Saturday, August 02, 2008

Forget T.O. - Nicolette Sheridan loves who? - Joe Torre!!!!

Did Joe ever get this love in New York?

Hall of Famer Gary Zimmerman had a choice - a Viking or Bronco

Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes about Hall of Famer Gary Zimmerman and how he is going into the Hall of Fame as a Denver Bronco and not a Minnesota Viking... "Gary Zimmerman played more seasons with the Vikings than the Broncos, and was chosen first-team All-Pro more times in Minnesota than in Denver, but he won't be carrying anything purple into today's Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies in Canton, Ohio. "My loyalty," he said, "is to the Denver Broncos." He isn't kidding. In fact, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen will present the former left tackle tonight when he joins the 2008 class." ...
  • Mark Craig

  • Emmitt Thomas has come a long way from Bishop College

    Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star writes about former Kansas City Chief and now Hall of Famer Emmitt Thomas and his humble beginnings... "He was a raw rookie from an obscure, historically black college that no longer exists. He was undrafted, unheralded and unpretentious. So when Emmitt Thomas filled out a standard questionnaire for the Kansas City Chiefs, who brought him into camp in 1966 with about 125 other players, he found one way to grab the club’s attention.
    QUESTION: What single experience stands out as your greatest in football? ANSWER: College: Checking Otis Taylor in man-to-man coverage."
  • Randy Covitz

  • Fred Dean - from hard partier to Hall of Famer

    Nancy Gay of the San Francisco Chronicle writes how former NFL great Fred Dean was once a hard partier, uut now he is a Hall of Famer...his bond with Eddie DeBartolo Jr. was something special... "It took 18 years for Dean, who was a four-time Pro Bowler and won two Super Bowl rings - to get into the Hall. Unlike so many of Dean's contemporaries, he did not play the bulk of his career as an every down player. Walsh turned him into the NFL's first "situational" pass rusher, a standup quarterback hunter in the 49ers' 3-4 defense." ...
  • Nancy Gay

  • Manny Ramirez wearing #99

    Drunk man stuck in chimney loses clothes in Warren, Ohio

    This past Wednesday night, the police in Warren, Ohio had a call about a man being stuck in a chimney at the log cabin on city square...when police arrived, it was the same man that they arrested a few hours earlier for public intoxication...however, because the jail was overcrowded, he was booked, then released...well, instead of going home, this drunk had the crazy idea of crawling down the chimney...however, the best part, when police were trying to pull him out, his clothes came off...the video is a bit grainy, but enjoy...

    Friday, August 01, 2008

    Whatever happened to Olympic swimmer Janet Evans?

    As part of our feature "What ever happened to . . . " today's spotlight is on former Olympic gold medal swimmer Janet Evans...

    Evans was born in August 21, 1971 in Placentia, California...a year before the 1988 Olympic games she broke the world records in the 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle events....once she arrived in Seoul, Evans won three gold medals and set a new world record in the 400-meter freestyle event - a record that would hold for 18 years...

    In 1989 Evans won the Sullivan Award as the nation's top female amateur 1992 she won a gold and silver at the Barcelona Olympics...Evans swimming career ended after failing to make the 1996 Olympic team for the Atlanta games...

    But she was not out of the spotlight at those games...she once said in an interview that her career highlight took place at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympics when she handed the torch to Muhammad Ali just before he lit the cauldron...she said that she cried after seeing Ali escorted from th
    e Olympic stadium...

    Evans still holds the world record in the 800-meter (8:16.22) which was set in August is swimming's longest standing current record...what makes Evans' swimming marks even more remarkable was that she competed against bigger and stronger athletes...however, Evans had an unorthodox asymmetric ("loping") stroke and a strong respiratory system....

    Since retiring, Evans ran a marathon and was a motivational speaker...she recently appeared n the reality show Celebrity Circus...she married in 2003 and has a 20 month old baby girl, Sydney...

    Enjoy this 8 minute clip of the lighting of the Olympic cauldron at the 1996 games in Atlanta...

    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    Curt Schilling believes Manny Ramirez saga affected the Red Sox

    In Thursday morning's Boston Globe, Steve Silva interviewed outspoken Boston pitcher Curt Schilling and his thoughts about Manning Ramirez....the article is below...

    Rehabbing Red Sox righthander Curt Schilling this morning said he thought the Manny Ramirez situation has affected the team and keeping him in Boston for the stretch run could present a problem.

    "At the end of the day you're taking the field with a guy who doesn't want to play with you, doesn't want to be there, doesn't want to ... obviously effort-wise is just not there and that's disheartening and disappointing," Schilling said during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI's Dennis and Callahan program.

    Does he think it's time for Manny to go?

    "Would I be the only guy in the New England area that said no if I did?" Schilling replied to the question. "I think I'm probably with the consensus. It's very obvious from anything you see or hear he doesn't want to be here. And anytime that there's a piece of the equation you have a problem, and then not trading and leaving him here is a problem because you don't know what you're going to get."

    Schilling was asked if he was insulted by Manny's "the Red Sox don't deserve a player like me" comment.

    "I was here for the end of both Pedro [Martinez] and Nomar's [Garciaparra] situation and I'm not sure how there's any parallels there," Schilling said. "... I've always felt the organization extended a lot of courtesy Manny's way and I know Terry [Francona] as a manager, like with everybody else he went that extra mile for Manny. It's disappointing to see that not get recognized, but that happens.

    "The hard part for me was this [situation with Manny] derailed into a train wreck so quick, so fast, and so oddly. You had the Buddah Zen Master guy in spring training, reading and 'life is good, don't worry be happy' and it just looked like he was poised to have a monster season. Physically he worked his butt off. Obviously he wants to play longer. Anytime a guy like that is motivated, you get excited. You get a chance to see some stuff...

    "We had a conversation a little while back, talking about what he should do and how things are gonna go and there's just really not a reason from a business standpoint for the Red Sox to do anything right now. There really wouldn't... Why would they? Given your age and the contract situations. Why would they not just kind of wait and see how things played out. I think there was, maybe there's some feeling on his part that if he did what he did last winter and he came out and had a monster first couple of months that they'd sit down and say 'OK we want to keep you here the next four years, let's get something done,' and it felt like to me that the second he realized that that was not an option, this just went straight downhill."

    Could this situation have caused the Red Sox, losers of 4 of their last 5 on this homestand, to lose its focus?

    "Absolutely, absolutely," Schilling said. "This is one of those things ... the trading deadline is always a weird time for everybody, no matter what team you play for but this ... when things are going on with Manny, the fact that Manny's locker was in the back, and not with the rest of the guys, ended up being a thing that worked because media wasn't hovering, there wasn't stuff going on, but it appears to me that he's moved out into the clubhouse now to try and make sure he gets his message broadcast and that's ... it's not fun.

    "I would absolutely agree that it's affected this team. I don't question it. I've been around when it did before in '06. These are your teammates and it just makes it hard when every question, you're struggling in a 1-for-14 and grinding your [expletive] off at the plate and every question is about something that you have absolutely no control over..."

    Schilling also said would give Jason Bay his No. 38 (and Bay's number with the Pirates) if Bay ends up joining the Red Sox in exchange for someone to give a five-figure donation to his charity, Curt's Pitch. "It pretty much can be had right now... yeah ...we'll work something out," Schilling said.

    Manny Ramirez traded to the Dodgers: Boston gets Jason Bay from Pirates

    Thursday, July 31, 2008
    Ramirez traded to Dodgers in three-way deal

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- news services

    Slugger Manny Ramirez's stormy relationship with the Boston Red Sox appears to be over.

    A baseball source has confirmed Ramirez has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, has learned. The Red Sox will pay remaining $7 million of Ramirez's contract,'s Peter Gammons reported.

    Jason Bay is going to Boston as part of the deal,'s Jayson Stark reported. And the Pittsburgh Pirates get four minor leaguers as part of the three-way deal.

    Third baseman Andy LaRoche and right-handed pitcher Bryan Morris will go to the Pirates from the Dodgers. Outfielder Brandon Moss and right-handed pitcher Craig Hansen will leave the Red Sox organization for Pittsburgh, has learned.

    Remarks by Ramirez, who has been involved in trade rumors the last few years, might have been the final straw.

    "The Red Sox don't deserve a player like me," Ramirez told Wednesday. "During my years here, I've seen how they [the Red Sox] have mistreated other great players when they didn't want them to try to turn the fans against them.

    "The Red Sox did the same with guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, and now they do the same with me. Their goal is to paint me as the bad guy," Ramirez added. "I love Boston fans, but the Red Sox don't deserve me. I'm not talking about money. Mental peace has no price, and I don't have peace here." staff writer Amy K. Nelson, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney and ESPN senior writer Keith Law contributed to this report.

    Erin Andrews - what she was wearing that got the Chicago Cubs and Lou Piniella all bothered

    This is what ESPN's Erin Andrews was wearing on Wednesdsay night as she sauntered through the Chicago Cubs locker room...Photo is from the Chicago Sun-Times

    Ken Griffey to play centerfield for Chicago White Sox

    From Mark Gonzalez of The Chicago Tribune

    Ken Griffey Jr. headed to White Sox
    By Mark Gonzales, 7:40 a.m.

    MINNEAPOLIS - The White Sox have agreed to acquire slugger Ken Griffey Jr. from Cincinnati, pending Griffey Jr.'s approval.

    A source confirmed the proposed trade, which was first reported by The move could have significant ramifications should Grffey agree to the trade, since he has veto rights by having at least 10 years of major league service, including more than the past five with the same team.

    With Jim Thome entrenched as the designated hitter, Griffey could return to center field, flanked by left fielder Carlos Quentin and right fielder Jermaine Dye. That could mean that Nick Swisher and Paul Konerko, both hitting below .240 for most of this season, could share first base, with Swisher continuing to play the outfield some.

    Griffey, 38, is batting .245 with 15 home runs and 53 RBIs for the Reds. He has hit 608 career homers.

    Griffey is in the final year of a nine-year contract, with a club option for 2009 at $16.5 million or a $4 million buyout. The Reds are looking to retool their roster while being destined for a sub-.500 season in the National League Central.

    Ken Griffey Jr. traded to Chicago White Sox! is reporting the White Sox have traded for Cincinnati Reds slugger Ken Griffey Jr. The deal is pending the approval of Griffey, who can veto the trade because he is a player with 10 years of experience, including five with the same team. It is not known what the Sox would give up for Griffey.

    Lou Piniella calls out Erin Andrews in Chicago Cubs locker room

    When reading the article by Mike Nadel about Erin Andrews flaunting in the Chicago Cubs locker room on Wednesday, it seems like Cubs manager Lou Piniella called her on it...Nadel writes:

    This went on for at least an hour. Finally, Piniella emerged from his office, ready for his dugout media session. As he turned the corner, there was Andrews in all of her bare-legged, high-heeled, low-necklined glory.
    “Hey, hey, hey! Look at this!” Piniella said, loudly and excitedly. “Are you doing a baseball game today or a modeling assignment?”
    Fair question. I have seen Andrews at many events in recent years and this was the first time I had witnessed anything quite like this, which is why it seemed so bizarre.
    Did she really feel playing the sexpot was necessary to practice journalism? She is good-looking enough and has enough of a high-profile job that she would get plenty of interviews and attention even if she showed up in a burlap sack.
    One thing for sure: There was a discernible buzz in the Cubs’ clubhouse Wednesday before a pitch ever was thrown — and that buzz had nothing to do with the anticipation of another huge victory over a division rival.

    Erin Andrews ESPN's "It" Girl Distracts Chicago Cubs before big game against Brewers

    Mike Nadel of the Peoria Journal Star writes how ESPN's "It" Babe - Erin Andrews was a hot number in the Chicago Cubs clubhouse before Wednesday's game... " Her skimpy outfit — designed to accentuate her, um, positives — had players leering at her. Some made lewd comments under their breath. Others giggled like 12-year-olds." ...
  • Mike Nadel
  • Brady Quinn not the stud muffin with Cleveland Browns - it is Kevin Kasper?

    Ever heard of Kevin Kasper?...probably not, but this 30-year-old former Iowa Hawkeye wide receiver just may be the hardest working guy in the NFL...this hard worker has kep him around the NFL with five different teams...and this year he is trying for his sixth - the Cleveland Browns...

    What makes Kasper unique is that he is a freaking stud...forget about Brady Quinn being the team stud muffin...if Kasper makes the team, he is DA MAN as you can tell by the photo of him on the cover of MM the 2001 NFL Combine, Kasper broke three Combine records...

    To read more about Kasper, check out a great article written by (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reporter
    Chris Herring ...

    Early Betting Lines on Key College Football Games

    Here are the lines are this year's marquee games...the estimated lines are from Phil Steele's Power Sweep...for more information check out his site at Northcoast Sports Service...

