The San Francisco Giants ended the Cinderella story of the Kansas City Royals last night in a tight ball game. In ending the Royals Cinderella story they created a fairy tale of their own. 3 World Series Championships and 5 years. This is mainly due to a guy name Madison who has the word Bum in his last name. The guy is absolutely no Bum. Madison Bumgarner was lights out on 2 days rest and he was lights out two days again and he has been lights out in this entire playoffs.
This kid stepped up big time and took home the big prize, in one of the most enjoyable World Series in recent years. I openly admit I wanted the Royals to win it was their turn their destiny. I love great pitching and great pitching performances and this kid did the job. He put the Giants on his shoulders and carried them to the promise land. My question is why isn’t Bruce Bochy ever in conversation of the games best managers? The guy just continues to win. He sneaks in and takes care of business.. Congrats to Jake Peavy winning rings in back to back years.
The games are over now and the Giants are Champions once again. The nonsense begins and the speculation of free agency is upon us. We will get overly concerned of how much this team or that team is willing to pay for a #3 starter. We will be in shock of contract sizes and amounts. Deep down we all know if we had the talent we would take the money as well. It’s a short life in baseball you take the cash when you can and when somebody is willing to pay. We get blinded by all this stuff and all we yearn for is that April Day when all that matters is what happens between the lines. If next season was as good as this season while just maybe we will be in for a treat.
Brady vs Manning
Peyton is coming to Foxboro this week and if you think hard about this it could be the last regular season game between Manning and Brady. In what has been an awesome rivalry over the years.. The wheels have been put back on the Patriots bus and the Broncos seem to just do everything right with the exception of their scoreboard guy. This should be one helluva football game. If you had asked me a few weeks ago I would say this was going to be a blow out at Foxboro and not by the home team. I still think the Broncos win this one. But I also think the Patriots give them all they can handle. Yes. I won’t be surprised of the Patriots pull it either... There was some back up at the gates getting into Gillette Stadium Sunday stood in line for over an hour.
The NBA is underway. I know you don’t care. But I have one question there are only two guys in that league Koby and LeBron . What happened to all the other guys?
Pucks are being shot all over the place...as opposed to fingers.
LIL Warriors oops I mean Lakesiders
The boys played their most competitive game to date losing 3-1 but it was a solid performance . Up and down game and they had their chances couldn’t get a good bounce.
Lil Lanz much his dislike has been playing as a defenseman and maybe deep down he is embracing it because he made the play of his Hockey career Saturday. The boys were pressuring the other team and lil Lanz was anticipating the play coming up the leftside so he was more toward the middle of the blue line get ready to get the puck got deflected to the rightside. Lil Lanz dives across the ice and gets his stick on it to keep it in the zone. Didn’t think the boy had it in him but damn it was a great play.
Saturday, I eneded up with my Alma Matta in a JV game. Growing up that city was hard working Irish, Italian an Jewish families. It was a big suburban High School about 5 miles outside Boston. As time has gone and the school has gotten smaller and now is referred to as an urban High school. I got their JV game on Saturday morning (Right after Lil Lanz’s Hockey Game) against one of their arch rivals another high school who went through a similar transformation. The game was at the rivals home field. The rivals are a football powerhouse in Massachusetts. Kids on both teams all somehow know each other they would hit hard and than put a hand down to help the opponent up and ask if he was ok. That was cool.
So there is a kid on My alma matta’s team keep in mind they were Blue and Gold very similar to Notre Dame without the State House Golden Dome Helmets. Just plain gold.helmets. So this kid #12 is wearing this red ,green , and yellow socks with little you flags on the back of them. So a kid on the other team gets hurt.. #12 is sts on one knee and I’m standing next him and I ask him what’s up with your socks.(Sometimes I have to explore the mind of a 15/16 year old). He says man these are Robin Socks. The Quarterback is Batman and I’m his Robin . Sure enough there is the R for Robin on his socks. I look over at the QB he has Black and Gold socks on with a Batman emblem. Maybe they weren’t legal but this isn’t the NFL and this wasn’t a varsity game... it was just two high school kids having a little Fun. I called the kid Robin the rest of the game.
This game was fun we would set the ball and kids on both sides would say than you sir.or they would drop the ball instead of handing it to us and say sorry sir. The Varisity Coach was there from my Alma Matta and we as a crew went over to him to compliment his kids and his JV coaches for that matter.
