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Posted on: January 13, 2009 4:40 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2009 12:13 pm
 

Playoffs?

1. The Toxic One is amazed at the number of people thinking that Arizona being one win from the Super Bowl is a good thing. You have got to be kidding me. The Super Bowl is supposed to be between the two best teams in the NFL. And the Cardinals are far from that. I know I have been a BCS-Basher since day one. I even called it the Bull Crap System. However, the Arizona Cardinals are the exact type of thing that BCS-supporters can point to and say, "this is why our system is better than the NFL playoffs." Because you will never see a college football team with 4 losses by 21 or more points be one win from the BCS Title Game.

2. The Red River Rivalry is alive and well. Not only do we have the controversy of this year's Big XII football season, but both the Sooners and 'Horns field ranked basketball teams. The 'Horns held a 6-game winning streak over the Sooners. Until last night. The hoops rivalry between these might not hold the same intensity as the gridiron rivalry does, but you can bet that those Sooner players enjoyed that win. And the 'Horns are sure to be itching for the rematch in Austin. ACC may be basketball country but the Big XII, with the defending national champions and three teams ranked in the Top 25, ain't doing too shabby there either.

3. It might have been a sympathy vote but he still deserved it! Jim Rice, on the ballot for the 15th and final time, finally got the call to Cooperstown. Jim Rice may not have been the most talented player to walk between those lines but he always played hard and the fans could count on Rice to show up and give them their money's worth. Something that can't always be said about today's players. Isn't that right, Manny? Even though they finally stopped being jerkwads and voted Rice in, these baseball writers still do need to be reminded that the Hall of Fame is about baseball, not about them! MLB has a lot of work to do, and cleaning out the voting privileges of morons who refuse to vote for the all-time base stealing champion simply because they refuse to vote for someone who is on the ballot for the first time is just stupid! Either he is or he isn't a Hall of Famer! Rickey Henderson is a Hall of Famer this year, next year and 20 years from now. Yet 28 ballots did not include his name. That's a joke!
Posted on: January 12, 2009 5:29 pm
 

Thank You Steelers

1. The divisional rounds of the playoffs have ended and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. It's bad enough that a 9-7 team is hosting the NFC Title Game. How ugly would it have been if the 8-8 Chargers would have been hosting the AFC Championship Game? Fortunately, that's not going to happen. The Steelers will be at home this weekend against the Ravens in one of those great clashes between these two that should be as brutal as football was meant to be. You remember. Back from the days when football players were football players and not dancers. And I know of at least one good reason to cheer for the Steelers. A Pittsburgh Super Bowl win would give the Steel City 6 Super Bowl rings and shut Cowboy fans up about their "5 rings ain't that sweet as honey" annoying garbage!

2. Nevertheless, The Toxic One is jumping on the Philadelphia Eagles bandwagon! That's right! Go Eagles! First off, the Eagles are following the path of the 2005 Steelers as well as the 2007 Giants on their quest to be the champs. Remember, in 2005, the Steelers sat at 6-6 and looked all but dead before going on their run. Same for the 2007 Giants, who were 7-5 and head fans and the media calling for the heads of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning. The 2008 Eagles were, at one point, 6-5-1, had just tied the Bengals and the City of Brotherly Love wanted Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb tossed out of town. But the Eagles have gone on their run, simulating the 2005 Steelers and 2007 Giants. Both the 2005 Steelers and 2007 Giants had to win three straight road games to get to the Super Bowl. The Eagles will have to do that as well as they head to Arizona this weekend for the NFC Championship Game. Also, the 2005 Steelers and 2007 Giants had to win on the road in the playoffs against the team that won their division. The Steelers beat the Bengals in Cincinatti in 2005 and the Giants beat the Cowboys in Texas in 2007. Well, the Eagles went to Giants' Stadium and knocked off the Giants, matching that similarity as well. The NFL is a trendy league and the Eagles are following the trends of a couple of recent Super Bowl winners as they are one win away from getting to the Super Bowl themselves. The Toxic One has decided that he not only wants the Eagles to win the Super Bowl, but he also hopes Donovan McNabb is named the Super Bowl MVP. What a kick to the testicles of one Terrell Owens would that be!

