Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ranking The NFL's 10 Biggest Disappointments

The Lions Matt Stafford has already been benched in a game this season.

What is a disappointment?  A team that didn't meet our expectations for where they should be at after Week 6 of the NFL season.  There is a variety of reasons the teams who are featured here are on this list.  Injuries have hit a few hard.  Age has hit a couple.  Tough schedules have felled others.  Some, it is just perception.  Some of these might snap out of it while others will realize that they are as bad as their record indicates.  So let's check out the list.


Sure, if before the season began I told you that the Cowboys would be 2-3, you'd put them much higher on this list.  However, the fact is that Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have been out and will be out for a while.

Good news:  They have already beaten Philly and the Giants, which will pay dividends down the road.  They get both again plus the Redskins twice.  At some point, they'll get Romo and (hopefully) Bryant back.  It isn't like the NFC East is a runaway by any means.  As long as Dallas can stay afloat, they can win this division.

Bad news:  But when will those two get back?  And how good will they be when they do?  The Eagles are warming up and the Giants let two games get by them or they'd be ahead by a nice margin.  And staying afloat means navigating through the next few weeks when they get the Giants (in NYC),  Seahawks and Eagles.  They could be at 2-6 really quick and needing an exceptional finish to make the postseason.  That will be hard to do with the Panthers and Packers down the line.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ranking All 30 NBA Logos

The NBA season is almost here and we have an opportunity to look at the NBA logos. I've been wanting to do this for some time, so here it is. Ranking the logos.

Now, this is all me and what I like. So here we go.


This is awful.  Their longtime one was bad too, but at least I get it.  This is just bad.  Looks like the NBA Live logo from the 1990s and 2000s.  Change it back.  Hell, even go back to the San Diego Clippers logo.  By the way, I count one basketball logo.  Let's see how many we'll find.


A bad, uninspired look.  Nothing on this makes me think of Oklahoma City or Thunder.  It looks like the old Bobcats and Nets logos mated.  Sure, it probably was a rush job when the Sonics moved to OKC, but you've had time to change it.  Please do.  Two basketball logos.

LeBron deserves better.  In fact, the Cavs went to this logo when they drafted LeBron in 2003.  Before that was the splash and the boring V-net logo.  While the uniforms were awful, I rather the splash era came back.  The Cavs just can't get this right.  Three basketball logos and one full name logo.


Two things: I like them making an old logo more modern.  However, there is absolutely nothing about this logo that is interesting.  Nothing.  At least the horsey is gone.  Hey, four for four on basketball logos and a second full name.  On we go!

Looking At The NFL's Undefeated Teams After Week 6

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady know a thing or two about starting seasons
off strong, but there are three other teams who are enjoying record starts.


How they got here:  It isn't like the Panthers have been blowing teams out all year.  Their first four wins were over underwhelming opponents and made people feel this team was fools gold.  However, their win over the defending NFC Champion Seahawks is making people's eyes perk up.

Most impressive win:  27-23 at Seattle.  Anytime you can win in Seattle is impressive.  Marching down the field with time running out and scoring a game winning touchdown is all the more sweeter.

How long could this last?:  Carolina has a relatively tough schedule ahead, though the next three are in Charlotte.  The Panthers will host the Eagles, Colts and Packers over the next three weeks.  Get through that and the schedule lightens up a bit until Thanksgiving.


How they got here:  Cincinnati has been flexing its offensive muscle.  Their bend-but-don't-break defense has been pretty good and Andy Dalton is looking like a MVP candidate has been making this a scary team.  This team is getting comparisons to the 1988 team that went to the Super Bowl.

Most impressive win:  27-24 vs Seattle.  Not trying to pick on Seattle, but many fans felt that this was where this team could falter.  This was a big game on a big stage and the Bengals have struggled in those situations.  It looked like this would be the case again, falling behind 24-7 in the fourth quarter.  But Andy Dalton led a comeback for the ages in Cincinnati and pulled out the overtime victory.

How long could this last?:  The Bengals have to go to Pittsburgh next week.  Usually a tough win for Cincy, but Ben Roethlisberger won't be playing for the Steelers.  From there, the two games to circle would be Week 11 at Arizona (against Carson Palmer) and Week 16 at Denver.  Both have stellar defenses and both have a lot to play for.  


