Week 2 Predictions: Panthers, Lions or Bears and 49ers? Marquee matchups

I went 9-7 last week. That was spellbinding – considering I was 1-5 before the Jets sealed the deal to ignite my win streak.

Without introduction, my Week 2 Picks:

STEELERS 06 — 26 RAVENS
The emotional week has taken its toll on the Ravens and it will show in tonight’s performance. A loss would exacerbate the negative attention surrounding a team that has been dealing with adversity since the start of the offseason. But a loss could, however, provides a spark in the locker room and the Ravens punish their next opponent, the Cleveland Browns.
Prediction: STEELERS 27 Ravens 17

DOLPHINS AT BILLS

Both AFC East teams are coming off impressive wins. The Bills de-clawed the Bears while the Dolphins confiscated the Patriots’ weapons. Neither want to play each other coming off of that high, but the Bills will make sure that the salty waters they send the Dolphins to will be saltier after they win. #MIAvsBUF

Dolphins 17 BILLS 23

JAGUARS AT REDSKINS

The Jacksonville Jaguars must not lose to the Redskins if they want to save face. I’m thinking that Washington gets swept by every team in the AFC South, so there’s a lot on the Jags’ plate. Robert Griffin III wants to prove that he still has that rookie magic — he doesn’t.

JAGUARS 20 Redskins 19

COWBOYS AT TITANS

The ‘Boys hot-air balloons were deflated last week against a 49ers team that didn’t have much air about them heading into Dallas. The Titans terrified me so bad that I had nightmares all week.

Cowboys 18 TITANS 24

CARDINALS AT GIANTS

The Cardinals won’t force the ball to Larry Fitz. The Giants are unstable and I’m almost going to convince myself that they’re going to finish 9-7 after going 3-6. Man. I can’t. …

CARDINALS 30 Giants 17

PATRIOTS AT VIKINGS

Mike Zimmer, when with the Bengals, sacked Tom Brady four times last year. Matt Cassel has waited for this day since he warmed the bench for his superstar quarterback. The reason that the Vikings don’t win this game is because they fall into a funk late in the second half. Tom Brady doesn’t down two in a row, not this early in the night.

PATRIOTS 38 Vikings 28

SAINTS AT BROWNS

The Saints and Drew Brees are pissed. Anger doesn’t help and the Browns abscond their own city with a last-second touchdown. The heavy favorite to win the NFC South make their climb even more challenging. But they thrive off of that “against the world” mentality, anyway.

Saints 21 BROWNS 27

FALCONS AT BENGALS 

This game makes my stomach hurt. The Falcons pulled a rabbit out of a hat last week, so did the Bengals. This is a toss up for two teams that were gimmicks seven days ago. Home team wins.

Falcons 27 BENGALS 30

LIONS AT PANTHERS

The Lions have a better backfield than Carolina’s.

LIONS 30 Panthers 17

RAMS AT BUCCANEERS

The Rams and Buccaneers will play two-hand-touch today.

Rams 14 BUCS 17 (OT) 

SEAHAWKS AT CHARGERS 

The Chargers aren’t ready to handle their first win, says the Seahawks.

SEAHAWKS 31 Chargers 18

TEXANS AT RAIDERS

Texans know better not to go to Oakland and win. The Raiders have the talent to take their visitors and toss them into the Pacific.

Texans 21 RAIDERS 28

JETS AT PACKERS

The Packers are flustered and cannot stomach two losses back-to-back. Sorry, Jets fans.

Jets 19 PACKERS 31

CHIEFS AT BRONCOS

Game is in Denver and the Chiefs don’t have the firepower to stop Julius Thomas, whereas the Broncos have the defense to stop Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe.

Chiefs 17 BRONCOS 38

BEARS AT 49ERS 

Best game of the week? Maybe, depending on your preference. Personally I like Panther meat and Lion meat.

Bears 14 49ERS 21

EAGLES AT COLTS

Eagles win their second game in a row. Colts go 0-2 and sit behind the Jaguars’ big heads in the passenger seat. Titan driving.

EAGLES 28 Colts 24

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Life of Unluckiest Fantasy Football Owner — Season 2, Episode 1: The Nightmare Continues

Good afternoon all,

Welcome to the Life of the Unluckiest Fantasy Football Owner series. I am your humble, tearful host, Daniel P. Here we will rejoice, cry, exchange advice and (hopefully) win together.

I promised myself that I would draft wisely and cut down on the mistakes I made managing my team last fall.

If I learned anything from 2013, I didn’t. OK, OK, greed is evil.

I am in a Fantasy League with five other Baltimore Beatdown writers and six staff members of The Purple Reign Show. No money is involved (thank God), and the epic battles will be for our souls. (Just kidding.)

I drafted a phenomenal team. Listen to it here.

I selected Eddie Lacy and took his handcuff James Starks late in the draft. I predicted and bet a Chipotle meal against my friend that Robert Griffin III will not compete in all 16 games this season. That explains why I took Kirk Cousins; Captain Kirk has the weapons to flourish if Griffin III goes down.

Tom Brady had to be scooped and runningbacks Toby Gerhart’s (JAC) and Andre Ellington’s (ARI) upside were too glorious for me to see them on someone else’s roster.

Rollouts

I wish God blessed me with the gift of predicting the future. I mean, prophesying is that, kind of, right? Wes Welker is suspended for four games. Boom. Marvin Jones is out for a “few weeks.”

Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion last night in the Packers‘ loss. It’s happening again. Marlon Brown isn’t a surefire start for now, or is he? Andre Ellington, Tom Brady and Sammy Watkins all have either a “P” or a “Q” next to their names as if they need improvement with their “please”s and “thank you”s.

Oh, that’s right, Jordan Reed, my Redskins‘ tight end. Reed is listed as probable for the game against a Texans defense swearing to clown and watt the hell out of Griffin III and Co.

(Swearinger, Clowney, and Watt if that flew over your head.)

Welp, what’s there to say? Yahoo, ESPN, NFL, CBS, XYZ.

Fantasy Football will always be the source of my gloom.

#GBvsSEA THIRD QUARTER THOUGHTS

Marshawn Lynch is still crushing it. Robert Turbin sighted.
Maxwell may have conned Jordy Nelson the whole time. Nelson dropped a perfect pass and Maxwell is there at the right time and in position to intercept Rodgers’ pass.

Seahawks misdirection plays aren’t going to work this half (I think). Clay Matthews doesn’t bite.

Randall Cobb drops crucial one hander.

Still not much pressure on AaRod.

Huge play made by Seahawks D–AaRod throws cross his body to the opposite end of the field to Nelson.

4th down attempt is questionable.

Wilson and O are finding their groove late into the 3rd.

Lynch scores #2 for the night.

29-10

#GBvsSEA SECOND QUARTER THOUGHTS

Seahawks score with ease; Russell Wilson finds fourth receiver Ricardo Lockette for a touchdown.

Eddie Lacy started hot but now is getting pummeled.

Huge pass interference committed by Bobby Wagner. Rodgers finds Randall Cobb streaking down the right hash on a broken play. First and goal but the Packers only tie the game up 10-10.

Percy Harvin is an excellent return specialist. TRIPLE THREAT.

Zack Miller makes a one-handed snag — whole bar goes wild.

Lynch is running with conviction. Monster mode.

Harvin keeps finding open lanes on the edge after taking handoffs from the backfield. Packers can’t seal the edge fast enough.

Zach Miller’s backup Luke Willson throws an excellent block on Clay Matthews and Monster Mode walks into a welcoming endzone.

On two-minute drill Aaron Rodgers could have ran and converted the third down (and four) but his pass sails OB.

#GBvsSEA FIRST QUARTER THOUGHTS

Richard Rodgers already forgets his assignment on second play of the game.

Caught him asking Eddie Lacy where to go before Aaron Rodgers gets the snap off.

Thoughts on Earl Thomas returning his first punt? Reckless.

Percy Harvin is just as much as an offensive threat on third down as he is on first.

Tip drill. Russell wilson almost throws a pick…running into the kicker (#76 Daniels) gives the Seahawks new life after they go 3-and-out.

Harvin=the truth=dual threat.

Time out taken (12 time on the field).

The Packers cannot locate their offensive rhythm.

Earl Thomas III needs to learn how to call for a fair catch. Recklesssss!!

Jordy Nelson keeps on rocking Maxwell’s world … Over and over…

John Kuhn with the easy bucket. Takes handoff on a misdirection route from the backfield and the Packers take the lead 7-3.

Change the punt returner or else the Packers will purposely go 3-and-out. Stop trying to do too much.

Look, not the same as watch. #GBvsSEA PREGAME PARTY

7:00 PM ET

Pete Carroll is Marshawn Lynch’s hype man
“He’s ready to go. We’re really excited about cutting him loose. … He hasn’t missed a snap or practice, hasn’t missed anything.”

Look how the Seattle Seahawks establish a ground game. Without Christine Michael tonight, Robert Turbin will be deployed. Notice the numbers on top of the sticks when Turbin hits the field.

Watch, tell time
Aaron Rodgers vs. Seahawks’ defensive line:

Left defensive end Michael Bennett, left defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, RDT Brendan Mebane, and RDE K.J. Wright.

Whoa Nelly
No Jermichael Finley and no Randall Cobb could spell trouble (t-r-o-u-b-le) for the Packers offense. How will Rodgers share the ball now? Jarrett Boykin and Randall Cobb have some explaining producing to do.

Mirror, mirror
Russell Wilson vs. Himself
Hey Super Bowl Champion quarterback, how are your shoulders feeling? Are you off your high horse? Or did he mount one in the offseason? Pressure, a quarterback’s best friend.

Seahawks offense vs Packers secondary
Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin (who says is confident against Green Bay’s secondary), Jermaine Kearse and Zach Miller will need to cover much ground against their visitors, who allowed 247 yards in the air in 2013.

The Seahawks allowed 273.6 TOTAL yards in 2013. … My my my.

Randall Cobb, via ESPN, said that he was relishing the underdog role. And no, he’s not pushing anybody on the swings.

Match ups continued:
Josh Sitton and TJ Lang vs. Tony McDaniel and Brandon Mebane.

WHO?!
Check frequently on Richard Rodgers, Green Bay’s new go-to tight end.

Clay Matthews? Check.
Julius Peppers? Check.
Morgan Bennett (strong safety)? Check!
Free safety Micah Hyde? Green Bay’s in for a long night.

Percy Harvin? Check.
Zach Miller? Check.
Russell Okung and Justin Britt? Let’s pray for Okung’s health.

REPLACEMENT REFS? NONE!

Percy Harvin vs. Sam Shields (or Tramon Williams) will be exciting to watch.

Did I miss anything? Tweet them over tonight @imDPerent

#NFLTraining Camp Redskins v. Patriots Recap

The Redskins are practicing against a Super Bowl contending team. Head Coach Bill Belichick won’t (and hasn’t) take it easy on the burgundy and gold these past couple of days.

Redskins rookie Stephen Campbell is wearing 45, the same number second-year linebacker Gabe Miller is donning across his chest and back. Campbell made an impressive catch against rookie linebacker Taylor McCuller. 

Lache Seastrunk beat third-year pro Dont’a Hightower (Alabama) in a footrace to catch an under thrown pass by Kirk Cousins.

Jordan Reed’s route running = thumbs up. 

Rookie out of USC Silas Redd couldn’t outplay linebacker Jamie Collins in their one-on-one battle.

Redskins energy at practice = high.

11 on 11

Play 1: Robert Griffin III is “sacked” because he took time to show off his dance moves in the backfield.

P2: pass complete to tight end Reed on a slant in front of the Patriots linebacking corps.

P3: Vince Wilfork picks off a tipped pass intended for Santana Moss, who surprisingly came out of the backfield. 

P4: Roy Helu Jr. knifes his way out of the right gap for a large gain.

P5: a reverse? Ryan Grant takes a handoff from a receiver who runs across the backfield. 

P6: poor run blocking up front. 

P7: Evan Royster takes a screen pass from Cousins and the offensive linemen do a great job setting him up for a long run. 

DeSean Jackson is open. … Defenses are focused on sacking Griffin III and Patriots safeties tend to bite. 

— More punting drills

— 11 on 11 drills

Kenbrell Thompkins crisp route running leaves Daryl Sharpton dead in his tracks. 

Brady running a merciless no-huddle offense and the Redskins cannot stop TB. Communication is key and I hear them talking but still no match for TB. 

Jackson makes (finally) a catch against Revis Island. The Redskins go back to DJax on their second play but Revis puts an end to the streak. 

Josh Boyce is well-guarded by Chase Minnifield . … if the ball was placed better. … completion. 

Middle of the field is wide open against Washington’s defense. Ryan Mallett leads a smooth 2-minute drill which results in a field goal. 

Nick Williams makes a grab, courtesy of KC. 

Revis has officially shut down the left side of the hash mark. 

Griffin III completes a perfect pass to Andre Roberts between Devin McCourty and Logan Ryan for a catch-and-score.

Patriots still running the 11v11 drills on the other side of the field. 

Redskins defense and offense split up and are walking through the motions. 

Redskins OL vs Patriots OL Battles

Rookies Spencer Long and Tevita Stevens are challenged by Chris Barker and Bryan Stork. 

Trent Williams vs. Will Smith, defensive tackle. 

Kevin Kowalski vs Rookie Cameron Fleming

The Redskins offensive line needs help at the right tackle/right guard position as far as I know.

Skill position drills

Jerod Mayo lays out running back Morris. Griffin III held the ball too long before throwing it to AM. … Mayo popped him. 

Griffin completes a screen pass to DJax but no one bites. 

Morris redeems himself by zipping across the goal line untouched. 

Shot gun single back formation: hand off to Roy Helu Jr. up the middle before he gets clocked by Jerod Mayo. Second biggest hit of the training camp session. 

Griffin again holds the ball too long and scampers outside of the collapsing pocket. He escaped to only get pushed ob. 

Helu looks like he’s enjoying his reps. 

Single back shotgun. Moss, Roberts and Logan Paulsen are lined up to the left (trips bunch). Moss takes a step back to pretend he’s receiving the screen pass but Griffin III hands the ball off to Helu. 

Ryan Grant destroys cornerback Malcolm Butler after he catches a zip-fade in front of the right cone of the goal line. 

Cousins doesn’t find anyone open (or was it designed?) – he steps up into the pocket and runs in a 15-yard touchdown.

Shotgun formation, again trips right. Jordan Reed is alone on the weak side, drawing in a one-on-one matchup — makes the catch for a touchdown. Kirk Cousins adds another TD pass to his practice resume. 

11 on 11 

Deangelo Hall vs. Brandon Lafell. E.J. Biggers vs. Julian Edelman. Patriots’ spread offense is difficult to contain. 

Edelman runs a perfect out-and-up pattern and obliterates Biggers, who is behind him eating his dust. Brady with the perfect over-the-shoulder pass. 

Lafell is getting open, too, his route running looks razor-sharp. 

Redskins 

Logan Paulsen runs a post between the safeties and behind the linebackers — tries to one-hand catch yet drops an accurate pass. 

Logan Ryan covers Aldrick Robinson. … 

Duron Harmon, Malcolm Butler, Brandon Browner, Logan Ryan and nickelback Kyle Arrington are the defensive backs during this particular exercise. 

If #HoldBallBob can release faster Santana Moss will record monster stats between the months of September and October. 

Griffin III’s playaction kind of fooled me but no — only I stared at Morris run through the gap without the ball. Griffin III is sacked. 

Redskins Personnel may have all the talent in the world but if it’s a coordinator problem then that spells trouble for their franchise. 

Rookie safety Ross Madison and safety Trenton Robinson and cornerback Richard Crawford didn’t communicate loud enough, which is why Mallett delivers a sweet pass to rookie Wilson Van Hooser. 

 

Washington Redskins’ mansion space for improvement

Just like last year, the Washington Redskins are going nowhere this season.

The team on paper is mouth-watering, a piece of rock candy that we swallow whole with our eyes. We build our rosters in Madden like Daniel Snyder and his front office builds his football team. And yet when we try to win in All-Madden mode, we don’t, because the team that we’re trying to manage comes down to this one issue. It revolves around the one thing it shouldn’t: self.

A mansion is awesome to own, but why live in it alone?

Yesterday I watched the Redskins Training Camp live from Richmond, Va., and noticed a few powerful scenarios.

Robert Griffin III’s drop back needs work.

Joe Flacco is working on his footwork this offseason.

Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts will do damage this season. This special unit reminds me of the 2008 Cardinals receiving corps: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston tripod that all surpassed 1,000 yards.

This feat also happened in D.C. in 1989: Art Monk (1,196), Gary Clark (1,229), Ricky Sanders (1,138).

Guys named Mark Rypien and Doug Williams quarterbacked that season.

Kirk Cousins is up there with the the best backup quarterbacks in the league. I’m stamping my prediction that Griffin III doesn’t finish all 16 games this season. Not because I’m a narcissist but because I see Jay Gruden giving Cousins a trial run. Why? Because he deserves a chance.

The Redskins offensive line needs to get lower when they run block. I watched the Patriots defensive line punish them for mistakes.

NFL Analyst Mike Mayock stated that he saw a legitimate starting quarterback in Tom Brady’s backup, Ryan Mallett. He’s a guru so I won’t argue but for the sake of argument, the Redskins secondary is nowhere close to where they should be. If Mallett puts up a 5/6, 39-yard down-field march against the Panthers or Ravens, that’s another story.

The Redskins special teams had Andre Roberts returning a few kicks. Is that safe? Is that smart?

Roy Helu is involved in a lot of their offense’s snaps. It’s not sayanara for Alfred Morris but I would be wamboozled by the head coach if he starts Helu over AM.

Single back formation. Repeat 10 times.

Jordan Reed, Jordan Reed. Blow up or deflate in 2014.

 

Redskins Training Camp Live

Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Virginia

8:04 AM ET

There’s a calm breeze fighting to cool off the thousands of Patriots and Redskins fans gathered here on this muggy Monday morning.

Anticipations are supreme as excited fans stare at the practice field for the legendary Tom Brady and Washington’s third-year face of the franchise, Robert Griffin III.

Fans heckle and kill the buzz of this cheerful Cowboys fan walking the concourse of humiliation to find his seat. Good luck.

Players are making their way out 12 minutes prior to the official start time for practice (8:35 AMT ET).

Tom Brady spotted.

Both teams are out on the field. Patriot quarterbacks are warming up their arms. Griffin III loafing around. He jogs over to where the Patriots are stretching and shakes Josh Boyce’s hand.

A toddler in Patriots gear next to me is wailing … or cheering for Brady.

Redskins defense donning burgundy jerseys. Offense in white. Quarterbacks in red.

Kai Forbath and rookie Zach Hocker taking turns kicking field goals … from the opposition’s 35-yard line.

Andre Roberts takes the opening kick off to the house; nobody pursues the ball carrier after the whistle blows.

Chris Thompson returns kick offs, fast but again, everyone is going through the motions.

Nick Williams takes a few swings returning.

After special teams workout, both teams disperse and the Patriots defense start with feet drills. They wrap up after they go in and out of the half-round bags. Level of intensity is very high. Redskins are still standing around.

Patriots offense are doing lunges on the far end of the field.

Four minutes later, movement! Redskins defensive backs do lateral and backpedaling drills. #workthosefeet

Linebackers are back and forth using cones and finishing by catching passes. Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Gabe Miller, Adrian Robinson, Everette Brown, and Trent Murphy is a solid linebacking corps in my book. Now they’re doing stack and shed drills.

Darryl Sharpton, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Perry Riley Jr., Akeem Jordan, Jeremy Kimbrough, Adam Hayward and Rob Jackson are on another section of the field, doing backpedaling and ballhawking drills. Foot work+Reaction Time are integral factors in a linebacking corps’ success.

I realize I could be Deangelo Hall. He looks like an overgrown 13-year-old.

Wide receivers are aplenty, 11, enough to create a soccer team.

Aldrick Robinson has a tough pill to swallow.

I really don’t like Griffin III’s drop back.

Receivers run routes both ways. Hitches, slants, comebacks and fades. Comebacks were thrown from the shotgun formation. Fades were thrown by Griffin III, Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins from under center.

Griffin III hits Pierre Garcon along the rail. I’m jealous of that spiral and touch.

DeSean Jackson beats Darrelle Revis on a comeback pattern, aggressive and breaks on the ball.

Kirk Cousins throws the first pick of the day. Tavon Wilson on Lee Doss.

Jordan Reed on an out pattern, great pass+catch.

Two incomplete passes in series from Griffin III.

Revis has Jackson’s number. DJax can’t shake him off.

Garcon owns Brandon Browner on a slant pattern.

Santana Moss gets owned by Devin McCourty.

Some guy from the crowd with the “they’ll keep him as a mentor” proclamation. Never heard that one before. …

A. Robinson fries defensive back No. 27 T. Wilson, courtesy of Kaptain Cousins.

Griffin’s passes are sailing high, #PERTURBED.

Lee Doss beats rookie defensive back Justin Green–great ball placement by Kirk Cousins.

11 on 11 dreills. morris takes first carry for a gain of six.

On the flip side:

Brady heaves a perfect pass to a wide open receiver. Who I can’t really see from here but the lesson to be learned here is that the Redskins may blow their assignment.

Griffin III’s pass attempt to DJax sails right … Excellent coverage by Revis. Redskins offensive line is struggling to create holes for Alfred Morris.

Defensively the Patriots let a few deep balls get by them. Robinson burned the secondary for a score. …

The Pats’ O looked sharp? Or are the Redskins O still rusty?

Special teams unit working on squib kicks and surprise onside kick offs. too necessary. Not.

7-7 drills:

1. DJax vs Revis, Jax short hitch route complete.

2. Moss in the slot runs an inside drag — pass complete.

Kind man says “will you sit down if I give you a chair?

I turn around and there’s at least 40 people standing behind me.

Ted Bolser, Niles Paul both running with the 2s. Led by Kirk Cousins.

RGIII holds ball too long. Completes pass to Garcon on a broken play.

Jordan Reed hauls in a poorly placed ball (behind him).

Learn baby learn…

1st: Morris, Jackson, Griffin III, Reed, Logan Paulsen

2s: Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Reed, Moss

Colt McCoy completes a nice pass to Niles Paul — takes 3 seconds to get the ball out of his hands.

McCoy pumps right, double guesses himself and the pass sails. … much better option than backups Rex Grossman and Pat White though from 2013.

11 on 11:

1st pass too high. Brady’s in, 2nd pass to Julian Edelman on an inside drag route. Huge gain. 3rd pass complete to No. 80 Danny Amendola wide open in the flat. 4th pass complete to Edelman again, gets a nice pop from safety Ryan Clark. Fifth completion same pass complete this time to the left side. 5/6 on the opening drive.

Ryan Mallett … Derrick Johnson (rookie) burns Phillip Thomas on an out pattern. Rookie Justin Jones is wide open on a post route and connects between the safeties. Stevan Ridley blazes past the defense gain of 17.

Brady: Kenbrill Thompkins “beats” defense, wide open near the goal line. Brady floats one up for him but the defensive line stopped pursuit after Brady stepped up into the pocket. #PLAYitTHROUGH

Griffin III to Garcon, batted away by Darrelle Revis.

Roy Helu is in, while is trips left. … shotgun Griffin III, Roberts/DJax on his right. … pass complete to Reed on the weak side.

Redskins offense marches down field. Revis locks up Jackson. Revis locks up Garcon. Staring down Griffin III’s drop backs. … so far so OK.

Pass to Reed on a corner route perfect between Revis. Revis on left side.

Bon Secours Training Center

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#REDSKINSTRAININGCAMP

The Washington Redskins gathered for the second time on Sunday for their 4 o’clock walkthroughs. Spectators oh’ed and ah’ed with each snagged, and dropped, pass.

The Redskins are getting better by the day! How they’ll fare this season is completely up to them.

Here are some pictures I took for Redskins fans, enjoy!

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NFL Playoff Predictions: Wild Card Weekend

I’m half-naked right now (take that, your imagination) in a motel room (won’t specify where), updating my blog, because, well, Sports Center on ESPN won’t let me sleep. Poor Chris Paul.

My attempt to book a motel in Philadelphia failed (SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT BEFORE I PLANNED THIS SPONTANEOUS TRIP), so I’m somewhere … an hour away.

Look, don’t judge me. But do stare, at the teams who I think will punch their second hole on their ballots and proceed to the Divisional Round of the Pray-offs. Or Choke-offs. Whatevs.

Ready? Good.

CHIEFS 24 at COLTS 13#KCvsIND

At one point during the 2013 regular season, Kansas City’s defense ruled the League. I trust in Andy Reid.

SAINTS 28 at EAGLES 31 #NOvsPHI

Rookie head coach Chip Kelly has tricks up his sleeves. Guarantee it.

CHARGERS 26 at BENGALS 20 (OT) #SDvsCIN

Back and forth did they go, Ryan Matthews rushed for 124 yards in the snow

NINERS 20 at PACKERS 21

Don’t underestimate the power of the Packer … at Lambeau. Something magical is bound to happen, say, like a field-goal block to end the game.

Enjoy the WC Weekend! Good luck to your favorite team(s).

THREE BOLD PREDICTIONS: COWBOYS at REDSKINS

RGIII is not under center. A winning result for the ‘Boys does not secure them a playoff spot.

If Dallas does fall, the Philadelphia Eagles would need to beat/tie Chicago at the Linc. And if both NFC East teams lose (no shock there), then the Eagles will travel to Texas, to face America’s Team for the division’s title.

So let’s not compare this game to last season’s finale, when the red-hot Redskins picked off Tony Romo thrice in December and knocked them off the track to Disney.

Bold Prediction One: Coach Mike Shanahan Wants to Win Out, and Will

The Redskins turned over a new leaf last week (if new leaf is a football), handing backup sophomore quarterback Kirk Cousins starting duties for the second time in his career.

Cousins provided the missing spark for the Redskins offense, throwing 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and in the first half alone, 248 yards (381 total). Still his efforts fell short – literally by two yards – after Coach Shanahan decided to avoid overtime and go for two.

Oh and by the way, the 248 passing yards in the first half by Cousins was 1.6 yards more than RGIII’s game average this season (246.4). Red-iculous.

Bolder Prediction Two: Kirk Cousins Will Outplay Tony Romo, Because of Dallas’ Abomination on Defense

Scroll down to the bottom of this list and you will find,

The Dallas Cowboys are last in line.

No team does it better, no matter how hard they’d try

To blow a first-half, 23-point lead against the Packers, Dallas fans at home did cry

I don’t blame Tony Romo for changing the play. It’s not his fault that Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin, Andrew Quarles, and James Jones consistently blew past everyone (who’s not a defensive lineman) on Dallas.

Let me know if I’m getting too carried away. I’m not saying that I’m espoused to Cousins just yet (get your head out of the gutter), but the fashion that he surgerized the Falcons defense was enough to quickly pepper-spray most of my doubts about how he’d perform.

Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan should feast. … Jason Hatcher and George Selvie should feast. … Whoever has the last bite takes the cake.

Tony Romo PROJECTED Stats: 25/ 37, 256 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, Sacked twice, 10 rushing yards, 0 fumbles

Kirk Cousins PROJECTED Stats: 30/38, 304 passing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, Sacked three times, -3 rushing yards, 0 fumbles

BOLDEST Prediction Three: The Redskins Roar to Bittersweet Victory

Perennial inside linebacker London “The General” Fletcher is 99 percent certain he’ll retire after this season. The humble Ironman has started 239 games (254 total), making his first-string debut as a Ram in December 27, 1998 against the 49ers.

For the God-fearing linebacker, a victory in Landover, Maryland against his franchise’s storied rival is more than a befitting way to finish his 16-year career. It’s perfect.

Washington Redskins 30, Dallas Cowboys 27

Daniel Park at your service: Episode 1

I will share with you my experiences at the six… or seven… restaurants I’ve worked at over the years. Enjoy!

—– 2005 ——-

During the summer, I applied to Woo Lae Oak, a 3.5 star restaurant in Tysons Corner, VA.

I started as a food runner, logging in around 11 hours a day, sixty-five hours a week, everyday except Sunday.

My  (brother from another mother) who worked there vouched on my behalf, promising management that I was indeed a hard worker. I fulfilled his words with the quickness. Food running, though, wasn’t cool. Carrying heavy trays with … Korean food… back and forth and pre-bussing tables at this high-volume diner tortured the body.

A chef in the kitchen pulled me aside one afternoon and asked if I could teach him English. Without hesitation I complied. I sat down with him for an hour, once a week, in his Annandale apartment. Most of you preach that hindsight is 20/20, and it’s true. More than learning the language, the man wanted a goofy friend keeping him company on his days off. I lost his number though, and I still wonder how he’s doing.

—– 2006 ——-

This summer, I applied to Glory Days Bar and Grill. Assured that I could serve, I got the job. I’m now exercising more than silent service, and setting plates down for guests. Serving required us to do the whole nine: inform, interact and accommodate.

We were receiving $2.13 an hour, plus tips, then tipping out the bus-boys for their hard work. That was sarcasm.

I was still a shy high school student, and my lisp beat up my confidence. I found myself standing at a distance from my tables (so I don’t spit on them like Daffy Duck) whenever I addressed their questions and/or when I shared my clever jokes. I think they laughed at my failure to pronounce S-lettered words more than the hilarious joke itself. Shucks.

Ah yes, the Mystery Shopper Evaluation.

Jim, our boss, during a pre-shift meeting, promised $100 to whoever achieves a perfect score on the MSE. Results were in a week later, and my peers informed me that I had won.

“Go get the $100 from him,” they reminded.

Still that shy kid, I stepped into his office and politely asked if I could retain my prize.

Jim: no
DP: why
Jim: because the team as a whole needed a perfect score, that the hostess received a 90
DP: are you serious?
Jim: yes
DP: no way but you never said that in the pre-shift meeting
Jim: oh well I’m saying that now
Me: that’s unfair, can I go to management?
Jim: I am the management
Me: can I report this to corporate?
Jim: said are you out of your mind?
Me: somewhat, but I feel that I deserve this…

Jim snarls: OKAY YOU WANT IT? HERE TAKE IT, WHAT DO YOU WANT.

He aggressively rips out a few hundred dollar bills and couple twenties from deep inside his pocket, places them on the table, and hands me a crumpled up Benjamin. Poor Benny.

Why or how everyone in our restaurant witnessed the confrontation didn’t faze me — I stood up for myself and this, my readers, is how a Super Bowl champion is crowned. Battle in the trenches. Other servers congratulated me as if I’d just won the Nobel Peace prize. That was an exaggeration.

But, maybe that’s how Superman feels after he saves a plane from crashing into a baseball stadium.

Next Episode: Silver Diner and Fireside Grill.

MIND-BLOWING STATS: WILL PEYTON MANNING BE THE FIRST TO DO THIS? #ESPN #NFL @NFL

What’s happened only five times in NFL history?

Three wide receivers from the same team recorded 1,000-yard seasons.

Peyton Manning may quarterback for the sixth, and no it won’t be his first time (Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley in 2004 with Colts).

Would it be the first time in NFL history that three receivers AND A TIGHT END accomplish such unfathomable feat? Julius Thomas is already at 625. …

#MNF 128-point underdog: Life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner episode 13

FFW13 Apologies for my hiatus. I’ve been in my car a lot recently, traveling from Springfield to Landover to Centreville to Gainesville for work — you know how bad it’d be if I were posting entries behind the wheel.

#DontPostAndDrive #Swerve Of course I’m bitter. I’m 4-8, about to go 4-9 – UNLESS RUSSELL WILSON PUTS UP 130 POINTS TONIGHT – why did I even bother to type that out?

If there is a 2014 fantasy football for Daniel (huge IF), I’ll make sure to write down a few caveats to follow and obey the warnings and traps my so-called friends set up for me to fall in.

From now on, I will be drafting the best playmakers on each team. Who cares – their city’s weather, their quarterback, their defensive woes – HooDaFudge cares.

If I had
kept Victor Cruz, Calvin Johnson, Fred Jackson and Giovani Bernard – I’d be holding not just a 7-6 record, but holding a ticket to our league’s postseason bracket.

But no, I have Adrian Peterson, Stevie Johnson and Denarius Moore. And we’ll all, yes, in reality, be watching our enemies clash in the 2013 NFL Playoffs.

I was wrong, but again, right at the same time. Fantasy Football, as much as you required me to research and prepare for the season, without luck – not Andrew – it’s impossible to win the lottery.

Maybe someday I’ll win when it matters – when I’m playing against the NFL.com’s Around the League writers. Yes Rosenthal, Hanzus, Wesseling, and Sessler and Patra … sooner than later.

Winning is sweet, if I remember the taste correctly. #Salty

Define workoholic: volume two

Schedule isn’t as bad as last week’s:
November 27, 2013 – Wednesday – Redskins HOF Team Store 12-5 pm
Thursday – Korshi 10 am – 10 pm
Friday – Korshi 10 pm – 2 am
Saturday – Redskins HOF TS 12 – 6 pm, Korshi 10 pm – 2 am
Sunday – Redskins HOF TS 3:30 pm – 12:30 am

They say God’s timing is perfect? How many of ”them” actually believe it?
25 years I’ll never get back. …but history repeats itself so I’m sure I’ll be seeing bits and pieces of my past in the future.

I mean, I did start in retail (K Mart), at 17.

All #work no play
#Play later work now.
#Pray
#workohol

In the shape of an “L” on her forehead: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 12

I feel like the pathetic girl that Smashmouth is singing about in, “All Star.”

Wipes tear. …

Image

Play: Usher’s hit song, “There Goes My Baby”

Change “Baby” to “Season”

Belch it out. Repeat.

3-7, SIGH.

No more crocodile tears left behind my football-shaped eyes.

I’m trying not to rhyme (it comes naturally), but is sympathy too much to ask for nowadays?!

The ONLY two that could rescue Chris out of his 33-point pit … decide to, “Hey, let’s put on our superhero costumes and rescue the wrong guy.”

Gee, thanks, Drew Brees and Dez Bryant – didn’t know you supported villains.

1. What stinks: 

I couldn’t ask for more from my sterling running backs, AP and Lacy.

2. What stinks more:

Chris didn’t change his lineup (Kyle Rudolph is OUT), but Drew Davis (from my squad) lays a goose egg. What in the damnation. …

3. What stinks most:

I had nobody else on my bench to play. Literally, McCluster, Dobson, Geno Smith, Ryan Succop took the weekend off and … sadly, Joseph Randle warped back into the dungeon where he belongs.

3-7 … I pray that I win out …

For unto us a 2nd win is born, life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 9

No venting. Let’s talk fantasy football.

FF W9

1. Sigh. I benched Russell Wilson because, well, I didn’t expect the man to surgerize the pretty-respected Cardinals defense. Their defensive line forced two Wilson fumbles, but Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu constantly got beat by Sidney Rice and Golden Tate.

Nick Foles left the game with a head injury, and Dallas’ D pounded the not-so-revolutionary-anymore Chip Kelly offense into powder on Sunday afternoon.

2. Rueben Randle showed up to work today per usual. What I hate about Eli Manning and his offense is this: any one of his talented receivers may find themselves statistically having a field day, on pace for setting another career-high. When Hakeem Nicks isn’t open, Victor Cruz is. When Cruz isn’t, then Randle is behind the secondary.

3. Joseph Randle (Cowboys) put up 13 points yesterday against the Eagles, and I’m somewhat regretting my decision of placing him on the bench. . . Adrian Peterson is a must-start, touche with Eddie Lacy . . .

#CrossingFingersNothingsHappensToAdrianPeterson

#CrossingFingersNothingHappensToAdrianPeterson

#CrossingFingersNothingHappensToAdrianPeterson

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN ON MNF:

A) Adrian Peterson runs for 3 touchdowns, 100 yards = 20 points
B) Blair Walsh = 5 extra points
C) Giants DBs shut down Greg Jennings = 2 points
D) Rueben Randle 5 catches, 80 yards, 1 TD = 12.5 points

Fantasy Football’s Comeback of the Century starts on Monday night.

Edited:

WHAT HAPPENED ON MNF:

A) Josh Freeman couldn’t engineer a drive because of obvious reasons and Adrian Peterson was shut down facing a defense who stacked eight in the box for most of the night.
B) Blair Walsh missed a field goal from afar, and the Vikings reached the endzone once – thanks to Marcus Sherels’ punt return
C) Greg Jennings was shut down
D) Rueben Randle = 3 – 40 – 1 : 9.25 points

Pulling an upset, even against your friends, requires insanity and confidence: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 8

So what if all the team owners in my League are complaining?

My commissioner reconfirmed that I’m getting banned for eternity if I don’t make the FF Postseason this year.

“My trades are too sporadic,” they cry. I do something blameless and Pontius Pilate stays fresh by washing his hands. !?Word?!

When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” – NASB, Matt. 27:24

No I’m not Jesus, but please let me walk my own plank.  This could be my stairway to heaven for all you naysayers know.

They’re angry, duh. Who wouldn’t be … in hindsight?

Honestly though, if I’m sitting here with a 6-0 record (not 1-5), these people would still bemoan, “How the hell is ‘DP’ 6-0? OMG, now he thinks he knows more about football than the rest of us.”

But I don’t. I’ve told my commissioner that I despise FF prior to start of the season. I didn’t want to play, I thought it’d be a waste of cash, money I don’t have (yet). But he convinced me, and now I’m trying to turn things around, and now the cynical vultures criticize my moves. Why? I’m not scheming – that’s a promise. Daniel Park is trying to win six straight and make the postseason. That requires bold transactions.

Jack of All Trades

After trenchant deliberation and prayer, I accepted Andy’s trade offer.

Parks was sending me two “questionable” wide receivers (Williams+Johnson), the league’s best back (AP), Joseph Randle (who will spell Murray until he returns) and a non-threat wide receiver, Aaron Dobson.

Here’s why I did it:

1. Mike Williams, when healthy, is a dominant force for the Bucs offense. Tampa Bay is gradually ascending out of their ditch (Identity Crisis) with Mike Glennon behind center, and though Williams’ future matchups aren’t favorable, I could always start Denarius Moore without hesitation.

