Author Archives: Kevin York

Why the 49ers Should Let Dashon Goldson Walk

By Kevin York

Photo Credit: (Brant Ward/The San Francisco Chronicle)

Photo Credit: (Brant Ward/The San Francisco Chronicle)

Yesterday Ryan wrote about the situation involving Alex Smith and his future with the 49ers. Today I want to touch on a decision San Francisco needs to make that’s even more important than the Smith one – the decision on Dashon Goldson’s future. He’s a free agent and they need to decide his status with the team.

I know a lot of San Francisco fans look at Goldson and say, you’ve gotta resign that guy. He’s coming off two straight Pro Bowl seasons, after all. I urge those fans to take a closer look at the situation though.

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The Most Disliked Teams in America

By Kevin York

Two weeks ago I started a series on the Most Disliked entities in sports. I began this little series of posts questioning Forbes original article listing the ten most disliked athletes in America. Since I didn’t agree with all the athletes on their list, I revised it and published my own. I followed that up with a post on the most disliked coaches in America, which I decided on by crowdsourcing answers from my Facebook friends and input from the other Couchletes.

I considered doing a post on the most disliked owners in America, but decided there aren’t really enough that are universally disliked right now. There’s Jerry Jones and….Jerry Jones. You could make an argument for a few others, but I realized most of the owners that we as a general public don’t like aren’t with us anymore. Guys like Al Davis and George Steinbrenner. So instead of going the owner route, I’m just going straight to the final installment, the most disliked teams in America.

In deciding the teams that belong on this list, I decided not to ask for other opinions. Not because I think I’m that smart, but because these disliked teams all really stood out. I think most would agree with the ones on this list – except maybe the fans of these teams.

In reviewing this list, I noticed that the teams on it are all popular with large, dedicated fan bases. That’s part of what makes them so disliked. You’re not going to find a team like the Kansas City Royals or the Milwaukee Bucks on this list. To be disliked as a team, there a few things you need to have:

  • Success: At some point in the team’s history, they have to have seen success. It doesn’t even have to have been recent success, just prolonged.
  • Personalities: There are very few examples of teams that become disliked for reasons other than the people on the field and sidelines. We as the audience connect with people – the players, the coaches, sometimes the owners. By the same token, we develop a dislike for people, not logos or colors or cities.
  • Good fan base: It’s not always the personalities on the field that irritate us. Sometimes it’s the obnoxious people in the stands that we grow to hate.

All ten teams that I list below have all three of these characteristics. So without further ado, here they are. The ten most disliked teams in America, at least from my perspective.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Boston Red Sox

Dallas Cowboys

Duke Blue Devils

Los Angeles Lakers

Miami Heat

New England Patriots

New York Yankees

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Ohio State Buckeyes

So what teams did I miss?

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com

The Most Interesting Offseason Baseball Moves

By Kevin York

Earlier this month, pitchers and catchers reported, marking the official preseason start of baseball season. It seemed like there were a lot of offseason moves, so to kick off the beginning of baseball season, let’s look at some of the most interesting. Notice I didn’t say the best offseason moves or the worst offseason moves. I just want to discuss the most interesting moves.

The Upton brothers, Atlanta – The Braves signed B.J. Upton to their largest free agent contract ever. That’s right. Ever. Think about some of the people that have put that Atlanta uniform on. Dale Murphy, Greg Maddox, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones. Upton’s contract bettered all of them. That’s significant. Nearly equally significant is that Atlanta gave up five players in a trade to acquire B.J.’s brother, Justin. They now have one of the top leadoff men (the top?) in the game and a quality bat in the middle of the order.

Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, Toronto – The Blue Jays’ trade with the Marlins showed the league that they’re serious about winning now, tired of being overshadowed by their AL East brethren for years. Should be their first really good year since the first Cito Gaston tenure.

R.A. Dickey, Toronto – Noticing a theme here? The 1-2-3 combo of Dickey paired with Johnson and Buehrle forms possibly the strongest top of the order in the league.

