NFL

Is There Any Way To Fix The NHL Draft Lottery?

The NFL awards the first overall pick to the worst team every season, MLB does the same but based on win percentage (so many games, can’t keep track), while the NBA and the NHL have opted for the lottery system. If the system is set up properly, a fair chance is given to all the teams eligible for the first pick. The NBA will adopt a revised lottery system in 2019 when four teams, instead of three, will vie for the number one slot while the remaining 10 teams that missed the playoffs go in reverse order from worst team record to best of all the teams that missed the postseason.

Each team in the top four (or bottom four, I suppose) will get an equal 14% chance of winning the lottery. Now, considering many NBA teams can be defined by a single player like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant, the need for a franchise player can alter the team’s history, and yet the NBA is quite simple in their method of awarding the top three picks. No fancy gimmicks or jumping up eight spots and the like.

It’s a locked system at the bottom so there isn’t any funny business.

Before I did any research on the other leagues, namely the NBA, a fixed tier of teams at the bottom made the most sense. In the NHL’s case, they’ve put too much emphasis on every team missing the playoffs getting a shot at the first pick. It should be simple. It should be fair.

As a Canucks supporter, they no doubt have been given a pretty raw deal since their tailspin began and they started to occupy the bottom three league positions. This year, Vancouver finished 26th, 29th a season ago, and 28th in 2015/16. They picked fifth the last two seasons and in June they’ll pick seventh.

How is that possible?

In my proposed new system the NHL would adopt a modified version of the NBA model. If the league is worried about “tanking” they can assure themselves that if teams are truly bad there still is a chance even the worst team won’t be guaranteed the top pick. Instead of four teams, I propose the NBA’s original three-team program.

Give each of those teams an equal percentage chance of winning the top pick and because this day seems to be so marketable, logo up all the balls and put them in the lottery spinner just like the old 649 segment every Wednesday and Saturday night.

Obviously, the lead up to the big pick is a big draw and watching the big spinner rake go round and round just adds to the cheesery. No one cares about the teams that just missed the playoffs by a point or two, the draw is the ones on the podium. Even though the reveal itself takes seconds the spin that determines pick number three gets it all going. From there, Gary empties the globe and they have a fresh set of balls with the final two teams.

How many balls they put in really doesn’t matter, although there shouldn’t be too many or it will lose the effect. It’s now a 50/50 chance to draw the winning team ball and everyone is watching. There doesn’t need to be a room full of GM’s sitting like stooges watching cards being flipped over, where’s the fun in that?

Make it all public, make it real. Send the mascots, make it ridiculous when the winning ball is chosen.

When that ball rolls out to determine the top pick, the suspense sells the whole thing. Anyone remember this little nugget?

Watch how that Nike check just hangs there… a marketer’s dream. Imagine the Canucks lottery ball falls and that whale is sitting upside down, that’s a commercial right there. Now imagine that player goes on to do great things and one day hoists the Cup. They roll the clip of that ball falling and sitting upside down. Genius.

Adding to all of this is the rule that a winning lottery team is ineligible for the top three for two years afterward. A three-year swing is a long time in hockey and by then those same three teams from the first go around most likely wouldn’t be in that situation again, or at least one would hope they wouldn’t. The “Oiler rule” as it could be called would keep the league’s parity intact and help disperse the best talent somewhat evenly to a certain degree.

It’s not reinventing the wheel by any means but it’s a pretty simple fix to something that looks way too complicated. Maybe Jason Botchford would even support this model, maybe he’d even play the online button clicking game. We can all dream.

 

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Seattle Seahawks Feeling SUPER Again

It doesnt matter where they play: Seattle, Arizona, New York, who cares? The Seahawks are back to being arguably the NFL’s best team again. It didn’t look that way early on this season but the 12’s have come to play and no one is going to take their ball away. After plastering the NFC West leading Arizona Cardinals on Sunday Night Football 35-6, the Seahawks are firing on all cylinders going into the playoffs. The Seattle Seahawks are feeling SUPER again and their timing couldn’t be any better.

After a convincing win in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers, Seattle played some pretty inconsistent ball for about 5 weeks. Losses to the Chargers, Rams and the Cowboys IN Seattle; everyone wondered if the Seahawks weren’t the same team as last year and if they had that same stellar defense that led them to the Super Bowl back in February.

I guess when you question the reigning champs, they either answer the bell or become another one and done. Safe to say the Seahawks are once again proving why they are in my opinion, the NFL’s star on their Christmas tree. Led by the Legion of Boom on D, Marshawn Lynch and one of the emerging elite QB’s in the league, Russell Wilson, Seattle has everything in place to repeat as champions.

Lost from a year ago are wideouts Golden Tate and Percy Harvin; the band kept playing though and Wilson has spread the targets around to everyone and continued his amazing reads when he keeps the ball himself. Russell Wilson may not have the rocket arm or the best offensive line but he keeps the play alive on every down and usually turns a few heads every game. He is having a career year in pretty much every category with less options at his disposal and when he calls his own number, it’s no different. Russell Wilson is gonna get paid this year, but knowing him, he’ll take a lot less to keep his team together.

