Talkin’ Sports

With Pat

Doug Buffone

     Who played linebacker for the Chicago Bears from 1966-1979 passed away on April 20, 2015.  He played alongside Dick Butkus and had more than 1,200 tackles.  Going over 100 tackles in seven seasons.  He also was the defensive Captain for eight seasons.  He also had 24 interceptions his first two were off of Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas both Hall of Fame Quarterbacks.  When he retired he was the last active Chicago Bear player to have played for George Halas.
     As a Bear player he played in the third of the most games at 186.  Still holds their record for most career interceptions at linebacker (24) and most sacks in a season (18) in 1968.  Even though I am a Packer fan, Doug Buffone was a heck of a player and stayed in Chicago after his playing days were over.
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Posted:  April 23, 2015

Airborne: The Combat Story of Ed Shames of Easy Company
Colonel Ed Shames is that rare man who can call himself a true warrior. A member of Easy Company of Band of Brothers fame, Shames saw combat in some of the most ferocious battles of World War II. From jumping behind the lines of Normandy on D-Day with the 101st Airborne Division, to the near victory of Operation Market Garden, to the legendary stand at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, Shames fought his way across Europe and into Germany itself.
In Airborne Shames and writer Ian Gardner (Tonight We Die As Men) tell the gripping true story of what it was like to be at the spear point of World War II in Europe. Neither the book nor TV series of Band of Brothers ever showed the real Ed Shames. Although he started as a private, combat soon forged Shames into a tough and inspired leader who would win a battlefield commission in Normandy. Seeming always to be where the fighting was, his two goals were to prevail in each fight against the Germans, and to keep his men alive. “Shames, you are the meanest, roughest son of a bitch I've ever had to deal with. But you brought us home,” was what he considered to be the highest compliment he received from one of his men.
Even though he was wounded in the Ardennes, Ed Shames never stopped fighting until Germany surrendered and the war was won. He has never stopped being a warrior.   

     This is another story of the 101st 506, during WWII. This story follows along Ed Shames, from his early life to when he enlists and up to his training at Toccoa, Georgia, then to D-Day, Market Garden, their stand at Bastogne, to Hitler’s Eagles nest, to their duties before coming home after Germany surrendered and the bombs were dropped on Japan. The end of the book goes into what mister Shames did when he returned home and what happened to some of his fellow Troopers. A good story that goes into detail of each area and some of the men he was with. In each battle he gives you a different view that was not talked about in some of the other books that I have read. He talks about some of the men he was with that were killed or captured and what it was like the first jumping out of the plane on D-Day. He also goes into more detail of their defense of Bastogne and then the Battle of Hitler’s Eagle nest and the finding of Dachau, and after the battles were over becoming more of a police. After the surrender of Germany and the bombing of Japan he goes into coming home and starting life and family. A good book about the heroes of WWII. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 stars.


REBEL YELL                                                S.C. GWYNNE
Posted:  April 23, 2015

Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall JacksonFrom the author of the prizewinning New York Times bestseller Empire of the Summer Moon comes a thrilling account of how Civil War general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson became a great and tragic American hero.

Stonewall Jackson has long been a figure of legend and romance. As much as any person in the Confederate pantheon, even Robert E. Lee, he embodies the romantic Southern notion of the virtuous lost cause. Jackson is also considered, without argument, one of our country’s greatest military figures. His brilliance at the art of war tied Abraham Lincoln and the Union high command in knots and threatened the ultimate success of the Union armies. Jackson’s strategic innovations shattered the conventional wisdom of how war was waged; he was so far ahead of his time that his techniques would be studied generations into the future.

In April 1862 Jackson was merely another Confederate general in an army fighting what seemed to be a losing cause. By June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western world. He had, moreover, given the Confederate cause what it had recently lacked—hope—and struck fear into the hearts of the Union.

Rebel Yell is written with the swiftly vivid narrative that is Gwynne’s hallmark and is rich with battle lore, biographical detail, and intense conflict between historical figures. Gwynne delves deep into Jackson’s private life, including the loss of his young beloved first wife and his regimented personal habits. It traces Jackson’s brilliant twenty-four-month career in the Civil War, the period that encompasses his rise from obscurity to fame and legend; his stunning effect on the course of the war itself; and his tragic death, which caused both North and South to grieve the loss of a remarkable American hero.

