Dreams Blog

October 26, 2012

Week 7
Giants (5-2) 27 ‘Skins (3-4) 23
The “cardiac kids” did it again. Manning’s pass to Cruz in the last minutes of the game pulled it out. DC had more yardage but their turnovers told the tale. The NY D MUST improve if the Giants want to take the prize again this year. Allowing 250 ground yds.& 230 in the air is unacceptable.
Pats (4-3) 29 Jets (3-4) 26
This was a tough game won in OT. I think Ryan has to show a little “blood lust” when closing out a game. Admittedly, these weren’t the Patriots of several years ago, but the O line still can’t give up 4 sacks. Kerley had 7 catches for 120yds. and Keller caught 7 for 93 yards.
Peter Quillin
Peter Quillin (28-0,20KO) won the WBO Middleweight title on 10/20 at Bklyn.’s Barclay Center. He earned a unanimous decision over the reigning champion, Hassan N’Dam N’Jokam with a patient (often using a “rope-a-dope” to conserve energy), strong attack where N’Dam was floored six times.
No matter how the TV guys tried to say it was a close fight that could go either way, my 116-107 scoring told the story.
Quillin brought the belt back to the USA- Kelly Pavlik was the last US Middleweight champ.
Jim McMahon
I’ve spoken several times about the NFL players who’ve been affected by early onset dementia thought to be caused by multiple concussions suffered by the player during his playing days.
Brad Rock (Deseret News) wrote about Jim McMahon, of BYU and the Chicago Bears). McMahon was a “free spirit” in shades and is now being held captive by his own brain. “We recall the post-BYU McMahon, who mooned a news chopper, rocked a Mohawk and scribbled the NFL commissioner’s name on his headband. That guy is gone? He’s in there somewhere. Reports say he has early-onset dementia. “My memory’s pretty much gone,” he told the Chicago Tribune. So he writes lists of things he must recall. But even he admits he’s not so tough anymore, thanks to those concussions in the NFL. He has joined 2,400 other former NFL players who are suing the league for allegedly not alerting players to the dangers of head injuries.
I Got A Name I Got A Name
Bob Molinaro feels the same as I do- well, maybe not for the same reason, but, I’ll take that. He wrote about the Redskins QB Robert Griffen aka RG III. “Umenyiora was right when he said Griffin hadn’t earned his nickname. But that was then. Approaching Sunday’s game between the Redskins and Giants, Osi good-naturedly changed his stance. “Sir,” he said “His name is Sir Robert Griffin. That’s what I refer to him now. I mean, look what he’s done. Look at the way he’s performed as a rookie.” No more Bob Griffin, then. But what I don’t like about this silly, little name game is the notion that calling the Skins’ quarterback “Bob” is some sort of putdown. When asked, Griffin insisted that he wasn’t bothered that Umenyiora had called him “Bob.” For obvious reasons, this struck me as odd. Why should Griffin be offended? What’s wrong with “Bob?” Bob Dylan has done all right with the name. It hasn’t exactly hurt his career and legacy. Same with Bobs Costas and Knight, and even SpongeBob SquarePants. I understand that Bob is considered a square name from a distant era – it was the most popular name for American boys born in 1953 – but aren’t some things, like the songs of Dylan and Bob Marley and the poetry of Bob Frost, timeless? From the Germanic, Robert stands for “bright fame.” Maybe that’s an appropriate fit for someone who tacks “III” onto the back of his name and uniform. But Bob is plainer; it doesn’t put on airs. Fans worship at No. 10’s Sunday services, but would his passes be less accurate, would he be slower sprinting from the pocket, would he lead the Redskins to fewer victories or show up in commercials less often if he went by Bob Griffin? I guess we’ll never know.”
I Can’t Kick Those Thoughts
Norman Chad (DC Post) wrote about today’s field goal kickers. “Playing from 1946 to 1967 with the Cleveland Browns, Hall of Fame place kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza made 54.9 percent of his field goal attempts. Nowadays, 77 percent doesn’t even get you into the top 50 all-time for accuracy. Whatever happened to all those wild-and-crazy kicking brothers — the Zendejas boys, the Gogolaks, the Bahrs, the Gramaticas — who only made two-thirds of their kicks? I’ll tell you what happened to them — Martin and Bill Gramatica now run the Gramatica Kicking Camp in Florida, where they are producing the next generation of can’t-miss robo-kickers; I assume they spend at least an hour instructing campers how not to tear an anterior cruciate ligament while celebrating a first-half field goal. The numbers are eye-popping: In 1967, NFL kickers made 51 percent of their field goal attempts. In 2008 — a year in which Sebastian Janikowski attempted a 76-yard field goal; who knew then-Raiders Coach Lane Kiffin was a visionary? — NFL kickers made a record 84.5 percent. This year, that mark likely will be broken, and kickers are making two-thirds of their attempts from 50 yards and beyond.
Place kickers today are more accurate, with more distance, than ever.
I’ve heard many explanations — better training regimens, better playing conditions, more turf fields, more domes, the wonders of mile-high Denver. But, hey, it’s one thing to be kicking at altitude, it’s another thing to be making field goals from Mars.” The Fall To Earth
The Sports Curmudgeon ranted about Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace and that it was greater than that of any other modern athlete aside from that of OJ Simpson. Simpson had at one time the same likeability and affableness as Armstrong.
Yet I think that Armstrong’s elevation to sport’s Mt. Rushmore was purely a media thing because his sport of Cycle Racing is a very minor one in this country and doesn’t create the same buzz as baseball, football, or basketball and never will.

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Dreams Blog

October 19, 2012

Week 6
Giants (4-2) 26 Niners (4-2) 3
Victor Cruz said this win was a “Signature Game.” That game’s signature was as big as John Hancock’s on the Declaration Of Independence.
The Giants usually have a hard time when they travel to ‘Frisco, but this time they quieted the Niners all over the field. They had 3 ints & 6 sacks on Alex Smith. Wilson is exciting on runbacks and could break one every time he runs one back.
Jets (3-3) 35 Colts (2-3) 0
Is a fake punt a Wildcat? Who cares, when it works (as it did in the Colts game). Dominant- that’s how I’d describe the Jets performance. They had 2 picks and 4 sacks. Shonn Green ran for 161yds. & McKnight had 71. Sanchez threw 11/18,82 and Tebow was 1/1,23
What Could I Buy?
Those Congressional earmarks our DC Reps added onto the Federal Budget total about 1% of the expenditures. That doesn’t sound like a lot but remember the budget spending total is more than $3.5Trillion. I can’t check that because all of those zeros made me dizzy.
In The Final Analysis
Was all the money spent by the US Anti-Doping Agency to investigate Lance Armstrong warranted? Was it spent to justify their existence? Did taxpayer money pay for that?
Chamberlain Was Lucky
Joba Chamberlain was hit on the elbow by the fat end of a shattered maple bat. It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured by one of these sharp missiles. Uncle Bud Selig sounds like Sgt. Schultz when Schultz used to say, “I see nothing. I see nothing.”
The A-Rod Question
Mike Bianci (OrlandoSentinel) asked if anyone else felt that A-Rod’s power shortage started when Rodriguez stopped using steroids.
Gambling & The NFL
Norman Chad had some thoughts about the NFL’s hypocrisy. “(Hypocrisy was a spiritual descendant of the Greek god Hypocrates, who never practiced what he preached and purportedly was the first Raiders fan.) The NFL’s spectacular growth over the past half-century has been dual-fueled by television and gambling. The league puts out a compelling product greatly enhanced by broadcasters and bookies, yet the league has always distanced itself from the serious and friendly money wagered on all of its games. This year, for the first time, the league is allowing teams to display local casino advertising in stadiums, as long as the casino does not have a sports book. “We remain steadfast in our opposition to the proliferation of gambling on NFL games,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy announced. “There is a distinction between accepting advertising in a limited fashion and gambling on the outcome of our games. “Let’s review both parts of that statement. ‘We remain steadfast in our opposition to the proliferation of gambling on NFL games.’
Translation: ‘Where would we be WITHOUT the proliferation of gambling on our games?’ ‘There is a distinction between accepting advertising in a limited fashion and gambling on the outcome of our games.’ Translation: ‘Casino millions, come on down!!!’ Speaking of the proliferation of gambling on NFL games, the league has its own website – nfl.com/fantasy. As in fantasy football.”
GMs Try To Improve The Team
Baseball’s off-season is the time that teams analyze their make-up and look for areas where improvements can be made.
The field manager’s job is important but not THAT important. “In baseball the players make the manager far more frequently than the other way around,” Tony Mazz of the Boston Globe said. But to get those players, the team MUST have someone who is able to evaluate potential signees- someone like, the Yankees’, Gene Michael. There must also be a group in place who can scout and has smarts.
Tebow-Flage
If Tim Tebow weren’t a member of the Jets along with the accompanying media hoo-ha, the talents of the men in green would be evident. All the warts could be seen- they can’t rush the ball, pass the ball, defend passes, rush the passer, or stop the run game. What they CAN do is cash their paychecks.
King David Sternn’s Edict
Mike Bianci (Orlando Sentinel) talked about a possible restraint of trade. “If it’s true that ESPN didn’t hire Stan Van Gundy because of objections from NBA Commissioner David Stern, then Van Gundy’s original premise is absolutely right. He’s not allowed to have an opinion — even though he no longer works in the league. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in an email Thursday that, “It was ESPN and ESPN alone that made any decisions about Stan Van Gundy.”
If this is true then why was ESPN hotly pursuing Van Gundy at one point and then inexplicably backing off a few weeks later? It was ESPN that called Van Gundy. It was ESPN that flew him up to network headquarters in Bristol, Conn. It was ESPN that, Van Gundy said, “sold us [him and his agent] on doing their studio show Friday nights on ESPN and Sundays on ABC.”
Van Gundy said he thought the deal was all but done and it was just a matter of working out a schedule and negotiating a salary.
“Two weeks later,” Van Gundy says, “they [ESPN] very abruptly said, ‘No, we’ve changed our mind.’ In the journalism profession, it would be a sad, sad day if “The Worldwide Leader” allowed itself to be bullied by a so-called third-world dictator. If this truly happened, ESPN would stand for “Embarrassingly, Stern’s Propaganda Network.”
Like Thinking
Brad Rock (Salt Lake’s Deseret News) and Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) happened to write about the same topic- spending within your income. “Money and Rulon Gardiner never seemed to mesh. The green stuff slipped away from him like an escaping foe. Now he’s bankrupt, $3million in debt on a $37,000 income.His motorcycle, watches, knives, guns, jewelry and SUV are scheduled to be auctioned later in October. His Olympic wrestling medals would be, too, except he says someone stpole them.
He survived a plane crash, a motorcycle accident and a winter wilderness scare, not to mention, a massive Greco-Roman wrestler. But financial woes?
He’s been pinned.
How Weird Was That?
Did anyone else think it was strange that Space Jumper Felix Baumgartner landed in Roswell, NM?

Dreams Blog

October 12, 2012

Week 5 Giants (3-2) 41 Browns (0-5) 27
Ahmad Bradshaw turned this game around and led the Giants with 200 yards running against his personal anger for his fumble that led to a Cleveland TD. This plus Eli’s 25/37, 259yd day posted 502 total yards. Cruz had 3 TDs in 5 grabs.
The pass D allowed 291yds and had no sacks but only gave up 84 ground yards.
Texans (5-0) 23 Jets(2-3) 17
The game wasn’t as close as it looks. The Jets had a chance to move this game away from the L column but the Jets were 0-2 in the red zone.
Sanchez had a het trick this week (2 INTs, 2 Sacks, and 2 Fumbles). He was 14/31, 217 net yds. The team rushed 23 times for only 69 yards. Green was the leading rusher, if you will, running 8 times for 26 yards.
Houston passed for 209yds and ran for 169 (Foster was 29/152)
Valued Player
The Sports Curmudgeon cited Steve Simmons’ (Toronto Sun) talk about Evan Longoria: “I know all the talk of the great AL MVP race was between Cabrera and Mike Trout, but consider this: The Rays played .635 baseball when Evan Longoria was healthy enough to play — 47-27. When Longoria didn’t play, Tampa was a .488 team. Those are impressive numbers, considering no AL team played better than .600 ball in the season”
Here’s Looking At You, Kid
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) talked about Coco Crisp, the King of the “Exotic Injury,” coming down with pinkeye and asked, “If a guy with pinkeye takes the red-eye, will his eye explode?”
Catholics Vs. Convicts
In 1985, the U. of Miami football team, coached by Jimmy Johnson, beat Notre Dame, coached by Jerry Faust, 58-7.
Three years later Notre Dame, now coached by Lou Holtz, beat U. of M., 31-30.
Recently, Holtz said he regretted referring to Miami as convicts. “It wasn’t fair,” Holtz said. “A lot of our players weren’t Catholic.”
Random Evidence Of A Cluttered Mind
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) gave us a little of this and that:
• “Kevin Garnett angrily erased Allen’s phone number after Allen left Boston for the Heat. Not from his iPhone, though. Garnett is so old, he erased the number from his Rolodex.
• Remember when no-hitters were rare? The Reds’ Homer Bailey pitched the seventh of the season Friday. Ultimate mocking indignity for batters: Being no-hit by a guy named Homer. • Scandal! Hope Solo claims judges, not voters, decide who is eliminated on Dancing With the Stars. Question: Does one have to take something seriously to be outraged? • Serena Williams’ fourth U.S. Open championship was her 15th major. I’m not sure if she’s the best women’s tennis player ever. But I do think she could beat up all the other ones. • Gabby Douglas and two other members of the U.S. gold-medal women’s gymnastics team attended a Dodgers game and met Matt Kemp. Based on what I’ve read about Kemp as a ladies man, I trust there was a chaperone? • A Michigan woman, Linda Chase, 72, watched NASCAR races for two years beside the corpse of a dead friend. Or, put another way, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby meets Weekend at Bernie’s.”
A Variety Of Stuff
The Sports Curmudgeon (sportscurmudgeon.com) wrote about the Pirates’ record and quoted Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) on the Orioles. “The MLB season is almost over and the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to finish below .500 again this year – for the 20th time in a row; they lost their 82nd game of the season over the weekend. The Pirates were tied for the lead in the NL Central as late as 25 July and I believe they were 15 games over .500 at one point in August. Then the team just fell apart; if it could go wrong, it did. The Pirates made some second-level acquisitions at the trading deadline but they just did not spark the team. Since the trading deadline, I believe their record has been 18-38; in September when good teams make their runs to the playoffs, the Pirates posted a record of 7-20. Meanwhile, Bob Molinaro had this gem: “In the Orioles’ Wednesday victory over Toronto, 20-year-old Manny Machado and 42-year-old Jim Thome became the first AL teammates with an age difference of more than 20 years to hit home runs in the same inning, according to home run historian David Vincent. More amazing than the O’s slugging feat is that anybody has enough time in their life for this sort of minutia.”
Dig it Then Bob Wrote: “To commemorate Miguel Cabrera’s Triple Crown – and move some product – MLB.com is selling an acrylic desktop plaque purporting to contain “authenticated” dirt from a batter’s box used by the Tigers star. Not sure what a handful of dirt normally costs, but the authenticated, game-used stuff goes for $39.99.”
Another Cooler?
Tiger Woods was similar to A-Rod, it was written in a Molinaro piece. “Of the seven Ryder Cups Tiger Woods has competed in, the U.S. has lost six. Last time the U.S. won was in 2008, when Woods was out with a knee injury. Coincidence? Heard Over The Net
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) gave us these items in his ‘Talko Time’ column segment:
“Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings competing while pregnant at the Olympics: ‘This marks the first time an athlete who brought home gold was eating for two since Charles Barkley was on the Dream Team.’
Vikings sack specialist Jared Allen, to ProFootballTalk.com, when asked if teams are blocking him any differently this season: ‘No. They’re still using human beings.’
Patriots tight end Michael Hoomanawanui returned to practice last week after sitting out a day because of concussion symptoms.
Talk about cruel and unusual: Doctors wouldn’t clear him until he could spell his last name.”
Quote Marks
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) quoted Greg Cote. “Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, after the Dolphins released Legedu Naanee: ‘The only receiver in the NFL with more vowels than catches.’”

Dreams Blog

October 5, 2012

10/4
Did You have a nice Broderick Crawford Day?
Week 4 Niners (3-1) 34 Jets (2-2) 0
Rex Ryan was right this time. The Jets WERE beaten like an old rug. They had 145 total yards with 100 of them on the ground and to offset that they gave up 245 yards on the ground. There isn’t anything that can be said in a positive way here. Next week they have to play the Texans.
Philly (3-1) 19 Giants (2-2) 17
The D gave up 422 yards and put up 366 of their own- this was a rough game like one from the old neighborhood. Vick didn’t go crazy himself but led his team to the win. The Eagles posted 231 air yards and 191 in the dirt.
The Giant run game was horrible. They got 57 yards on 36 carries, averaging a yard and a half per carry. Eli was sacked twice but seemed to be knocked down on every play.
A Quick Resolution
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) said the contract issues may disappear pretty quickly. “The NFL’s fake refs are harming the product on the field. Worse, by making games harder to predict, the feeble zebras are messing with the gamblers. And that’s an army you don’t want to mess with.”
More From Scott
Scott wrote about ‘Niner QB Alex Smith: “He was fined $15,000 by the NFL for wearing a SF Giants cap with his street clothes after games. NFL rules say players can’t wear gear with the logo of a company that isn’t an NFL sponsor for 90 minutes before and after a game. The NFL considers MLB a competing corporation.
Smith’s fine was rescinded, but he is on double-secret probation. Next time, the NFL (Needs to Find a Life) will nick his paycheck.”
I’m puzzled. What exactly is “double-secret probation?”
Scott went on to say, “Smith, the 49ers’ quarterback and courageous supporter of the S.F. Giants, could join the pantheon of Bay Area free-speech pioneers.
That’s a bit of a stretch, but I believe in free speech, even at the risk of stretch marks.”
A Settlement Scenario
Bill Dwyer (LA Times) gave us his take on why the agreement was made. “The NFL needs its customers to think that it thinks of them that way, that they are customers. That it serves them. That its decision-making always factors them in. The NFL needs to make sure its customers never even ponder for one moment what they really are- ATM machines. Certainly, this is no different than banks or cable TV companies or auto manufacturers that all are wired to make you think they are in business to provide you with a service and that any profit resulting from that was sort of a lucky coincidence. The only difference between the NFL and these other businesses is that the NFL is the best at it. The beating hearts in those meeting rooms were coming from those with a sense for public relations. That certainly would have included Goodell, who didn’t get to where he has gotten without being the smartest guy in the room. There certainly had to be some who wanted to remain tough, to be robots in the stance, to let the regular refs pound sand for a couple more weeks. But hearts beat for many reasons, and in this case, it was simple PR. It had been well pointed out in the media that the NFL was losing nothing in the way of customers and fan base with this momentary kerfuffle. In fact, several columnists pointed out, and correctly so, that these blundering replacement refs just spiced up the action. It’s the old everybody-wants-to-watch-a-train-wreck theory. The NFL fears only two things: decreasing revenue and a bad image. Because revenue will never be a problem, image was the one Achilles’ heel that had to bring this situation to a head. Had not the in-over-their-heads replacement officials done their dumb thing at the end of a game that stole a victory from one of the storied franchises of the league, the regular officials might be sitting for another couple of weeks. They were to be taught a lesson, spanked good and hard so they wouldn’t forget, before being allowed to come back outside and play. But national embarrassment is clearly not part of the image tolerated by the Armani suits. And the NFL replacement guys dropped the ball in the wrong game, to the wrong team. The Packers aren’t a football team in Green Bay or Wisconsin — they are a deity, a way of life. Somewhere up there, Lombardi was watching this all and smiling his gap-tooth smile, knowing that the big guys in the league had just messed with the wrong green and gold.” Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) passed this along: “And, from the statistics do lie file: • Time of possession: Idaho State 30:07, Nebraska 29:53. • Final score: Nebraska 73, Idaho State 7
Phenom UnderThe Radar
The Sports Curmudgeon sent this item, “A friend who lives in southern California sent me a note back in June telling me to keep an eye on a guy who was playing for Bakersfield in the minor leagues named Billy Hamilton. So, I periodically checked in on the guy who is a “stolen base machine” and plays in the Cincinnati Reds’ minor league system. Consider these stats: In 2011 playing for Dayton (A level minor league baseball), he stole 103 bases and was caught stealing only 20 times. He hit .278 and walked 52 times.In 2012 playing first for Bakersfield (A-level) and then for Pensacola (AA -level), he stole a total of 159 bases and was caught stealing 37 times. He hit a combined .311 and walked 85 times. Yes, I am well aware that it is a big step up from Pensacola to Cincinnati. No, I will not succumb to the temptation to compare his potential to that of Lou Brock or Ricky Henderson. Nonetheless, his minor league stats at age 21 are worth keeping on the radar. By comparison, Vince Coleman held the minor league record for stolen bases in a single season. He stole 146 bases for Macon (AA-level) back in 1983.”