This season has been a disaster for the NFL. Sure, there are tons of good games, but there are also lots of scandals. They’ve been accused of ignoring claims of domestic violence, unfairly punishing players, and that isn’t even the worst of it. Over the weekend the NFL got into more trouble because of a time honored tradition, the touchdown celebration.
Husain Abdullah was penalized for this touchdown celebration, in which he bows down and prays, a common practice for his Muslim faith. Abdullah is a devout Muslim and even skipped the last NFL season so he could make the Islamic trip to Mecca. This is what the NFL penalizes.
I guess you have to draw the line somewhere, but this line seems a little…off. Apparently, this line was drawn when you aren’t doing a dance from a rap song or intentionally disrespecting your opponent.
Kurt Warner was the miracle man in 1999 and the NFL MVP in 1999 and 2001. He is ranked number 3 of all time in career passing rating in the entire NFL. So it is really no surprise to see him back at the top despite the inability of management to recognize the timeless talent in this champion.
Warner was a mere backup quarterback for the Rams in 1998, having entered the NFL from the Canadian Football League, but came on to lead his team in the 1999 season, when an injury of the starting quarterback put him in the driver’s seat. According to Wikipedia, he shocked the NFL. “Warner completed one of the top seasons by a quarterback in NFL history by throwing for 4,353 yards with 41 touchdown passes and a completion rate of 65.1%”.
He led a basically unknown team to a stellar season and a superbowl title, making the Rams a Cinderella team in only their fourth year in Saint Louis. The Saint Louis Rams defeated Tennessee to take the Superbowl and prove they were indeed the best team in the NFL.
Kurt had a problem. How do you repeat? It isn’t easy, and the Rams were not made up of the same committed talent of the dynasty teams of the Steelers and Patriots. The defense failed them in future years, and their management did not have the commitment to win. After two years of being in the hunt but not winning, the Rams blundered away their talent and eventually became the pathetic Saint Louis Team we see today.
Was Warner at fault? In 2002, Warner appeared to lose heart. The Rams went 0-3 and Kurt looked to have lost his spark. Warner broke a finger and was forced to sit out much of that season giving way to the youthful and promising Marc Bulger. Marc was indeed a great talent, but he proved that it was not Kurt that was at fault for the Rams’ failures. Despite great play, Marc has yet to lead the Rams anywhere but to mediocity and more recently, total embarrassment. Marc has proven that talent alone is not what leads a team.
Warner, in 2003 ended up with the Giants, and he started off winning five of seven games, but the Giants that year were rather pathetic overall. Despite switching quarterbacks to Eli Manning in place of Warner, the team played out the rest of the season losing 6 out of 7 games. A change in quarterbacks was not the answer for this team, and great coaching and team building is what brought the Giants to the Superbowl. Eli played well, but could Warner have once again led a superbowl team had they fixed their problems before discarding him? We will never know.
Kurt was flipped once again, but stuck in there, signing with one of the most hopeless teams in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals. This was not where a great player goes to recover his greatness, this is a team a player goes to die quietly in obscurity.
And so it seemed. Warner did not rise immediately to greatness. Injuries and questionable choices by coaches in Arizona kept Warner out of the hunt until 2007. Then, a miracle. According to Wikipedia, “In the third game of the 2007 season against the Baltimore Ravens, Warner came off the bench to relieve an ineffective Matt Leinart during the 2nd and 4th quarters (the Ravens were leading 23-6 at the beginning of the 4th quarter). He led a furious comeback as he completed 15 passes out of 20 attempted for 258 yds and 2 TDs. This brought them to a tie game (23–23), but after a Ravens last second field goal, Arizona lost the game 26–23.” A heartbreaker for Warner, but a sign that great things were to come for this champion.
Still, no one showed true faith in Kurt. Everyone wrote him off. No way this old man (age ) could win for the Cardinals, the Cardinals don’t win on their own, how could they win with a has been? Seattle would win the west and Arizona would make a brave, but hapless, showing.
Under Kurt’s leadership and with incredibly talented players such as Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Kenmile Boldin on offense and a defense that rose to the occasion many times during the season and shut down great teams in the playoffs when it had to be done, the Cardinals won the West with a 9-7 record and have won three straight in the playoffs against the best the NFC could muster. They beat Atlanta and then destroyed Carolina on Carolina’s home turf, 33-13. But the Championship would certainly be a different story, right?
