Friday, December 30, 2005

Can I get you something to go with that can of whoop-ass?

Ok, so I said I wouldn't be posting this week but I just had to say something about the University of Utah's complete dominance over Georgia Tech in the super-important Emerald Bowl last night. Tech's defense was I believe in the top 10 and the Utes made them look silly. Utah's backup QB shredded them for 381 yards and 4 TDs. It's always hilarious how teams like Georgia Tech and Oregon for that matter, get pouty about not getting the bowl bid they deserve and then lay a total turd on the field against a team they felt were beneath them. In the case of Oregon, I was one of the ones saying they deserved a BCS bowl. ---My bad. Oklahoma has been getting better and better that last half of the season but they aren't at BCS level this year. Neither were the Ducks apparently. Anyway back to the Utes....they rock! Sorta. I mean they ended up 7-5 (and I'm not sure I had ever heard of the Emerald Bowl before last night) so let's not get crazy here but I'm working 15 hour days when I should be taking vacation this week so a little happiness goes a long way. Ok then. I'm done. ---Utah Utes 2005 Emerald Bowl Champions!!! ---Sorry.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy Holidays (for some I guess)

There will be no blogging for me this week as I finish up a project for work that has me wondering if I should look for a different job.

Friday, December 23, 2005

BYU, Sex (or the lack thereof) , and Recruiting

Las Vegas Bowl

- If BYU didn't have fans right next door and gobbling up 30,-000 + tickets can you imagine Vegas Bowl officials ever inviting the Cougars for this game? "come on down BYU fans and party like there is no tomorrow--what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" Somehow I don't know that slogan would go down well with the non-drinking, non-gambling (for the most part) Cougar fans, especially if they had to come cross country. But lucky for Vegas, Utah is next door and Mormons have to eat and sleep and they still like to shop like normal folks god bless them.

So in the game that I know you all watched, Cal beat BYU 35-28. I wasn't surprised that Marshawn Lynch ran all over the Cougars (195 yards). The defense has been the Achilles heel of BYU all season, especially their secondary (can't tackle-can't cover). Still BYU made a game of it and that's encouraging. I'm not a die-hard BYU fan (after all I root for rival Utah as well) so I wasn't having brain aneurysms when they began to have losing seasons after dominating their conference for decades (although Gary Crowton could not get fired fast enough for me). ---But I do root for them and would like to see both Utah and BYU compete for the conference title every year.

Recruiting and the Role Sex, Booze and Religion Play
I'm realistic about BYU's place in the national picture. In addition to playing in a mid-major conference BYU has one huge disadvantage going for them. They'll never be able to consitently recruit great players. They are a Mormon school with an honor code that kicks players off the team if they are caught drinking, smoking, or having pre-marital sex. That's right-- no nookie. Think about that. What good football team could recruit top players if booze and chicks were out of the picture? I'm getting the giggles just thinking about it. It's amazing BYU is able to field a team. Fans for teams like Stanford and Notre Dame complain about how tough their academic standards are and how that hurts recruiting. Try telling 18 year old kids who haven't been virgins since they were 14 that they will need to be celibate for the next 4 years. Now that's a handicap. I'm not saying it's a terrible thing to ask kids or God forbid, even football players to live with these standards. I'm just saying it's unrealistic if you want a top 25 football team year in and year out.
BYU will always be able to get a healthy dose of Mormon recruits and some other good non-Mormon players that are either willing to adhere to the standards for a few years or perhaps already have those standards (umm..its possible) --but not in the quantity that will make them a dominant team every year. And lets be honest here, there are players currently on the team that aren't following the honor code and just haven't gotten caught. (also I've always wondered how it is these guys do get caught--its not like they are feeling so guilty about it that they go into the administration to confess --"uh yeah, I uh got drunk out of my mind the other night and slept with the Biology professor's daughter..thats an honor code violation right?" --uh uh-- it's either some girl that confesses to her Mormon bishop and he tells the school or it's the girl's friends that spill the beans. Probably because it was just a one nighter for the guy and they're pissed that he would use her and drop her--yeah, that would be shocking for football players wouldn't it?)
Also, as long as were on the topic of disadvantages, when BYU used to run roughshod over their conference every year, teams like Wyoming would complain that they had an unfair advantage because of all the Mormon kids that would serve two year missions for the church (at 19 years of age many Mormon guys volunteer to do this) and supposedly come back more mature physically and mentally. --what?! --That's insane. Yeah that really makes sense-- go spend two years away from football and then come back and suddenly your better than you were before. --Somebody shoot me now. ---Now that the team has sucked for a few years you don't hear that coming out of rival coaches mouths as much. Not only that but think about the disruption and management nightmare it is year in and year out to figure out which guys are going and who's coming back from the mission and how to plug them in. Don't get me started on this. For a really good explanation of just how ludicrous this supposed advantage is check out this article.

BYU Not Assured of Top Mormon Recruits or Top Coaches
Anyway, back to recruiting problems---if BYU isn't as successful as they were in the 80's and 90's then even some top Mormon recruits like UCLA's backup QB sophomore Ben Olson (who was the # 1 rated recruit in the Nation in 2002--played his freshman year at BYU--went on a mission for two years--saw that BYU still sucked -and transferred)will go someplace where they think they will get more exposure and a better shot at being drafted. It's a pickle for coaches that's for sure. Which is why having the best coach in the conference is a must. If you can't get the best players then you have to have someone who will squeeze every ounce of talent out of what you have. Here too though BYU is at a disadvantage. They will only hire a Mormon coach. I'm not sure if this is policy or just practice because a Mormon guy understands the culture and will accept the unique challenges that are part of coaching at the school. Also they underpay their coaches compared to the other high profile football programs in the conference. So the guy has got to be loyal. We'll see how that pans out if current coach Bronco Mendenhall somehow molds the team into a winner and other teams come calling.

-wow I've really gotten long winded with this thing so I guess I'll shut up. I'm not trying to make excuses for BYU's mediocrity....wait a second, yes I am...but they are legitimate excuses I think. In additon to the disadvantages associated with missionaries, keeping the very top Mormon recruits and getting a quality coach from a very limited coaching pool, we come back to the fact that they are missing out on a lot of recruits because of their honor code. Bottom line: Sex sells and BYU isn't buying (and neither are the recruits). You know what? I'm all right with that. I'm not whining about these disadvanatages (they are of BYU's own making), I'm just pointing out that they are there. I'll still root for them to do well but the school is what it is. I get my fix of football without the distraction of morals every week in the NFL.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Shoes, uniform, and washable corporate tatoos are on aisle 10.

-As I saw ESPN's airbrushed pic of an emasculated Johnny Damon today, I wondered what would happen if the "Boss" and Johnny talk in the near future. I imagine something like this:

Damon-"Yo, George, hows it hanging?"

Steinbrenner-"how's what hanging?"

(awkward pause)

Damon-"thats cool dude, thanks for the cash. Hey how about we forget about this whole haircut, anti-beard vibe you got going on here?"

Steinbrenner-"Mr. Damon I'll see you on the field this spring."

Damon - "Wait man, ...hey I just wanted to say I think your an idiot"

Steinbrenner- "Excuse me?" What the hell did you just say?"

Damon-" it's cool, I'm an idiot too. It's a compliment dude."

(Steinbrenner walks out the door with a face as purple as A-Rods lips.)

Say this for the Yankees, they're not boring. I just can't figure out their clubhouse though. Could you find a better collection of guys that have less in common with each other?

Monday, December 19, 2005

NFL Thoughts: Week 15

I like college football and all but I don't mind the fact that when it's on break for a month, I get NFL action on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. That's a festivus for the rest of us.

I'm still under the gun at work to complete a huge project before the end of the year. My time for writing in this blog is sparse so again just a few thoughts this week.

--So congratulations to Lovie Smith for doing what many of us have been calling for: --give Grossman a shot when he gets healthy. Anybody who watched their game knows that when Grossman was in and there was a 3rd and long, there was actually a shot for a 1st down. It's the weirdest thing in the world for a 1st place team's fans to go ballistic when the backup QB comes into the game. If that doesn't sum up how bad the Bear's passing offense has been this season, I don't know what does. Grossman will throw more interceptions than Orton (in large part because they may actully throw it more) and it may cost them a game at some point. But how is that any worse than their offense costing them a game by not scoring? Grossman is not the second coming of Manning or Brady but he gives the Bear's offense something it hasn't had all season. Hope

--Vick looked about as uncofortable in the cold weather as I've ever seen from a QB. Horrible game.

--If it sets up as predicted the Jags will play the Patriots in the first round of the Playoffs. To me this is the easiest game of the year to call. Brady is the best QB in the NFL. Yes even bettter than Manning. It pains me to state this because I can't stand him, his coach or his team but If I've got to have clutch quality play from a quarterback in a crucial game, I'm taking Brady over Manning any day of the week. I've been saying it for awhile now but I think the Pats are still the most dangerous team standing in the Colt's way to the SuperBowl (especially since I don't think the Chargers will even be around for the postseason) . I'm still picking the Colts but I'm not sure it's out of conviction or just because I can't stand the thought of the Patriots back in the SuperBowl.

--Kudos to another Utah State guy (my Aggies are few and far between in this league so I've got to plug them when I can) , tight end Chris Cooley from the Redskins who scored 3 TDs yesterday. He's had a nice season for Washington.

--Speaking of Utah State guys, the Rams second leading receiver, Kevin Curtis had better hope Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't play another game this season for St. Louis. After week 11 Curtis had 48 catches for 678 yards. Since then, the rookie Fitzpatrick has taken over at QB and Curtis has had only 6 catches in 4 games for a total of 82 yards. 56 of those yards were in that crazy Houston game where he took a short receiver screen pass and won the game for the Rams in OT. What a waste of an offensive weapon.

--teams that surprised me this week: the Redskins, Texans, and the Jets (they lost but played tough against a decent Dolphin team)

--teams that didn't surprise me this week: the Chargers, Bucs, and Falcons.

--The Seahawks are winning and are the top ranked team in the NFC right now, but isn't it ridiculous that if the Chargers (who most likely won't even make the playoffs in the AFC) were in the NFC they would be without a doubt the odds on favorite for the SuperBowl. That doesn't say a whole lot about the conference.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Necessary Roughness?

So Jacksonville Jaguars defensive players Mike Peterson and John Henderson were fined some cash for their excessive roughness penalties last week against the Colts. Which of course they are probably pissed about. I mean who likes somebody taking money out of your wallet. Peterson's feeling is that the Colts get preferential treatment, which may or may not be true. I'm not in the mood to research whether other defensive players have been fined the same amount (or at all) for these types of penalties. What I found hilarious and ridiculous was Peterson's comments about it. Said Peterson, "It was like, 'Indianapolis comes to town, now all the fines come out.' I hate all these fines and how they're changing the league around." "You can't even play the game the way you want to play it now."

--and the way he wants to play the game apparently is to cheapshot guys after they're down and twist their legs in an attempt to injure them. Nice. --I actually think Peterson is a great linebacker. A bit demented as that quote suggests but who doesn't like a little splash of crazy in their middle linebacker? ---Probably the Colts

Thursday, December 15, 2005

When we said "World" we didn't mean you!

Our Treasury department has decided the Cubans won't get to play in the World Baseball Classic citing policies regarding Cuba and Castro. On the flip side if the Iraqis actually had a baseball team they could send one now. If the Cubans really want to play in this thing they better ask us nicely to come invade and oust their dictator.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Random Thoughts

Some quick thoughts today

1. Michael Vick may not ever live up to his hype but since I'm not a Falcon fan or Falcon hater I don't care. I still tivo his games.

2. Warrick Dunn is the other reason I watch Falcon games. That and to see if I can catch a glimpse of Jim Mora going back on his promise to abstain from the smelling salts. "just a quickie guys, just a quickie!...ahhhhhhhhh ...damn thats good."

3. Did Pat Riley pull Stan Van Gundy into a dark room with a single lampshade hanging over the table and say, "It's your choice on what you want to say at the press conference but know this...your done." Or did Stan just know that conversation was coming and he decided to save himself the sight of Riley dripping hair grease as he hovered over him. Either way, he was pushed out. I'm not saying Riley shouldn't be the coach. His pedigree is longer and better than Van Gundy's. Lets just be honest about why he's taking over. I haven't seen this much political manipulation in the NBA since....well....since Larry Brown.

4. Ron Artest is certifiably insane. Lets take a quick look at the past year and a half of his life through his eyes.

-Last year your team was being touted as a championship contender and you are seen as one of the best all-around (defense, offense, rebounding) players in the game. It's only logical then to mention to the Pacers and the world that even though the season has just started you are going to need a month off. Burnout is real baby, and you would be better off the second half of the season if you could take some quality time now to rest, relax and you know...promote a rap album. Cause your business not basketball business....your real business...."Tru Warier" records (check it out you won't regret) really needs you.

-the next step in the how to win friends and influence teamates playbook is to go apeshit on some Detroit kid in the stands who just soiled himself as you prepare to take his head off (never mind that it's not even the guy who threw the cup at you.....speaking of which, do you know how dangerous those cups are? don't get me started on this...the paper cuts those things can cause are legit). The bonus part is you get some time off now and a good buddy (O'Neal) to hang with. The Pacer's season is screwed but "Tru Warier" records is off the hook.

-Now you are playing again and the Pacers are seen again as a legitmate contender. Your ability to excell in so many aspects of the game evokes faint comparisons to your boss Larry Legend. People tell you that you need to lay low this year, just play hard and your image can be rebuilt. Image? You're Ron Artest and Tru Warier records is the "shit", so what's to rebuild? Too much negativity in Pacerville baby. A change of scenery and people who understand a "tru warier's" needs is what the doctor ordered.

Ron Artest is not a bad guy. He's just freaking crazy. NBA players, they're fannnntastic!

Monday, December 12, 2005

NFL Thoughts: Week 14

Vikings are supposedly on a hot streak. yippee. All I know is that my Rams are hard to watch on offense now (and that hurts, it really does). Harvard dude is mobile but like many rookies, completely lost. Does Mike Martz laugh or cry about this? If you're crying Mike, could you pass the tissue box?

It's good San Diego has the weather they do in January because the coming winter months are going to suck for them. Talk about a winter of regret.
-I've said it before but Chris Chambers is a very good WR. Frerotte made some of the best throws I've ever seen him make in the second half of this game. San Diego had to be thinking, "wait, who the hell is this?...we didn't gameplan this."


This game proved what most of us already knew. The Bears need to improve on offense to go deep into the playoffs. If their defense doesn't at least score once for them and the opposing team scores at at least 3 touchdowns, then Chicago is toast. I think Grossman needs a chance when he's healthy.
-The Steelers are one team that the Bears can't out-tough. Talk about old school. Bettis and Ward's TDs were some serious smashmouth. Not my favorite kind of game but effective considering who they were playing and the weather conditions. The snow was some nice icing for their cake.

I've taken my shots at Bledsoe this year and I really thought even with less than average KC defense, he would still find a way to lose the game for Dallas. What can I say Drew, I'm sorry. 300+ yards, 3 TDs. Impressive. hell of a game. I'll never doubt you again. Oh who am I kidding. Of course I will.


Other than some turnovers, I thought the Jaguars played a pretty solid game. Problem is, those turnovers really are killers and you need more than solid to beat the Colts. Marvin Harrison is one of the best receivers I've seen in the past ten years. Sure he's had Payton, but I'm convinced he would be great anywhere.

The Pats scare the hell out of me. I really would like to believe they will make an early exit in the playoffs. My gut tells me otherwise and that they have another date with Indy. Anything's possible with Brady in January. Is Brady undefeated in cold weather games? Anybody got a stat on this?


Did you see the shanked kick at the end? Saying it was shanked is actually being too kind. I'm joining the conspiracy theorists on this one. Somebody had to have walked up to the Texan's kicker before he went out for the snap and said "Think Reggie Bush. Do you want to keep your nuts?"

I'm just sad Curtis Martin is out for the year. One of my favorite running backs over the years.

I know the Raven defense can be tough but I'm guessing not too many have the Broncos rated #2 in the league anymore.


After playing Seattle tough last time, San Fran looked like a 6th grader at the high school prom yesterday.
Hasselbeck was great and Alexander continues his possible run at an MVP. I look forward to the Colts game. If Indy plays their starters for the whole game it will give us an idea of how good Seattle is against the AFC elite. If the Seahawks play them close or beat them then we might have the makings of an interesting SuperBowl.

I thought it was a mistake when I read that Palmer was under 100 yards passing for the game. Not exactly a statement game considering the scrappy Browns aren't at their level but it had to be a good sign for the Bengals that if Palmer is a little off, Rudi Johnson can step it up.

I have no idea how to read this division. The Bucs are certainly looking like the favorite now. They've beaten Atlanta and Carolina in the past month now and are much tougher than anyone expected. I'm not a Panther fan so I would rather see the Bucs or Falcons win out.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Starting QBs: Who is worthy?

Because of my obvious expertise in rating quarterbacks (I once thought Ty Detmer would make a good starter) I was putting together a list of guys who I thought should and shouldn't be starting at QB in the NFL. Then I came across Don Banks' article about starting QBs on It was a good article but I had my own take so I decided to post anyway. If the starter is the best guy available but he really shouldn't be a starter in the NFL then I'll classify him as somebody who should be a backup. Anyway, this is my grouping (in no particular order within the group)of many of the guys who have started at the quarterback position this year.

The Cream of the Cream

Payton Manning/Colts
He's got Kenny Loggins blasting in his car while he's lip syncing (not a pretty sight) and he’s incredibly annoying at the line of scrimmage. He also is damn good at the quarterback position.

-Tom Brady/Patriots
still played well enough this year to keep a decimated defensive team atop their division (yes the other teams in his division really suck but without Brady the Pats might be fighting the Jets for the rights to Reggie Bush next year)

Starring at Quarterback...

-Carson Palmer/Bengals
It’s amazing how he has vaulted into this group in the span of a year and half. It’s early in his career to be considered this good but the Bengal offense is the 2nd best in the NFL. Palmer is a big reason why. Next year against a tougher schedule will tell us if he stays in this group.

-Drew Brees/Chargers
The last few games of this year (and playoffs if they make it) should reveal more of what Brees is made of but I like what I’ve seen for two years now.

-Donovan McNabb/Eagles
He was terrible this year, but he was really banged up. If he’s healthy he belongs here.

-Michael Vick/Falcons
Some people are so polarized on this guy. They either think he’s the best thing since disposable diapers or that he’s as overrated as Anna Kournikova. It’s probably a little bit of both. He’s shown enough to be a legitimate starter and the fact that he is the main weapon that teams game plan for means he has star status in my book. He doesn't like to hear it but his passing does need to improve. When the running isn't working he needs to be able to win games with his arm. That's iffy right now. Even so, he scares defenses. Not every QB can make that claim.

Solid starter but…

-Marc Bulger/Rams
He is dependent on protection because he has zero mobility. When he has time he can pick apart a defense. When he doesn’t, he’s on the injured list.

-Byron Leftwich/Jaguars
Needs to avoid injury bug and do a better job in the red-zone.

-Ben Roethlisberger/Steelers
When the Steelers are ahead he’s been good. When they’re behind, he has struggled. Needs to avoid inury...and dramatizing them.

-Jake Plummer/Broncos
his last couple of games have me seeing Jake the Snake again. In case you didn’t know, the “Snake” sucked. He needs a good running game and to play with the lead. Still his play this year puts him in this group.

-Trent Green/Chiefs
He's been pretty good for a few years now but I don't see him getting any better than he's been.

-Brian Griese/Buccaneers
has shown me enough with Tampa to make me believe that with the right system and protection he can be an effective starter. You might say that is true with any QB but there have been plenty of guys that have shown us that’s not reality. Tommy Maddox is exhibit A. You still have to have the skills and instincts to play well even with a good team around you.

-Jake Delhomme/Panthers
Throws too many stupid interceptions for me to label him a star QB yet. Still, he has played some great games and deserves to start.

-Eli Manning/Giants
I think he has played well enough to cement starter status. His completion percentage and decision making still needs much improvement.

-Matt Hasselbeck/Seahawks
The last couple of years I was expecting him to have a breakout season. It hasn’t happened and I don’t think its going to now. It might not be too long before he drops out of this group. If the Seahawks are going anywhere in the playoffs he’ll have to play better.

-Dante Culpepper/Vikings
he had two standout seasons prior to this year so even though he started off terrible before the injury, I’m not ready to write him off yet. I still believe he’s a starter for the Vikes and even with out Moss he could be great again. We’ll see.

-Brett Favre/Packers
Of course he's a Hall of famer but his team is bad and so are some of his decisions.

Steve McNair/Titans
Could his career have been a Hall of Fame one had he not been injured seemingly every game?

Survey says?...Backup!

-Brad Jonhson/Vikings
Has proved the last few years that he can win games. I still think he is better now in the relief role.

-Mark Brunell/Redskins
is playing better this year than last but that he’s still not what he was a few years back with the Jags.

-Kurt Warner/Cardinals
can throw for 300 yards a game. Can also throw 4 picks and have 2 fumbles in the same game. Yeah he fit the Ram system perfectly for a couple of years. But starting the year he had the thumb injury with the Rams, he’s been a different guy.

-Drew Bledsoe/Cowboys
He’s has a solid year so why isn’t he in my “solid starter” group? I have some immobile and poor decision making QB’s in that group it’s true, but some of his interceptions or fumbles come at the worst possible time for the Cowboys. I see implosion written all over the next few games for him.

-Kyle Boller/Ravens
With the defense he’s had it’s not like he’s trying to come back against impossible odds each game.

-David Carr/Texans
many say that he needs a better line before we judge him too harshly. Sorry, 45 Tds and 51 Ints in 4 years is enough for me.

-Kerry Collins/Raiders
he has enough good games to tempt you into thinking he could be a decent starter someday. Someday isn’t coming.

-Joey Harrington/Lions
see David Carr

-Jeff Garcia/Lions
had a playboy model girlfriend get involved in a catfight with his other ex-girlfriend. That's the only highlight of his worth talking about in the past few years. He’s never again going to be the guy that made the Pro-Bowl with the 49ers.

-Aaron Brooks/Saints
See Kerry Collins

-Trent Dilfer/Browns
good backup. Nothing more.

-Kelly Holcomb/Bills
Had a chance to impress this season. Didn't happen.

-Gus Frerotte, Anthony Wright, & Jay Fiedler/Dolphins/Ravens/Jets
Just re-read their names. It'll come to you.

Too early to judge..but it's ugly so far

Kyle Orton/Bears
Alex Smith/49ers

Too early to judge...but some signs of life
J.P Losman
Chris Simms/Bucs
Charlie Frye/Browns
Rex Grossman/Bears
David Garrard/Jags
Matt Schaubb/Falcons

Agree or disagree with these? Have others I didn't mention?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

NFL Thoughts: Week 13

Only a few thoughts on this week's action. Couldn't watch any games so I'm relying on highlights and box scores:


- As a Ram fan I think I know how Ravens fans feel in a bizzaro world kind of way. One part of their team has always sucked, sucks now, and for the foreseeable future will continue to suck. No, I'm not talking about Brian Billick, but yes, he could qualify on a couple of those points. It's their offense that is similar in futility to the Ram's defense. Ram defense is a complete oxymoron. They don't play any. Redskins running backs have petitioned the NFL for 8 games against the Rams next year. No word on a league response but Portis is planning to dress as Mike Martz for his next alternative personality interview.


- The Bears defense is their best offense. These guys are starting to get a lot of hype like the Ravens and the Bucs did a few years back. You know what, I think they deserve it. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if they won a Super Bowl with a score of 17-3 and the defense scored 14 of their points. I'm officially on their defense bandwagon. Is it ok if I don't sit next to Kyle Orton?


-I was frankly expecting a little more out of Garrard for the Jaguars today. His numbers don't look that great but I guess he must have picked it up in the second half with a couple of key touchdowns. I guess if your going to stink it up, it's better to get it out of the way early (that's why my office always smells better in the afternoon). It's a good sign that he could make plays when they needed to pull ahead. Also, Jones isn't a bad fill in for Fred Taylor, but when Fred is healthy and running well he's a weapon that makes the Jags a different offense.
- and congrats to the Browns for finally getting a running back (Droughns) to 1,000 yards. Who do they send that ball to, Art Modell?

-The Bucs got a needed win especially with Carolina beating Atlanta. Just like I thought, the Saints always play Tampa Bay tough. I cannot figure this division out though. It wouldn't surprise me if Tampa Bay, Carolina, or Atlanta won or lost a majority of their remaining games. It would seem that Carolina has the inside track. I'm not sold on Delhomme yet but I think if Foster can stay healthy he's a better back than people know.


-Biggest surprise for me the past few weeks? It would have to be the Chiefs. I honestly thought they would tank in the second half of the season. Good for them. It should make the AFC a little more exciting down the stretch. - Some Chief fan wrote a comment to me today that I thought was hilarious. He felt that I hadn't given enough respect to Tony Gonzalez and wrote, "you have proven that you were a highschool kicker and that is about all you should write about. Please do us all a favor and just write facts-not trash talk players in the NFL that are proven pro-bowler caliber year in and year out."
It was anonymous so I'm not entirely sure it wasn't Tony, but seeing how he had a game today, I'm going to assume it's somebody with a crush on Tony who gets a little butt hurt when somebody isn't singing the praises of the guy that he's got posters of on every wall in his room. It's funny first because I couldn't trash talk my way out of a high school cheerleader catfight, and second because of course blogs should be strictly about facts. That's some good reading. I stand chastened. Also, I indeed was a high school kicker but sadly my stories would tend to be embellished (60 yarders etc.) so again, facts here would get lost in the shuffle. By the way, I think Tony Gonzalez is a pretty good tight end. Dammit.... facts, not opinions. I'll work on it.


-Once you get past the fact that the Dolphins won with a guy named Sage at QB then you can appreciate the way they won this game. That was a clutch throw and catch with not a lot of ticks left on the clock. I've always liked Chris Chambers, he makes some amazing catches.
-Nice first 15 minutes for JP Losman and Lee Evans. They need to remember there are 3 of those quarter thingys left.


-Maybe we were wrong about that boat cruise scandal for the Vikings. Maybe they just needed a little lovin to get them going. Maybe Tice said, "two boats?, listen you bunch of numbnuts, if your going to do something then do it right! Now go out and apologize for the cameras and make sure you sign up for one of the 8 yachts I've got chartered for thursday night." Reports are that Mariucchi tried the same thing before he got canned but wires got crossed and "exotic dancers" was interpreted as toxic dangers. He ended up with a ship full of Matt Millen's jockey shorts.

Friday, December 02, 2005

A Lame Weekend

Weekend Hell. That's what I like to call Saturdays and Sundays that don't involve football in these fall and early winter months. Despite the nice matchups between USC/UCLA & Georgia/LSU and the semi-nice games of Texas/Colorado or VA Tech/Florida St., not to mention the Sunday smorgasbord of NFL action, yours truly will be working on a project for my job that may keep me on the inactive list all weekend. What do you do when you know that football (even some games watched the tivo way) will prevent you from getting done something that effects your ability to put bread (I prefer white on sandwiches & wheat if toasted) on the table? Do I say screw it, I can do it in the evening, and then at 2 am I'm still not as far along as I need to be but I don't care so I just sack out? For those still in college and even those now finished, we all know or remember how that panned out with research papers that were due or tests that were the next day. Unlike college, if I get the equivalent of a C on this project, I'm still not passing. Damn. Hell is Hell for a reason. I'm pretty sure guys living in Hell right now don't look at each other and say, "beauty eh?". Nope, hell sucks, and I may be headed for the earth-bound version of it tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

And the Winner Is...

The Courtney Gains (aka Hans Klopek from the movie "The Burbs") look alike contest:
I've narrowed it down to Kyle Orton and Koy Detmer. Right now I'm leaning towards Koy Detmer. Orton's face doesn't give me the same "I've been eating rats for 5 years" look that Detmer's does. Koy is definitely the creepier of the two (ranks just below Bill Belichick on the closet serial killer scale) and honestly, if you can't eat for at least 15 minutes after viewing his photo then that wraps it up doesn't it? Do we need to wait for Tagliabue to rule on this or can we just go ahead and hand out the hardware?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Can the Colt's be beat?

I thought the Steelers actually played ok on defense. They disguised their blitzes pretty well and James may have had over 100 yards but he wasn't dominant. Unfortunately for the AFC, playing ok defense against the Colts still gets you a 19 point ass kicking. Just like Madden pointed out when Steeler corners bit early on play action passes, you should never worry about a running back when Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison are running by you. Yeah the Colts can run the ball fairly well, but if I was an opposing coach I'd still stack the secondary and hope to contain James. It at least makes it a slower game. If the Colts get beat this season or in the playoffs it will be for 3 reasons:

1. The opposing team doesn't turn the ball over. You can't give these guys any extra series on offense.

2. The opposing team causes the Colts to turn the ball over at key times. If you can get Manning feeling antsy, he might force the ball. It hasn't happened much this season but occasionally he just can't help himself. He may say he is happy handing the ball off but every part of him wants to throw the ball downfield. If somehow a limited number of lineman and linebackers can either pressure Manning or stop James then he will be forced to throw into a crowded secondary. The other part of this is getting lucky and causing a fumble or two. Remember when James fumbled near the goal line a couple of years ago against the Patriots? That kind of break will be needed.

