Friday, December 21, 2007

Top 10 sports stories of 2007

Let the debate's begin. There were a lot of big stories in sports this year. Here are the biggest...

Honorable mention-
Marion Jones fesses up to cheating
Spurs in third title in five years
Redskins DB Sean Taylor is killed
OJ gets in trouble..again

10- APPALACHIAN STATE STUNS MICHIGAN-The biggest upset in college football history and how the game ended was legendary. App. State mismanages the clock to give Michigan the ball then not only blocks the last second field goal but picks it up and returns it the other way. And, they defended their D-I AA National Title (yes, I said D-I AA...not that Football Championship Division nonsense)

9-NEW ENGLAND'S RUN TO PERFECTION-This was by far the most annoying story of the year. I'm so tired of this story that they will get no satisfaction from me. Next story...

8-BECKHAM TO THE U.S.- For a few weeks over the summer, soccer was releavant in America. The biggest name in the sport came to play for the LA Galaxy. Problem was, he could not stay healthy and the Galaxy stunk so we stopped caring quickly.

7-BAD REF-NBA referee Tim Donaghy's association with bookies and gamblers could have spiraled out of control. For a few days it sounded like it would. He got in trouble, no one else did and the NBA smartly swept it under the rug and no one really remembers until someone brings it back up.

6-ROCKIES RUN-The Colorado Rockies won 21 of their last 22 games to reach the World Series. There dream run came to an end when they met the Red Sox in the Series but the baseball world was on the edge of their seats wondering where the Rocks came from.

5-FLORIDA WINS TWO-No school has ever been the national champion in both college football and basketball at the same time. This story would have been much bigger if the sports legal stories did not get in the way.

4-BARRY BONDS-Even though the record should be tainted because of Barry's 'roid use, MLB turned the other cheek as they always do to controversy and he is the new Home Run King. No asterik either. If MLB was not man enough to ban or suspend him in the three years for all of the evidence they have on him, then the record stands. Whether you and I like it or not.

3-COLTS WIN THE SUPER BOWL- After the last few years of "Peyton Manning can't win the big one" or "The Pats have Peyton's number", the Colts finally showed what we thought, they were a championship team. From the second half comeback to defeat New England in the AFC Championship to their win in the Super Bowl, both Tony Dungy and MAnning made history.

2-MITCHELL REPORT- How many Major League Baseball players were sitting on pins and needles before this report came out. 400+ pages of detailed information, some shocking, some not so shocking. When it finally came out, it was a race to the denial line for the 86 players named.

1-MICHAEL VICK- When '07 began, we knew that MLB players were taking 'roids, what we did not know was that one of the most marketable athletes of our time was illegally funding a dog fighting ring. No story dominated the news this year like this one. No athlete that I can think of had a quicker fall from grace than Vick. Let's hope he has learned his lesson and that when he is released in 23 months, the Raiders will let him rehabilitate his life before trying to sign him to a contract.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My Heisman Ballot

The 73rd Heisman Memorial Trophy will be awarded on Saturday night. The finalists are Arkansas RB Darren McFadden, Hawaii QB Colt Brennan, Missouri QB Chase Daniel, and Florida QB Tim Tebow. What makes this year's award unique is no matter who wins, history will be made. Tebow could become the first sophomore in history to take home the Heisman. If Tebow does not win, the Heisman would go to a school it has been to before as McFadden, Brennan, and Daniel would be the first from their respective schools to win college football's top honor.

First, a few honorable mentions that did not make the final group.

* Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon. Clearly the most exciting player in college football this season. The fourth-down, 43-yard touchdown run on the Ducks' initial possession at Arizona, proved how good he is, if only because he ran it with a torn ACL. Took us folks on the east coast a while to appreciate him and just when we did he went down with a season ending injury.

* Pat White, QB, West Virginia. Passed for 1,500 yards and rushed for over 1,100. Didn't put up the qudy passing stats as the thre finalists and had to share the spotlight with RB Steve Slaton but was very fun to watch. Add that he came back from an injury vs. Pitt when the team was down and needed is a bonus in my book.