Recently the issue of race came up in the form of an anonymous quote in the Seattle Seahawks locker room disparaging Russell Wilson as “not being black” enough. I hear about something like that and I bristle, no one would take ownership of the quote and it was black writer (I hate the term African-American) that reported the issue. I then thought, what is “Black enough?” Am I not black enough because I live in the suburbs and not in the hood? Im sorry I like to know I can leave my backpack in my car and it not get into, I like the quietness of my neighborhood. Its not a black/white thing its my home. Russell Wilson is a fine upstanding young man, and his race should not be a factor in how he is perceived. I’d like to think that enough time has passed where the issue of a “black quarterback” is a non issue. Geno Smith struggles in New York and might very well lose his starting job to another black quarterback Michael Vick but no one really cares about skin color here. They are concerned that Smith is throwing interceptions at a frighteningly frequent clip. RGIII looks to be coming back to play for Washington soon, his struggles only looked at from a playing perspective. I think enough time has passed from when a black quarterback was curiosity or novelty. When quarterbacks like Merlin Briscoe, Joe Gilliam and James “Shack” Harris were the rare exception as quarterback and Warren Moon had to go to Canada for seven years before someone happened on the idea that he might be a decent QB. Russell Wilson became the 2nd black quarterback to win a Super Bowl 26 years after Doug Williams did it (ironically in a blowout against the Broncos featuring an iconic QB), but when Wilson won there were few that talked about it. And that in itself was a good thing. Why? I don’t care if the quarterback of my team is black white, a woman or a martian. If they are winning games and carrying themselves with the right kind of attitude, im good with it. I only see color when it comes to my team. And I’ll root hard for or rail on a bad quarterback black or white. Trust me, Tavaris Jackson made my blood boil, and Daunte Culppepper could be frustrating but I also railed on Christian Ponder, Gus Frerotte and Jeff George. But I digress. Ultimately, the term acting black or not being black enough is a misnomer and something that is insulting. I spoke correctly in school and got called a punk for it. I was taught to speak clearly and correctly. Could I hood it up when the need presented itself? Of course I could and at when the scenario presents itself, do. But in my line of work, when the money is on the line I think I speak more “proper” But the term to me in annoying and I think that the person that was responsible for the “anonymous quote” was the real coward.
Goodell continues to ruin the NFL
The NFL is hell bent on shoving the concept of a team in London down our collective throats. The Lions and Falcons played the second of the three scheduled games in Wembley Stadium. The Raiders and Dolphins played a snoozer last month. Now this game played this past Sunday was markedly differnet to be sure the Lions spotted the Falcons a 21-0 before roaring back to win 22-21 on a second chance field goal by Matt Prater. But now the NFL is looking to five games in London in 2015 taking another home game from a pair of teams but damn sure not reducing season ticket package prices. THe NFL wants to dominate the day watching. The Lions-Falcons game kicked off at 9:30a EDT to placate the locals who wanted a day game, and the talk is that more of the London based game will be kicking off at this time to get more TV coverage. Also London is clamoring hard for NFL team of their own, now not only is this sacrilege this smacks in the fast of continuing to ignore the nations #2 TV market LA. Which I think that Der Kommisar Goodell is wanting to remain open to use a leverage for cities that wont toe their stadium building line. The one off game in London is amusing and different but the increasing number of games in London at the expense of the American fans is stupid. Do you think that the Barclays Premier League would move a regular season match by two of its teams to America or that they think that they would try to get an American team here? It wouldn’t happen, period.
End of the Line for Nash?
The Lakers Steve Nash stayed around for the paycheck but it seems that the Lakers are paying for an expensive bench warmer. Nash reinjured his back and is likely out for the season and possibly his career. The wily guard who was the point man for the high scoring Suns team of the mid to late 2000s played only 65 total game for the Lake Show and is likely done for good it’s a sad coda for one of the more brilliant ball handlers and scorers in the game. He was fun to watch and played the game with a fearless drive that made him easy to root for, he won back to back MVP’s in 2005 and 2006 and many are left to wonder if healthy could he have made a real difference in preventing the Lake Show frightening slide into irrelavence in their own city. I would have liked to see Nash playing out this season, having has announced that this season upcoming would be his last. But it its not meant to be and we will have to wonder is the Canadian gem a first ballot hall of famer.
A world class world series
The World Series is looking like it could be a classic with the Giants now hold a 3-2 edge behind Madison Baumgartner’s complete game 5 gem as the series returns to Kansas City. The scrappy Royals are facing elimination for the first time since the wild card game against the Giants cross-bay neighbors in Oakland. Here is where the Americans win in the all-star game is proving to be critical. The Giants will have to clinch it on the road in front the rowdy Royals fans who are unleashing 29 years of pent up playoff frustration. I think that the big city pundits that are whining that since the big names and big stars are not on the major stage the series isn’t worth watching. I disagree, this is shaping to be one of the best series in quite a while. I mean seriously when did you remember a series this action packed? So what both teams won less than 90 games in the regular season, they are playing scrappy passionate baseball and you have to know that Bud Selig in his final series as commissioner is delighted that the small market Royals are standing tall in the mega spotlight of the World Series and are still very much in the hunt to take the title. But the battle tested Giants seem to never be rattled and just seem to have every answer.
To Oak Harbors football team that forfeits game to give title to Marysville after a tragic shooting earlier in the day. Rather than rescheduling the game after the shooting. Oak Harbor forfeited the game to give Marysville the conference title and attended a vigil at Marysville that night. You have to give dap to Oak Harbor for thinking of their fellow football players in their time of grief and love to Marysville, Hoodwood grieves with you.
Lamarr Houston of the Bears who injured himself celebrating a sack. Did I mention that it was of Jimmy Garopalo? And that it was late in the Pats blowout of the Bears? Houston tore his ACL and is out for the season. What a moron
82 points for TCU…in a football game? The basketball team hasn’t scored that much in 2 years
I like Peyton Manning (hes the QB of one of my fantasy teams) but the rant at the scoreboard operator was stupid
Why do I get the feeling that the college football playoff will find a way to get it wrong? If Notre Dame is anywhere near this or multiple SEC teams, this playoff scheme will be a sham
My first four teams Miss. St, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State
Is there a clear cut favorite for the Heisman?
Kobe’s mad at his player ranking, why is he on the delusion that he is one of the best players in the NBA?
If the Giants take the series isn’t it about time that we start talking about Bruce Bochy being one of the best baseball managers of this era, three titles in five years but he gets no love outside the bay area.
One of my fantasy teams is climbing back from an 0-4 deficit while my 6-1 team took an unexpected pratfall to the worst team in the league. THe natives are restless (when aren’t they?)
Im no fan of Ben Roethlisberger, but you have to be impressed with him throwing for 5 bills against a Colts team that was coming off an impressive shutout of the Bengals
I don’t know who I trust less Romo or Jay Cutler...how the hell do you lose to Washington and Colt McCoy?
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where sometimes you are just trying to get by.
College Football: Look Who’s Running things…Mississippi State?
Most casual observers of college football would look at the fact that Florida State dropped from the #1 slot for an SEC team and shrug their shoulders, the fact that the team that replaced them is not one of the usual suspects from the SEC is the one that would be the eye catching fact. Its not Bama, not LSU not Auburn. Its Mississippi State. Read the following line slowly and digest it.
Mississippi State is the #1 team in the country in college football.
And their in-state arch rival Ole Miss, is lurking dangerously at #3. The oft maligned Magnolia State who was more infamous for the antics of Ross Barnett and the shameful chapters of the civil rights movement are now living large with two of the best teams in the country. From the Bulldogs do everything QB with the cool name, Dak Prescott to the Rebels junkyard dog tough defense that just abuses its opposition. These teams are fun to watch and are making the football world sit up and notice. The Egg Bowl on November 29th could be for a lot higher stakes than simple bragging rights, it could better the Iron Bowl as the conference’s big game in the SEC West as the gateway to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Mississippi State has only a trip to Tuscaloosa on its docket that may keep them from heading to their showdown game unbeaten. Ole Miss has a bit of a tougher run, they have head to Baton Rouge for a likely Saturday night tangle in the Bayou, never a good time then they host Auburn the very next week. The very idea that these team could be playing the final regular season game as unbeatens should quicken the pulse.
Meanwhile Florida State keeps chugging along, despite the growing noise that Jameis Winston may still face some sort of disciplinary actions for his alleged involvement in a sexual assault case, this all in front of a sort of conference showdown with Notre Dame who is still an independent but seem to be playing a few ACC teams here and there. But a matchup of unbeaten teams this late in October is always nice to see.
NFL: A tie?
For reasons I cant explain, Ive seen on TV each of the last three tie games. In 2012 I sat in my man cave and watched the Rams and 49ers slug into early evening but without a victor in a 24 all draw, last season I was visiting my Grampy and watched my Vikes and the Pack battle to a 26 all standoff, Sunday I again was visiting my Grampy and caught the tail end of a wild 37 all draw that set an NFL record for the highest scoring tie since 1974. The thing that amazes me about ties is the general football populaces ignorance about overtime and tie games. Tie games to be sure are a rarity nowadays, there have only been 20 ties since overtime has been instituted for regular season games in 1974. Before then overtime only happened in playoff games and only had happened four times in NFL history before the extra period was instituted for all games. Since the overtime rules were instituted the Packers have had the most ties with 5, and all teams in the NFL except Houston, Jacksonville and Seattle have had ties. Though the Patriots have not had a tie game since the merger, their nine ties in their AFL days go forward with their overall won-loss total. Ties were a regular occurrence before 1974, if the 60 minutes were played and the score was tied that’s what it went into the books as. There was at least one tie game in the NFL each season from 1952-1974 and as many as nine in 1967 & 1970, it wasn’t uncommon to see teams with 2 and sometimes 3 ties on their ledger the 1963 Bears finished 11-1-2 in their title season, I liked the 1965 San Diego Chargers who won the AFL West with a 9-2-3 record. More ties than losses, go figure. In 1970, every team in both the AFC and NFC West had at least one tie. 1975 was the first full season with no ties. And only 19 times since the Steelers and Broncos played to a 35 all draw in 1974, with the addition of sudden death then the modified possession overtime there have been more OT wins and fewer times that the game has ended in a draw. Ironically the Bengals last tie was at home due to a missed field goal.
But now you have the crying wonks. “Uhnnnnh there should be a winner, keep playing.” Can you imagine if either of these teams had to play on Thursday and had to keep playing till there was a winner?
Its rare when I give dap to a St. Louis Cardinal, since Im not a big fan of them, but I always like to see someone gain a measure of redemption. And Kolten Wong got a bit of it Sunday night against the Giants. Wong got picked off to end a World Series game last year and in some circles wore the goat horns for the Cards lost to Boston. But Wong had a solid year for the RedBirds and clubbed a walk off homer in Game 2 to level the NLCS at a game a piece heading to the Bay Area. I still think the Giants are the better team and will win in 5 or 6 but Wong won a game by himself Sunday.
To the useless jerk in Philly that was clapping over the prone figure of Victor Cruz as he lay in agony on the Lincoln Financial Field turf Sunday. Cruz tore his patella tendon and is out for the rest of the season and the picture in the NY Daily News said it all, that was uncalled for.
The TCU-Baylor game was a fun shootout to watch, Ill bet the score of either of their basketball games doesn’t match the 61-58 score
The Rain was the only thing that could stop the Royals, good to see that Buck Showalter hasn’t lost his overmanaging touch
KD out for 6-8 weeks with a foot injury…not fresh at all. You know Russell Westbrook is salivating at the chance to jack up shots
Ok so Romo and the Pokes beat the Seahawks…when he wins in the crunch let me know
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where summer and warm weather left and didn’t even leave a goodbye letter.
Back to the 80s: The Royals and Orioles return to the spotlight
I grew up in the 80s, ESPN wasn’t the monolith that it is now, and was a nice supplement to sports page. You didn’t have fifty thousand specialty sports channels, depending on your point of view could be a good or bad thing. The baseball playoffs were the center of the sports universe in October, the League Championship series were a best of five prelude to the fall classic. Teams like the Royals and Orioles were postseason staples. The Orioles won the World Series in 83 when I was in the 6th grade, beating the Wheeze Kid Phillies in 5 and The Royals won the series 2 years later finally beating in state rival St. Louis in 7 thrilling games. No one ever figured when Cal Ripken caught the last line drive in the 83 season that it would be 14 years before they would return to the postseason and no one thought that when Bret Saberhagen and George Brett watched the final out of the 85 series arm in arm before setting off a riotous celebration that it would be 29 years before the Royals would be playing in October again. No one thought the 85 title would be the capstone of a franchise that was considered the model modern day franchise. From 76-85 The Royals would finish no lower than second in any full year, and made the divisional series in the strike shortened ’81 season (They called them the mini-playoffs then, cute) and had only one losing season (but finished 2nd that year) After winning the series in 85, they stayed respectable winning as many as 92 as late as 1989 and 84 in 1993, though they finish 2nd in 1995, they were 30 games back of the Indians and wouldn’t get close to the first division again for nearly 20 years the nadir being losing 100 or more games in four of five seasons between 2002-2005 with only an 83-79 aberration in 2003. The Royals were the Pirates of the AL, small market team crying that they couldn’t compete but after winning 86 games in 2013 and staying in the playoff race until the last week of the season optimism was high for 2014 and the Royals cashed in leading the division for much of the year, though they faded somewhat down the stretch they hung on for their first playoff appearance since winning it all in 1985. Many pundits figured the Royals might be a token player against the playoff tested A’s but after rallying to win the wild card game in a frantic nail biting thriller, the Royals headed west to face the 98 win Angels who sported MLB’s best record. Undaunted the Royals won two more extra-inning games before stunned crowds in Anaheim before putting the Angels out of their misery Sunday, thrashing the AL West champs 8-3 before a deliriously happy throng in KC. Sporting signs like party like its 1985. Royal fans haven’t had this much fun in a generation. Only 2 players in their starting lineup were even born when the Royals won it all.
