Monthly Archives: September 2012

RusselMania – The NFL Turns into the WWE

I hear there was quite a game last night with a controversial call to the end the game, I was too busy watching WWE Monday Night Raw, but the weird thing was that it was on ESPN.  Wait…that wasn’t the dramatic and staged Professional Wrestling show?  That was the actually a real football game?  Well I’ll be damned.

The National Football League — a league that is braggadocios and downright cocky about the parody of the league, the competitive balance, and player safety that it gives to its fans — turned into a joke on Monday Night, it was absolutely laughable by the end (unless you’re a Packer fan) and contradicted everything that it stands for.  It turned into Sports Entertainment, or lack thereof (Cut to: Packers fans nodding).

Here’s what I saw:

The lights come on, the crowd in Qwest Field is yelling and screaming decibles that will puncture ear drums like they were cheering for The Rock, instead it was for their home team, the Seattle Seahawks.  We see fireworks and an announcer proclaiming – “Welcome to RusselMania!”.  The undercard is a buncha non-descrip fights that the fans enjoy (National Anthem, Starting Line Ups), but all the fans really want is the main event – the Green Bay Packers vs. the Seattle Seahawks.

Here. We. Go.  The Seahawks (The Face, if you don’t watch the WWE** then Face is the Good Guy) come out rocking, clearly influenced by the huge crowd influence and being the underdogs.    They dominate the first half (of the fight) with 8 (!) first half sacks – highlighted by four sacks from Chris Clemons – they think there is no way that the Heels (Bad Guys in the WWE) the Packers, can bounce back they are on the ropes, it’s time for the finisher.  Russell Wilson drops back and throws a bomb to Golden Tate for a touchdown and it looks like the Packers may be down for the count after a huge finisher, but they get their leg on the rope and they kick out.  We head to halftime.

**Seriously, who does anymore?  I miss The Rock.**

But just like any WWE fight, it cannot be one-sided.  The Packers come back from halftime they rediscover the run, they actually block defenders trying to Joe Mays Matt Schaub in the face, and the deep passing is working slowly but surely.  The Packers get two field goals, and a touchdown, but cannot get the two-point conversion.  Almost a deathblow in this WWE fight, but the Packers lead 12-7.  It looks like it’s time for the Packers to hit their finishing move and escape the toughest place to play in the NFL with a victory.  Russell Wilson throws a pass that is tipped and eventually intercepted by the Packers — A HUGE FINISHER that will surely end this, but in the process the referee (in the WWE) is timely knocked out while the crowd is counting “1….2….3”, but there is no referee to end it.  The Seahawks are saved by a different type of referee – a fake one – and a bogus roughing the passer is called.

The Packers eventually get a stop, and they cannot run the clock out, the legend that is Russell Wilson (in his third game of his career -__-) has a chance to cement his legacy in Seattle loire.  What does the legend do?  He gets benefitted by (another) bogus pass interference call, which is like the Seahawks hitting their challenger with a steel chair while the referee isn’t looking (a common theme in these three weeks of officiating in the NFL).  The fans chant again “1…2…”, the Packers kick out! It’s a miracle!  This leads to the Seahawks down to a 4th down with almost no time left, to throw a hail mary into the endzone.  Our WWE referee gets hurt in the scrum after the Seahawks are so mad that it wasnt a three-count that they Chokeslam the ref (who doesn’t want to do that? Packer fans nodding even more).  Russell Wilson rolls to his right, rolls back to his left, throws a hail mary.  Golden Tate (with a huge push-off) looks like he makes the catch, Packers defender M.D. Jennings looks like he has the interception.  It’s a double-finisher by the Packers and the Seahawks! Both teams are down, we have utter chaos here in the WWE/NFL!  A replacement referee (oh, the irony) comes running down, the original referee staggers to his feet!  What is going to happen?  Both referees count 1…2…3, one referee raises the hand of the Seahawks, the other ref raises the hand of the Packers.  What a mess! (Packers fans hurt their neck nodding so much).

We have no call, no winner, and then…the music hits! Roger Godell (Vince McMahon) comes out.  He takes the mic, and awards the Seahawks the victory!  Oh, the drama, oh, the entertainment, oh, the Tweeting and Facebooking, oh, the embarrassment!

Who would’ve thought that on a Monday Night the NFL, not the WWE, would have the most ridiculous, dumbfounding, and dramatic program on cable television?  Not me.

