Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Screw StubHub, get out your guitar

Saints Tight End Jimmy Graham Grants Christmas Wish After Hearing Teen's Catchy Tune
www.thepostgame.com

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has won many fans this season. But perhaps none greater than 16-year-old Alex Newman. The New Orleans native learned about football from her dad when she was only 8, and she was instantly hooked on her home team. Dad also taught her the guitar, and this Christmas, Alex decided to put those skills to use crafting a tribute to her favorite Saint. On Saturday morning, Stella woke her big sister to tell her some big news. The video made its way to Graham, who made sure the girls got tickets to Monday night’s game against the Falcons.

I'm totally jealous of this 16-year old girl. This never worked on Lita Ford or Dokken when I tried it on them back in the day.

This guy could teach sports fans a thing or two

After leg amputation, QB’s spirit inspires even Tebow
rivals.yahoo.com

“The doctors told me a couple times that I wasn’t going to get amputated, so I was feeling pretty good until Friday,” Rainey, who has received a signed, personalized Alabama jersey from Nick Saban, among other gifts, told the AP. “I don’t remember a lot, but I just remember them telling me it was going to get amputated and I was just like, `All right, well, that sucks.”’

This story has been out there a few days thanks to Tim Tebow.  Props to Tebow for taking an interest.

You've got to love the kid's reaction to his situation.  I've seen worse reactions (me included) to a Broncos loss.

Not only does this story keep sports in the proper perspective, it gives me a new mantra after the Broncos fall in a close game:  "All right, well, that sucks."

One of the coolest things you’ll ever see

Video: Bengals’ Jerome Simpson pulls off the TD flip of the decade
sports.yahoo.com

Best flip since Gerald Willhite:

Hue Jackson wants you to believe Al Davis was a prophet

Monte Poole: Oakland Raiders find a way to 'win it in the end'
www.mercurynews.com

It was enough for Jackson to invoke the late Al Davis, the man who 11 months ago promoted Hue from offensive coordinator to head coach. “The man told me, ‘Hue, we will win it in the end’ and I believe that,” Jackson said. “I don’t know how it’s going to happen. But I know this much: I truly believe in the guy who was my leader, who told me that before he passed.”

Not only do the Broncos have to contend with a pissed-off Kyle Orton, they've got Al Davis bringing his supernatural powers from beyond the grave. Since we're well versed in Davis' powers of prediction when he was alive (Jason Campbell and JaMarcus Russell immediately come to mind), it looks like a Broncos victory is in the cards.

Dude, where’s my playoff spot?

Broncos' playoff race comes down to three scenarios
www.denverpost.com

If the Broncos beat the Chiefs on Sunday, the Broncos will win the AFC West with 9-7 record, regardless of Raiders-Chargers outcome…If the Broncos lose to the Chiefs and Raiders lose to the Chargers, all three teams would have an 8-8 record. The Broncos would win on common-opponent tiebreakers…If the Broncos lose to Chiefs and the Raiders beat the Chargers, the Raiders would win the AFC West by best record (9-7). The Broncos cannot win a wild-card spot so the Broncos would be eliminated from playoffs.

Dareus plans to unleash hell

Dareus set to make good on draft day statement
www.buffalobills.com

“I’m going to make…them suffer.”  The ‘them’ Dareus was referring to were the Denver Broncos, the other NFL club that passed on him at the top of the 2011 draft board. “Denver I’ll get a chance to play them in the regular season and I’m going to make it hell for them every time I play against them.” With that opportunity now a couple of days away Dareus hasn’t changed his tune. “You always need a little fuel so that was one that helped start the fire,” he said. “I’m just going to feed off it and go out there and try to do the best I can to make that happen. I told them they’re going to pay every time I play them so that’s my goal to go out there and do that.”

“I enjoy beating Tim Tebow,” he said smiling in reference to Alabama’s win over Florida in the 2009 SEC Championship game. “He’s a good dude and everything, but it’s always good to knock somebody off the throne. The Patriots beat him last week. It’s time for us to come back out and end our season on a good note at least.”

This is a few days old, but it's good bulletin-board material.  If by "pay" Dareus means helping the Broncos clinch a playoff spot, we are in full agreement. Go get 'em, big guy. 

Want your son to get a football scholarship?  Hit him with tennis balls—really hard

Gronk Gym: How The Gronkowski Boys All Got So Good At Sports
www.thepostgame.com

When Gordy Gronkowski’s five boys were little, he used to line them up in the backyard and chuck tennis balls at them. Hard. At first, he knew, the boys would be scared. There might be some bruises. But to be good at sports, you can’t be afraid of the ball. And so the balls would come, and the boys would have to catch them. Eventually, they did.

Gordy started this when the boys were 4 years old. The boys got older. They got wiser. Their hands got softer and their skin got thicker. So Gordy started hitting the balls at them. With a racquet.

I guess I'm supposed to admire Gordy Gronkowski for this, but honestly, I'm a tad creeped out. Maybe I should be relieved he didn't go all Patches O'Houlihan on his kids and bring out a bag of wrenches.  If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge Ed Reed!

ESPN: Tebow unlikely to face competition at QB in 2012

Video: Elway's 2012 Tebow options
espn.go.com

Chris Sprow says that there are rumors that no quarterback will want to go to Denver through the draft or in free agency to compete with Tebow partly, because fans will be so much in Tebow’s favor. That is probably true. However, if a new starting-quality quarterback is brought in, it will be as the sure starter. The only way Denver will go away from Tebow is if it feels it has a better option.

Denver likely won’t have someone compete with Tebow. The Broncos are either going to be all in on Tebow or they are going to move away from him. They will not be wishy-washy here. All the indications I get is that Denver is leaning toward going with Tebow next year and it could announce its commitment toward him shortly after this season.

Once we get past Williamson's butchering of the English language, and if we assume he's not merely speculating (I know, quite a leap), he seems to be saying that Tim Tebow will be Denver's starter in 2012 from the get-go, or he won't be a Bronco at all. Williamson says a starter-type would only be brought in as the clear #1, which one could translate as either Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Andrew Luck. The only non-Tebow options the Broncos could reasonably present to their fans at this point are win-now type veterans (Manning, Brees) or the closest thing to a can't-miss prospect as there is (Luck).

Barkley going back to Cali

Merry Christmas, USC: You’re getting one more year of Matt Barkley
rivals.yahoo.com

For starters, he’ll open next season as the runaway favorite for the Heisman Trophy, with every USC passing record in his sights after a blistering finish to the 2011 campaign. He’ll succeed Luck as the undisputed No. 1 prospect in the 2013 draft, and enjoy the fruits of being the 21-year-old Face of College Football in Los Angeles.

I take no position on this.  As Tim Tebow would say, "I don't know what's in his heart."

Money? The NFL?  A Barkley craves not these things.

Jim L. Mora, just chillax, buddy

Mora: So-called tradition stops here
ucla.rivals.com

Jim L. Mora found out about the first one at UCLA - where seniors “go over the wall” to skip a day of practice - and he’s not happy about it. In fact, he made it very clear it’s one tradition that will stop the day he starts.  “It’s completely unacceptable and it will not be part of the program going forward,” he said. “It’s a privilege, not a right to play football for the UCLA Bruins. With the commitment you make when you sign on to play here, comes a commit to do what’s asked of you by your coaches on a daily basis. I can just tell you, in no uncertain terms, that that tradition will no longer be a part of tradition going forward.”

Now I know why Rahim Moore has been experiencing problems.  It's all because of this insidious "over the wall" thing!

Why so serious, Jim?  I realize Senior Skip Day is a slippery slope--skip a day of practice here, and eventually, we'll find you in an alley with a needle sticking out of your arm--but isn't it enough to simply end the tradition and move on?  Is there really the need for the over-the-top rhetoric? It's not like we're talking about a whole team of Maurice Claretts.  Just end it and it's done.  There are bigger fish to fry.  Pete Carroll didn't make USC into a powerhouse by getting all hardcore.  He did it by violating NCAA rules building strong relationships with his players.

I predict Mora is gone in three years.  He's proven before that he knows how to misapply the tough-guy shtick.  I'm just glad he didn't accept John Fox's offer to become defensive coordinator of the Broncos.