Friday, December 31, 2010

Pitt's New Coach Off To A Bad Start

New Pittsburgh head coach Mike Haywood is off to a bad start in the Steel City. The former Miami (OH) coach was arrested in South Bend on a domestic violence charge on Friday.

This isn't what the athletic director pictured when he made this hire.

St. Joseph County Police say Haywood was arrested around 2:30 p.m. on Friday at a home in the 50000 block of Hawthorne Meadow Drive.


He has a child with the woman living there.

Police say there was a custody issue and the woman attempted to leave.

As she left, police say a physical altercation broke out.

The woman told police Haywood grabbed her by the arm and neck and pushed her.

According to the police report, the woman had red marks on her neck, arms and back.

That answers my question I had about what the hell he was doing in South Bend. Besides being the former offensive coordinator at Notre Dame during the Charlie Weis error, I mean era, you would think he would want nothing to do with that town. I know I've probably pissed off a lot of Domer fans and alumni, but from what I've heard, there's just not much to do there.

Of course, Pittsburgh hasn't made a statement regarding Haywood's arrest. If Haywood is aon the wrong side of a judgement, the Panthers might be looking for a new coach a lot sooner than they wanted to. 

Wade Is Employed Because Of His Dad

I said that Wade Phillips would get another job after he was fired by the Dallas Cowboys. More and more it's looking like he'll end up in Houston as the Texans defensive coordinator.

Keep in mind that his dad, Bum Phillips, along with Dan Pastorini, paid a visit to Texans owner Bob McNair on Wednesday. That was to drum up support to keep head coach Gary Kubiak. It also seems like it was a play to get Wade the defensive coordinator job. I guess that's the plan unless the Texans get swamped by Jacksonville in the season finale. McNair isn't too happy about the team's 5-10 record and neither are fans, who are organizing a 'Fire Gary Kubiak' rally. Sound familiar Detroit Lions fans.

If Phillips gets hired, how does current coordinator Frank Bush feel about this. He has to feel that someone put a knife in his back, and will be done in by old fashioned nepotism. I'm not saying Bush was the next coming of Buddy Ryan, but this was his first year and lost highly regarded corner Dunta Robinson to Atlanta. Stay tuned to see how this plays out.

Happy New Year 2011

Happy New Year to everyone. Keep it safe and don't drink too much. Remember to watch lots of football.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Michigan's Forcier Ineligible For Gator Bowl

I don't advocate cheating in sports. But if your a "student-athlete" how the hell do you become ineligible. That's always been a question I've asked myself. You know there's always at least one person out there who just wants to be your "friend" and will do anything to help you get by.

The reason I bring this up is because Michigan's Tate Forcier is academically ineligible for Michigan's Gator Bowl date with Mississippi State on New Year's Day. Forcier is the backup quarterback to Denard Robinson. If Devin Gardner got the redshirt that Rich Rodriguez requested, the Wolverines are screwed if Robinson gets hurt. I don't know if he got the redshirt or that he can pull it. 

Back to Tate's ineligibility. How does he screw up in the classroom. Granted, I've never been on a college campus, so I'll never know how hard the classes actually are. But for an athlete they give them classes that aren't too hard. Forcier explained that he has never been the greatest student. Well we know that now don't we. He also said that he was street smart, but not smart clasroom-wise. Didn't know you were from the mean streets Tate.

Like I said, I don't know how hard being a "student-athlete" in college can be. But they do give you resources to succeed. And if you have a hard time acheiving in the classroom, there's always someone there to "help".   

McGrady Looked Like His Old Self

There were a few why's when the Detroit Pistons signed Tracy McGrady. Some felt he had nothing left and his game was shot. I never questioned the signing, citing this as a classic risk reward deal. It was for one year and didn't cost the mid-level exception. When Joe Dumars made this signing it made me think of the Antonio McDyess signing that paid off handsomely for the Pistons. This could pay off the same way in one form or another. Maybe not a playoff run, but maybe in a trade of some kind. But we know that Dumars' hands are tied in that category.

McGrady showed flashes of his old self last night against the Boston Celtics. This was a good test for someone that wasn't 100 percent entering the season. Considering the Celtics are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA it was good to see McGrady go for 21 points, shooting 7-11, and sharing the ball notching 8 assists. This is in a starting role since Rodney Stuckey is out with the stomach flu.

Everyone still has their mind stuck in the past about T-Mac. He's not the same player he was five years ago and he knows it. Some still expect that out of him. I always said for him to continue to have a job in the league he would have to change his game. He can still go to the hoop, but not with the force and explosion he used to. He has to rely more on guile and experience these days. He also looks like he sharpened up his jumper. With more time on the court he's looking more comfortable.

I thought he would be a lock to sign with the Chicago Bulls, but when that fell through and the Pistons signed him I was anxious to see how he would do with a team that most figure to go nowhere. If he keeps playing like he did last night it'll be tough to get him out of the starting lineup. It also may be tougher to resign him. Who knows, maybe he'll have a show of loyalty like McDyess had for rescuing his career.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Phillips And Pastorini Go To Bat For Kubiak

The clock may be ticking on Kubiak
With his job on the line, two Houston "legends" have spoken out on Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak's behalf.

Former Houston Oilers head coach Bum Phillips and former oft injured quarterback Dan Pastorini, two of the "Luv Ya Blue" mainstays from the past have spoken in favor of embattled coach Gary Kubiak. Pastorini and Phillips attended Wednesday's practice to urge owner Bob McNair to keep Kubiak. The Texans have lost 8 of 9 and fans have ran out of patience with a team thought to be a playoff contender at the start of the year.

Phillips said the team was still working hard and seemed focused. Not to bag on anyone, but to an 87 year old man anyone would seem focused.

"You're not going to get any better coach than him," Phillips said. "If you can get your team to practice like these kids practiced, the last week of the season, with nothing to look forward to, then believe me, he's got control of the team. He's always been a good coach. You're not going to get any better than Gary Kubiak."

"I think he's a good coach, I think the players love him and respect him," Pastorini said. "I know a lot of people are calling for his head. But I, for one, believe in him. I think he can turn it around. I don't think there's a lot of shaking up needed."


Pastorini and Phillips met with McNair for lunch after Wednesday's practice.
 
I do think Kubiak is a good coach, but even if he goes on to coach another team, I'll view him as a set up man. Meaning that Kubiak will get canned in Houston and someone else will lead them to new heights. I'm not knocking Kubiak, but maybe his time in Houston may be up. Who knows, maybe he lives to see another day as Texans coach. But since he's been there since the team's inception, it might be time for him to go.
 

Cordova's Daughter In Coma

Former major leaguer and 1995 Rookie Of The Year Marty Cordova is going through a very rough time right now. His 15 year old daughter Ashley was involved in a car accident and has been in a coma for 11 days.

Ashley McAdam was a passsenger in a car that was hit by a truck as it pulled into school. She is suffering from head trauma and broke her jaw, elbow, and thighbone. Cordova has been  at the hospital for the past six or seven nights  The truck struck the car where Ashley was sitting. She's now in intensive care.

"She's the victim of a tragic accident," Cordova said. "What I want is for people to see that this can happen to your own kids. Hug your kids, spend time with them. And pay attention when you're behind the wheel of a car. Anything can happen."


