It was a good week for ...
1. Matt Hasselbeck: The 40-year-old quarterback was finally placed on season-ending injured reserve this week, putting him somewhere the Colts can no longer hurt him.
2. Howie Roseman: Chip Kelly had banished the former Eagles GM to a satellite office tucked deep within the Poconos Mountains. Now Howie's back. Related: Are there any other successful Howies in the world besides Roseman, Long and Mandel?
It was a bad week for ...
1. Peyton Manning: He's arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time and he's now healthy and on the bench as Brock Osweiler preps for a playoff start. Oh, and he's caught in an HGH scandal, too. Good times all around.
2. Chip Kelly: I would watch a reality show in which Kelly -- now with a lot of time on his hands -- travels the world and meets with tribal leaders, leading mental health professionals and past loves as he attempts to better understand humanity. It could be his version of Eat, Pray, Love.
3. Bill Belichick: Forget all the Hooded One Apologists out there: You win the toss, you take the ball! Bill Belichick messed up. There is no conspiracy. He just blew it. It happens!
The Lonesome Punter
To Hekker's credit, he apologized to Avril after the game. Then again, this isn't the first time Hekker got tough on the field.
That is not nice, Clay Matthews
And are you sure you want to mess with Carson Palmer? He's clearly a man who's lost his mind. You never want to engage with a 6-foot-5, 235-pound wild card in a coconut bra.
Terry Bradshaw's shingles commercial plays like a harrowing, darkly psychological home invasion
I want you to put yourself in the shoes of the man who responds to a firm, aggressive knock at the door one quiet afternoon in Suburbia, U.S.A. You are greeted by a Hall of Fame quarterback in suit and tie. You tell the retired passer that his visit is a surprise. His response bewilders.
"YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE IS A SURPRISE? SHINGLES! AND HOW IT CAN HIT YOU OUT OF NOWHERE!"
Bradshaw then proceeds to force himself into the house -- I'm not exaggerating, check the tape -- and starts a hyper-intense informational session on shingles, a viral disease (so says Wikipedia) "characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters involving a limited area."
The three middle-aged whites in the home attempt to control the situation by remaining calm and cordial. They smile incessantly and feign legitimate interest as this famous stranger rambles about high-octane skin woes. Bradshaw goes into graphic detail about an "ugly band of blisters" that once developed along his mid-section. He calls up images on the family's laptop that can never be scrubbed from the hard drive.
Bradshaw finishes by threatening to make the family watch his Steelers highlight for 12 hours -- or until they die (whatever comes first, I presume) -- before he wanders away from the living room and back toward the front door. We never see if Bradshaw actually exits the residence. My concern is that he is merely locking the doors.
Cam's boy has a lot to live up to
Well, at least we know that we won't have to wait until Cam Newton wins MVP or the Super Bowl to develop a God complex. Newton and his longtime girlfriend celebrated the birth of their first child together this week, a healthy baby boy they named Chosen. Yup, he's literally the Chosen one! The infant is already on Twitter. You know you went all in with your baby's name when it makes Kanye look understated in comparison.
I love Cam's reasoning why he kept his family news under wraps. "I've been quiet about this because I didn't want to create a distraction for my team and appreciate the privacy in this joyous time." As a young father myself, I totally get that second part. We can relate to each other, NFL superstar Cam Newton. But there is something super funny about Cam Newton thinking his girlfriend's pregnancy would somehow challenge teammates' ability to focus on winning the NFC South. This is such a first-time parent perspective on life.
If I'm lucky enough to have a second child, I'm definitely not telling anyone at my office. I'll just show up with the kid years later -- like, when he's 12 -- and explain that I never said anything because I wanted NFL.com to run as efficiently as possible during the baby's gestation period. Just couldn't risk it.
What the what?
The Rams won their seventh game of the season, thus fulfilling their destiny and stamping SUCCESS on another season for Jeff Fisher and Les Snead.
You might be thinking, "What else about the Rams could be interesting now that they have their MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner hanging from their metaphorical aircraft carrier?" How about this: They have a straight-up DINO TRUTHER in their midst.
"No, I don't believe dinosaurs existed," said defensive end William Hayes, via ESPN.com. "Not even a little bit. With these bones, it's crazy because man has never seen a dinosaur, we can agree on that, right? But we know exactly how to put these bones together? I believe there is more of a chance you will find a mermaid than you will a dinosaur because we find different species in the water all the time.
"I don't understand how (Chris Long) just believes in dinosaurs. That's just crazy to me. We know they died. We know what a T-Rex eats? That don't sound crazy to you? We have never seen a dinosaur before but we know exactly where every single rib (was) and which rib goes where. That's crazy to me."
Long's summation of Hayes' viewpoint slayed me.
"He thinks archaeologists place bones underground like a parent would place Easter eggs," Long said. "They just planted them. It's some large conspiracy. He does not believe that dinosaurs ever existed and he thinks that mermaids are real. I love dinosaurs, so we have a big point of contention."
We may have found the one guy who didn't see Jurassic World last summer.
Tweets Of The Week
One of my favorite Twitter handles I discovered this year is @JSComments, which collects and archives the most ridiculous comments left by readers of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. You'd think all Packers fans would be hyper appreciative of the amazing fortitude of going directly from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. That's Hall of Fame quarterback play for 30 straight years!
You'd think wrong. Here's a "best of" collection of the absurdity:
Apparently fans are crazy worried about Sunday night ...
Aaron Cutler!!! You know how mad that comment would make a Bears fan? I just hope none of you guys saw that.
And finally ...
Yes, every fan base has absurd supporters with no grasp of reality. But how am I supposed to root for the Packers after reading these?
Quote of the Week
* "The GOAT turns 43 today. It's been an honor to hold your balls Mr. Adam Vinatieri. Happy Birthday, you're the best man."*
Tom Hanks is America's Uncle
What's more adorable than Tom Hanks sending personal correspondences with the help of a typewriter? Total hero. But not the hero of the week ...
Hero of the Week: Ross Ventrone
It's the start of a new year, and perhaps you've made a resolution to get in shape, find a new job, maybe finally land a girlfriend, I don't know. If you're going to achieve your goals, it will take some perseverance, something safety Ross Ventrone has for days.
Confession time: I had to look up what position Ventrone actually plays. In the last couple years, I -- like many others -- only knew Ventrone as the guy that Bill Belichick ping-ponged across the transaction wire with reckless abandon. Did you know that Ventrone was signed, promoted from the practice squad or released31 times by New England between 2010 and 2015? He had 21 transactions alone during the Patriots' 2011 season.
Happy New Year, everybody. Until next time ...