Amari Cooper Gained a New Fan

AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!

Oh my god. I can’t stop saying that stupid phrase on here! Haha!

But the new fan is me. And I know what you’re thinking. I do. Who the hell is Amari Cooper? He’s an NFL player. But I’m not a new fan of his because of his on-field abilities. It’s because of something completely unrelated to football.

Recently he had a pickup game of basketball with some of his teammates. There was a friendly wager on the game. If one team.lost they’d have to wear clothes from the opposing captain’s clothing line for a week. If the other team lost they’d have to read books from Amari Cooper’s reading list. Cooper’s team won and he immediately began passing out books!

I think you may be wondering which books happened to be on the list, which is understandable. But that’s not the correct line of thinking! Does it matter what’s on the list? Really. Does it? I don’t think it does. He’s encouraging his teammates to take an interest in books. That’s what I believe is most important here.

For the record, I glanced at his reading list. It’s full of books discussing a wide range of topics. Nonfiction and fiction.

Bravo, Amari. I can’t root for any player on the field against the Texans. But the rest of the season I’m a fan of yours.

A Wish

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four was just in Houston. And by all accounts it was wildly successful. There was a huge music festival and an “experience” for every member of the family. Those things happen around every sporting event.

But I’d like to see something for books around these things. Can you imagine if the NFL hosted the Super Bowl Festival of Books in each host city every year? They’d be promoting the game and literacy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to attend that? The NBA or MLB could host something similar during their respective All-Star breaks.

These events bring thousands of people into one place. I think they could potentially bring books and people together. What do you think?

Saturday Selects #21: My problem with football

There isn’t enough being done to make the sport safer. I couldn’t be more blunt and straightforward.

Let me give you a little background here. It is all but certain that I know more about football and sports in general than you do. I love sports. If I could live a life entirely surrounded by sports I would. I do my best to live that life now.

The Houston Texans debuted in 2002. They’ve been my favorite sports team since that first game. But my favorite sport has always been baseball.

Back to the topic. Injuries happen in all sports. That’s the first thing people say when I bring up the safety of football. But baseball players suffer mostly from shoulder injuries. And of course knees are torn up and legs even broken. All very serious in nature, absolutely. But none life threatening. Basketball players often suffer injuries to their lower bodies and although quite serious, still not life threatening.

Then someone will bring up how hockey players have blades on their feet and a puck that often does some real damage, and hard collisions that are rarely matched in any other setting, besides football. But still, with the even more serious nature of the injuries sustained by hockey players I’ve never heard of a player dying because of what happened on the ice. Please do correct me if I’m wrong.

But then we get to football. We have these analysts who are often former players talking about how the game isn’t played the way it used to be. And how it’s becoming more soft. As a longtime fan of the sport, this is outrageous to me. We’ve had former NFL players commit suicide due to the head trauma they endured. We’ve had them kill other people.

There is no injury that hasn’t happened on the football field, except for a player actually dying right there. Broken necks. Torn ACLs. Broken arms. Broken legs. Collapsed lungs. Torn Achilles. Broken collarbones. Concussion after concussion after concussion. It’s all routine now. And everyone uses the excuse that the players are rich and know what they sign up for. But using someone’s salary as a means to justify very real health concerns is a damn joke.

Because I haven’t even gotten to the worst part of all of this. It isn’t from the NFL or NCAA levels of play. It’s from high school. Eight players have died this year as a result of football-related injuries. Eight. Eight high school kids. And that number is right in line with the average number of football-related deaths in each of the last few years.

How has it become acceptable for kids to die playing a game that is utterly meaningless? To me, if one player had died this year it would be too many. The number should be zero. But no one seems to care.

The thing about it is that I’ve played football. And I’m near certain that I suffered at least one concussion during my playing time. And guess what happened immediately afterward? I got up feeling very dizzy and my coaches and teammates were fired up because of my “big hit”. I could barely get back to the bench. And it’s on me for not saying anything. Absolutely.

But there are kids playing football at the high school level who shouldn’t be. They’re too small, not strong enough, or just lack the skill set needed. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But these kids are at great danger when they enter games. They might go in thinking they’ve got something to prove or that they aren’t good enough, and that’s how injuries happen.

I understand that the NFL doesn’t oversee every school district or youth football league. But they have a duty to every player playing football today to do whatever they can to keep them safe. Whether that be through seminars or coaching clinics or TV ads promoting safety on the field. In my opinion, enough is not currently being done and kids are dying every single year. It’s unacceptable. And I’m sick of it.

In years past I’d watch every Texans, Sunday night, and Monday Night Football game. But no longer will that be the case. I will continue to watch the Texans through the end of the season, but I will not watch any other games. If the NFL isn’t willing to address legitimate safety concerns, then I’m not willing to watch.

FYI: I also don’t watch UFC or boxing because I find it quite difficult to see how either can be legal in today’s modern society.

Tom Brady Creates a Bestseller

If you know anything about sports, then you know the NFL season starts tonight. And you also know that Tom Brady’s suspension from Deflategate has been vacated.

But you may not know that he’s been reading a self help book to get through the legal and appeals processes. That book is now a bestseller.

We know this happens. If a well liked, well known celebrity becomes interested in or attached to something, then their fans typically will too. Just think Oprah.

