Vick Should be Named Eagles Starting QB NOW

After last season’s disastrous showing, Michael Vick was declared DOA by frustrated, angry Eagles fans, the ever-so-opinionated Philly media, and most NFL “experts” far and wide. It seemed as though Vick’s days in the City of Brotherly Love were numbered. Who could defend Vick when the Eagles ended the season 4-12 and Vick himself was the Titan of Turnovers? Then along came Chip Kelly.

Kelly’s decision to turn on the pressure cooker, toss in a couple of QBs and let them fight it out was brilliant. Vick has not only handled the pressure and heat, but is sizzling hot in his first two preseason games and in practices. The threat of losing his starting job to Nick Foles has literally lit a fire under him and he is showing – on and off the field – why he should be named the starter NOW.

Kelly’s quick tempo offense requires a QB with maturity, experience and the ability to handle the hypersonic pace Kelly used in Oregon. Vick still has the quickness both mentally and physically to keep up with an offense that frequently has no huddle and consistently has little time ticking off the play clock. Foles has proven to be an adequate QB – perfect for a backup position – but it’s doubtful that when faced with real game time situations he has yet gained the experience to handle such a demanding, blazing offense.

Off the field, Vick is showing he has matured. His response to the QB competition is the perfect example. Rather than lament about having to once again prove himself, #7 has graciously handled the media inquisition. He has also proven himself a more “Mature Michael” in his handling of teammate Riley Cooper’s recent racist rant. Vick stepped up as leader of the team and diffused a ticking bomb that could have easily exploded on the team early in the preseason.

On the field, Vick has shown that he has the confidence and the mental capacity to handle Kelly’s quick tempo, rhythm changing offense. Kelly has had success with mobile QBs at the collegiate level. Love him or hate him, no one can argue that Vick’s dual threat abilities make him a much better fit for Kelly’s game plan compared to Foles. He is a dynamic, game changer who seems to have learned a lesson in humility after last year’s woeful showing. Perhaps more importantly, Vick seems to have developed patience – a trait often lacking in his past – that will hopefully prevent some of the bad game time decisions that earned him a 78.1 QB rating last season.

The Eagles enter the season with a brand new coach and brand new game plan. Vick is part of that new reality and comes in with a brand new attitude. With Kelly at the helm, Vick won’t need to perform Superman feats in order to carry his team. Those Superman heroics often led to the fumbles and INTs (10 last season, with just 12 TDs) that defined him. Instead, Vick is part of a game plan that will give him better protection and keep the play calling fresh, effective and relevant.

Kelly is not the typical NFL coach so it is hard to predict when he will declare the winner of his pressure cooker-like QB competition, but given Vick’s experience, maturity, dual threat and pure athleticism, there is no doubt that Kelly should choose him as his starter. The Eagles – with Vick under center – may just be the sleeper team of the year. And yes, I am a completely biased Eagles fan. Deal with it! michael-vickFLY EAGLES FLY!

New Season, New View…

018A few years back, we formed Gridironglamourgirl – as both a blog and a website – because of our unabashed, crazed fervor for the greatest game ever created. We recognized that there were countless women who loved football, but also loved the fun, “girly” things in life, like fashion, food, entertaining, and so on. Hell yes, you can be an attractive, smart woman who likes playing in a bin full of pretty pink makeup and still hold your own playing in a fantasy football league dominated by men!

These last two years have been definite game changers for us Gridironglamour girls and life has thrown us some winning touchdown passes, as well as some definite dropped balls! At last, we’ve made it back to the line of scrimmage and impatiently wait for the ball to snap and a new season to begin!

Please join us as we approach the best time of the year – football season! We can’t wait to share our (often) cheeky passion for the game and our (always) unorthodox analysis of things both on and off the field.

Get ready…here we come! Got Football??????

Recipe for the Perfect Sunday Afternoon: Homemade Chili, Sam Adams and Your Favorite Team!

The calendar may only say October, but that didn’t stop Old Man Winter from paying an unwelcome visit to many parts of the US this weekend!  It was an unannounced, unofficial white out in Happy Valley today and the Nittany Lion faithful were not even wearing their white PSU garb.  Instead, snowfall fell throughout Beaver Stadium as JoePa reached his 409th victory!

So since the weather has turned cold and bone-chilling, it is time to break out the comfort food that warms the body and the spirit! This hearty recipe is a crowd pleasing favorite.  Wake up, throw it together and enjoy the mouthwatering aroma all day long as it simmers to perfection in your crock pot.  By kick off, you can enjoy a warm, delicious meal as you cheer on your favorite team!  What could be easier?

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed/drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • ½ of a red pepper, diced
  • Diced jalapeno peppers, to taste
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Dash (or 2 or 3 or 4) of hot sauce
  • Salt/pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink.  Just  before beef is finished cooking, add onion, red pepper jalapenos and garlic and sauté slightly and drain.  Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours –  or on high for 4 hours. Garnish individual servings with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.  Serve with warm cornbread, tortilla chips and some Samuel Adams Octoberfest for a perfect football watching experience!  

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Despite our every intention to consistently write about the 2011 football season, life has a way of derailing even the most ardent blogger.  With a work schedule that demolishes every Saturday and Sunday, it is nearly impossible to enjoy the games AND write about them.  Choosing work over tailgates and games is a serious dilemma for a real football fan, but given the economy and the cost of shoes, what’s a Gridironglamourgirl to do?  So as we approach the half-way point of the NFL season, here are a few of our observations on what is good, bad and ugly thus far.

THE GOOD: 

The Packers, Saints, Patriots and THE 49ERS?!!

The Packers, Saints and Patriots continue to top the NFL power rankings.  But after many disappointing seasons, the 49ers are the surprise team of 2011, standing at 5-1 and first in the NFC West.  Much of the turnaround can be traced to the off season.   The road to success was paved last January when Trent Baalke was named GM and Stanford University Coach Jim Harbaugh was hired as Head Coach.  Their off season acquisitions have proved to be brilliant.  From their decision to re-sign a bewildered and beaten down Alex Smith at QB –  to their choice of linebacker Aldon Smith as 7th overall in the draft – to the addition of a slew of talented players during the draft and free-agency – the decisions made thus far have been masterful and show real insight and aptitude.  With a schedule over the next 4 weeks that includes the struggling Cardinals, Redskins and Browns, the 49ers look to solidify their place among the top teams in the league.

Is Cam Newton as Good as All the Hype?

The franchise QBs that never fail to disappoint – Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees –  are posting impressive stats.  Their numbers and performances are nothing out of the ordinary for QBs of their stature.  Perhaps the most unpredictable surprise amongst QBs this season is Cam Newton.  The Carolina Panthers QB has demonstrated that his number one spot in the draft last spring was deserved.  While the Panthers are struggling with a 2-5 record, Newton is proving he can make the transition from college to the NFL.  Newton had plenty of critics, including me.  But the guy has legitimate talent and is challenging defensive coordinators to recognize and address his dual threat capabilities.

His 7 rushing TDs tied Vince Young’s record for most in a QB’s rookie season and there are still 9 games remaining.  While he has more INTs than TDs, each week he is showing signs that he is capable of leading his team.  His confidence and ability to master a full array of play calling are impressive for a rookie.  It will be fascinating to watch Newton develop the rest of the season, but if his start is any indication, he may just find his name mentioned among the elites very soon.

THE BAD: 

The St. Louis Rams

Pre-season predictions had the Rams winning the NFC West.  They now stand winless at a pitiful 0-6 record.  As the Saints come marching in this weekend, could it be that the Rams end up 0-7?  It’s quite likely.  St. Louis is suffering from a multitude of injuries and has had 7 different cornerbacks this season.  QB Sam Bradford missed the last game and is questionable against the Saints.  The receiving corps is not performing and the defense is ranked 29th in the NFL, giving up and average of 410 yards per game.  The Rams may very well be the worst team in the NFL right now.  The only solace Rams’ fans can take is that their team will likely get some early draft picks as a result of their abysmal season.

Rex Grossman

Washington QB Rex Grossman is just plain BAD.  He has the highest interception percentage over the years since he was first drafted.  This season he threw 6 TDs and 9 INTs, but unlike Newton, shows no signs of improvement.  In fact, when questioned about his performances, he seems downright delusional.  We wouldn’t be so harsh if perhaps Grossman could recognize his mistakes, but he seems blissfully ignorant of his lack of fundamentals and poor decision making at game time.  For that reason, he gets our vote as just plain BAD!

THE UGLY:

Is Michael Vick the Cause of the Eagles’ Ugly Season?

Any devoted reader knows that no blog is complete without discussing our favorite player, Michael Vick.  But putting him under a heading with the title “ugly” is downright wrong!  Sure, the Eagles look ugly – as though their wings have been clipped by a hedge clipper – but our faith in Vick remains strong.  What looked like a dream team at the beginning of the season has now turned almost nightmarish.  With free agency acquisitions that had owners and managers throughout the league green with envy, the only green Vick has been experiencing is his body implanted in the turf.

So how did a much touted team with a roster full of talent find itself with a 1-4 start?  There’s no easy answer, but part of the failure is due to new coaches, young players on the O-line and games plagued with turnovers.  So far this season, Vick has thrown 8 INTs, been sacked 8 times and has committed 7 fumbles.  Compare that to the entire 2010 season, when he had a mere 6 INTs and 11 fumbles, and you can begin to discover at least PART of the reason the Eagles have stumbled and Vick has found himself running for his life against defenders.

Vick’s passing numbers are decent – 9 TDs and over 260 yards per game passing – but they do not compare to the phenomenal numbers he posted last year. The victory two weeks ago over Washington ended Philly’s losing streak and left them with a 2-4 record.  Combined with a bye last week and three home games ahead of them, the Eagles hope to keep the momentum going.  If Vick can work on making better reads and getting rid of the ball more quickly, he could salvage the remainder of the season.  The bottom line is this:  Vick is a scrapper AND a dual threat that makes defenses respect him in and out of the pocket.  Head Coach Andy Reid has an extraordinary record coming off a bye week – 12-0! – and he will use Vick to continue that winning streak.  With Vick’s leadership, unparalleled athleticism and grit, the Eagles will once again soar.  Vick can then be removed from the “ugly” category and return to his rightful place as a football fashionista’s favorite!  Let’s face it, only Vick can turn flip flops, shorts, and a jacket and tie into a good look!

A Shock and Awe Opening Week in the NFL

Week one in the NFL brought some amazing rookie performances, a few shocking results, but as always, the best entertainment a fan could ask for.  With the official start of the season, the universe finally seems back in balance!

Are these “shock and awe” moments fleeting flukes that will fade away as the season progresses?  Or are they indicative of what lies ahead for the rest of the season?  Here’s our take on some of this week’s memorable moments.

Cam Newton’s  422 Yard Opening Game Performance

Carolina Panthers QB and Heisman winner Cam Newton silenced his critics with an astounding game against Arizona Sunday.  He threw for 422 yards and made his way into the record books with the most yards by a rookie QB in an opening performance.  Newton looked composed and in control and seems to have made a natural transition from the Auburn spread offense to NFL play.

Was this performance a fluke or is Cam the real deal?  There’s no doubt Newton is a fierce competitor and his drive to win will undoubtedly bring him success this season.   But before we get too carried away in Cam-mania, the reigning Super Bowl Champion Packers will bring a reality check this week.  Sure, Green Bay’s defense gave up over 400 yards to the Saints last week, but that was against veteran (and former Super Bowl MVP) Drew Brees.  Green Bay’s 3-4 defense is somewhat similar to Arizona’s, but the Packers bring Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson on Sunday and it’s likely Cam will face a far greater challenge than he did against the Cardinals.  Still, there’s no denying that Cam’s opening day was a stellar one that will be remembered for years to come.

Tony Romo’s Baffling 4th Quarter Pass

Tied at 24 with 59 seconds left in the game, Dallas QB Tony Romo tossed a soft pass that was intercepted by NY Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.  The decision to throw that kind of ball, with mere seconds left in the game and the team within field goal range, is mind boggling.  Revis returned the INT 34 yards to set up the winning field goal for the Jets.   That interception, coupled with a 4th quarter fumble, was enough for the Jets to come back after trailing 24-10 early in the 4th quarter.  While Romo performed well for most of the game, throwing for 342 yards and 2 TDs, it is the mishaps, fumbles and inexplicable decisions he often makes that cause fans to question his leadership and ability to win the “big games”.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Steel Curtain Looks Rusty

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers certainly didn’t look like a team who played in the Super Bowl last year.  They suffered a humiliating 35-7 defeat by their conference rival, the Baltimore Ravens.

Don’t throw in the Terrible Towel just yet.  While the Steelers got off to a shaky start, it is a long season and one bad opening game does not determine a team’s fate.  Big Ben threw 3 INTs and fumbled twice (and as he is my starting Fantasy QB, I will admit I was not a happy camper on Sunday), but I doubt it is an indication of any gloom and doom to come.  I expect the Steelers to make a big statement this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks.  Seattle’s defense is vulnerable against the run AND the pass, so expect Big Ben and RB Rashard Mendenhall to make their own “shock and awe” moments this weekend!

Our Favorite NFL Player – Michael Vick – Leads the Eagles to Victory

Vick’s showed his dual abilities against the Rams by throwing for 187 yards and 2 TDs and rushing for 97.  Thanks to DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy, my fantasy team earned an impressive 41 points and  helped me win my first game of the season. Fly, Eagles, Fly!!

With Vick’s propensity to use his legs comes the risk of injury.  Against the Rams, he was sacked three times, while taking 11 other hits.  This week he faces the Falcons who will undoubtedly bring the pressure.  Last week Atlanta had 5 sacks against the Bears.  They have something to prove after their embarrassing 30-12 loss and would love nothing more than to silence the naysayers with a strong performance against their former QB.

If Vick can stay healthy and absorb the punishment he will be receiving all season long, the Eagles can be a serious Super Bowl contender.  Vick’s athleticism and risk taking make him a thrill to watch, but those same attributes can also lead to both his and the Eagles downfall should he get taken out on one of the inevitable hits coming his way.

So with the first week wrapped up and in the record books, we are well on our way to a season full of more “shock and awe” moments.  Join us as we share our (often random) thoughts on the latest developments both on and off the field!

Inside the Mind of a Football-Loving Female

Online Fantasy Football advice is as plentiful as Photoshopped pictures of Kim Kardashian’s wedding these days.  So if you’re looking for yet more expert guidance on the subject, you have clicked on the wrong link!  While I may not provide the same information that a seasoned sports writer or big time TV analyst can offer, my draft picks can give you a glimpse into the mind of an average football-loving female!  At the very least, my logic (and often unorthodox reasons) for drafting players will convince even the greenest FF player believe he or she is a draft day genius!

Pick #1 LeSean McCoy – Running Back – Philadelphia Eagles

For my first pick, I took a bit of a gamble.  I had the 8th pick in the first round, which gave me the 3rd pick in the 2nd round.  Despite conventional wisdom, I had decided weeks earlier to take Michael Vick as my #1 pick if he had not already been snagged.   As draft day adrenaline rushed through my body, I abruptly selected McCoy, counting on Vick still being available early in round 2.  My reasoning?   My fantasy team is comprised of players from Atlanta – aka Falcons fanatics/Vick haters.   I figured I would get two extremely elite picks – McCoy and Eagles – and be well on my way to winning the league.  My sly tactics failed me, though, when Vick was chosen as the 10th pick in the first round!

Despite my disappointment in not obtaining the most dynamic, athletic player in the NFL (Vick), I am thrilled with McCoy.  Like Vick, he is a dual threat.  Last year, he ran for over 1000 yards, had nearly 80 receptions and scored 9 TDs.  LeSean is the Real McCoy and I think he will give me a lot of value in my PPR league.

Pick#2 Darren McFadden – Running Back – Oakland Raiders

With my dreams of dominating my league via Vick smashed to smithereens, I decided to use my next pick on another hot RB.  McFadden seems to be a player on the rise.  In 2010, he rushed for nearly 1200 yards and scored 10 TDs, making him the #2 RB in PPR points per game.  The only downside to this pick is McFadden’s tendency to get injured.  The numbers he posted last season were incredible and he missed 3 games!  If he can stay somewhat healthy, he and I could be in for a winning season!

Pick#3 Ben Roethlisberger – Quarterback – Pittsburgh Steelers

By the time my round 3 pick came around, not only was Vick taken, but Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees were no longer on the board.  I felt the pressure to pick a QB, so I held my breath and chose Big Ben.  Sure, he has incredible numbers and is a wildly successful QB.  But I have a knee-jerk reaction to Roethlisberger that nearly caused me to pass on him.  Maybe it is because he very likely has treated young woman disrespectfully (putting it mildly) and has pretty much remained unscathed for his behavior.  So despite my instinct to choose a less effective QB on some high moral grounds, I chose Big Ben on the grounds of trying to win my fantasy league.

Pick#4 DeSean Jackson – Wide Receiver – Philadelphia Eagles 

Feeling pretty good about snatching up 2 elite RBs and a high caliber QB, I knew it was time to get a good receiver.  Luckily for me, Eagles wideout Jackson was still on the board.  I’ve heard all the naysayers spouting stats from last year that demonstrate his inconsistency.  But I believe Jackson and Vick are headed for some big time plays this season.  Jackson may hand me a few wins this year based on some single game performances.  Besides that, he has the speed and natural ability to shed defenders that makes him one of the most dynamic receivers in the game today – and he is just plain COOL!

Pick # 5 Beanie Wells – Running Back – Arizona Cardinals

Rookie RB Ryan Williams (a Hokie!) was headed for some big time carries this season with the Cardinals.  Sadly, Williams suffered a season ending injury a few weeks ago so teammate Beanie Wells will likely play a far greater role.  Beanie has a history of injuries and his numbers last year were unimpressive and forgettable.  I think at some point early in the season the Cardinals may make a trade or sign a free agent to replace Williams, thereby cutting Beanie’s playing time.  So while I think he may have been a decent choice and can give me some points early on, I expect that I too may replace Beanie as the season progresses.

Pick #6 Marques Colston – Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints

Off season knee surgery dropped the value of Colston.  They say New Orleans is a place where you don’t follow the rules, so I threw out conventional wisdom and gambled that Colston will re-visit his stellar stats of last year.   It is fantasy football – not life or death – so what the heck?!!

Pick #7 Kevin Kolb – Quarterback – Arizona Cardinals

As an Eagles fan, I had the opportunity to watch Kevin Kolb last year before he was injured and ultimately lost his job to Michael Vick.  I think he’s a smart player who will surprise many gridiron gurus this season. He may not be a Tom Brady or Peyton Manning caliber player, but he is a solid choice for the #2 QB slot.

Pick#8 Mark Ingram – Running Back – New Orleans Saints

While a Heisman Trophy winner like Ingram defies the word “sleeper” in most senses, as an untested rookie in the NFL, he became my “sleeper” in this draft.  Is it a risk to pick a rookie?  Yes.  But at #8, I like my chances.  There’s no doubt Ingram is loaded with talent.  With Pierre Thomas on the team, he won’t be the “go to” back for the Saints, but he should get enough carries to justify my pick.  I think for someone with his potential, this pick was a steal!

Pick #9 Santana Moss – Wide Receiver – Washington Redskins

As 9 round approached, I decided it was time to stock up on another receiver.  I was surprised to see a consistent veteran like Moss available this late, so this was an easy-peasy pick!

Pick#10  Defense /Special Teams – Chicago Bears

Da Bears!  As the rounds quickly progressed, my fellow teammates were little by little choosing their defenses.  I planned on waiting to my 16th or 17th pick, but fell to peer pressure.

Pick#11 Dustin Keller – Tight End – New York Jets

I will admit that I have often neglected the TE position in my draft.  Frankly, this year was no different.  As I looked over my roster through 10 rounds, I realized I had not yet drafted a TE.  I am aware that sometimes a TE can give a fantasy owner some big points, but I have never truly paid the position the attention it most likely deserves.  For this pick, I basically used a FF cheat sheet to pick my first TE.  So much for planning…

Pick #12 Ben Tate – Running Back –  Houston Texans

Arian Foster was the #1 pick in countless fantasy drafts this year.  But with his hamstring injury plaguing him, little known Tate could see some extra carries.  As a late round pick, this seemed like a pretty good bet.  Should Foster improve quickly and Derrick Ward gets the bulk of the remaining carries, I could envision dropping Tate for another unforeseen need.  But a 12th round gamble like this seems like a no-brainer!

Pick#13 Aaron Hernandez – Tight End – New England Patriots

I am not a big fan of Tom Brady’s personality, but the guy has talent.  With a QB like Brady, Hernandez is a solid choice as my #2 TE.  As much as it pains me to admit it, any Brady receiver is a steal in the 13th round.

Pick#14 Jerome Simpson – Wide Receiver – Cincinnati Bengals

By all accounts, Simpson is a “sleeper” in this year’s draft.  He finished last season on an upswing and could be in for some big numbers this year.  He has a rookie QB to contend with, but this is definitely going to be an interesting choice.  As a 14th pick, I thought he would be a fun addition without a lot of risk.

Pick #15 Darren Sproles  – Running Back – New Orleans Saints

Competing for time with Mark Ingram will be tough for Sproles.  But the potential for some strong games is there, making him a fantastic find to join my RB corps.

Pick #16 Josh Brown – Kicker – St. Louis Rams

I don’t waste time and energy on picking my kicker.  In the last round or two, I pull up a list of available kickers and pick the highest ranked one.  Badda Bing, Badda Boom!!

Pick #17 Anthony Dixon – Running Back – San Francisco 49ers

For my last pick, I went for yet another RB.  Anthony Dixon’s rating was one of the best ones still available in the RB position by the end of the draft, so I made an easy decision and took him!

My team is set to go and I eagerly await the start of the season.  My roster will surely change many times throughout the season, but I am pleased with my picks, despite my Vick-less roster.  Many people spend months preparing for their draft.  That’s way too serious for me.  I like to select my players based on a dash of research, a pinch of “expert” advice, but a huge helping of instinct.  Will I be the ultimate fantasy football champion with this strategy?  Probably not, but I do think I will be a contender, and at the very least, have a lot of fun!

We’re Back and Ready to Go!!

We’re backkkkkkkkk!!!!   Like the NFL’s owners and players, Gridironglamourgirl has had a tumultuous off-season as well!  Now that the pre-season is in full swing, college football is mere days away and fantasy drafts are popping up around the globe, we’ve been inspired and decided it was time to strap on a helmet and get back on the field!

Over the next few months, we will offer up a glamourgirl’s viewpoint about the latest news on the gridiron.  This season is shaping up to be full of excitement, controversy, and most importantly, fun!  We may not always be fair and balanced (can you say, Tom Brady and his pretty boy looks?), but we do promise to provide a unique perspective on your favorite college and NFL teams and players.

So join us as we embark on another exhilarating football season!  Nothing beats the guts and grit of the gridiron.  It truly is the greatest game on earth and we look forward to sharing the highs and lows with you over the next few months!!

Now, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???!!

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