Happy Friday, all! Amazingly, it is just a pinch over five months until the 2014 NFL season kicks-off at the preseason Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH on August 3rd. Just over a week until the NFL teams are able to negotiate with other team’s free agents prior to the signing period starting on March 11th. The NFL Draft is pushed back to May this year, but even that is only nine weeks away.
With the news of an increase in the salary cap to close to $132 million there will be a number of teams with more space to overpay free agents. This is interesting because of the last collective bargaining agreement between the players and league followed an uncapped year and immediately the league had a number of stagnant cap seasons that seemed to belie the league’s success. Finally, this year the cap finally rose as many expected it would three years ago.
The NFLPA is already readying for the next labor war as former Carolina Panthers defensive end Sean Gilbert is out and campaigning to run against NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. Gilbert has been making the rounds and planning to get out of the current CBA. The election is next year, but the ten year deal is suddenly in jeopardy with another work stoppage in 2015 if Gilbert is elected.
Free agents are starting to ink deals now as left tackle Jordan Gross unexpectedly retired. Gross was an All-Pro and Pro Bowl multiple times in Carolina. This is a huge hole for a team that was close to contending in 2013.
Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski was in the news after saying on a radio show that he did not think prospect quarterback Johnny Manziel is not a good prospect. Jaworski is one of the best quarterback analysts (in my opinion at least--I NEVER miss him on NFL Matchup during the season) on the air and knows his passers. I do not see the controversy...I feel the same way as I watched him this season at Texas A&M and was not impressed. He was a great college quarterback...just like Tim Tebow.
The Philadelphia Eagles set the wide receiver market with a five year $25 million for wide receiver Riley Cooper. At the same time they are trying to decide to re-sign wide receiver Jeremy Maclin whose knee injury opened up the position for Cooper to step up. Hard to predict that Cooper would cash in after having nearly been booted off the team for his training camp racial slur scandal.
The Eagles also locked up their left tackle Jason Peters and extended center Jason Kelce. For Kelce, a sixth round draft pick, the six year $37 million contract is the payoff for a lot of hard work to work his way from being a fringe roster player to an elite interior offensive lineman.
The New Orleans Saints look to be on the verge of franchise tagging tight end Jimmy Graham. The two sides are far apart on a deal and New Orleans would be insane to let him on the open market. What is interesting will be where he is tendered as a franchise player. The difference is a couple million dollars so it will be interesting to see how that plays out this summer.
The Cleveland Browns released long-time linebacker D’Qwell Jackson after just two seasons into his signing a big money extension. Jackson excels in pass coverage at linebacker so he should have quite a market in free agency. Of course, there was a reason he was released by a four-win team (he has been terrible against the run the past two seasons and adds little to the pass rush) and if someone overpays they will likely be in the same boat as Cleveland in a year or two.
Of course, the NFL off-season is always full of controversy. Arizona almost lost the Super Bowl next year due to their discriminatory anti-gay bill. The NFL showed their muscle in the political arena by putting pressure on the state government. The NFL (and particularly the Arizona Cardinals) pushed hard to strike down Bill 1026 in order to keep the Super Bowl. Remember, the NFL stopped Arizona from having a Super Bowl due to their not recognizing Martin Luther King Jr Day in the past.
Other bad news for the NFL came with former NFL player and NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper stands accused of drugging and raping several women. The news now is that he is suspected of raping seven women. He was arrested initially in Los Angeles and now has an arrest warrant in New Orleans. He is under investigation in Florida, Arizona, and Las Vegas as well.
For Sharper it is his job gone and now potentially his freedom. If he is guilty then it is a tragic waste of a life. I do not understand or want to know what is going on in his head, but if he is responsible for this he is a sad, sick individual.
Speaking of wasted lives: former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was back in the news. A fight in jail--allegedly attacking an inmate who was in handcuffs--and he ended up in isolation for 30 days. Another odd twist in this ongoing saga for the former NFL player.
This last week of February isn’t a good sports week.
I really don't know what I'm writing about today...my mind is out there behind the wheel of a classic Corvette roadster with the cool wind in my hair...
In a Typical year, me and the misses are packing and planning for our annual road trip to FL. We would leave this Today and return home a week from Sunday. We have family in MD and FL and friends in VA, SC and FL so it usually turns into a few meals with them on the way and way back to break up the 26 hrs of driving.
This isn’t a typical year.
Mrsharry doesn’t get Spring break until next week and I just started a new job so vacation time isn’t happening this Spring.
I’m looking forward to next year and 2 weeks off in March.
My # 3 and # 4 sons (ages 25 & 21) are heading down in our place to use the time share and play a little golf…
I’ll be getting a late start on my golf game and the annual pilgrimage to breaking 100. Last year it took until October and I skipped the 90’s and shot an 88. I can’t enjoy playing when I’m cold so the FL trip gets me off to a good start…not this year.
Every year it’s like a new game, my putter is the safest club because I really can’t hurt anyone with that. My driver…well lets just keep that thing in the bag for looks. I will use a 3 or 4 iron off the tee for better control…let’s face it, I’m not hitting the ball 300 yards and the 200 in a fairly straight line is much more useful than 240 into the next fairway or street or neighboring yard. Early in the year I’ll use my putter from the short first cut rather than a wedge because the wedge is a dangerous tool and it takes much practice to control it.
By the time mid Summer arrives I’m buying new balls. The slightly used and found in the woods balls have served their purpose and are all lost anyway.
I recently read that Charles Barkley includes Tiger Woods at age 38 into his annual “Father Time wins again” group for this year along with Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter.
At least I don’t have to worry about my being included in That Group.
A friend of mine suggested the best way to think Spring is to start planning the gardens.
I am an avid gardener and grow veggies, flowers, herbs and fruit all around the posh but modest Harry estate.
This year I’m planning a variety of peppers, hot and sweet. Tomatoes of 4 or 5 varieties, some for sauce, some for kabobs, some to just eat and some to slice to put on my burgers.
I usually grow enough summer, zucchini and butternut squash so that the family and neighbors drop by to pick there own. My Niagara grape vines started producing fruit last year (typical year 3) and look like they will take off this year.
My high bush blueberries we the best ever last year, we are still eating them…frozen.
The last batch of my famous OH B&B pickles was made reluctantly from store bought cucumbers, peppers and onions.
It’s almost time to repair the boxes, lattice and fences. It’s almost time to get the compost mix stirred up, get the rain barrel irrigation system functioning and get this show going…daffodils and crocuses will be up soon… can’t wait to get my hands dirty.
Oh…that’s right, I’m doing my roof this year…better do that before it gets too warm.
I’m having trouble getting interested in any pro sports right now. The NHL will probably get me come playoff time, MLB will get my interest eventually, the NBA has no chance of catching me looking in. March Madness will get some of my attention until my underdog laden brackets fail miserably.
So here I am, looking upbeat with Spring just around the corner. One more heating oil delivery $3.69 a gallon, a couple more trips to the car wash at $12 per to get this corrosive road salt off the fragile metals that were obviously made for a warmer climate.
The garden hoses have been put away since that last deer was cleaned and hung in the beginning of December. I’m just about done with the cord wood split last year, I’m down to the uglies and the branches, The snow blower has a flat tire…but as my son says,
“it’s better for traction”
Probably have to shovel the white stuff at least two more times. Change the winter motor oil to the summer stuff…for those who don’t live in the cold… you can’t put heavy oil in a ten year old vehicle and expect it to start easily when the morning temp is about 5 degrees.
So for a guy that didn’t have much to say I guess I was able to fill the page!
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Tuesday, my son and his UTPA Bronc teammates traveled to Austin for a game against the Texas Longhorns. The family minus the boy…made the trip to Disch Falk hoping to see our favorite player. I have to admit it was strange to be pulling for a team playing the Longhorns…but that was the reality on Tuesday night. Blake did not catch, but was slotted as the DH against the Horns. Although the Broncs played very well, Blake did not have his best night at the plate. I am sure that his 0 for 4 evening will not sit well as he reflects on the game. What will be remembered is how Pan Am shut down Texas for 8 innings. UTPA carried a 1 to 0 game into the 9th inning and loaded the bases with 2 outs before the Horns closer Thornhill induced a ground out to end the inning. Texas did what good teams do when you let them hang around…they rallied to tie the game without getting a hit. A lead-off walk, another walk to a hitter determined to sacrifice and freshman Tanner Dickerson from the Austin area came into to try to get out of the inning. The Texas hitter got the bunt down, but not far enough to prevent the Pan Am catcher Huckabay from getting the lead runner at 3rd…this great fortune was short lived as a ball in the dirt allowed the runner on 2nd to advance to third anyway. Blake’s high school teammate Ben Johnson served up the Dickerson fastball into center field and the game was tied. Tanner got out of the inning without further damage, but the opportunity was lost. Texas rallied to score a run in the 11th to break the Broncs heart…2 to 1. UTPA has not won a game against Texas since 1971 and this was one that could have been. It was really a kick to watch my son play at Disch-Falk, but for me watching my father in law watch his grand-son play against his alma mater was truly a treat for me. UTPA loaded up the bus and headed back for a late night trip to Edinburg…but not before grabbing some BBQ sandwiches from local favorite Pokejos…The Broncs hit the road again for a weekend series in Beaumont against Lamar University beginning on Friday.
