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Gronk doin’ Gronk things

Football fans, the day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: the NFL season has begun! It kicked off with the nationally televised Thursday Night Football broadcast, in which defending champions New England Patriots hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. The night kicked off with a big celebration, with CEO Robert Kraft taking the field and the Pats’ faithful sporting an air of defiance after the latest Deflategate developments. At one point they even chanted “where is Roger?” in reference to widely criticized NFL commissioner Roger Goodell!

When the game kicked off, Tom Brady and the Patriots looked in mid-season form. They marched it up and down the field smoothly, and Brady’s timing with slasher Julian Edelman already looked crisp.

And then there was Gronk.

Rob Gronkowski, one of the most indefensible tight ends in history, had himself a day. His first of two touchdowns was classic Gronk, as he caught a ball near the sideline and broke a few tackles before rumbling to the end zone. His second was a simple route toward the back of the end zone, finishing with a perfect drop-in throw by Brady. Gronk’s third score was another red zone special, completing the hat trick and giving Brady his fourth TD pass of the game. When it all was said and done, Gronk had 94 yards on only five receptions, for three touchdowns and three HUGE spikes in the end zone. Edelman finished with 97 yards on eleven catches, and Brady went 25-32 for 288 yards and four touchdowns. Bill Belichick‘s crew handled their opponents from wire to wire, despite some solid looking numbers from the Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger threw for 351 yards, Antonio Brown had nine catches for 133 yards and a score, and DeAngelo Williams silenced his doubters with 127 rushing yards.

Is Gronk the most unstobbable red zone force in the NFL?

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Patriots game without controversy. In yet another example of New England opponents facing unexpected hazards, the Steelers’ headsets reportedly malfunctioned for most of the first half. And guess what they were listening to: the Patriots’ radio broadcast. The Pittsburgh coaching staff was, as you would expect, none too pleased. And as teams and players around the league nodded sympathetically, Steelers fans were left to speculate whether this was yet another instance of the Patriots bending the rules. The NFL released a statement to the effect that the matter was under full investigation, and Pats Nation celebrated a 1-0 start.

Where do you stand on the “dirty tricks” allegations against Belichick & crew? Do you think they stand a chance of making another title run? Is Gronk the most unstoppable red zone force in the NFL? As always, Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app to Play, Shout and Win!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer

The wait is over!

TCU QB Trevone Boykin is looking to prove 2014 wasn’t a fluke.

Football fans, the wait is over at last–and we mean that in more than one way. We’ll start with the longest-running storyline of the NFL offseason: the Deflategate saga, the battle between Tom Brady and the NFL. After much of the sports world waited for the other proverbial shoe to drop, Judge Richard Berman delivered the result New England Patriots fans have hoped for. He vacated the punishment imposed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and cleared Brady to begin the season as usual. Berman’s decision appears to have been based on the fact that, regardless of the merits of the case against Brady, Goodell ignored due process in his handling of the matter…and as you might imagine, this issue isn’t dead yet. Speculation has already begun about the NFL’s next move, as well as how much this whole thing might tarnish the legacies of many involved. One thing’s for sure: if you took a shot and drafted Brady in your fantasy league, you’re doing a happy dance.

As for the other thing football fans have waited seemingly forever for: the college football season is fully underway! It actually began last Saturday, in an under-the-radar but highly exciting FCS kickoff between Montana and FCS defending champion North Dakota State. With just two seconds to go, the Montana Grizzlies excited the home crowd in Missoula with a game-winning touchdown to beat the defending champs, 38-35!

Back to the big show, last night marked the start of the Jim Harbaugh era for the Michigan Wolverines. Unfortunately, the game that was referred to as a ‘cupcake’ match for Harbaugh & company didn’t go as planned. The Utah Utes took down the Wolverines 24-17, as Utes running back Devontae Booker put up 124 total yards and a touchdown. Harbaugh and his famous gameday outfit will be back next week, of course, to try and get the Michigan football program back to the top.
In other action, the South Carolina Gamecocks relied on their defense to beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 17-13. The South Carolina D had two interceptions in their own end zone against Heels’ quarterback quarterback Marquise Williams, who had some bright moments but seemed a little too aware of closing pass rushers. And at the top of the standings, the second-ranked TCU Horned Frogs survived a scare against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, winning 23-17 as quarterback Trevone Boykin set out to prove last season wasn’t a fluke.
The first full week of college football will continue over Labor Day weekend, and the top 25 will be looking to get their hunt for the national title on! Who do you think will get off the biggest start? Will there be any major upsets? Who’s on your early watch list for the Heisman Trophy? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. You can also us #FanCrazy photos and make bold predictions on our Facebook wall. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app!
May the brackets always bust in your favor,
Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer
#GoFancheer

Football is coming!

It still feels like the dog days of summer, sports fans, but football season is already upon us! Quarterback controversies are brewing, roster spots are being fought for (literally in some places), and speculation about the 2015 NFL season has already begun.

Deflate & Brady’s fate are the leading story this offseason.

In the Philadelphia Eagles‘ training camp, they just can’t seem to shake controversy. More former players are questioning how coach Chip Kelly manages his personnel, and nobody has any idea how his mad-scientist college program will translate into the NFL. People are still calling the Eagles Oregon-lite, and with the NFC East in flux, the door is open for Chip’s Eagles to make a charge. The problem is the quarterback situation: The Eagles are discussing extending the contract of QB Sam Bradford, and it remains to be seen if he’s a bona-fide NFL signal caller. The other two QBs on the roster are Tim Tebow and the up & down Mark Sanchez. Another thing that might give Eagles fans pause: the past six running backs to carried the ball 390 times in a season failed to rush for 1000 yards the next year. Is DeMarco Murray due for a down year?

In Dallas, they’re scuffling among themselves on the field. This kind of thing happens from time to time, but here’s what’s different: ownership isn’t just tacitly endorsing it, they’re openly promoting it! Cowboys owner and mega-mogul Jerry Jones expressed pleasure at seeing wideout Dez Bryant mix it up with a teammate mid-play. Dez threw a pretty serious looking haymaker, but things never got too ugly. Trying to get out in front of the story (we guess?), the Cowboys posted the scuffle on their own official social media!

Elsewhere around the league, Cleveland Browns ownership says they ‘haven’t given up’ on QB Johnny Manziel despite the fact that he struggled early in camp and some observers thought he looked ill-prepared. For the Tennessee Titans, rookie QB Marcus Mariota reportedly looks ‘sharp’ so far. This seems in line with projections that he’s already ready for the pros.

Out west, the Seattle Seahawks dealt with their own personnel issues, as they haggled for a while with Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson and safety Kam Chancellor continues to hold out.

And the biggest story of the offseason continues to be the Deflategate saga in New England. Quarterback Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension has been upheld–for now–and speculation abounds regarding balance of power, the appeal process, and what the Patriots will do if they lose their leader for a quarter of a season.

What do you think the biggest story of training camp is so far? Will Brady win his appeal, and if not, are the Patriots up a creek? Who will be this year’s biggest breakouts and busts? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. You can also us #FanCrazy photos and make bold predictions on our Facebook wall. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer