Monday, November 21, 2005

Another Successful Sports Weekend

Last week, the Cowboys played at a very low level for most the game and still won.

This week, Drew Bledsoe, who had been a main reason this team was in a position to win the division, played easily his worst game of the season. And the Cowboys still won.

Face it. This team is pretty good.

In fairness to Bledsoe, if that was your worst game of the season, a game in which you didn’t throw an interception, you must be having quite a season. He is. But yesterday, he was throwing balls behind receivers, bouncing balls to receivers, and just flat out missing anything that resembles accuracy in his game.

But they didn’t need him like they will on Thanksgiving Day.

The Cowboys won yesterday based on two things: A solid running performance and another effort from the defense that held the opposition to very little.

The defense is the reason this team is so dangerous. They just don’t seem to get beat very much anymore. Since losing to Oakland on October 2nd, the Cowboys have played 6 games. During that stretch they have given up 76 points total; basically, 12 points a game. You combine that to an offense that has shown what it is capable of, and you can understand the optimistic feelings around here for the first time in a long time.

This game was easily one of the more difficult games to watch. The Lions have very little again this year (almost 50 years in a row now) and the Cowboys knew that the only way they lose is if they give it away. But, they did not.

Denver awaits on Thursday. They are 8-2 and will not be a pushover.


Cowboys appear to be for real


Although he has made it a point not to publicly discuss his expectations regarding the 2005 Cowboys, Parcells didn't complain about wins in 2003 because this franchise had just suffered through three consecutive 5-11 seasons. And he didn't complain about wins last season because they were few and far between.

He complained Sunday because the Cowboys surpassed last season's win total on a day when they didn't come close to playing their best football.

He trusts quarterback Drew Bledsoe and likes the combination of Jones and Marion Barber (53 yards and two touchdowns). The defense ranks among the best in the league, and the NFC does not have a dominant team.

Clearly, Parcells thinks this team is a contender.

"It's just me. It's not them. My standard is different," Parcells said. "I want them to play up to my standard."




Lions lack of discipline cost them a chance


The Lions couldn't match up with the Cowboys, but they helped beat themselves with 17 penalties for 129 yards. Seven penalties gave the Cowboys first downs.

"It's hard to beat them when we beat ourselves at the same time," linebacker Donte Curry said.

There was nothing fancy or particularly dramatic in the way the Cowboys attacked the Lions. They used a conservative offense, knowing the Lions' offense has trouble moving the football, and kept mistakes to a minimum.

It was obvious the Cowboys knew they were too good for the Lions. Only the Cowboys could beat the Cowboys -- and they didn't let that happen. They committed only five penalties, and none gave the Lions a first down.


Did you like Charles Rogers yesterday? He will be available this winter:


Charles Rogers is done in Detroit.

Sure, there are still six games left. But Rogers, a former Michigan State receiver who was the second pick overall in the 2003 NFL draft, doesn't appear to have any chance to return to the Lions next season.

Especially since the Lions want their money back from him.

The Lions confirmed a report, by Fox on its pregame show Sunday, that they have filed a grievance with the NFL seeking the return of $10.41 million from Rogers' $14 million signing bonus.

According to the report, a clause in Rogers' contract permits the forfeiture of money for a violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy.



Beckett deal done??


There is a possibility that the deal could be resolved today, although it's likely that Beckett would have to pass a physical before any trade becomes official.

The main focus of the trade continues to be the Rangers acquiring Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell for third baseman Hank Blalock and young pitching.

The Rangers had been reluctant to give up Danks or Diamond. But, realizing this could be their best chance at a No. 1 starter, they told the Marlins on Sunday they were willing to include one.

Rangers officials also made it clear this was the best offer they're going to make. One problem is Florida owner Jeffrey Loria is traveling in Italy and has to sign off on any deal.

The Red Sox were offering minor league shortstop Hanley Ramirez and a pitcher, but the Rangers felt they had the better offer. If the Red Sox, who are still without a general manager, increase their offer, that could leave the Rangers empty-handed.


By the way, I think this is a trade you must do. It is nearly impossible to get a 25 year old front-of-the-rotation guy to Arlington, and frankly, I began losing faith in Hammering Hank about a year ago.

Take a look at Beckett’s numbers : The ERA is wonderful, and that proves that his stuff is dominating (also a World Series MVP is not a bad thing, either). But two things. #1) If you think he is a 20 game winner, you need to check his win totals his four years in Flordia’s rotation:

2002 = 6, 2003 = 9, 2004 = 9, 2005 = 15

That is the right direction, but one 10+ win season requires one to “tap the breaks” on 20 wins.

And #2) despite what I heard this weekend on my station, the premise that he is a 200 inning horse is also an optimistic appraisal of his first four full seasons:

2002 = 107, 2003 = 142, 2004 = 156, 2005 = 178

He has had chronic blister issues, which are certainly not a high level concern, but they are a decent clue as to why he averages about 25 starts and not the 33-35 that a horse makes.

All that being said, you must still do this deal. Cross your fingers that the Red Sox don’t screw up this deal.

Jimmy Burch On the controversy in Lubbock


Three plays in the final 27 seconds of the Texas Tech-Oklahoma game went to the replay booth, all of them with game-deciding implications and bowl ramifications riding on the verdicts.

When it was over, the winning coach -- Tech's Mike Leach -- said he departed Jones SBC Stadium after a 23-21 victory with "mixed feelings" about the value of the replay system. In the losing locker room, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops hailed the fact that replay made a gut-wrenching loss easier to stomach.

"I feel better knowing there is a system in place [where controversial plays] are all looked at and you are going to get the correct call," Stoops said.

Not necessarily. Yes, the close calls will be reviewed. And one egregious error --
an on-field touchdown call while Tech receiver Joel Filani bobbled the ball -- was corrected with nine seconds remaining Saturday.

But determining the correct call in every situation comes down to having officials positioned properly on the field, with videotape replays from enough different camera angles to provide conclusive evidence.


Personally, I was amazed at the final 30 seconds on Saturday. Were it high school football, we would no doubt be talking about the fact that the umpire was an uncle of the Tech RB and that the head linesman lives in Lubbock, and all of the other favorite “home cooking” conspiracies. How that referee could blow that Filani catch that bad was shocking. Also, the spot of the ball on that 4th down was generous to say the least.

I picked the Red Raiders to win this game, but there is something that feels dirty about that outcome on Saturday. Nevertheless, Tech has earned a Cotton Bowl berth, and for that they should be congratulated.

NFL Network dude thinks Cowboys will get T.O.

Amphetamines and the Texas Rangers


In fact, one player (who is not named in the report) told federal investigators that the illicit use of speed is "part of the baseball world." The athlete added that he even steered clear of clubhouse coffee for fear that teammates had spiked it with amphetamines. "I can guarantee you there has [sic] been players, when a team is struggling or a team is going through a bad streak, they will spike the coffee," the player told House officials. Dan Wheat, a former Texas Rangers head trainer, told probers that the use of speed was "prevalent" among big leaguers and he considered it a bigger problem than steroids. The report quotes Wheat recalling how he once asked a player, "Of the nine players on the field, how many took greenies today?" Wheat said that the athlete responded, "eight."


Hopefully, you are familiar with our intern, MLB Pitcher Mike Bacsik …Well, he is a huge Mavericks fan, and this year he has been given the enormous responsibility of tabulating the +/- numbers of the individual Mavs. Hopefully, you understand +/- (if you don’t, it is basically the score while you are playing). So here are his numbers so far as he attempts to play catch up.

Game 1 Win Mavs vs. Suns
Terry +14, Christie -1, Howard +8, Nowitzki +5, Dampier -2

Harris -15, Van Horn +9, Diop -3, Daniels -14, Armstrong +14

Game 2 Loss Mavs vs Jazz
Terry -13, Christie -16, Howard -16, Nowitzki -15, Dampier -14

Daniels +5, Van Horn -2, Diop +12, Harris +4 Armstrong 0

Game 3 Win Spurs vs. Mavs
Terry 0, Christie +18, Howard +14, Nowitzki +32, Dampier +3

Daniels +9, Harris +19, Van Horn +7, Diop -7

Game 8 Win Hawks vs. Mavs
Terry +4, Daniels +12, Howard +12, Nowitzki +4, Dampier -1

