Tag Archives: Football

The NFL’s Biggest Fraud Revealed! You’ll Want To Write This Down!

8 Sep

As those of you who read this site may have figured out I’m a Giants’ fan.  When you’re a Giants’ fan in the tri-state area, you usually don’t hate the Jets.  Giants-Jets isn’t some big sports rivalry.  For most Giants’ fans, the Jets are a team they wouldn’t mind seeing doing well so long as it didn’t come at Big Blue’s expense.

The good news for the Jets’ organization and their fan base, is that Giants’ fans aren’t feeling so charitable anymore.   The Jets have become flat out annoying.  Have they taken over the market yet?  No, not really.  After all, they still last won a Super Bowl over 40 years ago.  But, the Jets are drawing notice.  Due to a combination of their participation in HBO’s Hard Knocks, Rex Ryan’s take no prisoners persona and their on the field achievements, things are looking up for the Jets.

Unfortunately, they’re also the NFL’s biggest fraud.

It’s absolutely amazing to me how many people think they’re Super Bowl bound.  Please write this down so you remember you read it here.  THE JETS ARE NOT MAKING THE SUPER BOWL.

For those “experts” who disagree, let’s point out a few problems with the idea of the Jets being good enough to win the whole thing this year.  First, they barely even made the playoffs last year.  If not for a few playoff clinched teams laying down to avoid injuries, the Jets probably wouldn’t have made last year’s post season.  Now, granted, they did a nice job when they got there, but not enough to have me over-value their Super Bowl potential this year.

Why?  We’ll that’s reason number two.  Mark Sanchez.   Does anyone remember that he wasn’t super last year?  Does anyone believe he’ll be that much better in year two?   With rare exceptions, quarterbacks struggle during their development.  Sanchez will be no different.

I hear some of you out there now.  You’re thinking (yes, I can read your minds) that the Super Bowl Champ doesn’t need a quarterback to be much more than a good game manager if he’s got a great supporting cast around him.  After all, Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl.

True, but don’t forget that Dilfer tasted victory about 30 years ago (ok, if just feels that way, but it’s still a long time ago).  Take a look at who’s QB-ed Super Bowl Champs over the last decade.  There’s an awful lot of great quarterbacks up there.  Not too many stiffs.  Wherever Sanchez ends up on the quarterback scale, it’s a lot of pressure to put on a second year player.

So, if the quarterback is suspect, then at least they’ll be able to run the ball right?  Well, not so fast there.  They let Thomas Jones leave and have gotten some critism for it, but I think that will ultimately be proven to be the right call.  Jones had a nice Jets career, but he’s a senior citizen in running back terms and was coming off of heavy usage these last few years.  Frankly, he was already showing signs of retirement being not so far away by the end of last season.

So, the Super Bowl Bound Jets are now depending on Shonn Greene to be the kind of consistent runner Thomas Jones was.  Maybe he’ll be just that, but there’s a very small body of evidence to go off of, so that’s no given.

Should Greene falter who do you depend on?  LaDainian Tomlinson?  Maybe five years ago.  I’m an LT fan despite feeling that there’s only one true LT (Lawrence Taylor, of course, even with his current legal troubles!).  Tomlinson seems like a decent guy who’s come in with the right attitude.  So, personally, I’m hoping he has a nice bounce back year.  That’s the emotional side of my fandom coming out, but the reality is that Tomlinson like Jones is pretty old for a running back  and also come with the damage that a whole lot of NFL carries will do to a man.  He’s simply not going to be the season long answer at running back.

So, give the Jets credit for upping their profile and for putting together a terrific defense.  These days though, offense has a lot to say about who wins the Super Bowl.  When your quarterback and running backs are question marks, there’s a lot that needs to go right for you to win a Lombardi Trophy.

THE JETS WILL NOT BEAT THOSE ODDS.  Again, please write it down and remember you read it here first.

PS – Didn’t even mention they play in a seriously tough division.  That’s not going to help the march to glory.

PPS – I’d like bonus points for not going with the very tempting but ultimately lame argument that “after all they’re still the Jets”.

WTF Buffalo!? Not Even The Rooney Rule Can Protect You From Chan Gailey!

20 Jan

A keen-eyed Chan Gailey sees another opening to pursue. (AP photo by John Bazemore)

What is going on up in Buffalo?  They’ve got an owner who is 112 (which isn’t even that big an exaggeration) and wants to win now allegedly.  They started their coaching search with Mike Shanahan & Bill Cowher.

And today, they ended up with Chan Gailey. 

According to multiple reports, Buffalo’s GM who doesn’t even merit being referred to by name here, wanted someone who had been a head coach before and had offensive expertise.  

Or as I prefer to look at it, he wanted a retread who doesn’t know defense.  Be that as it may or may not be, here’s a list of people off the top of my head who would have been better choices, although admittedly some didn’t meet all of Buffalo’s criteria.

First up, Leslie Fraizer who is  the defensive coordinator of a Viking team that just cracked the NFL’s final four behind his stifling defense.  Apparently, Buffalo could not wait around to let Chan Gailey go somewhere else while Frazier’s team continued to make its way through the playoffs. 

I believe in the Rooney Rule and I believe in it because it’s good for business and good for football.  I’m unclear if Buffalo interviewed Frazier but here’s a clear cut case where the Rooney Rule could have helped Buffalo by introducing them to Leslie Frazier. 

(PS – Before Buffalo hired him, Chan Gailey was not going anywhere quick…)

Here’s the rest of my off the cuff list of better choices than Chan Gailey:

Jim Fassel – got a team to a Super Bowl. Gailey’s watched a Super Bowl (on TV).  Ok, I’m kidding.  I think he might have been on the staff of some of those Super Bowl Champ Cowboy teams, before he took over and proved he wasn’t a fantastic NFL coach.

Denny Green – sure looked burned out in Arizona, but did some great things in Minny and so quotable and so better than Gailey

Gregg Williams – New Orleans D – Coordinator & 3 “G” name!

Herman Edwards – he’s been successful overall in the NFL

Jim Mora – had success with Atlanta and rug pulled out in Seattle

Brian Billick – Won a flippin’ Super Bowl and was a Match Game contestant.

I could go on but you get the point…

In The New NFL, Sometimes Winning IS Losing!

5 Jan

Winning can never be a bad thing, right?  After all, in the NFL, winning is the assignment.  It’s the name of the game.  Just win, baby!

Except, sometimes winning can blind you to things in sports.  If you somehow pull off a victory or more victories than expected, it can fool you into not making needed changes. 

That’s true whether you’re 11-5 or 5-11.   Take Dallas.  They’ve the NFC East Champs.  They are 11-5 and they seem to have left behind the kind of bad football they’ve been known for at the end of the season.  All of which means that Wade Phillips’ job just may be safe.   Only Jerry Jones knows for sure.

Let’s say the Cowboys even go so far as to win a game or two in the playoffs, let alone get on a run and win the Super Bowl.  Each additional playoff win makes it that more likely that Phillips is staying put in Dallas.

That’s great for Phillips, but maybe not so great for the franchise.  Now, I hate the Cowboys as much as any Giants’ fan, but even I can’t lie about the fact that Bill Cowher and Mike Shanahan are far better coaches than Wade Phillips.

Why do I mention Cowher & Shanahan?

Because they are two available head coaches that Dallas could bring in to replace Wade.  Worse yet for Dallas and their fans, Shanahan is most likely going to be taking the Redskins job very very soon.  Once Shanahan gets the Skins turned around, Dallas will be faced with facing off with Shanahan twice a year.  Who would you bet on in a tight NFL game – Shanahan or Phillips?

No question about it.  Shanahan.  Yet, the Cowboys will be stuck with Phillips.

So, clearly winning can mess up the future of a franchise.  But what if your franchise admittedly doesn’t have much a future?

The Browns are a mess.  Yet, somehow at the end of the season they’ve managed to win four in a row.  Eric Mangini, who it seemed the players hated, even gave him a victory Gatorade bath after their last game.  So, maybe the players have come around (or maybe they were trying to give him a pneumonia we’ll never know for sure).

But, with Mike Holmgren coming in as the Czar of all things football for Cleveland, the four game streak is going to make it much tougher to fire Eric Mangini. 

Mangini should get credit for the streak and for hanging in when it seemed like he was hanging on by a thread.  Eric Mangini is not, however, the best coach the Browns could hire.

