Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A message from Halftime Huddle’s founder

I want to take a second and recap how HTH got started, and also let you all know where we are headed in the future. But before that, I want to thank everyone who has made this endeavor a success to this point. I look forward to building new relationships as well as creating new opportunities with everyone in the future.

On March 3rd I remember sitting in my living room thinking about creating a Website/ Social Community that was new, fresh and engaging. But I also wanted it to be something I would enjoy being a part of. After racking my brain for a few days I asked myself, “What could I create that hasn’t been already created?” I also asked myself, “What is it that I could use in my life to make things easier?” The chances were if I needed it, others would too.

I looked at a variety of options until I realized that the idea I was looking for was something I felt very passionate about. A community where die-hard sports fans of all ages could join, and discuss their views on the latest topics and games around the league. I knew the demand for another informational sport site wasn’t needed, but what about a place to go to discuss those topics? A place for people just like me to voice opinions and rant and rave to each other, no matter how old we are, what race or gender. That was when Halftime Huddle was born.

As with all ideas, they are just ideas until you get the people together to make them great. I knew I needed an eye catching brand, website and above all a marketing campaign that would be fitting for me, and my targeted audience. I decided I was going to contact a company called Greenline Creative. Greenline Creative specializes in working with small to mid-sized businesses; they are young, share the same interests and above all feel strongly about the idea. They have put together the brand, are working on the website with the help of some developers, and created an initiative that revolves around various Social Media Websites, and traditional ways of getting the name to the sports fan. Through this process they have been great to work with, and I recommend them to anyone.

As a long time fan of sports, I believe in my mind that fans come first. And that’s what HTH is all about, making the Fans number one. We go out and spend our hard earned money to fill seats every Sunday, buy extra channels to cheer for our favorite teams to only sometimes get the chance to see them make that big game called the Super Bowl.

Yes, I want to bring sports fans together from all over the world to chat about all the topics around the National Football League, but beyond the chat function I want to try and create a community and experience that is rooted in the game. We will always be expanding Halftime Huddle, to ensure it never gets old. We will have many features such as timed chat rooms that work like time-clocks in the game, the ability to trade team members based on their performance and participation in the website, API’s to link into other top social media sites, so our users can tell their friends what they are chatting about on HTH. We are also looking for our fans to give us feedback on what they would like to have on the website. It is our community, so lets make is something that we all want to use. Feel free to post your suggestions below in the comments section; we would love to hear them.

Nothing is created over night, but I have put together a team of people who are working diligently on getting this out to everyone to enjoy in the next few weeks. We want this website to be great. We want it to be something everyone shares in, we want it to be functional, so although we were aiming for the kick-off to pre-season, we felt we owed it to everyone to delay the launch in order to make it right the first time.

During the development of the website, I encourage everyone to view our blog, follow us on Twitter and become a fan of ours on Facebook to keep current on the progress and other important news around the league.

Thank You all again, and I hope to see you all very soon in the chat room.

Thanks Daniel Field

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Using the right “head” in the National Football League

Yes folks, that’s right. I’m back after a brief little hiatus, and I’ve got a bone to pick with this little thing called Football, and the incredibly stupid nonsense it’s brought up in the past week. Yes, I know…I know that Big Ben is back. I know that the Cowboys aren’t “up to par”. I know that the Browns are exhibiting the same old, same old. And finally, yes I know that everyone’s bragging about the Jets..And it’s becoming ANNNOYING. And if the Jets make it to the big ‘ol SB, you can bet dollars to Rex Ryan’s large case of donuts that he won’t shut his mouth for a long…LONG time.
But I’m not writing this column for the sake of discussing Rex Ryan’s donuts. I’ve decided to throw out there a major issue that’s popped up this week (And one of the individuals who we’ll talk about has been involved in this scuffle many, many times. Helmet-to-helmet contact. You remember when you were younger…annnnd you remember your parents telling you to “use your right head” and not the other one? We’ll this is sort of the same discussion/and topic, but we’re talking about NOT using that head, and still using it wisely when not playing the rock’ em, sock’ em game of Football.
So who are the three lucky contestants who were fined for “using their head” this weekend?
Brandon Meriweather (Patriots) Dunta Robinson (Falcons) and James Harrison (Steelers)
Uh wait a second…is that James Harrison I see? Oh boy. Now Robinson and Meriweather I haven’t seen on this list of individuals who have done this. But Harrison? This surely isn’t his first. Earlier today, what did James Harrison have to say about the fine? Stay out of his way. “I don’t want to injure anybody. There's a big difference between being hurt and being injured. You get hurt, you shake it off and come back the next series or the next game. I try to hurt people." So let me get this right, James..Getting hurt and injured are two completely different things? HAHAHAHAHA. I can’t believe I’m about to do this, but for anyone reading this article who wants to DEFEND Harrison, we’ll showcase the meaning of “hurt” and “injured” and then we’ll see if your elementary teacher did just the cracker-jack job of teaching you your ABC’s and 123’s.
Just having to look up the definition of both words leaves me with a lower IQ than I can even think of right now.
Hurt(noun): injury, hurt, harm, trauma
any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc.
Injured (adj) injured

