Friday, September 30, 2005

Our New NHL

Changes in NHL rules for 2005-06

The NHL's long delayed season is nearly upon us.  And while some of us missed it....others could care less.

I'm not a hockey purist.  I do watch the NHL on occassion...but it usually is during the Stanley Cup playoffs which, to me, is one of the most exciting events in sports [even though it takes 3 months].  Being from Charlotte, hockey isn't injected into your bloodstream as it would be in, say, Canada, Detroit, Boston or Philadelphia.  But, ESPN brought in into my home...and I've enjoyed watching the "4th major" sports league play.

This season, the NHL is trying to get me to watch again.  Like I said, I'm bored during the regular season because (a) I have no idea who 75% of the players are...(b) the regular season doesn't really matter....(c) because of that, my interest level is gone.  The NHL is trying to address those concerns....and made some rules changes that, hopefully, won't alienate their rabid fan base.

*SHOOTOUT.  The biggest, and most welcome change, will be a shootout to end regular season ties.  The old adage "ties are like kissing your sister" I guess is true.  All I know is that the NHL is Americanized now...and we don't go to "freindlies" like in soccer.  We want to either go home a winner or a loser.  No ties.

*NEW RINK DIMENSIONS.  The neutral zone is shortened and the goal lines are pushed back.  This allows more offensive play and the possibility for more goal scoring.  The league has become a trapping game where offensive players rarely have room to operate.  Now, they can.

*NO CENTER LINE.  It will be there...but it is rendered useless.  This allows "fast breaks" and less two-line pass calls. 

*TAG UP.  Players who entered the attacking zone prior to the puck entering used to have to completely leave the zone before an offensive player could touch the puck.  Now, those players just have to "tag up" on the blue line to eliminate the offsides. 

*ICING.  It's still illegal...but the linesman can wave it off if the perceived intent of the icing was a legal pass.  Also, if a team is called for icing....they aren't allowed to change lines prior to the faceoff.  This eliminates a tired team icing the puck just to get off the ice. 

*OTHERS.  Goaltender's equiptment and uniforms have stricter limits, and stricter penalties if this rule is broken.......Players who start fights in the final 5 minutes of the game are given a game misconduct and are suspended for the next game.  This eliminates incidents like what happened during the Sens-Flyers game last season....Obstruction rules will be, supposedly, enforced.  If they really do this, then it allows those skilled players to use their skills and create a much faster, more exciting game......The most interesting new rule is a crackdown on "diving", or what NBA fans call "flopping".  It penalizes players who exaggerate contact to try to draw penalties.  Hmm.  Thank God Vlade Divac isn't a hockey player.


MLB PLAYOFFS: "We Three Teams....."

This is one of the oddest things.  Three teams have a shot at the two remaining American League playoff spots.  And ALL THREE hold their own fates in their hands.  If the Red Sox win all 3 remaining games....they're in.  The same can be said for both the Yankees and Indians


I will defer to, virtually, every other website and blog out there for a breakdown of the Yanks-Red Sox series.  I mean, that's what they've been waiting for. 

But it is the Yankees who have an advantage here....just by the fact that they have a one game lead.  The Red Sox HAVE to win two games just to force a one-game playoff.  One win in this 3-game set guarantees that game for the Yankees.  And if that game is played [and why wouldn't it be?]...that game would be in Yankee Stadium on Monday.  If New York wins Friday's game...then the pressure would be placed squarely on the Sox.

SPORTZ TAKE:  Honestly, I see Boston winning 2 of 3 and forcing the one game playoff in New York.  I do see the Yankees ultimately winning that game and the AL East division title. 


It would seem that the Indians have the utmost advantage here.  Since the Yankees and Red Sox will be beating on each other...if the Indians win their remaining three games...then they are the wildcard, uh, champs. 

If the Indians win just two games...they still look to have a good shot.  They just need to hope that the Red Sox-Yankees series doesn't end in a tie.  If that happens...then Boston plays at New York on Monday.  If Boston wins that game....then the Yankees play at Cleveland on Tuesday.  If New York wins that game....then the Indians must play at Boston on Tuesday.  The winner of that Tuesday game would be named the wildcard team. 

If the Indians win just one game...or even zero games...they are in a bit of trouble.  They could still see that one-game playoff game if they end up tied with the Red Sox or Yankees...or could still clinch the wildcard if the Yankees sweep the Red Sox [and Cleveland wins once].

Got that?

Cleveland faces the AL Central champion Chicago White Sox.  In theory, the White Sox should be in chill mode...waiting for the playoffs to start.  Resting guys that need it...and keeping an eye on pitch counts.  Maybe.  Remember, Chicago hasn't clinched home field for the first round yet.  Their magic number to clinch home field for the ALCS is TWO.  So there is something for the Pale Hose to play for. 

SPORTZ TAKE:  I see the Indians winning 2 of 3 as well...forcing the one game playoff on Tuesday.  I said that the Yanks would beat the Sox on Cleveland would head to Boston on Tuesday.  I see their season ending there.

Let the games begin!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Iowa's Pink Locker Rooms Have Some People Bent

                      Iowa visitor's locker room

A week or so ago...I wrote a blog entry for the TWO MINUTE WARNING BLOG about the fact that the visitor's locker rooms are pink.  It's been that way for many years...and is a psychological tool to tame the opponents.

Apparantly, people are bent about it.

We live in 2005 now...which means if someone doesn't like something...they have to piss and moan until they get their own way.  They have to take time out of their days to protest something completely meaningless in the grand scheme of life.  I just read this off of


"IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The pink visitors' locker room at the University of Iowa's stadium is making some people see red.

Several professors and students joined the call Tuesday for the athletic department to do away with the pink showers, carpeting and lockers, a decades-long Hawkeye football tradition.

Critics say the use of pink demeans women, perpetuates offensive stereotypes about women and homosexuality, and puts the university in the uncomfortable position of tacitly supporting those messages.

''I want the locker room gone,'' law school professor Jill Gaulding told a university committee studying the athletic department's compliance with NCAA standards, including gender equity.

For decades, visiting football teams playing at Kinnick Stadium have dressed and showered in the pink locker room. The tradition was started by former Iowa coach Hayden Fry, a psychology major who said pink had a calming and passive effect on people.

As part of the stadium's two-year, $88 million makeover, athletic officials took the former coach's interior decorating ideas to another level, splashing pink across the brick walls, shower floors and installing pink metal lockers, carpeting, sinks, showers and urinals.

The controversy gained momentum and media attention last week when a visiting law school professor told reporters she had received death threats after voicing objections on her Web site. "


This is symbolic of everything I hate about people.  (A) People have too much time on their hands.  (B) I love that people that have nothing to do with this at all are the ones up in arms about this.  (C) In their attempt to "help the people harmed"...they actually are harmful themselves.

What I mean by that is the fact that they are mad that the "use of pink demeans women".  OH I GET IT!!  Women are the only ones that are allowed to use the color pink.  I forgot.  I'm so sorry.  When the color fairy went around to pass out colors.....women gained ownership of the color pink.  In fact, guys can't even use pink crayons.  There is this rapper named Camron that loves to wear pink.  Back in the day...Penn State's colors used to be pink.  That assessment they made is more sexist than the fact that the locker room in pink.  I'd call us insensitive men "pigs"...but pigs are pink and we can't have that, can we? 


If Iowa was calling them "women", they'd put in a tampon machine.  There would be popourri everywhere.  They'd tear out the urinals.   

Wait.  Guys apparantly are allowed to use pink.  Gay guys.  There take that it brings up stereotypes of homosexual men is both insulting and ridiculous.  If the U of Iowa really wanted to call their opponents gay...they'd throw up some posters of ripped dudes with no shirts on the walls. 

This is just plain loco.  I played basketball for my school...and one time we had to dress in the women's locker room.  It was pink.  And it was a lot nicer than the boiler rooms we would dress in at some on the other places we'd play.  All I know is that I better NEVER hear of a woman's locker room painted blue.  That is our color...and I hope we aren't demeaning men or placing a stereotype to homosexual women. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2005



1-COLTS (3-0).  Defense is picking off Manning's slack
2-EAGLES (2-1).  Still not acting like defending NFC champ
3-PATRIOTS (2-1).  Shut up alot of those naysayers.
4-STEELERS (2-1).  Big lss to New England
5-BENGALS (3-0).  I still want to see them against  a good team.
6-FALCONS (2-1).  Like I always say:  Vick just wins.

