Category Archives: NFL

The pulled Super Bowl commercial

This is the planned Super Bowl commercial that Fox, well, pulled. Can you imagine the uproar this would’ve caused had it been approved? My God.

That said, we came that close to witnessing a historic moment in television history, however crass it would’ve been.


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Filed under Alex Podlogar, NFL, NFL playoffs, Sports, Super Bowl

Floyd Little’s Hall of Fame speech

This is a must-see.

And a must-read. Here is the text for Little’s inspirational Hall of Fame speech.

Jerry Rice, sit down. You too, Emmitt Smith.

This is a speech.


Thank you. Thank you. I am still standing. And I give all the glory to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I am truly blessed to be standing here on this day to celebrate my journey as a person and as an athlete.

I only wish my mom and dad were here to celebrate with me. I know my mom is looking down on me today and she’s saying, Floyd, I’m proud of you, you done good. I also miss my two brothers. Fred, known as Ranger, and Charles, known as Gitty. Gitty was the real hero. He served two terms in Vietnam and was a war hero. I miss my two brothers.

Floyd Little

But God continues to bless me with three living sisters, Betty Jackson, Rosalie Johnson and Priscilla Goodson. These three ladies have been my biggest fans since I first put on a football helmet at Troop Junior High School. You have been my rock and strength on this journey. I could not have made it without your prayer and your support. Thank you for always being there for me.

I also have three very special and talented kids. You’ve already met my son Marc. He was my presenter. Marc is not like a regular son. He’s also my lawyer, my advisor, and my best friend. Life would be real different for me if Marc wasn’t around. I love you, man.

My daughter Christy who has blessed me with four grandkids, A.J., Skye, Blaze and Hayes. Christy is a proud mommy in training and has created a career teaching other mommies to be better mommies and I’m so proud of her for that. Christy, I am so proud of all the things you do because when I look at you I see all the things you do for our family. We are a close family because of you. I have been truly blessed to have you as my daughter. I love you, Christy.

My daughter Kyra. I have watched you perform on Broadway and on stages across this country. I have not seen anyone with more talent than you. You truly are a triple threat with abilities that make me proud to stick my chest out and say, That is my daughter. I love you, Kyra.

To Joyce Davis, the mother of my two daughters. Joyce, you did a great job as a mother. Thank you for your support during those early and challenging years as a Denver Bronco. Thank you for your support.

To my beautiful wife DeBorah, my friend, my partner and everything a husband can want. You stand shoulder to shoulder with me. You never wavered in your steadfast resolve, always willing to go to battle on my behalf, always ready to help me finish the fight. Thank you for always being by my side. You are my Hall of Famer and I love you.

No one travels this road alone. I can never have imagined the impact of a phone call I got from Tom Mackie’s wife Emily. She called asking if I would consider meeting Tom for his 40th birthday because I was Tom’s hero. Not only did Tom and I meet, but he became the co-author of my first book, Tales from the Bronco Sideline. My biggest advocate for my Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration. Now Tom is my hero. Thank you, Tom Mackie, for all you’ve done. I truly appreciate it.

Lastly I want to thank my biggest friend and supporter, Jim Gray. Thank you, Jim Gray, for all you’ve done that contributed to my moment of being here today. I’m truly grateful, Jim, for all you’ve done.

The list of those that’s had an impact on my life and career is long, but I must give thanks to Ernie Davis, to Jim Brown, to John Mackie, to Hal Williams, to Ernie Barnes, to Billy Thompson, and my coaches Dan Casey, Al Verdel, Jay Lou, Ben Swartzwalder, Lou Saban, John Ralston. A special thanks to the Hall of Fame committee, Jeff Legwold, Jim Saccomano, and my Syracuse family, Dr. Nancy Carter and Dr. Daryl Gross and the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. To all my classmates, all my teammates from Hillhouse High School, Bordentown Military, Syracuse University, and the Denver Broncos. To Pat Bowlen and the entire Bronco organization, and to all the Bronco fans around the world. To all my friends and family who are here, and those who could not be here, thank you for your loyalty and your support over all these years. I am truly, truly grateful.

There’s no words to describe the joy of experiencing this final sports chapter in my life. This is obviously the highest honor any football player can garner. I stand here today celebrating my athletic life journey, and I understand significant. Everything else pales in comparison. Every player wakes up wishing to have this honor. I encourage you all to continue to dream for this moment. I have been favored by God and by those who have had a say in what happens to me.

But the road was not always so easy and clear. I remember being a strong but angry young man in school. I used my strength in ways that became my weakness. After being kicked out of school, I had reached an impasse in my life. Everything was done. My hopes were shattered and done. And then I had a vision from my late father that came to me and said, Floyd, I’ve chosen you to take my place, to do what I could not do, and to finish what I could not finish.

I came to myself. With the help of those who saw the good in me, I was re-enrolled back in school with determination. Not only did I become the president of my class, but I started my journey as a leader in everything that I did, and I never looked back.

Because of those that encouraged me in those early years, I am here today. So I want to encourage you, every student, every athlete, every person who will hear my voice, don’t listen to the naysayer. I had plenty of those. Don’t listen to those that will judge you for your rough edges. Don’t focus on your weakness so you won’t become a victim. Find the goodness in you that says, Yes, I can be a good student. Yes, I can be a good son and daughter. Yes, I can be a positive role model. Yes, I can, because the good in you is better than the worst in most. The choice is yours. Be the best that you can be.

I truly believe that none of us is anything until the least of us is something. The great writer James Baldwin said, Naked I came into this world and naked I shall leave. We are bound to leave everything we accomplished in this lifetime behind, passing it on. So leave a legacy that you and your family can be proud.

I’ve given you the best that I’ve got. And I’m a better person for it. Thank you for being here with me and for me. I thank God for His favor today, and may God bless us all. Thank you so much.

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Filed under Alex Podlogar, Designated Hitter, Hall of Fame, NFL, Sports, Sports columns, The Sanford Herald

Brett Favre has lost something special

We've seen this movie before.

I’ve often tried to use the line — in jest, of course, and nothing more — that only Michael Jordan had retired more times than Billy Graham.

The past few years, it’s been easy to insert Brett Favre’s name in there — on either end of the joke.

And so here we are.


Let the jokes run free, because it’s that time of year — August in the autumn of Brett Favre’s career.

The coverage, naturally, of what may turn out in a couple of weeks to be a non-event, has been insufferable. ESPN is having a tough time with its credibility this summer after the way it has handled news surrounding LeBron James’ free agency, George Steinbrenner’s death and now this.

You’d think after being spurned twice before with its genuflecting to Brett Favre, the sports world and the media that surrounds it might have taken a step back this time to at least catch its breath. Alas, that didn’t happen.

Not that Favre doesn’t share a good dose of the blame here. The only way he doesn’t come off as a certified prima donna this time is if he actually stays retired — for the duration of the season, and his life. Should he come back yet again, at any time, the firestorm of criticism sent his way may finally too much. This time, we might have condemnation that may not be fully extinguished by a series of touchdown passes.

It’s still hard to imagine that Favre is actually done. Obviously, we’ve seen this movie before. And for it to end with Favre texting a few teammates and not personally consulting the team’s front office and coaching staff, well, that helps foster the steady flow of skepticism. The handling of the decision is almost LeBronesque.

Yet it’s not hard to imagine Favre sending up a signal to generate attention and the begging of his services. That behavior has become something of a trend in the saga that is Brett Favre.

But if this is indeed Favre’s grand exit, it hardly comes off that way. Sure, ESPN has turned its programming back over to Fawning Over Favre mode, but the quarterback who cried wolf too many times may not get the real respect he deserves until he is on the stage at Canton.

And that’s a shame.

No player should be told when it’s time to retire. And there’s nothing wrong with a legend wanting to keep the fairytale going, especially when the last chapter was so remarkably written. Play as long as you can play.

Just make up your mind. We’re tired.

And, if this is indeed the end, we don’t care nearly as much as we should.

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Filed under Alex Podlogar, Brett Favre, Designated Hitter, Minnesota Vikings, NFL, Sports, Sports columns, The Sanford Herald

Brady/Bieber Fever

For a while now, I’ve said that if I had to come back in another life, and if that had to be the life of any current sports star, I’d lean heavily toward Tom Brady.

I know, I know. I have too much extra time on my hands.

But I’m also the guy who once wrote a high school senior English paper, when reading “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, that of anybody I’d choose to be, I’d take Al Newman.

Al Newman's the one on the left. Glad I could clear that up for you.

Don’t know Al Newman? Exactly. Remember, this is circa 1994, and Al Newman was a utility infielder with the Montreal Expos and Minnesota Twins. I even have Al Newman’s autograph on, of all things, an All-Star Ballot. Anyway, I chose to be Al Newman because I’d have two World Series rings, would have played major league baseball, would still be in the game as a coach and could eat in any restaurant in the world without being bothered by fans.

Anyway, back to the Tom Brady thing. Dude has it all, from supermodel wife to Super Bowl rings to a classic underdog story. And he looks like Tom Brady. Not a bad life if this one didn’t work out.

But I may need a new choice.

Because this is just too far.

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Filed under Alex Podlogar, Designated Hitter, Minnesota Twins, NFL, Sports, Sports columns, The Sanford Herald

The PODcast — April 30

Hey LeBron, Larry Legend would've never done that. Neither would Michael. Or Magic.″

In Part 1, the guys take a look at Southern Lee and Lee County baseball before diving into the newest rivalry in NASCAR.″

In Part II, the guys dive into the Panthers’ NFL Draft and rant about LeBron James’ hinting at his injury. Put it this way — Larry Bird would’ve never done that.

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Filed under Alex Podlogar, Cape Fear Valley Conference, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, College Basketball, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Designated Hitter, LeBron James, Lee County High School, NASCAR, NBA, NBA Finals, NBA Playoffs, NCAA Tournament, NFL, Prep sports, Southern Lee High School, Sports, Sports columns, The Podcast, The Sanford Herald, Tri-9 Conference, WDCC 90.5 FM

Bryan Lee and Cam Thomas go way back — before the NFL

North Carolina's Cam Thomas was drafted by the San Diego Chargers on Saturday. And his high shcool was there.

Interviewing for his first head coaching job, Bryan Lee was shown around the North Moore campus. Wanting to get a look at some of the potential players he might be coaching in the fall, Lee was brought to the gym to witness a few kids playing hoops.
That’s when he first saw Cam Thomas.
A mountain of a sophomore, Lee knew Thomas would be the foundation of his Mustangs program. He knew he would have a monster on the defensive line, one even the Albemarle and Thomasville coaching staffs would salivate over.
Lee also knew he had found a way to get North Moore into the end zone a lot more than the handful of times the Mustangs hit paydirt the year before.
One problem — Thomas’ mom wasn’t so sure about her son playing football.
Lee can be persuasive, though, and after getting the job and employing some careful conversations, Lee got his man among boys in pads and onto the practice field.
On Saturday, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Lee, in person, heard that player’s name announced over the public address system at the NFL Draft.
“That was a pretty amazing moment,” Lee says. “A once-in-a-lifetime moment, actually.”
A moment, it must be said, didn’t have to happen.

Thomas was drafted in the fifth round by the San Diego Chargers, a team with serious Super Bowl aspirations this coming season, with the 146th selection overall. The 6-foot-4, 330-pound rock of a nosetackle from North Carolina told Lee when the two talked not long after the announcement that he’ll report to the team on May 6.
“He’s said all the right things, the things he’s supposed to say, but it’s still just Cam being Cam,” Lee says. “He really put it in perspective. He said that when he got the call, a door opened for him, and now anything’s possible. And now it’s time to go to work.”
Lee said Thomas understands the odds he’s up against. Not every fifth-rounder makes the team, even ones like Thomas who rank among the top of their class as a run-stopper.
But Thomas knows all about long odds. He’s been over them with Lee before.
“We never really talked about Sundays when Cam was in high school,” Lee says. “Look, I was a first-time head coach. I didn’t really know what a Division-1 college player looked like, much less a professional athlete.
“But we talked about football getting him to the next level so that he could get an education, and what he could do with that.”

Two years ago, Thomas came to see his coach one more time before Lee moved closer to his hometown in southern Illinois.
It was a happy reunion, one that started when Thomas unfolded himself out of his $800 car.
The truth is, Lee and Thomas have talked about a lot of things over the years, and well before Lee moved on to Southern Lee to build the Cavaliers program while Thomas battled through a coaching change in Chapel Hill to play in all 27 games his last two-plus seasons.
As a lineman and a running back, Thomas starred under Lee at North Moore, though Lee likes to point out that it was really the other way around. Whatever. Southern Lee fans have a pretty good idea what Lee was about, moreso now that he’s gone.
But none of that, really, had anything to do with why Lee felt like he had to be in New York to hear his former player’s name called.
Lee can remember driving Thomas to his official visits to colleges. He can remember taking Thomas to the site of his ACT test.
He can remember the same short-sleeved white shirt and clip-on tie that Thomas wore each and every time he needed to dress up.
“This wasn’t a kid who had a lot of steaks in the freezer,” Lee says of Thomas’ upbringing. “To say he came from humble beginnings is an understatement. But he has an amazing mother and a great stepfather, and he was more fortunate than 90 percent of the kids out there because he had parents who kept him on the straight and narrow.”
And Thomas has already talked about what he hopes to be able to do for his family now.
“The financial door is open now, and he knows that,” Lee said. “It’s another door opening for him, one that he can open for his family.”

Another story stands out on this day for Lee.
The summer of Thomas’ senior year at North Moore, there was talk of a playoff appearance in the fall. Thomas was being heavily recruited in his home state, and the word was out about the rising Mustangs.
And so on the morning of North Moore’s first summer scrimmage, the team gathered at the school to board the buses to take them to the big-deal scrimmage at Catawba College.
No Cam.
And so they waited.
And waited some more.
And then Lee couldn’t wait anymore. He drove to Thomas’ trailer, and found his star there.
“Cam, what’s going on?” Lee recalls in telling the story. “We’ve got to go.”
“I can’t, Coach,” came the reply.
“You can’t?”
“Mom says I can’t go anywhere this weekend.”
“Geez, Cam, what did you do?”
“I didn’t clean my room. Mom says I can’t doing anything this weekend. I was supposed to clean my room.”
And so Lee left — without Cam Thomas.
“His mom had said no,” Lee recalls now, “and nobody changes her mind.”
On Saturday, perhaps because of all the times his mother or stepfather said no, the NFL said yes to Cam Thomas.
And Lee made sure he heard them say it.

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Filed under ACC, Alex Podlogar, Designated Hitter, NFL, North Carolina Tar Heels, Prep sports, Southern Lee High School, Sports, Sports columns, The Sanford Herald, UNC Tar Heels

Jerry Jones rips Tebow, Parcells

Beware of strong language. Just sayin’.

Classic stuff, of course. Jerry Jones should obviously know better, and it seems he was, ahem, a little off his game. But he was ambushed by idiots with a cell phone and is getting burned by it. There also seems to be a report that the guy who had possession of the video tried unsuccessfully to sell it for a while.

Here’s the text of the video:

Jerry Jones: Romo was a miracle.

Some guy: It was a miracle, wasn’t it?

JJ: He almost never got in, and he almost was gone. Tebow would never…

Some other guy: What if you were the Jaguars or — would you just, just draft him and sell (expletive) jerseys?

JJ: That’s the only reason I brought in Bill Parcells.


JJ: [Inaudible]

JJ: Bill’s not worth a (expletive). I love him.

Some other guy: I know you do.

JJ: Not worth a (expletive), but I wanted — they were on my ass so bad. J’s gotta have a yes man. So to get this (expletive) stadium, I need to bring his ass in.

Some other guy: What, you, you wouldn’t take Tebow in the third round?

JJ: Why? He’d never get on the field. I can’t get him out there.


JJ: I can’t get him out there.

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Filed under Alex Podlogar, Dallas Cowboys, Designated Hitter, NFL, Sports, Sports columns, The Sanford Herald