How they got here:  Not the storyline you're used to.  It is Peyton Manning managing the offense and the Broncos top ranked defense that is carrying this team to an undefeated mark.  They aren't winning by wide margins, but they are winning.

Most impressive win:  31-24 at Kansas City.  This is to be their toughest AFC West test and they passed.  Arrowhead is a tough place to play and Manning showed a lot in the fourth quarter to keep people believing he can get to one more Super Bowl.

How long could this last?:  Not long.  Denver gets its bye week next week before heading on a brutal schedule.  They will host fellow undefeated Green Bay on Sunday Night football in Week 8, then traveling to Indianapolis for a matchup with the Colts (who knocked Denver out of the playoffs last year).  Soon after, they'll get the Chiefs again before getting the Patriots and Bengals to come to town.  Add in two games against the offensive juggernaut Chargers and this undefeated season could fall hard.


How they got here:  Doing what the Packers do.  Aaron Rodgers keeps making big plays and the Packers keep chugging along.

Most impressive win:  27-17 vs Seattle.  Maybe I need to stop picking on Seattle?  Sure, but this was a gorilla on the Packers' backs.  The season could have been derailed early with a loss in this Week 2 game, but Green Bay helped wash that sting off the meltdown of the NFC Championship game with this win.

How long could this last?:  Well, that Denver game in Week 8.  Like the Broncos, the Packers will get a bye next week before this showdown.  The very next week, the Packers will travel to Carolina to face fellow undefeated Panthers.  After that, it could be smooth sailing.  They have five games inside the woeful NFC North as well as a home title with the Cowboys (who could have Tony Romo by then) and then traveling to Arizona.


How they got here:  These are the defending champions and Tom Brady didn't have to serve that four-game suspension.  New England has been winning impressively all season long.

Most impressive win:  40-32 at Buffalo.  The Bills were poised to be a playoff contender and Buffalo is always a tough place to play for New England.  Add in the rivalry with Bills' new head coach Rex Ryan and this was the Pats' best victory yet.

How long could this last?:  Well, they could run the table again as the Pats have three straight home games.  However, there are some legit landmines.  Five of their final eight games are on the road, including trips to the Denver, Miami and twice to New York (Giants and Jets).  Yes, those pesky Jets get the Patriots twice, starting with next week's game in Foxborough.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

2015 NFL Super Bowl rematches

There are 19 games this NFL season which feature matchups of old Super Bowl foes.  With this being the NFL's 50 Super Bowl season, the league wants to make a note of these games ... though I haven't really seen much of anything they've done.  I'd like to see maybe the uniforms worn in those Super Bowls reused.  Maybe have a notable presence of those who played in the Super Bowl on site.  Something.

Anyway, let's look at the Super Bowl rematches and see who won this time around.


What happened then?  They played twice and split those Super Bowls.  The Phins completed their perfect season in Super Bowl VII with a 14-7 win ... and the Redskins won their first Super Bowl a decade later, 27-17.

What happened now?  The Dolphins won in a tighter than expected game.  Miami won 17-10 on a Jarvis Landry punt return for a touchdown.  Redskins ran the ball well, but Kirk Cousins had some key mistakes.

Since it was a Super split, the Super Bowl winners went 1-1 in the rematch.


What happened then?
 One of the most famous Super Bowls, Joe Namath led the Jets to the biggest upset in Super Bowl history as the AFL finally beat the NFL in the title game.  Broadway Joe guaranteed a Jets victory and got one, 16-7.

What happened now?  In another bit of a shocker, the Jets went into Indy and beat the Super Bowl contending Colts, 20-7.

Super Bowl winners are now 2-1 in rematches.


What happened then?  The final title of the amazing run the Steelers had in the 1970s.  The Steelers won their fourth title and second straight Super Bowl, 31-19, over the then-Los Angeles Rams.

What happened now?  This one wasn't a game to remember.  The Steelers won 12-6, but lost their star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a month with a leg injury.  The now-St. Louis Rams lost their second straight game.

With the win, Super Bowl winners are 3-1 in the rematch.


What happened then?  Well, this was the first Super Bowl ... or, NFL-AFL Championship Game.  The Packers flexed the NFL's muscle by blowing out Kansas City, 35-10.  Who knew this game against rival leagues would turn into something huge?

What happened now?  The 38-28 final score is closer than the game really was.  The Packers, again, blew out the Chiefs.

Super Bowl winners:  4-1.


What happened then?  One of the best Super Bowls ... and the one who is at the mid-point of Super Bowls ... the Giants won 20-19 when a Scot Norwood field goal went wide ride.  Everything, from the game play to Whitney Houston's performance of the National Anthem, was epic.  It is still the only Super Bowl who hinged on a last second field goal where the kicking team could lose with a miss.

What happened now?  This one wasn't that close.  The Bills were bungled their way to another loss, this one 24-10 to the Eli Manning Giants.

Super Bowl winners are now 5-1.


What happened then?  A more recent Super Bowl, the Ravens won their 2nd Super Bowl title with a 34-31 win over the 49ers.  This was a significant Super Bowl for a variety of reasons.  It was San Francisco's first (and only) Super Bowl loss, it was just the second time a team scored 30 points and lost a Super Bowl and there was the whole power outage during the game in New Orleans.

What happened now?  Maybe Colin Kaepernick's best game since that Super Bowl.  The Niners won, 25-20, and keeps the Ravens horrible season down in the dumps.  Yeah, Baltimore is 1-5!

Finally a Super Bowl in avenged!  The Super Bowl winners are now just 5-2 with this Niner win.  Remember the other win was from the Redskins-Dolphins split.


What happened then?  One of the most thrilling Super Bowls I have ever seen.  Kurt Warner and the Cardinals look a late lead before Ben Roethlisberger marched down with an epic TD pass to Santonio Holmes to pull out the championship, 27-23.

What happened now? Kurt Warner has long since retired and Roethlisberger is out with an injury.  Instead it was Landry Jones (after Michael Vick pulled a hammy) that led the Steelers to a 25-13 win over the Cardinals.

Super Bowl winners get another notch.  Now they are 6-2.


What happened then?
 Week 6 featured three rematches, but this one wasn't recent at all.  Hank Stram's Chiefs won a second straight Super Bowl for the AFC by dismantling Minnesota, 23-7.  This game is most notable for Stram being mic'd up during the game.  Also, this was the final game for the AFL and the merger with the NFL occured the following season.

What happened now?  No epic here.  An ugly game that we will all soon forget, the Vikings beat the Chiefs 16-10.

Another payback.  Super Bowl winners fall to 6-3.


What happened then?  An early onside kick, a key pick-six and the unprobable Super Bowl title for the New Orleans Saints over the Peyton Manning-led Colts.

What happened now?  Manning may be long gone, but Drew Brees is still a Saint and he still put a hurting on Indy.  Saints won this one 27-21 and the boo bird rained down on Andrew Luck and coach Chuck Pagano.

Super Bowl winners are now 7-3.


What happened then?  The Broncos ended the NFC's 13-year reign over the Super Bowl by beating the defending champion Packers.  Remember the John Elway running for a huge first down?

What happened now?  Denver's defense just owned Aaron Rodgers in a battle of unbeatens.

Super Bowl winners are 8-3.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ranking All 30 NHL Logos

The NHL season is here and we have an opportunity to look at the NHL logos.  I've been wanting to do this for some time, so here it is.  Ranking the logos.

Now, this is all me and what I like.  So here we go.


Where do I begin with this?  I don't like the leaping in 3-D panther ... or is it walking towards me on its hind legs?  Plus when up against the Carolina Panthers logo, this gets left way behind.  It just doesn't do it for me at all.


The Canucks seemingly can never get it right.  They are in logo hell.  Whether it is the boring stick logo of the 1970s or the colorful skate of the 1980s and 1990s or this ... whatever ... they just have yet to find the one.  Heck, I prefer this alternate logo of about 8 years ago.  Anything but this shark/whale thing cracking ice.


There's gotta be a way to make a coyote look cool.  I did kind of like that artsy logo when the 'Yotes first started up.  I get that the 90s-ish look wouldn't stay forever, but their current rendition is boring.  So much so that it even looks like the logo is yawning.  Again, to put it up against a similar logo, I like the Minnesota Timberwolves wolf much better.


There it is.  A lightning bolt.  Neat.  Well, it is better than their arena football looking logo from before.