Friday, August 27, 2010

Are You Ready for MORE Football?

Of course NFL owners want to expand the season to 18 games. Of course they want to remove 2 preseason games so they can get more money. How money hungry can these old guys get? Well we're about to find out. I love football as much as the next guy but lets get real here. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the fans have spoken and they don't like the preseason. Really? Not one of my football friends has openly hated the preaseason. Sure it's not a full game of stars but its football nonetheless. The first game of this year, the Hall of Fame game between the Cowboys and Bengals drew a rating of 7.6 - the highest preseason draw in 6 years. That same night two of the biggest rivals in all of sports was on the baseball field. The Yankees-Red Sox game drew a 2.7 rating. As long as the matchup has some interest, people will watch. 

Goodell other arguement was that an 18 game season is good because it will generate revenue in this tough economic market. So what happens when the economy is doing well? Do we cut some games? No because owners and the league will get even more profits and players will put their bodies on the line for them.

Let's just list out what else is wrong with 18 games...
  1. Rookies need playing time, there is only so much you can do in practice
  2. Have you ever played pickup football? Remember how sore you are the next day? Yeah imagine doing that for almost half a year. They can't even figure how to keep players brains healthy after football
  3. Owners argue that the players will get more money. Oh but the owners want the players to pay for stadiums and other overhead costs, thats why they want the players to have more money
  4. Records will be annihilated. Chris Johnson may just get 3,000 yards...maybe
  5. Games will mean less. Compare a loss in baseball in May to a loss in college football in September. Look at the Colts last year towards the end of the year. It comprises the integrity of the game if teams start laying down.
  6. It's freaking hot if you're starting the season in August or implementing more evaluations in June or July
Players are convinced 18 games will happen. Personally, I don’t see how it helps the game, or the quality of the game,” said Barry Cofield, a defensive tackle for the New York Giants. “But if they demand it, they will probably get it.” And they won't refuse to play regardless how hurt they are. Just take a look at Matthew Stafford, early in his career, risking his arm for a meaningless game for the lowly Lions (start at 4:00)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2004 College Football champion is...?

It's not USC anymore according to the Football Writers Association of America stripped the Trojans' 04 Grantland Rice Trophy. This is a step in the right direction. Other polls need to follow their lead. You have to make somebody an example if you want to stop the non sense surrounding student athletes, agents, boosters and improper benefits. You never want a school and its kids to suffer this much but you have to start somewhere. Punishing North Carolina for infractions doesn't get you anywhere because they are a basketball school. Sorry USC, you must be the guinea pig. Where is the BCS with their action? What about the AP? Not only do you take it away from USC but you hand it to Auburn or OU or Utah or Boise St but really, it should go to Auburn because going undefeated in the SEC is no joke. It was clear OU did not belong in the national championship game when they got mopped up by USC did not belong in the national championship game.

Money, Money, Money

Almost every hardcore sports fan's dream is to own a major franchise. Why? Championships, money, fame, ego or a combination of them all. It must be a nice feeling when everything you manage ends up winning a championship. However, it takes tons of effort and many risks. A lot of financial risks. Are you willing to spend your millions that may not pan out? Or are you running the team like a business? Cut your losses, increase profits, sell at the peak. All business terms fans hate to hear. On Monday, financial documents of few major league baseball teams were leaked and one team has some explaining to do - Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2007 and 2008, the Pirates made nearly 30 million dollars (not counting the league's revenue sharing share) in profit each year. The club's payroll those years was just a cut above 50 million. This year's opening day payroll was about 34 million dollars!! That's absurd. How do you tell Pirates' fans, or what's left of them, that you are trying to win. The organization claims they spend nearly 30 million in player development and scouting. That is money well spent because throughout the years they've had some pretty decent players come through. If most those guys were still with the team, the Pirates would of had a winning season or two or three. At some point, you have to scale back on scouting and player development and use some funds to resign a player here and there. Start building the team around him. Take some risks! Fans will appreciate the team more. Other players will take notice of your "commitment" to winning.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gator Hater

The AP Pre-Season Top 25 was released over the weekend and I was kind of shocked at one team in the top 5. The Florida Gators came in at #4. Number FOUR! Ahead of Texas, TCU and OU. Maybe the voters know something I don't but on paper they look like they lost a ton. Receiver Riley Cooper, tight end Aaron Hernandez, Maurkice Pouncey, defensive stars Carlos Dunlap, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Joe Haden and oh that guy Tim Tebow. Towards the end of the year, head coach Urban Meyer wasn't even sure if he would coach the team. Yes, he recruits well and the Gators are stacked with talent but the guys mentioned above were leaders starting with Tebow. I would be skeptical of the Longhorns as well but I just can't do that. Plus Mack Brown and Muschamp is a coaching duo that don't take things lightly. They also have the added bonus of knowing the majority team already has mad respect for quarterback Garret Gilbert after his above average performance in the national championship game. \m/

Thursday, August 12, 2010

LeBron Strikes!

Of course the day I choose to slam LeBron, he gets angry on his twitter.
"Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!" Oh and in case that wasn't clear enough, let's hear it from Chris Bosh, "James uses it to fuel his ambition to win next year." Well, thank you Captain Obvious.

By now, you've figured out LeBron isn't taking this lightly but its not making him look good either. My theory is he is trying to gain some street cred. Yeah he is already boys with Jay Z and other hip-hop stars, has the tattoos, hosts the club parties and living the American dream but that's not real street cred. That's Dwayne Wade type street cred - dressing like Cali Swag District, big philanthropist and being an athlete who actually gets custody of the kids. We want some Allen Iverson street cred. I'm not suggesting the King's next move is to commit a crime but he is on his way to becoming the bad guy, the villain in his own movie. Look at Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger, they did it almost on accident. The challenge for James is to keep his legal life clean while looking bad. However, he risks making his image too "dirty", maybe making his persona unlikeable. Looks like the plan is to sacrifices his image for a year or two until he wins the rings and all is well since nobody remembers the past. AKA, the Kobe Bryant plan. Simply, this is self created ego boost - find some haters, say you will prove them wrong and win...sounds like a recipe for a success.  

For now, I'm glad to be part of the LeBron's hater club, let me know when and where the party is.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The New Bad Guy

The King left Cleveland to start a new chapter in his book but it appears he may be writing a whole new book. Since leaving, James image doesn't look so hot.

1. James recruited BFF Chris Paul to his LRMR company. Paul tried to get out or NOLA because the organization wasn't giving him a chance to win. Can't really blame him but how did the team manage to change his mind? I bet Paul had a reality check and figured out that doing everything Lebron says won't be a great idea. 

2. Lebron partied it up in Las Vegas (oh you didn't see this story maybe because ESPN pulled it for their favorite athlete but here it is - LeBron in Vegas). Why does he constantly throw up the Jay Z rock? You didn't sign with the Nets. Why wear sunglasses in a dark club? Really, two cakes? Yum, I guess. He wished the waiter who fell was a girl with no panties. Umm, don't you have girlfriend at home, who by the way is with your kids while you party. The best part is when Glen "Big Baby" Davis disapproves, ultimate diss.

3. Thanked Akron but not Cleveland. That city and the Cavs helped you just as much you helped them.

4. Lebron apparently has been given permission to wear headbands in games. Pat Riley has a rule saying you can't. Even if Riley says it's okay, James has to sacrifice and be part of the team. Don't be above them and them aren't some scrubs, its superstars Wade & Bosh and valuable veterans Juwan Howard & Mike Miller.

5. Its one thing to dunk on Duncan, Garnett and other big name stars but the following video has no words. They're just kids =(  NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE!

