Why do we love sports so much when it almost always ends up disappointing us? (779 words)
Perhaps the defining attribute of being a sports’ fan is the ever-present feeling of being let down. As fans, it is our burden to bear. We cheer on our teams, year after year, and most of the time, walk away disappointed. Of course, there are the occasional high points: The big win against a rival. The post-season run. Even, a championship if we are really fortunate. The truth is though, we are rarely fortunate in our fandom.
Two times in the past five years, Aaron Rodgers has been injured and unable to complete the season.
This year, his Green Bay Packers were 4-1 when he got hurt early in the game against the Minnesota Vikings. You could argue that with a healthy Rodgers, the Packers had as much of a chance to make it to the Super Bowl as any other team in the NFC. Now, the team is done – looking at another season down the drain due to an injury to their star quarterback. Before you feel too sorry for the Packers’ fans, it is good to remember that they have had great success for the past few decades and have won multiple championships in that time. Even so, that fan base feels the letdown. They feel as if they are cursed. It is the natural state for the majority of fans across the globe.
Continue reading “The Inevitable Letdown of Being a Fan (The NFL on REO)”
We take a quick trip around the league. (1, 061 words)
“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”
How amazing was the Colts vs. Bills game on Sunday? The records didn’t matter. The actual game-play didn’t matter. All that mattered was the snow. It was an ugly game for on-field execution, but is was a beautiful game for aesthetics. Seeing giant, super-human type athletes slog through the snow was about as fun as it gets. Seeing clouds of snow explode after every tackle or diving catch was mesmerizing. And even though Adam Vinatieri missed two field goals, watching him nail the game-tying extra point from over 40 yards away was one of the greatest kicks I have ever seen.
I hope we get a few more of these types of games this season. They make some of these less interesting matchups much more enjoyable.
Continue reading “A Look Around the League (The NFL on REO)”
Catches, media incompetence, and bad wins. We cover it all this week. (1,687 words)
In Watchmen, the genre-defining masterpiece by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, there is a slogan that can be seen throughout the graphic novel, spray-painted on walls, “Who watches the Watchmen?” It’s a message about keeping those in power accountable and if that is even possible. While the things I examine this week are much less important in the grand scheme, I believe they belong in the conversation. It’s too often that we find incompetence or worse coming from those that are in a place of power in the sports’ world – whether it be the leagues, the teams, or the media that covers it all. So here is my attempt to watch the watchmen.
Continue reading “Who Watches the Watchmen? (The NFL on REO)”
I am on drugs. I am sorry. (604 words)
I’m all hopped-up on pain meds so you will have to excuse this week’s installment. At least you are getting one, as I came this close to not writing anything.
I had my gallbladder removed on Friday and I am still in the recovery phase. I have to eat bland food for a bit and rest and take it easy. And I have to take the aforementioned pain meds. They are nice pain meds. They make me feel warm and fuzzy. Mostly fuzzy. But with less pain. So it’s a good fuzzy. The surgery went well and my recovery seems to be going well also. I thought about ending that sentence with another “as well” but quickly realized that was a bad idea. But I can’t really trust my judgment since I am currently on drugs so maybe it wouldn’t have been a bad idea.
Frankly, I don’t care. Moving on.
Continue reading “Stream of Consciousness (The NFL on REO)”
Highlighting some of the most interesting Quarterback stories in Week 6 of the NFL. (796 words)
I will readily admit that I did not expect Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles to be this good this quickly. Wentz burst on the scene last year and had all the East Coast media hyperventilating. He came crashing back to earth in the second half of the season but the buzz had been built and the media declared him one of the up-and-coming Quarterbacks to watch in 2017. For once, the media was actually correct. At least, the signs appear to be pointing in that direction.
Through six games, Wentz has thrown nearly 1,600 yards, 13 touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions. He has a passer rating of 99.6. If you look a little more closely at his numbers, his improvement seems to be pretty easy to pinpoint: He protects the ball better than last year and he is making his completions count more. His completion percentage is actually almost 2% points lower than his rookie season, but he is throwing for a much higher TD% and a much lower INT%. Also, his Yards Per Attempt is substantially better in 2017. Eagles’ fans have to be excited about the future with the growth they have seen in year two for Wentz.
Continue reading “Quarterback: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (The NFL on REO)”
We have new Power Rankings! (669 words)
Phill’s Quarter-Season Power Rankings!
We should probably call this edition: “Not Available.” That will make more sense in a bit. This season has been unpredictable, which is one of the reasons the NFL is so much fun. Contrary to some opinions, there have been some really good games this year and we are once again shaping up to have a good number of new playoff teams in the mix. As you will see below, the Top Ten has been invaded by many new faces this time around. And that’s a good thing. I don’t know if these teams will be able to keep it up for the next 12 games, but so far, they have earned their spots on my list. Feel free to tell me I’m an idiot in the comment section below. I can take it. (You can view the first Power Rankings right here.)
Continue reading “Quarter Season Power Rankings (The NFL on REO)”
The NFL has a lot of problems. What are they and how do we fix them? (1,569 words)
The NFL is in trouble. That’s the bad news. The good news is that most of the problems with the league can be corrected, as long as the NFL acts decisively and quickly.
The NFL is best seen as a giant battleship. It’s enormous and built to last, yet its size makes it unwieldy and difficult to change course quickly. Right now, it is the biggest and baddest ship on the water, but it is headed in the wrong direction. To make matters worse, it has dozens of small cracks along its hull that are slowly taking in water. Not one of those cracks is enough to sink it, but collectively, those cracks will eventually bring it down.
Continue reading “The NFL Needs To Change (The NFL on REO)”
The Regular Season is here! We rank all 16 games and we give our staff predictions for the Tennessee Titans’ record. (947 words)
It’s game time baby!
The NFL season kicks off tomorrow with the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, facing off against the Kansas City Chiefs. I am so excited, even if this first game includes my most hated team in the history of all sports – the Patriots. It’s real NFL football for the first time in over half a year! What is better than that?
To commemorate this momentous occasion, here is my interest level for each game this week. We’ll start at the bottom.
Continue reading “The NFL on REO: Game Time!”
This week’s column contains more Gowdy Cannon zaniness and our first Power Rankings of the season. Number 3 will blow your mind! (1,741 words)
The Insane Ramblings of Gowdy Cannon
On to 2017…
Yes, I’m the guy who wrote a 2500-hundred word counseling session on how Tom Brady is the most overrated quarterback of all-time. But don’t let that keep you from reading what I’m about to write. You should appreciate it primarily because I wrote the Brady article.
While players can be overrated or underrated to team success I do not think there is any way to get around claiming team superiority in an objective way. For example, we could argue all day whether Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan was the best QB in the NFL last year, but we cannot argue that New England was the best team. That was objectively settled on the field.
Continue reading “The NFL on REO: Dominance”
I examine current issues the NFL is facing and come up with some practical solutions to fix said issues. There’s some Titans’ talk as well.
This edition will be a bit different. The NFL is in a very interesting and somewhat fragile position. It is the most powerful and popular sport in America. The NFL generates profits and ratings unlike any other sport. But I believe all that power and money and prestige are precariously balanced. There are things happening in the sport, around the sport and to the sport that will cause the whole thing to come crashing down unless changes are made. This won’t be an in-depth look at all those things, but I would like to spend a little time addressing a few things, and changes that can be made to keep the sport we love as good and as popular as it is today. If you are not interested in any of this, then jump down to the final paragraph for the Titans’ talk.
Let’s look at three things that are generating a lot of talk and controversy for the NFL: officiating, player safety, and identity.
Continue reading “Titans Tuesday: Big Picture Manifesto”