How ESPN Can Turn Their Frown Upside Down


T’was the night before the NFL Draft and all through Hartford not a sports journalist was worried because not one had yet heard, but jobs would be lost and cast a dark cloud over the weekend. 

ESPN may have procrastinated to the last weekend of April but they finally finalized their spring cleaning. The final sweep of jobs throughout the media company left many seeking jobs and comfort to start the month of May. At the same time ESPN was left with questioning on the current state of the company.

Look on the brightside ESPN, at least you now have a new documentary to break out on us. 

Last week, the former World Wide Leader in Sports Coverage revealed a weakness by having to cut some on-air personalities and well known internet writers. (1) Those most notable were Ethan Strauss, Danny Kanell, Ed Werder and Trent Dilfer.

Was this foreseeable? 


The network has seen losses in recent years with layoffs before last week’s slaughtering of payroll positions. In 2015, the network laid off several hundred employees which was made very well known in the public’ eye. (2) Also, those who pay attention to on-air sports personalities have seen this kind of transformation coming through the career moves made by certain talking heads connected to the company. (3)

It’s hard to focus the blame for ESPN’s recent woes on just one thing. Some claim it’s cord-cutting and people finding alternative ways of getting their sports news, highlights and discussion. (5) Others have sounded out that ESPN’s agendas have plagued them in recent years. (4) Another direction of blame has gone to ESPN’s recent poor choice in taking up a massive deal with the NBA that is starting to appear as a dud. (6)

Whether your belief that the blame goes to cord-cutting, politically correct agendas, new media info alternatives or just lack of intrigue by the network’s programming investments does not matter to this post.

This post is simply an idea for the former Holy Grail of sports to generate some momentum back on their side. Almost like the smelling salt to get them off the canvas of the from their end of April layoff announcement. To me, there is a solution and it starts with a familiar beginning of a question, “What if I told you… ?” 

ESPN maybe on a downward slope but one program they produce that seems to still be doing well is their continued documentary series; 30 for 30. 

For those unfamiliar, the documentaries usually tell a story that was covered in ESPN’s history. Some range far back to the 70’s and 80’s like “Playing for the Mob” and “Pony Exce$$”. Recently, the series has covered more recent history topics with example features such as Coach Calipari’s recruiting success using a one-and-done basis in the documentary “One and Not Done.” (7)

The series continues to flourish, despite their network’s recent low-points. So why not take advantage of the camera facing your good side?

It’s time for ESPN to admit their mistakes and show their flaws through a 30 for 30 documentary that explains the reasons of their cord-cutting, agenda and media decision losses in an all-in-one tell all documentary.

The Promo;

“What if I told you, ‘Not to get TOO distracted by all of the highlights?’ … ESPN 30 for 30 presents; “CUT!”

The documentary could feature those laid-off and their reactions to it. The documentary could also feature proper and visual explanations of what in their eyes has gone wrong over the past years and even promote reasons to stay with the Network in the future for the casual fans like myself.

Losing ESPN would be like losing a good childhood friend personally, as I imagine it would be for many. I grew up with the network being a constant source and yeah, I’ve grown apart from them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have feelings of admiration and loyalty for them. 

Solutions are the only place to go from here for the Connecticut based company, not blame! 

I think a 30 for 30 of explanation with a humbled approach could be a great way for ESPN to bounce back. 

We all fall on our butt’s eventually, it’s how we respond that shows our true value. It’s time for ESPN to prove their company’s worth!










Imagine; The NFL… EVERY NIGHT!


The NFL has taken more hits than it has made with the media over 2016. Whether the hits came from movies like Concussion, the Kaepernick protests, continued domestic violence scandals, suspensions scandals or most recently media rating questioning and the questioning of scheduling games on Thursday nights. It has certainly been harsh times for NFL affiliates.

Of those problems that the League currently finds themselves trying to cure, the ratings and scheduling seems to be one that could be solvable. Obviously, there is something wrong with the scheduling just listen to those directly affected by the struggles of running an inconsistent schedule. (1)(2)(3)

“The whole idea of Thursday Night Football is terrible. It’s ludicrous. It’s hypocritical,” said the Seattle Seahawk’s Richard Sherman on playing on planned NFL short rest. (1) Sherman’s notion of TNF being unappealing from the players perspective has been confirmed by several players from different teams throughout the League.

“But I know that from a player’s standpoint, it’s extremely tough to play a Thursday night game. Your body is just beat up, especially when you play a late Sunday night game or a Monday game. It’s just extremely hard to play on Thursdays,” said Jon Beason of the New York Giants. (2)

“I barely got touched last week, so I don’t really have any complaints, but the guys who have contact every, single play, it’s tough on their bodies,” added Aaron Rodgers on ESPN Milwaukee radio in 2014. “I think it’s even tougher playing on Thanksgiving because then you’re 10, 11 weeks into it and then you have to play a short week. This maybe a little bit easier since we’re only four weeks in but every week you get into this thing you’re banged up.” (3)

Sherman provided more than enough insight to the trauma players go through on a week-to-week basis. In his article posted on the Players Tribune, Sherman shows the NFL player’s day-to-day schedule and how implanting the oddity of the Thursday Night Football game into a schedule effects that, gumming up the process of recovery. Sherman even illuminates to the slight success TNF has seen in the 2016 season in a game between the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings being due to a flaw in the short rest dilemma.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Cowboys-Vikings game a couple of weeks ago was the best TNF game we’ve seen this season. You know why?

Because they both played on Thanksgiving the week before, so they each had a full week off.” (1)

The problem is one most people can relate to– NFL athlete or not. Whether it’s not getting your eight hours of sleep at night, not skipping the gym once a week for recovery’s sake or failing to find a coping mechanism for mental stresses of life from time to time. You have to give your body proper recovery time or suffer the consequences, having a steady routine provides that. For Sherman and the NFL players the cog that is Thursday Night Football compromises the recovery process and is an issue that needs to be resolved, some have suggested eliminating TNF all together. But what if the answer wasn’t to eliminate the offbeat once a night game but instead imply and spread out a nightly NFL game that the players could rely on scheduling-wise?

The NFL is like that show you can’t get enough of, because as a society in America we just can’t. America loves football and despite early questioning of the ratings it has greatly been proven in the recent weeks of ratings.

According to Sports Media Watch the NFL’s ratings have continued to improve since Week 11 of the NFL season. Even in the Sherman proclaimed “poopfest” originally known as the Thursday Night Football game. (4)

Like most shows that we can’t get enough of in American society (The Office, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Empire), the shows get better as the season goes on. As the finale episode approaches, so does viewer intrigue and interest; same for the NFL. 

Who knows what caused the NFL ratings dip in the first half of the season? Plausible reasonings were the 2016 Election distraction and the Chicago Cubs World Series distraction or perhaps the viewers were just looking and waiting for the season to get good. And that’s how the NFL should look to solve their issues with a late season nightly game a week schedule played between Divisional rivals.

Not following?

The NFL schedule works with a 17 week season of games. Of a team’s games in said season’s they play six in division games, four with teams from a different division in the opposite conference (National vs. American Football Conference match-ups) and the remaining six with teams of the same conference, leaving one week of rest randomly in each schedule for rest. With these changes it leaves those Divisionally rivalry games to make up the final six weeks of each team’s season. With the Divisional games comes revamped schedule regularity in a nightly game chosen, made up by a team’s personal tv rating ranks that had been made up throughout the first ten weeks of the season, played on Sunday only for the sake of routine scheduling. So, here would be how the season would look from an example of the Indianapolis  Colts, who were matched up with the NFC’s North Division this season.

  • Week One – @ Green Bay (Sun.)
  • Week Two – vs. Detroit (Sun.)
  • Week Three – @ Minnesota (Sun.)
  • Week Four – vs. Chicago (Sun.)
  • Week Five – @ Denver (Sun.)
  • Week Six – vs San Diego (Sun.)
  • Week Seven – @ Oakland (Sun.)
  • Week Eight – vs Pittsburgh (Sun.)
  • Week Nine – @ New York Jets (Sun.)
  • Week Ten – vs Kansas City (Sun.)
  • Week Eleven – **Universal League Bye Week**Due to weekly NFL rankings from here out the Divisions will play on certain nights of the week. The bigger the divisional television rankings received earns later in week night played.
  • Week Twelve – @ Tennessee (Tues.)
  • Week Thirteen – vs Jacksonville (Tues.)
  • Week Fourteen – @ Houston (Tues.)
  • Week Fifteen – vs Tennessee (Tues.)
  • Week Sixteen – @ Jacksonville (Tues.)
  • Week Seventeen – vs Houston (Tues.)

In the scenario above the Colts who play in the AFC South will have earned themselves a Tuesday night slot throughout the first ten weeks because they haven’t had the best numbers across the league. This would be a possible scenario of  how the rest of the seven Divisions of the league faired out for nights of the week. Monday being low intrigue, Sunday being high intrigue for week twelve throughout the rest of the season. 

  • Monday Night – NFC South Games.
  • Tuesday Night – AFC South Games.
  • Wednesday Night – AFC East Games.
  • Thursday Night – NFC North Games.
  • Friday Night – AFC North Games.
  • Saturday Night – NFC West Games.
  • Sunday Noon – AFC West Games.
  • Sunday Night – NFC East Games.

The new schedule would allow multiple benefits like player scheduling regularity with emphasis on recovery. With the added UNIVERSAL bye week as compared to the random week selection bye week it would make the scheduling more fair League wide. The games would gain intrigue with the added importance on late season games due to Divisional Games being yet to be played. Players would get full weeks to recover no matter what all season long. Fans would know what nights and times their teams would play more regularly and the nightly coverage of football could generate positive media revenues. 

The move could even have positive evonomic ties with people spending money at reatairants and grocery stores more fluently throughout the fall weeks to prep for game viewership. The NFL would be effected positively by nightly viewership later in the season, after all even a game with only Fantasy Football implications could generate ratings on any random night of the week despite who is playing! The League would also benefit from lesser late season distractions like World Series and College Football seasons being wrapped up.

There certainly are slight falls to every angle taken on solving the ratings vs player safety issues in the NFL. It’s a tough rope to walk m. Certainly if the NFL took on this season-prototype outlook players like Sherman would inevitably find a problem with it but my belief is this solution would generate more positive results than poor.

The NFL has major problems with much tougher solutions than the scheduling and ratings. Although this blog post will most likely find blind eyes it is simply a hopeful solution for the League to ponder on! I for one personally knows that as the season winds up and the fall nights get shorter I wouldn’t mind coming home to NFL football every night!



The Damaging Side Effects of the College Football Playoff is Finally Starting to Show 


2014… “I WANT FOUR TEAMS IN! At least then teams with arguments won’t get snubbed! Plus, that way there are still bowl games of merit to be played!

2015… “LET’S MAKE IT 8! This is better but there still isn’t enough fairness in it! Plus if you keep it to eight you’ll still get those other bowl games in and satisfy the other teams.

2016… “SERIOUSLY. ENOUGH. EXPAND THE  PLAYOFFS AND END THE BOWLS! It’s not like the players or fans want them anyways! Ask me, just an excuse for family vacations and something for me to poke at on the television with my paid holiday time-off!

It took three short years for a great impact to be made to a long-held tradition that was Holiday Bowl season! Now, its livelihood lays heavily in question following the NCAA’s Division I College Football Playoff birth in 2014. (1) The introduction was like when a sitcom adds a new quirky character to spice the show up, you forget all about the original quirky guy/girl. The CFP WAS/IS essentially that with the Bowl season format. The new quirky character to replace and help us forget the old one. Every now and again you see something that reminds you why you love the old character but in the end you realize the change was for the overall better of the show. That still does not keep the people who fell in love with the original oddball character from being loyal to an almost die-hard’s point of view! Unfortunately, the new characters warrant new dialogue among the existing characters and can change the overall format and outlook the show takes in general. In three short years the CFP has managed to be that new quirky character that has ostracized the quirky character that was Bowl Season and even changed the format to our favorite autumn seasonal show of College Football.

So far, Leonard Fournette of Louisiana State University and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford University have been the biggest characters to opt for the new dialogue of skipping their school’s respected bowl game bids and the explanations as to why follows the bread crumbs back to the introduction of the CFP.

Since the CFP was conjured, there feels to be less reward in a trophy that reads Belk Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl and even some would argue Cotton Bowl. The lure just isn’t there for the players to be as jazzed about a Music City Bowl invite because of the College Football Playoff that has brought with it a mentality of “Playoff or Bust” for big collegiate names like Fournette and McCaffrey.

Before the playoff, the bowl game was something made of respect. Something that players participated in to either go out strong on their college careers, present a case for their program’s strength heading into next year or prove they deserved more credit out of the current season, and the results were some pretty quirky and ridiculously entertaining finishes! For instance, the Boise State vs. Oklahoma epic Fiesta Bowl of 2007! (2) Not to mention it was one final chance for players to prove their stock as NFL prospects before the oncoming spring’s NFL Draft. But for stand-outs like McCaffrey and Fournette, since the addition of the playoff, games like the Sun Bowl and the Citrus Bowl lack beneficial NFL Vitamin D! (3,4) Instead, they see the bowl games as added jeopardy to that very things.

Essentially, this is causing what many college football purists have feared when you mention a “Playoff or Bust” mentality within players. Certainly, each participating team has a few players who actually look forward to their not most glamorous bowl game. Say, you’re a member of the Indiana University Hoosiers and trying to win the school their first bowl game in history to literally make history! (5) Maybe some players just love the “Swag Bags” that each bowl game awards the players with. (6) It could be a change for some to play close to home and let the bowl game double as a family reunion of sorts. And maybe for some players it’s just a chance to enjoy a break from their cold weather surroundings while playing the sport they love in a setting like the Bahammas for the Popeye’s Bowl *cough… Eastern Michigan! (7)

Unfortunately, not all players agree with the benefits of a bowl game and see the bowl game as a possible career-damning game no thanks to previous injury examples highlighted by Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame University in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. (8)

Yes, there are many reasons to disagree with collegiate athletes adding wear and tear to their bodies via an extra overall “meaningless” game but what did these student athletes exactly think they were signing up for when they chose to participate in College Football? Fact is, they could just as easily be injured performing NFL Draft workouts and get dealt an empty payout with nothing to show for their college days in terms of trophies even if it is from the Foster Farms Bowl that was played in poorly attended NFL stadium along with no NFL future.

One can’t blame McCaffrrey and Fournette, who have seen this year as football purgatory awaiting for their NFL eligibility to clear. But that doesn’t justify things for the diehards that are witnessing the death of the once beloved Bowl Mania Season fade before their eyes!

McCaffrey and Fournette are sitting out of lesser known bowls that don’t have great prestige associated with them. But, how long before it’s players skipping the Rose Bowl or the Cotton Bowl because, “what’s the point of it’s not for the National Championship?”

The College Football Playoff evolved from the BCS National Championship which was an isolated affair between two teams and ONLY two in four different feature games with one understandably being for the true National Championship. The NCAA chose to re-format it to accommodate those that felt excluded from National Championship rights. What may go unrealized is that the idea of the four BCS Bowl games layout it gave those teams dying respect to say maybe we were good enough for a Championship. Now, it’s simply a process of elimination to defy that a team is not more than it is.

At the end of the day the NCAA has gone with a “the more the merrier” viewpoint and finding out that’s far from the reality. All the College Football Playoff has done instead is get more people complaining that they deserve a shot at the title and fewer people interested in the Bowl games that helped generate so much revenue for the sport. Sadly, they’ve made something better but at the some time made something worse.

Hopefully, the Bowl Season can find a way to co-exist with the CFP. That way we can have our Holiday cookies and milk too, indulging in Holiday hibernation watching those marathons of football games that we’re only vested in because we gambled on them in the employee bowl pick bracket without asking ourselves what a growing amount of the participants in the field already are; “Why are we playing this game anyhow?”

