Becoming The Bar


In life, it’s easier to fail than it is to succeed. In sports, it’s easier to lose than it is to win. You have to have talent, skills, chemistry, motivation and willing to put the team first. Dominance is not achieved by accident. Consistency doesn’t happen overnight. Gregg Popovich and Bill Belichick have set the bar in their respective sports for almost the past 2 decades.

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There are plenty of similarities between the two in my eyes. Both have won 5 championships as head coaches (Popovich: 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014. Belichick: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017). Each coach has had a transcending and iconic player during their championship runs (Popovich: Tim Duncan. Belichick: Tom Brady). Both coaches have established a culture to where it’s about the name on the front of the jersey instead of the back. When it comes to the media, both of them have had unique responses to questions asked.

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Even with the success, both have had their share of scrutiny. Popovich has been criticized for being “short” with his answers to questions about basketball. However, he’s opinionated about questions outside of the sport, like politics and social issues. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it because life is bigger than the NBA, but I understand the frustration of the media at times. Belichick and the New England Patriots were under fire for “Spygate” and “Deflategate”. Spygate occurred in 2007 when the team was caught filming the New York Jets play-call signals. Deflategate happened in 2015 against the Indianapolis Colts during the AFC Championship game where the Patriots were accused of having slightly underinflated footballs.

What I do appreciate the most about both coaches is their consistency over the years. Since the NBA lockout shortened-season in 1999, the San Antonio Spurs have won a least 50 games each season and are on pace to extend the streak this season. The Spurs have been able to demonstrate their winning culture with different players over the years. It started with the “Twin Tower” era with David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Then it changed to the Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili era. Now Kawhi Leonard is the face of the franchise with LaMarcus Aldridge next to him. The common denominator has been Gregg Popovich and his ability to adjust his coaching with the personnel around him.

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Since becoming the head coach in 2000 for the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick has won 15 division titles and has won at least 10 games since 2003. Like the San Antonio Spurs, the Patriots have been able to continue their winning culture by plugging in players around Tom Brady that fits the system. Brady went from having Troy Brown as his favorite target to Deion Branch, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman.

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When you set the bar for excellence, you eventually become the bar. Gregg Popovich and Bill Belichick have done just that. With respect to Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley, I believe Gregg Popovich is the greatest coach in NBA history. I firmly believe the same for Bill Belichick in the NFL. You don’t have to be a fan of either, but you have to respect their greatness to keep this longevity of excellence up for almost 20 years.

JGOOD

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Top 5 NFL Tight Ends Entering 2016


 


Note: This list is who is the best tight ends right now.  Past accolades and accomplishments alone will not move you higher on the list.  This list is based on skill, talent, age, and the ability to perform.

Honorable Mentions:

Delanie Walker (Titans); Antonio Gates (Chargers); Jimmy Graham (Seahawks)

 

5) Travis Kelce, Chiefs

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Before Jeremy Maclin joined the Kansas City Chiefs last season, their passing game was almost nonexistent. Not one wide receiver caught a touchdown during the 2014 season. Besides Jamaal Charles, Travis Kelce has been “Mr Reliable” during his tenure there. He’s not the fastest but he has great hands and a high motor. With Charles still recovering from his torn ACL, Kelce might become the go to option again.

4) Jordan Reed, Redskins

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Jordan Reed is injury prone but when healthy, he’s explosive in the passing game. His speed is deceiving, and his hands are incredible. Reed always finds a way to get open with his exceptional route running. He has to stay on the field in order for the Washington Redskins to continue to have success.

3) Tyler Eifert, Bengals

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This prototype came into his own last season, scoring a league high 13 touchdowns at his position. Tyler Eifert has been everything the Cincinnati Bengals hoped for when they drafted him in 2013. The only knock on him, like most players, is the inability to consistently stay on the field.

2) Greg Olsen, Panthers

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Greg Olsen has been Cam Newton’s most consistent target and producer during his tenure in Carolina. Olsen has outstanding hands, exceptional route running capabilities, high football IQ and awareness. Olsen has performed in the clutch and doesn’t back down from the big stage. You almost can’t ask for better player on your team.

1) Rob Gronkowski, Patriots

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At the end of the day, nobody is better than “Gronk” at the tight end position. At 6 foot 6 inches, 265 pounds, he’s too big for defensive backs to cover and too fast for linebackers. And what makes matters worse, he’s only 27 years old and Tom Brady is his quarterback (except the first four games of this upcoming season due to his suspension). He will continue to horrifying opposing defenses for many more years to come.