On the other side you have the Orioles, a team that after being long time sad sack as the old St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and became respectable in the 60’s steadily climbing as the Mantle Yankee dynasty was crumbling, molding themselves into the model modern franchise upsetting the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series and under the stewardship of the crusty irascible managerial genius of Earl Weaver won 100 or more games 5 times and winning the 1970 World Series. From 1967-1985 The Orioles never had a losing record and finished no worse than 4th in that period. They were the gold standard of baseball in the American League. The Oriole way was the way baseball was supposed to be played when I was growing up, but after Earl Weaver retired and his right hand man Joe Altobelli stepped away himself the Orioles began to slowly fade away till they bottomed out in 1988 with the horrendous 0-21 start and 54-107 season, they were more or less the dregs of the American League for a while and aside from a brief renaissance in 1996 & 1997 where they made the playoffs were mediocre more or less the whole entire time. The Orioles faded as the Yankees and Red Sox rose back to prominence, and the Orioles playing in their beautiful ballpark played middle of the road baseball for the part of the last decade. So now you have two teams that have been out of the spotlight for so long that their collective arrival is a breath of fresh air.
College Football: Frantic Saturday
It really began on Thursday when Arizona went to the Autzen Zoo and stunned the #2 Ducks. You just don’t go into Autzen and knock the Ducks off and it wasn’t a fluky game, they dominated Oregon and the zoo got quieter and quieter. Then the madness continued on Saturday where #1 Bama got zapped in Oxford by Ole Miss settling off the wildest of postgame celebrations in the fabled grove. But just across the state, Mississippi State routed #6 Texas A&M in Starkville more or less putting Kenny Trill’s Heisman threat on ice. But it didn’t stop there, TCU played a late pick six to knock off Oklahoma. So if you’re counting that is four top ten teams including the top two teams. Notre Dame needed a late score to beat Stanford. Add to the mix Arizona State stunning USC on a hail Mary; Northwestern shutting down Wisconsin’s feared running game and Utah State thrashing Brigham Young in Provo and you had no fewer than 7 ranked teams taking an L this past Saturday. This is way more than the every weeks a playoff concept, the upset make college football must see TV
To the New England Patriots who in the middle of their 43-17 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night took time to give love to Devon Still whose daughter is fighting cancer. The Pats cheerleaders were all wearing Devon Still jerseys in honor of Leah’s fight and there was a presentation on the jumbotron and the Kraft family donating $25,000 to the cause. Say what you want about Belichick, Brady and the actual football team, but the organization is pure class
To the stupid antics of the Jacksonville Jaguars mascot who thought it would be cute to make fun of the Pittsburgh terrible towel. Nothing wrong with making fun of it. I’ve seen opposing players and fans use the towel as shoeshine rag, handkerchief and mock toilet wipe. Jackson De Ville the mascot went way too far sporting a sign that said “Towels have Ebola” How stupid can one be, making light of a deadly disease and one that could be in the country is not funny at all. The Jaguars were highly apologetic and said that the matter would be handled internally, but I like others failed to see where there was any humor here.
Are there people that think that Kobe’s return will make them a 50 win team?
Harper and the Nats go to Frisco and win…that series is going the distance.
The Cards and Dodgers really don’t like one another, and the chirping is making the series a real doozy
My fantasy team finally escaped winless island…while my other is still unbeaten but we got away with a tie.
Hockey season is about to start…wait didn’t the Kings just raise the Cup last week???
While still stunned over how utterly awful the Patriots looked this past Monday night vs. Kansas City...
Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
This week the Garfield comic had a strip that seems to describe me to a "T":
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
A friend of mine shared this photo on Facebook and it pretty much sums up the Monday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs:
Mass Maritime - The Buccaneers traveled to play Fitchburg State on Saturday but came away on the wrong end of a 26-21 score. They fall to 1-3 on the season. In the loss my former player E.J. caught 6 passes for 62 yards and a TD. The 62 yards gives him the all-time receiving yardage record at the school! Congratulation E.J.!
You can read more about his march towards the receiving record HERE.
Kansas - After going just 6-22 in a little over two seasons, the Jayhawks finally pulled the plug on the doomed to fail from the start tenure of Charlie Weis. The man who was so great as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots has been a massive failure on the collegiate level. After such a horrible "era" at Kansas, I don't see how anyone can ever hire him as a head coach ever again. Frankly, he's proven that he can't do that job at all. My guess is if he doesn't head back to the NFL for a coordinator job, he's going to be effectively blackballed from the game.
