If you’re not a Bengals, Jaguars, Chargers, Ravens, or Dolphins fan, odds are that you’re hoping to see the Bills and Chiefs play in the AFC Championship Game.
Mahomes v. Allen, Bills Mafia v. Chiefs Kingdom, McDermott vs. Big Red Andy Reid; this matchup would have the most storylines by far of any AFC pairing we as football fans could get for a shot to go to the Super Bowl.
Well, it appears if our collective dreams are answered, there’ll be one more: the game will be played in the most logical place of all, Atlanta.
Yes, beautiful Atlanta. The A. The Dirty. Home of the NFC South’s own Falcons who haven’t seen the playoffs in six years. Whose most memorable postseason is still meme’d to death almost a decade later.
There has to be one of the dozens of Falcon fans out there that really hopes this potential AFC Championship game being held in their stadium is going to brainwash the internet into forgetting that the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead against the Patriots. If you are that person and are reading this, please reach out to email@example.com; I would love to speak with you and get inside your brain.
For now, let’s all enjoy Super Wild Card Weekend and root for the Dolphins not to pull the biggest upset in playoff history by beating the Bills on Saturday. Because if they do, all of this Atlanta mess will be for not and me writing and you reading this blog will have been a massive waste of time.
It’s a cold hard fact that the sports week is coming to an end. We review in this week’s SSM.
Let’s start with the world’s game, AKA jogo bonito The World Cup is finally back, a fact you cannot veto Always great to see the best footballers, smooth like butter The only question left; do you say it Qatar or Qatar?
Cowboys and the Vikings, game of the week potential Result of this game is without question consequential Thought it would be a good one, battle of some studs Cowboys blew them out, Vikings may be duds
Patriots and Jets, setting football back Decades with this one, neither team on track Pats won on a walk off, a punt return touchdown Jets punted 10 times, offense full of clowns
It is time we talk about the best NBA team These guys just come out every night with a head full of steam They’ve won six straight, are very hot, doing some crazy things Our current favorite team is the Sacramento Kings
A brutal crash and burn for Tennessee football Big tumble for a team that was just standing so tall Lost their starting quarterback, and the game by 25 Any playoff chances for them are no longer alive
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
The end of an era. Actually, a second era after a retirement from the first era and a few years off to party, wrestle, and party some more.
The picture & intro above is the perfect tornado of anarchy that was/is Rob Gronkowski. One of, if not the greatest tight end of all time officially (maybe, probably?) called it a career on Tuesday.
After putting up Hall of Fame numbers in his nine years in New England, retirement one came in 2019 after winning his third Super Bowl ring. In a year that was surely full of self reflection, meditation, and inward study, we were without the polar bear in pads. But we weren’t without athletic Frankenstein’s Monster for long. A few years in Tampa Bay with one of his buddies tacked on another ring for shits and giggles.
Now comes what seems like the real end of the on field road for Gronk. Trying to picture what a structure free, commitment-less life is going to look like for this real life Ivan Drago is like trying to access the dark web; you could probably get there…but you might regret what you see.
Other than the normal beer crushing, hip gyrating, and tongue waggling, what else might there be? Hollywood could be a landing spot, but he’s already proven in those Subway commericials that he can’t remember his lines. What about the crypto game? Gronkcoin sounds like something that definitely wouldn’t tank. Stand up comedy? He would always be guaranteed at least one laugh, that being his own, which is a great laugh, by the way.
Whatever the guy wants to do, he’ll do, and he’ll probably be successful at it. So farewell to one of the greats. Thanks for the entertainment and for always being yourself in an industry that for some reason often shuns that behavior. As always, keep on party rockin’.
One of the best weekends in sports, Super Wildcard Weekend. We’ve still got plenty to go, but in case you missed anything, let’s review in this week’s Sunday State of Mind.
Raiders and the Bengals, first game yesterday Joe Burrow and the boys from Cincy for sure had their way Vegas made it close, almost tied it at the end After the season the Raiders had, we all should commend
Bills and the Pats, Saturday’s nightcap This one was over early, an expeditious wrap Bills Mafia came in force and saw their team ball out Beat the Pats two out of three, some AFC East clout
Bucs and the Eagles, champions verse Philly TB12 and the boys made them look silly The Eagles never got it going, and it really showed Hard to beat the buzzsaw Brady when in playoff mode
An upset down in Big D, Niners and the boys San Fran’s offense was too much, really brought the noise Another big playoff loss for Jerry Jones’ team Ever since the late 90’s that has been their theme
On Thursday, ESPN’s always riveting morning show Get Up held what we’ve all come to expect; lively debate with hard hitting analysis.
During another exhilarating conversation, the panel moved to this week’s opening round of the NFL playoffs. While talking about Josh Allen’s issues with cold weather, Bart Scott gave his best suggestion to improve the Bills quarterback’s chances to lead his team to victory over the Patriots:
After this clip aired, Scott continued his diatribe and provided some additional tips:
“Soup. Find your best soup place in Buffalo and down that super bowl of broth and noodles.”
“Layer, layer, layer. Throw on 3-4 long sleeves under your shoulder pads to guarantee warmth.”
“Take a shot of hot sauce. Tobasco, Cholula, Frank’s Redhot; anything will do.”
“Halftime shower. X’s and O’s be dammed; in game adjustments pale in comparison to body heat. Boil up a pot of water to 425 degrees, strip down, and engulf yourself in some blazing H20.”
“The cold can cause joint and muscle pain, we all know that. Take some IcyHot, and jam it in any and all orifices of your body. Both nostrils, eyeballs, buttcrack. Stick it in to win is what I always say.”
“This is probably obvious, but train in the ancient art of fire eating.”
It’s always interesting to see the inside tips and tricks that professional athletes do to ensure premium performance. Really looking forward to the playoffs this weekend to see which of these pointers work out for Allen and the Bills.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.”