The 2017 Sammy Awards – Part 2

Welcome back to the 2017 Sammy Awards. If you missed Part 1 of the show please take a few moments to go back & catch up. We’ll be right here waiting patiently for your return, and then we will continue taking a fun look back at the previous year.

 

 

 

After a few brief comments from our host Andy Cohen it’s time for our next award. Please give a warm welcome to a 70 year old man who still thinks an app is something one eats before the main meal. He’s a legendary comedian and star of films like The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, & City Slickers, as well as the nine time host of The Academy Awards and a former host of The Sammys. The man is a national treasure, and we are happy to welcome back Billy Crystal!! And the nominees are:

 

 

 

App of the Year

 

Words with Friends

Basically it is Scrabble, and I’ve always loved Scrabble. I’m all about word games rather than shooting/war type games. I almost always have three or four games going, and though my record isn’t as good as I’d prefer I enjoy it tremendously.

 

Pinterest

I always thought Pinterest was something thru which women traded recipes, but I was wrong. There are tons of “pins” available on a plethora of subjects…almost anything you can imagine (books, food, history, religion, humor, & a bunch of others). I’m not sure about how much people actually get out of the whole thing since it’s pretty easy to scroll thru stuff, pin something to one of your “boards”, and then move on. That describes my process anyway…others may actually take time to go back and study what they’ve saved. Pinterest atleast has the potential to be useful, and it’s pretty user friendly, which are two great qualities in an app.

 

HQ Trivia

HQ is the new kid on the block, and it’s a bit different than other games one might play on a smartphone. HQ is a live game show that offers its players the opportunity to win real cash. The game is played twice daily…3pm & 9pm EST, and is usually hosted by the self-proclaimed Quizz Daddy, Semitic Sajak, Woke Woolery, & Regis Trill-bin…comedian Scott Rogowsky, who refers to the audience as HQ-ties and seems familiar to me for some reason. There are twelve questions of increasing difficulty, and the prize is generally $1000-1500, which sounds awesome until you realize that there are a couple hundred thousand people playing, which means that even if you win the payout might not even be enough to buy a popcorn & soda to snack on during a matinee. Plus, you only have a very rapid ten seconds to choose the correct multiple choice answer, and the questions are pretty tricky. I love trivia and feel like I’m reasonably intelligent, but I don’t think I’ve gotten past Q6 or 7. HQ & I are on a break right now because the game is rather wonky, with noticeable lag time and occasional crashes. I became dismayed when I answered a question correctly but was nevertheless disqualified, so the app was deleted from my phone in a fit of irritation, but I kind of miss it and will resume playing soon.

 

Word Cookies

In my world there’s not a much better combination than food & word games. The App Store describes Word Cookies as “a fun & exciting word puzzle game” in which the object is to “find hidden words” with the benefit that it will “improve vocabulary, concentration, & spelling skills.” It’s a modern spinoff of Boggle, and you aren’t playing against anyone but yourself. I can amuse myself for hours with Word Cookies, though what usually happens is that I play for a few minutes at a time at halftime of the game or during commercial breaks if I’m watching television.

 

 

 

And the Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

Word Cookies. One of the reasons I’ve always enjoyed watching the game show Jeopardy! is that I feel like I might have learned a thing or two in that half hour. I’m not sure that Word Cookies improves vocabulary since most of the words you find are rather short & very basic, but I’m on board with the spelling & concentration benefits. It’d be unfair to call it mindless fun. However, it doesn’t feel like there’s unnecessary effort involved…I actually find playing it very soothing. Word Cookies is exactly the sort of time waster that’s not a complete waste of time that all phone apps should aspire to be.

 

 

Before we continue with the awards we have time for another exciting musical interlude. We are turnt to welcome to the stage a five time Grammy winner who has raised the roof during two Super Bowl halftime shows. Get up on your feet and show some love for Bruno Mars!!

 

 

 

That was da bomb diggity!!  Thank you Bruno!!

