Friday, December 30, 2011

Tonight's UFC Heavyweight Fight: Lesnar vs Overeem

I don't watch a lot of UFC action. It's not because I don't like it. It's typically because I only have a few friends that enjoy it and none that I hang out with on a regular basis.  My favorite sports bar won't show it (expensive), and it's the kind of sport that I think is better when you are watching it with people you know and like.

Tonight I'm actually going to watch the fights with friends, and I'm eagerly anticipating the heavyweight match between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem.  I am no fan of Lesnar, let's be clear on that. I thought that he got a very lucky break in his title fight with Shane Carwin a few years ago when he should have been called out on a TKO after Carwin pummelled his head a couple hundred times in one round.

I'm also not a fan of Lesnar's attitude and personality.  Ever since he attempted to use his ole WWE tactics in the ring in calling out sponsors and fellow fighters, I've greatly disliked the guy. In a sport where so many of the men seem to be respectful of their opponents and the fans, Lesnar doesn't fit.

Because I've stayed away from UFC in the past year or two for the most part, I don't know much about Overeem.  Obviously, I'll know a lot more after tonight.  I hope he beats the crap out of Lesnar.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Denver Broncos Fans Nervous In Anticipation of Kyle Orton's Return

Here's my new yahoo post on why fans in Denver are nervous about the upcoming game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos.  This article primarily deals with Kyle Orton and his relationship with the Denver fans.

Denver Broncos Fans Nervous In Anticipation of Kyle Orton's Return

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Soccer Player Ruptures Testicle While Scoring Goal

File this under things you probably never wanted to read about.

Scott Dann, a defender for the Blackburn Rovers, suffered the injury during a match against West Bromwich Albion on December 17.  He apparently was injured when he scored a goal in the second half, but continued playing despite increasing pain.

Following the game, Dann was transported to the hospital after his injured testicle got grotesquely swollen.  Surgery was successful and Dann should be back in action in about six weeks.

Gives new meaning to the term "balls to the wall," doesn't it?

Yahoo Post: Sanchez or Tebow? Who Will Still Be Starting In 2012?

My latest post on Yahoo discusses the careers of first-round quarterback picks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.  Which quarterback will be starting after the other is finally benched?

Sanchez or Tebow? Which Quarterback Will Still Be Starting In 2012?

Drew Brees Should Thank His Lucky Stars That New Orleans Saints Believed In Him

Ever since Drew Brees has taken off as one of the most prolific passers ever in the NFL, conventional wisdom was that the Miami Dolphins made the worst decision ever in not picking him up as a free agent when they had the chance.

Considering all the quarterbacks that they've been through in the time that Brees has started every game in the past six seasons for the Saints, the Dolphins would have seemed to have made a crucial miscalculation in thinking that his shoulder would not fully recover from the near-catastrophic injury he suffered in 2005.  While diving for a loose ball, Brees suffered a serious shoulder dislocation that completely tore the entire ring of cartilage (the labrum) that surrounded his shoulder joint.  He also had a rotator cuff tear.

Most thought at the time that Brees would never be the quarterback he once was.  However, successful surgery with the famous Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham and a fierce rehab program healed the throwing arm of Drew Brees.

What it didn't do was turn in him the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback that he now is.

Is This Current Group of Quarterbacks The Greatest Ever In The NFL?

Brett Favre, Dan Marino, John Elway, Joe Montana, Warren Moon.

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning.

In 15 years, which group of quarterbacks will we look upon as the greatest ever?  Are we seeing, right now in the NFL, a group of the most superior quarterback to ever play the game?

Greatest NFL Passing Season Ever

I believe we are.  Certainly the prolific passing days of the 80's and 90's were great in themselves, but the NFL has taken passing to a new high in the past few years.  Quarterbacks are routinely throwing for 4,000-yard seasons.  In 2011 alone there is already one quarterback who has broken the 5,000-yard passing barrier (Brees).  Another one should join him on Sunday (Brady).  Six quarterbacks will have passed for over 4,500 yards by the end of the regular season (Brees, Brady, Rodgers, Eli Manning, Stafford, Rivers).  Certainly if Peyton Manning had played this season, he'd be right up there.

Is Tim Tebow Standing On House Of Cards In Denver?

My latest Yahoo post. Another article about Tim Tebow and his future in Denver after this season is over.

Tim Tebow Standing On House Of Cards In Denver

Denver Broncos Fans Over-Reacting To Tim Tebow

For Denver Broncos fans, this 2011-2012 NFL season has been a roller coaster.  They've experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and yet they still have a chance for their team to make the playoffs.

Low Expectations

Did anyone sane and intelligent truly believe that Tim Tebow would be capable enough at quarterback to lead the Broncos to where they are now after the way the season started at 1-5?

Certainly not me.  I wrote many an article about why Tebow would fail and yet he really hasn't.

Tebow's play against Buffalo was what many expected of him when he was named the starter back in October.  Critics were practically gleeful waiting to see him fall on his face.  Anticipation was huge.

Then a funny thing happened.  Tebow didn't fall on his face thanks to a revamped offensive scheme and a much improved defense.  He won several games in dramatic fashion and the Broncos season was revived.

Turn Into High Expectations

Then an even more remarkable thing happened.  Denver fans, some who were already in love with Tebow's intangibles, grew even more obsessed with the guy.

When he was ineffective throughout much of the first three quarters of games, they screamed and called him names.

When he turns it around at the end of the fourth quarter and leads the Broncos on a game-winning drive, they scream and call him some different names.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fantasy/Christmas Update

Happy Holiday everyone!

I'm sorry I haven't been posting this past week.  With family in town, it's been difficult to a) keep up with all the sports news and b) have time to write about it.

I will get back to blogging on Wednesday.  In the meantime, you can always catch me on twitter, @sportingjules.

One update:

I made it to the Championship game of my fantasy football keeper league.  Unfortunately, I committed the biggest mistake a manager can make.  I played the matchup and not the best player.  I benched Victor Cruz (against the Jets and Darrel Revis) in favor of Vincent Jackson (against the very porous Detroit Lions with a playoff spot for the Chargers on the line).

Needless to say, when I lost by only 6 points (when starting Cruz would have resulted me in winning easily by 21) was a serious blow.  It was a valuable lesson for me, and you should always remember it.

You dance with the date that brought you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tim Tebow Has Earned Opportunity To Start in 2012

I would like to thank Tim Tebow for proving me wrong.  Seriously, thank you Tim Tebow.

I was one of those who felt that Tebow had no shot as a quarterback in the NFL and that the Broncos would never, ever give him that shot.

Then again, Tebow is one of those individuals who performs much better on game day than he does in practice.

Many quarterbacks have lost their jobs because they couldn't perform in the most stressful situations when the game was on the line.  Tebow is earning his job BECAUSE he performs in the most stressful of opportunities.

Every game he's showed improvement.  Poor spirals are mostly a thing of the past and his accuracy, while still criticized by certain people, is actually rapidly improving.  Tebow is making the tough throws now that he couldn't two months ago.  The rate of his progression is amazing.

I feel that Tebow's upside is tremendous from this point.  A full off-season of working on his passing skills could do amazing things.  The guy has earned this chance.

Too often, the player won't live up to his hype.  In Tebow's case, the hype was that he couldn't play in the NFL.  So, I guess he didn't live up to the hype, right?

Then again, who would have thought that these words by Tony Dungy would have been so prophetic back in 2009??
Tim Tebow Makes A Throw
Training Camp 2009

Ohio State Buckeye Fans Should Rejoice They Didn't Get Hit Harder By NCAA

Yesterday, the interminable investigation into the NCAA violations committed at Ohio State University finally came to an end (we think, it's been a while since new violations were uncovered).  OSU was slapped with the following penalties (I put in Bold what OSU wanted to penalize itself):

  • Bowl ban in 2012
  • Loss of nine scholarships (three scholarships each year for next three years)  (five scholarships)
  • Three-year probation from 2012-2014 (two years probation)
  • Vacated 2010 season, including bowl win and Big 10 Championship (vacate 2010 season)
  • Forfeit the money received from the Big Ten for the Sugar Bowl appearance ($338,000) (return bowl money)
  • Disassociate with Terrelle Pryor for five years, and with a particular booster for 10 years
  • Jim Tressel has a five-year show cause order in place, which should prohibit him from being hired anywhere else in the next five years (how much does it matter, he took a position with Indianapolis Colts this season)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Four Quarterbacks Challenging Dan Marino's Single-Season Yardage Record

There is a nice graphic on comparing the four quarterbacks who have a chance to break Dan Marino's 27-year-old record for single season passing yardage.

