Ayanbadejo and Gay Marriage, Return of Football, RG3: 5 Things 9/10
A football themed five things for Monday.
1. Ravens Player in Middle of Gay Marriage Debate - Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo was in the middle of a gay marriage debate last week after a Baltimore County politician, Emmett C. Burns Jr., sent a letter to the Ravens' owner demanding Ayanbadejo back off his comments advocating for gay rights. After getting word of the letter, fellow NFL player Chris Kluwe, a punter for the Minnesota Vikings, sent a profanity-laced letter to sports blog Deadspin that made a case for Ayanbadejo's right to speak out and said it was ridiculous to suppress a person's right to free speech. On Sunday, Burns backed off his position, according to the Baltimore Sun, Burns said, "Each of us has the right to speak our opinions."
2. Football is Back - The celebration of playmaking began anew on Sunday as the 2012 football season kicked off. How did it go? The Bears dominated Andrew Luck's new look Indianapolis Colts. The Eagles squeked out a win against the Cleveland Browns in an ugly, ugly game that included seven interceptions. The New England Patriots schooled the young Tennessee Titans 34-13 (rookie linebacker Zach Brown, of Columbia, recorded three tackles in his first game.) The Detroit Lions defeated the Rams 27-23, despite Matt Stafford's three early interceptions. The Atlanta Falcons beat the K.C. Chiefs 40-24, with Falcons QB Matt Ryan putting up an impressive 299 yards with 3 touchdowns. The Jets crushed the Buffalo Bills 48-28 silencing the Tim Tebow talk. The Texans took the Dolphins 30-10, an early hint of possible struggles this year for Miami. The 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers 30-22 in what many critics said could be an NFC showdown game. Newly minted Denver Bronco Peyton Manning made his much-anticipated comeback on Sunday night with a defining 31-19 win over the Steelers. And in the game everyone is talking about, RG3 and the Redskins showed that maybe, just maybe, the Washington Redskins can win this year.
3. Is RG3 for Real? - Yesterday, rookie quarterback (sensation?) Robert Griffin III led his Washington Redskins over the New Orleans Saints 40-32. Griffin went 19-26, with 320 yards, two touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Jason Reid of the Washington Post said Griffin's performance was, "the best first-half performance by a rookie quarterback in NFL history based on passer rating." What do you think, is RG3 going to be great, or was yesterday's game just beginner's luck?
4. Ravens Kick-Off Tonight - The 2012 Baltimore Ravens will begin their season tonight against the division rival Cincinnatti Bengals on Monday Night Football. Who is going to win? ESPN.com's experts are all predicting a Ravens victory. In a preview on the Baltimore Sun, TV critic David Zurawik wrote why MNF chose Baltimore this season: Jay Rothman, producer of MNF told Zurawik, "Baltimore isn't New York or Dallas. But Baltimore has other things working for it from larger-than-life, move-the-meter guys like Ray Lewis to a great stadium for night games filled by passionate fans... It's built so that the camera positions and angles we get are outstanding, and because the crowd is so close to the field, it's intimate, colorful and electric. We love coming to Baltimore."
5. Weather - Sunny, high in the mid 70s. For tonight's game - about 65 degrees and clear.
Welcome back to the work week...