Tuesday, September 20, 2005

First Round Quaterbacks

I was debating between playing a game of Madden or writing this post, (notice I said nothing about studying or reading for law school, needless to say this isn't going well) and I decided to go with writing a post no one will ever read, but irregardless here it is. I know everyone says that the NFL draft is a crapshoot, (maybe everyone doesn't say this, but who can forget the 10,000 Rome is Burning commercials from two years ago where Rome repeated this mantra every 30 seconds), but I never really thought to much about this. So while I was sitting in class, not paying attention to the professor I was trying to think of all the first round quarterbacks in the last ten years or so and how there careers turned out. As I was going through this quick list I realized that for every Peyton Manning, I could think of 3 or 4 Cade McNown's. I decided I'd do a little more research to see if first round qb's were really this bad, so with a little help from nfl.com I was able to compile a list of the successes and (mostly) failures of teams drafting first round quarterbacks.

Eli Manning, Giants: It's probably to early to pass judgment on this draft class, especially considering Eli has only started about half a seasons worth of games. But considering how much the Giants gave up to get him in a trade from San Diego he'll have to exceed the expectations normally given to a No.1 pick to prove his worth.

Phillip Rivers, Chargers: Impossible to tell because he hasn't played but I'm sure backing up Drew Brees for two seasons wasn't what he had in mind when he came to San Diego. I think San Diego should have went with Rivers this year and not be blinded by a potential fluke Brees season, much like how the Bengals handled the Kitna-Palmer situation. And its never a good sign when the Bengals potentially handled a situation better than you.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: Hard to argue with a 17-0 regular season record although he was a little shaky in the playoffs, he was a rookie and looks to be the real deal.

J.P. Losman, Bills: I hate this guy. Only because I drafted Lee Evans for my fantasy team expecting a breakout season from him, and then quickly realized he wouldn't have anyone to get the ball to him. The Brett Favre quotes were a little disturbing too. And its never a good thing when people are calling for Kelly Holcomb after your second NFL start.

Carson Palmer, Bengals: This guy is the anti-Losman. I have him on my fantasy team and the early returns are phenomenal. I'm a big proponent of letting a young quarterback sit for a year to learn before throwing him out there, a la the Titans with McNair, where the team let Chris Chandler get killed and show McNair how not to play qb. I know it was tough to make the switch because Kitna had such a good season that year, but Kitna does look like the fat cigar smoking baby from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which justified the move.

Byron Leftwich, Jaguars: MAC conference quarterbacks are the way to go, as evidenced by Pennington, Leftwich and Roethlisberger, so look out Cleveland here comes Charlie Frye.

Kyle Boller, Ravens: Yeesh, as previously stated its never a good sign to be this early in your career and having the natives calling for the backup and cheering your injury. Especially when the backup is Anthony Wright, whose just dying to be this generations Jeff Blake. Good thing Brian Billick is such an offensive genius, considering all the success he had with Tony Banks, Chris Redman, Elvis Grbac, and Jeff Blake...........err moving on.

Rex Grossman, Bears: I know he's had a ton of tough luck with injuries but, come on, does anyone really think he's going to be good. If anyone has a crappier stable of overrated college qb's than Jeff Tedford it's Steve Spurrier. Jesse Palmer, Doug Johnson, Danny Wuerffel, Shane Mathews, etc......... The second coming of Cade McNown

David Carr, Texans: 1st pick of what will probably be the worst set of 1st round qb's in NFL draft history when all is said and done. And that's saying something.

Joey Harrington, Lions: See every post from the last week. Just thinking about this guy makes my heart rate increase........getting dizzy............moving on........

Patrick Ramsey, Redskins: If your a G.M. and your thinking of taking a Tulane q.b. in the first round, get up stick your hand in the closest electrical socket and sit down. Repeat if necessary.

Michael Vick, Falcons: This was a no-brainer. He has the potential to change the game every time he has the ball in his hands, and I don't think he really understands how to play quarterback yet, which is scary for the rest of the league. Although one could argue that the Chargers did just as good for themselves by trading this pick, getting LaDanian Tomlinson and Brees in return, then if they would have taken Vick.

Chad Pennington, Jets: Didn't play much his first two season as he backed up everyone's favorite color-blind quarterback Vinny Testaverde. But personally I like Pennington, everyone rips his arm strength, but I think that if put in the right system, which could utilize his accuracy, he can dink and dunk a team deep into the playoffs.

Tim Couch, Browns: Ah yes, the draft that was supposed to rival the great quarterback class of '83. Hmmmm....this didn't really turn out well. I remember seeing Couch on David Letterman the night before the draft and they had a segment where he tried to throw a football through a moving taxi with the window rolled down, and he tried........and tried.........and tried, and tried, until finally the taxi slowed down to about 5 mph and he did it and was celebrated with a mock cheer. Not a very inspiring performance. Another warning flag was when he said the Browns playbook was overwhelming because at Kentucky he ran variations of the same 7 base plays. Thats right 7.......... 7!. Not to mention having Cade McNown steal your Playmate girlfriend because I'm assuming Joe Germaine was already in a relationship.

Donovan McNabb, Eagles. Finally a bona fide elite quarterback taken in the first round and it was only six years ago.

