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What happens when Sports meets Reality?

Yes, Down The Line Sports Entertainment is a sports and entertainment blog that does not cover civic issues, however there comes a point where sports reality, reality, and the civic issues intertwine.

Sports reality is very important in many ways especially as devoted fans who will do anything and everything to will our teams on to victory. Sports is the MOST real thing on television besides the news. One might argue that the news is skewed and actually not real. But,

  • Imagine how the people of Chicago will react when the Cubs win a World Series?
  • Think of the feelings that you experience when you have a bet on the Kentucky Derby.
  • Is there anything more exciting than a buzzer beater?

Sports leaves each of us with a feeling that can’t be described. It leaves us with a memory that will always be tangible. You will remember where you were you seen Buster Douglas knock down Mike Tyson. You will remember being amazed as David Tyree made a catch using his helmet in the Super Bowl. You will remember the smell of the cold wind blowing in your face as you run in a marathon.

That is reality! You are experiencing it right? Those are priceless memories that can’t be taken away from you, right?

But, is that the same feeling you have when your first child is born, the regret of not paying a bill on time because you were laid off, or being a witness of a loved one struggling to hold on to their life.

Aren’t those same tangible, realistic feelings?

Below is a chart that compares and contrasts both sports reality, reality, and civic issues.

Slide1

What happens when sports realities and reality happen at the same time to affect civic issues?

With that, I take you to Baltimore, Maryland where sports is at the center of reality. For those of you who do not know, Baltimore is the epicenter of protests and riots because of the handling of the death of Freddie Gray as he was being arrested. Since his death, the community and police have banded together to seek peace and find the truth. That is not being shown on television though. We are seeing looting, disrespect for authorities, burning of buildings, and a whole lot of destruction.

Yes, Freddie Gray died, but what does this have to do with sports and reality?

Because of protests, the Baltimore Orioles have not been able to play their home games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards because the team and Major League Baseball want to protect fans, players, employees, and umpires from potential harm.

The team has decided to play a game on Wednesday, April 29, in front of an empty stadium. The team was also scheduled to host the Tampa Rays this weekend, but instead they will travel to Tampa and act as the home team.

How are sports reality, reality, and civic issues being used in this one example? Well,

  1. Hearing the cheering of the hometown team will not be a memory someone will gain this weekend.
  2. Ticket holders who made plans for Monday and Tuesday’s games may not be able to attend the games on Thursday.
  3. On Wednesday, the team will not have fans cheering for them. Therefore losing home field advantage.
  4. Employees of Oriole Park at Camden Yards who make close to minimum wage will miss out on three days pay, as they will not be traveling to Tampa. I would think the team would pay them because this is not the employee’s fault.
  5. Because there are no games being played either in public or in Tampa, the team will lose out on revenues that are generated by ticket sales, parking, concessions, and other revenue streams. Someone will have to pay for what the team has lost. Expect consumers to pay higher prices until the team recuperates its loses.

To the peaceful protestors of Baltimore, please know that people around the world and I see what is going. We respect you and encourage you to continue to seek the truth.

To the police and community leaders of Baltimore, please continue to share peace in a city that is desperate. Show shines of sympathy and empathy because people need it.

For the looters and destructors, hell terrorists, please start to think. Step outside of your body and look at what is going on. If you do that you will see:

  1. One of America’s greatest cities being destroyed. Believe it or not, you will have to pay for those damages. Actually, the entire city and state will have to pay for your crimes.
  2. People who have negative views of blacks will (in the their mind) be justified.
  3. That all of this damage will have been for nothing. I am sorry to say that riots will not bring Freddie Gray back. No matter how many buildings are set on fire, Orioles games cancelled, or how much disrespect is shown to the police will bring this young man back. I’m sorry, that is reality.

Consider the phrase, “One bad apple spoils the bunch.” That bunch is inedible.

I hope that the Orioles are not punished for acts they did not commit.

Sidebar. Yes, this is a national mess that only local authorities have control over. Stick to local government. Let’s not make this more political that what it already.

Yes, sports reality is a “legal” high that can never be matched, but please notice the real issues surrounding you. There are parts of this country that are still fighting for voting rights and equality rights amongst other things. Seek to find issues that may interest you and use your voice.

After, remember that events that have already occurred cannot be prevented after the fact. If you want to see change get out in your community, actually speak to your neighbor, and network with people who are a different demographic than you. Be the person you want to see as a leader of your neighborhood.

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Photo by: Patrick Semansky—AP

Check out what other bloggers said about this issue:

The Phoenix Rises

Ronovan Writes

SmallGovReport

RighteousBruin

MentalUnrest

The Central Standard Times

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The Five Greatest #1 Picks Draft History

Each year there is a huge conversation about who is going to be the next best thing coming into the NFL, however some of those players live up to their potential others just flop away.

Please note three things about this list.

  1. This list was created in a chronological order.
  2. Bo Jackson was not included because he did not play in the season in which he was drafted No. 1.
  3. Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Cam Newton did not make the list only because they are still in the league.

Year Position Player School Team Drafted By
1949 C, LB Chuck Bednarik Penn Philadelphia Eagles
AP

Accomplishments

  • 8x Pro- Bowler
  • 2x NFL Champion
  • Hall of Famer

Year Position Player School Team Drafted By
1970 QB Terry Bradshaw Louisiana Tech Pittsburgh Steelers

Accomplishments

Photo: AP
Photo: AP
  • 3x Time Pro-Bowler
  • 4x Super Bowl Champion
  • 2x Super Bowl MVP
  • League MVP
  • Hall of Famer
Year Position Player School Team Drafted By
1979 RB Earl Campbell Texas Houston Oilers

Accomplishments

Photo: Geary Broadnax, HP Staff
Photo: Geary Broadnax, HP Staff
  • 5x Pro- Bowler
  • League MVP
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Hall of Famer


Year Position Player School Team Drafted By
1983 QB John Elway Stanford Baltimore Colts

Accomplishments

Photo: AP
Photo: AP
  • 2x Super Bowl Champ
  • 9x Pro- Bowler
  • Super Bowl MVP
  • NFL MVP
  • Hall of Famer

Year Position Player School Team Drafted By
1989 QB Troy Aikman UCLA Dallas Cowboys

Accomplishments

  • 3x Super Bowls
  • 6 Pro Bowls
  • Super Bowl MVP
  • Hall of Famer

Cover Photo: AP

Did your favorite not make the list?

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Super Bowl Preview

Wow, I can’t believe that I have now written twenty-one NFL previews this season. For those of you keeping score at home that’s seventeen regular season, three playoff games, and one Super Bowl. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for someone who has read all of these previews.

Before we get to the game, let’s remember that Katy Perry will be performing at halftime with Lenny Kravitz. You can view the Katy Perry top 10 songs here.

Anyways, let’s get back to football. This Sunday the New England Patriots will face Seattle Seahawks.

I’m sure you already know about Deflategate, so I we will stroll around that topic.

New England’s offense will have to depend on someone besides Tom Brady and the Gronk. Everyone knows that Bill Belichick will have some trick up his sleeve. People are expecting LaGarrette Blount to have a huge game, but will Belichick go to Jonas Gray instead. The Patriots also have a great defense led by a vacation destination Revis Island. New England is solid team that will be tough to beat.

Quick question: If the Patriots win, is it fine to say that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time? He would have four rings in six trips to the big dance. The same question applies for Belichick. Reply below with what you think.

The Seattle defense will have to set the pace for the offense, however they are banged up. Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas were both injured in the Seahawks last outing against Green Bay. Both players have been participants in practice all week.

”I feel so much better. Each day, it’s surprised me because this is my first time with the injury and you don’t know what to expect. It has been just positive results from the trainers.” Thomas said.

Russell Wilson has been the heartbeat for the Seahawks all season. He personally, has engineered the offense. It surely has not been his lifeless teammates known as receivers.

Mr. I’m Just Here So I Don’t Get Fined will also need to have a beast mode type of game.

Who wins?

This game is really the battle between good and evil or old vs. young. Will we see a changing of the guard? Can the Seahawks defeat another Hall of Famer in the Super Bowl? I am going with the New England Patriots. This team was left for dead at the beginning of the season. Someone even asked Coach Belichick if Brady should be benched. Regardless of how you feel about this team, you have to acknowledge their success.

Score 31-27

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Super Bowl Halftime Performer Katy Perry Top 10

This week’s top 10 features the Super Bowl XLIX halftime performer, Katy Perry.

Perry joins Bruno Mars, The Who, Prince, Beyoncé, Madonna, U2, Paul McCartney, Janet Jackson, and many other previous headlining acts.

As of now we know that only Lenny Kravitz will be performing alongside the Grammy-winner.

Every Friday on the Breakfast Club, a weekday syndicated radio show on Power 105.1 out of New York, DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God perform a karaoke version of Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)”. It’s a man jam that we can all sing and belt out, regardless of gender.

The Super Bowl will be on NBC in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ on February 1.

The Songs that did not make the top 10.

California Girls


Part of Me


Wide Awake


The Katy Perry Top 10.

10. The One That Got Away


9. Hot N Cold


8. Waking Up in Vegas


7. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F) 


6. E.T.


To continue to the top 5 Katy Perry songs please continue to the next page. 

2015 NFL Championship Preview

The playoffs continue this weekend with two rematches from the regular season. Now I’m not one to brag, but in my preseason Super Bowl selection I said that Seattle would face Indianapolis in Arizona. I also said that Jay Gruden would win Coach of the Year, but that is beside the point and has nothing to do with this conversation.

The playoffs continue this weekend with two exact rematches from the regular season. Now I’m not one to brag, but in my preseason Super Bowl selection I said that Seattle would face Indianapolis in Arizona. I also said that Jay Gruden would win Coach of the Year, but that is beside the point and has nothing to do with this conversation.

Green Bay vs. Seattle 3:05 PM EST FOX

In the regular season opener Seattle manhandled the Packers 36-16. Russell Wilson passed for two touchdowns and Marshawn Lynch rushed for 110 yards and two scores. Aaron Rodgers threw one pass for a touchdown, but the running game never got going for GB. The team had a total of 80 yards on the ground. Also, in that game Rodgers did not consider challenging Richard Sherman.

For Green Bay to win this week they will need a healthy Rodgers because the Seattle D will make him move around to make plays. Eddie Lacy will have to touch the ball early and often.

The Seahawks will need to do more than lean on Russell Wilson. In a lot of the games late in the season he had to make plays with his feet to stay alive. Good thing Wilson has the Legion of Boom on his side.

Who wins?

I have to stay true to my preseason selection and go with the Hawks. The defense has been on fire since they have become healthy. I also believe that Rodgers’ calf injury will play a huge part in this game. Last week he was able to adjust, but please know that the Dallas D is not the Seattle D.

Score: 24-17


Indianapolis vs. New England 6:40 PM EST CBS

In the first meeting between these two AFC foes the Pats ran over the Colts. Remember the name Jonas Gray. Don’t worry I didn’t remember him either. Gray had his coming out party that Sunday night in Indy. He rushed for 201 yards and four scores. Ahmad Bradshaw injured his lower left leg in the contest and was later put on IR along side the Indy running game. The team also has a little media attention. You can read the articles about Trent Richardson and Josh McNary here.

To me the Colts are still a mystery. Andrew Luck in just his third year in the NFL is the only threat the Patriots really need to be aware. Daniel Herron appears to be a good back, but he is not consistent. Reggie Wayne and TY Hilton are both healthy so expect Luck to be passing all game log. Maybe he might take a trip to Revis Island.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are gonna have some type of new offensive strategy for this game. Maybe they will use four linemen again. It’s possible that LeGarrette Blount may lead a heavy rushing attack. Who knows?

Who wins?

The right thing for me to do is to go with my previous selection and select the Colts. However, that is not the team that will win this contest. New England wins because of experience and a more balanced attack.

Score: 38-24


There it is New England vs. Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX


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2015 NFL Divisional Round Preview

After going a perfect 4-0 last week I return to inform everyone of what’s going to occur during the 2015 divisional round of the NFL playoffs. The “few notes section” does come from ESPN.

Saturday Games

Baltimore vs. New England 4:35 EST NBC

Personally, I believe the first game of the divisional round will be the best one.

