Dreams Blog

October 26, 2014

Week 8 Giants Bye,
Buffalo (5-3) 43 Jets (1-7) 23
The Jets are not very good and that goes from the very top to the very bottom. The owner, Woody Johnson, is also wearing the “the Brown Serape” because he’s the one who hired Idzik and signed Ryan to an extension. I understand his wish for continuity; but you have to have some success to continue.
The total yards in this game were misleading. The Jets had 312 and the Bills- 280. But the Bills didn’t have to go far to score. The Jets had had 4 sacks, 4 int’s, 4 fumbles, and 10 penalties. No concentration- no preperatiom.
World Series
I think this year’s series might be more interesting if the teams playing were the pennant winners instead of fourth and fifth place teams.
Names To Remember
Free agents
Asdrubal Cabrera- 29, Jed Lowrie- 36, John Lester- 31, Max Scherzer-30.
Possible prospects
Luis Sevrino, Aaron Judge, Jacob Lindgren, Ian Clarke
Dear Me!
The Sports Curmudgeon passed, “an interesting item from Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald:
‘Olympic wrestler Dremiel Byers was cited for allegedly hunting deer at a Colorado Springs Lexus dealership … He was cited for hunting out of season. How about hunting out of place?’”
Punting To Infinity and Beyond
Dan Daniel told us: “
Since they just let Ray Guy into the Hall of Fame — and since the name of the game, after all, is football — why don’t we kick around the subject of punting for a while? So much has been made in recent years about the increasing infallibility of kickers, but punters, in my mind, have become just as proficient. It just doesn’t show up, in bright lights, on the scoreboard.
What steered me onto this topic was my growing awareness of Tress Way, the Redskins’ undrafted rookie from Oklahoma, who has been booting the bejabbers out of the ball. Through six games, Way is averaging a league-leading 51.2 yards with a 41.9 net. That first figure, if it holds up, would be second best in NFL history, behind only Sammy Baugh’s 51.4 in 1940 (which was inflated by a fair number of quick kicks).
Way, moreover, has been remarkably consistent, averaging 47 yards or better in each of the first six games. Only three other punters since 1960 have done that — Shane Lechler (twice), Donnie Jones and Mat McBriar.
It’s stunning, really, how the performance of punters has improved in the past decade. The 2007 season was the turning point. That was the first time a punter had a net average of 40 yards for a full season — Lechler and Andy Lee both did, in fact — and seven that year had a gross average of 45 or more. Since then, the numbers have just gone up and up.
Consider: From 1940 (when the league first started keeping the stat) to 2006, an NFL/AFL punter averaged 45 yards gross for a season exactly 100 times (minimum: 20 punts). In the seven-year stretch from 2007 to 2013, it happened almost as often: 95 times. Two seasons ago, 21 punters averaged 45 yards gross and 15 averaged 40 yards net.
Heck, the Colts’ Pat McAfee is netting 44.8 yards this season. If that were merely his gross average, it would be good enough to lead the league every year from 1974 to 1980.
There are all sorts of reasons why punters are kicking the ball to the moon these days. For one thing, some of them are bigger than their predecessors. (Let’s not forget: 5-foot-9, 168-pound quarterback Eddie LeBaron doubled as a punter for the Redskins in the ’50s.)
“That [Australian rules] game is a kicking game,” Smith said. “You’ve got guys kicking on the run, booting the ball from weird positions, kicking under pressure . . . and developing tremendous leg strength. Then they get over here, of course, and it’s all about perfect drops and [staying] stationary, that kind of thing.”
Ageless
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) wrote about Peyton Manning, “Watching the past two nationally televised performances from 38-year old Peyton Manning, I have no trouble imagining him still getting the job done four or five seasons down the road. Barring injury and even accounting for the inevitable erosion, would he be worse than in the top one-third of NFL quarterbacks when he’s 42 or 43? Who would bet against Manning setting a few more records while playing from a rocking chair?”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote- “ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, summoning his inner Yogi Berra: “You cannot lose games in the NFL and still win.
“Hall of Famer Mark Messier, speaking at a 30-year gathering of the 1984 Stanley Cup-champion Edmonton Oilers: “I never finished high school, so this is my first actual reunion.
“So who’s complaining?
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un hasn’t been seen in public for six weeks now.
On the bright side, neither has Dennis Rodman.”
“Teen Towers Dept.
Romanian basketball prospect Robert Bobroczky stands 7 feet 4, at age 13.
Kentucky coach John Calipari, vacationing in Bucharest, declined to comment.
“Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo.com, on why it’s fitting that the back of the Maple Leafs’ Zamboni features a Right Guard ad: ‘Because
they stink.’
“Ever see what’s left of a fluffy cat after you put it under a water tap? Same goes for the actual game action in an NFL broadcast.
Vox.com broke down the Bengals-Patriots game Oct. 6 and discovered that more than one-third of the air time — 35.5 percent — consisted of players standing around between plays, commercials- 24.5 percent, oh, and as for actual football being played? 8.3 percent.
Dwight quoted Lenny Berman of ThatsSports.com, “On the rechristened Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: “Yup, nothing goes together quite as well as spicy wings and a citrusy drink. What’s next, Guantanamo Bay sponsoring the Liberty Bowl?”
Brendan Alert
From Dwight Perry- Get a grip, Putin
“At a WWE event, the Big Show ripped down a Russian flag,” noted Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. “Before World War III starts, can someone quickly explain to the Russians about pro wrestling? Thanks.”

