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: February 8th-February 14th

Happy Valentines Day! A holiday associated with poetry is a perfect time to drop this week’s SSM.

The Tampa Bay Bucs had their Super Bowl parade
Appeared the entire team was drinking vodka lemonade
The visuals from the entire day were just so great
Who says no to next year Brady getting number eight?

The Houston Texans have released JJ Watt
An organization in flux, change happening a lot
A formerly great offense, and that defense was mean
Next year looks like it’s trending towards 0-16

The Cubs and Jake Arrieta are running it back
The Cy Young winner, rejoining the pack
In a rotation that’s lacking, Jake could be a guide
And stabilize a weakness next year on the North Side

We got old school Melo this week, absolutely silly
Sixteen fourth quarter points in a win against Philly
Carmelo had 24 points as the Blazers sixth man
Portland fifth in the West, things going to plan

Sunday State of Mind: February 1st-February 7th

Photo: The Wow Style

Super Bowl Sunday, what a rollercoaster. The excitement of the biggest game of the year and just like that…the season’s over. We take it quarter by quarter in this week’s SSM.

Bit of a slow first quarter, 7-3
Big play was the first Brady to Gronk TD
Would the early deficit have the Chiefs feeling blue?
Let’s move our recap on, to quarter number two

Second quarter, guess who?
Brady to Gronk, TD number two!
Bucs looked good and were rolling at half
Brady beating Mahomes, the old bull vs. the young calf

Third quarter, more Bucs, Tampa kept adding on
Bucs looking like kings, Chiefs looking like pawns
Fournette got in on the touchdown party
Bucs showed up on time, Chiefs showed up tardy

We all saw it coming from the jump
Tom Brady and the Bucs get over the hump
Another incredible chapter in the Tom Brady story
For the seventh time, TB12 hoists the Lombardi Trophy

Is the NFL Making Decisions Based On Content From Untimed Down Sports?

It’s a question that needs to be asked.

This week, the NFL announced that inaugural poet laureate Amanda Gorman would be performing an original poem before the Super Bowl. According to HuffPost, Gorman will “perform a poem honoring the three people tapped by the league to serve as honorary captains for the Super Bowl this year…[t]he trio consists of nurse Suzie Dorner, educator Trimaine Davis and Marine Corps veteran James Martin.”

Now, no matter which way you lean, it’s hard to downplay how great Ms. Gorman’s poem, and the reading of said poem, was on Inauguration Day. Even if you didn’t like it, our poet laureate has the resumé to shut pretty much any of us down. According to her website, theamandagorman.com, Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, graduated cum laude from Harvard, and has performed for the White House and Lin Manuel Miranda.

Great move by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL here, incorporating poetry with the sports.

But wait a minute…hasn’t someone else been doing this for a while now? Bringing prose and pros together to spin a story involving athletics is one dynamic idea. Where did the NFL get this idea? That’s right…

FROM US.

Whether you’ve been rocking with UDS from day one or just started checking us out a week ago, you would have noticed our weekly recurring series, Sunday State of Mind. We take the week that was in sports and recap it with truly, truly awful rhyme schemes and wording that would make real poets like Amanda Gorman question the art form of poetry itself. You can read some examples of our exemplary work here, here, and here.

This has nothing to do with Amanda Gorman, who has more talent in per pinky finger than most other writers today. Totally innocent in all of this; who wouldn’t want to perform at the Super Bowl?

All I’m saying is…we’ve been on this sports poetry tip for a while. All of the sudden the NFL comes barging in and totally jocking our schtick by incorporating one of the country’s best poets into the biggest game of the year? I’m calling shenanigans. I see through it, Goodell, and I just want you to know that.

Sunday State of Mind: January 18th-January 24th

Photo: Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com

NFL Championship Sunday is done, and the Super Bowl is set. We recap and look forward to Super Bowl LV in this week’s SSM.

Tampa and Green, the battle of the Bays
Tom Brady just wins in so many ways
Bucs are heading to their second Super Bowl
One more win and they’ll accomplish their goal

The Kansas City Chiefs, what more can you say
Andy Reid heading to another Super Bowl Sunday
In today’s NFL, so hard to repeat
Hard to imagine right now, the Chiefs getting beat

So the big game is set, Tampa Bay and Kansas City
This match up, my God, the opposite of a pity
TB12 and Mahomes, makes a fan feel alive
Only two weeks away from Super Bowl 55

Sunday State of Mind: January 11th-January 17th

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

NFL Divisional Playoff weekend has come and gone. We’re here to wax poetic about it in this week’s SSM.

First game of the weekend, hosted by Green Bay
The Packers really took it to the Rams of LA
Aaron Rodgers continued his MVP run
The Rams are headed home, back to the California sun

The Bills and Ravens in upstate New York
Buffalo’s in the AFC Championship, pop the cork
The Ravens fall again in the second round
Someday soon Lamar will be Super Bowl bound

The Cleveland Browns had a nice playoff run
But they met the Chiefs, and now they’re done
Patrick Mahomes continues to roll
If he beats the Bills, he’s off to another Super Bowl

Bucs and Saints, Tom Brady again
Went down to New Orleans, came out with a win
Brady vs. Rodgers next week, up in Lambeau
All time QB matchup, who says no?

