In the 21st century, we could all use the kind of media training provided for college football stars and NFL Draft hopefuls. Quick -- describe yourself in pithy, media-friendly sound bytes that will translate into lucrative business deals. Yeah, I couldn't do it either.
Brandon O'Brien isn't your average NFL Draft hopeful. The 6'1", 218 lb wide receiver served two tours of duty in Iraq before deciding to dedicate his post-Marine Corps life to getting a shot at playing professional football.
After successfully predicting multiple underdog wins in Week 13, what were the two teams that ruined my otherwise stellar week? The favored Jets and Bears. Who knew that Rex Ryan would have the nerve to bench Mark Sanchez and sidestep the Tim Tebow quagmire?
Without trying to sound superstitious, some NFL favorites should tread softly, lest the upset demons bring them foul luck in Week 13. Those of us with pride on the line in the office pool must remember NFL picking rule No. 1: when in doubt, go with the underdog.
From the young guns on Thursday to the masters of quarterbacking on Sunday night, from Arrowhead to Lambeau to London -- Week 8 of the NFL season guarantees a few upsets fueled by desperation, injuries or misplaced complacence.
Forget a QB rating system based on math Stephen Hawking wouldn't understand. Forget ESPN's new "Total Quarterback Rating." How many quarterbacks strike such fear into a coach's heart that he would choose Bill Belichick's desperate fourth-and-two play over a punt?
Americans may best grasp ideas that emerge from something they really care about. Public policy, economic power and social compact morality? Meh, not so much. But pro football? Now there's something about which Americans care passionately.
The replacement officials are not morons; they simply lack the experience to work at the NFL level. Whether they knew what they were getting into by entering a labor dispute for a shot at working the "big leagues" is another discussion.
Entering NFL Week 3, the many rookie QBs have survived their professional intros, but a couple of teams (yes, you Dallas and New Orleans) are mysteriously inept -- making game predictions a dart-throwing endeavor.
The San Francisco 49ers only missed the Super Bowl because Eli Manning is unflappable, the Seattle Seahawks had an offensive upheaval, the St. Louis Rams are struggling with new systems and the Arizona Cardinals need to at least pretend that they believe.
A talented group of wide receivers made their presence felt throughout the league with a trade and some marquee signings designed to upgrade sluggish offenses. Let's look at some of the new wide receiver riches.