Will Mike Holmgren see that or will he be seduced by the win streak?

As the Boy & Browns prove, winning can be a bitch…

Coaching Conspirarcy! Dick Jauron Fired On Same Day NFL Coaching Veteran Frees Himself Up For Duty! (Let’s Draft Jerry!)

18 Nov

The Buffalo Bills are 3-6 and their ancient and so rightfully impatient owner can’t take it anymore.  Today, Dick Jauron got the axe in Buffalo.  Outside of criticizing an in season move, I don’t see how you can debate this one.  Three straight years of mediocrity and a disappointing season in what was supposed to be the break through year will get you fired.

The Bills ponied up the dough and the guts to sign Terrell Owens to give Jauron some ammo on offense.  For a lot of reasons, it hasn’t worked. 

At all.

However, Jauron didn’t help himself by firing his offensive coordinator just before the season started.  Alex Van Pelt, who was promoted into the spot hasn’t gotten things going and so far has made no one in Buffalo forget Turk Schonert.

So, Jauron had to go.  That much was clear.  Who’ll replace him?

Damned if I know.  Jon Gruden just re-upped with ESPN for another two years, so it looks like he’s out, but you never really know.  In the meantime, former Denver Coach For Life Mike Shanahan is available, as is Paul Holmgren and maybe Bill Cowher.

Still, those are all marquee names.  The kind of names that don’t usually end up in Buffalo.  So, figure the Bills to go with either a re-tread or on the rise coordinator.

There is a wildcard out there, though.

And his name is Jerry Glanville.  Turns out the same day as Jauron was axed, Glanville quit what was a disastrous reign Portland State.

Portland State what?  I know.  I had the same reaction.  I thought Jerry Glanville was dead.  And I’m not kidding.

It will never happen.  His recent body of work doesn’t suggest it SHOULD happen.  But, I think the NFL needs Jerry Glanville.  The man was flat out entertaining.  He could coach a little bit too.

If you agree, why not email the Bills.  It couldn’t hurt.

If they’re gonna be bad, they might as well be fun.

Brett Favre & The Economy Have One Thing In Common!

19 Aug

Brett Favre, Minnesota’s new starting quarterback and the United States economy have one thing in common.  They’re both not worth following on a day by day basis.

Will Brett play another year?  Will it be for Minnesota?  Will he stay retired?  Who knows, until it happens.

The same is true with the economy.  Each morning on the bus ride into work, I busy myself reading the news headlines on the Blackberry I’m addicted to.  And each morning I look for signs on which way Bush/Obama’s economy is going.  Every day, there are different clues.  Housing starts are up, oh, but wait luxury homes can’t be sold.  GM is increasing production, but consumer spending goes down.  Cash for clunkers is a hit.  No wait, it’s a bomb.   Hold on, it’s a hit again.

You know what?  I’m through with trying to anticipate Brett Favre or the economy.  How will it work out with the Vikings?  How long will he play for?  When will we have a solid recovery and what will it look like?  How much longer until my 401k recoups most of its losses?

Who knows!

It’ll happen when it happens, stupid…

Here’s Why The Baseball Draft Sucks!

10 Jun

The lowly Washington Nationals took Stephen Strasburg as the number one pick in baseball’s draft today.  The guy is clearly a phenom.  He was the best pitcher by far in college this year.   The San Diego State star had a 13-1 record, with an ERA just over one.  And did I mention he struck out guys at a god-like rate?

Whoop-dee-damn do to paraphrase the legendary Derrick Coleman.

Why am I so not excited?  Because baseball’s draft sucks.  Baseball talent is really hard to judge and young pitching is especially difficult.  I’ve always known that, but the point really came home earlier today.  I was reading about the past twenty five years of baseball draft classes.  According to SI.com, over the last twenty five drafts the best pitchers to be drafted number one are….

Are you ready?  Are you excited?  Are you trying to figure out which future or current Hall of Famers were number one picks?  Here’s the answer:

Floyd Bannister and Andy Benes.  Both of those guys had their moments and certainly making the bigs is a tremendous achievement, but neither of those guys are getting a sniff of Cooperstown unless they pay their way in.  And those are the best two careers for number one pitchers in the last 20 years.

Roger Clemens is the highest pick to have major success in the same time frame and he wasn’t even picked til about 18 or 20 if my memory serves.

Contrast that with the NBA.  Since 1984, here are some of the guys who’ve been drafted number one:  Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Derrick Coleman (who merits inclusion mostly for the great quote above), Shaq, AI, Tim Duncan, Yao Ming, LeBron, Dwight Howard.

The NBA guys are all stars, champions, some are even Hall of Famers and some placed on the NBA’s All Time 50 Greatest Team.

Looking at the NFL since 1984, you’ve got Bruce Smith, Bo Jackson, Vinny Testaverde, Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer and Eli Manning.  Three Super Bowl Champion quarterbacks, a Hall of Fame defender, the phenomena that was “Bo Knows”, the longevity of Vinny T and the promise of Palmer.

Bottom line is that there is a very good reason that the attention paid to the baseball draft is so much less than the NBA’s or NFL’s. 

It simple doesn’t matter as much.

So good luck to the Nats on signing Stephen Strasburg.  And let’s hope for all our sakes that he turns out to be at least as good as Floyd Bannister.

No disrespect intended, Mr. Bannister!

Peyton Manning Needs To Put Up Or Shut Up!

27 May

I never thought I’d be writing this, but NFL superstar & seemingly all-round good guy Peyton Manning needs to put up or shut up.  I read today on MSNBC that Manning is upset over the situation with his now retired offensive coordinator Tom Moore.

Due to an upcoming change in the NFL union contract(s), a lot of older assistant coaches found that they’d be significantly better off  pension-wise retiring now rather than continuing on and retiring a few years down the road.  Two long time Colts coaches chose to hang them up.  That, and I’m assuming the change in head coach from Tony Dungy to Jim Caldwell, is too much change for P. Manning.

The Colts are in the middle of trying to bring back both retired coaches including the only offensive coordinator Peyton’s ever known as consultants.  But, the Colts are finding it tricky navigating the new rules so as not to jeopardize the coaches’ pensions.  It’s taking a little time.

Peyton isn’t liking it.  He recently spouted off about everyone not being on the same page and the internal communication not being good right now.  I get it.  Change is hard.

Peyton needs to give the Colts the benefit of the doubt.  After all, they’ve managed to put a pretty solid organization around him over the years.

More over, Peyton has the means to end this problem.  He could write a check.  If Peyton needs his Tom Moore back so badly, why couldn’t Peyton volunteer to make up the loss in pension his coordinator would be hit with?

After all, Peyton has got to have more money than he’ll ever need between his playing contract and his endorsements.  What could the difference in pension really be?  Let’s say it’s a million. 

First of all, that’s probably a drop in the bucket for Archie’s boy.  Second, even if it’s not, you have think Peyton could raise that kind of money quickly through a few more endorsement deals.  To his credit, he’s a good actor and usually a pretty good role model, not to mention funny on SNL.  Marketers consider him a dream.

I’m still a Peyton fan, but he needs a reality check.  If he’s so upset about the changes with the Colts, he’s got the means to solve it.  All he has to do is write a check. 

And that’s the reality…

PS – here’s a link to the MSNBC story:


Happy Ending For Certain Hall of Famer! (And It Doesn’t Involve A Massage Parlor!)

24 Apr


They say be careful what you wish for.  Today, Tony Gonzalez got his wish. The ten time Pro Bowl Tight End was traded to the Atlanta Falcons.  Unlike say Brett Favre in a Jets’ uniform, this is one deal that will end well for all concerned.

Gonzalez caught over 90 passes last year for the pitiful Chiefs.  This year, he’ll be playing for the much better Falcons with an actual NFL quarterback throwing to him.  At 33, Gonzalez may decline some, but the Falcons don’t need him at his tip top prime to help their team.  Gonzalez will be a big help to Matt Ryan’s continuing development even if he’s only 75% of what he once was.

As for the Chiefs, trading a Kansas City icon has to hurt.  But, it had to be done.  It will be awhile before the Chiefs contend and keeping Gonzalez around to rot with no shot at the playoffs seemed beyond cruel.  This way, the Chiefs get a second round pick to help them to rebuild and keep a good relationship with their legendary tight end, who has already promised to retire a Chief.

His plaque in Canton is going to include him in a Chief’s helmet for sure and now there’s the chance it might detail his Super Bowl title with Atlanta.

All’s well that ends well?

We’ll see…

Dan Rooney Could Be This Blog’s Man Of The Year! Plus Nonsense About A Rod & Twitter!

18 Mar

President Obama today named Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney as the US Ambassador to Ireland.  Fitting that it was on St. Patrick’s Day.

Congrats to Dan Rooney who epitomizes what this blog stands for.  Passion for sports and politics.

I’m not sure where he stands on nonsense.  But, we like that too.  So here’s some more of that:

A-Rod – Crazy pictures from upcoming Details magazine came out today.  Do you have to love or hate this guy?  Is he misguided or mentally ill?  For what it’s worth, I’ve rarely seen an athlete gifted with so much work so hard to find ways to get people not to love him while not being a really bad guy. Anyway, here’s a link – you decide!  http://men.style.com/details/features/landing?id=content_8397

Charlie Villanueva– Speaking of crazy and nonsense… Villanueva tweeted during half time of a recent game against the Celtics.  The Bucks, fighting for their playoff lives, were not amused.  In fairness, he tweeted that he had to step it up and then did in the second half.

Not sure if Villanueva or the NBA looks dumber here.  Villanueva had to know it wouldn’t look good for him to tweet at halftime.  On the other hand, maybe the NBA is missing a golden opportunity.  If football coaches are forced to give sideline interviews at half time and hockey players do interviews between periods, than maybe the NBA should be encouraging all its players to follow in Villanueva’s footsteps.

Nothing like giving the fan an inside view after all…  Just ask A Rod!

Could Denver Have Screwed Up The Cutler Situation More? Plus, Chris Simms Has His Fingers Crossed!

17 Mar

Talk about making a bad entrance.  New Denver Coach Josh McDaniels certainly couldn’t have started off worse.   He’s in Denver for about two minutes and now his franchise quarterback won’t play for him.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the quarterback he really wanted is out of his reach in Kansas City thanks to some of his old pals in New England.

Welcome to the being a head coach in the NFL, Josh!  First, you get the challenge of having to replace a local legend in two time Super Bowl winning coach Mike Shanahan.  Now, your quarterback who threw for over 4,000 yards last year and isn’t even in his prime yet is bailing on you.

For sure, Jay Cutler is being a big baby.  But, with athletes these days I don’t think you can expect anything different.  Organizations and coaches simply must figure out how to handle them.

The Broncos and McDaniels had every right to listen when people were asking about Cutler’s availability.  Any player is replaceable, especially when the people calling you are offering you Matt Cassel, a quarterback who ran your system last year.  It’s not so much that they listened.  It’s how they handled Cutler after the news got out.

From what I’ve heard/read, it sounds like the new coach and Cutler have had two conversations since Cutler found out about the Broncos not immediately rejecting trade talk involving him.  In at least one of the conversations, McDaniels tried to lay down the law and tell Cutler he was expected to fulfill all his obligations to the organization.  Today, Cutler was a no show for McDaniels’ first team meeting.  Mission: Not Accomplished.

Each time Cutler and McDaniels talk, the situation gets worse and each time both sides come out of the conversation convinced of a different outcome.

I’m not on the phone and I’m not in the room with McDaniels or Cutler.  Maybe Cutler is hyper-sensitive and any new coach would have run into the same problems with him.  Maybe Cutler is still too young and thin skinned to realize how cut throat the NFL really is.  Players are a commodity to be traded at an organization’s whim.  Nothing more, nothing less.

On the other hand, maybe Josh McDaniels is too young and inexperienced to know how to deal with the headache this has all become.  McDaniels may well go on to be a fantastic coach (or not), but somehow I don’t see this situation playing out this way if say had Bill Parcells or some other experienced coach come in to take over for Shanahan.  And at least they would have been able to buy their own beer!  (Cheap shot – McDaniels is 32, which is fully legal to drink in most states…)

Ultimately, it would be a shock to us all if Cutler ends up staying in Denver.  No matter who’s fault this is look for Denver to have a new quarterback soon.

Could this be Chris Simms’ big break?  He’s on the roster and if McDaniels’ could turn Matt Cassel into a pretty good NFL QB maybe he can do the same with Phil’s boy.