Boston College - The Eagles were on their bye week yesterday but in the meantime you can read this article and learn more about senior linebacker Josh Keyes.
Alabama - I watched the Alabama-Ole Miss game yesterday and it was a depressing thing to view. While Ole Miss fans would of course disagree with my assessment, when Bama loses my football weekend is soured. But the Tide has no one to blame but themselves. Despite a defense that held the Rebels to just 72 yards on the ground, they couldn't figure out how to stop Rebel QB Bo Wallace (pictured below) who had the game of his life in pulling off a 23-17 upset. He threw for 3 TD passes and the Rebel defense picked off Blake Sims in the end zone to seal the deal.
Make no mistake, the Rebels played great. But they sure got an assist from Bama. They got nailed with 8 penalties, and they were usually penalties after a big play. T.J Yeldon (pictured below) ran for 123 yards but the run game was hurt by the loss of Kenyan Drake. He had nasty leg injury that caused CBS to stop showing the replay.
Blake Sims ran for a TD but passed for just 228 yards on a day when Alabama could've used more of an aerial attack. In the end, Mississippi had the upset as Alabama fell to 4-1.
BOSTON RED SOX
The Boston area papers are publishing article after article breaking down how the season fell apart for the Red Sox. When they are writing those type of articles, they are writing pieces on what they think how the club will or should be constructed for next year.
And in depressing free agent news, the hopes that pitcher Jon Lester might be making a return to Boston took a big hit when it was announced he had put his home in Newton, MA on the market. Not that I can really blame him. After all, the Red Sox already lowballed him once, why bother giving the team another chance to do it to him again.
I just hope I never see a press conference this offseason where Lester is introduced as the new starter for the New York Yankees. I just don't think I could stomach that development at all.
Oakland Raiders - Mercifully, the Dennis Allen era came to an end this week when he was fired as head coach of the Raiders. But given how bad the team is, I think GM Reggie McKenzie should have cleaned house and fired himself as well. As GM, he's the guy responsible for stocking the roster with all the barely there "talent" that is supposedly playing for the team.
I'm no fan of the Raiders, but it is still embarrassing to me as a football fan to see one of the franchises with such a proud history in the league continue to stay not only in the cellar of the league standings, but to also seemingly unable to wash the stench of mediocrity AT best off them. Since Jon Gruden kicked their ass in the Super Bowl, the Raiders have become the NFL's version of the Bad News Bears.
Speaking of Jon Gruden, his name immediately came up as a potential replacement. (Ex-Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is the Raiders interim coach.) Another name I've seen floated is Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated had an interesting piece on why Gruden might not be the savior that people think he would be. You can read the article HERE and decide for yourself.
One of the key reserves on the 2008 championship team was Leon Powe. I liked his game when he was with the Celtics. Now retired, Powe was hired this week by the team in the player development department. His responsiblities will include some community relations work but in the brief I read, Powe was said to also be interested in spending time with Danny Ainge. It seems his goal is to become a general manager in the league at some point. Welcome Home Leon!
Thanks to some strong statistical performances by a number of the players I have on my two fantasy teams, I was was able to win both leagues this week. I'm now 3-1 in one league while it was my first win (1-3) in the other league.
In a particularly hilarious bit of news from the fantasy football world, it seems New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell is a big fantasy player himself. He had himself on his team but benched himself in favor of the 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. Donnell wasn't exactly having a great statistical season so far and Davis is one of the better players at the TE position.
But as luck or the fickle whims of fate would have it, Davis had a bad game and Donnell ended up losing his matchup for the week. He would've won if he'd kept his own self in the lineup though. Why? Seems Donnell picked the worst possible time to have a career best performance. He caught 7 passes for 54 yards and 3 touchdowns...and lost his fantasy football matchup by 15 points. You can read about it via this link.
As Homer Simpson would say:
There was a time when it was considered an honor beyond measure for a city to host an Olympic Games. Nowadays, given the costs involved, the corruption endemic and the crazy demands of the International Olympic Committee, a lot of cities are passing on the chance to bid on being the host city for the Olympics. The latest problem for the IOC is the 2022 Winter Olympiad. A number of cities have refused to bid, or pulled out of their bids when the country's citizens voted against bidding. It has left the IOC with just two countries actively bidding on the event and neither of them is known for their snowy climates. You can check out the rather embarrassing story HERE.
