So of course you can’t have Thanksgiving without football. I was always jealous of the families that had their tradition for playing football with their families on Thanksgiving day.  We would see them in the park all wearing their team’s favorite jersey as we went to the grocery store for last minute items. We were always just spectators on TV and being from NY, I never enjoyed the teams that were playing anyway. The Detroit Lions sucked back then, but it was always a joy to watch Barry Sanders. The Dallas Cowboys were usually pretty good, but being a NY Giants fan, I always cheered for the opposing team.

This year we spend Thanksgiving with family in Salt Lake City.  Since there is no professional NFL Team there, I was surprised to learn that a lot of residents there cheer for the Denver Broncos.  Speaking of the Broncos, how about that incredible Overtime win against the almighty, undefeated Patriots!  Without Peyton Manning! In 24 degree snowy weather! Defense wins championships and I think we have a championships caliber defense this year so I expect to make the Superbowl regardless if Manning or Osweiler is behind center.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and your team is having good success thus far in the season. Hope to see your team in the playoffs!

We had a blizzard here in Colorado today. My buddy owns a Tow Truck Company (springstowing.com) and they are busy pulling stuck vehicles out of snow drifts all day. So it got me thinking – what would football be without snow! Sure you have your Miamis and San Diegos and all your dome stadiums, but when the weather starts to get cold and the snow starts to fall then you really know you in the heart of football season. You always see those crazy fans at the games with no shirt on in 20 degree weather in the middle of winter. I never understood that – either they were too drunk to feel anything, or they were already too numb to notice. I always wondered what the injury report for those guys would be, and how long it took for their bodies to normalize.

 

Typically the Super Bowl is held either in warm climates, or in a city with a dome. For the first time, the Super Bowl was held in a cold climate city in 2014 in New York. Many other cities watched with great interest (Denver, Green Bay, Seattle, etc.) to see if it was a success to then bolster their chance of hosting the Super Bowl in the future. New York almost had a disaster with a big snow storm just before the game, but they were able to clear the snow and have the game without weather incident.

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So as far as I could remember, the worst teams in the NFL were as follows: Cincinnati Bangles, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, and Atlanta Falcons.  Sure they had their .500 seasons, but for the most part they were pretty easy wins for the opponent.  Many blame the organization’s leadership, some blame the players but I believe it is a combination of both.

 

Many times, employees are a reflection of the leadership.  Good leaders know how to motivate and appreciate their employees, which in turn will make the employees work harder and stay loyal to the leaders.  I don’t believe the NFL is immune to this.  Sure, there will always be the standout athletes who work the hardest and do their best to motivate their teammates, but how difficult must that be when you have losing season after losing season.  I have even heard some of these teams referred to as “career killers” because when you play for a bad team, it is difficult to appreciate how good the top players on the team really are.

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Hi Everyone.  My name is Jay. I was born in a small town in upstate New York called Binghamton.  The population in Binghamton was around 80,000 in the 1950’s, but was only at about 50,000 when I grew up there in the mid 80’s.  If you add in the population of the surrounding areas, the population jumps to around 250,000.

 

One of Binghamton’s claim to fame is this is the city that International Business Machines (IBM) started.  The engineers who worked at IBM were reverently referred to as “zipper heads”.  The first flight simulator was also created in Binghamton in the 1920’s and the other main attraction is the State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamton – which later changed its name to Binghamton University.

 

One of the things I loved about Binghamton was the many different ethnic groups that were represented.  Every summer, the Three Rivers Ethnic Festival was held at the Broom County Arena and all weekend we would enjoy food and festivities from different countries.  Although Binghamton was small, it was always felt like it was filled with a lot of culture.

 

The staple restaurant in the area was the Park Diner.  Located along the Susquehanna River, the Park Diner was our “go-to” place as a family. We were treated as a family when we were there and 40+ years later, they still treat my dad like everyone’s grandpa.  We would go after church, after drinking downtown, and sometimes when mom just didn’t want to cook.  It was like our second kitchen.

 

But no description of Binghamton would be complete without talking about the famous food that puts Binghamton on the map – a spiedie.  Although there are a couple of versions of the origin of this delicacy, the reality is I don’t care because it is so delicious.  It is a skewer of marinated meat – usually lamb, but can be chicken or beef – that is grilled and served with a slice of Italian bread.  Growing up I really didn’t think much of it, but as the saying goes: you don’t know what you have until it is gone.  Once I moved away, I realized that I was not able to get anything close to a spiedie anywhere in the world!  So of course every visit home we made several trips to Lupos S&S Char Pit, or Sharky’s to get our spiedie fix.  These days, thankfully, you can order online and have the marinade delivered to you to enjoy anywhere.

 

So that brings me to the reason for this blog.  As a football fan growing up in Binghamton, New York, the obligatory teams to cheer for were the Giants, Jets and Bills.  My older brother played Little League Football for the Colts and Patriots, so I cheered for them once in a while also.  But Giants, Jets and Bills really was the focus.

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