Thursday, September 30, 2010
Hamilton eventually found his way to rehab and sober living and was allowed back into baseball in summer of 2006 at the age of 25 (still young enough to have a productive career in the Majors) and was selected in the Rule 5 draft in December by the Cubs, who traded him to the Cincinnati Red for a measly $100,000. That's a far cry from the $4 mil he was given when The Rays selected him back in '99. He finally made his major league debut April 2nd, 2007 and hit his first career home run in his first start on April 10th. After battling through injuries he finished with solid numbers and was second in rookie of the year voting. He was traded to the Rangers in the off season and made his first All Star team in 2008 and put on a fantastic display at the annual Home Run Derby that year. Fast forward to today and Josh Hamilton has been a perennial all star, a leading candidate for Most Valuable Player honors and has lead the Rangers to their first division title in years. Not bad for a recovering addict, right?
Moral of the story is, not all athletes that have a rough go at it are lost causes. Not every story written about an athlete has to be slander or about something negative. If we put more focus on feel good stories such as Josh Hamilton's, maybe more athletes will want to be looked at in a positive light and make better decisions instead of subconsciously wanting to be seen on TMZ or World Star Hip Hop shacked up with a Kat Stacks type. It's sad that our society finds more time to point fingers at the negative than to focus on the positive. It's refreshing to see someone come from a background such as Hamilton's to become an impact player and highly recognized figure in sports.
Josh Hamilton should be a role model for young athletes everywhere. My hat goes off to you, sir.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
According to reports, the alleged mastermind behind the prank was veteran wide receiver Roy Williams. Williams and Bryant made headlines over the summer after Bryant refused to carry Williams' shoulder pads when told to do so.
It was a classic case of a rookie bucking the tradition of rookie hazing. People took sides. Some felt Bryant just should've carried the pads. Others felt Williams just picked on Bryant out of jealousy, since he was drafted to replace him. Everyone agreed that Williams sucked. The story eventually fell into the background after the Cowboys started 0-2.
I never gave a damn, because I'm a 49er fan.
But, I will tell you why I'm mad.
I'm mad that this prank is going to cost an individual $55K. I'm mad that while I know that individual did sign a contract with a $12 million signing bonus, the bonus is the only part of the contract that he's guaranteed to see. I'm mad that we as a society don't look at allegedly small instances like this one, and understand its a large part of the reason that a majority of professional athletes wind up broke less than half a decade after retirement.
And yeah, I'm mad that that one night cost him more money than I'm going to make this year.
Actually, that's got me more than mad. Borderline pissed. People gave Adam "Pacman" Jones a lot of grief for bringing a trashbag full of $80K to the "scrip club", but I can't see how this is any different, if not worse. For some strange reason, it makes more sense to waste multiple thousands of dollars throwing twenty dollar bills at naked women, than feeding ten men for one night.
Trust me, I'm an expert at wasting more than you're net worth throwing it at naked women. There are few things in life less rewarding, but I'd have to put feeding a bunch of dudes one meal is one of those things.
Still, I'm most mad that people aren't making a bigger deal about this. My brother once made me realize something that put athletes finances in proper perspective. He said something like 12 million dollars for an athlete or celebrity pretty much equals to one pretty fun decade, and then bankruptcy.
Once you account for taxes, families, and entourages, give or take a few gambling problems, paternity suits, DUI's, or overly-generous donation to a charity for tax writeoff purposes, these guys should really be more concerned with their long-term finances. Especially in the NFL, where non-guaranteed contracts are the standard. The list of bankrupt current and former athletes reads like a whorehouse madame's clientle list. Mark Brunell, Antoine Walker, Duece McAllister, Evander Holyfield, Raghib Ismael, even Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor and Johnny Unitas.
In actuality, these pro athletes are two or three bad fiscal decisions from being bankrupt, at most. Just like the rest of America. Sadly, most will lose the majority of their fortune before they even knew they had it. That is why I'm mad.
Monday, September 27, 2010
There were already rumblings of discontent after the team layed a similar egg in the season opening loss to the Seattle Seahawks, a game in which the offense produced a whopping six points against a conference foe that they were projected to dominate. Un-named sources in the locker room hinted that part of the offense's problems were Raye's inability to relay the play calls quickly enough. This lead to a week's worth of finger pointing and "rat sniffing" (Head coach Mike Singletary's words).
