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The Official That's Game! Sports Blog

Filtering by Category: that's game sports


Scripted Visions Publishing Group


By Delano Burnett

NFL Wide-Receivers have long been regarded as the divas of the NFL. Flamboyant and braggadocios, their immense talent and unique skillset are often matched only by their temperamental attitude and “just get me the ball” mindsets. Of course, there are exceptions to any rule. Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Jordy Nelson are a few of the game’s elite receivers who seem to be content being quiet and just playing the game. However, they appear to be in the minority with regards to the typical demanding demeanor of the superstar wide-receiver in the NFL.    

 This past off-season produced a couple of attention-grabbing headlines surrounding the contract situations of the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant and the Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas. Both players threatened lengthy hold-outs if their teams did not meet their individual contract demands. It actually became must-see TV at one point. The pundits, on TV, radio, and social media, provided plenty of speculation about the negotiations. But at the end of the day, Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas both got their money. Money that was, in my opinion, well-deserved according to the numbers they both put up over the past couple of years. Last year Dez led the league in touchdowns with 16 TDs and Demaryius was second in total receiving yards with 1,619.  Both have been selected to multiple pro bowl and Thomas played a key role in his team’s recent super bowl bid. Talent-wise, they are both easily ranked in the Top 7 of current NFL wide receivers.      

Dez Bryant is not only a good player but also a leader on the Cowboys. It is easy to see that Dez provides the fire his team needs to perfectly compliment Tony Romo and Jason Witten’s mild-mannered personalities.  Demaryius and Dez both provide excellent targets for both possessions and down the field. As it stands currently, there’s no way the Broncos or Cowboys can win without their star wide-outs. But this leads me to my next question, should teams be built to be so dependent on wide receivers? And can they expect to win the Super bowl this way?      

I recently had an interesting conversation that sparked the idea that the wide receiver position might be slightly overrated in terms of how much they should be paid. The recent trend in the NFL has been the ongoing devaluation of the running back position. As a result, running backs are not paid anywhere near their worth considering how valuable running the ball continues to be in the NFL.  When it comes to being a successful road team, I’ve always heard the term “defense and running the ball travels”, while great passing attacks don’t always travel as well, especially during the playoff grind.  If you look at the last three super bowl winners, only one team had a wide receiver making more than six million dollars; and that was Anquan Boldin when he played for the Ravens.  However, two of the three past super bowl winners did have elite level running backs on their teams in Ray Rice and Marshawn Lynch.

Now, onto the defensive side of the ball.  Seattle and New England were both top ten teams in “points allowed”.  In fact, for the last three years Seattle has led the league in points allowed and coincidentally, they have played in back-to-back Super Bowls the last two seasons. The last great offensive team to win a super bowl was the Green Bay Packers in 2011, which led the league in points scored with 560. Lastly, look at what last year’s Super Bowl winner, the New England Patriots, did with a cast of second-tier wide-receivers.        

Now I don’t want to come off as dismissive of the talent these wide receivers posses and the impact they make on games.  In fact this might be the most talented crop of wide receivers the NFL has ever seen.  I’m not sure if there's even an absolute best wide receiver in the league.  The NFL Network has Calvin Johnson still rated the number one wide receiver even though he was injured this past year and his numbers were the lowest since 2009.  Antonio Brown had the best numbers from last year and as talented and reliable Dez Bryant is, the NFL Network had Julio Jones rated ahead of him. You can make a strong case for any of those four wide receivers I mentioned as being the best in the league.  

There are also a few young wide receivers from the 2014 rookie class who are quickly making a name for themselves.  Everyone knows about Odell Beckham Jr. and the havoc he wreaked on defenses last year. His phenomenal play even earned him this year’s Madden cover, but there were others who put together great seasons as well. Mike Evans put up 1,051 yards and 12 tds, Kelvin Benjamin put up 1008 yards and 9 tds, and Sam Watkins, despite really shaky QB play in Buffalo, put up 982 yards and 6 tds. So like I said, there are a lot of really talented players at that position. Knowing this, I think we have to ask: does plethora of talent at this position also provide additional support to the argument that perhaps wide-receivers are over-paid?        

Obviously, the NFL has changed into more of a passing league with all the rules that have benefited the quarterback and wide receiver; but typically, Super Bowl winning teams are not built around the wide receiver position.


Scripted Visions Publishing Group

- The Truth Uncovered...At Last! -

By Dennis "Crazy Train" Dedrick

Attention all teams that enter Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  It is haunted!!! There are mysterious, phantom creatures that live in the air ducts. Little gremlins that get in your brains and make you play like crap.   Or they enter the visiting locker-room and steal your play sheets, interfere with your headsets and give the feeling you are always being watched.  Not only that, but beware of the line judge that is standing beside your coach on the visitors’ sideline…he might be wearing a microphone…or better yet, maybe he’s not even a NFL referee, he is actually a spy for the Patriots! Better check his credentials!  See, in Patriot-Land, things are not what they appear to be. Every fan in the stadium is watching your sideline, and not the game.  You might have something the Patriots need. Crucial Intel about your team’s supposedly best-kept secrets. You never know. These gremlins? See they are wearing miniature cameras that are feeding the images to a secret control room buried 20 stories beneath the 50 yard line.  And what else can the Patriots use to gain an unfair advantage over your team? Their field is lined with sensors so they know by weight which of your players are on the field and what formation they’re in; therefore they can deduce the play you are about to run. They have to stack the odds in their favor somehow, otherwise, they’d never win, right? They’re not the defending Super Bowl Champions and the best team in the NFL because of talent or ability and just plain old gritty, hardcore football. No, they are only the best because they know what the other team/players are about to do before they do it. Simply put, according to many of you out here, the Patriots have to cheat to win.

According to the tin foil wearing anti-Patriot fans, the mystique of Gillette Stadium and its uncanny and almost impenetrable home-field advantage can be easily explained: The Patriot organization employs unfair and illegal tactics to defeat teams well-beyond the field of fair-play. The truth? Well, that is a different matter all-together. Most teams are beat before they even step on the field at Gillette…helpless victims of the mind-games they play on themselves. Everyone is so paranoid about what they think is going on in Foxborough, but no one can actually confirm anything. The crazy thing is that people actually believe all the unfounded rumors circulating from other visiting players and coaches around the league. But let’s dig a little deeper here. Who actually started all those rumors in the first place? Maybe it was The Patriots?! Maybe they started those stories just to make you, the visiting team, nervous. The Patriots will tell any story to make the other team lose focus on what really matters…it’s called playing the game!

So… what about the headset issues? What do we really think happened here?  Was it the gremlins in the air ducts? The fans that will go to any length to spy for the Patriots?  Maybe it was the double-agent referees? Or…here’s a thought…could it be just plain old, basic science? Could the electrical infrastructure be blamed for the interference??  Nooo…of course not…It could never be that.  No way. It can’t be that simple. Herman Edwards said it best when talking about the headset problems the Steelers experienced last Thursday night playing the Patriots.   If that always happens, why wait until now to say something?  In recent years, the Steelers are 0-4 in Foxborough and you bring up the headset issue now? FOUR losses later???  When asked if it happens elsewhere, Coach Tomlin said “I’m talking about what happened here,”…Why wouldn’t he say if it happens elsewhere?  Because it does!!!!!  Also if you’re not going to file a complaint, then why whine about it?? That’s because it’s the NFL’s fault and not New England’s but that’s not an interesting story so it won’t be talked about or expanded on. It’s also not an interesting story if it happens at any other stadium!! No one cares or will listen then. But why is that? It’s because the Patriots are the most consistent organization in the NFL and everyone is trying to beat them and take their dominance from them. They are the team everyone loves to hate! 

In New England, it is team first and if you step out of line you’re gone.  Ask Randy Moss. Who else would trade one of the best to ever play the wide receiver position in the middle of the season? How is Jonas Gray’s career in New England?  He had a record setting game against the Indianapolis Colts in week 11, made the cover of Sports Illustrated, and became “the guy”.  At least until he overslept and was sent home from practice. After that, he gained only 84 rushing yards and 7 receiving yards the rest of the season, including the post season. He was even inactive for the Super Bowl.

Speaking of which, let’s talk about the Super Bowl for a moment.  Did the Patriots cheat their way to the title?  Of course Patriot Hater Nation, says “they sure did, they didn’t even deserve to be there”, they deflated the footballs and cheated their way to victory.  Even though the footballs had air pumped into them at half-time and once that was done the real beat-down started. We all know that the NFL always checks the psi of the footballs at halftime (NOT!) I find it interesting that they decided to do it during this particular game. Was it the Patriots cheating ways that made Pete Carroll call a play that NO ONE thought he should? Who in their right mind would call a pass play on the one yard line instead of handing off to Beast Mode for the win as time was running down?  Of course this was the Patriot’s fault, what else could it have been? It wasn’t that Pete Carroll wanted Russell Wilson to be the MVP instead of Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch.  Nope it was all Patriots, could there possibly be any doubt?  

Let’s fast forward to September 10, 2015, opening night of the 2015 NFL season.  The Patriots cheating ways led them to victory once again Hater Nation, it had nothing to do with the trick play the Steelers tried to run that resulted in Brown getting sacked and ending a promising drive. Let’s not forget the two missed field goals as well. I guess all of the clapping and yelling from the Patriot fans somehow made the wind gust up to 40mph and which made Scobee miss not one, but twice!!!!!  You also can’t forget the interception that Roethlisberger threw, which by the way, was under-thrown. So there it is…it was all Patriots fault! They switched the balls the Steelers were using.  They added weights to the balls so Big Ben couldn’t throw it as far, they knew the play because of those pesky turf sensors.  Come on man get real. 

To all of you San Francisco 49ers fans that go back to the Montana and Young era, how does it feel knowing your rings are tainted?  Didn’t Jerry Rice admit to cheating by continuing using stick-umm after it was banned?  Oh it’s not the Patriots, so it doesn’t count.  Green Bay Packer fans, didn’t Aaron Rodgers admit to overinflating the footballs just last season?  How did that investigation turn out?  Oh wait there wasn’t one! To the New Orleans Saints supporters, since you were caught up in Bountygate scandal, every time you make a hard tackle or a late hit it must be because you have the bounty program up and running again. Since you did it once, you’re a habitual offender and therefore prone to do it again.

Are the four Lombardi Trophies that the Patriots have tainted? Hell no, not in the least! I’ve enjoyed watching Patriot Nation win each and every one of them and I hope we can add to that total this season.

Lastly, how about all of the misinformation that was leaked by the NFL and never corrected? They let the public run with all of the incorrect data and form their own opinion which fit the narrative the NFL wanted in the first place. The Patriots portrayed as cheaters. By the way, how did COMMISSIONER Goodell enjoy the game at Gillette Stadium?  Oh that’s right he couldn’t make the trip to the season-opener because he was busy talking with the NFL lawyers trying to see what other trumped-up charges they can throw at New England. Believe me…I totally get why many of you, fans, coaches, and players, feel the way you do…I get it…no, really I do. See, it’s completely understandable why many of you can’t stand the Patriots…because no matter what team you root for, coach for, or play for, you’ve all been beaten DOWN by Patriot Nation at one point or another. But, hey… don’t sit here and cry in your milk…hollering and screaming foul…How about you try stepping your game up and winning a lil more?


Scripted Visions Publishing Group

- Separating the Athlete from the Person- 

By Delano Burnett

It seems like there is a lot of hating going on when it comes to Floyd “Money” Mayweather.  So many people out here spewing pure HATE in the champ’s direction; from your average fans via social media to the media pundits on both TV and radio. The theme is a common one: “Everybody Hates Floyd.” 

Ok, so the fight versus Pacman didn’t provide the action people wanted; but, Mayweather once again showed why he’s the best Boxer in the game today. Hate him or love him, he is the best pure Boxer of this generation hands down. When it comes to people hating on Floyd Mayweather as a person, there are things people need to understand about athletes in general.  
Let’s talk about team sports for a second. Throughout the history of sports there have been a slew of athletes who, on a personal level, weren’t regarded as the best “people”. Everyone from Kobe Bryant, to Lawrence Taylor, to Pete Rose, and list goes on…were not viewed as the best “people” from a moral or character point-of-view. However, they were the best at their respective athletic professions. When it comes to succeeding in sports at a high level, you have to possess a certain confidence and even arrogance that will sometimes bleed over into your day to day interaction with people.

To this day my friends and I still argue among ourselves about whose better at what sport, who can bench the most, etc.  It’s that arrogance, that competitive fire that many people will easily mistake as you being an “a-hole” or a bad person. So if my friends and I are doing this at our minor level of competitive sports, think about a pro athlete who has made it to the pinnacle of their craft. The arrogance of that particular athlete is going to be off the charts! As fans, we have to do a better job of separating the athlete and the person. 

Now think about boxers. As a boxer, you are totally dependent on yourself in that ring, there are no teammates, no real coaches (outside of your trainer and cut-man).  You are literally on your own in the ring going against an opponent who is trying to knock your head clean off.  To be a boxer, you have to be wired a little differently than the average person.  Think about the fights outside of the ring that most boxers probably endured before they even thought about becoming a boxer.  If you grew up fighting and you end up being really good at what you do, there’s going to be an arrogance about you that’s probably abnormal. The thing is, you have to be that way to survive in a sport as brutal as boxing.  

Boxing has produced some very dislikable people, e.g. Sonny Liston, Mike Tyson, George Forman (pre-his “Forman Grill” days) and Bernard Hopkins (pre- his “getting older” days lol). Now, as far as Mayweather’s public image, of course he has brought some of this on himself via his carefully orchestrated marketing persona “Money” as well as his documented run-ins with the law. With public outcry about domestic violence at an all-time high, Mayweather’s past has been brought back into play.  He’s been charged four times with domestic violence, having been convicted and sentenced to serve jail-time once as a result. Of course this is going to bring a lot of deserved hate in his direction, especially from women, which is to be expected.

Also, Mayweather flaunts his wealth any chance he gets and doing this with a lot of Americans suffering through unemployment, is not going to be viewed as a positive in the eyes of the American public. Again, this is understandable. That being said, fans still have to understand the separation between the entertainer and the person when looking at athletes, particularly boxers. They are in a sport where they have to depend on promoters to get the word out about them and these promoters, for the most part, are taking their fair share of the Boxer’s purse. It was reported by the Mayweather camp that Manny Pacquiao received around $30 million dollars of the $80 million he made the night of the fight. This is where the genius of the Mayweather camp comes into play. Promoting his own fights not only ensures he receives the majority of the total purse, but he also takes home the lion’s share of his winnings. 

In sports, especially combat sports, it helps sell the product if you have a “good guy versus bad guy” scenario. Obviously, Mayweather adopted the role of a bad guy and financially he’s proven to be incredibly successful. No matter how much people complain about his fights being boring, millions of fans are still tuning into watch. He’s found a formula that has helped him become the highest paid athlete across ALL sports. In spite of all the criticism about Mayweather’s upcoming fight against Andre Berto, when these two step into the ring on Saturday night, people across the world will tune in to see if Mayweather can achieve that magical 49-0 record. 

At the end of the day, Mayweather is just doing what a boxer does in terms of playing the villain in a sport that almost requires you to be a little crazy. In fact, he’s created a masterful blueprint for other fighters to follow. Instead of hating him for his “Money” persona, we all should take a minute to ponder the following: are we watching Mayweather because we are fans of the sport of boxing or do we just want to see him lose? 


Scripted Visions Publishing Group


By Dennis "Crazy Train" Dedrick

Ok people listen up, welcome to my first blog post! So, let's get one thing established early on: YES, I AM A HOMER! I’m a true die-hard Patriots fan going back to the days of Steve Grogan and I have a BIG problem with this drummed up travesty called “Deflate-gate”!  If the so called impartial Wells Report stated that “yes” Tom Brady did in fact alter the footballs, then yes he and the New England Patriots should be appropriately punished.  BUT… what does the report say???  It says “More probable than not”. “MORE PROBABLE THAN NOT”??? Can someone please tell me WTF does that mean?? Doesn’t sound anything remotely close to conclusive, yet all of the sports media outlets keep saying is “yes Tom did it! He is guilty, guilty. GUILTY!”  Hmmmm… so those individuals have more knowledge of the facts than the so called “impartial investigation”? I believe that is highly unlikely!

I have a major problem with the wording of the Wells Report. If players/teams can get suspended/penalized because they “more likely than not or more probable than not” did something wrong the league will be in a lot of trouble going forward!  This type of flawed rule enforcement will be giving Commissioner Goodell even more power and we’ve all seen how he has used, or should I say ABUSED, that power in the past.  He’s made some outstanding decisions in the past hasn’t he? (That’s sarcasm, folks.)  How many of those decisions have been overturned by an independent and impartial arbitrator? That says it all right there!  In fact, what did former Commissioner Tagliabue think of the way Commissioner Goodell handled the Bounty Gate scandal?  Would you be surprised that he overturned some of the punishment??? Of course you wouldn’t!!!!

So, Tom Brady is getting suspended because he wasn’t completely forthcoming with the investigators; he didn’t turn over his cell phone and emails to the NFL.  Well, would you???  Because as we’ve seen in the past there aren’t any leaks coming from the NFL front office, so none of Tom Brady’s contacts, pictures or phone numbers and other personal information that has nothing to do with deflated footballs couldn’t possibly be at risk of being leaked, right?

Now, let’s take a look back to the Ray Rice incident.  Didn’t a Law Enforcement spokesmen state that the video from inside the elevator was sent to the NFL front office?  So is it “more likely than not” that Commissioner Goodell knew and saw the video? See, how the NFL works is, an incident happens and they wait and see how the public/media reacts, and THEN they come up with the punishment for the alleged offense.  Funny how that works, right?

The information below is from an article by Brandon Campbell from  “The league has handed down dozens of suspensions in its history, but none for offenses like Brady’s. The NFL rulebook sets the punishment for altering footballs at a fine “including but not limited to” $25,000, leaving room for harsher penalties. Given Goodell’s statements during Super Bowl week, it’s more likely he’ll consider this a violation of league integrity and punish it accordingly.” 

Here is a link to the rest of the article:

Once again, I have a problem with the wording of this “so-called” impartial investigation.  I’m calling it a “so-called” impartial investigation because the NFL HIRED them to conduct the investigation.  You mean to tell me that the conglomerate known at the NFL, doesn’t have the personnel or the trust in its own office to conduct an impartial investigation?  So, if the Patriots had footed the bill for this “investigation”, which way would the results have leaned?  This report yielded the results desired by the NFL; it’s talking about Tom Brady and the Patriots, but there has been no light shed on the flawed manner in which the NFL Front Office arbitrarily determines and hands down punishment. With the NFL’s reasoning for this punishment, I feel sorry for the New Orleans Saints if they ever make a hard tackle in a game and injure a player. If that ever happens again, then they must have a bounty in place since they did it in the past.  If a team makes an accusation that it was done intentionally, look out! The Saints will be suspended and fined for sure. 

The NFL will be in trouble if this punishment stands for Tom Brady and the Patriots.  If The League thinks you did something wrong and you don’t kiss the NFL shield as you enter Commissioner Goodell’s office and do exactly as they say, then your punishment will be harsh.  They want transparency from all players and organizations, but how they conduct business is behind closed doors is muddled with smoke and mirrors.  You can’t make up the rules as you go and have public sentiment dictate how to react, but that is exactly what Goodell’s NFL is doing.

Yes, I’m a Patriots fan! But don’t fool yourself, if this ruling came down on your team, there is no way any of you would agree with the wording of the report or the NFL’s subsequent decision on the punishment. 

And to all of you who call Tom Brady a cheater you better feel the same way about a certain Hall of Famer WR who used stick-um even after it was banned.  You can’t have it both ways, people!

So…I’ll see you at the Super Bowl when the Patriots are playing for the title AGAIN!




Scripted Visions Publishing Group

"Pre-fight Breakdown of the Biggest Fight of Our Generation!"

By Delano Burnett

So… at long last...we have the highly anticipated “Super Fight” that boxing purists and casual fans alike have been waiting almost six years to see. Tonight, Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will step into the ring and we can finally end the debate on who would win a head to head matchup, who is the better fighter and ultimately, who is current the pound for pound King of the Sweet Science. 

I'm a Mayweather fan and I think he's arguably the best pure boxer ever, which is saying a lot when you compare him to some of the all-time greats. But, I have to admit, I’m nervous for Floyd in this fight.  Anyone who doesn't think this will be a great fight to watch hasn't observed Manny’s fighting style throughout his entire career.  He's always been an aggressive fighter that really doesn't care much about defense and wants to mix it up regardless of who he is fighting.  His style of boxing is going to force Floyd to throw more punches then he's used to throwing in a fight.  

So here are my keys to the fight:

The way I'm judging this fight is by comparing two fighters that both Mayweather and Pacquiao have previously faced and, stylistically speaking, offered a challenge similar to what Floyd and Manny will face in each other tonight.  In my opinion, the fighter most similar to Mayweather that Pac has fought is Juan Manuel Marquez and the fighter most similar to Pac that Mayweather has fought is Sugar Shane Mosley.  

Floyd can be a slow-starter and in the Mosley fight he paid for it the most. Sugar had great punching power and he almost knocked him out in those early rounds.

For Manny to win this fight he's going to have to take advantage of Floyd in the early rounds, which is something that he is great at doing.  

Skilled counter-punchers have always caused problems for Pacquiao, so it’s easy to see why Marquez gave him so much trouble during their four battles. In fact, the case can be made that Marquez won most of those fights. Manny’s known problems with counterpunching can play perfectly into Floyd’s strategy because, after all, what is Mayweather? He’s the best counter puncher of all time!  Plus, Mayweather is great at the art of "hit and don't get hit”; so the shots that Marquez usually takes in a fight, Mayweather typically doesn't.  I can see Money knocking out Pac in this fight because his aggressiveness could work to Mayweather's advantage.  

Because of that last fact I pointed out you would think this should be an easy win for Mayweather.  The thing that worries me about this fight is: what took Floyd so long to make it happen in the first place?  Now of course I know all about the long history between him and Bob Arum and I wouldn't want to negotiate anything with him either; but there's no way, if I'm Mayweather, I would've let this linger as long as it did.  If I'm a boxer, I want to fight the best out there no matter how it has to get done. This was always going to be a big money fight and I don’t think five years passing has made much of a difference.  Thankfully both of these boxers aren't washed up, so this should still be a good fight.  It makes me wonder though, could Mayweather have been scared of this fight?  With all the of talk about Pac being on steroids and knowing that he was beating his opponents up, could that have been a factor in Mayweather not really wanting this fight?  A lot of sports pundits have pointed this out and I would think that a boxer doesn't have that type of fear, but it does make you wonder why he didn't make this fight sooner.  

Back to the fight, so I'm thinking this is how it's going to play out.  If Pac wins this fight I think it will be by a knockout and the fight won't go past six rounds. He will have to jump on Floyd early and I think that will be his game plan.  If Mayweather wins this fight it can either be by an early knockout or it can go the distance. You know, for all of his accolades, the thing I don't think Floyd gets enough credit for is his chin. In that Mosely fight he could have easily been knocked out, but he withstood that early punishment and literally dominated the rest of the fight.  My prediction for this fight? Seven rounds to five with Money pulling out a close decision. I do think this will be an action packed fight that will set up a nice rematch in September for Mayweather’s swan song.  

Well, there you have it. My analysis of what should be an incredible mega-event.

So…in the words of Bart Scott: “CAN'T WAIT!!”