Tag Archives: NFL

What’s Your Deal?

One of the most bizarre events in recent NFL history took place last weekend during the postgame events following the Lions-49ers game. The game was billed as one of the biggest of the weekend, surprisingly. The Niners have not been a legitimate contender for more than a decade and the Lions have been futile since the 1950s. However, both teams are seeing success this year in the form of 5-1 records. While the game was a hard fought match that came down to the final minutes, it is the post-game handshake that most people are talking about.

As the final seconds ticked away, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was extremely exuberant. He was jumping up and down, chest pumping his players and celebrating a big win. When he went in for the customary handshake with Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, he forcefully grabbed his hand and slapped him on the back, slightly shoving him. Schwartz, feeling disrespected, ran after Harbaugh and had to be separated by officials and players. Players often scuffle with the opposition but coaches keep level heads, so this was definitely something that most fans had not seen before. Not to mention it was quite entertaining.

In my opinion, Harbaugh needs to watch tape and see how NFL coaches conduct themselves following games. This is his first year coaching in the league; he was previously a college football coach. NFL coaches have been meeting at midfield to shake hands and wish each other luck for years now. Win or lose, coaches must show a certain level of humility, not act as if they have just won the Super Bowl. It’s Week 6! Act like you’ve won a game before Harbaugh! As far as Coach Schwartz, I feel like his actions were justified. I don’t think he was going to physically attack Harbaugh but he needed to prove his point. His team just saw him disrespected and he needed to call Harbaugh out on it. How could he continue to tell his players to fight and play hard if he had let that slide and let Harbaugh punk him like that? Personally, if a man puts his hands on me like that in a disrespectful manner as if to say “get out of my way”, we’d have major problems. I fully side with Jim Schwartz on this one.

Tagged , , , ,

Top Quarterbacks

The quarterback is the most important position in all of sports. QBs are the captains of the team, face of the franchise. They get all the glory and praise in victory and all the blame in defeat. They engineer their offense and are all called on to make big plays when it matters. They are also usually the top paid players on the team. The following are my top 5 QBs in the NFL at the moment (with the exception of Peyton Manning, arguably the best EVER, who is out with a neck injury):

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers – A-Rod is the leader of the defending world champs. He has a slew of skilled players around him and he’s able to fit passes in tight windows in order to get the ball in the hands of his team’s playmakers. He was the MVP of last year’s Super Bowl, a game in which he proved to the world that he could play with the best of them. He hasn’t slowed down this year and has led the Pack to an undefeated record through the first 5 weeks of the year. So far this season, he has 14 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 1,721 yards and a quarterback rating of 122.9 (158.3 is the maximum).

Tom Brady, New England Patriots – For the past decade, Tom Brady has been the top QB in the NFL. He has won 3 Super Bowls, 2 MVP awards and has been to 6 Pro Bowls. He also set the record for most touchdowns in a season with 50 in 2007. He consistently has the Patriots at the top of the league and in playoff contention. He’s the master of his craft, has incredible accuracy and could run his team’s offense with his eyes closed. He’s also very clutch and can be trusted to win close games. He has 14 TDs, 6 INTs, 1,874 YDs and a QB rating of 109.5.

Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers – Rivers is one of my favorite players in the league. He’s consistent, accurate and the ultimate leader. Many people think he is cocky and full of himself. I think his confidence is a good thing and he plays with a swagger that can’t be denied. His desire to win can be seen in his playoff performance a few years ago. In a playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, Rivers tore his ACL. However, he stayed in the game, withstood the pain and lead his team from behind to win the game, something he has done 13 times in his career. In 2011, Rivers has 6 TDs, 7 INTs, 1,536 YDs and an 87.6 QB rating. While his numbers aren’t great, he’s the main reason that his team is 4-1 through the first 5 weeks.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – Simply put, Brees puts the Saints on his back. The Saints would not be contenders without him. He runs the offense with precision, is intelligent, and has a desire to win. Brees is from Austin, TX and his high school played my high school in the state championship when I was 10 years old. Brees won the game 56-18. Not much has changed about him since. He always comes prepared to win week after week. He also gave the city of New Orleans an emotional lift after Katrina. The year that the hurricane hit was his first year playing for the Saints. His play, leadership and work in the community helped the city recover. He’s taken the Saints from a laughingstock to a Super Bowl winning franchise that continues to contend. He’s thrown for 12 TDs, 5 INTs, 1,769 YDs with a 102.3 QB rating through the first 5 weeks of 2011.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers – The past decade has been good to Big Ben. He became the youngest QB to win a Super Bowl and has won 2 before the age of 30. He is known for his ability to make big plays and play “backyard football” by running around and making a big throw upfield after it seems the play is dead. Big Ben is 6’5, 241 pounds, so it is difficult for defenders to bring him down. It usually takes 2 or 3 guys to get him to the ground. He plays through injury and can be counted on to make big plays when his team needs them. He’s been to 3 Super Bowls in only 7 years of play. He’s thrown for 8 TDs, 6 INTs, 1,376 YDs and a QB rating of 89.2.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NFL Week 2

