Thursday, September 28, 2017

It's Not That Players Or Coaches Or Owners are Protesting. It's WHY They are Protesting, And Doing It WRONG!

One would think that protesting players--the majority of whom are MILLIONAIRES!--would at least have something to protest about!

Folks, now really, seriously, do you REALLY THINK THESE UBER-RICH CELEBRITIES ACTUALLY HAVE SOMETHING TO PROTEST ABOUT? Because that is what these protesters are! UBER-RICH CELEBRITIES! Gee you'd think they worked for Hollywood!


Gee, celebrity attention seekers like RAP STARS (black) and ROCK STARS (white) don't pull the CRAP these pampered athletes do!

Now it is not crap to protest the flag or even the anthem when what the flag and anthem now represent is GENOCIDE (Yemen--who do you think is funding the Saudis?), OPPRESSION BY DICTATORSHIP (the Saudis, for one), WASTING BILLIONS that could go to fix infrastructure, hurricane damage, wild fire damage, and other projects that just might "make America great again" by sending all this money to a nation that DOES NOT NEED IT-ISRAEL! Why in the blue blazes does a country WITH NUKES need American military funding? Because the leaders of this nation are afraid to be called "anti-Semitic" if they don't? So Israel is blackmailing the United States? And what do you expect from an "ally" that nearly destroys the USS Liberty KILLING 34 AMERICAN SAILORS in 1967 so that "we" would help them win the Six-Day War THEY WERE ALREADY WINNING on the pretext that "Egypt did it"??? And various war crimes of the disgusting "American Empire" and other worthy causes to protest. Not to mention police brutality, sex and human trafficking by the elites that actually run the US, the inability to actually follow the laws of the land because it isn't profitable to actually follow the laws of the land? Folks, there are many reasons folks could be protesting, whether kneeling for the flag or the anthem. Or other ways.

But the bogus "protests" of these FOLKS WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN THE FOLKS WHO ACTUALLY PAY THEIR UBER-RICH SALARIES and for all I know consider us "useless eaters" the way the criminal psycho elites also consider us (and, I hate to break it to you, Kap, but the criminal psycho elites also see YOU that way! USEFUL FREAKIN' IDIOT!!!)--they are NOT protesting against US govt. oppression and genocide! NO! They are "protesting" JUST TO GET ATTENTION!

If they were truly protesting what they claimed to be protesting they wouldn't be doing it PRECISELY to piss off the fans who pay their ways by buying season tickets and PSLs to their games! Or purchase NFL GamePass (which I did not renew, but not because of "protests," but because my team's QB, Ryan Tannehill, is out for the year and Jay freakin' Cutler, who I do not like, has taken his place). Or buy jerseys. Or Sunday Ticket on DirecTV.

Folks, their so-called protests are being done PRECISELY in front of their fans who pay their salaries. In other words, they are protesting the supposed partiotism or whatever of their fans. They are NOT protesting oppression or police brutality or wasting tax dollars. They are protesting the fact that they think that their fans all voted for Trump and are thus "deplorables"! Right! THE FANS THAT PAY THEIR SALARIES ARE DEPLORABLES!

And now I will give one an example of just how stupid this behavior is because it makes no sense, and I will mention a few players on my fave team, the Miami Dolphins, who have done this. First was Kenny Stills--who is now a millionaire, right?--and now you have others, including Jay Ajayi (who's a Brit for goodness sakes!), Ju-Waun James, penalty machine, and fellow tackle Laremy Tunsil. What did these players do that makes no sense to me, and assuredly made no sense to the thousands of CUBAN-AMERICANS that inhabit Hard Rock Stadium on Sundays? This is what these folks did--they wore some kind of black t-shirt or something at their second away game of the year in New Jersey playing the Jets. And why did they wear this black t-shirt? To "protest" the fact that their buddy Colin Kaepernick is not playing in the NFL "because no team will sign him because he doth protest too much." Or something. And while this did not occur at Hard Rock Stadium, it still occurred, and here is why--Kap.

And here is why this protest makes no damned sense! Perhaps these players thought the Dolphins, upon losing Tannehill to a re-torn ACL for the year, should sign Kaepernick to replace him. And why does it make no sense for the Dolphins--WHO PLAY IN MIAMI!--to sign Kaepernick? Well, Kenny and the rest of you idiots, it makes no sense because--and you were playing in that game in Miami last year against Kap's 49ers, correct? I know Stills was since he caught a beauty of a pass from Tannehill--because the fans, upon seeing Kaepernick enter the field, BOO-ED THE CRAP OUT OF HIM! Why? Because Kaepernick wore a Castro t-shirt THE WEEK HE KNEW HE WAS PLAYING IN MIAMI. You know, home to many Cuban-Americans who escaped the Communist oppression of the Castro regime! So Kaepernick, knowing he was insulting Dolphins fans, who boo-ed the crap out of him, wore the damned t-shirt PRECISELY to insult Dolphins fans!!! And Dolphins fans knew it!!!
So now, dear Kenny and the rest of you useful idiots--do you get why Dolphins fans just might not like you supporting a man, Colin Kaepernick, who insulted them?

Kenny, Jay, etc.--did you really expect the Dolphins to sign Kaepernick? Really? Really??? Just how wet behind the ears are you people?

Now that brings me to the "protesting" by the Ravens players, etc. They, too, are protesting because the Ravens could have, possibly would have, since they were on board to do so at one point--and likely should have!--signed Kaepernick. If Flacco goes down, who replaces him? Kap would have been a good replacement. Further, seeing as how Baltimore (unlike Cuban-American Miami) is mostly black, the signing of Kap would have made sense (while it would have made NO SENSE for Miami to sign him! In fact, lib-tard NBC sports honcho Mike Florio even wrote that the ONLY team that made sense NOT to sign Kap was the Dolphins!). So it makes sense for Ravens players to protest not signing Kaepernick. BUT IT MAKES NO SENSE FOR THEM TO BE PROTESTING IN FRONT OF THEIR FANS! THEIR FANS DID NOT CAUSE RAVENS OWNER BISCOTTI TO NOT SIGN KAEPERNICK! Their fans did not screw over the Ravens--the Ravens owner did! So why are the players NOT protesting the owner, but their fans? Their owner pays them, right? WRONG! THEIR FANS PAY THEM!

Finally, let's head up to New England, to the team called PATRIOTS! You know, perennial Super Bowl contenders? So here are all these loyal (and most Pats fans ARE LOYAL, finally being rewarded after many years of mediocrity or worse with the GOAT, namely Tom Brady!), loyal Patriots fans standing at Gillette Stadium and having to put up with players with Super Bowl rings--and many with more than one!--"protesting" their "deplorable" fans because some guy named--er, George Soros maybe?--told these idiot players to protest in front of these god-awful Trump supporters---right! In Massachusetts? You know, a state that mostly voted Hillary? All I can say to these fans who were insulted is this--at least Tom Brady didn't insult you folks! And here is my message to these idiot Patriots players--if you want to protest something, protest that man that screwed you over last year by suspending your QB--Roger Goodell!

