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If you love Marinduque and want to contribute articles to this site, please do so. My contact information is in my profile. The above photo was taken from the balcony of The Chateau Du Mer Beach House, Boac, Marindque, Philippines. I love sunsets. How about you? Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing your copyrights. Thank you and Cheers!

Tres Reyes Island view of the Marinduque Mainland

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Love and Hate for American Football



Having been born and raised in the Philippines until I was 23 years old, the game called American Football was not in my vocabulary when I was a teenager. It was only in 1960 when I attended graduate school at the University of Illinois that I learned what the game is all about. To me it is a very complicated game, compared to basketball or baseball the sports that I am familiar with. However, it was not after I finished my graduate studies, that I learned to enjoy this game. At first it was the college football, followed by the professional football( NFL) and later on the high school football games that I followed. I started following high school games when my youngest son started to play in the Pee Wee league (Grades 7 to 8) and then later on the Junior Varsity team( Grades 9 to 10). After the kids went to college, my wife and I lost interest in both the high school and college games. The only exception was the annual rivalry between the UC Berkeley Team( The Bears) versus Standford, known as the Big Game. This was due to the fact that our youngest daughter was a cheer leader for UC Berkeley. It was only in the 1980 to 1990 when we move to the San Francisco Bay Area that my wife and I became avid fans of the SF 49's team. The names Joe Montana and Steve Young are names of SF quarterbacks that will always linger in our memories.

Joe Montana was the SF quarterback that made me love the game of American Football. Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco, where he played for the next 14 seasons. Traded before the 1993 season, he spent his final two years in the league with Kansas City. While a member of the 49ers, Montana started in four Super Bowl games and won all of them. Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, his first year of eligibility.

In 1989, and again in 1990, the Associated Press named Montana the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Sports Illustrated magazine named Montana the 1990 "Sportsman of the Year". Four years earlier, in 1986, Montana won the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Montana was elected to eight Pro Bowls, as well as being voted 1st team All-Pro by the AP in 1987, 1989, and 1990. Montana had the highest passer rating in the National Football Conference (NFC) five times (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1989); and, in both 1987 and 1989, Montana had the highest passer rating in the entire NFL.

Noted for his ability to remain calm under pressure, Montana helped his teams to 31 fourth quarter come-from-behind wins. In the closing moments of the 1981 NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XXIII, Montana threw game-winning touchdown passes. The touchdown at the end of the championship game was so memorable that sports journalists, fans, and many others, refer to the play simply as "The Catch". The touchdown in the closing moments of Super Bowl XXIII came at the end of a 92-yard drive.

The 49ers retired the number 16, the jersey number Montana wore while with the team. In 1993, Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and led the franchise to its first AFC Championship Game in January 1994. In 1994, Montana earned a spot on the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team; he is also a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. In 1999, editors at The Sporting News ranked Montana third on their list of Football's 100 Greatest Players. Also in 1999, ESPN named Montana the 25th greatest athlete of the 20th century. In 2006, Sports Illustrated rated him the number one clutch quarterback of all-time. Montana was replaced by Steve Young.

From 1990 to 2002 we resided in the Washington DC area. Thus we rooted for the Washington Red Skins, but occasionally we still watch a 49'ers game. My wife and I lost interest in professional football games from 2003 to 2011 due to our other activities ( medical mission work in Marinduque, Philippines).

This year we are again rooting for the Niners and its new quarterback Colin Kaepernick from Turlock. For those of you who are not American citizens and have no idea what American football is, here a short information from Wikipedia.

American football, known in the United States simply as football, is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone by running with it or throwing it to a teammate. Points can be scored by carrying the ball over the opponent's goal line or catching a pass thrown over that goal line (6 points), kicking the ball through the opponent's goal posts (3 points), or tackling an opposing ball carrier (2 points) in his own end zone.

In the United States, the major forms are high school football, college football and professional football( NFL). Each of these are played under slightly different rules. High school football is governed by the National Federation of State High School Associations and college football by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The highest level league for professional football is the National Football League.

American football is closely related to Canadian football but with some differences in rules and the field. Both sports can be traced to early versions of association and rugby football. It is also a contact sports, but totally different than soccer football popular all over the world. Here's a video, a typical reaction of a soccer football enthusiast from the other parts of the world ( Europe or South America).

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