Tag Archives: Melanie Watson

Two AFC Profiles

In this profile of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, I really enjoyed the various perspectives, (seven to be exact) of him that Elizabeth Merrill compiled together. Each perspective revealed a different side of Tomlin and gave insight into the type of person he is from his sense of humor to the philosophies that he teaches. Instead of hearing about Mike Tomlin through the words of Merrill, I felt like I was having a conversation with each of those seven people.

The thing I enjoyed most about this profile of Peyton Manning, was the attention to details by Tom Chiarella. He sets the scene so perfectly that you feel as though you are eating dinner with Manning. He lets you inside the mind of the very personal Peyton Manning to see how the man views himself, his career, his lifestyle and his teammates.


Patrick Bender’s Joy for Sports

By: Melanie Watson

To most people, sports are a form of escapism from the things that occur in real life. To Patrick Bender, sports are his reality. They are part of his everyday life, what he does and who he is. He’s always been around them and they’ve always brought him happiness.

Bender recalls being introduced to sports for the first time when he was five years old. As a kid he always walked around with a ball. The Cleveland, Ohio native always went to Cleveland Indians games with his father while growing up. If he wasn’t watching sports then he was playing them – from baseball to basketball to football to tennis. It didn’t matter whether his team won or lost, sports was always a source a joy for Bender.

“I think that’s one of the best things about sports – the joy it brings people,” he said.

It’s only natural that Bender aspires to work in the sports industry. He doesn’t quite know what he wants to do specifically but he’s currently leaning towards the broadcast side. he’s already gained experience beneficial to the field such as hosting a sports talk radio show, volunteering at NewSource, the University of Georgia’s live and student-run news show, and interning for Atlanta’s 680 The Fan. He admits that he has a knack for commentating and that he loves the discussion aspect of following sports.

“I think calling NBA basketball would be an awesome job to have,” Bender said. “The job that Kevin Harlan has for TNT is my dream job. I guess that’s the direction that I want to go towards.”

Although he’s not entirely sure of what he wants to do within the sports industry, there is one thing that Patrick Bender already knows about his future. As long as he’s around sports, then he’ll be happy.

Two Things the Houston Texans Must Do to Salvage their Season

By: Melanie Watson

The team that was predicted to be Super Bowl hopefuls at the start of this season is now 2-5. They’re on a five-game losing streak and their fans cheered when their starting quarterback went down with an injury. The Houston Texans are currently experiencing some difficulties and the only thing that fans can hope for at this point is for the skidding to end soon. There are two things that the Houston Texans can do to try and rebuild their season: 1) cut down on turnovers and penalties and 2) beat the mind games.

The Texans have the No. 1 defense in the NFL. The problem is that the turnover rate for the offense is frequently higher than the number of turnovers forced by the defense. ¬†Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is not to blame for all of their misfortunes but a lot of them are attached to his name. The two-time Pro Bowler has thrown six interceptions this season – three of which resulted in touchdowns. In their 38-13 loss against the St. Louis Rams, the Texans had 95 yards of penalties, lost two fumbles and had two interceptions (which were thrown by Schaub’s replacement, T.J. Yates). Overall, they commit 12 more turnovers than their opponents and they have 46 penalties for 459 yards this season. It’s hard to be a winning team with those kinds of statistics.

The on-the-field issues that the Texans are having are starting to play with their minds also. Sports are every bit mental as they are physical so it’s only natural for the team to feel frustrated. Even offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said that the coaching staff has resorted to beating their heads up against the wall for answers. The Texans will fail to make everyone believe in the team again if they can’t even convince themselves. With fair weather fans, plaguing injuries and players getting cut from the team due to misconduct, it’s extremely important for Houston to battle their off-the-field issues before expecting a good product on the field.

Yes, they have a tough schedule ahead of them and some of their players are out for the season. Yes, they have five losses. It’s hard to overlook those things but keep in mind all of the things they do have. They have a great quarterback in Schaub despite his recent performances. They also have a chance every week to cut down on those costly mistakes they’re so prone to making. Finally and maybe even most importantly, they have a bye week to recoup and re-strategize in order to avoid sinking their season even further.

Texans Second Day Story

In this second day story, ESPN.com’s Jeffrey Chadiha calls out Houston Texans fans for turning on their quarterback during his current slump. This second day story came out after Texans fans celebrated Matt Schaub’s ankle injury in the 38-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams two Sundays ago. He reminds fans that Schaub is a great quarterback just going through a rough time and to remember all that he’s done for them. I like that he also compares them against New York Giants fans who continue to support Eli Manning despite the fact that he’s thrown a league-high 15 interceptions through six games. The thing that I like most is the relevance behind this article. He took a memorable moment that really didn’t have an impact on the game itself and challenged fans to reconsider their character.

The Colts Are Who We Thought They Were – Except Better

By: Melanie Watson

No one doubted that the Indianapolis Colts would be good this season, especially with Andrew Luck on their side. It was their defense in comparison to their schedule that was the cause of concern. Now it’s week six and the Colts have a 4-1 record. They won against two top NFL teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, and they’re currently sitting at the top of the AFC South. Although the Broncos are still the favorites in the AFC, the Colts are turning heads and setting themselves up to be a top contender in their conference.

Indianapolis still has some big games ahead of them on their schedule. They must face the San Diego Chargers this week before playing against their former quarterback, Peyton Manning, who’s having a record year by the way. They also have two meetings against their division rivals, the Houston Texans. The Texans are skidding right now so it will remain to be seen how much of a threat they’ll be. Regardless of their upcoming opponents, there isn’t anything extraordinary that the Colts will do to prepare.

Head coach Chuck Pagano’s tactic is simple. His message for the team is to stay humble and take things one week at a time. He reminds his team that “it’s a short ride from the penthouse to the outhouse” and has a team rule which mandates that victories cannot be celebrated for more than 24 hours. The team’s success lies in the way the Colts carry themselves and the state of mind surrounding the team.

During the off-season, it was Colts owner Jim Irsay who implied that the Colts would be contenders. He also said that he expected the defensive unit to become “the cornerstone’ of the franchise. Although the defense tends to allow other teams to move the ball a lot, they are very successful in tightening up once teams come into Colts territory. They’re not the best defense in the league but they’ve only allowed eight touchdowns this season.

Maybe Irsay’s words weren’t false hope after all. The Colts are shaping up to go farther than everyone’s expectations. The organization believes it and if they keep playing this way then everyone else will be forced to believe it too.