I have a feeling even the NCAA doesn’t have the answer for these participants. Carrying with it the fear of why the question was presented in the first place which is; the birth of College Football Playoff!



Jon Gruden’s Los Angeles’ Best Advil for Coaching Headache!


I don’t know if you’ve been to a department store and seen the decorations, noticed those bells being rang by Salvation Army volunteers outside grocery stores or grown sick to your stomach from co-workers bringing in unnecessary amounts of baked goods and Christmas sweets yet this season. But it’s that time of year again, the time of stress! And the examples stretch over all ages, sizes and reasons. Students stress over the grade hits of finals weeks. Parents stress to pay those inflated bills from variables like presents, electrical and vehicle extravagances adding up! Grandparents stress over making plans for their extended families to get to see EVERYONE they hope to see while invoking those Holiday spirits. Children stress whether Santa is real and if they’ll get that present they probably haven’t done enough to deserve this year. And NFL coaches stress over the ongoing livelihoods of keeping their jobs.

Some coaches have found ways to expedite their fates, such as Jeff Fisher of the St. Lou— SORRY, SORRY, SORRY.— old habits die like spiders in winter… they don’t! … of the Los Angeles Rams was fired on Monday, December 12. (1) The move was plausible after Fisher once again failed to live up to his par standards and history of going .500 win percentage or better was officially nixed Sunday with a humiliating home loss to Atlanta Sunday. (2)

But forget Fisher and his de-stress, dammit! We need Holiday spirit up in this blog post, let’s crank that stress meter off its knob like it’s your shower’s hot-water gauge and spice the stress-gumbo!

With the firing of Fisher their comes the stress of replacing Fisher! With that, for Rams owner Stan Kroenke, the stress of choosing the right candidate as he thought he had with perennial 8-8 Jeff. Question is, who holds that clipboard? Or Tablet… Whatever! Millennials! 

Some candidates are logical solutions but lack justifiable means of a move. Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots coaching staff makes sense but only if McD wants the stress of proving his worth without Bill Belichick, Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady. (1) Jim Bob Cooter also is a viable offensive mind from the Detroit Lions if L.A. can convince him to drop one of his first two names, (after all Hollywood screen names for better appearance only make sense). But, who is to say that if the Lions collapse out of playoff contention in 2016 Jim Caldwell isn’t released as the Lion’s HC and Cooter doesn’t slip on into the saddle of Detroit’s vacancy. (1) Sure, Detroit is Detroit and LA is LA but less stress is the name of the game! No moving, no relearning team tendencies, similar familiarity among the organization and your looking at a lot shorter of a stress wishlist in the Motor City.

Maybe the Rams want to stay defensive and go with someone like Mike Smith of Tampa Bay. (1) However, isn’t the point of firing a guy like Fisher supposed to alleviate the stress he created? Not continue it?

However, a wild card maybe the best option for this coaching headache Kroenke has found himself in. In this case that wild card is the Chuckie doll of coaching himself. A man with no strict ties to a current team or geographical setting that needs mending. The over-loving voice of Monday Night Football; Jon Gruden. 

Gruden has a history of taking over teams like he did in Tampa Bay and Oakland earlier in his career and has a Super Bowl ring in his jewelry cabinet. (3) He is traditionally defensive minded but has a plea to being a changed man.

Here is what makes Gruden the best viable option in mind for the Rams coaching vacancy.

  • He is defensive-minded! — He knows defense well and the Rams have enough talent left from the Fisher days on the defensive side of the ball to make him more than a fashionable replacement to take over that side of the ball.
  • Gruden Hasn’t Stopped Developing His Overall NFL Football Mind — A candidate like Tom Coughlin has been out of football all together for a year. University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh regressed to NCAA ball for the past season and has had added distractions like recruiting, rankings, milk preference and music video appearances taking away from his overall knowledge advancement. Gruden’s job as an NFL analysts and commentator for ESPN has allowed him to expand and gain even more access to NFL knowledge some couldn’t possibly know. However, there is one example that the world has been exposed to personally.
  • Gruden’s QB Camp — This is the difference maker when it comes to the Rams need to hire Gruden. Any organization for that matter that will seek an HC in the coming weeks! Gruden knows the up-and-coming quarterbacks of the NFL probably as well as anyone. ESPN’s airing of the annual spring program “Gruden’s QB Camp” has ran for seven seasons and featured the top prospects of each draft. (4) You name the QB, they have probably sat down with Gruden for a sesh of heated questions and analysis. The show has seen 50 plus college football players dissected by Gruden on the program. Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Blake Bortles, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill, Andy Dalton. The list of NFL present/future starters stretches the whole league! Including and most importantly; Jared Goff of the Rams! (4) Gruden’s transition makes sense if nothing else for being able to understand his new shiny football gun with familiarity and a built relationship. Not too mention, an added step-up or insight on how to breakdown the other QBs previously mentioned from the show.

This isn’t a scorching hot-take or the most breaking of gossip stories with Gruden as a Rams coaching candidate. Certainly, people have predicted this before this opinion was conjured but it is a genuine chance if nothing else for me to voice the opinion of what the smartest choice for the Rams is in my mind. Whether STL—sorry—LA takes the daily dosing of JG is yet to be known but the pieces seem to fit if owner Kroenke can obtain the prescription.

The hard sell will be luring Gruden from that press box and back into the world of stress that is NFL coaching but that may not be as hard as some think. … (6)

It’s the Holidays folks! Whether you find the stress being caused by grades, bills, plans, beliefs or presents just remember that the best solitions are usually the most logical ones. For example, and in LA’s case, hiring a coach like Jon Gruden.



Westbrook and KD Broke Up… and It’s SOOOO Cliché


Well, KD was seeing other teams on the side and then West found out about it but just pretended like he didn’t because he wasn’t threatened by the thought of Kev leaving. 

Why would he? You know? 

Kev had a GOOD thing going in Oklahoma City with the Thunder, (the franchise that drafted him by the way). 

He could do no wrong, they always put the blame on other people when the Thunder came up short, like Russell (Westbrook). (1). The one time he did get called out for a failure he bitched about it to the point that the people who published felt guilty for doing so. (2). Then, all of a sudden this new young thing, Golden State, comes along and flirts with Kev and guess what that skinny Son of a Real MVP (3) does next? Despite all the love OKC and Westbrook have given him after eight years of being together? (4) HE UP AND LEAVES FOR HOPES OF GETTING THAT RING! WHAT AN ASS, RIGHT?

The story was the NBA hot-gossip-topic of a drama filled NBA summer/off-season, eclipsing ridiculous contract numbers (including KD’s), USA Men’s Olympic involvements and ESPY Award PSAs. The gossip came in all types of takes from, “will they or won’t they have salt towards each other now” to the question of, “who will do better? Will Russ prove he was a better commodity than we gave credit for? Will KD mesh with Golden State and actually win? Who ends out the better of the break-up?”

NBA podcasts felt more like reaction shows to drama series’ recorded with talking head clips that airs weekly on MTV! Giving off a very drama-queen cibe to very business based league of the NBA. Now, we’re seeing the early results from the baller break-up of the summer and both players are acting predictably.

See, Kev and Russ are both putting on this front that the break-up was mutual and that it was for the better of both of them; as if they’re both better off! (5) (Don’t get me wrong, obviously they needed some time away from each other to see where they were at. They’re relationship was like that couple that acts like everything’s good while they’re together but they have holes in the walls of their home. 

Now, West is pretending like he isn’t even mad that KD just left him and down playing the success he has with the Warriors. (6) BUT WE ALL KNOW WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON! Russ is acting like the typical teenage guy who gets his heart broken so he goes out and hooks-up with everything that walks to prove he doesn’t need his ex, showing what a stud he is to prove his worth. Since the season began Westbrook’s averages stand at 31.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 11.3 assists through 20 games. (7)

Just like your typical over-testosterone teen guy, Russ is skirt chasing every net in the NBA without the the ball and chain of Durant weighing him down. But how is that effecting the other half in Kevin Durant?

Durant is pretending like he isn’t looking out the corner of his eye at Russ’s numbers and preoccupying himself with the guys that he left West for in the Warriors. It feels like what most women would do after a tough break-up when they move on from a destructive relationship. 

The Warriors and Durant had an awkward transitioning period with early season struggles but the Warriors have greatly improved their chemistry and it looks like the break-up is starting to make sense for KD. The Warriors are 16-2 and have won twelve straight. (8) Sure, there are moments where Kev is tempted to go back to West but at least that ring dream is looking to sparkle a little brighter to most. Durant seems to be adjusting to the move with a newly acquired attitude with new body art and public appearances. (9) (10)

The Westbrook-Durant break-up has been brutal on the kids (the fans) who are now living with Russ in OKC while Kev adapts to the Bay Area and grabbing the attention of the neighbors (NBA followers) because it’s just so damn familiar and played-out. When it happened both claimed it was business related and not personal but that’s not a far cry from “it’s for the best, it was mutual and no one’s to blame for it.” 

The good news is; it’s permanent! Unlike bad relationship breaks-up that ultimately end with people inevitably getting back together only to break-up again in a few months, the Westbrook and KD drama has to fizzle by way of the NBA contract. They only have to see each other for the fans/kids sake a few times a year when the Thunder visit Golden State or vice-versa. Kind of like holiday get togethers or parent teacher conferences. 

Getting too close to home for some? Let’s just let this bad relationship that was West and Kev end! 

Besides, it’s not like they have to play together anytime soon?

Ohhhh, wait… Just wait a minute!…

With Westbrook putting up historic numbers and Durant meshing well in GS, how awkward is the Western Conference’s All-Star line-up looking?

Hell, for the sake of the awkward turtle and the closure of this article; I might even tune in for that All-Star Game for once!



Over-Dose-Reaction; Week 7!


**’About Time Week!‘ — As the NFL reaches the clubhouse midway point and starts to set themselves up for the season’s back nine the year’s storylines are starting to take shape. Most fans are watching teams build with confusion, confidence, frustration and CTE. It is leading into the “About time!” storylines.**


Green Bay Packers 26, Chicago Bears 10

It’s ‘about time’ we admit that the Bears have been cursed with the forever emerging quarterback mark of Jay Cutler. Doesn’t seem to matter if the former Vanderbilt QB is hurt, on the trade-block or in a contract year. (2) Continually, he is forced under center to the disapproval of everyone in the Windy City. In the week seven opener on Thursday Night Football the mark of Cutler was ensured again after Brian Hoyer went down with a broken arm. (3) Thus, Cutler is back at the starting position for the Monsterous Midway crew and once again not by popular demand. Cutler has remained the Bear’s starter despite the turmoil he’s created there; he’s the cursed mark that won’t go away. Sadly for Chicago, it’s just ‘about time‘ that it happened again in 2016.


New York Giants 17, Los Angeles Rams 10

It’s ‘about time’ the Rams dropped below .500! With a bad history of perfecting mediocre turn outs it was just a matter of time that the new LA football franchise got back to old franchise habits. And they don’t just stop at an about time foreseeable record but they have tow ‘about time’ storylines building… or even two and a half? The first; the ‘about time’ crowning of Jared Goff as the starter. The second; a reward of Jeff Fischer’s contract extension that is rumored to be looming or possibly the belief that Fischer will be fired as the Rams head coach. Either way, someone will say ‘About Time!’ by either approach. (4) (5)

Kansas City Chiefs 27, New Orleans Saints 21

It’s ‘about time‘ we rename the New Orleans Saints the New Orleans Brees. That, or it’s time to make Drew Brees a literal Saint! The Saint’s QB threw for three/fourths of New Orleans’ total offense in their Sunday loss to the Chiefs in an inner-conference battle (37-48 for three TDs and 367 yards). (6) Since winning the Super Bowl in 2009-10 New Orleans’ one piece of pride has been their quarterback. One can only wonder how long his holy arm can last as Brees approaches 38 years-old. (7)

Philadelphia Eagles 21, Minnesota Vikings 10

‘About time’ the Vikings stumbled on the tight rope of reliant football they were footing week-to-week. Versus an Eagles team that was off of a bye the last undefeated team in football joined the losing side in week seven. Minnesota’s year-long formula of great defense and Adrian Peterson based offense proved faulty against Philly Sunday due to a lack of defense mixed with several other Don Zimmer noted problems. (8) Along with AP’s prolonged knee injury problem and Zimmer’s bag of side-projects the Vikes need to handle, its a wonder they made it five games undefeated! The loss to the Eagles was definitely an ‘about time’ moment for the Nordic Warriors.

Indianapolis Colts 34, Tennessee Titans 26

‘About time‘ the Colt’s defense gave Andrew Luck a win and not the other way around! After going ahead 27-26 T.Y. McGill’s (Not Hilton; how odd is it the Colts have two T.Y.s?) sack forced a fumble plucked by Robert Mathis and taken to the house to make up the 8 point difference. The Colts need more backfield disuption if they wanna say ‘about time’ again in a couple weeks and overtake the AFC South. (9)

Miami Dolphins 28, Buffalo Bills 25

‘About time’ the Rex Ryan rants died down! What better a way than to muzzle a coach like Ryan than by a humbling victory to a team that most have already written off in the Dolphins. (10) 

Detroit Lions 20, Washington Redskins 17

‘About time’ the Lions move on from their off season break up with Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson. The best relationship rebound ever has been the play of Matt Stafford at quarterback. Stafford has been on fire with more than 1,900 passing yards and completing 68 percent of his passes. He’s tossed 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions. (11) The surge that Stafford has provided in 2016 plus the moves Johnson is pulling on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ has Detroit fans relieved that it’s been a clean break-up. (12)

Cincinnati Bengals 30, Cleveland Browns 17

Isn’t it ‘about time’ the Browns committed to building a team of quality and not acquiring junk? News has broken that the Browns have no plans to trade veteran OL Joe Thomas. While Thomas is older and not a new building block of a roster name it shows that the Browns feel it’s time to have veterans around long enough to build those soon-to-be-named building blocks. It’s ‘about time’ the Browns righted their past path of putrid play and starts to win. After all, it’s kind of the Hot In Cleveland trend to do right now. (13)

Oakland Raiders 33, Jacksonville Jaguars 16

‘About time’ Oakland gives us reason to believe in them. Sure, they were supposed to beat the Jags Sunday. But it’s a sign of a good team to handly do that. The Raiders dominated the takeaway game and although it sounds like a lot, held Jacksonville to 344 yards. The offensive production of the spotted cats was the lowest for them this season. (14)

New York Jets 24, Baltimore Ravens 16

‘About time’ I personally give up on the Ravens. For those of you still hoping John Harbough can pull this turnaround off; you can let that dream through the catcher. It’s just not happening this year. If you can’t win a game against a team lead by the duo of Geno Smith/Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback then it’s just not meant to be. Not to mention the Raven’s upcoming schedule sets them up with eight games remaining against above .500 teams. (15)

San Diego Chargers 33 Atlanta Falcons 30

It’s ‘about time’ Atlanta did the Atlanta like thing and started a losing trend. ATL is a tough-luck franchise/city historically. (16) Hell, just last year we were saying it’s ‘about time’ the Falcons rebranded themselves the Falcons, starting 5-0 and finishing 8-8. (17) With an injury to back Tevin Coleman in the game with the Chargers looking to be costly to their season’s future, it’s ‘about time’ we say what we say about the ATL Hawks of the Gridiron!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34, San Francisco 49ers 17

It was ‘about time’ Sunday for the Bucs to stop messing around and add to the 49ers losing streak. After giving up 14 points to the Bay Area squad, TB tallied 27 points unanswered looting the 49ers defensive bootay at will on their way to a 17 point win. (18)

New England Patriots 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 16

No Big Ben and Landry Jones against a red-hot Patriots team. It’s ‘about time’ we move past this breakdown to something less predictable. 

