Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wells spoke out on a radio show in response to what Torre said about him. In the book, Torre says, "The difference between Kevin Brown and David Wells is that both make your life miserable, but David Wells meant to."
Wells said that Torre favored guys like Jeter, Rivera, Posada, O'Neil, and Pettite, and that if you weren't one of "Joe's Boys" it wasn't fair. Wells also told a story about when Torre fined him for wearing Babe Ruth's hat during a game one. Wells said when Torre asked for the money he threw it at him and told him to go buy some new rims for his beat down car. When asked what Wells would do if he ran into his ex-manager in the next month or so, Wells said that he would probably just laugh at him.
In Johnny Damon's case, during the 2007 season when Damon was suffering from a leg injury, Torre told him that he doesn't have the same attitude he used to have and that he wasn't the player or person he once was. At the end of the private meeting, Damon told Torre that he didn't think he could do it anymore, and was close to retiring after the season.
More of the relationship between Torre and Cashman came out as Torre was furious with Cashman over not bringing back Bernie Williams. Torre wanted him back more than anything but Cashman wanted to move on. I love Bernie Williams, he is one of my favorite players of all time, but I have to take Cashman's side on this one, Bernie was finished and the Yankees needed to bring in better players.
What most people don't know in reference to the A-Rod and his relationship with his teammates is that in the 2007 offseason when A-Rod, Pettite, Rivera, and Posada were all free agents, Pettite, Posada, and Rivera all personally told GM Brian Cashman to sign A-Rod first because the team needed him. So obviously his teammates can not hate him that much if they wanted him to get signed before themselves.
I have been saying for years how much of an idiot Joe Torre is. I hate how people are so quick to defend him. People always said how loyal and classy he was and he didn't deserve to get fired from New York. Well maybe now people notice how much of a problem this guy was. I wonder what the current players on the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to think about this. How are they going to be able to trust him after he comes out with a book with tons of dirt on his former team? Not only did he blow numerous games and potential playoff runs or even World Series hopes, but it turns out that most of his own players didn't even like him. He obviously was a different person when he was behind the cameras and the media played him out to be some sort of hero. He well overstayed his welcome in New York. The Yankees could have had Lou Pinella as their manager if they realized sooner (even though I like Girardi). There is no way that someone can defend Torre after this crap that he is pulling. I hope his legacy is tarnished forever and Yankee fans forget about him as quickly as possible for trying to ruin a franchise that gave him his 3rd chance as a manager. The Yankees made Joe Torre into who he is, he didn't make the Yankees who they are.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Michael Beasley (Heat)
Rudy Fernandez (Trail Blazers)
Marc Gasol (Grizzlies)
Eric Gordon (Clippers)
Brook Lopez (Nets)
O.J. Mayo (Grizzlies)
Greg Oden (Trail Blazers)
Derrick Rose (Bulls)
Russell Westbrook (Thunder)
Sophomore Team roster
Aaron Brooks (Rockets)
Wilson Chandler (Knicks)
Kevin Durant (Thunder)
Jeff Green (Thunder)
Al Horford (Hawks)
Luis Scola (Rockets)
Al Thornton (Clippers)
Rodney Stuckey (Pistons)
Thaddeus Young (Sixers)
Duke is back at No. 1, but staying there has proved to be difficult this month for Atlantic Coast Conference teams.
The Blue Devils (18-1, 5-0), looking for their 11th straight win, will be tested in a major way, traveling on Wednesday to face No. 4 Wake Forest, the team Duke replaced atop the rankings this week.
Duke made their climb to the top with a rout over Maryland on Saturday, combined with a Wake Forest loss to Virginia Tech earlier on in the week.
Duke became the third ACC team to reach No. 1, as North Carolina was there until a Jan. 4 loss to Boston College.
"It's a big deal for us because it means we're playing really well," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We talked about it last week that, just don't worry about anything, let's just play. It's the same thing we're going to tell them going into this next week. ... It's an honor and it says you're playing real well. You don't get anything from it except a really big headline when you lose.
Wake Forest has won four of its last five home games against the Blue Devils, but the loss came when the Blue Devils were No. 1.
Wake Forest is 4-24 against No. 1 teams with all those wins coming when the Demon Deacons were unranked. Wake's previous victory over a top-ranked opponent.
The Blue Devils have taken five of the last six overall meetings and lead the all-time series 155-76.
Look for Jeff Teague to win the the point guard match up for Wake Forest against Nolan Smith, and Greg Paulus. Kyle Singler, and Gerald Henderson should handle their match ups easily, but Al-Faroug Aminu and Chas McFarland should win their match ups against Duke's big men.
This is a very exciting match up for any college basketball fan. I am looking forward to this great game, as well as many other college game on tonight that can be seen on the ESPN family of networks.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The events were fastest skater(similar to fastest runner in SBAA little league which I took first in), hardest shot, special shootout, shot accuracy, and regular shootout. Andrew Cogliano of the Oilers won won the fastest skater, Boston's Zdeno Chara won the hardest shot with 105.3 mph blast, the regular shootout was won by Shane Doan of the Coyotes, shooting accuracy champion was Evgeni Malkin and the special shootout was won by Alex Ovechkin.
The part that I found most interesting was the part when Malkin helped Ovechkin put sunglasses and a hat on before he shot. There has been a feud between the two Russians but the reason never surfaced. Malkin confirmed rumors that Ovechkin punched his agent once, but again, nobody knew what sparked this conflict. Every time the Caps and Penguins played, Ovechkin gunned for Malkin, looking to take his head off every chance he got. The YouTube video at the end of this article is a must to truly understand the beef between the two as Ovechkin tries taking off Malkin's head but just misses and gets the worse end of it. But this weekend they put their differences behind them and both credited country-mate Ilya Kovalchuk for helping them.
The All Star game was nothing short of exciting as the East topped the West 12-11 in a shootout. Unfortunately the MVP went to Montreal's Alex Kovalev, a result of hometown favoring. It was a good weekend for everyone and this is something to look forward to every year. Hockey starts back up tomorrow and the second half of the season should be exciting.
People keep saying that this book isn't about exposing the problems that the organization has or the poor attitudes and bad relationships of some of the guys on the team. They say that it's just a small part of the book and it focuses more on his time with the Yankees and how his Yankee teams changed baseball. (the growth of information analysis, revenue sharing, growth of intellect in front offices, changes in Red Sox ownership, the Steroid Era, etc.)
To be honest with you, this stuff is interesting but irrelevant to me as a fan. I could care less how A-Rod gets along with his teammates. As long as he keeps producing, like he has been his whole career, he can be whoever he wants to be off the field. Criticising the best all around player in the game, and potentially the greatest hitter who ever lived, isn't a smart thing to do. As for his relationship with Brian Cashman, sources say that the two have talked on the phone and that they are still friends. I think Torre is just bitter and frustrated that the Yankees cut ties with him and this is a cheap shot by him. As professionals, things that happen within the team should stay within the team.
Even though Torre did win 4 World Series with the Yankees I felt like he overstayed his welcome by years. People ask me "how can you say he was a bad coach?, he won 4 championships!". Well when he had the highest payroll in the league 7 years in a row he won nothing. It started getting to the point where Torre made a dumb decision game in and game out and their loses were the result of his inability to coach. Most people who say this don't even watch that many Yankee games. It's similar to how a lot of Phillies fan don't think Charlie Manuel is a good coach, but to someone like me who only watches a few Phillies games a year, thinks that he is a great manager because the Phils won the division 2 years in a row and now a World Series.
Bottom line is that this book is ridiculous and unnecessary, and just because Torre had a bad ending in New York, he feels like he needs to lash back at the organization which he feels abandoned him. I don't think this will be too much of a distraction for this Yankees team, as they have changed not only the players on their team but the mentality of the organization.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I don't think people realize how amazing this defense is. Yes, Kurt Warner has the experience and is playing amazing, and Larry Fitzgerald has been unstoppable, but I'm predicting that the Steelers hold the Arizona offense to 13 points. Football guru Dick LeBeau who has been around forever, will draw up something to shut down Fitzgerald and frustrate the rest of the Cardinals offense. Between Polamalu, Harrison, and Farrior, this defense is one of the best in the past 20 years and fans need to know that.
Now even though I'm obligated to root for the Cardinals because they bounced the Eagles out of the playoffs and if the Steelers win they will pull ahead of the 49ers and my Cowboys for most Superbowls by a franchise, I feel that Pittsburgh will win this game easily.
On a side note, I know this blog is for sports, but I have to let everyone know how upset, disappointed, frustrated, annoyed, and embarrassed I am with our new president. I knew he was going to ruin this country, but I didn't expect it to start only a few days into his presidency. He already signed pro-abortion laws which gives money to other countries in support of abortion. He made Timothy Geithner Treasury Secretary, a man who didn't pay his taxes for 4 years and owes thousands of dollars now. I don't want an idiot like this handling our nations debt and taxes, what is the president thinking? His stimulus package is going to slap another trillion dollars on our national debt and his VP has made more comments that make you shake your head and say " did he really just say that?". He told the public that he plans to close Guantanamo Bay within a year. So if you live in the States, terrorists could be coming to a prison near you! He is in a pre-9/11 state of mind and it's only making our country more vulnerable. I hope that Palin, Huckabee, Romney, Jindal, or Rudy G, are preparing to come save us in 2012.
Random Fact: Mariano once left his sun-roof open before he went into a movie, when he came out, the rain storm had passed, but not before doing damage to the inside of his car. ( but let's take it easy on him, he's a real smart kid. For a Eagles fan, we all know they have smaller, weaker brains)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I didn't really get into the 2006 WBC but I am excited for this one. The rosters aren't fully set, but I already feel that the Dominican Republic is going to be the team to beat. Their lineup is going to be unstoppable. Players who have already agreed to play for Dominican are Alfonso Soriano, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Vlad Guerrero, David Ortiz, and Robinson Cano. I don't think any pitcher on the planet wants to see those guys all in a row. I could care less about their pitching, which I'm sure is great too, but this lineup alone is enough for them to dominate.
With the NHL's All Star break this weekend, theres many things to discuss about the first half of the season. The Sharks and Bruins lead their Conferences but I feel the best team in the league is the Detroit Red Wings. They're keeping pace with San Jose and are only 3 points behind. This team has a great chance to win back to back Stanley Cups. In the East Boston has been ahead of everyone the whole season but look out for the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils. Alexander Ovechkin is flat out the best player in the league and he can take this team deep into the playoffs. The Devils are almost fully healthy and can jump into first place in the Atlantic Division with a game at hand with a win Wednesday before the break. When Marty Brodeur comes back, this team is going to be dangerous.
There have been many surprises so far in the NBA. Although the Celtics are still an elite team, they came back down to Earth and other teams are now finding out how to beat them. I still think the Cavs will be champions after the season and as long as they are healthy I feel like the Spurs can make a run through the West. LeBron is the favorite for MVP but in last night's matchup between the Cavs and Lakers, Kobe Bryant showed me he should not be forgotten about. Kobe played great defense on LeBron and got the job done offensively, all while playing with a dislocated finger in his shooting hand. This is what I like to see in players and it's nice to see a NBA player not cry like they all do. The Knicks have clearly made improvements and Mike D' Antoni is doing a great job. David Lee is a beast, and if this team can go on a run in the near future, the Knicks could possibly be in position for a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.
I just wanted to get some stuff out there because there is a lot going on and needed to be talked about. I'm pretty pumped for the next couple of weeks in sports. It's a big time of the year.
Amidst the celebration of Super Bowl XXXVII, Jon Gruden took the podium and boldly declared "You Aint Seen Nothing Yet Tampa!"
Well, Jon appears to have been right about something. Since that moment, the Bucs have managed a mediocre 48-53 record, and despite two playoff berths...zero playoff victories to show for it. To top it off, the Bucs began the 2008 season 9-3 and in prime position for the #2 seed. But after one of the greatest collapses in NFL history, the Bucs failed to make the playoffs for the third time under Gruden.
The decision to fire Jon Gruden was bittersweet for me. At first I was in complete shock. The timing seemed so bizarre. Then I was mad, because I really like Jon Gruden as a person. But the more I thought about it, I realized that the NFL is all about results, and Jon Gruden was simply not getting the job done.
When I heard that Gruden was fired, my immeadiate first choice for head coach was Raheem Morris. For the past 2 years, Morris has been on my radar as a rising star in the coaching ranks. The fact that Morris has never been a defensive coordinator in the NFL is concerning to say the least, but Morris just has that "it" factor. He brings energy and enthusiasm, and his players love to play for him.
To be honest, I really don't know what to expect from Raheem. I feel like the Bucs need to take a step back before they can move forward, but I'm okay with that. With nearly $45 million in cap space, and the 19th overall pick in the draft, its an exciting time to be a Bucs fan. At the very least, I hope that Morris will change the culture of the Bucs to a more positve atmosphere, while remaining very close and intact.
Many of you probably don't know the slightest thing about Morris, and your first exposure to him was a press conference in which he was rather nervous and shaky. But his energy and enthusiasm is undeniable. It is also important to point out that Morris comes from the Monte Kiffin coaching tree that includes: Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith, Rod Marinelli, and for what its worth Tony Dungy. So he has learned from the very best, and I feel like he is in prime position to do well. At the very least, he brings hope to a Bucs and Mets fan that just can't take it anymore.
Check out this clip of Raheem coaching at K-state. You gotta love him
One on Danny Granger, and the rough times he faced as a kid.
Another on Larry Fitzgerald, and how he possesses extra-ordinary hand-eye coordination and is one of the best Wide Receivers in the NFL.
And a third on my personal favorite, Kevin Durant. And yes, in responding to the comment when I posted about Granger, I love Kevin Durant. He's going to be a phenomenal player and this great article shows some of his progression as a player.Also, if you haven't seen them yet, these are two movies you should absolutely find the time to see:
Taken -- This is a fantastic movie. Some of the action is a little farfetched but it's a great action thriller you have to see.
Righteous Kill -- DeNiro and Pacino are long past their primes, but this is still a great movie.
The Last Castle -- Gandolfini and Redford are good and this military/prison movie is a solid watch. Find the time for it.
Other Movie thoughts:
Max Payne -- This is an entertaining movie, however, it does a complete injustice to the video game series that was absolutely phenomenal. So don't feel bad if you missed the movie, but try to play game if you can find the time. It's definitely worth the time wasted digging up your PS2.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Game 1: Syracuse vs. Notre Dame
A classic big east match up which consist of the number 8 and 13th teams in the nation. Both teams have great potential to go far in the month of March, and can make a push for the Big East title. With these two teams on the court, there are potentially 6-10 players that can make it to the big show next year.
Game 2: Georgetown vs. Duke
This is my favorite match up of the day. The Blue Devils who have a great line up with shooters as well as a solid inside present are the favorites to win the ACC. They have all the pieces in place to make a great push as the season progresses. Georgetown is one of the best teams in the nation. They are much better than their ranking shows, and I think center Greg Monroe is the best freshman in the nation.
Game 3: Wake Forest vs. Clemson
Wake Forest: The forgotten team in the ACC. Fresh of a win against U.N.C. Wake Forest has the ability to hit you from every position on the floor. Do not be surprised if Wake Forest stays healthy, they win the ACC, with ease. Clemson, my sleeper team for the year. They are talanted and amazingly athletic. Trevor Booker is their heart and soul. Look for him to have a big game.
Game 4: U.N.C. vs. Miami
Do not sleep on Miami. They were ranked not too long ago, and their team is stacked with shooters and jumpers. Just put it this way, they can flat out play. And U.N.C. can not afford to let another one slip in the ACC. with already two losses in the conference, they will come out strong. But look for this game to be a dog fight(no literally) but it will be a brawl.
Game 5: Pittsburgh vs. Louisville
I love how Louisville plays basketball. They are so athletic, and their leader Earl Clark can do it all. He fills up the stat sheet. Though they have had some hicups this season already, they are a deadly team. Pittsburgh to me, isn't good enough to have the number 1 ranking. However as long as they keep winning, you can not take anything away from them. This will be an excellent game tonight.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Hockey- In hockey there is a penalty for tripping and a penalty for diving which is faking a dive to draw a tripping penalty. Both are good rules, but sometimes a tripping and a diving penalty are called on the same play and both players go to the penalty box. How does this make any sense? If a player gets tripped by someone else, it's impossible to fake a dive.
Football- When there is an offsides call the offense gets a "free play" and is allowed to attempt for something big to happen because the penalty will be enforced no matter what. On a false start, the play is whistled dead and it's a 5 yard penalty. If the offense is allowed to make big play on an offsides call, why isn't the defense allowed to make a play on a false start? Maybe an interception or a fumble. Also, when a team spikes the ball at the end of the game to stop the clock, shouldn't that be intentional grounding?
Basketball- At the end of games when the team fouls to put a guy on the free throw line and stop the clock, why isn't an intentional foul called? They're obviously intentionally trying to foul the guy, why don't they call it? Maybe the last minute of basketball games won't go on for 45 minutes if this rule is enforced.
Those are just a few that I could think of. Maybe I'm wrong about some of them and I'm missing the reason behind these rules, but I couldn't think of any. Let me know if you have any more ridiculous ones.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
- This one is a no-brainer and if I didn't have Dwight Howard here, I would undoubtedly and rightfully be bludgeoned in the head by Matt or Vineesh. Superman is across the board dominant on defense and his budding offensive game is shinning almost every night. Dwight is posting 20.2 points and 13.8 rebounds a night and adding a ridiculous 3.2 blocks a game. Also, Howard alters approximately 39.1 shots a game (I just made that up, but it's probably close). I have a question though, I have trouble thinking that he can fit through doors without turning sideways. On tv he looks 5 feet wide. Does his house only have double doors? Moving on, Dwight is only 23 and will most likely top this list for the next 5-8 years as he gets better and better.
- I think that Yao Ming is currently the two-man here, but not for long. Have watched him on the court recently? Well, chances are that you haven't because he's constantly getting injured. I don't think Yao's body is going to hold up too much longer. Couple that with the fact that the game has been changing away from big, sloth-like, centers for quite some time and Yao's days are numbered. His numbers are still great, but there's just so much not to be excited about with Yao. The Rockets lack of playoff success (that's on T-Mac too), his lack on intensity/personality, and his lack of athleticism. However, for the time being, he reigns number two.
- Third, is vastly underrated and personal favorite (by this I mean: I love him in NBA 2k9), Al Jefferson. Al's offensive game is technically sound and fluid, he averages 22/10 on a piss-poor Timberwolves squad where everyone knows than he's the only player worth covering. If Al wasn't toiling in mediocrity (much like our man, Danny Granger), he'd be getting some big time media love. Hopefully, Kevin McHale resigns sometime soon so the city of Minnesota can move forward with Jefferson's prime.
- The way he's playing, you can't leave the Diesel off the list this year. Shaq has been awesome this year and who saw this coming? I guess with a few days off here and there, Shaq is ready to roll like it's 2004. It helps that the Suns have slowed the pace, but by and large it's been all about the Diesel. The only reason he isn't higher is because he just isn't built to play every night anymore.
- I can't believe I'm writing this, but next up I gotta take Andrew Bynum. I still remember watching an awkward Bynum play in high school, thinking how the hell did this joke get drafted 10th overall in the NBA! Low and behold, he grew into his body, got some good coaching and is emerging as a big-time center. As a senior, he was second-team all-county in Middlesex, NJ! That isn't exactly a basketball haven, correction, it is embarrasing that Bynum didn't dominate playing against unsuspecting pimple-faced kids (like our own poster Vineesh, now there's a fantastic high school basketballer for you. he was my pick if I'm the Lakers GM) in Central Jersey. Anywho, the only reason Bynum's numbers aren't near the top of the league at center is because he is the third, maybe fourth option on a great team. It makes sense that he doesn't score too much when he plays alongside Kobe and Pau Gasol. But he is ever-improving and should remain on this list for years to come, with his great defensive play as the focal point of his game.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
And more recently, there have been some leaked photos that give some clues:
I think that this is a great marketing idea for LeBron. Pretending to pull an "MJ" and change sports mid-way through his prime should make for a great commercial. Debating how LeBron would fare in the NFL is wildly interesting to think about. I can already see Asante Samuel shitting himself trying to figure out how he's going to tackle him.
Just for fun, let's imagine what this 6'9, +270 lbs athlete who most likely runs a 4.4-4.6 would do in the NFL. Wide Receiver would be a natural choice for LeBron. He's most likely got fantastic hands and his ball skills and body control are exceptional. Couple that with the fact that he's 9 inches and 70 pounds heavier than nearly ever defensive back, it'd take atleast 2 guys to bring him down everytime. Tight End would work pretty well too, becaue with that size, he's bigger than any defensive end in the league and would do fine in the blocking game.
Any other position would be a waste of his abilities. He probably doesn't have the ferocity to play defense in the NFL and tackle on a consistent basis. Also, at Quarterback he'd do well seeing over the lineman, but most likely doesn't possess the accuracy for that level (Then again he is one of the best passers in the NBA!).
As for an NFL comparison, think of Anquan Boldin, plus 8 inches and 70 pounds. He is already one the best run after the catch receivers in the game, LeBron would take it to another level just as he has in the NBA.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
King James erupted for 36 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists against the defending champs. The struggling Celtics had absolutely no answer for him. LeBron is out scoring Paul Pierce by nearly 75 points the last 5 times they have played and he averages over 30 ppg against Boston in his young career.
That game was more than just a regular season game. With the win, the Cavs improved to a league best 29-6 and dominated the entire game. They proved to everybody that they are for real and the team to beat in the East this year. With LeBron playing like he has been this season, I don't see this team coming up short of a title.... But what do I know, I had the Panthers playing in the Superbowl.
Friday, January 9, 2009
- Asante Samuel running for cover everytime Jacobs comes his way. Asante does the "Ole" with much less imposing backs, I can't think for a second he'll be throwing his fragile body in front of the human eighteen-wheeler.
- Donovan McNabb's feet. If McNabb is quite in the pocket and still, he's comfortable and poised for a good day. If he's got happy feet and is dancing all over, then I'm sad to say it's going to be a long day for the Eagles. This doesn't mean he shouldn't run, it's just all about pocket presence.
- Brian Dawkins anytime he isn't playing. Dawkins is awesome to watch in pre-game huddles, his introduction, dancing on the sidelines, and in between plays. I can imagine that Giants fans hate it, but his raw emotion and love for the game is rare in a league that is progressively more and more self-centered.
- The Manning face. Made famous by The Sports Guy on ESPN, Eli has a fantastic "oh crap, what's happening now"" face. Every drop and interception is met with this classic show (or non show) of emotion.
- How the Giants defense will play to stop Westbrook. They say they won't et him beat them, which could work in the Eagles favor. If they devote too much attention to West, they play-action passing game should flourish.
- Which Giants team is going to show up? Tom Coughlin did a terrific job coaching throughout the Plax nonsense this season and his team normally comes out firing. But they've been flat before, especially in the second game against the Eagles. I don't think he's a particularly asute coach, but he is great motivator.
- Which Andy Reid is going to show up? Andy has done a good job so far, but I won't be surprised if he abandones the run out of no where and submarines the Eagles chances at victory.
- My brother tells me all the time that Andy Reid looks like the Heat Mizer from some Christmas movie with his new playoff beard (he saw the comparison on tv somewhere). What do you think?
- Can the Giants D-Line win the battle in the trenches? In other words, how much will the be ablse to disrupt Philly's efforts to run the ball and get time in the passing game? Depending on how healthy Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan are, it may not be much.
- Is Eli good enough to win the game if the running game is stifled? I don't know that he can put the team on his back and throw successfully to Toomer, Hixon, and Boss. I see another Asante TD in Eli's future.
- Another predicition, DeSean Jackson is either DeSeawesome or DeSeawful in the punt return game and it swings the turn out of the game.
Prediction Time: Eagles 17, Giants 10
If the game is any higher scoring than this, I don't know that the Eagles will win it, but the Eagles defense has been FANTASTIC and the Giants should have plenty of trouble moving the ball if the Eagles don't miss tackles and play disciplined on defense. Yes, I'm a homer but this is how I see it, so deal with it.
- Kevin Mawae is out for the Titans and his absence will definitely have an affect on the Titans run game. The question is how much? If the Titans are going to win, they need to be successful running the ball and missing interior linemen is not a good start.
- Chris Johnson and LenDale White are the best running one-two punch in the league and you can be sure that the Ravens are going to be loading the box on most downs. I think Chris Johnson is phenomenal and the better back, but he needs LenDale to soften the Ravens up so he can find some holes. If I was Jeff Fisher, I'd lean on LenDale heavy in the first half and hope that Johnson runs wild in the second half.
- The only way to best a great defense is to attack it. The Ravens thrive on controlling the tempo of the game with their defense, so if Tennessee is tenative out of the gate they're going to have their hands full early.
- It is important for Tennessee to grind it out and avoid an early deficit. If Kerry Collins starts throwing the ball a lot, Ed Reed is going to have a field day. And he's consistently shown that if he gets his hands on it, he's taking it for six, almost everytime. It has gotten to the point that I'm wondering how he would fare with a few offensive touches. He's shown the ability to follow blockers, read tacklers, and make the right cut to get to the endzone. Why not send him on a toss and run him behind an overload of pulling blockers? It's slightly unorthodox, but what have you got to lose?
- Joe Flacco has his hands full against this defense. He's going to have to make some plays because he can't rely on Ed Reed to put up points for him every week. Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain do a nice job on the ground and Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton and Todd Heap are find in the receiving game, but none of them are good enough to take over and take it off Flacco's shoulders. At some point in the game, he's going to have to lead them down the field and get a score, or they're not gonna win the game.
- Most importantly about Flacco, I think it should be necessary to yell his name is your best New York accent: JOE FLACCO!
- Ray Lewis gets a lot of credit, but it's pretty obvious that he's not the best player on this defense anymore. He's the emotional leader, but it's Reed, Suggs, and McAllister who have to make the plays.
- Albert Haynesworth should wreak havoc on the Ravens O-line, but I think they'll find a way to get aroudn him.
Prediction Time: Ravens 17, Titans 16
This one was just a hunch, but I think the Ravens are going to sneak away with a win. Flacco was 9/23 passing last week and I think he'll be slightly better this time around, maybe a 15/25 type performance. Also, I don't think Collins is going to play mistake free and possibly a running back fumble is going to lead to defensive points (most likely by Ed Reed). I'm not expecting a ton of scoring in this one, but I think Chris Johnson is the X-factor. If he runs wild, they win. If he doesn't, they lose.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
- How big of an impact will L.T. have on the game? Personally, I think the more he plays, the worse off the team is. L.T. is very hurt and with such a capable back-up in Sproles, there is no reason for Tomlinson to be wasting carries at 2 YPC. This Steelers D is not one that I would want to be playing hurt against. This is most likely going to be a dogfight and the Chargers can't afford to waste possessions with L.T. on the field.
- Antonio Gates needs to be effective for the Chargers to get down the field. If he's hobbled and useless, it'll give Polamalu free-reign to hawk all over the field and wreak havoc on Phillip Rivers and Sproles.
- Ben Roethlisberger is recovering from a "light" concussion and will that affect Big Ben this weekend? Concussions are very serious injuries that the NFL seems to be largely ignoring. The Chargers defense isn't exactly suffocating, but their are an accomplished, veteran defense that will capitalize if Roethlisberger falters and makes mistakes.
- For the Chargers to win, Sproles needs to carry the rock atleast 20 times and he needs to do it well, which is highly unlikely. The Steelers allow less than 80 YPG on the ground and I don't know if Sproles is big enough to handle the beating he is going to take. James Harrison might break Sproles in two if he catches the wrong way. But Sproles proved last week (and all season) that he is a gamebreaker and you know the Steelers do not want him in open space.
- I really can't stand Phillip Rivers. I understand that off the field he may be a personable and engaging gentleman. But on it, he seems like a douche. He's annoying and arrogant and I really don't like him. But he's talented and there's no disputing that. He's got to make some big plays for the Chargers to advance.
Prediction Time: Steelers 20, Chargers 13
I don't know that the Chargers can overcome all of their injuries to take down the powerful Steelers in this one. I think the Steelers are the most complete and playoff ready team in the NFL and it would take a healthy L.T. and Gates and Merriman for the Chargers to take it down. The only way the Chargers win this one is if they get a score defensively and Roethlisberger shits the bed. Which is possible. If I'm Mike Tomlin I give the Chargers a healthy dosage of Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore and take my win and move on.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The BCS National Championship is almost finally here after a long season of controversy (whats new?) and thrills. The game features #1 Oklahoma vs. #2 Florida. It seems to be a thrilling match up in the making. There has been much hype about this game going in, especially with the 2 previous Heisman winners squaring off with each other.
I think the BCS system definitely got it right this time. Many people, including me do not agree with how college football is ran. There is the BCS system, which is used now to pick the bowl games, but many feel there should be a playoff system, that of the NFL.
Regardless, this championship game looks to be a good one. Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow: what more can you ask for right now? And the scary thing is, there are probably 20+ players combined that can be drafted this year, or make an NFL roster.
Both sides of the ball on both teams are stacked with talent, and gamers. From Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma, to Brandon Spikes of Florida, there are some great play makers that can make all the difference to this game from he defensive side. This game will be decided in the trenches, and ultimately how Tebow and Bradford preform.
Bradford must be flawless and allow his wide recievers and tight ends to recieve the ball in open spaces to make plays. These set of recievers include stand outs such as Juaquin Iglesias, Jermain Gresham, and Manual Johnson. Not to mention, Chris Brown, and DeMarco Murray, two 1000 yard rushers for Oklahoma are dangerous in every which way.
