Flashback Friday: Robbie Maddison’s Aircraft

Nearly a year ago, Robbie Maddison, pro freestyle motocross rider, and DC Shoes released what I consider to be the greatest “commercial” in all of history. It’s about 10 minutes long, so you probably never saw it on television. Regardless, it is a thing of absolute beauty. Enjoy.

Advertisements

Why I Hate Predicting the Super Bowl

I hate predicting the winner of the Super Bowl. Not just this year, but every year.

With the #1 offense going against the #1 defense, both #1 seeds, and identical 15-3 records, predicting this year’s winner will be especially tough. But it’s not the difficulty of deciding the winner that makes me hate predicting. It’s the fact that I’m going to be wrong.

SB XLVIII Logo

Ever since the Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI, I have been wrong about the winner of the NFL championship every year since. And yes, I am a die-hard Colts fan, but I honestly thought the Bears’ defense would have stepped up way better during that fateful day in February 2007, where Peyton won his first and only NFL title in Indy.

The next year, I thought for sure the unstoppable 18-0 Patriots would beat the Giants, and I was considering giving up on the NFL if they won. Much to my surprise and delight, they couldn’t put many points on the New York defense, and left the door open for the Giants to have one of the biggest comebacks and upsets in the history of sports.

2009, Steelers vs Cardinals. I am not a big fan of the Steelers, and while the Cardinals didn’t have the greatest record coming into the post-season, they sure did dominate once they got there. I wanted Kurt Warner to get his second ring, and I admit I jumped on the Larry Fitzgerald bandwagon too. And if it wasn’t for both a spectacular winning drive by Roethlisberger and, even more important, James Harrison’s 100 yard interception return for a touchdown right before halftime, the Cardinals’ would have surely won.

The following year, when my Colts when against the Saints, I thought Peyton was a lock for winning his second ring. But it wasn’t just because of my personal fandom. No one thought the Colts could lose that year. While both teams were the respective #1 seeds of their conference, the unstoppable Colts offense had willingly given up on a perfect season to rest their players for the playoffs, which seemed to work out pretty well… except for a surprise onside kick by the Saints and a late pick-six thrown by Manning that led to New Orleans’s first and only title in history.

When the Packers played the Steelers the following year, I thought I had learned my lesson by picking against the Steelers before, and with Big Bend being a two-time champion already, I thought the experience would pay off in the end. Except this time I was finally wrong.

In 2012, the Patriots and Giants met once again. Even though the Giants’ offense was much improved from their last championship, I thought there was no way that the great and powerful Brady would lose to the same team in the same game AGAIN. But again, I was wrong.

And last year, I had never imagined that the Ravens would ever be able to win a title given the amount of great teams that made it into the playoffs. And honestly, the 49ers almost completed one of the greatest comebacks in Super Bowl history, but ran out of time on their final drive. To this day, I still believe that the Ravens winning a title when Ray Lewis was retiring was a media-staged fluke, given as a gift to him to cover up the negative opinions many have of him given that he GOT AWAY WITH MURDER. That way ESPN could avoid as much backlash when they hired him to give some of the most incredibly idiotic and irrelevant commentary in the history of football. “So what defensive scheme would you call on a 4th and 2 with the game on the line, Ray?” “YOU GOT TO BELIEVE IN YOUR TEAM! PLAY WITH THE HEART OF A LION! GOD MADE ME TO RULE THE EARTH!” “Go home Ray, you’re high on meth.”

So this year, with Peyton’s return to the Super Bowl, my heart badly wants him to win. But if I pick the Broncos, they are bound to lose. It makes no sense, but apparently I am cursed. No amount of conventional knowledge I have can alter the fact that my streak of incorrectness has only seemed to gain more momentum throughout the years. So to combat that, I have devised one of the most simple plans to reverse the curse: I will pick against the team I actually want to win. Hopefully, the NFL gods don’t see through my plan and ruin it.

With that, I reluctantly give you my prediction for this year’s Super Bowl winner:

Seahawks – 24, Broncos – 16.

I hope to God I’m wrong.

Throwback Thursday: Jose’s Hot Pepper Challenge

Broke and bored, this past summer while living with my sister in Bloomington, Indiana I was presented with a challenge: to ingest one of her organically grown hot peppers entirely without drinking water. The reward? $5. Yes, that’s how poor I was.

Although it is not a hot wing, in honor of hot and spicy foods everywhere I went straight to the source of delicious pain and took down the hot pepper in an instant. What the video doesn’t show you however, is that my taste buds where burned off and numb for the next 24 hours or so. Don’t try this at home, or at all for that matter.

For Peyton, Super Bowl XLVIII Can Make Or Break His Reputation

Image property of CBS Sports

Image property of CBS Sports

The league’s best ever offense will be pitted against the league’s best current defense, when the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks this February 2 for Super Bowl XLVIII.

