Thursday, August 31, 2006
Joke of the Day: Boston Courtroom [J. Mark English]
The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents, and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.
After considering the remainder of the immediate family, and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him. After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Boston Red Sox, whom the boy firmly believes is not capable of beating anyone. - Courtesy of a Friend
Your Daily Fix 8.31.06 [J. Mark English]
- Earthquake in Tokyo shakes up basketball players during world games.
- Greg Maddux notches win number 330 as the Dodgers sweep the Reds.
- 'Getcha Popcorn Ready'...T.O. may be playing tonight for the Cowboys.
- Len Pasquarelli has more on the NFL, including the toughness it takes to win on the road.
- Brett Favre says that the Packers are running out of time to fix errors.
- John Daly hospitalized and withdraws from the BMW International.
- Latrell Sprewell being investigated in sexual assault case...it involves choking...
- Stewart Mandel on why college football rules.
- Andy Roddick celebrated his birthday by advancing in the U.S. Open over Dane Kristian Pless.
- Christopher Clarey with the Federer express...and its lightening speed in New York City.
Volek Weevils [EdMcGon]
"Billy's got some competition. I've spoken with Billy. Billy's not too awfully pleased with it. But that's life in the National Football League."
As Troy Aikman once said in a commercial, "Get real!".
They are honestly thinking of starting Collins over Volek? In Collins' best year, 2002, he completed 61% of his passes. That was his ninth season of starting. In Volek's first season of starting, he did that. Granted, it was over a shorter span of games. But that means Volek has some potential.
Collins? We have seen all he can do. Like nearly get Randy Moss killed last year, thanks to Collins' tendency to attach his eyeballs to his favorite receiver. Like completing 53% of his passes last year.
Don't get me wrong. Collins is a decent quarterback. But he has no upside. On the other hand, Volek has shown some nice flashes when he has had the opportunity. In the right system, he could potentially be a great quarterback. He could certainly be no worse than what we have already seen from Collins.
What does all this mean? Jeff Fisher does not strike me as stupid. Anyone can see that Vince "The Franchise" Young is not ready yet, in spite of their plans to start Young in the final preseason game. If Volek gets hurt this year, putting in Young would be the equivalent of throwing Young to the wolves. The Titans needed a second string quarterback.
So they pick up Collins. Volek is not having a great preseason, so they use the acquisition to light a fire under Volek. Now they get to see how Volek responds to the pressure.
"I guess they want a quarterback who's perfect in every throw and every read, and that's going to be hard to find. I guess they're unhappy with my production. It's hard when you're only getting a quarter a game."
Sure, Volek is no Steve McNair. Sure, he has had a mediocre preseason. But he is actually not a bad quarterback DURING the season. You know, when the games count? In 2004, Volek played in 10 games, completed 61% of his passes, threw for 2486 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Mike Vick cannot even do that (except for the 10 interceptions part).
But now we have Titans General Manager Floyd Reese saying:
"This time of year over the next couple of days, there's an endless number of conversations you'll have with clubs in the league saying `What if?' Some you talk to three or four times, some you talk to once...Billy's name has come up from some of the clubs."
Reese would not walk away from anyone offering a first round pick for Volek, but no team would offer that much. No doubt Reese has a price he would take for Volek which is lower, perhaps a second or third round pick. But Volek has too many question marks for any team to offer that much right now.
Truthfully, I think Reese is playing along with Jeff Fisher's poker game. Mind you, what Fisher is doing is not a complete bluff, because he has a strong hand now with Collins there. The question is: Does Volek have a stronger hand?
There is a wild card in this poker game: Volek's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, of Terrell Owens fame. Rosenhaus has not commented on the situation yet. However, it does not take a brain surgeon to know he has called Floyd Reese and said if Volek does not start, they want a trade. This sheds a new light on Reese's comments, but I don't see Reese accommodating Volek/Rosenhaus just because they asked. Reese would want value in a trade.
What to make of the Titans starting Vince Young in their last preseason game? Right now, the Titans are talking about giving their quarterbacks one quarter each (Matt Mauck is also playing). But if you see Young in there for a half, or three quarters, read that as the Titans are mailing it in this year. They are just waiting until Young can take over and it doesn't matter who starts. In other words, they don't expect Volek OR Collins to win a Super Bowl for them, which is fairly realistic anyway.
If the Titans change their plans in this last preseason game and Volek doesn't play, or if Collins plays well and Volek doesn't, the writing is on the wall. However, if Collins AND Volek play equally well, or Collins plays poorly, expect Volek to start the first game of the season.
My prediction? Young plays the first half. Collins plays the third quarter and looks mediocre or bad. Volek plays the fourth quarter and looks ok. Volek starts the first week of the season, but expect to see Young starting before the end of the year. And Young will NOT look good this year. Volek gets released or traded after the season.
span style="font-weight:bold;">UPDATE: So Vince Young played the first quarter and the first series of the second. Then Kerry Collins came in and finished the rest of the second quarter. Collins went 7-13 for 96 yards.
Billy Volek played the start of the third quarter. He threw one pass, a 54-yard touchdown pass, and they sent him back to the bench. Vince Young finished the third quarter. Matt Mauck played the fourth quarter.
At this point, Volek is trade bait. Collins will soon be announced as the starter.
(Hat tip to SI.com, Foxsports.com, and TheDailyTimes.com of Maryville, TN)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Parcells & Belichick: Old Friends [Yahoo Sports]
Your Daily Fix 8.30.06 [J. Mark English]
- David "Big Papi" Ortiz to remain in hospital at least one more day for heart problems.
- Curt Schilling becomes 14th pitcher to reach 3,000 strikeouts.
- Seatle Mariners' Rafael Soriano remains stable after being struck in the head by a line drive.
- Mark Mulder considering season ending surgery.
- New York Mets trade Victor Diaz for a minor league catcher from the Texas Rangers.
- Yankees' Hideki Matsui takes batting practice for the first time since breaking his wrist.
- Steve Yzerman's number will be retired by the Detroit Red Wings.
- Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer win at the U.S. Open.
- Philadelphia Eagles release Koy Detmer and Todd Pinkston.
- AZ Cardinals QB, Matt Leinart, to be a father.
- Barry Wilner with a division by division look of the NFL in 2006.
- Don Nelson to return to the Golden Warriors as head coach.
- USA basketball beats Germany in the World tournament, despite poor shooting.
Carl Pavano: From the Absurd to the Bizarre [J. Mark English]
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Pink Taco Stadium: What the...? [J. Mark English]
Jackie Robinson Stadium? Let the Guilt Trip Begin [J. Mark English]
"The Mets should forsake the theoretical $10 million a year they could squeeze out of some corporation for its name and give it to Jackie Robinson, a local hero." - George Vecsey
A Tennis Convert...At Least for One Night [J. Mark English]
For myself, I do not enjoy watching tennis and golf. I'd rather see the highlights on Sportscenter, or read about the event in the paper or on the internet. Simply put - I do not have the patience for individual sports.
Last night may have changed my perspective. I was wrapped up in the event of the U.S. Open. Agassi struggled to stave off Andrei Pavel. Pavel took the first set 7-6, then lost the next two to Agassi 6-7, 6-7. Each set was fiercly contested. The crowd was electric. As the match went on, and the hour got closer to midnight, the New Yorkers turned their appreciation in full throttle towards Agassi. Pavel could barely withstand the pressure by the fourth set, and lost 6-2.
It was thrilling to Agassi, the ancient lion of the sport of tennis, against a no namer Pavel who came so close to ending Agassi's career. I look forward to watching more of the U.S. Open over the next two weeks.
Favre Beaned [EdMcGon]
The Packers may be the worst team in the NFL this year. Their defense is mediocre. The special teams aren't "special". But it is their offense which truly shines in the glory of awfulness. Mind you, this is not because of their offensive line, which is average, or their running game, which is also average. No, the Packers have one person to thank for their impending descent into the depths of the won-loss column: Brett Favre.
At this point in his career, Favre should be rated as a decent second-string quarterback. He makes far too many mistakes to be a starting quarterback. Last year's 29 interceptions should have told the Packers something about Favre being on the downside of his career.
This preseason does not bode well for Favre's potential this year. Last night, he had a boneheaded fumble that got returned for a touchdown, followed by an interception on the very next series. Last week, he looked good against the Falcons, but their secondary is a sieve. But two weeks ago, he was mediocre against the Chargers (5-10, 66 yards). That should tell you Favre won't beat the good teams anymore. If you cannot beat the good teams, you will not make it far in the playoffs even if you get that far.
The Packer fans would do well at this point to learn from Philadelphia fans. When third baseman Mike Schmidt was at the end of his career, he was awful. The Philly fans booed him mercilessly, in spite of his Hall of Fame, World Series winning credentials. Philly fans recognize that if you put on the uniform, you better be able to play, and play well.
If Packer fans are expecting a Super Bowl this year, they can forget it. Instead, they are getting the "Brett Favre Farewell Tour". The opposing defensive coordinators are looking forward to it.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Your Daily Fix 8.28.06 [J. Mark English]
- Jon Wertheim has his seed report for the U.S. Open.
- Dan C. Weils with the 10 burning questions heading into the Open.
- 19 year old Marco Andretti became the youngest open-wheeler winner.
- Tiger Woods wins fourth tourney in a row. Ties Byron Nelson for fifth all time on career wins list.
- Charlotte Observer reports that Carolina Panthers ingnored warnings about steroid use.
- Dallas Maverick's Jerry Stackhouse buys his Mom a church!
- Maria Sharapova agrees to life time deal with Prince rackets.
- New York Jets starting QB job still up for grabs.
- Phillies acquire Jeff Conine from the Orioles.
- Scott Miller asks if the real NL wild card team could please stand up?
- Pat Forde gets a head start on the Heisman Trophy race.
Tennis: U.S. Open Begins Today [J. Mark English]
Appropriately, the last match of Sampras' pro career came against Agassi, in the 2002 U.S. Open championship match. No one knew for sure at the time that it would indeed wind up being Sampras' farewell match. He didn't announce anything before the tournament, before the final or immediately after hoisting the trophy. He didn't announce anything the next day, week or month, either.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
College Football: Ranking the Rankers [J. Mark English]
- Lindy's - 1. Notre Dame 2. Ohio State 3. West Virginia 4. Texas 5. Florida
- CPA Rankings - 1. West Virginia 2. Notre Dame 3. Texas 4. Ohio State 5. USC
- Phil Steele - 1. Oklahoma 2. Auburn 3. Louisville 4. USC 5. Texas
- AP Poll - 1. Ohio State 2. Notre Dame 3. Texas 4. Auburn 5. West Virginia
- Sporting News - 1. Notre Dame 2. Ohio State 3. Auburn 4. LSU 5. West Virginia
- Playboy - 1. Ohio State 2. West Virginia 3. Notre Dame 4. Texas 5. USC
- Street & Smith's - 1. Ohio State 2. West Virginia 3. Texas 4. Notre Dame 5. Florida
- CBS Sportsline - 1. Ohio State 2. West Virginia 3. Auburn 4. LSU 5. Texas
- Game Plan - 1. Notre Dame 2. Ohio State 3. Texas 4. Florida 5. West Virginia
- ATS Consultants - 1. Notre Dame 2. Ohio State 3. Florida State 4. Texas 5. Auburn
- Sports Illustrated - 1. Ohio State 2. Notre Dame 3. Texas 4. LSU 5. USC
- Athlon Sports - 1. Oklahoma 2. Notre Dame 3. USC 4. Ohio State 5. Florida
So why does all this matter? Adams says "For coaches, the preseason rankings are a double-edge swrod. On the one hand, the free publicity that a high ranking can provide is invaluable. As early as February, athletic-department staffers hit the phones and fire off emails to preseason publications with updates and talking points about their teams. On the other hand, coaches whose teams rank low have a harder climb to the top. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, Bousie State University entered the season off forecasters' radars - and needed several lopsided victories to claw its way into the top 20...
"One this is clear: For teams that don't make the preseason list, their chances of winning a national championship are almost zero. 'You can go undefeated and beat the Green Bay Packers, and you'r not going to be No. 1.' says Bill Doba, Washington State's head coach."
Friday, August 25, 2006
Fantasy Football Draft [EdMcGon]
1. RB Steven Jackson, Rams: I actually wanted Rudi Johnson, but the guy drafting fifth took him. It was a bit of a reach. But to his credit I think it was a good reach.
I should point out that both Clinton Portis and Edgerrin James were available, but I preferred Jackson for his upside. Portis's injury leads me to believe last season was better than this season will be for him. Add in the T.J. Duckett addition, and Portis becomes a second tier RB. As for James, the Cardinals are NOT the Colts.
2. RB Willis McGahee, Bills: McGahee has lost some weight this year in order to be faster, like he was two years ago. If he can duplicate his results from then, he is a first round RB at a second round price.
3. TE Antonio Gates, Chargers: The best TE in the game.
I actually wanted WR Chris Chambers in this spot, but he went seven picks earlier. Since all the top tier wide receivers were gone by my pick, I decided to go with the best TE.
4. RB Kevin Jones, Lions: I was toying with picking a QB or WR at this spot, but I saw too many teams ignoring their RB position. Time to punish the poor drafters!
Jones' upside would be Marshall Faulk numbers. While I don't think he will be THAT good, anything close to it makes him worthwhile. As a number three RB, he is a steal.
5. WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals: I got a bit antsy here. I did not want to go much further without getting a decent WR, and Housh filled the bill.
6. RB Frank Gore, 49ers: Too many teams ignoring their RB position still. Eat my dust scumbags!
In all seriousness, I like Gore. He has a good work ethic, and who else are the 49ers going to rely on for offense? I am even seriously considering starting him in the first week against Arizona's wretched defense.
7. QB Trent Green, Chiefs: Get one of the top QB's in the NFL in the seventh round? Sweeeeet!
Truth be told, I don't expect Green to duplicate his success of the last several years. But anything close is nice.
8. QB Philip Rivers, Chargers: This is the QB I REALLY wanted. Rivers has tremendous upside. In my opinion, I think he will surpass Drew Brees's numbers. Rivers is THAT good!
Why did I take Green first? Because I knew Green would go before Rivers based on past performance plus the fact this is Rivers' first year starting.
From what I have seen of Rivers in the preseason, he is more than ready for the NFL.
9. WR Matt Jones, Jaguars: Time to give my WR position some love.
I like Jones' potential, which we saw some of last year. He got better as the season went along, especially with Byron Leftwich at QB. If Leftwich stays healthy (big if), Jones could be due for a monster year.
10. WR Drew Bennett, Titans: Why do I like Drew Bennett? Two words: Billy Volek. Two years ago, they had a monster stretch together. If they get hot again, Bennett is money in the bank. For a number 3 receiver, you cannnot argue with that.
11. WR Braylon Edwards, Browns: Sure, Edwards is coming off an injury, and his production may not be 100%. But who else is Charlie Frye going to throw to? For a number four wideout, Edwards is high potential with low risk.
12. K Nate Kaeding, Chargers: A lot of kickers had been taken by this point, so I jumped on the bandwagon with Kaeding, a solid kicker who won't disappoint.
13. Broncos Defense: Nothing exciting here. The Broncos just happened to be the best defense on the board at the time. Defenses are pretty much a crap shoot anyway.
14. TE Tony Scheffler, Broncos: I was watching a replay of the Broncos-Titans the other night, and Scheffler really impressed me. He has good hands and good moves. Even though he is technically second on the Broncos depth chart behind Stephen Alexander, I don't expect that to last, as Alexander manages to underperform or get hurt wherever he goes.
15. K Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots: The next Adam Vinatieri? Perhaps.
I must admit I was amazed when he was available with my next-to-last pick. A lot of kickers had already been taken.
When you draft a guy for your bench who potentially could be better than your starter, you are doing good.
16. Cowboys Defense: I hate the Cowboys, but I like Bill Parcells. Another year for this young defense may be just what they need to get good enough to be dangerous. I hope.
OVERALL ANALYSIS: Except for Housh, my wideouts are my weak spot, and Housh is not a great number one WR. If Jones and Bennett play up to their potential, I might be able to bench Housh. Otherwise, I have to take what Housh gives me and hope for a little production from whomever I start opposite him.
My strongest spot is clearly my running backs. Any or all of them are capable of having huge years. Even if they only produce like they did last year, I can still play matchups with them to get the most production out of them.
I like my quarterbacks. With Green on his downside, and Rivers on his upside, I should be able to at least pull some numbers from this position.
Unless Antonio Gates gets hurt, I am set at TE. With Scheffler as my backup, I have a solid fall back prospect.
My kickers and defenses look solid, but experience has taught me not to count my chickens at these positions until the season starts. That is why I usually wait until the end of the draft before going after these positions.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Cherish These Mets [J. Mark English]
"The world is always changing, nothing stays the same...Cherish the METS we have, we should cherish the BASEBALL TEAM we have..." - Kool & The Gang
This is rare. Very rare. I became a Mets fan in 1991. Between 1984-1990 the Mets never had a losing season. They averaged 95 wins a season, including 2 division pennants, and a World Series berth.
And then I became a Mets fan. 1991 - the year doom struck the Mets. To be sure that 1991 could have been worse. They had a losing season, but still managed to win 77 games. Howard Johnson, Dwight Gooden, and David Cone (before he was traded) were the stars of the team, but they were not enough to carry a team that no longer had Gary Carter & Daryl Strawberry.
