Archive | October, 2013

Weekly NFL And Sports Recap: Chill On Dez Bryant

30 Oct

Another week, another roundup.  Of course, I’m aware that the new football week starts tomorrow and I’m just now releasing this.  But I get 15 views per day dammit, so I think I have some freedom to do what I want.  Consistency is for people that are employed.  I’m fairly awful at things that aren’t appointments, classes or practices.  If I get the power to show up when I want, then I’m that guy that shows up two hours too late.  I’ll be ready and suddenly go “OH I LOVE THIS SONG” and suddenly, that turns into me playing whole albums and all of my friends are passed out at that point.

But we got another week of NFL and sports to talk about!

Lions – 31, Cowboys – 30

Of course the main takeaway from one of the best games of 2013 is the fact that Dez Bryant might be someone that gets pissed.  While Bryant has a bit of a history of being kind of a douche; I do love the blatant hypocrisy that we here whenever a player gets treated like a “prima donna”.  I don’t get this fascination over blue collar players vs. stuck-up athletes.  For some reason, players are either into Hootie & The Blowfish or Chief Keef when it comes to the media characterizations.  Tom Brady has “heart” and the same platitudes get stated when Colin Cowherd goes “man, you can tell he’s just so frustrated!” while Dez Bryant is clearly a reason why America is falling behind its competitors.  Thankfully you have race-baity troll writer Dalton Russell talking about the NAACP or something.  Seriously, Yahoo! is literally the place where Ron Paul supporters go to wax poetically about race.

In other news, god Calvin Johnson is amazing.  Of course I had him on my fantasy team this week and I had a bye week.  Yes.  But who cares when someone just kicks ass like that?  Adrian Peterson is the closest thing to Calvin but since he has to deal with 9 men in the box and Christian Ponder, he is already a step behind.  Why aren’t the Lions always in primetime?

Broncos – 45, Redskins – 21

Prepare yourself for endless speculation on Peyton Manning (still on pace to almost throw 60 TDs) and if his ankle has anything to do with his neck replacement surgery.  Manning must be thinking about the playoffs lately given his habit of turning the ball over now, but then again when you are nearly perfect for more than 25% of the season; well, its just unsustainable.  

Giants – 15, Eagles – 7

What an awful game.  I guess Mike Vick is about to detach his hamstring from his quadricep any moment now.  Part of me is tempted to say “man, the Eagles are going to the dogs now!” but that’s about as funny as a bitstrip.  Why the hell are those ruining my Facebook feeds?  Why are my friends unfunny?  I’d only care about bitstrips if it involved full frontal nudity.  Or cats.  

Anyway, Matt Barkley got a de facto start since Vick cannot stay healthy and its pretty simple to see how Barkley’s six-year career (culminating with a training camp cut from the Bills) will end up.  He won’t throw many INTs, and will only throw screen plays and checkdown all three WRs.  Its funny to think that there was a time where we just assumed he’d be a #1 overall pick.  Somehow his career is already better than Matt Leinart’s anyway.

Patriots – 27, Dolphins – 17

The fact that the Patriots, sans Tom Brady’s late game heroics against the Saints, are underachieving yet somehow 6-2 is a testament to how great Tom Brady is at playing football.  I’m starting to think that he willingly lets Gisele dress him so it feels like he has something to live for as it has to be upsetting to have your second best option be Danny Amendola who is destined to be the reason why football is discontinued as a sport in fifteen years.  I bet Dalton Russell thinks Dez Bryant would’ve impregnated five women.

Bengals – 49, Jets – 9

Geno Smith is really going to be Mark Sanchez.  There will be some god awful games and then there will be games in which Smith is terrible, the defense carries him and Ron Jaworski gushes over him being a potential game manager.  But black QBs don’t become game managers because Dalton Russell thinks that they are too busy blaming Michael Bloomberg for stop and frisk, right?

Chiefs – 23, Browns – 17

That was a close one.  Also, it makes you wonder why the Cleveland Browns didn’t start Jason Campbell sooner.  Was Brandon Weeden really all that impressive in practice or is it the fact that coaches find it awkward to bench someone older than them?  Is DALTON RUSSELL the coach of the Browns?

49ers – 42, Jaguars – 10

Hey the Jags hit double digits!!!  That’s a cause for relocation!  I hope the Jaguars relocate to the Jacksonville of the North, that being Allentown, PA.

Raiders – 21, Steelers – 18

Terrelle Pryor can run pretty fast.  But look, he’s giving the Raiders chances to win and there’s the possibility that he continues to develop (as well as the team around him) into a pretty fun QB.  Any team with a young QB should immediately sign Matt Flynn as he apparently improves them all by just insulting them enough by suggesting he starts over them.

Saints – 35, Bills – 17

Matt Flynn is a Bill now, Thad Lewis is likely to be out this week meaning Flynn and Jeff Tuel are in the worst QB competition ever.  Then again, Tuel by just facing off against Matt Flynn will be an All-Pro by 2015.

Cardinals – 27, Falcons – 13

Ouch.  Matt Ryan had a 13-yard carry and was the Falcons top rusher.  This is the season from hell for the Dirty Birds, probably because Julio Jones (according to Gregg Easterbrook) starred in a commercial and probably deserved to have an ACL tear.  

