Category: NFL


What a game. Green Bay completes a Hail Mary pass. Rodgers to Rodgers. Packers 27, Detroit 23.

Whew.

During the post game press conference Aaron Rodgers had this to say: “You live for those moments.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Sports aren’t just a hobby of mine. My parents were raised as lifelong Packers fans. Most of my aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters are Packers fans. But it’s not just something we watch and talk about. It’s so much more.

Sports give my family something in common, regardless of age and sex. Sports can give you all of life’s emotions: Happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, humor and everything in between.

Tonight, was one of my best sports memories I’ll ever have. Tonight, for a moment, sports proved how, if only for a moment, it can pull you in; how, no matter what else is going on in your life, for a moment, you can be part of a shared experience; how after the simple act of throwing and catching a ball can make you forget anything that’s troubling you.

Tonight, the Packers provided me with one of most exciting, special sports moments I’ll ever have.

Tonight, I had one of those moments you live for.

 

The NFL is about to kick off its season and now comes news that the league is looking to extend its popularity. Reports are that the league is teaming up with Tony Krantz (“Sports Night”) and Ron Shelton (“Bull Durham”) for a film titled “Week 14”. According to Variety: “Aimed to be a four-quadrant movie in the vein of “Crash,” pic will chronicle the last three weeks of the NFL’s regular season as seen through the eyes of fictional players, coaches and their significant others. The script, which Shelton has completed, features interweaving storylines that sources familiar with the project describe as PG-13 content, since the NFL is very protective of its family-friendly brand.”

So,  basically a light version of the TV series ESPN tried a few years back right?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Director Ivan Reitman (“Ghostbusters”) will helm the football comedy “Draft Day” which sees the general manager of the Buffalo Bills go to great lengths to ensure his number one pick signs. Reitman most recently directed “No Strings Attached”.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

NOTE: Please keep reading. This isn’t just a story about the football stuff. It’s about something bigger.

In the midst of hearing the news about Junior Seau, here’s a story to lighten the mood a little bit. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Eric LeGrand to a contract. LeGrand was paralyzed in 2010 while playing for Rugters.

“It’s a symbolic gesture. They can’t give me any money with the salary cap and all that kind of stuff,” LeGrand said in his conference call. “It’s symbolic, something coach wanted to do and I appreciate that. It just shows the man that he is.”

It’s stories like these that stop and remind me how lucky I am for my life so far. A guy whose life was centered around, in large part, football and all of it was taken away. Yet, not even a year later, he’s back at school to finish his studies, remained upbeat and already proved the doctors wrong.

“It’s something I always dreamed about, go to the NFL and retire and become a sportscaster,” LeGrand said. “Dreams do come true if you really believe. You do the right things in life, good things happen to you. He really just did this out of the kindness of his heart. It’s really what he wanted to do. I had no idea this was going to happen.”

As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I mean, here’s a young man that, if he felt sorry for himself and complained, few people would hardly blame him. Yet, he chose to keep going. Chose to make the best of his situation and now he has a bright future ahead of him once again.

I’ve gotten questions about why (aside from promoting this blog) I post all the cliches about working hard and never giving up. Why? Because I believe it’s true. Stories like this prove it. It’s because, as naive as this may be, I still believe that what makes America great is that we don’t give up. We get knocked down, we get back up. Something doesn’t go our way, we find a way to work through it. Something seems hard, or unfair, or our work’s piling up, don’t complain. Buckle down and do it. Life isn’t handed to us. And, it’s scaring me a little how many people I’ve met that expect that.

And yet, I read things like this article. In it it says our generation isn’t the greatest generation. In fact, it might be the most selfish. Why can’t people just work hard. Be willing to sacrifice. There’s nothing wrong with working up the ladder to get to a dream job. The amount of people I’ve met whose families have been blessed enough to help them pay for rent, car insurance, school, etc. And yet, as soon as they have to start picking up the bills, it’s oh woe is me. Or, they complain about what major they’re studying. Or, they spend money on wants, not needs. There’s no sense of saving for something. If they want it now, they get it now, regardless of it they can afford it. I wish people would give, but to do it genuinely. Not because, as so many celebrities do, for a PR purpose. Or not because it’s for a certain group their friends are in. How about just researching multiple charities and giving anonymously? I give. I don’t give much, but I give what I can. Never tell anyone when I do. Never disclose the amount to anyone. All the money we spend on things like Starbucks, movies, clothes, etc. throughout the year and you’re telling me you can’t afford to give? Look, I’m not saying cut everything out. But it’s called budgeting.

