Tuesday, January 17, 2012

(A Guest Blog by Will Langford)

At this very moment, there’s a good chance you have one in your hand, your pocket, backpack, purse or at least within arms reach. Or worse yet, you’re using it while watching television and reading this blog right now. That’s right, I’m talking about cell phones. Mass-manufactured, portable plastic pods once heralded as the “greatest leap forward” in modern technology. “Imagine being able to talk to anyone, anywhere, without a cord or cable to tie you down. In the car, on the bus- you’ll be able to communicate everywhere!”

Everywhere is right. Text messaging, e-mail, internet, all at the tips of our fingers- it seems virtually impossible not to be linked-in in one way or another. To that effect, at every turn, we’re enticed into yet another media by which we can “participate” in whatever whim is on the national pulse. “That’s right, just use hash tag #Beiber2012 and you can be part of the on-going Beiber-Nation conversation! 

Kon-ver-sey-shuhn. From its Latin roots, all the way up until that fatal moment when the Finnish Matti Makkonen (credited with the invention of texting) dipped his hand into the mobile media market, “conversation” has implied orality, spoken word, the face-to-face exchange of words and ideas. That time has come and gone…haywire. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of wallowing in the modern matrix of tech toys, twitter and walking with my head down so I can text with two hands on the QWERTY keyboard of my EVO Shift. I have well over two thousand friends on facebook. I am definitely guilty of watching TV with my laptop atop my lap and texting all at once. That doesn’t mean I prefer it.

If someone knocked on your door right now, I’d wager that you’d be pretty surprised if it weren’t the mailman. Maybe, like me, you’d even be surprised if your phone rang, as opposed to the chirp of the text message we’ve grown so used to. “Can I call you later?” “Mind if I stop by sometime? I’ll text when I’m on my way.” Remember when people just called or stopped by? Yeah, sometimes your apartment/house was a bit on the messy side, but I’ll bet you appreciated the company. Lets bring it back.

If you do a little web roving, you’ll see that yet another craze is sweeping the nation, a game called “Phone-Stacking”. Here’s a craze I’m totally in line with. When you’re out for dinner with friends, stack your phones on the center of the table at the beginning of your meal. Whoever picks up their phone to check it for any reason (sorry Mom/Dad!) picks up the check. BOOM. A lesson in etiquette. I think the blogger who came up with that idea has her finger on the pulse of something important. 

We might never go back to the days where face-to-face communication reigns supreme over technology. Talking in person just isn’t as fast, as neatly-wrapped, or accessible (in some cases) as its counterpart. Face-to-face communication is…

If you’ve forgotten what its benefits are, here’s the perfect opportunity to let the next message you send read: “Hey, why don’t we meet up and talk about this? It might be…”


Born in Detroit, MI, Will Langford, also known as Will “The Poet” Langford, is a graduate of Michigan State University and a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University. Will was recently featured in Time Magazine Online (“The Poetry of Detroit”). 

You can check out more of Will’s writing on his YouTube channel

and follow him on Twitter!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ok so first and foremost id like to wish everyone a happy new year and a belated but very merry Christmas. As most of you know my rookie year in the NFL has come to an end and I am currently on a plane headed back to my hometown of Detroit Michigan and decided that since I’m going to be in the air for 5hrs, I might as well type a blog since it seems like forever since I’ve done one…

So I don’t know if its just me or not, but doesn’t it seem like the year 2011 has flown by? I mean it seems like just yesterday I was in college getting ready to play in the Cotton Bowl (See earlier blog for video footage of that experience filmed by yours truly) with my teammates in college and now I am in the NFL just finishing my rookie year about to take my first vacation since the summer before my senior year of College football. I’m sure that each and every person reading this also has a similar story of how the year has seemed to have vanished right before their eyes,..Our years have had good times, bad times, questionable times, and random times, but im willing to major that for the most part, our years have been pretty fun and fulfilling.

Well I’d like to take a second and remind everyone that there is someone that didn’t have too good of a year…Now im not going to sit here and roll off facts about people that are starving elsewhere and how many people are dying per minute. But I would like to remind you all that there is someone, or some people, out there that could use your help and would greatly appreciate it. I know that we are all happy to see another year; however, don’t forget to help out others because that’s what we are here for, to help each other along this journey called life.

That was just on my heart and wanted to share that with you guys… Still looking for guest bloggers (@bazookajoe72 on twitter) (josephbarksdale72@gmail.com email) and im still taking ideas about new blog topics. Now that the season is over I will have more time to update this more frequently but I don’t want to fill it with things that you don’t find interesting. Im always open to suggestions and thank you for reading. 
Thursday, December 29, 2011
So this is something that Coach Hunley (Linebackers coach) shared with me and i thought it was pretty cool so i thought id share it with you. Its entitled "THE TEAM LEADERSHIP CODE"

I renew my status as a leader by what I do each day.  I know my strengths and my weaknesses and I will constantly strive to improve.  I live by a moral code and my actions set an example for others to emulate.  I know my job and carry out my responsibilities with absolutely no hesitation from start to finish or every play.  I take initiative and seek responsibility, and I face every situation with boldness and confidence.  I evaluate instantly every situation and estimate the best course of action.  No matter what the results, I assume full responsibility for my action.
I will consistently practice and fulfill my role as a team player.  I will lead with confidence, enthusiasm, aggressiveness and fairness.  I will command and earn the respect, confidence and loyalty of my teammates.
I know that my coach would never assign me to any duty that I would not or could not perform.
I see and understand my role as a Leader and will energetically follow through to ensure that my job is fulfilled and complete.
I will keep myself informed and I know that the team always comes first.
These things I do in fulfillment of my my obligation as a leader on the Oakland Raiders Football Team

As always let me know what you think. Im always open to suggestions for new topics and am still looking for guest bloggers, Twitter (BazookaJoe72), email (josephbarksdale72@gmail.com), facebook (Joe Barksdale)
Friday, December 23, 2011

You often hear teams talking about playing "1 game seasons" (which means that they are taking the season 1 game at a time) but most people dont really know what goes on during that preparation so I'm going to try to help paint the picture of what a week of preparation is like for your average NFL athlete.

So let's imagine for a second that you are the head coach of a a professional football team and it's week 7. It's Sunday afternoon and your team is in the lockeroom celebrating your victory and you are standing before them about to tell them the schedule for the upcoming week. Take into account that you have 7 days until your next game and one of them has to be an off day. So how do you help the team get the soreness from the previous game out, nurse their wounds, and get in a couple quality practices before the next game in 7 days?

A typical week of preparation involves a day off, one practice in pads, 3 practices without pads and a walkthrough the day before a game. Most teams have team meetings and workouts on Mondays in order to get all of the lactic acid out of the muscles and aid in rehabilitation and recuperation. The next day is usually an off day. The days after that involve practice along with a lot of film study and playbook study. The day before the game is more of a walk through tempo to make sure that everyone is well rested and give them time to prepare for the game in their own way. And then comes Sunday and we all know what that means #gameday

Friday, December 16, 2011

First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Joe Barksdale for having me as a guest blogger on his site.  I’ve been following Joe since his recruitment out of Cass Tech & I am probably his biggest fan.  I watched him work hard and grow into a starter at LSU and he’s been goin’ H.A.M ever since.  My girlfriend and I met him in Atlanta last year before the LSU/North Carolina game and I have been getting worked over in Words with Friends by him ever since (I think he cheats, but that’s for another blog).  Also, we play Tiny Towers, but please keep that to yourselves.

Joe gave me his blessing to blog about whatever I wanted to, so I chose to blog about the #1 ranked LSU Tigers (Joe’s alma mater) and the upcoming BCS National Championship Game.  I have the Alabama Menstrual Cycle getting beat by a TD in the Big Easy.  I also want to add that the following facts are my thoughts and musings only and are not necessarily the same views as Mr. Barksdale’s (you’re welcome Joe Barksdale’s attorney).

