Thursday, August 31, 2006

NFL Preseason: Giants 31, Patriots 23

Talk about your perfect tune up game heading into the regular season. Big Blue had their way with the Patriots tonight, and had some fun along the way. The Giants have now finished the preseason 4-0. Obviously the record is meaningless, but for what its worth, the last time the Giants finished undefeated they won the Superbowl.
Some thoughts on the game:
Brandon Jacobs: As Darth Vader said about Luke in "Empire Strikes Back"....most impressive. He barrelled his way through the Patriots defense. Jacobs had a total of 130 yards, but at least 50 yards came after first contact. For someone that is the size of Michael Strahan, he is as nimble as Tiki Barber. If this can carry through into the regular season, then the Giants will have some real thunder and lightning.
Mathias Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka had the only interception which occured after tipping the ball in the air and then making the athletic move to catch his own tip. This kid impressed everyone through out training camp, and could find himself with a lot of playing time in the season. He's so athletic that the Giants may use him in a 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker...similar to a Pat Swilling or a John Abraham.
Michael Jennings: Jennings, a small, slender, but speedy wide reciever may have cost Willie Ponder his job. Its not that Ponder didn't play well tonight, but Jennings continued his gutsy play with a big gain on an end-around. If Jennings makes the team, Disney should think about making a movie about this guy (ie Invincible). He came in undrafted after being cut previously by four teams.
Tim Hasselbeck & Jared Lorenzen: With any luck, the only playing time these guys get in the season will be in a blow out...taking a knee. But tonight they let it air out. Lorenzen, who is the size of a lineman, was 10 for 15, with 116 yards. Hasselbeck only threw two passes but they were both caught, and one for a touchdown.
When Lorenzen was a junior at Kentucky, he was selected to the S.E.C's second all-american team. He finished second to Eli Manning. If Manning goes down during the season, the Giants may have some nice security behind him.
Now the Giants are set to prepare for the Manning Bowl. 10 days to go. Bring it on!

Photo of the Day: Fans Actually Applaud A-Rod [J. Mark English

Joke of the Day: Boston Courtroom [J. Mark English]

A seven-year-old boy was at the center of a Boston courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents, and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents, and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family, and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him. After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Boston Red Sox, whom the boy firmly believes is not capable of beating anyone. - Courtesy of a Friend

Your Daily Fix 8.31.06 [J. Mark English]

  • Earthquake in Tokyo shakes up basketball players during world games.
  • Greg Maddux notches win number 330 as the Dodgers sweep the Reds.
  • 'Getcha Popcorn Ready'...T.O. may be playing tonight for the Cowboys.
  • Len Pasquarelli has more on the NFL, including the toughness it takes to win on the road.
  • Brett Favre says that the Packers are running out of time to fix errors.
  • John Daly hospitalized and withdraws from the BMW International.
  • Latrell Sprewell being investigated in sexual assault involves choking...
  • Stewart Mandel on why college football rules.
  • Andy Roddick celebrated his birthday by advancing in the U.S. Open over Dane Kristian Pless.
  • Christopher Clarey with the Federer express...and its lightening speed in New York City.

Volek Weevils [EdMcGon]

On the recent signing of QB Kerry Collins, Tennessee Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher had this to say about current starting QB Billy Volek:

"Billy's got some competition. I've spoken with Billy. Billy's not too awfully pleased with it. But that's life in the National Football League."

As Troy Aikman once said in a commercial, "Get real!".

They are honestly thinking of starting Collins over Volek? In Collins' best year, 2002, he completed 61% of his passes. That was his ninth season of starting. In Volek's first season of starting, he did that. Granted, it was over a shorter span of games. But that means Volek has some potential.

Collins? We have seen all he can do. Like nearly get Randy Moss killed last year, thanks to Collins' tendency to attach his eyeballs to his favorite receiver. Like completing 53% of his passes last year.

Don't get me wrong. Collins is a decent quarterback. But he has no upside. On the other hand, Volek has shown some nice flashes when he has had the opportunity. In the right system, he could potentially be a great quarterback. He could certainly be no worse than what we have already seen from Collins.

What does all this mean? Jeff Fisher does not strike me as stupid. Anyone can see that Vince "The Franchise" Young is not ready yet, in spite of their plans to start Young in the final preseason game. If Volek gets hurt this year, putting in Young would be the equivalent of throwing Young to the wolves. The Titans needed a second string quarterback.

So they pick up Collins. Volek is not having a great preseason, so they use the acquisition to light a fire under Volek. Now they get to see how Volek responds to the pressure.

Volek's response?

"I guess they want a quarterback who's perfect in every throw and every read, and that's going to be hard to find. I guess they're unhappy with my production. It's hard when you're only getting a quarter a game."

Sure, Volek is no Steve McNair. Sure, he has had a mediocre preseason. But he is actually not a bad quarterback DURING the season. You know, when the games count? In 2004, Volek played in 10 games, completed 61% of his passes, threw for 2486 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Mike Vick cannot even do that (except for the 10 interceptions part).

But now we have Titans General Manager Floyd Reese saying:

"This time of year over the next couple of days, there's an endless number of conversations you'll have with clubs in the league saying `What if?' Some you talk to three or four times, some you talk to once...Billy's name has come up from some of the clubs."

Reese would not walk away from anyone offering a first round pick for Volek, but no team would offer that much. No doubt Reese has a price he would take for Volek which is lower, perhaps a second or third round pick. But Volek has too many question marks for any team to offer that much right now.

Truthfully, I think Reese is playing along with Jeff Fisher's poker game. Mind you, what Fisher is doing is not a complete bluff, because he has a strong hand now with Collins there. The question is: Does Volek have a stronger hand?

There is a wild card in this poker game: Volek's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, of Terrell Owens fame. Rosenhaus has not commented on the situation yet. However, it does not take a brain surgeon to know he has called Floyd Reese and said if Volek does not start, they want a trade. This sheds a new light on Reese's comments, but I don't see Reese accommodating Volek/Rosenhaus just because they asked. Reese would want value in a trade.

What to make of the Titans starting Vince Young in their last preseason game? Right now, the Titans are talking about giving their quarterbacks one quarter each (Matt Mauck is also playing). But if you see Young in there for a half, or three quarters, read that as the Titans are mailing it in this year. They are just waiting until Young can take over and it doesn't matter who starts. In other words, they don't expect Volek OR Collins to win a Super Bowl for them, which is fairly realistic anyway.

If the Titans change their plans in this last preseason game and Volek doesn't play, or if Collins plays well and Volek doesn't, the writing is on the wall. However, if Collins AND Volek play equally well, or Collins plays poorly, expect Volek to start the first game of the season.

My prediction? Young plays the first half. Collins plays the third quarter and looks mediocre or bad. Volek plays the fourth quarter and looks ok. Volek starts the first week of the season, but expect to see Young starting before the end of the year. And Young will NOT look good this year. Volek gets released or traded after the season.

span style="font-weight:bold;">UPDATE: So Vince Young played the first quarter and the first series of the second. Then Kerry Collins came in and finished the rest of the second quarter. Collins went 7-13 for 96 yards.

