Friday, January 29, 2010

Farewell To Kurt Warner

Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner retires--


Farewell to one of the great ambassadors of the NFL. I think by now we all know Warner's story, but just in case, here's a quick recap--
  • 2-time NFL MVP (1999, 2001)
  • 65.5% career completion percentage (second best all-time)
  • 32,344 career passing yards
  • 208 career touchdowns
  • 2nd player ever with 100 TDs with two different teams (Fran Tarkenton)
  • Fastest QB ever to 10,000 yards; tied with Dan Marino as fastest QBs to 30,000 yards
  • 3 Super Bowls (2 with the St. Louis Rams; 1 with the Cardinals)
  • 1999 Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP
  • Has the top 3 passing performances in Super Bowl history (414 yards, 377 yards, 365 yards)

The list goes on and on. Good luck in your next endeavor, Kurt.

Next stop-- the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Photo courtesy of the AP
Stats courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A.I. To Start In The All-Star Game? Say What?!


So let me get this straight-- Allen Iverson went from being a Memphis Grizzlies reject--to retirement--to going back to the Philadelphia 76ers--to being a starter in the All-Star game?

Unbelievable!

Of being elected as a starter, A.I. had this to say:

"The way I look at it is, what should I do? Should I worry about what those people say or concentrate on the million-plus people that voted for me. To me, it's a no-brainer. My fans want to see me play and they have the right to put in who they want to put in the game. They voted me in, and it's an honor. I don't want to disrespect them by not participating in the game."

Although I firmly believe A.I. doesn't deserve to start the All-Star game, I have to admit-- he's right. We can say what we want, throw him under the bus all day long-- but one thing is certain, the dude has a lot of loyal fans.

And the fans get to vote for the starting lineup-- and sometimes this is what we get-- undeserving players, like Iverson, who are extremely popular, get voted in. But rules are rules. A.I. is right about this one.

Personally, I believe Joe Johnson (21.1 PPG) of the Atlanta Hawks deserved the starting nod. And even Rajon Rondo (14.2 PPG; 9.7 Asst.) of the Boston Celtics deserved it ahead of Iverson.

But the people have spoken.

I guess A.I. could steal a line from Republican Scott Brown (who shocked the world last week by winning the late-Ted Kennedy's vacant Senate seat in liberal Massachusetts)--

"With all due respect, it's not Joe Johnson's seat and it's not Rajon Rondo's seat-- it's the people's seat."

Can't argue with that. Have fun at the All-Star game, A.I.!

Photos courtesy of nba-pictures.net

Monday, January 25, 2010

Finally! The Saints Are Super Bowl Bound!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS!
2009-10 NFC CHAMPIONS



New Orleans Saints 31 - Minnesota Vikings 28 in OT

What a game! I have to admit, after it was over, I had to drink a couple of aspirins because this game gave me a splitting headache. Watching Brett Favre take a beating the way he did and a sloppy Adrian Peterson fumbling all over the place, I guess, was too much to bear. And in the end, the Vikings should have still won the game. Wow!

When Favre threw an interception in the final seconds of the 4th quarter (when he could have ran with the ball and put the Vikings in range for a winning field goal) brought only one word to my mind-- DESTINY. I guess, for the Saints-- it was just meant to be. Don't know how else to describe it?



Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts

This is the first ever Super Bowl appearance for the New Orleans Saints (est. 1967). It's been a long wait for Saints' fans, but the day has finally arrived.

With the Saints Super Bowl berth, the list of teams who have never appeared in a Super Bowl just got smaller.

Only 4 remain:

  • The Detroit Lions (est. 1929)
  • The Cleveland Browns (est. 1946)*
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars (est. 1994)
  • The Houston Texans (est. 2002)

* The Browns are officially viewed as one continuous franchise which began in 1946 (joining the NFL in 1950). They suspended operations from 1996-1998 and resumed play in 1999. The Baltimore Ravens (2000 Super Bowl champions) are viewed as an expansion team created in 1996 with former Browns players. In my view, the team was put together in Cleveland and moved to Baltimore (after a controversial settlement between the NFL and then-owner Art Modell)-- so in my book, the original Browns franchise technically reached a Super Bowl. But I guess that's a story for another day-- right now the moment belongs to the Saints.

