Never Going Pro

Written by :
Published on : September 14, 2015

 

 

Last summer, I was on a camping trip with friends. Somebody tossed me a football and someone else told me to pass it. So I did — it spun lopsided, like a drunken bird, before crashing to the ground. Maybe ten feet from where I was standing.

 

One of my friends, sunbathing in her bikini, looked up and said, “That was terrible, Michael.”

 

She was right, but it didn’t bother me. I’m a 30 year old man who can’t throw a football. And it’s not just my throwing arm; my free throw, corner kick, fastball, backhand, slap shot, even my putt-putt are all super embarrassing. I’m good at lots of stuff, but sports has never been one of them. Don’t even toss me your keys within 100 feet of an open sewer drain.

 

 

How does this happen, you ask? How does someone get this far in life with absolutely zero athletic skill? It’s pretty simple: when I was a kid, I didn’t have time for sports. I was at the library, the comic book store, or too busy watching James Bond movies after school to play Panther Football. I never felt left out because I didn’t want to join. Everything was cool… except for gym class.

 

Gym class was a problem because it’s graded. You have to participate to get an A. So I was forced to join in, and it was… embarrassing. I was so un-coordinated that I was a danger to other students. Once I shot a basketball so wildly off-course that I broke a kid’s glasses. Another time, my attempt to steal a soccer ball turned into an accidental “Sweep The Leg” maneuver.

 

cobra kai

 

I was also a danger to myself. I fell down constantly during every gymnastics lesson, and don’t even want to talk about the nightmare that was the roller skating unit. One look at the swimming pool and I turned into a Conscientious Objector. I’ve also been hit in the head with almost every type of sports ball. Ironically, the softball hurt the most. I’m not even good at sports video games; last time I played Madden, I got so frustrated that I broke the Sega controller.

 

Sports teach you how to win, but they also teach you how to lose. And after years of always being an It and never a Tag, I realized that I had learned the most valuable lesson of all: sports are for millionaires.

 

highest-paid

 

99% of us can sort of play sports, but who cares? Only the 1% get to show up on Wheaties boxes. And I say let them have it. When professional athletes compete, it’s a work of art. When regular assholes play sports, it’s your co-worker’s improv show: clumsy and unbearable.

 

So let me take this opportunity to officially decline any future invitation to play a game of tennis, basketball, whatever; thanks, but no thanks. Except golf. I do want to play golf with you. But only if I can drive the cart.

 


WWJP – What (Sport) Would Jesus Play?

Written by :
Published on : September 13, 2015

 

What was Jesus Christ’s favorite sport? There is a lot of talk about the Messiah and his teachings but not tons of info about what Jesus liked to do when he wasn’t washing the feet of the poor or turning water into wine. I’d like to assume he was a sports fan. I mean who isn’t? Most athletes thank Jesus for their success but what sport does Jeezy of Nazareth support?

 

Football – The simple game mechanics are just too inherently violent for the redeemer to endorse the NFL or the college version. Secretly, I think Jesus loves football but his dad doesn’t like it so he can’t really talk about it. But he totally watches and may even be in a few fantasy leagues.

Also, let’s not forget Leviticus 11:7-8 which is pretty clear about playing with the old pigskin:

The pig, for even though it has divided hoofs and is cloven-footed, it does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean for you

 

baseball_jesus

 

Baseball – Well his name is Jesus, sounds like professional baseball player to me. On that alone, you might think America’s past time would be Christ’s fav. The game is slower paced and less violent but this isn’t a perfect marriage. Baseball is 90% spitting and crotch grabbing. I don’t think Jesus is cool with that.

 

Basketball – Christ for sure hoops it up. He looks like a great shooter, maybe a solid point guard who could push the floor, control the tempo and save your mortal soul. Thou shall not hog the rock. Oh, the Lord rocks sandals and cares not for Jordans. Also the trash talk isn’t going to fly. Christ really likes basketball but he isn’t in love with it.

 

jesus saves

 

 

Hockey –  He can walk on water so why couldn’t he skate? Like a bearded Gretzky. Wait, there is still fighting in hockey right? Okay, I don’t think that will work. Plus it probably never gets cold enough for Jesus and his apostles to play on a frozen pond. He didn’t grow up in Michigan.

 

Paintball – Not his favorite, just a phase we went through in the 90’s.

 

Golf – Meditative but most country clubs don’t let Jews join.

 

 

jesus soccer

 

Soccer – A simple game anyone can play. You need very little equipment or shoes. It’s loved globally. It’s a team sport. This is all sounding good. Wait, here’s the kicker. You are not allowed to use your hands which leaves them available for prayer! DING DING DING. We have a winner.

 

So you heard it here first, Jesus Christ’s favorite sport is soccer. So go kick the ball around and get a little closer to the big guy. After all, soccer is the beautiful game.

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 1

Written by :
Published on : September 7, 2015

 

Welcome to week 1 of the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks, the game where we try to figure out who is going to win each matchup. We thought this would be a fun way to spend the NFL season and prove our individual knowledge of the game. Obviously, I’ll have the best record at the end of the season, but I figured I would let these other clowns in on the fun too. Some of us are less knowledgable when it comes to the NFL (Treasure) and some of us think we have it all figured out (Mike), but either way we’ll probably all find out that we don’t really know shit about football.

 

There are some picks that seem to be a general consensus among the writers here at SBS, including the Packers over the Bears on the road in Chicago. Not a single person picked the lowly Bears, and I think the feeling around the office is that they could be one of the worst teams in football this year. Some other locks to win this week are the Bengals, the Dolphins and the Colts. I tend to agree with these picks as well, but as we know anything can happen out there on the field.

 

So check out these picks, comment to let us know if you agree or disagree and be sure to check back every week this season to see our picks.

 

-Alex

 

SBS Staff Picks - Week 1

 

 


NFL QUICK HITS FOR THE UPCOMING 2015 SEASON

Written by :
Published on : September 6, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

We are single digit days away from NFL KICKOFF!!! This season will be phenomenal and it has several storylines worth exploring. Aided by a bevy of issues that have surfaced since the Super Bowl (the spike in retirements due to concussions, off field crimes, the un-ending deflategate saga), the league has been able to once again remain relevant during the offseason. But with the preseason over, it’s time to focus on 2015, and put the offseason drama behind us.

 

-Will this be the end of the Madden curse?

What curse?

 

Second year New York Giants receiver, Odell Beckham Jr, is the latest player to grace the cover of the famous Madden football game. While the notoriety and respect gained is quite an accomplishment for such a young player, the supposed curse that comes with it is worth noting. Former Rookie of the Year, quarterback Vince Young, graced the Madden cover following his Pro Bowl rookie season. The year he was placed on the cover, he injured his quadriceps twice. He became a backup to Kerry Collins and was never the same player that led the Texas Longhorns to a BCS Championship.