– Lance Cartelli

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Mike Millburn: A Packer Fan Vents

It took me back to 2009.

A December night in Pittsburgh was the site for a week 15 matchup between the Steelers and the Green Bay Packers. I’ll spare the details of the game for brevity’s sake, but it ended with a last second touchdown pass to Mike Wallace, who kept his feet in bounds for the win front of a frenzied Heinz Field crowd.

There was nothing that could be done to challenge the play; Wallace was clearly in and the game was over (Steelers 37, Packers 36). I’ll never forget my reaction to that final play – sheer and utter disbelief.

I never thought I would be so affected by a football game again. And then last night happened, when the Green Bay Packers visited the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.

For the first 30 minutes, Green Bay had no business winning that game. The o-line play in the first half resembled that scene in The Longest Yard remake, when they weren’t even trying to block and Adam Sandler got bulldozed. The downfield passing game was nonexistent, and the long-standing lack of a running game was oh so evident. The DBs got burned on a touchdown pass by a guy named Golden.…seriously, his name is Golden. They deserved to be down 7-0 after two quarters.

Then the second half started. The offensive line blocked well, Aaron Rodgers had time to throw, and the run game started to gain a few yards. The defense remained sturdy and the Packers, after a fourth quarter touchdown by Cedric Benson, led 12-7. It looked like it would be a win, albeit a sloppy one, for the Green and Gold.

That’s when the fun started. A Jerron McMillian sideline interception was nullified by a questionable roughing the passer penalty on linebacker Erik Walden. After two holding penalties pushed Seattle back, an incomplete pass to Sidney Rice was rewarded with pass interference on Sam Shields which, to even the untrained eye, looked like a ridiculous call that should have gone the other way.

No harm, no foul, however, as the defense held their ground and caused a turnover on downs. A Green Bay offensive stall meant Seattle would get the ball back with a chance to win. All of a sudden, those same feelings from 2009 came rushing back. But there was no way that could happen again, right?

Wrong.

A non-descript ‘Hawks drive came down to the final play. Russell Wilson heaved the ball towards the end zone, a scrum of humanity ensued, and it looked like Golden Tate came down with the ball for an improbable win as the clock hit triple zero. One fake official said interception, but another one said touchdown.

The only problem was, after many replays in full and slow motion, it became evident that Packers safety M.D. Jennings had possession of the ball as the two players hit the turf (a recently released still photo proved as much). Now I don’t claim to know the NFL Rulebook, but that sounds like an interception to me. A review would surely overturn the touchdown and credit Jennings with a game-saving interception. Until the fake head referee came out and made his call: The ruling on the field stands, touchdown.

Pete Carroll had a reaction akin to someone telling him that USC would actually get to keep all those vacated wins. Russell Wilson became a Seattle folk hero, Golden Tate made the biggest catch of his thus far lackluster career, and the fans at Qwest Field collectively voided their bowels in excitement.

The only problem is that none of that jubilation should have ever happened. A clear-as-day push off on Golden Tate against Sam Shields should have rendered the play null and void. However, since it’s quite infrequent for a penalty like that to be called on a play like that, not throwing a flag is understandable.

But the thorn that will stick in my side for quite a while was that “intertouchdownception”. Several angles showed that Tate had no clear possession of that pass as he hit the ground; if anything, he wrapped his arms around M.D. Jennings and the ball in an effort to pry it away as those two poor officials tried to decide what call to make. How that call was not overturned is something that I’m still struggling with today. And based on the reactions on the various social media platforms, I’m not the only one who has a problem with how the game ended.

But sadly, there’s nothing that can be done about it. There’s no statute that can allow a poorly officiated game to be overturned (after the NFL came out and said the officials missed the interference call), no matter how much I wish it to be true. The fact of the matter is, I could go on for another 800 words about the way the Green Bay Packers were robbed in the Pacific Northwest last night. I could write another article about how this incident should be the final nail in the coffin for the fake referee experiment that has tainted the first three weeks of the greatest sport in the world. But I’ll leave that to someone else; instead, I will sum up my feelings about last night in a fashion eerily similar to the way I did in 2009:

Sheer and utter disbelief.

– Mike Millburn

Ryan Pedersen: Black and Red Out, Chargers Fall to 2-1

As Hank Bauer said it best yesterday, the color commentator on KIOZ 105.3 FM after an abysmal loss to the Atlanta Falcons 27-3 last Sunday “Falcons deserved  to win, Chargers deserved to lose”.  What else could you say really? If you weren’t able to watch it in San Diego or Southern California you didn’t miss much (unless you are a Falcon fan or AFC West fan, then you probably enjoyed the heck out of it).

From the start, the Falcons dominated on all phases, Chargers just had no answers in probably the biggest beat down out of all three wins for the Falcons against AFC West opponents (KC, DEN, SD)

Believe me, being there yesterday I had my Cam Newton disappointment face all day.  At 2-1, San Diego, as of recent years, is kind of used to adversity but this is the first time since 2000 that the Chargers have not scored a TD in a game, a scary stat but it’s FAR from over people.

A very tough and hungry Kansas City Chiefs team coming off a great comeback victory over New Orleans awaits the Chargers in Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday, which has been a house of horrors for the Bolts. It will be a gutty test and we’ll see what kind of team San Diego will be bouncing back from a difficult loss.

So Call Me Maybe,

Ryan Pedersen

PS WHY MO, WHY!?!?

PPS.. Please NFL we need our regular refs back before other teams get screwed.

This Week in Sports & Week 3 Picks

– Chad Johnson plead no contest to assaulting his now ex-wife after an argument in their car that lead to Johnson’s release from the Miami Dolphins.  Johnson originally wanted to represent himself in the court of law, but when they asked what he plead, he put in the plea of “Child Please” and that the charges should “Kiss the Baby”.  After, Johnson was told those weren’t legal terms and that he should instead plead insanity.

– Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were in the same group to open up the Tour Championship on Thursday.  Tiger dubbed Rory the nickname, “The Intimidator” after the media asked if Tiger was intimidated by Rory.  McIlroy took the name seriously and showed up naked to the tournament looking to attack Arnold Schwarzenegger and to kill John Connor.   There is no rule against that, allowing McIlroy to shoot a -1 on the day.

– Peyton Manning threw three interceptions Monday Night in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons.  Questions arose about Peyton’s arm strength after the game, where Peyton then called out every single member of the media to an arm wrestling contest while kissing his biceps. He then winked at the camera and gave a shout out to Ed Hochuli, who he’s been training with in the offseason to get his biceps up to par.

– The New York Giants defeated the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football.  The Giants were without starters Ahmad Bradshaw, David Diehl, and Hakeem Nicks, while the Referees were without any knowledge that an actual football game was being played.  Nicks, Bradshaw, and Diehl – despite being hurt – tried putting on Referee shirts from the Footlocker outside the stadium, proclaiming “We’d be a lot less bias than that guy that had Saints pictures on his Facebook!”

– USC, the #2 team in the nation, was upset by Stanford on Saturday.  Midway through the 4th quarter USC was making an effort to comeback, but on a crucial third down when Lane Kiffin was calling in the play to Matt Barkley, he said “I Gotta Go”, and ran off the field.  USC would later be upset, and Kiffin explained that his wife made some exquisite Key-Lime Pie and he had to “get the f outta dodge”.

– The NHL has locked out its players for the 3rd straight time under Commissioner Gary Bettman.  The NHL Lockout now ranks below the NFL Referee Lockout, the The Chicago Teacher Lockout, The Lockout between me and every girl in the world, The Lockout of Levi forgetting his keys in his car, and the Lockout of Homosexuals and Chic-Fil-A.

After a mediocre Week 1 where I went 8-8 (I look at Week 1 as my Preseason, just a warm up for the real season), I bounced back last week going 12-4 and getting my upset picks correct.  I look to maintain my awesomeness in picks in Week 3 and take some underdogs again.  Enjoy!

STL vs. CHI – The Rams are 1-1 with an improved defense, they will go into Chicago and pick off Jay “I’m Color Blind” Cutler at least 3 times. Winner: Rams

Buff vs. CLE – A battle of two of the more exciting running backs in the NFL, the New CJ2k and Trent Richardson, Buffalo will try and stop the run and will pull out a victory.  Winner: Bills

TB vs. Dal – Dallas comes off a terrible performance against the Seahawks, but they are subscribing to the “Play Hard Every Other Game” Plan, so they are in for a win. Winner: Cowboys.

NYJ vs. MIA – The Dolphins beat down the Raiders last week 35-13 off of Reggie Bush’s career day, Tannehill and Bush will be able to defeat the Jets by stopping the run and not making mistakes.  Winner: Dolphins.

