Sunday State of Mind: September 6th-September 12th

Photo: Phys.org

One of the best weekends in all of sports has arrived. The NFL is back and majority of the games have been played. Our annual tradition (one year running) of dedicating Week 1 a full SSM lives on.

We got started on Thursday, Bucs and the ‘Boys
Another year of Tom Brady making defenses his toys
Bucs held off Dak and his squad, escaped by only two
TB12 keeps playing, wins continue to accrue

Seahawks and the Colts, met up at Lucas Oil
Indy’s Week 1 hopes, did Russell Wilson spoil
Seattle starts their campaign with a big road win
Seahawks may be on a Super Bowl run once again

Jaguars and the Texans, oof these teams are bad
Might see plenty of Urban, eating pizza while so sad
Houston beat the Jags, must give them their due
Texans should enjoy it now, wins likely to be few

Eagles and the Falcons, battle of the birds
Falcons defense is so bad, it’s hard to put in words
Jalen Hurts went out and looked like an All-Pro
Good start for The Eagles, still a long way to go

Chargers and The Football Team, met up in DC
What could be a high powered LA offense only put up 20
It was enough to get the win, Justin Herbert lead the way
Win whatever way you can on any given Sunday

Steelers and the Bills, upset of the week
Pittsburgh should not have have won this game, but played up at their peak
The Bills seem to be loaded, plenty of wins ahead
Getting off to a slow start should be a short term dread

Lions and 49ers, surprisingly high score
Bit of a shocker here, thought this game would be a bore
Still as most of us thought, Niners came out on top
If San Fran keeps this offense up, they will be hard to stop

Bengals and the Vikings, week 1 overtime
Burrow versus Cousins, both were throwing dimes
Cincinnati held on, OT field goal, victory
Brutal for all of us out there with Vikings -3

Panthers and the Jets, Darnold revenge game
Played well against his former team, victory was claimed
Zach Wilson threw two tuddys in his NFL debut
Probably won’t take too long for Jets fans to start to boo

Cardinals and the Titans, down in Tennessee
Arizona offense humming, lead by Kyler Murray
Disappointing start for Derrick Henry, Tractorcito
Shouldn’t be a huge concern, sure he’ll find his flow

Cleveland Kansas City, Browns and the Chiefs
Brownies lead most of the game, their stay on top not brief
Cleveland had more than a shot, fan’s mouths began to foam
But we’ve all seen this before, comeback Patrick Mahomes

Patriots and Dolphins, ‘Bama QB battle
Tua and Mac Jones, young guns back in the saddle
It was Fins Up in New England though, Dolphins with the dub
Mac played well in his debut, joined the NFL Club

Broncos and the Giants, in the Meadowlands
Giants had a chance to win, slipped right through their hands
Teddy Two Gloves did his job, Melvin Gordon too
If Saquon doesn’t get more run, G-Men will be 0-2

Packers and the Saints, Jamies was the best
Quarterback in this game, Rodgers did not impress
New Orleans won the game, difference of five touchdowns
Potential last season for A-Rod, started with a frown

Nightcap in LA, Rams versus the Bears
Rams have themselves a real QB, defenses should be scared
Stafford and McVay could be a coach/QB combo
To get back to the Super Bowl, in short time we’ll know

Sunday State of Mind: August 16th-August 22nd

Yesterday was Saturday, tomorrow is Monday. That can only mean one thing; we’re in a Sunday State of Mind.

A preseason homecoming, for Mitchell Trubisky
Came back to Chicago, was feeling quite frisky
Blew his former team out, Bills took it to the Bears
But keyword is preseason, so honestly who cares

From one quote this weekend, we may have seen the last
Of Larry Fitzgerald, sounds like football’s in his past
If this is it for Fitz, would be a full blown shame
On the other hand, he’d be en route to the Hall of Fame

It finally happened, 500 for Miggy
Went deep today, and this one’s a biggy
The 28th member of the 500 club
Big guy’s always been far from a baseball scrub

The poor Baltimore Orioles, just can’t win a game
Their last W was August 2nd, from then the L’s came
When given the chance the win, the O’s just simply scoff
I guess the preseason numbers where right on their chances at the playoffs

ShoTime continues in LA, Ohtani keeps mashing
Hit his 40th home run this week, greatness continues flashing
The probable AL MVP, not only doing it at the dish
Is 8-1, 2.79 ERA pitching, a baseball fan’s true wish

Who Wore it Best? 39-30

Photo: Dr. Odd

We’re sadly on the downhill turn of “Who Wore It Best.” In this edition, we get into the 30’s.

