Mental Illness and the NFL
This weekend, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall wore green shoes to promote Mental Health Awareness week. Marshall suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and has been very public about how much treatment has helped him. While much of the NFL was wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month, Marshall was fined ~$5,000 for promoting an issue that doesn’t help the NFL’s bottom line.
Jeff Hughes, writer of Da Bears Blog, does an amazing job breaking down the NFL’s disgraceful treatment of mental illness and lack of priorities. I couldn’t recommend this article enough. It’s a great piece of sports journalism.
Five Wins, One Huge Loss
The Bears won their fifth straight game last night, but Jay Cutler, their quarterback, is down for around 6 weeks with a fractured thumb on his throwing hand. What’s crazy about it is that no one knew until after the post-game press conferences. Peter King explains how it went down:
Early in the fourth quarter of Chicago’s 31-20 win over the Chargers, Cutler threw an interception to Antoine Cason. Trying to tackle Cason near the sideline, Cutler flailed at him while being blocked, and his right hand slammed on the ground. When Cutler got up, he looked at his hand and flexed it a couple of times. But he stayed in the game and finished, throwing two more passes. After the Bears’ fifth straight win (and third straight game scoring in the thirties — the first time the Bears have done that since 2005), Cutler greeted some Chargers on the field as he normally does with foes after game. Nothing said about a sore thumb. A Bears’ PR man escorted Cutler to talk with NBC Sports’ Alex Flanagan. Nothing said about a sore thumb. Cutler showered and did his local press conference. Nothing said about a sore thumb. Coach Lovie Smith did his press conference. Nothing said about a sore thumb for Cutler.
Cutler had gotten a lot of shit about his injury during the NFC championship last year, so he probably felt the need to act a little tougher, but this is kinda crazy.
Now, I don’t think the season is dead. In fact, I think the Bears have a pretty good chance to make the playoffs. They play five bad teams and one great team. Going 3-3 puts them in good position and going 4-2 should secure them a spot. I’m probably being overly optimistic, but I think this will be a great finish to the season and the Bears will end up the top wild card spot.
Update (11/21/11): If you’d like to know more about Caleb Hanie, Cutler’s backup, National Football Post has a good summary. He had a really good preseason, which is part of the reason I’m optimistic.
My Football Play Ideas, by Claire Zulkey
"Run and throw: The quarterback throws the ball to a guy who is running away but doing so in a way so that no one can get him. Hopefully you are already near the endzone but if not you might have to do some running, I hope that is OK." I LOLed.
Posted November 16, 2009
For the last couple months, I've been following Chad Ochocinco's tweets (he's a wide receiver on the Cincinnati Bengals). Chad is known as a bit of a clown* but is a really hard worker and an excellent receiver. He's known for his inventive touchdown celebrations and desire to be loved by everybody. He's definitely succeeded in converting me as a fan.
Unlike Terrell Owens, a fellow clown who is a phenomenal talent but toxic in the locker room, Chad is liked by his team and loved by fans. Since joining Twitter several months ago, he's started to give back to his fans. For each of the home games, he flies one of his Twitter followers out to watch from the stands. Originally the idea was that they would tweet in his stead, but that didn't seem to happen.
He's also not afraid to announce his location (especially when he's at a mall, which is often). In fact, he'll often ask fans to give him a lift or meet him for dinner when he's out of town. When he's at home, he often offers to bring 100 fans to a movie (and they show up!).
You could argue (accurately) that's excellent at marketing himself, but after following along for a bit, I just think he's a good guy. He seems to hang with fans and work hard on he enjoys it. To me, it's a typical case of a perosn putting in hard work at something they love and having the success follow.
* See: his last name, which used to be Johnson, but is now officially his nickname, a poor Spanish translation of 85
Myron Rolle Skips the NFL Draft to Be a Rhodes Scholar
"Rolle plans to carve his own legacy after Oxford by attending medical school and becoming a neurosurgeon. He has started a foundation that is building a medical clinic and recreation center on a remote island in the Bahamas." This guy sounds like a real d-bag.
The Hardest Job in Football: Recording a Game
The Atlantic follows the intricacy of shooting a football game. I love this line, "'There were seven steals!' he says. 'Seven! Five of them resulted in baskets!' The team repeatedly stealing the ball was Kentucky, 'and everybody knew that they always applied a full-court press after a basket! The steals were critical to their success in the game, and the audience didn't even see them!'" [via kottke]