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Nnamdi Asomugha


Nnamdi Asomugha named a creative ambassador for the city of Philadelphia

Nnamdi Asomugha is already making good on his promise to embrace the city of Philadelphia.

As a proud graduate of Temple University, the city of Philadelphia will always be special to me. That’s why I was happy to see that CB Nnamdi Asomugha is making good on his promise to embrace the city of Philadelphia. Many players prefer to spend their off seasons at home and never really fully embrace the cities they play for.

Asomugha, on the other hand,  is set to spend the bulk of his his off season in Philly-in fact, he’s already back in the city after jaunts home to California and abroad. And, he’s already  planning to add Philly kids to his ACTs tour which takes inner city kids to colleges around the country. In April, he’ll take kids from his old playing town of Oakland and kids from Philly to Chicago to visit various schools.

He is quickly creeping into that category of people who are really hard to criticize.

Philly 360 has named Asomugha a creative ambassador for the city as part of their push to promote tourism, support the arts in the city, and grow Philly’s rep as a “hot spot.” They expect  creative ambassadors to help create buzz for the city.  For those who don’t know, Philadelphia has been quite the breeding ground for musicians and other creative types from Will Smith and Bill Cosby to Patti Labelle, Jill Scott and Hall and Oates.

Previous ambassadors have included the rap band The Roots and Jazzy Jeff. I think Asomugha is a great addition to this year’s crop.



Nnamdi Asomugha Lowers the Boom on Chris Cooley (in textbook fashion)

After weeks of Eagles missing tackles (13 in one game) they finally got back to fundamentals yesterday against their division rival Redskins. Even CB Asante Samuel, who is really not here for all that tackling and whatnot, hurt his back trying to take down Fred Davis. I hope this is a sign of what’s to come.

The biggest surprise tackle was the boom Nnamdi Asomugha laid on Chris Cooley which ended Cooley’s day and broke his hand. Reports are that Cooley’s hand will need surgery.

What I liked about Asomugha’s tackle is that it was textbook with no frills. A lot defensive players deliver hits that are “clean” by rules standards but fundamentally incorrect. I hate when I see a defensive player hit someone and then get up as shaken as the other player cause of over zealousness and/or poor technique. I mean, what’s the point of taking someone out if you take yourself out too? Who doesn’t remember when then Baltimore Ravens Safety Dawan Landry hit Tampa Bay Bucs RB Cadillac Williams and gave HIMSELF a concussion? No good.



If Asomugha keeps hitting like this, his teammates “might” actually learn to say his name.


5 Things in the NFL That Must be STOPPED

1. Calling Ndamukong Suh dirty -

Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh

Look at this little baby face! Now is this the face of somebody who would take your QB and throw him around like a rag doll? (hint: the answer is yes)

I’m not prepared to say that Suh is dirty yet. Right now I think he’s exuberant. Excitable. Enthusiastic. Perhaps passionate to a fault. But dirty? No. Suh’s no Hines Ward or Cortland Finnegan. He’s just over zealous sometimes and I think that’s okay. I have a feeling he will learn how to channel it (and get away with it).

2. Thursday Night games — Yeah I said it! Starting week 9 there will be a game every Thursday night for the rest of the season (same as last year). The NFL is in talks to have Thursday night games all season long on a network other than NFLnetwork. I do not want this. Football takes up a lot of my time. And as a person who has no life, but aspires to have one one day, being consumed with football on Sunday, Monday and Thursday is not gonna help me find a husband. Or even a baby daddy, for that matter.



3. Nnamdi Asomugha’s hair -

Nnamdi got tired of everyone raving about how handsome he is so he decided to put this thing on his head.

Let me start out by saying “no shade” “no offense” “not trying to insult anyone” “just my 2 cents” and all other sorts of disclaimers you give before you say something bordering on mean. I have tried to ignore Nnamdi’s hair because he’s just so darn great otherwise. But today, he was on MSNBC’s Education Nation panel (and did a fabulous job) and his hair was as wrong as ever. I AM FED UP NNAMDI! I have had it up to here with your bullshit.  I want that thing on your head gone by Sunday or you are going to feel the wrath. Sort of. No you won’t. But still. You need to cut that shit off.

4. Rex Grossman -

Washington Redskins Rex Grossman

When Rex speaks I want to make him choose between silence and violence.

Rex Grossman is such douchelord. I hate that term but I don’t know how else to describe him. The more he wins the more miserable it will be for fans across America. He is just annoying. I mean, he really thinks he has HATERS. Rex, you don’t have haters, you have people who’ve watched you play before. Had the Skins beat the Cowboys we would have heard all sorts of unwanted commentary from Rex all week. Even God refused to let that happen. Is there something about the name Rex that requires you to be too chatty for my tastes! Cause Rex Ryan doesn’t exactly soothe my nerves either.

