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Archive for August, 2007

Thank Goodness it’s Thursday

TGIT!

or

TGICFS!

or

Simply it’s about time! Yippy! Hurray! and even a Yeeaahhhhh!

The college football season kicks off tonight with 11 games. (If you didn’t figure it out, TGIT is “Thank Goodness it’s Thursday” and TGICFS is “Thank Goodness it’s College Football Season) In action tonight is LSU and Mississippi State, Rutgers and Buffalo, Louisville, Boise State, Utah, Oregon State, Miami (OH) and Kent State. Throw in Weber State and Murray State (thought they only had basketball teams), SE Missouri State and SE Louisiana (what? they couldn’t find a way to and the other two directions or a Tech or A&M in their name) and you got yourself a full schedule of games.

I’ve been waiting to share some opinions on the college football season until today.

First, there’s this “big” rule change. You know, they one with the kickoffs being moved back from the 35 to the 30-yard line. Some coaches have called it the biggest rule change the game as ever seen. Some said it will change the game dramatically. Others said it make the game more dangerous.

I think that’s some slight over reacting. Just about every game I watched the last couple years, I remember saying, or someone else saying, why don’t the move the kickoffs back. There are too many touchbacks and not enough returns. Everyone loves seeing kickoff and punt returns for the excitement of a return of a touchdown a big hit. This rule makes sense. It’s a hell of a lot better than the rule last year that said the clock starts when the ref blows his whistle. Some coaches said the average field position will increase and therefore scoring will increase. Well, good. That sounds like a more fun game doesn’t? More returns, more hits, more scoring. Why wouldn’t someone like this rule?

The one thing that bothers me about this year is the Big Ten Network. Good idea, stupid execution. How can you not make a deal with the biggest cable provider in your area? This is just stupid planning by the Big Ten. Swallow your pride and get a deal done with Time Warner. You’re pissing a lot of people off with this.

Now, because of this no deal with Time Warner and Big Ten games not being show on ESPNplus or anywhere else besides the ones ABC or ESPN picks up, I won’t be able to see many Big Ten games. As a Michigan fan, this probably only will affect me the first week of the season (ABC and ESPN pick up the top 3 games from the Big Ten each week and Michigan is almost always one of those) But I’m also a Big Ten fan. I like watching those Indiana-Illinois games and now I won’t be able to.

This Saturday, Michigan opens their season against Appalachian State, the two time defending DI-AA champions. It should be good challenge for the Wolverines to see what they can do against a national championship caliber football team. Alright, so Michigan will crush them. I say something like 48-10. As boring of a game as it could, and should, be, it’s the beginning of the season in a season full or promise of the Blue. I want, no, need to watch the game.

But here’s the problem. With the game only being shown on the BTN, I have to find somewhere to watch it. I thought a bar are a good choice until I remember Ohio State is playing Youngstown State at the same time. The only channel that game is being shown on is, you guessed it, BTN. So if I were to go to a bar, it would be all those annoying OSU fans that are more annoying and ignorant than the closing talker drunk guy who always tries to have a serious conversation when he’s smashed. I have to find a small, dive bar that most football fans wouldn’t think of going to watch games and hopefully they’ll show the Michigan.

It’s going to be a struggle to find a comfortable place to watch Michigan to start the college football season. But, at least the college football season is starting. TGIT, and in two days, TGIS. Go Blue!!!

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Couch on ‘roids

Tim Couch took steroids.

When you’re are done laughing, let’s examine the speculations. Yahoo! Sports reported they obtained documents that indicate Couch had regimens that called for the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone while he attempted to revive his NFL career.

Couch hasn’t played in the NFL for three years after he was cut by the Green Bay Packers.

So Couch gets drafted No. 1 overall by the Browns in 1999 (basically ruining any chance he had to be a good NFL quarterback), goes on to get sacked so much David Carr feels lucky, struggles with injuries, arm strength and playing time, gets cut by the Browns, and then signs on in Green Bay before finally dropping off the face of the earth, and he waited until now to take some kind of performancing enhancing drug. They 15.3 quarterback rating and 10 sacks a game with 5 INTs weren’t enough to make he take anything but trying to earn a spot as a third string quarter back is?
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Not smart Tim. Should have been on the roids back in the day then you could have been your own offensive line.

Another thought, who cares!? Couch wasn’t in the NFL when he was taking the HGH, which he admits too, so what’s the big deal. Furthermore, even if he was on steroids or something, he got cut and still couldn’t make the Jacksonville Jaguars team so obviously the roids were not working.

