Eligible Receiver

NFL Preview: NFC West

First of all, wow has this division pulled itself out of the gutter in the last few years. Want to know what I think about that?

Who gives a shit.

San Francisco Niners

I live in San Francisco. There could not be worse fans here. That's why it's so hard to get behind this team. When I moved here in 2004, I was excited. What a storied history between the Green Bay Packers and the Niners. I thought, how great. When my team isn't playing, I'll go down to the local sports bar and watch with some Niners fans. Nope. There were none there. I asked some doctor friends of mine if there were a lot of Niners fans. They said no, pretty universally. The Niners sucked, so no need to watch. Wow. What faithful fans.

McTeagues on NFL Sunday  in 2004


Now, they come out of the wood-works.

Stupid new fans


San Francisco in general has gotten pretty douchey. I'm sure you have read all the articles about the Google buses, and the protests, and of 88 year old people being kicked out of their apartments because they have rent control at $800 a month for a 600sq ft apartment and the owners want to charge $3-4K. Yes, this is true. So a bunch of pimple-faced, too good to say hi to you on the street kids come into the city from San Jose and create all kinds of annoyances.

I say this because our football stadium just moved to Santa Clara, which is smack dab in the heart of Silicone Valley.

First of all, lets be realistic. The old stadium sucked. I went in October 2005 to see my beloved Peyton Manning when the Colts played the Niners. My seats sucked. There was a huge pillar in the way so that I couldn't see anything. Thank God I didn't wear my Colts hat, because someone would have killed me.

The fans were annoying, the stadium wasn't accessible, my seats sucked, and it took forever to get there. Public transport was a joke.

The new stadium? Nothing has changed. Well, I think the seats are good.

IMG_3679Apparently, there was a soccer game there and people sat on the freeway or whatever the heck people call them here in San Francisco for hours. My friends IMG_3678left for the stadium 4 hours before a preseason game because of the rumors about the soccer game. Four hours!

FYI, my friend's seats, for a preseason game, cost $170 a piece! He said some games were upwards of $400! What the F!

So all I have to say about the NFC West San Francisco 49ers is that when you see the game on tv, you are watching from a much, MUCH better seat.

What do I think about their year? They will be great, but people will be figuring out Kaepernick. Plus, they will have one less win this season since they don't have to play my Green Bay Packers.



Seattle Seahawks:

What can I say about this team? They have a great QB in Russel Wilson. They secured their stars on defense, Sherman and Thomas. The offense still has running back Marshawn Lynch. I'm never clear if there are any star receivers for Seattle, but who am I to say anything? Seattle dominated Denver in the Super Bowl and I really don't see much changing.

The NFC North pulled the NFC West rotational schedule, or whatever the hell they call it. All I know is the best team in the NFC North has to play the best team in the NFC West, and down the ratings chart. That's why Green Bay pulled Seattle to play this year. Fine. Whatever. We have opened our season each year with a beyond difficult team, or last years Super Bowl winner. So yay us.

I don't put much stock in the Fail Mary being a repeat issue for the opening game of the season. I'm pretty sure no one on the Green Bay team cares anymore. However, to note, it's very hard to win in Seattle, due to the outstanding fans -- lovingly called the 12th man.

The Fail Mary was played in Seattle, and we should have won. So I'm not as concerned for Green Bay when it comes to playing in Seattle against the 12th man. Our defense, save for our Julius Peppers acquisition, is pretty much the same. We still have Dom Capers. So, forget about the 12th man. I'm worried about one man, Dom Capers and his distinct inability to manage a defense.

Here is the Seattle Seahawks depth chart.


Arizona Cardinals:

This is a good football team, lest people forget, they went 10-6 in a division with Seattle and San Francisco. I would not overlook this team this year. If I had to play them, and, do I? Wait, let me check ... I don't. I would count this game as a 50-50 chance. You don't know what you are going to get.  Preparation for a game against the Cardinals is a necessity.

They have a skilled quarterback with Carson Palmer. I know, he's old, but I'd rather have him than say Andy Dalton. They have a fantastic coach in Bruce Arians. That is no small thing. Larry Fitzgerald is still on the team, so that is a huge weapon. Newcomers in their second year now will be making the leap, like Mathieu.

I would keep my eye on this team if I were you. Poor Lions pulled the Cardinals. I wouldn't want to play them.


St. Louis Rams:


Just kidding.

Every year we hear how this is their year. How they win a game or two in the beginning, and everyone gets fired up. Then they fizzle out. Last year was no different. However, a lot of the misery of the season can be bestowed on Sam Bradford and that horrific injury he sustained. I'm a nurse, and man, that looked ugly. It's been a long road to recovery on his ACL.

Honestly, I don't even know who else is on the Rams.

Here is a Rams depth chart, for all of us.

They went 7-9, 1-5 in the conference. Yikes. They were 3-3 for their first 6 games before losing Sam Bradford against the Panthers. So, having Sam Bradford back is not like getting Aaron Rodgers back from a collarbone injury. No miraculous season just by having him back.

The Vikings got the Rams. That may be an equally matched game.

Game of Thrones: NFL Edition -- House Lannister

Last week at Eligible Receiver, we brought you GoT House Stark. Well, this week, it's House Lannister.

This post contains every single spoiler known to man.

1. Tywin Lannister is ... Bill Belichick.

One can not start the Lannister house off without beginning with the patriarch, Tywin Lannister. Tywin is cunning. He plays the game of thrones with expert precision. He takes no prisoners. He is not above breaking the rules. He will let anyone go if they do not serve his purpose -- even his own family. Tywin sets up his own son, Tyrion. He uses Jaime's love of Tyrion against him.

Belichick is ruthless. He doesn't care who he lets go. Randy Moss? Gone. Okay, while we can see that one, what about one of their own? One they shouldn't let go? One that even golden boy Brady doesn't want to see let go? Yup. Bye-bye Wes Welker. Belichick plays for keeps. Belichick and the rules? Doesn't matter. We all remember Spygate.

2. Jaimie Lannister is ... Tom Brady.

Female perspective here, Jaime Lannister is hot. Tom Brady is hot. They are both extremely skilled in their position, Brady as a quarterback, Jaime as a warrior. Jaime questions his place in history, has he really been a good warrior in the Kingsguard. Brady questioned himself when he didn't get picked high in the draft. People love and hate Jaime Lannister. The same can be said of Tom Brady.

3. Cersei Lannister is ... Jerry Jones.

First off, yes, Cersei is gorgeous, and Jerry is not. However, Cersei is a highly skilled master manipulator. The same can be said for Jerry Jones. Really? America's team? That alone is a great manipulation of the media. While both have lofty expectations and an abundant amount of ego, they never really come out on top, do they? The Cowboys are not exactly winners, and Cersei has lost quite a few family members, and the ones she wants gone, are still alive. They both are blindly ignorant to logic.


4. Joffrey Lannister is ... Roger Goodell.

Joffrey is pure evil. He enjoys torturing people just to watch them suffer. He is juvenile, wicked, and petulant. Joffrey doesn't listen to anybody, almost takes pride in it. Sound like a certain commissioner? I could list the numerous amount of things Goodell is at fault for. One, namely, the referee strike and the types of replacements that he allowed to ref games.

5. Tyrion Lannister is ... Wes Welker.

Keeping it in the Patriots family, Wes Welker displays a lot of the characteristics of Tyrion. Small in stature, but big in heart. Both are often underestimated ... both equally surprise. Both have a love hate relationship with their "father". In this case Wes Welker with the patriarch Bill Belichick. Wes thought that he was part of the Patriots family, until, well, he wasn't. Wes Welker (and Tom Brady for that matter) got a little too cocky with their status in the family, and Wes Welker was out the door. Tyrion is known for his wit, but sometimes, he overestimates himself, and that very wit gets him into some serious trouble. Both Tyrion and Wes Welker should have known their place. Wes Welker found himself out of a job in the Patriots organization. Tyrion was warned to do what he was told, but could not help himself on judgement day, and went off on the people of King's Landing and on his father. Yet, Tyrion, like Wes Welker, always find themselves on top. Wes Welker found himself with the very good Denver Broncos, and Tyrion, well, he found himself not dead and on a boat.




***Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Go For Two: When did Peyton Manning become so charming?

I love Peyton Manning.

But it wasn't always that way.

When he first started out with the Colts, he reminded me a lot of what Eli has never grown out of -- being annoying. A whiner. A "you blame everyone else on the team but yourself with that awe-shucks look".

He must have heard those rumors -- that most everyone outside of Indianapolis found him immensely irritating. What proof do I have? All you need to do is look at the MasterCard commercials he did.

