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Indianapolis Colts Top 5: Quarterbacks

Indianapolis Colts Top 5: Quarterbacks
With the season (hopefully) on the way I thought I'd put together some lists for top 5 players at each position in Indianapolis (not Baltimore) Colts history. I'll start with QB, and work my way through. This list is purely my opinion as a die hard fan since the early Manning days, and if you think I have no clue what I'm talking about, please feel free to let me know.
Fun fact, out of the 26 QBs to start a game for the Indy Colts there are only 7 players that have a winning record. Three of them are Colts legends Josh Freeman, Gary Hogeboom, and Craig Erickson.

5. Jack Trudeau
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
198-93 18-29 0-1 52.9 9,647 41 62 6.3 64.4

How He Got Here

After the complete disaster that was attempting to draft John Elway #1 in 1983, the then Baltimore Colts stuck with Mike Pagel at QB, who had just led them to a winless season in 1982. Team owner Robert Irsay decided to move the team to Indianapolis before the 1984 season the team stuck with Pagel as their main QB despite him clearly not being their future at the position. This led to 2 season with losing records and last place finishes in the AFC East. Entering the 1986 draft, the Colts were clearly looking for a franchise player at QB. The obvious choice was Jim Everett out of Purdue, but unfortunately he was selected #3 to the Houston Oilers when the Colts had the #4 pick. Instead of drafting the only other franchise QB in the draft, Mark Rypien, the Colts decided to select promising Illinois QB Jack Trudeau in the 2nd round. Trudeau had shown a lot of promise in his career, leading Illinois to a Rose Bowl in 1984 and finishing 2nd in the Davey O'Brien Award (Best College QB) to Doug Flutie. Unfortunately for him and the Colts, this talent would not translate well to the NFL

Colts Career

After trading Mike Pagel to the Browns the starting job was set for Trudeau entering the 1986 season. Unfortunately the Colts were still a very bad team overall and Trudeau was not set to overcome that. In 11 starts he had 8 TDs, 18 INTs, and a 48.9% completion rate for an 0-11 record. It was immediately clear he was not the savior the Colts needed to bring legitimate football to Indy.
Fortunately, a contract dispute between Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson allowed the Colts to trade for Dickerson midway through the 1987 season. Dickerson was an immediate breath of life to the fledgling Indianapolis Colts franchise and helped lead them to their first playoff berth. Trudeau shared starting duties with Gary Hogeboom, and both were successful in not screwing things up too bad, giving the ball to Dickerson, and staying out of the damn way. Trudeau started in his only playoff game and actually played decently well: 251 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT, but it wasn't enough as the Colts lost 38-21 to the Bernie Kosar led Cleveland Browns who would eventually lose in via "The Drive" in the AFC Championship.
It was clear the Colts would need a better QB to compliment their new superstar in Dickerson, and thus they drafted future Pro Bowler Chris Chandler in the 3rd round in 1988. However, Chris Chandler was most definitely not a Pro Bowler for the Colts. Chandler didn't impress despite an 9-7 overall record, and was replaced by Trudeau following a bad start to the 1989 season. Trudeau had his best year as a pro in 1989: 2,317 yards, 15 TDs, 13 INTs, but the Colts still finished 8-8 and outside of the playoffs.
Trudeau was improving, but was still clearly not the QB of the future, which they hoped to get by trading All-Pro Tackle Chris Hinton, Future All-Pro WR Andre Rison, and the #3 Pick in 1991 for the #1 Pick in 1990 which they used to draft QB Jeff George (Wow). Trudeau was kept as the backup and was a spot starter for the Colts from 1990-93. Despite the horrific play of George, Trudeau couldn't muster much better in his limited playing time and was released in 1994.

My favorite highlight


Jack Trudeau was at best a mediocre QB you could somewhat rely on to manage the game and allow more talented players to make plays. Unfortunately the late 80s, early 90s Colts didn't have too many of those so his play suffered as well. His numbers aren't great and he wasn't much beloved by Colts fans, but he did help lead the Colts to their first playoff appearance which helped me put him on the list over Matt Hasselbeck and others. Trudeau has actually hung around Indy doing various radio and TV appearances talking about the Colts and even has a couple of DUIs as well.

4. Jacoby Brissett
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
2017- 11-19 0-0 59.8 6,042 31 13 6.6 84.6

How He Got Here

The Colts had their franchise QB in Andrew Luck, but leading up to the 2017 season it was revealed during the preseason Luck had a shoulder injury which would eventually lead to him missing the entire 2017 season. This left the Colts scrambling as they knew QB Scott Tolzien was not the answer at QB, so 8 days before the start of the season the new GM Chris Ballard traded 1st round bust Phillip Dorsett for 3rd string QB for the Patriots Jacoby Brissett. Brissett had looked at least competent spot starting for the suspended Tom Brady and hurt Jimmy Garoppolo in 2016, so he was the best option the Colts had available so close to the beginning of the season.

Colts Career

Bringing in a new QB for a team 8 days before the start of the season and asking him to play is like asking a train engineer to launch a rocket to the moon, so Tolzien started week 1 for Colts. He continued to not impress going into week 2, and was replaced for Brissett. Brissett was an improvement, but it was clear he was overwhelmed by the change of scenery and the rest of the Colts roster and staff was not talented enough to make up for it. He finished with competent numbers: 3,098 yards, 13 TDs, 7 INTs, 58.8% completion rate, 6.6 Y/A, but was merely a game manager for a bad team as the Colts finished 4-12.
Andrew Luck was ready to return in 2018 and the Colts were willing to give Brissett the benefit of the doubt and kept him on as the backup. The Colts saw a major resurgence with Luck and an incredible draft and free agent class by Chris Ballard, leading to their first playoff appearance since 2015, eventually losing to the Patrick Mahomes led Chiefs. The Colts were looking to improve going into 2019, but a now too familiar announcement led up to the season when it was revealed a calf injury was going to cause Andrew Luck to retire 2 weeks before the start of the regular season. The spotlight was once again shown on Jacoby Brissett, who was asked to take over Luck's team. Fortunately this time Brissett was able to get all the first team reps in the preseason leading up to week 1 and was much more familiar with the system.
That familiarity paid off as Brissett led the Colts to a 5-2 start, including wins over playoff teams like the Texans and Titans along with the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Brissett was not putting up All-Pro numbers, but had clearly improved from 2017 and was still not making game losing mistakes. Through week 9 he had 190 YPG, 11 TDs, and 6 INTs, and and the eye test had shown he was a good leader and could occasionally make big plays when needed. However, after a knee sprain in week 10 he was clearly not the same player. His injury either hampered his physical abilities or his confidence but his poor play for the rest of the season allowed the Colts to fall to 7-9, including an embarrassing 34-7 loss to the Saints that I made the trip over to New Orleans for and watched as Brissett sailed the ball over every receiver's head. Brissett will likely be the backup for the 2020 season behind free agent Phillip Rivers, but he's shown enough flashes of ability that his career is long from over, whether that ends up being on the Colts or somewhere else in the league.

My favorite highlight


I believe I'm with the majority of Colts fans in that when I see Jacoby Brissett I see somewhat of a tragic figure. He got thrown to the wolves in 2017 and did the best he could, but was basically set up to fail. It's honestly not too much of a stretch to say his play through week 9 of 2019 was the best QB play by an Indy Colts QB not named Manning, Luck, or Harbaugh. You could tell he was well-liked by both fans and teammates, especially through the first half of 2019, but his limitations as a player were clear. Colts fans have been spoiled in the 21st century by 2 all-time great QBs, so any deviation from that, especially when it's not by a QB we drafted #1 overall, will be seen as a major failure. I think people came down a little too hard on Jacoby by the end of 2019, and that he's still a solid pro capable of being the QB on a winning team in the right situation. However, he showed in the 2nd half of 2019 that situation is probably not in Indy going forward.

3. Jim Harbaugh
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
1994-97 20-26 2-2 60.7 8,705 49 26 7.1 86.6

How He Got Here

The Colts had come out of the Eric Dickerson/Jeff George era looking like an absolute dumpster fire. The Colts had been in Indy for 10 years and Indy was still very much a basketball town. The only signature player the Indy Colts had was Eric Dickerson, and he had a very sour exit in 1992 after 2 bad years. The Indianapolis Colts were still in the woods, searching for the player that could give their franchise hope that they would be treated as a legitimate threat in the NFL and generate significant interest from the fanbase. That hope came from an unlikely source in Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh had led the Chicago Bears to 2 playoff appearances in the late Mike Ditka-era, but his play had fallen off and by 1994 he looked somewhat washed. The desperate Colts made a surprisingly wise decision in not drafting QBs Heath Schuler or Trent Dilfer. Instead they drafted future Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to replace Eric Dickerson (this is the "Who the hell is Mel Kiper?" draft) and signing Jim Harbaugh.

Colts Career

Harbaugh didn't come out guns blazing in 1994 as he traded starting duties with Green Bay castoff Don Majkowski. Harbaugh put up decent numbers but the Colts finished 4-5 in games Harbaugh started, 8-8 overall. Harbaugh entered the 1995 season as no sure thing, the Colts actually traded their 1996 first round pick for young Tampa QB Craig Erickson in another baffling trade for an unproven QB. Erickson and Harbaugh competed for the starting position in training camp and Erickson was selected as the starter by head coach Ted Marchibroda.
Erickson played poorly the first 2 weeks, being replaced and outplayed by Harbaugh in both games. By week 3 Harbaugh was the full time starter and didn't look back. Harbaugh was showing that he meshed well with new Offensive Coordinator Lindy Infante as Harbaugh put up some of the most efficient passing numbers of any QB in the NFL in 1995: 2,575 yards, 17 TDs, 5 INTs, 63.7% completion rate, and a league leading passer rating of 100.7 (ahead of guys like Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, and Dan Marino). Even more importantly he was a becoming the tough effective leader to energize the entire team, leading the Colts to 4 game winning drives that season, including one over the 1994 Super Bowl champion 49ers. The Colts were just outside of the playoffs going into week 17, but Harbaugh led the Colts to a win over the Drew Bledsoe led Patriots in the RCA Dome to sneak the Colts into the playoffs at 9-7. Harbaugh earned his first Pro Bowl appearance along with NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
The Colts were going into the playoffs as 5.5 point underdogs against the San Diego Chargers, a team they had just lost to in week 16. However, thanks to 3 TDs from Harbaugh and an out-of-nowhere 147 yard, 2 TD performance from rookie FB Zach Crockett, the Colts overcame the odds. They were heading into a gauntlet of Arrowhead stadium against the best defense in the league and a Marcus Allen led 13-3 Kansas City Chiefs. In an ugly game where the wind chill was -15oF, luck worked in the Colts favor. Harbaugh didn't throw well, but picked up several key 1st down with his legs. He had 1 INT and 3 fumbles, but fortunately lost 0. Chiefs QB Steve Bono had 3 INTs and K Lin Elliot went 0/3 on field goals in a season where he made 80%. Colts K Cary Blanchard made 1/3, and that was enough to upset the heavily-favored Chiefs 10-7. Harbaugh's most defining moment as the Colts QB would come in the AFC Championship against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Harbaugh's cinderella story continued on against Bill Cowher and Neil O'Donnell's Steelers. The Colts and Steelers traded scores throughout the game. With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Harbaugh threw a dime to WR Floyd Turner for a 47 yard touchdown to put the Colts up 16-13. Unfortunately the Colts couldn't run out enough clock on their next drive and the Steelers rushed down the field for the go-ahead score to put them up 20-16. Harbaugh wasn't done yet. With 88 seconds needing 84 yards, Harbaugh willed the Colts down the field to the Steelers' 29-yard line for a hail mary shot with 5 seconds left. Harbaugh tossed up a prayer that was very nearly caught by Colts WR Aaron Bailey, but he couldn't come up with it. The Cinderella story was over, but it was a defining moment for the Colts franchise. The 1995 Colts were within a hair of making the Super Bowl, and that 1995 playoff run led by Harbaugh created a real fanbase for them.
Harbaugh's stats regressed some in 1996, but he still led the Colts to a 9-7 record and the playoffs, this time getting whooped by the Steelers in the wild card. In 1997 his stats improved some but the wheels fell off of the team as they started off 0-10, eventually falling to 3-13. Fortunately their record would net them the #1 pick in the 1998 draft. After it was clear the Colts were using the pick on QB they traded Harbaugh to the Ravens.

My favorite highlight


“A lot of people use (the word) ‘culture,’ but the attitude, everybody was team-first, from the front office, together with the coaches, together with the ownership, together with the players, the equipment staff, the training staff, I mean it felt like we were family.” - Jim Harbaugh on 1995
I don't think enough can be said about the effect of Harbaugh and that 1995 team had on the Colts. He gave us our first source of pride in the Colts and set the tone for the franchise to not be the laughingstock of the league. He paved the way for the decades of excellence that came after. Harbaugh will never be a HoF QB, but his effect on the Colts is severely underrated.
For more details on the 1995 Cinderella season, read this IndyStar article:

2. Andrew Luck
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
2012-18 53.33 4-4 60.8 23,671 171 83 7.2 89.5

How He Got Here

After a serious neck injury to franchise stalwart Peyton Manning, the Colts went from perennial playoff contender to nearly winless in 2011. It was unknown if Manning would ever be the same QB again, so the Colts opted to release their most valuable player and use their #1 pick in 2012 on a QB. There was some debate on possibly drafting the Heisman winner out of Baylor, Robert Griffin III, but new GM Ryan Grigson made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Andrew Luck. Son of former Oilers QB Oliver Luck, Andrew Luck blossomed under head coach Jim Harbaugh to revitalize the Stanford football program while also graduating with a bachelor's degree in architectural design. Luck was hailed by nearly every scout as a can't miss prospect, having nearly every physical tool you want from a QB along with a clear handle on the mental and intangible aspects of the game.

Colts Career

Expectations for Luck were high going into 2012, but not so for the team overall. Many experts put the Colts at or near the bottom of all power rankings. Not only had the team lost Peyton Manning that year, but also many key pieces from the Manning era such as Pierre Garçon, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, and Gary Brackett. To make matters worse, new head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and missed weeks 5-16. However, despite all odds, Luck led the Colts to an 11-5 record. Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians proved to be a diamond in the rough by helping Luck turn a 2-14 team that lost multiple starters into a playoff team. Luck's stats weren't always pretty: 23 TDs, 18 INTs, 54.1% completion rate, and a 76.5 rating, but he could clearly make plays happen with an absurd 7 game winning drives. The miracles came to an end with a shellacking by the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs, but this season proved Luck would be no bust, he was a force to be reckoned with.
Luck continued to grow in 2013 and 2014, improving in every category to crescendo in 2014 with a league-leading 40 TDs, 16 INTs, 61.7% completion rate, and a 96.5 rating. In 2013 he led the Colts to his first playoff victory in spectacular fashion. After being down 38-10 early in the 3rd quarter to the Alex Smith led Chiefs, Luck led a furious and unbelievable comeback 45-44 victory. Any Colts fan could tell you after seeing all the comeback victories Luck had led to never count him out, and he cemented that in this game. In 2014 Luck led the Colts past their old god of Peyton Manning in Denver in the divisional round, but were given a thorough ass-whooping in the AFC Championship by the soon-to-be Super Bowl champions New England Patriots in what is now infamously known as the "Deflategate Game."
Andrew Luck was a very physical player and was known to take many hits, sometimes making spectacular plays through those hits. However, that punishment started to pile up and wasn't helped by GM Ryan Grigson's poor draft classes and inability to build a competent offensive line to block for Luck. This culminated in the injury plagued 2015 and 2016 seasons. Luck only played 7 games in 2015 and severely regressed in every statistical category, clearly hampered by various injuries such as a lacerated kidney. Luck's stats improved in 2016, but the team did not as they finished 8-8, partially due to an astounding 7% sack of Luck. Either some of Luck's good fortune had finally run out or the team and culture built by GM Grigson had completely failed to support their superstar QB. Owner Jim Irsay bet on Luck and fired Grigson after 2016.
Hopes were high heading into 2017, but unfortunately an unknown snowboarding accident aggravated a previous shoulder injury for Luck. News was very slow to come out, but fans were shocked to find out he would likely miss the entire season 8 days before week 1. New GM Chris Ballard made a quick trade for Jacoby Brissett, but fans were worried after 3 years of being hampered by injuries Luck may never be the same player.
In 2018 we believed those doubts were proven wrong. Luck had an incredibly resurgent season, leading the new look Colts back into the playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a 10-6 record. Luck's numbers were back to form: 39 TDs, 15 INTs, and career bests of 67.3% completion rate and 98.7 rating. Fans were pleased to finally see Luck playing behind a solid offensive line that prevented which prevented him from being sacked for 5 weeks and giving him a career low 2.7% sack rate. Luck led the Colts to a Wild Card win over the Deshaun Watson's Texans, but were stopped in the cold in Arrowhead against Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs. However, hopes were high leading into 2019 that the structure given by GM Chris Ballard would protect Luck and allow him to lead us to our Super Bowl.
Sadly that did not work out as Luck appeared to have a calf injury leading up to the 2019 season. Fans held out hope he would be ready to go for the start of the season, but after the years of rehabbing Luck had finally had enough. 2 weeks before the season opener during a preseason game against the Chicago Bears it was leaked that Luck planned to retire. Fortunately his backup Jacoby Brissett was put in a better position to take his place as opposed to 2017, but the sudden and unexplained retirement of their franchise QB right before the season led to some fans to boo Luck as he left the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for the last time.

My favorite highlight


Andrew Luck will forever be one of the greatest "what if?" stories in American sports history. Unlike many "what if?" stories, we got to see what we could have had with Luck. What the Colts had in Luck from 2012-14 along with 2018 was nothing short of incredible and it was clear he was improving to potentially become one of the greatest QBs in NFL history. Instead he's a tragic story where fans will forever be left to wonder what could have been with Andrew Luck. Would Luck have brought the Colts back to the Super Bowl if he he didn't play the majority of his career under the poor management of GM Ryan Grigson and HC Chuck Pagano? All we do know is that his sack rate under Grigson was 5.5%, and in one year on GM Chris Ballard's team it was 2.7%, coincidentally also one of his best statistical seasons. Peyton Manning's sack rate for his career? Tied for the NFL record with Dan Marino at 3.13%. Maybe if Luck had been better protected and coached better to avoid hits he could have made it up there with Manning, but as fans he'll forever be a "what if?" Luck seems like a smart and content man who's just starting a family, so I doubt he will ever return for any team. Even if he did we'll forever be robbed of what the best version of Andrew Luck could have been. However, in his short time here, he delivered enough incredible moments to give us hope and make us love the team. I, along with hopefully many other fans, will forever love Andrew Luck for his time with the Colts and am grateful for a helluva run.

1.Peyton Manning
Years Record Playoffs Comp % Yards TDs INTs Y/A Rating
1998-11 141-67 9-10 64.9 54,828 399 198 7.6 94.9

How He Got Here

The Indianapolis Colts under Jim Harbaugh had finally established themselves as a legitimate team, but the Colts knew Harbaugh wasn't the long-term answer at QB. He was 35 going into the 1998 season and had just led the Colts to a 3-13 season, bad enough for the #1 overall pick. There was some debate about drafting Heisman finalist out of Washington, Ryan Leaf, but new GM Bill Polian made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Peyton Manning. Leaf had some incredible athletic abilities, but there were some doubts raised about his ability to handle the mental aspects of the game. He also basically made the decision for the Colts when he skipped their draft interview, a passive-aggressive declaration he wouldn't play for the Colts. Peyton Manning, son of former Saints QB Archie Manning, was also a Heisman finalist out of Tennessee. No scout doubted Manning's ability to become a franchise QB in the NFL, but some wondered about his potential ceiling due to a complete lack of running ability and some arm strength concerns. However, he was clearly one of the most mature and mentally ready players to ever come out of college for any position.
"I'll leave you with this thought. If you take me, I promise you we will win a championship. If you don't, I promise I'll come back and kick your ass" -Peyton Manning to Colts GM Bill Polian on the day before the 1998 draft

Colts Career

The 1998 Colts were still a pretty bad team overall, and the rookie Manning was not enough to overcome that. He had one of the best statistical rookie seasons ever: 3,739 yards, 26 TDs, 28 INTs, 6.5 Y/A, and a 56.7% completion rate, setting records for yards, TDs, and INTs (yards and TDs are currently held by Andrew Luck and Baker Mayfield respectively). However, the deficiencies of the team and Manning's record number of interceptions helped give the Colts a 3-13 record, including a week 5 win over Ryan Leaf's San Diego Chargers.
Fortunately Manning helped lead one of the biggest turnarounds in NFL history in 1999, turning the 3-13 Colts in 1998 into the 13-3 Colts in 1999. People weren't exactly ready to give up on Manning after 1998, but 1999 was critical for showing Manning could improve and be at the helm of a winning team. Partially this was helped by sending Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to St. Louis in exchange for the draft pick to select Hall of Fame RB Edgerrin James, who had a phenomenal rookie year. The Colts ended up losing to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs, who had just completed the Music City Miracle the week before and would come within an ass hair of winning the Super Bowl against the Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams.
Manning was up and down from 2000 to 2002, still posting good stats but missing the playoffs in 2001 ( ) and having first round exits in 2000 and 2002. Whispers started turning into legitimate arguments about how Peyton Manning was a good stats, dome team, regular season QB that just didn't have it in the playoffs. In 2003 Manning started his absurd streak of 12+ win seasons (7 years) and picked up his first MVP award, the first (and still only) Indy Colt to win it. He also got his first playoff wins in 2003, but was quickly put to shame in a 4 INT performance in the AFC Championship against the Patriots, now known by Colts fans as "The Ty Law Game."
The 2004 season is well known by Colts fans for cementing Manning among the all time greats. Manning was white hot all year, throwing for 4,557 yards 49 TDs, 10 INTs, and a 121.1 rating while only getting sacked 13 times. The 49 TDs was a record, which has since been broken by Tom Brady and Manning again while a member of the Broncos. Manning won MVP for the 2nd year in a row, but once again disappointed in the playoffs with a 0 TD, 1 INT performance against the Patriots in the divisional round, losing 20-3. Those arguments of Manning's postseason jitters were starting to feel more and more like reality for Colts fans. They knew they had their franchise QB, but his inability to perform in the playoffs continued to be baffling.
2005 was supposed to be the season that changed all that. Manning's numbers came back to earth somewhat, but he still posted a very efficient performance (104.1 rating) for a much improved overall team. GM Bill Polian had proved his days building the "Four Falls over Buffalo" Bills dynasty was no fluke, he now had a team with the #2 scoring offense and the #2 scoring defense. This was the year to break the Manning postseason curse. Unfortunately in one of the most upsetting games of my life, the Colts could not break that curse against the Steelers in the divisional round. Manning played relatively well: 58% completion rate, 290 yards, and 1 TD with no INTs, but watching the game the Colts struggled to maintain momentum and get stops against the rookie Ben Roethlisberger. Despite the inconsistent play, the Colts still had a shot. Steelers HoF RB Jerome Bettis attempted to ice the game with a goal line carry, but fumbled for the first time all year. With the entire Steelers offense stuffing the line, Colts CB Nick Harper was free to pick up the ball with a nearly open field ahead of him. Normally Nick Harper is one of the faster players on the field, however, as every Colts fan knows, Harper had been stabbed in the leg by his wife in a "supposedly accidental" altercation the night before. This possibly allowed the falling down Ben Roethlisberger to catch Harper by his shoe strings, preventing the nearly sure thing TD by Harper to put the Colts ahead. Instead Manning led the Colts into basically chip shot field goal position for one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history (Mike "Idiot Kicker" Vanderjagt) to tie the game. We all know what happened next. It was a shocking loss to say the least, and it was hard to blame it all on Manning, but it still felt like there was some sort of mystical VooDoo curse hanging over Manning and our franchise.
If the Colts couldn't win it all in 2005 it felt like they never would. 2006 wasn't looking like anything special compared to the past few seasons, especially considering the defense regressed from #2 in scoring in 2005 to #23 in 2006. Manning was still putting up great numbers, but those were starting to feel like an exercise in futility. Fortunately the Colts caught fire at the right time, with oft-injured All-Pro Safety Bob Sanders getting healthy towards the end of the season and the trade deadline addition of Buccaneers DT "Booger" McFarland. That momentum pushed them to an AFC Championship, where Manning would match up against the source of his ultimate playoff failures, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Fortunately, this time it was in the RCA Dome, not Foxborogh, MA. Manning and the Colts started off cold, being down 21-3 at one point after a Manning pick-6, but the Colts rallied behind some incredibly orchestrated drives by Manning to finally get the monkey off his back. On a last second drive, Manning drove the Colts down the field to put them ahead 38-34 with 1 minute to go. A Marlin Jackson interception of Tom Brady sealed it, Manning and the Colts were going to the Super Bowl for the first time in Indy history. Manning played well in the Super Bowl, winning the MVP against the league-best Chicago Bears defense.
Manning continued his solid play in 2007 and 2008, including his 3rd MVP in 2008. Both seasons ended with heartbreaking first round playoff exits to the San Diego Chargers, 2008's being the "Sproles and Scifres Game." 2008 also showed the first signs of physical weakness from Manning, having a knee surgery before the season that led to a slow start for the Colts. That was not the case in 2009, as Manning led the Colts to start the season 14-0. In a decision that's still derided today, new head coach Jim Caldwell decided to effectively bench Manning along with many other starters rather than go for the perfect season to prevent any injuries. Many had seen the Patriots in 2007 nearly complete the perfect season, but fall in heartbreaking fashion in the Super Bowl against a less talented Giants team. Caldwell, like many others, decided that any rust from not playing for nearly a month was worth the decreased risk of injury to his stars. That decision nearly backfired in spectacular fashion as the Colts were behind the New York Jets (a team they effectively let into the playoffs by letting them win in week 16) in the AFC Championship game until Manning led a furious comeback. It all ended poorly in the Super Bowl however as Manning threw a pick-6 to Tracy Porter that still haunts my dreams to Tracy Porter, allowing the Colts to lose to Drew Brees and his stupid baby and the New Orleans Saints.
2010 was one of the first signs of weakness from Manning. He had apparently injured his neck on this play in 2006 ( ) on a hit that would now be extremely illegal. Manning apparently aggravated that injury in the lead up to the 2010 season, and it showed in the stats as he had how lowest rating since 2002 (91.9). For most other QBs a rating of 91.9 is a pretty solid season but for Manning it was a massive fall. This led to a quick playoff exit to the Jets in the first round. In the lead up to the 2011 season, Manning had several surgeries to relieve the pain in his neck which led to him missing the entire season. It was unknown if he would ever be the same QB again, or even play again. Manning's absence showed how incredibly important he was to the franchise, the only major difference between the rosters in 2010 and 2011 is Manning, yet the Colts went 10-6 in 2010 and 2-14 in 2011. This poor record led to the Colts earning the #1 pick in the 2012 draft, which fueled their decision to release Manning and draft a QB in 2012 (Chandler Harnish...and Andrew Luck).

My favorite highlight


"Fellas, if 18 goes down, we're fucked, and we don't practice fucked." -Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore on why the backup QBs don't get more reps
Nothing to me cements Peyton Manning's role in Indy as much as this quote. Even his first 5 years before he became an all-time great, that was still the best sustained stretch of QB play in Indy Colts history. Once he ascended to another level in 2003, it was clear we needed to put every egg we could find into his basket. Manning was the perfect franchise QB: a steady presence on and off the field, consistent delivery of either incredible numbers or game winning performances (usually both), and he made nearly everyone else on the team a better player. His drive and commitment to team victory made him the guy every franchise needs if they want to field a consistently great team. Peyton had somewhat of an authoritarian leadership style, my way or the highway, but you can do that when you show that you're willing and able to give every ounce of yourself to the team and deliver the kind of results that he can.
I think some people are disappointed in the Manning Era considering how historically great his stats are but he was 1-1 in Super Bowls in 12 years here. Honestly I think that's not too far off for any all-time QB. Drew Brees is 1-0, Brett Favre is 1-1, Aaron Rodgers is 1-0, Fran Tarkenton is 0-3, Jim Kelly is 0-4, Dan Marino is 0-1, all of these guys are all-time great franchise QBs but it's not abnormal for them to only win 1 or lose several. There are some exceptions: Tom Brady (6-3), Joe Montana (4-0), Terry Bradshaw (4-0), and Troy Aikman (3-0), but honestly you could trade any of the former QBs for Terry Bradshaw and they would also probably be 4-0. There's lots of luck in every playing career, and some get luckier than others. The only season I'd say the Colts were "robbed" of a Super Bowl is 2005, otherwise I think Manning's Colts career went about as good as it could have.

Honorable Mentions: Matt Hasselbeck (5-3 record, probably our best backup ever) and Dan Orlovsky (just for saving us from a completely defeated season).
Dishonorable Mentions: Jeff George and Kerry Collins (being very bad at QB isn't very uncommon for Indy Colts QBs, but these guys were so bad and toxic they dragged down the abilities of everyone on the team and are actively hated by most fans)
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Illinois legalized weed yesterday by way of our state legislature, as opposed to a voter-approved ballot measure. We're the first state to legalize weed this way. The new law goes on the books 1/1/2020.
There are some real pluses to this thing, including clearing the records of people who got busted for 30 grams or less. Anyone who got tagged for between 30-500 grams can petition the courts for expungement. This could involve as many as 750,000 cases.
Communities hit hardest by prohibition can cut the line on the licensing process as "social equity applicants" as well as benefit from $30million put into a low-interest loan program for those same communities to launch start up weed shops. (This will boil the blood of people who consider the black community to be a "victim constituency" ...which makes me like it even more.)
Per Marijuana Moment Taxes on cannabis sales would be based in part on THC concentration. Flower containing up to 35 percent THC would be taxed at 10 percent, whereas products with more than 35 percent THC would be taxed at 25 percent. Cannabis-infused products would be subject to a 20 percent tax. The state’s 6.25 percent sales tax would also apply, with local jurisdictions having the option to impose an additional 3.5 percent tax.
I've never had flower with more than 35% THC, nor do I expect to. I think 30% is the highest level I've ever tried. It was plenty.
Pritzker's budget includes expected revenue from weed taxes, with some studies saying it could bring in as much as $500million in 2020.
My state rep is a guy named Marty Moylan. He's a Democrat from Des Plaines. For those of you from out of state Des Plaines is pronounced Dess Planes, which I'm sure pleases Luis Jolliet & Jacques Marquette to no end. Marty voted against legalizing weed, saying it's addictive and destructive. So fuck Marty Moylan.
In related news, Marty has a fucking casino in his town and I'll be very interested to see how Marty votes on legalized sports betting today, or maybe tomorrow. They're working Sunday, because the next legislative get-together is in October.
I'm against legalized sports betting. It's actually addictive, unlike weed, and it truly has destroyed countless lives, unlike weed. Unless you count weed prohibition, and the lives it fucked up.
Back in the day I had the pleasure of working with a large number of degenerate gamblers. The limo company I drove for was owned by a dickhead named George Jacobs. George was (maybe still is) the head of the Illinois Chapter of Gamblers Anonymous. George recruited limo drivers at the GA meetings. Of the 250-300 drivers he employed I'd guess that no fewer than 40% were people who came from Gamblers Anonymous, including Vyto Spakauskus, a member of my golf foursome for about 10 years.
One day at a local track named Cog Hill, our regular course, we were on the 7th hole when Vyto announced he had to leave. He called up to the pro shop and asked them to send out a cart to pick him up. Told us he had an emergency and he would explain later. About 5 holes later, the Cog Hill people shuttled Vyto back out to us and he finished the round. We finally got him to tell us what the fuck was wrong. He had forgotten to buy the daily $30 in Lotto tickets for himself & his 80 year old mother and tonight was the big roll-over, monster, gajillion dollar blah blah blah.
I simmered with fucking anger for the last 5 holes. When we got to the 19th hole and ordered a pitcher of beer I explained to Vyto that he was out of the group. As I explained to him...I love you buddy, but you're a 49 year old man who lives with his mother. You're a degenerate gambler to begin with, but even worse than that you're a degenerate gambler who gambles on possibly the dumbest game ever invented. You spend almost a grand a month on the stupid fucking Lotto despite the fact that you're in debt up to your fucking eyeballs. And that's your problem, not mine. You want to flush your money down the toilet, by all means go right ahead. But here's the thing borrowed money from me to pay for your fucking golf, and then you walked out in the middle of the round. So fuck you. Get help.
I was a former limo driver by that point so the only time I ever saw Vyto was at Cog Hill on Fridays, so it came as no surprise that was the last thing I ever said to Vyto. Never spoke to each other again. I got a call recently from another member of the old foursome. Mark lives in Vegas now. Just called to shoot the shit, and in the process he asks me if I heard about Vyto. I said something like "No, but is this about Bitcoin?" Turns out Vyto's mom died, left him the house, and something like six months later he had pissed away the house playing the poker machines at a casino in Aurora. The whole house. Supposedly something like $140,000. Took out a reverse mortgage and blew it all gambling on possibly the second dumbest form of gambling ever invented.
Don't know exactly why I'm so adamantly opposed to gambling, but I am, and especially sports betting. It's the only vice I can think of that riles up the puritan in me. I'm a huge sports fan, and I can only see bad shit happening when gambling and pro sports start inter-mingling. Players and referees are human beings. Some can be bought for the right price. There's a reason the Black Sox were all permanently banned from baseball. Pete Rose same. Whether it's Tim Donaghy fucking around with the spread in NBA games, Northwestern running back Dennis Lundy shaving points, or the Boston College basketball team doing same the lines get blurred. One doesn't have to "throw a game" to see how gambling can fuck up the integrity of a contest. Those cases all came when gambling was illegal. Imagine what it will be like now.
If we're going to talk about destructive addictions I can say with certainty that gambling is one of them. I suppose it goes back to all my interaction with twelve-stepping chauffeurs. I mean sure, if somebody wants to fuck up their life that's their business but don't fuck up my golf game.
submitted by Schmutzie_ to TheNewGeezers [link] [comments]

I want to start arbitrage betting on sports and esports but the taxes seem like hell to understand.

How do I pay taxes on online sports betting winnings from sites that are illegal themselves but not illegal to use?
What is the tax rate for this?
Can I deduct my losses for state and federal?
What is the tax rate in Illinois?
Is it even worth it? Will my winnings be less than I have to pay in taxes?
submitted by GiacomoAprile to personalfinance [link] [comments]

How do I claim and pay taxes for online sports betting?

[Illinois]Say I make like $50 grand in my Bovada and some other sites’ wallets (all profit. After being offset by losses. (Multiple sites because “arbitrage betting”)) and want to convert it to bitcoin, then send that to my bank. How would I do this all legally?
Does it matter that online sports betting is illegal in the US? Would I need the “illegal income” form? I’ve heard that running a gambling site is illegal in the us, not necessarily just using one.
Is there any way to report income without getting audited (because of the bank disclosing over 10k deposits) even without the sites I’m using sending tax forms (they’re usually offshore sites)
submitted by GiacomoAprile to tax [link] [comments]