With this worthless story and Lance Brigg’s driving around like Billy Joel, on top of Pacman, Vick, all the holdouts and whatever else is going on, the season can’t start soon enough. Thankfully, we are only 13 days from kickoff and even better yet, college football starts tomorrow.


You can never have too many pictures of Couch being sacked, can you?

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Good work Yanks!

In the past few weeks the Yankees and the Tigers have played eight times. Most of the games I was “rooting” for the Yankees to win. (I was actually rooting that some weird nuclear outbreak would take over the stadium and everyone’s arms or legs would fall off.) My thinking was, if the Detroit loses, and Cleveland wins, then Cleveland would open a larger lead in the AL Central.

Some of my friends argued the opposite. If the Tigers win, and the Indians win, the lead would at least stay the same, all while the Yankees lost and slipped further out of the playoff picture.

After yesterday’s games, I’m starting to see things from my friends’ point of view. A 16-0 beatdown by Detroit over New York was exactly what this MLB playoff race needed. How can the Yankees not feel dejected. It was their worse road shutout loss of all time. That has to sting.

Now NY has to host Boston feeling like a ninth-grade girl who thought her senior boyfriend really loved her only to find out he was using her. I don’t see them recovering to do anything positive against Boston. The Red Sox will leave with an 11 game lead and NY will spend the next two months cry alone in their room.

It seems like a week ago the Yankees were only 3.5 games behind Boston and everyone was saying they would make the playoffs. Now they are 8 back of the Sox and 2 behind Seattle for the Wild Card.

As much as I don’t like seeing the Tigers win, I enjoy watching the Yankees lose, especially like that, that much more.

I think the Tribe can hold off the Tigers, especially now that it looks like their offense is finally catching up with their pitching (Grady Sizemore’s double on Sunday was the turning point). Let’s just hope the Yankees keep sending Mike Mussina and Kei Igawa out there every five days. At least then we know they’ll lose those games.

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What Cleveland fans learned this weekend

The Tribe started the weekend 2.5 games up on the Tigers in the AL Central. They ended the weekend 2.5 gams up on the Tigers in the AL Central.

The Browns started the weekend not knowing who was going to be their opening day starting quarterback. The Browns ended the weekend not knowing who would be their opening day starting quarterback.

So what did we learn about Cleveland sports this weekend? At first glance it would seem about the same thing a third-grader would learn by sitting in on a calculus class, nothing.

But that shouldn’t be the case.

For the Browns, they should have learned that they finally have their quarterback of the future. Brady Quinn played another very solid game. He got to play against most of Denver’s first team defense and went 7-11 for 81 yards and a TD. Quinn easily could have had another TD pass if the Browns would have challenged a pass to Joe Jurevicius.

After the game, GM Phil Savage said Quinn would not start Sept. 9 against Pittsburgh and coach Romeo Crennel gave his standard robotic answer of “it’s still a competition” and “I like all three quarterback. I’m can’t name a starter.”

I hate these answers from Crennel. Quinn should be the starter but he won’t be. Just say it. Pick Frye, let him know he’s the starter so he can build his confidence up, let Quinn settle into the role as backup, trade Anderson and get this thing over with. There is no reason to keep saying “I don’t know” when asked who is going to start. Crennel, the pay you to make these decisions. Don’t worry about hurting anyway feelings and just make the call. Enough is enough. I don’t know how this is healthy of any of the quarterbacks or the lockerroom.

As for the Indians, we learned that if Fausto is on the hill, the Tribe offense doesn’t show up. They almost wasted another fine effort for Fausto. He should easily be 20-4 not if the offense would give him any run support. In five of his loses, the Tribe as scored a total of four runs. That’s a grand total of four runs, not an average.

Luckily, Fausto only pitched six innings. That gave the offense time to realize he was out of the game and they had better score.

We learned, once again, that Grady Sizemore is the best player in the American League. When everyone else thought the game was over in the bottom of the ninth and two strikes on him, Grady blopped a fly ball into centerfield and stretched it into a double and eventually scored the tying run.

We learned that Josh Barfield will be nothing more than pitch runner for at least the rest of this year. That’s because Asdrubal Cabrera is playing like Carlos Baerga.

We learned that maybe, just maybe, Hafner will finally start coming through like we all though he would be doing all year.

We also learned that our hatred for the Yankees continues to grow since they can’t beat the Tigers to help Cleveland extend their lead. But on the other side, as long as they keep losing, they get further out of the wild card and AL East race. That is nice.

So overall, we learned, Quinn is good, Crennel is a robot who was never programmed to make a decision, the Indians must not like Fausto since he can’t speak English, that’s the only reason I can think of why they don’t score runs for him, Grady is great and the Yankees still suck.

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Madden 08 says Quinn’s the man

Lots of random stuff to get to day. (Sorry for the late post, had actual work to do this morning)

I bought Madden 08 yesterday. Haven’t had much chance to play it yet but Browns fans rest easy. I simulated most of the preseason to get to the opener against the Steelers. Without touching my depth chart, guess who was my starting quarterback? That’s right. The dreamboat himself, Brady “don’t look directly into my eyes or you’ll get lost in a sea of blue” Quinn. Quinn went on the post unrookie like numbers: 19-for-26, 284 yards, 4 TDs as the Browns won 38-0 (I think I need to play at a hard level). If this performance doesn’t convince Romeo to play Quinn, I don’t know will. You may laugh but I’m serious. Crennel did a coin flip to see who should start the first preseason game, so why not just play three Madden games with each quarterback and see who does the best. There’s your starter.

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On this day, August 24, back in 1989, MLB Commissioner A. Barlett Giamatti banned Pete Rose for life from baseball for gambling. This is still one of the biggest injustices in all of sports history. His gambling came after his playing days. His 15,000 or so hits came during his playing days. Why punish a guy for what he did after his playing days? So he can’t go in the Hall as a manager, that’s fine, but to ban him as a player is outrageous. I could go and on about this but the man deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. There are plenty of scumbags in the Hall of Fame in all sports, especially baseball, so why is baseball still singling out Rose?

Also on this day, just two years ago, Jerry Rice signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. I think these one-day contracts are a joke. He didn’t need to do that. Everyone is going to remember Rice as a 49er. When you here the name Jerry Rice, you don’t think Raiders or Seattle or No. 18 who couldn’t make the team in Denver. You think 49ers, Joe Montana, Super Bowls and greatest receiver ever. A one-day contract was unnecessary.

Happy Birthday today to Cal Ripkin and Barry Bonds. Isn’t it funny that they were born on the same day. Ripkin, a man who everyone else for playing everyday and who’s game was greatly overrated, and Bond, a man who everyone hates now and who’s game is still underrated (maybe not still but everyone forgets he has 8 gold gloves and is the only member of the 400-400 club). But here is Ripkin, the man who can do no wrong, and Bonds, the man who can do no right, but both will be the two most remember by this generation.

Also happy birthday to Reggie Miller. One of my all time favorite basketball players. A pure shooter and the best trash talker and clutch 3-pointer shooter of all time. Just please, Reggie, don’t put on that Celtic jersey.

With that out of the way, Happy weekend to everyone. Happy Graduation to Frank (it’s about time) and I’ll be back Monday with something about the Browns and other weekend sporting activities. Look for another late post on Monday however.

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NFL, worst to first

Pro Football Weekly has come out and picked the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the most likely teams in the NFL to jump from last in their division to first this year. Today’s post will be to examine Hub Arkush’s column on this topic.

My first thought was “What!? The Browns?!” Obviously this guy has not seen the Browns in the preseason when they haven’t been able to put together a touchdown drive until their third-string was in the game. Their best looking player is the fourth string quarterback who dominated a four team defense on a team whose first team defense isn’t that good with dump down passes and screens.

Then there’s the Bucs. They are led by a quarterback who forgot how to throw a ball in Cleveland and so bad he couldn’t be here for more than one season. But, maybe Arkush is remembering the Jeff Garcia who was a Pro Bowler with San Francisco and the guy who saved the Eagles season last year. (I hate Garcia so much for being good everywhere but Cleveland, not that he was really good but he just didn’t suck. I also hate him for being such a goofy, odd looking man and having an incredible hot wife.)

It seems like every year a few teams do go from worst to first and some, mainly the Super Bowl losers, go from first to worst. If you read Arkush’s column, it explains that since 1999, 14 division titles have been won by teams that were last in their division the year before. In six of the past eight seasons, at least two division winners were teams that finished last the year before. Only one team did in 2000 and no teams in 2002.

Last years eight last place teams were Miami, Cleveland, Houston, Oakland, Washington, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Arizona.

Safe to Miami won’t make the jump. Not with Trent Green who won’t remember what play he called after walking from the huddle to the line and with New England ruling that division like the O’Doyle’s ruled the school in Billy Madison.

Same with Texans being in the same division as the Colts. No way does Peyton not win 13 games again this year. I don’t care what you say about the defensive losses.

The Raiders are the Raiders, the only team that might be worse than the Browns. Do you really think they can pass up the Chargers and Broncos. They might finish better than KC but they’ll still be a long way from first.

Redskins maybe have a chance. They are in with New York Giants (a team with Eli as the quarterback always has a chance to pee down their leg at anytime), Philadelphia Eagles (I like McNabb but come on, what’s the over under on him getting hurt, Week 7? 8? And who’s their back up? Ty Detmer? Kevin Kolb? The kid will be good but not this year.), Dallas Cowboys (I’m still not buying this whole Romo thing). Washington could get it done but then again it is a team coached by a guy more in to NASCAR and ownened by a guy who spends money just to pretend he is George Steinbrenner (without the titles) and quarterbacked by a guy couldn’t beat Mark Brunell out of the starting job until Brunell all but had his legs fall off. Yet still, they have a better chance than just abbot anyone else on the list.

I think the Lions have the best chance to go from last to first. After all, Jon Kitna and Mike Fuerry said they would win 10-12 games and you always trust someone named Fuerry. Their offense was great last year and has only gotten better with Tatum Bell and Calvin Johnson. Green Bay, I’m a huge Farve fan so I want them to be good but I just can’t see it. Minnesota, please. Chicago may fit nicely into that category of Super Bowl losers that fall off the next year. Rex Grossman look horrible in the game with Colts and the defense and special teams can only carry a team so long.

The Bucs will be better than the Falcons (who won’t be) but not better than the Saints or Panthers. Some people are writing off the Saints as one year wonders and I just don’t see that. Too much talent. As for Carolina, with Steve Smith, all things are possible.

Arizona has a decent chance to win their division, too. That’s what I would be saying if it wasn’t Arizona.

That leaves the Browns. Before the preseason, I was telling people around the office they could surprise some people and make a run at the division title. Now, two preseason games into the season, I think I’m back tracking on that. Their offense looks horrible. Frye sucks, Anderson sucks and Crennel for whatever reason, refuses to see on Quinn looks against number ones. This Saturday in Denver, the dress rehearsal if you will, will be the real test of where the Browns stand.

I can, in an optimistic fans eyes, see the Browns being better than Cincinnati. I can maybe see us finishing with a better record than Pittsburgh, but we can’t beat the Steelers so maybe not. Baltimore is one of the best teams in the NFL but still shaking enough to falter. Their two injures away from being .500.

With all that said, I pick the Lions and Browns as the teams with the best chances to go from last to first. Not saying it will happen, just saying they have the best chance.

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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly of MLB last night

Numbers inside the numbers highlighted last night’s MLB action.

The Good: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Garret Anderson had 10 RBI’s in a 18-9 win over the Yankees. He was just two RBI’s away from tying the MLB record set by none other than the legendary Mark Whiten in 1993. Jim Bottomley originally set the record of 12 RBIs in 1924. The thing is Anderson had a chance to tie the AL record of 11 (set by Tony Lazzeri in 1936) or break the MLB record in the bottom of the eight inning. Anderson was batting with 2 outs and runners on first and third. All the man with four hits and 10 RBI already had to do was hit another HR to break the record. What’s he do? Grounds out to shortstop. Geez Garret, get a hit.

The Bad: If Garret Anderson was playing Indians last night, he would have won 10-1 and out hit the Tribe 4-1. Just how pathetic is Cleveland’s offense. Well, they did something for the first time in the history of their franchise, which as been around since 1903. This was the first time the Indians have been one-hit with that one hit being a home run. When your offense is still setting franchise records for awfulness (a much underused adjective) after 106 years of existence, you know you’re bad. And when you have a starting pitcher who throws a complete game, 3-hitter, on 77 pitches (only 18 balls) and he’s 1-4 with a 2.43 ERA since the All-star break, you know your offense is at an awfulness level not seen before.

The Ugly: Unlike Anderson, Mark Reynolds’s of the Arizona Diamondbacks was able to tie a MLB record. However, it’s a record in the complete opposite direction of Anderson and something no one would want to be associated with. Reynolds struck out nine straight times. The only thing that ended his streak was being hit by a pitch. As bad as Reynolds’s has been, as least he reached base last night. He would provide a much needed spark to the Indians line-up.

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