Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shooting Youself in the Foot....errrr Leg

Life isn't fair sometimes.

That's the way it goes, deal with it.

Should athletes (or people in the public eye, in general) have to worry about being asked for autographs, pictures, or face harassment from over-served patrons in clubs?

The answer should be no.

But it isn't, and that is the reality of it all. It is part of the "deal" that you make with society.

In the case of pro athletes, they are paid gobs of cash to play a game. Along with the green comes a certain sacrifice of privacy. They are recognizable figures in the community in which they play.
It comes with the package that includes large salaries.

If I want to go out for a cold beverage, I can do that. Nobody knows me, nobody cares.

If a star NFL player wants to go out, he'll be a focus of where he is going. Sorry, welcome to reality.

Posses are nice, bodyguards are good too (except for Pacman Jones). Worried about a DUI charge? Get a limo (didn't help Darrent Williams). Ask Jacksonville Jaguar lineman Richard Collier what happens when you simply mind your own business.

Simply put, not a whole lot of good happens after midnight when you are out on the town. Not when your livelihood is at stake. That is the trade off, fame, adulation, more money, groupies, cars, and trouble.

For some, guns are included on that list. For most, guns are a form of protection, unless, reportedly, you are Plaxico Burress....we'll deal with the allegedly potential felony charges later.
For others, it is a magnet for trouble.

If you need a gun to go out and protect yourself, perhaps you should go somewhere else or simply stay home. Staying home cost Redskin safety Sean Taylor his life, but that is the exception to the rule.

Is it fair ? No, not even close.

But that is the way it is, deal with it.

Stop Whining

With a three-way tie in the Big 12 South now official, the division title will be left to the fifth tiebreaker which is BCS rank.

When the rankings come out later today, expect Oklahoma to jump Texas in the computer polls based on its 61-41 win over Oklahoma State. The strength of schedule matters in this case.

Texas fans are already groaning about the mere possibility of their beloved Longhorns being passed by Oklahoma.

True, Texas beat Oklahoma 45-35 on a neutral field in October. I'll give them that one.

However, this is a three team tie we are dealing with.

For Texas to cry fowl is ridiculous. Texas Tech beat Texas and they only have one loss. Why Texas fans, is your club more deserving than the team that beat you and has the same record?

I don't care that the game was in Lubbock and you lost on the final play. A loss is a loss. If the argument is that Texas is more deserving than OU, then finish the statement with the opinion that Texas Tech deserves it more than yourselves.

Then the discussion can turn to OU's beatdown of Texas Tech eight days ago. And around and around we go.
The eventual tiebreaker stinks, but so does the whole system.

Sorry, Charlie

Dude, you took a Ty Willingham-recruited team to within 10 seconds of upsetting a great USC team in 2005 and they were ready to nominate you for Pope.
Now, with the players you recruited and a much softer schedule, the Fighting Irish ain't getting it done. More importantly, the *****-star recruits aren't getting better under your watch.
Forget the USC loss, as ugly as it was. The Irish lost, at home, on senior day, to Syracuse. It doesn't get any lower than that - until you consider the players were pelted by snowballs from their own student body.
It is time for a change in South Bend

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scrooge Comes Early

The holiday season is on the horizon, time for good tidings and warm thoughts to all.

Umm.....not here. Not yet.

The Raiders beat the Denver Broncos 31-10 today, in Denver. We may be 3-8, but this win is a beautiful thing and caps a very nice weekend for myself.

When it comes over Denver, their idiot fans who pelted me with snowballs in 2000, and the overrated, punk, coach Shanny, it is even sweeter.

I'm running through my head which teams - or in one case, player - do I actually hate the most. I know, the word hate is ugly, but in the world of sports, it fits. I couldn't stop at just 10, we'll make it a baker's dozen.

****Sorry for the lack of pictures in this blog. The thought of downloading any of these team's logos makes me want to hurl.*****

13 - New York Giants - The champs. Rooting for them in last year's Super Bowl (see below) but the thought of Randy Moss winning a Super Bowl was too much to take. Living in New York State, I am exposed to this team every week and it sucks. Being force-fed Giants football is typically like watching paint dry. They've gotten a little more exciting this year, but 30 years of boredom is enough to keep them on the list.

12- New England Patriots - Moss is a punk, Belichick is a cheater, and I work with Pats fans who are extremely obnoxious. was a fumble!

11- Kobe Bryant - I'm praying this definition of selfish never wins a title without Shaq. I think I became a Celtics fan last year when they turned away the spotlight seeking-ball hog in the finals last year. I'll never stop believing, that until he won the award last year, it was more important to Bryant to win the MVP than to win the NBA title.

10- Big 10 football - This garbage usually makes its way to the TV airwaves in the northeast all day on Saturday afternoons. A collection of average teams, playing boring, average football and a collection of fans who won't hesitate to tell you how good their teams are. That is, until the college bowl season commences and their teams get drilled in spotlight games (see-Ohio State).

9- Colorado Buffalo football - They aren't the rivals of Nebraska that they've been, mostly because they suck now. I'm looking forward to the day after Thanksgiving later this week when I'm digesting my leftovers while watching the Huskers kick CU's tail back to Boulder and deny them the chance to become bowl eligible.

8- Kansas City Chiefs/San Diego Chargers - Show me a fan of an AFC West team who doesn't abhor the other teams in the division. These rivalries go back to the 1960's. These teams can't lose enough to make me happy.

7- Boston Red Sox - I actually thought they'd be higher on this list but they aren't. The only team in MLB on here, the Sox ended the A's run of three straight World Series titles in the 1970's and I haven't forgotten it. There isn't a non-Met fan or non-Yankee fan that enjoyed Billy Bucker, Bucky F'n Dent and Aaron F'n Boone more than I.

6- Buffalo Sabres - Never has one organization done so little. This team has a loyal set of fans that deserve better. The fact that Lindy Ruff is still the coach after all these years of mediocrity makes me laugh. The Sabres are a natural rival to the Bruins and always seem to have a chip on their shoulder - even though they have no reason to. I think it is a Western New York insecurity thing. Oh yeah........Brett Hull's skate was not in the crease....hahahahhahahahaha

5-Miami Hurricanes - They used to be higher on this list, but I'm not sure they are still in 1-A football any more. Ever since the NCAA Probation Police caught up with this disgrace of a program, they haven't been relevant. I guess when someone starts monitoring the academic side of things, criminal programs fade to oblivion.

4- Dallas Cowboys - Have you ever gone out to watch football and run across Cowboys fans? It looks like they've spent three hours in front of the mirror - I'm talking about guys here - putting on the white turtlenecks under that annoying white jersey. If that isn't enough to make you sick, think of the self-anointed title of "America's team" in the 70's, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Irvin, Prime Time, Jerry Jones, Pacman Jones, and even T.O. I love it when they lose.

3- Duke Basketball - The good thing about Duke players is that they are so overrated that you don't have to watch them in the NBA 'cuz they never make it. Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, and the rest of stuffy snobs are easy to loathe. The scripted chants of the morons in Cameron Fieldhouse have gotten old. J.J. Redick losing his last home game against the Tar Heels was a highlight for me and Coach K's crying at the end of another second-round NCAA tournament loss is usually a highlight for me in the month of March.

2- Montreal Canadiens - I hate the team, the organization, and its fans. One of my personal lifetime highlights was during my one and only visit to the Montreal Forum, where I took the term, "Ugly American" to a new level. The Canadiens seem to have knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs every year of my life. The ripoff in '79 when Boston got called for too many men on the ice with two minutes to go in Game Seven while nursing a 4-3 lead was criminal. Boston lost 5-4 in overtime and I've never gotten over it.

1- Denver Broncos - John Elway is the most overrated player in NFL history. Period. He didn't win a thing until Terrell Davis arrived. The 1978 Denver team played (and got buried) in Super Bowl XII only because of a horrible call in the third quarter of the AFC title game when Willie Hall recovered Rob Lytle's fumble at the Raider 1-yard line. The idiot referee crew blew the play dead and gave the ball back to Denver, who scored on the next play on John Keyworth's touchdown run.

How do I remember that? Because it was another ripoff in Oakland Raider history, along with Franco Harris' illegal catch in the '72 playoffs and Tom Brady's fumble (see above).

Mike Shanahan hasn't won a thing in almost ten years. Thankfully, his arrogance in thinking that he is smarter than the rest of the NFL has kept his team back (did someone say Maurice Clarett - 3rd round draft choice) over the last decade.

The fans are jerks and the beer they serve at their games is flat.

Other than the Raider's three Super Bowl wins, my favorite Super Bowl moments are re-living Denver's four Super Bowl losses in the 70's and 80's.

The nice thing is that Denver is not anywhere near being good enough to have any success in the near future.

With that out of the way, we are just a few days from Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season.

I'll start by saying I'm thankful that the Raiders got a win in Denver today. Life is good.

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mussina was solid, but HOF'er ?

Word is circulating that Mike Mussina is set to retire from baseball. Mussina was always a solid, but not dominate pitcher during his years with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees.

After struggling mightily in 2007, Mussina rebounded to win 20 games for the first time in his career for the Yankees in '08. Mussina has 270 wins in 18 years, during an era highlighted be offense and will finish with a career record of 270-153.

The Hall of Fame candidacy has already begun. I'd vote if I could, but nobody is knocking on my door with a ballot for me so I'm relegated to just an opinion.

Mussina was never considered to be one of the dominant pitchers of his era. That is something that should be taken under consideration when deciding the Hall of Fame legitimacy of a player.

Jack Morris was the winningest pitchers of the 1980's and is a post season legend for his performances with the '85 Tigers and '91 Twins. He isn't enshrined in Cooperstown. In 18 seasons, Morris was 254-186 and authored one of the greatest World Series performances with his 10-inning 1-0 shutout win in Game 7 of the 1991 series against Atlanta.

Until Morris gets to Cooperstown, Mussina's name shouldn't be discussed. Sorry, Moose

Pacman Returns

Serious ?

In defense of the Big 12

For those SEC fans who might be thinking the South has the best football, think again.

The Big 12 is the best conference this year, hands down.

I get a chuckle from those who bang on the Big 12 for its defensive stats. With a wide-open conference with QB's like Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell, Colt McCoy, Chase Daniel, Zac Robinson, and Joe Ganz, the defensive stats are bound to suffer.

This is the greatest collection of quarterbacks in one conference that has hit college football.

Look for the Big 12 to be a major player in the bowl season this year.

Prediction Time

Texas Tech has had the best season in school history. The Red Raiders have cleared all hurdles this year and erased all doubts as to their ability to win on the big stage. The Sooners are missing all-everything LB Ryan Reynolds and top DE Auston English.

I'm dying to pick the Red Raiders, but I can't. Oklahoma is playing as well as anyone in the country and are playing at home. Colt McCoy was the early leader for the Heisman Trophy, Graham Harrell of Texas Tech is the current front runner for the award. For now.

Oklahoma will win this game, 44-41. His performance Saturday night will be enough for OU quarterback Sam Bradford to hoist the Heisman Trophy next month in New York City.

Congrats to JJ

While I just can't grasp the allure to NASCAR, congrats to Jimmie Johnson on his third straight championship.

Each year, I try to drum up some interest in the sport but can't do it. Without the crashes, I just can't sit thru a race to care enough about it. I know there is a lot of strategy involved between the teams but there are too many left turns in this sport for me.

My lone enjoyment of NASCAR comes when I pump up the virtues of Jeff Gordon, who most NASCAR fans seem to hate. Not sure why, but it seems to get under the skin of those who detest the driver of the 2-4 car.

The only real positive I can put on NASCAR is that it isn't soccer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Time To Squish the Fish

The Oakland Raiders will beat the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Yep....I believe.

Nope, nothing special in my Diet Soda right now.

So I'm thinking of all the possible cliches I can pull out this week.

I mean, why not? Life in the Raider Nation sucks right now, might as well be upbeat.

Cliche #1-"We have everything to gain and nothing to lose"

Truer words were never spoken. It can always get worse, but seriously....if the Raiders aren't at rock bottom, the landing has to be close.

JaMarcus and Darren McFadden are back from injury. McFadden has shown some electric stuff when he has been on the field.

If he is truly healthy, lots of running this week and work in the passing game with Russell and Zack Miller. The WR's are horrible, use them as decoys (if Miami bothers to cover them).

Cliche #2 - "Pull out all the stops"

With no real passing game, put in some wishbone with McFadden and Justin Fargas with Michael Bush up front.

Stupid idea? Probably.....but so is giving a bunch of cash to Javon Walker (worthless before getting hurt) and DeAngelo Hall (coach wants to see you and bring your playbook).

Cliche #3 - "Everyone is doing it"

Run that Wildcat formation a few times. Yes......its a fad and its effectiveness won't last forever.

But, Miami has success with Ronnie Brown running it and McFadden had big success running the Wild-Hog formation at Arkansas.

Cliche #4 - "It ain't illegal unless you get caught"

Now we're talking Raider Football.

Pennington showed up on the injured list with a bad foot.
We need a win,'d be a shame if that foot got roughed up a little bit in a pileup. Not sure which one?.........twist both of them. Just to be sure.

Hey, this is football. Not soccer - (Mike). We ain't choir boys, we're Raiders.

Cliche #5- "Desparate times call for desparate measures"

If all else fails, send a courier to see Ricky Williams the morning of the game. Entice the former Heisman Winner and free spirit (if you know what i mean) a little morning sunshine (wink, wink....).

He'll be worthless by game time.

Its a win-win scenario....Ricky is happy, we're happy. That is what life is all about.

In the end, is a win possible? Always.

Probable ? Go for it.

Raiders 21, Fish 13

Monday, November 10, 2008

My New Second-Favorite Team (For this week)

On behalf of college football fans everywhere, I'd like to take this time to give
a big shout-out to the Iowa Hawkeyes for sparing the nation the horror of watching another overrated Big 10 football team play in the BCS championship game.
For those who don't know, Iowa beat Penn State 24-23 Saturday, giving the Nittany Lions their first loss of the season and basically ensuring the Big 10 will not have a team in the BCS title game.
For years, the Big 10 has been the most overrated entitly in all of sports.
What you have is pretty simple....a bunch of evenly matched teams that can compete amongst themselves because they are incredibly average. Put the Big 10 boys on the national stage and they'd get buried.
Penn State is a nice football team that is having a fine season. I won't take that away from them. But, they'd have had zero chance of beating the SEC or Big 12 champion in the national title game. If they had to play the schedules of the SEC or Big 12, they'd be a 6-6 club.
People can rip on Texas Tech's non-conference schedule and be absolutely correct. Playing Eastern Washington, Nevada, SMU, and UMASS is a joke. However, if the Red Raiders run the table and head to Miami, they will have beaten Texas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Missour (Big 12 title game).
If you put any of those teams in the Big 10, they'd run the table and go unbeaten.
Penn State's non-conference schedule consisted of Coastal Carolina, Oregon State (home), Syracuse and Temple. That schedule is an insult to humanity. I could excuse it if they had a few decent opponents in their conference, but they don't.
Ohio State? One big game this year and they got gashed by USC.

Speaking of USC, they'll most likely be waiting in the Rose Bowl for Penn State - if JoePa's crew can rebound and win out to claim the conference title. If that happens, the Trojans will bury them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another Rant...I'm Upset This Time

Mark it down...Sunday, November 2, 2008.

Quite possibly, the worst day in the history of the Oakland Raiders.

At home - the boys in Silver & Black got buriedthe Atlanta Dog-Killers 24-0.
The Raiders were outgained 453-77 in total yards and allowed 30 first downs while amassing a whopping total of 3.
The first half was thrilling.......-2 yards of total offense and no first downs.

A total of 77 yards in 34 plays?????...c'mon, don't bother doing the math.... it sucks.

I think I'm going to hurl.

Is it a total wasted weekend? Well, the Huskers outscored Oklahoma to 28-27 points in the final 45 minutes of last night's game in Norman.

Now, if Big Red wasn't down 35-0 beforehand, it might have been a decent Saturday evening.
At least Texas Tech beat Texas, solidifying my upset pick on

Another silver least the Cowboys are getting kicked around today. The only downside to it is that the Giants are the ones doing it. Living in New York, I can't stand the fact I get the G-men shoved down my throat if I want to watch football every week. Toss in NY Jets and Buffalo Bills football, you can understand why I don't get too excited on game days anymore....At least I can track games on the internet.....

The Bruins are playing well, I'll have to hang my hat on the boys from Beantown....

The NASCAR season is coming to a close. And still, nobody with teeth cares.

Almost that time......

I won't try to sway anyone with my political views...BUT
please get out and vote. It is the right of every American.
It doesn't matter who you vote for, just voting is enough.