Friday, January 25, 2008

Raider of the Lost Mind

Simply put, Raiders owner Al Davis is batshit crazy. As stubborn as they come, he kind of reminds me of the old guy from the Coca-Cola commercials. For most NFL fans, he is the face of hilarity. But for Oakland fans, probably not so much.

In his latest call for attention, Davis has sent a letter of resignation to head coach Lane Kiffin. In his first year at the helm, Kiffin finished 4-12, tied for last in the AFC West with my depressing Chiefs. Apparently not having a good season after the club couldn't sign its #1 draft pick until the season started was bad enough to get canned. Kiffin was hired after Art Shell came back to the silver-and-black and was let go after his first season. And now Davis wants to sign "they-are-who-we-thought-they-were" Dennis Green. Ah, to be a rich old man.

Then the story gets better - Kiffin refuses to resign. This makes me happy in every sense. For one, this young pup of a coach is standing up to the old geezer. If he does indeed get fired, at least he sent a message to every other team from college on up that he doesn't take shit from anyone. You gotta admire that.

And secondly, I really hate the Raiders. Hey, I'm from Kansas City. I also am not pro-murdering somebody because they got a first down. That pretty much goes against everything the Raiders stand for.

I hope Al Davis lives to be 200 years old. At least I won't have to worry about them being any good. Plus, it sets up some much needed comic relief.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The "other" Manning

Exactly what is Eli Manning on? He transformed from a moderately talented quarterback who wears a Norv Turner expression in the fourth quarter to a pin-point accurate leader who flat out won the NFC championship on the road. And on that same day, Tom Brady threw three picks at home against a team coached by, well, Norv Turner. I'm sure stranger things have happened, but I don't remember it.

So here we have it, Brady vs Manning 2.0. I can't even explain how happy I am with this matchup. First off, I'm rooting for the Pats because I can't stand the '72 Dolphins. Second, if the Packers would have won, I would have to hear about Brett Favre for two weeks, which would have led to my disappearance and a possible Unabomber-esque breakdown. So even though Pats/Pack probably would have been a better game, the Giants winning might have saved my sanity. So put that in the W column.

In my opinion, this two week layoff absolutely kills New York. They couldn't be playing any better than they are now, and their hot streak is going to be on halt so "analysts" everywhere can discuss the same regurgitated five points everyday. If the Super Bowl were played next weekend, I would give the Giants a great chance to win. But in warm weather, with two weeks to prepare, I have to think Brady and Belichick are going to be way too overpowering.

But yadda-yadda-yadda, nobody knows what's going to be happen. That's why they play the game. I'm more interested, above all else, in how Eli will preform. The criticism he has received thus far into his career has all been warranted, but now he has a chance to shut everybody up and get his ring. He would've gotten there quicker than his brother did, and against New England of all teams. But you'll hear enough of that in the coming weeks. More than you'll have ever wanted to.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bob Knight: A Dying Breed

If I ever have kids, chances are Bob Knight will not be coaching basketball by the time they reach college. Unfortunately, the chances are even slimmer that there will be any coach like him. This saddens me, because if my kid ever plays college ball (and believe me, I'll try), he's exactly the kind of coach I would want my son to learn from. But if it weren't for his history of championships, Knight probably wouldn't even be coaching now.

In today's world, discipline is illegal. You can't scream at kids, you can't hit them in the back of the head, and you surely can't lock them into a choke hold. Not that I condone choke holds, something no teacher should ever do, but I also do not condone defining a career around it. And that's what coach Knight's legacy has become; physical abuse. I have no doubts that the reason he has not taken Texas Tech to the top of the Big 12 is because of this.

Students need to be coddled and protected, and parents aren't going to send their kids off to a school where they will be under the care of someone with Knight's history. Also, students with big-time talent feel that they are too good to get the kind of treatment Knight will be giving. With this combination, recruiting at Texas Tech has to be harder than the coach could have realized.

And that makes his win Wednesday night over #9 Texas A&M even that more amazing. It was the 900th time his team has came out the victor, the most all-time for men's D-1 basketball. Even though he has proven to be one of the greatest coaches ever, not even his records can overcome the stigma of being a hardass. Parents and their kids are afraid of men like Bob Knight. I couldn't think of anyone else I would want my children to look up to more, and if you have children, I would hope that you feel the same way. Because coach Knight is, above all else, a winner.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cry Me a River

Wow. After a great weekend of playoff football, I received a big dose of crying and whining. One was expected, while another was just plain weird.

Let's start off the the weird. That would be Terrell Owens, who got choked up after defending Tony Romo. With eyes watering and mouth quivering, Owens was quick to have his boy's back, saying the loss to the Giants was because of the whole team and shouldn't be blamed on the quarterback alone. Props to him. T.O. has changed a lot in the past year, becoming a great teammate and anything but a distraction. Of course, most of what I'm hearing from people is that he's a crybaby and was just doing it for show. Then again, most people are retarded.

