Category Archives: NFL

Boston’s domination of the sports landscape

Congratulations to the Boston Bruins on ending their three decade long drought for the Stanley Cup. Remarkably the teams representing the Boston area have won championships in each of the four major sports in the last 7 years. Is there another city that has done so in such a short time frame?  I can’t think of one.  Remarkably the Patriots now have the longest championship drought in the Boston market. On twitter we came up with a few who had 3 in short period of time.

Jets, Mets and Knicks won in 69-70.
Oakland had Warriors, Raiders,A’s 74-77.
Mets, Islanders, Giants did it 83-86.
Yanks, Giants and Rangers from 91-96.

Any others?

Darren Rovell of CNBC points out that up until 1993 the longest drought Canada had was five years but now they haven’t won one since 1993.

Darren Pang of Versus had to get creative on the post game show to get a microphone up to Zdeno Chara who is 6’9″. Yes, that is a hockey stick attached to the microphone.

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Letter to NFL fans from Commissioner Goodell

Roger Goodell just released the following letter to NFL fans. Are you guys expecting the season to start on time? news: Letter to NFL fans from Commissioner Goodell

Dear NFL Fan,When I wrote to you last on behalf of the NFL, we promised you that we would work tirelessly to find a collectively bargained solution to our differences with the players’ union. Subsequent to that letter to you, we agreed that the fastest way to a fair agreement was for everyone to work together through a mediation process. For the last three weeks I have personally attended every session of mediation, which is a process our clubs sincerely believe in.Unfortunately, I have to tell you that earlier today the players’ union walked away from mediation and collective bargaining and has initiated litigation against the clubs. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, our clubs offered a deal today that, among other things, was designed to have no adverse financial impact on veteran players in the early years, and would have met the players’ financial demands in the latter years of the agreement.The proposal we made included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee a reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).It was a deal that offered compromise, and would have ensured the well-being of our players and guaranteed the long-term future for the fans of the great game we all love so much. It was a deal where everyone would prosper.We remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached, and call on the union to return to negotiations immediately. NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.While we are disappointed with the union’s actions, we remain steadfastly committed to reaching an agreement that serves the best interest of NFL players, clubs and fans, and thank you for your continued support of our league. First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.Yours,Roger Goodell

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Rich Eisen’s 40 yard dash

Over the last few days I’ve been talking to people and most of us are in agreement that like pretty much everything else the NFL does, the Scouting Combine makes for good TV. 
Earlier today the face of the NFL Network, Rich Eisen took part in what has become an annual tradition for him. Just like he has every year since 2005 he ran the “40 yard dash” during NFL Network’s coverage of the event. His time was a personal best 6.18 (probably would be faster if he wasn’t running in a suit). 
The NFL Network doesn’t let you embed their videos so go watch it on their website.  

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“I’m going to Disney World”

Is there a cooler endorsement deal in all of sports then the “I’m going to Disney World” ones that they do every Super Bowl?

Disney World

Disney Land

Aaron Rodgers will be at Magic Kingdom today as the NFL and Disney celebrate 25 years of doing this.

By the way, do you know who the first Super Bowl MVP was to do one of these?

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2010 NFL Conference Championship Predictions

I came back down to earth last week with a 2-2 record but I still hold a very respectable 6-2 record for the playoffs.

Collectively we had an average week at best.
Me: 2-2
Swarheit: 2-2
rkref: 2-2
spudsfan: 2-2
Rovitz: 2-2
Faraz: 2-2
Imran: 1-3
natthedem: 1-3

Here are the overall standings so far.

Me: 6-2
spudsfan: 5-3
Swarheit: 4-4 
rkref: 4-4
Rovitz: 4-4
Faraz: 4-4
natthedem: 4-4
Imran: 3-5
Here are the lines we will be using this week. 
Packers (-4) over the Bears
Jets (+3.5) over the Steelers
I am a big fan of old school rivalries. The Bears have had a great run but it ends this week. The Packers will win and cover. I just don’t think Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher will be able to make the Packers miserable enough. Hats off to Aaron Rodgers, he truly has taken that step into the top tier of NFL Quaterbacks. What a performance it was from the Packers last week against a very good Falcons team. I was watching “Sound FX” on NFL network this week and it showed that Mike Smith wanted to go for a Field Goal at the of the first half on the play that resulted in the pick 6 going the other way. He changed his mind after consulting with the offensive coordinator. That play ended up being the final nail in the coffin. The game time temperature is expected to be 18 degrees! It would have been better if there was also snow in the forecast. Don’t expect weather to be a problem for Aaron Rodgers.

In his career, including playoffs, Rodgers is 7-3 in games when the temperature is 30 degrees or below, according to ESPN Stats and Information. In those ten contests, Rodgers has 25 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, with a passer rating of 109.4. 

Barack Obama made some news this week by announcing his plans for Super Bowl Sunday.

“Oh, if the Bears are in the Super Bowl, we’re going.” 

