Category Archives: NFL

Thought of the Week – Michael Sam

A lot of controversy has risen over the past week with Michael Sam coming out as an openly Gay athlete.

I usually do not try to get into politics, but I will shed some light on the story with my opinion.

It is the 21st century and times are changing. Whether you like it or not, our society is consistently going in a liberal direction. Homosexuals have existed throughout the history of people, and are showing their colors more in recent times.

So why such a big deal?

American culture has driven people to abide by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” mentality. This mind set is becoming an outdated one. Gay people have been in sports for as long as sports have been around. They just have not been open about it. The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell debate may have been fine for those straight people who are uncomfortable with the thought of gay actions, but what about for the Gay Athletes? You have to think that inside these people, they are torn up. They are battling with this reality that they are a homosexual athlete and they cannot tell the world who they really are due to fear of being judged.

Our society dictates this fear of being judged.

When it really comes down to it, if the guy can play, does it matter if he likes women or men? If he is a team player who can contribute to a win, does it matter what his sexual orientation is? So why is this such a big deal, why are people getting so worked up?

Let’s think about this for a second. The only reason this would be an issue in a locker room is because another player feels uncomfortable being around a gay player. Taking it even deeper, why would this player feel uncomfortable? Not that I have ever been in a Pro-Locker room, but from what I have heard athletes shower together and walk around the locker room naked on a consistent basis. So is that what the homophobic athletes are worried about? They do not want a gay guy to look at their goods?

Stop being so high on yourself, bro.

You think you are such a hot stud, that this gay guy is going to see your junk and immediately try to bend you over and rape you in the shower.

Seriously, though. When it comes down to it, that is the only reason someone could be uncomfortable about having a gay player in the locker room. Players need to be more comfortable with their sexuality and get passed the fact that their is a homosexual athlete among them. And the reality is, there have been plenty of gay athletes in locker rooms throughout time and nothing like this has ever taken place. The fact that another athlete would think anything like this would happen in a locker room is just plain stupid. Additionally, couldn’t you say the fact that you walk around naked around other guys makes you gay? Obviously it does not, when you know yourself that you are straight. It is all about adjusting your mentality to a modern, 21st century approach.

The truth though is that this will bring attention to whatever locker room Michael Sam enters in the 2014 season. The media will surround the team and it may be a distraction. In that regard, I understand why you may not want an openly Gay Athlete on your team. But every player fits every team differently. Some teams like controversial players, and other teams like players with no baggage. Look at San Diego Chargers and them drafting Manti T’eo. A handful of team passed on the outstanding college player because of his fake-girlfriend controversy. T’eo had a tremendous amount of media attention throughout the draft and entering the 2013 season. The Chargers handled the situation excellent by keeping T’eo away from reporters and protecting him to enable his growth as a pro player.

Now let’s look at this specific case, in Michael Sam. The guy is a great player. I hear NFL scouts on TV saying this guy is nothing more than a middle round pick. I have seen other mock drafts where he is projected to be drafted in the 2nd round. Michael Sam was a unanimous 1st Team All American and was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Some scouts say “I do not pay any attention to Conference Player of the Year Awards.” This may have some validity in weaker conferences, but the SEC is known as the best Conference in College Football. Furthermore, the SEC is widely regarded as the best defensive conference in the nation. SEC has historically produced plenty of defensive pro’s.

Lets look at the last 7 SEC Defensive Player of the Years:

2012 – Jarvis Jones

2011 – Morris Claiborne

2010 – Patrick Peterson

2009 – Rolando McClain

2008 – Eric Berry

2007 – Glen Dorsey

2006 – Patrick Willis…

***EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE PLAYERS WAS DRAFTED IN THE 1ST ROUND; None of these players were drafted past the 11th pick***

The bottom line is, Michael Sam is a good player who has proven himself in the College Rankings. With the combine and pro days coming up, his draft stock may rise or fall. With that said, he is still talented enough, and should be drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft.

The thing Americans and sports fans have to realize is that this whole situation is inevitable. There are gay athletes everywhere, and eventually someone was going to come out. This is the first of many. There will be a growing period and players will have to get used to this new dynamic.

