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
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
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
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
We are in full blown holiday season, and the gift of sports keeps on giving. We recap the past seven days of presents in this week’s SSM.
NFL afternoon slate, full of overtime Bucs and Bills, Niners and Bengals, teams all in their prime San Francisco, Tampa Bay, both teams with the dubs All four teams might make the playoffs, none of them are scrubs
Another great week in Jacksonville For Urban Meyer, dude is not chill He called his staff losers, things not going well Looking to move to Florida? Urban may be ready to sell
Big COVID outbreak for the Chicago Bulls Nine players in quarantine, protocol list is full Hard to keep momentum going with a thing like this Hopefully all get well soon or Bulls fans will be pissed
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.”
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
We’ve arrived at an incredibly important edition of “Who Wore It Best.” In our latest, we’re digging into the roaring 20’s. Let’s find out together who made the cut in this extremely paramount, career-defining list.
29 – Eric Dickerson
His athletic excellence barely surpassed that of the rec specs. Dickerson put together the greatest single season rushing the football in 1984, going for an NFL record 2,105 yards. He wasn’t just a one season wonder, however. Before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999, Dickerson was a five time first team All-Pro, four time rushing leader, has his number 29 retired by the LA Rams, and is in the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor.
Honorable Mentions: Adrian Beltre, Ken Dryden, Marc-André Fleury
28 – Marshall Faulk
Back to back running backs who played for the Rams and Colts. Much like Dickerson, Faulk both has his number retired by the Rams as well as being a member of the Colts Ring of Honor. Unlike Dickerson, Faulk has a Super Bowl ring. He also tacked on a MVP, three offensive player of the year awards, as well as three first team All-Pro selections.
Honorable Mentions: Bert Blyleven, Curtis Martin, Darrell Green
27 – Vladimir Guerrero Sr.
Vlad the Impaler was a 2018 Hall of Fame inductee. He earned his spot in Cooperstown after winning the 2004 MVP, hitting 449 career home runs while maintaining a .318 career batting average, and winning an incredible eight Silver Slugger awards.
Honorable Mentions: Eddie George, Scott Rolen
26 – Rod Woodson
Rod Woodson was one of the best ball hawks to ever do it; picking off 71 balls in his 17 NFL seasons. He was also a vital member of one of the greatest defenses of all time, the Super Bowl XXXV champion Baltimore Ravens. All of this (and more) cumulated in an induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
Honorable Mention: Wade Boggs
25 – Barry Bonds
Even before he went to the Giants and things…changed; Barry Bonds was one of the greatest players in baseball. In his seven seasons in Pittsburgh before moving to San Francisco, Bonds was a three time NL MVP, won five Gold Gloves, and five Silver Slugger awards.
Honorable Mention: Fred Biletnikoff
24 – Willie Mays
Absolute stacked number here, but Mays takes the cake. The stats are gawdy; 660 home runs, 1,903 RBI, and 338 stolen bases. Along the way Mays made 24 All-Star games, won twelve Gold Gloves, two NL MVPs, and a World Series in 1954.
Honorable Mentions: Ken Griffey Jr., Rickey Henderson, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Ramirez, Rick Barry, Champ Bailey, Chris Chelios
Emmitt Smith did it all in his 15 NFL seasons. The league’s all time leading rusher (18,355 yards) won three Super Bowls, the 1993 NFL MVP, was a four time first team All-Pro, and lead the NFL in touchdowns three separate seasons.
Honorable Mentions: Clayton Kershaw, Elgin Baylor, Roger Clemens
21 – Deion Sanders
The swagiest swag that ever swagged. Deion was, and still is, one of the most raw athletes we’ve ever seen. He wasn’t too bad on the field either. Prime’s got two Super Bowl rings, six first team All-Pro selections, and is a member of both the 90’s All-Decade and NFL 100th Anniversary Teams. Oh, and he also played in the MLB for nine seasons. He was a .263 career hitter, with 39 home runs, 168 RBI, and 186 stolen bases. Absolute baller.
Honorable Mentions: Roberto Clemente, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, LaDainian Tomlinson, Stan Mikita, Peter Forsberg
20 – Barry Sanders
The twitchiest running back we’ve ever seen, just absolutely stupid stuff. A combo Heisman winner and NFL MVP, the four time first team All-Pro ran for over 15,000 yards and almost 100 touchdowns. Pretty good for a guy who retired early.
Honorable Mentions: Frank Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Gary Payton, Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins
The numbers get lower, and the lists get better. How about 24 and 21 just absolutely cleaning house? All four major sports represented on each. This was a great edition of “Who Wore It Best,” and we can only assume the names will get hotter the next time around.