Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Welker Says A "Lady" Is Key To Belichick's Kindness

Today was media day for Super Bowl XLVI. Which means there will be guarantees, predictions, and some zany comments.

New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker has started with the funny stuff. When he was asked about coach Bill Belichick's kinder, gentler mood of late, Welker attributed it to a "lady in his life".

"I don’t know, I think he’s enjoying himself," Welker said when asked about Belichick's demeanor.  "I think he’s got a lady in his life, so that could definitely be the case; I don’t know.  We’re just coming here to try and win a ballgame.  However we do that or whatever demeanor we have to take, that’s what it’s going to be."

I know Welker wasn't serious about that. but it is kind of funny. It's something you normally hear around the workplace or amongst friends.

Rodgers Says NFC Lacked Pride In Pro Bowl

Everyone knows that the NFL Pro Bowl is a meaningless exhibition. The only people who watch are kids who don't know any better and gamblers. The game means nothing and the best players would rather sit out than go on a free trip to Hawaii.

Even though it's the most pointless of the professional all-star games, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers still thinks players should show pride for their respective conferences.

Rodgers told ESPN Milwaukee that he was "embarrassed" by the efforts of some of his NFC teammates.

“I'll be honest with you. I was a little bit disappointed. I felt like some of the guys on the NFC side embarrassed themselves,” said Rodgers, who was appearing in his second Pro Bowl and started at quarterback for the NFC, completing 13 of 17 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns (139.6 passer rating).



“I feel like there should be some pride involved in a game like that, and I was just surprised by some of the efforts of some of the guys. This was my second Pro Bowl. (I) played in the one in 2010. It was down in Fort Lauderdale/Miami. I felt that that one had a lot more energy.

“The AFC side obviously had more energy. I think they were upset about the second onside kick (called by Packers coach Mike McCarthy), and at that point they played a lot harder than we did. But even in the early going, they were playing definitely harder than we were.”

Ok, maybe some of the AFC players wanted that 50k a little bit more than some of the NFC players. It's an exhibition for crying out loud. Fans don't watch it, it's boring, and I could see more action at a training camp session. Even your teammate T.J. Lang decided to watch 'Antiques Roadshow' instead of that mess.  NFL contracts aren't guaranteed so I can't blame players for half-assing it for a majority of the game. It doesn't count in the standings or on the stat sheet so why care.

Do the players owe the fans a competitive game when their contracts are not guaranteed and the "Pro Bowl" is a glorified scrimmage? I don't blame the players at all for mailing in their performance rather than risk their livelihood on an exhibition game. The game of football is a brutal game at the NFL level. A career ending injury at an exhibition game would be tragic. Ask Robert Edwards about the flag football game on the beach that pretty much ended his career.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rockets' Courtney Lee Escapes Injury in Car Accident

Houston Rockets guard Courtney Lee escaped injury Saturday night when he was involved in a car wreck after the Rockets' 97-84 win over the New York Knicks.

Lee contacted team security and told them he was fine after the accident.

Lee tweeted about the incident, saying he was thanking God and "thanking Cadillac for air bags!! Without them, I could have lost my life tonight and two others close to me."


It's good to see that Lee escaped serious harm and is doing fine. No word on the condition of the driver of the other car.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lions Fan Made Bomb Threat During Playoff Game

The Detroit Lions needed some help in their playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints. Defensive help that is and not help from any crazy fans, like the one who thought it was a smart idea to phone in a bomb threat to the Superdome during the game.


The fan, 34-year-old Shawn Payton of Jackson, Michigan, called the Superdome during the game and asked the receptionist to pass along a threat to his namesake, Saints coach Sean Payton.


“I will blow up your building,” Shawn Payton said in his first call, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court Wednesday and obtained by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.


He felt that wasn't enough so he called in a second time to make sure the proper authorities got his message.

“Hi, I want you to relay a message to the sideline. If your stupid Southern team keeps winning, there will be reper…severe consequences. OK?” Shawn Payton said in the second call, which law enforcement personnel recorded after being alerted to the first call. 


Well Mr. Payton, you should realize that in the big picture, football is a game and a game only. It's played by kids and adults are lucky to get paid for it. So there is no reason for you to go off the deep end and make threats.

After the ridiculous stunt he pulled Payton is afraid of the future that awaits him.

“I’m scared,” he said. “I hope they realize that I didn’t mean it and that I’m taking steps to get counseling. . . . I don’t drink, and I don’t do drugs. From time to time, I do get frustrated and go off without meaning it. . . . I let some words fly out of my mouth, and I sincerely apologize. I will never ever, ever, ever do anything like that again.”


Sounds like some one is scared of going to the pokey. This is what happens keeping it real goes wrong.  



Aldon Smith Charged And Arrested With DUI

San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested and charged with a DUI in Miami Beach Friday night.


San Francisco 49er Aldon Smith was arrested in Miami Beach Friday night and booked into the local jail on DUI charges, according to information from the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department website.


According to records, the 23-year-old rookie linebacker was booked into jail at 9:32 a.m. EST Saturday morning after being charged with driving under the influence. The bond amount listed was $1,000.


You always hate to hear news like this and be critical about it. But when will some of these athletes and entertainers realize that they should invest in a cab after getting loaded up after a night of partying. There have been past incidents where the worse has happened.

I look for Smith to get off relatively easy in this case. Probably some AA classes, community service, and a light form of probation.

When will they ever learn?    





Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tebow Has A Champ (Bailey) In His Corner

Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey is one of the stronger voices in the team's locker room. So when he speaks teammates listen. Bailey has given quarterback Tim Tebow a vote of confidence following John Elway's announcement that Tebow will be named the starter going in to next season's training camp.

Bailey says he's behind Tebow, but also points out what he needs to work on.


“I think Tim has a lot to prove still,” Bailey said today on Jim Rome Is Burning. “He’s proven he can win some tough games. Now it’s just being consistent. One thing about him, he’s going to work at it. And I’m behind him 100 percent. 

“I think at some point he’ll have to be if he wants to play a long time,” Bailey said. “That’s one area he’s going to have to improve to be elite in this league. But the things he does running the ball — he can make some throws, it’s just being comfortable doing it. He’s got to get better at it, and when he does, the sky’s the limit for him.”


“I think at some point he’s going to have to improve with his arm, which would make him even more deadly,” Bailey said.


Bailey points out what everyone knows, but I give him credit for not trashing Tebow for his style of play. I wasn't a big Tebow fan when he was at Florida, but I couldn't find a reason to bash him because the man was a winner. 

I second Bailey's opinion because I do believe Tebow will work hard to make himself better which will make his team better. We all know he can win games, even if he did it in an ugly manner.    

