The Opening – It always feels good waking up on Tuesday when you win in fantasy. I put up a 200 burger this week. For the first time in what feels like 27 years, I feel great about my fantasy team. I went with the strategy of taking handcuffs like Alexander Mattison, Tony Pollard, Chuba Hubbard a round or two earlier than necessary. But, with 2 flex positions, 12 teams and 19 roster spots, the waivers are always thin. That strategy is paying dividends.

Hotard Huddle Podcast – Ep46 releases Thursday. Jon Gruden will be the number one topic obviously among all other big stories and drama this week. Tune in on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, etc. Listen to all episodes by going to podcast/videos tab.

As per usual, start this off with the Weekly Picks.

  • Packers (-3) Push
  • Saints (-2.5) Win
  • 49ers (+5) Loss
  • Cowboys (-7) Win
  • Chiefs (-3) Loss

Season Record: 11-13-1…Ehhhh 2-2-1 this week. But certainly better than a losing record.

An exciting start to the NFL season, maybe a reason ratings are up 17%

Before I get to this week’s obvious top story, I want to highlight something awesome in the NFL. 19 of 80 games in the NFL have come down to a last second possession or OT, making for wild and exciting finishes. I have loved every second of it.

Jon Gruden – Grade A Piece of Shit

I have always been a fan of Jon Gruden. I won’t sit here and pretend I wasn’t. I always loved Gruden’s QB Camp. I always loved his commentary on Monday Night Football. I have wanted the Raiders to do well since his arrival. Because it is Jon fucking Gruden.

We all know the story by now as it’s been the top sports story of the last 48-72 hours. It became even bigger Tuesday when he “resigned” from the Raiders.

During an investigation of the Washington Football Team for their work environment, Gruden (who wasn’t involved with the organization) sent disparaging emails to former team president Bruce Allen. Emails were found dated from 2011-2018 (the latter being the year he was hired with the Raiders) for the sake of the ball bags who scream hE DiDn’T WoRk ThErE ThEn AnD iT WaS 10 YeArS AgO.

The first was a remark about NFLPA Executive Director in 2011 during the lockout of the NFL, when Demaurice Smith was public enemy number one for many in the football world. He said…

“Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin (sic) tires.”

In a statement he made to The Athletic, this was his response…

“I do know this, at that point of my life, 11 years ago or 10 years ago, I am sure I vented a little bit with my friends about certain things,” Gruden told The Athletic on Friday after the email became public.

I know at that time the Collective Bargaining Agreement was changing, there was a lockout going on or the threat of a lockout, if I can remember. I probably looked at (Smith) as the villain. And I was really upset. I was really upset that there was going to be a lockout. I felt that Gene Upshaw would never have allowed that to happen.

I didn’t feel like we were getting the truth. I refer to guys when I see them lying — and I can tell they’re lying — I refer to them as ‘rubber lips.’ I went too far calling him the Michelin lips. I never had a blade of racism in me. I was just pissed and used a terrible way to insult a guy.

I called (Smith), I have reached out to him and I haven’t heard back from him yet, but I will continue to try.”

When I read the comment, I thought “yeah, that’s obviously bad. It certainly could have been worse.” I understand the magnitude and why people are upset. That being said, he probably is still the coach of the Raiders if it was an isolated incident from 10 years ago assuming remorse was the primary reaction.

This was his statement to ESPN…

“I was in a bad frame of mind at the time (in 2011), and I called Roger Goodell a (expletive) in one of these emails too,” he told ESPN. “They were keeping players and coaches from doing what they love with a lockout. There also were a lot of things being reported publicly about the safety of the sport that I love. I was on a mission with high school football (in the Tampa, Fla., area) during that time, and there were a lot of parents who were scared about letting their kids play football. It just didn’t sit well with me.”

Here is the big problem with both statements, there isn’t a single shred of remorse or apology. Whether 10 years ago or yesterday, no remorse. He had an opportunity to literally apologize and he didn’t take it, until he no longer had a job. That is a problem. You’re not sorry it happened. You’re sorry you got caught and this was the result.

In just a few days after the initial reports and email came to light, apparently we were just scratching the surface. While there has been debate about whether or not the lip comment is racist, he shit on the bill passed to change the name Redskins.

For the mouth breathers, this shouldn’t be debate. It literally refers to the skin color of Native Americans.

WFT Owner Dan Snyder consistently used a poll from Washington Post that concluded that 9 out of 10 Native’s do not find it offensive. That basically means 910,000 Native Americans find it offensive. In no scenario is that even remotely a net positive to keep the name. Meanwhile a new study done in 2020 by the University of Michigan and UC Berkeley did a survey concluding half found the term offensive.

If you are white and ok with the name (good for you, it’s not really up to you), I want you to know you’re also a tone deaf piece of shit.

It didn’t end there as not only is his behavior about race in question, but there is no denying the misogyny and homophobia displayed in other emails. Here is basically everything known as of now…

  • Called Roger Goodell a homophobic slur
  • Received and Sent Photos of Women only in bikini bottoms which included 2 Washington cheerleaders
  • Hooters Co-Found Ed Droste shared sexist meme of female officials in 2017, Gruden responded “nice job Roger”
  • 2015 condemned the Redskin name change
  • Mocked Caitlyn Jenner after transitioning
  • Mocked the league for Michael Sam calling him a queer (I will add Gruden was coaching the NFL’s first openly gay player in Carl Nassib)

We still don’t know the full content in most of the emails, just the snippets. Although, the NFLPA is now petitioning for the release of the emails. As they should.

The rap sheet Gruden has built is indefensible. This wasn’t a one time emotionally driven thing. This was habitual private conversations with other people around the league sharing hatred. It appears Gruden is a racist, misogynistic and homophobic piece of shit.

Justin Herbert – Entering God Level

It’s safe to say that the two catalysts for the future of QBs right now is Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen with a few others potentially knocking on the door (Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott). Well, Justin Herbert has entered the chat. Herbert spent his rookie season running for his life being pressured 187 times, most in NFL. He still managed to set a bunch of rookie records including passing yards, passing TDs and completions. He posted a 67% completion %, 4300+ yards, 31 TDs and only 10 INTs…WHILE RUNNING FOR HIS LIFE. It only took him 15 games to reach those numbers.

Year 2, Herbert is still facing pressure ranking 5th in the NFL. He is 11th in completion percentage, 4th in yards, T-3rd in Pass TDs, Only 3 INTs and he also has 3 Game Winning Drives. The Chargers are 4-1 with notable wins against the Chiefs, Raiders (before dying) and Browns. The only loss is a tight 3 point game to Dallas.

Enter Justin Herbert, the kid is an absolute stud.

Crosby v McPherson

The Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals shit show of a kicking game Sunday was one of the most exciting games of the week. Mason Crosby finished 4/7 on FGs and 1/2 on XPs. It was a very uncharacteristically bad day for the vet, who has missed 5 XPs and 2 FGs over the last two seasons combined. Meanwhile rookie Evan McPherson, who has been money for the Bengals thus far missed 0-2 on his FGs.

Crosby missed 2 would be game winners in the last 2 minutes to McPherson’s 1. The two each missed an attempt in OT before Crosby finally got it on his fourth chance. The icing on the cake was McPherson celebrating a close one he thought went through. It was absolutely insane. The two shared this cool moment after game…

Jameis Winston – Dr. Jekyl, Meet Mr. Hyde

The Saints corner of the thoughts this week. The shades of Winston’s inconsistency.

On the opening drive of the game, Jameis dropped back and let go of a miserable ball intended for Taysom Hill only to get intercepted. You’re sitting there thinking “well, shit.” On a short field, it led to a WFT FG. On the next possession, Kamara gets 3 yards on 2 carries. Faced with a 3rd and 7, Winston throws an absolute beauty to Deonte Harris for a 72 yard score.

Winston finished the game 15/30 for 279 yards 4 TDs and 2 turnovers (1 INT, 1 Strip Sack). While the brand of football isn’t what Saints fans are used to, it is exciting. Based on what we have seen this year thus far, the ceiling is still high for Winston. The floor is still pretty low, although it doesn’t seem as low as it had been in Tampa…thus far.

As the Saints continue to nurse injuries to the offense including Michael Thomas, Tre’quan Smith, Erik McCoy and Terron Armstead, I do think the offenses becomes more consistent and efficient once they get healthier.

Week 6 Power Rankings

  1. Dallas Cowboys (4-1)
  2. Buffalo Bills (4-1)
  3. Arizona Cardinals (5-0)
  4. Los Angeles Rams (4-1)
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1)
  6. Los Angeles Chargers (4-1)
  7. Green Bay Packers (4-1)
  8. Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
  9. Cleveland Browns (3-2)
  10. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
  11. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)
  12. New Orleans Saints (3-2)
  13. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
  14. San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
  15. Tennessee Titans (3-2)
  16. Carolina Panthers (3-2)
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3)
  18. Denver Broncos (3-2)
  19. Chicago Bears (3-2)
  20. New England Patriots (2-3)
  21. Minnesota Vikings (2-3)
  22. Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
  23. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
  24. Washington Football Team (2-3)
  25. Miami Dolphins (1-4)
  26. Indianapolis Colts (1-4)
  27. Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
  28. Detroit Lions (0-5)
  29. New York Giants (1-4)
  30. New York Jets (1-4)
  31. Houston Texans (1-4)
  32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5)

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