Who will be the next NFL player to head to the broadcast booth?

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Published on : May 16, 2017

 

 

As you’ve all heard by now, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler have decided that since no team wants them as their signal caller, they will head to the broadcast booth. The decision by these two long time NFL QBs has caused a bit of a stir in the pro football world. Many people, myself included, think that it’s a great fit for Romo since he is a pretty likable guy who seems to get along with everyone. Cutler, on the other hand, is a bit more controversial considering most people, myself included, can’t stand the guy. Where Romo seems like the kind of guy your parents would love, Cutler seems like the guy who would come into your parents house reeking like cigarette smoke and refuse to look your father in the eye or say hi to your mother.

 

While Jay Cutler as a color commentator is outright ridiculous for a guy who seemingly has one of the worst personalities in all of football, the pick of Tony Romo seems as safe as white bread. I think the broadcast community can do a lot better than both of those guys. Here are a few current NFL players who I think would be much better choices to head up to the booth once their careers are over.

 

Marshawn Lynch

When you think of Marshawn Lynch you might think about ridiculous broken tackles, long TD runs or even his hatred of the media, but hear me out for a second. Despite his late-career antics with the press, he has always been pretty funny in front of the cameras. He may have shunned the spotlight in recent years but for enough money I think that the right crew could get the most out of him as a commentator. Beast Mode has never lacked in the personality department and if you don’t believe me just watch this video of him visiting Scotland. It’s clear that in the right setting he thrives and is pretty damn entertaining. With the right team around him (more on that later), it could be ratings gold.

 

 

Michael Bennett

This one makes the most sense. Michael Bennett is everything that you could ever want in a television personality. He is intelligent, witty, funny, charismatic and a total weirdo. He always has something to say and when he opens his mouth, it’s usually something that people talk about. Michael Bennett is like the Hunter S. Thompson of pro athletes; he’s socially conscious with a flair for the unorthodox. Bennett would be a better color guy than Jay Cutler could ever hope to be and he wouldn’t be afraid to take the NFL or society at-large to task if he saw something he perceived as wrong. Bennett has opinions for days and the broadcast media would be wise to try to get him on camera once his playing days are done.

 

 

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski represents the big, dumb, wide-eyed kid in all of us. For that reason, one has to believe that he has a future in television once he can no longer weather the constant storm of injuries that has plagued him for most of his career. I can’t speak to his analytical abilities but much like the rest of these guys, he has got personality in buckets. Gronk is the type of person that seems like he can have a good time no matter where he is and I’m sure that would translate to the broadcast booth. I envision him as a Charles Barkley type; he might not always know what he’s talking about but he will definitely make it entertaining. Maybe we can hook Gronk up with Marshawn who can be the Shaq to his Charles. Take a look at the two on camera together and tell me it’s not a match made in heaven.

 

 

The NFL media juggernaut would do well to try to bring any of these guys into the fold once their playing days are over. If they’re lucky they will lock down all three. Who would you like to see in the booth after they walk off the field for the final time? Leave your ideas in the comments below and see if you can think of anyone better than these guys.

 

 


Tony Romo Retires

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Published on : April 6, 2017

 

 

It’s official, Tony Romo is hanging up the cleats. The long time Cowboy great is retiring from the NFL. This news comes as a bit of shock. We knew he wasn’t going to stay in Dallas and many had him as the top quarterback available. No doubt, at least a few teams had solid interest in Romo’s services. The most recent rumors saw him staying in the state and joining the Houston Texans. Not a bad fit as it was becoming more clear that Tony wanted to join a winner. Not help some franchise rebuild. After taking some time to weigh his options, the (soon to be) 37-year-old decided it was time to call it quits and will be joining Jim Nantz in the booth at CBS.

 

 

If you’re looking for a reason as to what helped make up Tony Romo’s mind, maybe it had something to do with the offer from his new job. CBS reached out to Tony at the end of last season so the QB has had tons of time to think about what his life would be like in broadcasting. It seems like a natural fit for quarterbacks to transition to analyst positions. So much of what signal callers do is watch film, study players and make it their job to know more than everyone else. Plus, Romo gets to stay in the world of football and bring home a decent pay check. A much smaller check but still giant in terms of us regular folks.

 

Other things to consider. Tony Romo has a serious history of injuries. Most notably, issues with his back. The guy seems healthy now but the grind of starting 16 games is grueling. One good shot and he could be facing more surgery. Romo has already made a pretty penny tossing the pigskin and it looks like he wants to preserve his health so he can enjoy it. What good is all that money if you aren’t psychically able to play with your kids?

 

 

Tony Romo gave the Dallas Cowboys over ten years of blood, sweat and tears. 34,183 passing yards and 248 touchdowns. He leads the organization in many passing categories which is impressive when you think of the other names in the team history. He never got them to the Super Bowl and that may be part of his legacy but he will be remembered in Texas for a long time. And on a personal note, I respect that he played for one team he loved and decided to retire before starting a new chapter somewhere else. It’s more and more rare in today’s game.

 

So to Tony Romo, I say good luck in the future and please don’t come out of retirement in a year. You made the right call. Now stick to it.

 

New chapter.

 

 


What to do with Tony Romo?