Tim Tebow Dancing With The Stars? Maybe

More Tim Tebow. All Tebow all the time. The Tebow train keeps on rolling and everyone wants a piece of him. Will Tebow be 'Dancing With The Stars'? If Karina Smirnoff has her way, he'll be on the show and her dance partner.

"All I want for my birthday is for Tim Tebow to dance on Dancing with the Stars," she said Saturday, not long after Tebow and his Broncos team were ousted from the NFL playoffs by Tom Brady and his Patriots. "Tim is a very talented athlete, that was clear when we saw his performance this past season with Denver." 

 "He can run, jump, pass, throw touchdowns," she told PEOPLE. "All [that] is missing is to see if he has the dance skills. That would make him an all around athlete and someone that I would love to dance with on the show." 


It's fairly obvious that Smirnoff is impressed with Tebow's athletic skills. After turning down CBS, I don't think Tebow will be accepting a dance invite anytime soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Deion Sanders' Divorce About To Get Ugly

The gloves are off in the Deion Sanders/Pilar Sanders divorce case. When it was first mentioned that they were getting a divorce, Deion said the two were on good terms. He was way off on that. Now Pilar has filed documents that puts Deion in a negative light.

Pilar accused him of being a cheater, narcissistic and a bully. Deion narcissistic? No way, who knew? I can see him having an affair. Being the wife of a sports celebrity it kind of goes with the territory. It doesn't make it right, but she knew what she was getting into. As far as being a bully, I don't know. I know he wasn't one on the football field, that much I do know.

Pilar slammed Deion in the documents basically saying he was unfit to be a husband.


 In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Pilar states her husband of 12 years "has been guilty of unkind, uncaring, insensitive, cruel and unusual treatment of [Pilar] ... as well as physical, mental and emotional abuse of [Pilar] and the parties' children."


Pilar says the divorce should be granted on grounds of "mental, emotional and physical abandonment."




Pilar adds, "[Deion] committed numerous acts of adultery ... on numerous occasions throughout the marriage." Just to be clear, she adds, "[Deion] voluntarily had sexual intercourse with others who were not his spouse."


It gets nastier ... she adds, "[Deion] is a bully" ... who "suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder, needs a full psychological evaluation."


In the docs, filed today in Texas, Pilar claims Deion also needs a parenting coach to teach him how to be a better father.  


Now, on to the money -- Pilar claims the judge should throw out their prenup ... and award Pilar a lion's share of the estate ... because she feels she was duped into signing the deal while under duress. 


In the docs, Pilar requests sole legal custody of the couple's three mutual children ... claiming Deion is a bad, absentee father. 


Pilar is also asking for exclusive access to the couple's mega-mansion in Texas ... meaning she wants Deion to finally pack his stuff and get out.     


Looks like this has taken a turn for the worse. I don't see Pilar getting what she wants out of this. I'm not saying Deion was an angel or wasn't guilty of some of the charges, but this I'll be surprised if this goes her way.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stafford Named Comeback Player Of The Year

After two injury riddled seasons, Matthew Stafford bounced back in his third NFL season in a major way. Stafford set Lions single-season records with 5,038 yards passing, 41 touchdowns and a passer rating of 97.2.

He led the Lions to their first playoff berth in 12 years and orchestrated a few fourth quarter comebacks along the way. All of the aforementioned earned Stafford the Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers Association comeback player of the year. The Associated Press award, recognized by the NFL will be announced the day before the Super Bowl.

Stafford is still young and has yet to build a long term resume, but he represents a legitimate franchise quarterback for the Lions. He gives the fans real hope unlike quarterbacks of years past. Hopefully Stafford can continue to play at a high level and break into the upper tier of NFL quarterbacks.

Hillis On The Lions' Radar?

There were a lot of drama surrounding Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis. After a breakout 2010 season, injuries and controversy limited Hillis to 10 games and his production took a dive. Long live the Madden curse.

Hillis will be a free agent and it's looking like the Browns may be willing to let him hit the market. None of the decision makers in Cleveland sound too keen about bringing Hillis back next season. The prevailing thought in Cleveland is that Hillis will end up leaving Cleveland since his asking price is too high. Hillis wants $10 million in guaranteed money and the Browns only want to give him $4 million.

Where could Hillis wind up. No one really knows. ESPN.com blogger Jamison Hensley says that the Washington Redskins or Detroit Lions could kick the tires on Hillis.

It would be surprising to see the Browns invest a contract in Hillis after all of the dramatics during the season. If the Browns don't re-sign him, it will be interesting to see what teams want him. The Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins could be potential suitors. 


Both teams have a need a running back, although the Lions could be strong at the position if any of their backs can stay healthy. Being a Lions fan I would rather see them invest money elsewhere. Namely on defense.

Pistons Have A Scary Moment

A charter flight en route to Houston, carrying the Detroit Pistons had to make an emergency landing at Hobby Airport. 

A Houston Airport System spokesman says the crew of MD-80 displaying the Pistons team logo reported problems with the hydraulics operating the aircraft’s left-side landing gear and declared an emergency.


Airport spokesman Joshua Agunag says the aircraft with 44 passengers aboard landed without incident at 5:45 p.m. Monday and was able to taxi to a private air terminal, where passengers were let off.

Everyone was reported to be fine, but it's something that any passenger on a plane never wants to go through.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tiki Barber Gives Up His Comeback

Tiki Barber has officially given up his dream of coming back to the NFL. Before he embarked on this mission, he should've known it was going to come to this. He burned too many bridges as a player and analyst and expected the teams in the league to welcome him with open arms.

His time away from the game (5 years) and his age (36) worked against him. Also his comments regarding his former team the New York Giants, didn't help his cause either. Barber officially made the announcement after Giants head coach Tom Coughlin rejected a meeting to call a truce.

"We tried. He said no, through his agent, (Giants vice president of communications) Pat Hanlon," Barber said. "But one of these days I'm sure it'll happen, because as we know, time heals all wounds. And I think at the end of the day, Giants fans, despite their dislike of me at times, know that I was one of the guys that put (it) on the line every time I put on my uniform."


I'm sure it wasn't to beg for a job, but he should've never announced that he was attempting a comeback. Even if Plaxico Burress proclaimed Barber was better than half the backs in the league. Who is he better than right now Plax? I'd like to know. Anyways, Barber says he won't be trying anymore comebacks.

"No. No. I'm not trying to come back," Barber said. "It was an excuse for me to get up off the couch and do something, and it worked, because now I'm engaged in a few different things and I feel really strong about where I am personally, and that's all that matters in life."


Sounds like denial to me, but oh well. We won't have to hear about Barber for some time.



      

Hamilton Might Be Holding Back The Seminoles

I'll admit this much when I watch college basketball. I do keep an eye on the Florida State Seminoles. I'm not a Floridian or an alumnus from the university.  I loved the fact that they blasted North Carolina by 33 yesterday. I found the team fairly exciting to watch during the Pat Kennedy years and have watched since. From that point on the Seminoles have attracted top 100 talent to Tallahassee. It's just that they've never really put it all together. They did have a Sweet 16 run last year, but other than that they haven't had much success.

I like Leonard Hamilton as a coach. I think he's done a fairly good job at FSU and has put them in position to be the third best team in the ACC behind Duke and North Carolina. However, I think the Seminoles are capable of bigger things. I hate to say it but I think Hamilton might be holding them back.

Before anyone blasts me about Hamilton's accomplishments in Fla., just hear me out. He has consistently recruited the best talent behind Duke and North Carolina. He's built a fantastic defensive team, but his teams are quite offensive. As in bad.

With yesterday's blowout win over the Tar Heels being more the exception than the rule, the Seminoles have trouble throwing the ball into the ocean. I call them the "gang that can't shoot straight". They have the athletes/players, but the offense gets so stagnant they have trouble scoring. I think Hamilton needs to turn them loose. Not Paul Westhead run and gun, but they need to take advantage of their superior athleticism against some teams. There's no reason they should struggle against the likes of Harvard, Princeton, and Clemson.

The Seminoles won't be able to ride the hot streak they had against the Tar Heels yesterday. They need to generate more easy baskets on the offensive end. They have the defense to do it, they just need to trnaslate the defensive stops into points. If not they'll find themselves on the outside looking in come March.

Will Brandon Weeden Succeed At The NFL Level?

From now until April there will be lots of jockeying for players in this spring's NFL Draft. There is one player that has me a bit curious. Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden. I'm no scout or have any knowledge about what teams look for in a quarterback. I think Weeden would be worth the risk to take a first day flier on.

He will get knocked down a peg or two because of his age. He's 28, pitched in the New York Yankees farm system for five years (he was a second round pick in 2002) before coming back to college. The question is, is he more Chris Weinke that Roger Staubach.

I think his age and maturity will help him adjust to the pro game. Whether he'll be able to adjust to the speed of the game is a different story. He has the arm, mobility, and can make the throws. He did have his moments where he forced things that got him in trouble (see Iowa State game). He did have good receivers to throw to (thanks Justin Blackmon) that could've made him look better than he really is.

Another knock on him is that he played in a shotgun spread offense. The same knock that killed Texas tech quarterbacks coming out of college. I think he can overcome that if given a chance and play in a pro style system.

"The biggest concern that will build momentum leading into the 2012 NFL Draft for Brandon Weeden, undoubtedly will be his age. As a 28 year old, a perceived inability to develop, and limited upside bring reason to doubt Weeden's long term success. Some have even gone as far to say he can only be a one-contract player. With a relatively poor track record of minor league baseball players in the NFL, ranging from Chris Weinke to Drew Henson, it is easy to dismiss Weeden's pro potential.


I think Weeden will be a third round pick at best. He could slide up to the seond round if he has a killer combine and pro day. Maybe he hit his ceiling in college and it gets no better for him. I do think he could wind up going to a quarterback starved team such as the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, or Seattle Seahawks. If he gets into a savior type situation it won't be good for him.

 
 
 

Twins Sign Joel Zumaya

Could Joel Zumaya come back to haunt the Detroit Tigers? That day could be coming as Zumaya signed a one year deal with the Minnesota Twins. The Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres were also teams named on his short list.

According to MLB.com's Jason Beck the deal is for one year that could pay him anywhere from $800,000 to $1.7 million if he reaches incentives.


Zumaya is coming off elbow surgery that cost him the 2011 season. This is a typical low risk Twins signing that always seems to pay off for them. I'm glad to see Zumaya come back and get another shot, but as a Tigers fan I hate to see him signing with a division rival.  

Kobe: Paul,Rose Have That "Killer Edge"

The Los Angeles Clippers may have upstaged the Lakers last night, but as far as this season and beyond remains to be seen. Chris Paul had a good game against their co-tenants, scoring the 33 on 12-for-22 shooting from the field and six assists. Not bad in his first game against his L.A. counterparts.

You can count Kobe Bryant impressed with his performance.

"He's a dog," Kobe told reporters. "He's going to fight to win, and not too many teams can deal with him.



"Chris Paul is really the only other guy in the league, other than Derrick Rose, who has also that competitive edge," he continued.

A high compliment from someone who has that competitive fire in him at all times. The only player that had that edge like Kobe was Michael Jordan. There are others that like to win (Dwayne Wade, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Kevin Durant). But Kobe loathes losing.

I really haven't paid attention to Paul in that vain, but you see it in Rose, albeit in a quiet way.

Oregon's Darron Thomas Entering NFL Draft

Ina shcoking development, Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas has entered the NFL Draft. after the Rose Bowl many figured Thomas would be coming back for his senior season. I guess he pulled the wool over everyone's eyes on that one.

“I came to this decision on behalf of myself and my family,” Thomas said in the official release. “I have a dream of playing in the NFL and I’m going to pursue those dreams.



“I would like to thank everyone in Oregon for all their support and I would thank the coaches for all their help, especially Coach (Chip) Kelly. I love my teammates and wish them the best of luck, and am confident they will continue the winning tradition that has been established. Last but not least, I thank all the Oregon fans for their help and support.”

Thomas said that he would be coming back in December, but that won't happen now. It's a blow to a program that lost it's starting running back (LaMichael James) to the draft already. The Ducks would've been a co-favorite to win the Pac-12 with USC. Now it looks like the road for the Trojans just got a bit easier. It's not the end for the Ducks but I don't see them being the force they were over the past three seasons. Coach Chip Kelly seemed luke warm about the jump to the NFL.

“As in all cases, we educate our players with the information we feel will be beneficial to them throughout the process but ultimately, the decision is left up to the players. I will always support Darron in his decision and want to thank him for everything he has done for this program. He obviously has played a major role in elevating Oregon football to new heights and I wish him well in the future.”


As for Thomas, he's not listed in any pre-draft position rankings, so he might have a long climb ahead for him. At 6-3 and 215 pounds he could have a future at quarterback, but there are many who will call him an athlete. Maybe the success of Cam Newton gave him the idea that he may have a shot. Being a run pass threat, I think he could turn into a legit NFL quarterback. If he's given the time and coaching.  

I don't know what his line of thinking was but I'm not one to try and crush anyone's dreams. If he puts together a monster combine (if he's invited) or pro day, who knows what can happen. I would like to see him get a legitimate shot to play quarterback. If he can't hack it, change his position, or he can go to Canada. I wish him the best of luck in chsing his dreams.    

Odom Almost Took A Year Off

Lamar Odom revealed that he came close to taking a year off from basketball to get his mind together. The near trade to the New Orleans Hornets and subsequent trade to the Dallas Mavericks weren't the reasons why he had a thought about leaving.

Left reeling by the July murder of his 24-year-old cousin and a fatal car accident days later that killed a teen pedestrian after the car he was riding in as a passenger collided with a motorcycle, Odom told ESPN.com that he had to be convinced by wife Khloe Kardashian to scrap his plans for a hiatus.



"Real close," Odom said when asked Saturday how close he came to asking the Lakers for a season-long sabbatical.


"My wife talked me out of it.

"Cause I was asking myself: 'Was I mentally prepared to play? If I didn't play well, was I mentally prepared to help the team?' I had thought, 'Maybe I need a year.' Because of the lockout, I thought, 'Maybe somebody's sending me a sign that I needed this time off.'


"(But) when I told some of my friends and my family that I was thinking about steppin' back for a minute, I think the reaction from the closest people to me kind of gave me the energy to get back at it."

With some of the events that have transpired recently in Odom's life I have to take him at his word. Sometimes tragic events stick with someone forever. With what Odom has gone through, you just don't get over it, so being traded is small potaotes in his prism of life.

But Odom, dismissing the notion of a trade hangover, said Saturday that the events of July made him realize "how much I wasn't over some of the things that I went through (in life)," most notably the death of 6-month-old son Jayden in 2006 from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).



"I thought it was good time for me to take a step back," Odom said of his sabbatical idea. Asked if he imagined it as just a one-season break, Odom added: "I don't know. 'Cause who knows where time away is gonna take you? You never know."

Who wouldn't want to take a break after all the drama. However, since he has been in the NBA there has always looked like something was amiss with Odom. He just looked like the classic floater, with the Clippers more than anyone, but he was supposed to be a game changer when he came out of Rhode Island. He gets by on being so talented and athletic he really doesn't work too hard at it, but he's still a damn good player.

Hopefully he can get his head straight and help the Mavericks defend their title. It's been a rough start for Odom and the Mavericks, but I'm sure he'll start to put everything together after he gets a little more comfortable.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ndamukong Suh Says Players Respect How He Plays

The 2011-2012 NFL season was a disappointing one for Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Well at least for many fans and experts. He might tell you that he had a pretty good season.

After a dominating rookie season, the whispers started that Suh was a dirty player. I always thought he played hard, had an edge, but wasn't dirty. When you're so much stronger than the player across from you,a routine play can look like he's brutalizing someone. There was a poll taken duirng the season amongst NFL players and Suh was voted the dirtiest in the game. Suh also believes he's one of the most respected.

In an interview with NFL magazine, Suh said that many would like to be on his side.

“The players who said I am the dirtiest player in the league, it’s ultimately their opinion, but I would love to hear from many of them on their true opinion on that,” Suh said. “A lot of players have told me they see me as a protector of my teammates, that, side by side, I’m there when something goes down, and I step up beside them and for them when things get nasty. I play the game hard, and I play it physical.”

The dirty tag will stick with him until further notice. The fact that none of his teammates really had his back when he made the stomp on Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving didn't help his cause.

Maybe the opinions of two Hall of Famers could help him out. Richard Dent and Bruce Smith both said that they like the way Suh plays.

Hall of Famer Bruce Smith said he showed his son Alston, a high school defensive tackle who recently committed to Virginia Tech, a tape of Suh to demonstrate the right way to play the position. And Hall of Famer Richard Dent said he likes what Suh does — he just thinks Suh needs to learn how to channel his rage.


“Be smarter, get the next play, take your game to the next level,” Dent said. “Suh has to let his work be his message. Control that anger. You embarrass the guy in front of you with your play, you kick his ass that way, that’s the greatest response.”


I won't call him dirty just yet, but if he has more incidents like the Thanksgiving stomp, he'll wear the tag forever.





 




      

Michigan State Thinking Of A Hockey Game On An Aircraft Carrier

Michigan State was the first school to play an outdoor hockey game (versus Michigan). The Spartans were the first to play a basketball game on an aircraft carrier (versus North Carolina). The people at Michigan State arer now thinking of another first. The first to play a hockey game on an aircraft carrier.

Athletic director Mark Hollis mentioned today that he has been approached about the possibility. He made a brief appearance at Munn Ice Arena before hockey coach Tom Anastos held an informal session with reporters. Hollis then traveled to Indianapolis to attend the NCAA convention and did not return calls seeking more details.


Anastos sounds like he's in favor of the idea.

“I just think when you can create good, unique experiences for the student-athletes, it is definitely worth exploring.”


I don't watch college hockey but if a game on an aircraft carrier materializes, I might actually take the time to check it out.  

Tebow Invited To Lead Prayer At Colorado House Of Reps.

All Tebow, all the time. it seems we can't get away from Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. There is always some kind of news involving Tebow. See how many times I've mentioned his name?

The latest news is that Democratic Rep. Sal Pace has invited Tebow to lead them in the morning prayer. Pace said in the letter that Tebow is an excellent choice to "give Colorado's elected officials guidance as we take on the important task of leading Colorado."

"You have inspired Colorado. You have inspired America!" Pace wrote. "Throughout your career you have consistently proven the naysayers wrong."


"By leading the Denver Broncos into the playoffs, and giving us our first playoff victory in six years, you have given all of Colorado something to cheer about, in times that have been filled with all too often negative news," Pace said in the letter.


"Our schedule is flexible, as we do not want to take you away from any practice prior to the AFC Championship game or Super Bowl," Pace wrote while making the assumption that the Broncos will pull off another upset this weekend.

Tebow's not my favorite player, but I do give him scores of credit for putting together the kind of season he has. Not many gave him a chance when he came out of Florida for the NFL Draft. Now he's quickly embarking on legend status, at least in Denver. I just find it comical that he receives all this press and others look to him for inspiration.

I don't think he can pull off the win against the New England Patriots  this weekend, but anything is possible in the world of Tebow.













Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71419.html#ixzz1jRUfb76N

Villanueva Wants To Prove His Worth

Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva hasn’t had a bunch of playing time this season stemming from his suspension at the beginning of the season and an injury to his right ankle.


Because of these setbacks, Villanueva has only played a total of six minutes the past ten games and the lack of playing time has really started to frustrate the veteran forward.

“It’s frustrating because you get a new start, new coach, new staff, you kind of want to go out there and show what you can do,” Villanueva told the Detroit Free Press. “Then you start off being suspended the first couple of games, and then my ankle. So I really just haven’t had the opportunity to go out there and play. It’s been frustrating.”

"Of course it's frustrating because I want to be out there and help the team win," he said. "But my health is not allowing me to do this."

Now it’s not only important that Villanueva get on the floor for his own career, but Joe Dumars and new head coach Lawrence Frank need to decide together as to whether or not he is worth keeping around. Villanueva has two-years and $16.64 million remaining on his contract with it being very possible that Dumars waives him come July via amnesty.

A trade more than likely isn’t possible due to Villanueva having zero trade value. He has shown flashes before but as a fan I still want to see what he can do. Maybe he can help the Pistons get better or inflate his trade value where thye can unload him and get some younger, cheaper help.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rasheed Wallace Thinking Of A Comeback

Reports have came out saying that former 4 time All-Star Rasheed Wallace was thinking about making a comeback to the NBA.

Sources have said that Wallace had been working out and talking to some of his close friends in the league about possibilities and destinations.

At 6-foot-11, Wallace, 37, had been one of the most versatile and talented power forwards of his era. One league source who has talked with Wallace recently describes him as “serious” about a return to the NBA this season. Nevertheless, no teams contacted by Yahoo! Sports reported that they had any contact with Wallace, or his representative.

Wallace retired after the 2010 NBA season following a run to the finals with the Boston Celtics. At 37, he and being retired for a few years, he doesn't have much appeal to teams. Age and his conditioning are concerns. Maybe in the right spot he could be a helping hand to a contender, if he's in shape.

One NBA GM with potential interest in signing Wallace said, “I’d be worried about his conditioning in a condensed season.”


Wallce was never hit with any serious injuries and he was a good scorer and defender so he might get a call. Kurt Thomas, Juwan Howard, and Grant Hill are still in the NBA at an advanced age, so why not Sheed. If Greg Ostertag can make an attempt to work himself into shape in the D-League, Wallace should get a few calls if he makes it official that he wants back in the NBA.     

This isn't speculation or anything, but I could see him with the Bulls, Hawks, Lakers, Mavericks, Grizzlies, or Thunder.


 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Danica Patrick Also Wants To Be The 'Honey Badger'

LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu is known as the "Honey Badger". A nickname that was given to him by students. It led to merchandise sales and eventually a drink was named after it.

Someone wants to shaer the nickname with him. Danica Patrick. She wants to be known as the "Honey Badger" of NASCAR.

Danica Patrick said during her media availability Thursday at Daytona International Speedway that she sees herself as the "Honey Badger" after viewing the infamous You Tube video that documents the actual animal's lifestyle.



"And the honey badger, it was last year, I think, somebody showed me this video of the honey badger, and the commentator on it was very, very funny," Patrick said about watching the video for the first time. "Anyway, the honey badger, he doesn't give a crap, he takes what he wants. And that's how I'm going to be this year, like a honey badger. But I feel like it's a little diluted with the football player that has the honey badger nickname, too. He's No. 7, as well."

"I don't know, it's a mindset. I even have a honey badger picture on my screen saver on my phone to inspire me. It takes what it wants."

I admire the ferocious attitude and all but be original and think of something else. I know the male dominated NASCAR circuit will be thinking of anything but a "Honey Badger" when they think of Patrick. All in all I wish her luck with her endeavors on the track.

Brooklyn Islanders? A Slight Chance They Could Go There

The once proud franchise of the New York Islanders might be looking for a new home when their lease is up at the old Nassau Coliseum is runs out in a few years. The Isles are looking for a new or refurbished arena and Nassau County isn't making it easy for them to get one. It won't be out of New York but they are having thoughts of moving.

Back in 2008-2009 there were rumors of Kansas City being a destination spot but it never materialized. Now the Isles have set there sights on something closer to home. Brooklyn could be that place. The new Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be the home of the NBA's New Jersey Nets. Could it also double as the home for the Islanders? Maybe.

A source in Executive Ed Mangano’s administration said, “It will be a small miracle if they can even get it off the ground and keep the team here.  I really believe the Isles are going to Brooklyn, barring divine intervention.”

The Islanders might be giving the new place a test run as they are in discussions to host a NHL preseason game there. There are questions about the small attendance and the sight lines. The way the Isles have been playing in their recent history the small attendance won't exactly be a problem.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tony Sparano Is The Jets' New Offensive Coordinator

Brian Schottenheimer was fired or resigned, as the offensive coordinator of the New York Jets. I guess it depends on who you ask. Reports say the Jets moved quickly to hire Schottenheimer's replacement. Former Miami Dolphins head coach, Tony Sparano will be named the offensive coordinator for next season.

I don't like this hire at all. I'm not a Jets fan for the fact their offense is boring. I know you have to win with defense and some ball control, but their offense wasn't that good and quarterback Mark Sanchez regressed. Sparano called plays for the Dallas Cowboys in 2006, but made his name as an offensive line coach. It looks like the Jets will be ground and pound. Not saying Sparano can't do the job, it just seems a little suspect to me.

The Jets scored a mere 50 points over the last three games. I don't see things getting any better than that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

UCLA Hires Former Jets Sideline Tripper

Former New York Jets assistant coach, Sal Alosi, is known best for his role in 'Tripgate'. Let me refresh you on the incident in case you forgot.

During a game against the Miami Dolphins in December 2010, Alosi intentionally tripped the Dolphins' Nolan Carroll while he was running down the Jets sideline on a special teams play. He also instructed inactive players to  make a wall along the sideline. That was his ultimate undoing. he was soon fired over the infraction.



Since then Alosi has been working as a personal trainer and probably waiting for another shot at a coaching job. That time has come for Alosi.

Alosi was hired to be UCLA's strength and conditioning coordinator. I suppsose he should be there for a while unless he pulls some of the chicanery that he did while with the Jets.        

Pouncey Gets Some Heat After Playoff Loss

A player who isn't playing in a game usually doesn't get any blame or make any news. Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey manged to pull it off though. Pouncey didn't play in the Steelers' wild card playoff loss to the Denver Broncos Sunday, but managed to come under scrutiny for his remarks on Twitter.

Some fans took umbrage with Pouncey for promoting a rap song after the loss. Pouncey fired back with some unsavory tweets.

@stevegiglio season is over time 2 move on and get better!! What do u do for a living besides bothering me right now and reading my TL #lame



@scottalanlong dude u have 6 followers no one cares what u have to say!! Can u not see that!!


@stevegiglio I will idiot!! You enjoy your lame life!!


@Rick_D00Va why would I be mad I’m rich play for the steelers and have a awesome life!! Are u mad loser  

Of course there was an apology issued after that bit of madness.

@MaurkicePouncey



I like to take the time to apologize for my action. its just hard to end like that an i couldn’t help my team fight. 

Pouncey should've thought about what he was doing before engaging in a war of words. His team lost so he shouldnt've been trying to promote records in the aftermath. Bad choice. You have the offseason for that.
Secondly, your dealing with Steeler fans. No disrespect to them, but you're going to lose that argument every time out. Their diehard, hardcore fans who have a deep love for the Steelers, so they felt that he was putting himself above the team.

Favre's Brother Gets Pardoned

The Favre family got a bit of good news, if you want to call it that. No, Brett's not coming back, at least to anyone's knowledge. His brother, Earnest Scott Favre, was pardoned from prison by outgoing Mississippi governor Haley Barbour.

