Sunday, January 29, 2012

How Did Pittsburgh Penguins Doctors Miss Sidney Crosby's Neck Injury?

**Update: News released today from the Penguins indicate that Crosby's injury is not fractured vertebrae but a soft tissue injury that may be aggravating his condition. He's now getting treatment for that.

If you're a doctor, this has got to be your biggest fear.  If you're a doctor who also happens to be a team physician/surgeon (which is typically a volunteer position), this is beyond your worst nightmare.

News emerged yesterday that Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who has been sidelined the better part of a year with concussion symptoms, also had an un-diagnosed injury to his neck.  Reports have not been detailed yet, but word is that Crosby had sustained fractures to his C1 and C2 vertebrae that have since healed.

That's pretty big news for a guy who most likely has had extensive testing by his Pittsburgh doctors over the past year.  Crosby was hit twice over the span of a week in late December, 2010 and early January, 2011, and was diagnosed with a concussion.  His symptoms took several months to abate, and it wasn't until late November that he was back playing in games again.

Of course, then he took yet another hit December 5 and his concussion symptoms returned.  Since then he's been all over the country to see various specialists about his head.  It wasn't until Tom Brady suggested to him, through certain channels, that he went to see this world-renowned spinal specialist, Dr. Bray, in Utah.

Novak Djokovic Not Greatest Tennis Player Ever....Yet

I wrote an article over on Yahoo about why Roger Federer isn't the greatest player ever.  My two primary reasons for it was that when Federer first burst onto the scene, there really wasn't any peer to challenge him (not like now).  Secondly, he can't beat Rafael Nadal. You can't have a 2-8 record against the same guy in Grand Slams and be considered the greatest.

Can the guy that beats you like that, Nadal, be the greatest? I think, if asked that question a year ago, I would have said he's on his way.  He'd won 10 Grand Slams at age when Federer had only won 9, and he was coming off a year (2010) when he won three Grand Slams. He looked dominating.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Craig James Harassed Texas Tech Coaches During Games To Play His Son

Sports By Brooks is reporting today that, while in the broadcast booth for three Texas Tech football games in 2009, former ESPN analyst Craig James called the sidelines to tell coaches to play his son, Adam.

Adam, if you remember, was the center of a scandal that involved then-coach Mike Leach allegedly disciplining the younger James by locking him in an equipment shed during practice.  As a result of the controversy that surrounded this, Leach was eventually fired by Texas Tech.

I'm not sure of the exact definition of "meddlesome parent", but this has got to be pretty close.  What is amazing is that ESPN wouldn't have known of this situation with James calling from the broadcast booth during games.  If this is true, then ESPN failed greatly in its role as impartial news organization.

It really doesn't change my opinion of Craig James at all.  It sounds like something he would think he could do.  I already considered the guy to be a terrible blowhard analyst,  and was very, very happy he decided to leave ESPN and make a run for Senator from the great state of Texas.  After he left them open to a potentially damaging lawsuit from Leach, I'm sure ESPN is very glad to see him go as well.

Yahoo Post: Why Scheduling Pro Bowl Before Super Bowl is Smart

In this post, I talk about why the NFL moved the Pro Bowl to the weekend before the Super Bowl, and why I'm a big fan.

Scheduling NFL Pro Bowl Before Super Bowl Is Smart

Video: Great Catch By BallBoy During Nadal-Federer Match At Australian Open

Rafael Nadal On Way To Being Greatest Tennis Player Ever

I can't wrap my mind around the idea that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player ever.  Not when he has a 9-18 record against Rafael Nadal. Not when he is 2-8 against Nadal in Grand Slam tournaments.

There's no doubt that Federer is a great player.  You can't win 16 Grand Slams in your career (best ever) and not be one of the greats.  Federer's domination on (virtually) all courts is well-known, but as Nadal's skill on the grass and hard court has improved, Federer has had a tough time winning.  With Federer's loss today in the semi-finals of the Australian Open to Nadal, he hasn't won a Grand Slam in his last eight tries.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Terry Bradshaw Gets Chewed Out By Wife Of New York Giants Owner

Terry Bradshaw was trying to interview Victor Cruz in the victorious New York Giants locker room after the NFC Championship game on Sunday when Mrs. Mara, the wife of the late Wellington Mara, approached him.  Very rightfully, she took the opportunity on national tv to scold Bradshaw for never picking the Giants to win.  Pretty funny stuff.

Houston Astros New Owner Going To Lower Prices on Tickets And Beer, Will It Bring Fans Back?

New Houston Astros owner Jim Crane recently announced several new initiatives for the new 2012 MLB season that I think will draw fans back to Minute Maid Park.

In 2011, the Astros were 19th overall in MLB attendance, averaging 25,518 fans per home game (about 62% capacity).  For a team that had a 56-106 record in 2011, I think that's actually really good.

Terrell Suggs Calls Skip Bayless A Douche Bag, Sports Fans Everywhere Rejoice

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Football Yahoo Posts On Manning Brothers

I've posted a few articles on yahoo as of late. Strangely enough, they both involve the Manning brothers.

Could Eli Manning Surpass Older Brother Peyton With Second Super Bowl?

Peyton Manning Should Be Forced To Learn New Offense If He Goes To New Team

Chip Kelly Going To NFL's Tampa Bay? Must Mean Sanctions Coming For Oregon

If this rumor of Oregon's Chip Kelly going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is correct and he ends up there, it will be Pete Carroll leaving USC all over again. (***Edit 1/23: Kelly has backed out the offer made by Tampa Bay and will staying at Oregon)

Carroll left a very successful run at USC in an off-season in which USC was eventually hit with several serious NCAA sanctions for violations committed under Carroll's watch.  Despite saying prior to leaving that he didn't think that the sanctions would be that bad, he bolted for the first NFL job he was offered.  In two seasons as Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks, his record is 14-18.

Now Chip Kelly is the latest Pac-12 coach to bolt a team rumored to be hit with sanctions in the near future. If he were to take the Tampa Bay job, he should be subject to some sort of punishment by the NFL/NCAA. This past season saw Terrell Pryor serve a multi-game suspension when it looked like he was simply bailing on Ohio State so he wouldn't have to serve a NCAA suspension. Why can't the NFL do the same thing with a coach?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jim Tressel To Be Interviewed By Indianapolis Colts For Head Coaching Vacancy??

Well, I guess ultimately everyone in the Ohio State scandal is getting what they want? We're a year out from the tattoos for memorabilia scandal that rocked Ohio State University.  Where are all the players now?

Terrell Pryor got to go to the NFL a year early to make a bit of money and see what he can do.

Ohio State, after suffering through one craptastic season (by their standards), hired one of the best coaches in America, Urban Meyer.  They're set to return to the BCS Championship game shortly.

Now we have the major player in the scandal, in my opinion, former coach Jim Tressel, perhaps getting an opportunity to interview with the Indianapolis Colts for their head coaching vacancy.

Glad to see that justice is alive and well in sports.

It's not as if Tressel's interview opportunity is out of left field.  He did work for the Colts this past season, albeit it as a replay consultant in the coaches' box.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Does Anyone Think David Carr Is a Good Backup For Eli Manning??

I just saw a story on Yahoo tonight that made me choke.  In it, David Carr was lauded for his practicing ability and for being a solid backup for Eli Manning.

Who are they talking about? If we're talking about the David Carr that I know, we're talking about a guy who is 23-56 in his career as a quarterback.  A guy who has bounced around the League since he was released from the Texans in 2007.  He's played for the Giants, Panthers, and 49ers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Could Bryce Harper Start This Year In The Majors For The Nationals?

First they said Bryce Harper was going to be a sure quick-trip to the majors, potentially by the end of his first year in professional baseball.  Then the Washington Nationals said that they were gonna bring him along a bit more slowly, make sure he understands the finer points of the game and that a 2012 debut was unlikely til the end of the season.

Now new manager Davey Johnson is making waves talking about how it's possible that phenom outfielder Bryce Harper could start the regular season on the Nationals roster.  How did things turn around so quick?

Photo by Christian Peterson/Getty images

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Broncos Need To Pick Up More Quarterbacks To Challenge Tim Tebow In Off-Season

That was one hell of a ride, wasn't it? 

The roller coaster season of 2011 is finally over for the Denver Broncos, and Tebowmania will now hopefully take a break for some months.  If anything, the loss to the New England Patriots showed the Broncos just how much work they had to do to get to their level.


They got very little pressure on Tom Brady last night, who got the ball out of his hands pretty quickly.  They only hit him twice, and never sacked him.  They also only got two tackles for loss. If you can't hit Brady a lot more often, he will do just what he did last night.  The defensive tackles have got to be upgraded, and the depth overall in the front seven must improve.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Best Tim Tebow Line Ever: God Doesn't Love Athletes More

Prior to the New England Patriots-Denver Broncos game on Saturday night, CBS will show an in-depth interview with Tim Tebow.

Troy Polamalu Won't Have To Pay Fine For Calling Wife On Sidelines

Thank goodness someone at the NFL's top level has a heart and a brain.  Safety Troy Polamalu was injured during a Pittsburgh Steelers game back in October and was diagnosed with a concussion.  On the sidelines after the hit, Polamalu requested a cell phone from a trainer so he could call his wife and tell her he was okay.

NFL rules stipulate that no one on the sidelines of a game may use a cell phone, PDA, or similar device from 90 minutes before a game starts til the end.  Therefore, they fined Polamalu $10,000.  The Steelers safety appealed, and today the NFL ruled that he had won his appeal and won't have to pay.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Brian Schottenheimer Fired From Jets, How Happy Is Mark Sanchez?

The Jets finally pulled the plug today on their offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.  Fired from the staff after Coach Rex Ryan indicated all would be safe at the end of the season.

It's not at all a surprise, though.  Schottenheimer has been roundly criticized for his game plans this season and for the lack of success of the Jets' offense.  They were 25th overall in the NFL this year.  He has also been partially blamed for the lack of development (or lack thereof) of quarterback Mark Sanchez.  I've never been a fan of Sanchez, but how much of that was just a failure in coaching with Schottenheimer?

Whoever the Jets select as the new OC will need to figure out how to turn Sanchez around.  It's possible that a new approach may work better with the former USC qb.  I am still not a believer, but I'm willing to allow him

Is the BCS Really Serious About A Playoff Now?

After possibly the most lopsided and boring BCS Championship game in history (don't just listen to me, it was the lowest rated BCS Championship game EVER), those that actually run the BCS have seen the proverbial light and are now "discussing" changes to the post-season format.

The commissioners from the 11 FBS Conferences met today in New Orleans to discuss initial ideas for changes that would take effect for the 2014 season.  Why the 2014 season?

Hmm....could it have anything to do with the fact that the current tv contract that the BCS has with ESPN expires in 2014????

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers Inexplicably Fall Apart Against The Denver Broncos: A Yahoo Post

Here's my latest Yahoo post. It's a look at today's Denver Broncos-Pittsburgh Steelers game from the view of a Steelers fan (which I am not).  I try to explain how the top-ranked defense in the NFL could give up so many yards to one of the worst (statistically-speaking) quarterbacks in the league in their biggest game of the year.

Eli Manning Is Money: How He Should Someday Win A Second Super Bowl

The more I watch Eli, the more I wonder if he isn't the better of the Manning brothers at quarterback. Oh, I know, Peyton is tremendous and it hurts the comparison by having him injured for a whole year.  Certainly, also, the debacle that was this year's Indianapolis Colts season certainly pulled back the curtain on what is a somewhat barren franchise without Peyton playing.

However, Eli has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the League this year.  After being roundly laughed at in the beginning of the year for comparing himself to Tom Brady, Eli has gone out and proved himself to be an elite quarterback.  This year he threw for 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Peyton's best season was 4,700 yards in 2010.  Certainly Peyton has had several seasons of throwing for 30 touchdowns are more, but a lot of that is due to the lack of a running game for the Colts.  Peyton HAD to throw in situations that would have been rushing touchdowns for the Giants.

Denver Broncos Led By Tim Tebow Complete Epic Upset Over Pittsburgh Steelers

If you're a Steelers fan, this was the worst game of your life.  Last weekend, I watched the Broncos-Chiefs game around some Steelers fans who all chirped after the game about how badly the Steelers would beat the Broncos.

Then Tebow time happened. Crazy enough, it started off in the second quarter.  That end-of-game aggression that we have seen so many times this year finally was on display the entire game, AND IT WORKED!  Whether the Broncos were simply holding this back in reserve as a game plan, or whether they simply saw a vulnerable Pittsburgh Steelers secondary, the word of the day was aggression.

Tebow had 316 yards on 10 completions, and four of those completions were for 40 or more yards.  This was against the NFL's #1-ranked defense.  The Steelers were tops against the pass, total yards, and points allowed.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why Are Both Matt Barkley And Landry Jones Staying In College?

What is up with college quarterbacks these days? First, we have USC's Matt Barkley announcing he was returning for his senior season and now today Oklahoma's Landry Jones has announced he is staying as well.

What happened to the days of quarterbacks leaving early for the draft like Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford?

Okay, maybe those examples are EXACTLY the reason why these two guys are staying in school.

Son Of Hall of Fame Running Back Barry Sanders Will Be Attending Stanford

Barry J. Sanders, the son of Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders, is reportedly going to commit to Stanford as his college of choice.  He has been playing for a high school team in Oklahoma City.  The Cowboys were in close competition with the Cardinals until recently.

Photo by Matt Barnard/Tulsa World File
Sanders has reportedly taken after his father in his shifty style of running.  This past year he had 1,324 yards with 27 touchdowns.  He had an incredible 9.5 yards per carry.

It's a recruiting boon for Stanford, who will most likely lose Andrew Luck in the coming NFL Draft.

It's also a recruiting coup for the Pac-12, which should be able to compete with the SEC shortly in conference domination.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Future Potential Owners Of The Los Angeles Dodgers Include Joe Torre and Steve Garvey

The Los Angeles Dodgers have suffered a great deal under owner Frank McCourt, but those years of suffering are soon to be over.  The Dodgers are about to find new owners.  MLB forced the Dodgers to put themselves up for sale after the team declared bankruptcy earlier in 2010.
Numerous groups have come forward indicating their interest in purchasing the Dodgers. Let's take a look at the most promising candidates:

Tim Howard Scores Amazing Goal For Everton From His Goal Keeper Position

Although Everton did lose the match 1-2 to Bolton, American goal keeper Tim Howard scored an amazing goal.

Check it out:

New Akron Coach Terry Bowden Has Two Warrants For His Arrest In Alabama

Terry Bowden may have finally escaped the state of Alabama, but now they want him back and bad.  It's not because of his coaching prowess, but rather to answer to two warrants that have recently been issued for his arrest.

It seems back in July Bowden was pulled over and cited for going 60 mph in a 30 mph zone and having an improper tag.  He never showed up for his September 1 court appearance, and was subsequently fined $537 for his tickets.

A Tim Tebow Super Hero Comic Book? Yep, It's Happening

In a move that will certainly disgust his detractors and thrill his supporters, Tim Tebow is about to get his own super-hero comic book.

The three-part series is a collaboration between comic book makers Marvel and ESPN. Yep, ESPN, the 24-hour sports news network that has become Tim Tebow's unofficial publicist. I have no idea why they are directly involved other to say that they have completely abandoned the idea that they are supposed to be reporting the news, not making comics.

There's no known direct connection to Tebow, and it's not known how the quarterback feels about this (although I'm sure he's not unhappy about it).

The comic books should be ready for purchase in the next few weeks.  They will undoubtedly sell out, no matter how the Broncos fare against the Pittsburgh Steelers this coming Sunday.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Direction Of Chicago Bears Hinges On New General Manager Hire

As a Chicago Bears fan, I've been extremely frustrated with the direction of the team over the past several years.  Not necessarily with how it's been coached by Lovie Smith, but rather the direction of player acquisitions.

To me, the first bad move was getting Jay Cutler.  Don't get me wrong, I actually love Jay and think he could easily become the greatest quarterback in Bears' history.

It's a bad move for two reasons.

  • The Bears gave up too much to get him (two first-round picks in 2009 and 2010 for starters)  
  • Once they had him, they didn't get anyone else.  No top-flight wide receivers, no highly-ranked offensive lineman.  They even went out of their way to trade away Cutler's best target in tight end Greg Olsen this past off-season.

San Diego Chargers Keep Norv Turner And AJ Smith; Fans Wailing In The Streets

Of all the changes that are expected (and have already occurred) in many NFL franchises this month, one particular team was widely expected to make some significant changes.

The San Diego Chargers, however, had different ideas.  Today they announced that they are retaining their embattled General Manager, AJ Smith, and their under-achieving Head Coach, Norv Turner.
"Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs," owner Dean Spanos said in a statement. "A.J. Smith is the best man to improve our roster, and Norv Turner is the best man to lead that roster on the field."

Yes, these two together have had a lot of wins and AFC West titles.  Turner is 52-34 as their coach, and in nine years under Smith they've accumulated five division titles.  However, look at the state of the division during that time and tell me exactly how the Chargers, with their stacked rosters every year, shouldn't have easily won the division more than that.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bill Polian Fired In Indianapolis, Could Caldwell and Peyton Manning Be Next?

Heads are rolling today in the NFL as most teams have finished their season and are beginning preparations for next year.

In Indianapolis, which suffered through a horrendous 2-14 season, the first to go were long-time vice-chairman Bill Polian and his son, General Manager, Chris Polian.

This isn't really a surprise for anyone who saw this past season.  With Peyton Manning unable to play the entire year, the Colts were left on their own.  Manning clearly masked a great deal of mediocrity in the Colts organization. It's amazing how one great quarterback can compensate for a poor defense, offensive line, special teams, but that's what happened.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Eli Manning In The Hall Of Fame? It's Early, But I Think He Has Good Shot

Even after Eli Manning won his first Super Bowl, I wouldn't have thought it possible that he could ever approach the lofty statistics that his elder brother, Peyton, has accumulated.

After all, Peyton Manning was the Manning brother who has always been deemed the better of the two, by far. Peyton was the brother who supposedly would win multiple Super Bowls. Peyton was the one who would attempt to break Brett Favre's records.

A funny thing has happened in the past year, however.  While big brother Peyton has been out all season convalescing from neck surgery, Eli has put together his third straight 4,000-yard season passing.  In 2011, he passed for just under 5,000 yards with 29 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions.

Eli's issues in the pats have been consistency and decision-making.  Now he's becoming known as a clutch performer in the fourth quarter.  He set the NFL record tonight for most 4th quarter touchdown passes in a season, besting both Johnny Unitas and Peyton.

Tim Tebow Is a Very Frustrating Quarterback For Denver Broncos Fans

Every time I think Tim Tebow has shown enough promise to be given the starting job in 2012, he goes and has a game like he did today.

6-22, 60 yards, 1 interception, QB rating of 20.6

You could try and blame a conservative game plan (very similar to the one they've played most of the season); you could blame drops here and there by receivers. You could try and blame the coaching staff.

However, I have a hard time getting over the completion percentage of 22% by a guy who has only been a 48% passer the whole season.  Missed opportunities defined this game as there were times when the game possibly could have been broken open had Tebow been on target to a receiver down the field.

Could Tom Brady Break The Passing Record That Drew Brees Broke Last Week?

After Drew Brees broke the NFL record for single-season passing yardage last week, most people seemed to put this particular story to rest.  Brees broke it, story done.

However, an interesting scenario is playing out.  Tom Brady is only 191 yards behind Brees.  If Brady goes off today against Buffalo (and don't think they he won't after his last game against them in which he threw four interceptions), he could conceivably have a 300-350 yard game. 

If Brees has either an off day after the emotional high of last week, or is benched to save him for the playoffs, Brady could overcome him and actually become the new record-holder.  New Orleans is playing to try and get a first-round bye, but if San Francisco blows out St. Louis early, the Saints might bench Brees by the third quarter.

Then again, if the Saints are keeping an eye also on Brady's stats and really, really want this record for Brees to stand, they will call plenty of passing plays in the first half.

It's just an interesting sub-plot to keep an eye on today.