Posts tagged NFL
Sammy Watkins just finished up a phenomenal rookie season and along with a stellar defense, is bringing hope back to a weary fan base in Buffalo that is long overdue for a team to be hopeful about. Watkins completed a successful rookie campaign, setting franchise marks for both receptions and yards despite having his starting quarterback benched early in the season and finishing out the year with a solid but unremarkable Kyle Orton.
The Bills gave up quite a bit for the opportunity to move up and select Watkins in the form of two first rounders and a fourth round pick. This along with the successful rookie campaigns of other receivers in what will likely go down as one of the deepest and most talented receiver classes of all time had Watkins coming into the league with even more pressure than usual for first round picks.
Watkins responded by persevering through injuries, quarterback changes, drawing the defenses number one coverage man, and in some cases, entire games of double teams, by repeatedly coming up big for his team when they needed him. His most noteworthy moment according to himself and others was a game winning catch against the Vikings in week seven with the season already on the line with a tough schedule ahead of them.
Sammy sat down with Man Jr. to discuss his transition into the league, the coaching changes and volatility in Buffalo, adjusting to life in his new home, and his work on Pepsi’s Hype Your Hometown contest. Check out the audio below:
The annual first staple party of Super Bowl week, EA SPORTS’ Madden Bowl XXI, at Live Wire/Bottled Blonde in Scottsdale, was one of the best Madden Bowls to date.
Madden Bowl XXI saw top NFL players go head to head, competing in Madden NFL 25 on Xbox One. In a heated battle, the Arizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson was crowned Madden Bowl XXI champion, beating out last year’s champion, the Eagles’ LeSean McCoy, for the title.
The night was hosted by “The Wedding Ringer” star and comedian Kevin Hart, and featured special performances by Nelly, Florida Georgia Line and Nico & Vinz. Celebrities attending included:
Kevin Hart and fiancé Eniko Parrish
Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks)
Actor Chris Evans and his brother, soap star Scott Evans
Demaryius Thomas (Broncos)
AJ Green (Bengals)
JiffPom (celebrity dog)
LeSean McCoy (Eagles)
Wes Welker (Broncos)
Jeremy Maclin (Eagles)
Von Miller (Broncos)
Le’veon Bell (Steelers)
Antonio Brown (Steelers)
Thomas Q. Jones is a captivating force on and off the field. While best known as an unstoppable running back that played twelve seasons in the NFL, Jones has turned his post-NFL focus to the world of acting and will next be featured in Season 3 of the BET smash-hit, “Being Mary Jane.”
He recently completed filming “Straight Outta Compton,” the feature film based on the lives and careers of the hip-hop group N.W.A. and has appeared in such acclaimed series as “Shameless” and “Comedy Bang Bang.”
Drafted 7th overall in the 2000 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals out of the University of Virginia, Jones went on to become one of the 25 leading rushers in NFL history, with more than 10,000 rushing yards. In addition to the Cardinals, he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs, becoming AFC Rushing Leader, an NFC Champion and Pro-Bowl selection within his career.
He grew up in Big Stone Gap, VA alongside five sisters, one brother (former NFL running back, Julius Jones) and his coal-miner parents. Jones recently collaborated with his parents to publish Blessings from the Dust, a book inspired by the struggles the family endured coming from the poverty-stricken coal-mining camps of Virginia.
Jones received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, in three years, from the University of Virginia, and established the Thomas Quinn Jones I Academic Scholarship, at his alma mater, among his other philanthropic endeavors. Committed to helping the NFL evolve, he has committed to donating his brain, for research upon death, to the Sports Legacy Institute which studies the link between sports and brain trauma. He is also working on a documentary, “The NFL: The Gift or the Curse?”
I had the great fortune to talk with Thomas about his many passions and outlook on life. From his playing days in the NFL, to acting, creating a business, and getting his MBA, Jones is always working. It is remarkable to see someone not only excel in one job that is hard to get into like the NFL, but then make it in the acting world.
The latest ‘Bad Lip Readings’ video is back and looks to poke fun at some of the NFL’s biggest stars with some hilarious lines.
Tis’ the season…for holiday hijinks! Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman teamed up with Courtyard to surprise guests and spread some holiday cheer at a Courtyard by Marriott in Chicago, IL.
Posed as an eccentric Scrooge-like director that was hired to film a holiday video card for Courtyard, Tillman had unsuspecting guests sing “Jingle Bells” while wearing makeup and ridiculous props all while being captured by hidden cameras.
When the disguise came off, Charles Tillman revealed himself to be the same “nice guy” that NFL fans recognize.
NFL star and CBS analyst Tony Gonzalez is teaming up with Marriott Rewards to give back to the most passionate NFL fans across the country with every fan’s dream opportunity.
