Super Bowl LIII

Still waiting on the next big FA to drop, or next big trade to occur.  Only 1 of the top 5 free agents have signed, and really very few actual trades this winter.  If not for the M’s and Jerry Dipoto making five or six trades involving significant ML players, or the Reds acquiring back of the rotation pitchers, there really has not been a lot of player movement.

ML players that have changed addresses include, James Paxton, Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Mike Zunino, Jean Segura (M’s), Carlos Santana, JP Crawford (Phils) Edwin Encarnacion, Yan Gomes, Yandy Diaz (Indians), Jake Bauers, Mallex Smith (Rays), Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Kyle Farmer (Dodgers), Sonny Gray (NYY), Omar Narvaez (ChiSox), and Tanner Roark (Nats). There may be others that I am forgetting, but nothing significant since the Dodgers/Reds pre-Christmas trade.  There have been rumors of potential big-name trades, but nothing yet.  I still think JTR gets moved, I just do not know where.  And he may be the only name player to be traded within the next two weeks.

That is enough baseball for me today, because today is SuperBowl LIII.

I know the Super Bowl is more than just a game, but I learned long ago I could not follow both college football and the NFL and picked college football, except for my team…Green Bay Packers.  I am an avid Packers fan, but since they are not playing, I plan on hitting the gym during the game with nobody around. 

My second team is whoever my Trojans play for. That being said, the Rams have 2 Trojans that I know of (Nickell Robey-Coleman and Robert Woods), and I cannot recall if any Trojans play for the Patriots, so logic would dictate that I would root for the Rams.  Not happening.  I grew up despising the Rams which is why I became a Packers fan, and I only root for one Cal Bear QB.  So, I am rooting for maybe America’s most hated team, the New England Patriots.  I know people can’t stand Tom Brady and are tired of seeing the Pats win. But for me I am in awe of what he has accomplished.  As an aside, how can you not root for a guy that looks that good with a wife that looks even better!  Anyway, five super bowl rings, 4 super bowl MVP’s.  I just stop to think what it would be like to have the Dodgers win 5 WS with Clayton Kershaw where he was 4 times WS MVP.  How can you not love a winner, especially one as clutch as Brady? 

In a league where the average lifespan is less than 7 years (most generous lifespan), and even the great ones find it hard to continue to compete for 10+ years, Tom Brady has been playing and winning since 2000.  He won his first Super Bowl after the 2001 season ironically enough beating the Kurt Warner Rams, and winning not only the game but also his first Super Bowl MVP.  If they win today, only the Pittsburgh Steelers will have as many Super Bowl rings as will Brady.  I have heard it all…he and Belichick cheat, the Pats do not play anyone in the AFC East, and yet they keep winning Super Bowls.

The only season Brady missed was 2008, but that was my favorite Patriots season.  The reason?  Matty Cassel came in after Brady was injured for the season in the very first game. I have known Matt Cassel since he was in Kindergarten.  My daughter and Matt went to a Catholic elementary and middle school together. We became very good friends with the Cassel family and my second son is still good friends with the oldest Cassel, former ML pitcher, Jack. 

So, for me, while I will be at the gym, I will still be pulling for the Pats.     

In January 1977, I had the very good fortune to work at Super Bowl XI at the Rose Bowl.  One of my closest friends was a high school friend of Rex Paul.  Rex’s father was former LA Rams linebacker Don Paul.  After his football career was over, Paul opened a restaurant in the San Fernando Valley named Rams Horn.  He also became a successful caterer and won the bid to cater lunch to the media at Super Bowl XI.  We worked through the half time, and then got to watch the remainder of the game.  It was a great game between the Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings.  The Raiders were led by Kenny Stabler, Fred Biletnikoff, Clarence Davis, Willie Brown, Jack Tatum, George Atkinson, Ted Hendricks…The Vikings still had ¾ of the Purple People Eaters front four with Carl Eller, Alan Page, and Jim Marshall.  Doug Sutherland had replaced Gary Larson. Offensively the Vikes were also led by Fran Tarkenton, Chuck Foreman, and Ahmad Rashad.  The Raiders had two Trojans, Clarence Davis and John Vella, and were coached by John Madden who was/is best friends with former USC coach John Robinson. They went to Catholic elementary school together and stayed very close.  Guess who I rooted for that day.  Even though the Raiders won, I was upset because after watching Clarence Davis run up and down the field all day, it was Fred Biletnikoff that won the MVP. Oh yeah, the Raiders beat the Vikings 32-14.

