Country Song of the Year: 2022 Edition

You guys reading this have a major soft side. Although 90% of songs on the radio today are love songs anyway, y’all voted 3 of them out of the 4 total nominees. The first newcomer nominee of the group, Jake Owen, makes his first appearance with “Made For You.” Congrats Jake, we are happy to have you. We also welcome Mrs. Carrie Underwood to the Beats Beer Bonfires nominee family for her duet with Jason Aldean. The other two artists are familiar faces, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett. Now, for a song to be qualified for the award it had to top either the country airplay chart or the hot country chart in 2021 on billboards website. It then had to stay on top for at least two weeks. This qualifier was tough for artists like Morgan Wallen who had “Wasted on You” top the hot country chart for one week. Eric Church had “Hell of a View” also only peak for one week, as did Chris Young with “Famous Friends.” All three songs are amongst the biggest of last year but don’t make the cut.

So, what does that leave us with you might be asking? Well, we had 13 songs that made the cut and went into the bracket. From 13, we went to four, and they are…

Forever After All
Luke Combs

If I Didn’t Love You
Carrie Underwood
Made For You
Jake Owen
What’s Your Country Song
Thomas Rhett

The winner of this award might surprise you, but it won’t because it’s Luke Combs. I mean, the dudes a fucking living legend. Everything he touches turns to absolute gold. Not only did he have the winning song, but “Better Together” might’ve also made the final four had the two songs not run into each other earlier in the bracket. The question is, has Thomas Rhett surrendered the title of country music love song guy to Luke Combs?

Rhett had “What’s Your Country Song” as a finalist, but that was the only non-love song in the top 4. For a while, he was for sure the guy, with his wife Lauren as his muse. “Die a Happy Man” came out way back in 2015, which led to a string of honeymoon love hits. Relationships grow and evolve though, and what was once a young fling turns into marriage. Luke and Nichole are starting to enter the phase of life Thomas were in all those years ago. They are getting married and starting a family. Until their family starts though, expect the honeymoon phase might be in control of radio airwaves for the future. Luke Combs, once again, is a fucking monster. He won this award, and spoiler alert, you might be seeing his name again.

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Country Album of the Year 2022

The Beats Beer Bonfires Country Album of the Year Award got filled with some bullshit nominees this year. It also had one stand-alone true deserver to win. To get qualified for the chart, the album had to be a #1 album on the Billboard top country albums chart for at least 1 week. It also had to get released in that calendar year. Let me clear one thing up, the Taylor Swift dilemma. Yes, I understand that Red and Fearless didn’t come out last year. Yes, I understand all she did was rename them Taylor’s Version. Yes, I understand she is selling them to millions of idiots who are pretending that they are doing some justice to Taylor by buying old albums again. Yes, I understand that she released deluxe albums. BUT, I trust you the followers not to vote for these albums. I wanted to not allow Taylor fans to bitch about how we didn’t include her. So instead, I did include her and got the satisfaction of watching her lose. 

The other two nominees each come with some controversy. “Dangerous: The Double Album” didn’t get flowers from the mainstream last year. You might remember Morgan Wallen getting canceled for no reason. That came about a month after the release of his fantastic album. “Star Crossed” by Kacey Musgraves wasn’t considered a country album by the Grammy’s. Then after public backlash that changed. Then it wasn’t country than it was. I’m not going to try and distinguish what the album is. You guys reading and voting know what country is, so who am I to force my opinion on the situation. And the winner is…

Dangerous: The Double Album” by Morgan Wallen 
Fearless by Taylor Swift 
Red by Taylor Swift 
Star-Crossed by Kacey Musgraves

Morgan Wallen dominated the category. In reality, he didn’t even have competition, we all know Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves are pop. “Dangerous” was a mega 30 song double album, filled with something for everyone. “Dangerous” featured everything from slow heartbreak songs, like “Sand in My Boots.” Then it had rowdy drinking songs like “Beer Don’t.” It features radio hits like “More than my Hometown” and everything in-between. He had a big-name duet with Chris Stapleton. He has big-name writers with Eric Church, Hardy, Thomas Rhett, and Ernest on it. Congratulations to Morgan Wallen on winning the 2022 Beats Beer Bonfires Album of the Year Award! 

I also wanted to do an honorable mentions section for all the people bitching about what I missed. Cody Johnson released a fantastic album release with “Human.” Thomas Rhett’s “Country Again Side A” was great. Justin Moore released “Straight Outta the Country.” Eric Church had a triple album in “Heart & Soul,” and that’s the tip of the iceberg. For a complete list, click here. Next year, we are considering redoing the criteria for this award. While I still believe Morgan Wallen would’ve won, I don’t feel the best 4 country albums received a nomination. Let us know what you think below! 

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Rap Artist of the Year 2022

The Beats Beer Bonfires Rapper of the Year Award is truly a first of its kind. No one has ever given a shit about this group of artists. No one gives a shit about Ryan Upchurch, Adam Calhoun, Struggle Jennings, Demun Jones, or anyone like that… right? Well, Church has 642K followers, on his backup account. Adam Calhoun has 733K, Struggle is sitting there with 357k. So again, I ask, does anyone care about rappers like this? This group is a little bit harder to identify. It used to be country rap, but it has evolved beyond that. Nashville rap? Doesn’t work. Southern rap? That could work. I’m not sure what to call it, but these guys deserve to get recognition. Did they ask for it? Absolutely not. But they are a major underground industry, and it deserves to shine.

I also completely fucked something up. Shoutout to Rick Lynn for making the semifinals for rapper of the year. Unfortunately, he isn’t a rapper. Again, my fuck up, so I won’t DQ him. I felt like it was best to leave this up to a top 3 to avoid further confusion about calling him a rapper. He’s very talented and you should go check him out though.

Now, we are down to our top three. Two of them are Nashville natives that didn’t want to just take the country music route. The third is from Chicago but runs in the circles of these Nashvillians. All three of them are also going down different future paths. One is giving up rap to go country, one is continuing to rap but also includes rock and country music on his albums. One releases different genre albums whenever the fuck he wants with no rhyme or reason. Who are these men? Let’s break it down.

Adam Calhoun

Adam Calhoun is an absolute freight train. His music is polarizing because it is often very political. Some people love the symbolism of the state of politics in his music, others don’t. Regardless of where you stand on his music, there’s no denying his talent. He has teased two new projects this year. The first, “The Brave,” is a project he did with Tom MacDonald and is coming out in March. His final rap album will be out later in 2022. Both projects should be massive hits for Calhoun before he moves to country music. His latest video for the song “New World Order” has over 4 million views in 11 days. If you like Calhoun check out some of his older stuff like “Country” and “Die Tonight.”

Calhoun isn’t only a musician; he is a popular as a YouTube personality. His video about Carhartt got 442K views in 12 days. He is super outspoken about his political views and how he sees the world. I very much enjoy these videos, especially because of videos like the Carhartt one. I own about 90% Carhartt and I can’t afford to get rid of all my clothes, but Calhoun can, and he did. He also challenges lots of common themes in the world. He’s attacked racism, white privilege, and the double standards of free speech on social media. He isn’t crazy though; he’s calculated and uses a real-life example of things. I would very much enjoy seeing him in a debate with a lib because he would be very impressive and well-spoken.

Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll is going in a different direction than Calhoun. I would argue that he has done the most for his brand in the past few years and has come into his own. Jelly Roll came up as more of a rapper but lives in Nashville and often writes with country industry people. He also currently has a rock song “Dead Man Walking” climbing the charts. Unlike Upchurch though, he doesn’t release different albums for different genres. His album is a huge melting pot, a sign of genres dying. Jelly Roll has been a recurring guest on “Bussin’ with the Boys” and the “Just Being Ernest” podcasts. This has helped him reach new audiences. He is super raw and unfiltered, he doesn’t hide his inner struggles and on the mic, he talks effortlessly.

Back to the music, Jelly released “Ballads of the Broken” in 2021. The album has some smashes on it, “Walking” “Son of a Sinner” and “Over You” included. This album is becoming a game-changer for him, as it has taken him to the radio, the Grand Ole Opry, and on a major tour. Jelly Roll is coming, and if he doesn’t win this year, he should be in contention for years to come.

Upchurch

Ryan Upchurch is a force like Calhoun but for different reasons. Like Calhoun, he is a YouTube figure. Unlike Calhoun, he only dabbles in politics from time to time. Instead, he often talks about the music industry. He recognizes that the industry fucks over young artists and is on a mission to bring it down. Will he? Maybe, but either way, he has at least brought light to it. He is a little more of a personal blogger than Calhoun, so his other videos talk about some of the bullshit in his life he deals with.

As for the music, he crushed it last year. He released “Mud to Gold” in early 2021. The album had the songs “Mud to Gold,” “My Yard,” and “Gas” on it. He then released a very hyped country album in the summer. “Same Ol,” “Real Country,” and “Trade Gettin Drunk” are the biggest songs on that album. To finish off the year he released a remixed video for the song “Broadway Girls” with Chase Matthews. The song got released by Lil Durk and Morgan Wallen the week before. Upchurch was going to release the song anyway, but Wallen ignored Church one night on the town, so he released it sooner as a fuck you. The video has over 6 million views on it in about a month. At first, I wasn’t a huge fan. But after listening to it a few times, it might be better than the Wallen version.

Winner

Congratulations to Ryan Upchurch for winning the first-ever Beats Beer Bonfires rapper of the year award! Church is the first big name in country rap. Despite Calhoun and Jelly Roll coming on hot the past few years, they still haven’t surpassed Ryan. The coolest part of this award is the three guys are all friends. They all support each other, have much with each other, and won’t give a fuck that I even wrote this article. But I did anyway, and we are happy to announce Ryan Upchurch as the first-ever rapper of the year!

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The Official 2022 NASCAR Season Preview + Our Predictions

Last year, Kyle Larson absolutely dominated the Cup Series, winning 10 races including the Phoenix championship race. The way the playoffs are with 16 drivers starting, ending with the one winner take all race where only four drivers are eligible creates a lot of excitement but also makes it a lot harder for the true best driver over an entire season to win a title, but Larson did it. However, that was last year, and this year will be completely different. 2022 will welcome the NextGen racecar. The car has seemingly had struggles in development, with its safety being questioned. Nascar however is confident that it got the car right, and as the teams develop the new cars, rule adjustments will be made to make it better than its predecessor. With that being said, let’s see what else will be new in 2022. Also, make sure to check out our hottest NASCAR wives article here!

Tracks

The first new track isn’t a track at all, as it’s a well-known stadium. The LA Memorial Colosseum held a 150-lap quarter mile shootout a few weeks ago, 40 cars tried to qualify for the 23-car field. It will be interesting to see how the results of the “Clash in the Colosseum” translate to the Daytona 500 results.

St. Louis will be getting a race in 2022. The Worldwide Technology Raceway is 1.25 miles long. The paper clip shaped track has never held a Cup Series event, but it held a Xfinity race last in 2010, with Brad Keselowski winning in a Dodge.

Drivers

Ross Chastain will drive #1. He drove for Chip Ganassi racing, who sold to Trackhouse Racing

Brad Keselowski is moving from #2 to #6. He is leaving Penske Racing for Roush-Fenway, newly named RFK and will become a team part owner.

Austin Cindric will drive #2. He drove for Penske in Xfinity series

Harrison Burton will drive #21. He will drive for Wood Brothers Racing

Kurt Busch will move from #1 to #45. He is leaving the defunct Chip Ganassi racing for 23XI racing, owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.

Ty Dillon is moving from #96 to #94. He is leaving Gaunt Brothers Racing for GMS Racing.

My Predictions

            Obviously with a new car, it is nearly impossible to predict who will adapt quickly and who will struggle. With that being said, here are my early predictions for the Daytona 500, each playoff round, and even the 2022 Nascar champion.

Daytona 500

Winner: Kyle Busch

Round of 16:

Alex Bowman

Austin Cindric

Austin Dillon

Brad Keselowski

Bubba Wallace

Chase Elliot

Christopher Bell

Denny Hamlin

Joey Logano

Kevin Harvick

Kyle Busch

Kyle Larson

Kurt Busch

Martin Truex Jr.

Ryan Blaney

William Byron

Round of 12:

Alex Bowman

Brad Keselowski

Chase Elliot

Christopher Bell

Denny Hamlin

Joey Logano

Kevin Harvick

Kyle Busch

Kyle Larson

Martin Truex Jr.

Ryan Blaney

William Byron

Round of 8:

Chase Elliot

Denny Hamlin

Joey Logano

Kyle Busch

Kyle Larson

Martin Truex Jr.

Ryan Blaney

William Byron

Round of 4:

Chase Elliot

Kyle Busch

Kyle Larson

Ryan Blaney

Champion:

Ryan Blaney

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These are the 10 Hottest NASCAR Wives and Girlfriends

            We decided to rank the hottest Nascar wives! The NASCAR season is finally coming back! With a new generation of car, new drivers, and old faces in new places, it’ll be sick to see who can adapt and overcome to be the 2022 champion. Last year, Kyle Larson absolutely drove out of everyone’s lives to win the title, can he repeat? Can Hendrick stay as dominant as a team as they were last year? Or will the new cars level the playing field and create a new dominant team?

            As tradition has it with a new season opening, we decided to rank the wives and girlfriends of the drivers. To qualify, the driver had to be in the Monster Energy Series and be a full-time driver. Just like other articles of this type such as our PBR hottest wives’ article and hottest country singers’ article, this stipulation might have led us to missing some beautiful people, but we didn’t have all the time in the world to dig through every driver behind the wheel of a modified car. Again, I am just the messenger, and these results were compiled from multiple voters of both male and female variety. Without further a due, here are the hottest women of NASCAR entering the 2022 season!

10. Alexa De Leon

Career: N/A

Husband: Tyler Reddick

Instagram: alexa.deleon_

9. Erin Blaney

Career: N/A

Boyfriend: William Byron

Instagram: erinblaney

8. Kari Witt

Career: Business Owner

Boyfriend: Cole Custer

Instagram: kari_witt

7. Jordan Fish

Career: Entrepreneur

Husband: Denny Hamlin

Instagram: xojordanfish

6. Julia Piquet

Career: Interviewer

Boyfriend: Daniel Suarez

Instagram: juliapiquet

5. Jenna Petty

Career: Student

Boyfriend: Harrison Burton

Instagram: jp123dancer

4. Marissa Briscoe

Career: N/A

Husband: Chase Briscoe

Instagram: marissabriscoe_

3. Ashley Busch

Career: Owner Monarch Reign

Husband: Kurt Busch

Instagram: mrsashleybusch

2. Gianna Tulio

Career: Hooters Model

Boyfriend: Ryan Blaney

Instagram: giannatulio

1. Madyson Joye

Career: N/A

Boyfriend: Rickey Stenhouse

Instagram: madysonjoye

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2021 NFL Season Recap

The confetti has flown, we crowned a champion, and now it’s time to recap the NFL season. 285 games over 22 weeks have taken 32 hopeful teams all the way down to one last man standing. We wanted to recap the best and the worst of a wild NFL season, and break down how the Rams became Super Bowl champions!

Regular Season

AFC East 

In reality, not much time to waste here. The Patriots are back already, so that sucks. Mac Jones was the best rookie QB, and likely a franchise QB for the foreseeable future, which the Patriots deserve… right? At the beginning of the season, the Bills were the heavy favorite to win the entire division, and they got it done. It looked sketchy for a minute, they had midseason struggles, but they managed to get it together and pull it off. The Dolphins started off slow before rattling off seven in a row and ALMOST got a playoff spot. They then fired head coach Brian Flores. Rumor has it he was power-hungry and had a bad relationship with Tua Tagovailoa. Now they are looking for their next head coach, a spot they’ve been in a lot recently. The Jets… same Jets. 

Bills 11-6

Patriots 10-7

Dolphins 9-8

Jets 4-13

AFC North 

The Ravens and the Browns were most people’s picks to win the division. Some “professionals” even picked them to win the Super Bowl. Instead, they finished 3rd and 4th in the division. The Ravens had a season from hell. Lamar Jackson was often injured, and most of the team around him was as well. They still fought hard, but they never had a chance with all the injuries. The good news is the Ravens will have an easier schedule, and the 14th pick in the draft this year. This will help them a lot in 2023, and the Ravens will likely be back in the playoffs. 

For the Browns, the question becomes what happens to the future of Baker.

This was going to be the year Cleveland turned the corner and made a run, yet it turned out to be another failure. Odell Beckham Jr. got cut. Kevin Stefanski forgot he had the best running back stable in the game. He seemed to force an injured Baker to throw the ball constantly. The Browns had a projectile to be an up-and-coming franchise. Now that might all be passed and lots of questions loom. 

The Steelers got their last chance to watch Ben Roethlisberger as their QB. Although most Steelers fans know his career was over, it is still sad to say goodbye to a legend. They played subpar football most of the season. The low point was a tie to the winless Lions. Despite all the struggles, Pittsburgh had a sliver of hope to sneak into the playoffs. First, they needed a major upset of the Colts losing to the Jaguars. They got it. Then they needed to upset the Ravens on the road. Check. Finally, they needed the Raiders and Chargers game to not end in a tie. Although it took a walk-off field goal in OT, they got it. It was the ultimate underdog story and a fitting end to Roethlisberger’s all-time great career. 

The Bengals? They won the division? Not only did the Bengals win, but they look like what the Browns wanted to be. Rookie WR Jamar Chase and second-year QB Joe Burrow look like the best QB-WR duo in the game. They won all the games they needed to and even upset the Chiefs in week 17. The Bengals didn’t have the flashiest season. But for a team that wasn’t supposed to win more than 5 games, they were able to expedite their window to compete. Look for the Bengals now to be favored to repeat as AFC North champions going into 2022.

Bengals 10-7

Steelers 9-7-1

Browns 8-9

Ravens 8-9

AFC South 

Like the AFC East, this division went pretty much as expected. The Titans were heavy favorites to win it. They faced adversity though. They struggled against inferior teams and lost Derrick Henry for most of the season. At the end of the day though, they got their shit together and not only won the South but got the #1 seed in the AFC. This gave them a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs. 

The Colts started out 1-5. Pardon My Take’s Big Cat was so confident in how bad they sucked, he said he would cut off his pinky if they won the Super Bowl. They then gave RB Jonathan Taylor the ball every play and started to win. In fact, they went from 1-5 to 9-7 entering Week 18. All they had to do was beat the 2-14 Jaguars to clinch a playoff birth. But it didn’t happen. They got embarrassed and eliminated from playoff contention. Now they have a lot of questions to answer, including who will be QB1 in Week 1 next year. 

The Texans don’t believe in having talent on their roster. Every time they have something good, they cut or trade them. DeAndre Hopkins? Gone. J.J. Watt? See ya. Tyron Mathieu? Go elsewhere, please. Deshaun Watson? Ok well, understandable, but still super talented. The worst part is the Texans have no talent to show for these losses. Dave Culley got hired before the 2021 season and did a fantastic job. He came in and managed four impressive wins despite Davis Mills being his best player. But the Texans are the Texans, and in true Texan’s fashion, they fired Culley after the season ended. The poor guy over-performed and made the Texans not look like a dumpster fire, and now he’s gone. Good luck to whoever they hire next. 

Oh, Jacksonville Jaguars. Remember when Urban Meyer was your coach? Then he fingered some random chick’s asshole and pissed off EVERYONE in the organization. He also might have ruined one of the most highly touted prospects in NFL history. It was a fun 10 weeks with Urban Meyer was in the league though, he spiced it up. Trevor Lawrence is supposedly the next big thing, but he didn’t look like it last year. I remain high on Lawrence though, especially if the Jags go out and get Byron Leftwich as their next head coach. Can the Jags do something right to not be a dumpster fire? Well, they have the top pick in the draft again, and it doesn’t seem like it can get any worse. 

Titans 12-5

Colts 9-8

Texans 4-13

Jaguars 3-14

AFC West 

Let’s get the Chiefs out of the way. They looked like shit in the early part of the season. Then Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreke Hill remembered they are Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreke Hill. They then went on a tear and won the West again. 

The Raiders should not have been the team they were. They won ten games. First off, the roster didn’t look like a 10 win roster. Then, they lost head coach Jon Gruden halfway through the year. Next, star WR Henry Ruggs got cut when he drunk drove and killed someone in a high-speed crash. 

But they had Derek Carr. Carr proved that he is one of the best QBs in the league despite getting no respect from anyone. They also had interim head coach Rich Bisaccia. Bisaccia killed it, as he went 7-5 after he took the helm. They brought in Will Compton to hold down the defense. Then they cut him, then they signed him, and then they cut him again right before the playoffs. Get your “Playoff Willy” gear here. It took a miracle for the Raiders to get in, as they needed a win or tie with the Chargers to make the dance. This came to fruition. In the final seconds of overtime in the final game of the regular season, Daniel Carlson kicked a walk-off field goal to send the Chargers home. 

Opposite of the Raiders is the Chargers. This is a team that looked good on paper. But they ended up not being good. The Chargers finished 9-8 but that feels like a failed season with Justin Herbert as their QB. It feels like every year the experts pick the Chargers to finally beat the Chiefs. Yet every year they miss the playoffs. I’m not going to say I don’t believe in Justin Herbert or head coach Brandon Staley. Herbert is a mega-talented young QB, and Staley is a stats wizard. Until they get over the hump and make a postseason run though, I’d count on them finishing outside of the playoffs. 

The Broncos pretty much had the year everyone expected. They are a good roster. The problem is at QB. Teddy Bridgewater is the ultimate 6-9 win QB regardless of how good or bad his team is. He’s a great stop-gate if your hunting for your next franchise QB. 2022 should be interesting as the Broncos are the team to watch this upcoming offseason. They hired Nathanial Hackett to be the new head coach, a favorite of Aaron Rodgers. Could Hackett get Rodgers to Denver? If they can they might be Super Bowl favorites next year. If not Rodgers, could they take a risk on Baker Mayfield or Carson Wentz? Denver should be fun to watch this year.

Chiefs 12-5

Raiders 10-7

Chargers 9-8

Broncos 7-10

NFC East 

Fuck the Cowboys and all you fucks that like them. I enjoyed last year when their defense was historically bad, but Dan Quinn had to ruin that. The Cowboys proved that they are a good, bad team, and managed to get twelve wins this year. I can’t say that I’m surprised they won the division, the Giants suck, the Football team sucks, and the Eagles were surprisingly good, but Jalen Hurts and that’s all I have to say about that. The Cowboy’s most impressive win was the Patriots in week 6, but besides that, they didn’t beat anyone. They lost pretty bad to every playoff team they faced, and the Broncos at home. But someone had to win the East, and the Cowboys were the beneficiaries. 

Speaking of Jalen Hurts, the Eagles were another team that wasn’t very good. The difference though is that they played well against teams worse than them. In fact, the list of QBs the Eagles beat are as follows.

Matt Ryan 

Sam Darnold 

Jared Goff

Teddy Bridgewater

Trevor Siemian 

Zach Wilson 

Garrett Gilbert 

Taylor Heinicke 

Mike Glennon 

Nothing against Matt Ryan. But when a 36-year-old Matt Ryan is by far the best QB you beat, that doesn’t exactly bode well for your team. To be fair, the Eagles still had to handle their business and they did, but I wouldn’t expect them to be as good next year. They do have 3 first-round picks which helps them, but they still have Jalen Hurts.. sounds like a nice guy, would love to have him on my fantasy team, but Super Bowl-winning QB? 

The Football team wrapped up its final season as the Football team. They won the same number of games they did when they won the division in 2020. It wasn’t as impressive though because they also lost one more due to the extra game. They dropped to third in the division. While they have a quality head coach in Ron Rivera, they have Taylor Heineke at QB. They are also the Washington Football Team at the end of the day. If I had to bet, I would put the Washington name TBD team at somewhere between 6-8 wins next year. 

My Giants, what a year. The Gettleman-Judge era came to an end with the worst playcalling I’ve ever seen. I had to attempt to explain to my girlfriend how QB sneaks worked. Then I had to explain why doing it from your own 3-yard line was pathetic. Daniel Jones is starting to look like a bust, but I’m still holding hope that the new regime can turn him into Josh Allen. Oh Giants, please stop being so bad. 

Cowboys 12-5

Eagles 9-8

Football Team 7-10

Giants 4-13

NFC North 

This division also pretty much went exactly as expected. The “last dance” Packers looked like about the best team in football. The Vikings once again managed to be a middle-of-the-road team. The Lions looked like shit but played with a lot of heart. Dan Campbell looks like he might actually make them a good team in the future. The Bears, who the Giants have their draft pick, managed to rattle off a few late wins. They had to fire Matt Nagy and hire Matt Eberflus to be Justin Fields’ next head coach. If Aaron Rodgers leaves, the NFC North could quickly turn into the worst division in football. The QBs would be Jordan Love, Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, and Justin Fields. With this list, the Vikings might turn into the team to beat. 

Packers 13-4

Vikings 8-9

Bears 6-11

Lions 3-13-1 

NFC South 

The Buccaneers were the team to beat, and they won the division. Yet, there is an argument to be had that the Saints were the better team in that division. Why? Well, they blanked the Buccaneers in their home and home series 0-2. In fact, the Buccaneers scored 0 points against the Saints in one of the games. Now though Tom Brady is retiring. The Buccaneers could be heading toward a rebuild after their brief stay as the best team in football. 