SF vs. Min – San Francisco just dominated two NFC North teams that were in the playoffs last year and won 10 games, sorry Minny you don’t have a shot especially if you are emphasizing the run.  Winner: 49ers

KC vs. NO – The battle of the two biggest disappointments in the NFL this year.  New Orleans at home should be able to run and pass all over the field against the Chiefs.  Winner: Saints

Cin vs. Wash – The Bengals defense has been a huge let down this year and RG3 and the ‘Skins will look to come off a depressing loss against the Rams, Rg3 should have a big game. Winner: Redskins

Det vs. Ten – Tennessee can’t run the ball, throw the ball, or stop anyone on defense.  Not good against a high powered offense.  Detroit wins big. Winner: Lions.

Jax vs. Indy – Andrew Luck played very well against the Vikes last week and now he’s got a bad team at home, Luck goes to 2-1 on Sunday.  Winner: Colts

Phi vs. AZ – This game is really tough to pick, The Cards have a top 5 defense in the NFL and beat the Patriots last week with a total of 4 yards from Larry Fitzgerald, but I don’t think they have enough offense to defeat the Eagles.  Winner: Eagles

Hou vs. Den – Houston has been the most impressive team in the AFC and Manning comes off a 3 INT first half against the Falcons.  The Texans defense is a lot better than the Falcons D, look for more of the same. Winner: Texans

Pit vs. Oak – Oakland may be the worst team in the AFC, maybe the NFL, and the Steelers are without Troy Polamalu and James Harrison again, but the Raiders will have no answer for Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, and Antonio Brown.  Winner: Steelers

NE vs. Balt – A rematch of the AFC Championship game where the Ravens were a dropped touchdown away from the Super Bowl, they will exact their revenge at home against the Pats. Winner: Ravens

Atl vs. SD – The battle of the undefeated teams this week and Southern California won’t even be able to see it, pathetic.  San Diego has looked a lot better but against weaker competition, time to see them against a really good team, I think Matt Ryan pulls it out.  Winner: Falcons

GB vs. Sea – Green Bay struggles against really physical teams that can run the ball.  Seattle does both of those very well, and Seattle is the toughest place to play in the NFL.  Winner: Seattle.

Last Week – 12-4

Overall – 20-12

– Lance Cartelli

Ryan Pedersen: Chargers Conquer Mt. Olympus

The San Diego Chargers defeated the Tennessee Titans 38-10 in week two of this NFL season as “White Hot Sunday” took over the “Q” by a stellar Seau-like defensive performance.

The same day the Chargers organization retired the number “55” that was Junior Seau’s number for over a decade. Seau lost his life to a self-inflicted gunshot this past May. The Seau family was in attendance and former Charger QB Dan Fouts spoke at the pre game ceremony, then an unveiling of the third retired number ever in Chargers history.

Man, I hope you started Dante Rosario and Jackie Battle Sunday in your fantasy leagues (c’mon really?) both combined had five TD’s for the Bolts and three just from Rosario (Hadn’t caught a TD pass since 2009). Another good game from Philip Rivers, Malcom Floyd and the defense gave Titans QB Jack Locker fits all day long.

In the first time ever in the Norv Turner Era, the Chargers are 2-0 as well as the first time since 2006. A.J. Smith is now the franchise leader in wins as a General Manager (sorry to all the haters of the tenure, hard to believe right?) The Chargers will need a full and some what healthy arsenal as the “Dirty Birds” aka Mo Lawler and The Atlanta Falcons flock into town this coming Sunday after embarrassing Peyton Manning Monday night. Should be a good one (assuming it will be televised locally, SMH)

Everybody Wang Chung,

Ryan Pedersen

Kathy “The Saint” Cartelli: Millenial Nutrition

No, all you Millenials out there, Red Bull & beer are not food groups.  You probably remember your mothers nagging you to eat breakfast or your vegetables and being young and thin, you rolled your eyes and fed the veggies to the dog.

But now that you are an adult and you probably spend a good part of your day sitting in front of a computer, you may find that your clothes are starting to get a little tighter, or you may not have those rock hard abs you took for granted a few years ago.

So here are a few nutrition tips that may help you avoid looking like your parents as you get older.

It boils down to two simple words:  variety and moderation.  Let’s talk about moderation first.  Now that California chain restaurants have to post calories on their menus, you really can’t fool yourself anymore about super-sized foods.  Ladies, try to keep those calories for your restaurant meals at about 500-600 calories or so; that will give you room for snacks later.  Men, you have a little more wiggle room—up to 750 or so.  Better yet, cook for yourself.  Portion sizes at restaurants are large; did you know a serving of meat is only 3-4 ounces, or the size of a deck of cards?  You have the ultimate control when you make your own meals.

Now for variety.  Since it is the spice of life, use variety to boost the nutritional value of the foods you eat.  Look for lots of color (fruits and vegetables) and don’t deprive yourself of the foods you love—just limit the amount you eat.  The great thing about fruits and vegetables is that they are nutrition powerhouses and tend to be low in calories, so you can fill up on them while limiting some of the more calorie dense foods like fats and sugar-rich choices.

When people are choosing what to eat, they often forget that beverages have calories.  Water, of course, is the best choice, but juices, although made from fruits, have a pretty high calorie count, similar to soft drinks.  And more bad news:  alcohol gives you 7 calories per gram (proteins and carbs give you 4 while fats give you 9).  So a few shots can quickly give you that beer gut you tease your Fathers about.

Fats are not inherently bad for you; in fact you need some fat in your diet.  The best choices are olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts & seeds.  Limit saturated fat sources such as cheese, whole milk, fatty meats.

And when it comes to carbs, whole grains are the way to go.  Read labels carefully, because some breads and rolls look like they are made from whole wheat, but you still see “enriched white flour” as a main ingredient.  Brown rice, whole wheat breads, whole grain pasta are great choices.  Even popcorn is a whole grain.

Don’t forget breakfast—your Moms were right—the most important meal of the day. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes used to be called “Sugar Frosted Flakes”.  At some point in the last few years, I guess Kellogg’s thought it was a good idea to remove the word “sugar” from the name, in case you might not realize what that white stuff is with your corn flakes.  When I was in 3rd grade, Kellogg’s had a nutrition module encouraging kids to eat breakfast, sponsored by Tony the Tiger, of course and if we ate Sugar Frosted Flakes each day, we got a star.  We’ve come a long way since then—oatmeal is a far better choice.

Last tip:  don’t wait until you are middle-aged to start regular exercise.  It’ll be a lot easier to keep in shape, and stay healthy if you do two things:  eat healthfully & keep up the exercise routine.

This guest blog was written by Kathy Cartelli, a registered dietitian and Lance Cartelli’s mother.  She won’t disclose what Lance ate every day growing up, but suffice it to say that he eats much more healthfully now.

NFL Week 2 Preview & Picks

Week Two of the NFL Regular Season is upon us and tonight when the Chicago Bears visit the Green Bay Packers in one of the more interesting games of the week.  Here are my non-expert picks with some explanation. Disclaimer: I went 8-8 last week and it’ll probably go downhill from here, so take this with a grain a GIGANTIC SPOON of salt.

Chicago Bears (1-0) vs. Green Bay Packers (0-1) – Does a team have a more must-win game then the Packers do in week 2?  If Green Bay loses they are 0-2 at home on the season and down two games to the Chicago Bears in the NFC North and potentially two back in the race for home-field advantage against the San Francisco 49ers. If this happens then the Staples “Easy” button will be replaced with a “HIT THE PANIC BUTTON RIGHT NOW” by ESPN, NFL Network and the rest of the media.  That being said…Winner: Packers 30, Bears 23.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (0-1) – The battle of the mediocre defenses, both defenses came in hyped up to take huge steps forward and both gave up 40 burgers to the Falcons and Jets, respectively.  I picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West despite having Matt Cassel as their Quarterback and if I hate anything it’s someone who jumps off the bandwagon after week one.  (Spoiler: I hate myself).  Winner: Chiefs 26, Bills 21.

Cleveland Browns (0-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) – This will be an epic battle — no, not between the Bengals and Browns – but between two longstanding rivals – Gingers and Old People.  Ginger Quarterback, Andy Dalton, is still trying to prove that Gingers can, in fact, play Quarterback while Brandon Weeden tries to bounce back from the worst debut rookie performance by a Quarterback ever  after taking his Metamucil and recording his marathon of “Murder She Wrote”. Winner: Bengals 21, Browns 9.

Minnesota Vikings (1-0) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-1) – The Minnesota Vikings let Blaine Gabbert (!) look good against them, now they go against Andrew Luck, who had a rough debut, but not as rough as the stats say.  Luck also gets back one of his favorite targets in Austin Collie, I gave him Over/Under .5 quarters until he receives another concussion or gets decapitated.  Winner: Colts 24, Vikings 23.

Houston Texans (1-0) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) – The Jaguars gave up a late touchdown and lost in OT last week to the Vikings, congratulations you now get one of the elite teams in the AFC, the Texans.  The Texans defense should be all over Blaine “I Cry For Mommy When the Pocket Collapses” Gabbert, this one could get ugly.  Winner: Texans 35, Jaguars 13.

Oakland Raiders (0-1) vs. Miami Dolphins (0-1) – The Oakland Raiders had a rough week last week with their long snapping , but if their starting snapper didn’t get hurt that Charger game would have been a lot different and now they get the worst team in the NFL.  Raiders should recover nicely unless Tannehill and Legedu Naanee hook up for a couple touchdowns (LOL, JK!).  Winner: Raiders 28, Dolphins 12.

Arizona Cardinals (1-0) vs. New England Patriots (1-0). – Here’s a fun fact for all you stat nerds out there – these are the two best teams record wise the past 10 regular season games Cardinals (8-2), Patriots (9-1).  The Cardinals boast an impressive defense but they will be tested against one of the best offensives in the NFL.  Tom Brady and the Patriots seem to have developed a legitimate running game and defense that makes this team scary.  Let’s all pray that no one ‘inadvertently” hurts Tom Brady’s beautiful nose, he needs that for his GQ cover! Winner: Patriots 31, Cardinals 18.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) vs. New York Giants (0-1) – I hate to throw around must-win in Week 2, especially since this is the second time I’ve said it, but if the Cowboys and Redskins both go to 2-0, while the Giants drop to 0-2 they are in some trouble.  Tampa Bay comes off an impressive win against my sleeper Panthers and did an amazing job stopping the run, but can they keep it up? I don’t see it happening. Winner: Giants 21, Buccaneers 17.

Baltimore Ravens (1-0) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (0-1) – The Ravens were one of the most impressive teams in the NFL last week and now they face one of least impressive teams from last week, the Eagles.  But this is my upset pick of the week, Mike Vick was rusty last week and his receivers didn’t help him that much and their defense looked much improved, albeit against the Browns.  Winner: Eagles 31, Ravens 28.

Washington Redskins (1-0) vs. St. Louis Rams (0-1) – RG3 not only had the most impressive first start by a rookie Quarterback of all-time in one of the hardest places to play in the NFL, New Orleans. He also inspired an internet craze that left Tebow and Jesus speechless, #Griffining! The Rams defense looked much improved last week intercepting Matthew Stafford three times, but can they do it against the newest phenom?  Winner: Redskins 19, Rams 16.

Dallas Cowboys (1-0) vs. Seattle Seahawks (0-1) – The Dallas Cowboys come off one the most impressive victories of the first week, beating the defending Super Bowl Champions the New York Giants in New York and everyone’s media darlings (-__-) the Seattle Seahawks stunk it up against the Arizona Cardinals, despite getting 4 time outs! But Seattle is the toughest place to play in the NFL and the Cowboys are due for a letdown after a huge week one victory.  Winner: Seahawks – 23, Cowboys 21.

New York Jets (1-0) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) – Raise your hand if you had the Jets scoring 10 points last week?  20? 30? 40? How about 48?  Not one single hand, but they did and now they have a chance to go 2-0 and shut up the Tebow-ites? Tebow-ians? The Steelers try to bounce back from a loss the Denver Mannings that made their defense look old and slow.  Winner: Steelers 28, Jets 20.

Tennessee Titans (0-1) vs. San Diego Chargers (1-0) – They say you’d rather win ugly than have a beautiful loss, the Chargers had a beautiful win in an ugly, ugly place last week on Monday Night.  They go up against an improved Titans team, but can Locker, with a separate shoulder, beat the Chargers in their home opener?  Will any be their to watch it?  We’ll find out.  The Chargers might get Mathews back this week (they need him since Ronnie Brown and Curtis Brinkley did absolutely nothing).  Winner: Chargers 20, Titans, 17.

Detroit Lions (1-0) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-0) – The San Francisco 49ers open at home against the Detroit Lions for the Handshake Part Deux.  The 49ers went into Lambeau last week beat a team with a great Quarterback with great receivers, no running game, and a less than stellar defense…sound familiar?  The Lions are the poor mans Packers and they have to go into San Francisco?  Not looking good for Deeeeee-troit.  Winner: 49ers 31, Lions 21.