The key will be is how this effects the locker room, how this effects team collaboration and bonding. The truth is, it will only go as far as the straight athletes allow it to. It is solely on the straight athletes to take this gay player under their wing and treat him like they would any other teammate. They need to band together as brothers and fight in the trenches. They will need to joke around and make fun of each other just like guys do. Michael Sam will need to be open to joking about his sexual orientation. Often times, good friends tease each other about anything just to make it into a bonding experiment. Sam should embrace this in order to make the uncomfortable straight players feel a little more at ease as these actions promote a friendly atmosphere. Example: Michael Sam gets a clutch sack in an NFL game and his teammate says “I love you, you big gay mother fucker!!” and Sam says back: “I love you to, you dumb piece of shit!” It will take both sides to help make this situation fizzle away into the normality of our society.

Seattle Dominates in Super Bowl XLVIII Win

Where do we begin with this game.

So much for the #1 Offense in NFL History, I would suppose.

It all started on the very first offensive play of the game. Sure the safety might have been a fluke, but it set the tone for the game. Peyton Manning seemed out of sorts the entire game. This truly was a team win though, and you have to give the Seattle Seahawks all of the credit in a 43-8 blowout.

The Seahawks dominated in all facets. A safety, a couple of stops, and 2 field goals later and the Seahawks were up 8-0. The safety was the quickest score to start a Super Bowl in NFL history at 12 seconds. Peyton Manning was still in position to only be down 1 pt with a TD drive after his defense got him some stops. On the next drive pressure caused a Julius Thomas-intended pass to be intercepted by Seahawks Kam Chancellor. Peyton was pressured on the play, as he was the entire game.

Kam Chancellor played an outstanding game and was a key contributor to the hard hitting defense. On the Broncos first drive after the safety, Chancellor leveled Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas which set the tone for the entire game. The Seattle defense played nearly a perfect game. They were hitting like it was the ’70s and it seemed as if every player was on their A-game, swarming to the ball. The yards-after-catch stat for the Broncos had to be minimal. I was truly impressed with the effort and intensity that the Seahawks brought on defense. It was as if they wanted it more.

Something that may go forgotten is that Demaryius Thomas set a Super Bowl record with 13 receptions. He seemed to be the only person Peyton Manning could find and a handful of these were intended-screens that only gained a few yards.

After the Kam Chancellor’s interception, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense marched down the field. Marshawn Lynch would eventually score a touchdown from 1 yard out that would put Seattle up 15-0.

Denver’s very next drive they had a chance to get some points on the board. They put a solid drive together before Peyton Manning threw a 69-yard Pick-6 to eventual Super Bowl-MVP Malcolm Smith. Peyton was again being pressured by Cliff Avril as he had been all game. Malcolm had a solid game as he forced 2 turnovers (Int for TD and forced fumble), recovered a fumble, and recorded 9 tackles. This put the Seahawks up 22-0 by halftime and hope started looking bleak for the Broncos.

The start of the second half had Percy Harvin run back an 88-yard kick off return for a touchdown. After the game Percy said that the play, “counter right” had not been run the entire season as Pete Carroll was saving it for the right moment. Oh, how Pete was right. Percy’s speed truly showed in this game as he was gone the majority of the season. He also had 2 impressive runs early in the game. Harvin was able to gain more yards (45) on two carries than Marshawn Lynch did (39) with 15 carries. Special teams played a huge role in this game. At this point, Seattle was up 29-0 and it was hard to believe the Broncos would pull out the victory at this point. 

On Denver first drive of the second half they had the ball down 29-0 as we said. Peyton Manning began to drive again with the help of Demaryius Thomas. Manning had a pass to Thomas where he ran to about the Seahawk’s 20 yard line. On the run after catch Byron Maxwell had a heads up play where he, Charles Tillman-like, punched the ball out of Thomas’ hand. Malcolm Smith recovered the fumble.

The second half the Seahawks offense came alive to show what they could do. Seattle’s two receivers in Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse had terrific games. Both players came into the game with extreme chips on their shoulder after Cris Carter publicly called the play of the receivers ‘pedestrian.’ After the Demaryius Thomas fumble, Russell Wilson drove down the field again. Undrafted receiver Jermaine Kearse had an great play where he broke 5 tackles on 2 spin moves and scored a touchdown. His score put Seattle up 36-0, and at that point you knew it was over.

Only after Seattle was up 36-zip did the ‘high powered’ Denver offense score a touchdown. Peyton drove down the field and threw a touchdown to Demaryius Thomas, as you might guess. They converted on a 2-pt conversion, moving the score to 36-8.

