So the NFL released arguably its the most important number Monday.
The salary cap for 2023 will be $224.8 million, a monster jump of $16 million from 2022.
It's a crazy leap from $188.2 million in 2019.
It's also worth noting which clubs are positioned to be free agent buyers and which clubs are facing cap-tastrophies this off-season.
The five teams with the most space are Chicago ($91.8 million under the cap), Atlanta ($56.4 million), New York Giants ($44.7 million), Cincinnati ($43.7 million) and Houston ($39.2 million).
First, in terms of proximity, it makes you wonder what the Falcons will do at the game's most valuable position with that much money to spend.
You have to think Lamar Jackson is being discussed within the Falcons' offices, right? I hope they don't overpay for Geno Smith, who will be a free agent and will command $25 million per after a career year in Seattle.
Aaron Rodgers appears available and Tom Brady will be a free agent, but neither look like a good fit as the Falcons rebuild.
Second, if the Bengals don't make a play for Orlando Brown or Mike McClinchey to play tackle and help Joe Burrow stay upright, well, then I don't know what to say.
Conversely, here are the three teams staring at major cap decisions sooner rather than later.
The Saints are $58.5 million over the cap and the Bucs are $55 million over. The Titans are next at $23.6 million over the new cap, and it makes you wonder who could be on the chopping block for a team mired in the middle that now will be forced to rebuild.
Makes you wonder if Derrick Henry's time in Nashville could be short and if Ryan Tannehill's future could be elsewhere too.
OK, we have annually offered a Super Bowl game with a variety of prop bets.
Anyone interested in playing this year?
The game should be plenty intriguing with the Cheifs and the Eagles and two capable offenses built in different methods.
My first gambling memory is from the Super Bowl and the Eagles. My father and I went to a Super Bowl event sponsored by one of his work buddies. They had one of those boards where you buy squares and then the numbers get placed and if the last digit matches up at the end of quarters and the game, you win a share of the pot.
So Pop bought a square. He was rather shocked that the squares were $100 apiece, and in 1980 that was a serious chunk of change.
Well, we had Raiders 4 and Eagles 6 and Philly lined up a chip shot field goal at the end of the first half that would have made the score 14-6.
Ted Hendricks blocked Tony Franklin's field goal, which was doubly painful because Oakland scored 10 third-quarter points and Philly did not score in the third, so 4 and 6 would have won the second- and third-quarter pots.
Yep, that blocked field goal cost Pop $3,750.
Stupid Ted Hendricks.
Bet turned bad
So when does a 1-1 feel like a complete failure?
Well, our Plays of the Day for Monday were the Nets minus-9 over the Lakers, who played on the East Coact without LeBron and AD in a 17-point loss Monday night. Winner.
That's the good news.
The other pick -- our play of the day actually -- was Iowa State minus-1 at Texas Tech.
Iowa State lost in overtime after blowing a 23-point lead with less than 13 minutes left in regulation. Oh my. That's why they call it gambling, I suppose.
Here's one thing I have come to learn -- or come to remember may be a better phrase:
You can make the proper bet and still lose. That's just part of the deal.
Take the Bengals-Chiefs. I think Cincinnati was the better play even if it broke bad at the end.
Or should it be a complete bottom line conversation where winners are good picks, losers are bad picks kinda deal?
This and that
-- You know the rules. Here's Paschall on UTC standout McClendon Curtis, who is headed to the Senior Bowl. Have to believe Cole Strange's first-year success with the Patriots will help Curtis' stock somewhat, right?
-- Shirley from "Laverne and Shirley" died Monday. She was 75.
-- So now there is a viral social media discussion on whether Tony Romo was about to say the N-word during Sunday's Chiefs-Bengals game. Here's more.
True or false, it's Tuesday. Hi, Ernie.
True or false, the Titans will cut Ryan Tannehill.
True or false the Falcons should go get a big-dollar free agent QB.
True or false, you will gamble on the Super Bowl.
As for today, Jan. 31, let's review.
On this day in 1865, Congress passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.
Three pretty good baseball birthdays today. Jackie Robinson would have been 103, Ernie Banks would have been 92. Nolan Ryan is 76, and he still would whip Robin Ventura.
Justin Timberlake is 42.
All-time Rushmore of boy band members. Go.