See, Raye is "long in the tooth", and that may be putting it lightly. I don't ever want to be accused of discrimination based on age, but the man is old enough to remember when Y. A. Tittle was a young punk. Combine his "experience" with Alex Smith's "I can't believe this team hasn't figured out than I'm a bust. Not on Jamarcus Russell's level, but not far from it." talent, and you get a clearer picture of why the team is struggling. All that continued into the Monday Night Football matchup against the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.
The 49ers finished strongly against the Saints, and it was thought that the game would be used as a positive to correct the course of the season. Then... Sunday happened.
San Francisco 49er fans, who had playoff aspirations, and talked a lot of trash to their friends during the offseason about as much, are more than disappointed by the teams showing so far. (Who has two thumbs, and chooses the Green Day song "Wake Me Up When September Ends" to describe the team's 0-3 start? Me, that's who.)
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
If it all goes down according to the report, the Nets would be receiving a nice compensation prize after missing out on "The Decision". Their biggest free-agent signings this summer were Travis Outlaw's last name, and Jordan Farmar's ears. Not sure how good this actually makes the team this year, but Carmelo is sure to get at least some people to travel from New York to the Garden State to check out a few games. What other options do NY basketball fans have? Do you really expect them to watch the Knicks?
#24 Oregon St. (+18.5) @ #3 Boise St.
Jaquizz Rodgers is a beast at running back for the Beavers, but Boise St. should dominate and pull away on the Blue Turf.
BSU 45 - Ore. St. 21
#12 South Carolina (+3) @ #17 Auburn
Cassic early matchup of two SEC unbeatens. South Carolina has looked impressive early on and grinded out a big win against Georgia (who was missing WR A.J. Green). After squeaking out a win over underrated Missippissi St. in week 2, Auburn was able to outlast Clemson in overtime last week. Auburn looks more battle tested at this time so I give them a slight edge in another close game.
AUB 17 - SC 13
Will this trade make the Nets an immediate contender in the Eastern Conference? Tough to say, especially if they part with Harris and turn the starting point job duties over to Jordan Farmar (trouble...) but it definitely would guarantee they would win more than a measly twelve games.
We'll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Judging from the picture above, it looks like the young player has never met a blunt, joint or pipe that he could turn down. According to espn.com, Tamba Bay Bucs starting FS Tanard Jackson has been suspended indefinitely for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He will not be eligible for reinstatement until September 22, 2010 and even then it's in Roger Goodell hands. Jackson was also suspended for the first four games of 2009. Jackson was a fourth round pick back in 2007 and has been a playmaker and very productive in his first few years in the NFL.
All jokes aside, we hope the young man can get his life in order and return back to playing football at a high level. Kids, please just say no.
Saw this over at www.blacksportsonline.com earlier today. According to Black Media Scoop's twitter, LeBron is finally engaged to his long time girlfriend Savannah Brinson, the mother of his two children. I guess the Miami weather and all the exposed skin running around South Beach was to much for 'Bron 'Bron to handle so he decided to get hitched and become a true family man (straight face). Congratulations, Prince James.
If this is true, someone in the James family will finally get a ring. Brinson will forever have bragging rights in the household.
Somewhere, Mo Williams is crying in the car.
We both were right. Just ask us.
It was announced yesterday by head coach Andy Reid that Vick would remain the starter, but that was only hours after Reid said Kolb was the man. Amid the confusion, I was inspired to create a list of this weeks four "Los That Put Up, or STFU" sports storylines. These are the three stories where there is a lot of scuttlebutt about a particular situation, but there needs to be no more talking, just action.
(It could become a running theme, or my ADHD could kick in, and it will pass like bad gas. Either way...yeah...)
1.) Mike Vick is an NFL Starter Again, Now What?
We know (hope) he isn't fighting dogs anymore. We know (hope) he is studying and preparing better than he ever has in his career. But we also know (know) that he's still stuck behind a shaky line, and he leads the league in being sacked. Reid says that he's "Playing out of his mind" right now, but really, he's playing the same way he did when he was at an all-pro level with the Atlanta Falcons. Back then, he had great running games, good passing games, and the occasional 40 percent completion game. He's still a running QB, but he's shown that he's thinking at least a split second longer before deciding to run, and Reid is probably having visions of some Steve Young-in-his-prime type of performances.
