Albert the Great keeps Cardinals alive …
With one epic swing, Albert Pujols changed everything.
He altered the moods in two cities.
He broke hearts in Houston, and lifted them in St. Louis.
He terminated Houston's victory party, and kept hope alive in St. Louis.
He took the oxygen out of Minute Maid Park, leaving 43,470 fans speechless and silent and unable to comprehend what they'd just witnessed, a baseball traveling so high and so far that it probably appeared on a tracking system at the Houston-based NASA.
Pujols pierced the invincibility of Houston closer Brad Lidge, and sent Astros fans over the ledge.
With his three-run homer in the top of the ninth of NLCS Game 5, Pujols delivered a 5-4 victory and saved the season.
Flozell done for the year …
Left tackle Flozell Adams will miss the rest of the season because of a torn knee ligament. Versatile receiver and punt returner Patrick Crayton is out at least a month with a sprained ankle, and coach Bill Parcells said he has no idea whether running back Julius Jones or middle linebacker Dat Nguyen will play this week.
But he expects no sympathy. His job is to get the players available for Sunday's game against Seattle prepared to play.
"Nobody cares except the players themselves, the coaches and the people in the organization," Parcells said of the Cowboys' injuries. "Nobody cares. They forget that in two weeks. They just pick up their next fantasy player on their list."
All is fine on the BCS front Texas is a solid #2 …
The Longhorns are ranked No. 2 in the Harris and USA Today polls and in three of the six computer polls for a .9591 percentage. UT is ranked No. 1 by the Massey computer, No. 3 by the Billingsley computer and No. 4 by the Colley Matrix.
UT has a comfortable cushion over No. 3 Virginia Tech (.9067).
"Let's do our business and not worry about the BCS until the end," Longhorns coach Mack Brown said. "I can't understand it. I can't even get on my own computer."
The USA Today and Harris polls count two-thirds, and the computer rankings make up the final third of the BCS formula. The top two teams in the BCS standings after the regular season will meet in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4 for the national championship.
Texas hasn't won an outright title since 1969.
"The Longhorns control their own destiny," BCS analyst Jerry Palm said. "If they keep putting up those big numbers, they'll be in Pasadena."
Tech is respected; Gameday in Austin!!! …
"This could be the best team we face all year," said UT senior offensive guard Will Allen.
Saturday's game in Austin, which will feature hype provided by ESPN's College GameDay, marks the first time since 1983 that Texas is 6-0 and the first time since the start of the 1977 season that Tech is in the Top 10. At this point, it's the Big 12 game of the year.
"We definitely see Tech on the same level with Oklahoma and Texas A&M," said senior middle linebacker Aaron Harris, who diffused Tech's lethal screen passing game last year with eight tackles.
Said Texas coach Mack Brown, "I think this is a legitimate Top-10 matchup. Too much has been made of Texas Tech's first three games and not enough has been made about their last three games."
Tippett is not Hitchcock …he gave the team an off day after their 5-2 loss to Vancouver…
Peter King MMQB ...
And now, e-mail/schmemail:
Sent: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 12:27:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Subject: Pre Season CB rankings: A. Henry
After watching another solid game from Anthony Henry, I cant help but think back to the day you broke out the Sporting News Cornerback Rankings. I think A. Henry was ranked in the 50's!! I wonder if the writer of that little piece would like a "do-over". Who's better right now than Henry?? Are we talking Pro Bowl??
Be nice to Gribble. P1 for life, Jackpot.
Henry was ranked #49 in the Sporting News Scouting Guide. They do a great job, but if you can find me 48 corners better than Anthony Henry, I would be shocked. Without nit-picking all 48, allow me just to point out that both starting CB’s in Green Bay are rated ahead of Henry (Al Harris and Ahmad Carroll!), as is Aaron Glenn. Those are funny jokes.
From: Chad Johnson
Sent: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 14:14:35 -0500
Subject: Roy Williams
I agree Roy?s weakness is in coverage, but if he is so bad in coverage how have the Cowboys managed to hold the Redskins to 14 pts, the Eagles to 10 pts, and the Giants to 13 pts. He has made mistakes at the wrong times, but it seems those are the exceptions and not the rule. Look at the stats. He?s a pretty good player. Who would you rather have in his place?
Interesting question. Safeties I would rather have than Roy. By the way, that same Sporting News Guide rated Roy the 2nd best safety and 9th best player in all of football. I find that absurd, so here is the list of those I think I would definitely want at safety over Roy:
Rodney Harrison (when his leg isn’t broken)
I might also prefer:
Sean Taylor (although he gets burned just as much, and seems like basically the same player)
Michael Lewis (not sure because he so surrounded with talent)
Donovan Darius (when healthy)
Look, he is a nice player- But I think until he is moved to LB, he is out of his element-
Notice the one finger salute from Larry Csonka. On the cover of Sports Illustrated no less. Great photo editor back in 1972, wasn't it?
Good blog stuff on Lost …
Finally, Azle Journalist Mark Campbell filed this a few weeks back when he visited Green bay:
The wackiness that can only be called: Wisconsin
You know, you see places on a map and you assume they are actually there. Places
like Nepal and Vermont surely exist – maps say so. Today I can attest that another foreign land is absolutely real: Wisconsin.
Here are some things (mainly water, food, and sports) seen while up in Milwaukee and points north:
Big honking lake. We enjoy thinking everything’s bigger in Texas, but we’re not going to win the Most Gigantic Lake Competition. Lake Michigan is humongous, at times 60 miles across.
The water glimmers in differing shades of blue, like that of an ocean. In fact, with scatterings of seaweed and shells and waves curling and breaking on sandy beaches, parts of Lake Michigan resemble our Texas coast. (Local folks complain about the smell of the seaweed – no one swam; most Wisconsans must sail in the scads of boats moored in numerous marinas – but Texas will always win the Funkiest Beach on Earth battle thanks to Goose Island State Park’s Stinky Beach.
We drove up the western coast following the Lake Michigan Circle Tour that zips along an Interstate before shooting motorists into small towns along the way.
The villages resembled Northeast resorts or maybe those of the Colorado Rockies, like Cape Cod or Estes Park. Shiny clean with vividly colored buildings and vistas – trees were turning the farther north we drove – shops offered upscale goods, and, of course, resort-required fudge for snacking while walking along the lake’s edge.
At Port Washington, anglers fishing off piers and jetties landed huge trout on silver spoons. They walked to their vehicles (the fishermen, not the trout) – few of which were pickups or SUVs (the cars, not the anglers or the trout); most sportsmen carefully arranging their fishing gear into back seats, rods precariously placed to avoid getting slammed into doors – with long silvery fish, some certainly over 10 pounds, dangling almost to the roadway from anglers’ waists.
Meat and fish and beer. This trio makes up 90 percent of your eating options. Lots of each.
At a German restaurant, we were offered several meat entrees. I sort of fancied pork
shank. However we were informed that U2 had just left and had eaten all the shank. It seemed a tad ironic that Bono, up for a Nobel Peace Prize for battling world hunger, wolfed down all the pork shank.
Wisconsin’s licenses plates should say "Beer City" not "American’s Dairyland." They especially pride themselves on local brews. Most had the color and consistency of a Wichita Falls bar ditch. But, man, they sold.
We almost offended one waiter when we inquired about a piece of baked or grilled fish. He confessed that he’d never had any fish that wasn’t fried and was obviously horrified at the concept.
Most startling of all eating-wise – aside from Bono’s pork gorging – was a visit to
Brett Farve’s Steakhouse. When we finally found it in Green Bay (it’s by Lambeau Field), I figured we were way overdressed since we had on shoes. After all, Farve came from humble Mississippi beginnings and I just assumed his restaurant would be a smidgen, uh, common man. I expected a refurbished Bonanza.
Holy cow, that was wrong! The place is exceptionally upscale with dark interiors, white table cloths, and fine wines. The steaks were just so-so, but I ate all of mine since a monstrous, wall-long photo of a scowling Farve stared down at us.
The Packers. While the fact that the Brewers finished .500 for the first time in 13 years made the front page, Wisconsin is really everything Packers.
In each small town we drove though – and in Milwaukee – movie theaters advertised that they’d be showing the Packers’ game on the big screen. Sports bars abound, but apparently crowding into a movie auditorium to watch Green Bay play is quite a sport up there.
The entire state was in mourning for The Pack’s now 0-4 start, but that didn’t stop everyone from talking Packers constantly.
Wisconsin is a terrific place. Beautiful. I’m glad it exists. Now about Vermont...I wonder if Bono’s eaten everything up there yet?