Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bryce Brown - the new number 1 player in the nation

On January 13th, updated their Top 100 high school players...the following is the list of the top 30 and where they have verbally committed to..

1. Bryce Brown, rb, Wichita, Kansas - Miami (Fla)
2. Rueben Randle, wr, Bastrop, Louisiana - Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame
3. D.J. Fluker, ol, Foley, Alabama - Alabama (photo, right)
4. Sheldon Richardson, dt, St. Louis, Missouri - Missouri
5. Matt Barkley, qb, Santa Ana, California - Southern Cal
6. Trent Richardson, rb, Pensacola, Florida - Alabama
7. Russell Shepard, qb, Houston, Texas - LSU
8. Devon Kennard, de, Phoenix, Arizona - Arizona State, Cal, Southern Cal, Texas
9. Vontaze Burfict, lb, Corona, California - Southern Cal
10. Jelani Jenkins, lb, Olney, Maryland - Florida, Penn State

11. Dre Kirkpatrick, db, Gadsden, Alabama - Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Texas
12. Mani Te'o, lb, Honolulu, Hawaii - BYU, Southern Cal, Stanford, Notre Dame, UCLA
13. Ray Ray Armstrong, ath, Sanford, Florida - Miami (Fla)
14. Alex Okafor, de, Pflugerville, Texas - Texas (photo, right)
15. Jacobbi McDaniel, dt, Greenville, Florida - Florida State
16. Donte Moss, de, Jacksonville, North Carolina - North Carolina
17. Janzen Jackson, db, Lake Charles, Louisiana - LSU
18. Garrett Gilbert, qb, Austin, Texas - Texas
19. Patrick Hall, ath, Ventura, California - Southern Cal
20. Craig Loston, db, Aldine, Texas - LSU

21. Andre Debose, ath, Sanford, Florida - Florida
22. Christine Michael, rb, Beaumont, Texas - Texas A&M
23. Gary Brown, dt, Quincy, Florida - Florida
24. Darius Winston, db, West Helena, Arkansas - Arkansas (photo, right)
25. Chris Davenport, dt, Mansfield, Louisiana - LSU
26. William Campbell, dt, Detroit, Michigan - Michigan
27. Greg Reid, ath, Valdosta, Georgia - Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Mississippi State
28. Branden Smith, db, Atlanta, Georgia - Georgia
29. Mason Walters, ol, Wolfforth, Texas - Texas
30. T.J. McDonald, db, Fresno, California - Southern Cal

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Goodbye Ricardo Montalban (Nov 25, 1920 - Jan. 14, 2009

Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán Merino died on Wednesday...during the late 1970s, he was the spokesperson in automobile advertisements for the Chrysler Cordoba (in which he famously extols the "Corinthian leather" used for its interior)...from 1977 to 1984 he starred as Mr. Roarke in the television series Fantasy Island...he also played the villainous Khan Noonien Singh in both the 1967 "Space Seed" episode of the first season of the original Star Trek series, and the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan...

Flo the Progressive Car Girl meets Santa

Bullet Bob Hayes would lead my Class of 2009

If I were fortunate enough to be a part of the selection process, here are the people who would have my support to be part of the 2009 Hall of Fame Class...

1. Bob Hayes, wide receiver - before selecting any other candidate, the injustice of Bullet Bob Hayes not being in the Hall of Fame needs to be rectified immediately...

Hayes was close to being inducted in 2004, but was denied the opportunity...the decision was marred by controversy, with many claiming that the Hall of Fame Senior Selection Committee had a bias against members of the Dallas Cowboys...others believe Hayes' longstanding problems with drug abuse hurt his chances...because of this, long-time Sports Illustrated writer Paul Zimmerman resigned from the Selection Committee in protest of the decision to leave Hayes out of the Hall...

Hayes for a two sport star...he won the 100 meters at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo...he then went on to star for the Dallas Cowboys where he held all the team's receiving records for many years...he was named to the Pro Bowl three times and All Pro four times...he helped Dallas win five Eastern Conference titles, two NFC titles, played in two Super Bowls, and was instrumental in Dallas' first ever Super Bowl victory...making Hayes the only person so far to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring...

2. Bruce Smith, defensive end - Smith is probably the easiest choice of the 17 finalists...he was a force at DE and was the anchor for those great Buffalo teams that went to four consecutive Super Bowls...

3. Rod Woodson, cornerback/safety - Woodson was a hybrid player in the secondary...he was an All-Pro at both corner and safety who always had a knack for making big his younger days, he was also a good punt returner...Woodson played for four teams, but his glory years were with the Pittsburgh Steelers...therefore, she should go in as a Steeler...

4. Russ Grimm, guard - it seems like Grimm is always a finalist who falls short...he was the best pulling guard in the game during the Redskins heyday of the 1980s...he opened holes for Riggins, Byner, Smith, Rogers, etc...

5. Ralph Wilson, owner - Wilson (photo, left) was one of the founding fathers of the AFL...he has owned the Bills since 1960...he proved that professional football could flourish in a "small market" city like would be a fitting tribute to honor Wilson, who is 90-years-old, while he is still living instead of posthumously in years to come...

6. Richard Dent, defensive end - Dent was the best pure pass rusher in the game during the mid-to-late 80s...Dent does not have the gaudy stats of Bruce Smith, but he often forced offenses to double team Woodson, Dent played for four difference teams, but his prime years were with the Chicago Bears...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Progressive Insurance Girl - Stephanie Courtney aka Flo has become a babe

She is hard to ignore because of her bubbly personality and neon make-up...all us sports fans have seen her during commercials of late...but who really is Flo, the Progressive Insurance Girl?...oddly enough, she has gained a cult following of men who think she is hot...and in a weird way, I agree...well, here is the answer to who she really is...this piece appeared in the Austin American Statesman...

By Chris Garcia
Monday, October 20, 2008

She's bubbly and beaming, high-volume, with a flip of dark hair and a face like a lollipop. She irks as she endears, bemuses as she bewitches. She's a bundle of energetic contradictions, bursting here, retracting there. Her expressions blink and change like a neon sign. Her eyes are popping globes. And she just sold you a bunch of car insurance.

Flo is her name. She's the spokeswoman for Progressive Auto Insurance, lighting up televisions in a series of commercials in which her perky cashier pitches the money-saving merits of Progressive to customers. She works in a sterile, all-white big-box store, and her florid makeup stands out like paint spilled in snow.

First she caught our eye; now she's snatched our heart. Viewers are smitten. They're crushin'. They want to know: Who's that girl?

From a recent blog at, with the headline "The Cult of the Progressive Car Insurance Chick":

"Am I the only one completely and totally enamored of the woman in the television ads for Progressive car insurance? You know, the ones starring that babelicious brunette named Flo with her 'tricked-out name tag' and her '60s style eye makeup and her kissable red, red lips?"

No, sir, you are not. There's more where that mash-note came from, out there in the blogosphere's infinite confessional space: "She's hot." "She's weird but, God, she's fine!" Others have naughtier ideas that they're perfectly comfortable sharing with the world, even if we can't d
o so here.

"It's so weird," says Stephanie Courtney, the actress who plays Flo.

We spoke to Courtney because we had to. We had to know if she was real or just a cartoon character. If she was at all like the effervescent Flo. If she really wore that much make-up and, hey, who does your hair?

Courtney, 38, has been playing Flo for about a year, and was recently signed to do 12 more Progressive ads. Which makes her the face and voice of Progressive, a peer of the Geico gecko (do they ever hang out, compare rates?) and the Verizon guy. She follows in a heady tradition of corporate mascots, from Palmolive's Madge to Tony the Tiger.

It's been quite a ride for Courtney, a senior member of famed Los Angeles improv troupe the Groundlings. (Courtney and the group performed in September during the Out of Bounds Improv Sketch Comedy Festival in Austin.)

It began with a simple audition for a commercial last fall. She showed up in a polo shirt and ponytail. She did some improvisation.

"They wanted someone with a lot of personality," Courtney says by phone from her Los Angeles home.

They liked her and signed her.

Then, the look. That look.

They cut her hair, gave her bangs. They subjected her to two hours of hair and make-up.

"They tease my hair, spray it and stick the headband in it," Courtney explains.

"And the makeup is like painting a portrait on my face," she says, laughing. "It's insane. It totally changes things on my face. It's like having a mask on."

One of Flo's best-known lines is: "Wow! I say it louder." (You had to be there.)

Courtney has popped up in the movies "The Heartbreak Kid" and "Blades of Glory," and was one of four leads in the smart adult comedy "Melvin Goes to Dinner," which won the audience award at South by Southwest in 2003. She also has a recurring role as a gossipy switchboard operator on the hit show "Mad Men." And you can see her doing yoga in a new Glade commercial.

How much is Courtney like flamboyant Flo?

"It's me at my silliest," she says. "You start off with a script, but at the end they usually let me put a little zinger in there. We put a little mustard on it. That's when it gets fun.

"Flo could be one of my improv characters, always on and sort of cracked in a weird way."

But who is Flo? What is she? People wonder ...

Like this blogger: "Is it her fabulous comic timing, her over-the-top facial expressions, her cute-as-a-button retro flip? Or is it the slight hint of a bad girl that lies just under the surface? The promise of a tattoo under that checkout girl uniform? The possibility of a motorcycle parked out back?"

Her character has been compared to a vintage Vargas pin-up girl, '50s burlesque dancer Betty Page and, adds Courtney, a "fetish chick."

"I don't know what it is," she says. "The way I play her, she's pretty much the most asexual thing on TV right now. I think the Geico lizard puts out more sexual vibes than Flo does. But I do think the cavemen are totally crushable."

Though Courtney is engaged to a sixth-grade teacher, Flo appears alluringly single. So pine away, in the same brunette-crush way you did with Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island" and Velma on "Scooby-Doo."

Because things couldn't get much stranger than they already are for Courtney. Top this: People are dressing up as Flo for Halloween.

"That makes me so happy. But I do have to warn them that it takes two hours in hair and make-up," she says. "I wish them luck."

Who should make the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009?

Last week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 17 finalists for the 2009 enshrinement...listed alphabetically, the 17 finalists with their positions, teams, and years active follow:

Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Dermontti Dawson – Center – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Richard Dent – Defensive End – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
Russ Grimm – Guard – 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Bob Hayes – Wide Receiver – 1965-1974 Dallas Cowboys, 1975 San Francisco 49ers
Claude Humphrey – Defensive End – 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles
Cortez Kennedy – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Bob Kuechenberg – Guard – 1970-1984 Miami Dolphins
Randall McDaniel – Guard – 1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
John Randle – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks
Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Shannon Sharpe – Tight End – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Bruce Smith – Defensive End – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000-03 Washington Redskins
Paul Tagliabue – Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
Derrick Thomas – Linebacker – 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Ralph Wilson – Team Founder/Owner – 1960-Present Buffalo Bills
Rod Woodson – Cornerback/Safety – 1987-1996 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers, 1998-2001 Baltimore Ravens, 2002-03 Oakland Raiders

Four first-year eligible players, John Randle, Shannon Sharpe, Bruce Smith, and Rod Woodson, are among the 17 finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Board of Selectors meets in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, January 31, 2009...

Joining the four first-year eligible players, are nine other modern-era players, two contributors and two players nominated earlier by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Committee.

The contributor finalists are former National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Buffalo Bills founder/owner Ralph Wilson, Jr. The Senior Committee nominees, announced in August 2008, are former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Bob Hayes and former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Claude Humphrey. The other modern-era player finalists include wide receiver Cris Carter; center Dermontti Dawson; defensive end Richard Dent; guard Russ Grimm; defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy; guard Bob Kuechenberg; guard Randall McDaniel; wide receiver Andre Reed; and linebacker Derrick Thomas.

Hayes and Humphrey were selected as senior candidates by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee at their August 2008 meeting. The Seniors Committee reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers took place more than 25 years ago. The remaining 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s 44-member Board of Selectors from a list of 133 preliminary nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 25 semifinalists. To be eligible for election, modern-era players and coaches must be retired at least five years while a contributor need not be retired.

At the 2009 election meeting, the selectors will thoroughly discuss the careers of each finalist before narrowing the field to seven candidates (two senior and five modern-era). At least four candidates must be elected but the total class cannot number more than seven.

If you were on the committee, who would you select for the 2009 class?...leave your thoughts in the comments section...remember, you can only select between 4-7...I will present my selections tomorrow...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tate Forcier - Rodriguez puts all his faith in young QB from San Diego

Rich Rodriguez hopes freshman quarterback Tate Forcier is the real deal...if not, Rich Rod's days in Ann Arbor may be numbered...

Tate Forcier, QB, 6'1"/184
San Diego, California/Scripps Ranch High
- Graduated in December, already enrolled at Michigan
- Runs the 40 in 4.55
- Listed as the 6th best dual threat QB by Rivals
- Ranked 143 of the ESPN Top 150

As of January 10, 2009, ESPN had this report on Forcier:
In stature, arm strength and production, Forcier looks like a West Coast version of 2009 classmate Blaine Dalton. Forcier lacks ideal height, but he makes a ton of plays with both his arm and feet. He has excellent speed for the position, but he's really a passer who happens to be athletic enough to run a spread or read-option attack with ease.

Has a style similar to that of Jeff Garcia, another riverboat gambler who finds ways to get the job done. Has good mobility within the pocket, and pulls the occasional rabbit out of his hat when a play breaks down. Can sidestep the rush and has a very quick release. He isn't afraid to take off on the run. Can create second chances with his feet and pick up a first down. Often breaks containment, and can throw on the run to either side with very good accuracy. He's a timing passer who likes to get the ball out of his hand quickly.

His size limits his vision if he isn't on time with his reads, leading to some unnecessary scrambles. Has had to play out of the shotgun often in order to see the entire field. Has ideal skills for his team's offense--excellent pre-snap reads, a quick release and great accuracy. Has ade
quate zip and arm strength for the scheme, but he's more of a timing passer than a gunner. Show a tough side and scrappiness when working to make things happen. Forcier needs to find the right scheme to make the most of his abilities, but he shows outstanding intangibles, anticipation and savvy in the passing game. He's an excellent prospect who finds ways to overcome his size deficiencies.

Check out this 2:22 clip of Forcier: