Wednesday, February 28, 2007

That Was the Most Disgusting Thing I Have Ever Seen!

I saw the aftermath as I turned my DirecTV onto the Clippers-Bobcats game....but wondered what happened.  I then flipped to ESPNews, which showed it almost immediately.



My wife came into the living room and said, "what's wrong with you?"  Thru the magic of DVR, I showed her the play.


And that is my reaction to seeing Shaun Livingston's knee.....uh....just do the devil's work. 

And, don't worry, I won't do what most bloggers do and use this as an excuse to rehash all the disgusting sports injuries of all time.  We all know 'em.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oscar Winners/Nominees In the World of Sport


Forest Whitaker in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"

Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Basketball Diaries"

Ryan Gosling [in the middle] in "Remember the Titans"

Will Smith in "Ali"

Jackie Earl Haley in "Bad News Bears"

Mark Wahlberg in "Invincible"


Love On The Battlefield

Monday, February 26, 2007

Rulon Gardner Survives Plane Crash

                      Rulon Gardner

Gardner lives to tell of another life-threatening accident

SALT LAKE CITY -- Olympic wrestling champion Rulon Gardner lost a toe to frostbite after being stranded in the wilderness, impaled himself with an arrow and was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.

In his latest escape from death, he survived a plane crash over the weekend into the aptly named Good Hope Bay on the Utah-Arizona border.

"I think I'm really lucky," Gardner told CNN on Monday, "after everything I have been through."

Gardner and two Utah brothers were rescued by a fisherman Sunday after swimming more than an hour in 44-degree water and spending the night without shelter.

None suffered life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

"It takes only about 30 minutes for someone swimming in 44-degree water to start suffering the effects of hypothermia, so the fact that they swam in it for an hour, not to mention surviving the plane crash and the night without fire or shelter, is pretty amazing," said Steven Luckesen, a district ranger at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. "If these guys were a cat with nine lives, they just used up three of them."

Since delivering one of the great Olympic upsets at the 2000 Sydney Games, the 35-year-old Gardner has had a history of harrowing escapes.

In 2002, he became stranded while snowmobiling in the Wyoming and lost a toe. Then in 2004, he was struck by an automobile while riding a motorcycle. Back in third grade, he punctured his abdomen with an arrow at a class show-and-tell.

The lesson, Gardner said, is "hopefully teach people to be smarter about the choices they make."

In his latest brush, Gardner was a passenger in a Cirrus SR 22 with pilot Randy Brooks and brother Leslie. They were looking at a houseboat from the air when the plane dipped into the water, Garfield County public information officer Becki Bronson said.

"The plane went from 150 mph to none in about 2 seconds," Gardner told CNN. "Within about a half a second is when we knew that things went from a beautiful day, a beautiful afternoon, all the way to a pretty bad situation."

Authorities were uncertain of the exact location of the crash and were investigating the cause.

When he went into the water, Gardner said he quickly grabbed his coat. He remembered how cold he'd gotten after getting lost on the snowmobile five years ago.

That's when the Brooks brothers told him to drop everything.

"It's either your stuff or your life," Gardner recalled them saying. "I was really struggling."

Gardner said he wasn't a good swimmer and was worried he'd be left alone in the water.

"I said, 'Don't leave me. Come back and get me,"' he said. "They said, 'Hey, just relax, calm down. We're not leaving you. Get on your back, and start doing basically backstroke."

Gardner said he didn't get too nervous about the water temperature. It "wasn't really anything I thought about because we were safe. We had just survived a plane wreck."

Once they reached the shore, Gardner said, there were other concerns. He was wearing only a T-shirt and jeans, having kicked off his shoes to swim, and there were limited supplies.

"We came together and we said, 'OK, let's try to dry our clothes out before the sun goes down.'

"Nobody is going to see us before sunset because most of the boats had already gone by. I said let's dry everything out," he said.

Gardner said they tried to build a small shelter out of the rocks. The three men huddled through the night to keep warm.

Once they were rescued, Gardner and the brothers called a relative to take them for medical attention.

"Miraculously, the three sustained no life-threatening injuries, mainly suffering from hypothermia injuries to their feet," Garfield County authorities said in a statement.

Gardner stunned the Olympics seven years ago when he earned the gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling by ending Alexander Karelin's 13-year international winning streak. In 2004 in Athens, Gardner won the bronze medal, and in wrestling tradition, left his shoes on the mat as a symbolic way of announcing his retirement.

In 2004, Gardner was on a motorcycle and going to wrestling practice when he crashed in Colorado Springs, Colo. He sustained no serious injuries even though he went over the top of his handlebars after his bike collided with a car. Gardner came away with abrasions to his left side and a sore right heel.

In grade school, he injured himself with an arrow while his parents were out of town. He was taken to the emergency room and a doctor said Gardner had just missed puncturing a vital organ.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It Ain't Just The Bengals Doin' Wrong

Cincinnati investigating possible recruiting violations

The University of Cincinnati is investigating allegations that current football players and recruits engaged in sex acts with a former soccer player during a recruiting visit, according to a published report.

UC spokesman Greg Hand said on Tuesday that the university is "conducting an investigation."

The Cincinnati Enquirer first reported the story.

The allegations came from an anonymous letter dated Feb. 14 that was sent to UC president Nancy Zimpher, Daniel Cummins, the director of judicial affairs, and Barbara Rinto, the director of the UC Women's Center. The note was signed, "A Concerned Athletic Department Employee" according to the paper.

The newspaper reported that the letter said the sex acts took place during a party at which alcohol was served, the sex acts were videotaped and the tapes have been circulated in UC dormitories.

"I've been in a college environment long enough to know that any kind of allegations need to be thoroughly looked at," football coach Brian Kelly said about the reports. "Everything that I heard should be taken seriously and should be handled by the appropriate people."

In 2004, the NCAA passed emergency legislation after the widely-publicized allegations of parties involving sex and alcohol for football recruits at the University of Colorado. The new NCAA rules required schools prohibit the use of alcohol and sex as enticements in recruiting.

If the allegations are true, Hand said, it would be a violation of the university code of conduct as well as a likely violation of residence hall regulations and athletic department on-campus recruiting visit rules.

At this point, there are no allegations of criminal conduct.

"We just don't know what we have," Hand said. "The facts are that there are anonymous allegations and we're trying to find answers."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

NFL Fanhouse Bloggin'


In case you didn't know, AOL's sports blog The FanHouse has become the internet's top sports blog....and I am a part of it.

Since the site debuted last August, I have had the pleasure of writing the fantasy football coverage and ACC basketball.  The fantasy football experience was great and I completely love writing about ACC hoops.  If you would've told me that I would be paid for writing about what I love...I would have told you it was a dream.

Recently, AOL decided to consolidate the NFL coverage.  Last season, 32 writers wrote about 32 teams.  While it was great because you had a true fan of each team....not everyone was on the same page.  Certain teams were well covered while others barely had any work done.  Plus, you have 32 people doing things's hard to get any kind of consistency in the way the site worked.  So AOL cut the list down to 8 who wrote during the 2006 season, and me who came over from Fantasy Football.

First off, thanks to Jamie Mottram for keeping me on in the NFL Fanhouse.  Last year was great...but this year will be superb!  I mean, we'll actually know what we are  You made another dream happen: writing about NFL football.

If you've read this site before, you know that Sundays are nothing but the NFL around this house.  In my Sportz Room, I have three TVs, two DirecTV receivers [the other TV is on local feed] and the NFL Sunday Ticket with Superfan.  From noon until 8:00pm, I sit here and just watch nothing but pigskin all day [at 8:00, I sit with my wife and watch Family Guy, Dexter and some other shows while my laptop and Slingboxfeeds me the NBC game].  And in a few weeks, I get HDTV!!!

So this is a blessing, to say the least!

So, we each got four teams.  And here is my four teams and why I chose them.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS.  Well, I've been a Redskins fan my entire the chance to write for them is a dream.  I took great care in my Pigskin Assassin Blog [well, until I was caught up writing fantasy football] so transistioning over to the Fanhouse won't be much of a problem.  Washington Redskins Blog - The FanHouse

DALLAS COWBOYS.  I picked up the Cowboys because (a) I wanted either the Panthers or Bengals and they were gone and (b) I was told to Know Thy Enemy.  When I starting writing ACC hoops for the Fanhouse, I realized that writing for Duke, the hated rival of my Tar Heels, was fun.  Fun because I had to view them from a fans point of view but that I could also have some fun when times are tough.  Also, when picking up want to have something to write about.  Let's see....T.O., Jerry Jones, a new coach, Tony Romo and all the other stuff surrounding this team gives me plenty of material for the season.  Dallas Cowboys Blog - The FanHouse

MIAMI DOLPHINS.  When my pick came around again, it was between the Bears, Packers and Dolphins.  I even ran it by some friends [who advised me all three ways].  I settled on the Bears...but the guy who picked before me nabbed them.  Then, I settled on the Dolphins.  Why?  They are an interesting team that I can see myself watching on Sundays.  They have plenty of storylines and could be a team on the rise if things break their way.  Miami Dolphins Blog - The FanHouse

BALTIMORE RAVENS.  Last round....slim pickings.  I picked up the Ravens because the only NFC teams left were the Vikings and Seahawks...and they were a bit out of my range.  As for the AFC, the Ravens are in the same division as the Bengals...and Ilive in Cincinnati.  Plus, they share the same media space as the it may be easier on me to research.  Plus, this is a good team that could be back in the hunt next year....and it is always fun to watch teams like that go.  Baltimore Ravens Blog - The FanHouse

So, please check me out over on the Fanhouse this NFL season as I write for these four teams.  Also, if you fans of any of these teams have any topics you wish for me to discuss....please let me know. 


