The Best Of Random Shots From 2020

Joe Bryant with the notable and/or humorous side of 2020.

Hi Folks,

I say the same thing every December but I think it's fitting the regular season wraps up this time of year. Because for me, the NFL season is sort of like Christmas: Tons of anticipation, and then it seems to be over before I know it.

Part of the fun in writing this column is I know I'll get to share some thoughts with folks like yourself who love football as much as I do. And that strikes me as a very good thing. I've had a blast throwing out my goofy observations this season. And I've smiled at the emails from people telling me they've thought some of the same things as they were watching the games.

As I wrap up the regular season this Week 17, I've pulled up some of the more interesting things I remember seeing during the year. It's my sincerest hope that you've enjoyed reading this column a fraction as much as I enjoyed writing it. We'll do it again next season. If you've got thoughts and ideas on how this thing can be better, or just want to yell at me about my preseason Odell Beckham Jr ranking, feel free to shoot me a line at Bryant@footballguys.com.

It's also made me realize I'm in serious trouble if Ryan Fitzpatrick and Philip Rivers ever retire...

Here's to Football,

J


FROM WEEK 1

Be nice to each other. We're all just trying to figure it out.

Bonus points to whoever's running the @SirPurr Twitter account with the "I'M THAT BEAR".


Pretty much.


A live look in on Dwayne Haskins and the NFC East.


I had a sandwich at halftime Sunday.

Ron Rivera had an IV.



FROM WEEK 2


Dear Patrick Mahomes II II, Dan Marino says "Hi".


Week 2 in one image:


Cowboys game recap:


2020.


FROM WEEK 3

I get players and coaches wanting to celebrate. But headbutts probably aren't the best idea. When only one person is wearing a helmet.


We don't deserve Ryan Fitzpatrick.


Mike Leach is still my favorite college coach.


FROM WEEK 4

It's October. Let's do this.


Yup.

Colin Cowherd is right. Just because they're in Texas, doesn't mean the Cowboys have to play defense like a Big 12 team...


Tampa center Ryan Jensen with the "These guys make a lot of money. These guys earn a lot of money."


FROM WEEK 5

Fletcher Cox with the “Hey...HEY” is the big brother to keep us focused we all need.


A baseball note. "Walker Buehler's Pants" was trending on Twitter.

The Internet did what the Internet does.

And...

And my favorite...


FROM WEEK 6

Yup.


Oh, Daniel Jones...


It's time...


FROM WEEK 7

The Presidential Debate was last Thursday night. Someone sent me this picture from a Delta flight taken during the debate. Red arrow on the Footballguy. It was probably someone reading this article right now.


Pretty much.


My favorite DK Metcalf chasing Budda Baker shot was "I believe that's Mr. Wilson's ball..."

The full scene as I never pass a chance to post a Happy Gilmore clip...


I love this.


FROM WEEK 8

More Ryan Fitzpatrick...


It was windy for the Raiders Brown game.

Let's not kid ourselves. That was just a cheap intro into the NFL Films classic clip narrated by John Facenda. If you're like me, you fell in love with the NFL during this period.

The Autumn Wind is a pirate
Blustering in from sea,
With a rollicking song, he sweeps along,
Swaggering boisterously.
His face is weather beaten.
He wears a hooded sash,
With a silver hat about his head,
And a bristling black mustache.

He growls as he storms the country,
A villain big and bold.
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake,
As he robs them of their gold.

The Autumn Wind is a raider,
Pillaging just for fun.
He'll knock you 'round and upside down,
And laugh when he's conquered and won.


Everyone got an extra hour of sleep Saturday night, right?


FROM WEEK 9

Philip Rivers is all of us.

And you knew these were coming...

And...


Pretty much this.


FROM WEEK 10

I've felt like this before...


Fun fact. If you google "Alex Trebek", it will provide the response: Did you mean “Who is Alex Trebek?” That's so good. Thanks to Footballguy Shannon Martin for that one.

Plus, Adam Thielen crushed Monday night with these.


Rock on, Smith Brothers.


FROM WEEK 11

I knew it.


God Bless Football.


FROM WEEK 12

Ken Norton, Jr. is still a gamer.


Arizona for the win. They're not just being a good neighbor and allowing the 49ers to share their stadium and facility, they're winning Social Media at the same time.

The perfect reply.


Fun fact. I'm normally pretty neutral on fantasy team names with puns. Some are fun. Lots are weak. But my all-time favorite team in this category was my 2016 team in my home league, "He Don't Make The Law, He Justin Forsett". Still love that. So I've got a soft spot in my heart for him.

He was back on my radar this week winning the internet with this.



FROM WEEK 13

Mike Tomlin seemed to have a realistic take on things.


With Seattle trailing by 5 and 1:11 left in the fourth quarter, I thought Russell Wilson would do Russell Wilson things.

That's why they play the games.


You can never go wrong with a Dwight Schrute quote.

God Bless The Office.


FROM WEEK 14

I miss Chad Johnson so much.


Oh that Larry Fitzgerald...


Lamar Jackson left the game with "cramps". I know that run. You probably do too. That's not cramps.

Robert Griffin III III III knows what's up.


FROM WEEK 15

Aaron Rodgers. Good at Football.


Mack Hollins made his entrance Sunday. Everyone else is playing for 2nd place.

For reference.


Aqib Talib proving once again, if your shoulders are wider than your waist, you can pretty much wear whatever you want and everyone will love it.

Even if it looks like your grandma's couch...


Empathy and Kindness (And Santa) For the Win.


One of my favorite stories. And one I tell here often.

Heading into the last day, a doubleheader, of the 1941 baseball season, 23-year-old Ted Williams' batting average was .39955. He could have sat out the meaningless last two games of the last day and his average would have rounded to the hallowed .400 mark.

From the sabr.org article: "In his autobiography, My Turn At Bat, Williams recalls Joe Cronin telling him, 'You don’t have to be put in if you don’t want to. You’re officially .400.' Ted reports his reaction: 'Well, God, that hit me like a ***damn lightning bolt! What do you mean I don’t have to play today?'"

But you probably know the story. Williams put his .400 mark at risk and played. Both games. And went 6 for 8 finishing the year at .406.

That's badass.

How that applies to you and me is simple. I feel pretty safe in saying we're not going to hit .400 in the majors. But we all get to walk to the plate every day and take some swings. Take yours.


That'll do it for 2020.

Dang. This was a year.

It goes without saying this year has been the toughest year most any of us have faced in a long time.

Shauna Niequist is a writer I enjoy. She wrote this a few years ago but I think it applies to this year more than ever.

“My prayer is that what you’ve lost, and what I’ve lost this year, will fade a little bit in the beauty of the Christmas season, that for a few moments at least, what is right and good and worth believing will outshine all the darkness, within us and around us.”

That's my hope for you. That the pain of what you've lost this year may fade a bit as we seek out and focus on what's right and good and worth believing. That what's right and good will outshine the darkness. Happy New Year to you and yours from all of us at Footballguys. Rock on.

I want to thank all the folks who sent me funny things they saw this year. You guys rock and you make my job easier. And thanks to all of you for the kind words throughout the season - you humble me. Sincerely.

This may be the last Random Shots of the year but Lord willing, I'm not going anywhere. You can always reach me by email at bryant@footballguys.com. Stay in touch with us on Facebook by clicking "like". And you can keep up with me on Twitter or keep up with my non-football stuff here on Instagram.

I realize I've often strayed from sports and climbed on the soapbox maybe a bit more than I should. I intentionally left most of those off this collection as most of the rants were more a context thing. But not to be too dramatic about it, I felt like we sort of went through the 2020 season together. There were tough moments. And plenty of light moments. It wasn't all fun, but I think I can say it's been good to be together.

I'm completely down with Ram Dass who said: "In the end, we're all just walking each other home at night." Thanks for walking with me.

I hope you make the most of whatever you're doing in your life while you love your neighbor and stick together. And may you find someone who hugs you like Aaron Rodgers hugged Aaron Jones.

Peace and Grace to you.

J


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