Now to bring it full circle for me in today’s game, John Madden’s best friend and former USC coach John Robinson (also the Rams winningest coach of all time) graduated from Junipero Serra HS (San Mateo), the same school Tom Brady graduated from.  And to tie that to baseball, the same high school as graduated Jim Fregosi, Barry Bonds, and Greg Jefferies.

Enough of my reminiscing about some of my Super Bowl moments. Go enjoy Super Bowl LIII.  Maybe one of those 4 out of the top 5 FA will sign next week.  Go Pats!!

This article has 52 Comments

  1. There were quite a few years where I knew the names and skills of about 25 Rams and now it is about 4 that I could quickly name off the top of my head. I rarely watch the NFL but if the Rams are on TV, I will watch no more than 10 minutes. Same with college football.
    I used to be a big UCLA basketball fan and a USC football fan. Now I cheer for the best PAC 12 team in hopes they might wind up #1 nationally. The Lakers were just getting watchable again before all the injuries. I will watch them in playoff games when they play in them but otherwise I can’t get past more than 10 minutes.
    All that said, I still watch too much TV.
    I will be cheering for Rams today.

  2. Harper 5 years, $200M? That’s $40M per year.
    Make that 4 years $160M and I’m open but that would trigger a trade or two.

    1. lol – Why would 1 extra year at 40 mil be a deal breaker for you? You don’t think he can keep up production through his age 30 season? How about 45, 45, 45, opt out, 35, 30? Would that do it for you? As I’ve said all along, it ain’t my money! Signing him through age 32 is probably pretty safe. Most players who are stars at age 25 should be able to play through age 32 without too much drop off. Even if you add another year, it’s really like paying him bonus for the previous seven years. After that, it starts to get sketchy for me. Or, maybe you just take a hard stand organizationally that you won’t give anyone more than 5 years. IDK, it just seems odd to me that 4 years is your limit. Just wondering what your thought process is, or if you’re just being funny.

  3. Heresy! This is a Dodger Blog. How dare we talk about football… unless the Colts were in the Super Bowl? Then every column all week would have been on the Colts.

    Andrew Luck won the Comeback Player of the Year Award and Darius Leonard (aka/ “The Maniac”) won the Defensive ROY. He led the NFL in tackles despite missing one game. The future is bright for the Colts. They need another good draft and they will spend that $100 million they have in cap space. Jim Irsay wants another Championship – in my opinion he is the best owner in the NFL, drug issues and all. He’s crazy… or drugged or both. He’s 59 and looks 75 after years of drug abuse, but he loves his Colts. His daughters are being groomed to take over for him and I would not be surprised if Peyton Manning who is revered here in Indy, comes back as team President and part owner.

    My son-in-law is a big Pats fan, and while I dislike all the alleged cheating, Bellicheck is the best coach of all-time, in my opinion. I don’t realy care who wins (I am not a Ram or Laker hater, but I don’t consider them “my” team). The Dodgers are “MY” team, as are the Pacers, Colts and Duke Blue Devils (I was a Duke BB fan long before Coach K). I am almost as big a Duke fan as a Dodger fan!

    So, AC picked a good topic for today. We are out of the Polar Vortex of last week (-20) and are supposed to hit 60 degrees today. It’s 45 at 9:30 and this snow needs to melt. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, so that means an early spring. He’s never wrong like most weathermen, you know.

    1. Bad look talking about your football team that’s at home watching just like me and you.

      I love the Dodgers, no other team or sport is close. I mostly watch the Lakers to kill the offseason, you can call the NBA my second favorite sport. I also like to watch soccer, ever since my daughter started playing, but the euro leagues where the best talent is plays at odd times with unpredictable schedules and TV coverage, so it isn’t something I can count on. I just watch games opportunistically. As far as football goes, like AC, I mostly watch college football and the Trojans are my team, talk about cheaters, eh? The Raiders and Cowboys were my pro teams while I was growing up. Jimmy Johnson and his hair helmet ruined the boys for me. The Raiders just kept on sucking except for a couple of Chuckie years, but I stuck with them since we didn’t have a team here. But, now the Rams are back and the Trojans suck. So, I watched less Trojans this year and watched most of the Rams games. The Trojans will be back next year, but it’s awesome having the Rams in the bowl. I’m hooked now and will have to watch the Rams and Trojans going forward.

      This is the “Changing of the Guard” Super Bowl. Sorry Pats, your time is over. But, I sure do respect what they’ve accomplished. The Bellichick / Brady Pats are the greatest dynasty in the history of the NFL. You have to tip your cap to them.

  4. Love AC’s baseball analysis…his football analysis, not so much! I love the Rams even followed them to St. Louis. This is their year and I hoping for a big offensive game from Goff, Gurley and Woods today. The loss of Cooper Kupp is huge, but Aaron Donald is the best defensive player at any position in the NFL and the Lombardi Trophy is coming to LA.

    Whose House? Rams House!

  5. I”m a die hard sports fan, but Dodgers and Lakers are my top 2, and they’re equal, and whoever is 3 is not close to the top 2 (LA Kings, Chicago Bears, Man U, and the rest of LA’s other sports teams). Hell, I’m a Dodger and Laker season ticket holder! I don’t count Fresno St in this mix, because your college team is a different kind of love.
    Of course since I”ve been a sports fan, I’ve seen 8 Laker titles (I was at Game 7 vs Boston in 2010), and only 1 Dodger World Series, so a Dodger title now is much more important to me than a Laker title.

    The LA Raiders were my team until they moved. After that, the love for them slowly died, thanks in part to a stupid owner, an idiot fan base, and the fact that I hate every team in NoCal. I moved on to the Bears about 15 years ago, but since I love and root for anything LA, I’ve also become a Ram (and even Charger) fan. Today is huge for the city. We need this title, and we need revenge on Boston for the World Series a few months ago.

    Go Rams!!!

    1. I used to be a huge Rams fan. I think one of the most underrated sports announcers was Bob Starr when he called the Rams. We all loved Vin and Chick – and I loved Chick – but Bob was really good in just the way he would describe the the movements on the field; the formation, the players in motion, Dickerson running “in for the touchdown!” It was very Chick-like in its cadence. I really got you involved in a radio broadcast, and I would listen to Bob on the radio when I was young like I did Vin and Chick.
      Saw the last game in Anaheim. Decided to commemorate the occasion by going as a Melonhead, complete with the blue and gold pain on a carved out watermelon I affixed to my own melon. Just lost interest when they went to StL, and Georgia Frontiere’s name will forever live in infamy. I used to love football just because I was in a fantasy league with my old high school buddies for years. After the latest kneeling kerfuffle and Colin Whoever, I just have no interest. You disrespect my country, I’m out.

      1. Taking a knee is an attempt to bring attention to the number of African Americans that have been shot by police. Nothing more and not meant to be disrespectful to the flag or to the country. Allowing peaceful protest is one of the things that makes America Great.

        1. Yes, and my peaceful protest is using my free will to no longer financially support an institution that does not represent my values. If you are consistent you should embrace that right.

