Written By Jason Voorhees
The NFL regular season ended on Sunday as the true test is set to begin.
In keeping with the theme of 2020, the NFL season has seen its share of ups and downs. 32 teams began the year with playoff aspirations dancing around in their heads. Unfortunately, 18 of those teams are are now staring in the rearview as they set up t-times at their local golf course.
With that being said, the most exciting time of the year has begun!
14 teams, 14 rosters, 1 goal. Who will be the last team standing? Which team will be the next to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. The stakes are high. The tale is set but the story is yet unfinished. As the NFL playoffs kick off this weekend...here is a preview as well as some bold predictions...get your popcorn ready!
WILD CARD ROUND
Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills
The first game of the NFL playoffs has Indy traveling to Buffalo for an exciting road matchup.
On paper, this game would appear to be a mismatch. However; no team should be taking the Colts lightly. The Bills feature the league's second ranked offense in both scoring and total yards. In contrast, Indy ranks ninth in points scored and tenth in total yards.
The Colts have the edge defensively where they were eleventh in points allowed and eighth in total yards. Buffalo was surprisingly average on that side of the ball ranking sixteenth in points allowed and fourteenth in yards.
Buffalo comes into the playoffs riding high on the heels of a stellar third season by quarterback Josh Allen. There is no secret that this team's success hinges on how Allen performs in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Indy will try and pound the ball on the ground as they try and control the clock.
While Josh Allen may be the league's most improved player, the real key to Buffalo's resurgence has been Stefon Diggs. Since week 14, Diggs has performed as the top wide receiver in the NFL. The Colts will make a game of it by trying to keep the Bill's offense on the sidelines, but in the end it will not be enough.
PREDICTION: Bills-31 Colts-27
Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans
This is the matchup I am most looking forward to in wild card weekend!
This is a heavyweight battle between two of the toughest teams in the league. The Ravens are strong on both sides of the ball and feature one of the league's most exciting players in Lamar Jackson. In the other corner sits the NFL's most slept on team in Tennessee. The disrespect is real.
The Ravens rank seventh in points scored and nineteenth in total yards. The Ravens feature the league's top rushing offense and have scored 24 TD's on the ground. Meanwhile, the Titans are third in yards and fourth in points. Tennessee is no slouch on the ground either ranking second in rushing.
The Ravens make their money on defense where they ranked 2nd in points allowed and 7th in total yards. The Titans were a little less stellar on that side of the ball. Tennessee is 24th in points and 28th in yards allowed.
A rematch of last year's divisional round matchup pits two teams that are familiar with each other. Tennessee is paced by two of the most underrated players in the league in Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill.
This one will be much closer than last year's disappointment; however, the results will be more of the same.
PREDICTION: Titans-38 Ravens-33
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
It's finally over! The Brown's playoff drought has ended folks.
In a cruel twist of fate, Cleveland has been hit with a COVID breakout and what a gut punch that is. With that being said, this game should still be a knock out drag out hard hitting contest between two bitter rivals.
The Browns are 14th in points scored and 16th in total yards. In contrast, the Steelers are 12th in points and 24th in total yards. The Browns feature the league's third ranked rushing offense with the best running back tandem in the game. Meanwhile, the Steelers who usually ball out finished dead last on the ground.
While the Steelers sputtered offensively, they truly raked on defense. Pittsburgh finished third in both points allowed and total yards. They were even better causing turnovers finishing second behind the Dolphins. Cleveland was much more mediocre defensively ranking 21st in points and 16th in total yards allowed.
This year saw Baker Mayfield take a huge step forward. Baker's rise along with that in your face ground and pound approach allowed Cleveland to batter opponents on a weekly basis. In contrast, the Steelers came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. After taking an undefeated season into week 12, Pittsburgh clearly struggled down the stretch.
This will be one of those games that features multiple lead changes and the team that gets the ball last will ultimately win out. My gut says take the Steelers but my heart says to go with the Browns.
PREDICTION: Steelers-21 Browns-28
LA Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
The NFC West is always a crapshoot and this year was nothing different.
Coming into the final week, three teams from the division had a shot at the playoffs. With Arizona getting knocked out, these two bitter rivals drew the opening week matchup. This one features one of the league's most dynamic offenses going up against the best defensive team in the NFL.
The Rams come into the playoffs as one of the biggest question marks. This is due most in part to their inconsistent offense. LA finished 2020 ranked 22nd in points scored and 11th in total yards. In contrast, the Seahawks ranked 8th in points and 17th in total yards.
This weeks mismatch definitely comes on defense. While the Rams ranked 1st in both total defense and points allowed; the Seahawks finished 18th in points and 11th in total yards.
Although Russell Wilson cooled off down the stretch, he's still an MVP caliber player that can carry his team on any given Sunday.
The key to the game for the Rams will be to spy Russell Wilson while putting endless pressure on the star QB. The game will ultimately come down to turnovers and which team can create points off those turnovers. Will Russ cook? Not if Aaron Donald has something to say about it.
PREDICTION: Seahawks-27 Rams-28
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Football Team
There is no greater NFL story this season than Alex Smith. Even if the Washington Football team backed their way into a win in the league's lousiest division.
This may be the biggest mismatch on paper. Tom Brady and the Buc's high flying offense is looking to get off to a hot start in the first week. Meanwhile, Washington is fueled by a talented defense that is lead by first round pick Chase Young.
The Buc's offense; which is lead by GOAT Brady, ranked 3rd in points and 7th in yards. Tampa's offense is littered with weapons including the three headed wide receiver monster core of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. Washington on the other hand struggled offensively where they ranked 25th in both metrics.
Washington's defense was the apple of their eye as they finished 4th in points and 2nd in total yards allowed behind the Rams. The Bucs were 8th in points and 6th in yards.
This game has the potential to be blowout central. Under normal circumstances you could say Washington has a home field advantage. However; this COVID has turned that option into a non existent factor. With that being said; the Football team's only hope is to home wreck Brady.
PREDICTION: Buccaneers-45 Football Team-24
Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints
The monsters of the midway converge on Bourbon Street. Could this be Drew Brees's last dance?
New Orleans came into the season as one of the early favorites to make the super bowl. Although the team was hit with the injury bug, they ultimately weathered the storm enroute to another division championship. The Bears on the other hand kicked and clawed their way into the playoffs.
The Saints once again come into the playoffs with a high flying offense. During the season they ranked 5th in points scored while finishing 12th in total yards. Meanwhile, the Bears found themselves in the lower third offensively. Chicago ranked 23rd in points and 26th in total yards.
Both teams showed promise on the defensive side of the ball. The Saints were 5th in points allowed and 4th in total yards. The Bears were 14th in points and 11th in total yards.
The Saints are banking on Drew Brees to lead them to the promise land once again. However; the team will be missing their best wide receiver (Michael Thomas) and most likely their best running back (Alvin Kamara). On the other hand, the Bears come into the game as one of the league's hottest teams.
Will David Montgomery continue his surge? Can Drew Brees work more of his magic. Logic tells me that the Saints will roll deep. However; this game could be fixing for an upset.
PREDICTION: Bears-24 Saints-21
PREDICTION: Browns-24 Chiefs-38
PREDICTION: Titans-40 Bills-34
PREDICTION: Bears-17 Packers-27
PREDICTION: Rams-24 Buccaneers-29
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
PREDICTION: Titans-38 Chiefs-42
PREDICTION: Buccaneers-20 Packers-33
PREDICTION: Chiefs-34 Packers-37
5. Davante Adams (Packers)
4. Derrick Henry (Titans)
3. Josh Allen (Bills)
2. Pat Mahomes (Chiefs)
1. Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
Honorable Mentions- Alvin Kamara (Saints), Ryan Tannehill (Titans),
Deshaun Watson (Texans)
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
5. Chase Claypool (Steelers)
4. Jonathon Taylor (Colts)
3. James Robinson (Jaguars)
2. Justin Jefferson (Vikings)
1. Justin Herbert (Chargers)
Honorable Mentions- J.K. Dobbins (Ravens), Joe Burrow (Bengals), Tee Higgins (Bengals)
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
5. Julian Blackmon (Colts)
4. L'Jarius Sneed (Chiefs)
3. Antoine Winfield Jr. (Buccaneers)
2. Chase Young (Football Team)
1. Jeremy Chinn (Panthers)
Honorable Mentions- Patrick Queen (Ravens), Kamren Curl (Football Team),
Jaylon Johnson (Bears)
5- Jalen Ramsey (Rams)
4- Minkah Fitzpatrick *Steelers)
3- Aaron Donald (Rams)
2- TJ Watt (Steelers)
1- Xavien Howard (Dolphins)
Honorable Mentions- Cameron Heyward (Steelers), Myles Garrett (Browns),
Trey Hendrickson (Saints)
COACH OF THE YEAR
5. Andy Reid (Chiefs)
4. Matt Lafleur (Packers)
3. Kevin Stefanski (Browns)
2. Sean McDermott (Bills)
1. Brian Flores (Dolphins)
Honorable Mentions- Mike Vrabel (Titans), Frank Reich (Colts),
Jon Gruden (Las Vegas)
Written By Jason Voorhees.
In 1963, Y.A. Title set a then NFL record by throwing 36 touchdown passes, all at the ripe old age of 37. This record would stand all the way until 1984. Much has changed since the days of Title, especially at the quarterback position.
As the NFL has established rules that favor the passing game, prolific seasons for quarterbacks have become more and more frequent. Quarterback play that used to only be heard of in Madden video games are now the de facto norm. With that being said, there are some single season performances that just trump the competition. These are seasons that can be described as magical.
When creating a definitive top all-time list in any realm, there is always room for debate. For purposes of this exercise, many factors are weighed when ranking the order. These factors take into account the fact that passing numbers have rapidly risen over the past decade. It's also important to note that a few of the quarterbacks showed dual stardom (passing/rushing) during these stellar seasons.
The rankings consist of a mixture of statistical analysis that combines both passing and rushing. The eye test also comes in to play when evaluating truly special seasons, where players transcended the game in style and play. Playoff performances including the Super Bowl certainly make a difference on pushing a player up the list.
So before we get to the top 15, let's take a look at a few quarterback seasons that just missed the cut...
Daunte Culpepper (2004) MIN- 16 games, 4,717 Pass Yards, 39TD/11INT, 406 Rush Yards, 2 Rush TD, 110.9 QB Rating, 8.6 Y/A, 69.2 Comp. % 8-8 Record, Pro Bowl.
Aaron Rodgers (2016) GNB- 16 games, 4,428 Pass Yards, 40TD/7INT, 369 Rush Yards, 4 Rush TD, 104.2 QB Rating, 7.3 Y/A, 65.7 Comp. % 10-6 Record, Pro Bowl.
Russell Wilson (2015) SEA- 16 games, 4,024 Pass Yards, 34TD/8INT, 553 Rush Yards, 1 Rush TD, 110.1 QB Rating, 8.3 Y/A, 68.1 Comp. % 10-6 Record, Pro Bowl.
Aaron Rodgers (2014) GNB- 16 games, 4,381 Pass Yards, 38TD/5INT, 269 Rush Yards, 2 rush TD, 112.2 QB Rating, 8.4 Y/A, 65.6 Comp. % 12-4 Record, MVP, Pro Bowl.
Drew Brees (2018) NOR- 15 games, 3,992 Pass Yards, 32TD/5INT, 22 Rush Yards, 4Rush TD, 115.7 QB Rating, 8.2 Y/A, 74.4 Comp. % 13-2 Record, Pro Bowl.
Ok...now that you have met the honorable mentions...it's time to see the quarterbacks that were able to make the list. Without further ado...here are the Top 15 Quarterback seasons (post 1980) all-time ranked!
15. Randall Cunningham (1990)
They didn't call him the "Ultimate Weapon" for nothing. What Randall Cunningham did in 1990 was nothing short of miraculous. While the passing numbers that he posted may not be all-worldly; when you add the 942 rushing yards and 5 scores on the ground to the mix, now you are talking special.
The 1990 season saw Randall become one of the most exciting players in the game. He was an explosive playmaker that reeled off highlight reel play after highlight reel play; most of the time making it look easy.
14. Brett Favre (1996)
How do you follow up an MVP season and career year? Just ask Brett Favre, who replicated his 1995 performance and then some in 1996. Favre not only put up stellar statistics while garnering his second straight MVP award; but he also lead the Green Bay Packers to their first super bowl victory in over 28 years.
After setting a Packer's record by throwing 39 TD's, Favre had a playoff run to remember to seal the deal. He threw for 613 yards, 5TD's and only 1 INT with three straight 100 % passer rating games.
13. Drew Brees (2011)
Drew Brees is one of the most prolific passers in NFL history; having compiled multiple monster seasons alike. However; no year that Brees has been an author of quite compares to 2011. During that season Brees set three NFL records (of course they have been broken) for pass completions (468), passing yards (5,467) and completion% (71.2%).
Drew Brees led his team to the playoffs but they were unfortunately eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs. The only thing holding Brees back from his first MVP award was named Rodgers. Nonetheless, an epic year for the token Saint.
12. Matt Ryan (2016)
The 2016 Super Bowl could be described as being cold as ice to Atlanta Falcon's faithful. However; Matty Ice was hotter than burning coal that year. After shattering multiple passing records in 2016, Ryan raised the bar even higher during the playoffs. He threw for 1,014 yards with 9TD/0INT while compiling a 71.4 completion percentage.
If not for an epic collapse of the Atlanta Falcon's defense in the Super Bowl, this performance would definitely be ranked higher. Regardless of the final game gaffe, the total package was as good as it gets for quarterbacks!
11. Cam Newton (2015)
Cam Newton was superman in 2015. He did it all. Newton was a true dual threat that year having been responsible for 83 % of the Panther's total scoring. All in all, Cam put up 4,473 yards and 45 TD's. He lead the team to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl birth. The team ultimately lost to Manning and the Broncos, but that didn't dampen the overall greatness of Cam Newton.
While the statistics alone make this season one of the greatest of all-time, it is the eye test that truly emphasizes just how special Cam was. It was magical watching Cam generate multiple comebacks all the while willing his team to wins.
10. Peyton Manning (2004)
Peyton Manning is the epitome of what a star quarterback stands for. In his prime, there were not to many players that could compete with the high standard he set. 2004 was a watershed moment as Manning broke Marino's passing TD record. However; the touchdown milestone was just the tip of the iceberg for Manning.
Peyton set a then record for passer rating hitting 121.1%. Once again, its not just the numbers that made this season special for Manning. After winning his first MVP, he took the Colts to the playoffs where he ultimately stumbled against New England.
9. Kurt Warner (1999)
There may not be any greater story in NFL history than Kurt Warner. One week he was bagging groceries at a supermarket, and the next week he was the architect of the greatest show on turf. Warner put up massive statistics while leading the Saint Louis Rams to a Super Bowl championship after beating the upstart Titans.
Warner set franchise records for just about every passing metric. However; Kurt saved his best performance for last. During the Super Bowl, Warner went 24/45 while throwing for 414 yards and 2 TD's enroute to his MVP award.
8. Aaron Rodgers (2011)
Aaron Rodgers has quickly catapulted himself into all-time great status. AROD has done so by consistently putting up top tier seasons. In 2011, Aaron found himself in another stratosphere. After quarterbacking the Packers to a 15-1 record, Aaron shattered every franchise passing record there is to be had.
More impressive than that though was his NFL record setting 122.5 QB rating. His 84.5 QBR is also the highest single season total in NFL history. This elite season would have been higher on the list if not for the early exit in playoffs. Just relax.
7. Joe Montana (1989)
Joe Montana made his noise in the playoffs. Part of the reason he's always at the top of all-time quarterback lists is his four super bowl rings. However, to ignore the total greatness of the 89 season would be criminal. Many forget he only played in 13 games so a full season would have certainly surpassed 4,000 yards and 30TD's.
Joe's 112.4 passer rating is good for 15th all-time, but at the time (before the juiced numbers) set a high for quarterbacks. Montana took passer rating to another level in the playoffs with a record 146.4 while throwing 5 TD's in the super bowl victory.
6. Lamar Jackson (2019)
Watching Lamar Jackson is the definition of uncovering a human cheat code. Lamar took what Cunningham did in 1990 and injected it with steroids. If you add his passing/rushing numbers together it looks like 4,333 Yards and 43 TD's. He also broke Michael Vick's rushing yard record for quarterbacks.
While everyone knew that Lamar was special on the ground; he totally flipped the script through the air torching defenses like a well oiled machine. These dual threat gems made him only the second unanimous MVP in NFL history.
5. Peyton Manning (2013)
2013 saw Manning set the all-time passing yardage (5,477) and passing TD (55) records. Many forget that this came after sitting out an entire year due to a career threatening neck injury. Nonetheless, Manning was able to elevate his play while carrying the Denver Broncos to the super bowl.
No matter what way you spin it, passing era or not, these numbers simply rake. Manning was one quarterback that did take advantage of the pass happy style of offenses while padding his stats. Definitely worthy of top five prowess.
4. Pat Mahomes (2018)
What Pat Mahomes did in only his second year is absolutely eye popping. Even though it was considered his second year, he was virtually a rookie. Manning's numbers may be better but Mahomes doing it at such a young age gives him the edge. Patrick makes some throws that even Peyton could never pull off.
The sky is the limit for this young stud and the 2018 season put Mahomes in generational talent discussion already. However; if this ends up being an outlier; then what a stellar high water mark it was! Breathtaking and elite.
3. Tom Brady (2007)
No stat is more important than wins and Tom Brady was perfect in 2007. Well at least during the regular season. Brady lead the Patriots to a 16-0 record while setting every franchise passing record in the process. The addition of Randy Moss took Brady from glorified game manager to the top of elite.
A historic season every way you dice it, Brady found himself carrying the Patriots to yet another super bowl. Of course, you all know how that one ended. With that being said, these stellar numbers and the perfect regular season puts him at #3!
2. Dan Marino (1984)
Marino's 1984 season is legendary. And to be quite honest, the greatness of what he accomplished is not talked about enough today. Rest aside the passing records that he shattered at the time (yards-5,084) and (TD's-48). The fact that Marino even approached these numbers in an era where this was unthinkable speaks volumes.
Marino turned the two Marks (Clayton and Duper) into superstars. And what Marino did turning that Dolphins team around was unimaginable. He also may be the unluckiest QB on the list having to face Montana in his only super bowl and losing.
1. Steve Young (1994)
No quarterback embodies the notion of patience more than Steve Young. After playing second fiddle to Joe Montana all those years, Young carved out his own legendary niche. 1994 is the cream of the crop in Young's resume. After accounting for 4,262 yards and 42 TD's in the regular season, he saved the best for last.
During the 1994 playoff run, Young threw for 623 yards and 9 TD's including a record 6 in his super bowl championship win against the Chargers. When you witness the entire narrative regular season and super bowl; Young's 1994 year stands alone as the greatest ever by a quarterback.
Written By Jason Voorhees
"And with the 53rd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft...the Philadelphia Eagles select (QB) Jalen Hurts." Commissioner Goodell's words rang out; and with it a chain reaction of utter shock engulfed the entire Eagles fan base.
The Eagles have made a lot of questionable draft picks throughout their history but none of them trumps the bombshell that was dropped this past Friday during the 2020 NFL second round draft. In fact, this may go down as the most controversial draft in Eagles history.
Coming into the draft, the Eagles had many holes to fill. The goal would be to maximize return on investment by combining a mixture of best players available while addressing its most immediate needs.
The first round saw the Eagles select TCU wide receiver, Jalen Reagor in the first round with the 21st pick. While many analysts claimed that this was a reach, the fact remains that they did address their gaping need of a play making wide receiver.
But then in the second round it happened. While just about every person watching (fans, players, analysts, other teams, etc.) expected the Eagles to take a DB, or OL, or LB, or maybe even another WR, Howie Roseman shocked the world. The Eagles selected a quarterback. And with it, Roseman showed his propensity to zig while everyone else zags.
