The Cleats, Rhymes & Life mailbag is back in full effect and I believe this is the first time it has been posted on a Sunday.
This time I around answer your questions regarding the WWE scrubbing Hulk Hogan from the history books, the NFL’s top players, coaching hot seats, and more. As usual, before we dive into any of that it’s time for my latest RECKLESS POWER RANKINGS.
This week’s power rankings were inspired by a tweet from @nmaestas on Twitter. Nick wants me to provide you all with my Top 5 Hottest Sideline Reporters. Here we go:
- Sam Steele aka Sam Ponder/ESPN – Her mama call her Steele, I’mma call her Steele
- Renee Young/WWE – This totally counts
- Molly McGrath/Fox Sports – Her swift rise as been pretty impressive
- Allie LaForce/CBS – She’s killer during March Madness
- Lauren Gardner/CBS – Is she the only redhead sideline reporter?
- Britt McHenry /ESPN – SIKE!
Disagree with my list? Come at me bro in the comments section.
On to the mailbag!
Bill Barnwell at Grantland puts together a list of the top players in the NFL each year. Any rankings surprise you? (Peter via email)
Me being a Panthers fan, the ranking that jumped out to me was how high Cam Newton ranked. Give Cam weapons and an average offensive line and he would be putting up numbers similar to his rookie season. However, due to cap restraints and the focus on stockpiling players on defense, this hasn’t been the case during his short stint in Carolina.
Often criticized mainly because he was a high profile player in college that had a recruiting violation connected to him, his contributions to the Panthers gets severely overlooked. Barnwell put it best with the following quote:
Newton’s overall performance remains roughly stagnant — he’s posted a QBR between 54.4 and 61.1 in each of his four professional seasons — but even if he just settles in as this guy, as a quarterback who can dominate in short-yardage situations and run an effective offense while the offensive line disintegrates six times a possession, that’s a really valuable player. Smiles are free, just not Cam Newton’s. The man deserved everything he got from Carolina.
Also, how many of you would have guessed Tony Romo would have cracked the top 10?
How to push Cesaro and when will Bray get into the WWE Title picture (@RealEricJay via Twitter)
Cesaro might be the strongest superstar on the WWE roster as well as a top five talent in terms of in-ring ability. That said, it makes you wonder how this guy hasn’t gotten over with WWE management.
The first thing his critics point out is his lack of mic skills. He’s not terrible, but he certainly isn’t going to pull off a 20-minute promo that the top dogs in WWE are expected to do. The easy answer would be for him to align himself with a manager. However, he tried that with Zeb Colter and Paul Heyman, two of the best guys on the mic of all-time. The Heyman partenership would have worked out if he wasn’t so invested in touting Brock Lesnar’s accomplishments and the Colter partnership was never going to get anywhere past the midcard due to its reliance on patriotism.
Even with all that, he’s done a great job of getting himself over following the injury to his tag team partner Tyson Kidd. He’s been allowed to use his ‘Swing’ maneuver again, put on an absolute clinic in his two matches with John Cena, and even cut a passionate promo that wasn’t terrible. With Cena presumably feuding with Seth Rollins over the next few months, there’s definitely an opportunity for someone to shine in the upper-midcard.
As for Bray, he’s never going to sniff the WWE World Heavyweight Championship if he loses every single feud he’s in. Plus, since he’s the new Undertaker, he’s basically the guy that floats around the mid- to upper-midcard matching up with competitors that don’t have readily available feuds. He has value, but I don’t think it’s by carrying the top strap.
Five hottest seats in College Football? (@BrianRTowle via Twitter)
Al Golden – You have to start here, right? He’s heading the highest-profile job of the coaches on most hot seat lists and seeing in-state rival Florida State going on their current run has to have the folks in Coral Gables a little restless.
Paul Rhoades – I’m almost guaranteeing he’s gone after this season, but at least he beat Nebraska that one time.
Kliff Kingsbury – (insert good looks joke here)
Mike London – It appeared he had a good thing going a few years back, but his program has been pretty stagnant overall. It’s incredible he hasn’t taken advantage of Virginia Tech’s recent slide.
Kirk Ferentz – I’d normally rate a guy with a coaching record as mediocre as his has been over the last five years higher, but this is Iowa we’re talking about. Kirk is going to coach there forever.
For all the “We shouldn’t have fired Bo” fans. Would the Huskers be ranked in preseason polls if Bo was still the coach? (@brockminert via Twitter)
Nope, but somehow this is Riley and AD Shawn Eichort’s fault.
Thoughts on how swiftly and thorough the WWE wiped Hulk Hogan from their record books? (George P. via email)
I’m not surprised one bit. Given how every decision they make now days is driven by stockholder confidence, the WWE had to make this move.
However, it’s still funny to me that the WWE chose the words they did in the official statement they released about the situation given all this…
— Arman Kalyani (@ArmanKalyani) July 24, 2015
— Alex Pawson (@ArkhamInmate79) July 24, 2015