Sunday, December 30, 2012

NFL: 2012, What A Season!

Since I started to follow the NFL games "religiously" on Sundays eight years ago, 2012 season to me is without question the most exciting.

The Year of the Rookie QBs!
First, the 2012 class of rookie quarterbacks is simply amazing; starting with the number one pick in this year's draft: Andrew Luck. He broke Cam Newton's single season passing record by a rookie QB and brought back life and excitement into a Colts' organization that finished NFL's last in 2011, and got his team into the playoff on his first season! What I also find great about this young talent is his calm and humility in his interviews. I expect (and hope) he will continue to improve his game and give us many years of great football.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (2012)
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (2012)
At the same level of talent is Robert Griffin III (RG III) of the Washington Redskins. He definitely deserves his team trades to get the number 2 pick in the 2012 Draft. Showing great talent that may get the Redskins to the playoffs for the first time since 2006, and definitely a return to competitiveness for a franchise who was last in the NFC East for years.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (2012)
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (2012)
Another rookie quarterback who surprised many fans and experts is Russell Wilson of Seattle Seahawks. He was able to get his team, under the leadership of head coach Pete Carroll, into the playoffs, and even threatening the 49ers dominance of the NFC West. 2012 was truly the year of the Rookie Quarterback!
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (2012)
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (2012)
The Year of the Comeback!
After being absent from the football fields for the whole 2011 season due to neck surgery, Peyton Manning performance was the talk of everyone in football at the beginning of the season, especially after he was released from Indianapolis (who picked Andrew Luck as the new QB) to join John Elway's team in Denver.

Well, I'm neutral about the Broncos, but I am definitely an unconditional fan of Manning's talent, so I watched all his games this season, and Peyton did not disappoint one bit. His play calling, the way he lifted an offence in constant progress through out the season, and clinching the AFC West title three weeks before the end of the regular season.

I'm a Packers fan, but I have to admit, I really wish Peyton could get another Superbowl ring this year, both for an amazing season back from a major surgery, but also for his amazing talent and career.
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (2012)
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (2012)

The Year Records Fall!
Two other amazing performances that made this NFL 2012 season so great, is Calvin Johnson breaking Jerry Rice's 1995 single season receiving yards record with a mark of 1,892. "Megatron" Johnson shines in a very average Detroit team, you can only guess what he could in a more competitive team!
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (2012)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (2012)
On the day I'm writing this (Dec. 30th), it's week 17 and last of the regular season, Adrian Peterson is 208 yards away from breaking Erick Dickerson's single season rushing yards record, with a shot of taking his team to the playoffs. This achievement comes a year after a major ACL injury. His talent and perseverance might even get him MVP of 2012 regular season, and it won't be a steal.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (2012)
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (2012)
Looking forward to the playoff!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

In Paris until end of January...

I arrived two weeks ago to The City of Lights, Paris, for holidays with the family and some time off. It's always great to visit here enjoying the great architecture and the arrogance of Parisians! I know, I can be mean sometimes. Joking aside, the is quite a strange country, there are so many great things and so many strange behaviors too. Here is an example:

Last week I went  to the top of Arc de Triomphe, as I paid the €9.50 ticket at the ground level, I discovered to my surprise that cameras were allowed, but not tripods! Even stranger, at the top of the monument, there are two security employees watching people and preventing anyone from using a tripod! That means two salaries paid for preventing people from using a tripod at a national monument, visited every year by over 1 million people! What an efficient use of taxpayers money.


I did ask why this restriction of tripods, and I got the following stupid answer "To prevent potential terrorists from doing reconnaissance". Seriously? A terrorist would need a tripod to do reconnaissance? There are Google Maps, Google Street View, millions of pictures on the web of that location, not to mention that visitors (and potential terrorists!?) still have the right to use their cameras, yet a tripod is the critical element here? Oh well, France and its stupidity.

Well, if you're wondering why I needed a tripod so badly, it's simply because I wanted to snapshot a 180° panorama, which I managed to do without a tripod, but it wasn't simple. Here are the pictures:

Paris view from Arc de Triomphe (Facing East)
Paris view from Arc de Triomphe (Facing East)
Paris view from Arc de Triomphe (Facing West)
Paris view from Arc de Triomphe (Facing West)