Sunday, October 24, 2010

Brad Childress Slams Brett Favre

Very interesting post-game news conference. Very interesting.

After the Vikings 28-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Vikes head coach Brad Childress ... though not naming Brett Favre ... slammed his quarterback. In his news conference, Chilli said this:

It still goes back to taking care of the football. You can't throw it to them. You gotta play within the confines of the system. It's okay to punt the football. And, you know, you can't give seven points going the other way. Not, not, not in a game like this. Not with a high powered team.

He would go on to imply that Percy Harvin was open and ... to paraphrase Chili ... Favre was looking the other way for some reason. Childress even stated that he was set to yank Favre from the game but gave him one more series to do something (Favre led them on a TD drive). Imagine if Favre was yanked on a Sunday Night Football game played in Green Bay? You can't get much more humiliating.

Again, he never said "Brett" or "Favre" but you have to be blind not to see what he was trying to say.

I cannot wait for Brett's reply to this. While Childress may be correct with what he said, a head coach just cannot throw his Hall Of Fame quarterback that you begged and begged to play for you under the bus.

NFL Sending Mixed Messages

The big story around the NFL this week has been player safety. Mainly all those brutal hits last Sunday and their future impact on player fines and suspensions.

This is a very controversial since it blurs the line between safety and keeping the game the fans love intact. We love big hits and physical play. That's part of the lure of the NFL. Still, none of us wants to see anyone suffer a life altering or threatening injury. That's what makes this such a tough issue to grasp.

So kudos to the NFL for caring about player safety.

Oh, by the way, they still want to hold an 18 game schedule.

Player safety is only important if it doesn't impact the owners' wallets. The NFL seems to care about instant effects than the long term ones. We don't want to see players carted off the field with a neck injury but we don't care if they are 50 years old and cannot walk anymore. That what it looks like to me.

This also brings up the fact that retired vets from back in the day are struggling to survive and the NFL does next-to-nothing to assist them. Again, player safety seems to only matter when the cameras are rolling and there are checks to cash.

Or why wouldn't the NFL consider carving back the season to 14 games? Or maybe keep the 16 game schedule and expand each roster by 5 to 10 players? They won't do that since it doesn't make any financial sense for them. But telling their players to play scared does.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Who Should NBA Contract ... If Anyone

NBA commish David Stern said that contracting teams would be "on the table". Of course, that's nothing more than a ploy in collective bargaining negotiations, but it is interesting.

So who would/should the NBA contract?

TORONTO: The Raptors seem like an obvious choice. No one wants to play there (aside from foreign players) and that will never change.

CHARLOTTE: The NBA's newest team could be contracted and no one would really care. But would the NBA actually clip off Michael Jordan's team?

SACRAMENTO: The Kings play in a barn and California is in such financial crisis that I don't see them really coming thru with a new arena. The team was already looking to move, anyways.

MEMPHIS: The Grizzlies just aren't working out. Ownership is bad and their fan base isn't rabid.

You could also make an argument for the Clippers, Hornets or even the LeBron-less Cavaliers. Again, I don't see it happening but you can't put anything past Stern.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Athletes Aren't Worse; We Just Know More About Them

This has been a bad time to hold an athlete as an idol. Right now, we have Brett Favre being questioned for lewd texts to a Jets employee. We have Cheetah Woods entire life crashing down after he crashed his car last Thanksgiving. We heard about the sad murder of Steve McNair ... and found out he was killed at the pad that the married McNair stashed his girlfriend away in.

Those are just a few of the examples of our beloved sports stars going off the moral track. We all know there are many, many others.

Some people will take this opportunity to slam today's athlete and actually spout "guys didn't do this kind of crap in my day." Bull.

The difference today is we all find out about it so quickly. Something gets leaked and all those news organizations and websites jump all over every detail. In our world today, everyone has the ability to be a "journalist" and like being the one to break a story or come up with a rumor. I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, but it is the way the world is.

I know people who grew up with Pete Rose. My dad was one of them. When I was a kid, my dad told me some of the bad things Rose did. A lot of people knew about it ... including many journalists. They didn't report it because it wasn't news.

Think about how the exploits of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Wilt Chamberlain or Joe Namath would be handled today? Heck, think how the exploits of Mike Tyson, Wade Boggs, Steve Garvey or Shawn Kemp would be handled if their controversies happened today and not around 20 years ago?

We are all watching.

Believe me, as a sports blogging O.G., I'm not dissing the way things are now. I've always said that information is only as powerful as the people's craving for it. It's true not only in sports, but pop culture and politics as well. It's the way our world works. Fair or not, athletes must know that it is extremely hard to keep your bad deeds hidden.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Told You, Scheduling NFL Rivalries Is A Good Idea

Today (October 17th, 2010), Jay Glazer said that the Houston Texans owner is pushing for one (maybe two) of those two extra games they are tacking on the season to go to obvious regional rivalries.

I said this back on September 26th, 2010. I figured it was a positive idea for everyone. Back them, I said this:

Have the Cowboys-Texans game every year. Redskins-Ravens. Giants-Jets. Eagles-Steelers. Buccaneers-Dolphins. Niners-Raiders. Rams-Chiefs.

Other ones that make sense are Bears-Colts. Lions-Bills (especially if the team moves to Toronto). Panthers-Titans. Falcons-Jaguars. Cardinals-Chargers. Seahawks-Broncos.

Some won't make sense.

The Packers, Vikings, Saints, Patriots, Bengals and Browns don't have a natural cross-conference rivalry. Figure out some rotation between those six or just force a "rivalry" down their throat (Pats-Saints? Bengals-Vikings? Browns-Packers?).

Sounds simple, eh?

The owner also said that maybe both those games could be rivalry games. Like the Texans would have the Cowboys and the Saints? The Cowboys get the Texans and Cardinals? The Buccaneers, Dolphins and Jags playing each other every season?

I'm not just with the obvious regional rivalries. How about those man-made rivalries? The Colts and Patriots should play every year ... even if it doesn't fall that way on the current format. How about having Michael Vick play in Atlanta once ... or playing a Raiders-Rams game in Los Angeles? Just something outside the box.

If you are going to make a big change, make it so we like it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hey Bud! Speed Up the Postseason!

One of the most fan un-friendly things in sports is the milking of the postseason. The NBA used to make a 5-game series last for two weeks just for the TV revenue.

Well, it seems as if Major League Baseball has gotten on the bandwagon.

The ALCS ... featuring the Yankees, who clinched last Saturday, and the Rangers, who clinched on Tuesday ... will take place Friday night. That means Texas will have two off days while the Yankees have five. When you are used to a baseball season having 15 games nearly every day of the year, this is pain.

If you are waiting on the NLCS, you'll have to come back on Saturday. That's when Game 1 between the Phillies and Giants start. Philly clinched on Sunday, meaning they have nearly a week of downtime before suiting up again. That must really help the timing, eh?

Meanwhile, our World Series will take place in November. Why? Because they can't find the time to fit in all these games or something. The extra three or four days they could've shaved off this week could have knocked some of those November games back a month.

Remember when the Division Series were played in a six-day period? You'd play two in one park ... travel day ... two in the other park ... and if it went the full five games then it would be played immediately after Game 4. Screw it if it was Mariners-Rays! They must cross the country and play tomorrow!

Now they have an off day before Game 5. That's fine, since we only saw one series go that far, but keep it simple, stupid. But, no, they want to keep TBS and FOX happy by pre-scheduling the Championship Series so those networks can fit their programming around it.

Again ... this is baseball. They don't need off days like that. They're used to playing six games every seven days -- they've done it all year long!

So, again, why would any 5-game series last longer than a week? And why would any 7-game series last more than 8 or 9 days? And if the Phillies and Yankees clinch in four games, don't wait a week to get these two on the field again. Patience is not a virtue on these things.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Assessing the NFL At the Quarter Mark

With all but four teams finishing up their quarter mark of the season, let's go ahead and look at each division and try to figure out what's going on.

NFC EAST: This division is a jumbled mess -- three teams sit at 2-2. The Redskins, who were left for dead a week ago, has already won two division games. The Eagles have gone from Kolb to Vick to Kolb ... and probably back to Vick in a couple of weeks. The Giants looked outstanding against the Bears just one week after looking horrible against the Titans. I still think this division goes to the Cowboys, who just have too much talent to ignore. Injuries to the Eagles (Vick) and Redskins (Portis) should push them to the rear for now.

NFC SOUTH: The Saints aren't looking like world beaters right now, but you have some games like that when you walk in with that Super Bowl trophy. The Falcons are like any Atlanta team -- they can look really good but you're not sure if they can close the deal. Does anyone really believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are any good? If Steve Smith is out for an extended period of time, the Panthers are then the worst team in the league. This division still belongs to the Saints.

NFC NORTH: Crazy division here. The Bears aren't as good as advertised and the Lions aren't as bad. This division comes down to the Packers and Vikings ... duh. With the Vikings getting Randy Moss, this really puts a shot in the arm in Minnesota. With Ryan Grant out in Green Bay, I think the Vikings pull this one out.

NFC WEST: Who knows? Who cares? This is the worst division in any sport. The sad thing is that the 49ers could turn this thing around and win the division. They could. They still get to play everyone twice but Seattle (just once more). The Seahawks are too inconsistent, the Rams too young and the Cardinals are praying Kurt Warner un-retires. The division, shockingly, goes to the Niners.

Who gets fired first in each division?
EAST: Wade Phillips, SOUTH: John Fox, NORTH: Brad Childress, WEST: Mike Singletary

Who has the worst quarterback issues?
EAST: Eagles, SOUTH: Panthers, NORTH: Vikings, WEST: Cardinals

Which team will turn it around (good or bad)?
EAST: Cowboys (good), SOUTH: Buccaneers (bad), NORTH: Vikings (good), WEST: Niners (good)

AFC EAST: The Patriots just dealt Randy Moss to the Vikings which eliminates their big play threat. It will be interesting to see how defenses adjust. The Dolphins' loss to New England may really kill any momentum this team was trying to create. The Bills suck. To me, the overwhelming winner of this division is the Jets. They have the studs despite missing guys to injury and not getting what they thought they'd get from Shonn Greene.

AFC SOUTH: The Houston Texans look like they could run away with this. I like the Colts, still, but they just seem to be missing something. The Titans are just too flip-floppy for me to take seriously. That defense can look really good or really bad. The Jaguars are tough to figure out as well, but they're right in the mix. Still, I think the Texans comes away with it. They are the hungriest team of the bunch.

AFC NORTH: It's the Ravens and Steelers. The Bengals just have too many flaws (*cough* ... coaching ... *cough*) and the Browns blow chunks. Both the Ravens and Steelers boast great defenses. I love what B-more's receivers are doing and giving Flacco a chance to succeed. But I'm going to side with the Steelers. It is impressive to me that they nearly went 4-0 with a bunch of crappy QBs. With a rested, humbled and focused Ben Roethlisberger back, Pittsburgh is set to make a move.

AFC WEST: Everyone is loving the Chiefs right now ... and they should. This is a speedy team with a lot of offensive firepower. The Chargers are the only real competition they have. I think closure of the Vincent Jackson situation would be ideal for San Diego, but you just don't know what A.J. Smith will do. The Raiders are still in too much disarray and the Broncos are mediocre, at best. I'm sticking with the Chargers to pull this one out.

Who gets fired first in each division?
EAST: Chan Gailey, SOUTH: Jack Del Rio, NORTH: Eric Mangini, WEST: Norv Turner

Who has the worst quarterback issues?
EAST: Bills, SOUTH: Jaguars, NORTH: Browns, WEST: Raiders

Which team will turn it around (good or bad)?
EAST: Patriots (bad), SOUTH: Colts (good), NORTH: Steelers (good), WEST: Chiefs (bad)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Let Donovan Have His Moment

On Fox's "OT" show, Terry Bradshaw took exception to Donovan McNabb's locker room dig at the Eagles.

First off, all Donovan said was "they made a mistake". Not too harsh and you know deep down that Philly knows it to. Bradshaw didn't like that McNabb said anything. I disagree.

It was in the locker room right after a hard fought win, on the road against a divisional rival. Cameras in there will pick up more true emotion and feeling then at any other time in an athlete's career. Then, McNabb just made a small comment; the Eagles organization all but spat in his face this spring. After all, they chose a guy with 2 starts to replace Donovan ... the franchise's career leader in virtually every passing stat. Then the fans fully embrace a guy who spent two years out of the league due to a prison sentence for dogfighting. Yetg McNabb was continuously booed despite leading the team to 5 NFC title games and a Super Bowl appearance.

I think I can excuse him for getting one little shot in.