Sunday State of Mind: October 17th-October 23rd

Another week where sports just unmercifully punched us in the face…and we liked it. Let’s review the pounding with prose in this week’s SSM.

Your NL pennant winners, those pesky Fightin’ Phils!
Took the Padres out, this team is full of thrills
Harper, Schwarber, Wheeler, the list goes on and on
If they play the Astros, series won’t be a yawn

Something rare happened this week, an NFL trade
Niners’ Christian McCaffrey, Frisco not afraid
Made his debut today, got a few plays in
Chiefs came to The Bay however, got themselves the win

Speaking of the Panthers, took it to the Bucs?
Hard to say but it seems like Tampa Bay just sucks
Lot of season left for TB and the boys
Don’t be shocked if they come back and make postseason noise

The NBA is back, first games have come and gone
Just another sport this time of year loves to add on
Some early surprises, Sixers and the Lakers blank
The Jazz keep winning even though they’re clearly trying to tank

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

Sunday State of Mind: May 30th-June 5th

The weather has turned as we are past the unofficial opening of summer. The beautiful forecast calls for some beautiful sports poetry.

The NBA Finals, Boston and The Bay
Warriors and Celtics are here to play
Al Horford and the boys took game one on the road
If they win again tonight Draymond might explode

Capital One’s The Match, the QB edition
Four of our top quarterbacks in the competition
Brady, Rodgers, Patty, Josh, young guns verse the old
ARod and TB12 took it to them for the gold

Baseball staying relevant, thanks to the NFL
Tommy Pham’s a wildcard, we’re saying “what the hell?”
Who hasn’t wanted to slap a fellow league member
Fantasy football means a lot, Tommy’s got a temper

Avalanche and Rangers, not a lot of spoilers
Both looking for a sweep against the Lightning and the Oilers
Only a few shots left for Tampa and Edmonton
If they don’t get it in gear both squads will soon be done

Sunday State of Mind: January 17th-January 23rd

And then there were four. It’s NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend. We recap in this week’s Sunday State of Mind.

The Cincinnati Bengals, also known as Cinderella
Their quarterback Joe Burrow sure is one talented fella
Bengals went down to Nashville, beat up on the Titans
A young team with big talent, NFL should be frightened

Another major upset, Niners over Green Bay
Defense and special teams for San Francisco saved the day
Jimmy Garoppolo has got to be better next week
Otherwise the Niners Super Bowl chances sure look bleak

An NFC West battle, the Super Bowl’s the prize
The Rams came down to Tampa and stuck it in their eyes
Matt Stafford and that defense ended Tom Brady’s year
Rumors are a-floating, will he end his career?

The best for last, Chiefs and Bills
Regulation not enough, overtime thrills
Time and time again, Mahomes comes out a winner
Andy Reid earned himself a nice triple steak dinner

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.

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? 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.

Sunday State of Mind: June 14th-June 20th

Happy Father’s Day! Read this week’s SSM to Dad since he was probably napping in his recliner during all the action.

Madden 22 has released their latest cover
Two goats, one game, great for football lovers
Brady and Mahomes are your newest cover boys
On the video game that has given all of us years of joy

Spider Tack introduced itself into the public eye
MLB cares all the sudden, truly wonder why
No chance that it could be because batting’s now a joke
Anything they can do to fix a sport that’s nearly broke

Suns and the Clippers, finals in the West
Phoenix and LA going to see who is the best
Bucks advanced in the East to face the 76ers or Hawks
Philly or Atlanta in game seven, loser has to walk