Football Friday Notebook: Friday, February 19, 2021

By Matt Noonan

Happy Friday, everyone!

I am excited to cap the work week with a brand new Football Friday Notebook – it is a piece of content I look forward to producing, so hopefully the stories (and news below) is something you enjoy reading.

Additionally, make sure to enjoy a brand new Football Friday Podcast, which you can listen to in this post, thanks to our friends from Spotify!

Listen to the Football Friday Podcast with Matt Noonan, Andrew Pezzelli and Zach Weiss every Friday!

Alright, let’s share some news and links from the gridiron – as usual, be well, stay safe and have a wonderful weekend!


Football Friday Notebook: Friday, February 19, 2021

  • Carson Wentz will be playing for a new team next season, but according to various reports, including SB Nation, the former Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller had some serious fall out in the locker room. Additionally, he stopped talking with former head coach Doug Pedersonfor weeks.”
  • Sticking with Carson Wentz – I mean, what else happened these past few days? – he was quite happy to be a member of the Indianapolis Colts, according to Kenny Moore II.
  • This will be an interesting offseason for every National Football League (NFL) team, which may have less money to spend, due to the potential salary cap. And this is certainly is not good news for my Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott.
  • Speaking of Dak, he donated meals to 1,000 homeless people that are “freezing” in Dallas, Texas, due to the bad weather that barreled through the state this week.
  • Alex Smith, who was named the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, told Kyle Brandt on the 10 Questions podcast that the country was apparently not ready for Colin Kapernick, who the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback claimed “was ahead of his time” when it came to social injustice.
  • The third week of the spring football season begins this evening and there are some enticing storylines to follow in the FCS world, including tonight’s clash between South Dakota State and Northern Iowa.
  • Get ready for high school football in California, beginning Friday, February 26.

    Today’s announcement about high-contact sports being able to be played next week certainly excited Ron Gladnick, who is the head coach at Torey Pines.
  • The Lehigh Valley will welcome a new high school football program to its league next fall as the Allentown charter school will become the ninth member of the league.
  • James Madison University is eager to begin its first of two seasons tomorrow when they host Morehead State.

Noontime’s Super Bowl Prediction

By Matt Noonan

So we have finally made it to the Super Bowl – please breath a sigh of relief, Roger Goodell.

Of course, we need to play the game, which we will tomorrow evening, but like I have over the past few weeks, allow me to share my “two-cents” on the 2020 National Football League (NFL) postseason with a Super Bowl prediction!

Enjoy the game, everyone – tomorrow’s match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be a great contest.


Get ready for Super Bowl Sunday with some insight – and yes, some thoughts and predictions, too – by listening to the Football Friday Podcast with myself, as well as Andrew Pezzelli and Zach Weiss.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Anchor!


Noontime’s Postseason Record: 9-3

Conference Championship Picks | Divisional Round Picks| Wild Card Picks

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This is the match-up the NFL wanted – if it had been Kansas City and the Green Bay Packers that would have worked, too – but Tom Brady versus Patrick Mahomes seems like the ideal way to cap a pandemic season.

Sunday’s meeting will mark the fifth time Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes have tangled on the gridiron since 2018 – Brady won the first two meetings while Mahomes has captured the last two, including one when the current Buccaneers quarterback was under center for the New England Patriots.

Tampa Bay enters the contest with a great deal of momentum. They have scored three-straight postseason wins, but really found their grove at the end of the regular season with a pair of victories against the Atlanta Falcons, along with a statement win against the Detroit Lions.

The Bucs will be the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, and will be the initial team to secure a victory in the ‘big game’ on their own turf.

It will be a bit closer than many may anticipate, but in the end, Tom Brady will lead the Buccaneers on a game-winning touchdown drive to secure his seventh Super Bowl championship. PREDICTION: Tampa Bay 31, Kansas City 27

Noontime’s Black History Month: Jim Brown

By NoontimeSports.com

Our Black History Month weekday posts that honor the men and women, who have and continue to make an impact on the sports – and yes, athletics world – continues today with getting to know Jim Brown.

Jim Brown is considered one of the greatest to play professional football. (PHOTO COURTESY: Biography.com)

Jim Brown is considered by many as one of the greatest to play professional football – he was also a tremendous lacrosse player, too.

Like we have earlier this week, let’s get to know Jim Brown more, as well as share some must-reads on the former Cleveland Browns halfback.

Getting to know Jim Brown:

  • Jim Brown maybe known for his playing days with the Cleveland Browns, but he is also a sports analyst and actor. He was also a part owner of the New York Lizards, who used to be a member of Major League Lacrosse (The MLL was absorbed by the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) last December).
  • Brown was born in St. Simmons Island, Georgia – his father, Swinton Brown, was a professional boxer. He attended Manhasset Secondary School where he earned 13 varsity letters for playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and running track. His success on the playing field continued as a student-athlete at Syracuse University where he became an All-American in football and lacrosse. He was the men’s basketball team’s top scorer and finished fifth in the college decathlon.
  • With the Orange, Brown received the nickname “First Down Brown,” and recorded quite a few first downs against Colgate University in 1956 when he scored six touchdowns and recorded seven extra points.

    During that same season, he tallied 21 points against Boston University before posting the same amount against Texas Christian in the Cotton Bowl. TCU won the 1957 Cotton Bowl by a score of 28-27, but Jim Brown was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
  • Jim Brown played nine seasons in the National Football League (NFL) – all nine were spent with the Cleveland Browns – and tallied 12,312 rushing yards, including 1,863 yards in 1963. He also scored 106 touchdowns in 1963.
  • A one-time NFL champion with the Cleveland Browns in 1964 when they beat the Baltimore Colts, Brown is a nine-time pro bowler, eight-time first-team all-pro, and earned a trio of AP NFL Most Valuable Player awards in 1957, 1958, and 1965. He was tabbed the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 1957, and led the league in rushing eight times (1957-1961 and 1963-1965.
  • Brown retired from the NFL during the summer of 1966 – his decision stunned the football world as many wondered what he would have accomplished had he played another nine seasons. But something worth noting, he never missed a single game with the Cleveland Browns.
  • After retiring from football, Brown starred in numerous movies and became the first African American to announce a televised boxing match. He founded the Amer-I-Can Program, a national program that is focused on empowering individuals to “take charge of their lives and achieve their full potential.”
  • Jim Brown was named to the NFL’s All-Time Team in November 2019.

Articles and Links on Jim Brown:

We’ll be back next Monday for another week of our Black History Month sports posts!

Noontime’s Black History Month: Paul Robeson

By NoontimeSports.com

Our Black History Month celebration of the men and women that have and continue to make an impact on the sports – and yes, athletic world, too – continues with getting to know Paul Robeson, who played professional football for three teams, including the Milwaukee Badgers.

Paul Robeson was a student-athlete to watch and follow on the Rutgers football team. (Photo Courtesy: Rutgers.edu)

In addition to playing football – he also competed at Rutgers University – Robeson was an activist, actor, singer, and lawyer. And as Sports Illustrated described him, Roberson was “a true renaissance man.”

Getting to know Paul Robeson:

  • Paul Leroy Robeson was born in April 9, 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey. He attended Somerville High School and Rutgers University.

    In addition to studying at Rutgers, Robeson also went to Columbia University where he studied law while playing professional football.
  • Robeson’s father, William, was a minister that escaped slavery in North Carolina as a teenager.
  • As a high school student, Robeson performed in two plays – Julis Caesar and Othello – and sang in the chorus. He played four sports, including football, and won a statewide academic contest to Rutgers. He was also named his class valedictorian.
  • At Rutgers, Robeson collected numerous varsity letters in multiple sports while securing first-team All-American honors during his junior and senior seasons. Walter Camp, who played, coached, and wrote about football, considered Robeson the greatest student-athlete to play the end position.
  • One of Robeson’s most impressive moments on the gridiron came during his junior year against the Newport Naval Reserve.
  • Robeson, who was inducted into the Rutgers Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, led the football team to a 22-6-3 record. In those 31 games, Rutgers tallied 941 points.
  • Prior to his days at Rutgers, Robeson played three seasons of professional football in Hammond, Indiana, Akron, Ohio, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He used his earnings – $500 per game – to “pay his way through law school at Columbia University.”

Articles and Links on Paul Robeson:

Noontime’s Black History Month: Bobby Marshall

By Matt Noonan

As we announced yesterday, Noontime Sports is celebrating Black History Month with a post every Monday through Friday on the men and women that have or continue to make an impact on the sports world.

Bobby Marshall was the first Black letter winner in the Big Ten. (PHOTO COURTESY: Star Tribune)

Today, we’re highlighting Bobby Marshall, who similar to Fritz Pollard, was one of the first African American’s to play professional football.

Getting to know Bobby Marshall:

  • Bobby Marshall was born on March 12, 1880, and is known for playing professional football, as well as five other sports, including baseball and hockey.
  • He guided his high school baseball team – Minneapolis Central High School – to a pair of championships in 1900 and 1901 while playing first base.
  • Marshall attended the University of Minnesota where he played for both the baseball and football teams. Additionally, he was the first African American letter winner in what would later become the Big Ten Conference.
  • As an active member of numerous Gophers athletic department, Marshall earned a pair of All-American awards as an end for the Minnesota football team where he led the Maroon and Gold to a 27-2 record over three seasons (1904-1906). Additionally, he was an all-conference baseball player, as well as a member of the school’s track and field, boxing, and hockey teams.
  • As noted by most historians, one of Marshall’s most impressive games with the Gophers’ football team occurred in 1906 when he kicked a field goal, which at the time was worth fourth points, that helped Minnesota edge the University of Chicago, 4-2.
  • Following his graduation, Marshall and Fritz Pollard became the first two African Americans to play in what is now the National Football League (NFL). Marshall competed in the league’s (American Professional Football Association) first game on September 26, 1920 as a member of the Rock Island Independents.

    The Independents concluded the APFA’s initial season with a 6-2-2 record while Bobby Marshall was named a Third Team All-Pro.
  • While Bobby Marshall is remembered for being one of the first African American’s to play football, he was also the first Black athlete to play semi-professional hockey. He would also become the first African American to coach at his high school and as a football assistant with the Minnesota football team.
  • Outside of coaching and playing football, Marshall competed in the Negro League with the St. Paul Colored Gophers and Chicago Leland Giants. He also played semi-professional baseball, too.
  • Bobby Marshall practiced law when not playing sports, however, it appears as if he did not spend much time away from football or baseball – in fact, he played football until he was 56-years-old. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

Articles and Links on Bobby Marshall: