NFL Playoff picture comes into focus

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After a weekend of wild and head-scratching results, the NFL playoff picture is slowly coming into focus.

On this week’s installment of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek discuss the can-you-believe-that-just-happened finish to the Dolphins-Patriots game and whether the Vikings were smart to hand Kirk Cousins the big contract he seemed destined to get.

They also question how Harold Baines got elected to the baseball Hall of Fame and whether the right quarterback won the Heisman trophy. Plus, Colin shares some details from his trip to Salt Lake City.

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Redskins, Kareem Hunt, Urban Meyer and College Football Playoff Selections

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In an eventful week both on and off the field, there is plenty to discuss on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

What were the Redskins thinking with their awful decision to sign Reuben Foster? Why was the NFL not more proactive in its domestic-violence investigation of former Kansas City Chiefs star Kareem Hunt? Were the right four teams chosen for the college football playoff? Can the Wizards blow everything up, even if they really want to?

Sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek bat these topics around. Plus, who will prevail in the NFL division races still up for grabs? Urban Meyer’s retirement and the crazy finish to the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder fight are also discussed.

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Where is the defense in college football? Also, Flacco's fall from grace and Rivers' chances at H.O.F.

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Where is the defense in college football? What teams belong in the college football playoff? Has Joe Flacco taken his last meaningful snaps for the Ravens? Is Phillip Rivers a slam dunk Hall of Famer?

Those are among the topics discussed on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast that is a little more contentious than usual.

Sports editor Josh Smith is back in the studio and in a no-nonsense mood. He doesn’t have the time or the patience for discussion with features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek about the NBA in the early season or Tiger vs. Phil.

Hear how the colorful discussion, at times, plays out over the better part of an hour.

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Kevin Durant, Tiger vs. Phil, Ohio State survives MD and Redskins without Smith

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek go over a menu of things they like and don’t like about Thanksgiving.

There are plenty of sports topics to discuss as well. Is Kevin Durant too temperamental to lead an NBA team? Are Tiger and Phil worthy of pay per view? How was Ohio State able to survive against Maryland? Can the Redskins still win the division without Alex Smith? And what did the Rams-Chiefs thriller Monday night say about the current state of the NFL?

Disagreement on Le’Veon Bell’s decision to sit out the season, Orioles' new GM and Harper's contract negotiations

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For the first time in the modern era, an NFL player has decided to sit out an entire season over a contract dispute.

On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek weigh in on Le’Veon Bell’s decision to skip this season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and share differing opinions on how the entire ordeal was handled by the player and the team.

The Orioles’ new general manager and Bryce Harper’s contract negotiations are also discussed. How smart were the Orioles’ decision to hire 35-year-old Mike Elias to run their baseball operations after he helped build the Houston Astros from scratch into a World Series champion? And can Harper actually command a $400 contract in free agency?

Plus, in their weekly NBA discussions, the guys dive into Kevin Durant’s end-of-game spat with Draymond Green and what it might mean, if anything, for the Warriors? Are Durant’s days with the team coming to an end? And is the balance of power in the league shifting eastward?

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Maryland's bungled handling of Durkin's firing, who's best in the NFL and NBA?

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek reflect on the haphazard firing of Maryland football coach DJ Durkin. How come everyone could see what needed to be done except the people in charge of making the decision? What leaders at Maryland, if any, should be allowed to keep their job?

Plus, the guys weigh in on the week that was in the NFL. Who do they believe is the best team in the league? On college football, can anyone possibly beat Alabama? On the NBA, it’s the weekly check of who will be playing in the NBA Finals.

And why is Colin $100 richer?

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Reactions to the inexplicable news that DJ Durkin has been retained as Maryland’s football coach

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek react to the stunning news that DJ Durkin has been retained as the University of Maryland’s football coach.

In the wake of a lengthy investigation by the university into the death of Maryland football player Jordan McNair, who succumbed to heat stroke during a spring workout, the guys wonder how the university could have decided to keep the coach who oversaw the training methods and medical response that ultimately led to the tragedy. They also discuss what sort of ramifications this might have on the future on Maryland’s football program.

Plus, the Redskins are starting to look like a contender, especially on defense. The World Series ends with all sorts of connections to the Orioles. And is the WWE wrong to be conducting a show in Saudi Arabia?

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Are the Redskins to be taken seriously? Lakers-Rockets fight and DJ Durkin is still employed by UMD

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek discuss how seriously we should take the first-place Redskins, among other NFL musings.

The guys also discuss the fight that erupted between the Lakers and the Rockets and wonder if Dwight Howard will ever make a meaningful contribution to the Wizards.

After Colin makes an early departure to tend to a work-related matter, Josh and Greg run down some headlines of the day and wonder why the University of Maryland still employs DJ Durkin as its football coach.

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Is Manny Machado a dirty player? Could LeBron be a player-coach? These, plus more topics

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How dirty a player is Manny Machado? Could LeBron work as a player-coach in the NBA? And what sort of repercussions might the bad officiating in the NFL have beyond the game?

Those are among the topics sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek discuss on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Greg recaps his ultimate football weekend in South Bend and Cleveland with Notre Dame and the Browns. Colin explains why he was fighting with a 6-year-old girl at the WWE’s Smackdown1000 event in Washington D.C., and Josh shares why he is being forced to watch his beloved Minnesota Vikings in real time again.

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Can a melee be a good thing? UFC 229 antics, MLB playoffs and NFL week 4

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After a post-fight melee in the main event at UFC 229, mixed martial arts comes into focus on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Did the sport really suffer at all from the antics of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor before, during or after their fight? Or was it all just part of the spectacle that helps drive big business for the UFC? Sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek weigh in on this.

Plus, the guys reflect on the NFL weekend that was, chat about the baseball playoffs and preview the upcoming NBA season. Greg also grills Josh about his first weekend in a long time without live Minnesota Vikings football.

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Thanks to rules, the NFL is changing before our eyes

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The face of the NFL is changing dramatically due to the way it’s being officiated. Not only are the rules making it impossible to play defense, creating ridiculously high-scoring games and allowing average quarterbacks to set passing records with regularity, the way they are being interpreted is also having a direct impact on the outcome of games.

On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek dive heavily into this topic and their overall dissatisfaction with the way the game is being officiated. What can be done about it? Will anything be done about it?

Bad and aggravating football has eaten into the quality of Josh’s life to the point that he has vowed to stop watching his beloved Minnesota Vikings or check his phone for updates in real time. Hear about his new approach on this episode.

Also, the Orioles have parted ways with manager Buck Showalter. What type of person should they be seeking to lead the team? And just how close did Colin come to winning big at the sports book?

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Jeff Pearlman, best-selling author of “Football For a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL”

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Jeff Pearlman, best-selling author formerly of Sports Illustrated, is the guest on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast to discuss his new book on the United States Football League, titled “Football For a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL.”

Pearlman tells sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek about his passion for the league and how a 40-page essay he wrote about it in high school provided the internal jump-start necessary for him to ultimately land the book. He shares stories about some of league’s quirks and how prominent local sports figures like Frederick’s Chuck Foreman and former Redskins coach George Allen played into its history. Plus, he recounts how Donald Trump served as the catalyst for the league’s demise after a three-year run.

The author also talks about why he guaranteed his mother he would one day work for Sports Illustrated, the memorable profile he wrote for SI about former Atlanta Braves reliever John Rocker, the future of the NFL and other upstart football leagues and what it takes to be an extremely successful journalist.

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NFL rules changes and how they're influencing the outcome of games

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NFL rule changes are now influencing the outcomes of games, and that’s what sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek dive into on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

In both of the ties during the first two weeks of the NFL season, the outcome has been directly affected by the new interpretation of the roughing-the-passer penalty. First, the league admitted that Browns pass rusher Myles Garrett was erroneously flagged for sacking Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during a 21-21 tie in Week 1. Instead of settling for a field-goal try, the penalty gave the Steelers’ drive new life, and they scored a touchdown on the next play.

Then, last Sunday, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was flagged for taking down Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins on what appeared to be a textbook sack, negating what would have been a game-ending interception and Green Bay win. The teams played on to a 29-29 tie. 

The guys discuss whether this is the new normal in the NFL and whether players, coaches and fans should condition themselves to these types of calls being made.

Plus, the guys weigh in the poor attendance at Redskins games, Greg and Colin make a bet ahead of the Browns-Jets game and the Orioles hit a historic low.

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Was Serena Right? The guys debate. Also, Colin loses a bet based on Greg's football picks

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Serena Williams’ loss to Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open final, more specifically the manner in which she lost, certainly drew a strong reaction across the sports world, and that topic dominates the discussion this week on Just Another Sports Podcast.

Sports editor Josh Smith and features editor Colin McGuire sharply disagree with host Greg Swatek about the way the event unfolded and how it should be perceived. Josh and Colin argue that chair umpire Carlos Ramos overstepped his bounds in citing Serena for infractions that aren’t commonly called, and that, as one of the finest champions in all of sports on one of the grandest stages in tennis, Serena should have been afforded more leeway in terms of blowing off some steam. Greg, on the other hand, counters that the umpire was simply doing his job, although by the strictest letter of the law, and that Serena’s reaction was unnecessary and over the top. 

Tune in to hear how the debate plays out. They all agree it was a sad moment that tarnished what should have been a career-defining and life-changing moment for Osaka.

The guys also discuss in detail the opening week of the NFL season, and Colin laments some poor betting advice that Greg allegedly gave him.

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Maryland's upset over Texas, Saban's outburst and Nike makes Kaepernick the face of their ad campaign

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Maryland upset Texas for the second consecutive year. Nick Saban is snapping at reporters for asking legitimate questions. The NFL season is about to start, and Nike just made Colin Kaepernick the face of a major ad campaign.

Sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek dive into all of that and more on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Does Maryland’s big win over Texas say more about the Terrapins and the Longhorns? And has any college football program underachieved more than Texas in recent seasons?

Why are college football coaches like Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban made by adoring fan bases to be more than what they are, which are mistake-prone individuals who don’t win every big game?

As the NFL season starts, what teams are likely to surprise and what teams are likely to disappoint? And Colin explains why he feels Nike’s ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick was so powerful and important.

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Should the NFL keep or eliminate preseason games to extend the regular season?

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Is the NFL preseason fixable? That’s a subject sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek tackle on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

While nobody likes the preseason, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious solution to fix it. The owners are open to converting two of the preseason games into regular seasons games that count, thus creating an 18-game schedule, but the players cite safety concerns. The players and fans would like some of the preseason games to just be eliminated, but the owners cite a loss of revenue.

Does it even matter in the grand scheme of things that the preseason is so flawed? Or will it just always be something that everyone has to live with in its current format?

Plus, the guys touch on Tom Brady’s refusal to talk about his trainer in radio interviews, the start of the college football season and some of their favorite sports movies. Colin is also very excited about the opening of a sports book at the casino and race track in Charles Town, West Virginia.

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How many at Maryland need to go? Urban Meyer's suspension and the Nats seem to throw in the towel

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek wonder why the University of Maryland has not yet fired football coach DJ Durkin. And should the removal of leadership in College Park stop with Durkin?

The corrosive culture of college football is once again under the microscope. Why were fans camped out on lawn chairs at Ohio State while coach Urban Meyer met with university officials about his future? Was Meyer’s three-game suspension adequate punishment or did he deserve to be fired to after tolerating an alleged domestic violence episode involving one of his assistants? Will anything ever change about the way big-time college football programs operate?

Plus, the Nationals essentially throw in the towel on their season. The Redskins signed Adrian Peterson. And the guys find another way to do a Tiger Woods segment.

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Reactions to the death of a UMD football player and culture that led to it

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, the culture of football comes into focus.

As controversial training methods with the University of Maryland football program that contributed to the death of a player came to light, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek discuss the public’s and media’s reaction to the story and how the university should handle its ongoing fallout.

While Terrapins coach DJ Durkin is likely to lose his job, should Ohio State Urbana Meyer keep his after he reportedly knew that one of his assistants physically abused his wife and kept him on the staff? Does Meyer’s success as a coach insulate him more than it should? Is anything likely to change about how big-time college treat their players or prepare them for games?

The guys also discuss Tiger Woods’ second-place finish at the PGA Championship, the Nationals’ fizzling playoff hopes and the impressive play of some NFL rookie quarterbacks in training camp and the preseason. 

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Redecorating the baseball Hall

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On the heels of Hall of Fame weekend for pro football, this episode of Just Another Sports Podcast takes a hard look at the Baseball Hall of Fame and who should be in and, more specifically, who shouldn't?

FNP managing editor Chris Kinsler joins sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek for this special episode. Kinsler is embarking on an ambitious product of chopping the Baseball Hall of Fame down to the 100 most deserving players, according to him.

Kinsler feels the Hall of Fame is somewhat watered down by many players who were very good players, but don't quite fit the stature of being worthy of the Hall.

The guys discuss some of the most prominent guys who should not be in, as well as some of the most egregious snubs. Kinsler also shows off his encyclopedic baseball knowledge by discussing in detail some of the more obscure players who have been enshrined.

What inspired this project? And how does he retain all of this information? Kinsler tells us on this week's episode.

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Orioles #EmptyTheNest, Nationals' decision not to trade Harper, and other goings on in the NFL & NBA

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In this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, hosts Colin McGuire, Josh Smith and fill-in Allen Etzler talk the Nationals holding onto Bryce Harper, the Orioles cleaning house and the battle for supremacy in the AL East between the Red Sox and Yankees in an MLB post-trade deadline special. The trio also look ahead to Lamar Jackson’s debut in the NFL Hall of Fame Game and the reported fight between the NBA’s Draymond Green and Tristan Thompson.

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