Monthly Archives: December 2012

Like statisticals?  I got one for you: When Greg McElroy takes his first snap against the Chargers on Sunday he will be the first quarterback selected in the 7th round of the NFL draft to start ahead of not one but two former first round draft picks!

Not a stat guy?  No problem, here’s it put another way:  On Sunday the New York Jet-ropolitains will have the dubious distinction of having  the most popular backup quarterback in NFL history, Tebow, AND it’s most expensive, Sanchez, both play clipboard-jockey to a former 7th round draft pick.

Either way on Sunday the New York Jets are making history, only the wrong kind.

Links:

Here is something I found when I Googled “Greg McElroy draft analysis”.  It lists that he was a finalist for the “Wooden Citizenship Cup”. I don’t know what that is but I think it means he is good at golf and friendship.

Great article I found while researching the specifics of the contract extensions Sanchez signed.  You can skip it all until you get to the fifth point Manish Mehta made and take it from there.  Here are my two favorite parts of the article, ” If Sanchez disappoints in 2012, the Jets may be able to trade him. They aren’t necessarily locked into keeping him for the next two seasons. Why would anyone want to trade for Sanchez at that point? Well, teams would only have to make a $8.75 million commitment ($20.5M minus $11.75M paid in 2012) for a four-year contract. That could happen unless Sanchez regresses badly.

And, “The worst case scenario for Gang Green: Sanchez regresses badly in 2012 and can’t be dealt after the season. If he underperforms again in 2013, the Jets could simply release him.”

Can anybody say foreshadowing?

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Why, how could this happen, why?  I have the same questions as you do.  But i don’t care about the answers, looking for such is an exercise in futility.  What could be said that could ever rationalize something like this?  Nothing, absolutely nothing, its impossible. Regardless  i will be haunted by visions of something ive never seen before.

Its the kindergarten class at Sandy Hook Elementary…any kindergarten class really.

Can’t you see it?  The horrible juxtaposition of the before and after?  The walls all decked out for Christmas?  The tree, the count down to the big day on the bulletin board.  A room filled with excited, sweet, kindergartners on their absolute best behavior so as to not hurt their spot on Santa’s list?

At their age, we all knew when the calendar page turned to December it meant that it was time to be on our absolute best behavior.  No matter what happened the other eleven months of the year, December was a time for being good, like it counted double.  We sat down, shut up, raised our little hands and ate our peas without being told because we knew we had a years worth of bad behavior to make up for and only 25 days to do it.

Can’t you see the tiny little table and chairs so small to a comedic level?  I could do nothing else but sit in one of them, fold my hands, drink my milk and have you laughing for hours.

Can’t you see all the imperfectly perfect green and yellow pictures of dinosaurs adorning the classroom walls?  And if it wasnt a dinosaur then it was a perfect little house, with a pointed roof, two windowst and a happy little family holding hand in the front yard with a dog obediently by their side.

Cant you see it?  See it all, when school, and life, was all about fun?   When you learned your ABC’s, got a toy from the box, drank some chocolate milk then took a nap?

That was the before.

What will haunt me is the vision of that same classroom after this atrocity took place  The scene of the crime in that same classroom, which  could have been in Anywhere USA where 20 lives were ended before they ever had a chance to live.  The sight of that tree overturned as if it was empathetic and cognizant of the events which transpired around it.  The idea of 20 tiny bodies lying motionless on the floor and the carnage which surrounded each and every one of them is what will haunt me.  The sight of the aftermath of evil incarnate.

Mans capacity for evil which took place in Newtown CT today, thats what will haunt me.

Personal Notes:

There will always be more questions then answers.

Here is a personal message to every member of the media which stuck a microphone and camera in front of a student of Sandy Hook Elementary:  Today, that childs’ innocence was stolen from them and you exploited it.  I don’t care why you did it, you are an awful human being and i hope you’re happy with yourself.  And for what reason?  So they could tell you what every sane, rational human being already knew, that it was chaotic, scary and noisy inside the school?  I hope the price of your soul was worth the ratings it brought your station as much as  i hope your vile, repugnant actions today keep you awake at night for the rest of your life.  You are part of the problem.  I’d rather be homeless than you. Integrity counts.

Days like today teach us how precious a second can be and how meaningless our wallets and Xbox’s are.  Take the time to say the things   you want to but never have to the ones you love while you still can.

