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We do a ton of insightful, thoughtful and serious features here at Footballguys with smart people thinking deeply for you. This is not one of those features.
This is Random Shots and it's a few pages of me downloading my goofy and dysfunctional mental hard drive that gets stuffed with way too many random items from too many hours watching, reading about and listening to football every weekend and throughout the week. It's the only way I manage. Here's hoping it has some value for you.
We'll see. Now let's get to it.
The Holidays are upon us. Let's open with the best rendition I've heard in a while of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" courtesy of that noted Holiday Crooner - Bill Belichick. Click here for the video.
Just like last year, I'm starting right off the bat with the music as we cover all the Holiday bases. First, a Run DMC - Charlie Brown mashup of Christmas in Hollis from the Best Christmas Movie Ever - Die Hard.
Next up is Adam Sandler with the classic Chanukah Song.
Elvis sings my favorite Christmas song.
And for a picture of cool personified, he butchers the words but still kills it live.
Long live the King.
And one last song for you Star Wars fans...
Lastly, one of my favorite Sports Illustrated covers from a few years back featuring Belichick Santa.
What is it about Belichick and this time of year?
Happy Holidays from all of us at Footballguys.
I love Aaron Rodgers. He's one of my favorite players and it's no coincidence his photo's at the top of most every Random Shots this year.
But unfortunately, this hits too close to home.
Field Yates with a perfect example of why the top College Football programs should never fall off the top.
And a reminder of how much tougher coaching is at the pro level. Nick Saban's an incredible college head coach. Maybe best ever. But can you imagine what the NFL would look like if the Patriots had four first-round draft picks in April each year while some teams didn't have a pick until the third round?
Mercifully, the Bills played their last home game of the season Sunday.
You know I love you Bills Mafia. But I'm begging you, please stop being this stupid.
Just in time for Christmas.
On a serious note, this is the NFL. Injuries happen. Carson Wentz is fantastic and nobody will argue the Eagles are better without him. But it's also the game. Don't expect any sympathy from Vikings fans. The Eagles were smart in planning for something just like this and spending up for a quality backup like Foles. Rock on, Eagles.
More Christmas fun from Jordy Nelson.
It's easy to forget these guys often look to the big picture of improving their overall game. Regardless of what jersey they're wearing. Classy move from the veteran Hali and good on Bosa for respecting a veteran and realizing he's got plenty to learn.
The Steelers pushing right up to the edge with another TD Celebration Sunday night. JuJu Smith-Schuster reenacting the Burfict taunt which earned him a game off in Week 14.
My favorite part was Tony Dungy's reaction on NBC's, Football Night In America. Dan Patrick called the highlight with Smith-Schuster standing over Bryant and Dungy said only, "Ummmm".
So maybe the Rams are for real?
At one point during Sunday's game...
Or maybe it's more a Seattle thing?
Thanks to Footballguy Brian Sumner for that one.
Thanks to Footballguy Joe Caulfield for that one.
Garrett Celek with a Christmas Toy inspired celebration.
Cam Newton with one of the best moments this season.
As the Panthers lined up, Green Bay's Clay Matthews shouts, "It's that wheel route. It's that wheel route!"
Newton smiled and said, "You been watching film, huh?"
Matthews said, "Yeah."
Newton said, "Cool. Watch this." then threw a slant touchdown to McCaffrey.
The not feel-good moment of the week was the catch / not a catch by tight end Jesse James in Pittsburgh.
Thankfully, we had folks to explain the NFL Catch Rule for us.
The truth is, it's not THAT complicated.
WaswereV2 from Reddit made this flowchart.
Or if you want the real rule, here's what every team outside of New England understands...
Case in point.
Bottom line: The rule was applied correctly. But it's a bad rule. Please fix it. As my friend Bill Barnwell pointed out Monday, from CTE to Anthem Protests to TV Ratings, the league faces some complex problems without easy solutions. Fixing the Catch Rule is easy. And fix the Automatic Touchback Rule for a fumble through the end zone while you're at it.
You OCD Uniform Nerds (like me) may have noticed the caped figure on jerseys and helmets Sunday.
Turns out this was NOT a Darth Vader Star Wars promotion.
