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all jake wants for christmas is for doug marrone to chip his teeth on coal

all jake wants for christmas is for doug marrone to chip his teeth on coal

I’ve been a titans fan for sixteen years. Through the good er, basically two seasons, their inaugural after coming to tennessee from houston and the one yard game against the rams, and a 13-3 run on ’08 before choking in the divisional against baltimore. team has been so irrelevant for nearly two decades. Fast forward – Jeff Fisher’s been gone long enough for the stink to quell and coming into this year I wasn’t sure if a franchise QB in mariaota was a possibility but was damn near certain that the compiled O-line was good enough to win at least six games.  I was right, obviously, and sitting at 8-6 with a win/control scenario with two divisional games coming up – I felt like it was gonna be a preeeety merry christmas.

alas, no. The titans continue a long history of disappointment after beating the defending superbowl champs and AFC West leader in consecutive weeks where the opponents played, well, good football. Dropping a game to the fucking 2-12 Jaguars is so disgusting I’m not even surprised – and to top it off Mariaota fractured the fibula of his right calf in the waning moments before cassel somehow threw a touchdown to delanie walker before pick sixing himself into oblivion on the following possession.

The game, obviously, was an enigma. Blake Bortles has been incredibly bad all season and for the majority of his three year career (not always his fault). through 14 games this year bortles had averaged 1.5 td’s, 257 yards passing and a 48.9 qbr. yesterday? 325 passing, a passing and receiving touchdown, and a 103.5 qbr (a week after posting a 36.6 rating at houston).


Anyway – the point of this piece – i hate doug marrone, his entire family, and everything he stands for. this asshole from the bronx spent the better part of five years in mediocrity between syracuse and the bills before falling into the interim spot last week in jacksonville after gus bradley getting fired. the classic interim coach team boost when the players briefly feel like kids again after said ex-HC not working solution is thrown in the trash by billionaires more concerned with in game pool space than winning records. same thing happened with the titans last year after wisenhunt got fired (beat a much better saints team).


Anyway – marrone has shown through several stops in the past five years that he’s an uninspiring coach (despite the bills definitely being cursed) and taking this shitshow of a franchise to a third win this year does nothing but guarantee their first draft pick like 3 mil less in guaranteed – and very possibly nails the coffin into my already receding hairline never returning after this election season. fuck doug marrone. yesterday sucked but i hope he gets the head job because i need a coach to hate in this divison like i need the tits to pick up alshon jeffrey in free agency this year.


p.s. resident ringer jackasses misreported mariotas injry last night as a broken foot or something and basically skated over the fact that the fractured fibula is a standard two month recovery time and shouldn’t be a long term detriment to his development (randall cobb had the same injury in 2013 and is still a pro bowl caliber player) while straight waxing the the idea that the combination of the loss seriously eroding playoff hopes and the qb loss could set the titans back to another decade of irrelevancy. it might not be totally wrong in knee jerk feelings but things will likely continue to uptick – besides the fact that we hold 5 draftpicks in the first three rounds this year. so yeah – fuck that guy also along with doug marrone.


god i hate this team so much.

where else can average dudes waste their time? : matt’s week 8 fantasy

where else can average dudes waste their time? : matt’s week 8 fantasy

I hate Fantasy. Last week, I dropped over 130 points in a ½ PPR league and I still lost. My opponent put up 150 and his team scored ten total TDs. Shoot me now, God. But, in the words of Lil Bow Wow: “I’m back at it like a crack addict out of rehab.” Here’s my line up for this week.


QB: Lucky Luck                                             Flex: Will Fuller House

RB: Best in the league (DJ)                             Flex: Michael Thomas

RB: Best on his tea (Gio)                                TE: The guy on the Texans with the long name

WR: Dez “Welcome Back” Bryant                  D: Titans

WR: D. Thomas


Some major changes. Dez is back and I am playing him. If Dak can make Cole Beasley a star…Will Fuller makes an appearance. I hate the Brock Lobster but, this game against Detroit should be a shootout. Michael Thomas is arguable the best receiver on his team. The Seahawks secondary has been awful lately and they are missing some pieces. I like Brees as home as well. I switched Zach Miller for anyone else because Miller takes on the Vikings. The Titans D was a steal for about 50 minutes.


Waive Wire Gems:


Need a player for upcoming bye weeks? I got them for you. Is your team set and you are looking for that one stash that will get you through the playoffs? I got you.


Chris Thompson:

Love CT as the season rolls on. Matt Jones is a fumble away from losing some serious touches. The Redskins will be an RRBC before the season is over. The one to own is Chris Thompson. He has an excellent YPC and is the pass catching back. Games against Dallas, Green Bay, Philly, Carolina and Arizona could all see a script in which Thompson has a lot of involvement. Expect both his carries and targets to go up.


Thomas Rawls:

Forgot about him? Most of us did. Do yourself a favor and look at his numbers last year. When healthy, this guy was a major talent. He will split carries with Christine Michael, sure. But, Rawls has a track record of success. Stash him on your bench. There is a scenario in which Pete Carroll returns to Rawls towards the season’s end.


Kennith Dixon:

This draft and stash candidate has been a bust so far. Fortunately, it has been reported that the Ravens want him to get more involved. West has been dominant so far however, this will be the most work he has ever seen in a season. We saw Mark Ingram get injured last year because he faced an unprecedented workload. Dixon is a great handcuff. Also along the lines of handcuffs: Robert Kelly, Kapri Bibbs and Tim Hightower.


Mohamed Sanu:

After the week one explosion, Sanu has come back down to Earth. He is not owned in over 50% of leagues. Julio Jones is perpetually questionable and could miss a game later on in the season as the Falcons look towards the playoffs. Sanu will be a guy who wins you a game and could push you into your own Fantasy playoffs.



Close your eyes. Now imagine Fantasy football doesn’t exist. Actually, just think of when ESPN’s app crashed a couple Sundays ago. Can you picture it? Your phone is actually sitting dormant by your side instead of being frantically opened every other second. You are being forced to watch an NFL game. And how exciting it is. I can hear the whistle as a ref calls a penalty for an illegal formation. I can see 22 players standing around for 30 seconds as some white guy screams “Omaha.” Next thing you know, some dude runs the ball for a 2 yard gain on 3rd down. But wait, there’s more. 4 refs spend the next 5 minutes debating if the ball crossed some imaginary yellow line. Then, the team punts. Commercial break. Oops, the first quarter just finished. It’s time for another commercial break as the teams switch sides for no apparent reason. Some guy gets injured. Commercial. Same guy gets injured again. Commercial. How can this get any more riveting?!


I know a way.


Let’s be real, for if only a second. The NFL is a business. Excuse me, “bidness.” They sell commercial spots to make that dough. Ads baby, ads. It makes economic sense to show a commercial every chance they get. That’s why there is a break after a team scores the extra point then another after the ensuing kickoff; as if it takes the offense five minutes to replace the special teams. So, we can’t make the game faster paced and eliminate these timeouts. What we can do, however, is make the game more exciting and if we’re lucky, we can remove some of those commercials that come after punts (shhh, don’t tell Roger).


For every fourth down a team converts during a single offensive drive, there should be an extra pointed added to the potential touchdown. This provides an incentive for teams to “go for it” on 4th down even if it’s longer than a 4th and inches situation. Normally when I see 4th down during the first three quarters of any game, I immediately switch the channel. The team is going to punt the ball or maybe kick a field goal; either way, I’m not sticking around. But, if Eli Manning is trying to convert a 4th and 3 from their own 45 yard line during the 2nd quarter, you bet I’m glued to that TV! Fans would go nuts if their team converted. If the defense gets a stop their squad suddenly is in scoring position. The tension during a game can stay consistently high if either team has constantly has a chance to start a drive at the opponents 40.


Now imagine this. Your team is down 9 with two minutes left. Your qb drives up the field and converts two 4th downs while you’re biting you nails every inch of the way. They score a TD and it actually counts as 8 points! The extra point is converted and suddenly everything is tied up. Exhilarating. Picture Belichick deliberately taking a knee on third down in order to convert a 4th and tack on an extra point to the potential TD. This adds an entirely new dimension to the game; one that makes it worth watching. Less punts and more substantial action is always a good thing. Less punts also means less commercials in which we get to watch some player’s mom talk about beefy chicken noodle soup. Let’s make it happen, America.




Week 2 Fantasy Preview


There has been movement, my friends. Last week, I got slaughtered in my matchup, playing against a good friend, Lorenzo. Zo happened to start three thirty point performers in AJ Green, Brandin Cooks and D Williams. There isn’t much I can do about that. About a day after the game, Zo texted me about some trade ideas. We settled on the rarest of fantasy trades: a mutually beneficial one.

