Thoughtful Thursday (12.06.12)

By: Kevin Cottrell Jr.@SportsVentz

Just a Thought…FAN or FOE: What kind of fan would you say you were?  Are you loyal, there to support your favorite player or team no matter if they’re hot, in the midst of a dynasty or a paramount slump? Are you just there for the highs and disappear during the lows? Are you a bandwagon fan that comes around when it’s time to celebrate big achievements? Are you the fan on twitter claiming your team is the greatest whenever they win then turnaround and call for everyone’s job when they lose? Unfortunately friends can be the same way. This past Saturday Kansas City Chiefs experienced one of the worst tragedies in recent sports history when one of their linebackers was involved in a murder-suicide taking the life of the mother of his child before eventually ended his. These events left many of his friends, family and teammates wondering just what kind of friends (or fans) they were. Could they have done more? Maybe not. But the question is had they ever really done anything at all? We all know how to be there for our favorite teams or friends when all is well, but sometimes truly picking up the phone to see how someone is doing can go a long way. So, remember in life and in sports the job of a fan (and friend) is to be there to support your favorite team or player when you’re at your highest and they’re performing at their lowest. You’d be surprised the affect you as a fan can truly have on a team. So go out and be a fan, of a team, a player a friend. (R.I.P Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher)

 

NFL WEEK 14 PREDICTIONS: Week 13 was an interesting one! We witnessed three rookies pull off comebacks in Luck, Wilson & RGIII. The Falcons, Texans and Pats have all clinched playoff spots with tight races in the NFC North & East. How will this week play out? Let’s take a look!

 

PICK 6!

(6-6) COWBOYS @ BENGALS (7-5): Ironically the Cowboys knocked off division foe Eagles on Sunday night then Monday their true rivals, Washington Redskins, gave them a glimpse of playoff hopes by defeating the Giants. As always the NFC East is up for grabs but for now Dallas has to face an AFC North opponent. The Bengals are also in pursuit of a playoff spot needing every win possible to secure a spot. The Cowboys have the number 2 passing offense, mainly because they’re often playing from behind. While the Bengals have a more balanced attack with big play capabilities. What many onlookers will notice is that the Bengals can run the ball much better than Dallas. This ability will open up big plays down field for Dalton to connect with the talented A.J. Green. This game will be high scoring but the team to win the time of possession battle will likely come out on top. Advantage home team. Prediction: BENGALS by 4

(8-4) BEARS @ VIKINGS (6-6): The last time these two teams hooked up both sidelines were filled with guys limping off the field tending to injuries. Unfortunately for the Bears they lost two offensive lineman for the season, one due to an illegal block by Vikings DE Jared Allen. Now just two games separate the two and they both need a victory to better their chances of playing into January. The Bears will be without MLB Brian Urlacher, which leaves Adrian Peterson salivating at his opportunities of running the ball through the gut of the Bears defense. But this is a QB driven league and it will come down to which signal caller can make more plays. The Vikings have struggled with their passing attack the last few weeks, while the Bears have been picking things up. Can Ponder eventually make big throws to extend drives? Can Chicago’s offense dominant the ball? Both questions will decide the outcome of the game, but I’m going to stick with the more experienced QB. Prediction: BEARS by 3

(4-8) CHARGERS @ STEELERS (7-5): This is the time of year that the Chargers pick their games up and knock teams off last year. Unfortunately all good things come to an end. The Steelers received a major confidence boost defeating the Ravens in Baltimore. Rumblings out of Pittsburgh state that Big Ben may return but regardless of his presence the Steelers will be locked in. Currently the Steelers have a slight hold on the final playoff spot with the Bengals in their rear view, so losing is not an option. The Chargers have been a mess on offense so timing is not quite on their side with a cross country trip to the Steel city. I expect the Steelers to use this game to create a rhythm on both sides of the ball. As for the Chargers they’ll be using this game to evaluate talent for next season. Prediction: Steelers by 10

