Remembering Prince and the All-Time Greatest Super Bowl Halftime Show

“It hadn’t rained at the Super Bowl in 40 years.” Of course it had to for “Purple Rain”.

Today sucks and we all know why. What I’ve always found to help mourn the loss of a performer who moved you for years with their music and talent is to celebrate their triumphs, listen to them rock, and relive the memories you and many others had.

For me, Super Bowl XLI comes to mind immediately. On the world’s biggest stage with the largest live audience possible, Prince just simply rocked. In the pouring rain, he blew viewers away with a set of not just his own songs but some excellent covers as well.

NFL Films has a great clip capturing the event, and honestly it makes me forget that my Chicago Bears lost in the game. The show was that special.

Share some of your own Prince memories and favorite performances with us on Facebook and Twitter

The Piffcast: The Second One – Second is the Best

 

This week, FanDuel sportswriter Jessica Kleinschmidt joins us to talk about the NFL offseason and where the best places would be for big free agents to land…from a Fantasy perspective. We also preview the upcoming MLB season a little bit as well, because pitchers and catchers are reporting! (Jump ahead to the 11:55 mark to here Jessica right away)

Then People Magazine TV editor and writer Aaron Couch jumps on to discuss Better Call Saul and the “Better Talk Saul” podcast he hosts. We also get into The People vs. OJ Simpson and the effect Deadpool’s success will have on Marvel and DC films going forward. (52:20 mark, if you want to jump ahead)

All that, plus some catching up, an epic Chicago Pizza Party and ANOTHER delicious social media contest. Don’t miss out!

Feel free to react as you listen on Facebook or Twitter

Subscribe on iTunes here.

NFL Bad Lip Reading 2016: Part II

“He’s weird, he’s weird, and HE’S WEIRD!”

 

Three days after “Part I” hit the interweb, Bad Lip Reading struck again with plenty of things Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, John Fox and others probably didn’t say…but we can imagine now.

Keep this in mind when you watch Peyton Manning and Cam Newton go at it this weekend in Super Bowl 50.

For more, follow along on Facebook or Twitter

The Piffcast! Episode 1 – The Super Bowl One

The Piffcast is back…rebooted!

With “The ’85 Bears” 30 For 30 debuting this week, we talked to Mark Grote from 670 The Score about following the team as a fan and their legacy in football history.

We also get you prepared for the weekend with the commercials to look forward to, the halftime show, prop bets and more going into Super Bowl 50. Listen for how to win the first Piffcast giveaway too!

Listen and react on Facebook or Twitter

 

NFL Bad Lip Reading 2016: Part I

“We’ll fight y’all on Tiger Mountain!”

The “Bad Lip Reading” guys are back in time for Super Bowl 50 and haven’t lost a step.

 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Jim Tomsula was actually saying those things…like most of the things said in the entire video.

Stay tuned to see when “Part II” is released, which will likely be as funny.

For more, follow along on Facebook or Twitter

Full List of Super Bowl 50 Prop Bets

DID YOU KNOW…

That the first official prop bet was whether or not William “The Refrigerator” Perry would would score a touchdown in Super Bowl XX?

Well…

William Perry TD

He did.

The “Prop Bets” have become an awesome tradition each year for both the heavy and light gamblers. It’s fun betting on how long the anthem will be sung and what color the Gatorade being poured will be. Then you account the circumstances surrounding star players, storylines, celebrities and halftime show performers, and you have yourself a fun Super Bowl party game.

So…

Y’all ready for this? 

The full list of prop bets from Bovada!

ENTERTAINMENT ODDS AND ENDS

Will Peyton Manning announce his retirement in the postgame interview?

Yes      +500  (5/1)

No        -1000 (1/10)

(Note: Must be on live broadcast.)

Will Peyton Manning be seen crying at any point during the entire broadcast?

Yes      +600  (6/1)

No        -1200 (1/12)

(Note: Live pictures only, must clearly see a tear.)

How many times will “dab” or “dabbing” be said by the announcers during the broadcast?

Over     2          (EVEN, 1/1)      

Under   2          (-140, 5/7)        

(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

How many times will Cam Newton do the Open Shirt Superman motion during the game?

Over     2.5        (EVEN, 1/1)      

Under   2.5        (-140, 5/7)        

(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

If Steph Curry is shown on TV during the broadcast what will he be wearing?

Personalized Carolina Steph Curry Jersey           1/1

No Jersey                         2/1

Cam Newton Jersey                         3/1

Any Other Carolina Jersey                         5/1

Will Mike Carey be wrong about a challenge?

Yes      +110 (11/10)

No        -150 (2/3)

(Note: He must be consulted on live broadcast and must clearly take a stance on his position. If not consulted wagers will be No Action.)

Will there be an earthquake during the game?

Yes      10/1

(Note: Announcer must indicate there was during live broadcast from kickoff until final whistle.)

Will the Panthers player who scores their first TD give the football to a boy or girl?

Boy      -200 (1/2)

Girl       +150 (3/2)

How many times will the Golden Gate Bridge be shown during the broadcast?

Over     0.5        -300 (1/3)

Under   0.5        +200 (2/1)

(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

How many times will “John Fox” be said during the broadcast?

Over     1          (-140, 5/7)

Under   1          (EVEN, 1/1)

(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

How many times will Archie Manning be shown on TV during the broadcast?

Over     1.5        EVEN (1/1)

Under   1.5        -140    (5/7)

(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

How many times will John Elway be shown on TV during broadcast?

Over     2.5        EVEN (1/1)

Under   2.5        -140    (5/7)

(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

Will the announcers mention that Kubiak was Elway’s backup during the broadcast?

Yes      +120 (6/5)

No        -160 (5/8)

(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

What color will the liquid be that is poured on the winning coach?

Orange             5/4

Blue                 3/1

Clear                4/1

Yellow              4/1

Red                   6/1

Green               10/1

Purple              10/1

Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first?

God                            2/1

Team                         2/1

City/Fans                   6/1

Coach                         15/2

Family                        15/1

Does not Mention Anyone above           9/4

Which song will Coldplay play first during the halftime show?

Adventure of a Lifetime           2/1

Fix You                                      7/2

A Sky Full of Stars                    9/2

Viva la Vida                               5/1

Clocks                                       15/2

Speed of Sound                        9/1

Head Full of Dreams                10/1

Paradise                                    10/1

What color will Beyonce’s footwear be when she comes on stage for the halftime show?

Black                              3/2

Gold/Brown                   5/2

White                             11/4

Silver/Grey                    19/4

Any Other Color             7/1

(Note: Predominant color will be graded winner.)

Will “Left Shark” make an appearance on stage during the Super Bowl halftime show?

Yes                  15/1

How many million viewers will Super Bowl 50 have?

Over/Under                   117 million

What will the Nielsen Rating be for Super Bowl 50?

Over/Under                   48.5

Which region will have a higher Nielsen Rating?

Denver              -140    (5/7)

Charlotte           EVEN  (1/1)

How many wings will Buffalo Wild Wings sell on Super Bowl Day?

Over/Under                   12 million

TEAM/GAME PROPS

Coin Toss

Heads               -105 (20/21)

Tails                 -105 (20/21)

Will the referee redo the coin toss?

Yes                  20/1

Will the team that chooses heads or tails in the coin toss be correct?

Yes                  -105 (20/21)

No                    -105 (20/21)

Team to win the coin toss

Carolina Panthers          -105 (20/21)

Denver Broncos              -105 (20/21)

Will the team that wins the coin toss win the game?

Yes                  -105 (20/21)

No                   -105 (20/21)

Team to score first in the game

Carolina Panthers          -150 (2/3)

Denver Broncos              +120 (6/5)

Will the team that scores first win the game?

Yes                  -160 (5/8)

No                    +130 (13/10)

Total Team Points – Carolina Panthers

Over/Under                   24½     

Total Team Points – Carolina Panthers – First Half

Over/Under                   11½       

Total Team Points – Denver Broncos

Over/Under                   20

Total Team Points – Denver Broncos – First Half

Over/Under                   9½ 

Will there be a score in the first 7m30s of the 1st quarter?

Yes                   -160 (5/8)

No                    +130 (13/10)

Will there be a score in the first 1m30s of the 1st quarter?

Yes                  +1000 (10/1)

No                    -2500 (1/25)

Which will be the highest scoring quarter?

1st Quarter                     5/1

2nd Quarter                   8/5

3rd Quarter                    9/2

4th Quarter                    5/2

Will either team score 3 unanswered times in the game?

Yes                  -220 (5/11)

No                    +175 (7/4)

Will there be a score in the final 2 minutes of the 1st half?

Yes                  -280 (5/14)       

No                    +220 (11/5)

Longest touchdown yardage in the game

Over/Under                   44½

Will there be a penalty for excessive celebration?

Yes      +250      (5/2)

No        -400     (1/4)

Will either backup QB take a snap in the game?

Yes       +200 (2/1)

No        -300 (1/3)

Total successful field goals

Over/Under                   3½

Longest successful field goal in the game

Over/Under                   44.5 Yards

Will there be a missed extra point?

Yes      +325 (13/4)

No        -450 (2/9)

Total QB sacks (Both teams combined)

Over/Under                   5½

Will a special teams or defensive TD be scored?

Yes      +150 (3/2)

No        -180 (5/9)

Will the Panthers rush for a 100 Yards or more for a 32nd straight game?