He would be the first President to attend but like I have mentioned before, I don’t have a problem with his trips to sporting events because he is a legitimate fan
In case you haven’t heard, the New York Jets “CAN’T WAIT!” for this Sunday. Actually words don’t do it justice. I’ll let Bart Scott explain it better. 

As I mentioned last week, people just aren’t giving this Jets team any credit. This team did go 11-5 right? This team did just beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady the last two weeks, correct? The Jets did just become the first team in NFL history to win 2 road games in the playoffs in back to back years, correct? Their 2nd year Head Coach/Quarterback are 4-1 in their short playoff careers, correct? Once again I am going with the New York Jets to win outright. Not to turn this into a lecture of some sort but what more does this team need to do? I have had people tell me this week that Mark Sanchez will have his “deer in the headlights” moment this week. People do realize that he did play in the AFC Championship game last year right? Don’t get me wrong, the Steelers are a very good team and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them win but I just think the Jets are Super Bowl bound this year. It really has been one of those years for them. Earlier this year they became the first team in NFL history to win back to back road games in overtime. There have been people downplaying the Jets win in Pittsburgh earlier this season because Troy Polamalu missed that game. In the words of the ESPN’s NFL Countdown crew, “C’mon Man!”

Speaking of ESPN, have you guys been following the Tom Jackson debacle this week?

After a relatively quiet week the Jets have been calling out Hines Ward for his dirty play the last couple of days. ESPN New York notes that the two playoff wins so far this year are worth an extra $500,000 to Mark Sanchez. Rex Ryan is just the 5th coach in the Super Bowl era to make it to the Conference Championship game in his first two years. I’m hoping Tomlinson gets his first shot at a Super Bowl ring.

Other picks:
Swarheit – Packers and Steelers
Spudsfan – Packers and Jets
rkref – Packers and Jets
rovitz – Packers and Steelers
natthedem – Packers and Jets
Faraz – Packers and Jets
Imran – Packers and Steelers
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2010 NFL Divisional Round Predictions

Great week for me last going 4-0 as the Seahawks not only covered but they won outright. Had I stuck with my gut feeling I would have gone 4-0 in picking the winners too. Lesson learned for this week hopefully. Feel free to post your picks even if you didn’t take part last week.

Here is how everyone did last week.
Me: 4-0
natthedem: 3-1
spudsfan: 3-1
Faraz: 2-2
Swarheit: 2-2
rkref: 2-2
Rovitz: 2-2
Imran: 2-2

Sorry for putting these up so late. I will just rush through the picks this week.

Ravens (+3) over the Steelers
Packers (+3) over the Falcons
Seahawks (+10) over the Bears
Jets (+9) over the Patriots

I am taking the Ravens to beat the Steelers outright. This has been a really heated rivalry in recent years and Hines Ward’s hit on Ed Reed certainly didn’t help to calm things down. Speaking of Ed Reed, there is still no update on his missing brother.

It was great to see Aaron Rodgers get a playoff win under his belt  last week after yet another NFL season that was dominated by Brett Favre headlines. Two of the best young Quarterbacks in the league going head to head here and I am really looking forward to this one. I felt going into last week that their defense would do the job against the speedy Eagles. I am taking the Packers to win outright on the road for the 2nd straight week.

Bears/Seahawks is a tricky one for me. The Seahawks will definitely cover and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull off the win here. I just don’t think the Bears are that good. Whoever wins here loses next year to the winner of the Packers/Falcons game. Looks like I didn’t learn my lesson from last week because gut feeling says that Seattle wins.

I am really looking forward to the Jets/Patriots. Call me crazy but I think the Jets win this one. Yes, the Patriots did win their last meeting in a really lopsided game but this Jets team had one hell of a year. For whatever reason this team never gets any credit. Rex Ryan has called this the 2nd biggest game in franchise history. I’ll have to read into it a little bit more but this is an important game for the team. A win here would go a long way towards silencing critics here at home. Last time these two teams met in Foxboro, Tom Brady threw 2 interceptions in a 28-14 Jets win. A 9 point line is absolutely ridiculous here. I am taking the Jets to win outright and go to the Conference Championship game for the second straight yet.

Swarheit – Ravens, Falcons, Bears and Jets
rkref – Ravens, Falcons, Bears and Jets
spudsfan – Steelers, Packers, Seahawks and Patriots
Rovitz – Steelers, Falcons, Seahawks and Jets
Faraz – Ravens, Packers, Bears and Patriots
Imran – Ravens, Packers, Seahawks and Patriots
Natthedem – Ravens, Packers, Seahawks and Patriots

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2010 NFL Wildcard Round Predictions

Through the NFL Playoffs I will be picking the games against the spread. Just for continuity I will be using the lines from ESPN. I’m looking for some challengers. If you want to put your picks on the record just post them here or send it to me via Twitter or e-mail. When you submit your picks feel free to send me a link to your Twitter feed, blog, Tumblr, etc. and I’ll link to it here. I’ll keep standings for picks against the spread but feel free to post your picks for winners if the two are different.

Here are my picks, please use the same line to make your picks.

