Sunday, March 29, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Don't get me wrong, I like Tom Brady. I was a fan of his during his college days at Michigan, and I am still a fan of his as the quarterback of the New England Patriots. He is arguably one of the greatest playoff quarterbacks of all time.
One thing that I am not a fan of, is how his injury in Week 1 of this past NFL season has affected the upcoming season.
For those that don't know, the NFL instituted 11 rule changes for this upcoming season. I agree with most of them, question a couple of them, and totally disagree with the one put into place because of Tom Brady.
The new rule states that a defensive player on the ground may no longer lunge or dive at the quarterback's lower legs.
Last season, Bernard Pollard of the KC Chiefs was rushing the quarterback, just like he does on each play. On this particular play, he was taken to the ground before the play was over. With the Patriots Tom Brady directly in front of him, Pollard lunged at Brady to try and make the sack. Pollard got to Brady just after the pass was thrown.
Unfortunately, Brady tore his left ACL on the play which sidelined him for the rest of the season.
Last season, the hit by Pollard on Brady was perfectly legal. This season, it will be illegal.
I've just got to wonder, if it was anybody else but Tom Brady, would this rule have been put in place? Would the NFL have made such a rule change if it were Sage Rosenfels who got hurt? How about Alex Smith? Would Daunte Culpepper have gotten the same treatment?
I don't think so.
Tom Brady is one of the league's most recognizable and marketable stars who plays the most popular position on the football field. He is also married to one of the most popular supermodels of all time in Gisele Bundchen. I'm sure that he generates a lot of money just by being on the football field, and last year he wasn't able to because of a "freak" incident.
This rule has been dubbed the "Brady Rule", but it may as well be called the "Cindy Brady Rule".
What's next, two hand touch below the waist? Or should the NFL make the defense count to "5 Mississippi" before they are allowed to rush?
I understand that the NFL wants to take care of their players. I am glad that they are very invested in their safety, but the injury to Tom Brady was a freak injury. It wasn't a dirty hit, it wasn't intentional. It was an unfortunate injury. That's all.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell needs to realize that this is the NFL. Players will get hurt. If they don't want to get hurt, then they shouldn't play. If he doesn't want to see Tom Brady get hurt again, then tell him to become a kicker. That should minimize his risk of injury.
Let them play Mr. Goodell, just let them play.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
One of baseball's all-time greats has left us. George Kell passed away yesterday at the age of 86 in Swifton, Arkansas.
Kell was a Hall of Fame third baseman who played from 1943-1957 for many teams, including the Detroit Tigers.
I never got the opportunity to see him play, but I will always remember him as the broadcaster of the Detroit Tigers. When I first started watching baseball, George Kell and Al Kaline were doing play by play for the Tigers.
When I first heard about George's passing, a number of his catch phrases went through my head. Phrases like "They're gonna wave him in!", and "Long drive, waaaaaaayy back, Gone!, " and starting every game with "Hello everybody, I'm George Kell". Just saying these simple catch phrases doesn't do justice to the way that he said them with his Arkansas accent.
In my eyes, George Kell was an iconic figure. They don't make broadcasters like him anymore. You would never hear him yell "Holy Cow!" whenever the Tigers did something great. If the Tigers hit a home run, he wouldn't say "And you can put it on the boooaaaarrrdddd, Yes!". If someone was on a hitting streak, George Kell would never say that person is "En Fuego".
He kept things simple. Baseball is a simple game to play, and he called it in a simple way.
George Kell was a Tigers broadcaster for 37 years, and he was teamed with Al Kaline for 15 of them. I will always remember watching and listening to those two talk about Tigers baseball. If I saw a picture of them together, I couldn't help but think of Tigers baseball. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find a broadcasting duo that has lasted that long. Broadcasters jump around from team to team, and sometimes from sport to sport.
Thank you for the memories Mr. Kell. Thank you for coming into our living rooms each week and treating us to Tigers baseball. Most importantly, thank you for being you.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
No, the pictures above are not the latest Abercrombie & Fitch ads. They are of none other than NY Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez posing for Details Magazine.
Now, I've got no problem with people doing magazine cover shoots. It happens all of the time. With that being said, I'm just wondering who approved these shots of A-Rod? They just give me the heebie-jeebies. Was the empty room/bare mattress/tire decor supposed to make Rodriguez look tough? It didn't work.
Also, what's going on with that mirror? The pictures of him laying on the mattress looking longingly into it make him look like he's WAY too into himself. If Rodriguez was loving himself any more, these pictures would have to be in a different magazine. Even Tyra Banks would say that he's gone too far.
Let me just say, kissing yourself in the mirror is really weird. Even Manny Ramirez would say these pictures are strange.
I don't know if A-Rod has a PR person or not, but if he does, he needs to fire them and hire whomever Derek Jeter has. Jeter is someone who gets photographed a lot. He has been in hundreds of magazines. I'd bet my bottom dollar that he would never approve of being in a shoot like this.
In a strange way, I feel for A-Rod. He can't win. No matter what he does, especially now, he will never be thought of like Derek Jeter is. On the other hand, he brought all of this on himself. He took the steroids, he signed that massive contract, he decided to re-sign with the Yankees, and he is the one that ultimately makes the decisions about what he says and does.
I remember a classmate of mine in college. He was a die hard Yankees fan and I was (and still am) a Red Sox fan. We naturally traded jabs with each other all semester. Before class one day, I asked him what he honestly thought of A-Rod. With a straight face he said, "We'll never win a championship with him".
That sums up A-Rod for me...he'll never win.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
With yesterday being Selection Sunday, it meant the kickoff of quite possibly the greatest few weeks of the year for sports.
It's NCAA tournament time folks! It's the time of the year where every office has their own bracket. It's where fans feverishly study the teams in hopes of picking this years Cinderella story team that will help them win their office pool. Unfortunately, it's the person in the office that has never watched a basketball game in their life that quite often wins. They usually pick their brackets by the color of the teams jersey's, the school mascot, or something like that which drives hard core sports fans crazy.
As for me, I'm not going to be putting any money into any pools this year. I've tasted success before (I won $500 in a pool with a previous employer) and have also lost a fair amount. Sure I'll enter a few free pools just for fun, but this year I'll be wagering against my wife. The prize is dinner out. If I win, then I get to pick the place. If she wins, then she will decide where we go. Either way though, I will win because I enjoy a night out.
I'm hoping that this will be an easy win for me, but my luck the past few years is telling me otherwise.
With that being said, I'd like to share a few tips that I've learned over the years. Some have helped me, and others haven't worked so well.
- In at least one of the four #12 vs. #5 games, pick the #12 team.
- At least two of the #1 seeds are not going to make it to the Final Four.
- Most of the Big Ten teams will lose their opening round game.
- No matter how carefully you pick your brackets, Gonzaga will screw them up.
- Flip a coin to decide the #8 vs. #9 games.
I have more tips, but I've decided that since my wife reads these articles, I'm going to keep the rest to myself. Good luck to all in your picks!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
In an interview with Esquire magazine, Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon ripped former teammate Manny Ramirez by labeling him a cancer in the clubhouse. The following is taken directly from that interview...
"... So Manny was tough for us. You have somebody like him, you know at any point in the ball game, he can dictate the outcome of the game," Papelbon is quoted as saying in the interview with Esquire's Chris Jones that took place in mid-January. "And for him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man! It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening.
"Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him. It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It sucked, but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us. And after, you could feel it in the air in the clubhouse. We got Jason Bay — Johnny Ballgame, plays the game right, plays through broken knees, runs out every ground ball — and it was like a breath of fresh air, man! Awesome! No question.”
When informed of Papelbon's comments, Manny Ramirez didn't seem bothered. "I'm here, not there anymore," Ramirez said. "I moved on."
Let's get this straight, I like Jonathan Papelbon. I think that he is going to go down as one of the greatest closers of all time. He's got a closer's mentality; a killer instinct mixed in with a little dash of crazy.
However, I've got to take Manny's side on this one. Honestly, what good did it do to rip Manny in the media? I'll answer that, not one bit of good. We all know what Manny was doing last year. We all saw him not hustle down the first base line to try and beat out a throw. Manny dogged it so that he could get out of Boston. We know it, the Red Sox knew it, and Manny most certainly knew it.
The time has come to move on. Manny is in LA. The Red Sox are going into this year with a better team than they had last year.
I admire Papelbon's willingness to "shoot from the hip", but it's time to concentrate on this year. Let's keep the comments towards the 2009 Red Sox Jonathan.
With spring officially upon us next week, my wife and I decided that we would try to make it to some baseball games this summer. This is something that we haven't been able to do in the past because I've always had school to deal with. However, I'm going to be graduating this spring and we'll hopefully have more time to take these "mini" trips to some minor league ballparks this summer.
During these economic times, I would highly recommend that people take in some of these games. It allows us to get away for a few hours a night and forget about any of our stresses. It is also a lot nicer on the pocketbook compared to a night at a major league park. Minorleaguebaseball.com actually published an article on their website about the many bargains that you can find at these games. In it they put together a chart that classifies the average price by ticket, soda, beer, hot dog, program, and parking. It is also classified by level (AAA, AA, A, SS). That article can be viewed by clicking here.
At these parks you can find some things that you wouldn't expect to find at any other park. For example, the West Michigan Whitecaps have just introduced some new menu items. The biggest (literally) is the new Fifth Third burger. This monstrous sandwich consists of a beef patty weighing “five thirds of a pound”, nacho cheese, chili, salsa, crunched tortilla chips, tomato and lettuce served on a special 8-inch sesame seed bun. It will be sold at the Sweet Meats concession stand on the third base concourse.
“The Fifth Third burger is not for the casual eater,” said Whitecaps Director of Food and Beverage Matt Timon. “It has nearly 5,000 calories, 300 grams of fat and a whole lot of carbs.”
Minor League Baseball is also known for staging some very creative promotions. Last year brought us the likes of "Hannah Montana Ride your kids coattails night" where any parent who brought in an award won by their children could purchase a ticket for $1. This was inspired by Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus. Another great promotion was the "Honey I think my hot dog is green night" where some hot dogs actually had cash wrapped up in them! People could find anywhere from $2 to $100 inside their hot dogs!
Spring is upon us all...so let's get out to the park and enjoy it this year!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Dan Leone, a game day employee for the last six years with the Philadelphia Eagles, was fired yesterday by the team after posting some disgruntled comments on his Facebook page about the team's inability to sign their star safety Brian Dawkins.
"Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver ... Dam Eagles R Retarted!!"
Leone later deleted the comments off of his page. "I shouldn't have put it up there," Leone said, the Inquirer reported. "I was ticked off, and I let my emotions go, but I didn't offend any one person or target a specific individual. I was just upset that we lost such a great guy. Dawkins was one of my favorite players."
Leone was told over the phone that he was being relieved of his duties by the guest services manager.
Rachel Vitagliano, the team's guest services manager, told him that he couldn't be trusted, that the post made the team look bad, and that the only way to resolve the situation was to fire him.
Seriously Rachel? SERIOUSLY?
This is a loyal fan and six year employee who is at the stadium on game days only (8-10 times a season). His exact title is West Gate Chief. Basically, he stays at the west gate until they need him elsewhere in the stadium.
I have no issue at all with the Eagles asking him to take down the comment. People shouldn't be ripping their employer's. But for crying out loud, he's just a game day employee. Where's the "brotherly love" that the city is named for?
To say that he couldn't be trusted and that the post made the team look bad is ridiculous. What makes the team look bad is the crap that they put out on display each Sunday in the fall. They should fire head coach Andy Reid for making the team look bad!
I could understand this more if the person in question was a full time employee of the Eagles. If I was running the Eagles and my VP of Sales Development ripped my team online, I'd fire that person in a millisecond.
This was different though. Dan Leone was a lifelong Eagles fan who was living a dream by working with them. Like any hardcore fan, he gets disappointed when a popular player leaves the team.
He's such a dedicated fan, that he would still love to get his old job back and work with the Eagles again. Unfortunately, the Eagles have shown what a classless organization they are and will probably not take him back.
Way to show some brotherly love Philly...
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
He is proving that now as General Manager of the Kansas City Chiefs. This past weekend, Pioli traded the Chiefs second round pick (#34 overall) for quarterback Matt Cassel and lb Mike Vrabel.
Cassel will step in and give the Chiefs an immediate improvement in a position that has been a gigantic weakness for them. This will give the Chiefs a young, but experienced quarterback to lead them instead of relying on a rookie in the draft. Mike Vrabel, although not very young, he is an experienced player with multiple Super Bowl rings to his name. He will be able to provide a veteran leadership in the locker room and install a winning attitude to a very young team.
I really like this trade for the Chiefs. Let's face it, the quarterback class in this years NFL Draft is pretty weak. Matthew Stafford of Georgia is probably going to Detroit and Mark Sanchez of USC is not a top five draft pick. He will most likely be picked somewhere between #10-#20.
Currently, the Chiefs have Brodie Croyle, Ingle Martin (who?), Quinn Gray, and Tyler Thigpen as quarterbacks on the current roster. Although Thigpen did a decent job during the second half of last season, they are all below average starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
This trade does not make the Chiefs a Super Bowl contending team. It probably doesn't make them a playoff team either. What it does make them is a team on the rise.
Keep an eye on the Chiefs. They are definitely going to surprise some people this year.