Week 2: NFL Winners/ Losers

If you followed my Twitter Sunday then you know I gave everyone my picks for the NFL games and fantasy football players to watch. The smart thing to do is check with me every week to make sure you are on top of your game. I took a lot of heat for a few of my picks, but as you should expect, I was right (13-16. That’s 81% but who’s counting)! People told me I needed to be committed for picking the Colts, Cowboys, Broncos, and Falcons to lose. Arian Foster, Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Hakim Nicks were all starters on my fantasy teams last week. He who laughs last laughs hardest! Enough of my resume, here are my Week 2 picks and fantasy studs:
Ravens vs Bengals- I hate to say it but the Bengals will start the season 0-2. They will rebound later in the season but the Ravens have one of best Defenses and Offenses in the league. RAVENS
Bears vs Cowboys– Dallas will rebound this week. Chicago had trouble scoring against Detroit. Don’t expect much better against the Cowboys. COWBOYS
Eagles vs Lions– No Matthew Stafford. No win. The Lions D will be hard pressed to lay a finger on Vick. EAGLES
Dolphins vs Vikings– Expect a big rebound by the Vikings on the back of Adrian Peterson. He may get the 40-50 carries he wants. VIKINGS
Patriots vs Jets– Randy Moss will build a mansion on Revis island and have a BIG game. The Jets offense can’t score enough to beat the Pats. PATRIOTS
Giants vs Colts– Colts get back on track and Peyton Manning continues his assault on the NFL record book. COLTS
Other Winners: Falcons, Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders, Texans, Chargers, Packers, Saints, Buccaneers, Steelers (My heart will not allow me to pick against the Ducks, go Dennis Dixon!)

QB: Peyton Manning, Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Shaub, Drew Brees
RB: Adrian Peterson, DeAngelo Williams, Jamaal Charles, Reggie Bush, Ray Rice
WR: Eddie Royal, Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings, Randy Moss, Brandon Marshall, Miles Austin
TE: Antonio Gates, Jermichael Finley, Vishante Shiancoe, Jason Witten, Vernon Davis
Def: Eagles, Cowboys, Patriots, Raiders, Packers

Masoli: Sports Illustrated

First off, thanks to Sports Illustrated and Michael McKnight for doing a great job researching this information and shedding light on the facts involved with this situation. Far too often, reporters and writers are quick to demonize athletes more frequently than they tend to sensationalize them. It’s front page news for days when someone is accused of wrongdoing, but a retraction or reprint of the story with the facts rarely happens.

When news first broke about Oregon Ducks QB Jermiah Masoli being arrested for theft and subsequently pleading guilty I was shocked and embarrassed. From all accounts I had heard from coaches and players from U of O Masoli was a good, intelligent kid with a degree in Sociology and a good leader for the football team. This is proof that the pen is truly mightier than the sword. The media was coming at him full force but he could not juke or run over these defenders. Far too often, we as readers take what we read as fact instead of doing our own research. I am guilty so I immediately went on the attack. I was pissed because we had a dumb, thug, punk, knucklehead kid ruin our chance at a National Championship. I wanted to know why could he be so stupid , but who cares how great of a player he is; good riddance to these bad apples bringing the program down.

Is Jeremiah Masoli a thug or a victim of circumstance and a bad decision? After reading this Sports Illustrated article and reading court documents my opinion dramatically changed. Evidence points to the only thing Masoli is guilty of is bad judgement in the robbery situation. He was one of the most recognizable students on campus so lying about his whereabouts was a terrible idea. Then everyone asked why did he plead guilty if he was innocent. In a perfect world you should never admit guilt when you are not guilty. If you were faced with the possibility of 2-4 years in prison because Oregon has mandatory minimum sentences, a District Attoney with a high conviction rate, and you knew you lied; what would you do?
Part of me feels bad for Jeremiah Masoli because he is getting a bum wrap as a thug and a thief, but the weed…he is on his own for that one. Even after he got in trouble he was going to be reinstated if he met the terms head coach Chip Kelly set for him. He should have been walking a fine line.
All in all, Jeremiah Masoli you still have love from the Ducks. I hope he does well at Ole Miss and can do enough to repair his image when the NFL comes knocking.
Should he have been kicked out of school? Let me know what you think!

