Joe Flacco: All-Around Humble Guy, and Super Bowl MVP

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Just some quick thoughts on Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco‘s impending contract extension. From a die-hard, hardcore, purple blood dripping Ravens fan.

Let’s face it, he’s worth it. We’re definitely going to pay the man, and pay him top dollar. Even if he is a terrible human being, who doesn’t give money to charities, womanizes all the time, and was addicted to weed, heroin, crack, and alcohol, we’d still end up paying him in the weeks ahead. Big time.

Luckily he’s not any of those things. Surprisingly, in the search for the perfect poster boy for the new (and improved) NFL, one with strong family values and morals, Joe Flacco is exactly what the NFL and Baltimore needs at the moment. Here’s why.

1. He’s a family man who has never gotten in any type of womanizing scandal, loves his wife, his daughter, and the one that his wife is pregnant with. The happily married couple announced the coming of their second child only hours after a thrilling win in Super Bowl XLVII (WOOHOO!!!). The worst thing that’s said of him, for the most part, is that he can sometimes be extremely boring.

He has this certain caveman-esque aura that can have you imagining him driving his family to the grocery store in a vehicle made of rock, and powered by their quickly churning feet. Although this is bad for infamy or notoriety, this is good for garnering trust from football-watching families across America.

2. His stunningly good work on the football field. He may not throw for 50 touchdowns and 5000 yards a season, or anything even close, and there are times when Ravens faithful everywhere just scream for him to stop looking like a confused ogre behind a quickly deteriorating pocket. That’s not completely his fault. Actually it’s usually Michael Oher’s fault (Blind Side My Ass). But other statistics, not advanced statistics or true QBR or any other fancy stathead crap, say he’s better than anyone else in the game over the past 5 seasons. Such as regular season wins, regular season losses, and postseason wins. It’s really that simple.

Like many other people in America currently, I don’t really give a flying dog turd about all the hours of computing that go into making some of the more ridiculous statistics found in ESPN the Mag, or Sports Illustrated, NFL.com, etc. If I can’t add it up on my fingers and toes, or at the very worst with a bunch of pencil scribbles on my bar napkin, it doesn’t really make much sense to me. What I know is that Joe Cool 2.0 has 9 playoff wins in his first 5 seasons and averages over 10 regular season wins a year. He’s never NOT made the playoffs like some other “elite” QB’s out there.

The definition of an Elite quarterback is ambiguous at best. Falcon’s QB Matt Ryan has great statistics and plenty of wins, averaging 11 wins per season. His 11-win rookie campaign helped turn the page for a city still reeling from Michael Vick’s dog-fighting scandal. Now all he needs is some playoff wins, beyond the single miraculous comeback win against Seattle.

Flacco, on the other hand, has won at least one playoff game for every year he’s played. This year he won 4, including 3 on the road. He finished with 11 passing touchdowns to 0 interceptions during the playoffs. I’m pretty sure no other QB, including Joe Montana, Steve Young, John Elway, Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning. His career statistics, regular + postseason, are as follows: 20,308 passing yards, 130 total TD, 64 INT, 509 rushing yards, and 21 fumbles lost. 2-1 TD to INT ratio, check.   Super Bowl ring and Super Bowl MVP, check. 4000+ yards avg. per season, check.

Did I mention he’s never missed a start? 93 of 93 games.

He wasn’t a 1st-overall draft pick, or even a top-10 pick. He somehow someway got himself drafted 18th-overall, even though he wasn’t even a D-I starter! That’s a story for another day, but basically he couldn’t get the starting gig at Pittsburgh, so he decided after much consideration to go to D-I FCS Delaware, just up the road from Baltimore. He had to fight and scratch his way into the NFL, where his tall, solid build and laser-rocket arm, combined with Troy Smith’s sudden illness, made him a starter in week 1. In his rookie year. The rest is history.

3. He’s the best quarterback in Ravens history, by a long shot. Not including his Super Bowl victory, or his string of consecutive seasons with a playoff appearance/playoff win, Flacco just exudes the type of confidence and quiet leadership needed to pilot a AFC North team to victory. I want you to carefully think about Baltimore’s long turbulent history with quarterbacks.

1996 – Vinny Testaverde(16)

1997 – Vinny Testaverde(13)/Eric Zeier(3)

1998 – Jim Harbaugh (Yes, that Jim Harbaugh)(12)/Eric Zeier(4)

1999 – Tony Banks(10)/Stoney Case(4)/Scott Mitchell(2)

2000 – Tony Banks(8)/Trent Dilfer(8)

2001 – Elvis Grbac(14)/Randall Cunningham(2)

2002 – Jeff Blake(10)/Chris Redman(6)

2003 – Kyle Boller(9)/Anthony Wright(7)

2004 – Kyle Boller (16)

2005 – Kyle Boller(9)/Anthony Wright(7)

2006 – Steve McNair(RIP)(16)

2007 – Kyle Boller(8)/Steve McNair(6)/Troy Smith(2)

2008 to 2012 – Joe Flacco (16)

Summary: in the 12 years before drafting Joe Flacco, the Ravens started 15 different QBs. A single QB started the entire season only 3 times. Flacco has started and FINISHED 5 entire seasons by himself, including every postseason game. I don’t think 18-20 million per year is too much to ask, do you?

4. Humble and soft-spoken, Flacco does everything asked of him without a complaint. He’s the first one in, and the last one out (as expected). He takes less credit and more blame than he’s due, while usually saying all the right things when dealing with press conferences or public appearances. Can you manage the game without F-ing things up for the defense? Sure. Can you win the game on the strength of your arm? Absolutely.

5. Joe Flacco is the FUTURE of Baltimore professional football. There’s a 99% chance  Ray Lewis is retiring. That’s been the heart and soul of this team since the day he got drafted. Except for one almost forgotten season, the defensive captain has always been there, making sure everyone’s prepared and ready to play on game day. Now we prepare for life without Ray Lewis and probably numerous others.

Ozzie Newsome, the genius General Manager of the Ravens, has already publicly stated he won’t restructure many contracts, pinning all his hopes on another Super Bowl next season while basically sacrificing 2014.

That means we’re probably gonna lose our other defensive captain Ed Reed as a salary cap casualty. Keep in mind that’s another hall of fame-type player who will no longer be with the Ravens. Pro-Bowl fullback Vonta Leach could be next. WR Anquan Boldin, TE Dennis Pitta, DE Paul Kruger, all starting players who will be free agency decisions this offseason. Oh, C Matt Birk is retiring too, supposedly, but he’s said that before.

Hopefully we don’t lose ALL these players. I just don’t have much hope in a repeat if we can’t at least salvage a few of these cap casualties. Regardless of whether we do or don’t, it’s going to take top-5 QB money to keep Flacco around Charm City, and we’d be incredibly stupid not to pay him.

Let’s just say I hope there will be some great players available at the end of each round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

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Making Sense of the 2012 Presidential Election(MY Perspective)

“I’m not spinning this opinion, that’s just what I think.” ~Governor John Kasick of Ohio.

Excuse me? So you’re not spinning or changing the way your interpreting the pre-election polls but that’s just in YOUR opinion? That’s a bunch of bullshit, please excuse my language. How can you get on CBS News, and say that line with a straight face when you know that sometimes actual intelligent people(from time to time) watching this program.

Well here’s my opinion on the matter. I’m not usually a big fan of political opinions, I think most of the advertising and commercials you see on TV, or even news correspondence shows, are about as skewed as my view on capital punishment. I think anyone who’s been proven guilty of murder, meaning they got caught red-handed with real physical evidence, should be hung, electrocuted, given lethal injection or burned at the stake for their crimes. What’s wrong with an eye for an eye? If it’s good enough for the Bible, it’s good enough for me.

So you can see how biased I am when it comes to the topic of capital punishment. That’s exactly what I feel’s going on every time I see another anonymous face in a bad suit get in front of the camera. I don’t believe 99% of what’s said. I try to be less pessimistic, to look at what’s being said with an open-mind, but I find it increasingly hard to swallow each side’s warped views on subjects such as the national economy.

It seems like everyone has their own personal agenda when it comes to telling their version of the truth.

In terms of what has happened to the economy, I don’t need to watch television to know how it impacts my family and community. Some of my friends have lost their jobs while others still have their job but are getting paid a lot less. What I want to know is why both sides are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and campaigning, instead of giving that money back to the community. If you really cared about the people without jobs, starving on the street, why don’t you donate that money to a charity or relief fund, instead of making another terrible commercial? Trust me, if my wife ever comes back from the mailbox with a check from the government in hand, whoever’s in office at the time is getting my vote. Period.  Don’t think of this as a bribe, just in case your new to the business of getting or giving bribes. Just earmark it as reparations, money paid out to my family in return for my ancestors getting forced to build railroads so that chefs and homosexuals can live in San Francisco today.

I like to consider myself as a relatively conservative Democrat. Some people might categorize me slightly on the other side but you get the point. I’m pretty close to being right in the middle. This gives me a  fairly unique perspective on many of the main topics of battle between both sides. I’m all for gun-control but also believe that every US “citizen” has a right to protect their home. With an automatic weapon.  I’m pro-choice, I’m against increasing government regulation, I think we do need a strong military but less police at home. Not that I’m against having police, if you think human rights are bad in the US, I dare you to commit crimes in China.

If you’ve ever watched the show ,”Locked-up Abroad,” you know exactly what I’m talking about. People get shot in the back of the head, or just flat-out disappear in China. I know this because some of my family members are card-carrying Triad members while others have just spent time in a Chinese jail. Due process, right to representation, regular visitation, these are just a few things that do not exist in many other countries. Sometimes we take these things for granted, especially when we’re too busy worrying about the economy, unemployment or real-estate value across the US.

