Tag Archives: awards

Top Rope Talk- Top 5 Hall of Fame Snubs

It’s WrestleMania weekend and the guys discuss their Top 5 Hall of Fame Snubs. Their are a whole lot of people who deserve to make the list. Did Chris Benoit? Did your favorite make it?

Photo: pl.wwe.com

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Serena aces Aussie Open

Embed from Getty Images

Serena Williams was able to serve eighteen aces en route to winning her sixth Australian Open championship.

She defeated Maria Sharapova for the fifteenth time in a row. The last time Sharapova was able to beat Serena was in 2004.

Williams, who has now won 19 majors, moves past Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. She is only three back of Steffi Graf and five shy Margaret Court.

“Standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen” Williams said.

Which begs the question…

With 19 major championships, is Serena Williams the best women’s tennis player ever?
Yes
No

Poll Maker


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Kirk Franklin Top 10

Kirk Franklin has been continuously putting out records that have inspired and motivated people of faith and even non-believers. In addition, he has had more choirs than I can name which keeps his sound ever changing. Tamela Mann, David Mann, Myron Butler, Isaac Carree, and others have all done backup roles for Franklin before having their solo success. From Dove Awards, to Grammy Awards, and Stellar Awards, Kirk Franklin has already become a legend in the gospel music genre and as a crossover artist. Not bad for someone who can’t carry a tune. The reason I like his music so much is because it is always modern. For example, he took classics like “Why We Sing” and “Something About The Name Jesus” and made them new while respecting their historical significance.

First, a few that did not make the countdown.

Give Me 


Hide Me


Silver & Gold


A God Like You


He Reigns/Awesome God


 Something About The Name Jesus


  1. Hosanna

  1. Declaration (This Is It)

  1. Melodies From Heaven

  1. Lean On Me

  1. Brighter Day

For the top 5 Kirk Franklin songs please proceed to the next page.

Hall of Fame should induct 4

The Baseball Writers of America Association will reveal the 2015 class of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday. The announcement will be made at 2 p.m. eastern standard time.

Before we get to the players that should be inducted, we have to address the people that should not now or ever be inducted.

No player that has ever used steroids or any other performance enhancer should never be allowed into the prestigious Hall of Fame. Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Clemens, and many others should never be immortalized for ruining a sport. Pete Rose should be allowed in before any of them because what he did as a player. At least his performance on the put drugs into his body.

This article is not about who should go into the Hall of Shame, it’s about the cherished ones that will go into the Hall of Fame.

To continue please go to the next page.

2015 NFL Wild Card Preview

The 2015 NFL Wild Card round is will begin this weekend and there will be four great contests. All of the “few notes” are from ESPN Stats and Information.

Saturday Games

Arizona vs. Carolina

I would not want to face the Panthers in the post season. This team is smoking hot. They’re riding a four game win streak and the defense is firing on all cylinders. They beat Atlanta 34-3 last week to get into the playoffs. Just because they are 7-8-1 DO NOT take this team lightly. Since Cam Newton’s wreck they have seemed to be invincible.

For the banged up Cards, they must be feeling like they are the most underrated team remaining. Injuries have mounted at nearly every skill position, but they have been able to implement the next man up philosophy. Ryan Lindley is a third string quarterback who will have to lead this team to possibly four victories. Is it possible?

Few Notes

  • Over the last 10 seasons, the Panthers are the 5th team to make the playoffs with a record of .500 or worse…each of the previous 3 teams went on to win in the Wild Card round.
  • Teams that finished .500 or worse in the regular season have won 5 of their last 6 Wild Card games. No team that finished .500 or worse has made it past the Divisional Playoffs, however.
  • From Elias: If Ryan Lindleystarts for the Cardinals, he will be the 7th QB since the 1970 merger to start a playoff game after having 1-or-fewer regular-season wins as a starter. Those QBs are a combined 2-4 and haven’t won since Gifford Nielsen won in 1979 for the Oilers.

Who wins?

I believe that this game will not be close. Bruce Arians has done a phenomenal job at motivating his team and preparing his troops for the next battle. However, Carolina is clicking and it will be tough for Arizona to stay in it.

Score: 27-10


Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

This is the only divisional contest this weekend and it is fueled by hatred and that alone. The squads split the regular season contests by both winning on their home turf. Pittsburgh leads the all-time series 17-14.

Baltimore clinched the final playoff spot by defeating the Browns in there finale 20-10. They have a balanced offense that is being fueled by the strong running of Justin Forsett. He shockingly ran for over 1200 yards.

It’s still no secret that I have had it in for the Steelers all season. The Philadelphia 76ers have been more consistent than the Steelers. Remember this is the same team that lost to both the Bucs and Jets. They have won four games straight so they will be looking to keep their spark lit. The biggest question mark for Pitt is the health of arguably the best running back in the NFL, Le’Veon Bell. He has a right knee injury and he did not practice on Thursday.

Bell said, “I feel really good. I didn’t expect to be feeling this well this early. But I am, so I’m just going to take it day by day and see where it goes.”

Few Notes

  • Pittsburgh leads the all-time series 17-14
  • The Steelers were an NFL-best 6-1 against teams that finished over .500 this season.
  • The Ravens are 6-1 in the Wild Card Playoffs in team history, the best record in the NFL among the 29 teams to play at least 4 Wild Card games.

Who wins?

Well if I have not been that excited the Steelers through the regular season, do you really think I pick them now. Baltimore wins by a field goal.

Score: 23-20


Sunday Games

Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis

I have no idea what to expect in this contest. Both teams have the ability to put up points, but they can also stink up the joint. On paper we can expect a high scoring game, but if it is low scoring I would not be surprised.

The only way Cincinnati can win is if AJ Green plays. He did not practice on Friday due to the NFL concussion protocol. Can Andy Dalton lead this team to victory win it counts? Will the Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard run for at least 150 to take some pressure off of Dalton? There are way too many questions and I have no answers.

I have the same doubts about Indy. They can’t run the ball. The defense is more off pitch than Idina Menzel singing at a New Year’s Eve performance. Click here for the performance.

Few Notes

  • Marvin Lewis has lost his 1st 5 postseason games as head coach. Lewis has won 100 games in the regular season and joins Jim Mora as the only coaches with at least 100 wins and 0 postseason wins in NFL history.
  • The Colts defense allowed just 7 pass TD and a 27.1 Total QBR at home this season, both best in the NFL.
  • The Bengals had 135 yards of offense and went 1-of-13 on 3rd down in the Week 7 shutout loss to the Colts. It was the Bengals worst offensive performance since getting shutout in Week 17 against the Jets in 2009, when the starters didn’t play the full game.
  • Andrew Luck has thrown 8 interceptions in 3 career playoff games. Luck is the 1st QB to throw 8+ interceptions in his 1st 3 playoff games since Dan Fouts (1979-80 seasons).

Who wins?

By default I have to give the win to the Colts.

Score: 27-17


Detroit vs. Dallas

This will be the best matchup over the course of the weekend. This will be a battle of the lines. Can the Cowboys o-line stop the Detroit d-line? The Lions have been the best team against the run this season only allowing 69 yards per outing.

Matthew Stafford will have to have a perfect game if he wants to beat the ‘Boys. I’m sure Joique Bell and Reggie Bush will some pressure off of Stafford, but he cannot have another playoff letdown.

Dallas very well may be the best team in the league. They can pass, run, and defend. Murray and Romo have both made claims for the MVP award. They finished 6-1 to polish a very good regular season.

Few Notes

  • If history tells us anything, the Cowboys should go ahead and pack their bags for Green Bay. Matthew Staffordis 0-16 in road games against teams that finished the season with a winning record, the 3rd-most losses without a win in such games for any quarterback since the 1970 merger.
  • The Lions allowed an NFL-low 3.3 yards per rush on first down during the regular season. Only three teams have allowed fewer yards per rush on first down in a season in the last five years.
  • With Nick Fairleyreturning to practice, the Lions run defense could get another boost after Ndamukong Suh’s suspension was overturned earlier in the week. The Lions allowed 2.48 yards per rush against 86 carries with that duo on the field together this season. Those numbers dropped off significantly when 1, or both were out of the game.

Who wins?

How ‘bout the Cowboys????

Score: 31- 20

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Week 17 NFL, Black Monday, Hot Seat, Picks

Normally, I give a huge spill about what’s huge storylines, but this week there is only one storyline. It’s either win or go home.

AFC North

If you had asked me a few weeks if these two teams would make the playoffs I would have laughed in your face. Jeremy Hill seems to be a great compliment to Gio Bernard. With both in the backfield Andy Dalton should have more time to throw the rock. It is no secret that I have been a little mean to the Steeler Nation. I still don’t believe them however to go deep into the playoffs.

NFC North

There will be a huge game on the “Frozen Tundra” known as Lambeau Field. Green Bay has been unstoppable at home this season. They are 7-0 and averaging 41.1 points per game. Detroit is hot on offense. The question is will the front line be able to put some kind of pressure on Rodgers.

NFC South

Both the Falcons and Panthers deserve a playoff spot by the way they have both ended the season. Both teams are on hot and they have apparently saved both of their head coach’s jobs. I have no problem with a team under .500 making the playoffs as long as they have some type of positive momentum ending the regular season.

AFC Wildcard

Teams are still jockeying for the final AFC Wildcard spot. San Diego has the opportunity to serve out for the position. They will travel to Kansas City for a chance to do that. Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City are all still alive.

Josh Gordon

Earlier this week he was suspended by the Browns for the regular season finale against the Ravens.

Final Hot Seat

I can see the following teams cleaning house:

  • Chicago
  • Oakland
  • New York (A)
  • New York (N)

Last Week:    10-6

Overall:          169-80-1

Percentage:   .676

NEW ENGLAND over Buffalo

BALTIMORE over Cleveland

WASHINGTON over Dallas

MINNESOTA over Chicago

HOUSTON over Jacksonville

Indianapolis over TENNESSEE

MIAMI over New York (A)

San Diego over KANSAS CITY

TAMPA BAY over New Orleans

NEW YORK (N) over Philadelphia

ATLANTA over Carolina

DENVER over Oakland

GREEN BAY over Detroit

SAN FRANCISCO over Arizona

SEATTLE over St. Louis

PITTSBURGH over Cincinnati

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Country Music Star Darius Rucker receives honor

Darius Rucker has come a long way from singing his University of South Carolina friends. Rucker began singing as the lead vocalist of the band Hootie and the Blowfish in 1986. His deep, soulful voice lead the band to a couple of Grammy awards. Also, the band’s first album, Cracked Rear View, went 16X platinum. Hootie and the Blowfish had hits like, “Let Her Cry”, “Hold My Hand”, and “Only Wanna Be With You”. The band decided in 2008 to take a hiatus so that Rucker could pursue a solo career.

Rucker’s first album, Learn to Live, charted three number one hits. They were “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, “Alright”, and “It Won’t Be like This For Long”. His second album didn’t fail. Actually, it was certified gold. But his third album, True Believers may have been his best one yet. It featured a remake of Bob Dylan’s “Wagon Wheel”. The song went 3X platinum, won a Grammy, and never ceases to get old.

He later went on to record a Christmas album, Home for the Holidays, which is in stores now.

This South Carolina Gamecock fan continues to break down barriers and make history.

  • 2nd African- American with a #1 country song
  • Only African- American to win the CMA New Artist of the Year
  • Became a Grand Ole Opry Member in 2012

It is honor give Darius Rucker this week’s Young Veteran award. Between you and me, I don’t think it’s possible for this artist to stop making great music.

These are the Top 10 Darius Rucker songs.

10. Homegrown Honey

9. True Believers

8. It Won’t Be Like This For Long

7. Stuck On You Duet with Lionel Richie

6. Come Back Song

To continue to the top 5 please go to the next page.

Week 16, Storylines, Picks, Cleveland, MVP, OROY, McDonald

There is a big bear in the room and we need to address it. I like Jay Cutler there I said it. (See week 11 post and week 8) Should he have been the highest paid offensive player in the league? No, but who else could Chicago have gotten to be their starter. This has been a let down season for Cutler, but this is not completely his fault. I blame coaching and defense. When the defense allows so many points, the quarterback must take more risks to catch back up. Matt Forte is one of the best backs in the league, why is he not touching the ball? It’s a shame Jay played better under Lovie Smith, a defensive minded coach, than Marc Trestman. The entire front office should be cleared out.

Jimmy Clausen will get the start this Sunday.

Week 16 Storylines

  • The Marcus Mariota Bowl will be on Thursday, as the Titans will face the Jags. Is that a reason to watch? Uh no.
  • Really, who wants to win the NFC South?
  • Can RG3 save his Washington roster spot?
  • Will DeMarco Murray play just days after having hand surgery?
  • Is Phillip Rivers healthy enough to lead his team to a possible playoff spot?

Offensive Rookie of the Year

  1. Mike Evans
  2. Kelvin Benjamin
  3. Odell Beckham Jr.

MVP Race

  1. Tom Brady
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. DeMarco Murray
  4. JJ Watt
  5. Peyton Manning
  6. Russell Wilson

I don’t understand the argument against JJ Watt winning the MVP. The Texans would still be a contender for the number one pick without Watt. According to ESPN Watt has 16.5 sacks, 64 combined tackles, 5 fumble recoveries, and 5 total touchdowns. I think of JJ the way I think of a pitcher in baseball A pitcher has a specialty but they can affect the scoreboard and momentum and the same applies to Watt. Clayton Kershaw (in the regular season) = JJ Watt.

Teams that have clinched a playoff berth:

Arizona, New England, Indianapolis, and Denver

Manziel

Johnny Manziel will never be mentioned in the MVP Race of peewee league. Anyone knows me knows that I am not one to brag. Refer back to last week’s article about the switch to Johnny Interception. Oh, I also mentioned it in Week 14. You may now call me Mr. Cleo.

Ray McDonald

Click here to read the article written earlier this week about him.

Jon Gruden

The former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach announced Monday night that he signed an extension to remain in the Monday Night Football booth through 2021. Hopefully, this puts an end to all of the rumors about him heading back to the sidelines. This is a huge announcement for the Gruden family. His brother Jay, coach of Washington, may need a new gig in the next couple of years.

Head Coaching Vacancies

These are the jobs that are certain to be open on Black Monday:

San Francisco

New York (N)

Chicago

New York (A)

Atlanta

Oakland

Possibly Tennessee & Jacksonville

Last Week:      12-4

Overall:             159-74-1

Percentage:     .679

JACKSONVILLE over Tennessee

Philadelphia over WASHINGTON

San Diego over SAN FRANCISCO

Baltimore over HOUSTON

Detroit over CHICAGO

Kansas City over PITTSBURGH

New England over NEW YORK (A)

CAROLINA over Cleveland

Green Bay over TAMPA BAY

MIAMI over Minnesota

Atlanta over NEW ORLEANS

Buffalo over OAKLAND

ST. LOUIS over New York (N)

Indianapolis over DALLAS

Seattle over ARIZONA

CINCINNATI over Denver

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Top Country Songs of 2014

Country music took another positive step further in 2014. It’s arguable that this genre is the best and most competitive. There were so many quality songs, so it is understandable if some of these songs are out of order.

Some of the songs that did not make the top 25 list:

Rascal Flatts- Rewind

Frankie Ballard- Sunshine & Whiskey

Florida Georgia Line- Dirt

Keith Urban- Somewhere in My Car

Blake Shelton- Neon Light

Darius Rucker- Homegrown Honey

Dustin Lynch- Where It’s At

David Nail- Kiss You Tonight

Kip Moore- Dirt Road

Kacey Musgraves- Follow Your Arrow

Hunter Hayes- Invisible

The Band Perry- Chainsaw

To continue to the top 25, please go to the next page.

What are the top 25 Hip Hop and R&B songs of 2014? Did your favorite make the list?

Regis Welch

Be sure to follow me @regisjwelch

Great R&B and Hip Hop songs flooded the radio in 2014, but only a select few could make this exclusive 25 list. Artists like Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige returned to the music game hotter than ever. New stars emerged on scene like Jhene Aiko, Schoolboy Q, and Aloe Blacc. With stars like these music should be in a good place for a long time to come.

Some of the songs that did not make the top 25 list:

Rico Love- They Don’t Know

Ledisi- I Blame You

John Legend- You & I

Future- Move That Doh

DJ Khaled – Hold You Down

Bobby Shmurda- Hot Boy

I Love Makonnen- Tuesday

Beyoncé- Partition

Usher- Good Kisser

To continue to the top 25, please go to the next page.

Week 14, Browns, Picks, Ray Rice, Ngata, Bryan Burwell

USA Today
USA Today

Since 1999, the Cleveland Browns have had twenty starting quarterbacks. Let me reiterate that. Since 1999, the Cleveland Browns have had twenty quarterbacks. Some how this sorry excuse of a team finds themselves in a quarterback controversy. Brian Hoyer has led the team to a 7-5 record. 7-5 is outstanding for the Browns and it’s all because of Brian Hoyer.

Because the team was down by 17 in the fourth quarter last week head coach, Mike Pettine, decided to put in Johnny Manziel who led the team down field and scored a touchdown. Oh, happy day.