7-JAGUARS (2-1).  I have no idea why I have them ranked here. 
8-CHIEFS (2-1).  Will the real Chiefs, please stand up
9-BUCCANEERS (3-0).  Carnell Williams adds A dimention to the offense
10-REDSKINS (2-0).  It is my blog.

AFC EAST:  While the Patriots aren't as good as they were a year ago...they still are gonna be a tough out.  Shutting down Pittsburgh and winning at Heinz Field was quite impressive.  The team everyone believed would challenge the Pats for the crown, the Jets, are in a spot of trouble.  Chad Pennington is done for the year...and they've had to sign Vinny Testeverde just to get some help in there.  Also, Curtis Martin is dinged up.  To make a long story short...this team is struggling to score.  So are the Bills with JP Losman.  Losman has struggled in the early going and some are wondering if a change may be needed.  The surprise team has got to be the Dolphins.  Miami has beaten Denver and Carolina...and that is with Gus Frerotte at QB and the running attack not at full strength.  SO WHAT UP?  To be honest, this looks like the Pats could run away with this division again if the other don't get their stuff together.

AFC NORTH:  The Bengals are now the vogue team of the league.  They are putting up great offensive numbers and are taking away the ball at record paces.  I still want to see them against a real team....a team that wants to be physical on offense and defense.  That team is the Steelers. I still think they are the class of this division and should be able to reclaim it.   My preseason pick, the Ravens, have done nothing so far.  Their defense isn't as great as it once was and the offense has actually gotten worse.  They need to turn it around quickly before Cincy and Pitt run away and hide from them.  I have a lot of respect for Trent Dilfer and the Browns.  Dubbed the "worst team" in the NFL...they've won in Lambeau and played the Bengals and Colts [a combined 6-0] very tough.  Dilfer's having quite the year passing, as well.  SO WHAT UP?  I can't wait for those Bengals-Steelers games!!!

AFC SOUTH:  Everyone is talking about how bad the Colts offense has played. Actually, that ought to scare the crap out of everyone!  Peyton Manning hasn't thrown a TD pass in 2 games...and he still has his team at 3-0.  Wow.  The only team in that division that seems fit to challenge the Colts are the Jaguars.  The Jags played them tough in Indy...and has beaten Seattle and New York so far.  Their defense has played excellent this year.  The Titans have played better than I figured despite their 1-2 start.  Steve McNair makes such a huge difference being on the field.  Right now, the Houston Texans look to be the worst team in football.  Their offense is horrible and the defense just can't keep up.  They've already canned some vultures are already swarming around Dom Capers.  SO WHAT UP?  Colts run away with this thing.

AFC WEST:  The Chiefs blew a perfect opportunity to take over this division on Monday Night.  A win would have given them a 2-game cushion on everyone.  Now, they are tied with the Broncos [who owns the tiebreaker].  So who is the real KC??  The one that blitzed the Jets or the one that got smacked up by Denver?  Maybe they are the one that squeaked by the Raiders.  Speaking of Oakland, how must it suck to be 0-3 and are, really, better than half the league right now.  They barely lost to the Eagles and Patriots [both on the road] and lost a heartbreakingly unfair game to the Chiefs.  And then there are the Chargers who finally looked like a playoff team on SNF.  SO WHAT UP?  To be honest, this division is up in the air.  I do like San Diego because they seem to be the most balanced team right now.  Remember, they lost to both the Cowboys and Broncos late in the game.

NFC EAST:  The East is the only division with every team over .500.  The Redskins, who lead the division, seem to be the most likely fluke.  They've won both games by a combined 3 points and needed two late TD passes to even resemble an offense.  The Eagles are the best team here...but they haven't played like it.  And God know how bad McNabb's hurting.  Eli Manning's pride is hurting after he got his butt kicked in San Diego.  His Giants are 2-1...but they also benefitted from having and extra home game.  Last, but not least, are the Cowboys.  This team COULD be 3-0 if they could close out Washington.  They also COULD be 0-3 if San Diego and San Franciscon could've closed them out.  SO WHAT UP??  Fly like an Eagle into the division title...because no other team is good enough to take it from them. 

NFC NORTH:  What a division.  The Lions are 1-1 and in first place.  How?  Well, they beat up on 0-3 Green Bay in Week 1.  They then were mauled by the Bears in Week 2.  The shame is that the Bears defense has performed quite well this year.  But the offense has let them down.  If Kyle Orton keeps slinging picks....he may take a seat.  One guy that never takes a seat is Brett Favre...and his Packers are 0-3.  They were 1-4 last year before making a run to end up as North champions.  So are they really that bad off?  They only have 1 less win that the first place squad.  The wild thing is that they've lost 2 games at Lambeau already.  And then there is the Vikings.  Minnesota looked bad against Tampa.  They looked horrible against Cincinnati.  But they got it rolling against the Saints.  SO WHAT UP?  I hope it continues.  I think the Vikings are the best team in that division and the creme should rise to the top. 

NFC SOUTH:  This has all the trappings to be quite a fun division.  The Buccaneers are currently 3-0...but the teams they beat are a combined 2-7.  They do possess a great running threat in Cadillac Williams who has to be the early favorite for top rookie.  The Falcons look as if they can be the NFC champs.  They have such a tough defense and some guy named Michael Vick.  It will be interesting to see how his hammy holds up and how that affects his game and that Atlanta offense.  The Panthers aren't playing mentally strong right now.  They beat the Pats...but lost to the Saints and Dolphins because of poor decision making.  And to those who speak of Carolina's demise...remember that both of their losses came on FGs in the closing seconds.  And then there are the Saints.  Here are the different cities they play in a row:  Foxboro, New Orleans, Oakland, Charlotte, New York, Minneaopolis, San Antonio and Green Bay.  Wow.  SO WHAT UP?  I still think that the Panthers win this division...but they need to get their head in the game to do so. 

NFC WEST:  The Premature Adolation Award goes to the Cardinals...who got so much love in the preseason that they had to remind everyone that they are, indeed, the Cardinals.  Instead, the Niners have played better than Zona and have a chance to put a hurt on them in Mexico City this weekend.  The real fight will be between the Rams and Seahawks.  Both have potent offenses...but neither defense is too stellar.  They both also blow leads and games.  SO WHAT UP?  I'm sticking with the Rams.  At least they can outscore teams. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

40 Yr Old Walk On Catches Pass For South Carolina


COLUMBIA, S.C. -- It was just a simple pass near the end of a football game in which the University of South Carolina was already assured the win.

But to 40-year-old Gamecocks walk-on Tim Frisby, the catch Saturday was yet another goal achieved in a remarkable life.

Frisby, called "Pops" by teammates and coaches, joined the Gamecocks last season after serving 20 years in the Army.

Getting his degree is the goal. Playing football is an added bonus for the father of six, a dream he held from his days in high school in Allentown, Pa., to his tours in Desert Storm and Kosovo.

Frisby lined up for several plays last year, but the ball never came his way.

But with 3:16 to go Saturday, Frisby lined up, took a couple of steps, turned and caught a pass from Antonio Heffner. He ran, too, gaining 9 yards in the Gamecocks' 45-20 victory over Troy University.

The thinning crowd roared, including wife Anna and a couple of his children, as Frisby pumped his fist and walked back to the huddle for the next play.

"It's something I've always wanted to do and I did it," Frisby said.

Frisby's goal just took a lot longer to achieve.

After graduating from high school, Frisby joined the Army and stayed for two decades, jumping from planes for survival training, spending a week or two at a time in cold, damp woods.

After Pops retired from the military, he enrolled at South Carolina. Former coach Lou Holtz said Frisby earned his spot on the team and gave him his garnet No. 89 jersey.

The story quickly spread across the country and Frisby was invited to chat about his story with Jay Leno and David Letterman. He has put off offers to make a movie about his life until he finishes playing.

But Frisby refused to be just a novelty: Teammates and coaches say he works as hard in practice as anyone else.

So with the game in hand Saturday, coach Steve Spurrier decided it was time to put Frisby in. His catch came on his first play of the year.

"We got Pops a catch for the record book," Spurrier said.

After the game, Frisby refused to bask in his catch, thanking his teammates for the blocks and Heffner for the pass. But the smile on his face in the TV lights betrayed his measured words.

"This is a start. Hopefully I'll get more this season," Frisby said.

Frisby plans to play through the end of the season, then re-evaluate his football career. By then he expects to be a senior academically, just a handful of classes away from his degree in broadcast journalism.

Pops will be back on the practice field this week, trying to achieve his next goal. "Hopefully, I'd like to get a touchdown," Frisby said. "We'll see how it goes."

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sportz Football Roundup - 9/26

Instead of a full breakdown of the NFL's Week 3....I'm just going to take a look at the best and the worst of the league.  Those teams that still have a ZERO in their records.

WHY THEY CAN KEEP IT GOING:  Their defense has been stunning....allowing a mere 16 points all season long.  And how many people expect the offense to keep playing this badly?  Plus, their upcoming schedule is pretty light.
WHY IT WON'T LAST:  Like I said, the offense isn't on track...and it did struggle in the preseason.  Also, after this cupcake portion of the sked, they'll have some tough games later in the year.  Where would this team be right now if their defense hasn't played so great?
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  I think they breeze to the AFC South title and get that homefield in the AFC.

WHY THEY CAN KEEP IT GOING:  That offense is on fire.  Carson Palmer has grown leaps and bounds this season and has a lot of weapons around him.  Also, that defense has gotten 10 picks in the last two games, showing that it can be quite formidable.
WHY IT WON'T LAST:  You can run on this team, and I want to see how Cincy responds in a game where they play a physical team that wants to pound the ball.  The Browns and Vikings couldn't do it and the Bears had to chuck the run to get back in the ballgame [but they did run effectively].
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Right now, they are the best looking team in the AFC North.  With the schedule easy now, but a beast in a few weeks....I want to see how they respond.  I think they'll make the playoffs.

Somehow, this defense is playing as well as it did a couple of years ago.  Also, they've found the most productive player of the past draft in Cadillac Williams.  That smart offensive play and tough defense will always keep you in games.
WHY IT WON'T LAST:  I haven't seen Tampa play from behind...or be forced to score yet.  Not to say they can't, but I just want to see if this team can score quickly if needed. 
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Right now, they have a shot to winning this division.  But, to me, I think Carolina and Atlanta sprint past them down the road.

They have a Super Bowl caliber defense that can take away the run and mess with pass timing.  They'll blitz on any down and will come from anywhere to do so.  Look at the first two games of the season.  Their defense kept them in until their offense got over the top.
WHY IT WON'T LAST:  If not for those two Santana Moss TD catches in Dallas...this Redskins offense would be at the bottom of the NFL.  They struggle to sustain drives and this could wear on the defense, just as it did last year.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  The Skins should bottom out at some point...but with that defense, they could steal a couple more wins the rest of the season.

They are, to me, the most undisciplined team in the NFL.  Not just penalties...but they just don't seem to have any sort of gameplan to win. 
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  Despite their 0-3 mark...they did play tough in New England; lost on a last second FG to the Chiefs;  lost on a last second FG in Philly.  Oakland at 0-3 is better than several of the 2-1 teams.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Oakland has to win sometime soon, or the season will be mailed in.  And maybe Norv Turner's job.

That defense blows.  If you notice the trend, the Colts, Bengals, Redskins and Buccs defenses have played stellar.  The Packers blow.  They give up big penalties at wrong times and just look lost out there.  They can't run the ball and are content to let Favre fling it all game long.
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  Cuz they always do.  They were 1-4 last year, then ended up winning the division.  I mean, even though they are 0-3 right now....they are only 1 win away from tying the 1st place Lions win total. 
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  I think they can turn this around.  The loss of Javon Walker stings, but the Packers seem to gel as the season goes along.  And with the Lions, Bears and Vikings all suspect...why not G-Bay?

Because they are the Cardinals.  That's what they do.  This team has been mentally horrible all season long.  Their defense has stopped nothing and the offense just doesn't seem to click.
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  They do have talent on both sides of the ball.  They just aren't showing it.  Arizona was a trendy pick to win the NFC West...but they've failed thus far to live up to it.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Um, they are the Cardinals.

With Kyle Boller out, teams are focusing on Jamal Lewis.  And the sad thing is that I just said "with Kyle Boller out" as if it made a big difference with him in the game. 
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  That defense has a ton of pride.  That offensive line has a ton of pride.  Their running backs have a lot of pride.  Sometime, that has to kick in.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  While they aren't my favorites to win the division anymore...they can still get back into the race.

The offense blows.  Domanick Davis has done nothing....and neither has Carr.  Now, they've fired several people...which has got to put some extra anxiety of the rest of the coaching staff.
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  I honestly don't see how.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Right now, they are the worst team in the AFC.


*Well, we found out that I am not as smart as I  My gutsy pick of Michigan to meet USC in the Rose Bowl has pretty much crashed and burned.  We haven't stepped foot in October, yet, and the Wolverines already have 2 losses.  That makes me feel great [sarcasm].  Last year, I went out of my way to dis the Big Eleven and how overhyped they were.  And I was proven correct.  This year, I felt that the youth that the Big Eleven had would blossom into greatness.  So far it hasn't.  I mean, Michigan has lost twice....Ohio State lost at home to Texas....Iowa has lost twice, and badly both times....and Purdue has now been smacked. 

*So who takes the place of Michigan in my pick to meet USC for the title??  Texas?  I do like the makeup of Texas...but I'm not sure if they can pass all of the tests in the Big XII.  If I had a gun to my head right now...I'd pick Virginia Tech to play USC in the Rose Bowl.  Va Tech has been so dominant on defense and special teams that they can win games even if their offense is struggling [which it hasn't].  Beamer Ball really comes down to focusing on every facet of the game.  I mean, only at V-Tech is special teams such a high priority...and not a place to put your crazy linebackers and fast wideouts.  Place that with the fact that I don't think anyone in the ACC can beat them.  I think they'll take the Coastal Division since they have the Miami game in Blacksburg.  Then, I think they have the defense to stuff Florida State in the ACC Championship.  After is on to Pasadena!

*Louisville got slammed!!!  Um, weren't the Cards supposed to breeze thru this Big East??  Oops!  One game in, one loss.  And not just a loss....a spanking!  How in the heck does the #9 team in the nation lose 45-14 to SOUTH FLORIDA???  This was the first time in about a year that the Cards didn't score 30 pts in a game.  Heck, scoring 30 would have meant it was just a mild beatdown here.  The one gracious fact of this loss is it really doesn't cost the Cardinals anything.  It is almost meaningless.  Sure, they are out of any NationalChampionship picture....but, c'mon, even if they finished undefeated they probably weren't looking at a title shot.  If this was last season, this loss would have cost L'ville a shot at BCS money...something they can/will still acheive with their entrance into the Big East.  Remember, you could have been 6-5 and in the BCS last year.  Next up for U of L....Florida Atlantic?

*North Carolina isn't as bad as many is just that tough schedule.  Only 1-2, Carolina did play Georgia Tech and Wisconsin tough.  Then they go into Raleigh and score 30 points against that vaunted NC State defense to beat their hated rivals.  Hahaha.  Even in our darkest hour, NC State gets smacked up by the Tar Heels.  Again, screw you Wolfpack!!

*Um, Purdue, it's a good thing you don't have Ohio State or Michigan on your sked.  After losing to the Gophers by having your defense dismantled, I don't think you would have had a shot anyways....Don't shoot USC.  You'll only make them mad....I still think those Florida teams are overrated, but they are winning....I really think that Archie Griffith will have company in the Two Heismans club.  If Matt Leinart keeps doing what he is doing, who in the country could possibly take it away?


1-USC.  A scare from Oregon, as the 13-0 halftime score indicated.  But the 45-0 spanking to close the game out was impressive.
3-VIRGINIA TECH.  Boy, did that 51-7 shalacking of G-Tech show what kind of team this is??  That defense scored one more TD than the Jackets' offense did.
4-LSU.  Big game vs Tennessee on Monday Night.
5-OHIO STATE.  Destroyed Iowa at the horseshoe.  And I guess Troy Smith will be the full-time QB.
6-FLORIDA.  Has a big game at Alabama next week.  Still gave up 28 pts to lowly Kentucky.
7-FLORIDA STATE.  Did they figure out their offense during the bye week?
8-TENNESSEE.  The Vols go into LSU on Monday night.  After that, they face Georgia.
9-MIAMI-FL.  The Canes team still does't look too impressive...but that defense looked a lot better.
10-GEORGIA.  The Dawgs keep chugging along.  Next stop:  Knoxville.
11-CALIFORNIA.  Remember, the last team to beat USC.
12-MICHIGAN STATE.  I know that spanking Illinois isn't a tough feat, but this was one week after upsetting Notre Dame.  They could, essentially, end Michigan's season next week.

Surivor Update - Sept 22


Sorry that I didn't get my update on here sooner.  I am not the Suvivor wife is.  So I forget that the show is even on.  However, here is Mrs Sportz Assassin's take on what happened this past Thursday:

Survivor: Guatemala - Bravenet Web Journal

" there some law that states at least one annoying flaming gay guy
must be cast?!"

"Danni, the grotesque sports caster leaked Gary's secret.  She said he was a quarterback.  I was unsure if anyone heard her, but she was yelling it. LoL..............Brian called out Gary and asked if he was a former NFL quarterback.  Gary said..."who me? no"  LMAO"


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Which NFL Coach's Seat Is The Hottest

There are 32 NFL head coaches.  All of them face job scrutiny....but who's job seems to be in the most jeopardy?  Here is my ranking of the hottest NFL seats:



1-DOM CAPERS, TEXANS.  Capers' honeymoon period is over.  Houston is no longer an expansion team - they want results.  They've already canned a few peeople under him.  Who knows how long it will be before he rights this ship. 

2-MIKE TICE, VIKINGS.  Okay, his explosive offensive teams could barely make the playoffs.  The franchise's top star was shipped out of town.  And there is that little issue with those Super Bowl tickets being scalped.  Tice's job was saved by Moss wiping his butt on the goal post in Green Bay during the playoffs.  No butt Tice. 

3-MIKE SHERMAN, PACKERS.  Green Bay may elect to blow this thing up if Brett Favre actually retires after this year.  That was made most evident by their lack of locking in Javon Walker, before he was hurt.  Like Tice, Sherman benefitted by a strong late season surge that landed them in the playoffs.  He may not get that lucky now. 

4-JIM HASLETT, SAINTS.  This is a tough one.  A month ago, Haslett was probably the guy on the hottest seat.  But after Hurricane Katrina, Haslett HAS to be commended for holding this franchise together in the toughest of circumstances.  Not only is he the head coach of a barnstorming team...he has had to play a home game at the opponent's stadium and playing in the best division in the NFC.  It would hard to cut him off after he really has become the glue of the Saints franchise....but if he doesn't win games, he may still get the boot. 

5-MIKE HOLMGREN, SEAHAWKS.  The shame is that Holmgren has brought the Seahawks to heights it hadn't seen since Steve Largent and Dave Kreig were around.  However, this team has struggled with composure in the playoffs and at the end of every game.  If Holmgren misses the playoffs, he may be out of a job. 



6-MIKE NOLAN, 49ERS.  I would never agree with firing first-year coaches....but the Niners are a ways off from being somebody.  I also agree that Nolan isn't likely to see an axe anytime soon.  But he shouldn't get too secure right now/  How he handles Alex Smith is how he is to be treated himself. 

7-MIKE SHANAHAN, BRONCOS.  Since John Elway has left....the Broncos just don't win.  Well, the do win games and get into the playoffs....but they can't move along in the playoffs. 

8-ROMEO CRONELL, BROWNS.  Only a few weeks in on a bad team....he has a win at historic Lambeau Field.  This franchise has bided their time with previous coaches, too. 

9-MIKE MULARKY, BILLS.  Mularky's defense is still winning in Pittsburgh.  And it is quite successful in Buffalo.  The key will be offensive development...namely JP Losman's.  In such a tough division, the Bills sometime get forgotten. 

10-NORV TURNER, RAIDERS.  Well, Al Davis loves to tinker with the coaches.  But Turner is a perfect Al Davis coach.  He loves to sling it and play brusing football.  But, this is Al Davis....and he just made a big move to get Randy Moss in there.  He didn't do that just as a fun idea.



11-JACK DEL RIO, JAGUARS.  He's a well respected coach who's defense always plays hard and physical.  The key will be if his offense can stay on the field and out of the training room. 

12-DENNY GREEN, CARDINALS.  Green has gotten some talent there in place....but most of it is young.  And his QB is a reclaimation project.  Still, in the soft NFC West, many thought this was his year.  I don't think he'd get canned now...but he doesn't have many more years to get this going. 

13-MIKE MARTZ, RAMS.  Here is probably the most interesting situation in the NFL.  I mean, is there a coach more second guessed than Martz?  From replay challenges to run-pass ratio to time management....he's been tore apart by analysts.  However, his teams continue to play well [even if they aren't great].  Also, he has had the cojones to know when to send MVP Kurt Warner packing for Marc Bulger [looks like the proper move]....he had the cojones to know when to put MVP Marshall Faulk on the bench for Steven Jackson [looks to be a smart move] and has moved from Issac Bruce to Torry Holt as the main WR threat.  If only he was as smart on the other side of the ball. 

14-TOM COUGHLIN, GIANTS.  It isn't that he cannot is because his style wears thin on players.  Especially veteran players.  It was near mutiny last season with Coughlin, but the team fought thru.  This year, the team looks much improved...but TC's leash doesn't get any looser. 

15-MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER, CHARGERS.  He has brought success to this franchise...but Marty Ball is neither pretty nor a championship caliber option. 



16-LOVIE SMITH, BEARS.  Hey, Smith got this Bears defense playing at such a high level....and he can't be faulted for their offense's problems.  

17-STEVE MARIUCCI, LIONS.  Two things.  First, the bad.  Despite spending top picks on three WRs [Rogers, Williams, Williams], a running back [Jones] and a QB [Harrington], the Lions offense still sucks.  And that looks bad on Mooch.  But, the good.  Lions' ownership shows loyalty to their personnel to a fault [read:  Matt Millen].  Still, the Fords aren't going to like the way this team is headed. 

18-HERM EDWARDS, JETS.  Great, great coach.  But his teams don't always reach their full potential.  He's a perfect NYC coach, as he is both quotable and structured.  Win in New York, and you are a God. 

19-NICK SABAN, DOLPHINS.  The name and the pedigree have made him so sought after for years.   If he can turn this thing around in Miami, he could be there for a looooong time. 

20-JON GRUDEN, BUCCANEERS.  Hard to believe that Gruden would have a short leash after taking Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl title....but it is kinda true.  Many people feel that Gruden won with Dungy's guys, and when Gruden put his own stamp on the team, the team suffered.  I mean, aside from some of the defensive stars [Brooks, Barber], most of Dungy's guys are elsewhere.  So far, it looks like Tampa is on it's way back. 



21-DICK VERMEIL, CHIEFS.  It's hard to imagine firing Vermeil...but it could bedone if he wears out his welcome.  Odds are that he would retire before KC would actually fire him. 

22-MARVIN LEWIS, BENGALS.  He is 18-16 in his first 2+ years in Cincy...but (a) the fans love him, (b) the players love hm and (c) the entire football culture has changed.  He has made the Bengals cool again. 

23-BRIAN BILLICK,RAVENS.  Well, the coach has a Super Bowl ring.  But for an offensive genius...he hasn't had much offensive success.  The fact he's been able to win games despite this is quite an amazing feat. 



24-JEFF FISHER, TITANS.  Sometimes, it seems, guys can be there too long.  I don't think that's the case in Tennessee.  Look, this is the coach that took them from Houston, to Memphis, to Nashville.  So he's always in the Titans hearts.  And judging by their beat down of the Ravens last week...he can still coach. 

25-JOE GIBBS, REDSKINS.  It is really hard to even phathom Daniel Snyder firing Joe Gibbs.  However, Snyder would pressure Gibbs to pack it in if the team is wanting to make a change.  Still, Gibbs' legend keeps him on the self-imposed unemployment plan. 

26-BILL PARCELLS, COWBOYS.  It is just as hard to see Bill Parcells getting canned...but this is Big D where Jimmy Johnson and Tom Landry were run out of town.  The Big Tuna has had sucess everywhere he's if Dallas can't get over the hump, it may not be Bill's fault. 



27-JIM MORA, FALCONS.  Of course, the key is to have Michael Vick like you...and it seems that is the case in Hot-lanta.  I mean, that Falcons defense buys plenty of leg room for Vick to grow into a great QB.  Everyone in the organization is in love with him....and if he keeps Atlanta in the hunt, then he should be fine.

28-JOHN FOX, PANTHERS.  This is a franchise with only 3 head coaches....and Fox has been, by far, the mos successful!   Fox has become part of the Carolina's community and has kept his team at a high, championship level.  The organization will forever be endebted to him after taking over after the Rae Curruth and Fred Smith incidnets. 

29-TONY DUNGY, COLTS.  With that explosive offense winning games and that defense ever improving...Dungy looks to be a rock.  But, remember, this was the guy that essentially lifted Tampa Bay from the dead, only to get canned and have Jon Gruden take them the final step. 



30-ANDY REID, EAGLES.  He has the distinction of helming a team that doesn't allow their players to act outside the team's interests.  And despite all the griping and the like that Owens and Westbrook have done....Philly hasn't bitin to their demands.  So it says alot about Reid that the front office backs him up like that.  I mean, they did when he lost 3 straight NFC title tilts. 

31-BILL COWHER, STEELERS.  First off...who has the cojones to fire this guy??  The Steelers are one of the classiest organizations in all of sports.  They crave and strive for consistency.  Cowher has provided it over the past decade.  They've been Super Bowl good and they've been a bad team as well.   But Cowher has the respect of everyone in that organization.

32-BILL BILLICHICK, PATRIOTS.  Well, duh.  He's won 3 Super Bowls in New England and is regarded as the best head coach currently in the league.  He's going nowhere.....except for Canton.

What's On Store For the NFL's Week 3


*ELI MANNING HEADS INTO SAN DIEGO.  Remember this moment from 16 months ago?  Eli Manning was dead set against going to San Diego that he essentially forced a trade out to New York.  Now, New York heads into San Diego where he is sure to be hated like no other football player has.  They guy they got in return for Eli [Philip Rivers] has been wearing a baseball cap and holding a clipboard ever since.  Add to the fact that the Chargers are 0-2 and desperately need a victory.  Oh...and add to the fact that this game is on ESPN. 

*THE BENGALS COULD BE 3-0.  Yeah.  Cincinnati could be 3-0 and headed for a showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a month.  I've said it before...these two teams have looked the best thus far.  Granted, the Browns and Vikings aren't exactly the Patriots and Eagles....but, remember....this is the Bengals we are talking about!

*THE SITE OF THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME COULD BE DETERMINED.  Pittsburgh hosts New England in a pretty big AFC matchup.  Last year, the Steelers won this game....which ended up being the reason the AFC title game was held in Heinz Field [they lost anyways].  New England needs this bad.  A loss here would put them at 1-2....two full games behind Pittsburgh for the AFC lead, with Pitt holding the tiebreaker advantage.  Also, the Pats sked is quite bumpy for a while.  They host San Diego next week....but then go to Atlanta and to Denver before reaching their bye.  After that, they have Buffalo and Indianapolis at home.  They also have the Jets twice, at Buffalo and at Kansas City still on the docket.  They do need to get this going. 

Meanwhile, the Steelers will get to play the Browns twice and that horrible Ravens offense twice.  They also get the NFC North teams on their schedule...the worst division in football.  The Colts have some pushover defenses looming on their schedule.

*THE TWO BIGGEST RECEIVING STARS IN THE SAME GAME.  On one side, you have Terrell Owens.  On the other, Randy Moss. 

*REMATCH OF SUPER BOWL XXXIV.  Rams v Titans.  To me, it wasn't the best Super Bowl was the best ending.  Of course, it is 5 years later and neither team looks much the same.  Oh, it is also the Rams' home opener. 

*RUNNING AWAY WITH THE AFC WEST.  If Kansas City beats Denver Monday night....they will be 3-0 and own a two game lead over the rest of the division.  The Raiders are favored to lose in Philly and could be 0-3 at the end of the day.  So could San Diego if the Giants continue their unbeaten season.  KC could have a 2-game lead after winning in Oakland and Denver.   Amazing!

*RUNNING AWAY WITH THE NFC NORTH??  Detroit could be the only NFC North team to not lose....and that is because they are on a bye.  Chicago hosts Cincy....Minny hosts N'Awlins....and G-Bay hosts T-Bay.  Despite all of them playing at home...they all could lose

PICKEM: Week 3


Angel (21-11)
Sportz   (19-13)
Treesoup   (19-13)
Lew   (18-14)
Kiser Blade   (17-15)
Pre-Jock (17-15)
Raisin   (17-15)
Jamie   (16-16)
Monponsett   (16-16)
George Coztanza (15-17)
NYGFAN   (15-17)
Yannis   (15-17)

On a side of our bloggers, Yannis, who writes Yannis' Sports Journal, had to vacate his home to get on safer ground in San Antonio due to Hurricane Rita.  So, please say a prayer or two tonight and put him and his family in your thoughts this football weekend.  I hope everyone in your family is safe and that when you return home, it will be in the same way as you left it. 

What a tough time with these picks.  Over half of the league is 1-1....and many of those teams looked darn good one week and like crap the next. it goes.

TITANS AT RAMS.  Despite themselves, I am still convinced that the Rams are the best team in the NFC West.  I can't figure the Titans out at all.  One week, Willie Parker runs all over them.  The next week, Jamal Lewis rushes for 9 yards.  What???  I like the Rams 31-14
Treesoup, Jamie, Lew, G-Coz, Yannis, Pre-Jock:  Rams
Monponsett, Kiser, Angel, Raisin:  Titans

PANTHERS AT DOLPHINS.  Carolina became darlings again after smacking down the Patriots last week.  Miami didn't look too shabby in New York, despite losing.  The key here will be Carolina's ability to minimize mistakes.  Do that, and they will win this one.  Miami will have to find some way to run the football.  If they can't, then Peppers and that Panther defense will be gunning for Gus.  Panthers 23-20
Monponsett, Treesoup, Jamie, Kiser, G-Coz, Angel, Yannis, Raisin, Pre-Jock:  Panthers
Lew:  Dolphins

SAINTS AT VIKINGS.  Has anyone's star faded as quickly as Culpepper's??  He looked horrible in Cincy last weekend.  The Saints also turn the ball over a ton.  So..both teams will screw up some in this game.  However, New Orleans can move the ball up and down the field and have the best opportunity to put points on the board.  Saints 27-17
Lew, Kiser, Angel, Yannis:  Saints
Monponsett, Treesoup, Jamie, G-Coz, Raisin, Pre-Jock:  Vikings

JAGUARS AT JETS.  This should be a great game.  Jacksonville's defense held Peyton Manning to 122 yards passing and ZERO touchdowns in their 10-3 loss.  But, it is forgotten that Edgerrin James did mash all over them.  Curtis Martin has that ability as well, but will he play?  Jets 13-10.
Monponsett, Jamie, Kiser, G-Coz, Angel, Yannis, Raisin, Pre-Jock:  Jets
Treesoup,Lew:  Jaguars

RAIDERS AT EAGLES.  Boy, did those Eagles look good last week??  McNabb and Owens are back to just playing football.  And the Raiders puzzled me.  One week after looking too much to Moss....they completely went away from him.  Two great receivers on the field...but only one has a great team around him.  Eagles 34-23
Monponsett, Treesoup, Jamie,Lew, Kiser, G-Coz, Yannis, Raisin, Pre-Jock:  Eagles
Angel:  Raiders

FALCONS AT BILLS.  Both teams are 1-1...but the Falcons look to be the stronger team here.  Both defenses are solid...and both can run the ball.  But I like Michael Vick's ability to lead much better than LP Losman's.  Remember, their lone TD was a toss to an offensive lineman.  Falcons 16-9
Monponsett, Treesoup, Kiser, G-Coz, Yannis, Raisin:  Falcons
Jamie, Lew, Angel, Pre-Jock:  Bills

BENGALS AT BEARS.  Cincy's offense has looked unstoppable in two games.  Chicago's defense looked like they did 20 years ago last weekagainst the Lions.  And there is your main event.  However, it will be how that big play Cincinnati defense can hold up against Kyle Orton and the Bears offense that could make the difference.  Bengals 24-17
Monponsett, Jamie, Lew, Kiser, G-Coz, Raisin, Pre-Jock:  Bengals
Treesoup, Angel, Yannis:  Bears

BUCCANEERS AT PACKERS.  The "Bay Of Pigs" game.  Green Bay has looked horrible...getting spanked by the Lions and embarrased by the Browns.  Tampa made the Vikings and Bills look foolish.  The key will be Ahman Green.  If he can run the ball [that is, if they let him run the ball] the the Pack have a shot.  But I feel that Caddy Williams will keep his hot start going against a very bad G-Bay defense.  Buccs 30-20
Jamie, Lew, Kiser, Angel, Pre-Jock:  Buccs
Monponsett, Treesoup, G-Coz, Yannis, Raisin:  Packers

BROWNS AT COLTS.  In theory, this is the game that Manning finally gets off.  Carson Palmer and Brett Favre had pretty big passing games against this Cleveland defense.  The sad thing is that this Browns offense may be the best that Indy has faced thus far.  I think Cleveland throws a few good punches...but the Colts just wear them out.  Colts 35-10
Monponsett, Treesoup, Jamie, Lew, Kiser, G-Coz, Angel, Yannis, Raisin, Pre-Jock:  Colts

COWBOYS AT NINERS.  A quick turnaround for Dallas.  Losing Monday night in dramatic fashion...then flying the the left coast isn't ideal.  But that Niners defense looks to be theraputic.  Julius Jones should be able to have a big day...and Bledsoe won't be forced to win it for them.  Cowboys 27-13
Monponsett, Treesoup,Jamie, Kiser, G-Coz, Angel, Yannis, Raisin:  Cowboys
Lew, Pre-Jock:  Niners

CARDINALS AT SEAHAWKS.  This is a huge game for Arizona.  A loss here puts them 0-3...with two of those losses coming to division foes.  It would also force the Cardinals to remember that they are, indeed, the Cardinals.  Seattle did well against Atlanta when they fed the rock to Shaun Alexander.  If Holmgren remembers to keep doing that, then Kurt Warner won't have a shot to mount a comeback drive.  Seahawks 24-23
Monponsett, Treesoup, Jamie, Lew, Kiser, G-Coz, Yannis, Raisin, Pre-Jock:  Seahawks
Angel:  Cardinals


PATRIOTS AT STEELERS.  I know that everyone wants to kick the Pats while they are down.  I still feel that they are one of the best teams in the league.  However, they have two pretty big problems.  One, they have trouble running the ball.  Dillon has been stuffed, and that Pittsburgh defense isn't going to be any easier to work on.  Two, their defense is pretty thin.  If Parker can get past the line, then he may be able to work over the linebackers and secondary.  Then there is that whole "confidence" factor.  I think the Pats still have the "swagger" in 'em....but they really looked like a different team in Charlotte last week.  Whining about calls; turning the ball over; getting in each other's faces.  In the AFC title game, the Pats forced Big Ben to beat them.  If he has to...they won't win.  He won't have to.  Steelers 21-14
Jamie, Lew, Kiser, G-Coz, Angel, Yannis, Raisin:  Steelers
Monponsett, Treesoup, Pre-Jock:  Patriots

GIANTS AT CHARGERS.  This is actually the first game New York has played away from Giants Stadium...but it is their 2nd road game.  San Diego is 0-2 and very desperate.  The Giants are 2-0 with a strong running game and Eli staying in his comfort zone.  Comfort zone?  It won't be at Qualcomm where Eli Manning will be treated like the Ebola Virus.  I think that the Bolts need to win this game will pull them thru.  Chargers 28-20
Monponsett, Treesoup, Jamie, Lew, Kiser, G-Coz, Yannis, Raisin, Pre-Jock:  Chargers
Angel:  Giants

CHIEFS AT BRONCOS.  What a big game.  If KC wins this...they will have a 2-game lead on the rest of the division.  If Denver wins this...they are atop the standings despite not looking to good.  What happened to the Broncos offense??  They better show up, or my predicition will come true.  Chiefs 34-24
Monponsett, Treesoup, Jamie, Lew, Kiser, Yannis, Pre-Jock:  Chiefs
G-Coz, Angel, Raisin:  Broncos

Friday, September 23, 2005

Raffy Blames Tejada


Apparently Rafael Palmeiro blames Miguel Tejada, former AL MVP, for doping him up and causing Raffy's positive steroid test early this year.  Raffy told baseball's arbitration panel that a vitamin he received from teammate Miguel Tejada might have caused his positive test for steroid use.  Apparently, Tejada gave Raffy some B-12...and Raffy said it was laced with steroids.

He better be right...or he's nailed his coffin shut.

Not only has Raffy lied to Congress...but now he's pointing fingers, feeding the witchhunt that he was against earlier this year.  From what I've seen, Tejada is cleared from any wrongdoing...and the B-12 he has is proven to be that vitamin only....not anything laced. 

Tejada is shocked and, understandably, pissed.   There is nothing wrong with B-12 [I've taken it].  And, because of all this, Palmeiro has pretty much ended his career in Baltimore. 

I'm sure there will be MUCH more fall out because of this. 

Oh...and by the way....this is just PERFECT timing for such a news event.  I mean, all 3 American League division races , plus the wildcard race, are as heated as they could possibly be.  I'm sure the Commish Bud loves this.



Thursday, September 22, 2005

Freakin' Bonds

I've said it before on this blog and I'll say it again:

Barry Bonds is the best baseball player in my lifetime.  Bar none.

Oh, he's a jerk....a jerk who has no sense of the real world, it seems.  He's moronic "opinions" tend to sink as quickly as one of his home runs into McCovey Cove.  He pushes everyone aside...then whines about not getting his just due.  I don't think he bothers moving from wherever he's standing in left field to make any play.

But dude can mash!

Barry Bonds has only been playing for about 10 days now....but he's hit a home run in 4 straight games.  Amazing.  The guy hasn't played in almost a year....yet comes up and can still turn on a pitch and launch it into the night. 

Sure, those roid rumors will, and should, follow him around.  However, it is odd that everyone "rumored" to be on steroids this whole time has really struggled this season.  And I believed in the conveinence of Bonds' struggle to recover from his knee injuries to the possibility that the juice wasn't able to fix his pain. 

Yet, despite all of that, Bonds defiantly smacks pitches into the stands. 

Just 8 behind the Babe for the all time lead for left-handed hitters.  Then another 40 to reach Hammerin' Hank!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Bunch Of Small Takes Thrown Into A Pot

*Congrats to the Sacramento Monarchs on their WNBA title.  Just imagine if the men's team could've actually done that themselves.  Wow, what a parade that would have been!  To bad Doug Christie clanged the shots that Chris Webber was too scared to take back in 2002 or else maybe the Kings could have known.

*Ah, but my Lakers are in for quite a season.  Check out this ego-laden roster.  It starts with head coach Phil Jackson....aka The Zen Master.  This is a guy who was busy jotting down notes during the 2003-2004 season about his team, which he eventually got published.  The book slammed Kobe Bryant, who has earned himself the tag of being the biggest jerk in the NBA.  Okay, now add Kwame Brown...who was the #1 overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft and has had his mentals shaken by Michael Jordan during his Wash Wizards days.  This guy got kicked out of the playoffs by the Wiz!!  And then there is Lamar Odom...who you never know if he cares about what is going on.  Dude's had a ton of issues in college and is known to hit the hippie lettuce.  Now add a 17-year old man-child that will be viewed as the next Shaq and most likely blamed if he doesn't turn out to be that.  But the kicker is that the Lakers are looking at adding Latrell Sprewell to the mix. Yikes!!!!! 

*I watched the Ricky Williams interview on 60 Minutes.  What a BS artist. 

*Aaron Brooks will get some heat [and not just because he is Aaron Brooks] for telling off the NFL about their "home game".  He called out the NFL for overdoing the game  with bells and whistles and said "don't patronize us" by referring the game to a home opener.  This is a classic example of someone trying to hard to help when it really isn't the right thing.  The NFL put on the show that it cares about the Saints for the Monday night game against the Giants.  The reality is that the Saints were playing at Giants Stadium against the Giants.  The fantasy was that this was a home opener for New Orleans.  They wore their home black uniforms....served up some jumbalaya and gumbo in the tailgating parties and had George Bush [member of the BushClinton fundraising organization] flip the coin.  The reality was that the Saints were playing the Giants in their front of their fans....with signs rooting for the Giants...and the Giants called that coin flip.   The NFL did do a great job raising money for the Gulf areas....but the Saints are correct.  We can pretend it was a home game for the Saints....but that isn't reality.

*One of the greatest things about NASCAR is that they have those good ol' fights.  Kyle Busch bumped Kasey Kahne, sending him hard into the wall. Kahne restarted his battered car and drove it slowly along the bottom of the track until Busch came by in turn one. Kahne then shot up the track, hitting Busch in the left front.   Later on, Michael Waltrip hit Robby Gordon, sending Gordon into the wall.  Gordon, his car smashed up, waited until Waltrip came past again and tried to back into him, missing Waltrip and nearly hitting points leader Tony Stewart, who had to stop to avoid Gordon. Gordon then got out of his car, waited for Waltrip, feigned as if he was going to walk in front of the No. 15 and threw his helmet at the car, hitting it just below the driver's window.  Classic!!!  Then in an interview after the race, Gordon dropped an "s-bomb" when describing Waltrip.  Ahhhhh....great!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005



I am fortunate to be a fan of a team in two of the greatest rivalries in sports.  In my life, nothing is more intense than a North Carolina-Duke basketball game.  But the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is a close second.