The defensive unit has not only equalled their output from last year, they have scared their opponents into thinking twice about doing…well….anything without risking a turnover or getting fiercely embarrassed. The vocal leader of the Legion of Boom, Richard Sherman is having a better year than he did a season ago as QB’s have thought twice about sending a ball his way and don’t want to give him a chance to make a play. They’re better off though; getting sacked by anyone else on that D corps isn’t fun. Sherman may not statistically be better in all areas but when the ball isn’t thrown in his direction, that says it all.

At 11-4, Seattle is tied with the Cardinals for the NFC West lead. Aside from a “epic fail” as the kids say, the Seahawks should stroll to another division crown. If they do win, they get to play in the loudest stadium in the league until the Super Bowl. Sort of ironic, being that they have quietly made their mark without destroying their opponents every week. Pete Carroll plays to win and if the blowouts come, well, that’s the other teams fault.

Another question going into the playoffs and really into the offseason is Beast mode aka Marshawn Lynch. There have been some interesting situations this season with Lynch from an “upset stomach” to not sitting with his team mates and just his quirky approach. Marshawn is once again showing why Seattle really needs to think hard about letting him go. Since 2011, Lynch has rushed for at least 1200 yards, 11.5 TD and averaged almost 4.5 yards per attempteach year. He has 14 fumbles and lost 6 in that same time.


Maybe don’t sit him in the first quarter, just saying

The X factor with Marshawn is that once he starts running, it takes an army and sometimes more to stop him. His “beast mode” runs are a thing of beauty. There is no one like him aside from maybe Le’veon Bell of Pittsburgh, and to give up on him because of a few potential issues seems like a tough decision. Backups Robert Turbin and Christine Michael just aren’t Lynch. They just aren’t. Another trip to the Super Bowl and maybe a win, could change Seattle’s decision and think about keeping “skittles” around for awhile.

I’m sure we all remember this one too:

Going into the playoffs, the Seahawks are primed for another run to the Lombardi. There may be only a few teams that will challenge them and honestly, it will take a lot for them to lose. If Seattle DOES go all the way, they probably will have to go through Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning/Tom Brady. I can’t wait.

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Main photo courtesy of zimbio.com

It’s 4th Down, Bottom Of The 9th With The Goalie Pulled

When it comes to football, baseball and hockey, the blame game often lies on the Quarterback, Pitcher and the Goalie. Is it their fault the rest of their team blew their assignments to put all the pressure on these guys? Depends on who you ask I suppose. These three positions are quite similar in how the public views them and what is asked of them by their coach and team mates. Who has it worse? Who deserves the most blame? Even championships can’t save these guys.

It’s Sunday Night Football, Brady vs. Manning, Rodgers vs. Romo; the spotlight is shining brightest on the man behind center. The matchup is always QB vs QB, not team vs team. Quarterbacks are paid the big contracts and are the face of the franchise. Who starts on Sunday is the big discussion on talk radio and when the chips are down every throw, run and sack is scrutinized.

Baseball takes a different approach by employing the starting rotation. Every team has 5 guys they deem are worthy of leading their team to victory once every 5 days. The pitching duel isn’t as relevant but again they face the most scrutiny because they are the players that start every.single.play.

Goaltending in hockey shares the spotlight that the other two positions do; the flip is that they are the last guy to beat before a goal is awarded. Unfortunately, the goalie is the one often blamed for a team’s misplays. It doesn’t matter if the defense is brutally awful or the forwards can’t cross center ice without giving up the puck, if the puck goes in, cue the boo birds.

Every Sunday the best quarterbacks in the league can be hung out to dry by a stellar defense or an offensive line that has more holes than swiss cheese. The QB is commonly the one to blame and his performance is the lightning rod for why his team did so poorly. The amount of study that goes in to one game is mind numbing: option reads, deep plays, the run game and the unforeseen flag all go into how a team fairs when they have the ball. A poorly timed pass can result in an interception that could end the game.

Once the pitcher steps onto the mound it’s his game. All the preparation and game tape can change in an instant when the first pitch of the game goes deep over the left field wall. Thankfully, baseball is played a pitch at a time and even a badly executed pitch can be recovered by a well positioned fielder. Quarterbacks can relate to a degree, the game is in their hands until they let go, then it gets real.

Even though a goalie doesn’t have the puck to start the game, it takes seconds to have them involved. Goalies have it pretty rough. There is so much that has to happen before its their fault, however, one mistake by anyone on their team can be forgiven if the goalie does his job properly. Goalies can be asked to steal games when the guys up front aren’t necessarily equipped to get the job done on their end.

What links these 3 positions together?

Aside from the crazy hate, relentless criticism and the ability to lose their job because they don’t win EVERY SINGLE game; all of these people share a remarkable mental toughness and are celebrated for doing a job most players wouldn’t want to be responsible for. Putting a blatantly obvious interception in the rear view mirror when it puts his team behind takes a special type of athlete and even more special when he can engineer a game winning drive in the last 2 minutes.