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Published on : February 14, 2017

 

 

What will happen with veteran quarterback Tony Romo? Rookie Dak Prescott kicked ass all last year and soundly won the job in Dallas. Even when Tony was healthy, it was clear that Jason Garrett and company were going to ride the hot hand and stay with Dak. As management plans out the next season, this question begs to be answered. What do you do with a guy like Tony?

 

The one thing we know for sure is that Tony Romo will be leaving the Dallas Cowboys. I’m sure the faithful would love to see him stay on as a backup but Romo is owed way too much money for that type of role. Plus, Tony sees himself as a starter. Those factors say he is going to a new team. His injury history suggests no one is trading for him but you never know. The best guess is that the Jerry Jones will cut the former face of the franchise. This will allow Tony Romo to sign with any team. Let’s check out some of his options.

 

 

San Francisco 49ers

Just hear me out. The 49ers will have zero QB’s under contract once Kap leaves. New GM, new coach, new start. They will need someone who can play day one and bring some leadership to the huddle. Someone to run the offense through. San Fran will no doubt draft a quarterback but throwing that kid right into the fire may not be the best move for development. So bringing in a Tony Romo type on a 3-year deal makes a lot of sense. But most importantly, it would really piss off Cowboy fans. For that alone, this should happen.

 

Chicago Bears

The Bears need a real answer under center. I don’t think anyone in Chicago wants another year of Brian Hoyer or *shutters* Jay Cutler. The team has some weapons on offense and their defense is improving. They are consistent quarterback play away from being competitive. The biggest selling point here is young running back Jordan Howard. He had a stellar rookie campaign and looks to be a complete back. Tony Romo could do much worse than handing off to Howard and playing with that D at Solider Field. Cleveland anyone?

 

 

Miami Dolphins

If the Dolphins ever want to challenge Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC East than they need an upgrade at signal caller. It may be time to pull the plug on the Ryan Tannehill experiment and find someone who can win right now. This type of splashy move could help bring the organization over the hump. Their roster is loaded on both sides of the ball but they need someone to galvanize the unit as a whole. Plus Miami never gets cold. Sounds like Tony Romo could be taking his talents to South Beach.

 

There you have it. Tony Romo is FOR SURE going to one of those three. Or maybe to the Broncos, Texans, Bills, Jets or even back to the Cowboys on a way smaller deal. Or somewhere else. But it’s for sure one of those. I mean all we know is he isn’t going to the Patriots. They already have a guy. I hear he’s good.

 

Anthony’s song.

 

 


2016 NFL Stock Report for Week 11

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Published on : November 15, 2016

 

Trump is president. The peso is at historic lows, foreign markets are in crisis. Financial confidence is in the gutter. But this is about football which is a nice break from reading insane facebook posts or cringing at the news. So bust out the ticker and let’s check the stock report for week 11 of the 2016 NFL season.

 

Trending up

– Dak Prescott, QB Dallas Cowboys

They should call him NASDAQ Prescott cause this dude is money. He’s only thrown 2 picks compared to 14 TD’s in 9 games and has shown some real skills. While Tony Romo slipped a disc just watching from the sidelines.

 

– Miami Dolphins

They have won 4 in a row, found a running game behind Jay Ajayi and things are starting to click. It’s amazing how quick things can turnaround when you can run the ball. Now if they could just do something about those uniforms.

 

– Kansas City Chiefs

 

Since starting 2-2, the Chiefs have ripped off 5 wins and are in the hunt for a postseason birth. This is a balanced football team that everyone should stop sleeping on. You hear me beauty?

 

– Tennessee Titans

Titans are only 5-5 but their last win was a decisive one over Green Bay where they rumbled to a 47-25 victory. They broke big play after big play. This team has the tools to play challenger to Houston. That was a space joke.

 

Trending down

– Cleveland Browns

0-10. Maybe looking at 0-16. I don’t want to keep throwing acid on the baby (as they say) and continue to make fun of Cleveland but this franchise needs help and it will take years before anything changes. It’s plain sad.

 

– Minnesota Vikings

What a mess. Started 5-0, then went 0-4. Injuries piling up and three tough games looming. Fans are trying to cope. It’s so bad that even Hillary feels for them.

 

– Green Bay Packers

 

4-5, lost last 3. Can’t run the ball, leaky secondary and an unfriendly schedule the rest of the way out. Cheese futures are dropping like mad. You can get a wedge of aged cheddar for kraft single prices.

 

– San Francisco 49ers

This squad is really bad but I’m not even sure coach Chip Kelly is on the hot seat despite being 1-8. There is no talent on the offensive roster and the only reason people talk about them is to see who is taking a knee.

 

– Pittsburgh Steelers

Losers of 4 straight, the Black and Yellow need to figure it out, fast. They are still very much alive in the AFC North but the players at Heinz Field need to ketchup.

 

 

That’s your full stock report. Buy gold, watch The Wolf of Wall Street and make the money. If all else fails, invest in an independent film. It’s bulletproof.

 

Greed.

 

 


Fantasy Football Draft Strategies

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Published on : August 1, 2016

 

 

Thank God, football is coming back. And with it, comes the evil step brother known simply as fantasy. Many drafts are still weeks away but some crazy leagues do them at the start of training camp. So it’s not too early to start talking about it, even though my girlfriend would disagree. But for once, this isn’t about her. This is all about the fantasy football draft and how you should decide to pick players. I’m talking Winston Churchill war room level. The draft is one of the biggest determining factors to who wins the championship. Waiver wire is hugely important but if you select a top trio of QB, RB, WR and they all stay healthy and productive then your path to a trophy is much easier. The big question is, who do you take? And when?

 

If the draft scares you or you think this sounds like too much work then just set your team to auto-draft and sleep easy. We call these people “draft dodgers.” To be fair, I’ve had some pretty decent squads the few times I let the computer pick. My first team back in 2003 was auto drafted and I made the playoffs. Another year, I was hungover and a slept through the draft. Still made the playoffs. Damn, maybe the robots know more than me? Fuck that. I reject that theory. Let’s get to business.

 

1st pick

 

The old fantasy football draft rule was go running back, running back with your first two picks. This is still a viable route because the value of a solid RB is unmatched. Then we saw freak wide receivers and quarterbacks going in the top ten. Players like Aaron Rodgers and Calvin Johnson changed the game. These guys are fantasy studs. No question. But is it smart to use your first pick on a WR or a QB? I say no, because of the the drop off between the production of ball-carriers versus other positions is way out of balance.

 

That means a top QB may get 30 points in a week while a waiver QB may score 20. But when it comes to RB’s it will be a difference of 30 to 3. If you play in a 10+ team league then there just aren’t quality and consistent players available to add. You can find a serviceable QB while there will be zero starting RB’s. For example, last year, I used a combo of Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick (both claimed off the waiver wire) in the final weeks and playoffs. They equaled or out performed my highly drafted competition. I also won the championship. There will always be these type of finds.

 

So, your first pick should be a running back. You can never guess who will get hurt but try and draft someone with a decent o-line and hopefully, a short injury history.

 

2nd pick

 

With your second pick, go either a top pass-catcher (WR/TE) or another clear starting RB. If the back is in a timeshare situation then I go with the receiver who is most likely to either see higher volume and or lots of red zone targets.

 

Note: tight end is another role that has little middle class. Getting an every week starter is a blessing. One less slot to stress over. Just leave Gronk in the lineup until the bye.

 

3rd pick

So we have an elite running back, a big WR and we are back on the clock. I’d still go after a RB. There are lots of attractive QB’s and number two wideouts but they will mostly be there next round. Get that other bell cow now and then you can move to deep threats while everyone else is scrambling and buying high on guys who only see 10 carries a game.

 

4th round and beyond

So far we picked RB, WR, RB. Now get that TE. The top three names will be gone but there’s plenty talent left. If for some reason, all good the tight ends are drafted then grab another WR or your favorite of the remaining QB’s. These are the suggestions for next round anyways. After rounds 4 or 5, it’s hard to recommend position picks, mainly because we don’t know what the board will look like. The draft is all about finding value.

 

The one stat that would best explain this concept is the baseball metric WAR (Wins Above Replacement). WAR relates to a players performance against the average athlete. Keep that idea in mind when you are picking. Where are you finding the best values? And don’t fall into trends. If WR’s are going like hot cakes, don’t sell out your plan just to not be left out. Because after all those teams have receivers, they are going to start taking the other things you need. Stick to your guns.

 

The double down and handcuffing

 

No, I’m not talking about a wild weekend in Las Vegas, I mean the double down aka the double dip, which is drafting players on the same team. Like Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. So when Ben tosses a TD to Antonio, you get points from both players for one touchdown. It’s nice when it can happen but I try and not count on it. Don’t move up/change your draft plan just for a double down. The NFL season is crazy. Tons will get hurt, traded, arrested. Who knows. Diversity is key to a deep squad. Don’t bet the farm on Tony Romo playing all year with Dez Bryant.

 

Handcuffing is when you draft the backup to a popular player. Just in case they get injured. I like this for one skill player per roster. Find that guy you would be screwed without and invest in their nightmare. Look, if your first round pick goes down and someone else scoops the backup then your team lost a huge asset and you handed it to your jerk friend. At least this way, no other franchise gains because of your loss.

 

Wrap up

Take backs early and often, then top pass catchers and more backs. Wait on the QB and stock up on depth. Standard formats see lineups with two RB and two WR with one TE and a FLEX (can be any RB, WR, TE) so it makes sense to address the biggest need. Yes to hand cuffing but no to the double down. And always beware of the celebrity trap. It tricks us, makes us take Russell Wilson too early or draft a defense in the 6th round. Stay strong and you can get through this.

 

Champs

 

 


A Look Back at My “Ten Bold Predictions for the 2015 NFL Season”

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Published on : March 3, 2016

 

 

 

Back in mid-August, I wrote a piece giving ten bold predictions I expected we would all see happen during this past NFL season. In this article, (which can be found here) I mentioned all of the obvious predictions like, “Who will win the Super Bowl?”, “Who will win MVP?”, as well as some other more “out there” ideas. So with the Denver Broncos winning Super Bowl 50 about a month ago, (spoiler alert: I didn’t get that one right) and thus concluding the 2015 NFL season, I figured now would be a good time to check back into that crystal ball and see how my picks turned out.