Um. Do you see the other words that are used to describe “hurt”? INJURY?!?!?! Oh no! That cannot be! James Harrison says Injury and hurt are TWO COMPLETE DIFFERENT THINGS.
WRONG! I just felt my IQ drop just a little lower. But that’s ok, I’m already to the stage to where I need diapers and someone to read to me so I can drool in a cup. Hurt means “any physical damage caused to the body by violence or accident or fracture, etc”. So what does Injured mean? Harmed. Harrison says (And this is actually stuff that is QUOTED) he doesn’t want to injure anyone…BUT there is a BIG DIFFERENCE..a BIG difference. To him being injured is different from hurt. Um…doesn’t being hurt sometimes count as injured? There’s being hurt because someone stepped on your toe…and then there’s your neck hurting because someone ran at you, full force, with the intention of TRYING TO HURT YOU. Does anyone see anything wrong with this logic? For those who go “It’s Football!” Ok that’s right. Football is the sport to play to where you can go “You know what, I don’t like the opposing team. If I see someone I don’t like, I’m hurting them” Um no. Hard, legal hits are ok. Hell that’s what football is about. However, it’s NOT about going onto the field with the intent to cause bodily harm and injury…and to James Harrison, DO NOT say that hurting is different from injury because ITS NOT! If you hit someone, annnd you break their neck because YOU think that it’s ok to have the intent to hurt someone, then maybe you need a lesson in elementary school lessons, because as far as I can see, your teacher didn’t do enough to educate you enough to use common sense.
Football is meant to be rough and tough. It’s a contact sport. But when you go out onto the field saying “I try to hurt people” that’s just dumb. And I’d like to know how a Quarterback can be accused of rape…not even proven (this is another story that irritates me because Ben is a pinhead) be suspended for 6 games, yet a player can say “I try to hurt people” only get fined several thousand dollars? The logic isn’t there. And it’s just another confusing aspect of Football and how people like Harrison get away with their beliefs. When someone hits Harrison with helmet-to-helmet contact, and should he be injured severely, I wonder if his opinion would be different?
Oh how one can hope that stupidity doesn’t occur in everyone

You can view the ESPN link with Harrisons claims, below.
And of course the dictionary meanings courtesy of
Questions/Comments/Concerns/Mad readers? Contact me at

By Justin Dombrowski, Contributing Writer

Monday, August 23, 2010

General Hospital: NFL Edition

The tale of an overweight/Sailor-mouthed coach, a Quarterback knocking on AARP’s door, and most overrated Quarterback

By Contributing Writer, Justin Dombrowski

No folks, your eyes are not re-directing you from the purpose from this upcoming article. I must say that this week has been by far, the most RIDICULOUS week EVER in a recent football season. It’s STAGGERING! WHAT THE HELL IS OUR WORLD COMING TO THESE DAYS?! For some of you who think that I need a “reality check” let me go over why I’m a little “off” by today’s standards. For me there are currently 3….THREE FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CANNOT COUNT, things that are irking me with this season.

Rex Ryan

First off, what kind of a name is Rex Ryan? I’ll tell you what kind of a name that is. It sounds like a dinosaur that ate an entire buffet of pork, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and of course we’ll throw in some pizza and chips and all kinds of other crap. What do you have? REX RYAN! I’m not a professional coach, but, um….this guy is annoying. Not only is he annoying, but he talks…A LOT of crap. I’m not talking about the big bully who threatened to take your lunch money every monday. I’m talking about the kid who, during dodge ball, said that he could whoop everyone in the room annnnnd he got the crap kicked out of him for it. So should the Jets saunter down the gutter this season, you can say you first read it here on Halftime Huddle (Exciting, isn’t it?)
This guy is the gutter mouth of the NFL. Of course the show “Hard Knocks” is on HBO and not regular television, is the swearing issue necessary, Rex? I mean sure the guy’s got cankle’s the size of my head but his stomach is just way out there. Much like his ego. The thing that irked me wasn’t JUST Rex running his mouth like an overweight minion feasting at the Thanksgiving table. It was more than that. Just last week, former Indianapolis Colts coach, Tony Dungy, criticized Ryan’s colorful use of language on the show itself. So what did Rex do in return? He ran his mouth. I thought maybe someone would’ve thrown him a chewy toy to shut him up, but nope. So he kept going on. And on. AND ON! IT NEVER FRIGGEN ENDED! IT REMINDED ME OF THE TIMES IN HIGH SCHOOL WHEN THAT ANNOYING KID WOULD SIT AT THE END CHOMPING HIS FOOD OUT LOUD. GOD DAMNIT! Anyways, Dungy went on to explain why he didn’t like Ryan’s use of “words” on the show and just why he didn’t approve.

