Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nike signs Vick to an endorsement deal (I'm not joking...they really did it)

What do you get when you take a backup quarterback with a 39.6 pass rating, zero pass completions, and seven rushing yards? Most people think that it would equal a mediocre player who probably shouldn’t even be in the NFL.

Nike looks at those stats and sees their newest client…Michael Vick.

No, this is not an ill fated attempt at humor. There is no need to look at your calendar’s either because today is not April Fool’s Day. Michael Vick is actually the newest client that Nike has signed to an endorsement deal. The terms of the deal were not revealed but it is said to include shoes and apparel.

Vick is not new to the Nike family though. The company signed him in 2001 as a highly touted rookie quarterback and then fired him in August 2007 after he admitted his involvement in a dog fighting ring.

Dog fighting or no dog fighting, will people really want to purchase Vick merchandise? Is he even going to be marketable? I realize that before he went to prison he was one of the most fashionable players in the NFL, but now he is merely a backup quarterback. So far this season has shown that he is nowhere near the player that he was.

But hey, if there’s hope for a has been like Vick, then maybe Matt Leinart and Vince Young can still be considered marketable.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Season, Poor Celebration

The Los Angeles Angels clinched the Western Division Title yesterday, which all but guarantees them another shot at the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs.

Once the game was over, the Angels celebrated like most teams do when they accomplish something. First there is the pile on in the infield, then they acknowledge the crowd (if they’re playing at home) as they make their way into the clubhouse to give each other a bath in champagne and beer.

It was a great accomplishment for a team that has been through a lot this season. In early April, rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a tragic hit and run accident. The driver was a 22 year old male with a history of arrests for driving under the influence. He was booked for driving under the influence, vehicular manslaughter, and murder charges. During this entire season, the Angels kept Adenhart’s jersey with them and even hung it up in the dugout during their games as a tribute to him.

During the Angels celebration last night, they raised Adenhart’s jersey up and poured beer and champagne all over it.

Is it just me, or does anybody else think that dousing a player’s jersey with alcohol that died after being hit by a drunk driver a tad inappropriate? I understand that the Angels players wanted to “include” him in the celebration, but pouring cans of beer over Adenhart’s jersey was in poor taste. I’m kind of surprised that no other media outlet picked up on this.

After the alcohol shower that they gave to Adenhart’s jersey, the Angels then went back out onto the field and got their picture taken in front of the center field wall where Adenhart’s picture has been all season. That was a nice touch.

Congratulations to the Angels for clinching their division and making the playoffs again. Shame on the players though for thinking that pouring alcohol over a player’s jersey that was killed by a drunk driver was a good idea.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Despite Big Wins by Michigan and Notre Dame, Questions Are Still Aplenty

Week 1 of the college football season is now in the books and despite each school’s blowout victories, both Notre Dame and Michigan still have some unanswered questions going into next week’s matchup in Ann Arbor.

Michigan totaled 31 points against Western Michigan in the first half alone. True freshman quarterback Tate Forcier looked like a mature upperclassmen in his first college game. If there was any question as to which of the three quarterbacks (Forcier, freshman Denard Robinson, and junior Nick Sheridan) should be the starter this season, it was answered right away by Forcier.

Although I believe that Forcier is the man to lead the Michigan offense, Denard Robinson will be a huge factor this season. Although he fumbled his first snap under center, he was able to turn the botched play into a 43 yard touchdown run. Having two weapons at quarterback will make UM much more difficult to defend against.

The offense and defense both looked considerably faster than last year’s team. Compared to this year, last season’s UM team seemed like they were running in slow motion. Historically, Michigan has always had big 300 lb. lineman on the field. This year, there is only one starter that tips the scales over the 300 lb. mark, and he is only 304.

One thing that did disappoint me was the second half. It seemed like Michigan went into cruise control after halftime. Granted, they did have a 31 point lead on the Broncos and the game was essentially over by halftime. However, this is still a young team that is learning a still fairly new offense. They played well in the first half, but it by no means gives them an excuse for taking the second half off.

Notre Dame arrives in Ann Arbor fresh off a 35-0 drubbing of Nevada. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen threw 4 touchdowns to give the Irish and Coach Charlie Weis a much needed win to start the season. Weis has been on the “hot seat” ever since last season which saw the Irish finish 6-6 after starting the season 4-1.

When Weis took over the coaching reins in 2005, he seemed to have the “luck of the Irish” by leading Notre Dame to records of 9-2 and 10-2. However, the last two years have seen them amass a mediocre 9 wins against 15 losses.

One question that Notre Dame fans still is if quarterback Jimmy Clausen is the man to lead them back to a BCS bowl game. Yes, Clausen threw for an impressive 315 yards against Nevada on Saturday. One thing to keep in mind is that Nevada was last in the country in pass defense last year. Clausen needs to prove that he can put up those types of numbers against a top flight defense.

Which team has more to lose? Who needs a win more, Rich Rodriguez or Charlie Weis? Is Tate Forcier the real deal for the Wolverines? Will Jimmy Clausen finally step up and lead the Irish back to national prominence?

These questions will all be answered this Saturday when the two most successful football programs in the country take to the field in Ann Arbor.