Tag Archives: James Polk

NFL16 Cherry Picks W4: Presidents, Field Generals & Super Chiefs

28 Sep

One down, two to go. Phew!

With the first presidential debate of Election 2016 now in the books* and media spin-cycle on full-tilt, this NFL fan got to thinking about the prestigious prize Dollar Don and Capital Hill are both eyeing, the Commander-in-Chief job (adjustable hat included), and then what it takes once you’ve been voted the reins of leadership to make it a memorable tenure.

This phase in the Oval Office Chase is a little like the playoffs in sport: The TV camera test for the candidates is a whole ‘nother season, with both contenders starting over at 0-0.

On a gaffe (Ford, “No Soviet domination of E.Europe,” Carter using Amy as a “nuclear arms” standard (76), Dukakis playing opossum in failing to dress-down question-poser Bernard Shaw (CNN) for needlessly making Mike’s wife Kitty part of a crass death penalty hypo (“raped and murdered“) (‘88) and Papa Bush checking his watch (‘92)), a lead in the polls can evaporate faster than a fat NFL lead at the half (Swing Time), just as the candidate who tosses a tight, talking spiral for TD can make-up a poll deficit quicker than Tom Brady finds pay-dirt.

ford-851k-wc-grfl-1933-umFootball forensics aside, an NFL quarterback won’t bear near, nor near beer, the burdens of our Chief Executive, to be sure. He is, however, often referred to as a field general, empowered to muster his offensive troops in a Ulysses S. Grant-like forward-thrusting campaign to gain territory and vanquish an opponent. That’s the plan, anyway.

On the other hand, it’s also fair to say that while Presidents can sadly suffer the greatest of physical harm (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, JFK (JV squad Harvard), Reagan wounded), rarely, if ever, must they bear the weight of a 200+ lbs, muscled-out, charging defender landing on his person as does Joe Quarterback.

In truth, QBs and CICs are pretty much worlds apart in the duties department. They do, however, have one thing in common: As Big Kahunas, both get the credit in victory, nearly all the blame in a loss.

So with that as backdrop, it’s a champion time to honor all those who bear lonely burden of leadership, in whatever endeavor, but here in particular, today’s top NFL field generals teamed with our nation’s finest Presidents over these past 240, both who’ve supped the champagne yet most certainly “suffer(ed) the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (Hamlet (de Vere)).”

Note: No QBRs have been referenced (I can read a stat-line) and no greenhorns considered (R -> 2y). As in politics, top candidates must be vetted and the highs & lows assessed with a dispassionate eye in order to gain a substantive read.

America’s Best Signal-Callers

brady-8-28-9-k-allison-wc-cca-2m-dc1) Tom Brady: New England Patriots, pocket-passer;

FDR: The only Commander-in-Chief besides the Cherry-chopper who could’ve been king (4x), his economic vision (New Deal) prescribed emergency medicine in seriously Depressed times, taking federal policy beyond simply feeding the greed, then he and his wife Eleanor undertook to save the world (WW2);

2) Ben Roethlisberger: Pittsburgh Steelers, mobile-PP;

Lincoln: Made the union whole, more human and gave his life in the process;

3) Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay Packers, mobile-PP

Washington: Iconic leader who led world’s first revolt against Imperium slavery since Spartacus (d.71 BC), gave the new office stature and nation a good start;

4) Drew Brees: New Orleans Saints, pocket-passer

Jackson: Old Hickory was the first non-elitist President who fought Indians, British invaders, banker thugs and brought the people and democracy to DC;

wilson-edithbolling-galt-wc-11m-6-1920-harrisewing-loc5) Eli Manning: New York Giants, pocket-passer

Wilson: Professor President (1856 – 24) with steely resolve to make America a world leader in war (WW1) and peace (LoN), whose 2nd wife Edith (Ellen) co-ruled after his stroke (1919) making her unofficially the first female U.S. President (1872 – 61);

6) Joe Flacco: Baltimore Ravens, pocket-passer

JFK: He saved planet Earth (CMC (’62)) and then lost his life in the risky battle against entrenched power;

7) Russell Wilson: Seattle Seahawks, mobile-manager

Cleveland: Should’ve been first 3-term Prez, designing the template for modern-era “government of the people, by the people, for the people;”

8) Phil Rivers: San Diego Chargers, pocket-passer

Jefferson: Crafty Purchase (Lou.) doubled nation’s size decades after he drafted America’s Declaration of Independence (‘76) and our first public college (UV);

lbj-fdr-allred-5-12-37-wc-259k-nara9) Alex Smith: Kansas City Chiefs, manager-PP

LBJ: Mis-policy in foreign war (Vietnam) did not derail efforts of this legislative juggernaut in making civil rights reality and honoring America’s seniors;

10) Matt Ryan: Atlanta Falcons, pocket-passer

Polk: Pragmatic, fiscally sound and productive, James was Mr. Manifest Destiny, adding thirteen (13) States in whole or part to America’s family of stars. Worn to the bone, he died 3 months post-term;

11) Andy Dalton: Cincinnati Bengals, pocket-passer

Truman: Plain-talking, former farmer, WWI major, haberdasher and pianist (Bacall) proved critics & premature press-men (Chicago Tribune, etc.) wrong with a strong, spirited & common sense administration;

12) Tony Romo: Dallas Cowboys, pocket-passer

Teddy: “Big Stick” policy boosts US clout, trust-bust sent checks monopoly-greed and initiates our national parks system. Celebrity turned progressive;

teddy-wc-loc-thmRounding Out Top 15

13) Cam Newton: Carolina, run-QB / James Madison;
14) Carson Palmer: Arizona, PP / Andrew Johnson;
15) Andrew Luck: Colts, mobile-PP / William McKinley

 

cherries-ripe-chirak-wc-605k-6-24-7Cherry Picks Week 4: “Nothing to fear but fear itself”

Miami (1-2) @ Cincy (1-2): 9.29 NFLN 8:25: Bengals win
Seattle (2-1) @ NY Jets (1-2): 10.2 Fox 1:00: ‘Hawks win
Bills (1-2) @ New England (3-0): CBS 1:00: Patriots win
Carolina Panthers (1-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (2-1) (GTW): Panthers win
Oakland Raiders (2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-0) (GTW): Ravens win
Denver Broncos (3-0) @ Tampa Bay Bucs (1-2): CBS 4:05: Buccaneers win
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) @ Arizona Cards (1-2) (GTW): Fox 4:25: AZ wins
New Orleans Saints (0-3) @ San Diego Chargers (1-2): Fox 4:25: Saints win
Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) @ Pittsburgh (2-1) (GTW): NBC 8:30: Steelers win
NYG (2-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (3-0) (GTW): 10.3 ESPN 8:30: Giants win

Record: 14 – 17

* No clear winner from Monday night’s dialectic (WU in STL), though, there was little debate in the contest directly South in the Big Easy (ATL 45-32). But as Ms. Clinton, pre-debate poll leader, former White House decorator (1992-00) and of a much lengthier political résumé than her veritable newcomer opponent in Mr. Trump, her failure to deliver a haymaker of sorts might give the Don the win on points. But there are more rounds to go and whomever claims victory in this first foray had better not rest on their laurels and come out swinging-with-style in the next. Like NFL16, it’s still anyone’s fight to win or lose, i.e., wide open.

......NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL Hunch Line
Photo credits: G.Cleveland, wc.cca, 1903, Library-of-Congress, F.Gutekunst; G.Ford, wc, GRFL, 1933, UM; T.Brady, wc, 8.28.9, K.Allison, DC; W.Wilson, Edith-Bolling-Galt-Wilson, wc, Harris&Ewing, 6.1920; Edith-Bolling-Galt-Wilson, First-Lady, 1915-21, wc, LoC; FDR-Allred-LBJ, wc, 5.12.37, NARA; T. Roosevelt, wc, LoC; cherries-ripe, wc, Chirak, 6.24.7; NFL-symbol, wikiproject
Posted: 9.27.16 @ 9:22pm, edit @ 11:38 EST; Copyright © 2016

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NFL’14 Cherry Picks W5: Field Generals & Super-Chiefs

4 Oct

Born to Quarterback

Article III, Sec. 2, Clause 1., US Constitution states, in part:

President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into actual Service of the United States.”

The War Powers clause adds another twist (A1.S8.C11). No one ever said checks & balances would be easy. Nothing worth having ever is, eh?

..........Brady.wc.cca.12.18.11.J.Beall.thumb

NFL quarterbacks don’t bear the burdens of our Chief Executive, to be sure, but he is often referred to as a field general, marshalling his offensive troops in a Patton-esque, forward-moving campaign to gain territory and vanquish the opponent.

And it’s also fair to say that the President rarely, if ever, has to bear the weight of a 300 lbs lineman flopping on his person as does Joe Quarterback. The Kennedy clan was big on touch football (Jack was JV at Harvard) but none of ’em ever saw anything like Jared Allen or Justin Tuck bearing down with nothin’ but bad thoughts on their minds. Ouch.

In truth, QBs and C-in-Cs are pretty much worlds apart in the duties department. They do have one thing in common: as big kahunas, both get credit with a win, blame in a loss.

So in honor of all those who bear the lonely burden of leadership, I list those fifteen Presidents and c. 2014 quarterbacks who presently bear the burden best.

America’s Best Signal-Callers

1) Tom Brady, Patriots, pocket-passer;
FDR: His economic vision prescribed emergency medicine and took policy beyond simply feeding the greed, then he undertook to save the world;

..........FDR.wc.cca.E.Goldensky.1933.thumb

2) Peyton Manning, Broncos, pocket-passer;
Lincoln: Made the union whole, more human and gave his life in the process;

3) Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, mobile-PP;
Washington: iconic leader who led world’s first revolt against imperium slavery since Spartacus (d.71 BC), gave the new office stature and then the nation a serious start;

4) Aaron Rodgers, Packers, mobile-PP;
Jackson: First non-elitist President who fought Indians, British, banker thugs and brought the people and democracy to DC;

5) Eli Manning, Giants, manager-PP;
Wilson: Professor President w/steely courage to make America a world leader in war (WW1) and peace (LoN), whose 2nd wife Edith (Ellen) co-ruled after his stroke (‘19);

..........Wilson.1916.thumb

6) Drew Brees, Saints, pocket-passer;
JFK: Saved the Earth (Cuban Missile Crisis) and then lost his life in the battle against entrenched power;

...........Brees.wc.cca.Kuwait.T.Day.07.thumb

7) Joe Flacco, Ravens, manager-PP;
Cleveland: Should’ve been first 3-term President, designing a template for modern-era “government of the people, by the people, for the people;”

.........G.Cleveland.USNARA.thumb

8) Phil Rivers, Chargers, pocket-passer;
Jefferson: Crafty Purchase (Louisiana) doubled the nation’s size, decades after he drafted America’s creed of independence (DoI ‘76);

9) Russ Wilson, Seahawks, mobile-manager;
LBJ: mis-policy in foreign war (Vietnam) did not derail efforts of this legislative juggernaut in making civil rights reality and honoring America’s seniors;

10) Alex Smith, Chiefs, manager-PP;

..........A.Smith.M.Bragg.wc.cca.1.31.14.thumb
Polk: Pragmatic, fiscally sound and productive, James was Mr. Manifest Destiny, adding 13 States, in whole or part, to United States’ territory. Died 3 months post-term;

..........JKPolk.wc.cca.LoC.Brady.thumb.1849

11) Matt Ryan, Falcons, pocket-passer;
Truman: The plain-talking, former farmer, WWI major and haberdasher proved critics & premature press-men wrong with a strong, spirited and common sense administration;

12) Tony Romo, Cowboys, pocket-passer;
Teddy: “Big Stick” buster of trusts, builder of Parks, a celebrity turned progressive;

..........TR.wc.cca.LoC.thumb

Rounding Out Top 15:

13) Andrew Luck, Colts, mobile-manager / James Madison;
14) Andy Dalton, Bengals, pocket-passer / Andrew Johnson;
15) Carson Palmer, Cardinals, pocket-passer / William McKinley

Note: Quarterback Cues (no QBR):

Games started (longevity & mettle measure); career regular-season W-L; Clutch factor (post-season W-L & GWDs (See: Eli & Wilson), titles (SB / Conf.); Comp-%; TD-Int. ratio; sacks-suffered (See: Rodgers, Brady & Smith (highs), P. Manning (low)).

“All I Really Need to Know I Learned (on the Playground)”

A play on the title of Bob Fulghum’s 1989 best-seller (“…in Kindergarten“). The read? Never quite lived up to its nifty title. Short on reality, though, the billion copies likely printed-up made plenty o’ real cash for its producers. But I thank Bob for the segue.

Grade school on the whole was enlightening: teachers, the topics, most my classmates were friends. Those were the good years. After that, competition & cliques. Ugh.

But then learning isn’t confined to a classroom. There’s also the classroom of recess where “playground justice” was doled out by the kids in charge.

What we learned there wouldn’t fill a book (didn’t stop someone else), but it did start us young’ins on that all important pathway to self-socialization.

One of the biggies in recess: the tit-for-tat rule. Translation: what goes around, comes around, i.e., “He started it!” If you’re pushed first, you can push back w/ reason.

The NFL and NFLPA apparently don’t care much for that standard, but then those are the same blokes who usually sat things out on the playground battlefield (“Puff!“).

NFL’s goal: keep it simple, contain the problem. That’s great for them, and the chucklehead fan who thinks his, or her ticket (See; finger-fan woman @ J. Noah, AA Arena ‘13 ) gives a license to verbally abuse. But for players, not so great.

..........G.Smith.eltiempo10.wc.cca.8.11.13.thumb

Case in point: Jets QB Geno Smith who, after suffering home loss (17-24) to the Lions last Sunday, then suffered verbal attack of a self-important licensee (fan) and did what any self-respecting person would do, he responded in kind. That got him $12,000 fine.

Gino apologized the next day but then had royal salt poured into his wound when one of the Manning princes (Eli) from on top his high horse chided the 2nd-year signal caller: “If they’re yelling at you, you probably deserve it.” Thanks, friend.

The word ‘fan’ is short for fanatic, originating in 1880s St. Louis when a writer tagged the very boistrous baseball game attendees who took it all very seriously. How seriously? You don’t wanta’ know.

Cat-calling of players and officials is a time-honored tradition in sport attendance. But there is a line you don’t cross, physically and verbally.

In these times, no person, no man, woman or child, millionaire player nor fan, should suffer the verbal hostility of another person, ticket or no ticket. It’s high time the NFL, NFLPA and press backed up players (and nearby normals) on this point, giving these guys some room to move when confronted w/the beer-swilling, venom-spewing chucklehead.

“No (pizza) for you,” Eli. “Come back, one week!”

Thankful for Small (NFL) Favors

Consider it one of those rare pleasures: NFL fans not having to endure the ludicrous uncorking of bubbly and donning ski goggles in shower of champagne after every playoff round victory, as the kids in MLB do on cue and with reckless, boyish abandon.

After winning what really amounted to a play-in game, wild card winners Royals and Giants got all wet in wild & wacky celebration, as if they’d just won the title or successfully landed rover on Mars. But boys will be boys.

.........cherries.Hispalois.Spain.wc.cc.thumb

Cherry Picks Week 5: “Nothing to fear but fear itself”

Bears (2-2) @ Panthers (2-2): 10-5 Fox 1:00 EST: Cats win
Falcons (2-2) @ Giants (2-2): Fox 1:00: Atlanta wins
Texans (3-1) @ Cowboys (3-1): CBS 1:00: Dallas wins
Bills (2-2) @ Lions (3-1): Fox 1:00: Detroit wins
Ravens (3-1) @ Colts (2-2): CBS 1:00: Indianapolis wins
Cards (3-0) @ Broncos (2-1): Fox 4:10 (GOTW): DEN wins
Chiefs (2-2) @ 49ers (2-2): CBS 4:30: Kansas City wins
Bengals (3-0) @ Pats (2-2): NBC 8:35: New England wins

Record: 26 – 10

Steven Keys
NFL Hunch Line
Photo credits: LBJ & M.Hammer / Vietnam ’66 (DSC) / Y. Okamoto / wc.cca; T.Brady / wc.cca / 12.18.11 / J.Beall; FDR / 1933 / E.Goldensky / wc.cca; Wilson / 1912 / Pach / LoC / wc.cca; D.Brees / Kuwait – 07 / wc.cca / T.Day; Cleveland / USNARA / wc.cca; A.Smith / wc.cca / M.Bragg / 1.31.14 – ProBowl; J.Polk / 1849 / wc.cca / LoC / Brady; Teddy / wc.cca / LoC / 1919?; G.Smith / 8.11.13 / eltiempo10 / wc.cca; Cherries / wc.cca / Spain / Hispalois / 7.2.12

Posted: 10-3-14 @ 10:52pm EST