Hey Guys….remember when LSU beat Bama last month?

Do I think it’s fair that Alabama gets a chance to play for a National Championship when they didn’t even win their conference?  No.  Heck, Alabama didn’t even win their DIVISION.  But, do I think that the two best teams are playing for a National Championship? Sure….but something’s just not right about it.  I mean, LSU has to beat Bama twice to win the Championship but Bama only has to beat LSU once?  Seems unfair…..and the “Game of the Century” that was played just last month at their place ended up not even counting?  That’s ridiculous……but don’t tell that to the redneck Bama fans (or their girlfriends/sisters).

To add insult to injury, Coach Nick Saban told ESPN this during a Sunday night interview: “Oklahoma State has a great team. I watched their game last night and I would really like to congratulate their players on having a great year and (congratulate) coach (Mike) Gundy.”  Then he turned around and voted OSU #4 in a cheap attempt to manipulate the system and ensure that his team of mouth-breathers squeaked into the BCS National Championship Game.  

It’s not the best system….but it’s the one we have

Ok, so enough about how Nick Saban would send his own son to a Penn State summer football camp for a chance to play for a BCS National Championship.  It’s a done deal.  LSU is playing Bama (again), this time in the Superdome for all of the marbles.   I can tell you that LSU fans largely are not worried about this game like most of you would think.  You see, we already beat them once this year at their place (have I mentioned that yet?) but that’s not why LSU fans are beaming with confidence.  It’s not the Honey Badger or our secondary or our amazing punter or even our violent defensive line.  It’s our coach.  That’s right, I said it.  Our quirky grass-eating coach.  You see, our players love Coach Miles….they would run through a brick wall for him.  Bama’s players, on the other hand, are scared to death of Nick Saban….and they play like they are scared of him.  While Les Miles loves and trusts his team and lets them play with a certain amount of freedom….Saban’s team plays scared.  They don’t jump the route for an interception or try to punch the ball out before wrapping up the running back for fear of giving up the big play….they play stiff and scared b/c they don’t want Saban to go apesh*t on them when they get to the sidelines.  Watch the game if you don’t believe me.  LSU and Bama’s defenses are equally talented, but LSU roams the field beating their chests while Bama plays robotic and scripted.  Both defenses are great, but Coach Les Miles’ coaching style will be the difference in this game.

I know that there are no Bama fans reading this right now (this blog is mostly comprised of LSU and Raiders fans)....but Bama fans, I beseech you…climb off of your sister for a second and listen up.  The only DECENT thing to ever come out of Alabama is Joe Namath and perhaps Yelawolf.   The National Championship Game is in New Orleans.  Not sure if you know this or not, but the only team that wins BCS National Championships in New Orleans is LSU.  Did you know that every freshman football player at LSU since the year 2000 has played for a BCS National Championship….and all of them were in New Orleans?  Let that marinate for a minute.

What do LSU and the moon have in common?  They both control the tide.

Yup.  LSU players will make big plays and will be allowed to MOVE IT LIKE BERNIE and Coach Miles will palm clap while they do it.  Should Bama actually, say…make a field goal *cough cough*Bama players will most likely be doing something similar to the RiffRaff at which point Nick Saban will promptly meet said players at the sideline with a hammer, a sickle and a mouthful of venom.
Enjoy it LSU and Raider fans-- good things lie ahead for both of our respective fanbases.  You Raiders fans have Tim Tebow to contend with (by the way, he IS beatable….just ask Joe Barksdale) and we LSU folk have little Nicky to contend with.  May the football gods continue to smile upon our respective programs…..just win baby!

Note: Oh, and on behalf of the SEC, we would like to welcome Texas A & M to the conference **I say as I wink with a sheepish grin on my face**.

@Cajun_Sensation on Twitter

Friday, December 9, 2011

Remember when you were a little kid and loved to watch superheroes fight crime and rid the streets of danger? I do, my favorite superhero of all time was Superman. The guy was unstoppable! He could breath ice, shoot lasers out of his eyes, fly, and was indestructible. But as I got older my heroes set from being fictional characters to real people...but there comes a point in your life when you become someone else's hero. For example, I play in the NFL against some of the people that I have been looking up to since high school and now I play against them everyday and will one day become someone else's hero. And the fact is that we all have someone looking up to us, or in other words, we are all someone's hero...and we need to remember that. So the next time that you feel like doing something "risky" or "less than reputable" just stop and take a second to remind yourself that you are someone's role model because regardless of if you want to be one or not, you are. Always remember that someone somewhere looks up to you so don't let them down...

Just a random thought... As usual I'm open to any comments or suggestions. @bazookajoe72 on twitter, josephbarksdale72@gmail.com, or you can just comment on this page. Also I'm looking for guest bloggers as well so get in touch if you're interested.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Achieving Has a Lot to Do with Believing
My name is Elias Trejo, and I am the founder of RaiderNationTimes.com. I’ve been called an optimist, too positive, and too confident many times in my life, but I would rather be those three things than be negative. I’ve grown up my whole life having people tell me what I could and couldn’t do. People would tell me what my limitations were and how the odds of me being successful weren’t very good.
 At 25 years old I’ve experienced many things that most people will never experience. Owning a business, covering the Oakland Raiders and getting paid for it, interviewing coaches, Hall of Famers and Future Hall of Famers.  Of course, not all my life has been full of success. There have been many failures and bumps in my journey, but I never let them stop me from believing. I always moved forward towards my dreams and my goals and never lost sight of why I’m working hard. I’ve suffered, I’ve struggled, I’ve lost money, and I’ve had to close some doors, but I’ve never closed the door on my dreams.
Now this blog isn’t about me, but it’s about believing and achieving. People are capable of achieving great things in this world, and many have. Many of the people that have accomplished the greatest things in human history were doubted and ridiculed. Christopher Columbus was mocked before his voyage that led him to discover America. Before his journey the world was flat, and after his journey the world was never the same. Columbus believed in himself and that led him to a great achievement.
I’ve had the honor of having Joseph Barksdale allow me to guest write on his blog, and he, along with his teammates in Oakland can attest to the power of believing.  There are over six billion people in the world today, and only 53 of them are on the Oakland Raiders active roster.  Barksdale and all of his teammates have embarked in a journey of their own to get where they are today. They’ve been doubted, they’ve failed, and their odds have been stacked against them, but they have persevered and never gave up on their dream.   Now the Raiders as a team, family and organization find themselves in a position that they haven’t been in for almost a decade.  They have an opportunity to win the AFC West and compete for a Super Bowl trophy.
Members of the media around the nation have doubted this Raiders team and they continue to do so, but those people do not affect their success. It’s the people inside of that locker room; it’s the players, the coaches and the rest of the organization that will lead this team to the promise land. They have to believe they can achieve great things and they have to put in the hard work and dedication to make great things happen. Success does not come just from positive thinking and believing, it comes from hard work and your ability to keep a positive mindset despite all of the negativity that surrounds you.
Life is no different than football. When the season starts everyone has the same 0-0 record to start the season and as the season goes on, teams deal with injuries, losses, mistakes, and failures and outside distractions. It’s the teams that get their confidence from within themselves and their organization that will succeed. They continue to move forward knowing they have a job to do and do not let outside forces stop them from their mission. It’s the teams that know tomorrow is an opportunity to get better and no matter what their circumstances are, they continue to march forward with determination and strength. 
Life is the same way. We all start at 0-0 and we’ll all face losses, failures, we’ll make mistakes and have to deal with various obstacles and forces that will try to deter us from reaching our dreams. A lot of the negative forces that come at us we cannot control, but we can control how we handle them. If our strength comes from within and we continue to believe and march forward towards our dreams, then everything is possible. Hard work and dedication always pays off, and your ability to believe in yourself will lead you to achieve the things you want the most. 

@Elias_Trejo (on twitter)

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