Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tuesday, Feb 6

You may recall that last week in my “Best NFL Franchise since Super Bowl I” rankings that your Dallas Cowboys finished in 1st place quite easily. There is no question that in the last 41 years, nobody can live up to the standard that this franchise has set.

But, I was asked to break it down by decade, to demonstrate what is so wrong about the last 11 years around here. First, here is the ranking from last week. Remember, 11 points for a Super Bowl win, 5 for a Super Bowl loss, 3 for a NFC championship game loss, and 1 for any playoff appearance.

#1 - The Dallas Cowboys
Total Points: 106
Total Playoff Years: 66C, 67C, 68, 69, 70SL, 71S, 72C, 73C, 75SL, 76, 77S, 78SL, 79, 80C, 81C, 82C, 83, 85, 91, 92S, 93S, 94C, 95S, 96, 98, 99, 03, 06

So, let’s break it down by 4 different decades, and the 4th decade will get 11 years.

66-75: 66C, 67C, 68, 69, 70SL, 71S, 72C, 73C, 75SL = 35 points
76-85: 76, 77S, 78SL, 79, 80C, 81C, 82C, 83, 85 = 29 points
86-95: 91, 92S, 93S, 94C, 95S = 37 points
96-06: 96, 98, 99, 03, 06 = 5 points

Holy Cow! That is amazing. After 30 Super Bowls, the Cowboys had 101 points in this formula. Now, 11 seasons later, they sit at just 106. They still lead the NFL by 16 points, but no thanks to the post-Tempe Cowboys. Since Larry Brown picked off Neil O’Donnell for the 2nd time, there have been very few good times.

In case you are not sure, Aikman still supports Norv

When asked about Norv Turner, Aikman heaped praise on his former offensive coordinator.

"I think there were circumstances that kept him from having more success as a head coach in Oakland and Washington," said Aikman, who chose Turner as his presenter when inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"I think in the right situation, he can be successful. I think it would be great for the organization and great for Norv."

Staubach met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over Super Bowl weekend and said the two talked generally about the search. Staubach stressed the importance of X's and O's and the ability to hire a good staff.

"I think there's enough talent now to have a good ending to this decade," Staubach said. "This will be the first decade we haven't [won] in the playoffs if we don't do something."

The Cowboys haven't won a playoff game since 1996 and are in the third week of their search for a replacement for Bill Parcells. Aikman said Jones made the right choice four years ago in hiring Parcells, who Aikman said improved a Cowboys organization that was in "total disarray."

"As a former player, I'd like to see the Cowboys have success," Aikman said. "I think for those of us that were a part of helping build something here, we'd like to see it continue."

Cowboys still to interview a few

The Dallas Cowboys will not hire a replacement for Bill Parcells until at least Wednesday, and the search for the seventh coach in franchise history will likely stretch to the end of the week, team owner Jerry Jones told ESPN's Ed Werder on Monday.

The delay comes in part because the Cowboys want to comply with league rules prohibiting tampering. Identifying prospective interview subjects before obtaining permission to speak with them can be interpreted as a violation of the rules and result in forfeiture of draft choices. Jones, then, would not reveal candidates he still wants to interview. ESPN's Chris Mortensen confirmed Sunday morning, however, that Jones will interview Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell.

Some around the league have told Werder that they believe the Cowboys have already decided to hire Norv Turner but that Jones is deliberating keeping the position vacant so he can interview Rivera, who is under exclusive contract to the Bears for another two weeks even though the season has concluded.

Under the rules, the Bears cannot prevent the Cowboys from interviewing Rivera for their head-coaching position but could restrict him from discussing a lateral move to Dallas as defensive coordinator.

During Super Bowl week, Rivera conceded he would consider the lateral move to Dallas to enhance his future opportunities to become a head coach because of the perception that Chicago's success on defense is the work of head coach Lovie Smith. The Bears have also acknowledged that they will have to substantially improve Smith's contract, which is the NFL's lowest for a head coach, and that they probably will not be able to compete financially with the Cowboys should they decide to pursue Rivera.

Rivera returned to Chicago with the Bears following the Super Bowl and told Werder that it is his understanding that the Cowboys are seeking permission to interview him for their head coaching vacancy. He considers that process a formality and expects to interview in Dallas within the next two days.

Aggies are for real

An injury to star senior Acie Law. Foul trouble for big men Joseph Jones and Antanas Kavaliauskas. That used to mean trouble for Texas A&M.

But the sixth-ranked Aggies' younger players proved Monday night that they, too, could take over a game. Sophomore Josh Carter and freshmen Bryan Davis and Donald Sloan led A&M to a 100-82 victory over Texas to solidify its hold on first place in the Big 12.

"Three guys grew up a lot," A&M coach Billy Gillispie said. "That's what I believe Josh can be on a daily basis. ... Sloan and Davis, they received a lot of attention before they got here, and they showed you why."

UT freshman star Kevin Durant had 28 points, but his 9-of-23 shooting marked his lowest percentage in conference play.

After giving UT (16-7, 6-3) its only lead with 14:05 left to play, Durant scored just one point over the next 10 minutes as A&M pulled away.

A&M (20-3, 8-1) beat its archrival at Reed Arena for the third straight season. This time, though, the raucous, record crowd of 13,196 didn't storm the court – perhaps the most telling sign of how far the program has come.

The Aggies were favored to win this meeting, and they didn't disappoint their second national TV audience in 48 hours. It couldn't have gone any better, as the Aggies showed no signs of fatigue or an emotional letdown after Saturday's upset at then-No. 6 Kansas.

Law had 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting before landing on A.J. Abrams' foot while trying to contest a shot and spraining his left ankle with 10:14 left. Law went to the locker room but returned less than three minutes later.

He finished with 21 points and a career-high 15 assists, which tied the school record.

Since I love to do my Hall of Fame reading, I thought today I would offer my readers (you) a chance to read what the cities that did not get their guys in had to say about this year’s voting:

The Case for Monk over Irvin

The selection of Irvin and slight of Monk have to make people wonder about the criteria used to decide who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and who doesn't.

Obviously, the members of the selection committee have shown they favor a lack of character over those who demonstrated the best qualities that are so badly needed in today's society. They may not realize that they put themselves into that very category and that they threw out all semblance of their own integrity by the choice they announced yesterday.

The argument for Monk would be moot if his statistics didn't match up to those Irvin posted. But Monk's numbers are quite similar to Irvin's and in some of the most important categories they are better. But the members of the selection committee didn't seem to think about Monk being better than Irvin in anything.

Here are some Hall of Fame type statistics that were overlooked by the inept members of the selection committee. And we won't even count the two end-of-his-career seasons with the Jets and Eagles when he caught 54 passes for 695 yards.

Michael Irvin caught 750 passes in his Cowboys' career; Art Monk caught 888 passes for the Redskins.

Irvin gained 11,904 yards on his receptions, while Monk rolled up 12,026 yards for the Redskins.

Irvin did average a few more yards per catch at 15.9 compared to 13.5 for Monk.

Irvin gained a total of six yards running the ball, while Monk carried the ball 63 times for 332 yards.

Monk led the league in receptions in 1984. Irvin never did that.

Looking at the league's best all-time statistics, Monk is ahead of Irvin in four major categories: Monk is sixth in receptions, Irvin is 11th. Monk is 11th in receiving yards, Irvin is 14th. Monk is tied for 29th in touchdown receptions, Irvin is 37th. Monk is 26th in yards from scrimmage, Irvin is 39th.

Just comparing those numbers has to make football fans, administrators and even other players shake their heads in wonderment that Irvin is going into the Hall of Fame and Monk is not.

But there's more.

Art Monk was the first receiver ever to reach 900 receptions and his career record of 940 was broken by Jerry Rice, who remains the all-time leader. Monk retired from the NFL with the record for the most consecutive games with a reception at 183 and he also established the record for catches in a season when he got 106 in 1984.

Both receivers were on three Super Bowl teams, all winning teams, though Monk only played in two of the Redskins wins because of an injury.

Some of the comments about Monk from people in-the-know, which the selection committee members obviously are not, include:

"Art is Jerry Rice before Jerry Rice was," said Joe Theisman.

"Art Monk was an example for Jerry Rice: That's what Jerry told me," said Ronnie Lott.

For Andre Reed

But if numbers are the thing, then why was “The Playmaker” allowed to cut in line?
Irvin’s amazing career included 750 catches, which is tremendous. But 951 is better.
He gained 11,904 yards. Super. But 13,198 is better.

And 65 times we were treated to No. 88’s end-zone celebrations. But 87 touchdowns is better. So how can the baggage-laden Irvin go into the Hall before the statistically superior Andre Reed?

The former Buffalo superstar was also a finalist on the ballot Saturday, but despite striking similarities between the two, Reed remains on the outside looking in. Andre was also a “Triplet,” teaming with Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and 2007 inductee Thurman Thomas in Buffalo to form one of the most formidable offenses of his generation. And, like Irvin, Reed was a champion who went to multiple Super Bowls.

Ahhh, but there’s the difference, Cowboys fans will argue: Irvin won three titles, while Reed lost four Super Bowls. It’s about the rings, baby!

Really? Tell that to Art Monk, who caught 940 balls for 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns — all better than Irvin — and also wears three rings.

Look, no one is saying “The Playmaker” should be denied his place in Canton. But it would only be fair to ask him to wait his turn behind better players who are continually being denied theirs.

The Case for the late, great Derrick Thomas

Saturday afternoon, the 40-man party crew known as the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee batted things around and again passed on Derrick Thomas. That makes three years running, and it’s now becoming apparent that Thomas may never get selected for the Hall of Fame. This seemed as if it would be his year. The ballot was thin. The vote was in Thomas’ hometown. The time seemed right.

The group did not vote him in again, choosing instead to honor Michael Irvin, which is a whole other story. Well, the bright side there is that anyone who thinks the personal mistakes Derrick Thomas may have made in his life have something to do with the Hall of Fame can put that idea away. Michael Irvin was selected for the Hall of Fame.

Anyway. The big problem here seems to be a matter of perception. This Hall of Fame committee, for whatever reason, remains unconvinced. Some of them seem to think Derrick Thomas is a “borderline” Hall of Fame candidate. I have no idea where this idea came from — maybe his case hasn’t been presented right, or maybe committee members have spent too much time talking about his so-called weaknesses as a player, or maybe they just didn’t see him play enough because the Chiefs never reached a Super Bowl.

Maybe some of them simply slept through the 1990s.

So this needs to be written down: There is nothing borderline about Derrick Thomas’ football case. He is a slam-dunk, no-doubt, sure-as-shooting Hall of Famer. He should have gone in on the first ballot with Dan Marino and that group. He changed as many football games as any defensive player in the NFL in the 1990s. He sacked more quarterbacks, caused more fumbles, fired up more crowds, forced more bad passes and shifted more momentum than anyone else.

The idea of football is to win. The Chiefs went 110-65-1 during Derrick Thomas’ career. He was the biggest reason why they kept winning.

Look: Derrick Thomas had 126 1/2 sacks in his career before he died too young. Nobody had more in that time frame. He set the NFL record for sacks in a game with seven. He was the unquestioned leader of a Chiefs team that went to the playoffs seven times in 11 seasons (and just missed two other times). The Chiefs’ defense finished in the top half of the NFL every season but one, was in the top 10 six times and was No. 1 in the entire league twice. This guy was a dominant football player.

How dominant? He made nine Pro Bowls. Nine. In the history of the NFL, only 57 players have made nine or more Pro Bowls — and among the eligible players, only five of them are not in the Hall of Fame. No linebacker has made more than 10. Among the greatest linebackers, Dick Butkus was in eight Pro Bowls. Willie Lanier was in eight Pro Bowls. Nick Buoniconti was in eight Pro Bowls. And so on.

By the way, Michael Irvin made just five Pro Bowls, which at last check was more than his number of drug arrests, though it’s close. Thurman Thomas, another Hall of Fame choice this year, made only five Pro Bowls, too.

Oh yeah, and there has been some talk that some other pass rushers like Fred Dean, Andre Tippett and Richard Dent have created a foggy situation for Hall of Fame voters. How can you tell them apart? Well, here’s one way: Fred Dean made four Pro Bowls, Andre Tippett five and Richard Dent four. Come on. They were fine pass rushers. They were not Derrick Thomas.

Believe it or not, The Super Bowl had many viewers

Peyton Manning had a lot of witnesses to his soggy super win, with the estimated 93.2 million viewers representing the second most-watched Super Bowl broadcast ever.
Only the 1996 Super Bowl between Dallas and Pittsburgh, which had 94.1 million viewers, had a bigger audience, according to Nielsen Media Research on Monday. Behind that 1996 game and the M-A-S-H series finale, Sunday's game was the third most-watched program in television history.

The presence of one of the game's most popular players in Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and a major-market team from Chicago undoubtedly juiced the ratings.

It was the highest-rated Super Bowl game since St. Louis-Tennessee in 2000. The viewership is higher this year even though the ratings are lower than in 2000 because there are more homes now with television sets.

The Colts beat the Bears 29-17 in a game played during a driving rainstorm in Miami. It was shown on CBS, a division of CBS Corp.

Last year's Super Bowl between Pittsburgh and Seattle drew 90.7 million viewers.

It is official, Tom Hicks owns my Liverpool …(remain optimistic, Bob – Don’t panic yet – think positive thoughts)

Outgoing chairman David Moores revealed his desire to see his beloved Liverpool take 'a great step forward' convinced him to sell the club to American tycoons George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

Moores will become honorary life president after the Liverpool board agreed terms 'of a recommended cash offer' to be made by Kop Football Limited, the American pair's bid vehicle.

A Stock Exchange statement revealed the board 'unanimously recommends' that shareholders accept the offer from NHL franchise owners Gillett and Hicks.

Moores said: 'I believe this is a great step forward for Liverpool, its shareholders and its fans.

'This club is my passion and forms a huge part of my life. After much careful consideration, I have agreed to sell my shares to assist in securing the investment needed for the new stadium and for the playing squad.

'I urge all my fellow shareholders to do the same and to support the offer. By doing so, I believe you will be backing the successful future of Liverpool Football Club.

'I am also delighted to accept the offer from the Hicks and Gillett families to continue my involvement in the club by becoming honorary life president.'

The statement to shareholders said: 'The offer is £5,000 in cash for
each Liverpool Share, valuing the issued share capital of Liverpool at approximately £174.1million.

'Together with the £44.8million of net debt in the club as at December 31 2006, this represents an enterprise value for Liverpool of £218.9 million.

Last Night’s 24 summary

Lost is back

Classic MMA kiss

Julie Chen-bot


Buck's a critic said...

So very first, so very gay, and so very tired of people not understanding sports finance.

Gunna catch me a predator tonight!

Buck's a critic said...

And Chris, the Lost guy, is a creepy looking tool

Jay Clendenin said...

come on fake sturm & co., there's room for more on the aggie bandwagon.

BACM said...

Congrats to Aggie! One of the two days of the year I root for them.

Phil K. said...

So....uuuuuh. I guess where we all know Julie Chen likes to take it and in what order. She wins the award for Most Spare Host of a Reality TV Show and Greatest Example (Examper?) of Nepotism in TV--she's married to CBS Chief Exec Leslie Moovies.

I waste no time watching the sparedom of Lost. And nobody else should either.

Look at all the F(aithful)Ags coming out to root on their b-ball team. Can't wait to watch the 1st round NCAA Tourney collapse.

Why does Norv feel like he's worthy of a shot at HC? He is better suited as OC and he knows it; we all know it.

Liverpool + Tom Hicks = No Pitching. I'm not sure how that will translate to the soccer field, except that "the field" in soccer is known as "the pitch."

Jake said...

Phil, just like last year's 1st round collapse?...hahaha. A&M should have beat LSU in the tourney last year but didn't cause of a prayer. 1st place in the Big 12! Hallelujah. Basketball is my best friend with Ag and Mav.

I will establish 'Cowboy fans against Norv'. Spare head coach.

Fake Sturm said...

Congrats to aggy. They did look very solid last night even with foul trouble. They will be a very difficult out in the tourney with their depth and defensive intensity(not including last night). The Horns just dont have any size. Atchley tries hard but has a bag, Pittman could develop but cant contribute anything positive right now, and James is too small. They get killed every night on the boards. If Lamarcus Aldridge was still on this team, the Horns would be undefeated.

Popsicle Stick Chick said...

Great comments, phil k.! I wish all of you commenters would make your blogger profiles public like he did.

BACM said...

"If Lamarcus Aldrige was on the team. The Horns would be undefeated...." Ahh the T-sip raises his ugly head. Go ahead we're all waiting for "If Vince Young was still on the team......"

Fake Sturm said...

"If Vince Young was still on the team......"
Well...he wouldnt have any eligiblity left so it really wouldnt matter, except for the Cowboys fans who would probably be looking at Jeff Fisher as the next head coach. I was merely saying that if the Horns had any resemblence of a true center (i.e. Aldridge) that they might be able to transform from a good, streaky jump shooting team to a great balanced team. But without some sort of half-court offensive game, the Horns probably wont go that far in the tourney. The "give the ball to Durant and everybody get out of the way" play only will work so many times.

CFB123 said...

I would say congratulations to Aggy, but nobody around here really gives a damn about college basketball. Wait...I think Cal just scored another TD...

eric in keller said...

Congrats to Ag. They have a really good team this year....very solid.

One thing that the Andre Reed and Art Monk apologists forgot to mention when bringing up the fact that both Reed and Monk have slightly better statistics is the fact that they both played 4 more seasons than Irvin. If Irvin hadn't gotten hurt and had played in the same number of games as those two guys, his stats would blow them away. It just shows that he was more dominant to be able to accumulate his stats in less time. And this was with an offense that didn't throw as much as Buffalo or even Washington.

Note: Art Monk had 5 1000 Yd seasons in 16 years. Andre Reed had 4 1000 Yd seasons in 16 years. Irvin had 7 1000 Yd seasons in 12 years. Enough said.

Jackson said...

football is boring.

more mavs talk plz. they actually win.

Jay Callicott said...