Wednesday, February 27, 2008

08' NFL Draft Talk

If you haven't already guessed, I love the NFL draft, it is by far the single most entertaining day of professional sports that doesn't include an actual contest. While the NBA draft does showcase how abnormally tall men fit into obnoxiously ugly suits (see Joakim Noah in 2007) and provides my friends and I with several hours of drunk banter, the NFL draft is still the most intriguing. The 2008 NFL draft certainly will follow in past years footsteps with plenty of questions unanswered thus far.

Question #1 With Darren McFadden performing as he did at the NFL combine last week in Indianapolis, is he the consensus top player in the draft?

I believe that Darren McFadden is and has been the best football player in the 2008 class since the beginning of his fall campaign. It should also not come to your surprise that he blew away the competition at the combine, McFadden is bigger, stronger, and faster than any other running back coming out. A Heisman Memorial Trophy finalist each of the last two years his talent is obviously not a secret, his only fault is the position he plays, running back. Selections 1 through 5 don't have an immediate need in the backfield, while McFadden would certainly booster their respective offenses, they all clearly have more gaping holes. Falcons fans ask yourself this question: After Mike Vick, Do you really want a guy who has ANY questions surrounding his character? Exactly.

Question #2 While we are on the topic, Is Jerry Jones crazy enough to trade up to the top of the draft in order to select McFadden?

YOU BET YOUR A**, and with Julius Jones headed toward free-agency and Big D locking up Flozell Adams for the next six years, Jerry might not be as crazy as I thought. The Cowboys maverick owner doesn't exactly have an issue with questionable character guys:

Michael Irvin
Terrell Owens
Nate Newton: 213 lbs. of Marijuana in a pick up truck
Barry Switzer
Quincy Carter

Here is how I justify giving up Marion Barber: If your going to go for it all and put all your chips in the basket of Darren McFadden this is why you would do it; Rushers like Barber, power rushers, who punish defenses cannot sustain success at such a high level, the toll it puts on their body is intense. Few rushers have been able to have long careers being that type of rusher, Jim Brown, Jerome Bettis, and Earl Campbell to name a few. Assuming that Julius Jones leaves in free agency, Barber becomes the feature back next year, which means more carries and more banging, you've got to ask yourself that question, how much longer can he sustain his rushing style? This offense, which is tailor made for a quality rushing attack, may in fact be the BEST situation for McFadden to succeed. Mr. Jones cannot sit on these two first round picks with the possibility out there, so when I say: YOU BET YOUR A** it means that if the offer is still on the table come April, Jerry pulls the trigger. Oh yea, a 4.33 in the 40 at the combine doesn't exactly deter Jones.

(hairs just stood up on my neck)

Question #3 How has Glenn Dorsey gone from the top pick to some saying he could take a Quinn like slide all the way toward the bottom half of the top ten?

Don't get me wrong I think Glenn Dorsey could potentially be a clone of Warren Sapp in 10 years when we look back on his career, but he does have a rather HUGE question mark rumour lurking. Dorsey said it best "I haven't missed a game in four years" and playing hurt does worsen injuries right? A top 5 pick demands major dollars, major committed dollars for an organization to risk on a defensive lineman who could POTENTIALLY have problems shortly down the road. He doesn't fit Parcells defense and I thought that his talent and athletic nature could overcome that, not now. Today with rumours surrounding his health, he has all but been ruled out of the Dolphins selection. Secondly, the play of Sedrick Ellis at the Senior Bowl and his 6'1, 305lb. frame being impressive to scouts at the combine, he has moved into comparisons with Dorsey, not as talented, yet just as dominating. Dorsey could be bound for Oakland if you ask me at #4, that is if Jerry has leapfrogged everyone and grabbed McFadden away from the grips of Al Davis.

Question #4 Is Matt Ryan just the top quarterback in the class, or is Matt Ryan a franchise leading quarterback?

I don't care if you call this Boston College Football season ticket holder a homer or not, Matt Ryan is the real deal and we need to show a little more respect where its due. Pick up this weeks' edition of SI and read what scouts have to say about Ryan after last weeks NFL combine, the same combine which he impressed people without even throwing the ball. It is no secret to my readers that I am a BIG fan of Ryan's game, he has all the tools of top NFL quarterbacks, he can move, he has a short memory in regards to not being afraid to take your shots downfield after an early interception, and he more imporantly has size. 45 starts at Boston College has given scouts PLENTY to look at and I'm sure they have documented each of his 19 interceptions from last season and still consider him tops on the board. I admit I may be a little bias when it comes to Ryan but he is a franchise quarterback in my mind. Although he would never admit it, I'm more than positive he does not want to land in Atlanta, and why would you? The best situation for Ryan would be in Baltimore, where there is a running game, established defense, and a new head coach with experience in coaching up quarterbacks. For quarterbacks, especially top draft pick quarterbacks to succeed in the NFL it is more the situation they are put in than the skill set they have. Palmer, Rivers, Roethlisberger, and Romo are young successful quarterbacks, attain that to the teams and players that they are playing around along with their talent. The cast of characters that would surround Ryan in Atlanta would be dreadful, not exactly a place he would like to break into the NFL in. Alex Smith was the "best quarterback in his class" Matt Ryan however is THAT franchise quarterback, Manningesque even as his agent says.

Question #5 Who will Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland select at number one?

With the #1 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select, Chris Long, defensive end, University of Virginia. The NFL is a copy cat league right? Two years ago the Houston Texans were faced with similiar problems, a lock defensive end, a remarkable rusher, and a excellent quarterback prospect, who did they take? Mario Williams, who many assume today, that he will have the most longevity in the league. Chris Long is built for Bill Parcells and a Bill Parcells lead organization. Jeff Ireland is about to make the most important selection in the teams recent history and it cannot be one that is spent on risk. Long has familiarity with the Parcells style, under Virginia head coach Al Groh, a Parcells disciple, he had 14 sacks this past college football season. I've read so many articles and mock drafts that have Long as the #1 overall, he demonstrates the new beliefs of the head coach, gm, and executives, all signs pointing toward Chris Long, barring any injury questions, will be collecting a giant pay check every sunday as the #1 selection.

Questions anyone??????

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Smart Move . . .

Sunday afternoon the Boston Red Sox made their best move this off season, they awarded current manager and two time World Series champion, Terry Francona, a three-year contract extension. Francona has done a remarkable job managing in the most pressure packed environment in professional sports. In Boston, we require the manager of our beloved Red Sox to not only dedicate himself to the position but deal with the constant barrage of speculation, criticism, and irrational thought from fans and media alike. Decisions made during a meaningless game in the dog days of June are ripped apart as if they decided the outcome of game 7 of the fall classic. Francona seems not only conscious of this fact but welcomes it. Hired after one of the largest disappointments in Red Sox history-the 2003 ALCS-Terry Francona was brought on board to manage the franchise to its first World Series win since 1918. Mission accomplished-and then some. An average of 71 wins per season as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997 to 2000, he didn't exactly "wow" the Boston fans after his hiring. However, as manager of the Sox, his averaging 94 wins and a playoff appearance 3 out of 4 years goes far beyond wowing us. Media and fans are very aware of the accomplishments of Francona; some would even go so far as to call him the best manager in Red Sox history. I am one of those some. Whether it be the personalities of Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling or the controversy surrounding Theo Epstein's resigning and then return, Terry seems unaffected by it all and just does the one thing we request; win. As much as we wanted to see the re-signings of Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek, and Pedro Martinez, the man we should have been the most concerned about leaving is the skipper, Terry Francona. Congrats Terry, we're all glad you'll be with us for at least another three seasons.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Well with football season completed and March Madness on the cusp you would think there wouldn't be all that much to blog about. Your wrong, for the past two weeks I have been so consumed with real life (work, president's day, & campaigning for Obama) and following my sports addiction that this blog, LynchyRightNow.Com, has taken a back seat, unfortunately. From NBA All-Star weekend and the trade deadline, to pitchers & catchers reporting, to all things Patriots, Matt Walsh, and U.S. Senators with entirely to much time on their hands, there is plenty of going in the sports universe.

I know that I've been howling about the NBA for a couple weeks now but seriously why aren't more people excited? Yes, I get it American Idol is (about to lose my man card) kind of entertaining but how can you not be a little excited for the second half of the season? Here comes my final attempt at getting you Idol viewers to tune into something that matters:

1. Kobe Bryant will be a 4-time NBA Champion come July. That my friends, is fact. Bean is 1 or 2 in the NBA, Phil Jackson is 1, 2, or 3 as far as coaches go, and acquiring Gasol for Kwame and a bag of donuts is ridiculous. I'm not like those 1980's Celts fans, I never really got to hate the Lakers and NO I'm not going to hate them because Kurt Rambis was a douche, I never saw him play. Just like I don't hate the Mets, I was only 3 when they beat the Sox in the Championship and I'm sure I was more concerned about who was cleaning my diaper back then. I'll cheer for L.A. until they get to the finals, then I've got to go greeeeeen. Bynum comes back strong after injury and you can lock the Lake Show in the finals. Like I said about Lebron, when Kobe wants to beat you, he'll beat you. First athlete since O.J. to get found not guilty errrrrrr, maybe that wasn't the best defense.

2. Who will win the West? This will be the most compelling second half of basketball since the days we'd watch to see who would meet Jordan in the Finals. Chris Paul and city of Nawlins, Kobe & Gasol, Shaq & Nash, Kidd & Dirk, Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli, Yao & Tracy, Boozer & Williams, Byron Davis & The most exciting team in basketball all playing for a shot at meeting either Detroit or dare I say it, BOSTON in the Finals. An entire second half of ESPN games that will be on prime time getting NLDS ratings, WHO LOVES IT? For the first time in weeks I've shut off my mini marathons of Law & Order on every channel, to view a highly anticipated NBA showdown, SUNS v. Lakers. GREAT GAME, I even know women who were watching it, that in itself is amazing, granted they were all 6'4" and could dunk, but who cares. Every time these teams match up against each other you can witness an amazing show, whether it is Chris Paul torching the Mavs, Kobe dropping 41 on the Suns, or Lord Baron of Golden State nailing a buzzer beater to beat the Celts. Get ready for the most exciting time in the NBA in years.

3. This is NOT a league of "thugs." A few years ago David Stern and the NBA knew it had an image problem. Struggling since Jordan's' retirement to put a face on the game, Stern leaned toward what was popular with today's' youth i.e. tomorrows parents with buying power. A more Hip-Hop image and selling the stars as young urban successes with alot of talent for the game of basketball, unfortunately corporate America won't put their name behind that type of brand, its just
the way it is. The NBA went through several years with no real face and numerous bad "press" issues. The Pacers/Detroit fiasco at the Palace in Aubuurn Hills, and the Kobe Bryant incident in Colorado, just to name a couple. Stern has done several things most recently to change that, implementing a dress code was a genius idea, at the time players said "WE WANT TO WEAR OUR THROWBACKS and BLING" David stood strong, realizing that players in suits during a press conference and before the game would put money in his pocket, and theirs. Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard,Tim Duncan and Lebron James are HARDLY THUGS and most likely one of them will be wearing a ring and doing the talk show circuit, dressed to the nines, in the summer. Stern has made sure that every team participate in outreach programs to help the community in which they play, and brought the corporations back into the NBA. No thugs here, just Ballers. If you disagree, look at the NFL, Pacman, Tank Johnson, Michael Vick, Chris Henry, shall I go on????

ENOUGH ABOUT THE NBA THOUGH: Pitchers and Catchers are reporting

My brother will scroll right past this portion of the blog, he is an avid BASEBALL HATER, not all of us Lynchs' can be perfect. The Boston Red Sox went into the off season with the best roster from top to bottom, and they enter 2008 with the best roster top to bottom, the games most elite pitcher, Johan Santana, is finally playing in a market and for a team that actually matters to baseball fans, and as I left you last fall, Joe Torre enters the Phil Jackson stage of his career. No one really cares about steroid use from Brian Roberts and Paul Lo Duca so why even bother asking them questions about it, to the media it only matters if they once ball washed you, see Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. We won't avoid 'steroid talk' this spring and summer but we can do everything possible (of which I will attempt to) and talk about things that actually matter in Major League Baseball. So here is my first attempt:

1. Don't sleep on Arizona: The last time the D-Backs had two top tier starters they won the World Series. Their GM is the first off the "Epstein Tree" and has proved he can do the job, just awarded an 8-year contract extension I'd say I'm not the only one who thinks so. Adding Danny Haren in the off season to pair with Cy Young winner Brandon Webb gives them a formidable duo to say the least. Haren won 15 games last year in the American League for the Oakland A's, along with a era slightly over 3.00 Haren allowed hitters to hit a mere .244 I'd say that is as good as a #2 you were going to acquire this off season. Among the top 10 in nearly every pitching category in the National League last season, Brandon Webb finished with an 18-10 record and and struck out almost 200 batters. Webb and Haren should provide in excess of 30 wins for the Diamondbacks and with two aces the D-Backs are built for playoff baseball, runs are at a premium with those two on the mound.

2. Manny Ramirez is more than prepared for his contract year in Boston. One look at Ramirez in the spring and you'll notice the hard work he has put in this off season. A notorious hard-worker on his craft, hitting, Ramirez seems to have applied that to getting physically ready for the final year of his $160 Million dollar deal with the Boston Red Sox. While the Red Sox still hold club options for the greatest right handed slugger of the last 15 years, Ramirez seems to be preparing himself not only for a monster year in 2008 but the very likely assumption that he may be a free agent at years end for the first time since the end of the 2000 season. Ole' Manny will reach 500 home runs on his career by the end of May, to go along with that Manny is a lifetime .300 hitter. However the biggest sign that Manny may be headed toward free agency isn't his intense workout, its the new addition to camp Manny, Scott Boras. Here is my bottom line on what Manny will produce this year:

38 Home runs (Embarrassed by his mere 20 in 07')
110 RBI's (his 88 RBI's last year was his worst since 1997)
.312 Average (.296 last year Manny is more focused than ever)

3. Since 2004 newly acquired Mets all-star pitcher,Johan Santana,has started in 33 games each year and pitched over 219 innings each season. What does that tell you? Other than the fact that yes, he stays healthy, it also tells you there is alot of innings logged on that arm, all before he was a New York Met. Widely considered as the best pitcher in baseball, Johan is a strikeout machine averaging 245 per season over the last 4. John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Orlando Hernandez hardly put fear in the eyes of opposing hitters yet a supposed healthy Pedro Martinez, who took it easy this off season, taking time out to participate in cock fights while resting in the Dominican, and of course Johan Santana aim to lead the Mets to an East Division title, after there mind-blowing collapse last year. LOOK, until the Mets actually "show me" I won't believe it either, like their New York counterparts, the Mets are great at putting talent on a team, now can one of them win a championship is the question.

I'm NOT spent yet . . .

I've got to sound off on "Spygate" and it won't surprise you where I stand based on my political views. If you consider "The Commander and Chief" the boss to all State Representatives and Congressmen then it is no wonder why they are both acting the way they are. If you told me that my boss was being replaced in the fall and people were actually campaigning for her job then I too would find random sh*t to do that would fill my hours of free time. Enter: US State Senator, Arlen Spector, or should I say, Philadelphia Eagles fan, Arlen Spector. Like the rest of Philadelphia sports fans, of course your upset, because your teams suck. I'm from New England where champions are like buses, one comes along every hour so I can't imagine how much pain you are but I can assure you of one thing: Ted Kennedy wouldn't have a job much longer if he spent his days interviewing commissioners about SH*T THAT DON'T AFFECT HIS VOTERS. Arlen, allow me to break it down for you: I don't cheer for the Pats, I'm a Cowboys fan so you can call me unbiased on this

1. The Eagles never won a championship because the only help you ever got McNabb was T.O. who subsequently got you to the big dance, which you lost, and then you refused to pay the man for it. Owens risked his entire career to make sure that he played in that Super Bowl, and he played GREAT, unfortunately you lost and were prepared to play hardball with the one guy who actually LIKES when an entire city hates him. Arlen wake up you just got beat, video cameras or not.

2. Matt Walsh was fired from the New England Patriots, so why wouldn't he have bad things to say about his former employer? Have you ever met a guy who got fired and said "yes, it was my fault they treated me great and I just wanted to stick it to them" NOOOOOOOOOOo YOU HAVEN'T because it doesn't happen. Like a scored lover they are going to make things sound WAY worse than they actually were. If Mr. Walsh was so intent on screwing the Pats why didn't he just send the tapes the day after he got sh*t-canned? Like Brian McNamee, Walsh is saving evidence? The reason why Brian McNamee is a bad witness isn't because he is lying its because it has taken him 7 years to say anything and he only did when it would benefit him. Arlen, again WAKE UP and go do some work that actually impacts the country.

Only two points this time, the entire topic gives me a headache.

That is what I have for now, and I promise to be more consistent with the blogs during the week. Till next time, COME STRONG OR DON'T COME AT ALL . . .

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is it over yet?

Charles Barkley once said:

"I don't believe professional athletes should be role models, I believe parents should be role models."

I do agree with Charles for the most part, especially on a day when an athlete who is a role model, an icon to millions of adults and children across the country, is sitting in front of Congress defending his extremely successful career that is now under a microscope to the tenth degree. Some of you are like my friend Joe, you are in disgust that the Congress, who we elected to their jobs, are wasting countless hours on an issue that has no effect on my life, your life, and your children’s lives. Poverty, War, Unemployment, Foreclosures, and many more problems are not being solved today in this country. Instead the United States Congress has gathered to talk to Roger Clemens and his former trainer to find out who is lying about the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone by the Rocket during his career. This is what is going on in Washington during the most important presidential campaign of the last 25 years.

If you would all like to see something funny, copy and paste this site in your browser On the right sidebar of the site you'll notice the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform lists their "KEY ISSUES" The investigation of former state department inspector general Howard J. Krongard, Iraq reconstruction, Administration oversight( a section in which this sentence is included and I quote "Congress has a responsibility under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the executive branch" hard to do when your trying to get Clemens' autograph for your son ) and the White House use of Private e-mail. None of which is being worked on today, OH NO, today we want to get in the newspaper, have our names in the public, and hear ourselves talk, and that is todays KEY ISSUE. Under the important stories on their homepage you have to scroll down to the fifth story to find the first thing not involving baseball and steroids, Committee Subpoenas Iraq Embassy Department, now which is more important? You be the judge.

We live in a country whose priorities are so out of sync that in all honesty it makes me ashamed and I'm not the only one. So today has come and gone but what have we learned? We have no exit strategy for Iraq, the housing market has yet to hit rock bottom, and we still don't know if Roger Clemens took steroids. Congratulations, another day shot to hell. Sports and sports entertainment are meant to give us all a break, a break from our busy and stressful days at real work, a time to kick back and enjoy the sports we played as children, but that can't happen. The Media and Politicians who love to be heard would rather that we see the darker side of the world we live in, not so we know that the game we are watching is "true and reliable" but so that their pockets are lined with cash and we know their name as well as the star athletes they never could be. From Henry Waxman to Carolyn Maloney thank you for nothing, and I hope you lose sleep cashing that check that we paid you with today, it was hardly earned.

Friday, February 8, 2008

What the H*LL is going on?

I'm not going to act like I'm not a tad bit interested in ESPN's coverage of the annual national signing day, the day which high school seniors declare where they plan to play college football in the fall. Every winter the same schools seem to be in the top ten in recruiting classes:

3 to 5 SEC Schools: like Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Tennessee

1 or 2 East Coast Powerhouses: like Florida State and Clemson

Terrelle Pryor's Final Choices: Ohio St.,Michigan, and Penn St.

The "I want to be on TV schools" ? : ND, Texas,& USC

If your favorite Coll. Ball team isn't in there don't worry, there is a limit to the number of scholarships each of these schools can award to top high school student athletes. Recievers and speed guys play down south, guys from Texas play in Texas, Offensive & Defensive Lineman generally stay in the conference "area" they live in, and Quarterbacks go where the women are: USC. So I would say I pretty much just summed up national signing day in about three sentences.


This year was the most exciting signing day I've ever witnessed in my storied 9-month career as a sports blogger or as my minions refer to me as, an un-edited, bad grammar, and no experience sports columnist. I'll tell you why it was so exciting and you can tell all your friends to visit for free entertainment.

1. You may have been wondering who Terrelle Pryor was when I mentioned him earlier, so I'll enlighten you a bit. Pryor is an explosive Pennslyvania quarterback who has been heavily recruited from ALL TEAMS BIG 10. His list has been taken down to 3 remaining powerhouses, Michigan, Ohio State, and now Penn State. The new spread offense which will be implemented at Michigan in 2008 by former Moutaineer HC Rich Rodriguez seems appealing to Pryor, but he'll pass on them. Who wants to play for Joe Paterno and in Happy Valley??? Great fans, ancient coach, and no shot at a Rose Bowl bid. So why won't Pryor commit and go to Ohio State? Here is a thought, they've been embarrassed each of the last two years in the National Title game, the "sweater vest" puts a fullback and two TE's on the field and rushes the ball, hardly seems like the offense where Pryor would excel in. Scouts have said at times Pryor looks to be playing a game of pick up, he decides when to take off and opponents don't know how to play him. A bigger version of Vince Young with a simliar skill set, Vince turned out alright at Texas so I'm assuming Pryor could do the same in the right system. Pryor's father wants him attending Penn St. so my guess is . . . Nittany Lions.

2. If you haven't heard the story by now, I'm not sure your going to believe it. Nevada high school football player, Kevin Hart was recruited by NO ONE. On national signing day however, Mr. Hart held a press conference at his school, classmates, teachers, coaches, and of course the local media were all in attendence to find out where Mr. Hart would be playing football the next fall. Kevin went so far as to purchase hats belonging to each of his final two schools, California and Oregon, then actually PLACED ONE OF THE CAPS ON HIS HEAD when is decision was made. Funny thing though, NEITHER OF THE TWO SCHOOLS HAD EVER EVEN HEARD OF KEVIN HART. Later coming out that Kevin had indeed made the entire thing up and one small lie had turned into a number of huge lies.

Conclusion: See what happens when you try to impress a girl out of your league.

Honestly though at the end of the day as much as I love watching College Football and even the off season of College Football, the student athletes are at the school to get an education and shouldn't that come first? The NFL will only be the employer to a select group of college athletes and for the countless others who got scholarships need to make the most of their opportunity not only on the football field but also in the classroom. Off of soapbox.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Month till the Madness

So what the Patriots choked in Super Bowl XLII, life goes on. Now that the football season is officially over and there is one month until the Madness of March it has probably left you pigskin loving, wife avoiding on Sundays, animals out of control. I have the solution: NBA HOOPS now before you roll your eyes and select that tiny (X) in the upper right hand corner of your browser maybe you could give it a shot. The Celtics, Pistons, Magic and Cavaliers are all title contenders and play in the Eastern Conference. As for the Western Conference, 10 of 15 teams are above .500 and we are closing in on the half way point in the season. Your usual contenders, Dallas, San Antonio, and Phoenix are all above 30+ wins. The upstart Hornets are tied for the Southwest division lead at 33-15 and Carlos Boozer has led the Jazz to a 32-18 start which is good enough to be the Northwest division front runner. Portland has stunned the NBA at 28-20 and they are playing without top draft pick Greg Oden who is out for the season with a knee injury. Kobe is still in L.A. and they have just added Pau Gasol for a case of the new Gatorade (G2) which will catapult them to everyones favorite playoff team come the spring. Without mentioning the NBA's most exciting team, the Golden State Warriors, this is a small sampling of the most wide open field of NBA title contenders since Jordan retired, the second time (after ring #6). So I ask you, WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?!?!? Not satisfied?


The New Orleans Hornets, as I previously mentioned are currently tied for the Southwest division lead and at 33-15, have the 4th best record in the entire league (behind Boston, Detroit, and Phoenix). Not only are the Hornets winning at home, they currently are 17-7 on the road and within the wild wild west are 24-11. Led by the NBA's top non-canadien point guard, Chris Paul, who in only his 3rd season in the league is averaging a mind blowing 20 points and 10 assists a game (ACC shout out) Peja Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson, have landed in Nawlins' with Peja getting his 15 a night from behind the arc and Jackson now in his 10th season is anchoring the Hornets bench playing a solid 20 minutes a game. Tyson Chandler has found a home with the Hornets and is averaging a double-double a night. The real surprise in the "Bayou" is 4th year forward David West who has added six points and three rebounds a game to his career average of 13 points and 6 boards, amounts to 19 points and almost 10 rebounds a game. The Hornets may be the biggest surprise playoff threat because of their great guard play from Chris Paul and Morris Peterson (Flint, Michigan stand up) Here is a team that can play with the excitement that Golden State brought to last years playoffs.

The more and more we look at Shaq to the Suns the more and more I think this has a CHANCE to work out. It is going to take alot more than Mike D'Antoni in front of a podium telling me that it is going to work for me to be a believer. Here is what you have to watch for: Amare no longer has to bang with the Western Conference centers Shaq can take care of that and allow Amare to play his style of basketball, face toward the hoop playing from the elbow in. Come playoff time is when it pays off: Phoenix will be forced to play a half court game with teams like San Antonio, Houston, and Utah who all can slow the game down and force your big men to take on theirs, Shaq is still bruising in the low post. The last time O'Neal was out to prove people that he could win without Kobe, he did. Look for him to show Riley that he still had gas left in the tank. Tell me you aren't excited about Shaq, Nash, and Amare? At least a little anyway.

The new look Lakers have become by far the most interesting franchise in the NBA if you ask me. A week ago they virtually dumped Kwame Brown and got Pau Gasol, thats like trading a cheeseburger for a filet mignon. I don't think that Pau Gasol is as good as everyone says he is but the fact that they gave up nothing for him and still kept their depth shows the Lakers want to put a cast around Kobe. With Derek Fisher back in L.A. this season it adds veteran leadership and someone with championship pedigree to your backcourt, depending on how effective Bynum is after he gets back from injury the Lakers could be the #1 contender heading toward the playoffs. The way Bynum played before his injury proves that the Lakers knew what they were holding onto him last summer when Kobe was begging for help. My applause to the management for not caving to the star, even if you were willing to sacrafice his prime.

I was the first one to tell you that the Cavs making it to the Finals last June was a fluke, well I was wrong and I've been wrong before. LeBron (no need for last name) has made me think twice for the first time in about 3 years who the best pound for pound player in the NBA is (I still think it's Kobe, but I thought twice) LeBron seemingly can take over any game and win any game on any night by himself. Now in the gold chain wearing Jordan period of his career LeBron is playing with literally a bunch of scrubs and the Cavs are still 27-21. Twice in the past two months LeBron has finished a fantastic fourth quarter and then told the media it was because someone in the crowd pissed him off, he has that Reggie Miller mentality with the Jordan "I can beat you on any day, by myself" attitude. The Cavs in the playoffs are better than good because of one man and his name is King James. (and if you don't think he'll be playing for the Brooklyn Nets in two seasons, your crazy)

If the over exposure of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett hasn't hit your life yet, you've gotta be living in a cave. Here is the deal: best record in the league, mentioned in the same sentences as San Antonio & Phoenix, and are packing the garden part II every night. 3 statements I never thought I'd say in my lifetime, given the fact that I had slit my wrists last spring when I found out that the C's woudln't get Oden or Durant. The bench is by far the most important thing come playoff time, how far this C's team goes into the post season will depend on great play from Glen Davis, Tony Allen, James Posey, and Eddie House. Do I think they are the #1 Contender? 1 or 1A . . . undefeated against the Western Conference so far but will have to advance in a seven gamer against Detroit: That will be a true contest. Finals back in Beantown? Screw the Patriots that is excitement.

Lastly, you football fanatics don't have much to cheer for in Michigan these days, the Lions suck a** and the Wolverines lost to App. State, even a win over Florida in the Capital One Bowl doesn't erase that nightmare, but hey maybe Matt Millen will trade up and draft Desean Jackson out of Cal, the Lions need another receiver right? Probably holding out for Michael Crabtree next year, I get it. So after seeing your baseball team flame out in the Series two years ago you really must be in misery, here in New England only our football team chokes. But you do have one thing to hang your hat on: The Detroit Aliens . . I mean Pistons (what?!?! act like you don't think Prince, Rip, and Chauncy look like space cadets) I won't even get on Rasheed, I'm still afraid of him and he has been calm lately. The Pistons are the team in the East to beat until they get broken up, ultra competitive and a deep bench, you can't count them out, even if they did get whipped by Bron Bron in last years Eastern Conference Finals. My dad brought up a good point, imagine had the Pistons drafted Carmelo Anthony over Darko, how many LeBron v. Melo matchups in the conference finals would we have seen in the 10 years?

So your gambling addiction takes a month off until March Madness where you can secretly hide the problem because everyone is doing it. You don't need to sit in front of the television watching 4 hours of Law & Order reruns every night and wondering how you haven't seen every episode yet, tune into any number of NBA games which are nationally televised unlike the NHL and enjoy. The NBA, where the best athletes play. NUFF SAID.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I just want to be completely clear about my last posting regarding the potential trade that would end with Shaq in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a horrible trade, it would make no sense for Phoenix to do that, and I'm agreeing with consensus on this one. Shaq has been on his down slope for more than just two seasons and his years of a lack of work ethic are finally taking a toll on his body. This goes against everything that Phoenix has done in building this team financially, athletically, and chemistry wise. THERE IS NO WAY I'D SIGN OFF ON THIS TRADE.

The Diesel Cometh . .

After I tossed my alarm clock through the window this morning I rolled over and turned on sportscenter(is it just me or does everyone set their alarm clock once for one time, then when it goes off roll over and set it for the time you actually need to get up?) anyway the top story on sportscenter was that a proposed trade that would send Marcus Banks and Shawn Marion from the Suns to the Heat in exchange for 4-time World Champion, lifetime MDE (most dominant ever), and STILL a top 5 center in the league Shaquille O'Neal. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a big fan of the diesel, in my lifetime I've witnessed Jordan torch the NBA and bring every opponent to their knees, but I've also been lucky enough to witness as previously stated, the most dominant athlete in any sport at his position EVER. At his prime the former MVP could play on any team with 4 other starters and immediately make them the #1 or #2 contender for the NBA title. Russell, Bird, Magic, Jordan, and Shaq are the only superstars who could make that statement, maybe a few others cough, cough, sorry Tim Duncan I have a coastal bias. With O'Neal in the worst season of his career, productivity wise, it makes the Diesel expendable, and for a franchise that is quickly watching their window of opportunity to win a championship slam close, the Heat have a buyer. I can't help think that the Phoenix Suns don't know what month of the year this is, haven't watched Shaq play since 2005, and just watched the Lakers make a move that immediately makes them stronger in the West. I spell this one way, P-A-N-I-C. I love Shaq and his career, I love that he immediately puts people in the seats, gets the media excited to cover him, but Phoenix has no problem putting people in the seats, are exciting enough by their style of play, and still have the best record in the Western Conference. When this deal goes through the Phoenix Suns will have managed to slow their fast paced team, lost Kurt Thomas in order to reduce player salaries yet traded for Shaq and added $40 Million, so the Suns are pretty much banking on Shaq finding the fountain of youth and Steve Nash being able to incorporate O'Neal on the fast break, oh yea and he has missed a bunch of games lately because he is injured. I read an article on ESPN.Com this morning that summed it up best: This seems like the type of move where someone sits up at the table and says "This is so crazy, it might just work!"

Monday, February 4, 2008

. . . . . And 1

Sure never having to listen to Mercury Morris & Don Shula (except for on his nutri system commercials) brag about their 72' undefeated season again, would have been great. Tom Brady joining Terry Bradshaw & Joe Montana as the only 4-time Super Bowl winning quarterbacks would have been a remarkable accomplishment, and crowning the New England Patriots the Super Bowl Champions for the 4th time in 7 years would have cemented them as the dynasty to end all dynasties, but that won't happen this year. Sorry.I could spit out 2,500 words that would rub the legions of bandwagon Pats fans noses in this historical loss, I could rip off another 1,000 words calling their dynasty fraudulent (giving the route of the U.S. Senator) and I could even tell you how upset I am that people continue to say "the Patriots just didn't play well" showing their complete inability to give the Giants any credit at all. But, I'm not going to do any of that . . . . . Yet. I would rather school you on what actually happened last night, in case you are one of the ten people who missed the greatest Super Bowl since Rams/Titans in 1999.

In order to understand what exactly went down last night you have to understand what didn't go down over the last five months. The Patriots weren't unbeatable, they just hadn't been beaten. Unbeatable teams don't exist because athletes have nights were they just get beat because they are human despite how "in-human" they might seem to their fans. For the first time all year Tom Brady spent significant time on his back, for the first time all year the opposing quarterback didn't make "THAT" mistake which allowed New England to escape defeat, and for the first time in recent the Patriots looked old. I have theories upon theories of how this loss can be broken down, but the bottom line is the Giants came to Arizona to beat the Patriots, and they beat them physically and emotionally. 17-14, BALLGAME.

The real MVP of Super Bowl 42, no offense to Eli, I get it Quarterbacks are usually MVPs and for obvious reasons, but in Super Bowl 42 Osi Umenyiora made a larger impact than anyone else on the field. The Giant defense put Brady on his back all day long and along with Justin Tuck and Michael Strahan, Umenyiora in large part was the cause. Destroying all-pro tackle Matt Light on his way to a victory, Osi was doubled by Kyle Brady and Light yet still the Patriot offensive line couldn't stop him. Umenyiora may not be the leader in the stat book but I'm sure you all know who #72 on the field was Sunday night.

The first thought that rushed to my head last night after seeing Peyton celebrate his brothers’ victory was WOW. Imagine being an average NFL Quarterback who had to spend his career playing for the lowly New Orleans Saints and then giving birth to three sons, two of whom would become stand out collegiate quarterbacks and evolve into Super Bowl MVP winning quarterbacks in back-to-back years. Your children reached the absolute pinnacle of their professions, heights you could only dream of for yourself. What are the odds of that happening? I understand that when you’re a professional athlete your children start their career off a leg up, but at some point talent must overcome your last name and both Manning boys far exceed what their father ever accomplished, for that I'm in awe. As a guy who sat on the sidelines for many of his older brothers athletic accomplishments I can say that I feel at least a little bit of what Peyton felt when he cornered himself into the luxury box with no one around him and cheered for his little brother to pull of the unexpected. You walk a little lighter, you pump your chest out a little further, and you are by far his biggest fan. In your mind he is the best and on his bad days he is still better than everyone else, he just had a bad day. When Eli tossed that last touchdown pass there was no one happier for him than Peyton, which was a "Super Bowl" moment that we may never see again.

Special congratulations should be given to veterans like Amani Tumour, a 10+ year veteran wide reciever who was one of two members of the New York Giants team that played in the Super Bowl loss to the Baltimore Ravens back in 2000. Unlike wide recievers Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, and Randy Moss . . . . . Tumour is a quiet constant in the Giant locker room and even more important a constant on the football field. Wide recievers who don't make themselves "THE SHOW," what a novel idea. To Jeff Feagles, a 20 year NFL veteran punter out of the "U" finally played in a Super Bowl and won one, the oldest player to play on the big stage. Finally, Michael Strahan . . . it pains me to give congrats to Strahan because he is probably one of the biggest self promoters in the history of the NFL but I have to. Strahan had to sit and watch as people pined for Brett Favre to participate in another Super Bowl, and he'd already won one. If you thought that Mike talked alot before, you haven't seen anything yet.

Plaxico Burress is a very good reciever and I respect him for that. I couldn't believe it when he said New England would score 17 points in the Super Bowl and it turns out that wasn't that far fetched, his defense is good and he was the first to say after the game, "CAN THIS DEFENSE GET A LITTLE RESPECT" that isn't self promotion, that is team promotion. He also ripped NE Defensive Back Ellis Hobbs by stating the obvious, he's 5'10" and I'm taller, turns out his touchdown that won the Super Bowl was caught over the shorter Hobbs. Plax has 2 Super Bowl rings now and should be treated as a top 5 wide reciever in the NFL if he isn't already.

The last thing I have to say about Super Bowl XLIVIVLVILLVI is that as much as I love hearing Patriot fans weap from Bangor, ME to Boxborough, MA I think they all get "it." The New York Giants and Tom Coughlin physically beat the New England Patriots and from September to February on any given Sunday, ANY team in the NFL can beat any other team they play and that is a wonderful thing. Football is America's game and only America's game.