5. Quarterback Injuries - I don’t know how to stop this, but I’m already worn out by Mark Sanchez’s broken nose, Tony Romo’s ribs and lung, Michael Vick’s concussion and bruised-but-you-know-it’s-probably-broken hand, Matt Ryan’s knee, Peyton’s neck, Kerry Collins’ concussion. We haven’t even found out what kind of injury Jay Cutler is definitely going to sustain yet. I just don’t want to see a whole lot of sloppy starting-Quarterbackless football.

I’m open to other things that MUST BE STOPPED, but this is my list.


Top 10 Angriest People in the NFL After Week 1

Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen

I assume Jarred Allen is skeptical about the defense across the league right now

1. Atlanta Falcons Fans

As an Atlanta Falcon fan I am HEATED. I’m almost glad I missed the game. The Bears gave them an afternoon they won’t soon forget. This, after Roddy White had a T-shirt made that said “unacceptable” and had the Packers/Falcons score from last year’s first round of the playoffs (where they also got whooped) on the back. This after Sports Illustrated’s Peter King pegged the Falcons to win the SuperBowl.

I never jump off a cliff after week 1. And I do remember very well that the Bears went to the NFC Championship game with their QB lying prostrate the entire time. And the Falcons have started off bad and picked it up after week 3. But this ain’t the preferred way to start a season. It’s one thing to lose, it’s something different not to be competitive. The Falcons have the same core offense they had last year. They added pieces to the pass rush and reworked their secondary (though it still lacking). Consistency and talent was supposed to take this team to a fast start. That didn’t happen. And I’m not happy about it!

2. Peyton Manning’s neck

Now you’d think that Colts fans and the Colts organization would be angrier than Peyton Manning’s neck. But how mad would you be if you prematurely ended the career of someone you’ve been eating, breathing, working and sleeping with for 36 years? It wasn’t supposed to happen like this! Manning’s neck has stuck closely by him for so long and now, toward the end of an illustrious career, he can no longer control himself? He…it….cannot possibly be happy.

3. Running Backs

Hey man, nobody cares about yall anymore. And by nobody I mean coaches, offensive coordinators and quarterbacks. Running backs are so irrelevant that the Philadelphia Eagles, arguably the deepest defensive team in the league have all but admitted that their linebackers will only be seen on a 3rd and 1. And they dare you to run on them. GO AHEAD. MAKE MY DAY.

Last night, New England Patriots Tom Brady passed for over 500 yards on the Miami Dolphins. That’s crazy enough but check this: Fins QB Chad Henne passed for over 400 yards. I SAID CHAD HENNE PASSED FOR OVER 400 YARDS. I SAID CHAD HENNE PASSED OVER 400 YARDS. I wrote that three times cause some people use the skim, scan, scroll method to read and I didn’t want anyone to gloss over the fact that CHAD HENNE PASSED FOR OVER 400 YARDS.

Together, Brady and Henne combined for 906 and now hold the record for most combined total passing yards in a game.

Am I awake?

Maurice Jones-Drew and LaGarrette Blount became the first two star RBs to complain about not getting enough playing time. Hey man, nobody cares about yall anymore. Tight Ends are getting 50+ receptions. Elite ones like Jason Witten are getting 90. Hey man, nobody cares about yall anymore.

Maybe as the season goes on offenses will develop some feelings for their running backs. I mean the extremely pass-happy New Orleans Saints let lil baby Darren Sproles go buck wild the other night. They say that people can fall for each other after they’re already married. It’s entirely possible that in a few weeks coaches will will see their running backs sitting on the bench or looking lonely near the line and say “hey…you wanna go out some time?” On the other hand, we could get to week 16 and find out that offenses like running backs…just not “in that way.” Unless of course your last name is Johnson (Tenn), Peterson (Minn) or Williams (Car).

4. Pittsburgh Steelers Defense

Their blood rivals beat their asses like they got caught stealing out of the team giftshop. This needs no further explanation. They gotta be PISSED.

5.Chad Ochocinco (honorable mention to his “fiance” Evelyn Lozada)

If I were to write a book about Chad Ochocinco and his made-for-television fiance Evelyn Lozada (which I would NEVER do), I would call it “Of Meal Tickets and Attention Whoring.” It’s a snappy little story about a guy who was the center of attention in a small town. A man who was the best player on a bad team. A guy who used a charismatic personality to climb all the way to the middle. And once he got to the middle, he figured dating a reality comet (I wouldn’t yet call her a star), would help him get to the bottom of the top (even though he had referred to the same woman as a whore on his twitter feed the year before). But then he left the bad team in the small town where no one ever paid attention to him breaking off routes preferring to shift all the blame to Carson Palmer’s knee, to go to a place where on and off-field discipline is demanded. Where you’re expected to not only know the playbook like that thing on the back of your hand, but to carve out a specific role for yourself. Or as my uncle used to say “earn your keep.” And while Chad struggles to learn the Patriots system, his newly minted feyawnsay is doing provocative photoshoots with the Boston Herald (what the hell are yall putting the clam chowdah to come up with something like this?) and swearing she’s no jersey chaser despite affairs with former NBA Boston Celtics players Antoine Walker and Kenny Anderson.