4- Chase Daniel- No one burst onto the national scene in 2007 like him. He led Mizzou from the bottom of the Big 12 all the way to the title game. Completed almost 70% of his passes for over 4,000 yards and 33 TD's. Could have been 1 or 2 with a stronger showing vs. Oklahoma during the Big 12 championship.

3- Colt Brennan- I don't buy the "product of the system" jargon. He clearly put that team on his shoulders and elevated their level of play. Only QB not to lose a game in 2007. He started his career backing up Matt Leinart in High School and wnet to Colorado as a walk-on. Had some trouble there and after a stint at a JC went to the Aloha state. Bonus points cleaning up his life but loses some by not playing tougher schedule...not his fault but still counts against him.

2-Darren McFadden-Back-to-back #2 finishes, was runner up to Troy Smith in '06. Accounted for 20 TD's ( 15 rushing, 4 passing, and 1 receiving). Had a huge game when it counted the most upsetting LSU and had a better statistical season than '06. Had a few supbar games which hurt his standing. He should have won it last year as a sophomore.

And the winner is TIM TEBOW...he has become a legend in Gatorland even more so than the ole ball coach (the '68 Heisman winner). You will hear another of the "system QB" bologna with Tebow but no one has ever had a season like his no matter what his age is. Completed over 68% of his passes for over 3,000 yards 29 TD's and only 6 picks. Also rushed for 800 yards and a mind boggling 22 TD's (7 more than McFadden who actually is a RB). No player in Bowl Subdivision (which is really I-A) has ever been a 20-20 man. No player was more important to his team and despite the fact that he is only a sophomore, Tim Tebow is your Heisman winner.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Wow! I can't believe it has been since June since I mused about sports on here. So much ground to cover. Let's get started....

* Is anyone as sick of the Patroits as I am? I really hope they win all of their regular season games then get thumped by the Cleveland Browns in the playoffs. yes, they are a good team...maybe the best ever...but let's turn the hype machine down a notch or two. They did almost blow a game to the Eagles with A.J. feely at QB.

* Here's a shocker, OJ is in trouble with the law again. Bigger shock, he pleaded not guilty. What would be worse, OJ beating this rap or him not beating this rap and going to jail NOT for killing his wife and another guy but for breaking into a hotel room to steal back crap he already owned?

* I'm going out on a limb here but I'm guessing Isiah Thomas can't wait for this year to be over...not that '08 will be better for him.

* Not to pat myself on the back, but many thought I was smoking something illegal when I predicted last December that the University at Buffalo would go 6-6 and make it to a bowl game. 2008 outcome: 5-7 overall and a share of the MAC East Division and a tie breaker from going to MAC title game.

* If you really want to read a great American journalist, read Fox Sports' jason Whitlock's column on the death of Sean Taylor. I wish more folks would speak the truth like him...>1=10637

* If the Packers and Cowboys play on the NFL Network, which most of America can't see, does the outcome count? I guess we are all blessed that we don't have to listen to Bryant Gumbel.

* Big TV news for me...well, wait a few more days and check my homepage for an announcement.

I'm off to go find out whatever happened to my cassette of the Chicago Bears Super Bowl shuffle.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Best Team in Sports

Seen as the NBA Finals wrapped up last night it probably isn't a shock that I think the San Antonio Spurs are the best team in sports. The reasoning behind this should not shock you either.

I'm not talking about how they dominated their league like the Celtics in the 1960's or had the biggest names like the 1980's 49ers but how the Spurs have put together a team of unselfish, team players with a common goal.

When was the last time you heard of a San Antonio player getting in trouble with the law or for that matter in a game. Their players led by Tim Duncan's example keep their nose clean on and off the court. Yes, Duncan had the one run in with Joey Crawford this year and Bruce Bowen is considered by some to be a dirty player for his physical play. Duncan is allowed one overreaction during his otherwise spotless career and hasn't Bowen been considered the best defensive player in the league.

I got a laugh when some media types said that Tony Parker's solid play "came out of nowhere". Newsflash. He is good and has been good since he got into the league. Just because he doesn't flaunt his skills like #81 from Big D doesn't mean he isn't a star.

Their role players compliment their two stars as well.
Manu Ginobli- Duncan referred to him as their "x-factor".
Robert Horry- All he does is win championships...what is this 7 now?
Michael Finley- Was the star in Dallas but is more than happy to be a the 4th or 5th option. Could you see Kobe or AI doing this?
Brent Barry- An overachiever who never complained after his minutes where cut in half this season.
Franisco Elson- Who? A jounreyman who played overseas and with the Nuggets before finding his nitch with the Spurs.

Gregg Popovich deserves most of the credit for assembling this roster of guys who have the same see their team win. Not all championships have that. It is not a coincidence that not one member of the team uttered the word Dynasty last night despite winning four championships since 1999. Let's hope all team's in all sports see that you can win titles and have a very successful franchise without the selfish, self-promoting goons that seem to have taken over the world of sports.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My indecisive blog...

Just sitting here with my blog wondering whatever happened to A.C. Cowlings. I saw a white Ford Bronco the other day and thought of A.C. slowly cruising down the LA freeway with you know who in the back. I'm sure the Ford family loves that association.

* Even days after LeBron's legendary Game 5 performance, it's hard to believe he is just 22 years old! With Detroit looking old and the prospect of the two best players in this year's draft heading out West, LeBron and company can become the next Eastern Dynasty.

* So Billy Donovan is the new head coach for the Orlando Magic...or is he? Shocking how you can sign a 27.7 million dollar contract then decide within hours that you really didn't want it after all. Now, the NBA is considering banning him from coaching an NBA team for 5 years. I think a lifetime ban is in order. Billy the kid is making Orlando look like a bunch of chumps, not to mention the U. of Florida for leaving to take Orlando's money. Sadly, Florida will welcome him back with open arms and Orlando will be left at the alter with all of their guests snickering under their collective breath about how they tried to overachieve and failed. If I was David Stern, I would tell Billy that he lost his opportunity to coach at the pro level and best of luck on being the mayor of Gainesville again.

* The NHL playoffs have been exciting but a couple of things have really put a damper on this great stretch. (1) The NHL needs to come up with actual rules when it comes to kicked in pucks. Why do they not count in the Buffalo-New York series but they do in the Ottawa-Anaheim series? Some things are black and white. Either they are all goals or not...then their is no need to waste time with reviews. Let the refs call the game on the ice. (2) Don Cherry said during the intermission of Game 4 that he blames the NHL and NBC for curbing fighting, and called it "a big mistake," adding, "Let's return to rock 'em, sock 'em hockey." He denounced the league and the network for thinking less fighting would increase U.S. viewing audiences. Cherry has to realize that American hockey fans are not like Canadian fans who remember the old school ways. With 24 of the 30 teams being in the U.S. and bringing in a lot more revenue to the league, the NHL should cater to the American fans. Cherry added that U.S. sports fans like violence and sited the NFL and NASCAR as examples. I don't watch NASCAR but I'm pretty sure even with all the physicality of pro football, there is almost zero fighting and it is the most popular sport around.

Friday, May 18, 2007

As Landis Turns

Just sitting here wondering whatever happened to Greg Lemond.

Well, he has turned up in the always bizarre Floyd Landis doping case. Yes, I too can't believe that cyclist actually try to cheat. Apparently, they didn't get the memo that they are riding bikes. What, next your going to tell me that Curlers use performance enhancing drugs....more 'roids, faster brooms?

Sorry, I got off topic. The Landis hearing took a chaotic twist Thursday when fellow American Tour de France champion Greg LeMond revealed he had been sexually abused as a child and claimed the Landis camp tried to use it as a threat to keep LeMond from testifying.

Landis then fired his manager, Will Geoghegan, when it came to light that he had made the call. He of course gave a half hearted apology the next day.

During his short, explosive bit of testimony, LeMond told of a conversation he had with Landis after news of Landis' positive "A" urine sample during his 2006 Tour victory had been leaked to the press.

LeMond urged Landis to come clean if, in fact, his backup "B" sample also came back tainted.

LeMond said he used the story of his being sexually abused when he was 6 as an example of how it's good to get things out in the open.

He said he told Landis that very few people knew that about him and then accused someone in the Landis camp of using that information Wednesday night to intimidate him from appearing as a witness.

LeMond described receiving a call that he said he later traced to the cell phone of Landis' manager, Will Geoghegan.

"He said, 'I'll be there tomorrow and we can talk about how we used to ...,'" LeMond said, finishing his sentence with a graphic sexual description. "I thought this was intimidation to keep me from coming here."

He said he was so distraught by the call that he filed a police report, which was presented as evidence by attorneys. LeMond showed his cell phone screen with a record of the number from which he received the call. The number matched that on Geoghegan's business card.

Why can't Floyd Landis just admit that he cheated, take his punishment like a man, then call Jason Giambi to find out how to rehabilitate your reputation after being caught cheating.

So what have we learned here today:

1- Floyd Landis is a dope...and a bad liar.
2- Floyd Landis' agent is a dope...and a really bad liar.
3- Greg LeMond should mind his own business.
4- Greg LeMond should not tell people stories he wants kept secret.
5- Someone still apparently cares about cycling.
6- I have yet again amazed myself to expound on a topic I know nothing about.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Checking my (Sports) Shorts

Bloggin', wondering whatever happened to Mitch Richmond. Remember Run TMC “back in the day” with the Golden State Warriors? T & C have been in the news recently. Chris Mullin (C) was just named as finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame and Tim Hardaway (T) well, we now know who he doesn’t like, but nothing from the M. The old saying is everything happens in three…so Mitch, you’re on the clock!

* While we are on the subject, Hardaway apologized again Sunday for his anti-gay remarks about former NBA player John Amaechi, telling a Miami television station that he "didn't mean" to say what he said in a South Florida radio interview last week. I have two problems with this. First, when Dan LeBartard, who did the interview, gave Hardaway an opportunity, to retract is statement, Hardaway went even further about how much he detested gays. Second, he is apologizing for what he said, not his way of thinking, which he will not change. That makes his apology meaningless.

* I still don’t get the fuss about NASCAR. Beside the fact that their “Super Bowl” and Opening Day are the same day, which I don’t understand, they are still just driving around making left hand turns. Don’t see what is exciting about that. I will give kudos to the driver who crossed the finish line at Daytona on Sunday on his hood. $50 says 40% of the people who have seen the video (me included) reacted like this, “Wow, thought that only happened in the movies.”

*Is 14 days too soon after the Super Bowl to think that I miss football? If it is, let me know what is a reasonable time and then I will tell you then that I miss football.

* Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks said the team nixed (get it?) his best idea for the Slam Dunk competition last weekend in Las Vegas. Robinson, the 2006 winner, wanted to leap over a pool table that had a Playboy Bunny sitting on it. Apparently, Robinson has practiced the dunk before. This brings up two questions, (1) is this why the Knicks are so crappy…worrying about Nate’s dunks and not about the actual games and (2) who do you think filled in for the Playboy Bunny in while he practiced.

* Major League Baseball players are beginning to report to Spring Training, which means we can officially eliminate the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from the playoff race.

* After watching 11 Top 25 teams lose this weekend, I can’t be more excited about March Madness. The NCAA Tournament provides more drama than General Hospital in a postseason that is truly anyone’s guess as to whom will be the last one standing. An early pick for this year’s George Mason…how about Virginia Commonwealth. They are out of the same league, the Colonial Athletic Association, and have a up and coming coach Anthony Grant. Grant was Billy Donavan's top aide at Florida. VCU has an RPI of 44 and could make some noise in the Big Dance.