They were funny. He was actually allowed to talk. Ever see Eli talk in a commercial? Nope.

The commercials, they kept coming. My favorite is this one ...

They showed a more down-to-earth side of Peyton.

Then, the unbelievable happened. The guy who was touted as the greatest quarterback of all time was released by the Colts.

How could the Colts do that? Couldn't they at least give him a shot?


All of the sudden, the man who could do no wrong, was without a team.

This is when Peyton Manning went from being annoying, to being really astutely marketed, to being well-liked.

He became the underdog. He became the company man, that after 40 years of working for the auto plant, gets laid off. He was the guy who put his time in, and was hoping for something in return.

He became an American hero.

He overcame multiple neck surgeries. He overcame the naysayers.

With all of that adversity, he became the man in the MasterCard videos. It wasn't just marketing anymore. It's apparent in every interview he does. He is appreciative. He has lost that younger version of himself that felt he was owed something just for showing up. No more are the whiny looks. He's relaxed in his interviews. He can poke fun at himself. Peyton allows himself the fun of being interviewed by Ron Burgundy. He can say what is on his mind ... and it's charming.

I love this clip.

Isn't that what you would want to do after having to play the Chargers? I know I wanted a beer every time they showed crybaby Philip Rivers on the sideline. Tangent, my favorite punk-ass moment of Philip Rivers was when he threw his coat over his own head and started muttering to himself about the Chargers impending loss. This man has 6 kids. How about being a role model?

Back to Peyton ... his latest interview continues the trend. When a female journalist asks Peyton why he likes "Omaha" so much (in reference to why he calls that out when calling plays at the line of scrimmage), he is nothing but charming in his response.

Peyton Manning, you are one charming man. Good luck in the playoffs. I hope you get your second Super Bowl ring. You deserve it.


Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com.

Go For Two: 10 Random Thoughts - Quarterbacks Addition

1. Why does Phillip Rivers look like such a douchepod? He looks like a guy you would want to beat up in school.

2. Andrew Luck looks like a caveman. Good comeback though.

3. Colin Kaepernick sounds like he's trying to pass a kidney stone when he calls out his plays. It's distracting.

4. When it was suggested to Matt Stafford that maybe he go to a quarterback guru to help him with his footwork and improve his game -- he said he didn't need a guru. Really? Who wouldn't want to improve themselves? That's the second biggest problem the Lions have after Schwartz. Well, now first.

5. Packer nation thanks the Chicago Bears organization for resigning Jay Cutler.

6. Peyton Manning is awesome. There is no way around it. Mentally = awesome. Physically = awesome. Perseverance = awesome. Skill level = awesome.

7. Eli Manning is not awesome. (Un)awesome. Awesome(less).

8. Will anyone give Tom Brady a high-five during the Patriot's divisional playoff game? Poor guy.

9. Kyle Orton should become backup quarterback in Denver. I'm just saying, with hair like that, he belongs in a place where weed is legal.

10. Alex Smith has the worst luck ever. Honestly, I wouldn't ride on an airplane with that guy.


Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com.

Go For Two: Game of the Week - Packers versus Bears

Aaron photobombing again

I am so excited for this Sunday's game! Of course I would make this the game of the week!

Packers versus Bears! Sunday 4:25pm EST. Win and your in! It's the best way to end the season. This is exactly what the NFL was hoping for when they scheduled all division games at the end of the season.

The rivalry began in 1921. It is the most played in all of the league with 187 regular and post season games between them (the longest rivalry is Pack/Lions). When Lovie Smith first got the head coaching gig at the Bears, he stated his first goal was to beat the Packers.

That's exciting football if you ask me.

I know my team isn't the best right now. However, I adore my team. There doesn't seem to be an asshole in the bunch. Eddie Lacy, Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, B.J. Raji -- I love them all.

Look at the Happy Holidays video posted on their website.

I hate the Bears.

Really? Jay Cutler? Honestly, I would hate it if he was my quarterback. He is such a douchepod. How can you a cheer a team on with him as your leader?

The Bears didn't have a Happy Holidays video for their fans. Hmm. Doesn't surprise me.

All their website had was a trailer for the upcoming game. I'm only sharing it here because I get to see Aaron Rodgers in the clip, and we all know we haven't seen much of him lately.

Ok, enough of my diatribe about why I hate the Bears -- but, truly ... a Packer's fan hating the Bears is kind of what makes the rivalry great.

The other win and your in game is the Cowboys versus Eagles. However, this game is not nearly as exciting with Romo on the bench due to a herniated disc.


Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com.

Ranking the 2013-2014 Bowl Season --- 35 to 1

I am counting down the games from the least watchable to the most. Let's be honest though, it is the last bit of college football until September *** weeps uncontrollably***  so I will probably watch as many as possible. What ones are you looking forward to? Did I get it wrong?

35. Heart of Dallas Bowl --- North Texas vs. UNLV --- Dallas, TX Wed., Jan. 1 / 12 p.m. ESPNU: This New Years Day game is not worth watching versus the plethora of competition.

34. Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl --- East Carolina vs. Ohio --- St. Petersburg, FL Mon., Dec. 23 / 2 p.m. ESPN: I feel sorry for these teams for having to play football in the Trop.

33. Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl --- Middle Tennessee vs. Navy --- Fort Worth, TX Mon., Dec. 30 / 11:45 a.m. ESPN

32. Little Caesars Pizza Bowl --- Bowling Green vs. Pittsburgh --- Detroit, MI Thu., Dec. 26 / 6 p.m. ESPN

31. Sheraton Hawaii Bowl --- Boise State vs. Oregon State --- Honolulu, HI Tue., Dec. 24 / 8 p.m. ESPN

30. New Era Pinstripe Bowl --- Notre Dame vs. Rutgers --- Bronx, NY Sat., Dec. 28 / 12 p.m. ESPN

29. Texas Bowl --- Minnesota vs. Syracuse --- Houston, TX Fri., Dec. 27 / 6 p.m. ESPN: These fan bases are traveling to Texas for this game?


Go For Two: Week 14 Games Of The Week

There are two outstanding games this week.

The first is the Seattle Seahawks at the San Francisco 49ers.

The second is the Carolina Panthers at the New Orleans Saints.

Wow. I haven't been this excited about two football games in awhile. This is the NFC at its best. These are the four teams that most people feel can really make a run at the Super Bowl.

The first game, the Hawks versus the Niners is such a great game. In regards to the Niners, they were such the hot topic as the season opened. They blew-up the Packers. What made that win even more impressive was everyone knew that the Pack focused their entire offseason on improving what went wrong in the playoff game the previous season. To spend all that time and still have the Niners trounce the Pack, it seemed like the Niners were going to the Super Bowl.

However, with hindsight, it has become obvious that the Niners beating the Pack wasn't some huge feat. The Packers defense is abysmal. Without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers went from possible playoff contender to serious questions of whether or not they will have a winning season.

Then came the fact that Colin Kaepernick seemed to be going through the same sophomore slump that Cam Newton had gone through. Once opponents took away the read option, it became clear that Kaepernick had a hard time going through his progressions. Put some pressure on him? Not such a great quarterback.

However, the Niners seem to be making a resurgence. Their last game showed some real promise. Even Trent Dilfer had to come back after the Monday night game and admit the Colin had made some improvements. The Niners then went on to beat an improving Rams. One has to wonder if they have figured some stuff out. It could be that with the addition of Crabtree again, it masks Colin Kaeprnick's deficiencies. Either way, they are on a bit of a roll.

The Seahawks just proved how superb they are in front of a Monday night audience. The Saints have an explosive offense. Yet, against the Hawks, they just could not get it together. They looked downright awful.


This is a division game. The Hawks are an outstanding 11-1. All those wins weren't always pretty, but they got 'em. The Niners, momentarily, have a wildcard spot. That slot is not assured. You better believe the Niners are gong to be playing on all cylinders.

I'm excited.

The second game of the week is the Carolina Panthers versus the New Orleans Saints.


Happy Thanksgiving from Eligible Receiver!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite things every year because it combines my two favorite things: FOOD and FOOTBALL.

In preparation for the holidays, I asked all of the Eligible Receiver writers to tell me their favorite thing about Thanksgiving and football. Here is a summary from everyone! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Behind the Scenes of Eligible Receiver: Episode 1


As grown adults we have tons of very important email conversations at Eligible Receiver. We are constantly discussing social media outreach, the oxford comma, and other adult topics. Oh wait, that is not right at all. We debate things like the definition of burly, Colin Kaepernick's thigh musculature, and who has better hair Clay or Troy. Here is an example of a thought provoking conversation we had yesterday.