And then there was my least favorite sports moment of the weekend: Philip Rivers. Yep, he's moved on from taunting Jay Cutler to taunting Colts fans. What the hell is this guy's problem? Let's see, he's won two playoff games (yippee!). Actually, make that one playoff game, since it was Billy Volek who led the winning drive for the Chargers.

But hey, I like it when players have a little arrogance in them, especially quarterbacks. Only one problem; last year's game against the Patriots. Yep, that's when the Chargers called New England "classless" for dancing on their logo. So when Rivers took it upon himself to taunt fans on the road, he just did what he's done all season, act like a eight year old kid. All this team does it talk smack (or in Shawn Merriman's case, inject it). It will be fantastic next weekend when the Pats demolish them. Well, until Rivers and Tomlinson start whining and making excuses, which is their M.O. At least for one weekend, New England won't be the villains on the field.

But you stay classy, San Diego.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Playoff Storylines

With the NBA lagging, college basketball just starting, and college football now over, the time is being filled with worthless "stories" leading into Round 2 of the NFL playoffs. While some are actually important, just as many mean nothing as far as the game is concerned. Here is what matters and should be ignored going into the weekend.

Tony Romo and Tom Brady like to go outside
Definitely my least favorite trend in sports media at the moment. I don't care that Romo went to Cabo with Jessica Simpson, or that Brady was in New York with his girlfriend. The Romo thing was blown up more, since his girlfriend is more famous than he is. But when you look at it, he spent his bye week in the same manner as Brady, who has three rings. And this is bad how?

The Jaguars take a shot at the Patriots
Though taken down already, the Jags' website had an asterisk next to New England's record. During the regular season, yeah, Belichick would have used this. But with the Super Bowl in their sights, the Pats don't need extra motivation anymore. Maybe it will just be the reason they pour it on in the fourth quarter.

Antonio Gates is hurt
Trust me, it wouldn't have mattered anyways. Philip Rivers and Norv Turner, or Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy? 'Nuff said.

Terrell Owens is hurt
This one actually matters. The Cowboys need someone to get open fast with the Giants' defensive line expected to swarm quickly on Romo. If Owens isn't that guy, at least he can gain attention and make Jason Witten be it. Dallas has a good chance of losing this one if Owens can't be productive.

The Packers are young, the Seahawks are not
Brett Favre has been there, but the rest of the Packers can't say the same. Seattle, on the other hand, are two years removed from the Super Bowl with a lot of playoff experience. Not to mention Mike Holmgren might know a thing or two about Favre. Time to see if Green Bay is for real.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Carroll's situation is different

If I gave you the choice to either live in southern California or Atlanta, I'm guessing that you would choose the sunshine. Then if I told you that the California job was solid with nearly guaranteed success, and the Atlanta job was in shambles, then you would definitely take the former. Unless you're Pete Carroll, that is.

Because if you were Carroll, you would consider leaving USC to coach the Atlanta Falcons. To everyone on the outside, this seems like a horrible decision. But coaches do this all the time; leaving good jobs to take bad ones. Usually, it has to do with money. However, it's not like Carroll and others make minimum wage. They are highly compensated. So what's really the motive behind these moves?

Coaches, like everyone who is involved in sports, are competitive by nature. Usually that equates into winning, but it goes a bit further than it does with players. For example, could you see Tom Brady signing with the Dolphins just to challenge himself? The answer, of course, is no. But with coaches, this kind of thing happens all the time. As long as they are getting paid, the idea of a challenge is enough to hire anybody anywhere. Look at June Jones, who gave up a solid gig in Hawaii to coach at SMU. From an island paradise to Texas. While money obviously helps, no way Junes would have left if it weren't for the fact that he could make himself a legend.

So it's kind of hard to blame these coaches for wanting to challenge themselves. That's probably why everyone came down on Nick Saban. He didn't want a hard job (Miami), so he took an easier one (Alabama). He even took a pay cut so he wouldn't have to deal with a bad hand. Bobby Petrino, who quit on the Falcons during the season, did the exact same thing, taking a pay cut to coach at Arkansas. I would normally applaud people who took jobs they liked for more money, but in the business of competition, this seems a little weak.

I'll give Carroll the benefit of the doubt. If he is willing to put his career on the line so he can prove to the world, or at least himself, that he can be a winning NFL coach, more power to him. I have to like a coach who is never satisfied. And you can't be mad if you're a USC fan, because Carroll has done everything you could have asked for.

Monday, January 7, 2008

LSU wins, OSU chokes, and I'm ready for basketball

Hey, thanks BCS! Thanks for giving everybody the SEC/Big Ten matchup we wanted. It was such a great game, fought hard on both sides. Big time players made big time plays, and at no time was I bored or thinking about other teams. It was everything I was wanted.

Well, none of that is true. This "championship" was completely awful. That is, unless you enjoy blown coverages, missed tackles, overthrown balls, dropped touchdowns, poor blocking and worse officiating. And if you smile after every personal foul, this game was for you as well. Yep, every reason for a playoff was packed right here for the taking.

But I'm gonna be Miss Cleo for a second, and tell you what's going to happen. First off, people will say "Ohio State didn't belong". This will be the only true statement you hear.

Then, you'll hear "LSU is definitely (one of) the best teams in college football". This is untrue. Fact is, LSU played horrible in this one as well, just not as bad as their opponent. If USC, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, West Virginia, or Virginia Tech played tonight, they would've won easily. Or at least it seemed that way. But we'll never know, because randomly picking two teams is the way to go.

Then pundits will talk about how it was the right matchup, blah blah blah, when it reality it was a mostly unwatchable game between two overhyped teams from two overhyped conferences.

But what really pisses me off? That the BCS mafia will somehow spin this in their favor. They will tell you how the voters chose a two-loss LSU team, who eventually beat the overall #1 team, and that it all worked out in the end.

Don't buy that garbage. Go back and watch the film; this game was horrible. Poorly played on both sides until one team just couldn't motor anymore. Why did I ever care?

That's right, I didn't. On to basketball, where, you know, they actually have a postseason to determine their champion.

Eli wins playoff game, voted into Hall of Fame

You know, sometimes I think the media ain't all that bad. Take Eli Manning, for example. He's been getting ripped on for years. Now, whether you believe it was warranted, or if you believe that his was cursed by members of the Saints to make his throws end up ten feet over Plaxico Burress' head, it doesn't really matter. Because now Manning #2 has won a playoff game, which means he is the second coming of Christ.

So here's a lesson if the media is being mean to you: just do well. Then, you become God-like, who can do know wrong. And this is the treatment that Eli Manning is getting today. Who knew beating a team led by Jeff Garcia was such an immaculate thing? Just remember, once the Giants get pounded, and Eli throws a back-breaking pick, you can be sure that Skip Bayless will proceed to eat his soul.

And then there is the San Diego Chargers, a team that is impossible to root for. Let's break down their key players:

Phillip Rivers: the Rex Grossman of the AFC. He taunts other quarterbacks who are better than him (which is everyone other than Grossman), and whines to referees like his opinion actually matters. It doesn't.

LaDanian Tomlinson: Ever wonder where Rivers gets his whining from? Tomlinson literally cries after games. He blames everyone other then himself for anything that goes wrong. And I would take Larry Johnson or Adrian Peterson over him any day. Why? Because they don't run out of bounds at any sign of contact.

Shawn Merriman: First, he takes steroids. Second, does he have to celebrate after every tackle? Now it's washed over to the other defenders, making this the cockiest team in the league. Oh, but when the Patriots celebrate after actually winning? The Chargers get upset. Apparently, who can only celebrate after you do something marginally impressive, which you get paid millions of dollars to do anyways.

Thanks Tampa Bay and Tennessee, for making me watch these two teams for another week. At least it's only one more.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A tradition unlike any other

I'd like to think that the reason I was watching hockey on New Year's Day was because of an unruly hangover. This is probably just wishful thinking. Because truth be told, I have just become completely disinterested in bowl games. TCU vs Houston? Alabama vs Colorado? No thank you.

And to think, this is the reason we don't have playoffs; to secure the sanctity of the bowl tradition. Who wants to? Who wants to watch Georgia lay a smackdown on Hawaii, or USC pummel Illinois, and then have both teams' season end when everybody wants to see them play each other?

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't need to give any more reasons of why we need a playoff. Considering you, the reader, are not on a bowl committee, you probably think we need one already. Or you have a severe mental disorder. Either way, that's not what this is about.

No, this is about a young person who simply doesn't get why people cannot let this tradition go. It seems harder to convince southerners that the bowl season sucks than to convince them that civil rights is a good thing. I have a dream, and it doesn't involve either Tulsa or Bowling Green.

And how much tradition and nostalgia is there for the Meineke Car Care Bowl, really? Or my personal favorite, the San Diego County Credit Union Bowl. Or as the kids would say, the SDCCU Bowl (crazy kids). Just because things used to be good doesn't mean they are going to be again.

But, I guess that's the thing with tradition; it always outstays its welcome. I just wonder if the old guards realize how little the younger generations actually care. I mean, I was watching hockey. Hockey. I rest my case.
J Fish Sports © 2008. Design by :Yanku Templates Sponsored by: Tutorial87 Commentcute