What a weekend, folks. The NFL’s kick off to its 2014 season was chock full of surprises, comebacks, upsets and fantasy football let downs. The Wild Card standings in the MLB shifted once again as the Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates are making their push. College football had an overall soft week as less than a handful of significant games were played. And it was all overshadowed by Ray Rice and the complete ineptitude of Roger Goodell.
NFL 2014 is here and what a first weekend of games. None was more exciting than the Atlanta Falcons comeback over the New Orleans Saints. There is no love lost between these two teams and not only was this a huge victory for the Falcons and their fans after last years collapse, but it sets the tone for the NFC South all season. Matt Ryan, aka Matty Ice, led yet another one of his infamous late game comebacks in perhaps his best game yet as he finished with 448 yards passing and three touchdowns all while outplaying Drew Brees.
How about this? The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings are all 1-0. The EJ Manuel led Bills shocked everyone but Wayniac Nation by upsetting the Bears in Chicago in overtime. Knowshon Moreno led a thrilling come from behind performance as he and Lamar Miller ran their way over the New England Patriots in Miami. The Dolphins, down 20-10 at the half, came out of the locker room and completely dominated the Pats in the second half outscoring them 23-0. The Vikings thrashed the Rams (again predicted right here at Wayniac Nation!) and seemed to have already ended the Shaun Hill era. There was little the Vikings did wrong in their 34-6 domination, but Cordarrelle Patterson‘s 67-yard scamper to the end zone was certainly the highlight. J.J. Watt led a Texans defense that ruined Jay Gruden’s head coaching debut for the Redskins. Watt was a sack making, fumble taking, extra point blocking machine and despite his typical superhuman effort, the Texans victory was overshadowed by losing first round pick Jadeveon Clowney for six weeks. Still, the Arian Foster ground attack helped the Texans win for the first time in their last fifteen contests. Meanwhile, Tony Romo was very Tony Romo-esque right off the bat. He threw three interceptions in his first game getting completely dismantled by a 49ers defense missing three of its biggest stars. Way to go Romo!
Yesterday, TMZ released the video of Ray Rice punching and spitting on his now-wife in an Atlantic City elevator and it was absolutely horrific. I won’t get into the details as an article will be coming out later today on it, however, the NFL strongly needs to consider their leadership. There is no way that this video was not seen until yesterday by the commissioner’s office and I personally wish they could do a vote of no confidence in Roger Goodell. The man simply has no foresight or consistency in his plan for the NFL. Every time a player gets suspended for marijuana, just remember that if TMZ didn’t release that video, Ray Rice would be on a practice field Friday.
Raise the Jolly Roger!!! If you don’t know who Andrew McCutchen is by now, it is time to take notice. The reigning NL MVP has come off the disabled list and has led the Pirates right back into playoff contention. The Pirates have climbed from third place in the NL Central to having the fifth best record in the National League and clinging to a 1.5 game advantage on the final Wild Card spot. The Pirates may have their first back to back winning seasons in over 20 years (that’s not a typo, folks!) and McCLUTCH is the primary reason. Clayton Kershaw may very well walk away with the Cy Young, MVP Award, a gazillion dollars and all the fine aspiring actresses he can handle out in LA, but it is time to recognize Cutch as the best player in the NL.
Sitting 16 games above .500 for the first time since 1985, the Kansas City Royals just won’t go away. The Royals have been so irrelevant for nearly the past 30 seasons that many of today’s young fans think they are an expansion team. But it is exciting baseball going on at the Big K, as General Manager Dayton Moore has proven to be a draft wizard of some sorts. The majority of this team is home grown talent built through the draft. When they gave up one of baseball’s top prospects in Wil Myers to snag an aging James Shields, the baseball world thought Moore was nuts. As it turns out, Shields is now the veteran anchor for one of the sharpest young staffs in the game. Their offense is led by guys who all came up through the system. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon all started out as what ifs a few years ago and are now a solid core that could lead this team well into the future… pending that my Yankees don’t sweep in and snag a few of their contracts!
Speaking of the Yankees and Royals, how did the Yankees not score a run on Derek Jeter Day? The Captain has put his body in harm’s way to ensure opposing teams don’t score runs and this bunch of misfits can’t score a run of Yordano Ventura (more homegrown talent)? And then to top it off, the Royals win 2-0 on Jeter’s day. Incidentally, how is there a Derek Jeter Day when he has 25 games left to play? I thought those things were for people who retired. Man, it’s good to be Jeets.
In other news, Yovani Gallardo became the Milwaukee Brewers all-time strikeout king this past week. Huh? This is the best the Brewers have ever had? Not sure why I expected more from a Bud Selig organization anyway!
Team USA keeps rolling in the FIBA World Cup. They have now defeated their six opponents by 189 total points for an average margin of victory of 31.5 points. What we have learned from this tournament is that James Harden‘s beard and Anthony Davis‘s lone eyebrow are better than a majority of the world in basketball. Watching the Elena Della Donne (shameless Blue Hen plug) and the WNBA is way more exciting than this has been, especially with some games being aired at ten in the morning!
Bruce Levenson, the soon-to-be former owner of the Atlanta Hawks, is amid a controversy after his racist 2012 emails were revealed. Essentially, his e-mail discussed how he and Donald Sterling are uncomfortable at basketball games because they hate African-Americans and there is not enough country music being played. I may be paraphrasing, but I think that was the essential overview of the email. Another owner down in the NBA because of racism. Quite a stock of professionals you put together there, David Stern. NBA fans should be kissing the court that Adam Silver took over. At least Seattle is getting a hoops team back!
That’s a wrap for this week, folks. Be sure to click on that little Twitter and Instagram link above and make sure you join the goring Wayniac Nation for daily insights and overall mini-rants in the social media universe. Ta ta, all!