Mitt Romney would have us believe the economy was just fine before Barack Obama came to office. Unemployment did not exist, Wall-street and US Auto didn’t need government assistance, and rainbows come from a Leprechaun’s pot of gold. I’m not a lawyer, lobbyist or politician, meaning I don’t know left from right when it comes to making government policies. I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to pointing fingers at whether Republicans or Democrats are to blame for most of the countries woes. What I do know is that these problems were not created by the current residents of the White House. If I had to guess where most of these problems began, I would have to say President George W. Bush is the first thing that comes to mind.

The last time I can honestly say I thought things were going well in this country was during the Clinton Administration. The major defining moment of his two terms in office is definitely not what he did with Monica Lewinsky. I don’t really care if he’s involved in extracurricular activities, as long as he was looking out for the rest of the country. Which he did admirably. His two terms in office were some of the best from an economic standpoint in US history. Bill Clinton balanced the national budget so well that instead of cutting the deficit, we actually had a surplus. We were a world leader in technology and education, the stock market reached an all-time high and real-estate values were never better. Overall things were trending upwards.

What most people are forgetting is that between the Clinton years, usually considered good, and Obama’s presidency, so-so at best, there was only one other president! President George Bush the 2nd was the cause and reason for many of the problems we see today. During his two terms in office we went to war twice, the economy went into the tank, and the US experienced one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history. Bush was a Republican, just like Mitt Romney, even though both blame all the problems we face today on…

You guessed it, the Democrats.

Even though things aren’t going as well as I want, I think equal blame can and be applied to Congress and the Senate. Currently the floors of Congress and the Senate are mostly Republicans while President Obama’s a Democrat. Every time the legislative branch and executive branches of government are controlled by opposing political parties, they usually deny the goals and laws of their opponents. Even though this’s meant to keep any branch of government from becoming too powerful, in reality it usually just keeps all of them from doing ANYTHING. If you want to blame anyone for keeping Obama’s measures, either right or wrong, from happening, blame them.

More than anything else, I think the most important characteristic of a Presidential candidate is his or her conviction. To stand for something is more important than pandering to get you elected into office. Even if you don’t like the current president, if you think his opinion is full of crap, it’s important to know that he will stand behind his beliefs. Mitt Romney has gained my everlasting enmity for changing his opinion throughout his campaign. I don’t know exactly what either candidate will do, therefore all I have to go by his word. How can we put our trust in anyone who’s so deceptive, lies and manipulations flowing from his mouth like poisoned honey?

Would you rather sign an agreement with someone who promises to give you 100 dollars and does exactly that or someone who promises to give you a 1000 dollars and changes their mind at the last moment? Which person sets a better example for our children? What if that same person told you he would actually give you 2000 dollars as long as you waited another 6 months and later told you he had only promised you 500? Do you feel like that person should represent our entire nation for at least the next four years?

I know I wouldn’t. I’m choosing to vote for Obama specifically for that reason. Given two bad choices, one bad and one worse, I’ve decided to vote for the one that will cause the least damage in the long run. I think both candidates could, in a perfect situation, make this country better than it seems now. The problem is that the perfect situation will never happen.

Our country has a  number of serious problems to face every day. Either candidate will be climbing into the cockpit of a 747 passenger plane running low on fuel and with one engine down due to malfunction. He will have to make some tough decisions in the near future in order to safely get everyone on board to their destination. More than anything else, the most important thing on the line is a better standard of living for our children.

I’ve got two daughters, one blood-related and one that’s adopted. I hope for a number of things in the future. First, I hope the environment is still a beautiful place that they can enjoy when they have children. This will not happen if we continue to warm the planet or kill off hundreds of species each year. I’ve always had a love for sharks, fish and sea mammals, hopefully the Japanese and Chinese do not kill them all off by dumping radiation in the water or massive overpopulation. Secondly, I want to give them some money to spend through sound investments and a home they can either live in or sell. If our economy and real-estate situations continue to deteriorate, pretty soon nobody will have the money to buy a home in the country. Third, I don’t want them to get killed by a suicide bomber or religious fanatics. This will only happen if we make education a priority. Not just science, math or biology ,but religious cooperation. There will never be an understanding between Christians and Muslims if we don’t stop telling everyone they’re going to hell. Just because they do things differently does not mean they are working for the devil or threatening to corrupt your children. Personally, I don’t care what other people are doing, as long as it doesn’t affect my wife or kids.

Finally, I hope that the US continues to survive as a land of the free. Free to read and write whatever I want. Free to marry whoever I want, and free to live my life however I want. This goes back to my view on the police. As long as what I’m doing isn’t threatening or harming anyone else, I really don’t see how it’s anyone else’s business. Freedom and equality are the things that make the United States different from any other country in the world. There are no robed men with their faces covered telling me how my wife can dress. I’m a big fan of her being able to show off her beautiful figure. There are no men wearing dresses and machine guns pressuring me to sift through mud for diamonds, or killing my family for speaking out against the government. As long as I pay for it, my children can go to almost any school they choose, regardless of the fact that they’re Chinese and eat duck feet.

Hopefully in the future, my children can enjoy these things as well.

 

Michael, Wong_83@Hotmail.Com