Denver Broncos (1-0) vs. Atlanta (1-0) – Arguably the game of the week, the Falcons finally realized the offense needs to run through Matt Ryan and the great receivers he has and to get away from broken down Michael Turner (he’s terrible).  Peyton Manning could not have had a better debut on national television and ESPN and NFLN are still wiping their mouths from his performance.  The winner of this game will be which defense shows up.  Winner: Falcons 35, Broncos 31.

Last Week – (8-8)

Season – (8-8)

– Lance Cartelli

The Autumn Wind is a Long Snapper

The Autumn Wind is a Long Snapper 

The San Diego Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders 22-14 on Monday night in front of a West Coast and sleepy East Coast television audience to what turned out to be a lackluster game. (I’m sorry to the east coast people who stayed up for such a sloppy performance.)

Man, finally the Black Hole was loud and full for once, but the Nation will forever remember this name, Trevor Goethel. The Raiders backup Long Snapper, who hadn’t snapped an actual game since his days at Vista High School, stepped in for the mid-game concussed All-Pro Jon Condo. What could’ve gone wrong DID go wrong for Oakland, I almost feel bad (almost) a la David Binn 2010 for you Bolt fans.

Now the Chargers benefitted from this greatly, because the offense as far as the run game goes was a no-show (Ryan Mathews will be needed ASAP!) Special teams absolutely gets the game ball thanks to a healthy leg from Nate “Regular Season” Kaeding and a great punt block on Shane Lechler from Dante Rosario. Defense gets a “Most Improved” award for not getting totally pushed over by Darren McFadden (Just 32 yards rushing, but 86 receiving) and putting pressure on Carson Palmer. (Chargers also benefitted from no Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford) and all guts award to Quentin Jammer for playing the rest of the game with a broken hand. (As pops used to say “Just run it out” damn that must’ve hurt).

After a most forgettable but not completely horrible season from Philip Rivers last year, finally a game with no interceptions! Hallelujah! But the red zone woes HAVE to be addressed; great teams take advantage of the others mistakes. Mike Harris (Rookie) held up okay against a punishing Raiders Defense, Harris will be filling in for a forever made in glass Jared Gaither.

Overall, the Chargers performance on top of a Raiders meltdown was good enough for San Diego to win, but not a lot of people are impressed as they were expected to come out with the “W”. For now they will continue to be out of the spotlight.  Now looking forward to another challenge Sunday (not just with ticket sales) against Chris Johnson, Kamerion Wimbley (I’m sorry Philip) and the Tennessee Titans this Sunday.

Oppa gangnam style,

– Ryan Pedersen

The 49ers Are Golden Again

There’s only a couple things I hate about Week One in Football’s Regular Season – 1) People, not fans, jumping off the bandwagon of teams and players so fast that they hurt their ankle more than Ryan Mathews gets hurt (I had to) and 2) Getting so overwhelmed and hyped up with a team that you make crazy proclamations about how good they are with 16 weeks left in the Season.  Well…I’m about to hate myself because after Week One you have to crown the 49ers as the team to beat in the NFC and potentially the NFL.

The San Francisco 49ers went on the road in Week One to face one of the best offenses in the NFL and arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers, and dominated that game from start to finish.  The score, 30-22, does not do justice as to how much the 49ers outplayed the Packers (It should have been 30-15 if it wasn’t for a bogus pick up of the flag on a blatant block in the back call, but don’t even get me started on this shitty refs).  Alex Smith was the better quarterback on the field outplaying last years MVP, Frank Gore was his usual Week One self averaging seven yards a carry, Randy Moss made his triumphant return to Lambeau Field scoring his first Touchdown in two years, and the defense was, of course, dominant at every aspect.  The winner of this game was going to be favored in the NFC and the 49ers, rightfully so, should be the team to beat.

The media is completely blowing this game out of proportion asking “Should the Packers be worried?”, and that’s an absolutely ridiculous question only conjured up because it is week one.  The Packers still have the best QB in the NFL and should win that division, it’s one game. Get over it.  The 49ers will see you in the playoffs.

I initially had the 49ers as a better team with a worse record at 11-5, but after beating the Packers it is hard to see a game where the 49ers would be underdogs other than when they visit the New Orleans Saints (who lost to a rookie) and the New England Patriots (rightfully so).  I am officially changing my prediction to 14-2 and home field advantage in the NFC.  See, hating yourself isn’t so bad, especially when your team is good…I mean really good.

Now to the teams that should be worried (now I’ve committed two of my cardinal sins):

  • Seattle Seahawks.  Everyone’s media darling, even Bill Simmons (my favorite sports columnist) picked them to not only make the playoffs, but to win the Super Bowl.  Ridiculous.  I understand the media love for Russel Wilson, he was a great college player, he’s short (which most of the media is, and being short I understand the bond), he’s apparently a great leader and lights up a room/huddle when he walks in.  But everyone is also forgetting, he’s a rookie — a short rookie who was taken in the 3rd round.  The Seahawks have a great defense that will only get better, a running attack, and some weapons around Russell Wilson, but he isn’t gonna transform this team into the NFC West Champs overnight, let alone a Super Bowl contender.
  • Buffalo Bills.  Ouch.  They let the Jets, the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets, score 48 on them! 48! I hate the Preseason, but they couldn’t even score in the Preseason!  This is a team that spent a buttload of money on Mario Williams to improve that defense and to contend for a Wild Card spot in the weaker AFC, but they got absolutely destroyed and Ryan Fitzpatrick struggled again, which begs the question, “How the F did he get a $60 million contract?!”
  • New Orleans Saints.  I love RG3 and think he’s going to be a great Quarterback, I even think the Rams should’ve kept him and traded Sam Bradford because RG3 is that good!  But in his first game he lit up the Saints.  You may have heard, the Saints had a rather tough season and they are being coached by the Interim to the Interim Head Coach, but still the Saints play in the 2nd toughest place to play in the NFL (Seattle) and they didn’t lost at home all of last year.  Now they let a rookie come in and completely shred them for the greatest first game by a rookie quarterback in the NFL history (Sorry, Cam).  Maybe the bounty and losing your Head Coach for the season will affect them, especially when you have the Atlanta Falcons in your division.
  • Carolina Panthers. I almost had more rushing yards than the Panthers, just an abysmal performance against a team that absolutely quit on their coach last year.  The Buccaneers and mainly Gerald McCoy played exceptional to hold the Panthers run game at bay, but if you’re the Panthers and you have paid every single person to run the ball in that offense $40 million then you should be able to run the damn ball.  Ugly stuff.

All that being said don’t hurt yourself jumping off these bandwagons or trying to jump on the 49ers (I see you all you people that abandoned them for 9 years trying to come back, we don’t want you!).

-Lance Cartelli

How Bout Dem Cowboys!

I know it may be a bit premature to hype up a team that is already over-hyped but HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS! Over the past three years, The Cowboys have been nothing but mediocre. They’ve averaged a mere 8 wins with all the talent in the world (insert Roy Williams). But on Wednesday night when ‘MERICA’s team took the field at the Meadowlands, it was a new resurgent team that faced the defending Super Bowl champs (God I hate saying that) the New York Giants.

Early on in the game Tony Romo threw a pick that had everyone (including my ginger Editor-In-Chief) saying “Here we go again!” What came next even astonished me (Dallas’ biggest hipster fan), a defense that kept the Giants from scoring and a head coach that was a bit overzealous that the FCC couldn’t contain his expression (F! yes). That would set the tone for the remainder of the game, where instead of going down by 7 the defense allowed 3 points and let the offense get back to work.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my admiration for Kevin Ogletree was as abundant as the meatball crew’s love for Parker, Arizona (seriously that place should be burnt down!) After three unproductive years with the cowboys I had thrown in the towel for Ogletree and was amongst the many petitioning to have him removed from the team (hell, I would drive to texas myself and boot him out of there after all the dropped passes). But like all great coaches, Jason Garrett decided to give him one last chance and boy was he ever more right! Ogletree had a career high in receptions, yards, touchdowns and even camera spotlights. From undrafted free agent, unwanted, un-insert any slanderous terms Kevin Ogletree defied all odds and rocked out with his C@$% OUT!

So to bring an end to this love letter which is obviously addressed to the Dallas Cowboys and it’s flamboyant owner JERRY Mutha F#$ken Jones, I say thank you for once again introducing hope and affording me the opportunity to say HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS! Eff you Seattle don’t think I don’t see you.

This message is approved and certified by MAOR LEVI

P.S. I’M BACK MOFUK@$

– Levi Martinez

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