This book would be based on a true story, so since it’s week 1 the ending hasn’t been written yet. But suffice it to say, there may be some cutting going on by Week 7 if things don’t start looking up. Chad needs some reps, and he didn’t get many chances to prove himself last night. That’s gotta be frustrating for him and his tag along cookie, Evelyn.

6. Cam Newton Detractors

Before I begin, I’d like to say to all those who want to see Cam fail: hahahahahahah bwahahahahaha hahahaahh muwahahahahahahahahaahahah.


yeah I know it’s Week 1. And I know they played the Arizona Cardinals whose defense is holier than a Tyler Perry movie. And yes I know they lost. But come on! He passed for over 400 yards. In the clips I saw, Newton looked big and strong and capable (wait, are we still talking about football?). He seems to have fixed his laser eye that tells every dude on defense who he’s about to throw to. When he gets that backfoot squared away he will be kicking more ass than Anderson Silva and taking more names than Nevin Shapiro. I can feel it. I CAN FEEL IT!

It bothers me that Cam Newton inspires so much disdain. This whole idea that kids should be held more responsible than adults for their actions is astounding to me. A guy gets accused of breaking a few NON-VIOLENT rules and all of sudden everyone in the public turns into Mother Teresa. This is football, if you want to see girl scouts buy some cookies.

7. Broke Has-beens (ouch…but I didn’t know a better way to say it! I swear I’m a sweet girl!)

If ever there was a year not to be a financially devastated elderly team cancer looking for team, it was this one. Tiki Barber and Terrell Owens have both learned this the hard way. Even for team players whose pockets are straight (like Clinton Portis and Darren Sharper), the interested teams were slim. The current league boasts lots of rookie starters and with the shortened practice period it seems like the right time to just go ahead and give them their reps.

When it comes to Owens and Barber, I imagine teams looking at their phones when their agent’s call, laughing and saying “What I look like getting back to a has beeeeen. Yeah, I said it. Has been. Hang it up. FLAT SCREEN.” Sorry. lol

8. The Few People Who Still Play for the Giants

The season just started and the Giants have some exciting players currently active. Those include Steve Smith…wait…no, I meant Plaxico Burress…oh naw naw…Kevin Boss…ooo hmmm….Osi Umenyiora…oh wait…he’s out…Justin Tuck…oh umm…their brand new highly touted rookie CB Prince Amukamara…oh dammit! A lot of the guys you associate with the Giants have either moved on to other teams or are nursing injuries. The Giants have  8 defensive players out for the season.

The ones that are actually playing were left to get a serious smackdown from the Washington Redskins and their quarterback Re…Re….Re…I can’t even type his name. Anyway, you know that dude that passes the ball or whatever for that one football team in Washington. Him! He balled out on the Giants and there is no way in hell anyone is more angry than the players who had to endure the douchbaggery that is Re…Re…ughhhh

Definitely not a Giants fan, but my heart goes out to them!

9. Anterior Cruciate Ligaments

Before the season started, we were at about 11 achilles tears. Now we’re up to 9023939029343. It’s just getting ridiculous. Player ACLs have been texting each other tips for staying healthy. So far the tips they’re sharing are not working.

10. Defensive Players

You can probably tell by reading this blog that I am ALL about defense. Offense doesn’t really move me beyond whatever the tight ends are doing. Blame Shannon Sharpe for that. Defensive schemes and philosophies are where my heart lies. Defensive back is my favorite position. Linebackers make me swoon. Defensive Ends get my attention. Defensive Tackles get my heart pumping. The best thing about defense is there’s always something more to learn.

The worst thing about defense-there’s always something to learn. It’s clear that defenses across the league are struggling to adapt to all the damn creativity. I find it hard to believe that offenses are just this damn good. I think that defenses are so caught up with giving QBs different looks the players are confused as to where to be. This is just a hunch. I plan to blog about this more next week as I get more of an opportunity to get caught up on which teams have installed what and how it’s shaping up.

But to give you one good example, I’ll use my Eagles (YES I LIKE THE EAGLES AND FALCONS, HAVEN’T WE GONE THROUGH THIS ALREADY?). During Pre-season, alleged CB Nnamdi Asomugha lined up on the right, behind the DE, as a safety, and in the slot all in one game. Watching Asomugha during the Eagles-Rams game was like playing “Where’s Waldo?” except Waldo was dressed like everyone else. And his damn face was covered, which makes the game almost entirely impossible to win. The Eagles also rotated 8 on the line to keep legs fresh. Technically that means 8 dudes are “starting” just on the line. That’s more players that have to learn more than base defense.  I could have sworn I heard one of them say “Where am I? Who am I?” at one point. Or maybe that was me.

I think defensive players have a difficult task right now. Again, I want to revisit this at a later date when I have more to go on. But remember, many rules have been implemented to give offense an advantage. (OMG Can Goodell fine me for saying that?) But looking at this week’s games you’d never know that “more offense” was needed. Defenses can’t be happy with the points and yards that have been given up in week 1.



How the Eagles Landed Nnamdi Asomugha: An EXCLUSIVE Peek Inside Asomugha’s PRIVATE Journal

Nnamdi Asomugha Shows up to Eagles Training Camp Sunday, July 31, 2011. He can't practice until Thursday, August 4th (new CBA rules)

First of all, I’m pretending to believe that Asomugha (Ass-sim-mah-wah) signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. I’m not going to REALLY believe it until my Asomugha jersey arrives which I will be ordering promptly the minute they go on sale. I spent all of Friday morning tweeting about how the Eagles rarely take risks or make what I perceive to be “grand gestures” toward fans or toward winning. It bothered me that the Eagles weren’t even in the race for Asomugha.

I wasn’t lobbying for them to sign him necessarily, but just to be in the race. To say, we’ll look at any and all options. We want to win, and we’re willing to come up with a surprise or two. Hours later, the Eagles signed Asomugha to a 5 year deal 60 million dollar deal with 25 million dollars UP FRONT. No one deserves it more than he does. And no one deserves to be excited going in to a season more than us Philly fans. And if you say different, I really hope you can drive your car on blocks.

In addition to the Aso signing, the Eagles have signed almost everyone else who was free…Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin, Vince Young, Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie, Oprah, Stedman. Well, everyone except Desean Jackson who may or may not be ending his “holdout” soon depending on who’sreporting.

More on Desean later. For now, I know everyone is wondering how the Eagles slipped in and stole Aso from under the noses of the Jets, Cowboys, Texans and 49ers. Lucky for you, I got my hands on Aso’s journal. woot!

For those who don’t know much about Asomugha, all you need to know to enjoy his journal entries is that he’s perfect.

Nnamdi Asomugha Journal Pages from Thursday, July 28 and Friday, July 29, 2011.

5:00 am - Woke up and drank organic coffee and ate three boiled eggs and had a protein shake while reading the LA Times, NY Times, and Wall Street Journal from front to back. I feel smarter every day. God is so good.

6:00 am - Worked out in top secret location with top secret people doing top secret drills.

8:00 am - Called Jets Coach Rex Ryan and heard his ringback tone which I felt was completely inappropriate. I googled the lyrics…apparently the “song” was “Sex in Crazy Places” by some fellow by the name of “Gucci Mane.” Hung up without leaving a message.

8:45 am Received a video message from Jets Linebacker Bart Scott saying that he “couldn’t wait” to be roommates. Set a rule to send all emails from Bart to special folder (gmail trash bin).

9:00 am Called some kids I mentor to make sure they are doing well. And they are. I worry too much but can’t help it. God is so good.

9:15 am Received voice message from a team with which I was not familiar. They said they call themselves “the San Francisco 49ers.” Googled them on my limited edition Iphone. Couldn’t tell if they were really in the NFL or not. Wrote myself a note to ask my agent. Still forgot.

10:00 am Arrived at the airport with my agent to fly to Houston for a meeting with the Texans. I’ve heard good things.

11:15 am Must turn phone off now. I hope this flight is safe. God is so good.

3:00 pm Arrived at Houston Texans facility. Everything was going well until they suddenly brought out several bottles of moscato and plates of chicken tenders. Informed them that it’s tacky to serve dessert wine at lunch and that I do not partake in the consumption of fried foods. Weird moment of misunderstanding too: They thought I came for wine and chicken tenders. But I’d said I wanted to sign with a contender. Couldn’t wait to leave.

4:00 pm Tired. A lot on my mind. Heading back to the hotel to relax with some light reading. Probably Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”


7:00 am Slept in this morning. Can’t believe I woke up so late. But I’m blessed to have the opportunity. God is so good.

8:00 am Turned on the TV but couldn’t bear to see myself on every channel. All this attention is so embarrassing. There is a famine in East Africa for God sakes. Took a moment to pray.

9:00 am Drove to Dallas and met Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who greeted me wearing a dashiki and later tried to put a cowboy hat on my head without asking. My agent told him that Black people don’t like to be touched to which he responded “I thought he was African!” Couldn’t wait to leave.

2:00 pm Received a text from my good friend Jets Cornerback Darrell Revis telling me he really hopes I sign with the Jets. What a great guy. Never figured him to be one to have a pet though. Seems he has a hamster or something. He was on his way to buy spinning wheels.

2:30 pm Received text message from my old boss Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis’ great great great great great great great great grand daughter letting me know that he died for the 7th time since 1983. I was sad as I always am when this happens to him. Can’t wait until he comes alive again. God is so good.

3:45 pm Heard from my agent that the Philadelphia Eagles swear up and down (which really isn’t respectful of God but anyway) that they want to win a Superbowl and might be willing to offer me money to play for them. Spoke to Eagles owner Joe Banner and heard the passion in his voice. They sent over an initial offer but something seemed amiss…** Contract must definitely be revised!

4:15 pm Received a phone call from the President Emeritus of my alma mater, The University of California Berkeley regarding Eagles Wide Receiver Desean Jackson. They were concerned about the impact his twitter account and general life behavior might have on the image of the university. They asked me to take him under my tutelage as he is a fellow alum and I happily obliged. It’s such an honor to help guide young men in the right direction, even when they are a mere 5 years younger than I.

5:45 pm Signed a reworked contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Can’t wait to start. GOD IS SO GOOD.

**A sneak peak at the first contract the Eagles sent Asomugha:



I’m such a fool. LOLLLLLL

If you missed Asomugha’s press conference for the Eagles yesterday, here ya go:





How to Get A Man: A Guide to Help Your Team Woo NNamdi Asomugha

NNamdi Asomugha's contract with the Oakland Raiders was voided when certain incentives weren't met.


Unless you’ve been hiding under Serena Williams’ bountiful booty, you probably know that Nnamdi Asomugha is the most highly desired free agent on the market right now. The long suffering (9 years to be exact) Oakland Raiders Cornerback is out of the Defensive Back Witness Protection Program and ready to sign with a new team and hopefully make an official debut on the national stage.

Asomugha isn’t just talented on the field he also is one of the smartest, nicest, and genuinely charitable NFL players there is.

He’s also extremely, extremely HOT. #TheThirst #Oolala #DamnHeFine

Since January, team message boards around the league have been filled with chatter about where the Nigerian Los Angeles native will land. Even teams with no freaking chance of signing the “shut down” corner have fans who are holding on to hope.

Well, never fear, I am here to help. I put together this handy guide that your team’s owner and front office can use to woo Aso.


Pronounce His Name Correctly

As someone who has a last name that people, including family members, butcher into stewed beef pieces I know what’s it like to have a name people struggle with. And I also know it’s kind of a nice surprise when people try to pronounce it anywhere close to right.

NNamdi Asomugha presents problems because both names look like gibbrish to the average American public school graduate. Just remember, One N is just for decoration and real Gs move in silence like Asomugha. Now you know Nnamdi is “Nahm-dee” and Asomugha is “Awe-sum-wah.” Even though on Madden Asomugha is pronounced Ahso-moog-gah, your team’s front office shouldn’t be satisfied to wallow in video game ignorance. Pronounce the man’s name the right way and win a few extra points when the signing process comes down to the wire.

Do the Salary Shuffle

Look, Corners with the ability to consistently cover deep man-to-man are rarer than quiet moments at Chad Ochocinco’s house. If you want Asomugha, you got to come up with some serious paper. Not you, Detroit Lions, you’re all tapped out. But the rest of you? The lockout has given your team plenty of time to think about who they can release, whose contract(s) can be restructured, and what other personnel moves might be necessary to make this thing happen.

When Asomugha shows up at your team facility, you need to have a plan you can show him. Just like when you take a fine ass woman on a first date, don’t stand there looking confused, show a little creativity and initiative!

Emphasize Your Commitment to Winning

This pretty much leaves out the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals and, of course, the Oakland Raiders. But for the rest of the 28 teams in the NFL, you either need to show Asomugha that you have been winning or that the changes you’re making for this season guarantee at least a .500 record or more—preferably a playoff berth. A power point presentation that breaks down matchups, the spread, and your schedule including which SPECIFIC games you expect to win might be appropriate.

Asomugha has been stuck on a losing team for far too long. And through it all he has maintained a positive attitude, impressive command of the English language, a clean arrest record, no visible tattoos, zero paternity suits, and a mouth completely free of gold teeth. Why should such a perfect specimen have to choose between winning games and getting a contract that lets him ball ‘til he falls?


Get Real Ethnic On His Ass

If you can’t tell, NNamdi Asomugha isn’t your regular run-of-the-mill black name—it’s Nigerian. Nigeria and Nigerian culture are really important to him. He is the chairman of his own foundation called Orphans and Widows In Need (OWIN) which provides food, shelter, and medicine as well as supports literacy and vocational training in Nigeria.

If you want to attract the four-time All Pro standout to your city it might be good to show your ethnic sensitivity. In other words, this is the perfect time NOT to mention KWANZAA (or, God forbid serve a Kwanzaa cake), kente cloths or any other faux African practices. It’s also not a good time to talk about your daughter’s cornrows or to try to show off the little bit of Swahili you learned in college. And please, please do not wear some silly ass dashiki to lunch with this man!

Instead of all that offensive stuff, you might want to point out if your city is near a large Nigerian population (*ahem* Houston Texans), or not too far from the Nigerian Embassy (*hint hint* Baltimore Ravens) or simply has a great Nigerian restaurant or two (HELLO Philadelphia Eagles). At the very least, your team should make sure to note that they would do its best to support Asomugha as he endeavors to expand OWIN to other African countries.

Treat Him Like a Cancer

No, not the Terrell Owens kind, the zodiac kind. Asomugha was born on July 6, 1981 which makes him a cancer. Male cancer characteristics include a need for loyalty and privacy as well as sensitivity to criticism. Mention some things that might appeal to these traits. Is there stability within your core group of players? Do you have a contract with a security service? Do your fans rarely boo or verbally assault players? These are the kinds of things he might like to assess.

Flaunt Your City’s Food and Beaches

Now I don’t know if Asomugha is a foodie or not, but I do know he’s going to need something to do while he’s bored in the backfield. If none of the Quarterbacks are going to throw to him, the least we can do is offer the man a delicious snack while he’s wandering about aimlessly.

I would think beaches would be an important selling point too (Hear that, Miami Dolphins?). Asomugha has lived in California almost all his life. He grew up in Los Angeles, attended college at California Berkeley, and played for the Oakland Raiders ever since he left college. This man probably likes water. If you’ve got a few beaches, it might not be a bad idea to entice him with the prospect of being able to do whatever it is that people who like water do near the water or whatever. I don’t like water, so I really don’t know.

Make Sure Your Community Isn’t Singing What Have You Done For Me Lately

Asomugha had Nike add a stipulation to his contract that he would outfit freshman students at one high school with football and basketball team with shoes. He also, takes high school kids on college tours to ensure they pursue higher educations and has personally mentored and tutored students in Oakland.

The NFL touts community service and Asomugha has been exemplary in this area. If your team has made a commitment to its surrounding community, I think Asomugha would like to know.

And there you have it. I hope this handy guide helps you land the man of your team’s dreams.

You’re welcome, and good luck!




Top 10 list of Players and People Who Need a New CBA Signed IMMEDIATELY

The potential for an NFL lockout affects players around the league differently. The list below includes more well known players, but there are definitely not the only ones who are worried or should worry about the agreement. In fact, they are but a representation of the many different ways in which the CBA can affect those in different places in their NFL careers and personal lives.

The list is in no particular order.

10. NNamdi Asomugha is a case of incentivizing gone wrong. Because he didn’t hit some key targets, his contract with the Oakland Raiders was voided. I’m not a big fan of certain incentives mainly because they are at the whim of the both the coaches on the player’s team and also the coaches on the other side. Asomugha was never likely to make the incentives in his contract anyway, so this was all an exercise in futility.

Whatever happens, Asomugha will be okay. He is a stand out player that could be a real asset to both the league and his next team, and offensive coordinators seem aware of this because he was only thrown to 33 times during the season. However, until a new CBA is signed, both the Raiders and Asomugha are in a holding period.

9. New York Jets Corner Back Antonio Cromartie can barely hide his anxiety about the potential lockout. Depending on who you ask, Cromartie has between 7 and 9 children by 7 or 8 different women and had to be advanced his first check from the Jets (after being traded from San Diego) in order to stay out of jail for non payment of child support.

Cromartie made headlines a week and half ago when he referred to both NFL leadership and NFLPA leadership as assholes and basically implied that both sides were playing games and not serious about negotiating a new agreement. Other players, like Cardinals linebacker Darnell Dockett and Ravens veteran Linebacker Ray Lewis spoke out saying that Cromartie didn’t speak for all the players.

Last Thursday, Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck committed a classic “tweet and delete” saying that Cromartie probably doesn’t know what CBA stands for. Cromartie responded by threatening to bash Hassleback’s face in to which Hasselback responded “I guess DBs and QBs have a hard time getting along some times.”

The stress of the potential lockout is clearly getting to Cromartie. He needs to know that he will be playing both in the short and long term. Though the Jets have expressed a desire to keep Cromartie, the team has some serious decisions to make with at least two well-compensated veterans due raises. Cromartie blew some critical plays during the end of the regular season and post season after starting off strong in the beginning of the season. I’m sure he’d like to have some certainty ASAP.

8. The lockout can’t weigh heavier on anyone’s mind than NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith. With talk of pregnant players’ wives asking to be induced before the CBA ends (and presumably health insurance for NFL players and families) and not to mention all the players making the league minimum or suffering from injuries that need continued attention, I can’t imagine anyone wanting a CBA to be signed more than Smith.

Smith has been an effective advocate for the players. He’s made it his business to meet with other powerful union leaders (inside and outside of sports), he’s lobbied quietly on the players’ behalf on Capitol Hill, and just shown a genuine passion for ensuring the NFL doesn’t regress in its treatment of players. Not only did Smith beat out long time NFLPA President former Eagles CB Troy Vincent, he also beat out the NFL’s  lawyer David Cornwell for the position. If the NFL and NFLPA can’t come to an agreement soon, fans and many players will be looking for someone to shoulder the blame and Smith will be a primary target regardless of how necessary his efforts are.

Thus far, the players have overall publicly supported Smith. However, we’re still a month out from the CBA’s expiration and the tide could always change.

7. It’s pretty hard to imagine a National Football League that doesn’t feature Baltimore Ravens ILB Ray Lewis. Lewis has been evasive when it comes to discussing retirement though the mercurial superstar will be 36 come this May. My guess is that he’d like to play one more year—his mind is probably telling him yes while his body is telling him no.  He remained fairly healthy through this season but at his age all the years of playing have to be catching up.

Since it’s likely that the NFL will allow player health insurance to expire the day of the lockout, it may make Lewis’exit from the league more complicated. For example, Lewis may want to retire under the old agreement just in case the owners get their wish to shorten the length of the time in which players are covered with health insurance upon retirement (whether the new agreement is signed March 4 2011 or March 4 2012). Also, since the league is hoping to add 2 more regular season games, Lewis may want to end his career now rather than endure a season with additional physical demands tacked on.

6. The closer WR Plaxico Burress comes to being released from prison the hotter the speculation becomes about where he might land. His agent, power broker Drew Rosenhaus, has said unequivocally that Burress will play in the league again.

Here’s the problem, Burress turned himself in to police in December 2008 and was suspended without pay for the rest of the 2008/2009 season. It is now January 2011, a full 2 years since he’s played in the NFL. If there’s a lockout, assuming it lasts one year or season that would make Burress almost 3 years removed from the league and 35 years old. Rumor has it Burress spent upwards of a million dollars in legal fees fighting his case and had to sell property including cars. The latest news is that his home in Florida is being foreclosed.

Before incarceration, Burress was an on and off problem-child and another year out of the league would make a successful return difficult, but Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick has shown that redemptive returns are possible mentally and physically and might inspire coaches to give Burress another try.  Many of Burress’ former teammates have made it clear that they would like to see Burress return to the Giants. Giants management have said they will contact him at the appropriate time. And Ravens Coach John Harbaugh has said he’s consider Burress as well. took a look at Burress’ return prospects with other teams.

In a nutshell, not only does Burress need to play really soon because his physical clock is ticking, he needs to replenish the money he’s lost and  reset his family’s foundation.

5. Poor poor Washington Redskins QB Donovan McNabb has got to want a CBA signed pronto. McNabb’s sense of urgency isn’t really about money-he’s made enough to relax for the rest of his life. By all accounts he seems responsible so I doubt he’s hurting financially. But I definitely think McNabb wants to prove himself and doesn’t want to end his career with the season he had in Washington.

To clarify, given the offensive line, coaching issues, and the health of the Skins receiving core, McNabb didn’t have an especially bad year. Before being unceremoniously benched, he was on pace to pass for 4K yards. And in 2009 he had his second best passer rating of his career so I doubt his skills fell off that much between 2009 and 2010. Unfortunately, McNabb was butchered in the press by the Skins, and that’s no way to end the kind of career McNabb has had.  Realistically, barring a lockout McNabb probably has about 2 years left in the league, MAYBE three if he lands on a team with an epically talented offensive line.

The biggest appeal to signing a QB like McNabb –and it’s a shame the Redskins didn’t see this—is that he buys you a few years not only when it comes to winning but also when it comes to training a younger QB. If McNabb lands in Minnesota or Arizona as I suspect, they would be wise to draft a young QB and let him learn behind McNabb. With QBs dropping like flies throughout the season (50 different QBs started in the regular season, 72 different QBs took at least one snap) the league is in need of depth at that position and having successful veterans teach the youngsters is one way to get it. And let’s be honest, do we really want to see another playoff game in which Todd Collins and Caleb Hanie have to be dragged out?

4. Count me among the people who will never ever ever understand the career of Indianapolis Colts FS Demond Bob Sanders. In 7 years in the league, this guy has only played 14 games twice. The last 3 seasons he played a total of 9 games. Perenially injured and unbelievably talented, Sanders has bought more time in the league than any unhealthy player I can think of. He and Buffalo Bills OLB Shawne Merriman have the magic touch when it comes to this. But Sanders is quickly aging and next year may be the last season for him to make something out of what should have been a very illustrious career.

Besides, he gets injured just leaving the house. He definitely needs the health insurance the league may cancel on March 4.

3. Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick has a lot going on. And by going on, I mean, he owes a lot of people money. Vick’s creditors and debtors are watching his every move. That’s why I still can’t figure out why he not only gave his fiancée a Porsche for her birthday, but flaunted it in front of the press and everyone else. Now that he has his first paid endorsement since being released from prison, debtors will be looking to collect their money in accordance with the agreement Vick and they have made with the courts.

