Sunday State of Mind: September 12th-September 18th

Photo: Redbook

Another week of sports has come to an end. Another edition of SSM is about to begin.

New York Jets a huge comeback, the Browns just could not close
Jets fans feeling the win, there are so few of those
Down two scores, two minutes left, Cleveland had it all but won
Mental errors and screwups, all their hard work undone

Another comeback winner, Fins Up Dolphin fans
Ravens thought they had the win, Tua had other plans
Six touchdowns, a ton of yards, Miami 2-0
Coach McDaniel and the Fins putting on quite a show

All rise for Aaron Judge, just continues to rake
Fifty nine home runs this year is clearly no mistake
He should catch Ruth, Maris, and Sosa, probably not Bonds
Sixteen games left on the year, let’s see how he responds

The Las Vegas Aces, WNBA champs
Took the series 3-1, put Connecticut in clamps
Becky Hammon, rookie coach, didn’t mean a thing
Did what she does best, coached hard, and got herself a ring

Sunday State of Mind: September 5th-September 11th

Photo: Dreamstime

We continue a longstanding tradition here at UDS by dedicating an entire SSM to Week One NFL action.

Big start on Thursday night, Rams and the Bills
Pregame program was legit, full of fluff and frills
The game was in LA, but plenty Bills fans there
Josh Allen and the boys came out and won the game with flair

Sunday start in the dirty, Falcons and the Saints
Start of football season, we have no complaints
Something so familiar, Falcons had an early lead
They coughed it up and lost, almost guaranteed

Browns and the Panthers, Baker revenge bowl
He wanted to win this game with his entire soul
Browns came out and played, got a surprising win
Panthers almost came back, there’s a positive spin

The San Francisco 49ers are used to good weather
The conditions in Chicago, they were different all together
It rained and rained and rained some more, really came down strong
A nice win for the Bears in a season that might be long

Steelers and the Bengals, an AFC North tilt
Bengals came in walking tall, like a man on stilts
Five turnovers for Joe Burrow, not like him at all
Even so, we had OT, but the Bengals did fall

Eagles and the Lions, closer than we expected!
Coming into the day, thought this game would be neglected
Lions got down early, then almost came back
Lot of money on the Eagles, banks almost attacked

Texans and the Colts, folks we have a tie
Same score in regulation, OT, and then the game died
Feels like a win for Houston, Indy can not be psyched
Have to think a blowout win is what they would’ve liked

Patriots and Dolphins, Miami’s brand new look
Mike McDaniel’s offense had Bill Belichick’s D shook
Tua looked OK, Tyreek and Waddle balled
Dolphin fans ecstatic, Pats fans are appalled

Ravens and the Jets, Flacco revenge game
Cool Joe did play pretty well, can’t give him much blame
Lamar Jackson’s on a mission, wants to get that big money
Three touchdowns and Ravens win, L-Jack sweet as honey

Jags and the Commanders, this game just seemed weird
First game for Carson Wentz in DC, brought his big red beard
Jaguars were close to grabbing a week one win
At least until week two for victories to begin

Giants and the Titans, King Henry and Saquon
The Titan bruised along, Giant looked like a swan
Another crazy comeback, as New York did their job
Titans played tough in the first half, but ended like slobs

Cardinals and the Chiefs, and a new look KC
Went to Arizona, first opportunity
To see if they still had it after losing some big stars
Five tuddy’s for Pat Mahomes, he did not go too far

Chargers and the Raiders, matchup in LA
Justin Herbert is a stud, and he was on display
Three touchdowns and no picks, his team is 1-0
Raiders have a nice roster, only upwards to go

Vikings and the Packers, A-Rod needs to some talent
He can’t go out and win himself, they guy’s only so gallant
Story is not about him though, Vikings looked pretty good
Kirk Cousins was really sharp, was he misunderstood?

Buccaneers and Cowboys, Sunday night in Dallas
Jerry Jones must love it when we’re focused on his palace
Tough break for Big Jer, as Tom Brady is still here
TB12 wins again, will for 100 years

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

Photo: Good Fon

The dog days of summer are about to come to an end, and this week’s SSM is about to begin.