Likewise, the Saints might also be heading towards a rebuild. Taysom Hill has proven he’s better as a weapon than a full-time starting QB. Jameis Winston had a good start to the season but has injury questions. Sean Payton is gone. This once powerhouse franchise might be heading towards a rebuild very fast. 

The other two teams, the Panthers and the Falcons, both have more questions than answers. For the Panthers, they have a head coach that could be leaving for Michigan. They don’t have a good QB and finished the season losing seven games in a row. The Falcons have a young head coach that took a bad team to a respectable 7-10 record. Still, they could look to move on from an aging Matt Ryan and rebuild as well. This division might turn into one where a team has to win rather than earn it very fast. 

Buccaneers 13-4

Saints 9-8

Falcons 7-10

Panthers 5-12

NFC West

The final division is the best one. The worst team, the Seahawks, still went 7-10 despite not having Russell Wilson for half of the year. The 49ers, who finished 3rd in the division, are the 6th seed in the playoffs. They are behind the Cardinals who were 5th and the Rams who were 4th. This division gets hurt by how often they played each other. Is it unrealistic to believe the Seahawks would’ve won the NFC East or AFC South if they played in it? I don’t think so.

Anyway, the Rams played fantastic after acquiring every big-name player available since the 2021 Super Bowl ended. Matt Stafford, Von Miller, and Odell Beckham Jr. all got acquired since the end of last season. Don’t forget they have Aaron Donald, the best defensive player in the league. They also have Sean McVay who might be the best head coach in the league in the next ten years. 

The Cardinals would win the Super Bowl every year if it got played before the season started. They were the last undefeated team in the NFL, yet somehow didn’t even win their division. Kliff Kingsbury has a history of teams starting fast and failing late. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t change this year. The 49ers seem to be a franchise in transition from Jimmy G to Trey Lance, but the roster has talent. Like the Rams, they have one of the brightest young coaching minds in the game, as Kyle Shanahan is at the helm. Not only was the NFC West the best division in football this year, but it is also on the rise. 3 of the 4 coaches are under 45 years old. The four front offices are young and intelligent as well, so the NFC West could be the standard for a long time. 

Rams 12-5

Cardinals 11-6

49ers 10-7

Seahawks 7-10

Wild Card Round 

One of the more boring weekends of playoff football all time, the Wild Card round laid some eggs. The best two games were the Raiders-Bengals and 49ers-Cowboys. The Raiders were down 7 with under a minute to go, and Derek Carr was leading a beautiful drive. Yet he threw a pick in the endzone to seal the Bengal’s win. The 49ers-Cowboys game ended in big drama. Bad time management from Dak and Mike McCarthy led to a QB draw with 14 seconds and no timeouts left. The play got them a large gain, but the refs couldn’t get to the ball fast enough to spot it, and the 49ers won the game.

Bills mafia can rejoice as they dismantled the Patriots 47-17 in Buffalo. The Buccaneers played the Eagles in Tampa. Despite a few garbage-time touchdowns, the Bucs dominated the game. I was at that game, and it was an awesome atmosphere, shoutout to Tampa fans for being cool. The Chiefs retired Big Ben. The Steelers looked like they might beat them, but then Patrick Mahomes remembered he’s one of the best QBs in the game. The Chiefs ended up routing the Steelers 42-21. The Rams embarrassed division rival Arizona in Los Angeles 34-11 to round out the week. 

Divisional Round 

One of the most entertaining weekends of playoff football of all time, every game got settled as the clock hit 0. First, the Bengals upset the 1 seeded Titans in Nashville on a walk-off field goal, 19-16. The 49ers upset the 1 seeded Packers in Green Bay, as Aaron Rodgers was never able to get anything going. Like the Bengals, the 49ers won on a walk-off field goal by Robbie Gould. They also might have sent Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before but the Rams beat Tampa with a walk-off field goal. That is selling this game short though, as Tampa found themselves down 27-6 quickly. Tom Brady remembered he was Tom Brady though and brought his team back to tie the game 27-27. There was too much time left on the clock for Matt Stafford. He hit Cooper Kupp for a 44 yard gain with under 10 seconds left. That set up a short 30-yard field goal and sent the Rams home for the NFC Championship. The game of the weekend though was between the Bills and the Chiefs. The teams traded shots all game, but in the last two minutes, the score went from 26-21 Chiefs to 36-36 tie. Then in OT, the Chiefs were able to get the ball first. This led them to tear up Bill’s exhausted defense, score a TD, and send them to the AFC Championship round.

Championship Round 

Well shit, another round of great football. The Bengals faced off against the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium. Patrick Mahomes got another shot at Joe Burrow who beat him in week 17. The Chiefs got off to a very fast start, going up 21-3 early. The Bengals battled back and made it 21-10 at halftime. In the second half, the Chiefs forgot how to score, as they managed only 3 points. The Bengals caught fire and scored 2 TDs tying the score at 24-24 at the end of regulation. Like the week before, the Chiefs won the toss in OT and started with the ball. Unlike last week, Pat Mahomes tried to do too much and threw a pick. In this game ice-cold blood, Joe Burrow was the one getting the last laugh. Burrow drove down the field and got rookie kicker Evan McPherson in field goal range. McPherson drilled the winning field goal, sending Cincinnati to the Super Bowl.

