The NFL vs My Bank Account: Week 8 Results

Week 7 Record: 3-4-1

Net Earnings: -$1.63

1. Jacksonville +3 @ Tennessee $22 to win $20.00 – Win

2. Detroit +2 @ Houston: $17.55 to win $16.00 – Loss

3. Oakland pick ’em @ Tampa Bay: $11.00 to win $10.00 – Win

4. New York Jets -3 @ Cleveland: $44.05 to win $41.00 – Push

5. Minnesota -6 @ Chicago: $11.45 to win $11.00 – Loss

6. Washington +3 @ Cincinnati (in cheery old London town): $11.00 to win $10.00 – Loss

7. New England -6.5 @ Buffalo: $10.00 to win $9.52 – Win

8. Arizona +2 @ Carolina: $1.15 to win $1.00 – Loss

What I’ve learned: I can’t mess with Houston, may have to ease up on AZ, I need to bet the house on Tom Brady every week, the Vikings could be on their way down, Jacksonville SUCKS, Derek Carr don’t lose, and in Europe, the law dictates all sporting events must end in ties. Not my best week, but certainly not my worst. My winning percentage is 61% and I’m still in the black. For now…

 

Season Record: 10-6-2

Season Earnings: +54.87

How (I Think) You Build a Good Football Team

It seems like there is a recipe for a winning team that a lot of franchises are ignoring.

Let me preface this by saying I’m just another asshole who watches sports and thinks I somehow could manage a team. The good not useless part of my brain certainly knows I can’t, but even so, the idiot on my shoulder keeps whispering “you know better than the experienced millionaires who run franchises, if you were in charge you’d have a winning team” and I want to share those ridiculous whispers with you.

I’m watching the NFL this year, and it feels kind of apparent that there is a hierarchy of tools that create good teams, and a lack of prioritization of said tools creates bad teams. Here is what I believe based on what I’ve seen empirically to be the building blocks in order of importance.

1. Offensive Line
It gives every player on your offense a chance to reach their full potential. Need I say look at the Cowboys? QBs have more time to make decisions, backs have more holes to run through, and receivers have consistent opportunities to finish their routes. Hell, you even give your coach and OC the freedom to draw up a wider variety of more complex plays. Which brings me to…

2. Head Coach
A really tough call, had it at no. 1 originally, and here’s why it comes in so high. Football along with every other sport today are so much more nuanced and cerebral than they have been in the past. The trend of increased complexity has been both exponential and steady. Without a great playbook, it’s nearly impossible to be a great football team. That is pretty obvious.

3. Defensive Line
The inverse of #1. Give the other team less time and fewer holes. Any great QB or RB can turn average at best with lots of pressure. You can turn Tom Brady into Sam Bradford with a good enough pass rush.

4. Quarterback
Pretty obvious and most people would put this first. A QB that reads defenses well, makes good decisions and throws accurately is the single most terrifying thing in the eyes of a defensive coordinator. Sets the pace for your offense and ideally leads it emotionally as well.

5. Defensive Backs
If you have a Josh Norman or a Richard Sherman, you can frustrate quarterbacks and make receivers cry. Well, just the one but you get my point. A great secondary completely neutralizes WR-dependent teams.

If your team focuses on those five things in order before the glamorous running backs and receivers you’ve got the blueprint of a contender at worst and champion at best. Unfortunately, fans only want to see their teams pick up the glamor positions (notice, only one such position is in my top 5 top 5 top 5) and management must do so to appease them. Patience is hard to come by, but it’s necessary to go from good to great.

So, if you love your team, get excited about star right guards, crafty coaches and threatening D ends. If you can manage to wait on that running back, and he’ll play to his full potential.

 

 

 

Nick Buccola

Dear San Diego Chargers, Stop Medium-Blue Balling Us

The Bolts color rush jerseys just remind us of what should be.

SD, your color rush jerseys are cool and all, but you know you’re not giving us what we actually want.

POWDER BLUE, PLEASE

This middle of the road bright royal blue bullshit is SUCH a handjob when you’re expecting to get laid. Put out, Chargers. Be cool. I don’t know if there’s some time you plan to fully instate the beloved baby blues, but pro tip —  it’s yesterday. What are you, cocky now that the Rams are in LA? Guess what, there are about 10 markets worth of people there so you’re not totally in the clear. At least not in the clear enough to keep this diamond burried in the rough any longer. It’s time to unsleeve this trump card. (yes, I said trump card to get more views) From San Diego itself to places like Buffalo that don’t know if your team or city actually exist — sort of like an Atlantis type situation I imagine — want the powder blue uniforms. Not just the once or twice a year that you stingily give us, ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Football isn’t a sport of moderation, there can’t be too much of a good thing in the NFL.

They’re so sexy, so fun, and SO San Diego.

You’re like a secretly hot girl from an 80’s movie who takes her glasses off, revealing said secret hotness to the world, striking up pant-tents all around campus, but then right before prom you just buy a slightly less chunky pair of glasses. And you only give us the sans-glasses smokeshow two random Wednesdays of the school year. It’s like “oh wait she was super hot but now we’re like reminded of that but she’s not actually hot now but she was for a second there but now but… but… but…”

We don’t know why you’re hiding some of the most beautiful jerseys in sports, we just know we want it to stop. All the other teams are competing, pulling out their big guns. But the best they can do is a Desert Eagle. You have a fucking satellite death ray laser beam that could make all other jerseys completely irrelevant.

Why won’t you pull the trigger?

 

San Diego, I propose a city-wide protest and I already have the slogan:

“Powder Blue Please! Stop This Tease! Powder Blue Please! Stop This Tease!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick Buccola

Making Sports Fun Again: Football

Three key changes that could spice up football

  • Let the boys dance. By limiting touchdown celebrations so severely we are wasting SO much talent. These players, especially the foot-tappin’ superstar WRs (your OBJs, your Antonios, etc.) are some of the best dancers in our country. It’s sad to keep them from dancing how they want. It would be like saying Damian Lillard can’t rap because rap is suggestive. That would be a shame and so is this. These guys are humping the air. ELVIS DID THAT. A MILLION YEARS AGO AND IT WAS FINE. There’s no recipient of the humping, they aren’t holding onto an imaginary bad bitch. They never reach climax. I say if it’s not directly in the opposing team’s face and it’s not truly disgusting on purpose, let the boys dance. When did it become the National Footloose League?
  • Revamp the Pro Bowl. As is, it’s stupid, risky, and pointless. Nobody cares about it. Just elect the all-stars so they get credit and replace it with something fun and harmless. Blindfold Brady and Edelman and see how many completions on how many different routes they can rack up in a set amount of time. Have other two-man teams complete. Set up trashcans 20 30 50 and 60 yards from a throwing spot, give them point values and see what QBs can score the most points. Have a non QB bracket too. Have the Pro-Bowlers play flag for god sakes. Have some lineman play two hand touch. It would be hilarious. Hell, a nerf ball distance throwing contest. ANYTHING but the status quo would be an improvement. Something fun, watchable and most of all concussion-proof.
  • Go even crazier with the jerseys. Love the color rush. We all do. Huge props there, but keep it going. Each team should have like 9 different color rush jerseys. Let the fans design them. Sports fans love that shit. Let the hippies in Colorado design some marijuana leaf tie-dye helmets. Put a buffalo shotgunning a room-temp keystone on Bills jerseys. Maybe don’t let the Florida fans pick their teams’ gear because dead hookers across players’ chests could be a bit much, but you get the idea. Those jailbird throwback Steelers jerseys should become average on the weird jersey meter. Jerseys are already crazy, let’s make them bat-shit Charley Sheen insane.

Why the hell not NFL? Take a little pressure off of yourself (insert deflategate joke here) for fucking up literally everything else by giving fans some carefree fun distractions.

 

 

 

 

Nick Buccola