Week zero college football, back in a minor way
Next week all of the big boys, will come out to play
Still great to have real games, that actually count
I think we all missed college football quite a large amount

The sad downside of football, injuries occur
The rough part of the game that none of us prefer
You never want to see a player get carted off the field
But Poe was hurt, really bad, hope he will soon heal

A monster baseball contract, pen to ink this week
Julio Rodríguez wins again, continues his hot streak
Fourteen years, $200 mil, that much is guaranteed
Seattle is a great sports town, this is the guy they need

Big weekend for the Mariners, and their GOAT Ichiro
Inducted to their Hall of Fame, should’ve happened years ago
The baseball Hall of Fame is not far down the road
An incredible player with everything he showed

A bad break for the Thunder, and their big draft pick
Chet Holmgren’s gonna miss the season, Oklahoma sick
It happened in a pro-am, trying to guard The King
LeBron hit him a little hard, made Chet’s little foot sting

Panthers Hire Noted Sex Symbol Ben McAdoo as Their New Offensive Coordinator

Look at him, drink in every inch of that perfectly tailored suit.

The NFL got better on Friday when the Carolina Panthers announced the hiring of Ben McAdoo as their new offensive coordinator. Before Pete Davidson was the sexiest man in New York, Coach McAdoo held that title. The former Giants head coach last prowled the sidelines in 2017 with the G-men, and had been in consulting roles with the Jaguars and Cowboys since he was unjustly fired in New York.

An undervalued offensive mind, Big Bad Ben brings the twisted steel and sex appeal the Panthers were looking for in their search. The titillating teacher of offense graced the Giants with his beautiful brain during an incredible run that started in 2016 and unfortunately ended in 2017.

According to Pro Football Reference and The Football Database, this polymath of passing and play action’s highlights include, but are not limited to:

  • 2016: ranked 26th in scoring offense, ahead of juggernauts like the Bears, Jets, and Browns
  • 2016: ranked 29th in rushing, beating out dependable runners like Theo Riddick of the Lions and Jerick McKinnon of the Vikings
  • 2016: ranked 17th in passing, out-throwing big arms like Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins and Brock Osweiler of the Texans
  • 2017: ranked 31st in scoring offense, blowing the Browns out of the water (just like 2016)
  • 2017: ranked 26th in rushing, a huge improvement from 2016 and outrushing big hitters like Kerwynn Williams of the Cardinals and Samaje Perine of the Washington Football Team
  • 2017: ranked 19th in passing, this extremely slight drop from 2016 can easily be explained by the improved rushing attack and becoming a more balanced offense. Even with all of that, that stellar offense had more passing yards than Joe Flacco’s Ravens and Jacoby Brissett’s Colts

Absolute fireworks. If you’re a Carolina Panther fan today, I don’t know how you’re containing your excitement. Go buy those season tickets because they’ll be flying off the shelf after this announcement. Go out and get that “Panthers Super Bowl Champs 2023” tattoo. Name your next born “Benjamin.” There are no rules after organization shifting hires like Coach McAdoo.

You’ve got yourself a stud…ride that pony all the way to the Lombardi Trophy.

Sunday State of Mind: September 20th-September 26th

Photo: Webneel

Weeks come and weeks go. The only constant is change; and Sunday State of Mind.

La’el Collins, what the bloody hell?
Bid any chance truthfulness a nice and quick farewell
He tried to bribe his drug test taker, because he broke the rules
Confirming he’s a liar, thought he could take us all for fools

The St. Louis Cardinals are hot as can be
They cannot be stopped, and are 1,000 degrees
Playing their best baseball at the perfect time
To a Cubs fans like me, this equates to a crime

The Ryder Cup, finally has returned to the States
Steve Stricker’s squad selections played better than great
Europe had won four of five, the cup resided there
The time has finally come for USA to have their share

We saw a new record, in the NFL
Justin Tucker of the Ravens, who kicks the football well
Hit a game-winning field goal, a 66 yard boot
Tough beat for the Lions, still in a victory pursuit

Who Wore it Best? 29-20

Photo: Dr. Odd

We’ve arrived at an incredibly important edition of “Who Wore It Best.” In our latest, we’re digging into the roaring 20’s. Let’s find out together who made the cut in this extremely paramount, career-defining list.

29 – Eric Dickerson

Photo: SB Nation

His athletic excellence barely surpassed that of the rec specs. Dickerson put together the greatest single season rushing the football in 1984, going for an NFL record 2,105 yards. He wasn’t just a one season wonder, however. Before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999, Dickerson was a five time first team All-Pro, four time rushing leader, has his number 29 retired by the LA Rams, and is in the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor.

Honorable Mentions: Adrian Beltre, Ken Dryden, Marc-André Fleury

28 – Marshall Faulk

Back to back running backs who played for the Rams and Colts. Much like Dickerson, Faulk both has his number retired by the Rams as well as being a member of the Colts Ring of Honor. Unlike Dickerson, Faulk has a Super Bowl ring. He also tacked on a MVP, three offensive player of the year awards, as well as three first team All-Pro selections.