Dreams Blog

October 19, 2014

Week 7 Patriots (5-2) 27 Jets (1-6) 25
This was an unusual Thursday game- close until the end. Geno tried as hard as he could to put this in the Ws column but just didn’t have enough to close the deal. The Jets had to go for FGs 4 times instead of getting into the end zone. Here’s a team with 40 minutes in possession time, 423 total yards, and 218 yards rushing to the Pats’ 63 yards but didn’t win. The guys with the head sets have to explain that.
Dallas (6-1) 31 NY (3-4) 21
They keep telling me that there’s no cheering in the press box. I wish the guy doing the color commentary for the game would remember that. His smugness, his dislike for football teams from NY, and his intentional non-description of anything putting the Cowboys in a less than favorable light is infuriating. That’s not cheering, is it?
NY didn’t get a lot of interference, holding, and roughing the passer calls. Eli was 21/33,248 yds. No sacks or INTs. Compare that to Romo’s 17/23, 279 with 1 INT and 2 sacks. Am I letting my feelings show?
Thursday Night Football
The Sports Curmudgeon has a pretty workable solution to the lopsided games, “More than a few times during the season, a player cannot practice during the week but recovers sufficiently to play on Sunday. Most – if not all – of them would not be able to play on Thursday night without putting their well-being at greater risk than normal. The NFL injury reports and the media coverage of teams and their practices tell us this.
“The union and the league is kind of the same thing.”
Well, I am not the same as the union or the league and so let me offer a possible path toward resolving this issue:
Every team that plays a Thursday game will have a Bye Week the week before that game. Therefore, every player will have 10 days to recover/prepare for a Thursday game.
That means every team will need 2 Bye Weeks during the season and to accommodate that, the regular season would be extended to 18 weeks (but would stay at 16 games).
Players and coaches should like the extra time to prepare; the league and the union should like the extra revenue that another week of NFL games on TV will generate; the networks should like another week of highly rated programming; the fans should like being able to see more regular season games over a longer period of time. Only the folks in the scheduling department might dislike this idea because it would complicate their job ever so slightly.
Tuna Melt
Rich Cimini (ESPNNY.com) wrote about Bill Parcells’ view of Jets Michael Vick and Demario Davis, “Parcells wasn’t forgiving in regard to Michael Vick and Demario Davis. Asked about Vick’s admission that he wasn’t prepared for the game, Parcells said, “He should be ready to play, but that doesn’t surprise me.”
“Tuna” isn’t a Vick fan.
“I certainly don’t think he’s the answer to their problems,” he said. “I think Mike was a pretty good player for a while, but if you look at his history, it has been just OK, certainly nothing spectacular.”
Not surprisingly, Parcells didn’t endorse Davis’ headline-making remarks. After the game, the Jets linebacker questioned the team’s practice and film-study habits, saying he needed to do a better job of leading.
Asked how he’d handle something like that, Parcells said, “I’d tell him to shut up and do his job.”
Long MLB Games
The Sports Curmudgeon passed these along, “
Knicks- First Impression Here is another baseball-related idea from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
‘Parting thought: Baseball continues to mull ways to speed up games. They already rejected my idea: Relievers getting from bullpen to mound via catapult.’
Finally, here is a self-contained description of a minor sports event from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
‘The 60th Columbus Day Regatta wraps up Sunday on Biscayne Bay. That’s the local institution known for drinking, topless women, partying, debauchery, and when time allows, sailing.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………”
I Remember
I remember when I was a student at SJU, about 7000 years ago, Lou Carnesecca came into the practice gym and told a few of us that he was going to teach us a play called “The Auburn Shuffle.”
We tried to follow his instructions but kept bumping into each other. He threw up his hands in frustration and told us we’d never learn the play because we were thinking too much about what we had to do instead of just going with the flow of the game. That’s the way the Knicks looked against the Celts in the opening pre-game, while trying to learn the “triangle offense.”
Long Gone
I think that the Yankees are going to miss, hitting coach, Kevin Long more than they think. Mick Kelleher was the 1st base and infield coach. What did he do wrong? Nothing- the team just wanted it to look as though they were doing something.
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote: Priorities in disorder
The NFL fined Broncos tight end Julius Thomas $8,268 for his illegal chop-block that could sideline Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell for two or three weeks.
Meanwhile, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick got docked $10,000 for wearing the wrong brand of headphones to a postgame presser.”
Talking the talk-
Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, on the folly of provoking a trash-talk war with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman: ‘It’s like sitting too close to the stage in a comedy club and getting up to use the bathroom. Not going to end well for you.”
New Raiders coach Tony Sparano, seeking to put the team’s 0-4 start in the past, buried a football at practice.
In the coffin corner, one assumes.”
Haven’t gotten your fill of Derek Jeter yet? His game-used socks can be yours for $409.99 — each.
Or as Ian Hamilton of the Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post put it: “That gives new meaning to the term ‘getting hosed’”.

dreams blog

October 13, 2014

Week 6
Broncos (4-1) 31 Jets (1-5) 17
Good teams are able to overcome wrinkles in their game plan. When the Jets came within a TD of the Broncs, Denver seemed to say- “Hey wait a minute” and opened their scoring reservoir. Geno didn’t play that badly but had little in the way of pass protection, which allowed 4 sacks, and a lack of competent pass receivers. These guys had at least 4 drops. The Jets had less than 40 yds. rushing but the D seemed to confuse Manning at times, sacking him twice along with several hits. Now the Jets have a short week and meet the Pats.
Eagles (5-1) 27 Giants (3-3) 0
I’ll let Dan Graziano (ESPNNY.com) give you his impression, “They are what we thought they were all along — a rebuilding team that’s going to show progress in spurts but isn’t likely to sustain excellence anytime soon. They’re a team unlikely to be able to survive injuries to players as important to them as Cruz and injured running back Rashad Jennings, who missed this game with a knee injury of his own. They’re good enough and well-coached enough that it’s not going to shock you to see them win any given game, yet they’re unfinished enough that they can still get their helmets handed to them by a 2013 playoff team that has as many good players as the Eagles do.” The Giants had 253 total net yards on 51 plays. The Eagles had 448 total net yards on 70 plays.
What’s Wrong With The Jets?
Everything! Owner, Woody Johnson should put a little of Mr. Steinbrenner in his step and clean house. You can always get someone else who can’t do the job as the Jets have shown, so far.
Right now they’re sitting at 1-5 and are see Tom Brady warming up.
Ian O’Connor (ESPNNY.com) sees the Jets finishing at 3-13 with the top pick in the draft. He thinks they should go for Marcus Marista, the “all-world” QB from Oregon. Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) has a thought, “Jet lag- Jets QB Geno Smith missed a team meeting the night before Sunday’s 31-0 loss to the Chargers. Apparently it was the one in which they installed the touchdown plays.
Molinaro Maranara
“Numbers game: If the string of lopsided scores from the NFL Thursday night games are any indication, the mystical forces that control the football cosmos strongly disapprove of the new prime-time CBS package. Through five games, the average margin of victory has been 29 points, with no result closer than 20 points.
Dollars and sense: This week, the NFL signed an eight-year, $12 billion Sunday Ticket deal with Direct TV. Which is why as far as NFL owners are concerned, talk of firing Roger Goodell is just so much background noise.”
Safeties
Dan Daly wrote, “You’ve gotta admit, few things in football are more scintillating than a timely safety.
The only way the day could have been better is if one of the safeties had come in overtime. We’ve only had three of those, the most recent by the Dolphins’ Cameron Wake last season vs. the Bengals. Details here, courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.
Safeties are kind of like a two-dollar bill. They change the arithmetic of a game. Granted, the two-point conversion also changes the math, but not nearly as dramatically. The latter, after all, gives a club only one additional point; it would have kicked the PAT, which is virtually automatic, anyway. Also, after a successful two-point conversion, you have to kick the ball away (unless, of course, you want to risk an onside kick). After a safety, you get to retain possession. The other team has to kick the ball to you. (Plus, it puts That Crazy Look in the eyes of your defense, which should never be underestimated.) The biggest safety I can think of in recent years is the one that helped the Titans break open the 1999 AFC title game against the Jaguars. Tennessee was up 17-14 midway through the third quarter when defensive tackles Josh Evans and Jason Fisk broke through and sacked Mark Brunell in the end zone. Then Derrick Mason returned the free kick 80 yards for a touchdown, and the Titans were on their way to their first and only Super Bowl.
NFL Discipline
From the Sports Curmudgeon, we heard, “I also suggested there that the best way to deal with discipline would be to “outsource it” to an arbitration staff paid for by both the NFL and the NFLPA such that there would be no suspicion of pulling fiscal strings behind the scenes. Well, last week, the NFL and the NFLPA took a first step exactly that path. They agreed to hire an outside arbitrator to handle the appeal that Ray Rice and his attorneys have filed. This is a big deal. The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed on a single person to handle this matter and both sides have agreed to live with the consequences of that person’s decision here. That may seem very normal – even mundane – for us “ordinary citizens” but that has never been the case for the league and the union. Former US District Court judge, Barbara Jones, will be the arbitrator. For one, I hope that her handling of this matter is so exemplary that both sides come to the decision that hiring a small outside staff that will do nothing except handle disciplinary matters is a positive direction for both organizations.
Quotes
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) cited, “Ian Hamilton of the Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post, after swimmer Michael Phelps’ latest DUI arrest: “Phelps was released by police after doing a few lengths in the drunk tank.”
Stanford-ND
Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) recalled info about the 1st Stanford-ND game, “The first Stanford-Notre Dame game was the Rose Bowl of New Year’s Day 1925. The coaches were Rockne and Pop Warner, and Stanford sent the great Ernie Nevers onto the field against the fabled “Four Horsemen” of the Irish. To watch Notre Dame today, at home, is to be generously overwhelmed by the past. Here’s a vote of hearty approval.”

DREAMS BLOG

October 5, 2014

Week 5 Giants (3-2)30 Falcons (2-3) 20
All of the pre-game talk had the Giants being unable to keep up with Atlanta’s offensive machine. They fell behind the Falcons by 10 early but they stiffened and won by 10. Atlanta had less than 100 yds. on the ground and had a 15% 3rd down efficiency with a sack and an INT. Williams and Jennings rushed for 120yds. Beckham, Jr and Randle caught 4 each and Cruz had 3. The D was great!
Chargers (4-1) 31 Jets (1-4) 0
The Jets couldn’t cover SD’s receivers so to make up for it they let the Chargers run3wild. Total yards were 439 to 151. The Jets looked like a college Div.3 team playing a Super Bowl winner. I thought the Giants might not win 5. Now the Jets are in that category.
MLB Wild Card
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote, “One flaw of MLB’s new extra wild card is that it throws teams into awkward debates over whether or not to celebrate. The Giants backed into their playoff spot Thursday and actually had some internal discussion over whether or not to hold a playoff spray-off.
Our general policy here at Fun Central is to break out the Champagne at the slightest provocation. But if you have to form a committee to decide whether to pop the corks, it’s best to wait ’til the next round.
Sadly, baseball celebrations aren’t what they used to be. I remember the 1980 Phillies upending a huge buffet spread in their clubhouse and staging a crazed sliding exhibition. Witnesses emerged looking like survivors of a deli explosion.
Now you’ve got your protective tarps and your swim goggles. What, no shower caps? It’s like walking into a HazMat cleanup operation.
Eli To Donnell
Dan Grazianno (ESPNNY.com) marveled at the connection, “There he was, catching seven passes for 54 yards and three (three!) touchdowns in the Giants’ 45-14 victory over the Washington Redskins on Thursday night at FedEx Field. Donnell and the Giants (2-2) have figured out a way to use his height advantage with great success on third downs and in the end zone. And the team’s reconfigured offensive coaching staff is showing it is not afraid to keep doing the same thing over and over again — as long as it works.
But the biggest thing that has happened here is Coughlin and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo have accurately assessed their personnel and tailored an offense to fit it. Donnell isn’t a great inline blocker, and he’s not going to do anything after the catch. But man, he is tall. And he can jump. And his routes are clean. So you bet they’re going to throw it high to him on third down and at the goal line.
Perry Patter
Flush with pride
Critics say drawings of the Golden State Warriors’ new arena looks just like a toilet.
“Count your blessings,” muttered 25 Oakland A’s in unison. “Ours smells like one.”
“Sorry, wrong team
Shouldn’t Western Illinois receiver Hi-C Scott be playing for the Syracuse Orange?”
Dogged by injury
Tight end Joseph Fauria missed the Lions’ last game because he sprained his left ankle scrambling to prevent his 3-month-old puppy from urinating in his apartment.
Doctors say Fauria can’t resume practicing until he’s able to lift his leg.
Alan Ray, on Kobe Bryant’s version of the triangle offense: “Me, myself and I.”
Dan Daly’s Joy of Stats
“In his first NFL start, the Vikes’ Teddy Bridgewater completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards and . . . that’s it. No touchdowns, no interceptions. You might say it’s unusual to throw for 300 yards, average 10 per attempt (league norm: 7.1), avoid getting picked off and not have any TD passes. In fact, Bridgewater is just the third quarterback since 1960 to have such a game.
A big reason Bridgewater didn’t throw for any scores — except for a two-point conversion, that is — is that Minnesota ran the ball well when it got near the goal line. Matt Asiata pounded it in from 1, 3 and 6 yards out, and Teddy scrambled 13 for another touchdown. The four rushing TDs equaled the franchise record, first set in 1965.
Anyway, that’s how Bridgewater wound up with his unusual 30-19-317-0-0 line. (And it’ll probably never happen again).”
Daly’s Thoughts on Phelps
“Michael Phelps’ second DUI arrest the other day got me thinking about Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne, another member of the Drinking and Driving Club – and a classic example of how much attitudes toward such behavior have changed. In the ’50s and ’60s, when Layne was weaving down the road, an athlete getting pulled over was more likely to elicit eye rolls from fans than the condemnation being directed at Our Most Famous Swimmer. A different time, to say the least.
Like Phelps, Layne had multiple vehicular episodes — all coming not in his youth but toward the end of his career, when he was one of the most high-profile players in the NFL. Indeed, they seemed to happen every other year:
● A drunk driving arrest in Detroit in 1957, just before the season got underway.
● Another DUI arrest in Austin, Texas, after a 1959 exhibition game.
● And finally, an incident late in the ’61 season in which he drove into a stopped street car in Pittsburgh.
Nothing came of any of these screw-ups. Not a blessed thing. Layne ran a bootleg on the legal system the first two times — details to come — and talked his way out of it the third. And this being the boys-will-be-boys era in pro football, neither the league nor his teams (the Lions in the first instance, the Steelers in the other two) took any action.
You can imagine what the reaction would be today if, two weeks before the opener, a star quarterback was stopped at 2:10 a.m. for “traveling without lights . . . [and] straddling the center line,” then refused to take a breathalyzer test, according to reports. But Bobby skated because no jury in Detroit was going to convict the home-team QB, not one who’d led the Lions to two championships.”

Blog Post

September 29, 2014

Week 4 New York (2-2) 45 Washington (1-3) 14
All of the pundits said this game would be a slugfest because of the dislike for each other both teams had. Well it was all from one side-the Giants. The Washington’s didn’t hurt the NY chances with their 4 thrown INTs, 2 fumbles, and 11 penalties. This was coupled with NY’s good game plan, spirited play on both sides of the ball to create the lopsided NY win.
Lions (3-1) 24 Jets (1-3) 17
I thought the biggest problem exhibited by the Jets was in the defensive backfield. Even though the Jets sacked Stafford 4 times, he still had close to 300 yards in the air. The Lions only had 88 yds. On the ground. NY had 13. Geno-BOOOO!
The Jet DBs had a busted coverage that allowed a backup wide out to go for a 59 yard TD,
New League
The Sports Curmudgeon wrote about the “FXFL,” “Welcome to the world of the FXFL – the Fall Experimental Football League. The idea here is that the FXFL will be a feeder league/developmental program that ultimately provides players to the NFL. Here is what the league founder, Brian Woods, said about the FXFL objectives:
“Our long-term goal is to establish a partnership with the NFL and we feel can do that on many platforms. It would give them a way to work with younger players that they don’t currently have. We can help them train prospective NFL officials – in the NBA, every referee entering the league (in recent years) comes from NBA go for aDevelopmental League. We can be a testing ground for proposed rules, too.”
The FXFL begins play on October 8 with 4 teams:
Boston Brawlers (they will play in Harvard Stadium)
Brooklyn Bolts
Florida Blacktips
Omaha Mammoths
Games will take place on Wednesday and Friday nights and the schedule extends to Nov 12. The key to survival here is that “partnership with the NFL” that Brian Woods mentioned above. It could keep the league afloat long enough to let it establish some kind of following/fanbase in its cities. By the way, it would be a place for the NFL to work with the FXFL to look at rule changes in live action before instituting them. Changes to the rules regarding point after touchdown tries sound good on paper but may not be nearly so good with real players executing real plays. So, why not give them a “test drive” first?
Dwight Perry Patter From Seattle Times
“Suggested recruiting slogan for the Fall Experimental Football League’s Brooklyn Bolts: We’re Looking For A Few Good Nut Jobs.”
Tim Tebow, in case you missed it, has joined the cast of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” starting a new series called “Motivate Me Monday.”
“When Tebow was done with his report,” noted Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel, “he threw it back to George Stephanopoulos in the studio, but the transition sailed over his head.”
Darren Sproles and the NFL’s all-time Mighty Mites
Darren Sproles, hero of the Vertically Challenged and one of the best multi-purpose backs of his generation, was at it again Monday night in Indianapolis. The Eagles’ 5-foot-6, 181-pound dynamo had a career-high 178 yards from scrimmage as Philadelphia rallied to ruin the Colts’ evening, 30-27. (The breakdown: 152 receiving — also a career best — and 26 rushing.)
That means that in Sproles’ two outings since joining Philly as a free agent, he’s had momentum-turning 49-yard touchdown run against the Jaguars and a highlight-reel game against Indy, one that included catches of 57 and 51 and a 19-yard draw-play TD.
Nine years into his career, defensive coordinators are still trying to cover him out of the backfield with linebackers. (You almost felt sorry for Indy’s Josh McNary on the 57-yarder.) They’re still trying to pretend, when he comes into the game, that he doesn’t require special attention. Then again, maybe they don’t notice that he’s out there. He’s very adept at hiding behind his blockers.
Sproles’ running style might best be described as Duck and Dart — duck under the flailing arms of would-be tacklers and dart into (and through) hairline cracks in the defense. He doesn’t return kickoffs anymore, and he hasn’t run back a punt for a score since 2011, but he still has it in him. Even at 31, he’s got a nice burst.
He’s also been fortunate to play for coaches who maximized his abilities — first Norv Turner in San Diego, then Sean Payton in New Orleans and now Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. By the time he’s done, he’ll have, by my guesstimate, 7,500 of the quietest yards from scrimmage in NFL history. I say “quietest” because he’s never made the Pro Bowl . . . and probably never will.
Here’s all you really need to know about Sproles: In 10 playoff games, he’s scored seven TDs. (And in one of them, all he did was return kicks.) OK, here’s something else you could stand to know about him: In 2011 he just missed becoming the first running back in 53 years to carry 75-plus times in a season and average 7 yards an attempt. His numbers: 87 rushes, 603 yards, 6.93 average.
Which raises the question: Where does he rank among pro football’s all-time mighty mites? Answer: Well, he’s certainly a first-teamer. A look at some other notable players who measured 5-6 and under:
● “Mini Mack” Herron, RB, 1973-75 Patriots/Falcons – 5-5, 170. Drugs derailed Herron’s career, but he’ll always have 1974. That was the season he set an NFL record for all-purpose yards (2,444), tied for third in the league in touchdowns (12) and also ranked high in yards from scrimmage (1,298, seventh), punt return yards (517, second), punt return average (14.8, fourth) and several other categories. He and fullback Sam “Bam” Cunningham were quite a combination in the New England backfield.
● Lionel “Little Train” James, RB-WR, 1984-88 Chargers – 5-6, 171. In 1985 James became the first NFL running back to rack up 1,000 receiving yards in a season — 1,027 to be exact. (Later the same afternoon, the 49ers’ Roger Craig became the second.) Just one back has gained more (Marshall Faulk, 1,048 with the Super Bowl-winning ’99 Rams).”

Dreams Blog

September 23, 2014

Another Last Time
When Derek Jeter ends his Yankee Stadium time, Bob Sheppard’s voice will exit with him.
Week 3 Giants (1-2) 30 Texas (2-1) 17
As I watched this game I wondered who these guys, who beat Texas, wearing Giants’ gear were.
The game’s start had me shaking my head and saying, “Oh no, not again,” but it wasn’t that way at all. Aside from an early fumble and a botched long snap, the team played with spirit, confidence, and a sense of enjoyment.
Eli seemed to warm to the new offense and was 21/28, 234 yds. He was hitting his quick short passes and utilizing his run game. NO INTs. Cruz caught 5/107- 61yds RAC. Jennings had 176yds on 34 rushes.
Bears (2-1) 27 Jets (1-2) 19
The Jets couldn’t overcome those two horrible INT’s and 4 fumbles; yet they had 414 total net yds.- 316 gross in the air. The defense gave up 257 less than 50 on the ground.
Geno reminds me of Jim McMahon with a better arm.
My NFL Thoughts
Should the NFL- players, coaches, owners, and other staff members- be looked upon as beacons of behavior? Yeah, they should.
When you see all of that different team gear being worn, you could realize that those standing in the front of team photos might very well be seen to be examples of how to act and what to do. These people might not like this sort of attention but the big bucks they make creates that attention.
Additionally, if it comes out that NFL-Commissioner Roger Goodell wasn’t completely truthful about when he saw the Rice video (that includes someone else playing it while Goodell looked on) along with a subsequent cover-up, his job might hinge on that honesty.
Giant Talent Problem
Jonette Howard (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “It’s easy to say the Giants could’ve been this bad under departed offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, too. But that’s forgetting they were, in fact, very bad. Remember? The 2013 Giants ranked 28th out of 32 teams in total yards, their rushing attack ranked 29th and they were tied for 28th in points per game (18.4, or just .3 ppg. better than then-rookie Geno Smith’s Jets).
Long ago that became a tiresome refrain when it comes to Eli, who has thrown a staggering 85 interceptions since 2010. No other active quarterback had more than 75.
Blocking The Plate
Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) wrote: “The rules makers went too far. Runners are so terrified of contact now, they don’t seem to realize that they can initiate a collision if the catcher has the ball and gives them no clear lane. Gripped by indecision, they often leave themselves vulnerable to injury with awkward slides. “And for us,” Detroit outfielder Torii Hunter told USA Today, “you’re causing bad throws because we don’t want to put it right on the plate. The whole thing is stupid.”
Rule 7.13 was changed this week, but only to allow for common sense: If a runner is going to be out by 15 feet, the catcher’s positioning is now irrelevant. But what about Wednesday night’s play in the Rays-Yankees game, when Stephen Drew was bearing down on the plate, the throw arrived directly over his shoulder from the left-field line, and catcher Ryan Hanigan had no choice but set up in front of the plate? Denied a crucial path, Drew was out trying a skewered slide inside the foul line.
“Next time?” New York manager Joe Girardi said. “I’m telling him to bowl (the catcher) over.”
Maddon’s Mayhem
It seems the Tampa manager, Joe Maddon, has made throwing at Yankee hitters part of his game plan. He feels that the Yankees won’t follow their plan of waiting for good pitches if they’re mad. Andrew Marchand (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “After a loss that saw three New York Yankees e jected and the benches clear, a “pissed” Joe Girardi accused the Tampa Bay Rays of pitching inside incompetently.
What made Girardi ultimately erupt was when Derek Jeter was hit by inexperienced reliever Steven Geltz in the eighth inning.
It marked the fifth time a Yankee had been hit by a Ray in the past four games, while the Yankees have not hit any Rays. Jeter has been hit twice, and Chase Headley ended up in the hospital after being hit on the chin (Maddon said that was a graze).
“If you are going to pitch inside, learn how to pitch inside,” Girardi said. “You pitch down in the zone. You don’t pitch up. This is not practice. This is guys’ livelihood.”
“I agree with everything he said, but to pitch inside correctly or incorrectly, that’s not the point,” Maddon said. “It is called baseball; sometimes hitters get hit. But I understand their frustration entirely. We are not going to apologize for it because it is part of the game. But I do get why he was upset.”
Perhaps Maddon would appreciate the baseball play where the hitter drops a bunt down the 1st base line and runs over the covering pitcher who would be blocking the runners path.
Perry’s Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) sent this: “Parting shot
So what’s up with the new Levi’s Stadium needing two turf implants already?
“Scientists can put a lush head of hair on Marv Albert,” wrote Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, “but they can’t put a decent rug on the 49ers’ field? Go figure.”
RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on banished Browns receiver Josh Gordon working as an auto salesman: “Warning to car buyers: Questions about tires are fine, but don’t ask him about the suspension.”
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, on Mike Tyson stopping by Toronto city hall to visit embattled mayor Rob Ford: “Mike Tyson and Rob Ford — what could possibly go right?
Brotherly Love?
Philadelphia pitcher Jonathan Papelbon made a lewd gesture to the home crow, earned himself a seven-game suspension.
Or more precisely, two games for the gesture and five for mimicking Phillies fans.”
Dwight quoted this headline from Fark.com, “Floyd Mayweather Jr. earns $32 million for staying out of trouble for 36 minutes.”
No Math Please
Dwight quoted Jim Bouton, “How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?”

Blog Post

September 15, 2014

Week 2 Cardinals (2-0) 25 Giants (0-2) 14
In his post-game presser, when he was asked about this loss, Coach Coughlin said that the players knew what to do but they didn’t execute. That meant they didn’t have the ability. They turned the ball over four times (2 ints-2 fumbles) and committed 9 penalties. Arizona scored 5 times (2 td-3fg). I can’t root for the Giants to make the playoffs; I can only root for them to win 5 games.
Packers (1-1) 31 Jets (0-2) 24
I couldn’t believe that 3rd Q td was disallowed because the officials said time was called. Where were the replays showing that Morningweig ran down the side line to have Ryan call time? I don’t believe it happened. The ref blew it. They didn’t get it right. However, that wasn’t the reason the Jets lost. They were up 21-3 and let the Pack come back. Smith looked pretty good- not so the Jets D. Green Bay had 6 scores with 310 yds. passing.
Discipline
The Sports Curmudgeon gave his opinion: “More than a few folks have written – and sports talk radio is all over this idea – that Roger Goodell has to be fired in the wake of the goat rodeo involving Ray Rice and his fiancée/wife. I do not think that is necessary or justified and I believe that those who are calling for his dismissal are missing the point about what a Commissioner for a major sport is supposed to do. The problem is history.
The first sports Comish in the US was Kennesaw Mountain Landis; he got the job to be the capo di tutti capi in MLB after the Black Sox scandal in 1919. He was supposed to rule with an iron fist and make sure everyone in the game toed the line. Most people think he did that; I happen to think that Landis was a lot more bluster than tough guy but I am probably in the minority there. People have come to think that Job Duty #1 for a sports commissioner is to be a disciplinarian. Not so…
The job of the commissioner is to grow the league and the measures of league growth are things like revenue, attendance, public awareness, TV ratings etc. All of those are intertwined but when you take them as a package and add to them the responsibility to deal constructively with the players’ union, you have the modern set of responsibilities for a league commissioner. Unfortunately, they also seem to carry the burden of history with them and they are also expected to be “The Disciplinarian”. That role does not mesh well with “grow the league” and “deal constructively with the union”.
I think the best solution to the angst and anger that exists at the moment over the Ray Rice matter is to look for ways to evolve the system to a point where “The Disciplinarian” is a job separate and distinct from the NFL front office and from the NFLPA. Like the US, these folks need a “third branch of governance”.
The Disciplinarian” and whatever staff he/she needs will cost money. Everyone in every position is beholden to whoever pays his/her salary. Therefore, the costs for “The Disciplinarian” and his/her staff need to be borne by the NFL and the NFLPA in equal measure.
If there were indeed a person who was “The Disciplinarian”, no one would be thinking that Roger Goodell should be fired about now because he is doing his main job (grow the league) quite well.”
Best QB Start
Dan Daily gave this to us: “BEST WEEK 1 RECORDS FOR STARTING QUARTERBACKS SINCE 1960
1969-79 Roger Staubach Cowboys 9-0 1.000
2002-13 Tom Brady Patriots 11-1 .917
2002-13 Michael Vick Falcons, Eagles 6-1 .857
2007-13 Jay Cutler Broncos, Bears 6-1 .857
1963-68 Frank Ryan Browns 5-1 .833
2008-13 Joe Flacco Ravens 5-1 .833
Quite a group, isn’t it? You’ve got a guy who served four years in the Navy, including a stint in Vietnam, before starting his NFL career (Staubach). You’ve got a guy who’s married to a supermodel (Brady). You’ve got a guy who did time in prison for running a dogfighting operation. And you’ve got a guy who titled his doctoral thesis in math: “Characterization of the Set of Asymptotic Values of a Function Holomorphic in the Unit Disc” (Ryan).
(The latter will always get a laugh at parties, by the way. Just say, preferably when one of your friends has a mouthful, “I’ll take ‘Characterization of the Set of Asymptotic Values of a Function Holomorphic in the Unit Disc’ for $1,000, Alex.”)
Anyway, would have expected to see Vick on this list? Or Cutler, for that matter? (Flacco I had a vague awareness of just because he plays up the road.) Some other factoids that might interest you:
● Dan Marino (10-6, .625) didn’t make the cut, but he did win his last eight openers (1992-99). Heck of a streak. Dan Fouts (9-3, .750) didn’t make the cut, either, but he won nine of 10 openers in one stretch (1976-86, an injury keeping him out in ’77). Another terrific streak.
● Brady has won his last 10 (2004-13), though he made only a cameo appearance in the ’08 game, when he blew out his knee against the Chiefs.
● Peyton Manning is almost as good in openers as his father Archie was bad (2-9, .182). Of course, his dad got stuck playing for the Saints in their Paper Bag Days. Brother Eli, meanwhile, is 4-5 Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 9.32.43 AM(.444).
● Wins by Brady (vs. Miami) and Manning (vs. Indianapolis) would give each of them 12 opening-game victories, as many as any QB has had in the modern era.” More Of Perry’s Patter
Scientists can use DNA analysis to identity 19th Century serial killer Jack the Ripper, but we can’t avoid “added time” to the scoreboard clock in a world-class soccer game?
Ex-PGA Tour golfer Dan Halldorson, to the Medicine Hat (Alberta) News, on how he lost 20 pounds during his three-month stint as an instructor in China: “I was using two sticks to

Dreams Blog

September 9, 2014

Week 1 Jets 19 (1-0) Raiders 14 (0-1)
We saw Geno open the game making bad choices resulting in an INT and a lost fumble. He turned it around going 23/29 in the air with 1 INT. The Jets’ D was impressive allowing only 158 total yds. The Jets even rushed for 212 yds. (102 by Ivory and 68 by Johnson).
Johnette Howard (ESPNNY.com) gave a few thoughts on game: “Oakland’s rookie quarterback, Derek Carr, make the Jets pay for the error-strewn game Smith and the offense hung up, the scoring attempts they squandered and the offense’s part in committing seven of those 11 penalties, three of them momentum-killers by veteran guard Willie Colon. (An eighth penalty for offensive holding was declined because Smith was sacked anyway.) But the Jets won’t beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers — or survive the Bears, Lions, Chargers, Broncos and Patriots that come right after that — if they’re not sharper.”
Lions 35 (1-0) Giants 14 (0-1)
This was a terrible game for a Giants fan to watch. The Lions had 341 yards in the air, while the Giants had 163- along with 2 INTs and two sacks. NY was 23% in 3rd down conversions. In total yards it was: Detroit 417 NY 197. This wasn’t a failure of the west coast offense as much as a failure of the front office to put talented players, on both sides of the ball, in uniform.
A Look Back
Dan Daley, who wrote for the D.C. Post, now has a sports blog where he wrote about Red Smith, who had a flair for writing that hasn’t been equaled since. One snippet is included here as an example of his talent. It deals with the 1958 “Ice Bowl” between the Packers and the Cowboys: “It was the coldest Dec. 31 in the Green Bay records – 13 below zero at kickoff with a perishing wind carrying misery out of the northwest at 15 miles an hour. In spite of the 14 miles of 1for cleats. On the sidelines, players huddled under canvas hogans warmed by electric heaters, but out on the field there was no mercy.”
Dan talked about the vanishing NFL shutouts, “NFL defenses posted just three shutouts last season, one off the all-time low. There weren’t many the previous three years, either — six in 2012 and five in both ’11 and ’10. You don’t have to be Norman Einstein, as Joe Theismann would say, to figure out that’s one shutout every 53.9 games — in this decade, at least.
The whitewash in pro football is even more of an endangered species than the complete-game whitewash in baseball.
If this offensive explosion keeps up — and it shows no signs of abating — the shutout may go the way of the single-bar facemask. Especially with kickers becoming increasingly accurate. Since 2000, 183 shutouts have been spoiled by a single field goal. That didn’t happen nearly as often in the Pre-Soccer-Style Era.
How about the 1970 Cardinals (8-5-1) — Beat Houston Oilers 44-0, Patriots 31-0, Cowboys 38-0. (Note: A three-week stretch in which they outscored their opponents 113-0.) Missed playoffs. Hall of Famers (2): CB Roger Wehrli, FS Larry Wilson.”
NFL Development
Dan wrote about this anniversary, “A fairly noteworthy 50th anniversary is coming up — on Sept. 13, to be exact. It’ll be interesting to see how much attention is paid to it. On that date in 1964, in the Bills’ opener against the Chiefs, Pete Gogolak kicked the first soccer-style field goal in pro football history. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of too many developments in the game that have been more impactful than that.
In ’57, NFL kickers — all of them using their toes instead of the side of their foot — were successful on 52.2 percent of their field goal tries. Last season they made 86.5 percent (and were good on 67.1 from 50 yards and beyond).
Then, too, kickers are now specialists, among the most important members of any team. In the ’50s, when rosters were much smaller, they tended to be position players who were versatile enough to handle two jobs.(Pat Summerall was an end and Paul Hornung- a RB).
And it all began — in the pros, at least — 50 years ago with Pete Gogolak stepping back at Buffalo’s War Memorial Stadium and side-footing through a 13-yarder to give the Bills an early 3-0 lead in Week 1. Two seasons and 47 field goals later, Gogolak was in such demand that he jumped leagues and joined the Giants, a signing that intensified the AFL-NFL war and helped bring about the merger.
Strikeouts Curve Is Trending Up
Ready for today’s physics lesson?
Strikeouts are on a steady rise. Of the top 14 strikeout kings of all time, four are active. When you think of strikeouts, you think of Reggie Jackson, the all-time whiff king (2,597), but he played 21 seasons, and only twice did he top 156 strikeouts. His worst season was 171. Whiff-wise, Reggie couldn’t carry the jock of Chris Carter, who struck out 212 times last season.
The shame factor is gone. When was the last time you saw a batter choke up with two strikes?
Put this on a graph: In 1950, two major-league hitters struck out 100 times or more. In 1970, there were 27. In 1990, 37. This season, there will be about 110.
Babe Ruth never struck out 100 times.
Reasons for the whiffademic? Pitchers throw harder, for fewer innings, have more pitches and throw them in less-predictable patterns. Batters swing harder and miss more. Fewer balls are squared up, catchers are dodging (or not) more bullets.
Sorry, catchers, there’s no solution, unless we can bring back Joe DiMaggio or at least Reggie Jackson. Your bell is going to get rung. In the words of former Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith: “Ice up, son.”
Idle Thought
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) thought that, “Tiger Woods fired his swing coach because the golfer couldn’t fire himself.”
Far Out Debut
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us about, “Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler, who hit a home run in his first MLB at-bat, added two more in his third game, leaving him with a gaudy 1.545 slugging percentage.
(Readers: Insert your own “Soler power” punchline here.)”

Dreams Blog

August 29, 2014

giants/jets
I deliberately used lower case letters because both teams as a whole have to step up their play when the season begins to get their fans on board.
Joey Chestnut Tackle This
Dwight Perry (Settle Times) wrote that: “The Green Bay Packers are rolling out theHorse Collar, a 22-inch U-shaped kielbasa covered in beer cheese and fried sauerkraut, at concessions stands this season.
“It’s made for two,”
Heath Barbato, Lambeau Field’s executive chef, told ESPN.com. “If you can tackle this one alone, you’re a champ.”
And it’s just $20 — tax, Tums and five-way quintuple-bypass surgery not included.”
Where Do NFL Coaches Come From
Ray Fittipaldo (Pgh. Post-Gazette) wrote, “In the National Football League, the criteria for selecting a head coach has little to do with one’s playing career. The owners of the 32 NFL teams might as well have “No Experience Required” in boldface on the job description for the most important position in their organizations.
The number of head coaches with NFL playing experience has decreased dramatically in the past 30 years while the other three major sports churn out ex-player after ex-player for head coaching jobs.
In MLB, 83 percent of managers on opening day this year played in the majors.
In the NHL, 60 percent of the head coaches reached the league and 43 percent in the NBA.
In the NFL, only 19 percent — six of 32 ­— of the head coaches who will lead their teams into the 2014 season played in the league.
Playing experience has never mattered much in the NFL. It has become less important as head coaches become more like CEOs. They must be able to delegate to assistants because the job entails so much more than it once did.
Vince Lombardi, who is widely considered the greatest head coach of all-time, never played in the NFL. Neither did Bill Walsh or Paul Brown.
Still, as late as 1984, half of the league’s head coaches ­— 14 of 28 — had played in the NFL. This season only Ron Rivera of Carolina, Doug Marrone of Buffalo, Jason Garrett of Dallas, Jim Harbaugh of San Francisco, Jeff Fisher of St. Louis and Ken Whisenhunt of Tennessee played in the NFL.
Numerous factors have contributed to the trend. The game’s economics are one factor. Higher player salaries mean more players don’t have to work in retirement if they are smart with their money.
The average NFL salary in 1970 was $23,000. Today it is nearly $2 million.
D-Back’s Woes
Ray Fittipaldo told us about all of the pass interference calls being made this pre-season, “Officials continue to throw flags in preseason games with alarming regularity. Defensive players continue to complain.
Penalties are up by 45 percent overall this preseason and defensive penalties have almost doubled. Those of the defensive holding or illegal contact variety have more than tripled.
Instead of starting the season the week of Labor Day, the NFL should have kicked off in the second week of June — on Flag Day.”
Bavetta Retires His Whistle
NBA senior referee is going to retire this year after working in the league for close to 40 years. He was fortunate enough to have learned from the likes of Mendy Rudolph and Ritchie Powers. Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald said about Dick Bavetta, 74, finally retiring as an NBA referee: “Bavetta has seen it all in 39 years. Well, except for traveling.”
Curmudgeon Comments
The Sports Curmudgeon commented on Bavetta and more. “NBA official, Dick Bavetta, is calling it quits after 39 years on the whistle in the league. He began his career in 1975; to put that in perspective for you, the NBA/ABA merger did not happen until 1976. Bavetta is 74 years old; he has earned some peace and quiet in his retirement years.”
“Last week, MLB upheld a game protest for the first time in about 30 years. The game was called because the field was unplayable after the Cubs’ grounds crew was unable to get a tarp onto the field to protect it from a monsoon like rain. MLB said that the Cubs could not win a game for that reason and ordered the game to be classified as a suspended game and resumed at the point where play stopped. [Aside: The Cubs eventually won the game but did so after playing a full 9 innings.] That is enough of a story to point a finger at the Cubbies as “loveable losers” and say that even their groundskeepers are inept. However, there may be more to the story…
According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, the inability of the grounds crew to get the tarp out effectively stems from a major reorganization that occurred within the Cubs last winter. According to that report, the fundamental reason for the reorganization was to be sure that the seasonal workers on the grounds crew stayed under 130 hours of work per month because if they got to 130 hours per month they would then be classified as “full-time workers” under the Affordable Care Act and … well, you can fill in the blanks here.

Is that really the reason for the failure of the grounds crew to be able to put out the tarp? Obviously, I have no inside information on that but let me assume for moment that the Sun-Times’ report is correct. If that is the case, then the folks who own the Cubs should be put in the stocks and publicly shamed. Please do not interpret that last statement as an endorsement of the Affordable Care Act; the utility or futility of that law will become self-evident sometime around 2017 or 2018; there is no need to worry about it now. What I mean is that the Cubs as an organization is a high revenue operation that operates in something called “Major League Baseball”. That kind of behavior is anything but “Major League”
Perry’s Post
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) quoted:
“Argus Hamilton, scoffing at the NFL penalizing players for smoking pot: “The only way marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug is if somebody puts a Hershey bar on the goal line.”;

Dreams Blog

August 23, 2014

The Hues News
On Friday, August 22nd, we saw “Gang Green” meet “Big Blue” at CitiField for bragging rights in NYC won by the Giants 36-24. This was still technically still a preseason exhibition game where numbers don’t count toward a season’s final record. It interested me because it was our two teams playing. The Giants showed that cohesion was needed on the “O” line and in pass coverage. They seemed to run well with 119yd.
The Jets were impressive and I liked Geno’s game improvement. He looked 100% better than the start of last year. He knew where he was supposed to be on nearly every play. The team seemed to feed on his improvement running for 146 yds. which is a huge improvement from last year.
In the final analysis, I sure that both teams are glad they have another week to get better.
A Chilling Answer
Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) gave me a reason that I shouldn’t have rooted for Tim Brosnan in the MLB Commissioner’s election, “Tim Brosnan, is a real beauty. As executive vice president of MLB’s business wing, he has presided over the comprehensive blackout policy that prevents fans around the country – particularly those in outlying areas – from watching baseball. Old “deny fans the product” Tim. Nice philosophy.”
Is The Mic On?
The Sports Curmudgeon looked at some of those athletes turned commentators and found some he liked and others- not so much. He liked Aikman, Collingsworth, and Simms. I agree except I just don’t like Aikman.
He passed on Tony Siragusa: “He tries too hard to be the latter-day Art Donovan,” Michael Irvin: “What he does to the English language is what workers in an abattoir do to the carcass of a steer. I fear that my 12th grade English teacher – wherever she may be in the cosmos – gets a twinge in her spine every time Irvin goes off on one of his expository flights of fancy. As often as not, I change the channel mid-way into one of his commentaries,” and Curt Schilling: “He is destined to make Sominex an unnecessary product.”
GOTW
TV ratings for the MLB Game of the Week have dropped like stones. New Commissioner Rob Manfred has to realize that the GPTW has lost its appeal because most baseball games are being shown on TV, except in LA, so there’s no special draw. When there were fewer games on TV, there was an interest in watching out of town games, so MLB has to find a new source of revenue.
What about screening exhibition games against foreign national teams?
Marketing Move
Bob Molinaro (Hampton Roads.com) told us that although, “He won’t be wearing it until his return from a fractured leg, but Paul George has changed his Indiana Pacers uniform number from 24 to 13 so that he can go by the nickname PG-13.”
Rio Return
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about the new Olympic logo designed by the same people who built all of those unusable sports venues: “The folks in charge of the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 revealed their “Look of the Games” branding design for the event. I cannot even begin to describe it; you will have to look there to see it for yourself.
The creators of that “thing” say that it demonstrates the “harmonic diversity” of Brazilians and it took them a year’s worth of “research” to bring it forth. I admit that I have about as much appreciation of abstract art as your typical Visigoth; but to me, it looks more like something a kid in first grade might do with finger-paints in art class. Looks more like “atonal nonsense” than “harmonic diversity” to me.” I think it looks like something out of “Sponge Bob.”
“There has been a lot attention to the Notre Dame football players who have been suspended while an investigation goes on regarding academic fraud and cheating. No matter what the findings of the investigators and the school’s tribunal, that situation will not end well. When one juxtaposes that story with the monumental hypocrisy of the NCAA with regard to exploiting athletes in the revenue sports, it is pretty easy to get to a point where one’s gag reflex is initiated. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel looked at that situation and came to this conclusion:“Notre Dame supposedly has sidelined four football players because of academic fraud. My question: Is there a bigger oxymoron in college football than “academic fraud”? Don’t kid yourself, all of the big-time programs — by hiding their dozens of scholastically challenged players in gut courses and pointless majors — are academic frauds down to their very core.”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote:
“This is what you call perspective-
Golfer Jim Furyk hasn’t won on tour since September 2010 — and he blew a three-stroke lead in the final round to lose last month’s Canadian Open — but you won’t see him complaining.
‘I get to do what I love to do for a living,’ Furyk told AP. ‘I play a game. I get to make a pretty darn good living doing it. So for me to feel bad for myself, I would venture that close to 100 percent of the world is not going to feel too bad for me. And I don’t think they should.’
Footnote: Furyk, during his so-called dry spell, has earned prize money totaling $13 million.”
“Drastic measures-
“The NFL announced they are placing tracking chips in players’ shoulder pads to measure how far and fast they run in a game,” noted Alex Kaseberg. “This from the league that still measures first downs with three guys, two sticks and a chain.”
“They bobbled this one-
The Tigers handed out 10,000 Miguel Cabrera bobble-head dolls Friday night, depicting the slugger holding two National League MVP awards.
Hey, don’t laugh: Miggy did hit .391 in interleague play last season.”
“At AL.com: “ ‘Johnny Football’ to begin season as ‘Johnny Bench. ” “Just asking-Since Johnny Manziel’s obscene gesture came in a preseason game, shouldn’t any resulting fines qualify for an early-bird discount?”
Bah Humbug
Dwight Perry told us that, “LeBron James is scheduled to play his first game in Miami, since returning to the Cavaliers, on December 25th.
Merry Christmas, Heat fans!”

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