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Aaron Rodgers


Brees and Dalton Are Great But Rodgers and Newton Are Tops

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Andy Dalton has shown a lot of poise and promise, but Cam Newton deserves the ROY nod.

I have this theory-some people don’t watch sports for the love of the game…they watch just to have something to argue about. And in my mind, arguing for Drew Brees to be MVP or Andy Dalton to be offensive rookie of the year is an example of that. There’s no doubt that Drew Brees and Andy Dalton have been impressive, but there’s also no doubt that Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton have redefined the word.

If you want to know why I think there’s no debate about Rodgers being MVP, look no further than the New Orleans Saints games against the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Saint Louis Rams. Both were embarrassing displays. New Orleans looked like a team without any identity in particular on offense and that can be traced back to poor performances by Brees. Brees finished both of those games with a quarterback rating below 74. Brees has had 5 games with multiple interceptions-NFL listed his number of interceptions at 14 but I think it might be 13. Either way, it’s more than double Rodgers’ number which is 6. Brees threw three INTs against Tampa Bay which certainly doesn’t have anything approaching a great defense.

And this has been the issue with Brees-among a lot of very brilliant games he throws in some serious doozies that are rare enough as to be uncharacteristic but common enough to be expected. This year Rodgers was by far the most consistent quarterback in the league-with only two games in which his passer rating dipped below 100- and he shouldn’t have to share honors with anyone else.

I realize that stats don’t tell the whole story but in the case of Rodgers they come mighty close. Not only is Rodgers consistent numerically he’s been largely consistent across game quarters as well.

Onto the darling rookies. I think we’ve all been pretty surprised by both Dalton and Newton. I’m actually more surprised by Dalton than Newton though…I guess because I was aware of the fact that Dalton had little experience taking snaps under center, I thought he’d be a slow moving target for a lot of professional front lines, and his personality on Gruden’s QB camp just didn’t strike me as formidable. But Dalton has had very little trouble adjusting to the pro style offense (and, more importantly the speed of the pro defense) and he’s better than many of the 2nd year guys that are playing right now. And, quite frankly, though still mistake prone he may be in some areas outperforming some 3rd and 4th year dudes like Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco. But he is certainly not outperforming his fellow rookie Cam Newton.

In the past few weeks as Newton stormed through a slew of records including Peyton Manning’s rookie passing record, those championing Dalton over Newton have quieted a bit. I’m glad, because there simply should be no debate about Newton’s worthiness.

Newton has single-handedly reinvigorated a franchise that had barely been relevant since jailed wide receiver Rae Carruth pathetically stuffed himself in a trunk in an attempt to avoid capture for the murder of the mother of his child. Now, even volatile-but-talented wide receiver Steve Smith can’t hide his delight in catching Newton’s passes. it hasn’t calmed his temper, but it’s ignited his enthusiasm for sure. Newton has been on fire and he’s done it all with a defense that barely gives him 5 minutes to catch his breath in between possessions.

Beyond passing yards and rushing touch downs, Newton and Dalton are neck in neck statistically. But Dalton has the benefit of a more balanced team-including a MUCH better defense- and some scary weapons on offense including the talented rookie AJ Green and the high flying acrobatic Jerome Simpson. Thus it’s no wonder that Dalton is headed to the playoffs his rookie season while Newton is headed home.

Dalton will get his due. But this year Newton has really made a name for himself. And I’m thinking that sooner rather than later Newton will be among the youngest to ever join the much talked about cadre of elite quarterbacks.









NFL Kickoff: Green Bay Packers Still Rare Combo of Fundamentals and Excitement

Greenbay Packers Cornerback Charles Woodson

Packers Cornerback Charles Woodson needs his ass beat!

The NFL welcomed us fans back in style with a better opening game than they could have EVER hoped for. It was a high-scoring, low-penalty, uppercutting (whaaat?!?!) kind of game that was so uptempo I felt my heart rate going up despite at least 10 boring ass’d touchbacks.

This ain’t ESPN or your local newspaper so I’m not gonna recap the game. But I’ll give a few of my observations:

Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are two of the best QBs in the league. This is a Captain Obvious sort of thing. But Rodgers breezed through plays and made everything from footwork to back shoulder throws look effortless. Brees threaded the needle on some pretty impressive passes and I don’t remember even one interception.  I had no idea that the Saints were in some sort of contract dispute with Brees but they might want to go ahead and empty their wallets right away. As the Packers D threw Brees myriad looks they actually showed him on the sidelines flipping through pages tryin to figure out his next move. In a game like this one, a lesser QB would’ve cracked. In this instance I can guess that Brees was quite a help to Saints Coach Sean Payton who seemed to be struggling with play calling.

Example: pass play on 4th an inches.

Looks at rookie power runner Mark Ingram.

Now at the kicker.

Now back at Mark Ingram.

Now back at the kicker.

Now back at Mark Ingram.

Sadly, Sean Payton didn’t look at either of them :(

This was one of those games that felt a lot more one-sided than it was simply because one team made it look effortless (Packers) and the other team made it look tiresome (Saints).

The Saints D is change you probably can’t believe in. Coming into the season there were certain supposedly good defenses that I was skeptical about. The Saints D is one of them (along with the Ravens and pre-infirmary Giants). Roman Harper is bearing the brunt of the criticism just like most defensive backs do cause hey, who really sees when a linebacker or defensive end messes up. I’m not saying Harper is playing on an elite level, but the reality is the Packers offense was doing whatever they felt when they wanted to.  Blown coverages aren’t just the result of one failing secondary player.

Ultimately the defense needs to gel, and the Saints front and secondary weren’t on the same page. And worse, they seemed content to settle for stopping the gain after passes were caught. And against a team like the Packers that simply won’t do. Now if we want to talk about the secondary, I will say Rodgers looked completely bored by the Saints pass rush. Harper did manage to sack him with 6 minutes left in the game but umm…yeah so…mmhmm yeah.

Long story short: The Saints were competitive with an elite team so there’s no need to put Roman Harper’s car on blocks…yet.

The Packers are that rare combo of fundamentally sound and exciting. The thing I hate most about the Packers is that they’re impossible to hate. Fundamental football teams are always more interesting than fundamental basketball teams (think New England Patriots vs. San Antonio Spurs) but the Packers don’t just give flashes of brilliance they produce eye-popping plays all game. If they continue on like this, they will breeze through the season. Remember, last year they had about 16 players on IR by mid-season. They come into this season pretty healthy and not at all rusty by the looks of it.

I will tell you what IS rusty though, that Lambeau Leap. I can do without it. It’s one thing when there’s a few scores in a game, but when you have a college basketball scoring numbers every time a scorer Lambeau leaps I wanna leap through my screen and helmet to helmet hit him. And I’m an actual dirty player not a media-exaggerated one like Ndamukong Suh.

If Ingram’s knee holds up the Saints will have a bright run game. Saints took a bit of a chance drafting an RB who already had knee surgery before he ever played a down in the NFL. But Ingram, though semi-misused in this game, had a great showing tonight and he’s looks as though he will add a lot to the team. Darren Sproles is the teeniest little running back my eyes ever did see, but boy was he something else last night.  A lot of talk on twitter about Reggie Bush (perhaps he’s the only Saints player some Saints fans knew? I’m sure they can name all the Falcons RBs though… No shots!) but Sproles game is come-pleat-lee different.

To say that Sproles gives them a more consistent run option is like saying it’s been raining in DC all week. Okay, and? Bush isn’t just a running back. When healthy he’s a playmaker that gives you more than one option out of the slot. Maybe Sproles will be a playmaker too, he certainly showed some potential, but comparing grapefruits to watermelons has never been my thing. But  I guess when you’re main motivation is to make jokes, mock and slander, those comparisons come in handy. woop dee do! Besides, at 5’6 Sproles has an advantage: it’s hard to tackle somebody you can’t even see from your vantage point.

Charles Woods needs his ass beat. So during the game Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, who says he’s the most complete player in the league (no disrespect, but I can only guess he gets his information from Fox News), uppercut one of the Saints players and managed to get away with it. Now Woodson’s weight is listed at 200lbs. I would guess him at slightly less. At any rate, in high school the security cameras allegedly caught me pushing a 200+lbs dude down the steps after he made a snide comment about my side ponytail, may he rest in peace (I didn’t kill him, he died years later). So there’s no reason Woodson should have still be standing after what he did. Who dat dem gonna uppercut dem saints. Woodson I guess.

Bottom line: I hate the Saints and I want to hate the Packers. One more Lambeau Leap or win over the Falcons and I’m sure I will accomplish my goal.

If remembered anything wrong, cuss me out/correct me in the comments section.  I’m not rewatching any games cause, again, I ain’t your local reporter. I’m your neighborhood blogger. Get into me!



The ONE Question I Ask Myself Before Calling a Quarterback “Elite”

New York Giants QB Eli Manning

Last week was a week of QB overstatements. New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan said Jets QB Mark Sanchez is elite. New York Giants QB Eli Manning said he was in Tom Brady’s class of QBs (i.e. elite). And, somehow, the delusion managed to leave NY and travel all the way down to Baltimore where 3rd year QB Joe Flacco of the Ravens said he was a top 5 QB (i.e. elite).





I’m all for players (and coaches) fighting to get a place in the top player conversation. I’ve blogged about that before in reference to Donovan McNabb. The truth is, once people say something enough, people start to believe it. And once people believe something ain’t much that will change their mind. So hats off to Flacco, E. Manning, and Rex Ryan for trying to drive the conversation.

I don’t agree with what they said though.

Which brings me to the point of this post. What is an elite QB?

One of the reasons I hate getting into debates about “who’s the best such and such” or “who’s the top such and such” is because there are NEVER any parameters. Someone arguing for Tony Romo will cite his completion rate, somebody arguing for Brady will mention Superbowls, someone arguing for Rivers will emphasize passing yards.

*Enter conversation that goes round and round and never ends*

That’s why those kinds of debates make great fodder…everyone can argue forever and the only loser is my last nerve.

Short on that kind of patience, I boil my analysis of elite QB down to one question:

Can the QB do something on a CONSISTENT basis that no one else can do?

And by no one I mean, almost no one. But you get my point. A QB needs to have some sort of talent that makes them unique or rare. That talent needs to be CONSTANT-not appear in flashes here and there.

From my perspective:

Ben Roethlisberger is agile and tough enough to defy almost any defender—though Richard Seymour might want to have a word with me about this. He also has an uncanny ability to extend plays.

Tom Brady’s decision making is top notch. He just has a feel for the game that is unmatched.

Michael Vick’s athleticism and ability to extend a play puts him in a class of his own regardless of what other weaknesses he may have. And long passes are effortless for him, so is scrambling when he needs to.

Drew Brees’ ability to create a play with his arm is as stunning as it is fun to watch. Pro Football Focus found that if you discount spikes, dropped balls and grounded balls, Brees and Brady were the most accurate QBs of 2010. Brees also knows how to find weaknesses and exploit them.

Aaron Rodgers’ versatility makes him a complete QB with some real strengths in every area of measure. In particular, he can threat the needle and he has a quick release.

I can’t think of any “rare something” possessed by Eli Manning or Mark Sanchez that impresses me game after game. When I can, I’ll consider them elite.

That doesn’t mean they’re not good. Mark Sanchez has accomplished a lot in a short period of time and shows flashes of brilliance. Eli Manning has a Superbowl under his belt and managed to do it with the entire New York media firing shots directly at his butt cheeks. And Flacco is still the only rookie in NFL history to win two playoff games.

But good is not elite. And by my measuring stick they fall short.

So now you have my criteria. What’s yours?

Update: Sanchez became the 2nd rookie to play in two playoff games. Thanks for the correction @klew24. Maybe I blocked that out because I hope the Jets go up in flames. ^_^



ESPN Calls Brett Favre To Announce That Aaron Rodgers is A Better Lover

For the past 23948092343 years sports journalists and media outlets like ESPN have been working over time to tell us how big Brett Favre’s quarterback penis is. I maintain that Favre is one of, if not the most, overrated quarterback in the history of the game.

This is not to say that Favre wasn’t good-he absolutely was. But he’s also a beneficiary of golden boy deference. Over the years he’s charmed the microphones and pens right off your favorite journalists. But it’s not his fault that his aw shucks country boy routine has been effective, he isn’t in this alone.

Sports media scrambles like hell to crown to someone. Always in a hurry to have a debate about who’s the best right now, who’s the best ever. That’s the kind of conversation that dominates sports coverage. Personally, I find it tiring. I’m also not a man, so that could explain my disinterest in turning every.fucking.thing into a head to head competition and debate.

As you can see on this blog, I rarely ever write posts like that. To me, sports is bigger than that-I can appreciate one player for his individual contributions to the game and not just what he has contributed in comparison to someone else.

But I digress.

After so many years of lying in sports-writing bed with Favre, stroking his blond locks and rubbing his feet with the vigor of Rex Ryan, sports media has now decided that Rodgers is the best thing since sliced WHITE bread. And in order to make sure we all go along with the incessant cooing over Rodgers that will take place until another fair skinned rocket thrower appears on the scene, ESPN has to do just like every other man:  Tell everybody JUST HOW FUCKING MUCH BETTER HE IS THAN THE LAST GUY THEY FUCKED.

For your viewing pleasure courtesy of Sportscenter’s twitter account:

And for the record, Super Bowl 45 or none, Ben Roethlisberger still kicks ass!!