State records released Tuesday show Earnest Scott Favre had his record cleared in the 1996 death of his best friend, Mark Haverty. Scott Favre was among dozens of people pardoned or given early release in Barbour’s final days in office. The Republican left office Tuesday, at the end of his second term.


Favre had driven in front of a train in Pass Christian while drunk. He pleaded guilty in 1997 and was sentenced to a year of house arrest followed by two years’ probation.

I don't know if any other prisoners happened to have any of Favre's good fortune, but I think someone was released because of his family name.







 

Mayweather Issues A Twitter Challenge To Pacquiao

The world has been waiting for a Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao showdown for a few years now. I still think it won't happen until I see both of them touching gloves in the ring. This is the fight boxing needs to gain interest that it's lost over the past decade. There are a number of reasons, but the main reason is the best fighters never fight each other.

Once again Floyd Mayweather has issued a challenge to Manny Pacquiao through Twitter. How else would he do it in today's day and age. It might be for show to see if Pacquiao will take the challenge.


This challenge would be more believable if he came on tv and threw down the gauntlet. Even though Mayweather's sentence was pushed back, is scheduled to fight on May 5, and needs an opponent I have a hard time seeing this fight happen.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mashburn Being Sued For A Car Accident

Former NBA star and ESPN analyst, Jamal Mashburn is being sued for causing a car accident back in February that left two motorists injured.

TMZ.com reported Mashburn was accused of being the cause of the accident that left two people badly injured. One of the alleged victims claims she was physically scarred and disfigured as a result.


However, Mashburn is fighting the case. He says that the 'victims' were using a cell phone and not wearing seatbelts which could turn the case in his favor. He also says they are lying about the extent of their injuries.

The victims are suing for $15,000, which is a small sum for a former NBA player who is still gainfully employed. But if they weren't following the rules of the road I'd fight the case also. He might be in a position where he loses and has to pay up.

Tiger Woods' Ex-Swing Coach Has A Book Coming Out

If you don't know who Hank Haney is, you soon will. Haney was Tiger Woods' swing coach for six years and has written a book about his life and times with Woods.

The book is titled 'The Big Miss' and Haney won't give out any details about it except that it will be "hard to put down". It covers a time in which Woods went from winning nearly half of his tournaments to a scandal that derailed his pursuit of golf history.

"I get asked all the time about Tiger, what it was like to work with him," Haney said in a telephone interview. "I felt like I had a front row seat to golf history. It just kind of chronicles a little bit of what I went through, what I dealt with, how I coached and the observations I made.



"I think there's a lot of things that people are going to find interesting."

Personally I've heard more than I care about Woods so it's really not a big deal to me like it may be to others.

Most of the people Woods has dealt with had a nondisclosure agreement. Something Haney doesn't have since he never signed a contract with Woods.

Haney said he signed no such thing — "I didn't even have a contract," he said — although he said the book was not intended to "take jabs at anyone."

"If he reads it, I don't think it will be a book that bothers him. It's hard to say," Haney said. "I think anybody who reads it will think it's interesting, very fair and honest, and that's what I wanted to do. I was on that job for six years. There were 110 days a year I was with him. I stayed at his house for close to 30 days a year. You make a lot of observations."

The book is due to be published and released in print and digital on March 27.

I'm pretty sure Mr. Woods will have something to say about that before the release of the book.

Wizards Tuning Out Saunders

As of now the Washigton Wizards are the worse team in the NBA. They have young, talented players but they act like they're playing at the Rucker instead of the NBA. It looks like a real life version of the movie "Above The Rim" without the dramatic characters. And they're dangerously heading toward 0-18, New Jersey Nets bad after today's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The worse part of this is that they've finally admitted to tuning out head coach Flip Saunders. Boy, that's a shocker. That's something I've figured out since last season. I kind of feel sorry for Saunders, but he simply can't coach. Having his players not listening to him makes the situation even worse.

 Forward Andray Blatche called today's performance "sickening" and "embarassing".

"Flip is definitely doing his job," Blatche said. "I just don't feel like guys are listening and following behind what he says and what he wants us to do."

"Guys want to try to do it their own way, and it's not working," Blatche said. "The record shows that. I feel like everybody should go home and focus and think and take consideration for what Flip is saying, because it can't hurt. It damn sure ain't helping us our way."

That is your captain speaking. The same person who earlier questioned his role in the offense.

"It's on us as players, because we're the ones being put out there at the end of the day, embarrassing ourselves," Blatche said.


If they're not listening to the message now, I think it's about time that they should. But it may take another coach to get the message across to the youngsters.

It's gotten so bad, even the super confident John Wall is having doubts.

"I didn't expect it to be this tough," said Wall who was 3-for-10 with 10 points and six assists. "It's just not good right now. ... You've got to have some type of urgency out there on the court to want to play. You've got to have some type of self-esteem or some type of pride that you don't want to keep being 0-8. It's a pride game now."

Well John, it's the NBA, not high school or college. It's a grown man's league, it's supposed to be tough.

When Saunders was asked what he planned to do he gave an answer that most would give.

"What can I do as a coach to get us better? Right now, I haven’t done a good enough job. That’s evident. We’re not totally getting through to some guys and some guys continue to play the way they want to play and not the way we need to play as far as a team."


It's obvious he hasn't done a good job. If I'm Saunders I'd let someone take this death trap of a job and return to Minnesota or try to get a job on his good buddy Kevin McHale's staff in Houston.

 

Sherman Close To Landing Tampa Bay Job?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hunt for a new head coach might be coming to a conclusion. Former Green Bay Packers coach, Mike Sherman appears to be the front runner for the job.

The NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora says that Sherman is close to landing the job with the Buccaneers. This would provide Sherman with a landing spot after being fired by Texas A&M.

The Bucs want someone that will instill some discipline to a young squad that collapsed under the weight of expectations this season. They were thought to be a playoff contender but finished 4-12 and in last place in the NFC South.

Sherman coached the Packers to three NFC North titles but was fired after a 4-12 campaign in 2005.

Jeff Jordan Leaving Central Florida

Michael Jordan's eldest is on the move again. Jeff Jordan is leaving the Central Florida basketball team for "personal reasons".

The school made the announcement Saturday but there were no details provided upon the press release.

Jordan previously played at Illinois for three seasons before transferring after the 2009-2010 season. His brother Marcus will remain with the team.

Hue Jackson Could Be A Goner In Oakland

With news that the Oakland Raiders have hired Reggie McKenzie from the Green Bay Packers, there has been speculation that McKenzie will come in and clean house, including sending head coach Hue Jackson to the unemployment line. 