This organization has been looked down upon more than any other team in the NFL since the team resurfaced. They have an opportunity to go to the playoffs, but they will eventually cater to what people want instead of what works.

Last time I checked Johnny Manziel is not Aaron Rodgers, Steve Young or Doug Flutie. Hell, he’s no Earl Morrall. Those players just waited. Their Hall of Fame head coaches knew when the right time was to put them in and not a second sooner.

Cleveland may never experience success like this again. Ride the horse that brought you to the dance. If Manziel is the guy for next year play him then. Until then, stifle yourselves!

Storylines:

  1. Is the beginning of another miserable December for the Cowboys?
  2. Will someone actually step in front of the NFC South?
  3. Will the Cardinals get a much-needed win against the Chiefs?
  4. Can the Bengals extend their AFC North lead?
  5. Can the Giants ever play like a NFL quality team?

Ray Rice

Last week, Rice was reinstated back into the NFL like he should have been. Calm down please. This guy did the time he was originally awarded and then some. No one cares about public opinion. He has the right to make a living just like everyone else. Any team in the league can pick him up. If a team does not want to be surrounded with his baggage they have the option to not sign him.

I don’t believe Ray Rice will be signed this season because it’s just too late. However, he will be signed right after the draft next year. Expect him to be a vengeful player.

Pittsburgh

Which team in the NFL lost to New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and the Jets this season? Yep, that would be Pittsburgh. Well, I said it in week 11, but no one believed me. The Steelers are worse than the Philadelphia 76ers. Good thing the team remains dedicated to their coaches because Mike Tomlin would have been fired with any other team.

Detroit

The team that may be trending at the right time has to be the Lions. If Matthew Stafford can place the ball in the receiver’s hands this team may be unbeatable in January. I like the way Joique Bell is running and that defensive line is nasty. Be on the lookout.

Seattle

The Seahawks seem to be playing like the Seahawks again. Their defense shut down San Fran on Thanksgiving and it seems is though the running game is what’s moving the ball. It’s never been mentioned, but is Russell Wilson a MVP contender? Without him Seattle may be 4-12.

San Francisco

49ers-ravens-football-jim-harbaugh_pg_600

Why would the Niners consider trading Jim Harbaugh? Yes, he may be a pain in the behind, but he wins every place he goes. He even brought this team to the Super Bowl and they are not appreciative. At some point in time we all have to step outside of our comfort zone. Apparently, Frisco is not wiling to do that.

Haloti Ngata

USA Today
USA Today

The Pro Bowler will miss the last four games of the season because of the use of Adderall. The defensive leader will be missed. We will see how the team reacts in a must win game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Hot Seat part 2

It appears as though Rex Ryan is a lame duck, so he is excused from this conversation.

  • Mike Smith- The head coach of the Falcons on their way to another disappointing season. Though Atlanta is still tied for the NFC South lead, they are still an awful team. The defense is dismal and the high-powered offense is weaker than Dodge Charger with a Ford Pinto motor. I believe the writing is on the wall for Smith.
  • Marc Trestman- Da Bears are possibly a bigger disappointment than the Falcons. Jay Cutler has underperformed and their defense has allowed over 149 points since week 8. I don’t believe his position is savable under any circumstance.

For other Hot Seat candidates please see my post from week 9.

RIP Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

dm_130317_parting_shot_jerry_tarkanian_hof
ESPN

On Thursday, December 4, the world lost one of the best sports journalists of our time. Maybe you have read his column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch or you could have possibly seen him on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters. Burwell was 59.

 Last Week     11-5

Overall:          136-65-1

Percentage:  .673

Dallas over CHICAGO

MIAMI over Baltimore

Indianapolis over CLEVELAND

Carolina over NEW ORLEANS

CINCINNATI over Pittsburgh

DETROIT over Tampa Bay

Houston over JACKSONVILLE

MINNESOTA over New York (A)

TENNEESSE over New York (N)

St. Louis over WASHINGTON

DENVER over Buffalo

Kansas City over ARIZONA

San Francisco over OAKLAND

Seattle over PHILADELPHIA

New England over SAN DIEGO

GREEN BAY over Atlanta

Week 13, Picks, Ferguson, Turkeys, Storylines

This is a sports blog, but we can not ignore what has been happening in Ferguson, MO. Only two people will truly ever know the complete truth of what happened the evening that Michael Brown was killed. I may not be the smartest person but even I know that violence plus violence does not equal peace.

Let’s get back to football.

Storylines

  • Will the loser of the Seattle/San Fran game not make the playoffs?
  • Who’s really the exceptional team in the NFC East?
  • Will we get a SB preview when NE goes against GB?
  • Cleveland, really?
  • Can San Diego make a comeback and win the AFC West?
  • Will Colt McCoy make Washington respectable? Please notice I said a change was coming three weeks ago.
  • Can Arizona go into Atlanta and pick up a W?

NFC South

This division is arguably the most competitive group of four teams. Each team is still mathematically alive to win the division even though there is a possibility that no one will finish with a winning record. I still have Atlanta winning the NFC South. Cam Newton can’t stay on his feet and Tampa Bay is worth less than a $2 steak. Frankly, New Orleans never had a chance!

Jive Turkeys of the Year

This honor was fairly simple to award this year. Ray and Janay Rice truly deserve this prestigious distinction more than other couple on the planet. You know the story so I don’t need to go there again. He’s an ignorant imbecile while she is a dummy. They belong together.

Congrats on the award!

Presidential Turkey Pardon

If you are a weekly reader of Down the Line Sports you know that do not believe in the hardship that the NFL has put Adrian Peterson through. He should be reinstated into the NFL ASAP. There is no reason as why he is being put through hell.

Adrian Peterson, you have been officially pardoned.

Last Week:    12-3

Overall:          125-60-1

Percentage:   .672

Week 13 Picks

DETROIT over Chicago

DALLAS over Philadelphia

SAN FRANCISCO over Seattle

BUFFALO over Cleveland

BALTIMORE over San Diego

Carolina over MINNESOTA

Cincinnati over TAMPA BAY

HOUSTON over Tennessee

INDIANAPOLIS over Washington

JACKSONVILLE over New York (N)

PITTSBURGH over New Orleans

ST. LOUIS over Oakland                      If you watch this game you seriously need a life!

ATLANTA over Arizona

GREEN BAY over New England

Denver over KANSAS CITY

MIAMI over NEW YORK (A)

Week 12 NFL, Picks, Saints, MVP Race, Power Rankings, Storylines

It is no secret that I am not a New Orleans Saints fan even though I live forty miles out of city limits. I can’t explain how disgusted I was last week when I seen one of their fans snatch a ball out of the hands of a Bengals fan. I was sick, seriously. I was embarrassed to be the stereotypical southern gentleman. I was embarrassed to be from southeastern Louisiana. OJ and Dennis Rodman did not make me this embarrassed to be African-American! He said that the ball will be for his grandson, but why would you want to give him a ball from the opposing team? The lady is an underpaid principal for Christ sake. Hasn’t she suffered enough? The New Orleans PR department did give the lady a football, but it did lack a touchdown flare. I do apologize to the Bengals franchise and everyone else for the lack of respect displayed to the world.

  1. Can Josh Gordon return to glory? (Please my fantasy teams need it!)
  2. Is RG3 worth the headache?
  3. Can the best NFL team go into Seattle and get a win?
  4. Are both Tom Coughlin and Eli performing for their jobs?
  5. Will Detroit get a quality road win at NE?
  6. Should any NFC South team make the playoffs?
  7. Will Ben Tate make huge debut for the Viks?

MVP Race

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. JJ Watt
  3. Tom Brady
  4. DeMarco Murray
  5. Peyton Manning

Power Rankings through 12

  1. Arizona
  2. Green Bay
  3. New England
  4. Denver
  5. Detroit
  6. Dallas
  7. San Francisco
  8. Seattle
  9. Indianapolis
  10. Baltimore
  11. Philadelphia
  12. Cincinnati
  13. Miami
  14. San Diego
  15. Cleveland
  16. Kansas City
  17. Atlanta
  18. Pittsburgh
  19. Chicago
  20. Minnesota
  21. Carolina
  22. Buffalo
  23. New Orleans
  24. Louis
  25. Houston
  26. New York (A)
  27. New York (N)
  28. Washington
  29. Tennessee
  30. Tampa Bay
  31. Jacksonville
  32. Oakland

Last Week:    6-8

Overall:          113-57-1

Percentage:   .660

Bye:                Carolina & Pittsburgh

This is the final week of teams on byes.

Kansas City over OAKLAND

New York (A) Buffalo

CHICAGO over Tampa Bay

NEW ENGLAND over Detroit

INDIANAPOLIS over Jacksonville

ATLANTA over Cleveland

Cincinnati over HOUSTON

Green Bay over MINNESOTA

PHILADELPHIA over Tennessee

SEATTLE over Arizona

SAN DIEGO over St. Louis

DENVER over Miami

SAN FRANCISCO over Washington

Dallas over NEW YORK (N)

Baltimore over NEW ORLEANS

Week 9 Preview, NFL, London, Storylines, Hot Seat, Love/Hate

by Regis Welch

Follow at @regisjwelch

Down the Line Sports

Normally, I write a positive lead, but for week 9 that task seems impossible. Last week, I seen some of the worst play I have ever seen in any sport. Jets quarterback, Geno Smith, played worse than Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez combined. Do you know how bad you have to play to do that? Before he was pulled for Michael Vick, Smith had already thrown three picks en route to a QBR less that 0.1. Watching this team seriously made my eyes hurt.

Two weeks ago the entire city of Chicago wanted to kill Jay Cutler, but he was not the reason they lost last week. Da Bears were trumped 51-23 in Boston. Their defense had no answers for Brady, Gronkowski, or LaFell. I really don’t understand this team. Chicago is way too good to be so bad.

I remember when the Oakland Raiders was a respected sports franchise. Now, they are possibly worse than President Obama’s approval rating on foxnews.com. I like Derek Carr and the receivers that he has, but that’s about it. The coaching is awful and the defense is miserable. Al Davis is rolling over in his grave and the people in the faithful black hole should consider giving up their season tickets for the foreseeable future.

Week 9 Storylines

  • Who really is better Peyton or Brady?
  • Can Tony Romo stay healthy for the duration of the season? We’ve talked so much about DeMarco Murray playing in all sixteen games, but no one has mentioned Romo. They cannot win without him, but they can lose with him.
  • Who are the Houston Texans? This week against Philly they will have an opportunity to play like the playoff team they should be.
  • What is Washington thinking? Do they ever think? Colt McCoy has won back-to-back games and they bench him. RG3 has garbage when he was healthy and Kirk Cousins played like a Jets quarterback. In the NFC East it is never too late for a team to make a come back and win the division. Expect Robert Griffin to come back to the trainer’s room within the next three weeks. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
  • Can Ben Roethlisberger repeat his record-breaking performance last week? Heinz Field is still on fire as Big Ben had his way with the Colts.

London

londonpub.com.au
londonpub.com.au

For the life of me I cant understand why the NFL wants to take over the London market and put a team there. This week we will have the Seattle Seahawks go against the London Monarchs. Who will want to travel all that way? How about putting an NFL team in LA, Portland (OR), Toronto, Mexico City, Maui, Vegas, or San Antonio. Remember NFL Europe, how did that end? The Beijing Communists, Australian Kangaroos, Egypt Pyramids, and the Rome Chicken Parmesans will be on the docket ten years from now.

