8 Favorites To WIN The 2018 World Cup Now The U.S. And Italy Are Out

8 Favorites To WIN The 2018 World Cup Now The U.S. And Italy Are Out

Forever away, but here's a list of favorites for the World Cup.
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As many people know, the World Cup is fast approaching. This summer, 32 teams from around the world will converge on Russia to battle for the title of world’s best, and there are many interesting sides (*cough* except the United States *cough*). Here is a list of some of the favorites, including dark horses that’ll surely make the competition interesting.

Surely a favorite to repeat in Russia, with the likes of Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane, and others, Germany will be a tough team to beat, especially when you consider they employ arguably the best international manager in Joachim Loew.

Any side with Messi should be feared. Any side whatsoever. The issue is everywhere else save for Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala. Sergio Agüero can’t score well at the international level, and neither can Higuaín in the clutch. Defensively they’re… lacking, to say the least, save for a few aging backs. If Messi carries this side to the World Cup, it’ll be a semi-miracle.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Top 10 Quarterback-Wide Receiver Combos In The NFL

In a passing league, a quarterback runs the show on offense, and his favorite wide-receiver is his reliable safety blanket.

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The NFL has seen great quarterbacks and great wide receivers. When a combination of a great quarterback and wide receiver are on one team, an offense can become very dangerous. Certain teams and their fans have been fortunate enough to see outstanding duos. This list includes record breakers, Super Bowl MVPs, and Hall of Famers

10. Stabler to Biletnikoff

Ken Stabler and Fred Biletnikoff were typical Oakland Raiders. Rule breaking characters who only cared about winning. The Raiders' victory in Super Bowl XI was the peak of the Raiders dominance of the 70s. MVP Biletnikoff reflected on their years in Oakland and his friendship with Stabler.

9. Namath to Maynard

In the 60s Broadway Joe Namath captivated football fans in the American Football League. He and Don Maynard were bombs away on the field. In 1968 the Jets upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. If it was not for Namath and Maynard, the Jets might not have been in the big game.

8. Staubach to Pearson

Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson made it on the map when Staubach hit Pearson for the first Hail Mary touchdown. They won Super Bowl XII with the Cowboys in 1977 and played in 3 Super Bowls all together in the 70s. Pearson has been overlooked by the Hall of Fame. He deserves to be in Canton along with his quarterback.

7. Brady to Edelman

For the past decade, Tom Brady and Julian Edelman have tormented secondaries and defensive coordinators. They just won their 3rd Super Bowl together and each has left their mark on the NFL. Brady's best receiver in his career may have been Hall of Famer Randy Moss, but Edelman has been the most reliable weapon for the Patriots.

6. Kelly to Reed

The K-Gun offense was perfect for Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. The fast-paced, no-huddle offense was a headache for defenses. Andre Reed was the perfect deep threat for Kelly. The Bills went to 4 straight Super Bowls in the early 90s, something that has not been done before or since. Kelly and Reed are both Hall of Famers despite not winning the Super Bowl.

5. Aikman to Irvin

Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin won three Super Bowls together in Dallas. In their first Aikman hit Irvin for two touchdowns in an MVP performance by Aikman. The Dallas dynasty of the early 90s would not have been possible without this duo.

4. Unitas to Berry

Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry were the best at their positions in their time. The prolific combination of these two legends brought the Colts back to back championships in the late 50s. Their on the field chemistry started before game days. Unitas and Berry would stay after practice and run pass patterns to prepare for Sunday afternoons in Baltimore.

3. Montana to Rice

Jerry Rice entered the league in 1985. By then Joe Montana was a two time Super Bowl champion and two time Super Bowl MVP. Montana and Rice would lead the 49ers to two Super Bowls in the late 80s. Each would win a Super Bowl MVP and San Francisco became the team of the 80s.

2. Young to Rice

By the Early 90s, Jerry Rice had been established as one of, if not, the best wide receiver in NFL history. When injuries led to Joe Montana being traded from the 49ers Steve Young took over the offense. During the transition, Rice would practice catching passes from a left-handed ball boy on the 49ers. Young and Rice would lead the 49ers to three straight NFC championship appearances and a victory in Super Bowl XXIX.

1. Manning to Harrison

Peyton Manning's career makes a compelling argument for him as the best quarterback of his generation. Marvin Harrison may have been the best wide receiver of the 2000s. The fact that they were on the same team was like the stars aligning. Manning and Harrison combined for 12,766 yards and 112 touchdowns - two records that may never be broken. Together, they led the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl in 2006.

The importance of a good quarterback-receiver duo cannot be understated. The better the chemistry is between the two, the better the offense will run. All of these duos brought different things to the table. But they all caused headaches for opposing secondaries.

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