Having a pitcher give up consecutive home runs or walking in the go ahead run to have the reliever come in and strikeout out the side to get his team back in is something most athletes don’t want to be responsible for. Or maybe its the flip side and the pitcher has a perfect game or a no hitter going; its the loneliest place in the world but you know your team will do whatever it takes to keep it alive and it doesn’t matter who you cheer for, you want to see it happen.

Behind the mask, the puck is the ultimate decider of fate. A quarterback can throw an interception but the game isn’t necessarily over, a pitcher can give up a hit, doesn’t mean the winning run comes in; with goaltending, when the puck crosses that line, you failed. Its final. So much can be put on the tender for what HE didn’t do to keep the puck out when a blown assignment by his defense gave the goalie no chance aside from a miracle. Its a cruel, cruel game.

As the great Uncle Ben from Spiderman once said “with great power, comes great responsibility”. Nothing rings truer than these 3 positions. Championships are won and lost on a bad pitch, an overthrown pass or a screened shot. ERA, WHIP, pass completion, QB ratings, touchdowns, interceptions, save percentage, GAA, shutouts, perfect games and no hitters; none of that matters unless there is a W attached to it.

The pressure to perform at each of these sport’s biggest positions is incredible but the rewards can turn an ordinary Joe into Joe Montana. If I had to pick, goaltending is the hardest. The split second decisions are so drastic that a teams downfall can happen quite quickly. I don’t envy any of those guys.

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Is The NFL About To Tank?

Is the best run sports league in the world teetering on a monumental collapse? The $10 billion+ industry has built up an empire. TV deals, endorsement deals, apparel and the players themselves have created a product unparalleled by any other league. As soon as teams open their doors every Sunday, they are rolling in the green….ok except the Bills and maaaaybe the Jaguars. But is the NFL actually about to tank?

No matter what seems to happen outside the field of play or even on the field, the NFL always seems to have an answer to keep the critics at bay. There have been so many incidents that have potentially given the league a black eye (ie: Brett Favre sexting a cheerleader, Ray Lewis murder charges, Michael Vick dog fighting ring, Patriots Spygate, numerous arrests and convictions of players across the league), but it always seems to be status quo.

That list of incidents is not something any company, family or organization would want to associate with and yet the NFL seems to go by a motto of “If we wait long enough, you’ll forget and forgive”. If you think about it for a second, that rings pretty true. However, with the string of activity in the news this past month; the NFL may not be able to push this under the rug. It isn’t about saving face and making everything good again, it isn’t about reacting to public sentiment; It’s about admitting they have been so wrong about their role in all of this and rebuilding an image that has been heavily tarnished.

The Ray Rice elevator knockout case was the first blow that really put the NFL and Roger Goodell in their place. Lying, coverups and more lying only made it worse. Ray Rice knocked out his then fiance in an elevator and the league literally said a two game suspension was plenty long because he had never done anything like that before. This coincided with repeat offender, Josh Gordon, enjoying the green leafy cigarettes and being suspended for a whole season. Seems fair.

This whole situation seemed laughable, and then, the elevator video was released. For whatever reason, things THEN became real. Or did they? After Rice was released from the Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the league, it seemed like the NFL had done enough. Again, a handful of suspensions were being applied for using banned substances at the time the Rice incident was going on. Four games here, a few games there; the NFL was handling business as usual, despite public outcry.

It might have been salvageable at this point for the league and maybe if they did enough, it was again a case of apologize and wait for people to forget. Adrian Peterson didn’t help that theory. “All Day” as he’s called was charged with child abuse when he disciplined his four year old son with what is called a “switch”. A switch is a whip like tree branch used for discipline instead of say, a leather belt. After the photos of the “beating” took place, there was no turning back.

The NFL now officially has a problem they can’t sweep away. Despite the press conference that was issued, the promises that were made and the apparent support from the owners of the NFL teams, Roger Goodell may possibly run the league into the ground. Sometimes you can’t climb until you fall. Domestic violence, child abuse, rape, animal abuse and even murder are becoming all too familiar lingo in the NFL and the sponsors and supporters of the league have finally had enough; they aren’t taking this lying down.

Anheuser-Busch aka Budweiser has not so nicely said that if the NFL doesn’t get their act together, their $1 billion agreement is very much in jeopardy. Money talks. The moment you don’t have it anymore, is when you start to listen. It’s really tough to say how intently the league IS listening but their immediate acts are a good start. Other sponsors have already pulled their support of athletes because at the end of the day public image is job one.

The NHL needed two lockouts to get their act together and now the league is stronger than ever. Might the NFL need a wakeup call that drastic? Time will tell and $10 billion a year is quite a statement.

Follow me on twitter @hankthetank10 and @always90four

Welcome Back NFL, We Missed You

Although, this play didn’t win the SuperBowl last season, it did set the Seattle Seahawks into hyperdrive to clinch their first ever Lombardi Trophy. It was a season filled with surprises and superstars but like only the NFL can, it made us tune in to see what else was next. Well, come Thursday, it all starts again. Welcome back NFL, we missed you.

The defending champ, Seahawks, are hosting the Green Bay Packers. There have been a few memorable matchups between these two teams, none really more memorable than the touchterception call by the replacement refs that forced the NFL to ante up and pay their normal referees to come back.

Hopefully nothing that awful occurs this year. There will however, be some big names to watch once we kickoff at Centurylink Field on Thursday. Is Peyton Manning still in the driver’s seat to get his Broncos back to the SuperBowl? Or is the sun setting on the future Hall of Famer? An obvious question, will the Seahawks repeat with their stellar team that absolutely demolished the Broncos last year? Tough to say.

I personally am excited to see a few stars own it this year:

Adrian Peterson – I just want this guy to crush the rushing record so bad. He is a phenomenal athlete and he makes that position look easy. He enjoys hitting people to prove his point and an overall nice guy. Good luck AP.

Percy Harvin – AP’s former teammate is going to get a full season to play in the Seahawks offense and it personally gets me a bit too excited. He has amazing speed, hybrid receiver/running back abilities and he’s big too! If anything happens to Lynch this year, I doubt anyone will worry with Harvin and Christine Michael holding down the backfield.

Jimmy Graham – Jimmy got paid. Jimmy’s gotta step up his game even more. Jimmy wants to be paid like a wideout? Put up a 2k season. That will get you that kind of money. Jimmy thinks he just called out Jimmy Graham. Bad idea.

Johnny Manziel – This man probably will only have one rival this year for hype and HE was drafted first overall. Johnny Football is a lifestyle it seems. He can party, he can be named the backup but all in all, JF will be a star in the NFL. He has everything to make him a star and he may just take Cleveland further than they ever have been. Josh Gordon gone? Who cares. Manziel will more than make up for it with his read option ability and his wealth of targets.

Jadeveon Clowney – Finally this guy. He is a monster. He is a wildebeest with a smile. Houston made a great pick with Clowney to join forces with JJ Watt. Offenses will have nightmares when they have to face these two. I would prefer to never even face these guys let alone tell you what type of grass is used once they bury my face in the ground. Check this clip:

Jacked up yet? There’s only one other thing that makes football even better: Fantasy Football. Yes it’s “fake football” time and everyone is geeked up. Hopefully both of my teams go all the way and life will be complete. Its entirely possible.

I have also put my hat in the ring for a chance to become part of NFL Canada‘s digital street team. It would truly be an honor to be officially associated with the NFL. I’ll let you know if it happens. In fact, I am sure you’ll hear a lot about it if I do.

So, get your popcorn ready, put on your favorite Brett Favre jersey (he played for a few teams) and plunk down on that old leather chair and get ready for the best NFL season ever.

One last thing.

You’re welcome.

Follow me on twitter @hankthetank10 and @always90four

Why you gotta hate? Seahawks edition

A sequence seen too often, a west coast un respected team that finally wins and makes one move that the nation takes personally and all of a sudden they are public enemy #1. The Vancouver Canucks know this all too well after their rise to fame, heck even the Penguins saw a little flack when Sidney Crosby was labelled a whiner. Now, its Seattle’s turn.

Apparently its not supposed to happen this way. A good team from a small market isn’t supposed to win, isn’t supposed to beat their rival in a monstrous game, and definitely isn’t supposed to brag about it. Enter the Seattle Seahawks. They had a season that any NFL fan would be proud to say was their team. They did what so many teams failed to do, get to the Superbowl. And not just get there, they did it in dramatic fashion. They didn’t have a 4000 yard passer, they didn’t have the NFL’s leading rusher, they didn’t have the same group the whole season that fought through the trenches. The Hawks were constantly replacing offensive lineman game after game; which for a lot of teams might see the end of their good fortunes. They beat the 49ers in a game that seemed to be over after the Seahawks first play when Russell Wilson fumbled the ball and gave the Niners possesion.

For a Hawks team that man handled some of the top teams in the league this year, they looked ordinary and lifeless in the first half. So a local kid popped a few tags, got the crowd jacked and out came the 12th man in the second half, and boy did they ever. The Hawks would rally back and take the lead in the second half and eventually secure their berth to Superbowl XLVIII with a Richard Sherman tip to cause the game winning interception n the end zone over Michael Crabtree. Those two men were at each other this season and with the rivalry at the peak of its intensity, a play that ended the game brought on a ton of emotion. Crabtree was having a beauty of a day on the field which he usually does in the playoffs and the play that would most likely have sealed the deal fell short.