Each team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man Of The Year award wore the special logo.
Which is super sweet.
Thanks to Footballguy Rob Weber for that one.
Michael Irvin wins the "Say The Most Random Thing Possible That Nobody Agrees With" award for this week.
But then again, Irvin has us talking about him. Which I assume is the point.
Well played, 88.
Apparently, double-teaming Jarvis Landry takes four defenders...
Thanks to Footballguy Chad Parsons for that one.
Tampa Bay inducted Jon Gruden (and The Visor) into their Ring Of Honor Monday Night.
As it should be.
Music Note. This one's my annual throwback to my all-time Nirvana album, "Unplugged". And my favorite song from the Unplugged set, "Where Did You Sleep Last Night". Click here to see it.
From the 3:00 mark to the 4:15 is maybe my favorite piece of music video ever recorded. And the look on Cobain's face at the 4:02 mark may be my favorite few seconds ever for music. I know it sounds melodramatic but for a split second, it looks like he drops the mask and we can all see. So good. Miss that guy.
The song, of course, is a cover from the legendary Blues artist, Leadbelly. To hear the recording from 1944, click here. It's beyond awesome too.
The Lakers put on a worship service for Kobe Bryant this week retiring both his jerseys.
LaVar Ball wasn't happy.
Jeff Fisher to Chicago? Please let this happen.
Random Shots is much better with Fisher in the league. And yes, by "better" I mean "easier to write".
Fun moment this week in Dallas. Dak Prescott was the surprise Celebrity Grocery Delivery Guy for a contest. When he showed up with groceries and the film crew, the woman who won was wearing a Green Bay Packers shirt.
Prescott handled it like a pro.
In a weird year for the NFL (and let's face it, a pretty weird year for everything) JuJu Smith-Schuster seems intent on singlehandedly saving the day. From bikes to drivers licenses to shutting down Mia Khalifa, Smith-Schuster continues to make mostly the right moves. (Vontaze Burfict, cough cough...)
You may remember earlier this year, former adult film star Khalifa set the trap with:
Smith-Schuster was having none of it.
In the latest #GoodJuJu move, he surprised a woman by taking his jersey out of her hands and signing it.
Lots of great lessons there. First, the "Return On Investment" was huge. This cost him a few minutes of time and the payoff was big. Secondly, the woman clearly didn't recognize him at first and it's not clear she even understood afterward. That doesn't matter. What matters is HIS part. Where it goes from there isn't up to him.
Do Good Things.
Don't Worry About Whether It's Appreciated.
It's a little odd the league's youngest player is showing us the way, but that's where we are.
I'm going to wrap the 2017 Random Shots just like I did the 2016 Random Shots. I'm not sure how these turned into me jumping on to my Soap Box at the end but here's the last one of those for this year. It's something I shared with some of my Young Guns I hang out with and it might be of interest to you guys. It's just a reminder of stuff you already know.
Here's my thought: Be present.
This can be the most time-crunched time of the year trying to juggle everything. From parties to dinners to gifts to decorating to making food. I get it. I like all those things. But here's the deal - when time gets tight, some things have to go. Some things aren't going to make the cut and simply won't happen. This means we have to prioritize and make sure the most important things DO get done. And sometimes that looks like just BEING WITH the people you love.
I can say with confidence, the most important thing those around you want is very simply just you. I'm sure your secret recipe dessert is awesome. But what they really want is you. The people closest to you want you to look them in the eye and hear, really hear what they're saying. So when you have to decide between running out and getting that last gift or hanging out with that person who needs it, choose the person. Always choose the person. Always. You can make the cool dessert some other time.
And I'm talking to myself here more than you guys. As I usually am.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays and I hope you have a fantastic week. This will be the last Random Shots of 2017 and next week I'll do a "Best Of" where I recap some of my favorite lines from the year.
Thanks to Footballguys Keith Overton, David Dodds, Clayton Gray, Joe Caulfield, Chad Parsons, Rob Weber and Brian Sumner for the help with this one.
And thanks to you for playing along and I hope you make the most of whatever you're doing in your life. Love your neighbor and stick together.
And hug someone like Aaron Rodgers.
Peace and Grace to you.