Archive for the ‘Chain Links’ Category

Robert Griffin III’s quickly-rising fantasy stock shouldn’t be surprising. That’s what happens when you’re the second overall point producer in standard leagues (Griffin is behind only Matt Ryan in Yahoo leagues with 110 points). And that’s what happens when you’re averaging 267.5 passing yards per game along with 58.5 rushing yards with a passer rating of 103.2, and he’s already scored eight total touchdowns.

So no, the rise of Griffin’s value is greeted with zero shock, especially since through four games and therefore a quarter of a season, he’s projected to break 13 records at his current pace. While there will surely be the usual rookie lumps somewhere along the way similar to those faced by Cam Newton in the second half of last season, if he achieves even half of that total it will be an astounding year.

But exactly how much has his value risen since we all drafted back in August, and tried to project his performance? Welp, turns out we may have dramatically underestimated his talents, even though we were all really, ridiculously high on him.

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At every awful industry conference and at every first day of something (i.e. frosh week when everyone is still sober) those getting-to-know-you games are played. They’re called ice breakers, but in truth the goal is to make asses of yourselves while doing something corny, hoping that the shared experience of looking like a complete idiot creates a common bond.

A circle is made, and a generic question is asked that prompts the answerer must be creative. If the event is Google-related the question may have something to do with a dime-sized person and a blender. Often, though, participants are asked the tried, true, and vintage questions, like what they would bring to a deserted island, or where their top vacation destination is, why, and what that says about your inner soul.

Then we get into the completely nonsensical questions, like what kind of candy bar you are. Personally, I’ve always thought of myself as Butterfinger. I stick to the roof of your mouth, and get wedged between your teeth, forcing you to make weird faces to work out the tiny particles of chocolatey goodness. In the end, the annoyance of the consumption is tolerated for said goodness.

So what kind of candy bar is Eagles rookie cornerback Brandon Boykins? We don’t know, but we definitely know that he’s a bar of some kind. Antonio Brown, one of the Steelers’ top wideouts who will oppose Boykins Sunday (although likely not directly), is an expert in these matters.

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We here at 100 Yards & Running like to consider ourselves as a non-partisan entity. Yes, the shit eating grin on my face as I type this says otherwise, but really -  it’s true.

The first American Presidential debate takes place in Denver tonight. Mitt Romney has prepared an arsenal of spin-proof zingers that are sure to turn a one-sided race into a slightly less one-sided contest. Barack Obama is tasked with looking like he gives a damn as he’s got slightly bigger issues to deal with.

The ESPN-ization of American politics has been fascinating to watch. Minute by minute coverage featuring a plethora of random pundits, each with their own brand of bullshit peddling abilities is no longer a unique quality of the sporting world.

With that in mind lets play a classic game that’s bound to inflame – or in the best case scenario – spark some conversation. You guessed correctly, it’s the match game.

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We begin the morning after the day of tears which are fed to us by the souls of broken football players with a curious, nonsensical thought out of Houston yesterday that could soon lead to more breakage.

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak seems to think that Arian Foster can easily handle the punishment of his current workload, which is setting him on a collision course with a 400-carry season. And you know, he’s probably right. He’s right in the same way that if I said I can walk across four lanes of traffic without dying, there’s a reasonable chance I would be successful in that endeavor. Also, this…

Yes, it’s also similar to saying that if a wild bear approaches your dwelling, all you need to defend yourself is an angry old woman. Works every time, all the time.

We’re sure Foster can handle any amount of carries Kubiak would like to give him, and there’s a good chance he’ll survive the season just fine, even though he has a bit of an injury history after missing three games last year. That doesn’t make giving a running back — any running back, but especially not an elite one with Foster’s value — the second most single-season carries in league history a good idea.

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We don’t know what Rashard Mendenhall we’ll be getting when he returns. We don’t know if he’ll be the same downhill, bruising runner, or if there will be some hesitancy to his physicality. We can’t really make any claim with confidence because no two recoveries from ACL tears are the same, although the recent highly successful returns by Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson fuel hope.

Hope is a hell of a drug in Week 5, with both injuries and suckiness mounting. So welcome, Rashard.

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Michael Vick has thus far been a living, breathing, interception-throwing example of the difference in the definition of efficiency in fantasy football, and in reality football. Sure, his numbers could be a lot better from a fantasy standpoint if he would stop giving the ball to the other team with such impressive frequency, but when we consider the frustration he’s bestowed on Philadelphia through three weeks that’s resulted in the bogus questioning of his job status, you’ve actually made out quite well, finger biting eating Vick owner.

Oh, Vick’s still been bad, and he’s still surely prompted the growth of a foreign skin disease on those who took the plunge with an early-round pick. But that’s on you, because the risk associated with a player who was oozing with sex appeal (figuratively, not that there’s anything wrong with that) was evident due to his brittle nature, his offensive line that resembles a creaky storm gate, and his bouts with inaccuracy even with he’s healthy and upright.

All of those factors have restricted Vick’s production so far, and have contributed to his nine sacks over three games, and his nine turnovers, six through interceptions. Vick threw 14 interceptions all season last year, a total he’s set to shatter at this pace. He’s also averaging only 27 rushing yards per game, whereas last year his legs led to 45 yards weekly, and his rushing ability compensated for whatever inabilities he was experiencing with his arm far more often.

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"You're dead to me."

Lost in the aftermath of the blown call heard round the world was a week in which coaches around the league snapped, and directed their venom at the least popular people in professional sports.

Bill Belichick grabbed an official after the Ravens game winning field goal, in search for an explanation as to why the kick counted – and the referees’ still beating heart, he wanted that too. In the same game John Harbaugh ‘bumped’ into a ref. According to Steve Wyche, Belichick will receive a fine for his actions while Harbaugh will avoid the wrath of Goodell, at least for now.

Meanwhile everyone’s favorite nepotastic offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was fined $25,000 for berating the referees after the Redskins loss on Sunday.

Here’s a thought – with all this added revenue generated by Roger Goodell and his minions at NFL HQ perhaps the gap between the owners and the locked out refs could be satiated. Last night we learned the league and referee union talked into the night with some of the more ‘hardline’ owners getting involved.

Though this is clearly a good sign, a lot of work has to be done. The gap between the owners and the union appears to be $3.3 million per season – the difference between a defined-benefit pension plan to a defined-contribution system, the latter of which is favored by the league.

Analysts around the NFL, including Ross Tucker, believe this could signal the beginning of the end for a debacle that has tarnished a league that was bullet proof. With another week of replacement officials working – I use that term loosely – the sidelines we’re bound to see more NFL coaches  lose their shit and rack up fines which can then be used to pay the refs. Though this may sound like the rantings of a crazed conspiracy theorist – you did this to me, Roger – it all makes sense.

It’ll be like a telethon, with the coach that pushes the NFL past their fundraising goal awarded with a large calzone. The smart money is on one of the Harbaughs.

So remember – the next time you’re thinking of donating to charity, send that check the NFL and their downtrodden owners. Every dollar counts. Read the rest of this entry »