39 – Dominik Hašek

Photo: NHL.com

Hot start for hockey! Hašek was one of the greatest goaltenders to ever do it. His career spanned four decades (1980-2011), and included two Stanley Cups, two Hart Memorial trophies, and six Vezina trophies.

Honorable Mention: Larry Csonka

38 – Pavol Demitra

Demitra seemed to be on track to becoming one of the best Czech players in the game. He recorded 768 points in 847 games before sadly passing in a plane accident in 2011.

Honorable Mention: N/A

37 – Patrice Bergeron

Photo: CBS Sports

Bergeron has been a steady force for the Bruins since 2003. A part of the 2011 Stanley Cup winning team, Bergeron also made All-Star games in 2015 and 2016.

Honorable Mention: N/A

36 – Jerome Bettis

“The Bus” comes rumblin’, stumblin’, bumblin’ onto our list at 36. Bettis won a Super Bowl (in his home town of Detroit), was a two time first team All-Pro, and made six Pro Bowls.

Honorable Mention: Gaylord Perry

35 – Kevin Durant

An easy choice for what ended up being a stacked slot. Durant is potentially (based on how much you love/hate Lebron) currently the best basketball player on the planet. In a career with plenty of years left, Durant has already put together an incredible resume. The Slim Reaper has two NBA titles (Finals MVP in both), a regular season MVP, six first team All-NBA selections, and 11 All-Star appearances.

Honorable Mentions: Phil Niekro, Frank Thomas, Aeneas Williams, Tony Esposito

34 – Shaquille O’Neal

Another loaded number of selections here, but the most dominant big man of all time takes the cake. The Big Diesel’s career accolades are almost too much to list: four NBA championships, three NBA Finals MVPs, fifteen All-Star games, and eight first team All-NBA selections.

Honorable Mentions: Nolan Ryan, Kerry Wood, Hakeem Olajuwon, Walter Payton, Thurman Thomas, Earl Campbell

33 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

For as much good as Kareem has done off the court, he was as great on it. Six rings, a matching number of MVPs, 10 first team All-NBA selections, five first team All-Defensive teams, and lead the NBA in blocks in four separate seasons.

Honorable Mentions: Eddie Murray, Scottie Pippen, Zdeno Chára, Henrik Sedin, Dustin Byfuglien

32 – Magic Johnson

Photo: Curbed

We all know how good Magic was as a player. For as good as he was on the court, he may have found his true life’s calling as a hot take artist.

Honorable Mentions: Steve Carlton, Sandy Koufax, Marcus Allen, Jim Brown

31 – Greg Maddux

Photo: Taddlr

Maddux is the second of the 90’s Braves big three to make the list, with Tom Glavine making the cut at 47. Mad Dog ended his 22 year career with 355 wins, 18 Gold Gloves, and four Cy Youngs.

Honorable Mention: Reggie Miller

30 – Terrell Davis

Probably going to be our shortest career to make the list. Davis only played in the NFL from 1995-2001, but was good enough to make the Hall of Fame in 2017. In seven seasons, he racked up two Super Bowls, an MVP, and three first team All-Pro selections.

Honorable Mentions: Tim Raines, Martin Brodeur

The 30’s were by far our most expansive edition yet. Huge names and the honorable mention lists were incredible, specifically 32-35. One can only assume the list is going to keep improving into the 20’s.

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.

Who Wore it Best? 79-70

Photo: Dr. Odd

We continue our fashion countdown of who wore each number best. In this edition, we’re hopping into the 70’s. Will we get more NFL lineman? Will some random hockey or basketball players sneak in? Let’s dive in and find out.

79 – José Abreu

José Abreu has to be up there in the greatest players with the weirdest numbers category. According to Abreu, his mother picked his number so he would stand out. Stand out he has; Abreu was last year’s MVP, has garnered three All-Star selections, and even hit for the cycle in 2017.

Honorable Mention: N/A

78 – Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith is the all-time leader in sacks with an outlandish 200. His resume is long and silly; we won’t waste too much time here, but just know he was named to two different All-Decade teams in the 80’s and 90’s.

Honorable Mention: N/A

77 – Ray Bourque

Bouruqe was one of the best defensemen in NHL history. His offensive numbers are pretty impressive for a defensemen, scoring 1,506 points in 1,518 games played.

Honorable Mention: Vladimir Radmanović

76 – Orlando Pace

Photo: USA Today

Pace was about all you could ask for in a left tackle during his career. In college, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 1996, which is wild enough for a lineman. In the NFL, he earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl, was a three time first team All-Pro, and a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team.

Honorable Mention: PK Subban

75 – Joe Greene

“Mean” Joe Greene was one of the most dominant nose tackles in NFL history. He was a part of the “Steel Curtain” defense that won four Super Bowls in six years for the Steelers in the 70’s. Mean Joe was also named to the 1970’s All-Decade team on top of the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mentions: Barry Zito, Howie Long

74 – Kenley Jansen

Jansen has been absolutely lights out since entering the Majors in 2010. He’s recorded 312 saves, a 2.39 ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP in 636 innings in his career.

Honorable Mention: TJ Oshie

73 – John Hannah

Hannah was a dominant guard for the Patriots from 1973-1985. Over that time, he went to nine Pro Bowls, was a 10 time All-Pro, is a member of the 70’s and 80’s All-Decade teams as well as the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mention: N/A

72 – Sergei Bobrovsky

Bobrovsky has had an impressive run since coming into the NHL with the Flyers in 2010. Since then, he has an impressive .921 save percentage and a 2.41 goals against average.

Honorable Mentions: Carlton Fisk, Dan Dierdorf

71 – Walter Jones

We’ve gushed over Walter Jones before, and we’re here to gush again. A bonafide Hall of Fame left tackle, nine Pro Bowls, four first team All-Pros, and never missed a start in 180 career games.

Honorable Mention: Evgeni Malkin

70 – Dennis Rodman

Photo: ESPN

Who remembers this weird shit? Rodman played 12 games for the Mavs in the 1999-2000 season. Honestly, this is an awful number for this list and we’re obviously stretching here.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Have to be honest, I thought this edition was going to rely heavy on NFL offensive/defensive lineman. Pleasantly surprised with the baseball, hockey, and basketball representation here. On to the 60’s!

Aging Professional Relocates To Warm Climate As Career Dwindles Down

Our long, national nightmare is over folks. On Tuesday, JJ Watt ended his 18 day free agency by announcing that he’s signed with the Arizona Cardinals.

Most reports had Watt’s list of potential next destinations as some kind of combination between the Packers, Bills, Browns, and Steelers. Welp, like this blog, most media is dumb and/or wrong.

JJ told everyone in his home state of Wisconsin, the table-breaking mafia in Buffalo, the Dawg Pound in Cleveland, and his two brothers who play in Pittsburgh to suck it. A total heartbreaker for all involved, besides those in Glendale, of course.

The Cardinals are definitely building, of course with Kyler Murray and former/new Watt teammate DeAndre Hopkins on the offensive side. Watt joins a middle of the pack(ish) defense lead by first team All-Pro Budda Baker and an aging Patrick Peterson. The 2020 Cardinals defense ranked 12th in points allowed, but 22nd in rushing yards, a number that should hopefully improve with Watt joining the defensive line.

So the move is now official. H-Town to the desert, NASA to the Grand Canyon, the rodeo to the Hoover Dam. Much like JJ, I’m looking forward inking a two-year, $31 million dollar contract to round out my career.

Sunday State of Mind: January 18th-January 24th

Photo: Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com

NFL Championship Sunday is done, and the Super Bowl is set. We recap and look forward to Super Bowl LV in this week’s SSM.

Tampa and Green, the battle of the Bays
Tom Brady just wins in so many ways
Bucs are heading to their second Super Bowl
One more win and they’ll accomplish their goal

The Kansas City Chiefs, what more can you say
Andy Reid heading to another Super Bowl Sunday
In today’s NFL, so hard to repeat
Hard to imagine right now, the Chiefs getting beat

So the big game is set, Tampa Bay and Kansas City
This match up, my God, the opposite of a pity
TB12 and Mahomes, makes a fan feel alive
Only two weeks away from Super Bowl 55

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 9th-November 15th

Photo: Vlad Hilitanu on Unsplash

Another weekend come and gone…let’s reflect on the week that was in this weeks SSM.

The Miami Marlins, shattering the ceiling
The team has hired the first female GM, an absolute awesome feeling
Kim Ng has been hired to run the show for the Marlins
Here’s hoping it all goes well, and she leads the team to many wins

The 2020 Masters was as always a treat
Dustin Johnson, simply could not be beat
Yes DJ took home his first green jacket
He’s the #1 golfer in the world, in his own bracket

The Bills and Cardinals, holy shit
Kyler to DeAndre, Cards didn’t quit
On the last extra point, the Cards took a knee
An incredible cover, for those who had Buffalo +3

The Tompa Bay Bucs got back on track
TB12 with four touchdowns, put the team on his back
Ronald Jones went yard with a 98-yard score
The Buccaneers are gelling more and more