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:
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.