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Monday, February 23, 2004

I'm Glad I'm Not A Broncos Fan 

The AP's John Mossman is reporting that the Denver Broncos and the Washington Redskins are discussing a trade that will send Clinton Portis to The 'Skins for Champ Bailey and a 2nd round draft pick.

What are the Broncos thinking even discussing this trade. Is Bailey worth it? NO! No cornerback is worth a top notch running back. Portis showed everyone last year that he is a star in the making. The acquisition of Jake Plummer last year made the Bronco offense solid. Portis made them pretty darn good. Bailey will help any team he goes to but the Broncos should not give up Portis. Draft picks maybe but not a player with the upside of Portis.

Here's what I think: a) this is a gentleman's agreement between Snyder and whoever the owner of the Broncs is. The Broncs "discuss" a deal involving Portis, other teams that want to deal will have to include someone the caliber of Portis. Or b) the Broncos brass knows something about Portis people outside of the franchise don't i.e., bad work ethic, problems off the field (he did go to U. of Miami), etc...

Or the drinking water in Denver has something in it. If the Broncos are serious about this trade, I'm glad I'm not a Broncos fan.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

AROD to NYY 

The Yankees are close to dealing Alfonso Soriano and a minor league pitcher to the Texas Rangers for Alex Rodriguez. The rich just keep getting richer.

The article I linked to reports the minor league pitcher to be a "player to be named later", but other reports say it will be a pitcher.

So, if the deal happens, who wins? Well, depending on who the pitcher is, both teams win. The Rangers hopefully will get a pitcher than can produce in the bigs and Soriano. The Yanks get the best player in the game.

It seems the Yanks will move AROD to third to replace injured Aaron Boone. The left side of the infield for the Yankees would be one of the best ever(Jeter at short). Although I contend that Jeter is overrated, he still is a solid player that performs in the clutch. AROD wins MVP's on last place teams.

Soriano is three years younger than Rodriguez and had two solid years. He can hit with power(39 HR in '02, 38 HR in '03) but his strikeout/walk ratio is horrendous(130 K's to only 38 BB in '03). For a guy with his speed, he needs to get on base with more regularity to be a true threat(.338 in '03). AROD had a .396 OBP. So, the Rangers will have downgraded at the plate and definetly in the field(Soriano-19 E4's, AROD-8 E6's), however, they will unload the largest contract in baseball history.

So, the Yanks get stronger, the Rangers have more money to make more moves in the future and there is no more talks of an AROD trade. I guess the fans win, too.

Bailey Available 

The Washington Redskins have allowed Champ Bailey to pursue a trade.

With Charles Woodson of the Raiders available, and now Bailey, the Saints have a good shot at beefing up their secondary. Even if they don't land one of these two guys, they can find a bargain because Woodson and Bailey will get the big money this offseason. Lets hope Loomis and Haslett can bring someone in that is worth the hype. I don't want to see another Tebucky incident.

Monday, February 09, 2004

My "Favorite" NFL Player "Honored" 

Keyshawn Johnson has been hit with a restraining order against a man who allegedly dated Johnson's wife.

This just fuels my arguement that Johnson just needs to shut up.

Pats Cut Smith 

The Pats have showed their hand. Antowain Smith has been denied a contract extension, effectively cutting thier starting running back.

The Pats will go after a running back either through free agency or the draft. Considering their draft position, free agency may be the best bet. Corey Dillon comes to mind. He is not wanted in Cincy and he may be able to help the Pats. This is just pure speculation however. Belichick obviously wants a guy that will buy into his system and Dillon was unable to cooperate with Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

Remember This Guy 

The Buffalo Bills have hired Sam Wyche as their quarterbacks coach. It's been a while since I've heard that name and even longer since I've heard his name and "coach" in the same sentence.

Super Bowl, Super Bowl 

So the Pats won as everyone expected, but not in the blowout fashion everyone expected. Jake Delhomme played the best game of any losing Super Bowl quarterback and did everything he could to help the Panthers win.

Jake's line: 16-33, 323 yds, 3 TDs
Brady's line: 32-48, 354 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT

Let's see...Jake started the game 1-8 for -1 yards, so he had a stretch (which started in the second quarter) of 15-25 (60%), 324 yds, 3 TDs. Pretty good. The lines are similar except for completion percentage and turnovers. I'll take a low completion percentage (49%) over picks any day. BTW, Jake did fumble once, while getting sacked. Brady's INT came in the fourth quarter in the end zone when the Pats had a chance to put the game away. That's not what I would call a MVP performance. He HAD to "drive" the Pats down the field to score the winning field goal, or he could have been the goat of Super Bowl XXXVIII. Thanks to John Kasay's errant kickoff, Brady was saved.