JGOOD 

Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview (A Nino Brown Story)


Entering week 4, I am sitting at the top of my league at 3-0. Gronk has been the MVP for my team and Cam Newton is making a serious case to take the crown. As you see below that my roster is slightly different from the one entering week 1. Marshawn Lynch has been my worst RB through the mist of the season. Fortunately for me, Latavius Murray, Carlos Hyde, and Danny Woodhead have been exceptional. Initially, I felt my WR core was above-average with the ability to be great. Randall Cobb and Jarvis Landry have played well. The resurgence of Larry Fitzgerald has catapulted my core into something dangerous. Granted I don’t have Julio Jones, AJ Green, or Antonio Brown, but my core as a whole makes my team respectable. The Bills defense has played strong, despite that debacle against New England. My quarterbacks have played better than I thought, and it’s well needed. Teddy has had his moments, but I’m still shaky on him. Cam Newton has been playing like the superman that he has always imitated. And Gronk… well… he’s Gronk.

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With that being said, I’m headed into week 4 playing against Hustle Gang GDOD. As shown below I’m projected to win, but he hasn’t changed his RB spot yet. My main concern is Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton exploding against Jacksonville. If that happens, things can get interesting.

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JGOOD

Fantasy Football Week 1 Preview (A Nino Brown Story)


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Fantasy Football

I start the season off going against Team Air It Out. Last year I made it to the champion game and…… lost (That unfortunate DeMarco Murray ankle injury). This season, I’m ready to get my crown back (I won 4 years ago). As shown below, my opponent has a slight edge according to the projections

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Week 1 Starters

(I have the Bills Defense and K Dan Bailey. He has the Dolphins Defense and K Justin Tucker)

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Week 1 Bench

My QB situation isn’t the best, but I feel like I should be able to get by (for now). I’m solid at RB and especially at WR. I’m still debating who I should flex (Markus Wheaton is looking appealing). Hopefully Gronk can do what Gronk does best (make plays and score touchdowns!) I have a couple of “home run hitters” in the lineup (Cobb and Murray). If either one of those goes off, I might be in luck. All in all, I feel like O’dell Beckham Jr is the x-factor for this week’s match up. If ODB goes has 100+ receiving yards and 2 TD’s, I might be in some serious trouble. Dallas secondary isn’t amazing either so that could. actually happen (just my luck). If anything, I’m just excited to see some football again, starting tonight!

JGood

Are You Ready For Some (Fantasy) Football?


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As we all know, the NFL regular season is right around the corner. Quite a few things have happened between now and my NFL Preview post that was shared about a week ago. Kelvin Benjamin and Jordy Nelson (allegedly) both torn their ACLs, Reggie Wayne taking a physical and SIGNING with New England, RG3 gets a concussion, and Randy Moss hints on a possible return. Drafting RG3 and Reggie was never an option but Jordy and Kelvin were on my radar.

I play in multiple fantasy football leagues (FFL) every year. Some are recreational and some are competitive. I have about 3 or 4 leagues that ate considered my “main leagues”, and display one of them in a few.

Fantasy football allows you to pick your own team from all the players in the NFL. You score points based on the performances of the players every week in a head to head match up. In a standard league, you would start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (WR RB or TE), 1 D/ST (Defense and Special Teams), and 1 K. In the league I’m showcasing, majority of the rules are the same except you have to start 2 QBs and it’s PPR (Points Per Reception).

When drafting, you usually want to take RBs first because the position is scarce and there’s not enough productive players at that position. You really shouldn’t draft a QB until the 6th round, a D/ST until the 13th round, AND A KICKER SHOULD ALWAYS BE A TAKEN IN THE LAST ROUND AND NOT BEFORE!!

There are a few exceptions. When you have all pro players like Aaron Rodgers, Gronk, and Antonio Brown that’s ranked high on the draft board, it’s hard to ignore them. Here’s an example:

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I am the commissioner of this league and have been for 5 years. My team name is Nino Brown. If you watched “New Jack City” you would understand the name. I had the 4th overall pick and I ended up taking Marshawn Lynch which is solid considering Le’Veon Bell, Adrian Peterson, and Jamaal Charles were gone. Now the way the draft was shaping out, somehow Gronk was still available when it was my turn to pick again. Knowing the WR is the deepest position, I took him because TEs are a hit a miss 9 times out of 10. He’s the 1 out of 10.

I really like my team because there’s no real weaknesses, like last year. Cobb, Bridgewater, Hyde and Murray should have a fantastic year. I have a few sleepers and all-star talent. I will this league updated every week on here so you can follow along. If you want any FFL league advice or anything football related, just let me know!

JGOOD