Van Horn -2, Harris +4, Diop +12


Danny Devito to soil solid new show


Danny DeVito will co-star in FX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia next season, the network said Wednesday.
The series’ second season is set for a June debut.
FX president and general manager John Landgraf was partner and president of DeVito’s Jersey Television prior to joining the cable network.
“Danny is one the funniest and most acclaimed actors in the business, and his decision to join the cast of cast of Sunny is a tremendous boost for the series,” Landgraf said in a prepared statement. “Danny’s return to regular series television in Sunny speaks volumes about the quality of the show and the talents of the creative team behind it.”


Fun with Hockey Players Opinions:


I enjoyed my weekend hockey reading this morning, but thought I would make sure this blog’s readers saw that two of the greatest hockey players of our generation apparently don’t see “My NHL” the same way.

Steve Yzerman told the Detroit Free Press:

"Everybody keeps saying this is great. It's not great," Yzerman told the Free Press. "It's not hockey."
"There are penalties all over," he told the newspaper. "I'll just use Mathieu Schneider's penalty as an example. He steps up and takes his guy out, and his stick gets caught and the crowd cheers so the referee puts his hand up. There has to be some discretion. The referees have to use some judgment on what is a penalty and what is not. They've taken judgment out of it and I think it's somewhat made it easy on the referees just to call anything, because there is no judgment.
"Good referees used to have good judgment. Now they've taken that out of the game. I'm not saying I'm blaming the referees for it, I just feel the whole thing has to be adjusted and they have to look at this seriously. They can't continue to call irrelevant things that have no business being called."

Meanwhile, Joe Sakic told this to Eric Duhatschek:


"a lot more fun" playing this year, following the end of the lockout.
"The game is what it was supposed to be a long time ago," said Sakic. "It's the way it was when I first broke in --a lot more flow, a lot more exciting for the fans. We're enjoying ourselves a lot more.
"The most important thing is, we finally corrected it and it's going well and everybody's enjoying it."
There are some who would suggest the game isn't physical enough any more, but Sakic disputes that.
"I still find it physical," he said. "All you're not seeing is the hooking and holding and who wanted to see that anyway? Without the hooking and holding, guys should be able to skate in there a little harder and make the bigger checks. I'm seeing big checks, especially out here in the West. It's intense."

The bottom line remains that this is still a transition process. The hockey appears better, but Yzerman is an awfully big fish to be disavowing what we are watching. It will be interesting to see how many follow him, or Super Joe.



In other news, I saw Paul McCartney last night. I enjoyed it for sure. I would say it was somewhere between very solid and solid. Perhaps the close proximity of his visit to that visit a few weeks ago by U2 have left me thinking I wish these two acts would have come to town in the opposite order so that I might have ended on a high. But, all of that being said, I am now proud to say that I saw McCartney live, and there were several moments I really loved.

To see Hey Jude, Eleanor Rigby and Penny Lane performed in person were wonderful. But I kept catching myself wondering things about Paul rather than just enjoying the show. I realize it is not his fault that I could not focus, but I was wondering several things while sitting there:

Is he the most famous human alive? I figure yes, but Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson might have something to say about it.

Why does he still tour? I am happy he does, but what is in it for him?

How many times has he had to sing, Hey Jude?

Will he hold his guitar over his head after every song? Yes.

But, again, I am happy I saw him. Good times.

Philpot’s review

UFC 56 minute by minute review ...

I will try to write more about UFC 56 tomorrow, but for now, Rich Franklin is a bad man.

37 comments:

AttnyDan said...

A&M fans can you tell you what it feels like to get "Lubbocked" by the refs. I've seen it WAY too many times....giggle. Guess it was OU's turn this year.

Wait a minute, last year didn't the OU timekeeper screw Tech in Norman during their basketball game?

Guess what comes around, goes around. Hello Cotton Bowl Baby!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Monday is a pretty tough day to be a basketball fan in this town. Maybe Mike the intern will get some airtime today and give us some Mavs coverage while Bob and Dan are in the bathroom or somesuch.

Chris said...

attny, the timekeeper arguement is crap, and a linesman that lives in Lubbock, works in Lubbock calling that game is HORRIBLE. The Big 12 should never allow that.

Besides, you can go enjoy the 10:00 AM kickoff on NEW YEARS DAY, while we will enjoy the warm sun of San Diego. Ha!

And Paul McCartney isn't even in the Top 10 of most famous human, take a poll of every 15-30 year old alive, ask them who is the most famous, and NOT ONE of them will say Sir Paul. The way it should be.

Sturminator said...

Chris-

It is possible I was not clear. I am making up conspiracy theories about the refs as a goof on all of the theories I have heard over the years. Please don't misunderstand my attempt at quality writing.

Bob

AttnyDan said...

To be fair, I have seen WAY too many giggle moments in Lubbock. Usually A&M gets the "phantom call", but obviously, Tech didn't need any help with that game this particular year.

I have NO clue about the residence or familial relativity of the referees, but it would not surprise me to find out that one of the ref's was from Brownfield, one from Pampa, and one from Plainview....seriously, it is difficult to find people who want to drive to Lubbock to officiate.

Yes, the weather could suck on January 1st. But hey, it's all about Baby Steps for Tech. I think in our last Cotton Bowl visit we didn't cover the 48 points we were getting. That was an UGLY game.

Chris said...

sturm...

the linesman is actually from Lubbock...

unfortunately his name and address have been posted in many places.

Anonymous said...

Umm, OU almost certainly won't be going to San Diego...they'll be bowling down in San Antonio.

Colorado will get the Holiday Bowl bid if they beat Nebraska at home this weekend (unless they shock Texas in Houston, then they would go to the Fiesta Bowl instead).

Observer said...

The musers talked about this some this morning, but I had more gripes: the TV announcers. I started watching the game late and used TiVO to catch up, so that meant I had to suffer through the first quarter and a half with the TV announcers. Dick Stockton just doesn't know what the hell is going on down on the field about half the time.

And Tony Siragusa ... (shudder). Oh yeah, Tony, are you going to figure out for us why Detroit is jumping offsides every other play? What ever happened to that? To be fair, he may have reported on it later when I had the volume turned down, but somehow, I doubt it.

On the drive with all the Detroit penalties, Stockton agreed that the helmet-to-helmet roughing the passer call on Detroit was bogus, and he also agreed that the pass interference call was bogus, then two plays later, he was talking about how the big penalties on this drive proves that Detroit is really having discipline problems! Gah! Shut up!

I was able to switch over to the radio guys after that. Brad Sham's call of the 56-yard field goal at the end of the half is a very good candidate for homer call. I'm sure Brad would like to have that one back.

I *would* at some point like to figure out why Detroit was jumping offsides so much. It seemed like they were offsides a lot more than was called in the first quarter, but they didn't show enough replays for us to be able to tell. I hope someone asks Parcells about that. Who on the line is tipping off the snap count? That was the biggest problem with protecting Bledsoe, I thought.

And is it my bad memory or what? I don't think I've ever seen a Cowboy quarterback in the past few seasons being able to just stand in the pocket and survey his kingdom indefinitely like Harrington yesterday on a couple of plays. Not every play. Just seems like once or twice a game, the defensive line decides that they want to contain but not pressure, and we get pass plays that last for 20-25 seconds as a result. Maddening. It's hard to complain about the results, though.

That 12 points per game is a little bit of an overstatement because I know at least one TD and a couple of FG's were not the fault of the defense since they were directly the result of turnovers (returned for a touchdown in at least one case vs Philly in Dallas). On the FG's, there was a turnover and the other team didn't move the ball but kicked a FG, and that can't be put on the defense. This defense, especially the secondary, is unbelieveable. I still can't believe we gave up such big pass plays in the first few weeks, especially vs Washington, but all in all, the coin flip games have evened out (we're 4-3 in games that went down to the last possession).

Anonymous said...

OU got jobbed. Hard. I say that as a lifelong UT fan who enjoys watching the Sooners stink as much as possible.

In other news, even the logs have given up on A&M this year.

Student bonfire fails to light

big smooth said...

yes bob, great weekend of sports...

an ugly game to watch, but the job got done. those games before the short week for the thanksgiving game always seem sluggish, and without exception, the lions penalties was excruciating to watch, and in itself gave the game to dallas. a dominant performance by the mavs saturday night, and even damp played really well. rangers are on the verge of making a big time deal which has to be done even if it means losing hank, and even my smu mustangs got a last second win (will be looking for it on homer call)......

Anonymous said...

Tech did get very lucky with this win. Scoreboard! The CoTTon Bowl is actually on Jan. 2nd this year. With "Global Warming", it might be 80 degrees this year, so I will take it. OU may get the Alamo Bowl, not the Holiday Bowl.

If the Cowboys don't shore up their ofeensive line, the Broncos will kill Drew on Turkey Day with thier Blitz package and Stunts.

tvb

Brandon at GSR said...

"Wait a minute, last year didn't the OU timekeeper screw Tech in Norman during their basketball game?"

Actually, he gave both the Red Raiders and the Sooners extra time on the clock on key posessions late in the game.

And Bobby Knight tried to pressure the Sooners into a forfeit.

I wonder if he walked over to Mike Leach's office and tried to convince him to forfeit Saturday's win.

And to be sure, I'm not suggesting Leach or the Red Raiders should forfeit this one. What's done is done.

I only ask that the Big 12 make the necessary changes to limit the possibility that a screw job like this doesn't happen to another team.

Because who knows, Dan. If changes aren't made, it could be Tech who gets screwed next year in Norman by some ref from Chickasha, OK.

Anonymous said...

Come on Bob. At least mention the Mavs blowout win over Detroit on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

I had either the best seats or the worst seats for Paul last night depending. I was front row on the side. I was closer than just about anyone, but couldnt see a damn thing due to the lights. It will teach me to pay attention when my tickets say "possible obstruction". It sounded great.

Anonymous said...

new years day is sunday so all of them are on the 2nd

George said...

Maybe The Ticket should pay somebody to watch Mavs games during Cowgirl season.

Oh wait...

AttnyDan said...

I totally agree that OU got screwed. I'm just saying that this kind of thing happens ENTIRELY too much in Lubbock for it to be...anything but humorous and expected.

It's not just once in a while, it's some kind of wierd deal EVERY year in Lubbock. Kinda like Waco and crazy people, or Lewisville and Sturm's white power parade.

Chris said...

^ that sir, was funny.

Shaun said...

OU didn't get screwed by officials. Replay shows Danny clearly caught the ball at the 23 yard line. It is where he caught the ball not where he lands.

TH's TD was damn close, I will give you that. I am still not sure.

And there isn't any "giggle moments" in Lubbock. This kind of thing doesn't happen probably enough in Lubbock. I can't think of one 50/50 call ever go their way until this weekend.

Anonymous said...

huh.....

Anonymous said...

I've been bashing Damp as much as anyone, but he did have a great game against Detroit. As everyone in the media has commented, he must have been "talked" to, by our favorite little general. Hopefully he won't he won't need a fluffer before every game.

disco

Anonymous said...

I've been bashing Damp as much as anynone, but he did have a great game against Detroit. As all the media have commented, he must have been "talked" to by our favorite little general. Hopefully, he won't need a fluffer before every game.

disco

Brandon at GSR said...

"Replay shows Danny clearly caught the ball at the 23 yard line."

You must have been watching a different replay. The one I saw showed that he caught the ball a good foot to a half yard behind the yellow line.

I'll give you that the TD was a call that could have gone either way. Of course because of the 4th down play, it should not have come down to that.

Anonymous said...

Why is Christie "really" not with the team?

Anonymous said...

If you can't get your grades up, get your guns up.

P1 Mike

big smooth said...

The Ticket got mention on Peter King's Monday Morning QB.....For quote of the week, they used The Muser's weekly interview with Jerry on the prospects of the Cowboys going after T.O.
------------------------
"I'm avoiding, deliberately avoiding, saying whether or not the Cowboys would be interested. He's a player that is a competitive player. He's an outstanding addition to an offense ... In general, I am a risk-taker. We've gone down that road. We've had some situations that worked and some that didn't. Alonzo Spellman had a great year with us. Alonzo certainly had some issues ... I probably have a propensity to try and make things work ... We've got a quarterback in Bledsoe who is arguably as fine a long-ball thrower as there is in the league. A top receiver could flourish with Drew Bledsoe. That's always appealing.''

-- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, on the Dunham and Miller Show on KCTK in Dallas, on the prospect of Terrell Owens playing for the Cowboys in the future.
------------------------

Shaun said...

Check the pic here, Brandon.
Damn Close, I will give you but not a clear cut mess up.


http://mb6.scout.com/fraiderpowerfrm2.showMessageRange?topicID=35449.topic&start=41&stop=51

Chris said...

Shaun,

the yellow line is not always correct... look at the chains...

and since he did not have posession at this point in the pic, it does not matter. He gets the ball where he has posession. which when he landed, was a full yard back.

Anonymous said...

I hate to break up the national media's love fest (especially ESPN) over Reggie Bush, but they have conveniently forgotten that Vince Young also had a 500+ yard performance himself just 3 short weeks ago.

In my opinion, the two are dead even going into this week for the Heisman. Let's wait and see what Young does in his last two games and what Bush does against UCLA before handing Bush the trophy just yet...

Lance said...

USC had better seriously work on their defense and not worry about whether Bush gets his Heisman. After seeing Fresno's offensive line push them around all night on Saturday, if they don't fix things quick, Texas will absolutely run all over them in January.

Everyone is so focused on Bush's exceptional night, but it's also clear to see why USC lost several first place votes after that defensive effort. When a WAC team (albeit a very good one) comes into your house and commits 5 turnovers, yet still puts 42 points up on the board, you've definitely got some big issues to deal with.

As of right now, Texas has the better team, but what really counts of course is who will have the better team on January 4th.

MR said...

usc will have 3 weeks to prepare for what vince does. so you have to think usc will have the advantage because he is one guy. and texas has its hands full with lienert and bush and white, and all of there receivers. and by the way has mack brown ever "coached" anyone up? if usc and texas played a week after the a&m game, i think ut would win, but with 3 weeks to prepare i think usc wins by a td.

Shaun said...

Chris,

How do you know he didn't have possession? He had two hands on the ball. Isn't that possession.

In the end, all I am saying is that it wasn't a blatant bad call against OU. There were damn close both of them. It was about like tossing a coin on both calls unfortunately OU ended up on the wrong end of it both times. Was Tech Lucky yes, but it wasn't a bad call.

Consolation prize. OU has a down year and Tech has an good year and it was that close of a game.

Anonymous said...

It is easier for a QB to put a 500 yard game together than a RB.

Anonymous said...

it's easier for a rb/wr/returner to put a 500 yard game together than a qb

Anonymous said...

Not when the QB in question rushes for 267 yards. How many QBs rush for 267 yards in one game? Bush's 500 yard game was a combined rushing, receiving and return yardage. Young's was only rushing and passing. They're both impressive feats, but to say it's easier for a QB do to it isn't looking at the numbers closely enough.

Matt said...

USC will have more to worry about than just Vince Young, that's selling the Horns offense a bit short to say that. Last I checked Charles, Taylor, Pittman, Sweed, Thomas, etc. aren't exactly chopped liver themselves. Not to mention that massive offensive line that Texas has.

USC has the #1 ranked offense in the nation, while Texas is #2. Meanwhile, the Texas defense is ranked #6 overall, but USC's is way down the list at #43. That's the big difference I see. Texas has far more firepower than Fresno State does and we see what they accomplished even with 5 turnovers.

If UCLA torches USC's defense too, I just don't see how they'll be able to stop Texas. On the other hand, I do think the Texas defense is good enough to at least slow USC down a bit. Again, things might chance a lot in the next 6 weeks, but right now I'd definitely have to pick Texas over USC too.

Brandon at GSR said...

Shaun,

By rule, this was a simulataneous possession, and thus, you can't mark forward progress from the point where Amendola caught the ball because he didn't have sole possession of it.

Rather, forward progress is marked when

a) the offensive player gets sole possession of the ball.

b) the offensive player is down by contact.

And since he came down a good yard behind the sticks, this makes this one a blown call.

And why the replay official didn't overturn this egregious mistake is anyone's guess.