Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Captain's Uncertain Future?

Unbelievable!


It's hard to believe that 2010 is the final year of Derek Jeter's contract and he'll be a free agent after the season. It's even harder to believe that the New York Yankees have made it clear they will not discuss a contract extension until after the season.

So when asked about it, Jeter responded--

"It's their organization and they can make any policy they want. I have no issue with that. This is the only organization I ever wanted to play for and that's true today. I was a Yankee fan growing up, this is where I want to be. I've never envisioned myself playing anywhere else and hopefully I don't have to."

"I think it is unfair to talk about myself when we are trying to win. I know it might cause a lot of speculation and maybe a few stories. But it won't be a distraction because I won't talk about it. I can't think about what happens after this year. I'll say it again: This is the only organization I want to play for. I can't say that enough times."


Well, I guess it's pretty clear who'll have first dibs at Jeter when he becomes a free agent after this season. But even mentioning the term free agency in the same sentence with Jeter feels kind of weird. When he signed his monstrous 10-year $189 million contract back in 2001, he admitted that he signed for as long as possible just to avoid free agency and to avoid even talking about free agency.

I guess there's a first time for everything-- even for the player who's name has become synonymous with Yankee pinstripes.

But I highly doubt this issue will be a big story come the off-season. My prediction: Jeter signs a 5-year, $110 million contract, which will keep him in pinstripes until age 41.

A quick note on the Johnny Damon front:

I think the Damon-Yankee parting is a bummer. And I believe both sides share the blame. Damon demanded too much (2-years, $26 million) and the Yankees offered too little (2-years, $14 million). They could have met each other halfway, at let's say-- 2-years, $20 million.

My suspicion is that the Yankees played hardball, not because of Damon, but because of his agent Scott Boras. After all, Boras' relationship with Yankee brass is not exactly all lovey-dovey. And the Yankees' excuse that they are cutting payroll is just plain lame. I mean, the Yankees worrying about payroll is like Warren Buffett cutting back on household expenses because times are hard. Get real!

Anyway--

After the Alex Rodriguez fiasco of two years ago, I think Boras overextended his welcome at Yankees' headquarters. So trying to make demands to the most powerful organization in baseball for an aging Johnny Damon, was a bad business move on Boras' part. I guess he didn't learn his lesson from the A-Rod drama when A-Rod had to dump Boras and throw himself at the mercy of the Yankees. I mean, both Boras and A-Rod were on Fantasy Island when they shunned the Yankees and thought they could get the kinda loot they were asking for from another organization. A-Rod had to come back (without Boras) and literally beg for forgiveness.

Anyway--

In the end, the loser in this latest Boras flop was Damon, who ended up having to take a one-year, $8 million deal from the Detroit Tigers. I'm sure he wishes the Yankees 2-year, $14 million deal was still on the table.

But that's the business of baseball. I guess the lesson to be learned is-- don't mess with The Empire.

Photos courtesy of the AP

Monday, February 22, 2010

Life After New Orleans....


So who will be the next New Orleans Saints?

Will a first-time champion happen again this year?

Let's see--

The next major championship (up for grabs) is the NCAA Men's Division 1 Basketball championship. As of today, the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (26-1) and the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats (26-1) look pretty solid and are the odds-on-favorites to reach the Final Four in next month's tournament, known as March Madness. I mean, from the looks of it these two juggernauts are on a collision course.

But neither one could be the next New Orleans. These two powerhouses have already won 10 championships between them-- Kentucky has won 7 (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998) and Kansas has won 3 (1952, 1988, 2008).

And neither could 4 other current Top 10 schools:

  • No. 4 Syracuse Orangemen (2003 champions)
  • No. 5 Duke Blue Devils (1991, 1992, 2001 champions)
  • No. 7 Villanova Wildcats (1985 champions)
  • No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes (1960 champions)

The only current Top 10 schools that have the potential to follow in the Saints footsteps are:

  • No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers
  • No. 6 Kansas State Wildcats
  • No. 8 West Virginia Mountaineers
  • No. 10 New Mexico Lobos

These 4 schools have 0 championships between them with Purdue (23-3) and Kansas State (22-4) having the strongest chances in my opinion. But like I said, Kansas and Kentucky look mighty good-- and that's putting it lightly.

Let's see....

Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Stats courtesy of Wikipedia

Friday, February 19, 2010

Finally! Tiger Gets The "Mea Culpa" Outta The Way!

It's about time!


Finally!

Tiger Woods gives his much needed, "Mea Culpa", "I'm Truly Sorry", "I Did A Terrible Thing", "My Bad", "I Was Unfaithful, I Had Affairs, I Cheated", "I Have The Money, The Power, The Fame", "I Have A Weakness For Hot Babes" or whatever people want to call it, press conference.

Yes! Finally--

Tiger did what he needed to do. If this "public apology" accomplishes anything-- it will at least tone down the media and let him start rebuilding his brand and playing golf again. After all, we're talking about a billion dollar brand. There's a lot of dough at stake here. So I can see why he did what he did today. Personally, I would have done it two months ago.

Anyway, as every other public figure before him (who got into trouble)-- some people will forgive him and others won't. It is what it is.

I just have one question and one question only-- Does this "apology" press conference mean that he will be ready to return by this year's Masters? The Masters begin on April 8, hopefully by then this circus would have died down.

I hope it does die down and he returns to the PGA Tour as quickly as possible. The Masters would be the perfect stage.

That's all I have to say!



Photos courtesy of the AP

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dwyane Wade Rocks Dallas (Again)

2010 NBA All-Star Game


Eastern Conference 141 - Western Conference 139
Dwyane Wade - Game's MVP

Leave it to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to put on a show in Dallas. And what a show it was--

The 2010 NBA All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium drew 108,713 people-- the largest crowd ever to watch a basketball game at any level.

And as destiny would have it, Dwyane Wade (28 points, 11 assists) was the game's MVP-- the same Dwyane Wade who won the MVP in 2006 when the Miami Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks (4-2) in the 2006 NBA Finals.

I guess we can say, the Heat are the reigning NBA version of the New Orleans Saints (1 NBA Finals appearance, 1 NBA championship).

After the game, a humble Wade said, "I've had a little luck in Dallas. Of course 2006 is very, very memorable. Something that I dreamed of doing for a long time-- winning the NBA championship-- and I was lucky enough and blessed enough to win the MVP award there. To come and do it again is special."

And as for Jerry Jones-- things are looking good for him and his monster stadium. This past season, the Cowboys drew a crowd of 105,121 (an NFL regular season attendance record) in their home debut against the New York Giants and 92,951 (an NFL non-Super Bowl playoff record) in their home playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

And it gets better for Jones-- next year the Cotton Bowl begins play at Cowboys Stadium and next season's Super Bowl will be played at, you guessed it, Cowboys Stadium.

Just imagine what a ruckus that will be if the Cowboys make the Super Bowl.

Can't hardly wait!

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Favorite Super Bowl Ad

Today, I was surprised to see how much buzz (2 days after the fact) the famous (or infamous) Super Bowl Ads were getting. So I figured, I might as well throw myself in the conversation and post my favorite ad.

So without further ado here it is:





So now we know what Brett Favre was doing after his devastating NFC Championship loss. Leave it to Favre to somehow inject his name in the Super Bowl conversations.

Only you, Brett. Only you.

Great ad!

And then there's Alan Alda--

Wait! Alan Alda? What's this all about? Most people haven't heard his name in 20 years.

Well, according to the Nielsen Co., Super Bowl XLIV became the most watched program in American television history, drawing an astonishing 106.5 million viewers. Sunday's game broke the iconic record held by the M*A*S*H finale (in 1983) of 105.97 million viewers.


When told his record had been broken, Alda (the star of M*A*S*H) said, "If the M*A*S*H audience was eclipsed, it was probably due in large part to the fact that the whole country is rooting for New Orleans to triumph in every way possible. I am too, and I couldn't be happier for them. I love that city."

Very impressive-- 106.5 million is a whole lot of people-- I can see why each 30 seconds commercial spot cost between 2.8 to 3 million dollars.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Saints Get It Done!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS!
2010 SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS


New Orleans Saints 31 - Indianapolis Colts 17

My! Oh My! After 44 years the Saints have FINALLY reached the promised land. Over 106 million people saw the Saints win, the biggest audience in television history. Wow!


Congrats to coach Sean Payton, QB Drew Brees and the rest of "Who Dat" Nation on your 1st ever Super Bowl championship. After all the pain the city of New Orleans has endured over the past few years it couldn't have happened to a more worthy city. Kudos to New Orleans!


Teams don't often fair well in their Super Bowl debuts, in fact, the Saints are only the third team (along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Baltimore Ravens) to win their debuts in the past 20 years. Since 1990, first-timers are now 3-7. But as the old adage goes, "that's why we play the game!"


A big congrats to the Indianapolis Colts on a superb season. Somehow I get the feeling that they'll be back. Oh yeah, they'll be back!

But this season belongs to Archie Manning's team. Yes Archie, the Saints are Super Bowl champions....

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Monday, February 1, 2010

Archie Manning's Team?

So Archie Manning has a dilemma?


His beloved Saints are playing against his son Peyton and the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.

Talk about bad timing, after 44 years, Archie's New Orleans Saints are FINALLY in the Super Bowl and as luck would have it, they are playing against Peyton.

For 10 seasons (1971-1982) Archie was the starting quarterback and the face of the Saints and it was a rough career at best. All he got from his experience was 10 losing seasons and a lot of beat downs from defensive linemen. To put it simply-- the Saints stank. Archie himself was pretty good but he had no team around him, especially on the offensive line.

But nonetheless, Archie has remained a loyal fan and has lived in New Orleans for the past 39 years.

He raised his family in New Orleans and his 3 sons (Cooper, Peyton and Eli) all grew up die-hard Saints fans. And in a strange twist of fate, its the Mannings (known as New Orleans first football family) who stand in the way of the Saints and their first Super Bowl win.

When asked who he's rooting for, Archie said, "I'm pulling for the Colts, 100%. That's not close."

And it's understandable-- after all, blood is thicker than, let's say, Cajun food.

But anyway--

How has history treated first-timers in the Super Bowl?

First of all, at some point, every team was a first-timer. So how have teams performed in their Super Bowl debuts? The answer-- not good.

So far 27 of the other 31 NFL teams (not including the Saints) have played in at least 1 Super Bowl. As I mentioned in an earlier post-- only the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans remain as non-Super Bowl participants. And the 27 teams who have participated are a disappointing 8-19 in their Super Bowl debuts.

The only teams to win their Super Bowl debuts are: The Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Not a good sign for the Saints. But I guess, that's why we play the game.

In the past 20 years, 9 teams have made their Super Bowl debuts and those teams are 2-7. And of the 9, only the Buffalo Bills have made it to more than one. But unfortunately for the Bills (0-4)-- they lost 4 in a row.

The Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons and the San Diego Chargers have all been recent losers in their lone Super Bowl. Only the Buccaneers and Ravens have been recent winners in their debuts.

So on which side of history will the Saints be on? We'll soon find out, but one thing is certain-- history has been way more negative than positive for first-timers.

I'm sure Archie (no matter how much it breaks his heart) surely hopes the negativity continues.

Photos courtesy of sports-photos.com