Obviously the most likely to break the record is Drew Brees.  Brees came super close last year, and I think that for a (barely) 6'0" quarterback to set records like this is amazing.  He's averaging 336 yards a game and only needs to average 239 to break the record. I think he's a lock.

I also think that Tom Brady has a shot at this.  He only needs to average 270 yards a game the rest of the season (currently averaging 320).  Brady should be able to do this.  The only caveat to that is if the Patriots emphasize the running game a bit more in the final few games.

As far as the other two guys, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning, they need to average more yards per game the rest of the season than they currently throw.  Both guys could do it, and I'd love to see them do it, but I think it's significantly less likely.

Saturday Night Live's Skit With Tebow And Jesus

I haven't watched Saturday Night Live in quite a while, but last night's skit about Tim Tebow was pretty funny.

My favorite line was at 2:14.  I think it makes a couple good points, but of course that's bound to be controversial.  If you have a good sense of humor, you'd find this pretty funny.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How Would Tim Tebow Have Fared Under Josh McDaniels?

Former Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels is getting a lot of credit recently for the drafting of Tim Tebow last year in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.  At the time, it was a big shock (especially to Broncos fans), and McDaniels took a lot of heat for the pick.

Until a few weeks ago, the Tebow pick was seen in Denver as more of a burden than a blessing.  After John Elway was hired to run the Broncos front office earlier this year, most assumed that Tebow would be on his way out.  Had he had ANY trade value in pre-season, he may very well have been off-loaded.  As it was the Broncos couldn't even get rid of their designated starter, Kyle Orton.

What a difference a few months makes in the NFL.  Going 7-1 as the starter and completely turning around the franchise in a quarter of a season has turned Tebow into the talk of the town.  John Elway went from appearing not to support Elway to talking about how much he's looking forward to working with him over the off-season.

Is Fox the Difference Or Would Tebow Have Done Well With McDaniels?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Would Jerry Jones Ever Give Up Control of the Dallas Cowboys?

Would Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ever concede football control over his team again like when he did when Bill Parcells was the coach? If he were to let go of Jason Garrett, would he hire a guy who would demand complete player control decisions?  Could he ever stop being the GM?

Coaching Carousel

When Jones did it the first time, his team was in a lot of trouble.  Consensus opinion at the time was that it was heading in the wrong direction and didn't have a lot of talent on the roster.  Parcells brought in a lot of talent, both coaching and player.  However, his record was only 34-30, and his heavy-handed tactics didn't work with the players that he brought in.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

James Harrison A Thug Or Just Playing The Game The Way It Should Be Played?

What is the difference between a defensive player who makes a big/solid hit and a player that is dirty?  That is the question I've been thinking about tonight after news that James Harrison has received a one game suspension (and, essentially, a roughly $75,000 fine for the game check he will miss) for the helmet-to-helmet hit that he laid on Colt McCoy last week.

A few years ago this subject is probably a lot more hotly debated than it is now.  I've had several arguments with friends and random strangers in sports bars about this very topic in the past.  The argument is usually player safety/dirty play versus "this is how the game is played."

This Bears Fan Reaction To Tim Tebow's Comeback Against the Bears

It took me 48 hours to begin to write this post.  I needed that much time to digest what had happened and stop making excuses.

You see, I live in Denver. I have watched this entire Tim Tebow phenomenon from back when he was drafted in 2010.  I like the guy, and I've rooted for the Broncos since he became the starter.

However, my loyalty to the Chicago Bears was so strong that, despite the fact that I actually believed the Broncos should win the game, I put myself 100% behind the Bears.  For one game only, I looked at Tebow from an outsider's perspective.

What I saw boggled my mind.  The Bears defense held Tebow and the Broncos offense in check for 55 minutes.  As a Bears fan, I felt like the game was in the bag. I just KNEW our defense would be able to hold the Broncos back from scoring 10 points in 5 minutes.  KNEW IT. I just wasn't going to believe anything else. MY TEAM was going to be the one to prove Tebow wasn't that good.  I wouldn't listen to anyone else who said Tebow still had a chance.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ryan Braun Tested Positive For Highest Level Of Testosterone Ever Found In MLB

As more and more information is leaked about Ryan Braun's positive PED test, his case gets harder and harder to believe.

Today the information that was released and reported by ESPN was two-fold:

  • Braun's positive test results were for exogenous testosterone (that means it came from outside his body)
  • His test results were so high they might be the highest positive results that MLB has ever seen
This is the same type of positive PED test that cyclist Floyd Landis had after his incredible one-day mountain stage that propelled him to the Tour de France title in 2006.  Of course, we all know what happened next. His insanely high testosterone level led him to lose that title and be banned.  Adamantly denying everything for a few years simply dragged his name through the mud and lost him all the millions he had earned and won.  Eventually he admitted his guilt.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tom Brady Gets Cussed Out By Quarterback Coach On Sideline

After Tom Brady threw an interception in the New England Patriots victory today against the Washington Redskins, his quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien get into it on the sideline.

Note that this is the first year O'Brien is calling the plays for the Patriots.  He inherited the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach after Josh McDaniels left.

Pressure getting to him, perhaps?  Tom Brady is not someone I would want to tick off.

Then again, they did hug once the game was over. Heat of the moment, obviously.

Peyton Manning To Be Traded From Indianapolis Colts?

I just watched an NFL Network segment where they discussed the likelihood of Peyton Manning leaving the Indianapolis Colts at the end of the season.  The basis for this discussion was the very large roster bonus ($28 million) that Manning is due if he's still with the Colts next March and whether the Colts would want to invest that much money in a guy who, at best, only has 4-5 years left.

There are multiple problems with this that are becoming more evident as time goes by.  First of all, the Colts are terrible.  Winless.  They need help everywhere.  Being able to draft Andrew Luck at #1 and trade Manning for several additional picks is making more and more sense for this hapless team.

Secondly, do you really want to continue the Peyton Manning offense that's his signature style of play and force Luck to learn this as well?  If Peyton stays, the offense stays.

Will Bears GM Jerry Angelo Retire After This Season?

I just read that there are "persistent reports" that Chicago Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo may retire after this season is over.

Angelo has held that position since 2001.  He was the one who hired Lovie Smith, and the guy that orchestrated the trade for Jay Cutler.

However, I'm all in favor of the guy retiring.  The Bears have managed to win despite not having the kind of offensive talent that they have needed.  Trying to fit Devin Hester into a #1 receiver position is a prime example.  Not having offensive line talent is another.

The Bears are about to approach a critical juncture over the next few years.  The defense is aging and hasn't had new, far younger guys who have grown into stars.  They won't sign Matt Forte to a long-term contract.  I love Lovie Smith, but I felt he should have been fired a few years ago.

I just want a different approach.  

Rory McIlroy Dealing With Loss of US Open Trophy AND Dengue Fever

Earlier in the week, I blogged about Rory McIlroy was having difficulties with Chinese officials holding onto his US Open trophy.

Now news is spreading that McIlroy is suffering from Dengue Fever, and that is has been affecting his play over the last month.

McIlroy supposedly was infected with Dengue Fever while he was playing in golf tournaments in southeastern Asia in November.

What Is Dengue Fever?

Dengue Fever is a virus transmitted by certain types of mosquito.  There's no known effective prevention for it, and every year it's estimated over 50 million people are infected.  Found in the southern hemisphere in warm climates, it kills millions each year as well.

Yahoo post: Indiana Hoosiers Wake Up Echoes Of Past With Victory Over Kentucky Wildcats

I should be covering Indiana basketball more here, but if you read this post I put up over at yahoo, you'll know why I haven't before.

