IX- There's plenty of interesting facts and figures in this article about the nine year history of the AFC North.
X - We're approaching Day 70 of the Lockout, a number that's going to at least climb into the 80s and likely into even higher. Plenty of current and former players have shared their thoughts on the labor impasse. One guy I haven't heard much from is Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Once of my least favorite athletes in sports, I've come to at least respect Lewis quite a bit in recent years, mostly because he's undeniably one of the very best leaders in all of the league. Anyway, Lewis recently shared his thoughts with ESPN on the lockout, and the headline-grabbing comment from his conversation with Sal Paolantonio was when he said 'watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game.' Unsurprisingly, the comments section blew up with shallow and racist comments. Though I think the consequences of a missed season reach far deeper than a potential spike in crime, I don't think it's a crazy comment at all. First of all, I think most of the commenters took his comment way out of context. Lewis wasn't talking about there being a huge spike in crime amongst players, but from the many hangers-on that may be short of things to do and money in their pockets.
XIII - Is Colt McCoy's arm strength going to be a major liability for him as he tries to build on his promising rookie season? It's not the first time McCoy's arm strength has been questioned of course, and sure, it's undeniable that there's a handful of throws that he'll have a hard time pulling off because he lacks the cannon of an arm that guys like Ben Roethlisberger or Joe Flacco possess. But I don't think it's going to keep him from being successful in the West Coast offense the Browns are trying to install this year.
XIV - Ryan Mundy was on The Fan Sunday morning to talk about the lockout. Mundy, like so many other players around the league, is a free agent in total limbo during the lockout. Very disconcerting times for what seems like a very nice responsible young man.
XL - Steelers Lounge has a nice commentary about the tough decisions teams face deciding whether to part ways with long-time veterans who have played a huge role in the organization's success for many years. Their conclusion -- it's better to part ways a year too early than a year too late. Agree?
XLIII - Please don't let there not be a full season.