I know Marty has to be going through it hard. I hope that she survives this and eventually make a full recovery. People are praying for you and your family Marty and hopefully everything turns out ok. This just shows how pure and precious life really is.

http://www.facebook.com/SupportingAshleyMcAdam

Jenks And The White Sox Are Like A Bad Divorce

Bobby Jenks wasn't bitter when he left the Chicago White Sox, but he was critical of Manager Ozzie Guillen about the way he used and handled him the past few years. Many might see what jenks had to say about Guillen as sour grapes. Jenks is now a member of the Boston Red Sox and all was peaceful until yesterday when Jenks expressed his displeasure with Guillen.

We all know Ozzie isn't one to back down in a war of words. And I expect to hear from him going ballistic on Jenks.No one figured Ozzie's son Oney to get in on the act first. Oney took to Tiwitter, everyone's weapon of choice to put Jenks on blast. Full blast. Here's what Oney had to say about Jenks.

"Hahah memo to Bobby Jenks. Get a clue. You drink too much and you have had marital problems. Huge ones, and the Sox stood behind you. They did not air out your dirty laundry, u came to spring not drinking and then you sucked and started drinking again. Be a man.


"Be a man and tell the manager or the coaching staff how you feel, or the organization when you were with the Sox, not when you leave.

"You cried in the manager's office because you had problems, now you go and talk bad about the Sox after they protected you for seven years. Ungrateful.

"If it wasnt for you Freddy Garcia would have like 17 wins and the Sox would have beat the Twins. You self-diagnosed yourself because you didnt want to pitch. Unreal, I hope the Sox let this guy fucking have it.

"Oh, and yes I remember clearly you blowing a huge game in 2009 and you laughing your bearded ass off while everyone busted their tail. I thought you were a man, not some punk who runs away and talks bullshit. You coward. Say it to their face when you were with them.

"Don't make me air out more than I have to say. You're sorry. Don't disrespect the White Sox ever.

"Now you know what a piece of shit person you rooted for, Chicago. The ones that leave and talk bad about your team. And you say the manager didnt trust you? He kept putting youur fat ass out there and you kept blowing it, he never took you away from that role.

Go read it. It's a Scott Merkin piece, it's a dandy. I hope people say what they really feel instead of me. Although it wouldnt surprise me if the Sox take the high road, and be classy instead of destroying this yellow-bearded, dipping idiot.

"And to think you were actually a cool guy and your word meant something. Too bad you don't hit in the AL so they could drill your ass."

One little story. Remember when you couldn't handle your drinking, and you hit a poor Arizona clubby in the face? I do. And later you covered it with 'I'm sorry.' That's your answer to everything. How can you disrespect your former team like that?

Think about it. This can't be made up and this isn't something Ozzie told him. Oney's a former WhiteSox employee so you know he saw some things in the clubhouse that a lot of us aren't privy to.

Oney's just like his old man. All fire and brimstone. Of course the White Sox organization has distanced themselves from this whole mess. This is just the beginning, because you know Ozzie will have something to say. Only if Oney hasn't said it for him already.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Young Wolverines Take It On The Chin

The youth and inexperience of the Michigan Wolverines reared it's ugly head in an 80-57 loss to Purdue in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

For starters, point guard and leading scorer Darius Morris was held out of the starting lineup for "disregarding some of the core values" according to coach John Beilein. You know, same as conduct detrimental to the team. Well, Morris wound up playing 32 minutes and shot 3-14 for 9 points. Michigan shot 38 percent as a team and had 14 turnovers.

Purdeur jumped out to a 19-3 lead, which Michigan did recover from only to have the Boilermakers get it together and take a four point lead at the half. The second half was all Purdue as this game turned into a route.

I've watched a lot of college basketball and there's a chance Michigan could learn from this and get better. Of course the jury is still out on that. They're young and will take their lumps, but if my memory serves me right the 1985 team lost 87-62 to Indiana in their Big Ten opener and ended up winning the conference. I'm not saying they'll be that good, and call it trying to find a silver lining. They've shown potential and there's still a lot of basketball to be played, so don't throw in the towel on the young Wolverines just yet.

Lions Get Two Pro Bowlers

For once the Detroit Lions have two bonafide Pro Bowlers. It seems like it's been ages since they've had two players go to participate in the annual Hawaii extravanganza. Also it was like any Lions player that went was like a sympathy pick, sort of like baseball's All Star Game.

Many expected receiver Calvin Johnson to make it. He was named a starter for the NFC squad. Many expected rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to be good. But not Pro Bowl starter good. That's what 60 tackles, 9 sacks, an interception, and throw in a fumble recovery for a touchdown will get you. I don't think anyone expected this kind of impact when training camp started.

As a Lions fan it gets me somewhat excited about the team's future. Hopefully they can get a few more impact players and translate some of this production into more wins.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Some People Should Just Stick To Governing

Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell has called out the nation after the Sunday night game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings was moved to Tuesday night. He seeme to be fired up about the whole matter. Rendell perceives it as a lack of toughness, going out of his way to say the nation has become "a bunch of wussies".

The NFL called the game off in anticipation of the snowstorm that has slammed the East Coast, even though less than five inches were on the ground before the scheduled kickoff. Here's Rendell's take on the situation.

"It goes against everything that football is all about". "My biggest beef is that this is part of what's happened in this country," Rendell said. "I think we've become wussies. We've become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything," Rendell added. "If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down."

I can understand Rendell being upset, but he didn't have to go Reggie White on the Chinese. He has to understand that waas the league's call and not anyone else's. I will give the NFL kudos for looking out for the safety of the fan in this instance.

Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe seemed to echo Rendell's sentiments.  "The roads are bad for East Coast standards," Shiancoe said. "But if this was in the Midwest there would be no way that this would be delayed. No way it would be delayed in the Midwest. No way. ... It's something that baffles me. But I'm not here to make decisions on when games are played."


Not if the travel conditions aren't ideal. Instead of crowing about what the NFL does, maybe Rendell needs to concentrate on his job as governor. It looks like he has no concern for the fan.

 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Microcosm Of The Mike Singletary Era



This seems to represent the Mike Singletary era in San Francisco.

The Lions Might Have Finally Learned To Win

With the first three game win streak in what seems like a millenium, I must say that no matter what happens next week, the Detroit lions might have finally learned to win. Ok hte last three game streak was in 2007. I'm just saying.

By my own personal account, the Lions did not play their best game today. Yes, it was a back and forth affair, but they had their fair share of stalled drives and extended drives on defense. They fell behind by 10 in the fourth quarter and found a way to make some plays to win their second straight road game over the Miami Dolphins, 34-27. It was the first win over the Dolphins since 1991 and the first win in five tries in Miami.

Down 27-17 with 4:37 left in the fourth running back Jahvid Best took a short pass and turned it into a 53 yard touchdown. Best showed the burst and speed that had been missing since early in the season. He didn't show any effects of the turf toes that have plagued him for a good portion of the season. Nathan Vasher and DeAndre Levy came up with key interceptions and levy provided the winning margin, returning his for a touchdown. This was done without their best player, Calvin Johnson, sitting out the fourth after aggravating an ankle injury.

They are finally not self destructing. Gone are the pre-snap penalties and self inflicted wounds that were so visible in their losses.They found a way to win and come up with some big plays. They're winning the turnover battle and making key stops. This is what good teams do to win games. I'm not saying they're on the road to the playoffs next year, but they've made some strides. Bigger strides than what we're used to seeing in this city. There might finally be some hope for the Lions after all. Let's just hope they can use these positive moments to lay the groundwork for something bigger.
 

Quote Of The Week:Jim Harbaugh

In the neverending saga of the will he or won't he regarding Jim Harbaugh staying put at Stanford or running back to Michigan, we endure another twist. About a month and a half ago Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby put a contract extension worth $3 million a year on the table. Bowlsby was very confident that Harbaugh would sign the extension. Bowlsby went as far to say "Jim has indicated he plans to accept an extension worth $3 million a year."

Harbaugh hasn't signed it and he told the San Jose Mercury News "I haven't even discussed it." When asked about Bowlsby's comment, Harbaugh said "maybe he misspoke."

Jim's clearly keeping all doors open.

Jamie Moyer Wants To Keep Pitching

If your left handed and can get the ball over the plate, you can pitch forever, as long as your effective. Even if you've had Tommy John surgery. Maybe that's why Jamie Moyer wants to keep pitching and doesn't want to be told when to quit.

Moyer is eyeing a comeback in 2012 after going 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA with the Philadelphia Phillies last season, before missing the second half of the season after straining his left elbow. Moyer will be close to 50 when and if he begins his comeback. He's clearly not ready to give up baseball yet.

"In all honesty, I just don't feel like I'm ready to give it up. I feel I'm entitled to make my own decision," Moyer told the Seattle Times. "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, which people don't seem to be shy about expressing."


"It may be difficult to find a job at the age of 49," Moyer said, the Times reported. "Then again, it may not be. I know where I stand: I'll probably get a spring training invitation . . . I don't have a problem with that. Throughout my career, I've always had to earn the situation I've been in. I don't expect anyone to give me anything. It's never been that way, so why now?"


I'll say this much. Throughout his career he's been consistent and effective. You do know what your gonna get from him. He's never been a hard thrower, so that's probably enabled him to last as long as he has. Most would probably be eyeing retirement, but Moyer feels that he can still help someone win games. I don't think this has anything to do with money. It's more personal pride and going out on his own terms rather than having someone else tell him when to go. Baseball is all he knows. 




  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jordan Tabs Oakley For Assistant Job

After Larry Brown "resigned" from the head coaching job with the Charlotte Bobcats, it seemed that it might take a while for someone to take over that shipwreck. When Brown resigned the rest of the staff took off with him. The only person that really wanted the job was Paul Silas, and he got it. He had to round out his coaching staff and owner Michael Jordan helped him out by giving Charles Oakley a job as an assistant coach.

You remember Oakley, Jordan's chief enforcer/protector when they were both in Chicago. He also was instrumental in bringing him to Washington in his final comeback. He became a partying buddy of his as well. Now he'll be keeping the players in line from the bench. First golfing buddy and former Bulls teammate Rod Higgins gets a GM job and now this. What's next Charlie Sheen as the team advisor? This hiring has a whiff of nepotism to it if I ever saw one. Now I would never tell Oak face to face that he doesn't have the credentials for an assistant coaching job. But when you think about it, does he? Hey who knows, he probably could still whip some of those young bucks. I'd still take Oakley over crazy Captain Jack. And he was a good rebounder and defender, so he might can teach the bigs a few things on positioning and rebounding.

It could work, but I think it might not. This is just based on Jordan's executive track record. Don't let Oakley interact with the media too much. He's tough and old school and brings something the Bobcats have lacked. Toughness.

Lions Made The Right Call On Stafford

Today the Detroit Lions made a good decision on what could determine the future of the franchise. They put quarterback Matthew Stafford on injured reserve. I know some might differ on my opinion of this but I explained a few weeks back why they should keep him out for the rest of the year.

Stafford's been hurt for most of the season. He separated his throwing shoulder in the first game of the season and aggravated it against the Jets in week 8. Well they said it was a different injury from the initial injury. I think he came back too soon or was rushed back. One of the two. I know Stafford probably wanted to come back for the last two games of the year and test himself. It's probably a good thing he didn't make the decision himself.

It's clear the team isn't going anywhere and it was wise to put him on IR and not risk another significant injury which would leave you drafting another quarterback. It also was clear that the Lions could've been at least three wins better this year. But we're not playing horseshoes and hand grenades here. It's the NFL. And one false move can set you back years. The Lions and their fans know all about being set back.

Tennessee Should Get Off It's Own Hype

There's still a lot of college basketball left to be played and there are a lot of upsets out there to be made. Yes, that would include you too Duke. Some teams made early impressions. One of those teams was the Tennessee Volunteers.

A couple of weeks ago the Volunteers went into Pittsburgh and dismantled the then No.3 Panthers 83-76. And the score really wasn't that close. They were blowing them out by 21 before Bruce Pearl called off the dogs. Prior to that they beat Villanova 78-68. The Volunteers looked good in beating two of the Big East's better teams and subsequently rose to No.7 in the national rankings. Well, we all know rankings don't mean jack until you get in conference. Unless your Duke or Kansas. And Tennessee found this out the hard way. After beating Pittsburgh, the Vols dropped three in a row. All to inferior opponents. Oakland, Charlotte, and USC. Two of them at home.

I'm not taking anything away from those teams. Oakland is a much more difficult opponent than what people think, don't look at the Ohio State game as an indicator. Charlotte had just lost it's best player (Shamari Spears) and USC just hasn't been the same since the O.J. Mayo controversy. Last night they narrowly escaped Belmont, 66-65. Definitely not the same Tennessee team I saw a few weeks ago.

In my opinion, as it seems with some teams, is they get on their own hype. They start thinking they can underprepare for opponents and just show up and win. Only a select few teams can get away with that and the Vols are not one of them. Don't get me wrong. They are plenty good and should be one of the SEC's best this year. But they shouldn't be overlooking other teams. That's what I think happened. It's good to believe in yourself, just don't get too overconfident.

With conference play starting in two weeks, we'll see if Tennessee can regain their focus, like they had against 'Nova and Pitt. They'll have to because Bruce Pearl will be sitting out the first eight conference games for lying to the NCAA. The Vols will have to be at their best with games against Memphis, Arkansas, and Florida looming in early January.   

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas To All

Merry Christmas to all readers, family, friends, and the troops overseas. Have a safe and happy holiday 

An All Sports Wish List

In the spirit of Christmas, this is what I think what players, coaches, teams, and organizations will be wishing for under the Christmas tree.

Another year for Michigan's Rich Rodriguez so he can finally get some progress going in Ann Arbor. But they still won't call off the dogs.

For Greg Robinson, another job where he can run his own scheme and not have one forced upon him where he couldn't succeed.

For Jim Leyland, another bat in the lineup that can go for .280, 20 homers and 80 rbi's. Also another starter that can win 10-15 games and eat some innings. Brad Penny anyone?

For Joe Dumars, a new owner so he can take the handcuffs off and rebuild the Pistons and Jared Sullinger

For the Detroit Lions, a referee that can interpret the rules properly.

For North Carolina's Butch Davis, a wish for the NCAA to stop digging up more allegations against his program.

For Tom Izzo and Michigan State, a win against an elite, top level opponent.

For John Beilein and Michigan, a win over Michigan State and to truly close the gap on the Spartans.

For Houston Cougars basketball, a return to their glory years.

For John Pelphrey, another year so he can see his best recruiting class pay off.

For Virginia Tech basketball, an NCAA bid.

For the Detroit Red Wings, an injury free season.

For the San Jose Sharks, to breakthrough and win a Stanley Cup

For the Miami Heat, a strong bench to complement Miami Thrice

For Carmelo Anthony, a home in New York City

For the New York Yankees, another top shelf pitcher

Sacramento Has To Remember Cousins Is Still A Kid

Whether the brass in the Sacramento Kings' organization like it or not, rookie center DeMarcus Cousins is still a kid. Now don't get my words twisted. He's still a kid in a sense that he still has to grow up mentally. He's going to give you headaches now and it's going to take a year or five for him to get his head straight. Maybe he's a lot like Zach Randolph, who now looks like a model citizen. Yes, insert joke there.

Last night Cousins' immaturity was on display when he made a choking motion to Golden State's Reggie Williams after he missed a late game free throw. Coach Paul Westphal wasn't too happy with Cousins and fined him and removed him from the starting lineup. Of course Cousins says the only reason why he's being punished is because they lost. No DeMarcus. It's because your a jackass.

Unlike Tyreke Evans, whose problems have come off the court, all Cousins' problems will come on the court. He'll be more of a headache to coaches and teammates during a game than being a royal pain off of it. I only say that because I personally haven't heard of any off court problems when he was in high school or at Kentucky. I'm not saying you treat him with kid gloves or coddle him. He has to become a man, since he's now in a grown man's world. Give him a few years to grow up and if he doesn't then trade him. If you don't want to wait that long trade him now and cut your losses. I do think he has the potential to be a coach killer if he can't demonstrate the ability to mature.  

Start Tanking For Sullinger

I don't like to advocate losing intentionally, or tanking for a lack of a better term. But hey, it worked for the Houston Rockets back in the day when they "won" the right to draft Ralph Sampson, so I'm not against trying to get a few more ping pong balls in the hopper.

If I'm Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars, I facilitate trades for Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince and let the losing begin. I know Joe has a lot of pride so he'll never go for this idea. I don't think a lot of people that read this would like this idea. But like I said, it worked for Houston so why not give it a try. The player I've fallen in love with in this short college basketball season is Ohio State's Jared Sullinger.

Being from Michigan, I haven't liked many Buckeyes. That goes for football and basketball. Save for Jay Burson and Dennis Hopson I don't root for many. But Sullinger is different. I know the Pistons lack an elite level point guard and as much as I hate to say it Duke's Kyrie Irving could be used here in the Motor City. I could be wrong, but I feel Sullinger is a guaranteed can't miss. Put Sullinger next to Greg Monroe, and they might form a nice combo on the front line. Jared is a beast down low. He has a good back to the basket game and can actually hit a midrnge shot, even though you prefer he doesn't take that shot frequently. He's a strong rebounder and if he can stay out of foul trouble he could step right in and be a force. He knows his range so you don't have to worry about him straying out to the three point line. If you question what I'm saying, just check his stat line from the Florida game (26 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals). He is DeMarcus Cousins without the attitude. He averages a double double and shoots 59 percent. I'm still waiting to see what he does once the Big Ten season starts, but right now he would be number one on my draft board right now.

I know Joe Dumars doesn't have much room to operate and there may not be a season next year, but drafting Sullinger is a must. This would be the certified home run draft pick he needs to keep the bullets off his back regarding his shaky draft record. Just make the trades and let lottopalooza start and let the ping pong balls rack up. Just remeber, it got Houston into that epic coin flip that landed them Ralph Sampson. Like I said earlier, Dumars has too much pride to let that happen. Let's not kid ourselves. This team is going nowhere except lotteryland so why not try to maximize the potential to get the best draft position.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quote Of The Week: Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders didn't like the fact that Donovan McNabb was benched in favor of Rex Grossman. Here's his thoughts about it.

"Replacing McNabb with Grossman is like replacing Beyonce in Destiny's Child with Macy Gray. She can sang but it ain't Beyonce."

That's a creative way of putting it. But McNabb isn't the McNabb of old. I suspect he'll be out of Washington in the offseason.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Maryland Shows Friedgen The Door

How's this for gratitude? A coach that goes to a bowl game getting fired. That usually gets you a stay of execution in the coaching business. That wasn't enough for Maryland's Ralph Friedgen. I guess that's what happens when the offensive coordinator leaves and takes half the staff with him. 

It says Freidgen accepted a buyout. In other words, Maryland paid Fridge a lot of money to walk away to avoid an ugly firing. From what I've read on this matter from a number of sports sites, after offensive coordinator James Franklin accepted the Vanderbilt job and took a high number of assistants with him, Maryland wanted no part of having Friedgen come back. I guess the higher ups on the athletic department were worried how well Friedgen would do after losing the assistants and they also weren't interested in working out an extension. That would've made Fridge a lame duck coach going into next season.

Let me sort this out. Friedgen leads a bum ass program from nothing to 7 bowl games and a BCS berth and ACC championship since he's been there. He lifted the program back to respectability, something not seen since the Boomer Esiason days. Not to mention he won ACC coach of the year twice, including this season. And this is how you reward him. Can him in the middle of bowl game preparations. I'm not saying he was Bear Bryant or anything but they could've kept him around for at least two more seasons. But what the hell do I know, maybe there's more to this than I know.

Maryland will be looking for a coach and right now all rumors are pointing toward former Texas Tech head boss Mike Leach. That would be a home run hire if they're able to land Leach. I can't confrm or deny the Leach rumor but that is what's being thrown out there right now. 

   

Zack Greinke Wants Out

You can count Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke among pro athletes that wants out. Greinke has fired his agent and made a trade demand.

I'm not surprised by this at all. If Royals general manager Dayton Moore didn't see this coming, he's as blind as Ray Charles. Now Kansas City has to trade him. I know Greinke has a contract, and management doesn't have to do anything. But when you've been in a perpetual cycle of losing, the cards that you have to play equals to bluffing. It was different before Greinke said he wanted out. The Royals could've waited for the best package to come their way, now they can't have a possible malcontent on board with a history of depression. As for Greinke, I can't blame him. I'd want out too. They're not close to winning and don't spend enough to win. He would be far from motivated to put his best efforts on display for a team going nowhere.

Greinke has a no trade clause to 15 teams. The Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals, Blue Jays, and Brewers are on that list. I suspect the Red Sox and Yankees probably can offer the most attractive packages. If I were the Yankees I'd be worried that Greinke could go Ed Whitson on them. I do think the Texas Rangers will be the most agressive pursuer after losing Cliff Lee to the Phillies. That would be my best bet. But I didn't see Lee going to the Phillies either. Well, neither did anyone else, so what do we know.

On a personal note, it's pretty sad to see the Royals franchise in their current state. When I was growing up they were one of the model franchises in the league. Now they're one of the worse run franchises. I really don't see how the St. Louis Cardianls can find money to stay competitive but Kansas City can't. Maybe i just don't know much about the economics of baseball.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tigers Re-Sign Ordonez And I'm Still Not Sold On Them

When I heard the Detroit Tigers made a free agent signing my ears perked up with a bit of enthusiam. Then I heard what the signing was. It was Magglio Ordonez coming back for one year and $10 million. A good signing, but not exactly a discount deal. It's more than I would've tried to re-sign him for. Don't get me wrong, I like that they brought him back. I just feel they could've done more with their money.

When I say they could've done more with their money, here's what I mean. The Tigers still have some holes. I've stated that they should've looked at some low cost free agent options. Be creative. Sign a younger player that has a track record of some success. Incentive laden, minor league deal with an invite to spring training, or whatever. I don't know the ins and outs of a major league front office, but when I see Austin Kearns helping the Yankees last year and available on the market, I ask myself why not sign him. Like I said before, if he can't cut it, cut him. It's all at minimal cost. Obviously the Tigers don't operate this way. I'm not saying they would win the division or be a World Series contender this way, but this team isn't getting any younger nor is there immediate help from within on the way.

This team looks a lot like last year's and they're still trying to catch lightning in a bottle. Meaning, they keep trying to recreate 2006 and that just isn't going to happen. They still need another starter and bullpen arm. Also a solid corner outfielder and second baseman would help. I know there doesn't appear to be much out there on the market but sometimes someone just needs a change of scenery. I'm not sold on Phil Coke and Armando Galarraga as the fourth and fifth starters. Hell, why not bring Jeremy Bonderman back and keep working that experiment. I'm not sold on Carlos Guillen being able to last a whole season at second base or anywhere else for that matter. I'm not sold on Brandon Inge at third either. For the "power arms" the Orioles gave up to get Mark Reynolds from Arizona, the Tigers could've given up something. He may have whiffed about 200 times, but you would have some more thunder in the lineup.

Simply put, I'm glad Ordonez is back. I'm just not too thrilled with how the team is constructed. It's going to take a lot to sell me on this team being a contender. Being competitive into September isn't good enough.         

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Werth Is A Little Peeved At Lee

Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth had a special bond while they were teammates in Philadelphia. You know the story of Lee being shipped to Seattle before last season. I guess they were still boys despite being on different coasts. As free agency rolled around, Lee and Werth had talked about possibly ending up in the same place.

When Werth signed with the Washington Nationals that went out the window. Even though The Nationals made a slight play for Lee, it was nothing serious. Lee eventually signed Philadelphia and now they'll be division rivals. Werth doesn't seem to pleased about the turn of events.

"When he found out I was coming here, he wasn't the happiest person in the world", Lee said. I guess Werth is pouting because instead of playing together, they'll be rivals. Lee will be in the penthouse and Werth will be looking up at him since we all know the Nationals aren't going anywhere. It could also be because the Phillies couldn't find enough money to sign Werth, but pulled it out their behinds to sign Lee.

Maybe the Phillies thought they would be overpaying to keep Werth, and maybe know something we don't.


"The news in Philadelphia, they got their boy back, I guess," Werth said. "That's fine. I think that's good. I like that. If you're going to be the best, you've got to beat the best. They make their plays, and we're going to make ours.  Jayson, I don't think your team will be making too many plays.

Oakland's Win Over Vols Could Go A Long Way

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies finally got the signature win they'd been seeking. Oakland knocked off No.7 Tennessee 89-82 in Knoxville. That probably ranks as the biggest win in Oakland's history. Consider this. Tennessee had just throttled then No.3 Pittsburgh on the road Saturday.

I know what a lot of pundits are saying. They had a hangover after thier win over Pitt. Well they also overlooked an Oakland team that is capable of playing with anyone. The Vols should've done their homework and prepared for more vigorously. This was Oakland's fourth game against a Top 25 team and after a few near misses they finally got their upset. Greg Kampe is doing a very good job of coaching his team up and convincing them that they shouldn't be afraid of anyone. You also have to give credit to the kids who've played their hearts out and finally got the confidence buiding win to put Oakland on the map.

As long as they don't get overconfident they should go nearly undefeated in their conference. I know it's a bold proclamation, but it's highly possible.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Can't Feel Sorry For The Yankees

The New York Yankees have been very quiet during free agency. They've signed no marquee players or made any blockbuster trades. News of the Philadelphia Phillies signing Cliff Lee was a big surprise to a lot. Including the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.

The Yankees money couldn't get him to the Big Apple. They practically offered him the world (money and 7 years)and he went back to Philly. The only player the Yankees could get was L.A. Dodgers catcher Russell Martin. Big deal huh?

I guess Lee really never wanted to leave Philadelphia and now he gets to go back and possibly make another World Series trip. Meanwhile the Yankees have C.C. Sabathia and not much else behind him in the rotation. It's hard to feel sorry for them not getting their man, but personally I love it. I'm glad their money can't buy everyone. Now they might fall back to the pack a little. I wish I could say the same about the Red Sox, so we won't have to watch those "epic" Yankees/Red Sox matchups every time a national game comes on. 

Tell Me Why Donald Sterling Is Heckling His Own Players

Happy times in Clipperland. The worse owner ever in professional sports Donald Sterling has taken to heckling and belittling his own players. Sterling is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Why Sterling is doing that to his own players, only he knows and he's not saying anything. His main target has been big money point guard, Baron Davis. He's also thrown darts at center Chris Kaman. Kaman, who is sidelined right now, has found it amusing.

  "All kinds of stuff," Kaman said. "Some stuff like, 'Oh, dunk the ball.' He owns the team. What do you want me to say? He's my boss. He signs the check. He owns me."Not really, but you know what I'm saying. My rights to my basketball skills for five years."

Sterling would prefer not to pay Davis and has been reported as saying "he wants his money back." A league source says he wants to do it, but obviously can't do it.

Some within the organization aren't too thrilled. You can count me as an outsider who isn't either. Especially since this is a classic moment of the pot calling the kettle black.

Sterling has been known to be one of the cheapest owners in the NBA. Only a few years ago did he start trying to improve the product on the court. They never win and he won't sell the team. The Clippers are nothing more to him than something to improve his social standing. That way he can tell his high falutin buddies, "hey, I own an NBA team". Hell, former general manager Elgin Baylor took the brunt of the heat that should've been directed toward Sterling. Another thing, it's not like he's some kind of basketball savant.
He's probably never played, or even picked up a basketball. He probably didn't even know what one looked like until he owned the Clippers. Davis could probaly kick his ass in a game of 21with a peg leg and wooden arm.

He claims he wants the best for all his players when asked about heckling Davis. Fooled me. The guy is flat out cheap, just ask ex coach Paul Silas, whom he asked to tape players himself to cut costs. Better yet ask former tenants of his apartment buildings. Or a local lawyer who had to sue Sterling for fraud over a $1000 prize he won in a free throw shooting contest. Those were in the San Diego days. Google stories about the guy and you'll see why he has no reason whatsoever to run around heckling anyone.
  http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/6435/donald-sterling-one-creepy-story-after-another
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4187729

Oregon, Auburn Unveil Uniform Wrinkles

Oregon and Auburn will both have some fancy new duds to trot out for the BCS championship game.

Auburn will be going with new cleats designed by Underamour.

Oregon will be going with something a little more familiar, except for the socks.
As you can see, around the numbers is a brighter green. Just like those loud socks.

Uniforms won't make a difference. just ask the Cincinnati Bearcats when they strolled out in the storm trooper outfits for last year's Sugar Bowl against Florida.

I don't think they've worn those again after the beatdown the Gators put on them.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winning Ugly

The Detroit Lions pulled out a 7-3 win over the Green Bay Packers today. I swear that game was played like it was outdoors. To both teams credit, the defenses stepped up. It helped the Lions that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had to leave the game with a concussion. DeAndre Levy also came up with a timely interception that thrwarted a Green Bay scoring oppurtunity. It was an ugly win but I'm sure coaches, players, and fans will take a win any way they can get it.

Both teams were offensively challenged but the Lions were picked apart by a short passing game. Drew Stanton wasn't as sharp as he was last week, throwing two ill advised interceptions. I'll give him some credit, he didn't fold and led them to the winning scoring drive. He may not be a Lion next year, but if he keeps playing well he'll have a job somewhere. Green Bay's defense isn't chopped liver and neither is Chicago's. Stanton earned another start next week if Shaun Hill isn't able to come back from injury. And no, Matthew Stafford shouldn't be brought back under no circumstances.

This was a good win for the Lions as they've been 0 for forever in the division. They actually won a game no one gave them a chance of winning. There wasn't a gang of pre snap penalties or penalties that came at a bad time. They didn't fold when it counted and they playe through mistakes. Today, they were big. Now we'll see if they can handle a little prosperity. The last time we thought they turned the corner they had a disheartning loss to the Jets. This time let's see them build some momentum and translate this into a few more to close out the year. Then we'll start talking about progress. 

Quote Of The Week: Ron Artest

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest needs to watch what he eats. Here's Ron explaining his vegan lifestyle to ESPN.com.

"About 80%. I like pork chops".

If that's considred being a vegan in your house Ron, maybe I need to get an invite over there. Pork chops, bacon, steak, sausage. I'd eat all day over there.

Oakland Falls Again, But They Shouldn't Be Ashamed

To those who don't know, Oakland University is located in Rochester, Michigan. They play in the Summitt conference, far from a powerhouse. Head coach Greg Kampe has been there for what seems like forever, but I give hm credit. He takes on anyone anywhere. This week they had two tough losses against Illinois and Michigan State. Last season they looked like they were going to give Pittsburgh a game in the NCAA tournament until forward Derrick Nelson was knocked out of the game.

After the loss to Michigan State yesterday, Kampe said that he felt sick and was upset with the loss. I can't blame him. You want to win every time you take the court. The Golden Grizzlies gave the Spartans all they could handle yesterday. Kampe shouldn't feel satisfied, but he shouldn't be angry either. He knows he has a team that is close to knocking off one of the titans in college basketball. I think they're close too.

The Golden Grizzlies have been to the NCAA's twice and narrowly missed a third trip. They play a heavyweight non-conference schedule and not afraid to take on anyone. Home or away. They don't get the pick of the litter when it comes to recruiting, but they do get players that can actually play. They're not some cutesy small school darling. The players feel like they can play with anyone, if given the chance. This year they have an NBA prospect in 6-11 center Keith Benson. A few years back, former Golden Grizzlie, Rawle Marshall had a cup of coffee in the league. Larry Wright and Reggie Hamilton have been solid so far. So they get some players.

Kampe has done a good job since they've been in Division I. They're not that far away from being able to compete against the big boys without getting blown out. They proved that against a good Illinois team and a Michigan State team many have picked to go to the Final Four. The key to me is that they are a consistent threat in their league. That's where the tough schedule kicks in. They know they can play against big time opponents. I like what Kampe has done at Oakland U. Not to knock Eastern Michigan and Detroit, but this is what they should've become. A team not afraid to play anyone, feels they can compete with anyone, and being close to dominant in their league.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Random College Football Questions

Just sitting here with entirely too much time on my hands, so I just had to get some things out of my system.

1. Why is it difficult for marquee programs to find a head coach? Yes, I'm talking to you Florida, Miami, and possibly Michigan again.

2. Speaking of Michigan, don't you think that the reason they get turned down by others is because everyone in Ann Arbor keeps clamoring for a Michigan man?

3. Why does Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor get just as much face time as Cam Newton? I swear, if I didn't watch football, I'd think he was the coach. 

4. Why can't Houston get an invite to join the Big 12?  Please don't tell me it's about academics.

5. Is Temple's Al Golden holding out for the Penn State job?

6. Also, isn't the shine off of Rutgers' Greg Schiano and Fresno State's Pat Hill?

7. Won't the new Mountain West look like the WAC of the 1980's?

8. What happened to the days when an 8-3 record still got you a top 10 ranking and job security?

9. Why doesn't Texas Tech admit they made a mistake a bring back Mike Leach and his gimmicky offense?

10. Why did Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson take the Indiana job? I hope he's able to turn the Hoosiers into a bowl eligible program.

Chizik Can Feel Complete Redemption If He Wins Title

Remember when Gene Chizik was named the head coach at Auburn? I do. The decision was ridiculed from coast to coast. The "experts" thought he was the wrong guy. Charles Barkley even chimed in saying they should've hired Turner Gill and said Gill wasn't hired because he was black. They said he couldn't and wouldn't beat Nick Saban. Personally I thought it wasn't a good choice based on his 5-19 record at Iowa State. Especially since things got worse in Ames after he arrived. 

Well, Chizik is close to having the last laugh. He's headed to the BCS title game with the probable Heisman Trophy winner in tow. Everyone that said he wasn't the right choice and that Saban would rule the state of Alabama are now eating crow. Chizik will feel complete redemption if he wins the national championship. The Tigers have surprised everyone, including me. I knew Cam Newton was a difference maker, but damn, this kind of difference maker. Who knew? I know what everyone is saying now. Cam Newton has "made" Gene Chizik. Even though Newton has led the Tigers on some memorable comebacks, it's been a good marriage between the two. More specifically Newton and Chizik's most important hire, offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

Of course for this story to have a happy ending they'll have to get by Oregon. Not impossible, but considering everything they've been through and what they've done all year I wouldn't doubt them now.

Why Is Every Duke Game Televised?

Since I do hate Duke basketball with a passion, it pains me to write this. But after flicking channels this afternoon I couldn't help it.

Duke is a very good basketball team, with or without super freshman Kyrie Irving.They probably will win the national championship again, but stranger things have happened. But why do we have to be treated to clunker games on television like the ones against Bradley and Saint Louis. I know Duke may be a ratings draw and we get to hear Dick Vitale preach the Blue Devil gospel, but we don't need to see that much of them. We know Bradley or Saint Louis had no real shot at winning those games. It's like watching the old Superstars of Wrestling on Saturday back in the day. You remember the matches like Iron Mike Sharpe vs. The Ultimate Warrior. You wanted to see Sharpe get over but also knew he had no real chance at winning. Same for watching the Bradley's of the world taking on Duke on national tv. The network's execs (the four letter network) could've picked a better matchup. I would've rather watched Missouri vs. Vandy.

But damn what I think, just keep feeding us Duke, like they give us the Yankees vs. Red Sox year after year.
Or in this case, King Kong Bundy vs. Ronnie Dee.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Welcome To The WAC Circa 1980

Not that it really matters, but Hawaii is jumping ship from the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) to join the Mountain West in football only starting in the 2012-2013 season. They will join the Big West in all other sports.

Well, I hate to say it but, who cares. The Mountain West lost all credibility when BYU decided to go all Destiny's Child by going Independent. Then Utah took off to the Pac-10 (or 12). After all that TCU went to the Big Least, er, Big East. The Mountain West did pick up Boise State, Fresno State and Hawaii. Now if the MWC held on to BYU, Utah, and TCU, I would say that the MWC would've been major players at the BCS table. I might've suggested they drop New Mexico, which would've put them at twelve teams. Instead they've been kicked back to the kids' table again. In 2012 here's how the Mountain West will look:  Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, Hawaii, Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico, Wyoming and Air Force.


This looks like how the WAC used to look back in the 1980's, along with BYU and Utah. It actually resembled an actual conference like the Mountain West. Now the WAC is struggling to maintain, at least football wise, an FBS conference with any shred of relevancy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vikings' Shiancoe Thinks The Lions Get Shafted By Refs

It's not normal for a professional athlete to have any sympathy for a rival team. The exception is Minnesota Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. He thinks the Detroit Lions are getting shafted by the referees. Shiancoe tweeted the following regarding some dubious calls in the Bears/Lions game.

Lions get the short end of the stick alot.. i wonder whats really going on. Happens to much


Just seeing that unnecessary roughness call on #90 on Jay Cutler in the Bears/Lions game.. This isnt flag football ..man


Many Lions fans feel the same way.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Time For The Tigers To Lower Their Sights In Free Agency

Forget the Carl Crawford pipe dreams. The only way the Detroit Tigers improve their current roster is going to be through trades or lower cost free agents. I'm not going to get too much into it because I've described who I would go after. The problem I see with the Tigers is they want to operate like a big budget club. They don't have big budget dollars though. Then when things go terribly bad (see 2007) they end up having to cut costs.

My soultion is still to take flyers on low cost one or two year deals. Someone like Orland Hudson, Lastings Milledge, or Xavier Nady isn't going to cost you too much to see if they can play and cut bait if they can't. The team itself isn't getting any younger. I know they're trying to win now, but they need to be wise with their money. If they break the bank and fail then you have to start from square one and the Tigers don't have youth down on the farm to start over.

Urban Meyer Steps Down. Who's Next At Florida?

Urban Meyer is leaving Florida and this time its for real. I won't get into specifics or anything, all I know is he wants to spend more time with his family. Can't fault the man for that. There's gonna be plenty of speculation on who takes over.

The first name from everyone's mouths' was Mississippi State's Dan Mulllen. Mullen didn't know anything about Meyer leaving and texted Brad Locke of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal "news to me. Happy at State". He's still a candidate for the open Miami job.

Louisville's Charlie Strong could also be in the mix. He was Meyer's defensive coordinator and had Louisville bowl eligible this year. I personally think that won't happen.

Bob Stoops' name has been thrown into the mix but I see him leaving for an NFL job before jumping ship at Oklahoma.

Here's one name that I think could hit the ground running at Florida. Mike Leach. The offensive personnel seems to be tailored to his style of play. There's a pro style quarterback in John Brantley, who seemed an odd fit in Meyer's spread. Everyone knows Leach loves his qb's to chuck the ball around 50 times a game. There's speed to burn at the skill positions and those players are also highly thought of. He would have a solid defense. And he could recruit like mad with that crazy scheme he runs. His name isn't on the list but I wouldn't be surprised if he landed in The Swamp.

Lions Need To Learn How To Win

Plain and simple. The Detroit Lions need to learn how to win. Once again, against the Chicago Bears (again), the Lions were undone by penalties, missed tackles, dropped passes, unable to make a key defensive stop, and an inability to convert in short yardage situations. It seems to be the same old story with this team.

I know a lot of Lions fans feel they were jobbed by the refs. Save it. I've heard it all before. I'll run down some key moments of the game which all contributed to the loss to the Bears and games before. In the third quarter they recovered a Jay Cutler and only got a field goal to show for it. You had first and goal from the Chicago 9 yard line and couldn't seal the deal. You have to get six points when you get that kind of oppurtunity. When Chicago scored their winning touchdown, they missed on a couple plays. When Ndamukong Suh was called for the bogus personal foul penalty, linebacker DeAndre Levy missed the tackle for loss on Cutler which led to Suh committing the penalty. Then how do you miss a 300 pound tight end and not cover him and score. He should be the easiest guy to keep track of. They missed him again when they allowed him to get loose again, catch a pass for a first down and close out the game.

They simply just don't know how to win. I'm still waiting for them to just clamp down in the fourth quarter and stop someone when they have to. I'm hoping that day will come sooner than later. 

The Lions Need To Save Stafford Until Next Year

There are reports circulating saying Matthew Stafford has started throwing again. Of course that means everyone will think he's coming back to close out the season and finish strong to give everyone some hope for next season. I think bringing him back would be the wrong thing to do.

First of all this season is lost. They're 2-10 and not going anywhere. The only thing the Lions can salvage by bringing Stafford back is one or two wins and getting knocked down a few slots in the draft. That shouldn't be a reason to bring him back.Why risk him getting hurt or aggravating the two injuries he's suffered to his shoulder this year. I do think if Stafford were healthy the Lions would be closer to the break even mark rather than 2-10. It's a lost cause to bring him back.

Let Stafford get some rest and rehab. Go back to the drawing board and get some more pieces to make the team a winner. Don't bring him back just to get some meaningless wins. I know coach Jim Schwartz is trying to change a losing culture, but don't possibly risk your so-called "franchise" quarterback's career for the sake of a few wins at the end of the year.

AFC Third Quarter Breakdown

The Patriots are back to flexing their muscle
As the playoff season approaches it's starting to look like the usual suspects. New England, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore will be there like always. The New York Jets will join the party. We'll have to wait for the AFC West to shake out to see who emerges from that division.

New England Patriots- As evidenced by the 45-3 rout of the Jets, the Patriots are back in their rightful place in the AFC pecking order.

Pittsburgh Steelers- You have to be impressed with the win against Baltimore. They simply know how to win.

New York Jets- They need to stop all the talking and just play. Let's hope the Monday nighter, taught them a lesson.

Baltimore Ravens- The offense still has to catch up with the defense.

Kansas City Chiefs- Still holding tough in the AFC West. Will virtually lock up the division with a win over San Diego on Sunday.

Indianapolis Colts- The Colts are hanging tough, but the injuries are finally catching up to them. Missing the playoffs may actually help them.

Jacksonville Jaguars- This looks like when David Garrard first took over.

San Diego Chargers- The December magic has finally worn off. For all their gaudy stats they should be much better than 6-6. Being swept by the Raiders doesn't help them as far as staying in the hunt within the division.

Oakland Raiders- The Raiders are progressing nicely under Tom Cable. Only if the offense could be more consistent.

Miami Dolphins- Only if all their games were on the road.

Cleveland Browns- Despite the strides they've made recently, Eric Mangini may not be around to see the fruits of his labor.

Houston Texans- Gary Kubiak may not be the man to get them over the hump. The Texans just seem too soft.

Tennessee Titans- Will owner Bud Adams force out Jeff Fisher or just force him to play Vince Young.

Buffalo Bills- Lots of tough losses this year. Maybe they can "Luck" up into the top pick in the draft. Andrew Luck that is.

Cincinnati Bengals- Lots of talent. Lots of underacheivers. In my opinion this has to be the end of the Marvin Lewis era.

Denver Broncos- Another from the Bill Belichick tree that got the ax. Tim Tebow's sugar daddy is no longer around. When will coaches/GM's learn that they can't force others out (players) and expect to win big.

