Totally Radical Extreme Progressive Idea: Have The Super Bowl On Saturday

For a miserable Philly sports fan, I actually really enjoy the Super Bowl. I mean why not? Food, friends, family, degenerate gambling, the last 60 minutes (or more, clearly) of football that matters until September (ouch), the Super Bowl is a great American holiday that finds a unique balance of sports, entertainment and social life. There is one major flaw however that is holding the Super Bowl back from reaching it’s true potential and that is it being held on a Sunday.

Trust me, I get it. Football Sunday. Sundays are for the NFL. I know, I know. But having it on a Sunday limits the excitement rather than adding to it. People have to go to work the next day. People leave the party early. You have to limit your alcohol intake. You can’t go into a food coma until 11 am the next day. Imagine going out after the Super Bowl? Like using it as a pregame and betting with your friends non stop and then hitting the town and continuing to drink. You could celebrate your winnings immediately or use your last bit of cash to drown your sorrows, whichever. Sounds like a shit show that I would absolutely want to be a part of. Business would boom, bars and restaurants would make a killing, people would have the flexibility to watch the game in ways that they previously haven’t been able to do. You can easily make that long drive to watch with your college buddies since you can crash there after the game or you can stay up to watch the highlights and interviews and the celebrations and really take it in if you so choose. I mean really, would you rather talk about the game the next day with your friends or with 46 year old Debra from HR? It’s like there’s all this hype about the game and then you blink and before you know it Tom Brady is standing up there again with a trophy and you have to be up in 6 hours dressed and ready for work. It sucks.

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Having it on Sunday does make it easier to prepare everything, but you could easily start your prep Friday night if need be or just pick up your stuff Saturday morning. I also can’t argue that Super Bowl Sunday is a tradition, but this country was built on progressive ideas and change (leave your snarky political comments out of this one). I think we can all get behind having the Super Bowl a day earlier if it benefits a majority of people. Food for thought. In other news I consumed entirely too much food and rotted in my bed until almost noon. Thankfully Gratzfeed is ahead of the curve and gave it’s employees a delayed opening today. Hopefully more companies will follow suit. Oh, or you could just make the Monday after the Super Bowl a National Holiday and give people off. That works too.

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Gratz’s Grumblings: Week 10

We’re getting to that sweet spot in the NFL season, Thanksgiving day football, coaches and coordinators dropping like flies, teams solidifying their playoff stature while others crumble. Whether your team falls in the former or latter category, it’s an interesting time of the season. Let’s take a look around the league, shall we?

Peyton Manning broke the record for most passing yards of all time, breaking Bret Favre’s previous record of 71,838. All smiles then right? Not hardly, Peyton struggled mightily thereafter, throwing four interceptions and getting benched for Brock Osweiler. What’s worse is that after the game it was revealed that Manning has a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot. Oh, and the Broncos were annihilated, losing 29-13 to the Kansas City Chiefs (it was worse than the score indicates too). Peyton is definitely out this week against Chicago and will be re-evaluated after that. Despite having no allegiance to Denver, I’ve defended the Broncos all year and will continue to do so. Their defense is stacked but was without DeMarcus Ware and Aquib Talib, two of their best players. Assuming these guys get back on the field this will be a very tough defense to face as the year goes on, as defense becomes ever so important. Plus, Andy Reid after the bye is like Chick Fil A on Sundays, lights out. Concern for the Broncos is definitely legitimate however, their health is key and they have to get in an offensive rhythm when Peyton returns. In reality, this will probably come down to Peyton’s health and his effectiveness when he gets back on the field, whenever that may be. Brock Osweiler was a second round pick and only 24, who knows, maybe he can play?

Somehow, some way the Lions beat the Packers. This is less about the Lions winning and more about the Packers losing. The Packers have a laundry list of offensive woes: lack of a running game, poor line play, and Randall Cobb’s inability to step up the way he was expected to. It’s just uncharacteristic of them to go three and out the way they are doing so often. With the Vikings playing so well, the Packers may be fighting for a wild card spot this year instead of enjoying their typical first round bye.

Rex Ryan returned to New York to face his old team in an emotional Thursday night game. Ryan prevailed as the Bills beat the Jets 22-17. The Bills and Jets have very similar styles but the Bills were the more physical team and were able to force turnovers, giving them the advantage in a hard fought game.

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Rob Ryan, on the other hand lost his defensive coordinator job as the hapless Saints defense allowed 47 points to Kirk Cousins and company. Yeah, that will do it. The Redskins are now 4-5 and right in the thick of the  pathetic, and I mean pathetic, NFC East race.

The Eagles are also 4-5 except they seem to be trending down instead of up as they endured a sickening loss to the Miami Dolphins who were just asking to lose the game. The Eagles are a mess, Sam Bradford wasn’t well protected at all and it cost them. Slammed to the ground in the third quarter he suffered a sprained shoulder on his non throwing arm while also coming away with concussion from the thud. Jason Kelce looks lost. Miles Austin and Riley Cooper combined for over 90 snaps while each failed to receive a single catch. Mark Sanchez threw an excruciating fourth quarter interception. Chip Kelly seems to be overmatched and this team is just simply not that good. They aren’t even fun to watch and Philadelphians are truly over this team, despite being alive in the division race. Can you blame them? It’s one of those “even if they win the division how far can they really go?” type of deals. I still want the Eagles to finish strong and make a playoff push because you never know what could happen, but for now one would be naive to have any real expectations for this middling, injured, uninspired group.

Bill Belichick is one of the best, (if not the best, coaches of this generation, but he always struggles with Tom Coughlin and the Giants and this Sunday was no exception. However, while trailing, Tom Brady in classic Tom Brady fashion drove the team down the field and set up Stephen Gostkowski for a cold blooded 54 yard game winner that took the life right out of Metlife Stadium. Unfortunately for the Pats, Julian Edelman suffered a leg injury and his return this season is in question which comes right after losing Dion Lewis for the year. The Patriots are known for overcoming these kinds of losses so while it is indeed a loss, history suggests they’ll be just find going forward. On the other hand, despite losing the game the Giants probably aren’t too disappointed. They almost knocked off the best team in the world and are still in first place in their division while getting a bye week to fix things up. Not saying they’re going to or should win the division but until another team consistently gets going, they should be relatively confident about their playoff chances.

The undefeated Bengals are now defeated, losing to the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. Not necessarily a reason to abandon ship for the Bengals, every team has a hiccup at one point in the season or another. The Texans are now tied for first with the Indianapolis Colts who were on bye in the AFC South. The Colts have been disappointing all season so it’s actually pretty reasonable to expect this to be a real competition for the rest of the season, with the Texans having a legitimate shot to win the division.

Everyone knew the Arizona Cardinals were a good football team, but a lot of people were unsure if they were that good. The answer to that question is yes, yes they are as they secured a clutch win in one of the hardest places to play on earth, Seattle. The Cardinals look like they are the real deal and a real contender that’s built for the long haul, watch out.

Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are the leagues best QB-WR combo and it’s scary. The Steelers beat the Browns and are 6-4 and currently stand in good position to compete for a playoff spot. In reality, with the ever unstable condition of their quarterback, it’s really week to week with this team.

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Gratz’s Grumblings: Week 1

I’ve been waiting for the return of NFL football like a fat kid waiting for a hot pocket to cool off. It’s been excruciating, and at times painful, but when it arrived last Thursday it was all worth it. The annoying part sometimes is reading the tweets or watching the analysis the next day and seeing all the overreactions from one game. “They’re going to the Superbowl!”. “He’s a bust!”. “Fire him!”. That’s why Gratz’s Grumblings exists, to give you some perspective on things that happened around the league, one week at a time. Such as:

The Patriots didn’t appear to skip a beat as Tom Brady was sharp as usual and Gronk was beastly, collectively shredding the Steelers’ secondary to bits. In classic Patriots fashion, they chose their running back seemingly out of a hat, opening the season with Dion Lewis who missed the entire 2014 season with a broken leg. In his return to NFL action he racked up 69 yards on 15 carries and 51 yards receiving on 4 catches. As always, if the Patriots are healthy they figure to be a team playing deep into January and possibly even February.

It’s too early to begin evaluating the Steelers. Yes their defense was inept against Brady and the Pats but their bread and butter is really their offense and they’re without star running back Le’Veon Bell for another week and wide receiver Martavis Bryant for another three weeks. Once they get their full arsenal of weapons back they should start to click and be a tough team to outscore, assuming their defense improves enough at least to slow opponents down.

It’s also way too early to jump to conclusions about the Indianapolis Colts. Their performance against the Bills was ugly but when a team has so many new pieces it takes time to gel and come together. Many of their new players are older too so they didn’t exactly receive the most reps during the preseason. Although I don’t exactly agree with them being the trendy Superbowl pick just yet (mainly because of their defense), they should win their division handily and look like a different team than what was on the field week one.

Adam “Pacman” Jones should face discipline for his actions on Sunday. After a play, he ripped the helmet off rookie receiver Amari Cooper and slammed his head against it. He showed virtually zero remorse and claimed it was a “heat of the moment” incident. When you have as checkered a past as Jones does, I don’t think you get to use that excuse anymore. The officials clearly missed it as he should have been ejected from the game right then and there. He probably will receive a fine but no suspension, however I personally would support a suspension of a substantial length. What if somebody accidentally stumbled onto Coopers face with their cleats while Coopers helmet was off? Then what?

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Speaking of Pacman Jones, I’m also sick of defending Ndamukung Suh. This week after a play he “accidentally” knocked off the helmet of Redskins running back Alfred Morris with his foot while walking back after making the play. He claimed he didn’t see him. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to Suh, so that excuse is starting to wear thin as well. You’re a world class athlete, you can bench a bajillion pounds, yet you can’t lift your leg up or move your body so you avert a human body laying next to you? If that’s the case then you shouldn’t be allowed to play in the league. The NFL has said that he didn’t do anything wrong, but I think they are just toning down the discipline to players after getting embarrassed from the recent Tom Brady sanctions getting reversed. I don’t know if Suh should necessarily be punished for this instance or not, but I will say that he should be on very, very thin ice.

I don’t care who he played, Marcus Mariota’s debut performance was downright impressive. He went 13-16, while tossing 4 tds in the process, all to different players. He also didn’t even play the fourth quarter. It’s just rare for a rookie quarterback to show that kind of comfortability on the road in his first NFL game, Marcus Mariota could be really special.

LeSean McCoy still isn’t over the fact that he was cut from the Eagles. He arranged for a group photo of “Chip Kelly rejects” including himself, Trent Cole and Todd Herremans. Whatever. Get over it dude.

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The Giants/ Cowboys game was ridiculous and frustrating. As an Eagles fan I was “rooting” for the Giants because it would appear early on that we’d be battling more with the Cowboys than the Giants for a divisional title later in the season. I’ve seen better clock management from 8 year olds playing Madden than what Eli and Todd Coughlin displayed Sunday night. Coughlin is the most conservative coach and it just doesn’t make any friggen sense. It’s one thing to continually run the ball and settle for field goals but it doesn’t take Vince Lombardi to realize that if you don’t have a defense that can hold anybody then those field goals won’t do shit for you by the end of the game. That gaffe also led to Jason Witten’s second touchdown catch which was the difference maker in a brutal fantasy loss by yours truly. Fuck you Barkow.

The Eagles gave fans many things to be happy about as well as many things to be enraged about, I’m mostly enraged though. I admit I brushed off Cody Parkey’s preseason struggles and simply thought “hey, it’s only preseason, he’ll be fine”. Yet, the nearly automatic kicker from last year missed a 44 yard field goal in a dome that would have put the Eagles back in front and in good position to close out the game. Also, something that has plagued the Eagles for the past… I don’t even know how long it’s been is the secondary. This offseason we threw a boatload of money at Byron Maxwell to come in and anchor the secondary and be our shut down corner. Well, he looked bad, really bad on Monday night. Not only was he consistently torched by Julio Jones, he was also getting beat by a 33 year old Roddy White who’s best playing days are clearly behind him. Maxwell wasn’t bad in his debut, he was fucking horrendous. Another thing I took issue with was the complete lack of discipline, accumulating 10 penalties for 88 yards, many occurring at key moments. On the bright side Kiko Alonso made what was perhaps the best catch in the NFL this weekend, making a diving end zone interception to prevent a touchdown. While the offense was out of sync the entire first half, it looked razor sharp in the second half. If they’re able to consistently replicate their offense from the second half on Monday night, the birds will be a tough team to outscore.

If you didn’t stay up for the second Monday night game, just know that Carlos Hyde is the real deal. He ran all over the Vikings accumulating 168 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries, a total workhorse. The 9ers actually looked pretty good and while a lot of people completely wrote them off this season, they definitely still have enough talent to overachieve.

Film Review: Entourage

Wow. I can’t believe it’s actually here, and I can’t believe I actually saw the freaking Entourage movie. I’m not gonna lie, I got a little emotional when I bought my tickets hungover/ maybe still a little drunk Sunday morning. That sounds ridiculous, I’m aware, but I’ve always felt a strong connection to the TV show during it’s impressive run on HBO. It wasn’t necessarily that I related to the show (even though I find myself and Vinny to be basically the same person), I don’t drive fancy cars around (yet) and party with Hollywood’s hottest celebs. But in a way I guess, yeah, I really could relate to the show and it’s themes about friendship and love for your bros and often found myself possessing, or at least striving to possess a lot of the same characteristics as these characters I idolized, like loyalty and fidelity, and in a lot of ways my friends and I do. So, with all that said, how was the fucking movie?

Well, let me first say that even as a big fan, I got a little sick of the show at points during its latter seasons. I thought it lost touch of it’s identity and instead played out like a 30 minute commercial, with more emphasis on trendy name brand products and cameos than on the actual characters and story. However, rest assured the movie was fucking awesome. If you’re a fan of the series, I’m confident you will love this movie. It’s pretty much a mini season, wrapped in an hour and forty five minutes. Each character has their own storylines, but what i liked is that they were all given the appropriate amount of attention. For example, in the movie Turtle has his own little plot points, but it’s not overly intrusive or pervasive and rightfully so, because well, it’s Turtle. I thought his whole limo service, tequila endeavors, and love life became a bit much at the tail end of the shows run but the movie makes sure to give each member of the crew the right amount of attention.

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Also, they did a great job of making sure everyone stuck true to who they really were in the series. Ari was vintage Ari, slinging classic insults and pulling off the most powerful of power moves, Drama was Drama, and so on and so on. Maybe a couple surprises (which were good, especially for E) here and there, but every character was who you knew and loved through all the seasons.

Now, a big part of Entourage is the cameos, and you already knew before even seeing this bad boy that there was going to be a fuck ton. They did a great job with them, they included both classic guests of the show as well as newcomers. They were all mostly really funny, and didn’t seem overly forced or cheesy. The best might have been a certain Super Bowl winner, and not the one who deflated footballs. Like I said, I thought some of the cameos in the later seasons felt forced but that didn’t feel like the case this time, maybe because it was easier to distribute them over the course of a full length feature instead of a half hour show.

All in all, I was thoroughly impressed. I will say that it didn’t really do anything new or different, but perhaps this wasn’t the time to do that. It took what worked during the show and made a bigger, better, version of it and I don’t think that is something that will disappoint any Entourage fans. Most importantly the movie stuck true to what the show was really about, which isn’t just tits and ass and outward facing labels. It stuck true to the themes of love, loyalty, friendship, etc. and for that reason i believe the Entourage movie was a massive success.

Grade: A-

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