Akili Smith, Bengals: Yeesh. This guy was absolutely atrocious. He makes Joey Joe Joe Shabababoo Harrington look like Steve Young. I mean check out these stats.

Daunte Culpepper, Vikings: I think he's a good qb, but there is no question he's off to a sloooooooowwww start this season, and if you look at his career he's been surprisingly inconsistent. However, when he's on, like last season, he's as good as it gets.

Cade McNown, Bears: If you have a top ten pick and a history of crappy quarterbacks rivaled only by the Lions, why not draft a 5'8 quarterback, with no athletic ability, an enormous ego, minimal arm strength, coming off one good season in which his team choked in the last game of the year. Quick Note: Rod Allen just said country mile, three times in thirty seconds, setting a single season record for most times the same cliche has been used over a single season, breaking his own record set last year, with 10,826 recorded sayings.

Peyton Manning, Colts: I hate Peyton Manning, and I hate his face, and how he and the governor of Tennessee openly lobbied for the Heisman trophy over Charles Woodson. Maybe if he had ever won at Florida he could've made a case, and the fact that Tennessee won the title the next year with Tee Martin, that's right Tee Martin, made it all the more sweet. However Manning breaking the TD record while battling down syndrome was inspiring.

Ryan Leaf, Chargers. I feel bad even bringing this up. I really thought he was legit. Especially after watching him in the Rose Bowl against Michigan leading a comeback that had all Michigan fans a little nervous.

Jim Drunkenmiller, 49ers: Who? Next.

1996: GM's finally wisen up for one season and don't take a quarterback in the first round. But considering Tony Banks was the best in that class, it wasn't a hard decision.

Steve McNair, Oilers: Good quarterback, led his team to the Super Bowl, and has had a solid career. I can't really think of anything else to add....

Kerry Collins, Panthers: Had a see-saw career there in the beginning and failed to reach his potential as the next Jeff George. He did provide some entertainment though, with the alcoholism, racial slurs, and quitting/retiring for about two weeks in the middle of the 1998 season. Priceless.

I'm going to stop there, but by my final count in last 10 first rounds, not including this year, which includes 23 quarterbacks, you have 2 elite quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb. 3 very good/borderline elite guys in Culpepper, McNair, and Vick. A couple of serviceable guys in Collins and Pennington, and some potentially good qbs in Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Roethlisberger and Leftwich one or two of which may make the jump to great/elite. So that leaves 12 guys taken in the first round who are/were just flat out busts. Not good, and this only goes back ten years, before that it was even shakier.

Heath Shuler, Redskins
Trent Dilfer, Buccaneers

Drew Bledsoe, Patriots
Rick Mirer, Seahawks (Yuck)

David Klingler, Bengals
Tommy Maddox, Broncos: who was great in replacing John Elw..........

Dan McGwire, Seahawks: Made everyone forget about his less talented brother Mark
Todd Marinovich, Raiders: There's a Marv Marinovich joke in here somewhere, but I'm too tired to do it.

Jeff George, Colts
Andre Ware, Lions

So there you have it. Draft a qb in Round 1 and you've got a less than 5% chance of him turning into an elite qb, and less than 50% that he won't be an outright joke/bust. So why risk it GM's. Go the safe route and draft a cornerback, because we've all seen how great the tandem of Bryant Westbrook and Terry Fair turned out to be.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Detroit Lions Game 2: Chicago 38 Detroit 6

Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Normally I tend to post late at night, because I like to have the chance to calm down after watching a game and give a somewhat rational account/analysis of what I witnessed. However I don't think I'm going to do that with today's Lions game, because if I don't get this all out and written down I fear I may have a stroke and/or massive heart attack.

1. Joey Harrington HAS TO GO. He can not start another game for the Lions. He just doesn't have it, whatever it is, he doesn't have. He was completely outplayed by Kyle Orton today, which is unacceptable. Why, oh why, did Garcia break his leg in the pre-season, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind Garcia would be starting in Week 4 if he had stayed healthy. Now my friend is a Harrington supporter, and maybe the only one outside of Joey's family still left in the world. He says "whose to say the Lions would be any better with Garcia or Orlovsky." This may be true, the Lions might not be any better, but if I'm Mariucci, I say heading into practice this week that the qb position is open. Not that Harrington is the starter or that he's been benched, it's just open, and whoever has the best next two weeks during practice starts against Tampa. I just honestly don't believe that Joey gives the Lions the best chance to win each week, so its not like throwing Orlovsky to the wolves if he proves he is better in practice. And if Joey ends up beating out Orlovsky and Garcia, when he gets back from injury, thats fine too, but if he proves to be our best quarterback its going to be a loooooooooooooooooong season. But he shouldn't automatically be guaranteed the starting job based on draft position or salary. He's in his 4th year now and I know we can now judge him on his actual performance and not just his potential, and what has he ever done to justify continuing to be the starter. Other questions raised by Joeys performance today.

A) Is Joey Harrington the worst quarterback in recent Lions history? I think he's long ago passed Erick Kramer, Rodney Peete, and Charlie Batch, and he's steadily gaining ground on Scott Mitchell, and Andre Ware.

B) Will anyone draft a Oregon quarterback again. Exhibit A. Akili Smith. Exhibit B. Joey Harrington. Exhibit C. A.J. Feeley. The prosecution rests. And we already know about Jeff Tedford holding an unbreakable record, right up there with DiMaggio's hitting streak, for producing overrated college QB's who get drafted in the first round, as we could add Trent Dilfer, Kyle Boller, and in my opinion David Carr to the aforementioned list. Not only this but where will Joey Harrington rank among the all-time first round QB busts? Which jersey will Harrington end up retiring/fading away in? Will it be like David Klingler in a Raiders jersey, Andre Ware with the Vikings, Heath Shuler and the Saints? Personally I think it will be a Chiefs jersey, I think he'll be brought in after Trent Green retires, maybe this year or next, suck in training camp and back up Billy Volek before disappearing into oblivion.

C) Is Joey Harrington regressing? I say yes, absolutely. I think he was a better quarterback four years ago than he is today. Because back then he actually showed flashes of not brilliance, but at least competence. But today he makes so many bad decisions, weak throws, and has the worst set of happy feet in the league. Which leads me too.............

2.) The offensive line. Weren't these guys supposed to be great, a young up and coming line full of 1st round picks and big free agent acquisitions? Wrong. Backus is like a statue on the left side. Woody is about 50 pounds overweight and can never get his guy off the line of scrimmage. Dominic Raiola is too small and absolutely pathetic, and its too early to pass judgment on Kelly Butler and DeMulling but the early returns are not good. This line really only has two problems though, run blocking and pass protection. This line also can not pick up a blitz to save its life, even ones coming straight up the middle from the safeties, nor can it open any holes as evidenced by the 22 yards that Kevin Jones was limited to today, which was amazing considering every time he touched the ball he had to make his first move two yards behind the line. So then I ask, if it can't pass protect or run block what can it do? Whats its purpose? And all of these guys, with the exception of Butler, were early round draft picks or big time free agents. And this list doesn't even include Stockar McDougle, Juan Roque, and Aaron Gibson. And who drafted and singed every member of the current starting offensive line, which has to be among the five worst in the league. Oh yes. Matt Millen, so how about we give him five more years and make sure hes around until 2011. I hope that last sentence turned out alright because my eyes started bleeding midway through typing it.

3.) And this is it because if I continue, I don't know what I'll do to myself or others, but the quote of the game was Pam Oliver talking about her interview with Mooch on the way into the locker room at half time. And I'm paraphrasing here because I don't have the expressed written consent of the Detroit Lions blah blah blah.

Oliver: "I talked to Coach Mariucci heading into the locker room and asked him what he expected in the second half, and he said that he hoped the Lions would maximize their chances on offense. Then I asked him what he was going to tell his team in the locker room and he grunted."

Thats right he grunted. He GRUNTED. This coming from a guy capable of giving ten minute long answers to every quick question Jim Rome asked him on Friday. Why did they not put this on the air? This could have possibly have been the greatest halftime interview in Lions history. Well second best because nothing will ever top Bobby Ross' in the game before he quit when the Lions were getting blown out by Miami at half time and his interview was something like this.

Interviewer: "Coach Ross, what went wrong in the 1st half"

Ross: " Offense.........garblezvchthcth...........Defense........(foaming at the mouth and stammering) gabrbohiofnjs?;sdfo;k...............Special Teams...........(completely unintelligible now) and he closes bywalking away in the opposite direction.

However on the brightside my fantasy team is kicking ass today (Vive Carson Palmer) so I'm not going to let the godd** f***ing Lions ruin my day. C*** S***ers.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Football weekend

Alright, those picks turned out to be a little dicey, but week one is always crazy and I think I have a little better handle on the teams now, so hopefully next weeks picks will be a somewhat better. I don't feel too bad though because everyone picked the Rams to win over the Niners, and after witnessing the Rams destruction of the Lions in the pre season, I thought that game would be a walk. I thought wrong, and underestimated the complete incompetence of Mike Martz. Another important thing I learned this week is that Jake Plummer sucks, a fact which is now compunded by the fact that hes also on my fantasy team..........Yuck. Also why does Joey Harrington take so much more heat than David Carr. I know Carr started off on an expansion team, but Harrington was essentially thrust into the same situation, going to a team that was coming off a 2-14 season, AND had Marty Morninwheg as a head coach. Which reminds me is their anything more disturbing than being a Lions fan and seeing Marty patrolling the sidelines for a potential Super Bowl contender. Is there any way we can warn Eagles fans of this guys complete ineptitude. I know he was a consultant for them last year and they still managed to reach the Super Bowl. All I'm saying is that I wouldn't be surprised if this was a weekly exchange at Eagles headquarters.

Coach Reid: "I know the Detmer kid is a smart guy and really has an excellent understanding of the West Coast offense, but Donovan is a proven winner and is so much more of a threat with the ball in his hands."

Marty: " Yeah, yeah thats great but I had his Koy's brother while I was in Detroit and he was a genius, he taught me all kinds of important things, like how to tie my shoes and how to spell my name.

Reid: (cell phone ringing) "hang on Marty I gotta take this."

Marty, miffed about the cell phone ringing angrily drives off on his motorcycle.

Moving on, this was a big weekend for me football wise as I attended both the Michigan-Notre Dame game and the Lions game. First the Michigan game. I thought Michigan might have been a little overrated coming into the season and probably weren't the number 3 team in the country this year. But I never thought they would lose to Notre Dame at the Big House. I did think it would be a close game because of the intense rivalry between the two winningest teams in college football history, but once again I was certain Michigan would prevail. Of course they didnt. I got the first inkling something might be wrong while watching a replay of the Raghib Ismail game on ESPN classic, and after Notre Dame moved down the field and scored like nothing on the first drive I became even more worried. But mostly because I thought the two teams would be swapping touchdowns all day and that the Michigan defense was still going to be a problem. Wrong. The defense played great after that opening drive, but the offense..........blah. Henne looked terrible, and for the first time that I can remember he looked rattled, or rushed, not to mention he came down with a severe case of Navarre-itis in which he got at least five passes tipped at the line of scrimmage. And the pass he threw near the end zone that was intercepted was atrocious. I mean he couldn't have been more locked on to Ecker, I was sitting in the complete opposite corner of the stadium and knew who he was throwing it to. Also Mike Hart got hurt, which was huge, because as good as Grady looks, he just doesnt have the shiftiness and game breaking ablilty that Hart has...........yet. Breaston was non-existent again, which leads me to my final point, the coaching. Im not sure if Carr is in charge of play calling, but the Lions playbook on Madden has more plays and variety than the Michigan offense. Let me give you the four plays Michigan runs. Halfback dive, Halfback screen, Wide Receiver Screen, Wide receiver curls and five yard outs. Vertical passes............ pfft, what do you think this is the 1940's. I wouldnt be surprised if next week they just scrapped everything and dusted off the single wing. Actually that wouldnt be all that bad because then maybe, just maybe, Breaston would get more than 5 touches a game. I've tried to stick up for Carr but there were more rumblings than ever following this weeks game, especially with the botched instant replay call where they didn't rush out and take a quick snap, and all Im saying is you have to think that theres got to be a powerful booster/alumnus who might be getting a little disenchanted with Carr, and next thing you know Lloyd, your beating Dave Wannstedt with your Ball State Cardinal team a la Frank Solich. But even I could beat Dave Wannstedt but you have to repect the mustache, and as a quick note is their a cooler looking word than mustachioed?

On to a more positive note at least the Lions looked good on Sunday afternoon, especially the defense, which either was that good or Brett Favre is now that bad. I can't believe Favre has been around for 15 seasons. 15 seasons! I feel so old now. I mean him and Griffey are the two athletes around today that make me feel 30 instead of 21. Is there any doubt that Favre's career is going to end in a 62-7 playoff rout at the hands of the Seahawks, a team he would have owned 5 years ago, like Dan Marino going down to the Jags. Or even worse, if the Orioles, I mean Packers, are like 4 and 9 heading into the final few weeks and they decide to start Manny Alexander, I mean Aaron Rogers in his place. Anyways Im now taking bets on the outcomes of Brett Favre's with the opening line for being carried off the field after winning a second super bowl at 10,000-1.

Ill talk more about the game in my next post because Ive got a bunch of reading to do for law school, which by the way totally sucks, but I do have this to add quickly. I love R.W. McQuarters, especially his name because it sounds like it could be the name of one of Uncle Scrooges rivals on Duck Tales. I also like how all the scary homeless guys in Detroit look exactly like McQuarters, with the long crazy dreadlocks, not to mention the fact that he had like 10 picks in his one season with me on Madden (like all the other homeless guys in Detroit), because for some reason he was the starting free safety, but I had to let him go because he held out, and I take a hard line against holdouts in my Franchise....................because its real................isnt it?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Week One Picks

One quick note before I get on with this posting. At the end of my last post I chided myself for mentioning Pascual Perez twice in the same column. Little did I know that only two days later Jayson Stark would do the same thing on his ESPN.com website including talking about Pascual's stadium mishap. Which leads me to say... QUIT STEALING MY STUFF JAYSON! But seriously I thought that was kind of strange as well as showing that Im capable of writing for ESPN's website. Im just waiting for the call.


Still Waiting.........

Checking to see if my ringer is turned on..........

it is..........


They'll call, you just watch...........

Anyways I was thinking of breaking down all 32 NFL teams but I realized that there was no possible way I would ever be able to get that done unless I had started a month ago like ESPN did. Had I cranked out one preview a day for a month I could have accomplished that, and believe me that series is coming when I preview the upcoming NBA season. However for the NFL I'm going to pick the winner of each game, well not just the winner but who I think you should bet on just in case my handful of readers are into that sort of horrible vice..........like I am. All of these lines are taken from sportsbook.com as of Wednesday night.

