NFL Top 10 Players of 2017

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I realized that the NBA Awards are not the only interesting sports awards happening tonight because NFL Network‘s Top 100 Players of 2017 concludes tonight at 8 pm ET on (you guessed it!) NFL Network. Although the NBA Awards are a little more official and have flashier trophies that come with them, the NFL’s list of the Top 100 players is always interesting to see because it gives an inside look at what NFL players think of their peers. Today, the list of names in the Top 10 was released in alphabetical order, so let’s reorder them in order of greatness as a guess for how the ranking will shake out this evening:

  1. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (16 games: 69.9 completion % for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 3 fumbles for a 117.1 passer rating)
  2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (16 games: 65.7 completion % for 4,428 yards and 40 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 104.2 passer rating)
  3. Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos (16 games: 78 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles with 0 fumble recoveries, 0 interceptions and 0 touchdowns)
  4. Odell Beckham Jr, WR, New York Giants (16 games: 101 receptions on 169 targets for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns with 1 fumble)
  5. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (15 games: 106 receptions on 155 targets for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns with 0 fumbles)
  6. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (15 games: 322 carries for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns with 5 fumbles; 32 catches on 40 targets for 363 yards and 1 touchdown with 0 fumbles)
  7. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (14 games: 83 receptions on 129 targets for 1,409 yards and 6 touchdowns with 0 fumbles)
  8. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (12 games: 67.4 completion % for 3,554 yards and 28 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 112.2 passer rating)
  9. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (12 games: 261 carries for 1,268 yards and 7 touchdowns with 3 fumbles; 75 catches on 94 targets for 616 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 fumble)
  10. Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders (16 games: 73 combined tackles, 11 sacks, 5 forced fumbles with 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 1 touchdown)

Explanations:

  • I have Khalil Mack ranked last because all the Derek Carr fans seem to think that Carr does everything by himself on CARR’S team. Apparently, despite statistics indicating the contrary, Carr outperformed Dak Prescott last year just because the Raiders have a lesser RB, O-line, and defense. If the Raiders have a lesser defense, so be it. So, I ranked Mack pretty much solely on resentment for all Oakland Derek Carrs (I mean, Oakland Raiders) fans, Derek Carr fans, Fresno State fans, and people from the city of Oakland.
  • You’ll notice that the other 9 players are first organized by number of games played. For those of you who read my NBA Awards post last night, you’ll remember that I said I value most the players that stay injury and suspension free to be there for their team when their team needs them. That rings true for the NFL, too.
  • Tom Brady is ranked above Le’Veon Bell in the “12 games” category because Brady once again led the New England Patriots to their most thrilling Super Bowl victory yet.
  • In the “15 games” category, I ranked Antonio Brown over Ezekiel Elliott because Brown didn’t have any turnovers. The two most important things for an offensive player are holding on to the ball and scoring. Brown was +5 in the holding on to the ball category and Zeke was +4 in the scoring category. 5>4, so Brown edges Zeke.
  • The “16 games” category was the trickiest because there were four players (not including Khalil Mack, of course) who fell into that category. Ultimately, I put the two QBs at the top because QBs are the most valuable players for a franchise. The two Super Bowl teams were both led by QBs on this Top 10 list (Matt Ryan for the Atlanta Falcons and Tom Brady for the New England Patriots), while the teams without definitive starting QBs include the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Rams, etc. The one anomaly was the Houston Texans, who got to the playoffs (and defeated the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs, by the way!) on the arms of Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage.
  • So, 3 and 4 were between Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. I chose Miller over Beckham because, although I love OBJ as a fan of Big Blue, a defensive player usually manages to crack the top 3. Also, OBJ’s stats dropped off this year from last year. Also-also (yes, I meant to put two “also”s there), 13.5 sacks in the NFL is very impressive, especially on a defense that almost carried the Denver Broncos to the playoffs despite Trevor Siemian (don’t get me started on Northwestern) starting at QB.
  • 1 and 2 were easy from there. Matt Ryan a higher completion %, more yards, fewer fumbles, and a higher passer rating than Aaron Rodgers. Oh, Ryan also won the MVP award and led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl, so there’s that.

That’s all for TheHaysWay for now, please leave a comment with your thoughts on my Top 10 ranking and/or on your own Top 10 ranking and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is always welcome to help me improve my blog. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to improve your greatness ranking (and mine, too) 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow!

An Unexpected Journey, Music in Science, and Multiple Football Stories!

Say what you will about life, it never ceases to surprise. For example, you might think Chick-Fil-A is colossally overrated. But, that doesn’t stop you from making a half-hour trek to the nearest one for free 8-piece chicken nuggets. (By the way, if you haven’t tried their chocolate chip cookies, you need to. They are dynamite.) Another example, sometimes your ex-girlfriend’s best friend will start hitting on you. And when you turn her down the first time, she turns into a total Star Wars nerd to attempt to impress you and tries again six months later. And even one more example, sometimes the Trail Blazers lose. (OK, that last one really isn’t surprising 😦 Oh well.)

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Anyway, I got this brilliant idea today of incorporating more music into science. Frankly, I think science sucks. It is INSANELY boring, to the point where I had no idea one subject could be so boring. Though, in science’s defense, it really includes a multitude of individual subjects. Seriously, though, what if we could cure diseases with music? Scientists have been looking for elements to cure diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, but have they tried rhythm as one of those elements? Or major or minor tonalities? This probably sounds ridiculous, but I think they should give it a shot. Music is so powerful on an emotional level already so I don’t see why it can’t also be powerful on a physical level. Plus, that would make science WAY more entertaining.

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In unrelated news, Madden Mobile got a new update today.

In football news, I read an article about what QB-needy teams should do during the offseason. I didn’t read the specifics because I already know exactly what they should do: Play for the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Seriously, the top trade option at the position is Tony Romo. He’s a solid QB as long as you don’t mind using your backup for the majority of the season and having absolutely no ability to win games that actually matter. I also saw a list of the top QBs in the draft this season. Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer topped the list. You know this draft is doomed when the top option is a guy who led Notre Dame to its worst season in recent memory BY FAR. Also, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield wasn’t even in the top 5. And Clemson’s DeShaun Watson was #2. AND DESHONE KIZER WAS #1! WHAT THE ABSOLUTE….!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!!??!?!?

In other football news, the Green Bay Packers have officially fixed the hole that New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr created in their locker room wall. So, no more memes of different people’s faces inside the hole.

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OK, One more

Also, I just want to say for the record that the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be hard-pressed to beat the New England Patriots this weekend with all of the controversy surrounding the events that occurred in their locker room after their Divisional Round game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Between head coach Mike Tomlin’s profanity and WR Antonio Brown’s Facebook live video, the Steelers seem far too distracted to be a Super Bowl team. In fact, I seem to remember things going poorly for a Wild Card team this season that had their WRs distracted by a trip to Miami…

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In contrast to the distracted Steelers, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke to the media today. One reporter asked him about the importance of home field advantage. “I don’t know, ask Kansas City and Dallas.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, you know, as much as I hate Belichick for saying things like that, I love Belichick for saying things like that. I’m sure the fact that he doesn’t give a **** about so called “advantages” is why he is the greatest head coach of all time. I also admire the fact that he can say things like that with a straight face.

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That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on life’s surprises and/or on music in science and/or on football, lots of football, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower (you may do so with a Belichick straight face, if you like. Though, I will be smiling, regardless) 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily News: August 31, 2016

So, before I begin, I want to say that I’ve decided to split the daily news apart from the daily quote because the posts were getting WAY too long with the game analysis, now that football is back. Also, I want to start with the game analysis, but the game isn’t over yet, so I’m going to start with the general news:

  1. The expectation is that the 2017 NFL Draft will be in Philadelphia. It has not been officially announced yet, but it sounds like the city of brotherly love has won the sweepstakes for “most popular city in late April/early May”. Obviously, as a Giants fan, I don’t like the verdict. But, the draft was in New York for a LONG time, so I don’t have much room to complain. Oh well.
  2. The legacies of LBs James Harrison (Pittsburgh Steelers), Clay Mathews (Green Bay Packers, and Julius Peppers (Green Bay Packers) are safe, for now. All three were cleared following the NFL’s probe into accusations of PED usage. Thank goodness. I always hate to hear that great players cheated to be great. It’s good to know that these three did not. Harrison, apparently, even made a cool, celebratory collage!
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown has had his contract restructured with the team. He is still signed through the 2017 season, but he will make $10.25 million this season, instead of his original $6.25 million. Well deserved; Brown is the best receiver in the NFL, and a staple in the Steelers offense. I’m sure this excited him, Steelers nation, and QB Ben Roethlisberger.
  4. Speaking of the Pittsburgh Steelers (they’re popular today), they signed QB Zach Mettenberger, today. The QB was released by the San Diego Chargers earlier this week, and I said that he should call the Minnesota Vikings, following the injury to QB Teddy Bridgewater. But, he wasn’t a free agent long enough to make that call. Now, he will backup QB Ben Roethlisberger (who usually misses a game or two each season). To make room for Mettenberger, the Steelers placed QB Bruce Gradkowski on injured reserve, with a hamstring injury. Good signing. Mettenberger will be a MUCH better fill-in than Landry Jones, who hasn’t found ANY traction since he entered the league. Honestly, I don’t know why the Steelers are still keeping Jones on the roster.

The game is now over, so moving on to game analysis:

  1. Washington Redskins 20 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13– Noteworthy: For Washington, RB Mack Brown (19 CAR, 149 YD, TD) had a HUGE game. That’s great news for the Redskins, as they are leaning on RB Matt Jones to start for the first time in his career. If Jones struggles, they can turn to Brown. For Tampa Bay, their defense REALLY struggled. They had no TO. Against an offense that is as lackluster as Washington’s, that’s definitely something to worry about for the Bucs. They only need average play from their defense this season to allow QB Jameis Winston, RB Doug Martin, and WR Mike Evans to keep the offense ahead in points.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily news and/or on the game analysis and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you read this before the daily quote, don’t worry, just scroll down a little. I posted the daily quote first, today, so it’s still there. If you like what you read and you are not yet a follower, become a follower to continue to get both the daily news, and the daily quote. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Weekend Update: July 31, 2016

“If nothing else in life, I want to be true to the things I believe in, and quite simply, to what I’m all about. I know I’d better, because it seems whenever I take a false step or two I feel the consequences.” –Peyton Manning, Future Hall of Fame QB

I wanted to put this fantastic new commercial in my post today. I didn’t really have a topic of discussion in mind for today, so I went with the purely entertaining route. DirecTV has fantastic commercials. This one is so good, I found a video that plays it twice. Plus, it has Manning AND Lionel Richie in it. That’s what I call a win-win. For more entertaining Peyton Manning-related content: 2016 ESPYs-Peyton Manning Tribute. But, to be a little philosophical about the quote, I agree with him. If you believe in something, stick with it because it will pay off. For me personally, my life is pretty great. In fact, it’s almost perfect. I credit that to the fact that I try to be as selfless as possible. It seems as though the few things that prevent my life from being totally perfect are things that resulted from moments of selfishness. So, I also agree with the ‘feel the consequences’ part. This blog is one way that I do my best to be selfless. I write the quote of the day and the following philosophical analysis because I want to inspire people. I want to inspire as many people as possible to believe in themselves. In my experience, the only better feeling than believing in yourself, comes from helping others believe in themselves. Plus, I truthfully believe that everybody has, within them, whatever they need, to accomplish whatever they want. I believe that I can inspire many people to believe in themselves, and not just via this blog. I also believe in myself as a writer, and as a sports fan. That’s why I write the daily NFL news:

  1. Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins began a contract holdout during the previous week. I guess he realized how ridiculous that was with two years left on his rookie contract because his holdout has already ended as of today. That’s good news for QB Brock Osweiler, because he could use as much practice as possible with the team’s top receiving threat.
  2. I, along with every other New York Giants fan and team member, received a massive scare today when WR Odell Beckham Jr was carted off the practice field. Luckily, he’s okay. He collided with CB Janoris Jenkins during practice, and Jenkins’ cleats left Beckham with a couple of minor cuts on his left leg. Head coach Ben McAdoo told the media today that, “He’s (Beckham) probably going to be sore for a couple days.” In essence, crisis averted.
  3. In other WR news, Antonio Brown is itching for a new contract in Pittsburgh. While he isn’t holding out like Hopkins, he is gently nudging the team by speaking about the situation with the media. Brown is entering year 5 of a 6 year deal, and makes just north of $6 million this season. His new deal will likely be worth A LOT more than that, whether it is with the Steelers, or another team. Regardless, the Steelers don’t have to start worrying about a new contract for Brown until next season.
  4. Houston Texans DE JJ Watt had back surgery this offseason. He is currently on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform List, and is unsure if he will be ready to go week 1. Should Watt sit week 1, (which isn’t likely with his love for the game) the team’s newly-revamped offense will be tested to keep pace with a breach in their defense’s containment.
  5. Carolina Panthers DE Kony Ealy is in the league’s concussion protocol after a helmet-to-helmet hit during Saturday’s practice. Ealy is in line for a bigger role in Carolina, so the team (and obviously, Ealy) is hoping he can come back quickly.
  6. Los Angeles Rams RB Tre Mason is trying to follow QB Nick Foles out the door. The RB has decided not to report to Rams camp. He has not spoken to the team since last season ended, and he has had five, police-involved incidents in the last four months. Foles left because of the young QB Jared Goff, Mason is leaving because of the young RB Todd Gurley.
  7. San Francisco 49ers OT Anthony Davis has been reinstated by the NFL, officially ending his retirement. Davis isn’t a lock to start, but likely will prove to be effective for a 49ers team that is DESPERATELY looking for talent. Even with Davis back, the 49ers season outlook is bleak.
  8. The Dallas Cowboys. They have been in the news recently for their troubled front seven on defense. Ironically, the team has now decided to change their entire outlook. With many Americans against the police right now, the Cowboys have requested, and received permission to wear a “Arm in Arm” decal on their helmets during preseason games, to show support for the police. This may be a tactic by owner Jerry Jones to deflect the negative feedback that he’s received over his front seven’s problems, but regardless, it is a very nice gesture.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote, and/or the daily news, and/or whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: July 28, 2016

And yet, you were the one who said fear was necessary for command.” -Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Star Trek

Chris Pine is a phenomenal actor and the franchise reboot was done masterfully (albeit with an excessive amount of lens flares, Abrams). Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything from Star Trek: Beyond for you guys. In fact, I won’t even give my opinion on it right now. You’ll have to go watch it yourself. Anyway, this is one of the more interesting themes from the 2009 original reboot (yes, that’s an oxymoron): Fear. Fear is a large aspect in life. A lot of what people do is in relation to how they feel about fear. That’s what sets the bold apart from the complacent. The bold face their fears, and the complacent, do not. I agree with Spock (Kirk is referring to him when he says ‘you’), fear is necessary for command. The greatest of leaders are the ones who are able to overcome their fears to perform when the group they are leading needs them to do so the most. As this is a sports blog, I will give a sports example. In sports, those great leaders are typically considered ‘clutch’. I’m sure Cleveland was terrified when the Cavaliers were down 1-3 against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals this year. LeBron James overcame his fear of falling just short again and led his team to the amazing comeback that I use as a frequent example for things in my blog, now. So, fear is necessary for command because fear is what builds those commanders and teaches them to be able to lead, no matter what situation they are facing. To be perfectly honest, I am absolutely terrified of bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets (and any other flying, black-and-yellow insects with stingers). I am also afraid that I will encounter a hopeless situation. I live my life with total belief that I can accomplish anything, if only I find the correct approach. But, I recognize that it is not possible to have COMPLETE control of every situation. Sometimes, I can’t accomplish something because key choices involved in the accomplishment are not mine to make. It sucks when a situation doesn’t work out because of the doing of someone else. It’s like working in a group when a group member doesn’t do what they are supposed to for the team to run smoothly. Fear drives us. However, I write the NFL news without fear:

  1. Dallas Cowboys LB Rolando McClain did not travel with the team to California for training camp. An explanation for this has yet to be delivered to the public, but it IS possible that McClain could be headed out the door soon in Dallas. He is already suspended for the first 10 games of this season, and this certainly doesn’t make it seem like he is committed to football.
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell plans to appeal his four-game suspension for violating the league policy on substances of abuse. Much like New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, I doubt the appeal will amount to anything for Bell. Honestly, I’m getting really tired of NFL players appealing their suspensions. If they hadn’t made mistakes in the first place, they wouldn’t be suspended. So if they want to avoid suspensions, they need to stop doing stupid things that they know they aren’t supposed to do!
  3. New York Jets WR Brandon Marshall challenged Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown to a high-stakes bet today. If Marshall ends the season with more receiving yards, he wants Brown’s Rolls Royce. If Brown ends the season with more receiving yards, Marshall has offered to get him a Porsche. Brown has yet to accept the bet, saying, “He [Marshall] don’t really wanna do that.” That’s a lucky statement for Marshall, who likely won’t come close to Brown’s receiving totals, despite having QB Ryan Fitzpatrick back in the building. Back out while you can Marshall! Brown is just more productive than you.
  4. The Minnesota Vikings have extended the contract of head coach Mike Zimmer. The length of the contract has yet to become available to the public, but I think it’s a great deal for both parties. The Vikings really don’t need too much more talent to get to the Super Bowl, the team is really good right now and has the youth to compete for many years to come.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote, and/or the daily news and/or anything that’s on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Weekend in Review: July 10, 2016

(Very minor language in the following scene)”When life gives you lemons? Don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad!” -Cave Johnson, Founder of Aperture Science

For those of you who have played Portal 2, you likely remember the EXACT moment this was said in the game. It is a FANTASTIC rant. For those of you who haven’t played Portal 2, I HIGHLY encourage you to give it a shot. It is a very well-done game and it’s loads of fun. I actually have played through the solo campaign AT LEAST 15 times. I once played it so many times in a row, that I memorized it, and finished the whole campaign in about 3 hours. (Hey, I’m proud of it! I don’t care how nerdy it is! It’s fun!) Even for those of you who aren’t gamers, you will likely find something fascinating throughout this game. I LOVE this rant. He’s SO right. Life throws a lot of crap at us that we don’t want, and we don’t deserve. Don’t just take it. Fight back. It’s like bullying. If you are the victim, the best way to stop the bully is to fight back and beat him/her. So fight back against life. Show life that the crap it throws at you is beneficial for you. There is a positive for every negative, and all you have to do is find it and embrace it. For example, the death of my beloved television was one instance of life giving me lemons. But I didn’t just take it. I fought back with a NEW television. A BETTER television. So my Madden, Portal 2, and Star Wars (I got an AWESOME new Kylo Ren lightsaber over the weekend!) marathon experiences now have a sharper picture! Take THAT life! Getting mad isn’t even the best way to do it. If you can beat the crap that life throws your way without letting it get to you, you are even better off. Again paralleling bullying, the bully (life) wants to affect you to hurt your self-esteem. If you don’t let it affect you, it will stop bullying you. There is always a way to succeed. Life will NEVER beat you when you STOP it. Now the news:

  1. Former NFL QB Michael Vick posted a photo-shopped picture of himself wearing a Golden State Warriors jersey today. I really only have one word for that: No.
  2. University of Oregon WR Devon Allen has booked his flight for the Rio Olympics. He placed FIRST in the US qualifying finals of the 110-meter hurdles yesterday night. INCREDIBLY impressive for a college athlete. Good for him, and best of luck at the Olympics. Bring home the gold for the US!
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell has been injured since tearing his MCL and PCL in Week 8 of last season. He believes he is on track with his rehab, and claims he will be ready for training camp. Though most players exaggerate how well they are doing in rehab, this is GREAT news for the Steelers. Bell is one of the best RBs in the NFL today, and the Steelers are FANTASTIC when their big three of Bell, QB Ben Roethlisberger, and WR Antonio Brown are all healthy.
  4. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley came out and said that he “couldn’t ask for better QB” of rookie Rams QB Jared Goff. Goff appears to be doing all the right things so far in gaining the support of prominent teammates like Gurley. How well he performs as a QB at the NFL level won’t be displayed until he hits the field in REAL games. If Gurley is right, the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks will need to watch their backs in the NFC West sooner, rather than later.
  5. There has been a lot of controversy lately regarding which WRs are the best in the league due to some questionable rankings in the “Top 100 Players of 2016” list. Personally, I believe Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is the top dog in that group due to his consistent production every season. The next two are (supposedly) WR Odell Beckham Jr (duh) and WR Julio Jones? Beckham has the best hands in the league by far, so I believe he should be number 2 over Jones. I don’t believe Jones is number three. Who is, then? Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery? Definite possibility because he has been putting up big numbers with JAY CUTLER as his QB. He was also good enough to push WR Brandon Marshall and TE Martellus Bennett out of town. Cincinnati Bengals WR AJ Green? He has been the lone wolf receiving threat in Cincinnati (until TE Tyler Eifert’s emergence last season) and has put up big numbers. Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant? Played well even in the absence of starting QB Tony Romo. Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas? Has played VERY well despite receiving from QB Tim Tebow, and past-prime QB Peyton Manning. Okay, for last season ALONE, Jones definitely has a shot at the number three spot. However, personally, I would go with WR AJ Green. He really allowed for the emergence of both QB Andy Dalton and TE Tyler Eifert last season. Why did I bring this up? I bought an awesome statuette of New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr over the weekend! If you haven’t heard of McFarlane Figures, check them out because they make a lot of NFL player statuettes. So, I now have my OBJ one on my desk next to my New York Giants WR Victor Cruz one. Hopefully, the New York Giants starting offense this season will have the same duo.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the daily news and/or anything that’s on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like (quick shout-out: my last post received quite a few likes, so thank you all VERY much for that and PLEASE tell me what you liked so much so that I can continue to improve like count 🙂 ). Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: June 23, 2016

