Black Friday in New York City 2013

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I didn’t see Peter King, but I was at Football Night in America HQ yesterday. It’s one of my favorite places in New York City. I tried to get some FNIA merchandise at the NBC Experience store by Rockefeller Center but no dice.

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They haven’t lit the tree yet but the ice rink was going.

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My wife and I checked out the Chelsea Market. Really cool. Foodie Heaven. I love how many places in New York City you can get fresh juice (Juice Press was my favorite). It’s nothing like Columbus, Ohio. You can literally go full Vegan here without any trouble.

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I always like seeing the gamer advertisements (oversized) in downtown NYC. Not a peep out of Madden, maybe they know they suck. By the way, thanks to Overstock.com, I have my Playstation 4 arriving at the house between December 3rd and December 10th.

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Pork Roll, Egg, and Cheese. A New Jersey staple (and this morning’s breakfast).

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The famous Times Square over-sized advertisement where the ball is placed. Where is Cup of Noodles??

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Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving. One of the most glorious points of the football season. I’m in New Jersey safely after a 12-hour drive through a wintry mix. I listened to a lot of Colin Cowherd and The BS Report with Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal.

So many Thanksgivings of the past were so great. I remember so much tied up with the games on Thanksgiving. The fraud coin toss in Detroit, Brett Favre, Marcus Allen leaping into the end zone for the Chiefs, Emmit Smith and the crew in Dallas. Eddie George and the Oilers getting the win in Dallas. Madden and Summerall celebrating in our living rooms as the family sat down to dinner. I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. The unofficial kick off of the Christmas season. My parents are getting older and I am aching that I’m not with them – but I’ll always have the memories of the past to keep me warm and happy.

I’ll be on the hunt for my Playstation 4 on Black Friday. I don’t think I’ll find one but I am hopeful it can make a memory. Tomorrow I’m trying to watch what I eat – I’m limiting my Pumpkin Pie consumption to one piece since my triglycerides were unreasonably high for some reason.

I am thankful for now. I am thankful for my dog, my friends, my wife, my family (what is left of them). I am thankful for the charmed life I’ve lived. I’m thankful for my job. I’m thankful for all the wonderful memories. I’m just thankful. I really am. There are things I want different in my life – things I have little control over. But I am happy with what I’ve been given. I have a lot that I don’t deserve.

My Picks for Turkey Day:

Green Bay at Detroit (-6)
Oakland at Dallas (-9.5)
Pittsburgh (+3) at Baltimore

I’ll be popping in here tomorrow at some point to update the blog (Don’t forget Texas and Ole Miss play tomorrow too in NCAA). And there’s a shitload of games on Black Friday!

The Lions haven’t won on Thanksgiving in a decade. I didn’t realize that. Tomorrow will be the day they end the streak.

A few links:

*Cam Newton is a pescatarian.

*Steve Smith was on Mike & Mike early this morning. He’s funny as Hell.

*Andrew Luck’s week 12 game recap at Stampede Blue.

*Awesome read at the Indy Star. The Top quotes in the last 30 years of Colts football.

Recapping all of Week 12 in the NFL

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*Everything is working for the Carolina Panthers right now. They’ve won SEVEN games in a row, and Cam Newton has comeback game-winning drives in each of the last three. Newton didn’t have a big statistical day, but the highlight of Sunday was Newton’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with :43 seconds remaining. Here’s the game’s full highlights.

*Newton finished 19 of 38 for 174 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He ran it eight times for 51 yards and another touchdown. It wasn’t a huge statistical day for Cam, but he hung in there in a physical, tough contest on the road and delivered the knockout punch to a team fighting for their playoff lives. He took a big shot from Dion Jordan on the opening play of the game that had him spitting up blood. This is the type of football that you always wanted to see from Newton and the Panthers. A team that can beat a shootout style team or win in a slugfest. Sunday was a slugfest. The Panthers can win any style game. We might look back someday and realize that this was the greatest stretch of football in Carolina in the Cam Newton era. It’s not guaranteed to go on forever. But we’ve got right now, and right now they’re the talk of everything. Panthers win, 20-16, and they were nice enough to not even cover the spread so I won money taking Miami (-5).

*Lots of talk about ‘Riverboat Ron’ going for it on 4th and 10 from the Panthers own 19 in the 4th Quarter. It was the only move to make. It happened so fast I didn’t even have time to doubt things. Steve Smith with another huge clutch catch. Please remember that at season’s beginning and that close lose to the Seahawks, it was Steve Smith who adamantly said ‘this team is going to the playoffs’.

*Peter King giving Cam Newton props. FOX Sports goes in detail about the Carolina Panthers, who are becoming the talk of the league, getting lots of national run. And the Charlotte Observer always provides the local perspective.