James Shields and Wade Davis, Kansas City – The Royals decided to go for it. For years they labored with their strong farm system, waiting for young players to develop and hoping they’d be able to get enough production out of them before they got too good and priced themselves out of Kansas City’s price range. The trade for Shields and and Davis, in exchange for promising young talent, shows they’ve decided to go for it now in a weak division instead of waiting for potential talent to develop. Adding Ervin Santana to its rotation helps as well.

Zach Greinke, Los Angeles – The Dodgers continued to spend money, picking up Greinke in the offseason and adding him to a rotation that already includes Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett. To round out the rotation, LA can choose from Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano and Aaran Harang. This has the potential to be a pretty dangerous rotation to compete with division rival San Francisco. As Eric Stephen notes in this article which lists Bill James‘ predictions for the Dodger starters, LA could have their first pair of 200 strikeout pitchers since 2000 in Kershaw and Greinke.

Joakim Soria, Texas – The Rangers already have Joe Nathan as their closer. The signing of Soria gives them possibly the game’s best setup man in front of Nathan, if Soria returns from Tommy John surgery with the same stuff he had prior to it. With its starting rotation again raided in the offseason, it’s vitally important for the Rangers’ bullpen to be strong, especially as its division rival in Anaheim continues to stockpile offensive talent. Soria could provide that added strength.

Edwin Jackson, Chicago Cubs – The addition of Jackson to Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood actually could give the Cubs a pretty decent rotation. The previous three World Series winners were all teams with good starting pitching, pitching so good that it made up for offensive flaws. Now I’m not crazy enough to put the Cubs in that kind of company (this pitching lineup isn’t close to being as strong as those three World Series teams – they’re not even making the playoffs), but I think they will play better than expected, powered by their starting pitching.

Those are my most interesting moves of the offseason. What did I miss?

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com

Quick Slant: The Overuse of Metrics and Analytics by Sports Writers

By Kevin York

When I’m thinking about topics to write on, I like to try and support some of my opinions with stats. I spend time researching, looking for data available that supports my stance. Sometimes I find it, sometimes I don’t. If I don’t, I usually move on to another topic, or at times, proceed with the post I originally thought of, acknowledging in it that I have no data to back up my perspective. I don’t think all sports writers do this though.

The prevalence of metrics and analytics used in sports is quickly increasing. It all started with sabermetrics in baseball. We’re all familiar with the moneyball approach that Billy Beane popularized with the Oakland A’s in the 90s, especially after the concept went mainstream with the release of the movie based on it starring Brad Pitt. Now there’s even a conference dedicated to sports analytics. Everyone wants in on the data action. Which is fine, no great, for franchises; but what about for journalists?

I’ve noticed lately that more and more journalists are including deep stats in their articles. I’m talking advanced. So advanced that those of us that are commoners can’t wrap our heads around them. Not just something like PER in basketball, but crazy things like assist to traveling violation ratio when Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer are in the game at the same time, each with two fouls. Or stolen bases success with men on first and second in the bottom of the third with one out.

I think we’re going a little overboard with the stats. I disagree with a lot of things that ESPN’s Colin Cowherd says, but there’s something he brought up often during the recent election season that I agree with: Americans don’t watch political television for education, they watch it for affirmation. Conservatives watch Sean Hannity and liberals watch Rachel Maddow, not because they want to learn, but because they know what they’re going to hear and it makes them feel better about their own positions. I think the same thing is now happening with sports to a degree. We just look for affirmation.

You can come up with a stat to support almost any position and I’m starting to think a lot of journalists do that to validate: I think Nick Swisher will be a great addition to the Indians. Hmmmm, let me dig deep to find something that affirms that. I know! His number of doubles when two starting pitches are on the DL and the starting second baseman is on the bench. Yes! If Cleveland loses two pitchers, watch for those days when Jason Kipnis is on the bench. Swisher will go off with the doubles!

Ultimately, there’s just one stat that really matters – win/loss ratio. Fellow sports writers, let’s not forget that in our efforts to look overly intelligent.

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com

Quick Slant: The NCAA and its Lack of Institutional Control

By Kevin York

Slant: Reports surface that the NCAA’s investigation into actions by the University of Miami will result in sanctions

Reaction:

If you find the fact that the NCAA is imposing sanctions surprising, you’re not alone. Earlier this year the NCAA admitted to misconduct during its investigation into Miami. It screwed up so bad that some of its evidence had to be thrown out and external investigation was done in the NCAA. Despite these wrongdoings, NCAA commissioner Mark Emmert decided to push forward with the case against Miami. Doesn’t this misconduct, resulting in “tainted evidence” call into question Emmert and his group’s credibility?

I have no problem with the actual allegations against Miami, but I think it’s time for administrative reform within the NCAA. How can you pin a “lack of institutional control” charge on a school when you yourself suffer from that same charge? And on that note, how can lack of institutional control still be used as a charge? Everything falls under that. Wouldn’t “failure to comply to an atmosphere of compliance” (another separate charge used by the NCAA) be the same exact thing? Lack of institutional control is how the NCAA found it appropriate to take action against Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky situation, a decision that is now coming under heavy scrutiny and one lawsuit, potentially more.

After its sanctions against Penn State were announced, Mark Emmert and the NCAA made it clear that a school’s head coaches are in ultimate control of their sporting programs. As ESPN’s Dana O’Neil points out, “Yet on Monday, when the NCAA announced the findings of an external review of its enforcement staff and its actions involving the University of Miami case, NCAA president Mark Emmert made it clear that the buck stopped well short of his office door.”

She goes on to say:

“So far on Emmert’s watch, the NCAA has bungled and fumbled multiple investigations (Cam Newton, Shabazz Muhammad and now Miami); fired two NCAA investigators; saw the exits of two enforcement administrators (director of enforcement Bill Benjamin resigned in June, just eight months after taking the job); and gone well outside of its own rulebook and sidestepped due process to punish Penn State, which generated a lawsuit from none other than the state of Pennsylvania.”

Time for the NCAA to look in the mirror. Time to reform yourself so you actually possess the authority and credibility to judge others.

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com

The Most Disliked Coaches in America

By Kevin York

While writing my post last week giving my thoughts on Forbes’ list of the ten most disliked athletes in America, I began wondering who would appear on a broadened list of the most disliked sports figures in America. How would coaches be included? What about owners? At the end of that post I decided I would do a follow up assessing the most disliked coaches in America. Since then I decided to do a larger series where I would look at coaches, owners and finally teams. Today I’ll focus on coaches. Watch for posts examining owners and teams in following weeks.

As I thought about disliked coaches, I started thinking about what makes a coach disliked. Two things immediately jumped out at me – success and arrogance. Everyone tends to hate a winner. It’s just a fact in sports. Call it jealousy, call it envy, hatred and dislike builds for people that see success, even moreso for those that consistently attain success. People also hate arrogance. It’s cool for a while if it’s your coach (everyone else hates it), but the minute your team begins to struggle, that bravado you used to love quickly becomes irritating. Rex Ryan is the prime example. Jim Harbaugh is a more recent one. Jimbo’s fiery personality played well to fans in the San Francisco area and really all across the NFL, especially after the quiet, conservative approach of Mike Singletary. However, his schtick began to irritate many non-Niner fans in his second year. The minute he encounters difficulties I can foresee San Francisco fans following suit.

I have my own thoughts on the most disliked coaches in America, but I wanted to get broader perspective for this post so I asked my fellow Couchletes for their thoughts, as well as my friends on Facebook. The coaches listed below, were chosen based on the feedback I received from those two sources (I got a lot of responses and couldn’t use them all). I listed them in alphabetical order as opposed to ranking them 1-10.

Bill Belichik
Although “the hoodie” has won over the hearts of fans throughout the New England area, much of the rest of the country despises him. Why? Success. Well, that and a little thing called spygate. Personally, I don’t dislike Belichik; I actually respect him, but can see why others wouldn’t like him. He carries a certain arrogance, but it’s not a boisterous, loud-mouthed type of arrogance, it’s more of a quiet “I know I’m smarter than you” arrogance. That’s the type of ego I can respect, he knows he doesn’t have to back it up with a lot of bluster.

John Calipari
Calipari is cocky and knows it, embraces it even, to the extent that he passes the cockiness onto his teams. That’s not the reason he’s on this list though; no, his status on this list is cemented because of his role in bastardizing college basketball by not just cherishing, but wholly and fully adopting, the one and done system the NBA now pushes on promising young players. Throughout his career he’s toed the gray boundary line of the NCAA, falling on the wrong side just as much as he’s ended up on the right side. Sure, he puts together good teams, but there are always questions about the legality of how he formed these teams. Quiz – how many Final Four trips has Calipari made throughout his career at UMass, Memphis and Kentucky? If you said four, you’re wrong. It’s only two, his two most recent while at Kentucky. The NCAA vacated Calipari’s Final Four appearances while at UMass and Memphis due to rules violations. Based on his past behavior, we’re probably just looking at a matter of time until his Kentucky trips are vacated.

Pete Carroll
Many people have built up a dislike for Carroll based on his tenure at USC, one that was filled with greatness, conference titles and national titles, but also egotism, vanity, swagger, and toward the end, scandal. Carroll’s Trojan teams didn’t win any favors through their frequent tendency to run up the score on inferior teams or their habit of running others noses in their supreme ability. That made it all the more ironic when Carroll bitched and whined about Jim Harbaugh and his Stanford Cardinal running up the score on Pete’s Trojans. When Carroll got to the NFL, his antics continued, most notably on two occasions that continued to build an anti-Pete following:
1.) After the Seahawks beat the Packers due to a horrendous, blatant missed call by the officials, Pete ran around the field, giddy as a school girl who just learned the popular boy asked her best friend if she likes him. After the game, he then talked about what a superb game his team played to ‘earn’ the win (both teams actually played really sloppy, Pete; what game were you watching?)
2.) In the Seahawk’s playoff game against the Falcons, Carroll tried to ice Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant prior to his field goal attempt at the end of regulation to win the game. Bryant missed the kick, but Carroll had been granted the timeout, leading ‘ol Pete to whine to the referees that he didn’t call a timeout. We all saw it, Pete. Fox was even so gracious as to pull it up on video to show all of America you clearly told an official you wanted a time out.

Gene Chizik
Chizik might not have the national presence of some of the other coaches on this list, but those that do know of him, don’t like him much. Chizik gained some national notoriety for his one season tenure as co-defensive coordinator at the University of Texas under Mack Brown, though he only held the position for one year before leaving to become head coach at Iowa State. Chizik signed a six year deal with the Cyclones, but only served two of those years, leaving after compiling a 5-19 record to become the head coach at Auburn. He was one of the earliest examples of college coaches showing no loyalty to the school paying them. Chizik became best known for winning a national championship at Auburn behind the play of one year wonder, quarterback Cam Newton. So far you’re probably reading this thinking, he doesn’t sound that dislikable. Unfortunately that national title season was stained with controversy surrounding Newton. The quarterback originally started his college career at Florida, before being suspended from the team for stealing a laptop from another student (which was found to be in his possession). He transferred from Florida to a junior college for a year, before coming to Auburn. However, suspicions were raised that Newton’s father had run a play for payment scheme before choosing Alabama, attempting to get interested schools to pay substantial sums of money to get Newton. It was found that Newton’s father made this type of arrangement with Mississippi State, but oddly enough, Newton chose Auburn, leading many to speculate that Chizik and Auburn had come to a similar arrangement. While the NCAA was unable to find proof of payments after launching one of its laughable ‘investigations,’ the damage to Chizik was done. He now carries the reputation of a dirty coach.

Jim Harbaugh
My fellow Couchletes will disagree with me on this one and blame his inclusion in the list to my personal distaste for Harbaugh; however, I wasn’t considering including him until his name was mentioned by others after asking about the most disliked coaches. I mentioned him in my opening and will now expand on it a bit. The 49ers were a lowly team when Harbaugh took the reigns as head coach. So in his first season, when he started winning, people thought it was a good story. They looked past his sideline ranting and raving antics. Harbaugh gained more national attention in his second season after leading San Francisco to the NFC Championship game. More eyes were on him now and those eyes became tired of brash and blustery personality. Jimbo, you’re not a player anymore. It’s time to learn to keep your emotions in check. You don’t need to run up and down the sidelines screaming like a lunatic. And I know this will astonish you, but your team does commit penalties. So please, stop bitching and whining like a spoiled child every time a penalty is called on your team. The league and the officials aren’t out to get you.

Lane Kiffin
Lane Kiffin has always come across as a snot-nosed little brat. His father is the great defensive coach Monte Kiffin, and I question if Lane used his family roots to skirt by. As a head coach, Kiffin certainly hasn’t been impressive. He seemed like a good assistant at USC under Pete Carroll, convincing Raiders owner Al Davis of this so much that Davis made him the youngest head coach in NFL history. He lasted less than two years with the Raiders, being fired four games into his second season. He compiled a 5-15 record with Oakland. He then left to coach the University of Tennessee, lasting one 7-6 season before being poached by USC to become their head coach. In his one season in Knoxville he raised a lot of chaos though, being investigated for NCAA violations and also publicly accusing then-Florida head coach of violations. Lane Kiffin’s an immature hot head.

Bobby Petrino
Petrino is currently the head coach of Western Kentucky, not really a hot college football job, huh? The reason he’s there is due to his past mistakes. While serving as head coach at Arkansas, Petrino crashed his motorcycle. After initially saying he was alone on the motorcycle, it came out that a former Arkansas volleyball player, whom Petrino had just hired for the football staff, was on the back of the bike with him. He later revealed that the woman was not just a passenger during the crash, but was someone he’d been having an affair with, prior to even hiring her to his football staff. Petrino was fired for the incident. But that’s not all that gets Bobby on this list. Petrino was hired as football coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, with the intent of building the team into a winner around star quarterback Michael Vick. Of course, Vick would not play that season after facing federal dog fighting charges. After 13 games, Petrino put together a 3-10 record and decided to take the head coaching job at Louisville. He essentially left the team in the middle of the night, informing his team through four sentences typed on a piece of paper placed on each locker. Classy.

Rex Ryan
Rexy’s spot on this list is due to his boisterous and often obnoxious personality. While there are weird, yet funny, stories about him such as his foot fetish with his wife and his tattoo of his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey, Ryan hasn’t really done anything like Petrino, Calipari or Chizik. His personality just rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

Nick Saban
Success breeds jealousy, envy and dislike. Saban is the Bill Belichik of college football. For all intents and purposes, he’s a respectable guy, making sure his team plays the right way. But, damn he’s seen a lot of success, which brings out haters.

Roy Williams
Williams may seem like an odd fit for this list. He’s largely on it just because he pissed off so many people for leaving Kansas for North Carolina. He denied the Tar Heels once and then succumbed to them three years later.

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com

On Short Sleeve Basketball Jerseys

By Kevin York

Photo Credit: (Adidas)

Photo Credit: (Adidas)

On Monday, the Golden State Warriors announced that for three of its remaining home games, the team will wear the NBA’s “first modern short sleeve jersey.” The only question I had upon hearing this news was, why? After seeing the first few photos released of these new jerseys, I was still left asking why.

Anyone that played in a summer basketball league growing up knows what it’s like to wear a sleeved t-shirt while playing. It’s not ideal. The sleeves can affect the movement of your arms when shooting, rebounding, passing, actually they can affect movement in nearly every facet of the game. That’s why most kids in those leagues cut off the sleeves (that, and to a lesser degree, for looks). It allows for better range of motion with the shoulders, especially when it comes to shooting. When I saw these new sleeved home alternates that Golden State unveiled I was pretty shocked. Not only is it a t-shirt, it’s a tight t-shirt. I know Adidas, the manufacturer, raved about how light the jersey is and how the fabric stretches so the sleeves aren’t the type of hindrance that traditional sleeves can be. They went so far down the ‘innovative’ path that they tied the Warriors wearing the new jersey to the team’s proximity to Silicon Valley. Innovative jerseys for a team based in an innovative area. Sure, Adidas. Seems like a stretch to me, and not a good stretch like your new jerseys are supposed to allow.

