Today begins one of the best sports weeks of the year, NFL Draft Week! It should be a national holiday, we should all have the week off of work to put our finishing touches on our draft boards, pick out the right finger foods for our draft day parties, and select our draft day crushes – those young men that older men salivate to have on their team. Trust me we all do it. Now, it’s always fun to pick your draft crushes and to get really pissed off when you, as the Couch General Manager, don’t get the player you’ve been wanting since you saw him dominate in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl or was it the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl? Either way, you’re mad. But did your team select the exact opposite of your Draft Day Man Crush? The one player you did not want your team to select, the player that was dominated in all the YouTube video research you did all offseason, your Draft Cootie!
The Draft Cootie List is something no fan should have to deal with, they have all the tell tale signs of being a bust. They have red flags whether it be injuries or off the field concerns. They’re like that person on a reality show that is just there to get really drunk. There main purpose is to get famous and eventually the inebriated loser gets the boot in that first episode. They bring all the requisite drama for a reality show, but are really ruining it for that one special person trying to find true love! Pretty much they are JaMarcus Russell (the ultimate Cootie).
If you are too old to know what Cooties are or you had a really bad experience in elementary school with said cooties, let me refresh that memory of yours and bring back some hurtful ones. Cooties are a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted through the act of touching, or an airborne disease or through rumors from the dickhead bullies in elementary school. There is no cure and once you are afflicted by this disease will completely cockblock you and ruin your game. (Can you tell I’m bitter?). Cooties were pretty much the first STD that elementary kids had to deal with. In some cases, you are given Cooties because that significant other may be interested in you and are trying to deal with such new feelings. Which is directly related to our Draft Cootie List.
San Francisco 49ers Draft Day Cootie List:
For the sake of the 49ers Cootie list, I won’t add any players that are way out of position for the Niners to draft (Top 10) or positions that are not of need (OT, ILB, RB).
Keenan Allen: A talented wide receiver that played his college ball at the University of California. He would fill a position of need for the Niners at WR and he’d be close to home, but he’s got a lotta Cooties. First, he’s got a nagging knee injury that has been the talk of front offices around the league. He also failed a drug test. That’s a lotta cooties, I wouldn’t touch him in the first or second round.
Margus Hunt: Physically, he’s everything you would want in a 3-4 DE on a team desperate for more depth on the defensive line and looking for an eventual replacement of Justin Smith. He’s 6-8, 275-pounds and was a Discus and Shot Put thrower in Estonia. But he’s already 25 and he never really dominated at SMU. If he falls to the Niners second pick in the second round is the only time I’d consider drafting him.
Eric Reid: Former safety for LSU, Reid dominated two years ago in the SEC, but this past year was a disappointment. He’s only 5-10, which is short for a safety, especially in a league where the receivers are getting bigger and bigger, height is a big deal to talent evaluators. I’d rather have Jonathan Cyprien.
Who’s on your Draft Day Cootie List? Be safe my loyal readers!
Everything has a beginning and an end. Whether it’s good or bad, happy or sad, everything comes to an end. For the 2012 San Francisco 49ers and yours truly, it lasted 148 days. From September 9th, an Opening Day victory against the Green Bay Packers, until February 2nd, a devastating loss in the Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens, It ended up being the most satisfying and heartbreaking 148 days in 18 years and realistically my life.
It dawned on me that Sundays loss was just a bad version of a Romantic Comedy.
The Premise: A mid-20’s die-hard San Francisco 49ers fan, who has never loved anything but his parents and the 49ers, goes through the ups-and-downs of a season to see his team advance to the Super Bowl.
Everything was set-up perfectly for a beautiful Romantic Comedy. The man in his mid-20’s played by none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Ryan Gosling had scheduling conflicts), let’s for shits and giggles call him, Lance. The Super Bowl Trophy, adorkably played by Zooey Deschanel, it was all too perfect. They would end up together and be happy for the rest of the 2013 offseason as the Super Bowl Champions. The conflict you ask? The Baltimore Ravens, the gay best friend that is trying to ruin everything! And they did.
This is not a happy story, this is not a story about boy meets girl or boy’s team wins the Super Bowl and is euphoric. This is the story of heartbreak.
The script was written, the movie was greenlit and was set to premiere just a few weeks before Valentine’s Day. It was a film that men and women could all enjoy, a great date movie that had love, plot twists that would make M. Night Shyamalan jealous, and Football! Probably the three greatest things in the World.
Unfortunately for the naive, in love 49ers fan, it was not a happy ending.
(1) It started off great, the 49ers went into Lambeau Field and defeated the Green Bay Packers on Opening Day. A statement was made. The shy protagonist stepped out of his comfort zone and met the girl/team of his dreams. What a great start to the movie. I’m really rooting for this Lance guy!
(100) Our first plot twist! Zooey breaks up with her loving, but ultimately not good enough High-School sweetheart, lets call him Alex Smith. He gets an awful head injury and we think that they can pull through this, but they don’t. Finally an opportunity for someone to swoop in. A secondary character is introduced and ready to take the stage, his name Colin Kaepernick. He plays well, but you expect him back in his secondary role.
[At this point, the Characters are all screwed up and I’ve lost my way, but stay with me I’m going somewhere with this…I think]
(106) We have yet to see our main character return. JGL is a little scared, they have a big game on the national stage against currently the best defense in the NFL. Kaepernick is not so scared, he dominates, he is no longer a secondary character, sorry Alex. Zooey likes what she sees.
(148) You never know when something good/bad is going to end, unless it’s sports, there’s only 1 team that ends the season happy and two teams end the same day. Today was the Super Bowl. One team will go down in history, the other team will just go down.
This was Colin’s chance to sweep Zooey off her feet and engrave his name into this trophy, kinda sexist if you ask me, but he’s the Protagonist!
It did not start off so well, the gay best friend is no longer gay and trying to remove the best friend title for something a little more intimate he’s trying to steal your Trophy Wife. Down 22-6 he’s doing a damn good job.
Midway through the night, you feel like you’re losing her, you are about to throw in the towel. Time to find the Alcohol – this always ends well.
The lights in the stadium go dark. This is perfect, all I want when someone is trying to steal something that I rightfully deserve is to sit in the dark while this it’s happening. Already angry, surrounded by people yelling drunken nonsense at this party, and your girl is flirting with someone else, a guy named Joe Flacco. He’s cool, he’s calm, he’s good looking – He better not be going to Disney World with her later. JGL has been relegated to the sidekick in every Rom-Com – the fat, ugly friend who gives awful advice. I’ve never felt more bi-polar than at this moment – I feel like I’m Bradley Cooper in The Silver Linings Playbook. I hope the payoff is Jennifer Lawrence.
But wait, it’s time for our huge romantic gesture! Down 22 in the 3rd quarter, JGL busts out the boombox to play outside Zooey’s window. She’s gonna love that shit, and you know what? She does. The 49ers are right back in it. Down 5, they get within 5 yards of kissing this big beautiful trophy that they have worked for more than 148 days for.
I am full of emotions and you should be too, this is the climax! Our Protagonist is finally going to win the heart of his true love!
But this story is not a love story, it is not a happy ending, the 49ers fall five yards short of their goal, their dream, their love. It’s like the The Break-Up, it was never gonna end happy.
The only problem with this failed Romantic Comedy that after the credits roll, the story keeps going. Commercials, Television, the “I’M GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!” even though I’d much rather spend my time at Disneyland because California > Florida and there’s generally more to do here, but I’m not the one who won the Super Bowl, so whatever Joe, do what you want! But I digress.
The silver lining to this heartbreak? The Sequel!
Just like JGL met Autumn at the end of 500 Days of Summer (Spoiler Alert!), the 49ers will have a chance to reclaim what they believe is rightfully theirs and that journey begins in seven months.
What I did learn with my first love and true sports heartbreak is that in the end it is better to have loved and lost (the Super Bowl) than to have never of loved a team at all.
– Lance Cartelli
According to ESPN’s NFL Live on Feb 5th, the Ravens are the latest team to win the Super Bowl after facing the Philadelphia Eagles at their home opening game. The last three teams (Saints 09’, Packers 10’, Giants 11’) and the Ravens, all faced the Eagles at their home openers and all have won the Super Bowl.
One of the eight teams on this seasons home schedule for the Eagles is in fact the San Diego Chargers along with AFC West scheduled foe, the Kansas City Chiefs. So does that mean its all Chiefs and Chargers going into next season for the AFC West? Hey, four years in a row of this stat you can’t help to feel a little better after a disastrously below average season in 2012.
So when the schedule comes out later this year, pray for that home opener date versus the Eagles. Hopefully they don’t find a way to screw this one up.
Other News you don’t care about:
SDSU Men’s basketball drops out of the AP top 25 again after another loss to Air Force in Colorado Springs. Air Force all time is 3-78 against teams in the top 25 with two of those victories against State this year and last year. Aztecs need an option incase Xavier Thames can’t go because they seem average without him at Guard.
Lots of mock drafts for the San Diego Chargers have them picking OL, with Central Michigan’s OT Eric Fisher. Most of the time these drafts are wrong, but I already like the sign of an O-Lineman and they have to figure out a way to protect Rivers left side, period.
The San Diego Padres avoided arbitration with 3B silver-slugger award winner Chase Headley, signing to a one-year 8 Million deal. I’ve already got my countdown ready on how long he will be here until the summer trade deadline comes since obviously the Padres are never impressed with anything it seems. #WEWANTGIANCARLO
Why hello to the loyal fan base of Casually Ginger it’s been awhile since…Well let’s be honest…Your favorite blogger posted and for that, I must apologize.
Now it would be easy to blame all the hectic events in my life that have transpired over the past few months but let’s put that all aside, after all it is the holiday season. Normally during this time I’m happy to be home amongst the very people I call my family. However this year I can’t hope but to have a little extra optimism for my Dallas Cowboys. Yes, the very same franchise that has deprived me of post-season contention for the better part of the last decade and a half. However, this year when one could clearly make a thousand arguments as to why the Cowboys shouldn’t even been a hot topic they have done just that – surprised the football nation.
After Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and the rest of the interior defense went on Injured Reserve, I was like, “Well looks like its time to start focusing on draft day for 2013”. I am man enough to admit the fact that I had lost hope on my team, thrown in the towel, if you may, but to my disbelief with what seems like the cast from the Replacements the Cowboys have rallied to win 5 of the last 6 games**. Tony Romo, the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys — nay — “My Quarterback” has done the unthinkable, WIN in December against the Eagles, Bengals and Steelers.
**[Editors Note: We have — ON RECORD — that a self-proclaimed Dallas Cowboy fan gave up on his team midway through the season. You cannot get much more bandwagon-y then that. AND IT’S ALL ON RECORD!]
There will be a multitude of variables that will undeniably be said as to why the Cowboys have found a new life when all others have discounted them. Was it the terrible incident of Josh Brent (nose tackle) driving home intoxicated with his best friend another cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown and killing him? Or was it Dez Bryant and Demarcus Ware two highly talented players, each with various injuries (broken finger, bruised elbow, etc) pushing through the pain as to not let their teammates down? We may never know, but one thing is for certain when the Cowboys take the field against the New Orleans Saints I know what I will be thankful for…besides the well being of my family and friends. Yes, I will be thankful for the Dallas Cowboys instilling hope in me yet again and why not when this world is out to knock you down, people constantly telling you you’re not good enough well to them I say but one thing HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS.
Alas my fellow readers,
Maor Gaffer Levi
For two and half quarters on Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers looked like the best team in the NFL. For one quarter they looked like every other defense that Tom Brady has carved up in his illustrious career. And for the final half of the 4th quarter the 49ers did just enough to hang on to defeat the New England Patriots 41-34 in an epic battle to clinch back-to-back playoff appearances for the once storied franchise.
The New England Patriots were arguably the hottest team in the NFL, winning seven straight games, lost for the first time at home in 21 games, and had also won 21 straight in the second half of the season at home. Snapping all of these ridiculous streaks with a second year quarterback that has started only five games in his career, the 49ers made a statement that the NFC goes through San Francisco.
What we saw on Sunday — in the most entertaining football game of the year — is that neither of these teams will go quietly into the night. The 49ers came out swinging – the defense was dominant, the offense was explosive, and the 49ers were up 31-3. The Patriots could’ve packed it in and said good game, but they came storming back with 28 straight points in about a quarter. Resiliency like this is a sign of a great team. After tying it up at 31, the 49ers got a great kick return from rookie LaMichael James and on the next play scored a 38 yard touchdown from Colin Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree, a blooming connection in recent weeks. Both these teams showed that no matter what kind of adversity they will face in the coming weeks and in the playoffs, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with. This was a Super Bowl Preview.
But it won’t be easy for either team. New England is now the #3 seed in the AFC and will probably have to face the Denver Broncos in the second round and potentially the Houston Texans in the AFC Championship. New England will have to win both games on the road if everything holds form. The 49ers are currently the second seed in the NFC but the Green Bay Packers are breathing down their neck just 1/2 game behind them thanks to the 49ers tie with the St. Louis Rams. The 49ers also have to travel to Seattle to play a hot Seahawks team in the toughest place to play in the NFL. A showdown with the Packers in the second round of the playoffs is looming ahead and depending how the season plays out it could very well be in Lambeau Field.
Either way the playoffs that being in a few weeks have some incredible match-ups potentially in the 2nd round and beyond.
Week 16 Picks:
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions – The Lions were just beatdown by the awful Arizona Cardinals and this week they have to take on the team with the best record in the NFC, after coming off a 34-0 shutout of the defending champs. It’s pretty simple.
New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys – We are entering “Tony Romo Destroys His Team in Heartbreaking and Dramatic Fashion” Time, but it is one week too soon. Cowboys pull out a victory at home against the Saints.
Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers– The Titans needed Mark Sanchez to be Mark Sanchez just to escape with a victory over the Jets. I don’t think they will be so lucky against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs – Andrew Luck vs. Brady Quinn. That’s all that needs to be said.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins –
San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets – I think the whole world — now that we are still alive — is thankful that this game was flexed out of primetime. I don’t think Chargers and Jets fans can take another primetime embarrassment.
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles – The Redskins are fighting to keep control of the NFC East and are eyeing a showdown next week with the Cowboys. This is a classic trap game, but the Eagles mailed it in weeks ago. RGIII and company handle their business.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers – The Bengals and the “Red Rifle” go into Pittsburgh and defeat the Steelers making all Gingers proud. It really is the end of the world.
St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tampa Bay got destroyed last week verse the Saints, but their stout run defense makes Sam Bradford beat them and he can’t. Bucs win and stay alive.
Oakland Raiders @ Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton has been dominating the past few weeks and is single handedly saving people’s fantasy football teams, but he can’t save his own team. Thankfully — for him — he’s playing the Raiders.
New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars – I think the Pats are a little angry about last week, Jacksonville I’m sorry.
Minnesotta Vikings @ Houston Texans – The Texans will overload the box to stop the run and dare Christian Ponder to beat them, I like those odds for the Texans. AP will still go off for a big day.
Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos – The Broncos got a gift last week as the 49ers beat the Patriots and ascended the Broncos into the #2 seed with their sites set on a 1st round bye. The Browns won’t be able to stop Peyton Manning.
Chicago Bears @ Arizona Cardinals – Let’s see…Arizona Cardinals have the worst QB position in the NFL (Sorry Jets) and they are facing a defense that is based on turnovers. Bears end their losing streak and remain in the playoff picture.
