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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Virginia Tech @ Maryland (Thursday 7:30pm Comcast Center); Boxing: Miguel Acosta vs. Brandon Rios (Saturday 10pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime), Friday Night Fights: Juan Carlos Burgos vs. Cristobal Cruz (Friday 9pm from Tulsa, Oklahoma live on ESPN2); Tennis: ATP Tour Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (Saturday 2pm & 7pm, Sunday 1pm & 3pm from Delray Beach, FL live on Tennis Channel), Abierto Mexicano Telcel (Wednesday 4pm & 8pm, Thursday 2pm & 8pm, Friday 6pm & 10pm, Saturday 10am from Acapulco, Mexico live on ESPN3.com), Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (Monday-Friday 5am & 10am, Saturday 10am from Dubai, United Arab Emirates live on ESPN3.com)

10. Bon Jovi (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center), Lady Gaga (Thursday 8pm Verizon Center); Pat Green (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live, Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Robert Cray Band (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); David Gray (Tuesday 7:30pm Strathmore); Charlie Murphy (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Pat McGee Band (Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Ryan Cabrera (Monday 8pm Jammin’ Java); G. Love “Fixin To Die” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I saw Bon Jovi a few years ago at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona. I was disappointed. He played country pop songs. I didn’t pay to see that. I actually didn’t pay at all. But if I had, THIS is what I would have wanted to see…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40UQDEtRxp8[/youtube]

I like Pat McGee AND Pat Green. I also like Pat Sajak, but I don’t like Pat Boone necessarily.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzTL2woRzrI[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJWnIFlYKjs[/youtube]

Even our buddy Rob Fahey (of Ravyns fame) says he’s most impressed by David Gray of current musicians. That’s high praise…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMxfKuft8x4[/youtube]

And even without the “Special Sauce”, I’d recommend picking up the new G. Love…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCPH3dPQkIc[/youtube]

9. NBA: Indiana Pacers @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Philadelphia 76ers (Wednesday 7pm from Philadelphia live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Miami Heat (Friday 7:30pm from Miami live on Comcast SportsNet), Dallas Mavericks @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 8pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Chicago Bulls @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

It used to be that when the Chicago Bulls would come to play the ‘Zards (or the Bullets, really), the games would actually mean something.

Now…they’re just the next team on the schedule…that will probably beat the Wizards.

That being said, they still have SOMETHING going for them…in fact, the best player in the history of NBA Jam…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkM0BE-Iu6M[/youtube]

Benny the Bull was better than Michael Jordan.

Probably a better golfer, too.

8. Auto Racing: NASCAR Subway Fresh Fit 500 (Sunday 3pm from Phoenix live on FOX)

With the fellas on the Sprint Cup Series headed into Arizona, I’d take a second to remind everyone that Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and company will have a few of their own “distractions” to deal with…

asu
asu
asu

I’ve had the water out there. There IS something in it.

7. Golf: WGC Accenture Match Play Championship (Wednesday 12pm, Thursday & Friday 2pm, Saturday 12pm, Sunday 9am live on Golf Channel; Saturday & Sunday 2pm live on NBC. All golf from Marana, AZ); PGA Tour Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun (Thursday-Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from Playa del Carmen, Mexico live on Golf Channel); LPGA Tour HSBC Women’s Champions (Thursday & Friday 11am, Saturday 10am, Sunday 2pm from Singapore live on Golf Channel)

This will be the only week all year that I give half a crap about Golf. Why? Because I get to fill out brackets! You could put together a Pokemon card tournament-if it had brackets, I’d fill them out.

I mean, I’m not going to WATCH the thing…holy hell does that sound terrible. But I’ll check at the end of the day to see how my brackets hold up. And I’ll of course pick  Chi Chi Rodriguez to win. He’s going to have to break through one of these weeks.

6. NHL: New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS & NHL Network), Washington Capitals @ New York Islanders (Saturday 7pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet)

Meanwhile, Glenn Clark will be making the trip up I-95 to Philly to see the Philadelphia Flyers become JUST ANOTHER VICTIM for the Phoenix FREAKING Coyotes, who enter the game winners of seven in a row!

It’s just a shame the game isn’t in Arizona, cause I’d love to hear the Black Keys pump through the Wells Fargo Center…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfYLr3IIVkQ[/youtube]

5. Monster Jam (Friday-Sunday 1st Mariner Arena)

Monster Jam is one of those events that comes around all the time that I have no REAL idea what it is and if it’s sorta white trash but really cool or REALLY white trash and only sorta cool.

Either way, I THINK Grave Digger is pretty cool….right???

gravedigger

4. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC 127-BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch (Saturday 10pm from Sydney, AUS on Pay-Per-View)

After the last card (Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort) and the next card (Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua), I will admit that I’m not really all that upset that I’ll be missing this card while I’m in Indy.