Indiana Hoosiers Wake Up Echoes Of Past With Victory Over Kentucky Wildcats

Yahoo post: Chicago Bears, Without Cutler and Forte, Face Off Against Tim Tebow and Denver Broncos

Here's my latest Yahoo NFL post.  I preview the game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos and try to come up with a scenario on how the Bears could win.

Chicago Bears, Without Cutler and Forte, Face Off Against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos

Does Ryan Braun Think We're All Stupid?

I'm going to say, first of all, that if by some miracle Ryan Braun is declared innocent of PED violations, I will write a post to apologize.

However, lay out the list for me of the athletes that have tested positive for illicit drugs that have been able to prove themselves innocent.

Go ahead.  I've got time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

ESPN's Finally Feeling Heat For Shoddy Reporting Policies

Twitter is now where news breaks on a regular basis.  It's the tool that those in the know are able to get out information that they can break to the masses.

In the sports world, because ESPN has been (not for long) the only 24 hour sports network, the Mothership was where all the news used to break.  If you wanted to know the latest rumors and breaking deals, you had to go to ESPN.  

Nowadays, thanks to Twitter, other sports reporters have an opportunity to break sports news and now ESPN is falling far behind the crowd in its reporting.  I've talked earlier about how the best investigative reporting has been done by Yahoo and Sports Illustrated in recent years.  ESPN seems to more of an entertainment network than an actual news network.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sidney Crosby Gets Some Time Off After Hard Hit, Penguins Playing It Safe

Sidney Crosby is getting a few games off from playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins after suffering another hard hit in a game Monday night.  After running into teammate Chris Kunitz, Crosby told team doctors that he wasn't "100%" afterwards.

Despite passing concussion tests, the Penguins are playing it ultra conservative after Crosby's long layoff in the 2010-2011 season following a concussion that wasn't rested properly.  Concussions don't always show up immediately after an impact, and the Penguins are correct in sidelining Crosby at any slight possibility that he may have sustained another head injury.  It's possible that the next concussion Crosby suffers could mark the end of his NFL career.

Here's the video of the hit he took Monday night.

Green Bay Packers Have Sold 185,000 Shares In Two Days

If you want to buy shares in the Green Bay Packers and be able to claim that you're an NFL owner, time is running out.  The Packers announced today that 185,000 shares had already been sold in the first 48 hours of the stock offering, raising $43 million so far for improvements to Lambeau Field.

There's only 65,000 shares left, and it's likely that those shares will be gone within the next week.  The Packers had originally set a deadline for the sale to end February 29, but clearly they underestimated the demand for the tickets.

I actually got myself one on Tuesday.  The Packers are the only publicly-held team in professional sports, and to be able to be a shareolder in an NFL team is an honor few football fans get to have.

If you can afford the $250 per share cost (plus a $25 handling fee for your total order), this is a great gift idea or just a unique present to yourself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Buy a Stock Share From the Green Bay Packers And Become An NFL Owner

The Green Bay Packers have opened up their stock sale December 6 in an effort to raise more money for renovations at Lambeau Field.

As the only non-profit publicly-owned professional sports team, the Packers are unique in the sports world.  When they need to raise a significant portion of money, they sell stock rather than hike ticket prices or attempt to tax the locals.

The last time a stock sale was initiated by the Packers, it was late 1997.

Shares are $250 each, with a $25 processing fee added to the order.  The Packers will send you an official stock certificate after the sale is over.

This is an amazing opportunity to become an NFL owner.  Despite the fact that you own only a small fraction of the franchise, you have stockholder privileges such as attending the annual stockholders meeting and being able to buy exclusive shareholder merchandise.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Women's Professional Soccer League In Danger Of Folding

I wrote an article and submitted it to Yahoo concerning women's professional soccer in America.  Despite the insane success of the women's national team at the World Cup this past summer, our domestic women's league is about to fold.  The dissolution of the sixth team in the league and the difficulty in finding sponsors for additional teams has made it likely that US Soccer will remove D1 status from the league.  As such, our national team players would most likely not be allowed to play it in anymore or risk losing the ability to compete internationally for the U.S.

I am admittedly a late-comer to women's soccer, but the more I watch the more I like it.  It's a cleaner, more beautiful game than most men's soccer games.  I wish that I lived in a city that had a WPS team, but the closest one is 1,500 miles away.

Ironically, that team (the Atlanta Beat) play their home games in the soccer stadium at Kennesaw State University.  I graduated from there in 1996.  If I was still living in Georgia, I'd no doubt go to the games.  At times, irony sure does suck.

I hope that the WPS can achieve a last-second victorious equivalent to the women's victory against Brazil in the World Cup.  It'd be a huge shame to see it go.

Ndamukong Suh Lied To Police About Car Accident

KGW in Portland, Oregon is reporting that Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh lied to police about the cause of his car accident this past weekend.  Suh was driving a 1970 Chevrolet Couple in downtown Portland very early Saturday morning and lost control of the car and crashed into a tree.

Suh told Police that he was trying to pass a taxi cab when he lost control.  According to two passengers, however, there was no taxi cab.  Suh simply gunned the vintage car at the stoplight and raced down the street until he lost control.

Three passengers were injured in the crash, despite Suh's assurances to the 911 operator that everyone was fine.

The Chinese Won't Give Rory McIlroy's US Open Trophy Back To Him

USA-China relations have hit an all-time low (tongue-in-cheek) now that China is refusing to release the US Open trophy belonging currently to Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy was competing these past few weeks in the Far East. Tournament officials wanted to display the trophy while he was there.  It was shipped to a Shanghai customs office, while McIlroy was competing in the Shanghai Masters, and agents were set to deliver it to the golf course.  However, as no one was at the golf course to receive it, it was packaged and brought back to the customs shipping office where it has remained.

Efforts by everyone connected to the trophy (including his sports reps and agent) have attempted to get Chinese officials to release the trophy but to no avail.

Who knows, maybe they'll have involve the State Department to get this one back.

If Alabama Barely Beats LSU In BCS Championship Game, Are They Really #1?

I heard a really good point made by Mike Greenberg this morning on ESPN's Mike and Mike.  If Alabama, on a neutral field, were able to squeak a victory past LSU, does that really mean they're #1?  By default, they're the BCS Champions, but how fair is that?

Okay, I know that the words "BCS" and "fair" don't go together at all.  If that were the case, Boise State would be in a BCS bowl game instead of West Virginia.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Latest NFL Yahoo Post: Chicago Bears Lose Matt Forte To Injury; Season In Total Jeopardy

Here's my latest Yahoo post where I discuss the latest tragedy to hit the Chicago Bears: Matt Forte's knee injury.

Chicago Bears Lose Matt Forte To Injury, Season in Total Jeopardy Now

Tim Tebow Making Me Believe In Him And The Denver Broncos

With each game that the Denver Broncos and Tim Tebow win, I'm becoming more of a believer in this particular team philosophy that coach John Fox has installed.  Stout defense, strong running game, and make as few mistakes as possible.  If you do those three things well, you will win far more games than you lose.

Many folks will say that the Broncos haven't faced a great team yet. A team that can put a lot of points up on the board. They haven't really been tested.  To that, I'd say...New York Jets? How about the Vikings today? Playing one of those crazy games where a team that shouldn't score a lot does, the Vikings put up 32 points on a Denver defense that had been averaging 11 points over the past three games.

San Diego Chargers Should Fire GM Smith When They Fire Norv Turner

It seems quite obvious that the Chargers are going to fire Norv Turner at the end of the season.  It's actually a move that they should have made a few years ago.  They missed out on potentially much greater success had they installed a better coach back when their talent level was higher.

A lot of that blame can go on GM A.J. Smith.  Smith was the guy who hired Turner in the first place, after firing Marty Schottenheimer (a move I did agree with at the time).  He was also the guy that drafted Philip Rivers and then let go of Drew Brees after Brees injured his shoulder at the end of the 2005 season because he had Rivers.

Should LSU Play Alabama For The National Championship?

Count me as one of those college football fans who really don't want to see Alabama play LSU in the National Championship.  Partly because it's been done before, and partly because I don't want to see another massive defensive struggle where neither team scores a touchdown.  

