Champ Bailey hangs ’em up. NFL week 9

I feel obligated to start this post with my thoughts on retirement Champ Bailey. After spending the first four years of his career with Washington, he was traded to Denver for Clinton Portis in a blockbuster deal before the 2004 season. He instantly became a pillar of the Broncos defense for most of the remainder of his career until injuries accelerated his decline beginning in late 2012. In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should mention that Champ was probably my favorite Bronco of the post Elway era.

His numbers are somewhat modest for such a long career. Just 52 career interceptions in 700+ games. Please, don’t let that fool you. He was the epitome of a “shutdown corner.” No one was stupid enough to throw at him, and when they did, they pay for most of the time. For most of his career, he was matched up against the other team’s best receiver. Most of the time, he made them a nonfactor. I honestly feel that I was at Champ Bailey’s last great game of his career. It was in Cincinnati in the middle of 2012 season. Well into his 30s, Bailey ran routes for the much younger fangled wide receiver AJ Green all afternoon. The accolades speak for themselves. 12 time Pro Bowl selection, 7-time All-Pro and a member of the NFL’s all decade team of the 2000s. Oh by the way, he could tackle too, this sets him apart from most defensive backs. Most can either tackle or cover, not both. He is also well regarded in a league full of scumbags. He will waltz into the Hall of Fame in five years. I will miss watching him play and still wear his jersey occasionally.

Switching gears, here are my thoughts on some of the biggest games of week 9.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh- The Steelers are quietly putting it all together after consecutive wins over Houston and a thumping of a very overrated Indianapolis team. They may have the best “triplets” in football with Ben Roethlisberger Le’veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Baltimore is coming off a difficult loss at Cincinnati. They are very talented, but can sometimes be hard to watch on office. A great game for Sunday Night Football. I expect people (other than me) to take notice of the Steelers after this week. Pit. 21 Bal 10

San Diego at Miami- This is my favorite pick of the week. I’m surprised at how quickly people are cooling off on the Chargers. They may be the second best team in the entire AFC Their last two losses are to Kansas City in Denver. Denver is Denver, and Kansas City is the most underrated team in the NFL. I expect the Chargers to take out some frustrations on a Miami team that is better than most people (including I) realize. SD 31 Mia 20.

Denver at New England- I will not be making an official pick for this game because I cannot do so objectively. Denver’s defense is playing really well right now. A fact lost on most people because of the attention the quarterback is getting. The pass rush led by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware is flat out scary. On offense, the emergence of Ronnie Hillman has provided the running game and a much-needed boost. Reports of the Patriots demise were greatly exaggerated following the blowout loss in Kansas City. They are clicking on all cylinders right now as well. In recent matchups with New England, Denver has had no answer for TE Rob Gronkowski. They will need to find one on Sunday. I expect to sweat this one out in the early evening on Sunday. This game is really a coin flip

Jacksonville at Cincinnati-Playing to my audience here. There really isn’t much to analyze. Cincinnati is pretty good and Jacksonville is terrible. I will say this. There is absolutely no reason for the Bengals to play AJ Green in this game, they should not need him to win this game. So I say sit him one more week just to be safe. Jacksonville is improving and rookie quarterback Blake Bortles has shown flashes of brilliance. However, they are still miles away from competing with the team like the Bengals on the road. The Bengals and Steelers will have a legendary fistfight down the stretch for the AFC North crown. Cin 30 Jac 10.

Indianapolis at New York Giants-If you ever wanted proof that the NFL truly is a week to week league, look no further than the Colts. They shut out a decent Cincinnati offense two weeks ago, only to follow it up by allowing 51 points to Pittsburgh last week. The Giants have been the toughest team in the league to figure out this side of Chicago. When he’s been protected Eli Manning has been brilliant this year. Also, I’m just not sold on Indianapolis beyond Andrew Luck and the fact that they play in a weak division. I’ll take the Giants to bounce back after two clunkers and pull the minor upset on Monday Night Football to stay on the fringe of the NFC playoff race. NYG 24 Ind 20.

A quick note, I’m staying away from the Arizona/Dallas game due to unresolved injury questions for both teams. Enjoy your weekend of football. College football on Saturday should be really good as well.

Introduction

Welcome to Dylan’s Dose of Reality Sports Blog. My name is Dylan Streibig. This is my first legitimate foray into the world of blogging. Before I get into posting actual content, it will be helpful for me to tell my readers a bit of my story, passion for sports, and purpose for this blog.

I’m a 21-year-old college student, more specifically I am a senior at Wright State University majoring in Mass Communications. I was born and raised in Cincinnati. I’m looking to cover sports in some form or fashion for a living someday. I’m also currently the host of an on-campus sports talk radio show that airs Friday mornings and covers mostly mainstream sports. I’m starting this blog for a couple reasons, most importantly to get my name out there and gain additional experience in covering, and providing insight on sporting issues.

Sports is the only thing I have ever felt passionate enough about to want to make a living at. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, so playing sports was not a realistic option. However, I was born in the sports loving family. I have been obsessed with sports for as long as I can remember. I was lying about my age at 6 years old to get into Yahoo fantasy football leagues, with my parents knowledge. I fared pretty well in these leagues. Today, I am an obsessed fan of just about every sport from football to tennis. My two favorite sports are pro football and tennis. However, I consider myself very knowledgeable about college football, MLB, college basketball, the NBA, and NASCAR.

I have a few favorite teams and players that I support with my heart and soul. These will seem incredibly random to most of my readers, but I’ll be happy to explain if asked. I’m a lifelong Denver Broncos fan and live and die with them every Sunday. My fandom for the Baltimore Orioles is much the same. Additionally, I’m a huge fan of Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball. Though my support for Arizona basketball will never fade. I’m getting tired of them ripping my heart out every March. Lastly, I consider Maria Sharapova a huge influence on my life. I try to adopt her fighting spirit in everything I do. That is the main reason why I support her and want her to win every match she plays (get your minds out of the gutter). I have no problem evaluating these teams and players objectively.

I plan to post to this blog about once a week at that start in hopes of slowly building an audience. Posts will mostly consist of my predictions, which I will take full ownership of for better or for worse. Also, I will post my opinions on the various hot sports topics of the week. Another form of content will be posting stories that I feel are not getting enough coverage in the mainstream media. My goal is to provide the fresh perspective of a sports fan, rather than that of a former coach or player. Also, I have been an avid wrestling fan all my life. So, I may occasionally post wrestling related content on this blog. I am so looking forward to starting this process and seeing where this takes me.