Friday Tidbits 2/22/08

22 February 2008

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House Hunters NBA Edition
Sacramento traded Mike Bibby to Atlanta for Anthony Johnson, Tyronn Lue, Lorenzen Wright, and Shelden Williams.  The Jason Kidd deal got done finally after they drug Keith Van Horn off his couch.  Roy Tarpley, Rolando Blackman, and Popeye Jonesmust not have been available.  Dallas lost their first game with Kidd.  The sophomores beat the rookies for the sixth straight time.  Daniel Gibson drained 11 three-pointers en route to 33 points and the game’s MVP.  Houston will honor Hakeem Olajuwon with a monument later this year.  He’s also been nominated as a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting.  That should be a no-brainer.  Jason Kapono defended his title in the three-point shootout.  He tied the record (25) in the Finals.  Dwight Howard took the Slam Dunk Contest. His first and third dunks were amazing.  His Superman dunk was completely overrated in my opinion since he didn’t actualy dunk it.  The East beat the West in the All-Star Game.  LeBron James won his second All-Star MVP award.  He messed around and nearly got back-to-back triple-doubles (27 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists & 31, 14, 12) .  He got one against Houston, but his team lost.  KG returned.  He scored 4.  The Celtics lost.  They also lost his second game.  Chris Bosh poured in 40.  Luol Deng played.  Seattle traded Kurt Thomas to the Spurs for Brent Barry, Francisco Elson, and a draft pick. I guess they’re gearing up for Shaq and Gasol.  Seattle tried to throw in Xavier McDaniel…just kidding. Kobe dropped 41 in a win over Shaq’s Suns.  Mo Cheeks got a contract extension from the Sixers.  Cleveland, Seattle, and Chicago made a huge trade.  Cleveland get Ben Wallace Delonte West, Kevin McHale’s favorite player Joe Smith, and Wally Szczerbiak.  Chicago will get Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Cedric Simmons, and Shannon Brown.  Seattle gets Ira Newball, Adrian Griffin, and Donyell Marshall.  No word on whether Bill Cartwright, Craig Ehlo, or Jack Sikma were considered in this deal.  Houston traded Mike James and Bonzi Wells to New Orleans for Bobby Jackson, Adam Haluska, and a draft pick.  Minnesota traded slam dunk gury Gerald Green to Houston for Kirk Snyder and a 2nd round pick McHale will waste.  Tony Parker is back.  Daniel Gibson (ankle) will miss a month.  Manu scored 44 against the Wolves.  The Rockets have won ten straight.  The West has nine teams over .600.  Talk about loaded.  The East has three.

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Peter Forsberg will not return this year.  Not so fast.  Perhaps he will.  This week’s shutouts:  Montreal’s Carey Price vs. Philly.  Marty Turco vs. Detroit.  He also won his 200th game this week.  Detroit’s Chris Osgood vs. Colorado.  Phoenix’s Mikael Tellqvist vs. Los Angeles.  Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin vs. Minnesota.  NY Islanders’ Rick DiPietro vs. Tampa Bay.  Rod Brind’Amour tore his ACL, which will likely knock him out of action for the rest of the season.  The Rangers signed defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Dan Girardi.  Philly Forwards Joffrey Lupul (ankle) and Steve Downie (concussion) will miss some time.  Calgary draft pick Mickey Renaud collapsed and died in his home.  He was 19.  Sad.  Chicago signed D Brent Seabrook to a three-year deal.  Wayne Gretzky picked up his 100th win.  New York Islander D Andy Sutton will be out a while with a torn hamstring.  The Kings traded D Jaroslav Modry to Philly for a third round draft pick.   Nicklas Lindstrom will miss a few weeks with a knee injury.  Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek had a hat trick vs. Tampa Bay.  So did Los Angeles’ Alexander Frolov vs. St. Louis. 
 

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Cincinnati locked up Brandon Phillips with a four-year, $27 million deal.  He had a 30-30 season last year.  Erik Bedard signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Mariners.  They’ll sign him long-term. Chien-Ming Wang lost his arbitration case.  Felipe Lopez, Brian Fuentes, and Jose Valverde also lost.  Milwauke P Yovani Gallardo had knee surgery.  Trot Nixon is trying to catch on with Arizona.  Bret Boone took his steroid bat to Washington.  Speaking of cheaters, Andy Pettitte spoke.  Blah, blah, blah.  Sorry you used or sorry you got caught? Curt Schilling will rehab his shoulder as Boston requested. Hank Steinbrenner used the “well, he’s doing it too defense” as he suggests that the NFL’s steroid issue is worse than baseball’s.  It is probably true, but that defense is weak, especially for a team that has had Giambi, Sheffield, Clemens, Pettitte, and Knoblach, to name a few, be named in recent years.  Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons apologized for their PED use.  Miguel Tejada didn’t want to talk about it.  Texas signed 2B Ian Kinsler to a five-year $22 million deal.  Houston P Shawn Chacon signed a one-year deal.  Ryan Howard won his arbitration.  He’ll get $10 million next year.  By baseball terms that’s a bargain (Carlos Silva will average $12 million a season over the next four).  Josh Fogg signed a one-year deal with Cincinnati. Arizona signed GM Josh Byrnes to an eight-year deal .