Seattle Seahawks 6, Arizona Cardinals 6 OT/T

Ahhhh yes. ‘About time’ we get mad accumulatively as a Nation as football watchers at kickers unjustly! Last year, it was Blair Walsh who faced horrific backlash for missing a field goal late for the Vikings in the NFC Playoffs, despite being the only scorer in said game. (19) You would think as a nation we would see the flaw in the blame but Sunday Night Football proved us not so wise once again! Seattle’s Adam Hauschka and Arizona’s Chandler Catanzaro scored twelve points in the SNF fiasco; problem is… twelve is divisible by two. The six points scored by each kicker resulted in a tie (which is illegal in certain states of America by law) and caused uproar to all, dealing massive criticism to both kickers. Should the kickers have made the missed late kicks, yes. But why do they also deserve the blame for the other drives stalled, punts forced, turnovers caused and lack of offense produced? It’s about time, we shoulder some of the blame back onto players with bigger shoulders to bare it; not both of the game’s high scorers. Hate it all you want about the TIE but at least it wasn’t a 0-0 tie which would have happened had not it been for Hauschka and Catanzaro. (20)


Denver Broncos 27, Houston Texans 9

It’s ‘about time’ Houston eases up on Brock Osweiler. I would rather be known as the guy who couldn’t fill Peyton Manning’s shoes than the guy who had no shoes waiting for him in Houston. Say what you will that Osweiler was dumb for not accepting John Elway’s offer to stay in Denver but the guy took on a bigger and more admirable challenge when he decided to take on the role of playing quarterback for the Texans. The Texans have had a history of bad play from the Q position and Osweiler has tried to turn that narrative around. It has not gone well so far in 2016 but let’s let the wine of Osweiler in Houston breathe instead of doing pulls from the bottle as Houston has with Fitzpatrick, Hoyer, David Carr, Matt Schaub, TJ Yates among others. It’s really ‘about time’ Houston gave ONE QB more of a break. (21)



Football And Dining-Out… Similar American Traditions!


Going out for dinner is an American luxury these days! The joys that American eateries can produce in some kitchens is remarkable and it’s all presented to you with hopefully helpful and worry-free service. The way we experience these visits to your favorite restaurants or diners has a common parallel in how we go about our ordering preferences with another things that’s beloved in the fifty states; football!

Like dining out, football is mainly consumed over the weekend and interestingly follows a similar timeline as our dining experiences.

Typically when you dine-out, you follow a routine with tendencies going to certain parts of the meal. An appetizer is your first choice and while you can live without the warmed-up warmer-upper, sometimes you just find yourself craving a a little taste.

The NFL’s weekly Thursday Night Football game in terms of the Football Weekend Timeline (FWT), is the appetizer.

The Thursday Night Game rarely is an essential game of the weekend but at that point of the week you can’t drone on around the office or warehouse having to hear about Gina’s daughter’s eighth grade back-up volleyball team, pretending to care as you smile and nod at her rant about the volleyball coach’s politics. It’s usually a divisional game for added intrigue, with temptation as the first stab of the weekend of football whale, some will toss that harpoon and give-in–most do. Just like the appetizer at the eatery of your choice. Usually, by the time the game is done and those fried jalapeno poppers are gone the reality does set in that you didn’t need to order that appetizer or watch that AFC South contest!

Typically, viewership of the Thursday Night game, like when ordering appetizers depends on how much time the customer has for such things. Still, restaurants and the NFL do not care about time restrictions… They care about business!

This quote from Scot Consentino, owner of Goodfellas Pizzeria added this selling tip on appetizers, backing the notion that appetizers or Thursday Night Football are simply was to get us to divulge in the products.

“We are in the business of selling,” Cosentino says. “If your staff doesn’t know that, then you’d better retrain them. If every wait staff employee can add an appetizer to the bill, it adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and can make the difference between the success and failure of a business.” (1)

Much like Consentino’s business promoting, the NFL throws out a little nibble of the feasting/FWT tradition early in the Thursday night game not because you necessarily need it but more because your mind thinks you do! By weekend’s end when you’re wondering where your money/time is going and you feel you have to really start reconsidering your ordering/scheduling priorities. But when those little plates are dished out with a basket of wings to pass around and those NFL Color Rush jersey are put on for the Thursday Night game, you’re just enjoying the gorge.

While you were sitting in your booth and getting comfortable, going over the rigmarole of the week’s happenings with whatever loved ones bother to discuss them, you have a server with a pasted smile ask, “What can we get you to drink today?” The drink order… the NCAA games of the FWT and probably the biggest pivot point decision of the entire meal!

Drink orders and College Football games are never easy in America! Go to your nearest grocery store on Friday afternoon and observe the people analyzing the beer isles. Now, you’ll have your diehards that go in grab that 30-pack of Old Milwaukee and B-line it back out the store! These are the NCAA die-hards. They have their team/drink that they’ve been devout to their whole lives and that’s all they need. Then there are the rest of the observers who are pulled in more directions than a high school four-star recruit. There’s the prestigious beers that have higher prices (Guinness/Notre Dame), or the bountiful light beers that have more people’s attentions (Bud Light/Alabama), then there’s exotic beers and you just don’t know how good the really are (Sam Adams Grapefruit/Louisville). Than there are spirits that are sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet but never boring (Gin/Michigan or Rum/USC). Which will you choose? It’s sort of like college football Saturday football TV slates, where for the most part loyalty is tossed to the side and you are willing to give as a football fan any program your interest.


Your diehard drink choices are there week in, week out like your domestic pours. But that new season Oktoberfest brew just came in to the Top 25 rankings and you gotta find out what the fuss is about. Teams like Boise State, Texas Christian University and the University of Houston are your exotic beers that ma have some added flavor you’ve never witness/tasted. Which ever you choose is a gamble, as most NCAA games are as unpredictable as to what goes into a drink order. There’s the added risks that the kegs may be skunked out or nearing expiration. The bartender might be new and not know how to make a proper Old Fashioned, making for a long night of stomach turning like when a National Championship contender suffers a tough upset defeat. It’s a pivotal choice, but a great part of the FWT and the dining timeline as well. But now it’s time to answer the old lady and address the question, where’s the beef?… It lies with Sunday’s feast of NFL football or the dining-out main entrée.

Unlike the endless options of the drink-menu that is the NCAA, the NFL reserves people to 32 options. A much more considerable menu of devotion with fewer distractions but still added temptations to divert your intentions. For example, you may be a steak/potato guy (Steelers, Eagles, Packers fan) but tonight you have invested interest in the special (Panthers, Seahawks, Texans). Fantasy football in the NFL derives our attention as easily as that hot sizzling plate of fajitas that just whizzed by your table, causing you to wonder how important the game you want to watch is. The seasoned Tex-Mex dish can send you another direction and rethink your loyalty to that beefy-filet. Usually, it doesn’t sway you from that classic bacon burger with fries but it’s not like the NFL is going to limit you to that bun and beef sandwich. Perhaps you just want a homeland side like Texas toast (Dallas Cowboys) to go with your Mahimahi (Miami Dolphins), the NFL Sunday smorgasbord of games is just the right amount choices and ends your weekend of football/dining experience full and complete and hopefully with no backlash from poor service or preparation.

You’re sitting there. You’re full, slightly uncomfortable and contemplating how much alcohol potency is left in the backwash 1/12th of that tall draft beer you ordered. Do you get a box for that fourth of the steak that you can’t bear to look at anymore or acknowledge your inner-conscious to stop world hunger? The bill is looming of Monday and work, taking you away from the weekend and football. That moment when that server you seemingly forgot about whose smile has grown since you ordered that appetizer (Thursday Night Game/imported seasonal beer (Saturday Night Wisconsin vs. LSU) /large steak (Steelers Sunday afternoon game) with an added special side of grits (Atlanta Falcons Sunday night game) and they ask you “Now, has anyone left some room for dessert?”

Commonly, the dessert option is turned down, but sometimes you just have to give in! From basic ice cream/pie to the new frozen yogurt creation the NFL has this equivalent in the Monday Night Football game.

Monday Night Football, like dessert is a traditional glutenous classic. It’s something you hardly ever need but you always kinda long for. Even more similar to the FWT with dessert and dining-out you are worn down from the weekend’s long buffet of games/meals and drinks but you may just have to get that last bite in for good measure.

The Monday Night game has lost it’s luster as has ordering dessert in America over the years. (5) People don’t tend to flash out the extra bucks or attention to the weekend football finale just like they turn down the tempting spinning cake in the diner’s window. Perhaps, like the discomfort of realization of how much food you consumed or football you watched over the weekend has hit hard by Monday routine/sudden indigestion. It’s time to play catch-up with work or the slow down button with diet consumption and you more than likely just don’t need that last piece of the FWT or dining agenda. That doesn’t keep everyone away however.

According to a poll conducted by Monmouth University; “One in ten diners said they always order dessert, while 42 percent of diners never do. Diners in the west and southeastern regions of the U.S. are more likely than those in the Midwest to order dessert.” (2) However, that probably has more to do with the fact that desserts are seen in America as a means of celebrating and the Detroit Lions/Chicago Bears/Minnesota Vikings haven’t had much to celebrate over recent decades.

“No, no, you’re thinking of dessert—that’s food we have after we have our food. We eat tons of food. ” — Jim Gaffigan on American’s consumption of food. (3)

Football and Dining; two great and very similar traditions of Americana.

Thursday Night is the appetizer that we love to use to kickoff our gluttony early.

Friday/Saturday Night college football is the drink order, offering a plethora of options that leaves us always wondering, “What the hell that industry will come up with next?”

Sunday NFL Football is the main course and the entrée of our weekend where we really get what we want and pay the most attention to.

Since 2011-12, “Sunday Night Football” has led all of primetime television in the 18-49 demo and total viewers. (4)

And Monday Night is the never-ending struggle of the dessert option. It’s not necessary to most but still tend to give into it. MNF/Dessert leaves us lingering with something to work off/out of our systems for two work days as we finally receive that bill that we question on all of Tuesday and Wednesday.

The experience ends and you wonder if your service was worth it? Should that drink have cost that much? Did that waiter/waitress smile often and vibrantly enough? Will I come back to this establishment again? Most likely, yes to all. Why? Because it’s the entertainment value of American culture. Dining out and watching football are basic grains of American joy and both do a great job of reminding us in the expanded fifty colonies something we have in common… A feeling to gorge on our beloved things; in this case it’s football and dining!