Saturday, December 29, 2007

NCAA Football Bowl Games 2007 - Taking a Breather from the action

Taking a small intermission from my strenuous vaca, I dropped back in Phoenix to put in some face time with the my newly graduated brethren, before I get to witness another New Years Eve on the Vegas strip.  Oh yes I will be ringing in the New Year on the road which will be the most Urinated-on piece of asphalt on the West Coast.  Anyways...the last week or so has been mediocre in terms of bowl games - awesome for me in the football pools though - with the exception of the Purple Pirates of ECU taking some glory from Boise State, so Bones and 4real - don't ever question me picking ECU for a round of NC dubs ever again.  Also, Central Michigan - who I'll admit I never followed or knew about - gave Purdue a little scare, boasting how underrated C. Mich is or the fact that Purdue truly does suck.  I'll stick with the latter.  Things to look forward to:

-The coaching scandals affecting bowl games
-The Water Boy actually playing for Florida State
- Joe Pa coaching his 500th bowl game as a puppet
-The Lop-Sided Rose Bowl
-Oklahoma taking a dump on WVU's chest

Hope everyone had a fun Jesus Day or the Oil Lasted in your candles or You didn't get embarrassed in the feats of strength.  See you in the New Year.  

More after the jump...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Winners go home and F the Prom Queen

Why is Bromo smiling? I think it's a pretty easy question to answer. No it's not because he's an NFL starting quarterback, but that helps. I don't think it's because he is on a Dallas team that is looking at the NFC Championship game already. I think it has more to do with the last year he's had. It's been a whirlwind where the undrafted Sigma Pi man out of Eastern Illinois made his way to replace the former 1st rounder Drew Bledsoe, and in the year since then he has been linked to Carrie Underwood, Sophia Bush, and now Jessica Simpson. Despite what T.O. says who wouldn't want to be romantically linked to Ms. Simpson. Of course that got me thinking how is it a man can get 3 ladies of that caliber. Underwood, Bush, and Simpson, in one year no less. And then I realized, the Quarterback always gets the girl. Don't believe me, look back at your High School.

I remember being a Freshman and John Rattay (Brother of NFLer Tim) had one of the hottest girls in school at his side. Of course when my buddy Wes took over, he had options but no game. At U of A, the third stringer, Adam Austin, had a cutie on his arm for the last couple years. There is something about Quarterbacks and having some innate ability to pull hot chicks.

Speaking of Tim Rattay, he belongs on this list, his wife Allison (at right) seems to be a pretty good looking piece, unfortunately this was the only picture I was able to find, but that's not the end of the list of back-ups with hot girlfriends/wives. Tim Hasselbeck's wife, Elisabeth, of The View and Survivor fame isn't too bad, and neither is "Free Agent" Tim Couch's wife, the former Barker Beauty and 1999 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Heather Kozar (Left). No relation to fellow former Browns 1st round pick signal caller Bernie Kosar, strictly coincidental. Couch isn't the only NFL QB able to pull one of Hef's ladies. The obviously heterosexual, again despite what T.O. says, Jeff Garcia had a little luck with one of the magazines beauties. He recently married the 2004 Playmate of the year, Carmella DeCesare. (Right).

These aren't the only QBs who have a pretty face waiting for them when they get home. Former Broncos/Cardinals/Buccaneers Quarterback, and Current Handball upstart, Jake Plummer, made waves when he started dating his current wife. Former Broncos/current handball cheerleader Kollette Klassen. (Left) I wouldn't mind running into her combing the halls of the United States Handball Association Hall of Fame located right here in Tucson, AZ. We all know about Matt Leinart's connections with Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears, which is fine, he's a young guy but how many of us out there are aware of who his baby momma is? To answer that one for you it's Brynn Cameron (Right). The USC women's Guard is the mother of Cameron Leinart, and ain't too bad on the eyes either. And then of course there is Tom Brady the "Father of the Year" (ditching Bridget Moynahan when being told she was pregnant) who is currently with super-hottie Giselle. How can you not hate Tom Brady.

So what's the point of all of this? Well Hesiman Trophy winner Tim Tebow has been getting lots of google searches, primarily for stats and mock drafts, but an increasing number of those searches are pre-destined to land on this picture of Tim Tebow, with a very well endowed female counterpart. Double D-Bow is getting an early start on the Professional tail, but it looks like he'll be in good company. Whether they're a career back up, retired, a "free agent", undrafted, skipped over by every team 5 times, and some 6, a journey man, an ex-CFLer, these guys all have one thing in common. The lovely ladies flock to them. Also there is something to be said about guys named Tim and Tom playing QB and pulling ass, I count 5 on my list, I think I just found the name if I have a son.

More after the jump...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

And now to look at the Anti/Anti-Boston/New England

... We'll look at the Boston/New England teams and plug them into my patented "Total Losing Score" formula. (If you haven't read the original post using this formula please read my last article here in order for it to make more sense.) Because the research and math is time consuming and I don't have a calculator, making it more time consuming than you belive to crunch the numbers, we'll take a look at what the New England area teams look like plugged into the system for the last 7 years, the new Millenium.

And their Total Losing Score...

Celtics: (53.5) - 4 + 0 - 0 - 1 - 3 + 0 - 0 = 45.5
Bruins: (51.3) - 3 + 0 - 0 - 2 - 0 + .5 - 0 = 46.8
Red Sox: (43) - 4 + 0 - 20 - 1 - 7 + 0 - 2 = 9
And The Patriots (This is the adjusted number including this year, if they in fact ran the table on the perfect season and won the Super Bowl.)
(23.2) - 6 + 0 - 40 - 7 - 15 + 0 - 4 = -(48.8)

Yes, the Patriots would be in the Negative out of 110. What's the point in all of this? Boston does indeed look incredible compared to Chicago and Cleveland once plugged into this formula, but a lot of it is Red Sox and Patriots. So I ask you, how many Patriots and Red Sox fans do you know that are also Bruins fans, or were rooting for the Celtics before their ungodly offseason acquisitions. Boston/New England Fans are front runners, bottom line, not all, but most. The Celtics haven't been that good until recently and the Bruins have been average at best. I have read/heard former Bruins fans who have signed off hockey altogether because the Bruins couldn't get out of the first round. I also know tons of Bulls fans who were ecstatic to see the Bulls make the playoffs 3 years ago. The same holds true for some of the other cities I talked about in my previous column. The Indians held the longest active sell-out streak and it was during their less than stellar years. The Celtics have sold out every single home game this season: 18,624 per game. Last Season the Celtics had 9 total sell out games and an average attendance of 16,500. An extra 2,100 fans all of a sudden appeared at the same time as the 23-3 Celtics interesting.
More after the jump...

You are One Pathetic Loser

With all the talk recently about how great Boston is as a sports city right now, and being a Chicago fan who is close friends with Cleveland fan, it’s time to show 4 teams from the top 5 losing cities of the last 10 years. (MLB seasons of 1998-2007, NBA, NFL, NHL, seasons of 1997/98-20006/07). There is a chance that there is a city that has more of a losing tradition, if that is the case please let me know. I tried to pick cities with teams in all 4 major sports. Of course, as you’ll notice, there are some stretches the Columbus Blue Jackets being included for Cleveland Hockey, the Florida Panthers and Marlins representing Miami since they both are based in Miami, I think. As for Minnesota, all of the teams are named after the state but again operate out of Minneapolis, I think. And I picked the Cubs for Chicago rather than the White Sox. Buffalo is not included because the Sabres have been decent at times, and there are no other Buffalo teams other than the Bills. I could put the Knicks in there and then pick between the Mets and the Yankees, but neither team is really even near Buffalo, plus New York has professional football and Hockey teams that would make more sense. I thought about including New York but the Yankees seriously destroyed the cities chances in the late 90s. Please let me know if you think that I have made any mistakes with that said, here are the 5 worst cities, in order from worst to best (of the bottom).

Cleveland, Ohio: Home of the Browns, Blue Jackets, Cavaliers, and Indians. Their Total Losing score (which will be explained later) a whopping 229.5. Taking home the worst of the worst, which though a terrible thing to be known for, is also actually a mark for True fans to say look at how bad we are, and I still pay to go to games. I still root with passion. Unfortunately next year when this list is accumulated, I think Clevleland might be replaced by one of the teams lower on the list that is quickly on the rise.

Chicago, Illinois: Home of the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and birthplace of most of the US soil Domschke's. Their Total Losing Score a respectable 205.8. Last years Super Bowl run and the 1997-98 NBA Championship keeping them from the top spot, which they should take over next year with the Bears and Bulls keeping alive at the bottom of their respected divisions right now.

Phoenix, Arizona: Home of the Cardinals, Coyotes, Suns, and D-Backs. Their Total Losing Score 172.2. The Cardinals (69.2) and Coyotes (51.9) really did their part to bring down the city but unfortunately for them the Suns have had success, sans title, and the D-Backs have had moderate success with a title.

Minneapolis, Minnesota: Home of the Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves, and Twins. Their Total Losing Score 163.2. It could be a lot higher had it not been for the Moss years for the Nordics, and Garnett’s ability to lead his team to first round playoff losses and 3rd place finishes in the NBA. If I had included this year, the Wolves record would definitely bring down the Minnesota total. Yet another city that could be gunning for the top spot, but the Vikings are Wild Card elligible right now.

Miami, Florida: Home of the Dolphins, Panthers, Heat, and Marlins. Their Total Losing Score a dismal 145.9. Again if we used this seasons numbers they would be much higher with the Dolphins and the Heat both last in their respectable divisions. Unfortunately for Miami the Heat were a playoff team almost every year in a weak conference and they won the title a couple years back.

A Brief overview of the process.

Without getting too in depth I took the overall regular season and playoff records as well as season finishes of each of these teams over the last 10 complete seasons. Successes were subtracted from the total and Failures were added to ensure the highest number at the end was the worst. From there I devised a simple formula and plugged away. Also, as far as hockey is concerned, since we had expansion teams, strike seasons, and rule changes as far as ties and overtime losses. Because of this for the hockey losing percentage it is only counting games with an end result, ties are not included in the final tally (since that is the way that hockey plays the game now). Also, overtime losses are considered losses. So to clear this up we'll take the Blackhawks 10 year record of 269-345-80-44, subtract the ties (80) completely, and add the Overtime losses (44) to the total losses (345). From there the record stands at 269-389. I divided 389 losses by the 658 total games with a decision. And the total was .591, their losing percentage. The formula took all things into consideration.

(Losing Percentage x 100) – (Playoff Appearances) + (Last Place Finishes) – (Championships x 10) – (1st Place Finishes) – (Playoff Series Wins) + (Seasons Not Played x .5) – (Championship Appearances)
And yes, Championships x 10, because if you win it all, that's the opposite of being a losing city. Perhaps that will be adjusted if I get enough complaints.

To Plug in Numbers to show how this works we’ll use the Browns (the highest Total Losing Score of all teams):

(.687 x 100) – (0) + (5) – (0 x 10) – (0) – (0) + (2 x .5) – (0) =
68.7 + 5 +1 = 74.7
Another example, the Heat, the lowest Total Losing Score:

(.431 x 100) – (8) + (0) – (1 x 10) – (6) – (8) + (0 x .5) – (1) =
43.1 – 8 – 10 – 6 – 8 – 1 = 10.1

The Following are the Total Losing Scores for Each Team Involved out of the Maximum 110 (10 straight winless seasons and last place finshes):
Browns: 74.7
Blue Jackets: 68.5
Cavaliers: 49.1
Indians: 37.2
Bears: 51
Blackhawks: 60.6
Bulls: 45.6
Cubs: 48.6
Cardinals: 69.2
Coyotes: 51.9
Suns: 22
D-Backs: 28.5
Vikings: 33
Wild: 53.2
Timberwolves: 34.8
Twins: 42.2
Dolphins: 36
Panthers: 58.6
Heat: 10.1
Marlins: 41.2

I guess It's true what they say. Cleveland really is the Mistake by the Mi-lake...for now. And I just gotta throw in the new Cleveland motto...Believe-land.

More after the jump...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Holiday Greetings

I severely doubt that any of you out there are surfing the net reading the column today but if in case you are stumbling across it looking for bowl game schedules or information on tonight's Suns vs. Lakers game.  I apologize.  Because, unless you look back at past columns you are not going to get any of that today.  Instead you are simply going to get a Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas, et al. message from us here at The Beardown.  

There should be some posts by the end of this week as soon as 4 Real re-enters the country, BC has any free time from his expansive family, and I get my internet up in running at the new place.  One I've been working on is the 5 losing-est cities in collegiate/professional sports.  Hint Chicago will be on that list.

Also, update here at The Beardown sports desk.  Coming in the first couple weeks of the New Year we're gonna be starting a new monthly feature where you will receive 1, 2, and maybe even 3 or more answers to your sports, pop culture, movie trivia, life questions/problems.  So go ahead and start writing into and we'll take a few here and there, depending on how many questions we get. 

And as a last note, Yeah the Bears season might not have been that successful but we did beat the Pack twice, and once again proved that Brett Farve is over-rated with his 6th or 7th straight multiple turnover appearance against the Bears.  I hope Farve comes back, I love going into a game KNOWING that 2+ picks or fumbles are coming my way.
Good Night you old Savings and Loan, Happy Birthday Jesus, and be careful or you'll shoot your eye out.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night.

More after the jump...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hockey: Dying but not Forgotten

It’s a fact that the Big Four Sports in the United States became the Big Three quite a while ago. Hockey appears as more of an underground movement with a cult following than a big time sport. I have a soft spot for hockey after spending a couple of years in Toronto where I was force fed the sport everyday. Proclaiming myself as a Maple Leafs fan I began to realize that I didn’t even know enough about the sport to consider myself fluent in hockey. It took a conversation with Dom about the minor league affiliations of NHL teams to make me realize I was a little behind the times. So for my own benefit as well as every other American reading this I thought I would go over a couple things that help me feel better about myself as a sports fan.

For the most part there is not a tiering system for the leagues as seen in baseball with AAA, AA, A. Instead we have an incredibly confusing system of different leagues with different prestige containing teams that are NHL affiliates and some that aren’t. If you were to rank them with a standardized lettering system like baseball it might appear something like this.

American Hockey League (AAAA)
International Hockey League (AAA)
East Coast Hockey League (AA)
Central Hockey League (A)

Currently there are 30 NHL teams whose primary development league is the American Hockey League (AHL). There are 29 clubs participating every year for the AHL’s top honor: The Calder Cup. Every NHL team has direct affiliation with one of the clubs except for the Buffalo Sabres and the Florida Panthers who have a joint affiliation with the Rochester Americans.

The most confusing league to me comes in the form of the IHL. This particular league is not to be confused with the league existing from 1929-1936 that merged with the Canadian American Hockey League who subsequently changed its name to the International American Hockey League (The League that would be consolidated, expanded and renamed the AHL). This IHL is also not to be confused with the IHL existing from 1945-2001 which disbanded after the 2001 season only to have six of their teams absorbed into the current AHL. From the previous IHL the Chicago Wolves, Grand Rapids Griffins, Houston Aeros, Utah Grizzlies, Milwaukee Admirals and the Manitoba Moose joined the AHL.

This IHL only contains six teams, three of which hold actual affiliation to NHL teams. Founded in 2007 it has jumped to a premier level of talent despite its shortcomings.

Bloomington Prairie Thunder (Unaffiliated)
Flint Generals (Detroit Red Wings)
Port Huron Ice Hawks (Also Detroit Red Wings)
Muskegon Fury (Grand Rapids Griffins :AHL Team)
Fort Wayne Komets (Unaffiliated)
Kalamazoo Wings (Unaffiliated)
So now we are dealing with a league that is supposedly two tiers below the NHL but contains only 3 teams with affiliation. To make matters more confusing two of those are directly affiliated to the NHL (both to the same team) while the third is affiliated with an AHL team, making their affiliation less prominent.

The East Coast Hockey League absorbed the West Coast Hockey League but continues to operate as the ECHL. There are twenty-five teams and has established its position as the primary league from which the AHL pulls (AA to AAA if the simple formula existed). The league was established in 1988 and continues to do well despite the costs associated with such a geographically dispersed league.

The Central Hockey League founded in 1992 currently has 17 teams and is the lowest on the totem pole as far as affiliation to the NHL. Only 7 of those teams have affiliations to higher tiers. Not much excitement to be had down at this level…unless you live in Arizona. In the case you can make a roadie to everyone’s favorite roadside stop Yuma Arizona for the newest CHL expansion team in 08. Of course that is pending on the completion of an Arena so don’t hold your breath.

So with my new found knowledge I found myself at a Lake Erie Monsters game during their inaugural season. With a Record of 8-15-1-5 positioned dead last in the West’s North Division the boys lived up to their hype. Beaten in every aspect of the game on every inch of the ice the Peoria Rivermen chalked a convincing 6-2 victory. The best part of the Monster Experience was the opening player introductions skating out of this beast.

It was all down hill from there….

4Real Out…
More after the jump...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Wanted: QB

Chicago: (def n. : A Drinking town with a football problem)

The Bears need help. The Bears need a lot of help, in a lot of positions. The Bears have started the collection of Rex Grossman, Brian Griese, and Kyle Orton. The Bears NEED a QB. My suggestion would be the man pictured at the right. In case you don't recognize him, it's Handball legend and former NFL Quarterback Jake Plummer. The Bears need a starting caliber QB and none of the 3 they've trotted out this season are that. The Bears need a QB who can win games, not just keep the team in it until the Defense or Devin Hester pulls them out of it. Jake Plummer had a unique ability to manufacture wins when the games were close and in the waning minutes. He was an instinctual quarterback who needed someone to build an offense around his playing style instead of vice versa. I'm sure he's a pretty cheap acquisition. Trade Griese or Orton straight up for Plummer's rights. He's been in shape playing some serious handball, he left beacuse he wasn't starting in Denver. He can start in Chicago. He still has at least a couple years of good football left in him.
Besides, the man had some great facial hair. Or they could go after Drew Bledsoe and then find a QB in the late rounds or not draft one at all. The NFL rule states, find an unknown talent, pick him late or not at all, let him study under Bledsoe for a season or two, and you have a franchise quarterback. Don't believe me ask the fans in New England (Brady) or Dallas (Romo). Backing up Bledsoe must be the key to learning greatness at the QB position. Just a couple of thoughts.

More after the jump...

A few morning Stories

Apologies to all of you out there, no updates yesterday had a busy day didn’t get around to any new updates. With that said let’s recap some stuff.

I get RSS feeds in my email. Which means every time a site updates, I get a memo about the new story. Coming into work today I read my ESPN updates like a police blotter. I know I have stressed this a thousand time by now, but how far is this going to go. When is this going to stop. Read my first post God Help Us if you need the background of what I’m talking about. The top stories of today and yesterday included the words affidavit, judge, plea, appeal, gun, and so on. The stories are about Sean Taylor’s assailants entering not guilty pleas. 3 or 4 stories about the baseball/steroid investigation, Todd Sauerbrun released for off-field issues, and so on in that order. I’m sick of it, and you all know I’m sick of it.

It seems like everyday something new is coming out in the steroid investigation. And the last two days are no different. Jason Grimsely’s testimony from last year came out and didn’t name the big names that everyone thought it would, to add more to the "he said – he said" aura surrounding this investigation. Yesterday it was reported that players will not be at the hearings, despite now having the power of the law on their side. Today it has been reported that they will. When will we get a straight answer on all of this, well we all know, never.

I don’t know where I stand on Curt Schilling’s comments regarding Clemens. Schilling said that Clemens’ Cy Young’s should be taken away. Though I think if you look at Clemens’ early numbers compared to his Cy Young numbers, Schilling’s got a point, where does it end. MLB is not supporting an asterisk on Bonds’ record (further showing my belief that they secretly supported the steroid era until forced into fighting against it). They are going to have to re-write a lot of record books if they want to remove the steroid era players from their “earned” spots in history.

I love Zo. Always have. He has had such an amazing career, and Wednesday night he tore the patellar tendon in his right knee. If it is in fact his last game (having previously stated that this would be his last season) he went out the way he wanted to go out. Well, almost, “That's not the way I envisioned myself walking off the court (with the help of teammates) for the last time in my career," he said. "I've been through so much in my life. If I had to crawl off the court I would have. Nobody was going to push me off on a stretcher off the court. That wasn't going to happen." You gotta love his will and attitude. The man missed a year for a kidney transplant. He’s got a lot of heart. The earliest timetable for his return would be late April, early May, but that is not common on a 37 year old. With that said, Zo has a ton of heart and I for one wouldn’t be all that amazed if he came back. And if not he can say he ended his career having to be dragged off the court. Once Zo is gone, it’s pretty much down to Shaq holding onto the NBA of my youth. Unless Jordan makes another comeback, he looked pretty good at the Bobcats practice earlier this week.

And in another update, Fast Willie Parker broke his leg last night. This is terrible news for all Steeler fans, and I admit I root for the Stillers occasionally. Without him in their running game making a run at the AFC won’t be easy in the coming months. But in the Silver Lining report, that should open up a spot for an AFC running back in the Pro Bowl. I wonder who t should replace him.

To end on a good note, there will be a special guest in the audience this weekend in Buffalo. My favorite story of the year, Kevin Everett, has said that he will be in attendance this weekend for the Bills finale.
More after the jump...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another batch of Random Thoughts

I know you are sick of them but it’s at this point during the day, typically, that I start to think about all of the sports and completely unrelated stories that are scrolling across your very TV screen (I assume, there is no TV screen in my office). And while thinking of them I decide that my loyal readers out there are wondering where I stand on a select few issues. So here’s today’s collection of random thoughts.

The Stork is visiting the Spears home but don’t worry, even in the most twisted of universes, Brittney would never be allowed to have another child. It’s only her 16 year old sister, star of Disney’s Zoey 101. Now typically I don’t discuss these things, and that will remain true. I was just updating all of you that, it indeed was a story I heard.

Sean Taylor was honored with a trip to the Pro Bowl, the first NFL player to be awarded that distinction Posthumously. The really sad thing is that he was leading the voting prior to his unfortunate late-night run-in. Say what you want about Taylor’s character he was turning his life around. It’s amazing to think that this guy, who was given and was taking a second chance, dies after a one in a hundred shot to a major artery. Meanwhile, Jamaal Tinsley escapes yet another shooting. Not saying that I wish harm on Tinsley but he hasn’t learned and this isn’t the first time someone shot at him with intent to kill. If you’re employer tells you it would be a good idea to get a bodyguard and you aren’t a President, Head of State, or the Pope, most likely there’s something wrong with the way you are leading your life. At least Taylor got to play in last year’s Pro Bowl game as an alternate.

With the whole head coaching shuffle in Bowl Games, I realize now while thinking about bowl picks, if gambling were legal, that coaching changes happening before Bowl Season is ridiculous. It’s kinda hard to pick say the Navy game since the Midshipmen’s coach, most likely, won’t be on the sideline for the game. How can you determine how a team will play when there is a new coach holding the clipboard during the game. It really makes things difficult.

Contrary to earlier reports, Tuna will not be going to Hotlanta, instead he’s looking to swim with the fishes in Miami. (Sorry the pun was just waiting to happen, they’re like crack). The ATL is just having the worst luck Vick in Jail for 2 years, Blank making blatantly racist statements (despite denying them), Petrino leaving, Parcells leaving before even arriving, and Joey Harrington at QB. It’s the curse of Eugene Robinson. This team was in the Super Bowl not too long ago, then Eugene went to get a “working girl”, and Falcon Leading rusher, Pro Bowler, Jamal Anderson tore his ACL and never returned. To put things in perspective, Miami won it’s first game of the season in week 14 and its MORE attractive than Atlanta.

Fred Taylor (216 carries for 1091 yards and 4 TDs, 18th in total yards in NFL history) is not in the Pro Bowl for the AFC. LdT (280/1311/14) is pretty rightly in front of him but Joseph Addai (251/1019/11)? Yeah he’s got more TDs but is averaging OVER 1 yard less per carry. And then there’s “Fast” Willie Parker (320/1317/2) less TDs, less yards per carry. Also Mario Williams (53 tackles/13 sacks) got left out, and no one from the entire NFC South was picked. I’m not necessarily saying that anyone on the Bucs, Saints, Panthers, or the aforementioned Atlanta Falcons should be on the team, but an entire conference getting shut out is just remarkable.

Back to Mario Williams for a second. Everyone said that was the biggest waste of a #1 pick. True, Houston probably could have traded down a spot or two and gotten Williams, but was it really that terrible of a pick? Compare #1 overall pick Williams with #2 overall pick Reggie Bush for a second. Without going into too much detail, over the last two seasons Williams is right in line, statistically with the other top DEs in the league. More tackles (solo and total) than Pro Bowlers Osi Umenyiora and Patrick Kerney over the last two years and more than Pro Bowler Jason Taylor this year. He also has as many sacks over the last two years (18) as Umenyiora and more than Pro Bowler Kyle Vanden Bosch. His numbers are on par, a little above or a little below all 6 of the Pro Bowl Defensive Ends this year on both the AFC and NFC rosters. Bush on the other hand, is not having a terrible career, but is not nearly as comparable as his backfield counterparts.

In two seasons he has amassed 312 carries for 1146 yards, 10 TDs and 9 Fumbles while on the ground and 161 receptions for 1159 yards, 4 TDs and no fumbles. If you want to compare stats over the last two years to the 6 Pro Bowlers in his position, and Fred Taylor, like I did with Williams, he doesn’t compare. He has less carries than all of them but rookie Adrian Peterson and Dallas’ #2 back Marion Barber (Barber has 1 less carry). He also has much less yards than all of them including Peterson and Barber. Yes Peterson has more yards in 14 games than Bush in an extra season. He also has more fumbles than all of them but Fast Willie Parker (10). True he is one of those new versatile backs amassing 1159 yards receiving over 2 years and 4 TDs, which is more than all of them but Pro Bowler Brian Westbrook who has 1404. But on closer inspection he also has more than three receptions to some of their one. Without boring too much he has 7.1 yards per reception over the last two years. Taylor is averaging 9.4, Peterson 14.5, LdT 8.6, Barber has 7.2, Addai 8.6, Westbrook 8.8, and only ties Fast Willie at 7.1. I guess Super Mario wasn’t that big of a bust was he? Looks like the guys in Houston are good at drafting first overall, with the exception of David Carr of course.
More after the jump...

Bill Parcells to Hotlanta Update - Parcells saying Miami

Just informed - Bill Parcells decided to not go to the Falcons. He decided not to join the Arthur Blank in Hotlanta and decided to continue talks with Miami who first contacted him almost 10 days ago. I guess that things in Florida as opposed to Georgia. What do the Falcons have to do to get someone to agree to any jobs in their franchise? Blank has been swinging for the fences going after Cowher and Parcells but striking out twice now. Do we have a new hopeful for a winless team next year in the Falcons? One can only hope.
More after the jump...

It's Almost Spring

The football season is winding down, and for many the last two weeks aren’t going to change much. The NBA season is in full swing, but it’s still pro basketball which consists of the same rudimentary formula kick the ball in, rotate, pass out, repeat, until there’s an opening in the lane or someone just chucks up a Trey ball, and the occasional fast break. And of course the Mitchell Report is all you are hearing, and reading, everywhere. So it’s time to switch gears a little bit and take a look at what’s coming up after the New Year.

Feb. 14, one of my favorite days, the day where every red-blooded man is giddy with excitement. That’s right, it is 58 days until Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training signaling to many, the new hope of a new season. And for those of us lucky enough to be in AZ or FL, a couple days to ditch work, sit in the sun, drink a few beers and watch our favorite players take 1 or 2 at bats, and then a bunch of guys we won’t hear from until September Call-ups play the rest of the game. And we don’t care, tickets are cheap, the weather is beautiful, and baseball is being played. Plus you get to heckle Number 82 with no name on his back, beacuase we all know he'll be back in Iowa or Durham in a few weeks. That’s my idea of a good time. I mentioned the beer too right?

Shortly following that is, yet another reason to play hooky and do nothing all day. The 70th Annual March Madness Tournament kicks off March 16. A time when a TRUE college champion is crowned (no computers or splits). When was the last time anyone argued the NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion? The first 4 days alone there are 48 games. My only hope is that this year, CBS will finally catch on and realize that Winthrop losing by 17 to Florida with 5:17 left is not as entertaining as Oral beating UCONN by 1 with 3:48 left and actually switch games at correct times. May I please apply for the position of who decides what games are televised, while they’re going on? Is there someone in that position now or does CBS just roll dice and switch games. Every man loves that March Madness music, can hear it right now, and smiled a bit.

But we all really know what everyone is looking forward to following the New Year. I’ll give you a hint, First Sunday in January, nationally televised event, highly competitive. It’s the return of American Gladiators. Finally, it has been way too long. Please take a moment and visit the site. Read the bios. This is going to end one of two ways. Either it will be the greatest remake ever and have a decently long and successful run (at least long enough for me to get in shape and try my hand at Breakthrough and Conquer). Or be the worst sports related event to hit NBC since Vince McMahon told NBC, “hey I’ve got a great idea for a new football league.” And we can always hope that former Heisman Trophy Winner Charles White tries a comeback to win an unprecedented 4th Championship. Oh and did I mention that Tanoai Reed will be appearing as Toa. For those of you unfamiliar with Reed’s work he has appeared in such films as Doom, The Game Plan, Gridiron Gang, Southland Tales, Be Cool, Walking Tall, The Rundown, and The Scorpion King. He is none other than cousin to and personal stunt man for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. And one of the Female Gladiators Gina Carano (pictured) is an MMA fighter who has appeared in MAXIM. The only downside is the repeats of Siren and Titan. A little disappointed they couldn’t think of new names.

There will be updates on all of these things over the coming months as they are the three most important sporting events coming up, well those and the Super Bowl.
More after the jump...

Bill Parcells to Hotlanta

Talks with Arthur Blank and Bill Parcels have been confirmed today as Blank would like to see Parcels as the VP of football operations. This means he'll be in charge of player personal, hiring of a GM and a Head Coach. Parcels is seriously considering the job but dispelling any rumors of him walking the sidelines again. This can only be good news for a festering franchise like the Falcons. The Tuna would only do well to help the team move on from the Michael Vick fiasco. If he signs though, don't be surprised if Roddy White is dumb enough to present him with a "Free Mike Vick" shirt.
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Florida State v. Louis Armstrong

most of you won't be there

25 players suspended. Florida State has 25 players on their football team suspended for cheating on a History of Music exam. Bowden said that he does not plan on using any of his redshirt players to fill in spots for the bowl game, which is a good move seeing as how it's not a BCS bowl. But, honestly who the hell is gonna play for the Seminoles? Should they take a page out of the Cincinnati Bengals book and just recruit right outside of the prisons? Maybe call Keanu Reeves - sorry Shane Falco - and get a replacement team out there? or maybe just simple Bear/Man/Gun with Kentucky... best out of 40.

By the way, History of Music? Seriously, how hard could that test have been. Obviously a Gen Ed, come on FSU, raise your standards a bit. Or maybe they're low for this
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You say the most when you say nothing at all

Well I didn't want to talk too much about the Mitchell report because I'm not the biggest baseball fan - call me un-american whatever - and I just wanna say, DUH. Of course these guys considered taking a shot in the ass to get more money. As the days have drug on, and eaten up a ridiculous amount of airtime, some athletes have come through with the "If I admit it, I'll be left off easy". But the largest story is Roger Clemens, the highly decorated pitcher has been listed in the report. Until yesterday his lawyer has been fielding questions and delaying his response, only for him to finally divulge,

"I am disappointed that my 25 years in public life have apparently not earned me the benefit of the doubt...I will answer the appropriate questions at the appropriate time."

Now, if I'm reading and hearing the same thing as everyone else, Roger Clemens has said exactly the same thing his lawyer has said, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Rocket, did you learn anything from McGwire, in 2005? McGwire's ass saw more than a needle after the media destroyed him for his silence. With all that is on the line for you, use your big boy words. Tell mommy who hurt you.

UPDATE:  Clemens says that  he never took any performance enhancing drugs.  Good game.  Just wait for your Congressional Hearing.  Don't let the silence over take you the second time around.

For his statement read/hear here: Clemens

More after the jump...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This Just In...

...Pot calls kettle "black"

Doing my typical evening headline scanning and updating my knowledge of all things holy (read as sport) I came across this article in which Pete Rose tells us that the performance enhancing drug users are making a mockery of the sport.

The man who is banned from all things Major League (playing, managing, owning, hall of fame-ing) thinks that these guys are making a mockery of the game. Doesn't that just make perfect sense, and just like Jose Canseco, the former poor excuse for a baseball player, as far as honesty and following the rules, actually comes off as, well as he so put it an "altar boy". Way to go Clemens, Bonds, Sheffield, Pettite, Tejada, etc.

Hey Lindsay, Britney and Tara Reid just called you a train wreck, and they're right.

More in the morning.
More after the jump...

Roy Williams - A real Cowboy

Dallas Cowboy Safety Roy Williams is being suspended for 1 game for a thrice repeated tackling violation - horse-collar tackling - of Donovan McNabb during the debacle in Texas stadium. The rule instituted after his leg-breaking tackle of T.O. a few years back, the All-Pro safety seems to have a learning deficiency when it comes to keeping his hands from feeling down other players while tackling. He is however a Dallas Cowboy. Aside from the fictional NFL team of the Nebraska Farmhands, I feel Roy Williams and any other Cowboy players should be allowed to use this technique. I mean cowboys do use horse collars while towing their covered wagons correct? Or maybe that was oxen...whatever they'll die of dysentery anyways. That and they still have 100 lbs of Buffalo meat from the early-mid 90s.
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Added Thoughts on a Slow Day

I was recently informed that Tampa Bay Buccaneer WR Micheal Spurlock returned a kickoff for a Touchdown. No small feat by any means. Why is this important? It was the TEAMS first kick return for a TD in 32 years. By contrast Devin Hester has 4 Kick Return TDs, in 30 games.

Arizona Assistant Coach/Interim Head Coach Kevin O’Neil officially gets to add another title to be introduced as, Arizona Assistant/Interim/Head Coach – in waiting, Kevin O’Neil. I would love to see that on a business card.

The Bears offense looked pitiful last night. Apparently Kyle Orton is not the savior. Who woulda thought? He’s got 2 more chances to prove himself before April when the Bears announce they drafted Andre Woodson/Brian Brohm/Colt Brennan to be the new QB1 for Chicago.

Congress is getting involved, again, in the steroids scandal after the Mitchell Report’s release. They are planning a hearing of epic proportions. Part of me is picturing the scene from Godfather II when Frankie Pants is going to testify, and then recants seeing Michael with his brother. Imagine Radomski getting up there to testify and then turning around and seeing Clemens and Bonds on the flanks of his Mother in the audience. The other part of me is picturing the hearing scene in Casino with Gary Sheffield berating Sen. Mitchell on the stand. Either way, this should be epically more entertaining than the most recent steroid/congress hearings in March 2005, when McGwire refused to comment and Sammy played the whole “No Habla Ingles” card.

Part of me is angry at these coaches jumping ship after promising commits they will be there and signing these contracts. Then again if I’m getting a $1.1 million dollar pay-bump I’m not so sure I don’t do the same thing. With that said it is really disgusting that Rodriguez, allegedly, contacted Terrelle Pryor one of the most sought after recruits and told him to attend Michigan before telling anyone ANYONE that he was leaving the Mountaineers, except maybe Mrs. Rodriguez.

Back to Orton for a second. For those of you who watched the game, that 55 yard, off the wrong foot HEAVE he chucked that got picked off in the end zone, wasn’t a bad decision. Sure he didn’t need to make it, Chicago still had 1 Time Out and 98 seconds to score 7. The problem with the play is purely mechanics. His skills are not that of an NFL starting Quarter Back. Had he thrown the ball a half yard deeper and one and a half to the right, that’s a TD and an amazing play. Unfortunately, in the NFL 2 yards is a big difference. It’s the difference between First and Ten and Fourth and Two, between he caught it with both feet in and he didn’t get his left foot in, and in this instance it’s the difference between a TD and possible win and a Pick and a Loss.

Miami Tackle Vonnie Holliday said of Sunday’s win, “It was like winning the Super Bowl” complete with dancing, celebrating, and tears of happiness, seriously. Uhhh you might finish 3-13, but have the Patriots coming up so most likely you’re looking at 2-14 at best. Vonnie, I have never played in an NFL game, a surprising fact to many, but I am willing to bet, it was absolutely nothing like winning the Super Bowl. I wasn’t even like beating the Niners in the Wild Card game when you were a Packer in 2001. It was however exactly like beating the floundering Ravens to keep your team out of the record book as the worst in NFL history.

Back to Clemens, The "Rocket's Red Flags" piece, is hysterical, please give it a read.

What are the odds on who leaves first Rich Rodriguez (Mich), Dennis Erickson (ASU), Nick Saban (Bama), Bobby Petrion (Ark), or Lindsay Lohan (Rehab)?

How good is LeBron? I knew he was going to be good, but this good. I’ve always said there will never be another MJ, and there won’t. But there will be a LeBron James, and he’s getting better each year. He’s a freak. AND he’s a good guy to boot, he had tea with 4Real’s mom and her friends, seriously. I have been for awhile (since mid 2005 season) on the LeBron bandwagon and I’m not afraid to admit it. With that said how ridiculous is his new commercial, “you don’t want to be me, you want to be better than me”. Yeah, sorry to doubt you, but not possible Bron Bron.

More after the jump...

Yoko, Jessica, Jessica, Yoko

Something really ridiculous, and I can't believe I'm posting this however entertaining as it may be, Romo may be the new Lennon of the Cowboys. Romo and his team make BEAUTIFUL music together when being left alone, only to be eclipsed by the best team in the NFL - I'll liken them to the Rolling Stones or something British like Fish 'n Chips. But as the 'Boys season goes on, and Romo gets more popular - he's beginning to attract many girls, maybe the japanese, artsy, communist supporting types. But for right now he's sticking to the American, Blonde, Pop star, politic-deficient types. However could the Eagles be their "Catcher in the Rye"-obsessed stalker? Carrie Underwood attended last years Eagles game only to see the 'Boys lose at the hands of Eagles. Crazy coincidence this year, as Jessica Simpson came to the games to the 'Boys demise. Now, it's offensive to compare either of these girls to Yoko, but in the same breath it's pretty offensive to compare Yoko to these girls. Damn double edged swords. Brother Romo, fuck chicks dude, just dance
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The Battle of Wits - NFL Pregame Sportscasters

Every Sunday, I roll out of bed - usually hungover and confused - at around 9:30 a.m. I stumble out of my room, dragging ass to the fridge to quench my post-boozing thirst. I then flip on the tube - is that even a legitmate statement anymore? - and I'm reminded of the NFL games which are lined up to begin the laziest day of my week. Laptop on lap, remote in my left hand and typing with my right, I usually message my still-dormant friends about their teams opportunities or lack there of. It's ten o'clock now and I'm trying to figure out which games are on, on which channel, and at what time. But while waiting for the game to show on television...I have to sit through the pre-game show. Sometimes painful and other times, holy painful. It's time to pit these powerhouses against one another. Let's do the CBS lineup v/s the FOX lineup and the NBC Sunday Night lineup v/s the ESPN Monday Night line up. This isn't about who has the best guests, or the most hosts, or who vomits the most stats - it's how well these "teams" entertain on a haggard Sunday morning.

CBS v/s Fox
Well the CBS lineup is larger boasting atleast five every week with NFL alums Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, and Shannon Sharpe, who is lead by the All-Ivy League 1970s basketball player James Brown. Fox shows an impressive three-man front with Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw, and Jimmy Johnson, with a few flankers that are brought in for weekly picks. Now even though Bradshaw and company are lacking in numbers, the sheer dryness and lack of character shown in the CBS team brings their five-men to a manageable and competitive level. Now CBS does have the NFL rights for the year of 2007 so, they do have an edge for broadcasting some of the more competitive and exciting games - mainly AFC - but Fox is not that far behind having carried the NFL baby through the last couple of years. In comparison, Bradshaw is funnier, more colorful, and has more super bowl rings than the CBS quarterbacks (Marino and Esiason) therefore trumps them. Jimmy Johnson older, wiser, and again has more Super Bowl Rings than Cowher, therefore - trumped. Finally, Howie Long is not retarded and more articulate than Shannon Sharpe, however Sharpe has more Super Bowl rings than Howie. So I'll give this one to Sharpe, because you can teach annunciation(however i don't know if that will do anything) but Super Bowl rings are a bit harder to attain. Now what about James Brown? Well, he's like a Cam Cameron - He's supervising but not really doing anything - therefore null and void.

Win: FOX

The two prime time, big-name programs NBC's Football Night in America and ESPN's Monday Night Football. For NBC we have Bob Costas and Keith Olbermann flexing power as the hosts of the primetime countdown program. Costas showing his humor and Olbermann with his "Olber-time" and sarcastic comments through out the air time. They then pass - haha pun - the program to ex-NFL receiver Cris Collinsworth who is joined by Tiki Barber and Jerome Bettis. Lining up for the ESPN side the countdown is anchored by the immortal Chris Berman. Joining him are loud-mouthed Keyshawn Johnson, Emmitt Smith, Chris Mortenson, Tom Jackson, and Bill Parcels. This is a tough one seeing as how the caliber of contenders is much greater. Smooth running shows without awkward pauses or random extended tangents, not to mention seasoned sports veterans Berman and Costas. I could go without hearing Olbermann's quips every week - stick to Political announcing boss - and I definately could go without hearing Keyshawn Johnson yabbering about how tight he is. But when it comes down to it, I'm picking ESPN due to the veteran casting of the Swami, the combination of Super Bowl rings, and of course The Tuna.


Or we could've just settled this with an Anchorman style commercials no mercy.
More after the jump...

I Cheated...

...but only because playing fair didn't work.

First HGH was the new wonder-drug in the club-houses, the most popular by far. It was seen as the fountain of youth and a much better option than say, oh I don’t know, anabolic steroids. Now that players are being linked to it there’s a new addiction in the club-houses. “I uhhhh I admit that I used it but wait….I only used it once or twice and it was for medical reasons.”

Andy Petite, Paul Byrd, Fernando Vina, Brian Roberts among others are all treating us like idiots. They think that we’re buying this, “well, now that you caught me, yeah I did it, but it was only like once, I swear, and it was only because the rehab wasn’t working”. Well yeah, drugs work better than rehab, and if rehab isn’t working the drugs will, it doesn’t take an idiot to figure that out. If my swing is late, that means my bat’s too heavy, so if I drill a hole in the top and fill it with cork or Superballs, my bat will be faster and I’ll get more hits. I only corked my bat because my swing wasn’t working and I had to try something else. Welcome to the world of cheaters. This is really just insulting, you cheated, own it. So here’s a nice report by F.P. Santangelo. He actually admits to using HGH and that it was wrong, at first he explains it was for rehab but immediately says he felt the guilt and that he knew it was wrong and that he isn’t trying to cover it up. AND he tells us that it is bad, “I admitted it and I faced the music. And if by me being embarrassed helps generations to come not have to make the difficult decisions that I had to make, then it's good that this all came out. But I don't want to be Mr. Public Speaker and go talk to every high school in the world. Through my radio show, I just hope to get the word out about how bad this stuff is.”

Now I realize there is a good chance that came off as sarcasm, but I am genuinely happy that this guy isn’t trying to pull a fast one on us. It’s a sad fact though that when we think about it, the only person who has been up front and honest about this whole thing was Jose Canseco. And he had an ulterior motive, selling his book Juiced.

In case you missed the news, Roger Clemens has been removed as the Texas High School Baseball Association keynote speaker on the topic of, “My vigorous workout, how I played so long in professional baseball”. That’s a pretty short speech. “First eat a solid breakfast, because it’s the most important meal of the day. Then go get your HGH kit, make sure the needle is clean. You don’t want dirty needles. Have a teammate shoot you in the A$$ then hit the gym and mound. I hope this was informative.”

Also while looking up famous corked bat events earlier I came across this Sports Illustrated article from 1999. It is a great story about proven cheater (roids/HGH) Jason Grimsley helping out his Tribe Teammate, and fellow proven cheater (corked bats) Albert Belle. Enjoy.

More after the jump...

Monday, December 17, 2007

How Things Could Have Lined Up

What if Pat White wouldn’t have injured his thumb?
If White hadn’t injured his thumb in the 2nd quarter of the Backyard Brawl with Pitt would the Mountaineers offense have stumbled so profoundly. WVU lost by 7, wouldn’t the dual-threat Heisman Candidate White have scored at least those 7 points, if not more? With White still in the game and WVU possibly winning it leads us to another thought.

What if West Virginia won?
I think it’s pretty obvious, West Virginia, then number two would have moved up to number one after Mizzou’s loss to Oklahoma, and thus would be playing in the National Championship, most likely against (current) number one Ohio State. If that’s the case then LSU would not be in the National Championship led by Les Miles which again brings us to another point.

What if LSU was not in the National Championship?
There wouldn’t be as much pressure on Miles to make a decision. And reading into his original words in the pre-game , “Thank you very much, Have a Great day” speech before the SEC Championship, he said “I am the coach at LSU” not necessarily I will be the coach next year. LSU had made him an offer, but he had not signed it yet. Michigan, his dream job, had also made an offer. Had LSU lost that game I’m about 40 (stay)/60 (leave) on whether he would be in Purple and Gold or Maize and Blue next year. Even if they won that game they would not have been in the National Championship, does Les stay or go?

How does this affect West Virginia?
If Les traded in his purple tie for the block M, Rodriguez would still be at West Virginia. Would LSU have offered him to replace Miles? Probably not, he would, most likely, still be in Morgantown.

How bad is Rodriguez leaving for WVU?
Pretty bad, not many people saw Rodriguez leaving for Ann Arbor. He met with Michigan on Friday, he signed with them yesterday. This coming after Rodriguez said he wasn’t going to leave for Alabama last year and that his alma mater (WVU) was his place. This was a shock to many and there is no possible way that West Virginia was prepared for this. Now they are in full panic mode. They have to find a coach to fill in at WVU and most of the programs looking for coaches, have already picked a lot of the market. And if Rutgers coach Greg Schiano isn’t going to Michigan, why would he go to Morgantown. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few Mountaineer recruits who haven’t signed their Letters of Intent yet, dropping out soon. Especially if they were looking forward to playing in the WVU spread.

When all is said and done, you can’t trust a coach until he signs something, and the buyout clause that Miles has in his new LSU contract should start popping up in all contracts. Erickson isn’t destined to stay more than his typical 3-5 in Tempe, he’ll walk out, Saban can’t stay in one place too long as we’ve seen. Rodriguez actually was the most honest of all of these guys, but he’s just another in the line of coaches who leave after saying they won’t. What is the point in even signing contracts in this day and age in college sports. Other than the guys who are long termers (JoePa, Tressel, etc) these guys get fired before their contract is up or leave for somewhere else before their contract is up. It’s a sick fact in today’s game. I guess when it’s over Rodriguez will be in Ann Arbor, and if he needs someone to show him around, he can call former WVU/current Michigan basketball coach John Beilein.
More after the jump...

NFL Weekend Wrap-up

The NFL had all but faded away in the big picture of sports. Few cared about the professional gridiron with everything else going on. The college football season that was (upsets, ever changing polls, bowl season for many) and the college football season that wasn’t (Hawai’i, among a few other programs being shafted in the championship picture, Michigan losing it’s first 2 games after being a preseason #5). The Mitchell investigation stealing time away from the NFL stories on many a radio, internet, ESPN, and blog posting. Tiger being the best in the game, again. So many sports stories taking the front page, a lot forgot about America’s true past-time. And then this weekend happened.

1) The Miami Dolphins win, ending they’re stretch at the most futile team to step on the turf. The game winning TD in overtime against the Ravens, a 64 yard TD pass to Greg Carmarillo. His 4th career reception came at a very opportune time for the Fins. They managed not only to avoid the 0-fer mark but they also managed to squeak out a win in the 14th game, so as not to tie the previous mark of 0-14 by the 76 Bucs. Did I mention that this win came at the hands of the Ravens team who 2 weeks ago almost, and could have beat the Patriots if not for a few stupid penalties. My personal favorite quote from the affair came from the former Fins DE Jim Mandich, in attendance with most of the rest of the ’72 Fins celebrating their 25th anniversary of the season, "One-and-15, is just another forgotten, bad season… you had the perfect-season Miami Dolphins, and the fear in the back of your head that it could be the win-less Miami Dolphins in the same building, was something I didn't want to talk about for a long time.” Pretty much summing up the fact that his ’72 team was incredible, and that this team was destined to lose the next two, the winner of 2007’s backhanded compliment award. If only the Ravens could have pulled out that win 2 weeks ago, even more glaring. They could have been responsible for ending both perfect seasons.

2) The Jacksonville Jaguars are 10-4 after a good victory over the once mighty Steelers (0-2 in the last 2) and primed to make a strong playoff push in the increasingly comparable AFC. Who saw that at the start of the season? I’ve always thought Del Rio would be able to do something there, it looks like he’s finally doing something right.

3) The Cleveland Browns. Now 9-5 after an 8-0 whooping of Buffalo in a winter wonderland, play the Bungles and the Niners, pretty much ensuring their second playoff appearance since they re-entered the league. You have to cheer for this Browns team. Destined to mediocrity over the last few years, and starting as an expansion team with a storied history not too long ago. The only downside is how this team will falter in the playoffs. I think this would be the best story if they could pull off a Super Bowl win after all that has gone wrong in Cleveland over the last 25 years, but history is not on their side. If you look at major accomplishments over the last quarter of a century featuring a team from Cleveland, they are usually involved on the right side of the post-game column.

4) The fourteenth game of the century this season, once again featuring the Patriots, in the epic battle of Man-genius vs. the Hoodie. In what many thought was going to be the biggest blowout since the forward pass was invented (it opened in Vegas at 27.5) the Pats pulled out a simple 20-10 victory. And Embattled Chad Pennington actually outplayed the GQ Cover Boy Tom Brady.

5) Carolina beat Seattle, further confusing everything in NFC playoff picture, under the apparently competent arm of Matt Moore (official picture at right), their 4th starting QB of the season. The undrafted Free Agent completed 19 passes for 208 yards and no INTs. Is this the next Tony Romo? Probably not but if it is I get credit for calling it first.

6) Jon Kitna might need to ask for a little more help from the Guy Upstairs. The Lions, who tricked many after the 6-2 start to the season, have returned to the real Matt Millen era Lions we all know and love after losing the last 6, most recently to the Bolts 51-14.

7) Bromo needs to stop bringing girls to the game to watch him. With the gorgeous Jessica sitting in a suite upstairs in her pink Number 9 jersey, Bromo put on a show with 0 TDs and 3 Picks in Dallas’ second loss of the season. In last year’s December Philly game in Dallas when Carrie Underwood was in attendance, Romo’s boys lost and he posted a sub 50 QB rating. This year, same game, new gal-pal, the star of Blonde Ambition hitting the shelves at the Hollywood Video near you, Romo posted a career low 22.2 rating. In those two games combined he’s 27 for 65 for 356 yds 1 TD and 5 picks. Stop playing the Eagles in December at home. Stop bringing your blonde, singer girlfriends to the game. Stop throwing picks. Although I didn’t mind the camera flashing on either one of them repeatedly.

That’s a quick overview of this weekends NFL action and now you’re all caught up ready for post season action. Bears V. Nordics tonight, Orton is starting. Are you ready for some football? Stay tuned for a more in depth breakdown of the dismal Cleveland luck of recent years. If I don’t get to it sometime soon, I’m sure 4 Real might make a guest appearance to put one up.

More after the jump...

Friday, December 14, 2007

A couple quick thoughts on the Mitchell Report:

I was wrong about Cleveland, the Yankees had 23 players on the report.

With that said, doesn’t that make you wonder a little bit more exactly what a Red Sox front office man chose to include in the report. And also what he might have left out.

I think it’s funny. The phrase someone’s been linked to something has been around forever. People have used it to describe the players on this report being linked to the steroid era of baseball and the Mitchell Report. Technically if you go to Wikipedia, they are actually linked to the Mitchell Report.

Will these guys have to wear a patch on their uniforms next season so we can identify the 80 of the 86 that we don’t know or have never heard of.

If they did what would it be: Syringe? Scarlet "M"? Asterisk? Discuss.

There are glaringly obvious stats that back up exactly when some of these players started using according to the evidence. I don’t know when Brian Roberts is reported to have purchased or used steroids, but his stats shed some light on it. His batting avg in 2004 was .273 with a .376 slugging percentage and 12 career Jacks in 4 seasons. In 2005 his avg was .314, slugging was .515 and he hit 18 Bombs.

Look at Troy Glaus between 1999 and 2000. It’s fun, go ahead you try look up these guys on your favorite stat site. And it’s also worth noting that a lot of these guys’ numbers increase after a injury shortened year. Probably because they began using to treat the injury.

Will there be serious consideration to add a ‘Roid wing in Cooperstown. Major League Baseball quietly allowed this to happen, and I’m not so sure that they weren’t silently supporting it. Might as well just show the utmost support by adding a wing specifically for Bonds, Clemons, Knoblauch, maybe even Canseco’s Mullet can be on display next to his Devil Ray jersey.
More after the jump...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mitchell Report Controversies and Wrap-Up

Quick talking point for the night. Sen. George Mitchell is from the Northeast and more importantly serves as a director for the front office of the Boston Red Sox. 11 Red Sox players were named. 9 of them have been away from the team for over 1 year. 1, Eric Gagne, was very recently a member of the Red Sox organization, but they parted ways without Boston making any effort to sign him. Lastly, Brendan Donnely, who the Red Sox picked up less than a year ago, was not resigned today when his contract was up for arbitration. Did George Mitchell give his Red Sox players/management a heads up? Did he cover-up or hide any other information regarding any current Red Sox players? Something doesn't seem right. Also, as a dig to 4Real I would like to announce that after a preliminary glancing over the players I reported earlier had been announced, 15 were at one time members of Chief Wahoo's Tribe, the Cleveland Indians. (Matt Williams, John Rocker, David Bell, Paul Byrd, Chad Allen, Mark Carreon, Glenallen Hill, David Justice, Tim Laker, Kent Mercker, David Segui, Ron Villone, and notable 'Roid dealer Jason Grimsley). That 15 was the leader, I believe, making Cleveland the baseball steroid capital of the world. I guess now we know why Willie Mays Hayes' head got bigger between Major League 1 and 2 and why he started going for the long ball.

UPDATE: As I wrote in a later post found here the Tribe did not lead. I really just wanted to make the Willie Mays Hayes joke and figured that with 15 it was a solid bet. Apologies for the error.
More after the jump...

Runnin' with the Report

As mentioned earlier the Mitchell Report came out today, live on the radio and presumably TV as well. The list of involved parties is long, and a good majority of them come from the testimony of Kirk Radomski as part of a pleas bargain. Now this list is a lot of hearsay and the physical evidence is not amounting a lot. Many of the players were pointed out in the report due to checks (Radomski didn’t have any checks prior to 2000), packing slips, and his address book.

There is no proof of guilt but here are the players named in the Mitchell Report:

Roger Clemons, Andy Petite, Miguel Tejada, Eric Gagne, Paul Lo Duca, Marvin Benard, Barry Bonds, Bobby Estalella, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Armando Rios, Benito Santiago, Gary Sheffield, Randy Velarde, Manny Alexander, Ricky Bones, Alex Cabrera, Juan Gonzalez, More than half of 2002’s Florida Marlins Major League Roster, Rafael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco, Jason Grimsley, Ken Caminiti, David Segui, Paxton Crawford, Chad Allen, Larry Bigbie, Adam Piatt, Lenny Dykstra, Brian Roberts, Jack Cust, Tim Laker, Jonias Manzanillo, Todd Hundley, Mark Carreon, Hal Morris, Matt Franco, Rondell White, Chuck Knoblauch, Gregg Zaun, David Justice, F.P. Santangelo, Glenallen Hill, Mo Vaughn, Denny Neagle, Ron villone, Ryan Franklin, Chris Donnels, Todd Williams, Phil Hiatt, Todd Pratt, Kevin Young, Mike Lansing, Cody McKay, Kent Mercker, Jason Christiansen, Mike Stanton, Stephen Randolf, Jerry Hairston Jr., Adam Riggs, Bart Miadich, Fernando Vina, Kevin Brown, Mike Bell, Matt Herges, Gary Bennett Jr., Jim Parque, Brendon Donnelly, Jeff Williams, Howie Clark, Nook Logan, Daniel Naulty, Jay Gibbons, Rick Ankiel, Paul Byrd, Troy Glaus, Jose Guillen, Gary Matthews Jr., Schot Schoeneweis, David Bell, Darren Holmes, John Rocker, Ismael Valdez, Matt Williams, Steve Woodard.

As I said earlier, these are the NAMES THAT APPEAR IN THE MITCHELL REPORT. That does not mean there is any guilt among these players unless, like David Segui, they have already officially come forward and admitted so. Also, as I said many of the players denied to be interviewed but were linked to the Steriod scandals so they are named.

As quoted in the report there was mention of “annual players-only meetings during which teammates reminded one another that any personal information they learned during the season needed to be kept in “the family.” He said that players understood that a failure to abide by this unwritten rule would sound the death knell for their careers. Through his lawyer, another former player who admitted his own use of performance enhancing substances claimed that his career as a major league coach would be harmed “perhaps fatally” if he were required to identify other players who had admitted to him that they had used steroids.”

There will undoubtedly be more that comes of this. Interesting note, Mark McGwire is mentioned in the Report but not for Steroids or HGH only the Andro which we all knew about and was not a banned substance at the time but is now. Slammin’ Sammy Sosa was also not mentioned in the report.
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Clubhouse Talk

The Mitchell Report drops today and it is more anticipated by many than the latest Beyonce CD or High School Musical 3. Sources have reported that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 names of professional baseball players named in this report, and many of them are high level names. I am all for cleaning up the game, I don’t care about the gaudy Home Run numbers and personally, you can call me a liar if you want, I prefer a good 4-2 game and pitcher’s duels are always a blast to watch. The first couple innings you’re angry at your team for not putting any runs on the board, and glad you’re pitcher is keeping them in the game but after about 3 innings all of a sudden the mind-set changes and you know you’re watching an incredible defensive game.

The millions (somewhere in the ballpark of 20 million) dollars could have been much better spent finding ways of steroid education and cleaning the game rather than paying a New York Mets ball-boy for info. But I digress. The report that comes out today will be a major moment in, not just baseball, but professional sports. Players, other than Bonds, will now be subject to the same sort of accusations and questions. So here’s my problem with the report. From what I’ve heard/read, this draws very similar connections to the McCarthy trials we all should be familiar with. I have read in multiple outlets that if Mitchell called a player and his agent, and they did not return the call/answer his questions, they are named in the report. That doesn’t seem like solid research to me.

The question at hand, now that we know it names names and that it names a lot of them, how does it affect the game? Will it negatively affect free agency? I think it will. Look at the Tejada trade the other day. The ‘Stros acquired Tejada from the O’s for 5 young talents. Tejada has been involved in Steriod rumors in the past, and I personally think his name will be on page 1, right underneath Bonds. Does that trade, or ones like it, go down after the report comes out? It’s still early but it will be interesting to see what happens.

The Cubs made a couple of moves yesterday. First signing the left-handed bat to play right field they have been after all off season. Kosuke Fukudome, who according to Lou Pinella, has been described by scouts as a mix between Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui. Now I’m gonna stop right here and ask, why does he have to be compared to two Japanese players, aren’t there any other players who he could be compared to? Anyways, I just found that a little funny.

Fukudome’s walks per plate appearance is admirable at under 8, so his OBP should be pretty good seeing as how he’s a career .305 hitter. Unfortunately The Cubs skipped a step with Fukudome. Instead of getting a young talent who has an incredible season or two then has arm problems (Wood, Prior) they’re getting a guy who’s been in the league awhile and is already coming back from arm problems (played 81 games last year with bone chips in his elbow). Reports say he should be 100% by Spring. I’m excited for this guy. Not just as a Cubs fan but imagining his first time in a bar when a woman asks his name, he responds with Fuk U Do Me, and is immediately slapped across the face. I just wish Harry Caray was still with us to butcher his name.

Also in Cubs news Mark Prior was not re-signed by the club by the deadline last night which means the touted former All-Star with a history of arm problems (scoped right shoulder last Spring) made 3.75 last year for appearing in 10 ½ innings in spring training. His agent said he should be ready to play by May which in agent speak means somewhere after the All-Star break. I think he still has a solid future and wish him the best. I wish he would have given some consideration to the Cubs trying to keep him without having to pay a king’s ransom since they don’t know when he would be able to suit up.

Hall of Fame ballots are out and it’s time to consider some players. First and foremost, yes vote for McGwire. Even though he has as much admitted his use of steroids look at what he did for the game. The Strike almost killed the game attendances at all park not labeled historical landmarks were obscenely low. No one cared about baseball. In 1998, that magical summer, he and fellow slugger Sammy “the cork” Sosa brought people back out to the yard, and to watch the games. They raised the interest back up, and McGwire, never lied about it, not once. I didn’t like McGwire that season, he was the enemy, a Cardinal and the one beating Sammy for the record. If you want to asterisk his 70 by all means go for it, give the record back Maris. Records don’t matter, that summer was an amazing thing to be a part of as a fan.

With that said, why isn’t Goose Gossage in the Hall yet, hopefully this year will change that with the less than incredible talent on the ballot. I’m torn on Rod Beck, the man had a few great seasons and more than a few off-diamond problems. But he was a good player and a great clubhouse guy, we need more guys like Shooter in the game today. The man lived in a RV behind the stadium one year. I think Travis Fryman might have to wait another year, but he had a very underappreciated career. Other than that, guys who don't need to be debated and should be in, Chuck Knoblauch, Tim Raines – absolutely in (top 50 in at least 5 offensive statistical categories, 5th in stolen bases), Jim Rice, and “the Hawk” Andre Dawson all deserve a statue in Cooperstown and if blogging counted as the BBWA those would be my votes this year.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dibs All-Time QB

There’s a glaring fact facing many NFL fans going into this weekends contests. Unless you are a fan of the Packers, Cowboys, Colts, Steelers, or Patriots, your quarterback has a history of being shaky at best. No this is not yet another column talking about how great Farve, Bromo, Elder Manning, Big Ben, and GQ Cover-boy . It is instead a look at this weekends NFL match-ups for those of us who are less fortunate as fans.

In Thursday night’s Epic Denver vs. Houston match-up Jay Cutler looks ready to go, but Matt Schaub is listed as questionable and did not practice at all this week. Schaub has been nursing a sore left shoulder for a few weeks now and missed last weeks game against the Bucs. As far as I have seen he is still listed as the probable starter but it will be a game time decision and Sage Rosenfels will be ready at the drop of a clip-board. Who would have thought that we would be discussing the merits of Sage Rosenfels for a 6-7 Texans team at this point.

In the Bengals vs. Niners game the Niners are starting Shaun Hill (181 yds and 1 TD replacing Dilfer last week). This is the 3rd starter the Niners have thrown out there with Alex Smith and Dilfer now on the shelf. Carson Palmer will be ready to go for the Bungles. Remember when these two prolific teams met in Super Bowl XVI and XXIII, quite a difference a couple decades makes I suppose.

Young Brodie Croyle is listed as probable and should be starting for the Chiefs. Former starter Damon Huard is listed as questionable. They face off against probable starter Vince Young and his sore ribs this Sunday.

The Fins quest for all-time futility this week will have competent-ish Cleo Lemon at the helm with 26 year old Rookie John Beck on the sideline after a dismal performance and very early exit last week against Buffalo. The Ravens will have Kyle Boller ready to go and 2006 Heisman winner Troy Smith paying close attention as he finally saw some PT against the Colts going 3 for 5 with a rushing TD.

Tom Brady is starting for the Patriots vs. the Jets. That is all. Any combination of the Jets three-headed monster of Pennington, Tuiasosopo, and Kellen Clemmons doesn’t really matter.

One of 2007’s biggest surprises is Cleveland’s Derek Anderson. The 2008 Free Agent had been building his future bank account with each multiple TD game (he has 9). Rookie Quinn sits patiently on the sidelines waiting for the off-season to demand a trade. He knew Charlie Frye wouldn’t last all season, but this whole Derek Anderson thing was a major curveball. D.A. will be slinging this week opposite of Buffalo’s Trent Edwards who took over for J.P. Losman a couple weeks ago.

Matt Hasselbeck looks like the most likely starter for Seattle this week things aren’t so clear for Carolina who has had 4 different starters this season. Among them a Heisman Trophy winner (Testaverde), a #1 overall pick (3rd stringer David Carr), and a pair of undrafted talents in Jake Delhomme (IR) and Matt Moore. The real question isn’t who’s starting this weekend, it’s does it matter?

The N.O. Saints will be home after their Monday Night win against Futile Atlanta and Drew Brees will continue being, well, Drew Brees. Meanwhile Bowtie Bill’s troops will most likely trot out the gloved senior citizen, Kurt Warner, who’s listed as probable, with local product Tim Rattay capable of taking over and the lesser Hasselbeck sending in signs. And 2nd year pro Leinart has been sent to the shelf to recoup the rest of the season. Once again it really doesn’t matter because the Cardinals excellent receiving corps is questionable, and now consists of players whose names none of you have heard. Seriously, it will be Brian (I think that’s his first name) Johnson and… well I could do the research and put them up here, but how is that different from me just saying the receivers will be Novak and Celinski the famed Polish 1-2 punch?

The Bucs look to be starting Jeff Garcia, but after the stunt that Chucky pulled last week who can trust his injury report. And the Falcons will be trying out a new offense where they punt on first down and hope for a muff because when your hopes and dreams ride on Joey Harrington (emergency 3rd QB) and the debate rages between Chris Redman and Byron Leftwich it really doesn’t matter. Also I recently found out Chris Redman plans an attempt at going to Arkansas with his former Louisville and Falcon coach Bobby Petrino. Also, Michael Vick is listed on the Falcons injury report. I guess they’re just assuming that Vick won’t be able to handle his fellow inmates with the same tenacity that he did helpless Pitbulls.

Farve starts for Green Bay to the surprise of no one and Marc Bulger’s status remains at questionable due to the lingering effects of a concussion. Gus Frerotte will remain out with the shoulder injury. Be ready for the Brock Berlin era Ram fans.

Roethlisberger will be facing off against the surprising David Garrard and the surprising Jaguars in one of this weeks only match-ups with day 1 starter vs. day 1 starter. Which of course means one of them will be injured on Sunday.

Peyton Manning and the Harrison-less Mannings take on the Raiders in an exhibition game this Sunday. Culpepper is questionable and has not practiced this week, Josh McCown is probable to play and to start, but then again he’s Josh McCown. JaMarcus Russell could possibly see some action in his continued attempt at the Rookie of the year (4 completions, 1 Appearance) and Scum Devil Andrew Walter is still technically on the team. He saw his first action of the season last week against Green Bay as well. Walter who was the starter going into the season has played in just one game, last week.

Jon Kitna will be starting for the Lions this week furthering his quest for that guaranteed Ten…errr…. Nine win season. Maybe the miracle worker can help out old Philip Rivers who is questionable and hasn’t practiced due to a knee injury. I honestly don’t know who will start at QB for the bolts. Back-up Billy Volek the touted former Titan has the most pass attempts of the Chargers back-up QBS (with 2) but LdT has the most completions and TDs with 1 of each. But if Tomlinson starts at QB who will the Bolts put in the backfield. So many questions.

Bromo leads the Boys onto the gridiron this week and will most likely be facing off against embattled starter Donovan McNabb (Future Bear?) in one of the few match-ups as mentioned earlier with week-1 starter vs. week 1 starter.

Sunday Nights game will have Todd Collins vs. Young Manning. Collins, impressive in a win over the Bears last Thursday, saw his first real action since going 1 – for – 4 in week 15 of 2004. Since then he took a few knees in 2005 and held a clip board all of last season. Giants fans still waiting to see which Eli they get. And since the good vs. bad has been done (see Rex Grossman) I think it appropriate to label the bipolar Manning’s performances as “Peyton” Eli or “Cooper” Eli, let me know if that’s just a little too mean.

And in the Monday Night Match-up the Chicago Lottery Picks, led by former starter and until recently Emergency QB Kyle Orton take on most likely Tavaris Jackson. This Viking team has had 7 different players record a pass attempt. When Tavaris Jackson is your quarterback you must have fallen on some hard times, who was Minnesota’s starting QB going into week 1? Really? Tavaris Jackson was, well how bad are your quarterbacks that an undrafted QB from Alabama State is starting? Oh Brooks Bollinger AND Kelly Holcomb. Ok I guess it makes sense now, as does the fact that another local product, Bobby Wade, is the teams leading veteran receiver. How did this team win two games without Adrian Peterson.

I think if Willie Tuitama declared for the draft right now, he would potentially be a first rounder. Teams really…REALLY need some QB solutions. Unless of course your QB is Brady, Farve, Roethlisberger, Bromo, or Peyton.
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