Jay Cutler surpasses Sid Luckman in Bears record book

November 10, 2015 – 4:04 am by Hickey
    Jay Cutler

For the vast majority of NFL teams, “the greatest quarterback in franchise history” played sometime within the last 30 years. The passing game has advanced leaps and bounds in that era, so it makes sense.

There are exceptions, of course — you could argue that the Cowboys and Steelers have to go back to the ’70s to find their all-time QBs in Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw, though Troy Aikman and Ben Roethlisberger are certainly in the neighborhood in more recent times. It has definitely been that long for the Vikings, who have had random old men like Randall Cunningham and Brett Favre put up excellent numbers in their Minnesota stop, but arrived too late to be compared to Fran Tarkenton.

With all due respect to Ray Lucas, only the Jets fall all the way back to the ’60s with Joe Namath. And though 1940s slinger Sammy Baugh is probably still the greatest QB in Washington history, Sonny Jurgensen and Joe Theismann weren’t too shabby in more recent decades.

For the Chicago Bears, the conversation has always begun and ended with Sid Luckman. He hasn’t thrown a pass since 1950.

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Report: Georgia wanted to fire Mark Richt after 2014

November 6, 2015 – 3:27 am by Ryan Phillips
    Mark Richt

Georgia’s football program has had a rough few weeks as the Bulldogs have lost three of their last four gasmes, defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt seems to be on his way out of town and two freshmen players were arrested on marijuana charges last Saturday. Now things have gotten even worse, as a report on Thursday claimed the school almost fired Richt following the 2014 season.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken reported that Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity “favored” a coaching change after last season. The Bulldogs finished 10-3 in 2014, but got blown out by Florida and lost to in-state rival Georgia Tech. They had to settle for playing in the Belk Bowl, which is a thing that actually exists apparently. McGarity was  eventually overruled by Georgia president Jere Morehead, who turned around and gave Richt a contract extension.

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Sources: John Harbaugh is exploring other coaching opportunities

November 5, 2015 – 4:06 am by Ryan Phillips
    John Harbaugh

Despite public assurances that everything is good between John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens, we have been told exclusively that the 53-year-old is open to and even discussing other head coaching opportunities. Two well-placed sources, who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity, claim Harbaugh’s representatives are exploring several potential landing spots.

Harbaugh and the Ravens have struggled to a 2-6 record this season, and while there is absolutely no chance he would be fired this year, there is apparently a growing disconnect between him and the team’s front office and management. He is in his eighth season in Baltimore and he owns an exceptional record of 74-43 during his time with the team. He also led the Ravens to a win in Super Bowl XLVII.

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Nats to unexpectedly offer managing job to Dusty Baker

November 3, 2015 – 12:55 am by Hickey


In Dusty the Washington Nationals trust.

CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman broke the news that the Nats will offer Baker their managerial job, which comes as a stunner after it was widely reported to be a done deal that former Padres manager Bud Black would get the gig.

According to Heyman, Black was offered the job, but was massively underwhelmed by Washington’s contract offer. And it’s no wonder — later in the night USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the Nats offered Black a one-year deal worth $1.6 million. Offering a one-year contract to a new manager is quite literally a minor league move, so Black must have been flabbergasted and insulted in equal measure.

After the sides haggled all weekend, the Nats decided to move in a different direction and bring in Baker, who was their runner-up to Black in the interview process. (Dysfunction and gridlock in Washington, DC? I can’t believe it!)

The 66-year-old Baker has made the playoffs in all three of his previous stops — the Giants, Cubs and Reds. A World Series title has remained elusive and he hasn’t won a pennant since 2002, but that’s probably part of the appeal for him to get back in the business past retirement age.

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Browns fan ranks every loss since 1999 in order of pain

October 28, 2015 – 11:25 pm by Hickey

browns fans

If you are grasping for something to be thankful for this week, a good place to start is “not a Cleveland Browns fan.”

But if you are a Browns fan, worry not! We’ve found something for you that is a much more fruitful use of your time than leaping off the nearest bridge — though you may want to keep a bottle of whiskey handy (or whatever extremely strong liquor one must consume to survive living in Cleveland).

This week one enterprising Browns fan put on his thinking cap to definitively rank every loss the franchise has suffered since re-entering the NFL in 1999 — a league-high 178 in that span, just edging out the 177-loss and nearly as depressing Lions.

We will not spoil this work of art, as it should be viewed in its entirety as intended by the artist. But we’ll certainly share some of the highlights that will inspire you to click that link and check it out.

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Report: Bills forgot to charge batteries for QB headset

October 25, 2015 – 11:21 pm by Hickey

rex bills

The Buffalo Bills were fresh out of batteries but still making noise in their 34-31 loss to the Jaguars in London. Unfortunately, that noise was static in the wireless headset between quarterback EJ Manuel and offensive coordinator Greg Roman, which does not help the cause when you’re already as challenged at the quarterback position as Manuel is.

Bills coach Rex Ryan complained about the issue in the postgame press conference, though at the time the culprit was unknown.

“I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. But this one was absolutely miserable. I mean, it’s unacceptable is what it is,” Ryan said. “I wouldn’t say it was the entire game, but it was a majority of the game. It was unbelievable. Had everything — static, you couldn’t hear anything. A frustrating time obviously in those circumstances. That’s why you saw EJ having to come and run over to get the call with Greg trying to yell it into him quite a few times.”

But as Jimmy Buffett once noted, it’s their own damn fault.

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Franz Beckenbauer under investigation by FIFA

October 21, 2015 – 7:33 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Franz Beckenbauer

After several weeks of speculation, FIFA has confirmed it has targeted former German soccer star Franz Beckenbauer for investigation by the organization’s ethics committee. Beckenbauer played a leading role in Germany’s successful World Cup bid in 2006, and was one of 22 FIFA voters during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.

Beckenbauer was banned from any football-related activity by FIFA for 90 days in 2014 for refusing to cooperate with a corruption inquiry related to the the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments. The ban was lifted after he agreed to participate in FIFA’s inquiry. Now, the investigations into Beckenbauer and vice president Angel Maria Villar Llona are officially complete and now await a verdict.

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Kudos to ESPN GameDay for picking James Madison

October 20, 2015 – 12:47 am by Hickey
    (11/12/11) - (Harrisonburg) James Madison's Stephon Robertson celebrates with his teammates after making an interception during a game against Rhode Island at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. (AP/Daily News-Record)

ESPN’s GameDay traveling circus is going way off the radar this week, traveling to Division I-AA (FCS) James Madison as the Dukes play host to rival Richmond.  It’s a big game at that level as JMU goes into the game ranked 4th in the FCS and Richmond 11th, but the choice probably comes as a surprise to most who only know James Madison as the fourth president/Constitution-writing dude.

While fans at bigger schools will likely complain about the choice, fans of college football as a whole should not be. This, after all, is what separates college from the pros. Every week when you flip on an NFL game, invariably you will be taken to some game involving an NFC East team as the national telecast no matter how mediocre the division may be.

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