Now I will support ANY AND ALL PROTESTS AGAINST GOODELL, the WORST Commissioner in American sports!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Welcome to the New and Crazy 2017 NFL Season!

To heck with pre-season predictions! What with Tannehill being out for the year and Jay Cutler--a QB I do not like, period--now Miami's starting QB, no way am I making predictions as to whether Miami or anyone else is making the playoffs...and then they lose Raekwon McMillan, who was going to be their starting MLB, for the year with a torn ACL. And then they lose possible starting CB Tony Lippett as well! And starting OG Ted Larson! God knows who the starting guards will be!

And Pats fans are worried about losing Julian Edelman? Are they serious? (And if I spelled his name wrong, sorry.) Now, if they lose Tom Brady...

But anyway...and now the Fins have to worry about Hurricane Iram destroying Miami and their homes...

To any Dolphins fans living in South Florida--God keep you safe and sound, number one. In Jesus' Name, Amen. And for Heaven Sake, do not worry about your football team! Get safe, and get the heck outta South Florida! I know of what I speak--

Having a week or so ago, when visiting my son, daughter-in-law and grandson who live in a house SOUTH of HOUSTON! Between Houston and Galveston! My spouse and I got out of this city around 3 p.m. Saturday, just hours before Hurricane Harvey flooded the place! Had we waited until Sunday, we would have been stranded with a vehicle that might have been flooded! But here's the good news, we got of town just in time, and got back to our place in far west Texas Sunday; plus, our son's house was NOT FLOODED! Thank you, Father God, in Jesus' Holy Name, Amen!

Finally, while I hated the fact that the Dolphins' Week One game against the Bucs was moved to Week 11 what with the Bucs having the same Bye Week--now is that a co-incidence or what?--it is probably the best option, and, if you want to know why, visit The Phinsider SB Nation Miami Dolphins blog and click on the article about the History of Hurricane game postponements--it turns out in every season the Dolphins week one games were delayed/played later, or when they started the season o September 17, they not only made the playoffs, they also went to Super Bowls!

But enough about my fave team. Now the Pats could win another Supe, but what with no one messing with Brady, Brady does not have the "vendetta-minded-ness" that he needs to win Super Bowls. Further, if the so-called experts are right about the Raiders, it could be the team that will soon move to Vegas that gets the Supe nod, while in the NFC, if they finally get the Zeke Elliott biz right, the Cowboys might get there as well.

What with Cutler running the Fins, I am also going to root for a team that has lots of fans but hasn't deserved these loyal fans for years because they have been so bad, the Browns--because of Myles "Aggie boy" Garrett (who, you guessed it, was listed with an ankle injury!); a new and improved (we hope) QB, Dishone Kizer (spelling?) and maybe Cleveland's first serious franchise QB candidate in forever, and several new players who have played on winning teams in the past. Plus Hugh Jackson, IMHO a good NFL head coach. Plus the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals have all sorts of questions going into the season...will LeVeon Bell keep it up? Will Flacco recover? Will Vontaze Burfict ever grow up, and will their long-running head coach, Marv Lewis, ever learn how to control his players?

Will the Texans' stadium be ready and recovered from Harvey? Are the Titans for real? Will Andrew Luck ever recover? Will the Jags finally step up? God only knows who wins the AFC South. And the West division is also a "who knows?" proposition--just how good are the Raiders? And the Chiefs, who start out tonight with the Pats? And Denver, with a QB, Trevor Siemian, that still has things to prove, and the Chargers, moving to LA?

The NFC East will of course be highly competitive what with the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles seemingly improving a bit. In the North, I expect the Packers to win it again, but that division is always competitive, and good luck to the Bears with Tribusky, a good pick for them. As usual, the South will probably flip-flop, and either the Panthers or Bucs will win this thing...I do not see how the Falcons will ever recover from the ridiculous blowing of Super Bowl LI!!! And I just don't think the Saints have enough to overcome the improvements in the Bucs and Panthers. The NFC West will continue to be dominated by the Seahawks, but I hope the Cards can pull it out this year. The Niners look improved a bit, but the Rams do not.

The Pats will likely win the AFC East again--thank you, Tannehill re-tearing his ACL, and more ACL injuries, and Cutler's craziness, and Hurricane Irma! But as they say on the Phinsider, "in Gase we trust." (Note--I trust in God, okay?) The Jets are a mess almost comparable to what the Browns have been for years, and the Bills? This just might be the most unpredictable team in the NFL!

Happy 2017 season!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Premier League, YOU have a Problem!

Now I have spent months researching stats and info on the history of a league I really really have no serious interest in following, the English Premier League--I said in my previous post here that I have almost no interest in soccer, which they call "football" across the pond. But I wanted to make a comparison with the NFL anyway, since the NFL has been dominated by only a couple of teams since the beginning of the new millennium, and one of those, the New England Patriots, have been THE most dominant team during this time. The other dominant teams, throughout the 2000s and 2010s, have been the Packers, Steelers, Colts, and to a lesser extent, Seahawks and Cowboys--with a smattering of others during this time. That is, you have basically six teams, since 2001, owning the NFL. Almost no matter what happens--injuries, poor drafts, losing key free agents--these six teams, for the most part, continue to dominate.

There are three reasons for this:
1. QB. Brady, Roethlisberger, Romo (and now Prescott), Peyton Manning (and now Luck, who has been 'un-Luck-y' the last couple of years), Brett Favre and now Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson (yes, there was a down period in this area for the Seahawks)
2. Coaching. Belichick, Cower, and now Tomlin, Phillips, and now Garrett, Dungy, and now Pagano, McCarthey, Holmgren, and now Carroll.
3. GMs. I do not know all the names of the General Managers, but each of these teams have has strong and stable front offices, for the most part, and have drafted well, again for the most part. Too, they appear to have good owners who know when to stay out of the way, and when to get involved.

Of course, other teams have had a say (Giants, Eagles, 49ers, Chiefs, Ravens and others), but these teams aren't very consistent when it comes to competing in the playoffs. Yet, if the NFL standings were anything like the Premier League 'table' set up, with the "promotion-relegation" feature that is inherent in all soccer leagues world-wide, none of the teams listed in this paragraph would likely be relegated, that is, sent to the next lowest league. (And, oh, yeah, this IS no "next lower league"!)

Then you'd have most of the rest of the teams "fighting for safety" every year, that is, doing what they had to do to NOT be relegated. Then you have the really bad teams like the Browns that really would have no choice than to be relegated if such a system existed.

So I wanted to find out how the two leagues were similar, and how they were different. Well, when push comes to shove, the two leagues are very very similar, and, as for differences, I'll take the NFL any day over the Premier League (and not just because I don't like soccer much...folks, the Premier League is becoming more and more popular here in the US, and NBC Sports now has Premier League matches every Saturday on TV here (on NBC, or NBC Sports), and perhaps ESPN will follow suit. Why? Because you have more than a few Brits moving here, because Hispanics from Mexico and other places have always followed soccer, and because now the Major League Soccer league has lots of support in its cities--and MLS is sending more and more players to the Premier League (and, perhaps as well, the movie "Goal!" has something to do with it...actually, that movie was the lynchpin for me occasionally looking at Premier League standings, which led to this investigation in the first place.)

Because I found something that seemed odd--the fact that year after year since its formation in 1992-93, the Premier League has had for the most part the same four to six teams pretty much running the show--Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea. With occasional appearances for a few others: in the 1990s and early 2000s, Newcastle United and Aston Villa (which plays in Birmingham), and today, Everton (in or around Liverpool) and Manchester City. (Okay, okay, Liecester City won it in 2015-16).

Well, with Arsenal and Chelsea (and now we have to factor in Tottenham Hotspur, what with Harry Kane and all) being in London, and the rest mentioned above being in the other major cities in England (Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Newcastle), it leads me to conclude that a club MUST be in a major city to have lasting success (okay, okay, Liecester City won it in 2015-16, but must be the exception that proves the rule, right?) So, being in a major city (that happen to have the largest stadiums, right? The largest stadiums in England are, top down, Old Trafford (Man United), Anfield (Liverpool), St. James Park (Newcastle), Emirates Stadium (Arsenal), and the place where Chelsea plays but I cannot remember the name. Plus, Tottenham is moving into a new stadium which will also be very large (they've played at White Heart Lane, which seats close to 50,000 but is being torn down).

But it isn't just major cities with large stadiums. As with the NFL, coaching/managers are also vital. As for players, since soccer has various players at positions I know little about (center forwards, center backs, strikers, wingers, midfielders, and of course keepers, aka "goalies" (which is used in hockey, right?)), there is no one vital position like the NFL Quarterback, so there is one difference and does not play into what makes the two leagues similar.

Now I don't know all the names of the various managers (who appear to be like managers in baseball--they're like NFL head coaches, but also have GM duties as well, so they basically take both slots here) of the upper crust of the Premier League, past and present. And I certainly do not know all of the owners (but I do know a few, such as Malcomb Glazer, who owns Man United--and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well...but as any Bucs fan might surmise, the man clearly cares more about Man United than the Bucs! Look at the results...the Bucs haven't made the playoffs since 2007! And then you have a man who, IMHO, has nearly singlehandedly screwed a once powerhouse club into constant relegation fighting since he took over in 2006, Mike Ashley, the man who bought Newcastle United in 2006 and has been trying to sell the club ever since. Ashley, you are the worst owner in the Premier League (and I could say more about what a scalawag this man is, but I don't have the time or space...I will say he treats his Sports Direct employees like Amazon treats their's. 3PLs, doncha know. If not for Rafa Benitez, this club would be down the tubes and in League 2 before you know it!) But anyway...

And then you have the money. Folks, it's almost always about the money. Now guess who has the most money to spend year after year in the Premier League (and there are several websites you can visit, starting with Wikipedia, to check out all the info I am bringing up.)? Right, the same four clubs I mentioned before that are year-after-year title contenders as well as participants in the Champions League or Europa League, which includes the top European teams (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris St. Germain (PSG), Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Inter Milan, and a few others). In fact these four clubs, as well as Everton, Man City, and Tottenham, have hundreds of millions to spend each year, for one thing, because being competitors in the European leagues gives them more money, and being at the top of the table in the Premier League every year also gives them more money--plus they have owners who like to spend (gee, why doesn't Glazer spend on the Bucs? But don't just blame Glazer for that!).

Well, why doesn't Glazer spend like cray on the Bucs? The SALARY CAP! That's why! The NFL has the most restrictive salary cap in all sports....there is a salary cap for the NBA, but it is a lot more than the salary cap for the NFL, plus NBA teams only have a starting five, whereas the NFL has a starting twenty-four--including FG kickers and punters, and includes a QB paid a king's ransom if he's any good. And guess what? There is no salary cap in the Premier League!

And then you have transfers and "players on loan." I'm not going to get into that but those configurations just might be the only way for a non-big-city club to break into the top of the top. And the club MUST manager their player and other resources well, and keep on doing it well. Just ask Leeds United or Aston Villa, two perennially top clubs that may or may not ever make it back into the Premier League because of poor management on all fronts (I will say this for Ashley--at least he had the foresight to hire Benitez, who has, a year after NUFC got relegated, gotten them back to the Prem League, and I do expect them to stay there...the man has never had anything but success, with Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Liverpool and Chelsea. In this way, Ashley is a lot like the Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross, who had the foresight to get Adam Gase last year.)

So, okay. What's the problem? Here's the problem--how does a club from a much smaller city--Burnley, Watford, Fulham, and newly promoted Brighton (Brighton and Hove Albion)--compete against the likes of Man United (Greater Manchester has over a million population) or Arsenal (you know how big London is!), which has the money and the resources for put forth a powerhouse every year? Though Leicester City did win the thing a couple of years ago, they fell back into mid-table this past season--they simply do not have the ever-present resources the 'big boys" do!

Now, since the Premier League, and the English Football League it is affiliated with (the Championship, where clubs get relegated to, as well as League One and League Two)--and all the other Europe and world leagues (La Liga, Bundesliga, Chinese Super League, etc) are part of FIFA--who sets the World Cup matches every four years (and, I suspect, the MLS is part of it)--and it is FIFA that runs the whole show, that a perhaps needed salary cap will never happen. But honestly, until the Premier League has a salary cap, the top four to six clubs will continue to stay there (unless they pull an Aston Villa. With the managers and owners they have, this is not likely.)

But, as with the NFL (I mean, how much longer will Brady play, and Belichick coach? BB is approaching 70, and Brady is already 40), there is always hope for the Prem League. Man City has already overtaken Man United, who barely managed to get into the Europa League. Tottenham Hotspur has already overtaken arch-rival Arsenal. Everton could take over from arch-rival Liverpool this year. Chelsea, who won the Premier League this past year, is always having some issue or other--now it's fans want manager Conte dismissed! (I don't like this club--they royally screwed Benitez!). If Ashley lets Benitez run things in 'Geordie Central,' NUFC might return to the top. But what I really hope is Brighton and Hove Albion--folks, I've spent time in the Brighton area, back in 1970--stays in the Premier League for as long as possible. So I will be rooting for them for sure this year.

But I'll take the NFL any day over the Premier League. I just think (despite Roger Goodell) it is run better and more competitive

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Football is Football: A Look at the Ways of Doing Business and Management in the Premier League Compared to the NFL, Part 1

This is just an introduction to a series of posts that I will be putting up for the rest of the NFL off-season that ends in August.

What caught my eye so-to-speak about checking out the ways of the Premier League in England, it's "soccer" aka "football" ways were a couple of things:

1. While I have no interest in the playing of soccer/football and strategies in the play of it, when I started checking out videos on YouTube of "Silly English Soccer/Football Chants" one night because I was bored, and heard some very interesting chants as well as funny ones (as well as stupid ones...folks I can only take some much cussing and especially "f" words!), I decided to check out what was happening in English football. Just for the heck of it, on Wikipedia.

2. What I found on Wikipedia was interesting. In the old days--60s and 70s and such--England had four divisions with the First Division on top, down to Fourth Division (and folks, that's just the beginning--nearly every town and village in England has a football club...there are loads of these in London and other big cities in what is called "non-league" football, but it is still Football Association (FA) and these non-league clubs DO compete for the FA Cup!). In 1966, England won the World Cup over what was then West Germany, and in the late 60s, a club called Leeds United went from the bottom to the top in very few years and was a dominant team in the early 70s as well. But structure changed in 1992 when the Premier League (also called "Premiership") was set up, and the rest of what is called the English Football League consisted of the Championship, League One and League Two.

3. Then you have the UEFA "Champions League" which is a configuration of all the top clubs in Europe such as Real Madrid, Barcalona, Juventus, AC Milan, Bayern Munich and others, which also includes the "top four" of the Premier League in any given season. Now, I have no interest in the "Champions League" other than the fact that it seems anyway that the only clubs that can get in there are those that have huge amounts of money to spend on players who generally won't play anywhere else but Champions League-level contenders (meaning, it's the NFL free agency on steroids!). And, would you believe it, fans get really pissed off if their perennial Champions League English team does not get back to the Champions League! (And these are the same folks who want Brexit?)

4. The Promotion-Relegation thing. In looking at the "tables" aka "standings" of the clubs in the various leagues mentioned above--what with the top three clubs in a lower league getting promoted to the next-up league and the bottom three clubs in an upper league getting sent down or relegated to the next lower league--since 1992 when the Premier League was instituted and the rest of the four groups set up likewise (Championship, League One, League Two), it is very rare for a club to get promoted or relegated, and the club staying in the higher or lower league. That is, there is much stability in the league-table set ups from season to season. For instance, clubs relegated from the Premiership to the Championship have a tendency to rise back up to the Premier League, usually in a short period of time.

There are exceptions of course. The Championship has many clubs that had once been in the Premier League or what had been the First Division, but have not been able to get back up--both Birmingham clubs (Aston Villa and Birmingham City), both Sheffield clubs (United and Wednesday), and others in smaller cities. And the Premier League has clubs that have not ever left the Premier League (the ones usually in the top four or five--Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United...these are the perennial powerhouses, the New England Patriots of Britain, right? The ones that nearly every year compete in the Champions League. But there are outliers, too, such as Leicester City, which won the Premier League a couple of years ago...and then dropped back to "mid-table".

And the "promotion-relegation" thing, plus the fact that  a few clubs can stay at the top no matter what, and free agency--which the NFL claims has brought about 'parity' but clearly there is very little 'parity' at the top to the point where fans are getting sick of seeing the Pats in the Super Bowl every year (and I blame Goodell for that! He never never should give Tom Brady an excuse for wearing that over-arching chip on his shoulder that causes him to play like a 20 year-old when he's nearly 40! But since Robert "GMO" Kraft owns Goodell...) the fact that it is extremely hard for a small city club to stick around in the Premier League at the same time it is very easy for a large city team that has been relegated to get back into the Prem League (Newcastle United, and what a weird tale that is!)...folks there is a reason things happen the way they do in English football just like there are

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Are They Kidding Me? Picking Super Bowl Winners for 2017-18 Already?

Don't writers have enough to worry about with the Super Bowl coming up?

Well, apparently not Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys person--it's been so long I don't even remember what he did there! So he writes this article about 'Super Bowl' windows for winning or partaking in a Super Bowl over the next few years. And these are the teams he chose: Atlanta--which is playing in the Super Bowl! How hard is that one?, Dallas--well, naturally, he used to work for them and they have ol' Dak and ol' Zeke--what's not to love?, Oakland (or is it Vegas?)--after all Derek Carr, whom Joe Philbin idolizes to the point where he screwed Ryan Tannehill, and Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack are the three best young players not named Dak or Zeke in the NFL right? What could possibly go wrong?, Seattle--with a loud mouth defense--how does Kam Chancellor put up with this crap? Keep classy Kam! and no running game and Russell Wilson could have used that this year; Miami--really??? Gee is you read the comments you'd think they went 0-16 or something, but I get it, okay? With me, the Dolphins are in prove it mode, and that's it!; Green Bay--we all know Aaron Rodgers is the man, but when even he questions his coach most of the year...

I mean, I could pick the Bills, Ravens, Colts, Lions, Panthers, and Giants with the same amount of likelihood. Or the Bucs, Cardinals, Vikings, Chiefs, Titans, and Steelers. Or let's get real dark horse, and pick the Bengals, Texans, Broncos, Chargers, Saints, and Redskins, or the Eagles. The only teams one cannot pick are the Browns, Jets, Jags, Bears, Rams, and Niners. Bu then again...really, only the Browns have no chance, right?

But here is the real reason trying to pick Super Bowl participants for the next Super Bowl is ridiculous:

1. Did anyone pick the Falcons last year to be in it this year? Didn't every one have the Panthers--who finished in LAST PLACE?

2. The Jags had everyone fooled off of 2015 because Bortles had a great year, but, unlike the other overhyped team, the Raiders, the Jags actually suck. Now everyone is questioning the viability of Blake Bortles--one year after he had a great year! See how things can change?

3.  Everyone  thought the Texans did a great thing in signing Osweiler--well how did that work out? They made the playoffs off of good defense. They should thank their lucky stars Lamar Miller didn't think he'd get 20 or more carries in Miami and chose the Texans (and I think him as well--the Fins needed Ajayi more than Miller anyway!)

4. What's good for the Panthers is good for the Cardinals--they were 'legit' contenders as well. But at least they didn't finish last.

5. Injuries. They can never be predicted. Just ask Teddy Bridgewater, who may not be ready for 2017 either.

6. Coaching. Why is Marv Lewis--who can't discipline a Vontaze Burfict if his life depended on it--still coaching the Bengals? This team has blown it! Big time! (and the next time you play the Dolphins, I advise you folks to lose, okay? When you lose to Miami you make the playoffs!). There are a couple of good coaches who can be counted on to win (not counting BB here--but do great coaches have to cheat?)--Tomlin, Reid, Carroll, Harbaugh, Arians, Rivera, McCarthy, and a case can be made for O'Brien,Quinn, and Del Rio as well (too early to put Gase on here.) But without good coaching, teams generally can't sustain it for the long haul. But even good coaches have down years.

7. QB. Matt Ryan had a bad 2015, and a not so great 2014 or 2013 either--but look at how he turned it around in 2016. Cam Newton had great 2015, 2014, and even 2013--but he had a bad year. And you really can't pick a team for the Super Bowl unless you have consistent outstanding play--and only Brady, Rodgers, and Roethlesberger qualify here. Still waiting on Derek Carr, and I would not assume Andrew Luck would qualify now. When it comes to QB, there is too much uncertainty.

8. Defense. Though 'defense win championships', you have to know when to ramp it up--the teams that make the Super Bowl are teams that get hot (and healthy) on D at the right time.

9. Seeding. Playoff home field advantage has become crucial of late. It is no surprise that both Championship game home teams won--and clearly, the Pats learned from 2015 how important home field advantage is. And one cannot know the seeding until it happens.

10. The element of surprise. Supposedly. Big Ben is considering retirement. I don't think he will, but just the thought of that happening must be disconcerting for his team, which should be a legit contender for a few more years if he stays.

And let me add one more final ingredient--front office stability. And stability in general. The usual contenders are very stable organizations though they lose coaches all the time. Bu the thing is, you can't just keep incompetents to achieve stability-you must choose wisely, and everyone has to be in the right place at the right time. And this more than anything else is the biggest consideration for who is likely to win Super Bowls in the future.

Monday, January 2, 2017

An Addendum to My Year-Ago Post: Who Made the Playoffs?

Recall my screed on "why" the Miami Dolphins "would not make the playoffs":

Miami--Sorry, but until the Dolphins prove they can make the playoffs, I refuse to pick them to make the playoffs! Enough bogus optimism is enough!

So, I picked the Dolphins to miss the playoffs because they haven't been making the playoffs. Well guess what? THE DOLPHINS MADE THE PLAYOFFS! So now for 2017, I have no excuses for not picking them to make the playoffs...

Wildcard, but still. I did not watch or check out the outcome of the final Pats game, so I do not know if they are the 5th or 6th seed, but it doesn't matter. I would just assume that playing in Pittsburgh is better than in Houston--Lamar Miller can't pull his "revenge" crapola (like Rishard Matthews did with the Titans in week 5) if Miami is playing in Pittsburgh. And, let's not forget, Miami did defeat the Steelers this year. So it is possible Miami gets to the divisional round.

And I do not know what the others seedings are. In reality, seedings don't matter. Because Mr. Chip-on-Shoulder, Tom Brady, is winning his last Super Bowl anyway. Folks, now you know why ol' Goodell-owner Robert Kraft allowed Goodell to suspend Brady. It was a fix all along. (I wonder if Brian Touhy of The Fix Is In realizes this.) And they don't matter in the NFC either. The Seahawks don't suck, but they kinda do--they needed a last second play to beat Miami in Seattle? You can't beat a crappy Cards team in Seattle? What I suspected all along--Russell Wilson needing great D and great running game to win--is likely true and he is not the super QB the experts say he is (but at least he's better than Andrew Luck.)

But still, here are the seedings--Just checked the Sat. and Sun. TV schedule.
AFC: 1. Pats. 2. Chiefs 3. Steelers. 4. Texans. 5. Raiders. 6. Dolphins
NFC: 1. Cowboys  2. Falcons 3. Seahawks 4. Packers 5. Giants 6. Lions
(hopefully I didn't blow this one!)

So, these twelve teams made the playoffs despite any opinion I had as to why they wouldn't. And the new playoff teams are: Raiders, Dolphins, Cowboys, Falcons, Giants, Lions. As in 2008, the last year Miami made the playoffs, there were also six new playoff teams.

The Raiders made the playoffs because Derek Carr--Philbin was right about this guy--is the real deal, but you have to give Khalil Mack credit as well. Carr's terrible injury will likely mean the Raiders do not go any further, and was why they got the fifth seed, not the second seed they had much of the season.

The Dolphins made the playoffs--and it was Matt Moore, not Tannehill, who got them there--because Adam Gase knows football, knows what it takes, and what to do to do adjustments, letting Tannehill or Moore run the offense, Ajayi, benching or cutting players who needed to be benched (like Byron Maxwell) or cut (like Dallas Thomas). Watch out, Pats, because this is one of the youngest teams in the NFL, and the similarities between the 2016 Fins and the 1970 Fins are amazing. I won't go into all that here.

The Cowboys made the playoffs because their 2016 draft was maybe once in a lifetime--Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot--proving it's okay to go 4-12 the year before sometimes! And Tony Romo will be one another team in 2017. I knew Prescott was good, but folks this guy is amazing!

The Falcons made the playoffs because Matt Ryan returned to being the Matt Ryan we all knew he was, and finally, the Falcons are a very good running team as well. Who needs a great defense?

The Giants made the playoffs because Eli also returned to form with old ODB (I still prefer Landry!) and also a good running game, but their defense improvement--yes, OV was definitely part of that, maybe he left his "penalty machine" mentality behind in Maimi--is really what go them into the playoffs.

The Lions made the playoffs because Matthew Stafford had a year I would never had expected--but because Riddick and Abdullah were hurt, the Packers got them out of the division title.

The rest of the teams--the Patriots, Seahawks, Steelers, Chiefs, Texans and Packers--had made the playoffs the year before and most expected them back (though I thought the Andrew Luck Colts would replace the Texans as division winner.)

So, onto why the rest of the league did not make the playoffs:

I had said the Bills wouldn't because of Rex Ryan. I was right--this is a defensive guru who, on Jay Ajayi's 57 yard run in OT to help the Fins seal that win, PUT TEN MEN ON THE FIELD! Rexy, you deserve to be fired! WTF would a defensive coach put only ten men on the field? And, oh yeah, Dan Carpenter is maybe finished as a kicker--had he made a basic chip shot in the first quarter, OT would not have been necessary! And then he missed another one!

I had said the Jets wouldn't make the playoffs because of cap space and signing Fitzpatrick. I was right about the cap space, but I was wrong about Fitz--who sucked as could be expected after getting that renewed contract. Back to the drawing board, Jets!

