Hello, my fellow quarantined friends! I hope this finds you well, or well-ish!
Because it’s Draft week, I was going to go around to the various teams that I cover for OTFB to find out who wants who, what needs were, etc. However, because I’m in grad school, and finishing up the semester, and working at home, and helping my kids with virtual school, oh yeah, and potty training a new puppy, that didn’t quite happen!
But – I was able to talk to Minnesota Vikings fan, John (@MikeZimmersEars), and Detroit Lions fan, Kevin (@4Lawson4) a couple of weeks ago to get their thoughts on what they think their respective team will do, and what they think their team’s biggest need is.
Alright… it’s the business and talent evaluation / acquisition part of the season for the NFL. (I love making things sound fancier than they actually are!) One of my favorite times of the year. Mostly because I enjoy watching the college kids get to move on to the next phase of their lives.
The free agency part of it is good too, but I really like the young ones coming in. Maybe it’s because of the fact that I’m a pediatric nurse practitioner and I love all things growth and development-wise. And watching the growth and development of players is always fun for me. But I digress.
It’s time for one my most favorite events in the NFL year: The Combine. This year, I want to know… who are you looking for at the combine? Some people like to watch a specific position group, and others like to watch a certain player.
The NFL and USAA, an Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, announced Atlanta Falcons CEO STEVE CANNON, Detroit Lions Head Coach MATT PATRICIA, andLos Angeles Chargers Legend DONNIE EDWARDS as finalists for the ninth annual Salute to Service Awardpresented by USAA.
Cannon, Patricia, and Edwards were selected for their exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community. The Salute to Service Award recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 1, the eve of Super Bowl LIV, on FOX.
USAA will contribute $25,000 in the award recipient’s honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches. The NFL will match USAA’s donation of $25,000, which will be donated to the award recipient’s military charity of choice. The award recipient will receive a specially designed military challenge coin, recognizing their commitment to the military. In what has become a long-standing tradition, challenge coins are presented to members of the military community to encourage excellence, boost morale or to recognize a fellow brother- or sister-in-arms.
“Each having different life experiences and connections to our military, all three finalists for the ‘Salute to Service Award presented by USAA’ are connected by a shared belief in honoring and showing appreciation to our nation’s service members and veterans,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) JOHN BIRD, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. “Steve, Coach Patricia, and Donnie are all worthy finalists and we salute them for their continued commitment to America’s military community.”
As you are well aware, it’s Christmas time. One of my favorite times of the year. Hopefully, your Christmas (or insert whatever holiday you celebrate around this time of year) isn’t too stressful for you, and you’ve got a chance to rest and reflect on what’s past and what’s to come.
Another hallmark of this time of year is the Christmas carols and songs. My all-time favorite Christmas song is Sleigh Ride. (side note: I didn’t realize that there were actual words to the song until I was like 10. Tweet me, we’ll talk about it!) It’s also time for me to write my article about the NFC North, and I figured that I’d incorporate Christmas into it.
But not your typical Christmas List for Santa type of article. NOPE….I’m going to look at what carol reflects what team in the NFC North. Now, of course, there are only 4 teams and a bazillion carols. So, if you think I could have done better, by all means, let me know.
In news that shocked me this week, the Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Ron Rivera after nine seasons.If a guy can coach a team to 5-7 while their star quarterback (Cam Newton) has been out since week 2, is any coach safe in this league?
It seems as if once one team fires their head coach before the season ends, a couple of others decide to follow suit. Who else could be on the head coach chopping block before the end of the year?
The Vikings had a bye, the Bears won, and both the Lions and Packers lost. Yet another lackluster week for a division that I’m reporting on. I think maybe the universe is telling me something. I digress.
But just like in the NFC East, despite the fact that only 1 team won a game, there were still some players that performed well. Come with me as I head around the division to find out who were the top performers.
It’s the official beginning of the holidays, Thanksgiving week! It’s also the beginning of a fantastic week of football, and it all kicks off with Monday Night Football featuring the Los Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Ravens. Let’s take a look at everything coming up this week.
Tonight, the Rams (6-4) take on the red hot (purple hot?) Ravens (8-2) at home in LA. Now, at the beginning of the season, this would have been touted as one of the best games of the season, but the Rams have struggled more than we thought they would this year, and the Ravens…well they have been killing it.
Matthew Stafford had started 136 consecutive regular-season games entering today, the 6th-longest streak for a QB in NFL history. The last Lions’ QB to start a game other than Stafford was Shaun Hill, in Week 17 of the 2010 season, when he beat the Vikings 20-13.