Why the Non-NASCAR Fan Just Doesn't Get It


I represent the myriad of sports fans out there that are trying to understand NASCAR.  I thought it was just me, but after reading websites, emails, blogs and listening to sports talk radio, I realize that there are many people out there who are trying to get with the sport but just can't see what the fuss is about.

If you ask a NASCAR fan, they are getting a bit disappointed too.  Most NASCAR fans were raised racing fans and how things were.  NASCAR has done a great job trying to mainstream the sport.  Purists may not love that, but it has brought in a ton of money, a ton of exposure and a ton of new fans.

Now, I don't want to be a gear head nor do I really care that much about the sport.  But when the Daytona 500 or Coca-Cola 600 is on....I do have some interest.  Also, for the fourth straight year, I run a Fantasy Nascar I must keep involved.  I know the names and numbers of many of the drivers...though only about 1/4 of them could I pick out of a lineup.  But that's more my fault, as the commericals around races do a good job trying to get their guys out there. 

But there are a few things that I just don't like/understand:

*YELLOW FLAGS.  I understand the need for them as such....but they really kill the vibe, man.  No offense, but it seems that every race comes down to the last several laps where a ton of yellow flags come down and halt the action.  Not just that, but it hurts the frontrunners who worked their tails off the first 3 hours to get in that position. 

*DAYTONA 500.  It is dubbed the Super Bowl of Racing...and it seems to be quite a great event.  But after the race means there are 35 more points events left on the calendar.  Only Major League Baseball has the same problem of starting with a bang and then mosing along the rest of the way.  I have no idea how to make it work any other way....but it does make the rest of the schedule rather insignificant.

*CHASE FOR THE CUP.  I like the idea....just not the method.  In the other sports, there is a playoff style way to end things.  A sort of elimination event.  Not here.  It is like ending one season and starting a mini one the end it all.  How about race for 24 races and then invite the top 12 to be in the Chase.  Have three different levels of racing in an elimination style playoff.  After four weeks of the Chase...lop off the bottom four individuals in points.  Restart the points back to zero again.  After four more weeks, lop off four more.  Go back to zero.  So in the final four have four cars vying for the championship. 

*CHEATING.  Not that I was turned off by what was happening during last week; I was actually intrigued.  This was a sport built on moonshine runners trying to evade the cops.  Now it is a sport build on making everything absolutely equal or else NASCAR gets bent.  Why?  If you can find a way to make your car faster...isn't that the point?  It's like telling a track athlete that he can't shave his legs or having all baseball players hit with the same size bat.  Now, of course, there has to be some regulations....but not to the point that a miniscule different means so much.  Again, NASCAR guy....explain this to me. 

*BAD JOKES.  Sorry, but I heard Darrell Walrip say about 15 stupid jokes during the telecast.  A lot of us don't find Larry the Cable Guy funny and don't think this crap is either.  Makes me miss Benny Parsons even more.  Oh, and please keep Chris Myers away from any microphone. 

*COMMERCIALS.  When going to commercial, can there be a way where you put up a corner of the screen that still has racing on it.  I mean, geez...we are bombarded with sponsors all over the track, screen, cars and uniforms that maybe....just maybe....they can let us still keep track of the cars as they are showing us commericals. 

*HALFTIME ENTERTAINMENT.  We lovers of other sports are used to entertainment during the boring parts.  About the entire middle of the race is a boring part.  So why not have some more singin' and dancin' going on during that part of the race?  Or better yet, have some puff pieces playing while they guys are just driving around in circles. 

*MAKE ALL FINISHES LIKE THAT ONE.  I loved the sprint to the finish where guys were wrecking everywhere trying to win that thing. 

Trust me....I am not belittling the sport and I'm not some guy who has no sense of history of it.  I grew up in Charlotte where you can buy a car at dealerships owned by these drivers and visit the headquarters of these teams.  Racing is pretty big in Charlotte, eh?  But I'm not a car guy and never really cared to watch.  And I know there is a ton of us out there.

Help us, please. 

Monday, February 19, 2007

Brokeback Yankees

From via The FanHouse, which yours truly is a contributor, comes a story about how Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter just don't get along like they used to.

As position players reported to camp, A-Rod went around to reporters telling them about how their once great friendship between the two has fizzled into nothing....and he just doesn't know how it got that way.

From FanHouse colleague Matt Wilson:

A-Rod begrudgingly talked about their changing relationship this weekend:

"We were best of friends about 10, 13, 14, years ago, and we still get along well. We have a good working relationship. I cheer very hard for him. He cheers hard for me. And most importantly, we're both trying to win a world championship," Rodriguez said.

What's changed? He made it sound as if they had just grown apart.

"The reality is there's been a change in the relationship over 14 years and, hopefully, we can just put it behind us," Rodriguez said. "You go from sleeping over at somebody's house five days a week, and now you don't sleep over. It's just not that big of a deal."

He's right: the fact they're no longer sleeping over at each other's house five days a week isn't a big deal ... but the admission that once upon a time they did? Well, that's a little ... interesting.

You gotta love it.  It's just the first day back, and already A-Rod is whining.  It's really a shame because [as this Sports Illustrated photo below from 1997 says] they were such great buds.  I mean, they used to sleep over at each other's houses...and now they just don't have that kind of bond anymore. 


Friday, February 16, 2007

Wrestling Dads Gone Wild


WRCB TV - Channel 3 - Chattanooga, Tennessee

11-year-old Nick Nasenbany shows off his many wrestling medals. Three years in the sports and never has he or anyone see anything quite like what happened yesterday on the mat.

"I was just wrestling and the guy just throws me."

"I was stunned when this is going down."

Here tonight, a look at the home video. Nick and another boy wrestling in a tournament in Rolling Meadows last night. When the other boy gets pinned. Watch what happens. That boy's father steps in, throwing Nicholas who goes airborne landing outside the ring as the man then starts marching towards Nicholas' father who is operating the camera.

"I mean there is a lot of different ways to stop a match. Not to pick up my son and launch him 5 feet, 10 feet in the air "

We spoke with one coach tonight who is among the organizers of last night's event. He says the move being used is uncomfortable but not illegal and the ref was just about to step in when this happened.

"The match was being stopped. He had blown his whistle already so the whole situation was going to stop."

We spoke to the dad, Reed Hoffman, tonight. He told us he is embarrassed by how he reacted. He regrets it. He says he is sometimes a coach in the sport but we are told he will no longer be able to coach kid's wrestling.

March Madness: Anna Nicole Smith Edition

Anna Nicole Paternity Madness

Let me take a moment away from the Tim Hardaway gay bashing to let you in on another touching moment of zen:  The Anna Nicole Smith Baby Daddy Bracket. 

You can check it out here at Celebrity Hack

There are four regionals:  the Trailer Park Regional, Trimspa Regional, First Cousin Regional and the Twin Peaks Regional.  The top seeds?  Larry Birkhead, Prince Anhalt, Howard K Stern and Daniel Smith. 

There are some interesting entries in the Field of 64.  Among them are Vern Troyer, Jar Jar Binks, RuPaul, Rosie O'Donnel, Dick Chaney, Alf, Don Vito, Satan, Kobe Bryant, Dick Vitale, Christopher Walken, Saddam Hussien, Mary Kate or Ashley Olsen, Mike Tyson, Dr Phil, Wolf Blitzer and Harry Potter.

Who's your money on?  Play at Celebrity Hack!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tim Hardaway Hates Gay People


When asked about openly gay former NBAer John Amaechi:

"First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that's right. And you know I don't think he should be in the locker room while we're in the locker room. I wouldn't even be a part of that.  You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known.  I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."

Listen to his hatred for gay people here.....Audio Player on 790 The Ticket

Download clip as .mp3

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Please, Lord, Don't Snow Out My DirecTV Guy!


I will be staring out a window from 8:00 until noon tomorrow morning.  Why?  The DirecTV man will be coming to install my HDTV.


As a sports lover, HDTV may be the greatest invention since....well....DirecTV.  Putting both together should be illegal.  It isn't, so I am taking advantage.

About two years ago, I bought a Samsung HDTV.  Nothing too fancy, just a 30" that sits in my Sportz Room.  However, I've had an HDTV with no HDTV programming.  All you married men know you can't push it.  Heck, I got the TV...I just can't whine about not getting the high-def to go with it.  So I dealt with it because (a) I didn't want to beg and (b) I lived 30 years without it so I really wasn't missing anything.

Until last winter. 

A friend of mine moved into the neighborhood.  When I stopped over, she was showing me here wall-mounted TV and she couldn't figure out how to get it to become widescreened.  I hooked it up for her.  She then showed me the HDTV channels she got and I was floored!  So much so that it was my mission to get it hooked up for me in the ol' Sportz Room.

The hardest part of that was running it past my wife.  My wife is a times.  She lets me have my sporting toys since it makes me I have no reason to complain.  With my DirecTV, I have the entire sports package with all of the Fox Sports Nets and other sports channels.  I not only have the NFL Sunday Ticket...but the Super Fan pack.  I also get the Mega March Madness and NBA League Pass.  So it's hard for me to ask, "hey, honey, can I add on some more stuff to our already outrageous bill?"

So I took a page out of her book. 

She wanted this she did a ton of research on it, found what she wanted and figured out how to pay for it.  So I did the same thing with the HDTV.  I researched it, found out how much it would cost, and saved my "petty cash" until I had enough. 

So, I had the money and the plan ready to spring on her.  Now, for a year or so, I've dropped plenty of hints on her that I wanted it.  But now I have it figured out.  She wigged me out by simply saying, " and order it".  Crap!  If I knew it was that easy, I would've asked sooner. 

I called to set it up, got a better deal than I first thought, and set up an installation appointment for Tuesday morning, February 13th, 2007.

Of course, here in the Greater Nati Area, there is a huge snow/ice/sleet even barrelling through here that might shut everything down.  Great!  I set the appointment two weeks ago and I don't want to have it cancelled.

Please Lord!  Forget the hungry, sick and needy.  Instead, focus on my HDTV.  I know that Sunday is your shouldn't we all have the best in television viewing on your day?  I know I said I wouldn't ask you for anything again after you helped block that Mike Vanderjagt kick....but, dude, we all go back on our promises.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sometimes, I Like Mark Cuban

Dwyane Wade first said this:   ``Dirk says they gave us the championship last year, but he's the reason they lost the championship, because he wasn't the leader that he's supposed to be in the closing moments. That's because of great defense by us, but also he wasn't assertive enough as a leader's supposed to be.''

Here....from Blog, Mavs owner Mark Cuban's website:

I hope Dwayne Wade was misquoted in an article today in the Miami Herald. I know the Herald has issues with accuracy and they are still probably l
ooking for the boat I dont own in Miami, but according to the Herald, and i have a hard time thinking even the Herald could get this quote wrong, Wade said the following:


After the Heat practiced Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena, Wade was asked if he believes players are ultimately remembered for what they do at the end of games.

Wade, who usually is selective and subtle with his criticisms of opposing players, took the opportunity to take a jab at Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, who has failed to give the Heat credit for beating the Mavericks in the Finals last season.

''At the end of the day,'' Wade said, ``you're remembered for what you did at the end. . . . I think that's the reason -- Dirk says they gave us the championship last year, but he's the reason they lost the championship, because he wasn't the leader that he's supposed to be in the closing moments. That's because of great defense by us, but also he wasn't assertive enough as a leader's supposed to be.''

Say what ? Is this the DWade of some of the lamest , boring commercials known to man ? Commercials that are singlehandedly responsible for selling more commercial skipping Tivos than anything else on TV ?

Dwayne I don't blame you for not looking at tapes of the finals. You obviously didn't. You would have seen your unbelievable skills and some other unbelievable elements that if I could discuss honestly here I would get fined for.

You are right, endings are remembered. And the ending of 3 of the games of the Finals will be remembered alongside Game 6 of the King vs Lakers Conf Finals a few years ago.

I guess you have earned the right to criticize Dirk with an obvious display of your own leadership skills.

I know Shaq appreciates your leadership as well. He called out your team a few weeks ago saying it was "
embarassing'. Great leadership DWade. Your coach sat players for being fat. I guess you couldnt lead them away from the buffet.

You are an amazing player Dwayne. I love watching you shoot free throws. What you know about Dirk's leadership skills is non existent. You don't have a clue. Your ability to evaluate leadership skills....well you obviously have an overinflated value of your own. Did you take business classes at Marquette ?

Now we know why Charles won't put you in his 5.

And Im pissed for one more reason. Im going to have to miss our next game against the Heat on Feb 22. A previous engagement. I guess its just a missed opportunity to bring a local business class to the game and try to let them interview you about your leadership skills.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

UNC v Duke. Tonight


Normally I do a big deal here at for the Duke-Carolina game.   But, now I get paid to do it elsewhere!!!

Still, my takes on the game are as real as they've ever been.  So please check it out by using the links below to AOL's Fanhouse

UNC-Duke:  The Matchups

UNC-Duke:  The Rivalry

UNC-Duke:  Criminal Minds

UNC-Duke:  Friends, Brothers, Rivals

UNC-Duke:  Cameron Crazies

UNC-Duke:  JJ Redick Crying

UNC-Duke:  D'oh Crying


Monday, February 5, 2007

A Look Back At Some of the 41 Stops

#1-WIN THIS GAME, GO TO HALL OF FAME:  This is the 9th Super Bowl played in Miami.  The winning quarterback of the 8 previous Super Bowls played in Miami have gone on to the Hall of Fame.  No kidding.  Bart Starr, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Terry Bradshaw [twice], Joe Montana, Steve Young and John Elway all won Super Bowls in Miami....and all are in the Hall of Fame.

Well, Peyton Manning....who was the winning QB in this one....has a pretty darn good shot at making in 9 Miami Super Bowls won by a Hall of Fame QB. 

#2-SPORTZ' PREDICTS:  Colts 30-Bears 20.  Super Bowls tend to be high scoring by nature...and despite the feeling that the Bears offense sucks, they did score the 2nd most points in the NFL this season. 

A botched extra point attempt kept my Colts 30 prediction from happening.  And I was just a field goal off of the Bears 20.  Not bad. 

#8-DOLPHINS STADIUM ON A NEW NETWORK:  This is the 4th Super Bowl played in Dolphins Stadium [or whatever name it's been]....and the 4th different network to cover a Super Bowl.  NBC did Super Bowl XXIII; ABC did Super Bowl XXIX;  Fox did Super Bowl XXXIII;  and now CBS is doing Super Bowl XLI. 

CBS did a great job on this game.  Phil Simms, as always, did a great job at analysing the game.  Well, except for the part that the weather shouldn't play a factor....because it clearly did.  But Simms had fun with it referencing his bad call during the telecast.  Hard to believe that Jim Nantz...the voice of the Masters and March Madness...had never done a Super Bowl.

#9-AFC LOVES FEBRUARY:  Since the Super Bowl has been played in February, the AFC is 4-0 in those games.  The Patriots beat the Rams [in a Super Bowl that was pushed back into February due to postponment of Week 2 due to the attacks of 9/11], Panthers and Eagles and last year the Steelers beat the Seahawks. 

Make that 5-0 now.

#10-THE LUCKY NUMBER 8:  Starting QBs who wear the #8 are a combined 5-1 in the Super Bowl.  Troy Aikman won 3 Super Bowls with the Cowboys; Trent Dilfer won with the Ravens; Steve Young won with the 49ers.  However, last year #8 Matt Hasselbeck lost the Super Bowl. this good news or bad news for Rex Grossman?? 

The #8 is now on a losing streak....having lost with Hasselbeck last year and Grossman this year. 

#16-BEWARE OF THE DARK HORSE:  In a game like this, sometimes someone that nobody planned for has a huge game and becomes the difference maker.  Thisdates all the way back to Super Bowl I....when Max McGee [who spent the previous night partying in LA] of the Packers caught 7 passes.  Weird, since he caught only FOUR all season long!  Or the Redskins' Timmy Smith, who ran for a record 204 yards in Super Bowl XXII.  Or Desmond Howard, who is known for twothings.  His Heismantrophy and Super Bowl XXXI MVP.  Or the Cowboys' Larry Brown, who went from a nobody to Super Bowl XXX MVP.....back to a nobody.  So, who could be the darkhorses in this game??  Well, for Indianapolis, I'll take Aaron Moorehead;  For Chicago, Desmond Clark.

Really, the surprise had to be Domanic Rhodes.  Rhodes hadn't had a 100-yd rushing game since 2001....but pulls one out in the Super Bowl. 

#17-SOMEONE WILL SCORE BEFORE HALFTIME:  There has never been a Super Bowl that was scoreless at halftime.  NEVER.  The closest came in Super Bowl IX when the Steelers took a 2-0 lead into the half over the Vikings.  But the last five Super Bowls have seen NO touchdowns scored in the 1st quarter....with two of them being scoreless in the first quarter.  In fact, only TWICE has the Super Bowl been tied at halftime anyways.  Super Bowl XXIII, the Niners and Bengals weretied at 3-3 at the half.  Then, Super Bowl XXXIX was tied 7-7 at the half. 

It took less than a minute to put points on the board....a Super Bowl record. 

#21-NO MORE GRASS:  The Colts have lost their last three games on grass surfaces.  Miami's Dolphins Stadium, where the Super Bowl will be played, has a grass surface.

That streak ended

#29-COLTS DOUBLE DUTY II:  The Colts are trying to become the second team to win Super Bowls with in two different cities.  The other is the Raiders, who won Super Bowls in Oakland and Los Angeles. 

They accomplished that feat. 

#31-TEN POINT COMEBACK:  Sure, this is a biased remark...but it seems to be true.  Super Bowl XXII.....Denver goes up 10-0 quickly.  Then came the 2nd quarter.  Doug Williams, Ricky Sanders and Timmy Smith led Redskins onslaught.  Five TDs in an 18-play frame that took up 5:47 off the clock.  35 points.  When halftime came around, Washington was up 35-10....and coasted in the second half for a 42-10 victory.  Timmy Smith ran for 204 yards, still an NFL record.  And the 10 point deficit is still the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. 

The Colts came close...coming back from an 8-point deficit. 

#33-KICK RETURNING:  Much is made about the Bears' Devin Hester returning kicks this year [he has 3 punt returns for TDs]....but no punt has been returned for a TD in Super Bowl history.  None.  In fact, only once has a punt been returned for more than 35 yards [John Taylor's 45-yd puntreturn in Super Bowl XXIII].  And no opening kickoff has been run back for a TD, either. 

Broke that promise!

#34-BAD QB PLAY:  Many people will wonder how Rex Grossman got his team to a Super Bowl?  He will likely go down with Tony Eason, Kerry Collins, Trent Dilfer, David Woodley, Craig Morton, Joe Kapp, Vince Ferragamo and Neil O'Donnell as one of the worst QBs to ever make the big game.  Of those QBs, only Dilfer won the game.  By the way, Ben Roethlisberger last year set the record for worst QB game rating for a Super Bowl winner.

Oh...he will be the president of that club. 

#35-NO TWO-AND-OHS:  The Bears are makingjust their 2nd Super Bowl appearance.  They won their first trip, back in Super Bowl XX, joining the Ravens, Buccaneers and Jets as the only franchises to win their only trip to the Super Bowl.  However, no franchise is 2-0 in Super Bowls.  None.  The only franchise that has made more than one Super Bowl appearance and is still undefeated is the San Francisco 49ers...who are 5-0. 

And the Bears made sure there were no 2-0s

#36-AFC DOMINATION:  The AFC has won 7 of the last 9 Super Bowls, including three in a row....just after the NFC ran off 13 straight wins in the 1980s and 1990s.  The NFC still holds the advantage at 21-19.  But take outthe NFC's 13-game win streak....and the AFC has won 19 of 27 games.  The only NFC champions to with the game in the past decade are the 1999 Rams and 2002 Buccaneers.

Make that 8 wins in 10 Super Bowls....and four wins in a row. 

#39-ANIMAL POWER:  This Colts-Bears Super Bowl will only be the 2nd time that both mascots are animals.  The first time was in Super Bowl XXXIII when the Falcons and Broncos matched up.  Technically, this will be the first meeting of mammal mascots. 

This is the first animal win since the Ravens in 2000....and the first mammal [and horse] since the 1999 Broncos. 

#40-CLOSEST SUPER BOWL EVER:  Chicago andIndianapolis are just 159 miles apart.  That is the closest proximity between two Super Bowl cities ever.  Coming in 2nd is Baltimore-New York....which is 173 miles apart.  The odd thing about that is that the Baltimore-New York connection met up twice, yet involved four different teams.  Once, it was the NY Jets and Baltimore Colts....with the NY Giants and Baltimore Ravens being the other matchup.

Yet, it still wasn't that close.   

Colts Win Another Bad Super Bowl


For the 2nd straight season, the Super Bowl turned into a dud.  The Colts 29-17 victory over the Bears wasn't nearly as close as the score indicated.   If not for the rain in Miami....the Colts may have turned this one into an all time blowout.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't as bad as last year.  In Super Bowl XL, there was piss poor officiating, mistakes everywhere and the team that played the best didn't win.  The best play of the night was when a wide receiver threw a TD pass.

In this one....there were mistakes everywhere.  Chicago turned the ball over 5 times....Indy had 3 turnovers.  There were two different times in this game where both teams turned the ball over on consecutive plays.  Unreal.  Three interceptions were thrown when passes were hung up in the air.  And that doesn't even include a botched extra point attempt.

The team that played better did win the game...and the officiating was about as perfect as you could ask for.  Aside from a Marvin Harrison catch that they missed [he did get it after a challenge], the officials did a great job getting every call correct. 

I'm not knocking the play in this I did last year.  The Colts offense looked good considering the conditions.  Manning was outstanding at taking what the defense gave him.  The Colts....yeah, those Colts....ran 42 times in this game.  Indy nearly had the ball twice as much as the Bears and just bled them of it.  If not for Chicago's ability to hold off the Indy attack in the redzone....this game could've been bad.

Really, the Colts had two big plays that came from Bears mistakes.  One was an interception return for a TD...and the other was a 53-yd TD pass to Reggie Wayne that came from a blown coverage.  Again, not that the Colts played bad...but they really did nothing more than just nickel and dime the Bears to death. 

And, boy, was Rex Grossman bad.  He was responsible for four turnovers.  He threw two horriblepasses that were picked off [one for a TD] and then fumbled two snaps that resulted in turnovers.  Also, on a 2nd and 1....Grossman twice slips and falls, resulting in a 4th and long and a punting situation.  It's one thing if your QB just doesn't make any big plays [a la Trent Dilfer], but it is another thing when he makes huge mistakes that cost the team a win.  Despite the Bears playing badly, they were in the game [down just 22-17] when Grossman threw up a bad pass that was returned for a TD. 

If not for the Devin Hester opening kickoff for a TD and a Thomas Jones long run....the Bears woulda been blown out of this one.  Plain and simple.  The offense just couldn't get anything going...but the defense really let Chicago down.  The Colts were 8-for-18 on 3rd down and just mowed down a confused Bears defense.

The stats bear it out.  The Colts had 24 first downs to Chicago's 11 and outgained the Bears 430 to 265.

Don't get it twisted.  The 29-17 score and the fact that in the 4th quarter the Bears were within five points will make history view this Super Bowl in some sort of a decent light.  But to the people who watched was nothing more than a rainy, sloppy mess. 

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sportz Super Bowl First Half Highlights


The first half of Super Bowl XLI is over...and here are some of my takes on the entire deal:

-Six freaking turnovers in the Super Bowl?  I know it is raining, but man!  Didn't Chicago play in the snow in their last game? 

-The MVP of this game heading into the clubhouse is Peyton Manning.  He has done nothing spectacular....but neither has anyone else.  However, nearly 200 yds, a TD pass and completing 17 of his 26 passes in the rain is pretty decent. 

