Sunday State of Mind: September 19th-September 25th

Save for a few more games, the sports have completed their sportsing this weekend. Let’s look back together at all the happenings in this week’s SSM.

The Albert Pujols show, big episode this week
Joined the 700 club, not bad for an antique
He did it in style, two bombs out in LA
The Yankees home run record keeping Aaron Judge at bay

Tough week in Miami, The U indeed not back
MTSU came to town, Hurricanes blue and black
First year, new coach for the ‘canes, so this isn’t the end
Another upset like this though, things may just start to bend

TB12 and A-Rod, who’s your favorite old QB
On field goat debate, what a thing to see
Could not care less who won the game, what matters to us most
Was how the hell did a bee swarm end up on the goal post?

Colts and the Chiefs, thought this would be easy
By the end of the game Kansas City fans were queasy
Big upset for Indy, Matt Ryan won a big one
Tough loss for the Chiefs, Andy Reid had no fun

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

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: 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

Who Wore it Best? 9-0

Photo: Dr. Odd

What a long, strange journey it’s been. We started all the way at 99, and have now arrived at our final edition of “Who Wore It Best?” Single digits can be tough, but we’re up for the challenge.

9 – Gordie Howe

Photo: Pinterest

I mean, “Mr. Hockey” has to make the list, right? Howe’s career spanned nearly 40 years, in which he won four Stanley Cups, six Hart Trophies, and appeared in the All-Star game 23 times.

Honorable Mentions: Ted Williams, Drew Brees, Bobby Hull, Mike Modano

8 – Kobe Bryant

Photo: Newsday

Maybe the closest we’ll ever get to MJ. We all know Kobe ended his career rocking 24, but he was great enough to take the eight cake. He spent his entire 20 year career with the Lakers, in which he won five NBA Championships, the 2008 MVP, and made 11 All-NBA First Teams.

Honorable Mentions: Joe Morgan, Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken Jr., Yogi Berra, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Alexander Ovechkin

7 – John Elway

The greatest player who was a doppelgänger of their team mascot. But that’s not the only reason Elway makes our list. He held the “couldn’t win the big one” tag his entire career, until he shut everyone up and won back-to-back Super Bowls his last two seasons in the NFL. Even if he wouldn’t have won the two Lombardis, Elway racked up an MVP, nine Pro Bowl selections, and passing title in 1993.

Honorable Mentions: Mickey Mantle, Phil Esposito

6 – Bill Russell

Photo: Photos.com

The man who ran out of fingers for all of his championship rings. Russell won five MVPs, was a four time rebounding champion, and a member of the NBA’s 25th, 35th, and 50th Anniversary Teams.

Honorable Mention: Stan Musial

5 – Albert Pujols

Photo: LA Times

We’ve shown our appreciation for The Machine on this blog before. Pujols’ first 11 years in St. Louis were enough to get the guy in the Hall of Fame. His time with the Angels and Dodgers, while not as great, hasn’t done anything to diminish that. His approximate career numbers have him as a .300 hitter, closing in on 700 home runs, and well over 3,000 hits.

Honorable Mentions: Joe DiMaggio, George Brett, Johnny Bench, Kevin Garnett, Donovan McNabb

4 – Lou Gherig

Next to Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig was the best player on the Yankees during their incredible run in the 20’s and 30’s. Gherig was a part of six World Series championships, was a two time MVP, and won the Triple Crown in 1934.

Honorable Mentions: Brett Favre, Adam Vinatieri, Bobby Orr

3 – Babe Ruth

Keeping it young and fresh with back to back 1920’s Yankees. This one’s a no doubter though; Shohei Ohtaini before Shohei Ohtani. At the plate, The Great Bambino hit 714 home runs, slugged .690, and ended his career with an 1.164 OPS. On the mound, The Colossus of Clout went 94-46, with a 2.28 ERA, and threw 107 complete games.

Honorable Mention: Allen Iverson

2 – Derek Jeter

Christ, enough with the Yankees already. Jeets is an easy choice in a not extremely tough field. The recent Hall of Fame inductee wrapped up an illustrious career with a very succinct five World Series rings, Gold Gloves, and Silver Slugger Awards, as well as 14 All-Star appearances.

Honorable Mention: David Akers, Brian Leetch

1 – Ozzie Smith

Photo: MLB

The best defensive shortstop of all time, and possibly best overall defender ever. Smith won 13 Gold Gloves in 19 seasons. Along the way, he was a part of the 1982 World Series Championship Cardinal team, made 15 All-Star games, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Honorable Mention: Warren Moon

0 – Russell Westbrook

A nice, easy choice to get us to the finish line; not a whole lot of competition at the zero spot. The 2017 MVP is a nine time All-Star, two time All-NBA First Teamer, and is essentially a walking triple double.

Honorable Mention: N/A

We made it, friends. All the way from 99 down to 0. We laughed, we cried, and made some friends along the way. This was a fun project to complete and remember some names that haven’t been brought up in a while. Hopefully this was as interesting to read as it was to write. Who knows what our next series will be…stay tuned.

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

We are on the brink of Thanksgiving break. Thanksgiving football is one of our greatest traditions. But we’re not here to look forward, but back on the week that was in this week’s SSM.

Jonathan Taylor, leading the way
For the winning Colts, five tuddy Sunday
The losses are piling up for the Bills
A bit of a shocker, team usually kills

A real strange league, this NFL
Often leaves us wondering, “what the hell?”
After winning six straight, and facing Houston
The Titans lost, and their win streak is done

We’ve got new MVPs in the MLB
Bryce and Shohei, unanimously
Neither of these studs made it to the postseason
Baseball’s a weird game, for many strange reasons

It took 17 games to get our first ax
Of the NBA season, Luke Walton’s been sacked
The chronically bad Sacramento Kings
Seem so far away from competing for rings

Who Wore it Best? 19-10

Photo: Dr. Odd

The finish line is in sight on our recurring series “Who Wore It Best.” In our penultimate edition, we’re getting into the teens.

19 – Johnny Unitas

Starting off young, fresh, and hip. While 19 turns out to be an incredibly strongly represented number, Unitas is widely known as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. Four championships, three MVPs, and a member of all three of the 50th, 75th and 100th NFL Anniversary Teams gives Johnny U the nod.

Honorable Mentions: Tony Gwynn, Willis Reed, Steve Yzerman, Jonathan Toews

18 – Peyton Manning

Photo: CBS

Back to back Colts quarterbacks to get us started here. A member of the most recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee class, Manning put up some unreal numbers en route to two Super Bowl wins. Manning’s trophy case is busting at the seams with five MVPs, the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year Award, and number retirement plaques for his number 18 in both Indianapolis and Denver.

Honorable Mention: Denis Savard

17 – Todd Helton

Photo: Fansided

Todd Helton played baseball and football at University of Tennessee, and was a teammate of Peyton Manning’s. However, Helton makes our list for his accomplishments on the diamond. Helton retired in 2013 with a career average of .316, 369 home runs, and 2,519 hits. Along the way, he won three Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, and a batting title in 2000.

Honorable Mention: Philip Rivers

16 – Joe Montana

Photo: Esquire

Much like Unitas, Montana is a firm part of the “best quarterback of all-time” conversation. Montana lead the 49ers to four Super Bowl rings, while being the MVP in three of those four wins. One of the more accurate quarterbacks of his time, he lead the NFL in completion percentage five separate seasons.

Honorable Mentions: Whitey Ford, Brett Hull

15 – Bart Starr

If we’re including Johnny Unitas, it’s only fair to involve Bart Starr. The quarterback who lead the Packers to victories in Super Bowls I and II, while winning MVP in both games, finished his career with five championships, a regular season MVP award, and four Pro Bowls.

Honorable Mentions: Carlos Beltran, Jim Edmonds

14 – Pete Rose

Photo: Time

Taking a bit of gamble including Rose on our list, but here we are. The all-time hit king (4,256) does have a stellar on-field resumé. Seventeen All-Star games, three World Series rings, the 1973 NL MVP, and two Gold Gloves.

Honorable Mentions: Ernie Banks, Oscar Robertson, Dan Fouts

13 – Wilt Chamberlain

Photo: SB Nation

Of course the only man to score 100 points in an NBA game is making our list. Wilt the Stilt averaged a silly 30.9 points per game and 22.9 rebounds per game over his 15 year career. He also won two rings, four MVPs, was a seven time scoring champion, as well as an 11 time rebound champion.

Honorable Mentions: Alex Rodriguez, Dan Marino

12 – Tom Brady

Photo: Amazon

The greatest quarterback of all time at the most important position in sports. TB12’s resumé is too long to outline here; but it’s headlined by his seven Super Bowl rings. On top of that, Brady has lead the league at one point in his career in passing touchdowns, yards, and rating.

Honorable Mentions: John Stockton, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Jim Kelly, Joe Namath, Bob Griese, Aaron Rodgers, Jarome Iginla

11 – Mark Messier

Being the center piece of a dynasty goes a long way in lists like these. Messier was the unquestioned leader & captain in Edmonton, where he lead the Oilers to five Stanley Cups. He also became the only player to captain two separate teams to Stanley Cup victories when he lead the Rangers to the cup in 1994.

Honorable Mentions: Barry Larkin, Larry Fitzgerald

10 – Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton walked to Steve Young, Michael Vick, and the like could run. Not only did Tarkenton sling it for 47,003 yards and 342 touchdowns, he also ran for 3,674 yards and 32 touchdowns in his career. Another fun fact: his only MVP season came in 1975, his 15th year in the NFL.

Honorable Mentions: Walt Frazier, Guy Lafleur

Heavy quarterback representation here. Any other noise was a faint whisper from baseball. Abysmal showing by hockey and basketball. We’ll bid farewell to our ongoing series in the next edition of “Who Wore It Best.”

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 2nd-August 8th

We’ve reached the end of another week of sports. We recap in the latest edition of SSM.

Many people doubting, and the takes were bold
But the theme of the weekend, US basketball gold
Men took first on Friday, women shortly after
Should’ve known all along, more banners in the rafters

Hall of Fame weekend, in the NFL
Induction of a group of guys, who played way more than well
Peyton Manning, Jimmy Johnson, and Edgerrin James
Many more guys on the list, all greats of the game

JD Martinez and Anthony Rizzo
Both put on the COVID List, major AL East blow
Both big boppers will now miss time while in quarantine
Another shitty part of what’s now normal routine