Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Sturm Formula - Part 7

Top Teams since Super Bowl 1 continues....

#5 - The Denver Broncos
Total Points: 57
Total Playoff Years: 77SL, 78, 79, 83, 84, 86SL, 87SL, 89SL, 91C, 93, 96, 97S, 98S, 00, 03, 04, 05C

The Broncos have certainly had many quality teams, mostly due to the John Elway era. But make no mistake, 1 player does not elevate a franchise to the top 5 in the NFL. 6 Super Bowl appearances is very impressive for anyone, and now with decent post-Elway runs, they are the best of the rest.

#6 - The Miami Dolphins
Total Points: 57
Total Playoff Years: 70, 71SL, 72S, 73S, 74, 78, 79, 81, 82SL, 83, 84SL, 85C, 90, 92C, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99, 00, 01

The Dolphins level of quality is among the best in the AFC, but falls short of the top 5. Since 1973, the Dolphins have been close, but no cigar. Still the only team to navigate through a season undefeated, the Dolphins have a proud past.

#7 - The Washington Redskins
Total Points: 55
Total Playoff Years: 71, 72SL, 73, 74, 76, 82S, 83SL, 84, 86C, 87S, 90, 91S, 92, 99, 05

Let's not kid ourselves - since 1992, when Joe Gibbs and the boys exited stage left, things have not been very good in Washington. Despite that, they are merely a few points out of the top 5 proving that they have a very solid resume in the Allen/Gibbs eras.

#8 - The New England Patriots
Total Points: 54
Total Playoff Years: 76, 78, 82, 85SL, 86, 94, 96SL, 97, 98, 01S, 03S, 04S, 05, 06C

The first time I did this study, New England was well out of the mix. They were ranked somewhere in the bottom third of the league in 2000. But since then, Brady and Belichick have added up 37 points in 6 seasons, shooting up into #8. That deserves a "wow".

9. Green Bay
10. St Louis
11. Minnesota
12. Indianapolis

13. New York Giants
14. Buffalo
15. Chicago
16. Kansas City

17. Philadelphia
18. Tennessee
19. New York Jets
20. Cleveland

21. Tampa Bay
22. San Diego
23. Cincinnati
24. Seattle

25. Baltimore
26. Atlanta
27. Carolina
28. Detroit

29. Jacksonville
30. New Orleans
31. Arizona
32. Houston

Points in the Sturm Formula:
1 point for each year of making the playoffs
3 points for losing in the AFC/NFC Championship games
5 points for losing the Super Bowl
11 points for winning the Super Bowl

Day 3: Super Bowl XLI in Miami

Wednesday in Miami. I would give you some witty summary of media day, but it appears every paper in America already did that bit.

Instead, here are some links, and I remind you that I am rating every team in the NFL from Super Bowl 1 to today using what I call the “Sturm Formula”. Teams 9-32 have already been released if you just scroll down. Teams 5-8 will be released this afternoon right here and Teams 1-4 tomorrow. Can you feel the excitement?

Cowboys interview Singletary and his eyes

San Francisco 49ers assistant head coach/defense Mike Singletary interviewed for the Cowboys head coaching position Tuesday, becoming the eighth candidate to do so. No other interviews are scheduled.

Singletary joins a field of candidates thought to be led by 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who interviewed on Sunday.

The Cowboys have not announced a timetable for naming the new coach. According to a league source, owner and general manager Jerry Jones is scheduled to leave Thursday for South Florida and the Super Bowl. That could delay the selection of a coach until next week.

The longer this process goes gives Jones more time to consider other candidates, including Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who interviewed with the Cowboys last week. On Tuesday, Phillips said he had not heard from the Cowboys since his interview.

Singletary, who was a head coaching candidate in Detroit last season and in Atlanta this year, is the second minority candidate interviewed.

If Singletary was in North Texas on Tuesday to suspend the notion that the Cowboys did not take the league's "Rooney Rule" seriously, it didn't faze Singletary. In his eyes, it comes with the territory. Plus, it was another opportunity to interview for a head coaching job.

"There are a number of other African-Americans out there that could have gotten this call and did not," Singletary said Tuesday afternoon. "If every time somebody called you to sit back and go, well, I wonder if this is a 'Rooney Rule?' For me, every time I have the opportunity to have an interview, I feel very blessed and privileged to have it, and I make the most of the opportunity and I go from there."

The Cowboys did satisfy the league rule when they interviewed assistant coach Todd Bowles last week. But the Cowboys came under some heat the last time they had a coaching vacancy when former Vikings coach Dennis Green was interviewed by phone shortly before Bill Parcells was hired.

One NFL source said Jones was "very impressed" with the former Baylor star and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker.

Stars – they may not be that great, but they fight hard – get a win in San Jose

The focus Tuesday began on Mike Modano's return to the Stars' lineup after a 23-game absence.

Then Mike Ribeiro changed the storyline and the game.

Ribeiro provided an unlikely offensive lift, delivering a 3-2 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks at the HP Pavilion. The Stars rallied from a two-goal deficit after the second period.

With the shootout 2-2 after two rounds, San Jose's Patrick Marleau shot wide. Then, Ribeiro won it, beating Vesa Toskala to give the Stars two much-needed points.
"It felt good to help the team," Ribeiro said. "Maybe I could bring that part of my game a little bit more than what I've been doing."

The win moved the Stars (30-19-2) to within five points of the Sharks in the Pacific Division. The teams play again Thursday in San Jose.

Sergei Zubov and Jussi Jokinen had earlier converted their shootout opportunities, but so had San Jose's Ryane Clowe and Joe Pavelski.

Ribeiro said he knew little about Toskala.

"No idea," Ribeiro said. "I'm the third guy and watch what the other guys do. It was the first time this year that I was a little bit nervous to go into the shootout.
The other times, I was just really relaxed and confident to score. I had to put it in for the team to win."

The outcome stunned a sellout crowd of 17,496 that had been ready to celebrate a victory.

Philippe Boucher got the Stars into overtime, scoring with just 2.2 seconds left in regulation. He swatted a loose puck out of the air and past Toskala.

Ribeiro, who had ended a 22-game goal drought earlier in the third period, set up the goal with a centering pass from the corner.

"We couldn't generate shots from the point," Boucher said, "so I got deep and I tapped it in when I saw it flip up."

Offense was an early struggle against the Sharks. The Stars managed only nine shots in the first two periods. Their three-shot second period tied their season low.

Mavs ride Austin Croshere?

It took over half the season, but Austin Croshere finally had his coming-out party with the Mavericks.

Chained to the bench for the majority of this season, Croshere came off the pine to tally a career-high 34 points in just 24 minutes and spark the Mavericks to a 122-102 triumph over the Seattle SuperSonics. Croshere was mired so deep down the Mavs' bench that the Sonics probably didn't even have him in their scouting report.

"Obviously, Crow was the MVP of the game," guard Jerry Stackhouse said. "He was everything he needed to be for us to get over the hump tonight.

"Everybody's been pulling for him. He's been the best teammate he can be, and he deserves a night like tonight."

Croshere came in averaging just 2.9 points per game. But his points-to-minute ratio Tuesday was the second-best in Mavs history behind the 36 points Mark Aguirre scored in 23 minutes against Denver on Jan. 29, 1987.

On a night Josh Howard missed while attending the birth of his first child -- and on a night when Dirk Nowitzki was just 3-of-12 from the field with 15 points -- Croshere lifted the spirits of everyone inside American Airlines Center.

The Sonics were hanging around, trailing only 85-80 entering the final period. But Croshere exploded for 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavs ran and hid from the Sonics while running their NBA-best record to 37-9.

"With Josh not here tonight I thought there was a chance I might get in," said Croshere, whose previous high of 32 points occurred against the Mavs on Feb. 5, 2002, when he played for Indiana. "So it's a matter of staying ready for any opportunity.

In Soccer news, Reyna is back with Bruce Arena in NY, Davids will not come to Dallas

Claudio Reyna said it was time to come home.

“My wife is expecting in a month, and for both sporting and family reasons, this was the right time,” Reyna said Monday in a telephone interview from his home on Long Island. “Manchester City didn’t want me to leave, but it came to the point where it wasn’t easy for us not having a family network. They understood, but they didn’t want me to go.”

So Europe’s loss is the New York Red Bulls’ gain. After more than a decade overseas, playing for Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, Glasgow Rangers in Scotland, and Sunderland and Manchester City in England, Reyna, 33, will be surveying the midfield at Giants Stadium as one of the club’s two designated players. (A second slot was acquired by trading Amado Guevara to Chivas USA.)

Late last year, Major League Soccer altered its salary structure to allow each of its 13 teams to sign a player for more than the league maximum of about $300,000. The league will pay the first $400,000 of the player’s salary; the club is responsible for the balance.

“I think that the designated players should be Americans,” Reyna said. “The Beckham situation is unique, something that is great for the league because of the attention it brings. On the other hand, I would like to see guys like McBride, Keller and Lewis, who have been in Europe for a long time, because I believe they want the league to flourish.” He was referring to Brian McBRIDE, Kasey KellER and Eddie Lewis.

“I think it’s important to have some older heads around,” Reyna said. “That’s how the kids learn to become good pros. At Leverkusen, I had Bernd Schuster and Rudi Völler in the locker room every day. And they wanted to win all the time, even on the training ground. It helped me to have a long career.”

Contrary to reports, the Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids will not be joining F.C. Dallas. Davids, 33, left Tottenham Hotspur in England and signed an 18-month contract with Ajax Amsterdam yesterday. Davids played for Ajax between 1991 and 1996.

Jay Mariotti (who is a buffoon) rips Tank Johnson (who is a buffoon)

So now, absurdly, it's about racism. Given a chance to paint a remorseful self-portrait on a global stage, Tank Johnson again shamed himself, the Bears, the NFL and anyone who felt like giving him a second chance -- no, fourth chance -- in life. I thought he might apologize for the .44-caliber Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver, .50-caliber Desert Eagle handgun, .45-caliber handgun, .308-caliber Winchester rifle, two assault-style rifles and more than 500 rounds of ammunition found in his home within sight of his two daughters.

Instead, Tank dropped the R-bomb, bringing a sickening thud to what otherwise was a festive Super Bowl media day for the Bears. A man arrested three times in 18 months believes he isn't the problem as much as critics he views as racist. Consider it ample proof that the Bears should have left him at home, even if it cost them a vital defensive presence against the Indianapolis Colts. It's better to allow rushing yardage than hear a man on a court-approved work leave spew misplaced anger.

''A lot of people are demons,'' said Johnson, who was ringed by dozens of reporters and cameras. ''You've got to look at it like that. A lot of people are out to get people just to hurt people. I never thought about racism in my whole life. I've never had a person come to me and say anything racist. Now I look at it like, 'Wow, is it because I'm certain things?' I realize people buy into stereotypes. I'm young, black and have tattoos, so it's easy to stereotype me and put me in a category. I've learned a lot about people. When you learn about people, you learn to stay away from some of them.

''It's easy to clump somebody. When you see me walking down the street, I don't look like you, I don't talk like you, I don't walk like you. It's easy to say, 'He's just like the other people who we see all the time.' I've given you guys opportunities to stereotype me like that. It's unfortunate.''

Specifically, who are these demons?

''They come in so many shapes and sizes,'' he said. ''Sure, they're in the media; they're walking around out on the street. They're everywhere. God has showed me what a lot of the demons look like. God shows me myself every day. He shows me I'm his child. He has a plan for me. He loves me unconditionally. I love him unconditionally.''

Bill Simmons reviews media day with photos

Bizarre story of the day: Jen says the NHL may hire Eddie Gossage? …I have no idea what this means…

People who know Eddie Gossage say he could sell ice to an Eskimo. What the NHL is interested in investigating is if the TMS president can sell ice hockey to apathetic fans.

Sources confirmed that a headhunter has contacted Gossage on behalf of the NHL to gauge his interest in joining the league in a yet-to-be-determined executive position.

Gossage certainly brings what hockey lacks. He has a reputation for being a
marketing master, and he was a key player in helping raise NASCAR's profile nationally. The NHL sees itself in a similar position to that of auto racing 10 years ago and apparently has identified Gossage as a person capable of solving its attendance and TV-ratings issues.

Would Gossage be interested in saving hockey?

He declined to comment Tuesday except to say, "I haven't spoken to anybody from the NHL." A league spokesman also declined comment.

Stay tuned to see if the Home Depot/Chevy NHL playoffs is a possibility.

Yesterday, TJ Simers pulled Barbaro fans offsides

By now you've probably heard Barbaro bought the farm Monday, or as Vic the Brick put it on 570, Barbaro lost his "eight-month courageous battle."

I checked out "courageous" on for its meaning: "Possessing or characterized by courage," and then looked up "courage."

"The quality of mind of spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery."

I'm not surprised, of course, that Vic the Brick thinks of Barbaro as "a person," because over the last few months, he's had lots of company.

"Goodbye, brave and beautiful boy," wrote Adela Henninger, 47, of Rathdrum, Idaho, on the Penn Veterinary Medicine message board. "Go back to the wind, and nevermore have to tolerate the weakness and ignorance of mortal man. You're finally running in endless fields…. Run on, Barbaro."

Tell me the difference right now between the furry bump in the road that once was a squirrel, and Barbaro today. Courage? You don't think it takes courage to try and run across eight lanes of the I-5 only to get flattened three lanes shy.

Just what is the difference between a squirrel and a horse — discounting the fact you might've won money on the horse? How about a bunny and a horse?

"My dearest Barbaro," wrote Barbara, 49, of Fairfax, Va. "I will remember your brilliance at the Derby all the days of my life. Happy grazing in horse heaven. Long may you gallop."

I just wonder if squirrel heaven is located anywhere near horse heaven.

"Barbaro: You will live in my heart forever," wrote Abby Petrone, 47, of Chicago. "Your beauty and courage set an example for all of us. Heaven holds a special place for angels like you."

Now there's an idea for you, a remake of "It's a Wonderful Life" with a horse playing the role of Clarence the angel wannabe, and Zuzu Bailey saying, "Teacher says, every time a bell rings, a horse avoids getting sent to the glue factory." There won't be a dry eye in the theater.

OF THE first 50 messages left on the Penn Veterinary Medicine message board when I checked around noon, 48 were from women. What is it about women and dead horses?

You pick almost any day of the week and go to the track, and it's hard to find a woman out there looking to place a bet on a live one. You go to the track these days, and it's usually just old men hoping the jockey will whip their pick home.

From what I can tell, most women just want to stand there and look at horses, or draw them. I'm telling you, there's a better chance of the woman in your life drawing a horse than a sketch of you, which makes me wonder if man made a mistake when he chose to walk upright.

And today, TJ Simers gets emails

24 review

Jack Bauer drinking game - language

Oasis Wonderwall – still great after all these years.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Sturm Formula - Part 6

#9 - The Green Bay Packers
Total Points: 50
Total Playoff Years: 66S, 67S, 72, 82, 93, 94, 95C, 96S, 97SL, 98, 01, 02, 03, 04

Green Bay has had some HUGE gaps in their runs. After Lombardi left in 1967, they accomplished nearly nothing until hiring Mike Holmgren and Ron Wolf in 1992. They get the tie-breaker with the Rams for #9 due to the total number of Super Bowl wins (3) to the Rams (1).

#10 - The St Louis/Los Angeles Rams
Total Points: 50
Total Playoff Years: 67, 69, 73, 74C, 75C, 76C, 77, 78C, 79SL, 80, 83, 84, 85C, 86, 88, 89C, 99S, 00, 01SL, 03, 04

There is no question that the Rams and the Vikings have some of the best consistent quality over the course of the last 40 years. The Rams lost in 6 different NFC Championship Games, and lost two more Super Bowls. From 1973 to 1989, the Rams may have had the best run of anyone in the NFC, but only 1 Lombardi trophy.

#11 - The Minnesota Vikings
Total Points: 48
Total Playoff Years: 68, 69SL, 70, 71, 73SL, 74SL, 75, 76SL, 77C, 78, 80, 82, 87C, 88, 89, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98C, 99, 00C, 04

Without question, no team in football has had more good teams and won less than the Minnesota Vikings. Look at the playoff years that demonstrates no lengthy gaps between playoff caliber teams. But, alas, despite always being in the hunt, the Vikings have never closed the deal. Snakebit is an understatement.

#12 - Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts
Total Points: 41*
Total Playoff Years: 68SL, 70S, 71C, 75, 76, 77, 87, 95C, 96, 99, 00, 02, 03C, 04, 05, (06S)

Keep in mind that the Colts could still earn 6 more points with a win on Sunday. That would keep them in 12th place, though. The Colts had nice teams in the Shula and post-Shula eras, then some decent Bert Jones squads. Beyond that, and the 1995 Harbaugh run, it is all about Peyton Manning. And with him in his prime, they will be higher up this list in no time.

13. New York Giants
14. Buffalo
15. Chicago
16. Kansas City

17. Philadelphia
18. Tennessee
19. New York Jets
20. Cleveland

21. Tampa Bay
22. San Diego
23. Cincinnati
24. Seattle

25. Baltimore
26. Atlanta
27. Carolina
28. Detroit

29. Jacksonville
30. New Orleans
31. Arizona
32. Houston

Points in the Sturm Formula:
1 point for each year of making the playoffs
3 points for losing in the AFC/NFC Championship games
5 points for losing the Super Bowl
11 points for winning the Super Bowl

Day 2: Super Bowl XLI in Miami

I wish I had more time this morning, but with media day in 30 minutes, I have no choice but to leave you with 30% of my best blogging efforts.

The latest on the Cowboy is that Mike Singletary will be interviewed …Perhaps to be Norv’s DC? Or maybe a late surge for head coach – but I would call that a shocker of the highest order…

The Cowboys' coaching search took another twist Monday when the team said it would bring in Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary in for an interview on Tuesday.
Singletary, 48, has spent the last two seasons as San Francisco’s assistant head coach/defense and in 2003 and '04 he served as inside linebackers coach for Baltimore.

One of the most intense players in NFL history, Singletary was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 after spending 12 seasons with Chicago, finishing with 1,488 tackles and 10 straight Pro Bowl appearances. He was named All-Pro eight times.

He grew up in Houston and starred at Baylor before the Bears took him in the second round of the 1981 draft. Before entering coaching, he served as a motivational speaker and wrote three books. He and his wife, Kim, have seven children.

He will be the eighth candidate to replace Bill Parcells, joining Tony Sparano, Todd Haley, Todd Bowles, Jason Garrett, Wade Phillips, Gary Gibbs and Norv Turner.

The pending interview further puts the Cowboys in compliance with the "Rooney Rule," which states a team must interview at least one minority for a head coaching vacancy. According to the NFL, the Bowles' interview had satisfied the rule.

Revo, who appears to have heard my rantings from yesterday, defends those of the media that knows Norv with this column …but he still never answers for those 9 seasons as head coach…

There are quite a few of us around here who know Norv Turner, know him well enough to believe he should be the next coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

In fact, I don't think I've heard a single person who knows Norv, who was around here to watch him work from 1991-93, who has spoken up to say he shouldn't be Jerry Jones' choice to replace Bill Parcells. Doesn't mean that hasn't happened, but I haven't heard it.

But then, obviously, those of us who were around back then are all biased, because we happen to know and like Norv.

It's a double-edged sword, you see. If knowledge is supposed to be power, how come in this case it feels more like a handicap? We're not objective, the rather virulent and angry anti-Norv faction rails, thus we're not credible.

Interesting dilemma, isn't it? Do you, the fans, listen to the people who actually know Norv Turner? Or do you dismiss our opinions because we know Norv Turner and listen to those who don't know him at all?

I'm definitely biased, so I'm making an attempt to take myself out of the equation for the purposes of this column. The problem is that most of the people whose opinions I value most when it comes to the Cowboys also know Turner.

There's Troy Aikman, of course, but you already know how he feels about Turner. He made that pretty clear during the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Canton last August, when he asked Turner to introduce him and said they were as close as brothers.

I certainly haven't spoken to all of them, but I would be willing to bet you wouldn't find a single Cowboy from those Super Bowl teams who would say a bad word about Norv.

But in case it's just me -- and while we're waiting for Jerry to get on with his decision -- I checked in with a couple of other guys who have been around the Cowboys for a while to get another perspective.

Not surprisingly, Brad Sham and Babe Laufenberg could only say good things about Norv.

Like me, they're getting tired of hearing that the Cowboys must hire a defensive-minded head coach or that they shouldn't hire Turner because he's a retread, or that he's too nice a guy.

Anybody notice, by the way, that two of the "nicest" guys in the NFL -- Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith -- have their teams in the Super Bowl this week?

To the shock of nobody, Mickey has Norv ready for Canton

Does it also not make sense the Cowboys would hire an offensively-oriented head coach? We know all about the need to continue grooming the young Tony Romo. But don't forget this offense scored 425 points in 2006, two short of being second in the NFL, and really, all but one of the guys who had his fingerprints all over that offense has departed. Gone are Parcells (heaviest), Haley, Anthony Lynn, Chris Palmer (just hired by the Giants) and David Lee, leaving only Sparano and first-year tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens behind.

Plus, here is what everyone overlooks about Turner since he seems most heralded from his development of quarterbacks - from Troy Aikman, to getting Gus Frerotte to the Pro Bowl in Washington, to the Skins' Brad Johnson leading the league in passing, to grooming rookie Drew Brees at San Diego, to nursing Jay Fiedler for two seasons in Miami, to milking 3,495 passing yards out of Kerry Collins in Oakland, to nearly doubling the struggling Alex Smith's QB rating this season in San Francisco, going from 40.8 to 74.8, along with increasing his touchdown passes from one to 16.

Turner is a football-running-coordinating dude. Emmitt Smith led the NFL in rushing Turner's three years in Dallas. Terry Allen had two 1,300-yard seasons in Washington under Turner. Stephen Davis rushed for what was then a Washington single-season high 1,405 yards under Turner in 1999, and then turned in a 1,318-yard season in 2000 when Turner was fired after 13 games (7-6, the last three losses by a total of six points).

Let's see then. In his only season as offensive coordinator at San Diego, rookie LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 1,236 yards in an offense that jumped from 28th in the NFL to 11th. In 2002, his first of two seasons coordinating the Dolphins' offense, Ricky Williams rushed for 1,853 yards and then 1,372 the next year- the top two rushing performances in club history.

And this past season, San Francisco's Frank Gore, following a 608-yard rookie season, led the NFC in rushing with a club-record 1,690 yards, helping the 49ers to improve from 18 last year to sixth. That meant since arriving in Dallas in 1991, Turner's lead running backs, no matter if he was the head coach or the OC, averaged more than 1,200 yards a season.

The Cowboys sure can use some of all that.

Fine, you say, but what about the defense?

Glad you asked.

You know, the Cowboys were just about to turn this defense over to Bowles had Parcells remained, since the head coach would have kept an eye on what would have been a first-time coordinator. Obviously that's no longer the case, but I've got a great idea.

Make Bowles the defensive coordinator, but then bring in - and I want absolutely no snickering on this one - Dave Campo to oversee the defense, maybe be the assistant head coach or something. Look, Jacksonville was willing to let Campo, the Jaguars' assistant head coach/secondary coach, interview for the D-coordinator spot in San Francisco this past week. And say what you want about Campo as a head coach here, no better than 5-11 his three seasons, but he was - and still is - a damn good defensive coordinator. Remember the 2006 opener?

Who better to continue grooming Bowles, if that's the way the Cowboys want to go? Then, just go back to playing the 4-3, which would take no time at all - or added personnel - to transition to this year. Hands of Greg Ellis and DeMarcus Ware go on the ground at end. Jason Ferguson and a combination of Marcus Spears, Chris Canty and maybe Jay Ratliff inside. Bradie James in the middle, Akin Ayodele returns to his strong side and Bobby Carpenter goes weak. Go find me a free safety, and let's play.

So to ol' simpleton me, this all looks pretty easy, if not already thought out to this point from the very start. Cuz' remember, Jones doesn't fly all that much by the seat of his pants. He's had an idea all along.

Since no journalists wrote this, I am left to post you this rant from a Cowboys message board that I thought pointed out a fact or two about Norv’s head coaching career

Dan Snyder had little to do with Norv Tuner's failure in Washington. Yet so many on here including some in the media like to promote this myth that his tenure with the Skins was ruined by Snyder.

I have no love for Snyder but the fact remains that he has only owned the team since 1999. Norv was hired in 1994. Synder had nothing to do with Norv's dismal record during those 5 seasons.

1994 = 3-13

1995 = 6-10

1996 = 9-7

1997 = 8-7-1

1998 = 6-10

Now the first excuse for that record is that the Skins had no QB since Shuler was a bust and you can't blame Norv for that. To which I say "so what". The Parcells haters didn't excuse his record even though he came to a talentless team and didn't find a QB until half way through his final season. Why should Norv be let off the hook?

Plenty of coaches have had to deal with prospects who don't turn out as well as expected. That's part of the game and should not be used as an excuse. Parcells had a pretty damn good draft record here with us and people still criticized him for the one's who didn't work out.

Norv had one playoff appearance in his seven seasons with the Redskins. Parcells had two here with the Cowboys and many still wanted him gone. Why is one out of seven good enough for some of you guys but two out of four (50%) wasn't?

The problem is some of you are drinking the same koolade that Jerry is sipping from. You think that because Norv was our OC here during the golden age that somehow he will bring that same magic back to the Cowboys. You're living in the past. Did Dave Wannstedt bring any magic to the Bears or Dolphins? Did Campo bring any magic to our Boys? Did Butch Davis bring any magic to the Browns? Did Jimmy Johnson take any with him to the Dolphins? What makes you think Norv will bring any here? What has he done in his past two HC tenures that would indicate this?

If you count his time in Oakland he has 1 playoff appearance in 9 seasons. Thats the kind of magic you want sprinkled on this organization? Of course many of you will excuse his time in Oakland because of Al Davis. Al Davis didn't seem to prevent Gruden from winning when he was there. Bill Callahan managed to take Gruden's team to the Super Bowl despite Al Davis. If you go by the logic (or excuse) that no one can win under Davis perhaps we should hire Callahan since he performed a miraculous feat by winning the AFC Championship.

And why exactly is Al Davis any worse (or much worse) than Jones? If Davis walked all over Norv what do you think Jerry will do? Al has an AFC Championship since 2000. What does Jerry have? Zero Playoff Victorys. Many have compared Snyder to Jones and Jones to Davis. They're all meddling owners, mavericks who march to the beat of their own drummer. What makes you think Norv's third time with a meddling owner will be the charm? Where is this faith in Norv Turner coming from? Are some of you so stuck in the past that you actually think the results will somehow be different since he will be coaching the Cowboys?

Norv is the teflon coach, none of his failures seem to stick or matter (to some of you). Just remember one thing, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Here are the facts on Dan Snyder’s purchase of the Skins

In May 1999, he purchased the team and their then two-year old stadium for $800 million following the death of the previous owner Jack Kent Cooke, the most expensive transaction in sporting history. The deal was financed largely through money, including a $340 million borrowed from Société Générale and $155 million debt assumed on the stadium. Annual loan servicing costs are an estimated $50 million.

Joe writes:

You’re down on Turner’s previous experience. Belichick had 8 years before he became “the great coach”. Some times the situation is just right for someone.

I hope everyone is right and I am wrong on this. But, the Belichick stuff needs to stop. Look, just because one guy had a less-than-great run in one city and then won 3 Super Bowls in his next stop doesn’t mean that every coach will do it. That is right out of the Heath Shuler Theory…

Welcome back, Mike Modano …They need you badly…

Every action, every drill carried a special purpose Monday for Mike Modano.
Each was a test for Modano's healing hip, which has sidelined him since Dec. 4. The objective was the same, whether he was racing up the ice with familiar linemates Jere Lehtinen and Jussi Jokinen or going hard into the corner to check Trevor Daley or practicing one-timers with Philippe Boucher.

Modano called it a "mental checklist" – one that he passed. Barring a relapse, he expects to play tonight against the San Jose Sharks, which would be at least one game ahead of schedule.

"It's as close as I'm going to get," Modano said, when asked if he's 100 percent. "It's not going to feel any better by Thursday or Saturday. The sooner I can get in there and get my legs going and get into those game situations, the better."

Modano's progress has accelerated since seeing a specialist in Nashville on Jan. 18.
A cortisone injection reduced swelling and helped break up scar tissue in Modano's upper hip.

"I think we were waiting for that day where I didn't feel anything that held me back, just testing it and really seeing explosiveness and what was there," Modano said. "The last five days have been like that. That kind of gave me a good idea that we've finally turned a corner."

The Stars, who have been getting healthier since the All-Star break, could use Modano at full strength.

He had 20 points in his first 27 games while playing almost 18 minutes a game. Without Modano, the Stars are just one game above .500 and have been outscored by six goals. His absence was felt even more against Pacific foes. The Stars were 8-1-0 against the division prior to losing Modano and have gone only 5-5-0 since.

Bill Simmons is here

For years and years, I've been arguing for a switch to the "Big Three," where we'd hand the Super Bowl exclusively to Miami, San Diego and New Orleans (rotating every three years) and ban every other city from having it ... well, unless they build a 75,000-seat football stadium in Las Vegas, and we expand the concept to a "Big Four." Either way, the Super Bowl should be given only to cities that double as bachelor party destinations or feasible destinations for a "Real World" season. Think about it. If you were a best man throwing a bachelor party, you'd never say the words, "Hey, guys, we're going to Jacksonville!" If you were an MTV executive planning a "Real World" season, you'd never say, "Hey, what about Houston?" So why would we hold the Super Bowl in those places? Isn't Super Bowl week supposed to be fun?

Until recently, the NFL agreed with me. You could always count on the big game to take place in Miami, New Orleans, San Diego or Tampa (a poor man's Miami). Then they started handing out Super Bowls as rewards for owners who built state-of-the-art stadiums, which defeated the whole purpose of the event. Shouldn't this be a vacation? Shouldn't it be a memorable week for just about everyone on both teams, as well as a seminal experience for any fans who travel to support their team? For instance, one of my friends (a Seahawks fan) voyaged to Detroit to see Seattle's first-ever appearance and is still griping about it 12 months later: "I waited all those years for my team to make it, and they do, and then it's in freaking Detroit in the dead of winter?" Exactly.

You won't hear the Colts and Bears fans complaining this week. Here's a place that definitely passes my Movie Test, especially when you're driving from the airport to South Beach and having about 145 "Miami Vice," "Scarface" and "Grand Theft Auto" flashbacks. (The weirdest thing about Miami is that I haven't been here in 16 years but I feel like I know the place inside and out. And sure, I feel that way because of two Ferrari-driving TV detectives, a megalomaniacal Cuban coke dealer and a video game that allowed you to run over pedestrians and shoot cops, but still.) Everyone uses the words "decadent" and "swank" to describe Miami, and even though those words sound like porn magazines, I can't quibble with either description. Even on a Sunday night, the famous stretch of hotels along Collins Avenue (right along the strip in South Beach) was hopping with gorgeous women, overdressed foreigners, club hoppers and older guys wearing blue blazers and looking like they just showed up for the Judge Smails Look-Alike Contest. I met a friend for a drink at the Raleigh Hotel, where the bar was tucked behind the hotel and hugged along the pool, replete with tiki huts and lava lamps and cabanas and soft couches, and it stretched as long as a football field. If you closed your eyes, you could even hear the ocean humming in the distance. Now this was a scene.

Greggo Jumps

Fight for your right to party

Irv and Joe was done last night here in Miami…Should be radio gold today…

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Sturm Formula - Part 5

#13 - The New York Giants
Total Points: 36
Total Playoff Years: 81, 84, 85, 86S, 89, 90S, 93, 97, 00SL, 02, 05, 06

The Giants won two Super Bowls in 5 years (lest we forget) and compiled many points during the Parcells years. Before and since, it has been pretty slim pickings - save for the Super Bowl run in 2000. Nothing wrong with #13 on the list.

#14 - The Buffalo Bills
Total Points: 34
Total Playoff Years: 66C, 74, 80, 81, 88C, 89, 90SL, 91SL, 92SL, 93SL, 95, 96, 98, 99

Close calls all around for the Bills. Four Super Bowls, four defeats. But, the quality of that team that Marv Levy put together is there for all to see as they were in the mix every year except 1994 from 88 to 96. That is impressive in the NFL these days, but still no rings.

#15 - The Chicago Bears
Total Points: 31*
Total Playoff Years: 77, 79, 84C, 85S, 86, 87, 88C, 90, 91, 94, 01, 05, (06S)

The Bears can still get 6 more points in this Super Bowl if they win it. That would shoot them past the Giants and the Bills into 13th place. As it stands, they sit in 15th place, with the Super Bowl XX crown jewel. The Bears wish they had more to show for the 1980's powerhouse, but they sit in the top half of the league.

#16 - The Kansas City Chiefs
Total Points: 30
Total Playoff Years: 66SL, 68, 69S, 71, 86, 90, 91, 92, 93C, 94, 95, 97, 03, 06

The Chiefs barely rank in the top half of the league, and have one world title (Super Bowl IV) along with a far number of nice teams that have not quite achieved in the post-season. Overall, not bad, but their fans would have liked plenty more.

17. Philadelphia
18. Tennessee
19. New York Jets
20. Cleveland

21. Tampa Bay
22. San Diego
23. Cincinnati
24. Seattle

25. Baltimore
26. Atlanta
27. Carolina
28. Detroit

29. Jacksonville
30. New Orleans
31. Arizona
32. Houston

Points in the Sturm Formula:
1 point for each year of making the playoffs
3 points for losing in the AFC/NFC Championship games
5 points for losing the Super Bowl
11 points for winning the Super Bowl

Day 1: Super Bow XLI Miami

Monday Morning in Miami. We are in Miami, and the sun is shining, but wow – high speed internet in the hotel is just not all it claims to be. Nevertheless, I will read a book as the next page loads and still try to turn out a respectable blog this morning.

Two stories are on my sports mind today, the first was reflecting on a week that got my hockey pants going crazy. Sidney Crosby was hyped before his career in the NHL began, and now, about 18 months into that career, I have determined he is worth every bit of the hype. After seeing the kid all week, watching him electrify the arena on Friday night, and then watching him score a goal from his rear end and get 3 more assists on Saturday in Phoenix, I am now ready to make him my default “find the guy on Directv because there is nothing else on” dude. He is the chosen one. I have high hopes for the future of the NHL on his back. Don’t think one guy can do it? He will need some help, but they have the star they wished for.

The other story is the story that has been obvious for a week now. The Cowboys may interview everyone in the country, but the fact has been that they can’t wait to hire Norv Turner.

I don’t think this is a good idea because it is being done for all the wrong reasons.

1) He was here for the glory days.
2) He knows everyone in the Cowboys family.
3) He would appease the local media and former players.
4) He develops young QB’s.

Please allow me a thought on these topics:

He was here for the glory days.

Really? Excellent. I hope then he is bringing Troy, Emmitt, and Michael Irvin back with him in the time machine. Wasn’t Dave Campo here for the glory days, too? We are all looking to recapture the times we got something right, and there is no question the Cowboys got it right in the early 1990’s, but there are about 50 reasons the Cowboys were so great back then and Norv may be just 1 of them.

He knows everyone in the Cowboys family.

Is that supposed to be important? I am pretty sure Ron Rivera could meet everyone quickly, and learn his way around Valley Ranch.

He would appease the local media and former players..

Once again, when I hear something is being done that Galloway and Hansen want, that Aikman and Moose wants, and that everyone else who was around the team in 1992 wants it makes me wonder: Do they want him hired because he is a good coach (career record 58-82) or do they want him hired because he is their buddy? Look, it is not a shock to anyone that Troy approves of this – Norv inducted him into the Hall of Fame! I am sure Troy would love a Bill Bates hiring, too. But is this what we need?

He develops young QB’s

First, I thought that was why Jason Garrett was hired. And, besides Troy, who else is this great success story? All I know is I watched 7 years of poor QB play in Washington. Heath Shuler did not develop at all, and Gus Frerotte spared me to death, too. Sorry. I don’t buy that he is a genius. And unlike everyone else around here, I cannot understand how we can all ignore nearly 10 years as a head coach in the NFL where he managed to accomplish almost nothing!

Seriously. How can we jump all over Bill Parcells for not winning a playoff game in 4 years and then be eager to hire a head coach who is 24 games under .500 9 seasons as a head coach? He only went to the playoffs 1 time!

I just don’t buy this hire. I wish I had better feelings about this for you, but consider me less-than-ecstatic about this. Nevertheless, I bet they hire him in the next few days.


Norv interviewed yesterday

On Sunday, Turner, the Cowboys' offensive coordinator from 1991 to '93, had a lengthy interview with owner and general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones and met with outgoing coach Bill Parcells.

Turner is the seventh candidate to meet with the Joneses to be Parcells' successor, and while the team has offered no timetable on naming a coach, no other interviews are scheduled.

"To me, in this league, it's all about timing and circumstance, and the timing of this presents an opportunity," Turner said. "I've got a lot of confidence in the things I can do. I think there are a lot of people in this league that look at it in that manner. I'm confident that if this opportunity happens, it'll be a great opportunity."

Turner compiled a 58-82-1 regular-season record as a head coach in Washington (1994-2000) and Oakland (2004-05). However the Redskins have had one winning season since he was fired with three games to play, and the Raiders recently named their third coach in three seasons.

Having won two Super Bowls with the Cowboys, mentored Troy Aikman and overseen the formation of the Triplets – Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin – Turner has more of an 'in' with Jerry Jones than the other candidates.

Turner said the familiarity helped in the interview process.

"From a comfort level, certainly knowing what Jerry is looking for, from my standpoint now, I hope it helps," Turner said. "There is not that period of time trying to get used to someone or figure someone out. But it was very in-depth. We covered an awful lot of things in the time we were together."

One subject was Garrett, who, according to sources, would be the offensive coordinator if he is not the head coach, and the other was Terrell Owens.

"When I was hired in Oakland, I tried to hire Jason Garrett, so that tells you a little something about how I feel about Jason," Turner said. "He's coached a couple of years now, and even though he's not been coaching [long], he's been acting as a coach for a lot of years, and he's helped a lot of guys get ready to play."

Turner has experience with a controversial receiver as well, having dealt with Randy Moss in Oakland.

"I want to coach good players," Turner said. "When you get into a situation in terms of being with a new team, there's an evaluation process, and there's a lot of things that go into it. I like the players that are here, and T.O. is one of them."

Turner has the support of Aikman, whom he presented at last summer's Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony, and he has won an NFC East title and playoff game more recently than the Cowboys. In 1999, the Redskins won the division and advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs, only to lose when a field goal snap attempt went awry (sound familiar?).

Turner said he and Parcells had a conversation about the team's personnel. Having beaten the Cowboys in 2004 while with the Raiders, Turner had some understanding of the talent in place.

"This is a great job," Turner said. "It's a good football team. I think the things that Coach Parcells has done have left this team in position where good things are going to happen for it. ... This team was a playoff team, and obviously one play away from going to the next round, so, yeah, there's good players here."

And look who will run the defense!

But he has a .411 winning percentage as a head coach in eight-plus seasons. As coach of the Redskins from 1994 through 13 games of the 2000 season, Turner went to the playoffs once and finished 1-1. Combine his time in Washington with the two seasons he spent as the Raiders coach, and Turner is 58-82-1.

"To me, in this league, it's all about timing and circumstance, and the timing of this presents an opportunity," Turner said. "I've got a lot of confidence in the things I can do. I think there are a lot of people in this league that look at it in that manner."

Turner also has experience coaching talented, but sometimes controversial, wide receivers. In Oakland, he coached Randy Moss and Jerry Porter. In Dallas, he managed Michael Irvin. That could make the possibility of coaching Terrell Owens seem less daunting.

"I want to coach good players," Turner said. "When you get into a situation in terms of being with a new team, there's an evaluation process, and there's a lot of things that go into it. I like the players that are here, and T.O. is one of them."

Another item of discussion was defense, and specifically, who will run it. On the list of names considered to be the Cowboys' next defensive coordinator is former head coach and current Jaguars assistant Dave Campo.

Gil Brandt’s fun facts …Does this guy know how to party or what?

Of the 32 teams in the NFL, 26 of them have participated in a Super Bowl, 13 in the AFC and 13 in the NFC -- another sign that the competitive balance in the NFL is very good.

Six teams have lost the final game of the regular season and still gone on to win the Super Bowl. The Bears lost their final game this season.

No team has lost three games in December and won the Super Bowl. The Colts lost three in December this season.

There are three players named Manning in this year's Super Bowl. Two play for the Bears and one for the Colts. The Bears have two Browns, two Johnsons and two Mannings on the active roster this year.

The most players ever with the same last name for one team in the Super Bowl was four in Super Bowl XXII. Denver had four Jones: Daryll, David, Leonard and Rulon.
The fewest passes attempted in a Super Bowl game was seven in Super Bowl VIII by Bob Griese. The most was by Jim Kelly, 58 in Super Bowl XXVI.

Don Shula has the most games as a head coach in the Super Bowl with six: Super Bowl III (Baltimore Colts), Super Bowl VI, Super Bowl VII, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XIX (Miami).

Dan Reeves has been to nine Super Bowls as a player, assistant coach and head coach -- the most by a single person.

There are nine active roster players in Super Bowl XLI (five for Chicago and four for Indianapolis) who have played in a previous Super Bowl game.

Bears: Brian Griese, Brad Maynard, Fred Miller, Muhsin Muhammad and Dante Wesley
Colts: Dan Klecko, Anthony McFarland, Ricky Proehl and Adam Vinatieri

There will be 3,500 media folks at Super Bowl XLI. The population of Bears head coach Lovie Smith's hometown of Big Sandy, Texas, is 1,322.

Of the 41 Super Bowl MVPs (there were two in Super Bowl XI), 20 have been quarterbacks, seven running backs, five wide receivers, two defensive ends, two linebackers, two safeties, one cornerback, one defensive tackle and one kick returner.

Dallas has scored the most points in Super Bowl games (221). Denver has allowed the most points (206).

The Chicago Bears are one of five teams never to lose a Super Bowl game (49ers, 5-0; Ravens, 1-0; Bears, 1-0; Jets, 1-0; Buccaneers, 1-0).

Shaq the crime fighter

Miami Heat center and Miami Beach reserve Officer Shaquille O'Neal has done it again -- this time, helping police nab a hit-and-run driver early Sunday.

It was 4 a.m., and O'Neal and bodyguard Jerome Crawford had just returned from an away game in Chicago.

They were outside Crawford's Coconut Grove home unloading luggage when a car driven by Emmnueo Cibrin, 18, veered into O'Neal's parked 2007 Cadillac Escalade.

O'Neal and his bodyguard saw Cibrin leaving the scene, and leapt into the damaged sport utility vehicle to give chase. They tailed Cibrin and passenger Junior Rondon for about five minutes before catching up with the two Tampa friends near Southwest 17th Avenue and Coral Way.

Rondon, 20, said he and Cibrin had just left the Vision nightclub on Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove when they struck the open driver-side door of a black Cadillac Escalade parked in the street. Cibrin kept driving, Rondon said, but with good reason.

''He was going to stop, but then we saw the Escalade chasing us,'' Rondon told The Miami Herald on Sunday. ``We got scared and kept driving, you know?''
Cibrin could not be reached for comment.

They stopped a few minutes later, near a gas station, and Rondon said he and his friend were shocked to see the seven-foot-one O'Neal step out of the Escalade.
''I couldn't believe that,'' Rondon said. ``Of all the people. I mean, damn.''
The Heat center was stern with the young men, who came to Miami to party for the weekend, Rondon said.

''He told us to shut up,'' Rondon said. 'He said, `I don't want to talk to you right now.' ''

O'Neal flagged down a nearby police officer, Rondon said. Police ticketed Cibrin for several violations, including leaving the scene of an accident, Rondon said, adding that drunken driving was not one of the charges. The amount of damage done to the Escalade was unknown.

Police confirmed that they responded to an accident at the scene, and a spokesman said further details and the police report would be released today.

O'Neal has been sidelined much of the season while recovering from knee surgery, but that hasn't slowed his fight against crime. The 34-year-old has repeatedly used his police skills since being sworn in as a Miami Beach police reserve officer in December 2005.

In September of that year, while he was still in police training, O'Neal helped officers capture a man accused of a hate crime.

O'Neal saw someone jump out of a car and hurl a bottle toward two men walking near Third Street and Washington Avenue in Miami Beach. The man also shouted slurs against gays, police said.

O'Neal followed the suspect's car until he found an officer to flag down. Police arrested the suspect and charged him with assault.

Stars lose ….Turco bad – offense bad. Running on fumes…

The result was a 4-1 Anaheim victory Sunday that all but ended the Stars' hopes of winning the Pacific Division. The Stars (29-19-2) dropped 10 points behind Anaheim with 32 games remaining.

Tippett described the two McDonald goals as "big momentum swings."

"We come out and we're getting our feet wet in the game. Then we give up a soft one from one side," Tippett said. "We get ourselves back in the game and give up a soft one from the other side. We talk about all the time that our margin for error is very slim, and those are obvious plays that have an impact on the game."

After falling behind by two goals and being dominated in the first period, the Stars seemed poised for a turnaround.

Jere Lehtinen's pretty backhand on a penalty shot cut the margin to one 7:46 into the third period.

"Everybody was thinking that was good, that was what we needed," Lehtinen said.
Then Turco whiffed with his glove hand on a 35-foot snap shot, and the Stars were headed for their third consecutive loss to the Ducks. Turco has allowed 13 goals on 73 shots in the last three games against Anaheim. That translates into a 4.88 goals-against average and a .822 save percentage.

"You're not going to get the outcome you want unless you get better goaltending," Tippett said.

Turco was an unlikely candidate for a meltdown.

He had helped the undermanned Stars to a three-game winning streak just before the All-Star break.

Unlikely candidate for a meltdown???? Turco?

Gump Worsley, 77

Lounging at home in the off-season in 1963, Worsley got a call from a friend to tell him he had been traded to Montreal along with Leon Rochefort, Dave Balon and Len Ronson for Plante, Phil Goyette and Don Marshall.

He turned on the radio and heard it himself.

"To this day, the Rangers have never told me I was traded," Worsley told the Hall of Fame.

He went from facing 40-to-50 shots per game in New York to a team that was a perennial powerhouse, still with some of the players from the team that won five straight Stanley Cups from 1956 to 1960.

Injuries caused him to spend most of the next two seasons with the Quebec Aces, but he was called up in 1964-65 to help Montreal win four Cups in a five-year span, interrupted only by Toronto's last Stanley Cup triumph in 1966-67.

"With the trade, he got his reward by playing for a very good team," said former goaltender Ken Dryden, who joined the Canadiens in 1971.

"I played against him his last couple of seasons in Minnesota. He still wasn't wearing a mask, which was unbelievable."

Worsley was sold to the expansion North Stars for cash in 1970 and retired, but was talked into playing four more years in Minnesota.

He wore a mask only for the final six games before he retired in 1974 to his long-time home in Beloeil, Que. He then worked many years as a scout for the North Stars.
Dryden, whose No. 29 is to be retired Monday night at the Bell Centre, knew Worsley only from watching him play on TV while growing up.

"He was in that first generation of goaltenders that I watched - Hall and Sawchuk and Plante and Gump," he said.

There was a family connection, however.

Until well into the 1960s, teams carried only one goalie and, if he was hurt, the home team had a replacement on hand who would go in for either team. Dryden's brother Dave, then a junior, served that role in Toronto.

"He'd get $10 and watch the game, which I thought was just heaven," Ken Dryden said. "One game, early in the second period, Worsley got hurt and my brother had to play.

"He had to wear Gump's jersey, and they weren't exactly the same size."

Sidney Crosby loves to party

Sometimes youth and noteriety has it's downside.

Sidney Crosby learned all about this Wednesday evening while attending a private party with all of the NHL's elite.

According to Martin Leclerc of Le Journal de Montreal, Crosby tagged along with the NHL All-Stars entourage to "The Ghost", a Dallas nightclub atop the chic W hotel.

While the NHL's leading scorer was enjoying the evening in the company of other players, some "good samiritan" pointed out to the establishments owners that Crosby was only 19.

The legal drinking age in the state of Texas is 21.

Shortly after 12:30 a.m., Crosby was asked to leave the club, even though it had been booked for the purpose of a post ASG celebration, and he is seen as the biggest star amongst the gathering.

Seemingly in Texas, the law is the law.

Unperturbed, Crosby simply hit another club in downtown Dallas, where some other players had gotten together.

Yesterday, enjoying a day off, Crosby found some icetime and worked out alone, while awaiting the other Penguins players who arrived last night in time for today's game against the Dallas Stars.

Top Rated Super Bowls of all-time

Great Bears QB’s in history

Chad Hutchinson, Stanford: Claimed off a surfboard following Rex Grossman's knee injury that ended his 2004 season. Defeated the Minnesota Vikings in his first start, looking like the answer to the Bears' quarterback problems of the past. Played very average in four straight losses to end the 2004 season. Looked to start in 2005 after Grossman's last injury, but was atrocious in the preseason. Cut. Signed: 2004 Started in: 2004 Released: 2005

Adrian Wilson of the Cardinals does something impossible

Crosby scores Saturday from his seat…

Sidney Crosby’s goal I was amazed by and asked him about the other day…

Mike Legg – the guy who scored that goal first.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Sturm Formula - Part 4

#17 - The Philadelphia Eagles
Total Points: 30
Total Playoff Years: 78, 79, 80SL, 81, 88, 89, 90, 92, 95, 96, 00, 01C, 02C, 03C, 04SL, 06

Philadelphia = 30 points. Philadelphia Before Andy Reid = 14 points. Since, Andy Reid = 16 points. I think that proves that he has done a pretty nice job for them. Still 0 Super Bowl titles, but there is no doubt that this team has been the NFC power since 2000.

#18 - The Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers
Total Points: 28
Total Playoff Years: 67C, 69, 78C, 79C, 80, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 99SL, 00, 02C, 03

Obviously, the Oilers had some real nice teams, but never could get past the AFC title game. Then, the Titans finished 1 yard short in Super Bowl XXXIV. Therefore, they are in the midst of a number of similar teams that had some nice teams, but generally no titles (aside from the Jets).

#19 - The New York Jets
Total Points: 26
Total Playoff Years: 68S, 69, 81, 82C, 85, 86, 91, 98C, 01, 02, 04, 06

Super Bowl III is still the one shining moment for the Jets. They have had some nice years, but have not had the type of playoff runs that score many points in the Sturm Formula.

#20 - The Cleveland Browns
Total Points: 24
Total Playoff Years: 67, 68C, 69C, 71, 72, 80, 82, 85, 86C, 87C, 88, 89C, 94, 02

If only the Drive didn't happen. If only the Fumble didn't happen. If only. A rich tradition has gone by the boards since 1966.

21. Tampa Bay
22. San Diego
23. Cincinnati
24. Seattle

25. Baltimore
26. Atlanta
27. Carolina
28. Detroit

29. Jacksonville
30. New Orleans
31. Arizona
32. Houston

Points in the Sturm Formula:
1 point for each year of making the playoffs
3 points for losing in the AFC/NFC Championship games
5 points for losing the Super Bowl
11 points for winning the Super Bowl

Short and sweet this morning, but anticipate teams 17-20 to be posted this afternoon…

Chicago Bulls get a fine win over the Mavs

An ugly, Eastern Conference brand of ball broke out, and the Mavericks never adapted, shooting a pitiful 31.2 percent as their winning streak died at eight games.

When you start a game 3-for-20 from the field, you can expect to be fighting uphill the rest of the night, and the Mavericks usually were down by double figures. A three-point play by Josh Howard, who was epically awful from the field (4-for-20), got them within 74-70 with 6:24 to go. They would get within three at 79-76, but P.J. Brown and Kirk Hinrich scored the next five points, and the Bulls pulled away.
It's been so long since the Mavericks lost by 31 in the second game of the season at Houston that a game like this is a stunner. They had to remind themselves that this was the end of a 2-1 road trip and that they've still won 21 of 23.

Not much solace in that after a clunker like Thursday.

"The Bulls were outstanding from start to finish," Johnson said. "They came out ready to play and really made us look bad. When we started off the season 0-4, we had one game at Houston when we didn't look good at all, and this is another one of those games. We just didn't have it in any area.

"This team just didn't look like the Mavericks at all."

The Mavericks got 28 points from Dirk Nowitzki, but he was 7-for-22 from the field, and their rebounding was a step slow. They were beaten 59-45 on the boards after winning the rebounding game in nine of the previous 10 outings.

A case of the Bens hurt the Mavs, as Ben Wallace had 17 rebounds, and Ben Gordon poured in 30 points.

"Everybody is a little spoiled, and we expect to win all of them, but to win two out of three on the road in the NBA – it's not like we're playing in the Patriot League," Jerry Stackhouse said. "This is the NBA. You got guys capable of beating you any night.

"But we don't like to lose. We don't like to answer these questions."

Mavs value wins ….

The Mavericks, at $463 million, rate No. 3 on the Forbes magazine list of most valuable NBA franchises. The New York Knicks lead the annual list at $592 million, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers, the Mavericks, Chicago and Houston

JJT in his new role of lighting things on fire, flames Jerry

This isn't about Jason Garrett or Wade Phillips or Norv Turner or Gary Gibbs. And it won't be about whomever else Jerry seeks permission to interview.

This is strictly about his process. It is flawed. If this weren't a family newspaper, the language regarding this process would be stronger. Much stronger.

No one hires the offensive or defensive coordinator before the head coach. And no
one hires a coordinator and says if we can't find anybody better, then we'll make you the head coach.

That is the dumbest thing ever.

Now, maybe Jerry has a perfectly logical explanation. But he's gone underground these days, so there's no official explanation for why one of the smartest businessmen you'll ever meet has chosen such a dysfunctional way to hire a coach for one of the world's most recognizable franchises.

The problem with hiring coordinators before the head coach is the message it sends. It tells the players the coach isn't really running the team because he didn't even get to pick the two assistants who should have the most impact on whether he succeeds.

It says Jerry is running the team. Again.

If we're being honest, we all knew Jerry was going to take that approach with this
coach, especially after his four-year, $20 million investment with Bill Parcells failed to produce an NFC East title or a playoff win.

And he's done it that way before with limited success. Remember, Parcells was the first coach since Jimmy Johnson to have contractual authority to hire and fire assistant coaches. That's important because it removes any ambiguity about who's in charge of the staff.

If Jerry were talking, he'd probably say Miami locked up defensive coordinator Dom Capers to a three-year deal before hiring Cam Cameron as head coach. Those same Dolphins are 38-42 over the last five seasons without a playoff win. Following their lead seems like a bad idea.

The coach, whoever it is, needs the freedom to bring in people he trusts to spread his philosophy throughout the team's Valley Ranch training complex. When Jones hires the offensive coordinator first, you don't get that.

There is, however, an exception.

If Jones has already spoken to the seventh head coach in franchise history and discussed Garrett's strengths and weaknesses, then it would make sense. Of course, if that's the case, why all of the mystery – just make an announcement.

Another theory says Garrett is really the guy Jerry wants to hire; he just can't convince himself to pull the trigger. If that's the case, then good luck finding a coach. No one wants to come in here and hold the job for a couple of years – or losses – until Jerry thinks Garrett is ready to assume the throne.

Tonight, Crosby is here, and with the scheduling insanity of this league, this could be your last chance to see him here for years. Advice? Get to the Stars-Penguins tonight …Standing Room Only is on sale, I was told…

Stars get some bodies back

Reinforcements have arrived as promised, leaving the Stars' dressing room more crowded and much more boisterous than it was before the All-Star break.

Five players -- defensemen Sergei Zubov and Philippe Boucher, forwards Jeff Halpern and Steve Ott and goalie Mike Smith -- are expected to return from injuries tonight against Pittsburgh after all had good practices Wednesday.

"We'll get one last read at the pregame skate, but they all look like they could be players," coach Dave Tippett said.

"Right now, you're looking at a situation where teams are talking about adding players [through trades] for the stretch drive. We're going to add our own players. Hopefully, it gives us that little kick that we need."

That might not even be the best news for the Stars on Thursday.

Mike Modano practiced with the team for the first time since late December and seemed pleased with his progress.

Modano, who has missed 21 games because of a torn hip muscle, had an injection of a cortisone mixture Jan. 18 and waited a week before returning to the ice. He said he might play again in as soon as two weeks.

Solid NHL Player Survey

The latest in paying Beckham

How does one go about paying David Beckham's substantial contract?

Let us count the 250 million ways.

Of course, the Galaxy isn't on the hook for that massive sum but even so, hot dogs and beer sold at the Home Depot Center will carry the freight only so far.

So the club has to start somewhere to cover its part of his five-year deal. Thus: "The Los Angeles Galaxy have announced that the club will hold open tryouts for male soccer players ages 18 and older who believe they can succeed at the Major League Soccer level on February 10th and 11th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California."

An application online, along with a $130 registration fee — actually this isn't the first time the team has charged a fee for tryouts — are the opening requirements for this American-Soccer-Idol-Comes-to-Carson experiment. Hey, $130 a player adds up quickly. One hundred applicants bring in a quick $13,000.

In other words, one fast afternoon of shopping on Melrose Avenue for Posh.

Crosby Gatorade

Super Bowl XXXI

Will your Ipod blend?

Sidney Crosby is on our show today, by the way, if you want to hear the best player in hockey. Nice kid, generic answers, but already a superstar who will turn 20 in 7 months.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Sturm Formula - Part 3

Here are teams 21-24. For the Rules, check back to parts 1 & 2 (linked below)...

#21 The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Total Points: 23
Total Playoff Years: 79C, 81, 82, 97, 99C, 00, 01, 02S, 05

Tampa Bay has shot up the list since I started doing this years ago, and the last decade has pushed them from nearly dead last into the middle third of the league. All Hail, Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden as the uniform change has changed the fortune of this floor mat of the 1980's.

#22 The San Diego Chargers
Total Points: 17
Total Playoff Years: 79, 80C, 81C, 82, 92, 94SL, 95, 04, 06

With many years of decent teams that never did much in the playoffs, the Chargers have scored some points - just not as many as they would have liked. Dan Fouts and the boys never could get over the hump. But they always had nice uniforms.

#23 - The Cincinnati Bengals
Total Points: 16
Total Playoff Years: 70, 73, 75, 81SL, 82, 88SL, 90, 05

Despite 15 seasons between playoff years from 1990-2005, the Bengals used two Super Bowl losses in the 1980's to grab a decent position.

#24 - The Seattle Seahawks
Total Points: 15
Total Playoff Years: 83C, 84, 87, 88, 99, 03, 04, 05SL, 06

The Seahawks have been bad far more than they have been good, but, obviously Holmgren has the team as good as it has ever been in the history of the franchise. Once again, uniform/stadium change coincides with fortune changes.

25. Baltimore
26. Atlanta
27. Carolina
28. Detroit

29. Jacksonville
30. New Orleans
31. Arizona
32. Houston

Good Times

The All-Star Game is over, and a good time seemed to be had by all. Sure, you might have enjoyed it a bit more if Crosby and Ovechkin both had a hat trick last night. Sure, you might have liked it a bit more if the microphone worked for the anthem and the stopwatch worked for the fastest skater, but for the most part everyone seemed relatively pleased with the proceedings.

Is the league where it needs to be? No. Is it on its way? I sure hope so. But honestly, I am not as positive as I once was. Whether it is the goofy scheduling bit or the general lack of animosity on the ice these days, I believe this to be a critical time for My NHL. But for a few days, we just collected most of the talent (Iginla, Jagr, Hasek, Kovalchuk?) in the league and just enjoyed some good old hockey. Much like other All-Star games in other sports, it is what it is.

But, let that be a lesson to all of you that think more scoring is the key to more popularity. That is crazy. A major increase in scoring would only serve to turn hockey into Arena Football. In that sport, they have cheapened the value of a Touchdown so much that it is about as thrilling as an NFL first down. No thanks. The complete lack of excitement last night after the 19th goal should have made it clear that cheapening a goal is not something we should aspire to do.

It was good to have the show in Dallas. My hockey fever is rising now that football winds down. But make no mistake, with the sport hidden on the television and on the sports page, this game needs to play its cards properly here or it risks falling even further on the landscape.

Crosby and Ovechkin did not quite light it up

They flocked to the American Airlines Center to see the Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin show in the NHL all-star game.

But, by the time the dust had settled and the red light behind both nets burned out, it was Brian Rolston, Rick Nash and Joe Sakic who were the heroes as the West defeated the East 12-9 in the annual shinny game.

While Crosby was one of only six players on the East not to record a point as Daniel Briere had a game-high five-point night, the West squad spread the scoring around, Rolston, Nash and Sakic all had four-point nights.

Sakic is now first all-time in assists in the all-star game with 16 in his career. There were 17 new faces and the all-stars had promised this game would be more competitive.