-The rain is great!  Great!  Sorry if I don't feel sorry for people who paid thousands of dollars for tickets to the game [or especially the ones who got comp tickets].  I can sit at home and watch the game in HDTV splendor and stay quite dry.

-Devin Hester has had a big influence on this game.  Not only the Super Bowl first of returning the opening kickoff for a TD....but the fact that the Colts haven't wanted any part of him since.

-I'm still waiting for everyone's proclimation of "Dallas Clark is going to come up huge today" to come true. 

-And all of you people out there who had a Colts "6" and a Bears "4" in Super Bowl pools can kiss my butt!!!!

-The commercials have been down a bit.  Again, Budweiser easily has the lead.   The most uncomfortable one was the Snickers commercial with two mechanics kissing and then ripping their chest fur off.  Yikes!

-Why do they even have a halftime show, really?  I am a Prince fan, but I have no idea when the last time I actually watched one of these things.  They suck and serve no purpose but to extend halftime enough to create a few more advertising slots. 

-The Puppy Bowl III has been entertaining.  Unlike past years where the pups were a bit docile...they've been going at it pretty good this year.  A nice mix of breeds have had some nice battles in the field.  Also, nice touch having a referee to seperate them when they get a bit too wild....and throwing penalty flags whenever one of the pups pees on the field.  The Kitty Halftime Show was pretty good, too.

-And a big ups to my wife for a great feast today.  She made bacon cheddar fries, Southwest Chicken melts [very excellent], breadsticks with cheese, meatballs and there is still some chips and dip left.

Art Monk Gets Screwed Again


Sorry...but I don't understand how Art Monk is not in the Hall of Fame.

If I told you that there was a wide receiver who:

-Is 5th all time in receptions
-Is 11th all time in receiving yards
-Retired with the longest streak of consecutive games with a reception
-Retired with the single season receptions record
-Once owned the record for most receptions for a career
-Was the first man to catch 900 passes
-Won three Super Bowls

Wouldn't you think that man would be in the Hall of Fame?

I guess football purists don't.  Art Monk didn't make it....again....but Michael Irvin did. 

Yeah, Michael Irvin.

Irvin had 190 less receptions than Monk.  Irvin caught 3 less touchdowns than Monk.  Irvin received 817 less yards than Monk.  And Irvin had a Hall of Fame quarterback throwing to him [Troy Aikman].  Monk did not.  Also, Monk never pleaded no contest to a cocaine charge during his playing days.

But Irvin is a winner with 3 Super Bowl rings.  Well....that's the same as Monk.

Great freakin' job!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Herpes Forces Wrestling Tournament Ban


Herpes Forces Wrestling Tournament Ban
Herpes Gladiatorum Spreads Through Skin Contact
Herpes outbreak triggers wrestling ban in Minnesota -

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota high school wrestling programs were suspended Tuesday because of a widespread herpes outbreak.

The Minnesota State High School League banned competitions and direct contact between wrestlers in practice until Feb. 6 after 24 cases of herpes gladiatorum were reported by 10 teams. The virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact, and symptoms include lesions on the face, head and neck.

The suspension is meant to control the current outbreak, allow time to diagnose new cases and prevent disqualifications at the state tournament, scheduled for Feb. 28-March 3.

The Minnesota Department of Health has been tracking the virus, caused by herpes simplex Type 1, the same strain that causes cold sores. Officials first became aware of the outbreak at a tournament in Rochester in late-December.

Scot Davis, who coaches wrestling at Owatonna High School, has been involved in wrestling in Minnesota for more than 40 years and can't remember the league completely shutting down before.

Davis' wrestlers, who gets checkups several times a week, competed at the Rochester tournament where the outbreak was first detected, yet none of his wrestlers have been infected.

"I think it's a bold step," he said. "How else are you going to get this thing cleared up? How do I explain to a mom that her kid has herpes forever?"

Steve Larsen, wrestling coach at Century High School in Rochester, said his team will miss three competitions because of the eight-day suspension.

"It's going to make scheduling interesting," he said. "I hope some of it will get rescheduled."

The Century team has had no skin problems this year, Larsen said. But in the past, when a few of his wrestlers came down with ringworm, his team was suspended from practice and competition as a precaution.

Infected wrestlers have to sit out matches and get cleared by doctors before they can resume wrestling, he said.

Dr. B.J. Anderson, a former wrestler who acts as a health adviser to the high school league, said the greatest concern is an infection of the eye, which can, in rare cases, lead to scarring or blindness. The virus can remain in a body indefinitely, he said.

A similar outbreak occurred in 1999, affecting 63 wrestlers and disqualifying several of them from the state tournament, Anderson said.

Dr. Henry Balfour, a national expert on herpes who works in the department of virology at the University of Minnesota, said wrestlers are at a high risk for this sort of infection because of the nature of the sport.

"Usually you have to have damage to the skin," he said. "If there is a break in the skin ... then the virus could take and cause a skin infection."