The initial reaction was feelings of confusion and disbelief. Is this some big mistake? Was this somehow a dream? Had they selected a CORNERBACK? Are my eyes playing tricks on me? All of these questions and many more were bandied around by any and all parties.
The confusion quickly turned to anger.
And then that night during the press conference...Howie Roseman made reference to the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles are a "Quarterback Factory." Those that are familiar with Roseman know that he loves to hear himself talk while spewing out eloquent rhetoric.
While many people were ready to drive their cars off of the Walt Whitman, Mr. Roseman continued to play the company line as he laid out an inadequate spin on the sad state of affairs.
Day 3 of the draft saw Howie go back to his days as a magician. The mad scientist was back on his game. As each round came and went, Howie did his best savior imitation. He turned water into wine while turning loaves into fishes; during an all out blitz that saw a series of trades to acquire multiple picks, as well as getting wide receiver Marquise Goodwin from the Niners.
While the draft as whole seemed to come together and on paper looked pretty successful, the elephant in the room still remains. Why on earth would you draft a quarterback in the second round, especially when you had so many other holes to fill?
The football draft will always be a crapshoot. Its the law of averages in its simplest form. You take as many darts as you can and throw them hoping to hit as many bulls eyes as possible. Unfortunately, more of these players miss than the ones that actually become star players.
The fact remains that you don't win the draft on the third day. Although 60-65 % of players come from those rounds, its the first two days that traditionally produce it's most productive players.
With that being said, its so important to draft someone that's going to be a plug and play; not someone that your going to have to groom in a developmental lab. When judging the Jalen Hurts pick, I think we are trying to rationalize something that just simply does not make sense.
Of course there are those that drink the green Kool Aid that will never question the all mighty front office. But that's not me. When I see something I am going to call them out on their bullshit. As a die hard fan, I am going to ask the tough questions. I am going to criticize moves when they don't make sense.
Unfortunately, the "stepford fans" are sadly blinded. They wouldn't know the difference between Byron Evans and Bob Evans. Nor could they tell the difference between Reggie White and Betty White.
The bottom line is that in the last ten years, the Eagles have only had six players (post second round) to become significant players or starters on this team. This is a serious issue folks. The Eagles just cannot draft. And when your trying to become relevant again, in a division that has saw all of the other teams get significantly better, the draft is that much more important.
The second round has been particularly good to the Eagles in past history. Players like Sheldon Brown, Wes Hopkins, Zach Ertz, Randall Cunningham, Desean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Eric Allen, Brian Dawkins, Dallas Goeddert, and Miles Sanders have all been drafted in the second round.
Knowing this fact makes taking a quarterback here all the more infuriating. The second round is not where you take luxury picks. The second round allows you a great opportunity to add a significant player. And by taking Jalen Hurts, you unfortunately wasted that opportunity.
Nothing that the Eagles brass can say will make any sense out of this obvious gaffe. And I mean this with the most brutally honest sincerity. This is no disrespect to Jalen Hurts. Jalen is a very talented kid that has a bright future in the NFL. But this isn't about Hurts.
This is about Howie Roseman and his arrogant smug attitude.
This is about Philadelphia Eagles brass trying to reinvent the wheel. This is about a culture of holier than thou renaissance that ignores the intelligence of the every day, die hard fan. And most of all, this is about the Eagles lack of commitment to their franchise quarterback.
Only time will tell what the meaning of all of this is. There are analysts that love Jalen Hurts and even they are shaking their heads. There is no logical reasoning behind this madness. Carson Wentz once again must look over his shoulder. Jalen Hurts will be unhappy because he is not starting. No one wins in this scenario.
The only thing good to come of this will be endless debate in a time where we are starving for the next headline.
As we look to the rest of the offseason, there will be nothing but scrutiny. From the annals of "Stupid Money", Howie has went completely off of the rails.
You better have answers because we're not buying your lies. The fact remains that you wasted a great opportunity to improve the roster. Ultimately Jalen Hurts will either make you or break you. The time has come and your time is short Howie. If this doesn't work out it will be time for you to take out an insurance policy. Fans are running out of patience. The Quarterback Factory is now on the clock.
Written By Jason Voorhees
The world has been overcome by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are living in unchartered times...something that most people could have never imagined. As we continue along on this journey...many people have been forced out of work which means a lot more free time to kill. Some have implemented home workout programs. Others have began binge watching their favorite programs. There has even been a comeback for old school movies and documentaries...and then there are people like myself who enjoy writing.
As I clamor for the next headline, I thought it would be cool to take a look back at a time period that is near and dear to my heart. That time period of course was eighties metal...more specifically the glam metal sunset strip movement.
For me, this is where my passion for heavy metal first began....yes that's right. A time when bands were most known for their hair spray infested long hair and their playboy modelized makeup. An era where bands were measured by how many groupies they could fill a bus with. Groups that were fueled by a steady diet of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Glam metal became one of the quintessential genres of the 1980's.
Sometimes referred to as "hair metal", the glam era was a subgenre of heavy metal that mixed pop like hooks and riffs with 70's style glam rock. Please note that I truly don't prefer the term "hair metal" as it really is a derogatory term that only came into existence after the grunge movement had started.
So who are the top glam metal bands of all-time? We are looking for the definitive list of the top ten metal bands of the glam era...
Please take note...I have excluded bands like Def Leppard, KISS, Van Halen, Guns n' Roses, Skid Row, Aerosmith, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi among others who, while they were huge during the era and may have even gone "Glam" during that time period; they were not truly glam bands because they predated the scene, transcended the scene, or just really were not glam metal bands at all by definition.
Honorable Mentions- Autograph, Stryper, Quiet Riot, Tesla, Hanoi Rocks.
Without further ado...here is the definitive top ten glam metal bands of all-time...
Straight out of the suburbs of Philadelphia, Cinderella quickly rose to the top of the glam scene. The band produced several multi platinum albums, while many of their songs became a mainstay on MTV. The album 'Night Songs' sold 50,000 copies per week during a long stretch when it debuted in 1986. Lead vocalist Tom Keifer could sing with the best of them while Jeff Labar remained one of the most underrated guitarists of that era. This is a band that is so much better than they have ever gotten credit for. One of the true giants of glam for sure.
W.A.S.P. was one of the original bands to make it big from the "Sunset Strip Movement". Their stage show was a mix of glam and goth; violent and energetic. The lead vocalist Blackie Lawless would throw raw meat into the crowd. The band's song "Animal, Fuck Like A Beast" landed them on Tipper Gore's filthy fifteen list. This was the beginning of parental advisory labels on albums; which ironically only made the kids want to buy the album more. Their video "I Wanna Be Somebody" was an MTV stalwart which readily fueled their popularity. One of the greats!
George Lynch is one of the quintessential guitar players in glam. Dokken pumped out single after single during the MTV glam era. Don Dokken was one of the best vocalists of that time period as well. The band became popular with MTV smash hits like "Burnin' Like a Flame" and "Into the Fire." They are also known for their heavy ballad laden tracks like "Alone Again." Another single "Dream Warriors" became the lead single for the hit 3rd film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Unfortunately the band's legacy was marred by constant infighting between band members.
7. L.A. Guns
L.A. Guns formed out of the ashes of Guns n Roses and centered around the hot shot guitarist Traci Guns and vocalist Phil Lewis. The band was a sleazy mix of glam and punk. Their sound truly defined the epicenter of the era. They were not as raw and edgy as their counterparts of GNR, but still added that dangerous energy. Traci Guns appearing with short hair in the "Ballad of Jayne" video and all tattooed up in the "It's Over Now" video seemed way ahead of it's time while truly foreshadowing the new look 90's. Probably the most underrated glam metal band of all-time.
6. Faster Pussycat
Faster Pussycat was such a huge part of the Sunset Strip metal scene as no list would be complete without them. Lead vocalist Taime Downe co-owned the "Cathouse" with Riki Rachtman of Headbanger's Ball fame; the NUMBER ONE hangout for all metal heads, bands, and groupies during the 80's along with the "Rainbow Bar and Grill." The band was the epitome of sleaze and razzle with their long hair, denim and outrageous getup. Their biggest moment came with the hit single that became MTV royalty..."House of Pain." Glam metal in it's truest form here folks.
5. Twisted Sister
Dee Snider became the larger than life clown figure that put metal all over MTV during the 1980's. Their videos "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" gained them glam metal royalty as MTV played them out. For awhile, the band even became one of the most popular bands in the world. Dee actually led the charge in court to defend metal and rock and roll in general; against Tipper Gore and her cohorts who were trying to attack the music scene. After the album 'Stay Hungry' their popularity would quickly decline and unfortunately they faded away. When they were on though their was no stopping them!
They were one of the true kings of the Sunset Strip movement. RATT were one of the first original waves of bands to have their records paraded all over MTV. Singles like "Round and Round", "Lay it Down" and "You're In Love" set record after record on MTV glory. The band continued to release hit singles throughout the eighties. Not too many bands can boast the catalog that these monsters cranked out with their first three records...all selling over one million copies...their debut album 'Out of the Cellar' going 3x platinum. Metallica once opened for them before taking their act to San Francisco. Definitely among the best of the best!
Jani Lane is arguably the greatest songwriter of the glam metal era. Warrant not only had the glam look, the hit songs and the hooks, but Jani Lane's lyrics were emotional, heartfelt and at times riveting. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is one of the most epic songs the band has ever produced and is a shining example of how far ahead they truly were at telling a story. Songs like "All My Bridges Are Burning" invoked themes of addiction with lyrics that told the truest of tales. Although the band really became defined by their hit single "Cherry Pie" they truly were so much more. Definitely one of the supreme leaders of the Sunset Strip montage.
No band perhaps defines this era more than Poison. They were one of the hardest working bands of all-time, earning every inch of fame through that strong ethic and dedication. No band looked more glam than Poison and they backed it up with amazing live shows and hit singles; which came quicker than you can say mingle. They are one of the most popular bands and even the slightest of fans can name every band member without hesitation. Bobby Dall once said that "I never wanted to become a musician, I wanted to be a Rockstar, and that's what I became!" Poison were the seminal Rockstars!
