A Look Ahead at the 2015 NFL Schedule

The NFL Schedule got released last night, just in case you weren’t aware.  NFL is king, we know that.   But does it really need it’s own release show?  I don’t know.    I’d rather watch some playoff hockey or baseball and catch up on the schedule via one of my NFL apps.  But since it’s a thing, I’ll go ahead and give my WAYYYY to early opinion about some key matchups for the NFL year.

Week 1:  Outside of the first game, Steelers at Patriots, one that I’ll keep my eye on is Philadelphia at Atlanta.  Just for the sheer appeal of seeing if the Chip Kelly Experiment worked.   And if Jameis goes to the Bucs, I will be excited to keep an eye on Tennessee at Tampa Bay.

 

Week 2:  Seattle at Green Bay.  Enough said.  These two have developed quite the rivalry the past couple of years.  It’s getting to be a pretty good one.  And it’ll be at Green Bay.  Good stuff.

Lambeau

Week 3:  Nothing really good to check out right now.  Outside of the Lions home opener against Denver.  And that’s just because the Lions are my team, and a Sunday Night Football game is always a good time in Detroit.

Week 4:  Baltimore at Pittsburg.  That’s always a great game.  That rivalry is awesome!  Plus LeVeon Bell will be back by then, so it’ll be that much better.

Week 5:  Arizona at Detroit.  Again, that’s more me being a Lions homer.  There really are no key matchups that week.  At least right now.  It’s early.

Week 6:  AFC Championship rematch.  I wonder how closely the balls will be monitored?  It’s at Indy this time, so we will see.  What’s the over/under on how often “Deflate Gate” gets used?

 

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Week 7:  San Francisco at Seattle.  Now that may not be that much of a game because I really have no faith in Jim Tomsula.  I just don’t.  But you never know.  He could surprise us all, right Veair?

Week 8:  Miami at New England.  Can’t wait to see Suh try to get after Brady.  Though he was there last year as a Lion didn’t go too well, if memory serves me correctly!  But apparently he’s got a new attitude, so we shall see!!

Week 9:  Even though it’s their second time meeting, Philadelphia at Dallas.  Should be a great game.   Should.  Again, it’s wayyy too early!

Week 10:  Bills at Jets.   Rex Ryan is coming back “home.”  I’m sure the sound bites will be a flying that week!!  We can also perhaps call that the Awful QB Bowl!

Week 11:  Rivalry Week part Two, San Francisco at Seattle and Buffalo at New England.  Always fun matchups.  And for my more Lion Fan reasons, Oakland comes to town.

Week 12:  Thanksgiving!!!  Paying special attention to Green Bay at Chicago,  and for whatever reason, Steelers at Seahawks.  Not sure why, but somehow that matchup intrigues me.

Week 13:   Dallas at Washington.   My timeline on that night is usually pretty funny!!!

Cowboys Star logo

Week 14:   As of now….pretty meh.  But it’s early.  Playoff implications will be going full strength now.

 

Week 15:  Eesh…Cleveland at Seattle may be a blood bath.  I’ll be tuning in for that one!

Week 16:  Steelers at Ravens again, and New England at the Jets.  I guess.

Week 17:   I think I’ll just be checking to see if the Browns are 0-16.

 

So, that’s my way too early look at the schedule.  Can’t wait to see how the season unfolds and what surprises we may have!

 

Follow Sonja on Twitter @Mom23RN

 

 

Going Green, Vol. 7: Jameis Winston, NBA MVP Talk & Brit McHenry

It’s that time of the week again. Glad to have you back for another session of Going Green. This is my lucky number 7th edition so you know it has to be a good one.

This week, we discuss Jameis Winston and if he is worth the risk and who should be the NBA MVP. Finally, we touch on a controversial issue of the way ESPN handled the Brit McHenry situation.

Continue reading Going Green, Vol. 7: Jameis Winston, NBA MVP Talk & Brit McHenry

Game of Throws: The AFC

 

 

Some blogs are written. Others are crafted. The same holds true for books. 50 Shades of Grey was written. Badly might I add, but written all the same. Written into a sequel and then into a trilogy. Not to harp on this but seriously, it was written so poorly I can’t believe it got published. Just awful. But hey it sold a trazillion copies and got a movie deal so what the hell do I know?

By comparison, George R.R. Martin’s masterpiece of craftsmanship, the Game of Thrones series, is about all an author could hope to accomplish with a series. Underappreciated initially, eventually adapted into an HBO series and morphed quickly into a cultural phenomenon the likes of which we haven’t seen in years.

The two above works couldn’t be more different in quality, but they do share one undeniable similarity: they’re both essentially ripoffs. 50 Shades is nothing more than Twilight fan-fiction gone horribly wrong, while Game of Thrones is a remixed retelling of The Lord of the Rings more or less. I am not here to debate this. I think they are both wonderful but the influence of J.R.R. Tolkien on George R.R.My.Middle.Name.Is.Really.Steve. Martin is clear. Battle of the Five Armies leads to War of the Five Kings. Gollum leads to Reek. And you can’t have a fantasy story without a chubby but loyal and surprisingly able sidekick named Sam. Rules are rules after all.

You know what else is basically a ripoff? The NFL. There’s never been a lazier but more accurate piece of color commentary than the ole “Well _________, it’s a copycat league!” Nothing works better than something that worked for somebody else it would seem, and when success happens in the NFL other teams are going to quickly begin to mimic that success through hiring assistants and changing schemes wholesale. I would like to be more critical here, but I’ve run into a slight problem: I’m about to ripoff this entire article. So let’s not focus too much who cast what stone first right now, there’ll be time enough for that later.

I truly didn’t sit down with the intention of taking someone else’s work and trying pass it off as my own but I ran into some complications in the creative process that left me with two choices. Before we get into those choices let’s talk a bit about what my creative process looks like:

  1. Jot down a few  of the million of ideas bouncing around in my head.
  2. Through process of elimination figure out this week’s topic.
  3. Rough out an outline for the structure of the article. This step is optional.
  4. Quickly check to see if anyone else has already covered this topic elsewhere and if so determine if there’s a need for me to still write on the topic or go back to Step 2.

Simple but works for me, your mileage may vary. This week was an even more streamlined process because I already knew what I was going to write. A quick rundown of NFL QBs and their Game of Thrones character equivalent. Easy. Could write that and even leave the Wings game on in the background. So what happened? Apparently the unfunny jerks at the Sports Pickle happened.

Somehow those losers did this very same thing about a week ago. WEEK. AGO. How did they beat me to this not terrible original punch by 5 days? I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter because the bottom line is that they did. This happens all the time, although this time there was a problem. What they wrote was trash. TRASH, BRUH. Reading their take was like watching somebody cook filet mignon well done and then drown it in ketchup. We all deserved better than that, and I’m going to give the people the gloriousness that this topic deserves. Plus WTF is a Sports Pickle? I’m going to go out on a limb and say nobody read that junk. No offense.

So without further delay, let’s get into.

AFC North- Starring:

  • Khal Drogo as Joe Flacco
  • Sansa Stark as Andy Dalton
  • The Mountain as Ben Roethisberger
  • Joffrey Baratheon as Johnny Manziel

Okay, so things get off to a up and down start with the AFC’s least interesting division of QBs, despite multiple Super Bowl rings being represented. Khal Drogo had all the physical tools but suffered the tremendous misfortune of being the right guy in the wrong place. Flacco wins. That’s about all he does. You’re not going to find anything about his numbers that make you think he’s worth the huge contract he got after he won the Super Bowl. But man does he win. Like, he wins a lot. In a different system that could make better use of his ridiculously big arm he would be an elite QB. But a Khal who cannot throw for 4,000 yards is no Khal. The Ultimate One-Season Wonder.

I’ll freely admit the Sansa Stark thing felt lazy at first. She’s got red hair, he’s got red hair… let’s just move on. But there’s more to it than that. Sansa has been an utter disappointment of a character. Every time you think Sansa is ready to finally take a step and grow as a character she just doesn’t. She is mentally weak and emotionally frail. You’d like to think there’s something there buried deep inside her waiting to erupt, but no. There’s nothing there, there  will never be anything there. Okay, now we can just move on.

The Mountain may be a terrible person, may even be a rapist, but in the only thing that matters I would NEVER bet against him. He just keeps showing up and beating guys and winning. Big Ben is the obvious comparison.

Johnny Manziel aka Joffrey Football is a spoiled brat that should have never been handed the keys to the kingdom and we can only hope that his replacement is more responsible and deserving.

 

AFC East- Starring:

  • Robert Baratheon as Tom Brady
  • Gendry as Ryan Tannehill
  • Guy That Got Shot Off The Wall By A Giant Arrow as Geno Smith
  • War of the Five Kings as Bills QB

Let’s start with Gendry. Seems like a good kid. Good bloodlines, the right heritage to boot. All the tools you need to be King someday. But also could be bled to death and dumped off a cliff in Dragonstone sooo… let’s not put too much stock in his future.

King Robert however is a guy that did it all and went out on his terms. Kind of a known cheater but people still love him and he was the last legitimate king. Wasn’t even supposed to be King, but usurped the throne and never looked back. Has no clear heir apparent. Wife is a Hall of Fame shade thrower in her own right. And let’s be honest, if any NFL QB has an actual Iron Throne in their house, it’s Tom Brady.

As for the Bills, they have lots of guys competing for the job but we all know nobody wins  in this scenario. But that’s still better than the Jets QB situation. Seriously. Geno might as well go ahead and take the black and head to the top of the wall. He’s never had the right support around him and he’s not a bad player, but he’s played so poorly for so long his coach legit just left to go coach another team in the division. How bad do you have to be to have your coach say he’d rather play you twice a year than start you 16 games? Hey, it’s not personal. Geno did his best. And now his watch has ended.

 

AFC SOUTH- Starring:

  • The Red Wedding as Texans QB
  • Renly Baratheon as Blake Bortles
  • Jon Snow as Titans QB
  • Robb Stark as Andrew Luck

Texans QB situation is shockingly horrific. Traumatically so. If I were a Houston fan I would brace for the absolute worst outcome imaginable. I am not exaggerating here, it’s going to be flat out a disaster. I mean Tom Savage sounds like an ACTUAL character from the show! Who???

Speaking of the Red Wedding, Robb Stark is Andrew Luck. They are literally the same person, down to the beard. Robb found himself having to replace his father Ned, Luck had to replace Peyton Manning (oddly, Manning is not being played by Ned Stark in the AFC West). Despite being from the North, they find themselves waging war in the South. They are both charismatic leaders that have an understanding of the tactics needed to win and the talent to execute those tactics despite their youth. And they were both ultimately undone by terrible marriages. Robb at the Red Wedding, Luck by his running games and the trade for Trent Richardson. All hail the King in the North.

Blake Bortles is tall and can surprise with his effectiveness at times. Which is a complete and total lie that I just made up. He’s terrible and this will not end well.

Whoever becomes the QB for the Titans will have two major challenges and not enough resources to tackle them.  That automatically makes them Jon Snow. They will need to rally the troops, foster an atmosphere of hope and prepare for the Whitewalkers (see: Colts road unis) from North of the Mason-Dixon (which isn’t exactly a wall but work with me here). They will also have to do so with overrated and perhaps even overrated leadership undermining them at every turn. Ken Whisenhunt has a track record of throwing his QBs under the bus and will most likely do the same to his rookie signal caller. Winter is coming. Will the Titans still be playing for anything when it gets here?

 

AFC West- Starring:

  • Jaime Lannister as Peyton Manning
  • Balon Greyjoy as Philip Rivers
  • Brienne of Tarth as Alex Smith
  • The 2000 Guys Robb Sent to fight the Lannisters as Raiders QB

Much like Philip Rivers, Balon Greyjoy missed his chance. It was never much of a chance, but there was a window of opportunity for him to strike and take everything he ever wanted. Hell he did take his shot, more than once. But he didn’t ever get it done and now that window is closed. He may throw a wrench in the plans of others but he will never be the King. Probably for the best. Seems like kind of a jerk.

Brienne of Tarth is proud and capable, but still not your first choice. She’s proven herself many times over. She will never be your first choice. In a head-to-head matchup she’s going to win more than she’s going to lose. You’ll still want someone else fighting for you. Let’s just move on.

Jaime Lannister had it all. Like everything. The family name, the fame, incredible wealth and massive popularity. However of all the things that he had, his skill with a sword was the most impressive. He was unmatched, a legendary once in a lifetime talent. Then he got injured and had all that talent stolen from him. If getting your hand chopped off an injury. Seems like it may be more than just that, honestly. But either way he’s not the same guy anymore . And he never will be. Which may not be the worst thing in the world for a guy that had three kids with his sister and threw a boy out of a tower window. That last part may not translated 100% over to Peyton Manning, but ask yourself this: how well do you REALLY know Peyton Manning?

Exactly, my friend. Exactly.

 

Follow The Twice on Twitter @nokidsand3money

 

 

 

 

Tanks For Playing

It’s  NBA Playoff time.  The Pelicans are going to make it in as the 8 seed.  Good for them, but I’ll admit, I feel bad a bit for Russell Westbrook.  He’s balled out of his mind this past season.  He’s had the team on his back, and still looks like they won’t make the playoffs.   But he’s still in consideration for MVP, which I think it should be between him and Steph Curry.  But that’s another topic for another day.  Maybe perhaps a Going Green topic, Veair??

 

   Lakers Knicks 6ers

 

Anyway, that’s not why I’m here.  I’m here tonight to discuss the topic of tanking.  I know, not too much will be solved by the time I end my offering.  But I wonder….does tanking really help?  Lets take a look at some of the teams like the Knicks and Sixers.   Heck, even the Lakers.   These teams have been playoff teams in the past three to four years, but they’ve all fallen off the face of the Earth of late.  And that’s no one’s fault, really.  Two of the franchises have undergone some changes with their leadership.   But in terms of tanking, will they get some talented players to help them?  Maybe.  These kids that are coming out are talented, no doubt, but are they as good as advertised?  Can they help a team turn around right away?  Maybe, maybe not.  But tanking doesn’t always help immediately.

While I’m not a huge fan of tanking, I understand why it happens.  But I think it has to be part of a bigger scheme.  And that means that you have to have a good front office, and a plan.  The Lakers and the Sixers, I feel kind of OK with their front office and their ability to run things.  The Knicks. Not 1,000% sure what’s going on.  I’m hoping that Phil Jackson is just getting a good idea of what working in the front office means, and is going to use his Jedi Mind Tricks or whatever he does to help build this team into what they used to be.  But then, once you’ve got your star player, then it’s time to build around that person.  And with what some of these teams have going on (Looking at you Knicks) it can be hard to build around people because of bad contracts, not being able to attract other free agents to come play.   Some teams also need to learn how to transition players into different roles, while still “allowing” that person to have control.

Kobe
Ahem Kobe

 

 

But then you look at a team like Cleveland. Boy did they ever suck once LeBron left. They tanked, they did all sorts of things, and still, weren’t able to make any noise until LeBron came back.  Now, did LeBron returning hasten the process? Um, yeah.  But if he hadn’t, I don’t see where they would have come back to be one of the top seeds in the east this year.

LeBron

So, while tanking isn’t the best thing in the world, I think that if it’s done “right” with a bigger game plan in mind, it can work.  But it takes time.  And unfortunately, time is something that we in the sports world don’t give enough people.  But that’s ok.  As long as I know and trust that the team is doing what they need to do to get the team back into contention, I’ll give them as much time as they need.

I’m a Lions Fan.  I can do that!

 

Follow Sonja on Twitter @Mom23RN

Going Green, Vol. 6: Talking Hoops and Which NFL Player Should Retire Next?

Thanks for coming back to Going Green with Sonja Greenfield and Veair Green. We have a very good one this week as we discuss on thoughts on the NCAA Final Four having both men’s and women’s tournaments in the same city.

Speaking of basketball we delve into if the college game’s rules are starting to water down the NBA?

Lat but not least, after Troy Polamalu announced his retired this week we tell you who should be the next washed-up veteran to retire. As usual, feel free to chime in with your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook.

You know how we do it…Sonja’s up hitting leadoff!

Continue reading Going Green, Vol. 6: Talking Hoops and Which NFL Player Should Retire Next?

PODCAST: Is An Immediate Win System Worth It?

In this episode of Running Out The Clock, Joseph Craven asks the age old question: is it better to succeed now and suck later, or be good but not great for a long, long time? And if that’s not a question that bothers you to think about then you need to adjust your priorities!

Hey! Need any help with basketball, or fantasy football, or anything stat-related? Then check out what NumberFire.com has to offer you by clicking here!

Click here for ROTC Live From The End Of That Giant Table Where Coach Cal Has Watched Every Player He Ever Loved Leave Him!

As always, subscribe to all episodes of ROTC by clicking here. Also follow @ROTCSports on Twitter for all those updates before they even get posted on AGSH.  Joseph can be found on Twitter as @TheJosephCraven.

Running Out The Clock - ROTC

LSU Round-Up, Vol. 8: A Comeback, Giving Back and Welcome Back

lsulogo

 

Welcome back! This is the LSU Round-Up, where I give you the latest news on your former Bayou Bengals.

In this edition, we have a former LSU running back on the comeback trail, our favorite golfer giving back as usual and all the comings-and-goings from opening week in the major leagues.

Continue reading LSU Round-Up, Vol. 8: A Comeback, Giving Back and Welcome Back