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We do a ton of insightful, thoughtful, and serious features here at Footballguys with smart people thinking deeply for you.
This is not one of those features.
This is Random Shots and it's a few pages of me downloading my brain that gets stuffed with way too many random items from too many hours watching, reading about, and listening to football every weekend and throughout the week. It's the only way I manage. Here's hoping it has some value for you.
We'll see. Now let's get to it.
With the NFL season kicking off Thursday night, I was feeling like this throwback picture of Jimmy Johnson. It's the same way every year.
Another year. Another draft in my beloved local league.
On the Soapbox.
I love the big fantasy football contests. Our Footballguys Players Championship sold out again this year and it's in my opinion hands down the best contest in the country. I drafted live in Las Vegas this year with my son at the FFPC Main Event. I love the big tournaments.
But the local home league has always been, and will always be the backbone and foundation of fantasy football for me. And therefore it'll be the foundation and focus of Footballguys. The smack talk and community and camaraderie is the heart and soul of this industry and it'll always be at the forefront of how I think of Fantasy Football. All the other ways to play are great. But they're all in addition to the local league.
Friends enjoying each other and enjoying football always has been what I love about Fantasy Sports. And yeah, this is what I said last year. My guess is I'll say it next year too. The big stuff is fun. But the local league is where my heart's at. And where Footballguys will be.
Because of stuff like this:
Did I stay up all night creating a #FantasyFootball Hard Knocks style hype video bashing the corrupt commissioner @ChrisNews8 for trying to keep me from winning yet another championship? Perhaps. I put in the work this offseason, but did Chris Gros? Not likely. #footballisback pic.twitter.com/SLVwcM4Xsb— Matt Galka Fox 10 (@MattGalkaFox10) September 9, 2021
Off the Soapbox.
This week is the time of year when everyone massively overreacts.
As Ferris Bueller says: Life moves pretty fast.
This was 12 months ago.
“No, you can’t have my job back Brady. Enjoy Florida, heard they got a nice retirement home picked out for you. Hope you know how to play Bingo.” pic.twitter.com/RjCRqZQ9tD— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) September 13, 2020
Here's another one to remind us how things change. This was the Monday Night Football opening from 2004.
Bill Belichick chose the guy on the left to start and released the guy on the right. I’m pretty confused because Twitter told me only the QBs who look like fitness models can be any good…
I'm just going to drop this one right here...
Hat Tip to Footballguy Karl Mahler.
We all know in the end, a coach is judged by wins and losses. But class move from Joe Judge in the preseason game honoring Marines in Afghanistan.
"I've been totally bored by Hard Knocks this season but thought it was just me. However, Sports Business Journal reports that viewership for the HBO series is down big time from 2019. According to SBJ, the series is averaging 295,000 viewers after two episodes. Last season, which featured the Rams, Chargers and COVID-19, it averaged 262,000 viewers. The 2019 edition featuring the Raiders averaged 719,000."
1. I don't agree with Traina. I may be in the minority but I thought Hard Knocks was good again this year. But I admit, I'm biased as I love the behind-the-scenes stuff with practice and I'll watch pretty much anything NFL Films does.
2. I wonder what Jerry Jones thinks about drawing less than half as many viewers as the Raiders?
As too many of us painfully know, Odell Beckham Jr Jr missed Sunday's game. He apparently is not quite ready to return to action.
He did find time to post this Tuesday:
Odell Beckham Jr Jr (@obj) September 14, 2021
On one hand, I like the swagger.
On the other, my league awards points for actual on-field production, not Twitter likes.
Most punters don’t have a lot of other jobs on the team. Some are holders for the kickers but that’s about it. Pittsburgh’s Pressley Harvin III looks like he could fill in at linebacker if needed.
Thanks to Clayton Gray for that one.
My buddy Sigmund Bloom with an interesting thought: Could the Steelers be a version of the Denver Super Bowl team that won with a great defense and the Corpse of Peyton Manning?
I was wrong.
Hat Tip to Footballguy Cecil Lammey.
Music Note Of The Week. Sometimes, you don't need music to be deep or inspiring, or especially creative. Sometimes you want music to just be fun. And to feel like you're in a movie soundtrack. 7Horse is both of those.
And yes, there's still time to change your team name to the "Supercharged Freedom Fighters".
The 8k camera shots are gorgeous. More info here if you’re in that type of thing.
Baseball note. I don't know why this doesn't happen more often.
ðŸ¤£ðŸ˜‚ pic.twitter.com/inTHsQpDu0— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 28, 2021
I don't know what's in that bottle but I'd be putting a big sticker on it that says, "DO NOT DRINK".
WHAT IS IN THAT BOTTLE pic.twitter.com/XbDoSxjbpl— Kassidy Hill (@KassidyGHill) August 29, 2021
This is totally on-brand for those teasips at texas university.
The new University of Texas stadium addition has a big light-up uterus in it which is so on-brand pic.twitter.com/vwQ3K7Crlc— Emily Ramshaw (@eramshaw) September 4, 2021
Maybe the SEC isn’t going to be as fun they thought…
Minnesota's Justin Jefferson has skills.
A busted sewer line raining down on Washington fans in the stadium Sunday was just a little bit too much on the nose. Never mind that it was rainwater from a storage tank. Don't let facts get in the way of metaphors here. The affected fans were reportedly moved to suites and given Taylor Heinicke jerseys...
Those people on the field in Carolina are nuts. A 50 foot tall Panther jumping around and they're just walking around like nothing's happening. Amazing.
Check out our new mixed-reality panther that debuted today ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ pic.twitter.com/8DwEvam9KM— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 12, 2021
Stefon Diggs with some sweet tribute cleats for Michael K. Williams.
Back to Taylor Heinicke. Write that guy off at your own peril. Dude can play.
Internet: It takes wide receivers some time to adjust in the NFL.
Narrator: Ja'Marr Chase is a rookie.
Hindsight is 20/20 and there's a LOT of football to be played. But I'm not disagreeing with Bengals Study Room: "The Bengals lose on Sunday with Penei Sewell and not Ja’Marr Chase"
And after all the hand wringing this summer, you know LSU had this one ready to go.
Confirmed.— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) September 12, 2021
Ja'Marr Chase can catch the ball
I like Lamar Jackson. He's clearly an above-average QB. For real NFL quarterbacks, I'd put him about #10 on this list above Tannehill and Ryan but after Murray. But honest question: Is there a more sensitive fan base in the league than Lamar Jackson fans? It's of course no fault of his. But seems so odd. It's ok. Sometimes you fumble twice and sometimes the other teams turns that into two touchdowns. It's not the end of the world. He's still a really good quarterback.
The coach’s name here is Aubrey Pleasant. pic.twitter.com/E3SNxTkjLj— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) September 12, 2021
It's better with context though.
This is what coaching is: Lions DBs coach Aubrey Pleasant and Jeff Okudah had a passionate sideline teaching moment early in the game that went viral. Later, after Okudah gave up a 79-yard TD, Pleasant coached him up with love. ðŸ“º: FOX pic.twitter.com/kiaVAtW741— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) September 13, 2021
The NFL is different.
He has plenty of company losing his first game as the #1 pick. Our friend Doug Farrar wrote, "David Carr (older brother of Raiders QB Derek Carr), the first overall pick of the Texans in 2002, is the last quarterback picked first overall in a draft to contribute to a win in his first career start."
That's pretty wild.
I'm happy for Sam Darnold.
Of all the scenarios where Packer fans saw Jordan Love playing in Week 1, I don't think this one was high on the list.
ProFootballTalk asked a fair question: What would Peyton Manning say and do if he were the lead analyst on the primary crew for Monday Night Football and ESPN set up an alternate feed and hyped it relentlessly?
Austin Ekeler giving away signed jerseys to teams who drafted him is so good. I have no idea what Ekeler will be doing once his playing days are over but I'll be shocked if he's not wildly successful. This guy gets it.
Thanks for the fantasy love! Getting these jerseys signed… weekly winner announcement coming soon!! pic.twitter.com/E5HWUQmPG8— Austin Ekeler (@AustinEkeler) September 14, 2021
I can't think of many things I'd enjoy more than the Texans being decent this year and shutting everyone up who acts as if they're the smartest person in the room. Tyrod Taylor can play. There are lots of quarterbacks in this league who'd lose their job to Justin Herbert.
Good News: Steeler RB Najee Harris saw 100% of the RB snaps for Pittsburgh.
Bad News: For much of the game, Chase Claypool was the team's leading rusher.
Worse News: With 25 yards.
Watching the Pittsburgh offensive line, I'm reminded it takes more than a hot running back to fix the running game. Just ask Saquon Barkley.
Trying to get cute and "ice" the kicker remains one of the lamest moves in sports. Sunday Minnesota's Mike Zimmer gave it a shot with Bengals rookie Evan McPherson. Zimmer called the timeout and McPherson took and made the practice kick. Much to the chagrin of Zimmer. When it was for real the next time, he was just as smooth. Let them play.
Aaron Rodgers looks like an unscrupulous concert promoter whose three-day festival resulted in a series of lawsuits over no-shows, overflowing raw sewage and a malfunctioning fireworks display that left dozens hospitalized. pic.twitter.com/zruBeftroy— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) September 13, 2021
Rodgers finished as the 33rd ranked quarterback Sunday.
Narrator: 32 teams played Sunday.
Hat Tip To Matthew Berry.
I can only imagine what we'd be seeing if Travis Etienne were there.
For anyone who doubts whether paying pass rushers is worth the money, Ryan Tannehill and the Titans would like a word.
Chandler Jones was a difference-maker Sunday.
Closing with this one and going back to Hard Knocks I mentioned above. My favorite thing about shows like this is the behind-the-scenes stuff from practice or games. DeMarcus Lawrence coaching up Azur Kamara is so good. At this point, Kamara was struggling to make the team. Watch this. (Warning - Some R-Rated Language)
The thing I love most about Hard Knocks is the insight into veterans coaching up young guys. DeMarcus Lawrence doing work. Good life advice too. Think before. Then execute in the heat of battle. Warning: NSFW language. pic.twitter.com/WEJeBFM4CL— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) September 1, 2021
Interaction like this is so complex. Lawrence does multiple things here exactly right and gives a lesson in leadership.
He opens with a question instead of an accusation or instruction. Lawrence already knows the problem. He knows Kamara is thinking and not just playing fast. This isn't really a question. But instead of telling him not to think. He asks him why he is thinking. Huge difference.
Look at his eyes. He is giving Kamara his 100% full attention. People desire to be seen and heard. He does both here.
His body position. Lawrence crouches down to get below eye level with Kamara. This is a non-threatening posture. For someone Lawrence's size, this is important.
He reaffirms. Kamara said something about getting "locked-in" and Lawrence repeats that phrase as one of the things he wants him to do. It's clear he heard Kamara and he's on his side.
You may not be an NFL defensive end. But I bet there are people in your circle of influence who see you as someone further down the road than they are and wants to be a bit like you. Be like Lawrence here and help them along the way.
Thanks to Footballguys Keith Overton and Clayton Gray for the help on this one. If you've got a Random Shot of your own, send me an email at email@example.com.
Thanks for playing along and I hope you make the most of whatever you're doing in your life. Love your neighbor and stick together.
Peace and Grace to you.