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is now charging fees up to $45 for people bringing carry on bags that are too big to fit under the seat or in storage bins. Are they kidding me? This is robbery, but Spirit says it’s to save time. They want to charge you a fee for everything. What’s next? A seat belt fee, a breathing air fee, or maybe a bathroom fee. There is one fee I wish they would charging, a $50 farting fee. If you fart and stink up the plane, you should have to pay. lol.

Delorean, Only the Greatest Car Ever

My trainer, Travelle Gaines, is one of the funniest guys alive. I’m pretty sure there is something wrong with him, but that’s another story. He will never win a pop culture quiz, but he’s really really strong! Travelle eats dumbbells and could single-handedly raise a million dollars in a Jump-A-Thon! He is very intelligent and knowledgeable, weird combo! Apparently he is one of 12 people born in the US in the 80’s who has not seen Back to the Future. SMH. Back to the Future!! I mean that’s a classic. It’s like growing up and not watching The Cosby Show, Transformers or eating Fruit Loops, just odd. So the other day we were out and I saw a “Delorean”, when I pointed it out, he had no clue what I was talking about.
Travelle Gaines, “What’s a Delorean”
My response, “Only the greatest car ever”
Travelle, “What does one of these Deloreans you speak of look like”
Me, “Haven’t you seen Back to the Future”?
Travelle, “Is that a movie”?
By this time, I realized we were getting nowhere, and I couldn’t get him to sit down (I’m convinced he has ADHD) and watch the movie, so I made it my mission to find one on the streets of LA. Just my luck the other day while going to my son’s tee ball game I saw a Delorean!!!! So for anyone else who had a deprived childhood and missed Back to the Future, here is a Delorean. Your life is now complete, don’t thank me!!
Actual Delorean I saw!
Imitation Back to the Future Delorean.

Actual Back to the Future Delorean… Replica

Veggie Grill

My friend Julie Morris, who I went to high school with is a 15 year vegan and has a cooking show on YouTube. Jules has been insistent on opening my eyes to this Vegan world. So I finally agreed to meet up with Jules, TK & Maggie P at Veggie Grill in Redondo Beach. Initially I was hesitant to go because I thought only tree-huggers and anorexic aspiring models ate there. Not so much, I was pleasantly surprised to see all types of bird-food lovers!!!
I didn’t want my first Vegan experience to be too overwhelming so I eased into it with stuff that sounded familiar to me. I had chikin (w/ 2 “I’s) and Veggie carne asada. Can u really call it carne asada when it’s not steak? It’s an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp or act natural. Truth be told, it wasn’t bad. It was actually pretty good. The flavor of the food was great and I loved the sweet potato fries!!

It took me a while to get past my mental carnivore block, but once I spread some organic ketchup on my fries and dipped my “chik” in some vegan sauce I was more than satisfied. I do love vegetables and fruit just like all the herbivores at Veggie Grill, but I love meat as well! So I guess that makes me an omnivore (third grade just paid off shout out to Miss Rhodes @ Double Tree Elementary)
Some of my friends would occasionally go to Veggie spots, but I would always eat before they went and claim I was full to get out of going. Now I would gladly go to a good veggie spot and get some bird food. There could be something to this though…hmmm, Tony Gonzalez is a vegetarian now and he is the best TE of all time. I have modified my diet to eat better but I don’t think I’ll be going that far.

Moral of the story: keep your mind open and try new foods. You never know you might run into something you really like. What is the worst that could happen?
Feel free to follow my Girl Julie on twitter @greenjules and check out her show on JulieMorris.net

It Was all Good 2 Seconds Ago.

Stafon Johnson was the returning leading rusher at USC and a future NFL draft pick, who’s life just got turned upside down. One minute he was lifting weights with NFL dreams in mind, two seconds later he was fighting for his life after his weight bar fell on him crushing his neck and larynx.

Gene Upshaw was successfully running the NFL Player’s Associations and preparing himself for another tough battle with the NFL owners over the collective bargaining agreement. Upshaw went to the doctor on Sunday, because he wasn’t feeling well, found out he had pancreatic cancer and on Wednesday he took his last breath.
Nick Schuyler was enjoying a fishing trip with his boys NFL players Corey Smith, Marquis Cooper and Will Bleakley, when the weather made a turn for the worst and he was the only one left clinching for dear life when the search and rescue team showed up.
Nick Adenhart was a 22 year old rookie pitcher for the Angels who had comeback from major elbow surgery to throw six scoreless innings with his proud father in the stands watching. He was out celebrating that night with friends when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver.
Life is CRAZY!! It’s amazing how suddenly things can change. Your life can look as if it’s moving in one direction and BOOM an atomic bomb hits your world and flips everything upside down. It could be a phone call, a car accident, a letter in the mail, a knock at the door, a tweet, or a blue line on a pregnancy test instead of a pink one. At some point in time it will happen to everybody, no one is immune to life’s cataclysmic upheavals.

