Sunday State of Mind: February 22nd-February 28th

We have finally reached the end of a brutal February. What happened in sports during the last week of this snow-filled month? We recap in this week’s SSM.

A single car wreck rocked the golf universe
Tiger Woods’ accident luckily could have been worse
Today we had a nice tribute after a week full of dread
Golfers at the Workday Championship, wearing Sunday Tiger Red

Rooting for a guy who has been through absolute hell
Teammates once again with Johnny Manziel
Another chapter in the Josh Gordon story
A hopeful step to a return to NFL glory

Bryce Harper came to Spring Training with a hot take for all
He says the NL East “is the best division in baseball”
Top to bottom he may be right, the division is a beast
What about the other league? An argument for the AL East?

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ season looking bleak
As of this weekend they’re on a seven game losing streak
In a long and loss-filled season, someone has to give them shine
Unfortunately for the ‘Wolves, plenty more losses down the line

On the other side of the spectrum, the Nets won eight in a row
Their last win came on Thursday when they beat up on Orlando
But the Mavs came into Brooklyn, and the win streak was no more
Dallas took it to Brooklyn, 115-98 was the final score

Who Wore it Best? 99-90

Photo: Dr. Odd

We’re kicking off a new series; and we’re going by the numbers. This countdown is dedicated to the best players of all-time by each jersey number. No concrete formula here, just career stats, impact on the game, and some good old fashion opinion. Let’s hop right in.

99 – Wayne Gretzky

Photo: LA Biz

He’s called “The Great One” for a reason. Hard to pick a favorite stat to demonstrate Gretzky’s dominance, but one of my favorites is that if he never scored a goal, he still would have had 11 straight 100-point seasons and won four scoring titles.

Honorable Mentions: Manny Ramirez, George Mikan, Warren Sapp

98 – Casey Hampton

Not a widely popular number, so not our largest name on the list. Appropriately nicknamed “Big Snacks,” Hampton made five Pro Bowls as the Steelers nose tackle in the early aughts.

Honorable Mentions: Jason Collins

97 – Jeremy Roenick

Maybe not the best guy, but a pretty good hockey player. The eighth overall pick in the 1988 NHL draft scored 1,216 points in 1,363 games played.

Honorable Mentions: Bryant Young, Cam Heyward

96 – Cortez Kennedy

Kennedy recorded 58 sacks in his 11 seasons for the Seahawks. He recorded 569 tackles and 11 forced fumbles.

Honorable Mentions: Metta World Peace, Tomas Holmstrom

95 – Richard Dent

A bonafide Hall of Famer who was a part of one of the greatest defenses of all time, the ’85 Bears. What more can you ask for?

Honorable Mentions: N/A

94 – Charles Haley

The defensive centerpiece of two all-time franchises in the Cowboys and 49ers.

Honorable Mention: Demarcus Ware

93 – John Randle

Anyone who goes undrafted in their respective sport and go on to become a Hall of Famer is good enough for this list. Randle made seven Pro Bowls and was a six time first team All-Pro selection en route to Canton.

Honorable Mentions: Pat Neshak, Metta World Peace

92 – Reggie White

Photo: Quotes Gram

“The Minister of Defense” was one of the greatest free agent signings of all time, when he left the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 and signed with the Green Bay Packers. He finished his career with 198 sacks, two NFL defensive player of the year awards, and a Super Bowl ring.

Honorable Mentions: DeShawn Stevenson, Gabriel Landeskog

91 – Dennis Rodman

An obvious answer for a surprisingly strong number. But Rodman’s five rings, seven NBA All-Defensive first selections, and nearly 12,000 career rebounds puts him on our list.

Honorable Mentions: Kevin Greene, Sergei Fedorov

90 – Ndamukong Suh

Suh has had a late-career number change to 93, but he donned 90 early in his career for the Lions when he was arguable at his best. During his time rocking the big 9-0, Suh was the NFL Rookie of the Year, made four Pro Bowls, and was a three time NFL First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: Ryan O’Reilly

High numbers, a lot of hockey players and defensive lineman, to be expected. Will we have some different sports and positions represented in our next set of jersey numbers, 89-80? Only time will tell.

Sunday State of Mind: February 15th-February 21st

Photo: Get Wallpapers

The week in sports has come and gone. We recap in this week’s SSM.

The best sports news of the week, Spring Training!
Baseball is back, and winter is waning
A new season has fans excited to their core
Unless you’re a fan rooting for Baltimore

Russell Westbrook causing the NBA trouble
Four games this week, and three triple doubles
He’s lead the Wizards to four straight dubs
Not bad for a team who were supposed to be scrubs

Terrible news in baseball, a major blow
The official retirement of Tim Tebow
Have to give the man credit, gave a tough sport a try
But after four years, he’s letting a sleeping dog lie

From Geno’s to St. Elmo; Carson Wentz Stakes His Claim as QB1 in Indianapolis

Photo: Malik Wright on Twitter

Carson Wentz, once thought of as the savior of the Philadelphia Eagles, has been traded to the Indianapolis Colts. The trade is just another in a juicy offseason full of flavorful moves rarely seen in the NFL.

Wentz rose to prominence as the quarterback of the NDSU Bison in college, a perennial FCS powerhouse. He shot up the draft boards and became the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, right behind Jared Goff, who was also traded this offseason for Matthew Stafford.

Wentz has always been a real meat and potatoes guy, a hunter through and through. The gamey quarterback seemed to be the perfect garnish on top of the Eagles organization in his first two years, throwing for nearly 50 touchdowns, and being named a second-team All-Pro in 2017.

After that, it seemed like NFL defenses cured their Wentz issue, and the quarterback was cooked. Opposing defensive coordinators started peppering Wentz with different looks and schemes, and he got smoked.

In the last three seasons, he only won 17 games. His completion percentage became more and more thinly-sliced each year; going from a career-high 69.6% in 11 games in 2018, to a career-worst 57.4% in 12 games last season.

How a career that started off with so much sizzle has dried up so quickly is hard to fathom. It appeared Wentz was braised with all of the physical and mental skills needed to be a top-flight quarterback. The way he has butchered his on field performance the past few years has been wildly surprising.

A fresh start with a new organization may be just what he needs to get lean on the bad play, find some organic success, and become that prime quarterback he was his first few years in the NFL.

It’s Literally Impossible for The Baltimore Orioles to Make the Playoffs

Photo: Sports HD Wallpapers

Baltimore Orioles fans, if there are any of you left…look away.

FanGraphs, who describes themselves as “[y]our home for advanced baseball analysis and stats” released their projections for all 30 MLB team’s chances at making the playoffs in 2021:

Seems fairly benign, right? A few surprises here and there, but check out that last line item on the AL East projections…

Nothing? Not a single chance in the entire world that the Baltimore Orioles make a miracle run to the postseason? Even the Colorado Rockies, who traded away their best player this offseason and share a division with the defending World Series champion Dodgers and most exciting team in baseball in the San Diego Padres, have a 0.1% chance of making it. Zero chance?! Literally absolutely impossible, according to FanGraphs.

The beginning of baseball season is always a great feeling. The weather is warming up around the country, spring training is done, and it’s time to get to the games that count. Hope springs eternal that this year might be the year your team hoists the World Series Trophy. For FanGraphs to just cut the legs out from the baseball community in Baltimore before the season even starts is just brutal. Scientifically proven, but just brutal.

I hope Chris Davis, Trey Mancini, and the other 37 Orioles on the 40-man roster who I’ve never heard of take this disrespect and shove it in FanGraphs face. Use this as motivation to outperform those pesky analytics, show everyone in baseball what you’re truly capable of, and exceed all expectations by losing less than 120 games next season.

Go Birds!

Sunday State of Mind: February 8th-February 14th

Happy Valentines Day! A holiday associated with poetry is a perfect time to drop this week’s SSM.

The Tampa Bay Bucs had their Super Bowl parade
Appeared the entire team was drinking vodka lemonade
The visuals from the entire day were just so great
Who says no to next year Brady getting number eight?

The Houston Texans have released JJ Watt
An organization in flux, change happening a lot
A formerly great offense, and that defense was mean
Next year looks like it’s trending towards 0-16

The Cubs and Jake Arrieta are running it back
The Cy Young winner, rejoining the pack
In a rotation that’s lacking, Jake could be a guide
And stabilize a weakness next year on the North Side

We got old school Melo this week, absolutely silly
Sixteen fourth quarter points in a win against Philly
Carmelo had 24 points as the Blazers sixth man
Portland fifth in the West, things going to plan

The Aughts Hot or Not – Blink 182 “First Date”

Photo: YouTube

It’s 2001, you come home from school and throw some pizza rolls in the microwave. Homework? Nah. Shut the door to your room and throw Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in the PS2. Are you going with Bucky Lasek, Bob Burnquist, or Chad Muska? Doesn’t matter, all three of them shred so hard.

As great as the THPS soundtrack is, sometimes you have to switch it up a bit. So you grab that trapper keeper that held all of your CDs, and find Blink 182’s classic album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. You meander through the first few songs, until you get to the third track, “First Date.”

All is good in the world.

Music Video

There is so much going on in this music video and I absolutely love the chaos. A totally random and unexplained anecdote of Tom DeLonge kissing his brother starts the video off right before Travis Barker begins the musical proceedings.

If the costumes and grainy footage didn’t give it away, we quickly learn the setting for the video is El Segundo, California in 1974. Shaggy hair, handlebar mustaches, and short shorts all around. We see the band start to roll around town in their Volkswagen van, exiting accompanied by a plume of smoke, and driving with an “Ass, Gas, of Grass” bumper sticker on the back fender.

Around the 1:45 mark, we get to, in my humble option, the climax of the video…the wiffle ball scene. Both hilarious and sad, the wiffle ball bat gets launched, and caught in the poor girl with the headgear’s bike spokes. She takes a mighty tumble over the handlebars and rolls away crying and ashamed. Sad indeed.

The hilarious part is that this moment produced what is one of the most popular GIFs used today:

At their peak, the guys from Blink 182 were such visionaries they were creating visual art that would become one of the best GIFs we have, 15 years before the medium even became a popular form of communication. Truly forward-thinking stuff.