But if I was a MMA writer/reporter headed Down Under, I know damn well I’d take a minute to seek out whoever Bliss N Eso are. Their Citizen Cope cover is pretty legit…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCIfpZp7YcA[/youtube]

3. College Lacrosse: Loyola @ Towson (Saturday 12pm from Unitas Stadium live on ABC2/ESPN3.com/AM1570 WNST); Rutgers @ UMBC (Saturday 1pm UMBC Stadium); Siena @ Johns Hopkins (Saturday 1pm from Homewood Field live on ESPNU); Georgetown @ Maryland (Saturday 3pm from Byrd Stadium live on ESPNU); Mary Washington @ Stevenson (Wednesday 3pm Caves Athletic Complex), Kean @ Stevenson (Saturday 1pm Caves Athletic Complex)

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I see “Georgetown” and “Maryland” next to each other, I can really only think about Keith Booth and Joe Smith. Hoyas fans probably won’t be happy for the reminder…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-WoPhVNffA[/youtube]

I guess I have one other memory. It involves Lonny Baxter and the NCAA Tournament if I remember correctly…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nda5RartfAw[/youtube]

2. College Basketball: Florida State @ Maryland (Wednesday 9pm from Comcast Center live on ACC Network-WNUV 54 locally), Maryland @ North Carolina (Sunday 7:45pm from Chapel Hill, NC live on Comcast SportsNet-Fox Sports Net nationally); Delaware State @ Morgan State (Wednesday 7pm Hill Field House), Morgan State @ North Carolina A&T (Monday 7pm from Greensboro, NC live on ESPNU); Drexel @ Towson (Saturday 4pm Towson Center)

I hope the Terps beat the snot out of the Seminoles Wednesday night. But I will admit that FSU will always have at least a small place in my (and Brett Favre’s) heart(s)…

sterger

Jenn Sterger wore a cowboy hat to a football game in Tallahassee five years ago and became a household name.

What a great country we live in.

1. College Football: NFL Scouting Combine (Thursday-Monday from Indianapolis live on NFL Network)

5.2 million people watched the Scouting Combine from LucasOil Stadium last year.

Of those 5.2 million, not a single one tuned in to see how Rich Eisen did in the 40 yard dash. But he did it anyway, and almost beat Ravens DT Terrence Cody!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar5nlv6ZPX0[/youtube]

That might seem surprising, but consider this…if hundreds of college-aged GIRLS were to descend upon a football stadium and run around in the underwear, how many MORE people would be watching?

You know, especially if one of them was SI swimsuit model Kate Upton…

upton

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Top 7 Sports “Trainwrecks”

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Top 7 Sports “Trainwrecks”

Posted on 08 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

In honor of the Christina Aguilera/Black Eyed Peas/Cowboys Stadium fueled “trainwreck” that was Super Bowl XLV, this morning’s “Tuesday Top 7″ topic was the “Top 7 Sports Trainwrecks.”

No clarification necessary. Athletes, teams, trends, etc. are all eligible.

Glenn Clark’s Top 7…

7. The BCS

bcs

6. Oregon Football Uniforms

oregon

5. Cleveland

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-4xvO1z58o[/youtube]

4. Art Schlichter

schlichter

3. Los Angeles Clippers

clips

2. Dan Snyder

snyder

1. Boxing’s Heavyweight Division

boxing

Drew Forrester’s Top 7…

7. Bobby Knight

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvRO2GE4x4M[/youtube]

6. Brett Favre

favre

5. Billy Martin

billymartin

4. John McEnroe

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxAPKtOe0fQ[/youtube]

3. Terrell Owens

to

2. Tiger Woods

tiger

1. Mike Tyson

tyson

If you missed the explanation of the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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The “Most Disappointing Performers” of 2010 …..

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The “Most Disappointing Performers” of 2010 …..

Posted on 22 December 2010 by Rex Snider

A week ago, I introduced my first LIST chronicling sports and events, in 2010. At the time, I guaranteed variations of such rankings, including the GOOD, BAD and downright PATHETIC. For some odd reason, developing this year’s lists has not been an easy endeavor. Hence, the delay in posting …..

Today’s list regards the “MOST DISAPPOINTING PERFORMERS OF 2010”. The criteria are simple; the list applies exclusively to professional athletes and the 2010 year. As always, I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions …..
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10) Donovan McNabb – while he certainly maintains a healthy core of supporters, it’s pretty difficult to blindly overlook McNabb’s tumultuous, yet brief stint in the nation’s capital. He’s grinding thru a tough season that has yielded the fewest touchdown passes (14) and most interceptions (15) of his 10 seasons as a starting quarterback.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 19: Quarterback Donovan McNabb  of the Washington Redskins on the sidelines against play against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It’s become quite obvious that McNabb and Mike Shanahan are not on the same page, as two benchings would certainly indicate. The Redskins are mired in another losing season, and regardless of a potential Hall of Fame career, McNabb must accept a great deal of accountability for a lackluster offensive attack.

Hmmm …. do you think they’re smiling up in Philly?
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9) Alex Rodriguez – I never thought this name would appear on such a list; well, not in 2010, anyway. However, I think it’s pretty fair to say A’Rod easily suffered through the worst season of his career as a starting 3rd baseman/shortstop.

Aug. 11, 2010 - Arlington, Texas, USA - August 11, 2010. Yankees third baseman ALEX RODRIGUEZ in the dugout as The New York Yankees played the Texas Rangers in a Major League Baseball game at the Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

While the Orioles (and a few other teams) would gladly receive a 3rd baseman who hits for a .270 clip, with 30 homers and 125 RBI, the New York Yankees expect much more production. And, when they’re paying that player an annual salary of $33 million, I’d say such demands are warranted.

The 2010 season was a downer for A’Rod, as he’s still counted as a true five-tool player. At 34, his best days are assuredly in the rear view mirror …. but, I’m sure the Steinbrenner’s still expect a batting average in the vicinity of .300, with 35 homers, 30 doubles, 10 steals and 125 RBI.

And, for the money they’re spending …. I don’t blame them.
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#8) Chris Johnson – I think everybody remembers Johnson’s season of domination, in 2009, right? He became the sixth player to rush for 2,000+ yards, in NFL history. He basked in the spotlight and became the top pick in most 2010 Fantasy Football Drafts.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 18: Running back Chris Johnson  of the Tennessee Titans warms up prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 18, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Of course, Johnson fed the adoration and suspense by predicting he would rush for 2,500 yards, in this 2010 season. It was a ludicrous goal to set and an even crazier hope for a growing collection of fans. With a couple games remaining, Johnson finds himself with 1,267 rushing yards.

Not a bad year, huh? By most accounts, it wouldn’t be a disappointing season …. but, even Johnson expected and guaranteed more.
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7) A.J. Burnett – here’s the one guy who justifies Andy MacPhail’s reluctance to overpay free agents, huh? Just a couple years ago, A.J. Burnett shared prospective shopping lists with Mark Teixeira. As we know, the Orioles made token offers and both players ended up in pinstripes.

New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett throws a pitch in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium in New York City on April 17, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

While Teixeira has produced at an expected level, Burnett has struggled to achieve the lofty statistics that rendered him one of the most coveted pitchers in the 2008 shopping market. And, 2010 was simply a season to forget, as Burnett produced a 5.26 ERA and 1.51 WHIP, while finding a way to lose more games than he won.

Perhaps, A.J. Burnett is on the shortest leash, heading into 2011. The Yankees are a team that can withstand bad contracts, and unless he recaptures some dominance, Burnett might find himself pitching in Kansas City or Baltimore …. sooner rather than later.
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6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. – I have never maintained the belief that Earnhardt was among the very best talents in NASCAR, let alone comparable to the legend of his father. However, I also never foresaw him performing this badly, either.

CONCORD, NC - OCTOBER 14: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the  AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 14, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

We’re approaching three years since Earnhardt won his last race, and he’s finished outside the Top-20 in season standings for two straight years. On a weekly basis, he’s being viewed as just part of the field, rather than a threat win any particular race.

Still, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR’S most popular competitor and he easily earns more money than any fellow driver (and most ballplayers) on an annual basis. Only in America, huh? What’s the incentive to win? Perhaps, Earnhardt’s popularity really is undermining any hunger to win …..
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5) Greg Oden – as he’s shelved in his fourth season as a pro basketball player, Oden stands to potentially become one of the biggest BUSTS in NBA history. To date, the former #1 overall pick has earned almost $20 million, while playing in just 82 career games.

ATLANTA - MARCH 30:  Greg Oden #20 of the Ohio State Buckeyes warms up during practice for the NCAA Men's Final Four at the Georgia Dome on March 30, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Hmmm …. my calculator says that’s about $230,000, per game. Not bad for a night’s work, huh? In 2010, the figures are even uglier – Oden hasn’t played a single game, this year. But, he’s being paid $4.3 million for such services.

To suggest Greg Oden has been a disappointment, in 2010, is an absolute understatement. Then, again, maybe the Trailblazers don’t expect anything from him – which is exactly what he’s giving them.
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4) Randy Moss – how about a standing ovation and resounding applause for the first dude who makes both of my BAD lists, in 2010. As the 2010 season winds down, Randy Moss finds himself making no real contribution to the Tennessee Titans offense.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11: Randy Moss  of the Minnesota Vikings looks on against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 11, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets won 29-20. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Ironically, the same can pretty much be said for his brief stint, in Minnesota, as well. That’s right, it’s been a couple months since Moss forced his way out of New England – where they’re readying to seize the top seed in the AFC playoff picture.

He entered the 2010 season as one of the most legitimate receivers in the NFL. Yet, thru 14 games, Moss has just 5 touchdowns and 27 receptions. Of the 5 scores, he has only two over the last couple months. Is he disappointment? Yes, very much so …..
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3) Lebron James – you can call him King James, All Star or Chosen One …. just don’t call him a WINNER. While his 2010 has been the tale of two cities and teams, Lebron James has failed to establish himself as the driving force behind a corps capable of winning BIG GAMES.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James stands on the court during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls in game 3 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at the United Center in Chicago on April 22, 2010. The Bulls won 108-106 and trail the Cavliers 2-1 in the best of seven series.  UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

He packed it in against the Celtics, back in May. He chose to flee a team he commanded for a team where he’s surrounded. Leaders don’t need such security – just see Jordan, Magic or Bird.

The story of the 2010-2011 Miami Heat has not been written. They’re winning regular season contests, but will they win the postseason games, where leadership is a MUST? Based on his past, it’s pretty safe to assume Lebron cannot be counted upon when it matters most – and such a reality defines disappointment.
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2) Brett Favre – if he just had a crystal ball, huh? In some distinct ways, I feel badly for Favre. He obviously plays the game with a sheer love for the competition, and a legend of his stature should not walk away in such a beaten state.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 05: Brett Favre  of the Minnesota Vikings leaves the field after defeating the Buffalo Bills at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 5, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

But, Brett Favre gambled on one season too many. Buoyed by last January’s NFC Championship Game …. and near miss, he caved to pressure from the Vikings and returned for another season and shot at the Super Bowl.

It has proven to be a mistake. Favre wasn’t healthy when the season began and he should’ve been smart enough to realize and accept it. Of course, America’s favorite bimbo, Jenn Sterger, has only added to the dysfunction of this disastrous season.

In the words of the great Clint Eastwood, “a man must know his limitations.” Unfortunately, Brett Favre did not recognize his limitations, as 2010 became his worst season, ever.
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#1) Tiger Woods – well, could it really be anyone else? As the entire world knows, Tiger’s life unraveled into a sordid, corrupt mess, in 2010. From adulterous affairs, to domestic discord and lost sponsorships, Tiger lost an awful lot …..

Tiger Woods waits to hit off of the 11th tee box during the first round of the Quail Hollow Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 29, 2010.  UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

The losing also carried onto the golf course. He played the worst golf of his professional career and looked totally lost, at times. From the hecklers speckled in the galleries, to the gaudy airplane banners soaring overhead, Tiger’s presence at a golf tournament became very “tabloid-ish”.

However, I think Tiger Woods is the MOST DISAPPOINTING PERFORMER of 2010, because we expect such greatness from him. He is easily the most dominant athlete of the last decade. And, to see his game struggle due to something other than the natural progressions of age or injury is very sad, indeed.

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The “Controversial Sports Personalities” of 2010 …..

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The “Controversial Sports Personalities” of 2010 …..

Posted on 16 December 2010 by Rex Snider

As we make our way into mid-December and the final weeks of the year, excitement starts to build with many people, young and old. From the anticipation (or stresses) of the holidays, to the culmination of another NFL season, many of us look forward to this part of our annual calendar.

In my own way, I look forward to this time of year, because I’m a “list” kinda guy …..

Be it BEST OF, WORST OF, MOST INTRIGUING, MOST OVERRATED, MOST POPULAR, MOST HATED and just about any related combination, I like compiling lists of my personal rankings regarding people and events of any given year.

Of course, my lists revolve around sports, in one context or another. From the famous to the infamous, and the champions to the chokers, I’ll give you the spin on how 2010 shakes out in my conflicted mind.

Today, we’ll begin with the “TEN MOST CONTROVERSIAL SPORTS PERSONALITIES OF THE YEAR” …..
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10) Lane Kiffin – The ultimate coaching mercenary, huh? Many of us were snookered into believing Kiffin was the sympathetic figure depicted in his dysfunctional ride with Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders. Little did we know his loyalties would tend to run as deep, or shallow, as his former boss …..

Oct 16, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Lane Kiffin gestures during the game against the California Golden Bears at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated California 48-14. Photo via Newscom

Earlier this year, Lane Kiffin deserted the University of Tennessee – the institution that gave him a second chance – on a whim to return to his coaching roots, at the University of Southern California. Kiffin garnered a lot of rightful criticism for switching jobs, midstream, while so many people, in Tennessee, depended on him.
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9) Cam Newton – Well, we all know this name, huh? Yet, a year ago at this time, only the hardcore college football fans really knew anything about Newton. Only in America …. can a sports personality rise from anonymity to celebrity, in the span of a few months.

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: 2010 Heisman Trophy candidate Cam Newton of the Auburn University Tigers speaks at a press conference at The New York Marriott Marquis on December 11, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

I suppose we should really be recognizing Cam’s father, Cecil, for being the “straw that stirred this combustible cocktail.” He obviously lobbied for money in exchange for his son’s services, and regardless of what the NCAA might be saying, most of us don’t really believe young Cam is blameless.

Hmmm …. how long will it take for him to surrender that trophy?

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Sunday’s NFL action provides a clear message; Ravens are still a top team

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Sunday’s NFL action provides a clear message; Ravens are still a top team

Posted on 13 December 2010 by Rex Snider

Well, I’m imagining most of us spent yesterday afternoon partaking in some similar Sunday rituals; gauging the competition around the National Football League, and collectively hoping the Cincinnati Bengals might find a way to upset our nemesis up in Pittsburgh.

In totality, the day offered some pretty daunting realities, both on and off the playing field …..

- Having a “trash bag” roof eventually proves to be a bad idea …..

- Tom Brady’s game is just as good on snow tires …..

- Rex Ryan’s Jets really are the NFL’s equivalent of the pro rasslin’ product …..

- While his comeback is pretty impressive, Mike Vick is NOT Tom Brady …..

- Brett Favre evidently owns a pretty sharp razor knife, and access to the dome’s roof …..

Indeed, yesterday was no ordinary Sunday around the NFL. The slate of games was less than impressive, as a large bulk of the contests were nothing more than mismatches. But, weather and interference by off-field personnel really provided some drama to what many of us perceived to be a day full of bad football.

Maybe, I’m being too harsh …..

Instances of occasional “bad football” at the pro level are generally a seldom-seen phenomenon, right? Of course, yesterday provided a few glaring examples of horrendous execution by teams vying for playoff position, as well as those playing out the string …..

- Graham Gano may very well find himself joining Jeff Reed in the unemployment line after missing an extra point and chip shot field goal, in the Redskins embarrassing loss against the Buccaneers …..

- Brodie Croyle and the Kansas City Chiefs mustered just 67 yards in total offense, while being shutout, 31-0, by the San Diego Chargers in a prime AFC-West showdown …..

- Mark Sanchez looked very much like the rookie from last season and the “clown” from HBO’s Hard Knocks, in the Jets second straight loss, which now tasks Gang-Green with trying to stem a late season collapse – on the road, in Pittsburgh, next week …..

- And, of course, speaking of the Steelers …. we must cite the “steaming stinker” Carson Palmer left on the newly sodded turf, at Heinz Field. Yesterday’s line for Palmer: 20 for 32, 178 yards & 2 touchdowns.

Not horrible, huh? Oh yeah, that’s right, those touchdown passes were both tossed into the waiting arms of Steelers defenders …..

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Troy Polamalu  of the Pittsburgh Steelers intercepts a pass from Carson Palmer  of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game on December 12, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Any chance of witnessing a ‘Bungals upset of the Steelers was lost amid predictable breakdowns and missed assignments. Welcome to the 2010 edition of the “Great Cincinnati Disaster”. While they punished Ben Roethlisberger early in the game and even broke out to a quick lead, the ‘Bungals looked very much like a certain black and orange baseball product.

Cincinnati’s string of consecutive losses now stands at TEN AND COUNTING. Given the knuckleheads on that roster, it might be a good idea for the networks to consider slotting this 2-11 team into a nationally televised contest or two.

Say what you will, I’ve got a feeling the ‘Bungals have a “meltdown moment”; a behemoth mutinous catastrophe on the field and I don’t wanna miss it !!!!

In summing up everything observed in yesterday’s NFL action, I’m developing some pretty distinct conclusions:

We are going to see one of the season-long contenders go down in bursting flames over the final few weeks of the regular season …..

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Blog & Tackle: NFL one-liners through Week 13

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Blog & Tackle: NFL one-liners through Week 13

Posted on 09 December 2010 by Chris Pika

The 2010 NFL season has reached the three-quarter mark, and like any good game on Sundays, it’s usually the fourth quarter that decides success or failure.

It’s a chance to take stock of each conference after 13 weeks and 12 games with one-liners on each of the teams. Below are some stats, observations and conjecture as we look ahead to the final four weeks.

First, here is a look at the AFC by divisions. Records are through Week 13:

AFC East

New England Patriots (10-2): Patriots have won last four, including huge win over the Jets to solidfy their claim as AFC’s best team behind conference-best (+110) scoring differential; road to AFC title will go through Gillette Stadium and coach Bill Belichick.

New York Jets (9-3): Despite 3-1 stretch, Jets went from potentially being in line to host AFC title game to very vulnerable after shredding of New York’s vaunted D by the Patriots.

Miami Dolphins (6-6): Dolphins continue to confound with 5-1 road mark, but 1-5 home record — that will be main reason they will not make playoffs as well as offensive woes (-23 point differential).

Buffalo Bills (2-10): Bills finally saw results after 0-8 start with two straight victories, but close loss to Steelers and blowout defeat to Vikings has slowed Buffalo’s progress.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3): Steelers have grabbed choke-hold of AFC North after winning the war in Baltimore last week behind QB Ben Roethlisberger and stout defense; now Pittsburgh could host AFC Divisional Playoff at always-tough Heinz Field.

Baltimore Ravens (8-4): Only home loss of season so far to Steelers was costly as Ravens may have three straight playoff games on the road instead of one or two home games; predicted high-production offense has gone cold at bad times.

Cleveland Browns (5-7): Cleveland continues to be a “tough out” thanks to solid running game behind RB Peyton Hillis; if they get QB (and maybe head coach) situation settled in offseason, could be 2011 team to watch in AFC.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-10): The wheels have completely come off the cart for one of the preseason favorites to win the division — nine-game losing streak may spell the end of the Marvin Lewis era in Cincinnati.

AFC South

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5): Jaguars, after 3-1 stretch, find themselves on top in the division, despite worst point differential among all division leaders (-43) — only question is can they hold off slumping Colts?

Indianapolis Colts (6-6): Colts’ injuries have finally taken a toll; forget Peyton Manning for a moment, being in position of having to pass so much has allowed opponents to tee off in crucial situations — but Indy can still catch Jaguars for division title.

Houston Texans (5-7): Lack of strong starts have doomed Texans, 1-5 in their last six games — last chance for Houston (and maybe coach Gary Kubiak’s job) comes with Monday night visit by Ravens in Week 14.

Tennessee Titans (5-7): When you didn’t think anybody else could surpass Minnesota as NFL’s best soap opera, here comes the Titans; normally unflappable coach Jeff Fisher has had to deal with Vince Young, Randy Moss and owner Bud Adams in recent weeks.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (8-4): Chiefs seem to have control of the division after a three-game win streak and perfect 6-0 home mark; can they hold off the Raiders and Chargers over the final four weeks?

Oakland Raiders (6-6): Progress has been slowed by 3-2 mark in last five games, but 4-0 division record could be factor if they get help before Week 17 showdown at traditional rival Chiefs.

San Diego Chargers (6-6): Amazing how one loss changes things after blowout defeat by Raiders last week that stopped four-game win streak; season on the line vs. Chiefs this week.

Denver Broncos (3-9): A three-game losing streak coupled with Spygate-like scandal in London finally cost Josh McDaniels his coaching job; Eric Studesville gets his audition but the supporting cast is not there.

And now for the NFC by divisions:

NFC East

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Matt Ryan  of the Atlanta Falcons converses with quarterback Joe Flacco  of the Baltimore Ravens after the Falcons 26-21 win at Georgia Dome on November 11, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles (8-4): The Eagles are tied for the division lead, but arguably have the NFC East’s toughest schedule left with two games vs. Dallas and one each against the Giants and Vikings — for what was originally expected to be a transition year, a lot is still on the table.

New York Giants (8-4): Giants are playing as well as any team in NFC right now, but head coach Tom Coughlin’s team must navigate Minnesota, Philadelphia and Green Bay the next three weeks to stay in the division and Wild Card mix.

Washington Redskins (5-7): The Redskins season has become a trainwreck as head coach Mike Shanahan has had to deal with several distractions, including DT Albert Haynesworth’s suspension for conduct detrimental; the Skins defense should be suspended as well, allowing the fifth-most points in the NFC.

Dallas Cowboys (4-8): The Cowboys have gotten off the deck to become a team no one wants to face down the stretch; Dallas could play spoiler in the NFC East and help Jason Garrett remove the interim coaching tag.

NFC North

Chicago Bears (9-3): The Bears have won five straight to hold the division lead by one game thanks to resurgent play by QB Jay Cutler and LB Brian Urlacher; Chicago has murderous final four weeks capped by Week 17 visit to Packers.

Green Bay Packers (8-4): Despite injuries, Packers are firmly in the playoff mix, but key Week 12 loss at Atlanta looms large as well as final three games against New England, Giants and Chicago — win those and Green Bay will have earned its postseason ticket.

Minnesota Vikings (5-7): A change in head coach to well-respected assistant Leslie Frazier has helped the mood in Minnesota, but the final four weeks will be all about Brett Favre’s literal limp to the finish of his career (I think).

Detroit Lions (2-10): Some of the strides made early in the season by the Lions have been erased by the current five-game losing streak; coach Jim Schwartz is still looking for consistent winning formula.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (10-2): The hottest team in the NFC with six straight wins, the Falcons may do something no Atlanta NFL team ever has — host the NFC Championship Game in January; but they have to get through Week 16 Monday Night game vs. Saints.

New Orleans Saints (9-3): The defending Super Bowl champions are playing like it for first time all season with a current five-game win streak as the Saints try to go stride-for-stride with the Falcons; back-to-back road contests at Baltimore and Atlanta in Weeks 15-16 are New Orleans’ key games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5): The air has finally come out of the Buccaneers’ balloon with two straight losses, but Tampa Bay is just one game out of a Wild Card spot with favorable matchups in the next three weeks before Week 17 at Saints.

Carolina Panthers (1-11): The Panthers just want the season to be over, and the housecleaning will begin soon after starting with head coach John Fox; Panthers are a NFC-worst minus-153 in point differential.

NFC West

St. Louis Rams (6-6): The Rams have quietly put themselves in position to make the playoffs out of a weak NFC West, but don’t mistake St. Louis as a weak team — QB Sam Bradford is one of the league’s feel-good stories of 2010, and division could come down to Week 17 tilt at Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks (6-6): The Seahawks are in position to capture the NFC West, but head coach Pete Carroll’s squad still has worst point differential among NFC teams with a winning record (-49); Week 17 vs. St. Louis could be the decider.

San Francisco 49ers (4-8): San Francisco not officially dead in NFC West race, but last gasp could come this Sunday vs. Seattle; if they win, they still have games vs. St. Louis and Arizona — teams they have already beaten in 2010.

Arizona Cardinals (3-9): Cardinals have gone south for the winter as they have lost seven straight and hold NFC’s second-worst point difference (-138), but have three winnable games in final four weeks.

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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Sunday Money  –  6-Pack

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Sunday Money – 6-Pack

Posted on 26 November 2010 by Rex Snider

Well, if you followed my advice, last week, your pockets are undoubtedly overflowing with plenty of cash for today’s Black Friday shopping spree. That’s correct …. I gave three LOCKS for the Week #11 NFL schedule, and I delivered in each one …..

My picks …..

New England (-3.5) vs. Indianapolis = MONEY

Dallas (-0.5, 40/over) vs. Detroit = MONEY

Baltimore (-13) vs. Carolina = MONEY

To add a little bit of credibility, I even predicted the Ravens vs. Panthers final score. Yep, it’s in the blog : Ravens 37 – Panthers 9

Thank me, NOW …..

For the believers among our WNST faithful, you’ve been rewarded with a financial pitfall …. and you’re welcome !!!! As for the more cynical crowd, you’ll get a shot at redemption, this week.

Don’t screw it up this time !!!!

Without further delay, here’s your trusted 6-pack for Week #12′s NFL games, along with a few personal guarantees …..

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Randy Moss: has baggage …. will travel

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Randy Moss: has baggage …. will travel

Posted on 02 November 2010 by Rex Snider

Just go ahead and admit it …..

As soon as you’re convinced Bill Belichick has finally outsmarted himself and pulled the trigger on a dumb deal, he figuratively fools all of us and snookers another sucker.

Tomorrow marks the one month anniversary of the very public divorce between Randy Moss and the New England Patriots. It’s offically been 27 days, so my conflicted memory still recalls the morning the news broke, quite vividly.

While the deal was not an earth-shattering shocker, it did fuel reaction from a lot of sideline critics. As the football world learned Bill Belichick dealt his sole deep threat receiver to the Minnesota Vikings, a collective bewildering day of sports talk commenced.

Randy Moss was returning HOME, to the team and city where his Hall Of Fame career began. And, all seemed right in Minneapolis ….

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre and wide receiver Randy Moss slap hands after a completion against the New England Patriots in the third quarter of their NFL football game in Foxborough, Massachusetts October 31, 2010.    REUTERS/Adam Hunger   (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Brett Favre was being teamed with a guy who could catch those Sportscenter-highlighted touchdowns.

Brad Childress was acquiring the player who could validate all the effort devoted to kissing Favre’s ass for an entire offseason.

And, poor Bill Belichick was selling on the “short” …. while walking away with just a measly 3rd round pick in next April’s NFL draft.

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I can’t help it…I’m all in for “The Favre Show”

Posted on 01 November 2010 by Drew Forrester

I might need counseling on this, but I’ve now become a Favre-a-holic.

