Stepping Into My Future As A Football Writer

I officially became a published writer on October 11, 2011 when my article recapping the Detroit Lions‘ victory over the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football posted on the website Cold, Hard Football Facts. In my head I was always a writer but even in the internet age when instant publishing became the norm for thousands, I hadn’t come to the point of taking the step of writing for publication.

It wasn’t until I was out of work for the first time in over 13 years in a very unfriendly job market that opportunity knocked me as silly as Frank Gifford felt after being annihilated by Chuck Bednarik.

I was reading the latest articles on the Cold, Hard Football Facts site when one of the headers caught my attention. They were looking for fans who would be interested in covering their favorite teams as beat writers. Each would contribute a game preview and recap article for publication each week using the site’s Quality Stats as the basis for analysis.

I was, and still am, a long-time fan of the Chicago Bears (no, I will not tell you how long-time). I not only followed them on the field but consumed every scrap of information I could find about the team’s history. That passion to learn the game quickly extended to other areas from the intricacies of its play to the history of all of professional football and it’s teams.

I had nothing to show my ability as a writer except the copy I had produced as part of my responsibilities in my previous job along with the email I sent expressing my interest in being a part of the team. Kerry Byrne, founder and publisher of Cold, Hard Football Facts, took a chance on me anyway and for that I’ll always be grateful.

The catch was that he already had a writer covering the Bears beat, but he needed someone to write about the then 4-0 Detroit Lions. Their next game, which would be the basis for my debut article, was their first appearance on Monday Night Football in a decade…against the Chicago Bears.

My postgame recap article (How About Them Lions? 5 Things We Learned) picked up over 1,000 page views and I was hooked. The following week the Bears beat opened up which I jumped at, but with the Lions playing at a level Detroit hadn’t seen for a decade I continued to write previews and recaps for their games as well.

Later in the season I began contributing to the Football Nation site and now, close to two years later, I’ve published 200+ articles for both. While I look forward to writing and publishing with them for them for a long time to come I felt it was time to begin a separate blog site.

There are short pieces, one or two paragraphs long, of thoughts or opinions I would like to write that wouldn’t fit as well, or achieve much visibility on Football Nation. This page gives me a forum where those articles can be presented.

Also, while my complete list of my articles are archived, they are separated between the Football Nation and CHFF sites. This blog currently links to 90 of those articles and, as soon as it can be accomplished, will link to all of my work, along with new articles as soon as they’re published.

One added benefit to setting up this site is I’ve revisited work I haven’t read in a long time. While I gave my best effort to make every article the best it could be, I can see now how I could have improved each one. My hope is, in another two years I’ll be looking at the articles I publish this year and be saying the same thing.

There is only one reason why I would ever leave writing behind me for other pursuits. If I ever look at my work and believe I’ve made it. That I’ve achieved a mix of style, rhythm and language use that I could in no way improve upon. In other words, I’ll never stop writing.

The Greatest NFL Undefeated Teams of All-Time

The Greatest NFL Undefeated Teams of All-Time

In the NFL record book there are two categories of streaks, Most Consecutive Games Won and Most Consecutive Games without Defeat, which acknowledges an NFL era when ties were a more common occurrence.

Completing an undefeated season is the Holy Grail for NFL teams and only one has attained it. To remind fans  of their accomplishment, that 1972 Miami Dolphins team pops open the bubbly to toast their achievement every season when the final undefeated challenger has fallen.

In 2015, five teams entered Week 7 without a loss, the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers.

Carolina endured as the last team standing until they stumbled to a 20-13 Week 16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons which halted their season-long march at 15. That number puts the Panthers second in the NFL record book for most consecutive games won in a single season but falls short of the remarkable streaks put together by the following teams. These are the greatest NFL undefeated teams of all-time…

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 7 of the 2015 NFL Season!

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 7 of the 2015 NFL Season!

Nostrathomas is fighting off a lingering cold that he didn’t see coming so the Week 7 picks are late, but they’re finished. They’re also in before the Bills and Jaguars kick off in London so the season record is still documented.

Because time is tight the game capsules won’t be written as detailed this week but it’s the thought that counts and that’s still here. First, a quick review of Thursday night’s prediction before heading into the bulk of the Week 7 schedule.

Thursday Night Football

Seattle Seahawks -6.5 @ San Francisco 49ers

Nostrathomas summed up this game in the first paragraph of his prediction, “Against the Ravens Colin Kaepernick threw for a 10.9 Real Passing Yards per Attempt average and posted a 128.2 Passer Rating. The drawback to that impressive showing is Baltimore has given up a boatload of yards through the air this season, Seattle has not.”…

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 6 of the 2015 NFL Season!

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 6 of the 2015 NFL Season!

It’s been a rough week in that part of Nostrathomas’ life called reality but the predictions for the entire Week 6 schedule are finally here.

That adds up to 54-23 straight-up and a strong 44-31-1 against the spread. Enjoy the Week 6 picks and remember, these picks are for entertainment purposes only (unless you win).

Thursday Night

Atlanta Falcons -3.5 @ New Orleans Saints

Two fumbles on two consecutive possessions deep inside New Orleans territory and a special teams blunder prevented Atlanta from taking a lead into halftime. Drew Brees then used tight end Ben Watson to shred the Falcons’ defense in the second half…

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 6 of the 2015 NFL Season!

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 6 of the 2015 NFL Season!

It’s been a rough week in that part of Nostrathomas’ life called reality but the predictions for the entire Week 6 schedule are finally here.

 

That adds up to 54-23 straight-up and a strong 44-31-1 against the spread. Enjoy the Week 6 picks and remember, these picks are for entertainment purposes only (unless you win).

Thursday Night

Atlanta Falcons -3.5 @ New Orleans Saints

Two fumbles on two consecutive possessions deep inside New Orleans territory and a special teams blunder prevented Atlanta from taking a lead into halftime. Drew Brees then used tight end Ben Watson to shred the Falcons’ defense in the second half…

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 5 of the 2015 NFL Season!

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 5 of the 2015 NFL Season!

Sometimes you gets the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. Nostrathomas had solid results straight-up last week, 9-6, but got roughed up a bit against the spread, 5-8-1, his first sub-.500 week against the spread this season. Still, a documented 44-19 straight-up and 36-25-1 against the spread in 2015 is a record that Nostrathomas will put up against any pigskin pickers in the business.

As always these predictions are for entertainment purposes only. Never bet more than you can afford to lose and never lose more than you’re able to win.

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 4 of the 2015 NFL Season!

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 4 of the 2015 NFL Season!

Nostrathomas, seer of Sayers, was feeling a correction in the force during the early games last Sunday but recovered in fine fashion to finish 13-3 straight-up and 10-6 against the spread, the third straight week that Nostrathomas has finished .500 or better against the house this season.

Record for the year is now 35-13 straight-up and 31-17 against the spread.

Week 4 is the first bye week of the season. The New England Patriots take a break from the Belichick/Brady screw Goodell and the NFL tour while the Tennessee Titans reflect back on the first three weeks of the Marcus Mariota era.

As always these predictions are for entertainment purposes only. If you lose money you have only yourself to blame and should have listened to your mother about the evils of gambling. If you win, Nostrathomas reminds you that soothsaying is tough, thirsty work and beer ain’t exactly cheap these days.

Thursday Night

Baltimore Ravens -3 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The Ravens are 0-3 but favored on the road against their AFC North rival. The Steelers hold the statistical edge against Baltimore but that was with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback…

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 3 of the NFL Season!

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 3 of the NFL Season!

Considering that favorites were dropping all over the NFL in Week 2 Nostrathomas was thrilled to finish the week 9-7 straight-up and 8-8 against the spread. Record for the 2015 season is now 22-10 straight-up and 21-11 against the spread.

Week 3 presents nine teams that will be attempting to stay undefeated, nine that will be attempting to win their first game of 2015 and a few that will try to keep their playoff dreams from dying until the leaves fall.

Remember, as always these predictions are for entertainment purposes only. If you lose money you have only yourself to blame and should have listened to your mother about the evils of gambling. If you win Nostrathomas reminds you that generosity is food for the soul…

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 2 of the NFL Season

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 2 of the NFL Season

Who the man? Nostrathomas the man! Nostrathomas can talk big after going 13-3 both straight-up and against the spread in Week 1.

As for this week, everyone starts Week 2 back at 0-0, unless you missed on Thursday night’s game, which, in that case you start 0-1

Thursday Night

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs -3

Nostrathomas had no faith in Peyton Manning’s ability to win in Kansas City after his dismal performance against the Ravens. Even though Manning put up 256-yards passing and an 86.9 Passer Rating, Nostrathomas stands by that analysis. Manning was shot-putting passes all night. (Are receivers allowed to call for fair catches?)…

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 1 Review and Start of Week 2

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 1 Review and Start of Week 2

All you fans who have spent the past few days out of sight while counting your Week 1 winnings, welcome to Week 2. Nostrathomas rode the fumes of freshly fermented beer to a 13-3 record both straight up and against the spread. The were a few events that were cloudy and hard to see going into last weekend but nothing is invisible where hindsight is concerned…

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 1 of the NFL Season

Nostrathomas Predicts: Week 1 of the NFL Season

The 2015 NFL season is ready to kick off and the great Nostrathomas is ready to take on the challenge of predicting the outcome of every game from Week 1 to the Super Bowl after years spent meditating in the basement of a local hardware store.

While some seers use crystal balls, others are entranced by tea leaves, and a minority swear by stirring through used coffee grounds, Nostrathomas sifts through beer vat leavings. The powerful visions these produce, along with Quality Stats from Cold, Hard Football Facts, and other information nuggets are fused to create the insights found below.

Remember, these predictions are for entertainment purposes only. If you lose money you have only yourself to blame and should have listened to your mother about the evils of gambling. If you win Nostrathomas encourages sharing as a way to enlightenment.

Thursday Night

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots -7.5

Since the news hit that Tom Brady’s suspension had been overturned and he would be starting Week 1 against the Steelers the axles on the Patriots’bandwagon have been bent so far they’re scraping the road. The storyline, be afraid NFL because Brady is about to rip you a new one is everywhere…