Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions. This is the best out of a not so great lot. Both teams are in the midst of the playoff races in their respective conferences. I will be watching to see if Lions WR Calvin Johnson, a.k.a. “Megatron” will unleash his wrath on Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam for calling him “old”. My hunch is that Megatron will destroy that kid and the Ravens. Lions 34, Ravens 21.
Who Gives a Damn? Game of the Week
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars. Buffalo may suck, and the Jaguars are not THAT bad – but really? Oh, Jaguars over Bills.
Browns over Bears
Broncos over Chargers
Falcons over Redskins
Colts over Texans
Patriots over Dolphins
Eagles over Vikings
Seahawks over Giants
49ers over Buccaneers
Chiefs over Raiders
Panthers over Jets
Cowboys over Packers
Cardinals over Titans
Saints over Rams
Bengals over Steelers
Last week’s record: 11-5
*keep in mind I was on vacation in Mexico during week 2, so my record does not include that week
It is no coincidence that the most successful franchises in all of sports operate using that mantra. I could think of a few examples: my Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and the New Orleans Saints (and lately the Cincinnati Bengals, no that is not a typo). With each of those franchises, there is a high level of stability that allows the coaching staff and players to perform to their highest abilities.
Now contrast that with the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. Both franchises are owned by the two most meddlesome owners in sports: Jerry Jones and Dan “Danny Boy” Snyder, respectively.
Jones doubles as the owner and general manager. He was the one who ran the war rooms since running off Jimmy Johnson (thank you again for ruining that dynasty Jerry!). He was the one who drafted Quincy Carter as HIS franchise QB after Troy Aikman retired. He was the one who hired puppets, errrrrr “coaches” Dave Campos, Wade Phillips, and Jason Garrett. He also the one who ran off defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and hired a Tampa-2 coach (Monte Kiffin) to coach a 3-4 defense – whose personnel does not fit such a system. And last – but not least – Jones gave QB Tony Romo $55 million guaranteed this past offseason – the same QB who has only ONE playoff win under his belt.
Now it’s Snyder’s turn.
Under Snyder’s leadership, Washington has a 104-133 record that includes just four winning seasons – and not one with more than 10 wins – plus one playoff victory. He has hired (and fired) seven coaches since he bought the team in 1999. That’s an average of giving a coach just TWO YEARS on the job.
Now we can get to Snyder’s relationship with QB Robert Griffin III. Word on the street was Snyder pressured coach Mike Shanahan to trade up to take RG-3 when Shanahan did not want to draft him. Snyder has over-coddled RG-3 to the point that Shanahan almost quit last season.
(It should be noted that Shanahan is now fighting back in benching RG-3 for the rest of the season, going with the QB he liked all along – Kirk Cousins. By the way, good for Shanahan.)
One would think that both Jones and Snyder would look at the years of failure – or at least failed expectations – and make some changes for the better (I will say that Snyder attempted to do so during the Shanahan regime, until the infatuation of RG-3 happened). Unfortunately for Cowboys and Redskins fans, both owners are stubborn men who are set in their ways and are not looking to change their methods any time soon.
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results”. Both Jones and Snyder are beyond insane – they are fucking certifiable.
You see, the sole purpose of the BCS is to pit the two best teams together. Again, the TWO BEST TEAMS. Based on the play of this season, it’s obvious that the Seminoles and Tigers are the best two teams.
Florida State has more than passed the “eye test”. It had thoroughly dominated the teams on its schedule. It blew away a good Clemson team (the same Clemson team that beat a full strength Georgia team earlier in the season) on the road during prime time. It made a mockery out of a good Miami Hurricanes a few weeks later. And it blew away a good Duke team that came into the ACC Championship Game on a nine-game winning streak.
And to those folks who have been bitching about the Seminoles’ weak strength of schedule such as ESPN’s Mike Lupica and CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel, teams cannot control how their conference members perform, and schedules are set often years in advance. (I made the same argument for Ohio State)
Keep in mind that things in college football runs in cycles. Alabama and Auburn haven’t always been good in the same year. Remember this: the SEC was just okay for the most part during the ’80s and 90s. So yes, believe it or not it could happen again to that conference.
And speaking of the SEC, what better way for the BCS to go out than to pit a representative from the strongest college football in the country against arguably the most dominant team in college football. Auburn is a team of destiny. Just look at the way it won its final two regular season games. If you don’t know how the Tigers won those games vs. Georgia and Alabama by now, you’ve been living under a rock for too long.
Aside from the “Team of Destiny” crap, Auburn has been winning by running the football down its opponents’ throats. The coolest thing about the Tigers is this: opposing defenses know what is coming, yet they have yet to stop it. The great Alabama couldn’t stop it. Georgia couldn’t stop it. Texas A&M couldn’t stop it (nor other offenses for that matter). Missouri couldn’t stop it in the SEC title game.
I will say this: both teams have a game to watch on film on how it could beat the other. Florida State could and should watch the Auburn-LSU game from now until kickoff. LSU “held” Auburn to less than 220 yards rushing, but more importantly force its QB Nick Marshall to throw two interceptions.
Meanwhile, Auburn could and should watch the FSU-Boston College game from now until kickoff. Boston College was not only the one team who truly tested the Seminoles, it actually held a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The Eagles were able to stay close to the Seminoles because, like Auburn, they have a great running game led by Heisman candidate Andre Williams.
The more I am write, the more I am loving this #1-#2 matchup. Way to go BCS – you got it right on the way out…
Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to sign a 10-year, $240 million contract. Meanwhile, my Yankees decided to give Jacoby Ellsbury $153 million over seven years.
Did I think my Yanks over-paid for Ellsbury? Hell yes I do.
Did I think my Yanks were right in not overpaying for Cano? Hell yes I do.
There was no way in hell the Yankees would have given 10 years to Cano for this simple reason: dude is 30 years old. Would you justify paying 40-year-old $24 million? I didn’t think so, but apparently the Mariners do. The only 40-year-old I have seen excel as a batter was Barry Bonds (no need to ask the steroid questions anymore).
And yes, I understand that you cannot simply let a guy who played in almost every game last season (Cano played in 160 games), batted .314 (lifetime .309), 27 home runs and 107 RBIs walk. And yes, Cano was by far the straw that stirred the drink on offense. And yes, Cano is in his prime and will probably stay in this run for a while.
Just not at 40 years old.
I believe the Yanks are still smarting over giving Alex Rodriguez that ridiculous 10-year, $275 contract extension a few years back – especially when they were bidding against themselves. It’s too bad they wised up in one area (Cano) while taking a step back in overpaying for an oft-injured – but good – player (Ellsbury).
I’ll say this: I just wished the Yanks and Cano (and Jay-Z) had come to terms on a seven- or eight-year contract.
The Klown Times remembers and celebrates the life of Nelson Mandela. I will always remember the role he played in bringing South Africa together when he became its president. He was instrumental in rallying the country behind its rugby team winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup. I will also remember the love and attention the sports world showed him during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. For all the blood, sweat and tears Mandela shed while campaigning for freedom during the dark years of apartheid, all the love and praise he received was more than well deserved.
For those reasons (and many more), he was one of my childhood heroes. His character and courage will always serve as an inspiration for the rest of my life.
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin apologized in a press conference two days ago for being in the wrong place at the wrong time during Thanksgiving night’s game vs. the Baltimore Ravens. More specifically, for standing too damn close to the field when Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones almost (and should have) taken the kickoff to the house.
Tomlin sounded contrite. He appeared humble. And I truly believe he tried his best to be as “transparent” as possible. Tomlin knew that he was going to get fined, and was probably fearful that he was going to get hammered in the form of not only a big six-figure fine, but also a possible suspension and a loss of a draft pick (or two).
Well, NFL commissioner/warden/playa hater/complete bastard Roger Goodell did fine Tomlin to the tune of $100,000 yesterday afternoon. The problem is that he got over – big time.
As most of you all know, I am a HUGE Steelers fan. I am also a big fan of Tomlin’s. I do not think that he has been given enough credit for the job he has done in coaching my Steelers.
However, I do believe in being objective and fair. Tomlin cheated. He knew he cheated.
Are we to believe Tomlin when he said he had no idea where he was at on the football field during Jones’ kickoff return right after his Steelers scored to cut the lead to 13-7? And did y’all see Tomlin smirk after Jones was tackled from behind because said kickoff returner slowed and moved to avoid hitting him? Hey Mike, are you sure you didn’t mean to impede on Jones’ kickoff return?
That’s why I think Tomlin got over. Hell, he should have been dealt with more harshly than the $100,000 fine. I thought Goodell was going to suspend him for at least a game. And I thought the fine would have been a lot greater, possibly in the neighborhood of Patriots coach Bill Bellicheat for his role in “Spygate” way back when.
And while I think a possible loss of a draft pick would be more than excessive, the punishment the NFL levied upon Tomlin was a little more than a slap on the wrist.
I guess I should give Goodell some love for not coming down too hard on a Steeler. NAH, I still hate that fucker…
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints. This is for first place in the NFC South, so what’s not to love about this matchup? By the way, good on the NFL for moving this bad boy to prime time. At any rate (liked how I jumped around there?), I am liking this matchup for the Panthers. Cam Newton is the type of mobile QB that gives teams problems, especially an embattled one like New Orleans’. Sure Drew Brees and Co. are dangerous at the Superdome, but it hasn’t faced a defense like Carolina’s. The only one that is comparable is Seattle’s – and we all know what happened. This will be a great game, but I think the Panthers will win their ninth in a row Sunday night. Panthers 24, Saints 20.
Thursday’s Game/Dud of the Week
Jaguars over Texans (A winning streak of more than two games for Jacksonville? Stop the presses!)
Bengals over Colts
Falcons over Packers
Patriots over Browns (this should be over by the first half)
Raiders over Jets
Eagles over Lions
Steelers over Dolphins
Buccaneers over Bills
Ravens over Vikings
Broncos over Titans
Cardinals over Rams
Chargers over Giants
49ers over Seahawks (time for a little revenge
Bears over Cowboys
Last week’s record: 13-3 (A helluva lot better…)
*keep in mind I was on vacation in Mexico during week 2, so my record does not include that week
After all, the Buckeyes BARELY beat a mediocre Michigan team by one point in The Big House last Saturday. I didn’t know what was worse, barely getting by those Wolverines or giving up 41 POINTS to the same bunch who didn’t have much of a pulse on offense for most of the season.
But we all know what the real problem with Ohio State is: it plays in a crappy Big Ten with an even crappier out-of-conference schedule.
We do not want to hear about Ohio State’s 24 game winning streak. We do not want to hear about the studs they have on offense, namely Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde. And most of all, we do not want to hear about the job that coach Urban Meyer has done the last two seasons.
I’m here to tell you all this: the hate the Buckeyes have been getting all season long is utterly indefensible.
First of all, winning 24 games in a row is NOTHING to sniff at. Sure the Big Ten has been down for a couple of seasons, but it is an automatic qualifying (AQ) conference that has more than its share of football tradition and lore. (After all, you cannot knock a conference that has a tie-in to the Rose Bowl and has the most bank thanks to its money-making B1G Network). And there’s this: it’s not the Buckeyes’ fault that the rest of their conference sucks.
And, since I believe in fairness, why not knock the Florida State Seminoles’ schedule? While I do not think the ACC is as crappy as the B1G (though not much better) and they more than pass the “smell test”, the Seminoles’ out-of-conference schedule leaves much to be desired. Nevada, Idaho and Bethune-Cookman?! Are you kidding me?
Again, I am not knocking the ACC. I am a proud alumnus of NC State (except when it comes to sports), and am proud of the fact the ACC will more than likely have a representative in the BCS Championship Game for the first time in almost 15 years (when the Seminoles won it all in 1999).
I just think if folks want to bash Ohio State based on strength of schedule, they might as well take some swings at the #1 team in the country as well.
Back to Ohio State, here is all it has to do going forward: win, and win big against Michigan State. The good news is the Spartans are ranked 10th in the BCS. A win over those cats should quell the Buckeye hate once and for all.
I like it when a team rewards a veteran who gave his blood, sweat and tears to his organization. Loyalty is such a lost art in professional sports, so when I see a team hook its player up with a new contract, I usually applaud it.
In the case of Kobe Bryant’s new contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, not so much.
No one is saying Kobe Bryant is turning into an “okay” NBA player before our eyes. Before he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon late last season, Bryant still averaged 27.3 points, six assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game. And that was during a season where he played through a variety of injuries.
It’s just that I do not believe in investing in risky commodities.
Bryant is coming off that aforementioned ruptured Achilles tendon last May, and the timetable for rehabbing that injury is at least a calendar year. How could the Lakers be sure that they will be getting the same Kobe who is one of the best players in the NBA last season? Will they even get Kobe back by the end of this calendar year?
And now with various stars destined to hit the free agent market next season (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade to name a few), the Lakers could not afford to have too much of their salary tied up. That changed when they re-upped Kobe to that ridiculous two-year, $48 million extension.
And yeah, I know that the Lakers have media deals that help them to more than afford that extension. However the last time I checked, professional sports is all about winning championships than making the most loot (ask the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones how that is working out for him).
And speaking of the dollars, what that signing did was send a message to the rest of the league which said that the Lakers is STILL Kobe’s team until he retires. That’s not such a good message to sell to potential superstar free agents looking for a new home.
And it seems to me that Kobe has made more than enough money in his career, and that he would take less in order to bring in the right cats to help him win that coveted sixth championship. But as usual, Kobe’s super-sized ego trumped common sense.
I will say this: that is good news for this life-long Laker hater. That signing just reaffirmed that Kobe and the Lakers will not be winning another championship any time soon.