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: November 29th-December 5th

Photo: Wallup

Why isn’t the weekend five days, and the work week two days? Who knows, but we know this week’s SSM is now live.

Conference championship weekend in college football
Some teams show up, and others just fall
Utah, Bama, and Michigan were among the winners
The amount of football left keeps getting thinner and thinner

Our long national nightmare has ended, my friends
The Detroit Lions losing streak ends
A squeak out win over Minnesota
The Lions have now met their season win quota

Minshew mania, back and better than ever
Taking over Philly, Gardner’s new endeavor
A good start for him, but maybe hedge your bets
His first start and win was against the Jets

We’ve got a lockout in the MLB
Owners and players could not agree
On a new CBA, no baseball for now
Between the two sides, who will kowtow?

Best game of the season, in our opinion
OKC versus Memphis, and the Grizz went in
A record setting blowout, 73 point win
When you watch that game tape, where to even begin?

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? 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…

Who Wore it Best? 69-60

Photo: Dr. Odd

Guess who’s back? Our “Who Wore It Best” series, that’s who. We last checked in on who wore numbers 79-70 best, now we dive into the 60’s.

69 – Jared Allen

Photo: Celebrity Net Worth

Not a huge field of choices here, but a nice selection. Jared Allen played for the Chiefs, Vikings, Bears, and Panthers during an above-average 11 year NFL career. He made First Team All-Pro four times, lead the NFL twice in sacks, and made five Pro Bowls.

Honorable Mention: N/A

68 – Jaromir Jagr

Photo: CBS Sports

The flow is enough to be included on our list. That head lettuce is a thing of beauty. Jagr wasn’t half bad in his 24 seasons in professional hockey either: most career game winning goals (135), five Art Ross trophies, and two Stanley Cups.

Honorable Mention: Will Shields

67 – Francisco Córdova

Photo: Rum Bunter

Remember this guy? Cordova gets the nod for pitching nine innings in a what ended up being a 10 inning no hitter for the Pirates against the Astros on June 12, 1997.

Honorable Mention: N/A

66 – Mario Lemieux

Surprisingly strong category here at 66. Lemieux takes it home as one of the best hockey players to ever do it. In fact, Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky are the only two players who occupy the list of top ten seasons for points and assists in a season. Pretty impressive company to keep.

Honorable Mentions: Ray Nitschke, Yasiel Puig

65 – James Paxton

Paxton may very well end up being the youngest athlete to make our list. However, “Big Maple” has earned his spot at 65 for recording a no-hitter for the Mariners in 2018.

Honorable Mention: Erik Karlsson

64 – Randall McDaniel

Photo: eBid

McDaniel was a stalwart offensive guard for 13 seasons, mostly with the Vikings. McDaniel started 220 of his career 222 games, made 12 Pro Bowls, and is a member of NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Honorable Mention: N/A

63 – Gene Upshaw

Another hard nosed, badass, old school NFL lineman. Upshaw played 14 years for the Raiders, scooping up three First Team All-Pro selections, five Second Team All-Pro selections, and two Super Bowl rings.

Honorable Mention: Brad Marchand

62 – Jim Langer

Jim Langer was the center for the only undefeated team in NFL history, the 1972 Dolphins. Langer won two Super Bowls and was a three time First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: N/A

61 – Liván Hernández

Who else loved this absolute unit growing up? His career numbers aren’t stellar, but anyone who can hang around the majors for 17 seasons is impressive. Hernandez is a two time All-Star who won a ring as well as World Series MVP honors with the Marlins in 1997.

Honorable Mention: Rick Nash

60 – Dallas Keuchel

Not a lot of meat on the 60 bone, but a fine choice here. Keuchel has established himself as one of the steadiest pitchers in baseball since entering the bigs with the Astros in 2012. He has won four Gold Gloves, the 2015 Cy Young, and a World Series ring in 2017.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Another edition of “Who Wore It Best,” done and dusted. Nice representative spread in the the 60’s for football, hockey, and baseball. Total choke job from basketball here; maybe we’ll see some stronger effort in the 50’s?

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? 89-80

Photo: Dr. Odd

Round two of who wore it best is here. We’re ranking the GOAT to wear each jersey number. If you missed part one for jersey numbers 99-90, check it out here. For now, let’s dive into numbers 89-80.

89 – Mike Ditka

Everyone knows Ditka lead the Bears to their only Super Bowl in ’85. Did you know on the field he was a five time Pro Bowler, first team all-pro four times, and was the rookie of the year in 1961? Ditka also has the number 89 retired for both the Bears and at the University of Pittsburgh.

Honorable Mention: Alexander Mogilny

88 – Patrick Kane

STRONG number here. Kaner takes the crown as a sure fire Hall of Famer with three Stanley Cups, the 2013 Conn Smythe trophy, and nine all-star selections.

Honorable Mentions: Albert Belle, Antoine Walker, Michael Irvin, Allan Page

87 – Sidney Crosby

Crosby has an even stronger resumé than Kane. Two Conn Smythe trophies, two Olympic gold medals, three Stanley Cups, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Honorable Mention: Rob Gronkowski, Dan Otero

86 – Antonio Freeman

Slim pickings at number 86. Antonio Freeman had a respectable NFL career; in 1998 he led the NFL in receiving yards, was named to the Pro Bowl, and was named first team All-Pro. He also tacked on a Super Bowl win in the 96-97 season.