This match up features the first time both number one seeds from each conference will face each other in the big dance since the 2009 season, when Peyton’s Colts lost to Drew Brees’ Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. In that game, it was a late pick-six thrown by Manning that cost the Colts the game. Even more disheartening was that the Indianapolis franchise let go of a perfect season that year, opting to sit their starters during games in weeks 16 and 17 to try to give them a chance to rest and avoid injury, feeling that this was the best chance of winning another title. In the end, they were left with a pair of losses to end their regular season, and a loss in the Super Bowl that put Peyton’s legacy once again into question.

Now, with Peyton finally reaching the title game again and not much time left in his aging career, this Super Bowl becomes the biggest opportunity for Manning to prove himself… or for his critics to have incredibly more ammo against him.

If he wins, he will be 2 of 3 in his career in Super Bowls, giving him a higher winning percentage than his statistical rival Tom Brady. He will become the first starting quarterback to win titles for two different franchises. He will have justified leaving Indy to play for a team that had the money to build him a better team.

If he loses, all of the NFL records he broke in the 2013 regular season (most yards in a season, most TDs in a season, most points scored by an offense in a season) will be crippled and mean next to nothing. He will be pegged once again as the guy who can’t get it done in big games, as the player who was lucky enough to win a Super Bowl at all getting to play against the misfortunes of Rex Grossman and the Bears’ turnover-happy offense some eight years ago.

If it were up to me, the discussion would be over already. Peyton would be considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history, period. As an individual, he has a record best 4 NFL MVPs (and most likely a 5th on the way this upcoming week). As an individual, he now holds all the records. As part of a team, he’s only won one title, but this is still more than legends such as Dan Marino.

The fact is, individuals don’t win games, TEAMS win games. Where would Tom Brady be had the Patriots defense not been among the best in the league during their dynasty run? In Brady’s two trips to the Super Bowl since, his offense wasn’t enough to bring home another ring. Terry Bradshaw is tied for most Super Bowl wins by a quarterback at four, but anyone who knows of the history of the 1970’s Steelers can tell you that the fans and team itself didn’t have much faith in him, and even tried to replace him multiple times. It was the “Steel Curtain” defense that brought those titles back to Pittsburgh, not Bradshaw.

But in today’s quick-to-judge world of sports fans and critics, if a big name quarterback is part of a team that fails to win, most of the blame falls upon him. People in current American society are lazy thinkers, harsh critics, and quick to judge. The experienced player will never say that “Peyton Manning sucks,” yet millions of drunk white trash men and women who have never played a snap of football for a real team will. It’s sad, it’s wrong, but it’s also inevitable.

Peyton will face his biggest challenge of the year against the Seahawks, who this year carry the fourth best ranked defense in NFL history. While the Broncos scored on nearly every drive against the Patriots this past weekend, they settled for many field goals in the red zone. Against Seattle, Manning will be held responsible for finding a way to finish those drives with touchdowns. If he does not, he could see his entire reputation, albeit in the eyes of ignorant fools, be once again questioned and ridiculed, quite possibly until he either wins another ring, or forever.

Image property of ESPN

Image property of ESPN

Moto Mondays: Unpredictability Reigns Supercross in 2014

3 weeks. 3 races. 3 different winners. 3 different points lead changes.

Unpredictable enough for you yet? Wait, there’s more.

Roczen Anaheim 1

The winner of Anaheim 1 wasn’t Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, or any other 450 favorite. In fact, they had never won a pro 450 supercross race in their lives, and never even raced one as an official 450 rider.. Ken Roczen, the rookie rider hailing from Germany, won his debut after making the official and permanent change to the 450 class this season.

Villopoto Phoenix

The winner of Phoenix was Ryan Villopoto, which seems predictable enough, right? Except for the fact that this was the one venue that Villopoto had never won in supercross. Until now.

Chad Reed Anaheim 2

But the most unpredictable and probably most inspiring win of all goes to Chad Reed taking the checkered flag at Anaheim 2. Reed had a disappointing 2013 season in both supercross and motocross after injuries plagued him in 2012. Many had believed that in his early 30s, Reed was too old to seriously compete in the sport and that he should have retired. Company sponsors were reluctant to fund Reed, and he struggled to find recognition or a team to ride for until late last year. And in a race where Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, and James Stewart all led laps, it was Reed whose constant hard charging kept him creeping up, until with 4 laps remaining he was able to take the lead and break away for the win. Though the misfortunes of the Ryans gave Reed a chance that had seemed out of reach (both Dungey and Villopoto crashed separately in the race), I had never seen Reed race like the mad man he was this past Saturday. He was visibly the fastest guy on the track.

In a sport that recently has been dominated by a small handful of guys, no riders have even made all three podiums this season. We knew the 450 class would be stacked this year, but it’s the veterans like Reed and Stewart who have seemingly revived their careers that are making it even more interesting. Perhaps the marketing agency over at Monster Energy was on to something this year when they advertised 2014 as having a great chance to be the best season in supercross history.