 

Let us not forget 2012 cover athlete, running back Peyton Hillis, whose rise to fame with the Cleveland Browns came when he moved from being a blocking fullback to a dual-threat running back. He amassed over 1,000 rushing and 500 receiving yards during the 2010 season and was expected to be the new mold of running back; a hybrid of physical between the tackles bruiser and agile pass catcher. The 2011 season (his season on the cover) was a bust for Hillis, as he only played 10 games and was limited to 500 rushing yards. He floundered around the league after that and now remains unsigned. Add the likes of quarterbacks Michael Vick and Daunte Culpepper, running back Dorsey Levens, and it is a cautionary tale of injuries that derail players post-Madden cover. Beware Beckham Jr, beware!

 

2,500 Rushing Yards for Adrian Peterson? Really?

Keep it… 2,500.

 

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson recently stated that he hopes to rush for over 2,500 yards in 2015. In a league that emphasizes the passing game, Peterson would have to be force-fed the ball at an unimaginable clip to achieve that feat. He has averaged around 24 rushing attempts per game over the course of his career. His career yards per attempt stands at 5 yards a carry. Peterson would have to carry the ball 500 times to amass 2,500 rushing yards. There is no way in hell he gets close to 400 carries, let alone 500! With that being said, he has rushed for 2,000 yards in 2012, when he averaged 6 yards a carry. If he can average 6 yards per carry for an entire season he would reach his goal with 416 carries. Does that still sound far-fetched? The powerful running back carried the ball 348 times just a few years ago. If we consider the fact he only played one game last season, Peterson will be a refreshed 30 year old athlete with a chip on his shoulder. He will be looking for redemption after sanctions stemming from a child abuse case where he brutally “whooped” his 4 year old child.

 

Year of the Rookie Wideouts: Part 2?

Can the rookies top last year’s class?

 

Last season, rookie wide receivers tore the league up. The five receivers selected in the 1st round of the 2014 Draft were led by Buffalo Bills’ Sammy Watkins, selected with the 4th pick. His 977 receiving yards on 65 receptions would make any GM proud. Then you have the special case of New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. Only playing in the final 12 contests, he gained 1,300 receiving yards, to go with 12 touchdowns. Tampa Bay Bucs’ wide receiver Mike Evans and Carolina Panthers’ receiver Kelvin Benjamin both had 1,000 yard seasons. With 5 other rookies gaining over 600 yards receiving, it validated the notion that the NFL is now a passing league. The 2015 Draft saw six receivers selected, headlined by Amari Cooper, formerly of the Alabama Crimson Tide and now with the Oakland Raiders. Can this new class of receivers with the likes of Indianapolis Colts’ Phillip Dorsett and Philadelphia Eagles’ Nelson Agholor maintain the momentum?

 

Peyton Manning will be Available for more Papa Johns Commercials after this Season.

Enjoy it while you can. It’s all pizza from here on out.

 

I think this will be the last season for Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. He is still a top level signal caller going into the season but unfortunately, this will be his swan song. Over the past two years he has regressed in arm strength. Manning has never been mistaken for having a rocket arm, but after neck surgery, he is extremely limited in that department. Having already passed Brett Favre for all time passing touchdowns, he will easily eclipse Favre for the all time passing yards record by mid-season. With the NFC stacked with perennial Super Bowl contenders in Green Bay and Seattle, the Broncos Super Bowl prospects are dwindling, even if they do make it through the AFC. The Broncos are no closer to winning the Super Bowl than they were two years ago when the Seattle Seahawks massacred them. Bow out gracefully Mr. Manning, Papa needs you.

 

What “D” word?

How NOT to hit in today’s NFL.

 

Can we please allow some real defense this year? The league has cracked down on helmet to helmet hits and thus has made defenders leery of tackling. Defenders often have to take time to adjust or contort their body so that they do not risk hitting the opposing players above the shoulders. This has caused a lack of excitement in the game. Moreover, the fines that players receive due to illegal hits is preposterous. The NFL is taking unnecessary precautions to ensure player safety. The league may be garnering all time highs in profits and viewership, but that does not negate the fact that a lack of good defense makes for lopsided contests. The referees have been conditioned to throw a flag whenever an offensive skill position player is hit near the chest or above or when a quarterback starts to complain. Maybe I’m old school but just let the men play the game! As evidenced by the rash of retirements this offseason, these players aren’t forced to play and are able to walk away when they want. If they want to risk their health for the love of the game and financial prosperity then let them.

 

Super Bowl or Bust.

Can Matthews and the Packer’s defense get it together?

 

Some teams have been at the poker table far too long. They have been watching other teams collect their money and leave. Instead of folding and just walking away, some teams have held pat, taking loss after loss until they are down to their last few chips. There are a few teams that are all-in for this season and if they do not advance in the playoffs they will retool or implode. The Green Bay Packers are one team I think may do a defensive overhaul if they can’t get over the hump this year. The team has to be pleased with their offensive talent led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers but the defense started the purge a few years ago. They have recently let go of defensive backs Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson, along with linebacker A.J. Hawk. The Julius Peppers Experiment must show promise this season in order for him to stay around, and the resurgence of linebacker Clay Matthews must continue, who just a few years ago had J.J. Watt-esque stock. The aforementioned Broncos have made all the requisite changes on defense to be a contender but may fall short due to the lack of strength in Manning’s arm. If he can’t deliver this season, I think President of Operations John Elway may be forced to let go of the 5 time NFL MVP. Other teams that could make changes are the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, and Cincinnati Bengals.

 

Another season is about to begin. I know the fans are ready. I hope the NFL is too.

 

 


What London can expect if they get the Jacksonville Jaguars

Written by :
Published on : September 4, 2015

 

 

There is buzz that many NFL teams could be on move. Rumors are about St Louis, Oakland and Jacksonville. Well, I do believe some franchises could relocate but it might not be what people think. The NFL has added more and more games played in London. You only need eight for a full home schedule and Commissioner Roger Goodell already has three games at Wembley stadium this year. That’s almost halfway there. So our friends in England may get a squad soon and they are going to need some help getting used to the way us Yanks do things.  Here are a few things our British friends need to know about their soon-to-be team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

The quarterback, Blake Bortles. The UK should love him. I mean just on name alone. Doesn’t it feel like some awful Bond character? Say it with a British accent, “Blake Bortles.” Damn that sounds good. I can see how this thing is going to work. And to be fair, Bortles has looked pretty good considering he runs a bottom-of-the-barrel franchise.

 

Blake Bortles

 

Be prepared for a little heartache. This is an expansion team whose best days were under the control of QB Mark Burnell decades ago. A move is not going to fix things. So fans should be patient. I mean six wins in 2015 will be considered a success.

