Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL quarterbacks


What a time to talk football. The draft hasn't happened yet. Kickoff for the season is 5 months away. So what are we going to do? Talk football, of course.

It's a quarterback's league, or so we're told. Probably has been for years anyway. So why not check what's going on at each team's premier position? There are things happening already. Here and there.

Where Nothing Much Changes

The majority of teams have nothing monstrous to report, at least pre-draft, and from what we hear probably won't after the draft either. Manziel has gotten more negative press, perhaps deserved, perhaps not, over the past months than he did in his entire college career. Same for Bridgewater. Bortles has been mentioned lately as the top pick. Anybody know what's going on? I don't. How'd you like your franchise QB to be named 'Bortles'?

So, dissing the draft for the time being, we see nothing earthshaking in the places where we'd expect nothing much.

New England: Tom Brady is back. What, you hadn't heard? What you might have missed is the Pats dangling sub Mallett for a while as trade bait. Either there were no takers or something they wanted dried up, but he's back too it seems.

Denver: Peyton Manning will have to retire before the Broncos replace him.

Seattle: Rumor has it that Russell Wilson has kept his job.

Green Bay: Word is Aaron Rodgers has the inside track.

San Diego: Phil Rivers was just short of magnificent last year, and it's his team again.

Miami: Ryan Tannehill may not have set the world on fire but Miami really has no options right now. Plus, he's got upside. We think. Anyway, Matt Moore is an insurance policy more than a threat.

Baltimore: With Nick Stephens and Tyrod Taylor for competition, Jump Ball Joe will have to pull off a real stinker this year to see bench time.

Pittsburgh: Ben is Pittsburgh. Nuff said.

Cincinnati: It's Dalton's job to lose. He may some day, but not this time around.

Indianapolis: The Colts didn't tank a season to land a throwaway.

Kansas City: Alex Smith may not be Johnny Unitas, but he's pretty good and he's the best the Chiefs have had in a while.

NY Giants: Eli Manning may go from bum to hero to bum over and over, but while he sells seats he stays in New York. His political capital is on a par with Coughlin's. Beating New England twice does that for you.

Philadelphia: Mark Sanchez may be in the house but Nick Foles will be on the field unless Chip blows a main seal.

Chicago: Jay Cutler may be just what Da Bears don't need, at least when he's not healthy (which is often), but he's da man.

Detroit: The Lions stunk last year and so did Stafford, but with just Kellen Moore as a serious alternative the Lions are banking that new coaching gets the talented screwball's head on straight. He's not their only such project.

Atlanta: Matt Ryan has to be thanking the football gods that he didn't play for Houston last year.

Carolina: After a fine season of team play, Cam reverted to Cam late and down went the Panthers. Same ordeal for Rivera again this year.

New Orleans: Drew Brees owns the team as long as he's upright. Of course, there's always Ryan Griffin or Luke McCown. Like I said...

Arizona: Carson Palmer found a home in the sun, and it's not going to dry up before this season starts.

Now the Interesting Stuff:

Not everybody's got a boring situation. Even some teams with the position cast in stone are having the odd issue here and there. Some have no situation to speak of at all.

Cleveland: Brian Hoyer had the Browns looking like a contender in the subpar AFCN last year... for about two games. That was how long it took for him to get crunched. He's back, but is he such a lock based on two games that the Browns would dump Weeden? It's hard to predict what a team that plays musical administrations will do. Make that futile.

Oakland: Terrelle Pryor has been proving just another athletic QB flop. Matt McGloin is ok but isn't exactly turning heads sideways. Enter Matt Schaub. Just two years ago he was the leader of the best team in football. For a while. What a bringdown. He's got to be wondering how Matt Ryan skates and he gets pitched into the express chute. He didn't even get a stop at purgatory.

Dallas: Why are they here? Well, not long ago folks were pitching the idea that Romo might be headed to Houston for their top pick. Apparently those folks were in Dallas. He'll be back, but it's not like the Boys are stone deaf to alternatives anymore.

San Francisco: So why put the Niners here? They were one pass from a Super Bowl that they almost surely would have won over the Floppos. Well, recent stories give the suggestion that all those concerns about Kappy's stature as a solid citizen may have had some merit. If he's not in jail, he'll start.

Washington: And why these guys? Well, in case you didn't notice, RG3's comeback wasn't exactly a glittering success. And after sitting all year, Kirk Cousins gave a less-than-inspired mop-up performance. It's doubtful they're looking, and it's doubtful Griffin doesn't start. What's doubtful is how rosy the Redskins' situation really is.