Tebow too must be just as flawless, if not more to beat Oklahoma and Bradford. Tebow will utilize his agressive running style on short yardage plays, but he must get to the ball to his playmakers. Louis Murphy, and Percy Harvin will be used to their fullest. Even though Harvin is only said to be 90 percent, he will still be used on most of the downs, including running plays.Oklahoma is coming into the FedEx Championship Bowl with four straight BCS losses. This games looks to be a good one, but dont be surprised if it gets one sided and stays that way. Both teams have the ability to make that happen in this game, but with these strong defenses, it is not very likely. Stay tuned: Thursday, January 8th, at 8 pm on FOX.
Stephen King- This amazing American author is spotted at Fenway Park all the time. King lives in New England and ironically enough is often seen reading a book during games. King even stayed in the park during a 45 minute rain delay once.
Spike Lee- There's no denying Spike's love for the New York Knicks. Ever since I was little I've been seeing him courtside at Madison Square Garden. Spike proved his fanhood when he verbally attacked Reggie Miller during the middle of games. Him and Reggie has a great feud throughout his career.
Jack Nicholson- Everybody has seen Jack sitting courtside next to the visitors bench in L.A. He is at a ton of games and is very passionate. Jack has also been seen yelling at opposing players, just ask Nick Van Exel. Jack also refused to wear a Boston Red Sox hat for a scene in The Departed because he is a die hard Yankee fan so props to him.
Billy Crystal- Speaking of Yankee fans, Billy Crystal shows a lot of love to New York. He even went as far as signing a one day spring training contract last season. Unfortunately he struck out.
Will Ferrell- This USC alumni supports the Trojans year round. He even was in prank with Pete Carroll faking that he was on fire.
There are a ton of other celebs who support their teams, these are just a few. It's a great thing to see and it makes going to sporting events that much more exciting.
- Before the game even starts, the Cardinals have two things against them. Travel and temperature. The Cardinals were winless this season traveling to east-coast opponents which is unbelieveable for a playoff team. Also, they are a warm weather team, historically they haven't performed well in colder, crappier weather. They can't possibly lay another egg against east-coast teams. It's law of averages, right?
- Is the Arizona pass rush from the Wild Card round legit? Or was that showing one and done, because that certainly wouldn't surprise me. Bertrand Berry told Tony and Wilbon on PTI today that Falcons QB Matt Ryan wasn't changing up the snap count and that is part of the reason for the pressure they generated. That certainly won't happen with a veteran QB like Delhomme running the show. He's been to the playoffs and all the way to the Super Bowl, he won't be nervous come game time and forget such a simple facet of his job.
- Is Edgerrin James back and is he a solid running back again? Edge looked great against Atlanta, but he's been so poor this season that I have trouble thinking he'll be successful in Carolina. Jon Beason covers a ton of ground and the Carolina front 7 will be much more tenacious than the group Edge just ran all over.
- Speaking of the Carolina front 7, they shouldn't have trouble getting all the pressure they need on Kurt Warner come Saturday. That is their key to victory. They can't allow Warner time to sit back and kill them from the pocket. They need to flush him out and keep him moving all game, the more they hit him the better. Kurt is still a great QB, but he's never been a scrambler and as he gets older, he's only getting more and more immobile. It's a lot harder to Fitzgerald and Boldin if you're worried about who's about to hit you (namely, Julius Peppers)
- About Boldin, how hurt is he? This is the guy who played after he broke his face, so I've got to assume he'll be toughing it out if at all possible. But hamstrings are a strange injury, there's no telling how long it'll take to heal. Could be a week, could be 4 weeks. I'm confident Boldin will play, but the real question is how effective will he be? He hurt it while sprinting down field and didn't seem any slower until he reached the endzone, so who knows? Maybe, he'll be fine, and I hope so because any hope of a competitive game may rest on his well being.
- Who is going to tackle DeAngelo? And if they bring him down, who's going to stop Jonathon Stewart? Now this defense was good against Atlanta against the second best rushing attack in the league in Michael Turner and Jerrious Norwood. But this is the best rushing attack (no offense, Earth, Wind, and Fire, you're probably tied for 2nd. Maybe 2B to ATL's 2A). Williams has shown all season that he will take advantage of cutback lanes and if the defense is disciplined, he'll make you pay. Now how much discipline can we possibly expect from this team? Outside of Adrian Wilson how many playmakers do they have? Karlos Dansby is a good, but unspectacular linebacker and I can probably say the same for Darnell Dockett on the D-line.
- Which big-time WR would you rather have, Larry Fitzgerald? or Steve Smith? or maybe Boldin? At gun point, I'd take Boldin because he does things over the middle and after the catch that is only rivaled by Brandon Marshall. However, Fitzgerald has the best ball skills in the NFL which was obvious by that awesome TD catch he had last week between two defenders. But, Steve Smith has game-breaking athleticism and speed that you just can't teach. I read somewhere the other day that he's such a freak that his physical talents make up for poor route-running skills and game IQ. I don't know if the DB's in this game are capable enough to stop any of these 3.
Prediction Time: Carolina 31, Arizona 21
I think Carolina will have it's way with Arizona unless Delhomme takes too many risks. DeAngelo will get two TDs, Stewart one. Also, one of the Arizona TD's will probably be garbage time at the end when it is too little, too late. For Arizona to steal this one, they need to keep the score low and I think it'll take a final, two minute drill to win it at like 17-14 or something. The line is Caroline -9.5 so I guess I'd be laying the points, but most likely I'd stay away from this one. If anything, I think I'd take the under of 48.5 because I'm usually wrong on those. Then again, if i could tease Arizona and the Under, well now we're in business.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
- Cubs sign Milton Bradley: I love this deal for the Cubs. Milton got 3 years, 30 mil (less money than Ibanez) and is a great addition to a Cubs team that is very close to the top. Milton was the best hitter of the OF/DH group (other than Manny) and is also the youngest. He may be a head case, but on a team without an identity (make that a city without an identity), crazy guys are sometimes just what you need.
- Pat Burrell signs with Rays: Not a bad signing for the Rays. They gave him two years, the second of which will probably be useless. Pat had a resurgence this season, but don't expect much consistency. He's a good signing for them because he has no problem staying out of the limelight and playing second or even third fiddle to other stars in the lineup. Also he should benefit from playing DH and not running around aimlessly in the outfield all season.
- Giambi close to signing with the A's: This one makes sense. The A's have thrived lately on thriving aging vets like Frank Thomas, Piazza, etc. Giambi is a great OBP guy, so it's easy to see why Beane liked him.
- Derek Lowe and Manny still unsigned: Another unsurprising fact. These two seem to be the odd superstars out in free agency splurge. The economy has hit these two hard and they won't get anything close to the money they expected earlier this spring.
- Howard and Hamels hit arbitration soon: How much will they get? Howard is most likely going to break his own record and Hamels should be getting a sweet payday too.
- J.C. Romero suspended 50 games in '09: Sometimes even the over-the-counter ones can get you. Wake the hell up J.C. that's why they have trainers in the lockerroom.
That's likely not all the baseball news, but that's what you should have seen or heard. Moving forward, there won't be much baseball talk with the NFL Playoffs steamrolling through, but keep an eye on the Bottomline to get just enough baseball fix to keep you going.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
A few weeks ago I made a prediction and I'm sticking to my guns. In the 2009 Superbowl, the Steelers will defeat the Panthers 21-17. We all know the saying "defense wins championships" and Pittsburgh has the best defense the league has seen in years.
I feel that the Detroit Red Wings will win their second straight title in convincing fashion. It will be a tough road to get there because the Western Conference is so competitive, but this Red Wings team is for real. Just ask the Sharks who lost 6-0 to them last time they played. I expect the Boston Bruins to represent the East, but fall short of the Cup.
The Cleveland Cavilers will top the San Antonio Spurs this year. The Cavs are unbeaten at home and are not far behind Boston's incredible pace. With LeBron having a supporting cast this year, I expect him to have a championship, a league MVP, and a finals MVP by the end of the year. The Spurs always seem to be dangerous in the playoffs and I feel this team has 1 more shot at making a serious run for the title.
With the Yankees improving so much this off season, it's really hard not to pick them. They won 89 games last year (a down year for them), then they go out and get 2 of the top pitchers in the league and a top 3 position player. Expect them to cruise throughout the regular season and own their 27th World Series title in October 2009. Representing the National League will be the Cubs, but I don't see them ever winning a World Series.
Michael Vick WILL be playing somewhere in the NFL. Brett Favre WILL NOT.
Lance Armstrong will win another Tour De France.
Barry Bonds will not be in the Majors.
Tiger will win 3 Majors.
Pacman Jones will be forever banned from the NFL.
UNC is cutting down the nets as they win another NCAA basketball championship.
UPENN baseball finishes 2nd in the Ivy League.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Remember the Titans- This movie had a great story line. How a football team overcame differences in race and learned how to be friends and a great football team. What makes this even better is the fact that it was based on a true story. Everyone I know loves this movie and rightfully so. If you haven't seen it I strongly suggest it.
Rudy- A classic football story, also based on real mans life, is one of the most inspirational movies of all time. Throughout the movie you will find yourself wanting Rudy to make it because he has so much heart. It's a movie where you don't have to be a football fan to appreciate what he accomplished. This is my personal favorite, not only because I love Notre Dame football, but it is truly a good movie.
Hoosiers- Another classic movie about a high school basketball team from Indiana. Gene Hackman is great in this movie and it is great to see how the team improves so drastically after learning to trust what their coach has told them. I feel like this is a must-see and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Rocky- Rocky 1,2,3, and 4 were awesome. The 5th one was too different and the recent 6th one was just unnecessary. Even though these are great sports stories, I feel like it is more than that. It's a great showing of what hard work and heart get you. These American classics and if you haven't seen them get on it.
Rating for the whole series- 8.5/10
Field of Dreams- Kevin Costner was never really a great actor, but this movie is so perfect, I have to give him props. Any baseball fan would really love this. It's a great story on a mans calling to baseball and what he does for the history of the game. Another must-see.
Now although there are many other movies that deserve to be in the discussion, I don't have the time or knowledge of all of them to put them up. Here are a few other good ones that are worth checking out.
A League of Their Own
White Men Can't Jump