Thursday, January 7, 2010

EAGLES VS. COWBOYS- It's playoff time!

I came to Dallas almost 5 years ago, and with every year my hate for the Cowboys grows more and more. It's actually a funny thing. I try and try to grow a liking for them since I am living only 15 minutes from the stadium and I do love the NFL, but the fans/radio/espn-dallas make it impossible. This is probably the worst city for fans I've ever exper. The crap I heard from day one of training camp to this morning on the way to work has wavered so much that it makes me dizzy. I listened to Emmit Smith predict a 7-9 season, I listened to talk shows and fan callers talk about how they need a new coach, a new offensive coordinator, a new quarterback, new running backs, a decent receiving corps. I've heard just about everything you can imagine in the negative about how they can't win in December, they can't win a playoff game. Personally I'm a Broncos fan and I can't say I've never been disappointed in a loss or a bad coaching decision but to depleat my own team weak in an weak out everytime they have a loss is non-sense.
Now, the Cowboys have come out of the regular season as the division champs and with home field advantage for game 1 of the playoffs and these same people who cursed them are now 100% confident that they will play in the super bowl. That makes me sick. Have they really gotten over their wows just like that. They win their last 3 games and all of the sudden there is not a team in the NFL that can beat them? Let's please not forget that the Cowboys only had 4 really quality wins this season. I mean not to say that every win you get in the NFL isn't important because it is, but come on. They lost to the sorry Giants both times. 6 or 7 of their wins came agains sub .500 teams, and oh yeah they haven't won a playoff game since 1996. Dont' get me wrong I think they have great momentum and I think they could possibly beat this somewhat defeated Eagles team, but to just ignore the fact that they are going to have to beat 3 really good teams in a row to make it to the Super Bowl is absurd. I've heard people who I thought were intelligent just dismiss the first 3 games like they are nothing. Fact is they are going to have to beat 2 of these 3 teams if they make it past the Eagles: Minnesota, Green Bay, New Orleans. Yes they have beat the Saints, but to think the Saints won't have revenge in mind and blow the Cowboys out is crazy. The Packers pretty much dominated the Cowboys this season and the Packers got beat twice by Favre and the Vikings. Like I said I have no problem with the confidence of winning Saturday agains the Eagles but I would find it hard to believe that the Cowboys even stand a chance of winning 2 let alone 3 playoff games this year. I don't know maybe I'm wrong, let me know what you think.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Question of the Day

Do the Dallas Cowboys stand a chance this Saturday night against the undefeated Saints? Will the Saints be at full blast or will they hold out a bit knowing that they are set for the playoffs? If Dallas loses this weekend what are their chances of still making the playoffs?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What is Rugby?

This post is geared towards my good friend's curiousity in the sport of Rugby. He recently saw the movie Invictus and was very disappointed because of the lack of information to go along with the unfamiliar sport in an American movie. It must have been similar to the time I took my wife to an ice hockey game and she thought the lines painted on the ice were for decoration. She had no idea why the whistle kept blowing let alone where the puck was. Well don't worry William I'm going to break it down for you and for everyone else who may go see this movie. If the information is out there maybe it will be more enjoyable.
The sport of Rugby is often referred to as the "father" of America football, something my friend does appreciate. Although if that means it came before football he may lose interest being that it is a past time. "If it's america's past time, then let it be in the past," he would say. Anyway, Rugby is a fastpaced game with many changes in possession and very few stoppages in play. It is very physical like football but players are not allowed to block like in football. The game is played on a "pitch" which is similar to a football field or soccer field however the goal posts are at the front of the "goal lines". The ball is much like a mix between a football and a soccer ball. It is more round than a football and doesn't come to a point on either side. Each team has 15 players on the "pitch" at a time. 8 players are considered forwards and are generally bigger and stonger athletes. On the defensive side their are 7 players generally your smaller quicker athletes. Just like american football the game begins with a kickoff. Once the ball travels 10 yds it is fair game for either side, but it also is a game of field position which is key. When a player gets the ball he is free to run until he is either tackled, runs out of bounds, or runs past the goal line. Their are no downs and the players can pass the ball both laterally and backwards but never forwards. Essentially it's an 80 minute struggle of two teams trying to lateral the ball much like a football team that has to return a kick at the end of a game with the time running out. Here's the kicker, literally, the players can choose to kick the ball forward at any point and either team can retrieve the ball either out of the air or from the ground. This is used both to progress the ball forward or to reset field position. In order to score it is much like a continuous football game. A player can run the ball in to the goal area and that scores 5 points much like a touchdown. Following this type of score they kick the ball through the uprights for 2 additional points much like an extra point, only its a drop kick. Next, at any point in the game when their is a penalty called on the other team, the team that was fouled gets to attempt a drop kick if they are in range and it is worth 3 points. Also, at any point during the game if a player drop kicks it through the uprights they gain three points and if any of these attempts fail the ball is live. As far as when the ball goes out of bounds or their is a minor infraction their are 2 ways of starting play again a scrum and a line-out. The line out is when you will see the players lifted in the air to catch basically a jumb ball thrown straight up in the air by the team who was not responsible for the ball out of play. The scrum is probably the most known or commonly seen play where each team gets in a "line of scrimmage" formation and the ball is placed in the middle. At that point either team pushes forward until they can get the ball out from behind their line and the play begins at that point. Lastly, their is a need to know about the tackles. Tackles are allowed from the mid section down and once a player is tackled the play is not dead but that player has to immediately give the ball up. With the exception of drop kicks and no blocking allowed this is much like an american football game nearing the end of the game like I described earlier. Each team is constantly running and trying to advance the ball without passing forward. Sounds like fun!
Honestly, after reading about all of this and describing it I really want to play, however I'm even less excited about seeing the movie. Anyway, I hope this helps anyone who may see Invictus to try to keep up with it better than my friend Will. Good luck and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Heisman Candidates

As you all know there has recently been 5 players named eligible for the Heisman Trophy this year in College Football. Those players are Colt McCoy of Texas, Mark Ingram of Alabama, Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, Toby Gerhart of Stanford, and Tim Tebow of Florida. I have my favorite being Suh the Defensive Tackle for the Nebraska Huskers. Anyone who knows me knows that I am partial to Nebraska because of my beautiful wife Lindsay who is a true Husker, however in this case I have real reason to place my vote for the Beast.
Here is some food for thought. You have 2 Quarterbacks and 2 Running Backs up for the Heisman against him. Lets weed them out: Tim Tebow is likely up for the vote simply because he is a great leader. He has won the Heisman before and he seems to find ways to win despite his unconventional style of QB. He has had a less than perfect season and no one will argue that he is a better QB than Colt McCoy who also has an edge because of his undefeated season, Cross him out. Colt McCoy, like I said he has an edge on Tebow, however I have some very disturbing stats on him not to mention he actually has a lower rating than about 8 other QB's including Tebow who we already know doesn't deserve it. McCoy has faced 6 teams this year who actually won more than 6 games, 2 of those being Texas Tech and Central Florida. Against these 6 teams McCoy has 8 TD's and 7 Int's. Yeah his team has "blown" a couple of these teams out but one would think that since they seem to have a non existent run game that when they score 35 points in a game and win by 4 Touchdowns that McCoy may have a better ratio than 1:1 TD's/Int's. I think that this was made very apparent in 2 close game that UT had agains Oklahoma earlier in the year and Nebraska last weekend. In the 2 games against Oklahoma and Nebraska Colt had 1 TD and 4 Int's. To me the Heisman winner must have better performances in big games like this in order to wrap it up. Personally I don't think there is any QB that should ever win the Heisman with these sort of stats, I mean 12 INT's in a season of 13 games is not good. Cross him out.
Now for the running backs: Mark Ingram has had an outstanding year and plays in a very tough conference. On the other hand statistically Gerhart has had an even better season and runs with so much will that it's really hard to say that Ingram deserves this more than Gerhart. You have a RB with great stats in a really good conference against a RB with outstanding stats in a strong but not amazing conference. It's so hard to seperate these two that you almost see this as a perfect year to give it to the one who stands out the most. Suh has separated himself so much from any other defender in the game that I think he deserves the vote more than anyone else. This guy single handidly tore apart a good Texas line and got 4.5 sacks and 5 tackles for loss of yardage in the Big 12 Championship, a game that Texas was favored by more than 2 TD's. Sue has lead the team all year with solid defense and has really changed the game with his abilities to make tackles, rush the QB, and even block kicks. His performance is so outstanding that he has won the liking of the probably the whole nation because of his one game against the Longhorns. In my opinion he is the only real candidate who can be put in his own category as the best in the game. He deserves this and I really hope that the committee pays him for his hard work. Regardless of the Heisman he will be the best NFL player no doubt out of these 5 guys and you can bet that his draft outcome will definitely make up for not getting the Heisman if that's the case. Based on my comparisons I will rate these 5 in the order that I believe they rank:
1. Ndamukong Suh
2. Mark Ingram
3. Toby Gerhart
4. Colt McCoy
5. Tim Tebow

Now let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How old is too old? Favre is getting better when he should be getting worse.

Granted there are still 5 games left this NFL season Brett Favre has shocked the world with his performance to date. Not only has he lived up to his expectations as a hall of fame QB but he has now played way beyond what we thought and probably what even he thought was his potential. There was no doubt in anyones mind when he "retired" that it was his time to go or maybe even past that, but looking back at what he has done to this point I am so glad he decided to stay. I can't imagine what the Vikings record would be without him, but my guess is somewhere close to .500. Let's break down his stats this years: Passer rating 112.5 (never finished a season above 100), TD's 24 (on track to at least tie his all time season high of 39, and lets not forget the Vikings have AP who is argueably the best back in the league), INT's 3 (averaged 20 per season over the last 6 seasons), Completion % 69.3 (best in his career). Do we need to say anymore? Ok we will: Fumbles 1 (averages about 9), yds per attempt 8 (best in his career), Games started in a row 11 (ok so that is only average for him but you get the point). So if this is the best season of the hall of famer's career then what is it that is making him so good. Is it his receivers? No, I don't think anyone can argue that the Vikings receiving corps is even close to the NFL's best. Is it AP? No, it doesn't seem to matter if the run threat is working or not, Favre still dominates. Is it the coach? Maybe, I mean the willingness of Childress to hand the season over to Favre regardless of all of the hooplaw during the offseason could have been a boost of confidense but then again when has Favre ever gone into a season without complete respect from the coach? Is it the challenge of proving himself? Again, maybe but that really doesn't explain the incredible numbers. When you weigh all of the variables it doesn't seem to come to one key aspect. I think it just happens to be one of those teams who just clicks. Favre is really playing no different then any other year. He is just in the perfect position. Players like Rice, and Harvin look up to him like a father. It's as if they are just out in the back yard playing catch with their dad. Favre has been a great influence on the entire team. His presence demands greatness and they have all rose to the occasion. Without Brett Favre the Vikings would likely not be in this position of dominance, but without the young receivers, a great back in AP, and the undeniable trust from Coach Childress Brett Favre would not be having this kind of season. If you ask the other players on the team they will say that it is an honor to play on the field with Favre, but what really makes it special is that he will return the favor and talk about what an honor it is playing with them. It comes down to this, Favre is an incredible talent. He has all the experience in the world and the attitude and commitment like no one else. He probably could have played on most any other team this year and just had another season like all of his others, but the Vikings were the perfect fit and that is now very obvious. So, here is the question, will he play again next year? If you ask me why not, and if he does I hope the Broncos make room.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

105.3 The FAN

So, the past few days I have been listening to sports radio while I'm at work and it's probably the worst idea ever. I am already plenty busy thinking at work and when I hear all of the BS that they blurt out on this station it makes me want to scream. For example: today they talked about college basketball and how pathetic it is and nobody cares about it. I can definitely understand that basketball is not a sport everyone loves and thats fine but I would think the majority of people would strongly disagree. The reason they brought it up was the ESPN promotional 24hr college basketball kickoff. They made some decent points about how probably no one stayed up all night and day watching some of the poor teams that were televised but fact is it was a great idea and college basketball players and fans enjoyed it. If they don't like college basketball then that's fine but to completely tear apart the idea was ridiculous. Whether the games were on or not they don't like the sport so leave it alone. Instead they spend every hour every day talking about the Cowboys. They talk about the same stuff everyday like the outcome from Sunday actually changes multiple times between Monday and the next Sunday. Truth is only a few games were played at ridiculous times because of they way they scheduled it. It was a great way for some smaller teams to get some TV time to showcase their 2009-2010 teams. If you notice the selection of teams they all either had a big time school or at least a school that has made a recent run into the NCAA tourney at the end of the season. Again, I thought it was a great idea and whether or not the ratings were amazing is besides the point.
My biggest problem with what they said today was that the Spurs v Mavs rivalry was the 3rd best rivalry of this decade. That is the biggest joke I have ever heard. Take for example the game they played 2 weeks ago. The Spurs were missing their 2 franchise players in Parker and Duncan and yet still beat the Mavs by double digits. Fact is if it was a tip top rivalry the teams involved would give everything they had every time they played. If Dallas gave their all in that game there is no way they lose to the Spurs with those 2 players out and if they do it's either because of a bad bounce or because they are completely pathetic, and if that was the case then how could it be a top 3 rivalry. I mean it was compared to Nadal Federer the 2 most iconic tennis players in the game. Mavs and Spurs aren't even the top 2 teams in the West.
Basically this station is all about Dallas teams and that's it. Obviously they have to being broadcasted in Dallas, but come on at least show some common sense and find some better stuff to argue about.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Question of the day 11/14

Is there a softer player in the NBA than the Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki who leads the league in complaints to the referees? (Question courtesy of William Eubanks my biggest supporter) Note:# of complaints is an unofficial 19 times per game which happens to be the same number of times he attempts a field goal.