Tag Archives: Kelly Fairbanks

NFL- NFC Profiles

Even though the opening is a bit sacrilegious, it really captures the reader’s attention. Brendan Vaughan compares RGIII’s return to the second coming of Jesus. Vaughan creates imagery that takes you through RGIII’s injury and recovery.

Adrian Peterson has had a tough life, and reading about it always gets me. In this profile, Jim Corbett dove into Peterson’s early childhood to discuss how he became the player he is today.


How Connor Smolensky fell in love with sports

He never really had a choice, sports were something he was expected to participate and excel in. His dad had high expectations for him. Not that he was complaining, he loved sports and still does.

Connor Smolensky’s competitive spirit started at a young age. He grew up playing sports in Long Valley, New Jersey. His dad was a major influence in this. “Early as I can remember, he always had a baseball in my hand.” He started out playing soccer and bounced around between sports. His brother played football and baseball. After high school, his brother quit sports and Connor saw how this disappointed his father. Connor ended up sticking with baseball as his sport. After high school, he had a few offers from Division III schools, but Connor knew he wanted to go to a Division I school and have a “real college experience.”

Today, although not in stadiums or big screens, he finds a way to continue his love for sports. Connor plays intramural softball and basketball with UGA recreational sports. “It brings you back to high school, but I’m definitely not as fierce as i was in high school,” said Connor.

He also writes for the sports section of the school newspaper, the Red and Black. He began writing for soccer, golf, basketball, and now football. Connor enjoyed writing for men’s basketball the most and women’s soccer the least. “Football has been very stressful. It’s made me wonder if this is what I want to do or not. I feel like it’s more of the stress of being a student as well as doing that,” Connor said. Even through the stress, he could see himself doing that for a living.

In the future, Connor wants to move back up north and work with sports in some aspect- if not for sports journalism, in some sort of media relations. “I just want to keep my options open,” said Connor. As it turns out, even though Connor did not have much of a say in whether or not he wanted to play sports as a child, it has led him to many opportunities and open doors in life.


Bears’ struggling defensive line

I really enjoyed Zach Kruse’s analysis of why the Bears’ defense is struggling this season. I feel like he really dove into all the individual problems that each of the defensive line players is having. He explains how injuries and players leaving created “a perfect storm for the Bears’ struggling pass rush”. He compares this season to previous seasons, as well as to the league as a whole. Kruse also looks into what the Bears can do about these struggles, which is not much. The Bears will most likely have to endure this struggle for the rest of the season.

Freeman signs with Vikings

A glimmer of hope shines for Vikings fans with the addition of a new quarterback. On Monday, Leslie Frazier signed former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. The Vikings have struggled this season (1-3) and hope that this could be just what the team needs to get them back on track for the playoffs.

Freeman was the 17th pick of the 1st round draft back in 2009. He had a successful 2010 season throwing for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. However, in his 2011 season, Freeman threw only 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. In the first three games this season, he has already thrown three interceptions and only two touchdowns. He was released after this third game.

Head coach Greg Schiano released Freeman last week due to disagreements between coach and player. Freeman looked at multiple teams, including the Buffalo Bills. He chose the Vikings because he will have time to learn the ropes before he will be asked to step up as a starter. If he had signed with the Bills, he would likely be in their starting line up this weekend.

“From standpoint of a career move, thing I like about the Vikings is, they’ve got a guy. It’s an opportunity to pump the brakes,” said Freeman. “They’ve got a situation where I can come in and learn the system, and whether they call for me and need me to play.”

Matt Cassel took over at quarterback last Sunday against the Steelers due to Christian Ponder out with injured ribs. Cassel had an impressive game; he was able to capture the team’s first win of the season, which makes people wonder if healthy Ponder will ever have his starting position back. With the addition of Josh Freeman, will both Ponder and Cassel be bumped down from the starting positions?

“By no means is this a reflection that we’re disappointed in Christian Ponder or disappointed in Matt Cassel. … Just an opportunity to go out and add a football player we have high regard for,” said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. Spielman and Frazier have had faith in Ponder as a quarterback since he was signed in 2011, and they still insist that they have faith. But realistically, with Ponder’s injury and contract up at the end of the year, Freeman has a good chance to step into his shoes.

Cassel is likely to start this weekend against the Panthers. He will have to prove himself able to hold his own as a starting quarterback. Once Ponder’s ribs heal and Freeman learns the ropes, all three of them will have to prove they have what it takes to turn this team around.

Off-field offenses

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has had his hands full with disorderly players the past few weeks. But it’s not for concussions or unnecessary roughness- it’s for foul play off the field. Headlines have been buzzing about off-field conduct of NFL players.

Last week, Raven’s Jacoby Jones was injured after being hit on the head with a bottle of champagne by a stripper, the 49ers Aldon Smith was charged for drunk driving, and Bengal’s Adam Jones was accused of disorderly conduct. And let’s not forget the murder charges of Patriots’ player Aaron Hernandez.

Kids look up to their favorite players. Jacoby Jones was a hero to many for his kickoff return in the 2013 Super Bowl. Then, he is in the news for something involving strippers and champagne. He has ruined his reputation and tainted the reputation of the Ravens.

This is not the first charge for the 49er’s MVP Aldon Smith. In 2012 alone, he was arrested for the suspicion of drunk driving, stabbed at a party in his own house, and involved in a shooting at his own party. The team has placed him on the non-football illness list and was checked into rehab.

“I am taking a leave of absence to address my health,” said Smith. “I am sorry that I have affected my team, my family and the organization. I will do everything in my power to handle this situation the best way possible. I appreciate the support of the 49ers and our fans.”

Of course, out of hundreds of players in the NFL, a few are bound to get into trouble. There’s no way to regulate every action of each player. But the league does have the power influence their actions. They have the power to fine or suspend players, which sets an example for other players. When the NFL does not take proper actions to discourage negative behavior, this looks bad for the league.

Players need to realize that their actions affect much more than just their personal lives. There are three names on a jersey: their last name, their team name, and the name of the league. Every player represents all three of these. Pro football players are in the spotlight on and off the field and need to realize that each of their actions has a consequence.