Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cornucopia O' Sports

ESPN’s NFL Countdown is pretty good. I don’t watch pre-game shows, for many reasons, but if I did, that show is my default choice. They are also pretty good at free publicity by getting people to discuss their show for sensational reasons like Michael Irvin being a public shill for Terrell Owens, or Rush Limbaugh claiming McNabb is only highly thought of because he is black.

Well, evidently, they are at it again. This time, the docile Steve Young has angered Chris Simms’ daddy, Phil:

Young landed on Simms's son Chris, questioning whether Chris had the "mental toughness" to handle the "information overload" thrown at a starting quarterback. Young suggested this is because Chris Simms grew up in a "laissez-faire atmosphere."

Those are harsh words, since they seem to imply Chris Simms is: a) dumb and b) soft because c) he's a rich kid who d) didn't have to work for anything.

Phil Simms shot back at Young: "Come to my house, and we'll see how laissez-faire it is." (Attention Adam Smith fans: We have now set the record for laissez-faire references in a sports story.)

Then Simms warned Young: "You can say whatever you want about my son. The one thing that will get me mad -- and I'll stand in your face about it -- is toughness."


Keyshawn evaluates the Broncos

The Dallas Cowboys' well- hyped, short-yardage receiver was explaining why he thought the Broncos were either the best or second-best team in the NFL, along with the undefeated Indianapolis Colts.

"Depending on where the Broncos would play," Johnson said. "If they're playing in Denver, I would give them the edge. And if they're playing in Indy, then I would give Indy the edge."

He went on to explain the Broncos are tops because of how coach Mike Shanahan built his roster, consistency in their running game and their top receiver, Rod Smith.
Johnson then delivered a backhanded compliment to Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer.
"I like the fact that (Shanahan) has Jake Plummer on a leash," Johnson said. "He can pretty much control him and not allow him to make the mistakes he's made in the past."

Even the stars are struggling to understand Plummer's streak of eight games and 219 passes without an interception. One explanation is that in the past eight games, the Broncos held leads of at least 13 points.

It probably is no coincidence Plummer's three interceptions came when the Broncos were losing. Two came in the fourth quarter against Miami in the season opener and the other came in the third quarter of the second game, when the Broncos were trailing San Diego by four.

Scott tipped me off to this out of the Florida papers about Blalock

Monday afternoon the Marlins informed the Rangers they were no longer in the Beckett sweepstakes. The Rangers, who were dangling two-time All-Star Hank Blalock and one of two minor league pitchers who were former first-round draft picks, the Marlins had off-field concerns about Blalock.

I do not mind filling in the blanks here, as the RUMORS indicate that there are some level of alcohol concerns with Hank going around. Are they true? Perhaps, or perhaps not. But since so many people are asking me if I have heard these rumors, I am not going to hide it from you. I have heard them. I have no idea if they are well founded, and further, I do not know what “alcohol concerns” means specifically. And, let’s not forget the rumors making the rounds a decade ago about Troy Aikman’s sexual preferences, before we get carried away with the idea here.

Mavs beat Rockets …I realize that no T-Mac means very little fun last night, but I did want to see Stromile Swift again, just to make sure that I didn’t completely miss the boat on him, too (see: Memhet Okur). But, despite all of the NBA blowhards telling me the Rockets got Swift and therefore the final piece of the puzzle, Swift is still really spare. He is the same underachieving LSU big man-who went in the lottery- and now is still a major tease. Luther Head’s got plenty of game. Combine that with Deron Williams in Utah, and that Illinois squad is looking pretty solid.

To the shock and amazement of nobody, The Doug Christie era in Dallas may be over

Owner Mark Cuban said Christie is evaluating his options after having his surgically repaired left ankle re-examined by his doctor in Seattle. Retirement appears to be increasingly likely for Christie.

The Mavericks expect to know something concrete within the next couple of days.

I’ll never forget those 7 games and 26 points he scored here.

Thankfully, Marquis Daniels is playing acceptable basketball again, making me wonder if Daniels + Stackhouse still might be plenty enough to get you by at that spot…Provided Stackhouse is healthy at some point of the season.

Jiri Fischer doing well

But his hockey career is in doubt

In general, when a professional athlete drops in the field of play, it's sometimes because of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, said Dr. Hakan Oral, a University of Michigan cardiologist. It's a genetic condition that results in a thickened heart muscle, which is vulnerable to potentially fatal electrical disturbances, particularly during competitive sports.

