Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rubio would take Pau Gasol on his team

Minnesota Timberwolves guard, Ricky Rubio is standing up for Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol. Rubio doesn't think it's right that Gasol is being brought off the bench and playing limited fourth quarter minutes in some games. Rubio or Gasol don't think it's right that Earl Clark has been starting in his place.

Gasol has also been the subject of trade rumors the past two years and Rubio would gladly take him on his  Timberwolves squad if the Lakers don't want him.

 "He proved to the league he is one of the best," Rubio said. "He can pass. He can shoot. He can rebound. He can do a lot of things. I think if you use him in the right way he is a top player in this league. If they don't want him, we are more than welcome to get him."

"It's been the last two years that it seems like they don't want him, but actually they need him," Rubio said. "He's a great player. He can do a lot of things and he had some issues with the knees, too. It's been a lot of years without resting for him. But he's a veteran. He knows how to play."

Even though Gasol is having a tough year, the Timberwolves would have to give up something of significant value (Kevin Love) to get Gasol. Minnesota has been mentioned as a possible trade partner, but I don't see it happening. No matter how much Rubio wants his fellow countryman on his team.

Gasol has said that he wants to remain a Laker, but he must swallow his pride and just play ball. Maybe if he focused on that and blocked out his distractions, he and the Lakers can turn their season around.

Herman Edwards says Titans should cut Kenny Britt

The Tennessee Titans must really be desperate for receivers. The team currently employs Nate Washington and Kendall Wright and the troubled Kenny Britt. A corps to build on, but Britt shouldn't be there.

Britt has had nine brushes with the law since being drafted by the Titans in the first round in 2009. That would include his latest where he took a friend, who had been stabbed to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. Britt refused to cooperate with the police after the incident.

Former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst, Herman Edwards told 102.5 The Game's Darren McFarland that Britt has become a distraction for the Titans and needs to be cut.

“What players don't realize is this: It's not so much your problem, it becomes the locker room's problem. Because the media come in and say, 'what do you think about Kenny Britt?' You don't even want to talk about Kenny Britt. You've got your own issues as a player. I'm trying to get ready for the Saints, and you want to talk about Kenny Britt?” Edward said. “So now you become the guy. And I always tell players, don't be that guy where all of a sudden what you're doing off the field is more important than our preparation for the week.

“So the Titans, in my opinion are gonna have to make a decision of what's best for the organization and that might even help Kenny Britt. Kenny Britt needs to be cut. When you get cut, and you can't play anymore, it's amazing because you go, 'They cut me?' Yeah, they cut you. And sometimes you have to do that not only for the sake of the team, but also for the sake of the player.”

I agree with Edwards on his take. Britt and the Titans need to part ways. But if the Titans are willing to put up with Britt's immaturity off the field, so be it. Somehow the team will pay the price for keeping him around. I guess when a team is devoid of playmakers, they'll keep you around, even if you're constantly in trouble.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

'It Girl' of the week: Christine LeMaster

The 'It Girl' of the week is Christine Lemaster

Rodriguez says some players had a sense of entitlement during his time at Michigan

It's no secret that Rich Rodriguez still harbors some ill feelings about his time at Michigan. Who wouldn't after he was sabotaged as soon as he was named the coach. Granted, he should stop talking about his time in Ann Arbor and concentrate on the task he has in Tucson. It seems like every time he does an interview he talks about something that happened at Michigan.

During an interview with Matt Hayes of the Sporting News, Rodriguez told Hayes that he felt some of the players had at Michigan had a sense of entitlement. Once again another reason why he failed in his tenure at Michigan.

“We got total buy-in from the get-go here,” Rodriguez said. “From the players to the support staff to everybody that was touching the program. We had some guys committed at Michigan, but we had others that weren’t. Some guys felt a sense of entitlement. The name on the chest, and 'I’ve already arrived.'

“The Chad Hennes and the Jake Longs put the work in and succeeded before us, and guys behind them thought they were entitled to the same status but hadn’t proved anything.” 

Rodriguez just didn't fit what the old 'Michigan Men' wanted, therefore it was a bad marriage from the start. Only someone with a wealth of knowledge would know that. There are some that blame those horrible three years on Rodriguez. I refuse to do that. But Rodriguez needs to move on and let his Michigan experience stay in the past.

5 NBA players I feel sorry for

It's difficult to feel sorry for professional athletes given how much money they make. As a fan you do feel sorry for a few. Not because of something semi tragic that might've happened in their lives, but you know they'll never come close to winning a championship. I compiled a list of 5 NBA players that I actually feel sorry for. Even though you'll never know these players on a personal level these players seem like good guys who'll never win.

1. Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers- I made this list specifically for Nash. After being on good teams that seemed to get  stonewalled in the playoffs (Suns, Mavericks), it looked like Nash would finally get a chance to play for an NBA title when he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Right now it looks like that assessment was wrong. I know there's another half of basketball to be played, the Lakers are in danger of missing the playoffs. Nash has to be thinking "I didn't sign up for this". The Lakers are under .500 and have been filled with drama from the word go.

I feel sorry for Nash because he is a good team guy and it looks like he'll never get a chance to play for a championship. He doesn't have too many seasons left and I hate to see him go out like this.

2. Al Jefferson, Utah Jazz- Jefferson is a good player. Not a major star, but could be a solid number two on a contender. Problem is, Jefferson has never been on a team resembling a contender ( bad Celtics teams, Timberwolves, Jazz). And you can always look for him to get hurt.  

Jefferson seems like an everyman. He just goes and does his job in a workmanlike fashion. He's not spectacular but he finds a way to get his numbers, even though the team loses more than it wins. I have no problem with Jefferson, but if he gets traded again I'm afraid it'll be to another bad team that has no clue on how to build a team.

3. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers- See Al Jefferson. More athletic but just trapped on a Blazers team trying to build with young talent. At one point it looked like the Blazers had a team of the future until injuries ravaged them and they were forced to start over.

The rebuilding project in Portland seems to be off to good start with Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard riding shotgun. The Blazers will need a few more weapons to get Aldridge off this list.

4. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls- Looks like his path to an NBA title will forever be blocked by the Big 3 in Miami.

5. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat- Not much to say here. It's hard to feel sorry for someone with a championship on their resume. But Bosh will always be known as the third wheel in Miami.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Matt Damon: Ravens only won because of injuries

Every team in sports has injuries. You'll never hear a coach say injuries was a reason for a loss no matter how true the statement might be. Think about it, you never heard former Cincinnati Bearcats coach, Bob Huggins, say that Kenyon Martin's blown knee cost him a national championship. The excuse is made for fans of a certain team and actor Matt Damon proves it.

Damon is a New England Patriots fan, who happened to blow the AFC championship game to the Baltimore  Ravens. To me the Ravens picked them off a year late, but no one on the Ravens blamed Lee Evans for dropping a surefire touchdown pass. But Damon has a reason why the Ravens went to the Super Bowl and not the Patriots. Injuries.

Damon says that if the Patriots were completely healthy, the Patriots and not the Ravens would be going to the Super Bowl.

"Lotta injuries," Damon said ... "They couldn't beat us full strength."

Sounds like he's using the Dan Gronkowski injury as a crutch for the loss. While it's true that cornerback Aqib Talib and Stevan Ridley were hurt, their injuries happened during game action. So that won't fly with Ravens fans.

When asked for his rooting interest in the Super Bowl, Damon replied, “I’m going for a healthy New England team, that’s the best team in the country, [Baltimore and San Francisco] are both pretty good. They’re like the same team, real similar.”

Spoken like a true fan.

Paul Pierce says Celtics lack mental toughness

The Boston Celtics are clearly a team in transition. Once a team dominated by the Big Three (Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett), the Celtics are now a mix of veterans and youngsters with point guard Rajon Rondo being the bridge. The result so far hasn't been pretty. The Celtics currently stand at 20-21 with losses to the lowly Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers the last two games. Not the kind of results Celtic fans have been accustomed to the past five years.

Pierce, who has seen both the good and the bad, has spoken out about the team's current four game skid. Pierce told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe that the Celtics are lacking the mental toughness of teams past.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement of your teammates.

“I think we got pieces here,” the Celtics captain said before Tuesday night’s 95-90 loss to the Cavaliers. “We just got to come together. We got to figure this thing out. Can’t get discouraged.

“I think that’s the one thing this team lacks, that mental toughness, man. When we lose our confidence, I’ve never been on teams like that. We got to stay together, we got to play with confidence.

“Yeah, definitely, it hurts me to say that. It’s like I really sometimes don’t believe it.

“We get down on ourselves. We got to go out there and believe we can win every game. It’s tough sometimes.”

Now Pierce has been on some bad Celtic teams prior to the arrival of Allen (now with the Miami Heat) and Garnett, and this one isn't quite as bad, but it's probably wearing thin on Pierce's patience for the young pups to grow up.

There's still another half of basketball to play and it'll be interesting to see if GM Danny Ainge will make a deal to keep the team competitive, let things play out, or blow it up altogehter.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cavs' Anderson Varejao out for the season

The Cleveland Cavaliers have endured their share of injuries this season. For starters, point guard Kyrie Irving missed a chunk of time to start the season. Now after missing power forward Anderson Varejao for about half of the first half this season due to knee surgery, they'll be missing him altogether.

The team reported that Varejao developed a blood clot that will keep him out for the remainder of  the season.

Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao recently developed a blood clot (small right lower lung pulmonary embolism) and was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic last Thursday (January 17th). He is being treated with blood thinners (anticoagulants) and is expected to stay at the Clinic for several days, while undergoing treatment and observation. He will need to remain on blood thinning medication for approximately three months. While Varejao is expected to fully recover, he will miss the remainder of the current Cavaliers season.

It's a shame because Varejao had  been playing at a high level. He was a borderline All-Star and would've brought back a nice haul had he stayed healthy and the Cavs were to trade him. More important is his health and hopefully he'll be able to return to the with a clean bill of health.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Matt Ryan has a sprained AC joint

After playing up to their history and blowing another big lead in a playoff game, the Atlanta Falcons received a bit of bad news on top of today's loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game.

After being hit by San Francisco's Ahmad Brooks, quarterback Matt Ryan looked in a bit of pain. A report by ESPN's Adam Schefter revealed that Ryan suffered a sprained Ac joint. The team believes that surgery may not be needed.

I'm sure this isn't the way the Falcons or their fans envisioned the season ending.

Charles Barkley says none of Kentucky's players are ready for the NBA

Former NBA and Auburn star, Charles Barkley was in attendance for the Kentucky-Auburn basketball game Saturday. While the Tigers got hammered by their superior SEC foe, Barkley went on the telecast for a few and explained why he doesn't like the one and done rule and that none of Kentucky's are ready for the NBA, while slamming the agents and family members that steer kids to go pro.

"John Calipari's a friend of mine. I love him as a friend. There ain't one player on this Kentucky team who should go pro early. I hate the one-and-done rule in college basketball. Just 'cause there's a rule does not mean you have to do it. Listen, Anthony Davis played well enough for him to go pro. ... I wish some of these parents would talk to their kids."

"I would love for guys to stay three years," Barkley said. "I think the best we can really get is two years. ... The family members are greedy, the agents are pigs, also. So they tell these kids, 'Go to college for one year.' ... It's driven by the agents, to be honest with you, and listen, it's a corrupt system. ... These agents are such scumbags, and yo know that, they just want their percentage of the money. Matt (Doherty), you know that. They don't care about these kids, how well they do in the NBA."

Are you listening Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin?

Shaquille O'Neal came out and said that a player should be removed three years from his high school class to enter the NBA draft, similar to the NFL draft rule.

Personally there should be a two year rule, that way you can see if a kid is all potential or possibly the real deal. Currently, this draft class is looking pretty weak, so Noel, Poythress, and Goodwin are looked at as possible top 10 picks this year. I just don't see a surefire star coming out. There are good players out there but no difference makers to help an NBA team.  Maybe when the NCAA tournament starts we'll see the cream rise  to the top.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

'It girl' of the week: Mena Monroe

Just Sports & Just Us' 'It Girl' of the week is Mena Monroe

Nash thinks it's good that Gentry was let go by Suns

Players or coaches are generally sad to see a coach go when he's fired. There's always someone within the organization that marks this as a happy occasion. The Phoenix Suns recently fired Alvin Gentry from his post  and I'm sure that there were some sad to see him go. Former Suns guard and current Los Angeles Laker, Steve Nash is glad that Gentry was set free.

Nash and Gentry got along well and reached the Western Conference finals back in 2010. The franchise has gone in a different direction since then and haven't been a threat to make the playoffs since the run they had two years ago. Nash was traded prior to the start of the season and says it's actually a good thing that the Suns fired Gentry.

"Obviously, I'm sad for Alvin (Gentry), but in some ways maybe this is a good thing for him," Lakers guard Steve Nash said after practice Friday. Nash was coached the last four years by Gentry, reaching the Western Conference Finals together against Los Angeles in 2010. "He's a great coach, a really good coach and any club would be lucky to have him as a coach, that's for sure. He'll land on his feet for sure because he can really do a good job." 

"I think the writing's been on the wall," Nash said. "It looks like it to me ... They wouldn't extend his contract. They just gave him the year to kind of play it out. It looked like they wanted to get their own guy in there." 

That statement is more of an indictment of the Suns' franchise and their decision making. The team that is currently constructed has no chance to win right now or anytime in the near future.

I kind of feel sorry for Gentry, since he seems to be a good guy, he always get stuck coaching bad teams.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Selanne hopes Ducks are "pissed" off about their low predictions

Predictions are hardly ever accurate. Unless your team is so bad that you can't help but to finish dead last. Or a team is so much of a sure thing that you can' miss. I'm no hockey expert, but I wouldn't classify the Anaheim Ducks as neither. But the experts are saying the Ducks won't be a contender this season and veteran Teemu Selanne isn't taking it lightly and hopes his teammates won't either.

“That can’t be the only motivation. But hopefully we’ll get pissed off here,” Selanne said.

With this being a shortened season as well as the final season for Selanne, maybe that can act as a form of motivation. The season is only 48 games so anything can happen.  

Syracuse to retire Carmelo Anthony's jersey

The man responsible for Syracuse's only national championship will finally be properly honored. ESPN New York has reported that former Orange star, Carmelo Anthony will have his jersey retired.

SU spokesman Pete Moore said the university has been "working to arrange that for a couple of years" and that the school hopes to make an official announcement about the details of the Carrier Dome ceremony soon.

The current New York Knick led Jim Boeheim's 2003 team to the national championship in his first and only season suiting up for the Orange. The team practices in the Melo Center, named after Anthony when he donated $3 million to the school to complete the facility.

Anthony will be the 10th Syracuse player to have his jersey retired, joining the likes of Sherman Douglas, Rony Seikaly, and Billy Owens among others.  

Tim Brown not confident about Bears' Trestman hire

Long time coordinator/quarterbacks coach and former Montreal Alouettes (CFL) head coach, Marc Trestman was hired to lead the Chicago Bears. For the Bears this hire was made to utilize the weapons they have on offense and was an indictment on former coach Lovie Smith, who was fired for the fact the offense wasn't consistent.

I don't know how Bears fans view the hire and I really don't care one way or the other, former Oakland Raiders great, Tim Brown publicly questioned the hiring of Trestman Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000.

Trestman was an assistant with the Raiders during the 2002 season, which culminated in a Super Bowl appearance for Oakland. It also marked the end of Brown as the number one receiver, something that seems to bug him to this day.

Brown goes on to say that he never viewed Trestman as head coaching material.

"I don't want to say it was a joke, but I just never saw Trestman as being a head coach," Brown said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000.

"The year he took over as offensive coordinator is also the year my reign with the Raiders ended because he made Jerry the No. 1 receiver instead of myself," Brown said. "The year before I made the Pro Bowl and caught [91 passes for 1,165 yards] ... and the year afterwards, the year he takes over I think I came like 50 yards from catching 1,000 yards in 10 or 11 straight seasons.

"Hey, look, I'm not a selfish player, but come on, if I put the work in, make this happen for me. We had some interesting words about that part of it."

"He's a really smart guy, knows football like the back of his hand. That's not the issue," Brown said. "But there's a lot more to coaching than just X's and O's. You have to be able to deal with players and that's the reason [former Raiders coach] Bill Callahan hasn't succeeded as a head coach because he's a smart guy, knows football like the back of his hand, but when it comes to leading me, it's a totally different intangible you have to have. It's going to be very interesting to see how [Trestman] and Jay Cutler get along, that's for sure."

Ok, let me get this straight. Your not a selfish player, but basically complained about being bumped to number two next to the greatest receiver of our time, Jerry Rice. And you talk about being 50 yards short of 1,000 for 10 or 11 years. Sounds like there was a bonus on the line that he knew he was going to miss due to Rice's arrival. I liked Brown as a player, but it sounds like sour grapes to me.

I won't go and say Trestman is the next Lombardi, but he must know something to keep getting coordinator and head coaching gigs. Let's see how this shakes out before saying the guy is in over his head.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Marlins owner Loria orders front office media boycott

I guess when you constantly get ripped by the local media, you boycott them. At least that's what it appears Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is instructing members of his front office to do.

Besides forbidding president David Samson from doing his radio show, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria also told Samson that he can no longer do interviews. That’s short-sighted, because Samson made himself more accountable and accessible than many team presidents, even amid unpopular decisions made solely by Loria. Loria, by the way, has refused to speak to the media since mid-November.

When you basically give have the locals foot the bill for a new stadium, have a season go horribly wrong. and then proceed to have a fire sale, expect to get ripped. If you ask Marlins fans they'll tell you that Loria is the worse owner in MLB. Then he feels that he or any of his cronies shouldn't be accessible to local media.

Loria better get used to it because this season is shaping up to be worse than last year.

Mariners' Felix Hernandez rocking Seahawks gear

It's not uncommon for teams in one city to cheer one another on. Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez couldn't make the trek to Atlanta so he stayed home to cheer on the Seahawks. Here's Hernandez all decked out in Seahawks gear.

Kenny Britt not talking after brother's stabbing

The offseason has barely started for some NFL players and we're already hearing about legal troubles. The latest involves Tennessee Titans receiver Kenny Britt. It should come as no shocker considering how many times his name has been in the police blotter over the past few years.

This time Britt is adhering to the 'no snitching' code of the streets. Britt dropped off his brother, who was stabbed at a party in Jersey City, at a local hospital, but refused to cooperate with authorities. Britt later went back to the scene to pick up his girlfriend, and a gun shot was heard nearby. The stab wound is reported to be non-life threatening.

Police were called to a birthday party at a home on Van Nostrand Avenue between Sterling and West Side Avenue in Jersey City at 3:28 a.m. on the report of a stabbing during a fight involving a large group of people, reports said. But when they arrived there was no sign of trouble, reports said.

Police were then notified that a stabbing victim later identified as Britt's 23-year-old brother had walked into the Jersey City Medical Center accompanied by Britt, reports said.Britt, who grew up in Bayonne, was uncooperative with police and left the hospital, reports said.

“We are looking to speak to Mr. Britt in reference to the incident," Jersey City police captain Edgar Martinez told the Tennessean. “We are currently in the process of trying to do that.”

Said Martinez: “They were all involved in an altercation. So they all knew each other and what was going on. That's why we want to talk to him. He was involved in the incident, both incidents. He was there during that time period. So we are looking to speak to him."

I don't see how the Titans have any patience with Britt.

Brian Billick interviews for Eagles job

Out of all the Super Bowl winning analysts who haven't returned to coaching, there has been one name that has been flying under the radar. Former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick. Word is that Billick has expressed an interest in returning to the sidelines and recently interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles job.

Sources say that Billick met with Eagles officials for around eight hours and is a legitimate candidate for the job. Billick does have impressive credentials. He won a Super Bowl with the Ravens and pretty much made that team what it is today. Before he took the Ravens job, he was the coordinator for an explosive Minnesota Vikings offense.

Billick is currently a broadcaster and worked the Falcons-Seahawks game earlier today. There has been no comment from either side.

Raiders interview Mike Martz for the offensive coordinator job

Mike Martz was thought to be one of the better offensive minds in the NFL at one point. After orchestrating the 'Greatest Show On Turf' with the St. Louis Rams and becoming their head coach, Martz has been somewhat of a vagabond.

Going to the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, and Chicago Bears somewhat sullied his reputation. But when you run an offense that gets the quarterback maimed on nearly every play, you don't need help. Also he seems to outsmart himself an awful lot. I've watched enough games where Martz happened to be on the sideline to figure it out. That's the reason he's out of coaching. Philosophical differences with the man in charge.

The Oakland Raiders are looking for an offensive coordinator and Martz could be their man after giving Greg Knapp the boot. The Raiders reportedly interviewed Martz on Saturday. Head coach Dennis Allen says he's in no hurry to find an offensive coordinator and just wants to get the right guy in. I guess I wouldn't be in a hurry after the Raiders had trouble scoring points this season.

“I don’t have a time frame for getting somebody in,” Allen said. “I want to make sure we get the right guy, and however long that takes for us to get the right guy, that’s how long that that takes.”

 “I’ll be comfortable with a guy I feel like gives us the best chance to be successful in all areas,” Allen said.    

Martz may or may not be the right guy. Considering the Raiders have Darren McFadden in the backfield and Martz seems to be allergic to the run (ask Marshall Faulk), this may not be a stable bridge to cross. Also with Carson Palmer's age and his immobility, he could get killed in Martz's scheme.

Martz's offense can put points on the board and be exciting, but I just don't see the Raiders as the right fit. As I mentioned before, he's always outsmarting himself and seems like one to undermine the head coach.

This is a hire I would pass on if I'm the Raiders.

'It Girl' of the week: Jayonna Fabro

Just Sports & Just Us' 'It Girl' of the week is Jayonna Fabro.

George Karl thinks LeBron can eventually return to Cleveland

LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers a hot mess. It was an ugly breakup, with fans burning his jersey and the owner Dan Gilbert going on a rant saying that the Cavs would win a title before the "so-called King" would. Meanwhile James was in South Beach predicting multiple titles.

Even though the chances are remote, James left the door open for a possible return after realizing he handled 'The Decision' poorly. It could happen later down the line, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen. It would be hard for the city and organization to embrace him again, but stranger things have happened.

  In a report by FOX Sports Florida's Chris Tomasson, former Cavs coach and current Denver Nuggets coach, George Karl says he can see James returning to Cleveland to play again.

 "I think LeBron is at that stage where he's challenging himself to motivate him to do something that's maybe more difficult," Denver coach George Karl told FOX Sports Florida before Friday's game against Cleveland at the Pepsi Center. "I could see him maybe doing that (returning to the Cavaliers)."

"I see (Kyrie) Irving maybe being a reason for that," Karl said of the reigning Rookie of the Year, who leads Cleveland in scoring with a 23.5 average. 

Like I mentioned earlier, I think it's a remote possibility. The stars would have to align right for that to happen. Miami would have to fall out of contention (not happening), James wants to go back home possible free agent in 2014), or he's close to retiring and wants to make amends with the Cleveland fans. If his return to Cleveland happens I would bet it's reason number three that it happens.

I don't see it happening, but they do say you can go home again.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cowher says he has no plans on coaching

Last week reports surfaced that former Pittsburgh Steelers coach and current CBS studio analyst, Bill Cowher, would eventually return to coaching. I guess that report was wrong.

Today on the CBS NFL pregame show Cowher must've had a change of heart because he told host James Brown that he's not going anywhere.

“Coach, this week it was reported that you are looking to return to the sidelines,” Brown said.  “You’ve been asked this for six consecutive years.”

“Contrary to reports, I have no plans on coaching,” Cowher said.  “I plan on being with one team.  And that is this team here at CBS.”

I have no problem with a man changing his mind, but don't contradict yourself and say that you plan on returning and then say you have no plans to do so. Unless what he said was taken out of context.

I wouldn't blame him not returning. He has a pretty cushy gig at CBS, has his money and has his ring. What more could he possibly ask for.

Frieder regrets announcing he was taking over Arizona State

Hindsight is 20/20 in almost everything we do in life. Most of the time it's regarding a bad decision that someone has made and was burned by.

When former Michigan basketball head coach Bill Frieder took the Arizona State job, to him it seemed like a good idea. Arizona State was said to be a sleeping giant (the same thing still is said about the program), nice weather and an easy sell to southern California high school basketball players. So Frieder, who was a good recruiter, figured he could build up Arizona State like he had built Michigan up to that point.

However, there was a problem along the way to the desert. For starters, Frieder announced that he was taking the job on the eve of the 1989 NCAA tournament. Number two, the media knew this before then athletic director, Bo Schembechler. So Schembechler fired Frieder, uttering the famous phrase "A Michigan man will coach Michigan". Top assistant Steve Fisher took over and the rest is history.

A report in the Detroit News says that Frieder regretted announcing that he was leaving for Arizona State too early.

"I came out of practice that Tuesday and there were media there starting to ask me questions," Frieder said Thursday. "I didn't want to lie to my team, I didn't want to lie to the media and I didn't want to lie to the community, so I thought at the time that I'm just going to be honest (and say), 'When the season's over, I'm going to Arizona State.'

"That was a bad mistake and I shouldn't have done that. I was honest."

"The bottom line was I put myself in that position," he said. "What I should have done is just not announced that I was going. I said at the time that if that's the worst thing that happens to me, I'll have a great life. I've had a great life and I've got no complaints."

Personally I think Frieder sees some similarites in his 1985-86 Big Ten championship winning team and today's team which is ranked number two and is undefeated (16-0) and feels that he should've won the championship that year.

I've always felt that Frieder was a good recruiter and a not so good game coach who couldn't get two of his better teams (1985,1986) out of the second round of the tournament. I really don't think the Wolverines would have won it all had Frieder remained.

It's a decision he has to live with and he sounds like he realized that he made a mistake in leaving Michigan.


Pirates' Andrew McCutchen chosen to be on cover of MLB '13

The newest sports video game cover man is Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen was chosen by a fan voting to be on the cover of MLB '13 The Show.

McCutchen beat out CC Sabathia, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Kemp, Bryce Harper, Buster Posey and Ryan Braun to win the honor of being on the cover.

 McCutchen tweeted out a big thanks to the fans for voting him the winner. Congratulations, because unlike Madden there is no known curse for being on the cover to this game.

Nate Dogg's son is a legitimate college prospect

When you have a famous parent it's easy to navigate a career path following in their footsteps. True, while you may have to put in some work, it may be a little easier for your career depending on who your parent is.

Naijiel Hale may seem pretty anonymous, but when you realize that he's the late Nate Dogg's (Nathaniel Hale) son, some may think he's just someone trying to piggyback of his dad's fame. This isn't the case as the younger Hale has made a name for himself on the gridiron. Naijiel is one of the top defensive back prospects in the class of 2014. 

Hale reportedly looked like one of the top cornerback prospects on the west coast after his performance at the JuniorRank Proving Grounds Combine. As of now he's getting interest from Northwestern, UCLA, and Oregon. Hale is proving to be more than Nate Dogg's son.

Hale had seven interceptions in his sophomore season at Lakewood (Calif.) High School. He transferred to Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco and had four more picks, three of them for touchdowns. But football wasn't his first love. Like most kids basketball took up a lot of his time until Snoop Dogg got involved.

“At first, I was a basketball player and then at about 12, Snoop (Dogg) had talked to my dad and said he wanted me to play football,” said the junior. “He basically made me who I am today. I was actually scared of contact and that’s why I never wanted to play.”

Right now Oregon is the favorite for Hale's services, but you know how recruiting is, never say never. The list of interested schools should grow in the coming year. But since Hale does like the uniforms as most kids do, also he has a good relationship with Ducks running back DeAnthony Thomas.

 “I actually got an email from Coach (John) Neal of Oregon [on Tuesday],” he said. “They were really interested in me and he was going to take a trip here in a couple of weeks and keep in touch. Oregon is my top school and that’s been my dream school and they know that.”

“Just growing up, the uniforms got me and then after the uniforms I really looked into it and thought, ‘man, this would be heaven.’ Then after talking to DeAnthony, it’s just like ‘whoa’. 

It's good to see a youngster trying to carve out his own path rather than one that is set up for him.

Red Sox trying to reduce Mike Napoli's deal to one year

The Boston Red Sox are in a retooling mode right now. They're trying to make more budget conscious decisions, which is an oxymoron since any signing in baseball is hardly budget conscious. But nonetheless they're not going hog wild like in years past trying keep up with the New York Yankees.

One of the signings the Red Sox made was a three year, $39 million contract to former Texas Rangers catcher/first baseman, Mike Napoli. Napoli was one of the best sluggers out there on the free agent market, so why not. The signing was Boston's biggest splash in free agency.

Fast forward to today and the Red Sox are trying to reduce that contract to a one year deal since there are concerns about a hip condition that was revealed during Napoli's physical after signing the contract. This has led to a stalemate between Napoli and the Red Sox. The Red Sox have a hole at first base and are now looking at Washington's Michael Morse as an option if Napoli and the team can't resolve it's issues.

I can see why the Red Sox are doing this. They're covered in case Napoli misses a significant amount of playing time and they won't have that contract as an albatross. However, look for the union to get involved and get some kind of resolution hammered out. The big loser in this is Napoli since his market undoubtedly will drop if he and the Red Sox can't agree to terms.

Los Angeles Kings donate $1 million dollars

Teams in the NHL have a lot of making up to do to their fans. Some are rolling back ticket prices while some are offering free concessions for a limited time. That's a good start to attempt to get the fans back in the fold.

The Los Angeles Kings have taken it up a notch by donating $1 million dollars back to the Los Angeles community. Even though fans won't benefit from that donation directly, it impacts thousands of others in the area. Depending on how it's used of course.

There should be more promotions during the season, but Kings fans will get the best deal of them all.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Atlanta Rapper Big Boi, says Falcons players need to avoid strip clubs to beat Seahawks

The Atlanta Falcons have experienced a few playoff failures in recent memory, most notably the demolition by the Green Bay Packers in 2010 and the lousy showing against the New York Giants last year. Once again the Falcons have home field advantage but face a more than capable Seattle Seahawks team that has been red hot lately.

One key is for quarterback Matt Ryan to play lights out. But Atlanta rapper Big Boi, from Outkast fame has another idea on how the Falcons can be successful in their Sunday showdown with the Seahawks. Stay out of the strip clubs.

Big Boi aka Antwan Patton appeared on ESPN's First Take to give his opinion on how the Falcons can emerge victorious.

"As long as everybody stays out of Magic City and Diamonds of Atlanta, we are going to be good," Big Boi said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "Wait until Monday to go. Everybody stay home and make it a Blockbuster night."

He even went as far to suggest that the clubs promote "Seahawks night" Saturday. Big Boi must have had Eugene Robinson's shenanigans before Super Bowl 33 on his mind when he made that suggestion.

Cowboys have Monte Kiffin in their sights

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones vowed that changes are coming. Former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was shown the door after the Cowboys missed the playoffs this season. Everyone knows that Jones isn't going anywhere and for some strange reason head coach Jason Garrett remains safe in his job. So someone had to go.

The Cowboys are looking to fill their defensive coordinator void and have former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin topping their list. Kiffin,72, won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, recently resigned from the same job at USC, where his son Lane was the head coach. If Kiffin is named defensive coordinator look for the Cowboys to move from a 3-4 alignment to a 4-3, which would be a key to the Cowboys changing to a Tampa 2 defense.

There was talk of Kiffin possibly joining Andy Reid on the Kansas City Chiefs staff, but the story is that Kiffin wasn't interested in the job.

Jones, Kiffin, or Garrett couldn't be reached for comment, so as of now this is more rumor than fact.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Notre Dame's Kelly on Eagles' radar

Notre Dame head coach, Brian Kelly stated that he had no desire to leave Notre Dame. However, he did leave a crack in the door.

“For me to say I’ll never coach in the NFL -- I have no idea,” Kelly said on Friday. “I’m not trying to be evasive. It’s the truth of the matter. It’s all about timing.”

Now it appears the Philadelphia Eagles may walk through that crack in the door with an offer for Kelly. According to reports, the Eagles have interviewed Kelly and will meet with him when he returns from a trip out of the country.

With the personnel the Eagles have, hiring Kelly could work out for them, but he's also a career college coach that has no credibility with players in the NFL so it could turn out badly. I'm not saying it won't work but the Eagles may want to go with someone other than a college coach with no NFL experience. After the way the defense has played the past few years they might want to get a coach with a defensive background. 

Rolando McClain says corrupt cops are out to get him

A day after being pulled over for a window tint violation and subsequently arrested for providing the police with a false name, Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain answered that "corrupt cops are out to get him". After shedding some light on this story, it's downright comical.

He didn't exactly say that but answered a question if he thought the cops were out to get him.

“I’m falsely accused of everything,” McClain said. “It’s corrupt. It’s terrible.”  When he was asked by a reporter if he thought the cops were out to get him, McClain responded, “Yes. You said it. I answered it.”

Where this story gets funny is the point when McClain was pulled over and the exchanges that took place.

McClain told the officer he had a letter from his doctor about the window tint, which he later produced. The printed letter stated he had “photosensitivity and needed maximum ultraviolet radiation protection to include window tinting,” Crouch said.

Annerton asked him twice to roll the window up partially so he could check the tint, and McClain refused both times, Crouch said.

“He tells the officer he’s got a letter from his doctor and that’s all he needs,” Crouch said.

Annerton called for a supervisor to meet him, and Sgt. Stan Elliott responded.
McClain eventually did roll up his window enough for Annerton to use a tint meter, which measures how much light can go through the window, and determine the tint was too dark, Crouch said.

“Sgt. Elliott told McClain that type of doctor’s recommendation should have been written on a medical prescription, to which McClain responded that Sgt. Elliott was not the officer that stopped him, so McClain didn’t have anything to say to him,” Crouch said.

Elliott told McClain he would be issued a ticket and could present any doctor’s orders on his court date.

“McClain took (the ticket) and appeared to sign it, but when officer Annerton got the ticket book back, he saw that McClain had written ‘F y’all’ instead of signing his name,” Crouch said. 

McClain was asked to sign his real name and claimed 'F y'all' was it. That when the cops decided to book him.

I don't know what world McClain lives in, but he's lucky they didn't decide to administer some good ol' southern justice. That truly could've taken a turn for the worse, but luckily for us we get to see how stupid of an individual McClain is while getting a nice laugh out of it.

J.J. Watt shows Craig Biggio support for the Hall of Fame

Today the baseball Hall of Fame held their voting and no candidates were elected to Cooperstown. That didn't stop Houston Texans defensive end, J.J. Watt for showing his support for Hall of Fame candidate, Craig Biggio.

Watt showed up to a press conference sporting an old school Houston Astros Biggio jersey.



Lidstrom tells Red Wings he's retired

The NHL lockout has came to an end and all there's left to do is to finalize all the details in the agreement. Expect a flurry of player movement before the start of the shortened. Also players will have to get themselves  into shape pretty quick.

The Detroit Red Wings aren't going to be the force they were for the better part of the last decade. Age, injuries and retirement have made the Red Wings more reliant on younger, unproven players. That explains why head coach Mike Babcock spoke to recently retired defenseman, Nicklas Lidstrom, to gauge his interest in returning for a shortened 48 game run this season.  

"First off, this is all a little blown out of proportion," Babcock said. "But we got to talking and I was asking Nick how his family was, how he was enjoying himself, and he said he was having a great time.

"He said he has been going to some (Swedish) Elite games recently, and it had gotten his blood racing again. But not to the point where he would be interested in putting his equipment on again.

"I just stopped it right there," Babcock said, laughing.

Lidstrom spent his entire 20 year career in Detroit.

With Lidstrom gone and Brad Stuart no longer in the mix and missing out on some of the top free agents the Red Wings could be in for a long season. Even if it is only for 48 games.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Grizzlies may be thinking of trading Zach Randolph

Amid reports that the Memphis Grizzlies might be open to trading small forward Rudy Gay, there are rumblings that the team might be in full fire sale mode. The Grizzlies are looking to get under the luxury tax and might unload power forward Zach Randolph to do it.

Griz CEO Jason Levien, whom principal owner Robert Pera has entrusted to run the franchise, is gauging the value of several players on the roster. There also have been exploratory trade conversations centered on forward Zach Randolph.

The Sacramento Kings are one of the teams with whom the Griz recently held preliminary talks, according to a league source.

Moving Randolph could prove to be a big mistake for the Grizzlies as Randolph probably is the most popular player in Grizzlies history. He and center Marc Gasol have a good working relationship and he's a favorite among fans and teammates.

I understand that it's all about the bottom line, but this that could be a critical mistake for a team with designs on contending for a championship.