Now Dungy was an amazing coach, and by all that I’ve heard about him, he’s a terrific guy. You’ve gotta have respect for everything Dungy has accomplished, let alone what he’s been through with his personal life. Now for someone like that, I would take his words into account, and RESPECT THE INDIVIDUAL.

NOT REX! What did Rex do then? He went on a conference saying how he wanted to “reach out” to Dungy to solve their problems. He seemed like that annoying kid on the playground who just pissed you off and when you hit him he would saunter over to the hot Kindergarten teacher and ball his eyes out for self pity. You know what REALLY happened? Hmm? REX SCREWED UP! Not ONLY did he realize that a much BETTER coach had called him out on the ways of life…BUT SO DID HIS MOTHER!! This was the first segment of the recent version of “General Hospital: NFL season” for me. It was hilarious on a level I can’t even begin to tell you. “Oh Rex you better watch your mouth! Mother will be furious ooooooh!”

You know when his Mother sees him, there will be no soup for Rex.

Oh, and another thing. Both coaches had a recent meeting where everything was supposedly “settled”. You want to know how I think it went? I think it ended with Dungy sticking to his guns and hard knock sense of reality and putting Rex on the spot. Now I don’t know this man personally. I’m not bashing him for that. I’m bashing him because he’s an inconsiderate loud mouth who is creating a bad image for the NFL. Now of course there are some examples you have to set and we can’t always appeal to others, but the sport is becoming more and more main stream. More and more children and younger adults are gaining access to everything football.

Do us all a favor, Rex. Tone down the language a bit and just eat a hoagie and enjoy life. Because your ego is becoming bigger than the body it comes from, and you might want to have a few more years where you can stand without falling over.

Brett Favre

This one sent me over the top. Ever since the ending of last season, almost EVERY SINGLE GOD FORSAKEN DAY, someone….SOMEONE..has asked one question over, and over. “When is Brett coming back?” When will it end? Oops, finally he did come back, but it took three of his teammates to convince him to come back. But before last week. The questions continued…ON and ON. It was NEVERENDING! “When’s he comin’ back?” “Do you think he feels excited to play football?” “Do you think Brett will regret it if he doesn’t come back?” “Do you think Brett is eating dinner with his family and discussing his future?” Guess what?

NO ONE CARES! Noone DID care either.

Sure I’ll admit he’s a great Quarterback, in my eyes, but there comes a time ladies and gentlemen. There comes a time, where uh you only ask and you sit back in anticipation…YOU DON’T KEEP ASKING! If you were smaller and you kept asking, your grandmother would’ve knocked you back a couple of centuries where they played football with loose clothing and no helmets! I can only imagine that the situation where the three teammates “convinced” a Quarterback to come back went down. And wouldn’t you agree with me that it’s sad that you have to send three guys to convince the leader? It seems to me that the Vikings Administration was growing tired of “Favre’s waiting”.

And then last night he played for the first time since that horrible…HORRIBLE loss to New Orleans last December. He came in to throw a pass for 13 yards, and completed it. Annnnnnd that was it. Are you kidding me?

Um, no.

The team brought him out like a little bear cub, let him EAT someone, and then took him back to his cage for a little nighttime snack followed by a nap. The bottom line with Favre, folks? He’s done great things for football and the guy’s got talent for doing this especially at the age of 41. Where most guys are battling arthritis and pains of all forms, he still takes to the field. Now that in itself, demands some respect. But for all the “hoopla” surrounding his return, it was enough to drive me insane. For the time being I thought I was living in Michael Jackson’s house.

Only kidding.

Just because you’re a Manning, doesn’t mean you’re the greatest.

Yep. I said it. Want to discuss it? Feel free to comment on this article itself between me and other fans who agree/disagree. But I have my reasons for why I’ve said it. He’s a good Quarterback, BUT, not THE GREATEST!

PLAIN and SIMPLE! Let’s look at the “best” Quarterbacks of the past ten years when it comes to being the best in the NFL, and the Super Bowl:

Tom Brady. Ben Roethlisberger. Peyton Manning. These three men are probably best associated with the past ten years when it comes to wins, records, blah, blah, blah. But here’s another thing. Brady tops the list with 3 Super Bowl wins, and 2 SB MVPS. Roethlisberger with 2 Super Bowl wins and the best first 5 years for any QB in Football history) Annnnd Peyton Manning. With just one Super Bowl win. (I’m talking about Super Bowl wins right now so don’t have a heart attack)

NOW, there you have it. The BEST team for any season, makes it to…THE SUPER BOWL! If you don’t know this then go play in traffic! SERIOUSLY. We all know that as Football fans. The BIG SB is the goal for the season. If you make it, bragging rights and happiness are coming in due time. BUT if you don’t win…YOU SUCK! BUT. THIS IS WHERE I GET ANGRY. Look at the playoff records for these leaders.

