This season, when you sit down at your favorite sports bar to watch the game on Sunday, you’re likely to see one or some of the following. We want (and need) people who visit our partner sports bars to know about Spogo. So, stop stuffing your face with nachos for a second, and look to your left:
Pick up your beer, take a swig, and set it back down on this puppy:
What’s that on your table next to the salt and pepper shakers?
After drilling the game winning field goal, you can’t help but look to the sky to thank the Almighty for his beautiful work. Instead, you see:
Keep in mind, Spogo is not available on the App Store QUITE yet. All of these flyers, banners, coasters, table tents (and more that we didn’t show you) will scattered around Boston and New York this season at our sports bar partner locations. Now, we just need to figure out how to get it there.
While the winds and rain crashed upon the eastern seaboard, the NFL rolled on. Bunkered down in my Manhattan residence, stocked up on food and drink, I’ve worked through the storm to crunch this week’s action. Here’s what people are talking about.
Sanchez or Tebow?
The signing of Tim Tebow could cost Mike Tannenbaum (Jets GM) his job. The Dolphins embarrassed the Jets on Sunday, and the “Sanchez or Tebow” talk has hit a new high I didn’t think was possible. It has not only become the elephant in the Jets locker room, but the elephant that just keeps eating peanuts and growing. Pretty soon there won’t be enough space for the players. Sanchez was critically inaccurate on Sunday including throwing one pick, and losing a fumble trying to make something out of nothing. On the flip side, Tebow is probably the most inaccurate QB on any NFL roster. The truth about this situation is: there is no good option. The Jets faithful want a QB that can make plays but the truth is, the Jets are going to have to find one in the off-season. If the Jets lose two out of the next three (@ Seattle, @ St. Louis, vs. New England), I could see them giving Tebow a shot. Inaccurate or not, he has found ways to win, why not give it a shot when your team is 4-7? No, it’s clear now. Greg McElroy must be the answer…
New York Giants Near Collapse
Jason Pierre-Paul picked off Tony Romo for touchdown, and I’m slouched down in my couch pondering if I want to nap or not. Five minutes before the half, Felix Jones sneaked into the endzone, and you could tell this game was far from over. The Cowboys added a field goal before half, and I was wide-awake. Pretty soon, I was gnawing at my fingernails and tapping my toes. The Giants held the ball for all of 4 minutes in the 3rd quarter, and Dallas took the lead. The Giants experience in these situations showed in the 4th quarter when they drove down the field for two field goals, and ran out the game. I nearly took my thumbnail off when Dez Bryant caught a would-be touchdown at the end of the game that was ruled incomplete, but the Giants came up with the plays to win. What worries me is their lack of production in the red zone. They kicked five field goals on Sunday, moving the ball into Cowboys territory quite well and then stalling when it mattered. The secondary came up with many interceptions, but showed how soft it can be after allowing three 100+ yard receivers. The Giants need to improve in the secondary or they’ll have a hard time with the pass-happy teams come January.
Did Peyton Manning overtake Matt Ryan for MVP frontrunner?
Any questions about Peyton Manning’s health have evaporated. Something else has evaporated in Denver: any talk of Tim Tebow. This may seem like a no-brainer, but people would be talking about it had Peyton come out and not played so solidly. This week Peyton flashed his greatness completing 22 of 30 passes for 305 yards and 3 TDs. Matt Ryan also had a good game; I just think Peyton’s consistency has edged him in front. In the last five weeks, Peyton has thrown for 300+ yards each game, throwing 14 TD passes and only 1 interception. Also, in his last 4 weeks, his completion percentage has not dipped below 70%. These numbers are staggering and unmatched in the league. Right now, Peyton sits in pole position in the race for MVP.
Is It Time to Bench Michael Vick?