 

1. Adrian Peterson wins the rushing title

Result: CORRECT

 

I got off to a good start here as AP led the NFL with 1,485 rushing yards, edging out Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin. While drafting him didn’t help me win my fantasy football team this year, I had a feeling Peterson would come back strong this year after being suspended for much of last season and he helped the Vikings earn their first playoff spot since 2009.

 

2. The New England Patriots will finish 2nd in the AFC East

Result: WRONG

 

Well this took a quick turn. I think what makes this worse is I predicted Miami to win the division. Gross. Let me explain my rationale here though. At the time this article was published, Tom Brady was still set to be suspended for the first 4 games and I figured with Jimmy Garoppolo under center for those games, a 2-2 start was the best case scenario for the Patriots. If that were the case, New England finishes 10-6 instead of 12-4 and who knows what happens seeing as how the Jets also finished 10-6.

 

3. Ray Rice will be back in the NFL

Result: WRONG

 

I took a loss on this prediction as well and I still am a little bit surprised about it, especially once Greg Hardy put an NFL uniform back on. Now I fully understand the severity of what Ray Rice did and I don’t by any means condone it, but after being suspended for all of last season, I figured someone would be willing to take the chance and may have needed a veteran back. The Cowboys made the most sense to me when I made the prediction, fittingly, they wound up being the ones to sign Hardy.

 

4. Jameis Winston and Amari Cooper win NFC/AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year

Result: WRONG-ish 

 

So the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award went to Todd Gurley, and rightfully so as he finished third in the league in rushing yards. However, I feel like I should get half-credit or something because Jameis Winston won the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year at the same NFL Honors Award Show. Amari Cooper had a solid rookie year with Oakland as well.

 

5. Leonard Williams and Landon Collins win AFC/NFC Denfensive Rookie of the Year

Result: WRONG

 

Kansas City corner Marcus Peters won this award by a landslide after leading the NFL with 8 interceptions and helping to make the Chief’s defense one of the best in the league. Leonard Williams was third in the voting, and according to Mel Kiper Jr should have won, so I guess I had someone in my corner.

 

6. The Carolina Panthers will have the biggest increase in wins from 2014

Result: CORRECT

 

By finishing 15-1, Carolina easily had the league’s best record as they narrowly missed perfection during the regular season. Following a dreadful, 7-8-1 record last year, (granted they still made the playoffs in an embarrassing NFC South) I figured at least 11 wins was very realistic for the Panthers. Instead, Cam decided to put up video game numbers and they won 15. Either way, a win for me.

 

7. The Dallas Cowboys will have the biggest drop off in wins from 2014

Result: CORRECT

 

I knew the loss of DeMarco Murray would hurt this team…well I guess the loss of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for much of the season didn’t help either, but regardless, I knew this team wasn’t duplicating its 12-4 season from 2014. While I didn’t predict 4-12, the Cowboys still had the biggest drop off in the wins column.

 

8. Peyton Manning will retire following the 2015 season

Result: To be determined…

 

Despite Peyton’s best efforts, the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl last month after he had an absolutely miserable regular season. Easily his worst professional season, and one that even caused him to miss a stretch of games late due to injuries. Peyton came back just in time for the playoffs and looked rather pedestrian in the process. However, because of an absolutely dominating defense, Denver made it so Peyton could ride off into the sunset a now two-time Super Bowl champion. The question still remains as to whether he will take that ride or jump back into the saddle with another NFL team.

 

9. Aaron Rodgers will win MVP, again

Result: WRONG

 

After a 6-0 start to the season, the Packers fell flat after their bye week and never really turned it around. Aaron Rodgers never looked like himself. While his stats were nowhere near, say Peyton’s, they weren’t what we have come to expect from him. Again, a 31 touchdown, 8 interception season isn’t anything to sneeze at, but he had his lowest QB Rating since becoming a starter in Green Bay. Cam Newton wound up dabbin’ his way to the NFL MVP Award in what was a fantastic year for him.

 

10. The Green Bay Packers will defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 50

Result: WRONG

 

Ugh, this one is right up there with picking New England to lose the AFC East. First, allow me to defend myself a bit with my reasoning here. Jordy Nelson tore his ACL just days after this article was written, which certainly hurt Green Bay going forward. For Indianapolis, Andrew Luck missed most of the season as well, but frankly they were better off without him (record-wise) as Hasselbeck wound up winning 5 games for the Colts, while Luck finished 2-5 on the year.

 

Overall Record: 3 CORRECT, 5 WRONG, 1 WRONG-ish, (1 TBD)

 

So there you have it. Not the best showing, but with only 90% of precincts reporting (a little election pun for you), I still have a shot to steal one more if Peyton would just make up his damn mind. So help me out, Peyton. Grab a few of those Budweisers you were talking about after the big game, open another Papa John’s Pizzeria, and just enjoy what retirement has to offer: Growing thick beards, Wrangler commercials, and copper sleeves for aching joints. Hey, it’s working for Brett Favre.

 

 


Keep Hope Alive: What the NFL’s Worst Teams Have to Feel Good About in 2016

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Published on : February 25, 2016

 

 

For many people, right now is as good as it get’s when it comes to football. In places like Cleveland, Detroit and Jacksonville, the offseason is time that is full of hope and possibilities. Last season’s pessimism is out and next season’s optimism is in. With the new league year and the start of free agency just weeks away, we thought we would talk about what some of the NFL’s worst teams in 2015 have to look forward to this year, besides the opportunity to blow it with their high draft picks.

