Sunday, February 9, 2014



Hello Football Fans,

Attached is my final football letter for the 2013 season.  I should be back with more info just before the 2014 NFL Draft to be held May 8-10 (two weeks later than normal).


The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL 

(Giving the Gambling police the slip for the season - Ed)

Seattle kicked off to Denver to start the game – a touchback, with Broncos starting at their own 20.  The first play from scrimmage was a SAFETY – bad snap, “luckily” recovered by a Broncos’ running back.  The very early score was 2-0, and all of the Super Bowl “Squares” pools were thrown all out of whack.

It didn’t get much better after that for Denver.  The Broncos recorded their first “first down” of the game five minutes into the second quarter, and the score at halftime was 22-0.  History was against them; the biggest Super Bowl comeback was from a 10-point deficit.  And then when Seattle ran back the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown to take a commanding 29-0 lead, there was little doubt that the Seahawks were going to win.

The weather for Super Bowl became a non-issue, with the game time temperature at 49 degrees, no precipitation and a light breeze (43 degrees at halftime and light rain).  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his cronies lucked out.  The game was never affected by the weather; the big snow storm didn’t hit the city until the next day at 3AM.  I hope this doesn’t encourage them to stage another Super Bowl outdoors in a cold weather city.

The MVP of the Super Bowl was Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith, who recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass for a 69-yard touchdown.  He was a 7th round draft pick in 2011 out of USC.  During his college career, he had an esophagus disorder stemming back to 2009 that delayed development of his football skills.  But Seattle HC Pete Carroll, having coached the youngster back then, knew all about his former condition.  Smith has evidently fully recovered, and has blossomed.
Malcolm’s older brother is former NY Giants’ WR Steve Smith (not the Carolina Panthers’ WR), who won a Super Bowl in 2007 with the Gnats.  A knee injury shortened his NFL career.

Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll became only the third coach to win both an NCAA title and a Super Bowl title.

Seattle was the first Super Bowl participant to have zero turnovers and give up zero sacks.

Seattle had the youngest roster ever to win a Super Bowl, with an average age of 26.4 years.  The other Super Bowl participants with young teams were:
            1971 Miami Dolphins 26.4     (they lost the game)
            1981 SF 49’ers            26.5
            1974 PIT Steelers        26.6


For last year’s Super Bowl, approximately $99 million was bet on the game -- just in the State of Nevada.  This year the reported amount was $119 million, of which about $19 million was profit for the bookies (Las Vegas thanks you for your support).

Let’s take a look at how some of the proposition bets turned out.

DENVER -2 (giving up two points, the favorite) vs. SEATTLE +2 (getting two points, the underdog).
DEN -2           -110
SEA +2           -110
Seattle won this bet easily.  If you bet $110 on the Seahawks, you won $100 (total of $210 paid back to you).
If you bet on Denver, you probably didn’t enjoy the Super Bowl game ($110 down the drain).

OVER/UNDER: 48.5 (total combined points to be scored in game)
Total OVER 48½ points         -110
Total UNDER 48½ points      -110
After three quarters, the score was 36-8 (44 total points, still “under”) and the outcome of the game had already been determined.  However, the over/under was still alive.  Seattle scored another “insurance” TD in the fourth quarter to make the “over” bettors happy, as the final score was 43-8 for a total of 51 points scored (over the 48½ number).

Money line (bet SU instead of ATS) – who will win the game:
SEA to win     +115    (that means you bet $10 to win $11.50, receiving $21.50 for a win)
DEN to win    -140     (that means you bet $14 to win $10, receiving $24 for a win)

The Seattle bets were winners; if you bet $100 on the Seahawks to win the game, you won $115.

All of the following proposition bets were winners:
SEA -3h          +180    (Seahawks to win the game by 4 or more points)
SEA -7h          +350
SEA -10h        +500
SEA -17h        +1000  (10 to 1 odds)
If you gave up 17½ points and still took Seattle, you would have won $1,000 on a $100 bet

And of course all of these bets were losers:
DEN -7h         +275    (Denver to win the game by 8 or more points)
DEN -10h       +400
DEN -14h       +700    (bet $100 to win $700, receive $800 total; Broncos to win by 15+)

All of these bets were losers, since the over/under turned out to be pretty close to the oddsmakers’ number of 48½ total points:

UNDER 34h   +475
UNDER 37h   +300
OVER 55h      +240
OVER 60h      +400    (bet $100 to win $400; total points scored 61 or more)

Successful # of FG’s in the game:
OVER 3h        +105
UNDER 3h     -135
The “over” bet would have been a winner if there had been four successful field goals during the game.  It was looking good early, as Denver kept their opponent out of the end zone twice in the first quarter.  Seattle settled for FG’s both times in the first quarter to lead only 8-0.  Two FG’s in the first quarter, the “over” bet is looking pretty good at this point.  But there was no response by Denver and Seattle racked up five touchdowns after that.  This bet went “UNDER”, with only two total FG’s in the game (less than the oddsmakers’ number of 3½).

Longest FG in the game:
OVER 44h      -110
UNDER 44h   -110
This bet went “UNDER”, as Seattle’s two FG’s were successful from 31 and 33 yards.

Will the game go into overtime?
YES    +600    (bet $100 to win $600)
NO      -900     (bet $900 to win $100)
Of course, the heavily favored “NO” bet won.

Will there be a safety in the game?
YES    +550    (5.5 to 1 odds)
NO      -800     (8 to 1 odds)
WOW!  This “YES” bet was a winner early, and the huge favorite “NO” bet was a loser early (there goes $800 down the drain, and just to try to win $100).
Note: There has now been a safety in each of the last THREE Super Bowls.

SEA QB Russell Wilson passing yards for the game:
OVER 210h                -135
UNDER 210h             +105
Wilson completed 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards – the UNDER bet was the winner.

DEN QB Peyton Manning passing yards for the game:
OVER 290h                -105
UNDER 290h             -125
Manning set a Super Bowl record for number of completions; he completed 34 passes in 49 attempts, but generated only 280 yards – the UNDER bet was the winner.

SEA QB Russell Wilson rushing yards for the game:
OVER 32h                  -130
UNDER 32h               +100    (Even money-bet $10 to win $10)
Wilson rushed only three times for 26 yards – the UNDER bet was the winner.

SEA RB Marshawn Lynch rushing yards for the game
OVER 90h                  -135
UNDER 90h               +105
Lynch rushed 15 times for only 39 yards – the UNDER bet was easily the winner.

Length of national anthem:
OVER 2 min, 25 sec.              +120
UNDER 2 min, 25 sec.           -160
The UNDER won this bet, as the song lasted only 2:09.

At least one word omitted from national anthem:
YES                +250
NO                  -400
I’m not sure about this one.  I do know that at the end of the song, “the brave” was sung twice (two words added to the national anthem).

Will the national anthem singer wear gloves?
YES                -200
NO                  +150
She didn’t wear gloves – the underdog bet of “NO” was the winner.

Will it snow during the game?
YES                +300
NO                  -500
The winner was a “NO” bet, but it was within 8 hours or so of being a “yes”.

Who will be named the Super Bowl MVP?
Peyton MANNING                +110
Marshawn LYNCH                +375
Russell WILSON                    +375
Percy HARVIN                      +1600  (16 to 1 odds)
Richard SHERMAN              +2000
Knowshon MORENO                        +2000
All of the most likely players didn’t win this one.  Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith did.  See quiz question below.

Will Richard Sherman get an interception in the game?
YES                +200
NO                  -260
There were only two INT’s in the game, both by Seattle – one by Kam Chancellor and one by the aforementioned Malcolm Smith.  The favored “NO” bet was the winner.


National signing day for high schoolers was Wednesday, February 5th.  Several organizations tabulate the results and rank how each college performed in recruiting high school seniors.  I will use just one service for my figures –; and of course all of this is mere speculation at this point, but it does give a rough idea of which teams are getting richer (and which schools aren’t).

Go figure – the Southeastern Conference (SEC) made out like bandits – again.  The rich just keep getting richer.
The SEC had seven of the top 10 recruiting classes in the nation, and all 14 schools in the SEC were ranked in the Top 50 (for comparison, Iowa was ranked #60).  Kentucky, with HC Mark Stoops, was a surprising #16.

RIVALS also ranks each high school player.  33 players were labeled as 5-star (the best); after that, the next tier is considered 4-star, and so on.

The SEC signed 45 of the Rivals Top 100 players, and at least 14 of the 33 five-star recruits.  This really stinks.

The SEC’s Alabama had the best recruiting season of all FBS schools, according to Rivals.  This marks the fourth year in a row that the Crimson Tide has been ranked #1 in recruiting (in 2010, USC got top ranking over Florida).  ‘Bama signed 26 players, consisting of 6 five-stars, 13 four-stars, 6 three-stars, and 1 two-star player.  They picked up the overall #1 ranked high school player in DE Da’Shawn Hand.  This really stinks.

Other SEC school’s ranked in the Top 10: LSU #2 (two 5-stars), Tennessee #5, Texas A&M #6 (three 5-stars), Florida #7, Georgia #8, Auburn #9 (three 5-stars).
This really stinks.

For the other conferences, the best recruiting results per were:
            BIG XII          Oklahoma        #16
            PAC 12           Stanford          #13
            Big 10             Ohio State       #3        Next best: Michigan St #21
            ACC                Florida State   #4        FSU picked up three 5-stars
            Independent    Notre Dame    #10
            AAC               USF                 #40

Of the 33 five-star players, three played high school football in the State of Virginia.  The University of Virginia, not a big football powerhouse and playing in the ACC, signed two of those three.  The other one was DE Hand, signed by the Tide.

#2 LSU picked up the nation’s highest ranked RB in Leonard Fournette (#4 overall rank) and the 2nd-highest ranked WR, Malachi Dupre.


I hope to get more detailed profiles on the seven 2014 Hall of Fame inductees prior to the ceremony in August.  For now, here is the list of new members to the Hall in Canton, OH.

Punter  Ray Guy                      OAKLAND 1973-1986
                                                1st punter inducted; 6-time All Pro

CB/S   Aeneus Williams         AZ 1991-2000 and STL 2001-2004
                                                4-time All Pro

LB       Derrick Brooks            TAMPA BAY 1995-2008
                                                6-time All Pro

DL       Claude Humphrey       ATL 1968-1978 and PHI 1979-1981
                                                5-time All Pro

DE       Michael Strahan          NY Giants 1993-2007
                                                5-time All Pro; all-time single season sacks leader (22.5)

WR      Andre Reed                BUFFALO 1985-1999 and WSH 2000
                                                951 receptions was 3rd all-time when he retired

OT       Walter Jones                SEATTLE 1997-2008
                                                6-time All Pro


QUESTION #1:  Seattle LB Malcolm Smith was named the MVP of the Super Bowl.  For the other 47 Super Bowls, there were only four defensive players named Super Bowl MVP.  Name them.
HINT: It happened in the following NFL seasons – 2002 (TB), 2000 (BAL), 1995 (DAL), 1985 (CHI).

QUESTION #2:  Seattle won Super Bowl 48 by 35 points (43-8), which is tied for third for largest margin of victory in a Super Bowl.  Can you name the Super Bowl winners (and losers) in the two bigger blowouts, and which team is now tied for third with Seattle?
HINT: Super Bowl 24 and Super Bowl 20 (and the tie is Super Bowl 27).

QUESTION #3:  Who was Seattle’s backup QB for the Super Bowl?

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