Week 2 of the NFL season is in the books and there were definitely some great games this past Sunday. I had the chance to watch three: Patriots/Chargers, Bears/Saints and Falcons/Eagles. Patriots QB Tom Brady proved that he is, in fact, the best quarterback in the game. Dude is ridiculous. He doesn’t care who’s on the field, he looks to get everyone involved and elevates the game of his teammates. Chargers QB Philip Rivers is one of my personal favorite players in the league. He is extremely accurate and his swagger is through the roof. Although he had a solid game, it was evident that Brady is in a league of his own. Brady threw for 423 yards and 3 touchdowns on his way to becoming only the second QB to throw for 400+ yds a week after throwing for 500+. The Patriots won the game 35-21. The Pats look good and Brady may be on his way to capturing his 4th Super Bowl ring.

The Bears/Saints game wasn’t even a contest. The Saints defense line looked unstoppable and sacked Bears QB Jay Cutler 6 times, leaving him unable to make any plays on offense. Saints QB Drew Brees, however, was able to lead his offense with ease by throwing 3 TDs and winning the game 30-13.

Finally, the marquee game of the week involved Eagles QB Michael Vick’s return to Atlanta to play the Falcons. Everybody knows his story. The former Falcons star missed two seasons due to being locked up on dog fighting charges. But he’s redeemed himself and received his 2nd $100 million contract and elevated his play from before he was incarcerated. Vick had a very good game, although he did make some mistakes early on. The Eagles were about to take a big lead in the 3rd quarter before Vick ran into a teammate and received a concussion. He left the game with the Eagles up 31-21 and didn’t return. The Falcons were able to capitalize on the loss of the playmaker and were able to come back for a 35-31 victory.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

NBA Lockout

NBA fans just witnessed one of the most competitive and thrilling seasons that the league has seen in years. The NBA Finals were the most watched since Michael Jordan was playing with the Bulls. Popularity is at an all time high. These facts would lead one to belief that all is right in the National Basketball Association. WRONG! The NBA is currently in a lockout and with weeks to go before training camp, it doesn’t look like the season will start on time. This is the 4th lockout for the league, the first since 1999. During the lockout, teams cannot trade, sign or contact players and players cannot access NBA team facilities, trainers or staffs. The lockout will not end until the Player’s Association (NBAPA) and the owners come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement.

In layman’s terms: billionaires (owners) are fighting with millionaires (players) about how much money they will receive. While the league is internationally popular, the NBA claims that most teams have been losing money over the years and want to decrease player salaries by 40%. In a time of economic turmoil, most fans can’t understand what is taking so long for these rich, successful men to come to terms and start playing. Fans spend their hard earned money, which is considerably less than the players earn, to watch athletes play. WE WANT OUR NBA! The NFL just had a similar 5 month lockout of their own and it took the owners and players working together to finally end it and start the season on time. NBA owners and players need to to the same thing. However, NBA players have options that NFL players don’t.

Football is only popular in America. The NFL is the only place that players can make a living. Basketball is popular globally. Players are opting to play in countries such as China, Italy and Turkey in order to make money rather than bother helping with negotiations for the NBAPA. They have more leverage than NFL players did during their lockout.

The way I see it, the NBA is the top notch in terms of competition, popularity and the chance to make a sizable salary, even after a salary decrease. NBA players should be doing all they can to help end the lockout and owners should make compromises as well. They aren’t the ones who need the money. Like Jay-Z, rapper and part owner of the New Jersey Nets, said: “the Nets could go 0-82 and I’d look at y’all like this s#!% gravy.”

The last time the NBA was locked out the season was delayed for more than 2 months and played a 50 game schedule as opposed to the normal 82. It looks like we may see something similar this year. Perhaps worse.

Tagged , , , ,