I know that the second time around, Nick Saban is less likely to be as conservative as he was in their first game.  I know that LSU's confidence has only grown since that game and that they may take more chances themselves.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Peyton Manning's Fusion Has Healed, But How's That Nerve Regenerating?

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts got the good news they were hoping for when Manning's neurosurgeon announced today that the quarterback's cervical vertebrae had completely fused.  This basically means that his neck is now stable enough to begin more strenuous workouts such as throwing.

What this does NOT mean is that Peyton is healed.  Let's review:

  • Peyton's surgery in September was needed because Peyton had pain in his neck that resulted from workouts.  Peyton had already been having problems throwing because nerve damage in his neck caused weakness in his throwing arm.  
  • The surgery accomplished two things: it removed the damaged disc and then fused the two vertebrae between that damaged disc to limit movement (and protect the spinal cord).
  • Roughly 12 weeks after the initial surgery, the fusion between the two cervical vertebrae has fused.
  • This does NOT mean that the original nerve injury has healed.  Nerve regeneration/healing can take weeks to months or never happen.  Peyton is the one that will deliver news about whether or not he can feel that the strength is back in his arm.  He may not really be able to tell for a few weeks as his workouts ramp up.
  • For more info, see my earlier post: Peyton Manning's Recovery Depends Totally On Nerve Regeneration Following Fusion Surgery
Hopefully Peyton will reveal more info tomorrow about where he's at in his rehab.  He's currently on schedule for the recovery that doctors thought he'd have, but there's no real timetable for his nerve to heal.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Did Urban Meyer Leave Florida Because He Was Sick, Or He Was Sick Of Losing?

Call me one of the skeptics when it comes to Urban Meyer's sudden return to coaching.  I'm not doubting that Meyer's health was an issue.  I believe the health risks induced by stress/fatigue were real and that they were serious.

I also believe they were induced by a Florida team that just wasn't nearly as good as the ones Meyer had become accustomed to coaching.  In Meyer's 10 years of being a head coach, he had five season where his teams won 10 games or more.  Of the five other seasons, his teams won nine games three times, and eight games twice.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Denver Broncos and Tim Tebow Win Another Game They Shouldn't

Being a Denver Broncos fan right now is the most frustrating and also the most exhilarating fan experience that's been had in these parts for quite some time.

On one hand, the Denver Broncos offense is just so unbalanced it's almost laughable.  Coach John Fox has gone to a run-first, -second, and -third approach because his quarterback has a hard time completing a ten-yard pass.  The running game, once Denver committed fully to it, has blossomed.  Right now they're ranked fourth in the NFL.  The passing game is ranked 31st.

New Yahoo Post: Wasn't Pretty, But Tim Tebow and the Broncos Defense Do It Again

This particular article gives a lot of credit for the Denver Broncos' victory over the San Diego Chargers to the defense and John Fox.  Tebow didn't make any mistakes, but he didn't make many plays today.

It Wasn't Pretty, But Tim Tebow and the Broncos Defense Do It Again

Maybe The Greatest Touchdown Catch Ever: Video

Check out this touchdown catch by Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson.  A one-handed, backhand grab in the corner of the end zone...amazing!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

NFL Takes First Step In Helping To Better Monitor In-Game Injuries On The Football Field

The NFL sent a memo out to all 32 teams this past week informing them of a new change to their injury protocols in-game.  
“A direct ring-down phone line must be in place from the NFL Observer position in the press box to both the home and visiting bench areas. This line should be clearly marked on the NFL Observer’s phone. The purpose of the additional phone lines is to allow the NFL Observer to alert the Athletic Training staff to a possible injury that may have been missed at field-level.”
This isn't at all a surprise.  Ever since the NFL has begun to make a big deal about helmet-first hits and fines/suspensions for illegal hits during the games, concussions and their management have taken center stage in the public's eye.  Five years ago, a huge hit on a player would cause nothing but celebration.  Now, the sight of a player down on the ground provokes discussions of concussions, neck injuries, and brain trauma.

Colt McCoy Got Hazed By Eric Mangini Staff: This Surprises Who?

There's a good article out today on Yahoo about how the former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator under Eric Mangini was pretty verbally abusive to quarterback Colt McCoy when he was a rookie in 2010.

I'm not sure if the idea that he was hazed hard because he was a rookie is at all unusual by certain coaching staffs.  However, in this particular case, it does seem abusive.

Go To Ohio State Where, If You're A Football Player, You'll Pass Even If You Put In Minimal Effort

I actually couldn't believe this Ohio State recruit said it.  Adolphus Washington, a five-star defensive end, committed to Ohio State University this week.

Among the school's stellar football reputation, and revered tradition in Columbus, Washington mentioned academics as a reason why he chose Ohio State.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New Yahoo NFL Post: Ndamukong Suh's Violent Actions Trigger Memories Of Albert Haynesworth

My review of Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh's actions today that got him tossed from the game. Remind you of anyone?

Ndamukong Suh's Violent Actions Trigger Memories Of Albert Haynesworth

Urban Meyer Doesn't Want You To Know YET That He's Next Ohio State Buckeyes Coach

Multiple sources have reported that Urban Meyer is the next head football coach at THE Ohio State University.  Multiple years, multiple millions per year....the actual contract is besides the point.

Meyer is, of course, denying it right now.  That is, he's denying that an offer has been made or accepted.  Course, he's not denying that he's in talks with Ohio State.  The story actually broke November 18, so it's picking UP steam instead of going away.  There's a reason for that.

The big reason why Meyer doesn't want to announce a deal yet is that Ohio State is still currently playing its regular season with its current head coach, Luke Fickell.  Meyer likes Fickell and doesn't want to disrespect the guy.  He also doesn't want to distract the team from its upcoming matchup with Michigan.

We all know this is going to happen.  Just be patient and all will be revealed next week.

Kyle Orton Goes To Kansas City Chiefs; Should Be Thankful

We'll never know how many teams wanted Kyle Orton after he was released by the Denver Broncos a few days ago.  The waiver wire pickup process is a closed one, with only the team who ends up with Orton identified.

We'll never know for sure if the Bears really wanted him, or the Redskins, or the Colts, or the Dolphins.  What I do believe is that the Chiefs were the best possible landing spot for him.

Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chicago Bears Want To Claim Orton? Smoke and Mirrors. It Ain't Happening

I'm finding it incredibly hard to believe that the Chicago Bears are in any way wanting to claim Kyle Orton off of waivers now that the Denver Broncos have released him.

As a Bears fan, I was very glad when the Bears got rid of him in the Jay Cutler trade almost three years ago.  Orton had a ceiling on his talent.  A ceiling that would not allow him to win games with his arm on a consistent basis.  The Bears won with him, even as a rookie, because they limited his passing and relied on a running game and a great defense.

There are tons of rumors out there now that with Jay Cutler's season-ending thumb injury, the Bears really want Orton.  Also, Orton supposedly pushed for his release because he thought the Bears would take him.

Really? It's all just peachy, isn't it? Cause any time there's a rumor out in the NFL that Player A wants to join Team B and it's mutual, the move always happens, right?

Denver Broncos Waive Kyle Orton; Why Now?

I was driving home from work today and was surprised to hear the news that the Denver Broncos had waived Kyle Orton.

Why was I surprised when he was in the last year of his contract, wasn't going to be brought back to the team next year, and clearly wasn't going to start again for the Broncos this year?

I was surprised that it didn't happen much earlier.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Ever-Evolving Opinion Of Tim Tebow

I've spent the past four days trying to come to a finite opinion on what I think of Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim  Tebow.

The only thing I know for sure is that I don't know anything for sure.

Here in Denver, the local fan base are, by a vast majority, converted over to the phenomenon that is Tebow.  I can't argue when the guy has gone 4-1 as a starting quarterback this year.  I love to watch Tebow play. His ups and downs, his successes and failures. Nothing is boring.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jay Cutler Breaks His Thumb; All Of Chicago Is In Mourning

I'm just as stunned as the next person.  Coming off an excellent game against the San Diego Chargers, the news out of Soldier Field that Cutler had a broken thumb was unexpected and shocking.

He certainly didn't act like anything was hurting him during the game.  Cutler threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns in a game that the Bears had to have to stay close to a wild card spot for the playoffs.  Now that they're 7-3, the playoffs seemed likely with their upcoming schedule.

Not, however, if Cutler is gone for the rest of the year.  Official word has yet to come from the Bears, but that should arrive tomorrow once their orthopedic specialist has had a chance to assess his injury completely.  As it's on his throwing hand, it's likely that he will be gone for some time.

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

My Yahoo NFL post on Jay Cutler's Broken Thumb And What It Means For Chicago Bears

With Jay Cutler Breaking His Thumb, Season Is In Jeopardy For The Chicago Bears

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Latest NFL Yahoo Post: Michael Vick's Injury-Riddled Season Is Bad Omen

My latest post on Yahoo is about Michael Vick's injury-plagued season.  He's sustained multiple injuries, and may not be able to continue to handle the punishment he keeps receiving.

Michael Vick's Injury-Riddled Season Bad Omen For Future

Mark Richt Has Saved His Job With Georgia's March To SEC Championship Game

When the Georgia Bulldogs lost their first two games of the season, most analysts (including me) wrote off their chances of having a successful season.  Coming off a disappointing 2010 season in which they went 6-7 and lost their bowl game (Liberty Bowl, ugh) to the University of Central Florida, Mark Richt was most definitely on the hot seat.

I have always liked Richt, but I was getting a bit sick myself of Georgia under-performing.  Richt's teams had gone a collective 14-16 against main rivals Florida, Auburn, and Tennessee.

In Richt's earlier years with Georgia, they won two SEC Championships in 2005 and 2002 but never got the chance to play for a national title. Since Richt joined Georgia in 2001, six SEC teams have won the BCS Championship (LSU twice, Florida twice, Auburn, Alabama).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Joe Paterno Has Lung Cancer, Firing Now A Blessing In Disguise?

No one wanted to hear about this: former Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno has lung cancer.  His son announced the news earlier today.  He also stated that his Dad's cancer is treatable and that doctors are very optimistic.

It's an odd turn of events, and the latest bombshell for a University and football team in turmoil.  Paterno has had a multitude of injuries over the past several years (hit on the sideline in 2006 and broke his leg, had hip replacement surgery in 2008), but this is the first illness that has been reported.

New Baseball Yahoo Post: Colorado Rockies Sign Brandon Wood

My latest baseball post for Yahoo is about former Los Angeles Angeles minor league phenom Brandon Wood.  After playing this year for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wood was signed by the Rockies as a third baseman.  They hope he can improve his hitting enough to compete with Ian Stewart.

Colorado Rockies Sign Third Baseman Brandon Wood: A Fan's Reaction

Many Reports Announcing Urban Meyer As New Ohio State University Football Coach

How much should you believe in these rumored reports that Urban Meyer will be the new Head Football Coach at Ohio State?  Sports by Brooks claims not only is the agreement done in principle, but he's already recruited much of his coaching staff.

(**Note, this story was written on Nov. 18; I wrote a follow-up piece on November 24)

This staff would include current head coach Luke Fickell, ESPN's best college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Spielman, and Jon Tenuta, among others.

I have no doubt that if Urban Meyer wants to coach again that he would choose Ohio State.  Of all the vacancies that are out there (Ohio State, Penn State, Arizona, New Mexico, Tulane, Ole Miss are the current openings), Ohio State is BY FAR the best job available.  The facilities, fans, and the multitude of millions the program brings in ensure top-notch surroundings.  Add to that a fairly cushy schedule (far easier than Meyer's days in the SEC) and easy-to-get top recruiting classes every year, and you have a team that should win 10 games every year.

Wow, This Highly Emotional Little Girl Really Wants Minnesota Vikings To Win: Video

If only the rest of the Minnesota Vikings team cared about winning as much as this little girl:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Yahoo Post: Colorado Rockies In Market For Second Baseman

So now I'm writing some baseball articles on Yahoo as well.  Here's my first piece:

Colorado Rockies In The Market For A New Second Baseman: A Fan's Perspective

How To Explain Tim Tebow's Success With the Denver Broncos

Did anyone really expect Tim Tebow to be 4-1 as a starter? So many folks (including me) really thought the Denver Broncos season was over when the Broncos benched Kyle Orton in Week 5.  

Obviously now, that was by far the correct decision.  The Broncos are actually now in a place where they could be in first place in the AFC West at the end of this weekend.  Tebow's four wins have come in a variety of different ways, but ultimately you have to say that in each victory Tebow was a major factor in the end.  I don't care about his stats. I really don't.  They don't really matter in the scheme of things.

How Different Would 2011 MLB Playoffs Have Been Under Pending Playoff Changes?

The big news out of the MLB CBA negotiations are that, starting in 2013, MLB will orient itself into two large 15-team Leagues instead of the current divisional structure.  They will also add an extra playoff wild card team to the mix, bringing the number of playoffs teams to 10.  I would expect from this that the top seed in each League would get a bye through the first round of playoffs.

How would this new playoff structure have affected the 2011 playoffs?

Houston Astros Sold, Team To Move to American League In New MLB Alignment

Well, the times are most certainly changing in Major League Baseball.  The Houston Astros were sold today to Jim Crane today for $615 million.  The bigger news is that the Astros will be moving to the American League in 2013 as part of the sale agreement.

MLB is on the verge of announcing a new CBA that will completely change the way baseball runs its season and playoffs.  Instead of 6 divisions spread out over two leagues, MLB is going to simply divide its teams into two 15-team Leagues.  The top 5 teams from each League will make the playoffs instead of the current structure of divisional winners followed by a wild card team.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Matt Leinart Article On Yahoo About His Second Chance To Start In The NFL

This is an article in which I discuss Leinart's history in the NFL and how profoundly disappointing he's been.

Matt Leinart Gets Second Chance To Turn Career Around

New York Jets Need To Start Looking For Quarterback To Compete With Mark Sanchez

I was going to write another article about how disappointing Mark Sanchez has been this season, but Yahoo's  Jason Cole has beat me to it with the exact same point I was going to shoot for.

In case you don't want to read the full article here (and you should), here are some highlights:

  • Sanchez has barely improved statistically since his rookie season.  
  • He still makes maddening throws that end up as interceptions.
  • The Jets are still not able to give Sanchez the lead in the offense, despite the fact that he's in his third year starting.
  • A big theme in the article is that Sanchez is being sloppy with his play, and that's leading to ill-timed turnovers.

Major League Baseball On Verge Of Revolutionary Labor Deal

Bet you didn't know this, huh? With all the NBA lockout/labor nightmare going on for NBA fans, most MLB fans probably have no idea that MLB has made astounding progress in their own labor negotiations.

However, that's exactly the latest news coming out of MLB today.  Both sides are very close to a new labor agreement that will ensure the longest continuous labor peace since the MLB Players' Association was formed in the 1960's.

The current labor deal, signed in 2006, was also signed with little animosity.  However, this current five-year deal being proposed is unusual in that the negotiations are going smoothly and quickly despite the revolutionary changes.

Everyone Changing Their Story In Penn State Scandal, This Is Going To Get Ugly

There's a few interesting developments in this Penn State Child-Sex Abuse scandal that has rocked this public institution.  Both could highly impact Joe Paterno and may be the basis for why he ultimately retained a high-powered lawyer.

First is the Jerry Sandusky interview with Bob Costas from yesterday.  
“I have done some of those things,” Sandusky said. “I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact.”
Notice the use of the term, "horsing around." That is the term that Paterno claims was said to him by then-graduate assistant (now assistant coach) Mike McQueary in describing what Sandusky was doing to the boy in the Penn State locker room showers.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Peyton Manning Okay With Colts Drafting Quarterback In 2012

Doesn't it seem like every piece of news out of Indianapolis in the past few months has indicated that Peyton Manning is unlikely to play again?

First we had all the negative news surround his neck surgery back in September.  Then, eights weeks after his surgery, Manning was fairly negative in his comments to the media concerning his healing and return.  Now, we have word that Colts Owner Bill Polian has said that Peyton Manning has given him his blessing on drafting a new quarterback in the 2012 NFL draft.