Rebel Yell, is an in depth look into the life of Stone Wall Jackson. The author takes you from his childhood up to his graduation from West Point, to being stationed in Florida during the Seminole wars and then asking to be released from commission to take a teaching position at the Virginia Military Institute, where he was a Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and an Instructor of Artillery. Jackson was an unpopular teacher and did not like that students would come to him after class to ask questions. If one did this twice he was looked at as an insubordinate and was punished. Behind his back the students had different names for him and would try to play practical jokes on him. What he is remembered for his battle field decisions and being able to defeat an enemy that always outnumbered him by a large margin. His famous “Stonewall Brigade”, was the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 27th, and 33rd, Virginia, where Jackson and these units were from in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia. He rose to fame and earned his nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861. He extended his line and demonstrating the discipline he instilled in his troops formed a stonewall. The South had a victory and a leader who would become popular in the North as well as in the South. The book then goes into his Valley campaign and looks at each battle and how with less men than the North he still defeats them by gun placements and when he knows his men are through they leave in order to rest to fight another day. The same men who talked behind his back at the college now would follow him anywhere. The author takes you through his ideas on attacking the North in a similar fashion that Sherman would do years later to the South and he is looked upon as a war monger, but Lee, agrees with him. General Lee can give him an order and it is followed through at the time it is to be carried out, not like Gettysburg where Generals either disobey or just take too long to follow through. Makes you wonder what might have happen if he had not been killed if the fighting would have gone on or not? He is still highly regarded in military circles for his battle skills. This book has much, much more information but is too much to put in a review. What you need to know is that it is an excellent book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 5 stars.


Posted:  April 23, 2015

On the Clock: The Story of the NFL DraftThe National Football League (NFL) draft features no action on the field. No passing, running, tackling, or kicking. Hey, there isn't even a field. 

Yet the draft has become more popular than many other sporting events, including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) playoff games, against which it goes head-to-head for viewers. In fact, the draft has spawned its own cottage industry in which names such as Gil Brandt, Mel Kiper, Jr., and Mike Mayock become as well-known as any of the first-round selections.

In On the Clock, Ken Rappoport and Barry Wilner chronicle the history of the proceedings. The veteran sports writers take you from the first grab bag in 1936, when Philadelphia chose Heisman Trophy winner Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago and saw him decline to play in the NFL, to the 2014 draft—considered one of the deepest in talent ever.

Along the 78-year journey, learn about the competitions for the top overall spot (Peyton Manning vs. Ryan Leaf), the unhappy No. 1s (John Elway and Tom Cousineau), the big flops (JaMarcus Russell) and the late-rounders-turned-superstars (Tom Brady).

Meet the draft wizards, from Paul Brown to Bill Walsh and Jimmy Johnson. And the draft whiffs that cost personnel executives their jobs.

On the Clock takes you behind the scenes at one of pro football’s yearly major events.
Barry Wilner has been a sportswriter for the Associated Press since 1975. He has covered virtually every major sporting event, including twelve Olympics, nine World Cups, twenty-six Super Bowls, the World Series, and the Stanley Cup finals, and has written thirty-nine books. He lives in Garnerville, New York.

Ken Rappoport is the author of more than sixty sports books for adults and young readers. Working for the Associated Press in New York for thirty years, he has written about every major sport. His assignments included the World Series, the NBA Finals, and, as the AP’s national hockey writer, the Stanley Cup Finals and the Olympics. He lives in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.

This book about the pro football draft takes you back in time to when Bert Bell, who owned the Eagles and felt that he was at a disadvantage when it came to signing players. The dominate teams of this time were the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Giants, and Redskins. To make the league competitive Bell believed the only way to keep the NFL successful was for all teams to have an equal opportunity to sign players that were eligible. At the league meeting in 1935 he proposed a draft and the order of selection would be the last place would pick first and so on. His proposal was adopted that day and the first draft was held in 1936. The book then goes into the first draft with some of the players and trades. The first player drafted was Jay Berwanger who was the winner of the Heisman Trophy that year, but the award was called Downtown Athletic Club. He was also the first winner of this award. He was drafted by the Eagles and his rights were traded to the Bears, but he never agreed on a contract and never played pro football. He then goes into a couple of early great players that people don’t talk about any more. One being Sid Luckman, who played Quarterback for the Bears during the 40’s and still to this day holds the most passing records for Bears QB’s. He was also the quarterback for the most points scored in a championship game 73-0 over the Washington Redskins. Luckman was a first pick for them in 1939 and they would win 4 titles with him. Another player he talks about is Sammy Baugh, first pick for Washington in 1937, and they would win the championship in 37 and in 42 he also is the only player to be an All – Pro at three positions in the same year, quarterback, defensive back, and punter. He intercepted more passes that year than he had thrown. The draft really doesn’t change until 1980 with ESPN, coming on board and they start televising the draft and a man by the name of Mel Kipper Jr. is one of their go to guys. The book goes into who he got the job and how he and some other guys were doing mock drafts years before but when asked by teams or television they could not or would not go on TV, Mel Kipper had the presence to see ESPN as a way to take what he was doing as a hobby and get paid for it. Then people started to come out against some of his choices and that actually made him more popular. The book then takes you to what we have now a three day show prime time and it is being talked about it seems all year long. A good book on the beginnings of the football draft to where it is now. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 stars.


Posted:  April 23, 2015

Honor and Betrayal: The Untold Story of the Navy SEALs Who Captured the "Butcher of Fallujah"--and the Shameful Ordeal They Later EnduredTHEY JUST CAPTURED IRAQ’S MOST WANTED TERRORIST.

On a daring nighttime raid in September 2009, a team of Navy SEALs grabbed the notorious terrorist Ahmad Hashim Abd al-Isawi, the villainous “Butcher of Fallujah,” mastermind behind the 2004 murder and mutilation of four American contractors. Within hours of his capture, al-Isawi, with his lip bleeding, claimed he had been beaten in his holding cell. Three Navy SEALs—members of the same team that had just captured the notorious terrorist—were charged with prisoner abuse, dereliction of duty, and lying. On the word of a terrorist!

The three Navy SEALs were placed under house arrest and forbidden contact with their comrades. Despite enormous pressure from their commanders to sign confessions to “lesser charges,” the three resolute and fearless SEALs each demanded a court-martial. They were determined to prove their innocence.

When Fox News broke the story about the accusations, Americans were outraged. Over 300,000 people signed petitions demanding the SEALs be exonerated. Their SEAL teammates were furious; but nothing could stop the cold determination of the military’s top brass to hang these guys out to dry—not even U.S. congressmen who petitioned the Pentagon to drop the charges.

Honor and Betrayal is a no-holds-barred account by bestselling author Patrick Robinson. It reveals for the first time the entire story, from the night the SEALs stormed the al-Qaeda desert stronghold, the accusations and legal twists and turns that followed, to the cut-and-thrust drama in the courtroom where the fate of three American heroes hung in the balance.


I came across this book in the library and it caught my attention. The basic story is that three Navy Seals are brought up on charges of abuse to a prisoner and they do not accept the Army version of what happen because nothing happened. The prisoner made accusations against them knowing that the charges would have to be looked into. The man they captured the “Butcher of Fallujah”, knew what was going to happen to him in the end so he had to come up with any way possible to delay his outcome, or fate. The three Navy Seals are like anyone who has done nothing wrong and will not admit to even something that the Army considers a lesser charge because in the Navy it is still a serious offense. Then it becomes a General by the name of Cleveland, who does not want to dismiss the charges even when he is being requested by members of Congress, and the American people. He digs in deeper for a fight that ends up costing tax payers over 2 million dollars, not counting the lost training for two Seals when they leave the service even though they all were found not guilty of any charges. After the court Marshall Hearings they were allowed to go back to the teams which they did but two of them did not re-enlist. But this goes along the lines of police officers and other law enforcement personal, being accused and the higher ups taking the word of a criminal over everyone else. Plus you have the young man who was guarding him only 19 and he left his post twice, and he should have had more help as well. A good book but sad that these men were treated this way.  I gave it 4 stars.


HERE TOMORROW 7 PM PST. TAYLOR SULLIVAN  AUTHOR OF: 3,000 miles, TWO secrets, ONE man who can change everything. Sam...