“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.” -A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Statesman

So, I’ve been running through The Hunger Games movies for the past three days (yes, I know there are four, I’ll be watching the last one tomorrow), which is why I’ve been putting in scenes from those movies. Frankly, I wanted an excuse to put “The Hanging Tree” into today’s post, and this quote is that excuse. Although I personally feel that Mockingjay: Part 1 is just an extended commercial for Mockingjay: Part 2, my favorite part of the book trilogy-turned-movie quadrilogy is definitely this song. In regard to the quote, I don’t totally agree. While I do agree that it is important to set up a better tomorrow, I don’t believe we need to sacrifice today for that purpose. I live my life by telling myself everyday that this day is going to be the new best day ever. I admit, I don’t always believe myself when I say that, but I ALWAYS say it, and it helps me be a better person because of it. You may be wondering, ‘How do you believe that today will be the best day ever if you ‘know’ that tomorrow will be better?’ It’s not so much that today needs to be the best day ever as it is that today needs to be the best day it can be. Life will not always go our way, in fact, it often doesn’t. But, as long as we believe that each day will get better, it will improve our lives, as well as the lives of the people and the world around us. So let’s continue making this day the new best day ever with some NFL news:

  1. The NFL is partnering with the Cirque du Soleil. This is actually a really interesting story. The partnership is building a theater and interactive exhibit in Times Square. Some features include: NFL films being displayed on a four-story video board and Cirque shows capturing the NFL game day experience. Basically, both organizations are attempting to gain each other’s fan bases to add to their own. I’m not a big fan of the intent, but the concept sounds astounding!

As promised, I have some cool NFL analysis in the event of a lack of NFL news. NFL.com recently released a list of their top 10 non-QBs in the league today, so I have done the same. Take a look:

  1. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans- No surprise here, the three time DPOY, Watt is the heart and soul of the Houston Texans. He is possibly the best defensive player of all time with his abilities to attack QBs, throw the football, and catch the football. He is probably the most diverse player in the NFL.
  2. Odell Beckham Jr, WR, New York Giants- Ok, maybe I’m a little biased, but hear me out. Odell is probably the best WR in the league for multiple reasons. Firstly, he has Eli Manning throwing him the football. Eli definitely has his moments, but he is about as inconsistent as a QB gets. Despite Eli’s inconsistencies, Odell consistently puts up at least 90 yards per game. He doesn’t have the luxury of having a consistent QB like Antonio Brown or Julio Jones. Secondly, the 90 yard per game rule still applied against the best CB of 2016: Josh Norman. Although Norman got in Odell’s head, leading to Odell’s one-game suspension, Odell still torched Norman for over 90 yards in that game. Thirdly, the catch. The best catch of all time. Nobody has hands like Odell.
  3. Bill Belichick, Head Coach, New England Patriots- I never said this list was all players. Belichick has won four Super Bowls for the Pats. Yes, most of his success hinged on a QB in the form of Tom Brady, but Belichick also has a knack for finding amazing WRs out of nowhere. See: Julian Edelman, Wes Welker, and now Chris Hogan (who has been drawing rave reviews from Pats OTAs).
  4. Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos- This guy was Super Bowl MVP for a reason. There is NO DOUBT that the Broncos had the best defense of last season, and that is all because of Miller. Sack artist, hard hitter, natural leader. He is a GREAT defensive anchor.
  5. Luke Kuechly, MLB, Carolina Panthers- Kuechly rose to fame almost as fast as Odell did. He is the anchor of the Carolina defense that went 15-1 in the regular season, and went to the Super Bowl. Drafted in 2013, he is already the best at his position, with nobody else within shouting distance.
  6. Chris Harris Jr, CB, Denver Broncos- Perhaps you’ve heard of Aqib Talib? He is a top-10 CB in the league. He also plays CB2 for the Broncos defense. Who is the CB1? Chris Harris Jr. He is better than Aqib Talib, therefore, he is one of the best CBs in the league and, in my opinion, the best right now.
  7. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers- He has been lucky to play with a top-5 QB and a top-5 running back, but Brown is a freak of nature. He has the speed to take any pass to the house. If you want explosive, the first man you call is Antonio Brown.
  8. Joe Haden, CB, Cleveland Browns- Just barely beat out by Harris, Haden is the lone bright spot on the Browns. No matter how much they lose, Browns fans are still treated to a show by Haden on a weekly basis. That is definitely something to cheer for.
  9. Travis Frederick, C, Dallas Cowboys- Offensive linemen never get enough credit. Remember how RB Darren McFadden looked like an all-star behind the Dallas o-line last year. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: the anchor of the league’s best o-line.
  10. Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots- What better way to end the list than with the guy that completes the team? You can’t have a football team without the kicker. When it comes to a kicker that can win football games for your team, there is nobody I’d rather have than Gostkowski. Don’t let his missed extra point in this season’s AFC Championship fool you, this man can kick.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the daily news. Also, I would love to hear your own list of the top 10 non-QBs in the NFL today, as well as your opinion on my list. Please leave a much-appreciated like whether you comment, or not. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Days in Review: July 23-26, 2015

Welcome back everybody! Sorry I’ve missed a few days due to a business trip, but I’ve got some big news to talk about today:

1. The Indianapolis Colts released OT Gosder Cherilus. Cherilus signed a five-year deal with the Colts two years ago, but spent two years with the team, and the previous five seasons with the Detroit Lions.

2. The New Orleans Saints cut LB Junior Galette. Galette signed a four-year deal with the Saints last season, but only played one season of the new deal. He spent the four years before that with the Saints as well.

3. The Minnesota Vikings extended the contract of K Blair Walsh. The extension is for four seasons, $14 million with $5.25 million guaranteed. The deal follows K Stephen Gostkowski’s $17.2 million four-year deal with the Pats, signed last week. Both of these deals are likely a result of the NFL moving the PATs back for next season, requiring teams to have better kickers (which may not make a difference if QB Tim Tebow is always converting two-point conversion attempts). Walsh has spent the past three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

4. The United States won gold at the football world championships. AMERICA! The Dylan Favre (yes he’s related to former Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre (he’s his nephew) and is also a QB) led team USA beat Japan 59-12 in the championship game. For those of you wondering, this is why football isn’t an Olympic sport. Other countries can’t even compete with guys who AREN’T in the NFL. Can you imagine the score if other countries had to play a QB Aaron Rodgers-led offense and a DE JJ Watt-led defense? Hint: It would be a triple-digit win for the USA.

5. Check it out: WR Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers has this LEGIT custom Rolls Royce that he’s been showing off a training camp- Antonio Brown's Custom Rolls Royce

6. Check it out: QB Eli Manning of the NEW YORK GIANTS!!! and QB Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys show off their acting skills as the new ‘Rob Lowes’ in DirecTV commercials. Here they are: 

As much as it pains me to say, Romo is a slightly better actor than Eli. But Eli is a better winner, so who cares about acting abilities?

7. THE BIGGEST NEWS: S Earl Thomas’ status for the Seattle Seahawks season opener is UNCERTAIN. Thomas injured his shoulder during the ‘Hawks NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers and underwent surgery this offseason. It was previously thought that he would be back, but the recovery has gone slower than expected. Honestly, I think the ‘Hawks are good enough to get by without Thomas for a little while, but the injury will definitely hurt them in terms of having a hole at FS.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, have a pleasant tomorrow.