The Mets went out and got Bobby Bonilla, Eddie Murray, Vince Coleman, and Bret Saberhagen. The 1992 Mets were full of hope, and swagger.
The team was pathetic. They lost 90 games, and followed that up with 103 losses in 1993. Between 1991-1996 they averaged 83 losses...but that number is slighted due to the strike season of 1994. If you assume they would lose 88 games in 1994, the average would come up from 83 to 88.
Those were summers of misery. Met fans cared less for the team, and more for the individual. Todd Hundley, Edgardo Alfonzo, Rick Reed, John Olerud...players like these kept Met fans interested, but not satisfied.
That "other" New York team had begun to assemble a dynasty. The New York Yankees would have made the playoffs in 1994 if it weren't for the strike. And then they made the playoffs in 1995 and never looked back.
Since then, the Mets have been New York's second fiddle.
In 1997, things began to change. But the teams that won between 1997-2001 was a different team from those of the 80's. They were solid teams to be sure...built on great defense, gutsy pitching (Al Leiter, Rick Reed)...and a super star Mike Piazza.
But you never felt that they were a dynasty in the making.
This year feels less like the feeling we had in 1999 or 2000. This team is generating more of the feeling Met fans had in 1984 and 1985. The feeling that this could be the beginning of something big.
Enjoy this team. Cherish this team. Cherish every win. Every walk off homer, every double play, every triple, every stolen base. Cherish Wright, Reyes...and Pedro, Glavine...and Willie.
This is a special team. Cherish them.
Video & Quote: Jerry Rice Retires [J. Mark English]
Newest Member of American Legends [David Tyree]
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Say the magic word and you get a Duckett [EdMcGon]
Without knowing who the third round pick is, it is difficult to assess the Broncos value in this trade, so let us look at the Duckett for Lelie aspect.
Duckett is a big RB (6'0", 254 pounds) who is good in short yardage and goal line situations. His major flaw is that he tends to get injured a lot.
Lelie is a speed burner at WR with decent hands, but just don't expect him to go over the middle...or be happy with his contract.
Overall, it seems like a reasonably fair trade.
FANTASY FOOTBALL PERSPECTIVE: If you draft Clinton Portis, handscuff him to Duckett. But don't expect Duckett to be the second coming of John Riggins, although Duckett should provide a few solid games.
Ashley Lelie reminds me of Peerless Price before Price got to the Falcons, except Price was better. Generally avoid Falcon receivers anyway. Lelie will be a decent number 4 WR, potentially a number 3 in larger leagues.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Robert Smith Weighs in on Gumble [J. Mark English]
In a scathing rebuke of Bryant Gumbel's recent comments on HBO's Real Sports last week that NFLPA head Gene Upshaw is a "personal pet" of outgoing NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former Minnesota Vikings running back and longtime player rep Robert Smith accused the TV host of both desperation and jealousy.
"Bryant Gumbel has fallen in recent times,'' Smith told SI.com on Tuesday. "He's desperate to have a respected, national voice again, but the problem is a lot of people aren't listening anymore. So you've got to say something like that to get attention for yourself. But he's misinformed.
"To me, this is Gumbel's Dan Rather-type mistake. He's someone who has been around for a while and has some credibility, but who wants to believe a certain perception. I believe part of it with Gumbel is that Gene is a much more powerful black man than he is. And he's jealous of Gene's power and position. I think Gumbel's even jealous of where his former [NBC's Today] co-host Katie Couric is, and how she's moved on to a more powerful position and he still hasn't.''
"How many owners have come out and said they got the worse end of the deal? When you know the truth about something and you hear the opposite enough times, it really grates on you. That's where I'm at.''
Smith said that Upshaw would not dignify Gumbel's comments with a reaction, but that "I felt like I had to say something, because it just drives you crazy if you let this stuff go unchallenged.''
Rush is Right about Bryant Gumble [J. Mark English]
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Let's go straight to the audiotape. Last Tuesday, HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, a portion of his closing remarks about the new incoming NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Further Mets Update [J. Mark English]
- Carlos Delgado - Hit home run 399 & 400 so far tonight, including a grand slam homer to bring the Mets back in the game against the Cardinals.
- Tom Glavine - A sense of great relief washed over the Mets organization when it learned the rotation will be whole again after Glavine has missed one, perhaps two starts. He was to have started against the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. But the doctors want to afford him ample time for the incision in his groin, part of the invasive angiogram procedure, to heal. - Mets.com
Mets Acquire Shawn Greene [J. Mark English]
- The Diamondbacks sent the 33-year-old Green and cash to the Mets for Triple-A pitcher Evan MacLane, a 23-year-old left-hander. - Sports Illustrated
- "I think for Shawn and everybody it's a relief that it's over," Arizona outfielder Luis Gonzalez said. "It's been kind of lingering a little bit. I'm sure it weighed on him. He's an established major league player. It's a good opportunity for him. He has a chance to be in the playoffs. I'm happy for him. I called him right after I got here and found out." - Fox Sports
- Green is making $8 million this year and has a salary of $9.5 million next year. His contract calls for a $10 million club option in 2008 with a $2 million buyout. - CBS Sports
- Green is hitting .283 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs this season. The D-Backs had been looking to move him to give playing time to rookie Carlos Quentin, who has been impressive since having his contract purchased from Triple-A Tucson last month.
MacLane, 23, posted a 3.86 ERA in 20 starts this season for Triple-A Norfolk. He began the year with Double-A Binghamton, going 3-1 with a 4.64 ERA in six starts. In four Minor League seasons, MacLane, the Mets' 25-round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, is 35-20 with a 3.19 ERA in 89 games (77 starts). - Mets.com
Monday, August 21, 2006
Tom Glavine in Doubt: What They're Saying [J. Mark English]
Yanks vs. Red Sox: Boston Massacre Part II
Friday, August 18, 2006
Your Daily Fix 8.18.06 [J. Mark English]
- Asafa Powell equals the world record for the 100 meter again, at 9.77 seconds.
- Caroline Hurricanes Cory Stillman has shoulder surgery, could miss the beginning of the season.
- A driver at the Bonneville Salt Flats crashed his vehicle after going 244 mph.
- David Schoenfield with the Real MVP's of this baseball season.
- Rafael Nadal gets knocked out as well at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters.
- He's back: Junior Seau ends retirement to play with the Patriots.
- Eli Manning picked apart the Chief's secondary yesterday.
- St. Louis Cardinals sign Preston Wilson; bolster outfield.
- FIFA investigates fans who made human swastika.
- Stenson & Andrade the PGA Championship on day two.
- New York Yankees win round one against the Boston Red Sox...four to go.
American Legends: NBA Rookie Photo Shoot 2006 [J. Mark English]
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Your Daily Fix 8.17.06 [J. Mark English]
- Woods, Mickelson are three off the lead at the PGA Championship.
- Washington Nationals reportedly put Alfonso Soriano on waivers.
- Blue Jays trade former rookie of the year, Eric Hinske, to the Red Sox.
- Seahawk's Jeremy Stevens carted off the field, injures left knee.
- Yankees lead over Red Sox drops to 1 1/2 games after 12-2 loss to the O's.
- John Czarnecki and his NFL roundup.
- Air Force Academy bans assistant coach Pete Hurt for allegedly striking a player.
- Bill Parcells lays down the law with T.O.
- Tom Brady: "I never met with Bonds trainer..."
- Joseph White wonders if the NFL pre-season is too long.
- The "Rooney Rule" is paying off for black coaches.
Jose Canseco Pitches: Run for Cover [J. Mark English]
More thoughts from last weekend's NFL games [EdMcGon]
It is hard to say much about Daunte Culpepper in the limited action he saw. He looks a little slower running, although his arm hasn't lost any zip. He does need some more reps with the Dolphins offense.
Joey Harrington showed some flashes, especially that nice td pass he threw to Randy McMichael.
Zach Thomas is a monster linebacker with an unlimited motor. If he is anywhere near your receiver, you may as well consider your receiver covered, because the receiver will drop the ball as soon as Thomas hits him. Don't even think about running the ball in Thomas's direction, which unfortunately is anywhere you try to run the ball.
I would like to say something about the Jaguars, but I cannot. No individual performance stood out to me. Thinking about it, that has generally been true about them in the past.
Don't get me wrong. The Jags are good. But they are a team effort, with no real individual stars.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Re: Yankees Ground Breaking [WNYC - Public Radio]
Your Daily Fix 8.16.06 [J. Mark English]
- United States soccer tumbles to number 23 on FIFA's ranking.
- Ron Artest defends brawl actions during community service.
- T.O. back on the field after missing 14 practices.
- Koren Robinson of the Vikings arrested, charged with DWI, felony fleeing.
- Owen Nolan will attempt come back with the Phoenix Coyotes.
- Alonzo Ephraim of the Cleveland Browns suspended for four games.
- Detroit Tigers place Placido Polanco on the DL.
- Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Geoff Ogilvy to be grouped together at this years PGA Golf Championship.
- Mets place Pedro Martinez back on the DL.
- Reds get Scott Schoeneweis from Toronto.
- Roger Federer 55-match winning streak in North America comes to an end.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Raiders 16, Vikings 13 [EdMcGon]
Aaron Brooks (1/6 for 16 yards) looked awful WHEN he could get a pass off without being under pressure, which was not often.
This brings us to the Raiders offensive line, which was nothing short of wretched. Robert Gallery needs some pass-blocking lessons. Their run-blocking was mediocre at best, so I am giving the running backs a pass for this game.
The Raiders defense showed flashes, but is also a work in progress.
If Fabian Washington gets any better, he could turn out to be a true shutdown corner.
It is hard to judge the pass rush, since the Vikings use a lot of short passes.
The run defense looked ok on some plays, absent on others. I would worry about this if they played this way during the regular season.
On the bright side, Sebastian Janikowski looked like the kicker the Raiders were hoping to get when they blew a first round pick on him. He hit three field goals, including a 55 yarder.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Matt Leinart signs
Random thoughts from this past NFL weekend [EdMcGon]
Jay Cutler looked outstanding against the Lions. He has a rocket arm that throws a nice tight spiral. He reads defenses well. He looks comfortable in the pocket. Is it too early to start making Elway comparisons?
Jake Plummer's days as starting QB in Denver are numbered.
Mike Bell will not be the starting RB for Denver. The only RB on Denver who looked impressive was Tatum Bell.
Phil Rivers made the Chargers look smart for getting rid of Drew Brees. Rivers also made Vincent Jackson look like the next stud wideout. There was clearly a comfort level there between the two of them, as Jackson caught everything thrown at him. Expect Jackson to move up from third on the depth chart soon.
Vince Young looked like a rookie QB, although he did show some flashes of how good he will be.
Reggie Bush is making the Texans look awfully stupid for not taking him with the first pick.
The Houston Texans look a little better than last year. Clearly, Dom Capers was not a good coach for them. Now if they only had a running back…
Derrick Johnson was awful! The first round linebacker taken by the Chiefs last year looked like a warm body on the field, as the Texans were able to block him at every turn. I didn’t see him shed a single block either. If he plays like this during the season, it will be another long year for the Chiefs defense.
Hank Baskett? Every time I turn around, I see him making a big play for the Eagles. Is he a preseason phenom, or the real deal?
Anthony Wright looked like he could actually be a decent sub for Carson Palmer. Or maybe the Bengals offense is just that good?
Why is Clinton Portis making a tackle on an interception return? There is something to be said for veterans dogging it in preseason. Clinton, enjoy your separated shoulder.
Is there a player in the NFL with a better name than Rock Cartwright? Cue the theme from "Bonanza"...
Friday, August 11, 2006
American Legends Signing 8.13.06
AMERICAN LEGENDS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE NBA INVITES YOU TO MEET:
2006 DRAFT PICKS
RANDY FOYE #7
OF THE HOUSTON ROCKETS
RUDY GAY #8
OF THE MINNESOTA T-WOLVES
FOR THEIR FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCES
Sunday AUGUST 13, 2006
ALL AUTOGRAPHS ARE FREE TO THE PUBLIC
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL
1107 CENTRAL PARK AVE, SCARSDALE
Clarett Arrested [Jay Moussab]
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
NFL Selects a New "Pope" [J. Mark English]
February 19, 1959
Started as an intern in the league office in 1982 and joined the New York Jets as a public relations intern the following year. Was heavily involved in bringing American Bowl to various countries abroad and created NFL International. Oversaw administration of instant replay system for officiating and restructured league's officiating department. Helped negotiate contract with NFL Referees Association in 2001. Appointed chief operating officer in 2001.
MOST RECENT JOB
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the NFL. Has been current commissioner Paul Tagliabue's top assistant, particularly on expansion and stadium construction.
Washington and Jefferson, magna cum laude, degree in economics
Wife Jane and twin daughters live in New York City area.
"I spent my life following my passion. The game of football is the most important thing. You can never forget that."
New Starting RB for Broncos: Bell, but not THAT Bell [EdMcGon]
Not so fast cowboy. I clicked on the link and was astonished to read:
"Broncos rookie running back Mike Bell was told to see Mike Shanahan in his office for a meeting."
Mike who? Or is that who Bell?
The story went on:
"[Mike] Bell was shaking with excitement after Shanahan informed him he is the team's top running back, jumping ahead of Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell - for now. On Monday, Mike Bell was running with the first-team offense. Tatum Bell is second on the depth chart and Dayne third...
..."[Mike Bell]'s been real impressive," Shanahan said. "It is very close, and it could change day by day, week by week, but we felt like Mike deserves a chance to work with the first team and take a look to see if he can keep it.""
I get it Shanahan. A motivational ploy.
Mind you, this is Mike Shanahan we are talking about. If Mike Bell impresses Shanahan in the preseason, don't be surprised if he is the starter on opening day.
FANTASY FOOTBALL PERSPECTIVE: Try to avoid the Broncos running backs for now. If your draft is this week, feel free to take any of the three of them as your 3rd or 4th RB in normal leagues (10-12 teams).
If your draft is later this month, watch this situation closely. The winner of the starting job is easily a great second round pick, potentially even late first round. UNLESS Mike Bell wins the job. He is still a rookie, which nudges his value down a full round (late second round to third round).
Monday, August 07, 2006
The Hall of Fame Game: Raiders 16, Eagles 10 [EdMcGon]
I just wonder if Sebastian Janikowski can kick 70 yard field goals, because the Raiders might need a lot of them this year.
Some Thoughts on the Hall of Fame Weekend [EdMcGon]
God rest his soul, I have never seen a better defensive lineman in my entire life. Of all those inducted this year, White was the most deserving.
When he died in 2004, White received a lot of the normal praise a great person receives when they die. This weekend proved to me how heartfelt that praise really was. Even John Madden got choked up talking about Reggie.
Speaking of Madden, you could not help but love his reaction to being inducted. There is something uniquely special about watching an old man acting like the happiest little boy in the world.
If you think about it, that is really why Madden has had success as a color commentator. He has wrapped his knowledge of the game in a childlike enthusiasm for it.
I am still amazed it took this long for Madden to get into the Hall of Fame for his coaching career. How can you argue against the induction of a Super Bowl winning coach who has a 36-16-2 record against other Hall of Fame coaches?
While Aikman does deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, I would not call him a "great" quarterback. He was very good, but he was also surrounded by a lot of talented players. Give me Emmitt Smith to hand off to, Michael Irvin to throw to, and put one of the best offensive lines in the history of the NFL in front of me, and I will win quite a few games as quarterback.
Hearing the talk of Moon being the first black quarterback to be inducted got me wondering: Was there another black quarterback more worthy of that honor? I personally cannot think of one.
I must confess my knowledge of Wright is limited. When I think of him, I think of an offensive lineman with an unusual name who kept getting sent to the Pro Bowl. I was a young boy when he was playing, and offensive lineman are not exciting to young boys.
One of the things people forget about Carson is that he was a Pro Bowl linebacker twice BEFORE Lawrence Taylor played for the Giants.
I caught Adam Schefter's interview with Al Davis on the NFL Network. Al is looking REALLY old.
I was surprised to see Jerry Jones drop in on Al during the interview. I was even more surprised to see Jones treating Davis with great deference. I had heard they were friends, but it was still surprising to see.
During the interview, Davis was asked what Raiders deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. He mentioned Tom Flores, Jim Plunkett, and Cliff Branch. I could not agree more.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Thank You To All [Harry Carson]
To all of my family, good friends and wonderful Giant, Pro Football or Harry Carson fans all around the world I offer my sincerest gratitude for your support and very warm well wishes over the past few months in regard to my son's health and my election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
As I join the few to be recognized as the greatest to ever play the game, I am humbled and even embarrassed by the honor yet thrilled to have had the opportunity represent my family, my friends, my race, my hometown of Florence, South Carolina and all those who've said something or done something to affect my life along this journey. To South Carolina State University, the New York Giants Organization and all of the loyal Giant fans and all who have played the game of football on any level, I hope that I've represented you well and have made you proud. As I enter the Hall of Fame I take all of you with me.
I've worn many jersey numbers during my 21 year football playing career. In high school I wore #70, at South Carolina State I wore #75 and I wore #53 during my 13 year career with the New York Football Giants. I am now honored to be #231 out of the 235 members of the Professional Football Hall of Fame!
Thank you and God bless!!