 

Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota’s continued progression

 
I’m not going to lie. The outlook is pretty grim in Tennessee. They retained their interim head coach Mike Mularkey for the same position, and he didn’t exactly improve the team when he took over last year. They do still have last year’s number two overall pick playing quarterback, though. Marcus Mariota should continue to improve in spite of the lack of a coaching staff, and for that reason they should keep hope alive.

 

Cleveland BrownsThe New Regime

 

I know we’ve all heard this before, but it seems like the Cleveland Browns might finally be getting their heads out of their asses. The new director of football operations, Sashi Brown, went out and got the Hue Jackson, the former offensive coordinator in Cincinnati. Jackson was the guy pulling the strings behind the scenes of the league’s seventh-best scoring offense in 2015. It also looks like he will soon be putting an end to the Johnny Manziel fiasco, and for that we should all be thankful.

 

San Diego Chargers: Return of the injured

 

The Chargers got hit very hard by the injury bug last season. It was kind of ridiculous. Luckily, time heals all wounds and with an offseason to mend up, the San Diego Chargers can’t possibly do as bad as they did last year. The team placed a total of 17 players on injured-reserve last season, which directly led to their 4-12 finish. Many of those players will be back this year and that should lead to more wins.

 

Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant

 

He’s a little bit of a head case, but Dez Bryant is by far the best thing the Cowboys have going for them. He is a physical freak who can make plays all over the field. He was limited by injuries in 2015, but then again so was everyone else on the team. Look for him and a healthy Tony Romo to get back to their old play-making ways in 2016.

 

San Francisco 49ers: Chip Kelly’s antics

 
There’s a chance that Chip Kelly is able to come in and fix Colin Kaepernick, but I wouldn’t get too optimistic about that. The 49ers are lacking in quality talent all over the field and it will probably take a couple of years to right the ship. On the bright side, we get at least one more year of watching Chip Kelly roast the NFL media!

 
 
All of these teams had five wins or less last season. Most probably won’t improve enough to make a playoff run but with a little luck they could pass as watchable football teams. Be sure to keep and eye on them, if for no other reason than those I listed above.

 
 
 


Champ and Chump: Thanksgiving Day Edition

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Published on : November 28, 2015

 

 

After having a bye week last week, the Champ and Chump column returns for a festive edition to celebrate the best and worst performances from the holiday. While we all were filling our plates and stuffing our bellies, some athletes were filling the boxscores and stuffing their stat sheets while others imploded like the famous turkey from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Hopefully we all found many things and people to be thankful for during the holiday, causing us to feel like a champ. But after passing out from a tryptophan overdose from the delicious turkey or entering a food coma by forcing one more piece of pumpkin pie down our throats, we too may have found ourselves feeling like a chump. Let’s take a look who takes home the prestigious honors for this holiday edition of Champ and Chump.

 

 

Champ: Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson

It was like the good ol’ days for Stafford and Johnson on Thanksgiving.

 

While the Detroit Lions’ season appears to be all but over, they earned themselves a 3-game winning streak when they routed the Philadelphia Eagles on Thanksgiving in Detroit 45-14, and are mathematically still in the playoff hunt, though it may require them to win out. However, with the way that quarterback Matthew Stafford played, maybe anything is possible. It was refreshing for Detroit fans to seemingly have their Lions turn back the clock to when the Stafford-Johnson connection was one of the most lethal combos in the National Football League. Stafford finished 27-38 for 337 yards and 5 touchdowns without turning the ball over. Calvin caught 8 of those balls for 93 yards but most importantly hauled in 3 touchdown passes while dominating the Eagles’ secondary. It could be too little too late for the Lions, but for this one day, they can feel like champions and for the last 50-some years, that’s the closest they have ever been to being one.

 

Honorable Mention:

Luke Kuechly- Kuechly picked off Tony Romo twice, returning one to the house for a touchdown to go along with 7 tackles, anchoring the stout Panther defense in a win over the Cowboys

Denzel Valentine- Notching his second triple-double of the season already, Valentine led the Michigan State Spartans to a victory over the Boston College Eagles finishing with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Chris Warren and Jared Brownridge- Both in losing efforts, Warren ran for 276 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Texas Longhorns against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Brownridge put up a John Wooden Classic tournament record 44 points against the Arizona Wildcats, but his Santa Clara Broncos fell in overtime.

 

 

Chump: Chip Kelly

More like “Chump” Kelly as of late.

 

The Philadelphia Eagles handed the keys to Chip Kelly to build a champion a few years back and now in his third season, the Eagles are yet to even win a playoff game. After going 10-6 in his first two years, Kelly changed the offense completely this year by acquiring Sam Bradford and dealing away Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy, who seemingly fit his offense well, before the team signed former Cowboy DeMarco Murray. So far the makeover has not been pretty as the Eagles lost their third straight and fell to 4-7 on the season. While the offense is hardly the only problem (the defense has given up 45+ points in consecutive weeks to average to below average opponents), it is supposed to be Kelly’s forte. While it has only been three seasons, and Kelly currently has a winning record with the Eagles, his scheme doesn’t seem to really translate to the NFL, and many people feel his job very well may be on the line. In a whacky year in college football with many big programs set to be looking for new coaches, I can’t help but feel like Chip returning to the PAC 12 and leading the Trojans in Southern Cal would be a perfect fit.

