THE YEAR WAS 1975. Pittsburgh beat Dallas 21-17 in the
Super Bowl. Bobby Knight's Indiana Hoosiers went undefeated
to win the NCAA College Basketball title. The Golden State
Warriors, led by Rick Barry, won the NBA Championship. Barry
Switzer and Oklahoma claimed the #1 ranking in college football.
It was memorable year, but one that the bookmakers would
rather forget, because Sports Reporter made its debut
as a weekly forecast newspaper. Suddenly, their clients
Soon, "Blue Sheet" Best Bets and Major Wagers were
rocking the sporting world strongly enough to merit coverage
on NBC and in Newsweek. Sports Reporter handicappers
were celebrated as wily "foxes" and "gurus,"
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with insights on how to be king of the hill in football.
Today, the "ol' Blue Sheet" upholds that tradition,
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But with www.sportsreporter.com, the mountain comes to you,
so to speak. You get earlier delivery and more information
from your Sports Reporter membership. That translates to more
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|by Bobby Smith
Sports Reporter Editor
So, when do you think that the 49ers and Browns will win a game? Last year, the Browns went all the way to the home finale in Week 16 before they won, drawing poor San Diego, who had to fly into Cleveland on Christmas week, play on Christmas Eve when they were a lousy 5-9 and eliminated from everything including their home city. The Chargers were also coming off a 19-16 home loss to division-rival Oakland, to further add to their miserable state.
Unless Iâ€™m missing somebody, Cleveland went through five quarterbacks last season: Griffin III, McCown, Kessler, Whitehurst and Hogan. This season, they have used three: Kizer, Hogan, Kessler. The teamâ€™s TD-INT ratio on offense is 7-17. Last season, it was 15-14. We are moving backwards here! Which probably should have been expected when they drafted and decided to start Kizer, a rookie quarterback who left college early.
A year ago at this time, in my role as a Ben McAdoo not-liker, I would point out to friends that the New York Giantsâ€™ defense was on the field longer than any other unit except for the 49ers and Browns, who were the two worst teams in the NFL in 2016. This was while the Giants were on their way to winning 11 games and making the playoffs. My mantra was, 'Just wait, you will see.' The Giantsâ€™ offense, trailing only 7-6 at Green Bay in the Wild Card game, was unable to make a first down near the end of the half, forcing that defense back on the field for a final-drive, Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary touchdown pass that gave Green Bay a lead they would build on in the second half. MORE