And like my Tar Heels did earlier this Redskins beat my hated rival in the final moments.  Very improbable. 

All game long, the Skins offense looked like a bad high school team.  Very bland...very boring...very ineffective.  In fact, I was screaming "see, that's why you might as well have Ramsey in there" a few times at the television.  The defense played very well, as usual...but that offense stunk.

Until the final 4 minutes or so. 

Four big plays. 

NUMBER is 3rd and 27, and Brunell scrambles for a 25-yard gain.   NUMBER TWO...the very next play, 4th and 2, Brunell tosses a pass to James Thrash ran up a bit for a 20 yard gain.  NUMBER THREE....the 39 yard TD pass to Santana Moss on a 4th and 15 that put the Redskins into the endzone for the first time all season.  NUMBER FOUR....the stunning 70-yard bomb to Moss that put the Redskins ahead for good.


*I mean, this was a Monday Night Football game against our hated rivals.

*The game was at Texas Stadium...where we've lost our last 9 games.

*We've lost 14 of the last 15 meetings with Dallas.

*We were treated like a homecoming the Cowboys inducted Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin into their Ring Of Honor in a halftime ceremony. 

*It was the largest crowd at Texas Stadium in a decade.

*The game was a battle for first place in the NFC East.

*Washington had lost it's last 25 games in which they trailed going into the 4th quarter.

*Bill Parcells was 77-0 when leading by at least 13 points in the 4th quarter.

*Dallas was wearing those God-awful throwbacks [which, thankfully, prevented us from wearing our God-awful burgundy jerseys]. 

*The Cowboys had this game wrapped up.  With a 13-7 lead, Dallas kept throwing the ball instead of running clock....killing momentum for themselves and feeding momentum to the Redskins. 

When the score was 13-0 and the Skins scrambling...I had already written my eulogy of this game in my head.  Screw Brunell.  Screw this offense.  The team will be split in two.  Fingers will be pointed across the line.  The season could get ugly.

Then Brunell took the game over. 

As a Redskins fan...I am so happy.  We are now 2-0.  Sure, a weak 2-0...but undefeated nonetheless.  We have won both of our games by a TOTAL of 3 measly points [heck, combined the score would be 23-20]. Technically, since we beat a division foe, we are in first place in the NFC East.  And we won't lose next week....which is our bye. 

It is amazing how quickly things change in 5 minutes. 

Life In The D-League


Life in the "D-League" isn't easy.  Teams hold tryouts at local churches or high schools.  You aren't pampered, nor paid a lot of money.  You play in front of crowds of a few dozen people.  When kids hoop it up in the playground, no one dreams of playing for the Arkansas Rimrockers [but who dreams of playing for the Clippers, either?]. 

So why would anyone want to play in this league?  Low pay, no crowds, small towns.  Why? 

Well, because this will be the NBA's first stop shop.  When teams need players on their roster, they'll look here first.  For the first time, teams will now allocate players from their organization to these rosters.  That will give those guys some playing time instead of watching from the bench. 

But not all of these guys will already have NBA jobs.  Many in this league are not only trying to get into the door....but back into the door.  A lot of these guys were drafted into the NBA.  Some had some run.  But, playing time, development and sometimes need knocked them out of the league.  These guys know that (a) they are being coached by NBA "sanctioned" coaches....(b) they will get closely looked at....and (c) their contracts aren't binding where they could make a quick leap when a job comes up. 

Today, the NBA unveils what teams will allocate players to which D-League teams.  Interesting messes.

ALBUQUERQUE THUNDERBIRDS:  They are coached by Michael Cooper, who will be the first person to be a head coach in the NBA, WNBA and the D-League.  This franchise [who was the Huntsville Flight last season] seems to have some promise, as Andre Agassi is an investor [actually, in a company that owns 4 D-League teams] and they have some solid partnerships in the community [read: casinos].  Jazz, Suns, Kings and Sonics will feed this team. 

ARKANSAS RIMROCKERS:  Arkansas won the D-League title last year.  Joe Harge is their head coach.  Hawks, Cavs, Grizzlies and Raptors fill up this team. And those teams need to develop players.

AUSTIN TOROS:  A new team that will be coached by former Sonic and CelticDennis Johnson.  The Toros will be the farm team for the Nuggets, Spurs, Rockets and Clippers.

FAYETTEVILLE PATRIOTS:  Fayetteville is a military town and might as well be named "Ft Bragg City".  The Spurs Devin Brown was once a Patriot.  It is also the team that Omar Cook played for last season.  The Bobcats, Knicks and Pistons will be the parent club of the Pats. 

FLORIDA FLAME:  Jeff Malone [aka "The Other Malone On The Jazz"] will become the head coach of the Flame [DJ was last year before heading to Austin].  Current LA Laker Smush Parker played for the Flame last season.  Heat, Magic, Celtics and Wolves will send talent to Florida. 

FT WORTH FLYERS:  Another new team...this one coached by former point guard Sam Vincent.  Warriors, Lakers, Mavericks and Blazers

ROANOKE DAZZLE:  Mikki Moore was a former Dazzle that just signed on with the Seattle Sonics.  The Nets, Sixers and Wizards will send guys to the Dazzle. 

TULSA 66ERS:  Joel Meyer, former DePaul head coach, will take over the 66ers.  The Hornets, Pacers, Bucks and Bulls will send guys to Tulsa.  Interesting that the Hornets are picked as Tulsa's parent club..since they are currently working on a lease to play the 2005-6 season in nearby Oklahoma City. 

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sportz Football Weekend Review - 9/19

Angel (21-11)
Sportz   (19-13)
Treesoup   (19-13)
Lew   (18-14)
Kiser Blade   (17-15)
Pre-Jock (17-15)
Raisin   (17-15)
Jamie   (16-16)
Monponsett   (16-16)
George Coztanza (15-17)
NYGFAN   (15-17)
Yannis   (15-17)

*In the NFC, here are your 2-0 teams:  Tampa Bay, Washington winner and the New York Giants. 

*In the NFC, here are your 0-2 teams:  Green Bay, Minnesota and Arizona.  All three of those teams were trendy picks to win divisions. 

*The last time that Tampa Bay [the worst team of the 1980s] and Cincinnati [the worst team of the 1990s] were both 2-0 in the same season was 1992. 

*Speaking of that...the last time both the Packers and Vikings were 0-2 was way back in.....NEVER.  Never.  It hasn't happened.  Um, well, now it has. 

*Since those teams are doing so poorly, the Bears suddenly become the favorite to win the NFC North.  Huh?  Well, they just murdered the only other team in that division to win a game, Detroit.  They did so with excellent team defense, running and Kyle Orton's breathtaking leadership.  I watched him against the Redskins last week, and he was as composed as any veteran could be.  It's obvious that the coaching staff believes in him...but his teammates really do as well.  All of that together does make Da Bears an intriguing playoff caliber team. 

*Anyone see how that Cards-Rams game ended??  Down 17-12...the Cards [whose fans had been tossing garbage on the field before they started their drive] waltzed down the field and got the ball into the redzone.  With no timeouts....the Rams blitzed Kurt Warner and he takes a sack.  Instead of getting everyone to the line and spiking the ball...he wants to run a play.  With :07 left, the ball is snapped...but whistles blow.  The left tackle moved before the snap...which [since they were in the final 2 minutes] resulted in a 10 second runoff....which ended the game.  Congrats Warner!!! 

*PS...I laughed my butt off on that fat dude from MAD TV's take of Jim Rome on Fox NFL Sunday.  All day long I was saying "Hil-arious" in my head. 

*The Patriots did everything in their own power to screw up in Carolina.  They committed 3 turnovers, including one late in the game, and they were penalized 12 times.  But those are pretty correctable, especially for such a well coached and experienced team.  What should worry Pats fans is Corey Dillon's funk.  While he did score twice against Oakland, he's only rushed for 99 yards this season with a per-carry average of 2.6.  Not just that, but he's spent most of his time whining and sulking.  Every time he gets stuffed in a run, he whines to the officials, whines to his linemen or flat out pouts.  Dillon toed the line last year for New England...but he was known as a disruptive force in Cincinnati.  Let's hope that Pats "team" gets to Dillon before he becomes a problem there too.

*That Colts-Jaguars game was so depressing to watch for everyone.  Colts fans [and anyone else] had to be frustrated watching Peyton Manning overthrow receivers all game long.  Jags fans had to be frustrated that they held down that offense, yet could only muster 3 points themselves.  But, the best part of that game hadto be the CBS close-up of Byron Leftwich lobbing the bird to a Colts defender.....twice.  The camera went to Leftwich, who was on his knees looking at the Colts bench.  He points to himself, then throws up the middle finger as he gets up to run over to that sideline.  On the way there, he lobs another bird while the camera shows his face dropping F-bombs.  I'm sure he may get a talking to sometime. 

*Speaking of bad did Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Jake Delhomme and Daunte Culpepper play this past weekend?  If it wasn't for a 70 yd screen pass...Brady would've just tossed for 200 yards.  Hey, that's about 80 yards better than Peyton Manning.  How about Culpepper's 5 picks???  Jake Delhomme threw for just 154 yards to beat the Pats. 

*But, for every bad performance from a star...comes some great performance from a "has-been".  How about Trent Dilfer tossing 3 TDs??  Or Stephen Davis running for 3 TDs?? 


*On to college....Oklahoma got spanked at UCLA and now falls out of the polls for the first time since 1999!!!  "Wha happened? "......Notre Dame kept up with tradition.  After winning at Pitt and Michigan...the Irish lose at home 44-41.  Isn't this always the way??  Whenever Notre Dame wins a big football game, they put up a stinker the next week out......C'mon Clemson!!  Down by 3 in regulation, the Tigers had a dude wiiiiiiiiiiide open in the endzone and overthrew him.  Make that play, and the Tigers win and Miami goes to 0-2.  Instead, Miami picked off a pass in Overtime #3 to get their first win....This is why I wasn't too high on the Vols this year.  They lost at #6 Florida last week.  They have to play at #3 LSU this week, which the Tigers will make an emotional return to Baton Rouge.  Next up: Ole Miss, #7 Georgia, at Alabama, South Carolina and at #10 Notre Dame.  Yikes!!

1-USC.  They are at Oregon, Arizona State and Notre Dame in the next month. 
2-TEXAS.  With Oklahoma struggling, the Horns look like they could coast in the Red River game.
3-VIRGINIA TECH.  The Hokies look like the most complete team east of the Mississippi River.
4-LSU.  They make a big homecoming this weekend against Tennessee.
5-OHIO STATE.  They have Iowa coming up...and that win could set them back on track to a Big Ten title.
6-FLORIDA.  I'm not overly impressed by them, but they did win a big game for the first time in a while.
7-LOUISVILLE.  I think they'll be undefeated before it is all said and done. 
8-FLORIDA STATE.  If it wasn't for their defense, they may be 1-2 right now.  Hard to believe that a FSU team has problems passing. 
9-GEORGIA.  There is just something about them I just don't like. 
10-TENNESSEE.  Murderous sked takes them from Gainsville to Baton Rouge. 
11-PURDUE.  Just sailing. 
12-MICHIGAN.  They've got a tough game up at Camp Randall this weekend.

1-STEELERS.  Well, the Pats lost and the Colts are limping along.  While Pitt hasn't really beaten anyone yet, they've dominated the two teams they didplay.  Only the Bengals can say they've done that.
2-COLTS.  I cannot, in good conscience, put them #1 since they just went 3 quarters without scoring at home and Manning tossed for just 122 yards. 
3-EAGLES.  It looks like McNabb and Owens are cool again.
4-PATRIOTS.  New England got that horrible game out of the way.  Hopefully it is just thatand not something to be too concerned about.
5-BENGALS.  Okay...smacking the Browns is one thing, but totally humiliating the Vikings and Daunte Culpepper is quite another.  This team may be for real. 
6-KANSAS CITY.  Hereare the two scary things.  Holmes is sharing the load so he'll last longer....and the defense is playing pretty well.  Oh, they're not one of the top defenses but they aren't pushovers either. 
7-NY GIANTS.  Look like a legit NFC playoff team.
8-ATLANTA.  They had a huge letdown in Seattle, and still almost came back home with a win.
9-WASHINGTON  Yep!!!  Hail To The Redskins...Hail Victory!!!! 
10-TAMPA BAY.  Beating the Vikes and Bills aren't too impressive...but this defense looks like they did a few years back.  Oh, and that Cadillac is quite a beaut!!!

Friday, September 16, 2005


                        England players celebrate in Trafalgar Square

I was asked by my dad to throw a shout out to my readers in England!!!  SUP!!!!!!  Thanks for the support.  I was also told I'd be supported even more if I mentioned England beating Australia in cricket for the "Ashes".  The Ashes are a match played every two years betwooen England and the "Aussies".  Yep, I had to look that up.  I've never watched cricket nor understand the rules.  What I do know is that the Ashes Urn has returned to England for the first time in 16 years...and is cause for celebration.   I've read about songs being sung to Aussies like "You all live in a convict colony"....sung to the tune of "Yellow Submarine". 

But, I still have no idea what cricket is.  I mean, I guess it's kinda sorta maybe like baseball....but not.  I've seen terms like "the Oval"..."bowler"..."wickets"...etc.  Of course, I'm sure them reading about baseball or football takes on my blog make equal amounts of sense.

And that made me wonder...does anyone in America play cricket?

Um.  Yes.  You can go to the USACA website at United States of America Cricket Association.  The major cricket centers are in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Chicago and Texas...and most players are of South Asian or Jamican decent. 

Sporting goods legent Alfred G. Spaulding said "Cricket would never do for Americans; it is too slow. It takes two and sometimes three days to complete a first-class cricket match; but two hours of baseball is quite sufficient to exhaust both play, players and spectators."

So...what is cricket??

[From] Cricket matches are divided into two types, ODIs and test matches. ODI sounds like the name of Garfield's sidekick, but is an acronym for One Day Internationals. These matches are fast pacedand last exactly as described. Test matches are longer and tend to stretch three to five days. Times to start and end are decided ahead of time. Breaks are taken for tea and lunch. 

The cricket ball is like a baseball, but connected by thick glossed red leather on both ends like a hemispheric wrap. It feels much harder.   It is played on a circular field. The action takes place in a rectangular area in the middle called a pitch, which has a wicket at each end. The wicket resembles a devil's pitchfork and consists of three wooden stumps hammered into the ground with two crosspieces called bails connecting them. 

A coin is flipped to decide who bats and fields. Cricket consists of 11 players on each side. Two batsmen always stand at opposite wickets like a tag-team duo. Pitchers are called bowlers. They stand at the other end and throw the ball on a bounce to the batsman. After a bowler throws six pitches (called an over), a new bowler comes in to pitch to the other batsman. Players who both bat and bowl are called all-rounders.  Cricket batters maintain a variety of swinging techniques, from drives to backsweeps to hooks. Footwork is pivotal. The entire field is at the batsman disposal. To score a run, batters must run safely from one wicket to the other.

If the ball is hit past the outer boundary line on a bounce or rolls over, it's four runs. If a ball clears the boundary in the air, the batter is awarded a six, equivalent to a home run without the Sammy Sosa theatrical trot.

Virender Sehwag

One-hundred runs is dubbed a century, a remarkable feat.  Statistical analysis in cricket would make the faintest of number crunchers blush. Bill James' "Baseball Abstract" would be a mere pamphlet compared to the amount of formulas cricket statisticians use to measure performance. Did you know that Courtney Walsh of the West Indies holds the record for ducks (0 runs) in a test series with 43 in 185 innings or that Kapil Dev had a 3.71 bowling economy rate in ODIs throughout his career? 

Fast pitchers such as Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar can throw a missile off the ground at more than 100 mph. With their magical ability to dazzle the eye, spinners twist and contort balls in unbelievable variations.

Fielders are placed at different locations and are dubbed gullies and slips. A wicket keeper is equivalent to a catcher. Jason Varitek has trouble handling Tim Wakefield's knuckleball, but it's even harder to imagine him handling a Muttiah Muralitharan doosra. 

When a batsman gets out, he "loses a wicket." Wickets occur in numerous ways, from a bowler's breaking the wooden wicket on a pitch, by a barehanded catch, on a run out, or by the infamous "lbw" (leg before wicket), an offsides call an umpire makes when the batsman steps in front of the ball interfering it from hitting a wicket.  Teams famously ask aloud "howzat" to question the umpire. However, no matter what the umpire's decision, players respect the call.

So congrats to England on the big win!!!!  Celebrate like we all know you guys can!!!