Sunday, October 30, 2005

NFL Thoughts: Week 8

Now that Mike Martz is all but gone for good do you think he roots for the Rams to win or just totally fall flat so he can claim they missed his guidance? If they suddenly go on a run without him it really gives anti-Martz guys like myself ammunition. I'm guessing if he decides to phone in his resignation that's one call the front office guys will let through. At any rate the Rams will never be an easy victory for teams when they are on their own turf as the Jaguars found out Sunday. Steven Jackson was huge and Kevin Curtis's 83 yard TD showed why he needs the ball thrown his way more often. If their defense and special teams don't give games away this could be a team that could make some noise in the second half of the season.

What a huge dump the Redskins took against the Giants. I think this game gave us some indication of who is the real beast in the East. If the Giants continue to play like this, they will wrap up the division by Thanksgiving. Tikki Barber continues to make big plays and Michael Strahan still as a gap in his teeth. Scary bunch.

Brett Favre threw 5 interceptions and the Packers still had a shot at tying this this game up in the final minute. What does that say about the Bengals? Those folks on the Cincinnati Bandwagon might want to think about jumping off before they get hurt. I think this team is on the right track but they aren't ready for the big time yet. I heard Chad Johnson wanted to get a jersey signed by Brett Favre after this game. I wonder if the drunk guy who ran onto the field will ask Brett to sign his mug shot when he gets out of jail? I can see the autograph now, "Dear idiot, if you come within 50 feet of me again, I'll sick Bubba Franks on your ass. Best wishes. B.Favre"

If Jake Plummer keeps playing this well he's going to screw up all my theories about him. He has shed the "So what if it's triple coverage" snakeskin and is (gulp) playing smart, efficient and validating Shanahan's trust in his ability. -----Donovan McNabb is not feeling well and this team is just not the same without him healthy. They face the Skins, Cowboys, and Giants in the next three weeks and if they don't get it together they could be out of the playoff hunt before December.

Both of these teams needed to prove they could beat playoff caliber opponents. San Diego got the "W" in what is shaping up to be a chase for a Wild Card spot. Tony Gonzalez has to be ticked that Antonio Gates is being called the best Tight End in football now. Sorry Tony, Your still a Pro-Bowler but Gates is clearly the alpha male of the position right now. What were the Chargers thinking when they were dickering over his contract in the pre-season. Their basic holdup was that they didn't think he deserved Gonzalez-like money yet. This game pretty much settles that debate doesn't it? The Charger brass screwed themselves out of his services in the first game of the season and it cost them that game (remember that last minute red zone failure?). Hopefully they won't have another mental breakdown in the offseason and choose Rivers over Brees.

A late game collapse and a 4th quarter comeback. If you didn't see the game and I gave you that sentence as a clue to the victor, you could guess the answer in less than 2 seconds right? Bruschi's return is going to help the Patriots in the coming months (dammit) and this team is going to cruise to a division title.

Fantasy owners who passed on Steve Smith have to be kicking themselves in the groin about now. This guy is on fire. When I saw him play at Utah I thought he was fast and had decent hands but I never guessed he would break out like this. The bonus part for Panther fans is that his name rolls off the tongue a little easier than Mushin Muhammad's does. Speaking of names, Mike Tice said this of Culpepper's possible season ending injury: "The quarterback doesn't appear to be in good shape" ----It's never a good sign when the coach addresses you by your position. It's too bad for Culpepper and the Vikings. They need a reset button on this season. On the plus side for Dante, he's got time for some recreational activities now....maybe a cruise?

Aaron Brooks has now officially replaced Jake Plummer (see Broncos post above) on my list of quarterbacks who I would never pick to win a big game if my life depended on their success. The Dolphins look like they have a running game and a good defense but still need a QB. So what's new?

I wonder if Norm Chow wishes he was still at USC?

I was thinking this would be a nice game for Chris Simms to get his feet wet and really prep for some meaningful games coming up. Umm....not so much. Hey it's only one game though. He played all right last year until he got hurt so maybe he just needs a little time and fatherly advice. Does Dad Phil call up and give him the "what the hell were you thinking, you played like $#@" peptalk or does he give him a hug and a playful noogie? These are things I need to know.

Barber looks good at RB for Dallas. Bledsoe managed to not lose the game which Parcells had to feel good about. I like the Cardinals receivers but not much else about their team. Only saw a few highlights of this game but any time Keyshawn Johnson is not on the sidelines screaming it's a good thing.

Capture the magic.

Garcia looked very Joey-like in overtime. The Bears defense may score more than their offense this season. Neither of these is a good thing.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

College Football Thoughts Oct 29

Slippery Little Buggers Aren't They?
Amazing comeback by UCLA. I flipped their game on with 8 minutes to go (how lucky was that, to turn it on just at the right time?) and I'm thinking, "ok so the USC/UCLA game might not be the event I thought it might be", and in a matter of 3 or 4 minutes I'm thinking, "I can't believe Stanford is going to blow this thing." The Bruins must have some kind of twisted sense of humor to let all these teams go into the 4th quarter ahead and then rip their guts out in the last few minutes. But they can't keep doing this can they? I mean it's like me continuing to watch Lindsay Lohan movies with my wife---At some point this has to end badly. (Note: it might have happened at the end of Herbie:Fully Loaded when she realized that I was only paying attention to the movie when Lindsay was in a tight shirt or showing some cleavage)......anyway.....UCLA needs to kick it into gear a bit sooner or they are going to be sleeping on the couch too.

Settle Down People
Before people start dusting off a seat for Brady Quinn at the Heisman ceremony coming off that 400 yard plus game last week, they should realize it came against a BYU secondary that gave up 5 touchdown passes to Air Force today! Air Force has always been a running team but even these guys knew they could torch a defensive backfield that has to be one of the worst in the nation. Lucky for BYU, the Falcon's secondary might be worse. The Cougars hung 62 points on them today.

Cut Em Some Slack
The Gators didn't wow me today against Georgia (especially considering Shockley wasn't playing) but they are still in contention for the SEC and Urban Meyer has them playing tougher than Zook ever did. It will take another year (and better running of the option by the QB position) for his offensive system to click but I think they are headed in the right direction.

Caught a little bit of the Oklahoma/Nebraska game today. When does Bill Callahan start to get bricks thrown through his windows, or has that already begun?

Ok, Whatever
This is how sad football is at Kansas. They tore down the goalposts after beating Missouri today. Missouri? I mean, come on, they're no doormat but...please. That's the equivalent of Atlanta Hawk fans storming the court after beating the Toronto pre-season.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Marcus Vick and the Hokies

I thought that was a pretty good showing by VA Tech last night. Vick was as good as I've seen him this season. Yes, he does remind me of his brother but the guy he most reminds me of is Donovan McNabb when he played at Syracuse. Runs well when he needs to but has decent touch on his passes. I think this kid as shot at being better than older brother Michael. That's saying a lot because the Falcons star may not be the best passer in the NFL but he's still a force at QB because of his legs. Brother Marcus has a ways to go but other than a few bumps this season he has played great for a first year starter. If he can keep his head straight and not be tempted by the draft after the season, he will return as a frontrunner for the Heisman with a legitimate shot at being the first player chosen in the 2007 draft. We'll get a better idea of how good Vick and the Hokies are this season after they play Miami and possibly Florida State (ACC title game).

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rooting Against Your Own City?

I read Scoop Jackson's article today on ESPN's website about the split loyalties in Chicago for the Cubs and White Sox (and the bitterness that comes when the other team wins) and wondered why people can't root for two different teams, especially when they are in different leagues. This doubles your chance of having a team that might do well in a particular season and gives you twice the joy if they both do well. The only time you have to choose up sides is when they meet in inter-league play or if they meet in the World Series. I was a big Yankee/Mets fan back in my early teens (when Srawberry, Gooden, & Mattingly ruled NY) and had no problem with this idea. Why can't Angel fans have the Dodgers as a close second in their hearts or vice versa? It could be that because I don't come from a baseball city like Chicago or NY, I'm missing something here. Scoop tries to imply that race is involved with it in Chicago. I'm not buying that. I can understand a feeling that maybe the Cubs are your team and you just can't get into cheering for another team. That's one thing. It's the hatred, bitternes and openly rooting against the other team in your OWN city that I don't get. This post Gapers Block
by a White Sox fan is typical of this die-hard attitude. Another blog to check out that gives Cub's fan view is found at The Corner of Grace and Wayne
. With the Red Sox and Yankees you have two teams from rival cities and there is a history of playing each other and ripping each other's hearts out (mostly one sided by the Yankees). It makes sense for these fans to hate each other and each other's teams. The Astros are in the Cub's own division for pete's sake. If Cubbies want to look for a rival, they might start with the team that helped prevent them from sniffing the post-season.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Some quick thoughts on the Monday night game:

- Warrick Dunn is a stud. I've always like the way this guy runs. He's quick and elusive with some Barry Sanders type moves, yet he will (as John Madden likes to tell us) run in between the tackles pretty well also. He is a consistent runner who you can count on to get you over 100 yards if you get him the ball 20 times. But what's with the dog collar chain he was wearing? If he's not horse collared with it by the Jets then he risks getting mugged for it on the way home.

- Mike Vick is absolutely fun to watch run and escape in the pocket but if your a Falcon fan you have to hold your breath every time he does for two reasons: First, he might get hurt, and second he might (and does many times) fumble the ball. He doesn't tuck the ball away at all until he's beyond the line of scrimmage (sometimes) and he tends to hold it down near his thigh when he's dodging defenders in the pocket. This leads to many cough ups. The Falcons just have to hope it doesn't happen in big games or critical series. He is who he is. Vick is a spectacular runner that can change a game with his legs. He is also a very mediocre passer (but with one of the prettiest spirals and strongest arms you'll ever see) due to his lack of touch and patience. All I know is I'm not a big Falcon fan but their games are set to record on my Tivo every week. Vick is the reason for that.