*The Saints & Panthers were officially flexed into primetime for week 14.

*Colin Cowherd hosts Trent Dilfer on the show today. At the 2:58 mark, Dilfer discusses Cam Newton and the Panthers.

*Here’s ‘Let’s Go Primetime’ for week 12 in the NFL with Deion Sanders. Check out who is number eight on the list!

*Had to actually turn off my Colts. They lost 40-11 and I relinquished the living room television for my wife’s Giants game which was their biggest game of the year.

*Speaking of that Giants game, VERY good ballgame in the Land of the Sopranos. It ended about how I thought it would with the Cowboys winning 24-21 on a field goal as time expired. Manning and the Giants did all they could, including battling out of a 21-6 hole. At the end of the day it was too little too late, and it’s probably the end of days for the Giants. I feel bad for my New Jersey family that I’ll see this weekend – they’ll have slightly less excitement with this outcome as Giants season winds down.

*Manning-Brady Bowl was an awesome game last night, definitely the game of the weekend. I even returned home from WWE Survivor Series (which sucked) in time to see the ending. Just a classic finish in what figured to be a classic game from the very beginning.

I remember this one well – 1992 playoffs with the 49ers hosting Washington. These two teams are playing on Monday Night Football, so I’ll put this here:

It’s Sunday

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It’s Sunday. There was snow on the ground yesterday. Temperatures are below freezing. It’s the holiday season (tree is going up at my house today I believe) and there’s football to go with it.

It’s a glorious Sunday. The Panthers are in Miami to take on the Dolphins. The Colts are in Arizona to do battle with Bruce Arians and the Cardinals. Tonight the Broncos and Patriots meet up for another Manning-Brady Bowl in frigid Gillette Stadium. It’s going to be football in the elements.

It’s Sunday – the best day of the week. Enjoy your day!

Couple of Cam Pictures I have to Upload

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Here’s a random screenshot I took off the Operation Sports forums for Madden 25 Next Generation on Playstation 4. I know its going to be a while before I own this system, but it looks like the illustrations are slightly improved on it. Not great, but better.

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Gregg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning QB on ESPN featured Cammy Cam – I thought it was a cool illustration.

Monday Night Football in Charlotte (vs. the Patriots): The Finest Game of Cam Newton’s Career

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[GAME BOOK]

[NFL.com] [CBS Eye on Football] [Newton Leads Panthers to Win in Game of the Year (NFL.com] [Peter King MMQB]

[PFT] [ESPN NFL Nation] [Charlotte Observer]

When people look back years later, this one will go down as one of the greatest wins and games in the Cam Newton era. It does not get any better than this. It has people around the league talking Panthers (like Colin Cowherd). People will only talk about the controversial call for a little while. The real story is going to go down as how Cam Newton and the Panthers elite defense out-slugged the Patriots to get a huge win and move into the ranks of the elite in Mid-November of the 2013 NFL season.

The game was literally so clean all the way through that it seemed to go by in a short blink. Newton went 19 for 28 for 209 yards and three touchdown passes. He showcased a skill set that I saw in him back at Auburn, when I knew he would be a star. He ran seven times for 62 yards, threw two touchdowns on third down, and picked up a signature win over Tom Brady on Monday Night Football that will go down as a fourth quarter come from behind game-winning drive.

Highlights:

*Newton 25-yard TD Pass to Ted Ginn (Game-winner) [NFL.com]

*Newton 15-yard TD pass to Greg Olsen [NFL.com]

*Brandon LaFell 9-yard Touchdown [NFL.com]

*Cam Newton highlights [NFL.com]

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There will be other things that people talk about when they remember this game, or things that get forgotten that shouldn’t.

The Panthers couldn’t get any semblance of a run game going. Newton was their source of life-support on this evening. The Panthers were physical even though they allowed some yards on the ground just as they did in the 49ers game. They kept hitting Tom Brady until the end. They went for the knockout as Jon Gruden said, and they got it.

And who will ever forget the back and forth between Steve Smith and Aquib Talib? And Steve Smith saying “Ice up son!” at the end of the game walking off the field?

This was a win they hung on to, and a win that will go a long way into changing legacies. It’s a game that if you lose you easily get forgotten. Now the Panthers could easily challenge for the division by beating the Saints once and handling their business. They could be in play for a first round bye. The sky is the limit – they are on the kind of roll that could have them rolling all the way to the Super Bowl. It’s just hard to say where this will all end for the Panthers, but things have come together and this is a team that believes in itself.

At the very least, the Panthers are in a real push for the postseason and a playoff game. With a few games down the stretch figuring to get flexed into primetime (I am hoping for December 22nd against the Saints) it could be a Cam Newton Christmas Season!

This is a gem that I hope never gets lost: