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?
This photo has been making the rounds this week, after being unearthed by Doug Kyed at NESN, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t share it with our readers.
To absolutely no one’s surprise (but everyone’s delight), it turns out that New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan used to rock the goatee and mullet, and was the spitting image of Kenny Powers, the beloved anti-hero of HBO’s “Eastbound and Down”.
Check out this old photo of Ryan from his days as a linebacker coach with the Patriots:
For comparison, here’s Powers:
Uncanny, isn’t it?
As we kick off the 2013 NFL season tonight, we are graced with this incredible set of NFL team sigils, in the style of the house sigils from Game of Thrones. For those of you who are geeks for both the NFL and GOT (like us), this is pure nirvana.
Created by internet hero DJroomba, aka Tim Proby, the complete gallery of all 32 teams (even the Jets) can be found here, and includes several variations for each club. We’ve posted some of our favorites below, and saved the best for last in the Patriots and Browns. Enjoy your new desktop wallpapers!
MORE NFL TEAM SIGILS AFTER THE JUMP
Tampa Bay rookie head coach Greg Schiano has already come under a lot of fire this season for his questionable coaching tactics. Schiano’s insistance on thumbing his nose at coaching convention in his first year in the NFL – most notably by bull rushing the kneel down play at the end of games - hasn’t sat well with much of the league’s old guard.
Some have defended Schiano for playing to the final whistle and instilling mental toughness in his team, while many coaches, players and fans (us included) have flat-out labeled his coaching style as bush league.
But on Sunday, Schiano’s latest stunt may have finally cost his team the game.
During the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers 35-28 loss to the Saints, with Tampa Bay trailing 28-21, New Orleans set up for a 50-yard field goal attempt. But just prior to the snap, “the Bucs’ defensive line abruptly shifted and, according to Saints players, shouted in unison.” The move drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty, keeping the drive alive for New Orleans and setting up a Pierre Thomas touchdown run just four plays later.
Considering that the Bucs were in position to tie the game on the final drive, those extra points (4 if the Saints had converted the long field goal, 7 if they missed) could have proved the difference between winning and losing for Tampa Bay.
Every year, we try to refrain from pulling a Tom Smykowski from Office Space, and jumping to any conclusions about the NFL season prematurely. In a sixteen-game season, it generally takes several games for teams to figure out their identity, and a lot longer than that to determine a realistic playoff picture.
So while it’s tempting to draw knee-jerk reactions from a couple of games, we at least try to wait until the quarter-point mark to start making our hyperbolic and definitive statements about the season ahead.
And even though many of these will undoubtedly prove wrong, we’re not afraid to draw these bold conclusions after just week four of the season.
So without further adieu, here are our top 5 observations on the 2012 edition of ol’ Jump To Conclusions mat:
Our old friend Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force is back with his “Stone Cold Lock of the Century – Of The Week”, and this time he’s picking tomorrow’s Saints-Chiefs game. As a reminder, while we’re not gamblers ourselves, we generally recommend betting against whoever Carl picks.
But before he gets to his lock, Carl opines on the Giants-Bucs kneel down controversy (which we can hopefully stop talking about now), as well as the replacement referees and their impact on the game. As usual, great stuff from Carl and his Zubaz pants:
It was one of the rare cases of the reality actually being better than the hype.
With five rookie quarterbacks starting their team’s opener on Sunday, Robert Griffin III stood head and shoulders above the rest of his class by putting on one of the most impressive debut performances by a QB in NFL history, and leading the Redskins to a shocking 40-3 victory over the Saints.
Griffin’s stat line - 19-of-26 for 320 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, for a 139.9 passer rating – is impressive enough. In becoming the first quarterback in league history to throw for over 300 yards in a winning debut, RGIII put all of advertised physical tools – speed, agility and cannon for an arm – on display for everyone to see. But considering that he did it all on the road, in a hostile Superdome, in his first game on the NFL stage … it was his poise, intelligence and confidence that really stood out. Starting the game off 8-for-8, Griffin looked like a veteran running Mike Shanahan‘s offense out there.
Meanwhile, number 1 overall pick Andrew Luck threw three interceptions and fumbled once in a loss, Russell Wilson had a mixed performance but came up short on a game-winning drive, Ryan Tannehill was in over his head in throwing 3 picks, and Brandon Weeden looked completely lost with a 5.1 QB rating, the worst pro debut by a QB in modern history.
After having their suspensions overturned by an appeals panel on Thursday, four NFL players - Saints LB Jonathan Vilma and DE Will Smith, Browns LB Scott Fujita and free agent DL Anthony Hargrove – were immediately allowed to return to the field as soon as possible.
“Consistent with the panel’s decision, Commissioner Goodell will, as directed, make an expedited determination of the discipline imposed for violating the league’s pay-for-performance/bounty rule,” Aiello said in a statement. “Until that determination is made, the four players are reinstated and eligible to play starting this weekend.”
In a huge victory for the Saints, Smith will start the opener in New Orleans today. And although Vilma will need a few weeks to recover from a knee injury, he is expected to take the team out of the tunnel at the Superdome, and lead the crowd in a “Who Dat” chant following the coin toss.
While the ruling is a crushing blow to Roger Goodell and the NFL, it’s important to note that the suspensions are not permanently vacated, pending a further ruling by the league. It’s entirely possible (and even likely) that Goodell will find a new way to suspend the players (and especially Vilma) for “conduct detrimental to the league” … as opposed to actually intending to injure opposing players, which they clearly have no proof of.
But expect a raucous crowd in New Orleans today, as they celebrate this victory, no matter how temporary it may be. Oh, and Fujita will not play in the Browns’ opener, as he is on the team’s injured/exemption list while he recovers from a leg injury.
Last night, HBO’s Real Sports ran a feature on former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason, and if you didn’t catch it, set your DVRs and make sure you watch this episode.
Gleason – a special teams standout for the New Orleans Saints from 2000-2007 – played an important role in helping to re-inspire the city of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, when he blocked a punt during the team’s first game back in the Superdome. But just three years after retiring from the game, Gleason was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gherig’s disease.
The illness – which studies show is expedited by the head trauma suffered by NFL players – has quickly robbed Gleason of his basic motor skills. But with his brain fully functioning, Gleason continues to fight to live life to the fullest and inspire others with his story. Living by mottos such as “Let’s focus on drinking up as much life as possible”, if you can make it through this segment without tearing up, you should get yourself checked out to make sure you still have a heart.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
This tremendous photo of Saints RB Mark Ingram overjoyed with excitement over a frosty treat – locally known as a sno-ball - after a hot day at training camp comes to us via Reddit/r/NFL user chadrochill:
For those of you who are curious (like we were), the uploader was also kind enough to explain the distinction between a “sno-ball” and other regional versions of this icy summer classic:
For people wondering the difference between sno-balls and snow cones, I will do my best to accurately describe it:
The basic difference is that snow cones were traditionally made with chips of ice, where it would be fairly crunchy and look like this.