    Saturday, September 6
    Miami (Fla) @ Florida - Florida -18.5

    Saturday, September 13
    Ohio State @ USC - USC -5.5
    Michigan @ Notre Dame - Notre Dame -3.5

    Saturday, September 20
    Florida @ Tennessee - Florida -6.5
    Georgia @ Arizona State - Georgia -4.5
    Notre Dame @ Michigan State - Michigan State -3

    Saturday, September 27
    Alabama @ Georgia - Georgia -9.5

    Saturday, October 4
    Ohio State @ Wisconsin - Ohio State -4.5
    Missouri @ Nebraska - Missouri -5.5
    Florida State @ Miami (Fla) - Miami -2.5

    Saturday, October 11
    LSU @ Florida - Florida -8.5
    Oklahoma vs. Texas - Oklahoma -6

    Saturday, October 18
    Ohio State @ Michigan State - Ohio State -9
    Missouri @ Texas - Texas -3
    Michigan @ Penn State - Penn State -9

    Saturday, October 25
    Georgia @ LSU - LSU -1
    Penn State @ Ohio State - Ohio State -11
    Alabama @ Tennessee - Tennessee -4

    Saturday, November 1
    Florida vs. Georgia - Florida -2.5
    Nebraska @ Oklahoma - Oklahoma -17.5

    Saturday, November 8
    Alabama @ LSU - LSU -7
    Cal @ USC - USC -13

    Saturday, November 15
    Ohio State @ Illinois - Ohio State -8
    Texas @ Kansas - Texas -3
    Georgia @ Auburn - Georgia -1

    Saturday, November 22
    Michigan @ Ohio State - Ohio State -14.5

    Thursday, November 27
    Texas A&M @ Texas - Texas -15

    Friday, November 28
    West Virginia @ Pitt - W. Virginia -6.5

    Saturday, November 29
    Notre Dame @ USC - USC -16.5
    Auburn @ Alabama - Auburn -1

    Saturday, December 6
    USC @ UCLA - USC -14

    A. Rod to enforce prenuptial agreement against C. Rod

    The New York Daily News reports that Alex Rodriguez plans to enforce his prenuptial agreement with his soon to be ex-wife..."Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez is playing hardball against his wife in their divorce case, saying he wants their prenuptial agreement enforced and charges that he cheated on her removed from the record." ...
  • New York Daily News
  • John Lynch - Denver Broncos part ways

    Mike Klis of The Denver Post writes how Denver safety John Lynch and the Broncos have parted ways..."After 15 NFL seasons and nine Pro Bowl selections, Lynch left the team's training camp Tuesday after asking for his release in hopes of playing elsewhere. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan allowed Lynch the chance to explore other options, including retirement." ...
  • Mike Klis
  • Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Bill Stewart brings a breath of fresh air to West Virginia football

    Pete Thamel of The New York Times writes how West Virginia is moving forward under new head coach Bill Stewart, who beats to his own drum... "More Ned Flanders than Woody Hayes, Stewart is clearly one of the more fascinating characters to emerge recently in college football. During an interview over breakfast Tuesday at Big East media day, Stewart talked straight from the set of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” by starting sentences with phrases like, “Ah, gee,” “dadgum,” “good golly” and “gee whiz.” ...
  • Pete Thamel
  • Dancing Mexican Midgets!

    Midgets are just great...but there is nothing better than Mexican midgets who dance...check this out!!!...

    The Zone Blitz - Shannon Elizabeth and Jessica Simpson - cheerleader material?

    Would actresses make good cheerleaders?...even if you don't have a comment, check out the great photos of Shannon Elizabeth and Jessica Simpson...
  • The Zone Blitz
  • Brooke Shields - Is She Still Hot?

    Being almost 40-years-old, when I was growing up, the hottest starlet who was around my age was Brooke Shields...Shields was like the Golden Fleece - something that every man wanted, but knew it was not that Brooke and I are middle aged, is she still hot?...

    The Goddess
    Brooke Shields was born in 1965 in New York and is now 43-years-old...barely out of the cradle, Brooke made her first appearance in an Ivory soap commercial...her first film was Pretty Baby in 1978 in which she played the role of a child living in a cathouse...

    In 1983, she put her acting career on hold as she attended Princeton and graduated with a degree in English Literature...after resuming her career, she had a hard time getting roles because she is 6'0"...

    After bouncing around from different shows and movies that did not work, she hit the jackpot in 1996 with the sitcom Suddenly Susan...she also appeared in an episode of Friends when he played a woman stalking Joey...over the years, she was linked to dating the following: Dean Cain (her Princeton roommate), John F. Kennedy Jr., Michael Bolton, Prince Albert II of Monaco, George Michael, and Michael Jackson...

    In 1997, Brooke married tennis star Andre Agassi...the marriage ended in 1999...she then married her current husband Chris Henchy in 2001...after giving birth to t
    heir first child, Brooke suffered from postpartum depression...she was ripped by nut job Tom Cruise because she was taking anti-depressant medication...

