Welcome back everyone, there are a number of topics I would like to cover today. From NFL playoff winners, Hall of Fame finalists, to the mess that is the Browns and everything in between.
First, on a positive note, the NFL Hall of Fame finalists came out this week. The list includes many, many, great players on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. I am of the belief that if a guy is a Hall of Famer than put him in the Hall of Fame. There is no reason to make a guy wait to get the required 80% vote if he is a Hall of Famer. A lot of guys are hampered and made to wait to get in the Hall of Fame because of the guys that are in their class. Guys that I think will get the 80% of the vote and be enshrined in Canton in August will be:
- Ray Lewis-if he doesn’t get in they should lock the doors and never allow another player in again. He is the greatest linebacker of all time and it isn’t even close. I do not care that he had a brush with the law early in his career, he was a great football player and that’s who belongs in Canton. Also, I can’t wait until his speech, that will definitely be one for the DVR.
- Alan Faneca-Drafted by the Steelers in 1998, he had a great career with Pittsburgh till 2007. He then signed with the NY Jets for 5 years and $40 million, $21 million guaranteed. The Jets cut him in 2010 and he retired in 2011 after 13 years. He was a great offensive guard and was voted to the Steelers 75th anniversary team by the fans.
- Tony Boselli-1st pick by the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, he was then drafted by the Houston Texans in the expansion draft in 2002. He retired after the season due to injury. He has been on the ballot for five years and I think this is the year he gets in.
- Brian Urlacher-spent his entire thirteen-year career with the Monsters of the Midway. He won rookie of the year in 2000, was selected to 8 pro bowls, and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. He played at the same time as Lewis did and was considered 1B to Lewis’s 1A.
- Randy Moss-Had a storied and sorted career, but there is little doubt that he is the most talented wide receiver ever to play the game. He was bigger and faster than everyone else on the field. He played on some great teams, his rookie year 1998, the Minnesota Vikings went 15-1 and lost in the NFC championship game. He also played on the 16-0 New England Patriots in 2007 that lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
That is my take on the Hall of Fame inductions in August. If you look at the list, there is a case to be made for everyone on that list to get enshrined. The Hall of Fame needs to redo how the pick the HoF class and put in the guys that are deserving of the honor no matter how many there are in the class.
I started with a positive note now to turn a little bit to the dark side. The Cleveland Browns are the perpetual dumpster fire. So, on Sunday a number of NFL coaches got fired, the one exception was Hue Jackson who by the way is 1-31 in his two years in Cleveland and 9-39 overall as an NFL head coach. Then on Monday, he issued the statement that “not everyone could do the job he did this year.” He is 100% correct, anyone else would at least accidentally won 1 game as evidenced by there only being two teams in the history of the NFL to go 0-16. I hate to say this because most of the time it is not right, but Jackson should be fired tomorrow. He blames the front office and lack of talent on the roster for the team’s failings every week, he takes no personal accountability. He does not deserve the privilege of coaching this franchise anymore.
As Jason McCourty said after last Sunday “this team does not have the talent to win the Super Bowl, but it also does not have the talent to go 0-16!” This is a huge draft for the Browns this year they have four picks in the top 35 including #1 and #4. They need to get weapons that will be developed and coached so that one day soon the Browns will not be the laughing stock of the league, but be competitive. I am sending a letter to Mr. Haslem telling him I will coach the Browns for 1/2 of whatever he pays that bum Jackson.
Now to this scam of a “parade”, they are going to have on Saturday. They should not be celebrating a 0-16 team, this is just reinforcing to the Haslem’s that they have the fans right where they want them. We, as the fans, need to put pressure on the Haslem’s to make a change to make the team better. If you are a true Browns fan do not show up for this “parade”, instead, everyone should call up and cancel their season tickets. I’m not sure that not showing up will put pressure on the Haslem’s, but I do know that the NFL does not want empty stadiums so the league will put pressure on them to either become better or sell. People, do not show up on Saturday send the Browns a message that we will not stand for this any longer and they need to bring us at least a competitive team with more than one good player. Make a move Mr. Haslem for the betterment of the team. Have some pride as a fanbase and do not attend this celebration of a disaster of a season.
