Friday, September 4, 2009

Commish: Do Something About Snyder

We’ll be hearing from Roger Goodell again very soon, I’m sure.

If he’s serious about the league’s public image being at stake, if the concept of a code of conduct he has enforced the last few years has any meaning, if “protecting the shield’’ is more than the cliché it has become lately, then the commissioner of the NFL will be calling Redskins owner Dan Snyder into his office and demanding that he explain himself – and then slapping him with a fine, or suspension, or both, that will be heard and felt from his FedEx Field luxury box to wherever in the world any casual fan has tugged on a cap with an NFL team logo.

Because if Goodell thinks his sheriffing job stops at the wallets and livelihoods of the players, he’d better think again. For every way in which the actions of the Michael Vicks, Plaxico Burresses and Pacman Joneses reflect poorly on the NFL, multiply it by a thousand – and that’s what Snyder and his partners in crime in the Redskins’ front office are doing to their own fans, right down to their own decades-long season-ticket holders.

(Continue to The Steele Drum)

Are You Ready to Talk Football?

Because our members take their football very seriously, the management at the Grill Room have been working feverishly over the past couple of days to get our TVs aimed just right at the great NFL satellite in the sky for the impending 2009 season.

Nothing better than a hearty meal, a German bier or five, and some good ol' football to help wile away the darkening months of a European fall and winter.

And because our discerning clientele know that the only sure-fire way to botch up an expertly prepared main course -- in this case the great game itself -- is a shoddy announcing crew, we have carefully prepared a diner's guide aimed at rating the best and worst of those talking teams from the five networks that will be offering up NFL football fare this year: CBS, FOX, ESPN, NBC and the NFL Network.

(Continue to The Grill Room)

Super Bowl or Bust for McNabb

PHILADELPHIA—Shortly after the Eagles lost to the Arizona Cardinals in last year's NFC Championship Game, the radio sports talk shows in this town were full of fans and media pundits wanting to run quarterback Donovan McNabb out of town on a rail.

To McNabb's detractors, it was another case of him choking in an NFC title game. After all, McNabb is 1-4 in conference championship games. Never mind that McNabb had brought the Birds back from a 24-6 halftime deficit to a 25-24 lead with under 10 minutes left in the game or that the Eagles defense allowed the Cardinals to march down the field to score the go-ahead touchdown while chewing up the clock, it was all McNabb's fault.

(Continue to NFC 'Easter)

A Mess at One Buc Place

This all looks for very, very bad for Raheem Morris, your rookie head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Here he was, on his birthday, getting up in front of the gathered media to explain the firing of his offensive coordinator, Jeff Jagodzinski, a mere 10 days before the 2009 season opener against Dallas.

Say what you want, Morris was nervous and uneasy with the explanation.

He kept saying that the offense needs "more precision, more direction."

(Continue to Buccaneer Bow Shots)

Giants, Jets Still Have Questions

The NFL preseason has come and gone for the Jets and Giants, and heading into next week’s season-openers, the big questions on both teams still have to be answered.

The Jets open their season Sept. 13 at Houston, and the Giants open their season the same day at home against Washington. For all of the new faces and big-name players on both squads, how each team fares this season will be determined by two very different phases.

The Giants, who went 1-3 in the preseason, are one of the favorites in the NFC to reach the Super Bowl. They have a stout defense that overcame a rash of injuries last year and is one of the best in the league.

(Continue to New York Minute)

Marino Ranks 8th All-Time?

You could see this one coming. As Dan Marino's achievements fade in this new era of the West Coast offense and more permissible passing rules, he continues to slide down the list of all-time greats.

Marino placed eighth on a Beckett's Magazine list of the greatest quarterbacks, and for the first time I can recall, modern stars Tom Brady (6th) and Peyton Manning (7th) were ranked ahead of him.

It has for a long time been a fait accompli, what with Brady's Super Bowl winning heroics, and the incredible numbers he put up in 2007, when he passed for 50 TDs and just eight interceptions. Brady set a new all-time record for TD passes that Marino once held for 20 years.

(Continue to Dolphins Watch)

No. 1 with a Whimper

The 2009 college football season is finally here, and our undisputed No. 1 team, the Florida Gators, will storm into the Swamp by taking on ...

Charleston Southern.

Let me tell you something about those Bucs. Their school has about 3,000 students, not enough to fill up one section at Florida Field. The private Baptist institution was founded in 1964 and started playing football in 1991. But the most important number for this weekend is not that they're a 73-point underdog (that's hypothetical, since most Vegas books have this one off the boards, so fergettabutit!)

It's $450,000, as in how much Charleston Southern is taking home for this beating, so the school can fund some nice facilities, presumably including a rehab center to mend the wounded warriors in future engagements of this ilk.

(Continue to BCS Guru)

Boise State Dominates Oregon

When any team plays an OOC game not only is the reputation of the team on the line, but the conference as well. If it were not for a number of turnovers and missed field goals by Boise State the Oregon Ducks could have been embarrassed.

Give Oregon credit for playing at Boise State, but the reality of the situation is the Ducks were out coached and outplayed. In any game star players have to perform like star players.

(Continue to Inside the Pac-10)

Lightning Struck with Tanguay

Nice move by the Lightning this week, signing left wing Alex Tanguay to a one-year deal for $2.5 million, a pretty good bargain when you take into account some of the millions other teams have been throwing at free agents.

It's less than half what Tanguay made in each of the past three seasons with the Flames and Canadiens.

Tanguay is a very good offensive player when he's healthy, and he's responsible at the opposite end of the ice, never having been a "minus" player in nine previous NHL seasons.

(Continue to Through the 5 Hole)

Not-So-Random Hockey Musings

Some interesting stuff from NHL deputy Commisioner Bill Daly, heard on XM's NHL Home Ice this morning. Among the highlights:

  • on Jim Balsillie's offer to keep the Coyotes in Glendale for part of the season before moving the club in-season to Hamilton should he be awarded the team through bankruptcy proceedings: "It is disrespectful to the fans and players involved"
  • on Balsillie's claim that the Toronto Maple Leafs will sue the NHL if there is ever a team in southern Ontario: "The Maple Leafs do have a say. They have one vote out of 30 on the Board of Directors...the majority vote of the board will apply." and "It is factually untrue. It wreaks of desperation from the Balsillie group."
(Continue to Jim Cerny's Rink Rap)

Melo ... Giving Back

Carmelo Anthony seems to be living the good life these days.

A $15.7 million NBA contract for 2009-2010 ... Addresses in Denver and Los Angeles ... Appearance in the 2009 Western Conference finals ... Starter for the USA’s gold-medal winning team at the Beijing Olympics ... Celebrity regular at music award programs ... High-profile DJ girlfriend, LaLa Vazquez.

For the man who always will be "Melo" to his adopted hometown of Baltimore, Anthony is Baltimore through and through. What you saw as an urban teenager you still see shades of publicly today at 25 – like the ball cap on the side of the head (with the nylon scarf beneath), the long Ts or hoodie with baggie jeans, the Timberlands. Melo still talks Baltimore – the short, clipped sentences with that familiar side-winding, hard city drawl. The Melo brand. The difference between now and then -- the millions of dollars his brand commands.

(Continue to DMA 7-22 Sports)

Let's Start with Round One

Until I started playing fantasy football, Christmas and Thanksgiving were my two favorite days of the year. How can you go wrong with presents, delicious food, and family? You can't. Now, however, one event trumps both holidays: Draft Day.

I make sure I wake up focused and clear headed (no late-night shenanigans with my broskies the night before), eat a hearty breakfast, and pretend like I give a hoot about anything going on around me (while, honestly, I'm really just thinking about my late-round sleepers and early value picks).

A few hours before the draft I like to go over my rankings, make sure I've got a plan and backup plan, and then have a beer as the clock ticks closer and closer to that fateful moment.

(Continue to Inside Fantasy Sports)

Underdogs R Us

The wide world of sports gives us entertainment, hope, controversy, excitement and so much more. One of the greatest spectacles and wonders of sports is seeing an outmatched athlete or team overcome an opponent or situation when sheer logic doesn’t even explain how the underdog could emerge victorious.

Fandom of sports is littered with its share of fair weather fans and those who take allegiance with the winning teams. Even looking at last season in the NFL, four out of the ten top-selling jerseys were Dallas Cowboys players.

Understandably, most fans enjoy seeing incredible athletic feats and accomplishments that seem superhuman at times, but in all sports there are countless fans who harbor an admiration and love for the underdog.

(Continue to The Pine Rider Writer)
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