There’s nothing wrong with this phenomenon. And it’s to be expected. And I’ll never have an issue with an author reaching a greater audience. And I think deep down we’d all like to have that kind of influence. Imagine writing your little blog post about something and knowing there’s a high probability that hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people will not only see it, but will immediately become interested in the topic because of your words.

What do you think? Heard anything about Tom Brady’s new favorite self help book?

Sorry for the late post again! I was distracted once again today. Whoops.

An Important Question I Need Your Help With

I’m thinking of a complete overhaul of my blog.

Anyone who has read my blog for any period of time knows that I’m pretty strict about sticking to my theme. A couple of times a month I’ll write about something else, but if I were to look back at all my posts I’d bet that well over 90% are writing/publishing/book related. But I think there’s another topic that I’d like writing about just as much or more…sports.

I know you’re probably thinking “typical guy,” but no. I love sports more than I love books. And I can just about guarantee that the one guy you’re thinking about who tends to “know everything” about sports knows a whole lot less than I do. I had to come to realize how much I loved reading when I was younger. I didn’t have to do that with sports. There’s never been any doubt. I’ve only been to two Houston Rockets games (the second one happened yesterday) and I’ve never been to a Texans game, but I’ve probably attended 50 Astros games. And now that both the Astros and Rockets have a TV deal that allows me to watch them, I don’t miss games. It’s easy for someone to say they don’t miss any of their team’s games when it’s football season. But I’m talking about 82 + 162. It’s difficult to describe to you how seriously I take this stuff.

Simply put, I’ve never met someone who keeps up with MLB, NFL, and NBA like I do. I don’t just watch, I’m constantly analyzing. I used to think two of my older brothers knew more than I ever would in a lifetime, but I passed them long ago.

The thought has crossed my mind to just create a separate blog to write about sports, but that’s out of the question. There’s a reason this blog has a nice little readership and attracts new visitors every single day…time. The time I’ve put in to enable its growth. And I’m not going to do that a second time. But I know based on passed posts that y’all aren’t interested in what I have to say about sports. So I’m left with two choices…turn this into a sports blog because I want to, or don’t.

Tell me why or why not. And don’t say “do what you want.”

The Texans Make the Playoffs if…

Texans-Moloch

Most of you don’t know that I’m a die hard Texans fan. I’ve watched through some pretty rough seasons and some surprisingly good ones. And even though this year has been a struggle, the Texans can still make the playoffs with some help from a couple guys.

The Houston Texans can make the playoffs if:

They beat The Jacksonville Jaguars. Okay. Not the most difficult proposition.

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Diego Chargers. Wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world until they lost their starting quarterback this week. Now they must beat the Chargers (who are also vying for a playoff spot) with a quarterback who has all of one career NFL start. Oh great.

AND the Cleveland Browns beat the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns are starting their third string, rookie quarterback today after losing their first two to injury. Fantastic.

So all the Texans need is a backup quarterback to lead his team to victory and a third stringer to do the same. Nothing big, right?

If all those things happen the Texans would be in the playoffs as the sixth seed. But they’d be in.

That’s all today. If you’re a fan of the NFL, then sit back and watch the final week of the regular season. If not, well then don’t. Ha.

Go Texans!

UPDATE: The Texans beat the Jaguars. The Chiefs beat the Chargers. But Cleveland could not come away with a win in Baltimore. The Texans finish the season 9-7 and miss the playoffs. Sad John.

Saturday Selects: The start of a new season

Texans-MolochSaturday Selects is a series of posts I write the first Saturday of each month about something completely unrelated to books, writing, and all that fun stuff to give myself a chance to discuss something else of interest to me. Cause I don’t actually spend 24 hours a day thinking about books.

Today’s post, as I’m sure just about every one of you has already figured out, is about the new NFL season that just got underway on Thursday. The notion that every team is currently undefeated is true, but definitely not something any knowledgeable football fan truly believes in. You can’t.

BUT I live in Houston. And I think it’s one of those cities where everyone is pretty die hard when it comes to the Texans. For about a month now I’ve seen people everywhere in their Texans gear. And during the season it becomes and everyday thing. I’m sure this happens in most NFL cities, but the Texans have sold out every single game in franchise history. So maybe the fans here are near the top of the league? I don’t know. But with the start of a new season comes new expectations for the team from fans, players, and coaches. Typically expectations for the worst team in the league the previous season are a bit lesser than those of other teams, but let’s be real. TEXANS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL! Just kidding. I’ll seriously cry whenever that happens.

But my expectation is that they will be quite a bit better than last season. But I’m not going to define quite a bit for you. Just gotta let the season play out and see what happens. Their schedule isn’t bad, but let’s not forget that every team in the division plays basically the same schedule. The quarterback situation is still a big question and some big time players are coming off major injuries. BUT I’m confident and behind the team.

And it doesn’t hurt that we have Mr. JJ Watt on the D line.

Okay, you know a little about what I expect from my team, but what about you? Which NFL team has your heart and what do you expect this season from them?

On a side note, if you keep up with the NFL then you know that the Texans selected Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick in this year’s draft. You also know that there was some buzz in the months leading up to the draft around the possibility of drafting Johnny Manziel. I made a friendly wager with a friend of mine who is probably the only person who knows the Texans better than I do. The bet was if we draft Manziel I buy him the jersey, but if we draft Clowney he buys it for me. AND we got Clowney. AND I’m getting my jersey tomorrow! This will be my gameday attire for every game this season.