Sunday State of Mind: January 16th-January 22nd

Photo: Good Fon

Chiefs, Eagles, Bengals, 49ers win; Jaguars, Giants, Bills, and Cowboys lose. SSM reviews the NFL Divisional Round.

Started out in KC, a scary injury
Mahomes got folded up weird, seemed to hurt his knee
It was a ankle sprain, says he’ll play next week
Jags lost to the Chiefs but their future isn’t bleak

One blowout this weekend, an NFC East bout
Eagles railed the Giants, really left no doubt
Danny Dimes was bad, Jalen Hurts was good
The one seed in the NFC playing just like they should

Bengals and the Bills, snow globe in Buffalo
One QB was on his game and that was Joe Burrow
A rematch with the Chiefs for a trip to Arizona
Talking grad school NFL, winner gets a diploma

An all-time uni matchup, 49ers and Cowboys
Brock Purdy did it again with his offense full of toys
Next one on the docket, big one against the Eagles
Football was so good this weekend it should be illegal

NFL Coaches as Pizza Toppings

Photo: Pinterest

In a world where no one can agree on anything, if there are two things we as Americans can get close to seeing eye to eye on is our love for pizza and football.

On Tuesday afternoon, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni brought these two magical worlds together with the below clip:

Millionaire NFL coaches…they’re just like us! Just a couple a coworkers getting together, flipping on the game, and firing up an order for some stuffed crust from the Hut.

Which of course begs the question…if each of the remaining coaches left in the NFL were pizza toppings, what would they be?

Nick Sirianni/Brian Daboll – Pepperoni & Sausage

Sirianni’s the pep, and Daboll is clearly the sausage in this scenario.

A good old fashioned NFC East matchup that we can rely on to fulfill our appetite for good playoff football.

Andy Reid/Doug Pederson – Cheeseburger & Kielbasa

Old buddies getting together when the Chiefs take on the Jags this weekend.

We all know Coach Reid loves his cheeseburgers, and Pederson just seems like a guy who likes to say “kielbasa” when he orders.

Mike McCarthy/Kyle Shanahan – Bacon & Arugula

It’s hard to find a pairing where both coaches seem to be at the total opposite ends of the spectrum. Well, here we are.

McCarthy seems like a guy to double or triple up the pig toppings, while Shanahan has big “let’s get some ‘za, but try and keep it as clean as possible” energy.

Zac Taylor/Sean McDermott – Garlic & Alfredo Sauce

While there is not one coach of color left in the playoffs, this is the whitest of the white we have left.

Bengals/Bills should be a fun game, but my god these two guys are translucent.

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

There’s a fall chill in the air, which means playoff baseball and midseason football. All of that and more in this week’s SSM.

A big win out in London, New York beat Green Bay
The New York Football Giants, feeling some type of way
Starting the season 4-1, football’s biggest surprise
Lamar Jackson comes in next week, they may just get baptized

Speaking of baptisms, Jets dunked on the ‘Fins
Miami started 3-1, left with the same amount of wins
Jets have won two straight, sit a game behind the Bills
New York’s cold dead football hearts may be getting filled

Even without their quarterback, ‘bama is the best
Beat Texas A&M, could probably beat the rest
Of the country’s teams, Saban is just that good
The best to ever do it, that is understood

A team worthy of mention, your Kansas Jayhawks
Dream start to the season, some undefeated talks
Hung tough with TCU, but just fell short by seven
Even with a loss, Kansas football fans in heaven

As mentioned in our opening, playoff baseball is here
MLB Wild Card weekend, get your hot dogs and beer
Three game sets were over quick, Cleveland Seattle Philly
Having so much sports at once is absolutely silly

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.

Local Millennial Takes Big Career Leap from Cleveland to Los Angeles

After what can now be defined as a disastrous two seasons in Cleveland, Odell Bechkham Jr. has officially moved on.

It only took not talking to his quarterback, having his Dad and LeBron James both eviscerate the Browns organization, and a waiver period in which zero out of the 32 teams claimed him for OBJ to land in Hollywood.

Sean McVay and his perfect hair, Matthew Stafford and his rocket arm, and Aaron Donald and his 0.0% body fat were waiting in the wings, and were the lucky winners of the “Free Odell” movement.

Plenty of reasons OBJ picked LA. Beautiful weather, ability to go boating year round, and a pretty good football team. Who could blame him? One would assume he still has a good amount left in the tank to give to the all in Rams in their Super Bowl run.

The only question left is, will he shack up at LeBron’s crib now that he helped his buddy get out to LA? Only time will tell.

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.

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…