Yes      -500 (1/5)

No        +300 (3/1)

Total number of penalties made in the game by both teams

Over/Under                   12½

Total number of penalties assessed on the Carolina Panthers

Over/Under                   6

Total number of penalties assessed on the Denver Broncos

Over/Under                   6½

Margin of Victory

Panthers by 1-6 points                          3/1

Panthers by 7-12 points                         4/1

Panthers by 13-18 points                        11/2

Panthers by 19-24 points                       9/1

Panthers by 25-30 points                       16/1

Panthers by 31-36 points                       25/1

Panthers by 37-42 points                       40/1

Panthers by 43+ points                           50/1

Broncos by 1-6 points                             4/1

Broncos by 7-12 points                           8/1

Broncos by 13-18 points                         12/1

Broncos by 19-24 points                        25/1

Broncos by 25-30 points                        50/1

Broncos by 31-36 points                        75/1

Broncos by 37-42 points                        100/1

Broncos by 43+ points                            100/1

MVP AND FIRST TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN ODDS

Super Bowl 50 – Odds to Win MVP

Cam Newton                              5/7

Peyton Manning                        11/4

Luke Kuechly                             14/1

C.J. Anderson                             20/1

Ted Ginn Jr.                               20/1

Von Miller 20/1

Greg Olsen                                 22/1

Emmanuel Sanders                   22/1

Jonathan Stewart                      22/1

Demaryius Thomas                   22/1

Josh Norman                             28/1

Aqib Talib                                  33/1

DeMarcus Ware                         33/1

Corey Brown                              66/1

Owen Daniels                             66/1

Graham Gano                             66/1

Ronnie Hillman                          66/1

Brandon McManus                     66/1

Darian Stewart                            66/1

Danny Trevathan                        66/1

Chris Harris Jr.                            75/1

Devin Funchess                           100/1

Brandon Marshall                       100/1

Derek Wolfe                                 100/1

Kurt Coleman                               150/1

Mike Tolbert                                 150/1

Field                                              33/1

First Touchdown Scorer

Cam Newton (CAR)                       7/1

Greg Olsen (CAR)                          15/2

Jonathan Stewart (CAR)               8/1

C.J. Anderson (DEN)                     9/1

Emmanuel Sanders (DEN)           9/1

Demaryius Thomas (DEN)           9/1

Ted Ginn Jr. (CAR)                        10/1

Corey Brown (CAR)                       14/1

Owen Daniels (DEN)                     14/1

Ronnie Hillman (DEN)                 14/1

Mike Tolbert (CAR)                      16/1

Jerricho Cotchery (CAR)              20/1

Devin Funchess (CAR)                 20/1

Andre Caldwell (DEN)                  25/1

Jordan Norwood (DEN)                25/1

Ed Dickson (CAR)                         33/1

Peyton Manning (DEN)               50/1

No touchdown scorer                  66/1

Field                                             11/2

PLAYER PROPS

Will Peyton Manning throw a Pick 6 in the game?

Yes      +300 (3/1)

No        -500 (1/5)

Will Cam Newton break the Super Bowl record of most rushing yards by a QB?

Yes      +275 (11/4)

No        -450 (2/9)

(Note: The record is 64 by Steve McNair in Super Bowl XXXIV.)

Total Passing Yards – Peyton Manning (DEN)

Over/Under                   235½

Total Passing Yards – Cam Newton (CAR)

Over/Under                   240½

Total Touchdown Passes – Cam Newton (CAR)

Over     1½         (-180, 5/9)

Under   1½        (+150, 3/2)

Total Touchdown Passes – Peyton Manning (DEN)

Over     1½         (-135, 20/27)

Under   1½        (+105, 21/20)

Cam Netwon and Peyton Manning Specials

Cam Newton records 300 or more Passing Yards                        7/2

Cam Newton records 350 or more Passing Yards                        9/1

Cam Newton records 50 or more Rushing Yards                         3/2

Cam Newton records 100 or more Rushing Yards                        12/1

Cam Newton records 25 or more Completions                             5/1

Cam Newton scores a Rushing TD and Carolina win the game   2/1

Peyton Manning records 300 or more Passing Yards                  7/4

Peyton Manning records 350 or more Passing Yards                  5/1

Peyton Manning records 30 or more Completions                      15/2

Total Rushing Yards – Cam Newton (CAR)

Over/Under                   39½

Total Rushing Yards – Ted Ginn Jr. (CAR)

Over/Under                   5½

Will Luke Kuechly record a pick 6 in the game?

Yes      +600  (6/1)

No        -1200 (1/12)

(Note: Kuechly had a pick 6 in both playoff games this year.)

Total Sacks – Von Miller (DEN)

Over     ½          (-225, 4/9)

Under   ½         (+180, 9/5)

CROSS-SPORTS PROPS

Cross Sport Props – What will be higher?

Trump % Points in the New Hampshire Primary               -200 (1/2)

Total Points scored by the winning Super Bowl team       +150 (3/2)

Cross Sport Props – Exact Outcome

Carolina wins Super Bowl – Trump Wins 2016 Presidential Election                       13/4

Carolina wins Super Bowl – Cinton Wins 2016 Presidential Election                       7/4

Carolina wins Super Bowl – Sanders Wins 2016 Presidential Election                     5/1

Denver wins Super Bowl – Trump Wins 2016 Presidential Election                        7/1

Denver wins Super Bowl – Clinton Wins 2016 Presidential Election                       9/2

Denver wins Super Bowl – Sanders Wins 2016 Presidential Election                      10/1

Cross Sport Props – What are the odds the Carolina Panthers win the 2016 Super Bowl and the Golden State Warriors win the 2015-2016 NBA Title?

Yes                  2/1

Will Denver win Super Bowl, Peyton Manning Retires, San Antonio wins NBA Championship, Tim Duncan Retires?

Yes                  20/1

Cross Sport Props – What will be higher?

DeMarcus Cousins Points and Rebounds Feb. 7

Cam Newton Rushing Yards

Cross Sport Props – What will be higher?

Total Goals in the Montreal vs Carolina NHL game on Feb. 7

Total Receptions by Greg Olsen

Cross Sport Props – What will be higher?

Tiger Woods 1st Round score at 2016 Masters

Emmanuel Sanders Receiving Yards

Cross Sport Props – What will be higher?

Arsenal Total Goals on Feb. 7

Peyton Manning TD Passes

Let me know who and what you’re betting on with Facebook or Twitter

#TBT Year in Review: 2002

In the last palindrome year you’ll see until 2112…

  • The Winter Olympics were held in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • NASA discovered water ice deposits on the planet Mars. 
  • The Sims became the all-time best selling computer game.
  • Joe Strummer of the Clash passed away at the age of 50. 

And here’s what happened in Movies, Music and Sports…

Movies

Comedy

National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, Austin Powers: Goldmember, Punch Drunk Love, About a Boy, Mr. Deeds, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Friday After Next, Sweet Home Alabama, 40 Days and 40 Nights, The New Guy, Barbershop, Adaptation, Two Weeks Notice, Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, I Spy, Undercover Brother, Showtime, Bubba Ho-Tep, Slackers, AND…

Jackass: The Movie

Action/Thriller

Spider-Man, Minority Report, The Transporter, 007: Die Another Day, Panic Room, Red Dragon, Signs, Murder By Numbers, Blade II, The Sum of All Fears, Phone Booth, K-19 The Widowmaker, Equilibrium, Swimfan, Star Trek Nemesis, 28 Days Later, Insomnia, One Hour Photo, XXX, Resident Evil, Changing Lanes, Reign of Fire, The Ring, Enough, Bad Company, Collateral Damage, AND…

The Bourne Identity

Drama

Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, 8 Mile, The Pianist, City of God, The Hours, 25th Hour, Secretary, About Schmidt, We Were Soldiers, Frida, Chicago, Antwone Fisher, Far From Heaven, The Magdalene Sisters, A Walk To Remember, Road to Perdition, Unfaithful, Amen, Bloody Sunday, The Count of Monte Cristo, AND…

John Q

The 75th Academy Awards

Best Actor

  • Nicolas Cage, Adaptation
  • Michael Caine, The Quiet American
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York
  • Jack Nicholson, About Schmidt
  • Adrien Brody, The Pianist – Winner

(Adrien Brody won his only nomination, and kissed Halle Berry in the process) 

Best Supporting Actor

  • John C. Reilly, Gangs of New York
  • Christopher Walken, Catch Me If You Can
  • Ed Harris, The Hours
  • Paul Newman, Road to Perdition
  • Chris Cooper, Adaptation – Winner

(This was Chris Cooper’s only Oscar nomination)

Best Actress

  • Salma Hayek, Frida
  • Diane Lane, Unfaithful
  • Julianne Moore, Far From Heaven
  • Renee Zellweger, Chicago
  • Nicole Kidman, The Hours – Winner

(Nicole Kidman won once out of 3 Oscar nominations, also for Moulin Rouge and Rabbit Hole)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Kathy Bates, About Schmidt
  • Julianne Moore, The Hours
  • Queen Latifah, Chicago
  • Meryl Streep, Adaptation
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago – Winner

(Like Brody and Cooper, this was Catherine Zeta-Jones’s only nomination and win)

Music

Rock Albums

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Hip Hop Albums

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Pop Albums

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Billboard Year-End Top 25 Songs

