Zone Read (Fan Request) – University of Maryland Terrapins

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Team Colors

Red
White
Black
Gold

Welcome to Zone Read, where you can submit a request for me to do an eye shadow play for your favorite sports team, school, superhero, or whatever strikes your fancy. For sports teams, please be as specific as possible (e.g.  home or away uniform, dominant uniform color, and year those uniforms were used). Otherwise I will just pick whatever I like most.

Turnaround for the University of Maryland can’t come fast enough for fans, alumni and the current administration. Former coach Ralph Friedgen was fired for sinking the Terrapins from first to worst in the ACC.  Current coach Randy Edsall still has rebuilding to do. Now that the Terrapins are with the Big Ten (B1G) conference he also has to find his way around a new conference.

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Throwback – Houston Texans


throwback-hote2Team Colors
Note: Names not official
Dark blue
Red
White

Throughout the history of professional football, I’m glad that in every major association or league there was a team based somewhere in Texas called the Texans.  Your other name choices when this team was formed (roughly in 2000)  included: the Bobcats, Stallions, Toros, and Apollo.  Maybe in another state those other names are fine but this is Texas, damn it.  Good thing current Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt gave the blessing to have the Texans come back to life.  Remember, the Kansas City Chiefs were the original Houston Texans before their move.
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Throwback – Tennessee Titans (né Houston Oilers, Tennessee Oilers)

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Columbia Blue
Red
White

Texas football is ingrained since birth and you root for your local team only.  Normally Houston teams looked down on Dallas teams and vice versa.  This didn’t happen to the Houston Oilers.  Poor attendance, average records, no press support, and the popular Dallas Cowboys stealing the potential fan base forced owner Bud Adams to move the team east.  The new location didn’t do much for the Oilers.  Both seasons were they were the Tennessee Oilers they were 8-8.  The other new NFL expansion teams (Jacksonville Jaguars, Caroline Panthers) could boast better records or more exciting football to watch.  The Oilers changed their name to the Titans.  The Titans found early success in a Superbowl bid in their inaugural season (1999).  Ever since that Superbowl loss the Titans are back to where they started with a mediocre record, a team with few standouts, and getting little media attention.
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Throwback – Buffalo Bills

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Red
White
Blue

Athletic abilities does not equate to a decent human being.  Take O.J. Simpson.  He was a lightning quick as a Buffalo Bills running back in the 1970s.  His record for fewest games to 1000 yards and 2000 in a single season still hold up.  He made Hall of Fame defenses look like high school JV linemen, especially the Steel Curtain of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  I’m sure O.J. Simpson would regularly be in the list of greatest rushers of all time if it weren’t for his life outside of football.  Where to begin?  The murder trial circus, bankruptcy, jail time, drug addiction, and a tell all “confession” book that made more headlines from the circumstances of the publication rather than the contents of the actual publication.  Well, his acting career wasn’t that bad.

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Throwback – New England Patriots

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Team Colors 

Note: Names not official
Red
White
Blue

I have put the following entry on my bucket list:

Go to the Patriots Hall of Fame in Gillette Stadium to see the snow plow involved in the Snowplow Game.

The Snowplow Game is schadenfreude when reading Miami Dolphins’ history, but an amusing boon in New England Patriots’ history.  December 12, 1982 is when Miami faced New England.  There is 4:45 left in the 4th quarter and the score is 0-0.  Bad weather the previous day made the field icy and weather during game day was snow.  Patriots coach Ron Meyer requested for part of the field to be plowed before Patriots kicker John Smith attempts to score a field goal.  The snow plow went across the field, then made a little curve right at the area where John Smith would kick, then continued plowing to the other side.  The curve made the perfect kicking area and the Patriots won the game.  Miami coach Don Shula was understandably upset but the final score stood.  0-3 New England was the final score.

Yes folks, that snowplow can be seen in Gillette Stadium.  I’m sure we’ll both be chuckling when we gaze upon this relic and its moment in football lore.

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Throwback – Kansas City Chiefs (né Dallas Texans)

throwback-date2 Team Colors
Note: Names not official
Red
Yellow
White

Don’t worry you’re not the only one confused by the name changes.   The Kansas City Chiefs were born as the Dallas Texans in the AFL in 1960.  The Dallas Texans had their AFL championship in 1962.  Despite the victory the Dallas Texans couldn’t sustain being in the same market as their NFL older cousin, the Dallas Cowboys.  In 1963 the Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City (Missouri), and renamed themselves the Kansas City Chiefs.  I’ll keep the story straight for the all these Texas teams for you.  Continue reading

Throwback – Atlanta Falcons

throwback-atlfal2 Team Colors
Note: Names not official
Red
Black
Silver
White

After the Coca-Cola museum, but a few years before the 1996 Summer Olympics, Deion Sanders was the star attraction of Atlanta.  The Falcons finally got media attention on them thanks to Neon Deion.   Flamboyant would be the conservative way to describe the Neon Deion persona off the field.  On the field, flamboyant would be one way to describe his play style.  He would volunteer to defend against the legendary Jerry Rice.    The high stepping was to slow his incredible acceleration as he clearly made a run for yet another touchdown.  Yes, he slowed down for his burned defenders.

Sadly, when the 49ers picked up Deion the media spotlight went away for Atlanta until they drafted Michael Vick.  ESPN managed to run the entire Michael Vick Atlanta storyline to the ground, buried it, then reanimated its corpse only to kill it again. Continue reading

Throwback – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Red
Orange
White

Bo Jackson, one of the greatest athletes in the 20th Century, was a prime 1986 draft pick and the Buccaneers had the #1 draft position.  Hugh Culverhouse, owner of the Buccaneers at the time, took Bo on a private jet to visit the facilities and show Bo around.  The use of the private jet violated NCAA policies, which made Bo ineligible to play baseball for the rest of his senior year at Auburn.

Bo was devastated.  He loved both football and baseball.  He felt Hugh was forcing him to sign with the Bucs by ending all chances of playing baseball in college.  Bo swore to never sign with the Bucs.  He played professional baseball with the Kansas City Royals instead.

[There will be more on the greatness of Bo Jackson when I cover the Los Angeles Raiders eye shadow play.]

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Throwback – New York Giants

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Blue
White
Red

I was still in diapers when Lawrence Taylor, linebacker for the New York Giants, made Redskins’ quarterback Joe Theisman’s right leg break.  I’m not sure how the film crew for The Blind Side got footage of the play in such high definition.  Watching replays still make me protectively hold my right knee.

I’m not sure why the 1980s Giants are not hyped as much a the 1980s 49ers or the 1980s Chicago Bears.  The Giants became a powerful defense oriented team that gave other Superbowl contenders of the era a run for their money.  Or maybe because I live in California so I only hear of the power and glory of the 1980s 49ers.

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Throwback – Washington Redskins

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Burgany
Gold

How do we stop knee injuries in football?  Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered one towards the end of the 2013 regular season.  Imposing more severe penalties for knee strikes seem to be a Band-Aid solution to a larger problem: Defenses are trained to stop the quarterback at whatever the cost.  This may include having to fly like armored superheroes to tackle the quarterback.  Unfortunately gravity takes effect during this launch and a hit intended for the midsection (a “clean hit” to NFL officials) drifts downwards towards the knee (not legal to NFL officials).

Have sympathy for the defense, too.  There seems to be three times as many defense rules and penalties in order to protect the offense, specifically the quarterback.  Smaller hit boxes and fast moving, sneaky offenses.

The solution?  Force field football.  In the future I’m sure we’ll have the technology to make every player have a protective force field/bubble.  If the defending player gets too close to a no-no spot (say, the neck of a quarterback) during a play they’ll just bounce off the QB’s force field.  The play continues until referee stoppage and the penalized player is literally thrown out of play.  Don’t think the offense has it easy.  With the force field we can accurately show if indeed a receiver was within bounds, with ball control, and two feet on the ground at the end of a play.  In a pileup the ball can be accurately placed on who last held it on the whistle.  In my head every player has a glowing force field like they went Super Saiyan.  Don’t like that?  Have less throwing plays and more run plays you pass-happy NFL.  I am sure there would be fewer injuries on expensive QBs if there was more balanced offensive play calling.

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