The Knee

This week the only NFL home game is the Pro Bowl, but the true conversation pieces lie outside of a meaningless game.  With the Super Bowl only one week away, the focus remains on the NFL this week and a brief topic.  Another post will come out this weekend about the NFL labor negotiations.

Jay Cutler’s Knee

A lot was made during the Bear’s NFC Championship game by announcers and NFL players about his early exit due to an apparent knee injury, and while his attitude has long been under scrutiny some of the comments made may have been a bit over the top.  Jacksonville Jaguars running back openly doubted during the game whether or not Cutler should have come out.  Other current and former NFL stars like Deion Sanders openly questioned Cutler’s toughness.

Despite the uproar over his knee, Kristin Cavallari’s boyfriend proved to not be quite the softy many made him out to be.   Turns out he had a severely sprained MCL in his knee, preventing him from protecting himself on the football field.

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Loud Mouths and Dirty Players

Tomorrow bring us the NFL Conference Championship games which will decide who plays in the Super Bowl in Dallas.  I’ll run through some quick talking points for each game that you can use on dates tonight or while watching the games tomorrow.  This will be split into two posts.

New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers

When the Jets and the Steelers played in December the Jets won a close game, but that can be thrown out the window.  The Jets are playing extremely well right now, as are the Steelers.  The main talking points aside from the game itself focus on a few key individuals and their loud mouths.  We’ll run through those now.

Much has been made over this season over the Jets’ bravado and frat boy ways, but the Steelers have been in the news since Ben Roethlisberger’s alleged assault in Georgia bar bathroom.  While that apparently scared him straight onto the path to redemption (see the great ESPN article here), some of the other Steelers players have been in the news.  James Harrison is a fierce linebacker for the Steelers with a reputation for big hits and a big mouth.  He’s been fined $100,000 this season for illegal tackles to the heads of quarterbacks and defenseless wide receivers.

The Jets’ brash starts with their head coach and goes right on down through the players.  After the game last week one of the Jets Linebackers went berserk during a post game interview.   Yesterday Antonio Cromartie didn’t quite say that he thinks Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward is a dirty player – except that he did.

All the Jets seem to do is trash talk.  It all makes for a funny conversations and a hyped up atmosphere at game time.  This all amounts to grade school bullies tossing Yo Mama Jokes back and forth at each other for hours before they meet at 3:30pm underneath the big oak tree on the playground.  This should be a pretty game, so enjoy talking about it with your dates and friends!

 

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NFL Wild Card Playoffs

The NFL Playoffs start this weekend, which means there is a lot to talk about with four games scheduled.  The Wild Card games begin Saturday afternoon and will go on into Sunday night.  There will be some good football this weekend and men everywhere are bound to be watching, so have fun watching the games and see what you can contribute!

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks:

Is there a Kardashian Kurse on Reggie Bush and the Saints?  No seriously, is there?   Think back to before last year’s Super Bowl when rumors came up about a Saints victory leading to a Reggie-Kim nuptial.   Kardashians are good luck charms for athletes.  Reggie Bush and the Saints won the Super Bowl.  Lamar Odom did marry a Kardashian (Khloe, my personal favorite…what? She’s funny.), and the Lakers won the NBA Title.  So anyway, after Reggie and Kim called it quits (for real this time), Bush broke his leg in the season’s second week and missed a lot of important games this season.  For selfish reasons, hopefully there is no Kardashian Kurse on the Saints and they can defeat the Seahawks with ease.

The top two Saints running backs have been placed on IR (Injured Reserve), meaning they will not be available to play at all in the playoffs.  Seattle also has some injury issues, especially at quarterback where their starter has been replaced due to injury.  The Saints and Seahawks played the Sunday before Thanksgiving and the Saints won 34-19.  In that game, the Saints led for majority of the time, but did allow Seattle to get closer before slamming the door on any possible comeback.  Hopefully the Saints get the same result as last time.

Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles

The Green Bay Packers won their spot in the playoffs by beating the Chicago Bears last weekend.  They are playing excellent football and have both a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers and a stellar defense.  Generally a high caliber QB and Defense are pillars of playoff success, but Green Bay, like the Saints, lacks a consistent running game.

The Philadelphia Eagles are an explosive team with Michael Vick at quarterback and a number of explosive players on offense.  Their defense, on the other hand, has not played well in weeks.   Michael Vick is a hot button issue for a lot of people, but no matter what you think about him, watch him on a football field without thinking about his criminal past and just enjoy the show.

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts

This is a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game, so there are some great conversation pieces stemming from this game.  First and foremost it is a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game.  The Jets coach, Rex Ryan, is a notorious loudmouth, and called out Peyton Manning (Colts QB) last year prior to the game, which resulted in a Manning smackdown on the field.  This year he has been complimentary of Manning and the Colts but has managed to find himself at the center of a few different scandals.  For one, the Jets harassed a female sports reporter in their locker room and were reprimanded by the league.  Later in the season there was the infamous “Trip Gate” in which a Jets assistant coach tripped a player for the Dolphins.  If you really want to show your knowledge of current sports events bring up the Rex Ryan foot-fetish videos.

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs

There isn’t much going on in this game, I will defer to my father-in-law when he says “Hey Ravens fans, I quoth you!”  Go Chiefs!

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NFL Week 17

The final weekend of the NFL season has some huge games and great talking points for casual bar talk or an impressive contribution to a game watching party.  If you can find a way to sneak into one of these, go for it, especially since food, beer, and football are great lures for guys.  All of the games last week and this week are divisional games, which should present some excellent football and storylines.  Outside of the actual games this weekend there are a few solid storylines in the football world that could be great conversation pieces: Brett Favre and playoff seeding.

Playoff Seeding:

Win and You’re In:

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts

If Peyton Manning leads the Colts to a victory they’re in the playoffs.  Nobody really wakes up in the playoffs and goes “Gee I’d like to play Peyton Manning today” so if you’re talking to a Baltimore or New York Jets fan, it’s a good conversation piece.

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks

Win and you’re in.  That’s what the Rams-Seahawks game comes down to on Sunday night.  The winner takes the division and the #4 playoff seed.  That could end up being Seattle, who with a win would have a 7-9 record and could end up hosting New Orleans, Atlanta, Green Bay, or the Giants – all teams with much better records.  A team with a losing record making the playoffs and hosting a playoff game is a great conversation starter, and it might start a full on debate about rule changes and home field advantage.  Just know that it’s never happened in NFL history.

Home Field Advantage

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

I’m partial to the Saints in this one since my wife and I are season ticket holders, but the game is meaningful for a couple of reasons.  The Saints have already clinched a playoff spot with that tense win on Monday night in Atlanta (a feat previously accomplished by nobody this year) but their seed is currently undetermined.  A Saints win combined with a New Years miracle – Atlanta losing at home to Carolina – would give the Saints the division title and a shot at home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  More live football in the Superdome is fine by me.  Tampa Bay on the other hand is hanging on by a thread to playoff hopes and would need a win over New Orleans and losses by both Green Bay and the New York Giants to make it in.  The last time these two teams played the Saints dominated the Bucs in Tampa, but with a lot on the line for both teams it should be an exciting and well-played game.

Favre:

Brett Favre has said he’s not playing next year, but we’ve all heard that before.  Even if he doesn’t play next year there is no guarantee that he’ll play this Sunday since he went out with a concussion in his last game.  Oh and don’t forget the whole Brett Favre sexting scandal.  This has been widely discussed in media outlets everywhere and even featured in an SNL mockery of his Wrangler Jeans commercials.  Thursday morning the NFL fined Favre $50,000 for not cooperating in the sexual harassment investigation from his time with the New York Jets (the first time he unretired).  This fine and the aura around Favre’s voicemails and weenie pics have sparked a lot of debate, especially as to the commissioner’s handling of it and other policy issues (think Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger).

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NFL Playoffs Intro

NFL Playoff Primer

Some quick background information on the NFL Playoffs might be really helpful to some of you, so let’s lay the foundation for some great conversation pieces.

Playoff seeding:

There are 32 NFL teams split into two conferences – the AFC and the NFC.  Each conference has four divisions with four or five teams in each.  Six teams in each conference get to be in the playoffs.  The winners of each of the four divisions (East, North, South, and West) are the 1-4 seeds and the two teams with the next best records are the wild card teams.  The top two teams don’t have games during “Wild Card Weekend” but always play during the Divisional round.

Home Field Advantage:

The team with the better record gets to host the playoff game.  You hear a lot about “Home Field Advantage”, especially in the playoffs as to its effect on the game.  The home team gets a bump from their fans and their familiarity with the field and stadium.  The home fans make it hard for the away team’s offense to hear with all of the loud screaming.  Teams like New Orleans, Atlanta, and Indianapolis who play in domes benefit greatly from home field advantage because it gets very loud when 65,000 fans are screaming in unison at the opposing team.

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Welcome to the blog!

Dating is a funny thing right?  Feeling out a person’s interests and taboo topics presents awkward challenges for both men and women alike.  I’m certainly no person to be dishing out dating advice, but wouldn’t the whole single scene be a little easier if there were a simple common ground to discuss over dinner or even just to serve as a simple icebreaker?  As a female in the dating arena, would you rather have the some fool come up to you and ask you “How much does a polar bear weigh?” or take the first step and ask what he thought about Michael Vick’s performance in the first Tuesday night football game since the 1940s?  Guys have a major fear of rejection.  Ladies like to be wooed by a “Prince Charming” but let’s face it, that doesn’t happen too often.  If you see someone you want to talk to why make goo-goo eyes across a bar or college classroom when you can be proactive about your dating future?  I’m not saying that you won’t be wooed later, but taking ownership of the situation can only enhance your chances.  The ability to hold your own in a conversation relevant to the XY chromosome makes you much more attractive to men and allows you to stick around in the long term.

 

I mean, you don’t have to read what I write, but you could also end up as the crazy cat lady or better yet, start dating the creepy weirdo who doesn’t like sports – it’s your call.  Gents are more likely to keep you around if you take interest in what they like instead of continuously trying to steer the conversation towards ballet or interior design.  Now I’m by no means advocating giving up all hope of finding and staying with someone who enjoys sports as well as ballet, opera, interior design, and fine dining, but the reality is that you have to take interest to get a return.

 

So here’s the premise…I’m going to write about sports on a regular basis.  My hope is that ladies of all ages, single or not, read and use the simple sports facts and opinions as conversation pieces with guys.  With the plethora of sports options currently available, the focus will be the NFL until the end of the season.  A lot of guys eat, sleep, and breathe football, so why not start with a highly relevant topic?  Look for a post this Friday on the upcoming weekend’s football games, specifically how they relate to the NFL playoffs.

 

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