For someone who wants to see Manning play again, I'm feeling pretty discouraged by all this negativity.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Boston Bruins Reunite Soldier With Parents In Surprise Ceremony At Center Ice

I love these surprise reunions between returning soldiers and their families.

In honor of Veteran's Day, the Boston Bruins had Darren and Lori Jacobs, the parents of Lt. Charles Jacobs, come to center ice pre-game to drop a ceremonial puck.

Unbeknownst to them, Lt. Jacobs was actually flown home by the Bruins for a surprise reunion.  He had spent the past seven months in Afghanistan with the 182nd Infantry of the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

Grab some kleenex.

Dana White Tells Fans To "Shut Up" After Incredibly Short Title Fight

Dana White isn't always known as the most eloquent of spokesmen, but his vitriolic response to critical fans last night was absolutely the wrong move.

After a title bout that lasted 64 seconds, fans took to Twitter and Facebook to voice their displeasure with the way the night went.  Fans were upset with the short duration of the title fight and with the way the UFC put the rest of the fights online instead of another network or PPV.  That made it hard for fans to enjoy the UFC the way they normally do: on their gigantic big-screen HDTVs 

White, the President of the UFC, got very angry during the post-fight press conference when asked about fan response.
"For anyone to [expletive] about this fight because they didn't get to see [this fight or] that fight ... shut up!  You should've bought tickets if you wanted to see all the fights," White said. "And you don't like to watch them on Facebook? Seriously, shut up."
I understand why fans were upset.  They're used to paying $50 and, even if the title fight is a bust, you still have probably a half dozen other fights to watch.  Some are good, some are bad.  Well, this time fans didn't have to shell out any money but most ended up with watching only a title fight that wasn't worth much.

You know the old saying:  you get what you pay for.

In any case, White was very emotional and reacted poorly.  I would wager that he was upset with how the night went as well, but he couldn't exactly voice his displeasure with Dos Santos or Velasquez.  Instead, he turned against the group of fans who have turned the UFC into the success that it is.

Mike Shanahan's Reputation Is Far Better Than He Actually Is

Occasionally, I write guest posts for  Today they posted an article of mine that I wrote about  Washington Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan.

In the post I discuss the history of Mike Shanahan's coaching career and make a claim that he's not nearly as good as his reputation.  He has two fundamental flaws: he can't organize the defensive side of the ball, and he has little ability to select a quarterback (in his history, both Elway and Steve Young were already there when he coached them to Super Bowls, two of the greatest QBs ever).

He also proved in Denver that he can't properly run a team when he's given full control, and that's a major reason why he was fired there.  Apparently, Washington owner Dan Snyder didn't get that message and gave him the same duties when he hired him.

For more, go to Mike Shanahan Is Not Nearly As Good As He Thinks He Is.

Nebraska's Bo Pelini Says Game With Penn State Shouldn't Have Been Played: Video

Interesting how the one voice of reason in all this came from Nebraska.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Junior Dos Santos Knockout Of Cain Velasquez After One Minute Worst Case Scenario for UFC/Fox

As someone who wants to see the UFC succeed on Fox, this was the worst case scenario.  A challenger defeating a champion one minute into the fight with one hard shot to the side of the head.

Dos Santos is powerful, quick, and agile.  His ascent to the heavyweight throne was inevitable.  However, most thought that Velasquez would provide more of a fight.  Perhaps the 12-month layoff was too much for Velasquez to overcome.  Perhaps it didn't matter and Dos Santos is just that good.

In any case, this quick knockout can not be what Fox and UFC President Dana White wanted.  It would have been better to at least seen some back-and-forth punches.  Perhaps a little grappling.  Even some ground and pound.  Not this.

Let's remember that Shane Carwin most recently took Dos Santos to three rounds before he lost in a decision.  Carwin's jaw seems a lot more sturdy than Velasquez.  The Heavyweight ranks seem a bit muddled, but Dos Santos seems like the kind of champion who could dominate for a while.

No Air-Conditioning For Qatar World Cup With Temps Expected Above 106 Degrees?

I'm not going to immediately call this a disaster of epic proportions, but Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup (in part) on their assurance that the weather would not be a concern.

This is something akin to a city in Alaska winning a bid to host the Super Bowl on the basis of getting a dome built, and then deciding to build an open-air stadium instead.

Originally, Qatar officials told FIFA they could bring the temperature down to 26 degrees Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit), but John Barrow, the architect behind much of the new construction needed in Qatar, is shooting down the idea that air conditioning the stadiums is a feasible idea.
"It doesn’t need to be 26°C," he added. "Fan expectation needs to be a little more relaxed."

My latest Yahoo Post: Preview Of Chicago Bears-Detroit Lions Game

In which I discuss the first meeting of the Bears and Lions and what has happened to each team since then.

Chicago Bears Face Crucial Home Test Against Detroit Lions in Week 9

Penn State Starts To Get It Right With Students/Fans Supporting Victims Of Sex Abuse

After what has been the most turbulent week in Pennsylvania history since the battle of Gettysburg, Penn State University and its students are finally getting the right message out.

When long-time head coach Joe Paterno was fired on Wednesday night, it provoked a riot of roughly 2,000 distraught and angry students.

On Friday night, the student body held a candlelight vigil dedicated to the victims of the child-sex abuse allegedly perpetrated by former coach Jerry Sandusky.  Several thousand students attended and listened to speeches by student leaders and alumni.  The students seemed to get it.

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Tim Shaffer
 Today, for the football game, fans are being encouraged to wear blue in support of victims of sex abuse.  It's another good step forward.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Insane Video Of a Mountain Biker Being Charged By An African Antelope

At a South African mountain bike competition recently, Evan van der Spuy, was very lucky to have escaped serious injury after a run-in with a male antelope.

Run-in is putting it mildly.  The antelope charges the rider and simply plows him over.  Spuy suffered only whiplash and a concussion, despite the fact that his helmet was nearly split in half.
“I saw the animal moving to cross the road in front of me, but when I saw how close it really was, I was shocked" said Spuy. "Then, from the moment it hit me I was unconscious. I actually don’t know what happened from then.”
Check this unbelievable video out and see how lucky Spuy was to not have been killed:

Men's 2011 Tennis Season Winding Down, Novak Djovakic To End Season #1

So if you're like most casual tennis fans, you probably haven't thought much about men's tennis since the end of the US Open in September.  What have you missed?

No NBA Will Mean Much Bigger Audience For College Basketball

This is not exactly a revelation. With the NBA in its seemingly interminable lockout, college basketball figures to increase its audience this year.

I was at a sports bar last night and caught the crazy second half of the St. Johns - Lehigh game.  I was actually surprised to see the game, as I hadn't checked out the college basketball schedule.

The other thing that surprised me was how happy I was to see the game.  I'm not a huge NBA fan.  I was born in Indiana and have always loved the team-oriented, fundamentally-sound style of game that is fairly rare to see these days.  The NBA, with its reliance on 1-on-1 play, is less interesting to me.

However, it's November.  And it's cold.  We should be watching basketball.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Is It Really A Tragedy That Joe Paterno Isn't Going to Coach Another Game?

In what has been the biggest story in the sports world in some time, the Penn State Child Sex Abuse Scandal has eclipsed most other news stories in the past week.

I argue that it shouldn't really be a sports story.  Sure, it's being debated hotly by every sports talk show in the nation every day this week, and the key figures in the story are tied to the football program, but this is a tragic social event that has little to do with the game of football.

It's NOT BECAUSE IT'S THE END OF JOE PATERNO'S CAREER.  Let's stop making JoePa a victim in all this.  The true victims are those kids that were abused by Sandusky.  Joe Paterno losing his job is a fitting punishment to a guy who probably shouldn't have been coaching in the first place.

Sexual abuse of a child is a horrific, horrific thing.  I know someone who was sexually abused as a child and it has had far-reaching negative effects on their entire lives.  It ruins kids before they ever have a chance.