 

Presenting our next award is a highly regarded comedian and occasional actor who has been known to go off the grid for long periods of time. But now he’s back with two brand new comedy specials on Netflix, which we are contractually obligated to mention as recompense for his appearance on this show. Please give a warm welcome to the allegedly funny Dave Chappelle!! And the nominees are:

 

 

The DB Cooper Award (For the Person Who Most Needs to Disappear)

 

Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, & Seth Meyers

It wasn’t that long ago when I adored late night television. There was nothing better than winding down after a long day with some funny jokes, amusing comedy bits, & vapid celebrity interviews. But things steadily began to change a few years ago. Letterman started going political, but I was willing to overlook it because he was a lifelong institution. And then he retired. After that the incomparable Craig Ferguson left the late night arena and was replaced with James Corden, who just doesn’t cut it. Letterman was replaced by Stephen Colbert, while Jimmy Fallon had been replaced at 12:30 with SNL alum Seth Meyers when Fallon took over The Tonight Show. Jimmy Kimmel has been hosting his show since 2003 and had been reasonably amusing. He was growing on me. And then Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Colbert’s show was straight up political propaganda from Day 1, which is why I’ve rarely watched. It didn’t take Meyers long to become a liberal hack, on occasion campaigning in such a way that one knows that he isn’t even trying to be funny. It’s like watching CNN or MSNBC. In 2017 Kimmel went completely off the rails, using his show to expound on issues like health care & gun control, complete with crocodile tears. Look, I’m sorry that his baby was born with a heart defect and sincerely hope the boy will be okay, but I don’t watch late night comedy shows for political discourse. If I’m in that kind of mood I’ll tune into one of the 24 hour news channels. Fallon was the last holdout…until Monday August 14, 2017. Following the tragic events in Charlottesville, VA The Tonight Show did a cold open in which Fallon went all in on the divisive rhetoric that has infested our nation. I haven’t watched his show since, and I don’t foresee that changing in 2018. These men killed late night TV with their sociopolitical agenda, and Johnny Carson must be doing somersaults in his grave.

 

The Ball Family

I’m sure Lonzo Ball is a talented enough basketball player, otherwise the Los Angeles Lakers wouldn’t have selected him with the #2 overall pick in the NBA Draft. But is he transcendent?? Is he on the same level with Magic, Bird, & Jordan?? Is he as good as Kobe, Lebron, & Durant?? I don’t believe he is, and if he’s not then is he worth the hassle since the entire family is a cancer?? Younger brothers LiAngelo & LaMelo have already been banished to Lithuania. LiAngelo was arrested back in November when he was a freshman for UCLA after shoplifting in China. He’d still be rotting in jail there if President Trump hadn’t bailed him out. LaMelo is only 16 years old but has already dropped out of school to play pro ball in Lithuania, and last summer used the “N Word” during an appearance on WWE Raw, although since he used the “street” version of the word ending in “a” instead of “er” perhaps it was socially acceptable. Who knows the rules nowadays?? And of course the patriarch of this clown show is LaVar Ball, a man that makes Darth Vader look like Father of the Year. It baffles me that outlets like ESPN continue to give that man any sort of coverage.

 

Bill Nye The Science Guy

Not only does this “scientist” think anyone who doesn’t buy the climate change hype should be put in jail, but a few months ago he produced a bizarre video promoting the transgender agenda, saying that “sexuality is a spectrum and everyone is on it”. The truth is that Nye has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, making him less of a “science guy” than Star Trek’s fictional Mr. Spock.

 

Steve Kerr & Gregg Popovich

Not only are actors & talk show hosts doing it, but now NBA coaches feel the need to contribute their wisdom to the political discourse. The issue I have with these people is that a) their fanbase consists of people of varied ideologies, so it makes zero sense to alienate a big chunk of them, & b) their opinions are full of ignorance. Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warriors, and Popovich, longtime coach of the San Antonio Spurs, clearly think they’re smarter than the average bear and enjoy lecturing those they feel are beneath them. Here’s the thing…both coaches are actually good at what they do for a living, and their teams will be amongst the heavily favored title contenders, but unfortunately I and many others will be rooting against them because they refused to keep their big mouths shut.

 

Maxine Waters & Sheila Jackson Lee

Waters has been representing California in Congress since 1991. Lee has been representing Texas in Congress since 1995. My question is…how?? Lee once said “I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen”, and complained that hurricane names were “too lily white”, opining that “all racial groups should be represented” while suggesting future natural disaster names like Keisha, Jamal, & Deshawn. Waters has plainly stated that “this liberal would be about socializing, basically taking over and the government running all of your companies”, a disturbing idea to say the least. She also called the 1992 race riots in Los Angeles “somewhat understandable”, and said that “calling it a riot sounds like it was just a bunch of crazy people who went out and did bad things for no reason…so I call it a rebellion”. These are just a few examples of the stupidity these two have exhibited. It seems like every time they’re in front of a microphone they say something that makes one legitimately question their sanity. Look, folks can elect who they want, but come on California & Texas…I’m pretty sure you can do better.

 

Commissioner Fidel Goodell

Roger Goodell became NFL Commissioner in 2006. In the ensuing decade+ we’ve seen his “personal conduct policy” issue a plethora of random fines & suspensions for off field issues, which is kind of like your boss holding you accountable for what you do with your free time off the clock. On the field the game has become a shell of itself, with what used to be perfectly legitimate tackles now resulting in penalties and even more fines & suspensions, and instant replay becoming an albatross that has redefined what used to be the fairly simple process of catching a football. Goodell has bungled things like DeflateGate and the Ray Rice investigation, among other things. In 2017 he lost total control of the league as a bunch of spoiled rich thugs decided that they hate the country that has given them the freedom & opportunity to make a fantastic living using their God given athletic skills. It is simply time for Goodell to go. He has become the story, and the league commissioner should never command that kind of spotlight.

 

The Hollywood Elite

I love television & movies. I always have & always will. But good Lord do they make it difficult. I’ve been aware for many years that morality is in short supply in Tinseltown and made my peace with it, but in 2017 the hypocrisy became too much to overlook. They lecture the masses about gun control while making a ton of violent movies and having armed security protect them at all times. They whine & cry about equality & respect for women, and then we find out that sexual harassment has been rampant in their “community” for decades. They promote the “LGBTQ” agenda while being totally dismissive of anyone who might believe in a book you may have heard of called The Bible. They allegedly stand up for the little guy, but live a life of opulence so out of touch with those in flyover country that it’d be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic. They make speeches about environmentalism & climate change but then hop on their private jets to go home to their mansions, in the process making a larger “carbon footprint” than any ten people. They want you & I to give up our rights & live without modern conveniences while they enjoy the high life and sacrifice nothing. They believe that we should open up the floodgates and welcome all kinds of criminals & miscreants from all over the world into our nation, but rest assured none of them would let a family of refugees sleep in one of their spare bedrooms. And then Donald Trump happened, and the entire Hollywood community has had a yearlong hissy fit that I assume will continue into the foreseeable future. Just like pro athletes that have expressed their strong opinions in the past twelve months these actors, actresses, directors, producers, etc. have every right to their beliefs, but given their hypocrisy and lack of ethics we have the right to not give a damn what they think.

 

 

 

 

And the Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

All of them!! Y’all know the drill by now. These people just need to shut their pieholes. Go away. Get out. Good riddance. Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.

 

 

 

To present our next award it is our pleasure to introduce two of our favorite performers. She is the star of films like Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers, & The Family Stone, while he is an SNL alum who has hosted talk shows, been in a few movies, and has had a long & successful career as a stand-up comedian. Please welcome Rachel McAdams & Dennis Miller!! And the nominees are:

 

 

 

Most Entertaining Program (Radio or TV)

 

The Big Bang Theory

Is it showing its age after eleven seasons?? Yes. But is it still a well-written & funny show?? Absolutely. It’s odd to think that we’ve now spent over a decade watching this group of characters and all of their zany adventures.

 

The Young and the Restless

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but a year ago I did seriously ponder giving up my soap operas. Alas, I just can’t quit Y&R. My father watches it too, which makes me chuckle. The writing isn’t always as tight as I’d prefer, but the performances are mostly outstanding given the material with which the actors are working.

 

Designated Survivor

I knew when Designated Survivor premiered that it might have a limited shelf life. Once the initial mystery that was the entire foundation of the show was unraveled it had no choice but to morph into a 24/West Wing hybrid in which there’s a different crisis to resolve each week. That’s not necessarily bad, but it’s not as compelling as the original premise. I began to lose interest early on in the current second season and actually need to go back and stream the episodes I’ve missed.

 

MetroNews Hotline

From 3-6pm each weekday afternoon here in WV we have the opportunity to listen to a statewide radio talk show that covers everything from current events & sports to pop culture & the financial markets. It’s comfort food radio, which in my book is a great thing. A year ago the original host stepped down to pursue other opportunities, but the new guy has grown on me. I don’t listen to all three hours every day, but if I happen to be in my truck when the program is on I’ll usually listen. God knows it’s better than the garbage the music stations are playing.

 

WWE Raw

Monday night is still wrestling night in The Manoverse. Sometimes I’ll flip back & forth to the Monday night game during football season, but generally I am all about my wrasslin’ for a few hours, although these days I actually doze off occasionally, mostly because my internal clock is jacked up for various reasons. WWE has made a concerted effort to become more family friendly in recent years, which is a blessing & a curse. Pro wrestling has always had its ebbs & tides, and right now seems to be a bit of a lull. Still though, there are weeks when it’s really fun to be a wrestling fan.

 

Highly Questionable

Dan LeBatard & his Papi (along with whoever is co-hosting) have slowly risen up to become my favorite ESPN talk show. If I’m home I’ll watch, and if I’m not going to be home I utilize the DVR. It’s irreverant, occasionally silly, sometimes informative, & always easily palatable.

 

General Hospital

I can’t seem to quit GH either. I’ve been watching since grade school. There are certainly better things I could be spending time on, but I suppose there are worse things as well.

 

The Rush Limbaugh Program

El Rushbo is still going strong after three decades on the radio. I’m not as into politics as I once was and don’t listen often, but always enjoy the show when I do. I understand that he doesn’t frost everyone’s cupcake, and that’s alright. It’s rather amusing to me that two decades ago he was thought to be so provocative, but these days, amongst the plethora of contentious sociopolitical rhetoric from so many media outlets, Rush Limbaugh has actually morphed into the “harmless loveable fuzzball” that he has always proclaimed himself to be.

 

Jeopardy!

Some may disagree, but I contend that Jeopardy! is the best game show of all time. It actually rewards people for being intelligent, and really, who could have an issue with that??

 

This Is Us

Entertainment Weekly calls This Is Us “a refreshing respite from the relational violence and pessimism that marks other buzz soaps that have bubbled forth from a culture of divisiveness”. In other words, it’s not about violence, sex, or a social agenda. The show is an old-fashioned family drama with a unique twist that is particularly well-written & performed.

 

Pardon the Interruption

In contrast to its ESPN brethren Highly Questionable, PTI is proudly & audaciously cantankerous. Hosts Tony Kornheiser & Michael Wilbon like to shout at each other for no apparent reason, but it kind of works. It’s appointment TV for me, and I usually record it if I’m not going to be home. Every once in a great while Tony & Mike will go political (Wilbon loves to talk about “plantation mentality”), and sometimes I have to change the channel. However, thankfully that doesn’t happen too often so I’m willing to overlook it.

 

 

 

And the Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

This Is Us. I rarely get excited about anything on television anymore. Perhaps that is indicative of age, maturity, & refined taste. Or maybe it’s just that Hollywood truly has gone to hell and rarely produces anything worth one’s time & effort. This Is Us is an exception. To call it a home run somehow feels inadequate. The cast is top notch, and the writing is unrivaled.

 

 

Our next award is a very special honor for a long time presence on our show. To make the presentation please welcome comedian & master impressionist Frank Caliendo!!

 

 

 

The Duffer-Herrell Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Mike & Mike in the Morning

November 17, 2017 was a gloomy day for sports fans. For 17 years many had spent atleast part of their weekday mornings with former NFL defensive lineman Mike Golic and nerdy sportscaster Mike Greenberg, as well as an immensely deep roster of in-studio & call-in guests. It began as a radio show and at its heart remained so, but from fairly early on in its run was simulcast on ESPN2. I was a little late to the Mike & Mike party, first becoming aware of it somewhere between 2006 & 2008 (my memory is a little fuzzy), but quickly became hooked. I’ve heaped plenty of praise on the program over the years, and offered some constructive criticism as well. Rumors of its demise began as far back as two or three years ago, but this past spring it became official. Whether it was ESPN’s decision to break up the duo and attempt to double their success with two shows instead of one, or Greeny felt compelled to spread his wings and do something different is unknown to the masses. Perhaps the truth is a concoction of those and other reasons. Greeny & Golic publicly put to rest any rumors of a rift between the two of them, and unless they are gifted actors on par with Al Pacino & Tom Hanks I have no reason to doubt that claim. I think they were more upset about how the situation was handled, which isn’t surprising given how poorly ESPN has dealt with various other matters recently. At any rate, Mike & Mike was nominated for six Sammys over the years, winning four straight at one point. I believe I once called it “comfort food television”, because watching two guys discuss sports (with a healthy dose of pop culture & general merriment on occasion) for four hours was a fantastic way to begin the morning. Golic is now doing essentially the same show with Trey Wingo, while Greeny will be getting a TV only program called Get Up beginning in April with co-hosts Michelle Beadle & Jalen Rose. I like Golic & Wingo just fine, though it is…thus far…a tepid reproduction of Mike & Mike, while I’m not at all excited about Get Up since neither Beadle nor Rose frost my cupcake. It’s all about chemistry, and Mike & Mike was lightning in a bottle. Greeny & Golic complemented one another spectacularly. There were times when the first thing I did when I woke up or returned home from my midnight shift was turn on Mike & Mike to get their take on the latest sports news. Since it ended a couple of months ago my television now usually stays off until much later in the morning. Kudos to all involved for creating great memories and producing something entertaining & informative enough to spend time on at 6am. Mike & Mike is greatly missed, and I feel like ESPN made a huge mistake.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s take another break. Stay tuned for the sensational conclusion of the 2017 Sammy Awards…coming soon!!

Winning & Musing: Post-Super Bowl 50 Thoughts

Greetings sports fans. Let me first apologize for an abrupt & unforeseen ending to our Pigskin Picks of Profundity. Your humble Potentate of Profundity had two surgeries in November and spent a couple of months in the hospital, so things here in The Manoverse were unfortunately but necessarily backburnered. But now I’m back and ready to talk some sports. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 
manningCongratulations to the Denver Broncos, winners of Super Bowl 50. I had my doubts going into the game, but was pleasantly surprised. It is nice to see Peyton Manning go out on top. Most athletes don’t get that opportunity. I realize that he hasn’t officially announced his retirement yet, but it’s only a matter of time. The Broncos have Brock Osweiler waiting in the wings and I can’t see any other team signing Manning, who is half the QB he used to be. There isn’t any upside to playing another year, especially when he has the opportunity to retire as a Super Bowl Champion.

 

 

 

Lady Gaga has got some pipes, a fact that I recognized long ago. When she drops the outrageous act and just sings it can be quite gagaenjoyable, so I was cool with her singing the national anthem. However, I must point out that her stylist did her no favors. Was that look supposed to be some kind of tribute to David Bowie??

 

 

 

bdfThe old adage is that “defense wins championships”, and no game in recent memory proved that more than Super Bowl 50. Let’s be honest…Manning had very little to do with his team’s victory. Neither offense was impressive. It was the Broncos’ relentless pursuit of Carolina QB Cam Newton that secured the victory. It wasn’t the most exciting game to watch for sure, but kudos to Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for conceiving a plan that worked to perfection. Phillips has been a mediocre head coach more than once and is the perfect example that sometimes knowing one’s role and understanding your limitations isn’t a bad thing.

 

 

 

Speaking of Newton…
Okay, I know that a Denver player was being interviewed (rather loudly) during Newton’s abbreviated post-game press conference and that player bragging about how they’d stymied the Panthers’ offense may have upset Newton. But that’s still not a good enough excuse to pout like a kindergartner whose Mommy didn’t buy the toy he wanted and then end the press conference after a couple of questions. Cam Newton has a track record of being an immature sore loser, and that behavior reared its ugly camhead again on football’s biggest stage. Dozens of star players & coaches have lost the Super Bowl and had to do interviews after the loss, but I can’t ever remember any of them acting so childishly. I know losing sucks, and I can’t imagine how much of a kick in the ‘nads it is to lose The Super Bowl. However, Cam Newton is going to have to learn to suck it up and be a man. My understanding is that he is a good-hearted & charitable guy who does a lot for his community, especially kids. That being said, it took about five minutes on Sunday for him to lose a lot of the respect people had for him, and he’s going to have to earn it back. I suspect that the Carolina Panthers are going to be a good football team for the next several years and may find themselves in this spotlight again eventually. If that happens I hope that Cam Newton…win or lose…will show us all a better version of himself.

