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[The Athletic] Rebooted: When Murdoch tried to buy Manchester United

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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jan. 8, 2001

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
  • Paul Heyman revealed this week that he's in serious negotiations to sell either a majority share or possibly all of ECW. He said that he's recognized the company can't survive the way things are right now. A few weeks ago, Heyman had talked about scaling ECW back down to a regional promotion but due to the rising costs of syndicated TV, even that isn't feasible. Heyman said he would be willing to walk away from the business side of ECW if the right offer came along to save the company. It would have to guarantee a major cable clearance, wipe out their debt (estimated at somewhere between $4-$6.5 million), and they would have to build an infrastructure to handle promotions, PR, contracts, etc. Basically, Heyman and a couple of handpicked assistants like Tommy Dreamer and Gabe Sapolsky handle all that stuff now personally. It's still a real mom & pop operation. Anyway, with all the potential buyers Heyman has discussed this with, they all want him to stay with the company and handle the creative end, which is his greatest strength anyway. But Heyman has spent so much of his time for the last 18 months in meetings trying to secure TV deals, licensing deals, loans, etc. in order to keep ECW alive that the creative process has been hampered severely. ECW has been fortunate so far to not lose much of its talent, because neither WWF or WCW is hiring anyone at the moment. But Heyman said that if/when Bischoff takes control of WCW, he expects the first thing he'll do is target ECW's talent, which in turn would lead to WWF making offers also, just to keep Bischoff from cherry picking their best guys. "It's the era of the big boys," Heyman told Dave. "We're too big to be small-time, but we're too small to be big-time. The reality is ECW as its presently structured isn't viable." On ECW's website, they are hyping something major will happen at the upcoming Guilty As Charged PPV, but Heyman assures Dave it's just a surprise wrestler, not anything regarding the future of the company.
  • Just 1 year ago, Antonio Inoki seemed like an old-timer who's time had long since passed by. His UFO promotion, based around some weird hybrid of worked shoot MMA/wrestling couldn't give away tickets and his attempt to groom his protege Naoya Ogawa in his image was floundering. Now, as 2001 begins, Inoki's booking and match-making ideas have turned PRIDE into the hottest thing in the business of wrestling or MMA. It was capped off by Inoki's Bom Ba Ye New Year's Eve spectacular, which drew a reported 42,000+ fans to see Inoki's vision of pro wrestling, with a mix of traditional pro wrestlers and PRIDE fighters. Shinya Hashimoto worked the show, beating PRIDE's Gary Goodridge. Ken Shamrock (accompanied by former on-screen WWF sister Ryan Shamrock) and Don Frye teamed up against Nobuhiko Takada and Keiji Muto (who had a shaved head). Shamrock and Frye got into it after the match, to set up a future match with them (whether wrestling or PRIDE, who knows). And the show was capped off by Antonio Inoki going to a 3 minute draw with Renzo Gracie in an "exhibition" match. It was historical for several reasons, the first being that Renzo will now likely go down in the record books as Inoki's final opponent ever (yup). And because it was also the first time a Gracie family member did an obviously worked match, which the whole family had always vowed to never do. The show ended with Inoki doing his catchphrase as the clock struck midnight to usher in 2001. And then he slapped 108 people. You see, Inoki does this thing where it's seen as an honor to be slapped by him because he transfers his fighting spirit to you that way. Anyway, among the 108 people he slapped were Hashimoto, Bas Rutten, Yuji Nagata, and Tatsumi Fujinami. (Nowadays, we all look back at the 2000s Inoki era and how his obsession with MMA nearly killed NJPW, but it's easy to forget that, at least initially, this whole way of thinking was a massive success. Until it wasn't).
WATCH: Antonio Inoki slaps a whole buncha people
  • Observer Award winners will be announced next week but since all the votes are safely in, Dave decides to give his own personal opinion on who the wrestler of the year is. He bases his pick on a lot of different criteria. In-ring ability, drawing power, value to their company, championships, noteworthy accomplishments, etc. He ranks people in each category by points and then adds it all up. Anyway, remember this is just Dave's opinion, not the actual award. But his pick is...Kazushi Sakuraba, who isn't technically a wrestler. He's MMA. But he had an incredible 2000, basically the guy who put PRIDE on the map this year and has single-handedly decimated every member of the legendary Gracie family that he's stepped in the ring with, becoming a huge star in doing so. But if you don't count him, Dave goes with Rock, Triple H, and Toshiaki Kawada in that order.
  • Vince McMahon has an interesting interview in an upcoming issue of Playboy. Excerpts were released by the New York Daily News and there's a lot of revealing info about McMahon's life. Unfortunately, Dave has to remind us that this is Vince McMahon, and he's well known for exaggerating basically everything he ever says publicly, so who knows how much of this stuff about his early life is actually true. In the interview, he talks about being abused by his stepfather, and says, "It's unfortunate that he died before I could kill him. I would have enjoyed that." And though he didn't outright say it, he strongly hinted that he had been sexually abused by his mother. McMahon is also candid about his previous affairs, noting he'd been faithful to his wife for the past 6 years (this is actually pretty interesting. If you recall, in the coverage of the 1994 steroid trial, there was a moment during the trial where it came out that Vince had an affair with his former secretary, a former Playboy playmate named Emily Feinberg. She later became a key witness in the trial. But there's a moment in the trial when it comes out and it seems as if that's how Linda McMahon learns of the affair, through that testimony, and is crying in the courtroom. And, ironically enough, that would be right about 6 years before this interview). McMahon also defended his decision to continue the PPV after Owen Hart's death, saying he believes Owen would have wanted the show to go on (Dave points out that most of the Hart family has vehemently disagreed with that). Anyway, the magazine with the full interview will be out next week and I'm sure Dave will have more to say then.
  • A note on the Observer. Dave usually mails issues out on Wednesdays so most people in the U.S. have them by Saturday or Monday. But there have been problems, specifically in the Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Michigan areas that are getting there's late. So if you live in those states and haven't gotten your latest 2001 Observer, call or fax Dave.
  • Mark Madden was fired by WCW last week in a controversial decision. Madden was told he was being fired for comments he made on the air regarding the sale of the company (an inside joke he made on TV awhile back that most people wouldn't have even picked up on) and for talking about Scott Hall on air, which he hasn't done in weeks after he was told not to the first time (Dave points out that on every show since then, while Madden never referenced Hall again, Kevin Nash, DDP, and even Tony Schiavone have done so repeatedly with no punishment). It's also believed Madden was in trouble for a recent hotline report where he did talk about both Hall and the sale of WCW. However, back in 1996, when Madden got in trouble on the hotline for calling Hall and Nash by their WWF names (which led to a years-long lawsuit), Madden's hotline reports were pre-recorded and vetted by WCW before they were posted and he would be alerted if he needed to change anything. But apparently no one listened to this one or cared and it got posted. There's also heat on Madden for an interview he did where he defended Scott Steiner for his backstage fight with DDP, with Madden pointing out how DDP had repeatedly went against orders by talking about Scott Hall on live TV and how the previous week on Thunder, he was supposed to give a diamond cutter to one member of the Natural Born Thrillers but Madden said he "went into business for himself" and hit all 5 members of the group with the move. Basically, he's saying DDP's a dick and deserved to get his face pummeled by Steiner. (As of 2019, I think the verdict is in. DDP: not a dick). Madden was also recently suspended for a week because he called DDP "leatherface" on TV, which DDP didn't care for. There was also an incident last week where DDP tried to talk things out with him but Madden refused to shake his hand, which many thought was disrespectful and a bad move politically. Madden has had issues with DDP for awhile and with Bischoff likely taking over the reins soon, he feels like that's the real reason he was fired. Basically, there could be a lot of different reasons, but different people told him different things, leading Madden to believe it pretty much just amounted to they wanted him gone and came up with whatever they could think of to justify it. This is all just such childish, petty nonsense. It's really no wonder this dumb ass company went out of business.
  • Madden had a $150,000-per-year deal on a 90-day cycle and is expected to be paid through the end of January, but WCW is threatening to withhold his final paychecks because of an interview he did after he was fired, where he was critical of the company. Madden says he was first told he was being fired because of disciplinary reasons but then was later told it wasn't because of that. Dave suspects the reason they back-pedaled is because firing Madden for disciplinary reasons, but not punishing others who have repeatedly done what he did and worse would probably not look good for the company if Madden wanted to file a lawsuit over it. A lot of this DDP/Madden stuff happened backstage at the 12/18 Nitro, which is the same show the SteineDDP fight happened on and the same show DDP, Nash, and Sid Vicious all walked out on. And yet Madden is the only person fired, while the 4 wrestlers involved are world champion, tag team champions, and main eventing the next PPV with not even a reprimand. Needless to say, a lot of people in the company got the favoritism message loud and clear.
  • Nikkan Sports in Japan had a poll asking readers to list the biggest wrestling news story of the century. The answers were broken down by age groups. People 50 years or older voted Rikidozan's death by a huge margin. Ages 40-49 also voted Rikidozan's death. Ages 30-39 voted the Antonio Inoki vs. Muhammad Ali match by a wide margin. Everyone younger than that voted Giant Baba's death. Obviously, people who weren't old enough to remember Rikidozan or the Inoki/Ali match didn't vote for those so it's kinda interesting to see what stories each age group thinks is the biggest. Dave has the full list broken down and all the famous stories are there. The AJPW/NOAH split, formation of NJPW, the Inoki/Saito jungle match, Maeda getting fired by NJPW and forming UWF, and so on and so forth. Dave says, from a historical perspective, Rikidozan's death is undoubtedly the biggest news story because of the trickle down effect it had on the industry as a whole still to this day.
  • Everything did bad ratings this week. It was Christmas, it was New Years, WCW aired "best of 2000" shows (which is laughable in itself) while Raw did a rating that's actually pretty scary. Of course it was low because of Christmas but there's also something in ratings called the share, which basically factors in how many people are actually watching television overall that night and what the percentage of that is watching your show and yada yada. It gets a little number-y but point being, even if you took Christmas out of the equation and adjusted for that, this rating would still be the lowest Raw rating in years even on a normal night. Raw ratings have been trending downwards ever since the move to TNN. Luckily for them, Monday Night Football will be ending soon (and WCW, though we don't know that yet).
  • Mexican star Ciclon Ramirez was arrested for vehicular homicide following an accident in which he crashed his car while driving drunk. Ramirez survived but 2 passengers in his car were both killed instantly (not sure what happened here. His Wikipedia page doesn't say anything about it. Looking at his page, he wrestled full time right until the time of the accident. Then a couple of matches in 2001 and then nothing until 2005, so maybe he was in jail for that time? No idea and I never read anything about it later.)
  • In reviewing the big NOAH show from last week, Dave writes about the Kobashi vs. Akiyama main event and gives it 4 and 1/........???? HE DOESN'T SAY! The last number is cut off. Is it 1/2? 1/4? The world may never know the correct fraction of stars for this match. Anyway, once NOAH gets their feet under them and has a secure TV deal, they plan to hold their first show at Budokan Hall.
  • Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch are claiming to have signed a 1 year deal with NJPW (yup, looks to be true. I had no idea but he apparently spent most of 2001 and some of 2002 working there).
  • RINGS in Japan is looking at doing a big 10th anniversary show and apparently, Inoki is pushing them to do a match between Naoya Ogawa vs. Mike Tyson. Dave isn't surprised. Inoki is trying to groom Ogawa as his successor and is trying to get him over the same way he got over, and re-creating the famous Inoki/Ali match would be just what Inoki would probably love to do. But Dave doesn't think this has a chance in hell of happening (nope, but bet your ass we're going to hear more about this because Inoki damn sure tries).
  • Atsushi Onita showed up uninvited to Inoki's New Year's Eve show and told reporters he wanted a match with Inoki. But Inoki never met with him. Onita gave a letter to PRIDE president Naoto Morishita asking for Inoki to come out of retirement to face him. Classic Onita.
  • Another big news story in Canada covered the Owen Hart lawsuit settlement and the story featured a ton of choice quotes from various Hart family members. Bret Hart accused his sisters Ellie and Diana of using Owen's death for their own purposes and of trying to get some of the settlement money from their parents. Martha Hart talked about the foundation she's setting up in Owen's name using some of her settlement money. The story also talked about Bret getting upset with his parents because he loaned them money and they turned around and gave the money to Ellie (after she had already sided with the WWF in the lawsuit). Ellie said she had recently reunited with Jim Neidhart, after they had split because he was addicted to crack cocaine. And Helen Hart, the mother of all these damn rascals, just seems sad about it, talks about how she loves and will help all her children and says she wishes the whole family had been farmers instead of wrestlers because they would all be better off if not for the wrestling business.
  • Scott Hall was released from jail this week.
  • ECW's PPV is coming up this weekend and Dave runs down the lineup and mentions that the idea is to position Rhino as the new top star of the company by the time the show is over, but who knows what that means. But expect Rhino to be booked strong (yeah, just a tad).
  • ECW is in a bit of a pickle with MSG Network, which airs their TV show in syndication in New York. ECW is not listed on the upcoming TV listings this week, which would be the go-home show for the PPV which is hugely important because the PPV is in New York and also, New York is their biggest TV market. It costs ECW more than $4,000 per week to air on that network and apparently the payment was sent late. Heyman claims the show is still going to air on Jan. 6th and the situation has been worked out. But as of Jan. 2nd, two different spokespeople from MSG Network told Dave the show wasn't going to air, saying ECW hasn't renewed their deal, but they're still in talks. Basically, as long as Heyman can pay for it in time, they're expected to air but as of press time, MSG Network is still waiting.
  • Lots of rumors going around that the sale of WCW will be announced before the end of this month. Still no word on what the deal entails or what Bischoff has planned for the company.
  • There was a lot of controversy over Jeff Jarrett not being allowed to work a match for WWC in Puerto Rico. So here's the deal, WCW has been preventing its guys from working indie shows. Konnan and Rey Mysterio were recently forbidden to work a show in Mexico for example. But Jarrett had been asked to come headline a WWC show against Carly Colon for the Universal title. WCW agreed and Jarrett was booked for the show and WWC promoted the hell out of it. But then WCW changed their mind. So now Jarrett was forced to pull out of the show, which makes him look bad (through no fault of his own) and severely screws over WWC, which had spent weeks promoting this huge show at a 23,000-seat arena built around Jarrett vs. Colon for the main event. Dave understands that WCW doesn't want to risk its top stars getting hurt on indie shows. But WCW is barely running shows anymore and these guys are allegedly independent contractors. But the contract allows WCW that right, so there ya go. Dave thinks they should have just bitten the bullet and allowed Jarrett to work the show since they had already approved it, but then there's also the double standard of why it was approved in the first place while other guys like Konnan and Mysterio were turned down outright.
  • Apparently a few months ago, a stink bomb got set off on a WCW flight. As a result, referee Mickey Jay was suspended for a month while referee Mark Johnson and announcer Dave Penzer were each suspended for a week.
  • In case you're curious about the statistics needed to render a championship meaningless: in 2000, WWF had 5 world title changes. ECW also had 5 world title changes. WCW had 26.
  • Jim Ross is planning to meet with Shawn Michaels soon about returning, most likely for a singles match against Triple H at Wrestlemania. Shawn has been open about wanting to return but a lot of wrestlers in the locker room don't want him back and WWF has been very careful to try not to upset the morale in its locker room since things are going so good.
  • Early reviews for Mummy 2 are in and people who have seen it tell Dave they're convinced that by this time next year, the Rock is going to be a bigger star outside of wrestling than he could ever be in WWF, because it appears he's pretty good at this whole acting thing. Who knows what that means for his long-term career in wrestling. Dave says he can't imagine Rock leaving the business, but his days of working 200 house shows per year may not last much longer.
  • Someone writes in and says if Kevin Nash is truly Scott Hall's friend, he'll stop pushing to bring him back to WCW and instead do whatever he can to get Hall the help he obviously needs. Going back on the road and hanging out in the locker room is clearly the last thing Hall needs and if Nash cares about his friend, he'll stop encouraging it.
FRIDAY: Observer Awards, NJPW Tokyo Dome show fallout, ECW's final PPV, and more...
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Anti-Corruption & News - May/30/2019: Free medications for 200,000 additional people.... Cassations Court... Business law reforms... Government cuts itself... Exports up again... Tax waiver for >40bln new investments... Military service changes... Gambling stats... lots of other stories inside

Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Yesterday, Cassations court took the Kocharyan case paperwork back so it could make a copy. Today, a new Cassations judge has been appointed to hear the case in which the prosecutors are challenging the earlier verdict.
Artsakh war commando and politician Samvel Babayan claims that his political opponent (and Artsakh president candidate) Araik Harutyunyan's gangs opened fire towards his car near the Sevan-Martuni freeway. Babayan gave specific names and said the gangs are directly under the protection of Harutyunyan. Babayan has asked NSS to investigate. Babayan said these armed gangs are also active in Artsakh and spread terror among the population. Babayan threatened to act himself if nothing is done to stop them.
The accused Araik Harutyunyan has denied the accusations. Called it a misinformation. Urged Babayan not to "blackmail" them. He said if there is a personal conflict between Babayan and other participants, the police should investigate to find out what happened.
NSS chief Vanetsyan says the participants are known, and it's clear what happened. Says the incident did happen and it was a result of financial disputes between two groups of people.
The government held a session today.
They approved an amendment to the bankruptcy declaration laws. Justice Minister Zeynalyan says the change will also help to improve Armenia's rating in "Doing Business" index. Numerous transparency, efficiency and rights protections reforms are proposed. (still needs a Parliamentary approval)
Another reform was approved regarding Cadastre committee (property registrations).
Physically stamping the documents will no longer be necessary. This will improve electronic and paperless processing, and better integrate with other agencies' work. The property ownership certificates will change. (needs Parliamentary approval)
Pashinyan noted that this is the last time that 17 ministries are participating in a government session. Soon it will be cut due to the recently adopted law. 27 deputy Ministers and aides were laid off today. Some ministries will merge soon.
Pashinyan noted that the industry and the economy as a whole are growing at a fast rate, but he was worried about the recent drop in exports in the first 3 months of 2019.
The latest numbers for April show the exports are up again, by 9.9%. The exports are up 14.7% compared to the same period of 2018. Aluminum giant Armenal exports rose 44%. Cigarette exports up 60%. Jewelery exports up 68%. Chocolate up 34%. ---
The government approved a plan to give 200,000 low income citizens free medications as part of a 1.1bln program. Two new health conditions were added to the list of treatments that are free. An earlier proposal gave these low income residents free healthcare. The new proposal ads free medications on top of the free healthcare.
610 additional ambulance workers will receive free healthcare. Thousands of medical field workers received one earlier, but these 610 were "left out".
Pashinyan asked the cabinet members to take steps to inform the citizens about these chages, about what medications they can get, what papers they need, because many times people aren't aware that they qualify for aid. - - - - - - -
A law was earlier approved to raise soldier salaries by as much as 20%. It goes into effect in 2 days, beginning June.
The government temporarily canceled taxes for GRANT company that produces high pressure canisters. 26.7bln ($55 million) in investments. 190 jobs with 250k avg salary.
Moeiff company also received the tax free status to invest 14.7bln ($30 million) in production of house appliances with non-corrosive metals. 100 new jobs with 130k salary.
They temporarily canceled taxes for Avalanj company so it can import 1.8bln in tech to build greenhouses in Aragatsotn province. 60 additional jobs with 120k avg salary.
The government issued a 8mln aid to the National Song and Dance Academy. It's tasked with researching and teaching traditional Armenian dances.
18mln was issued to the Union of Artists of Armenia. State Forest Monitoring Center received 21mln aid to pay its bills. 360mln for Penitentiary Medicine Center to provide Healthcare for inmates. 463mln to obtain vaccination materials for children and military-age young men. 6.5mln to subsidize the construction of water system is Sari Gyugh. - - - - - - - - - -
They decided to issue funds to - within a month - repair the road that leads to the Sevan peninsula. It's a tourism spot and the season will begin soon.
The government gave a 100mln worth land somewhere near Tsitsernakaberd to a company so it can build a large tech center. Upon completion, the company will donate one facility to the city.
400 jobs will be created during the 4 year construction, 300 of them permanent. 2,500 people can be hired later once the building is used for its purpose.
Instead of the regular 2-year military service, soldiers can currently choose to enroll in various military programs. They can choose a 3-year program called Pativ Unem, which ties their service to education, and gives a list of benefits such a free Master degree education and more vacations. The government has proposed lowering this program's "minimal duration" to 2 years to make it more appealing. --
In another proposal, the maximum age limit for hired soldiers will be raised from 35 to 40 years old. If the contractor has skills that the army has a shortage of, the age limit will be 45. (all these are yet to be officially approved to become law)
If two brothers are recruited simultaneously and they want to serve in the same place, only one will participate in the lottery system that picks their location.
High ranking officers will also qualify to receive mortgage loan aid that is currently provided to regulars.
Parliament speaker QP Mirzoyan says the fact that 4 Constitutional Court judge nominees have been rejected by the Parliament so far, doesn't mean a disrespect towards the president, who appoints the candidacies. The process will continue until both institutions find a common ground.
Mirzoyan was asked to comment about some paintings in the Parliament hall that raised money spending questions. Says he didn't buy them, the Parliament has funds for it and it bought it. They bought it for a 75% discount directly from the painter. ---
European Council sent its rule of law and human rights top delegation to Armenia. They met Justice minister Zeynalyan, offered to help Armenia with the judicial reforms. Delegation also included officials from Venice Commission and GRECO (anti-corruption institute).
QP is currently trying to pass a law to limit the physical gambling locations (read yesterday edition). Here are some stats on how much the big gambling firms earned from the clients' betting losses in 2018: Toto Gaming 6.5bln, Vivaro 5.9bln, Goodwin 2.4bln, Adjarabet 0.02bln.
Combined, these bookmakers made 14.8bln after receiving 145bln in bets. Net profit of these firms was 6.6bln.
Someone decided to troll the Parliament today. Someone in the chamber turned on a gambling ad during a session. Anti-gambling bill author Alen Simonyan asked them to knock it off.
Various unions of journalists released a joint statement condemning "threats and other pressures on journalists". They aren't happy that BHK chief Gagik Tsarukyan recently (allegedly) told a journalist that she is paid to negatively target him, and that the journalist will "pay for her actions".
Other listed examples were something that Roboserj 5Th Channel boss told CivilNet, a former MP told something to popular TV host Petros Ghazaryan, something that Supreme Court Council chairman told Azatutyun media.
They also urged their fellow journalists to be professional, have a sense of delicacy, follow journalistic ethics.
On June 1st, the children's protection day, people are planning to organize a march titled "Don't park on the sidewalk". They'll spread fliers and inform the drivers that parking their car on the sidewalk hinders a pedestrian's ability to push a stroller or a wheelchair, and they are forced to get on the dangerous road to bypass it.
Chessist Gabriel Sargsyan has won the Al-Batayih blitz competition held in UAE.
Artsakh army denies the Azeri report that Armenian snipers killed an Azeri soldier near Akna region.
It isn't uncommon for the Azerbaijan army to cover-up internal problems that led to a murder, by blaming the death on Armenians.
Europa League final game is over, but the drama surrounding Azerbaijan's policy and Mkhitaryan isn't.
On the match day, Baku residents got into a fight with Arsenal fans who were singing pro-Mkhitaryan songs.
A Russian sports journalist tried to "smuggle" Mkhitaryan jersey into the stadium, but was denied.
The stadiums weren't full because of ticket issues caused by Baku's remote location from Europe, inability to host many people simultaneously, not providing enough access to disabled people, expensive hotels and air fares. Thousands of seats were vacant. Both teams returned half of their tickets, which Baku then had to sell to the locals.
Some fans were complaining that the distance between the pitch and tribunes was too big.
Other complaints were about the main camera recording from a too far distance, lack of excitement in the tribunes due to many Arsenal fans not appearing for the game.
Chelsea 4:1 Arsenal. Mkhitaryan scored the only goal for Arsenal except he didn't. - - - -
Pictures - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Beatles' "Yesterday" has been picked by 24/7 Wall Street as the best song of all times.
Area near Hrazdan stadium and former president LTP was on fire today
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32 Teams/32 Days: Day 5: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Division: NFC South
2017 Record: 5-11 (4th in the NFC South)
Subreddit: Buccaneers

