Friday, December 02, 2011

The A-Rod of the NFL

Five years ago I wrote about the problem with Alex Rodriguez. I gave A-Rod two pieces of advice:
"1) You can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourself
2) When you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one"

Seems like those lessons could apply to Donovan McNabb as well. In the last 2 years, McNabb has burned bridges with 3 NFL teams. The biggest reason of course is his poor play. But there's something about McNabb that is incredibly unlikeable: he is a phony. He tries to say what he thinks everyone wants to hear, and instead his act is very transparent, and even more annoying.

After he was cut loose by the Minnesota Vikings, he did a couple interviews, ESPN, NFL Network and seemed even more unlikeable. He refused to say he wanted to be released to go play somewhere else, instead saying he want to give Christian Ponder room to grow. Not wanting to seem selfish, he didn't say he requested his release to go play somewhere immediately, he said he wanted to "clear his head."

Some desperate team may make a bid for McNabb. But I have feeling they won't be happy with his play or his personality.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Still Feisty After All These Years

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca recently settled a feud that started during the 1963 Grey Cup. Kapp tried to squash the beef by offering Mosca a flower.

An awesome move by the old codger using his cane to knock the glasses off Kapp's face. And that was when hell of a right hook by a 73 year old man.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Valentine's Day

Bobby Valentine is the new manager of the Boston Red Sox. They brought in Bobby V to bring some decorum to the clubhouse after last season's embarrassing chicken and beer meltdown. I think they have the wrong guy.

Not just because his enduring legacy is his mustache gambit. But also because his philosophy, which includes an affection for the sacrifice bunt, doesn't mesh with the sabremetricians in the front office, who have proven the sacrifice bunt is an ineffective use of an out.

Song of the Week

"Borderline" - Madonna
Some people think Lady Gaga is the natural evolution of Madonna. But I'll wait until she does something as good as this before I make that proclamation.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 12

I'm Never Picking Against Tim Tebow Again
Until the playoffs. This can't be a coincidence. The Denver Broncos are 5-1 with Tebow as the starter. He actually has gotten a lot better as a passer, a few of this throws in the win over San Diego were actually good throws. He still can't throw on the level of most NFL quarterbacks but for some reason the Broncos keep winning. I know it is the defense, but didn't they have the same defense when Kyle Orton was 1-4? Maybe he knows how to get the most out of his teammates. Maybe the increased reliance on the run slows down the game. Whatever it is, I am starting to believe it.

If You Want to Talk Trash, You Gotta Back It Up

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson did an hilarious touchdown celebration, mock-shooting himself in the leg, a la Jets receiver Plaxico Burress.

Problem is, Johnson's antics resulted in a penalty, which helped set up a touchdown drive for the Jets. And even worse, Johnson dropped not one but two passes that could have helped the Bills score a game-winning TD late in the game. You may remember Johnson also dropped a very catchable ball against the Steelers last year.


Speaking of selfish behavior costing your team, Ndamukong Suh. I am a huge Suh fan and I have been for three years now. And everyone who knows him says he really is a great guy on the field. So why does he keep acting like this? Does he lose control? Is he tried to intimidate people? His latest infraction, stomping on the chest of a prone Packers player, earned him a 2-game suspension, which will surely hurt his team. Suh has already been fined three times by the league office for aggressive play. He even met with Commissioner Goodell to discuss acceptable behavior. It's a shame to see such a great player behave so poorly.

Ain't That a Shame

Every year is supposed to be the year of the Texans. 2011 actually seemed to be going their way. Their nemesis the Colts are winless, and their defense is number one in the league. Add the great Arian Foster and the capable Matt Schaub to that and Houston seemed in position to make noise in the playoffs. Now Schaub, and his backup Matt Leinart are injured, and the season lies in the hands of TJ Yates. Even if the Texans hold on for the division title it'll be hard to win a playoff game with Yates at the helm.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins

The 6-game losing streak is over, and a win is certainly a lot better than a loss. But there is a lot to be discouraged about. Rex Grossman played another bad game, but managed to hit one big throw, to Anthony Armstrong for the game-winning score. Graham Gano missed two more kicks, but both were blocked so the line deserves blame too. Roy Helu, the lone bright spot this year, scored on a incredible TD run in which he hurdled one tackler, bounced off another and scored. One of the best TD runs I've ever seen.

Roy Helu hurdle

Picture of the Week
Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints dunks the ball over the goal post after a touchdown in the Saints 49-24 over the Giants. Graham is the latest basketball player to follow in the footsteps of Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates to become a great tight end.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Green Bay Packers 38 New England Patriots 21

The Packers don't necessarily look unbeatable. The Patriots offense seems to be back on course, but their defense is still suspect. How delicious would it be if the undefeated Packers met the Patriots in the Super Bowl?

Monday, November 28, 2011

In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

I was watching Mike Francesa on the YES Network this afternoon, something I never do, because of his extended and informative interview with Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard. During the course of the interview, YES showed a picture of Jim Boeheim and Bernie Fine on the bench during a game, obviously taken from the broadcast of a Syracuse game. I noticed, in between the heads of Boeheim and Fine, seated in the first row, my [nephew] Roach.

Allen Griffin's favorite former manager

It saddens me to see the likeness of Roach sullied by this ugly incident. Forever tied to the likely pedophile and his possible enabler.

Jim Boeheim's Arrogance May Be His Undoing

Syracuse's Jim Boeheim may be the secondary legendary coach in a month to lose his job over a sex scandal involving a trusted assistant.
The Bernie Fine mess has gotten more serious, and more weird, in the past 24 hours.
ESPN has released more information from Fine's accuser, Bobby Davis. This includes an audio tape of a conversation Davis had with Bernie Fine's wife, Laurie in October 2002. During the phone call, Laurie Fine seems to acknowledge her husband's molestation of Davis.
"I know everything that went on. I know everything that went on with him. Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues," she says.
But that's not it. The latest twist in the story is that Davis claims he fucked Laurie Fine when he was 18, and even told Bernie about it.
Also, there is a new accuser, Zach Tomaselli, who says he was molested by Fine in a hotel room in Pittsburgh in 2002.
Tomaselli faces his own charge for alleged sexual assault against a young boy, and Tomaselli's own father says he is lying about Fine.
But that didn't stop the University from firing Bernie Fine.
In light of new evidence, the taped phone call is most damning, the school was right to get rid of Fine.
And Boeheim could be next. His aggressive comments about Davis -- he called him a liar and an extortionist -- are a real embarrassment now that it looks more likely he was defending a child molester.
A chastened Boeheim released a much more conciliatory statement saying "I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse."

At this point I'm pretty sure Fine was molesting boys. And there's also a very good chance Boeheim knew about it, and his aggressive reaction was designed to discourage future complaints, and to make his denial seem more believable. This is absolutely terrible. If there is any shred of evidence to show Boeheim was a Paterno-esque enabler of a molester he should be fired immediately even if it torpedoes a very promising season.
And no student or alumnus should shed a tear, speak a word, stand on a lawn or tip a news truck in defense of him.
If this is true, Fine and Boeheim have sullied our University's reputation for years to come, and they should be the only targets of our anger.

Thankfully, it appears the University as a broader entity is doing -- and has done -- the right thing here. If that 2005 investigation was legitimate (Davis never handed over the tape of his call with Laurie Fine to the school), then this alleged problem may not turn out to be the kind of cancer that ate away at Penn State.

I Guess the Throwback Trend is Officially Over

Throwback jerseys, once the hottest trend are clearly no longer a hot fashion item. Mitchell and Ness is having a huge sale -- all jerseys are only $100 -- even ones that regularly sell for $275 or $300.
I've gotten a little too old to keep buying and wearing jerseys but they're cool to have for going to games.
So I may add this Mookie Wilson 1986 Batting Practice jersey to my collection.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Home-Court Advantage

Under the leadership of Dr. Darryl Gross Syracuse has billed itself as New York's College Team.
That certainly was accurate for the Season Tip Off NIT at Madison Square Garden this week. After a sparse crowd watched a mostly bumbling victory by Virginia Tech over Oklahoma State, the building came alive for the Orange as they took on Stanford.
But that decidedly partisan crowd was disappointed with how the Orange played for the first 30 minutes -- for the second game in a row.
But like the game against Va Tech the Orange turned it on and turned a 58-51 deficit into a 69-63 win.
The key play was a 3-pointer by Kris Joseph that started the run. K-Jo had made the Orange's last 3 baskets prior to that shot as well. When the game is on the line Joseph is emerging as the go-to guy who can get the ball and score, or create for others. All championship teams need a guy like that. And it's something Syracuse has lacked in the last two disappointing NCAA Tournament losses.

The other thing Syracuse has this year that has been absent in years past is depth. Though Jim Boeheim who loves burying players, especially young players, on the bench, is in the process of destroying that depth. Freshman Michael Carter-Williams only played 2 minutes in each of the two NIT games. And the more promising freshman, and the only capable big forward on the team, Rakeem Christmas, started both games, but played only 7 minutes total in the two games.
With James Southerland (my favorite player on this year's team) likely to wind up in Boeheim's doghouse again soon (for his indiscriminate shooting and indecisive defense) Boeheim will be back down to 7 players in his rotation soon.
Last year Boeheim stuck with Fab Melo (mostly because he had no choice) and it's paying off as Melo is playing much better this season, especially on defense in the middle of that zone. I don't want to jinx the young fella but right now I would have to say that Melo "shows promise."

Boeheim's biggest challenge this year will be managing his guards. He has the older, experienced players in Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine. But I think we all agree that in most cases the two sophomores Dion Waiters and CJ Fair (Josh Pace with a jumpshot) are more reliable so far this season.
Three of those guys can play together if Boeheim wants to, and is able to go small. But at crunch time someone has to be the point guard, the orchestrator. Jardine, for all his play-making ability, really can't be trusted. So it will be interesting to see which of the other guys emerges.
Fair and Waiters each made big 3-point plays to key that run against Stanford. Those two guys are clearly the future of the program. How big a role they play in the present will determine if this season ends in a disappointing upset loss in the tournament the way so many Syracuse seasons have done.

Syracuse celebrates its NIT championship
obligatory picture of Jim Boeheim making a stupid face