Other Sports:

  • I don’t do the primetime games usually because its more work for me but that’s pretty hilarious that Kellen Clemens, in the year 2013, got to start for an actual professional football team.  Can’t wait until Brady Quinn takes over and leads the Rams to his annual win.
  • The Red Sox will probably win the World Series and we get to hear how they are still a suffering fan base.  Rick Reilly better not write a poem about them, but he probably will.
  • The NBA has kicked off and that means that the next five months of highlights on SportsCenter will be dunks and Neil Everett shouting out random Pearl Jam or A Tribe Called Quest lyrics.  Remember the NHL doesn’t exist really.
  • Not sports:  Chris Brown is begging to be thrown in jail.  Probably because he is a member of the NAACP, right Dalton Russell?

 

 

  

 

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Get Over It, Kanye West Is The Artist Of Our Generation

21 Oct

I shall start this piece by throwing out some disclaimers.

One, I will be using the word “rock star” in its stereotypical sense.  From this point on, I’m not talking about rock music but actual star quality.  However, in our day and age; you can’t say “pop star” because it conjures images of dime-a-dozen Carly Rae Jepsens and you certainly can’t say “rap star” without immediate rebukes and disapproving grunts from Don Lemon or Colin Cowherd.

Two, read everything first and then form an opinion.  The title alone will prompt some eye-rolling or people who claim that rap music is still beneath other genres but just bare with me.

Three, I believe Kanye West is a “good” rapper.  He’s about a B to B+ for the most part.  Then again, was Elvis a great songwriter or guitarist, was Mick Jagger a worldclass singer and was John Lennon really anything but a hipster Bono?  Sometimes our pop culture icons are more well-known for their cult of personality rather than their actual talent.

____________________

Alright that’s out of the way now and its time for me to make a point.  Kanye West is absolutely right.  He is the rock star/artist of our generation.  Its barely debatable at this point and the fact that it irritates people as opposed to ignored by people is a testament to the polarization of the fiery rapper.

We are at a dearth when it comes to true rock stars.  Anthony Kiedis and Eddie Vedder clearly fit the bill but while both bands remain highly lucrative, they are a bit older and while their music clearly remains at a high level; age has matured them.  That’s natural and no big deal and its not a detraction from their body of work.  I’m also not advocating that heroin usage is cool and going clean is a “sell out” move.  Its just when it comes to being pop culture lightning rods, neither of them fit the bill anymore.

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day has a case.  Green Day may not be the punks from Oakland anymore but their music has aged fairly well.  They’ve shown a surprising ability to stay in the mainstream and continue to showoff some impressive crossover appeal.  American Idiot was probably the biggest album until Adele came around in terms of name recognition and its place in pop culture.  It came at a time when a younger generation was vehemently against its current President but while some artists talked about it; few were able to namelessly criticize its government via song, retain pop credibility and not piss off too many people.  Hear that, Dixie Chicks?

But again, even after his “meltdown” (which while douche-y wasn’t exactly uncalled for); it seems that Green Day’s time as the pre-eminent voice in music has finally passed.  Three albums released in quick succession will do that to a band but even though I’m a bit more tepid on “new” Green Day (though Uno! and Dos! are definitely fun, while 99 Revolutions might be one of the catchiest Green Day songs in a long time); I still look forward to new material by them.  Still though, his name isn’t exactly well-known throughout the country.  Odds are your parents or siblings couldn’t pick his name out of the crowd.

Julian Casablancas of the Strokes had a shot.  A “cool” name, a voice and showmanship that was taken straight out of the “cool rockstar” playbook and youth was all on his side.  Hell, the band earned a Rolling Stone magazine cover after one album in which the magazine began its review by saying “This is the stuff legends are made out of”.   But Casablancas’s relationship with the media soured, the media moved on to other bands and while the Strokes retain popularity; they are a past memory it seems plus radio was never kind to them which they seem perfectly fine with.

Brandon Flowers of the Killers had a shot too.  He had the looks, was willing to be controversial and his band strung together a few big time hits in quick succession.  Then at 27 or so, he started acting too much like Bono and the last two albums (while favorites of mine) seemed to appear too milquetoast for anything.

Other bigtime bands such as the Black Keys, Mumford & Sons and even blink-182 just haven’t fully struck a chord as individuals which is great but when finding a “rock star” its not the greatest.  Ya see, the press craves a rock star that generates headlines and sells papers (or online advertisements) and while Patrick Carney rips on Justin Bieber or Spotify; it doesn’t really shock anyone.  Then again, he was just being honest.

Which brings me to Kanye West.  I will cut to the chase.  You either love or hate Kanye.  You are sick of him or waiting for the next big soundbite from him to debate.  You either see him as a mad genius or stark mad.  He’s either passionate about his work or angry at everyone for not accepting it.  He’s trendy while being avant garde.  You name it, he might just well be the opposite in your opinion.

Kanye has made “weird” cool.  Yes, in the same instance that David Bowie made glam and androgyny relevant in the years of Richard Nixon’s presidency.  He pushed the envelope in ways that weren’t sexual, a la Madonna, but thought-provoking.  He was brutally honest to the point of turning off various segments of America from Republicans to suburban Americans to really, everyone else.

While Lady Gaga has done a great job for her own image too, she almost seems like the starter of a trend but not necessarily one to keep it up for the duration of her career.  She’s still cutting edge but she came out of the gates swinging and the country seems to just associate her with “trying too hard” now.

Every time he gets the chance though, Kanye sprints to another dimension of planned insanity.  Love him or hate him, how can you not say “damn, that’s ballsy” about a guy who releases an album without an album cover, without a real single, with a highly controversial title and a song that declares himself a “God”.  How can you marvel at John Lennon comparing the Beatles to Jesus (actually calling himself BIGGER than Jesus) yet say that Kanye is getting too big for his britches?

Kanye was initially the antidote to music heads who were sick of the gangsta rap revival and he almost started out as a guy who made people laugh.  Gold Digger is a “fun” track but there’s some substance in it.  Then Kanye turned a Daft Punk sample into a full-fledged behemoth hit.  When you think you had him cornered, he started making electopop music cool before Ke$ha and T-Pain took it to the extreme and then decided to release an album of him singing in Auto-Tune lamenting about relationships and his personal life.

Without 808s & Heartbreak, it becomes a lot harder for rappers like Drake, Kid Cudi, B.O.B. and even to a degree Tyler, the Creator to find a place in the mainstream.  Just like without Is This It? by the Strokes, it becomes tough for The Hives, The Vines, the Arctic Monkeys and The Killers to find a place on radio.  Just like without Nevermind or Vs. by Nirvana and Pearl Jam, it becomes tough for bands like Bush to hit it big.  You can go on throughout music and find out if you strip just one band from existence; it becomes awfully hard to imagine other bands following suit.  Where’s The Who without The Beatles and Rolling Stones?  Where’s bands like Yes or Cream without Pink Floyd?  Where’s Elvis without Chuck Berry and Little Richard?

Just because we might dislike the genre, you can’t discount the importance of such acts.  Then after melancholy Kanye was met with mixed reviews, he takes a 180-degree turn and creates My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy that contains the braggadocio that made Kanye so polarizing in the first place mixed with some pretty non-mainstream samples.  He starts sacrificing radio hits (with the exception of maybe All of the Lights) and starts creating a weird hybrid of progressive and industrial….rap?  When has that phrase being uttered before?

But then Yeezus comes after the collaborative effort with Jay-Z that featured shades of various incarnations of Kanye (Otis is reminiscent of pre-808s Kanye) and we are starting to witness an artist that is as eccentric as David Bowie, as daring as Lou Reed, as well-known as Jay-Z, as controversial as Eminem and as charismatic as Jim Morrison.  What’s so different about Kanye rocking a kilt as Morrison rocking snakeskin pants?

Kanye isn’t one-dimensional though.  He’s probably the most talented producer out there, and while we tend to disregard producers as irrelevant to the final product; his ear for music is unmatched.

Look at the other big stars.  Justin Timberlake’s music is stuck in 2005 while his celebrity has gapped his artistry.  Jay-Z has released quality content but its getting a bit repetitive.  Drake is rap’s Coldplay.   Katy Perry will never be called transcendent.

I understand the idea that comparing Kanye to Kurt Cobain is sacrilege in some parts.  But remember, the generation before him looked down upon him.  People hated Elvis.  People despised Jim Morrison.  But for all of that, the next generation embraced them that much closer.

You might not like it, but its undeniable.

Day Game NFL & Sports Roundup: Calm Down Eagles Fans

20 Oct

Decided to start a new segment and see if it lasts.  Basically, I will just recap the day games from the week of NFL games and add my two cents while talking about other sports or pop culture topics.  Really, its just me talking out of my ass but I like doing this and I can easily quit this right away if I get bored since five people read this.  That’s what is awesome about being an anonymous blogger with a few friends; I can do whatever I please (as long as I don’t praise Stalin or call Orange is the New Black overrated) so let’s get it on.

Calm Down Eagles Fans:

I get it.  I live in the Philadelphia area (go to college about 45 minutes away and live in South Jersey aka the armpit of Philly) and I fully get the tortured Philly fan logic.  I’m a Colts fan in the NFL (more on that later for those finding this via Google Search) but am a proud Philadelphia fan in other sports so I understand what happens.

Our fanbase gets destroyed mercilessly because we threw snowballs at a lousy Santa Claus.  Then we threw batteries at J.D. Drew because Scott Boras is terrible and cheered a motionless Michael Irvin.  The first one is no big deal, the other one is pretty lowly and the last one is rather disgusting.  Then there was the whole “there’s a jail under Veterans Stadium!” but find me a fanbase that isn’t ruthless.  Put a bunch of drunk bros and alcoholics together and of course you will get some putrid instances.  How many fanbases have cheered injured players?  How many fanbases have tried to make women flash the crowd?

If Philly does it, it suddenly becomes a reason to get a bunch of SportsCenter montages on “Unruly Philadelphia Sports Moments” and BuzzFeed articles that go “20 Reasons Why Eagles Fans Are Similar To The Muslim Brotherhood”.

Nonetheless, the Eagles did not have a good game today against the Cowboys.  Nick Foles looked like how he normally does against any team not named the Buccaneers and he seems destined to be traded for a 7th-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings.  But at least we got to see Matt Barkley play!  After Foles left with some type of head injury, the once-highly touted USC prospect looked like the rightful heir to Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez, etc. when it comes to underperforming in the pros.  Then again, the Eagles were down and obviously throwing which mixed with a QB with little game experience; its going to be ugly.

The Eagles were a lousy team last year and already look much better.  The good news is that unlike other sports, its quick to become a playoff caliber team in the NFL.  Hell the Eagles will be a fringe wildcard contender this year which is a massive upgrade over the DIII team they resembled last year.  DeSean Jackson even looks like he cares!  Shady McCoy is probably the best RB in the game not named Adrian Peterson right now.