NFC Third Quarter Breakdown

The NFL is heading into the stretch run and the annual jockeying for playoff position begins. In the NFC it looks like one of the better teams (Tampa Bay, New York Giants) might be on the outside looking in. Here's my thoughts on the teams in the NFC.

Green Bay Packers- Despite trailing Chicago in the standings, I still feel the Packers are the best team in the NFC. They have a meeting with Chicago left and a chance to take the division and finish strong. They have still have an outside shot at home field.

Atlanta Falcons- Matt Ryan has shown me a lot this year. Of course this position can change in a hurry. The Falcons boast the NFC's best record and are sitting pretty for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Chicago Bears- They call this the worse 9-3 team in the NFL. The Bears have been solid on both sides of the ball. Julius Peppers has raised the defense up a notch. Jay Cutler is doing a better of managing the game.

New Orleans Saints- It looks like the offense is finally hitting its stride. They need to avoid more games like the Bengals scare last week.

Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles will ride Michael Vick's magic to the playoffs.

New York Giants- They might be on the outside looking in when it's all said and done. They have been playing better of late, but need to finish with a flourish.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Tough loss to the Falcons hurts. Still in the playoff hunt, but will need help to get there.

St. Louis Rams- One of the year's biggest surprises has been helped by being in a bad division. They might get into the playoffs, but once they get a few more pieces, look out.

Seattle Seahawks- You wonder which team is going to show up from week to week. They either win or get blown out.

Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys have been much improved since Jason Garrett took over.

Minnesota Vikings- Playing out the string. Leslie Frazier is coaching for next year.

San Francisco 49ers- Still have a very slim shot at capturing their division. That might be the only way Mike Singletary keeps his job.

Washington Redskins- If games were played on paper they might be a top four team in the NFC.

Detroit Lions- Being competetive in close losses isn't enough.

Arizona Cardinals- All their mojo left with Kurt Warner. Kind of feel sorry Larry Fitzgerald. He seems lost without a quarterback.

Carolina Panthers- I don't think John Fox will be able to survive this season.    

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why Didn't Colin Kaepernick Get Any Heisman Consideration?

Last year I thought Houston's Case Keenum was getting the Heisman shaft. This year it's Nevada's Colin Kaepernick that's getting stiff-armed from the Heisman ceremony in New York. I think it's a shame that a player that has put up the kind of stats Kaepernick has can't even get in the conversation. I'm not saying he would win. Just think about this though. Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore had a very good year, is a Heisman finalist. Kaepernick and his Nevada squad handed the Broncos their only loss of the season. I'm not saying Moore shouldn't be a finalist, but on the strength of that game alone he should at least be in the conversation.

Another thing. Peep the stats. This season Kaepernick ran for 1,184 yards and 20 touchdowns. He passed for 2,830 yards with 20 touchdowns against 7 interceptions. Do the math, that's over 4,000 yards of total offense. Comparable to Heisman frontrunner Cam Newton's stat sheet. But Kaepernick can't even get a whiff of New York unless it's on a Rand McNally map. What makes him any different than Newton. I guess since Newton had a bigger stage and did it in more spectacular fashion Kaepernick is a mere afterthought. I'm not knocking Big Cam, but the very best deserve to be considered for the Heisman. Just because there is more of a spotlight for some players doesn't mean others with less pub shouldn't get credit.

To me the Heisman is becoming no more than a sham. There should be more players considered and just because a certain players talents are on display more than others doesn't mean great seasons shouldn't be recognized.

Quote Of The Week: Mike Williams

Something never seen in his Detroit days
Here's former Detroit Lions bust, receiver Mike Williams on how he's enjoying his time in Seattle.

"The football culture is new to me. I'm not used to fans who care about football so much".

Strange Mike, didn't you play here in Detroit. The fans here care a lot. You must've been too busy at the local KFC to realize that.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What I Saw In College Football

It was a relatively tame week in the world of college football this past week, since there weren't too many games going on. The games played were impactful and straightened out the bowl picture.

Auburn and Oregon steamrolled their way into the BCS title game. I do like both teams and do think both the Tigers and Ducks have suspect defenses. I think Cam Newton and the Rally Cats might be a bit too much for the Quack Attack. That's what I'm saying now, because you never know what will happen in a championship game. Will it be a coronation for Newton or will the duck be doing more pushups?

In the Big 12 championship game Oklahoma denied Nebraska the chance to skip town with the conference trophy. The Sooners beat the Huskers 23-20. This is a game Nebraska should've won. The Cornhuskers jumped on Oklahoma early jumping to a 17-0 lead but couldn't put them away. The Sooners, mainly linebacker Travis Lewis, came up with some timely turnovers to stymie Nebraska. Oklahoma will be heading to the Fiesta Bowl to take on Big Least, er, Big East champion Connecticut. The Huskies earned their first trip to a BCS game by beating South Florida 16-13.

Virginia Tech will go to the Orange Bowl to play Stanford. The Hokies punched their BCS ticket by outscoring Florida State 44-33.

The wild WAC ended in a three way tie as Hawaii, Nevada, and Boise State all won to claim a share of the crown. Boise might feel a slight snub, but they'll have to deal with it. On the flip side Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. I feel Colin Kaepernick should  be there as well.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pistons Need New Ownership...Now

The search for a buyer for the Detroit Pistons needs to come to an end. It's clearly hurting the team in the office and on the court. It's true that you want an owner that is going to be committed to keeping the team in the Detroit area and it doesn't help that the economy is in the crapper and more billionaires and multi millionaires are keeping a tight grip on their money. I'll explain why this needs to happen and happen fast if the Pistons plan on speeding up the rebuilding process.

First the team needs to find a buyer. Someone that will keep the team here in Detroit. Mike Illitch is still a possibility, I just think he would be spreading himself too thin, also owning the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. It could work if he keeps Joe Dumars and let him work with Tom Wilson. He would also have to put the right basketball people in place for it to work. It would be a hit with the locals and maybe you wouldn't have all those empty seats dressed up as fans, since it seems that people support an Illitch owned sports entity.

 Tom Gores also is another possibility. He's a Flint native and Michigan State alum so that's a plus. He's talked about wanting to help in the state of Michigan, so the team possibly wouldn't be relocated under his ownership. Here's the problem, he's based in California, so he might want to move the team. Maybe Las Vegas would be his preferred destination. Who knows. Not too many know about the guy, except what I've mentioned above.

This week a there was a report about two separate groups from the Middle East being in negotiations to buy the Pistons. The two groups reportedly are from Qatar and Abu Dhabi, I believe. The two groups are a mystery to me since no one knows anything about them except they have tons of money. I don't think that would be a good fit, because the team would be more of a playtoy to them more than something they actually want to invest any time in. We already have a badly owned team in town and don't need another.

 On the other side of this, does Joe Dumars keep his job if there is new ownership. I would think so. I know he's had a bad run since 2004, but it wasn't like he was free to spend money when Bill Davidson was alive. He really can't do too much now since ownership is in limbo. I do think if there is no sale in the near future that he might opt to resign. This team needs new ownership so it can finally head in a different direction. The team isn't going anywhere right now and is not a threat to make the playoffs anytime soon. I think with the right coach and a few moves to get some younger talent in there the Pistons could actually be a product worth watching. As of now they're on par with some of those bad Lions teams I've grown accustomed to seeing every Sunday.