3. The opposing team keeps the Colt's under 30 points. You’re not going to win a high scoring game with these guys as the Bengals already have found out. Run the ball effectively and control the clock. And oh yeah, you have to have a couple of scores yourself.

Nobody has done all of these things this season and I believe you have to do all 3 (a perfect game) to beat the Colts. It goes without saying, if Manning is not playing either due to injury or sitting to avoid that possibility , then all bets are off. They become an ordinary team.

Monday, November 28, 2005

NFL Thoughts: Week 12


I almost turned this game off at halftime. I couldn't take it anymore. My Rams were playing their usual defense (none) and some bad breaks were going their way (did you see backup QB Jaime Martin's glazed eyes?). I kept the game on and lucky for me it became a Ram classic. Can I say that about a Texan game? Part of me still thinks the Rams can make the playoffs, so in my warped reality even a victory over Houston qualifies as a classic.

--So Fitzpatrick (Harvard guy...I'm not sure how I feel about that) comes in and proceeds to ---make some pretty good throws and some plays with his legs (offensive linemen don't know where the hell he is when he does that..they've never seen it before). Bruce and Holt become his go-to guys and he hit them in stride many times. My favorite receiver Kevin Curtis is not even getting a sniff of a ball...but considering this is a rookie and Curtis is playing slot in this game which makes him the 3rd read on most plays, I'll shut up. Down 10 with less than 30 seconds to go, Bruce catches a 4th down and 6 - 30 yard TD catch that silences the Texan crowd. Meanwhile I'm going nuts and my wife peeks in to give me one of those "you know your a total retard right?" looks. - Now even though Fitzpatrick played out of his mind, my game ball goes to Jeff Wilkins for kicking the perfect onside kick (a rarity) that was recovered by Holt (update: I've now wet my pants and I don't care). You know the ensuing field goal is going to go in and I'm pretty sure even though overtime hasn't been played yet, the Texan fans know they're screwed. In OT Fitzpatrick gets the ball to Curtis (finally) on a short WR screen and Curtis makes a nice move to leave a Texan safety (and jockstrap) as well as the rest of their defense in the dust (remember this was the guy that's not that fast according to offensive genius Neil O'Donnell). Game over. I now give thanks for the hospitality of Houston. My wife comes in, sees me passed out, proceeds to give me mouth to mouth resuscitation...I tell her I'm not in the mood and spaz out again. It's been a long season as a Ram fan and will most likely be longer still, so dammit I deserve this.

-Now on to the rest of the league's slightly less intriguing games.


Wow. This is a different year for Seattle. Never mind that the Giant's kicker gift-wrapped this sucker for them by missing 2 makeable (that 54 yarder was a bit out of range, so I won't count that one) field goals to win the game. These are the kind of breaks that never used to fall the Seahawks way. Now some are saying this didn't prove much for Seattle because they really should have lost the game. But I say, are you kidding? They have got some of what the Pats had the last couple of years. Some clutch play when it counts and some pretty lucky breaks. Don't knock luck, I can't remember too many championship teams that didn't dip into the charmed well a few times.
-one last note: did you see the replay of Shockey on the sideline doing the "you know it" "you know it" dance as Feely misses one of the game winners, only to realize in mid-dance that something just went horribly wrong. He turns towards the field with that "what the #$*%" look. Kodak moment. Someone needs to get this footage for him as a stocking stuffer.
  • The Sports Pulse
  • or
  • NFL Spam
  • has a great clip of this you should check out if you haven't seen it.


    I now watch the Bengals because I love to see an explosive offense. How much do these guys remind you of Indy last year(including the defense)? I'm not on the bandwagon but I sure like to trot alongside and watch the fun.


    Can the Bears win the NFC in January with their offense? It's a valid question. After what the Bears defense did on Sunday, can Chris Simms sleep at daddy's house tonight? Equally valid.


    I don't know what I'm more surprised with: the fact that both Brooks and Bollinger had passer ratings over 100 for this game or that I actually watched part of it. It's a toss up.

    -Curtis Martin reached 14,000 rushing yards for his career in this game. Though he's never got the pub, he's a hall of famer and the stats will speak for him when it's time.

    - New Orleans savior Aaron Brooks on the win: "We're proud of getting a victory...breaking a six-game losing streak is the best feeling this team can have at this point." -- No kidding. This has to be one of the most uninspiring post-game quotes I've ever read.


    I didn't catch any of this game. Only saw the highlights and was stunned to see Brady overthrowing guys and getting intercepted (4 times!). Bad games for Brady are like eclipses, they happen every so often and you better get a good look while you can.


    Brees and Gates played their worst games of the year and the Skins still can't beat the Chargers. Tomlinson had a little something to do with that. That and the fact that the Redskins suck.


    So Carolina was everybody's hot pick a couple of weeks ago for the Superbowl. If the trendy thing in the NFC is going to be tough defense and low scoring games, then stop the bus, I want to get off.


    Nothing. I've got nothing.


    Ditto. Wait...nope..nada.

    Favre played badly but so did many other Packers. It's time for Green Bay to face reality. They haven't hung on to any free agents the past few years, they haven't drafted well, and Mike Sherman isn't going to be given football genius status anytime soon. Favre isn't a pro-bowler this year but he's not the reason this team is in the running for Reggie Bush.


    -I've watched the Jag's Garrard before and been impressed with him as a backup. Can he do it again and for more than a couple of games? Leftwich might be out a while so if Garrard falters and the Jags lose any of their creampuff games left (minus Indy of course) then maybe the Chargers can sneak up on them for the Wild Card spot. Thinking about Arizona's game last week with the Rams where Bulger went down, I'm starting to think the Cardinals defensive coordinator is telling his players, "you know what guys, we suck ,so just go out and kill their QB. Why should we be the only ones that don't trust our quarterback?"

    Frerotte had a passer rating above 90 for this game. Nick and Jessica have broken up. What the hell is happening? Oh wait...Collins still sucks. Whew! I'm not crazy. ---I still don't recognize Ricky Williams on the highlights. He looks as skinny as Tiki Barber. I thought getting off weed was supposed to increase your appetite.

