Friday, March 31, 2006

On a Rainy Day...'s safe to say that Mr. Met will be indoors with a chilled refreshing beverage, peanuts and cracker jacks in hand, and eyes focused intently on the MetsBlog.

Steroids Investigation: Fair and Balanced?

The man tapped to head Bud Selig's steroid investigation, former Senator George Mitchell, may not be the best man for the job, contrary to popular opinion.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post highlights the senator's possible conflicts that may create a further 'shadow of doubt.' These include Mitchell's involvement with the Boston Red Sox and ESPN (owned by Disney, and subsequently has a TV contract with MLB), and finally his chairmanship of an investigation of the Salt Lake City Olympics, where he served on the same board with MLBPA's Donald Fehr.

And the Best College Basketball Player Is...?

...J.J. Redick. Congrats to Mr. Redick, while Gonzaga's Adam Morrison finished a close second. While Morrison may not have won the award, he will have something in common with Redick this weekend. They'll both be at home watching George Mason and the rest of the four play in the Final Four.

Floral Park and the Jets

The New York Jets are moving to Floral Park, New Jersey.
The Jets certainly are trying their best to put the 'New' in New York... New Coach, New General Manager and now New practice facility....and one day perhaps a new stadium. Does this mean New Results? Let's hope so for Jets fans...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Cartoon of the Week

Clone Derby

In a case of Seabiscuit meets A Brave New World, the company ViaGen, Inc. just made history by selling the first cloned horse. Christopher Doering of Reuters reports:
ViaGen Inc., based in Austin, Texas, said the mare was born on February 19 in Oklahoma, and predicted it would one day produce 100 cloned horses a year, each fetching about $150,000.

Bye Bye Love

Dreams have come true for desperate men across America...Baltimore Orioles pitcher (and former Mets starter) Kris Benson has divorced former playboy center fold Anna Benson.

Its believed that the Mets may have traded Kris Benson because of her impulsiveness, but apparently the Mets were not the only ones who could not put up with her.
Lets see if this makes him a better pitcher this season, because he was subpar for the Mets.

One Last Look

N.F.L. = No Fun League

Remember the Fun Bunch and the Ickey Shuffle? The N.F.L. shut down those operations years ago...
Now the N.F.L. owners have gone even further, barely allowing any sign of emotion after a player scores a touchdown.
In a twist of fate however, the Philadelphia Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie voted against the might have thought with the departure of Owens he'd be all for limiting self-gratification among conceited athletes.

(Time to put the sharpies and phones away fellas...)

Curious George to the Rescue?

Major League Baseball will launch an investigation to discover what the general public already knows...that a significant number of baseball players have used steroids to enhance their careers.
ABC News reports that former Senator George Mitchell "will head the investigation effort, though he will not be the lead investigator."
MLB has finally taken serious action that could lead to serious inquiries into the drug use of prominent players such as Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmero, Gary Shefield, Jason Giambi, but most especially Barry Bonds.
The release of "Game of Shadows" has finally forced MLB's hand, due to the seriousness of the reporting done by both Mark Fainaru-Wada, and Lance Williams.
Already many companies are refusing to endorse Barry Bonds, and may decline to advertise with him should he reach either Babe Ruth's home run mark of 714, or eventually beat out Hank Aaron for the home run record.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Knicks: Fifty and Beyond

The New York Knicks suffered loss number 50 this past weekend.
Fans fear not, because humor can help anyone through despair...
"Epiphanny Prince, a 17-year-old New York girl, broke the city's high school girls basketball record when she scored 113 points in a game this week, leading her team to a 137-32 victory. To be fair, they were playing the Knicks." -Tina Fey, from Saturday Night Live.
[Excerpt from the NYTimes, Howard Beck, 3.6.06, pg. D1]
When he is not the host of the Oscars, Jon Stewart is the host of a fake news show, so who better than Stewart to assess the state of the Knicks, who often look like a fake N.B.A. team?
Stewart...was recently asked by Sports Illustrated when he expected another championship parade.
"I'm not a believer in Easter religions," Stewart told the magazine, "but when Walt (Clyde) Frazier is reincarnated as a point guard that can run the team. So that could be awhile."
"Knicks Trade Draft Pick to Raptors In Exchange for Three Wins," reads the headline in The Onion's online edition. "I don't think there's any question that this immediately makes us a better team. Just look at the standings," Isiah Thomas, the Knicks' president, is quoted as saying in the spoof...
Chortle, chortle...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Honors for The Duke

Illegal immigration, the war on terror, national debt, illegal wire-taping, tax cuts, federal bench appointments, pork barrel spending...none of these items prevented the House of Representatives from honoring Wellington Mara.
The Official Bill from the HOR states:
Recognizing the life of Wellington Timothy Mara and his outstanding contributions to the New York Giants Football Club, the National Football League, and the United States.
Whereas Wellington Timothy Mara was born on August 14, 1916, in New York City;
Whereas Wellington Mara graduated from Loyola High School in New York and proceeded to Fordham University, from which he graduated in 1937;
Whereas Wellington Mara was closely involved with the Fordham University football teams of 1936 through 1938, which at one point won 25 straight games, and it was at Fordham University that Mara befriended future National Football League Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi;
Whereas Wellington Mara was a vital participant in the New York Giants Football Club since its inception and inclusion in the National Football League in 1925 under the original leadership of his father Timothy;
Whereas, in 1930, Wellington Mara acquired part-ownership of the New York Giants when his father divided the team between Wellington Mara and his brother Jack;
Whereas under the co-leadership of Wellington and Jack Mara, the New York Giants appeared in five National Football League Championship games between 1958 and 1963, and Wellington Mara was in charge of accumulating the player talent that engineered this remarkable accomplishment;
Whereas, by supporting the agreement to share television revenues equally among the teams of the National Football League, Wellington and Jack Mara gave up significant revenue for their own team, but put the National Football League on the path to collective success;
Whereas, after the untimely death of his brother Jack in 1965, Wellington Mara became the principal owner of the New York Giants;
Whereas, under his leadership, the New York Giants have 26 postseason appearances, 18 National Football League divisional championships, and six National Football League championships, including the Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV titles;
Whereas the only time Mara was away from the New York Giants was during World War II, when he served honorably in the United States Navy in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters and earned the rank of Lieutenant Commander;
Whereas, in addition to his outstanding leadership of the New York Giants, Wellington Mara also made outstanding contributions to the National Football League as a whole, including serving on its Executive Committee, Hall of Fame Committee, and Competition Committee;
Whereas Wellington Mara has been inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame, and, in 2002, he was honored at the Fordham Founder's dinner, which is Fordham's highest honor;
Whereas Wellington Mara was inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame in 1997;
Whereas Wellington Mara served his community as a member of the board of the Giants Foundation, a charitable organization founded by the New York Giants to provide financial and social support for disadvantaged youths in the New York Metropolitan Area; and
Whereas, on October 25, 2005, Wellington Mara succumbed to cancer at his home in Rye, New York: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives, on the occasion of the death of Wellington Timothy Mara--
(1) expresses its deepest condolences to his wife of 61 years, Ann, his 11 children, and his 40 grandchildren; and
(2) recognizes the outstanding contributions that Wellington Timothy Mara made to the New York Giants Football Club, the National Football League, and the United States.

Michigan: NIT Champs

Michigan prevailed over Old Dominion in the NIT Championship game tonight.

Keep this thought in mind, Michigan beat Old Dominion. Old Dominion beat Hofstra, stealing a road win from a team that had the longest consecutive winning streak at home in the nation. Hofstra beat George Mason twice this past season in what were percieved as blowouts.

If George Mason becomes the improbable winner of the NCAA tourny, does this make Michigan the real champs?

Duke Lacrosse: Charges of Rape

Most basketball players get a bad rap for being thugs... Lacrosse players on the underhand... well they don't get much of anything because no one pays attention... But non-lacrosse enthusiasts may have a particular interest in this story from Sports Illustrated:
Duke University's highly ranked lacrosse team will not play again this season until school administrators learn more about allegations that several team members raped an exotic dancer at an off-campus party, the school said Tuesday.
President Richard Brodhead decided to suspend the team from play "until there is a clearer resolution of the legal situation involving team members," the university said.
The case has roiled the campus, raised racial tensions and heightened antagonism between the affluent students at Duke, which costs about $43,000 a year, and the city of Durham, which has a large population of poor people and is about evenly divided between white and black.
A woman told police she and another dancer were hired to perform March 13 at a private party in an off-campus home. The dancer, a student at North Carolina Central University, told police she was pulled into a bathroom, beaten, choked and raped by three men.
No one has been charged...

Condoleezza Rice as Commish?

Secretary Condoleezza Rice has repeatedly said on Meet the Press with Tim Russert that it has been her desire to be the next NFL commissioner:
"I think the NFL is really a terrific institution. I’d love to be associated with it someday." -2002
"Tim, I’m going off to be commissioner of NFL, remember?" - 2003
"I think Paul Tagliabue is doing a fine job as NFL commissioner, but I look forward to the day that he decides to retire and I, I very much think that the, the best job in America’s got to be NFL commissioner." - 2004
So now,that Mr. Tagliabue has retired, will the Madam Secretary keep her word?
"I still think the best job in America maybe NFL commissioner. It’s a little too soon for me. I’ve got lots to do as secretary of state. I think if my ship came in, it’s going to have to leave the port without me."
Stay tuned...

Johnson and the Media

Yankee pitcher Randy Johnson did not exactly win over the press last year when he shoved a camera out of the hands of camera man Vinny Everett.
However it is in poor form that the press jumps on a story about a "love child" that Randy Johnson fathered nearly a generation ago.
Chris "Maddawg" Russo, a radio personality on New York's WFAN radio, weighed in by pointing out that although Randy Johnson may have done the first offense, the sports media is now more then tied with Johnson in the matter of offense.
Randy Johnson - 1
Sports Media - 1

Four got Four [Update]

The following excerpt is from the New York Times Sports section:

Was there a secret to making sense of possibly the most unpredictable N.C.A.A. tournament? For Russell Pleasant, a 46-year-old software engineer from Omaha, it took a lucky mistake.
When he filled out his bracket earlier this month, he thought George Washington would reach this weekend's Final Four. Instead, he ended up picking George Mason, round after round after round, all the way to Indianapolis.
Now, he finds himself a rare survivor among millions of broken hearts with busted brackets across the nation. In's 2006 Men's College Basketball Tournament Challenge, Pleasant had one of the four entries among three million with U.C.L.A., Louisiana State, Florida and George Mason in the Final Four...
Last season, 4,172 people picked all four teams in's pool. But last year's Final Four featured a more predictable lineup: two top-seeded teams, North Carolina and Illinois; a fourth-seeded team, Louisville; and a fifth-seeded team, Michigan State.
At, none of the two million brackets submitted this year had all four teams. In the Yahoo Sports pool, just one of more than a million entered had all four. That entry was submitted by a contestant named Tim McKenna....
By the way, Pleasant picked Florida to defeat U.C.L.A. in the championship game. He remains in contention to win the top prize, $10,000.
Mike Breen, a mathematician at the American Mathematical Society in Providence, R.I., said the chances of being one of the people who correctly picked the Final Four in's contest this year were about 1 in 750,000. Last year, he said, roughly 1 in 700 brackets included the correct four teams.

Throw me the "Duke"

The 32 teams voted unanimously Monday to name the offical N.F.L. game ball "The Duke" in honor of Wellington Mara who died in October. Hew was named Wellington after the Duke of Wellington and was given the nickname "The Duke" as a youngster by Giants players. The N.F.L. game ball was also known as The Duke from 1941-1969, at the suggestion of George Halas, the Bears' owner, who with Tim Mara, the former Giants owner and Wellington's father helped arrange for Wilson to become the league's official supplier of footballs. [NYTimes 3.28.06 pg. D6]

Monday, March 27, 2006

Four got Four

The following is from ESPN:
The Final Four looks nothing like the users of's Tournament Challenge predicted.
More than 1.5 million people participated and of the more than 3 million entries submitted only four -- that's right, four -- picked a Final Four including Florida, George Mason, LSU and UCLA before the tournament started. Over 66 percent of entries had none of the Final Four teams correct and better than 29 percent had exactly two teams correct.
As you probably guessed, George Mason is the team that busted the most brackets. The Patriots were picked in 1,853 entries to make the Final Four, with only 677 putting them in the championship game and only 284 predicting George Mason winning the national championship. UCLA, on the other hand, got the most support -- more than 24 percent of all entries have the Bruins advancing to Indianapolis.
Users also paid dearly for pinning their hopes on the No. 1 seeds. Only 7 percent predicted a Final Four with none of the top seeds and just over 13 percent had a Final Four that did not include both Duke and Connecticut.