So you’ll be fine.  I think the Cowboys, a likely playoff team, looked worst comparative to their situation than Philly.  Romo had his Romo moments, which is a blend between Johnny Unitas and Blaine Gabbert.  Romo is the Dale Earnhardt Jr. of the NFL.  He gets a bunch of grief, will never be a championship contender, but when you look past some things (lack of big wins, high name recognition, etc.) they are perfectly acceptable competitors.  Yes, I just compared Romo to a NASCAR driver.

Calvin Johnson Is Ridiculous

I own Calvin Johnson in a fantasy league which is such an awesome sentence to be able to type.  It hasn’t worked out but it always looks cool seeing his name on your team and when it clicks (such as today) it’s awesome.  However, its terrifying when he’s injured because he’s just so amazing at what he does.  Matt Stafford is the more bro/less curmudgeon version of Jay Cutler.  Solid QB, fringe Pro Bowler, but he’s kind of an idiot.  Thankfully he has Calvin Johnson and the receiving version of Reggie Bush.

Oh, there was a game by them.  Well other fantasy wideout of mine (AJ Green) had a great game today too.  Andy Dalton put up some good numbers and I can’t wait until his career stalls out and he looks like Matt Schaub.  I hope Cincinnati is ready for some fun in the regular season and the inevitable stalling out in the playoffs after the first round or two.

Jay Cutler Is Jay Cutler

A few weeks ago, the consensus was that Jay Cutler will finally still be appreciated by Bears fans.  He showed off his ridiculous arm strength mixed with Brandon Marshall not being arrested and even showed “moxie”.  Then he threw a pick 6 today and pulled his groin which will inevitably bring up the question “will he ever be elite” which is a lousy argument.  There are about five elite QBs in every generation and if you have to ask if someone is elite; they likely aren’t.  That doesn’t stop Jon Gruden though from hyping up Grundle Grinders or whatever he calls them.

Still, Josh McCown replaced Cutler which is hilarious because Josh McCown is employed in the NFL.  Was Tyler Thigpen or Matt Moore not available or something?  However, McCown led the Bears to an offensive shootout with the Redskins and RG III.  McCown wasn’t terrible though he owes Matt Forte and Devin Hester all the women in Narnia for keeping this game freakishly competitive.

RG III should be shaking off the rust any moment now which is great because instead of talking about the insensitivity regarding the name we can talk about the eventual drama between him and Mike Shanahan.  I don’t see the big deal, Shanahan is a fool and RG III should be worried about being his coach.  Shanahan has lived off the teat of John Elway his whole coaching career (and his Zone Blocking Scheme that gets people like Alfred Morris and Tatum Bell productive) but why is it a big deal when RG III isn’t always supportive of him?  I feel like not a week goes by in which Ben Roethlisberger tries to form a sentence together and destroys Todd Haley or another teammate for a reason he forgot.

The Rams and Panthers Played

That happened.  Uhh, the Panthers won and Kellen Clemens is the Rams backup QB.  Is there anything else to say other than Sam Bradford got injured, will likely be replaced and we get to watch Kellen Clemens lead an offense for a bit?

Gronk Is Back And Geno Smith Is Totally Mark Sanchez

After months of disputing between the Patriots and the Rob Gronkowski brothers (note:  I just want that to be true); our favorite guy who would likely be sending us awful Facebook club invitations if he didn’t play football has returned!  Hilariously it didn’t work as Geno Smith beat the Patriots.

Tom Brady easily is having the roughest year of his phenomenal career with a supporting cast that can be rated as B2K at best.  I can already see Rick Reilly comparing this year’s Patriots receiving corps to the cast of 50 Shades of Grey.  Anyway, Geno Smith had a so-so game that will be the Jets fans worst nightmare; another year of Rex Ryan.  Geno Smith will be a Sanchez redux and I know that Rex is getting his tattoo altered as we speak.  But do we really expect this to last with a substantial supporting cast, nutcase owner Woody Johnson and Rex Ryan?  They are squeaking by but I’d rather be 2-14 than 7-9 with a long way to go.  You are just costing yourself future stars.

Tampa Bay Loses To Atlanta

Mike Glennon is screwed right now.  He’s been giving the keys to the franchise by Greg Schiano (problem one) is practicing in MRSA Bay (problem two) and Doug Martin left the game with an injury.  This year’s QB class might be one of the worst ever with the best one looking like Geno Smith.  Let that sink in.

Schiano is terrible and at first I was pissed he left Rutgers but its clear that it was worth him bolting the Scarlet Knights to embarrass himself on the national stage.  I wish the Bucs were better so we could get another year of Schiano beating the piss out of his offensive coordinators for not looking him in the eye.

The Falcons beating the Bucs by a few points without WRs Roddy White and Julio Jones is still an accomplishment within itself.  Matt Ryan has only Harry Douglas and Jacquizz Rodgers at his disposal which is pretty subpar.  GRUDENGRINDER.

Thad Lewis Vs. Ryan Tannehill

Sounds like an election from the 1890s but this happened.  Both QBs did well, though Tannehill had a costly two INTs but all things considered; I think the Dolphins will be OK with Tannehill for the next few years.  He was a raw QB prospect that was probably drafted too high but it could’ve been way worse.  If the Dolphins can get a solid running game (Lamar Miller probably isn’t that guy) and an eventual replacement for Jake Long; this team has a shot.  Then again, I have no idea if thats true because I’m talking out of my ass and barely have seen them play.