Shockingly, an ESPN poll on whether Vick should be benched came up 50/50. Personally, this idea sounds ill conceived. Vick has been hit (or under duress) 13 more times than the next most QB. In addition, he did not turn the ball over once on Sunday in the loss to the Falcons. The Eagles made a change at Defensive Coordinator, but the defensive performance was statistically below their season average. Replacing Vick with Nick Foles (a rookie) is not going to fix their issue, because the issue isn’t Vick. The Eagles secondary gave up big play after big play and allowed Matt Ryan to throw just 7 incompletions in 29 pass attempts. In addition, the defensive line only hit Ryan twice. They need to be better on defense, but maybe it will take a new QB for them to see that it’s not the problem. Let’s say they go that route: if I’m Andy Reid, I’m worried about losing the locker room and Vick.
What Patriots Team Will Show Up This Week?
On Sunday after going into the locker room at half up 28-7, Pats fans must have been waiting for the inevitable collapse. But it did not come, so what’s different? Looking back to the loss to the Seahawks, it was three big plays, especially the 46-yard pass in the 4th quarter that left the team reeling. The Pats started off this game by giving up that big play (50-yard TD pass). However, after this early play the defense clamped down, forced two interceptions, and did not give up the home run. This is the Pats team people expected to see week-in, week-out. We’ll see which Pats team shows up after the bye week against Buffalo.
Spogo hopes all stay safe and dry through the storm.
Many of you are likely reading this sitting on your couch in sweat pants, enjoying your day off thanks to good old Sandy. Well, here at Spogo HQ, there are no days off. As you all know, we’re working tirelessly to get Spogo up on the App Store as soon as humanly possible. So today, we’ll work until the water level reaches our desks.
I’d like to think that if Sandy did flood the cave here at Spogo HQ, we’d go down with the ship. Get the string quartet playing as we heroically take our last gasps of air just as we hit the button that sends Spogo to Apple. We may be gone, but Spogo will live on. In reality though, it would likely play out more like Captain Francesco Schettino of the Costa Concordia.
Anyways, since we always relate everything back to sports here at Spogo, I thought it’d be a fitting day to share a few photos and videos of how major weather events have affected sports…
1989 World Series Earthquake
Just as Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants was about to begin, the stadium began to shake…
Ice Bowl — 1967 NFL Championship
Snow Bowl — 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff
There have been plenty of NFL games with snow, but none quite like this. Between the tuck rule play, Vinatieri’s 48-yard game tying FG, and then game-winner in over time, this game goes down as one of my all-time favorites.
Lightning in Texas
This isn’t a famous game, it’s just a crazy video. Check out the catcher in a full sprint.
No Pepto-Bismol needed for the Rams game. This week required coffee to keep awake through a lackluster Rams effort. St. Louis forgot to pack some “game effort” for their journey across the pond.
Ryan Mallett finally got the chance to see some regular season game action. He served as the “human victory cigar” when the game’s outcome had long been decided.
Next week is the bye week. Many nicked up Patriots will have the opportunity to get some well needed R&R. Some members of the team should not be too complacent, as Bill B. usually has at least one trick up his sleeve. Lovable Coach B. has often used this week to cut a veteran or two who has slowed down a step or remains injured too long (Steve Gregory).
The Jets are now 3-5, as Miami beat them 30-9. I am not going to make the mistake of prematurely counting them out this year.
Rob Ninkovich continues to make big plays every week. Ninkovich was a virtual scrap heap guy, having been cut from the Dolphins’ practice squad. Somehow he has morphed into the Willie McGinest/Mike Vrabel role, rotating between defensive end and linebacker depending on the situation.
Former captain of the Patriots’ witness protection program Jermaine Cunningham has come out of hiding. He is starting to play like a guy who was drafted in an early round…finally.
If Gronk wasn’t so good, would team brass find his antics so funny? I think not. I am sure that you saw that he spiked a microphone worth several thousand dollars in London.
Tavon Wilson is the definition of a “trick or treat” guy. Enjoy Halloween, Tavon.
I’ll be back in two weeks after the Buffalo game on 11/11.