Honorable Mentions: Buck Buchanan, Nikita Kucherov

85 – George Kittle

Photo: ESPN

Kittle hasn’t been in the NFL for too long, but has already done some serious damage. In three and a half seasons (he only played eight games in 2020), Kittle has made two Pro Bowls, was a first team All-Pro in 2019, and has racked up 3,579 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Honorable Mention: Antonio Gates, Baron Davis

84 – Randy Moss

One of the best athletes to ever play wide receiver. Moss has unreal runs with the Vikings from 98-04 and Patriots from 07-10. He lead the NFL in touchdowns in five different seasons, was a four time first team All-Pro, and is a member of the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Honorable Mentions: Prince Fielder, Chris Webber

83 – Wes Welker

Unreal bad luck for Wes Welker that he played six seasons with Tom Brady and two with Peyton Manning and has exactly zero Super Bowl rings. He did however revolutionize the slot receiver position, collecting two first team All-Pro selections and leading the NFL in receptions in 2007, 2009, and 2011.

Honorable Mention: N/A

82 – Ozzie Newsome

Photo: FanDuel

Ozzie Newsome was one of the first tight ends to stretch the field; he paved the way for the Gronks, Kelces, and Ertzs of the world that we see in the NFL today. He is a member of the Browns Ring of Honor, bringing in 662 catches, almost 8,000 yards, and 47 touchdowns during his career.

Honorable Mention: N/A

81 – Marian Hossa

Our second Blackhawk to crack the list. Hossa was a huge part of the Chicago’s three Stanley Cups in the 2010’s. He also was named to the All-Rookie team in 1999 and made five All-Star games.

Honorable Mentions: Tim Brown, Phil Kessel

80 – Jerry Rice

Photo: USA Today

No doubter here; the original GOAT. The career accomplishments are almost embarrassing: three Super Bowls, ten first team All-Pro, 13 Pro Bowls, member of the 75th and 100th NFL Anniversary Teams, and first team All-80’s and All-90’s Teams. Rice’s career stats are also zany: 1,549 catches, 23,546 yards, and 208 touchdowns.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Heavy football and hockey vibes in this edition. We’ll crack into the 70’s in our next edition of Who Wore It Best.

Who Wore it Best? 99-90

Photo: Dr. Odd

We’re kicking off a new series; and we’re going by the numbers. This countdown is dedicated to the best players of all-time by each jersey number. No concrete formula here, just career stats, impact on the game, and some good old fashion opinion. Let’s hop right in.

99 – Wayne Gretzky

Photo: LA Biz

He’s called “The Great One” for a reason. Hard to pick a favorite stat to demonstrate Gretzky’s dominance, but one of my favorites is that if he never scored a goal, he still would have had 11 straight 100-point seasons and won four scoring titles.

Honorable Mentions: Manny Ramirez, George Mikan, Warren Sapp

98 – Casey Hampton

Not a widely popular number, so not our largest name on the list. Appropriately nicknamed “Big Snacks,” Hampton made five Pro Bowls as the Steelers nose tackle in the early aughts.

Honorable Mentions: Jason Collins

97 – Jeremy Roenick

Maybe not the best guy, but a pretty good hockey player. The eighth overall pick in the 1988 NHL draft scored 1,216 points in 1,363 games played.

Honorable Mentions: Bryant Young, Cam Heyward

96 – Cortez Kennedy

Kennedy recorded 58 sacks in his 11 seasons for the Seahawks. He recorded 569 tackles and 11 forced fumbles.

Honorable Mentions: Metta World Peace, Tomas Holmstrom

95 – Richard Dent

A bonafide Hall of Famer who was a part of one of the greatest defenses of all time, the ’85 Bears. What more can you ask for?

Honorable Mentions: N/A

94 – Charles Haley

The defensive centerpiece of two all-time franchises in the Cowboys and 49ers.

Honorable Mention: Demarcus Ware

93 – John Randle

Anyone who goes undrafted in their respective sport and go on to become a Hall of Famer is good enough for this list. Randle made seven Pro Bowls and was a six time first team All-Pro selection en route to Canton.

Honorable Mentions: Pat Neshak, Metta World Peace

92 – Reggie White

Photo: Quotes Gram

“The Minister of Defense” was one of the greatest free agent signings of all time, when he left the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 and signed with the Green Bay Packers. He finished his career with 198 sacks, two NFL defensive player of the year awards, and a Super Bowl ring.

Honorable Mentions: DeShawn Stevenson, Gabriel Landeskog

91 – Dennis Rodman

An obvious answer for a surprisingly strong number. But Rodman’s five rings, seven NBA All-Defensive first selections, and nearly 12,000 career rebounds puts him on our list.

Honorable Mentions: Kevin Greene, Sergei Fedorov

90 – Ndamukong Suh

Suh has had a late-career number change to 93, but he donned 90 early in his career for the Lions when he was arguable at his best. During his time rocking the big 9-0, Suh was the NFL Rookie of the Year, made four Pro Bowls, and was a three time NFL First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: Ryan O’Reilly

High numbers, a lot of hockey players and defensive lineman, to be expected. Will we have some different sports and positions represented in our next set of jersey numbers, 89-80? Only time will tell.