Welcome to the Around The League End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the NFL. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.
It was a good week for ...
1. The Ryan Brothers: Rex was supposed to be the face of a raging dumpster fire in East Rutherford. Instead, he's four quarters away from a 3-1 start for the Jets. Rob, meanwhile, has re-invented a Saints defense that -- statistically, anyway -- was the worst in NFL history last year. Ryan Bowl in February? I'll shut up.
2. Blaine Gabbert jersey owners: Time to take ol' No. 11 out of the closet! Blaine's back, baby! Get excited. Then start drinking.
It was a bad week for ...
1. Josh Freeman: This was all so predictable, wasn't it? Freeman officially can join the growing support group for downtrodden draft picks of 2009. Mark Sanchez is his sponsor.
2. Sam Bradford: Colleague Chris Wesseling put it best when he called Bradford's Thursday performance against the 49ers a "bonanza of ineptitude." Reminder: The Rams could've had RGIII.
3. Flagship NFL franchises: The Giants and the Steelers are a combined 0-6. Tom Coughlin is one offensive line breakdown away from a full-on "Scanners" moment on the sideline. Ben Roethlisberger is in London, where he's been forced to take pictures in front ofBig Ben for 96 consecutive hours. Grim times.
What the What?
And now, a few words from Bus Cook, agent and eternal admirer of Brett Lorenzo Favre.
"Today, he could play today. I saw him the other day. He's in the best shape I've ever seen him in, physically. His arms look like a blacksmith's arms. He rides a bike probably 30 to 50 miles a day. He runs four or five miles a day. He's coaching at the high school, and they're undefeated. He loves it. His body fat is 7.5 percent and he weighs 225 pounds. He could play today, better than a lot of them out there today."
Tweet of the week
I don't know where you're going, Sweet Pea. I don't know where you've been. I don't know if you have a champagne bottle and a mind filled with ill-intent. But I will follow you anywhere.
Our guest this week is actor Matt Jones, who co-stars in the new CBS comedy "Mom," but perhaps is best known for his portrayal of Badger on the pantheon AMC series "Breaking Bad." Matt is a diehard Bears fans, but the SoCal native chose to write about a subject close to his heart.
I am a homeless football fan. Sure, I live in a house, but because I was raised in Los Angeles, I have no home team. When I was 12 years old, both the Rams and the Raiders left. I wasn't upset at the time, because the Rams were terrible, and everyone I knew who liked the Raiders was an idiot. L.A. felt betrayed, and most fans of those teams swore them off for good.
We're coming up on the 20th, yes ... the 20th year of a football-less Los Angeles. What is the result? A melting pot of confusion. I picked the Bears at a young age because I liked Walter Payton in Tecmo Bowl. Friends of mine picked the Cowboys or the Steelers because they were bandwagoning through the '90s.
I met a little kid the other day who likes the Titans. The TITANS! Do you know how sick that is? We are a desperate city looking to fill a void. So desperate, that we would welcome a franchise like Jacksonville with open arms. I'd be first in line to buy season tickets, and I'd even wear the jersey of whoever they draft No. 1 next year.
We're ready NFL, give us our franchise. Just as long as it's not Oakland, St. Louis, or San Diego. We HATE the Chargers.
Thanks, Matt. Let's hope you get your wish.
And while we're here ...
"Breaking Bad" has pulled off an ultra rare feat in its medium. The show -- now deep into its final season -- has peaked in popularity while remaining as compulsively watchable as ever. If creator Vince Gilligan sticks the landing in Sunday's series finale, it has a real case as the best drama in television history.
Hero of the Week: Scar
You have to be a certain kind of fan to dress like you're at the Black Hole when you're in Denver, home of a team superior to yours in almost every conceivable way.
The video above was taken with 1:58 remaining in the third quarter on Monday night. The Raiders were getting torched 30-7 at that point.
Who is Scar? What is his back story? Did he play bass for a mid-2000s emo outfit? Is he on speaking terms with his father? The man is a mystery.
What I can tell you is this: Scar is deserving of your respect. He is the face -- and spiky shoulder pads -- of the eternally optimistic NFL fan. Long live, Scar, and die-hards like him.
Villain(s) of the Week: Kaepernick haters on Twitter
Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick has gotten in the habit of adding negative tweets to his "Favorites" section. This saved feed serves as motivation ... or, um, something else ... we're not totally sure.
As you might imagine, Kaepernick -- like all celebrities -- is the recipient of some nasty vitriol from strangers. You can see for yourself, including the guy who used the hash tag #StartColtMcCoy -- presumably without a dash of irony.
Twitter is an intelligence test. The results of said test might shock you.
A thought: Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is the focus of Leitch's post, but the message crosses boundaries. Greatness can disappear in a second. It's rarely fair when it does.
A thought: An interesting look at the NFL draft process. The suggestion here is that -- from a big-picture perspective -- the draft is completely chance-driven. Nobody knows anything.
Until next time ...
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