Hall of Forgettable
The newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – Bob Hayes, Randall McDaniel, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson and Rod Woodson, were inducted Saturday and man, can’t you just feel the excitement? Can’t you? You can’t? Neither can I. For a sport that enjoys the number one spot in America, football really, ahem, drops the ball on their Hall of Fame. First of all, six people went in this year…way too many.
This drags along the ceremony, as if anybody is watching, and really makes it seem like something that is not very special. Most people, even if they are not fans of the sport, would probably agree that baseball has the best HOF of any major sport, and one of the reasons is that they are super selective about who gets in (I’m looking at you Bert Byleven). Football really needs to take a look at cutting down the number of people put in each year, and think about making this part of the regular season somehow. The fact that it is tied in with a pre-season contest, albeit the first one of the year, really makes it seem like a non-affair. Putting it on the NFL Network, which a significant portion of America does not or cannot get, is not helping either. Step your game up Roger Goodell!
First Round Mistakes
Has anyone else noticed that first-round players are holding out longer and longer these days? While millions are sent to the unemployment line each week, these guys are willingly not showing up for guaranteed work, where they will earn MILLIONS of dollars before they even play a snap. I understand you can’t have a number 15 pick signing for more than a number 9 pick, but the draft was in April.
Draft picks should have to sign by a certain date, or they are considered ineligible for the season, and cannot reenter the following year’s draft pool. They would then only be eligible as free-agent rookies, diminishing their earning potential. Common sense has to prevail at some point, and having all these unsigned guys hurting not only their own development, but the progression of their teams, is beyond reprehensible to the average Joe who is trying to scrape together some dough to get his family to a game.
TE Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears
With a new quarterback in town who likes to sling the ball down the field in Jay Cutler, and a lack of support in the receiving corps (Devin Hester, Rashied Davis), Olsen looks to have a breakout year at the tight end position for the Monsters of the Midway. Olsen, who was a highly touted prospect out of the U, had five touchdowns last season playing with quarterbacks as mediocre as they come. Cutler will look for a security blanket across the middle until he gets acquainted with the offense, and that is Greg Olsen. Look for 75 receptions and 8 to 9 trips to the end zone this year for this editions’s Gridiron Grumblings Go-2-Guy (GGG2G).
Get That Dough – All lines courtesy of sportsbook.com
Atlanta Falcons Win Total Regular season: Over 8.5 (-125) Under 8.5 (-105)
Coming off an impressive season that culminated with a trip to the playoffs against the eventual NFC champion Arizona Cardinals, the Atlanta Falcons are poised to make a return visit to the post-season on the back of quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner. Add to the mix future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez at tight end, along with the newly re-signed Roddy White at wideout, and this is a potent offense. Defense be damned, these guys could all go the Pro Bowl, and are more than enough to win more than the 8.5 games that Vegas has set.
Let’s look at the schedule:
1: Home vs Dolphins: Fins are a fraud, and can’t open the season on the road, in the dome with a win.
2: Home vs Panthers: Delhomme ain’t my homie, and he ain’t getting it done at the Georgia Dome.
3: at Patriots: The D gets lit up like a Christmas tree as the Falcons catch an L here.
5: at 49ers: I don’t care how great Mike Singletary is/was, unless he can still put on the uni, Gonzo will run wild here.
6: Home vs Bears: Cutler will provide problems, but the Bears aren’t in a position to win on the road on the turf…yet.
7: at Cowboys: Romo will be back with Jessica by this time, but she will have dropped the weight so he will be happy again. Romo to Witten all day, I hate to say.
8: at Saints: The revolving door that is the New Orleans secondary will be spinning like a top. Roddy White goes wild in this one.
9: Home vs Redskins: Jason Campbell is no Matt Ryan. And the ‘Skins aren’t getting it done this year either.
11: at Giants: Ryan is good, but not good enough to win at the Meadowlands in late November…even with the hobbit Eli across the way, throwing up INTs like his name was Favre.
12: Home vs Tampa Bay: College teams would put a hurting on the Bucs this year. A romp.
13: Home vs Eagles: This will be the most entertaining game on their schedule all year…very close, Eagles by a FG at the horn.
14: Home vs Saints: They are the Saints for crying out loud…you can’t lose to them at your place.
15: at Jets: Another Meadowlands trip, but the J-E-T-S are not the G-Men, not even close.
16: Home vs Bills: T.O. will be suspended or hurt by this point…easy win for the Dirty Birds.
17: at Tampa Bay: Resting the regulars for the playoffs, but still a win.
That’s 11 wins, well over the 8.5, so there is room to play with in case there is a funny bounce or a ref with retinal damage involved. Take it to the bank, the Falcons win more than 8.5 games this year, as the schedule makers were very kind.
I hope you enjoyed reading Gridiron Grumblings…feedback or story ideas welcome at [email protected].
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