Thad Lewis might be able to float around the league for awhile and look good on the sidelines.  EJ Manuel is going to get every chance to tear his MCL so he is getting a nice little audition for a future gig.  I kind of bet Cleveland wish they kept him.

Brandon Weeden Is Terrible

Sure he’s a nice guy though but jeez, you can’t get outclassed by Brian Hoyer and be a 40-year old rookie in the NFL.  Thankfully he’ll be past his athletic prime in a year or two so the Browns can get a shiny new QB to tear their ACL in Week 4.

The Bolts Are Decent

Philip Rivers is someone I want to fail on a permanent basis but he’s been playing very well lately.  In fact the Chargers look like they did before Norv Turner messed with everything.  Then again, is it that difficult to beat the Jaguars?  Holy hell this team is terrible and while they could beat Alabama; I doubt they could beat a UFL team.  Its a shame that league is gone, I mean how could a team like the Omaha Nighthawks not be around anymore?

The Steelers Win 

I’m the son of two Steelers fans.  My Mom went to school with Franco Harris and my Dad adopted the team in exchange for my Mom taking his last name.  Fair trade.  Still, the Steelers are a team that could very well be the worst one loss team in league history.  If the offense would’ve showed up for a tiny bit the first two weeks; they could’ve squeaked out the Titans and Bengals.  If Roethlisberger could’ve thrown a TD in England, they’d be able to have defeated the Matt Cassel led Vikings.

I bet the Steelers win 9 games this year and get all kinds of accolades for their “blue collar” play because only certain towns are allowed to be blue-collar in a league in which almost every starting player is a millionaire on a team owned by billionaires.

The Niners Are Looking Good Again

Colin Kaepernick is starting to look better and running the ball better.  That’s not very good for the rest of the NFL and I think Kaepernick will be able to adapt to the NFL adapting to him.  Frank Gore is still a better RB than most and if Crabtree can be half the WR for them; this team will look every bit like the Super Bowl favorite they once were considered.

Good for Jake Locker to return so quickly from a terrifying looking injury.  Locker was making some strides this season and depending on how they finish, it looks like the Titans might have a lesser Roethlisberger on their team.

The Chiefs Are Still Undefeated

But Andy Reid is the coach, so they won’t do anything right?  It would be hilarious if a game manager and Andy Reid win a Super Bowl though.  The best news today for Texans fans is that Case Keenum has a different name than TJ Yates or Matt Schaub.

Don’t Cry When Peyton Wins

Peyton Manning made me an NFL fan when I was a wee lad who watched him play for the Volunteers.  I vaguely remember the commercials highlighting the Heisman race between Charles Woodson, Manning, Randy Moss and Ryan Leaf to this day and he made me a Colts fan; which I still am today with Andrew Luck.

Seeing Manning destroy the Colts tonight, my prediction at least, will be sad to see but I’m glad for all the fun memories he gave me growing up and now I see why people didn’t want to see Brett Favre retire.

Other Tidbits:

  • This is the worst World Series ever.  I hate Boston.  But I really hate Middle America and that’s why I can’t root for the Cardinals in good faith.  Middle America thinks they own America because we have to cater to their declining industries, nickname it the “heartland” and talk about how the simple folk are.  They get the words “blue collar”, politicians always have to cater to Beau and his cornfield while the rest of us are “elitists”.  The Bible Belt holds America back.  So even though St. Louis has an arch (simple monument for a simple region), they will never get my support which is fine because they will win and laugh at me.
  • The point system in NASCAR is ridiculous.  I don’t see why individual competitions need playoffs.  Shouldn’t the best individual who was best all year win?  I understand the appeal of ratings but I don’t see how a team that is dialed in all year (mechanically that is) will fare any worse in the final ten races than they did in the first 20+.
  • Why did Subway pick Justin Tuck and Jarvis Jones to be their pitchmen?  Nothing against them but why not LaMar Woodley, JJ Watt, or any other player?

 

Anonymous Scouting Report: White Linebacker

18 Oct

Tonight’s installment is brought to you by Jamil Larkins, a writer for StraightFresh.Net and you can follow him on Twitter @Jamil_SF.

Name:  Chad White

Position:  Middle Linebacker

College:  Pennsylvania State University

Height:  5’11, 235 Pounds

Positives: 

Reminds me of a Spike Hammersmith mixed with Ivan Drago. Instinctual. Great hips.  – Mike Mayock

This guy is a tackling machine. When you talk about a throwback player, a guy that laces his cleats up one foot at a time and runs around the field and makes plays, this guy is at the top of that conversation. – Mel Kiper, Jr.

Now lemme tell you something. This guy might not be the best athalete in the country, but he possesses the inequivocal skill and grace to lead his teammates through actions. Watch how what he do on the field translates into efficacious and boombastic emotion in the locker room. The loudest one in the room, is the weakest one in the room. Glory be to god. – Ray Lewis

Wears his pants around his navel and shows up on time for team meetings. And you people wonder why he’s gonna be a top 5 pick. – Don Lemon

WHITE AND TOUGH AS NAILS. I LIKE HIM. Nicknamed him Tackleback cuz he tackles backs. – Jon Gruden

 

Negatives:

Under-sized. Great upside.  – Todd McShay

He’s definitely not the biggest guy on the field, but he can break through the line like Ross broke out of the friend zone with Rachel. – Rick Reilly

Sometimes on the football field, the sun shines so bright that you gotta take a few plays to yourself. Hard as hell to catch that damn ball when you can’t see past your own hands. Wish I had one of the fancy visors that the youngbloods wear today. Can you repeat the question? – Michael Irvin

Not as fast as his black counterparts in this draft class. Instead of being covered in gang tattoos and wearing Jordan cleats, this guys wears his heart and team colors on his sleeve.  – Colin Cowherd.

