NFL Podcast Power Rankings 2014

NFLlogoIn a change from last year’s podcast-draft, the 2014 review comes in the form of Power Rankings:

1. The Around The League Podcast – Move over Dave, there’s a new sheriff (or team of sheriffs) in town: This pod has been launched since the last rankings, and has become my new favourite! Three times a week the ATL’s room full of heroes (Dan Hanzus, Marc Sessler, Chris Wesseling and Greg Rosenthall) bring you every item of news you’ll ever need, plus game reviews (on a Sunday night/Monday morning!) and comment, all with a huge slice of mirth. It’s always a joy when a new episode lands in my Stitcher tray.

2. The Dave Dameshek Football Program – Another great option from NFL Network, the DDFP brings an excellent mixture of football talk and everything but! Dave is ably aided by Adam Rank, Handsome Hank and Black Tie (when he’s not trying to keep episodes below a “tight 45”, so Fire Black Tie if you prefer).
The main reason this previous #1 is no longer occupying that slot is that it comes out less frequently – coming out only one or twice per week. “Come on playa, what’s up with dat?!”

3. The Rich Eisen Podcast – Moving up since last year is Rich Eisen’s brand of football-meets-pop-culture-meets-celebrity. A very good all round podcast with great in-depth interviews and a whole host of opinion. No wig is too big to be on this pod! Richs’ two Chris-es (Brockman and Law also produce epic montage podcasts during NFL down periods). The big bonus here is that his podcasts can run over the 2-hour mark!

4. NFL Fantasy Live – A must listen for anyone playing fantasy football. The daily (Mon-Fri) podcast will keep you up to date with, if not ahead of, the fantasy landscape in the NFL. If I had listened to and acted on more of their advice sooner then I would’ve won more the one league last season!

5. UK EndZone Football Program – This has fast become my favourite podcast based on this side of the pond. Thomas Moore and Ollie Connelly do a superb job of hosting the UKEZ, which includes all the week’s NFL-news as well as all the week’s not-news. These two are aided by featured slots with Robbo in the Field and Neil Dutton who both add to the detailed discussion of all things American Football. My only bugbear is that Mr Moore has his own special way of reading my Twitter handle believing that I’m a fan of the band with such hits as Take On Me (…maybe try @not-only-a-hat-rack).

6. College Football 24-7 – The more you follow the NFL the more you’ll be interested in who will be available for drafting come April-time, and investment here means that when that time rolls round you’ll find that you’re already up to speed. This pod is hosted by two of the best voices in the business (Matt-Money-Smith & Bucky Brooks), not to mention the addition of super-scout Daniel Jeremiah; this is a joy to listen to.

7. Tuesday Morning Football – Falling since last year are the TMF boys. Nothing to fault the content whatsoever from these 2 die-hard fans, plus Olly, but it’s the at times sporadic nature of the pod that’s hurt them.. A solid listen from this UK based podcast! Will Gavin / James Dixon / Olly Hunter

8. Over that Cap – Wondering about everything salary cap related? Well look no further. Expect detailed breakdowns of contracts and cap situations, which really does help to explain some of the mentalities behind certain financial decisions in the NFL. Jason_OTC

9. Mainz and Dutton Discuss Football – A fantasy football & betting podcast in one – your one-stop shop for being competitive when it comes to both beating your mates or beating the bookies. Neil Dutton makes his second appearance on the list, together with his mate Mainzey provide a great overview of the week’s action in their two respective areas.

10. Ross Tucker Football Podcast – From the point of view of an ex-player, the Ross Tucker Football Podcast provides a unique and regular insight into the mind and mentality of NFL players (and in particular O-Linemen). This comes out a very healthy 3 times per week and is never short of quality content.

11. Fantasy Feast: Eatin’ – Another podcast from Ross Tucker‘s podcast stable… Coming at fantasy football from the point of view of newbie is quite refreshing. Not assuming that everyone already knows everything means that no one is left out. All the advice rings true for whatever level of player you are, and a reminder of the key points and some of the intricacies of the game will never hurt anyone. If you’re starting to play yourself, just need a refresher, or really need a helping hand on getting better then Fantasy Feast: Eatin’ is a great option.
Ohh, and watch out for a 3rd offering, Even Money, a betting/gambling podcast, coming soon.

12. Zone Coverage Football Show – The UK’s first NFL phone-in show, and a it’s made a solid start. There’s only been 1 episode so far, but from the sounds of things this could well jump up the rankings when things kick themselves off. ZoneCoverageFS

13. BoltTalk – If you’re a Chargers fan this is the podcast to fill your needs. Two great, knowledgeable hosts conduct a ~weekly discussion via Skype from opposite coast of the states. Nothing is left out/overlooked and with a good community spirit behind it, is a solid pick for fans of San Diego. Ray Chan / Loren Casuto

14. Inside The Huddle – Some more UK-based comment now brought to you squarely from Sky Sports. Jeff Reinbold provides an interesting perspective to the Neil Reynolds hosted product.

15. The Coaches Show Podcast – For the best dissection of every game from the weekend Coach Brian Billick is the man to turn to. Great perspective during the season, just a shame we can’t keep him on microphone the whole year round. Last season the man on the other mic was Mooch, but nothing is certain in this business.

16. M&M Podcast – Marshall (Faulk) & Michael (Irvin) give you their take on the week through the eyes of 2 (recently) ex-players. Disappointingly the podcast is intermittent at best.

There are other podcast options out there, just not ones that I listen to right now, but this are my tried and tested selection. My main piece of advice would be to try to listen to as many of these as you can fit into your schedule.

Update: Apparent glaring oversight: Overtime Ireland – it seems to come very highly recommended, so I’d better try that one then! OTI on Twitter

NFL Play-Off Challenge 2013

NFLlogoAfter we did this last season, I feel I’ll dust off and rejuvenate these words that I wrote last year. And to save sidepodcast posting most of the same words (as most of them still apply), I’ll pop them here this time:

If the excitement of the NFL play offs isn’t enough for you, then there is a treat in store. The Fantasy-Football season has been extended so that you can now create your own mini-team that will run up until the Super Bowl. If, like me, you had a Fantasy team for the regular season, then some extra fancy action is perfect.

It works as most other fantasy games do so; in essence you choose your selection of offensive players and a team’s defence, then points are allocated when those players hit different targets during the games in the playoffs. E.g. a rushing/receiving TD counts for 6 points, throwing a TD pass counts for 4 points, losing a fumble or an interception is worth -2 points, etc. (The full point-scoring system as well as the full Ts-&-Cs are available via the NFL website.)

You need to select: 1× Quarterback, 2× Running Backs, 2× Wide Receivers, 1× Tight End, 1× Kicker, and a Defence. After each week you get the chance to change your team, however if you chose a player and then keep him in your line-up for more weeks, his total receives a multiplier (2×, 3×,…) that increases the longer they stay in the hunt. Each week the teams must be finalised before the first game of that weekend kicks off, but it doesn’t necessarily matter if you miss the Wild Card Weekend. So long as you then choose players from teams with byes, then they are automatically granted a 2× bonus in the Divisional Round.

It’s a toss-up between picking players who’ll score big points but might get knocked out early vs. players that’ll receive large multiplier-bonuses – I’m sure I don’t need to say that, and that’s enough of me giving away tactics. Until the contest begins you’ll not be able to see you friends’ picks, but if you’ve not got a brilliant idea of who might be a good pick there are a set of stats next to each player to give you a helping hand – just in case you’ve not been following the season so far in minute detail.

Once you’ve created a login and chosen your team via the Fantasy Playoff Challenge portion of the NFL website you can join various groups so that you can ‘play’ against your friends or fans of your favourite team (etc); and of course there is a Sidepodcast group – the link should get you to the group, otherwise searching will get you there just as well. At the time of going to press there are only 6 rosters entered, so please join.

Not only will having a selection of players from across the conferences to cheer for make the playoffs even more interesting, but having our own mini-league will keep things nice and competitive. Then come the Super Bowl, we’ll all have our own selection of players and will need different things from each in order to make a challenge for the mini-title, again if the game itself isn’t going to be exiting enough already!!

Like I said it was great fun last season, so make sure you sign up ASAP to get your picks in before the Wild Card Weekend.

2013 NFL-Podcast Draft

NFLlogo

As its Mock Drafting season and the fashion seems for everyone for produce a Draft-Board of their own, I feel that I’d do similar but also do something different: I’d draw up my top-10 Draft-Board for the NFL podcasts I listen to.

1. With the first pick in my 2013 Podcast Draft, I select: the Dave Dameshek Football Program.
A Football podcast with charm and wit, the Shek Republic is the best place on the internet for getting your NFL news and opinion, with a side of breakfast meats. The man seated to his immediate right is Adam Rank, his trusty sidekick (although I’m sure he’d hate being referred to as such), and together with an ensemble cast of other NFL.com hangers-on (Handsome Hank, the ATL boys [Hanzus & Sessler], et al) and the regular array of all-star guests make for a great show every time out. (That is despite the best efforts of Black Tie to keep everything to a tight-45 and cut the pod short.) The best weeks are when you get more new episodes than Dieter Brock had seasons for the LA Rams. This will always be the first thing I’ll listen to if it’s available and so is my first choice to come off the board.

2. With the second pick in my 2013 Podcast Draft, I pick: Tuesday Morning Football.
This UK-based podcast does this side of the Atlantic proud, especially as it’s the most independent of the choices in the top-10. These lads don’t let either fact get in their way – a podcast for fans of the game made by 2 die-hard fans makes for a very informative listen. Clear 2nd-overal pick.
Will Gavin / James Dixon / Olly Hunter

3. With the third pick in my 2013 Podcast Draft, I choose: the Rich Eisen Podcast.
As the big-time face of Thursday Night Football, Rich Eisen has a big-time show to match. Blending the informative and detailed discussion of the games, with guests (footballing & non-footballing), chat, banter and general good times (with maybe the odd rant thrown in for good measure). Props go to the Chris Brockman & Chris Law who help to make this a solid prospect for anyone wanting a great way to enter the sport as well as for those who are already hooked – this pod suits all levels of fan as it is not elitist, because as we know Punters are people too.

4. BoltTalk
If you’re a Chargers fan this is the podcast to fill your needs. Two great, knowledgeable hosts conduct a ~weekly discussion via Skype from opposite coast of the states. Nothing is left out/overlooked and with a good community spirit behind it, is a solid 5th pick. Don’t expect this to fall far.
Ray Chan / Loren Casuto

5. Inside The Huddle
NFL-UK’s official offering: A pretty good way to receive your NFL news – especially if you’re from the UK and watch the games via Sky Sports or MNF on the BBC. By the end of each ep Neil Reynolds & Darren Fletcher will have talked you through the weekend’s action or previewed the next week’s – 2 episodes per week is a big positive.

6. Draft Tracker Podcast
Investment here means that when the NFL-Draft rolls round you’ll find that you’ve just spent the past year learning about all the prospects that everyone is now clamouring to know more about. Hosted by 2 of the best voices in the business (Matt-Money-Smith & Bucky Brooks); this is a joy to listen to.

7. Double Coverage (formally Cover Two)
If you want to listen to 2 well informed guys at the sharp end of reporting the game picking over the hot topics (and some not so hot) then this is the prospect to choose. Expect discussions and disagreements. A good value pick that will get better if it starts falling.
Steve Wyche / Mark Kriegel

8. The Coaches Show
For the best dissection of every game from the weekend Coach Brian Billick is the man to turn to. Great perspective during the season, just a shame we can’t keep him on microphone the whole year round. That’s probably the reason this pod has fallen to 8.

9. M&M (formally No Huddle)
Marshall (Faulk) & Michael (Irvin) give you their take on the week through the eyes of 2 (recently) ex-players. A very personal take is a good listen, but the audio quality means they are one of the more underrated prospects in this class.

10. NFL Fantasy Live Podcast
I’ve until this point not been much of a Fantasy fan, so this is not up my street yet. But as I’m goign to be setting up a league (/joining one) for the coming season this Draft-stock could well be rising.

This would be my top-10, assuming I’ve done a good enough job of scouting what’s on offer. If I’m missing a sure-fire First-Rounder, feel free to let me know where to tune into.

Wait a minute, this isn’t a real Draft, you’re not limited to choosing only 1 prospect, so make time to listen to them all!

Big Ben3