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Keyshawn Johnson may make a comeback.  At least our ears will get a rest.  Atlana cut Byron Leftwich and Alge Crumpler.  Washington hired Sherman Smith as its Offensive Coordinator since they promoted their to head coach after two weeks on the job.  The Chiefs cut John Welbourn.  Start the offseason police blotter.  Buffalo WR Roscoe Parrish got nabbed driving drunk.  Cincy franchised G Stacy Andrews.  The Bears cut Moose loose and extended Alex Brown two years.  Billy Cundiff signed a two-year deal with Kansas City.  They’ll also franchise Jared Allen.  Baltimore will franchise Terrell Suggs.  There is a question as to whether it should be at LB or DE.  The Colts franchised Dallas Clark, but he turned around and signed a six-year deal with them.  As I suggested last week, New England offered Zach Thomas a contract.  The 49ers cut LB Derek Smith.  Pittsburgh signed DE Travis Kirschke to a two-year deal.  Tennessee franchised Albert Haynesworth.  Seattle franchised CB Marcus Trufant.  The Vikings cut Dwight Smith.  Jamal Lewis signed an extension with Cleveland.  Randy Moss didn’t get franchised.
 
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Michael Beasley had 40 points and 17 rebounds as #22 Kansas State smoked Missouri 100-63.  Cincinnati suspended F Alvin Mitchell for rule violations.  #25 Marquette routed #24 Pitt 72-54.  UAB pushed #1 Memphis to the limit, but lost 79-78.  My beloved Syracuse beat their top rival #8 Georgetwon 77-70.  Eric Gordon scored 28 as #12 Indiana beat #9 Michigan State 80-61.  Oklahoma State upset #16 Texas A&M 59-54.  Wake Forest beat #2 Duke (yeah) 86-73.  Miami also beat Duke 96-95 (I’m giddy).  #7 Texas blasted #22 Texas A&M 77-50.  Arkansas State coach Dickey Nutt resigned.  Coach K and Roy Williams have had a little war of words this week.  #14 Indiana beat #15 Purdue 77-68.  Bradley beat #18 Drake 72-71.  John Calipari won his 400th career game.  Nebraska beat #25 Kansas State 71-64.  It sounds like Kelvin Sampson will get canned from Indiana.
 
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USC WR Vidal Hazelton had surgery on his stomach muscles. Ouch.  He played like that last year.  That’s pretty tough.  UCLA QB Patrick Cowan had cartilage removed from his knee.  South Carolina WR Dion Lecorn was charged with drug possession.  Tennessee punter Britton Colquitt lost his scholarship and was suspended for the first five games next year.  LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux was suspended for violating team rules.  

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Ryan Newman won the Daytona 500.
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Phil Mickelson won the Northern Trust Open.  Tiger Woods rallied from a three hole deficit with five to play in the Accenture Match Play Championship agasint J.B. Holmes.  He’s pretty good.  He continued with a win over Arron Oberholser.  Phil was sent packing by Stuart Appleby.

That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

Thanks again for supporting my blog. Be sure to check out My Friends’ blogs. They do amazing work.

One of my best friends made the move a few years ago from New York City to London.  He’s always been somewhat of an introvert, so I am equally impressed with both his decision to take a risk, and the way he’s successfully pulled it off.

With the globalization of sport (NBA European Division?, NFL games in London, Buffalo Bills move to Toronto?, etc.) many of us our offering up resistance to these changes.  Here to offer us his London perspective is my good friend “The King”. 

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Should the English Premier League Football be hit with a yellow card?
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

“I have one problem with American sports today that I need to vent and it’s now taking over even here in England.  Maybe you can take it up on your blog and bring some attention to it before it’s too late.   That is the  commercialization of sport.   For Christ sake, going to a college Football game now feels like an NFL experience in some places.   It’s all about money, tv rights, etc.  Have you heard about this ridiculous idea of English Premier League Football (soccer) now moving abroad and scheduling one league game a season for each team overseas?  This was direct response from the NFL having “successfully ” playing one game a year here in Europe and generating a bunch of revenue.  Dolphins  – Giants.  But it’s causing massive shockwaves here in a country where tradition is king.  Seems the American way is spreading over here to the owners and it’s not good.  Alas, how does this really effect American sports fans (your readers). Well, read the link I provided about NBA’s european expansion plans all for money.  Where does this quest for increased tv, ad, etc revenue stop for the love of the sport!  We are no longer seen as fans, we are customers! Will we care about games between the NY Knicks and the Singapore Slingers? Can a game between the Dallas Cowboys and London Dragons really help the game?  You think those are hypothetical?  Not if you actually see what is going on around the world right now as we speak it’s not.   Read this about the NBA’s planThis quest for money needs to stop at some point.  Teams need to realize that they play for fans, the fans don’t play for them.  Have a read about the English League and it may be a preminition of whats surely to come in the States if it hasn’t already.

First of all, I’d like to thank The King for his unique perspective.  I agree wholeheartedly that the commecialization of sports and the continual push for more revenue continues to separate the fan from the ownership.  They deal in numbers that ordinary fans can’t even begin to contemplate.  For example, if one of us blew the sort of money the Yankees did (even proportionate to our income) in signing Carl Pavano, we would likely be hurting for several years.  However, when you’re dealing with big business like the Yankees are, you can shrug it off and just sign Roger Clemens to a $28 million pro-rated one-year deal.  Everyone comes down on the players for their enormous contracts, but they rarely cast their stare on the management’s bankroll.  It seems like everything is for sale.  Candlestick Park and the Boston Garden are just a couple examples of the corporate greed.  Even we as fans are up for sale.  Do you think they care about us or the revenue we provide them?  How else can you justify taking away a home game from diehard fans.  When new stadiums are built, what is usually the most imporant thing?  Corporate suites.  They would rather wine and dine the corporate types than provide affordable seating to the fans who really support the team.  We hear over and over again that it’s a business.  Well, it wasn’t always that way.  You hear that it’s entertainment.  It wasn’t always that way.  It was once a sport. 

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB, NBA, NFL | Tagged: English Premier League Football, Soccer |

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If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI 

As I suggested last week in my Friday Tidbits, the New England Patriots have offered Zach Thomas a contract.  In a text to The Miami Herald, Drew Rosenhaus wrote “‘We had a great visit in New England.  They offered him a contract and we will continue negotiations.”  Obviously nobody is surprised by this developement.  The Patriots motto is “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.  With Junior Seau leaning towards retirement, Zach Thomas would be a nice stop-gap measure (assuming he’s healthy) until they can develop some young talent at linebacker.  That is what the Patriots ultimately need to do.  However, if he can squeeze a year or two of solid play out of Zach Thomas in the meantime at a discounted rate, Bill Belichick will do so.

Thomas missed 11 games last year, but he still recorded 52 tackles.  140-160 tackles are the norm for this All-Pro.  He could easily be plugged into the Patriots system (again, assuming he’s healthy) and shine.  It just depends on what kind of offers he’ll get from other teams.  The Patriots likely represent the best chance he has at winning a Super Bowl.  If the offers are close, I don’t see how he could go anywhere other than New England. 

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL |

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The Roger Clemens-Brian McNamee-Andy Pettitte circus has certainly got a lot of play in recent weeks, but there is a bigger picture.  Just how rampant was the steroid use for the Yankees.  Besides the aforementioned Clemens and Pettitte, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Chuck Knoblauch, Mike Stanton, Darren Holmes, Jason Grimsley, Dan Naulty, David Justice, Jose Canseco, Glenallen Hill, Rondell White, Kevin Brown, Matt Lawton, and Denny Neagle were named in the Mitchell report.  In all 20 current and former Yankees were named.  That’s quite a collection of cheaters.

It’s hard to compare MLB to the NFL, especially when you just know that steroid use in the NFL is far more severe than in baseball, but the Yankees are the equivalent of the Cincinnati Bengals.  Think about all of the arrests and suspensions “Sin”cinnati racked up.  They became a laughing stock of the league.  They helped bring about the new law of the land that Roger Goodell is trying to implement.  Yet the Yankees aren’t asked to bear that same cross.  Perhaps because they all came at once, or the fact that dozens of other players were named, or that no arrests were made, has aided the Yankees here.   It just puzzles me is all.

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Another thing that puzzles me is the way Shawn Merriman skated following his suspension.  Here is a past post from my Sporting News blog:  “When I read about “Lights Out” I got a strange feeling about him. It seemed unnatural the way he went at it full steam all the time. Who knows how long Merriman used steroids, but what gets me is the little reaction. Shawne Merrim*n is one of the best young defensive players in the NFL. In baseball terms, he’s like a David Wright or Ryan Howard. Can you imagine the hoopla that Wright or Howard would receive if they got caught using steroids and subsequently suspended a quarter of the season? The attention would be almost what MeO receives on a weekly basis. The Chargers are trying to keep up with Sinsinnati with arrests and suspension. Certainly Steve Foley, Terrence Kiel, and now Merrim*n are doing there part. I just ask, where’s the outrage? When Palmier* got busted, there was a heck of a lot more attention than this is getting. Why the double standard? Someone please enlighten me.”  Shawn Merriman made the Pro Bowl that year.  Do you think Howard or Wright would make the All-Star team if they were suspended for steroids?  Rodney Harrison, who is already a villian in this league, received little negative press following his HGH suspension.  What gives?  Heck, the league is tougher on their coaches (Wade Wilson) than their players.

To bring it full circle, I go back to baseball and my beloved Boston Red Sox.  I find it a little odd that George Mitchell, who has ties to the Red Sox, failed to find any matches to Red Sox players while they were in Boston.  Sure, Roger Clemens was mentioned, but it began while he was on the Blue Jays.  Same with Mo Vaughn (Mets).  The rest (Eric Gagne, Brendan Donnelly, Steve Woodard, Jose Canseco, Manny Alexander, Paxton Crawford, Jeremy Giambi, Josias Manzanillo, Chris Donnels, Mike Lansing, Kent Mercker, and Mike Stanton) were mainly relievers that they brought in from other organizations.  I’m not saying Boston is full of juicers, but I just find it a little odd that they didn’t find anyone.

You can ask a million questions about the steroids issue and never come away satisified with the answers.  All you get is tired.  That’s what I am when it comes to this issue.  Tired.  The good news is soon we’ll be able to talk about what we love about baseball….the game. 

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB, NFL |

1. Oakland – JaMarcus Russell, QB LSU
Obviously it’s wait-and-see with JaMarcus.  Even if he wins the starting job next year, he’ll likely struggle.  In his only start last year, he actually played well.  Of course it was against San Diego in a meaningless Week 17 game.  He completed 23 of 31 passes (74.2%) for 224 yards with a TD and an INT.  He also lost a fumble.  It’s hard to say if the Raiders did the right thing drafting Russell, but at least initially it seems they would have been better off with Adrian Peterson or Patrick Willis. 

2. Detroit – Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech
Calvin had a decent year catching 48 passes for 756 yards and 4 TDs.    However, given the pass-happy offense they ran, Detroit would have likely a little better production out of him.  However, Mike Martz didn’t hide his infatuation with Shaun McDonald very well.  That relationship likely cut into Calvin’s rookie campaign.  There’s still plenty of time for this pick to be justified, but initially it appears they would have been better served looking elsewhere.

3. Cleveland- Joe Thomas, OT Wisconsin
It’s hard to measure the impact of an offensive lineman, but Cleveland’s rankings of 8th in Offense, 12th in Passing Offense, and 10th in Rushing Offense reflect well on Thomas, especially when you consider they were 31st in Total Offense a year ago.  They also tied for 3rd with only 19 sacks allowed.  I would say they did the right thing.

4. Tampa Bay – Gaines Adams, DE Clemson
Gaines had a decent year recording 6 sacks in his last eleven games.  He played well in a playoff loss to the Giants recording five tackles and a sack.  Tampa should be pretty happy with their selection.

5. Arizona – Levi Brown, OT Penn State
Levi played 13 games as a rookie.  He helped Edge to 1222 yards, although is 3.8 ypc wasn’t great.  Arizona was 12th in Total Offense and 5th in Passing Offense.  Thier 29th ranking in Rushing Offense leaves room for improvement.  They only allowed 24 sacks, which is great considering how many passing attempts they had.  I think he’ll show improvement next year.

6. Washington – LaRon Landry, S LSU
A good pick became a great pick when Sean Taylor was unfortunately gunned down late last year.  Landry didn’t come up with any interceptions in the regular season, but he did rack of 95 tackles and 1.5 sacks.  He had 12 and 15 tackles against the Giants and Patriots respectively.  He picked off two passes in the playoff loss to Seattle. 

7. Minnesota – Adrian Peterson, RB Oklahoma
Yeah, I’d say Minnesota did OK with this one.

8. Atlanta (from Houston) – Jamaal Anderson, DE Arkansas
I’m no defensive coordinator, but I don’t think it’s good when a DE doesn’t record a sack all year long.  He did have thirty tackles, but one would suspect they would rather have Amobi Okoye or Patrick Willis if they could do it all over again.

9. Miami – Ted Ginn Jr., WR Ohio State
I’m sure had Parcels been in place last year, Ginn wouldn’t have been the choice.  He would probably have went with Willis or Okoye.  If he had to go WR, Dwayne Bowe, or even Steve Smith for that matter, would have been better picks.

10. Houston (from Atlanta) – Omobi Okoye, DT Louisville
Building on last year’s selections of Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans, Amobi was a great pick.  He recorded 5.5 sacks for the Texans.  He’s very young (he’ll turn 21 this summer), but he’s a quick learner.  The future is bright for Okoye and th Texan defense.

11. San Francisco – Patrick Willis, LB Mississippi
174 tackles.  Any questions?

12. Buffalo – Marshawn Lynch, RB California
Lynch did a good job replacing Willis McGahee.  He pretty much was their offense in Buffalo’s first nine games.  He missed three games with an ankle injury, but finished strong averaging 91 yards per game in his final four games.

13. St. Louis - Adam Carriker, DT/DE Nebraska
Carriker got to the QB twice last year.  He added thirty tackles.  To be an effective NT, I think he’s going to have to bulk up a bit.  He’s very athletic for a big man, and I expect him to be even better next year.

14. NY Jets, (from Carolina) – Darelle Revis, CB Pittsburgh
Revis had a solid rookie season racking up 87 tackles, 17 PDs, forcing a fumble, and picking off three passes.

15. Pittsburgh – Lawrence Timmons, LB Florida State
Timmons failed to make an impact for Pittsburgh recording only 13 tackles.  Hopefully for Steeler fans he develops, but wouldn’t Jon Beason’s 140 tackles would have been nice.

16. Green Bay - Justin Harrell, DT Tennessee
Harrell only played in nine games this year, recording 16 tackles.  He played better down the stretch recording 13 tackles in his last four games.  He aslo had three tackles against Seattle in the playoff victory.  He should take steps next year towards justifying that first round selection.

17. Denver (from Jacksonville) – Jarvis Moss, DE Florida
Jarvis missed the final ten games of the year after breaking his leg and tore ligaments in his ankle.  He stared out OK recording 12 tackles and a sack in his first six.  He has a long road to recovery.

18. Cincinnati – Leon Hall, CB Michigan
Leon Hall was a bright spot on a pretty bad Cincy defense.  He ranked sixth on the team with 69 tackles and led the team with 5 INTs.

19. Tennessee – Michael Griffin, S Texas
Michael Griffin made his impact felt both on defense and in the return game.  He had 54 tackles and 3 INTs.  52 of those tackles came in his last eleven games.  He had a three game interception streak Weeks 13-15 along with recording seven tackles in the playoff loss to San Diego.  As a returner, Griffin returned 18 kicks for 422 yards.  I’d say the future is pretty bright for Michael Griffin. 

20. NY Giants – Aaron Ross, CB Texas
Griffin’s Texas teammate has a bright future as well.  He had 42 tackles and 3 INTs in the regular season and showed improvement in the playoffs.

21. Jacksonville (from Denver) – Reggie Nelson, S Florida
Reggie Nelson had an outstanding rookie season recording 62 tackles and one sack while picking off five passes.  Great pick for Jacksonville.

22. Cleveland (from Dallas) – Brady Quinn, QB Notre Dame
With the emergence of Derek Anderson, one has to wonder if the Browns are regretting sending this year’s draft pick to Dallas for Brady Quinn.  I can see this situation playing out like San Diego’s (Brees-Rivers).
 

23. Kansas City – Dwayne Bowe, WR LSU
Outstanding choice for a team desperate for playmakers.  Bowe caught 70 passes for 995 yards and 5 TDs.  Bowe is a big, strong receiver that should continue to shine.  He had four games of 7+ receptions, a 164 yard performance against San Diego, and a game clinching TD against Minnesota.

24. New England (from Seattle) – Brandon Meriweather, S Miami
Meriweather was a nice fit for New England recording 28 tackles.  The Patriots are grooming him to replace Rodney Harrison.

25. Carolina (from NY Jets) – Jon Beason, LB Miami
Beason has a great rookie season recording 140 tackles.  Not quite Patrick Willis numbers, but considering how much more affordable Beason was, you can’t blame Panther fans for loving this guy.  He also added an INT.

26. Dallas (from Philadelphia) – Anthony Spencer, DE Purdue
Spencer had a decent year for the ‘Boys recording 36 tackles and three sacks.  His best game came against Buffalo when he had eight tackles.  There were too many games that he had zero or one tackle.

27. New Orleans – Robert Meachem, WR Tennessee
Meachem was inactive every game this season.  Sweet pick thus far.  Hopefully he shows up in better shape and avoids injury next year.

28. San Francisco 49ers (from New England) – Joe Staley, OT Central Michigan
Staley may be decent, but New England got the 7th pick this year (and a 4th round pick that turned into Randy Moss) by dealing this slot away.  Not too bad.  San Francisco’s offense was horrible last year.  Staley doesn’t take all the blame.  He may end up being good, but it will be hard to climb out of the shadow of the trade.  He did start all 16 games last year.

29. Baltimore – Ben Grubbs, OG Auburn
Ben started 12 games for the Ravens.  Baltimore allowed 39 sacks last year, ranked 16th in rushing offense, and 23rd in passing offense.  Part of a good, young line.

30. San Diego – Craig Davis, WR LSU
Davis caught 20 passes for 188 yards and a score.  His best game came against Green Bay when he hauled in 4 passes for 31 yards and his lone TD.  He did have a couple of catches in the playoffs, but with Chris Chambers, Vincent Jackson, Gates, and LT, there doesn’t seem to be much room for Davis. 

31. Chicago – Greg Olsen, TE Miami (FL)
Although he looks like a big “Stiffler”, his game is no joke.  He finished with 39 receptions for 391 yards and a pair of scores.  He had a stretch from Weeks 5-8 he had 227 yards (56.75 average) and a pair of scores.  He has a ton of potential, but Chicago needs to figure out their horrible QB situation.

32. Indianapolis – Anthony Gonzalez, WR Ohio State
Gonzalez was limited to 13 games last year, but still had 576 yards on 37 receptions with 3 TDs.  He had 369 yards from Week 12-16 (73.8 average) while scoring all of his TDs.  He had four grabs for 79 yards and a score in their playoff loss to San Diego.  With some guy name Peyton Manning throwing him the ball, I expect great things from Gonzalez.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL |

Friday Tidbits 2/15/08

15 February 2008

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Jason Kidd messed around and got his 99th career triple-double.  It was his third one against Charlotte this year.  The next time he gets one it will likely be in Dallas following his trade for Devin Harris and others.  Not so fast.  Devean George threw a monkey wrench in the deal.  Lamar Odom has a triple-double in a win over the Timberpuppies.  Carlos Boozer joined the triple-double party in a win over lowly Seattle.  The Celtics beat Minnesota on the road.  Too bad for Wovles fans that KG wasn’t able to suit up.  Carmelo Anthony scored 49 points in a win over Washington.  He went to Syracuse.  Stephon Marbury will miss the rest of the year with an ankle injury.  Sacramento’s Francisco Garcia has a bad back that will keep him on the shelf until after the All-Star Game.  Rasheed Wallace will replace KG in the All-Star Game.  You hate to wish ill-will on somebody, but it’s kind of funny that Latrell Sprewell, who turned down a three-year, $21 million deal because it was insulting, may lose his home to foreclosure.  I know he had a family to feed, but that had to be one of the biggest overestimations the sport has ever witnessed  Larry Hughes scored 40 in a win over Orlando.  The NBA has denied Dwight Howard’s request to raise the rim to 12 feet during the dunk contest.  Don’t they realize that the contest is lame, and this would give fans something to be excited about.  Fools.  Howard responded to recent Stan Van Gundy criticism with 23 points and 24 rebounds in a win over Denver.  Emeka Okafor joined him in the 20-20 club with 21 points and 20 boards.  Manu Ginobili scored 46 in a win over Cleveland.  Miami has lost 24 of 25.  Kobe hurt his pinkie.  It requires surgery, but he’s going to try and gut it out.

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San Jose’s Jonathan Cheechoo netted a hat trick against Nashville.  Ottawa’s Jason Spezza matched him in a win over Montreal.  Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek joined the hat party against Ottawa.  This week’s shutouts: NY Ranger’s Stephen Valiquette vs. Philly.  Buffalo’s Ryan Miller vs. Toronto.  Detroit’s Dan Cleary will miss over a month with a broken jaw.  Carolina’s Richard Zednik had his throat slashed by a teammate’s skate.  He alertly went to his bench to seek medical attention from his trainer.  Dallas signed W Krys Barch to a two-year deal.  Carolina sent F Cory Sillman and D Mike Commodore to Ottawa for F Patrick Eaves and D Joe Corvo.  Edmonton lost D Sheldon Souray for the year with a shoulder injury.  Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers agreed to a six-year deal.  Washington signed LW Tomas Fleischmann to a two-year deal.


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The Mariners finally made the trade with Baltimore for Erik Bedard.  I think Clemens and Favre make up their minds on retirement quicker than this deal got finalized.  Kevin Foulke signed a one-year deal with the A’s.  I’m still thankful that Foulke helped Reverse the Curse.  I hope he does well in Oaktown.  San Francisco signed Kevin Correia to a one-year deal.  Milwaukee picked up manager Ned Yost’s option for 2009.  The Big Schill received a cortisone shot in his shoulder.  The Red Sox signed Kevin Youkilis to a one-year deal worth $3 million.  What a bargain.  Mike Sweeney signed with the A’s. Tony Clark signed with San Diego.  Steve Trachsel signed a one-year deal with Baltimore.  Doug Mientkiewicz signed a Minor League contract with Pittsburgh.  Garrett Atkins signed a one-year deal with Colorado.  John Rocker said Bud Selig knew he was jucing in 2000.  Texas signed Kevin Mench to a minor league deal.  Livan Hernandez signed a one-year deal with the Twins.  That’s different for them.  Usually they sign a bunch of stiffs.  The Dodgers signed Takashi Saito to a one-year deal.  Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee met with the Fools on the Hill.  He said, He said, blah blah, blah.  I’m bored with it. 


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The NFC beat the AFC in the Pro Bowl.  Adrian Peterson won the MVP.  He had 129 yards and two TDs.  Brian Urlacher had neck surgery.  Carolina signed DT Damione Lewis to a three-year deal. Washington finally named Jim Zorn their new head coach.  Carolina cut Dan Morgan and Mike Wahle.  The Dolphins cut Trent Green (just retire for your own health) and Marty Booker.  Jeff Feagles signed a two-year deal with the Giants.  Minnesot’s Kenechi Udeze had been diagnose with Leukemia. Jacksonville re-signed Greg Jones.  Justin Fargas re-signed with Oakland.  Miami release Zach Thomas.  Why do I see him catching on in New England?  Seattle signed Mike Wahle to a five-year deal.  Fresh off a Super Bowl victory, Antonio Pierce was charged with neglecing his pit bull.  If only he had called Michael Vick for advice.

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UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough scored 39 points in a dramatic 103-93 Double OT game win over Clemson. Louisville beat #6 Georgetown 59-51.  Purdue upset #8 Wisconsin 72-67.  #21 Notre Dame beat #16 Marquette 86-83.  Washington knocked off #4 UCLA 71-61.  LSU fired coach John Brady.  #11 Texas beat #3 Kansas 72-69.  #23 Purdue beat #9 Michigan State 60-54.  Kelvin Sampson and Indiana are in some hot water for recruiting violations.  To add insult to injury, #14 Wisconsin beat his #12 Hoosiers 68-66.  Southern Illinois handed #15 Drake its second loss of the year 65-62.  #17 UConn beat #18 Notre Dame 84-78.  Texas Tech upset #22 Kansas State 84-75.  Adding insult to injury part deux, Missouri kicked Stefhon Hannah off the team after being involved in a brawl that left him with a broken jaw.  Arizona State knocked off #7 Stanford 72-68.

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Charlie Weis will let Offensive Coordinator Mike Haywood call the plays next year.  Penn State kicked Chris Bell and Phillip Taylor off the team.  West Virginia kicked John Holmes, James Ingram, and Ed Collington off the team.  Washington State signed Coach Paul Wulff to a five-year deal.  Indiana’s ugly basketball scandal wasn’t the only sour sports moment in Bloomington.  Football players James Bailey, Demetrius McCray, and Darius Johnson were arrested last weekend.  Tennessee sent Antonio Wardlow and Dorian Davis packing for breaking rules.  Florida State’s cheating scandal earned them two years off self-imposed probation.  

 

That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.Images courtesy of Icon SMI

Final Football Results

13 February 2008

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Photo courtesy of Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI   

NFL Picks
Like the Super Bowl, I picked the AFC team and loss.  This one didn’t sting as bad though.
 
Last Week:  0-1
Overall Season Record: 159-105

Fantasy Football Out on a Limb

Scoring
6 points for rushing or receiving TD
4 points for a passing TD
0.1 points per yard for rushing or receiving
0.05 points per passing yard. 

Pro Bowl
Tony Romo 16.35 (12.35 actual +4 spotted points) beat Peyton Manning 11.35 WHICH I GOT WRONG
Adrian Peterson 25.8 beat Joseph Addai 5.1 (2.1 actual +3 spotted points) as I predicted.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh 16.4 beat Chad Johnson 5.0 (3.0 +2 spotted points) as I predicted.

Last Week’s Picks:  2-1

At least I finished on a high note.
 
Overall Record
Regular Season Regular Picks: 42-43-1
Regular Season Super Stretch Picks: 12-5
Playoff Picks:  3-9
Pro Bowl Picks:  2-1
Overall:  59-58-1
Breakdown:  QB: 9-15, RB: 29-20-1, WR: 20-23

Friday Tidbits 2/8/08

8 February 2008

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The New York Giants won the Super Bowl.  The defense put a ton of pressure on Brady.  Eli looked calm under pressure.  Plaxico came through in the clutch.  Over 97 million people watched it, whic is second to M*A*S*H’s series finale.  Buffalo got the OK to play a home game in Toronto each year.  Darrell Green, Art Monk, Andre Tippett, Fred Dean, Gary Zimmerman, and Emmitt Thomas were elected to the NFL Hall of Fame.  Cris Carter got screwed.  New Orleans DE Charles Grant was stabbed in the neck.  Michael Vick gets to keep $16 million of his signing bonus.  Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Antonio Gates will be replaced in the Pro Bowl by the Ohio Trio of Derek Anderson, Chad Johnson, and Kellen Winslow.  Jamal Williams will be replaced by Pittsburgh’s Casey Hampton.  Mike McCarthy signed a five-year extension with Green Bay.  Jim Mora will take over for Mike Holmgren in 2009.  Gregg Williams will be the new defensive coordinator in Jacksonville.  Steve Spagnuolo became the league’s highest paid defensive coordinator.  If you can shut down New England on the biggest stage, I’d say you’re worth it.  Washington is still looking for a coach.  I’m about ready to throw my hat into the ring.  Philly slapped the franchise tag on L.J. Smith.  I hope they didn’t do it too hard though, because I wouldn’t want him getting hurt.

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The Lakers just got tougher by adding Pau Gasol.  He scored 24 in his Laker debut.  What a deal for them.  Kwame Brown, Javaris Critterdon, and two first rounders (likely late picks) for a great player like Gasol.  Once Bynum comes back, L.A. is going to be tough.  Kobe celebrated with 46 points in a win over Toronto.  Bigger news though, is Phoenix’s acquistion of Shaq for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.  Brandon Roy, who I feel shouldn’t have made the All-Star game over Baron Davis, messed around and got a triple-double. So did Hedo Turkoglu vs. Dallas.  Heck, even Dirk Nowitzki recorded his first career triple-double.  Brad Miller had a 22 point, 20 rebound game against the Bulls.  T.J. Ford made yet another triumphant return.  New Jersey sent Jason Collins to Memphis for Stromile Swift.  Al Horford had 15 points and 20 rebounds in a win over LA.    Chris Paul had 42 points, 5 boards, 9 assists, and 8 steals in a win over Phoenix.  That’s Amare had 26 points and 20 boards.  Utah has won ten straight.

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Edmonton lost C Shawn Horcoff for the season with a shoulder injury.  Toronto’s Nik Antropov got three games in the Sin Bin for throwing a stick at referees.  Nashville signed F J.P. Dumont to a four-year, $16 million deal.  This week’s shutouts:  Detroit’s Dominik Hasek vs. Colorado, St. Louis’ Manny Legace vs. Anaheim.  Philly’s Martin Biron vs. Anaheim.  Atlanta’s Kari Lehtonen vs. Washington.   Edmonton’s Mathieu Garon vs. Calgary.  Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere vs. the Islanders.  Florida’s Tomas Vokoun vs. Toronto.  Nashville’s Chris Mason vs. Carolina.  Dallas’ Mike Smith vs. Minnesota.  Philly’s Mike Knuble netted a hat trick against Anaheim.  Florida’s Richard Zednik had on against Toronto. New Jersey got a boost from the return of F Jay Pandolfo.  Calgary signed D Dion Phaneuf to a six-year deal.  Dallas D Sergei Zubov landed on the IR with a bad groin.  Minnesota honored Mike Modano before his game against the Wild.  Rick Tocchet returned to Phoenix’s bench.  Hope he didn’t make any wagers.
 

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Johan Santana and the Mets agreed to a seven-year $150 deal.  Wow.  The Dodgers signed Joe Beimel to a one-year deal.  Sean Casey signed on with Boston for one year.  Washington signed Jon Rauch to a two-year deal.  Not only was Jim Leyritz drunk he he killed Ann Veitch in a car crash, Veitch was drunk too.  Recipe for disaster.  San Diego signed Khalil Greene to a two-year deal worth $11 million.  Tony LaRussa isn’t bothered by steroid users so he’s willing to give Juan Gonzalez a try.  Detroit signed Curtis Granderson to a five year, $30 million deal.  Roger Clemens got his day with Congress.  Brian McNamee followed.  Scott Podsednik signed a minor-leauge deal with Colorado.  Milwaukee signed Dave Bush to a one-year deal.  Toronto signed Alex Rios to a one-year deal.  Pittsburgh signed Freddy Sanchez to a three-year, $19 million deal.  Cleveland signed Brendan Donnell to a minor-leauge deal.  Arizona said Brandon Lyon will be their closer.  Jot that down fantasy baseball players.  Nolan Ryan is the new President of the Texas Rangers.  Curt Schilling has a bad shoulder.  His future is in question.  The Yankees finalize a four-year deal with Robinson Cano for $30 million.  Daniel Cabrera signed on for one year with Baltimore.  The Mets inked Ryan Church to a one-year deal.  Luis Gonzalez signed a one-year deal with Florida.  Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal were “honorary” soltadores for a cockfight in the Dominican Republic.  I say “honorary” because there is no honor in taking part in this type of activity.  PETAs probably going to call for their heads, but in their defense, it is legal in their country.
 