Photo Credit: (San Jose Mercury News)

Photo Credit: (San Jose Mercury News)

I don’t know about you, but that photo doesn’t make the sleeve look like it would allow you to move around a lot.

Let’s be honest. Adidas didn’t introduce these because they wanted to make some big basketball jersey performance innovation. The performance enhancements seen from a jersey are minimal anyway. They introduced these for money, pure and simple.

The problem is, THESE THINGS ARE UGLY. If another team was going to follow Golden State’s lead, it would be for money reasons, not for performance reasons. Big mistake by Adidas. Did they expect teams to line up their door, wanting their own t-shirt jersey? Will the Nets, widely seen as the team now at the forefront of basketball fashion, be trotting out in these things next year? No, we won’t see another team adopting these things. Who ever thought this was a good idea? Are we seeing that many problems with the traditional jersey style that every team in the league wears? No, we’re not seeing any problems.

Adidas is calling these the “adizero NBA short sleeve uniform system.” Really? System? It’s a shirt, guys. A more fitting name might be the “bizarro NBA t-shirt jersey.”

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com

Time to Focus on College Basketball: Things are Getting Interesting Now…

By Kevin York

I think I’m like a majority of American sports fans when it comes to college basketball. I follow the sport, but I don’t really follow it until the NFL season ends. At that point my sports watching time really opens up and I can dedicate more time to following the NCAA. Up to now, we haven’t really written much about college basketball. In fact, the one and only post that I wrote about it, wasn’t even so much about the game or season itself, but about conference realignment. I think the frequency with which we write about college basketball will start to change a bit. Now things are getting really interesting.

In case anyone didn’t notice, this past week was quite a week for college basketball. Four of the top five ranked teams lost last week – #1 Indiana (to Illinois), #2 Florida (to Arkansas), #3 Michigan (to Wisconsin) and #5 Kansas (to TCU and Oklahoma). The AP rankings were released today and Indiana remained in the top spot, yes, after a loss, largely behind their defeat of #10 Ohio State and the crumbling of the other teams around them near the top of the rankings. Duke and Miami are right on their heels though, trailing by only 44 and 60, respectively (that’s a very, very small margin of points).

Prior to Indiana holding onto its number one ranking, the AP Poll saw a change in its top team for five consecutive weeks. I look at this season’s college basketball landscape and have a feeling the NCAA tournament in March is going to be really interesting and possibly the most entertaining we’ve seen in years. For the first half of the season I’ve thought three teams stood out as better than the others – Indiana, Michigan and Duke. They’re the most complete, experienced and deepest teams in the game. However, over the past month, I’ve been getting the feeling more and more that there are a number of teams that could make a deep run in the tournament and reach the Final Four. Syracuse, Florida, Miami, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas, Louisville and Butler all fit in that group. But if you look deeper and analyze recent results and performance, teams like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Kansas State, Georgetown, Pitt, Oregon and even the youngsters at Kentucky could find themselves playing in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta at the beginning of April. That’s 20 teams I just named…

If you haven’t been watching much college basketball, it’s time to start.

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com

NFL Season Wrap-Up

By Kevin York

Well, that’s it. The NFL season is over – 512 regular season games, 10 playoff games and then the Super Bowl. We were along for the entire ride, from predicting the records for all 32 teams to a series of posts leading up to and following the Super Bowl. Now it’s time to lay this football season to rest.

This doesn’t mean we’re going to stop talking football until August. That’s just not possible since it’s the favorite sport of a majority of The Couchletes; in fact, this week Ryan will be publishing a post on the under appreciation of Frank Gore. Laying the season to rest just means we won’t be talking about it quite as much as we now move on to focus more on sports like basketball, baseball and even golf and soccer…at least until we start talking about the NFL Draft (and until I start talking about all the changes the Packers need to make next year, a post that will probably come sooner rather than later).

To officially wrap up this season, I thought I’d highlight some of our favorite posts from this past football season, along with a few original editor’s comments. Enjoy!

Dear Kevin (September 11, 2012)
One of the few posts that Rahul has written, this one led to a vicious and angry response from me. What can I say? I don’t really take Packers losses well. Or the trash talk that comes from friends after a Packers loss.

Dear Roger Goodell (September 25, 2012)
A classic. The post that single handedly brought back the ‘real’ refs. At least I’ll continue to tell myself that for years. This post also happens to be The Couchletes’ all time most viewed post.

The Seattle Seahawks: Top of the League or Overrated? (October 17, 2012)
Well…turns out I was wrong on this one. The Seahawks ended up being one of the top teams in the league. In my defense, I was still bitter about the loss win loss the Packers suffered in Seattle when I wrote the post.

Are We Seeing the Real Jim Harbaugh Emerge? (November 27, 2012)
I got some healthy criticism for this one, largely from my fellow Couchletes. Yes, I’m pretty critical of Jim Harbaugh, but I’ve been hearing more and more that others aren’t fans of his either. I think I just got there sooner than others.

The Evolution of the NFL Cornerback (January 11, 2013)
A good post by Ryan about a subject that seems to be overlooked by many. The best way to combat some of these high powered passing offenses is to ‘grow’ cornerbacks in a different way. Pun intended (you’ll get the pun after you read the post).

And in case you missed any of them, here are the awards we handed out recognizing the top players and coaches of the NFL season:

  • The “official” Couchletes’ awards. Our choices for MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year.
  • A division by division analysis of the top players of the year and preview to the Couchletes’ awards.
  • My 2012 All Pro team

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com

In Case You Missed It: The Couchletes on the Super Bowl

By Kevin York

The Super Bowl is over and I never wrote much in the aftermath of the game. Nothing about my thoughts on the game or my reaction to play calling. I decided to leave that to the Niner fans on staff here. I’m not going to write a recap of the game now, but as I thought about it, I realized we had some good posts leading up to the game, and also a couple following it, so I decided to compile all of them in one place. Just in case you missed any. To give you something new, I’m including a few editor’s thoughts on each post.

The Ray Lewis Double Standard – The Ray-Ray
Ok, so this one wasn’t posted directly before the Super Bowl. To be honest, I didn’t think the Ravens had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting there (past both Denver and New England) so I posted it earlier to make sure it was up before Baltimore got eliminated. I was wrong on that. But, as the Ravens went deeper into the playoffs, more of the mainstream media followed my lead and started bringing up Lewis’ shadowy past. They saw my post, obviously.

Super Bowl XLVII Prop Bets
Matt’s first post on The Couchletes was a good one. As he shared in a later follow-up post, he ended up going one for four on his prop bets. I have a feeling a lot of people lost out on those this year though given how crazy the game played out.

The Best Offensive Line Story of the Year: The Up and Down Tale of Bryant McKinnie
McKinnie had a solid game, helping keep Joe Flacco pretty clean for the duration of the Super Bowl, except for that one play where McKinnie got caught looking inside helping on a double team and Ahmed Brooks ran right outside of him and sacked Flacco for a considerable loss. Other than that, he had a pretty good game.

The Passing of the Torch?
I ended this post saying Willis isn’t performing in Ray Lewis territory at this stage of his career; but in the Super Bowl, although his Niners lost, Willis outplayed Lewis.

The Couchletes’ Super Bowl Picks
Mark and I both correctly picked the Ravens to win the game, although neither of us got the final score, but I was close ┬áin picking a three point win. Got the margin right at least. I was dead wrong on my MPV though picking Ray Rice. Big miss. I over thought it. Mark was correct in choosing Joe Flacco though. Kind of…

Super Bowl Media Day (Next year we’ll be there)
I stand by my statement. Next year we’ll be there.

Super Regrets
Monday was a tough day for San Francisco fans and Matt pretty accurately captured the thoughts that I heard from most Niner fans the day after a rough loss.

So God made an Ad Man.
A hilarious post from Mark telling the story of him watching the Super Bowl for the commercials and providing his thoughts on the best and worst.

By Kevin York
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevin_york
You can contact Kevin at kevin@thecouchletes.com