Now through December 2, 2014, football fans are invited to share their passion for the NFL through 30-sec videos or captioned photos that show an unrivaled spirit for the game and their favorite player. Six lucky fans who can prove they are among the “Most Passionate” will receive the ultimate NFL experience hosted by Gonzalez – an exclusive trip for two to Phoenix, tickets to the Pro Bowl, and the opportunity to hang with their favorite player on January 24, the day before the game.
“One of my best memories when I was younger was having Merlin Olsen come out to my Pop Warner practice field and come talk to us, and drop knowledge, and the things that he told me back then like, work hard, follow your dreams, stuck with me for the rest of my life,” said Gonzalez. “The ‘Marriott Rewards Most Passionate Fan’ contest is the same type of thing – to be able to hang out with your hero, it’s a dream come true and I encourage everybody to go out there and make it happen.”
A voting period for the top 100 entries, which is open to the public, lasts from Dec. 2 – 19. To enter the contest and read the official rules, visit MarriottRewardsMostPassionateFan.com.
If you are a football fan and love to get behind the scenes and hear stories from a Hall of Fame coach then you should pick up the book, “Parcells.” His latest book came out last month. It was a great read. I found myself wanting to read more and more each day. I loved reading about some of the stories the teams he coached, people he brought up in the ranks of coaching, and his take on the game itself.
Parcells may be the most iconic football coach of our time. Any fan of the NFL knows that he was able to turn around a few failing franchises into playoff teams. He brought two Super Bowl Championships to the city of New York. After that he turned the New England Patriots into an NFL powerhouse and reinvigorated the New York Jets.
He orchestrated the winning recipe to bring the Dallas Cowboys back to their time in limelight. It was a no brainer that he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. NFL fans will thoroughly enjoy his stories from his time with each organization.
Even more you will get to read his thoughts on his longtime former assistant head coach, Bill Belichick. We get to see from Bill’s view what went down as Belichick took the Jets job and then left a few days later to take the New England Patriots head coaching position.
In his new book Parcells writes, “He made a deal and then tried to get out of it. A deal’s a deal. You want out? You’re going to pay. Simple.”
Parcells did say later on that he didn’t “begrudge” Belichick for taking the Patriots job, and that he probably got it for him.
Parcells even talks about then-Jets offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Charlie was looking to Parcells for the head coaching job. Yet when Weis testified for Belichick during a grievance hearing, Parcells banned Weis from Jets facilities. You will definitely want to read that chapter.
He even talks about his relationship with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Parcells writes on Jones, “If you told Jerry, ‘Give me $10 million this November, and by next November I’ll give you $12 million,’ he’d have no interest in that proposition. But if you said, ‘Jerry, you give me $10 million, and next year at this time, there’s a 15 percent chance you’ll have $100 million,’ he’s in. Now, I could never understand that, but that’s the kind of guy he is; he’s a risk-taker.”
Parcells also credits himself with Cowboys QB, Tony Romo success. He wrote “If I had put in Romo in his first year and just let him play, he would have been out of football in a year and a half. He was just a gunslinger. He was indiscriminate. And he would do [expletive] that you just can’t succeed doing. But after a year or two of practicing in the preseason, getting his [reps], you could see he had a real good chance to come along.”
Like I said “Parcells” is a fascinating read and is must own for any football fan. To purchase the book click here!
In the spirit of Halloween, former New England offensive lineman, Matt Light, dons a unique Halloween disguise- a mannequin – giving Courtyard by Marriott guests both a trick and a treat in this Halloween edition of ‘Courtyard Camera’.
Have you ever wondered if you could beat a Super Bowl Champion Coach in a game of football? Maybe your chances are slim to none in real life, but what about electric football. I am talking about the old school game where the little guys shake and shimmy all over the field. You think you could? Well in the latest Bud Light Up For Whatever TV spot.
The video features an NFL fan who is randomly challenged to a game of “electric football” in a bar by none other than Jimmy Johnson. Yes, Sean is indeed a random fan (not an actor) and he had no idea that Jimmy was going to walk into the bar and challenge him to vibrating football while other patrons cheer along.
And remember, if you’re holding a Bud Light in your hand while watching a NFL game this season, it means you’re #UpForWhatever – and anything can happen.
This week I was invited to go back to school. Now some might cringe to think about going back to school, but this was a very cool campus. It was Nike’s Hyperschool. The curriculum was taught by Nike’s finest tech guys and gals. There was even a surprise guest, who shared his thoughts on why he loves playing in Nike gear. It was Atlanta Falcons running back, Steven Jackson. Here is a fun fact. Did you know that Steven was an intern at Nike? Well believe it or not he was.
And like Steven Jackson many athletes not only wear Nike sneakers, but the clothing from Nike. The technology and research that goes into Nike’s sneakers and clothing is tremendous. Parker Mangum is the Product Lead for Nike Pro Combat. I spoke with him about the development of the clothing and how they talk with athletes to improve their gear. Usually it is about a two to three year process from the initial talks to the finished product.
