February 6, 2012

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2011: The Year of the Quarterback

By: Anson Whaley

With the 2011 NFL season officially over, it’s time to wallow in our misery take a look back at the year. When you think of the top stories from this season, it’s easy to see that this was the year of the quarterback. Comparing players over eras is always a losing battle, but this season proved one thing – this is the most talent-rich time for quarterbacks in the league since the late 1980s when some guys named Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and John Elway were in their prime.

We may even look back someday and, gasp, think this crop was even better. Right now, the NFL has a slew of elite quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Peyton Manning (if he’s able to come back, that is). Then there are guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Michael Vick, Tony Romo, and Philip Rivers, who I’d slot below them. And there are also young guns that look like the next generation: Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Andy Dalton, and even Tim Tebow, to name a few. The bottom line is that this is one of the best eras in the history of the game for passers.

Matthew Stafford could find himself rising up the quarterback rankings as quickly as he has the Lions improving.

Here are some of the key things I’ll remember from this season about the quarterbacks.

Tebow Time – If there’s one thing I’ll remember from this football season in general, it’s probably the way Tim Tebow was a lightning rod for both praise and criticism. I’m hard pressed to remember a football player that was as young as Tebow that was so polarizing. There are better quarterbacks to be sure, but the turnaround experienced by the Broncos was impossible to ignore. And the fact that he was able to not only get Denver to the playoffs, but help them win a game once they got there will only grow the legend. His success this season should buy him at least a little leeway next year if he starts slowly.

The Year of the Pass – So let me get this straight. Dan Marino’s record of 5,084 passing yards stood for nearly 30 years, but in 2012 it was broken by Drew Brees? And Tom Brady? And almost Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning? The fact that a record that lasted this long was broken by two players and approached by two others should tell you everything you need to know about the NFL these days – it’s a passing league … maybe more than it’s ever been.

Peyton’s Injury – It can be difficult to gauge just how valuable a player is until an injury, but we got a glimpse of that this year. How important is Manning to the Colts? The NFL’s new magazine, aptly named NFL Magazine, went as far as declaring him their 2011 Most Valuable Player … despite the fact that he didn’t take a snap all season. Personally, I think that’s going a bit far since by doing that, the magazine snubbed a lot of deserving players. But point taken.

Alex Smith Takes StridesSmith, like Tebow, isn’t an elite quarterback. But after struggling mightily since he was drafted in 2005, he had a career year and was a few special teams gaffes from playing in the Super Bowl. It wasn’t the 3,000+ yards or the 60% completion rate that was all that impressive since he’s approached those numbers before. The reason Smith turned into a serviceable quarterback this year was because he limited his mistakes, throwing only five interceptions all season. Smith may never reach elite status, but if he’s able to continue playing at this same pace, the 49ers should be competitive for several years to come.

These Guys Can Play – It’s often said that it takes a while for rookie quarterbacks to find their footing. While that’s true most of the time, we saw a few first-year players look like seasoned veterans in 2011. Cam Newton had arguably the best rookie year ever for a quarterback, setting records for passing yards and total touchdowns. Meanwhile, Andy Dalton’s 20 touchdown passes were only one fewer than Newton’s and he also led the Bengals to the playoffs. Need an idea of how special the seasons were for both players? It was the first time in NFL history that two rookie quarterbacks were named to the Pro Bowl.

Eli Casts Off Peyton’s Shadow – Eli Manning had already won a Super Bowl, but most still considered him a lesser quarterback behind his brother, Peyton. That will still hold true in the eyes of many, but by winning a second championship, he’s no longer simply known as ‘Peyton’s little brother.’ Eli not only has two titles but is young enough that another one isn’t out of the question.

February 2, 2012

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Super Bowl XLVI Top 10 Sellers

By: Junior

I wanted to take a look into which Fatheads have sold the most in the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVI. I wanted to know if I could gain any insight into what people were expecting to happen in the game based on who or what they were purchasing. We knew the Top 10 Fatheads would be dominated by the New England Patriots and New York Giants, but who and what from each team could be valuable information on the outcome of the game.
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1. Super Bowl  XLVI Party Pack

This was the obvious #1. First of all, whether or not your team made the big game, you still need to have the best decorations at your Super Bowl party. Then, add in all of the Patriots and Giants fans who want this as a memorable reminder of what they hope to be a Super Bowl win for their team, and this had to be #1.

2. Tom Brady

Now we start to see what people are thinking. Already having 3 Super Bowl rings and going down as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Tom Brady is the safe purchase for any Patriots fan. Add to that his mass appeal around the world, and I’m still not taking much from this ranking.

3. Rob Gronkowski

Now we start getting some answers. While Gronkowski has been the talk of the Super Bowl as of late (or at least his ankle), people purchasing his Fathead more than any other position makes me think people still think he will have a big game on Sunday.

Even with his ankle injury, Fathead customers expect Gronkowski to have a big Super Bowl.

4. Tim Tebow “Tebowing”

Many would say this is the first non-Super Bowl Fathead on the list, but they would be wrong. Not only was Tim Tebow spotted in Indy this week, but he has his own prop bet during the game. People can bet on how many times he will be mentions during the broadcast, and according to these sales it would seem multiple times. While I don’t think this lets us know how people feel about the game, if Tebow has an effect on Sunday, don’t say this post didn’t warn you.  

5. Eli Manning – Quarterback

Sadly, this might be the most telling sale of all. Not that Eli is 5th, but that this is the first Giants Fathead on the List. Still, Giants fans have had their faith restored in Eli, and this shows that they are confident he can deliver another Super Bowl to New York. Sure, Patriots fans are more confident in Brady, but if Eli beats him in yet another Super Bowl? I would guess Eli Fatheads would be a hot purchase  if that happened.

6. New York Giants Helmet

The Giants helmet comes in at #7 on our list, and it worries me that more skill players for the Giants aren’t being confided in. However, the helmet is a great way to show support of the whole team, so maybe fans don’t want to pick a favorite. Normally, I would guess this is to support the defense, but the Giants have a lot of defensive players with fatheads, so I’ll chalk this up to just supporting the team as whole.

7. Victor Cruz

Ask and I shall receive. Finally, the Giants get a skill position on the board. What does this tell me? Giants fans think there will be some salsa dancing lessons going on this weekend. Cruz has had a breakout season, and is the Giants version of Rob Gronkowski. These two players will both be playing in their first Super Bowl, and with it being their first season under the spotlight, whoever shines brighter could be the difference in the game.

8. New England Patriots Logo

Much like the Giants helmet, I can’t gather a lot of information out of this purchase. It could be a purchase focusing on the tradition of the organization. Having had so many players come and go through their Super Bowl runs, maybe they want a Fathead that encompasses all of the teams. Regardless, it doesn’t give much insight into the game coming up.

9. Eli Manning

Now we get even more complex. Could this be why Eli was so low with his first ranking? Now having two separate Fatheads on the list, Giants fans show just how much faith they do have in Eli. This pulls his number closer to Brady’s, much like how people are starting to regard Eli closer to Brady in real life. After the last Super Bowl meeting between these two teams, had you told someone Eli would face Brady in another Super Bowl before Peyton, most would have laughed. Now, Eli could continue to build on his legacy by obtaining more rings than his brother.

10. New England Patriots Helmet

The final Fathead again leaves us without another clue for the game on Sunday. The Patriots and Giants both hold 4 Fatheads on this Top 10 list, plus a split with their Super Bowl package. They also both only have their QB and go to receiving threat on the list. So what does that tell us? That they believe there will be no running game. Our customers believe that as the quarterbacks go, so go their teams. Finally, that they think it will be a high scoring game, with both games looking to go to the air early and often. If the score is as close as these purchase trends, we should all have a great game to look forward to this Sunday.

January 30, 2012

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Super Bowl XLVI Storylines

By: Anson Whaley

With Super Bowl week here, prep yourself for nonsensical questions from non-sports media regarding players’ favorite foods, that oh-so-important boxers or briefs inquiry, or even faux marriage proposals. Every media member in the world will seemingly be there and mindless drivel will be front and center. And don’t even get me started on the takeover of sports talk shows this week by former players pitching every promotion and gadget under the sun.

Still, this is the biggest game of the year and there are lots of key storylines to watch. Here are my top five (with an honorable mention to the injury to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski):

Eli Vs. Peyton – Ask anyone about the siblings and the consensus is generally that Peyton Manning is the better quarterback. But with each having one Lombardi trophy under their belts, Eli could gain some more consideration for the title of best in the family. Personally, I’d still lean towards Peyton since I considered him the best quarterback in the league in many seasons over his career. I’m not sure you can say that about Eli. But either way, both are extremely talented and if Eli surpasses his brother in championships, the school of thought that he’s the better signal caller will grow.

If Eli Manning can get his second Super Bowl win, the discussion around himself and Peyton will tighten up.

Ascent of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick – Already considered one of the elite coaches in pro football, Belichick can reach another level with a win over the Giants on Sunday. With three Super Bowl titles already, a fourth would tie him with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Chuck Noll for the most all time.

In that same vein, Tom Brady’s three championships as the Patriots’ quarterback leave him one behind Joe Montana. Even though both are behind Terry Bradshaw when it comes to quarterbacks winning Super Bowls, the Brady > Montana talk will increase if Brady is able to tie him.

Revenge, Revenge, Revenge – Another story you’re sure to hear about this week is the fact that the Patriots will be seeking to avenge their 2008 loss to the G-Men. Please. That game was four years ago and while some of the same players are still around, both rosters have seen plenty of changes since then. Key players from those 2008 squads that won’t be suiting up this time around include Randy Moss, Michael Strahan, Plaxico Burress, Asante Samuel, Tedy Bruschi, Donte Stallworth, Amani Toomer, and Jeremy Shockey among others. These are largely two different teams made up of new players.

Madonna at Halftime – Chances that Madonna will do something wildly controversial during the halftime show? Slim to none. Madonna’s act has been severely toned down since her 80s and 90s days and with the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake fiasco still fresh in the minds of the fans, you can bet the NFL is doing its best to ensure a family-friendly act. But her performance will nonetheless get people to stay tuned in on Sunday.

The ‘Underdog’ Giants vs. the Big Bad Patriots – This theme will undoubtedly be beaten like a drum this week despite the fact that it’s simply not true. The Giants won two road games against the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. While they had a bit of, let’s say, help, in that game against the Niners, beating two of the league’s best teams on the road means they’re not lucky – they’re good. Behind Eli Manning, New York boasts the fifth best passing offense in the league and with more than 2,700 receiving yards from Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks alone, the Giants have the ability to put points on the board. New York has won six of their past seven games and is just now hitting their stride.

April 15, 2011

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Top Sports Trends of the Week

By: Lionel

NFLShop.com released their NFL rankings for jersey sales over the last year, and we wanted to see how closely they matched Fathead’s football rankings (also based on sales).  According to USA Today, the best selling jersey for an NFL player was Troy Polamalu’s.  In second was 2011 Super Bowl champion QB Aaron Rodgers, beating out 2010 Super Bowl champion QB Drew Brees, who sat in third place.  The next four places were also occupied by QBs, with Peyton Manning in fourth, Tim Tebow in fifth, Michael Vick in sixth, and Tom Brady in seventh on the list of NFL rankings.  Rounding out the top ten football rankings for jersey sales were Clay Matthews, Tony Romo, and Eli Manning, in eighth, ninth, and tenth place, respectively.

While many of the names are the same on the list of NFL rankings by Fathead sales for the last year (April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011), there are a few notable differences between our football rankings and those based on jersey sales.

Fathead Sales of the Past Year – Football Rankings

  1. Troy Polamalu
  2. Peyton Manning
  3. Tom Brady
  4. Drew Brees
  5. Aaron Rodgers
  6. Peyton Hillis
  7. DeSean Jackson
  8. Adrian Peterson
  9. Clay Matthews
  10. Reggie Bush

Most interesting, Peyton Hillis ranked high in our football rankings, whereas Tim Tebow didn’t crack the top ten.

And now, our top selling Fatheads for the week:

The top selling Fatheads of the last 7 days (Apr. 8 – Apr. 14):

1.  Kobe Bryant

2.  Carmelo Anthony

3.  Troy Polamalu

4.  Derrick Rose

5.  Derek Jeter

6.  Alex Ovechkin

7.  Blake Griffin

8.  Phillie Phanatic

9.  Ray Allen

10.  Dallas Cowboys Helmet

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January 12, 2009

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Blame Me: You Could Have Been Saving 50% Off Top Fathead Wall Graphics

By: realbigfathead

Blame me.  Go ahead.  I don’t know how you’ll do it, but judging from some of your past emails  – your “get back” will be both creative and devestating.  Sure, I may have known for months…and, sure, knowing might have saved you some big bucks on your holiday shopping.  But in my defense…things get REALLY busy at Fathead during the holidays and, honestly, it just slipped my mind!  For the few of you who don’t know yet, here’s the skinny:

Every day, Fathead.com offers two HOT products at HALF OFF called the REAL.BIG. Deal of the Day to members of Fathead Nation.  When I say hot, I’m talking some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment like Emmitt Smith and the Dark Knight!  Or LeBron James and Homer Simpson!  Or Brett Favre and Hannah Montana!  If you happened to click on any of the previously linked superstars, apologies, those are past and potentially future deals…but still pretty sweet wall graphics, huh?

To make up for my memory lapse and prevent reader retribution, here’s some super-secret inside information that nobody else in the world knows.  Only you are privy to this, my friend.  Tomorrow’s REAL.BIG. Deals of the Day are…

Peyton Manning and the Superman logo. Either can be yours at HALF PRICE – TOMORROW -  when you sign-up for Fathead Nation.  Just go to Fathead.com tomorrow and click on the ad that says “REAL.BIG. Pride.”  Then score yourself a Petyon Manning or a Superman logo Fathead for 50% off the regular price.

So…we’re cool now, right?