Pro Sports Postponement: Empathy, Not Divisiveness, Is Key With Fans and Players

Giannis Pro Sports postponement protests

This week, the NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS all postponed games in wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year old black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The shooting occurred on Sunday, August 23.

Unfortunately, the issue of police brutality has become so divisive in United States society. Many players have come to the forefront for causes they believe in, such as police reform and voting rights mainly.

Athletes Need Fan Support When Deciding to Boycott Pro Sports

Professional athletes are taking a stand. These athletes will not stand for police brutality and voter suppression, but are being met with push back by some fans. There are people that believe that players should shut up and play. Fans may feel this way because they could not decide to not go to work, for example, and be able to take a stand in a way similar to what professional athletes have done.

However, it is close-minded to think that players do not have a distinct purpose and reason for their actions. Yes, they are in a position where they can afford to protest by not “working” in a sense. But for change to occur in society, there needs to be prominent figures at the forefront. The players made the right decision to postpone games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because now there is more attention on issues that US citizens should care about. Whether or not one agrees with some of the positions that players have on these issues, players need fan support in the same way they need fan support on game night.

Decision to Postpone or Play Games Should Be Players’ Decision

There have been many people who have called for pro sports teams for the postponement of their games, while some have decided to play their games. If fans want to truly support their players, they will realize that each player views the situation differently. Some players believe that they can show solidarity by not playing. Others feel like playing gives them a platform to be vocal about these issues. Players have been both praised and criticized for the position they have taken.

In the end, the decision to play or not play should be up to the players. Fans can choose whether to support the players’ decision or not. There are charity events and initiatives that players give their time to for the fans. It is time that fans support players in whatever decision they make about playing, whether or not they agree with it.

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Leagues Had Different Ways of Handling Postponement of Pro Sports

The NHL players played on Wednesday. On Thursday, they made a united decision to postpone games Thursday and Friday. There was backlash from certain people over the decision to play Wednesday. Some, including Philadelphia Flyers coach Alain Vigneault, were so focused on playoff hockey. There simply was not enough time for some people within the NHL’s two hub cities to fully grasp the situation.

NBA players were already thinking about their actions days earlier. That is the main reason they were able to come to their decision quicker. They thought about the potential ramifications of their decision and decided to resume play on Saturday. NBA players have been the most vocal about the issue of police brutality. They are the reason that August 26, 2020, will always be remembered.

However, the way both leagues handled the situation was acceptable. Even though the NHL was late to the party, they are playing their games in another country. It was better for the NHL to fully digest the situation from an outsider’s view and make an informed decision.

Divisiveness a Main Narrative Being Written About the USA Right Now

Some fans do not want to watch sports anymore because they feel that through protesting that politics are being brought into sports. Fans may not agree with the avenue in which players are protesting or the causes they are protesting for. This is okay. But right now, the players need to know they have fan support.

There are numerous narratives being written about what is going on in the United States of America right now. However, when some say blanket statements that single other people out in a negative light, they should not expect a positive reaction from their opponents.

A frustrating aspect of these protests is the partisanship that could be associated with them. For example, Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma tweeted Wednesday night about how momentum would need to continue “even if we get a Democrat in the office.” Someone who supports the decision by the NBA players to protest, but does not necessarily identify as a Democrat, could be put off by this statement. However, the divisive political rhetoric of 2020 is the reason that Kuzma feels this way.

There is rhetoric from people that identify as both Republican and Democrat that is extremely frustrating to see. Kuzma tweeted about his belief that there was fear-mongering from Kimberly Guilfoyle, who was speaking at the Republican National Convention. When the term “lawlessness” is being thrown around by people like Kimberly Guilfoyle when describing protests in communities where people like Jacob Blake lived, of course there is going to be outrage.

Issues are Divisive, and People Not Acknowledging Different Viewpoints Could Be Damaging

Kimberly Guilfoyle fails to acknowledge that the majority of people in the streets are peacefully protesting. The protesters want to see a positive change in society. They also realize how real the problem of systemic racism is in the United States of America. People like Guilfoyle come under fire from so many people is because they have not made a simple acknowledgment to Black people that their lives matter. Guilfoyle and many others spoke at the Republican National Convention. They failed to show any solidarity towards the Jacob Blake shooting or the issues that players care about.

Everyone’s vote matters. Every US citizen should have the right to vote. If people want to go to the voting booth, it should be an easy process. Governments have to aid in this effort, and it seems like this is where part of the player’s protest is coming from.

However, Kuzma’s comment might make one question what the push to get people to vote is really about. Someone could interpret it as certain players having an agenda to help a single party out. People can truly educate themselves about all of the candidates, and realize there are more candidates to choose from than the ones with the D and R next to their name. However, it still has to be the person’s option on who they want to vote for, or even if they want to vote. They are given the right to vote, but voting is not required by law.

Postponement of Pro Sports Being Used to Encourage People to Vote and Empathize With the Black Community

We cannot afford to live in a society that preaches fear. When people go to vote, they need to feel assured that their vote is fair. At this point, it has been assured that citizens do not feel confident in their ability to vote. There are flaws in the voting system, and certain groups are marginalized.

The postponement of pro sports games was sparked by a police officer deciding to shoot a black man seven times in the back. This type of behavior by police officers simply cannot be tolerated, and athletes from all sports have spoken. Try to put yourself in this situation. Should someone have to be shot seven times in the back because they may be holding a knife? Jacob Blake did admit to holding a knife, but does he deserve to be handcuffed to a hospital bed? The answer is no.

The reason these protests are happening is that people are not getting equal treatment. Justice is not happening for all right now. It is important that we listen and validate everyone’s concerns with police relations with all communities, especially the African American community. It is important that all of us – athletes, fans, government officials – show the African American community that their lives matter.

Andy Reid needs a Super Bowl Victory to Cement His HOF Legacy

Is this the season Andy Reid changes his legacy?

At 61 years old, with 21 years of head coaching experience, his teams experienced incredible regular season success. Of 21 season with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, he only missed the playoffs six times. Most recently, with Kansas City, their regular-season records include:

  • 11-5
  • 9-7
  • 11-6
  • 12-4
  • 10-6
  • 12-4
  • 12-4

His teams won 10 division titles and they had an overall 61.8-percent winning percentage. But, even with all of the wins, his teams have still fallen short of the big game. Andy Reid is largely looked at one of the greatest coaches to never win a Super Bowl. He’s been called out for poor clock-management, letting his foot off the gas and losing in critical games. His 12-14 playoff record hangs over any of his feats. And he’s ridiculed for it every, single season.

But, with a Super Bowl victory, he can change all of that and vault himself into a new category of NFL coaches.

Andy Reid’s coaching tree is already better than Bill Belichick’s

Everyone knows Bill Belichick’s success with the New England Patriots is otherworldly. However, his coaching tree produced very few winners. In a recent article by Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media, he compared in detail the differences between Andy Reid and Belichick’s legacy of head coaches. In comparison, Reid’s successors are far better in comparison:

Belichick’s Coaching Tree

  • Combined Record: 281-330-1
  • Playoff Appearances: 8
  • Super Bowl Titles: 0

Reid’s Coaching Tree

  • Combined Record: 350-307-1
  • Playoff Appearances: 19
  • Super Bowl Titles: 2

Even without a Super Bowl title himself, Andy Reid’s success lives through his coaching tree. Although, if Reid, Patrick Mahomes, and the Kansas City Chiefs win this year’s Super Bowl, his legacy will boom.

Andy Reid, Offensive Genius

With respect to Philadelphia and Kansas City’s scouting, drafting and signing, Andy Reid’s coached so many offensive powerhouses. It takes only a second to think of incredible playmakers from the Eagles and Chiefs. Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, Terrell Owens, and DeSean Jackson highlight his years in Philadelphia. While Patrick Mahomes, Jamaal Charles, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce are huge in Kansas City.

But, even without the superstars, he’s gotten the most out of every running back and receiver on his teams. He even made Alex Smith look like an NFL MVP. Regardless of the players available, Reid’s teams put up points. 13 of his 21 teams ranked in the top-10 of offensive points per game in their respective seasons. Additionally, nine of them ranked in the top-six in scoring offense.

Now, with Patrick Mahomes at the helm with Travis Kelce, Tryreek Hill, Damien Williams, Mecole Hardman, and Sammy Watkins to utilize, Reid’s offense is at full force. This offensive power was on display in their 51-31 win against the Houston Texans. With a Super Bowl victory, Andy Reid’s genius will be immortalized.

Reid is too good to not have a ring

In his two decades of experience, Andy Reid amassed 207 wins, 10 division titles, and one Super Bowl appearance. In terms of head coaching success, Reid ranks seventh all-time in regular-season wins. Don Shula, George Hala, Bill Belichick, Tom Landry, Curly Lambeau, Paul Brown and Marty Schottenheimer each join him in the 200-plus win club.

Despite his exceptional company, he is the only one of them without an NFL title. This Super Bowl victory would vault him into the discussion of a future Hall of Fame coach.

Andy Reid has the wins. He’s known as an offensive genius. Any layman can name countless elite players from his teams. All he needs is two more wins to get the respect he deserves.

College Football Bowl Game Participants​ Should get More Than a $550 Bowl Gift

College Football Bowl Game Gifts

It is that time of year again. College football playoff and bowl game season! The College Football Playoff (CFP) matchups are set. Bowl game matchups are set. There is a lot at stake during the college football post-season. Bragging rights for winning a bowl game, being crowned the CFP champion, and last but not least – MONEY. There are millions of dollars at stake for coaches, conferences, and schools. However, there is one group that is systematically left out of the financial distributions. That group is none other than the football players themselves. 

It is true that the NCAA permits bowl game participants to receive up to $550 in gifts. However, those gifts severely pails in comparison to the rewards that coaches, schools, and conferences receive. Right out the gate, the conferences of the schools that qualify for the College Football Playoff semifinal games receive 6 million dollars for each team. Conferences that do not have a CFP contender still have a chance to rake in 4 million dollars for each team that qualifies for a bowl game. However, this revenue barely scratches the surface of all of the money that is at stake. Let’s take a look at how much the coaches, schools, and conferences stand to earn during the college football post-season.

The CFP and Bowl Games are a Cash Cow for the Participating Coaches

Dabo Swinney $93M contract There's enough money to pay the players

Several college football coaches enjoy million-dollar salaries. CFP champion coach, Dabo Swinney, signed a 9.3 million per year contract for his base salary  Many more coaches enjoy salaries in the upper six figures. However, the college football post-season is the sweetest time of year for qualifying coaches. It is sweet because qualifying for post-season play demonstrates that the coach has led the team through a very successful season. It is also sweet because qualifying for post-season play equals sizeable bonus money for the coaches.

Coach Mack Brown at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Take the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill coach, Mack Brown, for instance. He will receive $75,000 for the Tar-heels qualifying for the Military Bowl. This $75,000 is additional compensation on top of the $3.5 million he earns as an annual salary. Brown is not the only person on his staff who will be a bonus beneficiary. The Tar-heels assistant coaches will receive bonuses up to “two-twelfths of their annualized salaries”. Meanwhile, the football players will receive a compilation of arguably useless gifts up to $550 in value

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Coach Ryan Day at Ohio State University

Another coach who stands to make more in bonus money than most people make in a year is Ohio State’s Ryan Day. Day replaced Ohio State coaching legend, Urban Meyer, and quickly realized that he needed to make a name for himself. Make a name for himself is just what he did in leading the Buckeyes to the CFP for the first time since 2016. Day stands to earn an additional $450,000 in CFP bonuses. Per Day’s contract, he will earn $200,000 just for the Buckeyes making an appearance in the CFP. Day stands to make another $250,000 if the Buckeyes make it to the CFP semifinals.

However, Ohio State and Clemson are set to face off in the Fiesta Bowl. If the Buckeyes are successful in that game, Day will not receive $250,000 if the Buckeyes make it to the CFP semifinals. Instead, Day will receive $350,000 for “team participation in the finals of the College Football Playoff.” These are only the bonuses that two coaches stand to receive for post-season play. Every other qualifying coach stands to receive similar compensation. Meanwhile, the football players are left with arguably useless gifts totaling up to $550 in value.

Conferences and Schools Rake in the Cash from the CFP and Bowl Games too

Justin Fields Ohio State

Merely having a school qualify for the CFP semifinals or a bowl game earns a conference at least 6 to 4 million dollars respectively. There is so much money available to the conferences and schools from post-season play. Each conference with a school that qualifies for post-season play receives $300,000. Each qualifying independent school receives $300,000 as well. An independent school is one that does not belong to a conference like Notre Dame.

Additionally, each of the ten conferences receives a base amount of money. Conferences who participate in the Orange, Rose, and Sugar Bowl receive approximately $66 million for each conference. Conferences that do not participate in those bowls receive approximately $90 million in the aggregate that is dispersed as the conferences see fit. If Notre Dame qualifies, it receives $3.19 million as an independent school. The other three independent schools receive $1.56 million.

Furthermore, each conference with a school participating in the Cotton, Fiesta, or Peach Bowl or the CFP National Championship receives an additional $2.43 million to cover game expenses. This is a lot of money. Meanwhile, the football players receive arguably useless gifts totaling up to $550 in value. The schools do use some of the money to fund their athletic departments to make collegiate sports participation possible. However, there is still enough money that football players can receive more than $550 worth of gifts.

The Bowl Gifts Are a Joke in Comparison to the Coaching Bonuses and Revenue the Conferences and Schools Receive

Football players who participate in bowl games and the CFP are allowed to receive $550 worth of gifts. In the scheme of things, the gifts are arguably worthless and pails in comparison to the six-figure bonuses their coaches receive. Participants in the Peach Bowl will receive a $390 Vanilla Visa Gift Card, a Fossil watch, and a football. While a $390 gift card sounds nice, it is nothing for all of the hard work and effort players put into their sport. It is certainly nothing compared to the bonuses the coaches receive.

Participants in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl receive a PlayStation 4 Gift Package, a Fossil watch, an Ogio Shuttle Pack backpack, a history of bowl games book, and an Ice Shaker Insulated bottle. A PlayStation 4 is a nice gift. However, is it really that useful for a college football player who puts in 40 plus hours a week on football and has to study too? It would seem that sharing the revenue with the players would be a better option. However, that is not going to happen because of the NCAA’s farce of amateurism.

College Football Bowl Game Gifts

What if the NCAA, Conferences, and Schools Decided to Share the Revenue With the Players?

If the revenue was shared with the players it would provide a major financial boost for the players. This is especially true for players who come from disadvantaged situations. Such players often need extra money to make ends meet. Players who may need extra cash cannot even sell their gifts without fear of being declared ineligible for receiving an impermissible benefit like Terrelle Pryor. In 2010, Pryor was suspended for selling his sportsmanship award from the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. If the NCAA, conferences, and schools decided to share some of the revenue they could eliminate this problem for their athletes.

The NCAA could hold the money in a trust for the football players to receive after they graduate. They could provide financial planning seminars to help them manage the money and use it in a productive manner. This would help the players way more than a fossil watch ever could. With all of the money floating around college football post-season play, the players should receive more than a $550 gift.

The NFL Needs to Mirror College Football’s Overtime Rules

nfl Overtime Rules college football

On Sunday, football fans witnessed one of the most exciting NFL Championship Sundays ever. Both the NFC Championship game and the AFC Championship game went into overtime. There is nothing better than watching two teams fight it out so effectively that the game ends in a tie and is forced into overtime. Overtime is almost like a second game where both teams get an equal shot at becoming the victor. However, that is not exactly true for NFL overtimes.

A Coin Toss Decided the Outcomes of Both Championships

To no one’s surprise, the teams that won the two coin tosses won the games. The implementation of the “sudden death” rule on Sunday left many fans upset that each game was essentially decided by a coin toss. The games were decided by a coin toss as it was an almost certainty that the team that won the toss would take possession, score first, and win. Both teams did exactly that.

Although some may argue that the NFC Championship game was decided by a blown call at the end of the fourth quarter, the game still went into overtime.  The team that won the toss, the Los Angeles Rams, won the game without the New Orleans Saints ever getting an opportunity to score. In the AFC Championship game the team that won the toss, the New England Patriots, won the game without the Kansas City Chiefs ever getting an opportunity to score.  Accordingly, fans were upset that the NFC and AFC Championship games were essentially decided by a coin toss.

The NFL Needs to Change This, Especially for Championship Games

The NFL needs to change this. This is especially true as it pertains to championship games. The team that does not take possession at kickoff (usually the team who loses the toss) is essentially at an unfair disadvantage. Some may argue that there is no disadvantage because the defense should be able to hold off the opposing offense. This is a fair argument. However, it would be better if both teams were guaranteed a chance to perform on both offense and defense. Such a change would ultimately make the game more competitive. It would force both teams to prove they deserve to win offensively and defensively.

The NFL Needs to Adopt Some Variation of College Football’s Overtime Rules

The college football overtime rules are much better than the NFL’s. The NFL can certainly learn from college football in this area. Like the NFL, overtime in college starts with a coin toss.  Where it differs is in the fact that both teams are guaranteed a possession.  This means that both teams will have the opportunity to play both offense and defense. This is better because it forces both teams to earn the win on both ends of the field.  

If the team that gets the ball first scores, they must defend it and hold off the other team’s offense. The college overtime period starts at the 25-yard line.[i] If the game is still tied at the end of the overtime period it keeps going until a team wins.[ii] However, once the game reaches a third overtime period, the teams may no longer kick after a touchdown and are forced to attempt a two-point conversion.[iii] This goes on until a team wins.

Some may argue that this type of overtime makes for a long game.  That is true, a game could be extremely long if both teams keep scoring.  However, that is an extremely rare occurrence. Even with that possibility, the NFL needs to consider some variation of college football’s overtime rules.  Allowing who gets to advance to the Super Bowl to be determined by a coin toss is simply unacceptable.

[i] Chris Chavez, How Does College Football Overtime Work? Rule, NFL Differences Explained, Sports Illustrated (Aug. 14, 2017), https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/college-football-overtime-rules-explained.

[ii] Id.

[iii] Id.

Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL Teams Week 10

Worst NFL teams week 10

Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL teams week 10 is where we rank the five best and five worst teams in the NFL. Anybody can list the best teams. It takes real skill to sort through the mess that is the bottom of the league.   Week 10 is hours away from kicking off in Pittsburgh on this crunchy groove Thursday. What did we learn from Week 9? The Saints offense with Drew Brees and Michael Thomas is unstoppable, Patriots, with major injuries and mediocre three-quarters of play, can still beat you by 14 points, The Oakland Raiders are the laughingstock of the league, and Jason Garrett might actually be on borrowed time. Does your team sadly qualify for worst teams for Week 10?

Leave a comment, share, and email us: ImMad@UnafraidShow.com.

5 UP: The 5 Best NFL Teams Week Ten

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-2) Last Week: 4th

As the legendary Boston band Aerosmith would sing, the train kept a rolling all night long in Week #9 win versus the Packers.  It seems like an eternity since that embarrassing loss in Detroit, and they are now winners of 6 straight. I figure I’ll get some heat and be very unpopular that I put New England in the number one spot with two losses, deal with it. They are better than anyone right now. It wasn’t pretty versus the Packers, but they beat them by 14 when the clock struck 00:00. Tom Brady (2,494 Yards 17 TDs 7 Int 97.6 QB Rating) is still the best at getting everyone involved, and his comfort level with Josh Gordon ( 5 catches 130 Yards TD) is growing. Cordarelle Patterson (11 carries for 61 Yards 1 TD) was converted into a “Big RB” and looked like a playmaker a typical Patriots move that works. Julian Edelman is the best do everything guy in the NFL.

The Patriots defense made Aaron Rodgers look mortal, which is another reason for all other teams in the NFL to be concerned. Defensive end Trey Flowers caused constant pressure vs. a beleaguered Packers offensive line. Bill Belichick is the master at getting it right. He sculpts whatever the talent he has into a cohesive, reliable defensive unit. Alex Cora brought the World Series trophy to Gillette Field.  Will it be any surprise if Bill Belichick brings the Lombardi Trophy to Fenway in April? No! The Patriots travel to Tennessee to take on the feisty Titans (4-4) and former teammate Malcolm Butler.  Mike Vrabel a former longtime Super Bowl-winning (2 TD catches in SB) Patriots LB is the Tennessee Titans Head Coach. The Pats will be 7 point favorites and hold a 26-15-1 record against the Titans/Oilers franchise.

2. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-1) Last Week: 3rd

Oh, the Saints went marching into the end zone a lot this past Sunday afternoon in the marquee match-up of the day. They hung the first loss on the Rams ledger by outscoring LA, 45-35.  Drew Brees and Michael Thomas might be the most lethal combo in the league. With Mark Ingram back healthy with the combination of Alvin Kamara, it’s just not fair to try and stop that running duo. The offensive line does a fantastic job of creating time and space for Brees and the running backs. New Orleans just signed WR Dez Bryant to add to an embarrassment of riches.

The defense is still the teams Achilles heel. Only nine teams have given up more points. The Saints D ranks 28th in the red zone. The good news for the Saints is the Chiefs and Rams are equally as inept at stopping opposing teams. In fairness to the Saints, they have suffered some injuries but if they want to be favorites to win the SB in Atlanta that D has to shore up some gaping holes in the secondary that Eli Apple will not cure.   Sean Payton’s crew has now beat the Ravens, Vikings, and Rams in consecutive weeks. It’s the simple reason why I leapfrogged them over KC.  This week is another tough test going to Cincinnati to take on the (5-3) Bengals. The Saints are 4.5 favorites over the Bengals, but Cincy leads the series 7-6.

3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-1) Last Week: 2nd

Chiefs fans might be unhappy with me. Hey, you still have the best barbecue in the nation and time to move up our Unafraid rankings. Sure the Chiefs are 8-1 and just blew out the Cleveland Browns, and they get moved from two to three in my weekly rankings? What the heck am I thinking? I’m just more impressed with the Patriots and Saints. Chiefs have big wins (Steelers, Chargers, Jags, Bengals) but they still have major defensive concerns giving up 226 points. Good news for the defense, safety Daniel Sorensen was activated from the IR.

The offense is just playing Madden 19 on the easy level with a league-leading 101 point differential. Patrick Mahomes II is just insane with what he is doing (2,901 yards, 29 TD’s 7 INTs 116.7 QB Rating) though his consecutive 4 TD passes streak ended he has now thrown for 300 yards in 8 straight games. He is that good.  Travis Kelce has been a stud all year long (51 catches 741 yards 6 TDs). Kareem Hunt has also been playing at an All-Pro level and torched the Browns (17 Att 91 yards 2 TD’s 5.4 AVG). The Chiefs have the (2-6) Arizona Cardinals coming to town which should be another blowout win. The Chiefs are 18.5 point favorites (the Biggest spread of the year), and KC has won 8 out of the 12 contests with one ending in a tie between the two squads.

4. LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-1) Last Week:  1st

Oh, how the mighty have fallen!  From first to fourth in a brutal knockdown. I have preached all year long that the defense will be the downfall for Los Angeles. They skirted defeats to Minnesota, Denver, Seattle, and Green Bay with below average defensive display. Is Aaron Donald one of the best defensive players in the league? Yes, he is, and you could argue the best, but the LB core Dante Fowler or no Dante Fowler and that secondary is a sieve. Will Talib’s return help? It should, but what the heck has happened to Marcus Peters? Wade Phillips has to improve the defense if the Rams want to get back to the top spot in our rankings.

The offense once again put up some big numbers. Jared Goff led a massive comeback with a tremendous performance (391 Yards 3 TDs 70% and a 115.7 QB Rating). Todd Gurley was shut down and held to 68 yards vs. the Saints, but Brandin Cooks was a monster with 114 yards and TD. Why is Brandin Cooks on his third team in three years? What a player! The roadblock to Atlanta and SB 53 for LA could be the play of the defense. Rams will be home to Seattle (4-4) this week. The first meeting between the two teams was close; a 33-31 Rams NFC West win in October. Los Angeles are heavy favorites at 11.5 points, but Seattle has a 23-18 advantage in the all-time series.

5. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (6-2) Last Week: 5th

The Chargers went up to Seattle, and they balled. LA both defensively and offensively did what they needed to win in a 25-17 victory over the red-hot Seahawks. Melvin Gordon was special and ran for 113 yards. Keenan Allen looked like a top 10 Wide Reciever hauling in 6 catches for 124 yards. This offense led by Philip Rivers has so many weapons and will get better when Tight End Hunter Henry returns in December. Sure they are not seeing a lot of people show up at the StubHub Center, but this offense should be drawing more fans into those empty seats!

Why I think the Chargers could be the most complete team in our top 5 and my darkhorse SB entrant is because of the defense. They have only allowed 180 points this year. Joey Bosa is closing in on a return which led to an ESPN analyst to take an ill-advised swing at him. This unit is loaded with playmakers and a stout secondary. If you haven’t recognized Desmond King and what he is doing at the CB position check this out! The Chargers get to travel North with a divisional showdown against the woeful Oakland Raiders (1-7). LA is a strong 10 point favorite and beat Oakland 26-10 earlier this year. The Silver and Black do lead the all-time series 63-53-2.

Closing in on the top 5 this week:

Carolina Panthers (6-2), Houston Texans (6-3), Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1)

5 DOWN: The 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Ten 

28. ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-6) Last Week: 28th

Arizona did not move down or up our rankings due to enjoying a Bye Week. The Cardinals have two wins both against the equally inept San Francisco 49ers. Sam Bradford was released, which makes you wonder why he was even signed in the first place.  2018 has been a complete failure. You have to wonder if the Coach and GM won’t be getting a pink slip at the end of the year. One must feel for the future HOFer Larry Fitzgerald. You were hoping for a better year, but the Cardinals are falling apart at the seems. Do you miss Bruce Arians yet?

When you talk Worst teams NFL week 10, Arizona must be brought up. Cardinals rank 32nd in offense, and the defense is not far behind in being woeful. Josh Rosen continues to learn (1,072 yards 10 TDs 12 INTS). as well as be more accurate. The Cardinals after the Bye Week have to figure out a way to slow down the most prolific offense in Kansas City (8-1) as Patrick Mahomes II looks to make it 9 straight games throwing for over 300 yards. I see a colossal blowout in the making.

29. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (2-7) Last Week: 32nd

Well, for a team completely devastated by major injuries everywhere, how refreshing was Nick Mullins last Thursday evening.  He put up a brilliant performance against the Oakland Raiders in a 34-3 win the 49ers second of the year.  One must wonder if the team should tank it yet could Mullins change that philosophy? Let’s temper the appearance with the fact the Raiders have the 2nd worst defense in the NFL. One guy who always shows up is Greg Kittle another gigantic performance (4 catches 108 yards with a TD).

The defense was impressive as well against the Raiders. They collected eight sacks and were constantly disrupting the running game. It was the best performance of the year from the defense that was spearheaded by Cassius Marsh and Deforest Buckner. San Francisco will get a chance to build on its successful performance on Monday Night against a struggling N.Y. Giants (1-7) team at home. The 49ers are 3 point favorites at home, and the series is dead even at 20 games apiece.

30. BUFFALO BILLS (2-7) Last Week:  29th

Oh, Nathan Peterman strikes again!  If you can select a fantasy defense off of the waiver wire going up against Peterman, do it. Let’s now role the interceptions reel.  What’s really crazy is Peterman has 11 INTs in his last 95 passes, whereas Aaron Rodgers has 11 interceptions in his last 993 pass attempts. It’s simply ugly. The Bears thrashed Buffalo 41-9. It was a forgettable game in what is turning into a forgettable season. It’s surprising that the Bills have two wins this year (Tennessee and Minnesota should be ashamed) and I think that Buffalo should just go all out tank mode.  Why put Josh Allen back in behind an offensive line that is simply horrendous?  He could get seriously hurt and has been sacked 21 times even with his mobility.

Buffalo has a short road trip to New Jersey as they take on the (3-6) N.Y. Jets. The Jets are favored by 7.5 points, but the Bills lead the all-time series against there AFC East rivals 61-54.

31. NEW YORK GIANTS (1-7) Last Week: 31st

Good news, the Giants didn’t lose or fall to 32nd in the rankings.  Though the Cowboys are gaining ground in whacked out franchise mode N.Y. Giants are still #1 in dysfunction. It’s such a messed up situation, I don’t know where to start! I thought with all the moves this team made in the offseason they were going to compete in the NFC East and be a playoff team. Lord was I wrong! Pat Shurmur looks lost, Eli looks like he should be in a retirement home, OBJ should be frustrated, and that offensive line with the high priced addition of Nate Soldier is a pile of dog crap. The Raiders at least realized it needed to tear it down.  The Giants didn’t do anything at the trade deadline, which was a big mistake.

The off-season for this franchise is going to be critical and the teams most important. When watching a Giants game, other than Barkley, you wonder why a total rebuild has not already begun. The Giants will face the 49ers on Monday Night. Eli will start versus the 49ers, which just makes you wonder does this organization get it. The combined record of these two proud franchises is (3-14).  Shouldn’t the league be able to flex this turkey bowl?

32. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-7) Last Week: 30th

Laughingstock, unwatchable, miserable. Add a derogatory word, and it works describing the Silver and Black’s 2018-19 season. This is the worst team in the NFL.  How happy is Khalil Mack in Chicago to be out of this mess?   Jon Gruden, are we tanking yet? Well, they should.  Actually, the Raiders really need to tank next year as well to get Tua.  I don’t even know where to begin when you lose 34-3 to a (1-7) 49ers team its ugly. Derek Carr was sacked eight times, and nothing about the Oakland Raiders looked competitive last Thursday night.

The franchise should start prepping draft needs and continue unloading players in the off-season and be in full rebuild mode. Oakland will face the red-hot Los Angeles Chargers (6-2) at home this Sunday.  Expect the team to be dealing with its eighth loss of the year. The Silver and Black are the leaders of the worst teams NFL week 10.

Teams that are knocking on futilities door: 

Cleveland Browns (2-6-1), N.Y. Jets (3-6), Dallas Cowboys (3-5)

Come back next Thursday for Five Up Five Down: The five best NFL Teams and the five worst NFL Teams for Week 11.

Hot Takes House: Dallas Cowboys, AP Poll stinks, Patriots Shame, Mo Bamba Speaks

Dallas Cowboys

The Hot Takes House is open for business. These are hot takes and fun from the weekend. Send us your hot takes to ImMad@unafraidshow.com, and they may make the next week piece. Do not read any further if you are easily offended.

Fun Fact: The MD on MD 20/20 alcohol does not stand for Mad Dog. It stands for Mogen David.

1. Why on earth does the AP Poll have Georgia ranked #8? They have ZERO quality wins and the only good team they played DEMOLISHED him?

Georgia was inexplicably ranked #2 in the nation with wins against Austin Peay, South Carolina, Middle Tenn State, Missouri, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. None of those wins were against teams currently even in the top 35. Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Clemson all had better resumes. So, how on earth do they play their first good game, get destroyed and fall to #8?

Georgia is a talented team, and they made it to the CFB Championship game last season. But that was last season. With a loss to LSU and their soft schedule, Georgia is now eliminated for the College Football Playoff unless they make it to the SEC championship and beat Bama.

I am continuously puzzled by the obvious bias of the AP Poll towards the SEC. I understand their bias toward Alabama because they are the champs and look better than last year. The Top 10 for Week 8 should look like this.

2. Find somebody to believe in you the way Jerry Jones believes in Jason Garrett. Jones said, “[Garrett] is an asset that I think will get us to where we want to go, and that’s a championship.”

Jerry Jones is the new Al Davis. I am not calling for Jason Garrett’s job, but I am questioning Jerry Jones’ judgment. In 8 full seasons is there anything that points to Jason Garrett leading the Cowboys to the Super Bowl? I like the Dallas Cowboys, but the fact remains that Garrett only has two double-digit win seasons, two playoff births, and one playoff win. I know teams get hot and strange things can happen, but I can confidently say the Dallas Cowboys will not win the Super Bowl this season.

3. It never ceases to amaze me how little interest there is for regular season baseball compared to playoff baseball.

I am a baseball fan, but regular season baseball is not must-watch television. I catch at least part of a couple of games per week, but I don’t schedule events around baseball. However, I do schedule events around College Football. The numbers say I am in the majority here. I realize this is a function of scarcity. There are 12 regular season college football games compared to 162 MLB games. But, when playoff baseball comes around, the games can do amazing numbers like the RedSox-Astros game on Sunday night. It got almost 21 million viewers. Those aren’t NFL primetime numbers but very respectable!

4. Patriots fans flipped off Tyreek Hill and poured beer on him after his TD, but he is supposed to keep his cool.

When you buy a ticket to a game, you do not get a license to do and say whatever you want to the players. There is an expectation of trash talk and occasional obscenities, but there are common sense lines you shouldn’t cross. There are a lot of people who could not keep their cool after such a disrespectful violation. The NBA’s Malice at The Palace escalated over fans throwing beer at players. The leagues have to ensure the players’ safety and a family-friendly environment. I must applaud the Patriots organization for banning the fan from future games. There is no place for that behavior.

Here are Fan Rights at games: Seat, Cheer, Boo, Be Entertained, Say anything you want as long as you would say it locked in a bathroom with the player, and you could not sue or press charges for whatever happens.

We saw where trash talking goes too far in the McGregor vs. Khabib fight. The moral of the story is, “Don’t let your mouth write checks that your ass can’t cash.”

5. This clip from “The Shop” got me thinking about my life.

When people have said to me, “OMG you are so articulate. I wasn’t expecting it.” I’m always confused about whether I’m offended and enraged as an athlete, black man, or both.

What do you think? Leave a comment or email your thoughts to immad@unafraidshow.com.

6. Does Tom Brady’s success after the age of 40 make you wish you had taken better care of yourself?

This question resonated in my bones. Most of us all look back on our twenties and early thirties and realize we could have treated our body a lot better. Imagine how much better you would feel if you took care of your body better when you were young. I’m 37 years old and just getting myself back together from an NFL career, and a lot of long nights with early mornings.

Tom Brady is 41 years old and still one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Some of his success and longevity is a result of taking very few hits compared to a typical football player. However, we cannot discount what his the role his nutrition and workout plans have played in prolonging his career.

7. Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman has replaced Matt Schaub as the pick-six GOAT. Nobody has ever done it worse.

Even people who hate Colin Kaepernick believe he should be in the NFL after seeing Nathan Peterman play. I have no clue how Bills coach Sean McDermott ever thought Peterman was good enough to bench Tyrod Taylor for. Decisions like that make me and all Bills fans question his judgment.

8. Who are these idiots who say Pat Mahomes is just a “hot” quarterback and will cool off and be an average quarterback?

This take is even too much for the Hot Takes House. Pat Mahomes is on earth right now. He lives on the street with all the other elite quarterbacks. When you have seen greatness, you don’t need 10 years of evidence to identify guys who are built out of the same stuff!

About halfway into LeBron James’ rookie season in the NBA, you knew he was different. When you saw Aaron Rodgers take over for Brett Favre, you knew he was special.

9. If Oregon wins out to finish 11-1, they will make the College Football Playoffs.

The Ducks are generating serious buzz on the national scene. After 7 weeks of football, they are within striking range of the top 4. Ultimately, the SEC will only get one team in because Alamaba will hand whoever the champion in the East is their second loss in the SEC Championship game. After that Oregon only needs any one of these things to happen: Notre Dame loses a game, Clemson lose late, ACC Champion be anyone but Clemson, eventual Big XII Champion lose one more game, or Big Ten champion finish with two loses.

See, it is pretty simple. I know the media will tell you something else, but Wrighster is never Wrong!

10. Washington Huskies fans… Now that you have had a chance to sleep. Do you want to talk about it?

Too soon?

Hope you enjoyed Hot Takes House. See you next Monday! Send us your hot takes to ImMad@unafraidshow.com, and they may make the next week post.

Which League has the Best Playoffs: MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL?

best playoffs

Best Part of Pro Sports

The playoffs are a special time in sports. Fans are on the edge of their seats, players are little more nervous, and the margin of error is as slim as possible. The chance to win a title is a dream that keeps you up at night. It’s the culmination of all the hard work done in the offseason and regular season.

Keeping that in mind, I pose this question. What sport has the best playoffs? For the purpose of this argument, we’re choosing from the four major sports – MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL.

Let the debate begin.

4. NBA

“Why do I even bother if I already know what’s going to happen? It’s going to be the Cavs vs. Warriors in the NBA finals?” – Average fan/basketball hater.

I love the NBA. Watching the best players in the world night in and night out is great television. We live in an era that has some of the best players ever to lace them up. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, James Harden, and the legend himself, LeBron James, are all in the prime of their career. Their basketball abilities are unfathomable.

However, there is some truth to the “we already know the outcome” statement. For an 82 game season, there isn’t too much drama that occurs in the playoffs. The Warriors represented the West in four straight seasons, and LeBron represented the East in eight (!!!) straight finals. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a few series make it to 7 games, but on the flip side, there are A LOT of blowouts. That’s not exactly must-see television. Take a look at last year’s playoffs.

Thankfully, the Celtics were competitive enough to force a few Game 7s. However, as great as LeBron James was last year, the Cavs had no chance in a 7 game series against the Warriors. There is not a lot of parity. Maybe this year will be different, and a new team will emerge as champion!

Just kidding. The Warriors will beat the _________ in 5 games…again.

3. NFL

What the NFL has on its side is a favorable length to the season. 16 games to a season may be easier to watch and keep track of than a 162 game baseball season. It also stresses the importance of the regular season. In the playoffs, the NFL has Divisional Weekend, which is arguably the best weekend in sports. Crazy and exciting things seem to always happen in the Divisional Round. Just look at last season. DIGGS! SIDELINE! TOUCHDOWN! UNBELIEVABLE!

However, that doesn’t always happen every year. Compared to baseball and hockey, the unpredictability factor is fairly low. In 14 of the last 15 seasons, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Ben Roethlisberger have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl. That’s great if you’re a fan of those quarterbacks, but not so much if you root for the other teams. Also, the first round is notorious for having a few poor games and mismatches. Last year was an outlier (although the Jaguars beat the Bills 10-3), but in 2016, the smallest losing deficit was 13. It truly depends on the year, but the small amount of playoff games backfires when the games are not exciting.

2. NHL

Do you want to talk about edge of your seat television? Look no further than the NHL playoffs. It is so hard to score a goal in hockey, so when it happens in the playoffs, it’s like winning the Super Bowl. The celebrations are epic. From the announcers to the fans in the arena to the millions watching at home, the atmosphere is electric. Players are diving in front of shots on every possession. Goalies are standing on their heads to make impossible saves. If you blink, you might miss the action.

By far, the NHL has the highest unpredictability factor out of the four major sports. Chalk doesn’t always win. Two years ago, the Nashville Predators made the Stanley Cup Final as an 8 seed. Two years ago, a 2 seed defeated a 3 seed in the finals. Three years ago, a 3 seed defeated a 2 seed in the finals. There’s no stopping a hot goalie in the playoffs. Did I also mention that the Stanley Cup is the best trophy in professional sports?

1. MLB

For me, nothing beats October baseball. After a long 162 game season, 10 teams duke it out over one month for a chance to win the World Series. Just like hockey, baseball has an exciting atmosphere. I was lucky enough to attend the Wild Card game last year between the Twins and Yankees, and I thought I was going deaf after the game. I’d argue that home field matters the most in baseball as opposed to the other major sports. In terms of format, it’s the only major sport to change the number of games in each round. The Division Series is best-of-five while the Championship Series and World Series are best-of-seven.

Baseball is truly a “never say die game” because 10 teams have come back from 0-2 deficits in the Division Series and one team has come back from a 0-3 deficit, with the latter never happening in the NBA. The length of the postseason is perfect. It takes a little over one month to crown a champion as opposed to the drawn-out NBA and NHL playoffs, which last two months. Plus, teams play on consecutive days, which doesn’t happen in the other major sports. Give me the eighth inning of a tie ball game with bases loaded, two outs over any playoff situation in the major sports.

Do you agree or disagree with the Best Playoffs: MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL rankings? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Hot Take House: Game 163, Brees GOAT, Jimbo Fisher Fail, CFB Worst Calls Ever

Game 163

These are hot takes and fun from the weekend. Send us your hot takes to ImMad@unafraidshow.com, and they may make the next week Hot Takes House. Do not read any further if you are easily offended. If you do, share with a friend.

Game #163

If the NFL can figure out the field playoff in 16 games, NHL and NBA in 82, why can’t the MLB figure it out in 162? How on earth do they play 162 games in the MLB, but still need one game tie-breakers to decide who wins the division? Game 163?

There are about 62 meaningless games in baseball. Teams and players are going through the motions. If those games were more important, we wouldn’t need a 163rd before playoffs.

NFL

1. All the garbage roughing the passer penalties are actually increasing the NFL fan experience. They add one more thing for you to talk smack talk about in your fantasy leagues, with your friends, and be outraged about. We love outrage.

2. My question is why won’t they just put flags on the QBs? They would rarely hit the ground then. Guys would be able to grab the flags, and that would be a sack. Guys are losing thousands of dollars just doing their job. Something has to change.- Richard Sherman

3. The Khalil Mack trade looks worse and worse every week. Mack is the runaway NFL defensive MVP at this point. The Raiders have no pass rush, and the two first rounders they get from the Bears will be 12-16 because the bears no longer suck.

4. Josh Allen is back being to who we thought he was. Don’t be mad Bills fans; facts are facts. Swing and a miss

5. #FitzMagic is dead, and VF Castro doesn’t like it. LOL

6. Drew Brees will need 201 passing yards next Monday night at home against Washington to become the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader. Why is he not in your top 10 quarterbacks of All-Time? I’ll wait…

7. Remember a long time ago last week when Tom Brady was old and the Patriots sucked? They are bullies for what they did to the Dolphins.

8. The Steelers will cave in on LeVeon Bell. James Connor is a good back, but he’s the FitzMagic of running backs. It was fun for a little while, but it’s a novelty.

9. Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper May Change the NFL by signing Eric Reid.

College Football

1. “Kelly Bryant has an opportunity to extend his football life & actually control his own future… and you think it’s selfish??? Give me a break.” – Joel Klatt

2. Holding on the running back? WTH!

 

3. The original worst football call of the day was Louisville up by 3 with 1:56 left in the 4th quarter on the Florida State 21 yard line calling a pass play instead of a run. The pass was intercepted, and Louisville lost in regulation.

4. The actual worst football call of the day belongs to James Franklin and Penn State. They had two timeouts on 4th and 5 to run this play:

5. Jimbo Fisher needs to be suspended. If the player were to do this to Jimbo, he would be finished in college football!  There is no reason any coach should be getting physical with a player to get his point across.

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