(9-3) RAVENS @ REDSKINS (6-6):  One thing that people from D.C. and Baltimore can agree on is that they are not equals. They same holds true for the Redskins and Ravens. The Ravens are an aging team truly in Super Bowl or bust mode whereas the ‘Skins are a young team that feeds off the excitement of RGIII. The Ravens are coming off a tough loss to the Steelers and an even tougher loss with the injury sustained by Terrell Suggs. The onus will be placed on Flacco & Company to carry the load and sustain their lead in the North. As for the ‘Skins they can change the perception that they are in rebuilding mode by winning their fourth straight and placing pressure on the Giants for the division title. Redskins receivers will have to help RGIII out by not only catching the ball but making plays after the catch. The Ravens thrive off mistakes and turnovers and either can prove to make this a tough outing for the young Skins. This game will be full of excitement with the entire DC/Maryland area battling with playoff hopes. Look for the Ravens to set the tone early reminding the Skins just who the big brother in town is. Prediction: RAVENS by 7

(4-8) LIONS @ PACKERS (8-4): The Detroit Lions may be the most dangerous 4-win team in the NFL. Just last week they seemingly had the game all but wrapped up before the Colts pulled out a win in the final seconds. For the Packers they managed to make it through the meat of their schedule despite injuries to Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews and Greg Jennings. They all seem to be getting healthy at the right time and with identical records to the Bears, they’re primed to regain division primacy. This game will be very entertaining and nasty along both lines. Can the Packers protect Rodgers? Will the Lions make plays in the fourth quarter? Ultimately the Lions want to play spoiler so cheese heads please be on alert. Detroit will not go down without swinging but the Packers have their eyes on a bigger prize. Prediction: PACKERS by 3

 

**GAME OF THE WEEK**

(11-1) TEXANS @ PATRIOTS (9-3): Wow. Texans-Patriots where do I begin? Both teams seem to have an offensive juggernaut. One is heavily predicated on the run (Texans) while the other relies on the pass (Tom Brady’s). The Texans have one of the top defenses in the L while the Pats may be one of the most discipline. So what will prove to be the difference in this match up? Coaching. For the Patriots, Belichick will coach his team to take away the opposition’s best player, Arian Foster. The Texans offense tends to struggle when the running game is not clicking. I know you’re saying they only have one loss but that was a game that the rush attack did not exist. As for the  Texans, they thrive off getting after the Quarterback. But can they get to Tom Brady? Brady’s bunch seems to be a few players short without the services of Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. Luckily for New England the Texans may be without All-Pro corner Johnathan Joseph who’s nursing a hamstring injury. Houston has allowed an average of 352.0 passing yards the last three weeks, a startling number as they take their attack to Foxborough. The Patriots have been the class of the AFC the past few seasons and the Texans are here to wrestle that title away. This game will be one of the most watched of the season and for good reason. These are two titans clashing on Monday night. Will it be the veteran nucleus or the new kids on the block? Well, the Texans are 6-0 on a road and the Patriots will be the first to tell you just how tough perfection can be. Prediction: PATRIOTS by 5

 

QUICK PICKS!

BRONCOS over Raiders

RAMS over Bills

BROWNS over Chiefs

COLTS over Titans

BUCCANEERS over Eagles

FALCONS over Panthers

JETS over Jaguars

49ERS over Dolphins

SEAHAWKS over Cardinals

GIANTS over Saints

 

BUZZER BEATERS

There’s a lot to be said about Kobe Bean Bryant. He’s a proven winner, leader, clutch shot maker, relentless scorer, flat out assassin, hard worker, passionate about the game of basketball and willing to stop at nothing to win the last game of every season. if he never played the game again he would arguably be considered one of the top 10 or 15 players of all-time. He helped spearhead the boom of High School players making a jump to the NBA and joined forces with Shaquille O’Neal to form the modern day Showtime Lakers. 16+ seasons and 5 rings later all Kobe has left to do is to lay the cement on his legacy. Bryant is the all-time leader scorer in Lakers history and most recently became just the 5th player in NBA History to score 30,000. Consider that his rookie year he averaged just 7.6 ppg, and shared the bulk of his career with Shaq so points were not always available for him to score. Obviously health, work ethic and longevity have been the keys to this accomplishment but most off all consistency. Congrats to the youngest player to ever join the 30,000 point club. Kobe Bean Bryant.

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:        38,387
  2. Karl Malone                           36,928
  3. Michael Jordan                    32,292
  4. Wilt Chamberlain               31,419
  5. Kobe Bryant                    30,016 

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