Raiders +7.5 PATRIOTS. I really like the Raiders this year and I think they will at least cover the spread if not win outright. I really like what Oakland did in the offseason to upgrade their offense. Getting Randy Moss for magic beans was a no-brainer (or instead of saying no-brainer I should say even Matt Millen would have made that deal, no nevermind, that statement may be offensive to people without brains.) I also like Kerry Collins, even though he was fantasy poison for me in 2001, when he fumbled about 347 times, not to mention being a one time quitter/alcoholic/racist, becaus he reminds me of a less badass Jeff George. I like Lamont Jordan and think he should be good fo 1300-1400 yards this season, and love Jerry Porter who should explode this season lining up across from Moss, not to metion Ronald Curry. So on paper I think thats a pretty scary offense. The defense on the other hand is scary for all the wrong reasons, but hey they got Charles Woodson who, according to him, paired with anybody makes the best set of corners in the league. Im willing to line up next to him to try his theory out, and am making plans to be in Honolulu in early February. Enough though, getting on to the game. I think the Pats are gonna come out a little flat, especially after a pretty tumultuous offseason, and a third Super Bowl. So if they are going to be vulnerable at any time this year its gonna be early. I think Moss will have a HUGE game on national TV with his new team against the defending champs. However this comes down to Bill Belichick vs. Norv Turner. Yikes. Thats like me coaching against my dog Sadie, only ten times worse.

Final score: Pats 34 Raiders 28.

Broncos -5 vs. DOLPHINS

This has got to be the lock of the week. Sure the Snake is gonna throw a couple of picks with his non throwing arm this season, flip off the crowd a few times, and throw about 25 picks with his normal throwing arm, but at least hes not Gus Frerotte or A.J. Feeley, who may or may not have been a kicker at Michigan. But come on. Gus Frerotte! What sane person would bet on him, he gave himself a concussion celebrating a touchdown, he was marginally better than Stoney Case 5 years ago. And who knows what the hells going on with the running backs. Go ahead and bet on the Dolphins or better yet send your money to

Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass
Cass Ave.
Detroit, MI

Broncos 24 Dolphins an unprecedented -10.

Bengals -3.5 v BROWNS

Another no-brainer. I like the Bengals offense. I expect Carson Palmer to improve markedly, which is why hes my QB2 on my fantasy team. I like T.J. Houshmandzedhdmandmadzzzzd, which is the ten thousandth time Ive used that joke, which I ripped off from several other people Im sure. Chad Johnson is gonna be huge, because hes completely insane as last weeks SI showed. Plus Rudi Johnson is solid, even though hes holding back Chris Perry. Plus there defense should be improved through the draft. The Browns.......well they have Braylon Edwards and......... and..........

Bengals 28 Browns 13

Houston + 5.5 vs. BILLS

I like the Bills. I like Lee Evans, another one of my fantasy picks. I think Moulds has been tremendously underrated throughout his career. McGahee looks phenomenal considering hes only 2 and a half years from having a cricket leg. The defense should be good. But there is one thing hanging over them, and his name is J.P. Losman. Yuck. I think he has Patrick Ramsey/ Joey Harrington potential and it could hold them back. Plus I like the Texans offense especially Andre Johnson, who is what Charles Rogers should be, and could be. So I think the Texans can steal this one.

Texans 20 Bills 17

Titans +7 vs. STEELERS

I think the Steelers are going to slide some this year and I was never really enamored with Roethlisberger, even though my friend T.J. is in love with him. Ive always been more of a Tommy Maddox guy myself. Irregardless Steelers should still win this one. Even with no Bus or Duce.

Steelers 20 Titans 10

Bears + 5.5 vs. REDSKINS

Do you really want to wager on Kyle Orton making his first NFL start? I didnt think so. Do you really want to bet on Patrick Ramsey under any circumstances? Didnt think so. Avoid this game. I hope Mushin Muhammed enjoys all that cash.......because I would.

Redskins 3 Bears 2.

Saints +7 vs. PANTHERS

Im really pulling for the Saints and the city of New Orleans. I never got a chance to visit it before the destruction imposed by the hurricane. But I like the Panthers because SI picked them to win the Super Bowl and they're never wrong. I mean who would have guessed Matt Hasselback wouldve been hoisting the trophy last Janua........Oh whoops thats right sorry Seattle, at least the Mariners won it all the year they won 116 gam.......Sorry. Well at least you got to enjoy those titles that Kemp and Payton won..........oh no this is getting embarrassing, but hey two words. Space Needle..................moving on.

Panthers 27 Saints 13

Bucs + 6 VIKINGS

Im not buying the Vikings Super Bowl talk, but they always start the season 6-0 so I see no difference this year, and that Tampa Bay defense has got to be getting old. I mean Hardy Nickerson's got to be 50 by now and Wayne Haddix who knows.......wait thats Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber. whats wrong with me tonight.

Vikings 34 Bucs 17

As you can probably tell Im really starting to half ass this so Ill run through the rest of the picks.

Jags will cover the spread and beat the Seahawks 19-13

Jets will win outright againt the Chiefs who I dont think are going to be as good as people are saying although I would have loved to see Derrick Johnson in Honolulu blue.

A much improved Cardinals team will beat the Giants outright at the Meadowlands as Kurt Warner seeks revenge.

Rams will kill the six points they are currently getting by blowing out the Niners in Candlestick.

Im foolishly buying into the Cowboys hype and think they will beat a Chargers team that will be tough to repeat their performance from last year.

Colts will cover against the Ravens, and finally the Eagles will win big against Atlanta as T.O. and McNabb make up.