Trade: Jeremy Hill and Tyler Eifert for Duke Johnson and Jay Ajayi

I wanted a back to plug in when my starters (DJ, Ingram) have to sit. Also, Eifert should be a top ten tight end when he comes back. Johnson was sitting on my bench and Ajayi is a back up for now. Ajayi probably will take over the starting role when Foster assuredly goes down but, I don’t think Ajayi is that great of a back. He was actually splitting first team reps last week with Pead. Still, Zo got his hands on a pass catching back he needed; a potential replacement for D Williams when Bell comes back. So, my current roster:


QB: Eli Manning                                 WR: Dez Bryant

RB: David Johnson (keeper)               WR: D-Jax

RB: Mark Ingram                                TE: Dwayne Allen

FLEX: Decker                                     FLEX: Sterling Shepherd

D: Ravens


I dropped Tyrod Taylor like 5th period Chemistry and picked up Eli for a high scoring affair against the Saints. My backs stay the same. Decker gave me north of twenty points last night. Dez is a scary play but I generally like to play my stars. Besides, there is nowhere to go but up for Mr. Bryant. Desean Jackson is a must play against a D that allows huge plays through the air. Allen is worth a start; we all saw how Olsen shined against that tough Denver defense. Speaking of which, I substituted Moncrief for Shep. This is a gamble but I like the matchup for Shep and the connection with Manning. Also, I picked up the Raven’s D against the Browns.


Also, the Browns should officially change their name to the Brown Stains.



Tips for this week:

Before I dive into some tips, let’s review my tips from last week. Forsett was a passable play in PPR leagues and produced how I thought he would. Kenny Stills however, did not. Stills dropped a pass that would have resulted in a touchdown. Leave him on the bench this week. Allen was a hit, getting red zone looks and catching a td. That Northwestern nerd missed Green on a touchdown but Green still looks like a wonderful play going forward; the targets will be there, especially with Thomas hurting. Overall, I got about half my calls right and I’ll live with that.


Who to stay away from:

 QB: Jameis Winston. Don’t get me wrong, Winston is the future. I constantly brag about seeing him in person during his NCAA years. And the guy looked great last week! But, this week is a recipe for regression. The Cardinals will be playing with a fire under their you-know-what after that loss to the Pats. Expect them to play tough defense to avoid a dreadful 0-2 start. The Cardinals defense didn’t look too bad against the Pats and they should do better against the Bucs. I know the Arizona secondary has issues but I’m not quite sure Jameis can take the leap to exploit them just yet. He’ll be a decent play but, I would rather hit the waivers and pick up Manning.


RB: Todd Gurley. Last week, San Fran stopped the beast. Primarily, the loaded the box and dared the Ram to throw the ball. L.A has the worst starting quarterback in the league and will try and run the ball. Seattle knows this. Don’t be scared to sit Gurley this week. If Forsett or T. West are available then pick one of them up. I would rather have one of the Raven’s backs against the Browns than Gurley against a Seattle team rallying around a limping Russ.


WR: T.Y Hilton. The speedster was seen limping around practice this week. Although he most likely will play this weekend, sit him. Hilton makes his money off of deep bombs from Luck. The problem is, Luck won’t have the time to sit around in the pocket and air it out. I would be happier playing a guy like Sanu or Snead against more favorable matchups.


Rule for Week 2:

Exploit. Undoubtedly, some player will have his second back week in a row. If someone such as AP or Freeman puts up low numbers again, then jump on them. Trading for these guys will pay off in the long run.


Go out there and win some games, now!

Its football season…

Its football season…

And basketball is right around the corner!

It is only fitting that I begin my season long critique on the game of roundball by focusing my ever-so-harsh lens on one of the game’s brightest stars: Steph Curry. Recently, Mr. Curry expressed in an interview his team goals for the upcoming year. Curry relayed a simple message, one that favors a deep playoff run over winning a record setting amount of regular season games. The reigning MVP stated that he was not entirely concerned with winning 74 games and surpassing last season’s historic win total. Instead, the Dubs will set their sights on the more elusive and prestigious prize; an NBA title. I only have on question for Mr. Curry: Can you let me know which games you will be taking off this year?


Slide yourself into the shoes of a Warriors fan. Firstly, disregard the objectively hideous Steph Curry Under Armor shoes you are currently wearing. Secondly, imagine pulling into Oracle Arena. Picture yourself finding Row 34 Seat 8 and proudly donning the free yellow t-shirt the Warriors have so kindly provided for you. Watch the newly signed Kevin Durant challenge the depth of Curry and Thompson by sinking warm up threes from nearly half court. Now, listen to the announcer dictate the starting lineup. “And now for your Golden State Warriors, starting point guard…Ian Clark!”


Wait a second, no Steph?


“Starting at small forward, Kevon Looney!”


No KD either?


That’s right. Curry and co will be emphasizing health this year, not winning every single game. This is not a new concept, however. A couple years ago Lebron took a mysterious two weeks off during midseason. Pops and the Spurs were fined for resting their starters during a prime time regular season game. So what’s my problem with what Curry recently said? I have multiple.


The assumption that the Warriors will be primed for a deep postseason run is a good one. Yet, it is still an assumption. I will go out on a limb here and state that Curry (as well as his teammates and most basketball analysts) have pegged in the Warriors as the team to make it to the Finals. It’s as if the Clippers did not reload and the Spurs are going to take a year off. There is no argument to be had if you are predicting that the Warriors are the favorite. I will happily cede you that opinion and educated guess. Here’s the thing; its not even preseason yet. The Warriors have yet to play a meaningful minute of basketball this year and they are conceding losses in favor of postseason health. This cockiness should set Curry’s foes on fire. As you read this, Lilliard and CP3 are Facetiming each other and just silently nodding while their facial expressions say “Oh, its on now.”


This statement was also incredibly disrespectful to a very loyal fan base. Sure, there will be games where it is duly announced that the Fantastic Four are taking DNP-Rest days. Yet, there will also be those games when Steph, Draymond, Klay and KD are pulled by the 6:00 mark of the 3rd quarter because the Bucks jumped out to a 14 point lead. At that point, Kerr may not be so hesitant to give up a loss to avoid risking a much bigger type of loss; one to injury. Still, Dubs fans can expect to go to some games and only see their favorite players for about 2 and a half quarters. Think they’ll get a refund for that other quarter and a half?


So bring out the fines, Commissioner Silver. If the Warriors are going to form a super team for the ages, then entertain us as one. That March 11th nationally televised game versus the Spurs better feature all of the starters. And I’m looking at you too, Pops! Most NBA fans griped and groaned when KD chose to join the Warriors. What can we do, though? We’re stuck with the decision he made, for better or for worse. The least the Warriors can do is play. If you want to be the best team ever assembled, then break the records to prove it. Don’t shy from the heights if you want to soar. To be the best you have to play the best. And to play the best you have to, well…play.





(Mikey’s Note, this is long and I love roundtables and I haven’t been included in one in a while so I cut nothing. READ AWAY PEOPLE)


KNOXVILLE, TN - AUGUST 31, 2014 - Aerial wide shot from overhead of a full stadium during the Season opening game between the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Utah State Aggies at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics

Michael H: In my very humble opinion, the atmosphere at a college football game – especially in the South – is as close as we get in American sports to the atmosphere of a big European club soccer match. Generation upon generation of folks root their guts out for their beloved college football team.

My wife’s family is from Tennessee and are gigantic Vols fans, natch. I have been in Neyland Stadium amongst over 100,000 Vols fans clad in yellow and white. No other sporting experience I have had comes close to the electricity and elation I witnessed their – I also was lucky enough to watch a come-from-behind overtime win against South Carolina a few years back. It was insane.

As for myself, I’m an Illinois Fighting Illini fan (smh). We have had little to be optimistic about recently (thanks Tim Beckman). Sure, we have had some decent players: Red Grange, Dick Butkus, Rashard Mendenhall, Brandon Lloyd, Vontae Davis, Jeff Allen…uh…Arrelious Benn? Anyway, yeah. But now Lovie Smith is here. He is the biggest football coach the Illini have probably ever had (apologies to Ron Zook, psyche). This year will most likely be a rough one, but hopefully future potential recruits will give Illinois another look simply because of the name recognition. He has to keep Illinois boys in-state, and own Chicago.

They open with Murray State (yay!), but don’t play Indiana somehow (insane), and end with a Michigan State-Wisconsin-Iowa-Northwestern trail of tears. Still, I am really pumped for college football Saturdays. I-L-L.


Shaun: I’m here to teach things people. Study up. – The Big XII Conference has represented itself as one of the power conferences in college football, boasting the motto: “One True Champion.”  During the 2014 season, the Big XII awarded conference championship trophies to the Baylor Bears and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.  ONE true champion; TWO champions.  And this decision to award two champions hurt big time.  Both Baylor and TCU were poised to make an appearance in the first official College Football Playoff, although the odds were admittedly slim that both would make it.  That would come down to the results of conference championships in the other power conferences in the final week of the regular season.  Then, when the final College Football Playoff seedings were released, both teams were stuck on the outside looking in.  Ohio State leapfrogged both Big XII schools, winning the Big Ten championship, and on the final weekend of the college football season, Baylor and TCU sat at home, with no opportunity to help themselves get into the inaugural CFP in any way.  Their conference failed them.

For ONLY ONE MORE SEASON WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS.  As of 2017 (next season) the Big XII will once again implement a conference championship game, and we can no longer laugh at the Big XII for such a staggering level of ineptitude for handing out two trophies to two teams just a few years ago.  The Big XII has 10 teams in the conference.  This just keeps getting stranger, I know.  But nonetheless, there are two, five-team divisions, and the conference has announced that they will reinstate their championship game for the first time since Colorado and Nebraska left for other conferences in 2010.  Last season, Oklahoma made it into the final four-team playoff, despite not playing in a championship game.  Now that the NCAA allows conferences with less than 12 teams to host a championship game, the Big XII is the first conference to jump at the opportunity (why this was an NCAA rule in the first place, I have no idea). Hopefully there is no controversy at the top this season.

(Oh, and the millions of dollars that will come into the conference for hosting a championship game won’t be too shabby, either.)



Emily: This will be my first football season where I actually have a semi-grasp on what’s happening on the field. I’m not in a fully committed monogamous relationship with any given team – but am open to suggestions if you think one would be a good fit for me. What usually gets me going about football season is the fact you can Sunday Funday with a legitimate excuse and more than likely everyone in your office will be on the same page Monday morning. In a word (or three), what sums up football season for me is: buffalo chicken dip.


EricCollege football is back and I could not be happier. Is it because I am a Boston College fan and think this is their year? Definitely not but anything is better than last year for them. The real reason I am so excited: college football gambling. While I am not putting my rent money on the line each week, I do like to place some bets during these upcoming fall Saturdays. Gambling may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it can be quite the thrill even with smaller bets being placed. Most Saturdays you won’t get the big time games until later in the evening but why not enjoy every game a little bit.

Week 1 puts UMass up against Florida, obviously a mismatch that does not look like a win for UMass. How do you make it interesting? Well, UMass is a 37 point underdog so why not put down some money and give them a 37 point lead and make Florida score more than five touchdowns more than UMass. Another one of my favorite bets to place on most Saturdays is a multiple team parlay bet for a small amount. Basically I pick about ten or so teams with a spread and place like $5 on it. Depending on the odds, if all of those teams cover the spread, that $5 can turn into $500. If you win the first nine games though, the tenth game is not for the faint of heart even if it is only $5 on the line.

(Editor’s Note, Yes I know this is illegal, Yes I love Eric. No I won’t omit this.)


Matt:This season, college football has a massive opportunity to change some social conversations. For and foremost, I am hoping a new storyline comes out which will finally extinguish the Harambe memes. Dabo can help out by once again setting the internet ablaze with his OG dances moves. Secondly, I’m excited for the discussion on amateurism to take a step forward. Leonard Fournette is a human bowling ball who should be my flex option every Sunday this year. The usual pundits will be back on the scene to promote proper compensation for our athletes. This time has the potential to be different, however. Let’s add up some ingredients and see if a major sports story is in the making. Football is religion in the South. The American South is still dripping with racism. Major college football stars are African American. These stars do not get paid to perform for many white, bigoted fans. America is approaching another boiling point regarding racial tension. Stars are starting to protest on the field… You do the math.

Now for some actual football talk. Clemson is my team. My best friend went to college there and I have had the pleasure of piggybacking on his personal fandom. Plus, I went to see Clemson play Florida State in the Famous Jameis days and it was one of the wildest sporting events I have ever been to. Pencil them in for a playoff bid. Ohio State should get one too. I think Oklahoma returns as well. Finally, pencil out Alabama. Nick Saban wins too much and I just don’t like it. I respect his greatness but I’m rooting for him to lose every single game. If Pop and Belichick had a son it would be Nick Saban. I mean, do we all have to treat the media like they are annoying idiots only there to be a nuisance? No. So Nick Saban, I hope when you open your yogurt today it’s disgustingly watery and you decide it’s not even worth it. Roll damn Tigers, go Clemson.

` And one more thing. College football is back! Which means college basketball is right around the corner…


Mikey: For me, college sports trump the professional level if your measuring device is entertainment instead of quality. The sheer depth in the pool of plotlines to choose from allows you to select the most important, impactful stories instead of skimming the top for 7 stories about Dak Prescott. There are hundreds upon thousands of participants, and finding something you can root for and support is easy once you begin to understand the aspect of collegiate sports as a whole, and the fact that they are college kids at the end of the day.

The thing I am most excited for this season is a player by the name of James Conner, a Pitt running back who has battled cancer to take the field this season. He was a heisman hopeful, then became a cancer survivor, and now has a chance to rise back to the top.

I love sports. I love college football. I am happy it is back.