The girls headed to the game...
Blake's first at bat...
High school teammate Ben Johnson and Coach Wood pose after the game with Blake...very cool.
I am surprised to read that some Red Sox fans believe that it is time to cut Big Papi loose. What has David Ortiz done to bring on this thinking? When asked what he would do if the Red Sox do not come through with an extension? Big Papi had the arrogance to say that “it is time to move on.” Ortiz went on to say that as long as he can hit, he does not see any reason to give up the game. I realize that Ortiz is 38 years old, but he is right…if he can continue to hit, why not bring him back? I watched an interview this week with Big Papi and he was very specific for what he was looking for…another year. He is not demanding 2 years as some suggest…one year. For a guy that does not play defense and hit .309 with 30 bombs last year, this seems to make sense to me. For you Red Sox fans, remember the time before Big Papi was in town. Since Ortiz has put on the red sox…you have three championships. I know that pitching was a big part of last year’s championship, but don’t forget about the grand slam against the Tigers last year in the playoffs. Don’t forget that Ortiz was 11 for 16 in the World Series. This is the guy that you go one year too long rather than selling a year or two short. Hey…I don’t have a dog in this fight, but it sure seems obvious to me.
In the past few weeks there has been banter about the big deal being made regarding Derek Jeter. He has announced his retirement and some in New York want to place him in the top 5 of all-time great Yankees. Given who has played for New York over the years, I think this is ridiculous…but it did get me to wondering where Jeter stacks up with HOF short stops. Here is a list of the top 5 shortstops that most seem to believe are the best.
There can be a discussion of the order, but not really the five on the list (in my opinion). One list that I was looking at had Derek Jeter ranked number two, but given the lack of HR power of Jeter compared to Ripken and Ernie Banks…Jeter is 4 for me. Obviously, Ozzie Smith is on this list for one reason…he was the best defensive short stop of his time. Honus Wagner hit a ton during the dead ball era and I really don’t think you can even question his #1 ranking. So, although Derek Jeter may not be on the top 5 of all time Yankees, he certainly is a first ballot HOFer. Alex Rodriguez will end up with better stats, than Jeter…but they were empty stats for me. When the lights shined brightest, Rodriguez did not. Derek Jeter’s numbers were just as good in the playoffs as during the regular season. Of course there are other reasons that Rodrigues will never appear on this list as well. Won’t it be nice not to have a season without Alex Rodriguez? For the record...Jeter announced his retirement to gain added publicity for his charity.
Did you read about the homework assignment that Buck Showalter gave a rookie this week? Josh Hart admitted to Showalter that he did not know who Frank Robinson was. Showalter demanded that Hart go home and do a report on Frank Robinson so he could see just how Robinson fit into Oriole’s history. Hart did a one page report and now understands what a bad man Frank Robinson was. Damn I love Buck Showalter…
For all of those people who dislike clowns…I would suggest you stay away from the New Orleans Pelican’s games. If you want to talk about scary mascots…I think the Pelicans win. New Orleans has a tradition of hiding a plastic baby in a cake. The person that finds the baby is supposed to have good luck or something. A 3 inch plastic baby is one thing. A larger than life version is something entirely different. This may not be the scariest mascot, but if there is one scarier…I don’t want to see it.
File this under more information than I wanted to know…
Mike Minor is reporting to camp a bit behind because of a lingering rehab from an off season surgical procedure. Here is a tweet that details the situation…
Mike Minor is a few weeks behind because he had to rest for a month after undergoing a 12/31 procedure to repair scarring around his urethra
That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
I think a good product would be "Baby Duck Hat". It's a fake baby duck, which you strap on top of your head. Then you go swimming underwater until you find a mommy duck and her babies, and you join them. Then, all of a sudden, you stand up out of the water and roar like Godzilla. Man, those ducks really take off! Also, Baby Duck Hat is good for parties.
