Tyrann Mathieu declares for the NFL draft: Bad Move

When I woke up this morning I saw the news that former LSU star Tyrann Mathieu intended to declare for the NFL draft in April. I was saddened because although I do not know him personally, his story hits close to home. Mathieu garnered national attention after being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and earning the nickname “honey badger”. He showed an affinity for causing turnovers at LSU. Now, he has made his biggest turnover of all. Declaring for the draft is another bad decision in a long line of bad decisions. His football seemed bright until LSU announced he had been dismissed from the team in early August for violations of team rules. At this point in time, Mathieu had many options and plenty of time to rehab himself and his image before taking his talents to the NFL. He could have transferred to another D-1 school and sat out a season or transferred to a lower division and played this season. He chose door number 3, which was for Mathieu to check himself into a substance abuse rehab center. This was a good move for him personally, and for his image. It is not clear how long he was in the program, but he did re-enroll at LSU to start classes for this 2012 school year. Mathieu appeared to be picking up the pieces and he might possibly make a return to LSU next season. Then in October he was arrested on marijuana charges along with former teammate Jordan Jefferson. I am not an expert in drug rehab, but I have seen a few close friends/family members “fall off the wagon”. From my experience I knew him returning to Baton Rouge for school was a bad idea. He needed to stay in rehab longer and to leave LSU and get in a new environment to start over.

Now, Tyrann Mathieu has announced he will be foregoing his remaining college eligibility and entering the NFL Draft. This may prove to be his worst decision of all. He most likely will not be drafted by an NFL team unless it is a very late pick and the team won’t be on the hook for a lot of money. Mathieu was already an undersized corner with average speed and cover abilities. Then you add that he was kicked off the LSU football team for drugs violations in August, and subsequently arrested on drug charges in October. If you were a general manager for a team would you take a chance on him. Not likely. The NFL offers more free time and access to all your vices, and the money to afford them. Every year we hear stories of professional athletes without a documented history of substance abuse struggle with addiction. Josh Hamilton, Stanley Wilson, Barret Robbins Daryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, and the list goes on and on. Declaring for the draft appears to be a way for Mathieu to escape the problems plaguing him in college, but in all likelihood things will get worse before they get better. How will he deal with the disappointment of going undrafted of being drafted late? How will he deal with injury or being cut? Now, how is a kid who obviously cannot handle staying sober in college supposed to make it in the NFL?

In no way am I saying Mathieu is not worthy of a second chance and should never be picked by an NFL team. I am saying he needs to go back to rehab and get his life together, then go play football in college for season (not near LSU), then declare for the draft. He would give himself the best chance to succeed personally and professionally. I have seen teammates and friends struggle with the disease of addiction and the toll it takes on them physically, emotionally, and financially. If you are not mentally ready to handle the life associated with professional sports, you are a tragedy waiting to happen. The toughest things for professional athletes to do is admit they have a problem. They are strong, and can do things physically that men only dream about. The thought of not being able to control a problem alone is unfathomable. Mathieu must admit to himself he has a problem and that wholesale changes must be made for him to be successful. Everybody loves a comeback story, and a story of personal triumph so I wish Mathieu well. But, as it stands right now, after a year out of football coupled with his issues, Mathieu would be fighting for a spot on a NFL roster. I hope I am wrong, but the most likely ending for the Tyrann Mathieu story will be something like Onterrio Smith. A young man with an abundance of talent that loses his way and his dream of football glory.

Do you see any way Tyrann Mathieu can be successful in the NFL right now?

NFL is back: Cowboys vs Giants

Dun, dun, dun, dun… It’s a celebration! The NFL is back. Do not forget to set your fantasy football teams! Fans have been clinging to preseason games in an attempt to get their football fix. Preseason games can only “wet your whistle”, there is NOTHING like the real thing. The NFL is the most popular game in America for many reasons: it is physical, anyone can win, and it’s NEVER short on drama. Last off season the lockout was the topic, this season it is the officials. If there wasn’t already enough drama with questionable calls and replay; the NFL will start the season off with replacement referees.

Who better to start the season the season than two of the most drama filled teams in the league? The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants vs America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. No love is lost between these bitter division rivals. The Giants have a coach Tom Coughlin who is on the verge of being fired every year, a quarterback who has won two Super Bowls than no one believes is elite, and player/coach drama. On the other hand, there is the Cowboys who are now the Chicago Cubs of the NFL. Next year is “their year”, every year, and they disappoint. This is a team that has only won 1 playoff game in the last 15 seasons, but people consider them to be contenders every year. Dallas features owner Jerry Jones, who spends more time on the field than the press box, a big money quarterback who doesn’t win playoff games, and a wide receiver that the team had to provide rules and a chaperon. Who needs a game when you have great reality television surrounding the teams?

The final score… 34-24. This will be a close game but GIANTS win. The loser of this game will NOT make the playoffs this season. Sorry Cowboys fans, but I will leave you with a present.

Week 12: Playoff Push

Thanksgiving Day games have not been good recently, but I expect different this year. There are three good match ups. TheLionsPackersCowboysDolphinsRavens, and 49ers are all respectable teams. This week, divisional races will become more convoluted. Especially the NFC East. No one wants to win, so the Eagles will come and snatch it.

Green Bay vs Detroit–  The unstoppable Packers roll into Detroit for Thanksgiving dinner. Aaron Rodgers is a human. Last week vs Tampa Bay he looked frustrated at times, but then he was spectacular when it counted. The Lions looked terrible in the beginning of the game but thanks to three Cam Newton interceptions they came back and won by 14. Detroit’s offense is iffy at best. Stafford has to play better for this team to make the playoffs. The Packers will leave Detroit with two dinner plates. Their own and the Lions.


Miami vs Dallas– Do not adjust your television, the Miami Dolphins are a good football team. They play 10 different running backs but they get the job done. Matt Moore is not playing break but he is not turning the football over. The Cowboys were a missed kick away from losing to the Redskins last week. This game will not need snow or Leon Lett for the Dolphins to win. Upset.


San Francisco vs Baltimore– For all you people who do not think the 49ers are for real, we will find out this week. The Ravens are a good football team and will be a good barometer to judge the 49ers. These two teams are a near mirror imago of each other. Great linebacker, great running back, and, decent wide receivers. They both want to run the football and play great defense. This game will be about who executes the best.

Winner: 49ers

Minnesota vs Atlanta– The future of Christian Ponder is still up in the air. At times he look like he may be a franchise quarterback, but other times he looks like he is back at Florida State. No Adrian Peterson. Big problem. The Falcons got a gift with this game, rookie quarterback and no running game. If the Falcons cam keep Jared Allen away from Matt Ryan this will be an easy win.


Carolina vs Indianapolis– Superman has been Clark Kent for the last few weeks. These are the breaks of a rookie NFL quarterback. He started off cooking with Crisco, but hit the rookie wall. I think Cam will get some of momma home cooking this week and rebound for the end of the season. It does not hurt they are playing the Colts this week. There is nothing good happening in Indianapolis right now. Well, Pat Anger is leading the league in tackles.


Tampa Bay vs Tennessee– Tampa Bay was very impressive even with loss to the Packers last week. LeGarrett Blount decided he didn’t need any blockers to run to the ball last week. He easily broke 20 tackles in the game. If he runs like that this week the Bucs have a chance to turn their season around. The Titans will be very motivated to win this week because they still have a chance to win the AFC South with Matt Shaub out in Houston. Chris Johnson had what we thought was a breakout game two weeks ago. Then, last week he was under 15 yards. Expect another low output from him.


Arizona vs St Louis– This is a NFC West showdown. Yes I said that with a straight face. Kevin Kolb should be back this week for the Cardinals. Hopefully his time off helps him play better. I expected the Cardinals to have a few more wins at this point in time. Boy are they disappointing this year. The Rams expected to have a couple more wins too, but injuries have been mean to them.


Cleveland vs Cincinnati– I told y’all Cleveland was going to max out at 14 points last week. Where did they end the game?…14. Please listen to the Cleveland radio host go crazy on his Browns. That is 10 minutes audio that will make your day better. The Bengals lost to the top two teams in their division (Ravens, Steelers), but they are still for real. They have a chance to pick up another game of their division leaders and possibly sneak in the playoffs.

Houston vs Jacksonville– I picked Jacksonville last week and they let me down. This week, they play a better team with a question mark at quarterback. I worked out this summer with Matt Leinart and I think he is ready for his opportunity this year. The Texans control their own playoff destiny, and won’t fall short. I think Jaguars fans are wondering if Blaine Gabbert is really the answer at quarterback. They are also wondering where is the pro bowl tight end they gave 35 million to this offseason. Maurice Jones-Drew cannot win games on offense alone.

Winner: TEXANS

Buffalo vs New York Jets– Am I the one who said the Bills had 9-7 written all over them? I was wrong. Make it 7-9. Now that they have lost their bell cow Fred Jackson, their playoff chances are out of the window. The Jets just came off losing a game everyone expected them to win. New York should rebound this week vs the exploding Bills. The only person who can change the outcome of this game is Mark Sanchez. If he plays terribly, the Jets may lose.

Winner: JETS

Pittsburgh vs Kansas City– Pittsburgh is a good football team and potential Super bowl team. Even though the Chiefs have added Kyle Orton, this game will be a mere speed bump for the Steelers.

Denver vs San Diego– Do you believe in Tebow yet? John Elway isn’t sold long term either. The Broncos defense is fierce and fast right now. Rookie Von Miller is a nightmare off the edge and has been a force against the run and pass. WTH is going on with Phillip Rivers? Seriously, he is awful right now. He leads the league in interceptions and is the main reason for the Chargers struggles. Ryan Matthews gets hurt every game so if Tolbert is out they are down to a guy they didn’t expect to get more that 20 carries on the season. I believe in Tebow and definitely do not believe in Rivers (this year).

Washington vs Seattle-The Redskins put Rex Grossman back at quarterback, and guess what happened? They played well and would have beat the Cowboys if Gano could make a FG. They have to make a long trip to the West Coast and home of the 12th man. Seattle has been playing well they last couple weeks and should continue this week.


Chicago vs Oakland– The Bears were looking like the second best team in the NFL. For weeks I have been saying I was waiting for Cutler to lose games and blow the season. Well he is going to indirectly do both now that he is out for the season. The Bears front seven can’t play quarterback. Haine will have a chance to prove himself and save the Bears season. Carson Palmer looks like the QB who took the Bengals to the playoffs. Oakland is running the ball well and playing great defense.


New England vs Philadelphia– Philadelphia is likely entering a second game in a row without Vick at quarterback. Can Vince Young win 2 games in a row? Not throwing three picks again he can’t. The Patriots do have the last rated pass defense in the league so that should help him out. Expect the Phily defense to press across the board and blitz Brady anytime they line up in empty. That recipe was successful for the Steelers. Another good sign for the Eagles is that the Patriots don’t have a real running game so they should be able to pin their ears back and get after Brady some.

Winner: EAGLES

New York Giants vs New Orleans– This is a great matchup for Monday Night. This game means so much to both teams. They are both leading their closely contested division. A loss would muddy divisional waters and open up the door for chaos. I still have the Eagles making the playoffs. So that is influencing my pick for this game. New Orleans is getting hot at the right time. Brees and the offense are becoming the high powered team we are used to seeing.

Winner: SAINTS

NFL WInners/Losers: Week 11

This week in the NFL features some great games. One of the biggest questions is “Can Tebow beat the Jets?”. A win would give the Broncos a chance to win the AFC West. If the Eagles beat the Giants who will win the NFC East? The Detroit Lions are on a slippery slope right now. A couple more losses and the season that started out with such promise will be lost. The Bills, Bengals, Falcons, Jets, and Cowboys all have question marks surrounding them and their season. It’s time for teams and players to put up or shut up.
As usual, don’t be mad at me, the facts are the facts. I just simply state them. Leave a comment!

New York Jets vs Denver– You can hate on Tim Tebow all you want, but the Broncos are 3-1 since he has taken over as the starter. It doesn’t look pretty or traditional, but wins are wins. It is almost inexplicable that the Broncos won last week with Tebow only completing 2 passes. Now the Broncos will add another degree of difficulty to winning. Their top two running backs (Knowshon Moreno, Willis McGahee) are out for the season. This week the Jets come to town. Could Tim Tebow have any more adversity? There is NO reason the Broncos should win this game. But guess what…?
Rex Ryan is growing increasingly critical of his quarterback he “loves” so much. When the Jets miss the playoffs, Ryan and Sanchez will be on the hot seat.

Tennessee vs Atlanta– Look who showed up and decided he wanted to start playing football, Chris Johnson. He had a season high 130 yards last week and is starting to look like his old self. The Falcons defense will be on red alert to know where CJ2k is at all times. Last week Atlanta handed the Saints a victory so how will they respond against the Titans? The Titans will also be playing inspired because the Texans have lost Matt Shaub for the season, and may have given Tennessee an opportunity to win the division.

Oakland vs MinnesotaJacoby Ford and Darren McFadden are both questionable for this weekend. Carson Palmer played pretty well and won last week. It didn’t hurt that the Raiders have one of the best backup running backs in the league in Michael Bush. Last week he rushed for 157 yards and should have another good rushing game against the Vikings defense. Christian Ponder has been showing some signs of promise since he took over the starting job in Minnesota, but Adrian Peterson is the key to their offense. Teams stack the box to stop Peterson because they don’t think Ponder can beat them with his arm. If you stop AP, you stop the Vikings.

Dallas vs WashingtonDallas Cowboys fans were jumping around, pounding their chest after they beat down the Bills like they are not 5-4. Tony Romo did play his best game of the season, but in reality what did he do? He did what he always does. He gets you all excited only to set you up for a huge fall later. Romo is a great QB, but he and Phillip Rivers will be the Drew Bledsoe and Boomer Esiason of this decade. Great QBs, no championships.
Washington recently made the move back to Rex Grossman to start at quarterback. I still cannot figure out why Shanahan benched him in the first place. He played one bad game. In the NFL, you can’t plat QB shuffle and expect to win. The Redskins will play better now they have Grossman back in the lineup.

Carolina vs Detroit– I am starting to think Matthew Stafford is not anywhere as good as we thought he was. He is inaccurate lately, and looked confused and frustrated against the Bears. Stafford can’t get Calvin Johnson the ball enough and Brandon Pettigrew drops too many passes. The Lions offense is like the stock market, high highs, and low lows. You never know what you are going to get from week to week. One week they score 35 points and look like they are ready to make the playoff run. The next week they score 3 and look like the Lions that went 0-16. If the Lions want to win they have to start running the football and not have Stafford throw the ball 63 times.
Carolina fans, do not be alarmed. Cam Newton just hit the rookie wall last week. It happens to everyone. He will be ok either this week or next week. The Cam Newton express will explode this week vs the Lions. Steve Smith and Olsen will have a big game.
The Lions are on the road to missing the playoffs right now.

Seattle vs St LouisAfter a shootout with the Browns last week (12-13), the Rams should be poised to put up at least 14 points this week. The Rams running game should have a good day against a defense that allowed 139 yards to DeMarco Murray two weeks ago. I have been very critical of Tavaris Jackson this year so I must give him credit now. He made some great plays last week to beat the Ravens. The Rams are only allowing 220 ypg through the air so we will see if Jackson can keep this up.

Kansas City vs New England– Kansas City showed us their true colors vs the Dolphins. The Chiefs will have a little extra energy because the game is on Monday Night and will put up a fight. Matt Cassel does have an opportunity to put up some big numbers against the last ranked pass defense in the league.  The student battles the teacher. This game will come down to one player, Tom Brady.

Cincinnati vs Baltimore– The Bengals hung tough with the Steelers last week and showed they are not pretenders. This young team is hear to stay. Andy Dalton has played himself right into serious conversation for NFL offensive rookie of the year. If the Bengals were in a different division they would have an opportunity to win it. I predicted the Ravens would lose to Seattle last week. If you pay attention to the patterns and the pulse of this team, you get a good idea for the result of the game that week. This week, if A.J. Green plays at at least 85% it will be another tough game for the Ravens.

Buffalo vs Miami– Boy, has the Buffalo train lost steam or what? I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Again I say, the Bills are a 9-7 team and will have something to build on for the future. The Bills defense started the season getting takeaways at a feverish pace. That has since slowed, and so have their wins. Fitzpatrick is a good QB but with his cast of wide outs his job is tough against great corners. The Miami defense is less that stellar, so I do expect Buffalo to put on a better showing that they did against the Cowboys. Miami has surged the last two weeks, but they are not powerful enough to stop Fred Jackson and the Bills offense.

San Diego vs Chicago– This is a game featuring two teams that are going in completely opposite directions. Phillip Rivers is just a step above awful this season. All his receivers numbers are down and his interceptions are up. Chicago, on the other hand, is turned up to max. This team could not play any better right now. It seems like Devin Hester runs a kick back every game, and is the stark plug for this Bears team. Chicago’s front seven will give Rivers hell all game. I am waiting on Jay Cutler to be the Jay Cutler we all know, but we may have to wait until the end of the season or playoffs.

Tampa Bay vs Green Bay– The better you finish the season before, the tougher your schedule is the next season. The inability to run the football plus the schedule is the reason for the Buccaneers struggles. Josh Freeman has 13 interceptions this year and his receivers lead the league in drops. It won’t get any easier this week when they head to Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers is playing so well over the last two seasons it is scary. I do not think the Packers can be beat while he is playing like this. He is throwing the ball over 30 times per game, completing over 70% of his passes, and is only hitting guys in Packer helmets with the football. The Packers are an unstoppable force right now.

Jacksonville vs Cleveland– Recently I was asked if I had something against my former team because I rarely pick them to win. Reality is, they have only won 3 games. The game against the Ravens no one expected them to win and the Titans was a a ‘pick em’ in week 1. I don’t have anything against the Jags. I just call it like the facts tell me I should. In this game vs the Browns, the facts say there are only 2 elite offensive play makers on the field. One being Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, and the other Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew. I’m going with the guy who can actually score touchdowns.
Yes I did use a picture of myself…*shrugs… I like it! It was the game winning TD.

Arizona vs San Francisco– People will look at this at this game and say, “the Cardinals beat the Eagles, so they can beat the 49ers”. I will tell those people, slow down. The Eagles constantly make terrible mistakes and turn the ball over. Now the 49ers on the other hand, do not beat themselves. They run they ball, and don’t turn it over. Alex Smith looks like a #1 overall pick. San Fran is not 8-1 by accident. They are playing winning football.
Arizona needs another play maker on offense to open it up for Fitzgerald. They also need a quarterback to play well because Kolb has been hurt, and even when healthy hasn’t produced great results. The Cardinals best scoring weapon other than Fitzgerald is CB Patrick Peterson. He has 3 punt returns for touchdowns this year. No rookie has done more to help their team win this year.
WINNER: 49ers

Philadelphia vs New York Giants– Call me crazy, but I still have not given up on the Eagles making the playoffs! The NFC East is going to get very muddy going down the stretch. I can’t wait to see who rises to the occasion and who fades by the wayside. This game and every other game this season is a “must win” for the Eagles. There is no room for slipping. The biggest problem with this Eagles team is the Eagles. They turn the ball over, drop passes, and just make bonehead plays. You can’t win football games like that. The Eagles secondary will be tested by Eli, Nicks, and Manningham. Whoever wins this match-up will win the game.

NFL Week 10 WInners/Losers

If you are a fan of the Cowboys, Jaguars, Ravens, Bears, or Jets be prepared to throw your hat on the ground in disgust. Week 10 will be headlined by upsets. Can Ben Roethisberger fend off the young Bengals? You cannot argue against facts, and these are the facts. Leave a comment!

New York Giants vs San Francisco– I am still a huge skeptic of the 49ers. Alex Smith is playing like Trent Dilfer. He is not winning the games, but more importantly, he is not losing it. The 49ers are playing good offense, good defense, and good special teams. When you don’t have an elite QB,you win football games by playing great defense, running the ball, and not turning the ball over. Eli Manning is having what could be his best season. With no Ahmad Bradshaw, the Giants won’t run the ball well against this defense. Eli won’t be able to pass his way out of this pickle. San Francisco is going manage the game to a tee. 49ers

New England vs New York Jets– What is going on with the New England pass defense? They are terrible. What is going on with the Jets run defense? They are terrible? We are so used to seeing Tom Brady playing like there is no defense on the field that we are calling his play bad right now. He is still rated one of the top QBs in the league. He is only a man, he cannot shatter the record books every season. The guy he is facing, Mark Sanchez, is never confused with an elite QB. Even if the Jets allow Sanchez to throw the ball 40 times, he still cannot shred the Patriots defense. The Jets will try to run and control the game, but it won’t happen. The Patriots are going to score early and get a few picks off Sanchez passing to catch up. PATRIOTS

Denver vs Kansas City– The Chiefs pulled to 4-4 and fooled some people with a win over the Chargers. I didn’t fall for it. They only have wins over the Vikings, Colts, Raiders (week after losing Jason Campbell), and Chargers. Last week they showed their true colors against winless Miami. I am rooting for Tim Tebow, but in 3 starts it has been a mixed bag. 2 wins, but less than stellar play at the same time. At the end of the day the NFL is judged in wins. I give you the baby “Tebowing”. BRONCOS

Arizona vs Philadelphia– When this season started, the Cardinals thought the trade for Kevin Kolb would be what they needed to make a playoff run in the NFC West. The Kolb-to-Fitzgerald combo is not producing wins right now. This game will be open season on the Cardinals meager defense. If the Eagles can keep from shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers, they will win going away. The Eagles will still finish 10-6 and make the playoffs. EAGLES

Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati– When the season started no one could have predicted this game would actually have playoff implications. Cincinnati has piled up wins due to a favorable schedule and great play. Now in the home stretch of the season it’s time to play the big boys. It’s put up or shut up time for the Bengals. The AFC North is a tough division headlined by the Ravens and Steelers. Pittsburgh just came off a heartbreaking loss against the Ravens and looks to rebound against the new look Bengals. This game has upset written all over it. I will say, in big games the Steelers have done the exact opposite of my prediction. So… BENGALS

New Orleans vs Atlanta– This is another huge divisional game this week. Barring injury to their quarterback, the winner of this game will win the NFC South. Drew Brees has to stop throwing the other team the ball. Matt Ryan has to win a big game against an elite QB. The Saints have a couple players out on defense so the Falcons should run the ball pretty well. FALCONS

St. Louis vs Cleveland– This is the game we have all been waiting for all season… not so much. This game will come down to playmakers. Cleveland has virtually NO offense playmakers except Joe Thomas. Unfortunately for the Browns he plays left tackle. St. Louis on the other hand has a few at running back and receiver. RAMS

Buffalo vs Dallas– The Bills ruined a golden opportunity last week against against the Jets to prove they were for real. Buffalo still has 9-7 written all over them, but are a good team. Fitzpatrick has to play better for them to continue to win. The Cowboys are schizophrenic. They are good and terrible at the same time. In the first half they look like Super Bowl contenders, but in the second they look like the team that is going to miss the playoffs. The up and down trend will continue this week. BILLS

Jacksonville vs Indianapolis– What a difference Peyton Manning 

makes. 3 years ago, this game was critical in deciding who would win the AFC South. 1 year ago, this game was critical to the Colts getting a first round playoff bye. This year, this game is critical in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. The Colts pass rush is going to give young Blaine Gabbert all he can handle. If the Jaguars can’t get Maurice Jones-Drew going the Colts are actually going to look like a good team and ruin their perfect season. COLTS

Detroit vs Chicago– The Lions march into soldier field to further prove they are ready to take the next step and make the playoffs. Detroit’s offense has been inconsistent all season. To make the playoffs and actually win a game, they have to be consistent. The best thing Chicago has going is their defense. Jay Cutler is inconsistent and erratic. He has played too many good games in a row. A disaster is on its way. LIONS

Tennessee vs Carolina– Cam Cam Cam. Cam Newton has shown up in impressive fashion every week this season. Sunday will be no different. If Chris Johnson gets off the bus with his game face on, this game could be full of big plays and superstars. Matt Hasselbeck is playing at a high level, but without Kenny Britt their passing game has lacked a go-to receiver. If Chris Johnson shows up, Titans win. If not, the Carolina Cams will win. TITANS

Houston vs Tampa Bay– Last year, the Bucs ran the football to a 10-6 record , and Josh Freeman looked like the next best thing. This year Freeman looks like he ate the same thing Phillip Rivers did. He just does not look like the same guy. On the other hand, Matt Shaub looks like Matt Shaub, one of the leagues better quarterbacks. Arian Foster is running wild on the league again. No Andre Johnson, No problem. TEXANS

Baltimore vs Seattle– Good news Ravens fans… You are coming off two consecutive emotional comeback wins. Bad News… This week they face the Seahawks in Seattle. Every time I look at this game I see Baltimore vs Jacksonville on Monday night. Upset. SEAHAWKS

Washington vs Miami– Washington has dropped 4 straight. With no running back or quarterback the Redskins are on a paved road to nowhere. Reggie Bush was a couple yards away from his second consecutive and third career 100 yard game. He should get 100 yards this week and Miami pull out back to back wins. MIAMI

Minnesota vs Green Bay– The best team in the NFC North and best team in the NFL faces the worst team in their division. Guess who is going to win this one? PACKERS

Shocking finish: Pacquiao vs Marquez III

When you hear the name Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio the first thing you think is; will he and Floyd “Money” Mayweather ever fight. Pacquiao has a fight on Saturday November 12 vs Juan Manuel Marquez. All this Mayweather talk needs to stop until this fight is over. Am I the only person who thinks Juan Manuel Marquez has a chance to beat Pacquiao? I will remind you , these two have fought two 12 round blood fests that could have gone either way on the score cards. The first fight they fought to a draw, and the second Pacquiao won by a narrow split decision. This fight will not be a cake walk.

Manny has won his last 14 fights, and the last 7 he has been spectacular. He is at the top of his game, how could he lose? If you have tuned in to HBO’s 24/7 about the fight, you will notice that a lot of training has changed in the Marquez camp. Marquez has added a strength and conditioning coach to improve his speed. Most notably, he has stopped drinking his own urine. When you add the positive changes, and the history of their epic duels, you realize this could be a disaster for Pacquiao. This is a guy who can take Pacquaio’s power and continue to dish out punishment in return. In boxing, “styles make fights”. Pacquiao is fast, powerful, aggressive, unconventional, and sometimes careless. There are times he takes punches, but he has an iron chin. Marquez is strong, tough, a good counter puncher, and has a heart the size of Mexico. When you add those things up it means one punch can change this fight. All you people who want to see Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight should be happy. This fight will bring the tickets prices down just a little bit.

Prediction: Pacquiao loses by KO or TKO.

And after Pacquiao losses, guess what he wins… a drug test and a date with “el diablo”. LOL. That will be two consecutive losses and will end the discussion about who is really the “pound for pound” champion.

NFL Week 8 Facts

Finally, we are here, at the meat and potatoes of the NFL season. This is the point in the season where the cream rises to the top, and the rest fall by the wayside. In the first few weeks of the season, the standings are muddy. All the teams are separated by only a game or so. Now you will see glaring differences between contenders and pretenders. There is a lot of football left. I will let you in on the key match ups to watch out for, and players who will have a direct impact on the playoff picture. If everything about your team or favorite players is not flattering, don’t be mad at me. Facts are Facts. Leave your comments below.

New England vs Pittsburgh– The game of the day! This game will rest on the shoulders of both teams defense. There have been serious questions raised about both defenses. The much maligned New England run defense will get a test this week when they visit the steel city. Old, long toothed, aging, and gray haired are just a few of the adjectives used to describe the Steelers defense. The Patriots defense showed up tough at the end of the Cowboys game, so I know they can play D when they need to. Since their week 1 shellacking by the Ravens, the Pittsburgh defense has ranked 3rd in the NFL. They are giving up 107 yards per game on the ground which is not typical, but the Patriots are not exactly rushing juggernauts. The Steelers defense is great but the Patriots have the great equalizer… Tom Brady! I’m excited to watch this game, but I think we will see a rematch in the AFC Championship game. PATRIOTS
Dallas vs Philadelphia– Big rivalry games in college football have nicknames. Dallas vs Philly. The Individuals were supposed to become a team and make the playoffs! Asante Samuel is making me doubt everything I said. There is an obvious fracture between him and the front office and coaches. I’m afraid his issues will spill into the locker room and destroy my prediction of the Eagles being the first 1-4 team to make the playoffs. I have Dallas missing the playoffs this year and Eagles making it, but who knows now. I will not pick the winner of this game, but I will say, whoever wins this game will make the playoffs. Since I didn’t pick a winner, I gave you a Cowgirl instead!

New Orleans vs St. Louis– Sean Payton will be coaching from the booth but don’t expect this game to be a repeat to Jaguars/Ravens on Monday Night. The Saints will cruise to victory. Which player playing in this game has 45 rec 674 yards 5 TD? I’ll wait… Tight End Jimmie Graham. SAINTS

Detroit vs Denver– I wish these two teams weren’t playing this week. I have been very vocal on my twitter about being a Tebow supporter. I also said that Detroit Dougies were in for a reality check after all that dancing on Monday Night Football. The Dougies dropped two games in a row, and I think they rebound this week. So if Detroit wins, I’m right, but Tebow loses. Ugh! If Stafford plays… Detroit wins. DETROIT
Minnesota vs Carolina– Cam…Cam…Cam! I did not expect this at all. The Panthers have had an opportunity to win every game this year. In the preseason, it looked like Cam would lean on his tight ends more and his receivers could struggle. Wrong! Newton is throwing for a lot of yards, and Steve Smith is on pace for a career year. Reality is, for now, Cam is a rookie and middle of the road passer.  He has only 8 touchdowns vs 9 ints, but to his credit, he is 2nd in the league in rushing touchdowns. With the exception of Adrian Peterson, where are the running backs who got paid this year (i.e. Chris Johnson, Deangelo Williams)? 
I’m really excited about this game, Christian Ponder vs Cam Cam Cam. Neither team will make the playoffs this year, but there is hope for the future in both places. I will watch this game and won’t care who wins because I know I’m in for some excitement from Cam, Peterson, and Harvin. Superman is in the building! PANTHERS

San Diego vs Kansas City– This a battle between one of the most explosive offenses in the league vs one of the NFL’s worst. The Chiefs had the potential to be a very explosive offense, but the loss of speedy running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Tony Moleaki have put a dent in the Chiefs offense. With wins over the Vikings, Colts, and the blowout of Oakland last week, 3-3 KC is very deceiving. San Diego already beat KC in week 3, but neither team had any outstanding performances. Fantasy owners: Vincent Jackson, Phillip Rivers, and Dwayne Bowe will produce this week. CHARGERS

Indianapolis vs Tennessee– I can only give you one good reason to watch this game: Chris Johnson. He has to get going soon… right? This could be the game. Johnson is on pace to rush for a whopping 716 yards on the ENTIRE season. This is why he is not on the top running back list right now. Back to the game. If tennessee hass any chance to win the division and make the playoffs, this is a must win. The Titans were looking good before Kenny Britt got hurt. They are now playoff pretenders. Indy is in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes vs Miami, but this is a game they could accidentally win. TITANS?

Jacksonville vs Houston– Andre Johnson may play against the Jags. Fantasy owners wait to start him until next week even if he does play. Jacksonville played their best game of the season against the dismal Ravens offense. Even though the Jags have a good defense, expect either Matt Shaub or Arian Foster to have a big game. The Jaguars have a really good defense, but the Texans offense will be too much. The Texans will have the inside track to the playoffs in the AFC South after a win Sunday. TEXANS
Arizona vs Baltimore– This is the perfect game for the Ravens to bring their offense back to life. Expect Ray Rice to have a big game vs the Cardinals 26th ranked defense. Larry Fitzgerald got the QB he wanted, the contract he wanted, but did not get the results he wanted. With no real running game, and no #2 receiver, the Cardinals are not looking good this season. Hopefully they draft well. With all that said, I’m not sold on Joe Flacco as an elite NFL QB. If the Cardinals can get a couple turnovers and Kolb can have a good game vs Haloti Ngata (Go Ducks) and company, this could be another shocker. RAVENS

Good News Seattle, you have one of the toughest stadiums for opposing teams in the league. The 12 man is serious. After a 6-3 “shoot out” loss to the Browns, this seems like exactly what you need to get a win. Bad News, Seattle does not have a quarterback. Last week, your running back Marshawn Lynch didn’t even make it out of warmups. Cincinnati is a young team with a nice schedule that could end up 10-6 with a wildcard spot. Yes I said it… but don’t quote me just yet. Expect AJ Green, Andy Dalton, and Gresham to all have a nice game. CINCINNATI 
Remember planking? New trend! #Tebowing
Miami vs New York Giants– Ill watch the highlights. GIANTS
Washington vs Buffalo– For some reason, I do not believe in the Bills yet (Don’t be mad at me Drayton). Buffalo has 9-7 written all over them. Compared to the recent past, that is a drastic improvement and fans should be proud. The Redskins look a mess. Quarterback issues, runningback issues, and injuries are piling up. BUFFALO
Cleveland vs San Francisco– With the combination of being in the NFC West and a schedule like this, it would take a major meltdown for the 49ers to miss the playoffs. 49ers

Top 10 Names in NCAA Tournament

The NCAA tournament always brings me joy in so many ways. The drama, buzzer beaters, heartbreak, and the NAMES. There have been times I have wanted a player to score simply so the announcers can call their names. Some of the greatest names in NCAA history are God Shammgod (Providence), Scientific Mapp (Florida Atlantic), Majestic Mapp (Virginia), Baskerville Holmes (Memphis), World B. Free (Guiford), Stromile Swift (LSU), Exree Hipp (Maryland), Chief Kickingstallionsims (Alabama State).

Here are the 2011 best names in the NCAA tournament. My Favorite is Ivory White. (For obvious reasons. LOL)

NCAA turns a Blind EYE

The NCAA is punishing schools like USC, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and investigating numerous others for “improper benefits” received by athletes. There are rules that must be followed by student athletes and the schools that they attend. The NCAA has recently suspended players, put schools on probation, restricted scholarships, and banned teams from bowl games for violations regarding agents. Schools that are accused of wrong doing are cited for having “lack of institutional control”, but the NCAA’s definition of “lack of institutional control” baffles me. I think Bryant Gumbel said it best on Real Sports (full article):

“I’m no legal expert, not by a long shot, but I do believe that driving drunk, robbing a convenience store, and hitting your girlfriend are all worse offenses than dealing with an agent.  Most people would agree with that I think, except, it seems, the folks in charge of college football.

How else to explain the fact that the USC Trojans are currently on NCAA probation while the Florida Gators are not, even though Florida’s program has seen 27 different players arrested during the short tenure of Coach Urban Meyer.  That’s right, by NCAA standards, 27 arrests merit not so much as an official reprimand.  But dealing with a prospective agent prematurely, as former Trojan Reggie Bush did, gets your program punished for four years.

“It’s not just about USC.  NCAA investigations are ongoing at the Universities of Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina for the same kind of premature conversation with agents that Bush had.  And it’s not just about Florida.  Players at Pittsburgh, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Southern Mississippi, UCLA and elsewhere have also been arrested this year.  But all of those programs are, by NCAA standards, in full compliance.”

I do not think that Universities should be allowed to run freely just because no players are being arrested. I do think it is a BIG problem when you are paying so much attention to a couple hundred dollars here and there when there are much bigger problems. How do u ignore so many players being arrested at one place? If anything is a “lack of institutional control” 27 players arrested is. College kids are not going to be perfect but the NCAA needs to step in and do something effective, not just putting a bandaid on a gash. Some of the fault does fall on the universities shoulders, but the schools have so much money at risk with their programs winning that they cannot always be trusted to do the right thing to insure “institutional control”.

College athletes need to make better choices and not do anything they know to be against the rules, or will jeopardize their eligibility and embarrass the program. But the reality is, teenagers with little money and a lot of needs are not always going to and shouldn’t be expected to always make good decisions when tempted with money and gifts by agents. Sometimes adults don’t even make good decisions when faced with temptation to receive money or “extra benefits” so how can you expect college kids to?  If you want players to stop taking gifts from agents, punish the agents. If agents are heavily punished by the NFLPA for giving student athletes “extra benefits” I guarantee you will see this problem virtually eliminated.
This is not a Florida Gators bash session. I’m just wagging my finger at the NCAA. They sometimes draw a hard line on things that don’t seem to be a big deal, but turn around and ignore glaring problems staring them right in the face.

WEEK 3: Winners & Top 5 Fantasy

Two weeks in a row I have been your one stop shop for picks and fantasy football heros. So far my record is 27-5. Very impressive start, but this week will be one of the toughest this season. The Steelers are having QB problems and are playing a young, hot Bucs team. The Dolphins Wildcat does well against the J-E-T-S. The Saints don’t have their biggest wildcard to ground the Falcons. The Texans are 2-0 but are they poised enough to take over the state of Texas? Only a student of the game and a person with a keen eye for trends and forecasting the games could see these things happening. Good thing you got me. I wont let u down. If you need fantasy football help earlier in the week hit me up on my twitter.

Titans v Giants– Chris Johnson gets back on track to get to the 2500 yards that he won’t get to this season. He should win the rushing title again this year with about 1871 yards. Fantasy owners: Vince Young will finish this game. TITANS

Cowboys v Texans– It’s hard to even think about the Cowboys 0-3 after all the preseason hype but this is a make or break game for both teams. The Texans must show they are or real and are ready to take the next step to being an elite team. The Cowboys on the other hand must win if they are to have any chance of making the playoffs. This should be a close one. TEXANS

Steelers v Buccaneers– The Steelers are on major league “Upset Alert” right now. With no Dixon, no Big Ben, 1/2 Leftwich, the Steelers turn to Charlie Batch. Batch is a quality backup, but he gets hurt every time he plays. With an iffy QB situation and a much improved Bucs team at home, this could be the perfect storm. BUCCANEERS

Falcons v Saints– Can the Saints offense find a way to get kick started and win without Reggie “The President” Bush? Yes, only because they are playing at home. SAINTS

Raiders v Cardinals– The Commitment to Excellence is not quite excellent but they will win. Fantasy owners: Jason Campbell will be back, maybe not this game but he will be back and play well. RAIDERS

Jets v Dolphins– The Jets couldn’t stop the wildcat last year. What makes you think they will stop it this year? Nothing. DOLPHINS

Monday Night Football

Packers v Bears – This game features two of the leagues best young gun slingers and should prove to be a Big Time shootout. PACKERS


QBs: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick

RBs: Frank Gore, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice

WRs: Randy Moss, Steve Smith (NYG), Santana Moss, Steve Breaston, Terrell Owens

TEs: Heath Miller, Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark, Brent Celek

Def: Cincinnati, Baltimore, San Diego, 49ers