Billy Volek played the start of the third quarter. He threw one pass, a 54-yard touchdown pass, and they sent him back to the bench. Vince Young finished the third quarter. Matt Mauck played the fourth quarter.

At this point, Volek is trade bait. Collins will soon be announced as the starter.

(Hat tip to,, and of Maryville, TN)

Video: Knute Rockne Prepares for Battle [J. Mark English]

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Parcells & Belichick: Old Friends [Yahoo Sports]

Jaime Aron, AP, Sports Writer -

Two longtime football coaches were talking this summer about the way things used to be, back when they worked together and really pushed their players.
They lamented how much more coddling is done these days, especially in training camp. So they decided to do something about it. One said he was going back to the old way; the other said he'd do the same.
That might not seem like a remarkable tale, except that the conversation was between Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick.
And it was one of what's becoming a routine series of calls between them.
"Hey, he's a guy I think a lot of," Parcells said Tuesday. "It's a good sounding board, that's all. I'm probably using him right now more than he's using me."
The two Bills haven't talked about each other much since Belichick left Parcells and the New York Jets behind six years ago, dissolving a succession plan that was put in writing, ruining what many thought was more than a working relationship....
"I sat down with Bill Belichick this summer and we started talking about all this stuff we used to do," Parcells said. "He says, `I used to get mad at you at the way you used to make us do this. Now I'm going to go do it.' He reminded me of a couple of things that we used to do." ...
That's actually part of a bigger change that involves scrapping the 21st century approach of "more shorter segments, quicker work, and then on to something else," rotating the emphasis between the offense and defense.
"I'm going back to where you're going to have to stick it out," Parcells said. "I just think that helps the mental toughness of your team. That's what Bill and I really were talking about. He told me that's what he was going to do. He asked me what I've been doing and I told him, `I'm doing the same thing as you."'

Your Daily Fix 8.30.06 [J. Mark English]

Photo of the Day: Bush Meets Bush [J. Mark English]

Carl Pavano: From the Absurd to the Bizarre [J. Mark English]

The Yankees have launched their own probe into the Carl Pavano "car accident" incident:
"It's a very strange story," a Yankee official told the Daily News. "It seems like there might be more to it, but you just don't know. Maybe there isn't. At this point, it doesn't look like we would have any grounds to void his contract."
Pavano's worries may not end there. The man driving the truck he hit suggested that despite the fact that neither he nor Pavano reported injuries at the time of the accident, he may sue the Yankees' $40 million pitcher for damages.
If it turns out that Pavano who not only originally declined to tell the Yankees about the car accident...but that he also may have been injured due to something that occured outside the normal circumstance of an accident...the Yankees would be fully justified to seek anyway out of their contract with Pavano.
But for now....
Asked if Pavano would be in New York this weekend or next week, Torre said: “Not to pitch. Oh, no, not to pitch. I’m sure we’ll see him sooner or later, but I don’t think we can count on him for this year.”
“I know there’s a lot of stuff flying around that he doesn’t want to pitch here, but he’s been held back by physical issues, and they’ve all been legitimate,” Cashman said, adding later, “Players can’t play through marble-sized bone chips.”

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pink Taco Stadium: What the...? [J. Mark English]

Louie Villalobos, The Arizona Republic -

First, it shook up the Scottsdale establishment.
Now, the family behind the Pink Taco restaurant chain is rattling the Cardinals' cage.
Would you believe Pink Taco Stadium?
That's what the Morton family, famous for creating the Hard Rock Café and Morton's Steakhouse, is saying they want to name Cardinals Stadium.
They are offering $30 million as evidence of their commitment and are promising to pursue an agreement with the Arizona Cardinals.
One problem: The Cardinals, who control the Glendale stadium's naming rights, say they want no part of the name.
Harry Morton, president and CEO of Pink Taco, said his group is prepared to use the deal for $30 million over 10 years as a starting point for negotiations. Morton said Monday that his company has the "edge and cachet" that would help elevate the team's profile with a younger demographic.
He also said he would consider calling the $455 million venue Morton Stadium, provided the Pink Taco menu was prominent throughout the venue.
"We will not be the same old, boring corporate naming-rights partner," Morton said during a news conference. "We will deliver celebrity."
The family said it offered the Cardinals a $5 million good-faith check during a meeting last week to show that it is serious.
The Cardinals, however, took the presentation as a joke and dismissed Monday's news conference as a publicity stunt. "There is zero chance of this happening," said Mark Dalton, director of media relations for the Cardinals. "We are in serious and legitimate naming-rights discussion with several companies. This is not one of them."

Jackie Robinson Stadium? Let the Guilt Trip Begin [J. Mark English]

"The Mets should forsake the theoretical $10 million a year they could squeeze out of some corporation for its name and give it to Jackie Robinson, a local hero." - George Vecsey

"And the Mets still have their minds set on finding an appropriate - that is, deep-pocketed - 'corporate partner' willing to pony up for naming rights...Wouldn't it be great, at the upcoming official groundbreaking for the venue, that it be for Jackie Robinson Stadium?" - New York Post
"I want to thank also the USTA for not just selling sponsorship every single second, that we've kept a lot of integrity here with Arthur and Louis and myself. I certainly hope Jackie Robinson, I hope the Mets do the right thing, that's a no brainer, too, as Mr. Vessey wrote about yesterday." - Billie Jean King
Please do not misunderstand my appreciation for Jackie Robinson. He is one of my favorite players of all time. And I would love to attend Met games a few years from now in a place called Jackie Robinson Stadium. However, I cannot afford to make that decision for the Mets. The New York Post, Billie Jean King, and the George Vecsey's employers (the New York Times) have the resources to 'pony' up 10 million dollars to honor Jackie Robinson.
If the New York Mets want to 'sell out' to the highest bidder for the naming rights of a stadium, then let them. By bringing in ten million a year, the Mets will be making other aspects of the game more affordable. The team after all is paying for the building of their new stadium. Shouldn't they be able to have the right to figure out how to drive down costs? Wouldn't the New York Post and the New York Times do the same thing? Its sound business...
It is easy to attack the Mets, and to tell them what they should do with their own money from the sidelines. But if these heart wrenching preachers really cared this much about Jackie Robinson then they should start fundraising now, and pay the Mets to name the stadium after the great Dodger. Otherwise they are leading the Mets down the path of a meaningless guilt trip. Shame on them.

Humor of the Day: Carl Pavano [New York Post]

A Tennis Convert...At Least for One Night [J. Mark English]

Last night I helped a friend move a piece of furniture in his apartment. Afterwards we sat down, drank a cold beer, and flipped on the U.S. Open on the USA Network. He is die hard tennis fan, and follows Andre Agassi.

For myself, I do not enjoy watching tennis and golf. I'd rather see the highlights on Sportscenter, or read about the event in the paper or on the internet. Simply put - I do not have the patience for individual sports.

Last night may have changed my perspective. I was wrapped up in the event of the U.S. Open. Agassi struggled to stave off Andrei Pavel. Pavel took the first set 7-6, then lost the next two to Agassi 6-7, 6-7. Each set was fiercly contested. The crowd was electric. As the match went on, and the hour got closer to midnight, the New Yorkers turned their appreciation in full throttle towards Agassi. Pavel could barely withstand the pressure by the fourth set, and lost 6-2.

It was thrilling to Agassi, the ancient lion of the sport of tennis, against a no namer Pavel who came so close to ending Agassi's career. I look forward to watching more of the U.S. Open over the next two weeks.

Favre Beaned [EdMcGon]

Congratulations to Carson Palmer on his fine performance last night. By throwing three touchdown passes and leading the Bengals to a 48-17 victory over the Packers, Palmer showed he is clearly back from his knee injury. But don't read too much into this. This is the Packers that got beat up.

The Packers may be the worst team in the NFL this year. Their defense is mediocre. The special teams aren't "special". But it is their offense which truly shines in the glory of awfulness. Mind you, this is not because of their offensive line, which is average, or their running game, which is also average. No, the Packers have one person to thank for their impending descent into the depths of the won-loss column: Brett Favre.

At this point in his career, Favre should be rated as a decent second-string quarterback. He makes far too many mistakes to be a starting quarterback. Last year's 29 interceptions should have told the Packers something about Favre being on the downside of his career.

This preseason does not bode well for Favre's potential this year. Last night, he had a boneheaded fumble that got returned for a touchdown, followed by an interception on the very next series. Last week, he looked good against the Falcons, but their secondary is a sieve. But two weeks ago, he was mediocre against the Chargers (5-10, 66 yards). That should tell you Favre won't beat the good teams anymore. If you cannot beat the good teams, you will not make it far in the playoffs even if you get that far.

The Packer fans would do well at this point to learn from Philadelphia fans. When third baseman Mike Schmidt was at the end of his career, he was awful. The Philly fans booed him mercilessly, in spite of his Hall of Fame, World Series winning credentials. Philly fans recognize that if you put on the uniform, you better be able to play, and play well.

If Packer fans are expecting a Super Bowl this year, they can forget it. Instead, they are getting the "Brett Favre Farewell Tour". The opposing defensive coordinators are looking forward to it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Your Daily Fix 8.28.06 [J. Mark English]

Tennis: U.S. Open Begins Today [J. Mark English]

Howard Fendrich, AP, ABC News -

U.S. Open tennis begins today in New York, weather permitting. Andre Agassi, 36, has announced that this will be his final event.
Other past Open champions slated to appear on Day 1 included Andy Roddick (2003), Justine Henin-Hardenne (2003), Svetlana Kuznetsova (2004) and Lindsay Davenport (1998), who was hoping to be able to play despite hurting her right shoulder Saturday.
Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras forever will be linked in tennis history. Across 34 matches, five in Grand Slam finals, their rivalry thrived thanks to their contrasting styles of play and personalities.
Appropriately, the last match of Sampras' pro career came against Agassi, in the 2002 U.S. Open championship match. No one knew for sure at the time that it would indeed wind up being Sampras' farewell match. He didn't announce anything before the tournament, before the final or immediately after hoisting the trophy. He didn't announce anything the next day, week or month, either.
Not until the 2003 U.S. Open rolled around did Sampras formally say goodbye, although it was clear by then he was done, not having played for 50 weeks. Agassi, in contrast, has found a way for closure for himself, fellow players and fans by announcing a little more than two months ago that the U.S. Open beginning Monday would be his last event.
He arrived in New York unseeded at the Open for the first time since 1997, with a bad back and little match preparation.
"To be here, the inspiration of it I'm hoping to get out there and feel awesome," said the 36-year-old Agassi, participating in his record 21st consecutive U.S. Open.
He won the event in 1994 and 1999, part of his eight major titles forming a career Grand Slam, and was the runner-up four times, including last year against Roger Federer.
The U.S. Tennis Association approached Agassi's team about the possibility of some sort of tribute during the Open, but the idea was scrapped.
"We're going to respect the wishes of Andre Agassi and respect the fact that he wants to approach this tournament as he does any other one," USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

College Football: Ranking the Rankers [J. Mark English]

Russell Adams of the Wall Street Journal came out with a report yesterday ranking the top 12 rankers in college football.
Here are his findings (from 1 to 12):
  • Lindy's - 1. Notre Dame 2. Ohio State 3. West Virginia 4. Texas 5. Florida
  • CPA Rankings - 1. West Virginia 2. Notre Dame 3. Texas 4. Ohio State 5. USC
  • Phil Steele - 1. Oklahoma 2. Auburn 3. Louisville 4. USC 5. Texas
  • AP Poll - 1. Ohio State 2. Notre Dame 3. Texas 4. Auburn 5. West Virginia
  • Sporting News - 1. Notre Dame 2. Ohio State 3. Auburn 4. LSU 5. West Virginia
  • Playboy - 1. Ohio State 2. West Virginia 3. Notre Dame 4. Texas 5. USC
  • Street & Smith's - 1. Ohio State 2. West Virginia 3. Texas 4. Notre Dame 5. Florida
  • CBS Sportsline - 1. Ohio State 2. West Virginia 3. Auburn 4. LSU 5. Texas
  • Game Plan - 1. Notre Dame 2. Ohio State 3. Texas 4. Florida 5. West Virginia
  • ATS Consultants - 1. Notre Dame 2. Ohio State 3. Florida State 4. Texas 5. Auburn
  • Sports Illustrated - 1. Ohio State 2. Notre Dame 3. Texas 4. LSU 5. USC
  • Athlon Sports - 1. Oklahoma 2. Notre Dame 3. USC 4. Ohio State 5. Florida

So why does all this matter? Adams says "For coaches, the preseason rankings are a double-edge swrod. On the one hand, the free publicity that a high ranking can provide is invaluable. As early as February, athletic-department staffers hit the phones and fire off emails to preseason publications with updates and talking points about their teams. On the other hand, coaches whose teams rank low have a harder climb to the top. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, Bousie State University entered the season off forecasters' radars - and needed several lopsided victories to claw its way into the top 20...

"One this is clear: For teams that don't make the preseason list, their chances of winning a national championship are almost zero. 'You can go undefeated and beat the Green Bay Packers, and you'r not going to be No. 1.' says Bill Doba, Washington State's head coach."

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fantasy Football Draft [EdMcGon]

I had my fantasy football draft last night. Drafting from the 8 spot in a 12-team league, I got the following:

1. RB Steven Jackson, Rams: I actually wanted Rudi Johnson, but the guy drafting fifth took him. It was a bit of a reach. But to his credit I think it was a good reach.

I should point out that both Clinton Portis and Edgerrin James were available, but I preferred Jackson for his upside. Portis's injury leads me to believe last season was better than this season will be for him. Add in the T.J. Duckett addition, and Portis becomes a second tier RB. As for James, the Cardinals are NOT the Colts.

2. RB Willis McGahee, Bills: McGahee has lost some weight this year in order to be faster, like he was two years ago. If he can duplicate his results from then, he is a first round RB at a second round price.

3. TE Antonio Gates, Chargers: The best TE in the game.

I actually wanted WR Chris Chambers in this spot, but he went seven picks earlier. Since all the top tier wide receivers were gone by my pick, I decided to go with the best TE.

4. RB Kevin Jones, Lions: I was toying with picking a QB or WR at this spot, but I saw too many teams ignoring their RB position. Time to punish the poor drafters!

Jones' upside would be Marshall Faulk numbers. While I don't think he will be THAT good, anything close to it makes him worthwhile. As a number three RB, he is a steal.

5. WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals: I got a bit antsy here. I did not want to go much further without getting a decent WR, and Housh filled the bill.

6. RB Frank Gore, 49ers: Too many teams ignoring their RB position still. Eat my dust scumbags!

In all seriousness, I like Gore. He has a good work ethic, and who else are the 49ers going to rely on for offense? I am even seriously considering starting him in the first week against Arizona's wretched defense.

7. QB Trent Green, Chiefs: Get one of the top QB's in the NFL in the seventh round? Sweeeeet!

Truth be told, I don't expect Green to duplicate his success of the last several years. But anything close is nice.

8. QB Philip Rivers, Chargers: This is the QB I REALLY wanted. Rivers has tremendous upside. In my opinion, I think he will surpass Drew Brees's numbers. Rivers is THAT good!

Why did I take Green first? Because I knew Green would go before Rivers based on past performance plus the fact this is Rivers' first year starting.

From what I have seen of Rivers in the preseason, he is more than ready for the NFL.

9. WR Matt Jones, Jaguars: Time to give my WR position some love.

I like Jones' potential, which we saw some of last year. He got better as the season went along, especially with Byron Leftwich at QB. If Leftwich stays healthy (big if), Jones could be due for a monster year.

10. WR Drew Bennett, Titans: Why do I like Drew Bennett? Two words: Billy Volek. Two years ago, they had a monster stretch together. If they get hot again, Bennett is money in the bank. For a number 3 receiver, you cannnot argue with that.

11. WR Braylon Edwards, Browns: Sure, Edwards is coming off an injury, and his production may not be 100%. But who else is Charlie Frye going to throw to? For a number four wideout, Edwards is high potential with low risk.

12. K Nate Kaeding, Chargers: A lot of kickers had been taken by this point, so I jumped on the bandwagon with Kaeding, a solid kicker who won't disappoint.

13. Broncos Defense: Nothing exciting here. The Broncos just happened to be the best defense on the board at the time. Defenses are pretty much a crap shoot anyway.

14. TE Tony Scheffler, Broncos: I was watching a replay of the Broncos-Titans the other night, and Scheffler really impressed me. He has good hands and good moves. Even though he is technically second on the Broncos depth chart behind Stephen Alexander, I don't expect that to last, as Alexander manages to underperform or get hurt wherever he goes.

15. K Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots: The next Adam Vinatieri? Perhaps.

I must admit I was amazed when he was available with my next-to-last pick. A lot of kickers had already been taken.

When you draft a guy for your bench who potentially could be better than your starter, you are doing good.

16. Cowboys Defense: I hate the Cowboys, but I like Bill Parcells. Another year for this young defense may be just what they need to get good enough to be dangerous. I hope.

OVERALL ANALYSIS: Except for Housh, my wideouts are my weak spot, and Housh is not a great number one WR. If Jones and Bennett play up to their potential, I might be able to bench Housh. Otherwise, I have to take what Housh gives me and hope for a little production from whomever I start opposite him.

My strongest spot is clearly my running backs. Any or all of them are capable of having huge years. Even if they only produce like they did last year, I can still play matchups with them to get the most production out of them.

I like my quarterbacks. With Green on his downside, and Rivers on his upside, I should be able to at least pull some numbers from this position.

Unless Antonio Gates gets hurt, I am set at TE. With Scheffler as my backup, I have a solid fall back prospect.

My kickers and defenses look solid, but experience has taught me not to count my chickens at these positions until the season starts. That is why I usually wait until the end of the draft before going after these positions.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cherish These Mets [J. Mark English]

"The world is always changing, nothing stays the same...Cherish the METS we have, we should cherish the BASEBALL TEAM we have..." - Kool & The Gang

This is rare. Very rare. I became a Mets fan in 1991. Between 1984-1990 the Mets never had a losing season. They averaged 95 wins a season, including 2 division pennants, and a World Series berth.

And then I became a Mets fan. 1991 - the year doom struck the Mets. To be sure that 1991 could have been worse. They had a losing season, but still managed to win 77 games. Howard Johnson, Dwight Gooden, and David Cone (before he was traded) were the stars of the team, but they were not enough to carry a team that no longer had Gary Carter & Daryl Strawberry.

The Mets went out and got Bobby Bonilla, Eddie Murray, Vince Coleman, and Bret Saberhagen. The 1992 Mets were full of hope, and swagger.

The team was pathetic. They lost 90 games, and followed that up with 103 losses in 1993. Between 1991-1996 they averaged 83 losses...but that number is slighted due to the strike season of 1994. If you assume they would lose 88 games in 1994, the average would come up from 83 to 88.

Those were summers of misery. Met fans cared less for the team, and more for the individual. Todd Hundley, Edgardo Alfonzo, Rick Reed, John Olerud...players like these kept Met fans interested, but not satisfied.

That "other" New York team had begun to assemble a dynasty. The New York Yankees would have made the playoffs in 1994 if it weren't for the strike. And then they made the playoffs in 1995 and never looked back.

Since then, the Mets have been New York's second fiddle.

In 1997, things began to change. But the teams that won between 1997-2001 was a different team from those of the 80's. They were solid teams to be sure...built on great defense, gutsy pitching (Al Leiter, Rick Reed)...and a super star Mike Piazza.

But you never felt that they were a dynasty in the making.

This year feels less like the feeling we had in 1999 or 2000. This team is generating more of the feeling Met fans had in 1984 and 1985. The feeling that this could be the beginning of something big.

Enjoy this team. Cherish this team. Cherish every win. Every walk off homer, every double play, every triple, every stolen base. Cherish Wright, Reyes...and Pedro, Glavine...and Willie.

This is a special team. Cherish them.