    My thoughts
    Brooke Shields is still hot even though she allegedly got a touch-up with plastic surgery...I am not a fan of plastic women, but I will make an exception with will be interesting to see what some of my younger readers think about her...maybe I'm old, but hey, Brooke Shields is still Brooke Shields, whether she is 23, 43, or 63!!!...this leads to the question:

    Is Brooke Shields still hot?

    Your thoughts

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Monkey Smells its Finger

    Stiles Points prides itself on providing quality video clips that involve The Gong Show, midgets, and monkeys...enjoy this 15 second monkey clip...

    Taylor Mays - USC's Hitting Machine

    Taylor Mays - Safety, junior,
    Hometown: Seattle, Washington, jersey #2

    Taylor Mays - that is a name Ohio State fans better get familiar with because they will be hearing it a lot on September 13th when the Buckeyes play at The Coliseum against the USC Trojans....

    Mays is a 6'3", 225 pound missle who will light up anyone who invades his zone....proof of that is in the video below...Mays is a junior safety who is expected to be the next great USC All-Pro at that position in the NFL...

    Here is what's Bruce Feldman wrote about Mays:
    Taylor Mays, USC, safety: Scary. That is the best way to describe Mays. His combination of size and speed in a safety is freakish. And in the Trojans' spring game, Mays obliterated Patrick Turner, the team's towering 6-foot-5, 230-pound receiver on a play when he came over the middle. I suspect many Pac-10 receivers envision similar scenes before they face the Trojans and their super-fast, super-sized DB.

    Mays' workout numbers are ridiculous. He's 6-3, 226 pounds, with 6 percent body fat and ran an electronically timed 40 this spring in 4.32 seconds. He did 26 reps with 225 pounds while also vertical jumping 41 inches and doing a standing broad jump of 11-4. (As evidence in his growth, Mays arrived at USC weighing 215 and posted a vertical jump of 35 inches and a broad jump of 10-0.)

    Asked if he's even seen anything that big, move that fast, USC strength coach Chris Carlisle paused for a few moments: "Maybe when I walked by the cheetah cage at the wildlife park." Mays' athleticism actually presents USC with a different kind of issue: a talent with such growth potential that you have to guard against him outgrowing the position. "Our big thing is he could get too big too fast," says Carlisle, who also gushes about the player's work ethic. "He could easily be like his daddy [former NFL defensive lineman Stafford Mays] so we have to make him better without making him bigger because he could be like 260 in a month."

    Carlisle predicts Mays could still run a sub-4.4 40 at that size, but says the key is keeping the DB from bulking up too much in his lower body. "We could use him like a science experiment, but that really wouldn't be of value to him or the team."

    Mays' father, Stafford Mays, was a defensive lineman at Washington in 1978 and 1979 who then played in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals (1980-86) and Minnesota Vikings (1987-88 when current USC head coach Pete Carroll was an assistant coach there).

    Taylor Mays on the advice he received from his father: "He retired in 1989, so it wasn't like I ran around NFL practice fields when I was young. But he gave me a lot of insight. He could tell me about things because he went through them."

    Mays on his bar mitzvah: "I don't think at the time I really understood what it meant. Now, looking back on it, I feel like I have come a long way in regards to maturity and becoming an adult. I think it helped me do that."

    Get ready Brian Robiske!!!

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    John Madden Time magazine interview - Talks about Madden 09, Frank Caliendo, and Brett Favre

    The current issue of Time magazine (LeBron James on the cover) has John Madden taking questions from readers...

    Do you believe in the Madden NFL cover curse? —Martin Bennett, Mount Airy, GA.
    No, and I don't think players believe in it either. If you go back to the history of the Madden game, I was probably on the cover of it half the time. So if I was to believe there was a curse, I would also have to believe I'd been cursed. And I've never had that feeling.

    If there wasn't football, what would your life be like instead? —Corey Minerva, Locust, N.J.
    I've been lucky in that that's all my life has been. I've never had a year out of football. I'm sure that had I not been a coach, I would have been some form of a teacher. I'd like to work with kids in special education — younger kids.

    Are you good at Madden NFL? —Brian Harrington, Orting, Wash.
    No, no. Too old. I have the game on my bus, and I horse around with it, but I get more out of it by watching other people play.

    NFL rookies are paid a large sum of money before they even step on the field. Do you think they should be paid that much? — Mitchell Cuff, Las Vegas
    When I look at the salaries that these guys are being paid it's just amazing. But, you know, that's the system. I think there will be times a guy will be overpaid, and there will be times a guy will be paid a lot of money and he'll get to a position where he's underpaid. You just try to get a system that is as close to being fair to the players and owners as it can be. And you really can't include the fans in there, because I've never seen them give any money back to the fans.

    What would you say is the biggest difference between the game when you coached and football today? —Nate Barton, Raleigh, N.C.
    We used to play the same guys on offense and defense just about every down. Now they have these packages — every down, five or six guys come in on offense or defense. Every play, you have to locate who's in the game and what they're doing.

    What do you think of Frank Caliendo's Madden impression? —Alan Tucker, Charlotte, N.C.
    It's always said that I don't like him. I've never said that. The guy's making a living. That's his job, and he's a good little comedian.

    What advice would you give Brett Favre on his current retirement flip-flop? —Nathan Henneka, Salt Lake City
    Once he leaves and doesn't come back, he's never, ever, ever, ever going to be able to come back. So this is a big decision for him. I say, Do what you want to do, and do what your heart tells you to do, and enjoy it. If I were the Packers general manager, I would take him back and play him. And anyone who says bring him back as a backup doesn't know what they're talking about.

    As a player who suffered a career-ending injury, do you have ideas as to how to better protect players? —Raymond Gambel, New Orleans
    Just keep improving the equipment. That's the only thing you can do. Football's a violent game — always will be, always has been. You keep improving the rules to make it safer, and you keep working on the equipment. But you're not going to eliminate injuries.

    Do you think professional football players should be considered role models? —Owen Murphy, Philadelphia
    Yes, I do, and I think it ought to even be written in their contracts. I don't think they have the right to say they are or they're not, because they are. And they ought to accept that.

    What do you think are some traits of leadership? —Lee Reese, Tampa, Fla.
    Just being a hard worker and a good player. Some people think that it's about talking. If a guy doesn't work hard and doesn't play well, he can't lead anything. All he is, is a talker.

    Twenty years ago did you think for a moment that the video game would have the success that it had? — Farrel Allan, New York City
    No and not only did I not think that, nobody else thought that. We didn’t know what we doing video-game wise because there weren’t any video games when we started 20 years ago. And it started as a computer game. And it was going to be part teaching tool, part computer game.

    And then all these video games came around and different hardware and we were the first game so we adjusted and adapted to it, but to say that we knew that this was going to be or that we were ahead. We didn’t know. We just started at a time and happened to be the first one that started.

    What was it about this game that helped you decide you wanted to be apart of it? — Matthew Donelan, Seattle
    The first part of it was I wanted 11 guys on offense and 11 guys on defense. Now 20 some years later that sounds simple—yeah, it’s football—but everything up till then had three or four guys. So that took three years to develop—to get 11 on 11.

    So that was the most important part. When I knew that we could get 11 guys on offense and 11 guys on defense then we could play a game. We could do everything in the video game that is done in the regular game. But until we could get to that we couldn’t do it. So it took three years just to get there.

    What do you think the Madden football game has brought to the game of football—to fans or even to players? — Oliver Beqaj, Los Angeles
    I think it’s brought a new way to learn the game to fans and to players. They’re the same people. When you think that we’ve been doing this for 20 years and guys that are playing now in the NFL, they started playing Madden in grammar school, and then they played in high school, then they played in college, and now they play in the NFL and they’re part of the game.

    I think there was a generation years ago when I was growing up where you would learn the game by going out into an empty yard and playing. Now I think this is a way they learn the game—they learn the game through video games.

    It’s a good thing, because that’s today. The things we could do when I was a kid or even why my kids were kids, you can’t do today. It’s easy to say "Oh heck, yeah I remember, I used to walk two miles, both of them uphill to go play and we’d play out on a field and the guys would come." Well, you couldn’t do that today. I think people who say that’s the way it used to be—well it did used to be, but it’s not that way anymore and this is the way young people learn today.

    Who’s the best team in the 09 version? Who do you recommend suiting up with? Well you’re always going to get the best from the best teams. I think it’s fun to play as the New England Patriots and as the Indianapolis Colts. You know that’s the way you can spread it out and change and be a great quarterback. You can air it out a lot. You can air it out a lot more. You don’t even worry about running.

    Who do you enjoy watching most play football today? — Stacy Healy, Newport Beach
    I jump from year to year. And it’s always kind of being a frontrunner — you can say that — but I enjoy the best teams that year. Because you’re going in broadcasting and watching, you’re always going in search of excellence. That’s what I’ve always been, because I have a passion for the game, I want see great games, I want to see great players and I want to see them do well. I don’t go looking for negative stuff and that.

    Like the patriots last year being undefeated, Tom Brady doing what he does, Peyton Manning and the Colts, San Diego Chargers coming along under Norv Turner, Dallas Cowboys last year I can see that they’re going in the right direction.