Here’s where most people will differ in opinion: Why was it such a big deal that Richard Sherman unleashed his WWE promo after causing the winning play in the game for his team? Have you not won a big game before? Have you ever beaten a buddy at Madden that was a bit more intense than it should have been? Did you not expect an outspoken Sherman to have SOMETHING to say when he was the first guy interviewed by Erin “eye candy” Andrews? She didn’t exactly hold her own in that interview. Did she not have a follow up question to maybe address why that play pushed the 12th man over the edge? NO, she didn’t. Richard Sherman did what ANY big player would have done in the same situation, he spoke up after totally owning his man in what would have most likely been a game winning touchdown. So forgive me if the “thug” had a bit of emotion on his chest when he sealed his teams berth into the Superbowl.

It seems like if you win you aren’t allowed to be excited about it….ITS THE FREAKING SUPERBOWL!!!! The fact that Sherman carried his rivalry with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh since college makes the play all that more amazing. The fact the Hawks beat the team they were predicted to play before the preseason even started is amazing. Add the fact that a 2nd year QB, a guy who literally stole the job away from a guy who inked a fat payday after subbing in for Mr. Discount Double Check for one game. This Seahawks team is way more special than the team that faced the Steelers in Superbowl XL. They have a more rounded team, a more unified team, and I am pretty sure that they have guys that won’t drop the ball in the end zone this time, ya I’m talking to you Jerramy Stevens.

I intercepted yo mouth breathin brother man, Imma pick you off too

I intercepted yo mouth breathin brother man, Imma pick you off too
Photo courtesy of si.com

Why is it that once a team gets popular because of their success, that the sports world turns on them. Because they beat YOUR TEAM? Because YOUR TEAM didn’t make it that far? Because YOUR TEAM didn’t have the talent to do what they did? The Redskins went through the same thing with RG3. As soon as there was a sign of weakness, all of a sudden RG3 is selfish and a “I” guy. The underdog is cool until they reach stardom and then everyone is waiting for the shoe to drop. So tell me why is it that the biggest play of the game wasn’t allowed to be talked about by the guy that MADE the play? This sheep sports society doesn’t like its wool straightened out, it doesn’t like anything out of the norm. It needs to have a hero and the hero always wins. Well what if the hero has a big mouth? Is that ok?

Sports is so weird. Everyone wants the league to be more exciting, more unpredictable. Well this post season has been anything BUT predictable and as soon as someone says anything about it, now its an issue. GET A GRIP! The NFL has been robbed of any ounce of fun and the fun is hitting major heights, so saddle up and enjoy.

The NFL is looking better than it ever did and it finally has an opportunity to max out on a small market team and get them back in the spotlight. Not only that, they are facing a soon to be hall of famer with an offense that shot to kill and didn’t look back. They are facing a man that doesn’t exactly lose a lot. Don’t hate on the guys that make the sport more exciting, has the NO FUN LEAGUE brainwashed the casual fan, or worse, the diehard?

It’s Peyton Manning vs. Russell Wilson, its the Denver Broncos vs. the Seattle Seahawks. Two #1 teams with a #1 defense on one side and a #1 offense on the other. It doesn’t get any better than that. So there won’t be any Kaepernicking this year, there won’t be any power outages and there will definitely be some history made on that fine Sunday.

There will also be a sick ton of Skittles.

Hit me up on twitter @hankthetank10

cover photo courtesy cbssports.com

Fantasy Football HATES you

From Thursday to Monday nights starting in September, most husbands, boyfriends, sons, and for you nerds out there, World of Warcraft; become zombies to the rest of the world. Football in all its glory returns and even more important, Fantasy Football, begins.

To be fair, there are some girls that play too, and for some of those unlucky leagues out there, they win. This is a hobby that creates billions in revenue each year across the world, and also loses billions I’m sure. If I put even HALF of the effort into my normal job as I did in fantasy football, well, I don’t want to even think about it. If I played fantasy football during college, I would STILL be in college. You get my point.

The unfair part of it is how much time and effort you have to put in to even try to win your league. I spent an hour on twitter this weekend trying to decide what Tight End to play and by Sunday afternoon, they were both out anyways. It sucks! I mean, who has three TE on their team? You can prepare all you want, get all the best info from the most knowledgable guys and it still comes down to what happens on the field. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady might be the best QB’s in the league, but even they suck sometimes.

Wanna know how nuts it is? When Aaron Hernandez was arrested, I GUARANTEE YOU, thousands of people were choked because NOW they have to find a new TE. He MURDERED 2, possibly 3 people, and Terrific Tom’s Touchdowns is scouring the league to see who will be available at the draft. The same reaction had to have happened when Mike Vick went to jail for his role in a dog fighting ring. How…..am I going to replace a QB like that? They’re just dogs right? Man I hope Vick doesn’t do too much time, maybe I’ll stash him on my bench for a year or so.

This epic funfest has put friendships in question, marriages on the rocks (no way?), work relationships in jeopardy, heck, jobs in jeopardy and all for a little bit of fun. Fantasy Football is so popular that FXX Network, a subsidiary of FOX, has a show called, The League. A group of friends that are in a fantasy league together and all the shenanigans that happen during their lives. Its a beauty and a must a watch.

