Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rosters For The 2008 NBA All-Star Game Has Been Revealed

2008 NBA All-Stars
Rosters for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game, to be played Feb 17 in New Orleans. (x-starter; reserves were named Thursday):
Player, Pos.Team
Chauncey Billups, GDetroit
Chris Bosh, FToronto
Caron Butler, GWashington
x-Kevin Garnett, FBoston
Richard Hamilton, GDetroit
x-Dwight Howard, FOrlando
x-LeBron James, FCleveland
Antawn Jamison, FWashington
Joe Johnson, GAtlanta
x-Jason Kidd, GNew Jersey
Paul Pierce, FBoston
x-Dwyane Wade, GMiami
x-Carmelo Anthony, FDenver
Carlos Boozer, FUtah
x-Kobe Bryant, GLA Lakers
x-Tim Duncan, FSan Antonio
x-Allen Iverson, GDenver
x-Yao Ming, CHouston
Steve Nash, GPhoenix
Dirk Nowitzki, FDallas
Chris Paul, GNew Orleans
Brandon Roy, GPortland
Amare Stoudemire, FPhoenix
David West, FNew Orleans
--Chris Paul and David West were picked for their first All-Star Game Thursday night, giving the hometown Hornets a pair of players for the event New Orleans will host next month.

--Boston will only send two of its Big Three to the Big Easy. Paul Pierce was voted in by Eastern Conference head coaches to join starter Kevin Garnett, but Ray Allen fell short.

--The Pistons' Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton are headed back for the third straight year.

--Toronto's Chris Bosh and Atlanta guard Joe Johnson were the other players picked for the East, which will be coached by Boston's Doc Rivers. Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, the reigning NBA MVP, Utah's Carlos Boozer and Portland guard Brandon Roy were selected from the West.

--Missing out during the worst season of his career was Shaquille O'Neal, ending his streak of 14 consecutive All-Star selections. That tied the record held by Jerry West and Karl Malone.

--Garnett, LeBron James, Orlando's Dwight Howard, New Jersey's Jason Kidd and Miami's Dwyane Wade were voted by fans to start for the East. The West starters are Denver's Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson, the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, San Antonio forward Tim Duncan and Houston center Yao Ming.

--Predictions?? Well, from looking at these rosters, I really would have a hard time if I had to bet on this game. The Eastern and Western rosters are fully stacked with the top guys, but the combination of Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade, Paul Pierce, and Jason Kidd provide the speed, passing, and scoring edge over the Western players. For years I've heard the Western Conference has always been better. That statement doesn't have much weight to it anymore.

Jason Kidd Is Close To Nesting In His Old Home Of Dallas

The growing feeling among league executives that the Dallas Mavericks are the most likely winners in the Jason Kidd trade sweepstakes is even stronger now.

Reason being: Within 24 hours of Kidd saying that it's time for him and the New Jersey Nets "all to move on" in separate directions, New Jersey and Dallas engaged in advanced trade discussions with Portland on a three-way deal that would land Kidd back with the team that drafted him in 1994.


Such a trade would involve at least a dozen players, cash sweeteners and future draft picks. In a breakdown of the most noteworthy principles, Portland would land Mavericks guard Devin Harris and possibly Mavs forward Brandon Bass, New Jersey would receive draft and financial considerations, Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse and a trio of young prospects from Portland (Travis Outlaw, Channing Frye and Jarrett Jack) while the Mavericks would score Kidd.

The talks were very active Tuesday, as reported Tuesday night on ESPN2's "NBA Coast to Coast" by ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard. But dialogue between the three clubs had cooled Wednesday to the point that sources close to the situation described them as "pretty much dead."

But another source insisted that the deal still has life and noted that the "pretty much" disclaimer leaves open the possibility that the dialogue can be reheated to Tuesday's levels, especially since the league's Feb. 21 trading deadline is still three weeks away. And what most observers considered to be one of the biggest obstacles for New Jersey and Dallas to either moving or acquiring Kidd -- finding the third team they needed to broaden the deal -- might be less of an impediment than anticipated if Portland could be recruited so quickly.

Some reluctance from the Blazers, sources said, is one of the factors that has stalled the talks. In addition to the short-term concerns about the ankle injury that has sidelined Harris, Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard told The Oregonian newspaper last week that "we're not making any trades" to break up a roster of youngsters that rebounded from Greg Oden's season-ending injury to rank as the biggest surprise team so far in a league filled with surprise teams. Sources say Portland has been shopping Jack on his own, but parting with three or four players is something else, with guard Sergio Rodriguez also potentially involved. Outlaw's development, furthermore, is one of the stories of the Blazers' season.

The Mavericks, meanwhile, might also have some hesitation, even knowing that Kidd has made it clear behind the scenes that a return to Dallas and the opportunity to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki is his preferred outcome, ahead of a move to Cleveland to play with Team USA teammate and close friend LeBron James.

Sources say Dallas is resigned to the fact that it won't be able to reacquire Kidd -- 1994-95's co-Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill as a Mav but who left town in acrimonious circumstances less than two seasons later -- without parting with Harris, who's a fan and Mark Cuban favorite as well as a 24-year-old point guard having by far his best season.

The initial scenarios discussed by the teams, however, also would require Dallas to part with either Bass or center DeSagana Diop. Both are critical role players in the Mavericks' system. Bass ranks as the most effective backup Nowitzki has ever had and Diop operates as one half of the center tandem with Erick Dampier that has been successful against San Antonio and Tim Duncan.

The Mavs, if the deal goes through, would be undertaking the aggressive renovation that many critics have been calling for since they followed up a 67-win regular season with a first-round exit to Golden State last season. Although there would obviously be some risk giving Harris' job to a quarterback who will be 35 in March, Dallas is undoubtedly seduced by the idea of enhancing the scoring abilities of Nowitzki and Josh Howard. Kidd's arrival would likewise address Dallas' team IQ and mental toughness issues after back-to-back epic collapses in the playoffs, first to Miami in the 2006 NBA Finals and then to Golden State.

Yet another potential snag here is that the Nets naturally hope to come out of a Kidd deal with at least one young star. The closest thing to a young star in the scenarios discussed so far -- Harris -- would be going to Portland.

But Outlaw is on the rise, too. Outlaw and Frye, furthermore, are athletic prospects who come with salary cap-friendly contracts in addition to the two future first-round draft picks New Jersey would also likely receive. It's believed that the Nets would immediately buy out Stackhouse and release him if the proposed deal wound up going through.

Yet it seems safe to expect that a Kidd deal involving these three teams will likely happen quickly or fade to all the way dead sooner rather than later. New Jersey has been dealing with speculation about Kidd's future dating to last February's trade deadline, when Kidd was nearly dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers. "But Dallas and Portland," said one source, "won't want this [trade speculation] to linger because then it starts affecting their teams."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Undefeated Kansas Jayhawks Are Undefeated No Longer

Michael Beasley scored 25 points and Bill Walker had 19 and No. 22 Kansas State ended a 24-year, home-court losing streak against archrival Kansas with an 81-73 victory Wednesday night against the previously unbeaten No. 2 Jayhawks.

Always double- and sometimes triple-teamed when touched the ball inside, the 6-foot-10 Beasley was held to only eight points in the first half but scored six in a row in the first few minutes after intermission and Kansas never caught up.Beasley, the nation's leading rebounder and No. 4 scorer, was 4-for-4 from behind the 3-point arc as the Wildcats (15-4, 5-0 Big 12) took over first place in a Big 12 conference they've never even competed in, let alone won.Kansas (20-1, 5-1), two victories short of matching the best start in its storied basketball history, lost on its state rival's home court for the first time since 1983.

The 24-game streak in an opponent's home gym came within one of tying the NCAA Division I record which UCLA set against California from 1961-68.The capacity crowd of 12,528 in Bramlage Colisium, where Kansas had been 19-0, sensed the victory with more than five minutes to go and security guards, worried about a near-riot, moved near the court.It didn't keep the floor from being flooded by delirious Wildcats fans.Jacob Pullen had 20 points for Kansas State. Mario Chalmers had 19 and Darrell Arthur had 12 for Kansas.

Team Stat Comparison

Points 75 84
FG Made-Attempted 26-54 (.481) 27-63 (.429)
3P Made-Attempted 6-17 (.353) 12-26 (.462)
FT Made-Attempted 17-20 (.850) 18-24 (.750)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
Largest Lead 4 12
Game Leaders
PointsM. Chalmers 19M. Beasley 25
ReboundsB. Rush 7M. Beasley 6

Brett Favre Is Unsure Whether He Wants To Play Again...Big Surprise

Despite reports he would return for 2008, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre said Wednesday he has yet to decide whether he wants to play an 18th NFL season.

Does this really surprise anyone. The guy has been undecided for the past 3 years, but always comes back. This is just step one of the Brett Favre drama to come.

"I haven't decided yet," said Favre, who was in Arizona for a Super Bowl-related activity. "We just played a little over a week ago. I'm going to take a few more weeks. Our coaching staff is coaching in the Pro Bowl next week. When they get done, [coach] Mike [McCarthy] and I . . . we'll just discuss it more in a couple weeks."

Favre, 38, had one of his best seasons in several years in 2007, leading the Packers to a 13-3 record and their first division championship since 2004. A major factor that contributed to his rejuvenated spirit was a supporting cast of young, eager players which helped make him successful.

He completed 356 of 535 passes for 4,155 yards, with 28 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions and a passer rating of 95.7. It was Favre's best passer rating since 1996 and the touchdown passes were his most since the 2004 season. In his second year under McCarthy, he managed games well and took better care of the football.

Green Bay lost to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game, keeping Favre from a third Super Bowl.

"The game the other day will not play into my decision making," said Favre, a three-time league most valuable player. "I'm not going to let one game affect my future one way or another. I think it's more whether I'm willing to go through the journey and the ups and downs. What if we start 4-0? Great. What if we start 0-4? Then how will I react? Do I want to put in the time in the off-season to prepare? That will decide it more than anything else."

Last season, Favre agonized over whether he would return to the Packers. It is generally believed that his wife and two daughters are in favor of him playing in 2008.

Favre will spend some time relaxing at his home in Hattiesburg, Miss., and discussing the decision with his family. But he made it clear he'd rather be preparing for the Super Bowl.

"I would much rather be preparing to play in this game," said Favre, who now owns most of the league's career passing records. "But that's the way it goes. . . . It would have been nice to be here but it's not the end of the world."

The ULTIMATE Reason Why The New England Patriots Will Win The Super Bowl

Now I do not promote or condone gambling, but if anyone has read previous posts by me, then they know I believe sports is about making money and that Vegas and sports as a long standing history together.

Again, me nor this site promotes gambling, but I want to report the statements I've heard.

On ESPN Radio online (strictly online radio only) a man from Vegas came into the studio and handed the anchorman a sealed envelope, saying he can open the envelope before or after the Super Bowl. Naturally, human curiosity got the best of him and the anchorman opened the envelope. Voila! The final score, stats, and details of the game were revealed. And this is Vegas people. The medulla oblongata of sports betting where every week they seem to come so very close to nailing the line. Therefore, I'd trust Vegas over any analyst.

New York Giants
Eli Manning: 20-36 / 240 yards / 1 TD / 1 INT
Huge day for NYG Special Teams and
Punt and Kick Returns for around 200 yards.
Burress, Toomer combine for 9 catches for 103 yards.
5-13 on 3rd downs
1 Fumble

New England Patriots
Tom Brady: 25-36 / 306 Yards / 3 TDs / 1 INT / 2 Sacks for -8 Yards
Randy Moss alone 6 catches for 89 Yards

Halftime - New England winning 17-10

Final Score - New England wins 34-20

-Very few penalties
-Close game with NE pulling away at the end
-The public loves what they have been seeing (NYG). The reason why the Patriots have been playing so poorly is because they were playing in poor weather conditions where the Patriots could not do what they were built to do: throw the ball. Now, in Arizona, where the weather is warm and normal wind conditions is present, the NE Patriots will win fine.

New York Mets Land The Best Pitcher in the World

This from

The Twins and Mets have agreed to a deal that would send two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana to New York in exchange for four prospects, according to a report by USA Today on Tuesday afternoon.

The deal is contingent on the Mets and Santana reaching an agreement on a six-or-seven year contract extension. Indications are that Santana is seeking a deal worth close to $150 million dollars. The Mets have been granted a 48-to-72 hour window to negotiate the extension and Santana is expected to waive his no-trade clause if an agreement is reached. The left-hander must also pass a physical.

According to the report, the four prospects that that Twins would be receiving in the deal are outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

You have got to be kidding! The New York Mets give up basically nothing for the best pitcher in baseball? The Yanks and Red Soxs offered much better deals to the Twins, but the Twins settled on this? I am a huge Mets fan, and THANK GOD!!! The Mets just put themselves at the top of the best teams in the league with this deal. They now have two pitchers they can send out on any given night to win a game.

Plaxico Burress And The New York Giants Just Sealed Their Own Defeat

I don't have the exact statistics for this year, but I'm willing to bet that every single time a team has guaranteed victory this year, that team was defeated. If there was one instance when a team declared they would win and they proceeded to do so, then please feel free to correct me.

Guaranteeing victory is one thing. Guaranteeing victory against the New England Patriots is just asking to be punched in the mouth. Have we not learned anything from past experiences?

Brady was puzzled by Burress' prediction that the New York Giants would beat the New England Patriots 23-17 in Sunday's Super Bowl. The fact Burress picked the Giants hardly surprised the league's MVP. The score certainly did.

"We're only going to score 17 points?" Brady said Wednesday morning before chuckling. "OK. Is Plax playing defense?

"I wish he had said 45-42 and gave us a little credit for more points."

Considering the Patriots set an NFL record by scoring 589 points, Brady's 50 touchdown passes were the most ever for one season, and Randy Moss broke Jerry Rice's mark with 23 TD catches, was Burress might have been a bit chintzy.

"I know they have confidence. They should have confidence," Brady said. "They are the NFC champions.

"I learned a lesson early in my career: No matter what you say during the week -- and God knows we say a lot this week -- we're going to be focused on going out and winning this game. We're confident, but I don't think we share our thoughts with everybody."

Burress did. And when he showed up 33 minutes late for the Giants' media session Wednesday morning, there was speculation the wide receiver was trying to avoid the spotlight.

Turns out Burress was spending time with his 1-year-old son and family at breakfast, claiming he was unaware so many people wanted to interrogate him about his prediction.

Nor was he aware, he said, that a hefty fine comes with missing a Super Bowl week media session.

"I don't understand what the fuss is about," Burress said, surrounded by at least as many TV cameras, microphones and notepads as Brady was two hours earlier. "Nobody wants to lose.

"All this is entertainment, It's sports and sports are entertainment. So 23-17 is the prediction I made, but the game still has to be played."

Told about Brady's reaction to that score, Burress said he wasn't dissing anyone.

"I'm not taking anything away from what those guys accomplished," he said. "They set all the records you could possibly imagine. They have a great quarterback, the MVP, who threw for a record (50) touchdowns. Randy set a TD record for catches. They had two receivers with over 100 catches.

"The numbers don't lie about what they have done."

Nor do the numbers 23-17 lie about what Burress thinks.

"Hey, look how much fun everybody is having with it," he said. "It makes national, international headlines. But the game still has to be played."

Further, the following quotes are from the New York Post's website):

As he pulled his car up to the Giants Stadium tunnel to unload his bags, [Plaxico] Burress was asked...a direct question: Are you ready to make history? "You better believe it," the towering Giants receiver said.

And then, as he entered the stadium and turned left toward the Giants locker room, Burress was asked for his prediction. Burress never hesitated, flatly stating "23-17."

He didn't identify the winning team. He didn't have to.

Or better yet:

Next came Michael Strahan...The same question: Are you ready to make history? "Yes sir," said Strahan, who for 15 years has chased the dream of winning the Super Bowl.

"History will be ours."

Here's a quote from Giants chairman Steve Tisch, when asked to predict a winner? (quote from

"I'm not going to give you the score...We'll have more points than they do. That's my score."

The bottom line is the Giants just dug their own grave by running their mouths and giving the Patriots fuel for their fire. In Burress' defense, however, he has done amazing in the playoffs thus far, so I guess he has a right to run his mouth a little.

Hockey Is An Animalistic Sport...But That Can Be Entertaining

The reason why I chose to highlight the New York Rangers At Carolina Hurricanes game is because there were almost more penalty minutes for fighting in this game than a Jet Li movie.

The Carolina Hurricanes first went about settling old scores with the New York Rangers.

The Rangers and Canes wasted little time getting down to business Tuesday. The two teams racked up a total of 66 penalty minutes in the first period. Interestingly, the rest of the game saw just four minor penalties.

1st Period Penalties

• 8 minor penalties
• 6 fighting majors
• One 10-minute misconduct
• One game misconduct

Then they got down to concentrating on the scoreboard.

Rod Brind'Amour and Sergei Samsonov scored in the second period after Tim Gleason, Scott Walker and Wade Brookbank fought in the first to give Carolina a 3-1 win over New York on Tuesday night.

"That's exactly what we needed to do," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said of the physical play. "We talked about everything before the game. Whatever game was going to be played tonight, we were going to be ready."

Trevor Letowski added an insurance goal in the third period for the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes, who have won three of four. Goalie Cam Ward made 34 saves.

Brendan Shanahan scored for the Rangers. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped 24 shots.

New York had won two in a row overall before the All-Star break but has lost six in a row on the road.

"Tough loss," Lundqvist said. "We were really looking forward to coming back and getting a good start."

The first period featured 66 minutes in penalties.

New York's Sean Avery and Walker received roughing minors before the puck dropped. The Rangers' Colton Orr and Brookbank fought shortly thereafter.

The physical play boiled over when Walker drove New York's Scott Gomez into the boards a little over four minutes into the game. Avery came after Walker, which started a melee that entangled all 10 players on the ice. Gleason was ejected because he was the third man in on the Avery-Walker scrum. Avery received a 10-minute misconduct.

Later in the period, Brookbank and Orr dropped the gloves for a second time.

"[The first-period fights] let guys know we were going to do whatever it takes to win," Walker said. "Then the gifted guys on our team could say, 'I'll have more freedom to do what I want.'"

The rough stuff between the teams wasn't a complete surprise. In a game in New York on Dec. 26, Orr leveled Carolina's Matt Cullen with a hit that left Cullen with a concussion. Avery also punched the Hurricanes' Andrew Ladd while Ladd was being restrained by an official, breaking a bone underneath Ladd's eye in the process.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Its Official: Jason Kidd Wants Out Of The New Jersey Franchise

How is a team composed of Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, and a man who seems to get triple doubles every other game so terrible? Jason Kidd seems to know the answer.

Jason Kidd has come to grips with two realities. One, the New Jersey Nets aren't very good. Two, that their only chance of improving is to deal him. "I'm not mad at anybody," he said Monday afternoon by phone. "Sometimes, when you ride a wave, you get to the end and that's all there is. That's where we are."

Kidd confirmed that his agent, Jeff Schwartz, has talked to Nets' management about moving him by the Feb. 21 trade deadline, but he categorized the conversation as a continuation of something that started last All-Star break, when the Nets nearly dealt him to the Lakers for a package of players that included Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown. The sticking point was that Nets president Rod Thorn wanted Andrew Bynum and the Lakers refused.

While initial reports had Kidd, 34, insisting on being sent to a contender, he said Monday that he realizes there are no guarantees in any scenario. At this point, he simply wants to play for a team that can compete every night and utilize his talents.


"It used to be if I got a triple-double, that was an automatic win," he said. "That's just not the case now. We tried to make this work. We've found out it doesn't. It's time for us all to move on."

Schwartz, in exploring current options for his client with other NBA teams, has been told that with Vince Carter signing a new four-year $61.8 million contract and Richard Jefferson having three years and $42 million left on his six-year deal, Kidd is the only moveable major asset New Jersey has.

There are a variety of teams who would be interested in acquiring Kidd -- Dallas and Denver already have reached out in the last week, a source said -- but it's a matter of what the Nets would insist upon in return. If draft picks are involved, weighing true value is infinitely easier after the May draft lottery, when the selection order is set and teams have a better idea of which players plan to declare their draft eligibility.

Would Jason Kidd fit in well with the Lakers. I would say, yes, because Jason Kidd is traditionally a pass first kind of player and Kobe Bryant is traditionally a shoot first kind of player. However, the Lakers as they are now are playing well together, Kobe is finally happy, and the asking price of players the Nets are requesting for Jason Kidd is too much.

Any team would gobble up Jason Kidd....he's an amazing player. I don't know why he suddenly is unhappy on the Nets. He's the leader of the team and its up to the leader to take his team as far as the team can go. Look at Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade....I would argue that Jason Kidd has better talent surrounding him than these other players have and you don't see them complaining about wanting to be traded because their teams aren't or weren't producing. Well, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade never complained and Kobe Bryant stopped complaining.

Time Is Running Out For The Johan Santana Trade

This From ESPN The Magazine:

Executives involved in the Johan Santana trade talks expect the Minnesota Twins to make their decision soon, perhaps as early as Tuesday, on what they intend to do with the left-handed superstar, after the team asked on Monday for last and best offers from teams involved in the trade talks.

Johan Santana


The Twins could weigh the offers and decide to keep Santana into spring training, in the hope that a more aggressive market for the left-hander develops.

For instance: If Andy Pettitte's involvement in the Roger Clemens-Mitchell report case seems to be distracting the left-hander, Hank Steinbrenner -- who has been the most prominent member of the Yankees organization in favor of making a Santana trade -- could spur the team to give the Twins the package they have requested, which includes pitchers Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. Or if the Red Sox suffered multiple pitching injuries, they might push for a Santana deal.

Or the Twins, who just signed Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer to extensions totaling $104 million, might prefer to turn the page and make a deal now. The Mets have the most obvious need for Santana and reason to be the most aggressive, and have indicated a willingness to offer a package of four or five players.

The Red Sox have talked in the past about deals built around either pitcher Jon Lester or center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Two sources involved in the discussions say the Red Sox have indicated they won't trade Lester, and another highly placed source says Lester remains on the table. A fourth says the Red Sox are willing to deal Lester only in a package with little window dressing -- in other words, Lester and Coco Crisp and little else.

It's unclear, as well, whether the Red Sox would be willing to offer Santana a deal close to the six-year, $150 million package he will seek in order to approve the trade. Santana has a full no-trade clause and will want an extension in order to approve the deal. The Twins offered him a four-year, $80 million deal, beyond the $13.25 million he is slated to make in 2008.

The Yankees appear to be not presently engaged whatsoever in the Santana talks.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Marc Savard's Efforts Edged the East Over The West In NHL's 2008 All Star Game

This is what hockey should be like more often. Hockey games are more exciting for me when the scoring is high and the action comes right down to the wire.

Marc Savard made Atlanta feel like home all over again.

With hockey luminaries such as Sidney Crosby sitting home, Savard stepped up. The Boston Bruins forward scored the winning goal with 20.9 seconds left Sunday night to lift the Eastern Conference to an 8-7 win over the Western Conference.

Real early it looked as though it would be a night for the West when Rick Nash scored the first of his three goals a record-quick 12 seconds into the game. But the East took charge with five straight, including two by Alex Ovechkin -- Crosby's rival for top player in the NHL.

"We came out a bit slow and they took it to us," Nash said.

In the end, after the West erased a 5-1 deficit to go ahead 7-6, Savard -- a former star for the host Atlanta Thrashers -- brought the local fans out of their seats to cheer for him again.

Leading up, there was much talk about who wouldn't be at the All-Star game. Crosby, the defending NHL MVP and scoring champion pulled out due to a sprained ankle, and starting goalies Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo both withdrew for personal reasons.

That left it wide open for others to grab the attention. Of the 42 players, 15 made their All-Star debuts.

Ovechkin made an early bid, followed by Nash, and even goalie Evgeni Nabokov. In the end it was Savard, known way more for passing the puck than shooting it. The play-making forward, second in the NHL in assists, buried the puck behind first-timer Manny Legace just when it seemed overtime was inevitable.

Carolina's Eric Staal got the East even at 7 with 7:25 left by scoring his second of the night, then helped set up Savard for the winner. His three points were enough to skate off with the MVP award.

"I'll take it," Staal said.

Nash nearly became the fifth straight All-Star MVP winner from the losing side, instead ceding the award to Staal -- whose brother Marc took part in the YoungStars game on Saturday night.

Savard spent parts of three seasons in Atlanta before leaving for Boston as a free agent before last season. The crowd was rooting for current Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk to win it, but happily settled for a former favorite.

Ryan Getzlaf cut the West's deficit to 5-4 41 seconds into the third, and Nash completed his hat trick 1:15 later to tie it.

Marian Hossa of the Thrashers -- for now -- made it 6-5 at 4:08 as the East scored for the first time since the opening period. Hossa was cheered by these fans, but he could be a former Thrasher soon if he can't reach a new deal with Atlanta before next month's trade deadline.

Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf tied it again and Marian Gaborik gave the West its only lead at 7-6 with 9:03 left.

It sure didn't look as though it would be an Eastern Conference day when Nash set an All-Star game record with the first goal of the 15th All-Star hat trick.

You can forgive New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro for that one as he was answering a television interviewer's question about the hip injury he sustained the night before in the skills competition as Nash raced his way.

The hip was fine, the attention span was a bit lax.

No worries. In this game of few whistles and fewer checks, the All-Stars skated freely and creatively. That didn't help Kovalchuk, who was stopped twice in the final 1:03 of the second period by San Jose's Nabokov.

Kovalchuk was parked in the slot and fired a one-timer that was labeled for the top right corner when Nabokov snatched it with a stabbing glove as he fell to the seat of his pants. Kovalchuk dropped to his back -- snow angel style -- in exasperation.

He tapped the goalie on the helmet when he got up, then set his aim on him again. Sent in on a breakaway with a long lead pass, Kovalchuk streaked toward the net as the final seconds of the period ticked off.

Kovalchuk let go a low shot that Nabokov met with a double stack of his pads. The puck slid safely away, Kovalchuk threw his stick to the ice and the Russian forward gave it a kick as he quickly headed to the tunnel.

"He's quick for a small guy," Kovalchuk said with a smile.

It might not have been so bad if not for the two stops Chris Osgood made on him in the first.

Staal answered Nash's early haymaker with one of his own 1:20 into the game to tie it at 1 and set the East's offense in motion.

Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov gave the East a 2-1 lead before Ovechkin and Buffalo defenseman Brian Campbell scored 1:35 apart to push the advantage to three goals.

Ovechkin's second, off a perfect feed from Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis, was scored from right in front of the crease into an empty net to make it 5-1 with 2:11 remaining in the first.

Hard-hitting PhaneuJustify Fullf let Ovechkin stay there without hassle, and five-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom gave him a halfhearted tug from behind with his stick.

The second period belonged to the West and the goalies.

Nabokov stopped all eight shots he faced, while Florida's Tomas Vokoun made 18 saves in 20 attempts as the East's lead was cut to 5-3.

Lebron James And Kobe Bryant Did Not Disappoint In This Controversial Ending

LeBron James and Kobe Bryant went back and forth throughout an intense fourth quarter.James and his Cleveland Cavaliers won out in the end, even surviving a few raindrops at Staples Center.

James scored 14 of his 41 points in the final period, and the Cavaliers beat the short-handed Lakers 98-95 Sunday for their 12th win in 15 games.Bryant scored nine of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, and also had 12 rebounds and six assists, but it wouldn't be enough to keep the Lakers from losing their third straight to match their longest losing streak of the season.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 16 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 6:14 to play, and Larry Hughes also scored 16 points for the Cavaliers (24-19), who have beaten the Lakers in their last five meetings.

Lamar Odom had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers (27-15), who have a 2-4 record since center Andrew Bynum injured his left knee. It was their fourth game without Trevor Ariza, who broke his right foot. Neither player is expected to return before the middle of March.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao was helped from the court late in the third quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday with an injured left ankle.

X-rays were negative, but he will undergo an MRI on Monday.

Right after teammate LeBron James made a layup, Varejao stepped on the foot of Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic as he entered the lane, trailing the play. Varejao was helped from the court, unable to put weight on his left leg.

Varejao, averaging 8.0 points and a team-leading 8.7 rebounds, had two points and four rebounds in 17 minutes when he was injured, with 3:12 left in the third period and the Cavaliers leading 63-59.

The game was delayed for 12 minutes late in the first quarter because of a small leak in the Staples Center roof. It resulted in a steady flow of drops falling under the north basket -- out of bounds but less than a foot from the baseline. Arena spokesman Michael Roth said a roofing company inspected the roof Sunday morning and when the inspectors were finished, they removed their rain gear and left it along with some equipment on a catwalk over the north basket. The leak came from the clothing and equipment through slats in the catwalk.

The Cavaliers took a 94-93 lead on a basket by James with 1:16 remaining, and Bryant drew an offensive foul nine seconds later. After an empty possession by each team, James ran the shot clock down before hitting from outside with 20 seconds to go, giving the Cavaliers a three-point lead. Ronny Turiaf made a follow shot with 13 seconds left, trimming Cleveland's lead to one point, but James made two free throws four seconds later to make it 98-95. The Lakers called a timeout, but were unable to get off a potential game-tying 3-pointer before the final buzzer sounded.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Miami Heat Are Ice Cold No Longer

Dwyane Wade scored 35 points, Mark Blount added 10 of his 19 in the pivotal fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 98-96 on Saturday to snap a 15-game skid -- the longest in the NBA this season and the second-longest in franchise history.

"You don't like to be part of that every day," Riley said. "So they're just happy this thing is over with."The scene at the final buzzer was championship-caliber.
Horrible Heat Moments
Miami Heat
Miami's 98-96 win over Indiana on Saturday snapped a 15-game slide, the second longest in Heat history. Back in 1988, Miami ended a 17-game slide with a one-point win over the Clippers. Here's a look at Miami's futility:

Dec. 14, 1988
Jan. 26, 2008
Losing streak17 games15 games
Franchise game number181,568
Opponentat Clippersvs. Pacers
Won by1 point2 points
Indiana's final play started with 5.8 seconds left, when Wade knocked the inbounds pass into the backcourt. Andre Owens picked up the ball, got just over halfcourt and released a desperation toss that wasn't close.

And with that, Heat relief.

So what if Miami only improved to 9-33, the worst record in the East? For the first time since Dec. 22, the Heat could leave a game happy.

Now that the Heat snapped their 15 game losing streak with a win, I'll laugh if they lose their next game.

Giants, Patriots Defy Laws, Logic

With the Super Bowl next Sunday also comes the two weeks of intensive media coverage and huge anticipation. The Super Bowl is the ultimate decider of which team has had a successful season. It does not matter how many wins or how many records a team has achieved in a season. All that matters is the Big Game.
And both Super Bowl contenders know this unsettling fact. Both the New York Giants and New England Patriots know that their seasons mean nothing without a Super Bowl win. This knowledge weighs more heavily on the Patriots, who just finished a stellar 16-0 season with numerous records, accolades, and praises.
This is a historic Super Bowl. Will the Patriots be the second undefeated team ever to win one? Will the Giants pull off a monumental upset and undo all the accomplishments of Tom Brady and Co.?
This is a Super Bowl of the defiant. Both teams defied what was thought to be possible. The Giants this season broke records for wins as an away team. New York also made three huge upsets in the postseason, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Green Bay Packers. The Giants proved that they are more than underdogs and should not be underestimated. The Giants also defied common sense. Instead of resting their starting players like any other team would in their last game of the season against the Patriots, New York used all of their starters. These defiant Giants have proved to be more dangerous than sports analysts originally anticipated.
And then there's the Patriots. New England defied all reason and modesty by achieving a perfect regular season with numerous touchdown records to boot. Not many people thought that Peyton Manning's old record would be broken by Tom Brady any time soon. New England defied many people's expectations that "Finally, this is the game they're gonna lose".
With such two defiant teams playing next week, it is impossible and unwise to bet on who will be victorious. New York might defy reason and expectations once again and spoil a perfectly questionable perfect season.

Friday, January 25, 2008

You Have To Love Bill Belichick And Those Sneaky New England Patriots

Bill Belichick would seriously make a great spy or government official. He just does not give up information and handles the media the way they deserve to be handled: by shutting them up. But he doesn't shut them up by yelling or telling them to shut up. He fields questions in such a clever way that the media is left speechless with no answer except feelings of aggravation and embarrassment. I have come to love watching Bill Belichick interviews just because I find it very clever and comical the way he dodges questions, some of which he has no reason to dodge but does so anyway.

The issue of Tom Brady and his high ankle sprain is just for attention. The New England Patriots love attention. With the public starting to jump on the New York Giants bandwagon, the New England Patriots need that attention back so they are secretly making it seem as if Tom Brady is hurt through his absence at practice. Tom Brady injured for the Super Bowl?! Yes, I'm sure this story is turning some heads.

For the second consecutive day, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wasn't in the locker room when reporters and cameramen were allowed inside Friday.

During the 45-minute period, several cameramen lingered near Brady's locker, but he didn't show up. Nor was he there for the first 12 minutes of practice that the media were allowed to watch.

Asked if he could say whether Brady would practice later in the day, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, "Not now. We'll see."

Brady was photographed in New York City on Monday wearing a protective boot on his right foot. He took it off later in the day and hasn't been photographed wearing it since. He reportedly has a minor high ankle sprain that isn't expected to keep him out of the Super Bowl against the New York Giants on Feb. 3.

Brady wasn't seen during the first 15 minutes of Thursday's workout to which media were admitted, nor in the locker room.

As Belichick was asked Friday to compare the current trip to the Super Bowl to the other three the team has played in, vice president of media relations Stacey James said, "Final question."

One reporter tried to squeeze in another, asking if Belichick could say what Brady did or didn't do on Thursday, the Patriots' first day of practice after a three-day break.

"Was that the last question?" Belichick said with a smile, turning toward James.

"That was the last question," James replied.

With that, Belichick walked from the lectern and out of the room.

Even if he is or is not hurt, what do you care? Tom Brady doesn't need to practice and the Super Bowl is still more than a week away anyway. Even other members of the New England Patriots are joking about Tom Brady's "injury." If it was anything of serious concern, don't you think a team hungry to win like the Patriots wouldn't be taking Brady's injury so lightly? Also, the Patriots already proved that they have many other weapons available other than Tom Brady who can get the job done.

Oakland Raiders Head Coach Refuses To Obey Owner's Call To Resign

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis sent a letter to Lane Kiffin recently asking for the coach to resign, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports.

Kiffin has refused to resign, he told Mortensen.

The Raiders finished 4-12 in Kiffin's first season as coach.

First off, don't you find it kind of strange and unprofessional the way the owner is letting the coach know he wants him gone? Through a letter? The owner can't even make a phone call or confront the coach. Who sends letters anymore?

Second, the Oakland Raiders head coach didn't do such a terrible job for his first year, considering he didn't have much to work with. He had no quarterback, receivers, and a defense barely worth mentioning. This is a team who is trying to rebuild, but how can a team rebuild if that team fires their head coach after his first year? At least he didn't do as bad as Cam Cameron on the Miami Dolphins.

Unhappiness Within The Pittsburgh Steelers Franchise

Before Big Ben Roethlisberger stepped off the field and out of the locker room after his final game of his season, he made it clear to the media that he wants the Pittsburgh Steelers to draft a tall wide receiver.

There's nothing wrong with that statement, except to Hines Ward, who was angry by what Big Ben said. I doubt that comment made by Ben Roethlisberger was aimed to smack Hines Ward in the face. It was a general statement and a true one too boot. Its always handy too have a tall receiver to boost the offensive firepower on your team.

What I find interesting is that Hines Ward was angered by Big Ben's statement...yet Hines Ward's best years came during the time when Plaxico Burress (an incredibly tall receiver now on the New York Giants) was on the Steelers. Go figure.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Brett Favre to NOT Start In the 2008 Pro Bowl

For those who watch the Pro Bowl after the Super Bowl....there have been major changes to the rosters.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jeff Garcia, Buffalo Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel, Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent Cole and Washington Redskins long snapper Ethan Albright are going to the Pro Bowl.

Garcia will replace Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre on the NFC roster.

I ask why Garcia? Why no Tony Romo. That's my quarterback man! (I do a great imitation of Terrell Owens).

Garcia finished the season as the NFL's seventh-rated passer with a 94.6 rating. In 13 starts, he completed 209-of-327 attempts with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. His 197 consecutive pass attempst without an interception to begin the season was a team record.

The Pro Bowl appearance will be the fourth of Garcia's career and his first as a Buc; he played in three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2000-02 when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. He becomes the third Tampa Bay QB in the Pro Bowl, joining Trent Dilfer (1997) and Brad Johnson (2002).

Schobel, who will appear in the Pro Bowl for the second straight year, was added to the AFC roster Thursday in place of injured Miami Dolphins end Jason Taylor.

Dockett has been added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster, replacing Tommie Harris of the Chicago Bears. Harris is out with a knee injury.

Cole was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster in place of injured Seattle Seahawks end Patrick Kerney.

Schobel had been selected as a Pro Bowl alternate last month despite a down season statistically. In 16 starts, he finished fourth on the team with 95 tackles and led the Bills with 6½ sacks, a considerable drop after 14 sacks last season.

Taylor is unable to play after tearing his left plantar fascia -- an injury that brings pain to the bottom of the foot and heel -- against Baltimore on Dec. 16.

Schobel will be Buffalo's lone representative at the game, to be played Feb. 10 in Honolulu. Bills left tackle Jason Peters was selected as a starter but will miss the game with a groin injury.

It will be the first Pro Bowl appearance for Dockett, who joins wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald as Cardinals representatives for the game.

In his fourth NFL season, Dockett led the Cardinals and all NFL interior linemen with a career-high nine sacks. He had 75 tackles, forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles and had 14 sacks while starting all 16 games.

Dockett was initially chosen as a Pro Bowl first alternate.

Cole, who was sixth in the NFL with 12½ sacks, had been selected as a Pro Bowl alternate. His total was the most by an Eagle since Hugh Douglas had 12½ in 2002.

A fifth-round draft pick by the Eagles in 2005, Cole recorded 103 tackles this season and earned the Eagles defensive MVP award.

Albrightt, the long snapper best known for his bright red hair and the fact he hasn't messed up a snap in ages, was selected for the NFC team.

"I really didn't think I'd ever be going," said Albright, a 12-year NFL veteran.

Albright will join tight end Chris Cooley and left tackle Chris Samuels as Redskins representatives. All three will wear jersey No. 21 during the game to pay tribute to former Washington safety Sean Taylor, who died Nov. 27 and was posthumously voted as a starter.

The long snapper position isn't subject to Pro Bowl voting, so the coaching staffs for each team have to select a snapper if there isn't one among the linemen already chosen. Green Bay's staff will coach the NFC, and Packers special teams coordinator Mike Stock held the same position when Albright joined the Redskins in 2001.

"They need a long snapper," Albright said. "Mike Stock is the one who brought me to Washington, and he thought of me."

Albright won't say the last time he had an errant snap, but all have been on target during his seven seasons in Washington.

The Miami Dolphins Are Making The Right Steps

They can hire all the coaches they want, but until the Miami Dolphins get players that are good enough to coach, they won't go anywhere.

Well, does trading away your #1 draft pick for a good player sound like a decent move?

Let the bidding for the No. 1 pick begin.

"We're open for business," new Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, on hand to watch practices for the Senior Bowl, told the NFL Network on Wednesday.

Ireland, whose quote appeared in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, has been working at a breakneck pace since Bill Parcells hired him away from the Cowboys three weeks ago.

In the time after Ireland became GM, the Dolphins fired Cam Cameron and most of his staff, hired Tony Sparano as coach and started to assemble a staff of assistant coaches.

"Have I been able to breathe yet? Uh, a little bit," Ireland said Wednesday after watching a Senior Bowl workout. "I'm just glad to be watching some football players."

Then there's the matter of whether the Dolphins plan to keep the top selection in April's draft or trade it. Based on its just-completed 1-15 season, Miami has a plethora of needs.

"Rome wasn't built in a day, and this won't be built in a day either," Ireland said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "The No. 1 pick is no different from the 22nd pick. You've got to make the right selection. You just can't miss on it.

"We're going to do everything in our power to make the right choices, whether it be to take the pick or move down. We'll listen to all offers."

Mel Kiper Jr.,'s NFL draft expert, is not alone in forecasting LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey as the top pick to the Dolphins. Ireland declined to discuss specific players or positions of special interest to the Dolphins, but he said he and Parcells, who last month became executive vice president of football operations, have reviewed their observations from the Senior Bowl workouts about 30 minutes each day. Parcells watched the workouts on cable TV.

Sparano also didn't make the trip to Mobile, instead remaining in South Florida to focus on hiring a coaching staff. Ireland said he's comfortable with the way he'll divide responsibility with Sparano and Parcells.

"The situation that we're in is that Bill does oversee everything," Ireland said. "But yet I am the GM and we have a head coach, so there is going to be a triangle of communication involved here.

"I can't say that Bill will have the final say on everything, because we communicate so well. That's why Tony's in the position that he's in and that's why Bill brought me here [to Mobile] -- because we'll communicate and make decisions together."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Atlanta Falcons Finally Found A Sucker To Be Their Head Coach

The Atlanta Falcons hired Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith as the team's new head coach on Wednesday evening.

"Mike possesses all of the key qualities we were looking for in a head coach," said general manager Thomas Dimitroff, in his first month on the job.

Dimitroff said the 48-year-old Smith, a 26-year NFL coaching veteran, "has strong experience with winning teams, a track record of success, a solid, smart approach to the game, and high character and integrity."

The two sides worked late Wednesday to finalize a contract, and the goal was to introduce Smith as the successor to Bobby Petrino at a Thursday news conference. Contract details were not yet available.

The decision to hire Smith, who was one of seven candidates interviewed by Falcons officials, was first reported on Wednesday morning by Michael Smith of ESPN. Sources close to Smith and to the hiring process subsequently told's Len Pasquarelli that the Jaguars' coordinator had been formally offered the position.

Smith has never been a head coach at any level of the game. But he is a nine-year league veteran and has served the past five seasons as the Jacksonville defensive coordinator. Under his stewardship, the Jacksonville defense was statistically ranked among the top six in the league on three occasions.

Before joining coach Jack Del Rio's staff in Jacksonville, Smith was the Baltimore Ravens' defensive line coach for three seasons, 1999-2001. As such he was a part of the Baltimore staff that won Super Bowl XXXV. That staff also included Del Rio, who was the linebackers coach.

Falcons quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was with Smith in Jacksonville for four years, says Atlanta made the right choice. "I've played against his defense more than anybody in the world," Leftwich said. "I did it every day in practice for four years. I think he's a great guy for the job.

I just hope Mike Smith realizes the drama he is getting himself into by joining the Atlanta Falcons.

The New York Yankees Set A Record...But Have Nothing To Show For It

The Yankees did finish first in something last year -- spending.

While their streak of AL East titles ended at nine, the Yankees wound up with a record payroll of $218.3 million.

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox were a distant second at $155.4 million, according to information received by clubs from the commissioner's office. The Los Angeles Dodgers were third at $125.6 million, followed by the New York Mets ($120.9 million), Chicago Cubs ($115.9 million), Seattle ($114.4 million), Los Angeles Angels ($111 million), Philadelphia Phillies ($101.8 million), San Francisco ($101.5 million) and the Chicago White Sox ($100.2 million).

This proves that buying out the top players doesn't always guarantee success. The New York Yankees have arguably the best third basemen, shortstop, and catcher in the game in addition to an amazing outfield. They can also afford any player they desire.....but how long has it been since they won a World Series?

Of course, the New England Patriots disapprove my theory that buying out the top players doesn't always guarantee success.

In addition to the largest payroll, the Yankees have the highest revenue in the majors. New York took in $415 million last year, giving about $100 million of it away in the sport's revenue-sharing plan.

Both the Yankees and New York Mets will receive revenue boosts in 2009, when they move into new stadiums.

"We're always working on increasing revenues, but it's getting harder and harder to do," Red Sox owner John Henry said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "The Yankees and the Mets will be greatly helped by their new ballparks which look to be state-of-the-art. They seem very well designed to maximize revenues and to greatly improve the fan experience. The renovations we have been at work on within Fenway, the new ballparks in New York, Washington, Minneapolis -- everywhere -- these are great for baseball."

At the back end were Tampa Bay ($31.8 million), Florida ($33.1 million), Washington ($43.3 million) and Pittsburgh ($51.4 million).

In all, teams spent $2.71 billion on players last year, up from $2.49 billion in 2006 and $2.35 billion in 2005.

The 30 clubs estimate they took in $6.075 billion last year, an increase from $5.2 billion the previous season and $4.7 billion in 2005.

New York has had the highest payroll for nine straight years. The Yankees' total rose from $207.5 million in 2006 and $206.6 million in 2005.

The Yankees were set to fall under the $200 million mark before signing Roger Clemens, who increased their payroll by $17.4 million. He went 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 18 appearances.

In addition to the largest payroll, the Yankees have the highest revenue in the majors. New York took in $415 million last year, giving about $100 million of it away in the sport's revenue-sharing plan.

New York is on track to lead the major leagues in payroll again but its total appears likely to drop. The Yankees have committed $198.6 million to 19 signed players on their 40-man roster. Adding in the midpoints for their three players remaining in arbitration -- Chien-Ming Wang, Robinson Cano and Brian Bruney -- the total increases to $207.6 million.

Tiki Barber Needs To Take A Side Or Shut Up

You may remember Tiki Barber as the running back notorious for fumbling the football for the New York Giants early in his career, but then breaking out into being arguably an amazing running back. You may also remember Tiki Barber as being classy, respectful, and having millions of fans. Well, I throw all that out the window.

The Tiki Barber I now know is a guy who walked out on his team, become an analyst, and turned his back on his team. I remember when he criticized Eli Manning, the coaching staff, and the team in general. While criticism is often good because its neccessary to pick out whats bad in a team in order for that team to change for the better, his comments were a bit harsh and disgraceful.

But what makes me dislike Tiki Barber is that now that the New York Giants have actually taken down the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers and made it to the Super Bowl (who would have expected that?), Barber now jumps on the bandwagon and has nothing but praise for the very same team he trashed recently. How am I supposed to take this guy seriously when I don't know what to expect from him.

However, I must admit that there were probably many people, such as myself, who had at one or many points lost faith in the inconsistency of Eli Manning and the Giants. But what matters now is his performance when it counts in the playoffs, which has been flawless.

Barry Bonds Is Trying To Beg For Mercy?

Barry Bonds must realize his time is almost up. Slugger Barry Bonds actually asked a federal judge to dismiss perjury charges against the slugger Wednesday, arguing that the indictment is "scattershot" and noted for its "striking inartfulness."

Bonds was charged in November with lying to a grand jury about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. In the motion filed in San Francisco federal court, the former Giant neither admits nor denies taking the drugs but argues that the questions asked by prosecutors during Bonds' December 2003 grand jury appearance were vague, ambiguous and confusing.

The lawyers said "the questions posed to him by two different prosecutors were frequently imprecise, redundant, overlapping and frequently compound."

Prosecutors asked Bonds several times whether personal trainer Greg Anderson supplied him with steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs beginning in 2000. Bonds answered "no" or "not at all," but his lawyers argued that the questions were not clear.

Bonds' lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to either toss the case or order prosecutors to streamline the indictment, which cites 19 different instances of Bonds' alleged lying.

Bonds, a free agent, has pleaded not guilty to four charges of perjury and one count of obstruction.

Tennis And Roger Federer Seem To Go Together

With no disrespect to tennis, I am not a tennis fan nor do I know many people who watch or play tennis. However, what I do know is that every time i heard the word "tennis" its usually preceded or followed by the name "Federer." Is he really that amazing? I guess so.

Roger Federer just beat James Blake in straight sets, to meet Novak Djokovic in semifinals, For Federer, Blake always puts up a good fight against the Swiss star -- then loses.

Top-ranked Federer ran his record against Blake to 8-0 and advanced to the Australian Open semifinals with a 7-5, 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory Wednesday.

Federer is seeking to win here for the third straight year and pull within one of Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles. He's also one step away from his 11th consecutive Grand Slam final and has won 19 matches in a row at Melbourne Park.

"It's great to be on top of the game for so long and be compared to the greats like Rod Laver and Sampras,'' Federer said.

He's not too worried about younger players stealing a little of the spotlight, either.

"I'm looking at history, looking at my own game,'' Federer said.

He next faces No. 3 Novak Djokovic, who beat No. 5 David Ferrer 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 to join two Serbian women in the semifinals. Ana Ivanovic ousted Venus Williams 7-6 (3), 6-4 on Wednesday, while Jelena Jankovic beat Serena Williams a day earlier.

Anyway, yes, Roger Federer is that good.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Comments On Current Issues In Football

Ok, as far as the the special boot Tom Brady was wearing, yes he is hurt and yes he probably played hurt in the AFC Championship game. He threw 3 interceptions! For those who know a little about Tom Brady, then you know he does not throw 3 interceptions. He looked sloppy and uncomfortable all night. Therefore, he must have played hurt. There is no other explanation as to why he played so bad. This guy is some cyborg alien sent to dominate football and win everything possible. Of course, he'll recover in time for the Super Bowl.

As far as Ladainian Tomlinson is concerned, he is a disgrace to football. As good as he used to be, Sunday's AFC Championship game just ruined his career. Two weeks ago, as hurt as he claimed to be, he was still willing to run against the Colts. Last week against the Patriots, he was listed as healthy and ready to go. He runs on two drives for very little yardage, goes to the sideline, and bundles himself up in an Eskimoish- Dark Vader type outfit where he stood for the rest of the game. He should have either went to the locker room or went back out there to play. Not just stand there and be useless.

As far as Philip Rivers is concerned, I give him mucho guts for playing the whole game with a Torn ACL. I can't recall many players that can do that. He has more guts than LT. However, IT WAS ALSO VERY STUPID AND SELFISH OF HIM TO PLAY THE WHOLE GAME. Yes, he had guts, but c'mon, he threw 2 interceptions and had a very bad game. The quarterback is the most important position in any sport and if your quarterback isn't 100% healthy you shouldn't start him. Wanting to start and having the ability to start are two very different things that can affect the outcome of a game. Philip Rivers really needs to get over himself.

The Chargers had a very real chance of beating the beatable Patriots if LT would have played and Billy Volek would have started or went in after the first half. With a healthy quarterback and running back, they could have taken advantage of Brady's 3 interceptions, which comes once in a lifetime. The Patriots gave the Chargers every chance to beat them, but the Chargers didn't give the Patriots any reason why they should have won.