Three weeks ago, I was Favre’d-out.

Now…I can’t get enough of Brett.

I have to admit something and it’s going to sound macabre, but yesterday, after all, was Halloween. I watched most of the Patriots-Vikings game fully expecting that Favre might actually get killed during the game.

And there for a minute in the 4th quarter, when he wobbled off the field and was basically laid in the medical cart while trainers attended to him, I thought the Patriots might have actually finished #4 off.

In fairness to Favre, that’s probably the way he wants to go out.

That reminds me of a song by The Smiths called “There is a light that never goes out”. The lyrics include the phrase, “And if a double decker bus, crashes into us, to die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die.”

To me, as I watch Favre now, his “heavenly way to die” would be on the football field. There’s not much argument about this: Perhaps no football player in history would be immortalized the way Brett would if, in fact, he met his demise on a 3rd and 16 play where he scrambled around for 8 seconds, slipped, got up, threw a pass (that probably gets picked) and then five defensive players converged on him and suffocated him right then and there.

If any player ever DESERVED to perish on the field, it’s Favre.

Give the guy credit. If he lost his left leg in a game, he’d be listed as “questionable” on the injury report for the following Sunday’s game.

As I watched him on Sunday, it dawned on me that the league (and maybe Favre himself) should start playing up the “warrior role” every chance they get.

Let’s do an exercise.

I’m going to write a new idea for Favre’s introduction in Minnesota this Sunday when the play the Arizona Cardinals.

Imagine if you will, for a second, how the crowd gets fired up in Baltimore when Ray Lewis comes out and does his thing at home games. You make it a point to be in your seat for

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Frank Walker wearing a different shade of purple

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Frank Walker wearing a different shade of purple

Posted on 29 October 2010 by Ryan Chell

Frank Walker

Former Ravens corner Frank Walker may have had his struggles and was highly criticized during his tenure in Baltimore, but with a depleted secondary due to injury, the Minnesota Vikings recently called upon his services in the hopes of bringing a veteran presence in their defensive backfield.

The eighth year veteran out of Tuskegee was signed by the Vikings on October 13th, after multiple injuries hit the Vikings secondary, most notably the injury to Cedric Griffin that left him in IR.

Walker, who had tryouts with the Miami Dolphins and the Houston Texans after not being re-signed by the Ravens in the off-season, had been in the UFL at the time of his signing, and the Vikings saw the former Green Bay Packer and New York Giant as someone who could provide in the Vikings pass defense in an NFC North division that has some strong passing attacks.

“We are going to pluck one game at a time,” Walker told Drew Forrester on  “The Morning Reaction” earlier this week. “This conference is definitely up for grabs.”

Walker has been active for the Vikings (2-4) last two games-including the Vikings second win of the season over the Dallas Cowboys-and a 28-24 loss on Sunday Night Football against his old team in the Green Bay Packers earlier this week.

Walker most of the night drew assignments on either Greg Jennings or James Jones, and despite the two catching 181 yards between themselves, not all of those yards came off Frank Walker.

And more importantly, as Ravens fans cringed every time a pass came his way-Walker drew no pass interference or holding penalties on the night.

And with his team up 17-14 with the first half ending, Walker actually drew pretty good coverage on Jennings-enough that he was able to tip Aaron Rodgers’ pass as it landed in the hands of former Maryland safety Madieu Williams.

While the score remained the same going into the half, the Vikings eventually fell to the Packers, and their struggles continue as the team still only has two wins on the season-far below expectations-and the drama surrounding quarterback Brett Favre continues.

“I still believe that we have a good ball club over here,” Walker told Forrester. “We just have to hold onto things till they start to fall in order for the most part.”

Walker already feels like a member of the Vikings and said his teammates have embraced him. And he has returned that same attitude to his new teammates, especially to one Randy Moss, who will face his old team in the New England Patriots Sunday after the Patriots traded him to Minnesota a few weeks back.

Walker gave Forrester his own insight as to how to stop a player like Randy Moss.

“Do what everybody else is doing…triple team him,” Walker said. “It’s hard because Randy Moss is one person…but everyone has just been double-teaming him…so we’ll see how that plays out.”

Walker may be getting used to Minnesota, but if it were his choice or decision as to where he would call home, it would have been his preference to stay in a Raven uniform, which he did for two seasons. Despite his new gig, he still keeps in contact with several of his defensive co-workers.

“I stay in contact with Fabian Washington, Coach Chuck Pagano, and me and Ray Ray talk every now and then.”

“I tell them it was fun. I had so much fun with ‘Big Ray’. We still talk and play all the time. I have nothing but good things to say about him, and I had a terrific time with him.”

Tune into WNST and WNST.net as we continue to follow the Ravens of past, present, and future-even though the bye week! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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