A Few 2018 NFL Reflections and Questions

In September, I admitted that my Rams actually wielded an NFL offense after they spanked the Indianapolis Colts. Even though the Colts have the worst roster in the NFL asides from the Green Bay Packers (you may want to dog the Cleveland Browns, but they played hard under Hue Jackson this season in spite of their 0-16 record), watching that game told me the Rams have something to build on. It’s called the eye test, and every true Rams fan watching that day saw a glimpse of hope.

Nobody, and I don’t care who, truly thought the Rams would turn around from a 4-12 season into NFC West champions this year. This season was a blast and I can’t wait until this September for some Rams football to return to my television screen. Just a few objective NFL thoughts and reflections going forward:

Can we stop judging football teams by how well they are doing in September and October and pay more attention to what is going on in November and December? I know the media needs headlines and storylines to make money, but it blows my mind how many people were crowning the Kansas City Chiefs the quasi-Super Bowl champions and Alex Smith the second coming of Tom Brady after the drubbing of the New England Patriots to open the season. Don’t get me wrong — I loved the bitch slappin’ the Chiefs gave the Patsies to open the year, but the way they faltered and ultimately limped into the playoffs, blowing an 18-point lead to a mediocre Tennessee Titans squad and losing… yeah, how about we stop the horse shit early season prognostications and give the season a little bit of time to bake?

I can’t believe the Cincinnati Bengals have given Marvin Lewis an extension. He’s been the coach for so damn long, so much so that woman who are poppin’ out offspring left and right from multiple fathers were just little babies themselves when he was first hired. This guy is like the Jeff Fisher of the AFC North. I understand that he stabilized the Bengals’ franchise and turned them into mediocre from the laughing stock they once were, but… this feller has not even won ’em a playoff game despite the Bengals being in favorable postseason positions multiple times. I love the argument, “Well! Replace he’em and see what happens! They’ll go back to being the Bungles!” As opposed to what? Making the playoffs and losing in the first round every year or missing the playoffs every other year nowadays? Lewis gets more chances than a suicidal cat.

~ Why in the world is the AFC so weak nowadays? Back in the early days of TSTOS, the AFC was the best conference in football. Now, there’s the Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and then everybody else.

In 2017, we found out how truly important it is for an offensive minded head coach (or quality offensive coordinator) to teach a young, rookie quarterback. Look at Jared Goff under Jeff Fisher, and now look at him under Sean McVay. Night and day. A detractor I know — a supporter of Fisher — says that Goff naturally improved from year one to year two, but come on, he went from being a veritable bust to a formidable franchise quarterback, and that is not a natural progression by proxy. I’m excited to see what the new Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy does with Mitch Trubisky & Co.

~ The biggest thievery of the season happened when the San Francisco 49ers traded for Jimmy Garoppolo during the regular season. This is why I have my doubts with my Rams going into next season. Repetitive success in the NFL is never guaranteed (unless you are the impressive Patsies), and I can imagine that division being an absolute battle.

~ The Colts should look to hire Josh McDaniels from the Patsies. Hell, in hindsight, they should have kept Bruce Arians around and ditched Chuck Pagano after the 2012 season, but that would have been a horrible look considering how Pagano was fighting cancer at the time, but after the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled, look at the Colts now. Disarray. And many idiots are writing off Andrew Luck.

~ Finally, and this isn’t an NFL reflection… I used to troll my buddies (just because I loved riling them up) over the SEC in college football. Aaaaaaaaaaand then I ended up with an Alabama gal who reminds me all the time about the SEC and Alabama’s dominance. Holy shit. This is some kind of crushing karma. To add insult to injury, my Hokies lost their bowl game to Oklahoma State. Also, the team I cheer for in the SEC — the Tennessee Volunteers (hey, I was born in Tennessee and have always cared for them as if they were a second team as long as they aren’t playing the Hokies) — had an abysmal year and I doubt they’ll change their ways anytime soon. To be frank, the SEC isn’t that great. Outside of Alabama, they are virtually meh. Georgia had an anomaly of a year, but so what? It’s the most overrated conference in college football, but that means jack squat when you listen to an Alabama gal have the right to talk trash with her team winning yet another national title.


Tom Brady is the Greatest Quarterback I’ve Ever Seen (In My Life)

I’ve had almost 36 hours to digest what the fook (*Conor McGregor voice*) happened on Sunday evening.

Sunday was quite the tiring day. The wind was blowing heavily outside as I had the damnedest time getting my fire started on my smoker. I was going to get everything ready to go, though! I smoked a 10 lb. pork shoulder on Friday, in which leftovers existed for Sunday evening, and on that Sunday I smoked 11 bacon-wrapped, cheese stuffed jalapeno peppers, a family pack of chicken thighs and about 5 lbs. of country pork ribs. Dana and I also made pepperoni rolls.

Our guests for the evening were my de-facto Falcons fan-brother (that I wrote about at the end of this post; I will refer to him as “Falcons Broski” for the rest of this post), his girlfriend, his girlfriend’s son and a mutual great friend of ours that is a Cowboys fan. They brought chips, cupcakes and 8 lbs. of chicken wings (all 8 lbs. of which I deep fried).

Everything was set! Delicious food had been prepared by yours truly, and it was ready at about the time the big game came on.

Falcons Broski was pumped (of course) from the get go, when Devonte Freeman busted out a big run to open the game for the Falcons. Falcons Broski’s palms were sweaty as he kept wiping them on his jeans. And then LeGarrette Blount fumbled the ball away. Not long after, Matt Ryan led the Falcons down the field and Devonte Freeman ran for a touchdown to put the Falcons ahead 7-0 in the second quarter. A little while later, Ryan connected with Austin Hooper in the endzone for another Falcons’ touchdown. 14-0. Falcons Broski was singing Atlanta’s praise at this point. It got even better for him when Robert Alford picked off Tom Brady and ran it back for an 82-yard touchdown. 21-0 Falcons.

And so all was good during the first half as the Falcons took a 28-3 lead into halftime. I was mindblown at how Atlanta was dominating New England. Tom Brady was missing throws and Julian Edelman couldn’t catch a cold. Everybody in the living room was laughing and talking up a storm. I didn’t watch much of the halftime show as I excused myself to the kitchen to fill up on some grub.

Into the second half, the Falcons continued their dominance when Ryan hooked up with Tevin Coleman for another score. 28-3 Falcons. We debated who would win the Super Bowl MVP, Ryan or Julio Jones? Jones had been on fire.

The Patriots scored a little while later, but missed the extra point. 28-9 going into the fourth quarter. Falcons Broski was still all laughs, all a good time… the Patriots hit a field goal to make the game 28-12. A little while later, Matt Ryan fumbled and Brady led the Patriots down the field for another touchdown, this time to Danny Amendola (he’ll always be RAMendola), and they converted on a 2-point conversion to make the game 28-20!

I still figured the Falcons had the game in the bag, y’know? They had been tearing up the Patriots all night with their running game, so all was good. Falcons Broski started getting quiet. Everybody in the whole damn living room was quiet as we locked in on the game.

Y’know that part about the Falcons destroying the Pats with their running game? Yeah, about that… they only ran the ball a few times after securing that 28-3 lead! In the drive following the one where the Pats made it 28-20, the Falcons kept passing the ball! When they were setting up a great drive after what would have been a historically awesome Julio Jones reception, they… passed, and Ryan got sacked. They passed once more… another Ryan sack. Third and long, they passed, and I believe this one went to Mohamed Sanu for little gain. In hindsight (I know it’s always 20/20), the Falcons could have ran the ball, used some clock and hit a field goal to make it a two score game. Instead, they nonsensically passed and it ruined ’em.

Brady cut through the Falcons’ defense on the next drive, when Julian Edelman made one of the greatest catches I’ve ever seen… the Patriots scored and a quick pass to Danny Amendola secured the 2-point conversion.

The Super Bowl saw its first overtime in 51 games. The Patriots won the coin toss, got the ball and the rest is history. Falcons Broski sat in complete silence for about 15 minutes. I reckon we all did. I still can’t believe what transpired. The Falcons completed the biggest choke in the history of the NFL.

My feelings were bipolar on Sunday evening. I say that, because when the Falcons went up 28-3, I thought, “Welp, there goes my thoughts about Tom Brady. I mean, hell, I used Peyton Manning’s 43-8 loss to the Seahawks in 2014 as a way of saying, ‘Brady would never lose like that!’ And here Brady is, losing 28-3 to the Falcons!”

I was also thinking, “Damn, the NFL has evolved and passed Bill Belichick up! The Falcons have all these playmakers that are eating the Pats away, while the Pats have next to no playmakers! Belichick needs to up the ante and draft some playmakers!”

By the end of the game… holy hell!

Yes, the Falcons choked the game away. Kyle Shanahan made piss poor calls (by not running the football more). However, the Patriots’ D played out of this world, and Tom Brady was invincible, as if you were playing All-Madden on a Madden video game and trying to stop the CPU.

Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen in my life. Albeit a short life, I’ve watched Brady from the get go.

Let me tell anybody who cares to read this story: on February 3, 2002 I watched my St. Louis Rams, a team that was heavily favored in Super Bowl XXXVI, shockingly fall to the New England Patriots 20-17. The Rams were down 17-3 but battled back with a HALL OF FAMER Kurt Warner quarterback sneak and a Warner-to-Ricky Proehl touchdown pass. In the Patriots’ final drive, a young man by the name of Tom Brady, who took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe earlier in the season, stepped up to the plate and led the Pats down the field as John Madden recommended that the Pats play for overtime. Adam Vinatieri hit a 48-yard field goal and gave the Patriots their first Super Bowl win in NFL history after they were embarrassed by the Bears in ’86 and clowned by the Packers in ’97.

I was pissed off. I watched the game next to my dad, and he grinned from ear to ear. You see, I think deep down my dad liked the Rams and thought Kurt Warner was a hell of a quarterback, but he liked to get under my skin in order to aggravate me. I digress. As we watched the post-game celebration and Tom Brady was anointed the game’s MVP, I rolled my eyes. “He’s the MVP with just 107 passing yards and a touchdown? That’s crap!” My dad looked over at me and said, “Tom Brady is going to win a bunch of Super Bowls. He plays with poise and he’s a winner. He doesn’t let the pressure of the big stage get to him”.

My dad had no reason to say something like that. No bias. He was a fan of the Miami Dolphins, a divisional rival of the Pats. He passed away a week before Christmas in 2003, so he didn’t see the Patriots’ subsequent Super Bowl appearances and victories (at least in this realm), but he was absolutely right in his prediction that Brady would win a ‘bunch’ of Super Bowls.

I often wonder what my dad would say about Brady now. Dad was born in 1954, so he grew up watching Joe Namath (he always said that he and his brothers idolized Namath when they were young boys), then he became a Dolphins fan in the early ’70s and remained one the rest of his life. He got to witness Joe Montana’s greatness in the ’80s, and I mention that because he always told me that Montana was the greatest ever. Since he was a Dolphins fan, I asked, “What about Dan Marino?” And my dad would say, “He’s great, he has the stats but he didn’t get it done in the playoffs. He couldn’t rally the troops.” I went and looked at Marino’s playoff performances and noticed how many times the Dolphins were ousted by double digits. Dad had a point.

Since my dad’s death, I’ve had a billion dreams about him where we talk about sports, from football to basketball to boxing to MMA. After Sunday evening’s game, I’d love to be able to talk to him about what transpired.

My dad also made a bold prediction about another quarterback, and although he ended up being wrong, he was almost right about this next prediction. I’ll never forget one day when my dad and I were passing a Nerf football around in the driveway in the summer of 2001. I remember that Peyton Manning was on the box. Manning was coming off his third year in the NFL. Dad thought that Manning was robotic on the field, when I asked him his thoughts about ol’ #18. “He’s robotic and a control freak. You don’t want that in a quarterback. Makes the rest of the offense nervous. He’ll never win a Super Bowl.”

Years later, with Peyton and the Colts’ meeting failure after failure, being dominated by the Pats in ’04 and ’05, stifled by the Steelers in ’06… I thought my dad was going to be correct in this prediction, too. As luck would have it, in January 2007 the Colts’ defense came into full fruition, with safety Bob Sanders (remember how dominant he was?) leading the charge. The Colts had the luxury of playing an overrated Chicago Bears team in the Super Bowl, a Bears’ team that featured Rex Grossman, the worst quarterback to ever start a Super Bowl (at least since Vince Ferragamo with the ’79 Rams). For a while the game was close, but Grossman’s incompetence as a quarterback failed the Bears and Peyton won a Super Bowl with a score of 29-17.

I always thought Peyton lucked out by playing the Bears in that Super Bowl. When the Colts made it back to another Super Bowl when they played the Saints in 2010, the Saints won by two touchdowns, including a pick-6 from Peyton Manning that sealed the victory for ‘Nawlins. A few years later, Peyton went to Denver and we saw him and the Broncos go to another Super Bowl, this time in 2014, against a Seahawks team. The Seahawks blew out the Broncos 43-8; Peyton couldn’t do anything to stifle the Seahawks’ defense that game, and the majority of the game Peyton spent his time on the sidelines, looking down and sulking. A year later, the Seahawks played Tom Brady and the Pats, and well, even though the Seahawks screwed their chances in the closing seconds, Brady and the Pats came out with a close victory.

A hobbled Peyton Manning that could no longer effectively play the quarterback position won a Super Bowl with a stacked, all-time top 15 defense on the Broncos last year in 2016, but that was effectively the Denver defense’s doings.

I digress. I’ve tried so hard to hate Tom Brady over the years, but I just can’t. I watched my Rams lose to them in upsetting fashion 15 years ago in Super Bowl XXXVI, and ever since — as I’ve watched my Rams’ toil in losing season after losing season since 2004 (I still love ’em, whether they are in St. Louis or Los Angeles) — I’ve watched Brady go to seven Super Bowls. Brady would have seven rings if his defense would have stymied the Giants in ’08 and ’12. (I always thought that the Super Bowl on February 3, 2008 — five years after the Rams’ loss — was poetic justice as the 18-0 Pats fell to the underdog Giants…. y’know, once upon a time I always thought it was my dad looking down from heaven and preserving the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins’ perfect record from being broken by the Pats….)

Last week, when the little kid at media day asked Tom Brady who his hero was and he kinda choked up and said his dad, I’m not gonna lie… when I watched that, I shed a couple of tears and thought about my hero — my dad. My dad was the smartest, most hardworking man I’ve ever known. He believed in true hard work and embracing the grind. He believed through hard work and perseverance that you could accomplish anything and everything, all criticizers’ and detractors’ words be damned! He passed that mindset on down to me, I’d like to hope/think. He always believed that hard work beats talent all seven days of the week. My dad was only about 5’6″ or 5’7″, his nickname among his brothers, his two sisters and his childhood friends was always, “Stubby” because of his hands (although he always had an inappropriate — albeit hilarious — joke about that), but he was genuinely the strongest, smartest and relentlessly hard working person I’ve ever known. And when I say, “smartest”, I don’t mean naturally. I mean he craved learning! When he wanted to learn something, he’d go and do it. We got a computer in the early ’90s and he learned how to use it himself. He was incredible at math. He wasn’t all that great at spelling (he’d be happy with spell check these days), but he was a pretty damn good writer, too! He was a businessman that treated people the way he wanted to be treated, and he loved joking/teasing the hell out of everyone. I’m so damn proud to carry his name. If I can even become 1/4th the man he was, I will be happy.

I digress. Before I finish this up, I just want to point something out. I will never understand the popularity contest and the polarizing love/hate-fest between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. The country hates Brady but loves Manning. They see Brady as “smug and arrogant” (how?) and Manning as the everyday guy. This is 110% due to advertising and marketing. You don’t see Brady in very many ads at all. Yet you see Peyton advertising for Domino’s, Nationwide, DirecTV, Buick and Oreo. You see Manning on Saturday Night Live. Every time, he’s portrayed as the average everyday guy, when that couldn’t be more opposite. Brady is actually originally more of an ‘everyday’ guy than Manning will ever be. Manning was born with a silver spoon in his mouth; his dad was an NFL quarterback and is in the college football hall of fame for his time at Ole Miss. The Manning family is probably one of the richest in all of sports combined. Manning had the option to go to school anywhere, went to Tennessee and was the first pick in the ’98 NFL Draft.

On the flipside, Tom Brady embodies the All-American Dream. Brady grew up in northern California in a middle class family. His whole life as an unathletic quarterback was an uphill battle. No college coaches even looked at him. He was sending high school highlights tapes to every college he possibly could. As luck would have it, he attended the University of Michigan, but he had to sit for his first couple years. He had to battle with Drew Henson for a starting position in his last two years as a Wolverine. He was overlooked in the 2000 NFL Draft and was lucky to be picked in the 6th round, pick #199, by the New England Patriots. If Drew Bledsoe didn’t go down in the 2000 season, we might’ve lucked out and never seen him on the playing field. Brady has gone on to win 5 Super Bowls and appeared in 7.

Don’t get me wrong. I actively root against the Pats. I will always feel that Super Bowl XXXVI was emblazoned with controversy (Marshall Faulk being held, roughing the passer not being called when Kurt Warner was receiving late hits, Brady not being flagged for intentional grounding, etc.), but Brady truly embodies the All-American success story. I think that’s why my dad was an instant believer/fan of Brady, even as early as 2002, because he saw the struggle Brady went through, and he appreciated that.

I would love to be able to sit down with my dad and his best friend Sonny (who was like a second dad to me) one more time and listen to them trash talk each other’s NFL teams. Every time a wild or big moment happens in sports, I always wonder what my dad would’ve thought about it.

I know this post went all over the place. No rhythm, nothing. But I don’t care. I needed to write/document this.

The Falcons and Patriots Have a Date Set on February 5th (Super Bowl LI)

Let’s face it: we all overrated the Green Bay Packers, especially after they narrowly defeated the Dallas Cowboys after blowing an 18-point lead. We saw Aaron Rodgers do Aaron Rodgers things, and we all ooh’ed and ahh’ed.

Well, I had the Falcons beating the Packers, but not the way they did it. Atlanta slapped Green Bay around so badly that they are forcing ’em to relocate to another city before the Raiders do. In all seriousness, Atlanta jumped out of the gates, Mason Crosby missed a field goal (which prompted one of my friends that’s a Cowboys fan to text me with an expected and very appropriate, “Oh now you fucking miss one, Mason Crosby”) and the Packers made mistakes. That Ripkowski (kickass last name) fullback the Packers had fumbled, and Atlanta hardly let their foot off the gas.

We should have saw this coming. Atlanta is so fast; the Packers were hobbled and hurt coming into the game. Let’s also face the fact that the Packers aren’t very good. Aaron Rodgers is the makeup to the Packers’ acne. I still believe that Matt Ryan is the unequivocal MVP of the NFL this year, given the fact that the Falcons’ 2016 campaign is the 8th ranked offense of all-time, but take Rodgers away from the Packers and they are the Cleveland Browns of the NFC North.

The Patriots dominated the Steelers from start to finish. I’ve said it for years about Mike Tomlin being the most overrated head coach in the league. I’m sure he’s a great person, and well, he’s also a good “rah-rah” coach, but he inherited the Steelers after they were built up by Bill Cowher, and he was lucky to win Super Bowl XLIII against the Cardinals (he better thank Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes for a lifetime). He rode the coattails of the players Cowher brought in. Also, the fact that he has Roethlisberger — who’s probably the best quarterback in the AFC North outside of a temperamental Joe Flacco — and they’ve lost the division to the Cincinnati Bengals two of the last three years, underperforming with a high powered offense. From the Steel Curtain to the aluminum trash bag.

“So, Troy, you are saying that Tomlin is overrated just because he lost the AFC title game to the best organization in football?”

No, I’m saying he’s overrated because the Steelers have underperformed over the last five years with Tomlin. Besides, Tomlin is on the upper echelons of “coaches that Belichick consistently owns” list. Tomlin is a rah-rah guy, so the media loves him, but hey, just like Terry Bradshaw said, I reckon he’s more of a glorified cheerleader in a coach’s outfit rather than a head coach.

My early predictions for the Super Bowl? The Patriots will stifle the Falcons’ offense. The Falcons will score and get things going, but the Patriots will control the tempo of the game and not make mistakes like the Packers did. A lot of people refuse to believe in momentum in football, but think if the Packers would have hit that field goal to make the game 7-3 in the Falcons game, or if Ripkowski didn’t fumble. Momentum is absolutely real; these pro football players are still human. They have emotions and confidence issues at times. The script can be flipped and the tide can change.

I do hope the Falcons win, however. I heavily followed the Falcons when they drafted Michael Vick out of Virginia Tech in 2001. When they weren’t facing the Rams (or Dolphins), I rooted for them. One of my great friends/de facto brothers is a Falcons fan. Matt Ryan is the real deal; I watched him pick apart a menacing Virginia Tech defense when VT led Ryan’s Boston College Eagles 10-0 with a few minutes left in the game. Ryan tossed two touchdowns in 2 minutes and 11 seconds to stun the Hokies in Blacksburg. He’s the real deal. I can’t repeat that enough.

