Thoughts on Dancing, the Super Bowl and Ron Rivera
I have a newfound respect for dancing.
After going through my several-week crash course in learning how not to be a complete spaz on the dance floor, I safely tell you it’s no easy task. It requires a ton of coordination and athletic ability, neither of which I have.
During our final practice run last Friday, we ran through our routine probably 15 times in a row. It was one of the best workouts I’ve ever had. I was sweating like a stuck pig.
Now I have a better understanding of why you see professional athletes signing up for ballroom dancing and ballet classes. It really does help with coordination, movement and flexibility. I encourage you to give it a try.
All in all, participating in the “Dancing With the Sandhills Stars” event was an awesome experience. Collectively, we raised a whopping $125, 000 for Communities In Schools and Moore Buddies and had a lot of fun doing it.
So if you get a phone call next fall asking you to join in, be sure to go for it!
Shifting gears to the big game this weekend …
At the beginning of the season, I predicted that Green Bay and Baltimore would be playing for the Lombardi Trophy. Well, I picked the right division in the AFC, and that’s probably as close as I’ll ever come.
This is an intriguing match-up and one that’s not easy to pick.
Count me on the Aaron Rodgers bandwagon. He’s been outstanding this postseason and is emerging as one of the league’s best signal-callers. He’s got a passer rating of 109.2, and that includes the 55.4 rating he had in the NFC Championship against Chicago.
Green Bay’s defense under former Carolina Panthers head coach Dom Capers has been solid as well. Corners Sam Shields and Tramon Williams are the postseason leaders in interceptions, and linebacker Clay Matthews is second in sacks.
I’d like to see my Boston College classmates B.J. Raji and Rob Francois get a Super Bowl ring.
But then we have the six-time world champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who were a little bit under the radar this postseason, if you can believe it. The Patriots and Jets were the “sexy” picks in the AFC, and with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s off-the-field issues heading into this season, there were a lot of questions.
But, in typical Steeler fashion, they’re still standing. Mike Tomlin is one of my favorite coaches out there, and I think he deserves a lot of credit for this one.
My heart says Green Bay but my brain says Pittsburgh. While it pains me to do this as a Bengals fan, I’m taking the Steelers in this one. It’s not pretty, but they just always find a way to get it done.
While this news is a little bit old, I think the Carolina Panthers made a great head coaching hire in San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. I was one of those hoping the Cats would make a play for Bill Cowher, but I was impressed with Rivera’s introductory press conference.
Sure, every coach stands up there and says they want to build a dynasty and win multiple Super Bowls with his new team. But I loved Rivera’s calm, confident demeanor. He seems like a deliberate, no-nonsense guy, and he’s certainly played and coached with some of the best in the game.
I think the fact he was a player on a Super Bowl winner buys him a lot of credibility with his players.
The biggest priority for Rivera was bringing in a quality staff to breathe life into the Panthers’ pathetic offense. That offensive staff is starting to taking shape with Rob Chudzinski at the helm. While not necessarily a household name, Chudzinski was a starting tight end at the University of Miami and won two national titles there.
He’s been an offensive coordinator in Cleveland, and was the assistant head coach in San Diego before coming to Charlotte. Hopefully Philip Rivers rubbed off on him.
Another critical hire was the quarterbacks coach, and Rivera has turned to Mike Shula, the former Alabama head coach and son of the legendary Don Shula. He’ll be charged with developing Jimmy Clausen into a legitimate NFL quarterback, which may or may not be possible.
Regardless of what happens with Clausen, and with Andrew Luck out of the picture, the Panthers have to bring a veteran QB this year. There should be several names available — Donavan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, maybe even Carson Palmer. Even if they don’t take the job from Clausen, he needs a mentor who has, you know, actually played in the NFL and had success.
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