#MarshawnLynch #BeastMode no more? #12thman

beast mode celebrationMarshawn Lynch‘s return was supposed to make the Seattle Seahawks unbeatable. We assumed that after an eight game layoff, that Lynch would bolster an offense that had already been firing at all cylinders. But after a modest 6 carry 20 yard performance the truth had become clear. An offense that once fed off of the Beast no longer needed him to win. In his absence Russell Wilson became a MVP candidate, Doug Baldwin had a career year, and rookie Tyler Lockett became an All-Pro. Although Lynch’s leadership and personality had been missed his contributions this year, 3 touchdowns and only 1 hundred yard game suggest that he had all but been forgotten.

For six seasons the success of the Seahawks rested soley on the broad shoulders of Lynchmarshawn earthquake run whose punishing style of running led to lots of wins, caused a earth quake, and made him a sure fire Canton-bound Hall-of-Famer. Each time Lynch took a handoff we all waited to see something amazing and rarely were we ever disappointed. But after the run that did not happen in Super Bowl 49 everything changed, either due to poor play calling or father time, it appears Beast Mode had been tamed.

Throughout the season a new culprit was identified as the reason why Lynch wasn’t producing like the decibel defying running back we had remembered. One week it was the marshawn cardinal runSeahawks OC Darell Bevell, then it was a poor O-line, and by week 6 a sports hernia was diagnosed as the source of Lynch’s ineffectiveness.

After seeing other running backs have success behind the Seahawks O-line, after two months of rest we assumed that the Beast would return healthy and ready to destroy anyone in his path. But boy were we wrong instead we saw a running back who was only a shadow of himself. Not once did we consider how 2,744 carries would wear on his body. Not once did we consider that a decade of delivering marshawn marshawnpunishment would have finally caught up with him.

Maybe there are a few more years left in the thirty year old running back. No matter how many more yards or touchdowns Lynch scores, in 2016 we learned that the Canton-bound running back is the Beast-mode no more. No matter what Lynch does next, we all know he will do it his way, because HE’S ABOUT THAT ACTION BOSS. Will he retire? What jersey will he wear next? Stay tuned… I know I will.

Super Bowl XLVIII: Who wins? Defense or League MVP

richard sherman and peyton manningOffense sales tickets, defense wins championships. Although regular seasons are often highlighted by big plays and high scoring affairs, the postseason has proven time and time again to be a totally different animals. Teams with high-powered offenses may have what it take to make it to Super Bowl, but history suggests that it has rarely proven to be enough to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in victory.

Only four Super Bowl winners were led by dynamic offenses (Ram 00′ Colts 07′ Saints 10′ Packers 11′). Although all four of these teams kevin dyson and london fletcherwere led by league MVPs they each had dynamic play makers on the defensive-side of the ball who made THE PLAY to seal the win ( London Fletcher, Rams 00′ Bob Sanders, Colts 07′  Tracy Porter, Saints 10′ & Clay Matthews 11‘).

History appears to be on the Seattle Seahawks side because of their dominant defense. Since the Legion of BoomSeahawks offense has been pedestrian at times their defense led by the Legion of Boom will be relied on heavily to slow down the potent record-setting Broncos offense, a task they are more than capable of doing.

But history also suggests that the Denver Broncos armed with a league MVP certainly possess the essential ingredient of past Super Bowl teams peyton manning aaron rodgers drew breeswho won without the luxury of having a dominant defense. Every team who has won a Super Bowl without a dominant defense were led by a Canton-bound league MVP quarterback, and Peyton Manning certainly fits that criteria to a tee.

When the clocks strikes zero and a champion is crowned history will repeat itself yet again. If the Seahawks win, the moniker defense wins championships will be affirmed. If the Broncos win, the league MVP Tyree catchCanton-bound quarterback exception will rain true as well, for the fifth time in 14 years.

How will Super Bowl XLVIII be remembered?  Birth of a dynasty or the end of an era. Each Super Bowl has highlights that we all remember where we were and what we were doing when we witnessed it. What dynamic play will we witness on Superbowl Sunday that we all will add to our ever growing sports highlight list? Stay tuned… I know I will.

 

 

2013 the year of the Cardinal

year of the cardinalThe Stanford victory over the boyishly frail mighty Ducks cemented 2013 as the year of the Cardinal. Although no national championships or final four banners were won an endless list of athletes from the Farm have sent shock waves to throughout the sports world altering perspectives, challenging bias and making many people uncomfortable along the way.

Seattle Seahawks All-Pro Richard Sherman, class of 2010, altered our view richard shermanon what many thought a Stanford graduate was supposed to look like and act. However, behind the dreadlocks, trash talk and brovado this football genius terrorized opponents and made life uneasy for opposing quarterbacks. Week in and week out he showed fans it was not only his mouth that brought him praise, but his superb play on the field.

As apart of the college football playoff inaugural committee Condoleezza Rice, class of 1981, will play a key role in giving fans what they have been begging decades for. Although her appointment ruffled a few feathers in the Plains her contribution along former Cardinal football coach Ty Willingham and others will play a key role in determining future national champions for decades to come.

Both Jason Collins and Jonathan Martin have caused franchises and their front offices to jason collins be trueacknowledge the pink elephant in the room – homosexuality and mental health. Although both of these men are colossal in size their situations reminded us that you can not judge a book by its cover. Martin and Collins may never play another down or grab another rebound but their contribution to the sports world will be immeasurable.

When we think about Stanford we think about academics but in 2013 the Cardinal truly stood alone. Who will be the next Cardinal from the Farm to show up and show out? There is certainly no shortage of candidates: stanford athleticsIndianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, is it you? Does Shayne Skov have another goal line strip in him? How about you Coach Johnny Dawkins? Or maybe 3-time All-American Chiney Ogwumike has a title run in her? The possibilities are endless, who will it be? Stay tuned…I know I will? – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

NFL Training Camp Reality Check

Green Bay Packers training campEvery year 32 NFL teams attempt to either improve on a disappointing season or try to duplicate the success of season’s past. After the big name free agents have been signed and the next crop of rookies have shaken the hand of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, playtime is over, the suits are off and the real work begins.

Although the colors that NFL fans wear varies in colors and stripes their passion is all the same but which team is destined to disappoint and which team poised to surprise? EachMaclin Koppen Pitta football season we are assured of three certainties: (1) An injury will occur ruining a team’s playoff chances; (2) An undrafted free agent or late round pick will have a breakout season; (3) The preseason Super Bowl Favorite will fall short.

Last year sixth round pick running back Alfred Morris entered Washington Redskins training camp as an unknown that became a star who ended the season fourth in the league in rushing and played an intricate role in the Redskins resurgence. Small school prospect Bobby Wagner from perennial powerhouse Utah State made his presence felt with the Seattle Seahawks finishing seventh in the league in tackles. Which rookie rg3 colin kaepernick russell wilsonfrom the 2013 class will go from unanimous to stardom?

Although pundits have crowned the San Franciso 49ers as Super Bowl favorites each year we are reminded that games are won and lost with grit, blood, sweat, and tenacity. In the NFL nothing is given every inch must be earned, and each game will be tougher than the next. Now that opposing defensive coordinators have had an entire summer to study the tendencies of Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kapernick what will these promising second year starters do for an encore?

nfl training camp mapWith training camp now in full swing in small towns all over the country each day a new revelation is revealed. Although no games have been played or touchdowns recorded training camp will dictate the fate of all 32 teams, and ultimately determine if your team hoists the Lombardi or is forced to go back to the drawing board. Training camp may just be practice, but remember practice make perfect. Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

San Francisco 49ers – Quest for six, who’s the dummy now?

jim harbaugh san francisco 49ersWhen San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was given a clipboard and forced to watch Colin Kaepernick after leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship game last year many questioned Coach Jim Harbaugh. By deciding to go with Kaepernick many believed Harbaugh broke the cardinal rule that a starter does not lose his job because of an injury.

Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith

Ezra Shaw – Getty Images

Not one to give a hoot about public perception Harbaugh ignored the criticism refusing to reconsider his choice even after the 42-13 blow out against their division rival the Seattle Seahawks where Kaepernick looked both confused and overwhelmed.

Although Harbaugh had supreme confidence in his elite defense he knew that if he wanted to be in Super Bowl XLVII he would have to expand his ball control offense. With Kaepernick at the helm the 49ers offense began to finally make use of their play-making pass catchers Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. The transition to the spread offense took half the season to perfect but it was necessary if the 49ers truly wanted something more.

kaepernickingBlessed with elite athleticism and an ever improving arm Kaepernick saved his best performances for the playoffs: 496 yards passing, 202 yards rushing, and 6 total touchdowns. Many feared that inexperience would be his downfall but his play against some of the NFL’s top defenses says otherwise.

After the San Francisco 49ers lost to the sub .500 Saint Louis Rams many expected the Kaepernick experiment to end. Many thought that if the 49ers could not beat the lottery bound Rams what chance would they have against the arm of Aaron Rodgers or

San Francisco 49ers fans

Ian Walton – Getty Images

the dynamic wide receiver duo of Julio Jones and Roddy White in Atlanta. Three playoff games and one NFC Championship later Harbaugh can lean back in his seat and pose this question: Who’s the dummy now? As the San Francisco 49ers gears up for Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans their match-up with the Baltimore Ravens promises to be one for the ages. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google