As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football that are ELITE, 7 that are “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football ELITE, 7 about football “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
And also, the Jacksonville Jaguars are not particularly good…
The offensive numbers in this one for the Jags are absolutely staggering, by the way. Blaine Gabbert finished 7/19 for 53 yards (53 yards!), the Jags finished with 117 total yards of offense and did not convert a single third (or fourth) down attempt all game.
Both the girlfriend and grandmother of the Fighting Irish LB passed away during the week leading up to the game at Michigan State, making his effort all more emotional…
I can’t help but notice that ND’s big win came just days after “Rudy” Ruettiger threw out the first pitch before the Orioles won their 14 inning marathon against the Tampa Bay Rays…Oriole Magic rubs off?
Next up for the Irish is Michigan. Here’s Denard Robinson doing something quite cool against UMass Saturday…
And hey, at least Spartans LB Max Bullough still has his awesome tattoo…
As Mike Mussina makes his triumphant return to Baltimore this weekend for the Orioles Hall of Fame activities it’s certainly a thought-provoking time to be a long-time observer and fan of the franchise.
Sure, the Orioles are once again relevant — playing meaningful and exciting games every night — which harkens to the days of 1996 & 1997 when “Moose” was an integral part of the magic of being an Orioles fan every fifth day during the zenith of Camden Yards’ passion and Inner Harbor energy.
Mussina has been gone from Baltimore – except for three visits a year in New York Yankees pinstripes – for 12 years now. So long ago that time has seemingly dimmed the glory of his deeds and his departure serves as a truly seminal moment in the awfulness of the Orioles franchise under the stewardship of Peter Angelos since 1993.
In the 1970’s it was routine for the Orioles to lose players to owners, markets and franchises that had more wealth, population and revenue. Many members of the franchise “Hall of Fame” and “Oriole Way” stalwarts left like Mayflowers in the middle of the night for greener pastures including Don Baylor, Bobby Grich, Reggie Jackson, Wayne Garland and Doug DeCinces and later Eddie Murray, Mike Boddicker, Mike Flanagan, B.J. Surhoff and Mike Bordick were all dealt away to save cash and get younger players.
But in the 1980’s and 1990’s, replete with a fan base from six states that pumped unprecedented money into the franchise and reached into the state’s funds to build Camden Yards and turn Baltimore into a spigot for Major League Baseball profitability, the Orioles never lost a player they wanted to keep.
Not until they lost the best player and pitcher of his generation of Baltimore baseball when Mike Mussina wore the “turncoat” label and bolted for the New York Yankees.
After the 2000 season, tired of three years of losing and Angelos’ low-balling and obvious meddling and mismanagement, Mussina simply took the advice of his agent Arn Tellem and played out his option and walked. On Dec. 7, 2001 after years of eschewing the notion of playing in big, bad New York he signed a six-year, $88.5 million deal to play for the Evil Empire.
I’ll share my many personal memories and my friendship with Mussina later in this blog but I can remember the surreal nature of watching that press conference from The Bronx from Chicago’s Sporting News Radio studios with my jaw open. It was the definitive signal that quality Major League Baseball players simply didn’t want to be in Baltimore anymore and it had little to do with crab cakes or the American League East.
Mussina was thought to be “irreplaceable” at the time and 11 years later time has borne out that diagnosis.
Mussina left the Baltimore Orioles because the owner stunk. He knew it and everyone in baseball knew it.
So, Mussina will finally return and don Orioles colors this weekend for the final time and he’ll find a few fresh statues on the veranda, a team in the midst of its first pennant run in 15 years and a seemingly soulless shell of a former love affair for baseball in Baltimore.
There’ll be plenty of empty seats and shoulder shrugs at his mostly sweet and sour induction into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame this weekend. Certainly a worthy candidate if there ever were one, Mussina’s time as a starter for the Birds is only eclipsed by the deeds of Jim Palmer, who as I’ve said many times is the greatest (and most underappreciated) Oriole of all time by any measurement.
Palmer let loose with a haughty pronouncement on a MASN broadcast earlier this week in promoting this weekend’s festivities. “The Moose is going to Cooperstown – at least I hope. He’s got 270 wins,” said Palmer, who went on to proclaim that in the steroid era to win all of those games and Gold Gloves and remain a “clean figure” in the needle witch hunt of the Mitchell Report should get him a Hall of Fame ballot punched in 2014.
For “real” Orioles fans, he’ll always be known as the Benedict Arnold of the modern generation for leaving the
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that University of Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson had interviewed for the same position at Stanford University.
After confirmed reports indicated he was set to take the job Monday afternoon and that “contract details” were being discussed, it looks as if Anderson himself denied that report and said that he is committed to staying at Maryland, via a statement from the school, via ESPN.com
“I am not in discussion nor have I been with Stanford University regarding their open athletic director position as I am committed to being the director of athletics at the University of Maryland. My focus and energy are committed to working to enhance the student-athlete experience and the competitive and financial success at the University of Maryland. We have just begun the transformation of the athletic department and I look forward to seeing this through.”
Anderson has been rumored to be of interest to the Cardinal for almost a month but declined he had talked to the school about their opening in a June interview with The Diamondback. Former Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby left Palo Alto to become the new Big 12 commissioner in May. The Chicago Tribune reported over the weekend that Northwestern AD Jim Phillips had been Stanford’s favorite to replace Bowlsby but he declined the offer.
Anderson is nearly two years into a five year deal he signed in College Park after serving in the same capacity at the United States Military Academy (Army) since 2004. He replaced polarizing former AD Debbie Yow, who had accepted the same position at North Carolina State University. Anderson is originally from the Bay Area and previously worked as a fund raiser at Stanford. He graduated from San Francisco State University and also worked in the athletic department at the University of California (Berkeley).
Anderson has been scrutinized in College Park for his decision to fire popular football coach Ralph Friedgen in 2010 just months after his arrival and hiring Randy Edsall to replace him instead of popular choice Mike Leach. Anderson was praised for helping former basketball coach Gary Williams through his retirement process, but was scrutinized further for failing to lure University of Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller to the Terrapins, instead hiring former Texas A&M University coach Mark Turgeon.
Most recently Anderson has overseen the process of eliminating seven varsity sports due to budgetary concerns.
Neither school announced the move, and the Chronicle quickly took down the report off the front page of their site.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Sophomore Alyssa Thomas of the Maryland women’s basketball team is one of five players named to the Associated Press All-America First Team announced Tuesday.
Thomas, the 2012 ACC Player of the Year, is joined on the First Team by Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Stanford’s Nneka Ogwumike and Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne.
Thomas is the Terrapins’ fourth AP All-American. Crystal Langhorne (2006, 2007, 2008),Kristi Toliver (2008, 2009) and Marissa Coleman (2009) all earned the honor at least once in their respective careers. Langhorne was also honored as a sophomore when she was named to the Second Team in 2006.
Thomas leads the ACC in scoring with 17.2 points per game and is among the best in the league with 8.0 rebounds per game, assists (3.2), free throw percentage (80.1) and defensive rebounds (5.5).
Thomas is just the second underclassman ever to be named ACC Player of the Year. She scored a career-high 29 points in the ACC title game to lead Maryland to its 10th league championship. She was named Tournament MVP and is only the seventh player, and first underclassman, to be named league Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season.
The Second Team honorees are Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford; Odyssey Sims, Baylor; Shenise Johnson, Miami; Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State; and Julie Wojta of Green Bay. Connecticut’s Tiffany Hayes, Kentucky’s A’dia Mathies, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams, Tennessee’s Shekinna Stricklen and Miami’s Riquna Williams all made the Third Team.
Behind two comebacks and a 21-4 run to end the game, Maryland rallied past Texas A&M 81-74 on Sunday in the Regional Semifinals. The Terps advanced to their fourth Elite Eight under head coach Brenda Frese.
Laurin Mincy had 21 points and for her career-high 12 rebounds for her first career double-double. Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the second-seeded Terrapins. They trailed by 18 points in the first half and by 12 in the second half, but Maryland fought its way back and held the defending national champion Aggies to just one basket in the final 10 minutes.
The Terrapins had won 10 straight and 13 of 14 since Jan. 26. The Terrapins are 31-18 (.633) all-time in NCAA Tournament games. Frese owns an NCAA Tournament record of 20-7 (.741) and 19-6 (.760) at Maryland. Frese has led the Terps to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, four Elite Eights and the 2006 national championship.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland women’s basketball sophomore Alyssa Thomas is one of 15 women’s finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club Wednesday. The National Ballot, consisting of these top players, will be mailed to Wooden Award voters this week, and voting begins March 12th. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of 15 student-athletes who are the final contenders for women’s college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
All players have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA, an important component of the Award insisted upon by Coach Wooden. The Wooden Award All American Teams will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. Voters have until Monday, March 19 at Noon PDT to return their ballots, allowing them to take into consideration performance during the first round of the NCAA Tournament, which makes the Wooden Award unique among college postseason awards.
The other 14 named to the list are: Elena Delle Donne, Delaware; Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame; Brittney Griner, Baylor; Tiffany Hayes, Connecticut; Shenise Johnson, Miami; A’dia Mathies, Kentucky; Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford; Nnemkadi Oguwumike, Stanford; Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State; Odyssey Sims, Baylor; Shekinna Stricklen, Tennessee; Elizabeth Williams, Duke; Riquna Williams, Miami’ Julie Wojta, Green Bay.
Upperclassmen dominate the list, but this year one freshman, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams, and three sophomores were selected: Thomas, Chiney Ogwumike and Odyssey Sims.
Thomas became just the second sophomore ever to be named ACC Player of the Year last week. Over the weekend, she led the Terrapins to the program’s 10th ACC title with a career-high 29 points in the championship game. She was named Tournament MVP. She is just the seventh player, and only underclassman, ever to be named ACC Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season.
The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala, will take place on Friday, April 6, 2012, and will honor winners, All Americans, and the Legends of Coaching honoree Geno Auriemma of Connecticut. The Women’s John R. Wooden Award winner will be announced at the Gala event. The Terrapins will host the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds next weekend. Games are 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on March 17 and 7 p.m. on March 19.
Perhaps Flynn’s success had much more to do with the Green Bay Packers’ scheme & wide receivers and even the Detroit Lions’ less than exceptional defense than the former LSU quarterback himself. But as he enters free agency, Flynn may have just made himself a viable option for teams that won’t enter 2012 with Andrew Luck on their roster.
Of course, 80 of his 480 yards and one of his five touchdowns came on this play to Ryan Grant. I’m pretty sure Ryan Chell could have made this throw…
The Packers can sit back and wait to find out who they’ll play in the divisional round while the Lions get to visit the Superdome next weekend. But I’d say it’s pretty much a toss-up as to who has the more difficult road ahead.
In an unrelated story, the Packers went with Pat Lee as their kick returner for the New Year’s Day game. He did something stupid…
And one more-here’s Packers LB Brad Jones handling a fan who ran out onto Lambeau Field…
Much like the Fins a week earlier, the Buffalo Bills worked Charm City into a lather with hopes of ruining the Pats’ run to the Number 1 seed. Also much like the Fins, the Bills for some reason must have thought New England would quit when they fell behind early. But after spotting the Bills 21 points, the Patriots would go on to score the next 49.
But they can’t possibly win the AFC of course because their defense isn’t good enough.
You’ll see a lot of funny things in 2012. I’ll go ahead and guess that there won’t be many funnier than this Drayton Florence flop…
Also of note in this game was Bills WR Stevie Johnson, who exposed a “Happy New Year” message on an undershirt after scoring a touchdown…
It’s a shame Tom Brady didn’t have a “Happy 28 Point Beatdown” undershirt to respond with. For a semi-decent receiver, Johnson is about a full-fledged clown.
Before departing his Offensive Coordinator gig at Auburn, Malzahn pulled out a bunch of tricks (including a Statue of Liberty Play of all things) to help beat Virginia in the Georgia Dome…
Elsewhere on New Year’s Eve Levi LaVallee and Robbie Maddison were doing extreme sport jumping of some sort on ESPN that may or may not have been amazing. None of us really know and none of us really bothered to watch. But technically it happened!
How did I spend my NYE you ask? At a place I can’t name because they aren’t a sponsor. They ARE however the home of Sweet Potato Tots and the “Billy Goat’s Gruff”…
I’d show you video of the play, but it’s not available on YouTube. Instead, those of you who REALLY wanna see it can check it out here and the rest of you can look at this picture of Elsa Hosk. We’ll all meet back at the local saloon.
The San Francisco 49ers clinched the #2 seed in the NFC thanks to their win over the St. Louis Rams. In Baltimore, we just want to say Thank You again. We can’t really say it enough.
The Rams will fire Steve Spagnuolo according to reports. Also according to reports, it will be cold this week.
The Houston Texans didn’t need to beat the Tennessee Titans Sunday for any tangible reason. They didn’t, thanks to Kubiak’s decision to go for 2 late (a decision that backfired after a Joel Dreessen false start and a snap sailed over the head of QB Jake Delhomme-who replaced a banged up T.J. Yates). Let’s take a look at the video board…
Earlier in the game, Bryan Braman made an awesome play…
The Texans host the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the postseason. If they win, the Texans visit M&T Bank Stadium in the divisional round. I would think most of us would be pretty happy with that matchup, especially considering the Steelers could be another option.
Of course, that’s the only if Michael Vick stays healthy…and we all know that’s a significant “if.”
The highlight of the day in Philly happened well before Philly kicked the tar out of the Washington Redskins. It happened when Skins OC Kyle Shanahan tried to pump his team up before the game. It was HILARIOUS…