Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

NFL Year in Review 2010-2011

Posted: February 11, 2011 in NFL

This is how the 2010 NFL season started off, with players around the country portraying their unity as one union. As fans this was the first sign of issues for us, seeing that there is the possibly of a lockout and work stoppage leading up to the 2011 season. As the season went on, rumors and assumptions heated up alluding to what will actually happen next year but somehow the week-in week-out excitement of the games were able to overshadow the pending labor dispute but I will get to that later on…

Other headlines at the beginning of the season centered around the gunslinger, #4. The most storied (notice I said ‘storied’ and not ‘best’) player in NFL history was back for one more shot. Coming up short the prior year in the NFC Championship gave Favre and the horrible Vikings ownership false hope that they could do it again with an aged and battered QB who didn’t even show up till pre-season games were underway. Poor management, horrendous coaching, and disgusting team leadership brought the roof down on Minnestoa, literally.

With the Vikings seemingly out of the picture, all eyes were on Rex Ryan and the New York J-E-T-S, Jets. The most watched season ever of “Hard Knocks” gave us insight into one of the best teams in the league and it was nothing short of riveting. Nothing washes football down better than a nice cold glass of swearing and hazing. While it was all in good fun it brought the hype of the Jets to an even higher level as their quest for a Super Bowl was on.

As fans it felt like we were watching weekly episodes of TMZ when it came to the Jets. Constant controversy surrounding trade talks between shutdown corner, Revis Island, Braylon Edwards getting arrested for sippin’ and whippin’ (my phrase for driving while under the influence) and the skipper making soft-core foot fetish videos in empty parking lots of the Tri-State area.

With those two groups taking up 50% of the time on “Sports Center,” the rest of the minutes were devoted to “America’s team” and the house that Jerry built. With high expectations every year coming out of Dallas, the Yes-man himself, Wade Phillips just couldn’t get the job done. The players weren’t behind him and the play was evident of that so by the time Jason Garrett took the reigns the damage was already done, although it does look like there is light at the end of the tunnel for them next season.

With “Sports Center” coming to a close the only thing left were the Top Plays, which were comprised up by a handful of players. With Kevin Kolb injurred it was an easy decision to slap the franchise tag on Mike Vick, as he kept us on the edge of our seats week after week doing things that only flag football quarterbacks do. On the opposite side of the ball was Head and Shoulders spokesman, Troy Polamalu jumping over offensive lines.

Once the playoffs were on the horizon, several teams began to pull away from the rest of the pack. It seemed like Matty Ice and the Falcons simply could not lose at home, Big Ben would make clutch play after clutch play keeping adding to their hashmarks in their win column, and no matter how many injuries the Packers endured, they just kept winning. And ultimately that is what you need to do late in the season to go far in the playoffs. Win.

The playoff started off with a bang as Marshawn Lynch went into Beast Mode giving the Seahawks and their earthquake of a fan base the most exciting run in playoff history. Unfortunately for them, the fell short the week after to an even worse team, the Chicago Bears. I still don’t know how the Bears made the playoffs let alone got the seed they did. But eventually their true character and leadership shown through with Jay Cutler giving up in the NFC ship. This image says it all…

With the Super Bowl XLV contenders in place it seemed like it was going to be a game for the ages. The two most historic franchises playing on the biggest stage had the pieces in place to be one of the best Super Bowls of all time. Aaron Rodgers and his accuracy coupled with the defense led by Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews did what needed to be done to bring the Lomardi trophy back to where it came from.

In my opinion the Steelers are the best franchise in NFL history and with 6 rings, they took falling short of 7 completely in stride. They are class acts from ownership to coaching to turning around the life of their franchise quarterback. They embody discipline and defense and that is how they have done it over the years and unfortunately for them, this year they just couldn’t seal the deal.

Now that the dust has settled on the last season, headlines lead towards the pending collective bargaining agreement. Long-story short, the owners want to eliminate two pre-season games and and add on two regular season games bringing the total to 18, al while cutting pay. This may seem like simple math and that nothing is really changing but it is obviously not.

Preseason games and regular season games are completely different. Not only is there no intensity, but the competition levels are down, and that is due to the fact that most starters don’t play more than half of the time. And when they are in it looks like there is 22 Randy Mosses on the field because everyone is taking plays off. Even with the NFL being the most popular thing in America, I actually err on the side that salaries should be cut with a few exceptions.

I think the guaranteed money for high draft picks is ridiculous and signing bonuses are unheard of throughout sports but that’s just me. Just one second, let me get down off of my soapbox, ok got it. I’m fine with cutting pay as the owner’s operating expenses increase, however, I am not for decreasing pay while increasing play. I think by adding 2 games you decrease the value of play with more potential for serious injuries and the cumalitive small injuries that most players play with every week.

Ultimately both sides want to get a deal done. It is only harmful to both parties not to have a deal in place prior to the start of the 2011 season. I don’t think it will be pretty but I do think it will get done. I don’t think it will get done by March 3, when the agreement is up as both sides keep canceling meetings. With the draft ready to take place, whether there is an agreement or not, I would suspect a deal would be in place around mid to late April because I think both sides are bluffing and both sides need to play.

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In this dead week of football where analysts talk about the Super Bowl all week and begin to talk about the Pro Bowl Sunday morning, I feel as it is best for me to fall in line with with them and instead of touching on the more serious nature that is the Super Bowl and instead talk about the more celebratory things in football like dancing, spiking, and joy.

Whether they are premeditated and choreographed or on impulse and impromptu, we as fans love end-zone celebrations. Whether it is our team, in which case anything and everything goes or the opposing team/team we hate and we think they should be flagged for “excessive celebration” we are enthralled with these tea-parties in the end-zone. I know I love them and hope you do as well, so here are my top ten end-zone celebrations of all time.

10. DeSean Jackson

Maybe, because this is still fresh in my memory that I am somewhat biased but I really enjoyed this celebration. Even though I cannot stand DeSean Jackson, he turned an average” 10 yard out route” into a run that could not have been caught by anyone in the NFL let alone the mediocre Dallas secondary. Although there was no preconception of what he would do there was an eency weency amount of taunting mixed in with his somersault, which I can appreciate.

9. Terrell Owens

No, it is not a Jabawockee. It is one of the many celebrations brought to you by Terrell Owens. If he spent less time thinking about what he was going to do after he catches the ball, I guarantee he would free up some room in that large brain of his for concentrating on actually catching the ball. This wasn’t his best ever but I liked the “popping and locking” and can never get enough of it.

8. Chad Johnson

Yes, at this point he was Chad Johnson not Chad Ochocinco. However, he announced yesterday that he is legally changing his back to Chad Johnson in case anyone was worried and wants to start putting stuff up on eBay. The Batman to TO’s Robin is also well-known for his celebrations and short-arming passes but we all love those now rare occasions when he does eventually reach the end-zone, waiting with anticipation for what he will do.

7. Randy Moss

Even though Randy isn’t exactly in the height of his career, at one point he was the biggest threat on the field with his ability to get behind and above any corner and safety and he did it plenty of times throughout the former half of his career. This wasn’t one of his best catches but it was one of his best celebrations. I am usually a stickler for sportsmanship, but in this case I differ with Joe Buck. Pretending to moon and actually doing it are completely different and for that I don’t mind much.

6. Steve Johnson

While this season, Steve Johnson may be better known for the touchdown celebration that never happened because he dropped balls that could not have been thrown any better. However, I feel he has a lot of potential to be a great receiver and bring us more clever touchdown celebrations like this one.

5. Terrell Owens

This dance alone has balls. To be able to mock Ray Lewis and live to tell about it is reason enough to make the list. But this celebration is also near and dear to my heart because at Kyle Brewer’s wedding this summer, I taught the exact same dance to newly appointed USC Athletic Director, Pat Haden.

4. Braylon Edwards

Not only did Braylon Edwards save my fantasy team on several occasions this year he inspired me with this “dougie” to teach under privileged children “how to dougie.” It was perfect timing in that he was able to “dougie” on the defender and when the music kicks in just at the right time. While he doesn’t always make the best decisions behind the wheel and he may no longer be a J-E-T Jet after this offseason but I always had a man-crush on his beard.

3. Lance Moore

First of all, the title of the video is pretty funny lol. I am a sucker for hip-hop culture and anytime athletes embrace their urban roots and I am right there rooting for them. Lance Moore also was a good pick-up for me in fantasy this year with Reggie Bush out and he had plenty of opportunities “to jerk it” more often.

2. Terrell Owens

This one I especially like because it was on Dallas. On the incurring possession Dallas would drive down the field and score on an Emmitt Smith run of which he would take back the star, so to speak. TO would answer back on a second touchdown only to get blindsided which I also especially liked.

1. Joe Horn

The best part about this celebration is not that it was creative or premeditated but that Joe Horn had a flip-phone. And because of this celebration he will never be recognized for being a substantial receiver in the NFL but he will forever be remembered for being Joe “on the” Horn. And all of it almost went out the window when he was having trouble finding the phone he placed there prior to game time. And I always wondered if he had placed another phone in the other end-zone in case he scored at that end.

With the few weeks left leading up to the “Big Game” (I have to say ‘Big Game’ because I am legally restricted from using the NFL trademarked name ‘Super Bowl,’ or at least that’s what all the commercials do) I would like to highlight the reason teams get to the Super Bowl (fuck it, no one reads this anyway) and go on to win the Super Bowl. That reason usually starts at the top with the Head Coach and filters its way down to a consistent defense and having a good running game.

With the NFL being a relatively new league around for only a few decades, the best coaches are held in a class of their own. They took America’s favorite sport in their particular region and made Ming Dynasties out of close to nothing. As always, my leaning toward modern era and bias towards and against some coaches will be in effect and all the more reason for you to debate their substantiality with me. Lights please… I give you the Top Ten NFL Coaches of All Time.

1o. Joe Gibbs: is synonymous with winning throughout the 80s and early 90s. He was an offensive minded coach who could come up with schemes that would make the best defenses go crazy. The dude won 3 rings for the Redskins and they have never been the same since he left the game for NASCAR. This alone almost got him kicked off the list. Even though his racing team is top-notch as well, it is still a bunch of hicks driving with their left blinker on for hours upon hours.

9. Tom Landry: Old school! It still gives me the willies putting him on the list seeing as though he is a Cowboys guy and he probably should be higher on the list but #9 is as high as I’m gonna go for a Cowboy. He’s got two rings and was a defensive mastermind. He had a lot of big dudes that were great at stopping the run. He could shove 11 guys in the box and still get away with it because he knew what his teams were capable of and what they weren’t. He knew they weren’t fast but were big and recognizing your abilities is one of the signs of a great coach. Not to mention he looked cool in a fedora.

8. John Madden: Probably had the best post-coaching career of anyone on the list through commentating and Electronic Arts. And kids who play his video games may not even know that he was one of the best coaches of all time. He somehow won a shitload of games for the worst franchise in history of sports and that stands for a lot more than Sean Payton getting lucky and winning one with a lot of under achieving players. However, Madden is not recognized enough for his consulting work done with the Giants, the Little Giants…

7. Bill Bellichick: I feel #7 is a good place for “The Hoodie” right now. When it is all said and done I feel he will easily crack the Top Five but for now I think his quiet ass is probably content with his position. He is soft-spoken but knows how to assemble talent better than anyone else. His coordinators all end up Head Coaches, not necessarily good ones, but Head Coaches nonetheless. This season was cut short but as long as Uggs are still keeping Tom Brady’s toes warm and safe, he has many a rings to fill up the rest of his phalanges.

6. Mike Ditka: Intangibles. He wasn’t the winningest coach of all time but he is one of the few coaches that would kick Mark Clayton’s ass if he had the chance. I can’t stand da Bears but to them, Ditka is as big if not bigger than Jordan in the Windy City. He’s the only guy on the face of the Earth that can make wearing a sweater vest tough and look cool, it was almost as though it was bulletproof.

5. Bill Parcells: “The Big Tuna” was actually given the nickname for his body shape and not his coaching abilities. Whether it is relevant or not is neither here nor there but he could scare the fins out of a player, literally (See he was the GM for the Dolphins and got rid of a lot of players). He knew exactly what to say to a player to get him to do what he wanted. He coached the shit out of my boy, LT, and I bet if he was still coaching him he wouldn’t be picking up 16 year old hookers and smoking crack.

4. Bill Walsh: He just looks like a nice Grandpa. Granted a lot of his success is due to Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott but he not only was a great coach, but he re-invented offense. He is the Founding Father of the West Coast Offense! How many of you have birthed a game-altering idea that wasn’t shot down on The Disney Channel’s “Z Games”? He was a successful player and coach and will forever be a legend in the Bay Area, even if some of their teams actually start winning.

3. Chuck Knoll: No, not Chuck Norris. Chuckie, I feel is, extremely underrated outside the city of black and yellow black and yellow black and yellow black and yellow. He made the Steelers franchise into what I believe is the best franchise in football. “The Steel Curtain” is still imitated but never replicated and all of that credit is due to Chuck Knoll. He preached defense and demanded respect and that is what he got in return, defense and respect. It was almost as though even his offensive players had defensive mindsets.

2. Don Shula: The only coach ever to go perfect throughout the entire season and he has a great chain of steakhouses to prove it. He shares the face of the Phins franchise with Dan Marino and if it weren’t for Shula, Dan Marino would have been just another extra in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” He exudes what a winner looks like and is full of class. His record of 347 wins doesn’t even begin to compare what he has done for the game and if it weren’t for him South Florida would be just another vacation wi-fi hot-spot, instead of the best football breeding grounds in the world.

1. Vince Lombardi: Jerry West is the logo and Vince Lombardi is the Trophy. Not only is he the namesake for the most coveted trophy in all of team sports but he is without a doubt the greatest NFL Coach of All Time. In a growing era for football in America, Vince Lombardi was the Head Coach, the GM, both coordinators, Groundskeeper, and team Doctor. If anything happened in the city of Green Bay he knew about it. He was known for his stern scowl, chain smoking, and his faith in God as he attended church every single morning before heading to the office (frozen tundra). He will forever be known as one of the best things that has ever happened to football and we all have him to thank for it.

The playoffs are here and you know what that means… A lot of research into picks and predictions that will never pan out. But that is what makes sports beautiful. If everyone who knew a lot about or studied matchups could easily predict the outcome then there would be no fun it watching the suspense of the game because you would know what happens anyway. And with America’s most popular sport heading into the post-season, America will be on the edge of their bar stools for the next month or so.

I try not to take these predictions or myself for that matter too seriously so please take these picks with a large grain of Kosher salt because Kosher salt is the best for grilling. Not to mention my preseason picks had the Vikings and the Cowboys in the NFC ship with the Cowboys winning it all. I’ll break down my possible playoff scenarios in hopes that they play out over time but there is a very good chance they won’t knowing that kickers still play a vital role in close games with their right futbol boots.

No. 6 New York Jets (11-5) at No. 3 Indianapolis Colts (10-6): I along with the rest of the world was spellbound by the Jets going into this season with the remainder of the hype from last season and from “Hard Knocks” and picked them to go to the AFC Championship this year. They are always teetering on the verge of cocky and arrogant rather than the air of confidence they try to exude. As clutch as Peyton is I think that injuries hurt them too much this year to find their Emperor’s Groove and Jets have just too much talent. Jets win 27-21.

No. 5 Baltimore Ravens (12-4) at No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs (10-6): I also picked the Ravens to play the Jets in AFC ship at the beginning of the year but I don’t know if that will still work out for them. I am still not convinced that the Chiefs have more than 12 fans. I think they ship in Oregon Duck fans for home games to make Arrowhead as loud as it gets. They lost to the Raiders twice and are inconsistent on defense. I think the Ravens could win playing one player at each level of defense. Suggs’ ugly mug rushing Cassel, Ray Lewis’ eye black breaking bones, and Ed Reed’s beard scaring receivers away. Ravens win 17-10.

No. 5 New Orleans Saints (11-5) at No. 4 Seattle Seahawks (7-9): As dumb as having a 7-9 Divisonal Champs sounds I am of the belief that the Seahawks deserve a spot in the offs. You play to win the game! Especially divisional games and you cannot take theirs away. That being said I think the Saints should have been given home field but whatever. I don’t know anything about their new Quarterback, Charlie Whitehurst, they have the worst running game in the NFL, but they do have the 12th man with their fans. Saints don’t have the “swagga like us” like last year with Breesy and Reggie Bush being injured much of the season. Saints win 35-21.

No. 6 Green Bay Packers (10-6) at No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles (10-6): This is my favorite game of the week. The Philadelphia Vick’s have an offense that is just fun to watch. Aaron Rodgers is old school quarterback who can sling it. I think DeSean Jackson is not a nice person. Clay Matthews looks like the Ultimate Warrior. I used to be a huge wrestling fan so I’m emotionally picking Green Bay to win even though I can’t fathom Vick losing this week in a real barn burner. Packers win 30-27.

No. 5 Baltimore Ravens (12-4) at No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): The Steelers are the best franchise in all of football and they win be handlin’ business on their bye week preparing for this game. These two defenses should provide for a lot of big hits, not a lot of mental mistakes, and I think it will all come down to quarterback play. Flacco has proven a lot in his young career but I don’t think it is enough to outshine Big Ben who has a lot riding on this game. The Steelers one flaw may be their receiving core but I think Big Ben will make it twerk. If Roethlisberger can stay out of bars this next week, Steelers win 24-17.

No. 6 New York Jets (11-5) at No. 1 New England Patriots (14-2): Tom Brady is just too Tom Brady for the Jets to win. He knows how to closeout games, especially when it’s cold because of his new Uggs endorsement. He is the epitome of a leader and should lead the Pats to the Promiseland. However, you never know what Jets team you’re going to get and I think they are a more talented team and if all their stars align they could steal a win. It will probably be snowing though, so it will probably be hard to see the stars. Patriots win 35-24.

No. 6 Green Bay Packers (10-6) at No. 1 Atlanta Falcons (13-3): I rooted for the Falcons all season with Michael Turner racking up fantasy points for me but I just don’t know if they have the WOW factor. If their offense was a stock portfolio they would be well diversified and low risk/low reward Mutual Fund. Green Bay has had a lot of injuries but just seems to win football games and the just look like the NFL and they excite me. Matty Ice is nice at home but I am not sure he is playoff tested yet and I am going with the upset. Packers win in a close one 30-27.

No. 5 New Orleans Saints (11-5) at No. 2 Chicago Bears (11-5): I cannot stand the Bears and am still shocked they are a playoff team. I feel like Jay Cutler pulls wins out of nowhere that leaves Bears fans shocked every game. I guess that is a good thing for them but I think he is whipped by Kristen Cavallari. As much as I would like to see him lose and see the Dem Saints “Who Dat’n” up and down Mardi Gras again this year but I just can’t go against the numbers. I hope I am wrong with this but Bears win 21-10.

No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) at at No. 1 New England Patriots (14-2): This is my Super Bowl. To me, this is the best two teams in the best conference going at it down after down. The best offense vs the best defense. The best offensive player in the game vs the best defensive player in the game. I don’t know how much water their game earlier this season holds but if this game happens it will be one for the ages. Defense wins championships and I think the Steelers have a competitive edge even against the smartest man to ever wear a sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off in New England in December. Steelers win 21-14.

No. 6 Green Bay Packers (10-6) at No. 2 Chicago Bears (11-5): Teddy Bruschi likes the Packers and so do I. They seem to get better at something every week and hopefully by this time they will be talked about more than the Cowboys head coaching vacancy on SportsCenter. Adam Schefter reports that Jay Cutler doesn’t know if he can play because he has to pick Kristen up from the mall. He’ll show up right before game time and will get lit up by Clay Matthews just like last week as he shows him what real NFC North football looks like.

No. 6 Green Bay Packers (10-6) at No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): This Super Bowl has “Campbell’s Chunky Soup Commerical” written all over it. These teams just have girth, if I can say that in a non-sexual way. These two teams are so manly that they will make the half-time performers, The Black Eyed Peas, look like the Spice Girls. Then maybe they’ll have Pittsburgh native, Wiz Khalifa, perform “Black and Yellow” at halftime while “s-ing a b” instead and Green Bay can find some local polka band to perform on their behalf. I would eat a brat to this game as the Steelers win in “the house that Jerry built”  27-21. Yeeeeeah uh huh you know what it is!

I know there is going to be a lot of room for debate on this Top Tensday Wednesday because this list could go many different ways but I do appreciate the mutual respect as it is my opinion and I don’t deserved to be lynched for not agreeing with all of you. That being said I encourage feedback pertaining to your differing discretions. Most of my lists tend to take a more modern spin and naturally so because I am obviously more familiar with my generation than I am with past.

This list will highlight the characteristics that make ten dudes ten of the best of all time at the most infamous position in all of sports. I mean there aren’t exactly people going around making lists for the best Left Tackles and best Punters of all time. It will take into account their collegiate, professional, and off the field skills as well. So without further a due, I give you my Top Ten Quarterbacks of All Time.

10. Joe Namath: Broadway Joe epitomized the position and was a great leader with great confidence. Dude would show up to games drunk and still drop 400 yards passing. His aura and mild arrogance gave him the mental edge that he may have lacked physically, as he was able to get in the opposition’s head by guaranteeing a win. If you ladies don’t recall his playing days you may be more familiar with this…

9. Kurt Warner: Now, even I know Kurt Warner is not one of the top ten but something compelled me to throw him a bone, he probably isn’t even in the top twenty realistically but whatever. He went from bagging groceries to wearing a Super Bowl ring in a matter of a few short years of which, I was at the game so I might be a little biased. He has amazing footwork as you have seen on DWTS, he throws wearing a receiver gloves which is tough because it gives a little tack to the ball and he is good Christian family man who I admire.

8. Troy Aikman: As much as I didn’t want to put a Cowboy on here I had to. It was either him or Roger Staubach so I went with Troy Aikman  for his commentating pros. He is one of my favorite analysts for his validity and high-level of experience. He is a Cali kid who adopted his redneck nature with his short stint at Oklahoma and obviously in Dallas. With help from Michael Irvin (The U) and Emmitt Smith he led Dallas to winning the title of America’s team which is currently up for grabs. And above all he just looks like a quarterback.

