Posts Tagged ‘raiders’

That time of year again is here where NFL players have expired contracts and are either on the prowl for a new team or hoping to stay with their current team for a bigger contract.  Free agency can be a stressful for the fans, owners, and the players.  In the 2014 draft there were some players that were signed quickly because the team recognizes the value in keeping them, but we have also seen some high value players hit the free agency market due to either off field issues or cant afford them anymore.  What has been interesting is seeing how some teams have dived right into this and signed a bunch of players, and to see some teams sit back and let all the players slip through their fingers.  Some teams have had salary cap issues so it makes sense why they have been sitting back not doing anything; and they have been focusing on keeping their current players or waiting for the draft.  Some times the free agent period can make or break a team and its shaping up to be an interesting 2014 season.  Below are some of the big named receivers that have signed to new teams. 

Wide Receivers

1. Steve Smith – Went from the Panthers over to the Ravens.  The Ravens are giving him $11 million with a $3.5 million signing bonus for 3 years.  Even at the age of 35 Smith can still offer a lot to the struggling pass offense of the Ravens.  With Torrey Smith on the other side and Dennis Pitta across the middle it should be an open field for Steve Smith.  And we all know that Flacco could use another weapon in the offense.

2. Eric Decker – Went from the Broncos over to the Jets.  This was kind of surprising since he was in the best pass offense and he is now going to a team that had very serious pass issues.  Now Decker did hit pay dirt by signing a 5 year $36.25 million deal with $15 million being guaranteed money.  The Jets finally released Sanchez, but signed Michael Vick to replace him.  This is going to give Decker to shine now that he is out of the shadow of Thomas and Welker.

3. James Jones – Went from the Packers over to the Raiders.  I think this is a good move for Jones and his career.  The Raiders have added a lot of people to the roster already and with Jones being a deep threat it should add a lot of depth to the offense.  The Raiders added Matt Schaub and even though Schaub had a terrible 2013 campaign he should be able to connect with Jones.  We have to remember Schaub fed the ball to Andre Johnson for a lot of years so he should have no problem getting it to Jones.  Jones was bound to get picked up quick with how he has a knack for getting in the endzone. 

4. Golden Tate – Went from the Seahawks to the Lions.  I can see this going very well, or very bad.  Tate just helped the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl and now he is going to a team that has never been to the big game.  The plus is that the Lions is a pass happy team who has the best WR in the game in Calvin Johnson.  Now Stafford may not be the most consistent QB in the game, but he will have no problem getting the ball to both Tate and Johnson.

5. Hakeem Nicks – Went from the Giants to the Colts.  This is a great pickup for the Colts and I really think that Nicks needed to get away from the Giants.  As long as Nicks can stay healthy he should be able to have a fresh start with the Colts.  Andrew Luck is just getting better and better and Nicks could be a useful tool to help the team get farther in the playoffs.  Nicks was a big part of the offense in New York and when he was healthy he was almost unstoppable. 

Emmanuel Sanders – Went from Steelers to the Broncos
Andre Roberts – Went from Cardinals to the Redskins
Brandon LaFell – Went from Panthers to the Patriots
Devin Hester – Went from the Bears to the Falcons
Dexter McCluster – Went from Chiefs to Titans

As we approach the mid-way mark of the 2013 season it is time to see how our fantasy “projections” have turned out.  At the start of the season everyone had their opinions on who was going to be the best fantasy options.  Also, there were plenty of sleeper and bust articles written and now we get to see if any of those projections were correct.  In this article I will go over every position that encumbers a fantasy football team and I will go over who is leading in fantasy points and see if the projections earlier this season were correct or way off.  The point system I am using is a Standard ESPN Fantasy Football Scoring Format.  At the end of this article I will show the top rankings for all positions.

+QUARTERBACKS+

The QB section is pretty close to what we had expected.  The big surprise was how good of start Peyton Manning started off with.  Through 7 weeks Peyton has already put up a monstrous 168 fantasy points.  The next QB down is Drew Brees with 130 fantasy points which is still very good obviously.  A name that has shocked me is Jay Cutler; she is 7th in fantasy points for QB with 102 points which is above Aaron Rodgers (100), Matt Ryan (96), and Cam Newton (92).  Cutler was not even drafted in some leagues and in other leagues he has been just sitting on the bench.  People may want to think about starting him for future games now that he is proving to be a better QB than before.  Another big surprise was Tony Romo; he is 4th in fantasy points for QBs with 115 points and he has made some mistakes but not nearly as many as previous years.

The players that I have been disappointed with are Colin Kaepernick (76), Tom Brady (79), and Matt Schaub (72).  Kap in his first game looked like he was going to be just amazing, but since that game he has not been playing to the standard we had thought he would.  Tom Brady is going to the Hall of Fame, but with an inexperienced receiving squad he has really had to struggle to get the ball downfield this season.  There are some Patriot receivers who are stepping up, but it is a far cry from where he was just a few years ago.  Matt Schaub has just been a mess this season and if he is on your fantasy team then you are just wasting a slot.  He has been a turnover machine and he is not making it easy for the Texans to win.

+RUSHING+

There have been some big shockers here.  People who picked up Jamaal Charles are sitting pretty right now since he leads all RBs in points with 112.  LeSean McCoy is sitting at 98 points while Marshawn Lynch is at 93.  Outside of those 3 people it has been an absolute mess with RBs.  As it stands right now Knowshon Moreno is 4th in points for RBs with 92 which is ahead of Adrian Peterson (84); who I am sure was drafted #1 in every league.  In most leagues Moreno was not even drafted since it was said that Montee Ball would most likely be the starter.  Reggie Bush is also fitting in very well with the Lions by scoring 77 points already and that is with him missing one full game.  Adrian Peterson has had a lot of things happen this season but he is still producing numbers and he is 5th in points with 84 points so far this season.

Now for the disappointments in the RB column.  Here are some of the running backs that people picked in the first round of their drafts; CJ Spiller, Ray Rice, Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, Arian Foster, and Alfred Morris.  Now I am not saying they are all doing bad but I am going to put this into perspective.  Ray Rice has 37 fantasy points; that is one point more than back up running back Jaquizz Rodgers (36) for the Falcons.  I know Rice has had some injury issues but he is only averaging 2.8 yards per carry.  People had high hopes for CJ Spiller but he has only put up 39 points while his counter part Fred Jackson has racked up 71 points.  I dont think anyone saw that coming.  I think my two biggest surprises are Doug Martin (47) and Trent Richardson (45).  Martin had an incredible rookie year but he is proving to have a huge sophomore slump right now and the same goes for Richardson who even got traded to a better team!  I know most people who have Richardson or Martin have not been impressed yet.  Arian Foster is still having a good year so far with 80 points but he would be putting up a lot more if Schaub was not turning the ball over so much.  Some other quick disappointments are Maurice Jones-Drew with 40 points (27th ranked); and Chris Johnson with 46 points (19th ranked).

Some surprises at the running spot; besides Moreno; is DeMarco Murray, Frank Gore, and Danny Woodhead.  Even with Murray battling an injury he is still 10th in points for RBs, Gore is 11th in points with 67, and Woodhead who is playing behind Ryan Mathews is 16th in points with 49 while Mathews is 26th with 41 points.  There is still a long way to go in the season and there is always going to be players that just explode in November and December.

+RECEIVING+

This is where most of the fun is taking place right now.  I will go over the receivers first then the tight ends, but I am shocked that DeSean Jackson is the leader in points for receivers right now with 87 points.  Wes Welker is in second with 80 points, Dez Bryant is 3rd with 78 points, Brandon Marshall is 4th with 76 points, and Demaryius Thomas is 5th with 74 points.  There are a lot of familiar names toward the top of this list like Victor Cruz (73), Julio Jones (65), and Jordy Nelson (71).  One name that stands out right now is Alshon Jeffery with 63 points which ranks him 10th overall.  Another surprise name is Denarius Moore ranking in at 11th with 62 points which is above big named players like Reggie Wayne (56) and Calvin Johnson (55).  One player who is still consistent as ever is AJ Green with 69 points and coming in 8th in overall points.

The disappointments are all over the place here.  Most leagues had Calvin as the first picked receiver and so far he is ranked 16th in points which is pretty bad compared to his previous seasons.  At number 21 we have Anquan Boldin who had a monster first game, but since then has literally done nothing to keep his fantasy value up.  Another big name that is yet to impress is Vincent Jackson; I know he has had two games that were good, but other than that he only has 50 fantasy points and is ranked 23 right now.  One surprise here is Josh Gordon who missed the first 2 games of the season; yet he is ranked number 18 with 55 points.  All of the Bronco receivers are in the top 20 with Welker at number 2, Thomas at number 5, and Decker at number 17 so if you have any of those guys keep them in your lineup forever. 

When it comes to TEs we all know that Jimmy Graham is ranked first with 93 points, but sis you know the second TE with the most points is Julius Thomas with 78?  Bottom line if you have any Broncos receiver, you better hold on to them.  Vernon Davis comes in 3rd right now with 74 while the 4th ranked is Jordan Cameron with 73 points.  Antonio Gates is 5th on this list with 53 points and he is showing glimpses of previous seasons.  But that is a huge gap between 4th and 5th place right now; thats a whole 20 points.  There really are not any surprises when it comes to TEs except for the absence of Gronkowski.  There have been reports of Gronk coming back very shortly and I can see Brady putting him to good use very quickly.

+DEFENSE+

Most people dont really see how many “fantasy” points defenses put up.  I bet right now that most people dont know that the Chiefs have scored the most points with 113; the next defense down at number 2 is the Seahawks with 75 points.  So go to your fantasy team and add the Chiefs right now.  Also, the Titans are 3rd in defensive points with 66 and the Browns are 4th with 58 points.  After the first few defenses on this list they all are about equal; just a few points off so if you need a defense; you best pick up one of these.

+KICKERS+

Kickers and defenses are pretty similar.  Most kickers will do about the same amount of points give or take 10 points.  Right now Matt Prater leads all kickers with 72 points while Stephen Gostkowski comes in 2nd with 67 points.  Garrett Hartley and Steven Hauschka both have 62 points while Mason Crosby has 60 points.  After that they all pan out to be pretty much equal; but if you are in need of a kicker one of these guys will do the trick.

+TOTAL POINTS ALL+

1. Peyton Manning – 168
2. Drew Brees – 130
3. Philip Rivers – 119
4. Tony Romo – 115
5. Chiefs – 113
6. Jamaal Charles – 112
7. Matthew Stafford – 110
8. Jay Cutler – 102
9. Sam Bradford – 102
10. Aaron Rodgers – 100
11. Michael Vick – 98
12. LeSean McCoy – 98
13. Andrew Luck – 97
13. Matt Ryan – 96
14. Marshawn Lynch – 93
15. Jimmy Graham – 93
16. Knowshon Moreno – 92
17. Cam Newton – 92
18. Russell Wilson – 92
19. Alex Smith – 87
20. DeSean Jackson – 87
21. Adrian Peterson – 84
22. Matt Forte – 82
23. Andy Dalton – 81
24. Wes Welker – 80
25. Arian Foster – 80
26. Tom Brady – 79
27. Robert Griffin III – 79
28. Dez Bryant – 78
29. Julius Thomas – 78
30. Reggie Bush – 77
31. Terrelle Pryor – 77
32. Brandon Marshall – 76
33. Colin Kaepernick – 76
34. Joe Flacco – 75
35. Seahawks – 75
36. Vernon Davis – 74
37. Demaryius Thomas – 74
38. Victor Cruz – 73
39. Jordan Cameron – 73
40. Geno Smith – 73
41. Matt Schaub – 72
42. Matt Prater – 72
43. Fred Jackson – 71
44. Jordy Nelson – 71
45. DeMarco Murray – 71
46. Eli Manning – 70
47. AJ Green – 69
48. Frank Gore – 67
49. Stephen Gostkowski – 67
50. Titans – 66
51. Ben Roethlisberger – 65
52. Julio Jones – 65
53. Jake Locker – 65
54. Ryan Tannehill – 64
55. Alshon Jeffery – 64
56. Garrett Hartley – 62
57. Steven Hauschka – 62
58. Denarius Moore – 62
59. Torrey Smith – 62
60. Carson Palmer – 60
61. Larry Fitzgerald – 60
62. Mason Crosby – 60
63. Antonio Brown – 60
64. Nick Novak – 59
65. Gio Bernard – 59
66. EJ Manuel – 59
67. Browns – 58
68. Adam Vinatieri – 57
69. Alex Henery – 57
70. Reggie Wayne – 56
71. Bengals – 56
72. Colts – 56
73. 49ers – 56
74. Calvin Johnson – 55
75. Eric Decker – 55

Three weeks of the 2013 NFL season is now in the books and it has already been a crazy ride.  There are teams that were supposed to do well that are not, teams that were not supposed to good who are, rookies making big plays, and crazy trades.  I made some predictions a few months ago about who I think was going to win their division and obviously I need to throw those out the window.  Below is some new predictions based on what has happened so far in the first three weeks thus far.

In the NFC East the big surprise for me is that the New York Giants are 0-3, while the Dallas Cowboys are 2-1.  Also, a lot of people had high hopes after the Eagles opening game, but after winning their first game they have dropped two straight.  I had some high hopes for the Washington Redskins, but I was way off on that since they have started their season 0-3.  With what has happened so far it would not surprise me to see the Cowboys take the NFC East; the only other team that might have a shot is the Eagles, but Vick needs to step his game up for that to happen.  As long as Romo keeps playing the way he has they should be able to roll through the rest of the season.  Romo in three games has had 6 touchdowns and only one interception which is a huge improvement since the 2012 season.

In the NFC North the Bears are on top with a 3-0 record behind their powerful defense.  The Bears are only allowing 88 yards per game on the ground and less than 300 passing yards a game.  The Bears are also passing the ball better and Marshall has already pulled in 20 receptions and two touchdowns.  The Bears offensive line is getting the job done as well only allowing 3 sacks so far this season.  On the other end the Vikings are 0-3 even with Adrian Peterson scoring 3 touchdowns so far this season.  The Detroit Lions have had some close games but they are at 2-1 behind a brutal passing game.  Stafford already has over 1,000 passing yards and 6 touchdowns, and with all the weapons the Lions have on offense this may be the year they make a playoff push.  The surprise here is the Green Bay Packer losing to the 49ers and to the Bengals.  Rodgers does have 8 touchdowns, but the Packers are pretty banged up when it comes to the running backs.  As long as the Bears and Lions keep playing the way they have been I think one of them could take the division.

In the NFC South the Saints are off to a big start at 3-0 behind the great play of Brees and Graham.  Jimmy Graham has already pulled in 4 touchdowns while Brees has thrown 6 touchdowns.  I am a bit surprised that the Falcons are 1-2, but with Roddy White and Steven Jackson injured it makes a little more sense.  Once the Falcons can get healthy they should be able to make a comeback from their terrible start.  The Panthers are being led by Cam Newton but the rest of the team is letting him down and they are 1-2 so far.  I am surprised that the Bucs are having this many issues already.  They are 0-3 and the defense is not playing up to the standard people had anticipated; and the offense is not getting the ball into their playmakers hands.  Vincent Jackson has 15 receptions and is yet to reach the end zone.  Doug Martin is doing his best to carry the team with 297 rushing yards, but he has only reached the end zone one time.  I think the Saints are going to be a strong contender this year and the will be tough to beat.

The NFC West has the Seattle Seahawks on top with a 3-0 record behind the outstanding play of Russell Wilson and the defense.  The Seahawks have only allowed 27 points in 3 games with is only a 9 point average.  The Seattle defense is also only allowing 146 passing yards a game which makes them the best defense in the NFL right now.  As for the 49ers, they are having some major struggles right now after a lot of people predicted them to be one of the best teams.  They have 3 key players out right now with injuries (Davis, Crabtree, and Manningham), but Colin is not playing well.  The 49ers can turn it around but they need to step it up in every aspect of the game.  The Cardinals and the Rams are both 1-2 which was to be expected from both of them.  I think the Seahawks will be the team to beat, but the 49ers could come back from this and be a contender.

In the AFC East the Patriots and the Dolphins are both 3-0.  Yes; you heard right, the Miami Dolphins are undefeated.  The Dolphins have been laying excellent defense, but Ryan Tannehill is becoming a leader for the team.  Tannehill may not put up the number Tom Brady does, but he knows how to win.  Speaking of Tom Brady, he is adjusting well to the young receivers around him while he waits for Amendola to heal.  The Patriots defense is making a huge contribution as well by only allowing 34 points so far.  They are only allowing 188 passing yards per game as well.  The surprise for me is the New York Jets; they are now 2-1 behind their rookie QB Geno Smith.  Even with Geno learning he has found a way to lead the Jets to victory with a dismal running game, and a banged up receiving squad.  The Bills are 1-2 behind their rookie QB EJ Manuel, but the Bills are having more issues than anticipated.  Spiller is not putting up the numbers people had expected so its putting a lot of pressure on Manuel.  I can see the Patriots making a playoff push, but honestly I think the Dolphins could be a Wild Card team as long as they keep pulling wins.

In the AFC North the Bengals are playing some good football which has made them 2-1.  Andy Dalton has already put the ball in the end zone 5 times and has been connecting with AJ Green for a lot of them.  The Bengals have an improved run game as well with Ben Jarvus Green Ellis and Giovani Bernard making them a difficult offense to slow down.  The Ravens are also 2-1 even with the absence of Ray Rice and Jacoby Jones.   The Browns have traded away Trent Richardson and are talking about trading Greg Little and Josh Gordan which has made them a 1-2 team.  No one is really sure why the Browns are getting rid of all their playmakers, but thats Cleveland for ya.  The biggest surprise here is the Steelers being 0-3.  Big Ben and company have had a lot of offensive struggles and has been putting too much pressure on the defense.  I don’t see the Steelers making a playoff push this year, but I do think the Bengals have a strong chance to take the division.

The AFC South is a race thus far with the Texans, Titans, and Colts all being 2-1.  The Jaguars are exactly what we thought with a 0-3 record.  The Texans offense has not been as deadly as last year but they are finding ways to win.  Arian Foster is only averaging 3.9 yards per carry and has only had one rushing touchdown so far.  The Titans running game is much of the same with Chris Johnson only averaging 3.7 yards per carry and is yet to find the end zone.  The Colts acquired Trent Richardson from the Browns and is splitting carries with Ahmad Bradshaw which gives the Colts a huge advantage in the back field.  Andrew Luck is throwing the ball well and finding all his receivers in crucial situations.  The Jaguars are struggling everywhere, Maurice Jones-Drew is yet to have a breakout game, and the defense has allowed 92 points already which averages 30 points a game for opposing teams.  With three teams having the same record its hard to say who will come out on top, but as of right now I think the Colts have the best chance.

Finally the AFC West its the Broncos and Chiefs who have 3-0 records.  It has been a shock with the Chiefs since they were the worst team in the NFL last year and now with a new head coach and new players they are undefeated.  Alex Smith is not going to put up Peyton Manning numbers, but Smith does have 4 passing touchdowns and zero interceptions.  Jamaal Charles is also stepping up by having 2 rushing touchdowns and averaging 4.3 yards per carry.  The Broncos are playing behind their veteran QB Peyton Manning who leads the NFL in touchdown passes with 12 and zero interceptions.  Manning also leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,143 and completing 73% of his passes.  The Raiders and Chargers are both 1-2, but the Chargers are showing life in Rivers.  Philip Rivers is second in the NFL in touchdown passes with 8 and only 1 interception.  The Raiders are struggling, but they have found a diamond in the rough with Pryor.  The Broncos will win the division, but the Chiefs could be a wild card team.

 

We get to hear it almost everyday about how wealthy some NFL contracts are, and how much NFL teams will spend on their team.  Sometimes the numbers seem outlandish and un-realistic; but they are very real and crazy to think about.  This article is going the other way; how much each NFL franchise is worth.  Surprisingly enough almost every team makes very good money (except for a few); but it is interesting to see how much a team makes compared to how “good” the team actually is. 

When you think about a revenue stream for an NFL team it is really is a science.  Even though owners will shell out a lot of money to player, coaches, and stadiums; the real revenue comes from us; the fans.  The NFL does obviously contribute to each team but think about how NFL teams make their money.  There are ticket sales, season ticket holders, VIP suites, parking, merchandise sales, television, cable, etc.  So like I was saying; even though owners will shell out a lot of money; there is a ton of money coming in.  Below is the complete list of the richest and poorest NFL teams as of 2013. 

1. Dallas Cowboys – Worth $2.3 billion
2. New England Patriots – Worth 1.8 billion
3. Washington Redskins – Worth $1.7 billion
4. New York Giants – Worth $1.55 billion
5. Houston Texans – Worth $1.45 billion
6. New York Jets – Worth $1.38 billion
7. Philadelphia Eagles – Worth 1.31 billion
8. Chicago Bears – Worth $1.25 billion
9. Baltimore Ravens – Worth $1.22 billion
10. San Francisco 49ers – Worth $1.22 billion
11. Indianapolis Colts – Worth $1.2 billion
12. Green Bay Packers – Worth $1.18 billion
13. Denver Broncos – Worth $1.16 billion
14. Pittsburgh Steelers – Worth $1.11 billion
15. Seattle Seahawks – Worth $1.08 billion
16. Miami Dolphins – Worth $1.07 billion
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Worth $1.06 billion
18. Carolina Panthers – Worth $1.05 billion
19. Tennessee Titans – Worth $1.05 billion
20. Kansas City Chiefs – Worth $1 billion
21. Minnesota Vikings – Worth $1 billion
22. Cleveland Browns – Worth $1 billion
23. New Orleans Saints – Worth $1 billion
24. Arizona Cardinals – Worth $961 million
25. San Diego Chargers – Worth $949 million
26. Atlanta Falcons – Worth $933 million
27. Cincinnati Bengals – Worth $924 million
28. Detroit Lions – Worth $900 million
29. St. Louis Rams – Worth $875 million
30. Buffalo Bills – Worth $870 million
31. Jacksonville Jaguars – Worth $840 million
32. Oakland Raiders – Worth $825 million

Everyone in the world has heard of John Madden, and he one of the most recognizable people in the NFL.  Not only was he a brilliant head coach for a long time, he was also one of the best commentators.  He also has one of the best video games that has ever been made; also one of the longest running video games of all-time.  He has appeared in commercials, appeared in movies, and written books.  All in all he is an NFL legend on the field and off the field.

John Earl Madden was born on April 10th, 1936 in Minnesota.  His father was an auto mechanic and at a young age he re-located the Madden family to California.  John attended Jefferson High School and graduated in 1954.  John was a pretty good football player in high school; and he also played college football at Oregon and College of San Mateo before he transferred to Cal Poly.  John played on both offense and defense and he graduated with a BS in English and an MA in Education.  As an offensive tackle he earned All-Conference honors, and he also played catcher for Cal Poly’s baseball team.  In 1958 he was drafted in the 21st round by the Philadelphia Eagles.  When he attended training camp he blew out his knee which made it so he never actually got to play in the NFL.

In 1960 he became an assistant coach for Allan Hancock College, and was later promoted to head coach.  In 1963, he was hired to be the defensive assistant at San Diego State and stayed there until 1966.  At San Diego State he was recognized for being a good coach and in 1967, Al David gave him a shot to coach in the NFL.  Al David hired Madden as a linebacker coach and that year the Raiders reached the Super Bowl.  In 1969, Madden was named to be the Raiders head coach.  Madden really was the best thing to happen to the Raiders.  The Raiders had a bit of a curse though, Madden would guide his team to the playoffs, but they would lose in the Divisional game or the Championship game.  The Raiders reached 5 AFC title games in 7 years and lost them all.  In 1976, it all changed for the Raiders.  They finished the regular season 13-1 and beat the Patriots and Steelers in the playoffs.  They finally made it to the Super Bowl and beat the Vikings to give coach Madden his first Super Bowl. 

When Madden retired he was the youngest coach to ever reach 100 carrer regular season wins, and he was 42.  He is still the winning-est coach on Raider history.  As a head coach he never had a losing season as well.  Combine his regular season and playoff games and he is ranked 2nd in the NFL for wins. 

After retiring from coaching he started working for CBS and in 1981 he was paired up with Pat Summerall.  They worked great together and they ended up calling 8 Super Bowls together.  In 1994, Madden was working for FOX, and he was still working with Summerall.  He decided to get away from FOX and decided to be the commentator for ABC’s Monday Night Football with Al Michaels.  In 2005, Madden also was working with NBC Sunday Night Football; which made him the only sportscaster to work for all Big Four networks.  In 2009, Madden officially announced his retirement after 30 years of broadcasting.

Madden was also known for his Thanksgiving specials.  During the game he would bring out a huge turkey and feed the MVP’s of the game.  Most people know this, but Madden had a fear of flying, so he drove everywhere he went.  He would either drive or take the train to every game he announced.  Even though he has had his hands in a lot of things, he is really most recognized for John Madden Football Game.  The first game came out in 1988 and his initial vision for the game was to help teach people the game of football.  The game is now a cultural icon, where people will buy the new Madden as soon as it gets released.  It was fun to have John Madden in the NFL for so long, and I think I speak for most when I say this; we miss him.

 

There have been numerous players that have been great players that have shaped the way sports is watched and how we think of players.  There are stars, super stars, and then there is Bo Jackson.  Everyone knows him for something different, some people know him for football, or baseball, or his commercials.  The things that Bo Jackson did were almost super hero like and it was hard to believe some of the things that he did.  There will never be another athlete that will compare to Bo Jacksons ability, strength, or speed.  This is his story.

Bo Jackson was the eighth of ten children and was born in Alabama.  Bo had a love for sports and it was a split between football, baseball, and track.  He attended high school at McAdory High School and was a superior athlete.  His senior year he rushed for 1,175 yards in football, hit 20 home runs in baseball, and was a 2 time state champion in the 100-yard dash.

In 1982, Jackson was approached by the Yankees and they wanted him to go straight from high school to the MLB.  The Yankees offered him $250,000 to come play and he turned it down because he wanted to be the first man in his family to go to college.  He was approached by Alabama and by Auburn for college scholarships.  He was very interested in going to Alabama because he did not want to go out of state.  Auburn offered him a chance to play football and baseball as a freshman, so he chose Auburn.

Arriving in Auburn he wanted to do both baseball and football and his freshman year for football he just exploded on the field.  During that time Auburn had not beat Alabama in a decade and Bo Jackson beat Alabama on a 1 yard run.  Jackson was a gifted running back who could out run everybody on the field, but he had the size to run over the biggest guys on the field.  As a baseball player he was able to showcase his speed and strength and he totaled up 28 home runs, .355 batting average, and 70 RBIs.  He was an excellent out fielder as well. He won the Heisman Trophy his senior year and was the top prospect to be drafted in the NFL Draft.

His senior year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the first overall draft pick and they offered to fly him down to take a tour of the franchise.  The Bucs front office said that they had cleared it with the NCAA for him to come down, but they lied to Bo and that caused Bo to miss the last half of his baseball season as a senior.  That left a bitter taste in his mouth towards football and especially for the Bucs.  When the draft came the Bucs still drafted him, but Bo turned it down.  Later that year he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals to play baseball, and put football on the back burner.

In his baseball career with the Royals he was a powerful hitter and was one of the fastest player in the MLB.  In 1989 he made the MLB All-Star game where he hit a home run on his first at bat and he earned the All-Star games MVP.  Bo was known for making stellar outfield plays as well.  There was a hit that went to the outfield where he jumped to catch it and then ran up the outfield wall.  There was another play he made where he fielded the ball in the left field wall and threw it all the way to home plate without it hitting the ground, and the catcher caught it and tagged the runner out at home.  He had four 20 home run seasons, one 30 home run season, and one season with more than 100 RBIs.  Bo had a bit of a temper when he struck out and was also known for breaking bats over his leg or even his head.  That just shows the power of Bo because if a normal man was to do that it would hurt VERY bad.

While he was playing for the Royals he was approached by the NFL to come play.  He refused to play for the Bucs, but the Raiders wanted to give him a shot so he was drafted again by the NFL.  During this time people did not think that an athlete could go between two sports, but Bo was very determined to prove people wrong.  As a Raider he was one of the most explosive running backs the NFL has ever seen.  Not only could he out run the small fast guys, he could run over the biggest guys.  One of his best performances came on a Monday Night Game against the Seahawks where he had a 91 yard touch down run and totaled 221 yards.

