Sunday, January 31, 2010

He Showed Them All: Kurt Warner And The American Dream

Perhaps nowhere else but in sports is the American Dream so perfectly embodied. Perhaps nowhere else in this country are the incarnations of our truest desires and personal achievements so on display.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Five

1. Will Michael Vick be a starting QB next year. if so, where?

2. With number 1's dropping like drunk flies, who's the best team in college basketball?

3. Do you agree with my long-held belief that the Super Bowl should be played on Saturday night?

4. With the Winter Olympics starting soon, which winter sport do you enjoy the most and why?

5. Do you watch the Pro Bowl? Why?

Bonus Question!!!!!
Do you read Jason Whitlock on Foxsports.com? Do you like him?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Perception Is Reality: Why The Myth Of Manning's Playoff Failures Isn't True

Jason Whitlock, a sometimes reporter for Foxsports.com and most-time shill for his particular loves in life (Donovan McNabb, Jeff George, Younger Women, preferably strippers), last week wrote a column about Peyton Manning. The gist is that Manning needs to win another Super Bowl or he won't retire as "the greatest quarterback of all time."

He admits that by the time Manning retires he will own every meaningful QB record in NFL history. He admits that yes, Manning is the only person to ever win 4 MVPs in NFL history. And yes, Manning has already won a Super Bowl.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Transactions....

C'mon. No matter what anyone at ESPN said, or all the praise upon praise heaped upon him.....you just knew the old Farve was going to show up.




Did Adrian Peterson and the rest of the Vikings put rich, creamery butter on his gloves?


You know....that Mark Sanchez kid looked pretty good out there. He looks like a totally different guy that the one who went 10 for 29 with 5 interceptions against Buffalo earlier this year.


Only have one question for Michael Vick now....Did he shoot up the dogs so he'd have super-steroid jacked-up fighting dogs?



It might be time to put the Pro Bowl out to pasture. I mean so many guys have opted out, David Garrard is in the Pro Bowl. Again, that would be David Garrard. He of the 83.5 QB rating. And he's in the Pro Bowl.


Nice game, Knicks.


CFN ran a great article in which they went back to 2006 and tallied up the 5 star recruits from that year and if they panned out. It is pretty amazing how many of the "Can't Miss" players turned out to be nothing but massive busts, including the number 1 recruit of 2006, Mitch Mustain, who is now trying to become a punter for the USC Trojans.


I'm sorry. But how is Texas the number one college basketball team in the country? Am I missing something here?


You know, I'm used to athletes and coaches having superstitions. But Sexy Rexy Ryan...couldn't you have a less unappealing one?


You stay classy, University of Florida.


I am really surprised no one has give a flyer to Eric Bedard. Yes, I know the guy has been injured, and suppossedly he isn't the warmest, fuzziest guy to be around. But the lefty threw a 2.82 ERA last year with 90 Ks in 83 IP. Somebody should give him a contract, don't cha think?



Glad that Roddick beat that super-angry Gonzalez guy. I mean, I know you're hyped up and everything, but do you really have to break your own rackets? And apparently he has a history of doing it, as this picture shows. Dude, stop it. When you do it all the time, it's not intense, it's ridiculous.


And finally, I have to say...I absolutely hate that stupid annoying-on-purpose "Bags Fly Free" Southwest Air commercial. You know the one, where they get all these baggage attendants to talk about bags, and then mix it up and make a seriously iritating rap about "Bags Flying Free." And it was on every 6-1/2 seconds. Southwest, if you ever want people to fly your airlines again, stop it with that commercial.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Playoff Pigskin Prognostications, Part Piri*

Last week I shocked the world by predicting the Jets to make it to the AFC Championship. Which they did. Can it happen again? And can the Magical Geritol trip of LORD FARVE continue? Let's see....

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Five

1. Should the Cowboys have kept Wade Phillip's? If not, who should they have gone after the be the head coach?

2.What's the best nickname in sports, past or present? (Hat tip to Pitchers & Poets).

3. Where does Johnny Damon end up?

4. What's the best stadium you've ever been to? In any sport.

5. Does the fact that Venus Williams played a game at the Australian Open in a short skirt and thong....do anything to you? Bother you? Make you happy?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The 2010 Yankee Opening Day Roster

With Pitchers & Catchers less than a month away and the Hot Stove starting to cool down, let’s prognosticate and see whom we think will make the final 25-man roster for the Yankees.

The Locks:
Jorge Posada
Mark Teixeira
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Nick Swisher
Curtis Granderson
Brett Gardner
Nick Johnson
CC Sabathia
A.J. Burnett
Andy Pettitte
Javier Vasquez
Phil Hughes
Joba Chamberlain
Mariano Rivera

Monday, January 18, 2010

Transactions....

Gotta give it to Reggie Bush. He picked a great time to finally show up.


For the pat myself on the back moment....I believe I was the only person in America who though the Jets matched up well with the Chargers. Yeah me!


If it's true that the Falcons jeopardized Matt Ryan's long-term health by playing him in the final three games of the season despite a lingering turf-toe injury then they are the dumbest people on the planet.


Derek Dooley? Really, Tennessee. That was the best coach you could have gotten. Why not Randy Edsall from Connecticut? He took a not program in Stoors, with absolutely no recruiting base, and made it one of the better mid-level programs. Dooley, who may turn out to be fine, hadn't done anything at La. Tech.


I, for one, hope Ben Sheets is fine. When healthy, Sheets was a young Roger Clemens, and I hate to see a talent like that have his career be destroyed by injury.


PFW looks at the Patriots defense and sees many plays that were "miscast". Frankly, miscast is just another way of saying "not as talented." I think that trade of Mike Vrabel was a bad idea and hurt the Patriots more than they expected.


Good move on the Dodgers trying to sign their young talent to extensions. Signing their young talent and going after low-risk high-reward players like Joel Piniero is a very good move for building a good base for the team. When Torre got there, the team was a divided mess with old players pushing management not to play younger players. Since then, Torre has gotten rid of Luis Gonzalez, Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Lowe, Juan Pierre and Randy Wolf and Takashi Saito—and with Jeff Kent retired—and has invested time to younger players like Matt Kemp, Andre Either, Chad Billingsly, Clayton Kershaw, James McDonald, James Loney and Jonathon Broxton. The Dodgers have then gone after with low-risk veterans like Pineiro, Nick Green and Vicente Padilla.


One guy not getting enough buzz by the draftniks right now is UCLA DT Brian Price. Price had 23.5 TFLs this year—including 2 each versus USC and Oregon—7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Right now, he's not even in Scout's top 32 players, which strikes me as odd. if some team picks this kid up  in the 2nd round, they may have a steal on their hands.


The second Brett Farve threw that TD with less than 2 minutes left in the game, I knew somebody on the Cowboys wasn't going to be happy.


Another thing, why all the hate for Tony Romo? The guy was sacked 6 times, hit 10 more, and basically had his offensive line act as if they were revolving doors. How is this loss all his fault?


For AAPTBNL Man of the week, I gotta give it to the Jets defense. Taking a team that averaged 28 pts a game, and shutting them down for 7 points until the lat 4th quarter when they went into a soft prevent defense......outstanding. So to Mike Pettitte, Rex Ryan, David Harris, Jim Leonard and the entire Jets defense, congrats on a great win.


And finally, we'd like to give our condolences to the family of Gaines Adams. At only 26, Adams, a former number 4 pick out of Clemson, died of Cardiac failure yesterday. While it may have had been the result of doing, as some have already suggested, it's too early to speculate on that. Rip, Gaines, and our wishes and prayers go to your family.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Five

1. Is Marty Schottenheimer going to turn around the Redskins?

2. Would you want to see the Super Bowl in an outdoor, cold stadium, like in Buffalo or Green Bay?

3. Do you buy the SI Swimsuit issue. Do you keep them in a cellophane in a warm, dry place. Be honest.

4. Is the Patriots' dynasty over? If so, which team has the best chance for a dynasty in the 2010s?

5. Which Sunday morning football personality do you hate the most? Chris Berman? Shannon Sharp? Terry Bradshaw? Or is it Keith Olberman on the NBC night show. Pick anyone and explain?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Playoff Pigskin Prognostications

Let's break down who's should win this great weekend in football.

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints
Yes, I know the emergence of the Saints was this years hot news. However the Saints fizzled out late in the season. And now the Saints have to face the Cardinals, who dropped 51 on the Packers last week, with the 26th ranked pass defense. Not good—the Saints look to get rocked by Kurt Warner. The Cards also ran 6.8 ypc against the Packers number 1 ranked run defense. All that says to me that the Cardinals might score in the triple digits against the Saints—especially now that Saints sack leader, Charles Grant is out injured. Expect a high score.
Cardinals 44
Saints 30

Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts
Everyone knows if the Colts are to win, Manning has to carry them. The Colt's running game isn't worth squat, so all Manning had to do all season was be nigh perfect. Which he was. And getting a lot of dinged up players back healthy should only help the Colt's cause. What might matter most in this game is who takes the early lead. If the Colts do and force the Ravens to get away from their running attack, that would help them. If the Ravens jump out early, then pound the ground game against the Colts 24th ranked run defense, and eat the clock, the Colts could be in for a frustrating day. However, the Ravens secondary is banged up—never the words you want to hear when you're facing Peyton Manning and his passing arm of death.
Colts 30
Ravens 20



Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
The key to this game is whether the Cowboys can pressure Brett Farve. If they can, Farve will make mistakes (mind-boggling ones too). In Minnesota's 4 losses, Farve was sacked 14 times—in the 12 other wins, he was sacked a total of 20 times. Good news for the Cowboys is in their last 4 games, they've had at least 4 sacks. They've held their opponents to 31 points in the last 4 games. My money? Big win Dallas
Cowboys 34
Vikings 14

New York Jets at San Diego Chargers
Ron Burgandy's favorite team, the Chargers, are number 1 in the NFL at yards per passing attempt at almost 8 yards on average per pass play. The Jets have the highest defensive passer rating in the league. Irresistible Force, meet Immovable Object. But we all know the Chargers are going to get their points—they haven't trailed in the second half since November 8th—even against the stout Jets defense. The question is, can the Jets score? Well, the Chargers don't have the defense they once did, nabbing only 14 INTs this season and giving up 4 and a half yards a carry. Also, the Charger's run game is pathetic, averaging a measly 3.33 yards per rushing attempt—so you know the Jets' linebackers, instead of covering rushing lanes are going to focus on sacking Rivers and covering Antonio Gates. The Jets match up well with the Chargers and should give them a better game than most people seem to think. Final score:
Jets 19
Chargers 17

Enjoy the games!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are The Yankees Better Than They Were In 2009?

The Yankees won the World Series last year going away. Since then, they’ve turned over a third of their starting lineup, traded away relievers who threw 100 innings as well as the “center fielder” of the future,” and a former no 1 draft pick and let go of a two-time 19-game winner.

Normally teams that succeed as well as the Yankees did last year don’t perform so much maintenance on their roster, but apparently, the Yankees felt complacency wasn’t an option. The question is now, as we draw closer to "Pitcher & Catchers Reporting", with all the changes, are the Yankees a better team than they were 3 months ago?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Transactions....


Hate to say this, but both Tom Brady and Carson Palmer looked like ghosts of their former selves this weekend. Both of them looked confused, jittery and unable to throw downfield with authority. I mean, I was actually starting to feel sad for these guys.


Wait. Arodis Chapman is going where? Cincinnati? Are you kdding? How the heck did they outbid everybody? Where was the Angels or Red Sox or Cubs—the big spenders. All kidding aside, its not like lefties who throw 100 mph grow on trees. Curious that the big spenders didn't bid on him like they did Dice-K.


Gotta give Mike & Mike credit. They were exactly right when they said this morning that the NFL's Rooney Rule has become an embarrassment. Instead of forcing GMs to interview minority coaches now it become a joke. Tony Dungy said it right, "That is not what the Rooney Rule is supposed to be, [that] you make up your mind and then interview a candidate for it anyway just to satisfy the rule." Avoiding the question if the NFL even needs a Rooney Rule anymore, when minority coaches have head coaching positions in Tampa, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Cincinnati, the fact is that the good intentioned rule has become a mockery—and insulting to black head coaches who have to interview for a job that they know has already been filled.


In the "No duh" news of the week, Richard Seymour wants out of Oakland. Ummm, sorry Rich, that "Franchise Player Tag," it's heading your way.


Supposedly, GM's around baseball are all swearing on a stack of Bibles, Torahs and Korans that Johnny Damon will end up back in New York. They feel Damon's price will eventually come down, and the Yankees will offer him a contract that will allow him to save at least some face.


And as usual the BCS Bowl was kind of a let down. Except for the Texas-USC game in 2005, the games usually turn out to be...well, kinda boring. Come one and let's get a playoff system already, and have at least some excitement in the CFB postseason.



Clay Matthews....is gonna be a good one. He seemed to be everyone yesterday against the Cardinals. Good thing, because no other Packer seemed to be anywhere.


More and more, I get the feeling that there is no way that the Knicks get LeBron James to come to New York.


Interseting little article in The Hardball Times about how the SF Giants may be fighting dirty to keep the Oakland A's from moving to San Jose. According to the article (emphasis mine):

The Oakland Athletics' prospective move to San Jose is heating up and Stand for San Jose, a coalition of San Jose Giants fans, is asking that the Athletics be responisble for any economic shortfall in the event a new stadium is built for them. Stand for San Jose opposes public funding for a new ballpark and it’s supported by both the San Jose and San Francisco Giants. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has called the group a front for San Francisco Giants interests.
Apparently the Giants claim that San Jose is, to put it in street terms, "their turf," and if the A's moved there, it would hurt them financially. Which is a load of crap. Right now, according to Google Maps, the A's and the Giants play 20 minutes away from each other. How the heck would moving the A's 45 miles to the south “undermine the financial viability of the Giants,” at all?


AAPTBNL Man of the Week...gotta be Ray Rice. 22 Carries for 159 yards. 7.9 YPC against the Patriots and Belichek! Damn! That's a career day you can tell your great grandkids about. Excellent performance Ray!


And lastly...Say it ain't so! According to the World's Most Dangerous paper, the New York Post, Jeter is all set to marry Victoria's Secret model, and world class hottie, Mika Kelly this year. And as always, Jeter, who expects to win all the time, made sure his wedding was schedule for a few days after the 2010 World Series game 7 is set to be played. Well done on the planning Derek. And hey...outstanding pull on the girl.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Giving Gardner His Due

Even though he’s not a Yankee and all signs point to him not being a Yankee again, all the talk in the Yankee Universe is on Johnny Damon. Bloggers such as The Yankee Scrolls write:
“I know I should just move past the idea of Johnny Damon coming back to play left field for the Yankees, but I can’t. There just seem to be so many good reasons why he should come back, and so few reasons why he shouldn’t.”

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Five

1. Which franchise is the greatest franchise in the NFL?

2. Is Bert Blylevan a Hall of Famer?

3. Which MLB free agency signing will, over time, be the worst signing?

4. Will Tiger Woods ever come back and play the way he used to?

5. If you were an athlete, how would you dress up for your photo? Like this guy? If so, explain.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Decade of Rogers Hornsby

“I don’t like to sound egotistical, but every time I stepped up to the plate with a bat in my hands, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the pitcher.”

One baseball historian on the MLB Network said recently, “If it hadn’t been for Babe Ruth, the 20s probably would have been the Decade of Rogers Hornsby.” Which is interesting, because if you mention the name Babe Ruth almost every American would know who he is. But if you mention Rogers Hornsby, none but the serious baseball fan would have the faintest idea who he is.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Transactions....

Welcome back and Happy New Year's. Let's get to some news.


You gotta give it to the Browns....as much as everyone says Mangini is "tough" and not player-friendly, his boys did go out and win 4 in a row—first time they've done that since 1996. At the very least, it shows they didn't quit on him. And it makes it a lot tougher for Holgren to fire Mangini.


The Mara family and Giants coach Tom Coughlin probably want to rehire former defensive coordinator, Bill Sheridan just so they can fire him again; this time in the middle of Times Square with a gallows and a black-hooded guy.


You guys when Roy Williams was a wide receiver in the NFL?


I have nothing against Bobby Bowden, but to deify the man just because he is retiring is to ignore the fact that his program has had serious criminal problems for a long time. Yes, the man can coach, and he brought a moribund program to national attention. However, the fact is FSU, for a very, very long time, has had a serious problem with recruiting bad people who happen to be good at football.

Let's take a quick tally. FSU had 2 players arrested last year in a bar fight. Preston Parker was arrested in April on drug and weapon charges. Richard Goodman was arrested in May for aggravated battery. Two former Florida State football players, Fred Rouse and A.J. Nicholson were arrested for stealing electronic equipment worth approximately $1,700 from the home of a current player. Geno Hayes and Joseph Surratt were arrested for attacking two police officers. Maurice Harris was arrested for grand theft. Adrian McPherson was busted for stealing and forging a signature on a blank check from a Florida store. Rod Owens was arrested for DWI. Ernie Simms was arrested for beating his girlfriend. Oh and yes, a couple years ago, there was a athletic department-wide academic cheating scandal involving 61 athletes, many of which were Bowden's players.

And this is all within the past few years—to say nothing of the many many violations and arrests in the years before. Bowden's program has had numerous other issues all throughout his time at FSU. Lord, there is a valid reason FSU was nicknamed there is a reason the are called the Florida State Criminoles.

Seriously, not to tarnish the man, but it seems to me that at least one major news outlet would at least mention that his program has been plagued with this kind of behavior, no?


The A's signing Justin Duchscherer might be the sleeper signing of the off-season.


Interesting point reported by PFW. They write one anonymous scout saying that hiring Mike Holmgren as a GM is a mistake. Very interesting stuff:

I think he is a great coach — I really do. But as a personnel guy ... But if you look at Seattle's drafts between 1999 and 2006 and look at the picks in the first three rounds, Seattle's batting percentage was marginal at best. (In my opinion) they hit on 10-of-27 picks — 37 percent. Pittsburgh and Indianapolis were batting over 60 percent. You've got to be able to evaluate your own, and they let go of Sam Adams, Phillip Daniels, Ken Lucas — they just let their contracts run out. They traded Ahman Green — oops. I'll give him credit for trading for Joey Galloway, but bringing in the (Levon) Kirklands and Doug Evanses of the world were not good."


Please, please...stop saying "The Grandaddy of them all" for the Rose Bowl. Dammit, just say Rose Bowl.


Baseball America touched on a subject I mentioned way back in 2007 and that is the unbalanced leagues in baseball. I mean, it's just ridiculous that baseball says that teams in one division only have 3 opponents while teams in another division have 5 opponents. Their solution seems to make sense.


Darren McFadden—3.4 yds/carry, 357 total yards. Darrius Heyward-Bey—9 receptions. Nice picks, Al. Yeah, go fire your coach. It's his fault.


AAPTBNL Man of the Week. Well a lot to choose from, but for one reason alone, I am going to pick Willis McGahee. Check out this highlight. Not only did he run for 77 yards on this play, and 167 yards total on 16 carries with 3 TDS. No, its the wicked stiff-arm he gives Hiram Eugene (who?) that just buttplants Eugene on the turf. Awesome play. And congrats to McGahee.



And lastly, this quote...is why I never liked Michael Irvin.


"I would turn in all three Super Bowl rings and my Hall of Fame bust for one undefeated season.''
-- Michael Irvin, on NFL Network's Sunday morning pregame show.