7. Johnny Unitas: Johnny U may have been the most talented quarterback of all time or at least that’s what NFL Films tells me. His “golden arm” was a hose and was actually clocked at throwing a football faster than an Andy Roddick serve. I made that up. He was a big part of “the best game ever played” between his Baltimore Colts and my New York Giants, where came out on top in sudden death. He also had a buttload of MVP’s between the many different football leagues there were at the time. He also is the inspiration for Spike’s haircut in “Little Giants.”

6. Tom Brady: The new spokesperson for Uggs and Justin Bieber haricuts was not always destined to date supermodels and live this rock-star lifestyle. He was drafted 199th overall in the 6th round by the Pats out of Michigan. He was drafted as a backup to Drew Bledsoe and surely passed him as he is one of the best pocket passers ever. He can’t move that well outside of the pocket but he has uncanny accuracy. I think if he ever leaves Boston for a flashier city then Dan Aykroyd and the guy from “Home Alone” would hunt him down and kidnap him like they did in “Celtic Pride.”

5. Peyton Manning: “Let’s go insurance adjusters! Let’s go”! He is probably the smartest quarterback of all time. He watches more video than an unemployed construction worker with a Redbox gift card. I love watching his big and clunky feet high step around the pocket as he drills passes down the middle of the field. I don’t know if it is sub-par receiving core this year or what but it seems as though he may be on the tail end of his career much like Kobe lol. He will probably be a good analyst and still has some great commericals, here are some of the best…

4. Dan Marino: The best quarterback to never win a ring. The best player to ever come out of Pitt. The best player to ever wear orange and teal. I wish he was on the undefeated 72 Dolphins team too but he probably wouldn’t have been able to play all the way through “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” then. He had ridiculous stat sheets that never will really matter and it is all Ray Finkle’s fault (saracsm font).

3. John Elway: The best thing that ever happened to Denver. I would have been happier if he would have stayed with the Yankees when they drafted him in 81 but “shoulda/coulda/woulda” right? It seemed like he was going to be the next Marino when he and Terrell Davis had a late run in their careers winning a few games with Mike Shanahan. I don’t really have much else to say about him, he’s kinda boring like most things out of Denver.

2. Brett Favre: Peyton was the smartest and Brett is by far the dumbest. I heard he used to break up fraternity parties in college, beat the shit out of all the brothers, and then throw his party in their house. He absolutely ruined his legacy several times by going to the Jets, made up for it a little bit by going to the NFC ship, and then ruined it again by stringing the Vikings along this year again. I lost a lot of respect for him with his selfishness both on the field and off the field.

1. Joe Montana: Or as some people know him – Joe Montaegna. He is the combination of all the preceding quarterbacks’ good characteristics. He had Brett’s gun, Elway’s rings, Dan’s stats, Peyton’s smartness, Brady’s accuracy, Johnny U’s build, Troy’s competition, Kurt’s kids, and Joe’s charisma. He did it all. He won it all. And now he has kids doing it all in his footsteps as he watches their games in his “Skechers Shape-ups.” Not to mention he played with Rudy at Notre Dame.

Many of you who follow college football or sports fashion may be familiar with Nike’s line of pro combat uniforms that can be found on some of the better schools in the country. Schools like Oregon, Boise State, Alabama, The U, and Ohio State have been given special uniforms for special occasions throughout the course of the season. These are bright, loud, innovative, and technologically sound uniforms that are years ahead of their time.

With the slow and outdated Reebok still on the clock as the official and exclusive outfitter of the NFL, the league has looked outside the bun to better brands. New Era will have the rights to all the hats and Nike will have the rights to pretty much everything else, most importantly the game worn uniforms. Sketches were drawn up and leaked a few days ago showcasing the bold new threads. Word on the street is that they are fake but as a uniform connoisseur, I beg to differ.

Nike is not stupid. They would not let something as big as this just slip through their fingers and into the hands of someone with a blog. I believe they intentionally leaked the line to draw a buzz towards their upcoming contract in 2012. The biggest clue to me that they are real is the attention to detail, high-end design, and similarities between the college line pro combats. I know what I believe and while they my not be set in stone, you can decide for yourself. Lights please!

San Fransisco 49ers: One of the more traditional uses with the stripes on the under shirt is a new them Nike’s use of the flywire on the shoulder pads is similar to that of Florida, which will be on many NFL makeups.

Indianapolis Colts: Another traditional look with modern update. Don’t worry they get better. At least these are better than what #18 is wearing now.

San Diego Chargers: Here we go! Light blue to teal baby. I’ve been looking for a reason to be a Chargers fan for some time now and hopefully by 2012,  Norv Turner will be out along with the old uniforms. These are one of my top 5.

Arizona Cardinals: The Cards look fly now with black jerseys and white helmets and this version with feathers incorporated into the shoulder pads and pants is nicer than their current situation. Unfortunately quarterback is not included.

Buffalo Bills: These bring back the 80s Bills with reminders of Jim Kelly and O.J. with royal blue and red old school look with the Bill in the center of the jersey.

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs’ fan base just expanded from 6 to 7 with these. The head dress on the shoulders and helmet are sooooo dirty!

Cincinatti Bengals: I like the Bengals current uniforms and am a little iffy about these only because I can’t really make out the design throughout the uniform. I would like em a lot more if that made it a little more easy to identify.