2.  Stevie Johnson, is similar to Williams. The Thad Lewis Experiment isn’t off to a bad start – they almost upended the Bengals without Johnson in last Sunday’s loss in overtime. I’m not thrilled about Johnson’s future matchups either – but it was the logical thing for me to do: steal #1 and #2 in a package deal.

3. AP / Joseph Randle for the price of one (Giovani Bernard) was an easy sendoff for me. Parks and I discussed how AP could experience a downswing due to the turbulence that he’s experiencing in his personal life. His two-year-old son passed away, and no father should bury their own child. The deciding factor in this acquisition wasn’t about the star running back’s potential depression, but Giovani Bernard’s future (@DET, NYJ, @MIA, @BAL, CLE, @SD and IND). I took into account that BJGE will share the load as the season unravels.

I am well aware that DeMarco’s return means saying farewell to Randle, but at least for now I’m less burdened with any of my “starting” running backs sharing carries with their backups. Hence the Fred Jackson release. To cut my stress in half again, I shipped F-Jax (who shares with C.J. Spiller) over to Parks so he could deal with it. Barring any setbacks or personal motives or freak injuries, Lacy, AP, and Randle won’t share the rock for a while. #CrossingFingersNothingHappensToAdrianPeterson

4. Yes, I sent Cruz and Calvin. Yes, I see the potential. But, take a look at Park’s team. Torrey Smith, Brandon Gibson, Tim Wright are weak plugs to fill in the gaps. Even Matt Ryan, his lone QB, is in a dire situation with only Tony Gonzalez and Harry Douglas to throw to.

This trade didn’t help his team at all, no where close to how you exaggerating drama queens are making of it. 

You do know that Roddy White is hurt, right?

My Team's New Look

The spit and rotten tomatoes are inevitable, people. I made this trade thanks to something we call “foresight.” The prescience, and not the present.

Definition of Prescience

#YouDoYouIWillDoMe

And then a Win was born: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 7

Ah! Finally. 

Now that, is a-how you WIN. I sure feel raunchy, however.

My friend had to forget to update his team’s roster. #NoComplaintsHere

1-5 !!!

1-5 !!!

Thank you, Fantasy Football gods.

Eddie Royal stubbed his toe running a play. He of course, was the reason why I lost my other FF League (in which I am 1-5 as well).

Trust issues: 

Started Donnie Avery (-.90) over Denarius Moore (15.45) due to favorable matchups. Must…Learn…To…Trust…Moore… Terrelle Pryor’s development (although obviously positive), scares me.

No hair, don’t care:

Andy may have started a pair of inactive wide receivers but that – ladies and gentlemen – is his fault for not waking up before 1:00 p.m.

I know him so it’s okay for me to say this: “You can’t spell Sympathy without HA.”

No Trade Backs: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 6

Man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

Man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

I’m Receiving: Cruz, Calvin Johnson and Denarius Moore

Cutting: Amendola, Welker, Gore and Smith.

Andy needs a running back (Frank Gore). I’m thin on healthy receivers (Cruz and Moore).

But remember my FF luck? After all the sowing and reaping, Johnson provided ME no food on the table.

0-5

0-5

Austin Pettis, thank you for your services. (What a scoop.)

I am wholeheartedly relying on F-Jax, Frank Gore’s replacement, to complete the task.

Again, we are a total wreck. Alex Smith slips a 10.4-turd into my Christmas stocking, Russell Wilson chuckles his butt off from the bench (26.2), and viable options (Randle/Donnie Avery) outshine Cruz and Calvin Johnson . . . the two fantasy studs that I traded for.

My FF team is officially dysfunctional.

My bench players totaled close to 100 points.

My bench players totaled close to 100 points.

This is embarrassing – I’m confused on who to start come Week 6.

Heart Breaker 2: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy owner Episode 5

0-4

0-4

I hate losing to Booty Call 757. Something about his username annoys me.

Ladies if you thought that you held most of the power to get your boys down –  think again.

This right here, losing by a hair, a split-end, puts me in a [expletive] mood.

Clearly. Just CLEARLY I was due for my 1st score, and now I . . .  sit here with my arms crossed and staring at this STUPID 0-4 record.

Goodness.

Whenever I bench Alex Smith (26.62) he thinks it’s funny and blows up. Russell Wilson’s matchup vs Houston, clearly enticing. Yet again trolls me (13.62) when he starts.

Giovani Bernard vs. Cleveland? Nah, I don’t trust the Bengals to run well. Wait. Of course they’d run well, they don’t allow 300-yard passers!

Who cares, when F-Jax (17.90) is screaming from the bench, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, I’VE BLOWN UP FOR YOU EVERY WEEK AND YET I’M STILL WARMING THESE SEATS!? C’MON SON!”

Get my act together…

Get my act together… I’m telling myself.

I over-studied and over-researched way too much preparing for this season.

Drastic measures . . . soon.

Together We Make Football @nfl

Before the fiery, redheaded orb makes its daily appearance my father is already awake, already driving to work in Washington, D.C.

For 15 years, the God-fearing head chef relentless work ethic and vicarious sacrifice has provided food on the table for the loves of his life: his mother, wife and two sons.

Oh the irony.

Lately I noticed the wrinkles worsening on the corners of my father’s eyes. Narrating the toil that he’s suppressed throughout the years are these marks, stretched longer than run-on sentences. The unspoken adversity he’s overcome in recent past has drawn lines on his mild-mannered palette. My father is exhausted, yet musters up the last bit of energy to laugh and smile – a grin warm enough to light a candle.

In 2000, I asked my mother for a ride to Ashburn, Virginia, where the Washington Redskins were holding Training Camp. Her response was a simple, “nope.”

I dealt with her reluctance. A week later she acquiesced, and chauffeured us to Ashburn – an hour-long trip from Silver Spring, MD. At the time this was a newsworthy headline for a woman whose excursions basically consisted of maneuvering a crusty Plymouth van to a church 12 minutes away.

I recall standing in awe while defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield, quarterback Jeff George, and little-known backup Todd Husak signed pages of my Redskins team guidebook.

“Is it clear yet?”

Joshua and Young (my best friends to this day) are watching the Dallas Cowboys game while I, as ordered, am adjusting the silver rods to improve the fuzzy images for their viewing pleasure.

I fiddle around with the antenna some more, “how about now?”

We munch on cheap, microwaved chocolate chip cookies inside Bella’s, a place most would describe as a hybrid pizza shop and a lousy convenience store. We’re the only three present.

“That’s Troy Aikman,” informs Josh, “great quarterback.”

Quarterback. This leadership role that traveled through space before landing on my lap; a position my peers beseeched me to play only because my arms flapped and stubby legs stumbled when I ran routes.

(I’m grateful for these wobbly chopsticks.)

Whether it was tackle-football in the rain during the summer months or brawls amid the November flurries, we – Josh, Young, Jee, and Da Bin – would practice for countless hours after Sunday service. On the grass or on street, “The Three Musketeers” shared a telepathy that no monitoring equipment ever created could sense. Football gave us the powers of concentration and synergy that professional players get paid for, but rarely achieve. Labeled as the PQB, or “Permanent Quarterback,” I’d captain our classic two-on-two battles – sharing half the glory and half the blame.

After my parents discovered that some kids at the elementary school were bullying me (for my Coke bottle-thick glasses), they panicked, packed their bags and moved our family to an apartment complex in McLean, Virginia. Their disposition to relocate to another state hurt; running away from the bullies meant jogging into more.

In eighth grade, to console my heartbreak, they allowed me to play football for the McLean Mustangs – 125-pound division. Fate or not, Coach Ed assigned me to start at quarterback.

We lost a majority of our games. The lone touchdown pass I threw all season – a game-winner with no time left – was called back due to a holding penalty by our center. Through every drubbing, my dad cheered from the sidelines. He, however, witnessed me return an interception for a touchdown against Braddock Road.

At a young age I learned that you can never practice enough.

To sharpen my accuracy, I threw Jenny (named my ball) at stop signs, poles, and the squirrels perched on trees trunks (no animals were hurt). For a while I fetched my own rebounds. In solitude, I challenged myself to refine my footwork – taking three, five, seven step drops – and beaming the football at the exact block on the brick wall that I hit on my first attempt. My compulsive behavior led to marked improvement. Alone I polished my skillset, believing that soon my chance would come.

An Eye for a Vision

I’ve been infatuated with Donovan McNabb ever since he and the Eagles obliterated the Chicago Bears in the Divisional Playoff Game in January 2002.

After (again) relocating to a new city, I begged my parents to let me try out for the West Springfield High School freshman squad. They complied. I auditioned for the lead role but was knocked down to fourth string. My height – no – experience was my downfall. Coach Mac placed me at cornerback, and I channeled my frustrations by destroying ball carriers.

My life however, took an intense U-turn during the middle of the season.

With a tearing retina, I could lose my eyesight with one vicious head-to-head collision. My concerned parents urged me to quit as the doctor advised me to refrain from playing contact sports.

Football

Post-retirement, my friends and I gathered at local fields to play pick-up games. Moving to three cities in a span of six years required me to build rapports with awesome people, and quickly adapt to dynamic wide receivers (Andy, Dwight, Antonio, David).

When a handful left for Virginia Commonwealth University, I served tables, studied at a community college, and attended the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii before transferring to VCU in 2008 (I was throwing around my football in Egypt). Upon my arrival, my football-loving buddies put me under center, my second home.

Better than quarterbacking for six championships, the timeless memories of hardship and happiness compiled during the four-year stint will remain with me for a lifetime. I apologize for the occasional stress I caused my teammates (especially in the huddle) and appreciate your (Chris, Joe, Danny, Brian, Joe C., Suhan, Narae, Alex, Sooji, Anna, Stephanie, Soyeon, Sonya, Abby) encouragement.

I will cherish your mentorship (all the screaming in my left ear to make smarter decisions), until I reach my career goal: to write for the NFL.

Like this story? Support me in NFL.com’s Together We Make Football Contest.

bgCo-ed Champs 2011Football Project 005

The nightmare begins: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy owner Episode 3

0-2

0-2

I trust in Russell Wilson (13.98) to outperform Alex Smith (24.22) in Dallas.

Right, of course starting Wilson and San Francisco Defense counterbalances each other you idiot.

😦

Nobody makes me cry more than Daniel Park does.

I start Eddie Lacy with high hopes. He leaves the game with a concussion.

Giovani Bernard is on the bench with 20.35 points vs. the Steelers, and I’m thinking … didn’t the Steelers shutout Chris Johnson Week 1 (25 carries, 70 yards)?

F-Jax runs for days against the Panthers (16.15). Thanks, C.J. Spiller, I thought you were getting the rock until “he throws up.”

Le sigh, Lance Moore’s wrist isn’t 100 percent healthy and now I can care less about points-per-reception.

I power-bomb Pettigrew off my roster and ink Brent Celek . . . who then proceeds to do nothing (0 pts.)

Whoopdee-doo, awesome sum of 63.13 points.

Pop the champagne bottles!

Three cheers — for the lowest points scored among the others that week.

Week 1 Plucky Predictions

Week 1 Poem and Lyrics

Here’s my handle (@imDPerent), for FN readers who disagree with these savvy picks. I’ll honor your courage – even if it’s telling me that I’ve lost my mind – and will favorite each of your tweets.

BAL 20 @ DEN 31 #DENvsBAL

Welcome to the wild, wild Wes-tWelker! The firepower on the Broncos offense is (hands down) the best in the League this year. Good questions to ask: How does Torrey Smith respond to his responsibilities as a primary receiver? What percentage of the Denver playcalls are run? Watch the Manning’s Gun Show at Mile High tonight, as the Denver’s Sheriff puts on a clinic for his fans — shooting memories of their last meeting with the Ravens (playoff loss) to rest.

Updated: The Broncos pistol offense is renamed: bazooka-offense. To answer the questions above: Jacoby Jones left with a sprained knee, and Torrey Smith despite a good game statistically, wasn’t the go-to man as TE Dallas Clark and Ray Rice caught eight apiece. The Broncos ran the rock 23 times and Manning attempted 42 pass attempts, signifying that Denver ran 35 percent of their total 65 offensive playcalls. Many experts are arguing that the Broncos running back situation is a tad too crowded – no breathing room for either of them to outshine the other. When that matters in fantasy, in reality I feel that it works out for their style of play. It keeps defenses surprised (maybe hesitant is a better word for it). What do you think about the Broncos’ running back rotation? I want to hear your thoughts, trust/tweet me @imdperent.

NE 24 @ BUF 13 #NEvsBUF

If only Tom Brady could play permanent quarterback for this game — if only. The Bills captured two former Cardinals (Kevin Kolb, Matt Leinart) and let Ryan Fitzpatrick go. Regretting that move or not, it’s too late; rookie E.J. Manuel will start behind center and face a team that knows how to crush the souls of rookie quarterbacks. Injury-prone C.J. Spiller was told that he’d be ‘given the ball until he throws up‘, but I’ve already clicked ‘Call Any Bet’ on my bluff detector. Prove me wrong, please, Mr. Nathaniel Hackett (Bills OC).

SEA 21 @ CAR 24 #SEAvsCAR #SylvesterFinallyCatchesTweety

UPSET ALERT: Poor Seattle, this is their third (excluding presesason) consecutive game that’s on the east coast. Understand that the acquistion of Percy Harvin was soley to add another dimension to that offense and mitigate the workload for running back Marshawn Lynch this year. Harvin’s hurt, but it shouldn’t add or subtract any doubt that Russell Wilson is incapable of throwing for 26 touchdowns, again. Sympathize more for Cam Newton, who plays the hero role every week with his aging sidekick and receiving specialist Steve Smith. Carolina’s defense is clearly on the rise, and practicing against Newton makes it a lot easier for their front seven to prepare for Wilson and his antics.

CIN 14 @ CHI 27 #CINvsCHI

Marc my words and trust in the Trestman. Chicago’s defensive unit is ridiculously good. In addition to the playmaking abilities of defensive backs Tim Jennings, Charles “Peanut” Tillman, Major Wright and Chris Conte, a few members of the front seven: Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams could definitely help stand their ground at home. Expect the defense, not the offense, to quickly deflate the ballooned expectations that the Bengals bring to this game.

MIA 17 @ CLE 20 #MIAvsCLE

Why? Because Mike Wallace pulls his hamstring late in the third – after he blows by Browns cornerback Joe Haden. Ryan Tannehill overthrows his receiver, only because he’s on the ground wincing in pain.

MIN 28 @ DET 35 #MINvsDET

Both team’s secondaries are shaky. Matt Stafford cleans up his horrendous preseason act by tossing beauties to The Magician (Calvin Johnson‘s hands makes balls disappear), and ultimately outshines his friend Ponder (who fortunately throws a pair of touchdowns).

OAK 21 @ IND 23 #OAKvsIND

Why so darn close? Without an (truly) established run game, Andrew Luck and offense will divide the time of “clicking” and “not clicking.”

In moments of the latter, the Oakland Raiders will capitalize on the Colts’ turnovers by providing Terrelle Pryor and his teammates with good field position – ultimately keeping this game neck-to-neck until the final whistle blows.

KC 30 @ JAX 19  #KCvsJAX

Expect a few dazzling highlight reel-esque plays from both running backs MJD and Jamaal Charles. What else is there to say? Let the action commence. Pay attention to how Andy Reid exploits the Jacksonville defense (an easygoing warmup by the way) with Charles and Dwayne Bowe. This game comes down to how accurate Alex Smith is (70% in 2012) and/or how well the Jaguars offense manages to hold onto the ball. Time of possession is the deciding factor and my prediction spills it all – the Chiefs will score on at least 6 of their 8 drives.

ATL 37 @ NO 38 #ATLvsNO

Choose one: both defenses are suspect, OR neither defenses are suspect. In the pistol offense, Matt Ryan will throw for multiple touchdowns but his last one will fall short, into the hands of an underrated safety Malcolm Jenkins. Ryan will underthrow a wide open Julio Jones on the rail, extinguishing all chances of setting up Matt Bryant to kick a game-winning field goal. Ouch.

TB 24 @ NYJ 15 #TBvsNYJ

With this mentality to torture the rookie quarterback behind a crooked line – not shaky, crooked – and you will win. Geno Smith isn’t ready. Please surprise me. Doug Martin will record 150 yards from scrimmage, and HC Greg Schiano might keep the Jets defense honest. The Jets, I’m thinking, will move the chains with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell until it withers away or rots up like an old (gangrene) apple.

Ten 30 @ PIT 35 #TENvsPIT

Too high scoring for your taste, eh? Well get used to it. I believe in the KB, that’s right, Kenny Britt. Of course Jake Locker will underperform – only seven of those 30 projected points. The two other touchdowns will be thanks to a resurgent Chris Johnson behind a rejuvenated Titans offensive line. Watch how rookie Chance Warmack holds his section of the fort. Ben Roethlisberger will zip away his passes under the Pittsburgh sun per usual.

GB 38 @ SF 41 (OT) #GBvsSF

Both offenses will go 3-and-out a max number of three times. Colin Kaepernick makes his first start of a 16-game campaign and he’s in a good mood.  Hfe is. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are ready to dump out the trash at Candlestick, especially after Kaerpenick kissed his biceps once too many times in the playoff confrontation last January. Watch for Eddie Lacy’s confidence when he squeezes through the middle gaps and how well he braces himself for the menacing linebacking squadron of the 49ers: Bowman, Willis and Smith. 

AZ 18 @ STL 20 #AZvsSTL

Safety. No I did not bust one loose – but I do smell a safety in St. Louis credits to a honeybadger who goes by the name of Tyrann Mathieu. Here’s how it happens: Arizona punts the ball to rookie Tavon Austin. Austin calls for a fair catch, and muffs the punt. The pigskin rolls to the 1-yard line. On first down, the Rams’ attempt to run it out of the endzone fails. On second down, Mathieu is sent on a cornerback blitz and tackles second-year Daryl Richardson in the endzone. The Cards take the lead, 18-17, but give the ball back into the hands of Sam Bradford with four minutes left. They drive down the field, manage the clock wisely (a few wide receiver endarounds with Tavon Austin here, a few slip screens to Richardson there) — and voila, a field goal by Young GZ (Greg Zuerlein) seals the deal.

NYG 23 @ DAL 30 #NYGvsDAL

Mind you, the game is, in actuality, 30 to 9 Dallas up until the fourth quarter. Forget about Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Miles Austin…for a second. Think big. Think Dallas. Imagine Sean Lee, Demarcus Ware. Dream Anthony Spencer, Brandon Carr. Welcome to the Monte Kiffin Era, now enjoy your first win against the Giants at your new stadium. #Finally #SheeshTookForever

PHI 40 @ WAS 24 #PHIvsWAS

Yes I see the Eagles scoring 10 points per quarter. Yes I see the Redskins front seven growing tired throughout the course of the game because their inexperienced defensive backs constantly blow their assignments. Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense style is to physically drain defenses out, (picture writhing a soaked towel). Welcome back Orakpo, Kerrigan needs ya here. Cofield is ‘hopeful’ and Brandon Meriweather, uncertain. The Eagles depth on defense is more than capable to stabilize RGIII’s efficiency. IMO, he’s not on the same page with his receivers right now – maybe not even in the same book – and no doubt about it would the Redskins beat themselves.

HOU 24 vs SD 20 #HOUvsSD

Stop joking, Coach Kubiak! When asked if he’s set a carry limit for Arian Foster, Kubiak cheesed, ’42.’ That’s not funny. Because if Foster does touch the ball 42 times…I need to tweak that score. Expect mistakes from San Diego‘s defense. Yes, a lot of misses: mishaps, miscues, and miscommunication. Watch for how these pairs gel together throughout the four quarters: Manti Te’o and Dwight Freeney, Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes, and Marcus Gilchrist and Eric Weddle.

Committed To Pursuing Your Purpose

"i'm 5"4 and on my way to become the first qb in the NFL"

“i’m 5″4 and on my way to become the first qb in the NFL”

(Editor’s note: it’s 5’4″ and first Korean QB…)

October 1998 – My aunt hands me this spiraled notebook. The cover is decorated with light pink ballerina slippers, red roses, and sheet music.

What was I supposed to do with a diary? Couldn’t she have picked a more masculine design? A Batman toy would’ve sufficed.

My mother, on the other hand, is enamored with this idea of me sitting at a desk and penciling in my thoughts.

This hobby would “help my critical thinking and my reading comprehension.” Right.

Her eagerness for me to write? Ox-strong. I did it for a few days. She believed that if her Korean son could jot down his emotions into the blank pages, uh, he’ll turn out OK.

But I don’t know any better. I give it a try.

14 years and nine books later…

“Dear Diary…today was fine and fun.”
Eloquent, I know. I described my day at school, what happened after school, and proceeded to tell my Diary what grade I got on my test (a D if you’re wondering). I’m scratching it out though, in fear of my mother finding out the truth (I told her a white lie). I didn’t do it often, twice is a stretch. 

>>Fast forward 2 years>>

My father knows how much I enjoy playing football. I remember checking the classified ads in The Washington Post for a pair of Redskins tickets. I contact a man selling two stubs for $150 — which is a great deal — for lower-level seats. As a last-minute gift for my 12th birthday, my father and I watched the game at FedEx Field, a memorable time. I still cherish it today.

Imagine a warm sunny afternoon in D.C. An hour into the game, the sun stops shining. Blocked by a group of bullying clouds, those white puffs loiter above  the stadium to then rain on the fans for ten straight minutes. The heroic sun beams and rescues us out of our wet clothes. Besides this refreshing moment, I recall how loudly the fans cheered after Stephen Davis scored on a 2-yard run.  So loud that my hot dog vibrated through my puny fingers.

Redskins prevail at home, 20-17. 9/3/2000

Redskins prevail at home, 20-17. 9/3/2000

It’s amazing how football has shaped my life. My favorite quarterback back in the day was Daunte Culpepper, primarily because of how far he could bomb the ball. Receiver #84 Randy Moss and No. 11’s connection was supernatural.

>>January 6, 2001>>: Divisional Championship Saturday. My parents took with me them on their shopping trip to Sears. While they moved about, I stood in front of the television the whole time and admired the mercurial Randy Moss toast the Saints’ secondary (on a WR screen pass by the way) for a long touchdown run. Of course, I was heartbroken the week after; the New York Giants shut out Minnesota 41-0. I couldn’t understand. The beat-down ignited rumors of how the Giants coordinators tapped into the Vikings’ systems to hacked their play-calls. Beats me.

When I dedicated my life to watching the NFL in 2002, it was quarterback Donovan McNabb and former Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid who stole my heart. They were obliterating the Chicago Bears in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game. Remember “Duuuuce” Staley, Brian Dawkins, the dynamic tandem, Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent? Wow.

Although they made four consecutive NFC Conference Championships, no one was more ecstatic than I was when they stripped the monkey off their backs against the Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field. I then teared up in front of my friends after the Eagles barely lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl (2005).

I thought I'd QB for the NFL. Don't think I can anymore.

I thought I’d QB for the NFL. Don’t think I can anymore.

There’s a lot more to this story. It’s not just about a child with a football crush.

With dreams of someday playing for the Eagles, the sights that I set were torn in the 10th grade. After an eye checkup, my optometrist informed my family that my weak retina was gradually tearing behind both eyes–meaning that I could permanently lose my vision if ever I were to have a head-to-head collision. That, (and well, my Korean genes didn’t let me grow any taller than 5’9.5″) sucked.

Although my heart ached, I still had God to vent to. God and something.

A journal.

It’s funny how an empty, wide-ruled notebook which should’ve been given to my girly cousin – landed in my hands. That book from my Aunt would be the first of nine. It’ll be awesome to feel as if I’m writing journal entries in the blank boxes of an ESPN.com or NFL.com article.

Fantasy Journey: life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy owner Episode 1

League: OHHHHHHMAZING LEAGUE

Username: dp_kelly

Avatar: Head Coach Chip Kelly

Auction Draft Position: 1st overall

What went down:

1. (1) Phil Dawson (SF – K) $1 – obviously I play it cool
2. (25) San Francisco (SF – DEF) $7 – I’ll let the others do the nominating
3. (27) Steve Smith (Car – WR) $12 – Great quarterback, solid purchase
4. (37) Russell Wilson (Sea – QB) $15 – $15 for a sophomore QB coming off a Peyton Manning-rookie-type year (26 TDs)
5. (39) Lance Moore (NO – WR) $6 – Points Per Reception King
6. (49) Eddie Lacy (GB – RB) $22 – I was outbid for Reggie Bush
7. (61) Wes Welker (Den – WR) $29 – I’ve money to spend
8. (64) Frank Gore (SF – RB) $22 – Aging but fine wine
9. (71) Danny Amendola (NE – WR) $21 – Moore, Welker, Amendola looks solid on any given sheet
10. (75) Giovani Bernard (Cin – RB) $15 – No one knew
11. (97) Brandon Pettigrew (Det – TE) $1 – Desperate for TE
12. (101) Miles Austin (Dal – WR) $15 – PPR Kings
13. (104) Daryl Richardson (StL – RB) $14 – Why not, I like him
14. (109) Fred Jackson (Buf – RB) $5 – In hindsight: What a really really cheap deal
15. (121) Alex Smith (KC – QB) $1 – Sweet goodness of sweetness
16. (133) Zach Sudfeld (NYJ – TE) $8 – Overpay much?
Unused – $6

 

I’m sleeping good tonight. I like the flexibility that my team offers. It’s well-rounded, my backups could very well start any given Sunday and produce.

Toodles.

Daniel Park’s Fantasy Football Yahoo Draft 2013

“Underachieved” is an understatement.

As cozy as it sounds, a group of NFL fanatics cooped up in Mr. Brian Sato‘s living room was everything but warm and fuzzy.

I plopped down on the poofy couch but was overwrought. I tried, trust me, to take my own advice “DON’T PANIC. EVER,” but the opposition was too strong.

Reviewing my research 20 minutes prior to Draft time, I duped myself into thinking that everything would unravel perfectly. My position was indeed, what I secretly desired all this time. Yeah. Someone reading this, please create a time machine, beckon me in, and take us back 12 hours.

Enough of my dopey whining. Here’s how I did:

1st Round Sixth Pick; Seahawks RB, Marshawn Lynch
Trust me. I vomited in my mouth when Antonio took LeSean McCoy 2nd overall. It was a great move on his part, kudos, but wow no one expected him to be this ballsy. T. Rich from CLE, Ray Rice (BAL), or Arian Foster (HOU) remained, but Lynch stuck out to me like Janet Jackson‘s nipple in Super Bowl 38’s Halftime Wardrobe Malfunction Show in 2004 (welcome back, JT and N’SYNC). For starters, Russell Wilson is a quarterback under development of shepherd and head coach of the Seahawks, Pete Carroll. As a rookie, Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes with 10 interceptions in 2012. He’s proven that he’s capable of tossing nearly 2 TDs a game. My olfactory senses are picking up a sophomore slump roasting in Seattle this year, and the loss of Percy Harvin to an ACL injury does their offense no better than the previous. This means that RB Lynch will (crossing fingers) carry the load once again (315 attempts).

2nd Round; Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
My friend swiped Megatron’s pal Optimus Reggie Bush off the board right before I did, making my decision that much easier. I predicted that the best quarterback in the league, Aaron Rodgers, would (obviously) not be available in the 3rd round, nor did RB Stevan Ridley and David Wilson from the Giants catch my eye. The quarterback will reap in $40 million in 2013, Jermichael Finley hands look improved (for now), and if their offense establishes a running game early, then the Packers will prosper come wintertime.

3rd Round: Falcons RB Steven Jackson
My fingers slipped with this pick. Frank Gore and Darren Sproles shouted for me from the crowd – I was too busy staring at Jackson’s high rank. He was the ranked 34th, and the next runningback hovered from a distance. I don’t believe he’ll be the best value for Fantasy. In Real Life football, he will definitely contribute as a role player for the Falcons offense. But in the Fantasy World, the aging runningback who’s been on a statistical decline since 2006 (honestly, be real), won’t be rushing for 1,000 yards especially with solid QB play from Matt Ryan. 

We see Jackson being used to close out games (remember their 17-point lead against the 49ers in the NFC Championship?). That means that Jackson will run for an extra 50 yards at the end before they kneel the ball and scoring drives will result in field goal attempts (that is unless they’re within 10 yards from the endzone).

4th Round: Saints WR Marques Colston
This pick refreshed my emotions of regret from the last selection. Colston is a threat-to-score-six at least once a game, and his production’s burgeoned annually since the season he injured his thumb (2008). Look. Jimmy Graham  or not, Drew Brees’ rapport with Colston commenced when Brees was brought in from San Diego (2006), when the wide receiver was just a seventh-round pick and rookie from Hofstra. Together they endured memorable years — and barring any setbacks, 2013 could be the season that MC sets a career-high.

5th Round: Dolphins WR Mike Wallace
This one-trick pony (out of all the veteran wide receivers) is IMO, the steal of this draft. He’s been successful in freezing temperatures up in Pittsburgh, has he not? 32 touchdowns in 48 games? Drafted in 2009, Wallace has yet to play a full season since 2010 – but the electrifying receiver will light up Miami’s offense on fire (in a good way) and allow the strong-armed Ryan Tannehill to launch away under the sun. #CantWait

6th Round: Rams WR Tavon Austin
Sam Bradford’s other option is this year’s sleeper WR Chris Givens. Austin Pettis and Brian Quick are reliable, too but aren’t as sought out as Givens or Tavon Austin. Coach Jeff Fisher won’t talk about how the team will be utilizing Austin’s assets, so for now his explosiveness will be contained in the confines of today’s NFL.com article.

7th Round: Falcons QB Matt Ryan 
Life is not fair, you know that. For Matt Ryan to be available this late, I couldn’t prevent myself from adding extra icing to the cake. Of course, I’m aware I have A. Rod., which gives me leverage later when or if the Packers legend gets injured. It gives me flexibility to start either/or quarterback based on their matchups, and ultimately Ryan is great eye-candy for those in my league who want to rid an under-performing Cam, Matt Stafford, or even RGIII. #TradeBait

8th Round: Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon 
Ahem. I was away from my laptop as my pick timer waned and my sly friends, they stayed quiet. I ran over, saw 20 seconds left, foraged through the draft board like a mad man and Blackmon enticed me. Right, He’s suspended for the first four games and will be back Justin time for the Rams, a great game to regain his confidence. They then play the Broncos, Chargers, 49ers, Titans…and I’m in love with this selection.

9th Round: Patriots TE Zach Sudfield 
With Aaron Hernandez most likely out, Sudfield is a must-have.

Defense Philadelphia

Kicker Ravens Justin Tucker

Bench:

Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce, Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels, Atlanta Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Cincinnati Bengals WR Andrew Hawkins, Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert, Green Bay Packers WR Jonathan Franklin

Yahoo Fantasy Football Mock Draft 2013

I have perfected my fantasy football drafting skills (for the upcoming season). Ah, that feeling.

With the ninth choice in the snake draft here are my results:

Round 1 (9) – Jamaal Charles (RB – KC)

The key to the FF draft is DON’T PANIC. EVER. You have a thousand players on the board, relax. Among the runningbacks Charles, Alfred Morris , Matt Forte, and CJ2K (the list goes on), the Chiefs (seemed) to have the easiest schedule. With new acquisition Head Coach Andy Reid, look for Alex Smith to check down his receiving options and dump it off to a wide open and super-quick Charles on his swing routes along the coast of the line of scrimmage. Rookie Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) is capable of playing multiple positions (guard, tackle) and is expected to make a huge impact on the offensive line that’ll protect former 49ers QB Alex Smith ahd open holes for Charles and McCluster.

Round 2 (16) – Maurice Jones-Drew (RB – JAC) 

I would’ve slapped myself in the face if I passed up MJD.  I’ve now two dynamic runningbacks on my team. MJD is durable and a workhorse, I expect him to bail Blaine Gabbert/Chad Henne when they’re struggling late in games. And don’t forget. Runningbacks that play in warm-weather games (Jacksonville, Fl) flourish.

Round 3 (33) – David Wilson (RB – NYG)

I crossed my fingers for Reggie Bush to stay afloat. Of course not. But for insurance reasons, I picked up an extra runningback that was a hybrid of MJD and Charles. Fortunately enough, Wilson called out, and I extended my hand … and clicked “Draft.”

Round 4 (40) Wes Welker (WR – DEN) 

Flip a coin: heads, Welker, tails Decker. In Denver, every one is a primary target for Sheriff Manning. It’s true, the gunslinger doesn’t favor anyone above the others, it sometimes appears that way. He may target a wideout more than the other, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a completion. Welker is a beast until proven otherwise – don’t doubt the wise man from the slot.

Round 5 (57) Anquan Boldin (WR – SF)

I’m comfortable with my three running backs. I learned a valuable lesson last year: don’t need more than three. I confess my biases. I love Boldin. He developed and gained the trust of Joe Flacco in the quarterback’s third year in Baltimore, and I believe with the wisdom and attained from experience (and a Super Bowl ring), the wide receiver will enhance Colin Kaepernick’s development in San Francisco.

Round 6 (64) Mike Wallace (WR – MIA)

Two possession receivers are enough for me. What must I do now? That’s right. Pick up the best deep threat out there on the board. That plays in warm weather (again with the sunny weathered teams). Call it love, call it lust, whatever you want. All I know is that Wallace may blow up out of the Miami water like a huge marlin (or dolphin) in 2013.

Round 7 (81) Michael Vick (QB – PHI)

My favorite team. Not my favorite quarterback. This new Chip Kelly thing excites me. He’s looked sharp in the three preseason games that they’ve won. Intrigue me more.

Round 8 (88) Zach Sudfield (TE – NE)

I don’t know about you but, is the sky blue? This pick had to be done this early.

Round 9 (105) Emmanuel Sanders (WR – PIT)

It only makes sense when Sanders proves his worth on the Steelers with 83 receptions and 1,198 yards. Until then, don’t question my logic.

Round 10 (112) Bernard Pierce (RB – BAL)

Flaccco is sick with the Super Bowl flu and the running game might cure the offense’s/QB’s hangover this season like a bowl of boiling pho’. Never tried Pho? You’re missing out. When Ray Rice sits, the Pierce leads. I like my backups…that backup superstars.

Aaron Dobson (129)

Philadelphia (136)

Dan Bailey (153)

Brandon Lafell (160)

Tyler Eifert (177)

Buffalo Bills at Washington Redskins

Really?  I mean, seriously?

Thanks to the Bills’ lack of quarterback-manship, the Redskins played a well-rounded game. well-rounded, but not solid.

LASTI(NG) IMPRESSION
40 minutes. Fine, 38 minutes and 52 seconds, to be exact. In that time frame (which is plenty of time), the fighting match for Washington’s QB3 position unraveled.

Let’s all take a moment of silence for poor ol’ Coach Mike Shanahan. Aside from notes he’s already had from watching practice and their previous two games, Coach Shanahan didn’t learn anything from today’s evaluation.

Sorry, but we’re all aware that Pat White goes to his left and runs the read-option slower than RGIII, and Rex Grossman will forever throw off his back foot and overcompensate for his “superior” arm strength.

And that’s what we spectators spectated. OC Kyle Shanahan rushed to the right hash mark to create ample space for White to comfortably run the ball into the endzone. Besides the six points from his legs, White overthrew his receivers twice when throwing to his weak side and hit his wideouts in stride when crossing through the middle.
7/14 96 yards 3 rushes 26 yards 1 TD

Rex Grossman struck gold in the endzone, hooking up with the Redskins No. 1 receiver Pierre Garcon.
Grossman’s gross performance was almost forgotten when slot wideout Santana Moss managed to catch a risky pass in good coverage and ran for an extra 30 yards on third down.

Grossman returned to poor form shorty after that and the Redskins offense again sputtered in the redzone like broken garden sprinklers.

The final preseason game tape should (hopefully) be enough for coach Shanahan to decide which link is weaker between the two.

Amerson did not impress me this evening. He clapped his hands on the play Stevie Johnson fumbled the pigskin – but the rookie cornerback missed the tackle. The rookie played like a youngster should, overdoing it on the respect (cushion between DB/WR) on X down-and-short situations.

New England at Detroit: What To Look For

Depending on coaching styles, starters may or may not see more playing time this weekend. Some quarterbacks will be behind center, in drives up until the middle of the third quarter, presumably based on the head coach’s discretion and ultimately their satisfaction with their assessments.

As players are getting weed-whacked off roster lists and personnel coaches are trimming down their depth charts, here’s what NFL Fankind needs to direct their focus on tonight in the Patriots/Lions matchup.

The Lions showed both aggressive and passive identities in their first two matches. Versus the Jets, Matt Stafford completed a lousy total of 3 passes (3/8) all to Calvin Johnson for 58 yards. That formula last season equaled a 4-12 answer. Detroit must diversify their play calling.

Ghana rookie Ezekiel ‘Ziggy’ Ansah picked off a Mark Sanchez pass and returned it for a defensive touchdown. Good for the rookie’s confidence. So-called ultra-threat Reggie Bush rushed for five yards on three carries against the Jets.

In the scrimmage against the Cleveland Browns, Bush didn’t impress. He rushed for 15 yards on eight attempts. CJ1.9K didn’t play, which is why Bush hauled in five passes for 44 yards. Again, the problem emerges: a running back shouldn’t be the leader in the Receivers stat column, even in a winning effort (they lost to the Browns). Detroit’s defense is showed problems of the past. It’s still early but when quarterbacks Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, Mark Sanchez, Kellen Moore and Shaun Hill have easily solidified their candidacies on their respective depth charts, thanks to the Lions.

Opposing quarterbacks statline: 49/65 559 yards passing 5 TD, 1 INT, 8.6 Yards per Attempt, 75 percent accuracy

The Patriots sport one of the deepest pockets in their backfield. Behind Tom Brady, men named Stevan Ridley, Legarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen are all more than capable of carrying the load. Knowing Tim Tebow‘s skillset, they may consider him a running back (with an arm!), too.

If you’re rooting for Tebow to make the team, take notes on how he drops back and throws the ball as opposed to tucking it in and scrambling out of the pocket. The quarterback definitely gets too jittery at times and Coach Bill Belichick hates (I think) his QBs with insecurity issues. Remember, this is the final season of BB’s contract and it’s a fragile time in New England right now.

It’s Belichick-Mate for the Patriots if they miss the playoffs this season, and as far as we can tell, the AFC East crown is theirs to keep. No one today affiliates the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills with “teams on the rise,” so if the Pats can steady their boats through stormy weather, they’ll creep into the playoffs.

Go long, until next time.

My Summer

My post-grad life actually started in the final days of January 2013.

Determined to finish my final semester at VCU on a high note, a 3.5 grade point average attested to that, and making it on the Dean’s List for the first time in my life confirmed how much I’ve matured over the last four years.

Acknowledging the fact that my college years were coming to a close, I applied to jobs earlier than most of my fourth-year peers to get an early headstart. About sixty jobs, I think? The hunt was a grueling chase, writing cover letter after cover letter strengthened my patience.

On top of the job searching process, I juggled Senior class assignments and projects, wrote for two publications at VCU (the Blacksheep Journal and The Commonwealth Times), retyped NFL.com articles for more practice, blogged, performed at open mics, and filmed VCU Basketball games and practices. Whenever the laptop was connected to the T.V. (HDMI cable), NFL Network was streaming in the background.

Scatterbrained? A bit. Goal-driven.

May rolled around as did a throng of rejection letters. What hurt more than them informing me that I couldn’t, was my mother’s dissatisfiction after my graduation ceremony. She’s pushy, saying that I should’ve been done with school three years ago. Moms are always right, but it pained me nonetheless.

I applied to a few more positions after May 11, NFL Films being one of them. The Producer position enticed me most.

As a Producer intern,  I would learn the NFL Films style of storytelling and perpetuate Mr. Steve Sabol’s vision. The opportunity of a lifetime for any avid NFL follower.

When checking your bank account,  expect to be surprised. I’m in dire need of money and I formed a bad habit of transferring funds from my credit card to my debit. Cash advances cost an extra $10? No problem…

Quick cash.
With two and a half years of restaurant experience,  I decided that applying to the food and beverage industry would make the most sense. I rented a bike every other day and rode to Kitchen 64, Osaka, Tarrant’s, Bistro 27, Three Monkeys, Sticky Rice, Can-Can, Mellow Mushroom and a high-end diner in Carytown. No response.

If you know me, you know where I stay, and how ridiculous it was for me to bike to some of those places.

Soul Search
This is something that you shouldn’t be doing too often. 24 hours. That’s how long you’re allowed to rent out a VCU road bike. During the day, I’d write and edit and submit my articles to FootballNation.com, then apply to those places aforementioned. After sunset, I figured it wouldn’t hurt my chances to explore the city and check out RVA’s night life.

There’s a method to it. Everyday, a different bar. Happy hour here, open mic there. I chatted with new people and indulged myself to the practice of having an engaging conversation without stepping on a stranger’s toes. More importantly,  I focused on talking to a diverse group of men and women without bringing up “football.”

If they broached the topic, then so be it. Other than that, football was the forbidden fruit to not be touched for four hours.

I received numbers. I gave mine out. What mattered is what we did with the ten digits afterwards: stayed in touch.

Bonchon
After no callbacks, I notified my dad about my car. I needed to go the distance now, local restaurants didn’t want me. God is fair. I applied to Bonchon and the manager, Erica, hired me on the spot. I’d make enough cash in the first 40 hours to pay off my lingering credit card debt.

After befriending the managers (all of the coolest brothers by the way), I opened up to them and shared my career goals with the kitchen staff. The story intrigued Sonny,  impelling him enough to tell me about his cousin who works for the NFL Network as a photographer. Unreal. Surreal. I ask how I could reach out to him. A Facebook message later, Mr. Vy and I are on the phone discussing my next plan of action. He knows Mr. Justin Hathaway, NFL.com’s Senior Editor and texts me his email addy.

Moments later, Mr. Vy texts me again,  stating this time that Mr. Hathaway suggests me to send Mr. Gregg Rosenthal an email.

For those who don’t know me,  I emailed Mr. Rosenthal two years ago and asked for his advice. God connected me again to the man who I asked for help,  this time for employment attached with a resume.

Rosenthal is super busy editing articles on the website, and therefore hasn’t written back. As for Mr. Hathaway,  he recommended me to intern for NFL Films and contact him seven months from now. Well, uh, I didn’t even get the position yet.

I quit Bon Chon after a week due to personal problems; we’ll keep it at that.

새벽 예배 (Early Morning Service)
My mother,  thankfully,  woke me up at 5 a.m. and took me with her to these prayer services when I was a child. That part of me still exists. God helped me realize that I need to rely on him,  not more,  but most. When you’ve nothing to lose,  the best thing to do is to wake up at 6 a.m. and head to the nearest church. I Googled RKPC, Richmond Korean Presbyterian Church; they open at 6.

I woke up at 7:20 the next morning and assumed that I had more than enough time. Don’t assume. No cars were parked in the lot when I arrived. Trying to get in, a woman who was leaving caught glance of me and stopped.

She’s never seen me before and asks if I’m lost. I tell her that I just came to pray. This short lady old enough to be my mom re-parks her car and unlocks the church’s side door. She walks me through the hall and leads me to Pastor Lee Young Ho’s office.

He’s surprised to see me, as well. The head pastor interrogates me, wondering what brings me here. I share tidbits of my upbringing, tell him about my murky future and relay my prayer requests. He’s more compelled as soon as I answer his question, Who’s your favorite team?, in which I reply The Eagles.

He smiles, and stands up to shake my hand. How coincidental, the pastor grew up in Philadelphia.

We wrap things up with a prayer and I’ve been doing my best (by God’s grace) to wake up at six for early morning service.

NFL Films
I receive an email from them requesting from me a date and hour for an interview. The drive to NJ was tough, I got lost for nearly two hours and arrived to Super 8 by 3:30 am. The interview went well, however didn’t say everything I wanted to say. I’m praying that this is where God places me for the next seven months.

Redskins in-seat serving
Centerplate catering services at FedEx Stadium interviewed me to serve Redskins fans in their premium-level seating. They’ve invited me to work for them this season.

Redskins Training Camp Ambassador
Welcome to Richmond! Finally, a professional football team in my vicinity. I was fortunate to be selected as a training camp assistant and I’m hoping that this experience is what I imagine it to be.

VCU Basketball
Out of 32,000 students I was selected to film for the VCU Basketball team. If you know me, you know that I am horrible at basketball. God works in funny ways, yes. I reported to work and never complained. The grad assistants and student managers are awesome.

I’m thankful that I had a chance to work for Coach Smart, Coach Ballard, Coach Rhoades, Coach Morrell, Coach Roose, Coach Eddie, Coach Bopp and former Coach Wade.

Special Thanks
In no specific order:
Joe, Josh, Young, Lea, Janice, Esther, Brian,  Brian Lee,  Danny, Jon Chung, Graham,  Dwight, Paden, Nate, Brad, Coach B., Coach Smart, Mrs. Smart,  Holly, Mrs. Hanneman, Dr. Wiegardt, Sandy, Juliette Cho, Jackie Ho, Slavic, Rebecca, Mrs. Bridgette, Michelle, Mostar, Hannah, Kenny,  (Hoa, Andrew, Jonathan, Mike you know why), Grace Min, Kevin Kim, Mr. Kevin/Greg Kristof, Sunny, Greg, Chris N., Johnny Vy, Mr. Andy Pollin, Gregg Rosenthal, Brian Nachman, Nedra M., Ellen, Brandon B., Austin, Alex C., Mr. Headley, Kenneth, Thomas,  Rafik, Kevin van Valkenburg, Rory, Tashunda, Slimm, Z, Chung, Sonny, Suhan, AJ, Mike Lim, PG. Eva, Chris, Jonas, Kyle, Sean Hicks, Christina Johnson, Curt, Mike Krooked Smilez, Chef Dane, Erik.

Andddddd of course my dad for always supporting me, my brother for our bond, and my mom … because she once told me that working for the NFL is like pulling a star off the night sky.

Always, always give God thanks and do everything for His glory, not yours.

To WNFL or Not to WNFL? That is the question.

Since its inception in 2004, the Lingerie Bowl has endured its share of flops. (No pun intended.)

Yep, people all across the country watched 7-on-7 women’s tackle football featuring curvy female athletes in underwear and sports bras — but wasn’t as big of a hit we thought it would jiggle out to be.

After a brief, three-year fallout period (from 2007-09), the ladies strapped up once again. The second-go around was worse than watching a botched flea-flicker play.

The thinly-clad sport now is no longer Pay-per-View.  It’s on MTV, home of Jersey Shore and other wacky T.V. shows.

Will or will the female population not attempt to fight for a league of their own, the WNFL?

Basketball, softball, volleyball, golf, tennis, billiards…the list goes on. Poker even features female-only circuit events. But why not football!?

Don’t get me wrong, these girls are world-class superstars in their own right. Their physicality is off the charts. Stressing over purple circles on their thighs after their games? Expected. In no way am I biased against female athletes (I’m actually more attracted to them), so with a few rule modifications let’s (please) get these girls under full pads and real helmets, the long pants that the men wear, and cover their bare chests with actual jerseys.

Sam Gordon Visits the NFL Network

Sam Gordon, has a nice hall-of-fame-player-ring to it doesn’t it? She’s outrunning boys that are older and larger than her. She’s laying out heavier kids and most awesomely, breaking necks as her Pop Warner suitors fall on their knees over and over again.

Oh yea, guess what. She’s only nine-years-old.

This could be a new beginning, a fresh start for the women who love footall. The Lingerie Bowl should take another hiatus, sit back and think of a new way of attacking the market. Take a legitimate shot at building the WNFL. Please.

Philadelphia spring cleaning; Eagles undergoing surgery

Ah, how the stomachs have churned.

The Philadelphia Eagles enter the 2013 offseason looking up at the sky.

Indeed, with no team in the NFC East finishing worse than 4-12, up is the only direction for our national emblem representatives.

The bald eagles from Philadelphia recorded less wins than the chirpy Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West (5-11).

It’s sad to say because the Cards started their 2012 season off with an astounding four wins, including this obliteration of the Eagles in Week 3.

To add salt to the wound, the mighty Eagles were clipped by the paws of their identical-record-twins, the Detroit Lions (4-12) in five, not four, quarters of play.

This actually, as hard as it is for me to type this after this upcoming comma, crowns the Eagles as the Worst Team in the NFC period.

The Eagles won four games of 16 by a total margin of six measly points, beating Cleveland by one, Baltimore by one, New York Giants by two, and Tampa Bay by two. Did I mention measly?

Starting the 2012 season 3-1 (ahem, you beat the Super Bowl champs) by differentials thinner than a supermodel’s waist size – did the team no justice. Winston Justice, they needed you.

Now if you’re an Eagles fan, I’d hope that you saw the loss to Arizona coming. The midnight-green were rightfully pummeled.

Okay, that’s enough. No Eagles fan wants to read more on these unfriendly reminders like the four parking tickets they have stashed away in their closets.

Cowboys, Giants and Redskins fans, this is where you close this window. I warned you…

Uncertain but Certain:

I’m not sure how quickly the Eagles could turn their misfortune around. In 2011, head coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers took a bland roster that went 6-10 the year before and magically whipped the squad into a 13-3 team. New Orleans Saints’ head coach led a team that finished 3-13 in 2005 to the conference title game in his first year as head coach.

Could former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly pull off this incredible feat?

Perhaps.

There’s an unspoken period (three years) that NFL owners are willing to wait with hopes to reap what they’ve sewn. Owner Jeff Lurie is, to my understanding, a patient man when he’s all-in with the right man.

We know that coach Kelly prefers to work at a fast pace, but in satisfying Lurie’s dreams, he should pace himself. The city of Philadelphia wouldn’t mind watching him grind out his contract (five years, $32.5 million) – as long as he takes five years to achieve a playoff berth.

Eagle fans, right now you’re all probably feeling what I’m feeling with all the heavy renovation: vulnerable.

Starting from Head to Toe:

The ‘head’ of your organization needs a strong ‘neck’ to rest on. The ‘neck’ represents the reliable assistants that head coach Chip Kelly will lean on all season.

The ‘upper-body’ of a team represents the sturdy hands of their receivers and their willingness to block for LeSean McCoy or Bryce Brown (or Felix Jones, Chris Polk and rookie Matthew Tucker), and the forearms of the offensive linemen coupled with their inner-drive to protect the quarterback.

I also hold a profound inkling: ex-Houston Texans tight end James Kasey and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer wide receiver Arrelious Benn will make an immediate impact on offense.

Before I add anything to that, there’s this other tidbit I need to get off my chest. The Eagles, you see, should sign a thicker and taller receiver. I’m not too enthusiastic by the 1-2 punch they have in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, especially because they weigh less than 200 pounds.

I do not condone playing lights-out football until mid-October and being stuck with the consequences when inclement weather hits the muddy fields (when it matters) in December.

Maclin recorded 353 yards in the month of a 1-5 December (beating the Bucs under the sun) — probably because Jackson ended up on injured-reserve after Week 12.

Football is a tough sport. And I promise I don’t mean for this to rub any of you the wrong way, but signing a winter-reliable wide receiver will improve the Eagles’ chances during playoffs time.

Avid Eagles fans realize that their offensive line statistically, eh who am I kidding, clearly didn’t live up to their hype.

How could they have?

Most of the offensive linemen sustained injuries: Todd Herremans was placed on the season-ending injury reserve list with an ankle injury, All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters tore his Achilles tendon twice in the offseason, center Jason Kelce tore knee ligaments in Week 2 and Danny Watkins missed two games with an ankle injury.

It’s a depressing story, poor left guard Evan Mathis.

Giving up 48 sacks and a league-high 118 “hits on quarterback,” Foles and Vick wasn’t exactly the popular topic of discussion during dinner.

When I heard them say, “Michael Vick’s back!” I had no idea that they meant literally, his spinal cord.

Under the durable chests of the offensive line, are quarterbacks – the squeaky heart and soul of the body: Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon and rookie Matt Barkley. That list looks a bit mum but don’t let your eyes deceive you. Remember, Coach Kelly knows best.

Michael Vick will undergo a makeover for the ages and possibly reappear in tip-top shape (hopefully Atlanta Falcons form). You wish I could take it even further and say he’ll return as the quarterback he was at Virginia Tech. Sorry, for my fingers won’t let me officially type that in.

The legs and feet on the body are the special teams and defensive unit.

Kickers and punters are people, too. The feet of kickoff and punt returners will change the longevity of this sport.

Defense wins championships, especially the Super Bowl. The 2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2011 Giants and 2008 Steelers would agree. Truthfully, I’m still shaken up about the Eagles signings on defense.

Former outside linebacker Connor Barwin and 49ers’ defensive end Isaac Sopoaga — understandable. Pat Chung and Kenny Phillips? I’m a bit upset. The acquisition of those defensive backs doesn’t massage my body right. I knew I shouldn’t have eaten that Chipotle burrito in the car with Nnamdi Asomugha. Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher and former Ravens cornerback Cary Williams? Ho-hum.

It’s only June.

Maybe, maybe three months from now, Eagles fans will finally say to their fellow NFC Eastern friends, “Oh how the tables have turned.”

You Don’t Like Football!?!?

I’ve built a few relationships with the staff at BP. One cashier is an aspiring rapper, currently working on his second mixtape. I stood outside the gas station with the twenty-three-year-old during the wee hours of Monday morning, shared a few concepts, spat a few bars. The man has talent.

Another cashier, I won’t mention any names, is the mother of “two daughters and a spoiled, thirteen-year-old son.”
I asked her if he plays any sports. He does. Baseball and football. Quarterback. That last tidbit about him stuck out like Brittney Griner standing in a room full of hobbits. I told her that if there was anything I could do to help, to let me know.
“Sure,” she said, grimacing, “but I hate football.”
“What? You don’t like football?” I responded in disbelief. I immediately realized how ignorant that sounded.
“Yeah, everybody loves football, right?” she questioned, then answering her own, “Not me, because it caused the death of his father.”
She thought that I had already known. I did not; I would have avoided bringing up something so deep, so tragic; her heartbreak.
In 2008, the man who fathered two of her children won a Super Bowl bet, however, the sore loser didn’t want to pay and what escalated afterwards between two grown-ups led to a cruel and unnecessary murder.
There I was, dumbfounded, trying to contain my tears. I’ve been fortunate to not lose a loved one and it was difficult to relate to that type of pain. I was too young at my grandfather’s funeral. I, sympathetic, apologized for having her recall the traumatic experience—she smirked saying “it’s okay, I’m not over it yet and I may never get over it.”

No she won’t. How could she forget? She sees “him” every single day.

She doesn’t go to watch any of her son’s games and whenever she asks him about how he feels, he remains quiet.
Five years has passed since the incident but here she stood, unshaken, sharing with me how God is always good, and that everything happens for a reason.

I admire this woman’s courage. I thanked her for sharing a piece of her testimony with me. Do you believe in divine appointments? I do. There’s a reason why God grouped football, her and I tonight, and it has definitely stretched the screen of how I view the sport. Perfect timing too, I needed a slap of reality before I graduate next week.

Readers, of the millions of requests that I have, I simply ask if you could lift up a prayer for her. She informed me that her testimony would take an entire day to write out, and says she’ll have her life story published someday. Pray for her three children as well; God’s purpose for her family is great. Also, readers, please pray for me. I ask for an increase of humility and that I would never shove a plate of football in someone’s face. Football teaches about life values and teamwork–but gambling on the game should never cause the loss of a loved one.

Thanks.

11/2/17 thanks tashunda.

How great would this be?

As Christians, we are to wholeheartedly believe in the validity of this phrase: “Nothing is new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.)

Yes in hindsight, this verse guarantees me that Tom Brady is supposed to be the modern day Joe Montana, Aaron Rodgers is the contemporary Steve Young and, as much as I disagree, Phillip Rivers is-uh, Dan Marino (because of their funky throwing motions?). Apparently nothing hasn’t been “seen before” and events throughout history will eventually balance out on this invisible fulcrum that we Christians simply label as, ‘faith’ (believing without proof).

I found out an amazing fact though. For some unfamiliar reason, there hasn’t been a season in which every single team finished with 8-8 records. Yes, I checked every year since 1920, when the Akron Pros finished in first place with an 8-0-3 record. Is it too unrealistic?

I wonder if it will happen in our lifetimes. Why not the 2013-2014 season? Debating if team chemistry is more important than talent is a stark issue but when you fuse both of the topics together there should be a slight chance that every team could tab eight wins and lose eight games; and confuse the world when it’s time to determine who receives their playoff-berth certificates and who unfortunately won’t.

$120.6 MILLION!?

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Growing up from Silver Spring, MD, you’d expect to see those kind of numbers on a Washington Post headline coupled with an, “Owner Daniel Snyder” and a Redskins player/coach.

Oh how times have changed. The Baltimore Ravens will pay Joe Flacco $120.6 million over a span of six years. The heavens-touching payment has all sorts of critics, cynics, fanatics and any other word that you could tag an ‘-ic’ to uproar, voicing their opinions whether or not the quarterback is worth it. Is he though?

Put on your thinking caps and dive into the complex world of the NFL.

1) Quarterbacks live in a vault

A quarterback’s personal life is somewhat like the one that we see on the field every weekend. Constantly bombarded, hassled, harassed, and chased down. Whether it’s the gridiron or behind the scenes, the quarterback is juggling pressure. The men protecting him off the field when he’s lounging around in his sweatpants are his coaches and other members in the front office.

2. We’re talking about Baltimore here; not Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Patriots, Denver…

The Ravens hail from the AFC North. The Bengals are on the rise. Cleveland won’t be easy to bring down. The Steelers, well, they’ve two Super Bowl victories in the past decade. This Division contains a plethora of strong personalities, and while coaches are incessantly refurbishing their schemes, it’s feasible to slip behind the other and fall down to the bottom half. 

Third or fourth place in the Division usually doesn’t cut it in the AFC (maybe the NFC, Eagles/Giants/Cowboys) to qualify for the playoffs. But chances of clinching a playoff berth in the AFC? Tough. Exactly what the Ravens need from their star. Toughness. The past is the past. Super Bowl champion or not, five straight playoff berths or not, those things were undoubtedly factored in, but as a business-minded owner, this is a justifiable investment. Look at the Colts in the Manning-era for instance. No one in their division came close to upending them when Manning stepped on the field 208 consecutive regular-season times. They won games with ease; no disrespect to him, obviously, but Indianapolis handed Manning the right amount of money to play at a high level. He was given a reason to demolish teams by throwing extraneous touchdown passes. Same with Tom Brady. For a while, the Patriots finished first in their division. Tom Brady didn’t have much to worry about when visiting or hosting Miami, New York or Buffalo. Money should be spent to players to keep them hungry and passionate to feed their drive. Which is why I trust that the Ravens made this move to guarantee Joe Flacco’s  efforts all while keeping him balanced and level-headed throughout the season. Because $120.6 million doesn’t come packaged with excuses.

3. Defense no matter what

Baltimoreans just lost the heart and soul of their team. Ray Lewis is gone. Sure they have a whole offseason to do some soul-searching but it’s pretty clear that the great linebacker’s presence will be missed.

The Ravens are entrusting #5 to be the new #52. As long as we live, all of fankind will believe to the day that we die that DEFENSE wins CHAMPIONSHIPS. I’ll be reciting that on my death bed. I promise. Engrave it on my tombstone.

We witnessed Ray Lewis’ team almost lose to the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Point blank. Colin Dappernick and Co. almost pulled off the miracle for the ages but lost by executing three consecutive plays designed to the right side of the field. I’m still confused about that–but that’s not the point. Would Joe Flacco be looking at a delicious plate of $120.6 million today if they had lost? Jacoby Jones did field a kickoff return to the house, but hey, Joe Flacco executed everything in his power and got the job done.

Which was to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Baltimore, after twelve long years.

and the winner of Super Bowl XLVII is . . .

Mike Jones secures the Rams victory by tackling Titans receiver Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line with no time remaining. Credit source: WashingtonPost.com

Mike Jones secures the Rams victory by tackling Titans receiver Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line with no time remaining. Credit source: WashingtonPost.com

The grand finale is titled “Ravens vs. 49ers” for specifically that reason–because if this game was John vs. James (Jim for short), I’d open up a Bible to see that the gospel John has 21 chapters whereas the short-and-sweet latter contains 5.

And so let’s not be thrown off by that sixteen chapter differential, or expect the Ravens to blowout the candles (49ers play at Candlestick) by that many points.

Because if the Ravens win this thing, I’m predicting it won’t be by much.

When it comes down to it–as low as the dirt underneath the belly of a snake–football will perpetually be a team sport. The statement is unprecedented–no ifs, ands or buts could counter this proverbial truth.

So as avid fans of this game, we might as well now edify ourselves as much as we can to predict–make an educated guess–how the Super Bowl will be played out. No matter how loudly I cry for the game result in a tie, the only “tie” here will be the tongues of our newest NFL champions in their post-game interviews (tongue-tied). (Ed’s note: I tried)

My take: It is not a good idea to study this upcoming game by comparing it to their 2011 meeting in which the Ravens somewhat ‘stole’ (imo) a victory from the 49ers by ten points. The double-digit margin does not truly signify how close this game really was—if only the referees had made a pass interference call on Ravens CB Lardarius Webb before he intercepted Alex Smith, then maybe I can rest my case. This time around, the 49ers won’t be missing Webb while he recovers from an ACL-injury he suffered in October (get well soon) and the Ravens won’t be forcing Alex Smith to lose fumbles (1), hitting him (12), and picking him off (1) because they’ll be running with/against a bigger problem named Colin Kaepernick. If containing Kaepernick has been a nightmare for your favorite team in the last few weeks, don’t sleep. That nightmare’s accomplice, who goes by the name of Frank Gore, has adjusted well to the read-option and imposes a darker, more vicious threat to even-solid defenses. The thought-provoking idea of how the unique athletes on a Packers defense (packed with experience, btw) couldn’t shelter a young 25-year-old Kaepernick intrigues me the most. The scarier thing about the CK-Experience is that it’s not required of him to run for x amount of yards to win. Both of their defenses are stout and more importantly, smart. The 49ers’ secondary has been caught off guard in recent weeks, so it won’t be a surprise package if we see Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith burning them from time to time. The best treat from this game isn’t #52 in purple passing the torch to another #52 in scarlet, or a 25-year-old quarterback leading his team and winning the Super Bowl after the starting quarterback goes down (Tom Brady already has that covered) because the best treat of this game (if it happens) will come from the two legendary players in mid-air. What a breathtaking sight, if spectators had the privilege to watch Randy Moss raise his arm after slipping behind the ball-hawking safety Ed Reed, watch the ball sail over the Baltimore secondary, and wonder who’s basket the pigskin will finally land in.

The epic suspense is killing me too.

My prediction: 49ers 28, Ravens 26

Colin Dapper-nick will need to look exceptionally sharp on Super Bowl Sunday

Colin Kaepernick, rising junior, future super star

Colin Kaepernick, rising junior, future super star

If you consider yourself religious and fashionable, can I guess that church-Sunday is your favorite day of the week?

On Super Bowl Sunday, Colin Kaepernick, or Dapper-nick as I like to call him, will have to put on more than just his usual crimson-red 49ers jersey–he’ll have to put on the best show that he’s ever televised since his first start in 2012 against the Chicago Bears. That amazing episode.

Do not let his lanky 6-foot-4 frame fool you, his daddy-long legs will leave you biting dust if you pursue him at the wrong angle. The 25-year-old’s jersey number, the same as Michael Vick’s, was called upon after Alex Smith went down with a concussion in the tilt vs. the St. Louis Rams.

Kaep rose to the occasion, yet ended in a 24-24 tie. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh stuck with his gut and handed the keys to the bus of their franchise to. ……………………… a 25-year-old sophomore.

The inexplicable, but fortunately correct, decision has paid off for Harbaugh and his coaching career after bus driver Colin Dapper-nick has driven his team safely to New Orleans, their second-to-last stop. The fuel that the bus runs on is vengeance and motivation.

It will be a glorious day to hoist the trophy for Frank Gore (8), Isaac Sopoaga (9), Brian Jennings (13), Vernon Davis (7), Michael Crabtree (4), and Patrick Willis (6) (just to name a few) who have played every season with the 49ers since their post-college days.

It would be perfect for a future Hall of Famer such as Randy Moss to finish his adversity-bloated career with a Super Bowl victory in his repertoire.

A wallet-sized picture of him lifting his hands when the confetti sprays from the heavens, I’d buy that.

The Readiness of Matt Ryan

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Image credit to Midway Illustrated

With their latest acquisition to bolster up their “W” column last Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons are now 11 and 1, and looking solid with four games left to go.

Since Ryan’s rookie year in 2008 up until Thursday, Brees and Co. have proudly waved their banners as they’ve defeated their rivals  in seven out of the last nine battles. Matt Ryan though, who’s record at the Georgia Dome stands tall at an unreachable 32 wins and only 6 losses, made 82.4% sure that their arch-nemesis would mutually understand: that they weren’t leaving with a win.

(“I was there two weeks ago, five interceptions isn’t really the greatest feeling,” Ryan sympathized”)(false quote example)

Falcons fans know better not to celebrate prematurely, after all, a lingering, bitter Matt Ryan effect has grown over the years and proven nothing but 3 disappointing endings to great regular-season finishes. It’s safe to ask the question that surfaces in the minds of many around this time of year: is the Irish 26-year-old ready to win his first-ever playoff game?

Yes, general public, yes he is.

(“I overheard Drew in the pregame huddle that this was their division,” Ryan nonchalant, “Not true.”)(false quote example)

The Falcons are actually stronger than they appear. In plain sight, their near-perfect record doesn’t showcase how much adversity that they’ve truly overcome.

“Entering Week 13 the Falcons have had the lowest strength of schedule in the NFL by a wide margin and the third-lowest strength of victory in the NFC. Only two of their 11 games have been against teams that currently have a winning record (Broncos and Buccaneers).” (http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/tag/_/name/matt-ryan)

After injecting their reality-shot in New Orleans, many believed that the Saints had exposed the flaws of the mighty Falcons. If a 4-5 team could exploit their divisional rivals, hold their ball-carriers to a measly sum of 44 yards on the ground, (46 if you include Ryan’s 2), then that just might have to be the formula for every team to use in order to stop them from winning. Right?

Wrong. The resurgent Falcons guaranteed never to lose to an inferior team again. The team sloppily overcame some unexpected pressure visiting from Arizona. In a bout of two Angry Birds, the Cardinals intercepted Matt Ryan five times but couldn’t heed the recipe that the Saints had written a week before. They couldn’t hold Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers to less than 44 yards running–instead let them maneuver their way around the turf for a total of 72. The phenomenal aspect of this game was the fact that Matt Ryan was picked off 5 times and the team rallied, put him on their shoulders and rotator cuffs to win the game. A week later the birds migrated to the land of the Buccaneers, a squadron who were heading into the game off a four-game winning streak. The Falcons reapplied what they learned: not to lose to inferior teams. Matt Ryan was too accurate, completing 26/32 passes and most importantly, showed flashes of chemistry by hooking up for a long touchdown pass down the rail with his third favorite receiver, Julio Jones. The Falcons won again, this time running for 66 yards total (79 including Ryan’s 13).

For their next upcoming games before entering the postseason, the Falcons should be projected to win all four with ease. They play at Carolina and at Detroit, and host the Giants and the Buccaneers in their final showdown. If they finish, hypothetically 15-1, they’ll clinch a first-round bye and the shortcut to the Super Bowl will be through the sharp turf blades of the Georgia Dome.

PARITY A RARITY

Why unfinished?

We still have four weeks left.

For the confused:

Start at the top (Ravens) and go right. The Ravens beat the Chiefs, Chiefs beat the Saints and so forth.

The Saints are notorious for winning and losing one game. They’ve blessed the Chiefs their only victory this season and scarred the Falcons with their only “L” in their red column.

Continue and you’ll learn that the Redskins slaughtered the  Eagles, who barely beat the Browns, and the Browns beat the Bengals, which is weird again, because the team from Cincinnati upended the Super Bowl champions, the Giants.

Of course the Giants took on a shaky Cowboys (they play in heels, not boots) squad easily. Dallas and Tampa Bay was decided by six points, and the Buccaneers hot, 4-game winning streak includes 2 teams from the AFC West, the Chargers and the Raiders. (The Chargers beat the Raiders.)

The Cardinals upset the the Patriots, who then went on to angrily manhandle the New York Jets. The Colts won an emotional game against the Packers in Indianapolis, which I feel is a season-changing victory for them. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers shhhhhhh-ilenced the mighty Texans at their own house and I don’t know what to believe anymore.

Any Given Sunday (1999) is just a movie but the proverbial title rings loud in the National Football League still today.

As I mentioned before, there are 4 exciting more weeks left, so we’ll see how the story unfolds!

Until next time, keep a look out for the parity in the NFL to finish its cycle.

POWER RANKINGS: NFL TOP 10

Darkness is covering the spread faster now that Winter is steadily approaching. Curfews are being curtailed, a 24-hour day feels falsely advertised and nights aren’t long anymore–they’re elongated. 

And what separates the men from the boys is how the latter handles their flashlights in a pitched-black room.The Texans and the Falcons have been prolific for a little less than the first three quarters of the season, with eight games folded neatly in their “W” basket. Therefore, their future is bright. They are less than a handful of games away from clinching playoff berths, but before I time travel too far into our futures, let’s talk about the now, and who made my list today.

1) Denver Broncos (6-3)
Manning and Co. won’t have too much on their hands this weekend hosting a deflated Chargers team. What fixed my heart on Denver, is that both sides of the ball have meshed really well  as the season progressed, and not only that, is continuing to improve. Their defense is ranked #6 overall and their offense is ranked #3, right behind an irrelevant Lions team.

2) Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
After the bye week, this team lead by a rookie quarterback sensation has the potential to clock out at 10-6, if they predictably lose to the Chicago Bears and get swept by the 49ers. What sticks out most about the Seahawks is that they’ve beaten the Packers (simultaneous catch game), the Patriots, and the Vikings. They’ll definitely redeem themselves against the Cardinals and the Rams with the assist of their 12th man at CenturyLink Field to close out the season.

3) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
Possibly the games that will determine the fate of their season will be against the Ravens. They have a chance to sweep Baltimore twice in the next sixteen days. With Big Ben out, they’ll need to heavily rely on their running game. The Steelers, receiver-wise, have all the tools necessary to be successful. Similar to the Seahawks, the black-and-yellow have had their fair share of winning “Statement Games,” which is why I chose them to receive the Bronze. Oh, if defense wins championships, the Steelers are sitting on top at #1 overall.

4) Houston Texans (8-1)
After being “Shhh’ed” by Aaron Rodgers in front of their own fans, the Texans have quietly been on a 3-game winning streak. In ten weeks they’ve caught some  good game: lassoed up a team of broncos, shot down a flock of ravens, and hunted a group of grizzly bears in Chicago. If you’re not a believer still, I don’t blame you. They still have to play the Colts twice, visit the Patriots and host the Vikings in week 16. Remember, their ranked #2 overall in Defense without Brian Cushing.

5/6) T-Indianapolis Colts (6-3) and the New England Patriots (6-3)
The Colts fly to Foxboro which is why I stuck them together at #5/6. The first, with a win could fortify their placement in the race for the wildcard selection, and the other, with a victory, could start shopping for the 1st-place divisional crown in the AFC East. Could a protege upend his or her professor? The Patriots secondary is suspect, but we know that Coach Belichick is addressing these obvious issues. The Colts still haven’t found a running game, nor I can’t tell if they’re searching for it any longer. A win for both teams would be great, but a loss for the Colts could be pivotal, in a detrimental way. When teams win the games they know they’re supposed to win, they do exactly what they know. Execute. Capitalize. All that jazz. The Patriots under Coach Belichick, have drastically improved from their rocky 1-2 start. Age is nothing but a number, and Tom Brady can still make the throw.

7) Chicago Bears (7-2)
The Bears without Jay Cutler will be like the Bears with Jay Cutler. Jason Campbell will fill in his shoes just fine, and what better way is there, to build the confidence in his fresh legs, and wait, there’s more–quarterbacking in the warm, California weather?  And wait, the 49ers won’t be perfect themselves, as Alex Smith will sit this match out and pave way for Colin Kaepernick for his first taste of NFL grass. If Matt Forte stays healthy and their defense doesn’t run out of battery life, I see the Bears going as far as an NFC Championship game.

8/9) T-Atlanta Falcons (8-1) and the New Orleans Saints (4-5)
Raise you right hand and solemnly swear. Did you see a Falcons loss against the Saints? I did. Both offenses are dynamic, explosive. The Saints have a plausible excuse to try to win out the rest of their games and reach the playoffs, and as does Atlanta. They’ll tango again in the last weekend of November, and if the Georgia Dome loses a step, that’ll be a life-changing event for the Saints.

10) New York Giants (6-4)
Ranking 10th in total offense, and 21st in total defense. Their ballhawks have picked off quarterbacks 17 times, trailing right behind the Bears who lead the pack with 19. They’re having health issues as a team, but if they could win out while some of their starters rest for the playoffs, I, well, we all know that the Giants are the most lethal team in the postseason.

The Packers, 49ers and Ravens are still knocking at the door and gritting their teeth in anguish to hopefully make this list before the season ends. They will, we’ll see.

Final Score: Raiders 20 Baltimore 55

For this blog post, I figured that I show everybody in class of a football game under a microscope. Sure, we can watch football and enjoy our snacks and beer while we do it, but for there are a select few who work hard every week to provide the public a fresh look, a shot of what goes behind the scenes before the game starts. So for this week, I chose a game, playing in Baltimore, with the Ravens hosting the Oakland Raiders in silver and black. Put on your lab coats, step into my laboratory, and let’s dissect this game.

First, I jot down a few basic things, their records. 
Oakland’s record: 3 wins, 5 losses.
Baltimore’s record: 6 wins 2 losses. 

Then, I research the Oakland Raider’s Offensive statistics:
21.4 points per game (ranked 19/32) 
358.5 yards per game (ranked 15th)

For the formula that I created, I need a few important numbers:
Score when the Raiders play Away games, and their Opponent’s Defensive Rank:
Week 2 OAK 13 MIA 35 (24TH)
          4 OAK 6 DEN 37 (10TH)
          6 OAK 20 ATL 23 (19TH) After Bye Week
          8 OAK 26 KC 16 (17TH)

Score when the Raiders play Home games, with Opponent’s Defensive Ranks:
Week 1 SD 22 (9TH) OAK 14
          3 PIT 31 (1ST) OAK 34
          7 JAC 23 (27TH) OAK 26
          9 TB 42 (29TH) OAK 32

Next I like to find out who’s injured and how some of the injuries in the recent past have affected the team’s losses and wins:
RECENT INJURIES AND IMPACT:

WEEK 8 @KC WIN

Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. McFadden SHOULDER 29 114 0 28
M. Goodson HIP 4 22 0 21
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
B. Myers KNEE 3 49 0 29
R. Streater KNEE 1 9 0 9
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
S. Janikowski LEFT GROIN 4/4 36 2/2 14
Defense T-A SCK INT FF
M. Burris ELBOW 7-0 0.0 0 0
M. Mitchell ANKLE 2-0 0.0 0 0
R. Seymour KNEE 2-0 1.0 0 0
M. Shaughnessy SHOULDER 2-0 0.0 0 0
D. Bryant ELBOW 1-0 0.0 0 0
WEEK 9 TB LOSS
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. McFadden SHOULDER 7 17 0 7
T. Jones KNEE 1 2 0 2
M. Goodson  TOE 2 0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
S. Janikowski LEFT GROIN 1/1 29 3/3 6
Defense T-A SCK INT FF
R. McClain TOE 5-1 0.0 0 0
D. Bryant ELBOW 1-1 0.0 0 0
 
D. Tollefson SHOULDER 1-0 0.0 0 0
M. Shaughnessy KNEE 0-1 0.0 0 0

WEEK 10 @BAL (UPCOMING GAME)

Miles Burris LB Full Participation in Practice
Marcel Reece RB Full Participation in Practice
Brandon Myers TE Limited Participation in Practice
Darren McFadden RB Did Not Participate In Practice
Keenan Clayton LB Full Participation in Practice
Dave Tollefson DE Full Participation in Practice
Shawntae Spencer CB Did Not Participate In Practice
Michael Mitchell S Full Participation in Practice
Coye Francies CB Full Participation in Practice
Sebastian Janikowski K Limited Participation in Practice
Richard Gordon TE Full Participation in Practice
Matt Shaughnessy DE Full Participation in Practice
Willie Smith T Full Participation in Practice
Desmond Bryant DT Full Participation in Practice
Richard Seymour DT Did Not Participate In Practice
Mike Goodson RB Did Not Participate In Practice
Matt Giordano S Limited Participation in Practice
Khalif Barnes T Limited Participation in Practice

As you can see, the Raiders are plagued with injuries. Without strong personnel to show in week 9, they lost against a visiting Buccaneers team. The Raiders still don’t look too healthy when they fly east to play the Ravens. Now comes the fun part–crunching numbers.

Margins of Oakland Away Games: -22 (lost by 22 points), -31, -3, +10 (won by 10 points) = -46/4 games= -11.5 is the differential when Oakland plays away

There are 32 teams in the NFL. For the Raiders, playing a team such as the Ravens, will be similar to playing a few teams that they played against in the past. The Ravens have a similar style to the following that I will mention. 

Playing against teams when their offense is ranked #8-24.
#
23 MIA, -22 (lose by 22)
#14 PIT +3 (won by 3)
#8 ATL -3
#16 KC, +10

= -12 points / 4 games
= -3, meaning that they’ve lost by a close margin of 3 points against teams with similar style of play. I then will categorize the Ravens’ defense as a “loose defense” and compare how the Raiders fared against the bottom 16 teams in the NFL.

Against Loose Defenses (#16-32):

#24 MIA = -22 (lost by 22),
#19 ATL = -3
#27 JAC = +3 (won by 3)
#17 KC = +10
#29 TB = -10

= -22 – 3 + 3 + 10 – 10
=-22/5
= -4.4, the Raiders, on average, lose by 4.4 points against the bottom 16 teams. 

Now, with all the numbers that I’ve calculated, I’ll combine them all to see the total production of the Raiders.

= -11.5 – 3 – 4.4 = -18.9 = meaning that the Raiders lose games by 18.9 points against teams similar to the Ravens.

Last but not least, we’re almost done here, is just an easy calculation of what the Raiders usually put up on the scoreboard against “Loose Defenses.” The reason for this is because I need to know how the Raiders average when they’re not playing in the comforts on their home field.

Offense Points RECORDED AWAY against Loose Defenses:

13(MIA)+20(ATL)+26(KC)
= 59/3
=19.333, shows that the Raiders score about 19.333 points when they’re not at home!

So with the two numbers that I’ve calculated, -18.9 (The number that signifies how the Raiders fare against Ravens-type teams) added to the average of how many points they usually put on the scoreboard. The final answer is .433 = -18.9+19.333 = .433 OAKLAND. 

This .433 is a very odd number, as I’m letting football fans know that the Raiders will score .433 points against the Ravens, which could be rounded up to 0 points.

Now that we’re finished with the Raiders breakdown, I will break down the Ravens team to wrap things up.

Baltimore Offense:

24.9 ppg (11th)
346.0 ypg (19th)

Home Game/Margin/OppDefRank
CIN 13 BAL 44—31—20TH
NE 30 BAL 31—1—22TH
CLE 16 BAL 23—10—23RD
DAL 29 BAL 31—2—5TH

AWAY GAMES/MARGIN/OPPDEFRANK

BAL 23 PHI 24— -1—15TH
BAL 9 KC 6—3—17TH
BAL 13 HOU 43– -30 –3RD
BAL 25 CLE 15 –10—23RD

INJURIES FOR WEEK 9

Defense T-A SCK INT FF
D. Ellerbe HAND 4-5 1.0 0 0
E. Reed SHOULDER 4-1 0.0 1 0
T. Suggs ANKLE 2-1 0.0 0 0
B. Pollard CHEST 1-6 0.0 0 0
D. Tyson FOOT 0-2 0.0 0 0

MARGIN AGAINST HORRIBLE DEFENSES:
+31, +1, +10, +3, +10
55/5
=11

MARGIN AGAINST WEAK OFFENSES RANKED #8-24:
17TH CIN – 31, 10TH PHI -1
16TH KC 3, 12TH -30
31-1+3-30
=3/4
=.75 Meaning that the Ravens usually win by 1 point against teams whose offenses rank #8-24.

POINTS RECORDED AT HOME AGAINST LOOSE DEFENSES:
44, 31, 23
= X/3
32.666

Just as I did for the Raiders team, the two numbers I need to solve this final score of this game will be 1) The hypothetical number of points the Ravens put up against Raider-style teams, (11 + .75) and the actual amount of points that they put on the scoreboard when they play at home (32.666)

11 + .75 + 32.666
= 44.41 The Ravens can score 44.41 points, whereas the Raiders will only put up .433. 

In conclusion, before you turn on the Oakland Baltimore game, you’ll know at least what to expect on the scoreboard with Daniel Park’s pregame analysis. My final prediction is that the Baltimore Ravens will blow out the visiting Oakland Raiders, and my math says that the differential will be 44 points. 

So it’s not just cheesy fingertips from munching on Doritos and stretching my beer belly with the Yuenglings that I’m sipping on every week. There’s as lot more to football than you think!

Enjoy!

The Final Score: Oakland 20, Baltimore 55. The Margin? 35. My margin of 44 is close enough. Took 2 hours to research all this but it definitely feels good.

The NFL Says

The annals of the National Football League’s history holds a plethora of marvelous splendor. Decade after decade, NFL Films captured the greatest players perform, miraculous wins and heartbreaking losses, elation in locker rooms after victories against their rivals, and spectacular (controversial) plays.

NFL fans now can relive the moments by installing NFL Network and watch documentaries on Hall of Fame coaches and teams. But what about those in my generation and younger? Who’ll be able to tell them the captivating stories of John Madden, John “Paddy” Driscoll, or Tom Fears? These men are enshrined in Canton, Ohio in the NFL Hall of Fame. It’s not so much about reading that they existed, but what made them so special and memorable. The younger generation might want to know how the 1972 Dolphins won a Super Bowl while maintaining a spotless 17-0 record. The adversity that the ‘Fins faced had to be a hefty load especially with teams stymieing them (once they caught on). So without further adieu, this is a memo for future the Daniel Parks of the NFL world, a lesson for you to hand down to the generation after yours. Hopefully 40 years from now someone will stop by and enlighten himself.

Dear young NFL fan,

What’s 5’8”, runs like the Jesus Christ Lizard, and is as flexible as an Olympic Gymnast?

Known as the X-Factor, Dante Hall was the most dynamic player that I’ve ever witnessed to this day. No one else could return a punt the way he did. It almost seemed as if he had sword blades attached under his cleats–how he sharply cut in the grass and switched directions. With his blazing speed, the “Human Joystick” possessed an innate skill for improvising moves, dancing a little to buy some time, and bolting like lightning through a hole set up by his blockers. This was the only man on earth with 7 senses. I’d flip to an otherwise stodgy Kansas City Chiefs team just to watch this magician fool other grown men out of their shoes. His skinny frame didn’t last more than seven years in the NFL, and like other old joysticks he grew stiff as he was traded to the St. Louis Rams for his last season in 2007. His fearlessness was astronomical; if opposing coaches respected the Chiefs’ offense a little more, they probably wouldn’t have kept punting the ball his way.

Thank you Mr. Hall for the four consecutive games you returned a punt for a touchdown in 2003. You had this 15-year-old metal-mouthed kid practicing your signature moves and looking foolish dancing in front of the screen at one point. So much fun.

What’s harder to do? Being upset with your significant other, or crying in Hawaii?

If you answered the latter, you’re right. It’s too hard to sob on such a beautiful island. But the daredevil in me accomplished that feat (No, I’m really sensitive). January 12, 2007, there I was, sipping on my Pepsi in the fourth quarter with 3 minutes and 18 seconds left. Down 3 points, my Eagles had possession, and maybe their last chance.

Philadelphia Eagles at 03:18

  1. 1-10-PHI 44(3:18) (Shotgun) 7-J.Garcia pass short left to 36-B.Westbrook to PHI 43 for -1 yards (22-F.Thomas).
  2. 2-11-PHI 43(2:37) 36-B.Westbrook right end to PHI 44 for 1 yard (55-S.Fujita).
  3. 3-10-PHI 44(2:02) (Shotgun) 7-J.Garcia pass incomplete short right to 36-B.Westbrook [55-S.Fujita].
  4. Two-Minute Warning
  5. 4-10-PHI 44(1:56) (Shotgun) PENALTY on PHI-71-S.Young, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at PHI 44 – No Play.
  6. 4-15-PHI 39(1:56) 8-D.Johnson punts 39 yards to NO 22, Center-46-J.Dorenbos, fair catch by 25-R.Bush

New Orleans Saints at 01:48

  1. 1-10-NO 22(1:48) 26-D.McAllister left guard to NO 26 for 4 yards (97-D.Walker).
  2. Timeout #2 by PHI at 01:44.
  3. 2-6-NO 26(1:44) 26-D.McAllister left tackle to NO 31 for 5 yards (32-M.Lewis).
  4. Timeout #3 by PHI at 01:37.
  5. Timeout #1 by NO at 01:37.
  6. 3-1-NO 31(1:37) 26-D.McAllister right guard to NO 36 for 5 yards (55-D.Jones).
  7. 1-10-NO 36(:52) 9-D.Brees kneels to NO 35 for -1 yards.
  8. 2-11-NO 35(:20) 9-D.Brees kneels to NO 34 for -1 yards.
  9. END GAME

Three minutes? Plenty of time to methodically drive the ball down the field and score. See #5? The bold sentence. Our offensive lineman #71 Scott Young was called for a holding penalty on 4th and 10.

For those who don’t know, 4th and 10 means only one thing: if you don’t gain ten yards on this very play, you hand over the ball to the other team’s offense. After a two-minute warning commercial break, I, being the only Eagles fan in all of Hawaii, shouted on top of my lungs, “LET’S GO!”

And GO we did. Jeff Garcia, our backup quarterback who was filling in for the injured starter, completed a 17-yard strike to Hank Baskett. It was glorious, all the reassurance I needed buzzed and swarmed over my head like a hive of bees. We were going to tie this game. Then, flying from the bottom left of the corner of the screen you see the ugly, mustard-yellow flag. In my opinion, it was a late call. The completion was nullified and the referee penalized Scott Young for holding. On 4th down and 15, the Eagles opted to punt the ball, a huge mistake I still can’t get over.

The play-call could have changed the history of the Eagles. Instead of being on the threshold of greatness, we fell off the cliff to the bottom of the laughingstock.

Tearfully, I sat there like a lone pup on the side of a two-lane road as the setting sun was just as downcast as I.

What the Madden Curse REALLY is…

Let’s say thirteen years ago your friend introduces you to an astonishing and young idea. After relentless flirting, you might just have to give it a chance.

Ever since 1999, players who grace the cover of the Madden NFL football video game are subsequently injured or have a horrible year.  Notend up in the hospital, spontaneously retiring, sitting on the bench, or…behind prison bars. Every year the same question is brought up: could I be that guy to break this silly curse thing?

No.

The smart ones avoid it at all costs. Ask Ladainian Tomlinson. In 2008 terrified LT fans started websites to deliver their team’s best player from making the costly mistake of signing the Madden deal. He listened,  opted-out, and went on to play a record-setting year. Rising star Vince Young lasted 5 games before a quadricep injury. His numbers drastically declined and supposedly that was his first real injury since the fifth grade! The auspicious quarterback lost his job to a washed up Kerry Collins; the rest was history. Young was sent to the Philadelphia Eagles–in an interview during the 2011 preseason he told the world to watch out for the Dream Team–making us the laughingstock of the NFL.

When two negatives join it’s supposed to make the obvious, a positive. When the aforementioned quarterback Young and the starting QB Michael Vick for the Eagles, another victim of the MC, I convinced myself that the franchise was saved. Would the Madden Curse and its ghosts no longer beleaguer my beloved squad? No.

If Most Exciting Player of the Decade awards were issued, Michael Vick would’ve achieved at least three of them. This superhuman accounts for almost all his team’s yardage totals. It’s more astonishing to me that he admitted to never opening up a playbook or studying any of the game film that the Falcons organization suggested him to. Vick graced the cover of Madden 2004. He broke his leg during a preseason match, missed eleven games and that was the end of that. In 2007 he was convicted for involvement in a dogfighting scandal, gambling his hard-earned money on puppies ripping each other’s hearts out. The Madden Curse punished the man with a fat suspension for 2 years, reinstated with the Eagles, and get this: teased the fans leading the team to a heavenly 10-6 record. The Vick-led group of men tippy-toed into the postseason and lost a nail-biter against the Packers, which eliminated them from the playoffs.

Two negatives make a positive, but I then realize that the squad in Philadelphia actually carried another quarterback who fronted the Madden video game.

Madden 2006: Donovan McNabb. He will always be one of my favorite quarterbacks. Under his leadership we fans got to enjoy five playoff seasons and a glorious loss in the Super Bowl. I think he was delirious when he agreed to gracing the Madden cover. But being 17 then I trusted the man of great credibility and wished the best for him. Wished him so well that in the first game of the 2006 season the man received a sports hernia, an injury that requires months to heal. The aggravated groin required surgery and the team finished 6-10. Yes. McNabb never quite played the same again, except in 2008 the Curse teased us with another strip-show with the Eagles representing in the NFC Conference Championship, one game away from the Super Bowl. You can assume the outcome of that game.

The Eagles organization then pulled a blasphemous move, trading McNabb to a divisional rival, the Redskins. They both shared a common interest: DC needed someone to revive their city, and McNabb needed to save his own career. When head coach Mike Shanahan demoted him to the 3rd string due to poor? performance, he was sent off to the Minnesota Vikings. With an offensive powerhouse, the Vikings needed a solid quarterback to help the passing game. In McNabb I trusted, but I think cheering for him in public embarrassed me more. If he just didn’t take the money for the Madden curse, his face would be a bronze statue in the Hall of Fame. SIGH.

The fierce Ray Lewis who graced the cover in 2005 broke his wrist the following season and nursed a hamstring injury the year after that. After winning in the Super Bowl in 2001, the Ravens have yet to make an appearance and yes, Lewis has been the heart and soul of their defense. The man who’s been discussing retirement in the last month just tore his bicep. Even the Curse was too scared to hurt him in his youth–as it proves that the MC strikes men when they’re vulnerable.

Take Brett Favre for instance. The lively and bubbly man who celebrated his touchdown passes as if they were his last is now the offensive coordinator for a high school team in Hattiesburg, Miss. In 2008, the near-40 year old quarterback had enough arm to take a picture on his cell phone of his privates and send them to a Jets game day hostess. It’s almost as if the Madden Curse not only ruins the performances of these awesome players, but tarnishes the image, the personalities and lifestyles of them too. I don’t see myself even Photoshopping a picture of myself and pasting it over a Madden cover template.

NFL Power Rankings

NFL Top 5 Power Rankings

By: Daniel Park

October 17, 2012

1. New York Giants

Why does the best team in the NFL hold a 4-2 record?

Simply put, in the season opener, Cowboys’ wide receiver Kevin Ogletree had the best day of his career (8 catches 114 yards). Of the 114, a 13-yard reception on a 3rd-down conversion with 2:17 left sealed the deal. The Giants burned their last time-out with confidence before his clutch-grab and the remaining two minutes were enough for Romo to escape The Meadowlands.

With 10 seconds left against the Eagles some might argue that the G-men had one more play in them to progress the ball closer for Lawrence Tynes, who usually boots game-winning field goals. If it weren’t for Barden’s offensive-pass interference, he would’ve split the uprights from the Philadelphia 27-yard line, which would’ve been a much-favorable 34-yard attempt.

The Giants potentially could be sitting at 6-0 – and unlike all the other shaky teams out there – they proved last Sunday in San Francisco that they’re victorious when it comes to must-win games. How’s forcing a hot-handed Alex Smith into throwing three interceptions and sacking him six times? For a defense many proclaimed as “suspect” and “average,” those are bad numbers. How many of the sacks recorded were contributed by Umenyiora or Tuck? Another alarming statistic: 0.

2. Denver Broncos

We all know that nothing is new under the Sun.

But what is it about Monday Night Football that Peyton Manning illuminates brighter than the moon?

By halftime on October 6, 2003, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were up 21-0 against the Manning-led Colts, feeling confident heading into their locker rooms. Brad Johnson just threw his second touchdown pass with four minutes left in the second quarter and I’m sure he, with the rest of the squad, was thinking the same thing: preserve the lead.

Enter: the great Monday Night Manning.

That plan, to protect the lead diluted faster than grocery-brand soda when the Colts’ offense hit the field. They reached the endzone on their opening possession. Tampa Bay’s lead vanished as Manning and the Colts defense went on to score 38 points, just enough to win the game by a 3-point margin in overtime, 38-35.

By halftime on October 15, 2012, the San Diego Chargers were destroying the Broncos – making it crystal clear that they were the top seed in the AFC West. Winning 24-0 heading into the half, the team and Phillip Rivers, who already threw three touchdown passes, were on the same page; Chapter 3: Protect the Lead. Peyton Manning again, struck under the first five minutes in their first drive to cut the lead by 17. The Broncos went on to score a total of 35 points, all unanswered to drill his point: we’re actually the best team in the AFC West.

Manning countenance was that of an an orchestra conductor from the marines.  The way he yelled and pointed across the field. In one of the drives, Manning changed Brandon Stokley’s route while you can hear Broncos center J.D. Walton screaming, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” because the play clock is winding down to its last second. Manning snaps the ball in time and throws a magnificent pass to Stokley towards the right rail of the endzone. Manning changed every play in the two drives that they scored on. If the Broncos can sustain their leads and most importantly, stay healthy throughout the next batch of games, they will be Super Bowl contenders.

3. Seattle Seahawks

Before anything else, I’d like to say that the Golden Tate controversy in the Packers game was a…

Catch. Them while you can. Especially when they’re not playing at home! The Seahawks lost in two close games in Arizona and in St. Louis–all within the last two minutes. Second-year receiver Doug Baldwin quietly raises his yardage totals with each game, Marshawn Lynch remains consistent and enjoys himself to an average of 91.5 yards, and Russell Wilson is 3-0 in games when he’s not intercepted. Yes I’m aware that the Seahawks offense is ranked 29th in total yardage, but when a team, any team, overcomes a thirteen-point deficit in the fourth quarter against a Bill Belichick-coached group of men, it should never go by unnoticed. I’ll bet coaches are studying that game tape right now.

The outcome against the 49ers on Thursday night will speak volumes because the Seahawks are currently 0-2 against NFC West rivals. The Seahawks need to blow out the candles at Candlestick Park this Thursday and if their defense can execute the way the Giants did last week, I don’t see any reasons to doubt a Seattle victory.

4. New England Patriots

Fourth is the perfect number for this team. In their three losses, they’ve lost by a short sum of 4 points. Remember to try and forget about the current record of a team. Looking at the upcoming schedule, the Patriots are projected to finish 13-3. Of the ten left over, they play in two dome games (STL, IND), under the sun in the west coast (SF), in the heat of Texas (HOU), and mild weather (JAC, MIA twice). The team schedule’s forecast is clear, as long as they tweak their secondary a little bit and reincorporate their running game.

I think the crisis here is an easy-fix, as it appears to me that they’ve misplaced a few holes buttoning up their shirts. Coach Belichick rarely loses in games after a loss, and with the chance to knock the pesky Jets off of the AFC East throne is looking looking favorable for the Patriots in Foxborough. Thanks for keeping the seat warm.

5. Washington Redskins

You were wrong if you assumed this last spot should be a team from the NFC South or the AFC South. Washington sticks out like a swollen kneecap on this list, but maybe because they should. This team is that special. Mike Shanahan has no more excuses to spare as Redskins fans are now evaluating him as a coach with all the pieces of the puzzle– in his hands. While we’re witnessing a sensational rookie campaign presented by RG3 and Alfred Morris, Shanahan must not get distracted and keep level-headed each week. Robert Griffin III has solidified his role as their starting quarterback in their first six games. Check: when your QB is able to complete 17 out of 22 passes–to 8 different receivers–run for 138 yards, account for three touchdowns…with a 23-year-old rookie running back contributing 47 yards and 6 points of his own…And on top of THAT, against a tough Minnesota Vikings team? I can only expect more from DC. If you’re wondering where I got these sky-high expectations check the rest of their schedule.

For 6-11, plug in any of the following teams: Ravens, Texans, 49ers, Packers, and….the Bears.

Self-challenge post: Pull a Dave Dameshek

what could have been :(

Good evening Richmond, it is I..

My favorite week of the NFL season is almost here (Week 7: October 18-22).

And you must know why: When the 2008 season kicked off, the majority of my friends who, woefully support the Washington Redskins, basically rubbed their team’s outlandish success in my face.  In their first five games, the squad held a miraculous 4-and-1 record. They jived the hardest at my heartbreak in Week 5–a game the ‘Skins pulled a rabbit out a helmet in Philadelphia (my favorite team). Their taunting literally depleted my energy enough to make me miss a couple of classes. (just kidding) But I wasn’t exhausted for too long because, in week six,  they lost to a St. Louis Rams team–a team that tallied only two marks in their wins column all year. The best part of the story? M0i Eagles clinched a playoff spot while the Redskins’ fans bemoaned their hot start by losing six games out of their last eight, finishing with 8 wins and 8 losses.

So that’s what I  did: I promised myself to avoid, at all costs, judging a team by its cover for the first six weeks. Bad habits, good habits, both are meant to be broken. Sometimes the willpower to win loses its battery life. And that is why week 7 is my favorite, because by then I’ve obtained a near-full grasp on what’s going on in the crazy world of the NFL.

This post will be just as challenging to write as it will be to read (for non-football fans). In honor of Dave Dameshek, I wanted to do something special to inform my readers and display the ability to think outside of my  treasure box, and as astronomical as Mr. Dameshek’s “N ‘if’ L” segments go, I’m reaching for heaven’s gates on this one.

Dave Dameshek is a writer for http://www.nfl.com and is featured in his own videos. He is knowledgeable when it comes to analyzing the game and when he records these eccentric “N ‘if’ L” segments, you’d be surprised as they are highly informative. He usually starts with a hypothetical question and then educates his listeners–putting a wild, left-field spin on the dreidel as he changes the history of the NFL.  Watch one to see what I mean. Dave isn’t a former professional football player but he analyzes the game, which makes him one of my role models.

Well, it’s time for a special edition of the N ‘if’ L, in absence of Mr. Dameshek right now I will do my best to fill his clown shoes…

What if Roy Williams didn’t horse-tackle Terrell Owens?
Junior year of high school I remember wearing my Terrell Owens jersey every Monday after an Eagles’ victory. For 13 weeks between September and December  you could bet that I was the loudest in the hallways, triumphantly marching and prophesying, “an Eagles’ Super Bowl season.” The 2004 team clinched a home-field advantage: meaning others had to travel through Philadelphia to get to the final showdown in Jacksonville. The Minnesota Vikings didn’t strum any strings of doubt in my mind of pulling an upset as much as the Michael Vick-led Falcons did. But when we took care of business against Vick , 27-10 spanking on a cold January afternoon, I was positive that the Eagles would achieve their first Super Bowl ring. I remember betting an odd total of $83 with fifteen different students that winter. 

After three years of adversity and fan-gering (fan+angering), the Eagles overcame their obstacles and were headed to their second Super Bowl appearance since 1980. 2004 was the fourth consecutive year that the Eagles had come one game from reaching the Super Bowl, and they finally stripped the baboon off their backs. Could you imagine getting dumped the night before your wedding? Well the Eagles do; they were stood up three weddings straight.

Three years in a row the team muted the media and chose not to acquire that one big playmaker that they desperately needed. I guess they were waiting to find someone who could fit their style of offense. Their defense, was always known for their consistency, tenacity and aggression. The Eagles offense was somewhat shaky and in denial; so they took a leap of faith when they signed the demon-possessed, superstar wide receiver Terrell Owens to a $49 million, 7-year deal. The Eagles abused what they paid for–maxing out on every square inch of the expensive toilet paper roll they bought, even finding use for the cardboard piece. Potentially the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 season, “T.O.” recorded 1200 yards in 77 receptions before suffering a disheartening injury on December 19th against the Cowboys. That afternoon, when I saw our Prize from Hell take a weird fall, I fully understood what murder felt like.

The safety Roy Williams, usually known for his hard-hits, dragged our superstar down by his horse collar (the back-inside of his shoulder pads). T.O. sustained a severely sprained ankle and a fractured fibula, making the day in December even more bitter and cold for Eagles fans. I obviously went into a diatribe after the final whistle, asking why God put a curse on our team, wishing bad on Williams’ fate, casting all sorts of spells. The disaster he caused didn’t even faze the guy, I mean, how could it? The Cowboys were going to win 6 games that year, and clearly jerking  our best player down with his own selfish hopes didn’t mean anything to the apathetic fella.

The injury only meant that Owens would have to sit on the bench until the day of the Super Bowl, and even that the doctors didn’t recommend. He shocked the world when he rushed his healing process by receiving treatment in a hyperbaric chamber, just so he could play on the world’s stage. And play he did. With the universe watching, he caught 9 passes for 122 yards. Running on a sprained ankle with a metal chip installed, he sprinted his routes and silenced a lot of skeptics. But as we all know, the skeptics don’t stop chirping until the last play–a Tom Brady kneel that nailed the coffin in the 4th quarter with under half minute left. Burying the Eagles in the graveyard sealed the Patriots 3rd Super Bowl victory in a span of four years. But back to the original question: what if Owens wasn’t hurt?

…In Super Bowl XXIII (23) one of my all-time favorite quarterbacks, Joe Montana, lead his arsenal down the field with 3 minutes and 10 seconds left losing by three points against the Cincinnati Bengals. Deep into their own territory, what we simply know today as “the Drive,” started from their own 8-yard-line. Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver in the history to play the game, recorded 4 catches in the final stretch and set a Super Bowl record by receiving for 222 yards. Montana and Rice sounds like a great Korean dish, but not this particular one. A defense’s headache, calmly executed and moved the chains together with ease. Later in the drive Montana threw a game-winning touchdown to end the game 20-16. On that drive alone, Jerry Rice was monumental, being targeted five times and catching four–only because one pass was overthrown into the sidelines. Rice was clearly the biggest benefactor in the memorable drive, as he kept the 49ers’ hopes alive in winning the Super Bowl.

…Jerry Rice mentored Terrell Owens for the 8 years they spent together in San Francisco. When Rice, the legend, went down with an ACL tear in 1997, that made way for the young Owens to solidify his ground and apply the teachings of his injured master. Sure Owens was only a 15-year-old teen when ‘the Drive,’ described above, occurred but I’m sure he watched and admired the record-breaking performance. Little did he know when he got drafted in 1997 he’d play alongside the greatest of the greatest.

From the man he adored and emulated growing up, T.O. probably attained wisdom in training camp alongside Jerry. Rice had swale, a new term I use for ‘steez.’ If Owens wasn’t nursing an injury during that Super Bowl bout, it indefinitely could have boosted Donovan McNabb’s confidence, the Eagles quarterback, to go down the field trailing 24-21 with 46 ticks left on the clock to potentially tie the game. McNabb was seen throwing-up mid-drive, probably due to the confusion: who do I throw it to this drive? Donovan wasn’t as coolheaded as Joe Montana was on “his drive,” but MAYBE, just maybe I could agree that Montana’s faith in Rice appeased his nerves. One could imagine the success McNabb might have had if only, just only, he had the same swale Joe did. Owens was already having a spectacular game, his stats with 46 seconds left were already at 9 /122. If he matched Rice’s performance, let’s say, McNabb throw TO 5 more passes for the remainder of the game and sets up kicker David Akers to hit the game-tying field goal–that’s 5 catches for another 66 yards–ending up with a total of 14 and 188.

The magic trick only ties the game, and in overtime (OT), we flip that acronym to famously labeling it the ‘TO.’ Healthy TO demands the ball from McNabb every play, adds another 50 yards to the stat sheet and shatters Rice’s numbers with 238 total. After a long game of holding pigskin, the last thing we see is the MVP proudly cradling the silver Lombardy trophy.

In the 2005 offseason, TO drastically changes his ways: he put his team first, takes a paycut so the Eagles organization could resign other members and bolster up the defense. TO never blames Donovan for his lack of leadership, or compares him to Brett Favre. And instead of a Silver-and-Black #5 jersey throwing the ball to another future Hall of Famer wide receiver, Randy Moss gets traded to Philadelphia to assure another Super Bowl ring. The Eagles give birth to a dynasty and quickly catch up to their state rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have won 6 for their franchise. Owens and Moss get inducted into the Hall of Fame, as they develop one of the most inseparable friendships in the NFL. They eventually retire together and open up a cheese-steak shop and call it the “Hall of Fame Cheese Steaks” because they insist that neither of them would put their names before the other’s. 🙂

If only Roy Williams didn’t horse-collar tackle Owens and sabotage his career…

Who knows, maybe Mr. Dameshek might come across this someday and use it for his segment.

Enjoy the rest of your weekends!

The Week Three Stooges and Happy 120th Anniversary, NFL!

I accepted the fact that this world is getting tackier by the minute. But as the dowdiness rubs off on my already-lame ways, I’m developing an emotional attachment to it.

I want to have a Nostradamus moment: proclaim a wild and extraterrestrial statement and cross my fingers even in my casket hoping that it will come true someday.

the NFL will start featuring shirtless male cheerleaders in the future. 

Okay, on a more serious note: The NFL will expand their 32 teams to 36 and unanimously decide on an 18-game season, cutting down their preseason ones from 4 to 2. 

The clownish antics of Chad Ochocinco used to be the highlight of my Sunday afternoons. After the league decided they could make money off of his comical celebrations, he slowed down to a halt and I no longer got to chuckle with my mouth full of Doritos. But they’ve replaced the comedy to something even better, if not the best. A sincere thanks to the referees that are currently reffing their asses off and taking a LOT of heat almost after every play. You are my heroes. Because I laugh with you gentlemen, and the one lady in stripes, not at you. I know you’re all giggling inside your heads — like these players need to chill. I’m just doing my job!? 

If it weren’t for the “replacement” labels screaming on top of its lungs, I’m positive, 100% positive, that nobody would be complaining this harshly. You are all under one title: the NFL officiating council. Mike Pereira, the former vice president of NFL officiating, received the same number of phone calls week in and week out before these stooges came to town.

America is doing what America loves.

Dramaticizing everything. America – the home of the brave. America, does she love to speculate, nag, it’s in her nature. The game of football has been around for 120 years, yes the inception of professional football was in 1892.

What we fail to realize, is that referees are human beings. They’re not getting paid on the side to rig games. They’re not geeking out when they’re making bad calls. Their faces are grave, with thoughts of death. They fully acknowledge that a psycho mega-fan could be hiding under his car after a poorly-called game. Why do we do that to people? Why do we put others under heavy duress, pressure them to the point that they drive themselves to suicide or resignation? It’s not justifiable.

So to the referees,

Please keep doing what you’re doing. These fans can’t do anything but complain. Don’t let the aimless chatter affect your lives. If I’m overreacting or venting for no reason, tell me to shut up. I’m pretty sure your mental toughness levels must be at an all-time high at this point in your lives, and yes, there are a few things you could work on. But as the others are on strike, enjoy your paychecks and do the best that you can.

Sincerely,

Daniel

quick tidbits

The Baltimore field goal was good. Watch the replay. Do not test the integrity of Bill Belichick and slap him with a fine! He was only asking for clarification, because in his defense, all scoring plays are required to be reviewed. He grabbed the man’s arm for his attention.

Revis Island has sunk. Torn ACL. I was recently in New York at a bar with a bunch of Jets fans cheering and enjoying the game. I can hear them softly whimpering now.

The Philadelphia Eagles are 0-3 in my book. 2-1 is a misnomer. Their scrawny receiver corp. is not exactly what will take them far this season. Their busted o-line is suffering and that equals one thing, a injury prone Michael Vick and everybody behind him (Nick Foles, Trent Edwards). That depth sucks. Their defense is exposable. Please solidify yourselves before it’s too late.

Top defenses imo: Seattle, Atlanta, Arizona, Baltimore.

RIP to Torrey Smith’s brother. Congrats on the W.

In my Podcast last week I said that Carson Palmer would seek and fulfill his revenge with the Raiders against the Steelers. Worked like a charm.

I also said that whoever does better between Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson will win that game. The latter threw for two. I didn’t think the ‘noise’ would affect the Packers, as they did convert 46% of their third down conversions and silence the crowd, but I guess with a sequence of mysterious events, the Seahawks sealed the deal in the waning moments of a game, as they failed to do against the Cardinals. (Think about Seattle being 3-0!) I’m kind of happy that I picked the right team to win. (Seattle)

That was an offensive catch. Simultaneous catch.

The Falcons are looking sharper than a Sharpie.

Every team is good. Therefore, it’s a race to whoever finds their rhythms the fastest…

The Redskins are .. abc defg hi! Jk LmNo p? Qrs TuvW XYZ.

I’ve never liked the man but over the years developed a mutual love for Peyton Manning. CLEARLY failed to see how much of a true legend he is. Pathetic me.

Who knows, every team could still finish 8-8 this season. I’m not lying about that. Nothing is impossible………………………………

goodnight.

preseason week 4.0

10 completions 12 attempts 122 yards and 2 touchdowns.

There’s the Mr. Peyton Manning we all knew and admired. Like two watered-down soda performances before today’s crisp pop beverage, I’ll have to admit, I’m a bit confused. If I’m sitting in front of my laptop the night of my Fantasy Football draft and Manning is available in the 3rd round, do I … ?

If I were to randomly be abducted today, held at gunpoint and the masked shooter strangely forced me to choose you or another quarterback, I’d deny. Sorry Mr. Manning, inconsistency is an issue. It’s not you, it’s the whole offense. I just don’t feel comfortable trusting that Eric Decker, or Willis McGahee, or Demaryius Thomas, or Lance Ball, OR Brandon Stokely will … stay healthy for all 16 regular season games. In three possessions you shredded 2011′s #4 ranked defense in the San Francisco 49ers. Your effort was heart-warming. You even took a crucial hit on that long completion to Lance Ball. Great touch especially with Parys Haralson blitzing.

Frankly, I just don’t see the Denver Broncos with any match-ups in their favor this season. It’s a coin-flip away when deciding who’s victorious facing division rivals, Oakland and Kansas City.

It upset my stomach when I realized how sad the New York Jets offense will be this year. On paper it’s like a movie script that no A, B, or C-list actor will want to read off. I don’t think an extra with a complementary lunch offer and promised minimum wage would want to be in the scene. The potential of the offense is a dry throat and a dry toast. Their defense will be one exhausted backbone as they toil on the turf for three hours. (three and a half quarters.) Offensive teams will win by seven field goals in the Meadowlands.

Terrell Owens, sir. Look on the bright side, you can pet your cockiness every night. Beat that cockiness like it owes you money, as David Chapelle might say.

Sorry to say Redskins and Colts fans, between RG3 and Andrew Luck, I’m going to stick with neither. I don’t see any future with either quarterback. After all the hype downs down, I see the two struggling. It’s something about where they grew up and what University they played at. They’re fascinating and majestic to watch, but the buzz around them will flatten and shrink like a deflated balloon.

It appears that the NFL has truly accepted the label of being a ‘quarterback’ league, where games are decided by how well a quarterback performs.

Not?

Team chemistry wins games, when all 53-men all play for each other and not themselves. There’s always a Lucifer lurking around in each team but once the sly snake is hacked off the tree, THEN we’re talking winning record, baby.

Walking around serving guests at Silver Diner, I glance at the HDTV hanging from the ceiling at the counter  to get a quick fix on the NFL Network. Of course I changed the channel . What intrigued me to write about in this entry was how sad it is to be a back-up quarterback. You thought starting quarterbacks had it hard? No way, get real. The BACK-UP actually has the hardest job if you sit there and think about it. Unless you’re a compassion-less, hard-headed brute, a speck of sympathy will help you see clearly what I mean.

Let’s take a look at a few back-ups quarterbacks.

Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns. Filling in for a game against the Kansas City Chiefs after Charlie Frye took a hot hit, Derek Anderson lead the victorious way in a rock-and-roll fashion. He was instrumental after throwing two touchdowns in a comeback 31-28 win after regulation hours. Then he had a successful season after that, filling in for Mr. Frye again and accounted for 5 TDs in a gun-war against the Bengals. (*Carson Palmer had 6 so …) He took the Cleveland Browns on a 10-5 journey (not starting 1 game), and made the 2008 Pro Bowl as an alternate. Bright future from a young man, or we expected. The man went to Arizona on a great deal and wasn’t as successful. After suffering a couple concussions, he sat on the bench with Max Hall finishing for him. He is with the Carolina Panthers now.

Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel, Matt Flynn, Matt Leinart, Kevin Kolb, Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Jay Cutler, and a strew of many backup quarterbacks are suffering the same symptoms. It burns my heart to see the great talent’s fire die out like a star with a short life. They twinkled for a few weeks and faded into the a dirt and rocks we call ‘space’.

You have my sympathy

<3thank you