 

The wide receivers are going to get arrested. It’s just going to happen. I know there are less strip clubs in London than in Jacksonville but that doesn’t matter. A ‘Justin Blackmon’ type will get in trouble no matter where he lives. And that’s where this team is at.

 

Justin Blackmon, back when he was still in the league

 

The team mascot. It is literally built for our neighbors across the pond. We all say Jag-war. Two syllables. While our fancier friends say Jag-u-war. Three syllables. Wow. So much classier. They totally deserve the team, at least more than Florida, who can’t even spell syllable.

 

The customs. The fans in Jacksonville wear crocs, drink beer and rock tank tops. London, you can change all that. Make the playoffs and we could see wingtips, tea and blazers take over.  I think the NFL could use some lessons in manners. I mean, I could switch to tea. If it’s not super hot you can still chug it.

 

Some people will be mad that an American team left to play abroad, but the NFL is changing into a global phenomena and Florida already has teams in Miami and Tampa Bay. Do they really need a third? I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to redistrict and add Europe into the mix. American Football as tons of special rules and regulations, it’s perfect for Brits too stimulated by the constant pace of soccer.

 

Cheers!

 

 


The Hit That Broke My Heart: Michigan vs Ohio State 2006

Written by :
Published on : August 31, 2015

2006 was a good year to be a fan of the University of Michigan Wolverines. Lloyd Carr was still our coach and he was putting the finishing touches on a very successful career. Our team was strong that year; perhaps the strongest team during my lifetime as a Wolverines fan. We had a shutdown defense led by 1st year coordinator Ron English. Along with an offense that could run the ball and beat you through the air, led by Mike Hart and Chad Henne. Times were good.

  The Wolverines had steamrolled through the season. Very few games that were even close, let alone in doubt. With an 11-0 record and the #2 ranking in the country, we headed into a showdown with our most bitter rival, Ohio State. All we had to do was beat the Buckeyes and we would be headed to the National Championship game. That was all we had to do.

  

Lloyd and the boys back in 2006.

  There was just one problem. The Buckeyes were the #1 team in the nation and a force to be reckoned with. Led by Heisman hopeful Troy Smith, a defense that was just as good as ours and a coach who owned us his entire career, they would not be easy to overcome. That said, if there was a more exciting year for the greatest rivalry in college football, I challenge you to show it to me. We were #2 and they were #1; this had never happened before. What could be better than playing your biggest rival for the chance to go to a national championship? There was belief that this could finally be our year to go all the way.

 

The enemy.

  The day before the biggest game in decades, the unthinkable happened. On November 17, 2006, the University of Michigan lost its heart and soul, the most recognizable figure in the hallowed legacy of the program, Bo Schembechler. The man who cared most about the team and who was loved by everyone who ever loved Michigan, passed away at the age of 77. No one could believe it. For Michigan players, coaches, fans and students it was like losing a family member.

 

Michigan’s heart and soul, Bo Schembechler

  There was little time to mourn. Players had to get on that bus the very same day and head down to Columbus, Ohio for a date with destiny. The passing of Bo was hard, but at the same time it gave us hope and inspiration. The feeling amongst Michigan fans was that the team would overcome the painful loss of their patriarch and win this one for Bo.

  The morning of the game I was as excited as ever and had a good feeling about the whole thing. How could we lose when Bo was looking down on us from above. Sentimental stuff aside, I had watched every single game that season and we were really good. Good enough to win in Columbus that day.

 

The team and the fans wanted this one for Bo.

  On the first drive, the Wolverines offense looked unstoppable. They capped a long scoring drive with a Mike Hart touchdown; things were falling into place. Then reality set in, and the Buckeyes defense handled the Wolverines offense for the rest of the first half. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes offense was firing on all cylinders, and OSU took a 28-14 lead into half time.

  Ron English and the Michigan defense made the necessary adjustments at half time and came out on fire. They looked like the ferocious top ten defense that we had all become accustomed to watching. They did enough to give the Michigan offense some time to put some plays together, and the game was 28-24 OSU with 8 1/2 minutes to play in the third. There was hope.

 

Mike Hart drags a defender as he runs through the tackle.

  Almost immediately that hope began to fade as Antonio Pittman gashed through the middle of the defense on his was to a 54 yard rushing touchdown.  But this game would not end like so many others, with Ohio State beating their opponent into submission; this was Michigan. The defense turned two bad shotgun snaps by the OSU center (who was wearing a cast on his hand) into fumble recoveries. With Mike Hart trucking his way to a touchdown, it was 35-31. There was a real chance the the Wolverines could pull off the upset.

  It was 3rd and 15 in Michigan territory with just under 7 minutes to play and Troy Smith was rolling out of the pocket to his right. As he left the field of play, he rocketed a pass across his body. His receiver dove for it but came up just short. It was incomplete and the Buckeyes would have to punt. Giving a Michigan offense, that was just hitting its stride, a chance to come back and take the lead. This was it. This was our moment.

  That’s when it happened.

  A flag hit the field. How could this be? What happened? There was no obvious pass interference; it didn’t make sense. The announcers said that Michigan linebacker, Shawn Crable, led with his helmet and connected with Smith under the chin as he was heading out of bounds.

  What. The. Fuck.

  A replay from a different angle came on the screen and sure as shit, plain as day, there it was. Shawn Crable had sucked the life out of every living room and sports bar in Southeast Michigan.

 

  A fresh set of downs for the Buckeyes. The Michigan defense got the job done only to be let down by one bonehead play. This is the type of thing they teach you in middle school football; you don’t lead with your helmet. Especially against the quarterback. Especially in the biggest game of your life!

  That’s when my heart broke in two. I was shocked as I sat there on the couch in my friend’s apartment. There was plenty of time left, but in a game where you need to play mistake free football, a mistake like that can be a back breaker. And it was.

  I knew it was over after that, regardless of whatever words of encouragement and hope were said across the State of Michigan. With about 2 minutes to go, Michigan even came back and made it 42-39, but after a poor attempt at an onside kick and an OSU recovery, that was it. There were no time outs left for the Wolverines and all Ohio State had to do was get a single first down to end it quickly. They did, of course, and it was over. The heart of every Michigan Wolverines fan was in tattered pieces. We were so close.

 

Ted Ginn Jr. celebrates the big win over Michigan.

  Since that fateful Saturday in November 2006, Michigan has had years of bad luck, poor play and unfulfilled expectations. That was the last year that they fielded a team that contended for the honor of being the best team in the country. Through the Rich Rod and Brady Hoke eras, fans of the Maize and Blue have taken some serious shots to their ego and had to admit to themselves that we are, at this point, far inferior to Ohio State, and even Michigan State.

  Michigan vs Ohio State is always exciting even when one of the teams isn’t very good. There have been some close games (2013 and 2012) and even a Michigan upset win (2011), but Ohio State has owned the Wolverines for the better part of a decade. But that day, before Shawn Crable broke my heart, we were good enough to win, and damn near did it. We could taste it and then one player lost his focus and gave it one dirty hit. One dirty hit that broke my heart.

 

 


Sharp Dressed Coach

Written by :
Published on : August 16, 2015

The first rule of any sport is Coach is king. There are plenty of different schools of thought on what makes the greats so good but this point is iron clad: for a person to properly lead, they need to present themselves accordingly. So let’s look around pro sports and see what Coaches are wearing.

Hockey, Basketball, Soccer and most of NCAA all got it right: suits and ties. Those Coaches look clean and professional while still having a chance to show off some personal style. Bravo. Baseball skippers wear a full uniform. Cleats and all. Is that really necessary? Are they gonna bat? No? Get a suit.

Lombardi_Vince1_original

And lastly, the NFL, where HC’s are forced to wear official licensed gear by rule. Back in the day Coaches used to rock jackets, slacks and hats on the regular. Men like Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi, George Halas brought real fashion to the sidelines. But a growing game saw opportunity and just like that, polos and hoodies took over. It makes sense (or cents), tons of fans wanted things like Mike Ditka’s homemade Bears sweater, so new merch and apparel was made to meet that demand.

mike ditkageorge-halas

Nowadays, there are a huge range of products featuring team logos. And the internet and modern broadcasts let everyone know about it. So do we still need the Coaches to play spokesmodel? I say let them wear what they want. If they feel comfortable in a team poncho then let it be but I bet most Coaches, given the choice, would wear something more formal. In 2005, Mike Nolan became Coach of the San Francisco 49ers and he petitioned the league to let him wear a suit and tie like his father Dick Nolan and the other Coaches he admired. This request was denied.

The league should make an amendment allowing Coaches to wear what they please. This way everyone wins: NFL still gets to make and sell team gear and Coaches are given back their freedom of choice. Maybe as a compromise we keep the suits and make team logo pins (like the flag ones the President wears) or something like the custom tailoring of evolutionofstyle, a Socal based company that adds the logo inside the lining.

warriors suitrangers suit

Call me old fashioned but I want the bench and sidelines to look good. I mean did Mad Men teach us nothing?

 


Power Ranking the Power 5: Preseason Edition

Written by :
Published on : August 10, 2015

 

 

Now that we are into the month of August, it’s time to start getting serious about college football, the most hallowed of American traditions. With the preseason USA Today Amway Coaches Poll having been released, we can finally dig in and start dissecting where the country’s biggest and baddest programs stand heading into the 2015 season. We look at which powerhouses are pretenders and which underdogs are sure to set the world on fire this autumn.

 

The following is my ranking of each of the Power 5 Conferences in college football. Not only will I rank each conference against each other, but I will also include a power ranking of all the teams within each individual conference. Sure there are a couple teams in the preseason ranking that live outside of the world of the Power 5, but they are anomalies. In order to be the best in college football, you need to be the best amongst these teams within these conferences.

 

#1. The SEC

 

This should surprise no one. With eight teams in the preseason coaches top 25, and another two knocking on the door, the SEC is still the cream of the crop in college football. Having produced seven of the last ten national championship teams, this conference is truly a league of it’s own. The Southeastern Conference is still the gold standard, and despite being two years removed from the conference’s last national championship, it’s hard to imagine that changing, even if the title alludes them again this year.

Alabama (3), Auburn (7) and Georgia (9) lead the conference as the three teams in the top 10 coming into the season, but this conference is so loaded with good teams that it’s hard to see these rankings remaining static for very long. Most of these teams will play each other throughout the season, and with Alabama looking slightly less godlike than in recent years, the door is open for some of these other teams to make their mark. One team will rise from the ashes after they have all beaten the hell out of each other, and I would look for Auburn to make some serious noise this year, winning the conference and punching a ticket to the second ever college football playoff.

*indicates team’s ranking in coaches poll

  1. Alabama (3)*
  2. Auburn (7)
  3. Georgia (9)
  4. LSU (13)
  5. Ole Miss (15)
  6. Arkansas (20)
  7. Missouri (23)
  8. Tennessee (25)
  9. Mississippi State
  10. Texas A&M
  11. South Carolina
  12. Florida
  13. Kentucky
  14. Vanderbilt

 

#2. The Pac-12

 

The Pac-12 comes in behind the SEC and boasts a very formidable six teams in the preseason coaches top 25. Oregon (5) and USC (10) are the lone top 10 teams in the conference, though I have to say that I feel like USC is ranked a bit too high. They played some bad football at times last year and a lot is going to rest on a defense that flat-out blew it in some critical situations last year. That said, this conference is pretty loaded and the top seven teams can contend this year.

Oregon is the obvious choice to represent the Pac-12  in the playoffs, and they will remain on top of the conference until someone knocks them off. Replacing Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota will be no easy task and if they stumble in their quest to find a viable replacement, the door could be left open for USC or UCLA to make a run at the conference championship. Like Oregon, UCLA also has some questions at quarterback, and will need to find one quickly in order to remain relevant in the conference.

 

  1. Oregon (5)
  2. USC (10)
  3. UCLA (14)
  4. Arizona State (16)
  5. Stanford (21)
  6. Arizona (22)
  7. Utah
  8. Cal
  9. Washington State
  10. Colorado
  11. Washington
  12. Oregon State

 

#3. The Big Ten

 

Coming into the 2015 college football season, the Big Ten has the honor of being home to the #1 team in the nation, Ohio State. They hold the current title of national champion and winner of the first ever college football playoff. The Buckeyes are returning all three quarterbacks and Braxton Miller is making the switch to wide receiver. Miller was 28-8 as a quarterback and started as a true freshmen in 2011, but will now be catching balls from either JT Barrett or Cardale Jones, the latter of which won the national championship game.

After Ohio State there is a very strong Michigan State (6) team joining them in the top 10, and the only other team in the top 25 is Wisconsin (18). There may only be three teams in the top 25, but there are a few others on the fringe that could easily sneak into mix during the first few weeks of the season. Look for Nebraska, Penn State and Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan team to make some waves and even upset a few people, but until further notice this thing belongs to the Buckeyes.

 

  1. Ohio State (1)
  2. Michigan State (6)
  3. Wisconsin (18)
  4. Nebraska
  5. Michigan
  6. Penn State
  7. Minnesota
  8. Iowa
  9. Maryland
  10. Rutgers
  11. Northwestern
  12. Indiana
  13. Illinois
  14. Purdue

 

#4. The Big 12

 

The Big 12 actually only has ten teams, but since that name is already taken it looks like they are going to ride this thing out. We joke, but the fact that is  they lack those two teams necessary for a conference championship game.  TCU (2), Baylor (4) and Oklahoma (19) are the three teams representing the Big 12 in the preseason coaches poll and they are all deserving of their places on the totem poll. The only other team with a real argument for being included is Oklahoma State.

 

TCU has a pretty cake season up until the last two weeks when they travel to Oklahoma and then come home to face Baylor. If they stay undefeated, then there’s a pretty good chance they win. It’ll take an undefeated season for the Horned Frogs, capped by two big wins, in order for the team to overcome the lack of a conference championship and earn a trip to the playoffs.

 

  1. TCU (2)
  2. Baylor (4)
  3. Oklahoma (19)
  4. Oklahoma State
  5. Kansas State
  6. Texas
  7. West Virginia
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Iowa State
  10. Kansas

 

#5. The ACC

 

Like the last two conferences we discussed, the ACC has three teams in the coaches top 25. Florida State (8), Clemson (12) and Georgia Tech (17), and the only other team that currently threatens to join them is Louisville. There are a lot of questions surrounding these teams and none of them look all that scary. Especially when you consider the fact that Florida State and Clemson will beat up on each other and Georgia Tech has the hardest schedule among the three.

Florida State has a lot of talent all over the field, but much of it is untested and unproven. The loss of Jameis Winston, might be too much for the Seminoles to overcome. Look for Clemson to win the conference if, and only if, Deshaun Watson can stay healthy. Either way, I think everyone in this conference is going to beat up on each other so badly that if the winner of the Big 12 wins out,  the ACC will be left on the outside of the playoff looking in.

 

  1. Florida State (8)
  2. Clemson (12)
  3. Georgia Tech (17)
  4. Louisville
  5. Virginia Tech
  6. Miami
  7. Pitt
  8. North Carolina State
  9. North Carolina
  10. Duke
  11. Virginia
  12. Boston College

 


 

That’s it for Power Ranking the Power 5: Preseason Edition.

Check in with us each week during the college football regular season for updated power rankings, and to see who shows up and who stinks up the place.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Cloudy Crystal Ball: AFC East Predictions

Written by :
Published on : August 6, 2015

 

The AFC East promises another season of domination from the whiney, albeit victorious Super Bowl champs in New England, along with a rejuvenated Buffalo, a front office in Miami that’s literally gambling on it’s future, and a sad sack Jets crew in need of some meaningful leadership.

The visions… They are upon me!

 

New England Patriots:

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Let’s not pretend for one second that Tom Brady’s four-game suspension (should it hold up in court) affects New England’s season one iota. Jimmy Garoppolo is one of the better backup QB’s in the league and he’s got an arsenal of lethal weapons at his disposal. The Patriots fate doesn’t lie in the hands of Tom “The Unicorn” Brady, beautiful and mythical though he may be, but instead lies tightly clenched in the fists of its head coach. That’s right, the super-villain intellect and flinty heart of Bill Belichick is what keeps this team winning more than its fair share of games, and until he hangs up the hoodie for good it will continue that way like clockwork.

I’m curious to see if Brandon LaFell continues to improve and eventually wins the contest to become Brady’s “go to” receiver over Julian Edelman. Also, one of my favorite stories of last year’s playoffs was the miraculous resurrection of LeGarrette Blount from a shamed pariah to a clutch grinder, running with a chip on his shoulder.

 

The crystal ball says:

 

The Pats breeze into the playoffs, probably making it all the way to the Super Bowl. They lose the big one in another heartbreaker, as they’ve done about the same amount of times as they’ve won. Blount will disappoint without the fire to his feet, possibly leading the way for Jonas Gray (Michigan boy, just saying). Overall the run game will be a mixed bag, while the pass game will be frighteningly effective. Gronk’s gonna rack up a bazillion touchdowns, so get him for your fantasy team. My magic crystal ball, no matter how cloudy, feels utterly unnecessary in this case.

 

 

Buffalo Bills:

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This is one of the teams I’m most excited to watch this season. The introduction of a new, flashy, and often obnoxious, coach is just what a morose fan-base needs to shake out the cobwebs. The real story here though is the math equation of Rex plus Jim Schwartz, equaling the greatest meeting of NFL antiheroes in recent memory. It’s like if Bill Cowher and Jim Harbaugh got together, or Bill Belichick and the Devil ran a team.

You kind of know what you’re getting with a Bills ticket: solid defense and a committed and formidable running game. That’s only going to get amplified with Rex onboard, and I think it may ultimately be a detriment to making the team more well rounded. Sammy Watkins isn’t going to single-handedly turn around EJ Manuel’s career, and why would Manuel risk making himself look bad when he can hand the ball off to Shady?

 

The crystal ball says:

 

Ryan and Schwartz are characters for sure, but they’re characters worth paying attention to. If anyone can breathe life back into this franchise (without, you know, lots of wins) it’s Rex. The Bills will win more games this season, despite some serious weaknesses that will hurt them in the long run. The good news is that in the short term, talk of an impending move out of Buffalo will stop, and a proud team can continue playing in a town that deserves football.

 

 

Miami Dolphins:

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There’s a spending spree going on down in Miami, and head coach Joe Philbin has been talking like he’s got something to prove. Yet, all the big words, and wheeling and dealing smacks of desperation. Miami’s not in the running for Super Bowl and these moves may create a “laugh now, cry later” effect. For the fans, the addition of Ndamukong Suh should be thrilling, and he’ll be worth the money, but let’s face it: no game has ever been won or lost on the shoulders of one player, especially not a defensive tackle.

Tannehill is a solid quarterback who has that increasingly rare attribute of consistency at the position, but the flip side is that he’s consistently above average, and almost never brilliant. I did look over the Tannehill contract and it’s not as crazy as some have suggested, but again, it’s another example of the money piling up for a team that’s going to have some financially lean years to deal with sooner than later. With Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller in the backfield you’ve got another argument for consistency, and that’s a good thing.

 

The crystal ball says:

 

I think Philbin’s going to partially get his wish with a roller coaster season that defies the workman-like nature of many of its players. When they win, they’ll crush it, and when they lose the team will collapse utterly, with Suh as the lone man trying to hold down the fort. At the end of the day they’re going to end up with an above .500 season, but it’ll be a frustration for Philbin and fans alike when the playoffs remain definitively out of reach.

 

 

New York Jets:

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I am not envious of Todd Bowles. The guy is coming into a broken organization, with a presumed starting QB that is a poor decision making machine (who also yells back at frustrated fans), and a veritable hornets’ nest of injuries, arrests, and contract disputes. What I question most is the decision of the head office to hire a defense expert when the Jets ain’t exactly dying in that department. It’s the offense that needs the most work.

I don’t think it would be a terrible idea to start Ryan Fitzpatrick over Geno Smith and work a more ground-based, short passing game. Brandon Marshall is going to be a huge addition to this team, but like Eric Decker learned, you gotta have someone that can throw you the ball. There’s a chance that the one/two punch of Marshall and Decker can make some fun things happen no matter who slings, but… but… Exactly. Let’s also not forget that hell hath no fury like Rex spurned: those two divisional games between the Jets and the Bills are going to be absolute bloodbaths.

 

The crystal ball says:

 

More hurt for Gang Green with another losing season. Bowles is the silver lining as he works out a new identity for the team. The best to hope for is a year of productive adjustments, learning, and system jiggering, and then come back next year as a contender with a serious purpose.

 


Roger Pretzel’s Cloudy Crystal Ball: NFC North Predictions

Written by :
Published on : July 29, 2015

 

With the rise of the Lions from laughingstock to “that team no one believes in,” combined with a schizophrenic Vikings squad and a Bears crew struggling to hang on to mediocrity, the NFC North has gotten a little goofy. Besides the Packers no other team is currently considered a viable Super Bowl threat.

But I’m a Lions fan, and the NFC North is my home sweet home, so I’ll be following it much closer than the guys who actually get paid to write about it. Granted, the people who get paid to write about it are professionals as opposed to a disgruntled old crank who talks to his cat.

Enough pretense! The visions are taking substance…

Minnesota Vikings:

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The good folks in Minnesota love Teddy Bridgewater, and I can’t blame a fan base hungry for a franchise quarterback, but I found it a little irksome that the media fawned over this kid from the get go. It happens all the time in a hype-fueled profession, but I wish some of these guys could be held accountable for their big mouths. At least put them in a dunk tank or something with Brett Favre throwing footballs over his shoulder at the target. I saw a lot of potential in Bridgewater, but I also saw a lot of kinks that needed ironing out. He can scramble and hit some good passes on the run, but for all those nifty highlights, there were costly interceptions as well.

The return of Adrian Peterson in purple and gold surprised me. I thought the reconciliation to this uncomfortably troubled marriage was possible, but I wasn’t counting on it. Hey, the crystal ball is cloudy after all. Now that AP is back in the game, I’m fascinated to see what happens. I don’t care how good he is: age and expectations are going to be a factor.

The crystal ball says:

Teddy’s gonna have a decent season, but he’s more of a long term threat than a breakout stud. Talking Heads will continue to praise him to high heaven until the last fourth of the season when they turn on him and ask whether or not he’s any good. He’ll stay the same, continuing to grow and improve unless he proves injury prone. Adrian Peterson will have a solid season, keeping his hyperbolic god-like status, but he’s going to be eclipsed on the stats sheet by some of the hungrier young guys.

Chicago Bears:

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Da Bears are hurting right now, and I think there’s an inevitable degree of soul searching going on in the organization regardless of the coaching change. John Fox is certainly going to liven things up as much as he can. Fresh blood will flow, the slate will be cleaned, but there’s no getting around the elephant in the room: Jay Cutler’s competency, commitment, and the club’s decision to stick it out with him. Personally, I’m not as down on Cutler as many people are, but I do feel that his remaining presence in Chicago has metastasized into an untenably toxic relationship. Even if they win a few more games this season with Cutler, the team’s long-term success is going to be in the hands of their next quarterback. And let’s not act like a break with the Bears would be bad for Cutler: he could gracefully transition to a lower-tier team and play with a squad that would actually appreciate him. Not the worst way to play out the rest of your career.

The crystal ball says:

Another abysmal year for Soldier Field’s finest. There’s little hope in restructuring and re-growing without faith in your lynchpin. Chi-town will spend a year taking its losses while John Fox settles in and shows off what he has to offer.

Green Bay Packers:

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Green Bay is easily the least fun team to pontificate on in the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers is currently in top form with a rock solid team behind him. I won’t be surprised if this group keeps on clicking and humming along together, giving opposing NFC North fans fits. The crew is well-oiled, well-managed, and has that “cool factor” of playing in an open stadium during the rudest of Midwest winters. You can certainly criticize The Pack when it comes to the league as a whole, particularly that they don’t deal well with unexpected loss, but in the NFC North, this is the team that everybody wants to dethrone.

The only real worry is keeping Rodgers healthy. We’ve seen in the past how this team has collapsed without its sometimes-mustachioed heart on the field. If I were Mike McCarthy, I would be spending an inordinate amount of time working with that O-line on QB protection.

The crystal ball says:

A clear division victory for The Cheeseheads, with Detroit and possibly Minnesota nipping at their heels. However, the entire house of cards collapses if Rodgers misses four or more games.

Detroit Lions:

 photo lions_zpsmbfs5wgb.jpg

Like last season, Detroit has a great chance of giving the Packers a run for their money, but it’s not going to be easy. Detroit is currently a team full of potential and unanswered questions. I’d love to see the defense as dominant as it was last season, a tall order considering the loss of Ndamukong Suh. Yet the return of Stephen Tulloch and acquisition of Haloti Ngata are hard to dismiss. Of course I’ll be watching that offensive line closest. It’s the single factor in Stafford having as productive a season he did in his INT-happy, record-breaking slinger days, though he’s likely to have a more disciplined system that actually wins games this time around.

The run game is going to be the x-factor. I love Joique Bell, but he can’t carry the team like a Marshawn Lynch or a Jamaal Charles. He gets you three yards on a 3rd & 2, and punches his way into the end zone in short yardage situations, but he’s not going to break off 15 yard chunks with any regularity. And sure, there’s Theo Riddick and a very “maybe” George Winn. I’m hopeful for Ameer Abdullah, but I also think there’s a lot of bluster and hype for the second round pick.

Crystal ball says:

Detroit has so much talent on the roster, but also has trouble putting it together. I see the defense not being as strong as last year, but staying damn close to that caliber thanks to the prior season’s proof of concept. The offense is going to pop more this year in the passing game, but the running game will remain blue-collar. Green Bay has a good chance of winning both games vs. the Lions, but the really exciting divisional games are going to go down with the Vikings. The division title will most likely go to Green Bay, but the Lions will make the wild card slot and head to the playoffs for the second year in a row.

 

 



The 9 Funniest Sports Movies. Ever.

Written by :
Published on : June 25, 2015

The Internet loves lists, we love sports, and everybody loves funny movies. So we felt it was only right to have a countdown of the 9 funniest sports movies of all time.

Why 9, and not 10? Because it’s my list and I can choose whichever arbitrary number pleases me.

As for the movies, these films are the greatest of their genre and they have the ability to uplift, entertain, inspire, and most importantly make people laugh. They are about the underdogs, the outcasts, the naturally gifted, the hopelessly talentless, the improbable, the odds and the defiance of those odds. If that isn’t special, I don’t know what is.

But enough talking about it, and let’s get to business. Here are my 9 Funniest Sports Movies. Ever.

The movie "Slap Shot", directed by George Roy Hill. Seen here of the Charlestown Chiefs hockey team, the Hanson Brothers. From left, David Hanson (as Jack Hanson). Steve Carlson (as Steve Hanson), Jeff Carlson (as Jeff Hanson). Initial theatrical release February 25, 1977. Screen capture. Copyright © 1977 Universal Pictures. Credit: © 1977 Universal Pictures / Courtesy: Pyxurz.

#9. Slap Shot (1977)

This hilariously violent and vulgar film stars Paul Newman as Reggie Dunlop, a player/coach with the Charlestown Chiefs, a team that just found out that local mill will be closing and 10,000 workers will be laid off.

In an attempt to save the team from a similar fate, Dunlop resorts to fighting with other teams as his go-to strategy for winning games. And it works..

By far the funniest thing in this film is the above-pictured Hanson Brothers. These spectacle wearing man-children leave more than a little to be desired when it comes to intelligence and actual game-skills, but they more than make up for it with bare-knuckled savagery. Some of the jokes in this film would have a hard time making it to screen in today P.C society but it is undeniable that this movie is still as funny as they come.

TalladegaNights_ListPiece

#8. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

As someone who isn’t an actual fan of racing I may be way off base here, but Talladega Nights so hilariously captures the general air of white-trashiness that surrounds the world of stock car racing. Will Ferrell’s portrayal of Ricky Bobby, a lowly pit crew member who is thrust into the drivers seat and onto stardom, is as close to his Old School/Anchorman greatness as he ever got again.

Ricky comes to consider himself untouchable, only to have everything, including his hot racing groupie wife, his under-appreciated teammate and best friend Cal Naughton Jr (John C Reilly), and his badass racing skills taken from him in a flash by his own arrogance and a French Formula 1 driver named Jean Girard (Sasha Baren-Cohen).

In the end Farrell and Reilly, who just do too good a job at caricaturing the hilarious mentality of the NASCAR world, carry this movie all the way to finish line.

WhiteMenCantJump_ListPiece

#7. White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) is a street ball hustler who takes advantage of his non-assuming, good ol’ boy Caucasian looks in order to make the ball players of Los Angeles underestimate his game. When fate brings him together with Sidney Dean (Wesley Snipes) a working partnership, and eventually a friendship, is born. Together they set off to run the courts of LA, and make some money in the process.

There are a ton of yo-mama jokes and an almost never ending amount of overly dramatic slow-motion basketball scenes that are hilarious in their own right, if not only for the fact that they look so ridiculous.

The colors and fashion, and Rosie Perez, of this film are so perfectly 90’s. It takes me back to that era while making me laugh, and as someone whose formative years occurred in this time period, I can still remember renting this VHS from the Blockbuster video.

BadNewsBears_ListPiece

#6. The Bad News Bears (1976)

This film starring Walter Matthau created an entire genre of sports comedy that would be copied, repackaged and remade many times in the future. The Mighty Ducks, The Little Giants and The Ladybugs would all go on to copy the formula of The Bad News Bears. But none of these other films are as good as this mid-seventies classic. It’s funnier than all those movies if merely for the fact that its much more R-rated than its future, kid-friendly imitators. And sometimes that’s enough.

Matthau’s character, Morris Buttermaker, is coaxed into coaching a team made up from all the worst players of a highly competitive little league, and he inspires his team by showing up drunk to games and practices, and just generally not caring about the whole thing.

After acquiring a couple of ringers (a necessary step in any sports comedy) they make it all the way to the championship game, only to lose to the obviously better team. In the end coach Buttermaker is kind enough to make them feel better about the loss in the only way he knows how, by letting them drink his beer (something that I’m sure the Hollywood of today would never let happen on the screen).

 

HappyGilmore_ListPiece

#5. Happy Gilmore (1996)

Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) is an unlikely hero who has always had the dream of playing hockey. There’s just one problem, he’s not any good. He does, however, have a hell of a slap shot, which he parlays into an unlikely, but successful golf career, with a little guidance from perhaps the greatest on screen mentor ever, Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers).

Happy is violent. He curses and drinks. And could care less about the traditions or etiquette.

He is there to win and doesn’t care who he pisses off along the way.

Oh, and its hilarious.

For me the comedic highlight of the movie is a fight in which Bob Barker beats the hell out of Happy. Much of the humor is crude and violent, and is balanced out by golf environment that is supposed to be so refined and proper. Adam Sandler is at his peak in his first film after his debut in Billy Madison, and he would never again make a movie this great.

Kingpin_ListPiece

#4. Kingpin (1996)

Woody Harrelson stars as Roy Munson, a once promising bowling champ who loses his good hand due to the negative influence of Ernie McCracken (Bill Murray), who takes the title of sleaziest sleazeball the moment he steps on screen.

Fast forward a couple decades and Munson has developed the kind of questionable morals and bleak outlook that can only be acquired through a lifetime of disappointment and shattered dreams. Munson eventually stumbles upon Ishmael (Randy Quaid), a previously undiscovered bowling prodigy who also happens to be from Amish country. Roy’s plan is to have Ishmael bowl in a big tournament and help them both win some money.

Ishmael’s kindhearted ignorance of modern society, along with some questionable influence from Munson, creates an opportunity for both slapstick and shock humor. The journey they undertake together proves to be one of self-discovery for both Roy and Ishmael, as they learn more about themselves and the world around them.

Sandlot_ListPiece

#3. The Sandlot (1993)

What a great film this is. Not only is it one of the funniest sports movies ever, it also happens to be one of my favorite overall movies ever. It’s just that good.

Its amazing that The Sandlot can make me feel so nostalgic despite the fact that I didn’t grow up in a small town in middle America during the 1960’s and I wasn’t in love with the game of baseball during my youth in the way that I am now (I was a football kid). There’s just something totally relatable about the kids on the sandlot that makes you feel like it have been you or me out there playing for the love of the game and nothing else. The jokes may be juvenile at times but that doesn’t make them any less funny.

This is the second baseball movie on the list, and before I re-watched Major League it was actually the first. Despite being leapfrogged by Major League, this movie makes a very strong case for being higher on the list; the fact of the matter is that Major League is just a funnier movie. With that said, I absolutely love this film and it does a great job of giving the viewer the feeling of being a kid playing sports with your friends in the summer.

MajorLeague_ListPiece

#2. Major League (1989)

This is an amazing film and would probably be at the top of most people’s list. With late 80’s/early 90’s stalwarts like Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, Rene Russo and Tom Berenger it’s pretty easy to see how this movie was such a home run (get it?). This movie provides constant laughs and the uplifting type of story that everyone who has ever been on a bad team dreams about living out, on and off the field.