  1. “How You Remind Me” – Nickelback
  2. “Foolish” – Ashanti
  3. “Hot in Herre” – Nelly
  4. “Dilemma” – Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland
  5. “Wherever You Will Go” – The Calling
  6. “A Thousand Miles” – Vanessa Carlton
  7. “In the End” – Linkin Park
  8. “What’s Luv” – Fat Joe featuring Ashanti
  9. “U Got It Bad” – Usher
  10. “Blurry” – Puddle of Mudd
  11. “Complicated” – Avril Lavigne
  12. “Always on Time” – Ja Rule featuring Ashanti
  13. “Ain’t It Funny” – Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule
  14. “The Middle” – Jimmy Eat World
  15. “I Need a Girl (Part One)” – P. Diddy featuring Usher and Loon
  16. “U Don’t Have to Call” –
  17. “Family Affair” – Mary J. Blige 
  18. “I Need A Girl (Part Two) – P. Diddy featuring Ginuwine and Loon
  19. “Gansta Lovin” – Eve featuring Alicia Keys
  20. “My Sacrifice” – Creed
  21. “Without Me” – Eminem
  22. “Hero” – Enrique Iglesias
  23. “All You Wanted” – Michelle Branch
  24. “Get the Party Started” – Pink
  25. “Hero” – Chad Kroeger featuring Josey Scott

Sports

Baseball

League Leaders

Offensive

Average: Barry Bonds (SF) – .370

Hits: Alfonso Soriano (NYY) – 209

Home Runs: Alex Rodriguez (TEX) – 57

RBI: Alex Rodriguez (TEX) – 142

OPS: Barry Bonds (SF) – 1.381

Stolen Bases: Luis Castillo (FLA) – 48

Pitching

Wins: Randy Johnson (AZ) – 24

ERA: Pedro Martinez (BOS) – 2.26

Strikeouts: Randy Johnson (AZ) – 334

Complete Games: Randy Johnson (AZ) & Bartolo Colon (CLE/MON)

Shutouts: AJ Burnett (FLA) – 5

Saves: John Smoltz (ATL) – 55

MVP

AL – Miguel Tejada (OAK)

NL – Barry Bonds (SF)

CY Young

AL – Barry Zito (OAK)

NL – Randy Johnson (AZ)

Rookie of the Year

AL – Eric Hinske (TOR)

NL – Jason Jennings (COL)

World Series

Anaheim Angels over San Francisco Giants (4-3)

Basketball

NCAA

Final Four

(1) Maryland, (1) Kansas, (2) Oklahoma, and (5) Indiana

National Championship

(1) Maryland over (5) Indiana 64-52

NBA

League Leaders

Points Per Game: Allen Iverson (PHI) – 31.4

Rebounds Per Game: Ben Wallace (DET) – 13.0

Assists Per Game: Andre Miller (CLE) – 10.9

All-NBA Team

Kobe Bryant (LAL)

Tim Duncan (SA)

Jason Kidd (NJ)

Tracy McGrady (ORL)

Shaquille O’Neal (LAL)

MVP – Tim Duncan (SA)

Rookie of the Year – Pau Gasol (MEM)

NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers sweep New Jersey Nets (4-0)

Football

NCAA

Heisman Trophy – Carson Palmer, USC

National Championship

(1) Ohio State over (2) Miami 31-24 in the Fiesta Bowl

NFL

League Leaders

Passing Yards: Rich Gannon (OAK) – 4,689

Passing Touchdowns: Tom Brady (NE) – 28

Passer Rating: Chad Pennington (NYJ) – 104.2

Rushing Yards: Ricky Williams (MIA) – 1,853

Rushing Touchdowns: Priest Holmes (KC) – 21

Receiving Yards: Marvin Harrison (IND) – 1,722

Receiving Touchdowns: Terrell Owens (SF) – 13

Receptions: Marvin Harrison (IND) – 143

AP MVP – Rich Gannon (OAK)

Super Bowl XXXVII

Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Oakland Raiders 48-21

Hockey

League Leaders

Goals: Jarome Iginla (CGY) – 52

Assists: Adam Oates (WSH/PHI) – 64

Points Jarome Iginla (CGY) – 96

Hart Memorial Trophy – Jose Theodore, MTL

Stanley Cup

Detroit Red Wings over Carolina Hurricanes (4-1)

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03 or on Facebook.

Also checkout past #TBT Years in Review.

2011

2010

2007

2006

2005

1999

1998

1992

1990

1989

1988

1987

#TBT Poll: Best Sports Moment of 1988

If you haven’t yet, check out this week’s Throwback Thursday Year in Review.

Not a bad year for sports, right?

#1.

Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Wilkins Dunk Contest

#2.

Kirk Gibson’s Walk-off Home Run, Game 1 of the World Series vs. A’s.

#3.

Joe Montana leads 49ers on 92 yard drive to win Super Bowl XXIII vs. Bengals

Anything else better than these 3 choices? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Fantasy Evaluations From Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots & Seahawks

By now, you know THE PLAY very well.

Russell INT

And the reactions that followed.

Brady Super Bowl Gif

Sherman...awww man

Patriots fans, Seahawks fans, and the rest of the world helped make Super Bowl 49 the highest rated television program in U.S. History. 114.5 million viewers watched the whole game and 118.5 million were tuned in for Katy Perry and her giant robot lion.

Katy Perry gif

That thing was impressive and terrifying all at once.

In a blink of an eye though, football was over. The 2014-15 season was wrapped up with a championship game that represented it perfectly…INSANE. And one of the best Super Bowls in league history was made so by some of this past Fantasy season’s best.

If you’re like me, you already can’t wait to draft your next Fantasy team. So why not start looking ahead and beginning your draft board? Let’s take a look at the key contributors from last weekend’s game and others with Fantasy value.

Beginning with…

The New England Patriots

Super Bowl Football

Tom Brady

In terms of Fantasy Football, Tom Brady had a bounce back year. While his yardage and record were consistent with last season, Brady threw more touchdowns (33) and less interceptions (9). He threw multiple touchdowns in 10 of his 16 starts in 2014, and at least one in every game other than Week 17 when he left early to rest for Jimmy Garoppolo. (But you shouldn’t be worried about Week 17, if you know what’s good for you.) After a difficult first 4 weeks, Brady tore it up by leading Fantasy owners to the playoffs with 24 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions over 8 weeks.

Where to draft him next season?

At the age of 37, Brady ranked 5th in touchdown passes, 5th in passer rating, and 10th in yardage. He slipped pretty far in drafts last season, but he should be available for you to grab in rounds 4-6 this year. Grab your key position players first and Brady will compliment them greatly.

Brady to Amendola

Julian Edelman

If Tom Brady didn’t win the Super Bowl XLIX MVP, Julian Edelman could have. Was there a gutsier player in the game? Edelman made catch after catch, and was blown up doing so…

Edelman catch and hit

Edelman’s performance was a thing of football folklore, much like his career so far. The former Kent State quarterback has filled in nicely as Tom Brady’s favorite wide receiver target after the departure of Wes Welker. In the past two seasons, Edelman has caught 197 passes in 30 games played. PPR league players have to like the 6.5 catches a game, 2,028 yards receiving in that span, and Edelman’s return ability.

Where to draft him…

There are two concerns with Edelman. #1 is targets in the red zone. In between the 20’s, Edelman is a great possession option for Brady, and his catch totals are evident of that. In the end zone though, Brady likes to spread the wealth (or throw to Gronk). The 2nd concern is the wear and tear Edelman has compiled early in his career. The hit you see above wasn’t his first rodeo (over the middle with a hard hitting safety)…Edelman makes a solid WR2 option, target him in your 5th-7th rounds. He’d be a steal past that. Moves like this on top end defensive backs like the Seahawks have make you optimistic.

Edelman SB touchdown

Rob Gronkowski

The AP “Comeback Player of The Year” was more than deserving of the honor. Like Tom Brady, Gronk’s production skyrocketed after Week 4. Correlation?…While Gronkowski had caught touchdowns in 3 of the first 4 games of the season, his usage increased from 6.5 targets per game to 9.5 (Weeks 5-16) and he finished with a Top 5 total of 12 touchdowns.

Where to draft him…

Gronkowski was a steal for me in two leagues, falling to the 4th round in both. No way he’ll be available there in your next draft. With the uncertainty of what’s next for Julius Thomas and the dip in Jimmy Graham’s production, Gronk becomes the #1 tight end on your draft board. I wouldn’t expect him to escape the 2nd round in anybody’s respectable draft.

Gronk SB TD

Shane Vereen

Bill Belichick’s running backs should always come with a warning label: MAY CAUSE INCREASE IN BLOOD PRESSURE. I couldn’t help but appreciate Shane Vereen’s game during the Super Bowl though. He only had 4 rushes for 13 yards but he led the team in receptions with 11 for 64 yards on 12 targets. The rule with Patriots running backs is when they are trailing, Shane Vereen is their guy. He led all the RBs with 838 yards from scrimmage while Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount, Jonas Gray and Brandon Bolden all combined for 1,175 yards.

Where to draft him…

You’ll likely see Vereen overrated on many draft boards and going way too early in mock drafts. Why? He only scored 5 touchdowns total last season, and that’s not production you want out of a depended RB. Draft Vereen late to have as a fill-in flex option. When the Patriots are leading, Tom Brady is throwing less and handing the ball off to anyone not named Vereen…Keep in mind that Vereen is a free agent this off-season. This advice may change depending if he signs somewhere other than New England.

Vereen Touchdown gif

The Others
Stevan Ridley – Late Round/FA pickup
LeGarrette Blount – FA Pickup
Brandon LaFell – Late Round
Danny Amendola – FA Pickup

Seattle Seahawks

Chris Matthews

Russell Wilson

Despite his final throw of the Super Bowl, Russell Wilson is a winner. Just 3 seasons in the NFL with a 36-12 record, one Super Bowl ring, and 2 trips are more than enough evidence of that. Fantasy wise the season total numbers weren’t eye-popping, but there were individual games that were.

Week 5 @ Washington – 201 pass yards, 2 TDs / 122 rush yards, 1 TD

Week 7 @ St. Louis – 313 pass yards, 2 TDs / 106 rush yards, 1 TD

Week 16 @ Arizona – 339 pass yards, 2 TD / 88 rush yards, 1 TD

Those were games you should have won if you had him. Something Wilson was missing, however, was a true #1 receiver to throw to…preferably a big body receiver who could win jump balls in the end zone. If the Seahawks are able to add one this offseason, “DangerRuss” would be more than deserving of the nickname.

Where to draft him…

Russell Wilson could have been found on the waiver wire for you last season, and rightfully so. The point production wasn’t altogether consistent enough for a dependable Fantasy starter but the floor with Wilson is that of a very good backup. If he gets a big receiver, as noted earlier, he becomes a mid round pick for you. Lowest he should go is in the 10th round. No way should Wilson go undrafted.

Russel Wilson run

Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch was the best Fantasy football player featured in Super Bowl 49. Say what you want about his relationship with the media (this should help change your mind), the man can ball. Lynch led the league in total touchdowns (rush/receiving) with 17, led in rush TDs (13), ranked 4th in rush yards (1,306), and was Top 5 in touches, yards from scrimmage, and rushing yards per game. He turns 29 in April this year and has considerable pay bump awaiting him which suggests he’s capable of producing like that again.

Where to draft him…

The verdict is still out on whether or not Lynch wants to play next season but if he does, you take him in the first round. DeMarco Murray and Le’Veon Bell rank ahead of him, but Lynch is first round material without a doubt.

Marshawn SB TD

Chris Matthews

Had the Seahawks won the game, we’d be using the “folklore” verbiage with Chris Matthews a lot more than we have with Edelman. Matthews was a former junior college and Kentucky player, played in the CFL, worked at Foot Locker at one point, recovered the onside kick that beat the Packers…Then he caught 4 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Where to draft him…

You don’t. Matthews is a cool story. A 6’5 receiver who can make plays, obviously, but hasn’t really done anything to warrant you rolling the dice on him in your Fantasy draft. He doesn’t have much of a Pro Football Reference page to reference to. The Seahawks offense will be one to watch after this past weekend though, Matthews included.

Matthews Gif

The Others
Doug Baldwin – FA
Jermaine Kearse – Late Rounds
Luke Wilson – FA…and because his name is Luke Wilson?

Got thoughts or questions? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

Seattle vs. New England: Everything BUT Football

I love Super Bowl week.

Media Day, All-Time great commercial countdowns, the constant NFL Films replaying of Super Bowls past, food…

It’s the best.

Once #DeflateGate finally blows over (if it ever does), we’ll see the game itself broken down in every way possible and multiple prop bet odds fluctuating up until Idina Menzel starts belting out our National Anthem. We’ll get trash talking from coast-to-coast and perhaps a gentleman’s bet between Ed Murray and Martin Walsh, the mayors of Seattle and Boston.

We DO however have an epic bet going between Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Captain America (Chris Evans)

Pratt vs Evans

I would like to heat up the trash talk between the two regions by widening the scope and digging deeper into more than football. By comparing Seattle and New England (Boston) in categories such as music, TV, movies, other sports, beer, etc, we’ll be able to formulate a prediction for the Sunday’s outcome that’s as logical as an elephant choosing the winner…or a tiger.

That was awesome.

Anywho…

Music

In Seattle…

As part of Dave Grohl’s “Sonic Highways” docu-series following the cool concept of the Foo Fighters’ cross country recording journey for their latest album, Grohl and HBO focused on the Seattle music scene. While the central theme was how bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains almost literally blew up your FM frequencies, helping to create the alternative genre, grunge wasn’t the only calling card for Seattle.

During the post-war era (1945-1975), Seattle produced three of the industry’s all-time great black musicians. Ray Charles recorded his first single and made his television and radio debuts in Seattle. Quincy Jones played as an instrumentalist in Bumps Blackwell’s band. And before he went to England to start recording to eventually gain worldwide fame, Jimi Hendrix was rocking the clubs in Seattle on a nightly basis…In Hip-Hop, most of you know that Macklemore is from Seattle, but did you know Sir Mix A Lot was too? Seattle has also been the hub for current indie music acts, including Sunny Day Real Estate, The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, The Head and the Heart, Fleet Foxes and (one of my favorites) Band of Horses.

In Boston…

I wanted to preface this in the beginning, but we find in a lot of these categories to be “Old School vs. New School” with New England representing a lot of the former. Of course we have to start with the “Bad Boys from Boston”, Aerosmith. Also fondly referred to as “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”, they certainly score big points in this game. Add (the band) Boston, The Cars, and J. Geils Band to the list of bands yours dad (and I) really likes.

But wait, there’s more! While New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe rocked your oversized boom box, Donna Summer had the last dance. Raise your hand if you had a New Kids On The Block lunch box…Marky Mark might have. Add Powerman 5000, American Hi-Fi, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Guster, and The Dear Hunter and you get a pretty good feel for the Boston music scene.

Also Dropkick Murphys, Extreme and Pixies…Oh my!

Who Gets The Edge?

I found myself torn between the two, so I asked a couple of music experts and enthusiasts for their thoughts:

“Both great legacies. I couldn’t possibly pick one over the other, as four of my favorite bands of all time come from each city: Mission of Burma and Morphine (Boston/Cambridge) and Fastbacks and Mudhoney (Seattle). Also Tad makes up for the rise of Candlebox in Seattle, and the Cars make me want to forgive Boston for the existence of Extreme.” – Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune Music Critic 

“Hard to not pick Boston just because I have so many musician friends there, but Seattle is formidable. I will call it a draw.” – Len Kasper, Chicago Cubs Television Broadcaster and musician.

See! Not that easy.

However, I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity and Seattle’s scene from the 90’s and recently is too good to deny. Plus, they don’t have a band like Extreme to worry about canceling out.

TV

Set in Seattle…

When we see Seattle depicted on television, what impressions do we get? Progressive, new age, rainy?

Twin Peaks, Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy, The Killing (aka The show that makes me genuinely afraid of Seattle.) And of course…

Frasier. 

Set in Boston…

There’s a handful of the typical (but still good) “Boston” themed shows. Boston LegalBoston Public, Boston Commons (yeah, I said it.)…Wahlburg is basically a synonym for “Boston” so Wahlburgers is included. Fringe, Leverage, and Rizzoli & Isles too. Ally McBeal is your “Grey’s” equivalent. And then there’s the real Boston heavyweight…

Cheers. 

Who Gets The Edge?

At the end of the day, its Frasier vs. Cheers isn’t it? And there wouldn’t be a Frasier without Cheers. So Boston gets the win here.

Movies

In Seattle…

Yes Chick-Flick lovers, Sleepless in Seattle is a classic. But it’s not Seattle’s only claim to fame in the genre. 10 Things I Hate About You, Love Happens, An Officer and a Gentleman, the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey film, and Say Anythingare all worthy of getting a spin this Valentine’s Day.

Some of my favorites include This Is Spinal Tap, War Games and 50/50. Add thrillers like Fear, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and The Ring. And of course we can’t forget Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Saving Silverman, and Harry and the Hendersons.

In Boston…

There’s a fun spectrum of films that come to mind when you think of films based in Boston.

Gritty action movies: The Equalizer, Boondock Saints, The Town

Sports movies: Fever Pitch, Celtic Pride, and I’ll allow Field of Dreams.

Comedies: Legally Blonde and Ted

Oscar nominated dramas: Good Will Hunting, Mystic River, The Fighter, and The Departed.

Who Has The Edge?

As much as I love 50/50 and War Games, Seattle can’t compete with the heavy hitters that were filmed in Boston. How do you like them apples?

Food

In Seattle…

Visuals are helpful. Warning: you may get hungry.

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In Boston…

Ditto.

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The Edge?

I don’t think you can go wrong getting seafood in either town, but my tastebuds lean toward Boston for the pizza and sweets.

Landmarks/Sights

In Seattle…

Space Needle

The Space Needle

Pike Place Fish Market

Puget Sound view

The Puget Sound

Safeco Field

Safeco Field

Fremont Troll

…and the Freemont Troll. It’s under a bridge. And scary/adorable. 

In Boston…

Mass State House

The Massachusetts State House

Hatch Memorial Shell

The Hatch Memorial Shell

Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

Cheers Bar

…where everybody knows your name. 

The Edge?

Close call, but how about that view in Seattle? Fenway Park will always have a place in my baseball heart but the Bridge Troll is kind of a deal breaker.

LIGHTNING ROUND!

Starbucks vs. Facebook – Seattle: Both addicting and everywhere, but I don’t have to worry about baby pictures, candy crush invites or internet trolls at any of the 5 Starbucks in a 3 mile radius of my house.

Sports Other Than Football – Boston: Love Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez, but how many championships does the city have outside of the football stadium?

Beer – Boston: The Seattle craft beer scene is definitely a thing. Black Raven, Elysian, Georgetown and Naked City are all notable breweries…but the Boston Beer Co. is America’s original.

The Score: 

Seattle – 3
New England – 5

Sorry, Star-Lord.

Peter Quill

Let us know what you think and other ways your favorite city is better than the other by Tweeting @Mike_PiFF03