1. Motley Crue
The fountain of decadence. Sleazy and dangerous. No band had more of an impact on the glam metal scene than these guys. Motley Crue didn't just do drugs, they did all of the drugs. Motley Crue didn't just pimp women, they owned them. The glam metal scene was about excess and no one defined that more than The Crue. Another original member of the Sunset Strip to make it big. No band from this list can match their success. While their exploits and relationships away from the band make tabloid fodder, they have also enjoyed many other avenues besides music. Simply the best. Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars...Long Live the Crue!
Written By Jason Voorhees
It's just another day at the local supermarket except it's not.
Yes the buildings are the same. The employees still have the same job functions...namely stocking the shelves, servicing the customers and providing excellent customer service. Yes, the latest edition of elevator music continues to echo on loop over the system sound speakers. And yes, the latest deliveries still arrive on an almost daily basis, carrying it's most precious cargo to fit the latest needs of today's shoppers' wish lists.
Let me repeat, its just another day at the local supermarket except it's not. While many of the above characteristics remain a staple of these employee's every day work lives, the very existence of their true identity has been turned upside down. As COVID-19 Corona Virus continues to wreak havoc across this nation, supermarkets reign among those front line entities along with first responders and health care workers.
While most of the country remains on lockdown due to stay at home restrictions, these true heroes risk their lives daily in order to provide essential services to those in need. So while the essential job functions of these employees remains very much the same, the fact is that their every day work life is really very different.
First of all, most of, if not all of these employees are gripped with fear. Fear of the unknown. Will one of us be the next victim to contract the virus?
Skeptics have been slow to acknowledge the science behind the spread of this novel corona virus.
With that being said, many health experts have now warned that asymptomatic "silent carriers" could be transmitting the virus as data suggests this is indeed occurring. Whether it's someone being asymptomatic or whether it's someone that is pre-symptomatic, the bottom line is that supermarket employees remain in the line of fire. Estimates show that 18-30% of all COVID-19 infections are indeed asymptomatic. In other words, its very possible that many of these employees have already contracted the virus and don't even know it.
Not only do the associates fear getting the virus themselves; but more importantly they are scared that they will contract it and then pass it on to a loved one. Many of the workers have discussed these fears openly; its truly gut wrenching to see their pain and the "unknown" entity only enhances these concerns.
Furthermore; the situation is only exacerbated, by the lack of shopper limits that we are seeing across a wide range of companies throughout the country. Many chains have begun to start enforcing these limits but too many are still ignoring this factor. To be quite honest, this could be a game changer in mitigating the spread.
Buying food remains an essential function but it's certainly not essential for families of five and six people to participate in that shopping trip. It's also asinine for the same shoppers to buy three cart loads of food every other day even while their refrigerators remain above capacity already. This is the problem. People are truly not taking this virus seriously and its sadly at the workers expense. This factor can be measured by the increase in foot traffic that we are seeing on a daily basis. Some supermarkets are up two-three hundred percent in sales on a weekly basis and that's no exaggeration.
Plain and simple, companies must restrict shoppers and must institute strict limits on the amount of shoppers in the store at one time. State and Local governments must step in and enforce these guidelines by whatever means necessary. Local police departments and or military should be called upon to ensure that these limits are being followed. That would be an excellent step in mitigating the spread and would definitely aid in decreasing the anxiety that every supermarket employee is feeling at this moment.
Another key challenge that grocery store associates are facing today is dealing with rude and nasty customers. While the majority of shoppers continue to remain pleasant and thankful for the job that these workers are doing, many of them have had to deal with insensitive and selfish customers who show no regard for human respect and dignity. Grocery store employees are risking their lives the very moment they walk through those four walls so please show a little more courtesy.
Associates are yelled at on a daily basis. They deal with insults and obscenities on the regular. Their private space Is invaded more often than not. The six foot rule continues to be a figment of our imagination. In most cases, social distancing is non existent. The incompetent questions like, "Why don't you have toilet paper?", or "How come you ran out of milk?," or "When will you be getting hand sanitizer in stock?" are all too familiar. We have even saw some customers coughing while not covering their mouth or (inadvertently) spitting in associates faces while talking.
And then there are the patrons who continue to ignore the special time that has been set aside for the elderly and immunocompromised customers as well as the first responders and health care workers. Blatant disrespect folks. Also the uneducated shoppers wearing masks and gloves who continually cross contaminate on a minute by minute basis; which mind you actually enhances risk of exposure or exposing others. Then there are the customers who feel it's necessary to touch seventeen varieties of the same item before putting them all back to then only grab six more.
Next just take a look at the parking lots and sidewalks that remain littered with customers vile, disgusting, germ infested gloves and masks. Yes, grocery store employees have been subjected to some very rude and offensive treatment and the list can go on and on.
Many of these associates have been working around the clock for three weeks and counting. Its like groundhog day. Burnout is today's next recipe. Even when they are tired, these employees still show up every day and give three hundred percent effort. The amount of freight that is coming in is sometimes two-three times as much as a normal day. Shelves are beginning to get back to capacity and then it hits again.
Panic driven shopping round 2. When will it end? No one truly knows. However; one thing remains emphatically clear. Life in the supermarket business has drastically changed. The day in the life of a true hero; because that's exactly what these employees are. They are absolute heroes and should be praised for their strength and courage.
Supermarkets have become the epicenter for essential business and as a result the lives of its employees have become more complicated. As the unknown nature of this pandemic continues, so to does the anxiety that the associates will face on a daily basis. Hopefully the Social Distancing measures that have been put into practice will help to stop the spread of this viscous disease and life can go somewhat back to normal.
In the meantime, keep up the great work brothers and sisters! You are among the most important people in society today along with healthcare workers and first responders. Put on that armor daily and keep grinding. Although your work identity has changed, your character remains the same! And its that character that has allowed you to thrive during one of our countries most darkest hours. And to all those customers that are coming to the supermarkets to shop...please show a little respect.
Remember; only shop individually and not as an entire family. Only buy what is necessary...no hoard shopping.
Please be kind to all fellow customers and associates.
Respect the six foot rule...yes that one. Remember...social distancing?
Only ask legitimate questions while refraining from incompetent no brainers (Ex. Why don't you have toilet paper?). Please respect everyone's personal space...do not come up into employees faces. If your gonna cough please cover your mouth (you should be wearing a mask anyways). When talking...please don't spit in the employees face.
If your going to wear gloves or masks...please educate yourself and become informed about the dangers of cross contamination and the proper use of said protective equipment. Respect the set aside time periods that companies have instituted for our elderly and immunocompromised individuals as well as first responders and health care workers...don't be ignorant.
And finally, please do not litter. Your vile disgusting habits will not be tolerated. Clean up your mess and please throw your gloves and masks in the trash can or dispose in your vehicles...not the supermarket parking lots.
Written By Jason Voorhees
It's a great time to be alive if your a fan of heavy metal. Metal and hard rock enthusiasts will have their pick of the litter as far as concert tours go in 2020. Tour announcements have been coming fast and furious on an almost daily basis it seems. This should be one bad ass year for metal music mania.
Of course, the grand daddy of them all is Guns N Roses. The rock legends kick off their summer tour with two shows in England beginning on May 29th. The band will be joined by grunge stalwarts The Smashing Pumpkins for a select group of shows. It was only a few years ago that many thought the prospects of a Guns N Roses reunion was only a pipe dream fantasy. Now for less than $200, you can see your childhood idols once again.
If your taste and diet is more on the heavy side, then you can always check out the Megadeth/Lamb of God tour instead. Megadeth, one of the architects of thrash metal, is looking to come back with a vengeance after its leader Dave Mustaine had been temporarily out of commission due to cancer. Well, he is now fully healed and they will join the speed/groove metal kings Lamb of God for the co-headline gig which will also feature Trivium and In Flames. This tour kicks off on June 14th in Raleigh, NC and you will not want to miss it.
Of course, if hair metal feeds your fancy then you just hit the jackpot as Motley Crue has decided to come out of retirement. Taking its cue from it's name (The Stadium Tour), this show is an arena rock junkies Willy Wonka. The tour features Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett. You can't get more glam than this folks. There will be Girls, Girls, Girls in a state of Euphoria looking for Nothing But a Good Time in hopes of shedding their Bad Reputation. This haymaker begins on June 18th.
The Metal Gods themselves have also joined the fray. Judas Priest and Sabaton will be patrolling venues everywhere beginning in May. Although K.K. Downing has left the band and is now planning on fronting his own version of Priest, its always a treat to witness Rob Halford Screaming For Vengeance as the band spews Firepower that's more potent than British Steel. Sabaton as an opening act is far from shabby as well.
Then of course there is Rage Against the Machine. If your not afraid of breaking the bank then this one's for you. This tour is actually right around the corner and should be epic. This band has always brought down the house and this should be no different as the bring their Evil Empire to The Battle of Los Angeles. These Renegades are ready to rock out and rock on.
Ok...you say that you want EPIC. Well Faith No More and KORN are bringing their talents together as a Co-Headline blockbuster. Neither of these bands need an introduction as this ticket is in high demand. This one came From Out of Nowhere and just when you felt that your life was Falling to Pieces you then realized it was just a Midlife Crisis. Follow the Leader as you travel into The Nothing, this one could get dicey. KORN + Faith No More= Life is Peachy!
And the hits just keep on coming. Other tours that have been announced include Ratt/Cinderella's Tom Keifer/Skid Row/Slaughter, Slipknot, AC/DC (Brian Johnson reunion), Dokken/Lynch Mob, among many others. These tours that have been listed are absolute top of the line shows. This does not include the ones that have not been announced yet. Could you imagine if we got a surprise Metallica tour message!!!
No matter what, 2020 is shaping up to be a heavy metal fans dream and the prospects can only get brighter. So get your popcorn ready, open up your checkbook, adjust your credit line on apple pay, and get ready for some heavy metal purity. I want to see ten million heavy metal maniacs prowling these venues throughout the summer; enjoying our favorite past time like its nobodies business.
For those about to rock....we salute you!!! Rock on Mates!!! It's party time in 2020!
About Jason Voorhees
Jason resides in Norristown, PA and writes about all things sports and heavy metal music.