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 – Pittsburgh Steelers (né Pirates)

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Black
Yellow

How does a city gain and maintain its own colors?  Pittsburgh has a perfect answer.  Pittsburgh’s flag has black and yellow stripes.  Founder and Pittsburgh native Art Rooney named the football team after the established baseball team in 1933.  Art also adopted the city’s flag colors and design.  This included the black and yellow stripes on the away uniforms for the inaugural season.  Thankfully he placed the stripes only as arm bands the following season.  The Pittsburgh Penguins, the city’s professional hockey team, adopted the black and gold color scheme in 1980.  You have to give it these professional teams for consistency.

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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 – San Diego Chargers

throwback-sdcha2Team Colors
Note: Names not official
Powder Blue
Yellow
White

The title Fearsome Foursome is handed down to only good defenses.  Many associate the title with the Los Angeles Rams, but in the early 1960s that title belonged to the AFL San Diego Chargers.  Earl Faison, Ernie Ladd, Bill Hudson and Ron Nery were its members. Earl was rookie of the year as a lineman.  Ernie Ladd was literally the biggest, strongest guy in the AFL, and would later become a legendary heel in the WWWF (now WWE). Bill Hudson only played 3 years in the AFL, but he was traded to the Boston Patriots before the Chargers could make the AFL championship in 1963.  The same goes for Ron Nery, who was traded to the Denver Broncos.

Speaking of championships, the Chargers have  not made it to won the Superbowl ever.  Yes, since the introduction of the Superbowl.  Sticklers will tell me they won an AFL championship, but that’s not the same as the post merger, modern Superbowl.

Correction:  The Chargers did make it to Super XXIX (29) in 1994.  They lost to the San Francisco 49ers.

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Throwback – Green Bay Packers

throwback-gbpac2Team Colors
Note: Names not official
Navy Blue
Yellow

The Packers were very close to dissolving in the late 1920s. This was  Prohibition era, at around the time the show Boardwalk Empire is supposed to take place.  Also during this time Earl “Curly” Lambeau was halfback, coach, and owner of the Green Bay Packers.   By 1928 the Packers’ primary financial backer and Lambeau’s former employer–the Acme Packers–deciding to stop funding his team.  Even during these early days it wasn’t easy to finance an NFL franchise.  Thankfully local businessmen with money to spare stepped into save their Packers.  After deus ex machina was performed on the Packers, suddenly they had a streak of NFL (not Superbowl) championships into the 1930s that grew into a legacy of winning records and championships in the modern era.  Truly a happy ending for all.  Except for Vikings fans, Bears fans, and all others on the losing end of those championships.
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Throwback – Minnesota Vikings

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Purple
Yellow
White

The Bears are not the only northern based NFL team known for defense.  Just look across the Great Lakes and there are the Minnesota Vikings.   Their defensive name, the Purple People Eaters, is a reference to the  Sheb Wooley pop song.  It also describes the defense accurately while keeping with the viking theme.  Ravage the offensive line, ‘meet at the quarterback’ and basically bull rush anything in the way.

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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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Throwback – Saint Louis (né Los Angeles) Rams

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Royal Blue
Gold

Growing up, I was jealous of southern California for having three football teams.  During the 80s and part of the 90s, there were two teams in Los Angeles (the Rams and the Raiders) and one in San Diego (the Chargers).  As a kid I wondered why an area needed three teams.  I only had the 49ers as a kid.  When the Rams and the Raiders moved away, I felt bad for LA.  Later, when I realized they have two excellent college football programs (UCLA and USC), I didn’t feel as bad.  Still, there should be a pro team in the LA area to fill that void.

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Throwback – Arizona (né Chicago) Cardinals

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Red
White
Yellow
Blue

Red/maroon/burgundy was a popular color scheme during football’s childhood.  In fact the Cardinals inherited their original team jerseys from the University of Chicago.  (The Cardinals’ birth name is the Chicago Normals.)  The original burgundy jerseys faded to resemble a red from a certain vermillion bird indigenous to the area.

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Saint Louis Rams

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Team Colors

Millenium Blue
New Century Gold

Official Website

The Rams have the (mis)fortune of being in the NFC West.  The division transformed from league laughing stock to that scary division on the west coast that ESPN and other East Coast media talk about in hushed tones.  If the Rams were in any other division, we would see them as those “crazy upstarts up in Saint Louie.”   While their division rivals are making all sorts of noise in the press, the Rams are away from the limelight, quietly putting together one of the youngest talented teams in the league.  Sure, this is going to take some time and that slow fuse that we find in modern TV drama plots.  Something is going on under the Gateway Arch everyone should watch out for.  Trust me, in 5 years or so the league will be playoff contenders again.

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