On the West coast, it was a rivalry game between division foes Rams, and 49ers. The game was in LA, although it felt like the game was in San Francisco because of the crowd. It was projected that 65% of the attendance was 49ers fans. The game started out slow and it was 10-7 49ers at halftime. Then the Rams came out and remembered that they wanted Matthew Stafford to get to the Super Bowl. Stafford spent his entire career in Detroit up to this year and had never won a playoff game. Jimmy G remembered that he is Jimmy G, and forgot how to complete the ball. This led to a Rams came back, beating the 49ers 20-17.

This set up a Super Bowl between preseason favorite in the NFC the Rams, and the young upstart from the Midwest Bengals. The Rams had to beat Kyler Murray, retire Tom Brady, outlast Jimmy G to get there. The Bengals had to take out the Raiders, the top seed Titans, and the superpower Chiefs. Both teams are deserving, but only 1 can be the Super Bowl Champion. 

Super Bowl

First note, the Rams are only the second team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The first is the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Second, the Rams are the first team to win the Championship round in their own stadium and then play in the Super Bowl next week. Matthew Stafford had never won a playoff game in Detroit, and now he’s in the biggest game of his career. The Rams are the favorites to win the game over the Bengals. Despite being the better team on paper and being at home the margin is smaller than I’d expect, the Rams opened up at -4.5 point favorites. 

As for how the game went, not bad at all. The Rams started out absolutely dominating the Bengals, but the Bengals got their footing quick. At halftime it was 13-10 Rams. Coming out in the second half the Bengals had the opportunity to take the game over. They hit a huge TD to open the half, and then immediately picked off Stafford. However the Rams held them to just a field goal, and the score of the game was 20-13. Fast forward to the last 2 minutes with the score 20-16, the Rams were able to throw a clutch TD with a minute and a half left to make the score 23-20. Joe Burrrrow had the opportunity to drive down the field to win it or at least kick a field goal, but after some questionable play calling and Aaron Donald happening, the Bengals turned the ball over on downs and the Rams won.

Other Notes 

This season was one of unpredictability. From week 1 when the Saints beat the Packers 38-3 in Green Bay, to the last week of the season where the Jaguars knocked off the Colts, the upsets were insane. Shoutout to the Jaguars. First, they upset the Bills 9-6. At the time the Bills were regarded as the best team in football. After that was the Colts were upset, stopping Indy from being in the playoffs. The Jets were another upset machine, as they beat the division-winning Bengals and Titans. The Lions beat the Cardinals in Week 15, giving Dan Campbell his first signature win as a coach. The Broncos beat the Cowboys in Dallas. The Broncos ended up being a decent team, but the spread was -10.5 in the Cowboy’s favor. 

This year could be a huge year for QB movement. Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady are gone. Aaron Rodgers has been noncommittal to playing past this season. If he does play he hasn’t said where he will play. Russell Wilson will probably be back with the Seahawks. There was still a lot of smoke in Seattle, so it’s worth watching the situation anyway. DeShaun Watson won’t be back with the Texans, but his next team will have to give up a lot to get the young QB. I would bet the Panthers take the chance and get him pending his legal issues. Matt Ryan isn’t guaranteed to stay in Atlanta, but it looks like he might because of his contract. Jalen Hurts might not be the guy in Philly, but I would think he is the guy right now.

Jimmy G probably won’t be back in San Francisco. Teddy Bridgewater probably won’t be back in Denver. Jameis Winston might not be back in NOLA. Carson Wentz might be gone in Indy, but who replaces all these guys is a mystery. Baker Mayfield probably will get another chance in Cleveland to rehab and be healthy. Still, after rumors, his head coach doesn’t want him, it’s also worth watching. This might be a big year of movement. It also might be a massive stalemate of guys getting one more chance in their respective cities. By the 2024 kickoff though, the QB landscape will be much different.

The 2021 NFL season was amazing, and congratulations to the Rams again! Now it’s time for the offseason. Kenny Pickett and Matt Corral are going to get drafted. DeVante Adams and Aaron Rodgers will decide their futures. New coaches like Brian Daboll to the Giants will get their first chances to build their rosters. Next year should be fun! 

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Super Bowl LVI Preview and Betting Guide

Welcome to the Beats Beer Bonfires Super Bowl betting guide! We have made it to the 2022 Super Bowl. As shitty as it will be to not have football for six months, this should be a very fun game to watch. As everyone predicted back in August, the Rams will be taking on the Bengals in the championship game. Who’s going to win? Who should you bet? We will break it all down for you here!

Rams

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise the Los Angeles Rams made the Super Bowl. They pushed all their chips to the table for this season. First, they acquired Matthew Stafford from the Lions preseason. Then they snagged Von Miller, and Odell Beckham Jr. in midseason acquisitions. They have Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Leonard Floyd on defense. They have Andrew Whitworth, Cooper Kupp, and Sony Michel on offense. They have Sean McVay, the top young mind in the coaching game. SoFi Stadium, their home field, is hosting the Super Bowl. All signs pointed to the Rams being in the Super Bowl.

At the beginning of the season, the Rams came out on fire. They won their first three games, including an upset over Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They then lost to the Arizona Cardinals, who moved to 4-0 at the time. After another four-game win streak, the Rams sat at 7-1. The November blues started to set in for a hot LA team, as they lost to the Titans 28-16 at home. Next, they went up to San Francisco and got shit pumped by the 49ers 31-10. After a bye week, they faced a hot Packers team and lost 36-28 in Green Bay. This led to a lot of questions, as the Rams hadn’t beat a good team since week 3 over Tampa. They also were 2 games behind the Cardinals with just 5 weeks left. That’s when everything changed again. The Cardinals lost to the Lions, Colts, and Seahawks. The Rams beat, the Jaguars, Seahawks, Vikings, Ravens, and the Cardinals in a head-to-head matchup. This put the Rams at 12-5 to end the year and the Cardinals at 11-6.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Rams faced off against division rival Arizona one final time. It wasn’t much of a game, as the Rams won 34-11. Next, the Rams had to go down to Tampa, where the Bucs had just beaten the Eagles big. The Rams got off to a 27-3 lead, but Tom Brady remembered he was Tom Brady. The Bucs stormed back and tied the game 27-27, the Rams got the ball with 40 seconds left on the clock. Stafford led a huge drive, including a 44-yard completion to Cooper Kupp to get the ball into the Rams red zone. As time expired, Matt Gay was able to punch the ball through for the game-winning field goal. The Rams survived 30-27. For the conference finals, the 49ers came down to LA for the third matchup of the season. In the first half of the game, both offenses were stagnant, and the 49ers were up 10-7 at halftime. Then, the Rams woke up in the second half scoring 13 points to the 49ers 7, and the Rams won 20-17.

Bengals

The Bengals weren’t a Super Bowl favorite. In fact, they weren’t even a playoff favorite. Before the season the Bengals over/under for wins was 6.5. They ended up winning 10, but it wasn’t smooth sailing. Going into their week 10 bye, they were sitting at 5-4 coming off back-to-back losses to the Browns and Jets. After the bye week, they went 2-0 and went to 7-4 on the season. They still faced an uphill battle with the schedule. They had to play the Chargers, 49ers, Ravens, Chiefs, and Browns. They did good enough though, as they upset the Ravens and Chiefs and got to 10-7 on the year. That set up a round 1 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders, which they were able to win 26-19. Derek Carr was knocking on the door with a last-second drive. To end the game though he threw a heart-breaking interception in the Raiders endzone.

That set up a matchup with the #1 seed Titans in Nashville. The Titans were heavy favorites. The Bengals defense was able to make QB Ryan Tannehill see ghosts as he threw 3 INTs and one touchdown. Joe Burrow didn’t throw for any touchdowns, but he was able to get Evan McPherson into range for 4 field goals on the day. Joe Mixon was able to run for one TD, and the Bengals won 19-16. Finally, they had to go into Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs were a heavy favorite. Mahomes got off to a quick start and the Chiefs went up 21-3 in the second quarter. Joe Burrow wouldn’t go out like this, and before halftime he managed to make the score 21-10. The second half of the game was completely different. The Bengals scored 3 times in a row and went up 24-21. As time expired the Chiefs were able to make a field goal, and the game went to OT. In OT the Chiefs won the toss and got the ball first, but Mahomes threw a quick INT. Then, Burrow was able to drive down the field. Evan McPherson hit his second game-winning field goal in a row, and the Bengals are Super Bowl bound.

Betting Guide

So, who should you bet in the Super Bowl? As of February 1st, DraftKings has the Rams as 4.5-point favorites over the Bengals. The over/under for the score is 48 points, and the Bengals are at +160. I’m going to bet the Rams money line, which is -190. The Rams have a similar storyline to the Buccaneers last year. Matthew Stafford is hungry for a Super Bowl. Although Burrow will get one, I can’t ignore all the hunger on the Rams sideline. I’m not going to take it, but if you wanted to bet the spread, I would take the Bengals at +4.5. The Rams will win but not cover the spread, so it’s hard to take them at -4.5. DraftKings also has some interesting prop bets. They have the winning margin of the game be over/under 8.5 points. I took the under on that, as I mentioned the game will be a time-ending field goal. It also has that as a bet at +500, so that was easy for me. They have lots of props for if you think the game will be a high-scoring shootout or a defense game. I am leaning towards a shootout, and the game will be something like 34-31 or something like that. I am not sponsored by DraftKings, so FanDuel, Barstool, or any other sportsbooks I am available.

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Top 10 Luke Combs Songs

Since his firs #1 song, “Hurricane” in 2016, Luke Combs has been a #1 country music artist. Now, we took his 12 #1 songs and stacked them against the rest of his discography. Let us know what you think!

10. Hurricane

9. Let the Moonshine

8. Honky Tonk Highway

7. She Got the Best of Me

6. Even Though I’m Leaving

5. Forever After All

4. Cold As You

3. 1, 2 Many

2. When it Rains it Pours

1. Beer Never Broke My Heart

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