Chicago Bears: Nothing too crazy here. Just a newer and updated version of what Jay Cutler throws picks in. However, notice the flywire design on the shoulders again further verifying my thesis that they are real with a consistent theme 🙂

Dallas Cowboys: Finally something Jerry Jones has no control over… for now. And finally they have one color blue in their uniform.

Philadelphia Eagles: Still same ugly color green but the judgmental fans in Philly will like these with the wings on the shoulders similar to Oregon.

Jacksonville Jaguars: My favs! The print down the side is so creative. Sick colors! And MJD will look awesome in this new helmet in LA.

New York Giants: Favorite team with least favorite unis. Nothing out of the ordinary with high expectations and low results. Maybe Eli can learn to slide feet first in these. New York might need some smurf turf also to match.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Soooo tight! Yellow helmets with steel plating decals is genius. Red, blue, and yellow striped on one sleeve and name and number on the other. One of the best.

Atlanta Falcons: Not much changed with these but they are still nice. Would have been nicer with a Vick #7 though too bad he was stupid.

Tennessee Titans: All light blues is definitely different. I also like the different logo on the helmet with just the back end of the flames going into the facemask.

Seattle Seahawks: Personally would have liked to see more lime green throughout but I’m weird like that. The under shirt with wings on it is creative too.

Minnesota Vikings: Too bad B-Chill won’t be around to see Adrian Peterson in these beauts. The horns on the sleeves and new helmets make a nice match. A loud match but a nice one.

Oakland Raiders: The silver and black are back. Easy E would have loved these…

New Orleans Saints: I always thought their colors should have been purple, green, and yellow playing to their Mardi Gras strengths but these are aight.

Washington Redskins: Unfortunately they didn’t get rid of the mustard yellow and I can’t really make out what the background of the jersey is but they’re better than what 36-year-old Donovan McNabb will be getting paid 18 trillion for the next 4 years currently wears.

New York Jets: Broadway Mark and their defense will look good in these dark intimidatiors.

New England Patriots: If you don’t like these than you’re not American. So creative to implement the stars and stripes into their unis. Tom Brady’s flowing locks will compliment the new white helmet.

Detroit Lions: Simple but modern. Light but blue. These unis just look fast for some reason due to their lightness.

St. Louis Rams: I’m glad they threw the tacky gold helmets out the door. These are much cleaner and still utilize the ram’s horns.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: So glad they decided to bring back the old creamsicle colorway. The current colorway is horrific and it nice to see them going back to their roots with the original Buc.

Cleveland Browns: The worst franchise in history didn’t change much with their outerwear either. They moved the stripes from the shoulders to the sleeves. Big whoop.

Miami Dolphins: Best colorway of all the uniforms: Loud and in your face just how Don Shula and Dan “The Man” Marino would have liked.

Carolina Panthers: Black panthers? These uniforms are intimidating and innovative with the cat scratches throughout. They’ll need them to try to claw their way into a playoff game.

Baltimore Ravens: Purple and black don’t go well together, so they needed some white to bring their defense to light. These are way better than what Ray Lewis is shimmying in right now.

Houston Texans: These unis just look like Texas. Now, I don’t really go for anything from Texas but these uniforms are clean.

Denver Broncos: Thank God! They got rid of the disgusting things the currently call a uniform. These unis summon John Elway and I guarantee it brings a win. These are just classy.

If you haven’t heard, I’m following in Aaron Simms’ footsteps out of Douglas County, who is the youngest person ever to run for county commissioner at 18 years old. I’ve got 5 years on the aspiring politician and 1 speaking point that will set me apart from my fellow candidates. I will successfully bring a professional stadium to the city of Las Vegas!

The pros of bringing a pro stadium to Las Vegas completely outweigh the cons. It would give a little jolt to our economy by creating jobs from design to construction to ushers to front office staff. The more we diversify our economy away from the hospitality industry, the faster our recession will concede and the more stable we will be for the future. Building a stadium isn’t the cure-all but it is a start and we all would love to see it happen.

Mayor Oscar Goodman has been lobbying for a professional team for years and the one thing that always holds us back is our lack of facilities. Cashman Field isn’t exactly in the best neighborhood, confining the 51s fans to people who live in North Las Vegas or people who will drive for dollar beers. The Thomas and Mack is still holding up well. There is a lot of history in the T&M and it would be dumb to wipe away all the tradition and renovations that are in place to improving their facilities. Sam Boyd Stadium is antiquated and far from any central point in Las Vegas and this is actually a live shot from the UNLV football game last night vs. Air Force.

The question now becomes what sport to bring here? Well, we had an audition for the NBA in 2007 but that didn’t exactly go well for the city. Las Vegas has never been so dirty and crime ridden for such a short amount of time and it looks like we better just stick to hosting NBA Summer League and Team USA. The NHL isn’t exactly in an expansion mode right now and the teams in the Southwest don’t do as well financially as the traditional Canadian and East Coast Teams.

We are now left with the NFL and MLB. The NFL would obviously be the most attractive option for Las Vegas but with a melting pot of fans throughout our city it would be hard to attract an NFL team with shifty fan loyalty. Not to mention, the NFL has bigger fish to fry with collective bargaining coming up and the possibility of bringing a team back to Los Angeles way ahead of Las Vegas.

I think the best case scenario for Las Vegas would be to bring a MLB team to the city that never sleeps. The Southwest has been great breeding grounds for baseball with many successful players coming out of Vegas. They also are the league that is most willing to continue with talks as Las Vegas as one of their top cities with Portland, San Antonio, Austin and Mexico City despite the complication we present with gaming.

