If I was going to send J.J. Watt a cheesy message, it would go something like this:
Me: Heyyyyy, J.J….Watt’s up?
His imagined response: Not much babe. Just working on my bod.
Me: Well, keep it up. Cuz you are looking goooood!
J.J.: Funny. Was just going to tell you that. In fact…
And let’s just cut it off right there, shall we?
Justin James Watt is known as one of the biggest, baddest defenders in the National Football League. At 6’5” and 295 pounds, the Houston Texans defensive end is known for his wingspan and large mitts, so much so…that it earned him the nickname “J.J. Swatt,” courtesy of ESPN commentator and former coach Jon Gruden. Although my college sorority sister, Shannon, prefers J.J. Hott. I’m with her.
When preparing to face him, the defensive players of the New England Patriots have been known to hold tennis racquets up during practice to simulate Watt’s impact on the offense. With 20 quarterback sacks last season, that’s what you call making a racket!
And you know what they say about big hands…
Big ball security risk.
With the draft, comes a new batch of NFL players. From coeds to pros literally overnight, these rookies are thrust into the national spotlight without so much as a pair of sunglasses. Some are blinded by the light. While others seem born to bask in the glow…
Hellooooo, Matt Barkley.
Eagles QB Matt Barkley
Barkley is a true California boy. Raised in Irvine and Newport Beach, (with golden hair and skin to match) Barkley shocked the football world when he announced his decision in 2011 to return to the University of Southern California for his senior year. Diploma in hand, he graduated this spring and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft, the 98th pick overall.
As far back as high school, Barkley was considered a future number one draft pick. Speculation is that a less than stellar senior year and late season shoulder injury caused his stock to fall.
He did show progress in one area though. The golden boy…is now a man. And he’s going to need every bit of his manhood to compete for the starting position in training camp. Barkley currently shares roster space with Eagles quarterbacks Michael Vick and Nick Foles.
A decorated high school and college player, Barkley won every award imaginable, among them…Gatorade Player of the Year, the Joe Montana Award, and the Wuerffel Trophy. And he didn’t achieve that without a competitive edge.
So, don’t let the golden boy image fool you. You may get lost in those sparkly eyes, but when the lights come on…Matt Barkley will be ready to shine!
The future is bright.
And so is his smile.
Throwback jerseys? Do.
Black bands in memory of? Do.
Funeral suits for a series your team has yet to bury? Don’t. Even…think…about…it.
Knicks player J.R. Smith. Back in black.
The New York Knicks learned this one the hard way.
Up 3-1 in their series against the Boston Celtics, the Knicks had already moved on. They were ready for the next East matchup…against the Hawks or the Pacers.
In a show of unity (and a little arrogance), the Knicks decide to don their best black suits for game five. A fashion statement. And a team statement.
They only overlooked one thing…game five.
The series is still alive and so are the Celtics.
The Knicks aren’t the only team to let a fashion statement turn into a question mark.
Remember the Houston Texans and the letter jackets they had made for the Monday Night Football game against the Patriots last season?
Former Texan Connor Barwin and Antonio Smith
They worked. The Texans played like a varsity high school team. They lost to the Patriots 42-14.
As for the jackets? I’m sure they’re keeping some large people in some cold third world country very warm.
It’s a mistake. You learn from it. And you don’t make it again.
I know from experience.
In January of 2006, I bought a faux fur Juicy Couture coat to wear to the Super Bowl in Detroit.
All the Colts had to do was win a little playoff game against the Steelers at home. Then it was on to the AFC Championship Game…and from there it was Detroit Rock/Super Bowl City!
I didn’t have my entire outfit picked, but I had the most important part…the coat.
Funny. I didn’t even need it. It was perfectly warm watching the Steelers play the Seahawks…from my living room.
I still have the coat. And I do wear it on occasion. But never to Colts games.
Like I said…that’s a mistake you only make once.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Don’t put the cart before the horse…and don’t buy a coat for a game you’re not going to.
Sorry, Colts fans…my bad.
West Virginia Quarterback Geno Smith on Draft Night
(Photo: Michael LeBrecht/SI)
Dear Geno Smith,
I feel for you, honey.
It’s NFL draft night. You worked your whole life to get here. Everyone tells you you’re one of the top picks. You’re here, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City…so you can walk across that stage, wear the hat, hug the commissioner, and hold your new jersey up for the whole football world to see.
The clock starts to tick away…and so does the night. And pretty soon, you’re ticked off. And all the while, the cameras are in your face. The spotlight is bright. Even blinding. It’s getting hot. You start to sweat.
Four words of advice…get used to it. Because someday soon, you’ll be on a bench, the second or third string quarterback. Your team is losing. The starter is struggling. And the coach won’t put you in. And it’s all happening under the cameras and bright lights of the National Football League. And those lights make the draft night lights look dim.
Welcome to the spotlight. It’s your time to shine. But it can also burn your eyes…and if you’re not careful, your soul.
In the meantime, work on your football skills. And your acting skills. And surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth. Even if it’s not what you want to hear.
Best of luck!
(Photo: Good Housekeeping)
Dear Roger Goodell,
I know it’s complicated…trying to schedule home and away games for 32 NFL teams, some of them in the same stadium. But, here’s the thing…I’m also trying to plan my life for the rest of the year.
Clearly, you don’t understand how complicated it is to schedule travel with family in four states, hair appointments (which I book four months in advance), the activities of two busy kids, one husband, two pampered pooches, and to do it all around the schedule of the Indianapolis Colts.
When the NFL delayed the release of the 2013 schedule, which was originally slated for today, I also delayed my 2013 schedule.
It’s fine. Take your time. I’ll put off my plans while you all try to get your shit together.
I do have a suggestion though. If you’re having trouble trying to juggle the schedules, transportation, and activities of many people, all of whom need to be in different places at different times, you may want to try something…
Ask a woman.
In the meantime, we’ll be waiting…