    Saturday, November 26, 2005

    College Football Thoughts for Nov 26th

    -LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, & Texas all won but none of them looked great doing it. Still at this time of year I'm not sure any team should feel bad about a win, no matter how ugly. It's tough to make it through the season without some hiccups. Notre Dame's close call though gives a little more ammunition to Oregon supporters like me who think money shouldn't rule the decision on major bowl games.....yes I still believe in Santa Claus, why do you ask?

    -Nevada is not a bad team (8-3) but Fresno State's run defense is
    as soft as my favorite quilt (I love that thing!). I'm guessing Nevada has similar feelings of affection for Fresno's "D" as they dashed their way through holes the size of Rhode Island (261 rushing yards given up). Suddenly Reggie Bush's near 300 yards against the Bulldogs, while still incredible, isn't as superhuman as it seemed.

    -I know that Florida lost some key games this year but they beat
    Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida State. Now, none were as good as pre-season hype led us to believe, but they are hated rivals. Doesn't that buy Urban Meyer at least a year before Gator fans torch his house and sell his wife and kids on e-bay?

    -Oklahoma and Nebraska fans can also call off the dogs as both teams got badly needed aesthetic victories. Neither was awful this year, but a 6 win regular season just wouldn't have cut it for these former Big 12 powerhouses. Prior to the Callahan experience, wasn't Frank Solich run out of Nebraska for eking out 9 wins? The nerve of that guy!

    Thursday, November 24, 2005

    Turkey & Football

    Thanksgiving is without question my favorite holiday. Turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, & 8 hours of football. What's not to love? ---The look on my wife's face after the start of the Broncos game might qualify.

    - The Broncos have been getting a lot of love in the press lately. Even though I haven't seen many of their games this year I admit I wondered if today would be a rout. So either the Cowboys are better that I thought, or the Broncos are worse than I thought. Also, If I'm signed by the Broncos tomorrow what are the odds of me running for 100 yards next week? My 40 time is a bit off, but I'm coachable.

    - I missed the name of the hyperventilating Falcon coach with the sideburns. Who is he and more importantly is he available to sing at a wedding next week? ---Seriously though, the Falcons have to feel good about dominating the Lions. Dunn was a stud again (116 yards without playing the 4th quarter), Vick was pretty good, and the defense made Garcia and Harrington look like....well...themselves. It was the Lions, so hopefully they didn't pop open the bubbly to go with their turkey. They still have some work to do if they want to make the playoffs.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    NFL Thoughts: Week 11

    I just want to again say how much I love the technology of Tivo. I can watch four full games in the time it would take to watch one. It's a marriage saver. Some thoughts then on some games I watched and some that I just caught highlights of:

    The Rams were lit up by the Cardinals. Their defense is so bad it's painful to watch. I do think the Rams would have hung with the Cards had Bulger not gone down (again). He was having a nice game and when he got hurt every Ram fan watching as well as every Ram player (including backup QB Jamie Martin) thought to themselves, "oh sh--, we're screwed".
    Warner had a good day, which must have felt nice against St. Louis. Don't get used to it Arizona fans. I'll always be a fan of his because of what he did as a Ram but the thumb injuries and and some bad habits have made Kurt into one of the most unreliable starters out there.

    - Who's brilliant idea was it to sign former Super Bowl loser Neil O'Donnell (Yes Neil was the loser---the Steelers did not lose that game to the Cowboys) on as color commentary dude ? Nobody did a test run with this guy before he was hired? Unbelievable. As I'm watching the Ram game, I listen to the two broadcasters and think to myself, "who's the guy that sounds like he's as intelligent as Anna Nicole Smith? " When I find out it's O'Donnell, I thought, "oh ok, that makes sense". Absolutely no real analysis of anything. Just observations that my 3 year old could make and some flat out stupid and ignorant commentary. Commenting about Ram wide-out Kevin Curtis (9 receptions, 98 yards) after he made a couple of catches, Neil quipped, "he's not the fastest of guys", then made the point that he was much like former Ram "possession" receiver, Ricky Proehl. He made this point a few times in the game, still telling us that Curtis wasn't very fast but had great hands. If O'Donnell had done any homework for this game or watched any Ram games before this, he would know that Curtis is one of the faster guys on the entire Ram team and one of the fastest wideouts in the league. My memo to Neil: Hey dumb ass, just because you're a slow white guy, that doesn't mean Curtis is too. --If O'Donnell does any Jacksonville Jaguar games in the future, he'll be sure to tell us how Byron Leftwich is not a very good pocket passer but he's one of the better running QBs in the league. Pure stupidity and ignorance really bug me.
    ok then. moving on.

    Being a Ram fan, I could make some kind of comment about Seattle almost losing to San Fran. But then I would have to point out that the 49ers played other teams pretty tough as well and in fact beat the Rams. I don't need to be that honest with myself.

    I think Vick is playing pretty well but (and I apologize for sounding like a broken record here) the way he holds the ball (away from his body and many times down near his hip)while in the pocket (and sometimes out of it) leads to a lot of fumbles. Sometimes it doesn't hurt them, but against the Bucs it did.

    - Carnell Williams seems to have gotten his legs back this week. It will take a lot of stress off Simms if that continues. They've got a brutal schedule left though with home games against Chicago and Atlanta and road games against New England and Carolina. You'd like to think that the two Saints games they have left would be gimmees but New Orleans has been playing Tampa pretty tough the last few years.

    Two things on the Dolphins. 1. Their running backs are pretty decent. 2. Their quarterbacks--not so much. - They were just shut out by the Browns. Pass the Maloxx Nick.

    I really like the Jaguars defense. They make the plays when it really counts. Nice game for Leftwich. He's tough, doesn't make a lot of stupid throws, and plays pretty well in the clutch. The Jags look like a lock for a wild card spot.

    Harrington wasn't at his worst or his best. Same with Bledsoe. I'm glad I didn't watch this thing.

    The Pats may have a few scares like this or even a loss or two before the season ends . But as long as Brady stays healthy, they'll be ready to make some noise once the playoffs start.

    Lamont Jordan wanted the ball more. He's getting it (27 carries) but not doing much with it as this game proved (52 yards, 1.9 avg.).
    - The Skins bubble is bursting. I think they're done as far as the playoffs go but they could still be a spoiler for someone else's hopes.

    I was impressed with the Bengals offense after watching this game. Palmer is looking good but I want to see him have a few more games like this against good teams before I am a total believer. His stats are awesome though. It's not the Bengals fault that their schedule is full of creampuffs. Next year it will be tougher and we'll get a better idea of really how good these guys are.
    -the Colts just keep cruising. I never thought I'd endorse anything resembling "Marty" ball but the Colts would have been better off getting a little more conservative at the end of each half. They try to drive with only a minute left and that leads to the interception and score for the Bengals in the first half. They had a two touchdown lead and suddenly it's only a one score game. Then at the end of the game they are again throwing on all 3 downs when it would have been better to at least run on 2nd down and get some time ran off the clock. As well as the Bengals played it shouldn't have been as close as it was.

    I wonder if Denver apologized before the game to the Jets for what was about to occur.

    -If your car situation at home was like the Jets quarterback situation it would go something like this:
    Your (insert favorite kind of car here) that you thought was going to be so great turned out to not be very durable and in fact with all it's engine problems you are going to have to reluctantly junk it. Then your backup car is totaled in a parking lot but your not totally bummed because you were never very excited about driving it anyway. At the salvage yard you see a car that you used to have a few years back. It gave you some good memories and you thought, "what the hell, it still runs and maybe it could get me from work and back." After trying it out again you soon realize that it's breaking down also and really wasn't as good as you remembered. There was a reason it was sitting in the salvage yard.
    Your getting a bit desperate now and the little scooter you have in the back of your garage is not going to be too fun in the winter. But what else are you going to do? So you pull it out only to find that it goes about 5 miles per hour, has wobbly steering and can't take the potholes. It's soon out of action as well.
    What's left? Well.....Your daughter's bike with training wheels and streamers coming out of the handlebars is going to be awkward and humiliating to ride and you have to hope your fat ass doesn't pop the tires. You use gas money to buy some lottery tickets hoping to hit the big one so you can ride in style again someday. Ladies and Gentlemen: your 2005 NY Jets.

    I'm sure Larry Johnson never wanted to see Priest Holmes injured but I'll bet he's not wasting any time worrying about it. LJ is getting all the carries now and his 211 yards against the Texans solidified his tenure as K.C's number 1 from now on.

    Drew Brees is making any management decision that might move him out of San Diego after this season very unpopular with the Charger faithful. It will be interesting to see if he can play as well if Gates isn't back from injury soon. If he plays this way the rest of the way, I say they find a way to keep him, and Rivers is the one packing his bags.

    Manning and Barber got back on track. The only question is which questionable team, the Giants or the Cowboys will falter down the stretch? Dallas' schedule looks slightly tougher and the law of averages with Drew Bledsoe may catch up to them. On the other hand I don't think the Giants defense is as good as the Cowboys.
    -Stick a fork in the Eagles. They're done.

    I think the Steelers have proved my point that a QB can be the difference between being a good team and being an average team. In case you were wondering, Tommy Maddox makes the Steelers an average team. -I'm surprised Randle El didn't get the nod at halftime. What I'm really surprised with is that Maddox once had his own cereal named after him. I'm pretty sure if kids in Pittsburgh tried this stuff now, they would be saying, "hey mom, these Tommy Gun Flakes suck."

    Seeing this cereal box got me thinking though. What other football players have had their own morning snack named after them? A quick look revealed an odd assortment of players who all have something in common: They aren't the superstars of the league (those guys get the cover of Wheaties) but they are players who have or had a loyal following and are known for being tough and/or scrappy. I guess come morning, you don't want to bite into a spoonful of pansy. Anyway, here's a sampling:

    - Mike "Alstott's A-Train Express"- seems like a better name for a laxative than a cereal.

    -Doug Flutie's "Flutie Flakes". The name is simple and catchy. Keeping them on the spoon is another matter. (They're slippery little buggers).

    -Ed McCafferty's honey nut toasted oats called, "Ed's Endzone". Check inside the box, you may have won dinner with John Elway. Call Ed (not John) for details.

    -Wayne Chrebet's "Chrebet Crunch". Odd foreshadowing of things to come. And just a note on Chrebet's career if he is done for good---I thought this guy was one of the best recievers to ever play in the city of NY.

    I'm trying to decide which is more frightening, Kyle Orton's beard or the Bears' defense. It's the beard, but not by much. The defensive lineman had 8 sacks in this game. That's unreal. Their defense is so good that they are winning games in spite of their offense. Reminds me of the Ravens a few years back. Can the Rams have Lovie Smith back yet?

    How many times have we seen that look on Favre's face this year? You know, the one he has at the end of the game and the Pack are going down in flames. Yeah the same one he had against the Vikings as another field goal sails through the uprights and hands Green Bay another heartbreaking loss. He gives that little shake of his head and blank stare of disbelief. It's hard to watch. I'm a sucker like many, who want Favre to do well. I used to hate the Pack when they were winning in the mid 90's. As I watched Favre a little more and began to appreciate him with his humor, enthusiasm for the game, laid back style, and gunslinger mentality, he began to grow on me until I was transformed from a Packer hater into a casual fan. I know the media and many others (including me) give him a free pass when he should be roasted just like other QBs that have bad games or bad seasons. But it's because he's a good guy and people can relate to him more than they can guys like T.O. and Bill Romanowski (jerks). Most people genuinely like Favre and when you get to a Hall of Fame level and are likeable many are going to be hesitant to look for flaws. I'm not saying it's right. I'm just saying it's human nature. His praise to criticism ratio is definitely a bit skewed. You know what? I'm not losing sleep over it.