So, spare me the "poor JoePa" crap.  The man is supposed to be such a legend, such a force for good.  Witness the reaction of so many Penn State students and alums as they rally around the guy.  They love him, trust him.

It's a fair bet none of their kids were taken by Sandusky into the showers of the football locker room.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Alabama and LSU: The Day After

Hard to believe that, just a year ago, a lot of fans in Louisiana were calling for Les Miles' head.  Admittedly, I thought he was a bit over his head as well.  However, another dominant season from the Tigers has changed my opinion.

Saturday night they took it to what I thought was the best team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide.  In the Tide's house.  A rivalry game, by the way, they've won three out of the last four years.  Saban years.

Makes you scratch your head, doesn't it? Saban is the guy who gets all the evil genius compliments, the coach of the year accolades.  However, Saban seemed to coach this game insecure.  Playing it safe.  Until he didn't, and the one trick play that could have worked backfired with an interception on the goal line.

New Yahoo Post Article On Peyton Hillis

Just published another NFL article on Yahoo this morning about Peyton Hillis and his contract issues.

Peyton Hillis Has Cost Himself Millions

Is Anyone Else As Sick Of The Media's Treatment Of Tim Tebow As I Am?

I'm still trying to figure out if I'm lucky or unlucky.  I live in Denver where the biggest story of the 2011 NFL season has unfolded: Tim Tebow.  It's not for good reasons.  Nope, the media itself has made this story far, far bigger than it should be.

How is Tebow any different from other young, inexperienced quarterbacks who just didn't have what it took to succeed in the NFL? Plenty of other QBs have failed miserably without receiving the kind of seemingly gleeful wall-to-wall coverage of Tebow's failings this year.  Let's trot out a few: Drew Henson, Joey Harrington, Matt Leinart, Ryan Leaf, Brady Quinn, Alex Smith, Kyle Boller...

I could keep going.  All of these quarterbacks (with the exception of Hanson, who would have gone first round but took a MLB Yankees contract instead) were drafted in the first round.  All of these quarterbacks were declared failures fairly early into their careers.

2010 Broncos Training Camp With Tebow
Note the coach behind him studying his footwork
Does he have that kind of intense instruction anymore?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Coach Paterno Should Also Share Blame For Sandusky Scandal At Penn State

Forget the NCAA violations that USC committed. Cheap.

Erase in your mind the things that Coach Jim Tressel lied about in the Ohio State scandal. Small hill of beans.

What is enveloping Penn State University right now is the worst sort of wrongdoing you ever want to see on a college campus.  The kind of scandal that will rock a well-respected university to its foundations.

Allegations of child abuse, specifically of a sexual nature, by retired, long-time defensive football coach, Jerry Sandusky.  A man who started a boys organization under the guise of "helping" troubled adolescent boys, but who in reality was a sexual predator who used his special Penn State privileges to help him win these little boys' trust.

At the heart of the scandal, however, are some of the highest officials at Penn State.  The Athletic Director, Tim Curley, and the VP for Finance and Business, Gary Schultz, are both being charged with perjury in connection with their testimony in front of a grand jury into these allegations.  They're both going to lose their jobs and go to prison for protecting a monster of the worst kind.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Yahoo Article on Philip Rivers' Terrible Season

I just completed my latest content article for the Yahoo Contributors Network:

This Terrible Season For Philip Rivers Could Cost The Chargers The Playoffs

Peyton Manning Admits Nerve Regeneration Still An Issue, Neck Fusion Has Yet To Heal

On the two-month anniversary of his neck fusion surgery, Peyton Manning made an unexpected visit to the Indianapolis Colts locker room on Thursday.  Reporters gathered to talk to the team then mobbed Manning in a rare interview opportunity.

It was an unusual move for Manning in that he's been incredibly private since his neck surgery in August to fuse two vertebrae and remove a damaged disc that had been impinging on a nerve that controlled the triceps of his throwing arm.

When asked how he was progressing, Manning said this:
Nothing earth-shattering, just two months today since my surgery. Not a whole lot to report. Still waiting for the fusion to take place. That takes place, they thought, between two and three months. Still going slow with that. I still have some of the same issues I had before the fusion as far as the nerves and the regeneration. Still dealing with that, the idea being that this surgery gave me the most stability for the nerves to regenerate. That’s still a process there.

Now I Understand Why The Cubs Won't Hire Ryne Sandberg

I'll admit, I was pretty upset when the Cubs came out yesterday and said that they weren't going to interview Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg for the open managerial spot.  Not only is he a Cubs icon, but he's a promising MLB managerial prospect.  Currently he's managing the top AAA team in the Phillies organization (a year after he held the same spot for the Cubs).

However, after listening to Chicago writer, Dave Kaplan, on the Dan Patrick show this morning, I have changed my mind.  Kaplan made some excellent points on why the Cubs weren't going to select Sandberg.  Chief of them is a desire to remake the entire franchise from top to bottom.  That includes bringing in fresh faces all over, and not bringing back Cubs legends just because they were Cubs legends.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Los Angeles Dodgers Hire First Female Athletic Trainer In MLB

In the wake of all the stupid and crazy things that the Los Angeles Dodgers have had to endure in the past year with owner Frank McCourt's legal and financial troubles (as well as bad publicity from the fallout over the beating of Bryan Stow), the Dodgers have finally done something worth applauding.

Today the Dodgers hired the first female head athletic trainer in Major League Baseball (or any major pro sport in America), Sue Falsone.  For those who may not know, athletic trainers are concerned primarily with injury management and prevention. They're the staff that is a bridge between players and physicians.

Running Backs Who Lost Their Wheels In 2011: Update

Back in August, I wrote an article about running backs in the NFL.  Specifically, about which ones that were going to have a down year in 2011.

It's a rare running back that has 5+ highly successful years in the NFL at this position.  Two examples would be Adrian Peterson (in his fifth year and going strong) and Steven Jackson (although Jackson has suffered at the hands of a poor offense more years than not).

My feeling is that most running backs either run out of steam or that fire that has made them the best.  Things that can destroy a running back's career include a large contract, a long holdout, carrying the ball too much too many years in a row, and injury.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lane Kiffin Acts Like The Petulant Child Again, Blaming Referees For Loss To Stanford

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I'm not a Lane Kiffin fan.  I feel that Kiffin is one of those coaches who routinely places blame on others for his own shortcomings.

That being said, he still had his team in a position to beat Stanford on Saturday night.  With the score tied, a USC wide receiver caught a pass and attempted to go out of bounds to stop the clock.  Close observation of slow-motion replay showed that the player landed in bounds with a knee before he slid out of bounds.  The time on the game clock was 0:01 as he hit the ground.

Kiffin is telling anyone who will listen today that apparently he had some sort of agreement with the sideline official nearest him that he would call timeout as soon as the play was whistled dead.  He feels (and is probably right) that, with one play left in the game, his kicker could have made the game-winning field goal.
While the play was being reviewed, Kiffin reminded side judge Brad Glenn to tell the head referee that he had requested the timeout, and he said he received an assurance that the timeout would be called if it was ruled after the review that there was one second left."I was basically lied to," Kiffin said Sunday. (emphasis is mine)

Please explain your rationale to me, Coach Kiffin.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Yahoo Article On Why Tim Tebow's Days As a Starting Quarterback Are Numbered

Tim Tebow's Final Days As An NFL Starting Quarterback Are Approaching

Cam Newton Proving All The Doubters, Including Me, Wrong

I was so certain that Cam Newton was never going to succeed in the NFL.  Smug in my certainty, I waved off the early reports that Newton was grasping the offense and leading his team in pre-season workouts during the lockout. Why did I think he was going to have such a hard time in the NFL?

My Three Reasons Why I thought Newton Would Have Difficulty In NFL

Tim Tebow Can't Compare to Matt Stafford, Or Even 2011 Rookie Quarterback Class

Anyone who watched today's game between the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions saw a disparate tale of two first-round quarterbacks.

On one side, you have Matt Stafford, #1-overall pick of 2009, throwing for three touchdowns and racking up a 130.2 quarterback rating on 22 of 30 passes.

On the other side, you have Tim Tebow, the 25th pick of the first round in 2010, looking pretty lost at times while he threw for 172 yards on 18/39 passing with one touchdown, one interception, one fumble lost, and a qb rating of 56.8.

