More Kickers Than The June Taylor Dancers

Back in January, the Chicago Bears were in the NFL playoffs.  Their exit from the playoffs was very painful for the team and Bears’ fans; it was the infamous “double-doink game” where the game winning 43-yard field goal attempt “doinked” off the upright and then “doinked” off the crossbar before it fell to the ground and was declared “Not Good”.  Cody Parkey lost his job as the Bears’ kicker as a result of that play.

This week in one of the Bears’ team activities, they held a “kickers’ competition” – but this one was a bit larger than the typical kickers’ competition held by plenty of NFL teams.  This one had 8 kickers on hand – 4 of them were under contract with the Bears and 4 others were special guests I would assume.  Here they are:

  1. John Baron II (under contract)
  2. Casey Bednarski
  3. Chris Blewitt (under contract)
  4. Emmit Carpenter
  5. Spencer Evans
  6. Elliot Fry (under contract)
  7. Redford Jones (under contract)
  8. Justin Yoon

I feel good about the fact that I actually know where 3 of those kickers played in college.  I would also suggest ever so humbly that the circumstances that led to this 8-man kicking contest demands that the winner be someone named [Chris] Blewitt.

However, here’s “the kicker” [sorry about that one…] the coaches must not have been overly happy with the performances because:

  • Only Chris Blewitt and Elliot Fry were invited to stay on the day after the kickers’ audition – – AND – –
  • The next day the Bears traded a conditional 7th round pick to the Raiders in exchange for another kicker, Eddie Pineiro who played at Florida.

Yesterday, President Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods.  Generally, I pay little to no attention to such things; they seem to be glorified photo-ops to me.  So, I wondered how many “sports folks” had won this award and I can save you the Googling by telling you that Tiger Woods is the 33rd person from the world of sports to receive the award.  Who knew?

In doing that search, I happened upon the purpose of the award itself.  It seeks to recognize people who have made:

“… an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”.

When I read that statement, I had to then look at the list of 33 medal recipients from the sports world to be sure that Ted Williams was on the list given his stature in the world of baseball plus his two tours of duty as a Marine fighter pilot in WW II and then again in Korea.  Indeed, Williams got this award in 1991 presented to him by President George H. W. Bush.

Speaking of Ted Williams, I learned recently that he has been inducted into 3 different Halls of Fame.

  1. He is obviously and deservedly in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
  2. He is in the Marine Corps Hall of Fame for his service in 2 wars.
  3. He is in the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame (Hayward, WI).  Two of his fellow inductees there include Ole Evinrude (inventor of the outboard motor) and Izaak Walton (writer of The Compleat Angler in the 17th century).

Such is your trivia quota for the day…

I ran across an item from the world of “sports business” recently that reinforced my sense that pronouncements from that world are usually meaningless at best and self-serving to the max.  The NFL and FOX announced that there will be changes to the telecast of Super Bowl LIV to be played in Miami next February.  Here is the deal:

  • There will be fewer commercial breaks – – but each one will be a tad longer so that the same number of ads will make it to the air.

You got that right; the NFL and FOX thought that change was sufficiently noteworthy that it needed to be announced to the public about 9 months ahead of time.  One of the execs from the NFL raised her voice to say:

“For several years now, we have been working with our broadcast partners to make changes to our game broadcasts that are intended to improve the viewing experience.  We’ve seen positive results from these efforts.”

With that content-free addition to the announcement here, we can now proceed to the part where this really doesn’t matter even a little bit:

  • It turns out that the NFL has been using the “fewer breaks/longer breaks” format in playoff games for the last two years now.  There has not been any praise or protest – – and in today’s world that can only mean that no one cares enough to comment on the matter on social media.

Finally, I wonder if this Tweet from Brad Dickson will offend anyone from PETA.  If it does, that is an extra bonus in my mind:

“The upside to being a race horse: unlike the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl a couple years ago Maximum Security still thinks he won.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………