Thursday, October 29, 2009

Week 7: The Blowouts

I decided to watch a Fantasy Football show on ESPN for a few minutes while the pre-game shows were on and I have come to this conclusion, they are clueless. I should come out with my own Fantasy predictions, I couldn't possibly be more wrong than them. After the games were over and all the statistics collected, so many of the players they predicted to have bad games had excellent games, and those who they said would show up big were Fantasy sleepers. There were 13 games this past weekend, 8 of them were decided by 16pts or more. The schedule gave us a lot of lop sided games this weekend. Hey, it happens, but we have to look at the positives. It could be summer time between the end of NBA till football starts, a.k.a. purgatory.

Week 7 Recap:

Jets v. Raiders- Mark Sanchez won easily with another sub 150 yd performance. Rex Ryan must have read my week 6 review, K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple Sanchez). Ryan kept the plan basic and held his young QBs hand so he could not make a mistake. He even let him bring a sack lunch to work with a hot dog in it. Tough defense and running the football wins games, especially against the Raiders. Remember, the Ravens won a Superbowl with NO offense and Trent Dilfer at QB.

On a side note, in a post game interview JaMarcus Russell said, "I really don't think it's me personally...I really don't think it's me, do you?" ROFLMBO, is he serious? The team is bad but really..."I really don't think it's me"? (I'm almost in tears laughing)

Saints v. Dolphins- The Dolphins jumped out the gate like stallions while riding the back of Ricky Williams (Pause). Everyone who thought New Orleans Saints were front runners were silenced. This week they were the comeback kids after trailing for the first time all season. The Saints looked like "sinners" in the first half down 24-3. Everything that could go wrong for the Saints did, until :05 left in the 2nd quarter when the Dolphins called timeout and let Drew Brees talk Sean Payton into going for it instead of kicking the field goal. The score was 24-10 at the half and I was watching the game thinking, "Hmmm, the Dolphins better hope the "sinners" come back out for the second half because if the Saints show up it's gonna be trouble, trouble."

And as I predicted, trouble showed up.... Who dat say dey gon' beat dem Saints??

Bills v. Panthers- Did T.O. play? Buffalo has not been impressive this year and their offense has been awful, but you know who is worse on offense, The Panthers. They have to be one of the top 2 most disappointing teams of the season (Tennessee Titans). There are a lot of teams less talented, that you don't expect much from, but the Panthers have a dynamic backfield (D. Williams, J. Stewart go ducks) and WR Steve Smith, and they have defensive end Julius Peppers. FYI Bills DB Jarius Byrd had 2 interceptions in the game and is second in the league with 5 (Go Ducks!).

Chargers v. Chiefs- Nickname of the week goes to Vincent "Up Top" Jackson. He is not going to lead the league in catches but he leads the league in deep ball catches. Deep balls require so much athleticism, concentration, and a great pair of hands. If the route is not over 20 yds he wants no part of it. Oh yea, the Chargers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 37-7

Falcons v. Cowboys- Atlanta had a big win last week against the Chicago Bears, but this week didn't quite go so well. The Falcons are hurting at corner back right now and Romo took advantage of it. Miles Austin made this week look like a carbon copy of last week. He broke tackles and made big catches to get to his second consecutive week over 170 yds with 2 TDs. The Cowboys grounded the Falcons air attack and hogtied Michael Turner. This game was more about the Falcons not playing very good defense than the Cowboys playing great offense.

The Titans did not lose this week. They didn't play either.

Bengals v. Bears- There was so much commotion due to the launch of the OchoCinco News Network and iPhone application the Bengals were wondering whether they would cancel the game or not. They decided not only to play, but play EXCELLENT and blew out the Chicago Bears. Everybody played well, Carson Palmer 5 TDs, OchoCinco 10 receptions 2 TDs, Cedric Benson 189 yds rushing TD. Which leads me to ask where was the Bears D?

