NFL Week 10 Observations

The good, bad and ugly from the NFL Week 10

James Conner (left) and Big Ben have the Steelers rolling. Karl Roser/Steelers.com

Sometimes I watch football and wonder: “What the hell is going on out here?” (in Vince Lombardi voice). Seems like every week, something crazy happens. Good or bad, the NFL never fails us. Let’s dive into what I observed this week:

The Good

-The Steelers did two things with Thursday with their 52-14 dismantling of the Panthers: they proved themselves to be a legit AFC contender ad poked a small hole in the Panthers’ balloon. James Conner is making them not miss Le’Veon Bell. Big Ben has turned back the clock, and Antonio Brown is being Antonio Brown. Oh, and the defense not bad either

-The Titans upset the Patriots 34-10! How Sway?!? Holding Tom Brady to 21 of 41 passing and no touchdowns, while also only giving up 40 yards rushing is how. Conversely, Marcus Mariota had a great day, and they added 150 yards rushing.

-The Chargers are the team no one wants to see. Two of the main reasons are quarterback Philip Rivers and running back Melvin Gordon. Rivers is turning back the clock while Gordon is having his breakout year. In their 20-9 win over the lowly Raiders, Rivers completed 69% of his passes while Gordon tallied 165 total yards and a touchdown.

The Bad

-The Falcons started the season 1-4, went on a three game win streak to draw them back to .500, and promptly lost to the Browns 28-16. Injuries have played a large part in their struggles this season, but so has Julio Jones not getting his first touchdown catch until last week. The struggle bus continues rolling in Atlanta since their Super Bowl collapse.

-After another loss Sunday (31-12 to the Packers), Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler said “I’ve got to play better.” It sounded very familiar. Sounds like a guy who’s had a ton of practice saying that same line after a poor performance. Wonder where we’ve heard that before?

-Monday Night Football featured another abysmal matchup of the moveable force against the resistible object. The Giants played the 49ers and won their second game of the season 27-23. NFL schedule makers need to do better. Flexing games to the Sunday night spot has worked, but Monday’s now suffer due to poor foresight.

The Ugly

-The Jags are now 3-6 and on a five-game losing streak. The Colts handed them a 29-26 loss Sunday and it wasn’t Blake Bortles’ fault. It ended for them on a fumble after a catch that put them in field goal range by Rashad Greene. They’ve gone from the AFC title game and considered a Super Bowl contender this year, to potential top 10 draft selection.

-The Bears beat the Lions 34-22 despite kicker Cody Parkey missing both field goal attempts and 2 of 4 extra points. Eight points in a 12 pint win doesn’t seem like much. But if you’re leading your division and have a defense that is one of the league’s best, that could mean a playoff loss if it happens in early January.

-The Bucs lost to the Skins 16-3 to drop their record to 3-6 on the season. The ugly comes from them amassing 501 yards of offense in doing so! The four turnovers they committed aided in this dreadful mockery. Start looking at quarterbacks in the draft Bucs fans.

Things are starting to settle. We now have several legit contenders in each conference. Saints and Rams are the class of the NFC, with the Bears, Skins and Panthers vying to make a case. The Chiefs, Steelers, and Patriots seem to be top dogs in the AFC, while the Chargers and Texans make cases of their own. The stretch run will be a rollercoaster ride to the end.

 

Cheerleaders are supposed to be hot. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

In this age of safe spaces and emotional support animals I understand the plight of the modern day cheerleader and power dancer. They shouldn't have to hear hurtful words.

Longtime Texans cheerleader director Alto Gary was accused of calling her cheerleaders crack whores and porn stars when they wore too much makeup. This week a MIlwaukee Bucks cheerleader said she was locked in a dark closet and had to endure jiggle tests and fat grabbing.

These methods are probably unnecessary. Are they lawsuit worthy? That's for smarter people to decide. The Bucks did settle a suit for $250,000 because they underpaid their cheerleaders. That's something I can get behind. But that's arguable as well.

Exactly what are we looking for in our cheerleaders as 2018 comes to a close?

There are two main priorities in the cheer game: looks and dance-ability. We've gotten away from the gymnastics aspect. In high school competition it's still important but in the pro game we've gone to more synchronized dancing.

What we haven't gotten away from is how important it is to look good. As politically incorrect as that might be, it isn't going away anytime soon, maybe ever. We want our cheerleaders to look good. Sorry. Call me a neanderthal. Political correctness will never overcome a guy's pentiant to look at pretty girls. It just won't.

What we have here is the issue of how the cheerleaders are being treated and paid. Are the hurtful words necessary? No. But guess what. Stuff happens when livelihoods are on the line. You know what coaches call their players when they gain weight and get out of shape? You don't want to know. It's ugly. Body shaming? You bet. Happens every day in locker rooms all across the country at every level.

Some coaches are just mean and will pick at any inadequacy. Others use it as a motivational tactic. Who wants to be shamed publicly? No one but if I stay in shape I won't catch the coach's wrath so I stay in shape.

Let me make this perfectly clear though. I am anti-eating disorder. I like a little meat on the bones. That cheerleaders have to be Victoria Secret models is a thing of the past. Nothing wrong with some muffin tops in my book. I would be a great cheerleader director. After practice we'd order a few pizzas.

I'd be the only one who would do that but OK. Maybe I would change the game. Probably not but maybe.

As far as the inferior pay goes, I'm not sure that will change anytime soon. I don't want to be mean but let's be real. Cheerleaders are part of the game. They are not the game. Unless you are extremely perverted (and there are much better ways to get your perv on) the only people that are there just for the cheerleaders are their family and boyfriends/husbands.

The players are the product and they're expensive. Periphery attractions have to be affordable or the business plan doesn't work. Cheerleaders can and should make more than the miserly owners have been paying them but they're never going to get rich cheering. They're just not.

My cousin was a Honey Bear back in the day. She didn't make squat but she loved what she did and no one can ever take that away from her. There's a certain pride that goes along with it, not only for her but for the whole family. My cousin was hot enough to be a Bear's cheerleader. None of my friends had family that hot. I lauded that over them.

Let's not relent to political correctness on this. We just can't. Should directors lock cheerleaders in closets? Grab their fat? Wrap them in cellophane? Probably not. Should they at least make minimum wage and maybe more? Sure.

But we can't lower our hotness standards. They have to be smokin' hot and dance well.

I want my mechanic to know engines and fix my problem. I want my doctor to diagnose and cure my ills. I want my pilot to take off and land without incident and I want my cheerleaders and/or power dancers to be hot and dance well. That's the job. Period.

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