Aaron It Out: Divisional Round

Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone were officially introduced on Thursday as the new Executive Vice President of Football Operations and Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively, and I am officially excited. When the news was first announced, and Mike Smith was also in the running for coach, I wasn’t sure what to think. But from all indications, especially after this press conference, you can see that the culture around the Jaguars is going to change. Gus Bradley was brought in to sort of shepherd the rebuild but for whatever reason, he couldn’t push the players up and over the hill. The combination of Coughlin and Marrone definitely will.

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Aaron It Out: Weeks 16 and 17

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Welcome to the final regular-season edition of Aaron It Out. This week you’re getting a super-sized version of NFL opinions, previews, and picks because like many people, I’m going on vacation. I’ll be back shortly before the Wild Card playoffs begin.

Let’s get to it…

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Aaron It Out: Week 9

The NBA and NHL seasons just ended back in June, and they are already starting up. Those seasons are pure dregs where every team plays the other at least three times. I think that’s ridiculous and both leagues need to shorten their season, but my real point is that it’s the halfway point of the NFL season and it still feels like it just started. 

While we haven’t had any head coaching changes, the season has been filled with surprises, from the Cowboys and Eagles looking great with rookie quarterbacks to the Bills’ four-game win streak, and Tom Brady throwing no interceptions to the Vikings losing both Bridgewater and Peterson but still being near the top of the NFC. The NFL is great and while television ratings may be down right now, I can’t think of a more compelling overall storyline in a sport, with apologies to the recently-ended World Series. *Editor’s Note: Aaron is clearly insane and lacks the filigreed palate of the year-round sports fan. He also might be a little salty that the football season isn’t longer and that his Dodgers disappointed this year. Please don’t send me angry letters, I won’t read them.*
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Aaron It Out: Week 6

Week 5 of the NFL season took place over this past weekend. Unfortunately, I was not able to watch most of it. In the Jacksonville area, we were dealing with Hurricane Matthew and its aftermath. Wednesday night, preparation began, and many were rushing to the home improvement and grocery stores to grab last-minute items in case of power outages and storm surges. Sunday, life slowly began to return to normal for most folks, and for my family, the day was occupied by church, cleaning, rest, and having to replace the contents of our refrigerator and freezer.  However, what can largely be termed minor inconveniences of power outages and food spoilage are put into perspective with the knowledge of the death toll that Matthew caused in the island countries just a little south of Florida. We got off lucky, we were blessed, and not in the ironically detached sense often hashtagged by millennials.  Meanwhile, games this weekend included some surprises, and it was nice to catch up once our power was restored and I had a moment to decompress from the Matthew. Now, as we pick up the pieces, we move on as we always do because we are a resilient people, and we look forward to Week 6 of the NFL.
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Aaron It Out: Week 5

The first month of the 2016 NFL Season is, sadly, over. But it included a lot of drama, plenty of surprises, and reminded us that, in the NFL, we need to remember to expect the unexpected. The Super Bowl Champions almost always suffer from that dreaded Super Bowl Hangover, but the Broncos are having none of it. Your favorite team may have broken your heart when their starting quarterback shredded his knee, but against all odds, the team is 4-0 with a guy that was acquired less than a week before the season started. The greatest team in the entire state of Florida may have frustrated you for three weeks, but somehow, someway, with great young defensive players, they FINALLY won a game. Editor’s Note: I’m not sure Aaron knows what ‘greatest’ means. 
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Looking Ahead: Big XII

Dust off the cleats, ladies and gentlemen. It’s August and we are within field goal range of the college football season. In many ways, this year has flown by, in others, it hasn’t. I think I speak for us all when I say that the offseason never passes fast enough. 

We will start off our season with the Power 5 conference previews, which will be an earnest effort to predict the championship game matchup (for four conferences anyhow).  We’ll start with the flyweights and work our way up to the heavyweights. 

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PREVIEW: NHL Western Conference Semi-Finals

I’d like to preface this post with something, I’m really bad at picking hockey series. Among my first round picks, I had the Capitals (check), the Rangers (nope), the Panthers (nope), the Lightning (check), the Stars (check), the Blackhawks (nope), the Ducks (nope), and the Kings (nope). That’s 3-for-8, less than 50%. If I’m grading a student’s work, and this is how well they did, I’d give them the raised eyebrow look of disappointment and suggest they come by after school to clear things up. Continue reading “PREVIEW: NHL Western Conference Semi-Finals”

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