After the Raiders collapsed down the stretch and were unable to capture the AFC West crown there might be more truth to that than rumor. There are probably Raider fans out there that wouldn't mind seeing Jackson go considering he gave up most of the Raiders' future to the Cincinnati Bengals for Carson Palmer after channeling his inner Al Davis. Also his in game adjustments (like having Rolando McClain cover Calvin Johnson going deep) might be enough to show him the door. There is the prevailing thought that Jackson took too much power in the organization after Davis' passing and the rumor of him not being well liked by some players.

Green Bay linebackers coach Winston Moss is rumored to be a McKenzie favorite. Ironically Moss was a favorite of the late Davis. Both are former Raider linebackers. 

Conventional wisdom says that McKenzie comes in and gets rid of everyone that isn't on board and starts fresh. Maybe Jackson will stick around if he concedes his so called power to McKenzie and wants to concentrate on being the coach. If he doesn't he can kiss this job goodbye. This is a situation that bears watching.  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The World Of Jim Irsay

Only a casual football fan would insult an Indianapolis Colts fan for the horrible season they endured this year. It has resulted in the Polians (Bill and Chris) being fired. There also have been rumblings that they will take quarterback Andrew Luck with the number one pick in this spring's NFL draft. Things will be changing in Indy. Just don't insult the fans and let Jim Irsay hear about it.

Here's what Irsay tweeted about other teams fans and their Colts jokes.

Yea,Colts fans...don't take any crap off of any other fans..when their team wins 115 games in a decade,tell em then they can kiss your ring!


You tell em Jim. Right out of the keep your head up files.
   

Crennel To Be Named Coach Of The Kansas City Chiefs

Going 2-1 in the final three games of the season was enough for the Kansas City Chiefs to remove the interim tag from Romeo Crennel and name him the full time coach according to reports.  

The Chiefs recently interviewed ex-Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio, but it's not hard to see how they zeroed in on locking down Crennel. Jeff Fisher is going to either Miami or St. Louis (and has said as much), Josh McDaniels is already in New England, Kirk Ferentz is staying at Iowa and that leaves Crennel as an obvious choice to keep running the Chiefs.

It's a good move for the locker room as linebacker Tamba Hali stated that he wanted Crennel to remain as coach.

“He’s very motivating,” Hali told the Kansas City Star. “He treats us like men. He does expect a lot from us, but he knows what it takes.”

“I think anybody on this team would agree with me, if we can keep Romeo as our head coach here, it would be great,” Hali said.


Despite numerous injuries and the appearance of Tyler Plako at quarterback the Chiefs played some of their best football late in the year. That would include a win over the then undefeated Green Bay Packers.

If the Chiefs can get a capable offensive coordinator and they can get some of their key players (Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry) to return from injury and back to Pro Bowl form Kansas City could be a threat in the AFC West next season.

For Crennel's sake he better hope this turns out better than it did for him in Cleveland.









Evans Thinks Suh Is A Dirty Player

And the claims that Ndamukong Suh is a ‘dirty’ player continue to emerge as we are now on the eve of the Lions first playoff game since the 1999 season.

The latest claim has come from New Orleans Saints; Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans who says Suh is a dirty player after the whistle.

“I think some things he does is dirty, after the whistle,” Evans told The Times-Picayune. “He needs to put a cap on that, but he’s a phenomenal player.”

Now this seems pretty consistent with a lot of the other claims that have surfaced during the season. It’s also hard for Lions fans to refute any claim that Suh is a dirty player based off what happened Thanksgiving weekend when Suh stomped on Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith.

The trouble though with Evans’ comments is he has never been matched with Suh… ever. So it may be safe to assume that Evans is jumping on a bandwagon rather than finding out for himself. Suh missed the matchup with the Saints earlier this season because of a two game suspension for the aforementioned stomp against the Packers.

This adds an interesting subplot to this game as there were stories coming out of New Orleans that if Suh starts taking any cheap shots at quarterback Drew Brees that they won't back down from him. It looks like Suh will have a target on his back Saturday night.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gordon, Kaman Not Pleased With The Clippers

It looked like the Los Angeles Clippers had finally shed their image of being a cheap organization when they made the trade for Chris Paul. It was a big moment for the team and maybe a moment where the Clippers can finally sit at the big boy table.

Former Clippers Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman weren't too thrilled about the turn of events. They're happy to be members of the New Orleans Hornets, but felt they were misled by team management.


“All you do is take the man’s word and take that he said that no one is going to go anywhere,” Gordon told Yahoo! Sports. “… To completely lie like that is something unprofessional.”


Strong words calling a man a liar. But since there's more to the story which consists of two sides we'll keep going. Since it is the Clippers we're talking about, Gordon might not be too far off base.

“I’m not deceptive enough to look players in the eye and tell them something that is not true,”general manager Neil Olshey said. “And I can tell you from an ownership level, the president of our company, myself, we made a corporate decision Monday morning that when the deal didn’t go through on Sunday night we would no longer pursue the trade. And that’s when we notified our players, to get the elephant out of the room during our abbreviated training camp.”    


Gordon and Kaman felt deceived since Olshey and head coach Vinny Del Negro held a team meeting pledging to move forward after the initial Paul trade was rejected.

I can see how Gordon could've felt that he was deceived since Olshey and Del Negro pretty much said everything was going to remain status quo.



Said Gordon: “They literally told me as an organization that they wanted to keep me, and [the trade still] went down?”

Kaman found out the details through his real estate agent's son.

“He said, ‘Hey, you got traded.’ I was like, ‘C’mon,’ ” Kaman said. “Then everyone started talking to me like, ‘Hey, what happened?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ Then my agent wasn’t calling me. I couldn’t get ahold of him. Then Farouq talked to his agent and said it was done.

“The Clippers didn’t tell me anything. They didn’t tell me I was traded or nothing after eight years. They didn’t have the guts to come tell me they traded me.”  

I would like to say I feel sorry for them but I don't. They know the NBA is all about business. As difficult as it  is to defend the Clippers on any front, they were offered a good deal and took it. You can't blame them for that. Both seem happy with the trade and Kaman took a jab at the Clippers.

“They’re very professional,” Kaman said. “I’m not used to that. No, serious. It was an adjustment. After eight years [with the Clippers], I didn’t know it could be like this. I wasn’t used to it. The way they handle business … they’re up front with you and they tell you what’s going on and what’s going to happen.”  

Better than the way Donald Sterling has his puppets handling business. 

Former Jet Kris Jenkins Flames Mark Sanchez

It's playoff time in the NFL and it seems the New York Jets are stealing all the headlines. First it was their ugly ouster from playoff contention, followed by backup Greg McElroy saying the locker room was corrupt and Erik Ainge's reply. Don't forget Bart Scott was fined $10,000 for flipping off a cameraman. All Jets all the time.

