships (the two years after the Redskins). People so desperate to cheer for a winner, they abandoned the Redskins and cheered for the arch-rival.

But in my home, my father was a rebel, in every sense of the word. My father ( Dixie flag tattoos, skullcaps, lighters, etc.) fits in with the South as well as anyone. People in the North would never confuse him for a northerner. People in the South can only confuse him for a northerner based on the fact he's spent most of his life living North of where they live. But my father also rebelled in DC sports. He didn't cheer for the Redskins, or his dad's favorite Cowboys (being from Virginia/Tennessee, he was free to make this choice)... but instead, he went with the dynasty of his day, one of the nastiest teams ever... the Oakland Raiders.

Needless to say, growing up I was exposed to the history of the Raiders along with the Redskins, so the greats stand out for me as well as any. Stabler, Jackson, the true Madden team... and of course, Jack Tatum.

Anyone who has ever watched a highlight video of huge NFL hits, has seen Jack Tatum's hits. He was a punishing defender who felt the need to dismantle the ball carrier rather than just dissect the football from is grasp. This led to one of the most controversial hits of all time, when Patriots Wide Receiver Darryl Stingley ran a route right into Tatum's zone (a hit referred to as "The Crash"). The two collided (on a perfectly legal hit even in today's standard) violently. The controversy comes when you consider it was a pre-season game, and the need to be that violent didn't exist yet. But Tatum loved football, and was never one to pull up on a play, no matter what. Coaches see that and cut men from the roster... Tatum wasn't going to be cut. Stingley was paralyzed as a result of the hit, and many feel as though Tatum has been kept out of the Hall of Fame as a result of the devastating hit he placed on Stingley.

But enough of the controversial hit, there are plenty others, like the hit on Earl Campbell (one of the most powerful runners of all time). Jack Tatum wasn't the biggest guy, or the faster, but he played with an instinct very few had, have, or ever will have. And for someone who played in the secondary and not linebacker, to hit like he did... automatically makes him one of the most feared players ever.

Tatum passed away on the 27th of July, 2010 from a massive heart attack. Raider Nation mourns this loss, but so should the rest of the NFL world. Whether you're religious or not (I am and shouldn't be forced to embrace your beliefs if you don't and won't ever embrace mine)... God has chosen another safety to play for his team in the Heavens... and any ballcarrier who gets on Jack Tatum's RADAR, may the Lord have no mercy on their soul.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Need Viewers...

...I need viewers, comments, etc. Whatever I'm doing (or not doing) isn't working right now. Any ideas on what else I can do with the blog?