Vick has always been a rallying source for every team he's ever played on, and the guys in the locker room seem to be his biggest fans (save Kolb). Ultimately, this is Vick's time to show and prove. He must win games, and he must win them now.
2.) Shed Not One Single Tear for Singletary
The San Francisco 49ers came into this season expecting to make the playoffs. They also apparently thought that once their opponents found out what they expected of themselves, that they'd just lie down, and let them reach their destiny. That's the only rationale I can use to explain their first 5 quarters of the 2010 season.
Now I admit, I'm a fan, so my views are skewed. I also know that head coach Mike Singletary is given the credit for his leadership ability, his motivation tactics, and his requirement that everyone hold himself accountable. Well, Mike, after watching the 49ers begin the season on such a flat note (against a division opponent, no less), and then the in-fighting about the play-calling, its best you carry the weight.
You lost to Pete Carroll, and his college-like enthusiasm. You decided to hire Old Man River (Jimmy Raye) to run your offense. You decided that Alex Smith was your best option at quarterback, when you could've pursued Donovan McNabb, Vick, or even kept Nate Davis. Your team almost completed an epic comeback against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, but bonehead/untimely turnovers ultimately did you in, and now your team is 0-2, and a statistical longshot to make the playoffs. Bible quotes won't get you out of this one. Put up, or STFU.
3.) Carmelo Will Definitely, Maybe be Traded to Somebody or Nobody
I haven't heard the man himself, Carmelo Anthony, come out publicly and demand to be traded. But every two weeks or so, an un-named source speaks to reporters about a possible trade either being in the works, or totally out of the question. This is really infringing on my ability to focus entirely on the NFL start/MLB playoffs during the month of September, when the NBA should be in the further back recesses of my mind.
But Anthony is a top ten-to-fifteen NBA talent, and him switching addresses will have a definite impact on the landscape of the league. If he goes to New Jersey, as is rumored, then four- fifths of the NBA Futures (Lebron, D-Wade, Melo, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Durant) stock will reside in the Eastern Conference. If he moves to Los Angeles (Clippers), as is rumored, then he will be the first legit superstar NBA player to play for the Clippers while still in his prime. No, Elton Brand doesn't count.
Of course he could also just sign his max extension, stay in Denver, and the entire conversation is moot.
Either way, put up, or STFU so I can get my focus back to its proper place. Ya'll already got me for 82 games, plus playoffs, and an occaisional "Decision". I promise to DVR LaLa's new show if you wrap this situation up within the week.
My apologies for slacking on the posts in the last week; your favorite blogger's favorite blog was on vacation in beautiful South Beach, Miami. I even made a trip by the home of the "NWO" (the 2010/2011 Miami Heat) and had to fight the urge to pin a "Runner Up" banner across the front of it (LAKERS!)... If you recall last month, fellow "Los That Sports Blog" contributor Rod mentioned an old segment of the classic 90's cartoon series Anamaiacs titled "Good Idea; Bad Idea". I figured, why not make this a weekly addition to the blog? So without further ado here are my picks for good moves and bad moves from a very good Week 2 in the NFL...
NY Jets opening up the passing game.
Now I'm not saying the Jets should allow Mark Sanchez to attempt 30 passes every game. But letting Sanchez throw the football against a weak New England Patriots defense was a brilliant game plan. The result; 21-30, 220 yards, 3 TDs. Not bad for a quarterback who was heavily criticized for his shaky & timid performance in week 1.
Washington Redskins not triple teaming Andre Johnson.
Fact: Andre Johnson is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. With your team up 17 points over the Texans, who would you not force Matt Schaub to throw to someone else in the clutch? Granted, Washington did a solid job of bottling up RB Arian Foster (who racked up 231 yards against Indy) but giving up 497 passing yards at home is borderline embarrassing. Losing in overtime wasn't much better, either.
Eagles decision to let Vick start.
If you follow us on twitter (@a_ramsey, @marcusjnorris & @lostherod) then you may have noticed an ongoing debate we had last week regarding who should be the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback, Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb. My argument was that despite Vick's spectacular play early in the season, the Eagles should stick to their original plan and let Kolb start when/if healthy. My point of view was based on a few different factors; Kolb is clearly the future of the franchise (just turned 26) and needs reps to continue to grow with a young offense (DeSean jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek & LeSean McCoy are all 25 or younger). But after watching the atrocity that currently is the Eagles offensive line, it's clear that Vick's athleticism gives them a better chance to stay competitive. Kolb would get killed behind blocking that bad. It has been enjoyable to see Vick making the plays that once made him the most exciting and highest paid player in the NFL. But nonetheless, Kolb has to be scratching his head at this point...
Brett Favre missing virtually all of training camp.
Unless you were under a rock during the summer, you heard about Brett Favre returning to play quarterback for the Vikings (for the record, he was not retired and was under contract for 2010, meaning he was a holdout). Only problem was, star receiver Sidney Rice was to miss 10 weeks due to a hip injury, leaving Favre with very little to work with besides TE Visanthe Shiancoe & Percy Harvin (who has battled injuries himself). So far this season Favre has looked every bit his 40 years and has channeled his inner Cutler having turned the ball over 5 times in 2 games. Who knows, maybe if Favre would have attended camp he may be better in sync with the receivers Minnesota does have healthy. The Vikings have a chance to rebound this week against the Lions, so we'll see if they can get it together and save their season.
"The Ugly" *bonus*
Someone must have switched the DNA of Joe Flacco & Jay Cutler. Cutler has yet to throw a pick this season after leading the league in 2009, while Flacco has thrown a league leading 5 so far and is completing less than 50% of his passes...
As if Braylon Edward's beard and his version of "the Dougie" after he scored Sunday against NE wasn't bad enough, he compounded it by getting arrested for a DWI earlier this week. And you wonder why he didn't get much camera time on HBO's Hard Knocks...
A whopping four starting quarterbacks were benched last Sunday, Carolina's Matt Moore, Tennessee's Vince Young (surprise, surprise), Oakland's Jason Campbell and Jacksonville's David Garrard were all pulled for backups due to ineffectiveness. Where's the trust?
Just another week in the world's best reality series. Long Live the NFL!
Monday, September 20, 2010
- Michael Vick had his chance to prove what he can do against a not so great defense when the Eagles played the Lions. He threw for almost 300yds, 2 scores and made things happen when some other QBs would have been sacked. I think the intangible here is that Vick is probably the most athletic person on the field and he has escapability. He has the ability to turn a 5yd loss into a 35yd gain or even a TD run. Vick also showed he can put great touch on the ball while back pedalling, it was a great play even though it ended up incomplete after review. Kevin Kolb is going to be the starter next week and he has his chance to prove what he can do against a slightly better Jaguar defense. Good luck to Sir Kolb cause Vick has proven so far, based on the eye test, he should be the starter this season.
- In college football, Houston Cougars lost two of their QB's over the weekend. Senior Case Keenum went down with a torn ACL trying to make a tackle. This sparks the "When to Make The Jump..." debate. Keenum, a Heisman hopeful, could have and should have, made the jump to the NFL after his JR season. He put up video game numbers in Houston's offense last season and probably would have re-written some of the record books this season. Now he is out for the season and has the road to recovery to embark on.
Personally, I am torn on this debate because there are some hopefuls who have no business leaving early. They get gassed up by their respective circle of advisers, get a payday and end up failing. At the same time there are others, like Keenum and Sam Bradford before him, who should make the leap to the NFL early but end up getting injured in their last college season. Looks like in the end the good payday outweighs the potential of being successful. Dah Well, hope recovery goes well for Mr Keenum and he is able to do some productive things in the NFL.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
1 Albama to beat Duke
3 Boise State to beat Wyoming
4 TCU to beat Baylor
6 Texas to lose to Texas Tech (Upset Alert)
7 Oklahoma to beat Air Force (should be a good game)
8 Nebraska to lose to Washington (Out on a limb pick)
9 Iowa to lose to 24 Arizona
10 Florida to beat Tennessee
25 Oregon St to beat Louisville
Michigan St to beat Notre Dame
Next week I will base my picks on spreads, I just didn't feel like looking everything up this morning...
