Why Le’Veon Bell Should Not Step Foot On The Field This Year

Le'Veon Bell

For Le’Veon Bell, if you’ve gone this far, why stop now?

The Le’Veon Bell situation has been all over the place, but for the first time in a few weeks, we know the direction it’s headed.

Upside down.

First of all, bravo to Le’Veon Bell for these tweets. I still have no idea how to write tweets upside down. The fact that he sent out serious messages upside down, which then made people turn their phones upside down, is a what I like to call a power move. Plus, it’s hysterical, so I have to respect the troll job he just pulled.

Back to football. After weeks of holding out, Bell finally has to make a decision on whether to show up for the remainder of the season or sit out the rest of it. Bell must sign his franchise tender by this Tuesday, Nov. 13, to retain his eligibility for this season. Bell is back in Pittsburgh, and many believe that signifies his return to the Steelers this week. Contrary to popular belief, Bell will not make a living playing basketball on LA Fitness courts.

There is a Loophole

As Lee Corso would say, not so fast my friend. It turns out that there’s a contract loophole that his agents just discovered about how Bell could be tagged again next year, but at an even higher number. First of all, if you’re Bell’s agents, HOW did you just discover this now with days remaining before his decision? This should’ve been known on Day 1 of his holdout. Anyway, here is what NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the other day.

“My understanding is the NFL management council and the NFL Players’ Association, the parties that negotiated the collective bargaining agreement, are on the same page that if Bell were tagged a third time, whether he shows up this season, whether he sits out the entire year, that tag would be at the higher quarterback number, not the lower number similar to what he would be due under the franchise tag this year,” Pelissero said on NFL Up To the Minute on Tuesday. “It would be extremely unlikely for the Steelers to put that higher third franchise tag on Le’Veon Bell. That would set up a scenario where they’d tag him a third time, the number is upwards of $25 million and Bell, if he wanted to, could walk in the day he’s tagged, sign it and be owed $25 million for one season.”

25 million for one year? Bell would sign that in a heartbeat! Will the Steelers put the tag on Bell next year? To quote Vince McMahon, “No chance in hell.” It’s clear that Bell is not in the plans for the future of the Steelers especially with how well James Conner has done as Bell’s replacement. (Conner is 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards.) If they could not figure out a long-term deal the previous two seasons, I don’t see how the Steelers would now have a change of heart and sign him to a long-term deal in the offseason. They are also not going to tag Bell again so they would let him walk into free agency, which is what Bell has wanted all along. However, the Steelers do want him to return this year. Why wouldn’t they? Bell makes the Steelers a better team, and when Bell is on the field, he’s a Top 3 running back in the NFL.

Should Le’Veon Bell play the rest of the season?

No. To reiterate what I said earlier, if you’ve gone this far, why stop now?

If this were about money, Bell would have signed his $14.5 million franchise tender back in the off-season. Right now, if Bell were to play, he’d make around half of that. Bell has already left $7 million on the table right now. I don’t think this is about money. This is about principle. Bell wants to be paid what he feels he’s worth, which is top running back money with a long-term deal. Bell has earned a big payday with his performance on the field the past five seasons, and for some, they will call Bell selfish because if he signed his franchise tender this year in the off-season, he would’ve made $29 million in two years. That’s more than life-changing money to the average person.

Make no mistake about it. If Bell becomes a free agent, he will get the deal he wants or at least something in the neighborhood. Todd Gurley reset the running back market with a 4 year, $60 million ($45 million guaranteed extension) a few months ago. Bell will want a contract similar to that and it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t earned it. I understand the crowd that argues you can find a stud running back in the later rounds of the draft. CC: Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, etc. That being said, Bell is no slouch. Bell had 1,291 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns last season to go along with 85 receptions, 655 yards, and 2 TDs. Bell is a special talent that is still in the prime of his career. A team with cap room will sign him this offseason. The Jets, Texans, and Colts will all be knocking on Bell’s doorstep once the season ends and one of those teams should give Bell what he wants.

Because of this, why should Bell risk playing this year? He’s saved his body a lot of hits so far. Why not save yourself from hits even more? Football is so unpredictable. Any hit you take could be your last. Look at Earl Thomas in Seattle. He held out for most of the off-season in hopes of signing a long-term contract. Thomas didn’t get that but came back days before the season started. A couple of weeks later, Thomas broke his foot and is out for the rest of the season in a contract year. That’s the risk Bell will take if he comes back and plays. It’s not like teams will be taking a chance on a player that is coming off of a serious injury. Teams who sign Bell will be getting a player who is 100% healthy, fresh, and in the prime of his career. Essentially, he redshirted this season. Bell will get paid one way or another this offseason. Why risk his health when he will get paid anyway?

Sitting out the rest of the season is not personal. It’s just business, and for Le’Veon Bell, it’s a good decision.

NCAA needs the Eddie Robinson Rule like NFL needed the Rooney Rule

Eddie Robinson Rule

Why isn’t there more diversity in D1 college athletics coaching staff?

An article was recently published that pointed out the continued lack of diversity in the coaching staff of college football.  College football is not the only sport with a diversity problem.  A systemic lack of diversity in regards to race and gender is a problem across all of college athletics.  Accordingly, scholars have suggested the implementation of a variation of the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” for college athletics.  The  “Rooney Rule” rule requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and general manager positions.[i] Specifically, scholars have suggested the implementation of the “Eddie Robinson Rule” for college athletics.  This rule would require colleges to interview at least one minority candidate for all head coaching and leadership positions.[ii]

Critics of this rule may argue that its implementation may not make much of a difference because the interview would only be a “token” interview.  Even if the interview is a “token” interview, it is still helpful because it gives the candidate exposure for when another opportunity arises. Moreover, diversifying the interview pool may help the hiring committee in ensuring that they have the best person for the job. The rule may force the hiring committee to consider candidates that they would not have interviewed otherwise.  In the process, the committee may find that the perceived least likely candidate is actually the best person for the job.

Universities Should be the Biggest Supporters of the “Eddie Robinson Rule”

Universities seek to provide their students with the best cultural and well-rounded experience possible.   Thus, they seek to have diversity in their student body, their course offerings, and professors. College athletics is an integral part of the collegiate experience.  Therefore, universities should strive for diversity in that arena too. Furthermore, college athletics provides its participants with a chance to attend college at some of the countries finest universities.

Accordingly, the “education” along with the experiences of playing a collegiate sport is supposed to place the athletes in a better position for success and make them well-rounded individuals.  However, colleges may be failing to provide college athletes with a well-rounded experience due to the racial disparity between players and coaches.  This is especially true with regards to D1 football and men’s basketball players and their coaching staff.

The majority of college football players are persons of color. At FBS schools, roughly fifty-five percent of the players are African-American, and sixty percent are persons of color.[iii] Only eleven percent of D1 college football head coaches are African-American.[iv] Assistant coaching positions and offensive and defensive coordinator positions also lack diversity.[v] Roughly thirteen percent of D1 men’s basketball head coaches are African-American, while roughly fifty-three percent of the players are African-American.[vi] Given the racial disparity between the players and the coaches, it is very unlikely that college athletes are truly receiving a well-rounded experience.  This is why universities should be the biggest proponents of the “Eddie Robinson Rule.”  While no university should be forced to have a certain number of minority coaches, the rule could help universities ensure a more well-rounded and cultural experience for their athletes.

The importance of College Athletes being Coached by a Diverse Staff

College athletes spend the bulk of their time dedicated to their sport.  It is almost as if their sport is a full-time job. Hence, many athletes spend over forty hours per week in a sport related activity.  Therefore, college athletes spend the majority of their time with their teammates and coaching staff.  Accordingly, it is safe to assume that their coaches are some of the most influential people in the athletes’ lives.  Due to the vast amount of influence that coaches have over their players, diversity in the coaching staff is of optimal importance.

Students should leave college feeling emboldened and like they can be successful in their future endeavors.  For that to happen, students must be able to look around their environment and see relatable examples of success. This means that students need to see representations of themselves in positions that they may one day aspire to be in. Studies have proven that the lack of diversity in teachers has a negative effect on students at the K-12 level.[vii] This is particularly true for African-American boys.[viii] Students benefit from having teachers who look like them. Does it not stand to reason that minority college athletes would benefit from having head coaches and coaching staff who look like them?

Unfortunately, some college athletes will have to realize that their dream of playing professionally may not come true.  Those athletes may aspire to work in the game they love.  Accordingly, some may aspire to be a coach, a trainer, an athletic director, or even a conference commissioner.  How are minority college athletes supposed to believe that they can achieve those goals if no one in those positions represents the demographic group of which they identify?

[i] Adam Stites, NFL’s Rooney Rule:  What is it and How Does it Work?, SBNation (Jan. 6, 2018, 8:30 AM),  https://www.sbnation.com/2018/1/6/16856550/rooney-rule-nfl-explained-how-it-works-coaches

[ii] Myron Medcalf, Proposed Eddie Robinson Rule Would Lead to More Chances for Minority Candidates, ESPN (Feb. 4, 2016), http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/14530019/national-association-coaching-equity-development-proposes-eddie-robinson-rule-requiring-interviews-minority-candidates.

[iii] Richard Lapchick, NCAA Leaders Get Poor Marks for Diverse Hiring Practices, ESPN (Oct. 3, 2018), http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/24881558/ncaa-continues-get-poor-grades-diversity-their-hiring-practices.

[iv] Paul Myerberg, Lack of Black Head Coaches in Major College Football is Still Crucial Issue for Universities, USA Today (Sept. 27, 2018, 7:07 AM), https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2018/09/27/black-head-coaches-fbs-adopt-rooney-rule-policy/1437792002/.

[v] Id.

[vi] Dr. Richard Lapchick, The 2017 Racial & Gender Report Card:  College Sport, (2018), https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/media/2017%20College%20Sport%20Racial%20and%20Gender%20Report%20Card.pdf.

[vii] Claire Cain Miller, Does Teacher Diversity Matter in Student Learning?, The New York Times (Sept. 10, 2018), https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/10/upshot/teacher-diversity-effect-students-learning.html.

[viiiId.

Michael Jordan vs LeBron James Teaser Commercial: Who Would Win?

Michael Jordan

On Sunday, basketball aficionados got a rare treat.  His Airness himself, Michael Jordan, graced the airwaves of millions of Americans during Sunday Night Football. He appeared in a short commercial spoof addressing the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) debate. Jordan shocked the sports world by simply acknowledging that there was a debate.  Fans were in awe when he stated that the debate involved two players who wore the same the numbers. Jaws dropped when he suggested that the players face each other to settle the debate.

True basketball fans immediately gushed at Jordan seemingly addressing the GOAT debate between him and LeBron James, who both donned the number 23. Not only did he address it, he seemingly suggested that the two compete to determine who was the best.   For a brief second, avid basketball fans alike were overwhelmed with excitement at the mere thought of His Airness squaring off against King James.  Then reality hit when the commercial revealed its true purpose, the promotion of this seasons biggest Sunday Night Football game. The showdown between the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rogers who both wear the number 12 will take place this Sunday. While the GOAT debate between Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers is a worthy one, the focus here is on the greatest showdown basketball fans will never get to see.

LeBron James or Michael Jordan

LeBron James emerged on the NBA scene in 2003 at only 18 years old. He immediately became a dominant force in the NBA.  Many have speculated where he would fall in the line of NBA greatness.  Would LeBron James overthrow Michael Jordan as the Greatest Player of All Time?  The jury is still out on this issue, namely because James is still playing and has given no indication that he intends to stop anytime soon.  In fact, James signed a 4-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to start his 16th season in the NBA.

However, the fact that James is still writing his NBA story does not stop basketball fans from debating who is better between him and Jordan. How do the two compare?  This is a simple, quick comparison that is sufficient for fantasizing about a game between King James and His Airness, not a full detailed stat for stat comparison.

In one corner, there is LeBron James who opted out of college and went straight to the NBA draft.  James was the number one pick in the first round of the draft. In the other corner, there is Michael Jordan an NCAA Champion and number three draft pick in the first round. King James has been to the last eight NBA finals and has won three.  His Airness made six NBA Finals appearances and won all six times.  James has three NBA Finals MVP awards to Jordans six. Additionally, James has four league MVP awards to Jordan’s five.  However, a showdown between two of the greatest to ever touch a basketball would put all of these stats comparisons to rest.

What would a Game Between King James and His Airness Look Like?

Although King James replied via Twitter that he was ready for a face-off, basketball fans will unfortunately never get to see such a show.

However, that unfortunate reality does not stop one from dreaming about what such a showdown would look like. Would the LeBron James who scored 51 points in the 2018 NBA finals show up to face the Michael Jordan who scored 63 points in a playoff game against the Boston Celtics? A game between James and Jordan would certainly be one for the record books.  The game would be riddled with first place slam dunk contest quality dunks.  It may even resemble some components of an NBA All-Star Weekend three-point contest (although Jordan may have a slight advantage from that aspect). The game would surely be a close one, with both players putting on a clinic riddled with crossovers and other spectacular moves that would be discussed for generations.

However, the looming question is who would emerge as the victor?  The outcome of the game would likely come down to the last play. Would His Airness pull up and clinch the game-winning shot as he did in game six against the Utah Jazz? Or would King James come from behind with the block as he did in game seven against the Golden State Warriors?  Unfortunately, the basketball world will never know, but what fun it is to imagine.

Hot Takes House 6: Hue Jackson, Oklahoma Football, World Series, Cavs Stink

Hot Takes House 6

The Hot Takes House 6 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.

The HTH now has the “Winner of the Weekend” at the bottom.

Send us your hot takes to ImMad@unafraidshow.com, and they may make the next week post.

FUN FACT: Nearly 3% of the ice in Antarctic Glaciers is penguin urine.