  6. The Brady era is ending and the Rams are the now team-a clash of the old and the new guard. It will come down to coaching, game plan and scheme yes but also to the skill players and the Rams have more playmakers on both sides of the ball. The Pats HAVE to run the ball and Brady needs to dink and dunk down the field-they have NO outside weapons except Gronk on a jump ball. Belichick will scheme to stop Cooks and Gurley so Woods, Reynolds and CJ Anderson may go off instead. The Rams DLine has to contain the running game and get pressure up the middle on Brady. The secondary needs to contain Edleman and travel someone with Gronk and limit YAC. This may be a hard fought game but I see the Rams having the lead and the Pats chasing the entire way and Brady coming up short. Aaron Donald gets the MVP with constant pressure, QB hits and a strip sack. Rams win 37-23!

  7. Dodgers and USC Trojans are my top 2 teams to root for. I was a Ram fan until they moved to Anaheim. Stopped watching pro football altogether shortly thereafter. Same with basketball, I played when I was younger, but I absolutely can’t stand to watch a pro game. I’ll watch college BB and H.S. BB.
    However, for today, I’m going to be a Ram fan again. Sean McVay is an extremely energetic and innovative coach and I would love to see him win the big prize. Albeit, I may not watch the entire game.

  8. I don’t really have a horse in this race, but I will likely pull for the Rams, so I would never bet against a Belicheat team that has two weeks to prepare. He will likely do something totally unexpected to disrupt both their offense and defense. He is diabolical, I tell you!

  9. Can anybody explain why is the crowd always making all that noise. I just can’t get that excited about any of the action on the gridiron. I take that back, Joe Namath was worth watching.

    1. Well, Linda was great, but in my humble opinion, no one can hold a candle to the Late, Great Whitney Houston (God rest her soul):

      1. Not even open for discussion. Whitney far and away the best rendition ever. I am a huge classic rock fan, but women singers are also a favorite of mine, and Whitney will always be my favorite. My heart was broken when she passed. I will always hate Bobby Brown.

        1. AC

          I feel exactly the same about Whitney.

          I saw her in concert, and she had one of the most pure voices, you would ever hear live.

          My favorite of her’s, is Saving All My Love for You.

          Mark is absolutely right about Whitney’s rendition, it is not even close.

          Although I also like Glady’s Knight, who is singing the NA today!

      2. Besides loving many of Linda’s songs what I liked most about Linda singing the STB was that she wore a Dodger jacket and finished with a huge smile. Whitney was the winner on radio but Linda was the winner on TV. Jacket and smile edged the better voice of Whitney. BTW, I loved Whitney’s version and believe she is near GOAT.

        1. Bum

          I liked Linda too.

          Who would have ever thought at that time, that the Stone Pony Band ( Eagles ) would be even bigger?

          Elton John’s Dodger attire had to be the most stylish of them all, although that was at his concert at Dodger Stadium.

          Linda missed the MTV era, but she was on those Midnight Specials.

          Whitney was all over MTV, after MTV had to allow Michael Jackson to break their barrier, because of his immense popularity.

          I remember hearing Whitney’s first release when I was in the hospital after my car accident.

          It was a duet with Teddy Pendergrass.

  10. Very interesting article in regarding the lost draft pick due to the signing of AJ Pollock. It really brings into focus what a crapshoot the draft truly is. Their quest was to see what kind of draft pick could be found in picks 61-85 for the three draft years 2010-2012. There were 79 picks and of those, only 39 have thus far reached the ML. Of those 39, only 13 have accumulated a WAR of 2.0 or better. The top 5:
    Andrelton Simmons (2010 Braves) – 34.9 WAR
    Alex Wood (2012 Braves) – 11.7 WAR (Yes, that Alex Wood)
    Drew Smyly (2012 Tigers) – 9.6 WAR
    Brad Miller (2011 Mariners) – 6.2 WAR
    Nick Ahmed (2011 Braves) – 5.7 WAR
    The first thing that pops out is how good were the Braves picking in those rounds? The second question was who were the Dodgers pick?
    2010 – Ralston Cash – RHP – Released by LAD August 2017. Currently minor league free agent. Highest level reached is AAA.
    2011 – Alex Santana – 3B – Released by LAD April 2016. Has not played since 2015. Highest level reached is Great Lakes. Maybe DC remembers Alex.
    2012 – Paco Rodriguez – LHRP – Reached ML and was included in the trade that brought Alex Wood to LA. Released by Twins in August 2018.
    None of the Dodgers selected in 2010-2012 between picks 61-85 are currently employed in organized baseball. Something tells me that AJ Pollock will be more valuable to the Dodgers than a 2nd round draft pick.