The next item on the to-do-list becomes where. Where do we build the stadium? I have two potential options with the first being off of Tropicana Ave. and Paradise Rd. A stadium here would be both walking distance from the Strip, McCarran Airport, UNLV, with easy access to the highways just as long as it’s height stays out of fligh patterns. A stadium here would a allow for a minor tourist attraction as long as we don’t count on tourism to be a part of the fan base. It would be a breeding ground for new and young fans within close proximity to the university. And with the I-215 and I-15 both less than a mile away it allows the easy access for locals to go to go to games with ease.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=east+flamingo+las+vegas&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl

While, I prefer the Tropicana location there are plenty of viable options throughout the city with the land available for a project of this size. Another potential location would be on Las Vegas Blvd. South just South of Warm Springs Rd. The acreage here is massive, it is near local hot-spots Town Square and the Las Vegas Outlet Center and again both freeways within walking distance.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=east+flamingo+las+vegas&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl

The two teams on the chopping block are the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s (my personal preference). If we get the Oakland A’s we could keep the colors and change the name to the Las Vegas Aces. The name  “Aces” plays both of our gaming roots and baseball specifics with pitching Aces. We could bring on Las Vegan residents Greg Maddux and Pete Rose to run the front office and it would be like we never missed a step.

The next issue becomes financing as always. If an Mark Cuban’s investor group doesn’t pony up some cashola then we have some “majuh majuh” problems. The city isnn’t exactly in a position to make it rain a stadium in the desert and it would not be ideal to make the stadium for MLB and UNLV football. While it would add value to our university, MLB doesn’t like to share facilities especially with a collegiate program. However, if we did draw from the High-Ed budget we could be playing baseball in Las Vegas by April 1, 2014.

The NFL in LA

Posted: October 21, 2010 in NFL, Pop Culture

There have been talks of bringing an NFL team back to Los Angeles for some time now but are things beginning to fall into place? It sure seems like it to me. What would it take for there to be a team in LA? God willing there would be a lot of different puzzle pieces that would have to fit perfectly together in order for this project to work but it seems as though interested parties are having more serious talks concerning the issue.

Some things that would have to happen in order for there to be a team in LA would be a willing an able ownership committee, approval by the NFL, and the biggest decision to decide whether to expand or to move a team from another city. The NFL is a finely tuned machine based on numbers and expanding one team doesn’t make the square peg fit in the circle whole as flush as they would like. So where do they take a team from? It’s the NFL, teams everywhere have extremely loyal fan bases, people would be devastated if their football carpet was pulled out from under their feet right?

What NFL team has a lesser brand value? Here is an exercise for you, if you were told a list of team names, your brain would recognize that those were NFL franchises, right? So, now I want you to list as many franchises as you can off the top of your head. You can do it by success, geographic region, however you want. When you’re done see what teams you forgot…

Studies show that the two teams with the least amount of brand recognition are the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills. This may be due to past records, recent downfalls, less big name players, or probably a combination of all the above. So, the big decision is which team? Here is why I think the Buffalo Bills should stay.

The Buffalo Bills play in a very good conference with strong rivalries and it would be a travesty to break up those rivalries and have to pull a team from another conference to fill in. Buffalo is one of the smaller cities with an NFL team which is sometimes a good thing. They may not have a national fan base as big as other teams but the fan base they do have at home is extremely loyal and I would bet more loyal than other teams with bigger national fan bases.

It is also like Green Bay, they brings a sense of nostalgia to the league with traditional fans from decades past. Ralph Wilson, the owner, has been there for 146 years and even with recent troubling waters, fans are still loyal and revel at the remembrance of their teams in the 1980’s, as they wait for him to bring a team back to Buffalo that will do the same. Not to mention that everyone likes to watch football played in the snow in November and December.

I feel as though it is in the league’s best interest to pull the Los Angeles team from Jacksonville. They play in a fair weather state and sadly most of their fans tend to be fair weather fans, which is sad to think of because they haven’t had much success. They don’t have much personality recognition that would break hearts if they were to move. Their coach Jack Del Rio hasn’t been able to do much there, and their only offensive weapon, MJD, would probably be happy to get a fresh start.

I mean let’s be real, try to think of one of your friends or family members who is a die-hard Jaguars fan. Still thinking? That’s because there aren’t many out there. Jacksonville is fairly close to Tampa Bay which may not be much better but has a much more valuable brand and has much more past success. It would suck to leave The Jags in Jacksonville, have them go to the AFC championship, and have no one show up like the Tampa Bay Rays fans did, of which many of those people are the same fans.

So once, the JAX Jags make the move do they keep their namesake and become the LAX Jags? Or do they scrap the old mascot and start new? I would be fine with them remaining the Jaguars, while there aren’t any Jaguars in Southern California, there aren’t any lakes either. Another option for me would be to name them the LA Stars. It would play off of the ties to Hollywood and is a marketers dream for the players they could have.

Do they keep the colors or swirl up their water colors? I would suggest they switch it up with purple and gold. The Lakers have a huge fan base throughout Southern California with people rockin’ the purple and gold from Fresno to San Diego and it would only make sense to play to the region’s strength and align with the reigning powerhouse. And if they were the LA Stars, the logo could be a purple sky ridden with shining gold stars throughout.

So now, all that needs to happen is for Magic Johnson (who has been clearing up his stock ownership in the Lakers and Starbucks for such a move) Ari Emmanuel, and Mark Wahlberg to have lunch with Pete Carrol (future coach) at Katsuya and make it happen.

Head Shots

Posted: October 19, 2010 in NFL

The NFL is not perfect. It has many fallacies surrounding the players’ off the field shenanigans and for the most part that is where the problems lie. However, the biggest epidemic on the field isn’t rules regarding maintaining possession with both feet in bounds while using the ball as a prop to maintain balance, it is the influx of head shots.

