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Friday, November 30, 2007

Shaun Alexander To Start While Donovan McNabb Will Sit This One Out.....Again

Running back Shaun Alexander will start in the Seahawks' game Sunday at Philadelphia after practicing for a third straight day following a 3 1/2-week absence with a sprained knee. However, backup Maurice Morris will get more carries than he usually would when Alexander starts to not tire out Alexander in his first game back. This is actually a good idea to utilize both running backs so when one gets tired, the other one can stay fresh. Alexander and Morris in the backfield can really open up the passing game and possible play action calls.

Play action tends to work when the quarterback has an excellent running back. For example, because Willie Parker is such a threat, a play action fake to Parker could easily fool the defense. However, because a team like the Patriots rarely run the ball, a play action to Maroney wouldn't fool anybody. Why do I rant about this? Because Alexander in his prime was a top running back and with Matt Hasselbeck's cannon, the play action was always a threat because the defense never knew if they were going to run or pass.

Meanwhile, Donovan McNabb is doubtful for the Eagles' game against Seattle on Sunday after missing practice again Friday. A.J. Feeley would get his second consecutive start if McNabb can't play. Feeley is coming off a strong outing in a 31-28 loss to New England.

I don't care what the analysts say. McNabb, ever since his first injury, hasn't played the same and he just isn't going to amount to anything for the rest of his injured career. The Eagles really need to give this guy up. He would make excellent trade bait. I can see any team quick to gobble him up. I'm not saying Feeley is the answer to the Eagles either, but I can guarantee the Eagles wouldn't have came as close as they did to beating the Patriots if McNabb was playing.

Legendary Evil Knievel Dies At Age of 69

According to ESPN:

Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

Knievel's death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten Knievel. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.

Knievel had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his bone-shattering spills.

Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundel said Knievel had trouble breathing at his Clearwater condominium and died before an ambulance could get him to a hospital.

"It's been coming for years, but you just don't expect it. Superman just doesn't die, right?" Rundel said.

Immortalized in the Washington's Smithsonian Institution as "America's Legendary Daredevil," Knievel was best known for a failed 1974 attempt to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle and a spectacular crash at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. He suffered nearly 40 broken bones before he retired in 1980.

"I think he lived 20 years longer than most people would have" after so many injuries, said his son Kelly Knievel, 47. "I think he willed himself into an extra five or six years."

Though Knievel dropped off the pop culture radar in the '80s, the image of the high-flying motorcyclist clad in patriotic, star-studded colors was never erased from public consciousness. He always had fans and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

His death came just two days after it was announced that he and rapper Kanye West had settled a federal lawsuit over the use of Knievel's trademarked image in a popular West music video.

Knievel made a good living selling his autographs and endorsing products. Thousands came to Butte, Mont., every year as his legend was celebrated during the "Evel Knievel Days" festival, which Rundel organizes.

"They started out watching me bust my ass, and I became part of their lives," Knievel said. "People wanted to associate with a winner, not a loser. They wanted to associate with someone who kept trying to be a winner."

For the tall, thin daredevil, the limelight was always comfortable, the gab glib. To Knievel, there were always mountains to climb, feats to conquer.

"No king or prince has lived a better life," he said in a May 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "You're looking at a guy who's really done it all. And there are things I wish I had done better, not only for me but for the ones I loved."

He had a knack for outrageous yarns: "Made $60 million, spent 61. ...Lost $250,000 at blackjack once. ... Had $3 million in the bank, though."

He began his daredevil career in 1965 when he formed a troupe called Evel Knievel's Motorcycle Daredevils, a touring show in which he performed stunts such as riding through fire walls, jumping over live rattlesnakes and mountain lions and being towed at 200 mph behind dragster race cars.

In 1966 he began touring alone, barnstorming the West and doing everything from driving the trucks, erecting the ramps and promoting the shows. In the beginning he charged $500 for a jump over two cars parked between ramps.

He steadily increased the length of the jumps until, on New Year's Day 1968, he was nearly killed when he jumped 151 feet across the fountains in front of Caesar's Palace. He cleared the fountains but the crash landing put him in the hospital in a coma for a month.

His son, Robbie, successfully completed the same jump in April 1989.

It's been coming for years, but you just don't expect it. Superman just doesn't die, right?

-- Friend Billy Rundel

In the years after the Caesar's crash, the fee for Evel's performances increased to $1 million for his jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium in London -- the crash landing broke his pelvis -- to more than $6 million for the Sept. 8, 1974, attempt to clear the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a rocket-powered "Skycycle." The money came from ticket sales, paid sponsors and ABC's "Wide World of Sports."

The parachute malfunctioned and deployed after takeoff. Strong winds blew the cycle into the canyon, landing him close to the swirling river below.

On Oct. 25, 1975, he jumped 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island in Ohio.

Knievel decided to retire after a jump in the winter of 1976 in which he was again seriously injured. He suffered a concussion and broke both arms in an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in the Chicago Amphitheater. He continued to do smaller exhibitions around the country with Robbie Knievel.

Many of his records have been broken by daredevil motorcyclist Bubba Blackwell.

Knievel also dabbled in movies and TV, starring as himself in "Viva Knievel" and with Lindsay Wagner in an episode of the 1980s TV series "Bionic Woman." George Hamilton and Sam Elliott each played Knievel in movies about his life.

Knievel toys accounted for more than $300 million in sales for Ideal and other companies in the 1970s and '80s.

Born Robert Craig Knievel in the copper mining town of Butte on Oct. 17, 1938, Knievel was raised by his grandparents. He traced his career choice back to the time he saw Joey Chitwood's Auto Daredevil Show at age 8.

"The phrase 'one of a kind' is often used, but it probably applies best to Bobby Knievel," said U.S. Rep. Pat Williams, D-Mont., who grew up with Knievel. "He was an amazing athlete. ... He was sharp as a tack, one of the smartest people I've ever known and finally, as the world knows, no one had more guts than Bobby. He was simply unafraid of anything."

Outstanding in track and field, ski jumping and ice hockey at Butte High School, Knievel went on to win the Northern Rocky Mountain Ski Association Class A Men's ski jumping championship in 1957 and played with the Charlotte Clippers of the Eastern Hockey League in 1959.

He also formed the Butte Bombers semiprofessional hockey team, acting as owner, manager, coach and player.

Knievel also worked in the Montana copper mines, served in the Army, ran his own hunting guide service, sold insurance and ran Honda motorcycle dealerships. As a motorcycle dealer, he drummed up business by offering $100 off the price of a motorcycle to customers who could beat him at arm wrestling.

At various times and in different interviews, Knievel claimed to have been a swindler, a card thief, a safe cracker, a holdup man.

Knievel married hometown girlfriend Linda Joan Bork in 1959. They separated in the early 1990s. They had four children, Kelly, Robbie, Tracey and Alicia.

Robbie Knievel followed in his father's footsteps as a daredevil, jumping a moving locomotive in a 200-foot, ramp-to-ramp motorcycle stunt on live television in 2000. He also jumped a 200-foot-wide chasm of the Grand Canyon.

Knievel lived with his longtime partner, Krystal Kennedy-Knievel, splitting his time between their Clearwater condo and Butte. They married in 1999 and divorced a few years later but remained together. Knievel had 10 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.


Here's a video of Evil Knievel


The New York Mets Say Goodbye To Milledge

Raised in the New Mets farm system, Lastings Milledge is ripe and ready for the picking. The Nationals traded catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church to the New York Mets for outfielder Lastings Milledge.

Other than saying goodbye to Tom Glavine, this essentially was the Mets first big move for the offseason and it was a terrible transaction. Let's analyze this trade:

Lastings Milledge only played in 59 games last year, but he batted .272 with 7 HR and 29 RBI; he wasn't even their starting outfielder.

Ryan Church was one of the nationals regulars. However, he too batted .272 with 15 HR and 70 RBI, but it took him 144 games to do that.

Brian Schneider played in 129 games and in that span batted a terrible .235 with 6 HR and 54 RBI.

What I'm saying is the Mets made an awful deal. No wonder it took the nationals 2 players to trade for Milledge. The Mets gave away a potential future star. Look at the numbers Milledge put up in just playing roughly 1/3 of the season. Now if you multiply those numbers by 3, his numbers would be better than Church and Schneider.

Perhaps it was best for the Mets to let Milledge go because of the poor team chemistry he created. Still just 22, he was the Mets' top prospect when he made his major league debut in May 2006. Right away, he showed why he was so highly rated on the field -- but also drew the ire of his team and teammates.

One of the most publicized episodes came in the town that will be his new home. In September 2006, a sign was posted in Milledge's locker in the visiting clubhouse at RFK Stadium that read: "Know your place, Rook. Your teammates."

Milledge earlier had been reprimanded for not running hard on the bases and had arrived late to the clubhouse for a game. He also rankled Mets management by making a rap CD that used offensive language.

Reaction to the 100th Post

Michael Vinciguerra has done a magnificent job of breaking down the top 100 athletes. I agree with 99% of what he has said. However at the end he says this statement:

"Lets face it. Michael Jordan was the biggest baseball bust. However, he was the greatest offensive player in NBA history. "

Now Michael states he was a huge baseball bust; why? The year that Jordan went to try playing in MLB, there was the strike. If there was no strike, Jordan would have been picked up by a major league team. Lets also forget that was the equivalent of his rookie season. He stole 30 bases in 127 games, and had an OBP of .289. He walked 51 times and was just beginning to adjust. I am not claiming Jordan was a great baseball player because he was not. But do not discredit the fact that he would have been a major league ball player. and after a couple of years of playing professionally he probably would have been an every day players.

Now I can not disagree with that more. Sure His Royal Airness was the best offensive player in the history of the game, but Jordan was also the best defensive guard of his era. Let's now forget this amazing accomplishment. In 1988 Michael Jordan averaged a remarkable 35 ppg. And he also won the Defensive Player of the Year in 1988! Not only was he the best offensive player in the game he was the best defensive player in the game. Lets forget all the scoring titles, MVP's, and NBA Championships. 9 times in his career Jordan was voted on the All Defensive Team. He was voted their 9 straight seasons (in which he played an entire season).

I leave you with this. One of the most exciting blocks in NBA history. Performed by a, then older Michael Jordan:


My Thoughts On The Packers-Cowboys Game

First, I have no idea why a game of this enormous magnitude and popularity was seen on the NFL Network instead of a Sunday or Monday night football game. Not everyone has the NFL network. The NFL doesn't mind showing the Patriots win for the third Sunday or Monday night in a row (which gets boring after awhile), but they don't show a game that matters more and has major implications

Why do I emphasize the Packers-Cowboys game matters so greatly? Because the Dallas Cowboys have finally ended the debate over who is the best team in the NFC and most likely won home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The world already knows how good the Patriots are and we don't need to see that every week.

I did originally pick the Packers to win. However, if I could of foresaw Favre getting injured in just the 2nd quarter of play, I would have easily picked the Cowboys. Favre was hit hard while throwing a pass that was intercepted in the second quarter, leaving his status for Green Bay's next game against Oakland on Dec. 9 and his NFL-record run of 249 straight starts in question.

The Packers lost to the Cowboys 37-27, though Aaron Rodgers did a great job backing up Favre with 201 yards and his first career touchdown on short notice.

Al Harris has to be the worst cornerback I've watched play in a while. He looked as if he didn't have a clue where he was. The Packers picked on him all night, especially Terrell Owens, who blew right by the guy almost every time for 156 yards and a touchdown. Terrell Owens is equally as talented as Randy Moss.

Tony Romo was impressive as usual with 309 yards and 4 TDs in a game which clinched a playoff berth for the Cowboys. These two teams will meet again in the playoffs for the NFC Championship, but after watching the Packers play yesterday, even with a healthy Favre, they still won't be able to top the Cowboys.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Closer Troy Percival Will Pitch Again

I've liked Troy Percival ever since I watched his career take off on the Anaheim Angels, so I'm glad to hear he will be returning to MLB. Assuming there are no unforeseen snags in negotiations, Percival and Maddon will be reunited in Tampa Bay next season. Sources say that Percival is close to completing a multiyear contract with the Rays. Percival, 38, retired after pitching in 26 games for Detroit in 2006. But he came back to pitch for St. Louis last year and threw well, compiling a 1.80 ERA in 40 innings over 34 games. Percival has a long history as a closer, with 324 career saves, but he probably will fill a variety of roles for Tampa Bay, which has retained closer Al Reyes.

In 1996, he became the regular closer for the Angels and had 36 saves with 100 strikeouts in 74 innings. He had a career-high 42 saves in 1998, and enjoyed his best season in 2002 with a 4-1 record, 40 saves, 68 strikeouts, and a 1.92 ERA. A four-time All-Star, Percival has compiled a 29-38 record with a 2.99 ERA in 586.2 innings. His 316 saves put him at 12th on the all-time list in Major League Baseball.

The Devil Rays consist of a young squad, so Percival's wisdom and mentality as a long-standing veteran could help guide this fresh talent.

Michael Vick Does Something Right For A Change

Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has agreed to set aside close to $1 million to pay for the care of the 54 pit bulls seized from his dogfighting operation. The exact amount is $928,073 (where did they come up with a number as specific as that?) The money is being set aside "to pay whatever restitution amount is ultimately ordered in this case," a court filing said, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Now what's the latest on the status of Vick? According to ESPN:

Vick faces a prison term of up to five years when he is sentenced Dec. 10 on a federal dogfighting conspiracy conviction. He voluntarily began serving his prison term on Nov. 19 in Warsaw, Va.

The pit bulls were confiscated from his Bad Newz Kennels property in Surry County.

On Tuesday, a judge scheduled for April 2 a jury trial on state dogfighting charges.

The dogfighting operation known as Bad Newz Kennels operated since 2001 on Vick's 15-acre spread in Surry County. A drug investigation of a Vick relative led authorities to the property, where they found more than 50 pit bulls and equipment commonly used in dogfighting.

Imagine that. This has been going on since 2001. Think of all the times you saw Vick scrambling on the field and had no idea behind closed doors he was performing illegal acts of violence for 6 years. Kinda makes me wonder what goes on in the personal lives of other athletes I watch on TV. Then again, thinking that every athlete has the potential to be doing something illegal would just drive one crazy.

The 100th Post = 100 Greatest Athletes

If anyone has been keeping up, we have hit 100 posts since this blog started on Oct 28. To celebrate, I decided to post a list of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, as selected by ESPN as part of the Sportscentury retrospective:

1. Michael Jordan
2. Babe Ruth
3. Muhammad Ali
4. Jim Brown
5. Wayne Gretzky
6. Jesse Owens
7. Jim Thorpe
8. Willie Mays
9. Jack Nicklaus
10. Babe Didrikson
11. Joe Louis
12. Carl Lewis
13. Wilt Chamberlain
14. Hank Aaron
15. Jackie Robinson
16. Ted Williams
17. Magic Johnson
18. Bill Russell
19. Martina Navratilova
20. Ty Cobb
21. Gordie Howe
22. Joe DiMaggio
23. Jackie Joyner-Kersee
24. Sugar Ray Robinson
25. Joe Montana
26. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
27. Jerry Rice
28. Red Grange
29. Arnold Palmer
30. Larry Bird
31. Bobby Orr
32. Johnny Unitas
33. Mark Spitz
34. Lou Gehrig
35. Secretariat
36. Oscar Robertson
37. Mickey Mantle
38. Ben Hogan
39. Walter Payton
40. Lawrence Taylor
41. Wilma Rudolph
42. Sandy Koufax
43. Julius Erving
44. Bobby Jones
45. Bill Tilden
46. Eric Heiden
47. Edwin Moses
48. Pete Sampras
49. O.J. Simpson
50. Chris Evert
51. Rocky Marciano
52. Jack Dempsey
53. Rafer Johnson
54. Greg Louganis
55. Mario Lemieux
56. Pete Rose
57. Willie Shoemaker
58. Elgin Baylor
59. Billie Jean King
60. Walter Johnson
61. Stan Musial
62. Jerry West
63. Satchel Paige
64. Sammy Baugh
65. Althea Gibson
66. Eddie Arcaro
67. Bob Gibson
68. Al Oerter
69. Bonnie Blair
70. Dick Butkus
71. Roberto Clemente
72. Bo Jackson
73. Josh Gibson
74. Deion Sanders
75. Dan Marino
76. Barry Sanders
77. Cy Young
78. Bob Mathias
79. Gale Sayers
80. A.J. Foyt
81. Jimmy Connors
82. Bobby Hull
83. Honus Wagner
84. Man o' War
85. Maurice Richard
86. Otto Graham
87. Henry Armstrong
88. Joe Namath
89. Rogers Hornsby
90. Richard Petty
91. Bob Beamon
92. Mario Andretti
93. Don Hutson
94. Bob Cousy
95. George Blanda
96. Michael Johnson
97. Citation
98. Don Budge
99. Sam Snead
100. Jack Johnson

I'll say a word about the top 5:

Lets face it. Michael Jordan was the biggest baseball bust. However, he was the greatest offensive player in NBA history.
Babe Ruth made baseball America's game and was a top celebrity in the beginning of the 20th century.
Three time heavy weight champion Muhammad Ali is one of the most recognized figures throughout the world.
Jim Brown could steam roll past anybody and was one of the most powerful RB in NFL history.
Wayne Gretzky - Lets just say if Michael Jordan was the best offensive player in NBA history, Wayne was the best offensive player in NHL history.

Finally I Can Mention Steve Francis

I have been wanting to do an entry about Steve Francis, but could never find the right moment to mention him because the Rockets have only used him 3 times this year! Steve Francis has been my favorite basketball pl;ayer since he entered the league and in tonight's game against the Suns, he provided a huge spark to ignite their victory 100-94.

The seldom-used Francis didn't have huge numbers -- nine points, three rebounds and seven assists -- but his play off the bench gave the Rockets a big lift. Steve Francis explained, "I try to get myself ready when I'm called upon. I still have a long way to go; I still don't have my rhythm and timing. Me and the coach (Rick Adelman) have been having conversations about me coming in and giving the team a spark."

He did that Wednesday night. Francis, who played a season-high 27 minutes, led a 19-7 run in the opening 5:43 of the quarter to give Houston a 46-35 advantage. During that span, Francis had seven points, three assists and one steal. Towards the end, he landed a block on an Amare Stoudemire's jumper with 16.9 seconds remaining and Houston clinging to a 98-94 lead.

Hopefully this is a sign that Steve Francis will be used more. He is a decent shooter, but more importantly, he is so quick and explosive that when the tempo of a game speeds up you can be sure he's making the big play. He also fires his team up with his aggressive nature. No wonder he seems to lead the league every year in technical fouls.

Lebron James Injured In Loss To The Pistons

Isn't it funny how things can radically change in one day? Just last night I was ranting about how Lebron James is the king of basketball and now tonight he hurts his finger and his team got slaughtered. This was the first rematch of the Cavs and Pistons since the Cavs knocked the Pistons out of the playoffs last season.

James sprained his left index finger in the second quarter Wednesday night, and did not return, and the Detroit Pistons went on to beat the Cleveland Cavilers 109-74 Wednesday night. The Pistons insisted the victory didn't mean any less to them even though it came against a team missing its first, second and third option on offense.

The Cavs said James' X-rays were negative, adding he would be evaluated again Thursday. James returned to Cleveland's bench late in the third quarter and as soon as he hit the bench, the Pistons went on a tear.

Injuries happen in sports of course and Lebron should bounce back from this easily. Like I said, sports is funny like that. One day your king, the next day you're dethroned, and the day after you're back to being the king.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Where Will Johan Santana Be Pitching In The Spring?

According to the rumor mill on Yahoo sports, The New York Daily News has installed the New York Yankees as a 3-1 favorite in the race to acquire Johan Santana of the Minnesota twins. The Boston Red Sox are 4-1, the Los Angeles Angels are 5-1 and the New York Mets 8-1.

It's no secret that the Yankees would love to add the left hander ace to their rotation, but at what price? They have made it clear that Joba Chamberlain is untouchable, although Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy can be had for the right price - and Santana, who will be 29 on March 13, could be that player. However, that'll leave the Yankees with a weak bullpen once again if they plan on making Joba a starter.

The Red Sox are in strong position to deal for Santana, since they possess potential pitching prospects in Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester

The Mets, according to Billy Wagner, are being criticized for not making any transactions in the offseason thus far. With Glavine gone, Santana would fit in comfortably in that rotation.

The Angels already have Garland, Colon, and Lackey in their rotation. Adding Santana would only buff up that incredible rotation.

I would like to see Santana go to a team in the process of rebuilding instead of one of these big name teams who already have enough star players to carry them. I mean, c'mon. Does Boston really need another star pitcher? The Tigers of 2 years ago when they went to the World Series is an example of a team that suffered for years before finally assembling a great team. I think he would fit in well with the Blue Jays. The 1-2 punch of Halladay and Santana would be an interesting combination and would help the Blue Jays keep up with Red Sox and the Yankees.

It is also rumored that if the Twins can deal Santana, they may also be interested in trading their closing pitcher Joe Nathan.

Manager Tony La Russa Has A Drinking Problem?

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa pleaded guilty to driving under the influence Wednesday, eight months after police found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle at a stop light and smelling of alcohol. La Russa seemed sincere in his apology: "I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again."

This time his punishment is more harsh. As part of his plea agreement, La Russa will serve at least six months' probation, pay a $678.50 fine, complete DUI school and any recommended treatment and complete 50 hours of community service, according to state prosecutors.

La Russa, who is 63, seems to have experience with alcohol. As mentioned already, this isn't his first arrest for drinking. La Russa went to law school in Florida and passed the bar exam, but he no longer practices. I don't believe that. Standing in the dugout he looks like a depressed, angry individual. Maybe if the Cards do better next year he'll stop drinking. Anyway, I'm glad he didnt come to New York to manage the Yankees.

Sports and Celebrities Fuse Together

Joe Namath had one of the best careers of any athlete. He must have, because Universal Studios have chosen his life to be the subject of their next multi-million dollar movie. Universal Studios will make a movie about the Hall of Fame quarterback, with Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead actor to play Namath.

The film will recount Namath's journey from Beaver Falls, Pa. to Alabama to New York, where Jets owner Sonny Werblin bet a then unheard-of $400,000 on Namath giving the struggling Jets and the AFL instant credibility. "Broadway Joe" became a sports hero, a celebrity pitchman and a sex symbol in New York as the Jets won Super Bowl III.

The executive producer of this film, Jimmy Walsh, compared this film to Forest Gump, saying that most of the scenes in Forest Gump is what Joe lived through. However, no title that I know of has been announced for this movie.

In other celebrity news, the leader singer from Motley Crue had to skip his solo performance. The Steelers apologized Tuesday for omitting a performance of the national anthem by Motley Crue lead singer, Vince Neil, before the nationally televised game against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field. In the Steelers' defense, I don't blame them one bit for skipping the national anthem. In fact, that game was such a disaster they should have skipped three quarters and went right to the end. Would the crowd really have been able to appreciate the national anthem when they were so focused on the downpour of rain and lightning and the marsh they called a football field?

Football Predictions for Week 13 of the NFL

I have to start writing out my predictions earlier during the week now that the NFL network will be airing games on Thursday night. Speaking of which....

Thursday

Green Bay At Dallas - If the Pats-Colts game was the most anticipated game of the year, this has to be the second. A battle of 10-1 nearly perfect teams (and the Cowboys would have been perfect if it wasn't for those pesky Patriots). Let's look at this game scientifically:

Receiving : Dallas > Green Bay - Dallas has T.O. whos tops in the league next to Moss
Rushing : Green Bay > Dallas - Grant on the Packers has convinced me the Packers do have a very good running game now, even though Favre doesn't use him much.
Special Teams: Green Bay = Dallas - About even. No one has a Hester to stand out.
Passing: Green Bay > Dallas - In no way am I saying Romo is anything less than an amazing quarterback, but Favre is having his career year and experience will beat out inexperience when it comes time to make crucial plays or even more important, not screwing up at the wrong time.
Overall: Green Bay > Dallas

I figured I'd give that game special treatment. Now for the rest of the games:

Sunday

Houston At Tennessee - This game can go either way because at this point I don't know what to expect from Young and the Titans, except perhaps not scoring like they used too. Houston has more offensive power and I select them to win.

Jacksonville At Indianapolis - This game seriously decides the division. The Colts are playing at home and there players are only getting more healthy as time goes by. Peyton and Dungy know they have to win and they'll put the suddenly surging Jaguars in their place.

San Diego At Kansas City - San Diego was just charging their battery all year to go on a tear at the end of the season and the Chiefs are just another team in their way.

Atlanta At St. Louis - The Rams at home should be able to put up more points and take care of the Falcons

New York Jets At Miami - I've been hearing lots of talk about how the Jets are actually as bad as Miami. Well, this is there week to prove they are not. However, to be fair, this is the most evenly matched game Miami will have for the rest of the season. The Jets are 0-5 away, but the Dolphins are 0-5 at home. It doesn't get any worse. I'm going to take a risk and say the Miami Dolphins will get their first win at home (it worked when I called the Rams beating the Saints).

Detroit At Minnesota - This is a great game because Detroit has to win to say in contention for the Wild Card (but they have been slipping) while the Vikings are coming off a tremendous momentum shifting win against the Giants. I call the Vikings to win this game and ruin any chances the Lions have of making the playoffs.

Seattle At Philadelphia - Another great game because the Eagles, coming off a terrible start, are right there for a Wild spot. However, the Eagles only did as well as they did last week because Feeley know how to pick apart the Patriots defense. The Eagles are not that good and if McNabb plays, he will cough up the ball like he always does. I pick the Hawks to win this game.

Buffalo At Washington - Even with Edwards starting, after the terrible tragedy that happened to Sean Taylor, the Redskins are going to win to honor the fallen member of their team.

San Fransisco At Carolina - There isn't really a lot to say about these teams. The Panthers are big disappoint to me and they are no where near the team they were a few years ago. However, they are still better than the 49ers.

Denver Vs Oakland - Denver is in a dogfight with the Chargers to win that division and this game against Oakland is simply one of those games they must win to stay in contention.

Cleveland Vs Arizona - Poor Arizona. Just when I thought they actually had a shot at a Wild Card and even winning their division, they have to play the powerhouse Browns. This will be a tremendously high scoring game because the Cardinals always find a way to keep things interesting, especially with Warner as their QB, but the Browns will score more and win.

New York Giants At Chicago - If this was the Bears defense of the last 2 years, then I would enjoy watching Eli throw another 4 interceptions. However, the Bears are not what they used to be and the Giants need to bounce back after that terrible loss last week.

Tampa Bay At New Orleans - Perhaps the most quietest team in the league, the Bucs sit at the top of their division with a respectable 7-4 record. Maybe that division is so bad nobody wants to even bring them into conversation. The Saints are another 5-6 team fighting for a Wild Card spot, but they'll be one of the 5-6 teams that lose this week.

Cincinnati At Pittsburgh - Last Monday's sloppy win didn't tell me anything about the Steelers. The Bengals are coming off a three touchdown performance from Palmer and that offense looks like the Bengals offense it should have been. Even still, the Steelers should be too much for the Bengals in another high scoring game this week.

Monday

New England At Baltimore - Another national televised night game for the Patriots and another chance too show off how good they are. My only hope is that the Ravens follow the so called "blurprint" that the Eagles drew up to beating them, but that won't happen. The Ravens are a completely different team from the Eagles.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lebron James Beats The Celtics and Shows Why He Is The King

Lebron James led all scorers with 38 points and 13 assists as he and the Cavs handed the seemingly invincible Celtics their 2nd loss of the year in overtime with a score of 109-104. This gives Lebron 8 straight games in which he scored 30 points or more against the Celtics. Drew Gooden also contributed tremendolusly with 24 points and 13 rebounds. The Big Three combined for 64 points, but this time it wasn't enough to gain a win.

With this loss, the Celtics, as good as they have been playing, have just a slim lead for the best record in the NBA. With a 11-2 (.846) record, the Celtics really need to be concerned about the Magic, who assembled an excellent team and has a record of 13-3 (.813). Not much of a difference in percentages is there?

Meanwhile, the Cavs win and the Bucks loss puts the Cavs in a three way tie for best record in the Eastern Central Conference. The Cavs (9-6), the Pistons (8-5), and the Bucks (7-4) all have different records and percentages, but it all adds up to a dead heat for first place.

Vince Young Runs Light Years Past Michael Vick

Since I was a lad, I pictured the quarterback position as being traditional. The center would hike the ball to the quarterback, who would enter the pocket and look for an open receiver. If no receivers were open, then the quarterback would either throw the ball away or scramble for his life. Sometimes change is good and there have been scrambling quarterbacks (Steve McNair and Randall Cunningham) who have altered my traditional view of the quarterback position, but if you're going to change something, please get it right.

Upon Michael Vick’s entrance into the NFL, I despised him immediately. This hatred is primarily because he radically changed the role of the quarterback position and did it terribly wrong. The role of scrambling quarterbacks reached its height when Vick entered the league. One would assume that Vick would be quite a challenge because defenses would never know whether Vick would pass or take off running down the field for twenty yards. But NO! Vick spends each progressing year hurt or gaining somewhat decent numbers (I’m talking about throwing numbers, not rushing - After all, what’s the point of rushing for 200 yards if you still lose the game?!) And still sportscasters praise his unique style of play and predict good things for him. Sportscasters need to set their alarm clocks because it’s time to wake up and realize Vick is no good and will never win a Super Bowl. As I watch Vick play, I don’t even think he knows what he’s going to do half the time. I understand his receivers are less than mediocre, but if you overthrow them half the time or set them up where they are going to get pummeled right after the catch I wouldn't be able to catch the ball either. Vick is too inconsistent, inaccurate with his throws, and makes poor decisions because he is always in a hurry to take off running with the ball. Basically, the Falcons will never win a championship until Vick becomes a running back or learns to pass. But enough about Vick. Let’s move towards the future of scrambling quarterbacks.

After watching Vince Young play in college, I somehow magically accepted the notion of scrambling quarterbacks. I sat their after the Rose Bowl and said to myself, “Mike, you know, scrambling quarterbacks are fun to watch...when they get it right. Oh yeah and...get a haircut you bum.” I knew Vince Young had the potential to dominate in the NFL and sure enough if the Titans would have started him from the beginning of the season they would have had a much higher winning percentage and would have owned at least the Wild Card. But let us not dwell on what would have been. After all, Young will be around next year and as a Colts fan that scares me. Vince Young impacted the Titans like no other quarterback I’ve seen in awhile. He not only brings excitement to the game with his well-balanced and executed mix of rushing and passing, but the most important thing is HE WINS. Hell, he not only wins, he comes back from 4th quarter defecates where most people would have turned their televisions off and soaked in a bathtub (Giants anyone?...and I like bubbles in my bath). I almost feel sorry for Vick, who has spent 6 years trying to fit into the role of a scrambling quarterback while almost instantly, Vince Young enters the league and is successfully doing what Vick tried to perfect during his six year span. To end this argument about which scrambling quarterback is better, I'll pose a question: Who would you rather rely on when your team is on their own 10 and down by four points with two minutes left in the game?

Funny Sports Bloopers

Perhaps I should correct my title. Half of these bloopers aren't so funny, but rather, just so extreme you have to cringe at the thought of these things happening to you. Yet, this remains my favorite sports blooper video on youtube.

You gotta laugh when the dude throws the biker into the water.

Ricky Williams' 2007 Season Lasted Six Carries

Ricky Williams' 2007 season is over before it could even begin. The Miami Dolphins running back, who was reinstated last month after a one-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, suffered a torn chest muscle in the Dolphins' 3-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night football. The injury apparently happened when Steelers linebacker Laurence Timmons pursuing a Williams' fumble, stepped on Williams' right shoulder blade. It was a terribly unfortunate, cheap hit that shouldn't have happened. One of those hits where you just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. After all the hard work, time, and effort Williams put into his training to get physically back in shape its ashame his season had to end so abruptly.

Sean Taylor And The Inventor of Gatorade Will Be Missed

Today is truly a sad days in sports because we must mourn the loss of two individuals who impacted the game in remarkable ways.

Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor died Tuesday after he was shot in his home by an apparent intruder. The 24-year-old player died at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he had been airlifted after the shooting early Monday. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will honor Taylor's memory at all games this weekend. Taylor's No. 21 will be painted in a grass parking area leading into Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. In addition, No. 21 will also be painted in front of the Redskins Hall of Fame store. Fans already began a makeshift memorial by laying flowers on a field near the front entrance to the practice facility. Several people paid respects at Taylor's parking space.

Sean Taylor was one of the fiercest and most competitive safetys imaginable. After much success in college, he was drafted in 2004 by the Redskins and became the starter in just the third game. He recorded his first interception in the sixth game which sealed a victory for his team. The potential he had was incredible and his efforts will not go unnoticed.

I find eerie how the players I draft in video games have been dying in reality. First, Joe Kennedy on my MVP baseball team died in reality and now Sean Taylor, who I drafted on a fantasy team in Madden, was killed. I am not joking here.

The news in this post doesn't get any happier. I grew up on Gatorade. I absolutely loved the deep-quenching cold taste of Gatorade. Today, I came home to find out the inventor of Gatorade passed away. Dr. Robert Cade, who invented the sports drink Gatorade and launched a multibillion-dollar industry that the beverage continues to dominate, died Tuesday of kidney failure at age 80.

What people don't realize (such as myself who drank Gatorade his whole life) is that Gatorade and other sports drinks are treated like a science and experimentation goes into developing the perfect drink. Cade's researchers determined a football player could lose up to 18 pounds (90 to 95 percent of it water) during the three hours it takes to play a game. Players sweated away sodium and chloride and lost plasma volume and blood volume. Using their research (and about $43 in supplies) they concocted a brew for players to drink while playing football.

What happened next is a nice, light-hearted story. According to ESPN:

The researchers added some sugar and some lemon juice to improve the taste. It was first tested on freshmen because coach Ray Graves didn't want to hurt the varsity team. Eventually, however, the use of the sports beverage spread to the Gators, who enjoyed a winning record and were known as a "second-half team" by outlasting opponents.

After the Gators beat Georgia Tech 27-12 in the Orange Bowl in 1967, Tech coach Bobby Dodd told reporters his team lost because "We didn't have Gatorade ... that made the difference."

So, there you have it. Gatorade was named after the Florida Gators. Gatorade has expanded tremendously since. Instead of the original four flavors, there are now more than 30 available in the United States and more than 50 flavors available internationally.

Super Bowl without the Patriots?

I know it might be a little too early to predict this years Super Bowl but isn’t everyone else already saying that the Patriots will be there and win?
So here is where I will rant on how this just might not be the case.

Let’s start with the AFC. The winners of the AFC divisions should be New England, Indianapolis, and San Diego and yes I feel it might just be the Cleveland Browns. The wild card teams would then go to Pittsburgh and Jacksonville.

Why the Browns to win their division? Let us take a look at the remaining schedule.

The Browns next five remaining games left are against the Cardinals, Jets, Bills, Bengals and 49ers. Cleveland already a 7-4 team can possibly win all 5 remaining games going 12 -4 on the season.

Pittsburgh has to play the Bengals, Patriots on the road, Jaguars, then both Rams and Ravens on the road. The Steelers who are 8-3 can possibly lose 3 of the next 5, especially since they way they are playing as of late and struggle on the road, might give them an overall season record of 10 – 4.

If this being the case then the fist round bye will go to New England and either Cleveland or Indy depending on how Indy finishes.

Now with all that said, San Diego lets face it is not all that great, Pittsburgh struggles on the road, Indy is all banged up, Jacksonville is sketchy, so that leaves New England and Cleveland.

The last time Cleveland played New England the Patriots ended up winning. This was largely due to Cleveland’s running back and wide receiver that got injured at the start of the game. Cleveland also turned the ball over 4 times while driving down the field.
I believe there is a blue print to beat New England and with a healthy Cleveland team, they have that blue print as long as they can hold on to the ball. The Browns have the second most potent offense in the AFC to get it done.

Now to the NFC!
Not much to talk about here.

The teams that should win their division are the Cowboys, Packers, Buccaneers, and Seahawks. Possible wild cards might be the Giants and Lions.

Do we really need to analyze this?
The outcome should be clear here with no surprises coming down to Dallas or Green Bay.
My pick for the NFC would be the Dallas Cowboys.

So now to the Super Bowl should be a piece of cake for the Dallas Cowboys as they roll easily on the Cleveland Browns.

Dallas 35 Cleveland 21.

The Steelers Sink the Winless Dolphins 3-0

The Steelers-Dolphins game was even worse than the Dolphins-Giants game in London as far as weather and field conditions go. The field was so muddied and destroyed from the storm, that ESPN had to provide on screen computer graphics to tell the viewer where on the field the players were because the numbers on the field vanished. A terrible field and dreadful weather caused the Dolphins and Steelers to rewind to a different NFL era, a time when points came at a premium and one field goal could decide a game. They trudged through the quagmire of Heinz Field, nearly going all night without scoring. Nearly.

Jeff Reed's 24-yard field goal with 17 seconds left Monday night gave Pittsburgh a 3-0 victory over winless Miami, the first time in 64 years an NFL game went that long without any points. Hanging with the first-place Steelers (8-3) for 59½ minutes, Miami (0-11) almost pushed this mess to overtime, where Pittsburgh is 0-2 this season, but the Dolphins managed only 159 yards while going nowhere nearly all night.

The field was covered during the daylong rain, but quite a bit of water found its way under the protective tarps and there were numerous puddles and mushy spots once the covering was removed. Wide receivers slipped on several pass plays, and running backs repeatedly lost their footing before tacklers arrived. This was a game in which the weather dictated the style of play more than any offensive or defensive scheme. Pittsburgh struggled to get its running game untracked as the field was too sloppy for their offensive line to pull or trap to make the off-tackle play work, and neither team was able to run the ball outside the tackles with any effectiveness.

If anything, this was a game Miami had the best chance of winning because the weather conditions nuetralized any advantages the Steelers could have had over them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bears' Cedric Benson's Season Is Over

The Chicago Bears first round draft choice in 2005, Cedric Benson, needs surgery after injuring his left ankle Sunday. Benson, who took over this season as the Bears' starter after the trade of Thomas Jones to the Jets, broke free for a 21-yard run in Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos, but he was hurt as he landed while being tackled by Denver safety Hamza Abdullah. Soon after he had to be carted off the field following the second-quarter play.

"It's tough when you lose your starting tailback. Cedric went down with a season-ending injury, which is a tough break," Bears coach Lovie Smith said Monday, the day after the Bears beat the Broncos 37-34 in overtime. Benson gained 47 yards on eight carries before he was hurt Sunday. He'd rushed for 674 yards this season on 196 carries, an average of 3.4 yards per carry and had four touchdowns.

Benson had taken his share of criticism for the lackluster performance of Chicago's running game, one that is averaging only 3.3 per carry. Devin Hester, who had a 75-yard punt return and an 88-yard kickoff return, both in the third quarter against the Broncos, should be made the returner and running back. He is that insanely good and fast at what he does.

Ricky Williams Activated Against the Steelers

In need of running back help because of an ankle injury to Jesse Chatman, the Dolphins activated halfback Ricky Williams from the league's exempt list. Williams is returning to the NFL after 18 months. He served a drug suspension that was extended from May until two weeks ago on the recommendation of the league's drug counselor. This summer, Williams moved to Boston and spent time with drug counselors reviewing his life and past habits.

It is not known whether he will be on the active roster for tonight's game against the Steelers, but it is likely. Williams had a great week of practice and players on the team remarked how well he did and how much of an asset he could be for this game.

The question is will Ricky Williams be the difference maker for this struggling Dolphins team against that tough Steelers' run defense? Probably not. However, he will take the pressure off Beck and he most likely will participate in a bunch of plays to gain lost experience back. The next question is when Ronnie Brown returns next year, will him and Williams split time like Holmes and Johnson tried to do or will one of them go off to another team to be in the spotlight?

The Buffalo Bills Do Something Right

Rookie Trent Edwards was announced as the starting quarterback instead of the awful J.P. Losman. Edwards was chosen the team's starter by coach Dick Jauron on Monday, a day after J.P.Losman was ineffective in a 36-14 loss at Jacksonville. Jauron said he hopes Edwards can give the sputtering offense a spark against Washington on Sunday.

Losman turned over the ball three times against Jacksonville and has looked shaky in each of his last three starts. Although Losman engineered fourth-quarter comeback wins against Cincinnati and Miami, his play has been inconsistent. In his four starts since taking over for Edwards, Losman averaged only 209 yards passing and had three touchdowns and five interceptions.

There is no contest between Edwards and Losman. The bottom line is when Losman plays, the Bills lose and when Edwards plays, the Bills win. The Bills were horrible the first few games of the season with Losman. Then, when they put in Edwards, they won 4 games and were becoming a surprising team. However, Losman came back in and the Bills started losing again. Edwards is the Bills' future quarterback, not Losman. Why can't they realize that?

Kerry Wood Returns To The Cubs

Pitcher Kerry Wood, who's career has been plagued by injuries forcing him to switch from the starting role to a relief pitcher, agreed Monday to a $4.2 million, one-year deal to return to the Chicago Cubs. Wood, the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year, can make an additional $3.45 million in performance bonuses. He had a $1.75 million salary this year. This right-hander went 1-1 last season with a 3.33 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He didn't join the team until Aug. 5 when he made his first appearance since June 2006.

When Wood is healthy, he is tops in the majors as far as pitching goes. Wood ranks fourth on Chicago's all-time strikeout list with 1,323, while his .215 batting average against is the lowest of any Cub pitcher in franchise history with a minimum 1,000 innings pitched. Most notably for Wood was when he struck out 20 Houston Astros in just his fifth major league start in 1998 and went 13-6 in that first season, helping the Cubs win the NL wild card.

It is unknown at the moment if Wood will continue in a relief role in 2008 or get his starting job back.

Does Anyone Remember Drew Henson?

This struck me as amazing. I was watching the 10 ten draft busts for the NFL on one of the ESPN Networks and #1 was Ryan Leaf. I had no idea he was so bad, winning his first 2 starts before getting hammered and flipping out the next 3 years. However, I remembered there was this one player who was supposed to be the BIGGEST star out of college and he was just a flop and seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. But, I couldn't remember his name and it bothered me! My brother said it was Drew Brees, but Brees is still playing and the guy I'm thinking of isn't. Then, a week later his name popped in my head: Drew Henson.

I remember recently Drew Henson was supposed to be the biggest star out of college, but he wasn't. I was curious to see where he was now and this is what I found from Wikipedia.

Henson played professional baseball for the Columbus Clippers, then the AAA affiliate of the Yankees, during the next two years, but only had 9 at-bats in the majors. In 2004, he chose to give up baseball and return to football, joining the Dallas Cowboys after they traded their third round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft to the Houston Texans in exchange for Henson's services.[2]

On Thanksgiving Day 2004, Henson started his first game for Dallas. Henson went 4-12 for 31 passing yards in the first half before leaving the game with the score tied at seven. Head coach Bill Parcells opted to insert veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde and the team went on to win the game 21-7. In 2005, Henson had a poor training camp showing and landed third on the depth chart behind Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo.

After the 2005 campaign, Parcells announced that Drew Henson would be allocated to NFL Europe league to work on his skills. In 2006, Henson was assigned to the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe, where he almost led them to the World Bowl only to finish third behind the Frankfurt Galaxy and the Amsterdam Admirals. On August 23, 2006, Parcells stated that Henson would not be on the Cowboys 2006 roster. With Bledsoe as the starter, and Romo having had a strong preseason, Parcells was not inclined to keep Henson on the roster. His official status was unclear until August 24, when he was officially released. Having cleared waivers, Henson was free to sign with any NFL team. On September 27, Henson signed on to the practice squad of the Minnesota Vikings, but was then released on October 10. He was signed again by the Minnesota Vikings on December 6, 2006.

On March 15, 2007, Henson signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings.[3] However, he was cut from the team during training camp August 27, 2007. Despite falling short in Minnesota, Henson continues to pursue an NFL career. According to ESPN.com, Henson tried out for the Jacksonville Jaguars in late October 2007 because of an injury to quarterback David Garrard, but the Jaguars instead signed Todd Bouman to a one-year contract.

So, he decided to play baseball first, but was never given a chance. Then, he went to the Cowboys, but was never given a chance there because Bill and Vinny have a long history together and Romo was making his rise. I was wrong though. Henson didn't drop off the face of the Earth, just the face of America. That's why he disappeared. He went to play in Europe and was never signed again on an American team. Anyway, at least my curiosity about Drew Henson has been satisfied. You guys can rest.

Washington Redskins' Sean Taylor Shot And Wounded At Home

Taken from ESPN:

Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was in critical condition after he was shot at his Florida home Monday, police said.

Sean Taylor

Sean Taylor

Miami-Dade County police officers were dispatched to Taylor's home at about 1:45 a.m. and found him shot. He was then airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital, police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said. He didn't know where on Taylor's body he was shot.

The Miami Herald reported paramedics found Taylor with a gunshot wound to the groin. A family friend who did not want to be identified told ABC-TV 10 in Miami that Taylor was shot twice.

A brief statement from the Redskins said Taylor was undergoing treatment at the Miami hospital and that police were investigating. His family has asked that no information about his condition be released at this point, said hospital spokeswoman Lorraine Nelson.

Taylor has a home in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay that he bought for $900,000 two years ago.

Taylor, 24, is in his fourth season with the Redskins after playing at the University of Miami, where he was an All-American in 2003. He leads the team with five interceptions but has missed the last two games with a knee injury.

In 2005, Taylor was accused of brandishing a gun at a man and repeatedly hitting him during a fight that broke out after Taylor and some friends went looking for the people who had allegedly stolen his all-terrain vehicles.

Taylor reached a deal with prosecutors last year after they agreed to drop felony charges against him. He pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors in the assault case and was sentenced to 18 months probation.

The man, Ryan Hill, also sued, seeking at least $15,000 in damages. Hill suffered bruising to his body, incurred medical expenses and lost wages because of the fight, the lawsuit said.

My Interpretation of Week 12 in the NFL

Green Bay 37 beat Detroit 26 - This was one of the more exciting games to watch. I haven't had the pleasure of watching the Packers play this year so it was such a treat to see Favre shine on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions played good too and kept the game relatively close. However, their hopes of a Wild Card are fading away. The Packers on the other hand look amazing and I can see the experienced Favre passing through Dallas' secondary next week.

Dallas 34 beat New York Jets 3 - At this point of the day I felt as tired as a fat man on Thanksgiving so this game received little attention. We all knew the Cowboys were going to destroy the poor Jets. This game wasn't even close. Even the anchormen at halftime were joking about struggling to stay awake during this game.

Indianapolis 31 beat Atlanta 13 - The Colts scared me in the beginning. I sat there thinking that this was another game where they would struggle to win. However, after letting the Falcons score the first 10 points, the Colts broke out and Peyton Manning had a great game.

Cincinnati 35 beat Tennessee 6 - Its about time for me to stop believing in the Titans. I picked them to win in order to keep the race for the AFC Wild Card close, but clearly the Browns and Jaguars are better than the Titans. I enjoyed watching Palmer and the Johnsons put up an offensive show like they should. Its ashame the defense didn't show up all year.

Cleveland 27 beat Houston 17 - What can I say about Cleveland that hasn't already been said. In the end, the Browns have too much offensive fire and they are truly the comeback team of the year. It would be nice, however, if they had more attractive helmets.

Oakland 20 beat Kansas City 17 - This game was meaningless and could have easily gone either way, but Culpepper and company edged out Croyle for the win.

Seattle 24 beat St. Louis 19 - I called for the Rams to upset the Hawks and it very nearly almost happened. Bulger's concussion forced Frerotte too enter the game, but he didn't do too bad. Jackson ran like a beast this game, but the Hawks clawed back in the 2nd half and earned the win, protecting their slim division lead.

Minnesota 41 beat New York Giants 17 - We all know Eli can't play well in the second half of the year. There's a rumor that as the temperature drops lower and lower, Eli's performance gets worse and worse. It must be true and this game proves it. I didn't even know the Vikings had a defense until this game. After this game, I was able to name every player on the Vikings' defense.

Tampa Bay 19 beat Washington 13 - Perhaps it was Campbell's 2 interceptions that hurt the Redskins in this one. Campbell allowed Barber to become the Bucs' all time interception leader.
The Bucs have padded their lead in their division even more.

New Orleans 31 beat Carolina 6 - Drew Brees either has very good games or really bad ones. This was a good week for him....or at least better than Carr, who got benched after throwing 2 interceptions. The Saints continue their march in pursuit of the Bucs.

Jacksonville 36 beat Buffalo 14 - The Jags continue to nip at the heels of the Colts and have set up a showdown to determine the status of the division lead next week. However, I don't think the Jags are that great. 15 of their points came off of 5 field goals. They simply don't have the offensive power to match up with the Colts, who's players are recovering more and more just in time for the important games.

San Fransisco 37 beat Arizona 31 - I really liked Arizona in this one and it could have gone either way. The 49ers won off of a mistake: a fumble recovery which led to a touchdown. Warner threw the lights out of the ball for 484 yards. I find that more impressive than the way the 49ers won, but I know it doesn't matter because it comes down to who wins the game.

Chicago 37 beat Denver 34 - Denver's loss breaks the tie for the division lead and puts the Chargers in front of them. Hester set the Bears' return record and no matter how hard teams try to kick away from him, he always finds a way to recover and run with the ball. Perhaps at this point teams would be better off kicking out of bounds and forfeiting 40 yards to prevent a return touchdown, but that wouldn't be any fun.

Chargers 32 beat Baltimore 14 - The Chargers have won 5 of their last 7 and seem to be back, but beating the Ravens is not exactly the hardest task in the NFL. All a team has to do is outscore the Ravens because they never put up a reasonable amount of points to win a game, excluding last week. After all the bashing of Rivers, which really made me mad because if they were going to bash young quarterbacks Culter should have been first on the list, he came through with 3 touchdowns. Tomlinson, however, continues to put up mediocre stats.

New England 31 beat Philadelphia 28 - Many of you who continue to read my postings should realize that I am a Colts fan and can't stand the Patriots. If the Eagles would have beaten the Patriots (which they should have), the Eagles would have been one of my new favorite teams. The Eagles were in control of the whole game and they were marching up the field with 5 minutes left ready to take the lead when all of a sudden (I swear don't know what they were thinking) after these small 10 yard passes which were working too a charm, Feeley decides to bomb one for the endzone and he was intercepted. WHY DID HE DO THAT? Not only did it break from what was working the entire game, but it would have only given the Patriots more time on the clock. When the Patriots were on their way to going undefeated in a recent season, Feeley on the Dolphins stopped them with a win. Feeley knew how to pick apart the Patrriots defense and if he didn't make that ridiculous decision I wouldn't be going on this rant about how the Patriots are becoming very lucky that a few of their wins have come off of bad decisions by the other team. I do enjoy wat5ching Brady get mad when they are close to losing. But still, something seems fishy about that interception, as if Feeley was paid to blow it or something. Whatever the reason, the Patriots still haven't lost and I still can't stand seeing the record go to such an undeserv9ing team. I compare the Patriots breaking the record to Barry Bonds breaking the record: Belichick and Bonds both cheated and neither deserve it and the Patriots even got caught cheating. Get the asterisk ready.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

NFL Updated News For Week 12

Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson was ruled out of Sunday's game against the New York Giants, leaving Chester Taylor to start in his place.

Quarterback Donovan McNabb will miss the Philadelphia Eagles' game Sunday against New England because of a sprained ankle and injured thumb. A.J. Feeley, who led the Eagles to a win over the Dolphins, will make his first start since 2004.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Santonio Holmes won't play Monday against Miami after missing practice Friday for a third consecutive day.

Bills rookie running back Marshawn Lynch will miss his second consecutive game because of a badly sprained left ankle when Buffalo plays at Jacksonville on Sunday.

For Miami, middle linebacker Zach Thomas has been ruled out for his fourth consecutive game and will not play on Monday night.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Vinny Testaverde was ruled inactive for Sunday's game against New Orleans, a day after he awoke with a stiff back. David Carr will be in the spotlight for this week.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Major League Pitcher Joe Kennedy Passes Away

Joe Kennedy, who last pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays during a seven-year major league career, died early Friday morning while at home with family in Florida. He was 28...and its always very sad when a 28 year old passes away. The cause of death could not immediately be determined, agent Damon Lapa said.

After going to bed early, Kennedy woke up at about 1:15 a.m. Friday and collapsed as he was leaving a bedroom at the home of his wife's parents, Hillsborough County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said, according to The Associated Press. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue took Kennedy to Brandon Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, she said.

Kennedy compiled a 43-61 record in seven seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks and Blue Jays.

As a left-hander, Kennedy broke into the majors in 2001 with the Devil Rays. In three full seasons with Tampa Bay he made 72 starts, compiling an 18-31 record. I always liked Kennedy and that is reflected in the fact I drafted him to round out my starting pitching rotation in MVP 2007. I saw the pitching potential he had when he was on Tampa Bay and its ashame he died so young and will never have that breakout year I knew he would have.

Bill Callahan Fired As Nebraska's Head Coach

I found this story rather interesting and read further into it. Here's clips of the article taken from ESPN:

Bill Callahan was fired as Nebraska's coach Saturday, his four-year stay marked by the most embarrassing losses at a football program once among the mightiest in the nation. Interim athletic director and Nebraska great Tom Osborne announced the dismissal one day after the Cornhuskers ended the season at 5-7 following a 65-51 loss at Colorado. They squandered an 11-point halftime lead by allowing 34 consecutive points.

"As a former coach this is a role I really don't like," Osborne said at a news conference. "I hate to sit in judgment of other people. I never envisioned being in a situation where I would have to make a decision on somebody's employment opportunity, but that's the nature of this business."

Callahan met with Osborne for less than 15 minutes earlier Saturday morning. ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach reported. Callahan left the football complex without speaking to reporters. After Friday's game, he said he enjoyed his time at Nebraska. "I have no regrets," he said.

Osborne said he told Callahan at the end of October there would be a coaching change if Nebraska finished with a losing record. LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini and Buffalo coach Turner Gill are the names mentioned most often to fill one of college football's glamour jobs.

Nebraska's dismal season followed one in which it reached the Big 12 championship game. This year also featured a 76-39 defeat at Kansas, the most points allowed by a Nebraska team.

It will cost the university more than $3.1 million to buy out Callahan's contract, which was to run through the 2011 season. The contract was signed in September before a series of the most lopsided losses in decades and the firing of athletic director Steve Pederson, who hired Callahan.

Osborne said he had not yet spoken with any coaching candidates.

"The next few days I'll try to talk to four or five people," he said. "I would like to move it along as fast as I can because recruiting is really critical at this time."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The New York Knicks Have Become A Joke For Basketball

That is putting it lightly. The New York Knicks have been plagued by off-court issues, player disloyalty, and very poor performances. In the Knicks' lost to the Pistons, marking their 8th straight loss, Pistons' guard Flip Murray said, "They looked like they didn't want to compete. They were just out there. All you had to do was look at their body language. I don't know what's going on over there, but they've got a lot of issues."

New York has lost eight straight and speculation is growing that Isiah Thomas might not be coaching much longer.The awful start has only compounded problems for him and Madison Square Garden after being defeated in a sexual harassment trial. Knicks fans have been chanting for Thomas to be fired, but the Hall of Fame point guard was welcomed with mostly cheers when he was introduced in an arena where he led the Bad Boys to back-to-back titles.

But is it really all Thomas' fault? Thomas and the Knicks started the game with energy, keeping the game close for several minutes. But despite hearing Thomas scream "Rotate!" or "Stay in front of him!" the Knicks were often out of position, leaving Detroit alone to take and make shots from all over the court. Thomas is well aware of the position he is in when he said, "It's not about the players right now. This is where coaching comes in. I have to make sure I give my team enough confidence and courage to go out and compete and execute a game plan. When you're in a hole like this, it's not about the players. It really is about the coach. If I'm depending on a player, then I'm placing responsibility in the wrong place. This is about me doing a better job."

Isiah Thomas, I'm still waiting to see when your "better job" will take place.

Nobody Likes A Cheater

The title of this article has been used by those who have played any type of competitive game, but who would have imagined this phrase would someday be applied to a major league sport, specifically baseball. The use of steroids by major league baseball players is the cause of this cheating. Steroids in baseball has always been an issue, but has not taken center stage until the release of Jose Canseco’s, 'Juiced', in which he specifically points out baseball superstars, such as Mark McGwire, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, and Rafael Palmeiro, who potentially may have used steroids. Canseco himself also admitted to using steroids during his career and pointed towards the company BALCO as the source of the production of these steroids. The steroid controversy has reached the Senate where the ongoing argument is how the league should regulate the use of performance enhancement drugs as a result of baseball commissioner Bud Selig failing to do so properly. My question, however, is what is the harm of baseball players using steroids and the effects of steroids on the game of baseball and its fans.

Steroids are illegal in the United States. There is NO way it would be all right for athletes to take steroids and not make them legal for everyone else. If steroids were made legal in major league baseball, then children who look up to this sport and the players would view this as an advertisement stating there is no harm in taking this drug. Meanwhile, steroids harms the body in terms of heart and liver damage, strokes, elevated cholesterol, and other life threatening problems I doubt Major League Baseball would want to be held responsible for. The last thing baseball needs is parents threatening to file lawsuits against them because children interpreted their claim as being all right to take steroids.

Baseball players use steroids as a muscle enhancement drug. By improving themselves artificially, players provide a better show for the crowds, increase their paycheck, and earn more revenue for their ball club. If you’re sitting in AAA and you have a wife and three kids, and the guy in front of you is hitting 25 home runs and playing second base, you’re looking up and saying to yourself , “how am I going to support my family? When am I going to get the big contract?” My response is if one needs to resort to steroids because they don’t have the power on their own to produce a home run quality swing, then they should not even be in AAA to begin with. There are numerous players, including pitchers, who are able to hit home runs without using this illegal performance-enhancing drug. Baseball players need to understand power alone does not foster a home run swing. Rather, the more important ingredients are skill, accuracy, and timing. Athletes should not have to put their lives at risk because they are at a disadvantage nor should they feel forced to harm their body to keep up with the sluggers ahead of them.

As mentioned earlier, baseball players take steroids to provide better shows for their fans. The cliche “ignorance is bliss” applies here because when a fan likes his favorite baseball player, he likes that player for who he is and what he has accomplished. However, if that athlete becomes exposed to the fact he used steroids, the cliche “ignorance is bliss” switches to “say it ain’t so.” Fans of that player no longer admire his work because they realize he is a fake. Rafael Palmeiro is a good example. Fans of the Baltimore Orioles loved Palmeiro until his recent exposure of using steroids. He even lied to the Senate about his use. Now fans of the Orioles do not wish to associate the bird with that player. In addition, as a result of steroids being used by players, stats and records are being blown away and history is being rewritten unjustly. Our national pastime is being tainted by drug abuse. When legends like Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth set and broke records, they did not have the luxury of steroids. Players breaking records today are doing it unfairly, and steroids is the cause of that.

Therefore, steroids should be banned from baseball and drastic actions should be taken to keep steroids from being used further. Steroids is polluting baseball because newer players are feeling required to resort to steroids and harm their body in order to compete. This pollutes the sport further. The MLB should test everyone, instead of random players like they do now, simultaneously at a specific date. The fact some players get away with using steroids and others do not is unfair. Players who still wish to pursue steroids even after they realize the possible consequences of their actions should do so at their own risk because steroids raise the probability of that player becoming injured, especially if taken in large doses over time. In other words, if players do not wish to stop taking them because of legal consequences, then they should stop taking steroids because they will be screwed health-wise in the long run.

Priest Holmes Announces His Retirement From The NFL

Three-time Pro Bowl tailback Priest Holmes, who returned to the field with the Kansas City Chiefs last month following nearly two years of inactivity, has decided to leave the game, and announced his retirement at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

Holmes, 34, spent the past few days counseling with family members and friends, and speaking with medical experts about a re-occurrence of the neck problems that sidelined him for two years, two sources close to him told ESPN.com on Tuesday night. The decision to retire came after Holmes suffered three hits in last Sunday's game at Indianapolis that left him with some tingling in his extremities.

The Kansas City franchise's all-time leader in total touchdowns (83) and rushing touchdowns (76), Holmes set a then-league record by scoring 27 times in 2003. That record has since been broken.

Holmes spent the final half of the 2005 season on injured reserve and the entire 2006 campaign on the NFL's physically unable to perform list. Because of the head and neck trauma, and a serious hip injury that threatened to end his career in 2004, Holmes has played in only 19 games since the end of the 2003 season.

Holmes stated, "I have truly been blessed with the opportunity to play in the National Football League. I will be forever grateful to the Hunt family and the Chiefs organization for the opportunity to come to Kansas City, where the community embraced me from Day 1."

I want to say Holmes is lying about this statement. After all, this guy WAS treated badly, but then again, his team was only looking out for him and it just so happened Larry Johnson stepped into the picture. Here's a guy who was an amazing rusher for his team, but a series of injuries set him back. So, the Chiefs did what any team would do and that is to get a running back to temporarily replace him. Except, Larry Johnson was so good, that he not only stole Holmes' starring role, but he basically replaced Holmes and Edwards refused to put Holmes back in. In the end, however, that was a good move on Edwards' part because he realized Holmes was too hurt to run full-time and thus the retirement. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Johnson is having an awful year as well.

Wizards' Guard Gilbert Arenas Will Miss 3 Months

Washington Wizards leading scorer Gilbert Arenas underwent two different surgical procedures on his left knee on Wednesday and will miss about three months. Arenas had been experiencing swelling and soreness in the knee which he had surgically repaired late last season. After sitting out the past two games, Arenas did not travel with the team to Charlotte and underwent an MRI Wednesday morning, which revealed a cartilage tear. Team physician Dr. Marc Connell repaired a partial tear of the meniscus and performed microfracture surgery on a non-weight bearing bone on the side of his knee.

At 6-5, the Wizards are having one of their better seasons and if the Magic weren't as good as they are, this would turn into a divisional race. Not to put the Wizards down, but I'm not too particulary fond of them. I can see why Arenas is their leading scorer. They have no one else to carry the load. DeShawn Stevenson and Antawn Jamison need to carry the pace. The reason I have little faith in this team is because at one point I had Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, and Brendan Haywood on my fantasy team and they didn't do anything for me. In fact, I think Haywood earned me negative points one game. Therefore, Arenas injury will prove devastating for the Wizards.

The Angels Acquire Speedy Torii Hunter

Outfielder Torii Hunter and the Los Angeles Angels reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday night on a five-year contract thought to be worth $90 million. The 32-year-old becomes the much-needed hitter the Angels sought to protect Vladimir Guerrero in the batting order. Hunter hit .297 with 28 homers and 107 RBIs for the Minnesota Twins this year and is a seven-time Gold Glove winner. He finished 15th in AL MVP balloting and was on the AL's All-Star team for the second time in his career. Hunter will join a talented outfield that includes Gary Matthews Jr., Garret Anderson, Guerrero, Juan Rivera and Reggie Willits. The addition of Hunter makes the Angels' outfield one of the fastest, if not the fastest outfield in the game.

Since I can remember the Angels have always been a powerful force in the AL. The combination of power and speed from strong hitters mixed with the pitching of Colon and Lackey proves to be a sick team. With the addition of Garland, look for the Angels to perform very good next season, as they always do. Though they aren't my favorite team, they did have my favorite player, Troy Glaus, who won the World Series MVP in 2002.