The NBA schedule was released today and to no one's surprise the Miami Heat are all over the national TV schedule with 25 games (not including NBA TV). So not only will you be sick of watching Lebron but you will be sick of every commentator talking about the Heat and their potential, star power, Pat Riley, dominance, chemistry, the big boys taking less money, can everyone coexist, failure if they don't win, the "Decision" and so on. As much as you don't want to believe it, they'll be great. I'm one of those people who wants them to fail but when Jeff Van Gundy says the Heat will break the 72 win record, I have to listen because JVG speaks the truth. He added they have a legit shot at the 33 game winning streak meaning JVG's beloved Rockets' 22 game winning streak is gone. Lebron, Wade and gang is coming to a town near you so get your popcorn ready.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fat Albert

Does that look like a guy who is in shape? I mean look at that effort right there. All 350 pounds of it. I can't believe we are a week into this saga. Albert has pretty much given up on trying by saying his knee hurts. Oh really? Does your knee hurts from trying this test 3 times or from NOT working out all offseason? Maybe its cause you have to much weight above your knees. At least, stay in decent shape. Seriously, what have you done with the $30+ million that you have collected from the Redskins? Definitely not build an ultimate gym in your house or even consider getting a free membership to the Redskins' facilities. I'm under the impression that Haynesworth is taking a week off to cut down on some eating and get into shape just enough to pass this test. More power to head coach Mike Shanahan. Players shouldn't be slacking off like this. Yeah, Fat Albert is a big guy who will clog the D-line but did you miss the part about how they are going to 3-4 defense. Albert will be getting double teamed and even his big body won't be able to push 2 guys. You won't be the big guy who pushes through and gets the sacks. Say bye-bye to the money that may have come from incentives. 

Just for the record, I did the test that Haynesworth has been failing and the fact that an NFL athlete gets 70 seconds is ridiculous. Even Mike Golic of ESPN, who probably moderately works out but not necessarily in the best shape, barely passed the test. It was questionable but I'll give it to him. If you want to try here is the test - 300-yard back and forth shuttle runs performed 3½ minutes apart. Each back-and-forth sprint is 50 yards. The first run should be under 70 seconds and the second one is less than 75 seconds.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's the matchup?

OH YAYY!!! The NBA released its schedule for opening night, Christmas and MLK day and what a surprise the Heat, Lakers, Celtics and Magic dominate the schedule. Over the course of the season, I feel like these teams play each other more than they should. And they will do well enough so you can see them play everyday in the exciting? = / The league needs to do better scouting, find the up and coming teams and showcase them. I figured the Thunder would be good last year only because I follow Kevin Durant. I'm sure everyone would of enjoyed seeing OKC's exciting team throughout the year. Instead, people realized who they were in April and jumped on the bandwagon late. Some teams I would like to see on national TV this year are Nets, Bucks, Grizzlies and obviously the Thunder. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Goodbye Favre, Hello....?

So Brett Favre is retired for the time being. For some reason, I actually believe him this time. Maybe he thinks and knows that this season won't be better than last year. Statistically, he was insanely great and the Vikings' almost made it to the Super Bowl if it wasn't for...well Favre. Let's say he doesn't come back, who is the new quarterback - Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson?

This team is built to win now and needs a stable quarterback. Teams will have less of a need to stay back and defend the passing game leading to more blitzes to confuse the QB. Adrian Peterson will probably be asked to carry the load more like his rookie year. But will he able to control his turnover problems? Sounds like this scenario already happened when Tarvaris Jackson started in 2007. According to his coach, Jackson has progressed and I'm sure he has learned a few good tips from Favre but I think the lack of playing experience is slowing down his maturation as a quarterback. Aside from Sage's collapse in 2008 versus the Colts, he's shown he can drive a team down the field. In game where the Texans trailed 32-7 to the Titans, he tied an NFL record of 4 fourth-quarter TDs. Eventually, he led an injury plagued Texans in 07 to a .500 record while going 4-1 as a starter.

So if you haven't figured it out, I would pick Rosenfels as the starter for the 2010 season. He has experience, leadership and more quarterback skill than Jackson. Jackson will get the reigns the year after when the team's expectations are lower.