It’s stories like these that, in the end, just make me sick to my stomach. Partly because I know I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. But, I’ve at least tried to change (and I hope I have).

Funny thing is the people I really want to make an appeal to. The people who I wish would listen probably won’t read this. They probably are too busy going about their lives, complaining about something. Oh well.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

When Nike released new uniforms for all 32 NFL teams, was there any doubt that it was a cash grab? From the drastic changes for the Seattle Seahawks to other teams with subtle changes, it looked like Nike was on its way to taking over the NFL so to speak. Not so fast.

The Green Bay Packers (and later the Eagles) said no to the new redesigns. It’s nice to see a franchise step up like this. You know, I was against Nike’s college uniforms. And this is just dumb. For all the “technology” that goes into these new jerseys, let me ask them something. Would those jerseys have made a difference when Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and company won the Super Bowl? Would Bart Starr have lost the Super Bowl if the new jerseys existed? How about Brett Favre? The answer is no. A team wins because its the best team at that time.

It’s not like the NFL needs stupid publicity stunts like this. It’s already the country’s most popular sport.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans it left the city in shambles. After 2005, it seemed liked the city went through setback after setback. When the Saints finally played its first home game after the disaster, it was moving. But, this was a city that needed more. The city needed a Super Bowl. It needed a team to believe in, a team that could, when it seemed like everything else was stacked against the, give the city something more than pride. Hope.

This was a city that needed a victory like no other city. And this was a team willing to do anything to bring it to them.

Now, they’re paying the price. Say bye to Sean Payton for the year. Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams may never get a job in football again unless Roger Goodell has a change of heart. When the Saints won in 2009, it was one of the more inspirational moments in football history. To see Drew Brees holding up his child. To know that in New Orleans, fans finally got a glimmer of hope. That all was not wrong with the world. That things were getting better.

Now, that Super Bowl win is tarnished as is Payton’s and William’s legacies. Was it worth it? I suppose the real answer to that is to ask the people of New Orleans. I hope it was. Because, as of right now, you’re paying a steep price for it.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Former Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick could be the one who benefits the most from the recent quarterback events with the San Francisco 49ers.

Here’s a good blog post about Kap and how he’s ready to step into the starting role when called upon. I’m sure all the Nevada fans would love to see Kaepernick start this season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh is undeniably good at developing quarterbacks. And, Kap sitting a year will do him some good. This is a team with a great defense and numerous weapons on offense, including Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss.

Colin’s ready that’s for sure. He’s got the right mentality. There might be a few growing pains early on, but remember Big Ben won a Super Bowl in his second year.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Report: Manning to Broncos

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Peyton Manning wants to go into negotiations with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos are reportedly going to try and trade Tim Tebow.

I think Manning is making a mistake here. I think San Francisco would have been a much  better fit. The Niners are already close to being a Super Bowl team. Put Manning on that roster with Wayne, Frank Gore and that defense? I shudder to think how good they could be. Thankfully, Manning’s going to the Broncos. Denver’s a lot farther off from being a Super Bowl team than San Fran. Can you even name any of their receivers?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Super Mario joining the Bills

The Buffalo Bills signed former Houston Texans defensive lineman/linebacker Mario Williams to a six-year deal with $50 million guaranteed and its potentially worth $100 million. Williams, the top overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, had 53 sacks while with Houston, but also missed most of last season with a torn chest muscle. He also missed three games in 2010 with an injury. Williams joins former Green Bay Packers linebacker Nick Barnett and defensive linemen Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus in a front seven that is a force to be reckoned with now.

While Williams has the potential to really help the Bills defense, I’m still not in love with Ryan Fitzpatrick and his lack of any real options to throw to besides Stevie Johnson.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

The Miami Dolphins appear to be gearing up for a serious run at signing Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. The Fins traded talented and troubled wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for three third round picks.

For Miami, it clears cap space. Marshall reunite with Jay Cutler on the Bears that features Matt Forte but almost no other weapons (aside from Devin Hester’s returns). It could be a good move for the Bears, but I doubt it. I think most receivers (cough cough, Randy Moss and T.O.) have shown that talent doesn’t outweigh being a troubling force in the locker room.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.