In the first half, Kurt and the Cardinals picked apart the Eagles. The Eagles showed championship heart in the second half, but still fell to a Cardinal drive near the end of the fourth quarter. After his team’s victory, Kurt said “We don’t care if others believed in us… what mattered was that we believed in ourselves!” Kurt can still lead a winning team, and it was a huge error in Saint Louis to discard him due to management’s continuous flubs. Bulger cannot lead that team, and even in his prime best years, could not muster playoff quality. In all due respect, Kurt has grit and you can’t find that easily. He reminds us of Ken Stabler, another great player into his later years.
First Championship in Cardinal History
Now, the master is in the Superbowl again, and ironically, it is with the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals abandoned Saint Louis for Arizona right as the Rams stepped in. Saint Louis felt vindicated, but their owners had no clue how to maintain a strong NFL team and traded youth for experience and courage. Now, the team that was Saint Louis’ heritage, a team with a mascot that could not even survive in Arizona, wins the NFL Championship!! The Cardinals are no longer from Saint Louis, and Saint Louis once again has one of the worst teams in the NFL.
This is the first Championship for the Cardinals in their history. The very first time they are stepping into the Superbowl despite being the oldest franchise in the NFL. It is also the very first time they may just win it all. But it isn’t without the experience of a leader that has been there before. A man with courage and commitment that knows how to win and how to lead. A man Saint Louis, 5 years ago, was much too anxious to replace.
We have heard many cliches about sports over the years, but this one plays with us to the end. Defense does not win championships. Offense does not win championships. Heart wins championships. The Cardinals have heart, and it is our hope that it leads them to Superbowl history.
The US basketball team started off their competition against China. The Chinese established themselves early, letting the Americans know they should not get too complacent. The teams in the Olympics are prepared and they are well coached. When a team is selected from well over a billion people, you have to respect their ability.
The US led 20-16 after the first, but the Chinese nailed a three pointer at the start of the second period. The challengers in red were serious contenders here. And they were keeping it close. As you know, the US lost in 2004 despite bringing power-house players and only managed the bronze. That loss was bitter, but it demonstrates that individual talent does not make a basketball team. One can observe this in the All-Star games. You get to see your favorite star, but typically not much of a ball game.
It looked like the energy on the Chinese team was about to wane, but then they nailed another three pointer and kept it within reach. Henry Kissinger was in attendance in body, but not in spirit; the man was clearly snoozing, not cheering. Even the elder Bush looked challenged to stay awake.
The US team started getting aggressive, but they could not sink baskets, and gave China the opportunity to catch up. China was shooting 7/11 from the perimeter. The US tried a three pointer, and missed again, netting them a catastrophic 1/10 from behind the 3 point line. You can’t do that in international basketball and not get challenged…or beaten.
They tell us that the referees can be horrendous in these games. The reason, they come from different countries and this often presents language barriers. In addition, there are subtle differentiations in the rules from nation to nation, which can lead to confusion on the court. But so far, their calls were looking as good as most US officiating, and this Chinese team was still within 2.
Kobe then reminded us what greatness is about. The US stole the ball and fed it up to Kobe against two Chinese defenders. Kobe stuffed it between the two as they looked totally helpless to stop him.
The US kept on letting the three point shooters from China nail basket after basket. While the US could only muster one 3 point shot, China had delivered 9!! That added up to 27 points of China’s 32 points.
As the US tried to come back, Kobe missed another 3, putting the Americans in a sad position. The US was 1 out of 11 outside the three-point line. They have to learn, blocking a 3 pointer by the opposing team is just as good as getting one. If you are going to depend on going to the basket to win, you cannot allow teams that focus on the 3-pointer to get shot after shot uncontested.
Yao Ming is a freak of nature. At 7’6″ he towers above the US players. One has to wonder how the Chinese, that average between 5’5″ and 5’7″ in height could deliver such a monster to the games! But there are well over a billion Chinese, so anything becomes statistically possible.
The US continued to do what they do best. Driving to the basket and drawing the foul. Lebron James nailed the basket, but missed the chance to make it a three.