Coaches on the Hot Seat

nydailynews.com
nydailynews.com
  • Rex Ryan- I like him, but he knows that he has been set up to fail this season. The Jets have way too much cap room not to bring in quality players. Last week, the Jets had a receiver playing cornerback. With all of that money they can’t get a mediocre cornerback or quarterback. Something seems off. I hope he get another head coaching job.
  • Marvin Lewis- This Bengals coach has had a great team since he’s been in Cincy, but he has not made a significant push in the post season. Nothing will change this year. The AFC will run through New England and Denver. Cincinnati will have no say so.
  • Tom Coughlin- This two-time SB champion has run out of luck. I predict that the G-Men will go 7-9 and miss the playoffs. Since Coughlin joined the team in 2004 they have missed the playoffs in five of his ten seasons.s

The team I am beginning to LOVE:

Arizona- This was the best team last season to not make the playoffs and they are now showing teams that they are for real. Carson Palmer is possibly playing the best ball that he has ever played and he is doing it by not passing to Larry Fitzgerald on every down. They are also +9 on turnovers. I do not, however, like the way Patrick Peterson is playing. He is a shadow of what he was last season. Quarterbacks are no longer afraid to go after him.

The team I am beginning to HATE:

San Diego- The Chargers started the off hot, but they are starting to simmer off. Phillip Rivers is a great QB, but there is only so much he can do on the offensive side of the ball. Brandon Oliver has done an okay job in starting in the place of Ryan Matthews, but they need more. Especially since Denver is starting to pull away in the AFC West.

Dummy of the Week:

This award was made for Lamar Houston. His Bears were being blown out. Houston got a sack on the Patriots backup QB before he decided to celebrate. In which this happened.

lamear.0

Last Week:    9-6

Total:             79-41-1

Percentage:   .653

Byes: Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Tennessee 

CAROLINA over New Orleans

CLEVELAND over Tampa Bay

Arizona over DALLAS

KANSAS CITY over New York (A)

MINNESOTA over Washington

CINCINNATI over Jacksonville

Philadelphia over HOUSTON

MIAMI over San Diego

SAN FRANCISCO over St. Louis

SEATTLE over Oakland

Baltimore over PITTSBURGH

Indianapolis over NEW YORK (N)

2014-2015 NBA Preview, LeBron, Championship, Lakers, and more

nba

by Regis Welch @regisjwelch

Down the Line Sports

Well the NBA season returns this week, and I must say that I am extremely excited. I’m excited because this has been an extremely long offseason that has only had a few storylines that have been covered for far too long by the media. C’mon you know what I’m talking about.

  • Where’s LeBron going?
  • Can D. Rose come back healthy?
  • Is Phil Jackson going to return as the head coach of the Knicks?
  • Are the 76ers going to win five games in the 14-15 season?

For the most part we already knew how those questions were going to pan out. Am I surprised that LeBron went back to Cleveland? Not really. He has a much better chance to win an NBA title and he can bring glory to his home city. Cleveland has not celebrated a championship since 1964. Jim Brown led the then Cleveland Browns to the NFL Championship.

Let’s examine the teams:

Cleveland Cavaliers

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers-Media Day

As previously mentioned, LeBron James did return home. He is team up with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. I believe Love is the best big man in the NBA because he can rebound and he can score from anywhere on the court. However, Chris Bosh was also a deadly big man as well who took a minor role to play alongside LeBron. I don’t see Love putting up the same numbers that he did when in Minnesota just because he doesn’t have to. I can hope that he is still effective on both sides of the court. Kyrie Irving is arguably the best point guard in the league. He can score and stretch the court. The Cavs also have a great bench who is made up of good scorers.

However, on the bad side the Cavs do a have a rookie coach, David Blatt. He is a respected coach. Blatt comes with a great resume. He’s a four time Israeli League Coach of the Year, six time Israeli Cup Champion, Italian Cup Champion, and Euroleague Champion. It will be interesting to see him bring an international flair to the NBA and see how he reacts to the nuances a new league.

Miami Heat 

For all of the friendly folks who pretended to be Miami Heat fans, please know that your presence will not be missed. It was just a few years ago where the Heat were in this same position. The leader of the team was Dwayne Wade and he had a mediocre supporting cast. Now players who actually have talent will surround Wade. Chris Bosh can be a beast within the paint again. He does not have to be on the perimeter to stretch the defense. I believe that Luol Deng is one of the most disrespected players in the league. He can score, play defense on log major minutes.

The million-dollar question with this team is their health. Wade must play in at least 70 games. If Danny Granger can return healthy they may have a chance at a playoff spot.

With all that being said the next time that the Miami Heat win a championship will be when LeBron James has a full head hair. It’s not gonna be anytime soon.

Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose appears to be back and playing like Derrick Rose. He’s making cuts and driving hard to the basket. My only concern about this team is the health of the former league MVP. Rose has had an ACL tear in the past and a torn meniscus. To play this sport you must have a good foundation and hopefully he has that.

The Bulls brought in a Pau Gasol during the free agency period. It will be hard for teams to matchup on the Bulls double-headed monster in the post. Gasol will play side by side with Joakim Noah. Noah carried the Bulls all of last season in the absence of Rose.

Chicago reminds me most of San Antonio. Meaning that this group of people plays great together. If and only if Rose is healthy will this team win the NBA title.

Indiana Pacers

Paul George broke his leg while playing for team USA during the offseason. He will be out the entire 2014-2015 season. George says that he can possibly be back for the playoffs if needed. This team has no chance of making the playoffs in the easiest conference. The Pacers were disgusting in the postseason last spring. Roy Hibbert, proved his worth as he had games where he did not record a basket or a rebound. A 7’2 you can’t get a rebound. I have a great aunt over 80 who can play better. David West is the only person on this team that I trust. He will play hard, too bad his team won’t.

New York Knicks

ny_a_knicksts_600x400

We found out over the offseason that Carmelo Anthony cares more about money than winning a championship. He signed a five-year $124 million to stay in the Big Apple. It is understood that Melo does not pass the ball. It is also understood that he has no one to pass to. Amar’e Stoudemire is supposed to be his help, but Stoudemire can’t stay on the field. He has played in 55 games per season since signing with the Knicks. That ain’t gonna cut it. Derek Fisher is they’re new head coach. Oh, he knows absolutely nothing about coaching. He knows the triangle offense, but does he know that he has no talented players on his team. If New York makes the playoffs it will be in a very low position.

Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant is the Los Angeles Lakers. If Kobe Bryant stays healthy the Lakers can win 30 games. If he is not healthy the Lakers win 12. It’s as simple as that. The team sucks, and there is nothing that Bryant can do about it. Then there’s Nick Young. Who cares about Nick Young? Carlos Boozer is washed up! Steve Nash is out for the season. Truly, that’s a good thing. He would have made them worse. Jeremy Lin is overrated and the owners are delusional. Here’s a clip of Jeanie Buss on First Take last week. She thinks her team will make the playoffs. Excuse me. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

San Antonio Spurs

The defending champs will look to do the same thing they do every year. Except, this year they will catch no one by surprise. They’ve been to the finals the last two season and many are expecting them to go back there again. There really is no story here. This is a great team. Expect them to be in the mix.

Oklahoma City Thunder

kevin-durant-russell-westbrook

Kevin Durant will miss at least the first month of competition. When he comes back the Thunder return to be the force that they truly are. But instead of talking about the league’s second best player let’s talk about Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is one of the best young players in the NBA. I believe that he has a very bright future in front of him, but he really needs to know his role. He is not the best player in Oklahoma City and never will be. I believe he is the modern day Penny Hardaway. Hardaway just knew he was better than Shaq and got a rude awakening once he found out he was not. Shaquille O’Neal went on to get four titles. Durant will get his championships with or without the help of Russell Westbrook.

Eastern Conference Standings

  1. Chicago
  2. Cleveland
  3. Charlotte
  4. Washington
  5. Toronto
  6. Brooklyn
  7. Miami
  8. Detroit

Western Conference Standings

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. Houston
  3. San Antonio
  4. Oklahoma City
  5. Golden State
  6. Portland
  7. Dallas
  8. Denver

In the East, may the Knicks will play their way in. Look out for Orlando. They are a young talented team that will be on the way this year. The West is stacked. Memphis and Phoenix both made compelling arguments for being my eighth seed. I believe in Brian Shaw as a head coach and he will lead the Nuggets to a top eighth seed.

Finals: Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Clippers

Chris_Paul_CP3_next_to_Derek_Rose

Champs: Chicago Bulls (If Derrick Rose stays healthy.)

NFL Week 7, Storylines, Picks, Jameis Winston, Power Rankings, Awards, Super Bowl Performer

This NFL season has been exciting and do not expect it to stop this weekend. The folks in Dallas actually have the right to be optimistic about their favorite team. When was the last time that happened? The Ravens have fought adversity this entire season. Some things have gone along as expected. Peyton is God, the Bucs suck, and Pats are on their way to the playoffs. These are some things that you should be looking forward to as we move on into week 7.

Week 7 Storylines

  • Will Rex Ryan be fired before the end of the season?
  • Is Kirk Cousins a professional back up QB? He’s had chances to take the starting job.
  • Who are the Steelers and Giants?
  • Did you know the Browns should be 5-0?
  • Will Atlanta finally get a win on the road?
  • Can the Lions make a kick?
  • Which NY Giants will standup in the absence of Victor Cruz?
  • Can the Eagles running game stay hot?
  • Are the 9ers for real? We’ll say as they face the Broncos.
  • Is Dallas for real?
  • Will Jacksonville or Oakland win this season?

Jameis Winston

This is the preview of the 2015 NFL draft. The only player we will focus on is afore mentioned Florida State Seminole, Jameis Winston. He is arguably the best player in college football. He battles adversity better than anyone else. The media attacks him on a daily basis, but who does Winston have to blame but himself. Apparently, there is no proof that he has accepted money for over 950 autographed items. It also seems as if he will not face any penalties for the alleged rape investigation.

Winston needs to grow up. I find it hard to believe anything he says. His draft stock has fallen considerably. Because of his problems off of the field, I would not draft him.

(1/3 of the season) Power Rankings

  1. Denver Broncos
  2. Dallas Cowboys

    How bout them Cowboys???
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. San Diego Chargers
  5. Green Bay Packers

    Fake Spike led to the game winning TD pass.Seattle Seahawks
  6. Seattle Seahawks
  7. San Francisco 49ers
  8. Arizona Cardinals
  9. Baltimore Ravens
  10. Detroit Lions
  11. New England Patriots
  12. Philadelphia Eagles
  13. Carolina Panthers
  14. Cincinnati Bengals                                          
  15. New York Giants
  16. Cleveland Browns
  17. Chicago Bears
  18. Houston Texans
  19. Atlanta Falcons
  20. New Orleans Saints
  21. Miami Dolphins
  22. Kansas City Chiefs
  23. Buffalo Bills
  24. Minnesota Vikings
  25. Tennessee Titans
  26. Pittsburgh Steelers

    Hence why they are 26th
  27. Washington ——–
  28. New York Jets
  29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  30. Louis Rams
  31. Oakland Raiders                                                             14 - 1
  32. Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL 1/3 season awards

MVP:             DeMarco Murray

 

Pick your jaws up. Murray has been spectacular thus far. He has rushed for 785 for six scores through six games. His offensive line is opening up some serious running gaps for him to rush within. Also, he is taking a lot of pressure off of Tony Romo by providing a balanced attack. He I hope he will be able to hold up.

Defensive Player of the Year:            JJ Watt

 

Expect anything different He is the Houston Texans. He has two fumble recoveries and a pick six.

Dummy of the Year:       Joseph Randle

wpid-img_20141014_161515 

This Cowboys backup stole underwear and cologne valued at a combined $123.50. It was a Class B misdemeanor. He was fined $29,117 by the team

Well, even the greats have a bad day. Babe Ruth struck out, Wayne Gretzky missed shots, and Wilt Chamberlin didn’t sleep with every woman he wanted to. Am I on their level? When it come to picking teams, yes I am. I had two more wins that were erased in the final moments of games. Cincinnati had an overtime win, but Mike Nugent couldn’t help but miss a game ending kick. Miami fell for the good ole okie-doke and allowed Aaron Rodgers to take a W away from them with :02 left on the clock. Both of those games cost me my winning week.

Last Week: 6-8-1

Total:           59-31-1

Week 7 Bye: Tampa Bay & Philadelphia 

NEW ENGLAND over New York (A)

BUFFALO over Minnesota

Cleveland over JACKSONVILLE

CHICAGO over Miami

DETROIT over New Orleans

WASHINGTON over Tennessee       Only God knows and cares

BALTIMORE over Atlanta

GREEN BAY over Carolina

INDIANAPOLIS over Cincinnati

Seattle over ST. LOUIS

SAN DIEGO over Kansas City

Arizona over OAKLAND

DALLAS over New York (N)

DENVER over San Francisco

PITTSBURGH over Houston

Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Performer is…

Katy Perry will be the halftime performer at the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on February 1, 2015. I believe it was a great selection. She is one of the best acts on the planet and she is relevant. She was a finalist along with Rhianna. I believe that picked Perry because Rhianna is a victim of domestic abuse and it would have been another PR problem. However, the NFL missed a golden opportunity by not picking Rhianna. They could have shown that what life can be like after domestic violence. She has exhibited strength and courage while at the same time forgiving her abuser (She also doesn’t have to hesitate to call me at any given time.)

2014 Predictions

2014 Postseason Playoff Contenders

AFC East: New England

AFC South: Indianapolis

AFC West: Denver

AFC North: Pittsburgh

Wild Cards: Cincinnati & San Diego


NFC East: Philadelphia

NFC South: Atlanta

NFC West: Seattle

NFC North: Green Bay

Wildcards: Arizona & New Orleans


Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, AZ:

Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks

Champions: Seattle Seahawks


The 2014 NFL Preseason Awards

MVP and Offensive Player of the Year: Peyton Manning, again.

Until another power player comes along and puts an entire team on his back, this award will always go to Peyton Manning. He is the difference maker and he puts the most time and effort into preparing for a contest on a weekly basis. Reminder for the past two seasons he played with the same talent that Tim Tebow was privileged to.

Defensive Player of the Year: JJ Watt

His team was possibly the biggest disappointment in all of the NFL last season. There is no question that he is the best player on the defensive side of the ball for the Houston Texans. Because of that he will be a huge motivator and leader for his team. Expect the Texans to be in the playoff race.

Offensive Rookie of the Year Johnny Manziel..HAHA I made a funny. Zach Mettenberger is your winner:

I like Jake Locker, but something will happen that will force him out of the lineup. I’m thinking of another injury. There is a tremendous amount of talent at the wide receiver position for the Titans. Someone will have to get them the ball and I believe Metternberger will start at the helm by week 4.

Defensive Rookie of the Year Jadeveon Clowney:

I think that he and JJ Watt will be Batman and Robin. Clowney will get to the quarterback with no problem.

Coach of the Year Jay Gruden:

Washington went 3-13 last season. It’s pretty hard not to improve upon that. RG3 is healthy and the wide receiver core has been improved. They are in the worst division, which will help them out.

NFL Midseason Award Ceremony

NFL shield
NFL shield

As we have reached the half- way point of the NFL season it is time to give out awards and announce the Power Rankings

MVP– Tom Brady

The Golden Boy has done the most with the talent, or lack thereof, around him thus far.

Most Improved Team- New Orleans Aints, I mean Saints

Okay, it is apparent that I hate this team more than the Tea Party hates poor people, but I must give this team their just do.  For people who do not think that coaching is important, Sean Payton and Rob Ryan have worked wonders for the Aints.

Coach of the Year– Andy Reid

The Chiefs have the best record, and no one expected the team to be this good.

Biggest Disappointment (Player)– Larry Fitzgerald

No, he has played great, but the Cardinals franchise has failed Larry.  He deserves to be apart of a better team.  Maybe a team that would appreciate his efforts on the gridiron.

Biggest Disappointment (Team)– Tampa Bay

The team spent a great deal of money for an 0-8 record.

Rookie of the Year– Geno Smith

The J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS are 5-4 and this team has risen.

Power Rankings

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Denver Broncos
  3. Seattle Seahawks
  4. Indianapolis Colts
  5. New England Patriots
  6. Green Bay Packers
  7. San Francisco 49ers
  8. New Orleans Saints***
  9. Cincinnati Bengals
  10. Carolina Panthers
  11. Detroit Lions
  12. Chicago Bears
  13. Dallas Cowboys
  14. Philadelphia Eagles
  15. New York Jets
  16. San Diego Chargers
  17. Miami Dolphins
  18. Tennessee Titans
  19. Cleveland Browns
  20. Washington Redskins
  21. Arizona Cardinals
  22. Baltimore Ravens
  23. St. Louis Rams
  24. Buffalo Bills
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers
  26. Oakland Raiders
  27. New York Giants
  28. Atlanta Falcons
  29. Houston Texans
  30. Minnesota Vikings
  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  32. Jacksonville Jaguars

***Personally, the worst team ever, but they are far from #1.