On to college football, another scam “parade” is being held in Orlando, Fla. UCF’s athletic director is throwing a “championship parade” for the undefeated UCF Knights. UCF’s claim is based on the fact that they beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl and Auburn is the only team to beat Alabama and Georgia so they are using the transitive property to claim this national title. UCF is a nice little story this college football season but to think that they could beat Alabama, Georgia, or even Auburn in a regular season game is ludicrous. UCF is paying there former coaching staff, all of which are leaving to coach Nebraska, and won’t be there for the parade, their bonuses for winning the national championship. This is the most insane thing I’ve ever heard. This is opening a whole can of worms, how can an athletic department pay their coaches bonuses, coaches that are leaving, by the way, a mythical national championship bonus and Universities can’t pay their athletes. This is not a good look, especially since the one doing the paying is not a power 5 school. That is a discussion for later in the winter when there is nothing else going on.
Speaking of College Football Playoffs. The Rose Bowl was one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen, while the Sugar Bowl was a curb stomping by the Tide. In the Rose Bowl, Georgia was down 14 at the half 31-17. In the second half behind, a strong defense and a great running game the Bulldogs came roaring back to take a 38-31 lead. Then with about 6 minutes left in the game, Oklahoma scored to tie the game. On the ensuing possession, a Georgia fumble was returned for a touchdown to give the Sooners a 45-38 lead. Then Georgia marched down and tied the game with just under a minute to go on a direct snap to Nick Chubb. In overtime, I thought the Bulldogs were in trouble after their first possession ended in an FG, but the Bulldog defense stepped up and held the Sooners to an FG thanks to some questionable playcalling by the Sooners. The Sooners started the second overtime on offense and again some questionable playcalling that took the ball out of Baker Mayfield’s hand led to another FG by Oklahoma. On Georgia’s possession, they snapped the ball to Sony Michel and he ran left and went untouched for a touchdown.
The Sugar Bowl was not so entertaining the Crimson Tide held Clemson to 100 yards in the first half on their way to a 26-6 win. Setting up an all-SEC National Championship game on Monday in Atlanta. We will have a preview of that game on Sunday. The best thing that ESPN does for the semi-finals and the national championship game is the coach’s film room. This year they had Bret Bielema most recently of Arkansas, Larry Fedora HC at North Carolina, Gary Patterson HC at TCU, Major Applewhite HC at Houston, Dino Babers HC at Syracuse, and Dana Holgerson HC at WVU. Gary Patterson was the star of the show, he was next level good with his analysis. Babers, Holgerson, and Bielema were the next best with there analysis. For a guy like me that loves the ins and outs of the game of football, it was very enjoyable to watch these experts break down a game and catch the little things that you do not always get to see when watching the regular broadcast. Keep this up ESPN, looking forward to National Championship game.
This weekend my wife is taking over the cooking since here in Avon it is 0 degrees. Tomorrow she is making one of my favorites Cauliflower Pizza. That means the “crust” will consist of cauliflower and parmesan cheese. Our toppings for tomorrow will include fresh mozzarella cheese slices, pepperoni, peppers, and pizza sauce. It is going to be delicious. On Sunday, we are having a beef roast that she is making in the oven, that is going to be awesome as well. I am looking forward to having the weekend off from cooking. Our two words for the New Year are healthy and simplify. Make 2018 great!
Tonight we taped the great room for painting. Erin, could not wait to get some color on these walls. We built a house last September and had to wait to paint the walls until all of the nail pops were fixed. Our weekend project is going to be painting the great room greige and the half bath Naval Blue. Sounds fun!
I didn’t forget about you with the NFL playoff winners. After a 20-16-1 showing in the bowl season for 56%, we are ready to tackle the NFL Wildcard this weekend.
- Chiefs -8.5
- LA Rams/Falcons under 48.5
- Jacksonville -9
- Car/New Orleans under 48
There you go, winners, for Wildcard weekend! Let’s go 4-0!
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