Sports Blog
neilssportsblog@gmail.com
30 Dec 2018

8 Best US Cities Who Should Have an NFL Franchise

 

The National Football League is thinking about expansion again. Although there are 32 teams currently competing to become Super Bowl Champions each year, the current format of the league with four divisions featuring four teams creates the potential for eight expansion opportunities.

We’ve seen franchises move in recent years, with the Rams returning to Los Angeles, the Chargers leaving San Diego, and the Raiders making their way to Las Vegas. Oakland, St. Louis, and San Diego are natural cities which should have an NFL franchise in the future if the league decides to expand.

London is another potential venue for a franchise.

That means there are four additional cities to consider if the NFL were to follow this model. Here are the best options which are located in the United States.

#1. San Antonio

Although not everyone may be a fan of placing a third team in Texas, the NFL expanding to San Antonio makes sense. The city has facilities which could host a franchise immediately. Football is also part of the culture in the state, with some high school stadiums outshining college venues. That’s why the Raiders had this city near the top of their list when they wanted to leave Oakland.

#2. Oklahoma City

This city also has most of the infrastructure in place already to support an NFL franchise. Football culture here is just as strong as it is in Texas too. You will find plenty of Oklahomans ready to start getting behind a hometown team instead of one that is south of the border. The success of the OKC Thunder proves that football could be played here full-time too.

#3. Portland, OR

The Seattle Seahawks are on their own when it comes to playing in the Pacific Northwest. Their closest rival is the San Francisco 49ers. If an NFL franchise came to Portland, then the Cascadia rivalry that we see in Major League Soccer would transition to the NFL. We already know the city is passionate about the sport thanks to the Oregon Ducks. Now might be the perfect time to take that love to the next level.

#4. Albuquerque

The number of professional sports teams found in the U.S. Southwest are minimal. There are only a handful of minor league teams out there to consider too. New Mexico doesn’t have a single professional sports team that plays on a first-division level. Their best options are the Lobos or the Aggies, so it would make sense to give the market an NFL franchise.

#5. Honolulu

Hawaii is another state which finds itself lacking in the way of professional sports. Although there are some challenges for a team to be placed on the islands, like traveling logistics and market size, they aren’t any different than putting a team in Mexico City or London. You wouldn’t have the passport issues either – and you could market to the South Pacific, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.

Listen up ownership groups. If the NFL goes forward with expansion efforts, then these are the cities which should gain a franchise. What do you think? 

26 Oct 2018

5 Best Overlooked Quarterbacks in NFL History

 

If you want to find success in the NFL, then you must have a quarterback who knows how to read the game. Just ask franchises like the Chicago Bears or the Cleveland Browns what it is like to play football when there is no consistency with this position.

There have been a lot of great players who took snaps as quarterbacks over the years. Names like Brett Favre, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, Steve Young, and Peyton Manning come to mind when talking about the best of all time.

These under-rated quarterbacks should make that list too.

#1. Drew Brees

Brees is racking up records left and right with his consistent play in the NFL. His statistics are getting better as he is getting older. If this trend continues, he will retire as the eighth-best in quarterback rating and the second-best in completion percentage in history. You won’t find a better candidate for the Hall of Fame one day than him.

#2. Dan Fouts

It would be fair to say that this quarterback came to the NFL about two decades too soon. He led the San Diego Chargers in a modern offense which highlighted fast yards and an up-tempo approach which allowed him to gain over 43,000 passing yards. No QB who began their career before 1975 averaged 200 yards per game, but Fouts averaged 238.

#3. Fran Tarkenton

This quarterback ranks in the top 10 for passing yards and passing touchdowns, but he rarely makes it into the conversation for the best of all time. Tarkenton was one of the first real double-threat QBs to play the game, averaging over 5 yards per rush during his career. He also finished 34 game-winning drives, placing him ahead of Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana for that statistics.

#4. Kurt Warner

He might have been in the league for 11 years, playing Arena Football and stocking shelves at grocery stores in his youth instead of being in the NFL, but that doesn’t change the impact he had on the game. Captaining an offense called “The Greatest Show on Turf,” Warner never completed less than 62% of his passes during a season where he started 10+ games. Even at the age of 37, he almost got the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl after a 9-7 regular season finish.

#5. Warren Moon

Moon didn’t join the NFL until his seventh year of playing professional football. He went to the Houston Oilers in 1984 after spending six seasons with Edmonton in the CFL. Warren threw for 4,200 yards or more four times after turning 34, started 15 games for the Seattle Seahawks at the age of 41, and even had the best yards-per-game average that year. If you combine his statistics from Canada with his NFL numbers, he would rank second all-time for passing yards.

Are there quarterbacks that you feel are underrated that deserve to be on this list? Names like Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, or Drew Bledsoe? Tell us what you think!

27 Sep 2018

The 5 Dirtiest Players to Ever Play in the NFL

 

Some players try to play the game the right way at all times. Then there are the dirtiest players of all time who try to win at any cost. These are the guys who aren’t afraid to break the rules or pay a fine (or even serve a suspension) if they think their actions will help their team.

Here is our list of the dirtiest players to ever suit up for an NFL franchise.

#1. Ndamukong Suh

Although Suh experienced a resurgence in his career after joining the Los Angeles Rams, he has just as many lowlights to his video collection as there are highlights. He has been fined, suspended, and even disqualified from games because of his actions. From stomping on players to ripping off their helmets, he clearly cares more about the win than if someone gets hurt.

#2. Bill Romanowski

Romanowski always had a bit of a temper. He played hard and fierce on the field, developing a reputation as a heavy hitter. If you got under his skin, however, there was no telling what he might do. J.J. Stokes found that out the hard way in 1997 after the two argued on the field. Carried live on Monday Night Football, Romanowski spit right in his face.

#3. Lyle Alzado

The 1970s were an era of hard tackles, dominating personalities, and franchise dominance. It was also a time when steroids were running rampant through the NFL. Alzado was vicious on the field, terrorizing players with his snap temper and unpredictable actions. He once tore off the helmet of Chris Ward, an OL for the New York Jets, and threw it down the field ten yards.

#4. Conrad Dobbler

Dobbler was a cerebral assassin on the field. He would purposely play clean during the first quarter of the game to lull everyone into a false sense of confidence. Then he would pull out every dirty trick in the book to get his way. He was named the dirtiest player in the league in 1977 – and the only surprising thing was that he didn’t make that list more often. Leg whipping, eye gouging, and biting in the pile were common.

#5. Dashon Goldson

You may not know this name if you follow the modern NFL, but you can’t ignore the number of unnecessary roughness penalties Goldson earned in 2009 – there were 20 of them. He received $190,000 in fines in 2013 before the increased emphasis on safety during tackles took place. He’s also been suspended as a repeat offender because of the actions he chose to take on the field.

There is a difference between playing hard and playing dirty when you’re in the NFL. Most players will not stand for someone who conducts themselves in the ways described above. Some exceptions to the rule exist, of course, like Dobbler – who was voted into the Pro Bowl by his peers. The game is changing, and so are the players. Will we see another character like these in the coming years? 

15 Sep 2018

7 Best NFL Players of All Time

 

The Hall of Fame is filled with some of the greatest names that have ever played in the National Football League. Many of us got to see these players in person or hear stories of them from our parents. 

With a new crop of potential all-star players coming in the next decade, with names like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers leading the way, now is the time to look back at the greatest of all time.

#1. Jim Brown

He might’ve retired at the peak of his career, but that doesn’t change the influence that he had on the game. When Jim Brown played, the NFL only played a 12-game schedule. He played for nine seasons. He’s still in the Top 10 all-time rushing list. Enough said.

#2. Jerry Rice

Some might say that the numbers are what make Jerry Rice a great player. Others might say that it is his work ethic. He always made the great catches, even if the game seemed meaningless, because he had a passion for the game.

#3. Joe Montana

This fellow has plenty of critics who say that he wouldn’t have been successful if it weren’t for the offensive system in San Francisco. You must still execute a system to be successful. Count the championship rings on Joe Montana’s fingers, and then try to argue that he isn’t one of the greatest of all time.

#4. Walter Payton

Most of the teams that this running back played on during the Chicago Bears era were terrible. He only missed one start during his entire career. He could rip through the line, make a deft cut, or power up-and-over for difficult yards. He finished every run he was given, which is arguably more memorable than the 1985 Super Bowl run he got to enjoy.

#5. Dick Butkus

The Chicago Bears get another player on this list because Butkus was the epitome of what the NFL stood for during his era. He hustled. He was never afraid of making contact with the ball carrier. Seeing him on the other side of the line created an intimidation factor like none other. This man taught multiple generations the right way to play this sport.

#6. Reggie White

White was a relentless rusher who dominated offensive lines during the late 1980s and early 1990s. His statistics would be even higher if he didn’t spend the first part of his career in the USFL with Memphis. He was also dominant against the run, plugging holes faster than running backs could slip through them. It’s no wonder that his style is copied so often today.

#7. Johnny Unitas

Unitas was the “everyday” guy who was playing professional football. He didn’t have the strongest arm in the league. His scrambling ability was sometimes questionable. Yet he could manage the final two minutes of a game better than anyone else. His ability to read a defense was also second-to-none.

Which players in NFL history do you believe should make the list of being the greatest of all time?