Intro: in which TheFencingCoach Finds That his Expectations Did Not Meet Reality at All

In previous seasons, I tended to have a relatively accurate pulse on the strength (or lack thereof) of the Bucs. In now my fourth season of doing these offseason writeups, I was only off by one win each year in my predictions. Along came the 2017 season.
This year, I was hoodwinked, bamboozled, and so wildly optimistic to the point I couldn’t recognize that my own ugly baby was in fact, very ugly. Besides the fact I predicted a 10-6 record and a division win, here are just a few of the many highlights of my Mr. Magoo levels of shortsightedness:
Expectation: Mike Smith re-signing in Tampa was a good thing: “Smitty re-signing in Tampa allows for the Bucs to continue building a foundation on both sides of the ball that hopefully will restore the team to prominence.”
Reality: It wasn’t a good thing at all. The Buccaneers finished 32nd overall in DVOA Defense Rankings, and 32nd overall in Total Defense. There was no restoration of the defense to prominence. In fact—an already mediocre defense regressed to a porous nightmare that couldn’t stop the run, couldn’t tackle, and allowed an average of 2.8 touchdowns per game. Against Arizona, we managed to make a 32 year-old Adrian Peterson look like prime Adrian Peterson (134 yards rushing). And if Alvin Kamara wants to send a thank-you card for helping him win a (well-deserved) OROY, he can send it to 1 Buccaneer Place—Four of his touchdowns came against us this year, including his magnificent 106 Kickoff return.
Expectation: Chris Baker was a critical signing: “For a starter who's pretty much in his prime, the Bucs got Baker at a bargain price and should be the run stuffing complement to McCoy we've needed for a long time.”
Reality: Chris Baker did a wonderful Albert Haynesworth impersonation this year: Against the Panthers in perhaps the most devastating loss of the 2017 season, an undisciplined Chris Baker cost us the game by jumping offsides on a 4th and 3 situation that could have won us the game. Baker had been warned of the hard count by both Kwon Alexander and Gerald McCoy, but got the penalty anyway, which put the Panthers in position to win. Following the game, Baker was smiling and nonchalant about his critical error, which caused a subsequent fight in the locker room thereafter. Beginning with Baker’s lazy attitude displayed on Hard Knocks, red flags should have gone off for us. He’s looking like Jason Licht’s latest free agent blunder in a laundry list.
Expectation: Signing Ryan Fitzpatrick was cursed. But he’d be good to go if Jameis went down: “He’s a good insurance policy at the right price if Winston goes down.”
Reality: Signing Ryan Fitzpatrick was cursed. But he was good to go when Jameis went down: After Jameis sustained a sprained AC Joint in his shoulder, Fitzpatrick was forced to start three games (he played in a total of six). He completed 58.9% of his passes for 1,103 yards, 7 TD’s, and 3 INT’s. Some people on Buccaneers even suggested that Fitzpatrick was our future, and not Jameis. Some people on Buccaneers were wrong.
Expectation: Jeremy McNichols was a waste of a draft pick “I’ll be honest—but McNichols was probably the pick I’ve been least excited about… his strength is primarily as a receiver (so is Charles Sims’). He’s got extremely slow burst out of the backfield, his vision is suspect, and I noticed a tendency to make multiple cuts before turning upfield.”
Reality: McNichols didn’t even make the final roster. McNichols’ struggles were well documented on Hard Knocks. He was slow to pick up the playbook, he couldn’t block if his life depended on it, and he seemed to have a lackadaisical attitude about correcting his errors. McNichols was offered a practice squad spot, but he spurned the Bucs to go to the San Francisco 49ers instead. The plus side of drafting McNichols, is that we got to watch him FaceTime with Snoop Dogg on Hard Knocks.
Expectation: Aguayo will win the starting job. “I think Aguayo will win the job after a solid preseason and subsequently regress to rookie form.”
Reality: Aguayo did not win the starting job at all. In fact, he was cut after an abysmal preseason, only to be replaced by an abysmal Kicker in Nick Folk. Patrick Murray played serviceably to close out the season. What did we learn from this whole debacle, Jason Licht? We learned that we don’t use premium draft picks on Kickers.

2017: Key Statistics

Category 2016 Ranking 2017 Ranking Δ
DVOA Offense 19th 11th +8
Total Offense 5,542 Yards 5,816 Yards +274
Total Passing Yards 3,926 Yards 4,366 Yards +440
Total Rushing Yards 1,616 Yards 1,450 Yards -166
DVOA Defense 13th 32nd -19
Total Defense Allowed 5,887 Yards 6,049 Yards -174
Total Passing Yards Allowed 4,012 Yards 4,169 Yards -157
Total Rushing Yards Allowed 1,875 Yards 1,880 Yards -5
Total Sacks 38.0 22.0 -16.0
TurnoveTakeaway Differential +2 -1 -3
Penalty Flags 102 104 +2
Player Arrests 1 1 0
Player Fines $1.6M $110K -$1.49M

The Top Stories of the 2017 Season

The Muscle Hamster Finishes His Four Game Suspension. Proceeds to Play Poorly. Is Suspended by Team for Violating Team Rules: When Doug Martin’s career ends, he’ll be another tale of “what could have been.” One of the most commonly recited facts only next to “did you know Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham played basketball in college?” and “Mike Glennon is the greatest QB to ever play professional football” is the fact that in two seasons of play, Doug Martin ran for 1,400+ yards, then didn’t hit 500 yards in any other season. And that’s the frustration with Martin. When he’s on, he’s one of the most electric backs in the NFL. But time and time again, Martin’s proven he lacks motivation. Once he got his payday after a 1st Team All-Pro performance in 2015, he regressed to 500 yard Doug, was suspended for PED’s, and then shockingly, was suspended in-house for violating team rules. With Martin’s PED suspension, he forfeit his signing bonus, making him expendable in the coming offseason. It simply isn’t worth paying the man $7.1M/year when he can’t perform on the field and can’t stay out of trouble off of it. I’m afraid his jersey will join my Buccaneer Paraphernalia Pit of Misery that includes Josh Freeman, Gaines Adams, and Darrelle Revis. So long, farewell, Muscle Hamster. I have a feeling you’ll do well elsewhere, at least for one season.
Mike Evans Fails to Control his Emotions: Mike Evans had a series of temper tantrums this last year that reflected poorly on him. There was first his sideline meltdown where he won the ice bucket challenge and cured ALS. Then, there was his bush league blindside hit of Marshon Lattimore after Jameis acted like a toddler that resulted in a well-deserved one-game suspension. After reaching All-Pro status in 2016, Evans regressed this year, and his temperamental antics didn’t help. He’s got to be smarter and more in control. Period.
Jameis Becomes a Bad Meme. Jameis’s Turnover Problem Gets Worse. Jameis is Accused of Sexual Asssault…Again: 2017 was Jameis’s roughest year in the NFL, both on and off the field. Let’s start off with that whole “eating W’s” thing. In case you couldn’t tell from Desean Jackson’s face, he didn’t buy into the motivational, and NFL went to town making fun of it. It just didn’t work. The turnover issues that existed at FSU and continued into Jameis’s rookie and sophomore NFL seasons was exacerbated this year, particularly when it came to fumbles. In 13 games, Jameis turned the ball over an average of 1.7 times per game, and his fumbles against the Panthers that caused an emotional sideline outburst were just bad.
Worse than any memes or on field performances was the surfacing of a new sexual assault allegation against Winston. BuzzFeed News published an explosive report that Winston was accused of grabbing a female Uber driver’s crotch in March of 2016. The driver immediately filed a report, resulting in Winston’s subsequent ban from the ridesharing service. Many details on the allegations remain murky, including who was in the vehicle, where each passenger sat, and who got dropped off and when. I’m withholding judgment until more is known, and hope the NFL will conduct an investigation. Nevertheless, it’s another sign that trouble seems to find Jameis.
Mike Smith Forgets How to Coach: After rumors of Mike Smith’s courtship for a head coaching position last year, he re-signed with the Bucs following a promising 2016 season. Everything went to hell in 2017. The blame doesn’t fall solely on Mike Smith. He was handed a very incomplete defensive unit that was then plagued by a bevy of injuries. Our pass rush generated an NFL worst 22.0 sacks—16.0 less than last year, leading to the firing of DL Coach Jay Hayes. The Bucs finished last in the league in defending third down conversions, with 48% of our opponents converting. The problem with Smith’s scheme is that it felt like chaos and disorder, and it failed to form an identity. The defensive play calls were too conservative. Four man rushes were the norm, and Smith rarely sent in a LB (like the speedy Lavonte David or the punishing Kwon) to pressure the QB when his line failed to deliver. Corners were rarely playing press coverage and allowed devastating gains off slant routes and short reads. We even made Mohamed Sanu look like one of the best QB’s in the NFC South (he’s a WR). The impatient fan in me believed he should be fired. The objectivist in me is saying “give him one more chance.” The excuses are running out, but the problems with this team are deeper than Smith and Koetter (more on that later).