Thursday, September 16, 2010
This story has been floating around the net today (I saw it over at tmz.com). Dwight Howard is attempting to sue mother of his child Royce Reed (seen on the "Basketball Wives" reality TV show) for, get this, $500,500,000. That's over $500 MILLION DOLLARS! Looks like the dispute is over leaked information to the media about their relationship together.
Of course Reed's people are claiming that the leaked info isn't covered in their agreement. What did anyone expect her to say? Can you imagine trying to collect that much money from someone over leaked stories? Howard hasn't even accumulated that much money in NBA contracts and endorsements. How does he expect her to come up with that type of dough!?
Good luck with that one, D. Howard!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
What if I told you Reggie Bush should've taken more money while at USC? What if I told you that any college football player with NFL aspirations is a fool if they don't take money?
It was announced via press release yesterday that Bush was going to return his 2005 Heisman trophy, on the heels of an NCAA investigation that revealed he and family members took money from an agent. The NCAA had already penalized USC for this violation, and Bush and his Heisman were essentailly the issues that needed resolution. When it was announced he'd be giving the trophy back instead of having it taken from him, semantics removed, the story was reported as though he did the proper thing. He accepted responsibility for his wrong acts. He wanted to teach a lesson to future generations of college athletes that he fought the bylaw, and the bylaw won. Case closed, end of story.
Except for people like me, who believe there is something un-American about punishing people for taking money based on present and potential performance. I thought this was America, people! What part of the Constitution or Bill of Rights says getting money without robbing, killing, or insider trading is illegal? Its not there, because our founding fathers were about getting that paper.
(Now here's where we identify the irony of how each of the founding fathers got their money primarily on the backs of people who physically labored without any compensation other than room and board. But I digress, because we're not ready to talk about that.)
Let's ignore the fact that; Bush is being scapegoated; that players at USC during the Pete Carroll era were taking money left and right; that any potential candidate to receive the Heisman award in place of Bush (ie. Vince Young) can probably be linked to an agent as well; that Bush is likely not the first Heisman trophy winner to have taken money (Herschel Walker, Matt Leinart); that it is the culture of the college football booster world to find athletes and pay them; that, yeah, I'm kind of a paranoid conspiracy brotha, with a tendency to believe the broader the conspiracy, the better.
Let's just focus on this simple question: Why do we have to lie to kick it? Joi from "Friday" put it best, when she said we don't have to. Its 2010, and we're still pretending that somehow there is virtue in a college football player not taking money and instead honoring an NCAA bylaw that wasn't written with their best interest in mind. The bylaw, like most, was written to protect certain tax status, and conveniently keeps the NCAA from even entertaining the idea of a salary system for the players. That, in turn, creates an environment where people with money seek out people who need money, against the wishes of people who make money off of those people in need.
Unless you believe room, board and education is payment enough. And if that's the case, go back to Russia, you commie bastard.
Anyway, please someone explain to me the rational because I sure as hell don't get it...
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Say it ain't so Reggie! Per this report seen on espn.com, former USC and current New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush has decided to give up the prestigious Heisman trophy he won for his on field performance back in 2005. This coming after the NCAA hit USC with sanctions for improper benefits Bush received as a student athlete during his time at the university.
After reading his statement that was released by the Saints organization, I can say that Bush handled the situation with as much class as can be expected. But let that be me in the same situation, and there is no way I am conceding an award that I earned with hard work and my exploits on the football field week in and week out. And if runner-up Vince Young puts on a publicity-laden campaign for the trophy I will lose what little respect I have left for the BCS/Heisman joke of committees.
USC athletics has had a tough last couple of months...
Monday, September 13, 2010
- OSU's QB Terrelle Pryor is a superb athlete and coming into his own as a quarterback. He needs to work on the short game and some of the decision making to really set himself apart and get OSU to where they need to be, and that's national champs.
- Michigan QB Denard Robinson is what Rich Rodriquez has been waiting for. This kid knows what to do as far as reading blocks, hitting the right space to dart out TD runs and his passing isn't too shabby.
- Boise St was potentially robbed of a BCS National Championship berth due to the laugher Va Tech put up losing to James Madison. I am on record saying Boise St has a cupcake schedule and shouldn't get to go anyway, but I will say they do exactly what they are supposed to do, which is rip apart that cupcake schedule.