Seattle continued to dominate in all facets on their next drive. They drove down the field in the passing game again. Jermaine Kearse had a big play that set up the touchdown score. Doug Baldwin actually set up Jermaine Kearse score initially. Baldwin was able to do a couple swift juke moves from a few yard out for Seattle’s final score. At this point Seattle was up 43-8, the final score of the game.

Seattle did not let up the entire game. Even in the 4th quarter when the game was completely over, the Seahawks defense kept playing. They were playing as if the game was still on the line. They even forced another fumble. Eventually the Seahawks would put in back up running back and quarterback to replace Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson. Seattle’s energy throughout the game was very impressive. Denver’s intensity was no where near the level of Seattle’s. 

The Seattle Seahawks had an impressive win in Super Bowl XLVIII. They shut down perhaps the ‘best offense in NFL history’ and beat them very convincingly. If Seahawks can maintain their roster, they could be up for a dynasty.

Super Bowl Media Week – The Marshawn Lynch Reaction

The Media.

All they want is a story, and they will do anything to get it.

Much has been made about how Marshawn Lynch has handled himself during this Super Bowl media frenzy. On Tuesday, Lynch came to the stand to speak to the media for his required hour-long stint. He only spoke (if you can call it that) for about 7 minutes before he stepped down. On Wednesday, he did pretty much the same thing. Both days, Lynch repeatedly mentioned the only reason he was there was so he would not get fined.

The only reporter to get a real one-on-one with Lynch was the Hall of Fame Cornerback Deion Sanders. You could tell by the way Mr. Primetime approached Lynch that he knew he may not get a lot out of the Pro Bowl Running Back. For all the energy and character Deion Sander has, he handled the interview very well. He spoke slow and softly and got to the point. He complimented Beast Mode and spoke to a level Lynch could handle.

It seemed like Lynch only gave the time of day to the HOF’er because of his rich history in the league and his respect by many people associated with the NFL.

Driving home from work on Tuesday I was listening to San Diego Sports radio station. One of the broadcasters reaction was one to think about. He was relating Marshawn’s attitude to that of Ricky Williams back in the day. Ricky Williams had an anxiety problem with the media. Part of this may have been attributed to his recluse way’s of smoking marijuana and wanting to keep to himself. But other’s argued it was a true mental condition. Regardless of any of this, Williams was an outstanding back who brought it on game day whether or not he spoke to the media.

There are other athletes that have anxiety problems with the media like this. One that I can think of off the top of my head is Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Zack Greinke. Apparently, the pitcher has an anxiety problem where he rarely speaks with the media. This can be understandable, some people just do not react to the cameras and media’s as others do. Those here in San Diego might remember Padres’ Short Stop Kahlil Green who was the same way. He had a great deal of talent, but just could not handle the media. Even in a small market like San Diego, Green could just not take in the media. He was a talented player who let a lot of his potential go to waste in the eyes of many fans. Green was the type of guy that just wanted to go out their and play baseball as if he was still in Little League, not answer questions to reporters.

But is this Marshawn Lynch’s condition? At the time I was listening to this broadcaster on the radio I had not actually seen or heard any of Lynch’s interviews from Media Day. To me, Lynch’s approach is similar to that of Kahlil Green’s. Not necessarily the anxiety, but just the eagerness to be on the field. Green did have some kind of anxiety problem, but he really just wanted to go out there and play ball. That is what it seems like to me for Lynch.

Like I said before, it seemed as if Deion Sanders handled his interview very well with Lynch. He was straight to the point and did not allow for any filler. He seemed to make Marshawn feel comfortable which allowed him to open up a little more. Sander’s even asked Lynch if he was ‘shy’. Maybe Lynch is a little anxious when it comes to the media, but it seems to me that he is really just a football guy. He just wants to keep focused on the game in front of him and make it happen on game day. He is very unselfish, and gives credit to all of his teammates.

On Wednesday, Day 2 of the Media Day, Lynch approached the media the same way. He spoke for about 6 or 7 minutes with really nothing to say. Lynch’s blocking fullback Michael Robinson had to cut in and answer questions for Lynch. He did it with humor, but also in a way to rescue Lynch.

This can be peculiar to some. Some players, i.e. Richard Sherman, suck up Media Day. It is a way to endorse your product and make a character and name for yourself among the media, country, and fans a like. You make people fall in love with your character and that creates more hype and buzz around your name. Furthermore, this allows for more sponsors and money to be made. But, is that what this game is about?

The only person that is really hurting this week is Lynch’s agent. Marshawn Lynch may have acted ‘immature’ by the way he handled the media, but he is an old school guy. He is here to play the game and win it. He is not here to talk nonsense with a bunch of reporters when he only has one thing on his mind — winning the Super Bowl. Some reporters mentioned to him “don’t you owe it to your fans to talk?” Sure, maybe he does. But from what I have heard, fans do not care. It is part of the character of Marshawn Lynch, of “Beast Mode.” It is a whole mindset and lifestyle. He is a no-nonsense kind of guy and wants to focus his energy on the game.

Some have said that he was not like this when he was in Buffalo. This is a good argument for why it is not so much an anxiety thing. Honestly, before this season I do not think any one even cared or thought about his presence in the media. It seems as if this year, Lynch made a conscious decision to step away from the media and focus on his career. Lets take a look a little further into that concept.

In 2013, he had his 2nd most attempts and rushing yards. Also, in previous years he had a lot of injury problems, especially with the Bills. This was only the 2nd time in his entire career he started all 16 games (19 including playoffs/SB), which is a career high. He also tied for his most rushing touchdowns of his career (12, also had 12 in 2011). Furthermore, he had the 2nd most receptions of his career, most receiving yards of his career, and most receiving touchdowns of his career.

To me, the guy is trying to focus on his career, and it looks like he has been successful. If I was a Seahawks fan, I probably would not care that much about his media day. So what? — he does not want to talk to the media. He wants to play. He wants to focus on the game and help put his team in position to win Super Bowl XLVIII.

In the end, anxiety or not, the media is blowing this up. Reporters are making a huge deal about Marshawn Lynch not talking to the media. Why does it even matter? Why is this such a big deal? Last time I remembered, the Media does not play on Sundays. More power to Marshawn Lynch and keep that Beast Mode coming.

Super Bowl XLVIII Analysis and Synopsis – Who Has the Edge?

Super_Bowl_XLVIII_logo

This Super Bowl may be one of the most evenly matched, and highly anticipated in the past couple of years.

It will truly be the best offense in the NFL (perhaps ever) in the Denver Broncos going on to face the best defense in the NFL in the Seattle Seahawks. There has not been a Super Bowl in quite a while where I could not firmly pick a team or even sway to their side. These teams are both definitely the best two teams in the NFL, and I do not think I could have said that for a long time in a Super Bowl Matchup.

Super Bowl XLVIII is actually the first time the #1 Scoring Offense will face the #1 Scoring Defense.

Here is my breakdown in which I will give the edge to either team based off of different aspects of the game.

Quarterback:

Statistically, Peyton Manning has had the best season for any NFL Quarterback. Some of these stats could be attributed to the fact that the NFL is getting much ‘softer’ and Quarterbacks get away with a lot more as far as protection and penalties.

Still, Manning is a legend. Whether the Broncos win or lose this game, everyone still knows how great Manning is as a quarterback and it is hard to go against him.

Russell Wilson is a great young Quarterback as well. It is very impressive to remember that Wilson is only in his 2nd year in the NFL. In Russell’s first season, he led the Seattle Seahawks to an 11-5 regular season record and went 1-1 for the playoffs. This season the Russell has led the Seahawks to a 13-3 record and are currently 2-0 in the playoffs. His total record in his first 2 years of his career, including playoffs, is 27-9. This record is second best to only Ben Roethlisberger and will be tied if the Seahawks go on to win the Super Bowl.

Like Big Ben, Russell Wilson is in a Super Bowl in only his sophomore season. Also like Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson has an outstanding team around him. Furthermore, both of these teams (2005 Steelers, 2013 Seahawks) had top-5 Defenses.

Update:  Just to extend on this Steelers 2005 Defense comparison. I am not comparing the two defenses in anyway saying one is better than the other. Actually, The 2013 is definitely better than the 2005 Steelers defense. The point I am trying to make is that the success of Ben Roethlisberger in 2005 was aided primarily to his stellar defense. The Steelers had the #4 defense in the league in 2005, and a lot of those players were in their prime. Ben Roethlisberger is a great QB, don’t get me wrong, but it is hard to believe he would be a 2005 Super Bowl winner if it was not for the defense he had. Just like Russell Wilson this year. He is a great QB and has a very bright future ahead of him, but the Seattle Seahawks would not be in the Super Bowl without their stellar defense. The point of this article is to give an edge to one team, and this is my argument for why I give the Broncos the edge. In short, the Seahawks would not be in the Super Bowl (most likely) if it was not for their Defense, whereas the Broncos for sure would not be in the Super Bowl if it was not for Peyton Manning (therefore, I give the edge to the Broncos).

I still feel Russell Wilson is growing into himself. He really does not have all the playmakers around him on offense for his production to be over the top and Peyton is having a phenomenal season.

EDGE: Broncos

Running Backs:

Knowshon Moreno has had a pretty good season, rushing for over 1,000 yards and scoring 13 touchdowns. He is a solid running back, but not a feature back. Moreno really only gets his chunks of yards and touchdowns based on the game plan the Broncos have. He also shares time with Monte Ball.

Marshawn Lynch,  a.k.a. “Beast Mode,” is an elite runner in NFL. His aggressive play is admired and appreciated by team mates. He is a top 5 rusher in the league and also managed double digit touchdowns for the third straight year. Although he dealt with injuries early in his career, he has finally reached his potential with the Seahawks. Lynch will be play a huge factor in Super Bowl XLVIII.

EDGE: Seattle

Wide Receiver:

The Broncos feature some of the best Wide Receivers in the entire National Football League. All three of their starting receivers have double digit TDs in Decker, Welker, and Demaryius Thomas.

We all know about Welker. He is arguably the best possession receiver in the entire league. He is unstoppable at times and is a nightmare matchup problem out of the slot. Welker is a guy that is going to get a lot of receptions, a lot of first down looks, and a lot of easy touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas is a prototypical #1 wide receiver. He is a massive guy who plays extremely physical. He put up over 1,400 yards this season and scored 14 TDs. Eric Decker is a guy that just seems to always get open, especially with the holes in coverage left by Demaryius, Julius, and Welker. Denver also has speedy receiver Andre Caldwell who has made some plays down the stretch of the season.

The Seahawks have a handful of play makers at the Wide Receiver position, but really just do not have a premiere guy. Golden Tate has proven himself as reliable, but is really nothing more than a 2 receiver. Doug Baldwin has taken over the slot role, with Percy Harvin out a majority of the year, and has been impressive. His regular season stat line is 50 receptions for 778 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is a big play guy, but still is not going to produce game in and game out. Looking at his game log from 2013, there are plenty of games where he went quiet. He had SEVEN games where he had 2 or less receptions (5 games with only 1 reception, 1 game with 0, and 1 game with 2).  Baldwin also never, not one time, had a 100-yard receiving game. I can see him making plays in this Super Bowl, just because he has seemed to be clutch at times, but still he is not a receiver who will take over a game.

After speaking with many Seahawks fans, I must add Jermaine Kearse here. He seems to have made some clutch plays throughout the season but still only finished the year with 22 receptions for 346 yards and 4 TDs. I might add that he never had more than 3 receptions in any game this season and had 8 games where he had 1 or 0 receptions. His season high in yards was only 75.

Sidney Rice is an outstanding receiver but has been injured the majority of the season and was placed on IR earlier this season. The X-factor here in the receiver position is Percy Harvin. He is an outstanding receiver coming out of the slot and can stretch the field. He makes the yards after catch plays and is truly a dynamic receiver. Again though, he is not really a true #1 guy. Furthermore, he may not even be entire healthy.

Obviously, a lot of this receiver productivity is built into an offensive philosophy. The Seahawks are a run-heavy offense, whereas the Broncos are a pass-heavy offense. Still, you cannot deny the numbers and the production that the Broncos receiving corp have put up in 2013.

EDGE: Broncos

Tightends:

This one is easy for me. The Seahawks have a solid Tight End in Zach Miller, but definitely not a dynamic one. He has put up decent numbers over his career with one Pro-Bowl season (2010 Antonio Gates did not go because of injury). He is reliable at times, but really only good for a couple plays a game in this offense.

The Broncos on the other hand have Pro-Bowler Julius Thomas who is outstanding. He had 65 receptions for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He has more receptions, yards, and touchdowns than the Seahawks two TE’s combined.

*Quick San Diego Perspective: Gates had 77 receptions for 872 yards this season, both better than Julius Thomas. Sure he only had 4 touchdowns compared to Thomas’ 12, but Gates is getting double teamed all game long all year long, especially in the redzone. It’s kind of pathetic to think people say Gates ‘slowed down’ this year and is getting no respect.

Anyways, Julius Thomas is by far a stud.

