Dreams Blog

December 28, 2012

A Wish
Have a Happy, Healthy, and Holy New Year
My Momma Done Tole’ Me
I kept hearing that tune, The Blues In The Night, after our football teams played on the 23rd.
Week 16
Giants (8-7) 14  Ravens (10-5) 33
The game’s full story is told by a few stats: Total Yards 533-186 and Time of possession: 40-20 minutes. Both top marks are for the Ravens. The G’men need LBs, DBs, and DLs to start with.
Jets (6-9) 17  Chargers (6-9) 27
This was the first game that Greg McElroy started and Sanchez and Tebow might have been glad they didn’t play. McElroy set an NFL record, but not in a good way, by getting sacked 11 times. San Diego spent so much time in the Jet back field that it looked like they had been in the Jet huddle.
Explanation
Ian O’Connor (ESPN.com) took a shot at Rex Ryan and his treatment of Tebow. “Ryan has a lot of explaining to do to his employer. ‘Ultimately,’ the coach said of the 6-8 record. ‘I’m the man accountable for this.’ This includes the planet’s most recognizable benchwarmer. Ryan likes to fancy himself the ultimate player’s coach, but he should know he just royally hosed a player like few coaches ever have.”  
Enough Is Enough
Earlier in the season Woody Johnson said, “You can never have too much Tebow.”
Well I’ve had enough Tebow, enough Ryan, enough Tannenbaum, and anything else green (except money of course).
I think John Gruden had it nailed when he commented about a TV picture showing Tony Sparano diagramming a play for Jet QB’s. He said that sort of thing should have been settled during training camp not during a game.
JETS, JETS, JETS- JOKE! JOKE!JOKE!
The Jets Are Football’s Red Sox
Tony Masserotti (Boston Globe)said, “The Red Sox had Bobby Valentine. The Jets had Tim Tebow.                                                                                                          When you get right down to it, what’s the difference?                                                     Each was a bill of goods.                                                                                                       In the case of Tebow, he is hardly to blame for what has befallen the Jets. Like Valentine, Tebow was the pawn in an internal struggle between ownership and on-field operations. One side wanted him and the other did not. In the end, he has become a symbol of everything that is wrong with the Jets, of the kind of organizational dysfunction that can eat at a franchise from within.
Headline
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) quoted SportsPickle.com as saying, “Jets to try one of their other third-string quarterbacks.”
New Jet QB
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) told us that Alex Smith will be the starting QB for the Jets next season. “I got that information either from my Mayan swimsuit calendar or from a factory-second Chinese fortune cookie, I forget which. But it’s solid info.                 No quarterback is better prepared than Smith to withstand a booing, hostile fan base and a ruthless Gotham media. The tabloids can’t kill you if you don’t read ’em.
Smith is the antidote to the Jets’ ailments – Sanchez’s borderline talent and diva-ism, and Tebow’s intriguing but unusable skill set.
 the Big Apple ready to rock.
No Blood- No Foul
Scott Ostler talked about how flopping has become an art form in the NBA. “The NBA is cracking down on the flop this season by reviewing games and subjecting serial floppers to fines.
“Flops have no place in our game,” huffed NBA exec Stu Jackson, but so far only two players (ONLY TWO and both are Nets?) have been fined. Two! The phony fall-down lives on.
Chris Mullin’s solution: No call. Play on.
It’s an old problem. Mullin flips open his laptop and cues up an episode of ‘Red on Roundball,’ circa 1973. Red Auerbach, the late Celtics coach, filmed a series of three-minute clinics that were aired during halftimes.
Auerbach used players to demonstrate a flop, then he beckoned off-camera.
“Come out here, Mendy,” Auerbach says, and Hall of Fame referee Mendy Rudolph stepped onto the court to render the correct call.
“That should be a no-call,” Rudolph said. “Play on.”
Absolutely. Do not reward floppers. That was a problem in Auerbach’s time, but now it’s epidemic. Mullin said when he first came into the league, refs would sneer at a flopper and bark, ‘Get up!’”
Weirdness
The Sports Curmudgeon pointed out some incongruities in picking some schools for bowl games. “You may recall when the bowl game announcements came that Northern Illinois was on the hook to sell more tickets to the Orange Bowl game than they averaged in home attendance this year. Based on the Hokies Blog in the Washington Post last week, selling tickets to bowl games is not an isolated problem for Northern Illinois. According to this entry:
Virginia Tech is having trouble selling tix to the Russell Athletic Bowl game between Virginia Tech and Rutgers to be held in Orlando FL on 28 December.
Va Tech has to sell 13.500 tickets and has sold less than 3000 so far according to the Athletic Director. The school faces a daunting task in terms of selling tickets because the face value of the ticket is $72 and you can find tickets to the same game on StubHub for as little as $4.
In 2008, Va Tech went to the Orange Bowl and only sold 3.300 tickets and the school lost $1.77M.
Va Tech did not come close to selling out its allotment of tickets in 2011 or 2012 either.
There is a comment on the bottom of that blog entry that is cogent:
‘Hmmm, a game with no meaning whatsoever played an expensive flight and hotels away in a competition between two teams that couldn’t care less about each other and named after the country’s most famous jock strap maker hasn’t sold a lot of tickets? That’s weird.’” Gordon Gekko said, “You’re walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place.”
First Stats Of The New Year
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) repeated this stat from Sportage.com, “The Kansas City Chiefs have drafted 10 quarterbacks since 1987 who combined for two NFL wins — none for the Chiefs.”

Dreams Blog

December 21, 2012

Deadline
The Mayan calendar said the world would end before my deadline, so if you’re reading this- it didn’t happen.
If it happened, I’m sure ESPN will give us a recap.
Week 15
Giants (8-6) 0  Falcons (12-2)  34
Atlanta showed why they’re 12-2. They stopped the Giants cold on both sides of the ball. Eli threw 13/25, 151yds. 1INT & 1Sack. They only ran 21 times for only 97yds with 1 fumble. Atlants had 394 total yds- 194 more than NY.
You get a true picture of how badly a beating was inflicted when you see Atlanta had 22 first downs and NY had 10k
Jets (6-8) 10    Titans (5-9)  14
The Jets lost to the going no-where Titans and showed that their “need-to-do” list for improvement is too large to put only one finger on it. Start with Tannenbaum and Ryan. Sanchez MIGHT make a good backup plus a lot more.
HSBC
The bank’s full name is “The Hong Kong and Singapore Savings Corporation.”
So, why is anybody surprised that they laundered money from Al Qaeda and Communist China?
They X-rayed His Head And Found Nothing
I’ve long been a proponent that the NFL was morphing into a “Powder-Puff” group, but something HAS TO change. The increased size, speed, and strength of today’s players have created a demolition-derby type of game. The concussion-contingent has grown to such a large number that it seems as though it’s now a contest to see who can run head-first into a cement wall the hardest and still be able to run back to the bench.                                  Donald’s  Trump Worth Retelling                                                                                     Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) passed along this Jimmy Fallon bit, “Donald Trump mistakenly called New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick Bob Belichick then he said, ‘I apologize to the entire Patriots organization, and their quarterback, Jan Brady.’ ”              Take That, Prestone                                                               Dwight also passed this along, “Circus trainers in Russia say they saved two of their elephants — temporarily forced outside after their transport trailer caught fire — from the deadly Siberian cold by giving them 2 ½ gallons of watered-down vodka.                                                                              ‘This is news?’ asked one veteran Packers fan.”                                          Brad Rock (Deseret News) Told Us                                                        “BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall on reports linking him to the Colorado vacancy: “I didn’t express any interest, haven’t been contacted, didn’t interview and didn’t know I was a candidate. Other than that, I guess I’m a finalist, from what I’ve been told.” Mellow Melo                                                                                         I think that the biggest explanation for Carmelo Anthony’s superior type of play this season is that the time he spent with Coach K and Assistant-Olympic Coach Jim Boeheim (Anthony’s college coach at Syracuse). They preached the team-game style of play, where Anthony was in the second wave of Olympic stars playing in the game and it has made Anthony a different and better player this season.                                                                              Big East Re-wind                                                                                      The Big East was formed in 1979 as a basketball conference.      Now seven of the schools (G’town, SJU, Seton Hall, Providence, ‘Nova, DePaul, and Marquette) who are b-ball proponents, are splitting away to form their own group. Don’t feel badly for Syracuse, a founding B.E. school, not being among the group because they, along with Pitt (who joined the B.E. in 1982), jumped to the ACC for their football associations and money.                                                                      Those seven schools feel that b-ball is just as relevant as f-ball and just remember that the Big East became the ONLY conference to have three of the final four teams in the same final four of the NCAA Tournament (1985).                                                                  The Physics Of A KO Punch                                                            Scott Ostler had this explanation of the punch that knocked out Manny Pacquiao cold: “Then came Manny’s un-manful explanation of the KO punch.
‘He just got lucky with that punch. … He threw the punch without looking,’ Pacquiao said. ‘He was surprised.’
Pacquiao used physics to explain that the punch carried devastating force because his face was moving forward.
That’s right, Pacquiao is basically saying he should get credit for the KO, since he ended the fight by punching Marquez in the fist with his face.”
Scott also named Pacquiao as his knucklehead of the week.
I Defense Of Lance Armstrong
Sally Jenkins DID write a couple of books with Lance Armstrong but still said, “Maybe I’m not angry at Lance because I don’t understand those people who are bitterly angry to discover that he is not Santa Claus, while ignoring the very real and useful presents he delivered. Not toys, not hagiography, but the simple yet critical lesson that a third medical opinion can save your life. Or that the more educated a sick person is about their disease, the greater their statistical chance of survival. Who not only preached those lessons, but built an organization through which anyone can get the information and education about cancer for free that he was fortunate enough to be able to afford. And who put his money and incalculable amounts of time where his mouth was, raising $500 million for research and donating $7 million of his own fortune. Maybe I’m not angry at Lance because the guy I know lost his head to celebrity and ego at times, but he always, always kept his head on straight about cancer. ‘You don’t beat it,’ he said. ‘You get very lucky and survive it. I don’t want anyone to think I beat cancer because I’m special.’ And because I never once saw him too tired to engage with a cancer sufferer, or too vain to pull out his driver’s license and show the picture of himself bald, with no eyebrows, and two half moon scars in his scalp from brain surgery to remove tumors.                                                                           Or because he once said this, and I got to be the person who wrote it down and deliver it to others: ‘If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.’”                                                                                   Let me make something clear: I don’t just like Lance Armstrong for that. I love him for it.

Dreams Blog

December 14, 2012

Week 14
Giants (8-5) 52 Saints (5-8) 27
It was redemption for David Wilson with his more than 320 overall yards and a great game for Stevie Brown who had more than 250 INT return yards. Drew Brees posted more yardage but not points because of the 2 forced fumbles, 2 INTs, and a sack by the Giants D.
Jets (6-7) 17 Jaguars (2-11) 10
There are reasons the Jags are 2/11 and they aren’t due to the Jets. They had 2 passes intercepted and allowed 3 sacks. They were 2/16 on 3rd downs- that’s only 12%. Sanchez wasn’t picked off but didn’t distinguish himself either. Next up against the Jets is the 4-9 Titans. Don’t bank on any high rated playing that gets the Jets into the playoffs. If, and that’s a very big IF, the Jets get in it’ll be favorable scheduling.
Back And Forth
I correspond regularly with the Sports Curmudgeon and he sent along some thoughts about the NHL talks and the MLB-HOF voting. First his choices for the Hall: Edgar Martinez: Many think that he spent his entire career as a DH; he did not; he also played third base. His career batting average was .312 and his career OPS was .933. There are plenty of players in the HoF with less impressive hitting stats (I’m not that familiar with Martinez’ because he was West Coast). Jeff Bagwell: Career batting average was .297 and career OPS was .948. Larry Walker: Career batting average was .313 and career OPS was .965. Dale Murphy: He won the NL MVP Award two years in a row. Only about a dozen players in the history of baseball ever won the MVP Award in consecutive seasons. Mike Piazza: This is his first year of eligibility too. He had a career batting average of .308 and an OPS of .922. Comparing his numbers with those of Martinez, Bagwell and Walker, he surely should not go in on the first ballot. With regard to Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, I wonder if it would be inappropriate for folks to needle (OOF) them after they do not make it into the Hall on the first ballot. Just asking… Then a half-full/half-empty NHL metaphor: Half Full: The two sides met for almost 8 hours with reports that Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux and Penguins’ co-owner Ron Burkle were working to establish trust on both sides of the table in the folks on the other side of the table. The two sides scheduled meetings again for today. The two sides held a joint press conference after this bargaining session instead of two separate press conferences Half Empty: Neither Gary Bettman nor Donald Fehr participated
in yesterday’s meeting; moreover, neither is scheduled to be at today’s meeting. Nothing will be finalized without those two folks in the room at the same time and there is nothing to indicate that either of these gentlemen has bought in to whatever the “Crosby/Lemieux/Burkle” initiative might be. The glass is twice as big as it needs to be. If the glass were half the size, the debate would be over…
Granderson et al
I think that a batter’s OPS (on base+slugging) is a god way to look at a player’s offensive worth. Curtis Granderson as a Yankee had a .843 and as a Tiger was .828. A good mark is .900. Youkilis (34) had a .771 with the ChiSox and .875 in Bos/ Eric Chavez-(34).818/ Jeff Keplinger (32) .733/ Marco Scutaro (36) .731.
Thinking Point
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) sent along a quote from Alan Ray about the Collegiate National Championship Football Game. “Alan Ray on the windfall from the Notre Dame-Alabama football title game: ‘Each school will receive $2 million. The players will get a commemorative tote bag.’”
“How-Evah”
Stephan A. Smith (ESPN.com) pumped up the Knicks. “Minutes after walking back into their locker room demoralized, shaken and flummoxed by yet another loss to New York, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade appeared in sync and unified — visually different than they appeared while on the floor together during the previous 48 minutes.
James used words like “smashed” and “embarrassed.” Wade simply uttered, “We got beat. No excuses.” But as the dynamic duo drifted into the night, not needing the spotlights of South Beach to shine a light on the beatdown they’d just endured, it was clear the Heat have resigned themselves to a reality the rest of us may have to embrace quickly, assuming we haven’t already:
The New York Knicks are coming.”
Un-Wizard Stuff
Shouldn’t that DC Wizard (Nene) who’s been injured this entire season be known as “No-No”? If they staged a Broadway-type production about this season, it could be called “No, No, Nene.”
Speaking Of Golf
The Sports Curmudgeon quoted Mike Bianci (Orlando Sentinel) forwarding this golf news: “Actual sign posted at golf club in Scotland: “(1) Back straight, knees bent, feet shoulder width apart. (2) Form a loose grip. (3) Keep your head down. (4) Stay out of the water. (5) Try not to hit anyone. (6) If you’re taking too long, let others go ahead of you. (7) Don’t stand directly in front of others. (8) Quiet please while others are preparing. (9) Make sure you’re aligned properly with the target. (10) Well done! Now, flush the urinal, go outside and tee off.” The Perfect Punch
I had Pacquiao ahead of Marquez 47-46 at the start round 6 of theirv12/9 Vegas Match. Even after both fighters had been down earlier in the fight, they were fighting at a furious pace in the 6th. But at the 2:59 mark, Marquez shot out a right that landed flush on Pacquiao’s chin. He crumbled, face first to the canvas, out cold.
There was talk after the fight about Pacquiao’s alleged steroid use and his loss of power after ending the PED use. Maybe Mayweather was right all along.
Late Breaking News
Norman Chad wrote that, “If the Mayans are right, I wonder what “Sportcenter” will lead with The Day After.” He also was asked, “Do you find it odd that national ratings for the NHL are virtually the same as last year? “

Dreams Blog

December 7, 2012

 
Week 13
Jets (5-7)- Cardinals (4-8)
Don’t get too excited with the W or the appearance of McElroy. Arizona is just as big a joke as the Jets and there’s always a lot of noise for a sub-QB. Sanchez was 10/21 with 3 INTs while he was in there. McElroy was 5/7 for only 29yds. The Jets had less than 300 total yds with 104 of them coming from Shonn Greene
Redskins (6-6) 17- Giants (7-5) 16
The Giants needed a W in this game but the ‘Skins played as though it was more important to them. They rushed for 207yds (72 on 5 carries by Griffin). The Giants had 9 penalties- some were head-scratchers but most were very costly. The D had no sacks but did cause 2 fumbles.
A Leopard And Its Spots
New Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie and Coach Dennis Allen said they were going to move away from the old Raiders image as renegades, while speaking about “Christian Values.” But then they signed LB Rolando McClain who was arrested and convicted (the charges were dropped when the victim said he wouldn’t cooperate) for beating up his friend, firing a gun next to his head and threatening his life.
Allen wasn’t worried, though, because the incident happened before he became coach
A Second Look
Tom “The Boz” Boswell (DC Post) suggested I take a second look at the way NHLPA Exec has been handling himself and he wrote, “Fehr means exactly what he says; previous posturing is set aside when phrases appear like “about as good” as it’ll get.                                                                                     Also, his membership isn’t just backing him; it really is their deal. It took baseball owners 20 years to grasp that Fehr isn’t a puppeteer. He educates, he shapes, but he doesn’t decide. The players do. That’s what empowered the MLBPA and made it so tough. Fehr will reduce demands rather than negotiate without full support. That’s core. It’s not changing.                                                                                                                 MLB demonized Fehr personally. Despite seeing dozens of players constantly involved in every bargaining session, they refused to accept that mere “ballplayers” actually understood the issues — sometimes better than they did. Owners, often fighting among themselves, didn’t grasp that players formed a negotiation information tree, reporting back to all players.                                                                                                                For decades, many owners hoped that Fehr, like Marvin Miller before him, somehow had the players mesmerized, hypnotized. If they could just snap their fingers the right way, players would awake to their benevolence. NHL owners need to understand Fehr’s first two rules. First, the players are saturated with info and totally trust its source — other players, not Fehr. Second, a Fehr union will always bring a weaker deal for stronger backing.                                                                                                                        Finally, after going 0 for 8 in work stoppages, canceling the 1994 World Series and losing three collusion cases in the 1980s at a cost of $280 million, baseball figured it out. The ’94 strike left both sides, and the game, bloody. MLB finally quit framing the union as an ideological foe and began to work with it in grudging, respectful, adversarial semi-harmony. Things got better.                                                                                                That labor peace has lasted 17 years with no end in sight.                                                         Now, it’s hockey’s turn. The most troubling development to me is that hockey’s leaders now sound like MLB owners a generation ago. It’s like a time warp. Two weeks ago, stories appeared intimating that players weren’t getting a straight story from Fehr, that he had his own agenda and owners’ concepts were not getting to the membership in a pure form. That is the one tactic that always backfired when baseball owners used it. It did again.                                                                                                                                           Fehr pointed out that “19 players” were at the negotiating table when the proposal, that he supposedly misrepresented, was discussed. Within days an NHL player had called Bettman a “cancer,” another called him “an idiot.”                                                              Hiring Don Fehr, the Sun Tzu of jock labor, to face NHL owners in a lockout is like getting the Godfather to help you fix a parking ticket.                                                                                                     
Another Rivalry
The Nets’ personality is morphing into a “WHAT’S-IT-TO-YA!” presence.
The recent Nets-Celtics game, played in Boston, was won by the Nets, 95-83, featured a quick ended dust-up between Rondo and Humphries. The scrum didn’t last long but its memories will
Judges and Juries
The electors for MLB-HOF induction aren’t fans or players. They are baseball writers with many years of experience. But the divergence of opinions is amazing- so I’m going to  jump in here and throw my feelings out there.
To begin with Clemens, Sosa, Bonds, and Palmiero don’t belong in the general population of inductees. The writers aren’t that influenced by all the hype that hits the news before election time. Why else would McGwire receive 19.5% and Palmiero receive 12.6% of the vote.
I think Mike Piazza’s election to the Hall will be close. He posted a .308 BA, had 427 HRs and 1335 RBIs in 16 ML seasons as a catcher. His OPS was915
Saying No To Big Time College Athletics
Norman Chad provided a fund raising venture for some colleges. “Is it possible for a great university not to have Division I athletics? Actually, I would argue it’s preferable for a great university not to have Division I athletics.                                           Simply put, it makes sense to say no to intercollegiate athletics and yes to intramurals. If we’re trying to follow the Greeks’ sound-mind-and-body ideal, why should it just apply to a handful of elite bodies?                                                                                           Remarkably, Spelman College in Atlanta just made this very decision, announcing its withdrawal from Division III intercollegiate athletics. “Hoping to replace organized sports for the few with fitness for all,” as the New York Times put it, Spelman determined it made little sense to spend $1 million annually on 80 student-athletes when it could redirect time and money to the physical welfare of the entire 2,100-student body. I realize my College Park brethren — who refuse to rise and revolt against the athletic industrial complex that rules the day — will reject this option. So I have a more pragmatic proposal that keeps Maryland in the ACC and solves the fiscal crisis:        Open a casino on campus!                                                                                                     (You don’t even have to recruit “student-gamblers” — they’re already there.).”