Tag Archives: NFL

My Super Bowl Prediction

By BJ

I may have only gotten half of the conference championship picture right, but did you really pick the 49ers over the Saints and the Giants over the Packers?

And I’m glad I didn’t get in a post on the conference championship previews like I intended. I went with an all-Harbaugh Super Bowl. (Hey, one play in either game could’ve made that happen.) But enough about trifles, on with Super Sunday.

Super Bowl XLVI

Tale of the Tape: Week 9 – NY Giants 24, New England 20. This game was won without Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks, who should contribute big in the Super Bowl. So what points to the Pats having any shot in the rematch?

First, what won’t happen. ESPN’s Dan Graziano stated that Brandon Jacobs needs to come up big for the Giants to win. Sorry, Jacobs is not the X-Factor. Despite 72 yards and a touchdown against the Pats in the first meeting while filling in for Bradshaw, Jacobs will take a backseat with limited touches. He has under 25 rushing yards in three of the last four games – all wins.

Similarly, Ron Gronkowski, who should otherwise be able to tear up the Giants’ D, is not at 100% with a nasty ankle sprain suffered at the end of the game against the Ravens. Reports of him trotting in practice without a limp say very little about his condition. He had his walking boot removed on Tuesday and might not be well enough to beat the secondary for his customary long, over the middle routes. I can see under 60 yards and no scores for the behemoth tight end, which gives Brady one less target to throw to.

Speaking of Brady, he’s coming off his worst game of the season and his first without a single touchdown pass, snapping a 35-game streak. But he’ll bounce back with what I expect to be a flawless effort against the team who gave him his only Super Bowl loss four years ago. If he doesn’t–and let’s not forget the Giants made Aaron Rodgers look like a QB playing in his first playoff game in the divisional playoff game–the Giants cap one of the most impressive postseasons in history.

MVP: Tom Brady – In a high-scoring affair, the only one I can see taking this away from the franchise QB is Wes Welker, who had 9 catches for 136 yards in the two teams’ first meeting. (Santonio Holmes won MVP honors two years ago with 9 catches for 131 yards and 1 TD, albeit the game winner with under a minute left.) However, Welker has been held to under 60 receiving yards in 4 of his last 5 games and Gronkowski is hobbled so the obvious choice would be Brady, whose optimal game–wait for it–could go north of 350 yards and 4 scores.

New England 31, NY Giants 28

Advertisements

Injustices Across Sports Pt. 2

By BJ

College Basketball

Last Sunday, suspensions were handed down to the players involved in the Cincinnati-Xavier on-court brawl that ended the game early. The most egregious act came from Cincinnati’s best player, senior Yancy Gates, who sucker-punched an opposing player a la LeGarrette Blount.

Blount, if you remember, was also a senior in 2009 and sucker-punched an opposing player immediately after a season-opening loss

Blount

to Boise State in 2009. His punishment? Suspended for 10 games. Blount went undrafted in the following year’s NFL draft but signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he became the team’s primary back in Week 7.

With that precedent, I would’ve liked to see Gates suspended for the rest of the season (at least 23 games) but would’ve found 20 games reasonable, roughly the same number of weeks Blount missed before returning right before the season ends and the playoffs. His punishment? Suspended for six games, along with two teammates.

That is an absolute travesty, considering how unlike with Blount’s

Frease - the martyr.

victim, Kenny Frease did not provoke Gates before the hammer punch, and he was immensely bloodied. What also isn’t mentioned is how Gates punched a second Xavier player in the face but received the same suspension that two others got, including one who stomped Frease on the ground, and just two more games than two Xavier players got, all while Gates is the only player to throw punches.

It sure is nice to be coddled with superstar treatment. To mitigate the

Gosselin before and after.

backlash of the short suspension, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin offered tough words, saying that no player would automatically be allowed back on the team after serving their suspension; rather, Cronin would have to be fully convinced that the players were remorseful. What a load of bull. That’s about as unbelievable as saying Kate Gosselin didn’t have any plastic surgery done on her face. The players will be back asap, and if not, for a very short time that won’t make up for what the true suspension should be.

In the first game since the brawl, Cincinnati handled Wright State by 20; then-No. 9 and 8-0 Xavier lost to Oral Roberts by 22 at home. Got to love how karmic justice works sometimes.

NFL

Tuesday, James Harrisonwas suspended one game for his vicious

The hit.

helmet-to-helmet hit on defenseless QB Colt McCoy that left him with a concussion. Yes, it was the first suspension arising from a play on the field, but in comparison to Ndamukong Suh‘s two-game suspension for stomping and Harrison’s rap sheet, again, we have a suspension that falls far short of the crime.

One fan made a comment that rings so true. He said that the worst Suh could’ve done with his stomping is bruise the fallen player’s arm; Harrison could’ve, and likely did, give someone long-term brain damage. The linebacker has recorded his fifth flagrant hit on a quarterback, making him and Suh among the league’s dirtiest players.

