Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Champions of the Decade

Ok folks, in 5 days the decade of the 2000s is over and the 10s begin. So I put together a list of the five teams I was glad to FINALLY see win a championship this past decade.

1) The Chicago White Sox

  • In 2005, the White Sox won their first World Series in 88 years. Not since 1917 did the fans of Chicago know what it felt like to be world champions.
  • Their championship ended an inexplicable curse that haunted the baseball franchises in the city of Chicago. Now all we need is for the Cubs to end their funk. 101 years and counting....

2) The Boston Red Sox

  • The Red Sox were in the same boat as the White Sox. Their drought however got a lot more publicity due to their iconic rivalry with the New York Yankees.
  • In 2004 the Red Sox became the first and only team in major league history to overcome an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series. The baseball gods were on their side because they did it against none other than the hated Yankees.
  • The Red Sox went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals and claim their first World Series in 86 years.
  • The "Curse of the Bambino" was finally put to rest.

3) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • For nearly 2 decades, the Buccaneers were the laughing stock of the NFL. During their first two seasons (1976-1977) of existence, they lost an NFL record 26 consecutive games before finally winning their first ever game. They suffered through 14 consecutive losing seasons between 1983-1996. To put it simply, it was a mess down there for a long time.
  • In 1997 the team began turning things around by going 10-6 and making it to the second round of the playoffs.
  • And in 2002, things finally went the Buccaneers' way. Shall we say it?.... "The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl champions!" Wow! It still sounds unbelievable.

4) The Syracuse Orangemen

  • In 2003, the Orangemen went from unranked to No. 1, winning their first ever championship, 81-78 over the Kansas Jayhawks.
  • Carmelo Anthony was electrifying-- shall we say, "a star was born!"

5) The Los Angeles Angels

  • In 2002, the then-Anaheim Angels captured their first World Series championship.
  • The first ever baseball expansion team (1960) had suffered some devastating loses in the ALCS throughout their history. 1982 and 1986 come to mind.
  • But the Angels finally prevailed in 2002 and the team graciously dedicated their world championship to long time former owner Gene Autry who passed away prior to seeing his beloved Angels win a championship.

Anyway, as a sports fan, I love it when new champions are born and long lasting droughts are finally ended. This decade we got to see both.

Photos courtesy of the AP

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kudos To The Tennessee Titans!


Considering that the Tennessee Titans began the season 0-6, and with only 2 weeks remaining are still alive for a playoff spot-- well, its an amazing accomplishment.

The Titans (7-7) have had a remarkable last couple of months, winning 7 of 8 to put themselves in a position to be at least mathematically alive.

And they've been doing it in dramatic fashion. Just ask the Houston Texans, the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins.
  • In the Houston game, Titans' kicker Rob Bironas kicks a 53-yard winning field goal with less than a minute to play. Titans 20, Texans 17.
  • In the Arizona game, quarterback Vince Young throws a touchdown pass to Kenny Britt with 0.00 left in the game. Titans 20, Cardinals 17.
  • In the Miami game, Bironas kicks a 46-yard winning field goal in OT after the Titans intercepted Miami QB Chad Henne's pass. Titans 27, Dolphins 24.
I guess-- what goes around comes around. The same way the Titans are winning of late is the same way they were losing, well let's say, of early. Tennessee lost its first 3 games of the season by 3, 3, and 7 points. All 3 games were in Tennessee's grasp. Had they won 2 of those 3 games, they would have already clinch a playoff spot. But, it is what it is.

Even if the Titans don't make the playoffs, its been a season well salvaged. It looks like Vince Young has finally gotten his act together and is ready to take the reigns (handed to him by his mentor, the late-Steve McNair) as the Titans' QB for years to come. Good for him! It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

And then there's Chris Johnson. What can I say? The guy is money! With apologies to Adrian Peterson, but Johnson is the baddest, the fastest, the best running back in the NFL.

A quick look at Johnson's magic--

  • 1730 rushing yards; 446 receiving yards; 2176 all-purpose yards. Lookout Marshall Faulk, with 2 games left Johnson only needs 253 yards to break your all-time record of 2429 all-purpose yards.
  • He needs 270 yards to become the 6th running back in NFL history to rush for 2000 yards in a season.
  • He's had 9 consecutive 100-yard games.

Awesome! The guy is a human highlight show.

Anyway--

For overcoming so much turmoil and salvaging their season, I say, "Kudos to the Titans!"

Photos courtesy of the AP

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baseball's "Hot Stove" Feels Kinda Cold!


Ok, I have to admit, I haven't been following the off-season wheelin' and dealin' as I have in years past. Maybe its lack of desire or maybe laziness. Who knows?

But anyway, today I decided to catch up. So let me see if I'm up to date--

1) The biggest move of all. The Philadelphia Phillies trade for Roy Halladay. In the process they send post-season hero, Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners.

  • Everyone, including Cliff Lee himself, was surprised about the move. Rumor has it that the Phillies felt Lee was going to ask for too much money after next season. So they decided to dump him now and stock up the farm system which they tore up to get Halladay and Lee back in the summer. Ok. I could see the method to their madness.
  • The biggest losers in this trade were the Blue Jays' fans. Halladay was their lone bright spot; the face of their team; the face of baseball in Canada.
  • Can't blame Halladay for accepting the trade. He's the best pitcher in baseball and deserves: 1) to be in a winning atmosphere and 2) to get paid!

2) Chone Figgins signs with the Mariners and John Lackey signs with the Boston Red Sox.

  • What is going on with the Los Angeles Angels? Figgins and Lackey were the last two members of the 2002 World Series champions who were still with the team. Well actually, if I'm not mistaken Scot Shields is still with the team, although he was injured most of last season. Don't quite know what Shields' story is but are the Angels starting to fall apart?

3) The Yankees get Curtis Granderson in a 3-team trade. They send Ian Kennedy to Arizona and Phil Coke to Detroit.

  • Wasn't Ian Kennedy one of their 3 untouchables (along with Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain) when they refused to trade for Johan Santana. Anyway--

4)The Chicago Cubs trade Milton Bradley to the Mariners for Carlos Silva.

  • What was this all about? I'll trade you my headache for your headache?

5) The Red Sox sign Mike Cameron and the Yankees are on the brink of signing Nick Johnson.

  • Can someone explain this to me? The two teams with the deepest pockets are throwing Johnny Damon and Jason Bay under the bus?

6) Placido Polanco signs with the Phillies.

  • Good bat. Good glove. Good move. I'm assuming Polanco is going to play third base.

7) Brian Schneider leaves the Mets and signs with the Phillies.

  • As a "somewhat" loyal Mets fan, this one I knew about. Schneider leaves a starting job with the Mets to become a back-up with the Phillies. His reasons: 1) he grew up a Phillies fan in Allentown, PA.; 2) he wants to win a world championship; 3) he wanted to be back home. Ok, I could live with some of that, but-- hey Brian, Allentown is only a 2 hour drive from NYC, its not like you were playing in Seattle to be feeling home sick.

8) The Minnesota Twins trade Carlos Gomez to the Milwaukee Brewers for J.J. Hardy.

  • Wasn't Gomez one of the "bright" prospects the Twins got in the Johan Santana trade? Hmmm?

9) The Chicago White Sox get Juan Pierre in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

  • Ok. This could work.

10) Last but not least, The Twins trade Boof Bonsor to the Red Sox for a player to be named later.

  • Sorry. I just like saying the guy's name. B-o-o-f B-o-n-s-o-r

Ok. If I've missed any important "hot stove" moves, feel free to let me know.

Photo courtesy of mlb.com

Friday, December 18, 2009

The "What" Bowl?


Ok, so the bowl season officially kicks of tomorrow with the New Mexico Bowl and the St. Petersburg Bowl. If I'm not mistaken, 33 bowls will be played before the BCS National Championship Game. That's correct, 33.

Over the years many college football fans have asked, "why so many pointless bowl games?" I myself asked the same question as I saw the number of bowls double over the past 15 years. Its like every year I would say, "Oh brother, another one."

But I get it. College football is a business and if they can make the money-- hey, why not?

Now--

I do have a problem with some of the names given to these bowl games. I mean, who thinks up these boring names? And I also have a problem with some of the older bowls who have sold out to corporate sponsorship.

Let's start with tomorrow's games (New Mexico and St. Petersburg). Now c'mon-- these names are boring. Couldn't they come up with something catchier? For example, the New Mexico Bowl-- why not call it the Sombrero Bowl or the Cactus Bowl? And the St. Petersburg Bowl-- why not call it the Sunshine Bowl or the Pelican Bowl. St. Petersburg is known as the Sunshine City and the Pelicans is the name of their rugby team. Yes, rugby is played in St. Petersburg.

In the next few days, we'll be watching the Hawaii Bowl and the New Orleans Bowl. The Hawaii Bowl used to be call the Aloha Bowl. What is wrong with calling it the Aloha Bowl? I always found it to be a catchy name-- much better than the Hawaii Bowl. And the New Orleans Bowl? Boring! Why not call it the Cajun Bowl?

I mean, just look at the big boys. Part of their mystique comes from their classic and iconic names. The Rose Bowl. The Sugar Bowl. The Orange Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl. Now these are awesome names.

And going down to the next tier, we have some great names also-- the Cotton Bowl, the Holiday Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Liberty Bowl, the Sun Bowl and the Independence Bowl.

I could also live with-- the Humanitarian Bowl, the Alamo Bowl, the International Bowl and the Emerald Bowl.

Now we come to my other problem--

First of all, I don't have any beef with corporate sponsorship per say. Almost every bowl has a sponsor (i.e. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the FedEx Orange Bowl). My problem is with bowls who have abandoned their classic names and sold their souls to their corporate sponsor.

Let's start with the worst of the worst-- the Citrus Bowl. Remember the Citrus Bowl? Well, its now called the Capital One Bowl. When the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets won a share of the national championship back in 1990, next to their name, it says (won Florida Citrus)-- not (won Capital One). What was wrong with calling it the Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl, like it used to be called?

The second worst of the worst-- the Peach Bowl. Remember the Peach Bowl? Now its called the Chick-fil-a Bowl. When "Chick-whateva" became its sponsor, it was called the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. That's ok. But why drop its classic name? So if Chick-fil-A decides to sponsor the Ty Cobb Estate are they going to change his nickname from the Georgia Peach to the Georgia Chick-fil-A? Just a thought.

Other bowls who have dropped their good names: The Hall of Fame Bowl (now the Outback Bowl), the Copper Bowl (now the Insight Bowl) and the Motor City Bowl (now the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl). Why not just call this one, the Pizza Bowl presented by Little Caesars? Just a thought.

Anyway--

My belief is that naming bowls after their corporate sponsor took off with the creation of the infamous Blockbuster Bowl (now called the Champ Sports Bowl) back in 1990. This was all part of Blockbuster Videos founder Wayne Huizenga's mission of making South Florida the mecca of the sports world. In a short period of time he created this overrated bowl, bought the Miami Dolphins, created the MLB's Florida Marlins and the NHL's Florida Panthers.

But, I guess "Wayne's World" is a story for another day.

Anyway, bad names and all, there are some good match-ups in the upcoming bowl games. Some of them should be fun to watch.

Stats courtesy of Wikipedia

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tiger Woods Wins The AP Athlete of the Decade!


Smile Tiger!

The Associated Press just voted you the Athlete of the Decade.

I just have 3 words to say, "I totally agree!"

Putting all of Tiger's recent drama aside-- he was, without a doubt, the most dominant athlete of the past 10 years. Woods won 64 total tournaments (56 PGA Tour titles)--12 of which were Major Championships. He held the No. 1 ranking for all but 32 weeks during the entire decade. The only other golfer to even get a whiff of the No. 1 ranking (this decade) was Vijay Singh, who held it for the other 32 weeks.

And to put his 56 PGA Tour wins (this decade) in perspective-- Only 4 players in the history of the game have won more than 56 titles in their entire careers (Sam Snead, 82; Jack Nicklaus, 73; Ben Hogan, 64; Arnold Palmer, 62)-- let alone in one decade.

What can I say? The man is good at what he does.

And as for all this side stuff with his "transgressions" or infidelity or whatever people want to call it-- all Tiger has to do is man up-- give an interview on 60 Minutes or on Oprah-- apologize to his family, his fans, his business partners, his dog-- to whoever-- maybe shed a tear or two-- and soon he'll be forgiven and all will be forgotten.

I mean-- whatta we gonna do? What have we learned during this whole media circus? That the guy likes hot babes? Ok. AND? He's certainly not the first and he most definitely won't be the last. I mean, if I had the kinda dough he has, the kinda fame, the kinda power-- well....

Anyway, I say--

Congratulations Tiger! You deserve the honor.

Now all you need to do is (after the holidays) give an interview and mention the usual talking points and cliches which famous people say when they get "caught out there". Heck, us little people use them when we're in hot water. They work!

And before you know it, all this drama will be over. Then you can get back to doing what you do better than anyone else on this planet-- playing golf.

Oooops! I guess I had more than 3 words to say. : -)

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Stats courtesy of Wikipedia

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Brett Favre Deserves His Props!


I have to admit, when the story broke about Brett Favre joining the Minnesota Vikings, I was one of those who said, "Say it ain't so, Brett." Like many at the time, I didn't think it was the right decision and I believed Favre was doing it for selfish reasons. His mission-- to get back at the Green Bay Packers.

Although, I still suspect it played a role in his decision--

But whether it did or it didn't-- the bottom line is the Vikings are 11-2 and on top of their division by 2 games with 3 to play. They've already clinched a playoff spot, most likely will win the NFC North and most likely will get a first-round bye in the playoffs.

If beating the Packers was part of his mission-- well, he can safely say, "mission accomplished!" Favre and the Vikings have defeated the Packers twice.

But, putting the Packers aside--

What's impressive about Favre is that at age 40 he's still putting up excellent numbers. In fact, he's in the top 10 in every major passing category:

QB rating : 106.0 - 2nd.
Comp: 295 - 5th.
Attempts: 433 - 8th.
Pct: 68.1 - 4th.
Yards: 3341 - 9th.
Yds/Game: 257.0 - 10th.
TDs: 27 - 3rd.

And he's only thrown 6 interceptions all season. By comparison, Drew Brees who leads the league with 32 TDs has thrown 10 Ints and Peyton Manning, 2nd with 29 TDs has thrown 14 Ints.

But Favre can't catch a break. In last Sundays 30-10 win against the Cincinnati Bengals (9-4), Favre had a sub par performance, 17-30, 192 Yds, 56.7 Pct, 6.4 Y/A, 2 Sacks, 1 TD, 1 Int, 73.2 Rating-- and the media was already hounding him about December fatigue. He dismissed all the fatigue bs and reminded the press that the Vikings just finished beating a pretty good football team.

In fact, he's right. The Bengals are tied for 2nd in the league (with the Indianapolis Colts) in total defense (16.7 Pts/G).

Anyway--

When Favre finally decides he wants to retire (yes, its gotta happen eventually)-- rather than speaking at the press conference, he should just play the song "My Way" by Frank Sinatra and ride off into the sunset.

The guy has earned my respect and then some.

Photo courtesy of the AP

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mark Ingram Wins The Heisman Trophy

Congratulations to Mark Ingram (Alabama)
Winner of the 75th Heisman Trophy





In this photo:
  1. Sam Bradford - Oklahoma - 2008 winner
  2. Doak Walker - SMU - 1948 winner
  3. Roger Staubach - Navy - 1963 winner
  4. Earl Campbell - Texas - 1977 winner
  5. Alan Ameche - Wisconsin - 1954 winner
  6. Davey O'Brien - TCU - 1938 winner
  7. Archie Griffin - Ohio State - 1974, 1975 winner
  8. Desmond Howard - Michigan - 1991 winner
  9. Bo Jackson - Auburn - 1985 winner
  10. Carson Palmer - USC - 2002 winner
  11. Nile Kinnick - Iowa - 1939 winner
  12. Tim Tebow - Florida - 2007 winner
  13. Mark Ingram - Alabama - 2009 winner
Note: I selected these winners at random, representing different eras.

Fun facts about the Heisman Trophy winners:

Winners who went on to be the #1 selection in the NFL Draft:
  1. Jay Berwanger - Chicago - 1935 winner
  2. Frank Sinkwich - Georgia - 1942 winner
  3. Angelo Bertelli - Notre Dame - 1943 winner
  4. Leon Hart - Notre Dame - 1949 winner
  5. Paul Hornung - Notre Dame - 1956 winner
  6. Billy Cannon - LSU - 1959 winner
  7. Ernie Davis - Syracuse - 1961 winner
  8. Terry Baker - Oregon State - 1962 winner
  9. O.J. Simpson - USC - 1968 winner
  10. Jim Plunkett - Stanford - 1970 winner
  11. Earl Campbell - Texas - 1977 winner
  12. Billy Sims - Oklahoma - 1978 winner
  13. George Rogers - South Carolina - 1980 winner
  14. Bo Jackson - Auburn - 1985 winner
  15. Vinny Testaverde - Miami - 1986 winner
  16. Carson Palmer - USC - 2002 winner
Winners who are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
  1. Doak Walker - SMU - 1948 winner
  2. Paul Hornung - Notre Dame - 1956 winner
  3. Roger Staubach - Navy - 1963 winner
  4. O.J. Simpson - USC - 1968 winner
  5. Tony Dorsett - Pittsburgh - 1976 winner
  6. Earl Campbell - Texas - 1977 winner
  7. Marcus Allen - USC - 1981 winner
  8. Barry Sanders - Oklahoma State - 1988 winner
  • Paul Hornung, O.J. Simpson and Earl Campbell are the only Heisman Trophy winners to be #1 overall selections and make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Archie Griffin is the only player to win the trophy twice (1974, 1975).
  • Notre Dame, USC and Ohio State have had the most winners (7 each).
Yale, Army, Ohio State and USC are the only schools to have back-to-back winners:
  • Yale - Larry Kelley (1936) and Mike O'Conner (1937)
  • Army - Doc Blanchard (1945) and Glenn Davis (1946)
  • Ohio State - Archie Griffin (1974, 1975)
  • USC - Matt Leinart (2004) and Reggie Bush (2005)
Tim Tebow (2007), Sam Bradford (2008) and Mark Ingram (2009) are the only sophomores to win the trophy.

Ingram is the first player from Alabama to win the trophy. Its hard to believe that such a storied program had never produced a Heisman Trophy winner. But I'm sure the Crimson Tide have their eyes on a bigger trophy come the BCS National Championship Game.

Stats courtesy of Wikipedia

Photos courtesy of the AP, Getty Images, espn.com and the public domain

Friday, December 11, 2009

2000s: The Play of the Decade


Well folks, its that time of the year when we start reading about the "this" or the "that" of the year-- and since we're in the final days of the 2000s-- we're also getting flooded with the "this and that" of the decade.

Well today, while reading an article ("An Angel In His Pocket") in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, about the special relationship between current Tennessee Titans' quarterback Vince Young and former QB, the late-Steve McNair-- it brought back memories of what I still consider the most amazing sports moment of this decade.

It was the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV (Jan. 30, 2000) between the Titans and the St. Louis Rams. Ironically it happened only one month into the decade, but to this day, no other play (from any sport) stands out more in my mind.

The play--


Titan's wide receiver Kevin Dyson valiantly tries to extend his arm towards the goal line as he is being tackled on the final play of the game. He managed to make it to the 1-yard line as the clock expired. Had Dyson scored, Tennessee would have brought the score to 23-22, needing just the extra point to send the game into overtime. But it was not to be as Mike Jones tackled Dyson just before he reached the goal line. Rams win, 23-16.

The drive began all the way back at the Tennessee 12-yard line and the late-McNair brought the Titans all the way to the St. Louis 10. With six seconds to go McNair (from the shotgun) took the snap and quickly threw to his right to Dyson.... and the rest is history.

What a game!

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Agony of Greg Oden



Greg Oden, the 7'0" center of the Portland Trail Blazers and the 2007 No. 1 overall pick, is done for the season-- AGAIN!

Oden suffered a devastating knee injury on Dec. 5 in a home game against the Houston Rockets. Oden broke his kneecap and had to be wheeled out of the Rose Garden in a stretcher. Ouch!

Coincidentally, it was Oden's 82nd career game. In other words, since being selected No. 1 overall 3 seasons ago, Oden has finally played the equivalent of a full NBA season. In 2007-2008 he played a total of 0 games; in 2008-2009 he played in 61 games and this season in 21 games. Since he's expected not to return after undergoing knee surgery (again)-- it means he's played a season's worth of basketball in 3 seasons.

Of course its not Oden's fault, but he has got to be the unluckiest player in recent memory. I mean, he missed his entire rookie year after having surgery on his right knee. Last season he missed 21 games due to injuries in his right foot and left knee. And in this young season he breaks his left kneecap. Gees, poor guy.

On the other hand, Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant, the No. 2 overall pick has had a solid 3 seasons so far. Durant's scoring average has gone up every year (20.3, 25.3, 28.1) so far in his young career. Recently Durant became the second youngest player (behind Lebron James) in NBA history to score 4000 points. To put it in perspective, Oden has scored only 773 points. Durant is averaging 23.3 PPG for his career; Oden 9.4 PPG. And of course, since Durant was the No. 2 pick, he makes a little over half a million less than Oden. But that's the gamble of the NBA Draft.

It'll be interesting to see how Oden responds after so many knee surgeries. Its hard to imagine that he will be the force everyone expected him to be on draft day when he was selected No. 1 overall.

Or will he just be the answer to a future trivia question when Kevin Durant blossoms and continues his Hall of Fame-caliber career.

Photos courtesy of the AP
Stats courtesy of espn.com

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Fiesta Bowl: TCU-Boise State Is Creating Alot of Buzz!


It seems like the Fiesta Bowl is getting what they wanted-- lots of attention. The TCU-Boise State match-up is, without a doubt, the talk of the town.

But I have to honestly say, it doesn't surprise me. I actually saw it coming. In an earlier post I wrote that if I'm the Fiesta Bowl, I would grab this match-up. I'm already dying to predict that this game will get higher ratings than the actual championship game. But its too soon to start floating around such bold predictions.

For those who don't know by now why the Horned Frogs and the Broncos wound up playing each other-- let me put it as simple as possible-- nobody wants to play them.

And why, you ask? Because they are GOOD! Just ask the Oklahoma Sooners about their BCS experience against Boise State. Or ask the Oregon Ducks and the Clemson Tigers about their regular season experience with Boise State and TCU this year.

Anyway--

Today, I received an e-mail from a website called newsy.com which talked about this very subject. They put together an excellent video montage of how different media outlets have covered and opined on the story. What I liked about the video is that it provides opinions, not just from people inside the college football circle, like Lou Holtz, but also from people outside the sports circle, like Chuck Todd, who covers the White House for NBC and MSNBC.

So without further ado-- here's the video clip:





Let the debate continue--

Video courtesy of newsy.com

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Bowl Matchups

Let the games begin!

BCS National Championship Game

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Texas

The early line is Alabama by 4 and a half. I could live with that. The Crimson Tide earned a well-deserved trip to the big game. They deserve to be the favorites. But-- I wouldn't fall asleep on the Texas Longhorns.


The Sugar Bowl

No. 3 Cincinnati vs. No. 5 Florida

This is an awesome game for the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Gators are huge favorites and a win over them can mean instant credibility for the unbeaten Bearcats. If Florida wins, they may just end up at No. 2.

A quick note: There was little mention of Cincinnati leapfrogging TCU in the rankings. What did TCU do to deserve this? If Nebraska would have pulled off the upset over Texas, the computers were set up to send Cincinnati, NOT TCU, to the national title game. I had a gut feeling this was going to happen. The thought of a mid-major like TCU going to the national title game is blasphemy for the BCS hierarchy.

The Rose Bowl

No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 8 Ohio State

Ohio State lost to USC. Oregon beat USC. Boise State beat Oregon. So why isn't Boise State in the Rose Bowl?

The Fiesta Bowl

No. 4 TCU vs. No. 6 Boise State

Many are calling this the "Super Bowl" of mid-majors. Its definitely a major milestone-- 2 mid-majors making it to a BCS bowl game. I'm sure both would prefer to be playing against a major-conference team to prove their worth but nonetheless this is a huge step for the little guys. What this game guarantees is at least one other team will end the season undefeated and create a nagging question to the national champion. So, its all good.

The Orange Bowl

No. 9 Georgia Tech vs. No. 10 Iowa

Kudos to Iowa on earning a BCS berth. But this game could have been broken up and Georgia Tech could have played Boise State and Iowa could have played in the Fiesta Bowl against TCU.

Anyway--

It is what it is. College football usually leaves us with more questions than answers. I mean, I'm still trying to figure out why the Cotton Bowl got thrown under the bus when the BCS system was created 10 years ago. But I guess that's a story for another day....

To be continued....

Photos courtesy of the AP
National championship image courtesy of espn.com

Sunday, December 6, 2009

OMG! Texas 13 Nebraska 12

What a game!

Texas 13 - Nebraska 12

Texas wins the Big 12 championship (barely)

Texas Longhorns (13-0)

A win is a win! And coach Mack Brown, QB Colt McCoy and the rest of the Longhorns are going to Pasadena to play in the BCS title game.

Defense! Defense!

The game was a total defensive domination from both teams.

Total Yards (Texas 202, Nebraska 106)
Rushing Yards (Texas 18, Nebraska 67)
Passing Yards (Texas 184, Nebraska 39)



Hunter Lawrence kicks the winning field goal with 0.01 second left. Just 1 second. Incredible!

The Cornhuskers (9-4) played a hell of a game and almost created a BCS chaos. Kudos to them!

As for the Longhorns-- bring on the Crimson Tide!

It'll be new-No. 1 Alabama vs. new-No. 2 Texas in the BCS national title game.

No doubt about it!

Photos courtesy of the AP

No. 2 Alabama Crushes No. 1 Florida!

Congratulations to the Alabama Crimson Tide!

2009 SEC Champions

Alabama 32 - Florida 13

It's official! Alabama (13-0) wins the de facto national title. Tomorrow they will be the new undefeated, undisputed No. 1 team in the country. Next stop-- Pasadena for the BCS national title game.

"Everyone had to buy into not to be denied in this game....To be a champion, that's what you had to do. I've never been prouder of a group of players." -Coach Nick Saban


QB Greg McElroy
12-18, 239 YDs, 1 TD


RB Mark Ingram
28 Rushes, 113 YDs, 3 TDs

Hand him the Heisman!

Congratulations also to coach Urban Meyer, QB Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators (12-1) on another monster year. The Gators most likely are headed to the Sugar Bowl. If they are victorious in their bowl game chances are they'll finish in the Top 5.

But for Alabama--

The bowl selection ceremony isn't until tomorrow night but it just doesn't matter-- they are going to the national title game. Period!

Photos courtesy of the AP

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Finally! Congratulations New Jersey Nets!

Hooray! The Nets Win!

Nets 97 - Bobcats 91

Brook Lopez

12-22, 31 Pts, 14 Rebounds, 7-7 FT, 2 Assists, 2 Blocked Shots

Kiki Vandeweghe (1-0 as a coach)


"Hold on, buddy! They are now 1-18. I like what I see in Brook Lopez. But I'll keep you posted-- they may still need you...."

Photos courtesy of the AP

Friday, December 4, 2009

Whoa! 0-18!

My! Oh my! Can someone please lend us a team....



What has happened to my beloved Nets?! It pains me to throw them under the bus-- but they stink!

As I write this post they are losing at half-time, 51-47 at home to the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Bobcats? C'mon! If they can't win this one--

Sorry-- I get total writer's block when it comes to the Nets and this embarrassing season.

Yesterday's back page of the NY Daily News pretty much says it all....

Photo courtesy of the NY Daily News

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Whoa! A.I. Returns To Philly!

Allen Iverson is going home!







I must say I was a bit surprised when I heard the news-- but after further brainstorming, I realized it actually makes good business sense. The 76ers (5-14) are having a pathetic season and attendance is low and getting worse with every game. At this point, who but A.I. can fill seats in Philly? I'm sure he still has flocks of loyal fans in the City of Brotherly Love.

So from a business standpoint, I can see why the 76ers made the move. But from a dignity standpoint? Well-- that's a whole different issue.

To bring A.I. back, after all the bad blood that lead to him being run out of town, lets just say, neither the Sixers or Iverson have any shame.

I guess they were made for each other.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Welcome to the Real World, Tiger!



First of all, let me just say, I like Tiger Woods. I've been a fan of his since his days at Stanford. I've really tried to stay away from this circus surrounding him since his now infamous minor car accident last week. But its so out there that its impossible not to have at least a general idea about what is going on.

Anyway--

After his post today (at TigerWoods.com) whining about the media scrutiny-- lets just say, I have to throw in my two cents.

On his website, Woods wrote, "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.... Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious.... But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy...."

Privacy?

Come on Tiger! What world have you been living in? All this beef going on with you is a tabloid's dream. Did you honestly think that a juicy story about your personal life wasn't going to get any media scrutiny?

And whatever those "transgressions" were that you talk about and apologize for-- let me be the first to tell you--

If the rumors are true-- that all this beef started because you cheated on your wife-- well, you are not the first husband to do it and you won't be the last. You are not the first husband to get caught and you won't be the last. You are not the first celebrity husband to feel awful about it and offer a "sincere" apology.... and you won't be the last.

Personally, I don't care whether you did or you didn't. In the words of Mr. Cannon (a character in the old Three's Company sitcom): "Boys will be boys." So man up to it if its true. Give Kobe a call and ask him for some advice about handling all this.

As for the hounding you're getting, let me also be the first to say, "Everything in life comes with a price."

Now-- I feel bad that Tiger Woods, the golfer, is being hounded. I mean, that's his career, his job, his primary source of income. I'll give him that. The public chooses to watch him do what he does. The tabloids should leave the golfer alone. I totally agree.

But--

Tiger just isn't a golfer. We have Tiger the pitchman and Tiger the endorser-- now he's fair game. He's the one who goes on television and tells people what cars they should drive or what razors they should shave with. He's the one poking the general public. And from working with the general public myself, let me just tell you-- there are a lot of nosy people out there who want to know your business. So if the salesman gets in trouble, people gonna want to know about it.

Tiger the golfer is on the course minding his own business. I feel bad for him. He's not poking the general public. But the guy who's telling us what razor we should shave with-- now that guy is not minding his own business. I mean, we're going to shave regardless. We don't need anyone (especially someone who has no scientific knowledge of blades and safety) telling us which razor we should use. This is where you clash with the public.

And don't get me wrong. I think endorsement deals are great. By all means, make all the money you can. But it comes with a price.

You get my point Tiger? Its simple-- you're a public figure. Besides your job on the PGA Tour you have a side gig where you try and get the general public's attention to pitch your products. Once you get their attention-- its human nature to want to know about the life of the salesman.

You should know this by now.

You made yourself a public figure. Gossip and public figures go together like oil and vinegar. I know it has never been a part of your celebrity empire. But now it is.

You should have thought about this when you were performing these transgressions.

Photo courtesy of wordpress.com

Florida State's Legendary Coach Bobby Bowden Retires


Farewell to Bobby Bowden who announced his retirement after 34 years at Florida State. Bowden will last coach the Seminoles (6-6) in their upcoming bowl game and then ride off into the sunset.

But his accomplishments as a head coach are mind-boggling and worth appreciating--
  • Career record: 388-129-4
  • Career bowl record: 21-10-1
  • 2 national championships (1993, 1999)
  • 12 ACC championships
  • 27 consecutive bowl appearances
  • 14 consecutive 10-win seasons
  • 14 consecutive Top 5 finishes

Where Bowden stands on the all-time wins list:

  • John Gagliardi - 461 [Carroll College, St. John's (Minn.)] Division III
  • Eddie Robinson - 408 (Grambling State) Division 1-AA
  • Joe Paterno - 393 (Penn State) Division 1-A
  • Bobby Bowden - 388 (315 at FSU) Division 1-A
  • Bear Bryant - 323 (232 at Alabama) Division 1-A
    1. No doubt Bowden is a legend and his accomplishments at FSU will be tough to match. But as he so gracefully put it, "everything eventually comes to an end."

      That is so true. Farewell, coach.

      Photo courtesy of the AP