The NFL free agency mambo

Written by :
Published on : March 15, 2017

 

NFL free agency has only been a few days but already the complete landscape of football has changed. Huge names have moved and found new homes while others have decided to hang up the cleats and retire. Millions are being tossed around and it’s a lot to process. Let ScoreBoredSports ease your weary brain with this helpful review of all the big transactions so far. Strap on your dancing shoes and let’s all do the free agency mambo.

 

WR Brandon Marshall to Giants

2 year/$12 million dollar deal saves Marshall from moving homes or facilities as he switches to the Giants. The former New York Jet will join Odell Beckham Junior in the receiving corps. Should make for a pretty solid unit.

 

WR Pierre Garçon to 49ers

This organization is totally rebuilding. They need offensive weapons. Garçon is nice possession receiver but it’s unsure who will be throwing him the ball. Got to start somewhere, though it looks like San Francisco overpaid.

 

 

OT Ricky Wagner and OL TJ Lang to Lions

Oh boy, the Lions add some beef upfront to help keep Stafford alive. As a fan, I love any effort to improve the o-line and help our lackluster running game.

 

TE Dwayne Allen to Pats

This was a trade with the Colts where Allen and a 6th round pick went to New England for only a 4th round pick. Seems like a small price tag for a guy that will blossom under Brady. But that’s what the Pats do.

 

RB Mike Tolbert to Bills

Mike packs his bags and leaves the Panthers to join Shady McCoy and the other backs in Buffalo. This team loves to the run the ball so look for Tolbert to get the short yardage/goal line duties.

 

 

QB Brian Hoyer to 49ers

I expect the new heads of the organization to draft a QB but this will be their starter for the time being. Hoyer has flashed moments where it looks like he has all the tools for the job. This will be a tough test. Hopefully, they can add a few more pieces around him.

 

S Barry Church to Jags

Jacksonville focused on defense in last year’s draft and maybe those picks will pay off but they couldn’t stop anyone last season. Church is a vet who Jacksonville hopes can bring some leadership to the secondary.

 

WR DeSean Jackson to Bucs

DJax headed to Tampa where his skills should pair well with star WR Mike Evans. This could be a nasty duo. This team has playoff sleeper written all over it.

 

 

K Steve Hauschka to Bills

Hey, kickers matter and Steve is one of the best. The long time Seahawk is bringing his talents to north beach. This is a good pick up for any team.

 

WR Kenny Britt to Browns

Get that money Kenny, but it sucks to be on Cleveland. This team needs tons of help and they don’t seem close to an answer. Would love to be wrong.

 

CB AJ Bouye to Jags

Jacksonville continues to invest on the defensive side of the ball with the splashy signing one of the top cornerbacks available, but they paid for it. 5 year/$67 million.

 

 

WR Alshon Jeffery to Eagles

Philly adds a big time target for a 1 year/$14 million deal. This is all about fit. That’s why the contract was only for a season. If Jeffery soars, expect a huge offer next year.

 

CB Logan Ryan to Titans

The other top defensive back on the market lands in Tennessee. This is another team that is quietly building a real competitor.

 

DE Julius Peppers to Panthers

Homecoming. I love when a player gets a chance to head back to his old team for another tour. Fans bust out their old jerseys and we all have fun.

 

 

WR Terrelle Pryor to Washington

1 year/$8 million and suddenly you are QB Kirk Cousin’s new favorite target. He will replace Jackson and keep the passing attack rolling in the Capitol.

 

TE Martellus Bennett to Packers

Just what Aaron Rodgers needs, a Super Bowl winning-mega talent. Ugh. The only worse headlines are from the real news.

 

WR Brandin Cooks to Pats

God damn it. How do they keep reloading so fast? It’s almost like every player in the league wants to play there and win one of those fancy trophies. New England sent their 1st and 3rd round draft picks to New Orleans for Cooks and a 4th rounder.

 

 

TE Lance Kendricks to Packers

Looks like Green Bay is following the Pats model of the two TE sets as they add another big body pass catcher.

 

WR Kendall Wright to Bears

Chicago needed to do something after losing top wide out Jeffery. Wright becomes the go-t0 guy in the Windy City. The real question is, with Jay Cutler gone, who is throwing the ball?

 

QB Nick Foles to Eagles

Another reunion. Foles will presumedly be the number two quarterback behind Wentz, who just finished his rookie year. Foles should be considered a top tier backup. Someone who is ready to start and win in the event of an injury.

 

 

RB Eddie Lacy to Seahawks

The big back joins Seattle on a 1 year/$5 million deal with $3 mil fully guaranteed. His weight is an issue. Some reports have him at 267 lbs. That’s heavy for a running back. The hope is he becomes the new Marshawn Lynch but that may be unrealistic.

 

QB Mike Glennon to Bears

Chicago has finally cut ties with Jay Cutler and they need a new signal caller. Glennon may not set Chicago on fire but he is young, 6’6″ and has experience. Not a sexy signing but the free agency market for QB’s is slim.

 

Some big names are still available. Guys like Dont’a Hightower, Adrian Peterson and Colin Kaepernick are still looking for a team. The NFL draft is a month away so we can expect to see some more action in the coming days. But most of the high profile talent is already off the board. This is such an exciting time for football. I can’t wait for the season opener.

 

Show me the money.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 9: Aaron Donald Takes Down Cam Newton and “The Ghost Ship”

Written by :
Published on : November 9, 2016

 

Welcome back to Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon. In this spooky sanctum I’ve poured over all the replay tape to come up with my favorite NFL play of the week. Then it’s straight back to the projector to unspool a film you may have not been aware of…

 

The lights have dimmed, blood drips from the walls, and my hideous assistant has turned in for the night.

 

Week 9: Aaron Donald Gobbles Up Cam Newton For Big Time Sack

 

Week 9 proved to be a pretty glorious one in terms of highlights with a miraculous Lions victory, a great game for the Ravens in Baltimore, and Melvin Gordon starting to look downright freakish in San Diego. The Haunted Dungeon is always looking for a good sack, and while there have been a few good ‘uns in the 2016 season (I’m looking at you Khalil Mack) we finally got that monster QB hit we’ve been waiting for.

 

Aaron Donald’s second sack of the game came in the fourth quarter of a supremely ineffectual offensive effort for both teams. The big boy in 99 looks almost Suh-like as he pushes forward, pulls a little move, and then leaps out to smother Cam Newton and take him down. It’s a textbook power play that brings the oft-used word “explosive” to mind.

 

I’m not gonna forget this hit anytime soon. I don’t think Cam is going to either.

 

Week 9: The Ghost Ship

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Director: Mark Robson
Released: 1943

 

In week 1 of the Haunted Dungeon I made a little jab at Val Lewton for making movies in which you never really “see the monster.” In a way it wasn’t a fair thing to say because Lewton’s real genius efforts were sort of in a league of their own that had nothing to do with jump scares or rubber monster suits.

 

Lewton is primarily known as a producer for RKO, a studio that wasn’t Poverty Row, but wasn’t one of the big players either. He’d take wonderfully lurid titles thought up by company brass and then generally work those pulpy monikers into highly cerebral and atmospheric thrillers and horror films. Today he’s best known for Cat People (1942), but my very favorite Lewton films are the ones without any hint of the supernatural at all.

 

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The Ghost Ship is one of those films. The title evokes all sorts of eerie happenings and ghoulish goings-on, but in reality the film deals with something far more terrifying than ghosts or goblins: human psychosis.

 

Lewton was the king of atmosphere, and here he builds unbelievable amounts of suspense, dread, and foreboding with noir-ish cinematography and a ship captain (Richard Dix) who is mentally unstable and incompetent to such a degree that the lives of his entire crew are in jeopardy.

 

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The salty world of sailors is a fun one to dabble in and the depths of psychology involved really cut to the quick with a frightening combination of megalomania and cowardice interwoven into the nut-job captain. It’s a level of insight that goes far beyond the film’s b-picture trappings to make it worthy of Hitchcock’s brainier forays like Rebecca (1940) or Marnie (1964).

 

There’s also a nice device in one of the more visually interesting seamen, Finn the Mute (Skelton Knaggs), narrating the story through interior monologue. The effect comes off as cheesy initially, but grows more powerful and poignant as the picture progresses.

 

Ghost-Ship

 

If this is your kind of thing I also highly recommend the Lewton films Isle of the Dead (1945) and especially The Seventh Victim (1943).

 

I couldn’t find a trailer online but you can cop the whole flick here:

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 2: Kelvin Benjamin TD and Knightriders

Written by :
Published on : September 22, 2016

 

Welcome back to Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon. In this spooky sanctum I’ve poured over all the replay tape to come up with my favorite NFL play of the week. Then it’s straight back to the projector to unspool a film you may have not been aware of…

 

The lights have dimmed, the wine’s been poured, and the wolves have been fed.

 

Week 2: Cam Finds Kelvin Benjamin For Short, Bruising Touchdown

 

While last week The Haunted Dungeon looked at a determined play from young up-and-comer Derek Carr, this week we focus on toughness. The theme is no coincidence since many of us are now looking to patch up the injury-related holes in our leaky fantasy rowboats after a week two that was particularly hard on some dependable names. I managed to snag returning behemoth Kelvin Benjamin for a song in my league’s auction draft and he’s been paying dividends. This is a guy built a bit like linebacker, but happens to be a gifted receiver.

 

It’s 2nd and 9 so Cam’s got some wiggle room: why not throw it to the big fella short of the plane and see what he can do? It looked like a hard play to defend against with both ‘Niners’ edge-rushers committing to sack Newton on the play-action, but the pass defense looked limp. Benjamin takes some licks on his way to end zone, but if it were actually one dedicated tackler instead of two guys giving up against a veritable rhino, I’m not sure the end result would have been any different with Benjamin barreling into the end zone. I hope Kelvin stays healthy. He’s been my favorite receiver to watch in this nascent NFL season.

 

Week 2: Knightriders

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Director: George A. Romero
Released: 1981

 

George A. Romero is of course best know for the Night of the Living Dead (1968) and its two sequels, but the wryly political king of zombie terror has a few other oddball entries in his oeuvre from the blatantly violent low-budget statement against chemical weapons The Crazies (1973), to the ludicrously bizarre premise of a murderous helper-monkey capuchin in Monkey Shines (1988).

 

Knightriders is the only major non-horror project that Romero has helmed, but this story of a group of fringe bikers, putting on fully motorized jousting tournaments for the benefit of curious gawkers at Renaissance Fairs rates as one of the very best in Uncle George’s output.

 

The combination of outlaw cool mixed with the freedom and fun of the traveling circus is made even more fascinating by the performers’ dedication to living under a medieval code. Ed Harris may be “King Billy,” but that doesn’t mean The Black Knight, special effects legend and sometimes actor Tom Savini, can’t challenge him. To my mind, this is Savini’s finest performance in front of the camera with his cocaine-fueled ego dishing out heaping helpings of snark and petulance.

 

At two and a half hours it’s a little long for a genre flick for sure, but that allows Romero to explore plenty of interesting and unexpected avenues. While the obvious thrust is the difficulty of living a truly alternative lifestyle under one’s own rules, other concepts like the dilution of what’s cool and worthwhile when outside money is injected into a vibrant subculture, as well as the pitfalls of celebrity that come with being a corporate shill. Most impressively, Romero addresses the homosexuality of a troupe member, and the bald-faced and truly humanistic treatment feels downright revolutionary in an early 80’s movie.

 

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While there are no undead decapitations or cannibalistic disembowelings on hand, the choreographed motorcycle stunts have a gritty authenticity thanks to the lack of over-editing, and the whole film has a synergistic DIY feel both in its subject matter and production style.

 

They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

 

Trailer:

 

Full Movie:

 

Free in eight parts on Youtube. Disc available through Netflix. Streaming rental available through Amazon video.

 

 


2016 NHL Trade Deadline Rundown

Written by :
Published on : March 2, 2016

 

 

The NHL Trade deadline has come and gone with one of the most dismal deadline days in recent memory.

 

 

 

Many people saw this coming, with only 14 trades, most of which you could consider “minor”, made over the weekend leading up Monday’s 3pm deadline. There were a few big time moves though, three of which involved captains. Dion Phaneuf, captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was traded to the Senators in a monster trade earlier in the month. Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd returned to Chicago in a trade made Friday night leading up to the deadline and longtime ‘Canes captain Eric Staal joined his brother, Marc Staal, when he became a New York Ranger on Sunday afternoon.

 

Here is the rundown for all the trades made up until the deadline:

 

February 29

 Lee Stempniak is now with the Bruins

 

Flames get some goaltending help from the Wild
  • FLAMES GET: G Nicklas Backstrom
  • WILD GET: F David Jones
Blackhawks and Ducks swap depth players
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Tim Jackman, 2017 7th round pick
  • DUCKS GET: F Corey Tropp
Marooned in Edmonton
  • OILERS GET: F Patrick Maroon
  • DUCKS GET: D Martin Gernat, 2016 4th round pick
Predators add a minor leaguer
  • PREDATORS GET: D Corey Potter
  • COYOTES GET: future considerations
Darryl Sutter’s Kings add the coach’s kid
  • KINGS GET: F Brett Sutter
  • WILD GET: F Scott Sabourin
Jamie McGinn moved to the Ducks
  • DUCKS GET: F Jamie McGinn
  • SABRES GET: 2016 conditional 2nd or 3rd round pick
Dustin Jeffrey back to Pens, likely AHL-bound
  • PENGUINS GET: F Dustin Jeffrey
  • COYOTES GET: F Matia Marcantuoni, Dan O’Donaghue
Matteau! Matteau! Devils send Stefan to Montreal
  • CANADIENS GET: F Stefan Matteau
  • DEVILS GET: F Devante Smith-Pelly
Avs, Isles make tiny swap
  • ISLANDERS GET: F Marc-Andre Cliche
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Taylor Beck
Bruins add Lee Stempniak at the final minute
  • BRUINS GET: F Lee Stempniak
  • DEVILS GET: 2017 2nd round pick, 2016 4th round pick
Islanders pick up winger Shane Prince
  • ISLANDERS GET: F Shane Prince, 2016 7th round pick
  • SENATORS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
AHL deal between Ottawa, Minnesota
  • SENATORS GET: F Michael Keranen
  • WILD GET: D Conor Allen
After missing out on Russell + Hamhuis, Bruins add Liles
  • HURRICANES GET: LW Anthony Camara, 3rd round pick, 5th round pick
  • BRUINS GET: D John-Michael Liles
Brandon Pirri goes to Ducks for cheap
  • PANTHERS GET: 2016 6th round pick
  • DUCKS GET: F Brandon Pirri
Eric Gelinas gets fresh start in Colorado
  • AVALANCHE GET: D Eric Gelinas
  • DEVILS GET: 2017 3rd round pick
Kris Russell is now a Dallas Star
  • STARS GET: D Kris Russell
  • FLAMES GET: D Jyrki Jokipakka, F Brett Pollock, conditional 1st or 2nd round pick
Avalanche add Mikkel Boedker from Arizona
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Mikkel Boedker
  • COYOTES GET: F Alex Tanguay, C Conner Bleackley, D Kyle Wood
Chicago, Carolina swap AHLers
  • HURRICANES GET: D Dennis Robertson
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: G Drew MacIntyre
Plotnikov goes west
  • PENGUINS GET: F Matthias Plachta, 2017 7th round pick
  • COYOTES GET: F Sergei Plotnikov

 

February 28

 The Rangers got Eric Staal

 

Capitals send Laich, Carrick to Leafs for Winnik
  • CAPITALS GET: F Daniel Winnik, 2016 5th round pick
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Brooks Laich, D Connor Carrick, 2016 2nd round pick
Rangers, Capitals swap minor leaguers
  • RANGERS GET: F Chris Brown
  • CAPITALS GET: F Ryan Bourque
Hurricanes dish Versteeg to L.A.
  • KINGS GET: F Kris Versteeg
  • HURRICANES GET: F Valentin Zykov, conditional 5th round pick
Eric Staal joins his (other) brother in New York
  • HURRICANES GET: F Aleksi Saarela, 2016 2nd round pick, 2017 2nd round pick
  • RANGERS GET: C Eric Staal

 

February 27

 Reimer is now a Shark

 

Oilers, Sabres get you excited with a Big AHL Trade
  • SENATORS GET: F Jason Akeson, F Phil Varone, D Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, conditional pick
  • SABRES GET: D Michael Sdao, F Alex Guptill, F Cole Schneider, F Eric O’Dell
Penguins add defensive help with Schultz
  • PENGUINS GET: D Justin Schutlz
  • OILERS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
Panthers beef up with Jiri Hudler
  • PANTHERS GET: F Jiri Hudler
  • FLAMES GET: 2016 2nd round pick, 2018 4th round pick
More depth in Florida: Cats add Purcell
  • PANTHERS GET: F Teddy Purcell
  • OILERS GET: 2016 3rd round pick
And even more depth: Panthers also add Kindl from Wings
  • PANTHERS GET: D Jakub Kindl
  • RED WINGS GET: 2017 6th round pick
Sharks add James Reimer from Toronto
  • SHARKS GET: G James Reimer, F Jeremy Morin
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: G Alex Stalock, F Ben Smith, 2018 conditional 4th round pick
Blues, Oilers trade goaltenders
  • BLUES GET: G Anders Nilsson
  • OILERS GET: G Niklas Lundstrom, 2016 5th round pick

 

February 26

 Ehrhoff is no longer in Socal

 

Chicago adds Fleischmann, Weise
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Dale Weise, F Tomas Fleischmann
  • CANADIENS GET: F Phillip Danault, 2018 2nd round pick
Kings, Blackhawks swap underwhelming veteran defensemen
  • KINGS GET: D Rob Scuderi
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: D Christian Ehrhoff

 

February 25

Ladd heads back to Chicago for another Cup run
  • BLACKHAWKS GET: F Andrew Ladd, D Jay Harrison, F Matt Fraser
  • JETS GET: F Marko Dano, 2016 1st round pick, 2018 conditional 3rd round pick

 

February 24

Canucks add Larsen from Edmonton
  • OILERS GET: 2017 5th round pick
  • CANUCKS GET: D Philip Larsen

 

February 23

 Weber is now in Washington

 

Caps add depth with Weber from Buffalo
  • CAPITALS GET: F Mike Weber
  • SABRES GET: 2017 3rd round pick

 

February 22

Flames, Canucks swap prospects
  • FLAMES GET: F Hunter Shinkaruk
  • CANUCKS GET: F Markus Granlund
Polak, Spaling to Sharks for Torres and picks
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Raffi Torres, 2017 2nd round pick, 2018 2nd round pick,
  • SHARKS GET: D Roman Polak, F Nick Spaling

 

February 21

Leafs deal Matthias to Avs
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: F Colin Smith, 2016 4th round pick
  • AVALANCHE GET: F Shawn Matthias

 

February 9

 Phaneuf finally got shipped out of Toronto

 

Maple Leafs trade their captain to the rival Senators
  • SENATORS GET: D Dion Phaneuf, F Matt Frattin, F Casey Bailey, F Ryan Rupert, D Cody Donaghey
  • MAPLE LEAFS GET: D Jared Cowen, F Milan Michalek, F Colin Greening, F Tobias Lindberg, 2017 2nd round pick

 

 

There you have it. All of the trades made leading up to the deadline. How did your team do?

 

 


How John Elway Revamped the Broncos and Built a Champion

Written by :
Published on : February 12, 2016

 

 

 

The two Broncos teams that appeared in Super Bowl 50 and Super Bowl XLVIII may have had many of the same players, but they were very different teams. Two years ago Peyton Manning and the offense had one of the most prolific units in recent memory, and they got demolished in the Super Bowl, by a score of 43-8. The Seahawks team that put such a hurting on them boasted a stifling defense that brought down the hammer on the NFL’s most high-flying offense. It was a battle of number one vs number one, and defense won in a big way.

 

The Broncos’ executive vice president and general manager seemingly took note of that Seahawks defense because just two years later, they used a nasty, attacking defense to put a hurt on the Carolina Panthers. Super Bowl 50 was once again the battle of a top offense and a top defense and the result was the same. In football, as in life, you must always be adapting in order to survive. In just two years, John Elway transformed the entire identity of his franchise, from head coach down, in order to not only survive but thrive, and win the greatest prize in all of sports. Here’s how it went down….

 

Shoring up the Defense

 Ward and Ware were two monster free agent pick ups.

 

After that crushing Super Bowl XLVIII defeat at the hands of the Seahawks defense, John Elway made it a point to fix the defense the following offseason. He added not one, but three, lynchpin type players to the Broncos defensive unit during free agency, in pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib, and safety TJ Ward. He also added first round cornerback Bradley Roby in the draft that year.

 

With an almost completely overhauled secondary and a potential hall of famer rushing opposing QBs along with a still improving but not-as-yet-godlike Von Miller, the Broncos had almost completely remade that part of their team. John Elway saw what the best teams in the league were doing in order to reach the next level and successfully emulated that. He should be given a ton of credit for the work he did in building that defense, but he wasn’t quite yet done with his overhaul of the team.

 

A New Coaching Regime

 Gary Kubiak did it!

 

Following the Broncos 24-13 divisional round playoff loss to the Colts last year, John Elway and former head coach John Fox decided that it would be best for coach Fox and the Broncos to mutually part ways. Elway was clearly not pleased by another year without advancing past the divisional round (in three of four years in Denver they had lost in that round), and felt that he find someone else to take them over the top. What a ballsy move that was. John Fox had 46-18 record in his four seasons in Denver and had taken them to the playoffs every year, including a Super Bowl appearance! I, for one, thought that the move to fire John Fox was bat shit crazy, but I was wrong.

 

John Elway brought in his old pal from back in the day, Gary Kubiak. This was another move that left me scratching my head. I never really thought of Gary Kubiak as a bad coach, but I certainly didn’t see him as a Super Bowl winning head coach. He had a 61-64 regular season record and 2-2 playoff record in his previous NFL stint with the Texans, and never seemed to me to be someone who was able to get the most out of the talent on his team. I was wrong about that, my bad. With the help of new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips they turned this Denver Broncos team into a defensive powerhouse that took the pressure off of the offense and controlled games all season long.

 

A Change in Offensive Philosophy

 By focusing on the run game, the Broncos minimized mistakes and let the defense take control.

 

It became clear in 2014 that the world would never get the Peyton Manning that they knew and loved back. The Peyton we were left with was a shadow of his former self. Years of injuries and normal wear and tear had left his arm strength severely inhibited, and that was not only obvious to opposing defenses but also to the untrained eyes of fans all over the world. In 2015 we watched Peyton Manning fall apart before us. He was still dealing with injuries as always but it was becoming obvious that he couldn’t play through it like a younger version of himself could. It was his worst statistical season since his rookie year and it seemed as though he was still trying to do too much with the limited physical abilities that years in the league had left him with.

 

In the third quarter of the Broncos week 10 loss the Chiefs, Manning was replaced by Brock Osweiler. He didn’t see the field again until he replaced Osweiler in the third quarter of the Broncos week 17 matchup. Peyton came in and led the team to a 27-20 victory against the Chargers, helping secure the top seed in the AFC playoffs. But this was not the same Peyton Manning. He had bought into the system and was no longer trying to do too much. By allowing the run game to become the focal point of the offense, Manning minimized the mistakes that had plagued him earlier in the season. As a result the defense became the standard bearer of the Broncos Super Bowl run and everything came together perfectly.

 

The Von Miller Effect

 The MVP.

 

Every champion needs an x-factor and for the AFC Championship and Super Bowl the Broncos had Von Miller. Through those two games, he destroyed the opposition and was unblockable. Against New England and Carolina he racked up 11 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 pass defenses, an interception and 2 forced fumbles. The fumble he forced against Cam Newton in the Super Bowl was recovered for a touchdown and helped the Broncos grab momentum early on. He was the most versatile player on the field; he rushed the passer, played the run and covered tight ends and receivers in the pass game. There was no other player as deserving of winning the Super Bowl MVP Award and now the Broncos better pay him his due this offseason.

 

 

It only took the Broncos two years to return to the Super Bowl but when they did they were a totally different team. John Elway had a vision for the team he wanted to build and deserves a lot of credit, along with the player and coaches, for executing that vision and creating a champion.

 

 


Super Bowl: The Greatest American Holiday

Written by :
Published on : February 7, 2016

 

The moment we have waited a year for is finally upon us. Today is Super Bowl 50, featuring the Caroline Panthers and Denver Broncos, and that means that we get to celebrate my favorite holiday. That’s right, I consider the Super Bowl my favorite holiday. Some people like Christmas, or Halloween or even Thanksgiving, but for me the Super Bowl has always been more fun and than all of those put together. You get food, excitement, surprises and sports, all in one commercially saturated, corporate sponsored package!

 

I’m especially excited for today’s game because of some of the great storylines we are going to get to see unfold before our eyes. First off, these are two of the top defenses in the league which means that this game should be a competitive one. The Panthers have annihilated the competition in these playoffs so far with stellar performances by their offense, defense and special teams. I have to believe that they are definitely the more well-rounded team, but one thing that the Broncos have on their side is that defensive line. They are straight up nasty and if Von Miller can explode off of the line like he did against the Patriots then I think he could have the single biggest impact of any player in the game.

 

 Von Miller was all over Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game.

 

Another great storyline of today’s Super Bowl 50 matchup is the battle of these two quarterbacks. The are both highly skilled players but they couldn’t come off any more different. On one side you have Cam Newton, who ended the regular season putting up some ridiculous stats and hasn’t slowed down in the playoffs. He was also awarded the NFL MVP Award yesterday, which really has to irk all those closet racists out there who call him a “thug” and a showoff for his celebrations and in-game swagger. That stuff really pisses me off because it’s kind of a double standard, especially when you consider that no one bats an eye at Aaron Rodgers’ dumb ass “discount double check” garbage, but all those people will have to eat crow if Cam pulls this one off.

 

 Cam dab’d his was to Super Bowl 50.

 

Opposite the newly anointed MVP, is someone who represents the old guard in the NFL, future hall of famer, Peyton Manning. The former MVP, is a shadow of his former self these days, as he has lost considerable arm strength due to neck surgeries and injuries and was even benched for performance reasons earlier this season. It’s seem like during these playoffs has has really bought into coach Kubiak’s system though. He is no longer trying to play like his old self, but has accepted his limitations and because of that, the offense led by the running game has excelled. Although it is not yet official, it looks like this will be Peyton’s “last rodeo” and that makes him all the more dangerous, despite what his body has to say about it.

 

 After the AFC Championship, Peyton Manning was overheard telling Bill Belichick that this might be his last rodeo.

 

This has the makings of an all time Super Bowl classic and these teams are about to put it all on the line as they battle each other in the biggest game in all of sports. So make sure you don’t blackout by halftime because this really is the best holiday and you don’t want to miss a second of it. Would you pass out before opening your presents on Christmas or before eating the turkey on Thanksgiving? Maybe if you were an idiot, but you’re not. So go get another plate of BBQ or a few more chicken wings and strap in, ‘cuz this year’s Super Bowl is about to be one wild ride.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Review ‘N Brew: Conference Championships

Written by :
Published on : January 27, 2016

 

 

 

In this little corner Roger Pretzel will review his favorite play of the week along with a thoughtful review of what beverage he was imbibing at the time.

 

Conference Championships: Kurt Coleman Picks Carson Palmer in End Zone After Carolina Gives Up Ball

 That’s so pretty.

 

VIDEO: HERE

 

 

All right guys, after these Conference Championships I’m officially excited for the Super Bowl. We’ve got Denver, whose defense threw Tom Brady around the field like a rag-doll all day, against a Carolina offense that racks up points faster than a hobo eating a ham sandwich. Both these games were packed with stellar plays, but one in particular tickled my mercurial fancy.

 

With only a ten point differential in the game, Cam launched a ball he probably shouldn’t have, getting picked off by Patrick Peterson for a substantial return and great field position. He might’ve taken it to the house too had Ted Ginn not been able race back for the tackle. The Cardinals defense had come through to give AZ a much-needed break from the hard charging Carolina offense, and a great shot at narrowing the score gap.

 

But the very next play Palmer gives the ball right back, as Kurt Coleman goes up big for a full extension, two-handed catch that would be one of two interceptions for the Safety on the day. It’s not like John Brown could’ve gotten that ball anyway, what with some excellent Carolina coverage in the backfield. It was a long day for Arizona, and this is just one example of how they were thoroughly manhandled on both sides of the ball. Simply put, Carolina looks like a championship team to me.

 

Conference Championships: A Bunch of Stuff Your Grandparents Drink

 

Your Grandpa called this week and wanted me to come over and help him move the big ladder “back into the damn garage.” I promised I’d come over on Sunday to help him and watch the games.

 

After the minute-and-a-half it took to return the ladder to its proper place we settled in for some well-earned relaxation and football goodness. Your Granddad offered me a drink, and I was much obliged. One lead to another, and soon we were telling tales and getting cheerful. Here’s a recap of what your grandparents keeps on hand for guests.

 

I.W. Harper Whiskey:

bo0056e1309-52_IM220133

We got things started off right with the hard stuff. He broke me off some ice cubes that tasted like the nasty plastic tray they came from into my souvenir ballpark cup and then poured out a generous dose of the brown stuff.
“Whoo –whe, That’ll get yer ticker started,” your grandfather told me as he slugged a good deal of his back. “When I was a pup we used to make our own, but this grocery store business tastes a might better’n what we was used to.” I thanked your Grandfather and downed my glass, noticing that the telltale bottle of I.W. Harper was from the 1970’s. Tom Brady got sacked, and we both hooted and hollered.

 

It was about that time that your Grandmother came in. She snagged a pack of Tareytown smokes out of the freezer and glared at us. She packed the cigs against her palm, and then lit one up as your grandparents glared at one another. I felt very uncomfortable.

 

“How you doing Roger?” she asked in her thick accent, leaving the room before I could answer.

 

See also: J&B Scotch, Canadian Club, Wild Irish Rose

 

Schlitz Beer:

schlitzisaac

 

When we finished the bottle of Harper your Grandpa said he’d “go to the icebox and grab us some cold ones.” I assured him he didn’t need to get up, but he insisted, shuffling all the way out to the garage, moving aside the tall ladder, and pulling out a couple sixers of Schlitz. I asked your Grandfather why he kept the beer in the garage when there was a minifridge in the living room where his wife kept her cigarettes, but he simply told me to “shut up, and mind my own damn business.” The beer wasn’t the tastiest, but it was cold as the dickens, and Tom Brady was mounting a comeback, so I fixed my eyes on the blue light of the cathode-ray tube.

 

I think we both cheered when New England failed to complete the game-ending two-point conversion. That’s when the trouble really started. You’re Grandma burst into the room, waving a broom at me and shouting at your Grandpa in Italian.

 

“You know I don’t understand no goddamned eye-talian,” your Grandfather informed her. I got up to leave, finishing the last of my Schlitz. They both yelled at me to sit back down in unison. “You too! Sit down for chrissakes, will ‘ya woman?” Your Grandmother scowled at us and left the room again.

 

See also: Grain Belt, Falstaff, Rainier

 

A Jug of Carlo Rossi:

Jug DSC01359

 

But a moment later, your Grandmother returned with a jug of Carlo Rossi and two small glasses. Before I could protest she poured me out a healthy belt telling me it was good for my heart. She helped herself to a glass and we all settled in to watch the Arizona/Carolina game.

 

During the commercials your Grandma asked me all kinds of questions without waiting for an answer: “When are you going to have children? Why did that nice girl leave you? When are you going to get a real job?” I was actually quite thankful not to be able to get a word in edgewise. She also kept making me eat these cookies that had really pretty wrappers but tasted like almonds and cardboard.

 

Grandpa kept knocking back his Schlitz cans and Grandma kept refilling our glasses. The room was turning blue from all the Tareytown smoke, and I was actually getting a little nauseous but your Grandparents didn’t seem to mind.

 

During the second half your Grandparents were getting loose! They told me all about their experiences during the war, and how they met later in America. They told me lots of funny stories about your parents and they even started dancing with each other each time the Panthers scored a touchdown.

 

On the cab ride home I thought about how much I like your grandparents. You should probably give them a call sometime.

 

See also: Shitty Chianti in a Straw Wrapped Bottle, A big bottle of oxidized Merlot, “I don’t have any wine.”

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Review ‘N Brew: Divisional Playoffs

Written by :
Published on : January 21, 2016

 

 

In this little corner Roger Pretzel will review his favorite play of the week along with a thoughtful review of what beverage he was imbibing at the time.

 

 

 

Divisional Playoffs: Thomas Davis Shows Good Hands on Onside Kick to Kill Seahawks Miracle Comeback

 

VIDEO: HERE

 

In this Divisional weekend, we saw the Patriots get lucky breaks even when they didn’t need ‘em, Aaron Rodgers completed two ludicrous Hail Mary passes back-to-back, and grandpa Peyton overcome a handful of sacks to take Denver to the Conference Championships. Not least of all, in the Carolina/Seattle matchup, we saw the ‘Hawks do what they do, in attempting to crawl out of a 31 point hole and make an improbable comeback, like they did last year against Green Bay.

 

Not if Thomas Davis has anything to say about it.

 

I think Detroit fans might feel this, since earlier in the season Calvin Johnson, arguably the most “hands” guy one would want on that “hands” team flubbed one against the Packers. It don’t matter if the guy is a linebacker in his thirties or a star wide receiver: you gotta put the game away.

 

Davis takes a massive hit as he goes up for the catch, so it’s not a gimme by any means. Fullback Derrick Coleman, ploughs into Davis’s legs sending him crashing headfirst to the field. Davis hangs on for the showstopper.

 

 

Divisional Playoffs: Booze That Comes in Bottles Shaped Like Weapons

 

Nothing goes together better than alcohol and weapons. Whether it’s taking potshots at cans off your front porch while sippin’ some Lynchburg Lemonade, emptying your Beretta into the air at your cousin’s christening while chugging Night Train, or wowing party guests with your spiked punch-enhanced knife throwing skills, you know the guns and blades are gonna come out at some point in the night.

 

It’s only natural that spirits providers would get hip to this match made in heaven, and now we’re blessed with an embarrassment of riches in the form of booze holding vessels that looks like our beloved heaters, streetsweepers, and toad-stickers.

 

Tequila That Looks Like an AK-47

lg_1825

 

The good folks at Institucional Tequila chose to bottle their 100% agave blanco tequila in a glass bottle shaped like an AK-47. Online providers claim that the product is both “fruity and smooth,” though Institucional prefers to describe the spirit as “dangerously smooth.” Get it? You are going to get lots of attention if you bring this to a Super Bowl party, your grandma’s funeral reception, or a government building.

 

Vodka That Looks Like an AK-47

Ak-47

 

It would be pretty lousy if a Mexican company were the only distiller to use the shape of the famed Kalashnikov. You can’t leave the Russians out. But apparently Moscow’s attitude is “nyet way, Jose.” Kalashnikov vodka is not only named for the famed creator of the world’s most iconic machine gun, but it also has a far superiorly modeled bottle to it’s Mexican counterpart, and comes in a faux-military style weapons crate.

 

Good luck getting your hands on this puppy though, it was a one-off production with a limit of 13,000 bottles produced.

 

Rum In The Shape of a “Buccaneer Pistol”

 

Another export from our Mexican friends, this añejo rum has been aged a respectable ten years and boasts “lots of vanilla and sweetness.” The bottle itself is hand made, and certainly looks like something a pirate would carry around, but holding only 20cl of hooch, it’s questionable whether or not Blackbeard & Co would be trucking around with such a paltry stash.

 

Still, it would make a great gift for that elementary school teacher, elevator operator, or proctologist in your life.

 

Tequila in the Shape of a Pistol

UnFTN

 

Well, there’s definitely a theme here… This tequila is described thusly: “This limited edition tequila is made with quality, prestige and tradition to honor the Villanueva Barragan family, owners of Licores Veracruz. This pistol symbolizes the family’s courage, respect and pride. Hijos de Villa tequila represents the Mexican family in the revolutionary era.”

 

It probably would’ve been better had the family not gone out of it’s way to explain what the pistol means to them as now I’m picturing an estate full of the Mexican version of the Sorpanos, but what’re ya gonna do? This one’s also only 20cl, so you’re mostly paying for a glass bottle shaped like a gun with a little bit of yellow tequila in it, which is generally considered pretty good (think Cazadores).

 

Brandy in the Shape of a Sword

193

 

And straight out of left field comes a glass sword full of Ukrainian brandy thanks to the Albo Group of Companies. I couldn’t say it any better than the company representatives:

 

“A new brand from the Albo group is now available as a gift. Our cognac is considered to have good form and flavor. The new Cognacs of Ukraine come in a souvenir bottle and has been rated as a five-star cognac in a several tasting competitions… The shapes of the bottles are very pleasing themselves, however; inside is where the real pleasure and surprise are contained. Even experts are pleasantly surprised at the quality of the cognac. The taste is classical balanced and the flavor harmonious combined the aroma of fruit. The long and silky final note gives an elegant aftertaste. The noble amber color of the cognac in a vessel of sculptural form will improve any home interior or office.”

 

That’s all for this week, but you can bet I’ll be seeing you after the Conference Championships, swinging my brandy sword, and making obscene shooting sounds with my tequila pistol.

 

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 17

Written by :
Published on : January 2, 2016

 

 

Well folks, it’s been an incredible year making picks for the all the SBS staff. We’re a bunch of smart motherfuckers. Though there was a heated competition and I am currently a distant second, I will make my boldest prediction yet: I will become the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks Champion. In fact, here is an excerpt of my acceptance speech:

 

 

But the real point here is more exposé than anything. What the hell got into SBS Editor and possible PED user Bruno? Here we are in a two-man race between myself and Ryan, comfortable on our laurels, when all of a sudden this dude Bruno gets the Shining and mounts a ridiculous comeback. In the last five weeks he’s been among the top two in picks, including blowing us all (out of the water) this past week. Sick of it. Someone needs to dig up the dirt.

 

Moving on, the trickiest game on the slate this week for me to pick was the Cardinals – Seahawks matchup, mainly because they’re both damn good.  The game is in Arizona, but there’s very little at stake for the Cards, already having won the NFC west, while Seattle and Russell Wilson were straight up Megachurching everyone in their path before that unfortunate Rams loss (yes, when it applies to Russell Wilson on the football field, I believe “Megachurch” can be used as a verb). That loss makes this game critical for the Seabirds, not so much for the Sandbirds, so I went with Seattle.

 

That about does it for the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks for this year.  Thanks so much to the readers, we sincerely hope that you made money gambling illegally, using our tried-and-true methods of nonsense.  Here’s to a great end of the NFL season, playoffs, Super Bowl, and hopefully a Roger Goodell Satan-worshipping scandal in the off-season.

 

My New Year’s resolution for 2016:

 

 

Week 17

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Review ‘N Brew: Week 15

Written by :
Published on : December 26, 2015

 

 

In this little corner Roger Pretzel will review his favorite play of the week along with a thoughtful review of what beverage he was imbibing at the time.

 

 

Week 15: DRC Blocks Field Goal, Amukamara Retrieves Ball for Great Position

Dominique-Rodgers-Cromartie

 

VIDEO: HERE

 

It was a squeaker between the Panthers and the G-Men Sunday, despite New York’s dismal showing in the first half. Rodgers-Cromartie’s big block went a long way in adding fuel to a comeback fire that was ultimately put out calmly by Cam Newton and Graham Gano, but in terms of a game’s turning point, it doesn’t get much more “play of the week” worthy than this.

 

It’s not wildly unusual to see a field goal blocked in the NFL, but it is rare to see one go so far backwards. Who better to send the ball flying in the opposite direction than Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie? Gunning around the edge from the outside, he makes a perfect leap for the ball that involves leaving Gano totally untouched. It’s pretty amazing to see how he jumps horizontally across the field instead of vertically toward the kicker. Roger Pretzel Sr. hates it when commentators use the term “athleticism” when referring to big playmakers but it’s hard not to think of that hoary catchall term in this context. Perhaps “freakish” (the new “athleticism”) is what I’m looking for…

 

Bonus: All Kinds of Shenanigans Between Odell Beckham and Josh Norman

 

VIDEO: HERE

 

I love a rough and chippy hockey game. When tensions run high and the players start scrapping, you begin to see a skill set and sport-dynamic that feels so genuinely unique to hockey. However, when it comes to my NFL football, I have no use for the pissing matches and sissy swings that come when the pot bubbles over. It’s simply not needed in a game that is inherently violent enough. As a football player, you’re gonna make a much bigger statement by catching a big pass, making a big (legal) hit, or denying a receiver with outstanding coverage.

 

My sympathies lie with Josh Norman considering it seems like he takes the brunt of the damage as Odell throws tantrum after tantrum. I’m of the mind that the rules make pass defending the most difficult job in the game, as you’re not even allowed to touch these dainty WR’s. I’ve knocked Becham Jr. in this column before for being a bratty diva, and once again he’s back behind the fighting side of my pen. If he really is the NFL’s new darling receiver he better muster up some maturity quickly.

 

Week 15: Athlete Vanity Wines

It’s one thing to shill a product for endorsement money, but you know you’ve gone beyond mere Peyton Manning status when you buy your own winery and put out a vanity label for mass consumption. Like many other celebrities in that hallowed club that contains Drew Barrymore and Dave Matthews, athletes like to unwind with a glass as well.

 

But it always seems like once those egghead vintners take over the production process, the liquid version of that athlete’s soul is lost in the process. Below are the tasting notes of a few famous athletes’ wines, and what variety should actually represent them.

 

Jeff Gordon:
Jeff Gordon Cellars – Carneros Chardonnay 2012

 photo jeffgordon_zpsbebngntl.jpg

 

“This luxurious chardonnay has a deep yellow, almost straw color with hints of light gold. Initial essences of Meyer lemon, vanilla bean and poached pear show through, followed by a wisp of crème brûlée. The wine has a nice, smooth mouth feel with plenty of balancing acids that carry along flavors of green apple, melon and cream. The long, vibrant finish dazzles the palate”

 

This sounds like one soft-ass fruity chardonnay to me. When I hear vanilla bean, poached pear, and smooth mouth feel I do not think of Nascar.

 

What Jeff Gordon’s Wine Should Actually Be: Chablis

 

 photo chablis_sbs_zpscihz6im0.jpg

 

I was tempted to go with a dry Riesling for Mr. Gordon because of the petrol flavors they often contain (get it?), but I decided that #24 may stay chardonnay… as long as it comes from Chablis. The region’s flinty soil adds a nervy, raciness to the fruit, and a dynamic acidity that seems quite appropriate for the tight turns, and calculated daring of the speedway.

