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Archive : April 2010

April 28, 2010

COWBOYS DESERVE AN 'A' FOR 2010 DRAFT

Not that I'm the least bit surprised...but once again the Dallas Cowboys came away winners in the NFL draft.

Dallas only ended up with six selections, but (as they've done the last several years) followed the rule to get the best player available instead of necessarily drafting for position need...in fact, they were able to do a little of both.

The first round selection of Dez Bryant may have caused a few head scratches out there since we have paid Roy Williams a buh-jillion dollars and are supposedly close to doing the same for Miles Austin. But if you watched any of the Oklahoma State games that Dez Bryant played in (which wouldn't include nearly all the games from 2009 since he was suspended), then you know that Bryant is an absolute freak.

In most cases, including when they played Texas, he was the best player/athlete on the field. This isn't news to you if you actually watched Oklahoma State games. He is UNBELIEVABLE. He reminds me of a more stout Larry Fitzgerald. He has an uncanny knack for adjusting to the ball while it's in the air. He's amazing and should make the team no problem (of course the same was said for Isaiah Stanback).

Great first round pick.

The second round brought in a guy that I absolutely LOVE: Sean Lee. A Penn State linebacker in the mold of Paul Posluszny and Dan Connor, Lee is 6-2, 240 and probably runs a sub-4.5 on the field. He had some knee issues at PSU, but that hopefully won't be a problem.

Lee is ten times better than Bobby Carpenter...today.

We didn't end up with a third round pick but got Akwasi Owusu-Ansah in the 4th round. He's a hybrid safety/corner that you probably never heard of unless you're a college football nerd like me and watch way too many games every week in the fall. His first name actually means "born on Sunday" so I think he'll fit into the NFL. It's his destiny.

We didn't have a fifth round pick but picked up two in the sixth: Sam Young and Jamar Wall.
Young is a monster at 6-8, 320. An offensive lineman at Notre Dame. Yet another guy you probably never heard of unless you spend too much time absorbing college football. Young is a player and has all the physical tools. Plus he went to ND so you know he won't jump offsides ten thousand times a game because he has a brain.

Wall is a guy you probably know because he went to Texas Tech and routinely angered opposing teams and their fans with his pesky play and great ball instincts. I think he has a pretty decent shot to make the team. He'll have to make an impact on special teams but he's got a nose for the ball so that shouldn't be a problem if he stays healthy.

And finally, in the seventh round, defensive lineman from William & Mary, Sean Lissemore. Big dude with tons of potential. 300 pounder who broke five seconds in the 40...that's ridiculous. He'll ultimately be used to spell Jay Ratliff at nose tackle but will probably see some time during camp at DE. You never know about these smaller school guys. DeMarcus Ware went to Troy and look what he's turned in to.

Overall I was incredibly pleased with how the draft turned out. The picks fit the mold of the kinds of guys Dallas has brought in since Parcells came to town (he was kind of the turning point even though he's long gone): interesting people who are also great athletes. Makes for great TV.

It's almost May...just a few more months until Fall Camp!!!!
  • mark rogers
  • April 28, 2010 8:59 PM

April 20, 2010

I CONQUERED THE 4-HORSEMAN HAMBURGER

I know it's not directly related to football (or Big Country football for that matter), but anything having to do with eating is indirectly related to football.

How can I make that jump? Easy.

My fellow college football players and I had a motto every time we got ready to eat..."Eat 'til you Gag." We wanted to make t-shirts but never got around to it.

A fun way to live in college when gaining and/or maintaining weight was the goal...doesn't work so much now. The motto now is..."Eat Too Much and Get Fat in One Day."

Anyway, if you're not up to speed on the 4-Horseman hamburger at Chunky's restaurant in San Antonio, do a quick google search then come right back to this page.

For those of you familiar...let's refresh.

The 4-Horseman is named such due to the four peppers that are cooked together and innocuously spread in between two harmless looking buns (Scoville rating in parenthesis): jalapeno (2,500-8000), Serrano (10,000-23,000), a habanero sauce (raw habanero's are 350,000-580,000) and the Ghost Pepper (855,000-1,050,000).

Yes...I said 1,050,000.

The equivalent of more than 131 raw jalapeno peppers. Don't think that's very hot? Try eating ONE raw jalapeno pepper with nothing around it. It's hot.

So anyway, they put this concoction in between two buns along with a half-pound patty and some delicious cheese, make you sign a waiver saying you won't sue Chunky's if your tongue liquefies out from under the roof of your mouth while you chew, announce to the restaurant that there's an idiot in the midst, and start the clock.

You have 25 minutes to eat the burger, then after you finish, you can take one last sip of ice cold water before they start the five minute timer. Five minutes in which you can neither eat nor drink anything. Five minutes you must let the 4-Horseman concoction blaze like an inferno from hell on your lips and in your mouth, throat and GI track.

I signed the waiver, cracked my knuckles, cut the beast in half (which must have made it furious), licked the knife (that was dumb), and dug in.