Brady (14-3) Roethlisberger (8-2) Manning (9-9). Now of all three of these men, Manning clearly outshines record wise. His completion rate is better than the other two, BUT, there’s one thing that separates these men. MANNING HAS ONLY WON ONE SUPER BOWL!



Get the picture? Because my temperature is up. UP. He’s only won ONE, yet he’s on EVERYTHING. Another team wins the Super Bowl? DON’T WORRY! A NEW COMMERCIAL WITH PEYTON MANNING WILL BE ON SOON! I don’t get it. Maybe its “in a name” that’s important nowadays. And if that’s the case with the recognition that these players receive, then it’s a damn shame. And that’s the truth. If you had to pick between those three Quarterbacks, and let’s say that the names are unknown because I know some people who if they saw Manning would explode in happiness and pick the “select” key. I’m ranging my bets on the Quarterback with the better winning statistics to get ME to the SUPER BOWL. Not someone who wins the best MVP player FOR THE SEASON. BECAUSE…because JUST if a person wins the MVP award for the year, and they don’t make it to the big time. You know what? They aren’t the Super Bowl champs.

Of course EVERYONE works as a TEAM. There is no I in team. That much is true. So if you learned that in elementary school, then they fed you your crackers and milk correctly. So when it comes, to not only team achievements, you HAVE to…HAVE TO look at individual statistics. BUT being a Quarterback has it’s 50/50 chances. You lead the team, but in order to achieve success, you and your receivers..and your offensive line ALL have to work together. But let’s widen the list.

Bradshaw (4 Super Bowl Wins) Montana (4 Super Bowl Wins) Troy Aikman (3) Tom Brady (3) John Elway (3) Ben Roethlisberger (2) Bob Griese (2) Jim Plunkett (2) Roger Staubach (2) Bart Starr (2)

Those, my friends are the TOP 10 Quarterbacks for the Super Bowl. With the most wins of course accredited next to the appropriate name. Now after 45 Super Bowls. (Again this is the game that lists the WINNING team of the season) these individuals are the ONLY ones to rack up MORE than ONE. So out of 90 on the list, these are the top ten. Where is Peyton Manning? With only ONE win, with the rest of the 79 Quarterbacks who have played in a Super Bowl game. Those men who are listed above are, and can be considered the greatest in the game as far as winning titles and Super Bowl championships…reigning to be the BEST of the season. (Records are another story where I feel Manning is better) but in this instance, Manning is truly not up to par with some of the “legends” of the season.

It’s all about the Super Bowl, baby. And I like a quarterback who has two rings, not one. But that’s not my only gripe. To be honest, it gets tiring after you hear about a sports athelete who is made up to be such an outstanding player, annnnd you look at those stats above? Something’s telling me still that it’s “what’s in a name” that gets you famous these days.

Sorry Indy fans, if the truth hurts go grab some tissue. I’ve already got the popcorn.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Pre-Season Blues

By Justin Dombrowski, Contributing Writer

Yes, yes. I’ve heard all about the recent win with Cleveland over Green Bay. I’ve heard about the win with Pittsburgh over Detroit (Am I really surprised here? Um. No.) And of course we have Washington’s romp over Buffalo and New Orleans beating Super Bowl Champs, the New Orleans Saints. So what are my thoughts on this? Oh the sweet gentle thoughts that flow through my mind when I think about it.

I’m just kidding. Let’s recap the top 6 games of the beginning 2010 NFL Football Season (Ahem..PRE-SEASON) with a few updates on the games that have transpired.

New Orleans 24 – New England 27

This little pretty game itself has been getting a lot of attention from sports fans and commentators all across the states. It’s kind of funny, because, everyone’s freaking out. “OH MY GOD THE SAINTS LOST?!” and a title I heard at the neighboring Wal-Mart the other day; “The Patriots are back! THEY ARE BACK!”

Seriously? You’ve got to be kidding me. Pre-Season is a frustration for me, just like it is for others I imagine. Of course we’re all excited. This pre-season reminds me of the party you went to as a kid where caffeine was FORBODEN. BUT, some little kid decides he’s going to get everyone caffeine….and you know what? EVERYBODY GOES NUTS. Next thing you know your house is on fire and the little ones are in the back yard chanting “Koombyah” to Hannah Montana and Justin Bieber.

New Orleans.

Yes, I know New Orleans gave up some big plays as well as an important 28 yard field goal. But also, I will say that this game was rough for New Orleans with the loss of RB Lynell Hamilton (tore his right anterior cruciate ligament, and will most likely be out for the season) and punter Thomas Misread who hurt his left shoulder. During the ’09 season, Hamilton only posted 2 touchdowns, and averaged 3.6 yards, so don’t worry Saints, I think this boo-boo won’t prevent you from riding the bicycle.