Retired player Kris Jenkins was a member of the Jets during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, which were Mark Sanchez's first two years in the league. He also had an opinion about the McElroy comments which ended up with Jenkins blasting Sanchez.


“The No. 1 quarterback should have said that a long time ago,” Jenkins said. “It would have been all part of the process of him growing a pair and standing up and being a man. But the thing is, he lost his because he got caught up in the wash that is New York, the spotlight, taking pictures in the magazines and doing all that stuff. That’s just what everybody has seen with Mark Sanchez, they got tired of it.”



“Mark wants to be a leader but there’s a difference between wanting it and taking it,” Jenkins said. “He’s always trying to be a crowd pleaser. He’s always trying to be nice. He wants to be a leader but he won’t take it.”


Sounds like the Jets have another Joe Namath on their hands. I know, Namath did win a Super Bowl and is a Hall of Famer. But his stats weren't that great. Remember Namath was known in New York for his "good looks" and being in the New York limelight.

Sanchez is no 'Broadway Joe', but the off field parallels are the same.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Smith Taking His Fellow Receivers To Hawaii

At the start of the NFL season there were stories about Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith wanting a trade out of town. It turned out to be all talk and Smith brushed it aside and had one of his finest seasons. He'll be rewarded by going to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii but he won't be alone.

Smith has told his receiving mates that he'll be paying for them to join him in Hawaii. What a noble gesture from someone that has been perceived to be a hot head.

“They kind of looked at each other, and I said, 'I'm serious,'” Smith said. “Once they got the call from my travel agent, they kind of knew it was for real.”

“All those guys ran routes to get me open. At times they took it for the team and ran some clear-out routes for me,” Smith said. “For me to sit here and say I did it on my own and all that stuff, it's unfair. This is an opportunity for me to thank them and enjoy as a group the success that we all played a part in.”


No one can ever accuse Smith of not being a team player.







  

Saints Put Ingram On Injured Reserve

New Orleans Saints rookie running back Mark Ingram had a so-so rookie season. Not spectacular, but not all that bad either. Considering the interchangable parts the Saints have on offense I'd say he did pretty good.

Too bad for Ingram, since he won't be seeing any action in his first go round in the NFL playoffs, as he's been put on injured reserve by the team.

Ingram missed the last four regular season games because of a sprained toe and the injury got worse during practice last week. Ingram's absence shouldn't be missed all that much since Chris Ivory is just coming back.

Ingram carried 122 times for 474 yards and five touchdowns this season. His longest run was a 35-yard touchdown against the New York Giants on Nov. 28.


     

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lions' Schwartz Not Pleased With The Officiating

After a disappointing 45-41 loss to the Green Bay Packers, a loss that extended their winless Lambeau streak to 21 years,  Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz didn't have much to say at the postgame news conference. When the subject turned to officiating, he had a mouthful.

Schwartz challenged two fumbles in the second quarter, winning one and losing the other. The personal eye test says he should've won both challenges. The second challenge came whebn Stefan Logan apparently fumbled a kickoff after a Green Bay score. It looked like he was stripped of the ball after he was down but the call was upheld. That left Schwartz with no challenges when Titus Young was ruled out of bounds on an apparent touchdown that made the difference in the four point loss.

"It's unfortunate the way the league plays those because like on a ball that's loose, they're going to keep their whistles in their pocket because they don't want to have a play that was a fumble that they can't get it reviewed because somebody ruled him down by contact," Schwartz said. "But they don't have a camera angle to overturn. I mean, the guy's down. And then we get the touchdown play, which every play this year they always rule in favor of touchdown knowing that it's going to get reviewed, I don't have any challenges left."

"The whole thing with replay's to get it right," Schwartz said. "Well, we didn't get it right."

Not to excuse the Lions' poor performance on defense yesterday, but they were victimized by a few bad calls that could've turned the result in their favor.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sacramento Kings Players Aren't In Lockstep With The Coaches

You thought the Washington Wizards were a mess. The Sacramento Kings talk like they're trying to get head coach Paul Westphal a bus ticket out of town.

It doesn't look good when two of your supposed future cornerstones are questioning what the coach is drawing up on the sidelines. I know Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins aren't the model citizens of the NBA, but if they have doubt in the coach and respected veteran Chuck Hayes feeling like he made a bad move by signing with the Kings, it may be time to cut bait with Westphal.

"Teams go on 10-0 runs, and we cave in," forward Chuck Hayes said.

"It's like we shoot because we haven't put up a shot after three times up and down the court," Hayes said.


Hayes is probably wondering what he signed up for.

"What offense?" Cousins replied when asked about the Kings' most obvious weakness. "I really don't want to say anything."

"It seems like everybody is out there for themselves. He (Westphal) says to push the ball, but it's like when the first pass gets through, we're done," Evans said.



From what I saw is that there is too much dribbling and not enough cohesion on a team that some thought would show some improvement this season.

"Everybody keeps blaming the coach, about the plays, the plays not (being) good, but, hey, it be like that sometime,"  Evans said. "You've just got to play."

"We just look lost, "Evans said. "We're just playing off our natural talent to get our points. It's terrible right now. We've just got to figure something out."

"I don't know what that was," center DeMarcus Cousins said. "Running the offense coach tells us to run. Just doing what coach say. Got to do what your coach say."

Let me translate those thoughts. We're only doing what coach tells us but the plan he has isn't working and we need to try something different.

I know players play and coaches coach, but for Westphal's sake the Kings better get it together before he finds himself out of a job.    

Michael Finley Still Has More To Give

The last time anyone saw Micahel Finley in the NBA he was a spare part in the Boston Celtics' run to the NBA finals in 2010. His ankle hadn't fully healed from injury so he wasn't used in the playoffs. Everyone figured that Finley was done, but he never officially retired. Well, Finley feels that he still has more left in the tank and wants another shot in the NBA. 

“When I went to Boston, my ankle wasn’t 100 percent,” Finley said. “So afer that season, I got my ankle worked on. I’ve been working hard to get that at 100 percent. I feel a lot better than during my time in Boston.



“With the lockout and the shortened season, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more injuries than usual since there’s been not much of a training camp. I’m just working hard to be in shape and prepared in case an NBA team calls me.”

“I got offers from the D-League before (Ricky Davis or Greg Ostertag) ever thought about playing in the D-League,” Finley said. “My thing is, I want to play basketball, I would enjoy playing in the D-League, but at the same time I don’t want to take an opportunity away from a young guy to get exposure. I’m still thinking about it. If the right situation comes, where I could be something like a player-coach, maybe I would take that opportunity.”


So he's still open to playing overseas or in the D-league. At least he doesn't feel that he should be given a shot because of past accomplishments. He wants to try to earn a spot. If he shows that he could still be a contributor he might get the opportunity. I think it could work for him on a team chasing a title. There a lesser players in the league right now that are sitting the bench stealing money.