Saturday, October 31, 2009

SEC Overreacts to Official Bashing

Instead of recognizing the inferior quality of its officiating, the Southeastern Conference adopts a bunker mentality.

Earlier this week, SEC commissioner Mike Slive played the role of bully, warning that any coach who criticizes the referees will now be subject to a fine and/or suspension. He must have been so proud of himself.

We're constantly amazed how sports leagues can get away with squashing the first amendment rights of its employees, how they can exist in a vacuum above the law.

(Continue to Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling)

Sticking with Todd Dooms Auburn

Auburn backup quarterback Neil Caudle (pictured left) has spent all week saying all the right things about how he supports starter Chris Todd, about waiting his turn, about how there’s no
quarterback controvery on the Plains.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Head coach Gene Chizik defended Todd somewhat, saying he isn't solely responsible for the Tigers’ suddenly moribund offense. So, that’s why Chizik is sticking with the ineffective Todd (8-of-14 for 47 yards last week in a 31-10 loss at LSU).

“Let me tell you something, Chris Todd is a quarterback, that when it is third-and-7 and he has five guys in his lap, that's not Chris Todd, that's different people.” Chizik said in his weekly news conference. “It’s just like when in the first five games and we were throwing for this many yards, yeah he threw a nice ball, but last time we checked there were guys protecting for him or a receiver went up and caught a great ball.”

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

(Continue to Rue's Rant)

Mike Gundy: Who's Your Daddy?

Mike Gundy may be a man now (at least he thinks so), but part of his everyday challenge is very much the burden foisted upon every boy the world over - making his daddy proud.

Gundy's daddy, metaphorically speaking, of course, is T. Boone Pickens, a Texas oil man. A man who's given over a quarter of a billion bucks to the Oklahoma State athletic program. A man whose name graces the Cowboys' brand-spanking new stadium.

And Gundy has no better opportunity to please his (sugar) daddy than this week.

(Continue to BCS Guru)

Favre Returns, Jury Waits

Even though Brett Favre's return to Green Bay Sunday mercifully puts an end to what seems like 107 weeks of uber-hype, aren't you at least a little curious to see how it all plays out?

Don't you wonder how the salt-of-the-earth folks in Wisconsin will treat the man they once crowned their prince and savior? Because for all the good Favre did in Green Bay during his 16-year reign, is it possible he undid all of it, with his embarrassing, stuttering departure two years ago?

Understand that Green Bay was an NFL wasteland after the glory days of Vince Lombardi in the '60s. Between 1969 and 1991 the Packers had exactly five winning seasons, and appeared in the playoffs only twice.

Really, growing up and watching the once-great team's demise was a crime -- even if you weren't an ardent Packer-backer. Green Bay was the iconic team during the NFL's sonic rise in the 1960s.

(Continue to The Grill Room)

Dolphins-Jets: The Sequel

In a strange scheduling quirk, the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets face off for the second time in three weeks, this time in the Meadowlands. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

The last time the two teams played, of course, was on Monday night. And in one of the best games in the rivalry in recent years, Ronnie Brown's 2-yard TD run with six seconds left lifted Miami to a 31-27 win.

The next week, the Jets continued their skid with a 16-13 overitme loss at home to Buffalo, their third loss in a row. Quarterback Mark Sanchez single-handedly lost the game with his worst day as a pro, tossing five interceptions.

(Continue to Dolphins Watch)

Foundering Cavs in Need of West

It is early in the NBA season, a point LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal have been stressing. So a loss here or there won’t turn what should be a promising season for the Cavaliers into a shipwreck.

The Cavs have foundered, though.

Their play has been spotty, their defense leaky -- a reflection of a team in transition, a team trying to figure out what it can do. The Cavs are also a team absent one of its important pieces: Delonte West. One player can make a difference.

For those you think otherwise, find a TV replay of the Lakers-Mavericks game Friday night. Ask any of the NBA analysts, and most of them will tell you the Lakers are the cream of the National Basketball League.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

This Week's Top NBA Stories

Here’s a look at five headlining NBA stories from the week of Oct. 25:

5). Donaghy’s botched book deal could help NBA (FOX, Oct. 30).

The stars are still aligned for a thrilling 2009-2010 NBA season. Disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy had hoped to rain on the league’s parade this season with his tell-all book titled “Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA.” However, the book's publisher appropriately pulled the plug because of “concerns over liability.”

(Continue to All Net)
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