12 Pains of Christmas: Football Style


First off, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all who come to BLTD Sports for their sports needs! You all have your family parties, and for some, they have an awesome time with their extended families (like me!). For others, those parties may be filled with feuds and arguments.

For those who have the hate flowing through you, I have some things to get off my chest about rumors and speculation around the NFL circles. In light of the Christmas spirit, here is a list of the largest grievances of the NFL and NFL Draft opinions that are out there.

Let’s get to the hate, shall we?

    1. The first thing from football that really angers me: Below average college QB’s!
      • Here’s how I break it down: With Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor, the Bills aren’t ready to commit to him just yet. He has yet to truly take over and make a team pay. He has taken over in moments against the Titans (a lowly team), against the Miami Dolphins (a team that quit on then-coach Joe Philbin) and against the Texans (after the offense stalled for most of the second half). Taylor has a chance to be good, but Taylor needs to earn his next contract. Let’s see what he’s got, while bringing in new competition. I want the Bills to go after a quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, it’s not Taylor that’s the major point here: If anyone tells them to go after Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, Alabama’s Jacob Coker or Mississippi’s Chad Kelly, I’m going straight to the emperor up there and asking him to torch me with lightning so I don’t have to hear it again.


    1. The second thing from football that really angers me: No Pro Bowl for Darby!
      • One rookie cornerback made the Pro Bowl, Kansas City’s Marcus Peters. Peters has made some fantastic plays, with 7 interceptions and a pair of them returned for touchdowns. However, Darby has been one of the best corners in the entire NFL this season, and has been snubbed, not even becoming an alternate. Looking at some of the others who made it, the name that sticks out as the major disservice to Darby is New England’s Malcolm Butler. Yes, Butler has played well, but Darby has been more consistent this season and has 6 more pass breakups than Butler. And, unlike Butler, Darby has been playing this well despite getting next to no pass rush from the Bills front 7.


    1. The third thing from football that really angers me: Manziel to the Cowboys!
      • Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been playing… average for the horrid Browns. He’s been showing some flashes of his college magic against quality opponents, but has often tapered off in those same games. Manziel has been very troubled off of the field, with an alleged domestic abuse incident (not charged), and more of his Party Boy antics.party-boy-o He lied to the team, claiming the video (with more current music in the background) was old. While Browns coach Mike Pettine was trying to send a final message to Manziel saying enough was enough, his starter went down and his backup was so terrible that Cleveland had no choice to go back to Manziel. With Dallas willing to sign just about any trouble player (Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory, etc.), as well as their flirtation with nearly drafting Manziel in 2014 and the injuries to starter Tony Romo, many have pointed to Johnny heading back to his home state of Texas. I’m not buying it, they’re in a spot in the 2016 draft to select whoever they want.


    1. The fourth thing from football that really angers me: Bickering Bills!
      • The Bills, after being eliminated from the playoffs at their 6-8 record, have let their emotions come out to the media. Bills DE Mario Williams has been unhappy since Week 6, but kept going back on Sunday. Bills RB Boobie Dixon has told the Buffalo News that there have been no player meetings, showing a lack of true leadership. Players have mentioned that defensive play calls are still coming in late, while FS Corey Graham and Eric Wood have been trying to quiet Williams and basically say “do your job.” There is hope, however, that the Bills have new leaders: WR Sammy Watkins and Nigel Bradham have tried to quell the noise coming from One Bills Drive this week.


    1. The fifth thing from football that really angers me: FAN-DUEL AND DRAFT KINGS!!!!!
      • Good lord, make it STOP. I cannot count how many times it seemed like an NFL Sunday was an infomercial for daily fantasy sports with some football mixed in. The state of New York has taken a hard stance to the daily fantasy fad, making it illegal to bet your own money. You can still play, however, if you have money that they matched your deposit for. But when the NEVADA GAMING COMMISSION says that daily fantasy isn’t a game of skill and is actually gambling, I think they might know what they’re talking about.


    1. The sixth thing from football that really angers me: Bad referees!
      • This goes without elaborating too much. A man I respect and the general manager of 91.3FM WBNY-Buffalo, Nick Lippa, has been all over the officiating woes of the NFL. It has diminished the quality of the product on the field, and sometimes, the referees are determining the outcomes of games with either missed calls/penalties or wrong calls/penalties. Every team has had to deal with it this year, which makes it a terrible issue for the league. The simple solution: make the referees full time employees of the league. The NFL makes, uhm, billions of dollars, so they can afford to hire them and give them full employee benefits, so that they may improve their product.


    1. The seventh thing from football that really angers me: Bad OBJ!
      • Yes, Carolina CB Josh Norman was not innocent, and no one but Norman and Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. have any idea what was said between the two of them. Norman body slammed Beckham on the very first play, so he’s not excused from criticism. However, Beckham was called for THREE personal foul calls, including a disgusting hit to the head to Norman where Beckham led with the crown of his helmet. In any level not known as the NFL, Beckham gets ejected for that. odell-beckham-cheap-shot-on-josh-norman Instead, he was allowed to remain in the game. Beckham’s antics were similar in Week 4, when Beckham was seen punching several Bills players while being contained by the Buffalo defense. Beckham is a diva, who acts up when he’s not getting his catches or when players get more physical with him. And Bills fans want this guy over Watkins, who’s trying to fix the locker room issues in Buffalo? Something tells me Beckham would have been a problem, not trying to fix problems.


    1. The eighth thing from football that really angers me: Gross Division Winners!
        • There are currently two divisions in the NFL that have no record over .500: the AFC South and the NFC East. The AFC South dipped from having an AFC Championship representative to the chance of a 7-9 Jacksonville Jaguars home playoff game. Seriously. If Jacksonville wins out, the Houston Texans, currently leading the AFC South at 7-7, loses out, and the Indianapolis Colts lose once, the Jaguars get a playoff game in a stadium where no one ever shows up…


      • In the NFC East, it’s much tighter. The Washington Redskins lead the NFC East at 7-7, but the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants (6-8) are right behind them. For the Eagles, it’s win out and they’re in: they play both Washington and New York to end the year. Washington gets the Eagles and Dallas, while the Giants picked the short straw, needing a Washington loss to Dallas to remain alive and also needing to beat a good Minnesota Vikings team.


    1. The ninth thing from football that really angers me: Backup QBs!
      • The NFL is already too large of a league to have 32 quality QBs leading their team. So when a team needs to rely on a backup, it’s easy to assume that said team won’t win. So far, 28 different backup QBs have had to play this season, with two of them being placed on the field for two different teams (Jimmy Clausen: Bears and Ravens, and Brandon Weeden: Cowboys and Texans). Furthermore, four teams have had to play 3 different QBs this year, and the Cowboys are on their fourth! Only the Colts, with veteran and former Pro Bowler Matt Hasselbeck and the Denver Broncos, with promising youngster Brock Osweiler, have better than a .500 record with their backup QB in.


    1. The tenth thing from football that really angers me: Chip Kelly’s Moves!
      • At the start of the season, people either loved or hated Philadelphia’s head coach for his personnel moves and roster shake up. He either traded or let talented players go on offense: WR Jeremy Maclin, RB LeSean McCoy, G Evan Mathis and QB Nick Foles. Foles has flopped in St. Louis, but the man Foles was traded for, QB Sam Bradford, has underwhelmed as well. At least Foles was a better fit in Kelly’s offense and ran it better than Bradford has. The Eagles running game is a joke with RB DeMarco Murray, and there are no talented WRs to make plays consistently. The Eagles defense, however, has been a revelation this season, and has kept the Eagles in the division “race”. If not for Eagles DT Fletcher Cox and company, Kelly would already have been fired with 4-10 record in Week 16.
        • Furthermore, can we stop linking failed projects to Kelly? There are many reports of Kelly eyeing San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick and Washington QB Robert Griffin III. Both are not effective in the NFL as passers. If anything, Kelly’s eyes may be on Memphis QB Paxton Lynch or another college player.


    1. The eleventh thing from football that really angers me: Cam Newton Haters!
      • Can anyone explain why they don’t like Carolina QB and MVP front-runner Cam Newton? Newton is dancing, handing out footballs and smiling his way to a season like no other in his career. Carolina is 14-0, something no one in their right mind would have predicted at the beginning of the season. Newton is having too much fun, really. Newton understands that he has a job playing football, and how fortunate he is. Yes, Newton is emotional, and it goes both ways. We’ve seen sad Cam before, but mostly, even during Carolina’s 7-9 NFC South champion season in 2014, we just see more of happy Cam. And happy Cam is exactly what the NFL needs. Fans hate the statue answers from, say, New England. Newton and the Panthers have injected life into the NFL. And it’s awesome to see.


  1. The twelfth thing from football that really angers me: College Playoff Matchups!
      • Yea, this kind of breaks rhythm, but I don’t care. Also, I’m kind of lying. The two matchups feature similar teams. In Alabama versus Michigan State, it’s a game of two stout defenses. For Alabama, they may have gotten the best matchup possible against Michigan State. The Spartans have an injured QB in Connor Cook, and not much else offensively. This will allow Alabama’s Heisman-winning RB, Derrick Henry, to control the clock on an average Spartan offense.


    • I’m guilty in admitting I want to see Oklahoma against Clemson. This should be 51-48 or something awesome. However, I also wanted to see the strong offenses play against the strong defenses and see what side wins out in the semifinal weekend. Maybe next year.

Well, that’s my list of annoying things in football. Got anything I missed?


Let us know in the comments below, at Better Live Than Dead on Facebook, @bltdsports on Twitter, or right at me @DerekKramerWBNY on Twitter!

Otherwise, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and keep it locked here at Better Live Than Dead Sports for more coverage on your favorite sports and teams!

Happy Holidays

Written by Derek Kramer

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