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Gopher last won the day on January 2 2018

Gopher had the most liked content!

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About Gopher

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    My kids, MN sports, golf.

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  1. Riverboat Ron Fired

    Yeah, I'm not saying he was great. But, he was well-liked by not only his team/players, but also the rest of the league, etc. Firing somebody mid-season is appropriate if that season is a massive failure. This wasn't even close to that, all things considered. In fact, the consensus among a lot of NFL guys was that his job wasn't even on the line, at least in terms of what I've been hearing on Sirius Radio, etc. So, to hear that he was let go today was a surprise to a lot of people, and seems unnecessarily harsh. It's the equivalent of getting walked out in the middle of your shift, in front of your peers, versus being told after your shift not to return. Both suck, but one is quite a bit more humiliating.
  2. Riverboat Ron Fired

    They were up and down this year, winning games they probably should have lost, and vice versa. Rivera is a good dude, though.... One of the most respected coaches in the game. I think they could have waited until season's end, personally.
  3. Scorned Owners....DND 2020

    Funny.... Probably too early to tell, but he's an example of a guy who might lose seasons for some of us, yet win championships for others (potentially). One owner's trash might be another's treasure, due to what he cost and when.
  4. Do NFL teams tank?

    Right. All I'm saying is that, when people say that "teams" tank, all too often it gets misinterpretted. Coaches and players don't tank for better draft position. General management/ownership does.
  5. Do NFL teams tank?

    No, tanking may have been trading away Drake. Ballage is the best of what they have left at the position.
  6. Do NFL teams tank?

    I think, too often, people confuse what management is doing with what the players/coaches want to accomplish. The players want to win. Ask any former NFL player, and they'll tell you that the idea that players play to lose (for the purpose of a better draft pick next year) is absolutely ridiculous. It's a cuttroat business. For 75% of them, their jobs are on the line. Same with the coaches.... Go 0-16, and there's no guarantee you're coming back the next year, particularly if you're underachieving. Every year, we hear about some team "tanking." This year, there have been several. First, it was Miami. Then, people said the Bengals, Jets, and even the Broncos were rumored to be "in the running" for the #1 pick. Nine times out of ten (maybe more, actually), the "tanking" teams end up winning games. And, most of those times, they beat teams that aren't even in the tanking conversation. If they were truly tanking, that wouldn't happen. So, yeah, GM's put their teams in a position to rebuild, through selling off players that can't really help long-term, or players who are doing more harm than good, contract-wise, etc. But, at the end of the day, every coach and group of players is trying to win each and every week. If they don't, they'll be replaced.
  7. Sad Year for A Chargers Fan

    Top 10 all time, no way. Top 10 in this era, certainly. I'm talking guys who have played the majority of their careers since the turn of the century. Does that get him into the HOF? Most experts say absolutely, from what I've seen/heard. But, it brings up the key question regarding the criteria for any HOF.... Is having an above-average career for an above-average length of time enough to warrant getting in? In other words, does quantity warrant a HOF career, even if the quality isn't quite there in terms of elite status? Rivers has always been very good, but I'm not sure he's ever been one of the best 2-3 QB's in the league. Most years, he was probably on the outside of that top 2-3 number, but definitely in the top 6-8. Eight pro bowls in 16 seasons (assuming he doesn't make it this year). That's always been my personal criteria, for any sport. The career numbers must be there, but also were they among the best of the best at their position? And, if so, for how long? This year has been unusually bad for him, in terms of the careless throws and interceptions. I will say that having a decent O-line (or not having one) can make even the best QB's look shaky. Especially at a point in their career when they have basically ZERO mobility. Rivers has been under constant pressure all season, and his TD/INT ratio (15/14) shows as a result. Career-wise, though, he's better than 2-to-1. And, when the O-line played well, they had good results (think the GB game). Shore up the O-Line, and focus on not being too one-dimensional (50+ passes in a game rarely works in ones favor), and I think he can still be serviceable (and definitely better than whatever the alternative might be at this point). As for SB appearances, or lack thereof, I think it's a fair criticism, to some extent. On one hand, it would be easy to say that his career has been encompassed within the time-span of Brady's career. And, Brady is the best ever at the position. But, with the weapons he's had, combined with the less than spectacular playoff record/stats, I think you can make the argument that Rivers has underachieved in the playoffs. Is it all on him? No. Rivers has been paired with some average at best coaches during his career, while Brady has been paired with the master. But, Rivers has had many chances throughout his career, and for the most part, always came up a little short when it mattered most.
  8. Sad Year for A Chargers Fan

    Pretty good throw. Amazing catch. But, I agree that he seems more reckless this year than in the past. Sort of seems like a "nothing to lose" mentality that has backfired more often than not.
  9. It's a mess. One, they have made it clear that they're not overturning anything unless it's beyond blatant. As in the WR must be tackled and on the ground before the ball arrives, in order for them to overturn it. Two, they're reviewing everything on plays that require a review, which means that, in some cases, they're "finding" PI in places where it didn't even impact the play being reviewed (and calling it nonetheless). I was originally against it, then warmed up to the idea (slightly), but this is even worse than anticipated. It's not only failed to accomplish what it was intended to accomplish (at least it appears that way... I guess we'll see once the playoffs begin), but it's also opened a can of worms that can do more harm than good.
  10. Mid season Super Bowl Predictions

    I agree with you to some extent, which is why I think there's a pretty big gap between NE/BAL and KC. But, as bad as their defense can be, I think their offense can make up for it somewhat. If all of their skill players are healthy, they're simply better than anybody else on offense. Maybe not completely balanced (still not sure they can just run the ball down anybody's throat), but explosive like nobody else can be. Multiple players who can score on any given play. They beat BAL early in the season. Both teams played well. KC simply outscored them. If KC gets back into that kind of offensive rhythem, I think they could still be dangerous.
  11. Mid season Super Bowl Predictions

    If I had to rank them, in order of likelihood, I'd probably go like this..... AFC NE - Yes, BAL absolutely handled them a few weeks ago. But, if there is one thing I've learned about NE over the past two decades, it's that I should never count the Patriots out. If there's another thing about them that I've learned, it's that Belicheck is the best ever at game-planning against a particular opponent, and even more importantly, they can game plan for a team that's already beat them once. In theory, it's simple... Take away the run, and make Jackson one-dimensional (make him have to throw a lot), and they probably beat BAL. In reality, that might be harder said than done. But, given that they have over two months to figure it out , it wouldn't surprise me if their next meeting goes very differently. BAL - Having said all of the above, I think it's a close call between NE and BAL. History tells me NE figures it out. The results of their recent matchup tells me BAL is just a better team. All of the experts keep saying that Jackson is something the NFL has never seen. Maybe they're right, and NE won't be able to stop him. KC - I think there is quite a bit of distance between the top two and KC. But, that's mainly due to how they are all playing right now. KC looks rough, particularly on defense. And, can the O-Line protect Mahomes enough to keep him upright for another two months plus? Things could change, though. They're still by far the most talented of the three, in terms of their vast array of weapons on offense. If the defense can play just decent, they've got a shot. On the other hand, their margin for error has become increasingly slim. Another slip-up or two and they may not even win their division. HOU - As much as there is a gap between NE/BAL and KC in my mind, the gap between KC and HOU might be even bigger. But, that can change. The next three weeks,in which they travel to BAL and host IND and NE, will tell us a lot about this team. I honestly can not imagine anybody outside of those four making the SB. Frankly, it's hard for me to even imagine Houston getting there. But, they've got the best shot in the AFC South, which might be the most wide open division in the NFL. NFC NOS - They looked rough on Sunday. But, given the way they cruised through the 5 or 6 weeks where Brees was out, I still have to think they'll get back to where they were at, in terms of being the front-runner to represent the NFC. With a healthy Brees AND Kamara, I like their chances of ending up with the #1 seed in the NFC. SEA - Two things stood out to me on Sunday night. One, the SEA defense is better than a lot of people, myself included, thought. Adding Clowney was huge. Adding Diggs helps as well. Secondly, Wilson might be the most composed QB in the NFC. That's saying a lot, when you have Brees and Rodgers there as well. But, he just doesn't make many mistakes. And, when he does, he doesn't panic. What's strange is that, as well as they play on the road, their home field advantage doesn't seem to be what it once was. GB - They have the inside track at the 3-seed in the NFC, and could certainly move up and get a bye. Rodgers is healthy and can make any group of WR's look good. More importantly, he might have the best duo of RB's that he's ever worked with, in terms of their versatility. I'm not sure their run defense is good enough to make a deep playoff run, but at least they now have a pass rush. The NFC is so wide open. Who knows. SF - All the pieces are there. Sunday night exposed a couple of things. Without Kittle and Sanders, their skill position players are weak, at least in the passing game. Secondly, as composed as Wilson seemed, Jimmy G. seemed the opposite. Maybe he'll get better in that area. But, when push comes to shove, I have a hard time seeing him beating the likes of Brees/Rodgers/Wilson back to back, even if it's at home. I think they're a year or two away, honestly. MIN - As a homer who has watched them fail in five NFC championship games, I'm always hesitant to get overly excited about the Vikings. The positive includes that they're pretty balanced. Good, but not great, defense that is best when it's aggressive. When they simply try to cover, they're exposed. Offense is as balanced as it's been in a long time. Two very good backs. Solid TE's. Excellent WR duo, if Thielen can get back to 100%. And Cousins is what he is.... Protect him, and he's one of the most accurate passers in the league. Just don't expect a ton of mobility out of him. What is going to hurt MIN is that, if both GB and MIN win the remaining games that they should win, GB will probably have the better division record. That loss to CHI could be the difference. PHI - Two things put them slightly ahead of DAL on my list. One, they've been in this position before. Multiple times, actually. Won the SB as a wild card with all odds against them (backup QB, etc.). And, last year, they had to win out from this point on, basically, to make the playoffs. They know what they've got to do, and they've done it before. Secondly, they have the easier schedule of the two, if I'm not mistaken. So, Dallas not only has to take care of business, they will need a little help. DAL - Talent-wise, they're probably ahead of half of the teams on this list. Between Zeke, Cooper, the O-Line, LB's, and D. Lawrence, you could make the argument that they have super stars at more positions than any other team in the NFL. And, that's not even including Dak, who I think is playing at a top-ten level right now. But, they've underachieved big time. If they can manage to beat Philly for the East, I think they still have a shot. As big as the gap is in the AFC between Teams 1/2 and Teams 3 and 4, I think the NFC is very close. Anybody listed COULD make a run. And I didn't even include the Rams. I know I picked SEA-BAL in a previous post, and I'm sticking to that. While NE-NO feels like the most "likely" outcome, I don't think that will happen. Call it a gut feeling or whatever. And, nine times out of ten, picking "chalk" in the NFL playoffs doesn't work out.
  12. Alex Erickson (Cin)

    Oof. Not sure which is worse. At least Erickson has a rush for 13 yards, I suppose.
  13. Week 10 Milk Carton

    +1 Could use a little more from him and his QB.
  14. Matthew Stafford for Week 10

    Bummer for a couple of my fantasy teams, but an even bigger bummer for Stafford and the Lions. He was having a pretty nice season.