"One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no,' I said. 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late."
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
Welcome to the tantrums, where Mrs. B.O.B. had to work a double shift this past weekend and was pissed when she found out it was National Margarita Day 2014 last Saturday (apparently it’s an annual event every February 22nd). Margaritas are something she absolutely loves, and on our vacation next month, we'll ensure she makes up for missing it.
NBA. All of a sudden the media FINALLY is starting to take note of the tanking going on in the WWE (err, NBA) and they are starting to cause a stir. I don’t know if it’s because LA Lakers, Boston, New York, and Philly all are sucking all in the same year, but if it leads to the NBA starting to take a look, then I’m all for it. NBA fans don’t deserve this shit, and I keep asking the question, when will fans stop paying for tickets to Junior College Basketball?
But then again, if they all benefit from tanking this season and all of a sudden these teams are highly competitive next season - I hope all hell breaks loose because it sure as hell looks like a WWE scripting. Imagine the Northeast all having to root for either Brooklyn or Washington. That’ll be funny.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. NBA players absolutely refuse to play for teams outside of the major markets. That’s great – that is their choice and I’m all for freedom of choice. But eventually, there won’t be enough teams to supply NBA player demands for a major media market. What’s going to happen is that teams in Milwaukee, Charlotte, and New Orleans just can’t or won’t be viable. They already have a problem with attendance and so how much further away are we from seeing one of these franchises relocated to Seattle, with two others being seriously considered for contraction? That’s 26 NBA player jobs – gone, NBA options dwindling.
Unlike the NFL, the NBA cannot sustain that kind of attitude. Fans are already tired of it – just look at attendance.
But then again, there are some positives out of the NBA:
Phoenix Suns. Now on to a team that ISN'T tanking - the Phoenix Suns are playing .600 ball! This team was on the scrapheap last season, were ready to run their owner out of town on a rail, and they worked to get out of it and have won 60% of their games. They have four first round picks in the upcoming draft and already have a talented team, not to mention one hell of a first year coach in Jeff Hornacek, who should be co-Coach of the Year along with Stotts in Portland. That kid Goran Dragic in Phoenix is solid and when and if Eric Bledsoe comes back, Phoenix will be a scary out if they reach the playoffs.
MLB. I had to laugh yesterday because on my Twitter timeline which consists mostly of Sacramento Kings stuff, almost exclusively was about Spring Training. The NBA might want to take note.
I really should leave the Detroit speculation to my friends from the Motor City, but I can’t see how signing Joba Chamberlain is going to help their bullpen.
NFL. Jim Harbaugh to the Cleveland Browns in a trade? And now the media fighting each other in the press? Uh…
NFL Draft - #1 Pick – Houston Texans. If you are Houston and have the fans breathing down your neck with many questioning the effort of the players last season, you had better be 100% sure of who you take and to be honest, the last thing the Texans need is ANY drama out of whoever their pick ends up being. The pressure and temptation to take Manziel may be too great and he certainly has natural talent, but what happens to his confidence when his cocky ass starts getting drilled by NFL vets? My guess is that he will struggle to handle it, lash out, and the team will start circling the drain...AGAIN.
A lot of talking heads talking about Houston taking a hard look at Clowney. Really? LB isn't even on their list of needs.
If I may be so bold, here is my suggestion to Houston – either (1) take somebody other than Clowney or Manziel or (2) TRADE DOWN!!! Go out and find a damn veteran QB. You have plenty of talent and a coach who should be able to get the players minds right. The window is closing and they need a proven QB NOW – the Texans do not have time to wait on a rookie QB.
Hey Houston, I don’t know if you know this, but there are some teams who just might be desperate for a QB and may give up a lot for the #1 pick. Minnesota, Tennessee, and just for shits and giggles, #20 Arizona who has to start looking for a future QB. These teams have young talent that they could trade in return.
Metrodome demolition. Vikings fans have to be happy to see this. The Metrodome was finally collapsed yesterday.
College Football – Florida State 2014. I got a look-see at the Seminoles schedule this fall, and I feel pleasantly surprised. One OOC scrub, and a pretty challenging schedule for a change (for them). Add in a potential ACC Championship Game and FSU could have an argument to get back to the Championship Game:
Road: Oklahoma State (Dallas), NC State (Upset Alert!), Syracuse, Louisville, Miami
Home: Citadel, Clemson, Wake Forest, Notre Dame (October 18th Beeze and Shu!), Virginia, Boston College (November 22 Tage!), Florida (my version of the family feud!)
For Florida State, this is a HUGE improvement, though I would love to see FSU schedule either TAMU or more importantly to me Texas in the future! OK look, I get it, it’s mostly the freaking ACC, but Notre Dame, Louisville, Clemson, and OK State are certainly no slouches. I still believe that Florida and Miami won’t be down for long, and the Seminoles always struggle w/NC State in Raleigh. Boston College is improving, and where’s Felber to tell me about Syracuse?
Speaking of Syracuse...
College Basketball – Jim Boeheim. I’m not an expert, I just play one here at The Gab, but let me dial the Syracuse Head Coach, and Syracuse fans in general in on a little sumthin sumthin: Are you truly surprised about this non-call? Let me clue you in Jim-Bob: You are in the ACC now - Coach K's turf. Games at Duke or involving Duke have "interesting" officiating that generally favors the Blue Devils in crucial situations. Your whining ain't gonna help your cause and your post-game comments were stupid and will only hurt you down the line.
Uncle B.O.B.’s Editorial. I rarely get shocked by bad news in sports anymore, but Sunday Morning, I heard a stat that absolutely floored me – 21 of the 32 teams in the NFL have had domestic violence issues recently. By any measure, that is an unacceptable statistic, period. I have to wonder what the NFL and it's union are going to do about it. This stuff in my mind hurts the NFL brand in some ways - they have to do something.
Well, again Canada showed their dominance in the sport of Hockey, to the entire world...First there was the Canadian women beating the U.S. women in overtime, for the gold medal...
Then in the men's semifinals, the Canadian team shutdown, and dominated an American team that had looked strong the whole tournament...The Americans looked flat most of the game, losing a tight defensive battle, 1-0...
The next day, the U.S. fell flat again, looking pitiful in a 5-0 loss to Finland...Now, while Goalie Jonathan Quick played great against Canada, and he did play okay against the Finns, I would have started Ryan Miller in that game, just to give Quick the day off after the tough loss...I like Miller more anyways....But it didn't really matter...Quick was left hung out to dry most the game, as most of the Americans were looking flat, or in the case of Patrick Kane, pressing too hard...
So Sunday I had my money on Sweden who rolled through the tourney...But Canada played the same stifling game they put the U.S. through, and beat the Swedes 3-0...Canadian goalie Carey Price was totally out standing throughout the Olympics...
Those Canadians produce good looking goalies...
I wonder how well she can stick handle!?!
There is something unique about Olympic Hockey...I watched a lot of these Olympic games, minus the figure skating...And I got up early or DVR'ed a number of the hockey games...In all other Olympic events, winners of the Silver, and Bronze for the most part, are thrilled...They look genuinely happy when they finish their races, or what not...And they look happy to be getting their not Gold medal...But in Hockey, those Silver medal winners look just miserable...
Odd right, cause look how happy these two losers look standing on the sides of the chick that smoked them....
Is it that hockey players just care more? Do the athletes in these others sports just have more fun, and are just happy to be there? What is it? I mean over time, I'd be happy to have my Silver or Bronze medal hanging on the wall, but that day...Right after some one beat my time, to take first place, I wouldn't bee smiling...I'd look pissed, and upset like the hockey players...
But now the Olympics are over and people can stop dreaming of another 1980 like "Miracle"...Every Olympics the 1980 U.S. Hockey team is brought up, and it brings us such joy...But it's time to knock it off...It will never happen again...Something that magical, and shocking, and thrilling won't happen, because, we have pro hockey players in the Olympics now...There is no dream of a bunch of college kids beating Russia's best...The Cold War is over...Their best play in the NHL, with our best, and Canada's best, and Sweden's best, and the rest of the best...Those moments are gone for good folks...
And for the few folks out there who were saying "Fuck Canada" over the last few days, I saw a great response to that on twitter Sunday morning...
"actually I'm pretty sure Canada fucks you" followed by this pic....