Seahawks +10.5 over Saints
Jets +3 over Colts
Ravens -3 over Chiefs
Packers +2.5 over Eagles

Yes, I am well aware of how bad the NFC West was this year but 11 is a really crazy number for a playoff line. Saints will pull off the win but the game will be a lot closer then people think.

I am taking the Jets to win outright over the Colts. The Jets are better then people give them credit for. This team did 11 games this year but if you looked around people almost act as though they were 8-8. I love Rex Ryan. People used to rip into Eric Mangini in New York because he had no personality but a lot of those same people are now opposed to Rex Ryan because he is the exact opposite of Mangini. How does that work? I try to stay away from picking against Peyton Manning but his defense will let him down here. The Jets have a very good running game and I think Mark Sanchez will flourish in the Dome too. Plus there is that little business of payback for last year.

I’ll take the Ravens to win easily. They are giving 3 points here but honestly I don’t think this game will be close. I give a lot of credit to Todd Haley. He has done a very good in Kansas City but he’s just running into a better team here. I think Ray Rice (286 all purpose yards in 2 career playoff starts) will have a big playoff run and take that step into the top tier of HBs.

The biggest win of Michael Vick’s career came at Lambeau Field as a member of the Falcons. He’s had a fantastic year and I for one am glad to see him come back strong. Heck, he even has Barack Obama in his corner. There are a lot of people who are are still vocal opponents of Vick being back in the NFL but it is hard to argue that NFL fans want him there when he had the 5th best selling jersey in the NFL this year. Vick really is the wildcard here. He could just put on one great show in front of a national audience and win the game by himself and no one really would be surprised. I think it is not that big of a stretch to say that he is the best player in the league right now. That being said, I am taking the Packers to win here. I think Clay Matthews and the Packers defense will contain him. Lets not forget that they have a pretty good quarterback themselves and with all of the Brett Favre drama this year it will be great to see Rodgers have a good game here in the playoffs.

Other Picks

Swarheit – Saints (-11), Colts (-3), Ravens (-3), Packers (+2.5)
rkref – Saints (-11), Jets (+3), Ravens (-3), Eagles (-2.5)
spudsfan – Saints (-11), Jets (+3), Ravens (-3), Packers (+2.5)
Rovitz – Saints (-11), Jets (+3), Ravens  (-3), Eagles  (-2.5)
Faraz – Saints (-11)Colts (-3), Ravens (-3), Packers (+2.5) 
Imran – Saints (-11), Jets (+3), Ravens  (-3), Eagles  (-2.5)
natthedem – Seahawks (+11), Colts (-3), Ravens (-3), Packers (+2.5) 
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Sportscenter and Eric Mangini

Did you guys catch ESPN anchor Hannah Storm and NFL insider Adam Schefter celebrate on the set of Sportscenter as news of a coach being fired came in?

I have seen a lot of people criticize the two of them in the past 24 hours. Some of it is fair but a lot of people are completely overreacting to this. I know jumping on ESPN is the “cool thing to do” for a lot of people but it is fairly obvious that they were not celebrating the firing of Eric Mangini. It is easy to put up one video out of context and twist it to serve whatever agenda your blog has. Attacking ESPN is a sure fire way to get hits.

Was their act unprofessional? Sure, but lets take things in some context here. It was “Black Monday”, I’m sure they had a discussion earlier in the show about news breaking while they were on the air. For those you of who don’t follow the NFL closely, “Black Monday” is the first Monday after the end of the regular season when most teams announce their decision to fire their coaches.

I am not going to shed a tear for Mangini. I actually like the guy but he’s made over $10 Million as an NFL Head Coach and has a record of 33-47 (.413) to show for it. Yes, I do feel for his assistants who make significantly less but once again, ESPN was not celebrating their dismissal if they too get let go after their meeting with Mike Holmgren next week. There are already reports that Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan will get an interview for a Head Coach position.
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Barack Obama comments on Michael Vick

Barack Obama approves of Michael Vick’s return to the NFL.

I don’t know if Barack Obama originally intended to have this conversation become public but I like that he holds this position. I don’t know of many other public officials who would voluntarily come out and back Vick. Obama called Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and commended him on giving Vick a chance. The conversation was confirmed by White House Spokesman Bill Burton:

The President did place a call to Mr. Lurie to discuss plans for the use of alternative energy at Lincoln Financial Field, during which they spoke about that and other issues. He of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of but, as he’s said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again.

I definitely approve of Vick’s return to the league. He paid his debt to society and then some. It is an amazing comeback story. It is not a stretch to say that he is the best player in the league right now. His jersey has been a hot seller once again. According to Darren Rovell of CNBC earlier in the season you could even customize a jersey for your dog with Vick’s name and number on it.

12/29/10 Edit:
Tucker Carlson is an idiot. He was guest hosting Tuesday night on Sean Hannity’s show so I guess he felt extra pressure to be a fool? Whatever his excuse his statement was absolutely ridiculous.

“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances, but Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs?”

He went on to call Vick a “creepy rich overpaid football player.” Anyone else find it hilarious that he supports  Sarah Palin who’s a known hunter?

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