 

 

 

A few random thoughts about Super Bowl 50’s commercials:
• Is it really a good idea for The Incredible Hulk to get all caffeined up on Coca-Cola??
• I’ll probably never drink a Mountain Dew Kickstart (whatever that is), but I’m totally on board with PuppyMonkeyBabies, which I find much less creepy than Super Bowl Babies.
• Peyton Manning’s random plug for Budweiser during his post-game interview was much more memorable than the commercials that they probably paid an arm & a leg for.
• Dachsunds (aka weiner dogs) selling Heinz ketchup?? Okay…I guess.
• I don’t care how hard they sell the notion…a Prius will never be cool. An Audi, on the other hand, is very cool.
• I still don’t understand what an Amazon Echo is.
• Jeff Goldblum singing the theme song from The Jeffersons is mildly amusing, even if I don’t recall which company the ad was for.
• I don’t know which is more entertaining…the fact that there was a Super Bowl commercial for Mexican avocadoes, the comforting thought that Scott Baio is alive and earning a paycheck, or that the producers of the spot were obviously fans of The Last Starfighter (or maybe the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars).

 

 

 

Introducing all previous Super Bowl MVP’s was a nice touch. Kudos NFL.

 

 
halftimeI only half paid attention to the halftime show, so I wasn’t immediately offended by the alleged political message within Beyonce’s performance. I was more offended that the powers-that-be made Coldplay the stars of the show and then at some stage in the process realized that if one looks up the term mediocrity in the rock n’ roll dictionary there is a picture of Coldplay, alongside about a half dozen other random acts that look & sound the same. The producers were then forced to bring in Beyonce & Bruno Mars, two of the more popular halftime acts from recent Super Bowls. It smelled of pure desperation. On top of that the performance was average at best. I don’t really care about the political rhetoric because I doubt if 95% of the audience even understood the point.

Farewell Football…For Now

It is my opinion that the Tuesday after The Super Bowl is one of the saddest, loneliest, emptiest days of the year. After nearly 6 months of following our favorite sport The Fat Lady has sung her song and it is time to move on to other things for a while. Monday was spent analyzing & dissecting The Super Bowl, but what now?? The Daytona 500 won’t roll around for few weeks.bye College basketball is a month away from being really interesting. No one cares about the NBA until the playoffs begin. Pitchers & catchers report in a few days but the season itself won’t start for a couple of months. I don’t have a long term answer for how to fill the void, but atleast for today we can take a look back at how well…or badly…your humble Potentate of Profundity did with all of my pigskin insight this past season. As usual it wasn’t pretty, but I still think I’m smarter…and more entertaining…than ¾ of the talking heads in Bristol, CT. Anyway…let’s tie up those loose ends and bid the gridiron a fond adieu (atleast until the NFL Draft).

 

kickoff_footballFor anyone wondering how Zach & I ended up doing in our Pigskin Picks of Profundity this past season…..

Zach went 41-49, which is a 46% winning percentage.  Not bad for a rookie. It’s better than the 39% that I had last season. Yours truly finished 2013 with a 45-46 record…a 49% winning percentage. A clear improvement on my part. More importantly I really enjoyed doing the picks each week and would like to thank my nephew for joining in on the fun. I hope it is a tradition that we will continue for many years.

 

My college bowl picks were atrocious, while Zach actually did quite well. He went NCAA_football19-16…a very respectable 54%. I’d be surprised if any of the yahoos on ESPN were as accurate. Conversely I went 9-26, which is only 26%. I knew bowl games were hard to predict, but holy cow I think a blind monkey could have done better.

 

16 out of the 25 teams in my NCAA Pre-season Top 25 actually finished in the Top 25. Five of those finished within two spots of where I had them picked. Oregon’s two losses relatively late in the season ruined their chances at a Top 5 finish, while Alabama getting throttled in the Sugar Bowl cost them a likely spot among the top 3 or 4 teams. I am not a guy who follows recruiting and knows all about the 4 Star prospects who’ll be impact freshmen, so I didn’t know about QB Jameis Winston and therefore had no idea that Florida State had national title potential. I knew that Louisville was a risky pick at #6 and 25that they’d probably have to go undefeated to end the season that high. Unfortunately they lost late to Central Florida and plummeted out of the Top 10. Missouri?? UCF?? Baylor?? Didn’t see any of their success coming. Ditto…in a huge way…for the Auburn Tigers, who parlayed two miracle finishes into a National Championship Game appearance and a #2 finish. Kudos. The Texas Longhorns really disappointed me and head coach Mack Brown paid for it with his job. Brady Hoke will get another year at Michigan, but one more 7-6 season might mean the unemployment line for him as well. The Ohio St. Buckeyes were big fish in a mediocre pond and had their otherwise successful season torpedoed by ending with two losses.

 

I predicted 8 out of the 12 NFL playoff teams successfully…5 out of 6 in the AFC, 3 out of nfl-football6 in the NFC. I had the Denver Broncos beating the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. The 49ers didn’t make it, while the Broncos were pummeled by the Seattle Seahawks.

 

Speaking of the Seahawks…..

seattle-seahawks1One of their starting cornerbacks…the (by now) well-known Richard Sherman is 6ft.3. The other cornerback…Byron Maxwell…is 6ft.1. Strong safety Kam Chancellor  is 6ft.3. They are now Super Bowl Champions. The top 5 wide receivers in the NFL are (arguably) Calvin Johnson (6ft.5), Larry Fitzgerald (6ft.3), Dez Bryant (6ft.2), Brandon Marshall (6ft.4), & A.J. Green (6ft.4). So when the NFL draft rolls around and the talking heads start pimping cornerbacks that are 5ft. 8/5ft.9 fans need to collectively tell them to just shut up. If I were an NFL general manager I wouldn’t waste one second even evaluating a defensive back under 6 feet. It’s a new league. This ain’t your granddaddy’s NFL.

 

Huge kudos to the New York Jets. I predicted that they’d go 2-14, but instead they went Jets-Pin-Pro8-8 and were in the hunt for a playoff spot until the very end of the season. Ownership made the right call by giving head coach Rex Ryan a three year extension (after I predicted he might be fired by mid-season). More NFL teams (especially the idiotic Cleveland Browns) need to understand that consistency is a key to success and not be so quick to make changes just for the sake of change.

 

kc-chiefs-logoI predicted that the Kansas City Chiefs would be one of the most improved teams in the NFL. I was right but they far exceeded even my expectations, going 11-5 (I predicted 9-7). Can they continue that level of success in 2014?? Possibly.

 

My really really really early thoughts on Super Bowl contenders for next season:   lombardi           Seattle Seahawks (duh), Carolina Panthers (they are building a good team around QB Cam Newton), Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck will have them in the hunt for many years), Green Bay Packers (they’ll be back), & New England Patriots (Brady & Belichick aren’t finished just yet)

 

marsReaction to the Bruno Mars halftime show at the Super Bowl seems predictably mixed…women loved it, guys didn’t hate it but thought the Red Hot Chili Peppers were the best part. I believe that the NFL has purposely been trying to appeal more to women the past few years so none of this is surprising. Since the game was in Jersey the two obvious choices would have been Springsteen or Bon Jovi, but The Boss already did the halftime show about 6 years ago and someone mentioned to me that Jon Bon Jovi is negotiating to buy a stake in the Buffalo Bills so it would have been a conflict of interest. That’s too bad.

 

I’d be surprised if Peyton Manning actually retired, but this season felt like his last best Sad-Peyton-300x168chance to get another ring. He looked old, slow, & completely outmatched in the Super Bowl and has been duly noted by many folks the last couple of years he doesn’t seem to have much zip in his passes anymore. Next season the Bengals, Chiefs, & Colts could all be even better, the Patriots will still be around, and teams like the Steelers, Ravens, and Texans could rebound. Denver might have a tough time even making it to the playoffs.

 

One of the biggest winners after the Super Bowl?? QB Johnny Manziel. Russell Wilson is johnny-football-t15ft.11 & 210 lbs. In his second year he is a champion and probably should have won the game MVP award. The biggest knock on Johnny Football has been his size, but at 6ft.1 & 210lbs. (if we take all the listed measurements for both players at face value) he is about the same size as Wilson and just as mobile. Now I grant you that the biggest reason Wilson now has a ring is because of the stout defense of his team, but the point is that if Manziel could land on a really good team with a plethora of defensive talent he could have just as good of a shot at success as Wilson. Unfortunately for Johnny the Cleveland Browns…his likely landing spot…are not a good team.

 

One last note about the Seattle Seahawks…..

LYNCHI don’t want to be unnecessarily cruel, but what is the deal with RB Marshawn Lynch?? Is he just an antisocial jackass or does he have legitimate social anxiety??

 

I have no issue with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014…offensive tackle Walter pro-football-hallJones, defensive end Michael Strahan, linebacker Derrick Brooks, punter Ray Guy, wide receiver Andre Reed, cornerback Aeneas Williams, & defensive end Claude Humphrey. I am especially glad for Reed and Guy, both of whom have waited far too long for the honor. I was kind of disappointed that Williams got elected over former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, but I am confident that The Bus will receive the call in the next few years.