Manning vs. Manning

The New York Giants will open their season next year on a Sunday night, September 10, at 8:15 pm on NBC against...the Indianapolis Colts. This will be the first time Eli Manning will face his older brother Peyton Manning.
Michael Eisen of the Giants website reports:
“It’s going to be meaningful and exciting,” Eli Manning said today after completing a workout in the team’s offseason conditioning program. “It’s going to be something different, something I’ve never done before. We’ve never competed against each other in anything, really, besides one-on-one basketball in our backyard.
“It will be fun, obviously. But I’m really competing against the Indianapolis defense. I just have to play hard and try to play well. It will be exciting and something you always remember, because it’s the first time we’ll ever compete against each other.”
The NFL today announced the prime time schedule for the 2006 Kickoff Weekend and its Thanksgiving Day games. The remainder of the schedule will be announced next month.
Peyton and Eli – the second and third sons of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning - were No. 1 overall selections in their respective NFL drafts: Peyton by the Colts out of Tennessee in 1998 and Eli from Mississippi by the San Diego Chargers in 2004. Eli was soon traded to the Giants.
Peyton Manning has never missed a start in his pro career, starting 128 consecutive games. He is 80-48 (.625) in the regular season, plus 3-6 in postseason play. He is a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player. Last year, the Colts were 14-2 and champions of the AFC South.

Who is this Guy?

Want to impress people next weekend during the Final Four? Give them a full brief on the life of George Mason (and no, he was not the George Mason of Twenty-Four)...
For Most Americans, his memory pales alongside that of Washington, Jefferson, Adams or Madison because he never held high office. But Mason was in the first rank of the founding fathers, having articulated the doctrine of the inalienable rights as formulated in the Declaration of Independence.
The owner of a vast plantation, Gunston Hall, along the Potomac River near Alexandria, Va., Mason drafted the Virginia Constitution and the Virginia Declaration of Rights in the spring of 1776. In the first draft, he wrote in the declaration that "all Men are born equally free and independant, [sic] and have certain inherent natural rights," among them "the Enjoyment of Life and Liberty...."
In 1787, Mason served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. In large part because the Constitutiondid not contain a statement on individual rights, Mason voted against its adoption. He was vindicated in 1791, a year before his death, with the adoption of the Bill of Rights.
He was reluctant to leave Guston Hall. Now, George Mason is going to Indianapolis. (Excerpt from NYTimes, 3.27.06, Richard Goldstein, pg. D5)

Is Martinez Finally Ready?

...It would appear that yes, he is ready. Mets ace, Pedro Martinez yesterday threw three innings. Here is a snip-it from the Mets official home page...
Mets on the mound: Martinez threw 35 pitches, allowing one hit and a walk over three innings in his first Grapefruit League appearance. He struck out two. One of his outs was a caught stealing, and another was a handsome running catch by Victor Diaz as he approached the left-field corner.

Tigers Advance

Andy Katz of ESPN writes a great report on the LSU Tigers who will be one of the last four standing going in to next weeks Final Four.
Here are some excerpts:
This just doesn't happen too often. Teams don't get to the Final Four relying on forwards.
Guards rule college basketball, at least they have since most of the legit big men began to check out early to the NBA in the '90s.
But this LSU team hardly can be considered a trail blazer for a return to big-man basketball. These Tigers are freaks. There is nothing here that can be duplicated.
How many teams have a player with bionic calves like Tyrus Thomas, someone who can leap over 7-footers in one move, snatch balls off the high side of the backboard for putback dunks and block shots in the lane and out on the 3-point line?
How many have a player like Glen Davis, an agile 6-foot-9, 310-pound center with the force to push LaMarcus Aldridge of Texas out of the lane, throw down a spin move for a deuce, drain a silky 3-pointer, handle the ball from the top of the key and rumble down the lane for layups?
How many teams sport a small forward like Tasmin Mitchell, who can make 3s, board, guard and play the perfect complement to the other two?
Or bench players like Darnell Lazare, a scoring forward who can easily sub for Mitchell, or Magnum Rolle, who can spot Thomas and block shots, too?
"They're going to be a tough matchup," Texas senior forward Brad Buckman said after the Tigers (27-8) beat his Longhorns 70-60 in overtime to win the Atlanta Regional and earn a meeting opposite UCLA next Saturday in the Final Four in Indianapolis. "I wouldn't count LSU out against anybody."...
This also isn't your typical college team, where LSU's cohesion comes from a season or two of playing together. Mitchell, Davis and Thomas are all from Louisiana and have known each other for years; the latter two went to different Baton Rouge high schools. Defensively, they rarely get mixed up, and often know when to gamble and when not to on a block or defensive switch.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Almenara Baseball Camp

Almenara Baseball Camp offers Brazilian kids a chance to do things that most American kids take for granted. Through sacrifice and hard work, its founder, Addison Quale, has offered hope to many under priviliaged kids through the great game of baseball.

Check out this exciting video which depicts the saga of the first season from this past winter in Brazil.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Happy Madness in the Bayou

LSU knocked off Duke tonight, advancing to the Elite Eight. Should they win their next game, look for the heart of a nation to pull for LSU. The state, still suffering from the long term affects of Hurricane Katrina, could certainly use the distraction, even if it is madness.

Impact Wonderlic

March Madness is in full swing, but it was not to long ago when the gaze of sports fan was on college focused their eyes especially on Texas versus USC in the Rose Bowl.
Vince Young was widely considered the hero of the bowl game. In an improbable victory over the heavily favored Trojans, Young dazzled spectators with 200 rushing yards (3 rushing TD's), while adding 267 yards passing, completing 30 of 40 passes.
Days following the game Vince Young was penciled in as not only a certain first round draft pick, but as a number one draft pick.
A funny thing happen to Young on the way to being crowned the King of the Draft. Young flunked the Wonderlic Test. His original score was a 6, and on the second try, a 15.
Now Young is floundering among reports that he is no longer considered a top tier quarterback. Jim Trotter of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports
Instead of still being viewed as a likely top-five pick in next month's draft, Young slipped to the middle of the first round in the eyes of some scouts and executives. It didn't matter that he won 30 of his 32 starts at Texas, including all 13 in leading the Longhorns to the national championship last season. It made no difference that he turned in arguably the greatest performance by a quarterback in title-game history...
Trotter goes on to say that although the Wonderlic score may be discouraging, it should not be the main factor in determining the aptitude of a quarterbacks ability.
History would suggest otherwise. Wonderlic scores for NFL Quarterbacks are reported through a UNC website.
A reasonable score is considered anything above 25.

Here are some standout scores:
Ben Roethlisberger - 25
Carson Palmer - 26
Drew Brees - 28
Tom Brady- 33
Peyton Manning - 28
Matt Hasselbeck - 29
Drew Bledsoe - 36
Troy Aikman - 29
Rich Gannon - 27
Steve Young - 33

Granted most of these scores are not spectacular, but they are above the average. These quarterbacks have proven to be succesful and have remained healthy because of great in-game decision making. In a game that has become increasingly more intricate, coaches rely more on players with intellectual capacity, as well as quick decesion making along with exceptional athleticism.

Here are some of the lower scores:
Terry Bradshaw - 15
Dan Marino - 15
Randal Cunningham - 15
Jeff George - 10
Neil O'Donnell - 13
Heath Shuler - 16
Charlie Batch - 13.5
Aaron Brooks - 17
Donovan McNabb - 14
Michael Vick - 20
Daunte Culpepper - 18

These low scores are indicitave of the type of play these quarterbacks display. There are the few exceptions, such as Dan Marino, and Terry Bradshaw (although good luck playing Mike Martz offensive scheme Mr. Bradshaw). Everyone else fits the mold of a seemingly gifted quarterback but a defunct decision process. Most of these quarterbacks repeatly end up causing turnovers, or getting injured due to thoughtless playmaking.
Yes, Vince Young's low scores do matter. If a team is going to dole out millions of dollars to a first round draft pick they better be sure he will guide them with the intellect that is needed in today's NFL. Look for both Matt Leinart (35) and Jay Cutler (26) to be drafted ahead of Young.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The First

Welcome to the first post of American Legend's sports blog. This site will provide our readers a chance to live in the sports world upclose and personal...with viewpoints on current and past sports happenings... the latest on sports marketing...breaking news on products coming out from companies such as Upper Deck, Topps, Becketts and so much more. Regular readers will be the first to know about up coming signings, as well as the future dates of give-away raffles at American Legends.

So once again, welcome, and enjoy this blog...and you will be part of its evolution from its very conception.

Above are photos of the two most recent players that we have had in our store for a signing, the first being Petr Prucha of the New York Rangers, followed by Jamal Crawford of the New York Knicks.