I just LOVE preseason football. Because the best man just might win.


Word on the street is that new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t need to see anything from Adrian Peterson in the preseason, and that AP may not play at all until Week 1.

On the surface, this sounds reasonable. AP is not just a proven commodity, he is the ONLY commodity for the Vikings. Protect your most valuable player from injury in meaningless games…right?

But there are several negative aspects to this approach. For example, fans who are forced to purchase preseason game tickets at full price in order to purchase season tickets don’t get to see their favorite player for which they paid so handsomely a price.

But the so-called “negative aspect” also sometimes opens the door for something very positive to happen.

Flash back two years ago: the Seahawks drafted a ridiculously short QB in the third round after signing Matt Flynn to nine meeelyun dollahs guaranteed. That rookie was actually THIRD on the depth chart, and during the preseason Russell Wilson beat out both Flynn and T-Jack to be the starter in Week 1. It was absolutely ELECTRIFYING watching this happen during preseason games.

The preseason is the ultimate job interview, and we get to watch players fly around the field trying to get that job…sometimes making spectacular plays, other times making spectacular mistakes. It can be such fun watching these fringe guys play balls-out football. Every once in awhile, we see a future superstar get his start.

And the very positive thing that could happen this preseason is exactly what Vikings fans should worry about.

No, I’m not suggesting some rookie, or anybody else, would have even so much as a prayer of beating out All Day. I’m suggesting that Adrian has already been beaten. Seriously, a NEW coach doesn’t need to see if his star player is up to full speed with the NEW system?

This is what we call “trade bait”, folks. AP will hit the running back’s magical 30 milestone a month after Super Bowl XLIX (for those who don’t speaketh Greek, I mean the next championship game). The Vikings’ GM is very well aware of this upcoming birthday party. Lots of people HOPE that a star running back will continue to be productive for a few more years beyond 30, but the reality is that these race horses are already on their way out to pasture. Who knows when Adrian’s ACL will be blown out again, anyway?

Plus, AP knows that the bettor’s odds of getting a Super Bowl ring with the Vikings over the next couple of years…even the loser’s ring…is almost zero.

The Vikings want real value from Peterson. Trading him during the preseason could provide them with value for the future. So they must keep the man from getting injured.

Peterson wants to be on a contending team. He wants a ring before his career is over.

And there are quite a few teams who would love to have a running back that is (at least for now…) still such an explosive runner. Maybe even a team that has a real shot at the Super Bowl, like the one that has to deal with a hold-out of their own. A team that is willing to trade handsomely to assume AP’s contract…a contract that is apparently team-friendly.

The best man just might win this preseason.


After all this time, people are still butthurt over “Fail Mary”


I went to a wedding this weekend, and met a Broncos fan (sorry, bruh). We talked about the Super Bowl and football in general, and without prompting he soon brought up the infamous “Fail Mary” play.

He insisted it was an interception, and blamed the replacement refs. I informed him that the replacement refs (as well as the locked-out officials) don’t have the final say on a scoring play. His face had a look of bewilderment: “They don’t?” After a few more exchanges I turned and started making my way back to the bar saying, “Tape don’t lie, man. Tape don’t lie.” His reply: “In this case, it does.”

Wow. Ignorance has no bounds. My next beer tasted great while I struck up a convo with someone else.

Even two years later, football fans seem to bring up the Fail Mary play on every football-related website at least once a day. There’s still much butthurt on teh innerwebs. And nothing…NOTHING…will convince them that it was not an interception. Not replay officials. Not the NFL league office itself.

Not even tape.

Coldhardfootballfacts.com did an excellent, in-depth article showing how the play was correctly called by officials, and correctly upheld by the replay booth, and correctly upheld by the league office, as a touchdown. They used both actual NFL rules, and actual NFL images from the play, to make this fact crystal clear. It’s worth the time to read, but I’m going to attack the issue in a slightly different way.

MYTH: “The replacement refs cost the Packers the game by ruling touchdown!”
TRUTH: NFL referees (replacements and regular officials) do NOT have final say on a scoring play. More than a year previous, the NFL made a rule that all scoring plays are subject to review…with the possible result being that the ruling on the field is to be overturned. Translation: if it WERE actually an interception, the replay review would have overturned the call made by the replacement refs.