    I thought what the Giants did last season was amazing and that makes me appreciate them because no one picked them to be in the playoffs. And then they get in as a wild card. They beat Tampa Bay. Then they go to Dallas, beat Dallas. Go to Green Bay, beat Green Bay. And then go to the Super Bowl, play an undefeated team and beat them.

    I think that is so good for football, because if we ever got to the point where we knew what was going to happen, and it happened all the time, we wouldn’t have to play the game. And the fact that we don’t know what’s going to happen—and it was proven and it was proven in the biggest game of the year—I think just stamps this game as the great game that it is.

    If you were the Packers GM what would you do in this situation? — Nathan Henneka, Salt Lake City
    I would take him back and play him and anyone that says bringing him back as a back-up doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I would argue that with anyone and I would tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about. Because this is football and football is competitive and its competitive team against team but its also competitive for a position and playing time.

    And it’s not like a corporation where you can say you’re the CEO, you’re the CFO, you’re the whatever, you don’t name people and I don’t think you give a guy a position of back-up quarterback. Or even in Aaron Rodgers case—a starting quarterback. If he earns it then he should be the starting quarterback.

    Obviously, hell, if he doesn’t earn it then he can’t be the starting quarterback. So you can’t say, Brett Favre has to come back as a back-up. Anyone who says that doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

    What I’m saying is if Aaron Rodgers is better than Brett Favre then he should be the starter. But if I was the general manager I would bring him back and I’d start him. It used to be years ago where you could have a five year plan and now it’s year to year man, you better do it this year.

    If you have a chance now, do it now, because you may not get another chance for 15 years. And that’s another way it’s changed, with free agency and everything. If you get a good team you’re not going to be able to keep them. And if you have a chance you better make hay.

    How much of an impact do you feel the 2007 Giants-Dolphins game in London had on European fans and do you think the popularity of American football in Europe will equal that of what it is in the U.S.? — Geoffrey Wowk, New York City
    No, no, it’s not going to equal that of what it is in the US. Just like soccer in this country isn’t going to equal what it is in Europe. They’ve always wanted a real game in Europe. We tried over the years, the NFL has had pre-season games there and that wasn’t what they wanted.

    And then they had NFL Europe which was a form of a minor league and that wasn’t what they wanted. They wanted a real NFL game, so you give them a real NFL game. And it has an impact but the true impact is going to be when they have their own team in the NFL and the NFL expands to Europe.

    And there’s going to be a day when that’s going to happen, I don’t know when it will be. The regular season game had more impact than pre-season, and when they get a team it’ll have a lot more impact when they have their own team.

    What is the one greatest sports moment of all time in your opinion? — Margie Furbush in Parlin, NJ
    Oh boy. You know it all depends. If it’s personal, my greatest moment was winning the Super Bowl. So that would be mine. I don’t know. You just see them all the time. I think what Tiger Woods did in the Masters just a month ago I thought that was amazing. That tennis match—Federer and Nadal—I thought was amazing.

    I’m a big fight fan, so what some of those guys over the years have done are amazing. I don’t know. I don’t even know what the heck would be considered there.

    What is your favorite NFL city to visit? — Marc McNally in Overland Park, KS
    I’m a big guy of games and players and where the good game is or the best game is, but I also like history. I get a certain feeling when I go to Lambeau field in Green Bay. Soldier field in Chicago is special to me. Those are the places that I really like. The stadiums.

    And then there are some stadiums that are good to broadcast from, like Giants stadium in New York, that they’re tearing down. And Cowboys Stadium in Dallas is a great place to broadcast from. But to me it’s still about the players and the game and the best place to be is where the best players are playing the best game.

    How close have you come to returning to the sidelines? — James Brewer, Detroit
    I never really wanted to. I came close once and it was a time when I was working at Fox and Jimmie Johnson was also at Fox and he’d left the Dallas Cowboys and was doing a studio show and had just accepted the job at the Miami Dolphis. And we were having dinner and he and I had started talking about it—like what you’d learn by being in television that you would use if you went back as a coach. And I’m getting excited about it. And he’s getting—I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that, I learned this, I’m going to change this. And I’m saying yeah, I’d do this. And boom, boom, boom.

    And then I’m walking from dinner back to the hotel and I was with Matt Millen. And I said Matt, this is the first time since I’ve retired that I feel like I want to go back and coach again, and I said I hope when I wake up in the morning the feeling goes away. And I woke up the next morning and the feeling went away.