- You really have to feel for Jets fans this year. I mean they came into the year thinking they might contend for a division championship and they are at a point now where they're thinking (with some guilt) maybe a number 1 pick on draft day could bring them a quarterback. I really think Pennington is done. With the stuff that has happened to his arm he will be lucky if he gets back to form. Ever. And Vinny, what can you say about him. You have to admire that he is in the kind of shape at 42 to still play in the league. But like many NFL quarterbacks he is just not very good. Vinny has has occasional good years in his career. This won't be one of them.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I just want to say I’m ticked off with Direct TV for not including their new NFL channels in their basic Sunday NFL ticket. I really would like to have the channel where 8 games are on single screen. You have to have their Superfan package to get this channel, and there is no way in hell I’m going to shell out what they want for it. Despite my wife’s insistence to the contrary, I’m not that big of a sucker (in other words I don’t have the dough or I probably would be). Anyway, I spent another day flipping between games hoping not to miss something good. Here are my thoughts on what I saw :

-Drew Bledsoe’s game just about sums up his career. Decent numbers, promise and hope of success, to be followed up by ….stupid turnovers and disappointing results. I guarantee that before that last series, Parcells told Drew not to force anything because they could always take it into OT and have a shot to win it then. Instead he underthrows a sideline out-route that is double covered. Sorry Bill, but if you live by the Bledsoe, you die by the Bledsoe.

Ugly game but the Lions showed they were already better with Garcia. He knows Mariuchi’s system and he’s more mobile than Harrington. Hey, everybody including Joey, knew that Garcia was going to take over at some point during the season. Garcia was terrible last year with the Browns (a year that started out with his Playboy centerfold girlfriend getting in a catfight with his old…wow…and T.O. publicly calling him out as gay….did I mention he had a centerfold girlfriend? wonder it was a crappy year…everything after that is anti-climactic) but a return to Mooch’s west coast offense could be exactly what he needs.

When it was 14-14 in the first half, I briefly wondered if I could be witnessing the makings of a huge upset. Then I slapped myself and remembered that the Texans are in the Matt Leinart/Reggie Bush sweepstakes for a reason. By the way, is anybody else amazed by Edgerrin James? He looks like he’s just skipping around in the backfield and before you know it he’s got 5-6 yards. He’s got incredible footwork and he follows blockers better than anybody in the league.

The Saints got screwed on the fumble recovery for a touchdown taken in by the Rams in the 4th quarter. Conwell was definitely down before the ball was snatched away. But since I’m a Rams fan I’m not going to lose sleep over it. My guy (played for both my alma maters, Snow College and Utah State) Kevin Curtis made some big plays. The Saints really should have won this game with the way the Ram’s defense has been playing lately and the fact that Bulger, Holt, & Bruce were all gone. Look for Jim Haslett’s head to explode at 3 am this morning.

Geez, the Chargers are really killing me. I keep picking them to win and they manage to lose games in the 4th quarter every week (ok, I’m exaggerating, after all they plowed the Patriots). It’s freaky the way they lost to Philly. Tomlinson only had 7 rushing yards, yet you could still say they outplayed the Eagles. San Diego should be 5-2 and instead are 3-4. This is exactly why I don’t bet on Pro football. If I wanted to give my money away I would just let my wife have a credit card……wait….oh crap....(sigh).

I was eagerly anticipating Minnesota fans picketing the stadium before the game with signs that said “Our raping and pillaging days were over 1,000 years ago” and “love boat losers”. By the way, what exactly where those guys celebrating that night out on the lake? It’s almost like a bunch of them got together and said, “hey you know what? This season is screwed, so what the hell, why don’t we get some strippers, a couple of boats and booze, and see if we cant’ get Tice’s ass out of here by Halloween!” ---The Packer’s blew this one (it was a theme Sunday with several teams blowing a sure win) and I felt for Favre. He played well enough to win this game. It’s amazing to me how so many teams that absolutely need to have good kickoff coverage in a key situation, like the one at the end of this game, simply cannot stop the other team (in this case the Vikings) from advancing to the 40 yard line or better. Still you got to hand it to their kicker (a 56 yarder is no gimmee) he literally kicked the Packers where it hurts.

Jerome Bettis looks like he’s joining me every morning for a Krispy Kreme breakfast. That guy is carrying a few pounds around that waistband isn’t he? Even so, the “Bus” still has the goods and is a load to bring down. As long as the Steelers can run the ball (and keep Tommy Maddox on the sidelines) with Willie Parker and Bettis, they will be tough to beat. Roethlisberger doesn’t have to throw much and when he does he’s pretty smart with it. This is a team that will contend for the AFC crown. It remains to be seen if the Bengals will do the same. So far they’re 0-2 against teams over .500

On the plus side for the Broncos, Jake Plummer has augmented his porn star mustache with a beard to give him a Brad-Pitt-“Legends of the Fall”-look (somebody should really tell him that movie sucked). The down side is that clean-shaven (peach-fuzz?) Eli-Manning played like a number 1 draft pick in the final moments of this game. He almost looked…dare we say it…Elway-esque on that final drive against the Bronco defense. Both of these teams are better than I thought they would be this year. Mike Shanahan’s eyes are still weird.

Are the Skins this good or is San Fran that bad? I think the 49ers are pretty bad (how the Rams lost to this team is beyond me…oh wait…the Rams had Martz coaching then…oh yeah) but Santanna Moss and Brunell are playing out of their minds. I have to question the Redskin coaching staff who said Lavar Arrington hasn’t been good enough to get playing time this season (led the team in tackles sunday!) ---Coaches that say personal biases don’t interfere with their evaluation of a player’s ability to help the team are full of crock. Gibbs and Greg Williams (defensive coordinator) don’t like Arrington and they almost convinced themselves that their defense would be better off without him. Too bad they made the mistake of playing him Sunday. Now they can’t delude themselves any more. If guys were benched just because they were jerks, we wouldn’t have the blessed opportunity to watch T.O. come up with some lame ass touchdown celebration anymore. Good times.

These guys played? If a football game is played and nobody cares, did it really happen?

Bills running back, Willis Mcgahee said this week he “is the best back in the NFL. Case closed.” He wasn’t even the best back on the field against Oakland as Lamont Jordan took it to Buffalo all day long. I guess Willis forgot about Ladanian Tomlinson, Sean Alexander, Warrick Dunn, Priest Holmes, Tikki Barber, Edgerrin James ….and the list could go on. Whatever helps Willis sleep at night. He also still believes in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the innocence of O.J. Simpson.

Another eyesore of a game. I’m not sure Baltimore would know what to do if they ever had an offensive explosion. They might just start running around naked and yelling obscenities. Actually, they should do that now, at least Raven fans would have something to whistle at.---The Bears defense is good though, and add Cedric Benson to the holdout casualty club with San Diego Charger Phillip Rivers. Bear running back Thomas Jones doesn’t look like he’s giving up his starting spot anytime soon.

Ronnie Brown may not have Cadillac Williams moves, but he’s showing the speed and power that made him a high draft pick. If only the Dolphins quarterback was Gus (the Disney Mule) instead of Gus Ferrotte. At least then they could kick 90 yard field goals.
--The Chiefs can be dangerous this season but they aren’t going anywhere in the playoffs.

Thursday, October 20, 2005



I was happy to see the Astros make the World Series. That is a baseball team that was due for some good karma. You just knew the people of Houston were saying the same thing Andy Pettitte said (Oh my God!)when he watched Pujols hit one out to win game 5. Similar to Cubs fans and Red Sox fans (prior to last year), some Astros fans were walking around yesterday morning with that "holy crap, we better not blow this" look on their faces. You have to hand it to this team who mid-way through the season looked like the only thing they had going for them was a shot at getting Bagwell and Berkman a calendar cover shoot for "Lumberjacks in Speedos". They really played well down the stretch and there is no doubt that their pitching is a huge part of their success.

A Place To Set My Cap

On the topic of pitching, I have a message for Roger Clemens. Pitch another year for the Astros and then retire. Under no circumstances should you ever pitch for another team. Has there ever been a guy like this (Lock Hall of Famer, Living Legend) who is widely respected in his ability and talked about as one of the greatest ever to play his position....and yet lacks an adoring fan base?(I guess A-Rod might qualify in a few years) I mean Red Sox fans despise him, Blue Jay fans feel he deserted them, and Yankee fans are pissed that he retired and then unretired for another team. Clemens is seen as a great pitcher but nobody loves him. Enter Astro fans. With the past two seasons Clemens has had in Houston, the fact that he is native Texan (never underestimate the power of this with people in Texas), and if he actually retires as an Astro, he will finally have a cap that he can wear in Cooperstown.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I just finished watching the Trojan/Irish game and I have to admit it was one of the best games I have seen this season. The Irish played this game exactly the way they needed to. People talk about needing to stop Reggie Bush but players like that sometimes outrun gameplans (the guy is just awesome). I thought the player that they really needed to take out of the game was Lendale White and they did that. What few carries he had went nowhere.

Leinart had an ok game (well, ok he had a spectacular final minute) He had a few drops by receivers (not his fault)and looked a bit sluggish (maybe a couple of shots he took caused this--looked like he got a kick in the head on a block he threw). If he doesn't want to get intercepted every other play in the NFL he is going to need to add some zip on his pass. Many of them seemed to float.

I was watching the halftime segment when he was asked why he stayed in school and I thought, "are you kidding me"? Would you rather do what he is doing now (have the team, chicks, & rockstar status he does) or do what Alex Smith is doing right now(becoming the latest Dwight Freeney sack statistic)? I'll take door number one please.

Anyway, back to the game. I can't believe Pete Carroll took the risk of the Leinart QB sneak at the end. If he doesn't get in Carroll is second guessed and called all kinds of names by USC superfan Nick Lachey (possibly leading Nick to tell Jessica Simpson where to stick it when she asks what's wrong. Jessica then tells Nick she's sick of his sorry attitude and coat-tail riding ass. Divorce. Finally! can tell I've spent entirely too much time thinking about this possibility. Lets move on.) ---Just a gutsy call and fortunately for USC (and Nick and Jess) things worked out. I still think the smart thing would have been to kick the field goal and rely on Leinart and Bush to do their thing in overtime. Although now that I think about it, Leinart just sat with his head in his hands after the touchdown and looked completely spent. Maybe Pete knew his best chance was on that play. Hey, he's only won two straight national championships and I'm just an armchair QB so I guess I'll concede the point here.

And how about Jarett catching that 4th and 9 pass when it seemed like he dropped everything else during the game. That pass was perfect and you just don't see that kind of thing happen on 4th down and long with the game on the line (unless your Tom Brady and you've sold your soul to the devil a few years back). Notre Dame fans were stunned and so was I frankly. Notre Dame should have won this game. But what a game! I tried to tell my wife about it afterward and she just said "that's nice". Now you know why I have a blog. Sports conversation in my house goes over like a rectal exam.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Message to White Sox Fans from Tom Brady

Hey White Sox Fans, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots here. I know many of you must be feeling kind of hollow and empty about that win you got in game 2 huh? Hey there's no reason to feel guilty about wins that involve dubious mean controversy. A win is a win. You know, according to the rules, the tuck rule....uhh....I mean the umpire technically didn't have to make it clear whether or not it was an out or a ball in the dirt. There is no way to know for sure if the mean the Angels could have won that game even without the ref's help...uh...I mean the controversial ruling by the umpire. Hey anyway, keep your heads' up. Sure the media and the Angels won't let you forget it if you happen to win it all but at least you'll have the win. A win is a win whether it's legitimate in the world's eyes or not. Trust me, I have a ring to prove it.

signed Tom (long live the tuck rule) Brady.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I have to attend a work conference Sunday-Wednesday. This means I will miss all of Sunday's football action and even Monday Night's game (banquet that night I have to attend). I briefly flirted with the idea of blowing off the conference (yes, I am that addicted to football), but ultimately decided I need the paychecks that come with keeping my job (if for no other reason than to pay for my DirectTV Sunday NFL ticket). I will Tivo a few games but I just don't think I can keep from hearing the scores until Wednesday and watching games where you know what is going to happen just doesn't have the same magic (yes, I know how pathetic this sounds). My wife just started laughing when I told her of my predicament. I heard her muttering something under breath that sounded suspiciously like "poetic justice".

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I realized this past Monday night during the Chargers/Steelers game that the 4 major professional sports leagues were all in action at the same time. Somethings definitely wrong with this. I can understand that for many sports gluttons this is like an all you can eat buffet at the Sizzler. As for me, I just can't get excited about watching Dwayne Wade and the Heat in October when the baseball playoffs are in full swing and John Madden is expounding on the merits of making sure a receiver is beyond the 1st down marker on a crucial 3rd down catch. December? Maybe. October? Not lighting my fire.
Is it just me or does anyone else think the NBA and NHL seasons are excruciatingly long? The NBA's and NHL's pre and regular seasons run 9 freaking months. I don't even start paying attention to NBA standings until February. And don't get me started about the NHL. The only time I check in on them is when the NHL finals start. On that note, are we still allowed to call the NHL a major sports league? I'm somewhat uncomfortable with this. If I were to compare these leagues to my high school class back in 1990 it would go something like this:

- the NFL is the good looking, all state athlete, who was cool no matter what he did. All the chicks wanted him, guys idolized him, and the teachers even asked him for autographs. Mothers schemed ways to get their daughter a date with him and he enjoyed Ferris Bueller type adoration. The only one who doesn't see what all the hype is about is the bitchy english teacher who thinks sports should be outlawed in school (this would be akin to wives who hate football and who have never tried to understand it or their husbands who watch it...ahem...I hope my wife never reads this).

- the NBA is the good looking sports star who gets in trouble, is pretty much a jerk most of the time(Stephon Marbury, Latrell Sprewell....I could go on but I won't), but is still sexy and amazing to watch play sports. Chicks still dig him (although the ones that have any common sense only flirt with him and never date), guys still want to be like him (or at least would like his ability and looks), and school administrators let his grades and attitude slide sometimes because they want that state championship. There is always a sense of guilt with this kid because you feel like he could be doing so much more.

-MLB is the guy who is in the cool group but he's not that good looking. He still gets chicks but it's because of who he hangs out with and the fact that he is good at sports. This is the guy who has cheated (steroids) on exams, quit the team and been let back on because he apologized (strike year 1994), and yet somehow you still like him. At times he can be dull and boring, but just when your ready to give up on him, he does something eyecatching, interesting, or spectacular (A Bonds at bat, the Wild Card race, playoffs etc.). You find yourself remembering how amazing this guy was in the past and how exciting he can be when he gets it going. Plus if he can get chicks with his looks then maybe there is hope for you.

-The NHL is like the guy on the wrestling team who is somewhat delusional. He thinks his sport is the coolest because their state championship trophy is the biggest in the trophy case. He mistakenly thinks he is hanging with the cool kids when actually they are laughing behind his back about his mangled ears, his funny looking leotard uniform, and the fact that his weight fluctuates like Anna Nicole Smith. His sport will never be followed or respected like the other 3 but he is totally oblivious to this. Nobody watches his matches and even though the school makes no money off tickets for his team's events, he thinks they should get all new equipment, uniforms, and a new gym built just for them. He tries to get the chicks but they just laugh in his face.

When I look at it this way I realize there is no way we can call the NHL a major sport. If it doesn't work in the High School Fiefdom model then it doesn't work in the real world. .......on second thought how does this model explain my coup with the wife I have. My status in high school should have ensured either a life of vagrancy (and possible uni-bomber type apparel) or at the very least, marriage to someone looking like Joan Rivers. As it is , neither happened and I married way above myself. Hey maybe there is hope for the NHL.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yankees Lose! Yankees Lose!

All is right with the world today

I'm in shock. The Yankees are not in the World Series for the 2nd straight year. I was dead wrong about their chances. I really thought their offense would break out for 8 or 9 runs at least once in these past two games. It didn't happen and even though they won game 4, 3 runs wasn't enough for them in game 5. Once again the prayers of the righteous have been answered. The Evil Empire goes down again. Hallelujah! Can I get an Amen for those Angels? Here's hoping Goerge Steinbrenner goes crazy and fires Joe Torre tonight, gets drunk, hops the red eye to Vegas, and gambles away next season's payroll. Hey we can dream can't we?