In other news, the Colts played Steven Jackson. We didn't have to watch this game to know what happened. Manning continued his assault on the NFL record book and ascension to Greatness. Unless the Rams can manage to beat the Detroit Lions this week, chances are high they will finish the season "Defeated" (0-16), and tie the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the longest losing streak of all-time (26). Stephen Jackson could lead the league in rushing on a 0-16 team. How incredible would that be?

Packers v. Browns. Green Bay is quietly playing some really good football. I'm not gonna be the one to let the cat out of the bag and ruin their season. If they beat the Vikings this week the cat will be out of the bag.

In what could turn out to be a rematch of the Superbowl, the Steelers played the Vikings.
*Note to all NFL Players, in case you didn't know, Adrian Peterson is a Grown Man. If you are going to attempt to tackle him bring everything you got, or you will be left looking "Gay" (Before you start trippin on me, he ran over William Gay).

Back to the game. Roethlisberger...smerger...erger was very accurate and impressive. He showed great touch and fit many passes in small windows. Both Defenses looked impressive, especially the Steelers who scored twice on defense. Neither running game really got too far off the ground but you just have to love the way Peterson plays the game. The game was very physical and very closely contested, the way football should be.

Monday Night: The game looked like a horror film "Attack of the Quarterback" starring Jason Campbell and Donovan McNabb. Campbell was sacked 6 times, and hit countless others. McNabb was sacked 3 times and hit many more. Jason Campbell limped around the field and I felt sorry for him. He has come under much criticism in the past few weeks, but how can anyone deliver the ball effectively when they are getting hit that much?

The Eagles offense didn't impress much, but Desean Jackson and the Eagles Defense shined. Jackson is a threat to go to the house every time he touches the ball. Punt Returns, Wildcat, Receiving, Reverses, if he can get his hands on the ball, he might just get to the endzone. The Eagles defense was very opportunistic, bringing pressure and forcing turnovers. Where was this last week against the Raiders?

What did we learn this week? If it looks like a blowout on paper, it will be. Please don't try and use this logic next week. It is for sure to backfire on you in a bad way. I have some games Highlighted for week 8. St Louis @ Detroit, someone has to win, right? Favre vs the Cheese Heads at Lambeau Field. The "Uniforms" vs the Ravenous offense. And the NY Football Giants vs the Eagles.

Please keep Leon Washington in your prayers. He suffered a really bad compound fracture. I'm praying he has a speedy recovery & rehab!! Keep ya head up Bro!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Week 6

This weekend of football is EXACTLY why I don't and would never bet on sports (also I don't wanna be Pete Rose'd). NFL games are one of the most unpredictable things, but everyone tries to predict them. Every week there are no shortage of office pools, fantasy leagues, and sports books taking bets. This week on paper looked like it would have a few good games, Giants v. Saints, Ravens v. Vikings, and a few locks like Eagles v. Raiders and Bills v. Jets, but "That's why they play the game".

I can never just watch 1 game at a time so I'm frantically station hopping trying not to miss anything. I need more TVs!!! I've never been home to watch this much football and I don't want to miss a minute of it. I have friends on nearly every team and I hate missing plays. I loved watching Mike P get a sack on Jay Cutler, I cringed when Brian Williams came down wrong & hurt his knee, seeing "Baby" aka Marcus Stroud bouncing on the sidelines makes me laugh because I know that means he is about to go out there and ball. I must start playing soon or get more TVs.

Week 6 Recap:

I thought the Saints would beat the Giants simply because they were playing at home, but I didn't expect the game to be so lopsided. The Saints were having a party in the end zone and everybody with a fleur de lis was invited. Every time I changed the channel someone new was scoring a TD.

The Vikings/ Ravens proved to be a very good game. Favre has the keys to a high powered sports car of a team. The Ravens used to have the most feared defense who at times would win games by out scoring the other team without help from its inept offense. Boy have the tables turned. Blame it on whatever you want, the D just ain't what it used to be! Flacco still managed to lead them back from a big hole to have and opportunity to win the game, but they had a Ray Finkle (Ace Ventura) moment, wide left.

Bills v. Jets- The T.O. show has not gotten off the ground and they have scrapped the "no huddle" offense but some how managed to win in OT. The top passer in the game was Mark Sanchez with 119 yards. LOL seriously? Thomas Jones almost single handedly had more offense than both QBs combined. The Jets defense is looking real good this year (boy do the Ravens D miss Rex Ryan and Bart Scott). Sanchez threw 5 ints (Wow, welcome to the NFL) and they still held the Bills to 16 points. Wait, is the Bills offense that bad or Jets D that good? On the heels of back-to-back weeks of shaky play by Sanchez the Jets know they better find a way to simplify things and slow the game down for him or they will be watching playoff games at home.

Detroit v. Green Bay- I honestly did not watch 1 second of this game! Who did?

Kansas City v. Washington- I did not watch 1 second of this game either. I knew KC would win because the Redskins just have too much extracurricular stuff going on there right now. Coaches, owners, and players are all going in different directions. Washington has way more talent than KC but we all know talent alone does not win games. And anytime you hand your play calling duty over to a guy who was making Starbuck's runs, you are in trouble.

I had no clue what to expect from the Jacksonville v. St Louis game. I was not sure if the Jags would rebound from the bruising they took last week or let the win less Rams come into D-U-V-A-L and get a victory . Mark Bulger made his return this week, but the Jags got the win. It was not impressive at all considering they were playing the Rams, who after Avery went down early were down to 2 receivers that you have never heard of. The Rams were left with Stephen Jackson, who the Jags couldn't stop, even though he was the only weapon on the field. The Jaguars players and coaches have been quoted numerous times this year saying "We are looking for our identity as a team". I Know the Jags Identity! From now on they will be known as the "Hyphens", because their most effective weapons are Sims-Walker and Jones-Drew. The Jags will only win if they get the ball to the "Hyphens".

Titans v. Patriots- To the delight of "Hyphen" fans everywhere the Titans where DESTROYED by the Pats during intermission of the Ice Capades. That's about how long this game was competitive. The Titans lost Haynesworth and went from last seasons penthouse to this years outhouse. I think I saw Jeff Fisher at Snyder's door trying to write him a check for Haynesworth.

Eagles v. Raiders- How, Why, What Happened??? Russell has a quarterback rating on the season that looks like Albert Pujols batting average, and the Raiders have a pigeon playing special teams defense, but they still managed to win . This game is exactly why I would never bet money on sports. The Eagles have looked brilliant at times this season and made you think they could possibly make a run. How can you possible explain this? Maybe it was the Cali weather.

The Monday Night Football game proved to be a good matchup. The "Uniforms"(Broncos) v. Chargers. FYI, I really like the Uniforms throwbacks, especially the socks. My two standouts of the game were Tony Scheffler and Eddie Royal a.k.a. Eddie Royale "Mc Cheese" (in Paris the 1/4 pounder at McDonald's is really called that), had a spectacular game. He had a stellar rookie year but has been virtually invisible this season until Monday night where he made special teams "Special". Scheffler made a couple big time catches. If you didn't know who he was before this game, you do now. Very impressive. Darren Sproles is not one to be left off the highlight reel and he showed exactly why with his very own special play, a punt returned 71yds for a touchdown. This was a Great Game to watch.

Week 7 is on the way and what did we learn this week about this season? Absolutely Nothing and I can't wait for next week's games. I'm looking forward to watching the Terrible towels take on the Unbeaten Purple-people eaters, Bears vs Ocho-Diablo's Bengals & Drew Brees vs Miami's wildcat offense. It should be another great week of football.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

S'mores....hmmmm good

I'm 28yrs old and I had never had a S'more until last night. I mean I've heard of S'mores from my days of watching the movie The Sandlot (which is where I got my recipe from) everyday, but I had never actually had one. I love doing stuff with my family so last night we decided to give this S'mores thing a try. I went to the store grabbed some Marshmallows, Graham crackers and of course Godiva Chocolate (only the best for my first experience). Trying to get the perfect fire going is not as easy as it looks, but you know your boy is something like Man vs Wild, so I had no problem adapting to the harsh conditions of the 75 degree LA night. Once the fire was nice and blazing, I gave the boys their sticks, put some 'mellows on them and began to toast. Getting the 'mellow the perfect brown w/o burning it was a task I couldn't quite master until I brutalized 12 marshmallows. The sad thing is, the son and nephew are 3 and their s'mores were way better than mine. It was a great time. They love S'mores almost as much as I do now!! I highly recommend S'more night for everyone. Its an inexpensive way to have some good family time and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rush Limbaugh NFL owner: Hell No!

I know we as NFL players are supposed to be quiet about certain issues but I MUST speak for my peers/brothers who go to work and lay it on the line every week. Everyone knows that the NFL owners, commissioner, and players are all charged to "Protect the Shield". The commissioner and owners have made it glaringly clear with the frequent suspensions of players that the NFL will clean up its image. It is important for everyone associated with the NFL to maintain a high level of integrity including owners. I love the game of football and the NFL for all that it has given me and opportunities it has afforded me. This is exactly why I MUST say what my peers want to say but most feel like they cannot.

Rush Limbaugh, voted the most influential person in talk radio with over 13 million listeners per week wants to become an NFL owner, specifically of the the St. Louis Rams. Limbaugh is partnering with Dave Checketts, owner of the St. Louis Blues (NHL) in a bid to buy the team. Approving Limbaugh, even though he would not be the sole owner of the team, would be a Gigantic step back for the league as a whole and compromise the "Shield". He is a racist, bigot, and an idiot for so many of his comments that are spoken from the heart. Here is a brief list:

“Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.”

"I mean, let's face it, we didn't have slavery in the country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back; I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."

"They're 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?"

"Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it"

With these type of comments can you image how he would run a franchise? How would he treat his players and employees both white and non-white? The growing diversity in the front office will be stifled with ownership like this. The NFL is America's favorite game based on television ratings and revenue. America is made up of almost every race and creed represented on the planet, does the NFL want one of the leaders of the league to be spreading hate, closed-minded thinking, and messages against everything the NFL stands for.

In a league where 67% of its players are African American, 25% of its League office are non-whites, 19% of its senior administrator positions are women, and 5 out the last six Superbowl teams have either had an African American coach or General Manager (Tony Dungy (Colts),Lovie Smith (Bears), Mike Tomlin (Steelers), and GMs Jerry Reese (Giants), Rod Graves (Cardinals). The NFL and NFLPA cannot stand for Limbaugh to hold a position of power in the greatest professional sport. Limbaugh doesn't believe a good portion of the leagues employees are qualified, capable, or matter enough to respect their interests. Imagine how players would feel to play for an owner that feels you are inadequate mentally, and less of a person than he is simply because of the color of your skin or your gender. The very people who would be buying tickets, jerseys, hats and concessions are the very same people Limbaugh would be looking down his nose at from the owners suite in disgust.

In the last few years the owners, GMs, coaches, scouts and NFLPA have made drafting players of good character paramount. There also has been a big push to emphasize and reiterate to the veterans how much of a privilege playing in the NFL is and not to take it for granted. With this same logic the "powers that be" in the league must maintain the same standards for approval of potential owners of franchises.

The Y.E.T. program, United Way, hurricane/tornado relief projects are just a few of the many community programs the NFL is directly involved with that emphasize things like fair play, community service, education, remaining drug free, and equality. To his credit Limbaugh does raise money for a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma so he is not just heartless. At the end of the day does he represent any of these qualities important to the NFL?

I am proud to be an NFL player and member of an exclusive fraternity of professional athletes. I want the league to continue to prosper and grow in the right direction. As quickly as the NFL has blossomed in the last 20 years, it can crumble just as fast. The NFL is very important to me that's why I will not sit quietly and not let my voice be heard about something I love so much.

Monday, October 12, 2009

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!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

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!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

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.

Friday, October 2, 2009

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!!!!


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