Posts Tagged ‘Sam Bradford’

Great Gridiron Gifts for the Holidays!

It is December 1st.  How did that happen?!!  There’s a lot to do before the holidays are suddenly upon us.  Over the next few weeks, look for our favorite shopping, cooking and other helpful tips that will help you glide through the holiday season with ease.  As always, we also keep you updated with the latest gridiron news!

Looking for a great holiday gift for that football fan on your list?  Jerseys are a perfect choice and with so many retailers offering them, it is easy to find a great deal.  NFL.com recently released its list of the top 25 selling NFL jerseys.  The sales data is for the period of April 1st through October 31st

These past few weeks have undoubtedly changed that list, as Michael Vick jersey sales have skyrocketed.  This past summer, his jersey sales were not even on the top 100 list.  His phenomenal performances (13 TDs, 1 interception and a 106 QB rating) have helped him lead the Eagles to 1st place in the NFC East, tied with the NY Giants.  With his new fan base behind him buying his #7 jersey, it now appears Vick will be among the top 25 when new sales figures are released.

Other interesting players on the list are the two rookies.  Sam Bradford may have been the #1 draft pick, but Tim Tebow’s jersey is the #1 seller, despite the fact that he is not even the starter for the Broncos!  If Tebow’s jersey remains #1, it will be the first time a rookie has ever led NFL jersey sales. 

Who is not on the list?  Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger’s popularity apparently declined due to the allegations of sexual assault.  His jersey is not among the top 25 sellers.  Prior to this, he had been on the list every year since his rookie season six years ago.

The Cowboys have three players on the top 25 list (Miles Austin, Tony Romo and Jason Witten), leading all other NFL teams.  It is too bad jersey sales do not have any bearing on how a team is performing.  The Cowboys could use any help they could get!  

Here are the top 25 as of October 31st:

  1. Tim Tebow, Broncos
  2. Drew Brees, Saints
  3. Troy Polamalu, Steelers
  4. Peyton Manning, Colts
  5. Brett Favre, Vikings
  6. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
  7. Tom Brady, Patriots
  8. Miles Austin, Cowboys
  9. Donovan McNabb, Redskins
  10. Tony Romo, Cowboys
  11. Mark Sanchez, Jets
  12. Eli Manning, Giants
  13. Desean Jackson, Eagles
  14. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
  15. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
  16. Jason Witten, Cowboys
  17. Philip Rivers, Chargers
  18. Chris Johnson, Titans
  19. Patrick Willis, 49ers
  20. Sam Bradford, Rams
  21. Ray Rice, Ravens
  22. Darrelle Revis, Jets
  23. Chad Ochocinco, Bengals
  24. Brian Urlacher, Bears
  25. Wes Welker, Patriots

Draft Day Disaster

This past August I joined a fantasy football league.  After years of watching from the sideline and not quite comprehending how fantasy football actually works, I decided to strap on a helmet and give it a try.  Little did I know that I would actually need that helmet!  This is serious game play and is definitely not for the weak-hearted.

Our league has twelve teams, made up of ten college guys and just two girls.  Having never been part of a fantasy league, I scoured online fantasy draft pick information from all the leading “experts”.  On my desk sits an entire folder devoted to my pre-season research, along with every fantasy football draft magazine I could lay my hands on this summer.  My laptop has files of assembled information, including spreadsheets with categories like PPR (Points per Reception), rankings by position and bye weeks. Suddenly the letters SOS no longer meant an emergency cry for help, but something much more critical – Strength of Schedule.

Next came the dilemma of naming my team.  Did I want a fierce, intimidating name to scare the opposition into retreat?  Or a funny name that made my team the envy of those who wished they could be so clever?  Searching the web, I found a huge variety of “female” fantasy football names, many of which were just too crude to consider.  I wanted a name to represent me, yet have a football connection.  Finally, an epiphany!  My team would be called The Blonde Side.  It would pay tribute to one of my favorite football movies of all time, “The Blind Side”, while allowing me to make my team stand out from my male competition.  Oh, and it also embodied my natural (ahem) blonde hair color.

On draft day, we all assembled in the team manager’s tiny college apartment.  One of the guys had graduated the previous spring and so “attended” the draft through Skype.  We chose ESPN to host our league.  I was assigned the next to last pick, but was undaunted since I felt I had a great strategy in place.  I had my list of desired players and was certain I would be able to get at least some of them.

From research and talking to friends who had played in fantasy leagues for years, I decided to load up on running backs and wide receivers in the early rounds and not even think about my quarterback to the later rounds.  As a HUGE Peyton Manning fan, I desperately wanted him as my first pick, but decided to put my emotions aside and allow my diligently prepared plan of attack to play out. Other favorites, like T.O. and Ladainian Tomlinson would have to wait as well.  Instead, I would listen to the expert advice I had gathered and ignore the gut instincts that were telling me to make completely different choices.

As the draft began, I was shocked at how quickly the guys made their picks.  By the time it was my turn, the top ranked player remaining on my list was RB Frank Gore from the San Francisco 49er’s and I quickly grabbed him.  Next, I chose WR Reggie Wayne of the Colts and felt pretty secure about my choices.  But by the time the third round came around, my list of prospects had dwindled and I was suddenly scrambling to make a pick.  I scoured my spreadsheets, notes and brain for my next pick as the 2 minute draft clock ticked down.  Ochocinco, I shouted out, when I realized T.O. had already been snagged.

The rest of the draft is a blur as I frantically tried to choose my next player in round after round.  The other players, more seasoned and experienced, seemed to glide through their picks with ease.  Why did I feel so incompetent and disorganized?  After all, I had books and spreadsheets and files of information that should have made draft day a breeze!

By the end of the draft, my roster was complete – a complete mess, that is.  I had two players from my original list of prospects and the rest was a jumble of players I had haphazardly thrown together.  How did this happen?  I honestly am not sure, but part of my problem was that I ignored my women’s intuition AND fell victim to peer pressure!

So what did I learn from my draft day disaster?  Well, lots of things actually.

  • First, do your research.  It is important to know who the top prospects are and to understand how your league’s scoring system works.
  • Make sure you have information on the less known players.  Despite my spreadsheets, I was not as prepared as I should have been in this area and ended up making choices on players whom I barely had any knowledge about.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the boys.  I think of myself as a pretty independent person, with strong opinions, yet time after time was swayed into picking a player based on what others were saying at the moment.  I was a rookie and assumed the veterans knew more than me.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol during the draft!  Depending on how your league organizes draft day, it can end up being a party atmosphere.  As prepared and serious as I started out, I must confess that one too many Jager Bomb’s may have wreaked havoc on my roster.
  • Most importantly, listen to your gut instinct!  As women, we all know that inner voice that whispers (and sometimes shouts) out to us.  I don’t care what anyone says, that little voice is right 9 times out of 10!

So that pretty much sums up my draft day disaster.  As for the season thus far?  Well, let’s just say that there have been a few fumbles and missed tackles along the way.  In the next few months, I will share The Blonde Side’s victories and defeats in hopes of helping other ladies in their future fantasy football endeavors.  So like Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford, I view this season as a rookie learning experience. Hopefully next season will bring far less thrown interceptions and better play calling ability that will allow me to dominate my male competition!

TGIF – Thank God it’s Football!

TGIF!  It is finally Friday and that means the end of a long week of work, classes, or hectic mom schedules and the start of a weekend that hopefully brings some well deserved fun and relaxation.  Here at gridironglamourgirl, it also marks the beginning of a whole weekend of football!  Let’s take a look at a key matchup on the college gridiron for tomorrow.

The number one ranked Oklahoma Sooners take on eleventh ranked Missouri in a prime time game on ABC, with kickoff at 7 pm central time.  Both teams are undefeated and have a real shot at the BCS title.  So who has the edge in this electrifying matchup?

It is homecoming weekend for the Missouri Tigers and ESPN’s College GameDay will be on campus all weekend broadcasting live.  This is GameDay’s first visit to a Big 12 school this season.  While the presence of Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreet, Desmon Howard, Chris Fowler and the very classy and fashionable Erin Andrews certainly creates great buzz and hype among students, alumni and fans, is it enough to overcome the dominating Sooners?

History is not on the Tiger’s side, with Oklahoma winning the last seven games and possessing an overall series record of 19-1.  But, hey, this is college football and upsets are an every weekend occurrence!

Most “experts” predict an Oklahoma victory, but we think this Missouri squad will give Tiger head coach Gary Pinkel his first win over his long time rival.  Here are some of the reasons we think the Tiger’s have a slight edge in this matchup:

  • The intangibles – like the frenzy of being in the national spotlight, the emotion of being the underdog, and the crazy fan chaos of playing in The Zou, which is ranked the second toughest stadium for opponents to play in –  give Missouri a great advantage.
  • The Tigers have the 6th ranked defense in all of college football, but on Saturday they face their toughest challenge this season, as the Sooners’s overall offense is  ranked 3rd in the Big 12 and 17th nationally.  But a key component in this game is the pressure the Tiger defense can bring.  Missouri ranks 6th in sacks and with their leading pass rusher, Aldon Smith, expected back after missing the last few weeks with a broken fibula, Sooner QB Landry Jones will need to have eyes in the back of his head.  If Sam Bradford was still the QB, it may not be as significant of a factor, but we think the Tiger’s pressure on Jones will be a major disruption to the Sooner’s offense and will help contain phenom wide receiver Ryan Broyles.
  • If the secondary can force a few turnovers and the defense can contain the Sooner’s big plays, the Tigers have a real chance to win this one.  The Tigers defense is also dominating in the red zone, allowing opponents to score only 26.7% of the time
  • Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert has a great pass efficiency rating on first and second down.  Yes, on 3rd downs he is only completing 44% of his passes and ranks 98th out of 109 passers on 3rd downs nationally.  Luckily, the Tigers offensive line is one of the best they’ve had in years and should provide the ever-improving Gabbert with enough time to make his completions.  The Tiger offense does not have enough razzle-dazzle to pull off a win by itself, which is why a dominating defensive performance is key to their win.
  • Though the Sooners are undefeated at 6-0, they have struggled in many of their games, especially on the road.  We sense the Tigers smell upset and when teams possess that fervor and indefinable grit and will to win like they seem to be feeling at the moment, they are unstoppable.

Saturday night at The Zou!  It is going to be a wild and crazy one that you won’t want to miss, even if you aren’t a Big 12 fan.  Watching the number one team in a lively, GameDay atmosphere is what college football is all about!

photo by Shane Epping

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