NFL

1. The Browns stuck with Hugh Jackson for two seasons of 1 win football, but fire him at 2-5-1. How does that make sense?

They would be 4-4 if not for some horrendous officiating. The Browns had a culture of losing. That does not change overnight. The team is much improved, but now ownership loses patience? Did the fans expect a team who has won 1 game in the past two seasons to instantly figure out how to win games?

The Browns offense has struggled. That means you replace the offensive coordinator mid-season, not the head coach that all the players love. You cannot get another head coach mid-season. Even if you could, he can’t install a system, gameplan,  change the culture to his own during the season.

Another botched move by the Cleveland Browns.

2. FitzMagic is back. The Buccaneers have a huge math problem.

Football math is different than real life math. 1+1=2 in math and more is usually better than less. However, in football two quarterbacks are not better than one. Shuffling quarterbacks around only confuses the team, causes locker room division, and prevents winning.

We thought FitzMagic was dead, but thanks to Jameis Winston’s four interceptions last week he rises from the ashes. Neither option is good for the Buccaneers. Ryan Fitzpatrick only plays well when he is not named the starting quarterback. When his job is in jeopardy, he plays extremely well. And Jameis Winston has just not lived up to the hype that surrounded him in college and after his rookie year.

The moral of the story is that the Bucs season is finished and they need to plan for their future at quarterback.

3. How is the NFL going to figure out the possible 4-way tie for worst team in the NFL?

The Giants, Raiders, 49ers, and Cardinals are all awful. It is mathematically possible for all of them to finish with the with a tie for the worst record in the NFL. There should be a Super Bowl for the worst teams in the NFL called the Toilet Bowl. The worst team in the league should be determined on the field, and not with tiebreakers.

Imagine a world where during Pro Bowl weekend, the two worst teams played and the winner got the #1 pick. You would have great television ratings and interest.

The good news for the league is that even though the teams are bad, they still put up a good fight for tv ratings.

4. Seahawks performed the greatest team touchdown celebrations of all time.

College Football

5. If I’m Lincoln Riley, there is no way I leave Oklahoma and take the Job. He can make way more money as a college head coach, has the opportunity to be a legend, and NFL longevity is rare. He can coach at Oklahoma for 20+ years with the way he is recruiting.

There is value in stability. Most coaches don’t learn that until they have job hopped one too many times. A lot of college coaches have NFL dreams, but more and more of them are starting to realize the benefit of running a successful college program. Riley will make much more money being the coach at Oklahoma. He won’t have to move his family around, and he will have longevity.

Lincoln Riley can stay at Oklahoma, which is a top 5 college football job and be a legend. Coaching legends are made in college, not the NFL. Think about how many legendary college coaches you can casually name compared to NFL coaches. College football has, Bear Bryant, Pop Warner, Woody Hayes, Eddie Robinson, Nick Saban, Knute Rockne, Bobby Bowden, Chip Kelly, David Shaw, Dabo Swinney and 20+ more. The NFL has Lombardi, Belichick, Parcells, Noll, and Landry; then you start to slow down and use Google.

It would be a terrible decision to leave Oklahoma where he can compete for National Championships every year for the Cleveland Browns who have won three games in the last three season. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

6. I love the arrogance of Alabama fans who believe they should be unquestionably the #1 team in any poll despite planing NOBODY.

Up to this point, Alabama has only played one team within the top 40 teams in college football. I admit Bama’s dominance has been unprecedented, but their schedule has been soft. They get their first real test this week as they head to Baton Rouge to play LSU. I have had them #1 in the Unafraid Show College Football Top 10 until this past week. Clemson has displayed the exact dominance against better competition over the last few weeks.

I will admit that if Alabama will be returned to the #1 spot if they take care of business this weekend. But if they do happen to lose, I suspect Bama fans would still expect them to be #1.

7. Can Washington State win out? If they do, can they make the College Football Playoffs?

Since the beginning of the season, I have said Washington State was on the verge of a special season. I am hesitant to believe they will finish the last four games without a hiccup. They play Cal, Colorado, Arizona, and Washington. The good news is three of the four games are in Pullman. However, if they do they can absolutely make the College Football Playoffs.

Assuming Alabama and Clemson win out, Wazzu would need Notre Dame, Oklahoma, or the Big Ten Winner to lose one game. If any of those things happen, the Cougars will be a lock for the College Football Playoffs.

8. Which four teams will make the College Football Playoffs after week 10?

Right now, I have the four playoff teams as Clemson, Alabama, Notre Dame, and LSU. However, I believe the four best teams are Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Notre Dame.

The eye test leads me to believe Oklahoma is the second best team in the country. They have the best offense in the country. And if Oklahoma can play even a little defense, they will give Alabama fits. But, you get the rankings that you earn.

MLB

9. David Price got robbed out of the MVP.

He started two games and got two wins in a five-game series on short rest and came out of the bullpen in two other games. We have NEVER seen a starting pitcher pitch in four consecutive playoff games. And we didn’t even talk about the fact that Price did it in a five-day space. He only had one rest day.

At least David Price finally shut up all the naysayers who have talked trash about his postseason play throughout his career.

10.  offense was awful in the World Series and has been awful since the NLCS. They got virtually no production from either catcher, Bellinger, Hernandez, Machado, and Taylor. Did I miss anyone?

To call the Dodgers offense anemic during the world series would be an understatement. I believe in the quote that says, “A man’s strengths flow from the same well as his weaknesses.” This quote applied to the Dodgers. The lived by the homerun swing to win their 6th straight NL West title, and they died by the homerun swing in the World Series.

The list of Dodgers hitters who hit well during the world series is David Freese, Puig with a small side of Justin Turner. As a Dodgers fan, it was so frustrating to see the number of popups and easy flyballs. As good as this team is, I am unsure if homerun ball can win a World Series.

At this point, Dodgers fans would be much happier with homegrown Corey Seager at SS than paying Machado $300 mill.

11. Dave Roberts might as well let the computer manage the games.

I think Dave Roberts is a good manager until the playoffs. Data and analytics are an important part of sports. Roberts relies on the computers and the baseball “book” way too much. Managers need to use analytics to make their lineups and set their defense. However, it is always important to remember that analytics are the predicted outcomes of hundreds or thousands of scenarios. The reality is analytics are always right in the long term. But, in the short term of one playoff series, the numbers can skew. It is extremely important for managers to use intuition, feel, momentum, and gut feelings to win playoff games.

Dave Roberts took Rich Hill out too early in the 2017 and 2018 World Series. He also put Madsen in three times for relief pitching during the World Series. Each of those times he got beat up. Everyone in the stands and at home watching on television knew what was going to happen the second and third time.

12. The Boston Red Sox had to win the World Series or their season was a complete failure.

The Red Sox had 108 wins, the best hitting team in baseball, set the single-season strikeout record for pitching and were healthy. Let’s not forget they had the highest payroll in all of baseball. Anything besides a World Series would have been an abject failure. You only get so many opportunities at championships. If Boston lost the series, this team would have been the most disappointing team in baseball history.

NBA

13. Cleveland Cavaliers proved they are the worst run franchise in sports when they fired Tyronn Lue 11 days into the season.

Bad companies run off their best talent (LeBron), let successful leaders leave (Griffin), are constantly over budget/salary yet understaffed (talented roster). The Cavs have hit the trifecta.

How on earth did you believe Ty Lue was good enough to keep as your coach when you have a championship caliber team, but somehow not good enough to coach your non-playoff roster? You have to assume that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert thinks Lue is a bad coach if he fired him 11 games into the season. So my question is, why would you let a bad coach lead your championship level team. It makes no sense and only proves the incompetence on Dan Gilbert as an NBA owner.

Cavs firing Ty Lue makes me believe Gilbert believes the same nonsense Tristan Thompson said: ‘ they should be the favored in the East. Lue was dealing with maybe the worst roster in the league and figuring out how to play without one of the best players of all time on his team.

Lue is 128-83 in his head coaching career and 41-20 in the playoffs. He has three trips to the Finals, an NBA title. He has multiple Game 7 wins. One on the road in the ECF & a Game 7 on the road in the NBA Finals.

WINNER OF THE WEEKEND

The Warriors response to Fergie’s ex-husband Josh Duhamel saying Draymond Green should apologize to Fergie for laughing at her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was Classic.

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Don’t Let the Eric Reid and Malcolm Jenkins Rift “Co-opt” the Movement

Malcolm Jenkins

If there is one thing that social justice movements have proved, it is that there are multiple ways to successfully effectuate change.   The Civil Rights Movement is certainly proof of this. Everyone contributed something that was instrumental to the betterment of the movement. Multiple groups and individuals emerged to push the movement forward each in their own unique way.  The same can be said of the contributions that North Carolina Panthers’ (Panthers) safety Eric Reid and Philadelphia Eagles’ (Eagles) safety Malcolm Jenkins have made to the movement started by Colin Kaepernick in 2016. While they differ in approach, each has made invaluable contributions.

However, on Sunday their contributions were overshadowed.  The attention was turned away from their contributions and was diverted to the escalating rift between Reid and Jenkins.  Immediately following the pre-game coin toss, Reid approached Jenkins, and the two had an unpleasant exchange.

This rift is an unfortunate distraction from the greater purpose of the movement. In the midst of this feud, people may lose sight of the issues that Kaepernick sacrificed his career to bring light to. Kaepernick started the movement to shed light on the injustices of minority communities and to offer solutions to combat police brutality. It is important to make sure that this feud does not overshadow the purpose of the movement.

What Led to the Dispute between Eric Reid and Malcolm Jenkins on Sunday?

It would have been better for their differences to be worked out in private and for the protesting players to present a united front. Unfortunately, that is not the case.  The rift between Reid and Jenkins is no secret.  It stems from Colin Kaepernick’s protest and the establishment of the Players Coalition.  In 2016, Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and lost his job as a result.   Eric Reid was the first to join Kaepernick in the protest. Reid appeared to suffer the same fate as Kaepernick until the Panthers signed him in late September.

Other players eventually joined the protest.  Among those to join was Malcolm Jenkins, who protested by raising his fist during the national anthem. Jenkins along with Anquan Boldin founded the Players Coalition (Coalition) in 2017 to combat social justice issues and racial inequality.

Initially, Reid was a member of the Coalition, and he and Jenkins stood together in their protest. Unfortunately, their union ended when Reid left the organization. Reid left due to a difference of opinion on what should be the Coalition’s primary focus and who should lead the organization.  Reid wanted one of the Coalition’s goals to be getting Kaepernick back into the league. However, other members did not think Kaepernick’s employment should be a primary goal.  With Jenkins at the helm, the Coalition struck a deal with the NFL without ever putting the Kaepernick issue on the table.  After making the deal, Jenkins stated that he would no longer protest.  After that, Reid left the Coalition.  On Sunday after the game, Reid called Jenkins a “sell-out” and accused him of “co-opting” the movement.

The Feud Cannot Takeaway From the Movement

The public division amongst the protesting players puts the purpose of the movement at risk of getting lost. It is easy for dissenters of the movement to focus on the spectacle and use it to discredit the movement.  The optics of the spectacle affirms what many dissenters think, which is that the movement is disorganized and fueled by protestors who cannot even agree amongst themselves. While this is not true, this is exactly the type of ammunition that opponents of the movement will use to discredit it.

Furthermore, the optics on Sunday affirms the contentions that NFL games are not the time or place for protesting because it distracts from the game.  After Reid and Jenkins’ exchange, it is hard to argue that the protest does not distract from the game.  Therefore, the feud between Reid and Jenkins could “co-opt” the movement.

What Reid and Jenkins Could do Differently

To keep that from happening, the protesting players need to demonstrate unity.  They need to remind the public of the issues that they are fighting for. Although Reid and Jenkins have different approaches, they are both working for the betterment of minority communities.  They both want to see improved police relations in minority communities. Both Reid and Jenkins have taken steps to move the movement forward and effectuate real change. This is what Reid and Jenkins need to keep in the headlines instead of their rift.

Jenkins has already taken a step in that direction. On Wednesday, Jenkins reminded everyone that Kaepernick started the movement and that it cost him his career.  He also stated that Kaepernick should have a job in the NFL.  While this is a step in the right direction, all protesting players need to make sure their actions do not distract from the greater purpose of the movement.

Hot Takes House 5: College Football, NFL, Rae Carruth, Rondo, CP3 Fight, Pac-12

Hot Takes House 5

The Hot Takes House 5 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.

Hope you enjoy Hot Takes House 5. See you next Monday! Send us your hot takes to ImMad@unafraidshow.com, and they may make the next week post.

FUN FACT: Movie trailers were originally shown after movies, which is why they were called “trailers.” (Only problem ways people wouldn’t stay to see them)

1. Rule #1 Don’t let your mouth write checks your ass can’t cash.

My dad used to say that all the time. It has proved to be sage advice in my life. This guy clearly didn’t get the memo!

2. I was encouraged about the toughness of NBA players after the Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, and Brandon Ingram Fight.

For over a decade NBA players would have dustups but nobody ever really wanted to fight. Guy just wanted to make people believe they would fight even when they wouldn’t. Chris Paul, Rondo, and Ingram brought back the NBA of old back to the court.

We never want to see fighting in the games. However, some things are worthy of a fight. Under no circumstances can you spit on somebody and not expect to get not to get in a fight. I never condone my sons fighting as an early measure of problem-solving. However, if somebody spits in my kid’s face, he has dad’s blessing to whoop his ass! And if my son got spit on and did nothing, he and I have a serious problem.

3. One of the most humbling things in sports is the “Walk of Shame” quarterbacks have to take back to the sideline after throwing a pick 6.

The quarterback knows everyone in the stadium and on national television is looking at him with disgust. The networks leave the camera on them the entire walk to the sideline. It’s like wathcing somebody walk home at 10am on Sunday morning in their Saturday night party outfit. Nobody on the team even looks or talks to the quarterback as he humbly passes by. He can just feel all the judgment upon him. Everyone is thinking, “You idiot. You just threw the game away.” There is some truth to this because elite quarterbacks do throw picks but rarely throw pick 6’s.

Every quarterback throws interceptions. However, there is a big difference between throwing an interception and throwing a pick that results in points for the other team.

Imagine the thoughts that go through Peterman, Bortles, Carr, and Keenum’s mind when they walk to the sideline. They have to wonder how many more times this can happen before they are benched.

The only “walk of shame that could rival a quarterback is a kicker who misses a chip shot or extra point to lose the game.

*Clears throat Washington Huskies vs. Oregon, Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints.

4. Are the Jacksonville Jaguars delusional or self-sabotaging by continuing to act like Blake Bortles is going to get better?

The Jaguars have to give up hope that Blake Bortles is going to get better. He is the only thing standing between the Jaguars and a trip to the Super Bowl. Bortles lost another pair of fumbles Sunday. He has 26 games since the start of 2014 committing multiple turnovers, the most such games by any player in the NFL in that time. Even when he’s not throwing picks of fumbling, he struggles with accuracy.

Unbelievably, the team is not even considering a trade for a quarterback.

The Jaguars sat out the quarterback derby this offseason and extended Blake Bortles instead of going after Kirk Cousins or Alex Smith. They also could have traded for Teddy Bridgewater just like the Saints did.

5. The New York Giants made the same mistake the Jaguars did when they drafted Saquon Barkley instead of a quarterback.

The Jaguars passed on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson when they drafted Leonard Fournette. Now, they are in an untenable position. The New York Giants could have drafted, Darnold, Rosen, or any number of other quarterbacks to secure their future. Instead, they took a great running back, and can’t win football games.

The reality is that no matter how a running back is he does not impact winning and losing nearly as much as a quarterback. Look at how Todd Gurley’s season was when Jared Goff was bad as a rookie. The team lost, and Gurley’s stats were underwhelming. Now, Goff is playing well; the team is 6-0 and Gurley is an MVP candidate.

6. “This year’s Chiefs home playoff loss is going to be glorious. They are so talented and fun… but we all know how this ends.” -Doug Gottlieb

This take is hot as it comes, but there is no evidence in history to refute it. I love watching the Chiefs play. Mahomes is the most exciting player in the NFL. The combination of Mahones, Hill, and Hunt make the most explosive team in the league.

At this point, we know how good the Chiefs are in the regular season. We also know that the franchise has had a history of underachieving in the playoffs. They have only won one playoff game since 1993.

Unless Kansas City has turned over a new leaf, we will be seeing Tom Brady and the Patriots representing the AFC in the Super Bowl again.

7. When it comes to the College Football Playoffs, winning your conference and playing a good schedule is only relevant to non-SEC teams.

Danny White, Athletic director at UCF, has some thoughts on the College Football Playoff. He’s not wrong. The media creates a narrative that the committee just so happens to follow. Winning your conference and playing a good schedule is only relevant to non-SEC teams. The SEC has not been dominating college football. Alabama has been dominating everyone. They should charge the rest of the conference rent for how good they make the rest of them look.

The SEC gets pumped up as being so tough, but the reality is their non-conference schedules are extremely soft, and they only play eight conference games. The imbalance in college football schedules has been exploited by teams. Fans are the real losers in college football because there are only 12 regular season games, and so many are wasted on sub-par competition.

8. The parity in the PAC-12 North for 2018 is crazy. 4 of the 20 best teams in the country are in one division: Oregon, Washington, Washington State, and Stanford.

I challenge you to find a tougher division in college football. There is not one. Alabama looks unbeatable, but we have no idea how good Florida, Kentucky, and UGA are. The Big Ten has Michigan, Iowa, and Ohio State that look like top teams, but they don’t all play each other. Clemson is the lone top-tier ACC team. The Big XII has an impressive Oklahoma and Texas, but it drops off from there.

9. If Clay Helton gets fired, will coaches be lining up to leave their jobs to take the USC head coaching job? Is USC still a Top-5  job?

The last time the USC head coaching job was vacant coaches weren’t lining up to leave their current jobs to head to USC. The Trojans are a college football blue-blood, so they always have the potential to reemerge as a consistent top 5 team. The thing that further complicates the question is USC’s recruiting. The Trojan’s consistently land 5* recruits every year no matter the coach or their record. So why haven’t coaches shown an eagerness to leave their current jobs to coach at USC?

I don’t think USC is still a top 5 job, but it is a top 5 college football blue-blood. Right now, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Clemson, Georgia, and Michigan all seem like more desirable locations.

10. I saw Alabama do the most bush league thing I have ever seen a Nick Saban led team do. They gave Butch Jones a Gatorade bath after they beat the terrible Tennessee Vols.

Alabama came into the game favored by almost 30 points. There was nothing special or notable about the win. Before Tennessee beat Auburn in week 7, they hadn’t won an SEC game since Nov. 19, 2016. Is that really worth a Gatorade bath? It seems pretty pathetic considering Butch Jones built the current Tennessee team that is so bad right now.

What was there to celebrate for Alabama? Was it vindication for Jones? If so, how? Butch Jones was not treated unfairly or fired without cause from Tennessee. The program was in shambles, and the once proud Vols program is one of the worst in the SEC.

If I were Jones, I would have been extremely bothered by the sympathy Gatorade bath.

11. Rae Carruth is now out of jail after serving nearly 20 years surrounding the murder of the woman who was pregnant with his child, Rae Carruth Jr.

Charlotte paper has had a seven-day mega-article on the entire case. The prosecution offered all four defendants a plea deal down to 2nd-degree murder. The trigger-man, Van Bret Watkins took the deal. The jury had an issue with charging Rae with 1st when the guy who actually shot the gun was only going to get 2nd. Doesn’t make much sense to me, but that was their thinking per the article.

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Jalen Ramsey Finally Has Nothing To Say About Anything

Jalen Ramsey

For the first time in a while, Jalen Ramsey is silent.

After the Jaguars suffered an embarrassing 40-7 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, Ramsey was silent at his locker, mumbling short phrases and one-word answers to reporters. This is a far cry from the trash talking loudmouth that fans have come to love and hate.

The loss to the Cowboys marked the second straight game where the vaunted Jaguars defense allowed more than 30 points (70 points in 2 games). Once thought of as an AFC contender, the Jaguars have now lost 3 out of 4 games to fall to 3-3. Both the offense and defense have hit a standstill. Ramsey had another chance to speak Thursday in front of the media, and once again, Ramsey deflected most of the questions while giving short, simple answers.

Remember that this is the same Jalen Ramsey who put the rest of the NFL on notice with his famous GQ interview where he called Josh Allen “trash” and called Matt Ryan, “overrated.” It seems that the losing streak has taken a hit on the confidence level of the Jaguars including Ramsey.

Silence is Not Golden

I am not going to sit here and start an “Old man yells at cloud” debate. I don’t mind Ramsey’s trash-talking whatsoever. In fact, I believe it’s great for the game and creates an exciting narrative for the NFL. If a player has to chirp to get an edge and it leads to success on the field, I’m all for it. In a time where we beg athletes to be more open and more forthcoming, Ramsey’s brutal honesty is somewhat refreshing. His answers in that article were not staged or planned. They were off the cuff, which is something I appreciate even if I don’t agree with all of his beliefs.

That being said, if you are going to talk when times are good, you must be able to face the music when times are bad. If you are going to chirp and take shots at other players, you can’t go quiet when your team is struggling. I’m not suggesting that Ramsey has to continue to chirp when losing because if he did that, then it would be a case of sour grapes. However, giving one-word answers and acting standoffish when the media asks fair questions after losses is unacceptable. This is the time to face the music. There is no definitive “right way” to handle a loss. You can be pissed off after a loss. You can be upset and angry with yourself. However, I can tell you that what Ramsey has done is not an acceptable way to handle the media as a professional.

Let’s see if a win on Sunday marks the return of the talkative Ramsey.

Check out the NFL 5 Best and 5 Worst Teams for Week 7.

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

NFL Teams Week Seven

Five Up Five Down

Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Seven 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 seven is hours away from kicking off in the Mile High City. What did we learn from Week 6? Tom Brady has nimble feet, Aaron Rodgers is the comeback kid, Todd Gurley is the best running back on the planet, and the Ravens have just sacked Marcus Mariota yet again.

5 UP:  The 5 Best NFL Teams Week Seven

1. LOS ANGELES RAMS (6-0) Last Week:  2nd

The Rams are proving to be the best team in the NFL for many reasons. One of those reasons is they find ways to win games that they don’t play in very well. One guy who was dominant was Todd Gurley, who was again the best running back on planet setting career highs (208 yards 2 TD’s 7.4 Avg.) as he ran up and all over the Denver Broncos. He covered up for Jared Goff who was sacked five times and only completed 50% of his passes and threw an ugly interception. It marks the 2nd straight week of bad play from Jared after his fantastic performance against the Vikings. Goff has still put up impressive numbers on the year (1,928 Yards 12 TD’s 5 INT 110.9 Ratings) but with Gurley running this well, his numbers might decrease anyways. The Rams WR core has been beaten up recently with Copper Kupp out this week which has not helped Jared either.

The defense has played big in moments when they’ve had to. Consistency has been an issue all year long, and Wade Phillips is working on it. The Rams will finish up a long three-game road trip in San Francisco. They are 10.5 point favorites against the (1-5) 49ers who have played better than their record would indicate. The two rivals have met 137 times with the 49ers winning 69 of those contests.

2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-1) Last Week: 1st

If you could ever build a case that you’ve won after losing, the Chiefs proved that this week. Patrick Mahomes II legacy is still growing when he nearly outdueled the GOAT. He threw for 352 yards and 4 TD’s (1,865 yards 18 TD’s 4 INT’s 112.2 Rating) this kid is beyond exceptional!  Another positive for the Chiefs in the 43-40 loss was the running game appeared in the form of Kareem Hunt (10 carries 80 Yards 8 AVG). If the Chiefs can balance the attack and eat up more time on the clock, they will win more close games. They gave Tom Brady too much time to beat them on Sunday night.

A high-powered offense again picked apart the Kansas City Chiefs defense. I realize the Chiefs are usually tough on 3rd down conversions (allowed over 50% to the Pats on Sunday night) but when you give up nearly 500 yards that will end up being a losing formula. The challenges keep coming for KC who will welcome a good Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) team to town. Chiefs are 6 point favorites, but Cincy leads the all-time series 15-13. Though they moved one spot down our list of Five Up, the Chiefs proved even in a loss they are a team who will contend for the top spot thanks to the most exciting player in the NFL.

3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-1) Last Week: 4th

The Saints enjoyed the Bye Week and gained a spot in our 5 Up category thanks to a Bengals loss in Pittsburgh. This week, Drew Brees and company will have to deal with a red-hot defense that just racked up 11 sacks last week. New Orleans’ schedule is brutal coming up with three of the next four crucial games on the road against (@Ravens, @Vikings, Rams, @Bengals). We will learn a lot about the Saints Super Bowl chances in the next month. Drew Brees, when its all said and done, would like to be #1 on the top 10 quarterbacks list. Ravens have dominated the series five games to one and are two-point favorites at home.

4. CINCINNATI BENGALS (4-2) Last Week: 3rd

So the Bengals lost to the Steelers last week, what else is new? They played very well but lost on a late Antonio Brown touchdown. I am merciful; they only dropped one spot in our rankings. The defense let down the Bengals against Pittsburgh. Three Steelers had over 100 yards by run and pass, which is not a good sign for Marvin Lewis team. The Bengals have a lot of young talent and Tyler Boyd is starting to become a household name.

The offense was not without blame as well. Andy Dalton was very inconsistent and wound up with just 229 yards through the air. Joe Mixon was, in my opinion, not used enough (11 carries for 64 Yards). If the Bengals don’t want to slide out of the top five, they will need to establish the run and make Joe Mixon part of a ball attack against Kansas City this weekend.

5. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-2) Last Week: Unranked

Well, it was just a matter of time before the Patriots were going to climb into the rankings. It was not an easy decision because the Chargers and Ravens are not far behind the Patriots. They have some serious questions on the defensive side of the ball. If there is any coach who can get all the questions answered and the mess cleaned up, it’s Bill Belichick. Check back in November and that defense will probably be corrected as it is every year.

When you have Tom Brady as your QB, it covers up a lot of weaknesses. He has some old weapons back in Edelman and some new ones to play with in Josh Gordon. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it looks like Brady is getting even better. What’s in that TB 12? What is also very appealing for the Patriots is the fact rookie running back Sony Michel is looking like a stud. The Patriots will travel to the Windy City to challenge the Chicago Bears (3-2). An aspect to watch is how the Pats will block Khalil Mack. New England is two-point favorites for week seven and leads the all-time series between the two teams, 9-4. The Biggest game between these two, of course, was Super Bowl 20 when the Bears trounced New England 46-10.

Closing in the top 5 this week:

Baltimore Ravens (4-2), LA Chargers (4-2), Miami Dolphins (4-2)

5 DOWN: The 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six

28. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (1-5) Last Week: Unranked

The start of the 2018-2019 season has not been kind to the Colts. It looks like Andrew Luck is still trying to find his consistency, but he has very little to work with offensively. Indy is 30th running the ball which puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the shoulders of the franchise Quarterback (1,792 yards, 16 TD’s 8 INTS 88,8 Rating). Luck has been under duress as well, already being sacked 19 times so far this year.

The Colts defense has not offered any big stops when the team needs it most. They give up a lot of yards on the ground and provide no pass rush to create sacks (10 as a team) and turnovers. The perfect get well card is coming to town as the equally inept Buffalo Bills (2-4) enter Lucas Oil Field. The Colts are favored by seven and a half points, but the Bills lead the series 37-31-1.

29. N.Y. GIANTS (1-5) Last Week: 29th

The Giants are a complete disaster right now as week seven begins. After playing better in Carolina, they came home in a must-win versus the Eagles and everyone other than Saqoun Barkley played horribly.  The offensive line did an excellent job run blocking, but the Eagles pushed them aside and terrorized Eli Manning all night. The Odel Beckham Jr. soap opera is another example of blaming the teams best player when he is not the issue. Eli Manning, as great as he has been in his career, looks like a washed-up gunslinger who is out of bullets. The Giants got a great player in Barkley but the decision to give Manning one more year seems like a disaster.

The defense has been equally inept. Eli Apple seems to be fighting everyone, and the tackling has been poor. Pat Shurmur has a lot of work on his hands, and one must wonder if he doesn’t hear the clock tick on his job. He deserves patience but the New York fan base has none. If the team continues to have terrible performances like against the Eagles last Thursday night, Pat might be a coordinator somewhere else soon. The Giants will be in Atlanta on Monday night. There is a chance to put up big numbers against a struggling Falcons defense. The Falcons (2-4) are four and a half favorites against the G-men at home, and the series is even at 12 games apiece.

30. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-5) Last Week: 30th

The Cards are improving in some areas, but surprisingly it was the defense that let them down in Minneapolis. Somehow the Cards let the inept running game of the Vikings get 195 yards on the ground. They did create another turnover for a score. However, giving up 27 points on the road with a rookie quarterback is a recipe for a loss. David Johnson continues to be average but one bright spot is the play of Christian Kirk who was noticeable getting open against a stingy Vikings defense (6 catches for 77 yards).

The Cardinals will be in Denver tonight to face the (2-4) Broncos. This might be the worst matchup for the Cardinals historically who have lost eight of the ten matchups with one ending in a tie. This will be another learning curve for Josh Rosen (626 Yards 55.6 % 2 TD’S) who hasn’t played that bad after relieving Sam Bradford of the starting duties.

31. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (1-5) Last Week: 32nd

Did the 49ers lose in heartbreak fashion on Monday night? Yes, they did. Like many teams, the failure to stop Aaron Rodgers late in a game lead to a loss at Lambeau Field. The team played hard, and a lot of positives come out of this loss, which is why they moved up the rankings. No team in the NFL has been hit with so many injuries. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan deserves credit because his team comes to compete every week.

C.J. Beathard to his credit has played well (892 yards 6 TD’s 5 INTs 87.3 Rating) since coming in for injured Jimmy Garoppolo. How long will this last, nobody knows? The issue with the 49ers is the defense. It’s frustrating because they get pressure and sacks but the secondary has been awful. Yes, this does include a past his prime Richard Sherman. Next up for the 49ers  for week seven, is the best team in football, the Los Angeles Rams (6-0). When it pours downhill, you are 1-5, the Rams are next of course.

32. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-5) Last Week: 31st

Well, Jon Gruden said his team is not tanking. That’s great.  Gruden grinders getting up at 4 am to put together a dated offensive system. I like Coach a lot.   He is a stand-up guy, but this team is brutal and the worst in the NFL. His offensive gameplan is old, and the team is somehow worse than it was last year. Getting embarrassed across the pond in London 27-3 to a beleaguered Seahawks team is disgusting. I’ve said this all along, Derek Carr looks like a lost soul. Is he fixable? Well, that is what Jon Gruden is supposed to do. He looks like he has regressed from last year. If you listen to talk radio, the marriage of Gruden and the fans are in a state of divorce proceedings.

As far as the defense, they are minus 66 point differential – the worst in the league. It’s ugly, and the lack of depth is the fault of the entire organization. Hey, Khalil Mack says hi from Chicago. The good news for the Raiders is that they cannot lose this weekend. Oakland is enjoying a Bye week. When they get back on October 28th, the equally inept Colts will be in town. It will be a chance for the Silver and Black to get a win.

Teams that are knocking on futilities door:

Buffalo Bills (2-4), Denver Broncos (2-4), Atlanta Falcons (2-4)

Come back next Thursday for Five Up Five Down: The five best NFL Teams and the five worst NFL Teams for Week 8.

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.

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

5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six

Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six is where we rank the five best and five worst teams in the NFL. Anybody can rank the best teams. It takes real skill to sort through the mess that is the bottom of the league.

Is it week six already? What did we learn from Week 5? The Titans aren’t as good as their record said they were. The Rams were a bit lucky. Don’t ever fully trust a kicker, even if he’s been great for a decade. Patrick Mahomes II is human. The roughing the passer rule is as confusing as ever, ask Eagles’ fans this week.

5 UP:  The 5 Best 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six

1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-0) Last Week: 2nd

We found out that Patrick Mahomes II is human after he threw two interceptions. He still threw for over 300 yards and ran for a TD against arguably the best defense in the world. The Chiefs dominated the Jaguars 30-14, and due to a superior performance are the number one team in 5 Up. Patrick Mahomes II (1,513 Yards, 14 Touchdowns, 2 INT 112.7 QBR) is the most exciting player to watch in the NFL.

The Chiefs defense which has struggled a lot this year (ranked 32nd coming into the Jags game) played well vs. Jacksonville. They created turnovers including four interceptions. The challenges keep coming for KC. They travel to Foxboro to battle Tom Brady and the (3-2) Patriots on Sunday Night. Mahomes vs. Brady match-up is by far the best story heading into week six. Chiefs lead the all-time series 18-14-3 but are three and a half point underdogs against New England.

2. LOS ANGELES RAMS (5-0) Last Week: 1st

The Rams were lucky to win in Seattle, and the defense is now a significant concern. The Seahawks were running up, down, and all around the Rams defense. It’s quite apparent that if Donald and Suh are not getting the pressure, the Rams defense is quite average at best, hence why they are number 2 this week. Wade Phillips is very capable of fixing the defense. He knows that to win the Super Bowl, his defense must play better. Todd Gurley saved the Rams’ bacon with three touchdowns to negate Goff’s two interceptions.
The Rams will continue to be the Traveling Wilburys in the midst of a three-game road trip. Next, they head to Denver to take on the (2-3) Broncos. Rams are a touchdown favorite and have an 8-5 series lead against Denver. I get why you Rams fans may not like LA being knocked off the top spot, but it might only last a week so calm down!

3. CINCINNATI BENGALS (4-1) Last Week: Unranked

You don’t want to believe in the Bungles but you must! Does anything make you think of Halloween more than those helmets? We know when the playoffs come around they will turn into David Price and lose, but for now, they are playing some excellent football. They spotted Miami a 17-point lead and then crushed them by scoring the next 27 straight points.  The Bengals got Joe Mixon back, and he had a big game along with A.J. Green who was a dominant force once again (6 catches for 112 yards).

The defense made it happen, scoring twice and making life very uncomfortable for Ryan Tannehill. The Bengals will welcome the (2-2-1) Pittsburgh Steelers to town in an AFC North showdown. Unfortunately for the Bengals, the Steelers have a .632 winning percentage in the series (60-35) including a six-game winning streak vs. Cincy.

4.NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-1) Last Week: 5th

Congrats to Drew Brees in becoming the all-time passing leader.  New Orleans put on an offensive show against the Redskins. Mark Ingram II enjoyed a big return which now makes the Saints backfield lethal.  The Saints will enjoy the Bye Week and get ready for a tough road game against the (3-2) Baltimore Ravens. New Orleans schedule is brutal coming up with three of the next four crucial games are on the road against (@Ravens, @Vikings, Rams, @Bengals). We will learn a lot about the Saints Super Bowl chances in the next month. Drew Brees when its all said and done would like to be on the top 10 quarterbacks list. Can the Saints remain in the five best NFL teams when they get back from enjoying a week off?

5. CHICAGO BEARS (3-1) Last Week: 4th

Bears enjoyed the Bye Week but moved down our 5 Up and 5 Down weekly rankings. Is this 3-1 record a fluke or is this sustainable?  Mitch Trubisky had a career day throwing for six touchdowns and the Bears receiving core (Robinson, White (amazing at blocking), Gabriel, and Miller) is improving right before our eyes. The Bears need to improve their run blocking and running back play. Neither Howard or Cohen have been consistent. A good running game is a needed for a young QB that is still developing and needs to improve. I like how Matt Nagy’s team plays very aggressive offensively, similar to Sean McVay.

The biggest monster of the midway is Khalil Mack. He is the first player since Robert Mathis (2005) to record a sack and force a fumble in four straight games. It’s incredible to watch the rest of the defense pick up its energy level and try to emulate the play of the defensive MVP of the league right now. The Bears will travel to South Beach to take on the (3-2) Dolphins. Miami leads the series (8-4) with the most famous win being in 1985 when the Dolphins broke up the Bears perfect season.

Closing in the top 5 this week:

Carolina Panthers (3-1), Baltimore Ravens (3-2), LA Chargers (3-2), New England Patriots (3-2), Miami Dolphins (3-2)

5 DOWN:   The 5 Best 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six

28. ATLANTA FALCONS (1-4) Last Week: Unranked

We have had some surprises this year, but nothing is as shocking as the Atlanta Falcons 1-4 record. Many people believed they could be the first team to play for the Super Bowl at their home stadium. The Falcons are skidding out of control! You could blame injuries for Atlanta’s struggles, but it’s the defense that is letting this team down. They have allowed an NFL worst 163 points (32.6 points per game). Offensively, they are getting minimal production from the running game (89.2 yards a game 26th in NFL). Matt Ryan is Matt Ryan (1,601 Yards 11 TD’s 2 INTS 110.9 QBR). He is a stat stuffer but often falters in late game situations. This team can turn around the season about, but the offense can’t be expected to score 34 points every week.

It should be a shootout this Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the (2-2-1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you have fantasy players on these teams, you are thrilled. Atlanta is 3 and a half points favorites in this NFC South showdown. They lead the all-time series (25-24). If Atlanta loses this weekend, the vultures will be circling the carcass of the Falcons.

29. N.Y. GIANTS (1-4) Last Week: Unranked

The Giants had a win against the Panthers in Carolina in their grasp until a 63 yard Graham Gano field goal plunged them into the five down category. New York is a talented team that made solid offseason moves, but it’s not paying off right now. Pat Shurmur’s team has major locker room disruptions going on. Odell Beckham Jr. and other players have been critical of Eli Manning and the offense. In a strange twist of fate, maybe OBJ’s interview will pull the team together.

The offense with Barkley, Beckham Jr., Manning, and Shepard should put up more points, but if the defense doesn’t stop anyone, they will continue to lose. Getting their defense to play up to their talent level will be the biggest challenge moving forward for Big Blue. The Giants will host the Eagles (2-3), who are having all kinds of problems on the offensive line on a short week. The Giants lead the all-time series 86-84-2, but Philly has won the last three games and will be 3 point favorites on the road.

30. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-4) Last Week: 32nd

Well, finally a win! It was on the road as well. Josh Rosen has given the Cardinals a boost at the quarterback position. He didn’t play great against the 49ers (40% completion ratio), but he didn’t turn the ball over. Running back David Johnson finally made fantasy owners happy with two TD’s against the Niners, but he ran for just 55 yards. He will have to be more productive against Minnesota this Sunday if Arizona wants to pull off the upset. Their defense played strong again, but they were aided by facing C.J. Beatherd and not Jimmy G. Congrats Cards fans, you are no longer in the dreaded #32 spot. The team you beat last week now occupies that spot.

The Cardinals travel to Minnesota to face the (2-2-1) Vikings who are 10.5 point favorites. Hey, Buffalo went up to Minny with a rookie quarterback and blew out Minnesota so who knows. The Vikings lead the series between the two clubs winning 16 – 11.

31. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-4) Last Week: 30th

The Raiders are working their way to being the worst team in the NFL. Lousy defense and turnovers in the red zone are a recipe to failure and the bottom of the Five Up Five Down rankings. Carr, Cooper, Lynch, and Gruden are named brands and should have the Silver and Black in a much better position. In addition to poor play offensively, the defense is playing terrible as well. Derek Carr continues to throw the worst interceptions in the NFL which should alarm the Raiders front office. Jon Gruden is a quarterback guy, so the ugly play out of #4 is puzzling.

The Raiders will welcome former division rivals Seattle Seahawks (2-3) in town. Oakland leads the all-time series 29-25 and is currently a 1 point favorite at home.

32. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (1-4) Last Week: Unranked

The 49ers are a team ravaged by injury. They are number 32 more because of injuries than anything else. It would take over 300 words to add all the players who are out for this team. But Kyle Shanahan and company must find a way to tape it together because excuses don’t win games. When C.J. Beathard is your starting QB (career 2,000 Yards, 8 TD’s 10 INTs, 78 QBR), you are not expected to do much of anything. Paging Tony Romo, Mr. Romo or how about Mr. Kaepernick?

Next up for the 49ers is the (2-2-1) Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The 49ers defense will have to figure out a way to stop Aaron Rodgers and that multi-faceted offense. Green Bay leads the all-time series (35-30-1) and are massive nine and a half point favorites over the injury-riddled Niners. I pray for you 49er fans. The football gods have been too cruel to a team that was expected to be much improved. Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six will have me rooting for the 49ers to get out of the five worst as the Bills did.

Teams that are Knocking on futilities door:

Buffalo Bills (2-3), Denver Broncos (2-3), Detroit Lions (2-3), N.Y. Jets (2-3), Indianapolis Colts (1-4).

Come back next Thursday for Five Up Five Down, The five best NFL Teams and the five worst NFL Teams for Week 7.