You can have the marriage and family you’ve always dreamed of, then the phone rings, or you get a knock at the door. Whether it be the police, another man/woman, or a good friend, your world can come crashing down faster than the Twin Towers. There is no manual or instructions for preparing for the unexpected and heart breaking. Even if there was one, it wouldn’t work. No one can predict or plan how they will feel, react, or respond to news that the ‘World’ they once knew has been turned upside down.
I still remember being woke up in the middle of the night to phone calls and texts that my teammate and friend Richard Collier had been shot and was fighting for his life. One day he was battling for a starting position on the Jaguars O-line, the next he was dealing with the fact that he would never walk again. Big Rich is an extraordinary man who I admire and respect so much for how he has dealt with this situation and how he has continued to live his life and not take any day for granted.
You have to cherish each and every moment you have with those you love because things can change in an instant and you don’t want to be left saying, “I wish I would have…” “If I would have only…”. ESPN Sports Columnist Jemele Hill wrote an article remembering a good friend of hers that was killed in an auto-accident. In that article she wrote, “I’ve come to the conclusion that in the five year’s since Danny’s death IF is the cruelest word in the English language”. That is so very true. The shoulda, woulda, couldas, and ifs can mentally beat you down to the point where you blame yourself.
We spend so much time trying to get ahead, finish our degree, grind, get in shape, and achieve maximum success that sometimes we forget to cherish the present. Family, friends, loved ones, health and life in general are invaluable commodities that we sometimes neglect to appreciate will striving to obtain personal goals and material things. Let’s not wait for a life-threatening injury, disease, dismantling of a marriage, a loss loved one, an end of a career or something major for us to take a step back and appreciate the blessings we have.

Damn Phone… Ring!!!

Being a free agent after the season starts is like going out on a great first date and sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring…. And waiting… And waiting…. Trying to figure out if anything went wrong…. Calling her friends to see what she said… Does she like you? Was she happy? How come she hasn’t called? So then you call her, voicemail. Damn!!! What now??? It’s okay, no biggie, you’re great, you guys had a great time, you made her laugh, you made her think, she’ll call. So you settle down, gather your thoughts, and formulate your plan so you are ready when she calls back.

The Plan: Keep working hard. Maintain the best shape I have ever been in. Stay focused and don’t listen to the nay-sayers. Get my post-football career jump started. Watch every down of football possible and visualize being out on the field again, and most importantly, Keep God first. Seven years ago when I started this NFL journey I set goals and I have not achieved all of them yet. So I am in no way done!! Injuries have slowed the process of me reaching some of my goals but I am stronger, in better shape, and a better athlete now because of them. My hunger for playing football and winning has never been greater. I can’t yet look back on my football career so far, because my future is way too bright. I have plenty of good playing years left!

The NFL is kinda like a big barrel of water. When you are playing your hand is in the bucket, your status as a player determines how deep your hand goes in the barrel, but as soon as you are either injured or out of the league your hand comes out of the barrel and the hole where your hand was closes up like it was never there. It does not matter whether you are Tom Brady or Montell Owens (Jaguars). There will always be someone to replace you (Matt Cassell). I always thought I appreciated the privilege of playing in the NFL but you never know how much you miss something until you can’t have it like you used to.

It’s funny how everything changes when you are not playing. Friends that used to call you for tickets don’t call anymore because you don’t have any. People look at you funny when you don’t pay for EVERYTHING anymore. I even had somebody tell me “you need just give it up and do something else, your career is over”. I was like blown away, are you serious? They must not know me. Hello, my name is George F. Wrighster III, and I’ve made a career out of doubters. Teams have called and inquired but some have doubts about my health. Whoever takes a chance will end up with one of the best transactions of the year because I’m on my Suga Free, “I stay ready so I ain’t gotta get ready”.

Although this process has been long, hard and at times tested my faith, I know I’m a better man because of it. I’ve used this time to reflect and grow. This waiting period has had its share of unexpected blessings. I’ve had the opportunity to weed out the real people from the fake “hangeroners”. I have been able to spend so much time with my 3 yr old son, who is my pride and joy and motivation to keep going forward. I’ve been able to make all his basketball and tee ball games and practices. I’ve learned that I really love writing my blog. I get a tremendous joy from knowing people find my blogs thought provoking and interesting. My body is finally 100% healthy, something I haven’t been able to say since the beginning of my 4th year. There have been some positives to this situation, but I can’t wait for that damn phone to ring!!!!

Merriman, Nowitzki, and Me!!!

I woke up this morning to the news of Shawn Merriman being arrested and all I could do was shake my head in disappointment. Not so much at him but at us athletes in general. Sometimes we put ourselves in some really bad/volatile situations and wonder why we get in the predicaments we do. Sometimes we think we are invincible, but the reality is we are actually more vulnerable and have more at stake than the average person. How many of us have to get shot, robbed, killed, or arrested before we change our lifestyles? You would think the media exposure alone would cause us to make better decisions with our personal lives, but it doesn’t.

When I was younger I used to watch a movie called DC cab, and it had a line in it that I will never forget. It said “Don’t let ya dick run ya life”. Too many times we fall victim to our own lack of self-discipline. The same thing (discipline) that makes us good/successful athletes is the same thing that we display the inability to use. We find ourselves chasing after the “flavor of the week”, or every aspiring “model/actress” in VIP. The end result of that is gonna be #FAIL (as my twitter homies would say). I mean real talk, you don’t want a baby mama. It ain’t cute, it causes unnecessary drama, and if you are any type of father it sucks not to go home to your kid(s) every night. And if you already have a child, you can’t bring the female you met at the club home. She can’t be a good mother to your child. She was just “P” poppin’ in the club.

Am I pointing fingers? Yes. At everyone and myself. I have been places I shouldn’t have been, doing things I had no business doing. I have been involved with women I knew were “all bad” for me, but I was just “having fun” trying to date the hottest chicks possible. It’s hard to make mature decisions when you are young, on your own for the first time, with a pocketful of money and everything in the movies and music videos at your disposal, but it’s not a good excuse. When I was in college I did something stupid (1 of many things) and my parents were having a “talk” with me and my dad said “G you are tripping what are you thinking about, you are not making wise choices”. My mother said You are expecting him to make decisions like a 40 year old man. Now, years later, I sit back and understand what she was saying. I was being immature and stupid. I was making decisions with my other “head” and that didn’t stop in college. I know now what I was doing and wish more athletes would stop making the same dumb mistakes they see other athletes make and actually learn from their predecessors. When are we gonna stop thinking “I’m different and it won’t happen to me”. No you aren’t and yes it will!!

We blame the media for only focusing on the negative things athletes do, but we don’t take responsibility for our own actions. We are given so much (money, power, respect) and we show are gratitude for our blessings by being irresponsible and immature. To whom much is given, much is required. We think so much about the right here, right now. We have to do better PERIOD! We have to start thinking about the consequences of our actions instead of ONLY living in the moment. If more athletes dated women like their moms and grandmas, and less like the stuff we see on VH1, MTV & BET we would probably spend less money on lawyer fees and bail money. Just like the old saying goes, everything that glitters ain’t gold, and everything in VIP you can’t take home!!!

#94 Hout…Won’t Do That Again!!!

First off, I am rocking an Oregon Ducks t-shirt as we speak! We lost last night but I am still Very proud to be a Duck. Now lets get to the real story. University of Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount has been suspended for the entire season! This is another Plaxico punishment. Another person who has been made an “example” of. I have never heard of a year long suspension for a fight especially when the person you were fighting was also in the wrong. LeGarrette Blount should not have punched Byron Hout, but he got what he deserved. Hout showed NO class in the way he hit Blount’s shoulder pad and jumped in his face mocking him after the loss. Those are the type of things that happen when you do things like that. The NCAA is emphasizing sportsmanship this season and Hout’s behavior was obviously not sportsman-like and inappropriate. BSU coach Chris Peterson even grabbed Hout because he saw what he did and how classless and unnecessary his actions were. There needs to be a 1 game suspension for Hout! If my son had done what Hout did and got punched, I would shake my head as I’m telling him, “Bet you won’t do that again!”. After the punch heard round the world Blount was walking away peacefully when people in the crowd obviously said some “magic” words that would even make a calm man enraged. People may disagree with me but I have played in certain parts of the country where those type of things happen regularly!
Blount needs to use better judgement and control himself even when provoked by classless individuals. A 3-4 game suspension for Blount would have been fitting. Media outlets, YouTube, and TV analyst talking about it was “egregious”. I’m watching TV and reading twitter and the Internet and all these analyst and writers are throwing around these million dollar words and phrases making this the worst thing that ever happened. They are saying, LeGarrette Blount’s actions are despicable, horrid, classless, and that they are appalled and outraged that this could happen. Seriously, all that?
Now here is the “gotcha, gotcha” because there is always a “gotcha, gotcha”…
Many people want to talk about Boise State competing for a BCS spot and a National Championship, but I will be the 1st to say they don’t have what it takes. Let me just say, I like Boise State because their coach Chris Peterson was the WR coach when I was at Oregon, and I played with their Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox, but Hout got punched right in front of all his teammates and no one did anything to Blount. They stood by and watched. This would never be allowed to happen to any team worth winning a championship! If that would have happened to an Oregon, Florida, Alabama, Texas, or USC player it would have been a riot. Teams have to stick together through thick and thin, right or wrong, and have a “ride or die” mentality to win championships! They should have had to dig Blount out of a pile of blue and orange jerseys, but like I stated, I don’t promote violence, just protecting my teammates!!

