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

Sunday State of Mind: July 19th-June 25th

Photo: Blogenium

After a long week of sports, we’re here to review in this week’s SSM.

We crowned a brand new champ this week in the NBA
Giannis took the whole thing over, in a dominant way
Even better than basketball, maybe his best display
Fifty nuggets and an all-time video, drive through Chik-Fil-A

The Tampa Bay Bucs got their fat ass rings
One of the better perks of being NFL kings
That 43 year old quarterback just continues to linger
If he holds on any more, he’s going to run out of fingers

Opposite side of greatness, USA basketball
Pre-Olympic struggles, and to France they did fall
We’ve been historically spoiled, not used to being rolled
Need Pop and the boys to get going, if they want to get the gold

The summer of college football continues to be one of change
Texas and Oklahoma, nearing a conference rearrange
Leaving the Big 12 to move to the SEC
This will not be the last big move, that’s a guarantee

Sunday State of Mind: June 14th-June 20th

Happy Father’s Day! Read this week’s SSM to Dad since he was probably napping in his recliner during all the action.

Madden 22 has released their latest cover
Two goats, one game, great for football lovers
Brady and Mahomes are your newest cover boys
On the video game that has given all of us years of joy

Spider Tack introduced itself into the public eye
MLB cares all the sudden, truly wonder why
No chance that it could be because batting’s now a joke
Anything they can do to fix a sport that’s nearly broke

Suns and the Clippers, finals in the West
Phoenix and LA going to see who is the best
Bucks advanced in the East to face the 76ers or Hawks
Philly or Atlanta in game seven, loser has to walk

Sunday State of Mind: May 24th-May 30th

It’s a holiday weekend, and we’re here with a wrap up of what happened in sports this week with Sunday State of Mind.

The biggest story far and wide, the rivalry continues to grow
Brooks Koepka went viral with disdain for Bryson DeChambeau
Most golf fans would agree with Brooks, Bryson’s a bit of a tool
No surprise Tom Brady came in, and continued his Twitter Rule

Another weird moment this week, in the story of Julio Jones
When speaking with Shannon Sharpe, “didn’t know” he was on the phone
Either way it seems to be the end of Julio in the A
His relationship with the Falcons continues to decay

The NBA playoffs just keep chugging along
The Sixers, Hawks, and Nets are all looking strong
The Cinderella Knicks might be ending their run soon
Only seemed a few weeks ago they were going to the moon

An Albert Pujols Appreciation Blog

Shocking, though not terribly surprising news dropped on Thursday. The Los Angeles Angels announced that they would be releasing Albert Pujols. Pujols had been with the team since 2012, signing an at the time 10 year, $240 million mega deal.

Pujols, a missed nomination for the funniest names in sports, continued a completely understandable late career downtrend this season. Through 24 games in 2021, he is hitting .198 with a .622 OPS. For reference, his first year in LA he hit .285 and .859, respectively.

However, we are not here to kick Pujols while he’s down. Father Time is undefeated (unless you’re Tom Brady), so the declining numbers we’ve seen from Pujols is nothing short of expected.

We’re here to celebrate what may be the end of one of the most spectacular baseball players in the modern era. Hand up; I’m a Cubs fan. I think enough time has passed that myself and fellow North Siders can appreciate Pujols for what he was, an absolute tank who refused to not rip your heart out at any given moment.

Let’s just break this down. In his 11 years in St. Louis, Pujols hit 445 home runs, knocked in 1,329 RBI, maintained an 1.037 OPS, and was an unearthly 86.6 WAR. I’m not a math guy, but we’re looking at averages of about 40 HRs, 121 RBI, and 7.9 WAR. That’s an average year. Just bananas numbers.

Now, the numbers did dip once he left The Cardinals for the West Coast. Even so, the numbers are still pretty impressive for a guy entering the back half of his career. During his 10 seasons with The Halos, Pujols racked up 222 HRs, 783 RBI, a .758 OPS, and a 12.8 WAR. I won’t bore you with averages here, but you can see the production was still there.

A sure fire Hall of Famer, and seemingly a pretty good guy off the field. Albert Pujols deserves the appreciation from any baseball fan lucky enough to watch him in the past 21 years. If this is it, here’s to an incredible career.

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

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?