Now the rebounds and drives to the basket started to pay off. The US generated a 16-3 run taking a commanding 13-point lead as the Chinese looked totally dismayed. 3 pointers aren’t going to win all by their lonesome, so perhaps the coaches for the US were right after all. Just let the Chinese have all the 3s they want, but control the rebounds and the inside and let the game come to you.
The rest of the half was rather mundane, with the US ending up by 12 at 49-37.
The Chinese love basketball, and are great fans of the US teams. The popularity of the game could result in as many as 800,000 basketball courts in the China by the end of this year, and there are still players waiting an hour or more to get into a pickup game. They aren’t our equal in basketball yet, but their numbers are scary.
The US drew first blood in the second period as Kobe faked a 3 and drove to the basket. He had China flatfooted on that move and the US went up by 14.
The US domination was on the 2. They were only one for thirteen outside the 3 point line. In reality though, if you control the inside, you control the game. That was apparently the US strategy, and heaven forbid they start hitting a few of those 3s.
The US started getting lazy in the 3rd letting the Chinese get multiple offensive rebounds, but the Chinese started missing their shots. Missed shot after missed shot by the Chinese led to a 16 point lead for the US, a cushion that was not going to be overcome.
The US was demonstrating they were unselfish here. They looked like a team playing tenacious defense, wearing China down. Fast line changes and US speed were starting to make the Chinese team look a bit foolish. And then, James hit a 3 to take the US up 18.
It appeared that, as the game went on, China was getting more and more tired as the US team was just warming up. Maybe the US should play a pick-up game to warm up before the actual game!! They weren’t even looking slightly fatigued after almost three periods, so their strength is in their stamina and heart.
The Chinese started fouling ugly and the US started hitting free throw after free throw. Chris Bosh was fouled, but only put down one out of two. Even with that the US led by 21. And the Chinese started to get humiliated. Steals, easy baskets, and the US started to show that the Chinese were dramatically over-matched. US by 24.
Another steal by Wade that leads to an easy stuff and the US margin expands to 26! The Chinese could not find the basket anymore. This game belonged to the US the rest of the way.
The 4th was no different, calling it play by play would just take up unnecessary space. The Chinese were humiliated 101-68. Over a 40 point margin!! The US all-star squad demonstrated that the criticism of their ability to play as a team is vastly overdone. They are a team and hopefully US Champions on their way to the GOLD!
People world wide can respect pride in their brethren. It does not matter if you are American, Iraqi, Iranian, French, British or any other nationality. Your brother or sister is your friend and garners your respect. And so we find pride in our participants in the Olympics, as does everyone in the world. We love this competition, no matter who wins. But just as most people in the world, we hope our teams/participants win. It is all about pride and patriotism. And patriotism extends well beyond our borders.
Could Islam Greet the Olympics?
In the Muslim world, it is considered a crime, punishable by death, to
render a depiction of Mohammed. Many in the US misinterpret this law because they see it as a contradiction to freedom of speech, but, as Christians, we would like to see similar laws against mocking our religion. Watching Christ depicted in satirical ways is often difficult to take. Perhaps we should respect the Muslims here and have respect for all religions in this regard. It is not our place to prevent freedom of religion. Neither is it our place to condemn theirs. We hope to see the next Olympics in Dubai or an equally wonderful place in the world of Islam.
Terrorism and Murder?
One has to reflect on the Munich 1972 Olympics when terrorists massacred the Israeli team to project their fear and horror on America and Israel, but we here in America, and those throughout most of the world, know that freedom of religion reigns. Muslims can be champions as well as anyone else, and we love them equally. There is no prejudice when it comes to the games. It is all about being a champion. Mohammed himself would appreciate that and love watching his champions win in the Olympics. Peace.
Peace, America Loves And Welcomes All Nationalities…
Raj Bhavsar replaced Paul Hamm, who withdrew from the competition. Raj said, “This is a tremendous honor and the first feeling that comes to mind is that dreams can come true. You never know when it will happen, but with enough positive intention and belief, it can. I am ready, willing and able to take on this great opportunity. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of a great athlete, Paul Hamm. My heart goes out to him. He did an admirable thing, and he will always be a hero in my eyes. I also want to recognize the other two alternates, who are an important part of the soul and spirit of this team.” Raj is among the top American gymnasts for these Olympics. He performed for Team USA when they had no room for an error. And his performance on the rings was his signature event. He killed it, and brought America a huge chance to compete for a medal. We love Raj and hope to see much more of him as the games progress.
Kevin Tan A Huge Example of America’s Free Heritage
Kevin is a captain of the American Gymnastics Team, but he looks more like he should be competing from China.This is not a coincidence, Kevin is of Chinese descent and has great pride in that heritage, as is the case with most Americans in the melting pot that is the USA.Most all of Americans come from somewhere else in the world, and that is what makes America special, because in America, everyone can be great.And Kevin is great.
Kevin, and his father before him, are heroes from China, and we all love and cheer him as our American hero in the Olympics.Isn’t that what we are all about?
The weakest event for the US is the Pommel Horse, but Alexander Artemev from the US proved that this won’t be the case in these games. He smoked the horse and delivered an execution score or 9.150 against a difficulty of 6.1 for a total score of 15.25.
According to Wikipedia “Sasha Artemev was born in Minsk, Belarus (then the USSR) on August 29, 1985. His father, Vladimir, was a member of the Soviet national gymnastics team in the early 1980s. His mother, Svetlana, was a high-level rhythmic gymnast. Artemev came to the United States with his parents in 1994 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2002.”
Alexander, once again, is an example of an American Team born of international heritage. His performance was stellar and exemplary of what makes the US great. We love and welcome everyone. No nation is perfect, and no nation endorses only those that want to be endorsed. But the US endorses everyone that is within its borders. And we protect their rights and love them as our own, because they are our brothers and sisters.
Dara Torres was training for her fifth Olympics. At 41, she just delivered her new daughter, Tessa and was swimming the same day!! That is either crazy or demonstrates the heart and strength of a champion. Three weeks post-delivery, Dara swam her first meet.
Dara did not swim in the heats for the 4×100 free relay, but she will swim in the finals.
At least, we will try to cover some highlights of the two-week worldwide event! When it comes to reality, nothing stands out more than athletic competition, and the most diverse competition is that of the Olympics.Most people throughout the world have watched at one time or another as their nation’s teams of athletes competed for the Olympic medals.
“So You Think You Can Dance” is an Olympic-like competition, pitting the best young dancers to perform incredibly difficult feats for us in head to head competition.And it has become one of the most popular shows on television and generates millions for the Fox Network.
But the Olympics are more pure, especially when there is little doubt who the winner of an event was.At the end of the 100 yard dash and one man or woman takes the Gold, or at the end of a free style swim and the winner’s head pops up and you know, they are the champion of the world.
We realize that the Olympics have been spoiled at times by the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs, but so has every sport in America and throughout the world.No one realistically believes our 300 pound football players got there eating their Wheaties.But we do want winners, at all costs, and in that endeavor we are no different than the athletes or other teams competing in the events.
So, when you get down to it, we all like to win, and when we can’t win ourselves, we like our team to win.If you live in Boston, you are most likely crazed about the New England Patriots, the Red Sox and Celtics.If you live in New York, you live for every Yankee’s game, the cheer of the crowd for the world champion New York Giants and the hope that the Knicks will be the champs this time around.
But no matter where you live in the world, you can identify with your country.Your nation has athletes that work their entire lives to reach the level of excellence required for world competition.And in fact, no matter what country you are from or live in, you can identify with your team, your athletes, and their victories become your own.
We cannot hope to cover the Olympics in its entirety.There are entire news teams dedicated to this throughout the world, and we cannot hope to keep up with that, even if we also made it a full time endeavor.But we can try to focus on the events we like the most and keep you abreast of those few.If we do not cover an event you love, please drop us a note and we will, to the best of our ability, add it to our program.
We will focus primarily on the US team.This is because this is an American web site, not because we feel any other team is less deserving.In fact, we will comment on those teams that outperform the Americans and why the deserved to win!But we cannot do it all.For that, you will have to turn to the international news media.All we can do is express our emotions and our team spirit as the US competes.
This could be overwhelming for us, and it will take cooperation from our readers.If this is well received, we will work diligently to bring information and articles on your favorites.So far, the readers of myrealitytelevision.com have graced us with an enormously positive response, larger than we ever expected, and we are grateful to you all and hope you enjoy this segment as well as you have our others.