Four Downs – October 16th: The best regular season football weekend in Arizona…EVER?

This was an absolutely incredible football weekend for the Cardinals, Sun Devils, and Wildcats. Offhand I can’t remember a more successful two days for our Arizona teams in recent memory. For me personally, as awesome as UofA’s win was on Saturday, watching my favorite NFL player, Aaron Rodgers go down with a broken collarbone on Sunday and my beloved Cubbies losing two in LA was almost as crushing.

While I’ll do my best to wrap up these last few exhilarating days in this column, I hope you’ll tune in to The Daily Blender, weekdays from 1-3pm (this week 12-3pm) on 1580 The Fanatic. The show starts today (Monday) and I’m looking forward to fun sports talk BY THE FANS, FOR THE FANS with fellow hosts Jeffry O’Brien & Charles Wulf.

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Four Downs – October 9th: The Savior of Arizona Wildcats Football Present and Future?

FIRST DOWN: Khalil Tate – a performance for the ages!

Two weeks ago I wrote that Arizona football was a dying brand under Rich Rodriguez.¬†And when Saturday’s game in Boulder kicked off I thought no differently. Nor did most Arizona football fans.

But when starting QB Brandon Dawkins, who I maintained shouldn’t be playing in the first place, was injured on a flagrant late hit on the opening drive, Arizona’s season immediately changed.

True sophomore Khalil Tate, whose redshirt was burned midway through last season, put on a performance no Arizona football fan will soon forget. More importantly, Arizona won its first Pac-12 road game in nearly two years, 45-42, over Colorado and improved their 2017 record to 3-2.

Tate rushed 14 times for 327 yards and 4 touchdowns…and completed 11 of 12 passes for 142 yards and a TD. The rushing yards were the most in NCAA HISTORY by a quarterback. Think about that for a second…there has never been a performance on the ground better by a college QB. Staggering!

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Four Downs – October 2nd: The Cardinals In Big Trouble? + MLB Playoff Predictions

The Los Angeles Chargers…my “lock of the year”…can’t even sell out a 28,000 seat stadium! And the worst part is that there were more Eagles fans than Chargers fans at the game. Needless to say I’m not picking them for a long time…nor am I making anymore “lock of the year” picks anytime soon. Move back to San Diego, please…what an embarrassment all around!

FIRST DOWN: The Cardinals are pretty much toast this season…can we all please acknowledge that?

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Four Downs – September 25th: ASU Outplays & Upsets Oregon, Now What?

If you haven’t gotten a chance to read this weekend’s bonus column about UofA football’s troubles and my reaction, it’s worth a look. Thus far I’ve received nothing but positive reinforcement from the Arizona football community and I hope that members of the athletic department are taking note.

Before I get to the rest of the column, here’s my take on the President’s national anthem stance and the latest protests by NFL players on Sunday. First of all, Trump’s comments on Friday and Saturday were completely unnecessary. Despite that, while I understand the concept of freedom of speech, I would hope that players would stand and properly acknowledge our country’s anthem and what it stands for (i.e. freedom) even if they don’t like the president. The world is far from perfect but making a spectacle out of what is supposed to be national pride is embarrassing. While I’m all for unity, I believe there are other ways to express it rather than doing so during our country’s national anthem. I would also hope that our President has more dire priorities than speaking / tweeting and escalating the situation. Can we please restore some normalcy to the pregame ceremonies?

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On to the games themselves…

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Four Downs – September 18th: Overreacting to another wild weekend

FIRST DOWN: UofA and ASU played hard for their coaches…the Cardinals…well, it’s hard to say…

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It was hard not to be impressed with UofA’s 63-16 win in El Paso on Friday night. Brandon Dawkins looked like (Louisville QB and reigning Heisman Trophy winner) Lamar Jackson with 155 yards passing, 133 rushing, and 6 total TDs. Then again, I think I said it best via Twitter during the game:

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Four Downs – September 11th: Time to fire up the ASU & UofA Coaching Hot Boards + Cards in trouble?

What a brutal sports weekend for me, not to mention most sports fans in Arizona. In addition to the football debacles discussed below, the Diamondbacks lost 2 of 3 to a pathetic Padres team, including a spectacular six run meltdown in the 9th inning on Saturday night. And my Cubbies, well, got swept at home by the Brewers…and their NL Central lead went from five games to two. But the real story of the weekend was the absolute ineptitude of Arizona’s college and pro football teams…

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Four Downs – August 28th: The Preseason Injury Bug Strikes Again

Before I get into the column, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of southeast Texas as they’re going through hell right now due to the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. To my friend Jordan in Houston who is a loyal reader of the blog – stay safe and dry.

FIRST DOWN: Unnecessary injuries dominate Preseason Week 3

Enough is enough. It’s time to do something about the preseason. Don’t believe me? Ask the four key players who suffered season-ending knee injuries this weekend…

Patriots WR Julian Edelman
Chiefs RB Spencer Ware
Bears WR Cameron Meredith
Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens

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Edelman was Tom Brady’s security blanket in the passing game. That will hurt initially but New England is still so deep and so good that I won’t revise my 16-0 prediction. Ware was likely to be replaced anyway in Kansas City by 3rd round pick Kareem Hunt but it’s still a painful loss for a team looking to win the AFC West for the second straight season. Meredith was Chicago’s most proven wide receiver and leaves QB Mike Glennon with virtually no effective weapons in the passing game. The Bears’ receivers are almost as terrible as the Jets’…which are historically awful. And Hitchens was a key contributor on a Dallas defense which needed to rise up early to offset the suspension of offensive star, running back Ezekiel Elliott.

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