The storylines in play at this season's Super Bowl seem endless. They go from stupid and overblown (deflategate) to historic (New England Head Coach Bill Belichick going for a record-tying fourth title). One of my favorites though is the match-up of quarterbacks. On one side you have Tom Brady, the 37 year-old veteran playing in his sixth Super Bowl; and on the other side you have Russell Wilson, the third-year player and defending champion. The NFL is a quarterback driven league, and it often takes a great quarterback to become a champion. Everyone has a list of their top Super Bowl QBs, so I decided to take a crack at it myself:
#1. Tom Brady
Yes, I am biased. Yes, I am a New England Patriots fan. In this case, however, I think I have a pretty strong argument. This is his aforementioned sixth time playing in the big game, winning three times before. The other two times, the Pats lost late in the fourth quarter. He is a few breaks away from winning all five. He has won two game MVPs and now is the all-time leader in postseason touchdown passes. You can make an argument for other players, but it's tough to knock the credentials of Brady.
#2. Joe Montana
While I have Brady slightly ahead, most other people place Joe Montana at the top of their lists, and with good reason. Montana played in and won all four times he appeared in the Super Bowl. He was game MVP three of those times, and in the only game he didn't win MVP, he led the 49ers on a last minute drive to win the game.
#1 (Maybe ever). Odell Beckham Jr. vs. the Cowboys
Wow. The catch that Odell Beckham made in their Week 12 game vs. the Cowboys on Sunday night was one of the those plays that transcends sports and has been described as one of the best plays in sports history, not just football. LeBron James took notice. So did Mike Trout. As did fellow wide receivers Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin. Get ready to see replays of the catch, because it will be shown for years to come.
#2. Rob Gronkowski vs. the Broncos
Prior to Beckham's catch, the best one-handed grab of the year belonged to Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots. Against the Denver Broncos in Week 10, Gronk snagged ball out of the air with his left hand and was nearly able to find his way into the end zone (one play later, he caught a touchdown pass). In the weeks since the catch, Tom Brady has said that it was the greatest catch he had ever seen on one of his passes. Randy Moss disagreed.
The NFL Preseason officially kicks-off its full schedule tonight (if you don't count the Hall of Fame Game from last Sunday) and I could not be any more excited. Sure, preseason games don't really count, but there are still plenty of great reasons to be invested in the preseason this year. Here are my top five reasons why you should be watching:
Cures Your NFL Football Withdrawal
When the clock hit zero in the Super Bowl on February 2nd, football fans everywhere immediately went into football withdrawal. Sundays were not the same. Monday nights were not the same. Food stopped having flavor. Colors were not as bright. The last two may be a stretch, but not by much. While the preseason is just exhibition games, getting to see your favorite players suit up and hit the field still gives you that dose of football that you were longing for.
When I woke up this morning, I had no idea what an important day that today was. That was until I saw this tweet from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter:
50 days! I couldn't believe the season was that close. As a football junkie, I wish that the football season went all year long, but alas, it doesn't. So the football shaped hole in my heart has been filling itself with anticipation for the upcoming season. The more I thought about the season that is oh so close, I started thinking about all the things I'm looking forward to this football season. The list was getting long, so I said let's do 50 reasons to look forward to the 2014 season. Here we go:
1. Johnny Football
2. Fantasy Football
3. NFL Red Zone
4. Because 'Merica
5. Bad Lip Reading Videos
6. Finally back to REAL football after watching too much soccer
7. Super Bowl
8. Touchdown Celebrations
9. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning
10. Excuse to eat more buffalo wings
Over the weekend, Johnny Manziel set off a media frenzy when he showed up and partied in Las Vegas, including attending UFC 173 (see above) as well as a pool party with fellow NFL-er Rob Gronkowski. What was everyone so worked up about? Well, it made people start to wonder whether or not Johnny Football had the focus to be a great quarterback in the NFL or whether partying would cause his downfall.
I decided to debate the only person who is able to match wits with me — and that person is me.
Red = Big Deal; Blue = Not a Big Deal
Me: Thanks for taking time to talk about this.
Me: No problem, happy to do it.
Me: Okay, let's get started. Anyone who thinks that this is not a big deal is blind to the past of Johnny Manziel. One of the questions coming into the draft was Manziel's focus and whether or not he was more wrapped-up in his own celebrity persona than actually playing football. This just is another confirmation that he is not going to cha...
Me: Let me stop you right there. After winning the Heisman Trophy following his 2012 season at Texas A&M, the media scrutiny on him grew exponentially. Yes, he partied. Yes, he had fun. Which is not much different than 99% of other college students. If partying was a big deal that would distract Manziel, than you would have guessed that he would have struggled in his following season. But he didn't. In fact, he put up BETTER statistics. Who's to say he can't succeed in the NFL?