Who Wore it Best? 79-70

Photo: Dr. Odd

We continue our fashion countdown of who wore each number best. In this edition, we’re hopping into the 70’s. Will we get more NFL lineman? Will some random hockey or basketball players sneak in? Let’s dive in and find out.

79 – José Abreu

José Abreu has to be up there in the greatest players with the weirdest numbers category. According to Abreu, his mother picked his number so he would stand out. Stand out he has; Abreu was last year’s MVP, has garnered three All-Star selections, and even hit for the cycle in 2017.

Honorable Mention: N/A

78 – Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith is the all-time leader in sacks with an outlandish 200. His resume is long and silly; we won’t waste too much time here, but just know he was named to two different All-Decade teams in the 80’s and 90’s.

Honorable Mention: N/A

77 – Ray Bourque

Bouruqe was one of the best defensemen in NHL history. His offensive numbers are pretty impressive for a defensemen, scoring 1,506 points in 1,518 games played.

Honorable Mention: Vladimir Radmanović

76 – Orlando Pace

Photo: USA Today

Pace was about all you could ask for in a left tackle during his career. In college, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 1996, which is wild enough for a lineman. In the NFL, he earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl, was a three time first team All-Pro, and a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team.

Honorable Mention: PK Subban

75 – Joe Greene

“Mean” Joe Greene was one of the most dominant nose tackles in NFL history. He was a part of the “Steel Curtain” defense that won four Super Bowls in six years for the Steelers in the 70’s. Mean Joe was also named to the 1970’s All-Decade team on top of the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mentions: Barry Zito, Howie Long

74 – Kenley Jansen

Jansen has been absolutely lights out since entering the Majors in 2010. He’s recorded 312 saves, a 2.39 ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP in 636 innings in his career.

Honorable Mention: TJ Oshie

73 – John Hannah

Hannah was a dominant guard for the Patriots from 1973-1985. Over that time, he went to nine Pro Bowls, was a 10 time All-Pro, is a member of the 70’s and 80’s All-Decade teams as well as the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mention: N/A

72 – Sergei Bobrovsky

Bobrovsky has had an impressive run since coming into the NHL with the Flyers in 2010. Since then, he has an impressive .921 save percentage and a 2.41 goals against average.

Honorable Mentions: Carlton Fisk, Dan Dierdorf

71 – Walter Jones

We’ve gushed over Walter Jones before, and we’re here to gush again. A bonafide Hall of Fame left tackle, nine Pro Bowls, four first team All-Pros, and never missed a start in 180 career games.

Honorable Mention: Evgeni Malkin

70 – Dennis Rodman

Photo: ESPN

Who remembers this weird shit? Rodman played 12 games for the Mavs in the 1999-2000 season. Honestly, this is an awful number for this list and we’re obviously stretching here.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Have to be honest, I thought this edition was going to rely heavy on NFL offensive/defensive lineman. Pleasantly surprised with the baseball, hockey, and basketball representation here. On to the 60’s!

Aging Professional Relocates To Warm Climate As Career Dwindles Down

Our long, national nightmare is over folks. On Tuesday, JJ Watt ended his 18 day free agency by announcing that he’s signed with the Arizona Cardinals.

Most reports had Watt’s list of potential next destinations as some kind of combination between the Packers, Bills, Browns, and Steelers. Welp, like this blog, most media is dumb and/or wrong.

JJ told everyone in his home state of Wisconsin, the table-breaking mafia in Buffalo, the Dawg Pound in Cleveland, and his two brothers who play in Pittsburgh to suck it. A total heartbreaker for all involved, besides those in Glendale, of course.

The Cardinals are definitely building, of course with Kyler Murray and former/new Watt teammate DeAndre Hopkins on the offensive side. Watt joins a middle of the pack(ish) defense lead by first team All-Pro Budda Baker and an aging Patrick Peterson. The 2020 Cardinals defense ranked 12th in points allowed, but 22nd in rushing yards, a number that should hopefully improve with Watt joining the defensive line.

So the move is now official. H-Town to the desert, NASA to the Grand Canyon, the rodeo to the Hoover Dam. Much like JJ, I’m looking forward inking a two-year, $31 million dollar contract to round out my career.

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.

Sunday State of Mind: November 23rd-November 29th

We took some time to give thanks this week, and ignored the blog while doing so. But we’re back, and ready to review what we missed in the past seven days in this week’s Sunday State of Mind.

The Match 3 went down, teeing off on Friday
Phil, Chuck, Peyton, and Steph were excited to play
In a big upset, Charles Barkley played well
Chuck and Phil won 4 & 3, Peyton and Steph fell

Some more random sports, Mike Tyson is back!
He fought Roy Jones Jr., but the excitement lacked
It wasn’t a full match, only an exhibition spar
The “fight” was a draw, and was as slow as tar

Moving on to real sports, college basketball
A little behind schedule, still started in late fall
It’s great to see action back on the hardwood
A small step towards things feeling more like they should

Hate to beat a dead horse, but COVID’s still here
Ravished the Ravens, a realized fear
The MVP Lamar Jackson had a positive test
Ravens/Steelers delayed six days, not the best

Oh No…

Here we go.

The Titans beat the Vikings 31-30 on Sunday. The win took Tennessee to 3-0 on the year, and dropped the Vikings to 0-3. The result wasn’t exactly the story:

Nooooooooooooo!

This is the first outbreak we’ve seen since the NFL came back three weeks ago. According to the AP, three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the coronavirus (as of now). Both teams will completely shut down for the foreseeable future. Of course the Titans with the positive tests, and correctly the Vikings due to being in close proximity to the Titans.

The most important thing here is that thus far everyone is safe. As long as that’s the case, the next thing you worry about is the schedule & season getting totally wrecked. The Steelers are scheduled to come to Nashville to play the Titans this coming Sunday. The Vikings are supposed to go on the road to play the Texans.

With the prototypical quarantine period being 14 days, this could absolutely muck up the NFL season moving forward. Unlike baseball, you can’t really squeeze any double headers in a day, let alone a week. Stretching this out a bit, you start to think how this would effect playoff seedings if teams end up not playing the same number of games, the spider web of contact tracing if the Titans and Vikings continue to play, etc.

This was a gamble that the NFL, and honestly all sports, took when deciding to come back when they did. I would hope Roger Godell and the big brains running the show out of the NFL’s headquarters in Manhattan have a safe and logical back up plan to make sure the season can safely move forward.

What Would You Get the NFL for Their 100th Birthday?

Happy birthday to our dear old friend, the NFL.

The big 100! You’re a centenarian, NFL. You’ve lived through it all; world wars, the moon landing, even the 2012 Mayan calendar panic. You’ve also done an admiral job handling your league with social unrest and the pandemic that has ravaged 2020.

For such a big birthday, a present or two should be in order, right? For a league that makes around $16 billion dollars a year, you can’t really throw a $50 bill in a card and call it a day. A new pair of socks is out of the question, since the league is oddly obsessed with particulars when it comes to that specific piece of gear.

So what do you get someone who has everything? We’ve got some ideas.

Two Game Preseason

Listen, I know the preseason is important. Guys get their chance to shine (I see you Victor Cruz), you get some live action to further install your playbook, and for the real degenerates out there (I would never) it’s your first taste of NFL betting for the year.

But do we need four games? You’ve got injury concerns, boring games, and by the fourth week, everyone’s simply ready for regular season Week One.

I would even accept three games, preferably two, to get my preseason fix. Trim the preseason fat NFL, we’ll all be better off.

A New Way to Challenge Plays

As we all know, each team gets two challenges per game, with a third awarded if the first two are successful.

There has to be a better way for coaches to initiate this process.

We all love Andy Reid, but do we want to be enjoying our game knowing he has a sweaty handkerchief stuffed only God knows where on his body at all times?

I propose a buzzer, or even a simple yell over to the referee about challenging a play. Get it done, NFL.

Monday Night Football Double Headers

Last week, as with the past few year’s Week One NFL slates, we got two Monday Night Football games. We saw a Steelers win over the Giants in the opener, and the Titans beat the Broncos in game two of the night.

So…why aren’t we always doing this? We got football starting at 6PM here in Central Standard Time, that didn’t end until well past midnight.

The theme song of my argument here is the late 90’s country hit “Too Much Fun” by Daryle Singletary. Too much fun, what’s that mean? It’s like too much money, there’s no such thing.

Happy birthday again, NFL. We hope you enjoy your day. We have given you the precious gift of our brain power to improve what is already quite an entertaining product. Now, let’s enjoy the product NFL has so graciously given us on their birthday, which somehow is the Browns vs. Bengals tonight.

Sunday State of Mind: September 7th-September 13th

Photo: Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Football. Is. Back. Enjoy this week’s SSM dedicated solely to the NFL’s return.

Texans and Chiefs, Thursday night
Football is back, no need to fright
Patrick Mahomes picked up right where he left off
So happy to see the NFL kickoff

Bears and Lions, Matt and Mitch
Football’s back, our scratch is itched
Three fourth quarter Trubisky touchdowns
Bears fans quickly changed to smiles from frowns

Seahawks and Falcons, offensive show
Both teams came out and let us know
Both teams are fine wines, and popped their corks
Russell Wilson won it, and is still a dork

Jets and Bills, breaking news
Jets fans better start chugging their booze
Brand new season, but same results
Unfortunate roster, full of football dolts

Packers and Vikings, guess who’s back
Aaron Rodgers came on in a full blown attack
Dalvin Cook, first game after signing a new deal
Low scrimmage yards but two scores, guy’s the real deal

Dolphins and Patriots, no more TB12
But Cam Newton’s talents, did New England delve 
Fins didn’t look great, have to knock off some grime
Sooner rather than later, it will be Tua time

Eagles and Washington, the football team
Philly started out hot, it seemed like a dream
But Washington came back and got the win
Eagles not made of metal, seem more like tin

Raiders and Panthers, down in Charlotte
High scoring game, offenses moving a bit
Raiders got a tough win on the road
Three tuddys for Josh Jacobs, guy was ready to explode

Colts and Jags, AFC South
Jacksonville came out and hit the Colts in the mouth
Only one incompletion for Gardner Minshew
Tough L for Phil Rivers, his first game in Colts blue

Browns and Ravens, the MVP Lamar
Looks like he’ll take Baltimore, again pretty far
Baltimore said let’s go out and wreck ‘em
The end of a shitty week for Odell Beckham

Chargers and Bengals, Joe Burrow time
First over all pick, he looked just fine
Chargers won though, lead by Tyrod Taylor
Plenty of future Burrow wins, guy’s not a failure

Cardinals and 49ers, battle in the Bay
DeAndre Hopkins came to play
Fourteen catches, 150+ yards
Great week one road win for the Arizona Cards

Buccaneers and Saints, Brady and Brees
Two future Hall of Famers, yes please
The Saints won at home this time around
Tom and Drew, round two, week eight, how’s that sound?

Cowboys and Rams on Sunday night 
The end of a great Sunday, it just felt right
New stadium for LA and they started with a win
No more Sundays without football, it felt like a sin

Steelers and Giants, Titans and Broncos
Two games on Monday night, anything goes
These games haven’t happened yet, so here’s a preview
There’s nothing better, than a NFL season anew