That brings me to this question: Why Brady? Because he is the quarterback, because he led the winning "drive", because he's Tom Brady. My MVP would have gone to Mike Vrabel who had 4 tackles, 2 assists, 2 sacks for a loss of 14 yards and 1 forced fumble. He constantly pressured Jake and was always around Stephen Davis and Deshaun Foster.

Why not Vrabel? Because he's a linebacker on a defense with no stars, because the defense allowed 19 points in the 4th quarter, because it seemed it was Brady who led the Pats. Truth be told, it was New England's defense that gave New England a chance to blow out the Panthers, and it was Brady's offense that was unable to capitalize.

Anyway, this Super Bowl was a doozy and it was extremely fun to watch. The refs did not factor into the outcome and they controlled the game. The coaches had their players prepared and the players did not disappoint. The game could have gone either way, though it should have been a blowout. If Janet hadn't bared her breast at halftime, the story of this Super Bowl would have been Kasay's kick-off. Oh well.

It's Been a While 

It has been a while since I last posted. Since then, the Pats won the Super Bowl, the Cajuns have had some fantastic victories and I have a lot to say. It may take a few days, but I should cover it all. Thank you for your patience.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Give Me A Break 

Paul Tagliabue, commissioner of the NFL, warned players that excessive celebration after a touchdown will be penalized even more next year. This past year saw our favorite wide receiver, Joe Horn, fined $30,000 for using a cell phone in a post-touchdown celebration. I thought the fine was ridiculous at the time and now I'm becoming ill. I used to hate the term No Fun League when referring to the NFL but now it seems that is exactly what Tagliabue wants. The only thing I can think that would be worse is if the league suspended players for celebrating.

I say, let the players be. If you want to throw a flag, the so be it. It should be up to each individual organization to levy fines on players that are penalized for excessive celebration, not the league. Each team, and/or coach should decide how far a player can go with a celebration.

More on this when my brain switches back on.


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Correction 

The title of the last entry should read "To Appease the Reader", sorry for the mix-up.

To Appease the Readers 

The NBA sucks! It's a star driven game and if you don't believe it, why is the Atlanta Hawks head coach(who will remain nameless because I don't know nor care to find out what his name is) the LONGEST tenured head coach in the Eastern Conference. He has been with Atlanta since the middle of the '02-'03 season. He hasn't been there 2 years! I can't believe a league would allow such nonsense to take place. The Detroit Pistons fire their head coach after he brought them to the Conference Finals. The E.C. representative in the NBA finals the last two years fired their head coach, Byron Scott, reportedly because Jason Kidd didn't agree with the way he coached. I guess the Nets agreed with Kidd and replaced him with......Lawrence Frank? Who the hell is he and what the hell has he ever done. Obviously he coaches in a way that will keep Kidd happy.

The NBA is a farce. When a league openly does not call a foul (or penalty or whatever it is called in a given sport) when it should, when a league obviously allows certain players to make up the rules as the game progresses, when a league would rather sell merchandise than the game itself, then the league is a farce. The NBA makes a mockery of the game of basketball and it has allowed itself to become what it is...the second worst pro league next to hockey. Hell, MLB runs a tighter ship and the players and owners are always at each others' throats.

I hope the NBA will notice the empty arenas and the lack of respect it garners from the players that represent it and change. Right now, commissioner David Stern might as well not have a job because it is the owners and players who run the league. And it is a league where basketball is dead last on its list of priorities.


I Don't Get It 

The AP is reporting that All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez will sign with the lowly Detroit Tigers. Pudge signed a one-year deal with the Florida Marlins last year worth $10 million. This deal is reportedly worth $40 million over four years. Why would Pudge want to go to the Tigers. I can understand his desire to play in the A.L. but where is the desire to win. He could have made good money playing for a team with a chance. I guess he still feels he is worth $10 million a year and not a penny less. This will be his fourteenth season in the bigs and he plays a position that is killer on the knees and longevity is hard to attain. I know he probably wants to become a DH eventually, but he is still one of the best defensive catchers in the league. I guess I'm just surprised that he chose the Tigers. Earlier in the off-season, the Orioles showed some interest but opted for a cheaper Javy Lopez.

Is it a good move for Pudge? For his wallet, yes. As a player who wants another championship ring, no. Who knows if he wants another ring. He didn't exactly sign with the Marlins thinking they had a chance at the world series. But, the Marlins were on the verge in 2002 of being a playoff team. The Tigers had the worst season of any team last year. They almost set a MLB record for futility. It's a questionable move that I just don't get.

"River City Relay" play of the year 

The most memorable Saints play from last year has been voted as play of the year by NFL fans. The 75-yard lateral play led to one of the most infamous moments in Saints history. I would have to vote for the play, however, it only brings to memory the botched extra point attempt by John Carney. Such is the agony of a Saints fan.

See this play and the other nominees here.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

LHSAA to Vote on Split 

The Louisiana High School Athletics Association will decide Friday if public and private schools will vie for the same championships in the future. The Advertiser's Brady Aymond reasons that a split will not solve the problem. The Times-Picayune's Billy Turner puts the lack of argument in perspective here.

With all the talk of splitting, many arguments come up against it while only one surfaces in favor of it: "it's not fair". Spearheading the effort to split is Many High School principal Norman Booker and Sabine Parish Athletic Director David Feaster. While this argument may seem childish, ...well, it is. The numbers say that well over half(65.8%) of all state championships won since the 2000-2001 school year have gone to private schools. Private schools comprise about 25% of LHSAA membership. Well, okay, so something may seem wrong. However, there are other possible reasons other than private schools' ability to recruit. I've always contended that the majority of team's ability to win rests clearly on the ability of the coach's ability to coach. A good coach can make any player play better than his/her's capabilities. I have little doubt that Evangel Christian Academy and John Curtis Christian School have better than good coaches. Maybe the dominance they have has a little to do with recruiting, but I believe it has everything to do with coaching.

Certain private schools have tarnished the reputation of the whole establishment. The two aforementioned schools along with a handful in basketball are notorious recruiters but they play within the rules. A majority of private school don't actively recruit on the basis of athletics only. There may be a few exceptions at each school, but it's effects are negligible. The "it's not fair" cry is going to hurt more private schools than intended and the public schools will not see the effects they wanted.

In the Lafayette area, there are three private schools that play in three different classifications(St. Thomas More High School-4A, Teurlings Catholic High School-3A, and Episcopal School of Acadiana-B). Of the three, only one has enjoyed the success in one sport to be considered a dynasty(ESA-volleyball). STM enjoys success within its district but it still does not dominate. STM enjoys just as much success as Carencro in football and Acadiana and Lafayette in soccer. In fact, STM cannot compete with Carencro on the field(Carencro won the last year 49-7).

Public schools have their share of powerhouses that vie for state championships yearly. Class 5A was dominated by Carencro and West Monroe for most of the '90s until Evangel joined in 1999. Class 5A baseball has been dominated by Barbe High School out of Lake Charles for a decade.

A few private schools dominate certain sports, but just as many public schools can claim dominance in a sport. The problem is, the argument against private schools is based on emotions rather than a clear study of the so called "problem". Splitting the LHSAA will not help the situation. There will still be teams that dominate and there will be more cries of "it's not fair" and then what? I don't want to see what crazy proposals will surface then.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Cajuns Blowout 

The Cajuns "held off" the Florida International Golden Panthers Saturday afternoon 78-58. The Cajuns shot 51% from the floor while holding FIU to 39%. I predicted Orien Greene to have a breakout game against NMSU Thursday night, but he didn't deliver until this afternoon. Greene led all scorers with 17 points and added 4 assists and 4 steals while turning the ball over only twice. This is the type of performance Cajun fans have been waiting for from Greene. He shot 75% from the field and 66% behind the arc. He is my player of the game.

Chris Cameron played well in the paint for the Cajuns. After a slow start, he was able to score 11 points and grab 8 boards and match up against a small FIU team. Brian Hamilton also scored 11 and grabbed 8 rebounds to help dominate the paint.

Brad Boyd took 11 three-pointers today, making only 3. He missed a couple wide open shots that he couldn't pass up on, but if he needs to have more games like he did against NMSU where he only attempted 8 three's. Brad's a shooter and you don't keep a shooter from shooting but he needs to find ways to improve his FG% and taking slightly shorter shots could help.

Antoine Landry had a quiet game today scoring only 3 points and those points coming in garbage time. He only took 4 shots while playing only 17 minutes. Some days are better than others I guess.

Dwayne Mitchell had a productive game with 8 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebs. Cedric Williams still hasn't played like he did in the '02-'03 campaign. He fouled out of today's game with 8 points and 4 rebs. 'Rie (Laurie Bridges) had 9 points and 5 assists and continues to be a silent threat on this team.

The Cajuns looked sloppy in the opening minutes. They were unable to pull away from a weaker opponent. A road win is good, but they play Western Kentucky(8-9, 3-3) on the road Thursday and they better be ready to play 40 minutes.

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