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Bobby Knight stepped down at Texas Tech.  Pat Knight took over and lost his first game to Baylor.  Eddie Sutton finally got his 800th win vs. Pepperdine.  Missouri G Jason Horton is facing assault charges in the fight that ended with teammate Stefhon Hannah with a broken jaw.  UConn reinstated Doug Wiggins.  Penn State beat #7 Michigan State 85-76  #8 Tennessee beat #25 Mississippi State 76-71.  #14 Stanford beat #9 Washington State 67-65.  Arkansas beat #19 Florida 80-61.  UConn beat #21 Pitt 60-53.  South Carolina upset #22 Ole Miss 80-77.  Missouri beat #24 Kansas State 77-74.  UCLA will be without Luc Richard Mbah a Moute for a week with a sprained ankle.  Louisville spanked #16 Marquette 71-57.  Some sad news to report…Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Jonathan Davis died after collapsing during practice.  He was 20.  #7 Tennessee pounded #22 Florida 104-82.  Arizona’s Nic Wise will miss the season following knee surgery.  Oklahoma will be without Longar Longar because of a broken leg.  Duke Vitale made his return.  Naturally he started with Duke-UNC.  He’s probably still giddy over Duke’s 89-78 win.  Kansas State won as Michael Beasley scored 35.  Georgia G Billy Humphrey got arrested for underage drinking.  I find it hard to believe that a college kid would drink.  When I dug a little deeper I noticed he was old enough to vote and to go to war for his country.  Interesting.  He got a three game suspension for his actions.  Florida State lost G Isaiah Swann to a knee injury.  #4 UCLA beat #17 Washington State 67-59.
  

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Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida, Miami,Oklahoma, Georgia, USC, Florida State, Ohio State, and Michigan had the top ten recruiting classes according to Rivals.com.  Minnesota cracked the top 20 despite one win last year.  Notre Dame suspended Will Yeatman for violating team rules.
 
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Tiger Woods won the Dubai Desert Classic.

That concludes the Tidbits. As always, feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.Photos courtesy of Icon SMI

One last time for the Pro Bowl.  I will pick three players I think will score more points than a higher profile player.  The scoring is 6 points for rushing or receiving TD, 4 points for a passing TD, .1 points per yard for rushing or receiving and .05 points per passing yard.  First, I’ll recap how I did during the Divisional Round.

Last Week
Eli Manning 21.15 beat Tom Brady  17.3 WHICH I GOT WRONG.  He don’t need no stinkin’ six point spot.
Laurence Maroney 10.8 beat 4.2 Brandon Jacobs WHICH I GOT WRONG.
Randy Moss 12.2 beat Plaxico Burress 8.7 WHICH I GOT WRONG. However, we know who’s TD was more important.
 
Last Week’s Picks:  0-3
Breakdown:  QB: 0-1, RB: 0-1, WR:  0-1
 
Overall Playoff Picks: 3-9
Breakdown:  QB: 1-3, RB 1-3, WR: 1-3  

Overall Record
Regular Picks: 42-43-1
Super Stretch Picks: 12-5
Playoff Picks:  3-9
Overall:  57-57-1
Breakdown:  QB: 9-14, RB: 28-20-1, WR: 19-23
 
This Week’s Picks

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Peyton Manning
over Tony Romo +4
Both have a lot to prove.  Manning is fresh off watching his little brother win the Super Bowl.  Despite what that idiot Joe Buck says, Peyton enjoyed his Super Bowl victory more than his brother’s.  Knowing how competitive Peyton is, I wouldn’t be surprised if he threw a few early TDs and was named the game’s MVP.  Romo is still trying to claw out of the Jessica Simpson wake.  I don’t think he’s quite ready.
 
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Adrian Peterson
over Joseph Addai +3
I think the NFC will run more than the AFC.  I also think the NFL wants to showcase one of its best young talents, All Day, who is equally as nice of a person as he is of a player. 
 
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T.J. Houshmandzadeh
over Chad Johnson +2
I think there will be a friendly competition between these Bengal wideouts.  Odds are Housh will play a lot more with Peyton while Chad plays with Big Ben or Derek Anderson.  I know who I’d rather have throwing to me.  That, and I think Housh is better anyways.

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI

Previous Out on a Limb Picks
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Week 17
Wild Card Weekend
Divisional Round Playoffs
Conference Title Games
Super Bowl

NFL Picks – Pro Bowl

6 February 2008

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Photo courtesy of Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI

This one stung more than any other loss this season…by a mile.  One win away from perfection, and the Patriots show up flat.  The Giants played a whale of game, especially defensively.  Eli didn’t just manage the game.  He won it. 
 
Last Week:  0-1
Overall Playoff Record: 5-6
Overall Season Record: 159-104

Pro Bowl Pick
Despite having the Super Bowl streak snap for the AFC, I still believe it’s the better conference, which will be reflected in the outcome of the Pro Bowl.  AFC wins by 7.

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