Tale of the Quarterback: Eyes on NFL Training Camp

My nose is acute with the smell of fresh practice field grass, my lips are already fixed for criticism on a cover two versus a man to man, my fingers are (wo)manned on my mouse ready for my impending fantasy draft in a few short weeks. Yes, ladies and gentleman, training camp is upon us, which only means one thing: FOOTBALL IS BACK- CAN I GET AN AARON RODGERS BELT THRUST!? And before you say anything, yes, I’m a die hard Bears fan but you just can’t hate him. Trust me I’ve tried.

This past week NFL players have been reporting to the confines of their cozy college dorms where they will study playbooks and play obscene amounts of NCAA and Madden 12 like the grown up frat boys they are. Throw in some two a days and we have got ourselves some content my friends. I would like to take a look at just which teams will have the most eyes on them this preseason. And so it begins…

Once Upon a Time, there was a quarterback of an NFL football team. His name was (insert really important football sounding name here) and he played for (insert team here), this is their story…

The Denver Broncos: If Peyton Manning doesn’t scream football player name, I don’t know what does. He was literally born to play this role: see related Mannings i.e. Eli and/or Archie. Following (a couple) hush hush neck surgeries and Manning sitting out the entire 2011 season, not only is he back, but he is back with none other than John Elway’s Denver Broncos, despite his already published legacy with the Indianapolis Colts. This Broncos team easily has the biggest target on their back as far as the media sh*tstorm goes. I have to say I have a good feeling about this, and not just because I’m listening to Avicii. The way I see it, Peyton wouldn’t even attempt to come back unless he had complete and total faith that he would return to Peyton Manning form. If Peyton Manning has faith in himself, who the hell are we to say or think otherwise? If Peyton says it, it must be so. End of story. I can’t wait for this next chapter in his career, and have to give a special shout-out to three guys from a certain southwest school I also attended who will be along for the ride. Brock- you learn everything you possibly can from that man, I know I don’t have to tell you twice. O, words can’t describe how excited I am to see you back on that field- and with the Champ! G-Rob, do your thing- and don’t you dare drop a Peyton pass! SD4L 🙂

The New York Jets: Ahh, The Timmy Tebow Saga continues. I can’t wait to see what Rex Ryan version .50 has up his sleeve. Wildcat? Convert Tebow to fullback entirely? Make him the starter entirely? I have to say when they picked Tebow up I totally thought that was it for Sanchez. He’s got the SC quarterback curse, all hope has got to be lost. But maybe Mr. Hard Knocks hasn’t given up just yet. And side note: seriously, can they make Hard Knocks permanently on the Jets? That was by far the most entertaining season. I’m not wrong.

The Washington Redskins and/or The Indianapolis Colts: Picking up the first two picks in the draft, both quarterbacks, mind you, you can bet these teams are on the radar. RGIII was pronounced starter out of the gate. With a definitive ‘guy’ you have to think Shanahan will show at least glimpses of those glorious Denver days. With the Peyton Manning departure, and Andrew Luck of the draw in place, look for the Colts to show up like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. They may not be effective right away, but with the ever accelerated learning curve of Mr. Stanford grad, you gotta think they will get it right by midseason, maybe in time to catch the playoffs? Wildcard at least?

And last but certainly not least, for my own personal benefit, The Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler is healthy. They have signed their workhorse Matt Forte to a sufficient deal. They have gelled their offensive line quite a bit as well as made a key offensive pickup in Brandon Marshall, a familiar target to add to their Cutler-y (ya see what I did there?). The defense, yes, is becoming increasingly more ‘veteran’ but with a more high powered offense hopefully we can preserve those guys a few more years by not having them take the field every 37 seconds.

All I can say is thank God we have the Olympics to hold us over til the real fun begins. Happy training season everyone!

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We Talkin bout PLAYOFFS?

College football is.

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It’s here! It’s finally here! I know it’s my go-to phrase but this really is better than Christmas. College Football will now have a playoff system to determine the National Champion. While this won’t ensure Bama and LSU won’t meet 27481 times in a season, it will be earned and not decided by some phantom committee more elusive than Napoleon Dynamite’s Liger. Is that a collegiate mascot yet?

Here’s how it goes: there will be four teams selected by a committee with ‘preference’ given to conference champs and teams with tough schedules…this is still the BCS people. Can’t expect a miracle. I don’t know about you but I’ll take what I can get. RPI ratings, which aid in how NCAA men’s basketball determines March Madness teams, may be used as well.

The games will be played on neutral grounds most likely at the Orange, Sugar, Rose or Fiesta bowls on a rotating basis. The National Championship location will be determined by the highest bidding city- similar to how the Super Bowl location is decided. The four cities that facilitate the major BCS bowls will have the opportunity to bid as well as other cities.

As far as the revenue share goes- and it’s estimated to bring in $400-500 million, the five major conferences will get majority share of revenue, the Big East being the bastard child thrown scraps of benjamins under the stairs.

Convenient that Notre Dame is ‘independent’ when it comes to football. Speaking of, the committee deciding on this playoff system includes the FBS Commissioners AND THE NOTRE DAMN ATHLETIC DIRECTOR. And no that wasn’t a typo. WTF Notre Dame? This is why everyone hates you.

The majority of bowls will remain, including the main bowls. In fact, one or two more may be added to include teams not in the 11 FCS conferences.

This is all barring an approval by the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, whatever that is.

Point is, we should all be ecstatic. After years of pestering, AN ACTUAL PRESIDENTIAL OPINION and countless middle school persuasive essays on why college football should include a playoff it’s happening, albeit a limited basis. Yes, we can.

Where’s Jim Mora when you need him? I expect a SportsCenter segment ESPN.