Both players came into the NFL after storied college careers (Stafford at Georgia, Tebow at Florida) where they looked competitive against each other on the field.  My, how times have changed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

San Diego Chargers Let Player Stay in Game With Concussion; Later Suffers Seizure on Plane

I've previously written more than a few times about how the NFL is missing the boat with their concussion management policy.  Teams are circumventing this in a myriad of ways, with the players ultimately suffering.  I think, until this week, that the most obvious victim of this abuse has been Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Not anymore.

Last Sunday, San Diego Chargers offensive lineman Kris Dielman appeared to have suffered a head injury on a play during the fourth quarter of the game with the New York Jets.  He went to make a block and then reeled away from the defender and fell to the ground.  When he attempted to get up, he was noticeably shaky and had a hard time standing.

The referee saw him, but didn't blow his whistle for an injury timeout.  Dielman seemed to be able to pull himself together after a few seconds and stay in the game.  No one from the Chargers sideline came in for him.

Now that incident itself might have been swept under the rug if Dielman has remained okay.  However, on the team charter flight back to San Diego that same night, Dielman went into a grand mal seizure.

Now the NFL is investigating.  Dielman was never evaluated for a concussion during the game, and was only diagnosed afterwards.  I've written before about how I believe it's only a matter of time before the NFL puts independent doctors on the sidelines of games to watch over the players.  Clearly, the teams are failing at this in some cases.

Miami Dolphins Reach Out To Cowher; Another Stupid Move By Owner Steve Ross

One would think that Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross would have learned his lesson last year.  While he still had a head coach on staff who had not yet been fired, he courted Jim Harbaugh and tried to hire him away from Stanford.

The move received a lot of negative  publicity in the NFL, where typically a coaching search is not supposed to start until you've actually got the head coaching position open.

Well, here he goes again.  Rumors are flying that Ross has contacted yet another potential coaching prospect before he has yet to fire Tony Sparano.  This time it's Bill Cowher, former coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers and current CBS analyst.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Guest Post About Matt Forte and His Contract Situation

I'm a guest contributor on another sports site, State of the Sport.  Last week I contributed an article that I wanted to share with my readers here.

Chicago Bears Risk Losing Matt Forte By Not Getting Deal Done Now

Indianapolis Colts Should Not Draft Andrew Luck, And This Is Why

When the 2012 NFL Draft rolls around next April, the overall consensus #1 pick will be Andrew Luck from Stanford (if he comes out of college, that is; he still has a year of eligibility left).

Of the three teams that right now will be most likely to have that #1 pick, the Miami Dolphins seem a much more likely choice to select Luck than either the Indianapolis Colts or St. Louis Rams (who already have their franchise QB in Sam Bradford).  

However, even if the Colts do get that #1 draft spot, they should not take Luck.  Even if Peyton Manning is unable to fully recover from his neck surgery of a few months ago, they should not take Luck.  

Here are my reasons why:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Legend of Tim Tebow Adds Another Thrilling Chapter With Comeback Victory Over Dolphins

For anyone still watching the Denver Broncos game against the Miami Dolphins late in the fourth quarter (and honestly, outside of Denver/Miami fans, you'd have to be a true glutton for punishment to be still watching), you got to see some of that special Tim Tebow magic that makes his fans love him so much.

There was something for everyone in that game, however.  If you despise Tim Tebow, there was plenty in the first 54 minutes of the game to love as well.  Wildly thrown balls (some, to be honest, were probably throwaways), near-frenzied scrambles as soon as a defensive player touched him, and virtually none of the excitement that we all thought we'd get watching Tebow start a game.

Denver couldn't even manage a conversion on a third-down play until the first scoring drive with about five minutes left to play in the game.  It was just overall a completely inept offensive performance that confirmed all the bad things his detractors have been saying for a long time now.

(Photo: John Leyba/Denver Post)

Then, all of a sudden, it was like the second coming of Tebow.  I don't know why, but suddenly he was completing passes.  He wasn't running, mind you.  The ball moved down the field via passing, and what was a 15-0 deficit turned very quickly into a 15-15 tie by the end of regulation.

Jerome Harrion's Brain Tumor Removed, Doctors Say They Got It All

Neurosurgeons have removed the brain tumor from Jerome Harrison and are saying they think they got the entire mass.  The diagnosis is a ependymoma, an uncommon tumor arising from brain tissues.  The tumor was discovered earlier this week on a physical prior to being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Apparently Harrison was truthful with his team doctor during the physical, and told him he was experiencing headaches. Most commonly symptoms of an ependymoma in the fourth ventricle of the brain (where Harrison's was found; a ventricle is a space in the brain where the cerebrospinal fluid is found) are severe headaches, vision loss, vomiting.  Other symptoms of this type brain tumor can include insomnia, temporary inability to identify colors, twitching, and seeing horizontal or vertical lines when staring into bright light.

About 85% of these type tumors are benign, but team officials haven't released information yet as to whether the tumor is benign or malignant.


So Where Is Peyton Manning At In His Recovery From Cervical Neck Fusion?

We are a little over six weeks from when Peyton Manning had his September 8 cervical bone fusion surgery, and I've been trying to figure out where he would be in his recovery. It's been difficult because the Colts have been in the kind of information lock-down that they were in before he had the bone fusion surgery.

A few weeks ago, Indianapolis Colts Jim Irsay said that Manning's recovery was coming along and that he'd put the odds of him playing this year at just under 50%.

Of course, he was improving from his pre-surgery condition.  Simply removing that problematic disc was enough to greatly alleviate Peyton's pain.  I would think one major sign of improvement would be to simply not be in pain.

The first order of business is to get the bone fusion to heal.  Healing of this sort is similar to any other broken bone, although as a fusion there is more extensive healing that needs to take place.  Six weeks after the process has started, you should be able to tell that the bone is healing.

However, according to one source, "substantive" bony healing doesn't happen for three to four months for the average person.  That would put us right at the end of the season.

Donovan McNabb Benched Because He Was Constantly Late And Didn't Know Offense

In what it rapidly becoming a sad end to what some thought at one point was a Hall-of-Fame career, Donovan McNabb will watch another game from the sidelines today.

With the promotion of Christian Ponder to the starting position, some might expect that there are some in Minnesota who oppose the move and perhaps this might cause some issue in the locker room.

They would be wrong.

A report by Michael Lombardi (NFL Network) is illuminating what kind of leader that Donovan McNabb has truly been in his three-month stay so far in Minnesota.  Apparently he's frequently late to meetings and practice, isn't putting in the kind of time required of a starting quarterback in the film room, and didn't know the offense to the point where he was finally forced to wear the wrist card with the plays on it.

Tim Tebow Time Starts Today For Denver Broncos

Two weeks of buildup in the Mile High City, and today it all comes to a head when Tim Tebow assumes the starting quarterback job in his first starting action since Week 16 of 2010.

Broncos fans are somewhat excited, although there are still many that don't currently support him (they don't support Kyle Orton, either, they just want the year to be over so that they can draft a new QB).  As I watch the game today in a sports bar in the Denver suburbs, I am fairly confident I will hear pro- and anti-Tebow comments constantly.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bryan Kelly Really Has No One But To Blame But Himself For Notre Dame Loss To USC

I'm extremely confused.  Did Notre Dame and USC switch game plans for the game tonight?

I'm sure legions of Notre Dame fans are wondering just how it is that Notre Dame ended up with only 43 net yards rushing tonight on just 14 attempts against USC (who, by the way, had 218 yards rushing on 44 carries).

Clearly USC had the better game plan tonight.  A ball control offense, utilizing the running game far more effectively than they had all season, accumulated 442 yards.  Quarterback Matt Barkley was accurate when needed, and very well protected in the pocket (not one sack by the Irish).

The Irish looked a step behind all night on defense, seemingly determined not to allow the big play deep but letting everything come in front of them.  Ultimately that hurt them, as USC had five drives of nine or more plays.  This resulted in the Trojans possessing the ball for almost 2/3 of the entire game (time of possession was 39:21).