    1. That was a very insightful article. I was surprised by the low number of draft picks that actually made an impact in the majors. It prompted me to go back and review the history of the Dodger’s drafts. My, my, my we have had some major stinkers over the years. Ben Diggins and Peyton Manning where are you? As much as I liked Logan White, and I did, he swung and missed at Chris Taylor rates on many choices.

      1. Logan White liked HS players, especially pitchers and they are harder to project. Gasperino prefers college players who are closer to the show when drafted. I think the new regime also works the draft slots better and the players signability. The team also likes to take flyers on other teams high draft picks when working the waiver wire. I like the current approach better, not many Kershaws where the team gets to pick.

    2. That’s why it was so laughable that people thought we shouldn’t sign Pollock because of the draft pick attached to him. First rounders are obviously a different story. I don’t think the Braves were good on those picks, more like they were lucky. After all, Mike Piazza’s draft round isn’t even in the draft anymore and he’s a HOF’er and was only drafted as a favor. How’s that for luck! Look at how many teams passed up Trout before the Angels picked him up. He was actually their own second pick in the draft. Hell, our own A.J. Pollock was picked 8 slots higher also with other household names like Donavan Tate, Matt Hobgood, Bobby Borchering and others. Also laughable is the preference to make a trade with several prospects well on their way of becoming major leaguers.

  11. I use to like the Rams when they were in LA, but during that same time period my father got me to like the Redskins, when they were called the Over the Hill Gang, with Sonny Jurgenson, Billy Kilmer, and Pat Fisher.

    But I haven’t watched much pro football in the last ten years.

    But I was watching the game when Tom Brady first took over for Drew Bledsoe, after Bledsoe was hurt.

    And that season I watched every Patriot’s game because of Brady’s emergence from that first game, after Bledsoe got hurt.

    And because of that, I have watched Brady throughout the years, so I am not a Brady hater.

    And like AC, I think Brady deserves a lot of credit, for everything he has done through the years.

    I also like Edelman, but I wouldn’t have remembered his name, if Vegas didn’t mention him here.

    Because Edelman just seems to do something all the time in the biggest moments, to help his team win.

    So when I think of a real football player, I think of Edelman.

    I also agree with Mark, that I wouldn’t bet against the Patriot’s coach in a big game.

    But I think this young Ram’s coach, is spun much like the Patriot’s coach, although he doesn’t have all that experience.

    Because when the Ram’s owner hired this new young coach, that is really when the Ram’s started to turn things around.

    With all of this, I don’t have a strong preference either way, when it comes to today’s game.

    1. They called him The Wizard Westwood for a reason.

      I had never saw that with Denzel, but that is another great take.

      The Rams were almost unwatchable, until they hired this coach.

  12. If we look at what happened to the Dodgers after O’Malley sold the team and what happened to the Rams after Rosenbloom died and it is obvious what an owner brings to a franchise. The Rams and Dodgers are recovering together. I’m not sure if the Lakers are after Buss died.

  13. Our son called it before the play-offs began. He said the Patriots will either go out in the first game or win the Super Bowl.
    I don’t think the Rams choked. Why is it that every time a team losses they are considered to have choked? They got beaten by a better game plan. We all knew Belichick would come up with something different to contain the Rams offense. Somehow the Pats coaching staff knows what to give and what must be taken away. I don’t think we expected the defense to hold the Rams to three points.
    On the other hand the Rams were worthy adversaries and certainly had a chance to win until that last interception.

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