Super Bowl week is upon us, and in order to prepare ourselves mentally for the big game ahead, it often helps to look back upon the season that was, to remember how exactly we got here in the first place.
Fortunately for those with attention deficit disorder, the folks at ESPN put together highlights from the 2013 NFL season in just 2 minutes and 40 seconds, so you don’t have to waste any of your valuable time with a more in-depth analysis.
The hilarious folks at Bad Lip Reading have set their sights on the NFL once again, and have produced perhaps their best work to-date. In addition to the normal sideline rants and interviews, the inclusion of the player intros is new this time around, which makes for nonsensical comedy gold. Enjoy!
And in case you missed it, here is their first NFL Bad Lip Reading video.
By now you’ve all seen it. When outspoken Seahawks CB Richard Sherman went ballistic on Erin Andrews (video below), just moments after sealing a trip to the Super Bowl for his team, he became the central focus of an entire nation. Sherman went Muhammad Ali on everyone, declaring himself the “best corner in the game”, and calling out 49ers WR Michael Crabtree as “sorry” and “mediocre”. It’s been all over the internet, television and radio since last night, and seems to be almost the only thing anyone seems to want to talk about from last night’s NFC Championship game.
The reaction on Twitter was swift, and quick to judge Sherman as a “thug” or worse, as middle America clearly still isn’t comfortable with the living, breathing personification of a talented, arrogant and black athlete. Forbes published a thoughtful article outlining 22 things to keep in mind about Sherman’s display, which is definitely worth the read, and Sherman provided his own defense this morning on MMQB, saying that his beef with Crabtree stems from an off-season incident at a charity event, where reportedly Crabtree refused to shake Sherman’s hand and tried to fight him.
It goes back to something he said to me this offseason in Arizona, but you’d have to ask him about that. A lot of what I said to Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don’t like him.
It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am. I don’t want to be a villain, because I’m not a villainous person.
But people find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you’ll see from me. It’s sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is. I can handle it.
But this display should have come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Sherman’s career, and knows he plays with his heart on his sleeve, is wildly confident in his abilities, and has never shied away from speaking his mind. Remember when he destroyed Skip Bayless on First Take, much to the delight of sports fans everywhere? Heck, NFL Films even did a feature on Sherman back in October entitled, “The trash-talking cornerback”, which provides tremendous insight into the man, and what motivates him. You should watch it. And furthermore, if there’s ever going to be a time for an athlete to talk this kind of trash, last night was most certainly that moment for Sherman, who had literally just moments prior delivered the play that sent Seattle to football’s biggest stage.
Putting a microphone in Sherman’s face with his adrenaline pumping like that, and you know you were going to get unfiltered, raw emotion … and that’s just what we got, to the point that it almost seemed like Sherman was being interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund after a WWF match. Well, thanks to the magic of the interwebz, we can see exactly what that would look like:
WWF MASH-UP VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
There has been a lot of speculation recently as to the meaning of the Broncos’ “Omaha” call at the line of scrimmage, which Peyton Manning seems to use prior to every play as part of his pre-snap audibles. Manning shouted “Omaha” 44 times during last Sunday’s divisional playoff win over the Chargers, so naturally, folks are curious.
Well, Manning finally explained the call during today’s pre-AFC Championship press conference, and did so in a way that will probably only serve to leave people more confused than before. When a reporter asked Peyton what it is that he loves about the city of Omaha, Manning first joked that it must be a fan-written question, but then obliged all of us wanting to know the same thing:
“Omaha is a run play, but it could be a pass play or a play-action pass depending on a couple things: when, which way we’re going, the quarter and the jerseys that we’re wearing. So it varies, really, play to play, so, that’s — there’s your answer to that one.”
There it is, indeed. Mystery solved. Thanks Peyton.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Chargers QB Philip Rivers is one of the more petulant players in the NFL, and during yesterday’s playoff loss to the Broncos, Rivers turned in one of the brattiest performances of his career.
Rivers threw tantrum after tantrum while being continuously frustrated by the crowd noise in Denver, and after burning yet another timeout in the 2nd half, Broncos DE Robert Ayers brilliantly mocked young Philip’s latest hissy-fit, kicking and stomping at the dirt like a child:
Well played, Robert. Well played.
It was a rough day for Packers fans. In the midst of today’s NFC Wild Card loss to the 49ers, fullback John Kuhn executed perhaps the worst rendition of the Lambeau Leap in history.
After giving Green Bay the lead in the 4th Quarter, Kuhn ran toward the crowd looking to celebrate with the Packers faithful in the traditional fashion, but his vertical leap seemed to suddenly fail him miserably:
It looks as though Kuhn may have slipped on the net used to catch field goal kicks, which was laying on the ground, but still … not a good look.
As part of his ongoing worldwide promotional tour for the highly-anticipated upcoming release of Anchorman 2, Will Ferrell – as his alter-ego and super-anchor Ron Burgundy (along with David Koechner as Champ Kind) – will be hosting a special edition of SportsCenter on ESPN this Thursday at 6pm ET.
In advance of this momentous event, ESPN has released this teaser video of Burgundy interviewing Broncos QB Peyton Manning, in which he discusses mustache’s, horses, and audibles … much to the delight of Manning, and fans of Anchorman everywhere:
During the Saints’ 17-13 victory over the Falcons last night, TE Jimmy Graham scored on a 44-yard touchdown catch, and decided to celebrate with a two-handed dunk on the goal post:
As you can see, the 6’7″, 265 lb beast decided to hang on the rim — er, crossbar — for extra effect, and then even gave the padding around the base of the goal post a beating for good measure. This was the result of the vicious Graham slam:
And despite the fact that Graham didn’t draw a flag for excessive celebration, there was a brief delay in the game so the stadium grounds crew could straighten out the goal post before the extra point.
Maybe tone it down a notch next time, huh Jimmy?
Brandon Marshall provides tremendous insight on Incognito-Martin and the “culture of the NFL” (VIDEO)
In the wake of the ongoing Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga in Miami, players from around the NFL have voiced their opinions on bullying/hazing in the locker room, and how this situation could have been handled better.
In case you’ve been living in a cave, Martin left the Dolphins last week after saying he had been frequently harassed by teammates, and particularly Incognito, who has been suspended indefinitely by the team. Martin briefly checked himself into a south Florida hospital for emotional distress, and both the Dolphins and the league are investigating evidence in the form of voicemails and text messages that Martin received, which clearly cross the line of good-natured hazing into flat-out bullying.
Many athletes have suggested that Martin needed to “man up” and put an end to the bullying himself, while others have shown support for Martin, and disdain for Incognito’s actions. It all has placed the culture surrounding the NFL under a microscope, and forced everyone to take a long hard look at the type of mentality we’re fostering among athletes throughout the sport.
Grantland has a particularly interesting take on the situation, which is definitely worth a read. And MMBQ published a fascinating piece by former Dolphins lineman Lydon Murtha, which gives an insider’s perspective on just what exactly went down in Miami. In it, Murtha points out that Dolphins players were instructed by coaches to bring Martin out of his shell and toughen him up … essentially, the NFL’s version of ordering a Code Red from A Few Good Men.
Bears WR Brandon Marshall is a particularly thoughtful NFL player, who has been remarkably candid about his own struggles with mental illness, and has actively tried to draw attention to the importance of mental health in our society, and in the sport of football. Marshall also spent a two years with the Dolphins and Incognito (from 2010-2011), so it should come as no surprise that he provided some of the more insightful commentary on the Martin/Incognito situation earlier this week.
MORE, INCLUDING VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
In case you missed it last night, Bengals rookie sensation Giovani Bernard scored the most impressive TD run of the year, with his remarkable Barry Sanders-esque 35-yard scamper.
On the play, Bernard took the pitch from Andy Dalton, then reversed field after being seemingly trapped by two defenders in the backfield, and somehow evaded everyone in a Dolphins uniform on his way to the endzone.
It was pretty incredible, and is worth watching over and over, in glorious GIF format:
Here’s the video of the play, and below is another GIF, from a different angle: