You'll have to forgive my slow typing today. I have four less fingers after a wild night of blowing things up in the name of freedom. Don't worry; they should grow back soon. In the meantime, I will just try to forge on.
Hopefully we are on the verge of a big week in NFL history. The lockout appears to be on the verge of meeting its end. Both sides seem fairly happy where the negotiations stand. However, there is one cause for concern, as there are more two sides to this story. Scan to the bottom and see who is not happy with the current terms.
So jump into the booty, and catch b-day wishes for Mr. Davis from around the web; take a glimpse at Marcel Reece's training regimen and other football type stuff and junk....
Birthday Wishes for Al Davis From Around the Web
Eighty-two candles burn in Oakland - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Another year has passed and Davis remains the lifeblood of the Raiders. He and his team have some steam heading into 2011, as the Raiders were 8-8 last season. That snapped a seven-year streak of 11 losses or more, which was an NFL record. Davis works everyday to bring his Raiders back to greatness. Now, that he is at the tender age of age of 82, don’t expect him to slow down. Happy birthday, Al; enjoy the day. You deserve it.
Al Davis turns 82 - Inside the Oakland Raiders
From a purely selfish perspective, here’s hoping Davis gets his wish. As John Madden has said hundreds of times, the NFL is a better and more interesting league when the Raiders are good. Depending on how long the lockout continues, the NFL will need all the help it can get.
Raiders’ Safety Wishes Al Davis Happy B-Day, Updates Him On Lockout Life | Football News Now
Oh Al, happy birthday! Thank you for drafting me. I am forever grateful," Mitchell gushed on the show. "I am working hard, can’t wait to see you. Hope you still got your white linens on man, because we’re going to go all the way to the championship.
Tribute to Founding Fathers | National Football Post
Al Davis: A true football renaissance man, Al Davis held various roles: (1) player personnel director; (2) assistant coach; (3) head coach; (4) general manager; (5) commissioner; and (6) owner/CEO. Eight weeks into his tenure as AFL commissioner, it successfully merged with the NFL. Always a maverick, in 1980 he moved the team to Los Angeles, challenging NFL policies and subsequently winning an antitrust lawsuit. And today is Davis's 82nd birthday.
Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty
Marcel Reece is a bad man.
Raiders fullback has 'Better Dayz' in martial arts
It's helped with my flexibility, my hip movement and my conditioning," said Reece, who turned 26 on June 23. "It's a great workout, and I enjoy learning something new every day." During the lockout, Reece has been showing up five days a week at Crispim Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
He works with different trainers there on his wrestling, boxing, muay thai and abdominal work, sometimes sparring up to 12 three-minute rounds in a session. "He is such a huge guy," Crispim said of Reece. "But I can tell why he is a great football player. He is very quick, very competitive, and he is like a sponge. You see the results right away. It's been like a gift to me to work with such an elite athlete."
I like the quote about Reece being a sponge. That part is pretty clear. This guy picks up new positions and where's them like a pair of slippers that have form fitted after a decade of use. I fully expect Reece to be twice as good at being a lead blocker as he was in 2010.
Here is a great look at a classic Raiders-Steelers MNF game in 1980. There were 10 Hall of Famers in this game. That is just mind boggling.
Raiders Triumph Over Steelers Amidst Monday Night Mayhem
Oakland ate up the clock in the final quarter with a nine-minute, 15-play march that culminated in a 36-yard field goal and a 45-34 Raiders lead that held up until the game’s end. This was the Raiders fourth consecutive win over the Steelers and brought the Raiders Monday Night Football record to 14-1-1. No team had ever come into Three Rivers Stadium and scored 45 points against Pittsburgh’s famed Steel Curtain Defense before.
Speaking of Pirate Booty....
Concord 4th of July Parade
Raiderettes participated in the Concord 4th of July parade.
Around the Lockout
The retired players are not happy.
NFL LOCKOUT / Complaint could hold up negotiations
The antitrust complaint says that the current players and the association, with the NFL, "are conspiring to depress the amounts of pension and disability benefits to be paid to former NFL players in order to maximize the salaries and benefits to current NFL players."
I haven't heard of this until this report. If it is true, both sides should be ashamed of themselves.
Mike Freeman wrote a letter to De Smith pleading for him to ditch his lawyers.
Letter to De Smith: Send your lawyers packing - NFL - CBSSports.com Football
But they've gone too far. Like owners have previously, the NFLPA lawyers, I'm told, have been recently picking stupid fights over petty technical issues and arguing over who is going to pay for retiree benefits when the league has offered a fair 50-50 split. All of these arguments have delayed the negotiating process. Owners believe -- and I think they're correct -- the two men want to delay a settlement as long as possible so they can propel the Brady antitrust lawsuit to the brink.
Not all players would mind if the lockout dragged on for a few more weeks:
Some players want to skip all or part of the preseason | ProFootballTalk
Thus, all players should want the full preseason to be played. With the exception, of course, of those veteran NFL players who fear that a full preseason will give rookies and other young players enough time to convert those veteran NFL players into former NFL players.