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Tony Romo- Finished with just 106 yards and 0 touchdowns while throwing 3 picks (2 returned for touchdowns) in a loss to the Carolina Panthers before fracturing his collarbone, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season.

Darren McFadden and DeMarco Murray- With both their teams losing on Turkey day, neither running back was able to get anything going for their respective teams. McFadden finished the day with just 11 yards on 10 carries and Murray found a little more success reaching 30 yards on 14 carries.

Wichita State Shockers- The Shockers took the world by storm a couple years back when they entered the NCAA Tournament undefeated before falling in the 3rd round, and last year had just four losses during the regular season. Already this year, the Shockers find themselves at 2-3. They have finally outgrown that slipper and we may just have a new Cinderella story come March.

 

 


SBS NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 4

Written by :
Published on : September 30, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, this is getting a little ridiculous. The degenerate in me thinks that it would almost be better to lose horribly than to keep coming up even-money with all of these NFL Picks Against the Spread, but I digress. The fact is that if you’ve been following my advice you are probably a little poorer than when you started. And we all know that means you aren’t going anywhere. Check out this weeks picks and let’s try to get it together.

 

Winning picks in italics.

 

Ravens (-2.5) at Steelers: Steelers

I realize that the Vegas logic behind making the Steelers underdogs at home is that the Ravens are bound to get a win eventually. I just don’t think that it’s going to happen in Pittsburgh in a divisional matchup. I’ll take those 2.5 points and the Steelers to win.

 

Jets (-1.5) at Dolphins (in London): Jets

I thought for sure the Jets were going to win at home last week but I was wrong and they faltered against a mediocre Eagles squad. Next up, they travel to Wembley Stadium in London to play a Dolphins team that can’t seem to make it work. One of these teams is going to pull it together, and it’s the Jets.

 

Jaguars at Colts (-9.5): Jaguars

The Colts needed a wild comeback to get the win against the Titans. This week they take on the Jaguars in Indianapolis. The spread seems far too wide and I could even see the Jaguars winning outright. But with 9.5 points I’ll take the Jags all day.

 

Texans at Falcons (-6.5): Falcons

This pick is slightly borderline but I think the Texans QB play is the difference maker. No matter who it is, they just aren’t very good under center in Houston. The Falcons are going to continue to feed Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman and beat up on the Texans in Hot-lanta.

 

Panthers (-3) at Buccaneers: Buccaneers

Cam & Co are probably going to win in Tampa Bay, but after they let the lowly Saints hang around far too long last week at home, I see it being close. Jameis is going to start connecting with Mike Evans more often and that means that the Bucs have a chance to win and will cover the spread.

 

Giants at Bills (-5.5): Bills

How about them Buffalo Bills? They have been killing the game this year. The Giants have looked decent too despite two heartbreaking losses, but traveling to Buffalo does not bode well for them. The Bills win this game by 10 or more.

 

Raiders (-3) at Bears: Raiders

The Bears…. Woof. They suck and will keep on sucking. The Raiders might be one of the biggest surprises of the young NFL season. They will continue to trend upward, using the Monsters of the Midway as their next stepping stone.

 

Eagles (-3) at Redskins: Eagles

I guess the Redskins have looked better than I thought they would, but they still aren’t very good. The Eagles are going to start to hit their stride after picking up their first win and are going to run all over the ‘Skins.

 

Chiefs at Bengals (-3.5): Bengals

The  Chiefs will be coming off of a short week after getting murdered in Green Bay on Monday Night Football. Sadly for them, they are going to run right into the heel of AJ Green’s cleat. He and Andy Dalton have been on fire, and I’m not just referring to the latter’s hair. It’s going to be a blowout in Cincy.

 

Browns at Chargers (-7.5): Browns

The Browns were very disappointing in the home game against the Raiders last week. But then again, so were the Chargers, who got bitch-slapped up and down the field in Minnesota. The Chargers will win at home but it will be closer than the spread indicates. Take the Browns and those 7.5 points.

 

Packers (-8.5) at 49ers: Packers

Jesus Christ I hate the Packers, but take them. Always. No matter what the spread is.

 

Vikings at Broncos (-6.5): Vikings

Have the oddsmakers seen these two teams play the last few weeks? The Vikings will keep it much closer than this, even if they don’t win straight-up. Take AP, Teddy and those 6.5 points.

 

Rams at Cardinals (-6.5): Cardinals

Part of me wants to take the Rams here and believe that they are going to get back to their week 1 form. But the Cardinals are just too damn good, and they’re at home.

 

Cowboys at Saints (-4): Cowboys

The Cowboys are in a pickle until they get Dez and Tony back, but the Saints are just complete and utter garbage, especially on defense. Take the ‘Boys.

 

Lions at Seahawks (-9.5): Lions

The Lions are in huge trouble and their season is on life support. If they don’t win this one it will be time to start planning for 2016. I still think they lose, it’s just closer than most people think it will be.

 

Patriots and Titans: Both have off for their bye week.

 

 


Last week’s record: 7-9

 

Season Record: 22- 25-1

 

 


Football is a Cruel Bitch

Written by :
Published on : September 22, 2015

Mama said there’d be days like this.

Coming from Detroit, I’m used to football bringing me more pain than pleasure. It just comes with the territory of being raised a Lions fan. I’ve grown accustomed to Sundays that are filled with heartache and rage. Screaming at the TV and cursing the Gods, old and new. Like a true battered lover, I blame myself. It’s my fault for still investing so much in a team that I know was placed on this earth to bring grief to Southeast Michigan, as well as those poor fools like myself who have moved on geographically but can’t shake the Honolulu Blue and Silver disease of our homeland.

 

If this was about just another Lions loss then I probably would not be writing this. I can deal with a Lions loss, I’ve been here before. Sure, this was one of the more painful regular-season losses in recent memory, especially for a team with such high hopes for the season. But shitting the bed against a (in my opinion, lesser) division opponent is nothing new for me. This past Sunday, September 20th, was continuously brutal from beginning to end, and I feel like I just have to vent my rage and frustration in hopes that it will help someone else….. Or that someone will help me. Please, I beg you to help me.

 

I have no words

 

As if the Lions loss wasn’t enough, I may have had the worst day in the history of fantasy sports and it starts with my survivor pool. After having selected the Steelers to beat the 49ers at home, I stupidly overthought the decision and made a last second switch to the Rams. My reasoning was that St Louis looked very strong, especially on defense, against the Seahawks in their win at home in week 1, and that the Steelers had not. All of that vanished on the road when the Rams traveled to play the (previously thought) piss-poor Redskins. Everyone except the other person who took the Steelers in the pool were eliminated when they picked the Saints, Colts and Dolphins to win this week. If I hadn’t have tinkered myself to a loss, I could be one of only two remaining in the pool, vying for a nice chunk of change. Okay, what can you do, it was a crazy week and everyone lost. My dear friend, Trent, will be taking home the big prize after only two weeks. I guess I can live with that.

 

The struggle continued and I remained the butt of some cosmic joke as I limped to three losses in three different fantasy football leagues. It was truly a losing day for the ages. In my favorite league, where I am the commissioner, my starting running back tandem of Jeremy Hill and Ameer Abdullah combined to give me a whopping negative-one point. NEGATIVE-ONE! I would have been better off leaving those two positions empty. How the fuck does that even happen? If that wasn’t enough, I left Travis Benjamin on my bench with his 3 total touchdowns. I might have actually won if I had started him over Mike Evans, who also gave me a big, fat zero.

 

So my big money league team started off poorly. Maybe my other two leagues have greener pastures ahead. WRONG….. My starting QB in league #2 is Tony Romo, so those dreams are broken along with his left clavicle. Hopefully my backup, Eli Manning can keep the interceptions under control and help me get the wins I need until Romo comes back, but I’m not very optimistic.

 

Poor Romo

 

My other QB, my first round pick, Andrew Luck, is playing about as ugly as his beard through two weeks. Like, really bad. He has 3 touchdown and 5 interceptions, to go along with a 54.7% completion rate. I’m going to attribute this to the fact that he has played top defenses each week but still, he is supposed to be one of the best and he looks like Blaine Gabbert out there. But I digress.

 

Only two weeks into football and I’m already starting to lose hope. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. This was supposed to be my year. Two weeks ago I was so vibrant and full of life; ready to take on the world. Now I feel dejected, lost and alone. A broken soul and a lost heart, longing for something or someone to bring me back to life. I’m just not sure it’s going to happen and I don’t know why I continue to do this to myself.

 

Like some devil-filled junkie, I’m still chasing the dragon. The memory of how sweet it once was fuels my quest to get back to that feeling. I remember making the playoffs and winning the league. I remember the Lions’ winning a playoff game (sad but that’s as good as it’s ever gotten). I just need to get back on my feet, that’s all. It won’t always be this bad, I just know it. If just a few things go my way then it’ll all be better. So here’s to hoping and praying that the Football Gods have some mercy on me before I break. Cuz this drug is something I just can’t quit.

 

anymore touchdowns

 

 

 


Champ and Chump of the Weekend

Written by :
Published on : September 16, 2015

 

Fans rejoiced this past weekend as the NFL kicked off its 2015 season. Add in a couple big college football tilts and the U.S. Open in New York, and it made for one jam packed weekend in sports. Week 1 in the NFL had some great story lines and some memorable moments. With that in mind, here’s my Champ and Chump of the weekend.

 

Champ: Marcus Mariota

13-16, 209 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 turnovers. 95.7 QBR, 158.3 Passer Rating in a 42-14 victory over Tampa Bay

All he does is win.

 

In a much anticipated match up featuring the top two quarterbacks taken in the 2015 NFL draft, and the last two Heisman trophy winners, Marcus Mariota looked a lot more NFL ready than Jameis Winston, who threw a pick-six with his first throw. Many doubted Mariota coming into this season, fearing his style wouldn’t translate to the NFL, a trend that has been true with former Oregon quarterbacks in the past. Through one week, Mariota has silenced his critics for now, and the Jameis supporters have to hope that Winston’s career takes off much like the career of a former legend who also started his NFL career with a pick-six—Brett Favre.

 

Honorable Mention:

Michigan State football- Huge win over #7 Oregon avenging last year’s loss in Eugene

Novak Djokovic- Defeated Roger Federer for the US Open Championship, his 10th career major win

Zack Greinke- Pitched 8 scoreless innings vs Arizona to improve to 17-3 on the season, 1.61 ERA, 0.85 WHIP…truly remarkable season, could go down as one of the best seasons ever.

 

 

Chump: New York Giants

Rashad Jennings summing up how the Giants ended the game.

 

On a play that may be scrutinized as much as the Seattle Seahawks bonehead decision to throw the ball at the 1-yard line in last year’s Super Bowl, Eli Manning left many fans scratching their heads yesterday. The New York Giants were just about to shock the defending division champion Dallas Cowboys Sunday night when Eli Manning and company did the seemingly unthinkable. Up 23-20, the Giants had a 3rd and goal at the Cowboy’s 1-yard line with just over 90 seconds left. Out of timeouts, Dallas had no way of stopping the clock. The Giants had them on their heels, all they had to do was punch it in. Hell, they had two chances if they wanted.  Worst case scenario, they come up short on 3rd down and kick the field goal to go up 6 and leave Dallas with under a minute and no timeouts to drive for a touchdown. Another scenario, on a potential fourth down, if the Giants came up short, Dallas would have to go some 99 yards without any timeouts for a touchdown, or some 60 yards for a field goal try with like 45 seconds left. Instead, on 3rd and 1, Eli dropped back to throw, and threw the ball away avoiding the pressure, but ultimately also avoiding the 40 second runoff that may have helped win New York the game. To make matters worse, it has been reported Eli told running back Rashad Jennings to intentionally not score with the hopes of draining the clock. Well, the G-Men may not have won the game but they did win the award for chump of the week.

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Adam “Pac Man” Jones- Flagged and fined for slamming Oakland Raider Amari Cooper’s head into his helmet

Florida football coach Jim McElwain- Childish tirade on the sidelines while berating a player

Detroit Lions/Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi- After leading 21-3 at San Diego, the Lions

gave up 30 unanswered points and lost 33-28. Calvin Johnson targeted just 4 times (2 catches)

 


The Ugly Breakup Between RG III and the Redskins

Written by :
Published on : September 1, 2015

 

 

With Kirk Cousins being named the team’s starting quarterback on Monday, Robert Griffin III’s tenure with the Washington Redskins seems to be coming to an ugly end. I thought about doing a full piece on the subject but decided instead it should reflect what RGIII’s career has been; short and painful. I truly hope that Griffin is able to latch onto another team without the pressure of being the franchise savior. It’s a bit late as I write this, but I can’t recall a player as highly touted as Griffin falling from grace in the way that he has.

 

Sure, there have been players that have come back from injuries to have successful careers. Two that come to mind are Drew Brees and Chad Pennington. Both suffered potential career-ending injuries during the course of their careers. Both overcame the odds. Pennington was a solid starter for both the Dolphins and the Jets, and Brees is a sure-fire Hall of Famer with several passing records and a Super Bowl ring in tote. But it’s not just injuries that are the problem with RG III, and it seems as though sometimes he doesn’t realize just how quickly an NFL career can be taken away.

 

RG III has spent the better part of his career on the trainer’s table.

 

Griffin needed this experience. As the famous “comedian” Bill Belichick once uttered, some players need a taste of ‘humble pie’ from time to time. The way I see it, Griffin’s issues are 80% mental, 15% personality (people skills), and 5% physical limitations. That’s pretty promising for a 24 year old quarterback that was formerly Rookie of the Year. The upside is still there as his arm strength and accuracy remain intact. His mobility has taken a hit to be sure, but he can at least scramble for a first down.

 

There are a couple of teams that I feel should give him a roster spot this season and sit him on the bench until the 2016 season, at best. The New Orleans Saints are one team I’d love to see him have a shot with. Brees has intimated that he may play into his 40’s. That would give Griffin ample time to learn from one of the great offensive minds, in head coach Sean Payton. Another team I think would be a great fit is the megachurch of the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys. I’ve toyed with the thought of owner Jerry Jones going after home state product, Johnny Manziel, but at this point of their respective careers I think RG III yields better upside than Manziel. Considering the chronic back problems that quarterback Tony Romo has had, the team could use some insurance at the position.

 

Or simply flat on his ass.

 

Unlike the Saints and Cowboys, the Houston Texans are in dire need of a quarterback right now. Brian Hoyer is nothing more than a stop-gap until the team finds the quarterback of the future. I do not see the team winning more than 6 games this season, especially with the declining health of running back Arian Foster. They could acquire Griffin, play him at the end of the season (ideally at full health) once things go South with Hoyer, and see what he has.

 

It didn’t work out for Griffin at his first stop. The commercial endorsements will cease. The ad campaigns will fade away. As his star begins to fall, there will be fewer reporters at his locker looking for ‘click bait’ headlines. All that will be left is the remains of what was once a promising NFL career. RG III must now make nice with his peers and earn the respect of a locker room. Better yet, he must be “All in” for the 2016 season, no matter where he ends up.

 

 


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