Days like today make me sad to be a member of the human race.  Man’s capability for violence against fellow man knows no depths nor boundaries. Atrocities like this, as well as the Aurora shooting, Virginia Tech and Columbine, never happened before they happened once and now its a part of life.  Sick.

I don’t believe in god, but days like this  makes me wish i did just so i could say FUCK and YOU to him when it was my turn to meet him

And lastly, but maybe most importantly, to Principal Dawn Hochsprung and the rest of the staff at Sandy Hook Elementary, thank you. Heroes walk among us every day but unfortunately we don’t usually realize it until its too late.  You are everything that is right in this world and the debt of gratitude which the human race owes you will probably never be paid in full, but i hope it is.

It’s Finally Happened! #NFL Referee Flags a Player for Hitting Too Hard

no fun league

I have been predicting  for years that eventually NFL referees will begin flagging  defenders for “tackling too hard.”  Well, in yesterday’s Bengals-Cowboys game that is exactly what they did.  Sure, they didn’t explicitly say that’s the reason why they flagged CIN safety Reggie Nelson for this hit on DAL WR Dez Bryant (fast forward to the two-minute mark) but Roger Goodell himself couldn’t convince me otherwise. 

Do they understand that defensive players have to earn their paychecks too?  In today’s NFL, with Goodell’s player safety initiative, that was as clean of a hit you can get.  What is Nelson supposed to do in that scenario, just give up and let him catch the ball?  That’s absurd!

And how does the back judge, aka the ref with the worst point of view on the play, make that call?  He has no business at all throwing that flag based on his position on the field.  These personal foul calls have gone so way beyond ridiculous at this point they’re laughable.

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Week 14 Picks & Fantasy

Tennessee at Indianapolis (Colts -4.5)

I love the Colts at home where they are 5-1 ATS while the Titans are 2-4 against it on the road.  If this Colts team really wants to make the playoffs, and they should, they need to win this game.  The are currently in with their 8-4  record but still have to play division/conference leader Houston twice over their last four.  That turns today and week 16 in KC into “must win” games.  The Colts keep rolling and I don’t see them having a let down at home.

San Diego at Pittsburgh (Steelers -9)

The Chargers are putrid and they are playing for nothing.  Even if they win out the Norv Turner pink slip is already written, it’s only a matter of time now.  Roethlisberger is playing  and Polamalu is stringing together a few games in a row and should be rounding into top form.  The Steelers D is first in the NFL allowing only 166.7 yards per game through the air and I don’t see San Diego traveling across the country in a meaningless, cold weather game bucking that trend.

NY Jets at Jacksonville (Jaguars +3)

The Jets are bad and Sanchez is worse.  Sure, this may be his last chance to save his NFL career (at least in New York) but I don’t care, he is playing bad.  He is turning the ball over way too much and has no confidence in himself nor his teammates.  You can not compete at the NFL level without confidence.  The Jag’s are playing for nothing EXCEPT 2013 roster spots, don’t discount that.  Backup turned starter Chad Henne wants a job next year and is very familiar with Rex Ryan and they Jets from his days as Miami’s signal caller.  Take the home dog here.

Other games i like: Miami +10 @ SF.  Dolphins always play the West tough.  Philly +9 @ TB.  The Buc’s win this game but 9 is way too many points for a defense that’s last in the NFL against the pass allowing 309.4 ypg.  Houston +3.5 @ NE.  This will be a close game either way.  New England won’t be able to protect Brady enough against the NFL MVP candidate JJ Watt led pass rush nor will they be able to run the ball effectively on the leagues second ranked (87.6 ypg) rush defense.

Fantasy

Week 14 (in most leagues) signals the beginning of the playoffs.  It also is the time where you need to forget about names and draft positions and let matchups and “what have you done for me lately” be the top two factors to determine who you start and sit.

Start: Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman. Freeman has been a pleasant surprise this year.  He is the 11th overall QB in standard scoring leagues.  But as i said earlier, matchups should be the number one determing factor in who to play this week and Freeman has a saucy one.

Start: Tampa Bay WR Mike Williams.  This is one of my favorite matchups of week 14.  The Eagles are putrid against the pass and will have their hands full trying to shut down Vincent Jackson.  Who reaps the benefits of that? Williams does.  I say he is good for no worse than 90 yards and a TD maybe more.

Start: Indianapolis RB Vick Ballard.  At some point the Colts will need to become at least mildly effective on the ground.  Donald Brown is out so that means Ballard gets the lions-share of the carries.  The Titans D give up 129 yards on the ground and that is not out of the realm of possibility in this game.  Last time these teams met, D Brown and Ballard rushed for 135 yds combined and Ballard got into the end zone on a 16 yard TD pass.

Start: St Louis WR Chris Gibson.  This just in, Danny Amendola is out and Buffalo is awful against the pass.  Someone on the Rams is going to have to catch the ball and Gibson has been the most effective at doing so.  I’d start him over Larry Fitzgerald.

Start: Tennesse WR Kenny Britt.  It all depends on what you are looking for.  If you are desperate for a WR2 or flex then  i love Kenny Britt.  Britt has caught a TD in two straight games, he is the healthiest he’s been all year and, all about the matchup again, the Colts have let up 15 TD’s to opposing WR’s and are giving up an average of 24.3 fantasy ppg to them.  Realistically Britt is a flex options with WR1 potential.

Start: Pittsburgh RB Jonathan Dwyer.  Here is the case for him, Tomlin has said no more “hot hand” approach.  Dwyer is the starter, Redman the backup and Mendenhall is inactive.  Opposing RB’s are averaging 129 yards on the ground over San Diego’s last three games and the Steelers are going to want to limit Roethlisberger’s drop back to protect his achy ribs.  Expect Dwyer to have an unspectacular but solid game against the Chargers.  80 yards and a TD is easily attainable.  It might take him 33 attempts to get there but that doesn’t matter as ypc has no effect on your fantasy game.

 Start: Minnesota TE Kyle Rudolph.  He’s had touchdowns in three straight games and he scored last time these two teams met plus the Vikings have no one else to throw to.

Deep Start: Philadelphia WR Riley Cooper.  This start might not be for everyone but if you’re really hurting and/or in a PPR format, I’d go with the former Florida standout.  As mentioned above, the Bucs’ are last in the NFL against the pass.  When these backup QB’s like Foles come in, sometimes they have more success going to guys like Cooper who aren’t the teams’ big name players but rather the player they are more comfortable with because they get reps together in practice.

Other guys I like: INDI WR TY Hilton, NYG RB Ahmad Bradshaw, STL RB Steven Jackson, WAS RB Alfred Morris, PIT WR Antonio Brown and NO WR Lance Moore.

Sit: Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald.  If you are lucky enough to be in the playoffs and have Fitz on your team, congratulations.  Now sit him down and scour the waiver wire if you haven’t already.  Just based on the matchup alone I’d probably go with the aforementioned Riley Cooper over the future HOF.  SEA CB Browner is playing and should be effective against the John Skelton led pass attack.  Fun fact, Larry Fitzgerald has the most red zone targets without a touchdown catch ( in the rz) in the NFL.

Sit: New York Jets RB Shonn Greene.  If i had to, I’d rather start Bilal Powell.  Who, when healthy  has been more effective than Greene. To describe Greene’s running style as “plodding” would even be generous.

Sit: Dallas QB Tony Romo.  Only two QB’s all year have thrown for multiple TD’s against the Bengals and only one passer has topped 300 yards.  There are better options out there.

Sit: San Diego RB Ryan Matthews.  See Larry Fitzgerald above.  Matthews won’t bust his slump against the Pittsburgh defense in Pitt.  He’s only had double-digit fantasy points once all year!

Sit: Miami RB Reggie Bush.  Usually you should sit every RB who faces the vaunted 49er defense and Bush is no different.  He’s had to compete with second year runner Daniel Thomas for carries over the past five games to the point where it is definitely a “time-share” situation with Bush on the losing end because Thomas gets the red zone touches.  FYI sit Thomas as well.  Oh by the way, all-world LT Jake Long is on IR after sustaining a season ending triceps injury last week.  I want nothing to do with the Miami backfield.

Sit: Buffalo WR Steve Johnson.  The Rams defense might not have much but it does have a legit shutdown corner in Cortland Finnegan who should have no problem taking  a second-third tier WR1 like Steve Johsnon out of the equation.  In fact, he has made a career out of shutting down Steve Johnson types.

Sit: San Francisco RB Frank Gore.  It has been a very nice year for Gore who is the ninth best RB in standard scoring leagues.  BUT Miami only gives up 97.7 yard on the ground and defense travels.  It might be hard to do figuring you rode Gore this far and i still like him as more of a flex option but do not expect Gore to be the typical RB1 he usually is and single handedly win your playoff game for you.  I expect guys like BJGE, Mikel Leshoure and Jonathan Dwyer all to have better games.

Other guys I don’t like: SF TE Vernon Davis, CAR WR Steve Smith, DAL WR Austin Miles, BUF RB Fred Jackson, ATL RB Michael Turner, DAL RB Demarco Murray and PHI RB Bryce Brown.

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Did Bret Bielema have a Second Job BEFORE He Left for ARK? #Badgers #doppleganger

Nice boobs dude!

Nice boobs dude!

Is the real reason why the Wisconsin Badgers football team lost five games this year not because their head coach Bret Bielema was double-dealing behind their back to score the Arkansas job but rather because he was moonlighting as the spokesman in the new Southern Comfort commercials for a some extra cash?

At least he did a few pushups before this one was taken

At least he did a few pushups before this one was taken


I say YES! Answer me this, have you ever seen them in the same room together?

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New England 23 Miami 16 Game Notes

Tannehill Scores

Tannehill Scores

“‘Tom, 24/40 238yds 1 TD 1 INT and 4 sacks isn’t very Brady-like now is it?”

For those of you in a hurry I’ll give you the twitter-ized version: They (NE) have Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez and we (MIA) don’t.   Miami loses to the Patriots 23-16.  That’s all you need to know in 140 characters or less.

I’ll keep going for those of you who’d like to know more.  I watched every single snap of the Miami-New England game.  Some multiple times.  On every play I asked myself, “Who more accomplished their goal during that play?”  and assigned a winner based solely on that criteria.

For the game, the Patriots won 89 of 167 plays, or 53% of them.

Miami shot themselves in the foot early.  After receiving the ball to start the game they couldn’t even execute something as simple as a ” 3 and out” on offense.  The punter Brandon Fields couldn’t handle the low snap and New England took over first and 10 from Miami’s 12.

A touchdown run by Ridley ensued.  7-0 Patriots.

On the Patriots next possession the Dolphins did a nice job of playing a “bend but don’t break” style of defense which kept this game reasonably close all day.  Aided by a holding penalty and some well-timed 3rd down pressure on Brady, Miami held New England to zero points after Gostkowski missed a 49 yard FG.

Miami got the ball at midfield but failed to do anything with it and is forced to punt.  On second down, Tannehill overthrew a wide open Brian Hartline.  It would have been a touchdown had it been completed.  This was the first of two occasions in which Tannehill showed that he struggles to hit wide open receivers.

Miami pins New England inside their own 3 and three plays later #20 Jones does a great job of covering #81 Hernandez.  He picked Brady off  it off and took s it to the house! BUT…FLAG.  Two of them actually.  Off-setting and on the return.  Miami keeps the ball but loses the touchdown.

The Miami penalty hurts them.  They wind up trading seven for three when all they can muster is a 44 yard Dan Carpenter FG.  And are lucky to get that because #33 D Thomas put the ball on the ground but #68 Incognito bailed him out and RG John Jerry got flagged for holding.  7-3 Patriots.

END of the 1st QUARTER

On the opening drive of the 2nd quarter Miami committed their second special teams turnover of the game.  On 3rd & short Miami goes all out for the punt block, missed the ball but nail the punter, 15yd personal foul, 1st down Patriots.  Awful job out of #27 Jimmy Wilson on the play.  That can not happen.

After a soft pass interference penalty on #2o Jones and some missed tackles by #25 ( I don’t know who he is and don’t feel the need to look it up) and #58 Dansby, on 2nd & G from the Miami 7 #12 Brady makes the perfect adjustment at the line and hits #83 Welker on a screen for an easy touchdown.

 14-3 Patriots and there is  a lot of time left for this game to get out of hand.

Miami gets the ball and it gets worse.  The offense goes nowhere on 1st and 2nd down.  Then on 3rd & 4 the Patriots backup LB #99 Trevor Scott dominated Miami backup (Jake Long left early with a triceps injury and did not return) T #75 Nate Garner and gets the ever valuable sack-fumble on Tannehill which Wilfork recovers (and promptly gives to Mrs. Wilfork).

Miami does a good job of holding The Pats to a field goal.  Its 17-3 Miami and not looking good.

Miami takes over 1st & 10 at their own 20.  HOLDING #80 Fasano.  1st & 20 at their own 10.  This is starting to get ugly.

FALSE START #82 Hartline.  1st & 25 at their own 5.  It’s going from bad to worse with way too much time on the clock.  It looked like things were about to get ugly…

Only they didn’t.

From there, Miami goes on an impressive 13 play 95 yard drive which ends with #17 Tannehill calling his own number and diving into the end zone off a nice play fake.  TOUCHDOWN!

17-10 Patriots.  We got a game folks.

On the drive Miami “won” 10/13 plays and had nice individual efforts by Fasano, Hartline and Bess picking up critical yards to keep the drive alive and by #68 Incognito and #51  Pouncey paving the way for them.

New England takes a knee to end the half.  They go into the locker room with a seven point lead but the game very much still in doubt.

New England gets the ball to start the 3rd quarter but goes three and out.  On 3rd & 3 #55 Misi gave a superior effort by taking on not one but two blocks to set the edge and force NE to punt.

For the rest of the 3rd quarter Miami and New England trade punts.  On a critical 3rd down #91 Wake got his 10th sack of the year which knocked Brady and the Patriots out of field goal range.  And on a just as critical 3rd & 14 for Miami #15 Bess turned what looked to be a sure 1st down into punt.

I don’t know what #15’s problem is but I am not impressed with him at all.  I have never seen a WR who catches the ball on 3rd down short of the sticks more often than he does.  It’s like he is allergic to first downs.  Between the drops, not being on the same page as his QB and plays like this which are all too frequent, I’m done with him.

3rd quarter ends with New England leading 17-10 but deep in Dolphin territory with a 3rd & 1.

Which NE’s #81 Aaron Hernandez converts.  Only fitting, he had the catch on 2nd down to set up 3rd and short then he finished it.

Trouble.  NE has it 1st & G from the 2.

But wait.  Again, bend but don’t break.  Sacks by #20 Jones and #55 Misi book ending a 2nd down Welker drop in the end zone (nice pressure by #98 Odrick may have played a part in that) and all of a sudden the Pats have to settle for a FG.

20-10 New England and if you believe in moral victories, Miami’s defense just scored a huge on there.

Miami gets the ball on their own 20 and goes on another impressive 13 play drive which ended in points.  Unfortunately they have to settle for a field goal after their own trip to the red zone.

But it is another drive where Miami left points on the board.  On the third play of the drive, from their own 33, Tannehill severely under-throws a wide open #82 Hartline on another play which could have easily ended with a touchdown instead of an incomplete pass.

The drive was highlighted by a tough 4th & 1 conversion by #33 Thomas on the NE 22.  #68 Incognito basically won the play himself by flat-out dominating Patriots’ all-world DT #75 Vince Wilfork.

With 8:28 remaining Patriots 20 Miami 13 and the Dolphins have all three of their timeouts.  It’s official, game on.

But, being the savvy veteran team they are, led by the mad scientist Bill Beli-cheat himself, New England gets the ball and all but ends the game.

They take over on their own 20 and march down the field on a 16 play drive that ends in a field goal which makes it a two score game but more importantly they strangled 7:18 from the clock and ate up all three of Miami’s timeouts AND the two-minute warning.

With only 70 seconds remaining, Patriots lead 23-13 and a two score game means Miami chances of winning are all but over.  But they do make it interesting until the bitter end with two big “chunk” yards completions to the sidelines.  They muster a FG to make it 23-16 and ensure they at least cover the spread as a 9pt underdog but that’s all.  New England easily recovered the onside kick attempt, game over.

It was a loss, a tough one at that but there were some positive things to come of it.

For Miami #55, #96 and #20 all had exceptional games to lead the defense.  I thought the Incognito-Wilfork battle was pretty even and very fun to watch.  Wilfork dominated early but Incognito did a nice job of battling back and did some dominating of his own.  The Patriots entered the game having given up only 15 sacks on the year and the Miami defense got to Brady a season high four times.  

Click to watch the full game highlights here.

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