    A great beer commercial

    Cleveland Browns banking heavy on Jamal Lewis; should sign Shaun Alexander

    The Cleveland Browns are talking playoffs - and some are even talking Super Bowl...during the offseason general manager Phil Savage brought in wide receiver Donte Stallworth and defensive lineman Shaun Rogers...they drafted another inside linebacker in Beau Bell...and if Derek Anderson should go down or becomes a bust, Brady Quinn is waiting in the wings...but Savage has neglected one position - running back...

    Sure Jamal Lewis was a pleasant surprise last season as he was the best running back the team has had since returning in 1999...however, Lewis will turn 29-years-old on August 26th and has been plagued by foot and leg injuries over the course of his who is the back-up should Lewis go down?...

    That is one area that Savage has not covered - a back-up to Lewis...currently Jason Wright and Jerome Harrison are listed on the depth chart...and who knows, maybe one of them could be a steady running back...but the fact remains that both are unproven commodities for a team that feels they can go deep in the playoffs...

    Cleveland errored by not acquiring free agent running back Lamont Jordan who was recently released by Oakland...the New England Patriots wasted no time in scooping up Jordan to provide more depth at the running back position behind Laurence Maroney...

    There is one free agent back left - Shaun Alexander...Alexander's best days are over - even though he won the league MVP in 2005...injuries have taken a toll on him...but he would be an excellent back-up should Lewis get of today, there are not a lot of teams pushing for Alexander's services either...supposedly the Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, and Denver Broncos are taking a look at him...

    Alexander needs to realize that he is at the end of his career and his big money making days are over...a marriage between Alexander and the Browns make the best sense...and it provides a security blanket for the one position the Browns could least afford an injury...

    Sunday, July 27, 2008

    Pittsburgh Pirates keep getting more building blocks; it is time to trade Jack Wilson

    For the past 10 years plus, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been holding an annual fire sale come the trading deadline to unload salary in order to get young players who the organization can build a winner around....when will this madness stop?....when will all these young building blocks pay off into a winning team?....when!?!?!?

    A few years back it looked like the Pirates hit the motherload when they traded Brian Giles to San Diego for outfielder Jason Bay and pitcher Oliver Perez....Perez was lights out when he first came to the Steel City, but soon found himself in the minors then traded to the New York Mets...suddenly, the Perez was given the ball to start Game 7 of the far as Bay goes, he was the key to the trade...he was the main building the organization is looking to trade him in order to start the process once again....

    It is a shame how dysfunctional the Pirate brass is....years of poor drafts, poor luck, and bad decisions have this once proud franchise annually unloading players....

    Once again it looked like the Pirates made another poor decision when they traded southpaw reliever Damaso Marte and outfielder Xavier Nady for basically four average minor leaguers from the New York Yankees....Jose Tabata was once an untouchable for the Yankees, but his recent struggles in AA have allowed them to change thier thinking....

    Marte was a hot number on the trading market....the Pirates could have worked a better deal, but instead it seems like they were more concerned about unloading payroll immediately than wanting to get a better deal, even if it meant to wait it out for a few more days....

    The one player the Pirates should trade is shortstop Jack Wilson...Wilson has been the stabile face of this franchise....he has seen the supposed young talent come in that was going to be the building blocks to the future only to watch the organization fail time and time again....Wilson deserves out of this misery in Pittsburgh and to be on a contending team that could make the playoffs - something that may never happen if he stays in a Pirates uniform....

    It may kill the fans to see Wilson traded, but they should understand that Wilson deserves better than what the Pirate organization has been doing....nothing would satisfy me more than seeing Wilson in the post-season - in another uniform....

    Walter O'Malley, Bowie Kuhn, Dick Williams quietly go into the Baseball Hall of Fame

    Richard Sandomir of The New York Times writes about Bowie Kuhn (photo-right) and Walter O'Malley (photo-top) who are both being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame today... "O’Malley was the consummate politician who exploited his sport’s manifest destiny, whether as a visionary or a business opportunist. But the patrician Kuhn often seemed buffeted and besieged by the gales of change, like the toppling of the reserve clause and free agency, which he said he thought would destroy baseball, and the angry labor wars in which he was outmaneuvered by Marvin Miller, who led the players union." ...
  • Richard Sandomir

  • Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes how Dick Williams (photo-left) and Goose Gossage helped bring a pennant to San Diego in 1984... "Before almost anybody outside of San Diego had heard much about the hitting exploits of a young Gwynn, however, Williams and Gossage arrived with big mustaches and big championship rings and big designs on doing it all over again with the Padres. Which they did." ...
  • Chris Jenkins