Damn it. Another Shooting

If you look over at my categories, I have one that says mass shooting. I used to have one that said Virginia Tech Shooting but there were so many shooting that I rolled them all into the mass shooting label. I posted my thoughts here on Virginia Tech. That shooting was a decade ago!! Most Americans have forgotten. Do you remember the Northern Illinois campus shooting only a few months later?? Yep, we forgot that one also.

Of course, those were college shootings. This. This is the same awfulness that we saw at Columbine and Sandy Hook.  In 2013, I wrote “One of these days, we are going to have to decide whether it is okay to have Americans dying because of gun violence. Since Friday, December 14, 2012, the date of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, over 480 Americans have died secondary to gun violence.” (Also, I spoke with a physician from Newtown shortly after the tragedy. You can listen to the podcast here.)

I know we have been told that this is NOT the time to discuss gun violence and gun control. All I know is that we never really seem to get around to discussing it. We ignore it. We shout the same old tired arguments at each other. All I know is if we truly love life and believe in the love of Jesus then we are compelled to stop this violence.

From CNN:

At least 17 people were killed Wednesday in a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.

The suspect, 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, is in custody, the sheriff said. Cruz was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons, and police are investigating his digital profile, Israel said. So far, what they’ve found is “very, very disturbing,” he said.

“It’s a horrific, horrific day,” Israel said. “Just pray for this city. Pray for this school, the parents, the folks that lost their lives.”

Law enforcement responded to reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shortly before 3 p.m. and encountered a chaotic scene. Investigators believe the suspect pulled the fire alarm to draw people out of classrooms, a law enforcement source told CNN. Students said a fire drill earlier in the day added to the confusion, causing some to think it was a false alarm.

More on the Philadelphia Eagles win!

Although Super Bowl LII was highly entertaining, as I reflected on the game, there was something that was missing. Yes, I still believe that this is the best that the NFL has to offer. I also believe that it was a highly entertaining game. Unfortunately, we only got half of what we should’ve gotten. We basically wants to scrimmage between two teams who are playing offense. There was basically one or two defense of plays in the whole game.

First of all, all of the defense of plays were really made by the Philadelphia Eagles. The first play, was deep in the Eagles territory. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots had a 3rd and 2. Instead of trying to run the ball, up the middle, the patriots decide to run a fly sweep to Brandin Cooks. It looks, just for second, like it’s a brilliant call. Then Rodney McLeod comes out of nowhere. Cook’s tries to leap for the first down and McLeod tackled him in mid leap to hold them to little or no gain. This was a huge momentum swing.

The second play, is one of those plays that everyone will talk about for years to come. Philadelphia is up 38-33. There is 2:13 seconds to go. It is second and 2. The patriots are at their own 33 yard line. Everyone on the planet fully expects Tom Brady to orchestrate some sort of masterful drive. We have seen this way too many times. The Philadelphia Eagles move their star pass rusher Brandon Graham from end to left tackle. This allows him to have a one-on-one pass rush against the Patriots guard Mason. Brady takes the shotgun snap, the pocket collapses almost immediately. Danny Amendola is open in the right flat. Brady does not have enough time. The pocket collapses. Graham hits Brady and knocks the ball out for a strip sack. The Eagles recovered the fumble. It was a marvelous moment in Super Bowl history.

A couple of observations – the vast improvement of the patriots defense was highly overrated. Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles shredded the patriots. There is no other way to put it. The fact that the Patriots were able to shut down the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars should be a surprise to no one. Neither one of these teams could be described as an offense of juggernaut.

One of the things that was discussed before the Super Bowl was the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles had a somewhat weak secondary. This secondary was completely exposed. Tom Brady had an MVP type game in spite of losing a top receiver early. Constantly, receivers are running wide open against the Philadelphia Eagles secondary. A combination of short passes and the hurry up offense kept the Philadelphia Eagles vaunted pass rush at bay.

Although I love offense of football, defense is the part of the game. We really didn’t see much defense at all in this game. Still, a highly entertaining game.

Congratulations to Nick Foles (who gave one of the most inspiring and thoughtful press conferences this morning), Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Eagles win Super Bowl 52

I have a college friend from Philly. He is a great guy expect for he loves the Eagles. After Carson Wentz went down. I reached out to him. I truly thought that Nick Foles could take them to the playoffs and to the Super Bowl. No! He cried. The season was over.

Me. A live-long Cowboy fan, spent the next several weeks convincing my friend that the Eagles were good enough to win the super bowl with Nick Foles as quarterback. To this day, I don’t think that he ever really believed me. I was certain that Nick Foles was good enough. I was also certain the Doug Peterson was going to put Foles and the Eagles into position to win.

The evidence was all there. If you are a Cowboy fan and watched the Eagles and Cowboys games you have seen the Eagles up close. They play football. There was that overtime game that the Cowboys won last year. Doug Peterson showed that he was innovative and played to win. If the Eagles players didn’t make mental mistakes, the Eagles were always going to be position to win.

Writing Nick Foles and the Eagles off was crazy talk. The Eagles offense was good. They proved that every week. If they didn’t turn the ball over they were going to always be in position to win a game.

So, from the opening kickoff, we saw that the Doug Peterson had a plan to attack to the Patriots defense. This was not the Pats with Vince Wilfork and Rodney Harrison. This was more of a bend, don’t break Patriots defense. The defense probably would not win the game for you. Instead, they would try to turn the ball over to Tom Brady. For the most part, Nick Foles and the Eagles offense attacked the Patriots. They attacked down field. They attacked on the edges. The Eagles even ran the ball effectively. Nick Foles was great. He made all of the throws. He was smart with the football. His only turnover was on a deep pass that was caught then kicked up in the air by Jeffery and intercepted by Harmon of the Pats. Crazy play but really a good pass from Foles.

I think that the money play was the play that everyone is talking about. This was a shotgun play on 4th and goal from the 1. You are playing the Patriots. You know that points are going to be needed. You need as many points as you can get. I think that going for it was about as gutsy a call as I have seen in a big game. I have seen the play about 10 times and I still really don’t know how to describe it. Foles is the shotgun then goes in motion to the right wing. The ball is snapped to the running back who pitches the ball to the second or third string tight end, Burton. While this is going on, Foles sneaks out in the right flat. The tight end lobs a strike to Foles. Touchdown.

The Patriots knew that they simply couldn’t line up and beat the Eagles. This is why the Patriots had so many trick plays. I was looking for a Statue of Liberty play and the old fumble-roosky play. I still don’t understand why the Eagles didn’t double Gronk more. It seemed to me that you had to take Gronk away. Instead what the Eagles did effectively was take away those swing passes to the backs. The Eagles brilliantly placed Malcolm Jennings, their all-pro corner, on any back coming out of the backfield and it worked.

I’m a huge fan of the NFL and this was a great game. This was the NFL at its best. This was quarterbacks slinging the rock. Receivers making great catches. Running backs were stuffed in the hole then bounced to daylight. This was a great game. Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles for winning Super Bowl 52. (BTW, as anyone lost as many Super Bowls as Tom Brady?)