 

Other Tidbits:

7.0 GPA and graduated in 3 years with a bachelor of science in Finance ….3 time Academic All-American….President of university Autism Speaks chapter….Nominee for the Bednarik Award….Once lifted a 2-ton boulder to save a child trapped in the Appalachian Mountains

Why This Is Bull:

The funny thing about this series is that though it’s a spoof, a lot of this is actually true. There have been countless amounts of white linebackers, especially from PSU, who fit the description of a hard-nosed ‘throwback’ guy. Brian Urlacher, Zach Thomas, Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor, Sean Lee, etc. You know, the guys with missing teeth, playing with a bloody cranium like Tyler Hansbrough (correct, who is also white), or break their finger off during the game and play down a digit.

In the changing times of the NFL, less-emphasis is being put on finding that “rock” of the defense at the middle linebacker position, so white guys who can’t run are being phased out of defenses everywhere. Unless you can cover the tight-end and blitz with the best of them, you can’t sneak by being slow, undersized, and having a high “football IQ” anymore. Luke Kuechly and Brian Cushing are the new breed of white defensive players, matching the skill set of guys like Demarcus Ware, Aldon Smith, Von Miller, Brian Orakpo and more. Catch up.

Anonymous Scouting Report: Black Quarterback

17 Oct

Name:  DeMarcus Thompkins

Position:  Quarterback

College:  California (PA) University of Pennsylvania

Height:  6’1, 205 Pounds

Positives:  

Game-changing speed.  – Todd McShay

Reminiscent of a young Randall Cunningham mixed with pre-dogfighting Michael Vick.  – Mike Mayock

Could revolutionize the Quarterback position as we know it today.  Thompkins has lightning speed, can really throw it deep and can burn you with a read-option.  He’s not the most cerebral prospect in college football today, but boy is he an athlete. – Mel Kiper, Jr.

Have you seen this guy on the field?  He lit up small school competition and looked like a man playing amongst boys. – Stephen A. Smith

Thompkins went to a small-school after rejecting numerous scholarships from Pac-12 and SEC teams.  Actually he transferred from University of Maryland, but according to TMQ that means he’s a weasel player who is only looking to better himself.  I’m actually conflicted how I feel about him as I had to pay my way through college and Thompkins probably got a taxpayer handout.  Great speed though, will it adapt?  – Gregg Easterbrook

Negatives:

Character concerns, transferred from Maryland likely due to conflicts with coaching staff and his mouth which can be a huge concern.  – Bill Polian.

Comparing DeMarcus Thompkins to Drew Brees is like comparing Benson to Breaking Bad. – Rick Reilly

Gets disgruntled if he doesn’t have success which really rubs off scouts the wrong way.  When the defense gives up a TD, you never of course see him taking blame which proves that he can be selfish.  No way he plays in Massachusetts.  – Bill Simmons

Will he adapt to the pro game?  Probably not.  Ridiculously undersized and he should probably change positions since he looks like a kick returner/wide receiver/change-of-pack running back.  – Bill Cowher.

Is a fan of LOL Rocky or whatever his name is.  Kids like this ruin the sanctity of our game, our country and our neighborhoods.  – Colin Cowherd.

BLACK.  Reminds me of Shaun King who I benched for Brad Johnson who won a Super Bowl.  – Jon Gruden

Why does the media keep salivating over prospects like this?  Reminds me of RG III, Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, Colin Kaepernick, Kordell Stewart, Vince Young and Rev from Remember the Titans.  Can’t put my finger on it though.  – Rush Limbaugh.

Other Tidbits:

Transferred from Maryland to Cal (PA) to care for his ailing grandmother….4.0 GPA and graduated in three years in environmental engineering and went back for his Masters which he should get within the next year….Rhodes Scholar nominee….Ran for a school record of 1,500 yards in a single season and threw for 28 TDs vs. 5 INTs for the Vulcans….Nominee for the Manning Award.

Why This Is Bull:

Of course this is an exaggeration but this turns into a societal issue as well.  Jimmy Clausen is a well-known tool (well, I mean he looks the part!) and it was talked about a bit.  However, the buzz words surrounding him was more “entitlement” as opposed to talking about legitimate character concerns.  Look at all the grief McNabb, Newton and RG III get when they “speak their minds” as opposed to Tom Brady who yells at his WRs and gets called “passionate”.

The reason the QB position hasn’t been revolutionized is not just because the NFL catches up and adapts to various playing styles but also because idiotic GMs and head coaches get greedy when something keeps working.  Plenty of “lightning quick” QBs get hurt not just because of them running the ball but due to the insistence of not changing the offense.  RG III is literally being thrown to the wolves as he continues to recover and McNabb played through all the injuries that Ben Roethlisberger has had.  Yet the stereotypes prevail.

God, Rick Reilly Sucks: The Andrew Luck Knows Multi Syllable Words Edition

17 Oct

Most sportswriters are kind of hacks.  They all have the same tired cliches, stale jokes and this overall belief that sports are this majestic, blue collar, American Dream that is pure as apple pie….only to get ruined by the steroids they turned a blind eye to.