It's ALL about the Shiva Bowl

It’s ALL about the Shiva Bowl

Sunday mornings haven’t been the same since Twitter joined fantasy sports either. There are loads of analysts that get PAID to give you advice on how to win your leagues every year, week in and week out. When you end up being the smartest guy in your league, odds are, there are a group of people online that are waaaay smarter than you. It would have been amazing to see how it was done even 10 years ago. “Dear Fantasy football guy, I have a big matchup this weekend, who do I start at QB: Rivers or Eli Manning? Thanks a lot, Ryan” “Dear Ryan, I just got your letter, I would start Rivers this week because Eli is on a bye week. Thanks for following us, Fantasy football guy. You can guess that would have been a blast getting snail mail a week or two later if you were lucky.

With Twitter now, you can have get real time answers the way call in shows have done, but way quicker and with more possibilities. See someone ask the same kind of question, just check your timeline and you can save yourself a question. Unless you are a real idiot and you ask the same question 100 times only to get nothing back. Or even better, ask a question that is brutally obvious and get ignored. “Who should I start at RB: Marshawn Lynch orrrrrr Trent Richardson? The only people that would find that funny though are the people in this special world.

If you hate this man, you love fantasy football.

Ya, I might be a mouth breather but I have 2 Super Bowls

Ya, I might be a mouth breather but I have 2 Super Bowls

Drafting is a big part of how your season will go and could even define your entire season early. If you haven’t done your homework or didn’t have a smart strategy, you could be 1-11 like a guy in my league is. The real thrill is finding a diamond in the rough after a week of games and he ends up being one of the NFL elite. You have to be a bit lucky or know what you think everyone else doesn’t know already.

Its sure amusing to think of what the hobby really is: a harsh, dark world of evil sorcery and old stabled hunks of meat used for the rich mans betting amusal. No one thinks of their favorite team anymore, its about numbers. Favorite team won? Who cares. Did the WR on the other team get 80 yards? HUGE playoff implications for division rivals? Great! I should totally get big points out of the RB in that game. Its like greyhounds; they are popular until they stop winning and then just tossed to the curb…or the glue farm while the next young stud is welcomed to Weeden Start the Fire’s PPR team.

Its a reason to get up in the morning…usually 7am on Tuesdays when the waiver wire opens, you gotta be first you know. Its even more fun when you screw over a guy you hate in your league, and take the guy he wanted knowing full well you don’t even need him and he’ll just rot away on your bench.

Oh fantasy football, the American dream, the Canadian nightmare and yet another reason the CFL still has a point for kicking the ball through the end zone. Seriously, stop that rule, its lame. The lacrosse league is starting to snicker at you.

And finally, the butt fumble again

follow me on twitter @hankthetank10

NFL Waiver Wire Addition

After watching the latest Monday Night Flopball between the Giants and the Vikings, it became brutally clear the NFL as a whole has a serious problem with Waiver Wire addiction.

You will DEFINITELY regret signing me

You will DEFINITELY regret signing me

Every year, injuries force their way onto an NFL roster and as soon they do, league GM’s are as predictable as Pavlov’s Dog. It’s pathetic! There is a perfectly good reason many of these players sit unsigned or released from former teams: they aren’t good enough or there is something wrong with them. Case and point  – Josh Freeman.

After a promising start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4 years into his NFL, Freeman made some bad career choices and found himself a free agent. With rumors of being in the NFL’s substance abuse program, not showing up for the team picture and showing up late for team meetings, Josh’s days were numbered not only with the Bucs but in the NFL as well. He went from hero to zero.

Enter the Minnesota Vikings‘….problems. Unreliable Christian Ponder and just as bad Matt Cassel soil the sheets and all of a sudden the Vikings are looking for a guy to hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson 100 times a game. This sounds like a recurring theme in Minny. Well, if you watched the game at Metlife Stadium, the only numbers Freeman was consistantly hitting were the yard markers on the field.

This isn’t necessarily the best example of a bad free agent pickup but it isn’t the worst. Teams look for literally ANYONE to fill a spot that’s vacant. It sure doesn’t hurt the player’s chances if he started somewhere else recently. The problem is, how do you expect to all of a sudden turn your team around with an underperforming or questionable player at best? The band aid method is used far too often and it gives the NFL a black eye on the field. Its almost as bad as replacement referees, almost.

More like OVER the Hillis

More like OVER the Hillis

The man you see above turned in an amazing season with Cleveland in 2011 and EA Sports along with fan voting, rewarded him with the cover of Madden 12; definitely no easy feat. Since then, he has been less than Madden-esque. Starting his career as a relative unknown in Denver, Peyton Hillis skyrocketed up the charts in 2011 for the Cleveland Browns. Virtually unstoppable, he made the Browns worth watching again, and that is pretty much the only reason.

His stats began to drop in 2012 and to start the next season, Hillis was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Not being able hold a starting job, Hillis wasn’t re-signed. This season he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and again released. Recently, Hillis was picked up by the New York Giants and if you follow the NFL, you know there isn’t much perceived value there.