And to cap the Olympic related embarrassing news we have the most decorated Olympian in history. Yes folks, Michael Phelps got busted for a second time for DUI. And yet oddly, not in jail. According to one article I read, his blood alcohol reading was twice the legal limit! For all the glittering jewelry he won for swimming faster than a host of other athletes, his athletic accomplishments don't seem to have added to his intelligence level at all.
For all the complaining about the domestic violence going on with the NFL, why isn't there more of an outcry for an athlete getting behind the wheel where split second timing could be the difference between arriving safely at home or sliding into a car and killing a family of six?
I'm sure Phelps will get off with a slap on the wrist, despite this being a second offense, but all that glitter is tarnished.
He's got money, does he not know how to hail a cab or hire a limo?
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Alabama - Further proof that the NCAA and its member institutions can and usually are gigantic SOBs comes in the form of the story of Daisha Simmons. She's a graduate of Alabama. She applied for admission into the MBA program but was rejected. So she applied and was accepted at Seton Hall University. She transferred there and applied to play a final year for the Pirates. But Alabama and coach Kristy Curry blocked the athletic transfer. The case makes no sense because Simmons has obtained a degree from Alabama. It got so stupid that the NCAA had to step in and offer a compromise where Simmons would sit out this season but get to play next season. She found this unacceptable because of the financial hardship it places on her family.
Alabama and their coach has yet to offer any kind of reasonable explanation for blocking a student transfer who's already graduated from their school. But it seems to be part of a systematic plan of idiocy on the part of the coach who has reportedly run off at least 6 players since last season. This is particularly galling coming from Alabama considering the school's football team is benefiting from the same type of transfer for a player on their football team.
You can read more about this story HERE. And if that isn't enough to convince you of just how despicable the people in charge of the women's basketball program are, you can check out this article about Brittany Jack, the roommate of Daisha Simmons.
Tennessee - An age and sex discrimination suit brought against the school by former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings has been settled out of court for $320,000. Ever since Dave Hart took over as the AD at Tennessee, it has seemed that the Lady Vols athletic programs and personnel have been treated as second class citizens in favor of the men's programs. This despite the fact that it is the women's teams who have been the most successful. The good old boy network doesn't like that it would seem and it had led to women being demoted, forced into retirement or simply fired. Of course, this is just one suit the school was facing. Another suit brought by former trainer Jenny Moshak (remembered best for keeping Candace Parker's shoulder from continually dislocating in the midst of a title run) and two strength coaches is schedule for trial in June 2015. You can read more HERE.
With practices getting underway this week, I thought I'd take a minute to remind those few hardy souls who actually read my ramblings that I'll once again be covering a few women's programs with regularity this season.
The teams are Boston College (I'm hoping to attend some games), Tennessee, Hartford and Missouri State. I'll also be looking in on a couple of Division 3 schools from time to time. Catholic University (Amber) and Mount Ida College (Breanna) will feature a couple of my ex-players on their roster this year and I'll be interested in seeing how they do. (Though the two schools have yet to update their women's basketball web pages for the coming season.)
Hartford - I'm hoping the Hawks bounce back from a down season last year. I saw them play when they visited Boston College but won't see them this year because that particular matchup will take place in Hartford this year. I'll be particularly interested in seeing how Amber Bepko (pictured below 1st) does in her senior year. Deanna Mayza (pictured below 2nd) enters her second year with the team as well. Other players that will be looked to for big contributions include Katie Roth, Cherelle Moore and Alyssa Reaves.
Missouri State - The team begins their second season under coach Kellie Harper. They'll be looking to improve on last year's sub .500 record. The return of Kenzie Williams (pictured 1st) should help with that goal. They lost her to a knee injury last season. Others that will help lead the team include Tyonna Snow (pictured 2nd), Hilary Chvatal and Nijay Gaines.
Tennessee Lady Vols - The Vols are loaded with names their fans know by heart. The question becomes whether or not this is the year those separate talents can combine and help Tennessee rise back up to national title contender. They got a high quality transfer in former North Carolina player Diamond DeShields but she has to sit for this season. So it will come down to the talents of a returning from injury Ariel Massengale (pictured 1st), Isabelle Harrison (pictured 2nd) and Bashaara Graves (among a host of others) to get things started for UT.
Boston College - In year 3 under coach Erik Johnson, Boston College is going to be looking to return to respectability in the ACC. Things were pretty rough last season and losing Katie Zenevitch and Kristen Doherty to graduation sure doesn't help. Karima Gabriel (pictured 1st) is going to have to step up big time in the post. The return of Shayra Brown (pictured 2nd) should help give a little extra toughness edge to the Eagles. They lost her in the first game of the season to a foot injury (I was there at that game) and missed her contributions a lot. A lot of potential success for the team is going to hinge on how well their guards play. Nicole Boudreau (pictured 3rd), Kat Cooper (4th), Lauren Engeln and Kelly Hughes are all going to need to step up their games even more than they did last year. The biggest key to the Eagles season is going to be finding a point guard who can handle the pressure other teams are going to apply on them.
The latest blog from New York Liberty assistant coach Katie Smith talks about her dealing with dressing for games. You can read it via this Katie Smith Basketball.com link.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Wareham Girls Volleyball - The volleyball team broke their 4 game losing streak early in the week when they beat Bishop Connolly 3-2. Rae-Lyn had 9 kills and 13 aces in the match. But the Vikings closed out their week by losing to perennial conference power Fairhaven 3-0 on Friday night. They are 4-8 on the year. While it is a losing record, it is still the best record of any fall sport at the school.
Upper Cape Girls Soccer - The Rams split their two games this week. They won 3-1 against Tri-County but dropped their match with Bristol-Plymouth 4-2. Their record stands at 3-6-1. The girls JV team beat Bristol-Plymouth 6-3. They are 5-2 on the season. My ex-player Ann Marie played goalkeeper in the first half of the match and scored her first goal of the season in the second half.
Wareham Girls Field Hockey - An 8-1 loss to Dighton-Rehoboth dropped Wareham to 1-8 on the season.
Wareham Boys Soccer - It was another loss for the Vikings on Friday night as they got pounded by Fairhaven by the score of 7-0.
Wareham Football - The Vikings got their first win of the season last night. They beat Case 50-39. It's their highest point total in two years. The now 1-3 Wareham team has managed to beat Case both this year and last for their only wins. It was nice to see that they had such a big offensive explosion. My former player Josh ran for 120 yards and 4 touchdowns. Three of those scores came in the fourth quarter.
Wareham Girls Soccer - The soccer team fell to 0-10 after a 5-0 loss to Fairhaven. This is at least the team's 46th loss in a row. The local paper had an article on the team this week praising the passion for one of my ex-players. Brianna lost two years to injury but still kept up with the team on the sidelines. She's back in goal this year and is the only senior on the team. You can read more via this Wareham Courier link.
I have three ex-players on the team. Below you can see a photo of each in game action from their September 18th game against Bourne. All photos are by the Wareham Courier sports editor/reporter Adam K. Ellis.
Movies - I took in the new Denzel Washington action movie The Equalizer yesterday afternoon. It's based off of the old TV series of the same name, but it really is a totally different animal in comparison. This is basically Man on Fire all over again. Or a Denzel version of Death Wish. It's not that it was a bad movie, but it was about half an hour too long and took a bit too long to get going.
While you digest that little mini review of that movie, you can check out the official trailer for the Liam Neeson film sequel Taken 3.
Books - I am in the midst of reading a new mystery but haven't finished it yet. But I did add a couple of new books to my to read pile again this week. The first book was the John Sandford mystery/thriller Storm Front. It is the latest in his Virgil Flowers series. The second book I grabbed was the Star Trek Voyager novel Acts of Contrition by Kirsten Beyer.
TV - I'm still digesting the start of the fall TV season. But one of my favorite shows from years past was Veronica Mars. One of the original stars of the show was written out early in Season 2. He kind of fell off the radar after that, but now TV Guide.com has an interview with Teddy Dunn. Whatever happened to Duncan Kane? You can find out HERE!
The latest example of the world going out of its way to destroy stuff from my childhood came this week when Amazon.com started putting warnings on the Tom & Jerry cartoon collection labeling the series racist. SERIOUSLY? You know when I grew up watching the show, I watched the cat and the mouse constantly try to knock off the other and laughed. It was enjoyable wacky fun. And now apparently, I was a preteen accomplice to racism because of it. At least that's how this story seems to make things out to be. Is there anything out there that can be enjoyed anymore without someone crapping all over said enjoyment?
I had the chance to pick up the first season of the TV show Quantum Leap on DVD for a relatively cheap price so I grabbed it and now will begin to work on a rewatch of that series. And thanks to a nice sale AND a big coupon, I picked up the 24: Live Another Day DVD set up as well.
Lastly, you can check out the trailer for the 3rd and final season of HBO's The Newsroom below.
Music - I was able to get around to writing a new CD review this week. And it was for the new John Mellencamp CD Plain Spoken. I think I wrote a pretty strong review of the CD and you can check it out HERE!
I was a bit saddened this week when I read the news that singer Ronny Munroe had left Metal Church after 10 years and 4 albums with the band. I thought I'd close out this week's column with one of my favorite tracks from Generation Nothing, their most recent album. Here's the song "Bulletproof".