Power Ranking Rumblings: Week 6

Hello and welcome back for another week of us critiquing everyone’s favorite sports channel to hate, ESPN! Every week ESPN posts NFL Power Rankings that are generally terrible but not as bad as the commentary they provide to the rankings. So Jesse and I decided it is our duty to endlessly mock the low effort that ESPN put forth.

This year we are doing things a bit different by providing ESPN’s commentary right here on the blog with our personal commentary right below so you don’t have to click between the two articles. But for those of you who want to see the actual rankings, feel free to check them out here:

Week 6 NFL Power Rankings: And your playoff chances are…

And thanks for tuning in. Enjoy!

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Power Ranking Rumblings: Week 5

Hello and welcome back for another week of us critiquing everyone’s favorite sports channel to hate, ESPN! Every week ESPN posts NFL Power Rankings that are generally terrible but not as bad as the commentary they provide to the rankings. So Jesse and I decided it is our duty to endlessly mock the low effort that ESPN put forth.

This year we are doing things a bit different by providing ESPN’s commentary right here on the blog with our personal commentary right below so you don’t have to click between the two articles. But for those of you who want to see the actual rankings, feel free to check them out here:

Week 5 NFL Power Rankings: Your defense looks…

And thanks for tuning in. Enjoy!

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Power Ranking Rumblings: Week 4

Hello and welcome back for another week of us critiquing everyone’s favorite sports channel to hate, ESPN! Every week ESPN posts NFL Power Rankings that are generally terrible but not as bad as the commentary they provide to the rankings. So Jesse and I decided it is our duty to endlessly mock the low effort that ESPN put forth.

This year we are doing things a bit different by providing ESPN’s commentary right here on the blog with our personal commentary right below so you don’t have to click between the two articles. But for those of you who want to see the actual rankings, feel free to check them out here:

Week 4 NFL Power Rankings: Let’s talk about your QB

And thanks for tuning in. Enjoy!

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Power Ranking Rumblings: Week 3

Hello and welcome back for another week of us critiquing everyone’s favorite sports channel to hate, ESPN! Every week ESPN posts NFL Power Rankings that are generally terrible but not as bad as the commentary they provide to the rankings. So Jesse and I decided it is our duty to endlessly mock the low effort that ESPN put forth.

This week we are doing things a bit different by providing ESPN’s commentary right here on the blog with our personal commentary right below so you don’t have to click between the two articles. But for those of you who want to see the actual rankings, feel free to check them out here:

Week 3 NFL Power Rankings: Let’s be optimistic

And thanks for tuning in. Enjoy!

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Power Ranking Ramblings: Week 2

(Disclaimer: most of what you see below was written a year ago, when we first started doing these rankings. We didn’t see the need to completely rewrite it from scratch just because it’s a new season. We aren’t lazy. You’re lazy!)

Welcome back for another year of Power Ranking Ramblings! The rankings that we crank out every week are identical in order to the nonsensical ones that ESPN spews out every week. This is partly because creating power rankings from scratch is a painstakingly lengthy process and Kevin gave me the death glare when I suggested that we come up with our own. However, the main reason we do it that way is because ESPN’s rankings are… well, they are just awful. You will seldom come across something as overly biased and ill-conceived as ESPN’s opinion on who the best teams in the league are. And it’s a lot of fun to call them out on this, so the point of our rankings is to rip on ESPN’s version as much as possible.

Or at least that’s how it started. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but it was a fairly abysmal first week of action for the NFL. Bad officiating, bad games and most importantly, bad teams. So while making fun of the Worldwide Leader in Sports and its rampant stupidity is always a good time, we can scarcely allow the league’s overall mediocrity to skid by unscathed.

Feel free to check out ESPN’s rankings here:

Week 2 NFL Power Rankings: Overreaction edition

And thanks for tuning in. Enjoy!

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Paul Millsap is a Game-Changer for the Nuggets

As a kid, if you ever had dinner with your extended family on Thanksgiving or Christmas, then you know the drill. Adults and teens get to sit at the big table, while you get relegated to the kids table with maybe a sibling and a couple of your cousins. Not that there’s anything wrong with the kids table. It’s about your height and you don’t have a clue what those adults are talking about anyway, but it’s clear that you aren’t deemed ready to move up until the adults say you are.

Going after NBA free agents is kind of like that. Some teams have no intention of pursuing top players on the market, but the ones that do and are unsuccessful learn a harsh lesson very quickly: until those players take an interest in your team and are ready to sit down with you, there’s no way you’re moving up from the kids table. That’s the reality of doing business in a league where the stars run the show. 

That’s been the Nuggets’ reality for basically their entire existence, and an obstacle they’ve spent the last few years trying like hell to overcome. During an offseason where superstars believe that their manifest destiny is out west and are joining forces left and right, the Nuggets simply could not hope to compete if they struck out in free agency.

Which is why signing Paul Millsap is arguably the biggest acquisition in franchise history.

Millsap’s arrival in Denver was a homecoming of sorts. As a kid who grew up in Montbello, it was like the prodigal son had finally returned. And during his introductory pressconference at his old school, Millsap said all the right things and looked genuinely excited to be back. But it was a quote from Tim Connolly that grabbed my attention.

At one point, Connolly looked at Millsap and said, “Thank you for taking the leap of faith.”

To me, that speaks volumes. Not just because Millsap picked the Nuggets as his next team, but how Connolly acknowledged the rarity of this whole situation. He may as well have said, “Thanks for letting me have a seat at the big table, Paul. And can you please pass the turkey?”

Millsap saw something in the Nuggets, and he was willing to bet the last years of his prime on the Nuggets not just surviving the bloodbath that is the Western Conference, but on thriving. That isn’t lost on anyone. Not on the Nuggets and certainly not on the rest of the league. If Millsap’s presence turns the Nuggets into a playoff team on the rise, it won’t be the last time they are invited to the big table. 

And there’s no question that he will improve the Nuggets. Yes, they are still flawed. Yes, there are enough power forwards on the roster for the entire Northwest Division. Hopefully Connolly isn’t so starstruck by Millsap that he forgets to finish consolidating the roster, but regardless, the pride of Montbello has made the upcoming season an increasingly exciting one for Nuggets fans. And with any luck, our days of being stuck at the kids table are coming to an end.

So thanks, Paul. And hey, would you please pass the stuffing?

How the Nuggets Can Beat the Warriors in Three Years

If we learned anything from the NBA Finals, other than the fact that the Warriors won the championship the minute that Kevin Durant signed on the dotted line, it’s that the way that teams are constructed has fundamentally changed. After years of Lebron James recruiting his all-star friends to South Beach and Cleveland, and then the Warriors following suit, it’s pretty obvious that the era of the superteam is not going away anytime soon.

The top players in the NBA know that they can’t hope to take down Golden State without a star-studded supporting cast. That gives guys like Chris Paul a lot of leverage when they hit free agency, because the team they choose to sign with will look a lot more attractive down the line to future free agents.

And that’s tricky for the Nuggets, because they’ve always had a difficult time convincing marquee players to break bread with them. While the rumored meeting with Paul this summer and the actual meeting with Dwyane Wade last summer is a sign that things could be changing on that front, there’s no way the Nuggets will ever sell any big time free agents on Denver, right? Building a superteam here is a pipe dream. Or is it…

I’ve been pestering Kevin lately with a variety of ways that the Nuggets can do just that. And while some paths are more viable than others, I enjoy presenting him with as many of them as possible. If you can’t text your friend in the middle of the workday about your next idea for turning the Nuggets into a superpower, then why have friends or run a blog with one of them?

And it turns out we have enough material for a column. Take a look at all my clever plots, followed by Kevin’s reactions.

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