I ate the first half in about 60 seconds. Keep in mind, it's not the size of the burger but the heat...no, heat doesn't describe it. What is hotter than heat? Scorching? Boiling? Blistering? Sizzling? None of those words fit. There is not a word in the English language, nor any other language on Earth, that can describe the hotness of this burger.

I think the only people in the universe who have a word for this "heat" are the people who make their home on the surface of the sun. They are called the "Sun People" and even they won't try the burger. How do I know this? There are no Sun People's pictures on the wall at Chunky's...THAT'S how I know.

Anyway, the first half went down quick and tasty. No problem.

I picked up the second half and began devouring.

About halfway through the second half - mere bites away from the finish line - the "heat" kicked in. My hands started shaking and I could feel the sweat beads forming on my brow.

The temperature started rising in the back of my throat and I had the terrible vision of my throat swelling shut while the burger raised its hairy arms in a sign of victory. Oh, the hairy arms of this manish burger. (Side note: on arriving at the table, the burger also wore a leather jacket, a spiked collar and several grenades were attached to its ammunition belt.)

I cautiously but quickly swallowed the last bite of burger then had to pick up the fork and scoop about a half-tablespoon of straight 4-Horseman goop that had fallen out of the bottom of the burger like a glob of lava that has fallen out of the bottom of a volcano into the pit of hell.

The deed was done. I was victorious. The burger was defeated. Now the five minutes.

The waitress started her official 4-Horseman Clock (her phone) and walked away. This is when the burger (which I had just righteously defeated) started showing why you don't ever really "defeat" the 4-Horseman. You just eat it and let it eat you from the inside. I wanted to do several different things at this time.

Part of me wanted to run out into the drizzly afternoon and throw myself into oncoming traffic. Another part of me wanted to lean over the bucket the waitress had so graciously provided and rid myself of this demon creation as fast as my gag reflex would allow. One part of me wanted take a ball point pen and jam it into my eye as far as it would go to relieve some of the pressure building in my head. Yet another part of me wanted to hug the sun...for this surely would be a cooling activity.

I did none of those things.

Instead, I cross my arms on the table and lay my head down on my wrists. Five minutes could not come fast enough. I honestly don't remember what I was thinking or even what I was doing. The pain was so intense that I went into another world. I lost myself in a land of lollipops and daffodils. As soon as I entered that world, the lollipops and daffodils were immediately engulfed in flames and little elves were running wildly in every direction...their clothes and hats ablaze with blackened fire from another dimension. It was an ugly and terrible place.

The next thing I knew, the countdown was on. 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...glass of milk.

I stood. Faked a smile for the camera. Raised my arms in victory. But I had not won anything. No.

The burger had won.

I got my picture on the wall at Chunky's. There it shall remain for all time. But there was no picture of my incredible heartburn the rest of the day on Saturday. There was no picture of the ten times I was awakened during the night after searing hot, lava juice squirted up my throat onto my vocal chords. There was no picture of me the next morning on my knees, clutching the counter of the Hill County Memorial Hospital ER with my elbows, asking for a doctor.

Did I conquer the 4-Horseman hamburger? For the records and pictures...you could say that I did.

But there is a gentleman's understanding between me and that hellacious burger: I ate the burger, but the burger laughed last.

So if you're ever at Chunky's in San Antonio, check me out, I'm the idiot with the blue, backwards hat flashing a couple of thumbs up with a fake smile on my face.

But know that at the time that picture was taken, there was a hamburger demon in my stomach that was cracking it's hairy, misshapen knuckles ready to MMA it's way to another type of victory.

Oh, and one other thing, water has just now started to taste like water again...for a while there it tasted like something taken out of the middle of a geyser and sprayed with pepper spray and air freshener.



April 13, 2010

THOUGHTS ON TEXAS STADIUM

I knew it was going to happen.

Known for months.

I'd actually planned on being there, but ended up being out of town the day it happened.

When I saw the video of Texas Stadium being imploded and crashing to the ground in a massive heap of debris and steel...I have to admit...I gotta little teary eyed.

This was the place I saw my first professional football game.

This was the place I got to go with my best friend when I was 13 years old. All by ourselves. No parents. No supervision. Just us. My first "real live adult outing." We rode the bus. Found our seats. Bought our lunch. Cheered our team. Just us.

This was the place where I watched a team which would soon become my arch rival (Plano East) come from a 41-17 defecit with 2 minutes left against John Tyler, take the lead, only to see that lead evaporate as time expired when John Tyler ran back a kick off.

This was the place where I strode off the bus deep inside the belly of the stadium four years later as a high school senior with a bag full of football pads over my shoulder. We entered the home locker room where our names (instead of the 1998 Dallas Cowboys) graced the tops of the lockers. We dressed and mentally prepared in that locker room, then went on to beat state-ranked Mesquite.

The next week we won there again. This time against Tyler Lee, a team which had defeated us by three touchdowns earlier in the year.

The next week our state championship dreams came to an end on the same field...in the same locker room. We were two games away from the state championship. During that game, on that field, I made a potentially game altering play. A tackle for loss on 3rd and short against the state's leading rusher. It ended up being my favorite play of my rather average 10 year football career.

This was the place where I cried like a baby after that loss. Where I hugged my teammates for what seemed like an eternity. The place I couldn't take off my helmet or my pads...I wore them (straps still buckled) until we arrived back at our field house in Plano.

This was the place where I wore a maroon robe and a funny hat and walked across the stage to get my high school diploma.

This was the place I got to see my first professional football game from the field, as a broadcast journalist in 2003.

I remember Andy Reid and the Eagles trying an onside kick that Randall Williams recovered and returned for a touchdown.

I remember Santana Moss catching two touchdown passes in 4 minutes to beat Dallas 14-13 on Monday Night Football the night Troy, Emmitt and Michael were enshrined in the Ring of Honor.

I remember meeting and talking with WFAA reporter George Riba.

I remember eating breakfast in the media lounge provided by Jerry Jones.

I remember meeting Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira on the sidelines before a game.

I remember sitting in the press box, taking notes and eating free hot dogs.

I remember interviewing Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Drew Bledsow, Darren Woodson, Jerry Jones, Bill Parcells, Keyshawn Johnson, Al Singleton, Dexter Coakley, Bradie James, Demarcus Ware, La'Roi Glover, Larry Allen, Greg Ellis, Jay Ratliff, Scott Fujita, Vinny Testaverde, Terrence Newman, Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton, and many others.

This was the place that watched Roger Staubach, Randy White, Bob Lily, Drew Pearson, Tony Dorsett, Thomas Henderson, Rayfield Wright, Cliff Harris, Mike Ditka, Charlie Waters, and Tom Laundry.

The place which covered Troy, Emmitt, Michael, Jimmy, Alvin, James, Nate, Kevin Gogan, Mark Tunei, Mark Stepnoski, Russell Maryland, Jim Jeffcoat, Leon Lett, Charles Haley, Kenny Gant, Ken Norton, Jr., Larry Brown and Kevin Smith.

A stadium that saw so much and held so many memories...reduced to rubble in a matter of seconds.

Nothing beats the new stadium, and I understand that the old girl had to come down.

I just didn't expect it to affect me the way it did...like how I feel at the end of Steel Magnolias.

What..what? No-

  • mark rogers
  • April 13, 2010 8:29 PM

April 5, 2010

CASE McCOY UPDATE...

Just because Big Country native Colt McCoy is no longer wearing the burnt orange doesn't mean we can't get a McCoy/Longhorn fix...

Little brother Case was 1-5 for 10 yards in the UT spring game over the weekend. Not great, but he didn't really get much of a chance. Fellow true freshman (and very highly touted) Connor Wood was 3-5 for 20 yards and a TD.

According to reliable sources, neither has really separated from the other this Spring. The backup job will probably go to Sherrod Harris with Wood and McCoy battling it out for #2 next season.

There's no debate about who is the starting QB. Semi-Rose Bowl hero Garrett Gilbert is the man, and will be in Austin for a while.

I can't imagine what his confidence level must be after getting his first real action against Bama in Pasadena.

Gilbert was 10 of 13 for 165 yards, 3 TD, no picks in the scrimmage.
  • mark rogers
  • April 5, 2010 10:45 PM

POTTS OUT FOR SPRING...SURGERY TOMORROW

Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts won't be participating in any more live action during the Spring because of a huge, nasty, disgusting cut on his throwing hand.

He's having surgery tomorrow but seems to be in high spirits and has maintained his unvarying positive attitude.

Not a huge deal...Potts has a solid grasp on the offense and the guy he's competing with went down this week as well (Sheffield re-inured the foot he hurt during the 2009 season).

The one positive is that it gives Seth Doege and Jacob Karam some reps and experience in the system which is always good for the future.

So the most intriguing and interesting QB battle in the Big 12 (and maybe the country) this spring fizzled out in a matter of a few days...pretty anti-climactic. Oh well...there's always The Biggest Loser for some drama.
  • mark rogers
  • April 5, 2010 10:35 PM

McNABB TO REDSKINS?! WOW...

Can't help but think the fact that the Cowboys beat the Eagles TWICE...in a ROW...to end last season (and doing so by completely beating up on an immobile McNabb) had something to do with his trade to the Redskins.

I don't think there should be much concern for the Cowboys. The Redskins are still terrible and the Cowboys are making all the right off season moves.

I predict that we (i.e. Jerry Jones) has another stellar draft...which is getting much closer, by the way!

I absolutely LOVE the fact the Flozell Adams is no longer a Cowboy. Don't get me wrong, he was a great player, but his time is up and great teams get rid of has-beens. I wonder how this will affect our false start ranking??
  • mark rogers
  • April 5, 2010 10:27 PM