Honorable Mentions: Bert Blyleven, Curtis Martin, Darrell Green

27 – Vladimir Guerrero Sr.

Photo: SB Nation

Vlad the Impaler was a 2018 Hall of Fame inductee. He earned his spot in Cooperstown after winning the 2004 MVP, hitting 449 career home runs while maintaining a .318 career batting average, and winning an incredible eight Silver Slugger awards.

Honorable Mentions: Eddie George, Scott Rolen

26 – Rod Woodson

Photo: SB Nation

Rod Woodson was one of the best ball hawks to ever do it; picking off 71 balls in his 17 NFL seasons. He was also a vital member of one of the greatest defenses of all time, the Super Bowl XXXV champion Baltimore Ravens. All of this (and more) cumulated in an induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Honorable Mention: Wade Boggs

25 – Barry Bonds

Photo: CNN

Even before he went to the Giants and things…changed; Barry Bonds was one of the greatest players in baseball. In his seven seasons in Pittsburgh before moving to San Francisco, Bonds was a three time NL MVP, won five Gold Gloves, and five Silver Slugger awards.

Honorable Mention: Fred Biletnikoff

24 – Willie Mays

Photo: Pinterest

Absolute stacked number here, but Mays takes the cake. The stats are gawdy; 660 home runs, 1,903 RBI, and 338 stolen bases. Along the way Mays made 24 All-Star games, won twelve Gold Gloves, two NL MVPs, and a World Series in 1954.

Honorable Mentions: Ken Griffey Jr., Rickey Henderson, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Ramirez, Rick Barry, Champ Bailey, Chris Chelios

23 – Michael Jordan

Photo: Yardbarker

Next question.

Honorable Mentions: LeBron James, Ryne Sandberg, Devin Hester

22 – Emmitt Smith

Photo: USA Today

Emmitt Smith did it all in his 15 NFL seasons. The league’s all time leading rusher (18,355 yards) won three Super Bowls, the 1993 NFL MVP, was a four time first team All-Pro, and lead the NFL in touchdowns three separate seasons.

Honorable Mentions: Clayton Kershaw, Elgin Baylor, Roger Clemens

21 – Deion Sanders

Photo: SFGate

The swagiest swag that ever swagged. Deion was, and still is, one of the most raw athletes we’ve ever seen. He wasn’t too bad on the field either. Prime’s got two Super Bowl rings, six first team All-Pro selections, and is a member of both the 90’s All-Decade and NFL 100th Anniversary Teams. Oh, and he also played in the MLB for nine seasons. He was a .263 career hitter, with 39 home runs, 168 RBI, and 186 stolen bases. Absolute baller.

Honorable Mentions: Roberto Clemente, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, LaDainian Tomlinson, Stan Mikita, Peter Forsberg

20 – Barry Sanders

Photo: Giant Bomb

The twitchiest running back we’ve ever seen, just absolutely stupid stuff. A combo Heisman winner and NFL MVP, the four time first team All-Pro ran for over 15,000 yards and almost 100 touchdowns. Pretty good for a guy who retired early.

Honorable Mentions: Frank Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Gary Payton, Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins

The numbers get lower, and the lists get better. How about 24 and 21 just absolutely cleaning house? All four major sports represented on each. This was a great edition of “Who Wore It Best,” and we can only assume the names will get hotter the next time around.

Who Wore it Best? 59-50

Photo: Dr. Odd

The dog days are over, the dog days are done, and “Who Wore it Best” has returned. In this edition, we’re checking out the GOATs of the 50’s.

59 – London Fletcher

Photo: Pinterest

One of the most underrated players in NFL history. Fletcher racked up 2,031 tackles, four Pro Bowls, and a Super Bowl ring in 16 seasons. He also never missed a game, which is incredible considering the beating an NFL linebacker takes season in and season out.

Honorable Mentions: Luke Kuechly, Carlos Carrasco, Jack Ham

58 – Jack Lambert

This man was MEAN. One of the stalwarts in the Steel Curtain Defense of the 70’s, Lambert racked up pretty much any award that was available. Six time first team All-Pro, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Papelbon

57 – Johan Santana

Johan Santana had some nasty stuff. Over his 12 year career, he won 139 games while maintaining a career 3.20 ERA, was a two-time Cy Young winner, and tacked on a Gold Glove in 2007. “No-han” threw an unbelievable 134-pitch no hitter in 2012.

Honorable Mention: Rickey Jackson

56 – Lawrence Taylor

Photo: Seriable

Lawrence Taylor was an absolute DAWG. We’ve gushed over LT in previous blogs, but he’s that good that we’re going to do it again. Two Super Bowls, an MVP, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, and eight first team All-Pros are just a fraction of what Taylor accomplished over his incredible career.

Honorable Mention: Mark Buehrle

55 – Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo was way more than his infamous finger wag; he was a defensive stud. Mutombo lead the NBA in blocks three times and rebounds twice. He made eight All-Star games, won Defensive Player of the Year four times, and has his number retired by two different franchises in the Nuggets and Hawks.

Honorable Mentions: Junior Seau, Orel Hershiser

54 – Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher was the epitome of a Chicago Bears middle linebacker. He played his entire 13-year career in Chicago; tallying 1,361 tackles, two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and four first team All-Pros. The eight time Pro Bowler was also named to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team.

Honorable Mentions:
Goose Gossage, Horace Grant, Randy White, Zach Thomas

53 – Artis Gilmore

Photo: NBA.com

Artis Gilmore was a stud in both the ABA and NBA. If you combine his career between both leagues, he was the Rookie of the Year, an MVP, made 11 All-Star games, and scored a shade under 25,000 points.

Honorable Mentions: Bobby Abreu, Mick Tingelhoff

52 – Ray Lewis

Photo: Zimbio

Say what you will about the overzealous speeches, or don’t say anything about the off field issues, but Ray Lewis could flat out ball. Two Super Bowls (including MVP in one), two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and a seven time first team All-Pro.

Honorable Mentions: CC Sabathia, Patrick Willis, Clay Matthews

51 – Randy Johnson

The Big Unit! Easily one of the most dominant pitchers we’ve seen. Johnson ended his 22-year career with a 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 303 wins, a perfect game, one no hitter, five Cy Young trophies, and was the MVP of one of the biggest World Series upsets when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 2001.

Honorable Mention: Dick Butkus

50 – David Robinson

The very rare story of a service academy athlete becoming one of the best to do it in professional sports. Robinson reached the rank of lieutenant during his three years of service in the Navy, a great achievement. He wasn’t a bad basketball player either; in three separate seasons he lead the NBA in points, rebounds, and blocks. The Admiral also won Rookie of the Year, MVP, and two championships.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Singletary, Corey Crawford

A lot of solid athletes in the 50’s; strong showing by football and baseball. A severe lack of hockey here; will they recover in the 40’s? We’ll have to wait and see…

Round One Reaction From the NFL Draft

Loud suits, awkward bear hugs, and dreams coming true. The NFL Draft comes around every April and becomes a bigger spectacle every year. Seeing these mutant freak athletes break down and hug mom or family when their name is called never fails to deliver.

On Thursday, we got our annual helping of all of the feels, Roger Godell being weird, and grainy war room footage when the NFL started the clock on their 2021 Draft. Some picks were locks, some were surprises, and we were there for all of it.

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars: more like Trevor Snorerence, amirite? This pick was made the day Lawrence declared he was leaving Clemson and going to the NFL.

2. Zach Wilson, QB, New York Jets: a small town millennial moves to the big city after college; will he survive or succumb to the pressures of professional life in New York? Turns out it wasn’t the destination that was important, but the journey along the way. Sounds like a rom-com in the making.

3. Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers: drafting a QB who has barely played in college, what could go wrong?

4. Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons: despite having a god awful defense, you can’t blame the Falcons for drafting a guy that could very well be the best player in this draft fourth overall.

5. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: yeah, no, Joe Burrow doesn’t need a left tackle, he’s fine.

6. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins: Jaylen careens, dodders, and staggers his way to South Beach.

7. Penei Sewell, OT, Detroit Lions: “Dantallica” has his left tackle, now he just needs a quarterback.

8. Jaycee Horn, CB, Carolina Panthers: this kid has to be good if he came from the loins of the man responsible for one of the greatest celebrations of all time.

9. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Denver Broncos: Surtain’s dad was a stud in Madden 2004, so the kid has to be good right?

10. DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: fun fact: Smith’s Heisman Trophy is heavier than DeVonta himself.

11. Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears: not here to make a joke about the Bears trading up for a quarterback…that’s old, played out, and I already did it earlier on the Trey Lance pick.

