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Matthew Berry, NBC Sports EDGE
I say the same thing every year, but I think it's fitting the regular season wraps up around the Holidays. Because for me, the NFL season is sort of like Christmas: Tons of anticipation, and then it seems to be over before I know it.
Part of the fun in writing this column is I know I'll get to share some thoughts with folks like yourself who love football as much as I do. And that strikes me as a very good thing. I've had a blast throwing out my goofy observations this season. And I've smiled at the emails from people telling me they've thought some of the same things as they were watching the games.
As I wrap up the regular season this Week 18, I've pulled up some of the more interesting things I remember seeing during the year. It's my sincerest hope that you've enjoyed reading this column a fraction as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Today, we're all still concerned about Buffalo's Damar Hamlin. There's been a bit of encouraging news, but clearly, he's got a ways to go. I hesitated a bit about doing the "Best Of" column this week like I do every year, as most of this stuff is pretty light and silly. But then I started to think about how this feature isn't a humor thing.
It's a shared experience thing. I'm not telling jokes here. I'm talking about stuff you and I both have probably seen. Not to get too dramatic about a football column, but it's bigger than a football column. It's community. And things bigger than football. So here we are. We continue to lift up Damar Hamlin in prayer, and here are some of the things I've enjoyed sharing with you this season.
And if you're up for it, we'll do it again next season. And if you've got thoughts and ideas on how this thing can be better or just want to yell at me about my preseason Kyle Pitts ranking, feel free to shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's to Football,
I posted this most every week, and it felt spot-on every time.
If a fantasy football season were 9 seconds like this video, we're about half a second in. But so far, this feels pretty accurate.
Still one of my favorites this year. Make sure to have the sound on.
A fantasy football season in 9 seconds...— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) August 15, 2022
As a DAndre Swift fan, this hurts.
But it's true.
I can't say I've ever thought, "I'm just not seeing enough of the Mannings on television."
But this kind of brotherly back and forth is good.
Shannon Sharpe was talking about how the fans received a player returning to play against their former team and asked Peyton how it was going back to Indianapolis.
Eli quickly jumped in, "He was cut."
My sweet 81-year-old Dad is awesome. Still sharp as a tack. Most of what I know about business and service, I learned from him.
He doesn't really do much internet stuff and doesn't fully understand our business. But he's proud of me and what we've built here. He loves it that his friends think Footballguys is cool.
He's not much of a sports fan but will casually watch a game here and there.
Our conversation Friday morning:
Dad: "Dang. That quarterback from Buffalo is something. Man, oh man. You're on that kid, right?".
Me: "Yes, Dad. We're on him".
My friend Linda with a great answer for when someone asks why your fantasy team is struggling.
As usual, Roy Kent knows.
when someone asks why you're 0-2 in your fantasy league pic.twitter.com/7WEBg5uZKm— Linda™ (@Lindellions) September 21, 2022
I love it when the internet goes wild if a 240-pound running back flattens a 198-pound cornerback.
Here's the opposite.
Derwin James is 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds.
Travis Kelce is 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds.
Appalachian State beat Texas A&M two weeks ago in College Station and was paid $1.5 Million to be there.
The signs for ESPN's College Gameday the next Saturday in Boone were fantastic. The school gave away a year of free tuition for the best efforts.
The WINNER of the @CollegeGameDay sign contest ðŸ™ŒðŸ½@appstate Freshman Zachary gets FREE tuition for 1 year (& then they surprised 2nd & 3rd place with free tuition too ðŸ˜ðŸ™ðŸ¼) pic.twitter.com/sqRZkQjZMr— Maria Santora (@MariaSantoraTV) September 17, 2022
But the game was even better as Appalachian State won on the last play:
APP STATE HAIL MARY FOR THE WIN!!! pic.twitter.com/FH1kqvwMeQ— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 17, 2022
Here's App State quarterback Chase Brice helping fans out of the stands onto the field.
Immediately after throwing probably the best pass of the year so far, a Hail Mary game winner, App State QB Chase Brice went over to the stands to help his classmates get down safely while they rushed the field.— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 19, 2022
Marv Levy, at 97 years young, with his trademark, "Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?"
The great Marv Levy. 97 years young. pic.twitter.com/eNpLQOrbvS— Rich Luchette (@richluchette) September 19, 2022
We've found our forever action photo for the Random Shots header. This was too easy with the Butt Punt.
Plus, a shoutout to our friends at PixelNFL for this beauty too.
Sign this girl up. She's got a job at Footballguys.
"Sharing his opinion" is one way to describe Quinnen Williams Sunday...
My favorite clip of Williams is his blessing and thanking himself after a sneeze.
Sometimes it just all works out in the end...
The London double doink field goal attempt felt like a movie.
This view of the players watching the kick is incredible.
Nick Chubb is from Chubbtown?
This was easily my favorite thing this week.
Rock on, Garrett Bolles
Respect the effort here by Garrett Bolles (#72).pic.twitter.com/lmgmVJioCe— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 2, 2022
His wife roasted him too.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t die laughing. Good effort though, babe ðŸ˜‚â¤ï¸ https://t.co/x1mwNz8hsW— Natalie Bolles (@n_bolles) October 2, 2022
That guy can play on my team anytime.
More October talk and Michael Myers with a behind-the-scenes look at what makes him great.
"Pennywise talking like, 'Oh, I'm big time.'"
"You livin' in a sewer.
"My condo 4,800 a month. You're not moving like me."
This is one of the best tik toks I ever seen . Instant classic pic.twitter.com/IhJCWhvsoF— Lance ðŸ‡±ðŸ‡¨ (@BornAKang) September 2, 2022
Nothing like a good coach feud. Especially when it's the young guys vs. the old guys angle.
Back in July, South Carolina's social media posted this video with coach Shane Beamer.
Get that mic ready pic.twitter.com/4PtICIuh0Z— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) July 19, 2022
Before the season started, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops mocked Beamer when he told the SEC Network, “It's easy to change a climate. You know, you just change a uniform, talk a little game, dance around, put on some stupid sunglasses, and you can change a climate. But to change a culture, it's at the core.”
He said he had done things the right way at Kentucky, and they'd made a fundamental culture change. And not just a superficial climate change.
Beamer did not forget.
Here's their "Climate Check."
Climate check ðŸ˜Ž pic.twitter.com/z9yv0lY14e— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) October 9, 2022
Aaron Rodgers look-a-likes in London.
This was just mean...
They apparently switched during half time— Nacho Fernández Iriarte (@1NachoFernandez) October 9, 2022
We're living in a magical time for cameras.
this camera angle is insane ðŸ¤¯ pic.twitter.com/cAuYUZguti— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) October 10, 2022
Pretty much this.
Thanks to Claudio Berumen for that one.
This was the moment #47 realized it was over...
This dude pukes, while eyeing down his opponent, and nods, “hell yes, bring it on.”— Matt Drinkall (@DrinkallCoach) October 15, 2022
Football is awesome. pic.twitter.com/1prPvAy5y6
In hindsight, Alabama never had a chance once this was posted an hour before kickoff in Knoxville...
Vols by a billion pic.twitter.com/XHauUvSy2u— grit (@GRITknox) October 14, 2022
I love the NFL, but College Football is fun too.
Go Big Orange https://t.co/SjKy3xFWHM— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) October 16, 2022
Thanks to Jeff Bell for that one.
Whoever is running the Seahawks' Social Media deserves a raise.
Just chillin', hbu? pic.twitter.com/EMH5Fhh7D4— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 16, 2022
It keeps going...
Y'all dirty for this ðŸ¤£ðŸ¤£ðŸ¤£ pic.twitter.com/YjLmfWQzG2— Purple (@ChristianDorn6) October 16, 2022
and doesn't stop.
Nice detail pic.twitter.com/kQutP4Zy9U— Luke (@LEDLuke) October 16, 2022
Thanks to Justin Bonnema and Jake Bryant for this one.
Miami might have the best home-field advantage in sports.
There is a 30 degree difference between the two sidelines ðŸ˜³ pic.twitter.com/Q8uWNo3dtX— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 16, 2022
How this happens:
People ask how the temperatures can be so different for the opposing team compared to the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. This is how. pic.twitter.com/BhAEVbmBEW— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) October 16, 2022
We know who we are.
I didn't know Trubisky sounded like this... ;)
Great interview by Mitch Trubisky pic.twitter.com/X3ythPdIsl— Idgaf (@Idgaf86919522) October 16, 2022
I'm guessing this was a joke. But anyone who did not vote for Tampa Bay is someone to keep an eye on... ;)
Pick ONE to bring back ðŸ§ pic.twitter.com/oYIM6qL4pj— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) October 21, 2022
I'm an optimist.
I think it's the best way to live.
My friend Jeff speaking that Dad Life Truth.
You can tell which of your leaguemates have newborns because they'll be making waiver moves at 3 am and then again at 6am— jeFF (@TheFantasyEng) October 23, 2022
Like most macho super-bro lines, this one was cool until it wasn't.
More old stuff. Coaches in the '90s were crushing it.
NFL Coaches just looked swagged out in the 90s ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ pic.twitter.com/EOhPGwnXW4— TPS (@TotalProSports) October 23, 2022
When linebackers dream...
Patriots QB Bailey Zappe did what any 23-year-old would do when "Stacey's Mom" came on the stadium sound system: Sing along.
You may know the song is by Fountains of Wayne. And that leads to the music note this week. "Stacy's Mom" is popular, but "All Kinds Of Time" is by far my favorite song from them. Here's the full version. But it's even better as a commercial set to classic NFL images.
Why this doesn't have a zillion likes is a mystery to me. This might be my favorite video ever.
Raiders owner Mark Davis is building a full-on Super Villain Lair, and it's fantastic.
I think it's fair to say we collectively owe Pete Carroll an apology for "holding Russell Wilson back" all these years.
I love this so much.
From Lion to Viking...
TJ Hockenson's transformation into a Viking. pic.twitter.com/YkvXnXsnG9— Aaron Schill (@aaron_schill) November 1, 2022
Twitter can be savage...
Bonus this week as the Music Note is also a Movie Note.
The Royal Tennenbaums is one of my top five all-time movies. Like everyone, I like Paul Simon. I mean, who doesn't like Paul Simon? But I don't love Paul Simon.
But I'm not sure there's a better music montage in history than this one.
Here's the audio for the whole song - Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.
Nathaniel Hackett's game plan every single week pic.twitter.com/dbwC9bYVWz— TheOGfantasyfootball (@TheOGfantasy) October 30, 2022
I felt this one a little too much.
Me trying to manage all the star players on my team...— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) October 31, 2022
Sweep Left was the obvious call here...
The next stage in analytics is the pythagorean theorem https://t.co/E1JsYuIEpR— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) November 5, 2022
Looks like it's time for a new Footballguys Official HQ Lair, as our current location has been exposed...
Busted. https://t.co/483unkt1qQ— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) November 5, 2022
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel doing all he could to stop Justin Fields from scrambling...
After another Fields run Mike McDaniel comes over and tells him to stop. ðŸ˜‚pic.twitter.com/HFIKO7nDJl— â“‚ï¸ð•’ð•£ð•”ð•¦ð•¤ð”» â–¶ï¸ (@_MarcusD3_) November 6, 2022
Mike McDaniel sarcastically explaining why he told Bears QB Justin Fields “stop it” on the sideline during Sunday's game:— Will Manso (@WillManso) November 7, 2022
“I just wanted him to stop scrambling, and it was pretty irritating because he didn't listen at all.” ðŸ˜‚
(ðŸŽ¥ @MiamiDolphins) pic.twitter.com/cV2NjqfNqE
Thanks to @ALLENCV for that one.
I'm calling this the Jeff Saturday rule. If you get a job as an NFL head coach, you have to hand over your fantasy team for the year. Just like he had to. That's good commissioning.
I'd add this: If you get a job as an NFL General Manager, you automatically win the league that year.
Let's get to amending those league constitutions.
Good commissioner work here. Every league should have a rule that if one of the fantasy GMs is named an NFL head coach, they have to give up their team ðŸ˜‚ https://t.co/FShPXQE2Wy— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) November 15, 2022
This guy may be too big for a pro soccer player. But he's got the intangibles down.
The drama ðŸ˜‚— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) November 12, 2022
TCU Horned Frogs: 17
Texas Longhorns: 10
TCU Social Media Manager: Infinity
Saquon: “if I break a long one I better see Vanilla Vick down there” ðŸ˜‚ðŸ˜‚ðŸ˜‚— Alex Wilson (@AlexWilsonESM) November 16, 2022
Ryan Leaf with a remarkable exchange on Twitter.
It started with a Jets fan talking about Zach Wilson and saying, "really can't believe we picked Mormon Ryan Leaf".
Leaf took it from there...
God bless the internet. pic.twitter.com/jp7AIz4KGR— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) November 22, 2022
The Browns never had a chance...
Although I'm a little bummed we missed out on this.
You may have seen Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson feuding last week, with Carroll saying Wilson resisted wearing the wristband for playcalling in Seattle.
This round was easily won by Wilson, quietly sporting the wristband at the midweek presser.
I can'tðŸ˜‚…he wore the wristband to his presser pic.twitter.com/imlyxJ4RxH— Maura Dooley (@Maura_Dool) November 17, 2022
I like Justin Fields. But let's pump the brakes a bit.
The King in the North. pic.twitter.com/iG0BOKQQLM— Bears Nation (3-8) (@BearsNationCHI) November 18, 2022
Vikadontis Rex with some levity.
He's literally lost to EVERY TEAM in the NFC North this year alone https://t.co/kojYKlkWcH— Vikadontis Rex | 8-1 | #1 KOC STAN (@6799jh) November 18, 2022
Y'all just keep acting like the Announcer Jinx isn't real...
Jim Nantz with the announcers Jinx pic.twitter.com/1uM5v7GKav— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) November 24, 2022
Stefon Diggs is an easy guy to root for.
Go, Team USA!
IT'S CALLED SOCCERpic.twitter.com/8UxCEy9jM6— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) November 25, 2022
Eli Manning. Man of the People.
The look on the guy's face...
I meant what I said here. If Zach Wilson were my best friend, I'd tell him to watch this video clip 1,000 times.
Because right now, Mike White is the best quarterback on the Jets roster.
If the Jaguars are half as good as their mascot, Jaxson DeVille, they'd be Super Bowl contenders.
JAGUARS pic.twitter.com/FspHTwK9Cb— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) November 27, 2022
I was with my buddy, Jeff.
Jets by 100 pic.twitter.com/o49Cl4siZf— Jeff Bell (@4WhomJBellTolls) December 3, 2022
But then I was with my buddy, Joey.
Things change pretty fast at this level.
Jets fans going from “Mike F'N White!!!” to “F'N Mike White!?!?!”— Joey Wright (@thejoeywright) December 4, 2022
Jalen Carter with the kindest/most aggressive thing I saw all week.
How it started:
Caleb Williams painted “F--k Utah” on his nails ahead of USC's Pac-12 championship tonight ðŸ˜³— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 3, 2022
Trojans lost to the Utes, 43-42, earlier this season pic.twitter.com/XkikPR93CE
How it's going.
Nailed it! pic.twitter.com/197ga6fSig— Kathy Durham (@NanaTeacher22) December 3, 2022
Utah's quarterback, Cam Rising, was asked what he thought about it.
This kid's a player.
Celebrated his 8th birthday in style.
We lost a one of one this week when Coach Mike Leach died Monday.
I care less about celebrities and athletes than any person I know. I literally do not care at all.
But losing The Pirate stings.
I think because I never saw him as a celebrity. I saw him as someone I admired.
He was fun and authentic and led people well. He made people feel welcomed and appreciated, and valued.
Not to mention, he was one of the most innovative football coaches in history. The modern-day game of football at all levels looks markedly different because of him.
As I process this, I think Random Shots has a good bit to do with it hitting me like it does.
This goofy column is actually sort of a serious look into how I see the world, specifically through the lens of football and sports.
I play it off like it's no big deal, but it's a big deal to me.
And if one person could personify Random Shots, it's Mike Leach. Fun, interesting, caring, and deep in the weeds with Football, and I've probably featured him more than any other person over the years.
Rock on, Coach. You will be missed. So for this issue, we hoist one for The Pirate.
Some fun moments over the years. The quotes are great, but for the full effect, you need to hear and see the video for the delivery.
On The Absurdity Of "Balanced" Play Calling
“There's nothing balanced about the 50 percent run, 50 percent pass, because that's 50 percent stupid,” Leach said after Washington State defeated Utah in 2018 despite rushing for zero yards. “What is balanced is when you have five skill positions, if all five of them are contributing to the offensive effort in a somewhat equal fashion, then that's balanced. But this notion that if you hand it to one guy 50 percent of the time and then you throw it to a combination of two guys the other 50 percent that you're really balanced and you proudly pat yourself on the back and tell yourself that — and people have been doing that for decades — well then you're delusional. So, yeah, that's how I look at it.”
On Recruiting A Kicker From The Stands
The time Mike Leach recruited a kid who won a kicking contest during a Texas Tech game to join the team.— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) December 13, 2022
He didn't miss an extra point after that ðŸ™ pic.twitter.com/hoOJ9pYMsi
On Predicting Which Pac 12 Mascot Would Win A Fight To The Death
“First of all, what kind of mythical powers does a Sun Devil have?” Leach, who handicapped a hypothetical fight to the death between Pac-12 mascots on more than one occasion, told reporters in 2019. “We've got to consider that. I'm going to say the Wildcat's out. The Trojan, does he have a horse or is he on foot? Does he have a bow and arrow or just a sword? The Bruin, definitely formidable, then another bear up there at Cal. The Tree, I mentioned that tree is going to get chopped down, unless we're going to go with a bird and somebody might get pecked or something. And then the Duck might lose interest and just fly away and get out of there, which may be good advice under the circumstances. The Husky, no chance. The Beaver, we'll see how long that beaver can hold his breath. The Ute, again, we're back to is he on horseback? Does he have a bow and arrow? Did he trade for a rifle? Because if that Ute's got a rifle there are some definite problems. You'd have to get one of those Harry Potter activists to read up on how you kill a Sun Devil, because there's a lot of outside stuff there. Just as far as the beast alone, a Buffalo is going to be pretty hard to tangle with. A buffalo is utterly outstanding.”
On Wedding Advice
“When it comes to marriages, the women lose their mind. Your fiancee's going to lose her mind, your mother-in-law is going to lose her mind, your mom is going to lose her mind, several of your sisters and female relatives are going to lose their mind. And they're going to barrage you with constant questions: ‘What should we wear?' And of course my answer was: ‘I don't care.' And then: ‘What color should the invitations be?' ‘I don't care.' ‘What should we have for dessert?' ‘I don't care.' ‘Should we sit this way or that way?' ‘I don't care.'
“But see, ‘I don't care' is not satisfactory at all, and you're going to get caught in a Catch-22 — and I'm certain that you already have — and that Catch-22 is, ‘Well I want you to be a part of this, too, so what color invitations?' ‘All right, the blue ones.' ‘Well, I kind of like the tan ones.' ‘Okay, the tan ones then.' ‘Oh, you're just saying that because you want this over with; you're not even thinking about it,' which is, of course, true. ‘What do you want for dessert?' ‘I was thinking of strawberry shortcake.' ‘Oh, okay, yeah, strawberry shortcake would be good.' ‘Well, what about the blueberry pie?' ‘Well, I like the blueberry pie; we could have the blueberry pie.' ‘Well, I thought you said you wanted the strawberry shortcake?!' … In the end, you'll wish you eloped.”
On Bigfoot And Aliens
“I hope there's Bigfoot. I don't think there is. The reason I don't think there is is because we've found bones of dinosaurs and everything else, but we haven't found bones, that I've heard of, of Bigfoot. It would be fun if there's Bigfoot, I hope there's Bigfoot, but my guess is there is not. Aliens, I suspect there is, and I don't know that they're little green men, and I don't know that they're specifically in our galaxy. … I take more the biblical approach on this whole thing, which, to me, why only this planet? Why only us? If it can happen here … To me it's always been naive, on Earth, they say: ‘Well, we're the only ones.' Really? Why? Have you been to the other planets? Have you checked out the other planets? To me, it makes more sense that if it happened here, it happened somewhere else than it does that it only happened here, you know what I mean? And then we know that there's galaxies beyond our galaxy.”
On Candy Corn
Mike Leach on the great candy corn debate: “It's like fruitcake. There's a reason they only serve fruitcake once a year.” pic.twitter.com/Kf7pi3LxNQ— Theo Lawson (@TheoLawson_SR) November 1, 2017
“I think candy corn's awful. You know, it's like fruitcake. There's a reason they only serve fruitcake once a year, because it's awful. There's a reason they only serve mint juleps once a year, because they're awful. And there's a reason they only serve candy corn once a year, because it's awful. Now, that does beg the question why they serve it at all. But anyway, that's my opinion.”
“Coffee tastes terrible anyway, so don't put anything in it to obstruct the harsh, bitter taste. Just put it down, one sip at a time. … The experience is terrible.”
On Tom Brady's Deflategate And The Kardashians
“It's kind of disturbing if you think about it,” Leach said when asked in 2015 for his thoughts on the scandal that led to a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady. “With everything that's going on, we're worried about how much air goes into a ball when everybody uses their own ball. It's not like it's a forged football. We waste a lot of time with that, and then we worry about the Kardashians. How can it be that we laugh about England's obsession with the royal family? At least the royal family has college degrees and military service.”
On Pine Cone Wars
“If a pine cone war breaks out, you don't really have any choice but to engage in it,” Leach said in response to a question about his favorite memories as an Eagle Scout growing up in Wyoming. “There's no neutral countries in pine cone wars.”
On Technology And Dating
“I'm not really good with technology. All this button-pushing and whatnot. I mean, you can just imagine based on what's happening in the last 15 years. Conversations won't happen 10 years from now. There isn't going to be anybody talking to anybody. It's going to be this [mimics pushing buttons]. ‘Do you want to go out on a date with me?' ‘I don't know; what do you look like?' ‘Well, I look kind of like this.' ‘Okay, well, what are your interests?' ‘Well, what do you think my interests are? Looking into this thing and typing into this just like yours are.' ‘Yeah, no kidding, that's what everybody's doing.' ‘Yeah, that's right, virtually everyone.' ‘Well, where do you want to go?' ‘Well, what difference does it make? Because all we're going to be doing is looking into this machine anyway.' ‘Well, that's true, and in the end it's going to be tough to perpetuate the species. There's no question about that.' So we're all going to look in this box and eventually be extinct. That's how it ends.”
Throwback to the old days when defensive players got flagged for "Giving him the business down there."
October 5, 1986— Old Time Football ðŸˆ (@Ol_TimeFootball) October 27, 2022
Marty Lyons gets a little rough with Jim Kelly, and he gets called for it.
“After he tackled the QB he was giving him the business down there, that's a 15 yard penalty”#Jets#Bills pic.twitter.com/BsCHfN3mDu
Not just a Corgi Race. A Corgis in Christmas Sweaters Race.
The best thing you will see all day. pic.twitter.com/NzMFdECDxO— Doug Farrar âœ (@NFL_DougFarrar) December 4, 2022
Poor guy can't get away from it.
The Colts have been outscored 28-3 in the second half vs. Vikings pic.twitter.com/rILNV4lqhK— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 17, 2022
The underrated tell was the signature.
my man did college the right way pic.twitter.com/zxJc48o4i8— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 17, 2022
Thanks to Clayton Gray for that one.
HAWK is a Footballguy.
Hawk is all business ðŸ˜¤ pic.twitter.com/qWEW0zzfXI— ESPN (@espn) December 23, 2022
But wait, there's more.
This is even more cool as it's a Houston tradition.
I could probably stop right here.
Andy Reid received the perfect Christmas gift.
The best gift for the best coach â¤ï¸ pic.twitter.com/2Nvw6Oz3BO— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 24, 2022
I felt this one a little too much...
Will Compton (@_willcompton) December 25, 2022
To be fair, Eagles fans are no more likely to be affected by this than other fans, but recency bias is a helluva drug...
“Y'all barely beat Minshew”… did they forget that they BARELY beat Cooper Rush?!! ðŸ’€ðŸ’€ðŸ’€ðŸ’€— Ambar Garcia (@AmbarGarciaTV) December 25, 2022
I'll wrap this year again with one of my favorite stories. And one I tell here often.
Heading into the last day, a doubleheader, of the 1941 baseball season, 23-year-old Ted Williams' batting average was .39955. He could have sat out the meaningless last two games of the last day and his average would have rounded to the hallowed .400 mark.
From the sabr.org article: "In his autobiography, My Turn At Bat, Williams recalls Joe Cronin telling him, 'You don't have to be put in if you don't want to. You're officially .400.' Ted reports his reaction: 'Well, God, that hit me like a ***damn lightning bolt! What do you mean I don't have to play today?'"
But you probably know the story. Williams put his .400 mark at risk and played. Both games. And went 6 for 8, finishing the year at .406.
How that applies to you and me is simple. I feel pretty safe in saying we're not going to hit .400 in the majors. But we all get to walk to the plate every day and take some swings.
That'll do it for Random Shots for the season.
Dang. This was a year. And I said that last year too.
But we're still here. And that's something worth celebrating.
Shauna Niequist is a writer I enjoy. She wrote this a few years ago but I think it applies to this year more than ever.
“My prayer is that what you've lost, and what I've lost this year, will fade a little bit in the beauty of the Christmas season, that for a few moments at least, what is right and good and worth believing will outshine all the darkness, within us and around us.”
That's my hope for you. That the pain of what you've battled this year may fade a bit as we seek out and focus on what's right and good and worth believing. That what's right and good will outshine the darkness. Happy New Year to you and yours from all of us at Footballguys. Rock on.
I want to thank all the folks who sent me funny things they saw this year. Y'all rock, and you make my job easier. And thanks to all of you for the kind words throughout the season - you encourage me. Sincerely.
This may be the last Random Shots of the season, but Lord willing, I'm not going anywhere. You can always reach me by email at email@example.com. Stay in touch with us on Facebook by clicking "like". And you can keep up with me on Twitter or keep up with my non-football stuff here on Instagram.
I realize I've often strayed from sports and climbed on the soapbox maybe a bit more than I should. I intentionally left most of those off this collection as most of the rants were more of a context thing. But I felt like we sort of went through this season together. There were tough moments. And plenty of light moments. It wasn't all fun, but I think I can say it's been good to be together.
I'm completely down with Ram Dass, who said: "In the end, we're all just walking each other home at night." Thanks for walking with me.
Peace and Grace to you.