- I hope Carson Palmer doesn't keep a mental tab on how much he targets TO and Ocho. They both had 13, but Ocho put up monster numbers. Keeping them both happy and not winning will be an issue down in Cincy.
- Michael Vick should be Philly's starter. Kevin Kolb is not a bad QB by any stretch, I just think Vick will get the most out of that offense.
- Congrats to Kevin Durant and Team USA for winning the FIBA's. That was a very strong statement preparing for the 2012 Olympics.
- Oklahoma City Thunder will benefit the most from the Team USA experience. Kevin Durant took a huge step into becoming more than just a scoring champ and Russel Westbrook learned HOW to play gambling defense, rather than just doing it based on his athleticism.
- In local news your 3 contributors to this blog, @lostherod, @A_Ramsey, and @marcusjnorris, began the hoop season this past week. Best believe I, and hope they do to, will provide our own stats, successes and failures throughout the season. I know it's shameless, but dammit I wanna shine too!!!
Saw this over at espn.com. Since Allen Iverson's best playing days in the NBA seem to be behind him, it looks like he may have to take his talents to China. Rumor has it that he has had talks with a team about a possible deal to play overseas.
Regardless of his last couple of seasons, AI is still one of the greatest scoring point guards in NBA history. Wherever the road takes him, I wish him the best of luck. And I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he went over there and put up MVP numbers. Would you?
Just saw this story over on bossip.com. Looks like former boxing champ Ricky Hatton is doing his best Vincent Chase impression and went on a crazy coke binge. I guess the hangover from Floyd Mayweather Jr. knocking him out wasn't enough. It's also rumored that his license as a boxing promoter may be in jeopardy.
All jokes aside, I hope Hatton pulls it together. I'm sure all of England is pulling for their one-time favorite boxing golden boy.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Miami over Buf
Det over Chi
Ten over Oak
NE over Cin
NYG over Car
ATL over Pitt
Cle over TB
Jax over Den
Indy over Hou
ARI over STL
GB over Philly
SF over SEA
Dal over Wash
We'll have the Monday Night pick for you early tomorrow. Enjoy!
Watching the first Sunday NFL Countdown of the season, and in between Chris Berman losing his voice while Keyshawn Johnson was giving me a migraine, they debuted this new auto-tune ditty that is sure to become a classic. "Popcorn Ready" by T.Ocho feat DJ Steve Porter. Crank dat "Popcorn Ready"! (Pop, pop, pop!)
Friday, September 10, 2010
This just in: Brad Childress is a lot worse at his job than we previously thought he was.
The Minnesota Vikings head coach, affectionately known as "Chilly", was ice cold with his offensive play-calling in last night's 14-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The alleged offensive wizard, couldn't produce even ten points out of an offense touting Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson. His Viking defense started the game getting carved up, allowing the Saints to score on a 29-yard TD pass after only five plays. The defense did regroup, only allowing one more TD the rest of the game. But they were unable to get the Saints offense off the field, as they ran off the final five minutes of the game.
Childress hasn't shown any ability to motivate his team under his terms. Watching the game last night, fans saw a Vikings team that began the game flat, regrouped out of sheer embarrassment, and ultimately were handcuffed by Childress' terrible play-calling (and admittedly, some shady penalties). The Vikings passed the ball 27 times last night, even though:
A.) They were missing their top receiver, Sidney Rice.
B.) Their second best receiver, Percy Harvin, has been hampered by migraines.
C.) Favre, the hall of fame bound QB, had missed most of camp, and hadn't built any rhythm with the backups. And...
D.) They have Adrian Peterson on the roster, and he was averaging almost 5 yards per carry.
The Vikings have no head coach, they have a handicap. Childress' only contribution to the leadership of this team seems to be designing the offense, and taking trips to Favre's Mississippi home the past two summers, to beg.
If the Vikings were going to win anything under the Childress regime, it would have been last season. All the planets were aligned. They were an unknown commodity. Favre signed, Sidney Rice had a breakout year, Percy Harvin emerged as a star rookie, and the defense had every player either at, or coming into their prime. A team like that doesn't need a coach, and Childress stayed out of the way for the most part, resulting in a 12-4 season, and an NFC championship game appearance.
But now, the team is a year older, injured, and other teams can see them coming. This is a team that needs a coach to navigate them through the adversity, and Childress' isn't that guy. He designs plays well, but he doesn't call them at the right time. His offensive pet project, Travaris Jackson, has yet to develop into a legit NFL quarterback. His starting quarterback (Favre) openly undermines his authority, and treats him more as an old college buddy that he never really liked, than as a coach.
There is still enough talent on the Vikings roster to make one last run at a championship, but "Chilly" will have to pull off a coaching job that we've yet to see him do.
Childress' teams have improved by two wins each season since he took over in 2006, but none of those teams carried with them the expectations that this 2010 team does. Its a safe bet that is one trend that won't continue.
Los That Links
- Speaking of coaches who can't get out of their own way, Tennessee Vols men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl will be taking a pay cut.
- The Ray Lewis Old Spice commercial debuted last night. You can decide how you feel about it on your own.
- Lewis and former teammate/current NY Jets defensive captain Bart Scott are in a war of media fed words.
- Floyd Mayweather is having some domestic issues.
- Pat Riley is all like, "Why ya'll hatin' on a Miami playa?".
- The players on your favorite NFL team don't hate the guys on the other sideline. In fact, they're working together.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The NFL regular season officially kicks off tonight on NBC (8:30p eastern, 5:30 pacific). With that said, it's the perfect time to unveil a new weekly feature on "Los That Sports Blog", entitled "Those Picks". You'll get a brief preview of some of the top games for the weekend, with our picks for the winners. Agree or disagree, place your overseas or Vegas wagers at your own risk (disclaimer)...
Vikings @ Saints (+4.5 O/U 48.5)
The Saints can score on anyone at almost any time. Drew Brees may be the most accurate QB in the league and has a ton of weapons to distribute the ball to. The Vikings come into this game with injuries galore and will be without WR Sidney Rice, not to mention 40-year-old Brett Favre's gimpy ankle. The key for the Vikings is protecting Favre, as he still has Percy Harvin & Visanthe Shiancoe as reliable targets.
Vikings 24 Saints 35
The Saints will score early and often as Minnesota will have too many injury woes to keep up. Big games from Brees, Bush & Colston. You heard it here first.
The Green Bay Packers shocked a lot of football fans last season with their unexpected success so soon after the highly publicized divorce with that old guy that's now in Minnesota. The Packers ended 2009 with a playoff berth (although they lost in a shootout with the Saints), the best defense in the NFC and a rising star at quarterback. Not too bad of a season, no?
Give almost any NFL starting QB time, and he can pick apart a defense, except maybe Matt Leinart (sorry, but that was too easy). Thanks to one of the top offensive lines in the league, QB Aaron Rodgers has responded with two excellent seasons as the Packers franchise signal caller. Rodgers is extremely accurate, nimble and athletic enough to gain yards via the scramble and also has a very strong arm to get the ball down the field. He has all the tools to take advantage of Green Bay's nice stock of receivers, led by veteran Donald Driver. Driver has been nothing short of consistent throughout his career and at 35 doesn't appear to be slowing down. Explosive WR Greg Jennings is the perfect complement to Driver and is capable to put up big numbers weekly. Green Bay tecnically has two #1 recievers. Throw in backup wideouts Jordy Nelson and James Jones and the Packers have in my opinion the deepest receiving corps in the NFL. Don't sleep on Nelson. Snatch him and stash himon your fantasy football roster. Trust me.
One particular player to watch is Jermichael Finley. The third year tight end has a ton of talent and is poised for a breakout year. Finley has a matchup advantage no matter who opposing defenses line up to cover him. He reminds me of a bigger version of Marques Colston. The running game has been consistent the last couple of years with Ryan Grant and third down back Brandon Jackson. Grant is one of those solid running backs that just gets the job done and should be able to again surpass 1,200 yards on the ground.
Green Bay fields a defensive 3-4 scheme that is riddled with first rounders and play makers. They were excellent against the run with B.J. Raji and Cullen Jenkins up front. Former USC linebacker Clay Matthews had a nice rookie season with 10 sacks and he should produce much of the same in 2010. A.J. Hawk & Nick Barnett are athletic middle linebackers that are good in both pass coverage and against the run. Former Heisman and Defensive POY winner Charles Woodson is a ball hawk in the secondary and is said to be in the best shape of his career. CB Tramon Williams and S Nick Collins are emerging as bonafide interception threats against the pass and shouldn't be underestimated.
Green Bay can score light up the scoreboard with the best of them, and their defense is good on paper. One thing to be weary of is that they did give up 51 points to the Saints in the playoffs last season, so their gambling to make big plays on defense is capable of being exposed by a top notch QB. Still, the Packers are a solid contender for a Super Bowl berth in the NFC. Brett who??
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
(Other disturbing information about the Barber-Cha marriage: Barber and Cha have two other children together, for a total of 4 kids; Traci Lynn-Johnson recently wrote about her relationship with Tiki Barber for crushable.com; Barber was reportedly spending nights in Lynn-Johnson's college dorm room; Barber didn't officially leave Cha until she was 8 months pregnant; Barber has been extremely critical of his own father for leaving his mother high and dry to be with other women, saying in a 2006 NY Post interview, "I don't give a [bleep] that the relationship didn't work...(N)ot only did he abandon her, I felt like he abandoned us for a lot of our lives. I have a hard time forgiving that"; Tiki's twin brother, and Tampa Bay Buccaneer defensive back, Ronde is married to a woman who looks too similar to his brother's ex.)
Michael Strahan's divorce from his second wife Jean, believe it or not, was just as bad. The couple married in 1999, and for all that the general public knew, were a happy and wholesome tandem. Their split and subsequent courtroom drama dragged on for almost two years until it was finalized in 2007. The dissolution of their marriage revealed a completely different characterization of Strahan, who was accused by Muggli of having multiple affairs, including an "alternative" affair with TV doctor Ian Smith, videotaping her sister getting undressed, and forging her name on documents in an attempt to re-do their prenup.
Strahan accused Muggli of also having affairs, but with women.
Ultimately, the judge awarded Muggli $15 million (even though he only had a net worth of $22 million), as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in a child-support settlement. Strahan's tabloid troubles continued with his next girlfriend, Nicole Murphy (Eddie Murhy's ex-wife), whom he allegedly put a tracking device on, because (ironically) he suspected her of cheating. Imagine that.
4.) Allen Iverson and Tawanna Iverson
In my humble opinion, Tawanna Iverson is "The Answer" to the question "What exactly is a down a-- chick?". Tawanna has been knowing Allen Iverson ever since high-school, back when he was known as "Bubba Chuck", and getting into bowling alley brawls. The two married in August of 2001, the summer after Allen's MVP season. They have five children together, ranging in age from 15 years, to 22 months.
In March of 2010, Tawanna officially filed for divorce, stating that the marriage was "irretrievably broken.". That could have been for any number of reasons. Allen has reportedly had troubles with drinking and gambling. There was also the time that he had terroristic threat charges filed on him for allegedly throwing a naked Tawanna out of the couples house, then later looking for her at another family member's apartment, while wielding a gun. There are also the multiple stories/rumors of Allen's extreme gambling and drinking problems, which led Stephen A. Smith to write an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer literally begging people to pray for his safety.
Ultimately, Tawanna has asked the courts to give her full custody of their five children, as well as alimony. The marital troubles may have signaled the end of the road for the legend of "The Answer", had returned to the Philadelphia 76ers after a brief retirement, only to take a leave of absence from the team that ended his season and, in hindsight, paralleled in timing.
3.) Marion Jones and C.J. Hunter
Two Olympic athletes. Two World Champions. Two admitted (eventually) steroid users. One convicted felon. Few people could have been able to predict just how pathetic and tragic a turn that Marion Jones' would take after reaching Olympic heights at Sydney back in 2000. That summer, the only thing that came close to sharing headlines with Jones' accomplishments in the track and field events, was Vince Carter sexually harassing Frenchman Fredric Weis. She was the "Michael Phelps" of the 2000 Olympics, winning 5 medals.
But you can't be "Phelps" without the requisite drug scandal. C.J. Hunter, Jones' then-husband a world champion shot putter, tested positive for a banned substance, and wasn't allowed at the games. He was, however, allowed to give a tearful denial via press conference (and you are allowed to laugh at the irony).