3. Now as for that so-called unbeatable team. No, not the Giants or the Titans or anyone else. I am talking about the North Carolina Tar Heels. This was supposed to be the team that threatens to go unbeaten on their way to winning the national championship. Well, 2 games into the ACC season, the unbeatable Tar Heels are 0-2 in conference play. Undefeated? The ACC has a pair of those teams but they aren't the usual suspects. Right now, that battle is between Clemson and Wake Forest! Not Duke and North Carolina. However, we all know how basketball works and I am sure that the Tar Heels and Duke will start getting back to their dominant selves. Just as soon as the referees remember they are Duke and North Carolina and the calls start going their way again.
Posted on: January 11, 2009 3:22 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2009 3:25 pm
 

Toxic Stew For the Week of January 4-10

This past week in the sports world was dominated by football talk as the BCS Title Game was played and the NFL playoffs got underway. Here is my take on the past week in sports:

1. Disputedly Undisputed. The Florida Gators captured the BCS Title with a win over Oklahoma and was also named the AP Champion. Undisputed champions? Don't tell people in Austin, Provo or Southern California that. Utah is the only unbeaten FBS school in the country and, since the regular season is "like a playoff", then that means the Utes went undefeated in "like a playoff" games. Texas beat OU by 10, the exact margin Florida beat them by. The Trojans one loss at Oregon State is equal in footing to Florida's home loss to Ole Miss. The only undisputed thing in this whole mess is that we all know they current system is flawed. As long as computer programs and voting booths determine how good a team is, the championship will be forever known as the mythical national championship. It will never be a true championship until it is decided by on the basis of on the field play alone! That being said, under the current system, the Florida Gators did what they had to do to become BCS Champions. And OU didn't. Bottom line for the Sooners: Two first and goal situations resulted in zero points. In a game decided by 10 points, you can only look back and those two missed opportunities and kick yourself for failing to capitalize. One of the most overused phrases in sports is "making plays". There are some players out there that think that catching a 6-yard out pass for a touchdown in a 31-10 game is "making plays". No. "Making plays" is throwing a running back for a loss on 4th and goal in a 7-7 ballgame in the BCS Title Game. And Florida made plays all game. The plays that determined who won.

2. The Toxic One is about to brag! When  it was determined that the Titans and Giants were the #1 seeds in the NFL playoffs, the Toxic One guaranteed that there would not be a Giants-Titans Super Bowl. The Toxic One even started a thread stating as much: http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/messa
ges/chrono/12446537 The replies to the thread were insulting as the Toxic One was called the Village Idiot and, even worse, a Cowboys' fan. The replies are right there for you to read. Well, guess what! The Titans have been eliminated. Meaning there won't be a Titans-Giants Super Bowl. The Village Idiot was right! For all you out there who posted on that thread, allow me to pour you a nice big cup of I TOLD YOU SO!

3. Speaking of the NFL Playoffs: The Toxic One has been a huge supporter of the salary cap and parity in the NFL. Until now. The Toxic One is now beginning to believe that parity is killing the product on the field. What has changed my mind? The Arizona Cardinals are one win away from the Super Bowl. Normally, I would not think this is a bad thing. But these particular Cardinals are 9-7 with losses by the scores of 56-35, 48-20, 35-14 and 47-7. That's pretty bad. And for them to be one win from the Super Bowl does not bode well for the quality of football being played in today's National Football League. And so much for the notion that the NFC is overtaking the AFC as the superior conference. Not when this Cardinal team is playing for the NFC Championship. Not when two of  these listed blowout losses were at the hands of AFC teams that missed the playoffs. I would sure hate to see the NFL become MLB, where wins and losses are in direct proportion to amount spent on players' salaries, but something needs to change to put a better product on the field. Mediocrity....and worse....is starting to win in the playoffs. And that is never a good sign.

That's all for today. Next week, we'll look at the conference championship games and dig deeper into the NBA and college basketball.
Category: NFL
Posted on: January 10, 2009 11:46 am
 

All-Pro All Andre

"To be honest, I do feel like I’m the best receiver in the NFL." - Wide receiver Andre Johnson

The Texans' season may be over, but the accolades and first time evers still pile up for Andre Johnson.

Yesterday, Johnson was named 1st Team All-Pro, the first Texan offensive player to over be named All-Pro and the first ever offensive or defensive player for the Texans named 1st Team All-Pro. Other Texan All-Pros were Jerome Mathis (2005 1st Team kick returner) and a pair of defensive 2nd Teamers in 2007 (Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans).