 

Wayne Gretzky
No 99 Estates – 2008 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 photo gretzkywine_zpscmmeo9ut.jpg

 

“2008 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon showcases the warmth and ripe black fruit flavors of this vintage. It is rich with concentrated black berry fruit, and harmonious blending has resulted in excellent balance and complexity. The use of French and American Oak barrels adds structure to this very drinkable wine.”

 

You might say this wine is a little like Wayne himself in the sense that it’s BORING. But I jest. Let’s not forget that Gretzky is the “Great One,” and as such surely deserving of something more majestic than a lame new-world quaffer.

 

What Wayne Gretzky’s Wine Should Actually Be: Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru (Pinot Noir)

 

 photo savignylesbeaune_zpsb4xumtdl.jpg

 

Now we’re talking! This appellation matches Gretzky note for note in elegance and sophistication. The foundation of Gretzky’s legendary greatness was turning hockey into a thinking man’s game, and this here is some truly profound fermented grape juice. I like to picture the Great One counting the money he’s made from No. 99 Estates while sipping a big ‘ole glass of this instead. He’s in front of a fireplace playing chess with Steve Yzerman. Soft hands: soft tannins.

 

Greg Norman
Greg Norman Estates 2012 Shiraz – Limestone Coast

 photo gregnorman_zps4wuije2o.jpg

 

“The 2012 Greg Norman Estates Shiraz is an attractive dark crimson red color in the glass. On the nose, rich chocolate and coconut mocha notes from the oak maturation underpin distinctive black cherry, mulberry and blackberry jam aromas. The medium bodied wine is soft and elegantly structured showing a spectrum of rich dark fruits including cherry, mulberry, blackberry, and boysenberry flavors on the palate. These flavors meld with fine cedar and chocolaty oak adding persistence on the long finish.”

And sometimes you just nail it.

 

What Greg Norman’s Wine Should Actually Be: Greg Norman Estates 2012 Shiraz – Limestone Coast

 

 photo shiraz-main_zpsxcnbdj01.jpg

 

Yup, Greg Norman actually puts his money where his mouth is and plays golf just like he makes wine. Growing up “The Shark” was the first celebrity I was aware of having his own line of wine, not to mention his own line of clothing. And coming up in the ‘burbs in the late 80’s and 90’s you were more likely to see that goofy rainbow-patterned shark outline on some old dude’s polo than you were to see any teenager with a pair of J’s.

 

Shiraz fits Norman like a driving-glove with its new-world jazziness and robust fruit flavors. I feel like every time Norman suits up in the clubhouse before 18 holes he tips that weird hat and winks at himself in the mirror. That’s basically what a good glass of Shiraz is.

 

Mike Ditka
Mike Kitka Wines – Coach’s Blend 2011 – The Champion

 

 photo ditkawine_zpsrydf9kqy.jpg

 

“The Mike Ditka 2011 “The Champion” Coach’s Blend has remarkable flavor intensity. It’s well-balanced, with flavors of blackberry and cassis, with a hint of cayenne pepper; lingering tannins, leading to a persistent finish.”

 

In reality, Mike Ditka is to wine what the current Chicago Bears are to winning, but I get it: the dude owns a line of steak houses and you gotta crush something besides chilly domestics when you’ve got the porterhouse in front of you. Still, the big guy should be ashamed to front a Napa blend of mostly merlot and cabernet sauvignon under his name. This time around it’s the coach that needs to show more hustle.

 

What Mike Ditka’s Wine Should Actually Be: Zinfandel

 

 photo Zinfandel-Sign_zpsdtq7vmld.jpg

 

Stop beating around the bush, Mike. You wanna make this steak dinner the real deal? Then you gotta start serving a wine that actually reflects your character. Say what you want about Mike Ditka, but the dude has never been mostly merlot, noble and august as that grape may be. Ditka’s the grinder. Ditka’s the snarling heart in the depth of a windy Chicago blizzard. Ditka is zinfandel, and he’s California zinfandel at that. Huge, burly, and mega-fruity, this is the real wine of second-class steak joints with delusions of grandeur.

 

Try it out, coach. Then hit me up.

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 15

Written by :
Published on : December 17, 2015

 

Here we sit on the precipice of week 15. The ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks are almost done for the season and what a fun ride it has been. At least for Ryan and Antoine, who are the only ones who have had a legit shot at the title since the beginning of the year. With 3 weeks of picks left, it’s not likely that Ryan is going to be unseated from the top spot. I suppose he could have a couple of bad weeks and I could miraculously catch up, but this guy just seems to know how to pick winners. He’s a madman who can’t be stopped, and he should probably start gambling on sports.

 

But we can talk about Ryan’s future gambling addiction some other time, right now let’s look at this exciting slate of games. Actually the only game that really looks exciting to me is Panthers at Giants. Mostly because these last fews Panthers games are going to be really suspenseful as they try to go undefeated, but also because it seems like the Giants are finally starting to put it together. Some of that bad luck has turned into late season good luck with that win over the Dolphins last week and they sit in a 3-way tie for the top spot in the abysmal NFC East.

 

There’s also a bunch of garbage matchups, either between good teams who will crush their bad opponents ( Titans @ Patriots, Browns @ Seahawks), or between two bad teams ( Dolphins @ Chargers, Lions @ Saints.) Either way, those will all be hard games to watch, but we’ll watch ’em anyways, because it’s football. And we love football!

 

On to the picks…..

Week 15

 

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

 

 


Who will win this year’s NFL MVP Award?

Written by :
Published on : December 15, 2015

 

 

With the 2015-16 NFL Regular Season wrapping up, we finally have a good idea of who all these teams and players actually are. It’s been a crazy year that has been full of surprises, jaw-dropping plays and sadly, some even more jaw-dropping mistakes from players and refs alike. As the playoff picture begins to come into focus, let’s take a look at which players have been absolutely indispensable to their teams and have a leg up on everyone else in the race for this year’s NFL MVP Award.

 

Tom Brady

 Brady is used to being in this conversation.

 

Nothing new here. The quarterback from New England has been consistently present in this conversation for the last decade or so, and this year seems to be no different. While his rival of old, Peyton Manning, has fallen apart before our eyes, Tom Brady has put together one of his more impressive seasons yet. Through 13 games he has amassed 4,138 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, while completing 64.2% of his passes. The dude is unstoppable and seems to be showing no signs of slowing down. Sure, he has the best tight end in the game catching balls for him and keeping defenses occupied, but without Tom Brady, the Patriots go nowhere. There is no player more valuable to that team.

 

Cam Newton

 “What’s that you say? Playoffs? Yes please!”

 

Here’s a new face in the NFL MVP race. It’s not really all that surprising that the quarterback of a 13-0 team is on this list, but I feel like most people give the defense and running game the most credit for the Panthers’ success. While those two things are very big reasons for the Panthers continued greatness this year, Cam Newton has really stepped his game up over the last month or so, and catapulted himself into the MVP debate. He is coming off of a 38-0 dismantling of the division-rival, Atlanta Falcons in which he completed 71.4% of his passes, and he also has two games over the last month where he threw for 5 touchdowns. The Panthers would still be good without him, but there’s no way they would still be undefeated.

 

Russell Wilson

 16 touchdowns and 0 interceptions over the last 4 games. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

 

Like Newton, Russell Wilson, and the Seahawks as a whole, have really turned things up in the last month. With the exception of a 39-30 win over the Steelers three weeks ago, the team has been dominating the opposition and that’s very much the result of Wilson’s excellent play. He has completed a ridiculous 75.6% of his passes over the last 4 games for 1,171 yards, 16 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Along with some help from the defense, Wilson has put the Seahawks firmly on the path to the playoffs and they now sit in the 1st wildcard spot. If he can keep playing like this, there’s no reason that the Seahawks can’t go to their 3rd Super Bowl in a row.

 

Who wins?

This is a really tough question. It’s hard to look past Wilson’s ridiculous numbers recently, and Tom Brady is the best qb in the game, but I think I have to give it to Cam Newton. This could change over the final three weeks of the season, but if the Panthers end up going 16-0, which is looking very likely right now, then I think Cam is a lock. Even if they drop 1 or 2 games before the playoffs, I still think it’s Cam’s award to lose.

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 14

Written by :
Published on : December 10, 2015

 

Hi, I’m Sandy, but no, I’m not a female. However, I am the staff writer that follows the NFL the least avidly despite working at NFL Red Zone last season (HINT: there’s a reason they wouldn’t have me back this year….).

 

So, it’s Week 14 and I couldn’t be happier that it’s almost the postseason for a litany of reasons. What makes me the happiest about entering the third trimester of the 2015-16 NFL season’s pregnancy is that SportsCenter will soon reach that sweet spot of the year in February where they’re basically only showing NBA highlights, and in my world NBA reigns supreme. The next best reason to be happy the regular season is almost over: Super Bowl parties. I do kind of love football, but my favorite part of football is easily the eating that goes along with it. Plus, playoff games are way better in general, but also because my team, the Detroit Lions, won’t be able to break my heart and open my mind to the possibility of NFL conspiracy theories against The D. Their season will simply be over. Football in the snow is cool too.

 

Granted I’m the least knowledgable writer for SBS regarding football, I’ve done pretty well predicting winners this season. As for this week, I predict the NFL to beat the film Concussion on account of Will Smith trying out a weird accent. When Will Smith is kicking ass in action movies, we all win. The Lions might lose the rest of their games, or least the ones they should win, but the NFL will always be undefeated against concussions, but will the Panthers?

Here are the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks for Week 14:

 

Week 14

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 12

Written by :
Published on : November 25, 2015

 

Thursday is Thanksgiving, the holiday that football owns the same way that Bill Murray owns Groundhog Day. It’s inescapable. If you’re not watching it on TV or playing it in the front yard, then you’re probably hiding in the kitchen filling up on hors d’oeuvres and making small talk with your boring cousin. Good luck with that. I’ll see you at halftime.

 

Meanwhile, these ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks remains a tight race. Ryan and Antoine still lead the pack. I find myself squarely in the middle —  ten points away from both highest and lowest record. Oh, and Alex and Mike both have the same stats (95-65). Not bad? Not good enough. All it takes it one good/bad week to change everything.

 

I’m not much for trash talk, so I’m going the opposite route this week — passive aggressive kindness. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, SBS staffers, and good luck with this week’s picks. Don’t choke.

 

Week 12

 

 

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

 

 


Patriots and Panthers. Who will lose first?

Written by :
Published on : November 24, 2015

 

 

After tonight’s 20-13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, The New England Patriots are off to an impressive, if not entirely surprising, 10-0 start to the 2015 season. I say that the start isn’t entirely surprising because of the fact that the world has gotten used to seeing some very excellent football teams coming out of Foxborough in the last decade-plus. Seeing Tom Brady win football games and having to listen to the incessant gloating of Pats fans is just something that the world has gotten used to. We get it, you’re great and Tom is god. Shut up already.

 

So if the Patriots are the team that everyone was expecting to be undefeated as we approach the last quarter of the season, their partner in the 10-0 club has come as quite the surprise. That’s right, Riverboat Ron Rivera’s Carolina Panthers are everyone’s darling right about now. They are undefeated behind a nasty defense and an offense led by Cam Newton, who has been talked about as a potential MVP candidate.

 

So with the Patriots and Panthers as the NFL’s lone undefeated teams as we head into week 12, I try to figure out who will lose first.

 

Patriots

This is what evil geniuses look like.

Why they’ll go undefeated.

If the Patriots are somehow able to go undefeated the entire season, it will be because of two things. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. They have a pretty good defense too but nothing trumps Palpatine and Vader.

 

Why they’ll lose.

Because it’s really hard to go undefeated for an entire NFL season. They also have a pretty tough schedule remaining, with road games against the Broncos (this week), Texans, Jets and Dolphins. The Broncos are probably the best shot to hand New England a loss, even though Brock Osweiler is starting at QB. While I don’t necessarily see the rest of those teams as legit threats, they all have pretty good defenses and will at least make those games interesting. Add the fact that the team keeps suffering season ending injuries to its starters. The past few weeks have seen offensive stars Julian Edelmen and Dion Lewis go down for the year. It’s hard to sustain that kind of dominance when you’re losing players that have been that good.

 

Panthers

What you talkin’ bout Ron?

Why they’ll go undefeated.

Defense and running game. These are two things that couldn’t be more important to a team that wishes to keep their winning ways in the late part of the season. It just so happens that Carolina is very good at both.

 

Why they’ll lose.

Same reasons as the Patriots really, although injuries aren’t really as much of an issue. They did lose Kelvin Benjamin, but that was before the season even started and other players have stepped up in his absence. That said, I thought a lack of depth at receiver would eventually come back to hurt them. When they do lose, it could very well be because they got behind in a game and didn’t have the talent to make a quick comeback.

 

Who will be first to catch a “L”?

Let me start by saying that I don’t really think that either of these teams will go into the playoffs undefeated. There’s just too many things that have to go right for something like that to happen. Both of these teams are going to lose a game before the season ends.

 

Now that we’ve established that no team will be going 16-0, let’s see which team will lose first. I’m tempted to say that the Patriots will lose this weekend in Denver but I’m going to resist that temptation. It will be Brock Osweiler’s 2nd career start and that has got to have Belichick & Company foaming at the mouth. They are going to throw all types of looks at this kid and I’m just not sure he will be able to handle it. I think the Patriots first and only loss will come in week 16 on the road against the division-rival Jets.

 

You’ve got to think Cam Newton slips up before Tom Brady.

 

As far as the Panthers are concerned, I think they will drop a couple of games before the end of the regular season. They will still be the NFC’s top-seed but they will not be perfect when it is all said and done. I think they will also lose in week 16 to the Falcons, but that won’t be the first one. The Panthers will lose their first game while most of the country is trying to drown itself in turkey and gravy. That’s right, Carolina will lose on Thanksgiving to the 3-7 Dallas Cowboys. I’m sure this isn’t the safe bet, but with Tony Romo back under center and the fans in Dallas desperate for a winning streak, I think the time is ripe for the Panthers to trip over themselves and blow a very winnable game in front of the whole world.

 

 


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