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Monday, 20 October 2014

Sunday night Peyton Manning surpassed Brett Favre to become the NFL’s all-time touchdown passing leader. He now sits at 510 touchdowns thrown through the air, an astronomical number that will only continue to grow as this season, and the final years of his career continue. Assuming he plays for four more years and averages around 30 TDs a year, (a stat that could be low or high considering that the man is 38 years old) he could finish with around 620 touchdowns. At the very least I think he is guaranteed 600. So when does Manning become the best QB of all time? This is a very real and controversial question considering that one’s legacy is measured first and foremost by rings, followed by stats. He is without a doubt one of top five best regular-season* quarterbacks of all time, but having that asterisk by your name seems to imply some sort of inadequacy in your legacy.

As hard as it is to believe, we live in a world where Eli Manning has more Super Bowl rings than Peyton Manning. No one in their right mind would argue that Eli has been a better quarterback than his brother; rather this is more of an indicator as to how much of a crapshoot the post-season can be. Eli’s Giants beat Brady’s undefeated Patriots the first time around, a win that probably shouldn’t have happened. This is the effect of having a one-and-done style post-season. Now, while football is much harder on the body than the other three major sports, a lack of a five or seven game series leaves a lot more to chance than to consistent skill.

So, this considered, what would allow us to comfortably consider Peyton the best quarterback of all time? I think reaching 600 career touchdowns is a must, and a very reachable goal. Most importantly, however, is post-season success. If he can win another Super Bowl, and especially two, before the end of his career, I think that it would be safe to put Manning at number one. Now this is a lot of speculation about what’s left in the tank for an older quarterback, but as Manning proved Sunday, he is anything but over-rated.

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Monday, 20 October 2014

This Saturday the University of Richmond Spiders hosted their CAA rivals the Rhode Island Rams (0-7) for their Homecoming game, and won in spectacular fashion. The Spiders now move to (5-2) overall, and (2-1) in the CAA. The Rams looked helpless on offense, falling prey to Richmond’s tenacious defense. The Spiders forced six turnovers including an incredible five interceptions and held the Rams to only (2-13) on third down conversion attempts. Meanwhile the Spiders scored 37 points with ease.

The obvious lack of a varsity VCU football team has created the need for fans to get their local college football fix elsewhere. As a result, Richmond homecoming games have always been the place to be for anyone living in the area, and this weekend the Spiders gave them plenty to celebrate. The weather was perfect, the tailgates were huge, and the student section was filled.

Next Saturday the Spiders will travel to North Carolina to take on the Elon Phoenix (1-6).

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Another week, another new Jameis Winston controversy. This week the autograph authentication website revealed that it had over 2,000 Jameis Winston autographs. No one has publicly accused him of taking money for signing the autographs, but all the signs lead the public to assume that the signings were done on a large scale typical of a paid event.

The autograph controversy comes shortly after he got suspended for the Clemson game for yelling a derogatory phrase from a popular meme in the student union. It was likely a dare from teammates that got overblown because we live in an era of Iphones and Snapchat. The autograph incident is more common and slightly more serious. However, it doesn’t appear as if he will suspended for the matchup against #5 Notre Dame Saturday.

While the initial allegations of rape last season was very severe and should have been investigated in the very serious manner that it was. However, the latest two incidents make it seem as if the media is on a mission to make Famous Jameis into Infamous Jameis. However, the signing controversy goes beyond Winston and it is an ongoing problem in college athletics.

Winston’s situation is different from the one of Georgia running back Todd Gurley. UGA suspended the Heisman frontrunner indefinitely when someone claimed they had video of him signing memorabilia.

A similar investigation occurred last year, with former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. He was only suspended a half of a game last season. It is an archaic idea that athletes shouldn’t be allowed to make money for selling autographs. This is just another example of the NCAA abusing its power. The NCAA should regulate competition on the field and not over-regulate off the field issues such as signing autographs to keep the players status as amateurs. It is a whole other debate about whether college should pay student athletes, but there is no doubt should be able to make money off their likeness. While some college athletes will go professional in sports make money and endorsements after college, most won’t get opportunity. As the Enterprise rent-a-car commercial says, most go pro in something other than sports.

College is the peak of fame and marketability for many college players. They should be able to make money off fame off court through endorsements and autograph signings.

VCU start point guard Briante Weber should be able to be in local Richmond car commercials. He is the face of VCU’s havoc defense and may break the NCAA all time steals record.

While he may make the NBA, he most likely won’t be an all-star who will get large endorsements if he makes the league. An injury could end his career at any moment without him being compensated at all for his outstanding play.

Meanwhile, universities profit off the efforts of the athletes. Universities claim not selling jersey of specific players , but this is ludicrous .When the news came out that Gurley was suspended, the number three jersey was no longer for sale on Georgia’s website. It is no coincidence that his number is three also. This proves that they are selling his likeness.

Many athletes come from poverty and are unable to get a part time employment due the time consuming nature of college athletics as well as NCAA restrictions. They should be able to make money off of the field for all that they do on the field for the university in terms of positive exposure. However athletes know the rules and now their teams have to deal with distractions they caused. Nonetheless, it is ridiculous get suspended for writing own name down on piece of paper for someone who asks for it. If there is market for a player’s autographs, they should be allowed to profit from it.

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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

While many will argue this is Redskins country, and for the most part it is, it becomes more and more appealing to jump onto the Raven's bandwagon. This is no truer than after this Sunday’s game in which the Ravens scored five touchdowns in the first quarter and two minutes. The abysmal Buccaneers (1-5) were helpless to the gun-slinging and pass-happy Joe Flacco, who threw for all five, much to the delight of many a fantasy football owner. Next week, the Ravens will be facing the Atlanta Falcons (2-4), who, despite their record, have a very good passing game, and should prove a challenging match-up for the Ravens in Baltimore.

With the negative media frenzy surrounding Ray Rice, this season began on a low note for the Ravens. So while this game may not serve as a barometer for the Raven’s skill in general, it certainly is a good sign that they are fully intent on a run at the Super Bowl again. Baltimore (4-2) is currently in second place in the AFC North behind the Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1). Rounding out the second half of the division are the Browns (3-2), and the Steelers (3-3). Just from looking at the records it is apparent that this is a strong division where the standings for the remainder of the season could take any number of crazy turns.

The Bengals, who actually have one less win than the Ravens, are atop the list due to a bizarre and all-too-uncommon tie this week against the Panthers. The Bengals are a very well rounded team who can attack opponents through the air and on the ground. They are eighth in passing yards per game behind the arm of a very competent Andy Dalton, and eleventh in rushing yards with the two-pronged running tandem of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. They will be up for a challenge next week in Indianapolis against Andrew Luck and his crew, and worse for the ware without star receiver A.J. Green who is sidelined due to a toe injury.

Who is Johnny Football? Browns’ fans could care less right now as their focus is on current QB Brian Hoyer who just led his team to a 31-10 victory over division rivals Pittsburgh to give them a 3-2 record. Hoyer, in his five starts this season has thrown for seven touchdowns and only one interception. A relative unknown in his sixth season, Hoyer seems to be giving the people of Cleveland plenty to be happy about (Oh yeah, and LeBron came back to the Cavs in case you didn’t hear). This week they are facing the atrocious Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) who average a league worst 13.5 points per game, and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks from now, whose defense the Ravens proved is about as formidable as a piece of drywall.

Last in this tight division, are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who currently sit at 3-3. Despite all of the similar records, the Steelers, I believe are the worst team in the division by a solid margin. They are 23rd in ppg scored against opponents, and have lost to Tampa Bay, and barely beat Jacksonville two weeks ago. They are now looking forward to a three game home stint at Heinz Field against Houston, Indianapolis, and Baltimore respectively over the next several weeks. Roethlisberger has been performing quite well this season, as well as running-back Le’Veon Bell, but these games could prove to be the true test for the Steelers, as they could either end up 6-3, or 3-6. It remains to be seen how well they will fare.

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Monday, 13 October 2014

NFC East Results Week 6
Cardinals 30 - Redskins 20
Cowboys 30 - Seattle 23
Eagles 27  - Giants 0

The NFC East has clearly divided into an upper and lower class of teams. The Cowboys and Eagles stand atop the division with matching 5-1 records. The bottom half includes the Giants, whose 3-3 record reflects the nature of their up-and-down team, and the Redskins, who bring up the rear of the division with a 1-5 mark.

The Redskins had high hopes heading into the 2014 season that promised to be a fresh start. With new coach Jay Gruden, the addition of electric wideout Desean Jackson and a healthy Robert Griffin III, the Skins expected to compete for the NFC East title. Despite their 1-5 record, they still have hung with two teams in best division in NFL the past two weeks in the Seattle and Arizona, but couldn’t pull out W’s.

The hot topic just a few weeks ago was whether or not Kirk Cousins or RG3 should be the starting QB. Now the debate has all but ended as Cousins threw 3 interceptions in 4th quarter.

Cousins’ had a strong start in his first two games of the year when he threw 5 TDs and only 1 interception. However, last 3 starts he has thrown 5 TDs and 7 picks.

Now fans of the Burgundy and Gold now will partake in the seemingly annual occurrence of speculating when RG3 will be healthy as hope for another season have begun to fade away.

The Cowboys look like the class of the division and possibly the conference after beating the Seahawks in Seattle. This was only the second loss the Seahawks had at home in the last 3 years.

Demarco Murray leads the league in rushing yards by more than 200 yards. The strong running attack has led to less responsibility and pressure on Tony Romo to have to do everything for the team to win.

America’s team has also drafted well, particularly offensive line, an area that was a major weakness a few years ago. The team drafted an O-lineman in the first round 3 of the past 4 years.

Dallas fans hope they continue to win so they can avoid having a play in game in Week 17, a situation they have been in the last 3 years. The Cowboys lost all 3 times.

The Eagles and Giants faced off on Sunday Night Football. Wearing all black uniforms for the first time ever, the Birds dominated the G-Men 27-0.

The Eagles was in control the entire in the game, as they looked in their 2013 form for the first time all year. Shady McCoy had 149 yards rushing and sacked Eli Manning eight times.

The most interesting part of the game took place while play was stopped, after Victor Cruz tore his patella tendon after he dropped a TD in the end zone.

Most of the Linc fell silent and quietly applauded. However, a few bad apples apparently yelled “ You Suck Cruz” . Philadelphia radio host tweeted “Hey Giants fans, Cruz’s season is over. Dance to that.”, which was a reference to Cruz salsa dance Td celebration This is more fuel to the fire of the bad reputation of Philadelphia fans. Even though this tweet was over-exaggerated was, it fits the narrative of Philly fans being sick and disgusting human beings, so the media ran with it. It led to this cover of the New York Daily News.


Of course, it's obvious that the Eagles staffer was celebrating the incomplete pass on a crucial fourth down, and he was not yet aware that Cruz was injured. Brandon Lee Gowton summarizes the situation brilliantly here. At some point the media will catch on that fans in other cities have done far more heinous things than the Philly faithful - San Francisco and Oakland have beaten opposing fans nearly to death within the past year alone - but for now they just continue to take the lazy storyline and run with it.

As of now it looks as if NFC East will come down to wire. They first play each other on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas.

Next up:
Titans at Redskins 1pm
Giants at Cowboys- 4:25 pm
Eagles- Bye Week

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