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#230: Election 2020 (and the Denver Nuggets) with Jake Marsing
1. Four years ago around this time, many (if not most) in the news media touted Hillary Clinton as a solid favorite to win...and we know how that ended. Today, several are describing Joe Biden in the same light. As I mentioned in the intro, we had Austin, Texas-based GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak on the program. He said he expects this to be a VERY, VERY close election and is convinced that whoever wins the presidency is going to win it by a narrower Electoral College margin than 2016. Do you share that view and do you think the media is making the same mistake they did four years ago by GROSSLY underestimating President Trump’s chances of winning?
2. Speaking of the Electoral College, you live out west in Colorado near another pivotal state that needs just as much attention as Florida and the four major Midwestern states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Minnesota). That state is Arizona. For well over a year, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has remained unwavering in his belief that Arizona is more likely to flip from Trump to Biden than Florida AND Wisconsin are. And there are more than enough reasons to take his thoughts seriously. Arizona is an increasingly diverse and metropolitan state with the kinds of voters moving TOWARD the Democrats whereas Wisconsin on the other hand is the whitest, most rural of the four Midwest battlegrounds and has the kinds of voters that are moving AWAY from the Democrats. Would you be surprised if a Biden victory consisted of all the Clinton states + MI/PA/AZ as opposed to all the Clinton states + MI/PA/WI?
3. Right now, with voting underway, the biggest priority for the Democratic party MUST be GOTV efforts. And given the pandemic, most Democrats plan on casting their ballots BEFORE November 3. According to a recent NBC News/Survey Monkey poll, 71% of Democrats intend to vote absentee whether by mail or using in-person early voting. Everybody MUST make a plan to vote, but given a weakened, hobbled postal service, many voters (especially those living in states without a universal vote-by-mail system like Colorado) may have to adjust their plans. If someone wants to receive a ballot in the mail, what is the LATEST possible date to submit a request? Several are recommending that those who receive their ballots on or after October 14 return them in person to their county election office or a ballot drop box if available. Would you recommend that as well?
4. Several top-tier Biden supporters have voiced concern in recent days, most notably, his chief rival for the 2020 Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders. He suggested that Biden would almost certainly lose unless he stopped his centrist approach and catered more to progressive voters on economic issues. Also, some more establishment Democrats in swing states believe there is still a sizeable enthusiasm gap between the Trump base and the Democratic base and that Biden needs to do a lot more in-person campaigning to energize voters, as NYT reported. Do you think there is such a gap and if so, should Biden pivot and endorse progressive policies like the Green New Deal or Medicare For All?
#229: 2020 NFL Week 1 Preview (with Matt Barr)
1. Season Headlines
-In the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor and others at the hands of police violence, NFL players have made it clear they will NOT be silent and will kneel during the playing of the National Anthem in protest. Even owners who are passionate supporters of the President (such as Jerry Jones), have given their players the green light to do so. Upon hearing the news, Eric Trump, the second of the President’s three sons, tweeted that the NFL was over. And there is no doubt that the President will try to make kneeling for the national anthem a centerpiece of his re-election campaign. If ratings show a sizeable drop, the NFL will be caught between a rock and a hard place and have to walk the tightest of lines in an attempt to avoid alienating significant chunks of the fan-base
Matt: COVID…can they finish the season?
-The NFL will decide to conduct the 2020 playoffs and Super Bowl in a bubble environment, especially if the pandemic worsens the further we get into fall and winter.
-Von Miller has played his last down as a Denver Bronco
-Jalen Ramsey’s blockbuster contract extension further ensures that the Rams will remain in a state of mediocrity (or worse) for the foreseeable future
-Kyler Murray will have a similar breakout campaign in 2020 to Lamar Jackson’s in 2019, even if he doesn’t win MVP
-The Chiefs are heavy favorites to repeat as AFC Champions
-The Packers will NOT make the playoffs in 2020
-Because of there being no preseason games due to COVID, the opening month of the 2020 season will be DOMINATED by offenses and defenses will struggle
3. GAME OF THE WEEK: Texans at Chiefs
-Will the speed of the Texans WR corps help mitigate for the loss of DeAndre Hopkins against an opponent like the Chiefs?
-Just how low is the floor for the Texans defense given the TREMENDOUS holes and inconsistencies in their secondary?
-On paper, how much have the Chiefs improved compared to last season’s Super Bowl triumph? How much have they regressed on paper?
-Game deciding matchups: Chris Jones vs. Texans interior OL, Chiefs WR’s/Kelce vs. Texans secondary
4. GAME OF THE WEEK: Bucs at Saints
-You have been EMPHATIC that Tom Brady has little to nothing left. Do you anticipate seeing a similar decline from Drew Brees this year like we supposedly saw from Brady last year?
-Does this Bucs D have the potential to be a top-10 unit?
-Can Emmanuel Sanders be the most consequential free agency acquisition of 2020?
-Game-deciding matchups: Saints iOL (Ruiz, McCoy, Peat) vs. Bucs behemoth DT’s (Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh), Tristan Wirfs vs. Cameron Jordan??
5. Game Predictions
-Seahawks at Falcons
-Raiders at Panthers
-Colts at Jaguars
-Eagles at Washington
-Browns at Ravens
-Jets at Bills
-Dolphins at Patriots
-Packers at Vikings
-Bears at Lions
-Chargers at Bengals
-Cardinals at 49ers
-Cowboys at Rams
-Steelers at Giants
-Titans at Broncos
6. BOLD PREDICTIONS
ME: Saints and Bucs will combine for 80 points and the game will end with 0 seconds on the clock as Drew Brees finds Emmanuel Sanders for a 10-yard TD on fourth and goal
MATT: Garoppolo throws for 4 TD’s (2 to Kittle, 1 to Aiyuk, 1 to McKinnon) 350 yards
7. Challenge Flags
ME: NFL teams…do what the Bucs, Lions and Eagles did and turn your stadiums into voting locations for the 2020 election, giving your fans a VERY safe option to vote in-person during this pandemic.
MATT: Fans and analysts…DO NOT OVERREACT TO WEEK 1
#228: Election 2020 (and a bit of football) with GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak
1. Last week, the sports world briefly hit the pause button in wake of the Jacob Blake shooting, starting with the NBA. As a result, it was announced that all NBA clubs intend to use their arenas as voting locations for the general election, whether it be for voter registration drives, in-person early voting, and/or having county officials there to collect completed absentee ballots. Given all the issues and red tape with voting by mail (not just USPS), isn’t voting in person at a sports arena one of the best ways of voting imaginable, especially during a pandemic?
2. One of the President’s last remaining hurdles to overcome on the path to reelection is his handling of Covid-19. From a policy perspective, what MUST he do between now and November to prepare the country for the expected uptick of cases in the fall/winter?
3. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s unconscionable murder, we have seen America at its best and at its worst. I personally have witnessed both Biden and Trump voters alike saying we need to significantly address racial biases in our criminal justice system. But we have also seen lawlessness and violence on both the extreme left and right alike. Whether it’s Antifa setting fire to police facilities or armed white supremacists firing guns at innocent bystanders, EVERY American should be equally outraged at the instigators on both sides. And just this week, three innocent demonstrators (two anti-Trump in Kenosha, one pro-Trump in Portland) were killed. This has only heightened my concern that a wave of violence a million times worse than we’re seeing right now could erupt after the election, especially if it’s super close and the outcome is in doubt. What do both Democrats AND Republicans need to do ASAP to ensure that doesn’t happen?
4. Another nightmare scenario that could lead to such violence is the so-called “blue shift” that happened in the Arizona US Senate race in 2018. When we woke up the morning after the election, Martha McSally was leading, but the absentee ballots counted subsequently put Kyrsten Sinema over the top. If a similar scenario happened to Trump, which is possible given the fact that a record number of Americans are expected to vote absentee given the pandemic, it is a virtual guarantee that he will consider the election stolen. Currently, 14 states, including some key battlegrounds, prohibit the processing of these ballots until the morning of the election. However, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has proposed that the state begin processing absentee ballots three weeks before the election (as opposed to the morning of) so they have a better chance of completing the count by election night or the following day at worst. Do you agree with that proposal and if so, should all other battleground states follow?
5. Whoever wins in November will not only have to deal with this once-in-a-century pandemic, but an increasingly dangerous Russia and China, who are hell bent on creating a new world order in their respective totalitarian images. In recent weeks, Vladimir Putin has threatened to deploy armies to Belarus to help Lukashenko retain power and poisoned his chief rival, Alexei Navalny. Xi Jingping has accelerated his crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, and more alarming info about his genocidal campaign against the Uighurs in Xinjiang has come to light. And of course, China gravely misled us on the dangers of COVID-19. Putin and Xi are arguably the two most dangerous men in the world right now, and we need to act FAST in order to stop them. What do you think should and can be done in order to do so? Should we grant asylum to some Uighurs and dissidents of both regimes?
6. Thoughts on Steelers
#227: 2020 NFL Training Camp Storylines (with Matt Barr)
1. What we have seen with Major League Baseball (with the COVID-19 outbreaks within the Marlins and Cardinals causing games to be postponed) thus far is likely a preview of what to expect in the NFL this season. Peter King a few weeks ago wrote he is convinced that at some point the league will likely have to suspend play like the NBA did in March when the pandemic first hit. However, Richard Sherman countered that he only sees that happening if things get REALLY REALLY bad. Under what circumstances should the NFL suspend play?
2. Biggest Training Camp Storylines for Each Team
-NFC West: 49ers, Seahawks, Rams, Cardinals
-AFC West: Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders, Chargers
-NFC North: Packers, Vikings, Bears, Lions
-AFC North: Ravens, Steelers, Browns, Bengals
-NFC East: Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, Washington
-AFC East: Patriots, Bills, Jets, Dolphins
-NFC South: Saints, Bucs, Falcons, Panthers
-AFC South: Texans, Titans, Colts, Jaguars
#226: 2020 Dash To The Draft (Last Minute Buzz & Mock Draft II with Matt Barr)
A. Latest Buzz (Buy Or Sell)
-Chris Mortensen said today of all the teams that are being discussed as strong candidates to trade up, the Falcons are expected to be the most aggressive and could move up all the way to the top five. So buy or sell: the Falcons will trade up to the top five and take Jeffrey Okudah if the Lions pass on him at 3, or move down to 6.
-The run on WR’s will begin earlier than most expect with two WR-needy teams trading up to the 8-10 range to get their guy
-If the Dolphins want Tua Tagovailoa, they’ll take one of the four OT’s at five, and will be able to stand pat at 18 where he’ll fall into their lap
-If the Dolphins do NOT want Tua, they will wait until 26 overall to take a QB…and that QB will be Jordan Love as opposed to Justin Herbert
-There will be no more than five trades in the first round due to the complex logistics of conducting the draft virtually
-The first round will last an hour longer than expected due to technical glitches
-The 49ers will move back from both 31 AND 13, especially if the WR run occurs earlier than expected
1. CIN: Joe Burrow
2. WAS: Chase Young
3. DET: Jeffrey Okudah
4. NYG: Tristan Wirfs
5. MIA: Andrew Thomas
6. LAC: Isaiah Simmons
7. CAR: Derrick Brown
8. AZ: Jedrick Wills
9. JAX: Justin Herbert
10. ATL (from CLE): C.J. Henderson
11. NYJ: Mekhi Becton
12. LVR: CeeDee Lamb
13. DEN (from SF): Henry Ruggs III
14. TB: Javon Kinlaw
15. SF (from DEN): Jerry Jeudy
16. CLE (from ATL): K’Lavon Chaisson
17. NE (from DAL): Tua Tagovailoa
18. MIA: Xavier McKinney
19. LVR: Jordan Love
20. JAX: Jeff Gladney
21. PHI: Denzel Mims
22. MIN: Justin Jefferson
23. DAL (from NE): Cesar Ruiz
24. NO: Kristian Fulton
25. MIN: A.J. Terrell
26. MIA: Yetur Gross-Matos
27. CLE (from SEA): Ezra Cleveland
28. BAL: Patrick Queen
29. TEN: Ross Blacklock
30. GB: Jalen Reagor
31. DEN (from SF): Josh Jones
32. KC: Jonathan Taylor
#225: Dash To The Draft 2020 (DL/EDGE Class Breakdown with Jacob Infante)
1. Chase Young is clearly the best prospect in this draft class. This past decade, we have seen pass rushers of Young’s ilk get drafted high and go on to have productive careers: Von Miller, Khalil Mack, Joey and Nick Bosa, Myles Garrett, etc. How does he compare to those aforementioned players as a prospect and would it surprise you if he ended up having the best career out of all of them?
2. There is quite a sizeable drop-off after Young as far as this EDGE class goes. The player widely expected to be the second EDGE off the board is LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson. Chaisson is an extremely versatile player, who is able to rush the QB from the edge and inside on sub-packages, plus drop into coverage and cover RB’s and TE’s as well. He is also a freakish athlete. However, there was a similar prospect taken in the top-15 three years ago in Haason Reddick, and he’s pretty much been a bust thus far. Do you get Haason Reddick vibes from Chaisson?
3. In August, many (if not most) people were talking about Iowa DE A.J. Epenesa as a top-10 pick. However, an uneven season plus below average testing at the Combine could have him potentially falling out of the first round altogether. Several believe his best chance at long-term success in the NFL is him putting on an additional 15-20 pounds and moving inside to three or five-tech DT. Do you share that view?
4. Headed into the Combine, most had Derrick Brown as a top-five pick. But there has been some buzz from many in the NFL and Draft Twitter alike that Brown isn’t that much of a pass-rush threat and could fall out of the top 10 because of that. Would you be comfortable using a top-10 pick on Brown?
5. South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw is one of the most inspiring stories in this draft. He grew up homeless and began his college career at JUCO before transferring to SC and becoming the anchor of Will Muschamp’s defense there. Many believe he can be an interior disruptor in the Chris Jones mold. However, Kinlaw’s stats were rather underwhelming and Marcus Mosher, who was on the program in recent weeks to break down the receiver class, did a study on DT prospects and noted that those at the position whose stats didn’t match their traits in college have rarely succeeded at the pro level. Do you think Kinlaw has a better chance than most to buck that trend?
6. Ross Blacklock of TCU is somebody who could have sniffed the top-15 if it wasn’t for an Achilles injury he suffered in 2018. Like Kinlaw, he is a freakish athletic interior pass rusher. If he can get stronger and clean up his technique, do you think he can end up being the best DT from this draft class?
7. Buy Or Sell: Yetur Gross-Matos, Terrell Lewis, Josh Uche, Jabari Zuniga, Alex Highsmith, Derrek Tuszka, Justin Madubuike, Jordan Elliott, James Lynch, Leki Fotu, Neville Gallimore, Marlon Davidson, Davon Hamilton, Jason Strowbridge
8. Best Team Fits
-Chaisson: Falcons, Jets
Customer ReviewsSee All
Informative, interesting and insightful.
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This podcast is great and keeps all NFL lovers and Fantasy players in the know. Great recap of the draft. Look forward to listening to more episodes.
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I am a huge NFL fan. And consider myself quite knowledgable but everytime I listen to David and his incredible guests I feel like an absolute NFL rookie. They are so incredibly knowledgable on the most minute aspects of the NFL I always come away with some deep insights that not only help satisfy my love of the game but also improve my fantasy team and have legitimately increased my win percentage of my occasional LEGAL bets ;) You won't be dissapointed.