Battling against their own ineptitude and a money-hungry new owner who wants to move the entire franchise to Miami, this motley crew of players, who includes washed up veterans, ex-cons, and a voodoo practitioner, must turn themselves around and save the team. By going from laughing stock of the league to winning the division in dramatic fashion, raise attendance to levels at which the owner can’t justify moving the team.

The laughs alone are enough to raise this movie up, but the solid sports-related plot puts it in the top 3.

Caddyshack_ListPiece

#1. Caddyshack (1980)

When the idea for this list was in its earliest stages, I knew immediately which movie was at the top. Caddyshack is not only my favorite sports comedy of all time; it is also one of my favorite overall movies of all time.

Caddyshack stars three of the greatest comedians of all time: Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield, whose performances help create one the most genuinely funny films ever. I’m not even going to try to list some of the hysterical things in this movie; if you don’t know them off the top of your head, you need to go and watch this film right now!

This movie has all of the necessary components of an all time epic sports story. Rag-tag group of underachieving but loveable characters? High Stakes? Antagonist who you just love to hate? With of these elements there’s no better film I could think of to top this list, and for that reason, Caddyshack takes the title of the funniest sports movie ever.

 

 


Deflategate and the Patriot Way

Written by :
Published on : June 19, 2015

 

Let’s face it; Bill Belichick is not a nice guy (or at least he doesn’t show it). He is not likeable. His presence doesn’t inspire the people in the way that a Vince Lombardi would, and you surely won’t find many people outside of New England to sings his praises. He is monotone, flavorless and boring. Like Eeyore on Xanax, he seems like his whole face is going to droop right off his skull in every post-game press conference. But for what he lacks in people skills and likeability, he makes up for with the only thing that really matters. Winning.

 

In football winning is all that matters and Bill Belichick has done that consistently over his last fifteen years as the Patriots’ head coach. He is widely regarded as one of the best in the game and no one can deny that every squad that the Patriots put on the field, even when no one knows the players names, is among the best coached groups in the league, year in and year out. He has continually shown that he is willing to do whatever it takes to win, and that’s why no one should believe what he has to say about the team’s most recent equipment related antics.

 

In an NFL season that has been marred by controversy its only fitting that it would have come to an end in this fashion. From the Ray Rice domestic violence saga to Ndamukong Suh’s controversial suspension, and the even more controversial repeal of that suspension, there seems to have been a constant black cloud hovering over the 2014-15 season. Never one to disappoint, the league saved the best for last it seems, as The Patriots, once thought of as the new “America’s Team”, were revealed to be up to their old tricks with the latest controversy, aptly named deflategate. In Nixon-esque fashion, everybody’s favorite curmudgeon, the grumpiest of gusses, Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick, finds himself once again at the center of a scandal involving a violation of NFL rules, even though his team was already widely considered the best in the league.

 

Breaking or bending the rules is one thing (as they say, if ya ain’t cheatin, ya ain’t tryin), but the fact once again remains that the Patriots were probably the best team in the league regardless of if they were cheating or not. Like the typical evil villain he has become, Belichick can’t help himself but to do everything within his power to put his band of helmet clad henchmen in the best position to succeed. He doesn’t need to keep doing the things he does, but he does them anyways. It’s maniacal and inexplicable that he continues to foster a culture within the organization that allows for things like this to happen, or that owner Robert Kraft continues to look the other way.

 

Maybe Kraft doesn’t have any choice but to look the other way? Maybe he is under some type of undue influence at the hands of his championship winning head coach? Maybe Bill Belichick is hiding his true identity and powers from the rest of the world?

 

That’s right, as previously rumored, Bill Belichick is indeed the dark lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious aka Emporer Palpatine. He is a diabolical genius bent on complete domination of the galaxy, and he must be stopped.

 

For more evidence look no further than what he has done to former-America’s sweetheart; the clef-chinned California boy, Tom Brady. Darth Belichick has used his mastery of the dark side  to corrupt the once wholesome, yet insecure and unsure paduwan learner and turn him to the dark side, using him as a pawn in his evil plan to bring the entire NFL under his control. Through his manipulation of the young man’s good intentions, and his masterful coaching ability, The Dark Lord of the Sith has made his quarterback more powerful than he could have ever imagined, while also dragging Brady down to his level and making him into his own personal Darth Vader. Dispatching him throughout the football galaxy to do his bidding and quell rebellions among such factions as The Colts of Indianapolis and The Bronco’s of Denver, he has turned Tom Brady from Anakin Skywalker, the hero everyone loves, into Vader, the ultimate villain. Where once he was a new hope, he is now the phantom menace.

 

Under the Tudorship of Darth Belichick, Darth Brady has himself become a master of the force. Together they have flourished and the rest of the NFL has felt their wrath; all have at some point or another, bowed to their power. In their time together, Brady has grown into the best quarterback of our era, and arguably of all time. A four-time Super Bowl champion, ten-time pro-bowler, and two-time MVP, Tom Brady has been the gold standard of NFL quarterbacks for the last fourteen years. Like Peyton Manning and Brett Favre he is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and hell, he deserves it, but I think it is safe to assume that the repeated infractions, and the teams willingness to be evil will leave a dark stain on the legacy of coach, quarterback and the entire Patriot’s organization.

 

Now I’m not actually claiming Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are fictional characters from the Star Wars universe (though I’m not entirely convinced otherwise), but it illustrates my point that they have become the supreme villains of the NFL. First it was spygate, with The Patriots videotaping opposing teams defensive signals during the game and even videotaping The St Louis Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. The organization and coach Belichick himself both received stiff penalties in the form of the loss of a first round draft pick and a $500,000 fine for the coach.

 

Now the allegedly innocent infraction involving under-inflated footballs used by the Patriots during the first half of their unrelenting beat down of the Colts in the AFC Championship game, has cemented the reputation of the Patriots as a dirty team and organization, in the hearts and minds of both fans and players alike.

 

It doesn’t matter that the Patriots put the final nails in the coffin in the second half of that game, after the balls were re-inflated by the officials. All that matters is that The Patriots are once again the bad guys. And you know what? I don’t think they care. They know they have lost the benefit of the doubt, and Belichick and Brady can have all of the press conferences they want. It wont change anything in the eyes of the fans outside of New England. Even after Belichick tried vainly to get scientific with his defense (Bill Nye promptly confirmed that he didn’t know what he was taking about), nobody is buying it. The simple fact is that these guys are great at everything having to do with football and are willing to cheat and get dirty in order to give them an extra edge in any given game. It doesn’t even matter if they were personally involved in the under-inflation of those 11 game balls, the damage is done and they are destined to go down as a couple of shysters with a handfuls of super bowl rings.

 

 


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