What makes this story sad is that Jacksons career was cut way too short.  He only played 4 NFL seasons and he was just hitting his prime.  It was the same with his baseball career; it is sad to know what his career could have been without the injury.  During a playoff game against the Bengals he was tackled and dislocated his hip.  The injury did not seem to bad until he had his hip checked out.  They found out that it severed one of his major veins and it caused him to need a full hip replacement that cut his career short.  He did have a comeback after a few years of rehab, but he was never the same.

Bo Jackson had one of the best ad campaigns in the history of Nike.  Everyone heard his commercials at some point.  The “Bo Knows” commercials were legendary and it worked perfectly because Bo was an all around athlete and Nike had just come out with a cross-trainer shoe.  So Bo was the best spokesman for it because he was a cross over sensation in 2 sports.  Bo was also remembered for the first video game he was in called “Tecmo Super Bowl”.  I remember playing that game and if you were the Raiders you would always win because the makers of the game made him unstoppable.

I used to have a poster of Bo Jackson in my room because he has always been one of my favorite athletes and he is a great role model for young athletes.  It is a sad story on how his career ended, but he will always be remembered for the sensational athlete he was.  His final stats were:
+Baseball+
Batting Average: .250
Home Runs: 141
RBIs: 415

+Football+
Rushing Yards: 2,782
Touchdowns: 16
Average Yards per Carry: 5.4

 

Well…now it is official that Tim Tebow is a free agent and looking for work.  I will be honest I was never a huge Tebow fan, but I can spot a good athlete when I see one.  Tebow got a good name in Denver and I honestly thought that going to New York was going to be a good move for his career.  Sanchez has been playing like crap so I thought it was only a matter of time before he took over the starting job.  I did not expect him to play that much in 2012, but when Ryan decided to pull Sanchez everyone thought it was going to be “Tebow Time”.  That was not the case; instead he kept riding the bench.  So now with the Jets signing Geno Smith; what is next for Tebow?  Below is some options/teams that I think could benefit Tebow.

1. Chicago Bears – Cutler is a mediocre QB at best, but playing behind Cutler would give Tebow some time to throw the ball to an outstanding receiver in Marshall.  The Bears just ramped up thei offensive line so it is going to be a lot better for running the ball as well.  The Bears have always had issues at QB and the fact that Cutler is still there is a shock to me.  But overall, Tebow could be a decent fit for the Bears.

2. San Diego Chargers – Rivers has not had the best stats over the last few years and has turned the ball over 55 times in 2 seasons.  Now there are a few weapons in San Diego, but to a degree the Chargers are kind of re-building.  So why not bring on Tebow and see if he can take over for Rivers down the road.  Nothing could really hurt the Chargers at this point so I think it is worth the gamble.

3. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders just signed Flynn, and if history repeats itself then he is going to get hurt.  Now I know the Raiders have not had a decent QB in a long time, but the Raiders are another team that could benefit from signing Tebow and letting him learn things by doing.  The Raiders have a good running attack, and not the best pass offense, but Tebow could run the wild cat with DMC, and it could be pretty cool to watch.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Freeman is another mediocre QB in the NFL, but he has a lot of weapons around him like Jackson, Williams, and Martin.  So Tebow could go to Tampa Bay and practice with some really good receivers to sharpen his skills so one day he could take over for Freeman.  Tebow is from Florida, so it might be kind of a cool homecoming for him as well.

5. New England Patriots – Now he will never be Tom Brady that is for sure, but imagine how good he could be from learning how Tom Brady plays.  He could ride the bench for a season or two and just study Tom Bradys every move and eventually take over as the starter for the Patriots.  I know he is sick of riding the bench, but if I got to learn from Tom Brady, I would do whatever you told me to.

6. CFL or Arena Football – This is a great option for Tebow because he would be able to really sharpen his skills and learn how to play all over again.  Remember Kurt Warner did that and he ended up winning a Super Bowl and going to the Hall of Fame.  I honestly think that this would be the best fit for him.  He could stay in the CFL or Arena league for a few seasons then come back to the NFL and just tear it up.