It is that time of the year. The draftniks who play Fantasy Football are continually asking me who I promote as draft picks for their Fantasy Football Leagues. I do not know why they ask me, but lets give it a get go. Of course, I do not play fantasy football, but these leagues provide a multitude of people a tremendous amount of entertainment. If you look at a prior post from September 2, 2010, my super sleeper selection was RB Arian Foster from the Houston Texans. Enough said but league players who chose Arian Foster were most likely productive in their leagues. The following player is not a sleeper but I like him to have an excellent season(Tampa Bay Bucs RB LeGarrette Blount). Two second years players who are both under the radar are Green Bay RB James Starks and Steelers WR Antonio Brown. Pittsburghers know about Antonio Brown but nationwide he is an unknown. A great combination for a Fantasy Team would be Big Ben and Antonio Brown. A receiver not rated a top player in fantasy circles but could be a steal later in the draft is Broncos Brandon Lloyd. Another total unknown I like only if Tight Ends are important in your league if New Orleans Saints' TE Jimmy Graham. Another RB to make lots of fantasy league noise is Redskins' Tim Hightower. Last but not least, a RB that could really elevate himself this 2001 season is Dolphins' Reggie Bush. Reggie Bush may be on a mission during the 2011 season. Hope everyone enjoys not only the regular football season but also their Fantasy Football Leagues.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
After watching the Steelers vs Eagles game the other night, the way Pittsburgh played indicated to me that they are ready to play in the regular season. Big Ben was very crisp, the offensive line was blocking, the Steelers have a solid offense with a nice mix of a running game combined with a passing game, and two young offensive players may really emerge this season in RB Isaac Redman and WR Antonio Brown. The Eagles looked sloppy at times but the Steelers are ready to play some regular season football. I am an advocate of an 18 game season, 2 pre-season games, and 2 bye weeks for each team. Look how bad the NY Giants secondary is banged up and they still have 2 pre-season games remaining. If a coaching staff cannot evaluate the young players in camp, then there is something wrong. 2 pre-season games is more than enough. College football teams do not go against anyone else but themselves during pre-season camp and jump into a regular season game very easily. High school teams have 2 scrimmages and they are ready to play a regular season game. 4 NFL pre-season games is absurd. These guys are professionals with numerous years football experience. Come on owners, get on with the 18 game schedule.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
There are 2 really good back-up quarterbacks in the National Football League that could come into a team with quarterback deficiencies and elevate there programs. They are Green Bay #2 QB Matt Flynn and New England's #2 guy Brian Hoyer. These guys can play. Any astute NFL football fan should be able to conclude that the teams that get to the Super Bowl need a top flight quarterback. For example, Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning had neck surgery last May and is a concern for the upcoming season. The Colts starter now is Curtis Painter who is not that bad but lacks experience. They could use a quarterback. The Oakland Raiders could use a high caliber quarterback. Teams have to take the chance and make the trade now and if not now , then after the season. Hoyer and Flynn are chomping at the bit to get that opportunity and I am sure that the Packers and Patriots want to keep these players as back-up quarterbacks. But if the right offer comes down the pike, then let's make the deal. Hoyer and Flynn can move teams down the field and put up points. As the old footage adage goes "If you cannot score, you cannot win."
Saturday, August 20, 2011
After watching more and more NFL pre-season football games, the touchback on the kickoff is going to be a prominent part of an NFL regular season game. The only positive that will come out of this new rule to kickoff from the 35 yard line is this segment. There will be less and less penalties on kickoff returns. It became very annoying when about 50 percent of the time on a return, the yellow laundry was thrown and the Head referee would get on the microphone and say "Block in the back on number 00, 15 yard penalty from the spot of the foul, and then the referee would blurt out "First Down." Talk about "First Down", I remember the colorful referee Red Cashion who added entertainment to the game when he would get on the microphone and say in his drawl "First Dowwwwwwn." I see people today who are watching Steeler games and subsequently when the Steelers get a first down, do their arm gesture, and scream out "First Dowwwwwwn." What entertainment! Red Cashion's legacy was simply 2 words "First Dowwwwwwn." I wonder what Red Cashion, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Don Shula etc. think about all the touchbacks to look forward to during the 2011 football season.
NCAA President Mark Emmert has some big fish to fry especially what has happened concerning the U. of Miami football program. Amongst other items of importance, Mark Emmert wants to meet with the NFL hierarchy soon. One area he should discuss with Goddell and company is the NFL starting a minor league format along the lines of baseball's minor leagues. A minor league format would assist college football in regards to an ALTERNATIVE for high school seniors that go to college for the sole purpose of playing football and not being a true student athletes. Another issue that the NCAA focused on recently was the U. of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname. The NCAA wants all institutions of higher learning with Native American nicknames to change them. For example, Marquette University's nickname before 1994 was the Warriors and their logo was supposedly disrespectful to Native Americans. Marquette changed it's nickname to the Golden Eagles. Recently, the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe held a referendum vote to either approve or deny continued use of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo of the U. of North Dakota. The Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe voted giving overwhelming support for North Dakota to continue use of the name and logo. The NCAA has not recognized the Spirit Lake Tribe vote and continues to hold their position on the NCAA policy ruling not allowing North Dakota to utilize the Fighting Sioux nickname. NCAA president Mark Emmert and the NCAA officials have bigger fish to fry than worrying about the U. of North Dakota nickname and logo, especially when the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe overwhelmingly felt it was an honor for UND to utilize it's name and logo.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
There are a multitude of rumors out there that the NFL may eliminate the Kickoff. What an absolute JOKE. If the NFL wants to eliminate some sort of kicking play, the league should eliminate a field goal inside of 20 yards. The kickoff is a big part of a football game, it creates excitement, it can change the entire momentum of a game(1 play-the kickoff). Obviously, the rationale behind this is to cut down on injuries. In a severe collision sport like football, injuries are a huge part of the game. If they are concerned about injuries, then they should go to the Flag Football format for kickoffs only. In the off season meetings next Winter, the owners should focus more on not eliminating kickoffs but eliminating the number of penalties on kickoff and punt returns. On the majority of punt/kickoffs returns in the past decade, there have been more blocks in the back than there were parking tickets given to fans in downtown Pittsburgh who were spending money at establishments and going to cheer the hometown team. The modern day placekicker can kick the ball 75 yards. During the 2010 season when a Kickoff was 70 yards, there was 16.2% of kickoffs not returned. Move the kickoff back to the 30 yard line and put a foam rubber cushion on the outside of the players' helmet. I wonder what Vince Lombardi would say about eliminating kickoffs.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
The media cannot shake free from Tiger Woods. When he plays in an event, especially a major, then the media is all over him like a cheap suit. But Tiger is struggling right now. The golf world is trying to figure out what is wrong with his game. Everywhere you go, golf fans continually talk about his golfing problems. I think there are 3 things Tiger Woods needs to do. #1, Tiger needs to play more. I know he has had knee issues and injury problems this season, but he needs to play in more events to maintain his skills. #2, the Tiger needs a new image. How can he do that? Simple solution, change his name to his birth name, Eldrick Woods. Done by many including Chad Johnson, who created a last name to match his jersey number. ETW are Tiger's initials which he has named one of his enterprises after. Go by E.T. Woods or Eldrick Woods. This would give Tiger a new image and not the good looking goatee he displays. And #3, Tiger needs to consult with a Sports Professional Consultant(which he may already be doing), a person along the lines of Pittsburgh's own Dr. Kevin Elko, who has really done a thorough job not only in motivational speaking but also as a Sports Psychologist. Tiger Woods is on a roller coaster ride right now. Some changes may help his game.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
On August 2, the Pittsburgh Pirates are 54 and 54 with 54 games remaining. This month is very critical for the Buccos who up until a week ago have been playing well and had created unbelievable interest in a previously weak Pittsburgh baseball market until this season. The fans have been supportive during the bad times but the fans now are loaded with enthusiasm and are anxious for a winning season and a playoff contender. Starting Monday August 8th, the Pirates have some tough baseball to play, in matter of fact 20 games in a row. They have the S.F. Giants away for 3 games, then they play at Milwaukee for 3 , then the Pirates come home to play St. Louis for 3 tilts, 3 more versus the pesky Reds, 4 vs. the Brewers with a make-up game included, and then finish off this 20 games stretch with 4 at the St. Louis Cardinals. Enough said. This is a huge month and hopefully, things fall into place for the Buccos. Can the starting rotation hold up? Does newly acquired Derrek Lee have enough clout to win a few games with the long ball? Could this be the August swoon rather than the June swoon? The fans will find out but I think on a positive note, the Buccos will battle in these 20 games and come of this in good shape. If not, footballs are in the air.