The unsurprising response from Harrison: it shouldn’t even have been flagged, he appealed the one-game suspension, which he lost and he’s not going to change the way he plays. I fully expect Commissioner Goodell to push the envelope the next time Harrison goes dome-first on a defenseless player. And there will be a next time.

Lay Off Hochuli

By Chris Le

It was one of the dumbest calls I’ve seen in a while. Not to mention costly on the part of the San Diego Chargers, who effectively lost the game. It was even dumber than DeSean Jackson’s brain fart one yard away from pay dirt.

But Ed “Hercules” Hochuli’s missed call on a Jay Cutler fumble doesn’t deserve the wrath it has been given. The rule itself most definitely is worthy of reproach—but not Hochuli. It’s time to let him off the hook for making a human error that has happened a hundred times before.

Hochuli, voted by NFL coaches as the best referee in the league in 2008, was man enough to admit the blown call and immediately apologized to Chargers Coach Norv Turner. I’m sure no one wanted to overturn the call more than Ed himself. So let’s give the guy a break.

The fact that this “demerit” might cost Hochuli a chance to ref in the postseaon is an overreaction, particularly with one as decorated as Ed.  He’s not a good referee; he’s a great one. So these idiots who are showering hate emails on him need to get a life.

On second thought, Hochuli might want to get a life too since he’s answering each and every one of those emails.

Tom Brady Done for the Season

By Chris Le

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee.

The team announcement, preceding a somber news conference with Coach Bill Belichick, was vague and had no specific details regarding Brady’s injury. Some sources, however, have confirmed that it is at least a torn ACL.

The hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard ends Brady’s streak of 128 consecutive starts.

Backup quarterback Matt Cassel, who hasn’t started a single game since high school, performed admirably in the wake of Brady’s injury, going 12 for 18 for 152 yards and 1 touchdown.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Patriots will bring Chris Simms on Monday and possibly Tim Rattay to work out.

Update:  An MRI reveals that Brady has a torn ACL and MCL.

There is no bone damage and he should be fully recovered after eight or nine months.

The Patriots didn’t work out Simms or Rattay, deciding to stick with Cassel, who should know their system inside and out.  They signed Matt Gutierrez to their practice squad, and could activate him for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

DLH and Pacquiao Set for Dec. 6

By BJ

PacMan and DLH Set to Square Off Dec. 6

The revenue split details, the only obstruction from the two superstars meeting in the ring, were not released (although it appears Manny Pacquiao gave in on this issue), but Oscar De La Hoya announced Thurs. that the two will fight at 147 pounds, an uncomfortable weight for both boxers. De La Hoya hasn’t fought at 147 since 2001 while Pacquiao will move up two weight classes from his most recent fight in June, from where he already moved up to lightweight. Mark your calendars, the biggest fight of 2008 will be on Dec. 6, which now might not be Oscar’s final fight according to some recent remarks.

“My focus is my training and my next fight,” he said. “I’m not going to talk about retirement. I’m not going to think about retirement. I want to be focused on my job in the ring and we’ll see after the fight how I feel. Let’s just say my foot got caught in the door.”

Klitschko Sets Title Date with Peter

Vitali Klitschko, the WBC heavyweight champion emeritus, is ready to return amidst heavy scrutiny ahead of the Oct. 11 fight. Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs), whose last fight was four years ago, has a history of pulling out of fights due to injuries, something current champion Samuel Peter (30-1, 23 KOs) is concerned about. But Peter, whose one loss can be credited to Vitali himself, better listen carefully to his good friend Lennox Lewis, who handed Klitschko one of his two losses and has given Peter tips on how to beat him.

Chad Ocho Cinco

The Bengals’ attention-whore of a receiver Chad Johnson is no more. He legally changed his name to Chad Javon Ocho Cinco, and I assume he would now get to sport the Ocho Cinco on the back of his jersey all the time. Good for you, Chad.

Brett Rogers Shreds Slice and Shamrock

With Kevin “Kimbo” Slice scheduled to fight Ken Shamrock on Oct. 4, up-and-comer Brett Rogers had some choice words about the two. Rogers is 8-0 with 8 KOs, but his opponents’ combined record is 34-43 and like Slice, Rogers has yet to prove he has a ground game. His blog post below:

“As for Oct 4th; that was our spot. Shamrock with his name and giant ego butted in line to get a slice of Kevin. At 103 years of age Ken usurped our rightful place against the YouTube champ. Our sincerest hope is that Ken whips Kimbo and then we can finally euthanize the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” and relegate him to some MMA dinosaur exhibit. Maybe taxidermy him and (Dan) Severn and place them on a rotating pedestal where they can endless circle each other.

If Ken proves to be more sham [than] rock and Fergi beats him, then the Slice hype grows even greater. Dude is already more myth [than] Sasquatch, Chupacabra and a [expletive] unicorn combined. Kevin is the black Yeti.

Kimbo made it a point to go frontin’ to our boys at Big Black. But that street thug B.S. might work well with the fan bois and the Internet dorks who think your street cred means something; but Son … Brett comes from Cabrini Green; the worst 12 blocks of America. Compared to that your street is Sesame Street.”

Olympics Update (for Saturday)

By BJ

After avenging their semifinal loss in the 2006 FIBA World Championship to Greece (2-2), the U.S. (4-0) took care of Spain (3-1) as well, steamrolling past them 119-82 on Saturday. The win in the match up of undefeated squads clinched the first seed for the U.S. in Pool B, who will finish opening-round play against Germany (1-3) on Monday before advancing to the quarterfinals.

Anyone who didn’t know if Kobe Bryant or LeBron James was the leader of the team, here’s what James had to say after the game. “I’m the leader of the team, and I’ll make sure there’s no slippage.”

The dream race in the 100-meter Olympics never formulated, rather it was a one-man show by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. American Tyson Gay finished fifth in the semifinal to be eliminated from the final, and Asafa Powell finished in a disappointing fifth in the final. The 21-year-old Bolt captured his first gold medal in stunning fashion Saturday, breaking his own world record of 9.72 seconds with a 9.69 finish, despite looking around and posing for cameras before crossing the finish line.

Now that’s impressive. As for those who might see it as mockery to his fellow competitors, the 6’5″ sprinter responded, “I wasn’t bragging. When I saw I wasn’t covered, I was just happy.” Heck, he can do cartwheels across the finish line if no one can catch him. Bolt is the heavy favorite to win the 200 meters next week, and Michael Johnson said that he is prepared to see his 12-year-old world record of 19.32 seconds be broken. And just think, Bolt hasn’t reached his prime yet.

Roger Federer won his first medal in three Olympics, gold in doubles play of all things. He and Swiss partner Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson of Sweden 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3 in the final Saturday. Federer truly is the paradigm of sportsmanship. His Wimbledon loss was nothing short of respectful (unlike James Blake‘s recent loss) and his uncanny doubles win resembled that of a child winning something great. But I definitely tip my hat to Federer, one of the greatest tennis players ever.

Remember the Greco-Roman wrestler who dumped his bronze medal in the middle of the mat during the medal ceremony? He’s not getting it back. The IOC ruled on Saturday that Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian would be the fourth athlete kicked out of the Games and have his medal be the third removed, but the first not associated with doping.

Brett Favre makes his debut tonight as a New York Jet in preseason action against the Washington Redskins at 4p PT. I just now really took the time to think about how Favre’s Jets are in the same division as New England, and the AFC South and AFC North are stacked so they have 0% chance of making the playoffs. I can’t see what he’s playing for at his age other than for the love of the game because it’s going to be a long, playoff-less season for the future Hall-of-Famer.

With the AP preseason poll released Saturday, Georgia held top rank as well as in the coaches’ poll. Ohio State switched spots with USC with Oklahoma and Florida rounding out the top five. Check out the rest of the poll on ESPN. Season kicks off on August 28.

Spain’s Slanted Sense of Humor

By BJ

U.S. Olympic basketball:
Sun. – def. China 101-70
Tues. – def. Angola 97-76
Thurs. – vs. Greece (1-1) @ 5a PT

While China has played well in their two losses, including an overtime defeat to Spain with a disqualified Yao Ming on the bench, their recent opponent thought it would be somehow humorous to have the national basketball team slant their eyes, like the Chinese, for the camera. It’s unbelievable how insensitive and unfunny it is for an entire team of men to pull off a childhood racial joke. And to think that it wouldn’t offend anyone. They should have their four-year sponsorship to giant Li-Ning Footwear revoked for their stupidity.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the man of the Olympics, Michael Phelps, with five gold medals thus far in this Beijing Olympics, is already the winningest Olympian in history. At 23-years-old, Phelps has 11 career golds with three events left to attempt to become the first to win eight golds in one Games. The remaining races:

Thurs. night in the U.S. – 200 individual medley
Friday night in the U.S. – 100 butterfly
Sat. night in the U.S. – 4×100 medley relay

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed restricted free agent Andre Iguodala to a six-year, $80 million contract and yes, I’m here to criticize yet another undeserving signing. See, I’m all about an athlete making more than another if he’s better than his counterpart, and with over $13 million a year awarded to AI2, that salary will be more than LeBron James made this year (with one less year of experience), which is as crazy as Donovan McNabb saying that his Philadelphia Eagles are the best team in the NFC. Well, with all of the hype as top contenders in the East, let’s see Philly improve from that 7th seed where they finished two games below .500. I can’t see them cracking the top half over Boston, Detroit, Orlando or Cleveland.

The Oakland Athletics’ Brad Ziegler pitched three more scoreless innings last Thursday and Friday, recording his first career save in a 2-inning effort on Friday. After, manager Bob Geren said Ziegler has “definitely earned” the closer’s role in light of Huston Street‘s recent struggles, who has converted only five of his last nine save opportunities and lost four games in the process.