Andre led the NFL in receptions in 2008 with 115 as well as in receiving yards with 1,575. Johnson also led the league in receptions in 2006. Other 2008 accolades for Andre include being named a starter the Pro Bowl, being named the
NFL Alumni Wide Receiver of the Year and being named to Peter King's All-Pro first team.

All this while having his starting quarterback miss 5 games and having his quarterbacks throw the second most interceptions in the league.

"It’s always a tremendous honor to be mentioned as one of the top guys in the league," Johnson said. "Like I always say, when you go out and you play and perform well, good things happen."

Source: houstontexans.com
Category: NFL
Posted on: January 8, 2009 1:47 pm
 

Conference Supremacy? Not In Burnt Orange Country

Tonight, I will find myself somewhere surrounded by burnt orange. Longhorn fans will be around the television watching the BCS Title Game, wearing their orange shirts with white letters or orange hats with white bull head emblems.
And they will all be cheering for Florida.
While SEC fans agitate other fans (most notably Big Ten fans) with their "SEC SEC SEC" chants, the people in the Lone Star State mostly yawn at all this conference supremacy talk. In particular the Longhorn fan base that populates this area of Texas where I live in. They come to work daily, wearing their Texas logos on their shirts and caps, with their Texas bumper stickers on the back of their trucks.
You ask them if they want the Big XII to be national champions and they say "No. I want Texas to be national champions."
They won't be chanting "Big XII Big XII Big XII" at the television tonight. They will be chanting some things OU's way. Things that I can't type without getting warnings, my blog removed and my reputation lowered.
And OU fans wouldn't expect Texas fans to do anything less. In fact, OU fans would probably be disappointed if they thought Texas fans wanted them to win. And OU fans would be rooting for Florida if Texas had been the team invited to the BCS Title Game.
That's because there is a real rivalry between OU and Texas. Texas fans would love nothing more than to go 14-0 and win the BCS Title. But to do that and to have OU go 0-12 would be even sweeter for a Texas fan. And OU would feel the same way.
So, Tennessee Vol fans can chant "SEC SEC SEC" all they want tonight. Same goes for Georgia fans.
But don't try to use that as a way to get to Texas fans.
Cause Texas fans will be right there chanting with you.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 31, 2008 10:29 am
 

2008 Sporting Event of the Year

The year 2008 was, at times, a year the sports world would like to forget. The Matt Walsh Affair. The Mitchell Report. The Tim Donaghy Scandal. One day after another, the sports world took black eye after black eye as one scandal after another shot up on the headlines.

Yet, through it all, one moment stands out. A moment of the way sports could be.

Sara Tucholsky, a senior on the Western Oregon softball team, hit her first ever homerun. As she ran to first, her eyes on the ball as it sailed over the fence, she missed the bag and had to go back and touch first. When she turned to go back, her cleat stuck in the ground, her knee twisted awkwardly, and the girl collapsed in pain on the field. The umpires ruled that if Tucholsky could not make it around the bases, two runs would score but she would be credited with only a single.

Then, something very few of us will ever see in our lifetimes happened. Mallory Holtman, Central Washington's first baseman, approached the umpire and asked a simple question. "Excuse me, would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?" The rule said that Sara's teammates could not touch her. Nothing in the rulebooks said her opponents couldn't. Holtman and Central Washington short stop Liz Wallace lifted Tucholvsky and carried her around the bases. At each base, they lowered their opponent so that she could touch each base with one foot.

Why did Holtman do that? "She hit it over the fence," Holtman said Tuesday. "She deserved it." She said she had been taught by her coach, Gary Frederick, that "winning is not everything."

Now, here is where this story angers me. I first heard of this from Woody Paige on Around The Horn. The next morning, I watched the entire morning SportsCenter. The story was mentioned at the very end as Holtman gave about a 10 second talk on it. That was it. The headline story to that particular SportsCenter? The alleged affair between Roger Clemens and Mindy McCready. Which just goes to show you where our priorities, not just as athletes, but as fans and media lie. Yes, this was a touching story. But not nearly as "interesting" as who is sleeping with who in the sports world.

And that's pretty sad.