The Hyperschool went over a few items from their Nike Pro Hyperstrong, Nike Pro Combat Baselayer, and Hyperwarm Flex lines.
Over the past two years, Nike partnered with Stats, Inc. for an unprecedented analysis and look inside football’s significant uptick in pace and contact across all levels of the game. Using a proprietary database, historical play frequencies and balance charts were created to help analyze how the game is changing. In addition, countless hours of game film were used to quantify and specify contact – both in frequency and location.
Stats, Inc looked at a cross section of NCAA teams over the course of the 2012 and 2013 seasons, as well as six areas of an athlete’s body: shoulder, chest, hip, knee, thigh and back.
Over the years athletes have said that they want lightweight padding that isn’t distracting – without sacrificing speed or performance. Pads have gone from “big and bulky” to “fast and flexible,” just like the athletes. Originally launched in 2009, Nike Pro Combat Hyperstrong is ergonomically designed to provide sport-specific protection to athletes without restricting flexibility or speed. Today, Nike has re-engineered its Nike Pro Combat HyperStrong collection to be stronger, more breathable, and 30 percent lighter than before. Hyperstrong is designed to integrate seamlessly into the football uniform as a lightweight extension of the body.
Here is a breakdown of some their products.
•The Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Flex Tight is engineered for warmth and moisture-wicking. Dri-FIT pods are strategically placed for zoned warmth where you need it most. Breathability-variant mesh areas provide strategic ventilation for optimal thermoregulation. Seamless knit construction adds mobility and flexibility while also eliminating distraction in cold-weather conditions.
•The Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Dri-Fit Max Shield Fitted Mock keeps out rain and wind through a stretch-woven overlay in the chest and sleeves. Dri-Fit Max fabric wicks sweat for comfort in the cold. Mesh back pods increase airflow to keep you cool.
•The Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Dri-Fit Max Mock implements a Dri-FIT Max twill interior to accelerate the pull of moisture away from the skin’s surface, keeping the body dry and eliminating the chilling effect. Side mesh gussets allow for extra breathability and full range of motion, while lightweight jersey panels help reduce bulk and lock in warmth.
•The Nike Pro Combat Hyperstrong 3.0 Compression 4-Pad Top and ¾ Pant is part of Nike’s sport-specific range that includes strategically placed padding for impact protection. With newly-designed, ultra-flexible 7mm DeTech foam padding at the shoulders and ribs, it provides maximum protection and less bulk than its predecessor. Dri-FIT fabric wicks away sweat as four-way stretch material provides enhanced range of motion and optimal breathability when the action heats up.
•The Nike Pro Combat Hypercool Fitted Sleeveless 3.0 Top features open-mesh zones for ventilation and Dri-Fit fabric to help keep athletes dry and comfortable. Warp-knit material in the back creates tear-resistant durability.
•The Nike Pro Combat Recovery Hypertight is designed to be worn during active recovery, in between competition. The graduated compressive design strategically targets different zones of the leg at different pressures to reduce muscle swelling — firmest at the ankle where swelling can be the most severe. Foot stirrups are integrated for a secure fit. Dri-FIT material assists in keeping athletes warm and dry.
Nike designers, researchers and developers start with athlete insights in order to determine their needs. From there, they unlock these athlete insights in the Nike Explore Team Sport Research Lab by looking at athlete performance data. These insights help inform next steps in apparel innovation such as materials testing, fit and flexibility analysis, and more, in order to help designers create the best apparel to protect and prepare athletes for any condition.
To that end, Nike Pro Combat baselayer apparel keeps the body regulated for inclement weather through thermoregulation, breathability and a body-contoured streamlined fit. Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm and Hypercool apparel provide an optimal fit with added mesh in high-heat zones for ventilation and comfort.
To dive a little deeper and better understand extreme weather conditions, Nike took a look at the traditional NFL “strength of schedule” from a very different perspective – the weather.
Although every team will face their share of formidable contenders this season, athletes will also compete with their external environment – extreme cold and heat, snow, rain and wind. As such, if extreme weather is considered, it requires a different level of protection and preparation – both in training and when it comes to baselayer. To that end, Nike explored the previous 10 years of Farmer’s Almanac weather data as well as the 2014 temperature predictions for every NFL game and team this season.
Leading into the 2014-2015 NFL season, it was predicted that the Oakland Raiders would have the toughest strength of schedule, while the Indianapolis Colts were perceived to have the easiest. But when looking at the schedule only through the lens of “predicted weather and temperature” it’s a very different story. The Green Bay Packers have the most extreme cold weather predictions, Seattle Seahawks have the mildest schedule, and the Miami Dolphins have the hottest.