Sports from the point view from the guy that holds the clipboard for the guy that holds the clipboard.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

End of the Patriots 2008 Season Part 1

Ok so we'll do this in four parts:

1) Playoff Format  (adjusatments or division re-alignment)

2) Favre  (and Romo)

3) Cassel

4) 2009 Preview

For the record I am not bitching.  I am not a crybaby.  The season is over.  It sucks but it is how it is.  11-5 and out, 8-8 and in.  Many teams have won their divisions with an 8-8 record, and with eight divisions is it a common occurrence that we are going to have to accept.  The league obviously did not expect it to be as common as it has been.   If the Pats beat the Colts, they'd be the ones left out.  There was the Pittsburgh game and the first Dolphins game.  The Patriots had their chances to prevent this.  So here are some suggestions as to how to make sure no other team gets screwed as hard, or even harder.

1) Ban 7-9 teams from the payoffs.  If no other change is made but this, we will all be better off.  I can promise you, guarantee to you right now, that WHEN a team wins their division at 7-9 there will be at least one team in the league with 10 wins that will be left out of the playoffs.

2) What should the rule be then?  A team that has won 2 more games than a division winner will make the playoffs and the division winner will not.  All seeds will move up to fill the division winners #4 seed and the extra Wild Card team would be the #6 seed.  If this extra Wild Card team has to cross over conferences for the playoffs, then so be it.      2 games better.  No fluke, no luck, no tie-breakers, just a flat out better team making the playoffs.  Let's remove the Patriots from this discussion and ask a question.  Should the Jets be in the playoffs over the Chargers?  YES, and I hate the Jets.  They were 2 games better.  Not 1, not tied, but two full games.

3) An alternative idea is to re-align the divisions.  Cut the number of divisions in half.  Two conferences, with two 8-team divisions each.  Each team would play half their schedule in their division.  (Each team plays each other once with one match-up for each team being a home and away series.)  Then keep the same 6 team per conference format.  Division winners get the bye, the rest seed out by record and tie-breaker.  This removes the 8-8 division winner nonsense.  It does not change the playoffs.  It eliminates most of the tie-breakers by creating more decisions being made based upon head-to-head match-up.

4) Keep the current entrance rules, but seed the teams based upon record.  That way the 8-8 Charges do not get to host the 12-4.  That is wrong.  In fact the Colts have more right to complain about this than the Patriots have about not making the playoffs.   Big deal you won the crappiest division in football.  That should not mean you get to host a team that finished FOUR games ahead of you.  Here is your playoff spot, take it, on the road, shut up and be happy we let you sit at the grown up table.

5) DO NOT EXPAND THE NUMBER OF TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFFS.  At all.  Ever.  Under any circumstances, until the league has expanded to more than 35 teams.

When I was a kid, eight games of a teams schedule was played in their division, this made it unlikely that a division winner would end up 8-8  because there was more activity within the divisions.  Now with only 6 games, a team can suck, but win their division and end up with an 8-8 record.  It's happened

And trust me, a 7-9 division winner is on the horizon.  Don't believe me?  Just look at what we had last season, 16-0 and then look at this season 0-16.  Then ask yourself how unbelievable a 7-9 division winner is.  This is concern #1 to me: Keeping that crappy team out of the playoffs and letting a FAR more deserving team in.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Misdirection Play 12-26

Inspired by some amazing sports things I've seen in places most sports fans either don't or won't look.

 The only photo I could find in 1 minutes of searching for the $10,000 Snow Angel.  Take it from me ESPN and I'll go find another.

Send this exact cake to any and every Longhorn fan.

Casey at the Bat, told through the use of Baseball Cards.  Awesome.  Photoshop can be used for good kids!

I'm a homer so this top 20 list gets linked here.  I'm not even going to argue over the order.  The guy included Andre Tippet and Bill Buckner, two towering figures from my childhood.  Go read my post about Buckner, not a shameless plug, but because I actually think it is worth reading.


Some English last names came by as a result of people being labelled by the jobs they did.  In the 21st century some people are going back to their roots and letting their names speak for themselves.

In Basketball a Big Man Dance-off is a fun time for all.  Not at all like the point and laugh NFL version.

The Onion gives suggestions on how to save the Lions.  They also have a wonderful poor Eli story.

Only two links per site, that's the rule.  So I'll pass over Inflatable Ben Wallace, a football player accidentally punching his coach, and a 720 slam dunk for........Quidditch!  Spot the geek.

The Pats need that Van Pelt karma to help them make the playoffs!

I did not get the Extreme Ironing calendar I wanted for Xmas this year.  I hate you Santa.

Inappropriate Robot.

Larry Walker and Darren Daulton.  Oh my the 90's truly was a scary time.

A very belated link to what Seattle sports fans have to be thankful for.

See you in a Capital One Bowl Week.  (A length of time that stretches for as long as is conveniently necessary.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Steroids Hall of Fame: Bill Romanowski

And to break ground on the Roid Rage Wing of the SHOF, I would like to present to you, William Thomas Romanowski, football's original Romo.   We'll get back to this though, because I want to start with the standard fare.

Drugs of chocie:  The Cream and The Clear.  Yes, Romo was a BALCO child.

Montana sized ego?  Check!  Which brings up a question.  Does the go drive the drug use or does the drug use drive the ego?  It's the chicken and egg argument for steroids.  I can see both sides easily, but without solid proof on either side I will choose to lean towards the drug drives the ego.

Excuse used:  “I took it (human growth hormone) for a brief period and I didn’t receive any great benefits from it. I compromised my morality to play another two years in the NFL.”  I don't buy it.  His incidents go back to 1989 and they all reek of roid rage.  Again we stand in a place where we will never know the truth so we are forced to speculate if we want to deal with the situation.

What's he doing now?  Selling supplements.  WHY?!?!?  Why do you arrogant jerks not realize how slimly and disgusting that is.  I know you spend your life working out and treating your body like a machine.  I know you have the interest, the knowledge, and the experience to excel in this field.  But if you took steroids then people will think you are selling steroids disguised as supplements.  And that is not just the business you lose by being tainted, but also a driver for your business.  The people who come to you wanting steroids.

The Roid Rage poster boy.  No less than seven times Romo hurt, attacked, or was fined.  Now over 16 years it does not seem that bad, until you realize that two of these incidents were with teammates!  AND these are just what we know of.  How many people just blew off his antics because of his reputation?  I was going to list them all but I can't maintain my composure and have spent too much time looking into this losers life.  He is fascinating, but not in a good way or in a way that makes me want to continue further.

Again we confront the baseball/football steroid double standard.  Romo touched upon it in an interview with Roy Firestone.  He said, "I think this, the game of football, I guarantee you, will cost me more years of my  life than the things I put in my body."  He did go on in that quote to defend all the other of the 100 pills he was taking a day.  Vitamins, anti-oxidants, and the such.  But the part I pulled out hits upon the double standard.  It's about how difficult, violent, physical, and permanent the game of football is.  You can't imagine someone being a cripple for the rest of their lives after a full baseball career, but we see it all the time with football.  Football gets a pass on steroids because of this.

That's enough of Romo, maybe he'll get a second look from me in the future, but I'm done.  This guy has issues and whether his issues lead to his drug use or vice-versa does not matter.  Much has been said about Romo and as one that saw him play  he was one of the hardest hitters I've seen, too bad it wasn't natural.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Patriots Playoff Hopes

It is very simple for them actually.  They need to win out and they need two of three teams to lose one of their last two games.  Those teams are the Raves, Jets and Dolphins.  4 teams, 2 spots and the Pats have no chance of winning any tie-breaker.  I like their chances frankly.  Three teams need to go no better than 4-2 for the Patriots to have a chance.  Add in the fact that the Dolphins and the Jets play each other next week and we are guaranteed one of those loses.  Then it really becomes, if the Ravens lose today and the Pats win out, they are in.  Not a bad situation.  Not the best, but if you can't control your own destiny this is the next best situation.  It means having to root for the Cowboys  :puke: put life sucks, and loyalty is hard work.

Warning to the NFL:  Do not let the Pats make it to the playoffs and find their running game.  If they learn to run, it's over and we get our redemption.  You think I'm crazy, but I am also right.  Yes their D has some major flaws, but if they can run and mix in the big play to Moss they are good enough to beat anyone.  The running game will be part of the defense by controlling the clock, while the big play gives them the ability to come back from a two score deficit at any point.  The running backs are getting healthy at the right moment.  Welker and Faulk will keep any drive alive on 3rd down.  The D will need to step up but it's not as big a step as you think they need.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Steroids Hall of Fame: Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson, Order of Canada.

Ben is the epitome of Epic Fail.  He was not a wannabe like Jose, or under-rated like Rafael.  No, this guy was on top of the world and fell all the way down.  Fastest man on earth, hero of a nation and inspiration for the Dublin Inquiry.  Yes Canada's Mitchell report was inspired not by the wholesale corruption of an entire sport, but because of one single man.  Let's get to the good stuff.

Drug of choice: Our good friend Stanozolol.  Or, according to his coach, Furazabol.

Excuse: "Everyone else was doing it!"  And sadly four of the top five finishers of 1988 100m in Seoul were found to have used at some point.

Reaction: He did his time, then pulled a Magic Johnson.  Comeback, after comeback, after comeback.  At one point he was so desperate and his reputation was so bad that he had to run a race all by himself.  I would kill for this video.

Delusions: He coached a soccer player and wanted people to assume his athlete was clean.
He was banned for a third time in 1999.  But does not the IAF use a lifetime ban after a second offense?  Yes, but he was so fast that the lifetime ban took 6 years to catch up to him.  No he found a lawyer who found a loophole.
He could design athletic clothes.
Someone was out to get him back in '88.
Thought he'd make a good pitchman for an all natural energy drink.

Poor Ben.  He obviously worked hard, but look at where it got him.  He's poor, living with family, a joke, and think of what he could have been had he done it clean?  Carl Lewis' bitch.  I feel zero pity for this one and he deserves all he's got.  His arrogance tops any I've covered so far, and his insistence on coming back made mocking him redundant.  Funny, but redundant.

Sadly this guy still craves attention so we have not heard the last from him.  I bet he shows up somewhere, if he loves us it'll be on The Surreal Life.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Steroids Hall of Fame: Rafael Palmeiro

Steroids are not funny, and even Jose Canseco could not make then funny.  Thank god we have Rafael Palmeiro.  This guy makes steroids funny.  This guy brings the humor harder than Dane Cook!   Seriosly, if the SHOF had a man of the year award for 2005, it would be Raf.

Don't believe me?  
"I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program."
Those were his words after his 10 game suspension in 2005.  Thank god he had Jose Canseco.  See humor.  I won't even make any of the potential jokes.  I will let your mind run wild.    The suspension came on August 1st, 2005 AFTER  the February release of the book in which Jose fingered him.  The suspension ended on August 11, and he did not play again in the 14th, the day the Orioles had previously scheduled as Rafael Palmeiro appreciation day.  The day they were to clebrate his 500hr and 3,000 hit career.   Oops.  Wait, in March of that year was the infamous Congressional Hearing.  So that's funny due to timing, but it is also funny because it was there he said:
"Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never."
Wait a second there.  So all it takes is to add the word intentionally to escape the rap?  Like someone broke into your house and injected you with steroids in the middle of the night.  So that the next day when you went to work you did not realize that you were working the same muscle groups you had worked the day before?  Now that's comedy.

The punch line (or last punch line) is that he probably avoided a perjury charge by ratting out Miguel Tejada.  The victim of a rat becomes a rat.  Kids, steroids, more than any other drug, fundamentally changes your view on the world.  This more than anything is the danger of steroids.  Screwing with your body is one thing, but once you mess up your head, it is all over.  

Drug of choice for Raf was stanozolol.

His claim to fame, was a great career: 3,000 hits and 500 hrs.  Only 3 other men are in that club.  Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Eddie Murray.  Had Raf earned these numbers clean, he'd be considered not just a great player, but one of the best ever.  

Raf gives us both sides of the equation: Steroids work, they give you the edge needed to win.  But they change you, permanently.  And not just your body is changed.  So it boils down to the question that I'd love to see him answer right now, "Was it worth it?"  Oh but he's still in denial, and will be for a long time.

Welcome to the club Raf!

An NIT for the BCS!

Yes, let's do this! A Tournament for the Screwed!

Texas Tech vs Boise St

This year it'll only be two teams. Some years it'll be four. But this game needs to happen and it needs to by pushed hard to catch the eye of the anti-bcs crowd. Of course even as many as an 8 team playoff would leave one of these teams out. And you'll only a very small minority of anti-BCS outrage defending either of these two teams.

And this points to something I laugh at when I hear people cry about the BCS. Playoffs are more elitist than the BCS. Look at the Big 12 South first.

A) Two teams got the short end of the stick, and playoff people want to give 2 if not all 3 of these teams a chance. Thus giving one division of one BCS conference an even bigger chance to win the title.
B) Texas. Everyone has their panties in a bunch over how Texas beat Oklahoma and got screwed out of playing for the National Title. IT'S NOT FAIR! Everyone has this blind spot about Texas' loss to Tech and how Tech has as good an argument about being left out. Playoff proponnents ignore Tech, and ignore the Texas-Texas Tech game. This is elitism on the highest order. Texas and Oklahoma are bigger names and that's what this is about.
C) How man undefeated teams are there? 2, Utah and Boise St. Watch those magically simple and perfect playoff formats appear over the next month and watch as less than half of them have either team and how less than a quarter of them have both. Yet the BCS is unfair.

Playoffs are nothing more than an excuse to have the big name teams get more of a chance. More teams playing for title means more big name teams playing for the title. More teams playing for the title means more big name teams can lose a game or two and still get to play for the title. That is really the crux of playoff arguments. Watch and look at the playoff formats and watch the teams that people plug in. The three teams I mention get left out repeatedly under formats of 8 teams and less. And 2 out of three get left out at 8 teams. Only formats of 12+ even get close to including all three.

I'm not saying I love the BCS. It is just better than a fixed, inflexible and a just as arbitrary playoff. I want something with flexibility that can handle as many different situations as college football can come up with. I want that beauty and that chaos to play out on the field and during the regular season. I'll plug in my format once the bowl bids are formally announced.

Monday, December 1, 2008

NFL Cthulhu

Let's officially launch this puppy right, shall we?


I know why he got shot and lived.
He worships Cthulhu.

Who else in the NFL worships Cthulhu?

How about...
Kris Jenkins from the New York Jets, and...

Detroit Lions cornerback Fernando Bryant, and...

Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald and...

Duece will have the rest of the season to study up on his Lovecraft, and...

Madieu Williams wants in on the occult action.  You may not know his name,but he sure knows his elder gods.

Enjoy!  As I find more I'll post more.  We need to expose the occult underbelly of the NFL.  After-all there is a personal conduct policy to uphold.