Monday, August 25, 2014

2014-15 NFL Regular Season Predictions

The NFL; America’s loveable, painstaking, rough and tumble sport that clearly this preseason has seen its lumps of change and more change to come. Yellow flags are flying everywhere, teams look confused as to what a penalty is and isn’t anymore. Teams ponder what the season will look like. Well I have a prediction that most may not agree with, but last year I did pick the two teams to make it to the big dance, and the ultimate winner. This year’s blog is not as in-depth as it was a year ago and this may be the last time I ever predict the NFL, for once you’ve predicted it one year, well, the intrigue loses it’s luster. The NFL is my favorite entertainment hub during the day on Sunday, and I love it dearly, which is why you too are reading my blog. Maybe not necessarily for the sake of what is going to happen this season, but for my sake and who I am as a person. Let’s be honest though, the sport of football is just too difficult to predict and I’m probably going to be way off just like previous years to last. I think, though, that this season, a certain team will win it all in a similar fashion in another sport our country loves.


This is a prediction blog. I predict the 2014-15 NFL Regular season. I’ll give you insight into who I have getting to the playoffs, winning in the playoffs, and winning the whole darn thing. This year, instead of breaking each team down (which I just frankly don’t have the time to do, nor do I care) I will break down each division in each conference and tell you how it should play out, giving you an idea of what to expect this season for your football team. I’ll then give my standings after the blurb and do so till I get to the playoff prediction that I’ll have set up at the end of the blog. Should still be a long read, but compared to last year, quite the shrinkage if you know what I’m saying. Shall we begin? I feel like grabbing a cup of tea due to this excitement that I feel inside me, it builds like a 15 yard penalty… automatic first down!

NFC EAST prediction

Let’s start with the most whacked out division since this new 4 division thing started about 10 years ago. This division is never consistent and the definition of parity should lay next to it like a broken tricycle next to a giant Labrador dog with a guilty look on its face. The Cowboys couldn’t stop Stephen Hawking if he ran the ball for the Buffalo Bills last season and this year they have less talent than they did in 2013! The Redskins now have Tavaris Jackson as their quarterback…oh… you mean that guy with number 10…he’s not…wait he won a Heisman? But I swear he does this jump pass thing, throws it to the other team, and his slides look worse than Vince Young’s wonderlic test score! You’re sure he’s not Tavaris Jackson? Well I’ll take your word for it. Either way, the Redskins suck too and unless RG3 decides to actually back up his mouth than maybe he’ll just start backing up Kirk Cousins. The Giants, their own running back retired because they were so bad… wait your saying… he retired because of what… oh his neck huh…no I heard it was because they sucked… well I couldn’t tell because of Eli’s reaction sooo… Ok, Ok it was because of his neck, I get it. Well either way, the Giants suck too and that only leads me to one team. Yes the Philadelphia Eagles, on the playground is where I spend most of my days. The only difference is, Chillin’ out, maxin, and relaxin all cool is not the way of Chip Kelly even though he may shoot some b’ball outside of a school…oh but he’s fat… so your saying…Ok, I’m done with that bit. Anyways the point is, the Eagles are clearly the class of this division but the problem is consistency of winning this division back-to-back years has been a problem going back into last decade. Do I really think the Cowboys could win the division this year? HA. How about the Giants? They scare me because when we least expect them to, they win a championship. And the Redskins? If they do anything this season it’s changing their nickname. The Eagles are the best team in this division… but they won’t win it easily, because we all know the NFC East has to make it interesting come December because this team in Dallas always gets covered like they are some valuable franchise or something. Yeah, this division is a joke overall, but the Eagles should take it again if they stay healthy.

1.     Philadelphia Eagles 9-7
2.     Dallas Cowboys 7-9
3.     Washington Redskins 6-10
4.     New York Giants 6-10


NFC NORTH prediction

Oh, it’s my favorite division, ay. I’m going to dive into this division with that lackadaisical style of writing where I start conjugating words to make it sound northern or Canadian because ultimately I want people to a.) read this & b.) not get pissed off. Well, either way, I’m going to piss people off because my prediction in this one will cause you to probably not trust my ability to predict. This division is loaded with Quarterbacks, in fact, it has the most talented QB’s in the game and you can’t rack up any other division with a better group of QB’s. Aaron Rodgers (best player in football), Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler & Brett Favre. No you truly can’t compete with… wait Brett Favre? Oh no. Now we have to hear all about Brett Favre on Sportscen… oh no now it’s this Johnny Whosyourmomma guy… he flipped the bird to the Redskins? Well they deserve it because of their nickname so 12 grand is kinda fair if you ask me… Oh crap my ADHD affected the blog again, dang it! No Brett Favre is not in this division, in fact he’s nowhere to be found, you can click on your local Non-Madden programing at this time. What I was trying to avoid was saying Christian Ponder because I absolutely hate that… wait… he’s not even… White Castle? I love White Castle… Teddy Ballgame? You know he’s dead right? Oh you meant Bridgewater, the stud from Louisville who barely got drafted in the first round, yeah he’s alright. He’s not Johnny Football though. Either way this division is absolutely loaded with QB’s and any one of them can lead their team to a division championship and into the playoffs because every defense in this division has question marks from top to bottom. The Bears aren’t the 85 bears, the Packers haven’t played good defense since Favre was on the team, the Vikings lost the last of their purple people eaters Part II this past offseason, and the Lions… Really? If anything the Lions may actually have the best defense in the division, now that’s where the world should end, right after that statement. This division is up in the air but the one thing I will say is this. The Packers rely so much on Aaron Rodgers that if he slips up at all, they go nowhere. If the Bears can’t play an ounce of defense, then Cutler will shrivel and die. And if Stafford can’t find anybody to throw to besides the triple coverage on Calvin Johnson, than they will be stagnant. The Vikings? They have a ton of questions. Remember, though, they were 10-6 in 2012. This year they have a way better QB situation since 2010, and it finally looks like they have the right coach to get into the heart of the team to really get them going. I think if Minnesota plays an ounce of what they have shown this preseason it could lead to some big things because they are coming in this season with really a whole new set and for any team in the NFL, they can’t ultimately pre-set anything against them unlike the rest of the division. It’s a fresh start and I think the Vikings can make a splash within the division. Ultimately, I see the Lions doing big things, but for everybody else, it’s truly a toss-up. But what the heck, I’ll throw my team at the top!

1.     Minnesota Vikings 10-6
2.     Detroit Lions 10-6
3.     Green Bay Packers 9-7
4.     Chicago Bears 8-8


NFC SOUTH prediction

Alright, so I’m aware I just lost half my audience because I picked my team to win the division so if you’re not interested you I definitely will lose you after this prediction right? I hope not because again I have reasons. This is a really tough division because every team has a top strength to them. The Panthers have a top defense, Saints have a top offense, Atlanta has a great special teams returner, and Tampa Bay has a top suck. Yes, Tampa Bay actually sucks, they started oh-fer last season and were done before November started. Here’s the one thing Tampa Bay actually does have compared to the rest of the division now, they have the best coaching staff in the NFL. They have Lovie Smith who is fresh off of a firing that quite frankly was idiotic back in 2012 when the bears went 10-6 and didn’t make the playoffs. It wasn’t his fault that Adrian Peterson was superman and Aaron Rodgers is the best QB in the game, so why should he get fired? Tampa Bay fans will see quickly why he was the right man for the position and it will show this season. Yes, Carolina has a superior defense, hence why all their wide-receivers left right? Cam Newton is coming into this season as banged up as a barn door, and he lost all of his targets. Now all he has is a young budding tall target out of FSU in Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Olsen, and a cloud of dust. There’s no way Carolina repeats what they did last year unless they have a 2001 Ravens performance where Cam only needs 1,500 yards passing and sips Kool-Aid in the backfield. The Saints now seem to be having to rely on Drew Brees more and more these days and he’s getting up there in age. If Brees goes down, they are completely doomed because they don’t have the defense to hang with most teams. In Atlanta, they are trying to build themselves from the ground up similar to Tampa Bay except they are trying to get back to where they were back in 2012 where they made an NFC Championship appearance. The thing is, in Atlanta, they also are like the Saints, they have no defense to stand on and every game will be on the verge of a shootout. So we have two great offensive teams with no defense, a great defensive team with no offense, and we have a team with great coaches. I think Tampa Bay is this going to pull a 2013 Kansas City Chiefs. They will show everybody that they are the real deal and truly terrify the NFL this season. This division is known for having teams come out of nowhere and what better time than to have a team come out of the pitfalls of failure like they had last year, rebuild like they did this offseason with all the hiring’s and signings they made, and to potentially shock the world yet again? I see it happening and I think Lovie will get it done in year one.

1.     Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-3
2.     New Orleans Saints 8-8
3.     Atlanta Falcons 8-8
4.     Carolina Panthers 5-11


NFC WEST prediction

We all know this division is the best in football. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say any of these teams could win one of the other 7 divisions if they were thrown into the mix. The Seahawks are defending Super Bowl Champions, the 49ers have been to 3 straight NFC Championship Games, the Rams have a top 5 defense in the NFL and a top coach who unfortunately are jammed into this division, and the Cardinals won 10 games last year and could have competed in the playoffs if they were in the AFC. The Rams on defense alone could win a division. The Cardinals now have an offense and a vaunted defense to compete in many divisions. We obviously know the best rivalry in football is the other two teams and they could also be the top two teams in football over the last 2-3 years. Quite frankly, this is head and shoulders, maybe even hips, the best division in football and it’s not even close. Predicting this division is so difficult, but in the recent discoveries of Rams injuries and San Francisco woes, I find it easier to lean on the Seahawks but still have questions about the Cardinals. The 49ers won’t go anywhere they will figure it out, the Rams could still destroy teams on defense alone, and we all know what the Seahawks are about. The Cardinals could just as easily win the division, as much as tank out at the bottom. All I know is, the Seahawks aren’t going anywhere for at least a couple more years and the 49ers look like they have one last punch left in them before they implode. The Rams are definitely on the rise and the Cardinals are the true wildcard in this division, but it’s so hard because there is really no clear cut favorite outside of banking on the defending champs. I think Seattle gets it done again, but San Francisco still makes some noise throughout the year.

1.     Seattle Seahawks 12-4
2.     San Francisco 49ers 10-6
3.     St. Louis Rams 7-9
4.     Arizona Cardinals 5-11


AFC EAST prediction

This division is probably the most cupcake it’s been in a long time. This is a division that anyone of those teams in the NFC WEST could seriously compete for if they played in it. Most of the bottom three teams would finish last in almost all of these divisions. The Jets are now a retirement home for aging running backs (CJ2K, LT was the previous one), the Dolphins are about a questionable as a sack of mystery meat, and the Bills have a great defense but their offense has no delivery man; QB. The Patriots are about as good as they are going to get when it comes to both sides of the ball. Their secondary is much improved from a year ago, they have a better front 4 than they did last year, and their offense still is held together by the modern day Joe Montana; Tom Brady. If Brady goes down, then I don’t know what happens, for all I know we could see a 7-9 team make the playoffs out of this division. Right now though, why should I waste my time breaking down this division when all it’s going to be is revolving around how much the Patriots are going to dominate? In fact, the Patriots should dominate this division so handily, that they could win the #1 seed in the AFC and, as we know, they probably aren’t the best team in the conference. But, with the division they have spread out in front of them, cupcake city will provide them quite the yellow brick road to the postseason.

1.     New England Patriots 12-4
2.     Buffalo Bills 7-9
3.     Miami Dolphins 6-10
4.     New York Jets 3-13


AFC NORTH prediction

This division has also become more cupcake over the past couple seasons too. It might be because of the Ray Lewis retirement effect, but they it’s not like it was a couple years ago and prior years to 2012. The Bengals won the division last year, that should tell you how soft it’s gotten. Yes, the Bengals have a good defense, but they just lost their defensive coordinator to the Vikings. Andy Dalton signed a major contract he has no right to have because he has proven nothing when it matters most. Well, Joe Flacco also received a major contract when he proved to be ordinary, but that was because he had a great defense holding up their end of the bargain. Last year, the Ravens dipped, as we all saw coming after Ray Lewis left and countless other players. The Ravens weren’t expected to really do much, and they didn’t. This year is no different when it comes to expectations, but that may be where they shine the most. The Steelers are the AFC version of the New York Giants. They’re so inconsistent these days you won’t know if they’ll show up on defense, offense, all together, or not at all. It’s not Mike Tomlins fault, it’s just the franchise is going through an adjustment personality wise because of how the league is shaping itself to mandate safety. As we all know, the Steelers over the past 10+ years have been one of the most reckless teams in the NFL. They hit you hard enough to throw the yellow flag on almost every defensive play, they have that aura to just be overly physical which is how it used to be, but with the new rules, they have to tone it back making them more inconsistent than before the rule changes. It doesn’t help that they also have an ageing QB who is slowly starting to lose his touch. Oh and I forgot about Johnny Drama. Even if he does play this season, it won’t matter because he won’t be anything special. The Browns are more special on defense than anything. In fact, they might be one of the best defensive teams in the NFL this year. The press will be all over what Johnny does, but NFL teams won’t know what hit them on their offensive side of the ball when the Browns defense comes into the game. That defense will win them games all by themselves, but the offense will be putrid at its peak. I could see the Ravens winning the division in a bounce back year, but Bengals still have a shot and maybe Andy Dalton proves me wrong with his new fat contract. I just think the Ravens slightly nastier than the rest of the division.

1.     Baltimore Ravens 10-6
2.     Cincinnati Bengals 8-8
3.     Pittsburgh Steelers 7-9
4.     Cleveland Browns 6-10


AFC SOUTH prediction

Wow, another weak division in the NFL? Wow the AFC is just so bad overall I really can’t explain it. Maybe the NFL needs to just split up conferences to make a more competitive league. This is what I was talking about when it comes to the NFC WEST. The Cardinals could win the AFC NORTH right now and they could compete with the AFC SOUTH too. The Indianapolis Colts are a solid team, but they still have me questioning what they have on defense. Offensively, hopefully Trent Richardson found a way to find the holes he’s given because if he doesn’t, they will bank on the arm of Andrew Luck once again. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just makes the team more one dimensional and that can make for an early playoff exit. The Texans will bounce back and they could win the division too, I just don’t think they will go from 2 wins to 10 in a snap. They have some new young players that will help sew up some major issues on the team, but they won’t jump back quite yet. When all you have is Ryan Fitzpatrick delivering the ball, the offense has a slim chance of performing at full potential. The Titans aren’t going anywhere they will fill the cellar of the AFC SOUTH quite nicely and do it with pride because the Jacksonville Jaguars are ready to make a statement this season. I think the Jags have truly improved on both sides of the ball and even with Chad Henne starting the season, eventually Blake Bortles will get his shot and he’s good enough right now to lead this team to a potential playoff birth. They aren’t good enough to do much else, but with the young and upcoming team they have laid out for this season, don’t be shocked if 9 wins occurs this year. People forget the Jags used to be realty good back in the late 2000’s and they had an above average QB. Well now, especially with Blake Bortles, they have a QB who can lead this team to some serious victories this season. Yes, I know Chad Henne will start most of the games, but Jacksonville will learn quickly to put Bortles in by November. If they don’t put Bortles in by then, then you can write off my prediction of this team. If they are smart, they’ll get him in by November and they’ll see the magic start to happen. But, this is Indianapolis’s division and maybe for more years to come.

1.     Indianapolis Colts 10-6
2.     Jacksonville Jaguars 9-7
3.     Houston Texans 6-10
4.     Tennessee Titans 6-10


AFC WEST prediction

Oh yay, we finally hit on an AFC division that has competition. Well, maybe not this season but you could say after last season it’s better than any other division in the AFC. This year is going to be weird because I could see the Broncos slipping a little bit, I could see Kansas City becoming more neutral, and I don’t think San Diego has it in them this season. We all know the Oakland Raiders are a joke, but they are making improvements each year so at least that’s refreshing. Kansas City could compete again for the division title and maybe this season have an even better shot because of the Broncos lapse in offense. Kansas City has one of the best home fields in the game, they have an alright defense, and their offense can score enough points. What I mean by them becoming more neutral is meaning they won’t be as much of a flash in the pan as they were last season when coming out of nowhere to start undefeated like they did. The Chiefs will be more of a conventional team this year and teams will expect what’s coming at them this season more than last year. The Broncos are still great and their defense has improved immensely, I just worry that their offense will take a while to get started this season with all the new pieces and slow starts they have had this preseason. I think they will be fine and ultimately make the playoffs because once they figure it out on offense; they will be the best team in football. I just worry about the slow starts and how it could affect them coming into this season. The Chargers scare me because they could be this year’s dark horse in the AFC. Well how can they become a dark horse after they won a playoff game last year? Well, they could either be really bad or really good this year. Looking at how they have performed in the preseason, I’d say it’s more on the downslide than anything else. I think their offense is great, but the defense again puzzles me and I don’t know what they are going to do to stop other teams. I think it’s another year the Broncos take it, but it’ll be interesting to see where this division is laid out in the middle of the year because early on it could be the Raiders on top for all we know. I’m not saying the Raiders have a chance, because they don’t, it’s just this preseason for all these teams has looked really wonky.

1.     Denver Broncos 10-6
2.     Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
3.     San Diego Chargers 7-9
4.     Oakland Raiders 6-10




  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-3 NFC SOUTH CHAMPS
  2. Seattle Seahawks 12-4 NFC WEST CHAMPS
  3. Minnesota Vikings 10-6 NFC NORTH CHAMPS
  4. Philadelphia Eagles 9-7 NFC EAST CHAMPS
  5. Detroit Lions 10-6 Wildcard
  6. San Francisco 49ers 10-6 Wildcard


  1. New England Patriots 12-4 AFC EAST CHAMPS
  2. Denver Broncos 10-6 AFC WEST CHAMPS
  3. Indianapolis Colts 10-6 AFC SOUTH CHAMPS
  4. Baltimore Ravens 10-6 AFC NORTH CHAMPS
  5. Kansas City Chiefs 10-6 Wildcard
  6. Jacksonville Jaguars 9-7 Wildcard

I have the Jaguars getting back to the postseason for the first time in a while, I have the Ravens returning since winning the Super Bowl 2 years ago but I have 4 of the same teams returning from a year ago in the AFC. In the NFC, I have Tampa Bay making it back for the first time in a while, the Lions getting back after a couple years of being out, and I have the Vikings getting back since they last entered in 2012. Outside of those 3 new teams from a year ago, I have 3 teams from the previous year, and that makes it 7 old teams making the postseason, and 5 new teams.


Oh yes, one of the most sacred times of the year. The NFL Playoffs, a 3 week bonanza of the best football all year. Then the big game, the Super Bowl! Well here are my scores to the games I have each weekend leading up to Super Bowl 49! Enjoy!

Wild Card Weekend

#6 San Francisco 49ers @ #3 Minnesota Vikings

This game will be cold. The 49ers have proven they are a completely different team in the playoffs year in and year out for three straight years. They have way more experience than Minnesota can dream up, and they have proven they can go into cold weather and win with the best of them. Colin Kaepernick will go off in this game and get it done a very inexperienced Minnesota Vikings team. Prediction: SF 24-7

#5 Detroit Lions @ #4 Philadelphia Eagles

The city of brotherly love and the motor city kitties will be battling in what looks to be a big time offensive powerhouse matchup. The difference is, it’s in Philly and it may not favor the Lions in any way. The Lions have the offense to keep up with Philly, but Philly has the home crowd and Matthew Stafford is prone to making mistakes in the clutch. He’s been clutch before, but I don’t see it happening in Philly. This will be the most entertaining game of the weekend if it were to happen. Prediction: PHI 31-27

#6 Jacksonville Jaguars @ #3 Indianapolis Colts

Division foes at it for a third time, but honestly Andrew Luck has this one in the bag. They will destroy the Jaguars Cinderella run as the comeback cardiac cats will have to settle for an early playoff exit. Prediction: IND 31-13

#5 Kansas City Chiefs @ #4 Baltimore Ravens

This will be a blood bath defensively and I could see fines handed out all over the field. Not because both these teams hate each other, but I think both defenses will come ready to mash and make it exhausting for both offenses to get it going. I see this as an instant classic defensive struggle. Prediction: BAL 13-6

Divisional Playoff Weekend

#6 San Francisco 49ers @ #1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I think anyone looking at this will see that the Buccaneers clearly over achieved and having a week off to play a team who has been in this situation multiple times the past 3 seasons really has no shot of winning. They are at home which will make things more difficult for San Fran, but ultimately the 49ers will get it done. Prediction: SF 28-14

#4 Philadelphia Eagles @ #2 Seattle Seahawks

Ha. That’s the only thing I need to say to Philly. Oh and Good luck. This Seahawks team won’t take anyone lightly especially after a week off. Philly might as well be bait for this shark in the Seattle Seahawks because with the toughest stadium in the country to play in, there’s no chance for Philly. Unless the Seahawks shoot themselves in the foot and start wickedly slow like they are prone to doing. That’s their only shot. Outside of that, it’s hunting season this time of year in Seattle. Prediction: SEA 26-17

#4 Baltimore Ravens @ #1 New England Patriots

The Patriots defense is much better by this point in the season and the Ravens will have enough to hang, but will their momentum carry them well enough? I don’t think Tom Brady will let it happen and his ability to lead the team will be good enough to get them the win. This could be an interesting game though because historically, Baltimore hasn’t been phased going into New England in years past. I just think Joe Flacco will run into a tougher opponent than he might of expected looking at game film come this time of year. Prediction: NE 25-23

#3 Indianapolis Colts @ #2 Denver Broncos

It’s going to be cold and the Colts won’t be ready for it. I think the Broncos will figure out their kinks during this bye week and be ready to roll like they did last season and their defense will be ferocious. People will see what I mean when Denver is the best team in the NFL after watching this game, it’s going to be a royal beat down and Andrew Luck will go into the offseason wishing for a better team to be surrounded by. Prediction: DEN 31-8

Conference Championship Weekend

Oh Chris, you’re so original picking the same conference championship as last season. Well, let’s be honest, the NFL is going through a weird spell where the best teams are truly the best teams in their conferences. I think this is the last time we see these two matchups in this circumstance again, but the likelihood of it happening again is very high.

NFC Championship: #6 San Francisco 49ers @ #2 Seattle Seahawks

I see a similar outcome in last year’s game except Percy Harvin will steal the show. He wasn’t much of a factor in last year’s team and this year he’ll make them better than people expect. The 49ers will truly find themselves struggling on offense more than they did last year and this game should ultimately end their run of consecutive NFC Championship games. This will send the Seahawks to their second straight Super Bowl and the 12th man will stand proud yet another year in the Pacific North West. Prediction: SEA 27-17

AFC Championship: #2 Denver Broncos @ #1 New England Patriots

The Patriots have a much better team this year, but they still don’t have the offensive fire power to match with what the Broncos have, especially since the Broncos bolstered up their defense in the offseason. The Patriots did too, but not like the Broncos. The only advantage the Patriots have coming into this game is that they will be at home, and that the crowd will give them a boost. But this is still the Broncos division and they have something to prove from a year ago. Prediction: DEN 28-24

Ahhh… Nothing like a rematch, except this time the entertainment will be better than this year.

Super Bowl 49

Seattle Seahawks vs Denver Broncos

This game will be much better than last year and let me tell you why. The Broncos have a better defense, they know what to expect when they get to the Super Bowl this year, and they will be more focused than a surgeon in the 11th hour. The Seahawks will be ready too, but I think this year they will have more challenges on the offensive side of the ball when it comes to facing the Broncos defense in the 2015 Super Bowl than the 2014 Super Bowl. The Broncos will dissect game film from the regular season (which the Seahawks will more than likely win that game at CenturyLink Field) and they will also look at the differences in adjustments from Super Bowl 48. They will have more game film to go off of and their adjustments will finally figure out the blue print of the Legion of Boom. Though it will be a much better game, the revenge factor will play a huge part and Peyton will ride off into the sunset with a second Super Bowl championship and the Broncos will prevail as the best team in the League. But, believe me, it won’t be easy. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Seahawks repeated as champions as well. Prediction: DEN 31-27

Super Bowl 49 M.V.P.: Peyton Manning

I hope you liked my read and I hope come January I’ll be riding high similarly to how it was last season. Outside of the prediction realm of things, enjoy the season, for I know it will be a good one.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Seasonal Depression

If you have ever dealt with the sensation of gloom that a certain season/time frame causes your mind to move faster than a Sprint Cup NASCAR race on a hot Sunday afternoon, I'm here to tell you that it's about that time of year for me.

Since 2009, from about the middle of August till about middle-end of September, I have these depressive feelings creep up into my mind. They are difficult and challenging because my mind starts to race about all the things coming up in the future when it comes to conditions of life, what may happen, and the uncertainty of the future. It's odd, because during most of the year I'm rather confident, understanding, and very positive of my outlook on life. This time of year, has been a challenge for a while.

Examples of these depressive thoughts are:

- The Summer in the Pacific Northwest will be over in a couple months
- The sunshine won't make a regular appearance again for a while,
- The air will change & the smell of the seasons will be refreshing and clean but the feel will turn cold and damp
- School will start soon (and as much as I love school, it has a prison like feel to it and especially when in college, I never looked forward to the beginning of a new school year)
- Anxiety of starting new & meeting new people, not knowing where the friendships will grow from or if they will last.
- Knowing that the holiday season is right around the corner and that natural conflict & stress usually arises in family dynamics, along with knowing that I'm usually alone during that time.
- The sun rises around 9:30 am (maybe) and sets around 3:45 pm (at the earliest) from November till mid January.
- It rains... and that's about all it does.
- The chances to go play outside are nonexistent past September till about mid-April because of the oddity weather has in this part of the country.
- The fear of being rejected by new people, and potentially not making any new true solid friends, or knowing that any of them will be there to support.

It's a whole new lifestyle when the seasons change from summer to autumn here in the Pacific Northwest and for me, at least the past 5+ years, it's been a difficult transition. I intrinsically think a couple months ahead, and that transition (which is so drastic here for some reason) seems to always have me questioning, what the heck is going to happen? It makes me frightened because it will be cold, dark, wet, and the difficulty of work/school/stress/and conflicts that usually arise will only make it more overbearing than they would have been with the conditions we have right now which are more reassuring and comfortable then they will be in November. Living here, you are aware that conditions are not consistent from November till June and sometimes even July and knowing that and understanding that this is the last couple months of consistent weather and a time for relaxation, it feels like forever till it comes back, and with all the other life stresses that come along with it, it's almost worth just ending now because its so perfect.

This time of year is truly the best time of year to be in the Pacific Northwest. Outside of this time of year though, conditions, life's stresses, and natural changes with weather and the holidays, it always seems to have me questioning what the outcome will be and I resort to severe depressive thoughts... but only when I think outside of the sports hemisphere, because the moment sports creep back into my mind and I revolve my life around it, they save me from digging deeper in my head.

There is a reason why Sports are so ingrained in my lifestyle, because without them, I don't know where I could draw the happiness from with this such drastic change that will occur here in the next couple months.

When the sun hits that particular angle during the day, those insecure thoughts start racing through my head about all the conditions that will come forth in the upcoming months and the anxiety of not knowing if I can deal with them start to settle in. The depression truly starts to hit home and the thoughts of just ending it before the storm (from November to June) don't seem so bad for I am usually by myself in my own mind. Sports places me into a group, and without that group, cooping may be nonexistent.

The scariest part of all of this, is I am slowly starting to lose the grip on sports as an outlet. My life is evolving and I am valuing different things as my mind grows. I still have time to grow (they say your mind doesn't reach it's peak till 25, I'm 23). I fear that in the next year or two, sports won't be an outlet like it once was, and I fear that god may decide a different path for me. This is the scariest part of this time of year and I keep reaching for outlets, and unfortunately, they don't do the justice that sports provided me as a child. I'm truly terrified, for when my current outlets disappear from my reward pleasure center of my brain, that other outlets won't take the place sports did.

The craziest thing is, the only real time it's a worry is when it is around 4 pm till about 30 minutes before sunset is the hardest part. I allow myself to battle in my mind how not to be destructive towards myself. I have never, and never will, be destructive towards myself for it is selfish and illogical to do so. I have so much to live for, and I know that ultimately I serve a purpose. But, for the reasons I have stated above, it makes it seem so damn easy to end and believe me, that time frame I just mentioned... it makes running at a 6:45 per mile pace for 10 miles seem so mild.

When others bring up their bouts of depression, I don't sit there and laugh, say they are weak, tell them to suck it up because the mind can be a terrible thing. I try to remind people when they mention they are going through it to think about the people that care about them, the things they love to do, the outlets they go towards to get away from reality, ask for support, or to just listen and tell them that I am an ear that understands the battle between life and death that our minds grapple with from time to time.

Sometimes, an ear, words of advice, a conversation, or a supportive action (hanging out, watching TV together, playing a board game, etc.), can truly change the outcome of how the mind reacts to these bouts and life will usually come out the winner by unanimous decision.

I've come across many people who have seasonal depression in February, or even in July. Some people I've met have it right around December. I've also met people who have bouts with other mental illnesses where depression is the main anchor of their ability to grow the strength they need to manage life on life's terms. For some, it may already be too late, things have already been cemented in those people's minds that truthfully a common individual can't understand and can't help with. But for many, our sacrifices of our own time can have a butterfly effect that changes the impact on life forever whether we know it or not.

Opening up our hearts for people, hearing, listening, understanding. Our compassion will ultimately guide that thought of death and despair straight into the ground and cause life and potential to move forth and win.

So how does this relate back to sports?

Sports has an underlying tone that some people may not see or understand. For many, it's what I've described through this blog; Winning, losing, actions, and outcomes. But, there is always more (as a good businessman would say).

It can allow our hearts to heal, and allow time to pass when otherwise we were left without purpose to begin with. Sports is an outlet as much as anything else to whatever you may find gets you away from your reality. Recently, and especially this time of year, sports is a lot like Entertainment tonight. "Who is Johnny football tweeting today?" "Who went to jail for DUI or drug related instances at this minute?" or "Who missed their scheduled meeting?" So like I've been saying, the sports world news is tough to come by but their has been some bright lights.

Mo'ne Davis has made throwing like a girl a different term, Johnny Football still runs the sports landscape and the Baseball season is heading towards the stretch run.

My Major NFL Preseason blog for 2014 will be out next Monday. Be prepared for it, for it will have gobs of knowledge that you can take into the regular season and be hyped for your team! Have fun till then, and be aware of people with Seasonal Depression. The pain is real, and help someone out today.

See you next week.