Pocket Guide to NFC Teams

Because the regular season is coming soon (!!!), we’ll start doing divisional breakdowns again in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, here’s a pocket guide to all of the NFC Teams that might come in handy this season.

(Don’t feel left out, AFC fans. Next week is your time to shine!)

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football, resources, NFC

Pocket Guide to the NFL Year

Football is no longer a single season. It’s a year-round affair.

And the people rejoice!

Wondering what happens when? I made another Pocket Guide – and will probably make more as the regular season approaches – to give you a handy printable to keep around so you know what’s going on and when!

Wondering what happens when? Here's your pocket guide to the NFL Year!

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Have an idea for a Pocket Guide? I’d love to hear it! Leave your ideas in the comments section or contact me anytime.

Media Day

Today is Super Bowl Media Day. It’s the day when the players and staff of both teams are available to all media outlets for questions of all kinds. Which means it’s a circus of mayhem under very loose control.

So today, we’re having our own version of Media Day. It’s bound to keep a much tighter grasp on reality. Here are some resources for more information on this year’s Super Bowl:

The Game

The Matchup

47 Reasons to Watch Super Bowl 47

Five Keys to Super Bowl 47

Super Bowl Q&A with John Clayton

The Harbaughs

Jim Harbaugh: NFL Quarterback

Pre-game sounds from the first meeting of the Harbaugh brothers last Thanksgiving

The brothers Harbaugh, mic’d.

Harbaugh Family conference call transcript

A snippet from Andrea Kramer’s HBO interview with the Harbaughs

Jack Harbaugh (Jim and John’s father) talking about Colin Kaepernick

The Ravens

Steve Sabol sits down with Ed Reed

A look back at Torrey Smith’s emotional game against the Patriots

Joe Flacco’s Delaware career (including the Albany game that almost got him benched)

A true player’s coach

The incredible story of O.J. Brigance

Ray Lewis

The Short One

The Medium One

The Long One

The 49ers

Memorable moments in 49ers Super Bowl history

…and it’s a pretty impressive history

Colin Kaepernick’s 4th grade letter predicting the future

Jim Harbaugh seeking sage advice (My favorite part? “I just know that the team that complains the most usually loses.”)

Randy Moss has another chance for a ring, but it seems like he’s already achieved redemption

Game Play Thursday : You Decide!

Just so we’re clear: I’m copping out of this week’s Game Play Thursday post because I didn’t make time to write it. That’s what’s happening here.

But in other news, the entire house is decked out for Christmas and I’m pulling ahead in this year’s race to watch as many cheesy Christmas movies as possible between now and December 25th.

SO, instead of actually writing a Game Play Thursday post, I’m letting you write it: What do you want to see explained on these days? What should we cover over the next few weeks of Game Play Thursday? Defensive schemes? Penalties? Passing routes? What would be most helpful for you?

Let your thoughts loose in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!

One Step Further Resources

Don’t get me wrong. SportsCenter is a staple in my daily routine. I visit NFL.com more than nearly any other website. There are so many great outlets for instant updates. But if you’d like to go one step further than just headlines in your quest for football knowledge, here are a few lesser-known resources that you’ll love:


  • Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB) column is a must-read. Seriously: must-read. I think Peter King does the human side of football better than anyone else, and he doesn’t leave the X’s and O’s behind, either. Consistently outstanding sports writing.
  • Pro Football Focus provides insightful (and often humorous) analysis (my favorite features are the ReFo and Weekly Winners/Losers)
  • Similarly named but different content: Pro Football Weekly (the Spin Cycles are a great way to catch up on news in each division).
  • Quickish, still my favorite source for witty instant reactions to all sports news.


  • NFL Turning Point is my new favorite show. It takes games and breaks them into the key turning points that led to victory. The explanations of the plays/personnel/schemes and why they were successful are SO helpful and not at all too technical to understand. If you only pick one NFL show to watch every week, pick this one. Airs: Wednesdays at 10:00pm and 11:00pm (NBC Sports Network) 
  • NFL Matchup is probably the best show you’ve never heard of. Unbelievably, since this show is a) on ESPN and b) about the NFL, it’s somehow terribly undermarketed. Excellent analysis and game play breakdown. Airs: Sundays at 6:30am (ESPN) and 8:30am (ESPN2)
  • Mike and Mike’s Best of the NFL (also surprisingly undermarketed) is a great quick-hitting catch up of everything that happened in the prior week. I’m inclined to it because I love the Mikes, but I think a lot of people would appreciate the show for it’s good-natured humor and approachability. Airs: Tuesdays at 3:00pm (ESPN)
  • If you’d like a primer on a wide scope of football history, A Football Life is your best bet. Each episode focuses on a specific prolific person in football history. It’s wonderfully produced and told like a classic story. Even if you aren’t a football fan, chances are you’ll love these documentaries. Airs: Wednesdays at 8:00pm (NFL Network) (You can also buy the Season 1 DVD Set here.)


How about you guys? Any resources you love that haven’t been included here? Add ’em in the comments!

Resources : Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets

For all of you fantasy footballers out there, draft time is approaching. And luckily, ESPN is going to help you with the process.

As a general rule, you’re going to want to draft your high-scorers in the first round. This usually means taking the best available quarterback or running back. After that, it’s up to you, but I always like the approach of taking the best player on the board. To do that, use this Top 300 list. Cross off the players as they’re drafted and then go with the best available player at the position you need when it’s your turn to pick.

If you’re more of a by-team or by-position drafter, check out the first two cheat sheets on this list.

For those of you who want to play fantasty football but aren’t looking to get knee-deep in draft strategy, try checking out a Pick ‘Em league. All you have to do is guess the winners and losers of each game every week. It’s easy and fun!

If you are on the fence about playing fantasy football: DO IT! Seriously, do it. Playing in my first league a few years ago gave me a whole new appreciation for and interest in the games every week. You’ll be invested in a way that you wouldn’t be otherwise and you’ll learn so much. No matter what kind of league you join (and if your friends/family/coworkers don’t want to play, there are always free leagues to join online), just join one! Any one!

You’ve got nothing to lose except time and sanity and everything to gain.

Now go have fun!