Minnesota: Christian Ponder's star may have flamed out. Then again the alternative is Matt Cassel. Judging from Minny's offseason activity, Matt's the guy. Is that good? Is that permanent? Check with me around November.

Tampa Bay: Amid rumors of this and that, Mike Glennon remains a decent bet to at least show whether or not he's developing at a fast enough pace, but that could change if Josh McCown shows the same stuff he did for the Bears. Either way things are a bit iffy.

St. Louis: The team with never-ending promise --- because they never attain it. Sam Bradford heads the short list of suspects. It seems the job is his to lose, and this year he just might succeed --- at losing it, that is.

New York Jets: This is a goody. Mark Sanchez is gone to Philly. Mike Vick is come from Philly. If you ever thought that putting your hopes on Vick is a bad idea, feel free to feel justified. The Jets signed him. What more do you need?

Houston Texans: Here is the mystery that keeps the draft interesting. With a perceived need to replace Matt Schaub, the Texans pulled off step 1 --- they dumped Schaub. May have been a little premature. Well, they did bring in Ryan Fitzpatrick. They still have Case Keenum and T.J. Yates. That's good depth. Which will be where they're headed (again) unless something else happens.

Jacksonville: Gone is Blaine Gabbert. Another whiz kid goes bust. In all truth, Henne has been a good quarterback whose foibles can be excused by looking at whom he's played for. But calling him a lock is a little iffy. They must have plans. He's the insurance policy.

Buffalo: Musical Quarterbacks won't get it done for the late Ralph Wilson's team. At this point you're either wondering whether EJ Manuel is a lock or one of several mediocre contenders. It would be hard to believe they're not planning something, but how many years in a row can you expend a high pick on a quarterback, and where does it get you? Seen the Browns?

Tennessee: Jake Locker is joining Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert (and maybe RG3) on the flash in the pan list it seems. Which leaves them with nobody, basically. Maybe they're going to take the NFL by storm with a wing-T?


Weekly Grumble with IHM
Category: FEATURED


  Hello folks, and welcome to another Weekly Grumble with IHM. A nice little buffet of things to get to today, spanning all four major leagues here in North America, as well as some college news. So, without any further adieu… let’s get to it.

A lot on the police blotter over the past couple of days, and it’s not just the NFL. That is the norm, usually an arrest or two each week for an NFL player, but this week the NHL, college football, and the NBA decided to get in on that action. Jonas Valanciunas got popped for a DUI, then responded with career night three days later with 26 points, 12 rebounds against the 76ers. Dante Cunningham wanted a piece of that spotlight, too, as he picked up dual arrests; one for felony domestic assault on his girlfriend, and again later in the week for sending her threatening text messages. The NHL threw their name into the hat as well, with Ryan Malone of the Lightning getting popped early this morning for DUI and cocaine possession. MLB is even in on the action with Tigers reliever Evan Reed under suspicion in a sexual assault case.

Dorial Green-Beckham of Missouri, who was once the most highly recruited player of his class but chose Mizzou to stay close to family, was dismissed from the team following yet another arrest for burglary, although ultimately no charges were filed based on the complainant’s “fear of reprisal”. This of course was the last straw after a string of arrests for Beckham over the two years he’s been at Missouri. Being a star player, you have to give Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel some credit for doing the right thing despite the player’s status. He’s also been popped multiple times on possession of marijuana, although he has somehow never been charged in those cases, either. Either way, he looks like a guy that is destined to go the Josh Gordon route to the NFL… but comes with considerably more baggage than Gordon did, and less production for his career. But, at 6-6, 225 and coming off a season in which he scored 12 TDs on 59 catches, someone in the NFL will take a chance on him… hell, there will probably be a LINE of teams waiting to take a chance on him.

It’s not that the NFL has been a bunch of choir boys this week… they have had their share of unwanted headlines as well. There is the whole Colin Kaepernick/Quinton Patton/Ricardo Lockette thing, even though Kaepernick is the only one grabbing headlines there, despite no actual charges being filed. The whole story sounds like a work to me, but I suppose you never know. Plus they do still have the whole Aaron Hernandez thing out there.

Sticking with some NFL headlines for a moment here, how about former Pro Bowler Shawnie Merriman’s new career choice? Seems he’s trading the gridiron for the squared circle after signing with the WWE. One thing is for sure, he’s got the PED use part down pat… just has to work on those matt skills.

HOF linebacker Carl Banks thinks comparisons of Lawrence Taylor and Jadaveon Clowney are “foolish”. I couldn’t agree more… Clowney isn’t a pedophilic piece of shit! Why drag his name down.