Edge: Broncos

Defense:

Last year the Broncos seemed to be much more balanced. Their defense was ranked #2 in the league, as they dominated. This year they really have not played close to the level they did in 2012. With the loss of some players, and injuries of others, it has really hurt the    Denver’s Defense in 2013. It seemed as if they were playing catchup all season in terms of a unit and getting back to 2012 form. The Von Miller injury will be another setback for a defense that has made strides in the end of the year. The Broncos also have a much weaker secondary than the Seattle Seahawks, who arguably have the best defensive backfield in the entire NFL.

The Seahawks are stout on defense all around. Their Secondary is scary. Cliff Avril is having a great season and Bruce Irvin and Michael Bennet have been helpful off the edge. They play team defense and work off one another. No player ever seems to be lost.

Seattle also has a tremendous shut down secondary. They can play off press, man, zone, can blitz, and are stout tacklers. They have a lot of guys in that front seven who are versatile in pass and rush coverage. They are virtually good all around the defense and have solid glue guys and depth.

Edge: Seahawks

Matchup to Watch: Denver Broncos entire Receiving Corp vs. Seattle Seahawks Defensive Backs. 

This is going to be a fun matchup to watch. The “Legion of Boom” is by far the best group of Defensive Backs in the entire league. Richards Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor are having outstanding seasons. It is crazy to think they lost a few other DB’s from suspensions. They have also received positive contributions from nickelback Jeremy Lane.

As we talked about before, the Broncos receiving corp is phenomenal. Demaryius Thomas is an absolute beast. Wes Welker is near unstoppable in the short passing game and redzone. Eric Decker is an underrated receiver himself. He puts up big numbers and has had back-to-back double digit touchdown seasons. If we throw in Julius Thomas, its crazy to think about.

Still, Seattle has lock down cornerbacks. Earl Thomas will take Julius Thomas out of the game. From their it is going to be how Richard Sherman plays Demaryius Thomas. The Seattle defense will have to scheme appropriately to double team either DT or Wes Welker. I would assume they will double cover Wes Welker with a guy underneath and either a safety or nickel back. If they can lock down Welker easier than expected, than they can give Sherman some help over the top with Demaryius Thomas.

Either way this is going to be an extremely exciting matchup to watch. Honestly, this is one of the first Super Bowls I have been excited about in a while.

EDGE: Seahawks – slight edge, this group of Defensive Backs may be the best ever.

Final Prediction:

This is extremely hard for me to pick. According to http://www.bovada.lv, an online betting site, the Broncos are currently favored by 3.

The spread is somewhat easy to believe. Broncos have an elite, outstanding offense, with an above-average (at times leaky) defense  that has the potential to be a top 5 defense.

The Seahawks have an elite, outstanding defense, with an above average (at times leaky) offense. Do not buy the Seahawks being a top 5 offense, however. They have a great running game in Marshawn Lynch, who may very well be the x-factor. Lynch is their only true consistent playmaker. We saw a few weeks back when San Diego ran the ball down the throats of the Broncos and beat them on TNF. If the Seahawks can continue to run the ball effectively and keep Manning off the field, that will be the best chance for them to win.

It is really interesting to see how John Fox and the Denver Broncos’ game plan will play out. Maybe they will try to run the ball and come back in the passing game when Manning sees suit.

I am also really interested to see what kind of impact Percy Harvin has on this game. The Seahawks like getting big chunk plays and Russell Wilson seems to come in clutch for scores.

On paper it looks like the Broncos have the better team. But then again, the Seahawks have a pretty darn good team too. A few years/decades back people used to say Defense wins championships. It might not be like that anymore with Peyton Manning and his phenomenal season.

As a Chargers fan, my heart wants me to pick against the Broncos. That may be just too hard to do. I give the Broncos the edge but it will be a lower scoring game than usual for the Manning led offense.

Broncos 24 Seahawks 20

Thought of the Week – Super Bowl Locations & SB XLVIII

This week’s thought has been inspired by the peculiar location selection for Super Bowl XLVIII.

This year’s Super Bowl will be played in New Y-oh, Jersey. That’s right, not New York. It will be played at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey, where both the New York Giants and Jets play.

Many have speculated at the fact that this will be an “In-the-Elements” type Super Bowl. Kick off temperature on Sunday is set to be right around 30 degrees, just at freezing.

What kind of Super Bowl is this? Some of you football diehards would argue that “football is played best in the elements” and that it is a man’s sport and the weather is apart of the game. When playing in the snow and the cold elements, those same fans would say “this is the best conditions for football.” That makes me think. Has anyone ever said “wow these conditions are not good to play in” when the game was in San Diego, Texas, New Orleans, or Florida? Probably not. They were probably thinking how great the conditions were.

Lets take a look back at all the Super Bowls. 

There has been 48 Super Bowls, including this year’s in New Yoerzy.

In the last 48 years there has only been 5 Super Bowls that have been played in a Cold Weather city (This year, Indianapolis, Detroit, Minnesota, Michigan). Lets take a look at the rest of the Super Bowls, broken down by state:

Florida – 15

California – 11 (7 Los Angeles, 3 San Diego, 1 Palo Alto).

Louisiana (All in New Orleans) – 10

Texas – 3

Georgia (ATL) – 2

Arizona – 2. Also notable, the 2015 Superbowl (49) is already scheduled to be in Arizona.

Every single one of these states is considered to be in a warm region of the United States. Florida has hosted Super Bowls in Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville. When looking at the Super Bowls in this fashion it is easy to see that majority of them are played in warm weather environment.

Even more notable, is the fact that every single Cold Weather city that has hosted a Super Bowl (up until this year) has been hosted in a Dome. Think about it. Indianapolis – Dome, Detroit – Dome, Metrodome in Minnesota, and the Dome in Michigan (Super Dome). Every Cold Weather city that has hosted a Super Bowl in the entire history of the game, has had a dome.

So why the all a sudden change?

To me, its just so New York can claim to have a Super Bowl and have the attention on them. It is so typical of the East Coast Bias and all the writers to endorse a New York Super Bowl. The sad part is that the state of New Jersey has taken a complete back burner to New York. If I was a citizen of New Jersey I would be a little upset. But then again, I wouldn’t be a citizen of New Jersey. It seems no one is acknowledging this.

Maybe this will be a learning lesson for the NFL. Maybe the elements will be so intense that it will completely ruin the way the game is played. Maybe Peyton Manning will have a terrible game because of the elements. Maybe people will call for the head of the commissioner. Or maybe not? This Super Bowl will tell the tail of future ones.

The last year has told us something else, regarding hosting the Big Game. If your city wants to host the Super Bowl, than an up-to-date stadium is an absolute must. Look at the San Francisco 49er franchise; after only hosting one Super Bowl in their history, they are now on the ballot in 2016 for a Super Bowl after building a new stadium. Not that Northern California has the warmest weather, but it is setting a standard. The NFL wants to be in these warmer areas, but also be in nicer, newer stadiums.

Furthermore, lets take a look at Southern California. This region of the United States has arguably the best weather in the entire country. The only region that could even come close in competition would be Florida. An argument for So Cal would be that Florida is much more humid and it rains quite often. The point is, Southern California should be an ideal spot for the Super Bowl, right?? Then how come there has not been a Super Bowl in the region since 2003 (San Diego)?

Southern California’s Super Bowl drought has got to be because there are no up-to-date stadiums. Think about it. Los Angeles has not had a franchise in nearly 20 years, and even the decade before then the Rams were playing in Orange County. Look at San Diego. Stadium is a dump, really. They’ve held the Super Bowl three times, but Jack Murphy Stadium, the “Q”, is just not up to standards anymore. The only reason they were able to host the game in ’03 was because they added 7,000 seats to the stadium leading up to that Super Bowl. So obviously the in-game experience for the fan is a huge deal. What happens when no one shows up to the game because it is too cold?

Another point I wanted to make was that this is the Championship Game for two groups of teams. These teams have worked their butts off all year long from the players, to the coaches, to the scouts. The Super Bowl is a big accomplishment and should be thought of as so, a celebration. Players should be rewarded for their long season and how much time and work they’ve put in to position their team for a Super Bowl berth. Every Pro-Bowl selection on a Super Bowl team has to deny their invitation to play in beautiful Hawaii. So why not give a little to these guys? Have Super Bowls in warm weather environments in order to show the true skill and talent levels of these professional athletes. Everyone wants to see a show here in the Super Bowl, and warm weather is the best environment to showcase the play of these athletes.

The cities that should be hosting the Super Bowl (Miami, New Orleans, San Diego, Houston) are all ideal vacation spots. Each city’s primary revenue is built around tourism. All cities are on the water. All cities are at least in the 60’s during winter time. Why not capitalize on the outstanding weather of these locations and keep Super Bowls coming for years in warm weather cities.

Thought of the Week – Richard Sherman

This is the late edition of Thought of the Week. We will have another on Tuesday.

There has been much talk on the airwaves amongst the media regarding Richard Sherman’s post game interview with Erin Andrews. Some have lashed out at Sherman’s attitude, while others have appreciated his passion for the game. This whole incident has even gone on to get racial attention as people have reportedly labeled Sherman as a “thug.”

Sherman himself said in a news conference he felt “thug” has become an extension of the n-word. 

My opinion is, why does it even have to get to that point. The best way to change everyone’s opinion about Richard Sherman’s attitude is to understand his mind state. Now, I have never played organized football, but am pretty dang competitive and have a passion to win. I can only imagine what Richard Sherman was feeling while playing in the NFC Championship game to go to the Superbowl.

On the field Richard Sherman talks. He talks a lot. It is a way to get him rev’d up to play the game. There is a mental approach that every player has, and this is the route Sherman takes. When Sherman made the play in the end zone his adrenaline must have been through the roof. Biggest play of the entire game to seal the victory and Superbowl berth. His blood was flowing so quickly and he was so hyped up after making the play.

From the time the game was over until Erin Andrews interviewed Richard Sherman only a couple minutes had gone by. Sherman was still in an in-game mode. It was almost as if we were on the field with him and he was talking trash straight to Michael Crabtree.

This does not necessarily excuse his actions. This is still the workplace and everyone is going to judge you whether you are a famous athlete or a fast food worker. You cannot blow up in the workplace. It is apart growing up and maturing. Think about yourself in the work place. How many times have you wanted to blow up because of how angry you were. But you didn’t. You held back because you knew it was the responsible thing to do. And some of you may know how it feels to follow through and blow up in someones face in the workplace. Probably didn’t work out so well.

With the ‘thug’ thing, I think it is warranted. Some people are embracing the labeling of Sherman as a thug. The fact is he was talking trash on national television with fighting words attacking a player. Showing no class and no respect. In my opinion, that can be labelled as ‘thug’ actions. Do I think Richard Sherman is a thug? No. I think he is a very passionate professional football player who is still young and maturing as an athlete, worker, and man.

Thought of the Week – Chargers

Tom Telesco did an excellent job in the 2013 draft.

Many analyst were saying immediately after the draft that, in their opinion, the San Diego Chargers had the best draft. Many people would probably still agree. DJ Fluker had an excellent season winning All-Rookie honors playing better than every OT that was selected before him. We all know how good of a season Keenan Allen had, so far already winning PFWA’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Manti T’eo was injured early on in the season, but got a lot of playing time throughout the year. He consistently got better and seems as if his ceiling is still pretty high.

Let’s think about Manti T’eo. He is a solid young player and there is a lot to like about him moving forward. We drafted him in the 2nd round. Seemed like a steal at the time. Even though he has grown, he has also got pushed around consistently and still does not demonstrate being NFL-ready.

Back in April, Tom Telesco had the 45th pick in the draft, the 13th of the second round. Telesco made a trade with the Cardinals to trade up to the 38th pick, which was the 6th of the second round. San Diego gave up a 4th round pick, which could have been used for any such depth on defense or offense.

Kiko Alonso was named the PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year this week. He was third in the entire NFL in tackles with 159. That is tremendous production for a rookie linebacker. Kiko Alonso plays the same position Manti T’eo does.

When was Kiko Alonso drafted? 46th, 1 pick after the Chargers initial pick of 45th overall.

It is always easier to look in the past and say what you would have done. Manti T’eo really did get pushed around by Alabama in that National Championship game, similar to the way he gets pushed around by Guards in the NFL. Kiko Alonso was dominates at the same position. T’eo was out for an injury most of the preseason and the first quarter of the season which had to have halted his progress.

One can only imagine if the Chargers weren’t so high on the Manti T’eo “hype”, and waited for Kiko Alonso. Would have been acceptable to take Alonso at the 38 spot they traded up to. General Managers are always going to make mistakes at times, and one can easily argue this was a mistake by Tom Telesco. Kiko Alonso is a top franchise defender you can build a defense around.

Tom Telesco had a great draft overall and there is a great deal to look forward to in the Chargers world. Manti T’eo has a lot of promise and should only get better with experience. Hopefully he can duplicate and continue his drafting success in 2014.