Shutdown Mailbag: Would you rather watch ‘Duck Dynasty’ or a bad football game?

It’s a new week, friends, and that means we’re throwing the doors wide open to you and your questions, complaints, rants and one-liners here in the Shutdown Mailbag. You know the drill here: unburden your football soul via email at or via Twitter at @jaybusbee. Now, gather ‘round.

Why are the St. Louis Rams even playing on Monday Night Football? Even with Sam Bradford the Rams were just OK. I know that you can’t predict an injury, but at least put a team that has a chance of drawing a television audience on Monday Night Football. I watched the San Francisco/St. Louis game a few weeks ago and it was bad. If the Rams quarterback situation is as bad as you are saying then I may skip the game and watch DVR episodes of Duck Dynasty. Uncle Si is always at the top of his game.
-Bob Watkins

Here's the thing, though, Bob: EVERY NFL team has a chance of drawing an audience. You know that crappy Minnesota-New York game from earlier this week? The game that set the entire sport of football back a decade because of the intense suckitude on display? Yeah, guess what: that garbage very nearly drew higher ratings than Game 1 of the World Series two nights later. Seriously.

As for St. Louis: well, every NFL team has to get national television exposure, which is why you have burn-'em-off games like Thursday's Carolina-Tampa Bay tragedy on the NFL Network. ESPN has 32 slots available for Monday night games, and since you can't do Denver-New England every week, they have to spread the wealth a bit. At least you'll have Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to watch.

Oh, and "Duck Dynasty"? I'm not on board. I'm working "Sons of Anarchy" and "Walking Dead" these days. Good show? Give us your review below, and whether you'd pass up an NFL game for another TV show.


Do you think Geno Smith develops into a franchise quarterback, or is he just another Mark Sanchez-game manager type of player?
-Michael Beauharnois

At this point, I think the Jets would be happy with a Game-Player type of player. Sanchez crumpled under the weight of pressure (and butts) and, by the end of his days in New York, couldn't manage a game of Candy Crush. But by all accounts, Smith is turning into a solid, serviceable ballplayer, so much so that he's winning accolades from his teammates for putting in hard work even when it's not required.

More to the point: the Jets are 4-3 and looking like a reasonable pick for a playoff team. Could you have envisioned that with Sanchez or what's-his-name under center? Yeah, didn't think so. It's too early to start fitting Smith for one of those hideous Pro Bowl unis, but as long as he's not the root cause of Jets losses, he'll own New York.


Anybody want to bet that Bill Belichick hated that "South Park" episode where Cartman becomes a teacher and teaches his class to cheat, aka "The Belichick Way?"

That was a wonderful episode. Here's a horrible, freaky, filmed-off-the-TV-screen copy that still gives you the basic idea:

Yeah, that's pretty much perfect. I'm only surprised that Belichick didn't order the "full Patriot Way" for Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park.


Dallas has beaten the Giants, the Redskins, the Eagles and the Rams. How impressive. Tired of the Cowboy lovefest. They suck.
-Oscar T

Maybe so, but you'll note in your list of teams there the entire rest of the NFC East. That's all they need to do, take care of business in their own misbegotten little corner of the NFL. It's like the old line about two guys running away from a bear; your buddy doesn't have to be faster than the bear, just faster than you. (Let's not forget, though, that the Cowboys took the Broncos right to the final two minutes, and with enough preparation and luck Tony Romo might be able to craft a lead that not even Tony Romo could choke away.)

Also, "Cowboy Lovefest" was a really underrated movie. Catch it on Netflix.


I don't know if Adrian Peterson is considering retiring or not, but I would understand if he was. Running back is a brutal position on the body. AP is an extremely hard runner and despite his great individual stats and accomplishments, his team hasn't improved. In fact, they seem to get worse, much like what Barry Sanders encountered. I think AP has two options: request to be traded (if he wants a chance to win) or retire because it's not happening in MIN.

Well, let's consider Mr. Peterson in light of the last great Screw This, I'm Goin' Home early-retirement running back, Barry Sanders. Barry toiled for 153 games in Detroit, while Peterson is at 95 in Minnesota. Peterson would match Sanders' mark with three more full years in the league after this one, which actually sounds like more than you'd expect. Sanders did play 10 full seasons, after all. Peterson is roughly 6,000 yards behind Sanders, meaning he'd have to average a tetch over 100 yards per game over the next three years to match Barry. Now, Peterson would have to go almost another two full seasons at the same rate of production to catch Emmitt Smith for the NFL record. That's five-plus years at the same average rate he's maintained for the last six. You think it's going to happen? Yeah, us neither.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Peterson's current contract runs out five seasons after this one. Odds he's around to get all those reps? We wouldn't bet on it. Far more likely is the scenario where Peterson gets cut and picked up for pennies on the dollar sometime around 2017 by a San Francisco or a New England looking for a short-burst back.

Retirement because you don't like how things are going seems like a weak way out. I'd expect Peterson to get cut, since trading him is going to be impossible, rather than take his orange peanut and go home.


All right, friends, that’ll do it for this week. Think you can do better than this week’s round of letter-writers? Take your shot via Twitter or email below. This is also a reminder that you can tune in to our twice-weekly podcast, the catchily-named Shutdown Corner Podcast, right here on iTunes. And come on back to Shutdown Corner every day, multiple times a day, for the best NFL coverage in the known universe.

Enjoy the games, everybody!

Jay Busbee is a contributor for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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