Charles Tillman

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL? I said are you ready for some FOOTBALL? You must be living under a rock if you aren’t ready for Super Bowl 50. Its Super Bowl weekend folks and you’re probably asking yourself, ailment who, sovaldi sale what, search where, when and why. Don’t worry we have you covered (Sorry, Bears fans; maybe next year).

First check out this INCREDIBLE video trailer that the NFL produced to get you excited about this Sunday’s game. It literally gave me chills!

Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos (Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST on CBS) could be one of the more entertaining Super Bowls in recent history. There are tons of storylines, super star quarterbacks, and more to absorb before Sunday’s kickoff. We breakdown a few that you should know, or pretend to know at your overindulgent Super Bowl party.

Here we go!

The Match Up:

The Panthers-Broncos matchup marks the second time in Super Bowl history that the No. 1 scoring offense will play the No. 1 scoring defense. You might remember this from two years ago, the Broncos had the top scoring offense and the Seahawks had the top scoring defense. We all know that didn’t favor or help the Broncos in that game.

Cam vs. Peyton:

These two quarterbacks could not be more different, and many media outlets have been pushing this as a major storyline. So if you take away anything from this post, it’s Cam vs. Peyton. Let’s break it down.

First there is Peyton Manning. At 39 years young, he is a legend hands down. He is an amazing pocket passer, even though he isnt very mobile he can still make the big play. Manning is the classic NFL quarterback of the past; he is beyond gracious and VERY marketable.

Next up the young bun Cam Newton at 26, he can crush your team with both passing and running. He is known for his “dabbing” in the end zone, giving away footballs to young children, and his off the wall style; the exact opposite of Manning.

Many are reporting that Manning has told his inner circle that Super Bowl 50 will be his final game. Newton’s NFL ride is just launching.  If the Panthers win on Sunday this would make Newton the first quarterback in history to win and Super Bowl, a college championship and the Heisman Trophy. Many predict Newton is a shoe in for the NFL MVP as well; no other quarterback has won all four of those as well.

The media is only adding more fuel to the comparison and contrasting of these two QB’s, expect tons more stories to come out on these two before kickoff on Sunday.

The Broncos:

  • Denver’s defense has two big beasts in Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware they are ruthless rushers who will be vital in containing Cam Newton and his running ability. Look out for Denver’s defensive mastermind Wade Phillips, he may be old school, but he isnt clueless.
  • Receiver Demaryius Thomas is another key for the Broncos to pull off the upset (Vegas has the Panthers as six point favorites). If he can help get some of the pressure off Manning the Broncos have an excellent shot.
  • A win would make Manning the oldest winning quarterback in Super Bowl history, but the legendary signal-caller is showing his age in a major way. Manning will be tasked more with managing the game then putting the team on his shoulders and winning it all by himself.

The Panthers:

  • Carolina has jumped out to HUGE leads in both of their playoff games. They led Seattle by 31 points at halftime, and led Arizona by 17 points at halftime of the NFC Championship. I don’t think that Denver will dig itself a whole that deep. The Panthers however, want to continue that trend.
  • Carolina’s offense is the best in the NFL and soaring, its defense resembles the walking wounded. Cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Bene Benwikere are out with season-ending injuries, other key players are doubtful for Super Bowl 50 or their injuries have slowed them down, BIG TIME. However these two names need to be in your arsenal on Sunday, linebacker Luke Kuechly and cornerback Josh Norman, they are the Panthers best on defense and will have an immediate impact on the outcome of this game.
  • Newton is assumed to be named league MVP, however he is not the only reason that Carolina is the NFL’s top scoring offense. Ted Ginn Jr. caught 10 regular-season touchdowns, Jonathan Stewart is a bulldozer on the running game, and Greg Olsen has been LIGHT OUT at the tight end position. The Panthers averaged 31.3 points per game this season, but Denver’s tough defense will knock that average down a few notches on Sunday.

The Bottom Line:

Manning is a legend, but this is now Cam Newton’s league and his coming out party will be Sunday. Denver’s defense will be tough, but Newton will rise to the occasion. Panthers 24- Broncos 21

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The rumors are true my friends, pharm six weeks ago my future husband and I relocated to Charlotte, NC, and I am now required to love all things Charlotte, including the Panthers. How can this be?! I bleed the Blue and Orange, I love Black and Blue football, I can’t lose my identify and cheer for an NFC South team?! Is that even respectable division?! The answer is… Oh hell to the yes; it houses the best team in the NFL the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers destroyed the Atlanta Falcons last week 38-0, and they are a lucky 13-0 on the season, and secured a first round bye. You are probably wondering why the hell you should care about the Panthers. Well if Sunday’s crushing Bears (5-8) loss dashed your hopes of the playoffs its ok to get on another bandwagon, especially one that has many familiar former Bear faces.

First let’s start with the Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. Riverboat Ron as he is called down here in the South should sound familiar. Rivera was one of the key factors in the Bears 1985 Super Bowl Championship team, and Rivera was the Bears defensive coordinator for the 2004- 2006 Bears teams. I am not sure if you remember those defenses but they were top five in the league each season. Not sure, how he slipped through our hands.

With injuries depleting their pass rush, the Panthers acquired some much-needed aid early this season. The Bears traded away pass rusher Jared Allen to them, for a sixth round 2016 draft pick. Not a lot eh? You are right. Allen never found his groove in Chicago.  However, I don’t think the Bears really set him up for success.

Charles “Peanut” Tillman, this one stings, the Bears drafted Tillman in the second round of the 2003 draft; he played twelve seasons with the Bears. He was selected to two Pro Bowls and was the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2013. Peanut was/is beloved by everyone in Chicago. His cover skills and ability to force fumbles is something the Bears are lacking this year. The Bears decided not to sign Peanut this past off-season and the Panthers took a chance on him. Even though Peanut hasn’t had a fantastic year, you can see how his leadership and experience has ignited this young Panthers team. Let’s face it we ALL miss the PEANUT PUNCH!

Greg Olsen is still a Bears trade that pisses me off. I can say that because it is true. We gave up on him, and it hurts my heart. The Bears drafted Olsen in the first round of the 2007 draft. The years Olsen spent with the Bears are when the offensive coordinator job had a revolving door at Halas Hall. How can one succeed, with a pile of crap that they are handed?  I really loved the Cutler/Olsen combination in 2009 and beyond. Let’s face it quality tight-ends are hard to find, and we had a beast. However, then in 2011 we traded him away to Carolina for a third round pick in the 2012 draft. Every year since his trade Olsen has gotten better and this season is Cam Newton’s number one target. He has set Panthers records for career receiving years and receptions for a tight end. One additional note, is that Olsen and his wide Kara stated The Greg Olsen Foundation in 2009, which helps fund cancer research.  Greg’s mother is a cancer survivor and is the inspiration for his foundation.

One of his fundraising events includes Kicks for a Cure Kickball Tournament, the world’s largest charity kickball tournament. The large scale event is held annually each summer in Chicago’s Grant Park and hosts over 1,000 people. Kickball teams compete and have fun in an effort to raise money for cancer research. If you haven’t attended this event I HIGHLY recommend it, it is a blast and raises money for an amazing cause.

One Panther that wasn’t a Bear (we can only dream), but we can’t talk Panthers without mentioning him is Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. I have had the pleasure of watching Newton grow in this league and this year I love him even more. He is, in my mind a “done deal” for NFL MVP, he continues to get better every game. You might not like his Dab Swagger, but the guy can play and continues to throw up monster numbers week after week.

Even though the Bears season is shat to hell.. this is a bandwagon you shouldn’t feel guilty jumping on especially if you refer to them as Bears 2.0. Up next for the Panthers are the New York Giants on Sunday at noon, can they make it 14-0?! #BearDown #KeepPounding

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(Let me preface this post by telling you that I was once a young girl in love and experienced domestic abuse first hand.  It was both physical and mental in nature. The rest of the details surrounding the situation do not need to be elaborated on or described to you the reader, patient in great detail as my story is not the forefront of the article – however, viagra it is important for you to gain context as to why this article was difficult for me to write yet I felt compelled to do so.) 

To start, patient I would like to address the Baltimore Ravens’ former RB, Ray Rice.  Ray, it saddens me that you find it necessary to hit your then fiancé, now wife. Is your self-esteem that low that you have to bring her down to your level? (That’s so hard for me to wrap my head around, seeing as you are an NFL football star.)  Did you do it to make her feel worthless, like she is dependent upon you for survival?  Or were you just so mad at her that you had to teach her a lesson?  Because in all the lessons I’ve learned, violence is never the answer.  The details surrounding what exactly what caused that incident in the elevator beyond the video will never be known to the general public but it doesn’t make the abuse you inflicted on her any less real.

Janay, I understand your frustrations about this video and abuse being made public.  Abuse is humiliating regardless of whether or not it is the public eye.  However, your husband is a public figure and role model to many.  While this might temporarily destroy your life, maybe it will also bring help and shed light on abuse for others.  It might also save you from a lifetime of heartache – you can’t fix him or change him.  The only person who can help Ray Rice is Ray Rice.

To those taking it upon themselves to belittle and shame Janay Rice for staying with her husband after she was hit in the elevator, I am guessing you must be confused by the mental psyche of victims of domestic abuse. I strongly suggest you hop on Twitter and check out the hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft to gain better context as to what happens to victims of violence.  Maybe you should even do a little informal research on domestic abuse – I’ve provided you with some links here:

National Domestic Violence Hotline 

What is domestic violence? 

CDC: National Data on Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking

Women don’t stay because they’re stupid. Many stay because they’re scared. Empower them, don’t berate them.  We should be a community that loves and supports one another – not one that makes the victims feel even more isolated.

Now on to football…

I love sports and there’s nothing I love more than talking smack to a bunch of dudes when my favorite team has won a sporting match (and I can actually keep up with their conversation).  Hence why I love my blogging post at SDI – I have the opportunity to inform and educate the masses of female fans who want to be a part of the conversation surrounding professional sports.

The NFL has taken a notice to fans like (you know, female) and taken aggressive marketing measures to ensure that we feel a part in the football fandom.  I’m pumped when I see pink cleats and gloves on the field to support breast cancer in October.  I even get excited when I see the commercials geared towards women who love the game.  However at this point, I really wonder why these initiatives are in place.  If the NFL is really interested in female fans, it wouldn’t have initially condoned and covered up Ray Rice’s actions.

Simply put – the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and league are solely interested in profit – from both male and female fans.  The masses that are outraged by Ray Rice’s actions and the reaction from the league have all forgotten that professional football too, is a business. The question is, will you the fan keep watching?

The Commish in the hot seat.

The Commish in the hot seat.

My takeaway from the whole fiasco is that the NFL doesn’t love the female fan – it loves the dollar signs. Shame on you NFL for allowing these types of behaviors and shame on me for believing you cared about fans like me.

SDI community, thanks for reading this.  Ray Rice, I hope you get the help you need.  Janay, I hope you find it in yourself to love yourself more than Ray ever will. Roger and the NFL front office, I hope you go home and look at your own little girls tonight and hug them a little harder.  I’m sure you would prefer jail time over the initial 2-game suspension given if someone had laid a hand on your little girl and I’m positive you would have NEVER turned a blind eye to the entire tape.

As for me? Until further notice, I will continue to be a fan of the Chicago Bears Football organization (note that our team is full of great role models who stand up for causes – I’m looking at you Brandon Marshall and Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman) but my love for the NFL as a whole is slightly tarnished.

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Bootcamp broadcasting.ashx

There’s been a recent trend in professional sports as more and more professional athletes return to the game as broadcasters and analysts. Some are naturals that seamlessly make the transition others, cialis well…not so much.

This week the NFL hosted it’s seventh annual “NFL Broadcast Boot Camp” where members of NFL affiliated networks help educate and prepare current and former NFL players into the world of sports broadcasting.  It got me thinking about which Chicago Bears would make great broadcasters? Here’s what I came up with.

Brian Urlacher – This distinguished Bears linebacker recently retired, generic probably

From Basketfootball.com

bumming a lot of Chicago fans out. But, I don’t think he will be hiding during his retirement.

When Urlacher officially announced his retirement he was asked if he would consider a job in television….and he said yes!

The leader of a team for a decade will always have things to say; whether it’s motivation or the straight up facts. I love commentators that say it like it is. Although, he will need to work on being a little more facially animated. Otherwise people might be too scared – or bored – to watch him.

Jay Cutler – Yes, this sassy dude would probably be great on-camera. Quarterback Jay Cutler receives lots of attention and flack for some football performances and his aloof attitude, but I think he takes all the criticism with a grain of salt.

During the season Cutler participates in “Waddle and Silvy: The Jay Cutler Show” on ESPN 1000. If you haven’t heard it, it’s actually pretty funny. Although you won’t get dish on Kristin Cavallari (or Mrs. Cutler now) but you will get cheeky commentary on the Bears and football. Actually, I think Cutler and Marshall would even make a cute segment together. Seeing as they have amazing chemistry on the field, I can only imagine being a fly on the wall for a conversation between the two.

From CBSSports.com

Brandon Marshall – This Pro Bowl wide receiver would by far be my number one choice for the best future sports broadcaster. I don’t have to know him personally to see that he’s a hardworking guy that knows when to make a joke.

In December, the guy brought a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to a press conference to as a comparison to the Bears’ season that was slipping away. What’s not to love? Marshall already has some on-air experience, occasionally during the football season, this Bears wide receiver helps WSCR The Score host Laurence Holmes breakdown film tape on NBC Chicago Sports. Oh, and Marshall does have some pretty snazzy style.

 

Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman – Known for his defensive prowess, Charles Tillman could probably be a charming TV host or news anchor. Tillman is extremely well-spoken, uses much more sophisticated words than normal football players, and is a humble leader.

I’m not sure if he was any television experience, but he does have great articulation during interviews. He was recently ranked the 34th best player in the NFL by NFL Network’s “The Top 100 Players of 2013.” Off the field, I love that Tillman is so active on Twitter with the fans and followers. Always good for a laugh once in a while..

 

 

Ladies, what do you think?

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Nothing like a 51-20 road game blow-out to boost egos and build momentum before life becomes difficult for the Bears. The Bears crushed the (3-6) Tennessee Titans today in a 51-20 defensive rout. All squads of the team came together for the shellacking that was incredibly fun to watch.  But, once again, it was the Bear’s defense that stole the show forcing 6 fumbles, 4 of which were returned for defensive touchdowns, leaving fans to ask, “is this the best Bear’s defense in franchise history?”

If somehow you missed the game today, (we get it – it was gorgeous out) here’s what you need to know to avoid being the only person NOT re-hashing this defensive spectacle.

What You Need to Know:

  • For once, the Bears got things started early in the 1st quarter, but this time they simply didn’t stop. Only minutes into the game, the Bears blocked a Titan’s punt that was picked up by Corey Wooton who ran it in for the TD.  Within the first quarter, the Bears forced THREE turnovers, scoring on two of them. But the defensive highlight of the game came minutes later when good ole’ #54, Brian Urlacher, intercepted Titan’s QB, Matt Hasselbeck for a 46 yard TD.  Urlacher’s “pick six” is the 7th defensive touchdown for the Bear’s this season.  AMAZING.
  • No question, the MVP of the game was none other than cornerback, Charles “Peanut” Tillman.  After being named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month in October, Tillman just keeps getting better as the season progresses.  Tillman caused 4 fumbles by “Peanut Punching” the ball out of the Titan’s hands and creating turnovers that the Bears capitalized on.

    Charles “Peanut” Tillman

  • Offensively, the Bear’s looked incredibly better than last week, where they struggled against the Panthers up until the 4th quarter.  The Cutler/Marshall bromance was in full bloom with Jay Cutler connecting with Marshall for 3 touchdown passes.  Marshall had a huge game with 9 catches, 122 yards and 3 touchdowns and was in his element making big plays and fancy catches, just like a diva wide receiver should.
  • The Bears essentially shut down Titan’s star running back, Chris Johnson who was held to only 141 yards and 1 TD which came in the 4th quarter after the Bears had already hit 51 points.

    Brandon Marshall

Your Take Away Piece:

“What more can one say about the Bear’s defense? Hands down, the best in the NFL! Finally, we got to see the capabilities of the offense.  However, even with 3 TDs and 229 yards, Cutler still could’ve done more as he was up against a horrible opposing defense.”

What’s Next:

The Bears will need to milk this win because the next few will not come easily.  The Bears will face the (7-1) Houston Texans at home on Sunday night in Sunday Night Football.  By far, the Texans will be the toughest opponent the Bears have seen since their embarrassing loss to the Packers on Thursday night in Week 2.  The Bear’s schedule only gets tougher as the season continues with the Packers and the 49ers waiting next.  Buckle in Bears fans! It’s going to be an exciting albeit tough road ahead to the playoffs.

 

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Photo Credit: Kiichiro Sato/AP

It wasn’t very pretty, here but the Bears got it done on Monday Night Football with a 13-7 win over divisional rivals, help the Detroit Lions.  In what almost turned into a shutout, online the Bear’s defense stifled Lion’s quarterback, Matt Stafford and Lion’s receiver, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, holding Stafford to only one late game touchdown and the massive wide receiver to only three catches.   The Bears are now 5-1 and lead the NFC North with the 3rd best record in the NFL.  Yep, you read that right, the Bears are legit and absolutely need to be on your cultural radar as we near the midpoint of the NFL season.

What You Need to Know:

  • The Bears were coming off a 15-day bye week break since their last win in Jacksonville on October 7th, leaving many to worry (including us) that they would show up rusty and fall back to the inconsistent offensive ways.  But, from the Bear’s opening drive that resulted in a 39-yard carry by running back, Matt Forte that set up a touchdown pass from Cutler to Brandon Marshall, we quickly saw that wasn’t the case.
  • The Bear’s offense looked solid in the first half with Cutler converting 3rd downs and being careful with the football, connecting to his favorite target, Brandon Marshall, often.  Cutler was sacked five times by an aggressive Lion’s defensive line, but managed to hold on to the ball and did not give up any turnovers. Overall, Cutler seemed comfortable in the pocket in the first half of the game, and was given plenty of time to make decisions, thanks to the strong pass rush by the offensive line.

    Ndamukong Suh, Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

  • Right before the half, Cutler was taken down in a vicious (but legal) body slam move by notorious Lion’s bad boy lineman, Ndamukong Suh (pronounced IN-DAM-UN-KIN SOO – a must know).  Cutler laid on the field, face down, for a few moments while flashbacks of last season’s epic collapse caused by Cutler’s season-ending hand injury certainly entered every Bear’s fan’s mind.   Cutler left the game with just a few seconds left and headed into the locker room, while back-up QB, Jason Campbell came into the game.
  • Cutler’s hard hit clearly changed the pace of the offense in the 2nd half as the Bear’s defense took over as the playmakers.  The Bear’s wouldn’t score another touchdown for the remainder of the game.  The Bear’s D capitalized on sloppy play by the Lion’s offense, forcing turnovers by creating fumbles and intercepting.

    Calvin Johnson, Photo Credit: Getty

  • Extremely buzz-worthy was the Bear’s ability to shut down Lion’s star wide receiver, Calvin Johnson. At 6’5″, the guy is a beast and normally tough to cover.  But Bear’s cornerback, Charles “Peanut” Tillman, with the help of the Bear’s secondary, did an excellent job, breaking up passes intended for Johnson and making the early season fantasy favorite look like a flop.

Your take Away Piece:  

“Once again, the Bears came together as a team to get the win.  The offense was clicking in the first half, earlier than normal, but the hard hit on Cutty by Suh before the half clearly shook things up for him and resulted in a pointless second half.  Thankfully, the trusty D took over in the 2nd and prevented the Lions from a late-game rally that they’re known for.”

What’s Next:

The Bears now lead the NFC North at 5-1 and are the 3rd best team in the NFL with a .833 winning percentage (the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans are #1 and #2).  A quick turnaround for the Bears this week as they face the struggling (1-5) Carolina Panthers led by QB Cam Newton on Sunday back at Soldier Field.  Check back in on Friday for our Panthers vs. Bears cheat sheet.

 

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