Super Bowl 45: Anticipation, Botched Tunes, Propaganda and a New NFL Superstar

Congrats to the Packers. They lost key players to injury in the Super Bowl and still managed to pull out a victory.


Let’s start out by saying, I don’t give a damn about the Super Bowl unless my team is playing. I just watch because I love football. The Super Bowl becomes even more of a production every year. Now we’re up to two full weeks of Super Bowl talk all around mainstream media plus a weekend of stories and interviews and flashbacks etc.

I do enjoy “some” of it. But now that the NFL has replaced baseball as America’s sport, the level of attention paid to the Super Bowl from all spheres has become overwhelming. So much so, I really didn’t pay much attention to most of it.

As far as the pre-game was concerned, I get making Super Bowl a distinctly Americans event-we love holidays and nostalgia. But this year’s Super Bowl was full of unwelcome and uncomfortable propaganda. All sorts of lines about “freedom” and “independence” read by players, coaches, and military men and women, among others. It felt like it was airing on the history channel, only the Fox News version where there are colonies and colonizers but no small pox blankets or slaves.

In fact, they actually talked about the colonies. Awkward. The tone of pre-game production wasn’t my cup of tea. I suggest the NFL keep the history references to a minimum unless they’re referring to the evolution of the game.

The National Anthem And Whatnot

In a show of shameless promotion, Fox decided to have Lea Michele from the sitcom(?) “Glee” sing “America the Beautiful.” Unfortunately, it sounded ugly. Too bad the NFL doesn’t have any Canadian expansion teams, cause that would have been a good reason to drag Tamia out to sing “Oh Canada.” ANYTHING would have been better.

Christina Aguilera’s rendition of the Star-spangled Banner was simply awful! She oversang, messed up the words, and looked like a goth blob. Most people who sing the anthem choose to pre-record. That eliminates these sorts of embarrassments. But alas she sung her rendition live. I’m sure she wishes she had a time machine.

Speaking of the anthem, Americans will bet on anything, and by anything I mean the over/under on how long it would take Aguilera to finish the national anthem. The two big gambling sites and clocked the time differently (1:53.7 and 1:54.2 respectively), sending the online gambling world into a frenzy.

I may or may not be exaggerating.


I thought the Black Eyed Peas did a good job but they put quantity over quality, opting for a effect-driven show rather than a talent-driven one. 500 dancers and I don’t even know how many songs were in their medley-7 maybe? They also bought out both Slash and Usher. I thought both were great, but Fergie’s singing wasn’t as good as it normally is and the songs jumped genres and had no real flow.

But luckily I like their party music, so I jigged a little and was satisfied for the most part. I think if you like BEP, generally speaking, the performance was good, if you don’t it was a tragic mistake.

Kind of hard to please anyone who’s seen Michael Jackson and Prince perform at halftime.


The first quarter simply wasn’t competitive. The Packers ran over the Steelers scoring two quick touch downs. The rest of the game was much better, but turnovers and dropped balls pervaded it making the energy a bit uneven.  Still a a good game overall (probably not in the top 10 of those I’ve seen in my lifetime though).

I remain kind of in disbelief that defensive titans Harrison, Polamalu, Farrior, and Clark made very little impact on the game.The Packers Defense played well-they looked confused for a bit after CB Charles Woodson left the game with a broken collar bone, but eventually pulled themselves back together and continued to apply pressure.

Ben Roethlisberger made some crucial errors and turnovers including 2 interceptions. The Packers converted Steelers’ turnovers into 21 points, and I think that really tells a lot of the story. Rodgers looked to be heading into his normal bad-second-half routine that he’s had throughout this year’s playoffs but it didn’t last very long. He really put together a good game.


I think it would be a nice gesture if Favre called Rodgers personally to congratulate him. Favre has been a hard act to follow in terms of winning the hearts and minds of fans. But as you can see from Rodgers’ play this year and Favre’s stints with the Jets and Vikings, the Packers made the right choice in sticking with Rodgers.

I’m sure Packers fans will have no problem coming to terms with this now that that they have another Lombardi trophy to show for it. Besides, after only 3 years they have a QB that gets to be in the ranks of the “chosen ones” that analysts shower with deference and positivity. A land where no black man shall ever live. Just one more thing to celebrate.


I do watch other sports; however football is the only sport that matters. The lockout that is looming is like a dark cloud over my life. Speaking of life, unfortunately, with football season over I have to get one.

I’m glad that the combine is coming up soon because that’s always a good time, well, to me anyway.

Even though the season is over I will still be busy on this blog. It’s in the process of being redesigned and I’m working on some special projects to introduce that will make next football season even more fun for me and hopefully for my readers as well.

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