Sunday State of Mind: January 3rd-January 9th

Like an old friend, SSM is back to review the week that was in sports.

First week 18 in NFL history
Helped solved some teams playoff mysteries
Titans and Packers are number one seeds
Lead the AFC and NFC, respectively

Big upset that changed some plans
Jags beat the Colts, now they’re playoff banned
Indy won’t move on, their season is done
An all time choke, they were on such a run

A football tradition, all gas and no breaks
Dolphins beat the Pats in a game with no stakes
A one year playoff hiatus for the Pats
But they’re back in the dance, and that is that

In the “coaches probably fired” Super Bowl
Vikings beat the Bears, Skol skol skol
Mike Zimmer and Matt Nagy, things looking grim
Both coaches and their staffs may get trimmed

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

We are in the thick of October. What does that mean? Football, baseball, basketball, and hockey are all getting in gear. We review the week that was in the latest Sunday State of Mind.

Bears and Packers, for the hundredth year
That’s plenty of deep dish, cheese, and beer
Green Bay won again, their fourth in a row
Ten point loss for the Bears, they continue to blow

Another game in foggy London-town
Dolphins and Jags, and the Fins go down!
Jacksonville wins for the first time in ever
Twenty game losing streak now gone forever

The Chicago Sky, crown the queens!
Championship blood in all of their genes
Kahleah Copper lead the way
The Sky are the champs of the WNBA

Four teams left in the MLB rave
Red Sox, Astros, Dodgers, and Braves
A quartet of skilled teams are baseball’s last tenants
Only two will advance and win their league’s pennants

Sunday State of Mind: September 27th-October 3rd

Photo: ArtStation

It’s been a great week in sports. We look back at the greatness in this week’s SSM.

Big name rookie QBs, getting their first wins
Zach Wilson and Justin Fields, weekend winning twins
Few and far between good days, for Jets and Bears fans
Both fan bases should be glad, they both may have their man

Other end of the spectrum, Big Ben’s very old
The end seems very close, his story has been told
Hard to see a scenario in which he won’t get benched
Steelers have a hard decision, need their QB thirst quenched

Baseball season’s winding down, and it’s playoff time
Time for the big boys in the show to start their World Series climb
Dodgers, Giants, and White Sox, among the other teams
Will do whatever they can to win, by any and all means

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

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.

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

Sunday State of Mind: August 9th-August 15th

Sunday, we meet again. The only thing better about the week that was in sports is recapping it, which we do in this week’s SSM.

NFL preseason, everyone’s in play
Learning all their playbooks, skills are in display
Big time rookie quarterbacks getting their first action
Lawrence, Fields, Wilson and more getting their NFL traction

Football coming back also means we get Hard Knocks
We’re talking real football here, not Madden on Xbox
Jerry Jones being weird, salting his McGriddle
Lots of people hate the ‘boys, Hard Knocks might help a little?

No hitters seem to be getting old in the MLB
Story changes a little bit when it is a rookie
Tyler Gilbert threw a no-no in his first start
Guy came out as Target, thought he was more Wal-Mart

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? 49-40

Photo: Dr. Odd

There’s no better feeling than seeing an old friend, and boy do we have that feeling now. Who Wore It Best is back, and we’ve made it into the 40’s.

49 – Ron Guidry

Photo: Pinterest

Guidry had an above average 14 year career with the Yankees. He won 170 games, two World Series rings, and the 1978 Cy Young. That same year, he went 25-3, threw 16 complete games, and notched a stellar 6.1 hits per nine innings.

Honorable Mention: N/A

48 – Daryl “Moose” Johnston

Not exactly a selection based off of stats. “Moose” lead the way as Emmitt Smith’s fullback en route to three Super Bowls in the 90’s.

Honorable Mention: Rick Reuschel

47 – Tom Glavine

Glavine was a part of one of the strongest pitching rotations in baseball – the 90’s Braves with Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. He won 305 games, a World Series, and two Cy Young awards.

Honorable Mention: John Lynch

46 – Andy Pettitte

Photo: Newsday

Not a lot of talent to pick from at 46, but Pettitte will do. He won five World Series trophies with the Yankees, notched 256 W’s, and made three All-Star games. He also had that pesky PED issue but…ya know.

Honorable Menions: N/A

45 – Pedro Martínez

Photo: Fansided

Going against our better judgement here and not choosing MJ; he may just show up later. Pedro is a flawless choice at this slot: the member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class won a World Series, three Cy Youngs, made eight All-Star games, and lead the MLB in ERA in five different seasons.

Honorable Mention: Bob Gibson

44 – Hank Aaron

Photo: CBS Sports

An absolute jam packed category at 44. Hammerin’ Hank won the World Series with the Braves in 1957, won three Gold Gloves, two batting titles, and made the All-Star game TWENTY FIVE times…yes, that is not a typo.

Honorable Mentions: Jerry West, John Riggins, Chris Pronger

43 – Troy Polamalu

Polamalu was a shutdown safety for the Steelers from 2003-2014. He won two Super Bowls, was the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and was a four time First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: Dennis Eckersley

42 – Jackie Robinson

Another no doubter here. Robinson makes the list for breaking the color barrier alone. On top of that, he was a hell of a great player; a World Series champion, MVP, batting champion, and Rookie of the Year.

Honorable Mention: Ronnie Lott

41 – Dirk Nowitzki

Photo: CBS Sports

One in a few of the last batch of superstars to stay with one team their entire career. In his 21 seasons in Dallas, Dirk lead the Mavericks to their only NBA title, was the 2007 MVP, and was a four time first team All-NBA selection.

Honorable Mention: Tom Seaver

40 – Gale Sayers

Photo: WGN

Sayers makes the cut after only five full seasons for the Bears, with injury cutting short what could have been an incredible and long career. In his short time in the NFL, he still managed to be a five time first team All-Pro, lead the NFL in rushing twice, and earned a spot on the NFL’s 50th, 75th, and 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams.

Honorable Mentions: Shawn Kemp, Mike Alstott, Henrik Zetterberg

Wow…who knew the 40’s would be so strong? Baseball really held its own here, pitchers specifically. Poor showing by the NBA here, even worse by the NHL. Maybe they’ll recover in the 30’s? Only time will tell.

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…