Thursday, August 28, 2008
Should motivation factor in one's all time greatness? Are we to criticize Barry Sander's or Jim Brown because they lost motivation to play even though they still had the physical gifts to do so? You may not like Moss' motivation, or lack thereof, but should that really keep you from noting him as the all-time great he is? Football is the ultimate team game and the ultimate team award is a championship, which Moss lacks. You can get on him for that, but when discussing his individual success it's impossible not to recognize his greatness.
I actually don't mind the pre-season or the length of it. What gets me is when people complain that a guy like Osi Umenyiora gets hurt, he did it in a game that doesn't matter. What difference does it make if he injures it now, or in the first regular season game? Either way he's on the shelf. If anything, getting hurt now increases his chances of coming back late in the season should the Giants make another post season run.
You know, with all the Chad Johnson talk this offseason, the one thing I never doubted was his heart. I never realistically believed he'd sit the season out. I knew he'd play and I knew that if he plays he'll give 100 percent. Tons of respect for that. Not so much for Shawn Merriman and his situation. I have to respect a guy that will play through pain, but Merriman’s case is completely different. He’s possibly sacrificing his entire career for one season. The Charger’s have a strong squad, but I wouldn’t dare risk my career for one hit-or-miss season. But it’s not my knee or decision so more power to him. Maybe those ‘roids will fix him up.
The season is upon us so here are my picks for the season.
NFC East: Toughest conference in the league.
1. Cowboys- Always a strong regular season team under Romo. Playoffs are another story.
2. Redskins- I’m higher on Jason Campbell than you and I can see this team winning 10 games again.
3. Giants- I want to put them 4th but I can’t count out the Champs. They lost a lot of pieces and have a target on their back but I won’t count them out yet.
4. Eagles-I’m a big McNabb fan but if he can’t play 16 games, I can’t pick them any higher than 4th.
NFC North: Weakest conference in the league
1. Vikings- AP and that Defense. Nuff said.
2. Lions- Surprise surprise! They won’t make the playoffs or anything but 2nd place sounds nice
3. Packers- Not just because the Favre-Rodgers switcheroo but that schedule is brutal.
4. Bears- Kyle Orton. That’s why.
NFC West- Man the NFC is bad
1. Seahawks- Lost Shaun Alexander but gained a motivated Julius Jones.
2. Rams- Bounce back year after a lot of injuries
3. Cardinals- Another letdown year for the Cards. Seems like they are somebody’s sleeper pick every year.
4. 49ers- Alex Smith isn’t a very good quarterback.
NFC South- The Saints and little else
1. Saints- By default
2. Buccaneers- This team never looks good on paper but always produces.
3. Panthers- Jake Delhomme coming off elbow surgery. No thanks.
4. Falcons- Matt Ryan will be a bust. A bust I say!
Playoff teams- Cowboys, Vikings, Seahawks, Saints with the Bucs and Skins as Wild cards, seeded in that order.
Now for the real conference.
AFC East- A little better top to bottom this year
1. Patriots-Another 16-0 year? Doubtful. A 13-3 or 14-2 year and dominance in the playoffs? Completely feasible.
2. Bills- I like this team. Good defense, young stud RB and a QB in Edwards that will be better in his second year. They are still a year or two away though.
3. Jets- They spent a lot of money but I just don’t see it working out. Seems like one team breaks the bank every year and it still doesn’t pay off. They’ll be better but I can’t see them in the playoffs. I could be wrong.
4. Dolphins- Did you hear Bill Parcells is in town?
AFC North- Bengals go 16-0. Skip ahead to the AFC West if you like.
1. Steelers- Nobody in this division gives them even a legit scare. Now they get Parker healthy and a very good Rashard Mendenhall to use in between the 20’s.
2. Bengals- Seriously. A lot of things went wrong last year and we still only finished a game under .500. If we can stay healthy I can see us winning 9 or 10 games.
3. Browns- One hit wonders. Anderson will be figured out and Jamal Lewis is a year older. K2 and Braylon Edwards are legit though.
4. Ravens- I will never forgive the Ravens for taking a D2 quarterback in Flacco over UK’s own Andre’ Woodson. That and that defense is getting older.
AFC West- Chargers win. Yawn
1. Chargers- With or without Merriman, pretty much a lock to win this division.
2. Raiders- I like this team too…next year.
3. Broncos- Yes Shanahan has a back rush for or near 1,000 yards every year. Too bad 1,000 yards doesn’t mean as much as it use too.
4. Chiefs-Huard vs. Croyle! The NFL is back!
AFC South- Second best division in the league
1. Colts- A down year has them healthy and motivated for next season.
2. Jaguars- A team that should have desperately made a play for Chad Johnson but will do fine without him.
3. Titans-Ditto. VY’s passing rating isn’t impressive but have you seen his receivers? No wonder he runs so much, his receivers are terrible. I can’t fault him for bad pass numbers just yet.
4. Texans- Schaub was good when healthy. If he can stay healthy, this team could finally have a winning season…and still end up dead last in their division.
Playoff teams: Pats, Steelers, Colts, Chargers, with Jags and Bengals as wild cards. You didn’t think I wouldn’t get at least one homer pick in here did you?
Wild card- Skins over Seahawks. Saints over Bucs.
Divisional- Cowboys over Saints. Skins over Vikings
Championship- Cowboys over Redskins
Wild card- Colts over Bengals. Charge’s over Jags.
Divisional- Chargers over Pats. Steelers over Colts.
Championship Steelers over Chargers
Super Bowl: Cowboys vs. Steelers. Hey, if Lakers-Celts can hook up in the NBA, why not go down Nostalgia Lane with Boys vs. Steelers?
Cowboys 31, Steelers 21
What say you?
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Am I to understand that you don't think Hutson belongs in the Hall aside from his influence on the game? That's ridiculous.
And, since I can see this argument is going nowhere, we'll end it now.
Lincecum has been unreal this year. He had high expectations last year, and fell a little short. He's blowing all of them away this year. I hear you that Voquez has had an amazing year, and that his numbers are skewed because of a couple of bad starts and a terrible decision by his manager. It's amazing to me that he had 3 horrendous starts, and his ERA is still under 3.00. On most years, Volquez would be the slam-dunk winner. He still has a chance, but it looks like this is Lincecum's award to lose.
Great call on the Raiders trying for Bolt. He's the perfect candidate to be severely overpaid by Al Davis, based strictly on his speed. We all know that Davis loves a speedy, vertical offense (and we also see how well that has worked for him as of late, but that's another story), and he's already paid an injury-prone Javon Walker an insane amount of money to be a headcase...why not Bolt? C'mon Al...sign him up for 3 years, 55 mil before he even works out. I won't bat an eyelash.
I'm glad you pointed out the "proven winning manager" line from the Reds letter. That was, by far, my favorite line of the letter. I read that part, reread it, then said, "What?" I have no idea who they think they were fooling by writing that. Maybe it was themselves. What a poorly run franchise. Hey, there's always next year...right?
To be fair, though, they do have a number of good players, and they have a shot to do something in the next couple of years. That is, until their best players start leaving or getting injured or something.
NFL preseason? I love it. I know I shouldn't, but I do. I hate how many players are lost every year, though. It seems like more big name players go down for the season during the preseason every year. With the roster at 80, what's to stop teams from playing their backups all the time? It gives the coaches a better look at what they have. I realize that some players need the game reps to get ready for the season, but wouldn't you make it the absolute minimum? Start your players for the first quarter of the first preseason game and the last quarter of the last preseason game...and that's it, if even that much. Does a guy like Jason Taylor need to play a ton in the preseason, or does he already have all the experience he needs? I'll go with the latter.
Thoughts on Chad Johnson? For all of his talk, you can tell he just wants to play. He could get surgery on his shoulder now and sit out for the season, and there's nothing the Bengals could do about it. Instead, he's opting to forego surgery until after the season, and play through the pain on a team he doesn't want to be on, risking further injury and a large contract. Say what you will about him, you have to respect that.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Athlete's are better now. It's a fact. They are bigger, stronger and faster. While that doesn't equal success, you can't really tell me that Hutson would have had the success he had if he lined up against an athlete like Antonio Cromartie. he wouldn't.
99 career touchdowns is very impressive but Keyshawn Johnson has more receiving touchdowns than Stallworth, Swann and is one shy of Irvin. Let's get him in the Hall too, shall we? Consider that most of Hutson's touchdown's came from another Hall of Fame quarterback, the great Arnie Herber. The same Arnie Herber with a with a career completion percentage of 40% and 81 touchdowns to 106 interceptions. Not to say they threw anyone in the Hall of Fame back then ...but it appears they threw anyone in the Hall of Fame back then. Hutson is in the Hall more for his influence on the passing game than his actual numbers as well as his contributions to one of the founding teams of what became NFL Football. Great achievements, but he is not the second best wide receiver of all time.
“Anytime a player can scorch the opposition when they have a gameplan specifically designed to stop him...well, I would say that player is pretty good.”
Were you speaking of Moss or Hutson with this quote? The top two scoring offenses of all time have one thing in common: Randy Moss. He extended Randall Cunningham's career, gave birth to Daunte Culpepper's and has taken Tom Brady's to the next level. You think Wes Welker could catch 112 ball's on any team? Of course not. Watch the field open up when Moss is on one side. Watch how he never gets single coverage. He gets a corner, a safety and usually a linebacker spying, freeing up the rest of his team to dominate. Watch Hutson do that. That's right, you can't because you've never seen him play! My manager swears Jerry West is the best basketball player he's ever seen but I can't agree or disagree because I've never seen him play. I simply can't judge a player I've never seen because stats and old films just aren't the same. 50 years from now, people will look at the stats and conclude that Karl Malone is the best power forward ever, Alex Rodriguez was the best baseball player ever and Peyton Manning was the best quarterback ever. Those who watch with our own eyes know better. We know all three choked in the clutch and only Manning was lucky enough to slide into a championship ring.
So while I can't without a doubt state that Don Hutson was or was not the second best wide receiver ever, I can state my opinion. That's that Randy Moss is the most physically talented wide receiver ever and currently sits on #2 on the overall list.
I haven't seen any of Linecum but I have heard about him. I do have to argue for Volquez though. I'm still waiting for him to either get busted for steroids or for the Yankees to sign him when he contract is up. I want to enjoy him while he's here but I don't want to get too attached to him. Yes Volquez is 15-5, but consider his losses:
1. A 2-0 loss to the Braves where he struck out 9 in 6 innings but we couldn't score one run for him
2. A 12-9 loss to the Padres in 18 innings. Volquez came in to pitch the 17th inning in a relief role he had no experience at and gave up a 3 run homer to end it
3. A 7-1 loss to Toronto in arguably his worst outing, bar the All-Star game. Still he got only one run of support.
4. A 7-2 loss to the Rockies. Again, he didn't pitch the best but he got no run support.
5. A 8-1 loss to the Brewers. Notice a theme here?
In four of his losses, he has gotten a combined 4 runs of support. The fifth loss was a game he should have never pitched in. If I'm Dusty Baker, I take a loss to the Padre's before I even consider sending my stud pitcher out in the 17th inning. Then again, if I were Dusty Baker, I wouldn't be talking the the likes of you. I'd be off paying 40 dollars for a Bic lighter and taking hours to cook minute rice.
The article with the 9 year old is ridiculous indeed. "You pitch too fast kiddo. Be a sport, slow it down and let the kids give you the Zito treatment eh?" What other profession would this logic work in? "Doc, you haven't botched a surgery in 20 years. How bout throwing one and getting a nice malpractice suit? You know, to keep us in the news." Absurd.
The Bolt thing was more so a publicity thing than anything on my part. This is a way for him to capitalize on his fame while people still care. The Olympics are so quick to fade so if I'm an Olympic athlete, I'm doing all I can before people forget me. Phelps should race a dolphin, the 12 year old Chinese gymnasts should get arrested for drunk driving. Anything to stay relevant because once the Olympics are gone....they're gone brother. For situations sake though, I think he has to go to the Raiders. The Charger's are a good team with too much to lose. The Raider's are a bad team and need a receiver. Al Davis would sign me today if I convinced him I ran a 4.1 forty....which I do if you're reading this Al. They have a strong armed quarterback in Russell, a potential star in McFadden, but no receiving threat to complete the trio. What better commitment to excellence than signing the fastest man in world?
Pierzynski was doing what he had to do. Was it a shady move? Absolutely but it worked. It's not like he has a squeaky clean image anyway. He could save some orphans from a burning building and people would get on him for not minding his own business. He really can't win either way.
Hated the letter. Anytime you have to explain your moves to your fans in letter form, you're doing something wrong. Any fan knows why they traded Dunn and Griff. Why explain it? If you need it to be explained to you, then give up your fanhood. Would Senior Steinbrenner ever write a letter explaining his moves? Of course not. It's his team. He'll do as he pleases and Yankee's fans will accept it or find a new team. What really got me was this sentence: " We added Dusty Baker, a proven winning manager." Our pal Dusty has a career winning percentage of 52% and hasn't made the playoffs since 2003 and not to mention he has a losing record in the playoffs. Let's hang our hopes on him!
Thoughts on the length of the NFL preseason?
Monday, August 25, 2008
You can't be serious. Randy Moss over Don Hutson? I've heard your argument way too many times: it was a different time. The players from that era couldn't compete with the players of today's era. Blah blah blah. I'm not buying it anymore. First off, how do you know that? How do you know that Hutson couldn't compete today? It was a different time, but an athlete is an athlete. That's like me saying, "Babe Ruth wouldn't be any good today. There's no way he'd be able to catch up with a 100 mph fastball, then try to hit a slider down-and-away." A hitter is a hitter, no matter what time he's in. It's unfair to compare eras.
Second of all, did you see the records Hutson set? It's ridiculous. Let's say, for a second, that I go with your argument. Hutson retired in 1945. At that time, he held the record for most touchdown receptions (99). That record held for 44 years. So that record stood until 1989. That's a long time. How many great receivers came and went during that time? Too many to count...including some Hall of Famers including John Stallworth (63), Lynn Swann (51), Fred Biletnikoff (76), Art Monk (68), and others. Steve Largent had 100 touchdowns, but he played two years longer than Hutson. Hutson also has more career touchdown receptions than Michael Irvin (65).
Was it a different game when Hutson was playing? Sure...but that doesn't alter the fact that he was a world-class athlete. Anytime a player can scorch the opposition when they have a gameplan specifically designed to stop him...well, I would say that player is pretty good.
One more note about Hutson. During a game in 1945 (his final year in the league), he caught 4 touchdown passes and kicked 5 extra points for a total of 29 points...in one quarter! I know that wide receivers don't kick extra points anymore, but when is the last time you saw a receiver catch 4 touchdown passes in one quarter? That's what I thought.
I think I'm right there with you on Volquez. He struggled for a while after the All Star Break, but he still has some very impressive numbers. 15-5, 2.80 ERA, 155 strikeouts. I'm a big fan of his anyway, so I'd love to see him get this. However, after looking at the stats, I'm going to have to give the NL Cy Young award to...
Tim Lincecum. A lot of people are wary of giving the award to a player on a terrible team (also a knock against Volquez), but you can't ignore the numbers Lincecum has put up on a terrible Giants team. 14-3 record, 2.48 ERA, 200 strikeouts. He has pitched 20 more innings than Volqeuz, yet has given up 7 fewer runs and 6 fewer walks. The only reason he hasn't won more games is because he's pitching for the Giants, who had a legimate chance to go 0-162 this season. Still, even on a terrible team, he has only lost 3 games. That's amazing. If Sabathia wasn't pitching like he was from another planet since jumping leagues, I would say Lincecum would clearly be the winner. Sabathia is also playing for a contender, so that helps his case. Still, I'm going to have to throw my hat into the ring of Lincecum. Sorry Volquez...we're still cool, right?
Did you read that article about the nine-year-old boy who is banned from pitching in his little league games because he pitches too fast? They have told the coach that he can't pitch anymore, but the coach keeps having him pitch, anyway. The league says it's going to disband the team, redistribute the players to other teams, and have this kid play another position. Now you have a nine-year-old kid who "feels sad" because he feels like it's his fault that his team is breaking up. How ridiculous is that? What message does that send to the kid? "Don't ever be too good at anything or you won't be able to play with your friends anymore." Ridiculous.
I hear you on Bolt...but I'm not convinced. Sure, he's a burner, but that doesn't necessarily translate into being a good NFL receiver. It's not like defenses are just going to sit back and let him run. How will he respond to being bumped at the line? How about when he touches a ball and gets jacked by a safety? It's definitely worth a look, though. A workout would be perfect. I like your idea of him going to the Dolphins, but that gives two fast receivers (Bolt and Ginn) to a quarterback (Pennington) who can't throw over 25 yards. I don't see it working. I like Dameshek's idea of going to the Chargers, if for nothing else than marketing. How perfect is that?
Let's assume for a minute that he would turn into a good wide receiver. What team can you see him making the biggest impact? He would need to go to a team with a strong-armed quarterback and a good top receiver, to take some pressure off of him. It would also have to be a team that had need of a fast receiver (or kick returner). Provided Chad Johnson plays this season, Cincy wouldn't be a bad match. Who can you see him with?
Can I tell you how much I hate AJ Pierzynski? I saw a replay of a game yesterday, in which he got caught in a rundown between second and third base. He scrambled back and forth...back and forth...until he finally decided it was enough. So he stuck out his elbow into the ribs of the second baseman, fell down, and was tagged out...except he wasn't. The umpire ruled that the second baseman had obstructed Pierzynski's attempt to get back to base, and was awarded a base as a result. After the game, Pierzynski said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "I tried to get back to base and he knocked me down. Unfortunately for him, you can't do that. It was the right call."
Oh, and his hair is bleach blonde.
Man...I hate AJ Pierzynski.
How many future wives do you have? Candice Parker? Lolo Jones? Anne Ramsey?
You being a big Reds fan, I just have to ask: how do you feel about the letter the Reds management posted on their website, explaining their long-term plans to all their fans?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The only knock on Sabathia I know of is that he hasn't been in the NL for a whole season. Brandon Webb has been good but a little under the radar for the entire season. My vote, not surprisingly, goes to Ed Volquez. Call me a homer, I don't care. The Reds will win approximately 1/5 of their remaining games. Edinson Volquez is that 1/5. Still, Sabathia has been unreal since coming to AAA...i mean the National League. Not only is him stepping on the mound, pretty much a guaranteed win, you're pretty much guaranteed a complete game and close to 10 strikeouts. He has to win it.
I hear your Don Hutson but the answer has got to be Moss. It's almost impossible to compare eras. Yes Hutson was durable enough to play multiple positions well but is that a testament to his athletic ability or one to the lack of talent playing with and against him? Remember baseball was America's past time and football was an afterthought. For his influence on the game, he deserves praise but he is not the best nor second best receiver of all time. Don Beebe may better than Don Hutson come to think of it.
Have you seen Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter? What a specimen. Just today he won the gold medal for the 200m and set a world record but that's not news. Last night I watched the semifinal for it and I swear to you, for the last 25 meters he slowed down to look around and see who was finishing in second place. You could see him shut it down, and he still coasted to an easy victory. That right there told me he was destined to win today's race. The other day when he running the 100m, he pulled up a little bit from the finish line to celebrate an evident victory...and still set a world record. The man is not human. He is 6'5 with effortlessly long strides. My question is this: What NFL team doesn't offer this guy a chance to workout in camp? I read that the first he covered the first 40 yards of the 100m in 4.22 seconds. Blazing speed. Why wouldn't a team with nothing to lose invite him to try his hand at wide receiver? The Dolphins aren't far from his home of Jamaica and have little to play for this season. Who doesn't need a 6'5 guy with 4.2 speed? At worst, he shows up for practice, decides he doesn't like it and the Dolphins get the publicity. Hell' I would rather have an untrained Usain Bolt than Chris Henry. The sad part is that I'm being totally honest.
I close on another track note. You gotta feel bad for my future wife Lolo Jones, the US track star who comfortably led the womens hurdles for 8 of the10 hurdles. She hit the 9th hurdle and stumbled her way out of a medal. She sat on the track in disbelief but picked herself up and gave a great interview all things considering. She made no excuses and took her loss and for that I respect her.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I'm completely on-board with your Bengals thoughts. I read about that on ESPN today and I thought to myself, "Hey...didn't they just say they wouldn't take Henry back a week ago?" Again, I agree with every point. I feel kind of bad for Carson Palmer. He seems like a good guy, and we all know that he's a great quarterback. However, he is on a team with a shaky defense, a dysfunctional offense, and a horrible front office (and that's being kind). He does a great job with the whole grin n' bear it approach, but you have to believe he's thinking to himself how great it would be if he were on a well-run team.
I think it goes without saying that I agree with your Phelps talk. All this "greatest athlete ever" talk is absolutely ridiculous. He swims. Big deal.
Low on Derek Anderson and David Garrard? Well...I'm with you. Anderson had a great year, but I'm of the camp that, if he were this good for real, he would've been starting somewhere by now. He has a strong arm, but it's a bit too strong sometimes. I don't see Cleveland winning more than 7 games this year. I kind of wish they would actually turn into a good team at some point, but I don't see it this year. I see Quinn starting by Week 10. And Garrard? He played well last year at times, but I wasn't overly impressed with him for the entire year. He was better than Leftwich, but, considering how Leftwich was playing, that's not saying a whole lot. I see the Jags doing well this year, though, because they have a great defense and a good running game.
Before the Olympics, I would've said the Men's Basketball Team would win the Bronze. But now? I don't see them losing. After a number of years of the "We don't want to piss off anyone," they're now playing mad and they don't care who they piss off. They're throwing down dunks and staring people down afterwards. They're not complacent: they're angry, they're hungry, and they're playing their hardest for every game. Best of all, they're playing well as a team. Yes...I see gold.
Sabathia for Cy Young? At this point, I don't see who is even in his vicinity. Unless he completely breaks down, he wins that award...and it's not even close. Since he's been with the Brewers, he's 8-0 with a 1.60 ERA, 5 complete games and 49 strikeouts. Oh yeah...he also hit a home run, just for kicks. Who else comes close to that?
Dameshek's been talking about this on his podcast, and I'm wanting to get your thoughts. The second-best receiver of all time. He says that Rice is number one, and no one else is really that close. He's thrown out names like Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Cris Carter, etc. And, while those guys are great, they pale in comparison to my guy.
Now, before you call me a homer, check out these facts:
He played from 1935-1945. During his time in the league, he all but single-handedly changed the face of football. When he entered the league, the standard offense was, "Run run run...if we have to pass, let's make it a long handoff." Then he went to the Packers, and they changed their offense to take advantage of his talents. Suddenly, they created a passing offense, and he was their focal point. Over the course of his career, he has 488 receptions for 7,991 yards...or an average of 16.4 yards per catch. He had a total of 99 receiving touchdowns...a record that stood for 44 years. He still holds 8 major receiving records, including the highest ratio of touchdowns per game (.85). The Packers won 3 titles with Hutson, and he won 2 MVP awards. Did I mention that he also played safety? Well...he did. He intercepted 30 passes, taking 3 of them back for touchdowns. He was also the Packers kicker for a short time.
There's more...there's so much more. But I'll stop here. He played a long time ago, so a lot of people aren't familiar with what he did. However, Hutson should definitely be mentioned at the second-best wide receiver of all time, and there's a possibility that he could be number one.
1. We regain the label of a gang of troublemakers we were trying to shed.
2. We drafted two wide receivers in the first three rounds to prepare for the post-Chris Henry era. Then we bring back Chris Henry and kill our draft picks confidence. That was fun while it lasted.
3. We completely undermine our Head Coach. Marvin Lewis just said he didn't want Chris Henry back, so what does Owner/GM Mike Brown do? Bring back Chris Henry. You hired the coach; Don't undermine him and belittle his authority in front of his players like this.
4. You read that correctly. Our owner acts as a GM because he refuses to hire a GM. This is why we fail.
5. This could potentially split a locker room, that wasn't united in the first place.
6. Henry can't play until Game 5 because of his suspension. Our first four games are as follows: At Baltimore, home against the Titans, At NYG, home against the Browns. That's right, three games against teams that won at least 10 games and one of which won the Super Bowl. We are, at best 2-2, but realistically probably 1-3 before Henry even gets back. The first four game's after Henry gets back? I'm glad you asked. At the Cowboys and then Jets, then home for games against Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. Again, we face three teams that won at least 10 games last season. The newly improved Jets who signed a close, personal friend of yours, are the other team. Where does Henry change the tide in any of those games? Without Henry we're looking at
3-4 wins. With Henry, we're looking at 3-4 wins. How does the reward outweigh the risk here? That's right. It doesn't.
If this works out and Henry starts the season like gangbusters, forget I wrote any of this. As a matter of fact, this message will self destruct should my prophecies prove false.
You would sleep through Phelps-mania you commie you. Nah, I hear you. As impressive as it is, it's still swimming. A sport people have already forgot about. I do commend Phelps for his great performance, but those calling him the greatest athlete ever is absurd. Is he the greatest swimmer ever? Sure. But i have a hard time calling him the greatest athlete ever. When I think athlete, I think someone who could excel at multiple sports. Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Michael Jordan: These are world's greatest athlete's. Phelps is great at his trade, but he doesn't stack up with those names.
I can see Campbell making the leap. All he has to do is rely on that running game and defense, and not make mistakes and he'll be a success. He did the same at Auburn to the tune of an undefeated season. This will only be his second season starting an entire season and he took that Redskins team to the playoffs in a brutal division. He gets a pass. Cutler is the one I'm sketchy on which is surprising be cause he has the numbers to suggest he's on his way to elite quarterbackdom. A career 88.1 passer rating and he doesn't have the guaranteed 1,000 yard back Denver is known for. Yet I feel the same as you. I have never seen him as an elite quarterback. Even in college, I never understood the hype. The jury is out on him I suppose. The two quarterbacks I'm not sold on are Derek Anderson and David Garrard. Anderson has never impressed me. He had a solid year, enhanced by a rejuvenated Jamal Lewis and a spectacular Braylon Edwards. There is no telling how many overthrown balls I watched Edwards and Kellen Winslow adjust to catch. I think Anderson's true colors are shown this year and the Browns come back to Earth. I like the way Garrard plays but I'm anxious to see how he reacts when teams are focused on him. He threw as many interceptions in the playoffs as he did in the entire regular season, yet he still beat the Steelers in a good game and held his own against the Patriots. I don't know if he can have that kind of luck two straight years.
I do believe in the Redeem T...oops, I mean the USA Basketball team. Why shouldn't I? We arguably have the 12 best players in the tournament. We ought to be winning by 30 every game. I like the way Dameshek put it. The last couple of Olympics, the USA team was getting beat by the world, the way a bully beats up on the smallest guy on the playground. The USA decides to go get it's big brother, fielding a team of All- Stars, and lay waste to all competition. Fun to watch, but not unexpected. What about yourself?
Sabathia for NL Cy Young?
Sunday, August 17, 2008
You asked about his preseason game this year. I thought he looked great. But, unlike everyone at ESPN, I wasn't surprised by that. I've been watching Packers preseason games ever since he was drafted, and I knew that he was ready to start. Am I excited that he looked so good? Yes...but I wasn't surprised. If he stays healthy, he's going to gain a lot of new fans by the time the season's over.
Phelps won 8 gold medals. That's a very impressive feat...but I still don't really care. I can't force myself to care. He's a swimmer. I know that's it's hard to win 8 gold medals, and I know that it's exhausting to compete like that every day, but I still can't get excited about it. Unlike you, I have not been caught up in the Phelps hype...but it's not for a lack of exposure. I've seen and read more about Phelps than I ever thought I would. He seems like a good guy and I'm happy that he won, but I'm still not excited about it.
At your behest, I listened to a couple of Dameshek's podcasts. I wasn't too impressed at first: there's something in his voice that makes me believe that he desperately wants to be a stand-up comedian (like Adam Carolla). I'm also not a huge fan of the fact that he, like Simmons, keeps mentioning his time on Jimmy Kimmell. Honestly, I never thought Kimmell was that funny, and I'm surprised that so many people talk about him like he is.
But, as I went on listening to him, I found that I agreed with a lot of what he was saying. In each of the podcasts I've listened to, there have been at least two moments where I found myself nodding and saying, "I think the exact same thing." I'm still not a huge fan of everything he says (or the way he says it), but I'm coming around to him.
A random NFL thought: there are two quarterbacks that always seem to be mentioned among the group of "great young quarterbacks, ready to make the jump to the elite". Those two quarterbacks are Jason Campbell and Jay Cutler. I have seen a number of their games, and not once have I said to myself, "You know what? Those guys are amazing." In fact, the majority of the time I watch them I keep thinking how lost they look. I have seen both of them overthrow and underthrow receivers on a regular basis. I've never seen them look comfortable. Oh...and Jay Cutler may be the dumpiest looking player in the league.
I keep hearing reports out of the Redskins camp about how good Campbell is looking. The same for Cutler. But I've been hearing that for a couple of years, with absolutely nothing to back it up. Maybe it's true. Maybe this is their year. But I have seen absolutely nothing that backs it up. Your thoughts?
Are you a believer in the men's basketball team? (I refuse to call them the "Redeem Team".)
Check out www.sportingnewstoday.com . You give them your email address, and they'll send you a link every morning for a digital magazine. They have great coverage of every sport, and some pretty good in-depth stuff. I've been a fan of Sporting News for a while, and this is the best thing they've done yet. It's free, so check it out.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Dunn is finally gone. I'm glad he's in a situation where he has a chance for personal as well as team success. He gave Cincy almost 8 good years and I wish nothing but the best for him. *Stephen A. Smith voice* HOW-EVER, *End Stephen A. Smith voice* three minor leaguers for a 28 year old with 27o career home runs? 2 of them are anonymous. 1 has the best potential porn star name this side of Long John Silver...well maybe if it was Dallas Buck$, yet I digress. Buck has potential at one time, but an arm injury has him 1-4 in single A ball. Things are looking up for the Redlegs. I guess I can't complain because I pined for a Dunn trade for months. We get to evaluate our young talent for the rest of the year. We've won 5 of our last 20 games, we obviously needed a shakeup. We're last in the division in runs scored, and we just lost our biggest bat. This will be interesting.
I'd have to take Tomlinson and here's why: LT seems like a very petty person, as evidenced by his moping acts and screaming fits at teammates. I can see him scouring every Fantasy Football magazine he can find looking for anyone to take AP over himself. He's determined to beat Peterson especially after AP ripped the Chargers for 296 yards last years. I'll take a determined LT even though I can't stand him, over an injury prone yet charismatic Adrian Peterson. This is potentially LT's last year on top and he knows it. He won't go away without a fight.
I'm becoming a big fan of Dameshek. I thought he was one of Simmon's friends who played well off of Simmons, but I didn't know how he'd fare on his own so I listened to one podcast. Then another, then the next and now it's a daily thing. Unlike Simmons, he's better by himself, than with a guest. I'm becoming a fan of his work. I'd recommend checking out a couple of his podcasts on ESPN.com just to see what you think.
Satisfied with Aaron Rodger's meaningless detbut that ESPN won't shut up about?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I follow them somewhat. I enjoy watching men's basketball, and I also enjoy a couple other events. The women's uneven bars are always fun to watch. Hurdles. Shot put. Javelin. Let me put it this way: if it's on, I'll pretty much watch every event. However, there are very few that I'll actually say to myself, "Hey...that starts at 3:00. I should remember to tune in for that." I heard some amazing stuff about the swimming relay, including a couple of people who said they stood up and cheered at the end...others who said it was, quite possibly, the greatest sporting event of all time. I didn't see it, but I'm sure there's no way that's possible. With all the great moments in sports history, I can't ever see someone saying, "Yeah, I know what the best moment was. The swimming relay in the Beijing Olympics." You know what? I might fight the next person who says that to me.
Here's an Olympics-related question for you: what do you think about the big fuss made when some Americans showed up in Beijing wearing masks? From what I've heard (and seen), the air quality in Beijing is beyond terrible...full of smog and whatnot. The athletes were given the masks because of the concerns about the air quality. If it were me, I would've worn one. So why are we apologizing to the Chinese government about this? I guess I just don't get it.
Adam Dunn is gone...just like we called for. Are you happy with it? It seems like they could have got something better in return for a slugger like Dunn. They received a pitcher (Dallas Buck, currently sporting a 1-4 record for his Class-A minor league team), and two players to be named later. In review: the Reds gave up a player currently tied for first in the league for home runs for a (currently) middle-of-the-road pitcher, and two players who haven't even been named yet. From what I understand, Buck has a lot of "upside", but he's hardly ready for the big leagues yet. We'll have to wait and see who the other two players are, but, from the looks of it now, the Diamondbacks made out like bandits in this trade. A great trade for Arizona; they get some much-needed power in their line-up (and helps them keep pace with the Dodgers) without giving up any major pieces.
I don't hate Pennington, but I've never been that high on him, either. He has a noodle arm, and that severely limits the offense. He can't stretch the field, so a lot of teams will stack the box against the run. On the other hand, he is smart, which is evidenced by his career completion percentage. He's definitely the best option Miami has right now. He'll start for them until they're 3-7, at which time he'll be replaced by Henne. He'll be somewhere else next year, and on it will go for a while. Ultimately, I can see him playing the same role that you do: a guy who is a good back-up, ends up on a contender, and takes the team to the playoffs when the starter goes down.
Adrian Peterson or LaDainian Tomlinson? That's a good question. Last season, I would've said Tomlinson...even when Peterson was tearing up the league. But, as the season went on, Tomlinson looked less explosive than I've ever seen him. He also seemed to be a bit moodier, and that seemed to drag the team down (need I mention his actions in the playoff game?). Peterson, on the other hand, was the most explosive running back in the league last year, and is, quite possibly, the happiest person on the entire planet. But how will each perform this year? A lot of that has to do with the quarterback play. Rivers didn't set the world on fire last year, but he's definitely becoming a better quarterback. Jackson, on the other hand, looked lost at times last year, allowing the defenses to stack the line against the run. Tomlinson gets the edge there.
However, I see Jackson having a better year, allowing Peterson more holes to run through.
Barring injury, I'll take Peterson. The guard has been changed.
I've seen Dameshek's name, but I haven't listened to any of his Podcasts. Do I need to?
I'm getting ready to stab Edgar Renteria in the throat.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
That's right. I blame myself. How could I overlook the signing of Scorpio Babers. The only thing better than the news of Scorpio Baber’s signing, would be finding out that he was white. If I looked up Scorpio Babers and found he was white, I would jump off a building because frankly, it doesn’t get any better than that.
The Manny Ramirez trade could potentially find itself under investigation because “reserving services”. Apparently this Ramirez character was "playing dumb" (and I use that term lightly) with the Sox to get traded. The investigation comes because it's obviously the first time an athlete has ever dogged it to get traded. Vince Carter is somewhere pissed he didn't get this publicity for his tanking.
Are you familiar with Dave Dameshek? He's been on Simmons podcast a couple of times and now has his own podcast on ESPN.com. Fan of his work?
The Grizzlies tried to sign Josh Smith but were matched by the Hawks. I'm a little let down to be honest with you. A Mike Conley, OJ Mayo, Rudy Gay, Josh Smith foundation is potentially scary. Nice try but if I'm the Grizz, don’t I throw a ridiculous offer at him? Memphis has plenty of cap room but few free agents are flocking to the bright lights of Memphis. The contract they signed him to was 5 years/58 million which isn't bad at all for a guy of Smith's skill set and age. Luol Deng just foolishly got 71 million dollars, and I like Deng. If I'm the Grizz, don't I have to throw 70-75 million at Smith? If he takes it, its fine because the Grizz have to overpay for talent anyway. If not, you hurt another team’s salary cap. They let the Hawk's off easy. I was really hoping Smith left so Atlanta fans could endure another period of futility after losing two of their top six players from their first playoff team since the strike shortened season of 1998.
Pats-Chargers-Colts-Steelers. Where do the Jets fit in? That’s right, they don’t. I'm sorry but I just can't see Favre making the Jets into anything more than a first round whipping boy for the Steelers/Chargers. Am I wrong?
There's been a lot of Chad Pennington hate lately and I can't understand it. He's a smart quarterback who makes the short passing game work for him. He knows his limitations and any coach that tries to get him to throw the ball over 25 yards, should be ashamed of himself. You wouldn't plan any triple options with Peyton Manning because it exceeds his limitations. I can see him bouncing around for a few years and when he hits around 38 years old, he becomes the guy signed after your QB does down in Week 7 and he leads your team to the AFC/NFC Championship because people forget he can actually play. He's that guy.
Olympics? Interested at all? Bueller? Bueller?
I leave you with this. Football season is within sniffing distance. There are a million questions surrounding the upcoming season so I pose this to you: AP or LT? I'm guessing you'll pick Ryan Grant because your homer nature knows no bounds.
Friday, August 8, 2008
I like that LeBron says "monies". I had a little chuckle about that.
Before I make any comment on Favre, I'd like to say this: overlooked in all of this is the fact that Green Bay signed a cornerback named Scorpio Babers to fill out the roster spot that Favre vacated. Will he be a permanent member of the team? I doubt it...but his name is Scorpio Babers. I haven't been this excited since Taco Wallace and Willie Quinnie were on the roster. (For the record, I have a Willie Quinnie story, but I'll tell it another time.)
And here we go...
Favre is with the Jets. I can live with that. Do I like it? No...not really. But it could be a lot worse. Still, I don't see what good it's going to do. He retired after last season, saying that anything less than a trip to the Super Bowl would be a disappointment. I know that he didn't pick where he ended up, but I don't see him making it to the Super Bowl with this Jets team. They won 4 games last year. I know I know...they have a better team (on paper) this year than they did last year. But, even with some upgrades, I don't see them getting any farther than a first-round exit. Favre can make the Jets better, but I doubt they'll make it to the Super Bowl. It's a possibility, but a very slight one.
My take? So glad you asked...
It's going to be extremely hard to watch Favre play in another uniform this year. I'll cheer for him, but it will still be hard. Still, I can see the Packers position. Favre will be back for another year or two (three years max). The Packers have a young team, and have a chance to be good for a long time. What would happen if they crushed the spirit of their "quarterback of the future". When Favre left, what would happen then? It's hard for a young quarterback (already in a tough spot for trying to fill in for a legend) to bounce back from such a massive blow to his confidence. From what I understand, Brohm is picking up the offense extremely well, so they could have tried to trade Rodgers and hand Brohm the reigns after Favre's exit. I wouldn't bet on that, though. I like Rodgers better than Brohm, and I think the Packers management does, too.
Now, Favre. Could he have handled the situation better? Sure. But he also could've acted a whole lot worse to get his way. He wanted to be released. He really could have pushed the issue. He could have kept showing up at practices, taking reps away from Rodgers. He could've talked about how terrible the Packers were treating him to the media. He could've done a ton of terrible things to get his own way...but he didn't. In the end, he took what the Packers gave him...and ended up on a team that doesn't exactly scream "contender".
I'm completely on board with your idea to trade Adam Dunn. I watch waaaaay too many Reds games (I'm watching them blow a game against Houston as I type this), and I've never been impressed. Does he get his numbers? Sure. But, like you said, he's not going to get any better. He's a terrible fielder. He's extremely slow. He strikes out a ton. He's not a guy you can count on in a big game. He'd make a good DH somewhere, but the Reds need to try to get rid of him. Get some good prospects or something. He's obviously not a franchise guy to build your team around. The longer they wait, the more his value declines.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
"Hey Bron, you oughta see this"
"Busy. 1,100. 1,200. 1,300. Man that's a whole lotsa monies."
"These guys are suggesting you wait out your contract and bolt overseas for more monies...i mean money."
"More money? Contact ESPN anonymously and tell them the King will consider this. Call WeSaidThis and tell them not to use the King's name without written and/or verbal consent."
(Having never met LeBron James, I can only imagine he refers to himself as "The King". It only seems right.)
As a black man, the Nike ad doesn't offend me at all. I don't see how a man, that happens to look like me, putting my scrotum on a man's, that happens to look like you, sternum in the act of dunking could ever offend me of all people. Or homosexuals. Then again, what do I know? I'm a Bengals fan.
Griff getting traded was only a matter of time. I am sad to see him go as my team loses one of the best to ever do it, but I am happy that he went to a good situation and that our team can now search for a new face of the franchise. What I don't understand is the White Sox playing him at CF. I thought the whole point of getting an injury prone 38 year old, was to have him play at DH. I understand needing an upgrade over Swisher at Center and Konerko at first, but a 38 year old? (Sidebar: What happened to Konerko? A couple of years ago he was good for 30+ homers, 100+ RBI's and a good average. Now he's being replaced by Nick Swisher!) That's the White Sox problem though. I don't know much about what we got in return in Masset and Richar but they are young and at positions we need. Masset threw 3 innings of shutout ball in his debut so he's good with me. Richar is an infielder without a position, which always worries me because there is a reason he doesn't have a solid position. We just have to figure out what it is. I wish Junior the best of luck.
The Manny trade surprised me. Even for a good player in Bay, I don't think they should have gave up on Manny. Bay's number's look good, but Ortiz-Bay doesn't put the fear in pitchers that Ortiz-Ramirez does/did. Francona is even trying out cleanup hitters to keep Bay in the 5 spot until he gets comfortable. I think at the very least, Boston lets him play out the season and lets him leave and gets some first round picks for their troubles. Best case scenario, they win another ring, Manny straightens up and decides to stay put. Worst case scenario, Manny is still pissed and he leaves and the Sox get his money to throw at someone else. I'm sure someone would be willing to play for the lowly Sox. Good trade for the Dodgers as they are in a weak division and have to shoot for the moon. Bad trade for the Sox.
The one player that I'm surprised that didn't get traded is Adam Dunn. I've had this argument with coworkers for months. I think Dunn's time in Cincy is over, and apparently I am in the minority. They argue that he is having a good year and is only 28. I argue that his "good year" is batting .237 and all his efforts have us barely out of last place. Also, he is an old 28. He is listed at 275 pounds and that is being generous. He has been durable but those knee's are on borrowed time: They could give at any second with all that weight. At this point in his career, you know what you are going to get with Dunn. A low BA, a high number of strikeouts, 40 homers, 100 walks, 100 runs scored and batted in and poor defense. He is terrible with runner's in scoring position. He has hit 40 homer's for four straight years, yet his career high in RBI's is 106. He has pretty much hit his ceiling and has never played on a .500 team, nonetheless a playoff team. I hope we can work a deal that will clear waivers to get him out of Cincinnati. I have nothing against Dunn and would root for him, if he played on another team but this is a new era in Cincinnati. As a rebuilding team, we need to field players based on what they can do, not what they have done.
The Brewer's have lost 7 of their last 9 including one to the Red's since I proclaimed the Takeover is on. I'll shut up now....temporarily.
Your Pistons have signed Kwame Brown. Yes THAT Kwame Brown. And I actually think it's a good move. Brown has no work ethic, butter fingers and a terrible reputation but he is a solid defender. All the Piston's need is another big body and 6 fouls to throw at the Dwight Howard's and Kevin Garnett's of the Eastern Conference.
Favre is officially back and things are only going down hill. McCarthy seems determined to move on, preferably without Favre and Favre appears to want to move on without McCarthy. They have to get rid of him. With the Bears and Vikings seeming to be viable targets now, I think Green Bay has to go wherever they can get the best offer. I still think Kansas City should throw their name into the hat but we shall see. He could get Glenn Dorsey some of his leftover painkillers and everybody wins.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Frankly, I'm offended by that ad. I'm a white man, and I've never been dunked on like that. To suggest something like that (that a black man would ever dunk on a white man)...it's just insensitive to those of us who are freakishly athletic. I mean, when would something in that scene ever happen?
Honestly though? I don't know what to think? Do they have a point? Maybe...but it just seems like everyone is just a bit too sensitive sometimes. Are you offended by the above picture? I'm sure someone is.
Wow. When was the last time that many big name players moved? I can't remember a time when that many players moved.
I'm sad to see Pudge go. I've been a fan of his for a while. His signing with the Tigers helped to save a franchise stuck in mediocrity. He had just won the World Series, and promptly signed with a Tigers team that lost 119 games the previous year. At that time, no free agents wanted to sign with the Tigers. I don't think the Tigers would be where they are today if Pudge hadn't signed with them. We'll miss ya, Pudge.
And who did we get in return? Kyle Farnsworth. I may feel better about this trade a little later, but I'm not too happy at the moment.
Griffey Jr went to the White Sox. I figured he would be moved by the trading deadline, but I didn't know where. I'd heard rumors that he would be heading to Seattle, but Chicago makes more sense. They're at the top of the division, but, anytime you can get a guy like Griffey, you do it. I don't know how this will end up, but I think it's a great move for the White Sox.
And Manny to the Dodgers? They already got Casey Blake from the Indians, and now, with a bat like Ramirez's in their line-up, they have a great shot to win in a terrible division. And I don't think it was a bad move on Boston's part, either. Sure, they gave up Ramirez, but they've been flirting with that move for years. In return, they got Jason Bay, whose production isn't too far below Ramirez's, and who has a much better contract. I know that Boston isn't too concerned with chaper contracts, but that's what they have in Bay. A good move for the Dodgers and the Red Sox.
Oh...the Brewers got swept by the Cubs. What up?
There's a way out for Favre. He can take the Packers marketing offer (which sounds an awful lot like hush money), stay in football in one facet of the game, and not look too bad. Granted, he still looks pretty bad in this, but so does the Packers organization. This is the option I would like the most. As good as he still is, I think it would be better for him to stay retired.
However, if he does want to keep playing, the Jets are not a terrible destination for him to go. Except for the Patriots, it's a relatively weak division. The Jets have a pretty good offense, but there's a definite question mark at the quarterback position. Does the addition of Favre automatically put them in the playoffs? No...but it certainly doesn't hurt. I have no issue with the Jets...but I'd rather that he stay within the Packers organization, in one job or another.
Glenn Dorsey is already injured. Surprised?
(Don't go see the new "Mummy" movie. Just...don't.)