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• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud

Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale

September 1, 2007

Finally, it’s football season ...in every conceivable way. NFL, NCAA, English Premier League, Rugby Football. Heck, even fantasy football. I’ve consoled myself with Wimbledon, with Carnoustie, with the exploits of F1’s Lewis Hamilton, but there’s nothing that says ‘fall’ like football.

I love football. Raised on soccer and rugby, I will take a professional interest in the progress of the Premier League, and will even be momentarily English during the Rugby World Cup this month, but nothing stirs me into potato–like inactivity as surely as the gridiron. This is an obsession just a little alien to most Brits I meet. They stare at me as if running the concept through the computer a second time: "likes NFL... more than... soccer". When I explain that it’s college American football I really love, I might as well have declared that I’ve abandoned British citizenship entirely. Some years ago, one man was so insensed by my unrelenting preference of American football to soccer that he finally spluttered ‘We’ll why don’t you go and ... live there then, if you like it so much!’ (expletive omitted – and I pity the LDS church missionaries who call at his door.)

For those of us who have already stayed up to 5am on an August morning just to witness the Steelers and Saints contest a preseason game, this year promises more TV football than the UK has ever had before. Over 78 live college games, a slew of bowl and BCS games, plus NFL triple–headers every Sunday, MNF, ‘red button’ games, Saturday games, Thanksgiving games, and all of the NFL playoffs. There was once a time when one of my excuses for not religiously following English soccer was that it took up too much time: too many games, too many months. But American football is up there now. Sky Sports will be showing more than twice as many NFL games this fall as English Premier League games. We’ve even got College Gameday back on our screens. This is the gridiron rush we all dreamed of.

So why do I feel a little trepidation? Could it be that even I, notorious football obsessive, can see a day coming when this reaches saturation point? Could it be that I’m fearing the 8 lbs I’m going to put on while I indulge my football dependency for another year? Could it be that... that... there might be too much football? Am I going to sit there in Wembley Stadium October 28, frustrated that I can’t ‘red button’ Eli Manning and see what’s happening in the Steelers–Bengals game (and check how Carson Palmer is doing for my fantasy team).

Nope. Because this year is a special year. This year the real thing is not only on our screens, it’s in our country of residence. This year, we’ll leave the couches. We’ll get on trains and we’ll go to the game. We’ll drink beer, we’ll tailgate until they catch us, and yes, we’ll probably boo Cam Cameron. We might even pay far too much for slow fast food and a lukewarm drink on the way home (we have to make some concessions to British culture, after all). And we’ll smile, because this year, we’re part of it.

The taint’s on you, Bud
September 1, 2007

When Bonds hit no. 755, Bud Selig stood (eventually) with his hands in his pockets. When Barry Bonds slugged no. 756, Bud Selig wasn’t there. Thankfully, former record-holder Hank Aaron was – at least via JumboTron – offering congraulations and adding, "it is a great accomplishment which required skill, longevity, and determination". That acknowledgment went a long way to hiding an asterisk Selig seemed keen to highlight. When the moment came, Bonds and Aaron stepped up. I don’t think the same can be said of the Commissioner.


Tanager Wealth Management

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