Mystical Trash, chapter 1

I fanned myself in front of my mirror, wishing I could stop perspiring. Flop sweats wouldn’t help my foundation to stay in place. Hand shaking, I tried applying mascara. When it comes to beauty, I take after my late father. I have wide-set eyes like a doll’s, pale skin, thin blonde hair and dark blue eyes. In fact, I really look nothing like my mother. In a way, that’s a blessing. I can easily fade into the background in moments where she’s the center of attention.
“Sunny, are you almost ready?”
Speak of the devil. I blotted my face dry again. “I’ll be right out, Mom.” I closed my eyes a took a deep breath, preparing my cheeriest demeanor for what was to come.
“Hurry up, we can’t be late for the meeting.”
“I know,” I groaned. Once again, her job was on the line.
“I’ll be waiting in the car.
On the way out the door I kissed my finger and touched a photo of my father for luck. “I hope you’re watching over us, you were always the one to get her out of trouble.”
My father gave me my nickname. Mom wanted to call me Sam, but I was born in June under the light of a sunrise. Daddy used to tell me stories about the way the light glittered off of my eyes when he first held me in his arms. I had been crying, as all babies do. When the doctor handed me to my mother I cried so hard they thought I was going into cardiac arrest. But then my daddy took me into his strong arms. And I opened my big blue eyes.
My biological father James Foster had been a high school principal who’d risen through the ranks of the school board before his mysterious disappearance. Most friends and family assumed he found out about mom’s affairs and finally found the courage to leave her. Others such as my grandparents knew in their hearts my mother murdered their son, but there was no way to prove it. They went to their graves cursing the name Elena Desilva.
I took a seat in the gray minivan. The sliding door closed automatically. “Are we picking up Austin?”
My mother was checking her lipstick. “Sweetie, that’s a silly question. Can you imagine what that would look like to the panel? His father’s driving him. ”
I buckled up and tried not to get ratty about her focus on her make-up, where most women would’ve—should’ve—been crapping themselves with fear over the tribunal outcome. But mom didn’t do fear.
For most of my life I thought my mother was simply a healer: a white witch living her life as a high school biology teacher. By the time I started high school she was in her thirties, but could easily pass for younger. Five-foot-nine, stunningly beautiful with piercing green eyes, porcelain skin, Elena had the body of a lingerie model even though she never worked out and survived completely on fast food and left-over Chinese take-out. She was a horrible cook but ironically a master at developing spells and potions for healing, health and vitality. When, of course, she wasn’t having affairs with her most attractive students, the latest being Austin Lopez.
In our small truck-stop town of Beloit, everything is reasonably close. Getting to the school took only around ten minutes. My mother pulled into a parking space under the shade of a cherry tree. I suddenly heard the car unlock. The driver’s side door swung open and Austin appeared.
“Hey Mamacita.” He climbed on to my mother’s lap, straddling her. She wore a knee length skirt, but that didn’t stop him. His hands moved up her thighs. “No panties,” he whispered as he licked her earlobe. He moved his hands to his zipper.
I got out of the minivan and slammed the sliding door shut, knowing how much that annoyed my mother. I started to make my way to the entrance of the school. God, I hated Austin.
At just eighteen, his cat-like, seductive grin made him look way older, and irresistible, too, combined with dark brown eyes, sexy high cheekbones, and jet black hair that fell just past his ears. His long legs and lean muscular body made him a star on the track team. This of course led to him becoming the joke of the school: “Why does Mexico never medal in Olympic Track and Field? All of their greatest athletes made it past the border.” But no one could deny Austin’s talent. He’d transferred to Beloit over the summer of 2017, during the start of President Trump’s reign of terror on immigrants, kicking out all the bad hombres in his campaign to make America great again. Austin wasn’t an immigrant, but that didn’t make his life any easier especially in the Midwest.
I still have no idea how the relationship started, only that Austin was not like the others. He wasn’t in a trance, following my mother around like a puppy, desperate to hump her leg. In those relationships, my mother held all the power. She used those sex-obsessed teenage boys as her playthings. Dozens of jocks would kiss her, touch her, and then receive an invitation to go all the way. They would of course share the news with their friends, which was why the entire school (faculty and all) knew about her special hobby. The principal was just waiting for a chance to catch my mother in the act. But none of her victims lived to tell the tale- one by one they all just disappeared. The police were called a few times but my mom was very good at getting rid of any evidence such as clothing and other personal belongings.
With Austin, she was drawn to him as much as he was drawn to her. And I know for a fact that they had sex several times on campus without Austin vanishing. I can remember the first time she brought him to our house.
I had been waiting by the minivan as they left the school together, unable to keep their hands off each other. Austin looked sexy in a leather jacket and denim jeans, with designer sunglasses hiding his eyes. Judging by how he’d dressed when he’d first transferred, my mom had to be buying him clothes.
Mom opened the door, for Austin and only Austin. I figured she was so eager to get him into bed she would have easily left without me. So, I felt the need to make my presence known and clambered quickly into the seats behind. “Hi, you’re Austin, right? I’m Sunny.”
“Hey." As mom got in the driver's seat, he moved forward and kissed her neck.
I shook my head. “Mom, at least get out of the parking lot first. This is how you got in trouble last time."
"My apologies," Austin said in his smooth California accent. He leaned back in his seat with his arms stretched out, as if the minivan was the most luxurious vehicle he’d ever been in.
When we got home, they immediately started making out. She put the car into park and moments later Austin threw open the front door, grabbing her in his arms. I should have gone around to the side door of our two-bed home, but stupidly thought, with my slender frame, that I could squeeze past them before any clothes came off. I wasn’t fast enough; as they tumbled into the living room, I could already see him unzipping his jeans. He wore no underwear, so I unfortunately caught sight of just how ready he was for her.
For long seconds I just couldn’t look away as mom lowered his jeans, reveling in his chiseled hips and thighs. She used her mouth and hands, reaching between his legs to pleasure him in ways I didn’t want to think about.
“You’re so good to me,” Austin moaned, stripping off his jacket and white t-shirt, revealing even more of his body. He caught my eye then, inviting me to watch or even join in.
“No thanks,” I muttered. “Gold-digging cougar-chasers are just not my type!”
He still wasn’t my type. Hostilities had ceased a little, but as far as I was concerned, he was just trouble. Just ten minutes now until the tribunal started. I headed for the Principal’s office where the meeting would be held and gazed up at the high ceiling of the atrium as I made my way there. The roof was a series of glass panels bathing the interior in natural light. “Are you there, Daddy? If you are, could you maybe give me a sign?”
I passed into the shadows of the corridors and made my own way to the office. Mom and Austin could follow at their own pace, for all I cared. I was a little too mad to speak to her, which my dad would’ve gently told me off for.
He was a good man who’d stayed in a loveless marriage. He knew Elena was a sex addict, but didn’t care; she was an uncanny beauty, a wild, free-spirited science major who also loved art and poetry. The story, as he’d always told it, was that he’d gotten my mother pregnant the first time they made love. But to him that was a blessing. He wanted her, he loved her.
He told me that ever since the day I was born, he knew he was put on this earth to love me. He was kind and encouraging and took comfort in the fact he would always have my love. My father slept on the sofa while he rose in rank to the school board, all to protect his wife. He bought her a house with a yard twice the size of all the others on the block. His dream was to build her a garden. He wanted her to find a way to be happy.
Slouched over in a metal chair I started to cry. “I miss you Daddy.” The tears fell hard, focusing the air from my lungs. But the harder I cried the better I felt. I was crying out the anger and pain of the past eighteen years.
“Are you ok?” asked a deep masculine voice. With his thick Spanish accent I assumed he was a janitor.
“Yeah,” I said, as I rifled through my pocket for a tissue. “My mom has a meeting with the principal.” And I had no tissues.
“I’m sure it can’t be that bad,” he said with a chuckle. “I was young once. One day you will be able to put this all in your rearview mirror.”
“God I hope so,” I said, blotting my tears with my hand.
“Here, take these.” he handed my some McDonald’s napkins.
“Thank you,” I said softly. It felt nice to have someone to talk to, even if he was just a janitor. “I’m Samantha, but my friends call me Sunny.”
“Sunny, I like that. Is it because you sparkle like the beauty of a sunrise?”
“What did you say?” I asked as I blotted my eyes.
“It’s nice to meet you, Sunny. I am Jahil Lopez, Austin’s father.”
“Jahil Lopez…” I murmured. I was embarrassed, repeating it and then falling silent, but the words slid off my tongue like silk. He was a massive man, six-foot-two with skin the color of coffee with cream, thick muscular arms and handsome, masculine features. His black hair was just long enough to caress his neck. When he ran his fingers through it, I could see a few ribbons of grey, matching the color running through his facial hair. His most stunning feature was his eyes. From a distance they would look black, but up close they were the color of dark chocolate: stunning, mysterious eyes that pierced through to the soul.
Jahil used his cane to lower himself down on the chair beside me, struggling to put weight on his left leg. When he finally managed to sit, his face is visibly flushed with discomfort. He shot me a smile as if to say, ‘Nothing to see here.’
But my mind was racing: What happened to his leg? The man appeared to be in a horrible amount of pain.
Austin and Elena appeared. We were all ushered into the office. As Jahil stood up to shake hands with the Principal and the school board representatives, a ripple of red energy went up his leg, then though his left arm. He stood strong as if no longer in pain, leaving his cane by the chair. I stared at Austin, then at my mom, and then at the officials. Nobody seemed to have registered it.
Austin pulled me close. “Remember the plan.”
I sighed. “Unfortunately, I do.”
As Jahil and my mother took their seats, I saw the red energy appear again. I looked at Austin: I couldn’t be the only one seeing this.
He and Elena had come up with a plan ahead of time; Austin was dating me. That was why we all left school together, and why he was always at my house.
Principal Meyers started the questioning. The tall African-American woman stared down my mother. “Ms Desilva how would address the allegations that you have been engaging in a sexual relationship with Austin Lopez?
My mother sighed. “Austin is a sweet boy, who has been though a lot of turmoil. I believe any witnesses who came forward were viewing our interactions outside of proper context.”
Austin was humming the Itsy Bitsy Spider, walking his fingers up my thigh. I swatted his hand, seriously regretting not wearing jeans. He leaned over and licked my earlobe. “You know what they say about girls who wear yoga pants? They’re asking for it.”
“Shut up,” I whispered.
“What was that Ms Foster?” Principal Meyers always disliked me by virtue of association. But there was one instance where she landed solidly on the wrong end of a decision.
I smiled, directing my response to the members of the school board. “I was just thinking about my first boyfriend, Tony Keller. He was the victim of physical abuse at the hands of his father. Principal Meyers referred to it as a domestic issue and threatened to fire my mother if she went to the police.”
Principal Meyers knew exactly the incident I was referring to. “I fail to see what that has to do with this current situation.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing- she wasn’t even going to deny it? I stood up, looking her in the eyes. “You sided with a man who beat his wife and child! You told my mother that if she went to the police you would support his father’s account!” Tony was an athlete; his father claimed the injuries were sports related.
I reached for Austin’s hand. As I closed my eyes, in my mind I was holding Tony’s hand. The hand I held on the playground in elementary school. “Austin and his father are not in a good situation financially and have not been in the state long enough to qualify for aid.” It wasn’t a lie; my mother had told me Austin was homeless, squatting in an abandoned farmhouse outside of town. “I just feel like my mother’s efforts to help the boys I date, people I deeply care about, always seem to result in her job being threatened.”
The school board representatives were glaring at Principal Meyers. The woman shifted in her chair, her hands fidgeting with a pen. “Mr. Jahil Lopez, can you testify to the nature of your son’s relationship?”
Jahil looked at me and nodded. “Young love, it’s a beautiful thing.”
Principal Meyers sighed. “You’re all free to go.” She stood up and held the door open. “Elena.”
My mother turned around. “Yes, Erica?”
The woman proceeded to do the thing where you point at your eyes then point at the other person. My mother responded with a discreet middle finger.
Jahil once again transferred the red energy from his leg to his arm so he could stand. Once he made it back to his cane, he transferred the energy back.
My mother strutted out victoriously. As she held her hand up to Jahil for a high-five, he laughed. “You have a beautiful energy, Ms Desilva.”
“I could say the same about you, Jahil. And, like I told you before, call me Elena.”
To see him walking so slowly was breaking my heart. “Are you okay?”
He nodded. “It’s just my leg.” Jahil activated the red energy, again transferring some of the pain to the opposite arm so he could walk easier. “I have good days and bad days.”
I nodded back. Was I seriously the only one who could see what he was doing to himself?
My mother touched his arm, her glowing white energy seeping into his skin. “Would you like to go out to dinner, the four of us, my treat?”
He smiled at her. "That is very kind of you, Elena.”
"You and Austin can meet up with us at Applebee's, unless you prefer Mexican food?"
Austin laughed. "Nah, Mamacita, we're Colombian."
Elena took a step back, frowning. "Really? I'm sorry. I thought…”
Austin and Jahil burst out laughing—even I was laughing. Austin loved to confuse people; on his first day, he’d told our homeroom class his mother was Honduran, his father was from Mexico and he himself had been born in Napa Valley, California.
“Just messing with you Chica,” Austin murmured, moving in closer, his lips dangerously close to mom’s eager mouth.
I shoved past him. “Keep it in your pants until we're off school grounds!”
Jahil’s truck had been parked only a few spaces away from Elena’s vehicle. He grinned as we walked together, leaving the other two behind. “My Austin has a unique sense of humor.”
I rolled my eyes. “Unique is one word for it. I take it he doesn’t get that from you?”
Jahil pursed his lips as he struggled to find the right words. “It is how you say… ‘coping-mechanism’. My wife‘s words, not mine.”
Austin passed us, his arm around Elena's waist. "Can I ride with you, Mami?"
I seriously wanted to punch my “boyfriend” in the face. “Could you stop talking like a Mexican stereotype?”
I leaned up against Jahil’s truck, wanting to drive with him in his battered red pick-up and get to know him. Everything about him was alluring. But I figured that would be inappropriate. So I rode with my mother and Austin. We had to wait a few minutes at the restaurant for him to catch up. I got out of the minivan and caught the breeze. It was a warm October day. The leaves fell from the trees, preparing for the cruel Midwestern winter.
Jahil pulled over and took a moment to climb down. He was struggling with his cane. Suddenly he collapsed forward gripping his chest as he coughed a deep congested cough.
“Let me help you,” I offered, allowing him to put his weight on my shoulder. I was surprised that Austin was not coming to his father’s aid.
Jahil took a moment to catch his breath. “Aren't you precious?” His hand caressed my face, his rough callused fingers felt warm and comforting.
Austin and my mom went in ahead of us as I helped him to the restaurant. I pulled out the chair for him and helped him comfortably position his leg.
He smiled at me. “Thank you, Sunny. You have such a beautiful heart.”
“No problem.” I hoped I wasn’t blushing. His smile was not like Austin’s smile. Jahil smiled sweetly, like someone who was truly grateful for every day and every moment of happiness. I didn’t ask if he had pain medicine. I assumed if there was any Austin would have offered to assist him or at least brought him some water. I took a seat next to my mother at the square table, finding myself placed me directly across from Jahil.
“I bet he cleans up real nice,” my mother said, loud enough for Jahil to hear.
"Are you for real, Mom?" I whispered. Jahil didn’t need to be cleaned up. His rugged, appearance was absolutely breath-taking.
She licked her lips. “Don't act like you don't see it; those eyes, those lips, and you what they say about men with big hands.”
Jahil blushed as he nervously shook my mother’s hand. “I can't thank you enough for all you've done for my son.”
Elena held his hand with a kind, compassionate smile. It was clear why he went along with her plan. He and Austin had so little. If my mother wanted to date his son, to care for him, to give him food, clothing, even sex…then Jahil was okay with that. He was more open-minded than me. I couldn’t get away from the fact that her ‘care’ included cigarettes and free access to her vagina. I still found the openness of their relationship disturbing.
Elena ordered three appetizers, four entrees, and three desserts. “So, what brought you and your son to Wisconsin?”
Austin put down his fork, covering his eyes as if he was about to cry. Elena was taken aback. “I’m so sorry—we don’t have to discuss anything if it’s too personal.”
“It is fine,” Jahil said softly. “You are friends.” He swallowed. “I’ve been very sick for a long time. I believe the doctor in Illinois diagnosed me with…” He gripped his head as he visibly struggled.
“Rheumatic fever,” Austin added. “Shortly after mom died.”
That explained the chest pain. But it didn’t explain why Austin didn’t rush to his father’s aide.
Jahil nodded. “My body is in a great deal of pain. But due to the nature of work and travel, I’ve not been able to seek proper treatment.” Jahil blinked as if struggling to maintain focus. “I also suffered a very bad brain injury, unrelated to the fever.”
The way his eyes looked at he spoke was terrifying. It was as if he could see the something no one else could. He looked around, his body trembling. This had to be PTSD. He had been in an accident or perhaps attacked. His wording was strange; most people would’ve said head injury. I could imagine someone taking a bat to his head, or worse. Austin had mentioned his father being in the country illegally, so if he’d been the victim of a brutal attack, he would have no recourse, especially in the Midwest. But to say “brain injury” implied a proper medical diagnosis, such as a stroke. Unless he was so crippled he simply had little control over his body. I glanced at Austin, who looked away.
No matter how inappropriate I was about to sound, I felt the curious need to ask. “How are you able to work?”
Elena put her hands to her mouth. “Really, Sunny?”
Austin shook his head. “How is that any of your business?”
“I was just wondering.” My face burned. I no longer felt so daring. Luckily the awkwardness was interrupted by the waitress bringing a tray of waters.
Jahil took a sip of water, pausing for a moment as he struggled to swallow. “Where I currently work, my supervisor is a very understanding man. I work in the stock room. I can work on cars. I can take plenty of breaks and work at my own pace. But that’s not your question. You want to know how I am able to work, drive, or do anything other than lay on my back waiting for death.” He immediately finished off the rest of the water.
Jahil didn’t seem offended, but his answer made me feel awkward. I met his eyes, mortified. “I guess. I’m sorry. Forget I said anything.”
Jahil laughed but not out of joy. “I draw power from my own life force,” he said in a manner similar to someone admitting to eating their own flesh to avoid starvation.
“Oh, um ok.” I appeared to be the only person at the table who found this revelation even the slightest bit shocking.
Jahil blinked tears from his eyes.
I offered him my water just to be kind, but actually I was looking for an excuse to touch his hand. “I’ve never been to California,” I said, trying to change the subject. To look into Jahil’s eyes was hypnotic. As he blinked, I saw beautiful sparkles of gold. I knew I had to be blushing but I didn’t care. “Austin says he was born in Napa, I heard it’s really beautiful.”
Jahil smiled, the warmth of it melting my heart. “It is beautiful.”
My hand became joined to his, caressing his rough fingers as I bit my lip. I gently traced over every finger as he released the cup. His hands felt cold, his muscles stiff. I could feel him trembling in pain. With his hand in mine, I started to stroke his palm like a fortune teller. I could feel every healed fracture, every scar. This wasn’t like me, being so intimate. But I could tell he didn’t mind.
“This is the first time, since the death of my wife,” Jahil spoke softly as he kissed my fingertips, “I have felt a woman’s touch.”
My heart was racing. My brain was telling me to pull my hand away. This man was literally old enough to be my father. But my heart could not. Jahil was enchanting, and to hear him call me a woman made my heart nearly flutter out of my chest. And he was weak, like a wounded animal; he needed a friend.
Jahil released my hand. “I’m sorry. I meant no disrespect.” He looked down at the table as if embarrassed by his choice of words. I knew I had to say something.
“My mother’s a healer—maybe you could come to back to our house and she could take a look at your leg?”
Austin’s father nodded in agreement. “I would be most grateful for whatever help you are able to offer.”
As he smiled, my eyes were drawn to his mouth, his lips. What would it be like to kiss that mouth? First I would gently nibble on his lower lip. Then as his mouth opened, I would feel the warmth of his breath, his tongue…
Austin waved his hand in my face. “Hey, earth to Sunny.”
Oh my god, what was I thinking?
“That’s a wonderful idea, sweetie,” my mom said, getting up. “Perhaps you can even assist me.”
“Sure, I guess.”
“Great, I’ll ask for some to-go boxes.” She made sure to pass by Austin’s ear, licking it seductively. “And while I’m healing your daddy, you get to watch.”

Ew, but maybe worth it?

submitted by dourdan to sexstories [link] [comments]

Undrafted Free Agents: the Lost Blue-Chips edition

Ever wonder what happened to those highly coveted recruits coming out of high school that had all media fawning over them during the time leading to Signing Day... and then disappeared off the radar for one reason or another? That player your school signed that you thought was going to change the program for the better... and then kind of disappeared? That dude you sent death threats via DM after he signed with your rival instead of your school who then got arrested and kicked out of school? Well, some declared for this year's draft but didn't get picked. This is a list of those highly recruited prospects that never lived up to expectations, or who for some reason or another fell down draft boards and ended up as priority free agents.
(Note: I'll consider a player "a blue-chip" if he had a high-4-to-5 star rating coming out of HS. I'm using 247Sports Composite Ratings for reference unless noted)

QB Kyle Allen, Houston/Texas A&M

Signed by the Panthers
Height Weight Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'3 210lbs 9" 4/8 -- -- -- -- -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9957, 1st pro-style QB, 8th overall class of 2014)
Accolades: 2014 Liberty Bowl MVP
Year G Att. Comp. Pct. Yards YPA TD Int Rating
2017 6 105 80 76.2% 751 7.2 4 4 141.22
2015 11 283 160 56.5% 2210 7.8 17 7 137.01
2014 9 192 118 61.5% 1322 6.9 16 7 139.50
Year G Rush. Att Yards YPC TD
2017 6 11 -14 -1.27 0
2015 11 65 102 1.57 2
2014 9 29 44 1.52 1
Scouting: Another in a long list of blue-chip QBs that transfered out of Texas A&M, Allen was the #1 QB recruit of the class of 2014. He battled his freshman season for the starting job with Kenny Hill (future TCU Horned Frog QB) and lost. However, due to poor showings by Hill in October, he started some games and finished the year strong. Hyped for the next season, however he wouldn't perform as high as it was expected of him (neither did the Aggies, FWIW) and would lose his job to Kyler Murray (future Oklahoma Sooner QB). Eventually he decided to transfer to Houston, sit out a year and found himself relegated to backup this last season, with limited play time and success. His biggest strength coming into the draft was his prototypical size, arm strength and mechanics, which were part of the reason why he was such a highly touted recruit, had some flashes of passing talent and pocket presence. But his inconsistency, lack of experience and inaccuracy hurt his stock. He wasn't expected to be drafted. He could be a decent backup QB for the time being and keep working on his game. With the right mentorship, who knows?

QB Max Browne, Pittsburgh/USC

Height Weight Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'5 227lbs -- 5.00s -- -- -- -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9942, 1st pro-style QB, 11th overall class of 2013)
Accolades: None
Year G Att. Comp. Pct. Yards YPA TD Int Rating
2017 6 135 96 71.1% 997 7.4 5 2 142.40
2016 9 93 58 62.4% 507 5.5 2 2 110.97
2015 3 12 8 66.7% 113 9.4 0 0 145.77
2014 6 7 3 42.9% 30 4.3 0 0 78.86
Scouting: Another in the long line of Trojan blue-chip QBs that bust, transfer and then go undrafted, Browne lost his starting job to Sam Darnold in 2016 after three games. Already having graduated, he transfered to Pittsburgh not needing to sit out a year. However, again, he lost the job after starting three games; this time due to injury. Ben DiNucci, a low-3 star recruit took over for most of the season afterwards. Injuries also limited him in workouts, so his stock never took off. He remains unsigned, and it's unlikely he'll play football professionally.

QB Shane Morris, Central Michigan/Michigan

Height Weight Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'3 210lbs -- 4.75s -- 34 1/2" 9' -- --
Recruiting: 4☆ (0.9695, 3rd pro-style QB, 71st overall class of 2013)
Accolades: None
Year G Att. Comp. Pct. Yards YPA TD Int Rating
2017 13 446 249 55.8% 3237 7.3 27 17 129.16
2016 6 5 4 80.0% 45 9.0 0 0 155.60
2014 5 40 14 35.0% 128 3.2 0 3 46.88
2013 5 47 29 61.7% 261 5.6 0 2 99.84
Scouting: Unfortunately for Morris, the closest he's been to being notorious as a college player was when he made the news for re-entering a football game after getting a concussion two plays earlier, which speeded up Brady Hoke's demise from Michigan. He lost the 2015 season with injury and in 2016 became the third-string QB with Jim Harbaugh behind Wilton Speight and John O'Korn. He transfered to Central Michigan for the 2017, as a graduate transfer. He got the starting job, but wasn't really good: he completed less than 60% of his passes and threw less than 2 TDs per interception. He still hasn't signed with any team, and doesn't look like he will.
(That QB class of 2013 didn't really pan out, did it?)

RB Thomas Tyner, Oregon State/Oregon

Height Weight 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
5'11 215lbs -- -- -- -- -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9908, 1st RB, 20th overall class of 2013)
Accolades: Freshman All-American (2013)
Year G Rush. Att Yards YPC TD
2017 10 64 297 4.64 3
2014 11 113 573 5.07 5
2013 12 115 711 6.18 9
Year G Catches Yards YPC TD
2017 10 5 42 8.40 0
2014 11 11 67 6.09 1
2013 12 14 134 9.57 0
Scouting: One of the most highly recruited players ever to come out of the state of Oregon, Tyner initially signed with the Marcus Mariota-led Ducks in 2013. He started his freshman season in stride, rushing for over 700 yards and 9TDs, splitting time with Byron Marshall and De'Anthony Thomas. His sophomore season wasn't as great, and Royce Freeman took most of the touches at RB. In 2015 reports indicated he would not play due to a shoulder injury, and in 2016 he declared that he would retire from football due to injury: his shoulder was healed, but the other shoulder had a torn labrum he couldn't recover from. He would attempt a comeback in 2017 with Oregon State, but he didn't show the same athleticism that he showed his freshman season and throughout high school. He finally retired after his senior season in Corvallis.

RB Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State/Auburn

Signed by the Vikings
Height Weight 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
5'10 198lbs 4.56s 16 reps 35.5" 125" -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9894, 4th RB, 23rd overall class of 2014)
Accolades: 2xFirst-team All-Ohio Valley (2016, 2017), FCS Second-Team All-American (2017)
(Jacksonville State stats from The Washington Post)
Year G Rush. Att Yards YPC TD
2017 12 178 1065 6.0 13
2016 9 127 782 6.2 7
2015 12 43 261 6.07 1
2014 11 43 214 4.98 2
Year G Catches Yards YPC TD
2017 12 21 244 11.6 0
2016 9 16 173 10.8 1
2015 12 11 200 18.18 1
2014 11 6 27 4.50 0
Scouting: Football player of the year in Alabama his senior year of HS, he signed with the Gus Malzahn's Auburn Tigers. However, though he started some games his freshman season, he was overshadowed by Peyton Barber, Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne. He decided to transfer to Jacksonville State (since this is a Div-IAA team, he didn't need to sit out a year) where he showed a little bit more of the talent that made him a high school football star. He was lauded for his cutting and change of direction ability, his lower-body strength and quickness. He was an apt passing threat, though not used much. However, his lack of size, the low competition he faced and inconsistent vision and patience knocked him down in the draft boards. He signed with the Vikings and will fight for a roster spot as a rotational back, since Dalvin Cook is certain to be the starting RB and Latavius Murray has the backup job all but guaranteed with his contract.

RB Keith Ford, Texas A&M/Oklahoma

Invited to Bills rookie minicamp
Height Weight 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
5'11 215lbs 4.54s 19 reps 39" 10'6" -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9878, 3rd RB, 25th overall class of 2013)
Accolades: None
Year G Rush. Att Yards YPC TD
2017 13 139 548 3.94 12
2016 13 126 669 5.31 6
2014 8 71 392 5.52 5
2013 10 23 134 5.83 1
Year G Catches Yards YPC TD
2017 13 14 84 6.00 0
2016 13 5 81 16.20 0
2014 8 11 140 12.73 1
2013 10 0 0 0.00 0
Scouting: Ford began as a blue-chip prospect with the Sooners in 2013, but didn't get much playing time behind less lauded players Brennan Clay and Damien Williams. His sophomore year he was involved more on offense, however it became clear the starting job had gone to then-freshman Samaje Perine. He was then suspended for academic reasons and team rules violations. Seeing the writing in the wall, he transfered to Texas A&M, sitting out a year. However, he would again lose the starting job to a freshman: in this case Trayvon Williams. He still found a role as the power back and goal-line carrier, notching 12TDs for the season. Scouts liked the fact that he's a bulldozer of a running back, a pure North-South player with good build, good-enough hands and enough agility to make tacklers miss. He's also tough enough to pass protect. However, he's too tight-hipped and doesn't have very good vision and depends almost entirely on being able to bulldoze his way forward. Add his disciplinary issues and a reputation of being tough to coach and he wasn't expected to be drafted. He will try out with the Bills, but a roster spot with them or any other team isn't ensured.

RB Ty Isaac, Michigan/USC

Height Weight 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'2 228lbs -- -- -- -- -- --
Recruiting: 4☆ (0.9752, 2nd APB, 49th overall class of 2013)
Accolades: None
Year G Rush. Att Yards YPC TD
2017 9 88 548 6.23 2
2016 12 74 417 5.64 5
2015 7 30 205 6.83 1
2013 14 40 236 5.90 2
Year G Catches Yards YPC TD
2017 9 3 16 5.33 0
2016 12 2 42 21.00 0
2015 7 2 12 6.00 0
2013 14 4 57 14.25 0
Scouting: Though a beast of a human being, Ty Isaac's career has been marred by injuries ever since his senior year in HS, when he injured his groin and shoulder. He signed with USC and played some his freshman season, but chose to transfer to Michigan to be closer to his ailing mother (he is from Illinois, and although he also had an offer from Notre Dame, USC blocked his transfer to South Bend. So he chose Michigan). He sat out the 2014 season, and then became part of the RB rotation for Harbaugh's power-running offense. However, after a productive start of the season as a back-up, Isaac got himself in Harbaugh's dog-house due to fumbling issues and some internal matters, and got no carries for the last 6 games of the season. He again split carries with the other RBs in the 2016 season and his senior season, though he started to become more productive, was cut short due to injury. That same injury didn't allow him to participate in any pre-draft workouts, which hurt his stock. Although obviously athletic and powerfully built, Isaac's productivity never matched his physical traits. He wasn't a very good pass-blocker and though he was available as a pass catching weapon, wasn't used in that aspect of the game much. Right now he'll be lucky if he's given a chance with some team's rookie minicamp.

WR Robert Foster, Alabama

Signed by the Bills
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'2 196lbs 32 1/8" 9 1/4" 4.41s -- 38" 116" 6.9s 4.2s
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9896, 2nd WR, 23rd overall class of 2013)
Accolades: None
Year G Catches Yards YPC TD
2017 14 14 174 12.43 1
2016 10 5 55 11.00 0
2015 3 10 116 11.60 2
2014 9 6 44 7.33 0
Scouting: Two things screwed up Foster's college career: injuries and choosing Alabama. In his time in campus, he's played in offensive systems that prioritized running and grinding the opponent's defense rather than passing, which was kept as a secondary option. And even when they passed, Lane Kiffin's offensive style is to find your best player and feed him the ball until the defense is so concentrated on him that they neglect other areas of the field, which they can exploit then. That player wasn't Foster (nor OJ Howard, another highly touted recruit that played in this offense until last year and wasn't featured much): it was Calvin Ridley. Foster considered transfering, but chose to stay and fight for more reps this season with a different OC. However, he lost the battle for 2nd WR to freshmen Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III. He's a tremendous athlete, no doubts about that: he's explosive, agile, twitchy, accelerates just fine and can even shake tackles well. But he's unrefined as a route runner, and his lack of production raises red flags. He also fumbled a lot for the little amount of touches he got. So it's no surprise he became an UDFA. I mean, he's talented alright, but he's way too raw as a prospect. If he manages to find a good WR coach and patience to develop him, he could become that which was expected of him: a premier WR worthy of a top 10 pick. But he's going to the Bills, so I wouldn't hold my breath, really.

WR Allen Lazard, Iowa State

Signed by the Jaguars
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'5 227lbs 32 1/4" 9 3/4" 4.55s 17 reps 38" 122" -- --
Recruiting: 4☆ (0.9641, 10th WR, 78th overall class of 2014)
Accolades: Honorable Mention All-American (2017), 2xFirst Team All-Big 12 (2017, 2016), Second Team All-Big 12 (2015), 2017 Liberty Bowl MVP
Year G Catches Yards YPC TD
2017 13 71 941 13.25 10
2016 12 69 1018 14.75 7
2015 11 56 807 14.41 6
2014 12 45 593 13.18 3
Scouting: Lazard wasn't such a blue-chipper as Allen, Ford or Foster, but he became famous because, as a Top 100 recruit, chose to attend Iowa State, a college that isn't accustomed to receive commitments from high-4 star recruits. Though Iowa State never contended in his first years in campus, he remained the high point of the offense. When coach Matt Campbell arrived in 2016, the Cyclones' offense improved enough for Lazard to put up big numbers. He was chosen to the All-Big 12 first team both his junior and senior years. As a prospect, Lazard's most impressive attribute is his size: 6'5, 227lbs with a big frame. He has strong hands and is very physical, contending for passes in the middle of the field. He's also a good hand fighter against press coverage, and due to his size he's a pretty good run blocker. Digs against him come from his lack of speed and explosiveness and poor route running due to tight hips. However, he should at the very least become a red-zone threat at the next level. I think grabbing him as an UDFA is a steal for the Jaguars. Maybe he won't have so many chances to show off his talent early because the Jaguars' WR depth is great, but he definitely has the tools and talent to be a productive WR in the NFL in the same mold as Kevin Benjamin or Devin Funchess.

TE Adam Breneman, UMass/Penn State

Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'4 250lbs -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Recruiting: 4☆ (0.9779, 2nd TE, 43th overall class of 2013)
Accolades: Second Team All-American (2017)
Year G Catches Yards YPC TD
2017 11 64 764 11.94 4
2016 12 70 808 11.54 8
2013 11 15 186 12.40 3
Scouting: This is kind of cheating because although he declared for the draft, he also retired in March. He suffered several injuries to his knee both as a HS senior and as a sophomore in Penn State, which costed him the 2014 season. He spent the 2015 year out of football and then got clearance to play again, signing with UMass as a graduate transfer in 2016. He produced his best two seasons there, gaining second team All-American accolades from USAToday and Phil Steele. Fast and thickly built, he would have made a pretty good prospect (very good hands, good speed, nice route-running, not so much of a blocker and his injury history condemned was a big red flag), but he decided to retire. Now, he's a political operative for the Republican Party. Seriously.

OT Darius James, Auburn/Texas

Signed by the Jets
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'4 327lbs -- -- 5.35s 30 reps 24" 8'2" -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9837, 1st OG, 35th overall class of 2013)
Accolades: Pre-season Third Team All-SEC (2017)
Year G
2017 13
2016 13
2014 6
Scouting: Originally signed with the Texas Longhorns, but saw limited action after redshirting and chose to transfer to Auburn, sitting out one year. In Auburn he manned the right tackle position, and mostly shined in run-blocking situations. As a prospect, he was expected to move inside as guard, where his powerful build and strength would hide some of his stiffness and immobility when pass-blocking. He sets his base wide, bends the knees and anchors at the point correctly, but he's unbalanced and gets lost in motion. He could be a good rotational OL in the pros, but it's unlikely he'll match the hype he gathered after high school

OT KC McDermott, Miami

Signed by the Jaguars
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'6 311lbs 32 1/2" 9 3/4" 5.35s 26 reps 23.5" 97" 7.72s 4.48s
Recruiting: 4☆ (0.9770, 3rd OT, 46th overall class of 2014)
Accolades: Third Team All-ACC (2017)
Year G
2017 13
2016 13
2015 8
2014 3
Scouting: Though highly recruited because of his family pedigree, McDermott never lived up to the expectations. Though he has good and strong hands, he's inconsistent, sluggish, tight-hipped and never developed a good blocking technique in general. Though he started the last two seasons of college, and though he has the looks of a tackle, he never refined his game and never worked on his balance and speed. He may find it hard to secure a roster spot this season.

OG Maea Teuhema, Southeastern Louisiana/LSU

Signed by the Saints
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'5 315lbs -- -- 5.20s 20 reps -- -- -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9839, 2nd OG, 37th overall class of 2015)
Accolades: Freshman All-American (2015), First Team All-Southland Conference (2017)
Year G
2017 11
2016 13
2015 11
Scouting: Part of the offensive line that blocked for Leonard Fournette, Teuhema got into Orgeron's dog house for some reason (apparently academics) that got him suspended indefinitely after the 2016 season. He chose to join his brother in SE Louisiana, where he got to start immediately (since it's a Div-IAA school, he didn't need to redshirt a year after transfering). He made the all-conference team his sole season there, playing at LT. Though versatile, big and strong, with good hand work and stance, his disciplinary issues as well as his lack of upper-body strength, slowness, stiff and flat-footness sent him tumbling down the boards. He may be a rotational lineman in the NFL, if his disciplinary issues don't become a concern again.

DT Trenton Thompson, Georgia

Signed by the Browns
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'3 288lbs 34" 10 5/8" 5.06s -- 32.5" 111.0" 7.68s 4.56s
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9991, 1st DT, 1st overall class of 2015)
Accolades: Liberty Bowl MVP (2016)
Year G Solo Assisted Total tackles TFL Sacks INT PD
2017 13 20 18 38 3.5 0 0 1
2016 13 24 32 56 9.5 5.0 0 1
2015 12 8 17 25 2.5 0.5 0 0
Scouting: Injury concerns and a strange incident with Athens police knocked Thompson's draft stock, but coming out of high school he was a blue-chip as you could get. Big, quick and athletic, he couldn't develop the necessary technique to shine and live up to expectations. He was a serviceable 3-technique tackle with one very good season under his belt, but never the wreaking ball that Georgia expected and couldn't stay in the field much (played only 35% of the snaps for the Bulldogs last season). Nontheless, he wasn't expected to go undrafted: it's not like there are many athletic 3-technique DTs with power, good range and motor. He could have stayed another year in Georgia and see if he could deliver on the promise he was coming out of high school, but chose to declare early, which unfortunately didn't work. Definitely a steal by the Browns, though I wonder if the rest of the teams (including the Browns) didn't know something we don't about his health.

OLB Matthew Thomas, Florida State

Signed by the Steelers
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'3 232lbs 33" 8 7/8" 4.58s -- 41.5" 131" 6.85s 4.28s
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9957, 2nd OLB, 8th overall class of 2013)
Accolades: None
Year G Solo Assisted Total tackles TFL Sacks INT PD
2017 12 43 42 85 10.0 2.0 1 2
2016 13 50 27 77 11.0 1.0 0 2
2014 8 21 5 26 2.5 0 0
2013 5 4 0 4 2.0 1.0 0 0
Scouting: Thomas had several problems in college. Injuries kept him out of the field his freshman season. He then violated team rules, for which he was suspended for the first six games. Then his mother died and was ruled academically illegible in 2015. He came back in 2016 and started producing, finishing his senior season leading the team in tackles. However, all the lost time costed him. He's very raw in his technique and has poor instincts and vision, and relied heavily on his athleticism and size (and he is athletic, as his combine numbers show). He's probably going to have to fight for a role in special-teams before even begin thinking of playing meaningful downs on defense as a pro.

ILB Tre' Williams, Auburn

Signed by the Jets
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'2 236lbs -- -- 4.75s 21 reps 34.5" 9'10" -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.98681, 2nd ILB, 27th overall class of 2014)
Accolades: Second Team All-SEC (2017)
Year G Solo Assisted Total tackles TFL Sacks INT PD
2017 11 24 26 50 2.5 2.5 0 0
2016 11 36 31 67 3.5 1.0 0 2
2015 12 27 28 55 4.0 0 0 0
2014 13 9 7 16 0 0 0 0
Scouting: Tre' Williams never lived up to the hype of his #27 player in the nation rating. He was highly decorated in high school both as a football player and a basketball player, but that production never translated to college. He's physical, but not athletic enough to be a sideline-to-sideline LB like smaller LBs like Thomas Davis and Lavonte David, nor big enough to be a hard-nosed, downhill thumper like slower LBs. He was chosen team captain, though, so work ethics and leadership weren't a concern. He's just doesn't have the physical tools nor the technique to be a draft pick. He will fight for a special-teams role with the Jets.

OLB Clifton Garrett, UAB/LSU

Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'2 235lbs -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9863, 2nd OLB, 29th overall class of 2014)
Accolades: None
Year G Solo Assisted Total tackles TFL Sacks INT PD
2014 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scouting: This is as bad as it got for a former 5-star recruit. I can't find a single stat from him. I don't even know if he actually declared for the draft. According to 247Sports, he did. Garrett was one of the highest rated recruits of the class of 2014, second only to Rashaan Evans at the OLB position. He enrolled in LSU, but was buried behind in the depth chart due to poor performance and a surgery in his shoulder. He transfered to Arizona Western, a junior college, in 2015, where he also didn't perform well at all. In 2016 he transfered back to the FBS to UAB, which at that point didn't have a football team (they practised, but they didn't play officially). His transfer status was pending, though, because of academic issues. I can't find him in the roster, this year or the previous one, so I don't know if he even made the team. He's definitely not in it anymore. So it's highly unlikely he's going to be given a chance in the pros by anyone.

CB Kevin Toliver II, LSU

Signed by the Bears
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'2 192lbs 30 1/8" 9 3/8" -- 10 reps 33" 120" -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9950, 2nd CB, 9th overall class of 2015)
Accolades: None
Year G Solo Assisted Total tackles TFL Sacks INT PD
2017 12 15 13 28 2.0 1.0 0 10
2016 7 12 9 21 0 0 0 1
2015 12 24 11 35 2.0 0 1 5
Scouting: Like Trent Thompson, Toliver was a top 10 recruit coming out of high school. Like Thompson, he signed with an SEC power house. Like Thompson, he underperformed during his three years in college and declared early for the draft. And like Thompson, that bit him in the ass and went undrafted. He played through injury in his shoulder his first season, and then ended up having to have surgery in 2016, missing games. He also had an injury in his knee that year. His senior season he showed some progress, but still he was buried too deep in the depth chart to be noticed by scouts. He also underperformed in the Combine. He does have all the physical tools, though: tall, big bodied, strong, agile and quick. However, coaches complaint about immaturity and laziness, he didn't work hard enough to deserve more reps when he got healthy and his instincts weren't yet honed. Considering work ethic is one of the things that push UDFAs into the final 53-man roster, I'd bet chances are slim he's going to make the team with the Bears, physical freak or not.

CB Tony Brown, Alabama

Signed by the Chargers
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'0 199lbs 31 1/2" 9 1/4" 4.35s 14 reps 31.5" 126" 6.78s 4.11s
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9952, 2nd CB, 9th overall class of 2014)
Accolades: None
Year G Solo Assisted Total tackles TFL Sacks INT PD
2017 14 18 13 31 1.0 0 1 2
2016 11 21 11 32 2.5 0.5 2 0
2015 13 12 4 16 1.0 0 0 2
2014 13 7 3 10 1.0 0 0 1
Scouting: Brown's problems had more to do with disciplinary issues than lack of talent. He was suspended for 4 games in 2016, allegedly failing a drug test. Most of his career he spent in special teams or as nickel or dime back, behind more productive DBs. Though big, tough and fast, he's not very agile in following his receiver one on one, and doesn't have very good instincts (as his lack of big plays shows). But he has value as a special teamer, and he could find a role there.

CB Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State

Signed by the 49ers
Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd dash BP Vertical Broad Jump 3 cone 20yd
6'2 204lbs 32 1/2" 10 3/8" 4.67s -- 38.5" 121" -- --
Recruiting: 5☆ (0.9916, 3rd CB, 15th overall class of 2015)
Accolades: First Team All-American (2016), First Team All-ACC (2016), Jack Tatum Award (2016), Second Team All-ACC (2017)
Year G Solo Assisted Total tackles TFL Sacks INT PD
2017 13 21 9 30 0 0 0 10
2016 13 16 4 20 3.0 0 8 6
2015 7 4 0 4 0 0 0 0
Scouting: Another junior that still had a year of eligibility left and could have used it after a disappointing junior season, he didn't help himself at the combine and ended up undrafted. At one point he was being mocked as a first round pick after the 2016 season, when he was an All-American and finalist for the Bronco Nagurski Award. Big and physical press corner with long arms who flashed ball skills during that 2016 season, he showed a lack of speed and foot quickness that worried scouts. Also, for such a big corner, he wasn't a very good tackler, nor showed much interest in it. Maybe under Sherman's tutelage (another big, not particularly fast CB) he can get better and go back to his 2016 form. At least he'll make an interesting prospect for the final 53-man roster.
Continues here
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My Pedigree Thoughts-- Most Of What I Have Mentioned Can Be Found Online But Takes Hours To Research.

I will give you my opinion of every horse's pedigree that looks to be pointing to this year's derby. but I will let each of you make the final decision of who you want to risk money on. Most of my thoughts will be dead on but there are instances where I may overlook a sire but more likely it will be the dam I tend to overlook.
Bolt D'Oro is first up. His sire was Medaglia d'Oro, a son of El Prado. Medaglia d'Oro only G1 win at 1 1/4 mile was the Travers S where he ran the last 1/2 mile in 51 flat and was all out to hang on beating the only other graded stakes winner in the field, Repent, whose biggest win was the G2 La Derby, ran that year at 1 1/16 miles. But he also ran second in two editions of the BC Classic, Belmont S(finishing the last half in 53 2/5), and the Pacific Classic(to Candy Ride when he set the track record that he still holds in 1:59 flat). His best runners were at their best up to 1 1/8 miles, though his only runner to win at 1 1/4 mile was Songbird, who did it twice, in 203 flat and 204 flat, both on fast tracks and finishing times that are respectable for fillies but a little slow for the best colts. Bolt D'Oro dam, Globe Trot, won three times in 17 starts, all at 1 mile but no stakes wins. But her sire is A.P. Indy, giving Bolt all the distance pedigree he will need. While I would not be surprised if he won, his trainer will face pressure during derby week that he has never experienced before. It is the downfall of many, especially the first time. The more I watch his races makes me believe the trainer will try to get him on the lead, and I think he is beatable if the trainer succeeds.
Enticed is another son of Medaglia D'Oro(see above). His dam is It's Tricky, a multiple G1 winning filly up to 1 1/8 mile. However, the only time she tried 1 1/4 mile, she ran 2nd to Royal Delta, a champion 3 YO & 4 YO filly. She just recently died from foaling complications producing a Pioneerof The Nile colt, who also died. Her other foal was a year older full sister to Enticed and retired without racing to preserved the bloodlines. It's Tricky sire, Mineshaft, is a son of A.P. Indy who was Horse Of The Year in 2003 and winning at 1 1/4 mile twice in 2 attempts, the Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2:00 1/5 and the Suburban on 201 3/5, beating Volponi in the latter, pulling away at the end. His best sons were Effinex, a G1 winner at 1 1/4 mile and Dialed In, beaten favorite in the 2011 Ky Derby. Enticed trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin has experienced the pressure of derby week several times, including a 2nd in the 2005 Ky Derby with Closing Argument at 80-1, and two 4ths with Frosted and Mohaymen, both sons of Tapit. As of now, Enticed is my pick to win this year's derby and will most likely be the one I will end up betting. Knowing McLaughlin, I believe he will ask the jockey to rate this horse and make a move turning for home.
Bravazo is a son of Awesome Again, who was Horse Of The Year in 1998 when he won the BC Classic against probably the best field top to bottom ever assembled for that race, including Silver Charm, Swain, Victory Gallop and Skip Away, all multiple G1 SWs up to 1 1/2 miles. Awesome Again is a top sire and his best son, Ghostzapper, also won the G1 BC Classic on his way to Horse Of The Year in 2004. Bravazo's dam, Tiz O' Gold, is bred on the exact same lines as Tiznow but her broodmare sire, Slew O' Gold was Seattle Slew's most accomplished runner on the race track, winning the older horse TC at 4 YO after narrowing missing sweeping it as a 3 YO. While Bravazo is bred to handle 1 1/4 miles, he will need to run faster than he has thus far to be a factor against G1 competition. A likely pace setter.
Promises Fulfilled is a son of Shackleford, who ran 4th in the Ky Derby after setting the pace and then won the Preakness S, beating Animal Kingdom. His dam, Marquee Delivery, was graded stakes placed at 1 mile and 1 1/8 miles. His broodmare sire, Marquetry, won the 1 1/4 mile Hollywood Gold Cup, just lasting and beating a career G3 winner but was trounced in at least a half dozen other attempts at 1 1/4 mile, including twice more each in the Gold Cup and BC Classic. If Promises Fulfilled gets a slow pace is the only way, he will be a factor in the Ky Derby and I personally do not see that as possible. I will definitely make this one beat me.
Magnum Moon is a son of Malibu Moon, who sire Ky Derby winner Orb, a horse Magnum Moon is similar bred like. Orb's broodmare sire was Unbridled and Magnum Moon's broodmare sire is Unbridled's Song. However, there is a major difference in their female lines that could prevent Magnum Moon from getting the 1 1/4 mile distance. Unbridled's broodmare sire, Le Fabuleux, is a son of Wild Risk, a great grandson of St Simon and himself the broodmare sire of Blushing Groom(broodmare sire of Awesome Again). In Unbridled's female family under Le Fabuleux, his dams traces to Man O' War twice and more important, to La Troienne twice. Unbridled's Song was super fast and the beaten favorite in the 1996 Ky Derby when 4th to another Unbridled's son, Grindstone. Unbridled's Song broodmare sire was Caro, whose best sons were better on grass than dirt. However, Caro's daughter, Winning Colors, won the Ky Derby in 1988, mostly because the trainers of that derby gave her no respect and she got to run all alone throughout and lasted. Unbridled's Song initially was better at siring sprinters/ milers types when he first started breeding, but his progeny started getting more distance as he aged. Underneath in Magnum Moon pedigree is Giant's Causeway whose broodmare sire is Rahy, a son of Blushing Groom. So before I can dismiss this horse, I will want to see how he fares in the Arkansas Derby. Pletcher has screwed up on several top 3 YOs just before the derby and this could possibly be another one. The Apollo curse(unraced as a 2 YO) will eventually be broken and this one has the bloodlines to do it, especially with his slightly off the pace style of running.
Quip is a son of Distorted Humor, who was better as a sprinter during his racing career. He was the sire of Ky Derby and Preakness winner, Funny Cide, but Funny Cide's broodmare sire(Slewacide) had more to do with that than him. Distorted Humor can produce a distance runner but usually when he gets a lot of help from the dam. And that is not the case with Quip. Starting with his broodmare sire, Indian Charlie, his female family is loaded with sprint/miler type runners and producers. Definitely one I will not consider.
McKinzie is a son of Ky Derby winner Street Sense. However, he has the running style that resembles his broodmare sire Petionville, a son of Seeking The Gold, who found 1 1/8 miles to be his limit. Mckinzie's running style is the preferred style Baffert now tries to teach all his horses to use but I believe he would be much more dangerous if allowed to sit mid pack and make one big run. But Baffert has been burned twice using that type of tactics on favorite type horses and I do not see him changing what has worked for him 4 different times versus none(due to misjudged rides mostly). So I will try to beat this one.
Good Magic is a son of Curlin, who ran third in the Ky Derby in his 4th lifetime start, then won the Preakness and ran 2nd in the Belmont S on his way to the 3 YO Champion. He was Horse Of The Year at 4 in 2008. Good Magic's broodmare sire is Hard Spun, who beat Curlin when 2nd in the 2007 Ky Derby behind Street Sense, then ran 3rd in the Preakness and 4th in the Belmont before finishing 2nd in the BC Classic in the slop against Curlin. Hard Spun's sire was Danzig, who mostly known for siring milers but his broodmare sire was Turkoman, a son of Alydar, who was Champion Older Horse after maturing as a 4 YO. However he ran 2nd in the Travers S and 3rd in the BC Classic as a 3 YO, so he showed he preferred distance. There will be no one in this year derby that is better bred to handle a distance than Good Magic. And with Chad Brown(who learned under Bobby Frankel) as his trainer, it will be hard to bet against this one. Only downfall might be two races before the derby but Brown has proven he knows how to get them fit quickly.
Solomini is another son of Curlin(see above). His broodmare sire is Storm Cat. However, Solomini's dam, Surf Song, is an unraced 1/2 sister to Frosted but with one noted difference. She is inbred 5x5 to ultra stamina influence Princequillo. When a horse is inbred, they will often turn out closely resembling the inbred horse. She has five foals to race and Solomini is her first graded placed foal. Early in his career, Princequillo flashed speed but was unable to win often until he was claimed for $2500 and tried at distances of 1 1/4 mile and up. He set the 1 3/4 mile track record at Saratoga in 1943 as a 3 YO and was brought by Arthur "Bull" Hancock for breeding purposes. Baffert announced before the Rebel, that he would have to find another spot for Solomini because he was going to run Justify in the Arkansas Derby. Maybe worth a wager in the exacta or trifecta, but only if he gets little or no respect at the betting windows. I still believe he represents Baffert's best shot at another derby win.
Flameaway is a son of Scat Daddy, who probably is best up to 1 1/8 miles on dirt. He is better bred for grass and that is why most of his foals perform better on that surface. Flameaway's broodmare sire is Fusaichi Pegasus, winner of the 2000 Ky Derby and Mr Prospector's only son to win at 1 1/4 mile or further in a G1 race on a fast track. The only other time he raced at 1 1/4 miles was the BC Classic that year and he was no factor against Tiznow & Giant's Causeway. I see Flameaway as a pace factor only and there are quite a few I like better.
Firenze Fire is a son of Poseidon's Warrior, who did not win a stakes race past 6 furlongs. However, Poseidon's Warrior broodmare sire is Smarten who also is broodmare sire of Smart Strike. Smarten won 4 derbies as a 3 YO and ran 2nd in the Travers S and the Arkansas Derby. Firenze Fire's broodmare sire is Langfuhr, the best siring dirt son of Danzig. Langfuhr is the sire of Wando who won Canada's TC(restricted to Canadian breds) but got crushed when he raced against America's best and Lawyer Ron, who won the Arkansas Derby and several other G1 up to 1 1/8 miles. Firenze Fire has a sneaky good pedigree especially on his dam side and that makes him a possible for an underneath slot but think him winning is probably a little far fetch. He is one I will probably make beat me because I like several others more.
Free Drop Billy is a son of Union Rags, who won the 2012 Belmont S and whose only off the board finish in his career came in the Ky Derby when he got sandwiched at the start, squeezed back and had to take up but then closed with a rush to finish 7th, making up more than a dozen lengths. Free Drop Billy's broodmare sire is Giant's Causeway who has been a top runner and sire throughout his life. He has the pedigree to burn none believers and it will mostly be the type of trip he gets that determines the final outcome. While I am leaning against betting him to win, he is one I will have to consider underneath.
Snapper Sinclair is a son of City Zip, who was a solid sprinter during his racing career. I bet a lot of his horses at under a mile on dirt and usually up to a mile on grass. However, we are talking about 1 1/4 mile on dirt here and there is no way I can even consider that. Snapper Sinclair's broodmare sire is Yes It's True, another confirmed sprinter who was at his best up to 7 furlongs. And while he has a little help from other parts of his pedigree, the fact he has 2 sprinters in the 2 most important spot of his pedigree makes him a do not include in any bets for me. Pass.
Combatant is a son of Scat Daddy, who as I mentioned earlier was at his best up to 1 1/8 miles on dirt but his best runners are better on grass. Combatant's broodmare sire is Boundary, who also was a sprinter during his racing career. Boundary did sire Ky Derby and Preakness winner, Big Brown, but it was discovered after the Preakness that he was receiving monthly steroids shots, which has always been illegal in all horse racing jurisdictions because it can mask more potent drugs. When confronted, the trainer admitted to administering the steroids, leading to a 10 year to lifetime ban on the trainer. That said, Combatant does have a nice pedigree underneath that makes it hard to dismiss him. Forty Niner ran 2nd in the 1988 Ky Derby to Winning Colors and is Mr Prospector's best siring son. Combatant's dam is also inbred 3x4 to Northern Dancer and 5x5 to Native Dancer. Also, Slew O' Gold can be found on the dam side. If you like this horse, you can be sure you will get some solid odds on derby day, especially if he runs close but finishes 2nd or 3rd in his last prep. Have not yet toss him myself, waiting to see how the derby sets up.
Blended Citizen is a son of Proud Citizen, who ran 2nd in the 2002 Ky Derby and 3rd in the Preakness, beating Medaglia D'Oro. Proud Citizen is one of only a few sires that has sired 2 Ky Oaks winners, Proud Spell and Believe You Can. Proud Citizen's son, Went The Day Well, lagged near the back of the pack in the 2012 Ky Derby but was closing fastest of all at the end to finish 4th, beaten 2 1/2 lengths, making up 8 lengths in the stretch alone against I'll Have Another and Bodemeister. Proud Citizen's third dam, Arctic Dancer, is a full sister to Northern Dancer. Blended Citizen's broodmare sire, Langfuhr, was arguably Danzig's best producing son on dirt but was also a solid sire on grass. While he was a sprintemiler during his racing career including winning the G1 Metropolitan Mile, several of his foals stretched their speed up to 1 1/8 mile on dirt. With three crosses of Nearctic in his 5th generation and two crosses of Natalma(Mahmoud's grand daughter who was dam of Northern Dancer & Arctic Dancer), Blended Citizen is bred very similar to Danehill, sire of 348 SWs(most all time by one sire). However, Danehill won two sprint stakes on grass during his racing career and most of his foals were also best at sprinting up to a mile on grass. While I feel Blended Citizen best surface will be the all weather tracks and grass, there is little in his pedigree that suggest he can not perform well at 1 1/4 mile on dirt. However, he will have to run a race he has not proven capable of yet to be a factor but has the look of one that could finish in the lower have of the exotics, keying a monstrous payoff.
Strike Power is a son of Speightstown, a very fast sprinter during his racing career that Pletcher was forced to stop on twice during his racing career due to major injuries, once for almost 2 years. Speightstown still owns Saratoga track record for 6 furlongs in 108 flat and he won the BC Sprint, also in 108 flat, in the last start of his career as a 6 YO. Strike Power's dam, Gold D'Oro, won at 1 1/4 mile on grass in allowance company and showed she preferred distances of 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/4 miles on grass. Her sire is Medaglia D'Oro and she has a rare cross of 3/4 brothers Sadler's Wells and Nureyev, both top sires on grass at distances. Gold D'Oro's dam line traces back into 1941 TC winner Whirlaway. However his pedigree is tilted too much towards speed on dirt for my liking and he will be one I will leave out of my bets.
Old Time Revival is a son of Brethren, a 1/2 brother to 2010 Ky Derby winner Super Saver. Their dam, Supercharger, is a full sister to She's A Winner, dam of 2006 Ky Derby & Belmont S seconds, Blue Grass Cat. Brethren, also trained by Pletcher, won his first 3 starts including the G3 Sam F Davis S before running third in the Tampa Bay Derby and 11th in the Arkansas Derby, effectively knocking him out of the TC consideration. Brethren dam line is also the dam line of California Chrome's broodmare sire, Not For Love. However, Brethren's early career mirrors that of this year derby hopeful, Magnum Moon. Old Time Revival's broodmare sire is Congaree, who ran third in the 2001 Ky Derby after contesting the fastest pace in Ky Derby long history. Congaree would win the Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles and run 2nd in the SA Handicap as a 4 YO. His broodmare sire Mari's Book, a son of Northern Dancer, was also broodmare sire of Ashado, champion 3 YO filly and Champion Older filly as a 4 YO. While Old Time Revival has some more stamina influences in his dam family, he seems to prefer setting the pace and that will probably be his downfall against this type of horses. Another I will not consider, myself.
Instilled Regard is a son of Arch, who won the G1 Super Derby at 1 1/4 miles, beating a G3 quality field at best. Here is a sire that I disagree with the pedigree experts assessment on his distance abilities. The experts thinks he is a 1 1/4 mile sire but his progency says otherwise. True, he is sire of BC Classic winner, Blame but Blame's female family produced Sadler's Wells and his full brother Fairly Bridge, and Nureyev, along with dozens of others who displayed distance capabilities. Outside of Blame, Arch's other foals was good up to 1 1/8 miles but none lasted the 1 1/4 miles distance. However, his sire line is one of the best stamina influences but Arch's dam line was simply middle distance horses at best. Instilled Regard's broodmare sire is Forestry, a son of Storm Cat but who sports the same dam line as Mr Prospector, just a few generations later. This dam line was also at their best up to 1 1/8 miles and struggled at any distances past that point. However, Instilled Regard's second dam, Heavenly Prize, won 9 of 18 starts including several at 1 1/4 miles and never finished worse than third, including a solid third to Cigar while he was in the middle of his 16 straight winning streak. The Risen Star S is a toss for this horse and every other horse than ran in that race as no horse passed more than one horse throughout that race. While it is common to see no moves in a 4 or 5 horse field, it has to be at least 1 in 10,000 to see none in a 8 or more horse fields. So I am going to wait to see what he does in the Santa Anita Derby before I will be willing to totally exclude him from consideration.
Catholic Boy is a son of More Than Ready, who ran 4th in the 2000 Ky Derby. However, he never won past 7 furlongs in his racing career, though he ran 2nd in the Blue Grass S on Keeneland's notorious speed favoring track and 2nd in the Louisiana Derby against horse than proved to be a cut below the better horses of that year. As a sire, More Than Ready's foals has always been high class sprinters/milers, especially on grass but none has won at 1 1/4 mile on either surface. The only son I found of his that won at 1 1/8 miles on dirt was Verrazano, who won both the Wood Memorial and Haskell Inv as a 3 YO in blowouts. But he did not finish anywhere near the money in 3 tries at 1 1/4 miles. Catholic Boy's broodmare sire, Bernardini, won the Travers S and the Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1 1/4 mile as a 3 YO before running 2nd in the BC Classic. However, his best distance son, Stay Thirsty, had no problem handling 1 1/4 miles but his broodmare sire, Storm Bird, had a lot of influence in that. His 2nd best son, To Honour And Serve, won several G1s at 1 1/8 miles but was not close in two tries at 1 1/4 miles. So while I will not say Catholic Boy can not win(because anything can happen during a race), my money will be going on others that has family that succeeded at 1 1/4 miles or further.
Avery Island is injured and off the derby trail.
My Boy Jack is a son of Creative Cause, who finished 5th in the 2012 Ky Derby after making a strong move before hitting the invisible proverbial brick wall at the 1/8 pole. Creative Cause's sire, Giant's Causeway, had no problem with the 1 1/4 miles distance but his dam, Dream Of Summer, limit was 1 1/8 miles but she was even better at up to a mile. Her sire line is the same as Uncle Mo and this sire line is much more dangerous on grass. My Boy Jack's broodmare sire, Mineshaft, was Horse Of The Year at 4 YO and won both of his attempts at 1 1/4 miles. And believe it or not, he is the only son of A.P. Indy out of a Mr Prospector mare to win a G1 race at 1 1/4 miles. My Boy Jack's dam was unraced but is bred to another daughter out of a Mr Prospector's son. And for this reason, I will be looking elsewhere.
Greyvitos is a son of Malibu Moon, who broke his maiden in his first start and then got injured in his second start while finishing second. Malibu Moon sired 2013 Ky Derby winner, Orb, who won in a muddy edition of the derby like his pedigree suggested he should and never came even close to reproducing that form at the 1 1/4 mile distance. Malibu Moon's best foals are solid at 1 1/8 miles but rarely wants to go any more route of ground. Greyvitos was last seen winning the Remington Springboard Mile in December and had surgery to remove bone chips from his knees after that race. He has yet to make his 3 YO debut, but is now back in training. Greyvitos's broodmare sire is Najran, who won up to a mile and actually tied Dr Fager's world record of 132 1/5 for a mile on dirt in the G3 Westchester H. His best two runners were fillies, including Greyvitos's dam, and both were solid up to 1 1/8 mile on grass. His dam also has some distance influence in her family tree. However, I can not believe any horse will be able to beat the best off one prep at 1 1/4 mile and will have to pass, especially with his pedigree.
Audible is a son of Into Mischief, who won the 1 1/16 mile CashCall Futurity on Hollywood Park's all weather track in a fast time. Into Mischief is a 1/2 brother to Beholder, who won the Pacific Classic at 1 1/4 mile as a 5 YO against horses better suited for shorter distances and then ran 2nd to California Chrome in the same race as a 6 YO. Beholder two races outside of California was better than most perceived as she ran 2nd in the Ky Oaks, beaten a 1/2 length by Princess Of Sylmar and then 4th, beaten 1 length by that rival in the Ogden Phipps H. However, true to her pedigree, she performed her best at 1 1/16 miles and 1 1/8 miles against the best of her class. Audible's broodmare sire, Gilded Time, won the BC Juvenile Dirt as a 2 YO and was injured shortly thereafter and missed the derby. He returned in the BC Sprint after a year layoff and ran third, beaten 3/4 of a length. However, his pedigree suggested he would struggle at a 1 1/4 mile. In fact, his best son, Gayego, won the G1 Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles and ran near the back in both the Ky Derby & Preakness S, fading badly both times. So there is no way I will consider betting this horse under any circumstances. I have never made money betting this type and rarely does this type beat my horse. Pass.
The Tabulator and Paved, a filly, are not nominated to the derby. The Tabulator has good breeding but has been sent towards the lead in each of his starts and I will not consider him mostly for that reason and the expected pace battle that is shaping up along with being inactive this year. Paved, a filly, will prove she belongs on the grass and/or all weather tracks against her own kind. She beat a less than stellar field in the El Camino Real Derby.
Kanthara is a son of Jimmy Creed, who won the G1 Malibu S at 7 furlongs. His sire was Distorted Humor and his dam, Hookedonthefeelin, only added to his sprinting ability. Kanthara's broodmare sire, Noonmark, was a son of Unbridled's Song, whose best races were as an off the pace sprinter that did not run on as the distance stretch out slightly. So I will take a pass on this one as I simply do not see enough stamina influences to help him.
World Of Trouble is a son of Kantharos, who won his only 3 starts, including the G2 Saratoga Special in the mud. Kantharos's sire, Lion Heart, ran 2nd in the 2004 Ky Derby to Smarty Jones, also in the mud. World Of Trouble's broodmare sire, Valid Expectations was a confirmed sprinter whose biggest win came in the G3 1 mile Derby Trial S. He tried G1 competition twice and was crushed on both occasions. Simply does not have enough pedigree for my liking. Pass.
Lombo is a son of Graydar, a G1 winning son of Unbridled's Song who won 5 of his 6 lifetime starts, including the Donn H and New Orleans H, defeating G1 winners Flat Out, Take Charge Indy, and Bourbon Courage in the Donn H at 1 1/8 miles in wire to wire fashion. He concluded his career by winning the G2 Kelso H at a mile in 1:34 flat. Lombo is from Graydar's first crop. Lombo's broodmare sire, Johannesburg, went unbeaten in 7 starts as a 2 Yo, including beating a solid field in the G1 BC Dirt Juvenile handily after winning Europe's biggest 2 YO races in his first 6 starts. In his first crop, he sired Scat Daddy, who won the G1 Champagne at 1 mile and G1 Florida Derby at 1 1/8 miles. Lombo is another who would benefit from a slow pace but I really think he is overmatched against these. Pass.
Noble Indy is a son of Take Charge Indy, who won the G1 Florida Derby at 1 1/8 miles. In his only try at the 1 1/4 distance, he finished 19th of 20th beaten 50 lengths by I'll Have Another. Take Charge Indy is a 1/2 brother to Will Take Charge, champion 3 YO of 2013. Noble Indy's dam, Noble Maz, won a couple of turf sprints restricted to Pennsylvania Bred, Her sire, Storm Boot, did his best running in turf sprints also, though he did not win a stakes race. Storm Boot's best son, Delta Storm also spent his career on all weather tracks and grass in Southern California but won only 2 small stakes, both at 6 furlongs. While I am willing to throw his Risen Star race out, I still do not see him being a factor at 1 1/4 mile. Pass.
Pony Up is a son of Aikenite, a son of Yes It's True whose top effort was a 2nd in the G1 Breeders' Futurity at 1 1/16 miles on Keeneland's all weather track. When tried on dirt, he was beaten soundly a number of times in mid distances and his only win in a dirt stakes came in the G2 CD Handicap at 7 furlongs. Pony Up's dam, A.P. Petal, is an unraced daughter of A.P. Indy bred with a Mr Prospector daughter that produced many good foals but for the most part with distance limitations. However, Pony Up is in bred 4x4 to Secretariat and crosses with Bold Ruler three times in his 5th generation. Throw in Secretariat's 1/2 brother, Sir Gaylord, as the sire of his fourth dam and you have a horse that will probably run all day. His Holy Bull race is better than it looks on paper and this is the Pletcher horse that most likely will be live on derby day. Definitely one I will keep an eye on and will be a part of my final decision.
Vino Rosso is a son of Curlin, champion 3 YO of 2007 and Horse of the Year in 2008. His broodmare sire is Street Cry, sire of both Street Sense and Zenyatta, both confirmed late runners. Street Cry, as a runner, was sent to the lead and set blistering paces throughout his career, but often tired late. He was a classic example of a horse who was asked to run early but probably would have been better as a late type runner. I say this because his female family was loaded with European champions and most of them did their best running late. His Tampa Derby Derby run was not a good indication of his running ability as the pace was crawling, at best, and Velasquez tried to keep him close to have a chance and he did not respond mostly because he had nothing to run at. While I like others better, I know he could surprise with a pace to run at like he will get in the Ky Derby, if Pletcher decides to push forward. Not likely, though.
Tiz Mischief is a son of Into Mischief, who won the G1 CashCall Futurity on Hollywood Park all weather track and is a 1/2 brother to Beholder. His broodmare sire, Tiznow, won back to back BC Classic in 2000 and 2001 at 1 1/4 miles. Like his pedigree or not, he has six full brothers and sisters that either placed or won in G1 races at 1 1/4 miles or produced at least one runner that won in G1 races at a classic distance. His full brother, Budroyale, ran 2nd in the 1999 BC Classic after running 2nd in the 1999 Hollywood Gold Cup and adding a second in the 2000 Santa Anita H, all at 1 1/4 miles. Tiz Mischief has been posting fast works since his first work and everything will eventually click. Whether that will be before the derby or in the derby remains to be seen. The Tampa Bay Derby ran in a similar fashion to this year's Risen Star S and horses exiting both of these should be on everyone's list to watch out for. After looking back at the Tampa Bay Derby, I now realized the outcome was the results of very slow paces in both races. That said, I still am on the fence with this horse because he has yet to run to his works. Hoping to see one more race before the derby from him and knowing Romans, it probably will be the Blue Grass S.
Hollywood Star is a son of Malibu Moon, sire of 2013 Ky Derby winner Orb on a muddy track. Hollywood Star's dam, Hollywood Story, ran 4th in the 2003 BC Juvenile Fillies against Halfbridled for the third graded stakes in a row against that rival and Ashado as a maiden and came back to win the G1 Hollywood Starlet in her next start. She ended her career winning 4 graded stakes, including the G1 Vanity H at 1 1/8 mile. Her sire was Wild Rush, who won the Illinois Derby at 1 1/8 mile but his biggest win came in the G1 Metropolitan Mile H. Hollywood Story's broodmare sire was Dynaformer, best known as sire of Ky Derby winner Barbaro but also sire of Point Of Entry, a champion turf distance son. Hollywood Star is another trainee of Romans and is probably the best bred son for distance of Malibu Moon this year. However, he has only been seen once this year and that inconsistent makes me wonder if Romans is up to something with this horse. He has been talking about both Tiz Mischief and Free Drop Billy a lot, but has not mentioned this horse. But if you look at the works of each, this one is working faster than his other horses.
Ayacara is a son of Violence, a son of Medaglia D'Oro and winner of 3 races in 4 lifetime starts, including the G1 CashCall Futurity on Hollywood Park's all weather track. He fracture a sesamoid bone while finishing 2nd in the Fountain Of Youth and was retired. Violence third dam, Sky Beauty, won the U.S. TC for fillies while winning 15 of 21 lifetime races. His broodmare sire, Pulpit, is the sire of Tapit and grand sire of 2014 Ky Derby & Preakness winner California Chrome. Ayacara has yet to display any resemblance to his pedigree and looks like a fringe player, at best. Not for me until noted improvement is shown. Pass.
Sporting Chance is a son of Tiznow, winner of two BC Classic at 1 1/4 mile. His dam, Wynning Ride, won the Iowa Distaff for her only stakes win, but she ran 2nd in the G1 Hollywood Starlet S on Hollywood's all weather track and third in the G1 CCA Oaks at 1 1/4 mile. Her sire is Candy Ride, unbeaten in 6 lifetime starts, including the G1 Pacific Classic where he broke the track record in 1:59.11 and still owns it today. His pedigree on his dam side is tilted heavily towards speed and is one I will try to beat. However, Lukas will do his best to have him ready but I still believe it looks like a fast pace is setting up in this year's derby.
Givemeaminit is a son of Star Guitar, who won 24 of 30 lifetime starts, mostly races restricted to Louisiana Breds. His sire is Quiet American, sire of 1997 Ky Derby & Preakness winner Real Quiet, Cara Rafaela(dam of Bernardini) and Quiet Dance(dam of Horse Of The Year Saint Liam and 2nd dam of Gun Runner). Givemeaminit's broodmare sire is Turkoman, a son of Alydar out of a mare by Round Table's son Table Play and U.S. Horse Of The Year in 1986. Sire of Givemeaminit's second dam is Pleasant Colony, winner of the 1981 Ky Derby & Preakness and third in the Belmont S. Sire of his third dam is Illustrious, another son of Round Table from 1926 Belmont S winner Chance Play, a closer relative of Man O' War including the same sire. I absolutely love his pedigree and he will be my bet to win the Ky Derby if he qualifies in this weekend's Louisiana Derby. I have him to win in the first future book at 70-1 and would have placed more on him to win in the next 2 futures if they had not moved him to the field. Instead, I used Enticed in the second future book to win and got 62-1. Either one wins and I will kick back for months.
Justify is a son of Scat Daddy, who won the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby in 2007. Scat Daddy's best foals ran better on grass than dirt, however. Scat Daddy's best performing horse on dirt looks to be Frac Daddy, who ran second in the 2013 Arkansas Derby before finishing 16th in the Ky Derby. El Kabeir won 2 G3 New York preps in the 1 1/16 mile Gotham S and 1M 70Y Jerome s. He ran 3rd in the Wood Memorial and scratched from the Ky Derby on the morning of that race. He would never hit the board again in a graded stakes. Daddy Nose Best won the G3 Sunland Derby for his only graded stakes win on dirt before running 10th in the Ky Derby and 9th in the Preakness. Scat Daddy's son Daddy Long Legs won the UAE Derby at 1 3/16 mile on their then all weather track before finishing last in the 2012 Ky Derby. His only other start on dirt, he finished last in the BC Juvenile Dirt the previous year. Justify's dam, Stage Magic, finished third in the G3 Gardenia S at 1 mile after battling the pace and tiring to finish 6 3/4 lengths behind Groupie Doll. She also finished third in the Pippen S at 1 1/16 mile, again tiring late. Justify's second dam was the G1 placed Magical Illusion. Her G1 placing came in the CCA Oaks after battling Ashado for the lead and stopping cold at the mile pole in the 1 1/4 mile test to finish 3rd beaten 12 lengths. Justify's broodmare sire, Ghostzapper, is a 1/2 brother to City Zip but he won the BC Classic at 1 1/4 mile after setting a slow pace for a G1 race and sprinting home in 47 4/5 seconds at Lone Star Park, a track known for sub 46 splits for distance races. Most of his foals performs better under a mile, like City Zip but he has some that performed well in distance too, unlike City Zip. Which one will Justify be? Only time will tell but I will make him prove to me that he can do what his bloodlines says he can not do against G1 competition.
These are the known runners that is still pointing for the derby. There are several good ones that will fly under the radar and you will get good odds. There are several others that will be overbet and ripe to take a stance against. But the final decision will be yours whether you want to try to make a little or make a lot with just a few dollars risked. I personally normally bet a lot(for me) but as always, will only include the few horses I think will have the best chance of surprising. Good luck to all and hopes this helps.
submitted by hodsct59 to horseracing [link] [comments]

Sports Betting For Illinois Residents. Sports betting for our Illinois residents has taken on different meanings over the past few years. For over 25 years, sports fans in the Land of Lincoln were unable to find local Illinois sportsbooks to accept sports wagers. The American Gaming Association (AGA), the gaming industry’s leading lobbying firm in DC, says the expansion of legal sports betting in the United States has resulted in illegal bookies taking Illinois’ impending sports betting launch coincides with national Problem Gambling Awareness Month. It also happens to fall in the heart of tax season, and yes, Uncle Sam gets a cut of the action. Yes, land-based sports betting is legal in Illinois. The Prairie State legalized sports betting in 2019 and since then, major casinos like the Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joilet and the Hollywood Casino Aurora have been offering full-service land-based sports betting to all tourists and residents. Sports wagering is nothing new. But in the U.S., the practice has generally been illegal outside of a few specific venues. That changed last year when the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. It allows states to legalize sports betting. In Illinois, there are several companies eager to enter the market.

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