MYTH: “The replacement refs cost the Packers the game on replay review!”
TRUTH: The replay booth is staffed by full-time employees of the NFL. Team owners cannot lock these people out, like they did with the regular field refs.

In addition, the replay booth has 28 or more cameras available to review, many more than what you see on broadcasted replays, and they have state-of-the-art equipment that allows them to step frame-by frame, zoom and pan. They are also staffed by full-time employees who MUST know the rules of the game, and apply those rules to what they see on the replay.

MYTH: “The call would stand if it were called as an interception!”
TRUTH: NFL owners had just approved during the 2012 off-season a rule change for automatic instant replay review of all turnovers. Upon review, the replay booth would have likely overturned the ruling if it were called as an interception…and judge it as a touchdown.

Here’s why: catching the ball is not enough. For example, a receiver can catch a ball on the run, but if only one foot is in-bounds while the big toe of his other foot lands out of bounds…that’s an incomplete pass, because you did not establish possession of the ball (both feet in-bounds). The exact same criteria applies to defenders: if you’re going to intercept a ball, you must get two feet on the field turf in order to establish possession.

Jennings didn’t do that. Yes, he had two hands on the ball, but he also had two feet off the ground…it’s not an interception until not one, but both feet are on the ground. And Tate had his hands on the ball while Jennings was still in the air.

MYTH: Jennings had two hands on the ball, therefore he had more control of the ball than Tate!”
TRUTH: One-handed receptions are made every week in the NFL. These plays often make highlight reels, with great celebration. And tape shows a one-handed reception. But it was ruled a “simultaneous catch” instead.

In addition, before Jennings got his second foot on the ground to potentially establish possession, Tate already had his ass on the ground. And having your ass on the ground, after a simultaneous catch with your hands are on the ball, means that THE PLAY IS DEAD. It’s over. No possibility for Jennings to establish possession. Again…it’s not enough that you catch the ball, even with both hands: you must establish possession (both feet). If the play is already dead, it doesn’t matter if you got your hands on the ball: your feet fucked you.

Then there’s that whole “simultaneous catch” rule that would have negated an interception, and awarded a touchdown, even if Jennings got both feet down before Tate’s ass hit the turf. See where this is going?

A very wise man once said, “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.” Many men have said, “Tape don’t lie.” Both are true. Both apply here.

So here’s the ACTUAL butthurt. Jennings could have easily won that game for Green Bay. EASILY, I say. All he had to do was DO HIS JOB: that is, prevent the receiver from catching the ball. Pound it down to the ground, or swat it out of bounds. He is a highly-trained professional, he knows how to do that.

But he decided he wanted even more glory. He got greedy. He tried to catch the ball instead.

Jennings didn’t do his job. He fucked up. On national TV.

THAT is the definition of butthurt.

Redskins: racist slur, or serious respect? Or maybe it’s something else…


OK, maybe this subject has been beaten to death, but…WAKE UP, HORSE!

Even if you know squat about football, you’ve likely heard about efforts by…well, it seems like just about everybody…to get the Washington Redskins to change their name. On the surface, this sounds just too politically correct NOT to agree with, right? Because after all, if you’re not politically correct, then you might as well have “RACIST” tattooed on your forehead.

I was a little kid when The Brady Bunch was still on Prime Time television (FTR: Jan ended up being the smoking-hot one). During the final season was an episode called “Kelly’s Kids“, dealing with a white couple adopting three boys of different races and their next-door bigot who expressed her non-approval (yes, back then we called most racists “bigots”, because back then “racist” was a slur reserved for actual racists). Perhaps the following prop was only meant to be subtle commentary to enhance the show’s positive message: Todd Lookinland’s character wore a Redskins jacket during the episode. But basically, the entire premise of the episode was about love and acceptance, regardless of color.

And as the years went on and I got past my screen crush over Eve Plumb (um…ok, still have the screen crush), I never once considered the team name “Redskins” to be racist. Referring to Native Americans as “redskins” in a negative tone of voice…absolute racism bigotry. Team name…never a thought. But now I’m being told that the team name is racist, so I need to get with the program.

But it didn’t stop there. Now the Kansas City Chiefs offends, even though the team name was borne after a white man. And the person who is offended by the Chiefs, and also got the trademark canceled for the Redskins, has an interesting conundrum to deal with: her own tribe named and root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. And the tribe is not inclined to change the name. Irony much?

The most eloquent and eye-opening article about this whole situation that I have read so far comes from Kerry J. Byrne of coldhardfootballfacts.com, who happens to be part Irish, part Native American. And he believes the Redskins name must be saved. Not “should”, but “must”.

Then I noticed that the Washington Redskins were the third most valuable NFL franchise, valued at approximately $1.6 billion as of 2013. Changing the name would have serious financial consequences for one Dan Snyder, which explains why he doesn’t want to change the name.

So where am I going with this? Pretty simple: we have one person who apparently doesn’t want to lose on his investment in an NFL team, we have a few select people who apparently want their 15 minutes of fame, and we have a large chorus of people who apparently feel the need to weigh in on the controversy in order to give the impression that they’re not racists…some of whom want your vote in the next election.

In other words, this is just a pissing match. And while Dan Snyder may look like he’s soaked right now, he may come out of this whole ordeal smelling just fine.

Who are the BEST cornerbacks today? My opinion sucks as much as yours…


Darrell Revis suffered a season-ending injury early in the 2012 season. Shortly after that season’s Super Bowl, Richard Sherman declared himself to be the best cornerback, and Revis shot back “Sit down young pup & wait your turn”. Just as the 2013 season was about to start, Revis further said, “You’ve got to earn it.”

Well…Sherman didn’t sit and wait his turn as advised. And he earned it.

Good times.

Of course, some people have a problem with Sherman being regarded as the best cornerback. For example, they like to say that Sherman doesn’t play man-to-man, and doesn’t cover the #1 wide-receiver…like he did during Week 2, limiting Anquan Boldin to just one reception for 7 yards (right after a Week 1 performance of 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown). Sherman plays in a system, and it’s a system designed to completely shut down…ok, humiliate…a historic NFL offense.

As the quiet period of the NFL drags on, writers gotta write about something. So Bucky Brooks at NFL.com listed his best cornerbacks, placing Sherman in the (rightful) spot of #1. But then his list quickly falls apart…in my suckable opinion, of course.

He listed Patrick Peterson as #2. A guy who had his worst season last year, allowing a Passer Rating of 91.3. A guy who got burned for seven touchdowns, and only had two interceptions. A guy whose best year isn’t as good as Sherman’s worst year.

Of course, some people have a problem with Peterson being ranked below Sherman. For example, they like to say that Peterson is an athletic freak, he’s “asked” to follow the #1 wide-receiver in every game, and he’s got a lot of future potential to be one of the best ever. He should be ranked #1.

But c’mon…”future potential”? This is the “show me now” league, the “what have you done for me lately” league. And so far, there are at least three unmentioned cornerbacks besides Sherman *cough* Joe Haden *cough* who had superior numbers to Peterson over the last three years.

So sit down Bucky, and ice up, son. Peterson hasn’t earned it.

Hmmm…not sure if Crabtree is reciting “I’m a Little Teapot” or insisting that Sherman put a ring on it…



The REAL lying season is now among us, folks


The period of time leading up to the NFL Draft is commonly referred to as “the NFL’s Lying Season”. Team executives, coaches, scouts and maybe even the team’s cafeteria cook all talk about who they “love” in the draft. Sometimes it’s because they hope a mentioned player will be selected sooner, so that “their guy” falls to them. They also gush over certain current players on the roster who will “definitely play a key role” in the next season’s scheme…in other words, this “key role” guy is trade bait.

Sometimes, it works. Usually, it doesn’t.

In actuality, we are living in “the NFL’s Lying Season” right now. The best part is, this lying season NEVER works. There are many examples, such as…

Norv Turner of the Vikings sez that his group of QBs are really, really good. Matt Cassell “had an outstanding spring” and he has been “impressed” with Ponder. Yes, I typed those sentences without regurgitating my beer.

After rewriting the record books in 2013, Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase believes they can be even better in 2014. If he means, “lose the Super Bowl by only two touchdowns”, well, ok…I can accept that. But rewriting the records again? Not likely.

According to James Ihedigbo, this year’s Lions has “championship DNA“. Unfortunately, that baby has always been stillborn.

After RG3-13, the ‘skins offensive coordinator Sean McVay sez that Quarterback Bob “looks like he is exactly what he was in the 2012 season.” He’s only worked with Bob for a few weeks so far, but hey…he’s still an expert on Bob from two seasons ago, right?

To be perfectly fair, and hopefully correct, all of this lying is done for the fans. Get them excited about the upcoming season, give them reason to believe, and get them to buy game tickets. You can’t blame anybody for doing that. After all, who knows…your team might be the next Greatest Show on Turf.

Although it would be fun to see one person say, “Good Lord, we’re gonna suck this year.”

Well, OF COURSE the NFL’s Top 100 list is rigged. Can’t have nothing to bitch about.


By now everyone is aware that numbers 11-20 of the Top 100 Players of 2014 as voted by the players themselves has been unveiled.

And Donte Whitner thinks it’s all a lie. A sham, bogus, phony…the players don’t vote! And I think maybe he’s right, and not because he didn’t make the list, either.

The writers at NFL.com have a light workload this month: there’s really not much going on in football. That is, unless you’re the guy documenting all of the seasonal PED and substance abuse suspensions being handed out (yes kids, it’s that time of year when the league actually tries to help you with your fantasy football draft, so that you don’t pick some loser who’s about to miss four to sixteen games).

And because there’s nothing to write about, readership drops. Because readership drops, advertisers drop. Because advertisers drop, money stops flowing in. Because money stops flowing in, somebody starts kicking puppies. Wait…what?

So the best way to give a writer something to write about is MAKE SOMETHING UP. Seriously, that’s how journalism works. Just look at me, I’m writing about this, too. See how simple this concept is?

According to the scribes at NFL.com, it is a complete outrage that Aaron Rodgers is rated at #11. Holy sheeeeit, he’s not in the Top 10! Ohh em fucking jee, these players are idiots!

And it really “irks” this scribe about the other players Rodgers is ranked among, and both of the players he mentioned are Seahawks (yeah, that’s smart…use current champions to make your point for why your favorite player’s ranking is insulting).

If Aaron Rodgers had made the Top 10, we wouldn’t have had such “explosive” opinion pieces from NFL.com to read. So yeah, it makes perfect sense that the list is just thrown together, and the players don’t actually vote.

Next week: Richard Sherman is unveiled as the only defensive player in the Top 10. Somebody at NFL.com scores three points with a puppy.

And YOU are entertained.

I think Johnny Manziel is a secret agent for the U.S.A.


Lots of e-ink is being spilt lately about the happy-go-lucky ways of one Johnny Manziel. The man likes to have a good time, and he doesn’t give two shits about what anyone thinks about it…not even his boss.

The truly eye-opening story from the “What da Fuck?” department is that he has been hanging with the all-to-sexy inked-up man-child, Justin Bieber.

But after giving it some thought, I realized that Johnny must know about recent efforts to have that little shit deported. And while our government publicly states that Bieber is good for our economy, we all know they secretly wish he would just disappear (Disclaimer: I am in no way suggesting their wish is a “black ops” type of “disappear”. But my conspiracy persona believes that option is probably on the table).

For whatever reason, I suddenly recalled that Elvis once approached Nixon about becoming a special agent to help protect this great country from Commies, hippies and The Beatles.

And then it came to me: Johnny is a secret agent, running a government op to get close to Bieber and document all of his illegal and disgustingly cute antics to build a case for federal prosecutors to bring the hammer down and put that kid on a boat back to…um, well, Canada.

Then he can add Johnny Patriot to his list of alias’

Oh, wait…no, he can’t. Sorry, never mind, didn’t mean to bring up the distant future. Nothing to see here, move along.