New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens – The Giants have been playing awful, they can’t rush the passer and Eli Manning isn’t helping either. This seems about the time the Giants win every single game for the rest of the season. Ugh.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks – The 49ers must go into the toughest place to play in the NFL, Seattle, and defeat a team that has scored 50+ points in back-to-back weeks after their defense was on the field for 95 (!) plays last week. Oh yeah, it doesn’t look like Justin Smith will play either. The Seahawks might be without their top two corners and need to win to stay alive in the NFC West. This will be a blood bath but I have to go with the team that just beat the Patriots on the road.
– Lance Cartelli
He was selected in the 2nd round (36th overall) by the San Francisco 49ers just a year ago, thought to be the next starting quarterback for the Niners coming off a 6-10 season with a new Head Coach in place who wanted his own guy. But then something happened – Jim Harbaugh, Alex Smith and the 49ers kept winning. They were the surprise team in 2011, going 13-3 and were an overtime away from advancing to the Super Bowl. There was always the question creeping around the corner though, when will it be Colin Kaepernick’s time? Well that time is now.
Kaepernick has been getting increasing playing time this year, seeing his most extensive time in games against the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and last week against the St. Louis Rams, when he took over for concussed Alex Smith, and Kaepernick looked good. He brought his team back from a deficit to take the lead and eventually tie. But the question is, what if Kaepernick looks good? Like REALLY GOOD, in his first start?
Alex Smith is currently having his best season ever. He ranks third in the NFL in passer rating and yard per pass, but (as designed by the offense) he is only 29th in passing yards. The 49ers are a grind it out, run the ball, let the defense win you games kind of offense and Smith isn’t asked to do too much. But an offense ran by a player like Colin Kaepernick could potentially take this offense to a whole new level. He’s got a Laser Rocket Arm, and runs in the 4.4’s. We’ve seen glimpses while he’s in.
Now tonight, Kaepernick gets his first start of his career, and it’s against arguably the best defense in the NFL, who cause turnovers at an alarming rate. No doubt that Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, Brian Urlacher and company are licking their chops to force Kaepernick into uncomfortable situations where they can take advantage of his lack of experience and cause turnovers to win this game.
But what if he wins? If Kaepernick goes for 300 yards, 3 TDs, and say 70 yards rushing (highly doubtful)? What happens when Alex Smith is healthy? It could be a full on quarterback controversy with a team that is leading their division, and could potentially own the #2 spot in the highly competitive NFC.
My thinking is that Jim Harbaugh is linked to Alex Smith at least until the end of the year. Smith newly signed a 3-year deal with the 49ers, but they can cut their losses at the end of the year. Alex Smith gives the 49ers their best chance of winning now. He’s safe, efficient, trusts his defense, and Harbaugh believes that can win this team a Championship. But if Kaepernick absolutely kills it then he may have no choice but to go with the ‘hot hand’ and the potential.
This is the biggest game of the year for the 49ers that will no doubt have huge implications on the NFC playoff picture. With a win the 49ers own the #2 spot in the NFC, with a loss they fall back to #4 and the Seattle Seahawks lurking right behind them, and they Niners still have to travel to Seattle in a couple weeks. A huge game for the 49ers that could potentially mean a first-round bye or a lot harder road in the NFC. Will Colin Kaepernick reach his potential and grab the starting job away from Alex Smith tonight? We will see on Monday Night Football.
The San Francisco 49ers tied the St. Louis Rams 24-24 on Sunday for the first tie in the NFL since the Donovan McNabb game in 2008 (and yes, McNabb games can end in a tie). But the question is, how are you supposed to feel after a tie? If you’re a Rams fan — is it a moral victory? For 49ers fans — a loss that just doesn’t show up in the loss column, but something that makes your win/loss record look funny? Are we supposed to feel happy? Sad? Indifferent? Has Football finally converted to Soccer?** Do you feel like you just kissed your Sister? (I’m an only child, so I do not know that feel bro) For the 49ers, this game has longstanding repercussions and silver linings that will go beyond this game and could determine how far this team goes in the Playoffs.
**I even googled what an ‘aggregate” is and I still don’t get it…seriously Soccer how are you a sport?
I always want the bad news first. so let’s start there:
- The Defense – The 49ers are supposed to have the best defense in the NFL. A defense that imposes their will, stops the run, and limits the big play. None of that happened on Sunday. The Rams ran all over the 49ers with Steven Jackson running for over 100 yards, the 49ers gave up the big play as well. On the first drive, they uncharacteristically gave up a 36 yard Touchdown to Brian Quick and almost gave up a game altering 80 yard pass play to Danny Amendola that got called back due to an illegal formation penalty. In all the 49ers losses the defense has not been able to stop the run which is their bread and butter.
- Home-Field Advantage. Well Niner fans you don’t have to worry about head-to-head tiebreakers anymore. With the tie, the 49ers now have to finish 1/2 game better than the Seahawks in the NFC West to win, and a 1/2 game better than the Bears, Falcons, Packers, Giants to insure a first round bye in the Playoffs. A win on Sunday and a win on Monday versus the Chicago Bears would’ve been huge for home-field for the 49ers.
Now the Silver Linings for the 49ers:
- Colin Kaepernick – The 49ers backup Quarterback saw his first extensive playing time since being drafted in the 2nd round last year. He came into the game down by seven, and led this team to eventually take the lead. After starting slow, Kaepernick finished the game 11/17 for 119 yards passing and 66 yards rushing with a touchdown. Kaepernick takes a lot more chances than Alex Smith and clearly has the more talented arm, but he does not have the grasp of the offense like Smith. Kaepernick will eventually be the starting Quarterback for this team, and Sunday’s game was encouraging for a team that may need him sooner rather than later.
- Technically the 49ers didn’t lose. San Francisco played one of their three worst games of the year, and the worst first quarter of the season coming off their bye week, but they didn’t get a loss that would’ve hurt their chances at winning the NFC West and getting home-field even more than a tie. In a hard fought NFC West game against a rival, the Niners were down two touchdowns and came back despite playing terrible defense and having the backup Quarterback in, I will take that. Plus if you have any friends that are fans of other teams you can always drop the line, “Technically we didn’t lose, so shut up!”.
Now that I’ve helped you handle that weird feeling of a tie, there has to be an alternative for the NFL to incorporate that ends the horrible tradition of teams making their records look weird, and having a decisive winner every week.
In a sport that is so under the microscope with injuries, there is absolutely no way that, if a game ends after five quarters you cannot play endlessly 6+ quarters, it just doesn’t make sense especially when you play the following week. So what are some alternatives?
- 40 yard dash. A 40 yard dash — everyone’s favorite event at the NFL Combine, especially if you’re a fanboy of those things like yours truly, but not from your fastest player, but from an offensive linemen that weights over 300 pounds? What do you think? No, it’s entertaining (who doesn’t love watching fatties run?), but would never work.
- Skills Competition. A skills competition with the Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Running Backs and defensive skill players would be a fun alternative, but we couldn’t have that determine a game, especially if it’s make or break for the Playoffs.
- Penalty Kicks. If we are gonna have a game end in a tie, and kickers miss field goals for game winners like Sunday, why not have the kickers do Penalty Kicks like in real Soccer? It could happen…
Although the San Francisco 49ers versus the St. Louis Rams game was entertaining, yet ultimately disappointing, I hope I helped you deal with your latest confusion of feelings, since you were an adolescent, on how to feel after a tie game. Whether you’re happy the 49ers didn’t lose, pissed off they didn’t cover the spread (I know I am!), or that it feels like you kissed your Sister, just know there is always next Monday in a huge game against the Bears, we can only hope there is a decisive winner in that game.
– Lance Cartelli