First Wrighster Family Tailgate

I had a great time on Saturday watching My Ducks beat on the Bruins, but more importantly my Son & Nephew had the best time ever. It was so great watching them run around, playing football while we were tailgating, and watching them scream to the top of their lungs when the Ducks would do something good.

I hate to mention it but I must, the big cuddly un-intimidating Bruin mascot came over by our section and the boys just HAD to touch him and say hi. They are 3 it’s ok I think. They wanted to play with the Bruin longer but I cut that visit short QUICKLY. The joy on their faces warmed my soul. They cheered so loud, by the 3rd quarter they were both passed out. I didn’t mind them taking a nap, because by that point the game was long out of reach.

For my first game ever in the stands as a fan, I had a great time. We had great seats. We were literally three rows from the field right in the endzone. When Talmadge Jackson III intercepted a pass from Bruin quarterback Kevin Prince and ran it in for a touchdown right in front of us, the rest of the Ducks came over and we all celebrated together. We were so close the boys could reach out and touch the players. The boys were so juiced, they felt like they were on the field.
There were so many “Best Parts” of the day that I cannot single out just one. It was great seeing some of my old teammates Jared Dillon, Garret Sable, Rashad Bouman, Matt Toenia, Saladin McCullough and coaches, especially my former coach Mike Belloti (who is now the Athletic Director at Oregon). Ok, I’ll stop! The Ducks travel well. . I’m gonna say this now, Ed Dickson could be the best TE to ever come out of Oregon if he keeps working hard. He has all the tools.
FYI a national championship is in our future!!

Two things I learned from this tailgate. One, never leave Marcellus Wiley in charge of bringing the grill, because he will be late (those tv types) and two, my son and nephew will be future Ducks. They cheered Go Ducks all night long!! My job as a father and Duck alum is done!!
Tickets to the game $400, tailgating supplies $200, watching the Ducks blowout the Bruins with family, and friends… PRICELESS!!!!!
The Maurice Jones-Drew Video will be posted soon!!

Oregon vs UCLA… Jones-Drew vs G3

What’s a Pac-10 game without a little fun? I had the pleasure of playing with UCLA Alum Maurice Jones-Drew for 3 seasons while I was in Jacksonville, and like me he is a proud alum. During football season you could frequently hear MJD yelling “the boys in blue, the boys in blue” after any win by UCLA. So I decided to make a little friendly wager. If the Ducks beat UCLA tomorrow Mo-jo and little Mo-jo 2.0, have to wear an Oregon Uniform and t-shirt and sing our fight song while being videotaped and if UCLA wins, me, little D, & my nephew AK, will do the same in UCLA garb!! Me, I’m not even worried.. I have the utmost confidence in my Ducks!!!
I haven’t been able to see an Oregon game live since I was a player there back in 2002, and I have never seen an Oregon game from the stands. This weekend that will all change. My entire family and I are tailgating and will be in attendance this Saturday as the Mighty Ducks of Oregon take on UCLA at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. What makes this game so special is I get to take my son and nephew to their first “Duck” game!!! They both love football games and I am planting the Oregon seed early, so when they are older they will already have the Green/Yellow (and Black, Gray, White, Graphite) love. LOL, I love our uniforms! Oh, yea, they will be part of Coach Kelly’s 2023 recruiting class. I know that’s a long time away but it’s never too early to prepare.

Now back to the game, UCLA has a tough team this year, and they are led by Head Coach Neuheisel, whom I have much respect for. While at the University of Colorado he was the first person to offer me a scholarship to play college football. I still have the letter to this day. I went against him a few times as a player when he was the Huskies Head Coach, but I believe we have the edge. Even though we are without “The Man” Thurmond III and Willie “Da DB” Glasper, and Blount Trauma, we should be fine. Our aggressive attack on both sides of the ball make us very hard to beat.
I cannot wait to hear the sweet lyrics of the Oregon Fight Song sung by MJD and MJD 2.0. I can hear it now as I daydream!!!!

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

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!!!

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!!!

The Steve McNair Talk

I only met Steve McNair a couple times, but his death affected me like we were old college roommates. Not only because of football, but because I, like so many other men empathized with him. I was not married like Steve, but it easily could have been me dead instead of him due to mistakes in my past. For a week straight everyone I knew was having or had already had the “McNair” talk with their friends, wife, girlfriend and family. Regardless of which side of the fence you were on, you had the talk. Eyebrows were raised and plenty of men got looks out of the corners of their lady’s eyes. McNair’s death made a lot of people take a step back and evaluate their lives, lifestyle, people they choose to hang around with and the places they decided to go. We don’t always think about the magnitude of the choices we make and how severe the consequences can be. I believe in my heart of hearts if Steve could do it all over again he would be at home with his wife and children every night. No man wants to leave fatherless children and a wife to mourn your tragic death that your actions caused.

I stayed up late last night to watch my tivo’d episode of Dateline on Steve McNair: The Mysterious Death of a Titan. Eddie George, a former longtime teammate of McNair, gave an interview about the situation. If you didn’t know anything about Eddie George before last night, outside of his football accolades, you had to have come away with a healthy respect for him. He was well-spoken, articulate, and most of all made a lot of sense!!! Whenever people find out that someone in the limelight (athletes, musicians, actors) has vices it always overshadows so much of their life and full body of work. They are looked at as a bad and even immoral person. McNair’s Pastor said it best ‘the money, fame, and attention gave him more access to his vices’. It was not just because he was a football player that he loved women but it was because he was a man. It is a lot harder to stay away from things when you have unlimited access to them. Many people have no clue what their vices are because they don’t have the resources to make their fantasies reality. Money does not change you. It simply magnifies the traits that are inside you and tendencies you already have.

The same way that his money and celebrity afforded him the opportunity to fulfill his fleshly desires, it also gave him the opportunity to use his money, fame, and connections to be a positive influence in and on his community. Steve McNair has spent countless hours in the community giving back with not only his money, but with his time. He loved giving back to kids and seeing his community grow. He rallied the community of Nashville to step up and help the people affected by Hurricane Katrina and did so many other good things, because that is what was in him. That is what was in his heart. This just goes to show us that even our heroes and people who are great leaders are not perfect. Everyone I know that played with Steve said he was a great leader. He was courageous, a warrior, and a Titan (in every sense of the word). We all have things that we struggle with but we have to exercise will power and lean on God if we are to free ourselves from our natural desires.
The choices we make shape our path in life, either positively or negatively. The things we choose to do, people we associate with, and places we choose to go have a direct impact on our life and the things that happen to us. If you are not out at 3 and 4 in the morning your chance of certain things happening to you is dramatically lower. If you always wear a condom you probably won’t get someone pregnant. If you hangout with criminals, regardless if you are not one yourself, chances are you will get caught up in some mess you have no business in. If you are at home with your wife and kids instead of out cheating with another women, you won’t get killed with her.
To wrap this thing up. Many people have many different problems and things they struggle with but don’t confuse a mans struggle with his heart. McNair should be remembered as a great football player, a leader, and a humanitarian who just like anyone else struggled to be a better person. He wasn’t immune to the temptations of this world because of his heroic feats on the gridiron. Athletes may be extraordinary physical phenoms, but we struggle with the same demons and worldly trappings as everyone else. I’m praying for the McNair family, that through this tragedy they will become a stronger family and an integral part of the Nashville community.

Costco: A Man’s Grocery Store

I am not a fan of going to the grocery store, I actually hate it. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but my mom always went to the store and I liked it that way. I just want to provide the money and let my wife go to the store and buy the bacon, oh, and cook it, but in a really really nice kitchen, with some extremely nice shoes on!!! I mean, I don’t know what to get. Am I suppose to know the difference between baking soda and baking powder?? I’m not G. Garvin. I’m that guy that stares at the food and hopes the right food just jumps into my basket. When I’m home in Cali I don’t have much say so at my mom’s house. I spend a lot of time with my folks and if my mom needs me to go to the store, I can’t say no. But, there is only one grocery store I choose. The only Man’s grocery store in the USA…..COSTCO!!!!

You can find everything you need here, from snow tires to the best cuts of Prime Rib. I love it!! Every time I go I usually need 3-5 things, but It never fails, I end up with a basketful of stuff (usually products from all the tasting stations), that I don’t need, but really, really want. Those sample stations are like my bad habit, I can’t say no. I bought a 10lb can of Nacho Cheese one time, just because the tasting lady made it seem so good. I believe that can is still unopened.
There are so many wonderful things about the world of Costco, for example, I can catch up on football and sportscenter while I’m shopping. Hey, news is happening every minute. I have to be abreast of what is going on in the world.

And when I get too tired from all of my shopping, sampling and TV watching, I can always take a little nap…. ZzzzZzzzz!!!

We are a water & Gatorade family, so I always have to stock up on those items when I go. You can always find my fridge full of Water and G2. I have 2 stay hydrated and Costco is the only place that understands my need for hydration. They don’t limit me to 6 bottles like the grocery store.
I mean, what is there not to love about this store. And when all the shopping is done and I’m about to leave, there is always a stop at the Costco restaurant. Mmmm, Kosher hot dogs, pizza, churros, and berry shakes!!! U can feed a whole entire family for $7.50!!!!
Well thanks for coming with me on my trip 2 the world’s greatest and only Man’s grocery store, now I have 2 unload all this stuff…. Hmm maybe I can get a Costco guy to come to my house and help me???

Taking Back Wins? Child Please!!!

I want to start off by saying I’m Cali raised (it’s CA all day), but I was born in Memphis, TN. I had no choice but to be a Memphis State (now known as University of Memphis) fan. My entire family is from Memphis. My grandmother, aunt, and uncle all went to Memphis State. I watched Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway play HS basketball. My All-Time favorite basketball players are: 1) Michael Jordan 2) Penny Hardaway 3) Kobe Bryant. I had the chance to meet Penny at the NBA All-star game in Houston and he gave me a pair of my favorite Penny Hardaway shoes. I grew up wanting to play basketball for the Tigers. To say I’m a fan is like saying Tiger is good at golf. I even drove down to AZ this year with my family to watch Memphis take on Missouri in the Sweet 16.
If this ain’t throwing salt in the wound I don’t know what is. 07-08 was supposed to be our year! The sting of losing the National Championship because of free throws is still there! Now we go from 38-2 to 0-40 in an instant, or at least however long it took for University of Memphis to receive a fax saying they were being stripped of all wins from the 07-08 season. I’m really confused about the concept of taking back wins and retroactively declaring Derrick Rose ineligible. The NCAA has a lot of rules and a book thicker than War and Peace, full of tedious regulations and procedures, but those are the rules that govern collegiate sports and rules must be followed. When teams break rules there are consequences.
I understand that the record books will be changed, but you can’t “undo” the fact that we won 38 games and played in the Nat’l championship. Since we now won 0 games who played in the NCAA tournament in our place, and who played in the championship game? Derrick Rose was declared ineligible, so did he not play college basketball? It makes no sense. Taking wins back is kinda like a lawyer saying something in a courtroom and the judge saying “the jury will strike that from the record”. Too late, they heard it already! Good thing we didn’t win the Nat’l championship game because this would be even more convoluted. The NCAA gets a big “Child Please” from me!
There was obviously some wrong-doing by the University, SAT, and countless others but taking back wins. Impossible! For Tiger fans the immediate future looks bleak. Kentucky stole our players and our coach, NCAA took away all our 07-08 wins, we have to pay the NCAA tournament money back, Derrick Rose never went to Memphis (so essentially he was drafted straight out of high school), CDR has no comment, and first 48 keeps making Memphis look really really bad. We have nothing left, you can take all these things but YOU LEAVE ME MY WINS!!!