Get Back With Your Lover Now!

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The off-season's most recent headliner is Ben Roethlisberger’s
Super Bowl winning pass to Santonio Holmes being followed up by a civil sexual assault charge last month.

[The End Zone]

My significant other and I have mended fences.

Every year after the Super Bowl, the confetti barely reaches the turf before I begin to feel the dark gloom of a breakup. 

Football and I annually agree –grudgingly on my part— to spend six months apart and try to make a go of things in the future, after pursuing other interests. 

After courting a few spring sports, we both inevitably realize by August that we are like peanut butter and jelly or Terrell Owens and a camera lens. We belong together.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Few things underscore this truth as well as football’s offseason. Spring and summer always seem to bestow three or four mini-dramas no one sees coming that leave all football fans anticipating September’s first kickoff. 

It’s comparable to unexpectedly running into your ex while making an impromptu convenience store run. You all know where I am going with this. It’s been two or three months since you both moved on and just as you are starting to feel better, seeing your former flame reminds you of how badly you felt when things ended.

Although you have been caught off guard and the run-in feels unpleasant, there is still a part of you that yearns for the relationship that once was.

Let’s revisit a couple of the football-related events that blindsided fans this offseason, yet left us wanting our beloved sport back. First in line is the shakeup no one saw coming: The Jay Cutler and Denver Broncos fiasco. General Hospital storylines pale in comparison to this drama. 

Pro-Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler got wind of a possible trade involving three teams that would send him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and reunite Patriots QB Matt Cassel with rookie head coach Josh McDaniels. The Broncos insisted that they never initiated trade talks and only listened to offers.  The rest is he-said, she-said, and frankly, only Jay Cutler and Josh McDaniels know the truth about the 20 minute meeting that took place in order to try to repair the relationship.

What fans do know is that on March 15, 2009, Jay Cutler put his Denver home up for sale and announced he had formally requested a trade. 

The Denver Broncos and Jay Cutler cited irreconcilable differences and went their separate ways on April 2, 2009. Cutler, along with a 2009 draft pick, was traded to the Chicago Bears for a 2009 first and third-round pick and the Bears first 2010 pick. The Broncos acquired QB Kyle Orton. The two teams lock horns in an August 30th preseason
matchup. Mark your calendars if you haven’t already.

Next is a story we have long been aware of, but its newest chapter makes this upcoming season all the more interesting. Michael Vick was released from prison after serving nearly two years for his admitted involvement in and illegal dog-fighting operation. Vick was reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on a conditional basis on July 27, 2009.

Vick has supporters and detractors; some people feel he wasn’t punished enough, others feel like time has been served and he has paid his debt. We are all wondering the same thing: Will Vick make a comeback? It won’t be possible unless he demonstrates that he has emotionally and mentally matured, and can handle the physical demands of football after serving a two-year suspension. Only time will tell and we are all watching.

The list goes on. John Gruden got the boot as head coach from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is now a Monday Night Football commentator. Eric Mangini was let go from the Jets and we now don’t get to witness his twice-annually frosty post-game handshake with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

The off-season’s most recent headliner is Ben Roethlisberger’s Super Bowl winning pass to Santonio Holmes being followed up by a civil sexual assault charge last month. He has publicly denied the allegations and it is unclear if and when the case will go to trial.  However, the court of public opinion is always open and it will be interesting to see how Roethlisberger handles the adversity on the field.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are just a few of the headlines that grabbed the attention of football fans everywhere this off-season. If the events that preceded the season are any indication of what will transpire during the upcoming months, get ready. 

Like any relationship, there are going to be some unforeseen events and rocky roads ahead. But that’s football. We’re back together. That’s all that matters.


This is Natasha Daniels' inaugural "End Zone" column where she'll bring readers the intimate details from her exclusive sources in football, basketball, tennis, soccer, hockey, and any other sports out there.

Please send your comments or story idea and suggestions to Tosha@blackstarnews.com

You can also post comments directly online or send them to milton@blackstarnews.com

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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