Video & Quote: Jerry Rice Retires [J. Mark English]

"People ask, 'How is retirement?' Retirement? I'm working harder now that when I played football," Rice said. "The important thing is that I really have a chance to get out there and touch so many lives." - Kevin Lynch

Photos of the Day: Jerry Rice Retires - Montage [J. Mark English]

Newest Member of American Legends [David Tyree]

One of the most productive and consistent special teams players in the NFL…Led the team in special teams tackles in each of his 1st 2 seasons and tied for 2nd last year…Specializes in downing punts inside the 5-yard line…Was named to his 1st Pro Bowl after the 2005 season…Continues to develop and contribute as a wide receiver…Has played in 45 games with 4 starts.
2005: Played in 13 regular season games and the NFC Wild Card Game and was again one of the NFL’s finest special teams players…Was selected for the 1st time to the NFC Pro Bowl team and was named the special teams player on the Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers of America All-Pro team…Tied with James Butler for 2nd on the team with 21 special teams tackles (19 solo), 1 one behind team leader Chase Blackburn…Also had 5 receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown – all at San Diego…Missed 3 games with an elbow injury…Had 2 special teams tackles in the NFC’s 23-17 victory over the AFC in the Pro Bowl…Was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking a punt against Philadelphia on Nov. 20, his 1st action after missing three previous 3 games (vs. Washington, at San Francisco and vs. Minnesota) with an elbow injury suffered vs. Denver (10/23)…Helped hold Dante Hall to 3.5-yard average on punt returns and 21.4-yard average on kickoff returns vs. Kansas City (12/17)…Recorded 2 special teams tackles and downed 2 Jeff Feagles punts inside the Dallas 5-yardline vs. Dallas (12/4)…Contributed a team-high 4 special teams tackles at Seattle (11/27)… Blocked Reggie Hodges’ punt with 4:14 remaining in the 2nd quarter vs. Philadelphia (11/20). The Giants recovered the ball at the Philadelphia 1, leading to Eli Manning’s touchdown pass to Amani Toomer…Saw action as the 3rd receiver and on special teams at San Diego (9/25)…Finished with 5 receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. Scored his 1st touchdown of the season on a 4-yard pass in the 2nd quarter. Had an 18-yard completion to convert a 3-and-10 in the 4th quarter. Also had a team-high 3 special teams tackles.
Off-the-Field Activity: In 2005, David served as a guest speaker at Iselin Youth Football and Cheerleaders Banquet…Attended the Giants’ 2005 Draft Day Party…Accompanied the Mountainside D.A.R.E. department to speak to students about drugs…Participated in the Giants Foundation Golf Outing…Attended the Jay Fund’s “Pigskin Ball” fundraiser…Hosted Special Olympics of New Jersey for a Punt Pass & Kick competition at Giants Stadium…Visited Columbus Elementary School, speaking to 5th grade students about drug use…Made a financial contribution to Habitat for Humanity International’s Katrina Relief Fund…In the past, visited the School Based Youth Services program at Orange High School, where he addressed the students and parents…Visited Giants Academy in Newark, N.J., helping the students serve meals to the under-privileged at the Lighthouse soup kitchen as part of their community service project…Returned to his alma mater, Montclair (N.J.) High School, to speak to the students about academic excellence as a part of NFL High School Tuesday…As a rookie, celebrated Halloween by delivering candy and painted pumpkins to children undergoing cancer treatment at Tomorrows Children's Fund Institute, located in the Don Imus-WFAN Pediatric Center at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Personal: Married (Leilah). They have 2 sons, Teyon (12/16/01) and Josiah (11/5/04)… Son of Thelma and Jesse Tyree…Consumer Studies major… Attended Montclair (N.J.) High…Blue Chip Illustrated All-America...Super Prep, Tom Lemming and Prep Star All Regional selection...Born David Mikel Tyree on Jan. 3, 1980 in Livingston, New Jersey.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Say the magic word and you get a Duckett [EdMcGon]

The Associated Press (via is reporting a trade has been finalized between the Falcons, Redskins, and Broncos. The Redskins get RB T.J. Duckett, the Falcons get WR Ashley Lelie, and the Broncos get the Redskins third round pick next year.

Without knowing who the third round pick is, it is difficult to assess the Broncos value in this trade, so let us look at the Duckett for Lelie aspect.

Duckett is a big RB (6'0", 254 pounds) who is good in short yardage and goal line situations. His major flaw is that he tends to get injured a lot.

Lelie is a speed burner at WR with decent hands, but just don't expect him to go over the middle...or be happy with his contract.

Overall, it seems like a reasonably fair trade.

FANTASY FOOTBALL PERSPECTIVE: If you draft Clinton Portis, handscuff him to Duckett. But don't expect Duckett to be the second coming of John Riggins, although Duckett should provide a few solid games.

Ashley Lelie reminds me of Peerless Price before Price got to the Falcons, except Price was better. Generally avoid Falcon receivers anyway. Lelie will be a decent number 4 WR, potentially a number 3 in larger leagues.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

METS WIN BABY!!!! [J. Mark English]

Robert Smith Weighs in on Gumble [J. Mark English]

Don Banks - Inside the NFL

In a scathing rebuke of Bryant Gumbel's recent comments on HBO's Real Sports last week that NFLPA head Gene Upshaw is a "personal pet" of outgoing NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former Minnesota Vikings running back and longtime player rep Robert Smith accused the TV host of both desperation and jealousy.

"Bryant Gumbel has fallen in recent times,'' Smith told on Tuesday. "He's desperate to have a respected, national voice again, but the problem is a lot of people aren't listening anymore. So you've got to say something like that to get attention for yourself. But he's misinformed.

"To me, this is Gumbel's Dan Rather-type mistake. He's someone who has been around for a while and has some credibility, but who wants to believe a certain perception. I believe part of it with Gumbel is that Gene is a much more powerful black man than he is. And he's jealous of Gene's power and position. I think Gumbel's even jealous of where his former [NBC's Today] co-host Katie Couric is, and how she's moved on to a more powerful position and he still hasn't.''

"How many owners have come out and said they got the worse end of the deal? When you know the truth about something and you hear the opposite enough times, it really grates on you. That's where I'm at.''

Smith said that Upshaw would not dignify Gumbel's comments with a reaction, but that "I felt like I had to say something, because it just drives you crazy if you let this stuff go unchallenged.''

Rush is Right about Bryant Gumble [J. Mark English]

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Let's go straight to the audiotape. Last Tuesday, HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, a portion of his closing remarks about the new incoming NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

BRYANT GUMBEL: Before he cleans out his office, have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash. By making the docile head of the players union his personal pet, your predecessor kept the peace without giving players the kind of guarantees other pros take for granted. Try to make sure no one competent ever replaces Upshaw on your watch.
RUSH: Okay. Now, Tagliabue is the one who has hired Bryant Gumbel to do play-by-play of eight late-season games on the NFL Network, starting on Thanksgiving night. Now, that game will be the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos. And to put this in perspective, let's go back to February of this year. This is Bryant Gumbel and a portion of his closing remarks on that same show.
GUMBEL: The Winter Games. Count me among those who don't like 'em and won't watch 'em. In fact, I figure when Thomas Payne said, "These are the times that try men's souls," he must have been talking about the start of another winter Olympics. Because they're so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try, too, by trying not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the winter games look like a GOP convention.
RUSH: All right, now, clearly we could go back, if we wanted to, to the days that Bryant Gumbel hosted the Today Show and we could find countless political comments, and we could find countless comments that show a chip on his shoulder about race. Now, the comment here about Gene Upshaw. Gene Upshaw, great offensive lineman for the great Oakland Raider teams back in the sixties and seventies, and he's black; he is the leader of the players union, and this business advising the new commissioner to keep the leash on Upshaw means that Upshaw is just a puppet. He's just somebody that the owners can bend and shape and do whatever they want, that he's not his own man, and that's why the owners are allowed to screw the players and make more money and on more money and more money.
Tagliabue was asked about this. (paraphrasing) "Well, this may be one of the most uninformed comments I've ever heard," and they're going to have a meeting at the NFL Network, to determine whether or not Gumbel should be kept on as the announcer, lead announcer for the games that the NFL Network will do later in the season. Tagliabue said, "I think things that Bryant Gumbel said about Gene Upshaw and the owners are about as uninformed as anything that I have read or heard in a long, long time and quite inexcusable because they are subjects about which you can and should be better informed. Having looked at how other people have had buyer's remorse when they took jobs, I guess they suggest to me that maybe Bryant's having buyer's remorse and they called into question his desire to do the job and do it in a way that we in the NFL would expect it to be done."
Upshaw did not immediately return a call placed by the Associated Press. So I guess, if I'm to interpret commissioner Tagliabue correctly, he thinks maybe Bryant Gumbel doesn't want the job now, otherwise why would he be talking this way? Gumbel, for his part, says, "Hey, I'm just a journalist. When I see a story out there, I report it." Come on, Bryant. I mean, smart guy, this is not journalism, this is commentary, and it was so labeled, but don't call what you were doing journalism. At any rate, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Gumbel will not be dismissed, that the NFL will not decide to take him off of their game coverage, no matter what he does. It just won't happen. Mark my words. And if it does, I'll be the first to eat crow and admit that I was wrong.

1986 Mets: The Way They Were [J. Mark English]

Further Mets Update [J. Mark English]

  • Carlos Delgado - Hit home run 399 & 400 so far tonight, including a grand slam homer to bring the Mets back in the game against the Cardinals.
  • Tom Glavine - A sense of great relief washed over the Mets organization when it learned the rotation will be whole again after Glavine has missed one, perhaps two starts. He was to have started against the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. But the doctors want to afford him ample time for the incision in his groin, part of the invasive angiogram procedure, to heal. -

Mets Acquire Shawn Greene [J. Mark English]

  • Outfielder Shawn Green was traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the New York Mets on Tuesday night, giving the NL East leaders one more big bat as they gear up for the postseason. - ESPN
  • The Diamondbacks sent the 33-year-old Green and cash to the Mets for Triple-A pitcher Evan MacLane, a 23-year-old left-hander. - Sports Illustrated
  • "I think for Shawn and everybody it's a relief that it's over," Arizona outfielder Luis Gonzalez said. "It's been kind of lingering a little bit. I'm sure it weighed on him. He's an established major league player. It's a good opportunity for him. He has a chance to be in the playoffs. I'm happy for him. I called him right after I got here and found out." - Fox Sports
  • Green is making $8 million this year and has a salary of $9.5 million next year. His contract calls for a $10 million club option in 2008 with a $2 million buyout. - CBS Sports
  • Green is hitting .283 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs this season. The D-Backs had been looking to move him to give playing time to rookie Carlos Quentin, who has been impressive since having his contract purchased from Triple-A Tucson last month.
    MacLane, 23, posted a 3.86 ERA in 20 starts this season for Triple-A Norfolk. He began the year with Double-A Binghamton, going 3-1 with a 4.64 ERA in six starts. In four Minor League seasons, MacLane, the Mets' 25-round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, is 35-20 with a 3.19 ERA in 89 games (77 starts). -

Monday, August 21, 2006

Tom Glavine in Doubt: What They're Saying [J. Mark English]

"Hopefully after he shows that he's going to be OK, he'll be able to come back and be able to help us as we move through September and hopefully beyond September..." - Omar Minaya
"Guys are going out there, stepped up and pitched some big games here lately. That's part of being a championship team..." - Billy Wagner
"For me it kept getting worse and worse...which meant that it was getting colder and colder every time I pitched, until I finally had to stop." - David Cone
"Oh, I don't wish (an angiogram) on anyone...That's probably one of the worst feelings I ever had, sitting there with that dye going through your body." - Roberto Hernandez
“You almost expect this kind of stuff. I've been through it many, many times, and you learn to react on the fly and keep your wits about you...It's always a challenge in a lot of ways to get through these kind of things.” - Willie Randolph
"I don't have any pain anywhere or anything like that. I have something going on inside my shoulder that needs to be looked at. It's a strange situation." - Tom Glavine

Yanks vs. Red Sox: Boston Massacre Part II

BOSTON (AP) - The New York Yankees celebrated in the dugout as if they'd just clinched a playoff berth.
In a way, they've done everything but.
Hugging and shaking hands after a demoralizing five-game sweep of the rival Red Sox, the Yankees took a season-high 6½-game lead in the AL East with a 2-1 victory over Boston on Monday. The Yankees hadn't swept Boston in five games in more than half a century.
"A sweep in Boston?" winning pitcher Cory Lidle said, pausing before breaking out in a big smile. "Pretty awesome."
After outscoring the Red Sox 47-25 in four games over three days and two early mornings, the Yankees rediscovered their pitching to win the sleepy series finale at Fenway Park.
"Everything went about as wrong as it could," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. Lidle (2-2) pitched six shutout innings in his third — and best — start since coming to New York at the trading deadline along with more-heralded slugger Bobby Abreu.
"It's been an emotional weekend," Red Sox second baseman Mark Loretta said. "It's been physically challenging and emotionally challenging for both sides. It's a little easier to take if you're winning."

Photos of the Day: The Incredible Tiger Woods

Friday, August 18, 2006

Your Daily Fix 8.18.06 [J. Mark English]

  • Asafa Powell equals the world record for the 100 meter again, at 9.77 seconds.
  • Caroline Hurricanes Cory Stillman has shoulder surgery, could miss the beginning of the season.
  • A driver at the Bonneville Salt Flats crashed his vehicle after going 244 mph.
  • David Schoenfield with the Real MVP's of this baseball season.
  • Rafael Nadal gets knocked out as well at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters.
  • He's back: Junior Seau ends retirement to play with the Patriots.
  • Eli Manning picked apart the Chief's secondary yesterday.
  • St. Louis Cardinals sign Preston Wilson; bolster outfield.
  • FIFA investigates fans who made human swastika.
  • Stenson & Andrade the PGA Championship on day two.
  • New York Yankees win round one against the Boston Red Sox...four to go.

American Legends: NBA Rookie Photo Shoot 2006 [J. Mark English]

The American Legends team had the oppurtunity Monday to attend the NBA Rookie Photo Shoot.
The event took place at the New York Knicks training facility in Tarrytown, New York.
John Schuhmann of NBA.COM sums up the event:
At the draft, they give you a hat and a generic '06 jersey to hold as you pose for photos. In summer league, you wear practice jerseys. Some guys get to wear the full uniform as they pose for some post-press-conference shots in their new home, but for many, the Rookie Photo Shoot is their first chance to don an NBA uniform.
That's a pretty significant moment for guys who have spent most of their lives dreaming of the chance to hoop professionally. So much so that some couldn't wait until the day arrived.
"I actually put it on last night," the Sixers' Bobby Jones reflected. "It felt awesome to finally wear the jersey and the complete set. I took a picture of it on my phone and I'm probably going to put it on MySpace pretty soon."
The Rookie Shoot is also a chance to get together with 33 other members of the class of 2006 to talk about your summer vacations, your new cars (a Range Rover Sport in the case of Allan Ray - "Supercharged") and the upcoming season. They will reconvene in September for the Rookie Transition Program and nine of them will be invited to Las Vegas for the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge in February, but days like this do not come around often.
"We probably won't have many more times where we'll all be together in the same place," Jones said, "so you don't want to take that for granted. You just want to have fun and get to know everybody better."
And there was plenty of time to do that. The shoot lasted seven hours, including a 60-minute lunch break presented by T- Mobile (burgers, dogs and some deeeelicious cookies). The practice home of the Knicks and Liberty housed more than 15 different photo shoots, along with a few autograph stations and a three-TV setup to play NBA Live '07.
American Legends had a terrific time at the event, enjoying the oppurtunity to "chill" with the rookie class. Among the outstanding personalities were Hilton Armstrong who should be a welcomed player in the city of New Orleans.
Some of us also had the chance to take our first lick at NBA Live '07, months before it will be released. If your a fan of the EA video game, you have a lot to look forward too.
We'd like to thank the NBA for giving us a day to remember. We hope nothing but the best for the rookie class of 2006.

Photos: NBA Rookie Photo Shoot 2006 [J. Mark English]

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Gary "Mr. Commercial" - "The Kid" Carter [J. Mark English]

Your Daily Fix 8.17.06 [J. Mark English]

Jose Canseco Pitches: Run for Cover [J. Mark English]

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Jose Canseco's knuckleball was uncontrollable -- and it made his debut as a starting pitcher pretty ugly.
The former American League MVP hit four batters and walked five others in 4 1/3 innings for the Long Beach Armada on Wednesday night. He also gave up a home run on a "flat knuckleball" and recorded his first career strikeout during an 8-2 loss to the Reno Silver Fox.
"Overall, it felt pretty good," said Canseco, who joined the independent Golden Baseball League earlier this year. "It took me a little while to get a rhythm out there, and I walked too many guys. It should get better."
Will this man ever go away? He is a loon, if ever there was one...

Photos of the Day: Good Ol' Texas Brawl [J. Mark English]

More thoughts from last weekend's NFL games [EdMcGon]

I finally caught the Dolphins-Jaguars game replay on NFL Network last night.

It is hard to say much about Daunte Culpepper in the limited action he saw. He looks a little slower running, although his arm hasn't lost any zip. He does need some more reps with the Dolphins offense.

Joey Harrington showed some flashes, especially that nice td pass he threw to Randy McMichael.

Zach Thomas is a monster linebacker with an unlimited motor. If he is anywhere near your receiver, you may as well consider your receiver covered, because the receiver will drop the ball as soon as Thomas hits him. Don't even think about running the ball in Thomas's direction, which unfortunately is anywhere you try to run the ball.

I would like to say something about the Jaguars, but I cannot. No individual performance stood out to me. Thinking about it, that has generally been true about them in the past.

Don't get me wrong. The Jags are good. But they are a team effort, with no real individual stars.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Re: Yankees Ground Breaking [WNYC - Public Radio]

New York Yankees officials and a dozens of politicians today broke ground for a new Billion dollar stadium across the street from The House That Ruth Built.
Governor Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner were on hand - while celbrity fans watched the ceremony from a small grandstand.
The groundbreaking came a day after a state Supreme Court judge denied opponents a temporary restraining order that would have blocked construction. He found there was no legal reason to stop cutting down trees on the construction site.
The 53-thousand-seat ballpark will replace a stadium that has been home to the Yankees since 1923.
The city and state are contributing more than $200 million dollars to the project, including infrastructure improvements. The Yankees will pay the rest, financed through both taxable and tax-exempt bonds.

Your Daily Fix 8.16.06 [J. Mark English]

Photos of the Day: Ground Breaking for the Yankees [J. Mark English]

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Raiders 16, Vikings 13 [EdMcGon]

In watching the Raiders game last night, my first impression was: They need a lot of work.

Aaron Brooks (1/6 for 16 yards) looked awful WHEN he could get a pass off without being under pressure, which was not often.

This brings us to the Raiders offensive line, which was nothing short of wretched. Robert Gallery needs some pass-blocking lessons. Their run-blocking was mediocre at best, so I am giving the running backs a pass for this game.

The Raiders defense showed flashes, but is also a work in progress.

If Fabian Washington gets any better, he could turn out to be a true shutdown corner.

It is hard to judge the pass rush, since the Vikings use a lot of short passes.

The run defense looked ok on some plays, absent on others. I would worry about this if they played this way during the regular season.

On the bright side, Sebastian Janikowski looked like the kicker the Raiders were hoping to get when they blew a first round pick on him. He hit three field goals, including a 55 yarder.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Matt Leinart signs

Hours after coach Dennis Green criticized Matt Leinart for not signing yet, well he finally did. Matt Leinart has signed a 6 yr with 50.8 million. His contract also includes 14 million guranteed money.

Random thoughts from this past NFL weekend [EdMcGon]

The NFL Network really shines this time of year. I don't want to watch all the NFL's preseason games, but I would like to watch the beginning of them all (when the starters play). Now I can, thanks to replays on NFL Network.

Jay Cutler looked outstanding against the Lions. He has a rocket arm that throws a nice tight spiral. He reads defenses well. He looks comfortable in the pocket. Is it too early to start making Elway comparisons?

Jake Plummer's days as starting QB in Denver are numbered.

Mike Bell will not be the starting RB for Denver. The only RB on Denver who looked impressive was Tatum Bell.

Phil Rivers made the Chargers look smart for getting rid of Drew Brees. Rivers also made Vincent Jackson look like the next stud wideout. There was clearly a comfort level there between the two of them, as Jackson caught everything thrown at him. Expect Jackson to move up from third on the depth chart soon.

Vince Young looked like a rookie QB, although he did show some flashes of how good he will be.

Reggie Bush is making the Texans look awfully stupid for not taking him with the first pick.

The Houston Texans look a little better than last year. Clearly, Dom Capers was not a good coach for them. Now if they only had a running back…

Derrick Johnson was awful! The first round linebacker taken by the Chiefs last year looked like a warm body on the field, as the Texans were able to block him at every turn. I didn’t see him shed a single block either. If he plays like this during the season, it will be another long year for the Chiefs defense.

Hank Baskett? Every time I turn around, I see him making a big play for the Eagles. Is he a preseason phenom, or the real deal?

Anthony Wright looked like he could actually be a decent sub for Carson Palmer. Or maybe the Bengals offense is just that good?

Why is Clinton Portis making a tackle on an interception return? There is something to be said for veterans dogging it in preseason. Clinton, enjoy your separated shoulder.

Is there a player in the NFL with a better name than Rock Cartwright? Cue the theme from "Bonanza"...

Friday, August 11, 2006

American Legends Signing 8.13.06




Sunday AUGUST 13, 2006


Photo of the Day: Clarett Arrested [Jay Moussab]

Clarett Arrested [Jay Moussab]

Maurice Clarett was arrested early Wednesday morning for carrying 4 guns: three handguns, an AK-47 and a bullet proof vest. Police pulled over an SUV driving erratically and had to set up a road block and spike the tires to slow him down. The police stun guns were useless on Clarett because of the vest he was wearing. The police then used Mace to get him to the ground and to finally make the arrest. The arrest was made a couple of blocks away from one of the witnesses houses who will be testifying against him for robbery charges Monday. Clarett will most likely stay in jail till Monday because the bond is 5 million dollars.
For the link of this story go to

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Photo of the Day: Piazza Curtain Call at Shea [J. Mark English]

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

NFL Selects a New "Pope" [J. Mark English]

And his name is Roger Goodell.
February 19, 1959
Started as an intern in the league office in 1982 and joined the New York Jets as a public relations intern the following year. Was heavily involved in bringing American Bowl to various countries abroad and created NFL International. Oversaw administration of instant replay system for officiating and restructured league's officiating department. Helped negotiate contract with NFL Referees Association in 2001. Appointed chief operating officer in 2001.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the NFL. Has been current commissioner Paul Tagliabue's top assistant, particularly on expansion and stadium construction.
Washington and Jefferson, magna cum laude, degree in economics
Jamestown, N.Y.
Wife Jane and twin daughters live in New York City area.
"I spent my life following my passion. The game of football is the most important thing. You can never forget that."

Video Tribute: Mike Piazza Returns to Shea [J. Mark English]

Photo of the Day: Future Nightmare? [J. Mark English]

New Starting RB for Broncos: Bell, but not THAT Bell [EdMcGon]

I see the link over at which says, "Broncos give starting RB job to rookie Bell". My first thought: "rookie" Bell? This is Tatum Bell's third year. Boy, did the folks over at Fox Sports screw up.

Not so fast cowboy. I clicked on the link and was astonished to read:

"Broncos rookie running back Mike Bell was told to see Mike Shanahan in his office for a meeting."

Mike who? Or is that who Bell?

The story went on:

"[Mike] Bell was shaking with excitement after Shanahan informed him he is the team's top running back, jumping ahead of Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell - for now. On Monday, Mike Bell was running with the first-team offense. Tatum Bell is second on the depth chart and Dayne third...

..."[Mike Bell]'s been real impressive," Shanahan said. "It is very close, and it could change day by day, week by week, but we felt like Mike deserves a chance to work with the first team and take a look to see if he can keep it."

I get it Shanahan. A motivational ploy.

Mind you, this is Mike Shanahan we are talking about. If Mike Bell impresses Shanahan in the preseason, don't be surprised if he is the starter on opening day.

FANTASY FOOTBALL PERSPECTIVE: Try to avoid the Broncos running backs for now. If your draft is this week, feel free to take any of the three of them as your 3rd or 4th RB in normal leagues (10-12 teams).

If your draft is later this month, watch this situation closely. The winner of the starting job is easily a great second round pick, potentially even late first round. UNLESS Mike Bell wins the job. He is still a rookie, which nudges his value down a full round (late second round to third round).

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Hall of Fame Game: Raiders 16, Eagles 10 [EdMcGon]

In the NFL Hall of Fame Game last night, the Raiders were awful, even though they beat the Eagles 16-10. The Raiders starting defense looked invisible, as the Eagles starting offense moved the ball down the field with ease on the first drive. The Raiders starting offense was exactly that: offensive.

I just wonder if Sebastian Janikowski can kick 70 yard field goals, because the Raiders might need a lot of them this year.

Some Thoughts on the Hall of Fame Weekend [EdMcGon]

I watched a lot of coverage of the NFL Hall of Fame ceremonies this past weekend. Some reflections on the inductees:

God rest his soul, I have never seen a better defensive lineman in my entire life. Of all those inducted this year, White was the most deserving.

When he died in 2004, White received a lot of the normal praise a great person receives when they die. This weekend proved to me how heartfelt that praise really was. Even John Madden got choked up talking about Reggie.

Speaking of Madden, you could not help but love his reaction to being inducted. There is something uniquely special about watching an old man acting like the happiest little boy in the world.

If you think about it, that is really why Madden has had success as a color commentator. He has wrapped his knowledge of the game in a childlike enthusiasm for it.

I am still amazed it took this long for Madden to get into the Hall of Fame for his coaching career. How can you argue against the induction of a Super Bowl winning coach who has a 36-16-2 record against other Hall of Fame coaches?

While Aikman does deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, I would not call him a "great" quarterback. He was very good, but he was also surrounded by a lot of talented players. Give me Emmitt Smith to hand off to, Michael Irvin to throw to, and put one of the best offensive lines in the history of the NFL in front of me, and I will win quite a few games as quarterback.

Hearing the talk of Moon being the first black quarterback to be inducted got me wondering: Was there another black quarterback more worthy of that honor? I personally cannot think of one.

I must confess my knowledge of Wright is limited. When I think of him, I think of an offensive lineman with an unusual name who kept getting sent to the Pro Bowl. I was a young boy when he was playing, and offensive lineman are not exciting to young boys.

One of the things people forget about Carson is that he was a Pro Bowl linebacker twice BEFORE Lawrence Taylor played for the Giants.

I caught Adam Schefter's interview with Al Davis on the NFL Network. Al is looking REALLY old.

I was surprised to see Jerry Jones drop in on Al during the interview. I was even more surprised to see Jones treating Davis with great deference. I had heard they were friends, but it was still surprising to see.

During the interview, Davis was asked what Raiders deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. He mentioned Tom Flores, Jim Plunkett, and Cliff Branch. I could not agree more.

Mets Euphoria: Reyes & Wright Sign Up for Extended Service [J. Mark English]

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Thank You To All [Harry Carson]

To all of my family, good friends and wonderful Giant, Pro Football or Harry Carson fans all around the world I offer my sincerest gratitude for your support and very warm well wishes over the past few months in regard to my son's health and my election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

As I join the few to be recognized as the greatest to ever play the game, I am humbled and even embarrassed by the honor yet thrilled to have had the opportunity represent my family, my friends, my race, my hometown of Florence, South Carolina and all those who've said something or done something to affect my life along this journey. To South Carolina State University, the New York Giants Organization and all of the loyal Giant fans and all who have played the game of football on any level, I hope that I've represented you well and have made you proud. As I enter the Hall of Fame I take all of you with me.

I've worn many jersey numbers during my 21 year football playing career. In high school I wore #70, at South Carolina State I wore #75 and I wore #53 during my 13 year career with the New York Football Giants. I am now honored to be #231 out of the 235 members of the Professional Football Hall of Fame!

Thank you and God bless!!

Harry Carson