Congrats to coach Sean Payton, QB Drew Brees and the rest of the Saints. They ain't "The Ain'ts" no more!



And then there's Brett Favre....

What will Favre do now? Will he retire? Will he come back for one more season? My gut feeling is-- we're going to be hearing his name a lot come this spring.

I say, what the heck! Come back Brett! You've given us a great show so far.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Stats courtesy of Wikipedia

Peyton Manning and the Colts Get It Done!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS!
2009-10 AFC CHAMPIONS



Indianapolis Colts 30 - New York Jets 17

Once Peyton Manning (26 of 39, 377 yards, 3 TDs) and the Colts figured out the Jets defense it was game over. 'Nuf said!


The Colts are headed to their 4th Super Bowl in franchise history.
  • Super Bowl III: New York Jets 16 - Baltimore Colts 7
  • Super Bowl V: Baltimore Colts 16 - Dallas Cowboys 13
  • Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts 29 - Chicago Bears 17
  • Super Bowl XLIV: Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints
Congratulations to the New York Jets on a superb season. Rookie head coach Rex Ryan and rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez have nothing to be ashamed of. They went much further than anyone expected and the future looks bright for "Gang Green".

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Vikings vs. Saints III

NFC Championship Game
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints

Like the Jets and the Colts over in the AFC, the Vikings and the Saints will be meeting in the playoffs for the 3rd time in their history. Like the Jets, the Vikings hold a 2-0 advantage over the Saints.

A look back--

January 3, 1988





1987 NFC Wild Card
Minnesota Vikings 44 - New Orleans Saints 10

This was the first ever playoff game for the New Orleans Saints and it wasn't pretty. The Vikings totally dominated the game on both sides of the ball. The defense recorded 2 sacks, forced 4 turnovers and only allowed 149 total yards. The offense was lead by wide receiver extraordinaire Anthony Carter, who ran all over the Saints. Carter was "Mr. Everything" in this game-- he had an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown, he scored a touchdown on a 10-yard halfback option pass and he set a playoff record with 143 total punt return yards. Vikings QB Tommy Kramer had to leave the game in the first quarter due to a nagging pinched nerve injury, but back-up QB Wade Wilson came in and got the job done, throwing 2 TD passes of his own.

Let's just say, the Saints playoff debut wasn't pretty, especially in front of the home crowd in the Superdome. For the Vikings, it was a pretty awesome playoff run. After annihilating the Saints, 44-10 in New Orleans, they marched into San Francisco and took care of the No. 1 seed, the mighty 49ers, 36-24. They then had to go to Washington for the NFC Championship Game where they lost a heart breaker to the Redskins, 17-10.

January 6, 2001


2000 NFC Divisional Playoffs
Minnesota Vikings 34 - New Orleans Saints 16

Things didn't go quite well for the Saints in their second playoff meeting with the Vikings either. Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper threw 2 TD passes to Randy Moss (53 yards and 68 yards) and 1 TD pass to Chris Carter (17 yards). Running back Robert Smith scored a 2-yard TD run of his own and once again the Vikings annihilated the Saints in the playoffs. But at least this one was in the Metrodome.

Anyway--

January 24, 2010 (????)

Brett Favre vs. Drew Brees-- who's gonna win Round 3?

So if the Colts are 0-2 against the Jets in the playoffs and the Saints are 0-2 against the Vikings-- I guess the logical conclusion would be for the two 0-fers to finally come thru--

So I'm gonna say, Colts vs. Saints in the Super Bowl--

Although, Vikings vs. Jets does have a nice ring to it because of the Brett Favre connection.

Oh and by the way, as for this "politically correct thing" out there-- I still haven't heard or read that the people of Scandinavia are beefing about the Vikings logo and for that matter, Christians aren't beefing about the Saints logo either. Anyway, just a thought....

If you have no clue what I'm talking about in that last tidbit, refer to this older post.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images/AP
Stats courtesy of Wikipedia

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jets vs. Colts III

AFC Championship Game
New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts

Sunday's AFC Championship Game between the Jets and the Colts will mark the third time these two teams have met in the playoffs. So far the Jets hold a 2-0 advantage.

A look back--

January 12, 1969--



Super Bowl III

NY Jets 16 - Baltimore Colts 7

" We're gonna win the game. I guarantee it." -Jets QB, Joe Namath

Super Bowl III is considered one of the biggest upsets in sports history and one of the most important games in NFL history. Back then it was the talentless, up and coming AFL vs. the mighty, well-established and talent-rich NFL. In other words, nobody gave David (the Jets) any chance to beat Goliath (the Colts). But the Jets pulled off what many consider the upset of the century, 16-7, and perhaps more importantly put the AFL on the map, justifying the merger agreement the AFL and NFL had signed 3 years earlier.

January 4, 2003--


AFC Wild Card
NY Jets 41 - Indianapolis Colts 0

The 2002 Jets, lead by head coach Herman "you play to win the game" Edwards, QB Chad Pennington and Wayne Chrebet (remember him?) pummeled coach Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning and the Colts in the Wild Card round, 41-0, only to go on and lose to the eventual AFC champions Oakland Raiders, 30-10.

But hey, since I mentioned good ole Herm, I think its worth hearing his classic "you play to win the game" rant one more time:



This clip of ole Herm never gets old.

Anyway--

January 24, 2010 (??????)

The saga continues:

Who will win Round 3? Hmmmm? Let's see-- if the Minnesota Vikings win-- it'll be nice to see Brett Favre vs. the Jets. But then again, the Vikings (0-4 in Super Bowls) have scores to settle with just about everybody. To be continued....

A quick note: In case anyone is wondering-- why the Jets and Colts played each other in Super Bowl III, when they play in the same conference? Like I said earlier, back then it was the AFL vs. the NFL. The Jets were an AFL team and the Colts were an NFL team. When the two leagues merged, the NFL's Colts, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to join the 10 AFL teams and form the AFC, thus making the Jets and Colts part of the same conference. Ironically, the Colts would go on to win Super Bowl V, which was the very first Super Bowl after the AFL-NFL merger, pitting an AFC champion vs. an NFC champion.

Photos courtesy of espn.com/Getty
Stats courtesy of Wikipedia

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Other Empire: Sign Kobe, Sign!


At the unofficial midway point, the Los Angeles Lakers, at 32-9, have the best record in the NBA. Once again the Lakers are marching to a 63-66 win season, a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and an excellent shot at defending their NBA championship.

All the core players, with the exception of team captain Kobe Bryant are signed for the next 3-4 years, so the Lakers look pretty good for the next few years.

The question is: What is Kobe waiting for to sign an extension?

In his own words, "I'm set up to have a good run here. I've been very fortunate. I went through seven years of hell. Management decided that it was time to spend the money to bring in the players here."

Well, I don't know about the 7 years of hell. That sounds like selfishness on Kobe's part. Most players would love to have those "7 years of hell" in their careers. In those 7 years, the Lakers made the playoffs 6 times, went to the NBA Finals 3 times and won 1 championship. Of course I'm assuming Kobe is referring to the 7 years after the Lakers won 3 consecutive championships from 2000-2002.

And in those 7 seasons the Lakers had only 1 losing season (2004-05) and that was the year the Phil Jackson-Shaquille O'Neal-Kobe Bryant experiment was disbanded in large part to satisfy Kobe.

But anyway--

Here are my 5 reasons why Kobe needs to sign an extension with the Lakers sooner rather than later:

  • The Lakers have done everything Kobe has asked them to do, starting with shipping Shaq out of town and making the Lakers, "Kobe's team".
  • Through smart drafting (i.e. Andrew Bynum #10 overall in 2005, Jordan Farmar #26 in 2006, Sasa Vujacic #27 in 2004); smart trades (for Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol); key free agents (Ron Artest), the Lakers have built a winner around Kobe. Ok, it took 4 years and a lot of hollering from Kobe, but I think it was done pretty quickly.
  • Kobe finally got his first post-Shaq ring. He no longer has to hear the "you can't win one without Shaq" chant which in his own words was becoming "annoying".
  • No other NBA team is going to accommodate Kobe the way the Lakers have. At this point in his career it makes no sense to start from scratch elsewhere.
  • And last but not least, Ron Artest needs a ring. C'mon Kobe, do it for Ron. You heard him at his press conference when he came on board, "I need a ring, man! I need a ring." Just keep an eye on him and make sure he's not boozing during half-time and you should be able to win a few rings with Ron by your side.

Anyway, the Lakers look mighty good for years to come. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Kobe signs at least a 4-year extension with the team I like to refer to as, "The Other Empire".

Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Stats courtesy of Wikipedia

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rex Ryan: A Man Of His Word!


What a remarkable turn of events unfolded in the AFC divisional playoffs over the weekend. The New York Jets stunning 17-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers set the stage for an unforeseeable rematch with the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

As we may remember, the Colts were brutally criticized for resting their starters in a December 27 home game against the Jets, thus ruining their chance at a perfect season and pretty much handing the Jets a playoff spot. While Peyton Manning, Dwight Freeney and the rest of the starters were in the game, it looked like it was going to be an easy win for the Colts, but as soon as head coach Jim Caldwell pulled Manning, Freeney and the rest of the gang out of the game, things began to fall apart for Indianapolis. The end result: Jets 29 - Colts 15.

The win ended the then-unbeaten Colts (14-0) chance of making history and put the Jets in a position to control their own destiny for a playoff spot. Well lo and behold, guess who's playing who in the AFC Championship Game-- Jets vs. Colts

This whole thing could turn into an ugly nightmare for coach Caldwell and the Colts. It's bad enough the Colts were hammered for basically giving the game away to the Jets and ignoring history-- so just imagine if these same Jets go into Indy and eliminate the Colts from the playoffs next week? That would be a surreal case of destiny coming back to haunt them.

After the stunner in San Diego, coach Ryan (who's becoming somewhat of a legend with his one-liners) had this to say about going to Indy one more time--

  • "A matchup that probably nobody wanted, but too bad. Here we come!"
  • "I don't know if Santa Claus will be that good to me again, but I will say that I'd like to see Peyton Manning play this week."
  • "We believed the whole time, the whole year, when it probably wasn't the popular choice. We don't have to apologize to anyone."

Critics can say what they want (if there are any left)-- win or lose at Indy, coach Ryan has proven he's a man of his word. Everything he said he was going to do, he's already accomplished. And they ain't done yet.

Here's a clip from his press conference when he was named the Jets' new head coach:





You've shut a lot of people up, coach, including myself. Win, lose or draw in Indy-- the fact that you've made it this far, is an incredible accomplishment and a testament to your work ethics. Good for you!

Good luck in Indy, coach!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Brett Favre: 40 Is The New 30!


Minnesota Vikings 34 - Dallas Cowboys 3

"This is what I came back for." -Brett Favre

You 'da man', Brett! Favre became the first QB over the age of 40 to start and win an NFL playoff game. Favre threw 4 TD passes as the Vikings gave the Cowboys a good old fashion whooping. What can I say-- he made us 40 year old guys feel pretty good today.

A shoutout to some other tough hombres--


Indianapolis Colts 20 - Baltimore Ravens 3

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts also know a thing or two about playoff football. Manning completed 30 of 44 passes for 246 yards and 2 TDs. Couple that with superb defense and the Colts were able to hold off the Baltimore Ravens, who themselves know a thing or two about playing solid defense.



New Orleans Saints 45 - Arizona Cardinals 14

I have to admit, I underestimated the New Orleans Saints and the ruckus of the Superdome. Drew Brees (23 of 32, 247 yards, 3 TDs) and company completely manhandled Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals. Warner took a beating in this game and it'll be interesting to see if he comes back for another year or decides to retire. Let's hope there's a little bit of Brett Favre in him and he decides to come back.



New York Jets 17 - San Diego Chargers 14

Wow! They are calling the New York Jets the Cinderella story of the playoffs. A rookie head coach (Rex Ryan) and a rookie quarterback (Mark Sanchez) marching their team deep into the playoffs. And what's impressive is-- they are winning on the road. But Cinderella may not be the proper word to describe these Jets, "Awesome D" may be a better term.

In an earlier press conference, coach Ryan boldly said, "we should be the Super Bowl favorites" and after today's stunner in San Diego he had one more bold message, "A matchup that nobody wanted, but too bad. Here we come!" I have to give the man credit-- he holds nothing back. Maybe Rex knows something about his team no one else does.

Things should get interesting in Indy.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Thoughts and Prayers Are With the People of Haiti

"These are good people. They've gotten a raw deal time and time again, and they keep coming back. They need your help now. These people deserve a chance to bury their dead, to heal their wounded, to eat, to sleep, to begin to recover." -former President Bill Clinton

"We're seeing severe traumas -head wounds, crushed limbs- that cannot be dealt with. Everywhere we go [there is] a massive demand from people to help them with trapped family members, with people who are suffering from major, major injuries." -Paul McPhun, operations manager for Doctors Without Borders in Haiti.



While the earth's wrath was swallowing up the city of Port-au-Prince this ultimate symbol of sacrifice managed to go unscathed. Amazing!





The agony of an entire nation is etched on one distraught father's face as the nightmare of Haiti's disaster unfolds. -NY Daily News




The presidential palace before and after the earthquake. Even the mighty and the wealthy were not immune from the nightmare that struck Haiti.





These are the moments that leave me wondering and asking myself-- why? I understand the scientific explanation as to why earthquakes happen-- the theory of plate tectonics and the need for the earth to release the energy which builds up from the constant grinding of these plates. And I know this earthquake which rocked Haiti would have been much worse if the Caribbean plate (which Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica lie on) had accumulated more energy and released it at a future date. I get all that. But when I see images of dead bodies piled up on street curbs and an image of a devastated father carrying his dead innocent child, I just feel there could be and should be a better way.

I guess I'll never know.

To help please visit any of the following:

The American Red Cross

Photos courtesy of Reuters/AP/Getty

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

OMG! Mark McGwire Admits He Used Steroids! Duh!



Ok folks, so Mark McGwire finally admits he used steroids. No! You don't say, Mac? I mean, did this come as a shocker to anyone? Big Mac admitting he used steroids is like Snoop Dog admitting he smoked pot. Good grief!

The question is-- why finally now? Why not five years ago when he was supposed to?

There are two logical suspicions:
  1. He's the new hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals and the media circus around him would have been to much for the team to bear. So why not get it out of the way now so that by spring training it becomes old news and the team can concentrate on playing baseball.
  2. Making the Hall of Fame means a lot to McGwire and so far in his four years of eligibility he's posted (23.5%, 23.6%, 21.9% and 23.7% of the vote) respectively and those numbers don't even come close to the 75% required to get elected. So maybe, Mac thinks that by finally coming forth with the truth those numbers can start slowly shifting upwards. Um, I don't think so, but let's wait and see.

My guess is the Cardinals urged him to finally get it off his chest so it won't be a distraction come spring training and the regular season. And as I stated in a post eons ago, the media is salivating for some juicy dirt (pardon the pun) on Albert Pujols. Having a tarnished McGwire working with their biggest prize is not going to help the cause. So having a confessed and repentant McGwire (with a halo over his head) is good for Pujols. I mean, Pujols has said over and over again that he has never touched the stuff. The last thing he wants to do is to have to answer questions about his scandal-stained hitting coach.

My question is-- why would the Cardinals hire Big Mac in the first place? Why open yourself up to all the drama? During Big Mac's hiatus (2002-2009) the Cardinals won 1 World Series (2006), 2 pennants (2004, 2006), played in 4 NLCS (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006) and 5 NLDS (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009). In other words, since McGwire retired in 2001 the Cardinals have been one of the most successful teams in the majors, so its not like they desperately missed him. With all that success it seems to me like their prior hitting coaches were doing a pretty good job.

Anyway, it is what it is. Will McGwire's admission finally get the monkey of his back? Yes. Will it get him into the Hall of Fame? I don't think so.



But there is good news for Big Mac as far as the Hall of Fame snubbing is concerned-- pretty soon McGwire is going to have company. As the old saying goes, misery loves company. So in 2011 he's joined by Rafael Palmeiro and in 2013, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens will round out the "Snub Club".

Colored cartoon image courtesy of John Cole/The Times-Tribune
Black/white image courtesy of Mike Luckovich/Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals Win A Shootout!



Arizona Cardinals 51 - Green Bay Packers 45 (NFC Wild Card)

What a good old-fashioned shootout between the Cardinals and Packers! The 96 combined points is a new NFL playoff record and for the Packers it was a double whammy-- most playoff points scored in their storied history and most playoff points allowed in their storied history.

Whoa!

And what's amazing--

Cardinals' QB Kurt Warner is still getting it done after all these years. It seems like "the greatest show on turf" follows him wherever he goes. Critics can say what they want about Warner, but when it comes to playoff football-- the man is money!

Some of Warner's career highlights:

  • Warner has a 9-3 career playoff record.
  • 31 touchdowns in 12 playoff games.
  • Led the St. Louis Rams to 2 Super Bowls.
  • 2-time NFL MVP (1999, 2001)
  • Led the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl in franchise history last season.

My gut feeling is-- watch out NFC, the Cards' are on a mission. I'm sure that losing such a close Super Bowl last year (27-23 to the Pittsburgh Steelers) was a tough pill to swallow and they desperately want to return to the big game.

But anyway--

A quick "shoutout" to Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers. In his playoff debut he went toe-to-toe with the old general. Rodgers was 28-42 for 422 yards (Packers' record) and 4 TDs.

As for the game, the biggest irony was that in a game completely dominated by offense, it was the Arizona defense who scored the winning touchdown in OT. I guess its the least they could have done after giving up so many points to Green Bay.

And as for Warner, his story has become legendary. Coincidentally, he began his career on the Packers practice squad in 1994. But the Packers cut him, saying, he was not ready to be an NFL quarterback-- and besides who back then was going to take away the job from Brett Favre? Anyway, legend has it that Warner, with nowhere else to go, got a gig in a local grocery store stocking shelves for $5.50 an hour. Then he went on to play in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe until finally landing a job as a third-string quarterback with the Rams.

I guess we can say, the rest is history. Amazing!

I have to give the man credit-- he has incredible perseverance. He just may be the first player to go from working in the local grocery store all the way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Next up: New Orleans. Watch out Saints!

My prediction: Arizona 38 - New Orleans 27

....And guess who Warner may just be dueling with in the NFC Championship Game? You guessed it-- Brett Favre. Next week should be interesting.

To be continued....

Photos courtesy of the AP

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Crimson Tide Get It Done!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE!
2010 BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONS



Alabama 37 - McCoy-less Texas 21

As a neutral fan, it was a kind of bittersweet national title game. Yes, I'm happy for the Crimson Tide but the Colt McCoy injury left a big shadow on the game. As if Boise State's win wasn't enough....


Freshman back-up QB Garrett Gilbert did the best he could under the extreme circumstances. Its not your fault kid. I can imagine the enormous pressure you were under. Just be proud that you rallied your team to within 24-21 late in the 4th. quarter. I'm sure at half-time, 90% of the country thought the game was over, but you made it interesting in the second-half. The Longhorns are your team now. Good luck next season!


Colt McCoy

What can I say? I'm sure everyone in America felt bad for McCoy last night. But things happen.

You showed an ocean of class after the game, Colt. Even though your disheartened emotions left you speechless-- you still managed to congratulate Alabama. You're one classy guy! Good luck at the next level.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What In The World Was Gilbert Arenas Thinking?


Yo Gil!

Didn't you know that its against NBA rules to show up strapped to NBA games? Where in the world did you think you were playing? In the old playground back in the 'hood? And what in the world were you and Javaris Crittenton thinking when ya two "pulled out" on each other over a measly couple of bucks from a card game?

And when you learned that you were under investigation by the NBA and the feds, what did you think you were going to gain by mocking the situation (by pointing your index fingers at your teammates as if they were guns) and then embarrassing Commissioner David Stern in your press interviews?

I know you're not a dumb guy, so I'm sure you're not surprised that the commissioner suspended you indefinitely without pay, saying that you "are not currently fit to take the court." And prior to your moronic behavior, the commissioner had already said, "the possession of firearms by an NBA player in an NBA arena is a matter of the utmost concern to us."

Yo dude-- I don't know about you, but that would have been my cue to take a "chill pill".

And to add insult to injury, you play for the Washington Wizards. Did you know that they used to be called the Washington Bullets and in 1996 your former boss, the late Abe Pollin changed the team's name because "Bullets" had too many negative connotations and violent overtones? C'mon Gil, the man just recently died on November 24, 2009-- and you're already bringing embarrassment to the team he owned for 46 years?

Answer this for me, Gil-- why in the world would Mr. Pollin change the team's name in the first place if his players were not going to lead by example? Don't you think the man must be turning over in his grave right now?

As the Washington Bullets, the team won a championship in 1977-78 and I don't recall anyone saying, Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld had guns in their lockers. So before the problem was the name and not the players, now its the players and not the name? Go figure!

But anyway Gil, why bring up that little bit of trivia for you-- at the end of the day, you are NO Elvin Hayes or Wes Unseld.

Say wassup to Plaxico for me....

Photo courtesy of the NY Daily News
Logo image courtesy of sportslogos.net

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Congratulations To Andre Dawson!

Kudos to "The Hawk"!


2627 G, 9927 AB, 1373 R, 2774 H, 438 HR, 1591 RBI, 314 SB, .279 AVG

Finally!

After 9 years of eligibility, Andre Dawson is elected to the Hall of Fame. Why it took so long to elect the man known as "The Hawk" is a mystery to many of us who follow baseball. But nonetheless, today Dawson received 77.9% of the votes (75% is required for induction) and thus became the newest member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Dawson was the only player selected by the BBWAA in this year's election.

Perhaps no one said it better than former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg during his own induction speech in 2005.

Of Dawson, Sandberg said--

"No player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did it better than Andre Dawson. He's the best I've ever seen. I watched him win an MVP for a last-place team in 1987 (with the Cubs), and it was the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen in baseball. He did it the right way, the natural way, and he did it in the field and on the bases and in every way, and I hope he will stand up here someday."

Well Ryno, your wish came true today. Congratulations, Andre Dawson!

....And then there's Bert.

As in Bert Blyleven, who received 74.2% of the vote. Ouch! I know Blyleven must be in the doldrums today. Another measly 0.80% would have gotten him in also. The good news for him is, he's a lock to go in next year. The bad news is he's gonna have to wait it out yet another year.

As for my two cents--

There is no doubt in my mind Blyleven deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I've heard every possible criticism about Blyleven and to me its all hogwash. The man was a pitching machine. Aside from his 287 wins, 3701 strike outs, 60 shutouts-- the number that jumps out at me, believe it or not, is his 250 losses.

As strange as it may sound, it takes a one of a kind pitcher to lose 250 games in the major leagues. Only 10 pitchers in history have been able to do it. On the other hand, 46 pitchers have won at least 250 games. So its much harder to lose 250 than it is to win 250.

So my advice to the 0.80% of the BBWAA voters (which Blyleven needs to put him over the 75% mark)-- go look at the list of pitchers who have lost 250 games. 8 out of the 10 are in the Hall of Fame. Some of the names on the list include, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton, Phil Niekro and Gaylord Perry.

Losing is never good but if you lose that many, it means you hung around for a long time and you must have done something right. And by the names on the list, it takes an immortal to lose that many games. If I'm Blyleven, I'd feel proud knowing I did something only the greatest pitchers ever have been able to do.

Photos courtesy of espn.com
Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com
For everything Andre Dawson go to hawk4thehall.blogspot.com

The Orange Bowl: Its Iowa!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE IOWA HAWKEYES!
2010 ORANGE BOWL CHAMPIONS


Iowa 24 - Georgia Tech 14

Net Yards Rushing - Iowa 172, Georgia Tech 143

Net Yards Passing - Iowa 231, Georgia Tech 12

The Hawkeyes had a full month to prepare for the triple option and they did their homework well. 143 rushing yards by the Yellow Jackets (they average 307.2, 2nd in the nation) was not enough to get the job done. I guess in life, "you live and die by the sword."


I'm no expert but 12 total passing yards in an entire game is mind-boggling. I give the Yellow Jackets a whole lot of credit for being so successful with the triple option.


Iowa's win gave the Big Ten 4 bowl wins (2 BCS wins).

  • The Orange Bowl (Iowa)
  • The Rose Bowl (Ohio State)
  • The Capital One Bowl (Penn State)
  • The Champ Sports Bowl (Wisconsin)

....And just when everyone was throwing the Big Ten under the bus. Congrats Iowa on your biggest win since the 1959 Rose Bowl. I'm sure Nile Kinnick is proud right now.

As Kevin Costner said in the movie 'Field of Dreams', "maybe this is heaven."

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Boise State Wins The Fiesta Bowl!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BOISE STATE BRONCOS!
2010 FIESTA BOWL CHAMPIONS



Boise State 17 - TCU 10

With superb defense and another memorable trick play (a gutsy fake punt), the unbeaten Broncos defeat the previously unbeaten Horned Frogs. Now the question of the new decade is-- do the Broncos deserve to be national champions?

With their win, the Broncos became the second team in Division 1-A history to finish 14-0 (along with Ohio State in 2002). The 2002 Buckeyes were crowned national champs. So again, do the Broncos have a legitimate argument?

I think its safe to say, the winner of the Alabama-Texas game will be crowned national champions. In fact, this is how I think the final Top 5 will look:

If Alabama wins:

  1. Alabama
  2. Florida
  3. Boise State
  4. Texas
  5. Ohio State

If Texas wins:

  1. Texas
  2. Florida
  3. Alabama
  4. Boise State
  5. Ohio State

But nonetheless, congrats to coach Chris Peterson, QB Kellen Moore, punter Kyle Brotzman and the rest of Bronco Nation.

The Broncos won't win the national championship this year but their consolation prize may just be the preseason No. 1 ranking next summer. Let's see....

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chris Johnson Is "Da Man"!

Two thumbs up to Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans

  • The Titans end the season at 8-8 after a woeful 0-6 start. Not bad! They deserve credit for salvaging their season.
  • RB Chris Johnson had a spectacular season.
A look at Johnson's historic numbers--


2000-yards Club

  1. Eric Dickerson (1984) - 2,105 yards
  2. Jamal Lewis (2003) - 2,066 yards
  3. Barry Sanders (1997) - 2,053 yards
  4. Terrell Davis (1998) - 2,008 yards
  5. Chris Johnson (2009) - 2,006 yards
  6. O.J. Simpson (1973) - 2,003 yards (in 14 games)

2,000-500 Club

Johnson breaks Marshall Faulk's 1999 NFL record of 2,429 yards from scrimmage. He ends the season with 2,509 total yards (2,006 rushing, 503 receiving). He becomes the first member of the 2,000-500 club.


Johnson's 2,006 rushing yards break Earl Campbell's team record of 1,934. Campbell did it for the then-Houston Oilers before they evolved into the Tennessee Titans.

With all things considered, the Titans should go down as one of the most successful 8-8 teams in NFL history and Chris Johnson as having one of the most spectacular individual seasons ever.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images and si.com

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Florida Wins The Sugar Bowl!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FLORIDA GATORS
2010 SUGAR BOWL CHAMPIONS

Florida 51 - Cincinnati 24

Tim Tebow ends his illustrious career at Florida in record fashion (533 yards of total offense - a BCS record). Good luck at the next level, Tim!

In the press conference after the game coach Urban Meyer sounded like a man who wants to return. Let's hope he does....

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Ohio State Wins The Rose Bowl!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
2010 ROSE BOWL CHAMPIONS

Ohio State 26 - Oregon 17


After the national championship, the Rose Bowl may just be the next best prize. Congrats to coach Jim Tressel, QB Terrelle Prior and the rest of the Buckeyes.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images