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

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.