Tag Archives: Pro Football

Streaming NFL games on Twitter? An odd venue, but it’s about freakin’ time.

Sadly, the streaming deal only applies to ten Thursday night games, which are often a bore.

The NFL has been taking its time getting games online. It drives me nuts that over-the-air broadcasts of games are free, but any streaming comes at hefty prices. NBC was the best, streaming Sunday Night Football for a few years before being cutoff by an increasingly greedy NFL.

One Sunday, years ago, I discovered an illegal stream of the RedZone channel on the now defunct justin.tv. I happily watched for hours, fascinated by the incredible flow. There was never a lull in the action. Somewhere, in some game, there was exciting play, and the RedZone folks could and would cut to it for everyone to watch.

I was shocked that the NFL copyright hawks had not shut it down right away. We fans got a treat that day. Usually the NFL is quick to the draw on copyright violations, particularly on game days.

ajh

 

Landry’s Playbook and His Bible


Yesterday, a man named Thomas ‘Hollywood’ Henderson, a professional footballer with a story of his own, shared some memories of Tom Landry, longtime coach of the Dallas Cowboys, and Ken Hutcherson, who died in December after a decade-long battle with cancer.

Henderson had not seen Ken Hutcherson since 1975, when they competed for a spot on the Cowboys roster, a team that would play in Super Bowl X against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“He was a hard hitting middle linebacker that I went to training camp with in his second year with Cowboys. He later played for Seattle. Ken carried Landry’s playbook and his Bible everywhere.”

Hutch was going up against some talented men. Some were veterans of the game. Others were rookies, just drafted.

The 1974 Dallas Cowboys, including Hutch, wearing no. 59
The 1974 Dallas Cowboys, including Hutch, wearing no. 59

“The numbers were against Ken making the team,” Henderson explains, despite Hutch having played the year before.

Coach Landry spoke to the men on the final day of that camp in 1975. He had to declare who had made the team and who had not.

“This is a tough business and sometimes decisions are difficult. I had to cut a friend today,” Landry said, trying to hold back his emotions.

That friend was Ken Hutcherson.

“Landry started to cry. He then dismissed us.”

Hutch wore no. 59 while playing with the Cowboys.
Hutch wore no. 59 while playing with the Cowboys.

Henderson and two others, Randy White and Bob Breunig, were standing together when Coach Landry approached them.

“I hope you guys are worth it,” he said. He was taking a chance letting Hutch go, a good player and a good man. Hutch was a man of character.

“During my five-year career as a Dallas Cowboy, I never saw an emotional Tom Landry for any reason. A rare moment indeed.”

Twelve rookies made that team. The Dirty Dozen the motley crew was called, Henderson says. Henderson struggled, off-field mostly, with drugs and alcohol. His behavior became increasingly distracting, even to the point of using cocaine during games. Eventually, after several warnings, Landry had enough, first benching and then waiving him.

Meanwhile, Landry decided to trade Hutch to the San Diego Chargers rather than just cut him loose. Then, Hutch was drafted by a new expansion team, the Seattle Seahawks, only to have an injury end his football career prematurely. But Hutch had higher aspirations than just football. He wanted to preach and teach the gospel. He wanted to change lives, beyond this temporal, corrupted world.

“Ken Hutcherson has gone on to minister and impact lives. I know he impacted Tom Landry. God bless his family and the man he was and is. Obviously Landry has prepared a place for him.”

Landry died in 2000, eleven years after being fired by a brash new Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones. Jones chose a different path, a flashier one, replacing him with Jimmy Johnson.

By that time, 1989, Hutch was a pastor at Westminster Chapel, though he had been proselytizing for most of his life.

“You are a special man, Ken. I knew it then and I know it now. For 39 years I’ve known you were a special man. God bless.”

Hutch was a remarkable man of faith. Yet, he was just a man, an ordinary man. But a common, ordinary man with a passionate love of God, life and people. He impacted me, too.

That’s what I loved about Hutch. He was just one of the guys. He never thought himself better than anyone else.

Thanks, Hollywood, for sharing.

ajh

Hutch with the Seahawks

There is a very cool write-up in today’s Seattle Times about the Seahawks first group of players. It was 1976. Seattle was a newly created franchise.

“On an expansion football team, players get thrown together, from lots of different places.”

Life wasn’t all football, however. Most had other jobs, second careers.

“They needed something after football.”

The writer focuses on the linebackers from that first year.

“Eight players formed the team’s original linebacker corps. After football they became: Actor. Teacher. Pastor. Counselor. Firefighter. Three went into business.”

One of them was my pastor, Ken Hutcherson. Most called him Hutch.

Hutch came to Seattle from Green Bay. He had been playing with the Packers.

Hutch, no. 59, with the Packers in a game against the Raiders
Hutch, no. 59, with the Packers in a game against the Raiders

“Jim Zorn, the Seahawks’ first quarterback, remembers Hutcherson’s arrival. His T-shirt said: ‘Going to Seattle to do God’s Battle.’ During the preseason he hurt his knee and went on injured reserve.”

He never played another game.

Injuries kept Hutcherson from ever making Seattle’s active roster. But teammates say he had a lasting impact through his faith and example. In a 2010 memoir, “Hope is Contagious,” he wrote of his willingness to court controversy — his embrace of politics, his vigorous opposition to gay marriage — and his struggle with prostate cancer.

Hutcherson wrote that he transferred three rules from sports to his faith: “1. The coach is the coach. 2. You better know his playbook. 3. You do not change the plays.”

He died last month at 61.

ajh

Big Lo, Cowbell Dude & the Seahulk

One NFL fan has dubbed his alter-ego the Seahulk. He has donned the outfit since 2005.

I have seen him a few times on TV this year. I have been watching Seahawks games religiously.

I just love pro football, despite the league’s flaws.

His ‘bare’ chest is there for all to see, in its very green glory, often highlighted during the broadcasts of NBC, CBS and FOX. Some of the more ‘colorful’ Seattle fans remind me of some of the crazier Raider ones and their pit, known as The Black Hole.

“It’s ridiculous, but sports fandom rarely operates logically.”

And Seahulk’s real name is Froemke, no less. My mother is a Fromke. I am sure he must be related, a distant cousin.

Just remember the sound advice from the Bud Light marketing folks: “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”

ajh

Worshiping at the Altar of Superman


I don’t get it. What’s the big deal?

A sports writer with the New York Post criticizes the media for fawning over a remarkable football player. And many of the sports nuts go unhinged.

Obviously Adrian Peterson is an absent father to most of his kids. Sad, but true.

Maybe rather than worshiping at the altar of a man who knows how to run with a ball, we should focus on what really matters. Like the death of a two-year-old boy whose biological father was never around, until, that is, he was beaten into a coma.

“With his resources, how could Peterson, the NFL’s MVP, have allowed his son to remain in such an environment? Did he not know, or not care? Or not care to know? Or not know to care?”

Peterson is a great ball player. He is not a good man.

ajh

49erland


There is some news out of 49erland. Usually I don’t write much about the 49ers. But two recent stories have changed that.

I will start with the second story first.

Niners safety Donte Whitner has had enough!

” . . . the hard-hitting defensive back is fed up with being fined by the NFL. He was just dinged $21,000 for a hit on St. Louis Rams wideout Chris Givens last Thursday.”

It is football!

Whitner, Dennis Miller and me have had it. Let the men play!

Meanwhile, the third string quarterback, B.J. Daniels, was picked up by the Seahawks after being waived by San Francisco, but before he could be put on the Niners practice squad.

ajh