Vick began the season as a backup and ended it as a starter going to the Pro Bowl. Vick’s salary was $5,250,000 (overpaid by backup standards but underpaid by playoff contender and Pro Bowl player standards), but most of that didn’t go to him and his family. If Vick is able to play a 3 or 4 more years and gets a good contract from the Philadelphia Eagles (a feat not many have accomplished) he may be able to right his financials and completely pay off his debt. If not, he will be quickly transferred from the dog house to the poor house. Yes I agree that’s a bad joke but I couldn’t resist.

2. Denver Broncos turned Cleveland Brown RB Peyton Hillis was all but forgotten before being rediscovered in 2010. Hillis made $550,000 last year and barely surpassed the league minimum the year before. He’s a free agent in 2012. I’m sure he’d like to have another good season right away and make the case for a serious payout as soon as possible.  There are quite a few players who are in similar positions to Hillis-Matt Forte to name one and to a degree Adrian Peterson, whose salary is slated to go up in 2011 but was hovering under $400k in 2010.

1. Even though the bulk of the power belongs to the owners and The NFL, their monopoly may be wearing thin. Obviously the average fan doesn’t really care about the players. Most people think all professional athletes are spoiled and overpaid and they want to see games at all costs. Making sure players are treated equitably isn’t on most fans’ priority lists. Besides, the players are the ones fans see every Sunday, follow on twitter, and read about in the tabloids. The owners and the NFL Commissioner are cloaked in secrecy including their financials which, save for the publicly owned Packers, are a mystery even to NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith.

As we inch closer to the lockout, I think the NFLPA is doing a great job of pointing out some of the blatant issues with the owners’ arguments. I mean, does anyone believe that the owners are footing the bulk of the bills for stadiums? At some point fans have to wake up to the fact that they are not only overpaying for tickets to games, parking, and concessions, they’re also subsidizing these stadiums with tax payer dollars often at the expensive of local economies. Not only does the NFL need a new business model for its dealing with the players, its expectations of the fans needs a look as well.

This article from Business Week is probably the best I’ve read on the possible lockout and includes a lot of information that deserves some attention. Take this diddy here:

One thing everyone can agree on is that a lost season would be a financial disaster. Even if a deal is struck by Sept. 1, in time for the regular season, the NFL could lose up to $1 billion—including up to $100 million per weekend at the gate for canceled preseason games. Sponsors, who plan their ad campaigns more than a year in advance, already have safer options for their budgets, starting with the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The NFLPA says a lost season could cost every NFL city $160 million in jobs and revenue. The 1,900 players would lose a combined $4.5 billion in salary and bonuses, while the league concedes it might have to impose pay cuts for its own 1,000-odd employees. Then there are the thousands of sports bars that will struggle to pay the rent with pro bowling on TV during Sunday afternoons. “Our business would be one-third depleted just from the Packers not playing,” says Jerry Watson, owner of Green Bay’s Stadium View Bar & Grille.

If negotiations end up coming down to a game of chicken, the deep-pocketed owners are much better prepared than the players to prevail. They’re sitting on $900 million—a potential “lockout fund,” says Atallah—comprised, in part, of life insurance and pension payments withheld since the salary cap expired last March. (Such withholdings comply with the current collective bargaining agreement.)

The league’s TV deals with the networks also pay more than $4 billion for next season, even if not a single game is played. (For any canceled games, the broadcast companies—CBS (CBS), NBC (GE), ESPN (DIS), Fox (NWS), and DirecTV (DTV)—would receive credits for future contests.) The NFL’s general counsel, Jeff Pash, has compared the arrangement to “borrowing on a home equity line,” but the players union describes it as an insurance plan for a lockout. Last month, the NFLPA filed a complaint against the league over the TV agreement that will be adjudicated by a federal-court-appointed special master, who will also decide a separate complaint alleging that league owners colluded to restrict player salaries.

However, the players may have legal means to fight a lockout. According to former player and current power agent Tom Condon, the co-head of Creative Artists Agency’s football unit, the NFLPA could abandon its status as a union. Players could then sue, arguing that the NFL’s 32 teams are independent businesses colluding to restrict players’ pay. Just last year the U.S. Supreme Court argued that, for licensing purposes, the teams should indeed be treated as separate entities. “If the owners make the determination to proceed with the lockout,” says Condon, “you can anticipate the players responding by trying to get an injunction.” It’s a move that has proven effective in the past. After a strike broken by replacement players, in 1987, the NFLPA decertified two years later. The move triggered approximately 20 lawsuits—including the one that helped create free agency in 1993.

In summary, the NFL is riding high right now with ratings higher than ever, but ticket sales are falling, fans are fickle, and the NFLPA is hell bent on exposing the murkier side of business dealings. The players remain at a serious disadvantage, but it would behoove the league to take a close look at their practices and honestly assess whether they could be more fair.

On a whole, from practice squad players to sports agents, no one involved with the NFL will be unaffected by a lockout should it happen. I hope this post provides a little insight into why a work stoppage is feared by most.

PS: Thanks to @nwilborn19 a great sports journalist (not a lowly blogger like me) for giving me the idea for this post.

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