Former Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis and Loyola Marymount player Hank Gathers died from complications of this condition.

``Seizures occur due to the interruption of blood flow to the brain during these episodes,'' said Oral, also an electrophysiologist at U-M's Cardiovascular Center.
Among other potential causes are electrical disturbances in the heart itself and rhythm issues caused by an extra nerve fiber between the upper and lower chambers, Oral said.

``These are rare conditions,'' he said.

Until studies are finished, doctors won't know when, or if, Fischer can return.

I received this email from a p1 who was at the game; Here is his report:

Hi Bob,
I'm a huge fan of BadRadio and a hockey fan as well. I saw your post on Fischer's collapse on Monday night and thought I might email you, since I was at the game.

I happened to be in Detroit on business, having landed at about 5 PM. I had appointments the next day at a large bank there, but as a sports fan I try to go experience the local flavor when I can. Typically that means a baseball game, but I'm now working on my hockey "collection." Monday that meant Joe Louis Arena, the Yankee Stadium of Hockey (I've now seen hockey in only three places: Dallas, MSG, and Detroit).

AT first I assumed an asst coach had suffered a heart attack, but after a few minutes someone nearby had phoned a friend watching the game and heard a puck hit Fischer in the throat (wrong, of course). The crowd took the whole thing in stride. Maybe it's the more working-class nature of the crowd or something else, but everyone seemed pretty unfazed by the whole scene. I was a little unnerved by the response of certain players. Chris Draper and a couple of others were
very demonstrative in their efforts to 1) get some medical help (took about 5 minutes to get a defribillator to the bench, to his obvious dismay. He and others kept skating over to an exit area, screaming and waving their arms); and 2) get Jiri's wife to his side. Several minutes in she showed up at the same exit area and two players literally grabbed an arm, picked her up, and skated her as fast as possible to the bench area. The urgency with which they moved was a little disconcerting. It took a good hour after that before they finally told us the game
was off. Thankfully Jiri's fine, of course.

I am not a Dallas hater. In fact, I think we have things pretty good around here. I know plenty of self-hating dallasites, though, who complain about the fans here, that we're not a good sports/hockey town, etc. Two observations about my experiences at MSG/The Joe vs. AAC: 1) TheJoe and MSG are barns, compared to the AAC. Obviously, they both have the disadvantage of being built many, many years before AAC, but the fact remains that as I circled the Joe, looking for a lace to get some decent food I saw tons of hockey history in the form of photos and memorabilia surrounded by Little Ceasar's pizza (interestingly not any better at the source than here in D) and generic hot dog/sausage stands. And their version of a bar is a counter with a couple of whiskey bottles and a Budweiser tap. Otherwise, lots of concrete and mustaches (not just on the men). 2) Lots of empty seats. Of course, it was the Predators on a Monday night, but the percentage of empty seats rivaled anything I've ever seen at the AAC. While the fans are more knowledgeable about the sport, it's not as if they were appreciably rowdier. I was amazed at the low level of crowd noise for many of those first 12 1/2 minutes. (MSG was different; they actually had coordinated cheers to yell out that the opposing team's color analyst sucked [apparently he'd beaten them years ago with a shot that still hurt]). Bottom line? Yeah the experience felt a little more hard-core/authentic at The Joe, but I'm more than happy seeing my hockey right here in The D.


Crosby versus Ovechkin Round 1

Crosby leads NHL rookies with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 22 games and is on a pace to match Lemieux's 100-point rookie season in 1984-85, while Ovechkin has 22 points (15 goals, seven assists) in 21 games.

For comparison's sake, Crosby's scoring pace is higher than that of Martin St. Louis, who won the 2004 scoring championship for Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay with 94 points in 82 games. Ovechkin's is close to it.

27 points in 22 games means one thing: Sidney Crosby is worthy of the hype. If you did not see the game, at least watch the Sportscenter highlights this morning. Crosby and Ovechkin are beyond special talents.

