Jan 14, 2020

Confession








I'm excited for the NFL Championship games this weekend. I'm definitely a fan of football, have been for many years. It all started with the San Diego Chargers and Dan Fouts back in the day when I lived in San Diego after I graduated from college in 1981.  

Football is also an integral characteristic of the city of Jacksonville. The JAX locals love their team, the Jaguars. Certainly the Jags did not do well this year, lots of reasons why, yet the Jacksonville fans remain loyal and excited about football. You can't go to a Publix on Sunday before a game and not see long lines at the check out with people gearing up for the games. I've been out a few times where people in unison will do the DUUUUVAAAAAALLLLLLL cheer in parking lots, restaurants, church lobbies, all over. Jacksonville loves their football team. 

This year the NFL has gotten a preview of several amazing quarterbacks that will be in the league for years to come. The average age of the QB's of the four NFL teams in the AFC and NFC finals this year is 29.  

Aaron Rodgers, QB for the Packers is the oldest, at 36.  Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs is the youngest at 24. Mahomes has only been in the NFL since 2017 and last year he was MVP of the overall NFL season. Anyone with even the tiniest interest in football should watch the Chiefs, Titans game on Sunday, it is going to be a QB battle for sure. Ryan Tannehill is the Titans QB, age 31 and Jimmy Garappolo is the QB for the San Francisco team, he is 28. 

Another young QB that was eliminated in the playoffs, Lamar Jackson, age 23,  of the Baltimore, Ravens team. Jackson should have been in the finals, they had an OFF day last week and were beat by the Titans.  Even the Jaguars had a backup QB that played most of the season, Gardner Minshew, he is also 23.  

The Titans have a young running back, Derrik Henry. He is 26 and has been in the NFL since the 2016 season and he is like a human locomotive. He holds the record for most high school touchdowns and yardage in football, ever.  He played in Yulee, Florida, which is about 20 minutes north of Jacksonville. I read that in his 4 years of high school, Henry averaged 3 touchdowns and 200+ yards rushing in every game, every game for 4 years. Henry then played at Alabama and was the Heisman Trophy winner in 2015.  Henry is extremely fast, he is strong, and he can stiff arm tackle with perfection. 

What I enjoy about football, it's truly a team sport. For a team to be successful everyone has to contribute, even the lonely position of field goal and after point kicker. A great team has to be a great team. Defense, offense, special teams, the coaches, it all has to work in concert, in unison. 

My prediction, the Kanas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers will prevail this weekend and meet in the Super Bowl on February 2nd.  And as always like many other fans around the country, it's great NOT to have the New England, Patriots anywhere in NFL Championship games. Tom Brady is amazing, he certainly has had his turn for many years as one of the best QB's ever, the time has come for these youngsters to take center stage and excel in the NFL for years to come.