Category Archives: Sports

Lance Armstrong, Cycling, Etc

“Does Lance Armstrong enjoy cycling? Of course he does! He has a ball!”

I saw this one today, written by Kuruis, on Reddit Jokes, got a laugh, wanted to pass it along, so here it is…lol

I am lurking the web, newspapers, movies, and documentaries mining for material to go into my next blog entry. The jokes help keep things into perspective. Sometimes, I try too hard to come up with an entry, and write a bunch of crap, or nothing at all.

Thanks to everyone who has, and is still supporting me in this time of difficult transition, in my life. Having Crohns Disease, and all the body falling apart problems 28 years of it entails is a harsh reality, in and of itself. Adding the marriage breakup to the mix, makes for some real crappy days. Thanks to all of you for cruising my blog, and sending the well wishes.

This too shall pass.

Cheers,

mark – aka still need a car to get back and forth to doctors’ appointments – armyveteran ūüėČ

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Filed under Blogging, Crohns Disease, Humor, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal, Sports

Flipping Through The News – Influenza, Terrorism in Africa, American Military, Economy, Gun Control, Super Bowl 47, Health Tip – Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Hey everyone! I apologise for not writing for a while, and especially for not responding to your blogs. As is par for the course, I have been dealing with health issues, and the personal BS needlessly lurking around me, has not exactly made this a walk in the park. Much has been going on, in the world too, so I am going to kind of flip around the news dial, give a few views, and end this with a health tip, for the day, instead of blabbing about my personal problems. ūüėÄ

Looking around the hospital emergency department last week, when I had to be whisked in, for some problems, and looking around the Veterans Hospital when I was there, for some eye appointments last week, I must inform you, if you do not already know, the hospitals are full. Some hospitals are at maximum capacity. Of course this backs up the Emergency Departments, making for long waits. I waited 15 hours for a five-minute exam by a doctor. Turns out I had gotten dehydrated from crohns related stuff. Nonetheless, I have it on good authority the flu has mutated a little bit from what the vaccine was. Most people who got the flu shot are able to shake it, but others are getting really sick. There is a comparison to the H1N1 outbreak back in 2009, just not as severe, for now. For some reason the press has not picked up on the mutation aspect, yet. Needless to say, if you need to see the doctor, try to stay out of the Emergency Department. They are overflowing, and this makes for an excellent breeding ground for influenza. Be careful!

The terrorists are on the move in Northern Africa, Al Qaeda to boot. Apparently they seized hostages, and a natural gas plant, in Algeria. The Algerian government stormed them, some of the hostages got away, and we are waiting for the rest of the details. I applaud the Algerian government for not delaying their attack against these thugs too long. Swift action is a must when dealing with these types. All they understand is brute force, and the swifter they receive it, the swifter the message gets across their actions are futile, that the world will continue to battle against them, and we will find them no matter where they hide. I am very concerned over the location of this incident. North Africa has a power vacuum with the governments of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt having been overthrown during the so-called Arab Spring. I am mostly worried about Libya becoming a safe haven for terrorists, and the caches of arms left from the Quadaffi regime being used to hurt, and kill innocent people. In essence, I fear Libya may become another pre 9/11/01 Afghanistan. If the United States is forced to occupy Libya, or any other nation, we must reactivate 2 more divisions, of the Army, at a minimum. We may even need to reactivate the draft. We have stretched our professional army to the breaking point. The pain needs to be spread around the entire nation. These wars would not be lasting as long as they have been if more families had to deal with their loved ones being shipped to hostile areas of the globe. The fight we are engaged is a necessary war. If it were not, I would say so; however, we need to use our Armed Forces in a way we are not stretching them to the breaking point. Trust me, the Department of Veterans Affairs, although intending the best, is not geared to help our returning Veterans in a way that will assist them in starting to heal in a way that is dignified, compassionate, and complete. We need more soldiers, plain, and simple. If we are to see the war on terror to a proper conclusion, we will be occupying more nations, in the future. Our professional forces are going on 20 plus tours, per soldier. That is too big of a strain. Please tell your representatives, in DC, to appropriate the funds to activate more divisions, of the Army, so that our men, and women are not being called on to do the impossible. These soldiers, God willing, will have to come back into society, at some point. We want that transition to be as smooth as possible, and one way to see to this is to have more units available for rotation into the war areas without breaking the back of our military. Regardless of what the Pentagon is saying, I know this is smart, and correct strategy. Ask any returning veteran who served front line duty.

Next up, the economy. The answers are not going to be easy, the solutions will be difficult to agree on; however, Republicans, and Democrats need to stop posturing, saying they will/ will not do this, or that, and work out a middle way. The American people want both sides to come together, and for the solution(s) to come from both sides. The key is to bring the left’s solutions, and the right’s solutions¬†more to the center. The middle¬†is where the answers are at. Stop posturing, and start working for the American people. Failure is not an option.

Gun control is unfortunately back on the radar, of the nation, due to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. I can only imagine how the parents of these most innocent victims feel. My heart breaks for them, and my prayers, for their comfort, are being offered on a regular basis. I am not immune to the suffering of this, and similar tragedies. Everyone wants a solution, or solutions, to keep this from happening again. I do too. However, I want us to be really careful we do not rush into anything. Our 2nd amendment rights are there for a reason. Our forefathers had to use the gun to get rid of a tyrannical government, and they wanted us to be able to do the same, should it become necessary. I do not see how we could overcome a tank with an assault rifle, but look at the Syrian rebels, and one can see if freedom is wanted enough, small measures, by determined hands, can effect solutions. The bottom line on gun control, for me, is we need to stay off slippery slopes, and really think this through before enacting draconian measures. The first thing needing the be done is gun owners need to lock their guns up when they are not using them. Being a responsible gun owner can do much to keep them out of the wrong hands. Thorough background checks, which I thought were being done, are a no brainer, and a must before anyone is allowed to purchase a gun. These are just a couple of common sense solutions that will yield results. We want results to come out of our endeavours to prevent another Sandy Hook tragedy; therefore, we must demand solutions that are workable, keep guns out of the hands of crazy people/felons, all the while protecting a key right under our Constitution: the right to keep, and bear arms. Once again, God Bless those mourning the losses of the victims of Sandy Hook, and other gun violence.

The Super Bowl should be interesting this year. Baltimore verses San Francisco, with two brothers head coach of the opposite teams. I totally missed the championship games yesterday because my antenna is not working right, so until I can review some tape, and hear what the sports masters have to say, I cannot call the game yet; however, I would like to see the Ravens win. Middle Linebacker Ray Lewis has overcome many obstacles in his life, and this is his last year playing the game. It would be a good thing to see his team win the Super Bowl.

That is all I have for now. Happy Martin Luther King Day, please take time to remember the sacrifices of the Civil Rights era. Our society is a better one for it. Surely, I would not want to go back to segregation, and Jim Crow. I thank all, living, and dead who participated, on all levels to effect this much better society.

Good luck to President Obama, on his second term.

——–HEALTH TIP—— Can’t sleep? Take a wash cloth, wet it with cool water, wring it out, and place it over your abdomen. This has something to do with blood flow, and the bodies electrical pulses, pulling them to this area, creating a relaxing effect that leads to sleep. I tried this, and had a great night’s sleep. For me that is huge because I am an insomniac! —HEALTH TIP—–

Cheers.

mark

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Jaguars, Fiscal Cliff, and I Need A Car

This is a bad time to be a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This season has been, by far, one of the worst since the league expanded and added the Jaguars back in 1995. With only two wins under their belt, and one game left in the season, there is nothing to be excited about.

Injuries have been the main stay this season. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Running Back Maurice Jones – Drew, players on the Offensive line, and on the Defensive side of the ball have combined for a next man up, and “can we find a war body to field” scenarios. Having thought we had settled our Quarterback problems, Gabbert got hurt at a key point in his progression, and Chad Henne, although performing heroically, looks to be replaced, or at least made to compete for a job against Tim Teebow. Teebow, by the way, has been warming the bench in New York not because they refuse to play him, he just aint that good. Jaguars owner Shad Khan seems like he will trade-off all of our good draft picks to acquire him next season to have fair weather fans buy tickets for a stadium that has not been blacked out for some time now. I will not buy a ticket to see the Teebow circus. We need a team, not Teebow, and his one man show. The biggest mistake we could make would be to trade away the stock we have in next years draft to acquire him. Certainly, continuing to round out our roster, should be the priority.

Onto other matters. If Congress, and the President do not come together, and agree on something, America will be going over the fiscal cliff come January. Personally, I think they will once again kick the can down the road. I hope they do not. I hope they can stop arguing over their differences, and work out a deal on the points they agree. These are dark times in United States history. I hope the Republicans, and Democrats see the light.

Anyone out there with a generous heart, I really need some help. I need a vehicle to make it to my doctors appointments. I go at least once a month, and the trip is 120 miles round trip. Even if I move there, to that city, I will still need a vehicle. I am having a heck of a time even buying food because I do not have a car to get to the grocery store. I have been living out of the Family Dollar. I see these cars, KIAs, for no money down, and 99 a month. I could afford that, plus the insurance, but they will not approve my credit to get one. I am hoping something comes up for me soon. Trust me, if I could work, and get off disability, I would not be in this position; however, I can’t, and I am really struggling not having a car.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas!

cheers,

mark

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My Jaguars Journal – Thursday Night (2nite) Game – Jags Host Colts – Speculations

The Jacksonville Jaguars host the Indianapolis Colts tonight, at Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida. Coming off another loss last Sunday at Green Bay, I hope, really hope, deep down inside my heart we will pull off a win against the Colts. The Colts are the only team we have defeated this season; however, the game last Sunday was a bruiser, and the game against Oakland, which we lost in overtime, may have been the death warrant, on our season.

We have many things going in our favor, but the negatives have multiplied, to the point, I do not foresee us winning many more, if anymore games this season. Our franchise Running Back, Maurice Jones – Drew hurt his foot, in Oakland, and our 2nd year¬†Quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, was pulled because of an¬†injury, to his left (non throwing side)¬†shoulder. We have had other injuries, and they are growing like a snowball rolling¬†down hill. Moreover, some of our key defensive players will be held out of tonight’s game, at last check, due to injuries.¬†

Our season, as far as our quest for the playoffs is over. The Jaguars are under a new owner, and a new head coach. We have a young Quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, who  has very few reliable targets, to throw the ball to. He has a chance to become a good, if not a great Quarterback, but he cannot get to the next level being constantly knocked down/around, cannot get comfortable, in the pocket, and the receivers drop his passes, no matter how perfect the placement/speed is. Our quarterback needs protection that is good, and consistent. I know he is going to get hit, he does too, but it is happening a bit too much. The Offensive Line must do a more consistent job. They are a good group of players, capable of playing on a high level. They need to protect our young Quarterback so he can develop into the best player he can be. More on the O Line, in a bit. 

About us fans. All a Jaguars fan should be doing at this point, in the season, is continue to support the team with ticket purchases, and watch the players, scout them even. Do we have talent? Why are our Wide Receivers dropping the ball so much? Will Justin Blackmon, and those big hands be the answer, or one of the answers, at this position?  Some of these guys will stay, and some will go. We have had huge let downs this season by players we expected much from. I say give them all a good game time, real-time test. Scout this team during the season. No matter how painful, get rid of the non-performers, and big mouth trouble makers.

The Jacksonville Jaguars need to become a multi-dimensional football team. We have relied on Maurice Jones –¬†Drew too much, and have failed to develop replacements for Jimmy Smith, and Keenan McCardell. Our Tight Ends, especially Marcedes Lewis are underperforming. If everyone keeps dropping passes, and QB Blaine Gabbert continues eating turf, every game, we will soon be out a Quarterback. Gabbert has what it takes to become a decent Quarterback. We need to surround him with the keys to success; i.e. reliable players who will block for him, run their routes, and not quit. The players who are not giving their all will not be back next year. When I see a receiver not run his route, and see that if he had done so the team would have a first down, or a touchdown, I get mad. I am sure the owner, GM, and Head Coach are seeing these same things. Those players, if they cannot get it straight that every play is important, and even if you do not think you are getting the ball, you still run your route, cause you just do not know when the ball is coming your way,¬†if these players do not get their heads out of the clouds, they will not be a Jaguar next year, and they might not even be in the league. One last point about the offense. We need to start thinking about a replacement for Center Brad Meester, as soon as next year. He has been a reliable Center, the anchor of our Offensive line for some time now. He overcame a bad neck injury several years back, battled his way back, and nary misses a game; however, he will not last forever, and we need to make sure this position is one that is very stable. We need to start looking around the league, for next year’s¬†potential free agents, and in the college ranks for someone who will be reliable, steady, strong, and a good, if not great Center. It would be ideal to draft a Center, and let that person work, and learn under Mr. Meester. Last point, and it is about the Offensive Line again. Sometimes these guys are great against very powerful teams, yet when we play a weak team, they get run over. We need consistency for Gabbert to have that extra millisecond, so he can find the open receiver, and get the ball down field.

I will discuss the defense, at a later date.

Go Jags!

mark

Post Script: Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan best do all he can to have the sports casters stop saying the Jacksonville Jaguars are moving to London. If he allows this talk to continue unchallenged, he will wind up with an empty stadium here in Jacksonville. We have gone through ten years of speculation we would lose our team to Los Angeles, California only to have it turn into the sports announcers, and the jockocracy saying Jacksonville is the de facto team moving to London. Jacksonville will not support a losing team that is constantly being rumored to be moving here, or there unless the owner comes out and publicly announces he is not moving the team.

mark

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My Jaguars Journal – Jaguars vs Packers – An Upset???

These are the times that try the loyalty of Jacksonville Jaguar fans. After the penalty filled, injury riddled, poorly coached game against Oakland last week, I do not have very high hopes for the Jags getting a win today against the Green Bay Packers.

Even though my hopes are not high, for this game, I do see opportunities, for individual players, to shine. Maurice Jones РDrew will not play. He has a foot injury. Who knows if this injury could have been prevented had Mr. Jones РDrew not held out of the entire training camp, and been on the same timing/page the rest of the team is on. All things considered, Rashad Jennings came in, took over for Jones РDrew, and looked good, for a back up, scoring a touchdown, to boot. I see an opportunity to Mr. Jennings to show his skills today. He is on the same page as the rest of the team, knows the playbook, and is a talented running back who has been held back by the dominance of Jones РDrew. Today he will not be in that shadow, and should have a good day. If I had a fantasy team, and were struggling at running back, I would give him a shot.

Another area of opportunity is for the defense to pin their ears back, and not only hold the Packers down, but be the determining factor, in an upset win. I expect the front four to go after Aaron Rogers, and give him a run for his money. If the defense can stay in his face, keep him rattled, and sack him hard, like so many other teams have done to our Quarterback, we can make Rogers a non factor. The back 7 need to fly around, hit hard, contain the run, disrupt the pass, and create turnovers. If all of this comes together, and we can stop the big play, the Jaguars have a chance to win, regardless of the injuries to a few of the starting back 7 (LB,CB,S).

The offense has a chance to shock the jockocracy with an upset win. We know the Jaguars have the big play in their arsenal. It is great to be able to run the ball, and Jennings should do a great job; however, the Jaguars need to open it up with vertical passing, and make more big plays. Justin Blackmon has a chance to use those big hands, his talent for snatching the ball out of the air, snatching the ball out of a defenders hands, and his game speed, to be a difference maker. Look for Blackmon to get more looks, and hopefully some completions, to run down the field. Cecil Shorts seems to have the appetite, and skills, for the big play. Lets not forget this, and use it to our advantage. Marcedes Lewis needs to become a factor in this game. He has been mostly invisible this year. Today he needs to show his talent, and make some plays. Having an effective Tight End, actually getting the ball, and doing something with it causes the opposing defense alter their schemes, opening up other areas of the field. The Jags need Lewis to be effective today. The Offensive Line needs to protect Blaine Gabbert, and open holes for Rashad Jennings. No exceptions.

Special teams the time is now to break some returns for touchdowns. I liked the succesful onside kick last week. Kicker Josh Scobee has surpassed former Jags kicker Mike Hollis in field goals. Our new punter, Anger, is a great punter. He will be a factor in every game he plays. I have never seen a punter as good as he is, and I¬†have a feeling I am watching a future Hall of Fame punter. The bottom line for special teams, it may all come down to Josh Scobee’s leg, kicking a game winning field goal, in the final seconds.

This game will either be very close, or it will be a blow out. I suggest Jaguar fans prepare their paper bags now. Go ahead  cut the eye holes out now, and do not forget a breathing, and beer/iced tea drinking hole.

I hope we have some good football today, in the entire league. I have my television tuned in, and I am putting my eye glasses on.

Have a great day!

mark

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My Jaguars Journal – Week 6 – Time To See A Shrink

Week 6 РNational Football League, American Football Conference South, Jacksonville Jaguars, Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida:  The Jacksonville Jaguars are off this week. This is a good thing. The time off will give the team time, to reflect, on their problems, and time to  seek out solutions. I have a few items on my agenda, this week,  for whatever it is worth.

The offensive woes the Jaguars are going through are painful, to watch. I am sure they are even more painful, for these men, to go through. I do not think they have given up, nor do I think their performances, on the field,¬†are indicative, of the level of talent,¬†on the team; however, I do believe there is something else going on. Something deeper. Could a disgruntled player, or two, be the cause of the offensive woes? It is possible. When I look at who has the most reasons, to be disgruntled, I hate to write this, but Maurice Jones – Drew¬†is at the top of the list. He has millions of reasons, to be disgruntled. He will still get his yards, but he has a high potential, to hurt the team, by fracturing the locker room. There are other players who could singularly divide the locker room too.¬†I used Mr. Jones – Drew as an example, due to his hold out.¬†Nonetheless, we could be seeing the beginnings, of a divided locker room. There¬†are problems as proven by the results, on the field. This team has too much talent, to flop the way they have been doing, not just lose, but outright flop!¬†¬†Send the Offense,¬†to see a sports psychologist, or even a cadre, of regular, as well as sports¬†psychologists. While we are at it, send the whole team. Whatever the poison is, our once feared defense has become infected too. Our¬†defense,¬†that¬†as recently as last year was a highly rated defense is ¬†a laughing-stock this year. The coach, GM, and owner need to participate in these psychological sessions¬†too. Moreover, I have noticed owner Shad Khan‘s children/relatives around the players, after the game, in the locker room, and such. I know the kids want to learn Daddy’s business, but this is not the time for it. The guys have to watch what they say, and do, because little Khans will tell big Khan¬†about any problems. Sometimes these guys just need to let it out. Having ownership around too much is a recipe for failure; look at the Dallas Cowboys, and how much Jerry Jones is around. When was the last time Dallas fielded a great team?

This is all I have for this week. Bottom line here, the entire team needs to see sports psychologists, and perhaps regular psychologists too, so as to see whats bugging them. It is also very important to remember,  just as the Bears will need help getting over the murder of their fan, in Jacksonville, at the Jacksonville Landing, the Jaguars need to deal with this too. My heart, prayers, and sympathies go out to the family, and loved ones of the murder victim. I hope the murderer gets the maximum punishments allowed by law.

Jags Fans, and Blog friends, as well as others just cruising through, Take Care of Yourself.  If you know someone who is struggling with illness, give them a call. You will be a blessing to them, and you may even feel better about yourself afterwards. You should feel better, because being a blessing to someone, even with something as simple as a phone call, can mean more than you will ever realise.

Take Care,

mark

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My Jaguars Journal – Week 5 – Bears Destroy Jagaurs – Bears Fan Stabbed at Jacksonville Landing

The Jacksonville Jaguars loss, in front of yet another sell out crowd, to the Chicago Bears, was the single worst day in team history. I have been a fan, from the beginning, and this game was a blow out. Yet another Jag Flop, for the record books.

During the first, and for most of the second quarter, the teams were locked up, 3 to 3, then something happened. What? I do not know. Perhaps Lovie Smith figured out the playbook Head Coach Mularkey was using, or more likely the Jaguars mistakes got the best of them (not a good day for 2nd year QB Blaine Gabbert). I also saw that the Bears outplayed them. The Chicago Bears came into our house, and like every team has done so far this season, man handled us.

We have a week off, to hit the re-set button, but I do not know if that will be enough. Historically speaking Jaguars teams under a new Head Coach have not exactly racked up the wins during that first season. New Coach, new Owner, and a young offense equals a rough year to be a Jaguars fan. Dont give up the ship though. Look around the league at the teams who have waited years to be where the Jaguars went under Coach Tom Coughlin. Between Coughlin’s great coaching, and ex-owner Wayne Weavers free spending, we put a good team on the field. It all caught up¬†to us when the salary cap got¬†to us, but man did we had a hell of a team. One thing is sure, GM Gene Smith’s blue light, dumpster diving specials, to fill out the roster, for a cheap owner (former owner Wayne Weaver) are not doing anything but taking up space. Our offensive line is a joke, and Blaine Gabbert will never develop into a good quarterback so long as he is not protected. Our so called great defense sure has fell apart. Face it, Mel Tucker needs to be his own man. If you are going to call him the Defensive Coordinator, unshackle him from Jack Del Rio’s playbook, and style, and let him run the defense the way he wants. He is a 3-4 coordinator, let him make it so, or free him from this sham of a defense.

I hope we can pull out at least a .500 season, and win the rest of our games, at home. It sucks for the fans, and players to have a blowout like was dealt us by the Bears last week.

Onto a much more serious note. My heart, prayers, and Christian sympathies go out to the family, and friends of the Chicago Bears fan who was stabbed to death after the game, at the Jacksonville Landing. This is a very tragic event. The perpetrator is not representative of the people of Jacksonville, and I just want to say I am so sorry. The citizens of Jacksonville will be insisting the city government come off the money so our very fine Sheriffs Office can enhance security, at these type places. I have not been to a bar, sports club, or pub, in years, so I really do not know what all is happening; however, I did work in the Hospitality Industry here in Jacksonville, when I left the Army, and know for sure off duty police officers are available, to be hired, for security, or even extra security. I am hoping the owner, of the place this happened at, had proper off duty police security. Bouncers cannot handle things when people are wielding knives, and other deadly weapons.

Take Care, and Be Careful

mark

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