Im not going to pick Lions games because I might be a little biased and there is no way a team could go 0-16.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Melido Perez

Even after a month off I still can't think of titles for these posts that will accurately convey what Im going to try to write about. So Ive decided to go with gimmicky titles and now Im using brothers who were both professional athletes, and who better to start with than the Perez brothers, both of whom are obvious first ballot hall of famers in the late 80's scary Latino players with ridiculous jheri curls, alongside Pedro Guerrero, Alfredo Griffin, and of course the incomparable Tito Landrum, who wasn't from Latin America but from Missouri..................... Santo Domingo, Missouri. O.K. so I made that last city up, big deal, you get the point.

Moving on. Yesterday was the first Saturday of the college football season and the home openers for both Michigan and Michigan State. I didnt catch all of the State game but by all accounts they played exceptionally well, and Im glad for them. I really want the Spartans to do well and root for them to win, but I can't cheer for them when they play Michigan. I took too much pleasure in Michigan destroying the Spartans in East Lansing the year the Wolverines won the title to ever call myself a true State fan. Ill never forget my sisters ex boyfriend talking trash after Sedrick Irvin scored on a fake punt in the first quarter to make it 7-0 and then falling into complete silence after the Spartans failed to score again.

Anyways, I was able to attend the Michigan-Northern Illinois game at the Big House, and my final overall impression of the team after winning their first game is ............... eh. I wasnt blown away by their performance and I wasnt completely depressed either, just kind of average. Of course I am in the overwhelming minority with my opinion. After Northern Illinois converted its first third down conversion, the always melodramatic majority of Michigan fans were already calling for Lloyd Carr's job, many of whom were in mid-season bitching form. Ive never understood all of the hatred and venom directed at Carr. Sure he doesnt get the absolute most out of his players every year and he can be a little conservative at times, but I dont think any one of his decisions has flat out cost us a win in any of his 11 seasons as coach. He wins 10 games a year, and HE WON A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! Even the Jesus of modern day Michigan football, Bo Schembechler, didnt win a national title in his 20 years as head coach AND he fired Ernie Harwell, which Im pretty sure Lloyd Carr has never done. But without further ado my breakdown of yesterdays game.

Offense: The offense looked great in the first half and had a good performance overall. Chad Henne looked really relaxed and efficient out there. The offensive line was solid and didnt incur any major penalties, which is always a great thing because one of my biggest pet peeves is holding penalties. I absolutely hate holding penalties, espcially after long runs, because it effects my post-traumatic stress syndrome by giving me flashbacks of the Larry Tharpe era in Detroit. I thought the receivers were great, especially Jason Avant. I wish I would have typed this before yesterdays game so I could have appeared more sage-like, but for some time now I always thought Avant would step up as the go to guy after Braylon Edwards left and have one of those insane Marquise Walker after Terrell left kind of seasons. I mean the guy catches everything thrown his way, as evidenced by that leaping grab, across the middle, of a pass that was thrown about two feet behind him. Steve Breaston on the other hand had a rather mediocre game. I'm sure that Northern Illinois had gameplanned around keeping him out of the open field, but 2 catches for 15 yards was rather blah. I guess some of the blame though could be laid at the hands of the coaching staff. With a talent like him it seems like you would design plays with the express intent of getting the ball in his hands in some open space a la Reggie Bush and Ted Ginn Jr. Mike Hart was phenomenal yesterday. I really enjoy watching this guy run because he refuses to go down. For him to go down he literally has to be wrestled down, tied up and tackled, because arm tackles just won't stop him. Plus hes like a pinball when he runs, just bouncing off people and constantly moving forward, not to mention the power as evidenced by his steamrolling of that Saluki who unfortunately got in his way. Kevin Grady was pretty impressive too, outside of his fumble on the two yard line. I like how Grady runs hard, it seems like hes going full steam by the time he gets the handoff. Im really excited about this backfield tandem of Hart and Grady for the next two or three years. It kind of reminds me of when Michigan had Wheatley and Biakabatukbiakbtuakabu, with Grady being the Tyrone and Hart being the Tshimanga. The rest of the offense was also solid and I liked how sure handed Tim Massaq.......... ,forget it Im not even gonna try that one, finally looked.

Now for the defense, ah yes the defense, now Im not going to dump all over them because they did play reasonably well and they forced five turnovers, which is pretty impressive, and Im a big proponent of the turnover differential stat. However I do think that the defense still is way too slow, something I hoped would be partially remedied after getting exposed so badly in the Rose Bowl. But alas team speed is still a problem at Michigan. I think this may be a result of the old school Big Ten mentality still being into play at Michigan. Everyone knows about the three yards and a cloud of dust and the conservative and defensive minded style of football that has traditionally been played in the Big Ten. This style always demanded bigger stronger players throughout the defense. As a matter of fact bigger and stronger was the mantra espoused by the Michigan coaches. But it really should be stronger and FASTER, because the Big Ten as well as the rest of college football has changed over the last 50 years, and teams even ones as stubborn as Big Ten teams are have begun to use more spread formations and smaller and quicker players or at the very least more athletic players on the offensive side of the ball. Michigan has seemed slow to adjust on defense and it seems each one of their players is out of position. They play corners as big as most safeties, safeties as big as linebackers (see: Ernest Shazor) and linebackers who should be defensive ends. However with Lamar Woodley as a defensive end and Marlin Jackson playing a year at safety, where he should have stayed in my opinion, maybe Michigan is starting to come around a little bit and getting their defense up to speed, literally.