I had said the Ravens would not make the playoffs because Flacco would not be able to get back to his Super Bowl standard. Well, I was right, but they were close, just couldn't lock down Pittsburgh.

I had said the Bengals wouldn't make the playoffs because did it matter even if they did? I was right, and Marv Lewis still can't discipline players! How many times does Vontaze Burfict have to screw things up there (and, oh yeah, in beating Miami, they assured they wouldn't make the playoffs but Miami would! Thanks for the loss, Cincy!)

I had said the Browns wouldn't...and until they get themselves a decent QB, they won't.

I had said the Colts wouldn't make the playoffs because of Joe Philbin, and "good luck, Luck," and folks I may be right. But the thing is you can't just blame it on Pagano. Who coached that terrible OL again? Oh, yeah, Philbin. So, I guess I'll blame Philbin. (That's what you get for screwing Tannehill!)

I had said the Titans wouldn't make the playoffs because of Mike Mularkey. That may be true, but in Marcus Mariota, they have a very good young QB, and hope for the future. Just not under Mularkey.

I had said the Broncos wouldn't make the playoffs because of their QB situation, and I was right Denver's D is as good as always, though. Maybe next year.

I had said the Chargers wouldn't make the playoffs because they didn't play the Dolphins all year long in San Diego. They played the Dolphins once in San Diego, and still lost!

I had said the Eagles wouldn't make the playoffs because of Chip Kelly--gone to Frisco, or Sam Bradford--who went to Minnesota when Teddy boy got hurt. So I guess the Eagles can blame themselves. Because they can't blame Chip Kelly!

I had the Bears out of the playoffs because of no Gase and yes Cutler. Now I don't know what's wrong with John Fox, but can you blame it all on no Gase and yes Cutler?

I had the Vikings not making the playoffs because of a down year from Teddy Bridgewater. But it was worse than that, as Teddy, who got the Vikes to 5-0, went down on injured reserve. What would have happened if Teddy did not get hurt?

I had the Cards out of the playoffs because of Carson Palmer returning to form--mediocrity--an Arians coming back down to Earth. I mean, blaming the Dolphins for bad weather in Miami? Ever hear of GOD?

I had the Rams missing the playoffs because of Jeff Fisher. Well they finally fired the guy!

I had the Niners missing the playoffs because of Chip Kelly. I was right. And, while it's okay for Kaepernick to protest, what kind of idiot goes to play a game in Miami--home to countless Cuban exiles--wearing a Fidel Castro t-shirt????

So there you have it. And guess what? I am picking the Dolphins to make the playoffs next year (unless Tannehill gets into the playoffs and tears his ACL like he did his MCL).

Coach of the Year? Adam Gase. Of course!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Half-way Through 2016 NFL Season: The More Things Change

Since I do not follow most teams in the NFL and generally don't give a crap what happens to most teams, I feel I can take the objective approach to what is happening in the 2016 season which is really quite different than what I thought would be its state half-way through the season. There are some teams that simply are not where I thought they would be at this point while there are others way exceeding expectations.

I'd never be a Raiders fan in a million years, but I will say I am thrilled they are at the top of the AFC West. I am so sick of Denver--and you know why I can't stand the Broncos--they screwed me royally on a bet I made that they'd cover the spread, and they proceed to not cover the spread making me lose over a hundred dollars!--and I don't like the Chiefs, either--Andi Reed, like Bruce Arians, is a blowhard coach--not Rex Ryan, but still...  But at least Arians is a good head coach. As for the Chargers, I have no idea why they are not in the thick of things in that division. I mean they do have a good QB and Melvin Gordon, right? But I would not count on the Raiders being the kind of perennial contender that Denver has been--Jack Del Rio simply isn't that good a head coach. But is it any surprise that the Raiders are as good as they are now? For one thing, when you draft in the top ten every year (except 2012) since 2004, one can reasonably expect that at some point you would pick up a huge haul of rookie talent. Plus, the Raiders have had huge cap space for years so they can buy good players and with decent coaching can get something out of them. But all that will dissapte when they have to pay Derek Carr, right...and then there is Amari Cooper or whatever his name is...and Khalil Mack. Let's see if the Raiders can keep all three players. But, congrats Raiders, on finally giving your fan base something to cheer about.

But you know the media--they'll overhype this team until it fails to make the playoffs!

The other overly hyped team in the 2016 off-season was the Jaguars, and, as I expected, they suck. As usual. And Blake Bortles is pert near getting crucified in Jax town. And to  add insult to injury--the Jags just happen to play in the weakest division in the NFL, the AFC South. Gee you'd think the Jags would be better than 2-6! But good news--the Colts are almost as bad at 3-5. With. Andrew. Luck. So of course, the fans blame Chuck Pagano, not their over rated QB. You know, if they didn't have T.Y. Hilton, Luck would likely be the QB that I think he already is...meh! I mean, they call this guy another Dan Marino, right? Well, Marino had a crappy running game and lousy D as well--thanks, Olividotti! (and you too, Shula! Why'd you keep this defensive bozo around so long???), but didn't Marino's Dolphins still make the playoffs just about every year? If Luck is so awesome, what are his excuses? What is the Colts excuse for 3-5? (I'd like to blame Joe Philbin, but I won't.) And the Titans--who just might have saved the Dolphins season by crushing them in week 5, 31-17, sending them a message that they had to change their ways thus giving them a chance to do just that--with good ol' Rishard Matthews' help of course (the ol' revenge factor, which is used against the Fins almost constantly...but in the case of Mario Williams who clobbered the stinkin' Bills, it sometimes works to their advantage as well!--well, the Titans, who are 3-5 also but look good at it and with Mariota being a future good QB--well, I will predict this for 2017: the Tennessee Titans will win the AFC South. The Texans--but not because they are good, but because everyone else is below expectations--are likely to win this division. After what Denver did to Osweiler, I'd say he deserves it (as does Lamar Miller, but he might at some point regret wanting out of Miami. Yes, folks, he wanted out of Miami. I guess he didn't realize new HC Gase just might be in the position to give him the 30 carries he wanted this year. Just think--he coulda been Jay Ajayi!)

The biggest surprise in the AFC though is the AFC North, which used to be the strongest division in football. This year? The division leader is 4-4 and both the Steelers and Ravens are 4-4. Big Ben just might not make it through the entire season...can Pitt rely completely LeVeon Bell? I have absolutely no idea what the Nevermore's are gonna do, and the Bengals? Now wouldn't it be funny if they missed the playoffs this year? Because they just might, and here is a funny fact--from 2010 through 2015, the Dolphins owned this team, home and away, and each year they made the playoffs (2010, 2013, 2014 was when these two teams played, Miami winning all of these games). So this year, Cincy beats the Fins 22-7 in Cincy! So while the Fins no longer own the Bengals, the tigers just might miss the playoffs. Okay, okay...the Browns are no surprise.... And in fact that the Browns are worse than ever with a decent head this deserves a serious analysis that I simply have no time for here. But maybe on another post. Because the state of the Browns in truly fascinating, and points to a bogus remedy that one would think the Browns ownership would have figured out by now--you simply cannot forego not drafting a QB every year when you desperately need one! They coulda had Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr or Russell Wilson or Jimmy Garapolo even. But no. They draft Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel. And in 2016 they coulda had Wentz or Prescott or Goff--and why is Jeff Fisher still coaching? Meantime, every decent player veteran wants out of Cleveland, which ain't no "Believe-land" and maybe never will be! Truly, for incompetence, no one matches the Browns! And yes, the Buckeyes would clobber this team!

You just know I'm leaving the AFC East for last, eh?

The NFC East wouldn't be the NFC East without the usual "title contender comes down to the final season game" scenario. Because this year, every single one of these teams has a possibility to win this division. But in fact I would love it if Dallas did, simply because I've seen Dak Prescott play in college and I really liked his play (even against the Aggies). Now fine if the Giants win it, but Eli Manning ain't his brother, and I am sick and tired of hearing about Odell Beckham (why? Because I prefer Jarvis Landry! That's why!) Or if the Eagles win it with a fine rookie QB, Wentz--and boy did they pull a boner on the Vikings when they sent them Bradford, getting two first round draft picks--hopefully these use them better than the Browns used theirs, or the Rams for that matter! Or even the Redskins, but I doubt if the Skins can hold on for this. But for sure, Kirk Cousins is better than RG3. Yet the Cowboys would likely be a shoe-in but for the--gee, when was the last time this occurred in Dallas?--QB controversy brewing between Dak and Romo?

Everyone picked either the Packers or Vikings to win the NFC North. But no one counted on Adrian Peterson and then Teddy Bridgewater going down (and having to give up two first rounders for Sam Bradford, who is not worth two first rounders!), and no one counted on OC Norv Turner retiring. But is the media right in claiming the Vikes are nearly toast? Furthermore, the media is bounding with bogus tales of Mike McCarthey being "on the hot seat" because the Packers' offense suddenly sucks. I mean, even Aaron Rodgers said that! But that's what happens when you lose Eddie Lacy--that is, a really good running back. Plus their D isn't very good either, and Clay Matthews is now hurt. Good luck Pack! Now I ought to write a dissertation on the sudden hugeness of Matthew Stafford  who is having--and no Calvin Johnson!--one helluva year. This is a QB who has been around 8 years, and now, after 8 years, he is finally THE GUY? (Take note, Dolphins fans who can't seem to give the same possible consideration to Ryan Tannehill, who has only been around 5 years? Five years of getting clobbered every game--and they wonder why he isn't Dan Marino?!? Folks, if Tannehill in year 8 of his career has numbers like Stafford, will you please cut the crap about this Aggie dude? He's the franchise QB, okay? Just like Bob Griese know what I mean.) And let me say I think the Lions will win the NFC North. The Bears? They still have Jay Cutler. 'Nough said.

After a really crappy year, Matt Ryan is on fire again. And Cam Newton isn't. Now let's blame the refs for that, shall we? Methinks Ron Rivera doth protest too much...sorry Willy Shakespeare, but you no longer have the copyright on that one! You see, folks, that's what happens when you have a diva at QB and you let Josh Norman go in free agency. What goes around comes around. Drew Brees is Drew Brees, and Sean Payton is over rated, as usual. (Still, I have relatives who are Saints fans, so don't mind my shmarmy-ness here.) And the Bucs are the Bucs. When the Bucs are no longer the Bucs, let me know.

I am not impressed at all with the Seahawks--they beat the Dolphins on the last play of the game because Kenny Stills dropped a perfect pass (which most Dolfans blame Tannehill right? SOP.) Then, they lose to a Saints team with no defense, and tie a lackluster Cards team. The score was 6-6. The mighty Hawks O scores 6 measely points? Shoot, since they only scored 12 on the Fins... in Seattle guys--and the Fins didn't have Ajayi with them either... And they need help from the officials to beat the 6 points. In fact, I hope the Patriots clobber these suckers! There, I said it! And they thought they had the replacement for Marshawn Lynch? I almost feel sorry for Richard Sherman here! Like I said, the Cardinals are lackluster this year, other than David Johnson, and will likely have to rely on their defense. The Niners? Chip Kelly deserves this team--and just let me say I really don't give a crap if Colin Kaepernick protests or not. Is this guy the new Tim 'I don't deserve the celebrity status' Tebow or what? Which leaves the Rams, and, like I said before, why is Jeff Fisher still coaching this team?

Now to the AFC East, where as I predicted the Pats will win one final division title. The Bills--who likely never expected to lose to the Dolphins--folks they need to get over their Jim Kelly mindset, okay? This ain't the freaking 1990s!--are where they are--great D and a decent QB in Tyrod Taylor with decent RBs and WRs and Charles Clay, but with a crappy OL (I mean if they can get manhandled by the supposedly "worst" D-line in the division, Miami's)--they are where they are because Rex Ryan can't keep his damned mouth shut when he should and can't coach offense to save his job--which means he likely loses it this year. Guys, the Bills will make noise but that's it. Because that is all Rexy is-noise. And the Jets are still the Jets: I thought Todd Bowles was too smart to fall for the "Ryan Fitzpatrick" is our franchise QB nonsense when even I could have told him that Fitz would be Fitz again...inconsistent, interception-throwing Fitz, the same Fitz that pulls that crap every time he's rewarded with a new fat money contract he knows he doesn't deserve--but what can I say, this is a Harvard grad, outsmarting the Jets, like he outsmarted the Bills in 2011. Further, the Jets now have a controversy on their great and glorious D-line, where one of the best D-linemen in the league, Sheldon Richardson, now wants out. And where Brandon Diva Marshall--too damned busy worrying about Byron Maxwell to play well, but I suppose that's Maxwell's fault!--won't shut up either. and how is Matt Forte working out for ya? When you coulda kept Chris Ivory? And has anyone noticed that Darrell Revis has disappeared?

And now, the Dolphins....Folks, when they got blown out by the Titans in week 5 I said to myself, "screw this team, screw Tannehill (yes, I said that to myself! About my Aggie homeboy! Shame on me!), screw Gase, screw Tannenbaum, screw Lance Joseph (lost to the Bengals! You used to coach their D! How could you?!), screw Darren Rizzi, screw every freakin' player on this team! I am done with you guys!--NOT! Because, being the Dolphins, when they reach their lowest point, something good happens (just like when they reach their highest point, something bad happens). Now today I saw a headline for a post by Miami Herald sports writer Greg Cote that suggested "something different' was happening this time what with a three-game winning streak: this one was different. And I may be wrong, but there really is something different about this Fins team and why they turned it around to go 4-4, beating three teams with better defenses than what they have (Steelers, Bills , Jets). One, unlike "clueless Joe" Philbin, who never could make the proper adjustments during a game or a season, Adam Gase can clearly do it, and get the players to buy into it. Folks, that was the reason Gase was hired--while he never played football, this guy knows the game and how to configure it...kinda like another guy who started out coaching young...ever hear of Don Shula? And then you have Belichick (without the cheating I hope!). And Gase has done three things that could indicate that despite the fact that it will be hard for the Dolphins to make the playoffs this year (since the AFC West is the new AFC North, with three teams likely to make the playoffs and with far better record than what Miami has: Raiders 7-2, Broncos 6-3, Chiefs 6-2), it is still very possible (and very likely in the future...someone is gonna replace the Pats next year, and it will likely be the Fins). One, Gase, the "QB Whisperer," is 'whispering' a bit differently to Mr. seeing to it that said Tannehill absolutely will not be clobbered again by rushers, which will allow Tanny to audible or have time to throw, short or long, and by calling running plays so Ryan doesn't have to throw 40 times a game like he did with Philbin. Two, Gase got rid of two OL players that simply didn't work hard enough--Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas, and got his starting OL on the field all at once: LT Albert, LG Tunsil (truly a steal in the 2016 draft), C Mike Pouncey, RG Jermon Bushrod, and RT James. This happened week 6 against the Steelers. Three, another thing happened week 6 against the Steelers, a top run-stuffing team (and then against two more top run stuffing teams, the Bills and Jets)--Jay Ajayi. This guy, born in London, England--love the guy's accent!--who screwed up in pre-season by complaining about having to play in game 4 and then getting to sit at home missing the Seattle game--would Miami have won it if he had played?--and then having to sit behind Arian Foster, who they no longer need, which is why he is retiring--against the Pats in week 2 in another close loss, and then winning in OT against the Browns week 3 (OT? Really? But when you have a potential trap game with a rudderless team and a new head coach just learning how to be one) because of this RB getting a TD, and then Ajayi having a decent game in that Titans blowout--well, if you saw the guy at Boise State, you knew why he was a steal in round 5 of the 2015 draft (sitting out half the 2015 season with knee issues--his cartiledge is gone and it's bone on bone). So that Ajayi is only one of 4 runners who had two 200-yard games back-to-back (along with OJ Simpson Earl Campbell, and Ricky Williams) in NFL history. Fine, and he already has nearly 700 yards on the year. But that is not why giving Ajayi  the ball is so important.

Ajayi is a power runner. Like Marshawn Lynch, who was not only a power runner but an angry one. for that is how Gase and teammates describe Ajayi's style: angry and determined, with a huge chip on his shoulder. Ajayi is precisely the running back the Dolphins have needed--for years. Well, since Larry Csonka, who while being a fullback, ran with anger and attitude as well. And just as Bob Griese, truly a franchise QB while not being a Dan Marino, was truly a "field general" who won two Super Bowls--not by himself, mind you--unlike Marino, Griese never did anything "by himself"--so now can Tannehill be. Folks, there is nothing wrong with being a "game manager" "Alex Smith" type QB (with the difference being Tannehill can actually throw a bomb--Tanny is the second highest rated QB at throwing passes 40 or more yards despite the fact that neither Kenny Stills nor DeVante Parker have really lived up to their hypes--thank God for Jarvis Landry!) as long as you can rely on the running game (Smith had Jamaal Charles, Tanny now has Ajayi--who needs Lamar Miller?), you do not have to be Tom Brady.

And speaking of Brady, who is now 39 years old and mostly relies on either Gronk or the running game, Brady is having a great (super chip on shoulder) year. Just like Peyton Manning did at age 39, setting personal records in Denver--when he had the breakout year from CJ Anderson that he had to buffer his passing game. Folks that is why I truly think this is it for the Pats (plus Jimmy Garapolo played well during Brady's suspension) Brady wants to play until he's 50 or whatever. But Brady is what he is this year because Brady, alone among so many great QBs, MUST have a chip-on-shoulder episode to be the great QB he is, because that is the way Brady excels. He does not excel otherwise (and I defy any Pats fan to prove me wrong!). Now dumbass Roger Goodell might pull some other stunt against Brady just so Brady can take advantage of his super chip on shoulder mentality, but without that chip, Brady is just another great QB what with less motivation. And, in 2017 that motivation will not be there. But that motivation is likely to be somewhere else. In Miami.

So, you have Tannehill being a potential Bob Griese, a "field general/game manager" type, throwing bombs to Warfield-er, Landry or Stills or hopefully someday Parker gets his health and act together--or handing off to Csonka--er, Ajayi, who bull rushes in anger like Csonka, can be elusive like Morris, and catch passes fairly well like Kiick (Kiick, of course, was better, but Ajayi may improve here). But you also have a decent but not great defense (their DL is good and their LB corps is getting better because Kiko Alonso is...a potential Nick Buoniconti here) with secondary issues (Reshad Jones is out for the year, and Xavien Howard has been injured nearly all season) and Byron Maxwell not quite in Seahawks-level form, with him and Isa (Arabic for Jesus) Abdul-Quddus being the only experienced vets back there...similar to a kind of defense Bill Arnsparger had when he first arrived in Miami in 1970. Folks I hope you see where I am going with this. Already, Adam Gase is making decisions the way Don Shula did when he arrived in Miami in 1970. In 1970, it was a bit different from 2016--Shula's 1970 team started 4-1 and then lost three straight games including a blowout loss to the eventual Super Bowl champ Colts, Shula's old team, to go 4-4 after 8 weeks of play in a 14 game season. Gase also has his team at 4-4 after 8 games, but starting 1-4, then winning three straight games. Both Shula and now Gase are building on offense ball-control schemes with short but also deadly long passing plays where Griese and now Tannehill can audible--and where Griese and now Tannehill are being sacked less (Tannehill was only sacked four times in those three wins, with the Steelers getting not one sack...most of Tanny's sacks were by the Titans, with 6 sacks.) Why? Because not only does the new OL mentioned above open holes for the run better, but pass protects better now as well.

The bottom line: there is perhaps a stunning comparison between the 1970 and 2016 Dolphins that could very well lead them to being the next dominant team in the AFC East. Just as in 1971 they kicked the Supe champ Colts out, the 2017 Fins  just might kick out the Supe 51 champ Pats (yep, Brady and BB will go out with one final Supe win. Pats over either Seahawks or Cowboys).