Category Archives: Guest Posts

Sometimes we like to frolic in meadows while other people write

Guest Post: Don’t Know Who to Root For? I Can Help!

Is your team eliminated? Looking for a team to root for this playoff season? Friend of the blog Luke Johnson has written a helpful article that will tell you which teams to cheer for and which team to set fire to. Take it away, Luke!

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Football is great, I think we can all agree. Playoff football is even better than regular football…as long as your team makes the playoffs. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that yours didn’t. Maybe if you had cheered harder, this wouldn’t have happened. You monster.

If you are one of these unhappy souls, it means you don’t have a horse in this year’s playoff race. It is with that in mind that I present Who To Root For, a system that ranks each playoff team according to a set of scientific factors (read: my own personal biases) in order of who deserves your support. With luck, you’ll be so engaged in the finish that you’ll completely forget about your own horse, which broke its leg in turn 2 and had to be put down on the track. (Or, as the rest of us know them, the Minnesota Vikings.) Continue reading

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Guest Post: Revenge of the Flacco Apologist

The real MVP of the Super Bowl was us, for motivating this asshole.

The real MVP of the Super Bowl was us, for motivating this asshole.

As you may have noticed, there has been a re-occuring theme on this blog the last year and a half: Nate and I have basically taken turns taking a dump on Joe Flacco (don’t google image search that).

With that in mind, frequent reader and Ravens fan Ryan Artis stopped by to extract some of revenge. Continue reading

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Guest Post: In My Dreams (Super Bowl Halftime Shows That Could Have Been)

It is our pleasure to feature a piece by Giovanny Caquias, whose Yankee fandom I usually excuse in light of his sharp wit, vast music knowledge, and okay he actually lives in New York. Giovanny writes about all things music for Culture Blues, a site I would highly reccomend losing yourself in for a while.

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I hate you, Jay-Z.

I hate you, Jay-Z.

As the football-loving world focuses its attention on the exquisitely splendid city that is New Orleans, and the gambling-loving world tries to determine which Harbaugh brother will get the most air-time during the upcoming Super Bowl, I find myself feeling somewhat empty. Don’t get me wrong; I adore the brutal and enthralling game which some call “football”, and others call “handegg”, but ever since I learned the man who coaches the team I follow is the proud bearer of a tattoo depicting his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey, I’ve lost some of my passion for the gridiron. Take it from me, you should thank your deity, or your liquor bottle, that you didn’t end up a Jets fan.

Once I realized I had no real dog in the upcoming Super Bowl fight (though I’d really hate to see what Ray Lewis will do if he actually wins this game), I needed to figure out a way to keep myself interested in the game. Well, a reason other than the several grand I bet on Randy Moss doing something asinine before kick off (my time is running out!). Then, while writing about Beyonce’s lyp-synching inauguration fiasco last week (for a different web portal) it all hit me… the halftime show!!! Continue reading

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Guest Post: Heil Führer Goodell!

A good friend of mine, Chad Knoblock, has been a fan of the blog for awhile, and he wanted to contribute a piece. Being the good guy I am, I said sure. So of course he titles the article “Heil Führer Goodell!” Care to explain yourself, Chad?

 

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Ok, so comparing Roger Goodell to Hitler may be a bit much. But you could most certainly call his reign a dictatorship. It’s been nearly 6 years now that Goodell has held the title of NFL Commissioner, being voted in to succeed the beloved Paul Tagliabue. “Beloved” is definitely not the first word I would use to describe Roger Goodell or his tenure thus far. I bet many players and fans alike could come up with a few choice words to describe Goodell.  The sentiment amongst players is that he has too much power. Fans feel that in a few years time he’ll change the name to the “National Flag Football League”. So is he ruining the NFL? Does he deserve to be overthrown? No and no.  He’s actually a genius.

Chad, for one, welcomes our football overlord.

First, you must know going in that I am from south Louisiana and am a lifelong Saints fan. I certainly, more than anyone, should have disdain for the man who basically suspended the entire New Orleans Saints organization. Not really. Do I think the year long suspension of Payton was a bit harsh? Sure, but looking at Goodell’s body of work since 06’, I can’t say that I was surprised in the least. He has been strict on players and coaches alike from the beginning. He has a vision of what he thinks the NFL should be.  Here is a statement Roger made the day he was voted in: “The league has always tried to find a better way to do things, that has been a hallmark under Commissioner Rozelle and Commissioner Tagliabue, and I hope to continue to do that. . . . My theme wasn’t that it was the time for the status quo. It was that we had to keep innovating and trying to do things better.” He has been doing what in his view is best for the league since Day 1. His mantra, as we all know, has become “Protect The Shield”, and no one can say he hasn’t done that. The NFL is the most prestigious sports league in the world. In an age where technology and information flow like never before, he has had new challenges that the previous commissioners didn’t quite share. With the media always circling overhead, ready to muddle the image of anyone and anything, protecting the shield hasn’t been an easy task. Not to mention the ridiculous lawsuits filed in several districts in different states claiming the NFL has been ignoring evidence which suggests that repeated head injuries could cause long-term medical issues. SERIOUSLY? HEY, if you walk out onto a busy freeway you’ll probably get hit by a vehicle. You should thank me, I may have just saved your life!

Sorry for getting off subject. The point is that despite what uninformed fans and ignorant players think, Goodell has done an excellent job thus far. They knew these lawsuits were coming and he knew they would have to be dealt with. What was his first line of business after getting the job? It was instituting his now famous Personal Conduct Policy. Although unpopular with players, the strict stance that he’s taken on player safety was the perfect way to combat the lawsuits and it certainly didn’t hurt the league’s image. If anything it painted a picture that the NFL cares about its players and retirees. To those who say the game will be no fun to watch if he keeps going in this direction…you’re wrong. Football is explosive and violent, and that will NEVER change. Goodell has no control over how children are taught, and how high school and college coaches teach the game. Our hard-hitting, in your face sport of American Football isn’t going anywhere.  For example, the number of viewers for the Super Bowl had went up and down until 2006. Since Roger took office the ratings have consistently gone up every year. This isn’t a coincidence. How about this: the average numbers of viewers for last year’s World Series was 16.6 million, and for last year’s NBA Finals the average was 17.3. NFL games were watched by an average of 17.5 million viewers last season. This isn’t the Super Bowl either, this is regular season games. The NFL has grown into a 9 billion dollar business with Goodell at the helm. And it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Don’t say that the NFL markets itself or that Goodell isn’t needed. Sure, it’s the players who fans are filling the seats to see, but don’t think the NFL would be where it is now without Goodell’s guidance. You think the players could run the league? Here’s a tweet from an NFL player a few months ago: “Roger Goodell is getting over never seen anything like it 20 million for looking over the league with tremendous help I guess the NFL is banking,” he continued. “The NFL is not a company it’s a nonprofit organization that makes a lot of profit.” When one of his followers pointed out that Goodell is running the biggest sports league in the country, the player took offense. “Thats the stupidest thing i have ever heard the players make this league dont ever forget that,” he wrote. Wow. I won’t say who tweeted this. I don’t want Falcons fans to get pissed…Oops! I’ve said too much already. Back on topic, do you seriously want this guy and morons like him running the league?

This is why there is a Players Association that takes care of the players and Roger Goodell takes care of his “Shield”. And I think he’s doing a pretty damn good job of it. He isn’t ruining football nor will he. He has been a part of the NFL for roughly 30 years now. It has been his entire life. Maybe you don’t agree with every decision he’s made; hell, I know I don’t. But he is, in essence, the quarterback of the NFL. He will make decisions you don’t like and has and will continue to get criticized for every single one. Just don’t let his genius go unnoticed. He’s been clutch in the pocket and he’s impossible to sack. So what if he has all the power? It’s in the right hands. I personally think Roger Goodell has done wonders for the NFL, and more people should open their eyes and see it as well.

Heil Goodell!! (Roger if you read this you think you could let Sean come back a little early? Pretty please?)

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Guest Post: Peyton Watch 2012

If you believe ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, and I usually do, Peyton Manning is on the verge of becoming one of the most sought after free agents in NFL history.  With that in mind we thought we’d tap our resident Colts fan Lester Zook for his thoughts where this future hall of famer will end up.

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Every time Colts fans saw an audible this year, they got a little weepy

It cracks me up that bookies and odds-makers are putting up lines about where Peyton Manning is going to go. The writing is pretty much on the wall that Peyton is going to be leaving the Indianapolis Colts; all we need to do is wait for “the talk” between Jim Irsay and ole #18 before it’s confirmed. I could go into how there is a small chance that Peyton will return to the Colts (and being a die-hard Colts fan I’m not opposed to it) but just looking at the fiscal impact…I’ll put it like this, Jim Irsay is a unique guy, but he’s not stupid, he’s not going to hamstring his team just to keep Peyton in Indy.

Peyton recently dropped this line, “Indianapolis will always be a part of me.”  He knows his time is done, and so perhaps is the Colts run of excellence. Jeff Saturday is flirting with retirement and the Colts have put out some feelers about him working in the front office. Reggie Wayne is getting ready to hit free agency…it’s time to turn the page.

It’s going to suck to see Peyton in another jersey, especially if he returns to his MVP form. I think he’s going to and it’s just a matter of time and training to get his arm back to where it needs to be. Peyton and his agent have already said they’re willing to take an incentive laden deal to play next season. This is an interesting move for a few reasons. First, there is a market for #18, so no matter what he’s going to get a contract with some level of guaranteed money. Second, it leaves the door open for good teams that do not have a ton of money to spend to look at their quarterback situation. Peyton wants to win another ring, hell, he wants to win as many rings as he possibly can before he decides to become his son’s full time quarterback coach…or become an announcer…or work as an offensive coordinator or head coach. Peyton Manning as a GM? If former offensive and defensive linemen can run NFL teams, why not one of the smartest QBs to play the game?

Let’s take a look at some possible destinations for Peyton Manning. Go over some pros and cons.

First up – Peyton Manning signs with the Miami Dolphins

I don’t think the Dolphins are very high on Peyton’s wish list. The Dolphins are a lot like the Colts; lots of holes on defense and some good talent on offense. Peyton is a godsend to running backs, and Reggie Bush would benefit as long as he can pick up blitzes. Jake Long is a stud at left tackle, Brandon Marshall on the outside, Mike Pouncey could develop into another Jeff Saturday, and Daniel Thomas is a talented young running back who has no problem running between the tackles. There’s talent on offense, sure, but is it good enough to get to the Super Bowl? Unless the Dolphins make some considerable upgrades on defense and maybe bring Reggie Wayne back to Miami to pair with Brandon Marshall, I do not see Peyton wanting to play on a team with so many holes. If he did sign with the Dolphins, I’m sure we’d see Peyton Manning throwing passes to LeBron James on ESPN for a couple of months. I’m sure Dan Marino wouldn’t play the role of the bitter ex-quarterback, either.

Match Made in Hell – Peyton Manning signs with the Washington Redskins

Quick, name three receivers (Fred Davis is a tight end, you wannabe fantasy football badass) off the Redskins. It’s on the honor system so if you have to Google it, that’s fine, because I could only think of two. Jabar Gaffney and Santana Moss. It’s obvious that Gaffney is a talented receiver, he’s in the NFL, and he’s had a couple of seasons that put him on the radar. He’s not talented enough to lure a quarterback to come to the Redskins, neither is Santana Moss, who has to be one of the most overrated receivers in NFL history. Mike Shanahan is a very well respected head coach and he knows how to deal with talented quarterbacks. He’s also a control freak, like Peyton Manning, and that’s not going to end well. Throw Daniel Snyder into the mix…it’s just a giant headache with no hope of winning a Super Bowl. I bet Roger Goodell would veto the move as well as the “Manning Bowl” is going to be a hot ticket, and you can’t have that two, maybe three times a season.

The Job Saver – Peyton Manning signs with the Arizona Cardinals

Ken Whisenhunt has to be one of the luckiest coaches in the NFL. First, he gets credit for “crafting” an offense around Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Wow, talk about some ball busting work. Oddly enough, the Cards have regressed considerably now that Warner and Boldin are gone. Call me crazy, but isn’t an “offensive guru” like Whisenhunt supposed to be good at developing talent? He hasn’t had a quarterback work out since Warner. Boldin’s performance fell off after Warner left, and only Fitzgerald is still plugging along. Peyton Manning throwing on the red and white will do a few things, though. It will save Whisenhunt’s job and Fitz will have an amazing season. Even Early Doucet will break 1K total receiving yards and Beanie Wells won’t look like an oversized turd trying to run the ball. The Card’s defense isn’t terrible but they’re not instilling fear in any of their opponents. Again, just like Miami; why would Peyton want to contribute to a rebuilding effort? If Peyton is going to head to the NFC he will pick a team that has a competent enough of a defense to hang with the Giants.

I really don’t think we’ll see Peyton sign with Miami, Washington or Arizona. They’re the most QB desperate teams, sure, but they’re not going to help Peyton accomplish anything. If it was just a matter of suiting up and throwing some passes then we’d see Peyton take a league minimum deal and mentor Andrew Luck for a season. It’s about winning and Peyton wants to win. So what teams are just a quarterback away from winning the Lombardi Trophy?

You can eliminate a handful of teams right off the bat. First let’s get rid of the Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, Saints, Giants, Falcons, Chargers, Packers, Ravens and Lions as they all have quarterbacks who love their teams and their teams love them back. Next we can eliminate the Bills, Titans, Raiders, Bears, Jags, Bucs, Bengals, Panthers and Rams as these teams either have giant contracts or commitments attached to their QBs or the quarterback is young and talented.

We’ve already discussed the Redskins, Dolphins and Cardinals. Any team that gets into public arguments over contracts with their kicker won’t be an option so that means the Browns are out as well. Well, that and the Browns are terrible.

The teams that are left are teams I could see Peyton Manning signing with. In no particular order…

-Jets
-Cowboys
-Texans
-Broncos
-Chiefs
-Vikings
-49ers
-Seahawks

Yeah, some of those teams have established quarterbacks. Really good quarterbacks, but they’re not on Peyton Manning’s level. Some of these teams could deal their established quarterbacks to a team like Miami or Washington for draft picks, sign Peyton for the rest of his career (3+) seasons and draft a replacement. John Elway possibly signing Peyton Manning to not only curb Tebow-Mania, but also as a way to put Tebow though the MPA (Manning Passing Academy) on a full time basis? There are still a lot of questions to be answered about Peyton’s health and he’s still on the Colts, so we’ve got some time to speculate. What do you guys think? Where do you think Peyton will end up?

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