Baseball Analysts look at the Beckett trade

Sports Guy goes nuts over trade …and makes a very astute observation about prospects in baseball:

Still, those Bagwell/Andersen disasters are the exception, not the rule -- it's much harder to project the fates of minor-league prospects than you might think. For instance, the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo ran a column in August of 1990 which featured the following quote from a National League scout: "Boston's got good depth. They're sneaking into the top 10 pitching organizations in baseball. As far as lefties go, they're as good as anyone."

Well, here were the top-10 pitchers in Boston's system (according to Cafardo's article): Dave Owen ("he's chunky but tough"); Derek Livernois ("a young Mike Boddicker"); Josias Manzanillo; Kevin Morton; Paul Quantrill; Scott Taylor; Jeff Plympton; Brian Conroy; Tom Fischer; Eric Hetzel. And just for kicks, the No. 1 positional prospect (ahead of Bagwell and Mo Vaughn) was an outfielder named Greg Blosser, about whom Cafardo wrote, "The mouths drop when people see him." Out of those 11 players, the only guy who had anything remotely resembling a career was Quantrill, a half-decent reliever who bounced around both leagues for 14 seasons. Nobody else made it.

And that wasn't the only year like that. Check out these Red Sox-related quotes from Peter Gammons in the Boston Globe:

January, 1991: "It may well be that 40 years from now, the players remembered most from the early '90s will be Roger Clemens, Ellis Burks, Jody Reed, Mo Vaughn, Jeff McNeely and Eric Wedge."

October, 1991: "Adds Twins coach Terry Crowley, 'There's no question that Jeff Bagwell, Mo Vaughn and Phil Plantier can be terrific major leaguers for years, but if his back comes around, I still believe the best player of all those guys will be Tim Naehring. He has that rare fire.'"

March, 1994: "It has been a good spring for the Red Sox future, with Greg Blosser's encouraging adjustments to utilize his power, Jeff McNeely starting to define his game, Luis Ortiz' response to Frank Malzone and the eye-opening performance of Frankie Rodriguez last weekend."

Sorry, Boys; Danica Patrick is off the market

The 23-year-old driver, who finished fourth in the Indy 500, and physical therapist Paul Hospenthal, 40, were married Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Team spokesman Brent Maurer said Patrick has asked Rahal Letterman Racing to release virtually no information on the ceremony. Maurer could only confirm Tuesday that Patrick was married and that car owner Bobby Rahal was there.

Celebrate the Holiday with classic Mike Tyson quotes

Don't count on a Thanksgiving morning blog. Not saying it won't happen, just don't count on it.


Anonymous said...

Not that it really matters because it's Doug Christie but he's NOT injured. That's what the Mavs are saying but I think he got the boot ala Abdul-Wahad because of something that happened behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, so she's 23 and famous, while he's 40 and a physical therapist. Yeah, ok, we'll just see how long it takes before she decides to get younger at that position...this will last 3-4 years tops.

Anonymous said...

Is Danika really that great???

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,

Homer Call today? Or do you take the week off?

Displaced Homer Call Fan in H-Town

Would ya? said...

I think she is more sports hot than actually hot.

But, I still would.

Andy Douthitt said...

I can see that the Doug Christie experiment was a failure. I can guarantee that Avery is not on board with him and the injury/retirement is the only easy explanation from the franchise to the fans.

Regarding Chris Simms, Steve Young isn't ripping the guy... he is a hall of famer with an opinion (that is his job, he is an analyst) Phil Simms seems to be kind of a beeotch. Cool off Phil. Maybe if your son had ever won a big game in his life, he wouldn't receive constructive criticism. But he has NEVER WON A BIG GAME, NEVER.

Cowboy victory over Denver: 23-17

Anonymous said...

And Steve Young IS an authority on winning the big game? He won ONE in his entire career and lost every other big game he ever played in, even when his 49er teams were favored going in.

shawn said...

Celeb UFC? Joe Rogan vs. Wesley Snipes?

Matt said...

Steve Young was far from "money" in big games, so he really should keep his mouth shut on that subject. Just go back and look at the '92 & '93 NFC Championship games, the '95 playoff upset loss to Green Bay, etc. And it's doubtful he would have got the one he ever did win in '94 if Jimmy Johnson had still been coaching the Cowboys. Joe Montana he definitely was not.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea Joe Rogan had any skils. I just thought he was some spare who hosted Fear Factor. I'd watch that, and I'm not a UFC fan.

carlson said...

Here's a suck it to the Rangers. "hey i know we jsut swooped in and bukkaked you guys on this trade, but do you guys want to give us your top 1b prospect"

what the hell dod the rangers need an outfield prospect for??

from the Boston Globe

Meanwhile, according to two major league sources, the Sox have spoken with the Texas Rangers about trading for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 draft. The 23-year-old Gonzalez, who hits lefthanded, split last season between Triple A Oklahoma and Texas. He hit .338 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs in 326 at-bats with Oklahoma, .227 with 6 homers and 17 RBIs in 150 at-bats with Texas.

While the Rangers are believed to be interested in acquiring an outfield prospect, possibly Double A outfielder Brandon Moss, the Sox are likelier to offer up Triple A catcher Kelly Shoppach. Shoppach is a native of Fort Worth.

Anonymous said...

"hey i know we jsut swooped in and bukkaked you guys on this trade, but do you guys want to give us your top 1b prospect"

That sir was funny. Disugting, but funny.

Jared in Irving said...

All you conspiracy theorists are insane. Christie is hurt. There is no way he'd willingly be part of the charade and go to Seattle to get his ankle checked out.

There's also no way in hell he'd discuss retirement if he weren't really hurt.

He's hurt, and he's done. Let's just hope the rumors of a non-guaranteed contract for him are true.

Anonymous said...

According to, T.O. has won his arbitration case and will be cut by the Eagles. So the T.O. sweepstakes will begin next week. With his relatively low base salary (a pro-rated $3.75 mil), he probably won't clear waivers, so it'll be very interesting to see who will claim him (if at all). Will it be Dallas? Or maybe Denver or Oakland? The bottom line is though, he WILL be playing for someone else within the next week or so.

Anonymous said...

I see no possible way that the Boys bring on the Cancer. First is there any possible way that Cancer and Meshawn can co-exist?!! Second, they already have a log jam at reciever with Crayton coming back. So what do think they would make Keyshawn the 3rd receiver, or Glenn. You couldn't make Cancer #3. Just not going to happen Cowboy fans, Parcells already let Jerry play GM twice this year with A-train (released) and Peerless Price (Parcells seems to have little to no use for him), I don't see him letting Jerry get out of the sandbox to put a claim in for Cancer.

I can now only pray that he goes to NY or Washington so as to completely destroy another NFC foe, like he did in Philly. Maybe Denver will put a claim on him, and thereby practically give the boys a W for Thanksgiving (yes, cancer can kill that fast).

God save the Queen and Rhiner

Anonymous said...

I don't see it happening either, but this is ultimately Jerry's team, not Bill's. I wouldn't totally rule it out, but I do doubt it will happen.

Anonymous said...

DING DONG TO'S DONE!!! The arbitrator ruled in the Eagles favor. I never thought I would root for the Eagles, but low and behold.

Lance said...

Wow, and Newsweek sure had their stories wrong!

Lance said...

Newsday not Newsweek, sorry 'bout that.

meredith said...

If the Rangers gave up Adrian Gonzalez for Kelly Shoppach, that'd be an absolute steal for the Red Sox.

meredith said...

Also, odds are good that Bronson Arroyo would be available in a potential Adrian Gonzalez deal.

And more fun Rangers rumors from

Word is Texas Rangers third baseman Hank Blalock, who turned 25 this week and hit 25 home runs with 92 runs batted in last season, could be available to the Twins for pitchers Kyle Lohse and Scott Baker.

Robert Bentley said...

That would be an absolute coup for the Rangers.

Sturminator said...

Adrian for Shoppach would be a steal for the Sox, Mer?

Not sure about that. I get that Veritak has blocked him there, but a C/DH with huge power potential might be pretty solid here. Of course, AG might be good, too, but it doesn't appear that Buck is terribly impressed.

meredith said...

Bob, I'm not buying the Kelly Shoppach hype. I think that he, like Hanley Ramirez, is a good player but not the stud-in-the-making that the Sox make him out to be. Course, in three years the Sox will be in need of a catcher, and he could improve by then, especially if Tek is the one mentoring him.

Still, we need a 1B desperately. Kevin Millar? No thank you.

Jared in Irving said...

Sturm, Shoppah = Gerald Laird.

That would be a terrible trade for us.

And that Twins/Blalock rumor is insane. That's just complete drivel.