Monday, December 27, 2010

Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Falcons Forget Short Pass; Drew Brees and Saints Don't

Lost in all of the stuff about how Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Roddy White's Twitter Tweets fueled the New Orleans Saints to their 17 to 14 victory over the Dirty Birds tonight at The Georgia Dome, was one fact: when it mattered most, Matt Ryan and the Falcons forgot the short game.

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton showed once again why he's the NFL's best play caller not name Peyton Manning, Andy Reid, or Bill O’Brien of the Patroits. With just over 8 minutes on the clock he and Quarterback Drew Brees directed a 13 play, 90 yard drive that featured six straight passes. The last pass was a touchdown to rookie Tight End Jimmy Graham that Head Coach Mike Smith and the Falcons should have seen coming: the pass to the big tight end lined up all alone over the small cornerback, where the Saints throw a quick look-in pass within five yards of the goal line. Something they did in Super Bowl 44 against the Colts.

All of Brees passes were of the short variety.

By contrast, when the Falcons got the ball with a whopping 3 minutes left, and needing only to get into field goal range, they got greedy. The first play was a broken-field run by Matt Ryan for about 20 yard, then the drive stalled and they went three-and-out, as Ryan tried to throw down field to score, rather than short to work the clock and move the chains.

If that series were replayed and the Falcons Smith said "OK, Zennie. Let's see what you can do," I'd have used Ryan's legs on a planned bootleg to open the series, worked a set of short passes off play action to Falcons Running Back Michael Turner, then called the roll-out pass to the left to Roddy White. Work short. Work the ball.

That's what the Saints did, and in a series so devastatingly perfect, Bill Walsh was smiling down from Heaven.

Saints at Falcons: The Georgia Dome Experience

As you're watching the New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons Monday Night Football game at The Georgia Dome, it's a good time to point out one thing: The Georgia Dome's an excellent place to watch a football game.

This blogger's watching the contest in Suburban Atlanta, but elected not to go to the game because of the ice patched streets. But the last Falcons home game, against the Green Bay Packers, I did attend and what an incredible experience. Here's the video:

As the video shows, the seats for my long time friend Keith Johnson and I were excellent and provided a great place to watch the Falcons win 20 to 17. (thanks to his wife for giving Keith his hall pass!) Section 129, row 33, seats 7 and 8. That's the north end zone corner.

What's great about watching football at the Georgia Dome is it's a theater for the game. Everything, from the seats to the structure, to the roof itself, focuses on the field of play. Of the seven Super Bowl's I've attended, the Georgia Dome was the second best stadium host to the game, with the best one being Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

A New Falcons Stadium?

Reports have it that Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants a new stadium so the team can move out of the 18-year-old Georgia Dome. The Georgia Dome itself should be that new stadium. It needs wider club level corridors, meeting rooms and second level "terrace club zones" to fill in the vast amounts of empty space between the curtain walls and the stadium seat structure, a large central entrance atrium, more and upgraded luxury boxes, and all-new giant screens.

Blank reportedly wants an outdoor stadium, but given his desire to gain more overall revenue, that's not a good idea. A dome stadium's ability to host more events means more money than a comparable outdoor stadium.

Keep the Georgia Dome. It's a winner. Like the Falcons.

San Francisco 49ers Fired Mike Singletary - Advice For Jed York

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When it was announced that the San Francisco 49ers fired Head Coach Mike Singletary, my mother made a quizzical observation: "I wondered about that, because it seems like he's always arguing with somebody." That was telling.

My Mom doesn't know or pretend to know football, but she does know people, and Singletary's explosive exchange with Troy Smith didn't sit well with her. Now, for good measure, she didn't agree with Troy Smith "trying to show him up" as she put it, either.

But Singletary, as the head person, is expected to hold a more dignified position than he presented on the sidelines. "The 49ers need someone like Bill Walsh," she said.

They do.

That's what brings me to this portion of my blog post: the idea that the 49ers, and more to the point, Team President Jed York (in photo), need in a general manager, a person who embodies the style of the late, legendary head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.   And to find that person, York must first read one book cover-to-cover: Building A Champion.

That's the book on making a winning football franchise.  A book written by Coach Walsh, with Brian Billick, who was a Niners assistant under Walsh, then went on to earn a Super Bowl ring as Baltimore Ravens Head Coach, and is now an NFL Network Analyst.

In it, Walsh lays out a blueprint the 49ers once followed, and have gotten away from.  Just look at the coaches the Yorks have hired since the end of the Walsh / Eddie Debartolo era and the time when Denise Debartolo York took control in 2000:  John York, Ted's father, replaced Steve Mariucci with his first hire, Dennis Erickson in 2002.  In 2003, Erickson posted a 7 and 9 record.

Eventually, Erickson gave way to Mike Nolan, who's best year was 7 and 9 in 2006.  Nolan stepped down for Singletary mid-year 2008.  In total, Erickson, Nolan, and Singletary have a 45 win - 82 loss record, or roughly a 6-win, 10-loss average.

In total, the York's have produced a 6 and 10 organization.

By contrast, Bill Walsh, George Seifert, and Steve Mariucci posted a combined .656 record, and that includes Coach Mariucci's worst years with the Niners: 4 and 12 in 1999, and 6 and 10 in 2000.  Then Steve came out of his slump with 12 and 4 and 10 and 6 records.

And in its entirety, the 49ers under Walsh's approach and coaches set lofty standards for sports organizations to follow.  What Niners like legendary defensive back Ronnie Lott called "The 49ers Standard."

That's lost on this organization, and solely because it seems the Yorks as a whole are afraid to use the platform Coach Walsh left for them.   But it's there.  In books and on video tape.  It's there.

All Jed York has to do is study it until his eyes drop off.    He should do that before he even thinks about hiring a GM.

99ers Find Their Theme Song - Bon Jovi's "Work for the Working Man"

It has been a very tough year for the American long term unemployed, but the 99ers have found their Theme Song - Bon Jovi's "Work for the Working Man" [From the CD The Circle - Released November 10, 2009]

In a powerful and professional manner, YouTube member concernedinKY posted a video today called A tribute to the 99ers: We are not invisible that says it all and gave me the idea that perhaps we 99ers need to contact Bon Jovi and ask that band to be our celebrity spokesmen - even a benefactor - can you say Benefit Concert???

In their own words, concernedinKY describes the video as: "A tribute to the millions of Americans that have exhausted all of their unemployment benefits and have lost everything, some even their lives. They are not invisible. They are your brothers, your sisters, your mothers, your fathers, your grandparents, your cousins, your neighbors. They are your fellow Americans and they are suffering. They want jobs, but until there are jobs they need a lifeline to survive. Support extending UI benefits for all."

See it below for yourselves and be awed! Also PLEASE contact Bon Jovi via his
Foundation Website
Twitter @BonJovi


We need this working man working on our behalf!

"Work for the Working Man" (Full lyrics)


[Please use the donation button below to help Paladinette to KEEP FIGHTING for the 99ers! Thank you.]

On Teena Marie and On Hugh Hefner Marrying Crystal Harris

Teena Marie's passing is shocking, but Hugh Hefner's marrying 24 year old Playboy Playmate and girlfriend Crystal Harris is par for Hef's course. First Teena Marie's passing.

Hats off to CNN's Roland Martin for breaking this story, reporting it via Twitter, and for overcoming claims that it wasn't true and pressing forward. Martin checked his sources and stayed with the news, sad as it is to consume. Teena Marie was well-loved by many who, especially during the racially-divided 70s, wanted to see a white person break into the black music scene and be accepted. Teena Marie, a protege of funkmaster Rick James, did just that.

Lady T was, in her 50s, still performing, and was set to go on more tours when her life was taken by a heart attack, after having suffered a seizure the month before.

Really sad. Folks. Please remember to listen to your body and drink a ton of water. If your body is saying stop, whatever your doing, stop it.

Whatever Hugh Hefner's doing, at 84, he's go no reason to stop doing it. Now, he's marrying his 24-year old girlfriend Crystal Harris (pictured).

Hey, stuff still works, I guess. And by "stuff," I mean MoJo, and whatever else it takes for him.

But I think, and this is my theory, that Hugh's lived so long because he surrounds himself with young college-aged women.  

He's still stuck in high dollar frat World, and given the great food, booze, sex, limos, parties, and hot chicks, why not?

Hef's made a business of having fun.

Let's see. Hugh was, what, 54, 64, 74, now 84, but his girlfriends and wives have always been somewhere around 24. It's like the fountain of youth for Hef!

Next, we'll read about 104-year-old Hugh Hefner marrying a 24-year old.

Think about it.

Meanwhile, I'll think about Teena Marie in Heaven.

Oakland News: Tiki Tom Davies Still Missing After Restaurant Fire

This Oakland News follow-up to this blogger's post about Tiki Tom's Restaurant and its owner Tom Davies in what turned out to be the last video of the restaurant and the only one with his boat in it: Tom Davies, AKA Tiki Tom, is still missing. Here's the video:

No one has, to this writing, seen Tiki Tom. The restaurant burned down in a fire that caused $750,000 worth of damage. In reading the Yelp reviews, Tiki Tom's reputation was marred by a large party that was describes as "attended by thugs." It seems that party marred Tiki Tom's already spotty rep, and led to the decline in patronage.

But Tom is missing.

This blogger had a great time at Tiki Tom's and is sorry to see the place go.  Running a business is hard, especially an eatery, where there are always thousands of critics.  But if you do one food dish well, and treat everyone nice, they'll come back.  Whatever happened at Tiki Tom's would seem to have been "fixable," but maybe Tom didn't think so.  

Something happened.  Just what, exactly is best known by Tom himself.