They wore new Reebok uniforms, but it was the same old story here.

It was a nightmare for the goalies, there were no penalties called and only one hit: Brendan Shanahan on Bill Guerin.

JJT on the state of the sport

For now, the NHL is a nonfactor. It has a network no one can find and a silly schedule that keeps most Western Conference fans from seeing the league's Eastern Conference stars. No wonder there was little buzz about the league's collection of stars invading Dallas this week, although Bill Parcells' retirement probably played a role.

The arena wasn't packed for Tuesday's skills competition, and there wasn't any problem getting to American Airlines Center or finding a parking spot a little more than an hour before the game. Normally, that's not something to complain about, but I would've viewed the congestion as a sign fans were hyped about the game.

The late-arriving crowd didn't feel much different, aside from the various team jerseys seen in the concourse, than a regular-season Stars crowd. One solution might be taking premium tickets away from the corporate fat cats in the lower bowl and selling them to the passionate public, creating a different atmosphere in the building.

Then again, nothing will change until Bettman realizes the future of the league rests in the promotion of its stars – not the teams. It's fine to talk about the tradition of the Original Six, but when The Great One and Super Mario were doing their thing at the highest level night after night, they created a buzz.

Personalities can lift the NHL from oblivion. That's what saved the NBA.

Remember, Bird and Magic showed up in 1979 after battling in the Final Four. Together, they lifted the NBA because the league realized fans loved their charisma and creativity on the court, so it showcased them.

The NHL must take the same approach.

Sidney Crosby. Alex Ovechkin. The Staal brothers. Put the league on their shoulders. Spend millions in marketing. Make them accessible. Everyone says they have the personalities to handle the exposure.

Who can name two Carolina Hurricanes? OK, name one. Hint: his last name was mentioned in the previous paragraph. If you can't, that's a problem for the league. Any Dallas-Fort Worth sports fan can name the best player on the Colts or the Bears. They can name the best player on the Miami Heat and the best players on the St. Louis Cardinals. You get the idea.

This is the "me" generation. Now, more than ever, perhaps to a fault, we celebrate the individual more than the team. We do it so much the NFL and NBA have recently instituted rules designed to remove excessive celebration and taunting from their respective games.

That said, let the NHL's young stars make the league relevant again.

The Hockey News takes a shot at the Youngstars …and they are right…

The All-Star Game, while registering the customary zero hits as usual, was at least moderately competitive. The same couldn’t be said for the YoungStars game Tuesday night where the league’s young stars were embarrassing in their cavalier approach to the game.

“It’s an absolute farce and we have to blow it up,” said one NHL executive. “That was dismal. The best young guys in the league are already playing in the All-Star Game, so we don’t even need that game anymore.”

Evgeni Malkin might be the best rookie this season, but his level of effort in the game bordered on non-existent. He certainly wasn’t in a minority in that respect, but he was in that he was the only player in the game to be outscored by Kari Lehtonen and Peter Budaj.

In case you weren’t aware, those guys were the goalies.

- Thanks, DudeinthenextCube...

Jason Garrett to coach the team???? …wow.

Jason Garrett so impressed the Cowboys with his interview Wednesday that they are on the verge of hiring the former backup quarterback as a coach, according to a source.
Just what coaching position that is, however, is not clear.

Garrett talked with owner/general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones well into the night Wednesday about the offensive coordinator position as well as the head coaching job vacated Monday by Bill Parcells.

Garrett, 40, has been Miami's quarterbacks coach the last two seasons and is considered a fast-rising assistant. The Dolphins granted him permission to speak with the Cowboys late Tuesday but with a hitch: The Cowboys had to make a decision on whether to offer Garrett the offensive coordinator job by today. He has an offer waiting from the Dolphins to return to Cam Cameron's staff. There is no time limit on Garrett possibly being named head coach.

Efforts to reach Garrett were unsuccessful.

While the Cowboys are bringing back Garrett, they also received permission to talk with San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for the head coaching vacancy.

Phillips is scheduled to leave Mobile, Ala., site of the Senior Bowl, today and return to San Diego.

"I'm excited about it," Phillips said of interviewing with the Cowboys. "It can't be a bad thing. We'll see how it goes."

Phillips won't interview today but is expected to interview soon.

Yesterday’s story from the Chicago Tribune: Lovie’s Dallas Connection

A charming legend about Lovie Smith's life in football is that his mother, Mae, supposedly once had a very vivid dream that her son would become a head coach in the NFL someday ... for the Dallas Cowboys.

Funny that within 24 hours of Smith's finest hour as a coach, Sunday's 39-14 knockout of the New Orleans Saints, guess which NFL team should abruptly happen to acquire a vacancy at the head of its coaching staff?

That's right, the Cowboys. Bill Parcells announced his retirement on Monday.

Wouldn't it be bizarre if, by some quirk of timing and luck, the Bears were to win the Super Bowl only to lose their coach?

Suppose for a second that Jerry Jones and the Cowboys' brain trust suddenly come to the conclusion that they would love to land a hot commodity on the NFL coaching scene—bright, qualified, dignified and respected—to succeed Parcells, particularly one who happens to hail from Big Sandy, 110 miles from Big D?

What a twist of fate it would be if Smith, the NFL's most poorly compensated coach, could be coaxed away to his mom's dream team with a big-money offer that bettered that of the Bears.

For weeks there has been speculation that the Bears could lose one of Smith's trusted aides, offensive coordinator Ron Turner or defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, to an available head-coaching position.

With Tiger returning to golf today, Here is a theory on his real rival

From the moment Tiger Woods first placed his Nike footies on the PGA Tour a decade ago, the world has been waiting for someone to step on them.

Someone to challenge him. Someone to pressure him. Someone to even just distract him.

Wednesday, on the eve of his 2007 debut at the Buick Invitational here, Woods acknowledged that that person was coming.

It's not Phil Mickelson, although this person will whine like he does.

It's not John Daly, although this person will chug bottles like he does.

It's not even Jesper Parnevik, although this person will dress like he does.

This challenger is scheduled to show up in July, maybe in the middle of the British Open, and will make Woods' knees knock like a North Sea gale.

We don't yet know what Woods will call this person. But we know what this person will call Woods.

It is one of the most powerful words in the English language, a word that will change his life as no green jacket ever could:


Tiger Woods and wife, Elin, are having their first child and, oh, baby, let's see him win a Grand Slam now.

With weight on his eyes, and colic in his ears, and rice cereal on his tongue.

With formula in his bag, and pacifiers in his pocket, and a car seat in his Buick.

I've played golf, and I've buckled three young children into car seats, and only one of those two activities has ever made me collapse into a screaming, crying heap.

Tiger Woods will soon learn which one. In learning it, he will love it, but he will never be the same, and he knows it.

What? You were wondering what hotel Tony Romo was at in Vegas? Well here you go …Tim MacMahon, my new best buddy at the DMN found this…

At the Hard Rock Hotel: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who has been dating Carrie Underwood, at Body English with a gaggle of gal pals. Also there: Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson and Randy Couture; talk-show host Montel Williams at Nobu and Chris Noth and Chris Masterson at Simon Kitchen & Bar.

Here is a story on predicted over-done story lines for the Super Bowl

Those two black people happen to be bestest buddies in the whole wide world: In perhaps the greatest display of selfless, unforced camaraderie since Ocean's Twelve, Smith attended the Chiefs-Colts clash -- a football coach, at a football game! -- to support his good pals Dungy and Herm Edwards. Here's hoping the evolution-of-a-friendship stories will contain many an anecdote about skimming rocks across the lake on lazy summer afternoons and singing Grease songs into hairbrushes at slumber parties.

The Manning family has finally won something that doesn't involve a deal to endorse Sugar Smacks: Oh, sure, they hit the genetic lottery some time ago, and Peyton, Eli and Archie have all enjoyed more than their share of second-stage glories. All the same, we'll be hearing a lot about how Peyton has "made it over the hump," "gotten the monkey off his back" and "slain his cleft-chinned tormentor, Tom Brady."

The supremely likable Peyton -- who never misses a game and always represents his team and his sport with class -- was an easy Hall of Famer before he felled the Patriots ... and oh, are we going to hear about it. Me, I'd devote the space instead to the Colts' underrated and mostly anonymous offensive line (somebody's keeping Peyton upright, no?) and the unknown-outside-rotisserie-sports Dallas Clark.

Maybe we should just resolve to think of it this way: Even if Peyton blows it against the Bears, at least he gets upgraded from "loser like A-Rod" to "loser like Dan Marino."

Media Day is a total wankfest: Because, see, there's about 3,000 guys with microphones and notepads, and they're all chasing the same stories. Of those 3,000, 2,925 will put pen to paper and note that nothing really gets said during Media Day. Hello, meta.

The Dark Side Cowboys Blog

Tim MacMahon’s BaD Radio Reference ….This is the type of publicity that could take this thing to the next level…

Looking back at the first half of the NHL Season

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