Free Agency – Analysis of Who’s on the Docket and how to Handle Them

Player Status Analysis
Brent Grimes (CB) UFA Brent Grimes exceeded expectations in the two years he spent in Tampa. Originally a pickup after he was cut from Miami, Grimes signed a reasonably cheap 2 year, $13.5M deal. In a secondary that had been chockfull of incompetence and knuckleheads, Grimes came in, outplayed his contract, and quickly became one of the most reliable cogs on our defense. As much praise as one can heap on Grimes, the fact remains that he will be 35 years old when the 2017-2018 season begins. Grimes reportedly mulled the concept of retirement last offseason. The question is—how much physical ability does a 35 year old have left in the tank? How much motivation? And if he did continue his NFL career, wouldn’t he want it to be with a playoff contender? *Verdict: It’s time to let Grimes walk. I look forward to seeing Miko’s tweets after he leaves. Just kidding, no I don’t.
T.J. Ward (SS) UFA If Chris Baker was the Tweedle Dee of our 2017 Free Agent signings, T.J. Ward was Tweedle Dumbass. After being waived by Denver, the Bucs picked up T.J. Ward late in training camp for a 1 year, $5M deal. What we got on the field from Ward on the field was mostly forgettable. He broke up some screen plays with ease, but that’s about it. What we got off the field? A felony drug charge and publicly calling out our coaches for his lack of playing time. Verdict: No-brainer. Let him walk.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB) UFA Having a reliable backup QB is not a luxury. It’s a necessity (see Case Keenum and Big Dick Nick). Fitzpatrick is another illustration of a good backup’s importance, and he’s a more proven commodity than the unknown Ryan Griffin. You know who I really want to be our backup QB? Better yet, I would prefer him as our starter for life. You know damn well who I’m talking about, and if you don’t, drop down and kneel until you do. Verdict: Re-sign Fitzpatrick. Consider drafting a developmental QB with a late round pick to compete with Griffin’s roster spot.
Robert McClain (CB) UFA Robert McClain was intended to be a depth guy, but after multiple injuries to our secondary, he was thrust into the starting lineup for 9 games. For the most part, he played serviceably. McClain has been a journeyman thus far in his career and shouldn’t command much on the open market. Verdict: A one year deal for cheap value would be a good depth signing. If he signs elsewhere, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Evan Smith (C) UFA Evan Smith is the sole survivor of “The Great Licht Spending Binge of 2014” which included winners like Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson. When we initially relied on Smith as a starter, the results weren’t pretty, and I have memories of Josh McCown getting blasted through the A-Gap many-a-time. But when we leaned on Smith as a reservist, his ability to bounce between Center and Guard was of great value. When the Bucs signed Smith to a $14.25M deal, we paid him like an intended starter, but Smith hasn’t been a full time starter since 2014 (had 13 total starts between 2015 and 2017). In the unlikely event the Bucs can find a way to pay Smith like a reservist and not a starter, he’d be worth keeping. At this point in his career, he’s more likely to find a bigger payday and/or go to a playoff contender. Verdict: Let him walk.
Charles Sims (RB) UFA Charles Sims became a symbol of the predictability of a Dirk Koetter offense, by no fault of his own. Brought onto the field only on obvious passing downs, Sims wound up averaging about one carry per game, but was targeted on passes out of the backfield 48 times this year. In other words, when the man stepped on the field, there was a 70% chance he would be thrown the ball—just one of many elements that made our third down offense both predictable and lacking innovation. Sims’ career in Tampa has been a mixed bag. After spending the beginning of his career battling various injuries, he quietly gained 1,000+ yards from scrimmage in 2015, but has only gained 683 yards from scrimmage in the two seasons since. Sims has the potential to excel in an offense that utilizes its RB’s in a balance of rushing and pass plays. That offense is unlikely to be the Bucs’. Verdict: Let him walk. I have an odd feeling he’ll wind up in Baltimore.
Kevin Pamphile (G) UFA In his second year starting for the Bucs at LG, the results weren’t always pretty. His two starts against New Orleans this year came to mind as facepalmers, and even on a line that included the slothful and concrete footed Donovan Smith, Pamphile stood out as the weakest link on a terribly weak unit. There’s an old Russian proverb that reads: “don’t kill the Tsar until you know who his replacement is.” And as bad as our OG’s have been between Pamphile and Sweezy, there may not yet be a viable Plan B. Bucs should take a look at Andrew Norwell and Justin Pugh’s price tags. If either could be signed, both would do a better job of keeping Jameis from getting murdered. Verdict: Make a strong attempt to sign an upgrade. If the Bucs can’t find one, keep Pamphile in house as a frugal deal.
Keith Tandy (FS) UFA I don’t really know what to make of Keith Tandy. He’s one of the few remnants of the atrocious Mark Dominik era, who rarely got used as a starter but showed he was capable of making clutch, flash plays in the few moments he saw the field. His last second heroics in 2016 were the main reason the Bucs finished with an unexpected winning record, yet he found himself limited to just over 200 snaps in 2017. Re-signing Tandy would be a low-risk move that would provide us with reliable Safety depth with familiarity in our defense. Verdict: Re-sign the guy, and for the love of God, if you’re deciding to start Tandy or Conte, pick the former.
Cameron Brate (TE) RFA Cameron Brate attended Harvard. Now that we’ve established that, I want to discuss my hottest take in this entire post: Cameron Brate is one of the best players on our offense, and we should do everything in our power to trade him. What do I mean by this? In 2017, the Bucs selected O.J. Howard in Round 1, who played with great promise as a rookie (more on that in the next section). The needs of the Buccaneers run deep, and as a skill position player, Brate is expendable for the right price. We have three options with Brate: let him play one final season in Tampa before he hits the open market, trade him while he’s hot, or spend what will be a lot of money re-signing him. Verdict: Put a 2nd round tender on him and see if anyone will bite.
Nick Folk (K) UFA Nope. Niet. Hell naw. Verdict: Nope.

2017 Rookie Review

I always subscribe to the philosophy that you don’t truly know who a player is until three years (or even more) into his NFL career. A rookie can enter the league and take it by storm (see RGIII), or he may need time to adjust to the nuances of the pros (see Eric Fisher). I’m still holding out hope that Vernon Hargreaves III will become the player we thought he could be… So take this rookie review with a grain of salt. It’s intended to talk about the trajectory, where these players can improve, and who to watch in the coming season.
Round/Pick Player Analysis
Round 1, #19 Overall O.J. Howard (TE – Alabama) O.J. Howard had a very promising rookie season in which he caught 26 passes for 432 yards with 6 TD’s. He proved to be as valuable as advertised while being used as an extra blocker in the run game. Unfortunately, the KoetteMonken offense failed to call many 2-TE sets, which would have caused some mismatch nightmares and perhaps bolstered Howard’s statistical production even more. Howard has one large Achilles heel to his game that must be addressed. As a 6’6 target, Howard was often seen running upright after catching the ball. Exposing him to big hits (including the one that put him on IR) and making him easy to bring down. Howard can improve heading into year two by getting his pad level down and better protecting himself from potentially devastating hits. Outlook: Positive
Round 2, #50 Overall Justin Evans (S – Texas A&M) Justin Evans may not be the best player on our defense. Not by a longshot. But after watching his rookie season, he’s certainly the player I’d flag to have the most potential on defense. In many ways, Evans reminds me of a young Troy Polamalu in his ability to seemingly teleport all over the field, come into the box as an eighth man, deliver big hits, and provide safety help over the top when needed. In his final two seasons at Texas A&M, Evans had an alarming 38 missed tackles. That didn’t seem to be a problem during his rookie season, and hopefully that will continue. Evans has a long way to go, but he’s a guy to keep your eye out for coming into next year. Outlook: Positive
Round 3, #84 Overall Chris Godwin (WR – Penn State) I made a bet with a friend that Chris Godwin wouldn’t have more than 15 catches as a rookie. He doubled that and then some, while also adding 534 yards through the air. Godwin’s highlight of the season was his brilliant 39 yard TD to beat the Saints as time expired in week 17. He also pooped his pants against the Vikings. Initially undermined by packages that put Desean Jackson out on the field in favor of him, Godwin began to establish himself as a viable WR who Jameis began to favor as the season progressed. Godwin is a player to watch during training camp. He could surprise and overtake Desean Jackson as the starting WR2. Outlook: Positive
Round 3, #107 Overall Kendell Beckwith (LB - LSU) Beckwith was a huge gamble. When drafted out of LSU as a Mike, Beckwith was coming off a torn ACL and tasked with bouncing outside to SAM, learning an entirely new position. Not only did he recover from the ACL for sooner than expected, but he started day one, even bouncing back inside during Kwon Alexander’s hamstring injury. Beckwith looks to continue a trend of LSU defender success in the NFL. Outlook: Positive
Round 5, #162 Overall Jeremy McNichols (RB – Boise State) He ded. Outlook: Dead.
Round 7, #223 Overall Stevie Tu’ikolovatu (NT – USC) Tu’ikolovatu was placed on IR before the season began. Already a longshot to make the final roster, Tu’ikolavatu will have even more of a challenge in year two. Outlook: Negative

Top Needs Entering Free Agency and the Draft (in no Particular Order Because We’re Kind of Screwed in Each Category)

LT: There is no player I played closer attention to in the 2016 than Donovan Smith, especially in my All-22 reviews following games. You can read one of those right here, if you’re interested. My conclusion at the end of this season, is that Donovan Smith is one of the worst LT’s in the NFL and one of the principal roadblocks to Jameis’s progression. Andrew Luck is a sign from Jameis’s future that shows when you fail to protect your franchise QB, you may never know his true potential. Donovan Smith allowed 7 sacks this season, 9 hits, and 26 hurries. In the run game, he had the mean streak of a tranquilized pygmy shrew. Potential Solutions: Connor Williams (OT – Texas)
LG: Neither Kevin Pamphile nor J.R. Sweezy proved adequate playing on the interior line. Does Jameis deserve blame for his 7 INT’s and 7 lost fumbles during the 2017 season? Absolutely. Would he have made such erratic decisions if he had more time to throw the ball? I’m actually not entirely sure…? Point remains that the entire left side of our line is in dire need of an upgrade. Potential Solutions: Justin Pugh (UFA – Giants), Andrew Norwell (UFA – Panthers), Question Nelson (OG – Notre Dame)
DL: The Bucs had a league-worst 22.0 sacks, and that number barely paints the full picture. Watch our pass rush on game tape, and you might as well photoshop a pina colada or a strawberry daquiri into an opposing QB’s hands, because most of them had enough time in the pocket to leisurely sip on one. The problem remains that the Buccaneers have not had a 10+ sack rusher since Simeon Rice, and that problem is further compounded over Jason Licht’s aversion to investing picks on DL. Gerald McCoy has spent his entire career since 2010 as the sole source of our team’s run defense and pass rush. This is a problem that has now extended through three coaching regimes and two front office changes that hasn’t been addressed. Potential Solutions: Ziggy Ansah (UFA – Lions), Demarcus Lawrence (UFA – Cowboys), Bradley Chubb (DE – NC State), Dontari Poe (UFA – Falcons), Da’Quan “Not Bowers” Jones (UFA – Titans), Justin Ellis (UFA – Raiders), Throwing Chris Baker into a Wood Cutter Feet First (The Right Thing to Do).
CB: Another unknown with razor thin depth. With a 34 year old Brent Grimes scheduled to become a UFA and Vernon Hargreaves III still getting his sea legs, CB remains a huge area of need. The NFC South has arguably the deepest QB group in Brees/Newton/Ryan, and WR’s like Julio Jones who continue to make our secondary look like a JV squad (307 yards against the Bucs in 2017). The current secondary is simply unequipped to stop the aerial assaults in the division, and if not addressed in the draft and/or free agency, the Buccaneers stand to remain stagnant in the coming season. Potential Solutions: Trumaine Johnson (UFA – Rams), Kyle Fuller (UFA – Bears), E.J. Gaines (UFA – Bills), Josh Jackson (CB – Iowa), Denzel Ward (CB – OSU)

Free Agency: The 2018 Wish List

  1. Andrew Norwell (G – Panthers): In the history of the Bucs, we have time and time failed to ever build an offensive line (Carl Nicks still gives me nightmares to this day. Thanks MRSA). For the first time since Josh Freeman, the Bucs look like they have someone who maybe possibly but I’m not really sure what to think of him could be a franchise QB in Jameis Winston. And just as the Colts failed to protect Andrew Luck, we’re walking down a similar road with Jameis now, and protecting him must be a top priority. Norwell is a player worth opening the checkbook for. He allowed 0 sacks in the previous season, 0 QB hits, and only 13 total pressures. At 26, he’s exactly the kind of building block we could use and would be a significant upgrade over Pamphile or Sweezy. He’s my top target.
  2. Justin Pugh (OG/OT – Giants): Pugh is at the top of this list for the same reason as Norwell: he’s an established veteran who also has the versatility to bounce outside to Tackle. That kind of flexibility makes for an upgrade over UFA Evan Smith, who played neither Guard nor Center particularly well. I wouldn’t mind signing both Pugh and Norwell to upgrade our interior line, but that’s an unrealistic pipe dream
  3. Ezekiel Ansah (DE – Lions) I have loved following Ansah’s career thus far, and he had a fan in me the moment he got drafted and came on stage to shake Roger Goodell’s hand in 2013 wearing 3D glasses. He’s got a cool story behind him. Coming out of college, he was a case study in your so-called “boom or bust” prospects. In college, he had only 4.5 sacks, but he didn’t play any high school football whatsoever, walked onto the BYU team, and only saw action four games into his senior season. Five years into his NFL career, he’s shown he can be a top 4-3 DE when healthy. He’s only played 16 games in 2/5 seasons, but he’s made the most of it when he’s on the field (44.0 sacks). This is a player in his prime with good football ahead of him. He’s worth pursuing.
  4. Trumaine Johnson (CB – Rams) I’ve touched upon our severe issues in the secondary already, but it’s a need that can’t be addressed in free agency or the draft alone. Grimes is in need of a replacement, and VH3 just isn’t ready to shadow the WR1’s of the league yet. After Janoris Jenkins’ departure for the Giants, the Rams placed faith in Johnson to be an integral cog of an already impressive defense. He’s proven himself as a solid CB, and should be on Jason Licht’s speed dial when the non-tampering period opens up.
  5. Eric Reid (S – 49ers) Though he’s struggled with injuries recently, Reid is the kind of tone-setter and ballhawk that would be a better option than T.J. Ward or Chris Conte (then again, so would my Bob Ross Chia Pet). Reid’s the kind of free agent who teams will pay a premium price for despite the recent injuries, but it’s worth the gamble. He’s been a solid player when healthy. I’d hope he plays better than our last 49er Safety signing Dashon Goldson.
  6. Dontari Poe (DT – Falcons) One of the funniest combine clips I’ve seen to this day is when Mike Mayock was absolutely obsessing over the size of Dontari Poe’s butt. I mean, Mayock really loved his butt to the point he was drooling over it on live television like Sir Mix-A-Lot playing at a Bar Mitzvah. Poe’s best suited as a 0-Tech, but with our continued failures on DL, I’d try him out as a 1-Tech. You know how people sometimes shitpost on NFL and say “should the Browns draft a QB with every single pick in the draft?” Part of me feels that way, but with DL…but also signing every single one of them in free agency.
  7. Teddy Bridgewater (QB – Vikings) Adding Bridgewater to this list with the assumption the Bucs move on from Fitzpatrick or fail to bring back the Ginger Adonai. Bridgewater was poised for a breakout season in 2016 before being inflicted with a gruesome knee injury that nearly ended his career. At this point, he’s cleared for contact, and miraculously recovered. The Vikings are likely to let Bridgewater walk, and yet I can’t imagine a team will open up the wallet for starter money for Bridgewater with the unknowns around his health. Bridgewater was my top draft target in 2014 for the Bucs. Bring him in as a backup now and see what he’s got.
  8. Demarcus Lawrence (DE – Cowboys) Lawrence would be higher on my list if I felt like he could hit the open market. I suspect the Cowboys will franchise him or sign him to a long-term deal. This last season was his breakout year, where he racked up 14.5 sacks and was a constant QB terrorizer. I’d peg the Bucs chances of landing Lawrence close to 0, but one can dream, right?
  9. Malcolm Butler (CB – Patriots) After we handed the Patriots Darrelle Revis and Aqib Talib on a silver platter, I suppose it’s our turn to get one of their CB’s. Butler’s low on my list for a few reasons: his price tag will be high, Patriots players have typically fared poorly outside of New England, and there’s something weird about Belichick benching him before Super Bowl LII for reasons still unknown. All these concerns mean Jason Licht will likely sign him to a massive deal. Perhaps Butler will become the player Asante Samuel was able to be for a brief time in Philadelphia. Perhaps not.
  10. Sheldon Richardson (DT – Seahawks) Richardson is an undeniable talent, and playing with the “Sons of Anarchy” with the Jets was a beautiful sight to behold. There’s also that unresolved feeling I have in knowing the pick we traded to the Jets for Revis wound up being Sheldon Richardson. Richardson is the kind of guy you sign to an incentive-laden deal. To give him guaranteed money would mean putting your faith in a player who turns on the “elite switch” as he chooses.

2017 Game by Game Review by TheHoodTheBadTheUgly

Closing Thoughts: Jason Licht a Horrible General Manager and I Can’t be Convinced Otherwise at this Point. Brace Yourselves for the Coming Offseason

After 2015, many called for Lovie Smith’s head and got what they wanted. After 2017, many echoed the same sentiments for Dirk Koetter. But the recurring issues with the Bucs start with our front office. I've been a long-time critic of Jason Licht. The crux of my criticism of Licht boils down to my opinion that he is good at finding individual talent, but not very good at building a complete roster. It's easiest to explain this year by year. 2014, Licht went all-in on offense. Given how abysmal our offense was in 2013, this may have seemed like a logical approach, but the lack of balance in that draft continues to plague us until this day given how narrow our depth is there. From that draft, we're left with only two players: Mike Evans and Kevin Pamphile. This was the infamous year of Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins as well, two of the most disastrous free agent signings in franchise history. Alteraun Verner, viewed as a cheaper and more scheme-friendly version of Revis was also brought in at a high price tag and never properly utilized.
We move onto 2015, and once again, continue to focus on offense, offense, offense. Picking Jameis #1 overall is a decision Licht deserves credit for, and trading up to take a D3 guard in Marpet is another slamdunk move he made here. Taking Kwon in the 4th round was another Licht steal, and this draft probably represented his high point. When Kwon was taken in the 4th round, it was the first time the Bucs had selected a defender in the Licht era. It took us 11 picks into his tenure to select a defender, and as the 2014-2015 classes begin to hit their stride, we’re left with a huge void on defense. While we needed a franchise LT, Donovan Smith has been hot garbage, and if the last season didn't suck out whatever faith people still had in him, I don't know what will. Oh, and in terms of Licht’s 2nd round picks, has anyone seen Austin Sefarian-Jenkins around?
We move onto 2016, and he finally says let's invest in our terrible defense. VH3 gets picked #11 overall after we trade down from #7, and no matter what people say, this was the right move. Licht takes a gamble on Noah Spence in Round 2, and he's been good when healthy. Then, there was the Roberto frickin’ Aguayo pick. Here we have a still incomplete roster that hasn't made a playoff since three head coaches ago, and what does he do? He trades up to take a kicker when we had an 82.1% accurate kicker in Barth.
The Licht era has emphasized heavy selection of offensive picks, and that investment has not translated into on field performance. Our late round picks (rounds 5-7) rarely make the opening day roster and are essentially wasted picks. Is this a scouting problem? I don't know, but I'd expect more roster retention than what we've had.
The Buccaneers will pick #7 overall in the upcoming draft. Licht’s past behavior suggests a RB like Saquon Barkley will be on the table—perhaps to even trade up for. He shouldn’t be (despite him being my #1 player in this draft). We can keep going offense-heavy every year, and that will mean averaging 20.0 sacks a season and a porous secondary. This is Jason Licht’s modus operandi. This is why this last season, we weren’t who we thought we were, and we Licht us off the hook. I’ll show myself out now. Brace yourselves for an infuriating offseason led by an emperor in the front office with no clothes.


Shoutouts to Buccaneers. It has been a pleasure being a mod over there for the last year. Our sub continues to have one of the more special identities with our dank memes and weirdness that we let fly. Thank you to TheHoodTheBadTheUgly who will be posting a game-by-game review later this morning. Lastly, I highly recommend following LansdowneStreet who is a local Tampa Journalist for Sports Talk Florida. Long-form journalism is both an art and a dying breed, and he is a phenomenal writer who's keeping legitimate sports writing alive. Shoutout to fellow Buccaneers mods kris919 and luckyink, who are the real glue that keeps the sub going (everyone knows if I touch the CSS the sub will die). Shoutout to NapoleonBonerparts for the beautiful new 32 Teams website, and to Skepticismissurvival who is always great to work with on these series. Finally, shoutout to the NFL mods. Your job ain't easy and it's thankless but you're damn good at it.
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Subreddit Stats: nrl top posts from 2012-09-15 to 2017-11-25 22:22 PDT

Period: 1897.79 days
Submissions Comments
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  1. 10690 points, 42 submissions: NRLgamethread
    1. State of Origin 2016 - Game 1 | Match Discussion Thread (1253 points, 5285 comments)
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    3. 2016 Grand Final - Melbourne Storm vs Cronulla Sharks | Match Discussion Thread (1080 points, 4896 comments)
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    5. State of Origin - Game 2 | Discussion Thread (769 points, 5301 comments)
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    5. Round 1 - Eels vs Broncos | Discussion Thread (180 points, 2858 comments)
    6. Semi Final - Cowboys v Broncos | Discussion Thread (151 points, 4056 comments)
    7. State of Origin - Game 1 | Pre-Game Discussion Thread (140 points, 996 comments)
    8. Rep Round - Australia vs New Zealand | Discussion Thread (132 points, 2219 comments)
    9. Round 22 - Jarryd Hayne vs Warriors | Discussion Thread (128 points, 2841 comments)
    10. Round 2 - Broncos vs Warriors | Discussion Thread (126 points, 2416 comments)
  3. 3342 points, 29 submissions: ScaredOfGreatness
    1. Cronk's kick for Holmes (299 points, 102 comments)
    2. TPJ flick pass for James Roberts try (265 points, 49 comments)
    3. Johnston's foot race with Vunivalu (215 points, 56 comments)
    4. Michael Morgan's match winning field goal (154 points, 66 comments)
    5. Vunivalu's full length try assist for JAC (149 points, 36 comments)
    6. Dugan makes a try saver after Tedesco beats 3 tackles (141 points, 40 comments)
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  4. 2640 points, 27 submissions: himynameiskurt
    1. Robbie Farah smashing down some tinnies on Leichhardt oval scoreboard (229 points, 93 comments)
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    5. Taumololo ran for 209 metres, more than JWH, Liu, Guerra, Napa and Watson combined (135 points, 97 comments)
    6. Trent Merrin surprises fan after the game on Monday night (122 points, 40 comments)
    7. Knights sign R.McDonald - Set to be the biggest signing in Rugby League history (117 points, 44 comments)
    8. Sam Thaiday Twerking (103 points, 21 comments)
    9. Michael Morgan's mongstrong hit on Ennis (102 points, 45 comments)
    10. Josh Dugan Clutch Kick (100 points, 43 comments)
  5. 2403 points, 25 submissions: deesmutts88
    1. 7 News Melbourne get a lead on a story. (326 points, 124 comments)
    2. I left my stubby cooler in the sun for so long that it switched sides. (165 points, 38 comments)
    3. Wayne Bennett has smiled. #BreakTheInternet (139 points, 29 comments)
    4. Facebook user alleging that Fox Sports used old footage to fake larger crowds at the game. (131 points, 90 comments)
    5. There has been a fatal Shark attack. (121 points, 29 comments)
    6. Gallen defends Smith against "grub journalism". (116 points, 39 comments)
    7. All the boys celebrating a good try. (110 points, 17 comments)
    8. Where has the Origin hype gone? (95 points, 216 comments)
    9. The Cronulla Sharks open the 2016 bantz season. (90 points, 23 comments)
    10. TAB with the bantz. (88 points, 11 comments)
  6. 1629 points, 19 submissions: shorrrno
    1. Thurston Breaks Neck In 32 Places At Training, Availability In Question For Game II (171 points, 36 comments)
    2. Vu-ni-va-lu? (113 points, 20 comments)
    3. Shaun Johnson wishes he had footwork like Cam Smith (112 points, 45 comments)
    4. Andrew McCullough Ankle Tap TRY Saver (97 points, 45 comments)
    5. Ladder Progression by team: 2015 so far (93 points, 58 comments)
    6. Amazing Broncos Try - Lachlan Maranta vs. Raiders (90 points, 35 comments)
    7. Freddy serenading Jack Bird during ad break (90 points, 28 comments)
    8. Edrick Lee bombed try vs Wests Tigers (ISP) (83 points, 58 comments)
    9. The Daily Telegraph isn't used to NSW winning (81 points, 5 comments)
    10. Alex McKinnon finally out of hospital! (77 points, 2 comments)
  7. 1530 points, 16 submissions: mulimulix
    1. Another year, another senseless act of violence towards innocent chairs. (136 points, 45 comments)
    2. Something not considered or talked about in the controversial no-try in golden point - Eden was out when he touched the ball at the same time as Thurston (131 points, 179 comments)
    3. Jarryd Hayne with a big punt return! (130 points, 113 comments)
    5. Warriors score the most ridiculous try way after the half-time siren. (104 points, 19 comments)
    6. Jennings' diving try so seal the Grand Final win. (102 points, 26 comments)
    7. WARRIORS SCORE OFF A SCRUM AGAINST THE FEED (96 points, 25 comments)
    8. Massive props to the Roosters fan that came up with this sign. (93 points, 9 comments)
    9. Nathan Brown blatantly stamps Titans player on the ground; no penalty (93 points, 103 comments)
    10. Ennis' acting performance. (87 points, 29 comments)
  8. 1422 points, 17 submissions: DreadlockedAussie
    1. Man Of Middle Eastern Appearance Holds Crowd Hostage At Place Of Worship In Sydney’s West (124 points, 16 comments)
    2. NRL Referees To Begin Allowing 7th Tackle Tries As Cowboys Approach Finals (124 points, 28 comments)
    3. Walters Claims Every Single QLD Player Might Not Recover From Injury In Time For Origin (101 points, 18 comments)
    4. Townsville Cop Sacked Without Pay For Bringing The Cowboys Into Disrepute (97 points, 27 comments)
    5. Jarryd Hayne to sign lucrative sponsor deal with Brazzers (95 points, 13 comments)
    6. Streaker Invades Rabbitohs-Roosters Clash, Takes Eight Security To Stop Him, Dragons Show Interest In Attempt To Boost Attack (91 points, 27 comments)
    7. Facebook To Trial ‘No Jarryd Hayne News’ Feature Ahead Of NFL Season (88 points, 13 comments)
    8. Baz Luhrmann Hired To Direct Gus Gould's 2017 Pre-Origin Pep Talk (79 points, 51 comments)
    9. Brisbane Man Gives Son Same Haircut As Wally Lewis For ‘Book Week’ Costume (78 points, 22 comments)
    10. Newcastle Retirement Village vs Baby Horsey Discussion Thread (73 points, 1278 comments)
  9. 1305 points, 11 submissions: Aussieguy727
    1. Beau Ryan being a legend (181 points, 89 comments)
    2. Laurie Daley sacked (178 points, 136 comments)
    3. [OFFICIAL] Cronk Signs with the Roosters (162 points, 352 comments)
    4. 'I'm coming home': Marshall signs deal to return to Tigers (151 points, 101 comments)
    5. Class act by Paul Gallen (121 points, 78 comments)
    6. WIGHTON NOT GUILTY (112 points, 161 comments)
    7. Haka v Sipi Tau - Streamable (99 points, 16 comments)
    8. Wests Tigers announce Ivan Cleary as Head Coach (78 points, 129 comments)
    9. RTS out for season. ACL (77 points, 172 comments)
    10. This really hurts (74 points, 42 comments)
  10. 1193 points, 14 submissions: orru
    1. The Canadian women's team have the best logo in rugby league by far (118 points, 26 comments)
    2. Horseception (106 points, 18 comments)
    3. Sydney Hit By Massive Dust Storm As Parramatta Eels Return Home To Open Trophy Cabinet (xpost australia) (105 points, 29 comments)
    4. Bus in Honolulu, USA (101 points, 27 comments)
    5. World Cup opener averages 1.4m viewers nationally, more than 3x the Bledisloe Cup (96 points, 105 comments)
    6. History happens as all clubs exceed 10,000 members (89 points, 26 comments)
    7. Channel 9 blasted for ‘bias’ and ‘disgraceful’ NRL commentary (88 points, 113 comments)
    8. Just popped up one my fb feed (77 points, 14 comments)
    9. Andrew Voss calls for tri-series between Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand (75 points, 48 comments)
    10. Johnathan Thurston to lead NRL support for Adam Goodes by performing Aboriginal war dance (75 points, 196 comments)
  11. 1168 points, 13 submissions: Tokenofhon
    1. The Great Hayne Bridge: Bringing NRL & NFL Together (189 points, 64 comments)
    2. Penrith Panthers unveil new logo (119 points, 50 comments)
    3. /NRL Alternate Team Mascots: Manly Cunts (92 points, 35 comments)
    4. THAT cheerleader from the penrith v parra game (91 points, 34 comments)
    5. BREAKING: Sam Burgess DENIES having pie and Strongbow for lunch (87 points, 38 comments)
    6. Ch7 in talks with NFL to televise Hayne's NFL games (82 points, 70 comments)
    7. SCANDALEAGUE: Issue #1 (81 points, 26 comments)
    8. NRL Spoonbowl 2015 : Promo video (80 points, 70 comments)
    9. Souths vs Canterbury GF Movie Poster (76 points, 19 comments)
    10. Designed a commemorative Spoonbowl 2014 desktop BG (1920x1080px) (74 points, 18 comments)
  12. 1137 points, 9 submissions: Trying-2-Contribute
    1. An Average week in the NRL (245 points, 225 comments)
    2. For those of your who care: Here's the program for the boys this pre season. Had a few guys ask about what kind of training occurs. (161 points, 91 comments)
    3. As Promised. If Melbourne win... I am in this picture. Catch ya guys! (151 points, 112 comments)
    4. Well it's been unreal... (146 points, 151 comments)
    5. If Melbourne win tonight I'll reveal who I am. (121 points, 53 comments)
    6. Found my Debut jersey. For years I thought a "friend" had stolen it but it popped up in a mag while cleaning. For the sake of my privacy I won't be releasing who I am. (93 points, 238 comments)
    7. As promised here is the weights program. For all you asking about why we do certain things your asking the wrong bloke. I was president of fat club (81 points, 66 comments)
    8. Rugby league making an appearance on "its always sunny in Philadelphia." (75 points, 31 comments)
    9. Anyone planning on making a funnier sign than this one this season? (64 points, 42 comments)
  13. 948 points, 9 submissions: ReggieBasil
    1. Gambling advertising to be banned between kickoff and final siren in NRL games under new Scott Morrison backed proposals (163 points, 123 comments)
    2. Tui Lolohea tries out for the 49ers with a stunning pass (112 points, 35 comments)
    3. TBT: JT in training (108 points, 33 comments)
    4. The classic, the legend. The one, the only. Enchanted. Glossy. Flamingo. (107 points, 36 comments)
    5. Still the highlight of the season so far (102 points, 39 comments)
    6. Some number plate banter from north of the border. (xpost /Australia, credit to DivineCorn (92 points, 23 comments)
    7. Barba released from Sharks contract. (91 points, 221 comments)
    8. A fun creative activity for all the family (89 points, 26 comments)
    9. 1MB free space (84 points, 19 comments)
  14. 910 points, 9 submissions: staind1603
    1. Oi what's that? (170 points, 21 comments)
    2. Big Willie Confirmed... (126 points, 53 comments)
    3. Poor Woodsy.. (109 points, 38 comments)
    4. U WOT M8?? lol jk cyas... (101 points, 19 comments)
    5. Thurston (94 points, 32 comments)
    6. Dat flick tho.. (91 points, 16 comments)
    7. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! (77 points, 35 comments)
    8. Someone wasn't happy with the Cowboys upset (orange shirt) (74 points, 23 comments)
    9. Tallis blindsides Fletcher (68 points, 21 comments)
  15. 864 points, 4 submissions: Vinsanity9
    1. But he doesnt miss this one! Golden POINT! (422 points, 59 comments)
    2. JT JUST misses the winner! (204 points, 27 comments)
    3. THAT last try at the horn (163 points, 51 comments)
    4. One of the best try celebrations (75 points, 10 comments)
  16. 798 points, 9 submissions: StorminRed
    1. Parramatta Eels salary cap decision mega-thread (146 points, 1502 comments)
    2. The Big Hits of /NFL on the NRL (102 points, 35 comments)
    3. Why you should never let the ball bounce (x-post from /superleague - full credit to sloppyfeashes) (99 points, 58 comments)
    4. How high/low can your team finish in 2016? (93 points, 65 comments)
    5. A deeper look at "the loss they needed to have" since 1998 (76 points, 41 comments)
    6. Hayne Planes, get your Hayne Planes here. (73 points, 63 comments)
    7. How high/low can they go? (Round 17) (73 points, 50 comments)
    8. How high/low can your team finish? Round 18 (71 points, 54 comments)
    9. The Big Hits from NRL (Rd 1) (65 points, 56 comments)
  17. 770 points, 8 submissions: Goobeeful
    1. Thrilling final minutes of Tonga vs England (182 points, 98 comments)
    2. Tonga vs England sold out, set to be biggest crowd (30,000) at Mt. Smart Stadium in 22 years (112 points, 30 comments)
    3. Valentine Holmes becomes the first player in history to score 6 Tries in a World Cup match (90 points, 47 comments)
    4. Tedesco Apologises For Telling Wakeman That His Mum’s Cooking Is No Good (87 points, 20 comments)
    5. Nathan Milone fantastic try vs Fiji Bati (83 points, 8 comments)
    6. First look at Kalyn Ponga in Knights gear (76 points, 57 comments)
    7. Oates get knocked out (75 points, 76 comments)
    8. Ben Hunt punts the ball into Wallace's face (65 points, 21 comments)
  18. 769 points, 6 submissions: the_psycho
    1. NSW BLUES UPVOTE PARTY!!! (289 points, 243 comments)
    2. 50 Years... And the Cronulla Sharks have won their first ever premiership! 14-12 winners over Melbourne Storm. (157 points, 38 comments)
    3. Nathan Hindmarsh walking down Caxton Ave today. (122 points, 21 comments)
    4. Dat feel when no more hoodoo... (71 points, 12 comments)
    5. Shots fired! (66 points, 17 comments)
    6. This is the 2014 Cronulla Sharks 1st grade team poster - marked with all the players unavailable to play on Monday. (64 points, 39 comments)
  19. 762 points, 10 submissions: nightss
    1. Daly Cherry-Evans has signed a three-year deal with the Gold Coast Titans (88 points, 115 comments)
    2. Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis has entered a mental health rehabilitation facility (86 points, 73 comments)
    3. Rabbitohs inside outside set play (85 points, 39 comments)
    4. Eels sign Michael Jennings (78 points, 105 comments)
    5. Brent Tate announces retirement (77 points, 52 comments)
    6. Alex McKinnon diagnosed as quadriplegic ): (75 points, 80 comments)
    7. Bears reportedly set to buy the Titans and rebrand to the Gold Coast Bears (73 points, 183 comments)
    8. Kieran Foran to walk away from Parramatta Eels contract (68 points, 198 comments)
    9. Neville Longbottom is one of us (68 points, 23 comments)
    10. Ray Warren set to retire from television commentary after 50th year calling rugby league (64 points, 73 comments)
  20. 712 points, 7 submissions: gabsta84
    1. I'm not paying your outlandish stadium prices! (X-post from gifs) (143 points, 18 comments)
    2. Entire Roosters team under investigation by the NRL Integrity Unit following the release of this image. (129 points, 95 comments)
    3. Why the NRL subreddit is the true heart and soul of footy [The Roar] (113 points, 276 comments)
    4. Depression (98 points, 60 comments)
    5. Hayne quits NFL, signs with Roosters for remainder of 2016. (79 points, 77 comments)
    6. Parra Supporter Doesn't Take The News Of Hayne's Departure Very Well... (77 points, 18 comments)
    7. Michael Ennis To Retire At End of 2016 Season (73 points, 100 comments)
  21. 665 points, 7 submissions: adomental
    1. /NRL's 2016 Guide to choosing a team to follow (158 points, 157 comments)
    2. I wrote an email to the Rooster complaining about their recent signings and Roosters CEO John Lee called me back (136 points, 91 comments)
    3. The 2015 /NRL guide to picking a team to follow (87 points, 41 comments)
    4. [NRL Christmas Crackers] What's the difference between the NRL premiership and the Hottest 100? (75 points, 15 comments)
    5. [Stats] A brief analysis of the last five year's odds, or why the bookies always win (75 points, 68 comments)
    6. Three years ago today: The Battle of Brookvale (69 points, 54 comments)
    7. Ben Te'o does something every Rugby League fan has dreamed of. Calls Danny Weidler a grub and says "no one likes you." (65 points, 34 comments)
  22. 643 points, 6 submissions: AssViol8er
    1. So I saw Sam Thaiday in the city today.. (155 points, 42 comments)
    2. Pretty much all Souths fan right now (133 points, 35 comments)
    3. Daily Telegraph respecting the poodles privacy and identity (126 points, 22 comments)
    4. Quality from the back pages of the Courier Mail today. (84 points, 20 comments)
    5. Grieving Brett Kimmorley Talks About Death Of His Wife On League Life (77 points, 30 comments)
    6. TIL Dylan Napa runs a Facebook page dedicated to people who "eat KFC solo" (68 points, 62 comments)
  23. 636 points, 3 submissions: HarveySpectersHair
    1. Nathan Friend just doin stuff. (333 points, 49 comments)
    2. NRL is leaking. Full Credit. (167 points, 14 comments)
    3. Just Tariq Things (136 points, 12 comments)
  24. 580 points, 5 submissions: sheepshagger1994
    1. Manchester United's twitter responds to Manu Vatuvei (221 points, 57 comments)
    2. Players with more points/tries than the Dragons in 2016 (112 points, 104 comments)
    3. It Looks Like Radio NZ Have Never Heard Of The Warriors (91 points, 8 comments)
    4. Sheepshagger1994 presents: A Vodafone Warriors Match Day Experience (87 points, 25 comments)
    5. So my mum just got a call from Bodene Thompson... (69 points, 59 comments)
  25. 579 points, 7 submissions: comradepartypanda
    1. Some Wests fans have made the trip up to Newcastle to celebrate Robbie Farahs 250th game (102 points, 64 comments)
    2. Its Official - Issac luke will join the @NZWarriors in 2016 on 3 year deal (92 points, 128 comments)
    3. The differences between ISC Player and Fan jerseys. (89 points, 84 comments)
    4. Thurston Match Winning Play (83 points, 64 comments)
    5. For the very first time, all 16 Clubs will be wearing an #NRLIndigenous jersey during Round 10 this weekend! (79 points, 53 comments)
    6. Just bought a piece of history: the Souths Nameplate from the old Jubilee Oval Scoreboard! (73 points, 32 comments)
    7. Lote Tuqiri bringing the thunder on Instagram (61 points, 24 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. Tony_AbbottPBUH (14037 points, 1636 comments)
  2. deesmutts88 (13521 points, 948 comments)
  3. adomental (10958 points, 1151 comments)
  4. DreadlockedAussie (9373 points, 1144 comments)
  5. honestjackhonestly (8131 points, 801 comments)
  6. theplanetofthecrepes (6799 points, 541 comments)
  7. FourteenOEight (6057 points, 775 comments)
  8. a_BIG_willie (5621 points, 616 comments)
  9. kami_inu (5351 points, 804 comments)
  10. ChanceVance (5213 points, 601 comments)
  11. reznorhurt (5168 points, 555 comments)
  12. Geddpeart (5101 points, 554 comments)
  13. TurboooTurtle (5097 points, 610 comments)
  14. mathewl832 (4893 points, 571 comments)
  15. comix_corp (4786 points, 542 comments)
  16. thril_hou (4535 points, 449 comments)
  17. ReggieBasil (4483 points, 461 comments)
  18. Fishocopter (4293 points, 505 comments)
  19. jared0h (4055 points, 938 comments)
  20. DeffsNotACop (4032 points, 415 comments)
  21. CockroachClitoris (3931 points, 343 comments)
  22. Keith_Sheldon (3806 points, 394 comments)
  23. for_death_and_ruin (3724 points, 490 comments)
  24. insty1 (3721 points, 248 comments)
  25. the_psycho (3695 points, 385 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. State of Origin 2016 - Game 1 | Match Discussion Thread by NRLgamethread (1253 points, 5285 comments)
  2. NRL Grand Final - Broncos v Cowboys | Discussion Thread by NRLgamethread (1132 points, 5231 comments)
  3. 2016 Grand Final - Melbourne Storm vs Cronulla Sharks | Match Discussion Thread by NRLgamethread (1080 points, 4896 comments)
  4. State of Origin - Game 1 | Discussion Thread by AutoModerator (1000 points, 4967 comments)
  5. State of Origin - Game 2 | Discussion Thread by AutoModerator (921 points, 5456 comments)
  6. 2017 State of Origin - Game 1 | Game Thread by NRLgamethread (897 points, 5458 comments)
  7. State of Origin - Game 2 | Discussion Thread by NRLgamethread (769 points, 5301 comments)
  8. State of Origin - Game 3 | Discussion Thread by NRLgamethread (735 points, 4597 comments)
  9. Grand Final: Storm vs Cowboys | Discussion Thread by AutoModerator (694 points, 4557 comments)
  10. 2017 State of Origin - Game 2 | Game Thread by NRLgamethread (506 points, 5816 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 299 points: truflebuta's comment in 2017 Origin Series - Post Game Thread
  2. 260 points: nick16961's comment in State of Origin 2016 - Game 1 | Post Match Thread
  3. 256 points: deleted's comment in Roosters star Shaun Kenny-Dowall arrested for drug possession at Sydney nightclub
  4. 246 points: StreamHero69's comment in Unhappy Future of Streams
  5. 218 points: ornateplacebo's comment in 2017 State of Origin Game 1 - Post match Thread
  6. 212 points: Butthole__Pleasures's comment in NRL Grand Final | Post Match Thread
  7. 207 points: EastAfrica1's comment in Unhappy Future of Streams
  8. 205 points: shinobiJP's comment in 2017 State of Origin II - Post Game Thread
  9. 197 points: F1GT6's comment in NRL Grand Final | Post Match Thread
  10. 193 points: comradepartypanda's comment in 2017 Origin Series - Post Game Thread
Generated with BBoe's Subreddit Stats (Donate)
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The Week In Review: Suburban News of the Past Week (11/6/16)

· 1. Riverwoods-based Center for Enriched Living plans to expand day-care for developmentally-disabled adults into Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Schaumburg (Daily Herald)
· 2. Person injured in late-morning shooting in Elgin (Chicago Tribune/Elgin Courier-News)
· 3. Aurora teen shot during early-morning fight in Oswego (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 4. 17 new headstones for Civil War veterans dedicated at Montgomery's Riverside Cemetery (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 5. Man found shot to death inside Park Forest home (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 6. New Illiana Christian High School to be built near 109th and Calumet avenues in St. John (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 7. Congregations of Merrillville host inaugural first-responders prayer breakfast (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 8. East Chicago Undivided advocacy group formed to provide information, outreach to residents affected by U.S.S. Lead Superfund cleanup site (Chicago Tribune)
· 9. Man accused of stealing scooter from home near Lake Villa; second suspect still at large (ABC 7)
· 10. Lake Forest filmmaker's latest work 'Tommy's Honour' nominated for two British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards (CBS 2)
· 11. Man from unincorporated Antioch charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct after allegedly pounding on garage door and yelling (FOX 32)
· 12. Waukegan cell-phone store robbed at gunpoint (FOX 32)
· 13. Portillo's to open Deerfield location on Nov. 15 (Chicago Tribune/Deerfield Review)
· 14. Iowa Supreme Court rules in favor of casino, against Antioch grandmother, in case over $41 million jackpot; awards her $1.85 (Chicago Tribune)
· 15. Two senior citizens injured after Skokie car crash sends one vehicle into an apartment building, the other into a tree (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 16. Federal appeals court blocks merger of Advocate Health Care, NorthShore University HealthSystem (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 17. Elgin's Art Harvest gives visitors the chance to create their own artworks, learn about public art (Chicago Tribune/Elgin Courier-News)
· 18. Inverness woman found guilty of husband's 1979 murder (Chicago Tribune)
· 19. Des Plaines man surprises girlfriend, both Cubs fans, with marriage proposal after Game 5 of the World Series (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 20. Wheeling brothers held on $50,000 bond each in attempted kidnapping near Prospect Heights grocery store (Daily Herald)
· 21. Executive director of Wheaton-based People's Resource Agency leaving job for post at Evanston-based The Cradle (Daily Herald)
· 22. LaFox man charged in South Elgin with fifth DUI offense (Daily Herald)
· 23. COLUMN: Hammond couple frustrated that no charges filed against babysitter in their child's death, which was ruled to have been caused by non-accidental brain trauma (Chicago Tribune/Post-Tribune)
· 24. Hammond backs down on basin-expansion plan that would have knocked down 21 additional homes along Linden Avenue (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 25. Gary man sentenced to six years in prison for armed robbery (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 26. Indiana University study shows strong opposition to charging drivers by the mileage they drive (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 27. Owner of Michigan City hotel pleads guilty to using unauthorized pesticides he illegally obtained from India to kill bedbugs (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 28. South Bend woman charged with disorderly conduct for cursing at police, not following orders while police investigated report of gunshot at party in a warehouse (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 29. Proponents, opponents air their feelings about proposed Cook County soda tax (ABC 7)
· 30. Tenants of Lake Villa business park, nearby building owner oppose funeral/crematory proposal (Daily Herald)
· 31. 18 months after completion, Woodfield Apartments in Deerfield sold for $82 million (Crain's Chicago Business)
· 32. Chicago teen and woman charged with attacking man outside Palatine apartment complex, stealing his cell phone (Daily Herald)
· 33. TV show by Mount Prospect native and former 'The Eric & Kathy Show' social-media guru, titled 'The Jamz,' to debut on Netflix, Amazon Prime (Daily Herald)
· 34. Neighbors' objections, tie vote kills proposed Bartlett wedding venue (Daily Herald)
· 35. Park Ridge City Council may adopt new food-inspection standards effective Jan. 1, 2017 (Chicago Tribune/Park Ridge Herald-Advocate)
· 36. Arlington Heights proposes $180.35 million budget along with small hike in property-tax levy (Daily Herald)
· 37. Two girls injured during fight at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire; no charges filed, though fight is under investigation (Daily Herald)
· 38. Former West Aurora High School, Northern Illinois University basketball coach John McDougal passes away at 92 (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 39. Three Aurora men charged with felony theft after taking sheets of metal from North Aurora business (Daily Herald)
· 40. Artist's 'Authenticity' in downtown Naperville features photo portraits (Daily Herald)
· 41. Sears to cut size of Oakbrook Center store by half by spring 2018; location to have more focused inventory (Chicago Tribune)
· 42. DuPage County Coroner's Office identifies woman found dead Sept. 29 at Bensenville golf course as resident of unincorporated Melrose Park (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 43. Wheaton College breaks ground on new welcome center (Daily Herald)
· 44. Lighter sparks Joliet house fire that kills 88-year-old man (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 45. Matteson man killed in head-on crash on I-57 near Country Club Hills after his vehicle crossed the median (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 46. Tire blowout causes semi to overturn on Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 47. Park Forest man arrested in vehicle burglary at Calumet Metra station parking lot in East Hazel Crest (CBS 2)
· 48. 55 vehicles spray-painted by vandals on Halloween night in Michigan City (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 49. Valparaiso Human Relations Council seeks creation of full-time housing/community-relations director position (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 50. Lake County sees six heroin-overdose deaths in one week, a spike in normal numbers (WBBM AM 780)
· 51. Highland woman found unconscious at scene of garage fire in Highland dies (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 52. East Chicago man grazed by bullet that flew through his bedroom window (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 53. Valparaiso man arrested in Hobart on child-porn charges (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 54. Reinstated Lake Station cop sues city, former mayor for lost wages, determination that the plaintiffs violated federal law (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 55. Reputed gang member pleads guilty to participation in racketeering, homicide outside Hammond bar (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 56. Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board reaches informal agreement on new pool for Libertyville High School (Daily Herald)
· 57. Skokie Animal Control reunites cat with owner from St. Louis area (WBBM AM 780)
· 58. Homeless man charged with Oct. 22 murder in Waukegan previously charged with attempted murder in 2011 in North Chicago (Chicago Tribune/Lake County News-Sun)
· 59. Lake County reaches agreement with IDOT to plow, salt 107 miles of state roads for $268,463, paid in two parts (Daily Herald)
· 60. Carpentersville, West Dundee police department investigate robbery, burglaries at Spring Hill Mall (Daily Herald)
· 61. U.S. Supreme Court hearing of Virginia transgender students' lawsuit to get access to preferred-gender locker rooms may set precedent for Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 (Daily Herald)
· 62. Revamped West Dundee movie theater slated to reopen as live-entertainment venue in 2017 (Daily Herald)
· 63. Two Florida men arrested on charges of burglarizing 29 cars in Mount Prospect (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 64. Schaumburg police arrest two men after tires on 30 cars were slashed at office buildings near Woodfield Mall (Daily Herald)
· 65. West Chicago couple charged with 2015 drug-induced homicide (Chicago Tribune/Naperville Sun)
· 66. Robert O'Connor sworn in as Aurora's new mayor, after Tom Weisner resigns because of health (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 67. Sycamore man sentenced to three years in prison for burglarizing same Naperville medical building twice in two years (Chicago Tribune/Naperville Sun)
· 68. Longtime Naperville police officer sworn in as Woodridge police chief (Daily Herald)
· 67. New Jersey woman to be extradited to DuPage County to face charge of drug-induced homicide after friend died in Darien hotel (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 68. Campton Hills man charged with raping girl during a three-year period (Daily Herald)
· 69. Autopsy reveals Oak Park man was shot five times by Markham police on Oct. 2 outside Stadium Nightclub (Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown)
· 70. La Grange man dead after his car crashes into two utility poles in Western Springs (Chicago Tribune/The Doings)
· 71. Victim of Oct. 22 crash on I-294 near Robbins identified as Kentucky resident (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 72. Provident Catholic High School baseball player with 0.500 batting average bears striking resemblance to Cubs' Kyle Schwarber (ABC 7)
· 73. Wife of disgraced Cook County sheriff's deputy charged in drug conspiracy sues federal government over husband's suicide at Metropolitan Correctional Center (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 74. Chance meeting with Bill Murray gets Munster woman front-row seat to World Series Game 6 (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 75. Portage police seek suspect in bank robbery who escaped in a black Dodge Charger (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 76. Chicago man found guilty of kidnapping, sexually assaulting 3-year-old Mundelein girl (Chicago Tribune/Lake County News-Sun)
· 77. Three juveniles arrested, one at large after police chase ends on Evanston beach; all were sought for armed robbery (NBC 5)
· 78. Person shot in Elgin on Wednesday evening (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 79. Gail Borden Public Library board to purchase building which contains its South Elgin branch, plans expansion in a few years (Daily Herald)
· 80. Former cable-company technician/aspiring rapper sentenced to 12 years in prison for stealing gun from Palatine home (Daily Herald)
· 81. Arlington Heights man charged with sexual abuse of two sisters (Daily Herald)
· 82. Two men arrested after allegedly assaulting, robbing man at gunpoint in Woodstock (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 83. Elgin set to raise water rates, from average of $35 to average of $40, more than 14 percent increase (Daily Herald)
· 84. Mount Prospect teen charged with reckless discharge of a weapon after firing AR 15 rifle into the ground to celebrate Cubs' win (Daily Herald)
· 85. Streamwood gang member charged with firing gun into another vehicle while driving near Streamwood High School (Daily Herald)
· 86. Des Plaines' Polo Inn, originally built at northwest suburbs' first hospital, being torn down (Daily Herald)
· 87. Forest Preserve District of DuPage County starts new approach to compensating departing employees; move could save county $6 million over 20 years (Daily Herald)
· 88. Glenbard High School District 87 board considers mid-August start date (Daily Herald)
· 89. United Sugar shows off dome that will house 138 million pounds of sugar in Montgomery (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 90. Town of Griffith to fight lawsuit filed by Calumet Township trustee to block Dec. 20 de-annexation referendum (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 91. Elderly Hammond couple robbed during home invasion (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 92. Ex-Prairie Grove cop cleared of official misconduct, DUI charges stemming from eggnog-fueled crash of police vehicle (Chicago Tribune)
· 93. Northwestern University reports 1.9 percent growth in investment portfolio, except that its numbers aren't based on the June 30 deadline other privately endowed colleges (Crain's Chicago Business)
· 94. Chicago's official Christmas tree donated by Wauconda family (NBC 5)
· 95. Local bike club's plea doesn't sway Mount Prospect's decision to remove 'ghost bike' memorial (Daily Herald)
· 96. Mount Prospect's RecPlex celebrating 25th anniversary (Daily Herald)
· 97. NTSB: Plane that caught fire Oct. 28 at O'Hare Airport had engine disk break apart (CBS 2)
· 98. 5-month-old girl killed in Barrington Hills vehicle crash that itself was caused by another crash (FOX 32)
· 99. Arlington Heights police investigate man trying to take photos with a cell-phone camera in office-building women's restroom (Chicago Tribune/Arlington Heights Post)
· 100. Man charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a minor after touching teen relative's breast in Park Ridge (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 101. Naperville elementary school celebrates Cubs' World Series win with great-great-granddaughter of 1908 Cubs catcher (Daily Herald)
· 102. New Water Street parking deck offers 400 more parking spaces in downtown Naperville (Daily Herald)
· 103. Man convicted of killing owner of Westmont business at former boss' Peotone-area home during second trial (Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown)
· 104. Elmwood Park, Chicago men taken to hospital after driver loses control of car, which crosses three lanes of traffic on I-55 and crashes into a tree south of Route 126 (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 105. Valparaiso officials inaugurate new path that connects neighborhoods (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 106. Hammond man convicted of impersonated doctor at Chicago clinic (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 107. Civil-rights deal gives residents of East Chicago's West Calumet Housing Complex more time to move (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 108. State suspends Bloomingdale real estate agent's license, faces criminal charges after allegedly stealing jewelry from houses she showed in Palatine, Wheaton (Daily Herald)
· 109. Federal judge rules Illiana Expressway approval was based on flawed, invalid environmental study; decision allows Illinois, Indiana DOTs to revise study, continue project (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 110. Evanston, team up to raise money to replace trees taken down because of emerald-ash borer (Chicago Tribune/Evanston Review)
· 111. Gurnee-based Six Flags Great America wins bet with Cleveland theme park, which will rename ride for World Series champion Cubs (NBC 5)
· 112. Arlington Heights church gets high-tech skylight designed to change color to control temperature and lighting (Daily Herald)
· 113. Elgin man convicted of selling synthetic marijuana out of his Algonquin tobacco store in 2013 (Daily Herald)
· 114. Metra train strikes pedestrian in Palatine (CBS 2)
· 115. Cicero police officer fires gun at escaping presumed drunk driver after being hit by car (FOX 32)
· 116. St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 parents push referendum petition that could mean new middle school or no changes to current buildings (Daily Herald)
· 117. Joliet man sentenced to 105 years for robbing and killing drug dealer in Aurora (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 118. TCF Bank branch in Lombard robbed on Saturday morning (CBS 2)
· 119. FBI investigating attempted bank robbery in Villa Park (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 120. Married couple found stabbed to death in Montgomery home (CBS 2)
· 121. Decision not to demolish Merrillville's Star Plaza Theatre may have saved Northwest Indiana Symphony (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 122. Valparaiso teen wins North American League Low JunioAmateur Owner Final, her first national championship (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 123. Hobart High Brickies win sectional title in 19 years (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 124. Gary man killed after his car veered off I-65, slammed into utility pole near Crown Point (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 125. Person found shot to death in Gary (CBS 2)
· 126. South Haven firefighteEMT terminated for July 13 racist post on Facebook (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 127. Record-breaking 29,968 people cast votes in Cook County on Friday; countywide early-voting totals up to 264,343 (ABC 7)
submitted by emememaker73 to ChicagoSuburbs [link] [comments]

The Mountaineer Casino Sportsbook located in New Cumberland is one of five casinos in West Virginia. as William Hill already offers sports betting apps in New Jersey and Nevada. Final Verdict. Enjoy exciting sports betting, casino games, horse racing betting, and more at Mountaineer Casino & Resort. A gaming lawyer at Cooper-Levenson in Atlantic City, Lynne Kaufman, says the Supreme Court’s decision to cancel the ban on sports betting in the USA is a big win for the state of New Jersey.. It is also a win for racetracks and Atlantic City casinos that will be cashing out from the decision with both types of venue expected to feature sports betting, starting as soon as the next few weeks. It’s game on for sports betting in New Jersey, and perhaps the rest of the country as well. The state of New Jersey won its US Supreme Court case, as a majority of justices declared that the federal ban on sports wagering is unconstitutional. More on the backstory of NJ sports betting and the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act here. It’s a Supreme Court case in which the state of New Jersey challenged the constitutionality of PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992), a federal law that prohibited states from allowing sports betting. New Jersey tried to repeal its own ban on sports betting, the four major sports leagues and the NCAA sued, and the The case concerned New Jersey, but it has implications for other states eager to allow and tax sports gambling. Americans are estimated to annually place $150 billion in illegal wagers on sports.

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