When you create a Spogo account, we ask you for some basic information that is displayed on your unique user profile. In addition to your username, location and a photo, you can also enter in your favorite football team, favorite athlete and favorite sports movie.
How can you possibly pick a favorite sports movie?? Almost every time I see the one I’ve selected, I want to go in and change it to another timeless classic that I love. (Yes, I have been using an in-development version of Spogo. Jealous?)
There are the iconic sports films: Rudy, Hoosiers, Rocky, Field of Dreams. There are the comedies you can watch over and over: Caddyshack, Slap Shot, Major League. How about the movies we love as much today as we did when we were kids: Sandlot, Little Giants, Angels in the Outfield, Mighty Ducks (D2 obviously). Too many to choose from.
Now I won’t say that the following are the best of all time—that title is too hard to award. But these are a few of my absolute favorites that aren’t quite as renowned as the aforementioned titles. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, except mine is the right one:
Friday Night Lights
He Got Game
What’s your favorite sports movie ever? Feel free to comment, and have a great Friday.
Hard to believe that we’re halfway through the season, but things are starting to make a bit more sense. The best teams are separating themselves from the competition, the teams with surprising starts have held their heat or dwindled into mediocrity, and the teams that are just not that good have stayed, well, not that good. With Spogo nearing launch, I feel like I’m on top of my game, on a higher level of NFL clarity, and I’m going to make sure you’re on top of yours.
Players to Watch
Cam Newton (QB, Carolina Panthers) @ Chicago Bears – 1:00 PM EST
There comes a time in every man’s life, when he must face his demons head on. Well, Cam is having a hard time doing that. It’s evident he’s not used to losing, and it’s driving him mad. Wanting to win can be a great asset, but he is reacting poorly and frankly, playing even worse. Newton has been a shade of his rookie self, and while I know all the physical tools are there, things are not clicking in Carolina. He needs help and their running game is not obliging. This week Newton will have 11 demons on the other side of the ball in a stingy Bears defense. This could either be a statement game for Cam & Co. or the end of the Panthers season.
Reggie Bush (RB, Miami Dolphins) @ New York Jets – 1:00 PM EST
Reggie has found himself in the hot seat with the New York Jets after comments that insinuated Darrelle Revis deserved his injury. Well, Aaron Maybin (Jets linebacker) has come out and publically said they want to knock Reggie out of the game, but do it legally. Considering the pay-for-hit scandal with the Saints, these are probably not the best words. The Jets and Dolphins went to overtime their first game, and Reggie had 10 carries for 61 yards. However, he was coming off an injury and Daniel Thomas got the bulk of the carries. If I was Reggie, I would want to avoid carries this week as well. If Reggie does somehow get injured, serious questions will be raised from the league with this kind of build up.
Games to Watch
Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles – 1:00 PM EST
Both teams are coming off the bye week, which should give them added freshness. The Eagles have done much more than rest their legs; they’ve replaced their Defensive Coordinator, which will give them a new look on Sunday. Andy Reid has a great record coming off bye weeks, but he is coaching to keep his job at this point. For Eagles fans, it’s not the defense that needs the most adjustment; it’s the ball security (I bring this up a lot, but it simply has not changed). Michael Vick has more giveaways than anyone in the league by a wide margin. If he gives it up to this undefeated Falcons team more than once, they’ll have a hard time winning this game. For the Falcons, they just need to execute on offense and create turnovers on defense. Matt Ryan threw three interceptions against Oakland in their last game, an uncharacteristic performance. If they can get the passing game back on track, they should come out with a win. If Ryan struggles, this could be their first loss against an Eagles team with a lot to prove.
New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos – 8:20 PM EST, Sunday
If you want to see two quarterbacks performing at the highest level, tune in to NBC on Sunday night. If you’ve read any of my
writing, you know how I feel about Peyton Manning (who I think still hasn’t hit his peak). Last week, Peyton made a quick audible at the line in the fourth quarter then threw a strike to Brandon Stokely, fitting it in a tiny window for a 21-yard touchdown. It was the kind of play that makes you appreciate his genius. Drew Brees plays with similar control, and he now holds the record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass (I see him extending this record to 60-70). While the Denver defense has given up 20+ points in 4 of their 6 games, the Alabama defense could give the Saints D a run for their money. They can’t stop anything. They rank 30th in pass defense (305.2 yds/gm) and 31st in rushing defense (160.1 yds/gm). Undoubtedly the worst defense in the league. I see the Broncos edging the Saints out at home, but it could come down to who has the ball last.
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys – 4:25 PM EST
A lot has changed since these teams first met. The Cowboys are 2-3 since facing the Giants in the season opener, but more importantly are 1-2 in their last 3 games. They are struggling to replace DeMarco Murray, who suffered an ankle injury in Week 6. Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner are filling in, but neither has taken control, and the ‘Boys average 97.2 rushing yards per game (20th in the league). Their defense has been better than expected, but took a hit when Sean Lee, their leading tackler, was placed on the IR with a season ending big toe injury (sounds kind of ridiculous, but I’m sure it hurts like the dickens). Lee had almost two times more tackles than their next best defender, so they’ll have to fill a big void. The Giants are starting to look like the team that won the Super Bowl. After blasting San Fran on the road, and edging out a dangerous Redskins team led by RG III, the Giants face another tough game on their grueling schedule. The defensive line is starting to show signs of life; I guess they took an extended preseason. This team is also blessed with a QB and Offensive Coordinator that understand each other after years of working together. They have undoubtedly the best two-minute drill in football. We’ll see if they need to employ it again on Sunday.
News and Notes
- Bills DE Mario Williams had surgery on his wrist, it remains to be seen if it will keep him out of games. Williams has 3.5 sacks in 7 games. If he finishes the season with 7 sacks, the Bills will have paid $857,142 a sack.
- Jon Beason (LB, Carolina Panthers) has been placed on the IR after a knee injury, and will miss the remainder of the season. Beason just signed a 6-year, 51.3 million-dollar extension.
- Felix Jones (RB, Dallas Cowboys) is listed as questionable for Week 8. He might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after he failed to run for 65 yards against the porous Panthers.
- Greg Jennings (WR, Green Bay Packers) saw a specialist about his nagging groin injury on Tuesday. His status for Sunday is unknown, but this seems to be a sign that he hasn’t quite healed.
Anything written herein that does not occur will be blamed on my crystal ball. Enjoy Week 8 football fans.
We may not have microphones, suits or a remotely interested audience, but this is how you should imagine our debates here at Spogo HQ.
Watching Obama and Romney go at each others throats for the third time the other night reminded me of some of the sports-related debates I’ve had with friends over the years. David, Zach (The Godfather) and I had one such debate a couple weeks ago. After a night out in Boston we spent the hours of 2:00am to 5:00am relentlessly arguing over the college football BCS system. Some may see this as silly. Maybe even insane. But to us here at Spogo, it’s important. I think it serves as some sort of release. Anyways, I thought I’d bring some of sports’ biggest debates to our readers. Where do you stand?
BCS or Playoffs
After years of debate, we’ll finally see a college football playoff next year (albeit only 4-team). To me, a college football playoff system is a no-brainer. Aside from generating the most amount of money for sponsors and networks, the BCS is completely flawed. Having a computer decide where teams rank every week doesn’t make any sense. You can also lose your shot at a national championship as early as Week 1. Let the teams battle it out in a playoff and make us all happy. What do you think?
NBA Draft Age Eligibility
Up until a few years ago, high school athletes were allowed to enter the NBA draft without attending college. Today, you must attend for at least one year. While this rule provides young athletes with an additional year of education and also helps to develop their game (on and off the court?), I think the choice should ultimately be up to the individual. If an 18 year-old male can elect to go to the military after high school, why can’t he play in the NBA? Besides, high schools have given us guys like Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. I say keep em’ comin!