Andre Roberts, who signed with the Redskins in hopes of being the #2 receiver there, is apparently frustrated by the teams’ signing of DeSean Jackson, because he is now apparently right back where he was in Arizona. But, much to his chagrin, a better option came along. The question is, is crying to the media really going to help your case? Probably not. Maybe you’ll get lucky and Jackson will break a leg or tear his knee up, and you’ll get your #2 spot back. Keep reaching high.

Roger Staubach has given his ringing endorsement to Johnny Football… saying he’d use the first overall pick on Manziel. Personally, I think the guy has the most upside of any QB in this draft, and if you’re going to take a quarterback anyhow, why not go for the guy with the most promise. I think when all is said and done the guy will go down as a hybrid mix of Brett Favre and Fran Tarkenton. So what do you think Gabbers… are you on mine and Roger Staubach’s side, or are you with Jaws in thinking that Manziel is a bust waiting to happen?

Good news in Major League Baseball as the Reds’ Aroldis Chapman is ready to throw a few bullpen sessions, just shy of a month after being hit by a line drive in the face late in spring training. Glad to hear it, because that was pretty nasty.

Before I call it a day, I’d like to congratulate the Red Wings on their 23rd consecutive playoff appearance, extending their own major professional sport record. It was close this year, with the Wings barely skating into the 8th spot in the East, and it’s unlikely that they’ll get past Boston, who is likely the best team in the league, but 23 years in a row for any team, in any sport is pretty damned impressive. It speaks volumes to both the abilities of Mike Illitch as an owner and Ken Holland as a GM.

That’s all I’ve got this time around ladies and gents. Thanks as always for reading, and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy your first real spring weekend, Gabbers.


Sports Friday with Hal: NFL Notes Aplenty
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

Happy Friday!


Another week gone bye and it started off with a bang as the UConn Huskies won both the men’s and women’s NCAA (or NAACP if you saw the Fox News faux pas) Division One Basketball Championship. Baseball is back and the season is rolling along inspiring excitement (Milwaukee) or panic (Boston...yes, after an early season three game sweep by Milwaukee there was panic on the airwaves...yeesh!).  


The NBA season is closing out and likely another Miami Heat romp through the playoffs is nigh. Meanwhile, the NHL is closing out the year and teams are locking down spots in the playoff picture. With the NHL regular season ending it kicks off the best playoffs in any sports: the NHL Playoffs. No team is safe. Seven game series that go back and forth. Upsets every year. Incredible intensity night after night. It is just fantastic.




The big news in the NFL is once again superstars running afoul of the law in that CBA-negotiated time that keeps players away from their teams. First, let me say that the NFL is a full-time job.  This is not 1950 with professional sports players working a regular job in the off-season and then using training camp to get back into shape.  Players work-out all off-season long: coaches are at the facility researching, prepping, planning and preparing. Let the off-season camps run all spring and summer long.  The more the players are under team control the less bull**** off-season trouble goes on.


This week had San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick looking at his first off-field black eye as news broke about his being investigated by police for an alleged sexual assault. Of course, with many journalists needing to “break stories” TMZ--who broke the news--may have taken out of context in the report.  At this time there is the potential of a crime having been committed with Kaepernick a possible--but not charged or arrested--suspect.


This “suspicious incident” included 49ers and Seahawks wide receivers Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette as well. Personally, I hope the players did not do anything wrong as I am tired of “sports stars behaving badly” stories. I think the 49ers/Seahawks Kaepernick/Russell Wilson rivalry is the best in the NFL and could be for at least another 5 or more seasons if there are no idiotic episodes to derail it.




Speaking of San Francisco, reports are that the 49ers are desperate enough to call former San Francisco, Washington Redskin, New England Patriot, St. Louis Ram, Denver Bronco, and Chicago Bear wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd had probably the least productive 900 yard receiving season in NFL history in 2012 for New England and was out of the league last year when the wide receiver needy Patriots let him walk. The fact that he burned bridges badly in so many cities is a huge flashing neon sign to stay away.


The 49ers have tons of draft picks (just like they did last year) and are in position to draft a wide receiver early and trade for a veteran to shore up their biggest weakness on offense. A player that would fit in San Francisco is Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson.  He is talented and obviously sick of all the losing up North. The Bills have invested heavily in the draft at wide receiver and could move the mercurial Johnson for more draft picks.




The Bills are in the news again as with the passing of owner Ralph Wilson last week comes news that his will is stipulating that his surviving family sell the team. This immediately sets off theories of who will buy and where the team will play. There are already reports of rocker Jon Bon Jovi being the face of a group willing to buy the Bills and move them to Toronto.  Expect whispers of moving the team to Los Angeles with the lack of a long-term stadium deal.




New England Patriots had some fun this week with new Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes. Spikes left New England in a huff after being dumped into injured reserve during the playoffs for being late to practice in a snowstorm. Spikes is a great run-stuffing middle linebacker--a two-down backer in today’s NFL.


He went on a Twitter madcap adventure talking about beating New England twice and then sparring with trolls, umm, I mean...fans. He started unfollowing and blocking Patriots fans from his Twitter...pretty funny stuff. Then, his worst tweet followed, which was “Four years a slave” referring to being paid millions of dollars in New England.  What an idiot. Enjoy the snow and the 6-10 seasons, Brandon.




The Cleveland Browns--with gallons and gallons of salary cap space--did not franchise their talented center Alex Mack allowed an opponent to sign him to an offer sheet that if the Browns did not match would cost them nothing but money.  The Jacksonville Jaguars--another team with scads and scads of cap space--wisely put in an offer to Mack which is reported to be for five years and $42 million.

The Browns are idiots not to match it and keep him.


The Browns had an offensive line that was 40% fantastic and 60% crap last year: Mack accounted for 20% of the fantastic. The Browns front office--whoever the hell is running it this week--would be idiotic to let him go and further weaken an Achilles heel last year. For Jacksonville, it would be a coup to add Mack to former Broncos guard Zane Beadles on the interior offensive line. To lose Mack and young Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward in the same off-season is a kick to the groin of Cleveland supporters.




O H Thursday
Category: FEATURED


Spring is finally here!


Stats for the day, The HC QB combos with the most wins in NFL history looks like this

Belichick /  Brady    149

Shula / Marino          116

Noll / Bradshaw        107

Levy / Kelley             99

Reid / McNab            92

Reeves / Elway          89

Landry / Staubach      84

Shula / Griese            82

Fisher / McNair          76

Walsh / Montana        75

Holmgrin / Farve        74

Dungy / Manning       73




Early season top five Teams:


San Fran






Derek Jeter moved into 9th all time with his 3321st hit

Next up and possibly in reach are Carl Yaztrzemski 3419 and Honus Wagner 3420

Boston’ Jon Lester had his second quality start wasted by lack of hitting support and fell to 0-2  2.57


Fellow Boston Starter John Lackey is 2-0 1.36. Lackey is in the last year of his contract at $16 million and the Red Sox have a club option to keep Lackey in 2015 for a mere half  million. The Sox brass should be talking to Lackey about next year now. Lackey, two years removed from Tommy John surgery has never looked better. A 95+ fastball and a nasty slider that John admits he never had before makes him at age 36 a quality top of the rotation pitcher.


Omar Infante of the Royals took a Heath Bell fast ball to the face and suffered a broken jaw and a concussion. Bells 2 seamer was recorded at 88 on the gun. Infante will miss a little time but should be ok.



NBA… getting down to lottery pong…

Bottom eight

8. Detroit

7. Sacramento

6. LA Lakers

5. Utah

4. Boston

3. Orlando

2. Philadelphia

1. Milwaukee


NHL…playoffs getting closer

The bottom of the playoffs is still a battle with only __games to go


7th       Detroit 88

8th       Columbus 87

With 3 games to go these teams are on the outside looking in…

New Jersey 84

Toronto           84

Washington     83



Stars         87

Coyotes    86


In other news…


Malaysian Airlines flight 370 is still missing, searchers have failed in reacquiring the pings heard the other day by the Chinese search ship.

Patriot DB Alfonso Dennard was released from prison in  Nebraska after serving 35 of a 60 day term for a probation violation. He was quickly heading back to Boston as instructed by HC Bill Belichick. Dennard has 100 hours of community service to take care of and it’s rumored that he enjoys spending time with kids at various Boston hospitals. Dennard still has to face the wrath of Roger Goodale and may face a short suspension for his off field antics.


Womans final, U Conn (40-0) 77-59 over Notre Dame (37-1)


Congratulations to the U Conn men’s basketball team in winning their 4th title in the past 15 years.

The National Champion U Conn Huskies’ fans celebrated the unexpected win by lighting several small fires, breaking tables and chairs, and breaking windows in the Student Union and Field House. There were about 30 arrests according to Stores police.

Celebrating your teams victory with drugs and alcohol in a party type setting usually results in some sort of destruction.


Sorry for the lightweight blog today.

We lost a very close friend to a chronic lung disease on Tuesday.

My friend Orville was like a brother to both my wife and I. We are saddened by our loss but we are happy that he no longer suffers and has been reunited with his wife and daughter in Heaven.


Have a great day



Deep Thoughts 4-9-2014
Category: FEATURED
Tags: UConn basketball Derek the RA Gene Chizik Cub Mascot de headed Mets suck Instant replay in MLB


Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Before I dig in this week, I must take a moment to say congratulations to the men and women’s basketball teams at U Conn. As Yogi would say… this déjà vu all over again.  The Huskie round ballers took both championships home, just as they did in 2004. The Huskie women went an amazing 40 and 0 to win and honestly, their championship really should not surprise anyone. The Huskie men’s championship is a different matter.  Seeded 8th in this tournament, it is a test to their resilience that they were able to make to the final four, much grab the brass ring. Great job, I only wish I had picked them in my bracket.

I read yesterday that Corey Johnson was set to make $100,000 in the Yahoo bracket contest. There was only one problem…he forgot to save his bracket with UConn. Besides terrific publicity, Johnson got nothing for his well-chosen bracket. One thing I know for sure…he will remember next time to save his winner!



If you attended college and lived in a dorm, I am sure you have memories of the RA (Resident Advisor). I was very lucky; our RA…”Griff” was a great guy. He kept things from getting out of hand, but let the small stuff slide. Apparently the students at UConn living in the north dorm are not so fortunate. Here is an excerpt of an email that Derek the RA sent out earlier this week:


Hey everyone,

Please go to Gampel or somewhere else to watch the game. Midnight quiet hours still apply here, so responsibly go nuts elsewhere. I am on duty tonight and it is going to be stressful, so please don’t push it on our floor. There are going to be a lot of RA’s and police around North, if I wasn’t an RA I would personally stay away from here tonight.

In the end, remember that the only reason you care about the game is:

a) because they’re wearing a UConn uniform

b) you want an excuse to go wild

If it’s the first one, you’re cheering for laundry. Get excited if you want, but it’s not worth getting in trouble for. If it’s the second one, be as far away from me as possible tonight. I will not appreciate getting disrespected over the outcome of a basketball game. I have done all I can to respect you and your privacy since August, please reciprocate this respect and be civil on our floor.

While you might get caught up in tonight, please remember the night will eventually end. And no matter what the basketball team does, I will still be your RA until May.

So have fun, but not too much fun.



 Derek’s email was predictably tweeted out and caused an instant reaction. Under the glare of nationwide criticism, Derek responded with this statement:

So someone took the email I sent Saturday to heart and decided to Tweet it, so I’d like to clarify:

-I was trying to come off on the strict side so our floor wouldn’t be vandalized. That has been a problem here in the past (and was a problem Saturday night again) and could end up in us getting an extra fee. That’s really the only point I was trying to get across, the rest was sarcasm.

-The laundry comment is a joke from Seinfeld. Next time I’ll include a link so you know that I’m kidding. We cheer for clothes


I don’t know about you, but when I was in college…I would have headed to the North dorm to party and give Derek a bit of business. UConn is a huge basketball school, and it would seem that the entire student body would be basketball fans. There is at least one student that is a non-fan and certified fun fighter. I suppose that dealing with rowdy students is stressful, but Derek…that is part of the gig.





If you have ever sent a daughter to a senior prom, I am sure you can appreciate this photo of Coach Gene Chizik. Hilarious…





There always seems to be one guy that does not know when to stop. Here is a video of the “unofficial” Cub mascot. He is hanging out after a Cub game at a Wrigleyville bar when that “guy” began to mess with the mascot. After shoving the mascot, then messing with his tip container, the bar patron crossed the line…the video shows what happened when you mess with a mascot’s head.







                                                                      Sometimes it is just not your day…






Although the baseball season is young, apparently some fans do not like what they see so far. A young fan named Charlie, wrote this message to Jesus…

No word if he has received an answer…




I ran across a great April Fools joke that was too good not to share. This is damn funny…









             If the world’s coolest man is hanging out in Austin, it is only time before Johnny Monkey makes an appearance!




For what it’s worth, I love the idea of instant replay in MLB. But watching a few of replays, I don’t see that they are getting the replays right. I watched a play at 1B, that I was sure replay would overturn the out call, but it did not. I watched Josh Hamilton catch a fly ball and drop the ball on the transfer. It was obvious…but replay overturned the out call. If the idea is to get the call right, why does a manager only get one replay? I like what football did in reviewing every scoring play. I think this would be a good idea for baseball as well. I think that replay will eventually be great, but what we have now needs much revision.


The UTPA Broncs made had a nice rebound last weekend by taking 2 of 3 from second place Grand Canyon. Next weekend the Broncs travel to Utah to take on the Utah Valley. I wonder if spring has sprung in Utah?




That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…


Children need encouragement. So if a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way, he develops a good, lucky feeling.

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.


Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own.



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