Monday, October 10, 2005

NFL Thoughts: Week 5

Ram's Rant

---Imagine what the Ravens could do with the Ram's offense. Or what the Rams could do with the Ravens defense (and as long as we're swapping, can the Rams trade Martz for anybody?. Seriously anybody. That annoying Burger King mascot will even be ok with me) ----After writing this last sentence I clicked on ESPN's website and learned Martz might be gone 6 weeks due to his health. While I hope personally for Martz to rapidly return to full health for his and his family's sake, I do think the Ram's game management will improve. Still I feel a little guilty for the joke above. Ok... not too guilty but I had to say it.
Anyway, back to the point. It's sad to see teams that are good or great on one side of the ball and terrible on the other. You're always left with that bitter "what if" taste in your mouth (sort of like what Eagles fan face with T.O. ---"What if T.O. wasn't an absolute jerk and we could honestly root for him to do well this season" That kind of thing.) ........ If the Ram's defense can't even play average, then there is going to be many more sundays like yesterday. Bulger's and Holt's stats will be great but the losses will pile up. And as long as I'm on my soapbox, I'll throw my half a cent in on the Marshall Faulk situation in St. Louis. I know Steven Jackson is your starter but it might be wise to get Marshall some touches. Two weeks ago Faulk had only 6 carries and gained 50 yards. That's an 8.3 average! In the two games since he has carried the ball just 3 times and 0 times yesterday. He has looked quick this year and by no means ready for the rocking chair. I think Martz has taken Faulk's acceptance of a backup role to mean he can sweep him under the carpet. Despicable treatment of a guy who's been the face of the organization for a long time now. If he was showing signs of losing it (ala Eddie George in his last couple of years with the Titans) then I could understand, but the reverse is true. Faulk has shown flashes of his old self. We'll see how things go but I hope to see Marshall on the field on more than a few 3rd down situations.

Some other thoughts:

--The Jet's win over the Bucs didn't show us as much about New York as it did Tampa Bay. As Bronco fans found out, Brian Griese can look like the best QB in the NFL and the worst QB in the NFL in the span of two games.

--Come to think of it, Bronco fans have experienced the Griese experience with Jake Plummer as well (it's been rough since Elway retired). Although this season, with the notable exception of Jake's porn star mustache, Plummer's looked pretty good. The Broncos are 4-1 and sitting pretty in the AFC. The next 3 weeks are brutal though with the Patriots, Giants, and Eagles on deck. Word of advice for Jake: shave half the mustache off and freak out the D-linemen.

--Did Terry Bradshaw really make the comment that it was time for Brett Favre to hang them up and let the organization move on with Rodgers? I caught the end of segment where Greg Gumbel alluded to something like that. Some of these analysts like Bradshaw should have "BANDWAGON" tattoed to their foreheads. Bewteen the Bengal (Carson Palmer) Bandwagon and those ready to jump ship on Favre, I feel like the many of these so called "experts" forget that the season is not decided by week 5. The Packers are not a good team but neither is anyone else in the NFC North. It's not out of the realm of possibility that they could come back and win this division. It's a longshot but then again we were saying the same thing about the Packers in Week 5 of last year.

--I loved Dan Marino's comment to Bommer Esiason yesterday when Boomer tried to relate Alex's Smith's first half debacle to something all first year QB's experience. Dan shut Esiason up (no easy task) by saying "I never had that experience". It's true, Marino's rookie year was a thing of beauty and the only guy in recent memory to do anything close was Roethlisberger with the Steelers last year (even then the stats are no comparison). Hopefully Alex Smith gets better and not worse (David Carr sighting here) in the next couple of seasons. the way Esiason and Marino provided last year's tv comedy moment when Marino gave Boomer the stare of death after Esiason called Payton Manning "the Dan Marino of this generation". And no it wasn't a compliment. He was talking about playoff inefectiveness. Good stuff. If there weren't these kind of idiots on pre-game, post-game and halftime shows, I wouldn't even be watching. Keep up the good work Boomer!

--Speaking of tv idiots, I have to watch Sunday Night Football with the sound turned down because of Joe Theismann. It's too bad because Paul Maguire really gets descriptive in those replays. an ode to ESPN's Bill Simmons who does Maguire very well, here's a Maguire replay for you: "see this fist right here Joe? See that? Watch this, watch this right here, me knock your head in and shut you up. Bam!" ---Ahh. the sweet sound of silence. I am already getting the mute button ready for Monday Night Football next year when Joe (all knowing, name dropping) Theismann joins Al Michaels in the broadcast booth.

--Memo to Drew Bledsoe: Don't rip one of your guys for losing the ball when one of the main reasons you were kicked out of your two previous cities was for commiting turnovers. As well as Bledsoe played yesterday and as much as I dislike Keyshawn, Drew was out of line for yelling at Keyshawn (give me the damn ball) Johnson yesterday. It really was a pretty good hit and sometimes those type of fumbles happen no matter how well you are holding onto the ball. Even with Bledsoe's 10-3 touchdown interception ratio (a real surprise), he's got no room to talk when it comes to coughing up the ball. Just ask Tom Brady why he's starting in New England.

NFL Thoughts on the Patriots:Week 5

I could not believe what I was hearing this week from NFL analysts on the boob tube. ESPN's NFL Live guys were talking about the Patriots possibly not making the playoffs after the loss to the Chargers. Are you kidding me? Have they been watching this team the past 2 seasons? As long as Tom Brady is still at QB then this team has to be the Super Bowl favorite. I don't care if they barely squeak into the playoffs (squeak?, it won't even be close, look who's in their division), put your money on Brady and Co. The fact is, there are a lot of people who are sick of the Patriots or who absolutely hate them (raising my hand). This leads many to look for any excuse to write them off. This is a huge mistake. This is the greatest clutch team in history. Not the greatest team, but the best team consistently when the game is on the line. Adam Vinateri is money in the bank and Tom Brady is on par with Joe Montana (it's not blasphemy if it's true) for the greatest clutch QB in history. And comparing him to last year's MVP Payton Manning is not even an issue right now. He reads the defense as well as Manning and he is quicker to make the decision that the deep man is not open (this is where Manning still struggles. He wants to make that deep pass so desperately that he either throws a bad pass or waits too long to get it to the safety valve man.) . Thus, when the game is on the line, Brady makes the right passes. He doesn't force things very often (and when he does, he is so accurate that he gets away with it) and finds the areas where the defense is soft. Trust me, it pains me to give this team and Brady this much credit. I can't stand them or him. They are like the New York Yankees (it kills Boston fans to have these two teams lumped together) for many NFL fans out there: They always win and there is nothing anyone can do about it (although the league has done their best this season--Note the Patriots and Colt's schedule. This league would kill for a Colts/Falcons Super Bowl. It's the commisoner's wet dream).
Everyone needs to calm down and accept that the Patriots aren't going anywhere as long as Brady is at the helm and Vinateri is kicking for them. I will continue to root against them every week (...trying voodoo dolls this week. Would it be better to stick pins in Brady's doll or just cut the legs off?) but I do so with a fatalistic view.
Anyway, about the Falcons game.....I though Matt Schuab played pretty well in place of Vick. He did dodge a few bullets though. He made several bad passes that the Patriots should have or could have intercepted. He won't get away with those very often. But he plays with poise and doesn't really have that deer in the headlights look. Teams will be looking at him in trade possibilities or when he becomes a free agent. The Falcons are a good team and will be dangerous in the playoffs. It remains to be seen if they can knock the Eagles off when playoff time comes around. It would have been nice to see what the Falcons could have done with Vick yesterday. Even if you have a good scheme against him, he's unpredictable enough that great plans go out the window sometimes. I still would have bet on the Patriots. Did I mention that I'm fatalistic?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Braves and Padres

Baseball Playoffs

Great game for Smoltz last night. I guarantee that if Maddux and Glavine had ever consistently pitched the way he has in the post-season, we would be talking about the Braves of the 90's in the same breath the 1996-2003 Yankees are mentioned. By the way, great HR by Brian MCcann against the Rocket. I think he soiled himself running around the bases. Can he really be 21 years old? Did someone do a birth certificate check on this kid? That face looks like he's 12. Okay....maybe a 12 year old on steroids but still, I'm betting that chin has never seen a razor.

What can we say about the Padres? I mean they were 2 games away from being a .500 team this season. Has there ever been a series where the outcome is this inevitable? Lindsay Lohan has a better chance of marrying a Papparazzi photographer than the Padres have of coming back against the Cardinals. I'm not even going to watch another game in this series. ---Unless of course the Padres get Lindsay Lohan in their lineup. Now that I'd watch.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


The Evil Empire

I have to laugh when I think back to this summer when the Yankees were pronounced dead by many. This is the New York Yankees we are talking about. This is evil personified. Didn't George Steinbrenner make a pact with the devil back in 1996? It is only the combined prayers of the faithful that have kept the Yankees from winning the World Series every single year since 1996. Seriously though, even some of their players look like they belong in Hell. Randy Johnson is perfect for their team. Stick a pair of horns on him, give him back his facial hair and he and Lucifer could be twins. Joe Torre may be a decent guy, but don't they say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions? -- Joe, for the salvation of your eternal soul, please consider resigning and guiding some team like the Cubs or Indians (teams that really need a break) back to glory. --

Anyway, I think it will be the Yanks and Cardinals in the World Series. I wonder if we can hold one of those telethon deals and have people call in and make commitments to pray for the demise of the Yankees. Something fantastic happened last year (Greatest Choke Job in history). Why not this year as well? I won't be holding my breath though, we may have drawn too heavily upon the miracle well last year.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Hold the Obituary

Put down your shovels. Slowly back away from the gravesite. Favre is not done yet. Favre silenced many critics last night when he performed some of his old magic and almost singlehandely brought the Packers back against the Panthers. It almost had Al Michaels wetting his pants. Does anyone really think Aaron Rodgers could pull off what Favre did last night? True, he's not what he used to be, but hell, he never was the god many sportswriters and broadcasters made him out to be. He's a hall of fame quarterback who has had some fantastic games but who also at time plays reckless and throws dumb interceptions. When he has a good team around him, he's awsome. When he has a so-so team or a bad team around him he's slighly less awesome. In truth, he's not going to be able to carry this Packers team into the playoffs by himself. He's going to have some magical games this season, but if last night is any indication, even that won't be enough for a team that has been gutted by free-agency and injuries. Still, putting in the rookie this season is not an option. I don't care if Favre is retiring after the season and getting Rodgers reps would help the Packers next season. You don't bench a Hall of Famer with a consecutive game streak in Green Bay. That would be like benching Cal Ripken before he retired. Not going to happen. The state of Wisconsin and the NFL world would never let the organization live that down. If Sherman does it, he might as well start writing his own pink slip now. ----Just sit back and enjoy Favre's moments this year. With the team he's got, they might be few and far between.

Monday, October 03, 2005


A Ram Fan's Frustration

Is it just me, or is Mike Martz the worst game management coach you have ever seen in your life. This guy goes through timeouts like I go through toilet paper after a big bowl of chili. --Geez Mike, do you think maybe those things might come in handy at the end of a game? ---Now the Rams didn't end up needing those timeouts against the Giants yesterday,-- but they could have, had "Mad Mike" not decided to get cute in the 3rd quarter down only 10 points. He calls a reverse play on 3rd and 3 on the 6 yard line. Are you kidding me?! Now even if it hadn't been fumbled there were enough Giants not fooled by the play that it still would have gone for a loss. When asked about the play after the game Martz was more perplexed at who he had in the game at the time of the play. He was puzzled that it was Steven Jackson tossing the ball. Martz said, "Marshall always does it, and Marshall wasn't in the game," "And that's an issue for me. We've always practiced it with Marshall. And he's supposed to be in the game at that time, so there was some confusion. ... That's a coaching deal all the way." ---Really, Mike? A coaching deal? Do you think maybe your lack of protection for Bulger, your haphazard use of the running game, your atrocious attention to special teams play, your horrific clock management, not to mention your 2-2 record are "coaching deals" too? ---I do.

Other NFL Thoughts On Week 4

- I absolutely hate the Patriots so it made my day yesterday to see Drew Brees shred their depleted defense. I don't care how they lose as long as it happens. It seems weird that I could hate a team so bad that actually gets what it means to be a "team". Their players and coaches understand what it means to play the right way. Their organization defines class. And even though Belicheck has as much personality as a Ted Koppel, he is still a great coach and as a Ram's fan I would trade Martz for him in a heartbeat (see above paragraph). It's not just the Patriot's beating the 2000 Rams in the Super Bowl that turned me against the Patriots (although that certainly jumpstarted the hate). And it's not just that they have won 3 of the last 4 Superbowls and I'm ready for someone else to win it (although there is a certain New York Yankee type of hate going on here). There is something more to it that I'll try to explain in a later post. For now I'll just revel in their defeat. It may not come again this season.

-You knew Payton Manning would eventually run into a defense that was ripe for the pickings. All those fantasy owners who have Payton need to calm down. He's not going to have the year he had last year but it will still be a good one. There are enough bad defenses out there that the Colts will still post the numbers. Hopefully what they have learned is that when the good defenses clamp down and drop 8 into coverage, you take what you can get. Manning's problem against New England the past couple of years is that he has refused to take a page out of Tom Brady's book and just take what the defense will give you. He gets antsy and want to force those 15 -20 yarders if he hasn't had one in a few plays. With a better defense and maybe a lesson learned the Colts might be the ones holding the hardware this year.

-I have to agree with Peter King (as much as it pains me) that the Lions should have won their game yesterday with the Bucs. No way was that replay on the touchdown throw by Harrington indisputable evidence. The call should have stood.

-I think it's too bad the Bills don't have a QB that can match their defense. Losman might be good in a couple of years but it ain't happening this season.

-Washington is two lucky bombs (Dallas game) and a missed field goal (Seahawks kicker) away from being 1-2. I'm not sold on them and I'll bet Joe Gibbs isn't either.

-You just knew the Ravens/Jets game was going to be ugly didn't you? Two teams that can't throw, used to be able to run but now can't, and two head coaches that annoy the hell out of you. Sounds like a game that you didn't even check out the highlights of.

-So when does the Bronco's Jake Plummer become Mr. Hyde? So far he's dabbled with Dr. Jekkll pretty well. It helps that Mike Anderson is running well and the defense is solid. I'm impressed but still waiting on Plummer's implosion.

-I think Atlanta fans cringe everytime a defender gets close to Michael Vick. The silence was deafing in Atlanta when Vick went down on Sunday. The guy is the most exciting player (note: not the best, at least not yet) in the NFL. That sigh of relief you heard when Vick walked off the field wasn't just from the Atlanta faithful, it was from the NFL execs who know Vick is one of the NFL's meal tickets.

-I like Donovan McNabb. He's tough, classy, and a great player. What he did yesterday against the Chiefs was amazing. Now if ony Terrell Owens wasn't on the team, I could actully root for the Eagles.

-The Bengals have shown me that they can win against bad teams. Now I want to see what they do against good ones. Pittsburgh and Jacksonville coming up in the next few weeks. We'll see.

The American Male

My brother came over yesterday and found me in sweats, undershirt, no shave, no shower, and a box full of donuts watching an NFL game. He looked at me rather pathetically and said, "living the dream huh?"