But no one is worse than Rick Reilly.  I know similar takedown features of Gregg Easterbrook (my favorite thing on the internet) and Peter King exist but Rick Reilly is in a class of his own.  Rick Reilly is the hybrid version of every BuzzFeed “list” article, a rejected Seinfeld plot and Family Guy cutaway gags.  He’s insufferable, the kind of guy that thinks he is part masterful writer while not getting too big for his britches and making sure you get that King of Queens reference.

So I decided, I can’t take it.  Rick Reilly needs to be hated.  He needs to end up resurfacing as a writer for BuzzFeed or ThoughtCatalog or whatever the kids are sharing these days.  If I were more angry, he’d go to Tumblr or Bleacher Report.  But I’m not a sadist.

In this week’s “Life of Reilly”, Reilly writes about Andrew Luck and how he combines “intellect and scrappiness”; I already want to stop before we get to the actual story but I must because 40 of you read this and I have no class tomorrow.  Let’s begin.

Bet me. No QB in the NFL is more accurate, goes deeper or is more effective than the Colts’ Andrew Luck.

And that’s just his vocabulary.

Oh you thought I was just talking about sports?  Hahaha, I’m more than just that.

Wednesday, for instance, in a single half hour, he got in “vociferous” (re: loudmouth, loud-playing Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, who brings undefeated Seattle to Indy Sunday), “cognizant” (was he aware of big moments as he’s making them? no, he wasn’t), and “implemented” (he was glad to see some more running plays being “implemented” into the Colts’ game plan.)

A 3.48 GPA at Stanford in environmental engineering will do that to a person.

Yes, that Stanford engineering program taught him about the word “implemented”.  I never learned that word in middle school or anything.  Trust me on this, you’ll never hear Andrew Luck “AXING” a question.  He went to Stanford after all!  Imagine if Ryan Fitzpatrick of Harvard was a franchise QB.  I think Reilly would “ejaculate”.  Oh yeah, Richard Sherman also went to Stanford.

You’d need a thesaurus to describe Luck this season, one in which he has pulled ahead of Second-Year Sensations Robert Griffin III (Washington), Russell Wilson (Seattle) and Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco) the way a locomotive pulls away from uncoupled cars.

Well obviously.  RGIII went to Baylor and graduated in three and a half years because he was probably too focused on loudmouth Richard Sherman.  Russell Wilson transferred from NC State to Wisconsin, which means he won’t focus on his vocabulary and deep ball, while Colin Kaepernick majored in tattoos.  Also I can describe Andrew Luck as a still “game manager” who continues to improve but still lacks an offensive line and running game.  He’ll be amazing soon enough but its fairly easy to describe the guy.

RG III has been tentative and apprehensive. Wilson is undefeated, true, but his numbers have been anemic. Since Week 2, Kaepernick has looked dispassionate and feckless.

Yeah RG III is tentative, must’ve been that rushing back from torn ACL thing.  Probably should’ve spent more time rehabbing as opposed to graduating.  I like how he completely tosses away Wilson being undefeated (until losing to Luck’s Colts obviously) while he had only one less INT and two big-time wins.  

ameliorated. His completion percentage is up almost 10 points over his rookie year. He has had only two interceptions in four games. (Last season, he had five through the fourth game.) He’s running better and more daringly than last season (almost twice as many yards per carry as last season). He has already won a game from behind (Oakland) and already won a signature game at San Francisco (that’s 14 W’s in his first 20 starts, tying the record for No. 1 draft choices set by another Stanford kid, John Elway.)

Ohhh Rick stop using those million dollar words around me!  You are just like that Luck kid.  Keep in mind Luck’s completion percentage was 54% and now Luck has just joined the NFL average in completion percentage.  I love Luck as a Colts fan but are we going to ignore that with the exception of his game manager performance against San Fran that he has faced anyone solid until Seattle?  (Remember this is about a two week old article).  But oh man, he reminds me of another kid from Stanford; and it sure as hell ain’t Trent Edwards!

.. surpassing. Luck is third in ESPN’s QBR. Where are the rest of the Second-Year Sensations? Way, way further back. Kaepernick is 13th, Wilson 17th, RG III 30th. And that’s to be expected. You’re supposed to have a sophomore slump. (See: Bradford, Sam.) Defensive coordinators have had an entire offseason to come up with a vaccine for you. That’s what’s confounding about Luck. In a season when he was supposed to get a little worse, like everybody else, he has only gotten a lot better.

Whoa, surpassing?  That’s a pretty big word for someone who didn’t take environmental engineering at Stanford.  Reilly does a great job shilling about ESPN’s created stat but Kaepernick who has been “feckless” and “dispassionate” is in the top-half of the field even with two disappointing games at the time (Indy and Seattle) in a short sample size (this was FOUR games into the season).  Also, uh Sam Bradford’s rookie season saw him throw 18 TDs vs. 15 INTs so its not like he had a Cam Newton esque season before everyone realized he was terrible.  Then Reilly talks about “a vaccine” which after four games, apparently Luck is immune to it.  You know four games against the Jaguars, Dolphins, Niners and Raiders.  Murderer’s Row right there.  Also its funny what another year of NFL starting experience, slightly more developed passing weapons and a slightly more competent run game can do for a young QB.  ASTOUNDING.

… intractable. His teammates keep telling him to get down on runs, to slide, to head for the safety of the sideline, but he is as stubborn as a boulder. Players around the league report that Hard Luck seems to actually enjoy an organ-shifting hit. Even compliments defenders on a good hit occasionally.

Reilly is great at citing sources.

No, no, it’s not good any time. Yet he seems addicted to it. One game, he went on one of his intrepid slashes through the defense, got the first down, then kept going. Whereupon, he got rocked.

On the field, veteran receiver Reggie Wayne immediately took Luck aside and said, ‘Dang, you got to get down! When you made the first down, you won. You won. Get down and live to win another battle!”

And what did Luck say back to him?

“I said what I always say to him, ‘Yes, Mr. Wayne. Good point, Mr. Wayne.'”

I bet loudmouth Richard Sherman and anemic Russell Wilson would never call a guy twelve years older than them “Mr.”; that Luck kid probably calls me “sir” and I tell him, “no my father is sir!”.

Luck will wind up being the gold standard of the doozy QB draft class of 2012, but only if he stops polishing his Roger Staubach impression.

It drives Hasselbeck crazy. “I told him, ‘Would you please protect yourself? Because I didn’t get any reps this week. And I don’t want to look bad out there.'”

That’s the baffling thing about this son of two law school graduates. Luck’s the oddest combination of lobes and lats. He’s both brains and brawn. He doesn’t just crack the safe, he then picks it up and carries it out of the bank.

That last sentence is the reason why Rick Reilly is terrible.  Ugh, yes its hard to believe a guy whose father played in the NFL is an NFL QB plays the position “scrappily” and acts like a young QB.  

But I’ll bet you a Porsche to a Porsche hubcap that he’s the MVP before any of the others.

How’s that for chutzpah?

Oh you BEAST.  Picking the guy who is best groomed for success, who was the #1 overall pick, who was considered the no-brainer #1 pick from two years before he was drafted as a future MVP?  Over RG III’s torn ACL, Wilson’s game manager imitation and Kaepernick’s still developing body of work?  You must be a GAMBLER RICK REILLY.

Anonymous Scouting Report: Black Wide Receiver

16 Oct

So last night, after probably years of talking about it I posted up a spoof scouting report on a generic white QB prospect.  The simple fact of the matter is that hired pundits and scouts basically revert to same buzzwords when it comes to players.  Since there is a very little chance that these guys have actually broken down game film of all of these prospects (from Alabama to Akron to Slippery Rock); it seems only natural that you hear the same thing many times from different sources.  Except Colin Cowherd because he probably thinks Ricky Baker was going to end up like Booby Miles.

Well it turned out to be pretty popular but I couldn’t keep doing it and my good friend Jamil decided to add in his own scouting report of a black WR.  Jamil writes for StraightFresh.Net and you can follow him on Twitter @Jamil_SF.  To read my report on a white QB, peep this out.  

Name:  Cornell Green

Position:  Wide Receiver

College:  Louisiana State University

Height:  6’3, 215 Pounds

Positives: 

This kid is unique. When you talk about a wide receiver with blazing speed and great athletic ability, well you talk about almost everyone in the NFL, but this guy is definitely in that conversation too. – Mel Kiper, Jr.

Dynamic athlete. – Todd McShay

He’ll play the Arnold to your team’s Phillip Drummond in the passing game. – Rick Reilly

He catch with his hands, just like he should. Just like I would. Ask Keyshawn. – Cris Carter

He does the one thing that I like the most: run fast and jump high. Go get that ball, BOY! – Jon Gruden

Negatives:

He’s got a top 5 skill set, but you’re gonna have to GRIND him off the field and MAKE him work. He’s not gonna do it on his own. -Mike Mayock

One of the things I noticed about this draft and this guy Green specifically, is the importance of character when drafting. You don’t want a guy with a lot of baggage and off the field issues. – Ron Jaworski

Low motor. When you talk about X’s and O’s, yea this isn’t your guy. But if you need a player to go out there and snag that deep ball sometimes and run pretty fast and give your team a spark with a funky dance in the endzone, draft this guy. – Mark Schlereth

He’s in my opinion, just like many others, still a developmental player. Not very coachable, surprising pick if you ask me. – Bill Polian

He can’t execute, from a cerebral aspect, an NFL offense. But man this guy can run. – Merrill Hoge

What happened to the guys who just run good routes and play the position, huh? You know, Wes Welker, Steve Largent, THOSE kinda guys. – Colin Cowherd

Other Tidbits:

NCAA Division 1 champion in the 100m dash jump relay…..majored in Sociology…..Was a member of his high school drumline, but then realized you can’t get paid to play the drums, really….Left college early due to pending case, no further comments given….Once met rap artist Lil’ Wayne, said it changed his life.

Why This Is Bull:

Throughout the entire NFL Draft process and institution, there are two main positions, in my opinion, that no matter how they are spoken about are hilariously racist: Black quarterbacks and wide receivers. Often times, it’s completely unintentional (that’s why it’s funny) to see guys like Jon Gruden marvel at the “blazing speed” and “leaping” ability of college athletes at these positions. Even if these guys are technically outstanding at their positions, two recent examples being RG III and AJ Green, their speed and ‘God-given ability’ (shout-out Boobie Miles) override those skills. Nevermind the great footwork or route running because BOY THOSE GUYS FLY AROUND THE FIELD!

Legal trouble, family problems, and pretty much everything possible that’s not football related can get classified into a player having “off-the-field issues” and becoming a liability. When it shouldn’t. If he’s a nice guy that plays football better than other people, go ahead and draft him and help him become a professional. Don’t worry what’s on his iPod or whether he can jump high enough to do a 360 windmill on the goal post after he scores. Draft me if you want exotic dunk maneuvers.