In a random note that justifies watching a 2 A.M. Baseball Tonight, the rapper Daddy Yankee, who was responsible for the horrific "Gasolina" song, was listing off his favorite baseball players for a segment where ESPN interviews a musician whose also a baseball fan. So Daddy, or would it be Mr. Yankee, is listing all the Puerto Rican legends like Roberto Clemente and Ivan Rodriguez as well as perenniel All-Stars like Jorge Posada, when he randomly lists Candy Maldonado, maybe the only time a .254 career hitter who had only a few twenty homerun seasons will be mentioned in the same breath as the other three. Why not the Perez brothers, no love for Pascual. No metion of a guy who once missed a start because he got lost going to Atlantas Stadium and drove around it for hours............ I just realized that I have now written about Pascual Perez, a mediocre baseball player who retired nearly a decade ago not once but twice............in the same post, which means its time to stop writing tonight beginning .............. now.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Pascual Perez

Today I blew off my first law school class. This is not good. Its not good for me to have already blatantly skipped a class during my first week of school. And its not like this was some mistake, where my alarm didnt go off and I overslept. Oh no, this was an intentional well thought out decision, because anytime I skip class I usually always go through the same routine. I wake up early for class and while im laying there, tired, in bed, the thought first enters my mind, and i usually readily dismiss it. But once I'm in the shower the thought comes back and this time it stay a little longer. Next thing I know Ive been in the shower for forty five minutes, my fingers have turned to prunes, Im already 15 minutes late for class and I just go F--- It! Im going back to bed, where I stay until nearly 4 P.M. So there, if anybody needed any more evidence that I am the most shiftless person alive, with a complete lack of self-discipline and willpower I enter exhibit Z. Well at least Im using law based metaphors so I must be learning something............I think.

Anyways Im thinking of having my name legally changed to Dee Brown so that I can be guaranteed a chance of playing sports on a professional level. There can't be a higher ratio of names to professional athletes as there is with Dee Brown. There was intially Dee Brown of the Boston Celtics, who won the Slam Dunk contest with THE cheesiest gimmick dunk of all time. Dunking with an arm over his eyes..........how hard is that, honestly, that was the beginning of the end for the Slam Dunk contest. Second there was Dee Brown of the Kansas City Royals who did........well Im not real sure what he did over his career.........but at least he got to play parts of seven season on a major league baseball team, and yes, contrary to their record over the past decade or so the Royals still count as a major league baseball team, and this is coming from a lifelong Tigers fan who can barely remember the last time they finished over .500. Third their is Dee Brown, whose a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs and started a few games with the Carolina Panthers a few years back. And finally there is the Dee Brown who is the point guard at Illinois and was an important member of Illinois run to the title game last year. I'm assuming he will make it to the NBA for some team, especially if Nate Robinson plays well for the Knicks this year, making small guards en vogue, where they will all combine and release next summers big hit Never Gonna Get It. So there you have it four Dee Browns spanning over three pro sports over the course of the past fifteen years as well as one Dream Job winner, where he will hopefully have a bigger role than previous winners Mike Hall whose picture I saw on the side of my last milk carton.

Tommorow is also the beginning of Michigan's football season and I will be making my first trip to the Big House this year. I know what your saying, and the silence is deafening. Yes I did go to Michigan State but that doesnt mean I have to like them, in fact I hate Michigan State since Ive gone there, after all the money I spent on parking tickets, not all of which were justified, and I won't go into detail but Michigan State does not encourage studying in the library without paying a 35 dollar fine. Not to mention the price gouging that goes on in the apartments there but once again I digress. Anyways my dad has had season tickets to Michigan games since before I was alive, and Ive been going to games for years. I was there when Kordell Stew.......well Im not going to finish that thought because I might get sick. I saw David Klinger in person shred the defense and influence how I played football video games for the rest of my life, lets just say I throw on about 98% of all plays. I had a guy throw up on me while getting his hair pulled in a fist fight. Ive heard people calling for Lloyd Carrs head and then praising him minutes, no seconds later. So I have that to look forward to tomorrow and am thouroughly excited about this season because we dont have to lose to a Pac-10 team on the road this year.

The other big story is Jeff Garcias broken leg in tonights game. I think the Lions should just take the Buffalo Bills off the preseason schedule because thats where James Stewart got hurt leaving us with a season of Shawn Bryson and (ugh) Olandis Gary, which was so bad it almost reached Greg Hill/Ron Rivers territory. So now Dan Orlovsky is our backup, a guy who sucks so bad I cant even get him to progress in this years version of Madden, and this coming from someone who got John Navarre an 89 rating in last years game. So I think we have to sign another backup and if Garcia is only going to be out 6 weeks we should get Quincy Carter because thats how long it will take for him to fail his first drug test. Or there is always Jeff George who draws up plays in the huddle like hes in the backyard, but then again what the fuck do June Jones or Terry Robieske know anyways. After that uhhhh, Vinny Testerverde is making great money as a cadaver here at Wayne State Medical School and Chad Hutchinsons got a wicked curveball or there is always Kordell St..................nevermind.