Joe Flacco leads a hot Ravens squad into Foxboro. He passed for nearly 4,000 yards over the regular season and Justin Forsett rushed for over 1,200. Their balanced attack has been elevated thanks to the Smith twins, Steve and Torry. The biggest weapon that Baltimore has, however, is the defense. No one will run the ball against them. NOBODY! Which means it will be tough for the non-existent Pats running game. Jonas Gray and LaGarrette Blount will not rush for over 50 yards combined.

New England does have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Do they need any more? I can’t tell you anything you do not know about what they will do. Expect Gronk to have at least 6 receptions for 120.

Few Notes:

  • Tom Brady is 1-2 in his postseason career at home against the Ravens, and 11-1 against everyone else.
  • Joe Flacco has 10 playoff wins (5 straight) since he entered the league in 2008, twice as many as any other QB in the NFL. His 7 road playoff wins and 11 road playoff starts are most by any QB in NFL history.
  • In Tom Brady’s career, he has 7 postseason game-winning drives, more than 3 times the amount of any other remaining QB in the playoffs. In fact, if you added up the total game-winning drives in the playoffs from the other 7 QB in the postseason, Flacco, Wilson, Romo, Manning, Luck, Rodgers and Newton they would equal…7…the same amount of game-winning postseason drives as Brady.

Who wins?

Baltimore rolls once again. The defense will win it for them and Flacco won’t lose it. Brady will at least have two picks.

Score: 24-17


Carolina vs. Seattle 8:15 EST FOX

It’s the battle of the read offense and the two best mobile quarterbacks in the NFL.

The Panthers are riding a five game winning streak and Cam is looking better than ever. Who knew that getting in a wreck could be a good thing? Carolina has always been a running team and the help of healthy running backs, Stewart and Williams, the Panthers could be a tough out.

The defending champs seem to be everyone’s pick to win it all. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because they have home field advantage and the Legion of Doom is back. Russell Wilson is carrying the offense because he doesn’t have a respectable receiver. Doug Baldwin has been MIA for the majority of the season.

Few Notes:

  • The Panthers and Seahawks follow the same plan: run the ball and play defense. Since Week 12, the two teams have been the best in several key rushing and defensive stats.
  • At least one road team was won in the Divisional playoffs in the previous nine seasons (2005-13), the second-longest streak in NFL history (road team won in 13 straight years from 1975-87). 2004 was the last season in which all four home teams won on Divisional weekend.
  • The Panthers and Seahawks have combined for 69 points in their previous three meetings and the two teams have only scored touchdowns on two of their 15 red-zone drives.

Who wins?

This will be a tough defensive game. The score will be tight. Seattle will soar.

Score: 20-17


Sunday Games 

Dallas vs. Green Bay 1:05 FOX

This game will be played on the frooooozen tundra. The running backs will be the feature of this contest. I see big games for both Eddie Lacy and DeMarco Murray.

Dallas was lead by the great of the referees last week. That was not professional, but the ‘boys should have lost. I still can’t ignore the great play of Tony Romo. He has lead this team far better than in years before. In the second half last week, it was fair for spectators to assume he was going to throw a costly interception but he didn’t.

Green Bay has a gigantic quarterback question. Is Aaron Rodgers healthy? We will be able to see how good that leg is after kickoff. Lacy will have to be driving force behind the Packers offense.

Few Notes:

  • Aaron Rodgers’ calf injury could limit his mobility. No QB has more Pass TD (33) from out of the pocket than Rodgers the last 5 seasons.
  • Including playoffs, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at home in his last 477 pass attempts. He’s played 16 games since his last interception at home, throwing 38 Pass TD in that time.
  • The Cowboys went 8-0 on the road this season. The Packers went 8-0 at home this season. According to Elias, only once since the merger has an unbeaten home team hosted an unbeaten road team in the playoffs. In 1972 the Dolphins (7-0 on the road) defeated the Steelers (7-0 at home) 21-17 in the AFC Conference Championship game.

Who wins?

How Bout Dem Cowboys?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Especially, if Chris Christie shows up.

Score: 30-24


Indianapolis vs. Denver 4:40 EST CBS

This is the battle of old versus new. Many people have already proclaimed Andrew Luck as a Hall of Famer and G.O.A.T. but he will still has yet to go to a conference championship. Is he Peyton Manning? No!

As I stated last week, it will be difficult for Indy to do anything on offense because of their ability to run the ball. He will have to pass over 45 times if his team wants an opportunity and his defense will have to show up and stop the run for once. CJ Anderson cannot have a huge game. If he does, the Colts don’t stand a chance.

The Broncos have Peyton Manning. End of story.

Few Notes:

  • Over the last five weeks of the regular season, Peyton Manning ranked 30th in red zone completion percentage (39 percent) and 22nd in red zone Total QBR (18) out of 32 qualified quarterbacks. Manning ranked first in both completion percentage (78 percent) and Total QBR (97) in the red zone in the season’s first 12 weeks.
  • Peyton Manning was off target on seven of his 16 red zone passes to Demaryius Thomas in the last five weeks of the regular season. Thomas had more drops (2) than receptions (1) in the red zone during that span.

Who wins?

Denver wins and it won’t be close.

Score: 35-21

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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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NFL Week 15, Storylines, NFC West, Picks, and Manziel

Remember the phrase, “Any given Sunday”? Any team did win in week 14, Who would have believed that Carolina would go ahead and steamroll New Orleans in New Orleans? Oh, wait I did. Seattle only allowed fourteen points to the highflying Eagles. The Raiders yes the Raiders won the Battle of the Bay 24-13. Finally, Pittsburgh went into Cincy and doubled em’ up. The last three weeks of the season is sure to be exciting and action packed.

Storylines

  • Is the Legion of Boom really back?
  • Is Jay Gruden really on the hot seat after one season?
  • Can St. Louis continue its hot streak?
  • Will the Green Bay winning streak continue?
  • Can Derek Anderson lead the Panthers to another win without Cam Newton?

Arizona

The Cards were able to hold off the Kansas City Chiefs last week to capture they’re tenth victory of the season. I believe it was the teams last win. There are just too many holes in this boat and not enough gum. Carson Palmer and Andre Ellington are gone for the season. Tyrann Mathieu will not play this week. On the bright side it does look like Larry Fitzgerald will be on the field.

To finish the season, the Arizona must go to St. Louis, play Seattle at home, and then travel to San Francisco. That schedule should seem impossible for a team that is fourteenth in the league in passing and thirtieth in rushing.

Cleveland

I addressed this travesty Tuesday. Please click here to view my commentary about it.

Eric Berry

The Chiefs safety was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma earlier this week. The fifth year player only played in six games this season where he had thirty- seven combined tackles. According to the Chiefs website, Hodgkin Lymphoma is treatable and potentially curable. Get well, Eric!

Last Week:      11-5

Overall:           147-70-1

Percentage:    .674

ST. LOUIS over Arizona

Green Bay over BUFFALO

BALTIMORE over Jacksonville

Cincinnati over CLEVELAND

CAROLINA over Tampa Bay

INDIANAPOLIS over Houston

KANSAS CITY over Oakland

NEW ENGLAND over Miami

NEW YORK (N) over Washington

ATLANTA over Pittsburgh

Denver over SAN DIEGO

DETROIT over Minnesota

TENNESSEE over New York (A)

SEATTLE over San Francisco

Dallas over PHILADELPHIA

CHICAGO over New Orleans

Also, remember that Down the Line Sports is now Down the Line Sports and Entertainment. Currently, you can find the Top 25 Hip Hop and R&B songs of 2014 and the Top 25 Country songs of 2014 under the music menu. Pop/Rock will be released on Friday, December 11. The rest of the schedule is as follows.

  • Thursday- NFL weekly preview
  • Saturday- Top 10 countdown of a current artists greatest hits. Ex. Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Blake Shelton.
  • Tuesday- Top 10 countdown of a legendary artists greatest hits. Ex. Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton, Tupac.

Articles can be released at any time.

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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)

Why the Odell Beckham Jr. catch was not the Greatest of All-Time

I have had enough of the football world saying that the Odell Beckham Jr. was the greatest catch ever. It was spectacular and it has never been done before, but it was meaningless. The last time I checked the 3-8 New York Giants are going no where this season Personally, I will place any great catch that has been made in the postseason above the Beckham grab. In due time we will forget about the catch from last week, but those listed below will never be forgotten. They are in no particular order.

Santonio Holmes

Dwight Clark “The Catch”

David Tyree

Franco Harris “The Immaculate Reception”

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)

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.