Friday, March 3, 2006

The WBC is now open for business!

First game of the World Baseball Classic is in the books...Korea 2 - Chinese Taipei 0...all around good performence from the Korean team, especially their pitching staff who only gave up 5 hits on their way to a shut out. Jae Seo picks up the first win in WBC up only 2 hits in 3.2 innings...then the trio of Byung-Hyun Kim, Dae-Sung Koo, and Chan Ho Park came in to seal the game. so congrats to Team WBC game is at 3:30 am CST friday...Japan vs. China Live from the Tokyo Dome.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Everyone will miss you Brett...honest

While yesterday I did say that I would try and expand into other sports…away from football, I must write about the stories that pop up.
Brett Favre appeared on Sportscenter last night, a one on one interview with Chris Mortensen. First off this should have been a red flag to those who know anything about Favre…he never does more interviews then he needs to. Remember that multiple times this season he skipped out on talking with the media after games. But if you can get past that, we can move on to what he said…and why it spells out, “I’m done.”
To give a brief overview of the interview…Favre basically said that he’s not sure what he’s going to do…but he’ll probably arrive at his decision in the next month as to allow the packers time to plan. That he physically is still able to play, but mentally that might not be the case. In a nut shell, he’s saying he’s ready to give it up for all intensive purposes. And for those still on the fence, the lines “If I had to pick right now and make a decision, I would say I'm not coming back,” and he commented that he wasn’t sure if he wanted the ball in crunch time with two minutes left…those should tell you all you need to know.
If I’m the coach of a team…I want my QB…my field general…to want the ball when the game is on the line. He can win or lose…but he wants the ball. That competitive fire is something that a leader of a team needs. Michael Jordan wanted the ball when the game was on the line, even though he missed more last second shots then he made, Ray Lewis wanted to be in the middle of the defense on the goal line with 1 second on the clock.
Don’t misconstrue what I’m saying though, I’m not ripping Favre. Favre deserves to retire if he wants to, he’s been through a lot and he’s had a great career. Brett is a first ballot Hall of Famer, he’s a top 20 all time QB, he’s done everything there is to do. The packers are rebuilding…Favre will not get to another superbowl…there’s nothing left for him. Brett you’ve had a great career…in all seriousness if you want to see your daughter graduate from H.S. and spend time at home on a tracter, who are we to tell you no.
In my life I have seen a lot of football games, and living in Wisconsin a lot of them were packer games. Now I will admit, I’m a Bears supporter…but I’ve always respected Favre. The performance he put on December 22 of 2003, only one day after his father died…on the road…on Monday Night the greatest performance I have ever seen by a QB on a football field…quite possibly the greatest sports performance I’ve seen live with my own eyes.
Brett we’ll miss you, yes even us Bears fans. Do what you want to do…don’t wait for Ted Thompson to “cut you loose.” Go home, see your family…your legacy will always be remembered…no doubt about it.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Senior up...NFL Combine.

Allright, I know that I focus alot on Football on the blog. but not awhole lot else going on right now. Hot Stove action hasn't been that is in mid season and the biggest stories have been kobe's 81, the Artest/Peja deal, and the Piston's quest to overtake the 95-96 Bulls. Ok, so now that I read that there are some i'll throw those in in the coming days.

But yesterday, to help those having football withdrawl becasue of the superbowl off week, we had the NCAA Senior Bowl. Basically, the Senior Bowl takes the best graduating seniors in college football and pits them against eachother, not so much to see who'll win...but for the NFL scouts. This will be the last "game situation" that the NFL Scouts see before the draft. So the game went down yesterday...with the north winning 34-14...and after watching the game and the practices televised on ESPN all are my top 3 movers...both up and down.

Moving up
  1. DeAngello Williams RB Memphis
  2. D'Brickashaw Ferguson OT Virginia
  3. Dominique Byrd TE USC
Moving Down
  1. Mathias Kiwanuka DE Boston College
  2. Anwar Phillips Saftey Penn State
  3. Jason Avant WR Michigan
Well I will talk to you all next time...and now that I have some more topic ideas...shouldn't be too long. Hasta

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Quick Hit Tuesday...January 15 - January 24

In an effort to shake things up from the normal post I do...taking an entire post to talk about one subject...Tuesday will usher in a new feature here. Quick Hit Tuesdays! In a nut shell, QHT (as they will now be referred to) will take all the headlines from the past week and put my two cents on them. This way I can get to the headlines that deserve some time, but just didn't make it into a post. So without further ado, the debut of Quick Hit Tuesday!

Week of Jan 15th through Jan 24th
  • Andy Roddick and the Williams Sisters eliminated in the early rounds of the Australian Open
    • The great hopes of the United States couldn't cut it with the rest of the world "Down Under." Maybe Maria Sharapova kept Andy up too late the night before. As for the Williams' well they've been streaky their entire careers, and in reality I think that both of the Sisters are overrated and are as big as they are, simply because American wanted Tennis Superstars...that goes for A-Rod as well.
  • Antonio Davis Going into the stands in Chicago
    • Where'd this story go? All the talking heads went crazy the day after Wednesday night's Knicks v. Bulls game. Saying that this was simply another example of the Player Fan relationship breaking down. But if this was such a huge problem...why did it get pushed out of view as soon as another story came along?
  • The World Baseball Classic
    • MLB has gone to great length to ensure that the WBC will be a success. The latest attempt was allowing Cuba to participate. This is a great thing, not only for Cuba, but for the U.S. and MLB. Not only does it give the event more Legitimacy, making it a true world baseball classic, but it will only add to the revenue that MLB will make from the even on a whole. Now the only question is...what's the Over/Under on the Number of Cuban players that will Defect during the WBC?
    • That and Mr. Barry Bonds...You're a man that I've had little to no respect for...and this doesn't help your case with me at all. I know you were "Hurt" last year...but you took the year off to get healthy...and playing for the U.S. could act as another rehab for you if some guidelines were set before the Classic. I know you never said that you'd play and you never agreed to it...but you should if only to try and save part of your image...You don't deserve to break Hammerin' Hank's don't deserve to be #2 on the all time HR list. You can pump yourself full of whatever you want and I won't have a problem...but to borrow a line from Mr. Costner..."you don't respect the game...and that's why I got a problem with you."
  • Kobe's 81 point game
    • short and sweet...Incredible individual performance...made even more special by the fact that the Lakers needed the points because they trailed at half. Is it better than Wilt's 100 point could say that it is because of the different era's that they each played in, but on the other hand I look at the game and say... the Lakers needed one guy to score 81 of their points...the team has some holes.
  • Nascar turning to the foreign market?
    • It was announced that Toyota will join the Nascar circuit starting in 2007...So the "sport" that has trouble generating excitement in the Northern half of the U.S. is now alienating part of it's core southern audience by breaking the "made in America" tag of Nascar.
  • Super Mario calls it quits...again
    • Mario Lemieux retired from the NHL for the second time last night...a great player who had the heart and desire to play for 10 more years...simply didn't have the body to allow him to make the comeback he wanted to. Should he have stayed retired? Probably...Did he tarnish his legacy by coming back? I don't think so. Strongly considered the greatest hockey player ever, next to "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky, the NHL will miss Super Mario as it tries to get back on it's feet. Farewell Mario...and Merci.

Heading for Mo-Town

Monday, January 23, 2006

A Fitting Send off for the Bus...and the Start of a long Career for Big Ben

The knock on Bill Cower in Pittsburgh has always been he's never won a championship. He's the longest tenured coach in the NFL, having coached the Steelers since 1992 on. Let's not forget either that he was the successor to Chuck Noll...Some big shoes to fill in Pittsburgh to say the least.

But now, Cower has made it back to the Superbowl for only the 2nd time in his time as head coach. The Steelers went into Mile High and doubled up the Denver Broncos 34-17, becoming the first #6 seed ever to reach the Superbowl and the first team to win 3 road games on the road to the Superbowl since the mid 80s (The last was New England in 1985...who eventually lost to the Bears in the most lopsided superbowl ever). But this is not that type of team...this team isn't going to get blown out...this team isn't afraid of the #1 seed Seattle fact...this team is good enough to win it all. I know it's Cliche, and please forgive me, but this team looks like a "Team of Destiny."

Let's put aside the fact that Big Ben Roethlisberger has been one of the most consistent QBs in the NFL over the past two season. Put aside that they had the #4 Defense in the league during the regular season. Put aside that they are known for being the toughest team in the league. Put aside they have the chance to put a story book ending on Jerome "The Bus" Bettis' career, with Superbowl XL being played in his hometown of Detroit. Forget that they beat the #3, #2, and #1 seeds in the AFC playoffs. Put all that aside and you still have the fact that...They've learned how to pass! They're no longer simply a run to set up the run offense. In fact they can now pass to set up the run, or even better pass to score.

Don't get me wrong, I am still a throwback/Old School fan. I love 14-10 games, I want to see big punishing runners drive up the middle for 3-4 yards a carry, I want to see Grass instead of Astroturf. But in looking at the match-ups, the fact that the Steelers now have the ability to pass with Big Ben to, not 1 but 4 quality receivers (Hines Ward, Cedrick Wilson, Antwan Randle El, and Heath Miller), opens up the Pittsburgh Offense to a scary level. And of course the Steelers always have their Run game with Jerome Bettis, Willie Parker, and Duce Staley who's expected to be active for the Superbowl. Nice when you can refer to the Steeler run game as an after thought.

That will about do it for, what I'm sure will be the first of more then a few breakdown of the two teams and games. But I will put my early prediction on the game out, and I reserve the right to change this, Steelers 21...Seahawks 17. Until next time...See ya when I see ya.

Superbowl Xtra Large is set

Alright we've got our two teams. Steelers from the AFC and the Seahawks from the NFC. One was supposed to be there all along, the other is the first of its kind. Tonight we'll look at Seattle and tomorrow I'll cover Pittsburgh.

Let's take a look at the Seahawks. Seattle came out on top of Carolina 34-14, in a game that was dominated from the start. As the #1 seed in the NFC, they we're supposed to be here...and for good reason. The Seahawks run the best offense in the NFC, they have quite possibly the most Underrated QBs in the league, and oh yeah...The NFL MVP, Shawn Alexander (pictured left), Running the ball for them. Another thing you probably noticed coming into yesterday's NFC conference championship...those that had jumped off the Panther bandwagon halfway through the season...were back talking all the smack they could about, "Oh I picked the Panthers in the preseason." or "Carolina has been my team since the beginning of the year." Funny how that worked out huh?

I'll admit that the Panthers did look good coming into the game, taking down both the Giants and Chicago on the road...but Seattle's offense and their
Defense was too much. While we credit Alexander and Hasselback...remember that the Seahawk defense picked off Jake Delhomme 3 times. Coming into the game Delhomme had the best QB ranking in the history of the playoffs...his QB Ranking today...34.9 (this according to Truth be told, it was Seattle's Defense that won the game. Not only did MLB Lofa Tatupu (pictured right) knock out Panthers' RB Nick Goings, and Intercept a pass...but the Rookie out of USC ran the Seahawk defense, as he has all year, to perfection. Shutting down the most explosive WR in the league in Steve Smith, holding him to just 33 yards on 5 grabs. If they had MVPs of Conference Championship games Tatupu would be it.

Sehawks are in, as they should've been from the beginning. But they're going to face a team with a chip on their shoulder, a team with a 7 game win streak, a team that's sending off its hero and a sure fire hall of famer, a team with a QB who will be the best out of a very deep draft (the first round saw Eli Manning, J.P. Losman, Philip Rivers, and "Big Ben" Roethlisberger go alone). The Steelers will be a tough team to beat...and we'll look at their win over the Broncos tomorrow.