So, the real sports story of 2008 isn't the event itself, but what the one act of sportsmanship really represents in our sports culture.
#1: It shows us just how far we have fallen.
#2: It shows us just where we could be if we just changed some of our priorities.

In a true sporting environment, this story would be a non-story because it would be something that happened every day. Not something that shocks us into realizing sportsmanship still exists.

 
Category: Women's NCAA
Posted on: December 19, 2008 7:40 am
 

A Christmas Story: Texan Style

“Sometimes people feel like it’s a tough road ahead and they have a huge hurdle to overcome. Just going and making them smile and making their day a little bit brighter, sometimes that helps.” - Chester Pitts

There seems to be a small revolution taking place here at Toxic Talk. From the responses I get to these types of stories, I am beginning to think that a media overkill of negativity has gotten people sick and tired of reading about players getting arrested or throwing temper tantrums on the sideline. We no longer want to read about "punks, jerks and losers" to quote John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
We like to hear about the good things players are doing.
And the Texan players are constantly doing that.
This week, Kris Brown, Steve Slaton, Kevin Walter and Chester Pitts attended the annual Methodist Hospital’s Pigskin Challenge, an event that entertains patients, hospital staff and players alike, according to houstontexans.com.
The players introduced themselves and then competed with onlookers in a game of musical chairs, followed by relay games and limbo lines. The day was capped off by a dance contest won by Slaton. Although Pitts claims Slaton had an unfair advantage.
“It’s not fair, a 220-pound running back against an offensive lineman,” Pitts said. “I felt like I performed fairly well. I came out to perform. I was ready. I was prepared. But when he did the jump in the air and the worm, there was absolutely no competition. There was nothing I could do to compete with that.”
Then the players spent the rest of the day spending time with the patients at the hospital.
“It’s a positive to see the people in the hospital and give them a ray of hope,” Slaton said. “Some of them are fans, so they are really excited. And it feels good to help bring a smile to their faces.”
And Toxic Talk will continue to feature these types of stories and, hopefully, become the revolutionary blog that gets the mainstream media to spend more time talking about the good things these guys do and maybe we can spend less time hyping the garbage sensationalism that comes with all the negative stories.
And that would be a great gift this holiday season.
Category: NFL
Tags: Texans
 
Posted on: December 16, 2008 5:13 pm
 

Is This The Andre Johnson Shrine?

Houston Rockets forward Shane Battier has given Gary Kubiak a gameplan for the Texans. Throw the ball to Andre Johnson on every play. “I tell you what, he’s a sharp guy," Kubiak said of Battier.
But the Texans won't be throwing to Andre ever play. But whoever is the quarterback for the AFC in the Pro Bowl will get the chance to throw the ball to Andre.
Andre has been named a starter for the AFC in the Pro Bowl, the third time he has been selected to earn a trip to Hawaii.
And Toxic Talk has become the home for Andre Johnson man-love. Somewhere in Bristol, Connecticut, the four-letter network is having to amp its Brett Favre man-love to keep up.
 But today, Andre is not alone in getting love from this Toxic Texan fan.
Mario Williams has also been named a starter for the AFC in the Pro Bowl. It's the first time ever that two Texans were named as starters to the Pro Bowl and only the second time that two Texans were named to the Pro Bowl. Aaron Glenn and Gary Walker both made the Pro Bowl in 2002, Glenn as a starter.
But that's not all. Matt Schaub has again been nominated for FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week. However, I don't have my hopes up for him winning. If 400+ passing yards didn't win it last week (the fan voting named Jay Cutler the winner) but you can still vote for him at http://www.nfl.com/partner?partnerType=players-air-and-ground as he is on the ballot for the 4th time this season.
 Also, Steve Slaton is once again on the ballot for NFL Rookie of the Week. He lost the fan voting last week to Denver's Ryan Clady. The Broncos really brought the vote last week. You can vote for Slaton at http://www.nfl.com/partner?partnerType=Rookies as he is on the ballot for the 7th time this season.
This week also brings us a new nomination as Gary Kubiak has been nominated for NFL Coach of the Week. You can vote for Kubiak at http://www.nfl.com/partner?partnerType=coaches unless you are Iggy. Marvin Lewis is also on the ballot.
And that is what is happening in Texan land. Winners will be named Friday.
Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com