The Pro Bowl Skills Showdown Is Here To Stay: My Thoughts On The Event

Normally, I couldn’t care less about the NFL’s Pro Bowl festivities. It’s high scoring, no one really gives a crap, and they have to put in little gimmicks to try and keep the audience involved.

These gimmicks can run from fantasy drafts by the likes of Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin, to playing Odell Beckham Jr. at safety, to letting Jeff Saturday switch teams to have one more snap with Peyton Manning, and everything in between.

And I feel like the NFL sees this. They needed to make a change to help draw people in, and the return of the Pro Bowl Skills competition helped with that.

The Skills Competitions consisted of five separate competitions:

  1. Best Hands
  2. Power Relay Challenge
  3. Drone Drop
  4. Precision Passing
  5. Dodgeball

Granted, there were some bumpy patches throughout; but anything new will do that.

For instance, the Power Relay was riddled with controversy, when the sled fell off the track during the NFC’s run, making it impossible to move. This resulted in a mulligan, that the NFC took advantage, and ended up winning the event.

Now I know, really strong football players bashing into objects like that could cause them to break. But the fact no one checked that before the start of the NFC’s run is plain irresponsible, and needs to be addressed.

The Drone Drop was also a bit of a swing and a miss. Instead of using a drone, they should have implemented punters into the mix as well.

One idea could be setting up rings on the field worth different amounts of points. Then, place a punt returner on the other side of the rings. Every time a punt goes through a ring, that conference receives points. Then, when the returner catches it, that conference receives a half of a point.

On the final kick, the returner has to run it back to the opposite endzone as quick as possible. The returner with the quickest time gets their conference an extra two points.

But above all, the Dodgeball Game was without a doubt the most highly anticipated competition.

At first, many people believed that this would be just another crazy gimmick to try and sell tickets, and to have people tune in. But to be honest, it was actually done well, and was very entertaining. Especially when TY Hilton was the only one left for the AFC, and almost made a comeback for his squad by himself.

Overall, the Skills Showdown was exactly what Pro Bowl weekend needed. It was WAY more competitive than many of the Pro Bowls from the previous years. As long as the NFL continues to improve and implement new challenges every few years, and tinker with the mechanics of the existing challenges; they’ll have a proven concept that can last for years to come.

Take A STANCE On Your Sock Game!

#SockGameStrong is how I dress, and Stance.com is helping me do that.

For those who don’t know, Stance is a growing clothing company that is best known for creating high-quality socks with unique designs that can fit anyone’s style. They provide customers with three different types of socks to try and fit their footwear needs, which include casual, performance, and premium/dress.

When it comes to designs, Stance spans the realm of thinking with it’s prints. Customers can choose from their numerous collections that include MLB and NBA designs, Disney and Star Wars, and much, much more.

The company even reached out to different athletes and celebrities to design their own sock lines for Stance. Some of these creators include Dwyane Wade, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, and Klay Thompson.

And if you want to put your own spin on some designs, you can go to the “Custom” section on their website to experiment with different colors and designs.

Personally, I’ve really gravitated toward the casual NBA and MLB styles myself. I started with the Larry Bird NBA Legends, the Patrick Ewing Trading Cards, the Reggie Jackson’s, the Scottie Pippen Cartoon socks, and a vintage pair of the New Jersey Nets Hardwood Classics.

But I don’t just go for the sports ones though. I also picked up a couple of the more “tropical” looking socks; including the Gums Classic Crew, and another design that I’m not sure what the name is, (I just call it the “Hawaiian Dream”).

I just love the job that the folks over at Stance are doing with their product. These socks are comfortable, sleek, and best of all, unique!

It’s extremely easy to find a pair of socks for yourself, regardless of what your style is.

You got a Celtics or Bulls jersey you want to show off on game day? BOOM! Add a pair of khaki shorts and the corresponding socks to match, and you are ready for any game day that comes your way.

Do you have a night on the town planned with a special someone? Then check out Stance’s premium section and check out some of their more elegant styles.

Stance socks is the wave of the future people. Don’t be stuck with whatever your local department store has anymore. Go online, take a STANCE on your sock game, and make your #SockGameStrong!

You won’t regret it!

Fan Voting Should Not Be This Prevalent In NBA All-Star Voting!

The starting fives were released recently for the NBA All-Star Game, and there were a few people who won’t be starting for either squad.

One of those men is Russell Westbrook.

The press and the players made the intelligent vote; putting Westbrook ahead of both Stephen Curry and James Harden. But, the public had other plans, as they voted Curry first, Harden second, and Russ third.

And the kicker, with the weighted score for the three categories tied, is that the fans are the tiebreaker. Because of this, Curry and Harden are the starting guards for the Western Conference.

Now that’s a splendid idea! Make the portion of the members who are not paid to know basketball be the tiebreaker instead of the ones who have ACTUALLY PLAYED AGAINST HIM. (I’m laying on some pretty thick sarcasm, if you didn’t notice).

Now to be fair though, Harden has been BALLIN’ this year; averaging 28.9 PPG, 11.6 AST, and 8.3 REB per game for the Rockets.He absolutely deserves a nod.

But Curry? The fact you are voting a player that’s averaging 24.6 PPG, 6.1 AST, and 4.2 REB per game over someone who’s AVERAGING a triple-double is completely absurd.

This is a prime example on how the All-Star game is just a glorified popularity contest, and not a reflection of the current reality of this year’s NBA.

Now don’t twist my words, because I’m not saying we need to do away with the fan vote completely. I’m just saying that we need to make the fan vote less prevalent than the other two, such as the player vote.

Why don’t we give more weight to the player vote, and less weight to the fan vote? Make this a game for the players who know who the best of the best is; who play against the best of the best night in and night out.

Don’t make this a game based on players’ past accomplishments, or their popularity.

Personally, I don’t want to see Steph Curry start a second consecutive All-Star game if he hasn’t performed to that caliber throughout the season.

I want to see players who deserve the honor of starting. Not a popularity vote based on what they’ve done before.

Take Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics as another example.

Isaiah has been putting on a show on the east coast, posting 28.7 PPG, 6.0 AST, and 2.7 REB per game. But, he also lost the tiebreaker because of the fan vote.

Now, he’ll be sitting behind the likes of Kyrie Irving, who he has been out-performing SIGNIFICANTLY this year.

Do you want to know why he lost the fan vote??

It’s because, once again, of POPULARITY.

Since he is on the rise, and hasn’t been part of a championship team yet, he doesn’t get to start. Yea, that makes sense, (again, sarcasm)!

But basically, in the end, we are keeping two of the best guards out of the starting lineups for the All-Star game because the other guys were more popular than them?

I mean, I thought the All-Star game was supposed to be the BEST of the BEST playing on the same court for one night. So, shouldn’t the very best have the honor of being the starters?

Fans, you screwed up!

And NBA, you need to FIX THIS!

What To Do With Tony Romo?

Aaron “Ice In His Veins” Rodgers did it again! He came in clutch in the 4th quarter with a 36 yard pass to Jared Cook to put Green Bay in field goal range for Mason Crosby.

Then, with three seconds left in the game, Crosby hit a 51 yard field goal to send the Packers to the NFC Championship game.

But now, the Cowboys have some questions going into the offseason. And one of the biggest ones is what should they do with Tony Romo?

This question arose after a preseason injury to Romo’s back, where Dak Prescott ended up taking advantage of his playing time he received and never looked back.

But now, with Dak Prescott thriving in the NFL this early in his career, the question is what to do with Tony Romo? Keep him and let him tutor Dak a few years? Trade him and get as many assets as possible?

Oh, why am I asking??? Obviously trade the man, no matter what! In fact, if anything, Jerry Jones should have been fielding calls for him as early as Monday morning!

Romo is a 14 year veteran in the league, and has shown he cannot win the big games when they really matter. He’s only 2-6 in his postseason career with the Cowboys, and he’s on the wrong side of 30 to keep him in the conversation as the starter of the Cowboys.

Granted, Dak is 0-1 in the postseason in his career. But look at the season he had!

Prescott finished the season completing 67% of his passes for 3,667 yards, and a 23:4 touchdown to interception ratio.

He’s proven his worth on the Cowboys, and has posed the question to GM/Owner Jerry Jones; “if we trade Romo, where should he go?”

My top three landing spots; the 49ers, Rams, and Bears.

These three teams have two things in common;

  1. They all have turned into complete dumpster fires as of late.
  2. All teams have drafted/are expected to draft a quarterback with a Top 5 draft pick. (The Rams already did, drafting Jared Goff #1 overall in the 2016 Draft).

Most Likely Of The Three: I see the 49ers bringing in Romo this offseason over everyone else. They’re expected to bring in a quarterback with their second pick in this year’s draft, which means they need a quality veteran to help solidify their offense while their draft pick becomes acclimated with the NFL.

But seriously, he is a quality quarterback. If I was running an organization, I would much rather have a rookie learn from Tony Romo than Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert.

Least Likely Of The Three: The Bears are the least likely of the three to trade for Romo, and why would they?

Chicago already has Jay Cutler, who has squandered away a large sum of money for playing like garbage during his tenure in the “Windy City.” They also have Matt Barkley, who they can try and sign as a free agent this offseason. And, in addition to that, they will have the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, where they are projected to pick up a quarterback anyways.

Out of all the possibilities, I see Ryan Pace and the rest of the Bears brass picking up a quarterback with the third pick, and then letting him learn under Jay for a few years, and see where that goes.

But, the unpredictable drafting and decision making by the Bears make them my number three selection for Romo. You can expect one move based on rumors and such, and they will completely shift gears and go somewhere else.

So I guess, like all good train-wrecks, we just have to wait and see.

To Wrap-Up: Romo’s done in Dallas, it’s that simple! Jerry Jones would be a complete BUFFOON to not realize that. Dak Prescott is on the rise, and paired with Zeke Elliot in the backfield will create a recipe for disaster for opposing defenses in the coming years.

But, Romo’s time in the NFL is not completely over. He has a chance to be the elder mentor of the organization, instead of the younger star of the team.

Just don’t expect him to win you any Super Bowls.