Let’s take closer look at this issue. It is obvious that helmet to helmet hits are not only increasing in quantity but also in severity. This weekend alone there were at least 3 intentional helmet to helmet hits that should be taken much more serious than a 15 yard penalty. When the players step on the field they know they are putting their bodies on the line but they should not be able to take someone else’s well being into their own hands.

We as fans love big hits and encourage them with segments encouraging them and lenient penalties for such hits but it is all fun and games untill someone get hurt. The NFL is comprised up of the fastest and strongest athletes with aggressive tendencies. It is only a matter of time before their natural physical abilities and small mental capacities get the best of someone else’s vulnerable situation.

Most helmet to helmet hits occur over the middle while an eligible receiver is left hanging going for the ball while a safety or linebacker is late to the play and forced to make a play on the receiver rather than the ideal ball. The receivers are left helpless when there are two different goals for the play. One goal is the ball and the other being the hit.

So, what is the solution? What should the NFL to discourage helmet to helmet hits because small penalties are not sufficient. What is the best way to keep the intensity in the game while taking out the extreme danger? How does the NFL provide a safe alternative without compromising the quality of play. A few options are on the table for owners to discuss in the offseason.

The most obvious yet illogical is the idea that the player who commits the hit should remain out of the game as long as the player who gets hit. But this solution is completely flawed. If a receiver gets lucky and is just missed on an intentional helmet to helmet hit than the DB gets by unscaved and free to do it again right away with no motivation to do otherwise. And the other side of the coin is what if a Linebacker does connect helmet to helmetly and kills a receiver? Does he then have to retire for a dumb mistake that he may have not intended on? The death penalty would probably increase the amount of hits with the eye for an eye mentality and that’s just dumb.

The Mike Ditka alternative is to go back to how the NFL used to be with either leather helmets or no helmets at all. While this may deter players from helmet to helmet hits, it opens up a whole other box of issues that need tissues. The athletic ability of the players now is much higher than in the Lombardi era.Players have technology and ways to become better physical specimens than ever before. When players jump higher it means they have a lot farther to come down and when hits are made in the air there is a lot of room for error. Not to mention the traditional big hit where a player is wrapped up and brought down. If there head doesn’t hit first, it hits second on whiplash.

I think the best solution to these hits are by placing multiple game penalties effective immediately without appeals. Roger Goodell likes to set a tone with his rulings so I would guess that a fair starting suspension would be around 2 games and could get as high as 4 games for the amount of intention or for repeat offenders. It is clear to all that this is an issue that has to be resolved as quickly as possible before someone really does get killed and with the NFL’s recent bureaucratic rule on less important issues, there should be a fair penalty before next season. If there is a next season…

The digital age that we live in today allows information technology, data, and gossip to travel at speeds never before reached. Gone is the era of secrets between a celebrity and a comrade. The moochers of life have been able to alter the course of celebrities lives for good with the amount of attention that can be brought to them in a very short amount of time.

This hypothesis resides in the hotels and locker rooms of athletes all over the world. First class athletes are no longer only being featured in sport specific highlights, they are the top stories on Entertainment Tonight, TMZ.com, and in National Enquirer. Why all of sudden are athletes being treated like movie stars? Is it because they have diversified their talents beyond sports? Is it due to prior generations not having a daily interest in an athlete’s daily life? Are athletes worse people than they used to be? Or is it an unexplainable phenomenon that just is what is it is and will continue to grow?

I think it is a 1/4 cup of each. We as a society feel the need to be informed consistently per the ongoings of athlete’s daily pursuits, and that goes for everything outside of what they Tweet as well. We don’t just want to know how they did in the game last night, we want to know what and sometimes who they were doing afterwards. I’m one of these people who want to leave their personal affairs behind closed doors for the involved parties to handle, yet I like most others am curious as to what happens.

Of course it is the initial fault of the perp for committing the act but with more and more scandals getting out into the news in the last year, one has to wonder if this our fault for digging and unearthing these secrets that would have never been revealed if we didn’t pry into someone’s personal life. Or is it the society we live in that makes it possible for people with skin in the game to let the cat out of the bag for personal or financial gain? I think we have created a platform for people to make private matters public without the discernment of the people involved.

I am in no way praising people like Brett Favre, Tiger Woods, and Kobe Bryant (3 of the most iconic sports figures of our era btw) for their careless actions but I am almost taking my opinion out of the matter because as Ludacris once said “stay the f*ck up out my bizniss my biznass.” Yes, they are role models that people look up to but no one is perfect and people make mistakes. And because they are in the public eye, we feel as though we are owed the truth.

This is a lose/lose situation for both the people involved and for us as gossip consumers. Because we buy into the attention that some of these people who air out the dirty laundry crave, we only complicate their situations as to how they should deal with it. If it were left behind closed doors, solutions can be made without the thoughts of society having to be taken into account. And we lose as people because we only depreciate the value of sports and entertainment by creating a form of interest outside of the original. 

In matters of legality, my stance is a little different. If an athlete/celebrity breaks the law that is obviously public knowledge and I have no problem with attention being brought upon them for their acts because the solution to that problem can be brought up in court. Whereas, personal matters should be handled on a case by case basis involving the people in the situation. I understand it is a person’s right to exercise their freedom of speech but it really cheeses me off when they use other peoples’ lives as a way of bettering theirs.

WARNING: Again, I am in now way justifying stupid actions made by athletes but I do sympathize with their lack of privacy. If you were the dude who did some stupid ish, you wouldn’t want your panties hangin on a clothesline, you would want to handle it yourself. So, go out there and don’t treat people as you would want to be treated, treat them better. Boom!