I’m hoping for a great game. The conference title games were stinkers!

My Thoughts on Super Bowl XLIX

They can be summed up in one picture:


This game will not be remembered as the New England Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl after a ten year drought. It will be regarded with the nickname, “The Call” or some variation of it.

Enough people have talked about the decision to not give Marshawn Lynch, a running back with a north-south linebacker mentality, the football a half-yard away from the endzone. On the last actual play of the Super Bowl, the Seahawks became the first team all season long to throw an interception on the 1-yard line. They squandered a Super Bowl away, and they deserved for that to happen.*

Six years ago from last night, on February 1, 2009, in Super Bowl XLIII, Kurt Warner passed on the 1-yard line on the very last play before halftime, in which the ball was picked off by James Harrison and returned for a touchdown. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals that night. It’s interesting how history repeats itself.

Good on Tom Brady for battling adversity late in the game, passing against the ‘Squawks Legion of Boom. I love stories of people kicking adversity’s ass, albeit the ‘Squawks were the lesser of the two evils last night. I know it makes a lot of people uncomfortable, but you have to talk about Brady in the all-time greatest quarterback discussion now. He won his fourth Super Bowl, tying Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for most all-time by a quarterback, and he won his third Super Bowl MVP, tying Montana. Back in the days of Montana and Bradshaw, there was no salary cap, so teams were stacked to the brim. Tom Brady has turned a lot of chickenshit into chicken with the Patsies in some of those offenses. It’s impressive they’ve went to six since 2002! And it’s damningly impressive they’ve managed to win a Super Bowl with the same head coach/quarterback combo ten years after the last one.

The only people who are going to deny the above are spiteful, envious detractors who obstruct themselves from objective thinking. I hate the Patsies just as much as anybody else, but I’m a realist and always give credit when credit’s due.

Congrats, Patsies.

*My hope now is that ‘Squawks head coach Pete Carroll has lost the locker room and that the St. Louis Rams win the 2015-2016 NFC West title. Gotta have pipe dreams to keep me caring about the NFL.

It’s Super Weekend! UFC 183!

Yeah, UFC 183, not that shitfire of a Super Bowl that’s going to mirror pro wrasslin’ in all the supervillain/heel hoopla featuring two teams with histories enriched in the lore of cheating. I keep in close contact with seven friends who are also fans of the Celtics like yours truly, and of those that are unfortunately Patriots fans, I’m so damn thankful they aren’t as obnoxious as 97% of Patsies fans. Perhaps it’s because, like me, when it comes to sports outside of MMA, they are bigger basketball fans than football or baseball, and because of that they have some damn humility after waiting forever for that 2007-2008 season (the amazing 17th title incurring season for the MIGHTY CELTICS (fuck yeah, that warranted all caps)). Good news, though, for obnoxious Patsies fans is that Seahawks fans are probably even more loud and obnoxious. (Since they brought in a fuckton of bandwagoners after last year’s Super Bowl!) I’ve never seen so many Seahawks fans in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina*** before… fuck off. Where were you fucknuts in February 2006*** when the Pittsburgh Squeelers spanked the ‘Squawks in that year’s Super Bowl? Leaving Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander jerseys in your online shopping carts only to remove both items once the game was over?

(***Note: I don’t give a shit about location-related bias, or liking location-specific teams. I think that’s silly. I grew up in Virginia. There’s no pro sports teams in Virginia. DC doesn’t count; I’m from southwest VA. The Titans don’t count — that’s Tennessee, and they are pretty much brand new in the history of the NFL, and ditto for North Carolina’s Carolina Panthers. So I don’t have any qualms with some asshole in Wyoming liking the San Antonio Spurs or some dipshit from Nebraska being a San Francisco Giants fan. You are a fan of who you are a fan of. That’s why I don’t give a FLYING FUCK about whether the St. Louis Rams stay in St. Louis or if they move to Los Angeles. No shits given. Bottom line about my above point is my distaste for bandwagoners who bandwagon the shit out of winners. I can’t STAND it. I hated it when people bandwagoned the Rams during the Greatest Show on Turf days, I hated it when people have bandwagoned the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and 2011, and I ESPECIALLY HATED IT when people bandwagoned my Boston Celtics between the years of 2007-2012, because I NEVER spotted fellow Celtics fans in 2005 or the awful season of 2006. So fuck all of you who I spotted rocking Kevin Garnett jerseys between ’07-’12. Fuck you. I bet you guys couldn’t even name the 2006 Boston Celtics roster let alone the Finals rosters of 2008 or 2010. I assume most of you fuckers were bandwagoners. Get the fuck out.)

