Posted on: January 26, 2010 11:13 am
London Fletcher recieved an invitation to the Pro Bowl today due to the fact that Jonathan Vilma will be unable to play in the game because he will be participating in the Super Bowl. If I were London Fletcher I would tell the pro bowl committee to shove this first alternative pity appointment up their a$$.
The guy gets passed over every year. Now he gets his chance only because the guy that he should have beaten in the first place gets ruled out on a technicality. Screw that!
First of all, I think the fact that Allen Iverson got voted into the NBA All Star Game this year proves once and for all that any all star game that relies on fan voting is a joke.
Secondly, the mere fact that the Pro Bowl will be played without representation from the two best teams from now on due to moving the game in front of the Super Bowl makes the game irrelevant.
Please end this charade Mr. Goodell. The players don't play hard, and the fans don't care. The first release of the Pro Bowl roster is much more exciting than the game itself. Put out an all pro list and be done with it.
The NCAA puts out it's list of all americans every year. It is a major achievement to be on it because it isn't voted on by fans. It is voted on by people who actually watch and understand the game. When the list comes out they don't go on and play a game. Just making the list is enough.
This is the model the NFL should follow. Let's do away with the game and the fan voting. I voted for the Pro Bowl. I am pretty knowledgeable and I really try to vote based on merit. But I must admit that there were about ten or twelve positions that I knew very little about who deserved a spot. So I looked for a name I recognized. I looked for a player who I knew was good, even though I wasn't sure if he had a great season THIS year.
Believe me, I put more thought into it than most fans do. But I admit that my vote shouldn't mean anything. I at least try to be objective. Many fans line ballots with players from one team. Some fans vote 10,000 times. Some fans like players because they are cute, or have pretty uniforms (inside joke: Ralph Cirella).
Everyone agrees that the BCS is a flawed system. But it remains in place because it is very lucrative for the NCAA. The Pro Bowl is not a big money maker. Most fans can't afford to go to it, and most veterans fake injuries to get out of playing in it.
Goodell knows that the Pro Bowl is flawed. He tried to boost interest last year by moving the game to the week before the Super Bowl. This move is the equivalent of performing CPR on a three day old corpse.
It's enough already. Every knowledgeable football fan knows that London Fletcher is a great player and that the Pro Bowl is pointless. I know that Fletcher really wants to be acknowledged as a pro bowl caliber linebacker. But this seems more like a consolation prize than an award.
London Fletcher is a great player and a savvy veteran. When the Pro Bowl committee calls him he should act like most veteran players who HAVE recieved multiple Pro Bowl nods.
He should tell them he can't play because of a slightly tweaked hamstring.
Posted on: January 25, 2010 11:02 am
I just enjoyed an NFC Championship Game between two teams that I really like. I was pulling for the Vikings , but will certainly be pulling for the Saints in two weeks. Their fans deserve it after putting up with years of ugly football. Pete Prisco claims that this win has singlehandedly helped overcome the Saints' loser legacy.
Not so fast.
I believe that the only single win that can overcome their legacy is a win in the Super Bowl. Is that a callous statement? Does it belittle the Saints' accomplishments this year? Let's take a closer look.
The Arizona Cardinals are a franchise with a pathetic history in the Super Bowl era. They went to the Super Bowl last year and lost. Did their NFC Championship victory alone make us forget their legacy of losing?
They still have a good team, and NFL historians may point out that the Cardinal franchise has won a world title (although 90% of football fans don't know this or know that they were once the St. Louis Cards, let alone the Chicago Cards). But let's be serious. They are more famous for losing.
The Bengals have played in not one, but two Super Bowls. They lost both. Despite two very good seasons they are more famous as the "Bungles" than they are for "the Icky Shuffle".
If you think just getting to the big show can wipe away years of futility in the memories of the masses just ask the Viking fans or the Bills fans. Both teams played in four Super Bowls. Both lost all four Super Bowls. And both share the distinction of being the best of the loser franchises (although Buffalo gets the slight loser edge for losing four in a row, a truly unique achievement in loser franchise history).
Maybe you still don't believe me. Let's look at this from a different angle.
The Tampa Bay Buccanneers were the poster children for loser franchises. They had the original perfect losing season in their first year as a franchise in 1976. They kept the loser brand going strong for over two decades of historically bad football.
One Super Bowl win(and one uniform change) later they have shed their loser image. Although this season served as a vague reminder, the memory of the "Yucks" remain firmly in the past. The Tampa Bay/Green Bay game is no longer referred to as the "Bay of Pigs".
The New York Jets are one of the historically pathetic franchises in the NFL. They played in only one Super Bowl, and that was in the late sixties. I wasn't even alive yet to see it, and many players who played in that game aren't alive now.
But the Jets won the game, and by doing so engraved their own special niche in NFL history. To this day if you stumble upon any NFL Films special you are ten times more likely to see a segment about the Jets than you are about the Saints, Bengals, Bills, or Vikings (unless it is an NFL blooper special).
I hope the Saints take destiny in their hands and write their own chapter in the NFL history books.
But if they don't the story won't be about the Saints regaining respectability. It will be about the unbelievably ironic bad luck that resulted from the son of the Saints' most celebrated QB dealing the Saints their hardest blow in their sad history. It will be on a par with Cubs fan Steve Bartman reaching out and ruining the Chicago Cubs best chances of winning a World Series in a hundred years.
The difference between winning and losing this Super Bowl for the Saints is the difference between purging the past and becoming a loser franchises most shining example of failure.
Posted on: January 7, 2010 6:07 pm
In his playoff preview Prisco wrote: The skinny: Is there a team in the NFC playing better? No way. The Cowboys seem to be hitting stride at the right time. The offense has big-play ability with Tony Romo throwing to Miles Austin . The running game is sound as well. The defense was tops in scoring in the NFC. This is a balanced team .
I don't mean to get technical and refer to actual facts, but Dallas went 2-2 in their last four games. Green Bay won 7 of their last 8, including a win against Dallas and 4 of 5 since the beginning of December.
After that Prisco made the extraordinary statement that Dallas had the best defense in the NFC. I know Dallas looked great against Philly(and Washington, although virtually every defense looks good against them). I also know that Prisco is a busy man who may not have time to do in depth research.
But in five minutes at the sportsline stat page I found all the evidence I needed to show how silly he is for writing that(and how silly sportsline is for publishing it).
In total defense Dallas ranks fourth in the NFC behing Green Bay, Minnesota, and Carolina.
In rushing defense Dallas ranks third in the NFC behind Green Bay and Minnesota.
In passing defense Dallas ranks ninth in the NFC behind Carolina, Green Bay, Washington,Tampa Bay, Chicago, New York, Philly, and Minnesota.
In takeaways Dallas ranks 14th in the NFC behind...................let's make it easy and say everyone except Washington and St. Louis.
Journalism standards may not be what they used to be, but can't sportsline make Prisco check his facts before writing a blanket statement? Or at least hire someone at minimum wage to do the one hour of research it takes a week to prevent him from sounding retarded?
Posted on: January 6, 2010 10:46 pm
I agree that Tebow's game doesn't appear to translate to the NFL immediately. He reminds me a lot of Charlie Ward, who bypassed NFL questions by entering the NBA.
But I do think personell guys rate mechanics too highly.
Coaches and analysts used to cringe at some of Brett Favres mechanics and tendencies. That hasn't appeared to slow him down.
Michael Vick and Vince Young had their passing skills strongly questioned. While they may not be great passers, they have adapted their unique skills successfully to the NFL.
Fran Tarkenton was derided for his short stature and tendency to scramble. He finished his career leading every major quarterback statistical category.
The pioneer of modern passing QB's, Sammy Baugh, threw sidearm from his hip like a gun slinger.
I'm not saying that Tebow will succeed in this league. I'm just reminding everyone that intangibles such as leadership and desire are much more important than arm strength and highth.
According to size, speed, and mechanics Jason Campell should be a much better player than Big Ben and Tony Romo. But he doesn't have quick instincts or the personality to will a team to victory. The results speak for themselves.
Posted on: January 5, 2010 9:36 pm
Hey, who didn't think those teams would be good?
I thought Atlanta and Tennesse were easy calls. ATL has the history of never fielding back to back playoff teams and has a very young QB. Tennesse lost a lot on defense and had a very old QB.
If it weren't for NFL tiebreaking rules I would have been perfect predicting the AFC. I had Houston in instead of Baltimore.
But, like Prisco, I must admit that I was totally off about the NFC. My worst predictions were that Washington would make it over Philly (no need to elaborate, team bias played a role in that one) and that Seattle would win the west and replace Arizona.
I was relying on the Super Bowl curse and the theory that Seattle couldn't suffer as many injuries this season as they did last season. Both theories let me down.
I was dead wrong about the Skins, Seattle, Philly, and Arizona
Posted on: January 5, 2010 7:49 pm
"It's kind of hard to envision yourself trying to get somewhere when the person who's talking to you has never been there personally," cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "That's probably the only thing that I want. I want to go to the Super Bowl."
What I want is a player who wants to WIN a Super Bowl, not just play in it.
I also want Hall to learn how to tackle.
I want Carlos Rogers to learn how to catch (you too Smoot).
I want LaRon Landry to actually look around him before launching himself at an opponent. He might actually have a chance to make an interception.
I want Albert Haynesworth to go two games in a row without being carted off the field.
I want Brian Orakpo playing DE and H.B. Blades starting in his place in the linebacking corps.
I want all defenders to stop celebrating after making a tackle on first or second down.
I want all offensive players to stop celebrating after making their first good play midway through the third quarter while they are losing 17-4.
I want London Fletcher to live forever.
I want offensive linemen who are more qualified to play in the NFL than they are to be a cast member on Biggest Loser.
I want a draft that addresses the worst O-line in the league.
I want reserve linemen to have more NFL experience than just living with another NFL lineman .
I want Stephon Heyer cut.
I want Antwaan Randle El cut, or at least stripped of all return duties.
I want the staff to seek legitimate competition for Jason Campbell during the offseason.
I want Campbell to not get scared when a defense shows blitz on third down and check down to a draw or screen pass.
I want more routes that go six yards when we need five, instead of three when we need four.
I want at least one game winning drive next year.
I want a field goal kicker who can make 95% of his kicks from inside of 40 yards.
I want to win at least one division game next year.
I want a team that can compete in the NFL. I want a team that I can at least brag about once or twice during the course of a season. I want to be three years old in 1982 and watch a dynasty being born.
The Redskins have been horrible (or at best mediocre) for long enough to atone for whatever bad karma they have accrued. The fans just want a team that they can be proud of (or at least beats Dallas and Philly once a year)!
Posted on: January 4, 2010 1:35 am
Anyone who has seriously studied the history of American pop culture has to laugh at anyone who gives creedence to the Cowboys claim of "America's team".
This title implies only the employment of a savvy promotions director.
The Rolling Stones' tour director Sam Cutler first coined the phrase America's Greatest Rock n Roll Band in 1969. By the time this term was revised in 1975 people had gone from laughing at their self proclaimed title to acknowledging it.
The Cowboys of the 1970's employed the same tactics. They were the first to refer to themselves as "America's Team". After a few years the public forgot who first invented the term, and started using it as if it were factual.
Howard Stern performed a similar act in the mid nineties when he refered to himself as the "King of all media". The term was laughed at, but eventually was published without any challenge to the claim.
To sum up, the Cowboys are a popular, winning franchise. But for anyone who actually believes that they are "America's Team", I would like to point out that I am America's sexiest bachelor.
Posted on: January 3, 2010 10:19 pm
Choosing who to root for between the Eagles and the Cowboys is like choosing between dying of Aids or testicular cancer.
Having said that, I knew exactly who I wanted to win.
I pulled for the Cowboys for one of the first times in my life. My reasons were twofold.
First of all the Eagles have actually become more hateable than the Cowboys for the first time since they let T.O. go. If T.O. had remained on the Cowboys I would have had a very tough choice. But since he is gone from there as well I picked the Boys.
Having said that, I still hate both teams. But with the Cowboys winning it will be harder for either team to get to the Superbowl.
Because Philly lost Minnesota has the two seed. It also means that one of these two teams is definitely going to lose next week. Whoever wins must go on the road to win another game. This will require winning in a dome, which takes away a major advantage for the Eagles.
Phase one of my evil plan has been a success. Phase two requires Philly to beat Dallas next week so I can still joke on the Cowboys for being the only NFC team (besides Detroit) not to win a playoff game since 1996.
Then I will put on my Favre jersey and hopefully watch Minnesota squash every Eagle fans dreams.
First things first. Go Philly next week!
PS-feel free to lather me with derogatory Redskin comments. Obviously the Skins suck and everything you say is sadly true. Just remember that just because the Redskins suck it doesn't make what I'm writing any less true