Category Archives: Guest Posts

Guest Post: Is the Aging Baltimore Ravens Defense a Problem?

Jerome Manson is a sports enthusiast who enjoys both watching games and writing about them.  When he is not cheering on his team from the stands, Jerome is blogging and creating content on” 

While the Baltimore Ravens are sitting pretty with a 3-1 record this year there are still concerns for fans.  So far the Ravens defense has allowed an average of 390 yards per game in what is largely giving up big passing plays. Even rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden was able to put up 314 passing yards in a losing attempt against the Ravens. The Ravens Defense has been the poster child for tough and gritty defense for years now, but are they getting too long in the tooth?

Old Player’s Experience vs Physical Condition

To be clear, “old” is a term used lightly and harshly in the sporting world when players in their late thirties begin to look noticeably slower than their peers in the mid-twenties.  Older players take longer to heal and recover, must work harder to stay in the same physical shape, and can be more prone to injuries, but they come with added experience that makes them formidable. The Ravens boast an immense amount of experience with players like Ed Reed and the prolific Ray Lewis, both of which will probably be inducted into the Hall of Fame after they retire. Which could be soon as Ray Lewis is in his 17th season at 37 years old and Ed Reed is in his 11th NFL season at age 34. These players, and others, give the Baltimore Ravens years of leadership that cannot be ignored.

Stopping the Pass

As mentioned above, the Ravens have struggled to develop an affective pass rush this season. This is in part, or significantly due, to the Ravens missing Terrel Suggs after he tore his Achilles tendon during the offseason.  Suggs had 14 sacks last year and put added pressure on quarterbacks in the early downs. Suggs is expected to return sometime this season, but until that happens the Ravens defense needs to find a way to limit the big passing plays without the ten year veteran.

Causing the Turnovers that Matter

Even without an effective pass rush, the experienced Ravens defense is still coming up with important stops that lets them win games. Down by three against the Patriots with less than three minutes left, the Ravens rallied to stop Tom Brady with two big stops – keeping the Patriots from extending the drive, and setting up Justin Tucker to kick a game winning field goal. In the Week 4 game against the Browns the spread was a little too close for comfort until Ravens  secondary, Cary Williams, intercepted a pass late in the third quarter and returned it for a touchdown which gave Baltimore a much more secure lead. While they Ravens have been making it somewhat difficult on themselves, the defense continues to rise up to the challenge and make big plays happen when they need it.

Even though the Ravens defense is not what it was ten years ago, they are still a force to be reckoned with. Baltimore has consistently been in the playoffs with a large helping hand to stellar defense that is able to limit big offenses. They will have to shape up this year though, as they are giving up too many passing yards on big plays. If Baltimore can manage that, expect another playoff run by the physical team.

Guest Post: Fantasy Football Shows Move to the Web

Author Bio:  Dwayne Thomas is a Redskins fan and writer from Salt Lake City, UT.   He currently writes for

If you participate as an owner in a fantasy football league, it’s not hard to imagine that fantasy football is kind of a new thing, or at least newer than you might think. In actuality, fantasy football became very popular starting in the early 1990s, and really came into its own during the “dot-com” boom of the late ’90s, but in fact it’s been around in one form or another since 1962.

Its genesis can be traced to New York City’s Milford Plaza Hotel when Peter Staunton, a limited-partner in the Oakland Raiders, Keith O’Brien, a former Raiders public relations executive, and Scotty Sterling, a former reporter crafted the rules and created the GOPPPL, also known as the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League.

Fifty-years later, fantasy football is big bucks, big technology, big prizes, and big fun for everyone involved. In fact, there are several magazine, radio shows, and extremely professional and useful websites dedicated to the weekly football contest that boasts more than 45 million annual participants.

Here’s a look at some of the top Fantasy Football resources that used to be on cable television but have since made their way to the World Wide Web, giving them round the clock access to a global base of participants. Continue reading

Guest Post: The Best Fantasy Football Cell Phone Apps of 2012

Pearlie Davis is a staff writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone news, commentary, reviews.

The Best Fantasy Football Cell Phone Apps of 2012

4 fanatic-worthy apps that take action with you—wherever you go!

My husband woke up from a fantastic dream this morning—body covered in sweat big, eyes wide with anticipation, panting, his hands clammy and his racing pulse. He bounced out of that bed with every ounce of energy. It was like seeing a kid wake up on Christmas morning. But it’s August—and it’s Fantasy Football season once again!

If you’re glued to the television, radio, internet, and smart phone come Fantasy Football draft season like my husband is—do yourself a favor and get some cell phone apps to keep you updated on all of the first round picks, trash talk, and drama when you’re on the go. There’s zero need to stick to the television anymore with the following fanatic-worthy apps for the iPhone, Android, and Droid-enabled tablets and phones like our T-Mobile 4G phones.

My husband trusts the following Fantasy Football-dedicated apps for complete up-to-date news and management of his Fantasy Football teams.

1. Draft Machine 2012 – Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet ($0.99 – for iPhone)

The Draft Machine 2012 – Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet is a fully-functioning Fantasy Football draft order generator. This particular app is based on something called Value Based Drafting—which means it orders determined on the previous year’s results as well as the most recent year’s player ratings. My hubby digs this tool to help him with his picks because it takes the following into consideration:

  • The number      of people playing in your league
  • The number      of starting positions for each position
  • The number      of available starting positions in the NFL
  • Standard      league settings—including all positions (i.e., QB, WR, RB, TE, K, DEF, and      all individual defensive positions) and scoring options (i.e., from ESPN,      NFL, etc)

Taking all the details into consideration (i.e., injuries and team changes from the previous year), this app will generate a list of valuable players for your picks based upon your specific league settings. Continue reading

2012 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (Guest Post)

Our Guest Contributor, Langley McGhee, hails from the DMV area (DC, MD & VA).  Fairly new to the sports journalism “arena”, he has been an avid follower of all major sports for most of his life.  As the “go-to guy” on all things sports amongst friends, family and co-workers, he enjoys the ability to connect to fans, near and far, through writing. When not talking or writing about sports, he’s a tech-geek (Systems Administrator) that loves spending time with his son.

Excitement and hope seem to surround the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles. Many NFL analysts, and even Las Vegas oddsmakers, have ranked them among the top five-to-ten teams that may reach the Super Bowl this season.  Andy Reid and company began this offseason by getting back to the basics that once defined Reid’s Eagles tenure. They began with in-house signings to lock up the core of the Eagles players for many seasons to come. A bit of bad news for the Eagles this offseason was the unfortunate injury of one of the best OTs from 2011, LT Jason Peters. He will be replaced by OT Demetress Bell, a solid OL that replaced Peters when he departed the Buffalo Bills for the Eagles. They also strengthened the defense’s coaching staff with the hire of, well-known and respected, Todd Bowles as secondary coach. Then the Eagles went out and, by all accounts, had an outstanding 2012 draft which may produce three news starters to this defense that began to find their groove late last season.  Some impressive front-office moves include promoting player-friendly Howie Roseman to GM over hard-nosed Joe Banner.  While this move may not show dividends immediately, it bodes very well for the future of this franchise. With all this excitement surrounding the 2012 Eagles, what is an Eagles fan to do?   Let the 2011 season guide you to stay humble; because offseason buzz does not always translate to hoisting that ever-elusive Lombardi Trophy at season’s end.  Here is more on the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles. Continue reading

Guest Post: Sports Medicine’s Role in the NFL Concussion Lawsuits

Vance Miller is a lifetime fan of the San Francisco 49ers. Growing up in the Bay Area Vance had the opportunity to attend sporting events in both San Francisco and Oakland getting a mix of football cultures. Now Vance lives’ in Florida and has had the opportunity to write for Sina Kasraeian MD, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine.

Former San Diego Chargers star Junior Seau’s shocking suicide earlier this spring has amplified concerns that NFL players have voiced for years about concussions. As lawsuits continue to pile up against the league, more and more evidence is released on the long-term health effects of sports-related brain injuries.

Medical Studies and Mounting Evidence
The University of North Carolina’s Center for the Study of Retired Athletes found that 20.2 percent of NFL players with at least three concussions had depression. That percentage is significantly higher than the figures reported for players who remained concussion-free.
Droves of former gridiron stars have alleged in legal filings that they have experienced progressively worse brain defects, including memory loss, lack of concentration and even dementia. They say their on-the-field concussions have decreased their quality of life and, in some cases, robbed them of their ability to work after their football careers are over. Continue reading

Guest Post: How to Deal When Your Team Loses

By Michelle Zehr

Michelle is a blog contributor for Gold Star Games, a one-stop-shop for tailgate gear and much more. 

With the NFL playoffs in full-swing (although this could be applied to any sport whether it is the playoffs or just a big game versus a rival opponent), diehard fans often find it difficult to imagine what happens when their team is bumped out of the playoffs and is sent into the off season. Months without football (or insert your favorite sport here) can be very hard to imagine. When the season ends, there may be yelling, dropped jaws in disbelief and sometimes even tears. Where do diehard fans go from here?

We all know it is hard when your favorite team has been knocked out of the playoff race. If it is tough on the fans, just imagine how difficult it is for the players who were actually on the field. Even worse, the player who missed what could have been the game winning field goal. First off, you need to put things into perspective. It’s just the end of the season. Remember, the end of the season does not mean the end of the world. The fate of your sports team is much more pressing than waiting to hear back from a job interview, a struggling marriage or struggling to make mortgage payments. It’s natural to allow yourself to be upset; especially when watching the games have become part of your weekly routine. However, you are going to eventually need to move on. Create a new routine in the offseason. Consider gathering your football buddies for a Sunday game of flag football instead of mourning on the couch.

Another option is to think positively. As hard as this may seem, think of all the teams who did not make the playoffs and their fans. At least your team made it to the playoffs and had a shot at going further. Unfortunately, everyone cannot win. There is going to be a winner and loser in every game. Remember, this is not the end of football. It is merely the end of the season and with each new season brings a fresh start.

Do some venting. Call up a local sports talk show and let your opinions be known. If you’d rather the entire city not know your opinions, call up a sports fan buddy and do some venting. Talk about the good and bad times of the season.

Are these ideas still not working for you? Others have suggested running, stress balls, mediation, starting your own football season with a video game or a night of drinking. Ultimately, the choice is yours. When you bleed black and gold, brown and orange, red and blue or any other team’s colors, it is hard to realize it’s just a game. However, it is. You will move on and before you know it, it will be time to break out your favorite jersey and enjoy a fresh start.

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