The Saints mainly looked also very disorganized and sloppy too. Much like that one kid who tries to skate on the ice to impress the hot cheerleader, but just biffs on his first take. And as for Drew Brees (Who in my opinion was fantastic last Super Bowl) lacked quite a bit. But it’s alright. It’s pre-season. And I don’t think that with posting 9 completions out of 13 attempts, for 55 yards, that it’ll hurt this franchise’s hopes to return to Dallas for the Super Bowl in ’11.

New England.

Those words make me cringe. Now you New England fans may be a little “mad” at me, but it’s ok, in my book every team has their negatives and positives. I pretty much take out frustration and disbelief on almost everyone who deserves it. And everyone of course was introduced to Tom Brady again. But Brady wasn’t much of a spectacular sight, only throwing for 5 out of 8 passes, posting 67 yards.

But this is a team who has racked up 01’, 03’, and 04’ with Super Bowl Championships, only to be beaten in 2008 by the New York Giants. This match-up was not only one of the best I’ve ever witnessed in Super Bowl history, but it was great to see the upset that left Belichick waking off the field before the end of the game looking like he was about to cry. And of course also this team is coming off of a loss to the Baltimore Ravens with Brady throwing 3 interceptions which resulted in his first home career loss, and the first loss at home by a New England quarterback since 1978. Ouch that had to hurt?

And lastly of course Wes Welker was still sidelined, who has made an amazing recovery since his torn ACL . But all reports indicate that Welker will be healthy for the Sept. 13th opener against T.O., Ocho-Cinco and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cleveland 27 – Green Bay 24

What? I’m speechless. Much like, well I really don’t know. This has left me totally speechless in the sense (And folks this is a bigger speechless than the two times I heard about the future arrival of my two children)


I bet somewhere, somehow, THOUSANDS of Cleveland fans are rejoicing…over a pre-season game. But guys it’s not time to smile and be thankful yet. If this was regular season, I’d be sold. But..Um..It’s not. Out of his fresh exit from Carolina (Who seems to be one of the worst teams this season) Jake Delhomme seemed to click IMMEDIATELY with Cleveland’s offense. For once receivers were moving the ball down the field. Gone were the countless interceptions by Derek Anderson, and the high over passes by Brady Quinn, and a solid offense for the season of 2010 was born. Passing 6 out of 7 passes for just 66 yards was quite impressive indeed.

This MAY be the sign that Cleveland fans could be hoping for. If the Browns look ANYTHING like they did during this game, during regular season, you can guarantee that they’ll rack up enough games for a playoff run. In my opinion a Quarterback can either succeed or bomb. A Quarterback’s success is hindered or forwarded by his receivers. If they cannot connect, then there shall be trouble in paradise, if it’s the other way around, we’ll be riding the gravy train to heaven. Got it?

So under “new management” from Mike Holmgren, these Browns look like a much tougher and also should Delhomme fail at his starting position, fans must be somewhat content with Seneca Wallace as a backup, who also played quite well. Things COULD be looking up. But don’t break out the “Dawg pound” just yet. At least for now Browns fans still have that horrible win over Pittsburgh to throw in their face for now, right?

Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers. A Quarterback who is quickly stepping up his game and showcasing power that could lead Green Bay to a playoff appearance in the future at this rate. Rodgers was 12 for 13, reaching 159 yards and a touchdown was nearly perfect and flawless. This Green Bay offense is surely something of a sight to see and in my opinion is one of the top ten offenses in the NFL this current season.

Now of course there was the little shake up with Ryan Grant, but don’t worry folks he’s alright. Greg Jennings performed a quite good appearance, scoring a touchdown from Rodgers for a 25 yard pass.

Everything..EVERYTHING about this team still keeps them in the running for impression this season much like last season. After a small slump in the season last year. They exploded like dynamite and this is a team that I can only see going up, up, UP.

Minnesota 28 – St. Louis 7

Could the Vikings survive without Favre? It’s possible, I mean come on, they did alright for the most part. But then again, they went up against St. Louis…I don’t care if you complain because the Rams had “Bradford” SUCK IT UP.


If the Vikings proved one thing, it’s definitely that their defense is still easily one of the top 10 in the NFL this season (Offense is another story because you played the Rams for crying out loud. This is much like taking candy from a baby.) Sage Rosenfels played excellent, posting 23 completions out of 34 for 310 yards with 3 touchdowns. Should Favre not return, I think it’s alright to say that IF Rosenfels plays the same, that you should be alright this season. The offense ran all over St. Louis this game and it was easily seen that the Vikings were doing this with ease.

Sure the two big named receivers are out with injuries, but in the few weeks we shall see how the Vikings will handle themselves in the upcoming main season.

St. Louis

This is a team that has done HORRIBLE….HORRIBLE the past few seasons. A team that, past seasons, has ranked at the very bottom with Detroit and Oakland. Of course watching the game itself one could get the impression of no audience whatsoever in the crowds. Ticket sales are slumping of course for The Rams, and if their appearance in this game is the same come September for the 2010 season, you can take it to the bank that there won’t be much to watch here.

Sam Bradford. Listen folks. JUST BECAUSE….JUST BECAUSE you have a No.1 Pick to your team does NOT mean that you will just perk up and be one big BRIGHT ray of sunlight. Isn’t going to happen, Cupcake. Bradford entered the arena to a thunderous applause, only to get hammered and terrorized by the Vikings Defense during his time on the field, completing just half of his passes for 57. Now it’s the kid’s first game, I’ll give him that. But playing this way won’t cut it at all. And A.J. Feely was just as dismal and seemed rather shaky and nervous beyond belief.

Super Bowl run for the Rams this season? Not at this rate.

San Francisco 37 – Indianapolis 17

This game was just a LITTLE odd for me. I’m just kidding. It was rather somewhat painful for me to watch this because of a couple of reasons.

San Francisco

Alex Smith. WHAT? What was THAT?! 3 for 9 passes for 37 yards?! I feel like I’m on aderall for an over-reactive case of ADD folks. Alex Smith started to pull the team out of a slump after last season and now with the way he played in this past game it worried me. Not only was he not on key with his receivers but in most cases the receivers struggled with his passes, and it was only until Nate Davis and David Carr came in, did the Niner’s start to rack up the yardage against Indianapolis. If Smith is the “answer” for the Niner’s you fans might just want to sit down and put your head DOWN on then desk. You might need some tissues this season too.

Now of course we don’t have the famous starters Gore, Willis, or Crabtree for that matter and my rant may be premature, BUT, if Smith plays like this all season, you can expect the Niner’s to be at the bottom 5 teams this season along with Detroit (This is a given, isn’t it?) And I’m sorry but not even Westbrook (Who was one of McNabb’s go to targets while his tenure in Philly) won’t save the team. BUT, there was hope in this “pre-season” game for the Niner’s and it came in the form of Peyton Manning’s back up. Curtis Painter.


Now everyone’s bragging that Manning did “AMAZING!” and he was “OUTSTANDING!”. If you could see the look on my face right now it surely isn’t that of when man first discovered fire. It’s probably equivalent to the look of man finding fire and being disappointed that it BURNED WHEN YOU TOUCHED IT!

Manning, I say, is an almost there kind of guy. He’s made it to the big time. And because he’s posted some records here and there, he seems to have these slumps where he can’t pull it out for the team. When you see a quarterback who wins just one national championship and then he’s all over cereal boxes, and two years later he’s in a dream with you getting married at the little chapel in Vegas, then we have an issue. Now of course he’s had great moments, BUT, if he had one ANOTHER Super Bowl, THEN….AND ONLY THEN can you consider him Great!


With the way syndicates and reporters are today, The Colts could lose EVERY. SINGLE. GAME, and you know what? He would still bring tears to joyful sports fans eyes. The meaning escapes me and I’ve run out of deodorant for this conversation.

Anyways, BACK on topic. Manning completed 8 out of 10 for 91 yards and was able to keep San Francisco down. And this was the ONLY time that Indianapolis was on top of the game. That is, until Curtis Painter enters the picture.

3 interceptions and 9 out of 19 for 64 yards? This fella shouldn’t even be allowed near a football, let alone speak it. He was a dismal failure against the Jets last December and he surely hasn’t improved much better. Indy fans, if this is the man to back up the Colts should Manning ever get injured, you might as well turn the tube off, and watch Steel Magnolias.

Denver 24 - Cincinnati 33

This game has been somewhat of the talk of where I work at between the sports fans. Some people contend that Cincinnati won’t be a contender for the Playoff run this season. Of course you’ve got T.O. and Ocho-Cinco now together on one team, AND there’s only ONE spot for a big mouth on the team. This should be exciting. Oh and it was Tim Tebow’s first NFL appearance too.


This Ohio team started out much better this game than last week’s Hall of Fame appearance against Dallas. The offense was much smoother and more effective and another important factor helped them post points. Their quarterback had protection.


I can sense the excitement from your fans. One thing is for sure is that when Carson Palmer is protected, and given ample time in, or out of the pocket, to go to work as they say. He can be damaging and effective. 12 out of 15 for 105 yards? Not too shabby. Oh and he got a touchdown too.

T.O. New guy on campus. And he got a touchdown. More than he ever caught in Buffalo. Ha. Funny isn’t it? I’m surprised he didn’t complain this time around that he didn’t have more time on the field but maybe he knows the smarts that this is just pre-season. Bottom line was that this game itself was exciting because you have two teams who are sure to be competitive next season. It’s also possible that Palmer could be one of the reasons that this team is holding together all this long.


Now it seemed Mid-Season last year, that the Bronco’s hit a bit of a slump and went down, down, DOWN. This appearance was nice to see Kyle Orton hit his receivers on key. Going 8 out of 13 for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. Some might be a LITTLE harsh on Orton, but the key is that he’s still a good thing for the Broncos. But the question is IF he is going to do good this season, there’s no room for mistakes this season.

Tim Tebow. Little Tim, Little Tim. I still remember him crying last year. BUT of course this is one of the most talked events this year in football alongside Bradford, McNabb, and others. Tebow didn’t do too shabby (And with the Friar haircut finally cut. Thank God because you looked like you were ready to catch a bible. Not a football) making his NFL debut. He did much better than Sam Bradford quite actually, tying with Orton for completions gaining 105 yards. And should be a fun sight to see should he ever get a chance to start. Now here’s the funny thing. You remember Brady Quinn? Yep. He’s in Denver. Both Tebow and Quinn are competing for the backup to Orton spot and it doesn’t take a genius or a scientist, or a good football fan, to figure out who will probably get the backup position.

Quinn was disappointing, only forgoing 6 completions out of 16 passes. Something about this guy wanted me to give him another chance. I mean, come on, sure he was playing in Cleveland, I was thinking MAYBE that he was just in a wrong spot. WRONG! But we shall see.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

“Oh happy days are here again” A Prelude to the 2010 Football Season

NFL Pre-Season. Those two words alone are enough to “tickle my fancy” as they say. It’s much like that feeling in the morning if you were to wake up to a whole free keg of beer, or that distinct feeling of winning the lottery after losing your job, or maybe much like the feeling of waking up in bed to see a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader making you breakfast in bed.

It is also much like the feeling of any “holiday” that we go through in life, and their daily rituals. I’m not talking about celebrating the holiday itself per se. I’m talking about getting ready for it the day after it’s over. Because, let’s face it. Us as a society has come to that. But only in football…ONLY in football is that alright by my standards. Our wives and female companions (and if you’re a female fan, sometimes male companions will complain and strife. It’s alright folks we’re one nation here) may complain because we sit in that certain recliner wearing the same decked out team gear in July after the draft when Pre-Season is already two months alright, but that’s fine by me. It’s football season come August. Much like the feeling that it’s Christmas in July. Which is ridiculous, but you get the point. If not, please consult your psychiatrist immediately.

The NFL season itself already kicked off this past week with the first game of the “season” (Which differs by anyone’s standards) which led to of course a sloppy game with Dallas beating Cincinnati, which by the way folks was not too shabby for me being a Dallas fan, I was practically joyful all day with relief. Football season is here, oh happy day. Some of my friends and “acquaintances”, because they’re that, not friends, already were on my case with text messages and private messages saying “YOU SEE! You may have beat Cincy, but you’re not going to the Super Bowl! Muhwahahaha!”

Seriously? You’re going to put more stake in a Pre-Season game rather than a regular season ticket? What kind of a fruit cake does that? That’s like going to Vegas and JUST because you win on a slot machine, you figure that you’ll pick up a hooker (Lets call her Little Bo Peep) and marry her, croon her with your $500,000 cash prize from Bally’s, and denounce your crappy 8 to 5 job at home because you’ve “struck it rich”. Chances are it wouldn’t last longer than 24 hours. And also the chances are that pretty much by the end of this “ordeal” you should not be allowed to procreate for the sake of society.

So back on topic, because I stray off topic at times because I like to rant (Ask my fiancĂ©, she’ll vouch for this) Watching the Hall of Fame sure tickled my fancy. No I’m not talking about that, I’M TALKING ABOUT THE HAPPY SPOT. All sorts of thoughts were abounding in my mind. Such as “Who will replace Brett Favre if he retires?” “Will Indy rise again only to leave Manning with one more loss under his belt?” The thoughts are endless. Will Leinart follow in the footsteps of Warner? Will Big Ben get a big yellow school bus drunk on the way to Kentucky? Will Dallas step up their game and make an appearance to the Super Bowl? That’s the great thing about Football. You’re never….NEVER going to run out of topics with this sport because there’s always someone screwing something up, or blowing us away. All the way from the outstanding entrance to Miles Austin’s career, to Tom Brady’s last game of the previous season where, I’m pretty sure, that he went home and wore pink with lace to calm himself down.

So as we begin to “savor” the moment, and all rush out to Wal-Mart and other retail stores to stock up on supplies, and all the way from chips and soda, to those disposable diapers so we aren’t pulled away from the television, take a moment to savor it in, because in reality, Football season is the only “Holiday” worth getting ready for, before it comes. With new faces and line ups all the way from the reorganization of the Cleveland Browns for the 150th time, to asking ourselves if Brett Favre will come back for another season before his second retirement and more, there’s only one thing to say with it comes to this time of year.

It’s Football Season.

By Justin Dombrowski, Contributing Writer

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Coaches on Hot Seat.

Here are a few Coaches that we believe could be on the Hot Seat in 2010!!

1. NY Giants-Tom Coughlin

2. Cleveland Browns-Eric Mangini

3. Oakland Raiders-Tom Cable

4. Chicago Bears-Lovie Smith

5. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jack Del Rio

6. Carolina Panthers-John Fox

7. Dallas Cowboys-Wade Phillips

8.Pittsburgh Steelers-Mike Tomlin

9.Denver Broncos- Josh McDaniels

10.Tampa Bay Bucs-Raheem Morris

Monday, May 17, 2010

Slowing Down the Quarterback Carousel

Now that we’ve had some time to digest the results of last month’s NFL Draft, it’s time to start looking ahead to the 2010 season and some of the compelling storylines heading into the year. This week, we take a look at the landscape of the most important position in the league – quarterback. It was a busy offseason for signal callers, as numerous former Pro Bowl players changed addresses and the league welcomed in a deep class of rookies at the position. What follows are the five top quarterback-driven storylines as we prepare for OTAs and training camp, plus a few honorable mentions.

1. Donovan McNabb vs. Kevin Kolb
When the Eagles made the decision to trade Donovan McNabb to the Redskins in April, it propelled Kevin Kolb into the starting role in Philadelphia and created an indirect matchup that football fans – especially in Philadelphia – will be keeping an eye on all season. The Eagles gave up on McNabb, one of the greatest quarterbacks in franchise history, for a relatively unknown former second round pick in Kolb. Most Eagles fans welcomed the move, and recent comments from players like wide receiver DeSean Jackson indicate that the players do as well. What McNabb does in Washington will be compared to what Kolb does in Philadelphia on a weekly basis, and it may take the entire season (if not longer) to determine if the Eagles made the right move.

2. Ben Roethlisberger’s Suspension
While the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to stick with two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger after the sexual assault allegations against him in Georgia, the Steelers will be without him for up to the first six games of the season. The Steelers have a challenging early schedule, with games against Atlanta, Baltimore, and division rival Cleveland among those first six games, and if Roethlisberger’s suspension is served in full, he will return against the defending Super Bowl champion Saints in New Orleans. The Steelers will have to choose between backups Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, and Dennis Dixon to be stopgaps until Roethlisberger returns, but could the Steelers already be out of the playoff picture by then?

3. Immediate Impact Rookies
The 2010 Draft saw a number of highly touted rookie quarterbacks enter the league, many of whom could end up seeing significant playing time for their teams this season. With their release of veteran Marc Bulger, the Rams all but handed the starting job to number one overall pick Sam Bradford, which would make him the fifth rookie to be an opening day starter since 2008 (joining Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, and Matthew Stafford). In Carolina, Matt Moore was named the team’s starting quarterback, but that was before the team drafted Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen, who could compete with Moore (and fellow rookie Tony Pike) for the starting job. The most hyped rookie quarterback, Tim Tebow, likely won’t start in Denver, but should see time in a Wildcat-like package for the Broncos. The fourth high-profile rookie, Colt McCoy, won’t see playing time in Cleveland if new team president Mike Holmgren has his way, but the former Texas star could be only two injuries away from hitting the field.

4. Replacing Kurt Warner
Matt Leinart’s career in Arizona has been the definition of disappointing. Leinart struggled early in his career, opening the door for Kurt Warner to take the reins in the desert and lead the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl appearance. With Warner’s retirement after the 2009 season, opportunity is knocking once again open for the former USC standout to reclaim the starting job. However, in a move that may be an indication of how the Cardinals feel about Leinart, the team signed former Cleveland Brown Derek Anderson to a two year contract for $7.25 million. The battle in Arizona may drag out through the entire preseason, and may come down to which quarterback can develop a better relationship with Larry Fitzgerald.

5. Quarterbacks on the Rebound
While 2010 will feature a number of rookie quarterbacks trying to prove themselves, there will also be a number of quarterbacks trying to prove themselves after having dismal 2009 campaigns. Jake Delhomme’s 2009 season was marred by injuries, turnovers, and constant reminders of his collapse against Arizona in the 2008-09 playoffs. Delhomme will try to rejuvenate his career as the new starting quarterback in Cleveland. Matt Hasselbeck also fought injuries and inconsistencies in 2009, and Seattle struggled to a 5-11 record and a top six draft pick. Jay Cutler is coming off a disastrous first season in Chicago, leading the league with 26 interceptions and leading many to question how much of his success was due in large part to Mike Shanahan, his former head coach in Denver. Some former starters looking for redemption haven’t even been able to find a team to take a chance on them, including Bulger, Daunte Culpepper, and JaMarcus Russell.

6. Honorable Mentions
Can Tom Brady stay healthy for an entire season and return to his record-setting 2008 form? Who will start in Denver – Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, or Tebow? Which Vince Young will show up in Tennessee? Can anybody figure out how to stop Drew Brees? Is Chad Henne ready to be the franchise quarterback in Miami? And, of course, how long will we have to wait for an official decision from Brett Favre?

Josh Cohick
Halftime Huddle contributing writer