Steroids and Baseball
At this point, performance enhancing drugs have permeated almost every sport. Lance Armstrong, for example, was stripped of his Tour de France titles just a few weeks ago. But steroids and PEDs seem to be a continual topic of polarization and debate in baseball. Many have labeled the last 15 years as the steroid era, and subscribe to the theory of “everyone’s doing it, the playing field is level”. I tend to disagree. Reward those who followed the rules and were still able to outplay those using.
I got up from my couch Sunday afternoon; it was time to go to the gym. I paused for a second, registering the 23-13 score. The Pats can’t blow a 10-point lead to the Jets, I thought. After I was done warming up, I passed by a TV and give it a cursory glance. I looked away, and then stopped. No, that can’t be right… They couldn’t…. They…What? I did a double (perhaps triple) take before my eyes registered what I had read. A 26-23 Jets lead with less than two minutes to go.
I chuckled at how Andrew and David at Spogo headquarters must’ve been feeling. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised this year. Perhaps I should have been more surprised that the Pats didn’t end up blowing it. I won’t Jet-bash today, it was a solid effort, and someone had to come up short (or it was hubris for Rex…). I was wrong about Shonn Greene’s fantasy stats this week, his day turned out O.K. Who I was dead wrong about, was Felix Jones. It is clear that he is comparable to Benedict Arnold; he simply can’t be trusted. Let’s take a look at this weeks fantasy notables.
Top of the Week
Josh Freeman (QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Freeman can flat out play against the Saints; he hasn’t been intercepted by the Saints in any of their 5 meetings. But he didn’t just avoid defenders paws, he threw for 420 yards and 3 TDs. This wasn’t a fluke game either; Josh has gone back-to-back games with 300+ yards and 3 TDs. O.K. so his previous opponent was the Chiefs, but if you’re in a smaller league, Freeman seems like a solid bench booster (available in 30% of leagues).
Drew Brees (QB, New Orleans Saints)
Brees frequently has great fantasy days, but this day had the makings of Aaron Rodgers from last week. Brees had over 300 yards and 3 TDs at the half. He finished with 377 yards and 4 TDs. Brees and QBs playing against the Saints, will be great options going forward. Drew is going to have to duel his way to a .500 record, because his defense is like a wet noodle.
Vincent Jackson (WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
The new Buccaneer has played with some consistency, so he’s not exactly coming out of the woodwork. However, this was a statement game. It also happened to come at my expense in one league. Vincent finished with 7 Rec, 216 Yds, and a TD. He was targeted 14 times (season high). There’s no doubt this production was partially due to the Saints defense, but Jackson is starting to click with Freeman.
Chris Johnson (RB, Tennessee Titans)
Johnson had become a bench-able commodity, who people were starting because they had used a top pick on him. He owners finally received the first payment of the Chris Johnson debt on Sunday. He had 18 carries for 195 yards and 2 TDs. He also gave up two 1-yard TD carries to Jamie Harper (who?). It seems like there is always some new guy who comes in out of nowhere and pilfers touchdowns. LenDale White is out of Tennessee, but Jamie Harper may have taken up his mantle of goal line TD snatcher.
“Helloooo Waiver Wire!”
Rashad Jennings (RB, Jacksonville Jaguars, Percent Owned: 13.6)
Maurice Jones-Drew went down early on Sunday, and in stepped Rashad Jennings. While he only had 44 yards and a TD on the ground, Jennings added 7 catches for 58 yards. This makes him pretty valuable in PPR (point per reception) formats. MJD is expected to miss a week to multiple weeks, so if you’re looking for a running back to fill the gap, look no further.
Jeremy Kerley (WR, New York Jets, Percent Owned: 43.0)
While I have a hard time endorsing anyone on the Jets offense, Kerley seems the best option. He racked up 7 catches for 120 yards against the Pats on Sunday, with a team-high 11 targets. The only issue with Kerley is he is not a big target in the redzone due to his size, and only has 2 TDs this year. He seems to hold better value in PPR leagues as well.
I’m pretty ashamed to have said that Darren “Run DMC” McFadden was going to be a top 3 RB by seasons end (hey, I’m not wrong
yet). This Oakland offense just can’t seem to run the ball with any effectiveness, even against bad defenses. McFadden is averaging 3.1 yards per carry, and has just two touchdowns. I’m normally not a fan of picking good (relatively) players on bad teams, but DMC had a solid start to last year before the injury, and it seemed like if he could stay healthy he would succeed. Alas, I should have stuck to my rule.
Not a 2 point game but Felix failed to capitalize on a good situation, yet again. Jones averaged 2.9 yards per carry, and ended up splitting carries with Phillip Tanner. He did catch 5 passes for 30 yards, but that was little relief to people who expected him to be DeMarco Murray’s doppelganger. As I said before, Felix cannot be leaned upon to win your match-ups. If you put him in your lineup, you’re buying a lottery ticket. There’s no doubt the talent is there, but the guy cannot execute.
Best of luck next week all (except for my opponents…)
P.S. – Did you know coming into Week 7, Lawrence Tynes (K, New York Giants) had more fantasy points than Mark Sanchez (QB, New York Jets)?
Facebook began as a hobby. However controversial, when Mark Zuckerberg started building Facebook from his Harvard dorm room, he did it because it was fun and because he knew his classmates would want and love to use his product. It wasn’t until students from other schools started requesting access to Facebook that the idea of it being an actual business crossed his mind.
Facebook did not come to be for the purpose of making money. It was built for the fundamental reason that it created joy. Students loved to use it, and that made Facebook a great product. The more Zuckerberg listened to his users, the better product Facebook became. Today, Facebook has become so robust, that it often has to anticipate what members want. Based on its billion plus active monthly users, I think they’re doing an okay job.
The other day, Zuckerberg spoke at the Y Combinator Startup School in Silicon Valley. His main message: “Do something fundamental.” This is what Spogo aims to do, by enhancing the game day experience for sports fans. A business should not be built around a revenue stream. A great business should be built to create joy for its users—and the revenue streams will come.
Here is a link about Zuckerberg’s talk at Y Combinator: http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/20/zucks-advice-to-startups-listen-to-what-your-users-want-both-qualitatively-and-quantitatively/
With approximately 4:33 remaining in the game, I pulled out some Pepto Bismol to take away that nauseous feeling. I was starting to feel better momentarily when the Jets Stephen Hill missed a gimme. Then felt sick again, after the Devin McCourty fumble. I’m thinking of buying stock in the company, as lately I’ve needed it almost every week.
The Pats’ defensive line had their worst game of the season. Nick Mangold and company pushed them around all afternoon, giving “The Sanchise” way too much time to find Jeremy Kerley. Bill, when Kerley becomes available in free agency, put his name to the right of “pay to the order of”.
Did you notice that Patrick Chung wasn’t playing? That speaks volumes. Add his name to the growing list of early round secondary players who crapped out. Below his name, you can add Devin McCourty and Ras-I Dowling. You would think Belichick and company by default would get one of these high round draft picks right.
Does it seem like every team in the league has a guy named Trufant at defensive back? Maybe next year the Patriots should just draft anyone with that surname.
Here’s a scary thought… the Jets’ defensive backfield is so good, I forgot that their best player, Darelle Revis is out for the year.
Brandon Spikes is a guy that you want on your side of the field. When Allstate is looking for a new Mr. Mayhem, Spikes is my nominee.
Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia deserves a medal. This guy can make chicken salad out of you know what. Two of the Pats’ starting linemen are out, and he inserts a couple of no-names that make Shane (Don’t call me Ben) Vereen look like Marcus Allen.
There were two things that happened today that you’ll likely never see again.
1. The Pats needing to call a time out on a punt.
2. Teams walking off the field at the end of the game on a play under review.
Next Sunday don’t forget to tune in at 1PM for the St. Louis Rams. That name still doesn’t sound right to me.