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Daps Wants to Be the Future of Collectibles

Sports fandom has never been more atomized—social media and streaming have collapsed the distance between fans and their favorite players, creating a version of fandom that’s defined more by personal taste than geographic happenstance. In this sense, most Knicks fans became Knicks fans because they just happened to grow up in New York City, but all Lebron James fans are Lebron James fans because they consciously and intentionally picked him as their favorite player. Whereas sports fandom used to resemble religion in its devotion to a single power, it’s now closer to a parasocial relationship. You have your guys and you feel like you get to know them, even if you don’t really know them; Daps is trying to make it so you do.

Founded by former Columbia basketball player Jake Klores and influencer marketing entrepreneur Ryan Berger, Daps is a start-up app that’s fostering new digital experiences between basketball players and their fans. As such, Daps allows fans to book personal experiences with players and coaches—think: a more interactive Cameo. Right now, Daps’ roster of hoopers is headlined by Penny Hardaway, Jonathan Kuminga, Andre Drummond, Duncan Robinson and WNBA star Lexie Brown. 

“Daps allows me to interact with fans in a whole new way,” said Kuminga. “When testing the app, I got to feel how easy it is to put a huge smile on a fan’s face and I can’t wait to keep doing more of that.”

Beyond basketball, Daps has pledged to donate a portion of their proceeds to Everytown, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun violence organization, and the Brittney Griner Advocacy Account.

Last month, Daps co-founder Jake Klores sat down with ONE37pm about his vision for bridging the divide between athletes and their fans.

ONE37pm: How did you get started with Daps?

Klores: “I originally started a company called Workhorse which was a marketplace that linked college athletes with brands for NIL deals, but the thing became really clear for me was that there’s a really big gap between what the modern generation of sports fans want in terms of access to their favorite athletes and the options that are currently available to them. There’s a really high level of demand from fans for a level of connection with their favorite players, but there’s just way too much friction for them to get that right now. Even if you DM a player on Instagram, they’re never going to see it. 

With Daps, we wanted to build a place where you can buy personalized, digital experiences from your favorite athletes, whether that’s a five minute video call or playing a video game together or a tour of their sneaker closet. I think that going forward, these kinds of interactions are going to be the new collectibles; instead of just an autograph, you’ll have these interactions and memories for life.” 

ONE37pm: How does your background in basketball inform Daps?

Klores: “I’ve spent most of my life playing basketball, first in AAU with the Rens (editor’s note: current Daps partners Jose Alvarado, Jonathan Kuminga, RJ Davis, Lance Ware,and Simeon Wilcher are also Rens alums) and then in college. And with that, I feel like I have a really unique understanding of what athletes want and how they want to interact with their fans. I think that’s very helpful for us because there aren’t a lot of people who truly understand the unique needs of athletes as customers. These players have high levels of primary income, but they also have very, very busy lives and lots of different obligations and endorsements and deals, so it’s important to build a platform that’s build for them and that’s able to adapt and iterate based on their needs.

But then on the other hand, I grew up as a crazy sports fan and I  think it’s helpful to be able to understand the wants and needs of both sides of the marketplace.”

ONE37pm: How did you choose which athletes to partner with initially and what are your plans to expand your current roster of athletes?

Klores: “Right now, it’s invite only. The ones that we started with were one, we felt a genuine understanding of what we were doing, and wanted to deepen their relationship with their fans. 

Going forward, the biggest thing for us as a company is making sure that both sides are having a really good experience. So it’s really important for us to make this a very easy and efficient experience for athletes. And for the fans, we want to make sure that they’re getting what they booked and that it’s happening in a timely manner. As soon as we feel comfortable with that process, we’ll open up more and more and eventually the goal is that this will become a place for all athletes and not just basketball players to find value.”

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Sports

Everything You Need to Know About F1 vs. Indycar

For people who don’t know what a chassis does, Formula 1 and Indycar may seem identical—they’re both open-top racing circuits where cars go really fast. But outside of the fact that the cars look superficially similar, the two circuits are wildly different in terms of rules, regulations and culture. Here’s everything you need to know about F1 vs. Indycar.  

F1 vs. Indycar: Cars

Indycar and Formula 1 represent the acme of open-top racing, but the cars in each discipline have subtle, yet incredibly important differences. While both F1 and Indycar cars use V6 engines, Indycar engines are slightly larger, holding 2.2 liters compared to F1’s 1.6 liters. Still, F1 cars are capable of producing more horsepower, maxing out at nearly 1000 BHP while no Indycar can produce more than 700 BHP. As a result of their different engines, F1 cars run on E10 fuel and Indycars use E85 fuel—by 2026, though, both cars will switch to a 100% renewable fuel, but the compositions of these fuels haven’t been announced yet.

Beyond the nitty gritty internal specs of the cars, F1 cars vary hugely between teams and are specifically designed to suit their driver while all Indycar cars are essentially the same. In F1, the performance of the car is nearly as competitive as the performance of the drivers; just as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton duke it out on the track, Red Bull and Mercedes battle to build the fastest, highest-performing car. Conversely, the aerodynamic and technical regulations in Indycar are much more stringent than in F1, which ensures a certain level of uniformity between all the cars. In fact, the damper is the only customizable aspect.

In terms of performance, Indycars can reach a higher maximum speed, but F1 cars can accelerate faster and turn more easily. This is informed by the fact that Indycar races feature longer straights where cars can really build up speed while F1 courses are curvier and require better handling. 

F1 vs. Indycar: Teams

There are 10 teams in Indycar: A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Andretti Autosport, Arrow McLaren SP, Chip Ganassi Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing, Juncos Hollinger Racing, Meyer Shank Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Team Penske. While all Indycar teams source parts from Honda and Chevrolet, F1 teams must own the intellectual property for their cars’ chassis, meaning that each team must double as a constructor. Accordingly, many of the 10 F1 teams are directly affiliated with automotive companies. Last season, the ten teams in F1 were Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri, Alpine, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Haas, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams

While F1 teams are hugely important on the track, that teamwork doesn’t necessarily translate to the races; often, a team’s two drivers are among each other’s biggest rivals. In Indycar, though, teammates will help each other. “When we are on the track in Formula One, there is no help for each other,” observed Fernando Alonso, the two-time F1 champion who has also competed three times in the Indianapolis 500. “[In Indycar], if anyone needs anything in the last 10 laps of the race and you have no options to win the race, you try to help your teammate win it.” 

F1 vs. Indycar: Prize Money

F1 drivers make infinitely more money than their Indycar counterparts. Interestingly, F1 drivers are compensated more for past performance than their results in the current season. F1 functions like the NBA or NFL where the drivers are on contracts that  guarantee a certain amount of money regardless of how they perform—Lewis Hamilton will receive his rumored $41 million salary from Mercedes even if he wipes out in every race. In contrast, Indycar drivers have to earn their keep in each and every race, with their payouts determined by their placement. Still, a solid chunk of that money goes directly to their team—even the best drivers only receive about 50% of their prize money. In this sense, sponsorships are the real source of income for an Indycar driver, oftentimes manifesting itself as ads on the side of their car. 

F1 vs. Indycar: Tracks

F1 tracks are all different sizes and shapes—the track for this year’s Italian Grand Prix looked like a boomerang while the Brazilian Grand Prix’s track had the same outline as the state of Michigan. Additionally, F1 tracks are often impermanent structures carved out of city streets; the Monaco Grand Prix became the marquee event on the F1 calendar at least partially because of the iconic backdrop of racing through the winding, picaresque streets of Monte Carlo. 

Whereas F1 events can be held in the middle of a major city, Indycar races are traditionally relegated to paved oval tracks in speedways, although road and street races have become increasingly common—in 2021, only four of the 16 races were held in an oval. Still, the oval track is the enduring image of the series, embodied by the Indianapolis 500, which is part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport alongside the Monte Carlo Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

F1 vs. Indycar: Drivers

F1 drivers have become capital-s Stars, in large part due to the success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive docuseries. Even a total F1 pyro has a passing awareness of guys like Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Daniel Riccardo. With only 20 active F1 drivers in any given season, the competition is incredibly high-stakes—the difference between being the 20th and 21st best driver can be measured in millions of dollars. 

Similarly, the Indycar series only has 25 full-time drivers, although the field at certain events can balloon up to 33 drivers. 

F1 vs. Indycar: Races

Since you can’t really drive a car 200 miles per hour in a blizzard, both the F1 and Indycar seasons are mostly confined to warm weather months. As such, the F1 season consists of 24 races, lasting from early March to late November; the 17 race Indycar season begins in February (albeit usually in balmy Sarasota, Florida) and ends by mid September.  F1 is a truly global sport, with each of the 24 races taking place in different cities around the world—in 2023, there will be races on four different continents in places as far flung as Saudi Arabia (Jedda), Australia (Melbourne), Canada (Montreal) and Brazil (Sao Paulo). 

If F1 is a globetrotting, international affair, Indycar is a more regional endeavor. Last season, 16 of the 17 races took place in America, with the lone foreign race held in Toronto, which barely counts as foreign. Moreover, the races are largely contained in the Southeast and Midwest—Indycar is the only major professional sport in the world that willfully schedules events in Birmingham, Alabama but not New York City. 

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Sports

The Best NFL DFS Picks for Week 9: Ertz So Good

Traditional, season-long fantasy football gives you the opportunity to prove that you’re a smarter and better person than your dearest friends, but daily fantasy sports offers an even stronger incentive: cash. After approximately a quarter of the season, the NFL landscape is a little bit clearer as depth charts and schemes have come into focus. This may not be financial advice, but here are the ONE37pm NFL DFS picks for Week 9. 

(Note: all prices listed are for Draftkings)

RELATED: Best NBA Rookies

NFL DFS Picks Week 9: QB

High: Josh Allen ($8500)

He’s Josh Allen. 

Middle: Tua Tagovailoa ($6700)

To the surprise of just about everyone, Tagovailoa is playing like an elite quarterback; he leads the NFL in yards per attempt, quarterback rating and passer rating and ranks third in touchdown percentage and completion percentage. While the Bears have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, this will be their first game without star linebacker Roquan Smith, opening a massive hole in the middle of their defense.

Value: Justin Fields ($5300)

Fields is in the midst of one of the best stretches of his career, averaging over 25 fantasy points per game over the last two weeks as the Bears have made a more concerted effort to get him involved in the run game. Look for his heater to continue against a Dolphins defense that’s already been scorched twice this year by dual threat quarterbacks.

NFL DFS Picks Week 9: RB

High: Austin Ekeler ($8800)

Ekeler scores touchdowns (eight over the last four games) and gets touches (upwards of 20 combined rushes and carries in each of the last three games). As such, he scores a shit-ton of fantasy points, averaging 33.7 fantasy points per game since Week 4. 

Middle: Travis Etienne Jr. ($6300)

With James Robinson now out of the picture, Etienne is the running back in Jacksonville. While Etienne was always an explosive runner (6.2 yards per carry), he now has the workload to produce like a true RB1. In his first game as the undisputed top dog, Etienne hung 156 yards on a great Denver Broncos defense. And this week the sledding will be considerably easier against a dog-water Las Vegas unit. 

Value: Caleb Huntley ($4900)

Although Huntley hardly ever plays third downs and has been significantly out-snapped by Tyler Allgeier, he’s clearly the more dynamic runner in Atlanta’s backfield at the moment. Coming off a 16 carry, 91 yard outing last week, Huntley is an absolutely punishing runner who’s averaging 2.3 yards after contact. As such, expect the Falcons to lean on him to brutalize a bad tackling Chargers defense that allows a staggering 5.7 yards per carry.  

NFL DFS Picks Week 9: WR

High: Deandre Hopkins ($7900)

After being suspended for the first six weeks of the season for a failed drug test, Hopkins has proven that he’s a dominant receiver, with or without steroids. In just two games, Hopkins already has 22 catches (on 27 targets) for 262 yards and a touchdown. When available, Hopkins has long been one of the very best receivers in football, yet is just the sixth most expensive option this week.

Middle: Terry McLaurin ($5900)

McLaurin and Taylor Heinicke have a good thing going. Last year, McLaurin was targeted 132 times, the 15th most of any player in the NFL. And in Heinicke’s two starts this year, McLaurin once again looks like a top receiver, averaging nearly 19 fantasy points over that stretch. Even more enticing, the Vikings have a flammable secondary, surrendering 275.6 passing yards per game.

Value: Allen Robinson ($5000)

He’s back, kinda. After a dreadful start to the season, Robinson finally seems comfortable in LA, turning in back to back solid performances over the last two weeks and averaging 13.8 fantasy points during that span. With Cooper Kupp gimpy and potentially unavailable for Sunday’s tilt against the Buccaneers, Robinson could hoover up enough targets to return value even against Tampa’s stout defense.

NFL DFS Picks Week 9: TE

High: Zach Ertz ($5100)

While Ertz’s target share has been eaten into by the return of Deandre Hopkins, his relative marginalization in Arizona’s offense is offset by the fact that Seattle absolutely cannot guard tight ends. For the season, the Seahawks have allowed opposing tight ends to explode for 17.5 fantasy points per game, nearly double the positional average of 9.5 fantasy points.

Middle: Robert Tonyan ($3800)

You could do worse. Although Green Bay’s offense has struggled, Tonyan is still averaging six catches and 52.3 yards over the last three games and should top those numbers against Detroit’s putrid defense.

Value: Tyler Conklin ($3200)

Despite the presence of highly drafted receivers like Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Denzel Mims, Conklin is the second option in the Jets’ passing attack. Granted, being the second best pass-catcher on the Jets is the equivalent of being, like, the ninth best pass-catcher on the Bills, but he’s incredibly cheap and beggars can’t be choosers. 

 

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Sports

Overtime Elite, Amazon Prime Announce Media Rights Deal

Overtime Elite, the daring new basketball league/content company/finishing school, announced today that they’ve signed a media rights deal with Amazon Prime. As part of the deal, Amazon Prime will livestream 20 Overtime Elite games for each of the next three seasons (which translates to approximately one-third of the league’s total games) and will launch a non-scripted docu-series about OTE some time next year. The financial terms of the deal were undisclosed. 

For OTE, the Amazon deal represents the latest crystallization of their vision. While the league has largely been successful as a purely basketball enterprise (twins Amen and Ausar Thompson are poised to give OTE a pair of top 10 picks in this year’s NBA Draft), it has been plagued by the inexactitude of the whole enterprise; it’s been impossible to truly nail down what OTE does besides serve as the nominal anchor for a constellation of Instagram and TikTok accounts. Now, though, the Amazon deal tethers OTE to real sports relevancy, signaling that these games and these players are worth watching outside of 15 second clips on social media. 

For Amazon, these 20 OTE games mark their first foray into live basketball coverage. Although OTE will produce the broadcast from their control room at their headquarters in Atlanta, the deal is still a notable milestone for Amazon Prime, which has been actively looking to expand its footprint as a hub for live sports. In particular, the OTE deal could serve as a prelude to an eventual partnership with the NBA, which is seeking a new long-term rights deal starting in 2025; Amazon is considered one of the major interested parties, hoping to land a bloc of games similar to how they secured the rights to Thursday Night Football with the NFL. 

As such, the OTE-Amazon marriage feels like a natural one; to borrow a piece of empty business talk, both of them are disruptors, looking to upend sclerotic, suddenly tenuous institutions.  But beyond all the broader macroeconomic implications, this is the rare piece of corporate warcraft that actually benefits the consumer: it’s now easier than ever to watch the Thompson twins, which is good because the Thompson twins kick so much ass. 

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Week 9 NFL Power Rankings: Trade Deadline Edition

Following the NBA’s lead, the NFL Trade Deadline has become a marquee event on the league’s calendar. While the NFL Trade Deadline has historically been pretty slow, it kicked into high gear this year with star players like Christian McCaffrey, Roquan Smith, Bradley Chubb and Calvin Ridley all switching teams. As such, the tremors from these trades will have grand, league-wide implications. Luckily, we’re here to help you sort through the mess. These are the 100% accurate Week 9 NFL Power Rankings.

RELATED: Week 9 NFL Power Rankings: Taylor’s Version

#1 Philadelphia Eagles, 7-0 (no change from last week)

By waxing the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-13, the Eagles left little doubt that they’re the best team in the NFL through the first two months of the season. With a very soft schedule coming up in which they should be favored in nine of their last 10 games, it’s becoming an increasingly real possibility that the Iggles become the first 17-0 team in NFL history. 

#2 Buffalo Bills, 6-1 (no change)

In what felt like a symbolic passing of the torch, Josh Allen and the surging Bills faced off against Aaron Rodgers and the flagging Packers. The result? Carnage. Outside of a two-point loss to the Dolphins in Week 2, the Bills have been unrelentingly excellent, boasting the league’s best point differential. 

#3 Kansas City Chiefs, 5-2 (no change)

Despite being one of only eight teams to have a bye week so far, the Chiefs still lead the NFL in points with 223. Patrick Mahomes is a warlock.

#4 Dallas Cowboys, 6-2 (+3 from last week)

In his second game back from a finger injury that sidelined him for four weeks, Dak Prescott looked as sharp as ever, tossing for 250 yards and two scores. Beyond Prescott, the rest of the Cowboys were buzzing as well—Tony Pollard contributed a career high 131 yards on just 14 carries in Ezekiel Elliot’s absence and Micah Parsons recovered a fumble for a 36 yard touchdown. 

#5 Minnesota Vikings, 6-1 (no change)

At some point, it’ll be worrisome if the Vikings continue to struggle to put away bad teams as they held on for a narrow 34-26 win against a bad Arizona Cardinals team. But wins are wins are wins and the Vikings have more of them than just about any other team in football. 

#6 New York Giants, 6-2 (-2)

With a 27-13 loss to the Seahawks, the Giants ended their impressively improbable (improbably impressive?) five-game win streak. For the first time all season, superstar running back Saquon Barkley was held in check—his 53 yards and 2.65 yards per carry are both by far his lowest marks of the year. 

#7 Baltimore Ravens, 5-3 (+2)

For the second straight year, the Ravens have been beset by injuries to some of Lamar Jackson’s most capable sous chefs—Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman, the team’s two best pass catchers, are banged up, as is starting running back J.K. Dobbins. Thankfully, reinforcements have arrived: Roquan Smith, arguably the best off-ball linebacker in the NFL, arrived this week in a blockbuster trade with the Bears, shoring up Baltimore’s biggest defensive weakness.

#8 Seattle Seahawks, 5-3 (+5)

Coming off a win against the red-hot Giants, Geno Smith and the Seahawks are no longer a novelty or some pitiable feel-good story. They’re a legitimately good team. With a 5-3 record, the Seahawks have pole position to win the NFC West, putting them ahead of putative contenders like the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. 

#9 San Francisco 49ers, 4-4 (+5)

Does any team have as many good players as the 49ers? In a key divisional showdown against the Rams, Kyle Shannahan unleashed Christian McCaffrey who became the first player since 2005 to score a rushing, receiving and passing touchdown in the same. As  the newest weapon in an arsenal of versatile, All-Pro caliber skill position players, McCaffrey is talented enough to make up for whatever deficiencies quarterback Jimmy Garappalo might present.

#10 Los Angeles Chargers, 4-3 (no change)

Justin Herbert has been limited by the fact that his ribs are basically floating around his chest cavity like a swan float in a swimming pool, so hopefully last week’s bye can help him—and the rest of the team—recover and get back on track. 

#11 Miami Dolphins, 5-3 (no change)

When Tua Tagovailoa is healthy, the Dolphins are 5-0. Accordingly, the much-maligned third year quarterback has been stellar—he leads the league in passer rating, QBR and yards per attempt, proving that he’s much, much more than some noodle-armed game manager. To wit, wide receiver Tyreek Hill has racked up 961 yards already, putting on pace to become the first receiver to break 2000 yards in a single season.

#12 New York Jets, 5-3 (-6)

Despite their torrid start to the season, the Jets once again lost to the hated New England Patriots. [*solemnly*] J-E-T-S! JETS, JETS, JETS! 

#13 Atlanta Falcons, 4-4 (+6)

As winners of the funniest, stupidest game of the season, the Falcons somehow find themselves in sole possession of first place in the NFC South after beating the Panthers 37-34 in overtime.

#14 Cincinnati Bengals, 4-4 (-5)

After winning four of their last five games leading into a Monday Night Football clash against the Browns, the Bengals got thrashed 32-13 by Cleveland. In the first game since Ja’Marr Chase went on the IR, the Bengals looked downright docile; all the downfield big-field chutzpah has seemingly evaporated. Against Cleveland, the Bengals’ porous offensive line was once again exposed as they allowed five sacks and mustered just 36 yards on the ground.

#15 Tennessee Titans, 5-2 (-3)

I don’t care that they’ve won five games in a row. This team isn’t that good, I’m sorry!!!

#16 New England Patriots, 4-4 (+6)

For the last decade, playing the Jets has been a consistently effective tonic for whatever ails the Patriots. On Sunday, the Pats seemingly put their self-created quarterback controversy behind them, leaning on their ground game and stout defense to put their divisional rival/little brother in their place.

#17 Washington Commanders, 4-4 (+6)

Three weeks ago, the Commanders season looked doomed; now, it still looks doomed, but the vibes are a lot better. Led by backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke, the Commanders notched their third consecutive win, pulling themselves back up to .500. Even if this win streak is largely attributable to narrow victories against bad teams, Heinicke has been a steadying and mollifying presence for a team that was growing increasingly agitated and sour with Carson Wentz as the starter.

#18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-5 (-3)

Divorce can be really tough on the kids. I hope Gronk is okay.

#19 Green Bay Packers, 3-5 (-2)

By losing their fifth game of the year, the Packers have guaranteed that their three-year streak of 13-win seasons won’t continue. During their current four game skid, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t even been able to crack 220 yards in any contest, illustrating the dire state of the Packers’ offense without Davante Adams. 

#20 Los Angeles Rams, 3-4 (-4)

Success in the NFL is tenuous—the only thing that separates last year’s Super Bowl champion Rams and this year’s craptastic edition is three or four offensive linemen. In a clear representation of the Rams’ struggles this year, they lost 31-14 to the 9ers, dropping them to 0-4 against teams who made the playoffs last year.

#21 Cleveland Browns, 3-5 (+6)

There’s still enough talent on this team to make you forget sometimes that Jacoby Brissett is their quarterback. On Monday against the Bengals, Myles Garrett dominated the game defensively while Nick Chubb did the same offensively, proof that the Browns still have gamebreaking talent when they can stay out of their own way.

#22 Indianapolis Colts, 3-4-1 (-4)

Making his first career start, Sam Ehlinger was a solid, forgettable stand-in for the recently-benched Matt Ryan. Still, the Colts’ problems extend beyond swapping one mediocre quarterback for another. Namely, Jonathan Taylor has been unable to find any traction so far this season, dooming an offense that relies on him to move the ball and set up their play action passing game. 

#23 New Orleans Saints, 3-5 (+6)

Like many teams in this clump, the Saints are a quarterback away from being good. Even as their salary crunch and the toll of time has atrophied some of their fearsome defense, the Saints are still staunch enough to pitch a shutout against strong offenses like the Raiders, as they did on Sunday. Similarly, their cup of skill position studs runeth over—Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are still playing  like historically good franchise cornerstones and rookie Chris Olave looks like he’ll be a historically good franchise cornerstone as well for years to come. The supporting cast is loaded, but it doesn’t matter much as long as Andy Dalton is the director. 

#24 Denver Broncos, 3-5 (+2)

If there were a merciful and just God, all Denver Broncos games would air at the crack of dawn on a paywalled streaming service and be played on the other side of the globe from me. 

#25 Arizona Cardinals, 3-5 (-4)

With or without steroids, DeAndre Hopkins is a monster. In his first two games back from a six game suspension, Hopkins has hoovered up 22 catches (on 27 targets) for 262 yards and a touchdown. To start the year, the Cardinals offense was unthreatening and unidimensionally reliant on Kyler Murray to make stuff happen, but the return of Hopkins restores some bite to the Cards’ passing game.

#26 Las Vegas Raiders, 2-5 (-2)

Even as the Raiders stumbled to a disappointing 2-4 start, the redeeming thing about them is that their offense was consistently great. And then, on Sunday, they got shutout. 

#27 Chicago Bears, 3-5 (-7)

The most active team at the trade deadline, the Bears shipped out star linebacker Roquan Smith and brought in promising wideout Charles Claypool in two separate deals. The upshot? Probably more of the same blah badness that’s characterized them for years. Still, Claypool is a very good and very young receiver who could form the bones of a good offense one day alongside Justin Fields, Khalil Herbert and Darnell Mooney.

#28 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-6 (-3)

This season is a bust. Junk it. Next year, though, could mark a genuine turnaround for Trevor Lawrence and the Jags once the newly-acquired Calvin Ridley returns from the NFL’s parlay jail. Ridley has an innate ability to get open, which will greatly aid Lawrence who hasn’t had the privilege of throwing to a receiver who can beat cornerbacks consistently in his first two NFL seasons.

#29 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2-6 (+1)

Barring a miraculous turnaround, the Steelers are almost assuredly going to have their first losing season since 2003. All is not lost, however. Hometown hero Kenny Pickett has been spotty as a rookie but plays with an endearing ballsiness and has shown immediate chemistry with fellow rookie George Pickens. 

#30 Carolina Panthers, 2-6 (-2)

The Panthers lost against the Falcons because they missed the go-ahead extra-point after their star receiver got penalized for celebrating a Hail Mary touchdown too aggressively. Here at ONE37pm’s Week 9 NFL power rankings, we respect their commitment to the tank.

#31 Houston Texans, 1-5-1 (no change)

After getting mauled for 219 yards and a touchdown by Derrick Henry on Sunday, the Texans have now given up 200+ yards to Henry in their last four meetings. Curiously, they held onto veteran pass-catcher Brandin Cooks rather than fully gas up the tank for the second half of the season.

#32 Detroit Lions 1-6 (no change)

At least they almost covered the spread this week. 

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J.T. Tuimoloau is the Ballplayer of the Week

Whereas offense creates soaring arias of innovation and talent (i.e. they do cool shit), defense exists purely to eradicate that. Offense is optimism, a belief in progress; defense is pessimism, a literal attempt to get those kids off your lawn. When you look back at the most indelible moments in college football history (Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary, Vince Young’s title-winning jaunt vs USC, the Kick-Six), they’re inevitably the story of a guy not getting tackled; there is no glamor in defensive football. But J.T. Tuimoloau, Ohio State’s sophomore defensive end, is trying to change that.

Despite strong performances from starrier names like quarterback CJ Stroud, running back TreVeyon Henderson and wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., J.T. Tuimoloau was the catalyst for #2 Ohio State’s 44-31 demolition of #13 Penn State. In one of the most dominant and comprehensive performances ever from a defender, Tuimoloau racked up six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one tipped pass (which was then intercepted by a teammate) and two interceptions (one of which he converted into a pick-six). By doing so, he became the first guy ever to put up such a statline and just the third FBS player in the past 15 seasons to notch two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and a touchdown. Unsurprisingly, he was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. 

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A five-star recruit in the class of 2021, Tuimoloau has been a productive, if quiet, member of a loaded Buckeyes team. Tuimoloau’s 5.5 sacks over his first season-and-a-half are certainly nothing to scoff at, but still aren’t gob-stopping. In this sense, Tuimoloau’s masterclass against Penn State served as a broader introduction to the breadth and depth of his skillset. He shed blockers, dancing around them with quick feet and simply moving them to the side with strong hands; he showcased his shocking athleticism by dropping into coverage to snag one interception and then lunging into a passing lane to pick off a screen pass. 

Against an elite opponent on the road, Tuimoloau more or less contributed 21 of Ohio State’s 44 points—the Buckeyes scored touchdowns after his first interception and strip sack, taking advantage of the short field that his heroics provided; he housed his second pick himself. As such, this is the end of Tuimoloau’s relative anonymity—Lebron James tweeted about him, twice!

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Although Tuimoloau isn’t eligible for the NFL Draft until 2024, this game will be proof of concept for why he should be picked towards the top of it;  he’s graduated from being some guy to being The Guy.

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Sports

The Best NFL DFS Picks Week 8

Traditional, season-long fantasy football gives you the opportunity to prove that you’re a smarter and better person than your dearest friends, but daily fantasy sports offers an even stronger incentive: cash. With the season steadily nearing the halfway point, the NFL landscape is now clearer as depth charts and schemes have come into focus. This may not be financial advice, but here are the ONE37pm NFL DFS picks for Week 8.

(Note: all prices listed are for Draftkings)

NFL DFS Picks Week 8: QB

High: Jalen Hurts ($8300)

Averaging a slate-topping 25.6 fantasy points per week, Hurts is as reliable as they come. In his sophomore season, Hurts has made a massive leap as a dual-threat quarterback. Through six games, he has the sixth highest passer rating and the second most rushing touchdowns in the NFL.  

Middle: Kirk Cousins ($6100)

Last week, the New Orleans Saints gave up 34 points and 409 passing yards to a New Orleans Saints’ offense that was quarterbacked by Andy Dalton and was missing two of its top three receivers. Now, just imagine what an actually good offense (such as the one Kirk Cousins leads) will be able to do to them. 

Value: Sam Ehlinger ($4000)

Shockingly named the Colts’ starting quarterback for the rest of the season, Ehlinger is a starter who’s priced lower than several backups. Is he good? Impossible to say. Is he so g-d cheap that even a middling performance will return massive value? Absolutely. 

NFL DFS Picks Week 8: RB

High: Derrick Henry ($8400)

On a pure carry-by-carry basis, Henry isn’t what he once was. Injures and mammoth workloads have leadened his legs; his 4.0 yards per carry this year is a precipitous drop off from the 5.4 ypc he averaged during his historic 2020 season. Still, the volume is so huge and so juicy that “efficiency” doesn’t matter. Even after all these years, Henry remains a nightmare to tackle—especially when you’re asked to tackle him 25+ times a game.

Middle: Kenneth Walker III ($6500)

Walker’s price has shot up $1800 since Week 5. And it’s still too low. Since assuming the starting job in Seattle, Walker has been a superstar, rushing for 265 yards and three touchdowns over the last two weeks.

Value: Brian Robinson Jr. ($5600)

Despite getting shot two times in the leg not even two months ago, Robinson has emerged as the Commanders’ lead running back since he made his return in Week 5. In particular, he dominated Washington’s backfield in Weeks 6 and 7, toting the ball an average of 18.5 times. The efficiency isn’t quite there yet (Robinson is yet to crack even 3.7 yards per carry in any game yet), but the volume alone warrants a spot in your lineup.

NFL DFS Picks Week 8: WR

High: Tyreek Hill ($8500)

When Tua Tagovailoa starts, Tyreek Hill gets targets (10+ targets in four of five Tua games). When Tyreek Hill gets targets, he puts up big stats. When Tyreek Hill puts up big stats, you win money. 

Middle: Chris Olave ($6000)

Double digit fantasy points in six of seven games, the 18th most targets and the sixth deepest average depth of target: Chris Olave is legit. As a rookie, Olave has walked into an offense built around three Pro Bowlers (Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry) and decisively outplayed all of them.

Value: George Pickens ($4700)

The fifth rookie to be featured on this week’s guide, Pickens is the new top dog in the Steelers’ receiving corp. Building on a strong preseason, Pickens has demonstrated sharp chemistry with both Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky, receiving more than six targets in each of the last five weeks. 

NFL DFS Picks Week 8: TE

High: George Kittle ($5700)

With Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews off the slate, Kittle is the highest priced tight end by default. While Kittle is still a great player, the arrival of Christian McCaffrey signals that the 49ers might be moving in an even more run-heavy attack, which would marginalize Kittle.

Middle: Tyler Higbee ($4200)

Outside of last Sunday’s dud where an injured Higbee largely acted as a decoy, Higbee has been Matthew Stafford’s second favorite target. In Weeks 2-5, Higbee topped double digit fantasy points in all four games

Value: Logan Thomas ($3000)

Thomas playing a full game is rare and beautiful, like a Supermoon or cicada emergence. Make sure to take advantage while you can.

Categories
Sports

Week 8 NFL Power Rankings: Taylor’s Version

As we charge ahead into the meaty part of the NFL season, everybody is on Red alert. For football Lovers, we’re nearing the time when Reputations are made, where Fearless legends can play their way into gridiron Folklore (i.e. Joe Montana and John Elway in 1989) and Cinderellas try Evermore to ward off their inevitable Midnights. In honor of Taylor Swift releasing a new album last week, here are our Taylor Swift-themed Week 8 NFL Power Rankings. If you have any objections, Speak Now.

1. Philadelphia Eagles, 6-0 (no change from last week)

“I had a marvelous time ruining everything,” —”Last Great American Dynasty,” folklore

More than any other city, Philadelphia sports fans delight in crashing the party; it doesn’t matter if they’re not on the guest list—they’ll scale the telephone poles and have more fun dancing on their own anyways. As such, the still-undefeated Eagles (they were on their bye this week) have forcibly rearranged the balance of power in the NFL, eschewing prevailing trends by storming through the first third of the season without an elite quarterback or a de jour offensive or defensive scheme.

2. Buffalo Bills, 5-1 (no change from last week)

“With you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress, fearless” — “Fearless,” Fearless

It’s impossible not to believe in Josh Allen. While he’s been an elite quarterback for years, he’s leveled up this year, cementing himself as the league’s ballsiest and best signal-caller. Coming off of his bye week, Allen has already outdueled Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson and the Bills look like one of the select few teams that could plausibly win the Super Bowl.

3. Kansas City Chiefs, 5-2 (+2 from last week)

“This is the golden age of something good and right and real” — “State of Grace,” Red

The Kansas City Chiefs have existed for over 60 years, dating back to the AFL’s creation in 1960; the last few seasons have been the best they’ve ever been. Since Patrick Mahomes took the reins in 2018, the Chiefs have gone 55-17, winning Super Bowl LIV and then nearly repeating the next year. Outside of blips against Buffalo and Indianapolis, this year’s Chiefs team looks like it could be their best yet; in Sunday’s 44-23 desecration of the 49ers, the Chiefs ripped off a 37-10 run over the last three quarters. 

4. New York Giants, 6-1 (no change)

“Welcome to New York / Welcome to New York / Welcome to New York / It’s been waiting for you / Welcome to New York / Welcome to New York” — “Welcome to New York,” 1989

The 5-1 New York Giants represent New York City. This is heady, high-level stuff.

5. Minnesota Vikings, 5-1 (-2)

“Your nemeses will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing.” — “long story short,” evermore

Although they have a bad habit of letting inferior teams hang around in close games, the Vikings are 5-1 with a commanding lead in an NFC North division that has crumbled around them. The Vikings are certainly a good team and they look even better in comparison to their rivals, who have spent most of the season self-sabotaging in sundry and exotic ways.

6. New York Jets, 5-2 (+1)

“I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me” – “New Romantics,” 1989

Building castles, keeping receipts. Same difference.

7. Dallas Cowboys, 5-2 (+2)

“I come back stronger than a 90s trend” — “willow,” evermore

Or at least that’s the hope! In Dak Prescott’s return from a month-long stint on the IR, the ‘Boys flexed their muscles, showing the true breadth of their talents in a 24-6 ass-kicking of the Detroit Lions. Prescott was surgical, completing 19 of 25 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown; the defense was magnificent, as they’ve been all season. If the Cowboys are ever going to revive the spirits of their 90s dynasty teams and break their 26 year title drought, this is their best shot in a long time.

8. Baltimore Ravens, 4-3 (-2)

“And baby, I get mystified by how this city screams your name/ and baby, I’m so terrified of if you ever walk away” – “Cornelia Street,” Lover

Lamar Jackson is the best quarterback the Ravens have ever had. He’s a marvel of athletic charisma and chutzpah, capable of sustaining a high-level offense simply by being on the field; even when he’s off his game as he was on Sunday (9 of 16 passing for a measly 120 yards), he can conjure up enough juice to pull out a 23-20 win over a divisional rival. This year, he’s thrown for more touchdowns than Tom Brady and run for more yards than Jonathan Taylor. This offseason, he’s set to hit free agency and has shown no urgency to negotiate an extension with the Ravens. If he stays in Baltimore, he’s an epoch-defining superstar. If he leaves, Ravens fans will never be able to walk Eutaw Street again.

9. Cincinnati Bengals, 4-3 (+1)

“I’m just gonna shake, shake it off” — “Shake It Off,” 1989 

Winners of four of their last five, the Bengals have shaken off a sluggish 0-2 start to vault themselves back into the playoff picture. Against the Falcons, Joe Burrow had his best game of the season, fileting Atlanta’s secondary to the tune of 482 yards and three touchdowns. 

10. Los Angeles Chargers, 4-3 (-2)

“They told me all of my cages were mental / So I got wasted like all my potential” — “this is me trying,” folklore

For just about the dozenth straight year, the Chargers’ roster is stacked. Justin Herbert, Joey Bosa, Derwin James, JC Jackson, Khalil Mack, Rashawn Slater, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams: all among the absolute best of the best at their respective positions. And yet, after losing 37-23 to Seattle, the Chargers have a bottom-ten point differential in the NFL (to be fair, their 4-3 record paints a rosier picture). Unsurprisingly, the Chargers are doing their usual thing, struggling to squirm free from under the weight of injuries and their sheer Chargers-iness. Boy-genius head coach Brandon Staley has such powerful intellect that each Sunday he gets lost in a sparsely decorated mind palace that he spends the whole week building.

11. Miami Dolphins, 4-3 (+9)

No one wanted to play with me as a little kid / So I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since” – “Mastermind” from Midnights

The closest analogue for Dolphins head honcho Mike McDaniel is probably Syndrome from the Incredibles; he was spurned by the establishment, so he built a machine that would destroy it. McDaniel hardly looks like a Football Guy, but he’s one of the league’s most creative offensive thinkers and has mostly kicked the Fins’ attack into higher gear. Playing on Sunday for the first time since suffering a grisly concussion last month, Tua Tagovailoa reacclimated himself fairly easily, throwing for 261 yards and a score in Miami’s 16-10 win over the Steelers. While Tagovailoa isn’t exactly a world-beater, his accuracy and quick release unlock dangerous aspects of McDaniel’s scheme; tellingly, the Dolphins are 4-0 when Tagovailoa plays more than half his team’s snaps and 0-3 when he doesn’t.

12. Tennessee Titans, 4-2 (+1)

“I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22” — “22,” Red

Derrick Henry wears #22. Sneakily, the Titans have won four straight and if you add the two twos in #22 together, you get four. There are levels to this.

13. Seattle Seahawks, 4-3 (+6)

“We are never, ever, ever getting back together” — “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” Red

The Seahawks are in first place in their division, having poked their head above .500 with a Sunday win against the Chargers. Quarterback Geno Smith has been a revelation, posting the fourth-best QBR and third-best passer rating of any quarterback. And best of all, the Seahawks didn’t have to lavish him with five year, $245 million mega contract that doesn’t even start until after, gulp, the 2025 Super Bowl. Needless to say, the Seahawks are perfectly happy that their old guy is now the old guy. 

14. San Francisco 49ers, 3-4 (-3)

“I’m sorry But the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now/ Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead” – “Look What You Made Me Do,” Reputation

Kyle Shanahan, son of Mike, is largely responsible for the resurgence of the so-called “Shanahan” offense that’s defined the last half-decade of the NFL. As the Falcons offensive coordinator and 49ers head coach, Shanahan (and Rams coach Sean McVay, who comes from the same coaching tree) became the face of the running the basic wide-zone run scheme and play-action-heavy passing attack that the rest of the league has rushed to imitate. But by trading for Christian McCaffrey, Shanahan has signaled that he’s moved beyond it, instead committing to the variegated formations and concepts that he began to work in last year during the 9ers’ run to the NFC title game. Between McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, Shanahan has three of the most dangerous players in football. Just as Taylor Swift evolved from a twangy teeny-bopper to our nation’s greatest living popstar, Shanahan has ventured into exciting, unknown territory. Although Sunday’s soft launch against the Chiefs was a bust, the 9ers are the dangerous sub-.500 team you’ll ever see. 

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-4 (-1)

“So it’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames” — “Blank Space,” 1989

Somewhere, Tom Brady is eating a small, precisely measured pile of legumes and solemnly nodding.

16. Los Angeles Rams, 3-3 (no change)

“And if I get burned, at least we were electrified” — “Dress,” Reputation 

If last year’s Super Bowl winning Rams were the party, this year feels like the beginning of the long hangover. By dint of wantonly trading draft picks for superstars, the Rams have amassed a dazzling array of in-their-prime talent; Aaron Donald is the best defensive player since Lawrence Taylor and Jalen Ramsey is the best cornerback in the NFL and Cooper Kupp is in the midst of the greatest 23 game stretch a receiver has ever had. Still, the bill is coming due—quarterback Matthew Stafford has lost his fastball; the offensive line is made of rayon; they have no running backs. Their talent is better than their record, but their on-field play is worse than it—even after a 24-10 win against the Panthers on Sunday, their point differential is squarely in the red at -22. 

17. Green Bay Packers, 3-4 (-4)

“You need to calm down/ You’re being too loud” —”You Need to Calm Down,” Lover

Aaron Rodgers, the podcast guest/quarterback, is unhappy. Despite grousing about being in Green Bay for the better part of the last two years, Rodgers extended his deal with the Packers last offseason. Even more curiously, the Packers rewarded Rodgers’ loyalty by jettisoning All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, leaving Rodgers with a threadbare receiving corps. As such, the Packers offense has been unable to achieve lift off this year, falling from the 10th best scoring offense last season to the 23rd ranked one this year. More troubling, the Packers have dropped three straight games, including a 23-21 Week 7 debacle against a bad Commanders team. At the risk of going full Boomer, maybe Rodgers should practice more and podcast less.

18. Indianapolis Colts, 3-3-1 (-3)

“Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it / I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it / After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own / Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone” – —“All Too Well,” Red

A close reading, as it pertains to Matt Ryan: Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it (this is why Matt Ryan gets sacked all the time). I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it (Matt Ryan used to be good, but now he’s crud) “After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own” (I bet Matt Ryan owns so many plaid shirts). Now you mail back my things (The Colts are starting some guy named Sam Ehlinger now, so Matt Ryan isn’t really needed around anymore) and I walk home alone (Matt Ryan is lonely and needs a new Sunday afternoon activity).

19. Atlanta Falcons, 3-4 (-1)

“Every time I don’t, I almost do” — “I Almost Do,” Red 

Initially pegged as a candidate to tank, the Falcons have been shockingly competitive. In fact, five of their first seven games have been decided by less than seven points and their point differential sits at just -8; their 35-17 drubbing at the hands of the Bengals is their only truly lopsided result so far. Too good to be bad, too bad to be good, the Falcons are in the liminal space of doing something and doing nothing.

20. Chicago Bears, 3-4 (+9)

“And you wanna scream, ‘don’t call me kid, don’t call me baby / Look at this godforsaken mess that you made me’” — “illicit affairs,” folklore 

Like the Falcons, the Bears are better than they have any right to be—and are probably better than they even want to be. While Justin Fields has started nearly 20 games for the Bears since he was drafted in 2021, two years in the industrial wasteland that is Chicago’s offense has made it difficult to get a bead on his progress. Is he missing throws because he’s inaccurate or because he’s constantly under pressure? Is it possible to be a bust if you’re never given the chance to succeed? Encouragingly, the Bears have gotten Fields more involved the last two weeks with designed runs and trounced the Patriots 33-14 on Monday Night Football.

21. Arizona Cardinals, 3-4 (+6)

“You held your pride like you should’ve held me” – “The Story of Us,” Speak Now

Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray should’ve been such natural allies—they’ve been close since 2012 when Kliff Kingsbury was Texas A&M’s offensive coordinator and recruited Kyler Murray, who was just a sophomore in high school. Outside of being handsome and knowing Sean McVay, Kingsbury was hired because he was hailed as the perfect new age offensive thinker; Murray was drafted #1 in 2019 because he was hailed as the perfect new age quarterback. Yet, in Arizona, Kingsbury has struggled to unlock Murray during their time together, serving as the sole playcaller for an offense that’s ranked in the top half of the league in net yards per attempt just once in four seasons. During the Cards’ 42-34 win over the Saints on Thursday, the Kingsbury-Murray marriage reached its public nadir, with the two getting in a screaming match on the sidelines. Murray is good enough to overcome it, but it’s increasingly clear that Kingsbury is more of a hindrance than a help.

22. New England Patriots, 3-4, (-5)

“You can plan for a change in weather and time / But I never planned on you changing your mind” – “Last Kiss,” Speak Now

The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, McCorkle Jones was supposed to be Tom Brady’s successor, the bridge from one Pats’ dynasty to another. But what if the real heir to the Brady throne is Bailey Zappe, an unassuming late-round pick who steals the starting role from a higher-profile quarterback? When Bill Belichick subbed in Zappe to relieve a clearly still-hobbled Jones on Monday Night Football, he set the NFL’s weirdest quarterback competition ablaze. If you have two starting quarterbacks, do you really have any?

23. Washington Commanders, 3-4 (+5)

“So watch me strike a match on all my wasted time/As far as I’m concerned, you’re just another picture to burn” – “Picture to Burn,” Taylor Swift

Following Taylor Heinicke’s upset of the Packers, it’s hard to picture Carson Wentz reclaiming the starting job once he’s healthy. As recently as last summer, Wentz was seen as a potential savior, but now he’s just another addition to the ignominious list of the 14 starting quarterbacks to flame out in Washington in the post-Kirk Cousins era.

24. Las Vegas Raiders, 2-4 (no change)

“You’re not my homeland anymore / So what am I defending now?” — “Exile,” folklore 

Go back to Oakland! That’s your home!

25. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-5 (-4)

“Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes” — “Bad Blood,” 1989

The worst team in the NFL for the last two years, the Jaguars splurged in free agency last winter, spending $259.5 million on seven players. Even if the outlay of cash seemed over-the-top, you could imagine a world where adding steady veteran presences up and down the roster would give the team a sense of seriousness and catalyze improvement from the younger players. The results are murkier—franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence does look much improved in his second season, but that’s partially because he finally has real coaches. Having dropped their last four games, Jacksonville is no longer the trendy sleeper pick they were a few weeks ago, squashing the idea that they could engineer a historic single-season turnaround.

26. Denver Broncos, 2-5 (+6)

“It’s me / Hi / I’m the problem, it’s me” – “Anti-Hero,” “Midnights

[*stares at Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett so intensely that their slack-jawed visages become seared into my retinas*] This works doubly well because, like a sexy baby, Russell Wilson is cute and small.

27. Cleveland Browns, 2-5 (-1)

“My reputation’s never been worse/ so you must like me for me” —Delicate, Reputation

The Browns are 2-5, riding a four game losing streak and gave the biggest guaranteed contract in NFL history to a serial sexual abuser. Say what you will about the Browns, but Browns fans are certainly loyal.

28. Carolina Panthers, 2-5 (+3)

“There’ll be happiness after you, but there was happiness because of you. Both of these things can be true.” —”happiness,” evermore

A Ewing Theory win over the Buccaneers is a good start to the post-Christian McCaffrey era, but there’s always an emotional toll whenever a franchise legend is traded.

29 & 30. New Orleans Saints & Pittsburgh Steelers

“My castle crumbled overnight / I brought a knife to a gunfight / They took the crown but it’s alright” – “Call It What You Want,” Reputation

From 2009-2020, the Saints made the playoffs eight times; the Steelers made it seven times. These two teams were models of consistency and continuity, each anchored by an iconic quarterback-head coach batter (Drew Brees-Sean Payton in New Orleans; Ben Roethlisberger-Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh). Now, though, both are adrift—I double dog dare you to name each team’s passing yardage leader this season. More damning than the fact that both teams are 2-5 is the fact that neither team’s record is especially surprising.

31. Houston Texans, 1-4-1 (-5)

“I forgot that you existed” — “I Forgot That You Existed,” Lover

I forgot that they existed.

32. Detroit Lions, 1-5 (-2)

“In my defense, I have none” —the 1, folklore

In just six games, the Lions have allowed an NFL-high 194 points. Surrendering 32.3 points per game, the Lions are on pace to be the second-worst defense of the 21st-century, sandwiched between the 2020 Lions and the 2008 Lions.

Categories
Music

Randy Savvy is the King of Street Country—and Eventually Everything Else, Too

Everything is everything now. The internet has at once strengthened and demolished the monoculture; we’re all on TikTok, even if we’re all on different TikToks. Traditional mores and shibboleths have been replaced by vibes—nothing has a formal definition, but you know it when you see it. This is how country music is Sam Hunt but also Chris Stapleton but also Sturgill Simpson but also Kacey Musgraves.  

And this is how Randy Savvy and his signature “street country” sound are poised to become the next big thing.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Savvy comes from a long line of equestrians; his family has owned Richland Farms in Compton for upwards of five decades. In fact, Savvy learned to ride as part of the Compton Junior Posse, a gang-prevention program founded by his aunt Mayisha Akbar that’s since evolved into Savvy’s own organization, the Compton Cowboys. 

As the founder and leader of the Compton Cowboys, Randy Savvy (born Randall Hooks) wears many hats, mainly of the ten-gallon variety. But beyond his philanthropy or music or film career, the most important thing to know about Savvy is that he’s a cowboy, for real; his every drum beat or twang is informed by his unique background and experience. 

Last week, Savvy sat down with ONE37pm to talk about his burgeoning music career, cowboy bonafides and quest to become the P Diddy of the Wild West. 

Where did “street country” come from?

Randy Savvy: “It came together in 2017, around the time I conceptualized Company Cowboys. Before that, I’d been doing pop hip-hop for about 10 years, and just mostly focused on like top 40 kind of stuff. Once I started working on the Compton Cowboys, though, the whole thing just kind of came to me like a whirlwind. My mom was retiring from the ranch and she was either going to pass it down to me or shut it down. At that same time, I was producing commercials and videos and I got a job for a commercial that was looking to have Black cowboys in it.

So the next time I went to the studio, I was in cowboy mode, and decided that I might as well make a cowboy song. Almost immediately, I could feel that I’d made something unique and I was trying to coalesce some energy around it and show people that this could be the future—everybody was rocking with it, but they kept telling me that there was no market for it. 

And as I was running around trying to convince people about my vision, Lil Nas X blew up with Old Town Road. At first, I was heartbroken because I felt like I missed my shot. But at the same time, it was really inspiring because I realized that I was really onto something with street country. There was an appetite for this sound and I knew nobody could more accurately represent it than I could.” 

Why are you so well-suited to accurately represent it?

Randy Savvy: “It’s just my truth—that’s my reality. I’m an actual cowboy born and raised on a farm in Compton. I manage more than 25 horses. In fact, I’m actually on my way to one of my barns right now. It’s not like I’m just wearing a hat and boots and playing with my voice. The people now who are trying to blend hip hop and country are just experimenting with sounds—they’re not actually from both cultures the way that I am.

So Street Country is that authentic shit; you’re gonna hear the trap drums, the 808, the high hats, and those real patterns that’s coming from the streets because it’s coming from my producers, my homies from the streets. But then you got those guitars coming through a steel pedal and you got the melodies and the topline songwriting that is really from classic country music; there’s nothing else like that stuff.” 

Who are your musical inspirations?

Randy Savvy: “Country music has always been in my heart. I grew up listening to that shit at the rodeo—Alan Jackson is a regular staple in my playlist; “I Hope You Dance” by Leanne Womack was the first and only song that’s ever made me cry. There’s just a profoundness and beauty to country music and that’s what really made me fall in love with it.  And then at the same time, my dad was an avid west coast hip hop dude. He’d play Tupac, NWA, Westside Connection, Too $hort, all of that gangsta rap from that time, so that was my life too.” 

How did the Dr. Dre collaboration come together?

Randy Savvy: “During COVID, it was a struggle financially. I was worried about feeding the horses. The Compton community is very tight-knit and will always want to support anything that is positive and beautiful coming out of the city, so I knew that there were people I could reach out to for help. I ended up just calling the mayor of Compton (Aja Brown, at the time) to tell her we were hurting a little bit because I knew if Dre heard about us and knew what we were doing, he’d want to help us out; to me, our movement is essentially NWA on horses. 

A few days later, I got a call from an unknown number and I had a feeling that I had to pick it up. It was Dre! We hit it off instantly and he donated a year’s worth of funding to feed the horses.” 

When did you get in the studio with him?

Randy Savvy: “I was actually a little reluctant to tell him about my music at first—I feel like everybody must be bothering him with their music all the time. But as we were talking, he asked me what else I had going on; I mentioned that I do some TV work and make music and he lit up. To this day, Dre is mad passionate about music— he’s like a kid in a candy store in the studio. I played him some of my tracks and he picked out Colorblind as his favorite and said that if I wanted, he could add some sauce to it. This was like early 2020, so I just put that in my backpocket because I was still in the process of curating my album and stuff. 

Flash forward to the George Floyd protests a few months later, Meek Mill dropped “Other Side of America” and a bunch of other artists were putting out great songs talking about real shit. I wanted to be a part of that, so I was combing through my catalog and I realized that Colorblind was perfect. Originally, Colorblind was about gang violence, how I wished I could be colorblind because the red and blue lights of sirens and the yellow crime scene tape and the white chalk on the ground can be so traumatizing. But I realized that in the context of George Floyd, all those concepts still applied, except they could be used as symbols of police brutality rather than gang violence.

Once I realized this, I brought it up to Dre and he fucked with it, so he invited me to his studio. I’m like at Dre’ house and his studio, just me, him and his team. I’m just, blown away, like ‘damn, this is really happening.’ But at the same time, I didn’t feel starstruck or nervous; I felt like that was my moment, that I was meant to be there. He had me cut some more vocals and he added all this production stuff around it and elevated the song to a whole new level.”

Between your music, your community work and your tv gigs, you have a lot of balls in the air. Where do you see yourself going from here?

Randy Savvy: “I always tell people that I want to be my generation’s version of of guys like Jay Z, 50 Cent, Dr Dre and P Diddy. Mogul vibes, but with a cowboy hat on.” 

Categories
Sports

The 15 Greatest Rivalries in Sports

This is a totally novel idea that nobody has ever had before: there’s a very thin line between love and hate. Nowhere is this more clear in sports, the rare arena where having an arch-nemesis is not only normal, but is actually encouraged. Spanning from Iowa to Madrid, Tuscaloosa to New York, these are the greatest rivalries in sports.

1. New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox
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As far as American pro sports are concerned, this is the rivalry. Dating back to 1901, the Yankees and Red Sox have played 2,320 times. Over the course of the rivalry, the Yankees maintain a slight lead with a 1,257–1,049–14 record against the Sox (don’t ask me how they tied 14 times). Beyond the natural antipathy that has existed between the two cities since the American Revolution, the Yankees and Red Sox have no shortage of reasons to hate each other. In 1919, the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees, setting the Yankees up for the most dominant dynasty in MLB history while the “Curse of the Bambino” doomed the Red Sox to an 86-year title drought. More recently, the Yankees and Red Sox squared off in back-to-back legendary ALCSes in 2003 and 2004, both of which are embedded in baseball lore. 

2. Real Madrid-FC Barcelona
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Known as El Clasico, the rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona more than justifies that lofty name. On the pitch, Madrid and Barcelona have dominated La Liga, the two combining for 61 titles over the league’s 93 year history; Real Madrid holds the slight lead all-time with 35 wins versus Barcelona’s 26, but Barcelona has been more successful as of late, winning 16 titles since 1990. Off the pitch, Madrid and Barcelona are totemic of larger issues regarding nationalism and self-determination; Real Madrid has long been associated with the Spanish monarchy (real literally means royal) while FC Barcelona is a symbol of Catalan nationalism and the anti-fascist sentiments that arose during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. 

3. Duke-UNC Basketball
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Located just ten miles apart along Tobacco Road, Duke University and the University of North Carolina are two of college basketball’s most successful and storied programs. Like all of the greatest rivalries in sports, Duke-UNC is a layered, multivalent one. There’s the classic populist-versus-elitist angle; Duke is a pouncy private university while UNC is the state’s flagship public school. There’s a long history of stars—Duke and UNC have produced 73 and 72 NBA players respectively—but also long-tenured principals; Mike Kryzewski, Dean Smith and Roy Williams are three of college basketball’s most legendary coaches. While UNC technically has the series lead 143-115, they forever secured bragging rights last season by beating Duke in Coach K’s last home game and then ending K’s career by beating Duke in the Final Four in the biggest game in the rivalry’s history. 

4. Alabama-Auburn Football
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The “Iron Bowl,” the name for the annual showdown between the University of Alabama and Auburn University, is the biggest regular season event on the college football calendar. For years, the Alabama Crimson Tide have been college football’s most dominant team—their 18 national championships are the most of any school—and they’re in the middle of their most successful stretch ever, winning six titles since hiring Nick Saban in 2009. Still, the Auburn Tigers—a storied program in its own right—has been the most consistent thorn in ‘Bama’s side, swinging major upsets in 2013, 2017 and 2019. 

5. Iowa-Iowa State Football
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Real Madrid and Barcelona have El Clascio; the University of Iowa and Iowa State University have something even better: El Assico, the annual football game between the two schools. Since Iowa and Iowa State traditionally play grinding, aesthetically brutal football, the nickname was bestowed the nickname El Assico. And with good reason—Iowa State won the most recent game 10-7. Since 1894, the Iowa Hawks and Iowa State Cyclones have played 69 times and Iowa leads the series 46-23 all-time. In addition to statewide bragging rights, the winner of the game receives the Cy-Hawk trophy, which depicts the schools’ mascots holding up a football in a cornfield. 

6. New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons
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Whereas most rivalries are built on years and years of big games and continued success, the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons have built one of the greatest rivalries in sports on a foundation of unabating hate. As a result of the Falcons and Saints being the NFL’s two most prominent Southern franchises, the rivalry has assumed a fervor and intensity that’s more commonly associated with college football. To wit, despite (or perhaps because of) both teams  being perennial bottom-feeders, the two teams have been linked at the hip since their first game in 1967. Adding fuel to the fire, the rivalry is remarkably even—the Falcons hold a slight 54-53 advantage against the Saints over their 107 meetings.  

7. Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers
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The two most successful franchises in the NBA, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers each have won 17 titles and have played each other in the Finals a record 12 times. Although the rivalry was most heated in the 1960s and 1980s, the shared history between the teams gives Celtics-Lakers an uncommon degree of gravitas to this day. The rivalry is a major part of NBA history with players like Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Kevin Garnett and Lebron James playing for either the Celtics or Lakers. 

8. Boston Bruins-Montreal Canadiens
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The members of the NHL’s Original Six form a complicated, overlapping web of various grudges and beefs, but the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens share a special dislike for each other. But don’t take my word for it. “[It’s one of the]top three rivalries in all of sports,” said former Bruins forward Bob Sweeney, “right up there with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.”

9. Los Angeles Dodgers-San Francisco Giants
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Dating back to their past as the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants represent the National League’s defining rivalry. Across the 2,559 games and 132 years that the rivalry has been contested, the teams are almost exactly evenly matched; the Dodgers hold a minuscule 1274-1263-14 lead. The teams the two most successful NL franchises—the Dodgers’ 24 pennants is the record and the Giants are in close pursuit with 23. Most recently, the Dodgers beat the Giants in a legendary five-game series in the 2021 NLDS. 

10. Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers
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The two oldest teams in the NFL, the Bears and Packers have been bitter rivals for over 100 years; the two teams first faced each other in 1921 and have played each other in 99 of the ensuing 101 years. Sadly, in recent years, the rivalry has lost a little bit of juice as the Packers have enjoyed nearly 25 years of uninterrupted Hall of Fame quarterbacking while the Bears have, uh, not. Still, the twice-yearly games are marquee events and wins in them can redeem what are otherwise the most blah seasons.

11. Texas-Oklahoma Football
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As a purely aesthetic matter, the Red River Rivalry is unmatched. Unlike most college rivalries that are played in on-campus arenas, the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners play every year at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, a neutral site that’s roughly equidistant from both schools. In a seating quirk, each school is assigned one half of the stadium, creating the football stadium equivalent of a Rothko, with a clear demarcation at the 50-yard line between the red-wearing Oklahoma fans and their orange-clad counterparts. As for the actual football, it’s consistently excellent—Texas and Oklahoma have been the dominant teams in the southwest.

12. Celtic-Rangers
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What do you get when you cross a long history of football greatness, sectarianism and religious fault lines that span thousands of years? The answer looks a lot like the Old Firm, the matchup between Scottish soccer teams Celtic and Rangers that doubles as one of the greatest rivalries in sports. If the rivalry were limited to purely on-pitch reasons, it would still be one of the greatest rivalries in sports—either Celtic (55 titles) or Rangers (52 titles) have combined to win 107 of 125 league titles. But the real kindling, though, comes from the fact that Celtic has long been associated with Catholicism in Scotland while Rangers are a symbol of protestantism. 

13. Kentucky-Louisville Basketball
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Kentucky is one of the few states where college basketball matters more than college football. In fact, the state is home to the second- and sixth-winningest programs in college football history with the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals, who both have large, rabid fan bases that regard the annual post-Christmas Louisville-Kentucky game a state-wide holiday on its own. Kentucky leads the all-time series 37-17,  

14. Michigan-Ohio State University Football
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Whenever the University of Michigan and Ohio State University football teams meet, it’s called “The Game.” More than the 117 games between the two schools, more than the huge games, more than the ever-present title-deciding intrigue, this alone is proof of why this is one of the greatest rivalries in sports. When you talk about The Game, people know exactly what you mean. 

15. New York Rangers-New York Islanders
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To this day, Rangers fans chant “Potvin sucks” because of residual anger over a dirty hit from Islanders’ defenseman Denis Potvin. In fact, they’re so still angry that they chant it every game, regardless of if they’re playing the Islanders. For reference, Denis Potvin retired in 1988.