12. Micah Parsons, LB, Dallas Cowboys: Jerr-uh Jones, human embodiment of The Rich Texan from The Simpsons, rangles himself up another solid linebacker.

13. Rashawn Slater, OT, Los Angeles Chargers: Slater gets the best of both worlds; he gets to live in LA and won’t have the pressure of fans showing up to games to boo him if he struggles.

14. Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, New York Jets: the Jets pledge their Alija-nce to their new QB Zach Wilson, by getting him some protection in Vera-Tucker.

15. Mac Jones, QB, New England Patriots: I now have no doubt that Mac Jones will become the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.

16. Zaven Collins, LB, Arizona Cardinals: the worst part about this pick is that we didn’t get a sneak peak into Kliff Kingsbury’s sexy bachelor pad like we did last year.

17. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Las Vegas Raiders: can you imagine the culture shock of moving from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Las Vegas?

18. Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami Dolphins: very cool story here; this guy went from retiring in college to a first round pick.

19. Jamin Davis, LB, Washington Football Team: The Washington Football Team picked a football player to play for their football team…football.

20. Kadarius Toney, WR, New York Giants: men with that namesake in the greater New York metropolitan area always take care of business…great pick here by the G-Men.

21. Kwity Paye, DE, Indianapolis Colts: Jim Irsay, as he is known to do, focuses on the line.

22. Caleb Farley, CB, Tennessee Titans: the fact that I get duped into thinking this is Chris Farley anytime I read this guy’s name makes me hate this pick.

23. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Minnesota Vikings: another devout Christian on the Vikings offense.

24. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: stop me if you’ve heard this before: “Alabama player drafted in the first round.”

25. Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: just like the 2019 Masters, Tigers back in Jacksonville.

26. Greg Newsome II, CB, Cleveland Browns: the second first rounder from Northwestern…what the hell is going on?

27. Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Bateman’s quarterback in college looks like he’s twice the age of Lamar Jackson…so he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

28. Payton Turner, DE, New Orleans Saints: Turner’s first name breaks down to “big pay day.” Good things in the future for this guy.

29. Eric Stokes, CB, Green Bay Packers: an inspired pick that will for sure distract all of us from the Aaron Rodgers news.

30. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Buffalo Bills: this dude definitely looks like he could go through some tables.

31. Jayson Oweh, LB, Baltimore Ravens: this guys last name sounds like a surprised Canadian.

32. Joe Tryon, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: some pass rush ability for this prospect, but a definite raw talent. The Super Bowl champs are going to take a flyer and try on the linebacker from Washington.

It was a glorious night for the above-mentioned 32 players and their families. After all of the pomp and circumstance of draft night one, it really makes me want to time warp to Week 1 in the fall. Rounds 2-7 will have to do for now.

Sunday State of Mind: January 11th-January 17th

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

NFL Divisional Playoff weekend has come and gone. We’re here to wax poetic about it in this week’s SSM.

First game of the weekend, hosted by Green Bay
The Packers really took it to the Rams of LA
Aaron Rodgers continued his MVP run
The Rams are headed home, back to the California sun

The Bills and Ravens in upstate New York
Buffalo’s in the AFC Championship, pop the cork
The Ravens fall again in the second round
Someday soon Lamar will be Super Bowl bound

The Cleveland Browns had a nice playoff run
But they met the Chiefs, and now they’re done
Patrick Mahomes continues to roll
If he beats the Bills, he’s off to another Super Bowl

Bucs and Saints, Tom Brady again
Went down to New Orleans, came out with a win
Brady vs. Rodgers next week, up in Lambeau
All time QB matchup, who says no?

Sunday State of Mind: November 23rd-November 29th

We took some time to give thanks this week, and ignored the blog while doing so. But we’re back, and ready to review what we missed in the past seven days in this week’s Sunday State of Mind.

The Match 3 went down, teeing off on Friday
Phil, Chuck, Peyton, and Steph were excited to play
In a big upset, Charles Barkley played well
Chuck and Phil won 4 & 3, Peyton and Steph fell

Some more random sports, Mike Tyson is back!
He fought Roy Jones Jr., but the excitement lacked
It wasn’t a full match, only an exhibition spar
The “fight” was a draw, and was as slow as tar

Moving on to real sports, college basketball
A little behind schedule, still started in late fall
It’s great to see action back on the hardwood
A small step towards things feeling more like they should

Hate to beat a dead horse, but COVID’s still here
Ravished the Ravens, a realized fear
The MVP Lamar Jackson had a positive test
Ravens/Steelers delayed six days, not the best