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      Smack Zone — Smack Talk

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      NFL Coaching Hot Seat: Why Wait? Fire Them All NOW

      The Monday after the final regular season games in the NFL is known as “Black Monday.” It’s the day owners decide to fire coaches and go in a different direction. We are three weeks into the season, but we can already tell which coaches are on the hot seat and might face the dreaded Black Monday conversation unless they get their crap together soon. Here is our list:

      1. Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins – the Dolphins made the biggest splash in free agency this year, signing Ndamukong Suh and had many believing they would get over the hump after back to back 8-8 seasons. Man we are so dumb! Miami has looked lackluster to say the least so far and are starring 1-3 in the face after they take on the Jets in London this Sunday. Miami is choking at the beginning of the season rather than the end but Philbin’s fate might already be sealed. If Miami continues to look so unprepared, there will be a change in South Beach.
      2. Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers – San Diego hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009, which is a surprise because they have a roster that is capable of a playoff run, led by franchise QB Philip Rivers. The Chargers are off to another slow start at 1-2, and if they miss out on the playoffs in a weak AFC so far, McCoy could be on his way out.
      3. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles – Kelly requested full control of the roster and was granted that in the off-season. All he has done since he got to town is get rid of star players such as DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and Trent Cole. What could possibly go wrong with that? Philly hasn’t looked good so far this season and if it doesn’t turn around quickly in a very winnable NFC East, this roster could be blown up and start from scratch without Kelly leading the way. Kelly is learning the hard way this is a player’s league, not a coach’s.
      4. Mike Pettine, Cleveland Browns – Pettine is only in his second year in Cleveland, but there have been numerous controversies surrounding the team since he took over. Most people know about “text gate” when front office executives were texting coaches what to do during games. Because if anyone knows what play to call it’s a Cleveland front office suit. Pettine has chosen to stick with Josh McCown at QB instead of fan favorite Johnny Football. Maybe he is taking a page out of Tampa’s book and starting McCown to get the No. 1 pick and select Jeff Goff? If Cleveland doesn’t show improvement this year, a new coaching staff could come in and try and right the ship.
      5. Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars – Bradley is in his third season in Jacksonville, and has won a combined eight games so far. That’s right, eight games including one this year in over two seasons! They have made solid FA signings and drafted very well, including franchise QB Blake Bortles and stud WR Allen Robinson. However, if they can’t win more than four games what good is that? Bradley might need to win at least seven games this year to save his job.

      Welcome to Cristiano World: the Most Ludicrous Place on Earth

      OK, it’s soccer. It’s the MLS. WHO CARES, right? Well, if Orlando City owner Flavio Augusto Da Silva has his way, a great many humans will care a great deal soon. A very great many humans. And a very great deal. Mr. Da Silva told the Spanish-language, Real Madrid-focused publication Marca that … (Hang on. Bear with us. This is tough to even think about, let alone write. It’s so damn ludicrous.) Da Silva, who already signed Brazilian semi-retiree Kaka this past season, now has his sights set on … (No, really. We thought this was from Onion Sports when we saw it. It’s THAT freaking ridiculous.) Cristiano Ronaldo. [caption id="attachment_1195" align="aligncenter" width="474"]I am Cristiano. Everybody who is not Cristiano sucks. That is right. You, too. Yes, you. You suck. Because you are not Cristiano. I am Cristiano. Everybody who is not Cristiano sucks. That is right. You, too. Yes, you. You suck. Because you are not Cristiano. Only I am Cristiano.[/caption] “Hopefully, we can sign him for this upcoming season,” Da Silva told Marca. “We’ve always heard that he’d like to come to the United States to play.” In other transfer news, we’re hearing the Laredo Lemurs, defending champions of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, are trying to work a deal for Mike Trout. [caption id="attachment_1196" align="alignleft" width="261"]Where else are you going to see a Laredo Lemurs logo today? And it's on a post about Cristiano Ronaldo. Life, man. You just never know. Where else are you going to see a Laredo Lemurs logo today? And it's on a post about Cristiano Ronaldo. Life, man. You just never know.[/caption] Also? The CFL’s Montreal Alouettes are all hot-n-bothered with Tom Brady and will submit a transfer bid to New England in January. Oh, and the Manchester Magic of the English Professional Basketball League? Yep. They want Lebron. All right. Let’s say Da Silva isn’t living in a dream world. After all, David Beckham came to America and blah blah blah. It’s SOCCER! WHO CARES?? WHY ARE WE EVEN WRITING THIS?? Still, though. What if Da Silva really believes what he’s saying and he’s not just having a go at the good people of Madrid? Let’s figure out what it might take to get the best soccer player of the 21st century into Orlando City purple next season. A cash bid would start – start – at $100 million. That’s just to buy the right to negotiate a contract with Ronaldo. That’s pocket change for Real Madrid, which splashed out far more than that for former Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale two years ago. But, as we say, $100 million is just a start. We’re thinking Da Silva will need to sweeten the deal. Let’s throw in, we don’t know … lifetime passes to Walt Disney World for every Real Madrid season ticket holder? Oh, and instead of Orlando City, the team will now be called Ronaldo City. In fact, the city of Orlando will now be called the city of Ronaldo. OK, that’s the transfer fee settled. Now, about Cristiano’s salary … NOPE. That’s all we’re writing about soccer for today. What time do Pittsburgh and Baltimore kick off?

      The REAL Subway Series

      Chances are, the Yankees and Mets aren't going to meet in the World Series. OK, sure. It's possible. IF the Yankees win the one-game wild-card play-in; IF the Mets get more than one game a series out of physically limited ace Matt Harvey; IF the Yankees don't get stomped by the much, MUCH better teams in the AL bracket ... OK. Maybe the traditional Subway Series is still a mathematical possibility. (Not happening.) Regardless, the REAL Subway Series took place today on Twitter, and New York beat the living hell out of L.A. In case you missed it, here's the ugliest case of mass transit system-on-mass transit system verbal violence in recent memory, tweet by tweet: From L.A., with love:

      From NYC, only mildly annoyed but bringing it strong: L.A. tried. Really, it did: But this is New York. No contest. They're still going at it, looks like, and maybe some pizza or something is on the line. Anyway. The Long Island Railroad clearly has a dog in this fight. Hence ...

      A Rose is a Rose is a ... DAMMIT! He's hurt again!

      [caption id="attachment_1181" align="aligncenter" width="474"]You, too, can win one of those, Mr. Rose. BUT YOU HAVE TO STAY HEALTHY. You, too, can win one of those, Mr. Rose. BUT YOU HAVE TO STAY HEALTHY.[/caption] It’s almost October and that means the NBA season is close to tipping off. Steph Curry and the Warriors will look to defend their title this year. With a new season comes a new Derrick Rose injury (yes, again). This time it happened during practice, when he was elbowed in the face and broke an orbital bone. It could cost him the first couple weeks of the season. Since his breakout MVP season in 2010-2011, the man cannot catch a break. In the team’s last 312 games, he has missed 212 of them! This got us thinking of other athletes whose careers were cut short or derailed because of injury. Our list contains players that were destined for greatness if not for unforeseen circumstances.

      1. Gale Sayers – when debating about who the best running back of all time is, most people say Walter Payton, Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith. Had Sayers not torn up his knee, he would absolutely be in that conversation. In his rookie year, he scored a then NFL record 22 TD and had over 2,200 all-purpose yards. He led the league in rushing his second season. In his fourth season, he tore his knee, and had that not happened he would have been on his way to being one of the best RB of all time.
      2. Jay Williams – Williams was an absolute stud at Duke. He won a National Championship in 2001, and was Player of the Year in 2002. He was selected 2nd overall by the Bulls in the 2002 draft. He was supposed to be a top 5 Point Guard in the league, and help lead the Bulls back to the glory days of Jordan. He was involved in a motorcycle accident after his rookie year and was never the same. There is no telling how good he could have been, but we think he was destined for a great career had it not been for that accident.
      3. Greg Oden – he was a national treasure in high school. Most people knew about him because he was on the cover of so many sports magazines, and had some of his games televised on ESPN. He had a pretty good freshmen year at Ohio State, but once he entered the NBA, everything went wrong. He injured his knee his rookie year and was forced to miss the whole season. The next year, he injured his foot and knee again. He is still in the NBA, but is a shell of his former self. “Experts” pinned him the next greatest big man. That never came to fruition.
      4. Rocco Baldelli – the Devil Rays drafted Baldelli #6 overall in the 2000 draft. His career got off to a very promising start as he won Rookie of the Year in 2003, and was top 10 in every offensive category. He followed that up with a very similar 2004 campaign, and was regarded as one of the best defensive outfielders in the league. He was injured to start the 2005 season and badly injured his elbow while rehabbing forcing him to get Tommy John surgery. He was never the same after that. It’s a shame because it looked like Tampa had a legit franchise player for a decade or more on their hands.
      5. Sam Bowie – everybody knows Portland drafted Bowie ahead of some guy named Michael Jordan. Bowie just never lived up to being taken second overall. He had a promising start to his career averaging 10 points and 8 rebounds as a rookie, and being named to the NBA All-Rookie team. After that, the injuries just piled up on him. He could never stay healthy for an entire season, and wound up getting traded after his 4th year in the league. He finished his career with a modest 10 points per game and 7 rebounds per game.

      Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Sleepers

      [caption id="attachment_1109" align="aligncenter" width="474"]Picks Contest Enter the weekly Smack Apparel picks contest to win t-shirts! Share it with your friends and prove your superiority as a pigskin prognosticator![/caption] By Erez Ladetzky, Smack Zone Contributor So your fantasy team is off to a rough start. Or one of your star players is hurt and you need a replacement. Maybe you have succumbed to all of the daily fantasy commercials and have joined FanDuel or Draft Kings (I started FanDuel last season). Here is a list of 5 players either potentially on your waiver wire or who have good value every week in daily/weekly fantasy:

      1. Karlos Williams, RB Buffalo Bills -- word out of Buffalo is Shady McCoy could very well miss this week’s game against the Giants. McCoy’s hamstring will probably linger on most of the year. Williams is coming off a 110 yard performance against Miami, including a highlight reel TD. Look for Williams and McCoy to split carries the rest of the way.
      1. Devonta Freeman, RB Atlanta Falcons -- coming into the season, many people thought Atlanta would use their 3rd round draft pick Tevin Coleman more than Freeman. Last week Coleman injured his hip, and Freeman took advantage of the opportunity, scoring the most fantasy points this week with a 3 TD game against the Cowboys. Freeman is a very solid RB2/value pick in daily fantasy sports (DFS).
      1. Tyrod Taylor, QB Buffalo Bills -- Taylor is available in a lot of leagues and definitely worth the pickup in case your starter has a tough matchup or is injured. Taylor has a great supporting cast around him with Mccoy, Williams, Watkins, Harvin and Clay. Not to mention he can run for yards and TD if necessary.
      1. Darren Sproles, RB Philadelphia Eagles -- Sproles is Mr. Do it all for the Eagles. He runs, catches and returns punts/kicks. He is an excellent value play in DFS and allows you to take two high-priced WR or a high priced RB and WR. He might not play a lot of snaps, but the snaps he does play turn into fantasy gold.
      1. Marvin Jones, WR Cincinnati Bengals -- teams have to start doubling A.J. Green. No team wants him to be the reason they get beat. Enter Marvin Jones. He had 94 yards and a TD against Baltimore this past weekend, and I expect him to be consistent the rest of the year. Dalton is playing his best football yet, and Jones should be the beneficiary of Green having a monster start to the season.
      After you scroll through the waiver wire for these guys, enter the Smack Apparel Weekly Picks Contest to try and win free t-shirts! Here is a look at the NFL games you'll be picking: Jets at Dolphins: Miami is so bad this year, they are playing this “home” game in London so the fans won’t have to suffer. Vikings at Broncos: Manning was supposed to be too old and not strong enough to throw 20 yards this year. The 3-0 Broncos just don’t care. Packers at 49ers: Rodgers has 10 TD and 0 INT to start the season. Kaepernick is coming off a 4 INT game. Can the NFL enforce a mercy rule? Cowboys at Saints: Brees could be cleared for this game, but if not it will be a Sunday night showdown between back QBs Brandon Weeden and Luke McCown. Get your popcorn ready! Rams at Cardinals: Arizona is looking like the class of the NFC West, and someone forgot to tell St. Louis that after you beat Seattle week 1, you have 15 more games left. Chiefs at Bengals: the mighty Daltons are off to a scorching start. But then again, it’s not January yet. Panthers at Buccaneers: the first of many Newton vs. Winston matchups. Let’s see if the Bucs can win their first home game since 2013 and if they are "Carolina ready." Lions at Seahawks: this Monday night game might be over before it even starts. Eric Ebron still thinks the 0-3 Lions are a great team. Maybe he will change his mind after this game.