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Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

In life there are followers and there are leaders. There are trend-setters who would be leaders and there are people who follow whatever the latest trend is who would be faddists. Celebrity culture and pro sports is no different, is a very accurate reflection of this. Celebrities feel the need to be cool to the point they’ll follow things and claim to support things that in many cases they don’t even seem to understand. Ben Affleck, from a couple years ago where he essentially accused Bill Maher of being a racist, because Maher made critical, but accurate statements about Islam, is a perfect example of this. Even though Islam is not a race, but a religion and Muslims can be anyone of any race, since Islam is not a race, but a religion. With today’s social media and broader media culture, things can become hot and go or go viral, in an instant. And when that happens, many celebrities feel the need to be associated with it even if they don’t understand what they’re associating with. Colin Kaepernick, to me at least seems like the latest celebrity faddist and getting on the Black Lives Matter train.

This is not a debate about whether there’s racism and bigotry, as well as oppression in America. Because of course there is and we’ve had as a nation more that two-hundred years of it. This to me is a debate about whether a multi-millionaire San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, is the right spokesperson to address this issue. Who’ll be paid eleven-million-dollars by the 49ers this season to be there starting QB. A man who has taken advantage of every opportunity he’s had in America as an individual to live in freedom and become filthy rich. Oppression in America, again goes back more than two-hundred years starting with American-Indians. And then Africans being kidnapped from Africa and brought over to be the slaves of European-Americans who the land of the American-Indians. To women of all races not having the right to vote in America until a hundred-years ago. To Jewish and other European immigrants, being denied access in America by Anglo-Saxons, simply because their ethnicity and religion was different from English-Americans. To Latinos and Asians as well. With the Japanese, as well as German and Italian-Americans, being kidnapped and forced into concentration camps. Because the U.S. Government saw them as traitors during World War II.

Colin Kaepernick, has been in the NFL since 2012 and has been a millionaire his whole career. America didn’t wake up to oppression when the Black Lives Matter moment started in 2014. We’ve known about it for over two-hundred-years. That is anyone who took and passed American history in high school. Mr. Kaepernick has had all this time to let his thoughts and views be known about racism and oppression in America. And waits till now when the Black Lives Matter becomes popular and not only that, but isn’t putting himself at risk here at all. The 49ers won’t cut him over this, because standing for the national anthem is voluntary. And the City of San Francisco is a capital of fads and trends and pop culture and leftist hippies who applaud anyone who takes on anyone they see as ‘The Man.’ If Mr. Kaepernick loses his job this season, it will have nothing to do with the fact that he supposedly took a stand against oppression. But that he once again failed to perform, and the 49ers have another mediocre or bad season. And head coach Chip Kelly decides to go in a different direction as a result.

Colin Kaepernick, showed no more courage in not standing for a national anthem for a country that has given him no much opportunity as someone who is African-American, to be very successful, than millions of teenagers who bought and wore Malcolm X hats in the early 1990s when the Malcolm X movie came out. Claiming to support a man they probably never even heard of before that movie came out. And perhaps don’t have much knowledge about who Minister Malcolm is today. Someone who I have a lot of respect for an learned a lot about. What Mr. Kaepernick has done here instead is make a fashion statement. And use the national anthem of a country that’s given him so much opportunity to be as successful as he had, has his target and launching point. Which makes him not different from people who eat whatever the latest hit dish is, or where whatever outfit, or claim to be behind whatever the latest movement or celebrity is. So of course he has the Freedom of Speech (even in the NFL) to do what he did. But he’s nothing more than an opportunist when it comes to oppression and fashion statements.

ABC News: World News Tonight- Colin Kaepernick Refuses To Stand During National Anthem

 

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Source: ABC Sports

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I remember this game fairly well as a nine-year old who was already sports junky and loved football and football was probably already my favorite sport to watch. I remember looking forward to this game and then watching it. The two best teams in the NFL the Dolphins and 49ers, with the two best quarterbacks in Dan Marino and Joe Montana. And arguably the two best head coaches as well in Don Shula and Bill Walsh. Similar to 1983 with the Redskins and Oakland Raiders, this looked like a real Super Bowl matchup between two great teams. And if you’re familiar with football and this game, you also know that games aren’t played on paper and the game didn’t live up to the billing.

The difference in this Super Bowl, is that the 49ers were truly a great team. On both sides of the ball. They had the best defense in the league in the NFL in 1984. They had a great quarterback, with a lot of good receivers. Dwight Clark, Freddie Solomon, Earl Cooper and others. And a great running game as well. Their running game might have been better than their passing game. If you look at the fact that they had two Pro Bowl running backs in their backfield. In Wendell Tyler and Roger Craig. And that Roger Craig, who should be in the Hall of Fame was also a great receiver and perhaps the 49ers best receiver and a great blocker as well. The 84 49ers, you could make a case that they are the best team of all-time in the NFL.

The 1984 Dolphins, I believe were actually somewhat underrated. They weren’t a one man team with Dan Marino with a great coach in Don Shula. With no running game and no defense. They had a very good offensive line, which allowed Marino to throw the ball as much as he did and gave him the time to throw the ball as well as he did. They did have a running game at least in 84. With Woody Bennet and Tony Nathan. But losing Andra Franklin, who would’ve given them that one lead running back and a power running game was a big lost for them. And without Franklin, they didn’t have that one great running back that could put the team on his shoulders and lead them. And defensively, they gave up a lot of yards on the ground. But teams ran the ball a lot against the Dolphins in 84 to keep the Dolphins offense off the field. And the Dolphins were solid against the pass.

What I think the difference in this game is that the 49ers again were great on both sides of the ball. They ran and threw the ball very well. They had a very good strong and athletic offensive line. That pass and run blocked very well. They had a great QB obviously and also had a great defense. The best defense that the Dolphins saw during the 84 season, was against the 49ers. Who practically shut them down after the first quarter in this game. And then add that the Dolphins didn’t have a lot of speed on defense to matchup with all the 49ers receivers and had a hard time getting to Montana most of the game and the 49ers ran the ball so well in this game, meant the 49ers could move the ball up and down the field in this game. And as a result this game turned into a blowout.
ABC Sports: NFL 1984- Super Bowl 19- Miami Dolphins vs San Francisco 49ers: Full Game

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1983 NFC FinalSource: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

This is one of the best NFC Final’s of all-time for lots of reasons. The 49ers and Redskins are not just the two best franchises in the NFC in the 1980s as far as all the games and championships they won and their two head coaches Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs. But they were the two best franchises in the NFL in the 1980s, as far as wins, championships and head coaches. And yet they only met in the NFC Playoffs once that decade, which is this game. The Redskins tended to play the Chicago Bears, or the Los Angeles Rams in the 80s. The 49ers played the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings multiple times each.

This was also a great game because of these two teams. Both teams very good on both sides of the ball. The 49ers had a better all around defense as far as defending the run and pass. The Redskins were great against the run and had a great pass rush and tackled very well. But if the quarterback had time, they were a very vulnerable in the secondary. Because they didn’t have much speed or a great cover corner back there. Darryl Green was a rookie and not a great player yet. Both teams were great on offense with great quarterbacks, passing games and running games.

This was also a great game because of the contrast in it. The Redskins passed and ran very well, but they were a power run team first with John Riggins and then they would run Joe Washington outside. And go deep to either Art Monk or Charlie Brown outside. And hit Clint Didier and Joe Washington for shorter and medium routes. They could throw the ball everywhere and had so many weapons. The 49ers were a pass first team, again with multiple weapons at receiver, TE and running back. And then could run with Wendell Tyler and Roger Craig. Two great all around football teams who played the game differently. Which made for a great NFC Final.

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NFLSource:  VHS Sports-NFL Films: Era of Excellence The 1980s

The 1980s National Football League was an era of cookie-cutter stadiums, concrete hard Astroturf fields, dome stadiums especially for teams who played in cold weather cities, like Minneapolis. And it was basically the birth of the passing age in the NFL. The illegal contact rule and the new blocking rules of 1978 and new offensive-minded head coaches like Bill Walsh, Tom Flores, Joe Gibbs, Dan Reeves, Don Coryell, Joe Walton, Sam Wyche really opened up offensive football and the league has only continued to move in that direction ever since.

It was an era where the dominate Steel Curtain Pittsburgh Steelers were no more and where the Los Angeles Raiders who probably should’ve taken over for the Steelers as the new dominant team in the NFL, didn’t quite live up to that. Even though all in all they had a pretty good decade winning two Super Bowls, but 1986 or so were no longer a championship contender in the NFL. And became a franchise just trying to make the AFC Playoffs every year. And what happened was the San Francisco 49ers took that mantle instead from the Steelers. And became great team on offense and defense throughout the decade.

But what is great about football, it is not what I call arenaball, what is called arena football. As much as Roger Goodell might want to change that and turn the NFL into a total offensive league, there is still two sides of the game, offense and defense. And there were still great defensive teams and players in the 1980s. Like with Chicago Bears 46 defense led by Buddy Ryan, who took that to Philadelphia as the Eagles new head coach. And in New York with their elephant two-deep defense that the Giants played led by head coach Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick.

The 1980s was an era for the NFL where the great teams of the 1970s like the Steelers, Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings took a step back and needed to regroup and come back in the 1990s as championship contenders again. And where new teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Redskins, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns stepped up and either became champions or at least championship contenders. And a decade where the NFL just became more popular and more balanced. Where offenses and defenses were now treated equally under the rules.

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LA Memorial Coliseum
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

This really looks like a mismatch on paper with the San Francisco 49ers finishing 2-14 in 1978 and the Los Angeles Rams finishing 12-4 and running away again with the NFC East title as they made a habit of doing in the 1970s. And if it wasn’t for the great 49ers-Rams rivalry, at least when the Rams were in Southern California, I wouldn’t of bothered to of post this. But this was a great rivalry in the 1950s, 1960s to a certain extent, the 1970s and the 1980s. With a lot of great games with the teams not liking each other.

The Rams were sort of in transition in 1978, with head coach Chuck Knox moving on to Buffalo to coach the Bills and this being the last season for the 49ers before Bill Walsh completely took over the football operations there in 1979. He inherited a bad football team with a few good young players. Like offensive lineman Keith Farnhorse, Randy Cross, wide receiver Freddie Solomon and a few others. But the 1978 49ers season is why they went to Bill Walsh in 1979.

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The NFL on CBS was a great show for many reasons and Pat Summerall might have been the number one reason. But their timing and intros were classic and so well done and knew exactly how to put things and show things to people. First New York Giants home playoff game since the 1962 NFL Championship that was at Yankee Stadium, the day this wildcard game was played. Giants Stadium opened up in East Rutherford, New Jersey in I believe 1976 and this was the first Giants home playoff game there. And how does CBS Sports introduce this game, with Bruce Springsteen singing Glory Days. The Glory Days of the New York Giants from the 1950s and early 60s. With Pat Summerall a former New York Giant of course doing the intro. A simple two-minute video or so and this is one of best NFL videos and intros of all-time. Just for those reasons.
Giants Stadium

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If you judge quarterbacks by their size or their physical abilities or their numbers, Joe Montana doesn’t stack up very well except for his numbers. But if you judge quarterbacks by how well they play in big games and how they do when the game is on the line and how they play the game, then you are going to have an impossible time finding a list of quarterbacks who you could even compare with Joe Montana as far as great quarterbacks. The list would be like two quarterbacks at least as far as I’m concern. John Unitas and John Elway and perhaps Otto Graham as well and that’s about it.

Some QB’s have a nice run 5-6 years where they do well and then you can say they are one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Rich Gannon comes to mind with the Oakland Raiders. And then there are quarterbacks who may have a short run of greatness, but accomplish so much in that period that it lands them in the Hall of Fame. Terry Bradshaw comes to mind with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But it’s hard to find many if anyone who were as great as Joe Montana for as long as Montana in the history of the NFL.

When I think of Joe Montana I think of the QB who played for the best team and the best head coach of his era. The San Francisco 49ers playing for the best offense and playing with a great defense where he for the most part didn’t have to win games on his own. Joe Cool was a possession passer who would beat you with play after play, pass after pass. And when the defense got tired of that and came after Joe, he could go deep on the defense with wide receivers like Jerry Rice or John Taylor.

And earlier Joe had Freddie Solomon and Dwight Clark. So if you want to play press coverage against Joe and the 49ers, now you are at risk of giving up the deep pass against the 49ers. Because their West Coast offense always had the deep threat in guys who would look for the big play. Especially against press coverage which is what made this offense so great because it forced defenses to defend the whole field. Short, middle and deep and Joe was the best at running this offense.

What separates Joe Cool from anyone as far as quarterbacks again except for John Unitas and John Elway, you could make a very good case for any of these three quarterbacks as the best all-time, is they all played a long time, but they were all great quarterbacks for a long time and how well they played in the big games for as long as they did. A lot of quarterbacks hang around and stay in the league for a long time. But it’s the special quarterbacks that are not just in the league forever as it may seem, but they are great QB’s for so long. Winning so many games and championships and that’s the type of QB Joe Cool was.
Joe Montana

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