I digress. Holy shit. Terrible start to this post. I could go back, proofread and edit, but why?

I’d feel, “Meh” about this weekend and would have likely spent it researching nerdy shit on PubMed, but no! This weekend is UFC 183, and Anderson “the Spider” Silva, the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time, is returning after his infamous broken leg injury vs. Chris Weidman to face Nick Diaz, a guy who’s been in the game for a while, has a big time following and is a de facto legend in his very own right.

Earlier this week, Diaz went MIA, and Donald Cerrone being the veritable bad motherfucker that he is, a guy that’s already fought twice this year (defeated Myles Jury on January 3rd, giving Jury his first ever loss and then, just fifteen days later — defeated Benson Henderson, former lightweight champ of the UFC and a guy he’d lost to twice in the past, on twelve days notice), offered to fight Silva this weekend if Diaz no-showed, saying that he could easily make 185 lbs. Cerrone is the kind of guy you’d want in your promotion, because he simply does not give a fuck. He’s a talented, well rounded fighter who’ll punch you right in the fucking face, put you in a rear naked choke or a guillotine and share a case of beer with your sorry, defeated self afterwards.

Of course, Diaz has finally been spotted, but damn, what a load of craziness.

On paper, these two — Silva and Diaz — match up well. Silva is a Muay Thai/kickboxer specialist and Diaz’s roots are derived from boxing. As Diaz spent all of last year not giving a shit about MMA and talking shit about that bleating bumrat schmuck Johny Hendricks, he even mentioned giving boxing a go. Silva and Diaz, also, both have black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Now, sure, fights that, on paper, look to be a stylistic dream often end up as duds, but this fight is so damn interesting. So damn interesting! Can’t miss it.

On Patriots Fans and DeflateGate Apologists

If you are from New England or you are a New England Patriots fan, I have no interest in what you have to say about DeflateGate and your team’s history of bending the rules. Everything you say is submerged in some form of bias no matter how you rearrange your words. Your interest involves either defending your team, or using the “Yeah, but…” style of defense speaking. I don’t dig it.

I hate the following statements:

— “Extreme winners have been cheating since the beginning of time!”
— “It’s not even that big of a deal. The Pats blew the Colts out in the second half, anyway.”

Both excuses are grating to the nerves of yours truly.

I’ve been obsessed with extreme winners for all my life. From studying Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson to Michael Jordan to Anderson Silva to Georges St.-Pierre to sports teams throughout history. I love looking at what made them successful and attempting to apply what they did, from work ethic to mentality, to my own life to enrich what I have and build as a person. It’s a learning tool.

But this whole, “winners have been cheatin’ since the ol’ Russians were using ‘roids in the early days of the Olympic games!”

That’s herd/sheep mentality. “Yurr’uh cheatin’ so I’mma be’uh cheatin’, too!”

I’ve ranted about this in my posts about MMA regarding TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) users like Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort, before the Nevada State Athletic Commission enforced a ban on it.

It’s a lazy excuse, to say that, “Well, everybody else is doing it, so what’s the big deal?”, because it holds no weight. The other people doing it aren’t being caught. That doesn’t make it right, either way. The problem is, the Patriots are repeat offenders of scandalous behavior. There’s always going to be somebody curving the rules somewhere, but that doesn’t excuse it. Like my good friend Dustin Brown of Life, Liberty, and One Man’s Pursuit of Sports Happiness said, if the NFL doesn’t come down hard on the Pats, it’s going to piss a lot of people off.

The second aforementioned statement about the Pats ‘still’ blowing the Colts out in the second half is absurd, too. The Patriots were going to defeat the Colts regardless of deflating footballs, but the bottom line is, they decided to go ahead and do it, anyway. If I’m taking a test and I cheat on one question but I honestly answer the rest of them, am I in the clear if I’m caught? No. Absolutely not. So why should the Patsies get a pass?

Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints feigned ignorance three years ago when BountyGate was a hot topic. He was subsequently suspended for a year. This has to make everybody think what should happen with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as they’ve lied out their asses over DeflateGate.

Weighing in on the Patriots (er, “Cheatriots”?) and “Deflate’gate'”

It’s becoming a common occurrence to see the New England Patriots being mentioned in line with some scandal nowadays. It’s been going on for the past eight years, and speaking of eight years ago, I covered the whole damn spygate shindig since the biggest topic revolved around the Patriots videotaping practices/walkthroughs of the St. Louis Rams shortly before Super Bowl XXXVI, and the posts I wrote about the topic (use the search engine on my site) received a lot of traffic and a sizeable amount of comments, ranging from “FUCK DA HATERZ” to “Troy, you are being too diplomatic. The Patriots are straight up cheaters”.

I’ve detested the Patsies since February 3, 2002. But I’m a realist. I didn’t lay in too hard on ’em when Spygate occurred. The best thing that’s ever happened to the Patsies is them losing to the New York Giants in two Super Bowls. This upcoming Super Bowl is the first Super Bowl I can remember in my life that I don’t even have a desire to watch due to my utter disdain for both teams (the only thing I can imagine being just as bad is a San Francisco 49ers/Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl), but I digress.

The Patriots deflated their footballs for their game vs. the Indianapolis Colts. That’s indisputable now.

Yet another treacherous scandal that confirms the Patriots as cheaters.

No matter how insignificant the advantage they may have had, they cheated. They didn’t even have to. From top to bottom, the Patsies are head and shoulders above the Indianapolis Colts, and they cheated, anyhow.

It’s fucking moronic.

I’m mostly irritated by the bold-faced liar that is Bill Belichick. I’ll defend Tom Brady from here to the moon, because I see him as being one of the top 2 greatest quarterbacks of all-time along with Joe Montana, but it’s becoming difficult to defend Brady with his name being linked to multiple scandals now. It taints his legacy, no matter how badly you may want to fight to say it doesn’t.

But going back to Belichick, I’ve never respected him. He’s a smug, angry, bitter ass bastard with a rude attitude, and he has the worst trait of all: he’s a goddamn liar. For all his accomplishments, they are all tainted no matter how you slice the pie. The fact that he chastised John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens a few weeks ago for ignorance of a rule, and to cheat a week later is simple minded. No respect for a scumbucket like that. Belichick said he had no knowledge of the deflated balls. What a lying piece of shit! I spent the years 2008-2011 with an extreme self-serving pathological liar in my life — I forgave that person, but that doesn’t change what they did or the type of person they are now or how it was extremely debilitating and exhausting to go through, but by the end of that time period it was all too easy to see through her bullshit deception, and now it’s become the same way with mumble-mouthed William Belichick.

It’s all just so nonsensical to me.

They didn’t need to deflate the footballs.

The worst of the defenders are stating, “But everybody be doin’ it”. So fucking what? The Patsies got caught (in a scandal, again!). Once again, they could’ve bludgeoned (still one of my all-time favorite words) the Colts without doing such a thing, so — again — it was absolutely pointless.

If I were a fan of the Patsies, I would be livid. Rather than defending this shitheel behavior, I’d be facepalming to hell and back. I have a great friend who I’ve known since about 2006 that lives in the New England area who said, “I don’t know whether to be disappointed or to just say, ‘fuck it’ and embrace the villainous image of the franchise”.

I don’t see it as being villainous. I see it as being scumbaggy of the franchise. The two things are not mutually exclusive.

Colin Cowherd said, “Well, a lot of the top champions and teams in sports push the envelope in being aggressive by any means necessary”, and he’s right. Look at that scumbucket Pete Carroll and the things he’s doing in Seattle with the adderall and pushing his team to practice more than what the NFL rules deem appropriate.

This will continue to boil over until the next hot story of the league jumps out.

I’ll also say this: more and more the NFL is rendering itself into pro wrasslin’. Shit like this is bad for the league image, from this garbage to the Ray Rice incident to Adrian Peterson to Aaron Hernandez to “Bounty Gate” in 2012 all the way back to “Spygate”.