Sunday State of Mind: November 9th-November 15th

Photo: Vlad Hilitanu on Unsplash

Another weekend come and gone…let’s reflect on the week that was in this weeks SSM.

The Miami Marlins, shattering the ceiling
The team has hired the first female GM, an absolute awesome feeling
Kim Ng has been hired to run the show for the Marlins
Here’s hoping it all goes well, and she leads the team to many wins

The 2020 Masters was as always a treat
Dustin Johnson, simply could not be beat
Yes DJ took home his first green jacket
He’s the #1 golfer in the world, in his own bracket

The Bills and Cardinals, holy shit
Kyler to DeAndre, Cards didn’t quit
On the last extra point, the Cards took a knee
An incredible cover, for those who had Buffalo +3

The Tompa Bay Bucs got back on track
TB12 with four touchdowns, put the team on his back
Ronald Jones went yard with a 98-yard score
The Buccaneers are gelling more and more

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

Wildest Player/Team Late-Career Combos

The birth of #TompaBay got us thinking; what are the wildest player/team combinations we’ve seen in sports?

These kind of late-career transactions have happened for numerous reasons; a player got fed up with a coach/team *cough Tom Brady cough*, the team got sick of the player, or maybe the player was ring chasing or looking for one more payday with a big contract, and was willing to go wherever needed to get that money. Nothing wrong with that.

For whatever reason, the below combos make me feel quite uncomfortable:

Kerry Wood, New York Yankees

As a Cubs fan, this one cut deep. While I don’t hate the Yankees, Kerry Wood was who you thought of when you brought up The Chicago Cubs during his time in the majors. Kid K spent his best years (1998-2008) on the North Side. After singing a two-year deal with Cleveland, Wood was traded to the Yankees on July 31, 2010. He primarily worked as Mariano Rivera’s setup man.

Luckily for us Cubs fans, Woody came home after his half year in New York. He signed a one year deal to come back to the Cubs and end his career in the blue pinstripes instead of the black ones. The way it was meant to be.

Patrick Ewing, Seattle Supersonics

Patrick Ewing is arguably the best player in New York Knicks history. I’m not old enough to realize how great Walt “Clyde” Frazier or Willis Reed were, but seems only appropriate to throw them in the discussion with more current Knicks like Carmelo Anthony & Allan Houston. For such a “storied” franchise, this is actually a pretty brutal top five list.

On September 20th, 2000, one of the largest trades in NBA history ended Ewing’s 15-year run in New York. The trade included The Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and of course the Seattle Supersonics. Tough break for Patrick in my opinion; nothing against Seattle but I think the Emerald City would come in third place of places I would prefer to move if I had the choice between there, LA, or Phoenix.

Emmitt Smith, Arizona Cardinals

When Emmitt Smith was released from the The Cowboys in 2003 after 12 years in Dallas, he was the all-time leading rusher in NFL history. He had racked up 17,162 yards, scored 153 touchdowns, and won three Superbowls. He was a part of the “triplets” in Dallas with Troy Aikman & Michael Irvin. The guy was the Dallas Cowboys.

When Bill Parcells took over the Cowboys, he decided it was time for a change, and released Smith on February 26, 2003. I think we all would have been happy to see Emmitt call it a career at that point. However, he decided he still had some left in the tank, and signed a two-year deal with The Arizona Cardinals. What resulted were two forgetful seasons highlighted by his return to Dallas to play the Cowboys on October 5, 2003, where he rushed six times for negative one yard.

Shaquille O’Neal, Boston Celtics

The Big Shamrock! One of the cornerstone’s of the Lakers early aughts dynasty ended his career with the rival Celtics, tragic.

I think it’s fair to say once The Big Aristotle’s runs with The Lakers and Heat were over, it was pure ring chasing time for the big fella. Shaq’s tenures in Phoenix, Cleveland, and of course Boston were a bit hard to watch as his body began to break down.

The silver lining we can take from all of these stops are the nicknames that we were given along the way: Superman, The Big Diesel, Big Daddy, MDE (Most Dominant Ever), Wilt Chamberneazy, and my personal favorite from the Phoenix days…Shaqtus.

Randy Moss, Tennessee Titans

Photo: Fansided

Randy “Imma Play When I Wanna Play” Moss. One of the most supremely athletic wide receivers we’ll ever see. If you haven’t, I would suggest taking some time out and watching any highlight tape of Moss’ career, like this one. He was so good that his name became a verb. If you ever get “Moss’d,” you might as well hang up your cleats.

After setting records with Tom Brady in New England, things started to unravel for Moss. His second tenure with The Vikings lasted less than a month, he made six catches with The Titans in eight games, retired for a year, and played his final season with The San Francisco 49ers in 2012.

Michael Jordan, Washington Wizards

Not even going to talk about it.

More often than not, these late-career moves do not worked out well. While it’s nearly impossible in today’s business of professional sports for a player to spend an entire career with one team, loyalty is still something that can be appreciated. However, when the business side makes itself prevalent, we as fans can be given the gift of some hilarious and awkward visuals with players in new uniforms.