Honk If You Love the Ducks!!!

I had a cool time in high school, but for the most part, I felt like a fish out of water, but then came the University of Oregon. I didn’t know what to expect when I got to Eugene. All I knew about the U of O was Nike, Prefontaine “Track Town USA”, and Duck football. I learned quickly what the 541 was all about. I loved my time in Eugene. My favorite breakfast spot GJ’s, our favorite bar Taylors , the U.I. dorm , the CASS and most importanly, Autzen stadium, the crowd, and the student section. AMAZING!!! I’ll never forget Apartment #90 which consisted of #1 aka SP aka Samie Parker, #2 aka O-S*#@*y aka Onterrio Smith and myself aka Rice-Daddy. Man, if those walls could talk, lol, but I’m glad they can’t. Oregon was totally different than any other place I had ever been into my whole life, but yet it was home. Some of my fondest memories are from my time in Eugene. College was truly some of the best years of my life to date. A lot of things in my life may change, but one thing that will remain the same is I will always and forever be an Oregon Duck!

I’ll never forget every home game the PA announcer would say “It never rains in Autzen Stadium”. Which to me, being from Sunny So Cal, was very ironic, because I felt like it was always raining in the northwest. I still get chills thinking about scoring a touchdown and that loud fog horn going off and the band playing the fight song “Oregon our Alma Mater, we will guard thee on and on….”! I loved playing for Oregon, and now that I am in the pros, I love being a fan of Oregon. I always had my duck gear in my locker at the stadium. At least once a week in the offseason I workout in a Duck t-shirt, shorts, and my Nike Shox Duck editions (Oh Baby)! I even made a bet with my teammate Mo Williams 2 years ago that MY Ducks would crush his minuscule Wolverines, and of course they did. Mo had to wear my College jersey all week, haha GO DUCKS!! I hang on to every play of Duck football. All my teammates in Jacksonville knew when we went to away games I was only going to eat dinner at a place that had my Duck’s game on! God Bless satellite tv!!

Two years ago we had the National Championship and the Heisman Trophy in our grasp and it all went down the drain when Dennis Dixon fell to the ground clutching his knee. We were on cloud nine, riding high on the backs of Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart, and just that quick we had to settle for a SCHLacking of South Florida in the Sun Bowl 56-21. I was devastated. It felt like I was on that team and “we lost”. I now know what “REAL” fans go through and how they feel. I have a much deeper respect for the fans of our game.

On Thursday we begin our quest for another PAC-10 title and a chance at a National Championship. Although I can’t be there in person I will have my flatscreen on and my popcorn ready. It won’t be an easy game, (we are playing against former Oregon coaches). We are taking on the Broncos of Bosie State, on their “Smurf Turf”. The Broncos have a good team and are always tough at home, but I know the Ducks will take care of business. This year will be a good year for us up in Eugene and I will be here with my duck gear on cheering the whole way. I just can’t wait until my son is old enough to really appreciate the game, so I can take him to a game at Autzen stadium, “the loudest place on earth” (for the enemy).

I was so juiced when I saw the Ducks on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I was thinking, finally, we are getting some respect. I know some of ya’ll out there are skeptical of calling us a Football Powerhouse, but keep watching and trust me, you’ll see. It’s ok, I won’t say I told you so. Actually, YES I WILL!!! GO DUCKS!!!