The remainder of the video is a trip to the water park and go-kart track, where we get some awkward ass slapping, shrinkage jokes, and peeing on the side of the go-kart track. We finish off by getting an update on where the guys are know; Travis drives go-karts full time, Spaulding (Mark) still lives in his van, and Boomer (Tom) is currently in prison for undisclosed reasons. A fitting end to this group of dimwits we’re introduced to in this video.

Best Lyric

I dread the thought of our very first kiss
A target that I’m probably gonna miss

Not only are these great lyrics, they’re totally savvy. Blink knew exactly what they were doing here. They had the early aughts, punk rock, teen angst crowd wrapped around their finger. You just know there were millions of 13-17 year olds who felt these lines in their bones.

Another thing that I love about Blink 182 and bands of the like, is the punk rock accent they threw out there when singing, have you ever noticed that? A lot of elongated A’s and ending words with an “auuuugghhh” sound. You can read the lyrics above in what would be considered a normal voice, but they actually sound like:

I draaad the thoight auhv our vaary feeurst keeis
A taurgut thaaat owime praubly geeonna meeis

You know I’m right.

Worst Lyric

Is it cool if I hold your hand?
Is it wrong if I think it’s lame to dance?

A few pros and cons here. Asking permission to hold someone’s hand, definite pro. Thinking it’s lame to dance, definite con. Starting the song off with a shaky lyric; con. Having the song only get better after said start, pro.

Just because I love it so much, let’s get phonetic and read how these lyrics actually sound coming from Tom DeLonge:

Ees eiut kewl eif I hold yer haaaund?
Ees eiut wraung eif I theenk eiut’s lame tuh daaaunce?

You know I’m right.

Rating

It’s a shame that Blink 182 has gone through their fair share of break ups, reunions, and re-break ups. The band currently still consists of Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. Tom DeLonge has gone his separate way, and has gotten really into aliens, which I’m all for. But I think we would all be glad to see the three members that made up the band at their peak get back together at some point. A great band, and one of their top songs.

Rating: 8 Carson Daly’s

Sunday State of Mind: February 1st-February 7th

Photo: The Wow Style

Super Bowl Sunday, what a rollercoaster. The excitement of the biggest game of the year and just like that…the season’s over. We take it quarter by quarter in this week’s SSM.

Bit of a slow first quarter, 7-3
Big play was the first Brady to Gronk TD
Would the early deficit have the Chiefs feeling blue?
Let’s move our recap on, to quarter number two

Second quarter, guess who?
Brady to Gronk, TD number two!
Bucs looked good and were rolling at half
Brady beating Mahomes, the old bull vs. the young calf

Third quarter, more Bucs, Tampa kept adding on
Bucs looking like kings, Chiefs looking like pawns
Fournette got in on the touchdown party
Bucs showed up on time, Chiefs showed up tardy

We all saw it coming from the jump
Tom Brady and the Bucs get over the hump
Another incredible chapter in the Tom Brady story
For the seventh time, TB12 hoists the Lombardi Trophy

Praise Whatever Higher Power You Believe In – EA Sports NCAA Football is Back

Our long national nightmare is over, folks.

On Tuesday, EA Sports dropped a bomb on all of us with a Jordan-esque tweet:

This is such a sweet day for all of us who grew up with a Playstation, PS2, Xbox, or Xbox 360 in our adolescent bedrooms who would pop this bad boy in and be entertained for hours. From the Heisman Challenge in the 2013 version, to Vince Young (or QB#10 on Texas, wink wink) being essentially unstoppable, the NCAA Football franchise was a way of life.

Then 2013 came. Denard Robinson was the cover athlete of what would become the last edition of NCAA Football we would get for the foreseeable future. After a class action lawsuit by former NCAA players, production of one of the best sports video game franchises we had was shut down.

To be fair, the case had merit; how would you feel if your likeness was being used for millions of dollars of profit and you weren’t seeing a dime? That’s another conversation for a different day.

But we’ve somehow made it eight long years without a NCAA Football video game. We paid our dues, been patient, and we are finally being rewarded.

Today, we are all Andy Dufresne.

And William Wallace.

And Rocky.

Thank you, EA Sports, for bringing back something that brought so much joy to so many. We look forward to running the option to perfection on our consoles very soon.

Sunday State of Mind: January 25th-January 31st

Photo: wallup.net

If you’re reading this in the midwest, you’re likely experiencing apocalyptic snow. Grab a blanket, stay inside, and enjoy this week’s SSM.

A blockbuster trade in the NFL
A rare sight indeed, a cold day in hell
Jared Goff and Matt Stafford, a quarterback swap
The Rams on their way to the NFC’s hilltop

Another big name on the move this week
Nolan Arenado to Cardinals, Card fans freak
Nolan does have an opt out option after 2021
The NL Central hoping he’s one and done

The Brooklyn Nets have won four in a row
After a slightly slow start, the big three on a roll
They’re scoring 126 points per game during this recent hot streak
Unless you’re Philly or Milwaukee, in the East it looks bleak