On a final note its a sad day in Detroit sports as the Detroit Shock were eliminated from the playoffs, leaving thousands, no hundreds, no dozens , no a dozen fans, no a dozen players disappointed.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Welcome to Detroit

Well, Im back from my vacation, actually ive been back for over a month, but havent posted since. This long absence has made my loyal readership base dwindle to zero, which is about two fewer than my peak. So why, one might ask, will you continue to devote hours and hours of your life trying to write to an audience that is non-existent? And the answer to that is I dont know, I guess I just kind of enjoy writing and hope that one day someone else might enjoy it, or at least provide enough of a diversion to those trapped in a cubicle or working an (shudder).....internship. However once again I plan to expand the scope of my writing. Before I wrote that I never wanted to write about personal things because people who dont know me wouldnt care about what I do and would care more about my opinions on sports, almost exclusively Detroit area sports. Well I was wrong, people who have read this dont care about that either. So now Im going to attempt to include more personal day to day things in this blog. Another reason for this is for my own personal use as well. I am going through a big change in my life and it would be nice to have a record of my experiences available for me to look back on. Things Ive done, or havent done, people Ive met and so on. Ive just moved to downtown Detroit and this week began law school as a first year student at Wayne State University. However this space will still be predominately about sports, because it plays such a large role in my life. So if youve made it through this lengthy introduction, congratulations, and please continue reading..........please......i beg you......oh c'mon, it will only take five minutes........Thank You.

My first order of business after moving to Detroit was to find a place to rent movies. So I went to Blockbuster and opened an account and checked out Sin City, which I thouroughly enjoyed. What I didnt enjoy so much was the fact that when I went to pay for the movie I found out that Blockbuster now charges four hundred and twenty nine dollars to rent a movie, but hell, you dont have to pay late fees anymore because you pay them in advance. So that option immediately went out the window, and led me to subscribe to Netflix, which has been great so far, and yes Netflix is paying me a nickel for recommending them on this site, so for any company reading this, I am a corporate whore, willing to shill for shiny nickels, or anything of equal value, but I digress. Anyways the first movie I got through Netflix (another nickel) was Requiem for a Dream, which hands down was the most gawd awful horribly depressing movie Ive ever seen. It was recommended to me by several people but most notably my sister who said, "They should just replace all of the stuff they show in D.A.R.E. with this movie if they really want people to stay off drugs." So it goes without saying that I too highly recommend this, and I look forward to becoming a lawyer so I can finally attend one of the parties at the end of the movie. Scratch that I'll just drop out of law school and sell drugs to desperate girls in exchange for...........nevermind......stupid ethics committees.

By the way doesnt Ludacris' single from this summer, No. 1 Spot, feel a little dated, especially the video. When I first saw it I thought there was going to be another Austin Powers movie in the works and thank god their isnt. So I'm assuming that Vern Troyer had some photos of Luda, you know like leading a Girls Scout troupe or volunterring at an old folks home, something that would completely ruin his street cred, or even more likely Ludacris just isnt trying anymore because he realized he could crank out any number of crappy singles and suburban white kids, thats right Alex and TJ, would buy it by the millions. A couple of other rap related notes. David Banner is the greatest producer today and Rubber Band Man by T.I. (although the Spinners song by the same name is a million times better) has the greatest background music ever as evidenced by being my cell phones ringtone for over a year.

One last Detroit story before quitting tonight. Since Ive moved into my apartment I had a helluva time with Comcast in getting a cable modem that actually worked. First they came out and gave me a faulty one, then told me nothing was wrong with my modem and my actual computer was broke, which didnt seem right seeing as how its brand new. Well turns out it wasnt my computer and was the modem which I had to exchange at one of their service centers. So anyways they tell me where the closest one is to my apartment and I go in search of it. So I get off the exit Im told too and enter the heart of the Detroit ghetto, where I naturally fit in with my J. Crew shirt and khakis, (Ive got to dress the part of a law student, remember). Also its convenient that there is a stoplight every twenty feet on this road, or between every driveway, which gives all the badass looking guys a chance to look me over real good and decide if they want to jack me or not, and who the hell would stop them. Luckily my Buick with squeaky breaks doesnt have any value, even with the spoiler (sarcasm). So I turn left on the street where the Comcast building is supposed to be and into a traffic jam, which is the result of a guy driving two miles per hour because he has four yes FOUR flat tires. I still cant think of a joke or a proper way to express/convey how funny/ridiculous/insane this was. Anyways the street Im driving down is nothing but junkyards, with packs of roving animals. I think they were dogs, but they have so many breeds in them they looked like the characters from Altered Beast. Comcast always puts their buildings in the most inconvenient places to deter people from doing anything about the crappy service they provide, but on the left hand side of the road I noticed a swirling wormhole which was gradually closing as it got closer to five oclock and assumed this was the place. I was right and now am able to connect to the internet so I can bore everyone and clog up the web with these posts.