Apparently, drafting skill positions is harder than it looks. Teams constantly are picking up failed experiment after failed experiment to hold their team over until a star comes back or worse, to hopefully turn their teams around. Peyton Hillis is not that player. Josh Freeman is not that player. Brandon Stokley is not that player. And for whatever reason, Tim Tebow isn’t that player either. But that’s a whole other riddle wrapped in a riddle.

There has to be a breaking point where GM’s will finally realize, “we need to start developing guys from within a lot better than we are or we will be going to a cupboard that never is stocked properly”. Its an epidemic in both the REAL NFL and fantasy football alike.

In real life, players are just as easily add/dropped as they are in fantasy. There is no commitment factor for GM’s. If the guy stinks, we don’t have to keep him! The endless roulette of garbage keeps hope for nobodies on practice squads across America.

In fantasy football, as soon as a player isn’t performing for his GM, he can drop him and add a new guy quicker than it takes Albert Haynesworth to get to the line of scrimmage. The acceptable thing here is: its fantasy. No one cares outside of the group of guys playing in that league if Josh Freeman is on a roster one minute and sitting on the waiver wire waiting for the next schmuck to pick him up. In the NFL, these same decisions are made and every NFL team should be ashamed.

Week in and week out someone will get hurt and some washed up bum will get a second chance at fame…and probably a third and fourth after he fails to impress his newest coach.

The only way to stop this vicious cycle is for teams to STOP signing these guys. Promote from within like any good company does. Why waste your time on a guy you barely know? Your 4th string QB or RB might be the answer, and get this: You’re already paying him!

Will this trend change? Will the NFL learn from its mistakes? In short; no. Like a pretty girl at a nightclub with more issues than Reader’s Digest, there will be some guy that hasn’t dated her yet, and so the cycle goes again.

Maybe the NFL salary cap needs to be restructured so this mess stops happening every week, I don’t know. What we do know is that we can look forward to seeing someone’s trash in the starting lineup on another roster next Sunday.

follow me on twitter @hankthetank10 and @always90four

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

The Fantasy of Football

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I hate that I don’t win all the time. It sucks. No one likes a loser and sometimes that person is me.

This guy above had the best outing of any QB in the history of all football games. OK sure, 5 others have done what he did. But they’re dead. What? some are still living? ok. This post is going south real quick.

Thankfully, in all of my leagues, not one of them did I face this tight helmeted figure. It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a tough week. It was. Didn’t think the top 20 stars in the league would average 10-15 pts or less. They know its week one right?

I KNEW!!! I set my lineups well ahead of today and I feel like I barely treaded water today. Tomorrow is a new day though. A new day to have hope for victory, in at least one league. As I listen to this cool cat named Kid Ink, I truly thought I had bossed up. It was set, the matchups were in my favor.

Then 10am came. Forte DIDN’T run for 100 yards, Lance Moore DIDN’T go off (to be fair he’s up and down every week so I should be fine next week), Antonio Brown DIDN’T make headlines. See where im going here? This was a day to forget. Unless of course, you were watching for the games.

Then kiddies, it was a good day. Plenty of back and forth, plenty of collective “oooo” and “aaaah” and “WHAAAAAAT”? The Seahawks had a good finish to their day, Rams took their first game, some safeties were scored and the game I thought was the most interesting was the Jets/Bucs game.

No one should even care about this one but I was scouting out my boy Stephen Hill. Not bad but not great. The last 5 minutes were worth the price of admission. Im guessing. Looking forward to MNF tomorrow, should be fun!

I’ll be talking smack when I beat one of the less talented teams in my main league tomorrow.

Fantasy Football: Insomnia Express

New York Jets v Seattle Seahawks

In a few short days, the 2013 NFL season will being and the global workforce will cease to operate. Wives and girlfriends will simultaneously ask the same question “Is it going to be like this EVERY Sunday?” The answer? Oh you bet your pretty face it is!

That guy in the picture there? Skittles aka Beast Mode aka Marshawn Lynch. A fantasy fooballer’s key to a championship. He consistantly decimates defenses, has a never give up attitude and the boy loves candy when he scores a TD. Gotta respect that.

Every year there is a player that fantasy GM’s scour the web, read draft previews inside and out, watch endless hours of NFL network,and follow every twitter feed that could possibly unearth the key to victory. Since I began playing Fantasy Football back in 2007, I have looked for that guy. He’s out there and he might not be in plain site but he’s there waiting for someone in every league to jump all over him and ride those sweet sweet coat tails.

Whenever a fantasy stud emerges, everyone and Tim Tebow wants to have him on their team. There are a variety of ways this new amazing find can be added but I won’t bore you with the details. Its a rush to see this guy in action and to start dreaming up all the ways he is going to win you the championship or how he will be the best man at your wedding or a wingman for your eventual strike out when he ends up vulturing that hottie at the bar.

Because this is an educational site, nothing but the facts, some blown out of proportion stats, and some good humored ribbing will be found here. So take my hand *reaches out for your hand* lock it in, and get ready for some crazy awesome times ahead…..just a second I have to put my daughter to bed.

OK, sorry about that. Lets get in to…..NO SWEETIE, YOU CAN’T HAVE ANOTHER DRINK, GO TO BED!

Guy mode ACTIVATE.

The year is 2007. Your buddy asks yo to join his Fantasy league. Sure, how hard can it be? I know all the players, this should be fun. HEY WAIT! All the good guys are getting drafted! He should have been there still, pretty sure I was the only guy targeting him.

Enter Brandon Jacobs, running back for the New York Giants. In tandem with Ahmad Bradshaw, the Giants rolled this duo, more specifically Jacobs to a Super Bowl ring over the New England Patriots and the infamous David Tyree helmet catch” from Eli Manning.

Brandon Jacobs stat line: 174 receiving yards and 1009 rushing yards for 6 TD. Not a bad find. He was a monster of a man and plowed through defenses continually. The Giants appreciated his efforts, you can count on that!

As HOV says on to the next one…

One year later 2008 produced arguably one of the most exciting football players to walk on the field. His name to many is a mystery. Not because he keeps it a secret, no, its because lately, no one is really sure how many yards he’ll amass this season. The kids around the playground might call him CJ2K, or CJ?K, maybe CJ1K, one of the founding members of Flash and Dash or simply Chris Johnson. CJ took over for Lendale White very early in the season when it was clearly recognized who was the better back. He was fast, he was shifty and he had breakaway speed even after the first tackle. Chris Johnson became a fantasy star almost over night. The next season he would become the 6th player in NFL history to rush for over 2000 yards. He was and is all kinds of awesome.

CJ2K’s stat line in 08: 260 receiving yards and 1228 rushing yards for 10 TD. Not bad, almost Madden numbers for a rookie!

While the world was being introduced to Lady Gaga and seeing the Hangover for the first time, these two homies were tearing up the NFL quicker than Aaron Hernandez could get rid of that gun he tweeted. This is Ray, last name Rice, so amazing we have to say it UH GAIN!! His division rival in Pittsburgh was having a good year too. This is Mike “60 minutes” check yo watch Wallace.

Mike Wallace, living in the shadows of Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, put up a great 09 season. Nothing that will go down in the record books, but he was a huge addition to the Steelers offense and made them a Super Bowl Champion. Did I mention he was on the waiver wire for pretty much every league?
Wallace da kid stat line: 756 receiving yards for 6 TD

Ray Rice was making a name for himself over in Baltimore at the same time. He was a short pug type back who made defenses think twice about stopping him; not they could. Everyone wanted a Rice type player and if you were lucky he was on your team quick.
Rice stat line: 702 receiving yards and 1339 rushing yards for 8 TD

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2010, the beginning of a new era.

This was the season two men took the stage. 2010 revealed Arian Foster and Peyton Hillis. Arian was a preseason draft pick in many leagues, but no one could know how amazing he was really going to be. Peyton Hillis made people quickly pay attention to what was going to happen that season.
Combined, these two would rack up 1081 receiving yards, 2793 rushing yards and 31 TD. Sadly, Hillis dropped off the map but Foster is still a top 3 back if he’s healthy. This was also the year that if you had Arian Foster, you probably won your league. I did not have him.

Four years prior, David Tyree made the NY Giants Superbowl Champions with the helmet catch and in 2011 it was a different receiver who was turning heads. The Giants would go on Cruz Control and again beat the New England Patriots for their 2nd title in four years.
Victor Cruz stepped out in 2011 and was an instant add by the end of week one. He never looked back. I’ll say, Chunky’s ad? You got it made son! Fork or a spoon though?
Cruz stat line: 536 receiving yards for 9 TD

And finally 2012. Some thought it was the end of the world. It wasn’t. Some thought Lindsay Lohan would change. She didn’t. Some thought I would be less hairy. Ok that actually happened. But then it went back. To be fair it grew back in 2013 so I kept that promise.
Lets take a journey to the planet Melmack. Alien lifeforms are thriving with corn like noses. Cats are no where to be seen. And lost in it all is Alfred Morris. The tough part about this season was that a Washington Redskin was a breakout player. Luckily, I had the foresight to snag this gem before the greedy paws around my league could get him first.

ALF as Dave Richard from CBS Sports dubbed him was a runaway threat. He caught, he rushed he blocked. RG III was supposed to be the star but he ended up sharing the spotlight with ALF. No one was happier than fantasy owners across the country…ok the Seahawks were happier but lets not ruin this run here.
ALF stat line: 1610 rushing yards for 13 TD…shizaaaam that is cray! Did I mention I have him?

So to summarize this wording collaboration, you too can snag one of these fine fellas in your fantasy league. Just do your homework, study hard read the blogs, the twitters and endless hours of television. OR….you could randomly watch the one game on TV that ends up changing your season. Good luck, because I’m going to get him first.

Also, YOLO.

All stats provided by http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics