Monday, July 16, 2007

Is He a Golf Jedi, Too?

Romo plays in Tahoe; finishes behind the Ambassador of Fun

Romo had a 5-over-par 77 and 13 total points in his opening round on Friday at
Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, bordering Lake Tahoe. However, Romo shot the second-lowest round on Saturday with a 4-under 68 and finished 11th after a 77 on Sunday. He finished one place behind former Stars' right wing Brett Hull.

"For me, it was just getting comfortable with the course," Romo said. "I'd never really played here before. I played one practice round, and I just put myself in a couple of bad spots that I really didn't know about."

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Chris Chandler won the 54-hole tournament by firing a final-round 67. His 78 points in the Stableford scoring format were 24 more than Romo.

Romo's other playing partners over the weekend were Hall of Fame QB John Elway, ex-Texas Tech quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver and former All-Pro receiver Sterling Sharpe.

"Just hanging out with all the guys and just kind of picking their brains and hearing some of their stories [was thrilling]," Romo said.

Romo said he isn't considering making golf his next career.

"For me, it's just something I like to do in the off-season," Romo said. "It gives me a chance to be competitive in the off-season."

Full Leaderboard

In Last Place….

78 BARKLEY, Charles USA 109-106-105 = 320

The Good Fellows at Scouts, Inc, are busy trying to get us to training camp by rating the personnel groups on each team in the NFL from 1-32. Unfortunately for you, the content is part of the ESPN Insider, so unless you are a subscriber, you will not be able to see it. Fortunately for you, you read my blog, and I will show you the Cowboys reviews here for the Offense which they have completed in the last few days….I also have listed the placing of the other NFC East foes…


5. Philadelphia Eagles

14. Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo had a storybook season in 2006, going 5-1 in his first six starts and giving the Cowboys great production at the position. But he struggled down the stretch, throwing too many interceptions and fumbling too many times while the Cowboys finished 1-4 in his final five games. The coaches are hoping that the Romo they saw early in the season is the one they get in 2007. He has excellent physical skills as a passer and his mobility allows him to make plays with his feet. However, he must do a better job of playing under control, being patient and not turning the ball over. Aging Brad Johnson will be the backup and mentor to Romo. Although his physical skills are limited, he still knows how to read a defense and get the ball to the right place. Young Matt Baker will be the No. 3 QB, and although he has good developmental skills, he's a long way from the field.

16. New York Giants

30. Washington Redskins

Running Backs

3. Washington Redskins

10. Dallas Cowboys

With a new head coach in Wade Phillips, a lot of jobs will be up for grabs. One of those jobs will be the running back position that has been manned by starter Julius Jones over the past few seasons. However, Jones has been pushed by backup Marion Barber III, who will get his opportunity in the preseason to win the starting job. The two bring a little something different to the table. Jones is a better outside runner, and Barber is a more physical runner between the tackles. Neither back is really a feature guy, but used properly, they form a very good 1-2 punch.

19. Philadelphia Eagles

27. New York Giants

Wide Receivers

8. Dallas Cowboys

Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn are an aging starting duo, but they remain very formidable. For all the drama that Owens brings off the field, he is still a game-changing presence on Sundays. He dropped a lot of passes last year -- many of which would have gone for big plays and touchdowns -- but he played through a serious hand injury, which obviously hindered his ability to catch the ball cleanly. Owens has lost half a step, but is still a very good wideout who scores touchdowns in bunches and is a tough matchup for any cornerback. Glenn is a dynamic second receiver who still can stretch a defense or torture his opponents with crisp, short and intermediate routes. Patrick Crayton is tough and competitive, but overall, the Cowboys are lacking depth behind their veteran starters.

11. N.Y. Giants

17. Philadelphia Eagles

22. Washington Redskins

Tight Ends

7. N.Y. Giants

9. Philadelphia Eagles

10. Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten is one of the best tight ends in the NFL. He has averaged 73 receptions at 11.5 yards per catch over the past three seasons. Witten is not an explosive receiver off the line of scrimmage, but he has excellent foot agility, quickness and balance to find voids in short and intermediate zones. Witten is an effective blocker, locking on defenders and gaining leverage with agility and hand use. Second-year player Anthony Fasano provides effective depth to the position but needs to become more involved in the Cowboys' offensive scheme to be a factor. Look for new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to use more multiple-tight-end formations in 2007.

14. Washington Redskins

Offensive Line

4. Philadelphia Eagles

7. Washington Redskins

15. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are a powerful zone-blocking team that sometimes struggles when their linemen are matched up one-on-one in space. They do a good job of scheming opponents to keep their linemen in tight, where they can use their bulk and strength to protect the pocket. They gave up a total of 37 sacks last season and posted a respectable 4.1 yards per carry, and the addition of Leonard Davis' bulk should help the running game. The question is whether he will line up at right tackle or right guard. If Davis moves inside to guard, then Marc Colombo will retain the right tackle spot. Center Andre Gurode and guard Kyle Kosier fill out the line and are serviceable but not great players. This is not the most athletic offensive line in the league, but they are massive and powerful.

20. N.Y. Giants

I guess this shows you that the Cowboys don’t seem to have any glaring weaknesses on offense…We shall see about that.

In other sports news, Gary Sheffield is still a loud-mouth

Ex-Yankee Gary Sheffield claims that the Yankees, and specifically Joe Torre, do not treat black players the same way as white players, in a bombshell interview with HBO's Andrea Kremer that will air Tuesday night on "Real Sports."

"Black players are treated differently than white players, particularly at Yankee Stadium," Sheffield said.

"Black players had an issue with Joe Torre," Sheffield continued. "They weren't treated like everybody else. Even I got called out in a couple of meetings that I thought was unfair."

During the interview Kremer pointed out that the most popular player on the team, Yankee Captain Derek Jeter, was half black and that he gets along very well with Torre.

"Derek Jeter is black and white," Sheffield responded. "There's really no significance. [He] just ain't all the way black."

"Derek Jeter used to come to me and try to tell you what Joe Torre is all about, he's a good man, he's this, he's that, but like I tell Derek Jeter, that's you. It's one thing that they treat you a certain way; you don't feel what other people feel."
Though he admitted he does not think Torre is a racist, he also said "I think it's the way they do things around there. Since I was there I just saw that they run their ship different."

Sheffield claimed that to survive for long as a black player, the player must be "great," and that is the only reason he has played for as long as he has.

British Open Week!

There are few good memories in the gorse and grasses of Carnoustie, a course that appears as perilous from the windows of its hotel as it does from its first tee.
Long before Jean Van de Velde capsized on the 72nd hole and lost the 1999 British Open, Carnoustie spent decades earning a loud reputation as an angry brute.

“This is the toughest course in the world,” Gary Player said after playing four difficult rounds here in the 1968 British Open.

And he won the title.

If Oakmont Country Club is considered the most exacting major championship course in the United States, Carnoustie is its soulmate across the Atlantic, a long and twisting links layout with no rest stops.

That Carnoustie will play host to the British Open beginning Thursday fits nicely in a year when major championship courses have been so demanding that players are lowering their expectations and redefining what constitutes success.

A decade after Tiger Woods blitzed Augusta National Golf Club with an 18-under-par 270, Zach Johnson won a green jacket this year with a score 19 strokes higher.

Thirteen years after Ernie Els’s winning score of 276 in the United States Open at Oakmont, Ángel Cabrera took that title last month at 285.

More and more, professional golfers are battling lengthened courses and thickened rough, knowing that they may spend hours — and sometimes days — between birdies.

Jesper Parnevik, a five-time PGA Tour winner, said that people would look back on this era and think players were not so good.

“Everybody went from winning majors at 10 and 12 under to winning majors at 5 and 10 over,” he said. “It’s not fair, really. You have golf courses where guys were shooting 20 under 50 years ago and we can’t break par today.”

Greg Owen said, “So many of these golf courses are tricked up every week.”

Carnoustie might have been at its meanest for the 1999 British Open, when swirling winds and an over-the-top setup by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club beat down the best golfers in the world and sent Sergio García, then 19, away in tears after he missed the cut.

I survived the El Scorcho …25k in a plodding 2:31:30.

It was a midnight jog through the park. Or, to be more specific, a midnight ultramarathon in July.

The appropriately named El Scorcho 25K/50K started as a laughable idea dreamed up by Valdez and his buddy Jason Constantino during a long run together. Both are ultramarathoners, so Valdez posed the idea of running 30 miles before today, his 30th birthday.

"Jason was the only guy crazy enough to say, 'Sure, sounds like a good idea,'" Valdez said. "You brainstorm when you run for three or four hours at a time, and by the end we thought maybe we could turn this into just a small little event."

With a guest list of 30 or 40 people, tops. After all, they thought, how many people would be far enough out of their minds to run on one of the hottest days of the year?
That's exactly what James and Jim Newsom, who own and operate Fort Worth Running Company, said when Valdez first e-mailed them the idea for El Scorcho and asked for organizational help. But a midnight run seemed crazy enough to work.

"From a safety standpoint, we wanted to make sure nobody died," James Newsom said. "So we knew we wanted to run it at night, and we figured midnight was as good a time as any."

Jim Newsom also helped Valdez find a suitable charity for his event, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

With a clear plan and someone to help him, Valdez decided to get word out about his project by putting up a Web site and a blog.

That and some word-of-mouth were enough to rope in more than 200 runners, including first-time ultramarathoners such as Robin Hudson of Tulsa.

Like many runners in Trinity Park, Hudson learned of El Scorcho on an Internet
message board. She then e-mailed Teresa Ellington, and soon the Tulsa Area Trail and Ultra Runners, or TATURs, were in on the action.

"Where else could you go with this many people around and enjoy yourself and be goofy?" Ellington said. "We're just enjoying the camaraderie. It's nice."
Although the 225 runners made for a great party, it was all Valdez, a lawyer with the Cantey Hanger firm, could handle.

"I'm a first-time race director, so I'm doing what I can here," Valdez said. "I was
not expecting it to be this crazy."

Although he'd been at Trinity Park for hours, and he'd likely be there until 9 a.m. cleaning up, Valdez was excited and already thinking about next year.

At 11:50 p.m., Valdez thanked everyone for coming, then began herding runners toward the 3.1-mile course's start/finish line.

Then at midnight he thanked everyone for coming and watched as the gun signaled the start of his "grassroots ultramarathon."

It was big. It was fun. And it was one heck of a birthday party.

Stars get a better grade than just Nashville and Columbus

Notable additions & re-signings: C Mike Ribeiro, C Joel Lundqvist, C Stu Barnes

Notable subtractions: D Darryl Sydor, LW Ladislav Nagy

Is it possible that fatigue from the marathon first-round series with the Canucks carried over to the free agency period? The Stars did nothing except shore up pivot depth.

Grade: D+

Andrew’s Stars Page gives BaD Radio some cyber ink

On KTCK-1310 The Ticket, BaD Radio's Bob Sturm and Dan McDowell spent some time on the letter during Friday's broadcast.

Sturm, who has questioned the Stars' lack of activity, took exception to Lites calling the Stars the second most successful franchise in the league over the last 11 years.

"That's a very declarative statement. You've got to tell me based on what, number one, because I always thought, based on what you told me as a franchise, is - remember the playoff campaign and I am sure you do - Nothing Else Matters. What do you mean Nothing Else? The Stanley Cup. Nothing Else Matters. You said it, not me. I believed it. You told be the Cup mattered. Don't tell me that you are 23-15-4 against playoff teams. I don't care. I am not saying win the Stanley Cup every year. But don't tell me you are the second most successful team in the NHL when you have won one series in six years."

Tony Stewart Wins; Gives Schlitz a little free advertising …kind of…

NASCAR has interesting characters and colorful cars. America's most popular racing series had a beautiful day in Joliet on Sunday and a crowd waiting for some racing excitement.

The only problem was, the USG Sheetrock 400 was about as thrilling as watching drywall being hung.
The most interesting moment of the day might have been when winner Tony Stewart explained how he intended to celebrate, particularly because the Cup series will take a breather this week.

''You have no idea how glad I am to have a week off,'' Stewart said. ''I have a case of Schlitz and I fully intend to get to the bottom of the cardboard box tonight. Even if I have to do it by myself, I don't care.

''Nobody drinks Schlitz anymore. The good thing is it's only about $8 a case, and if you have roommates and you have seven in the fridge when you leave, when you get home, there's seven in the fridge.''

Madden 2008 faces competition from All-Pro Football 2k8

No NFL license means no league restrictions. Herein, five things in "All-Pro Football 2K8" you won't find in "Madden":

1. Wacky Stadiums

2K Sports took a look at Raymond James Stadium's gloriously goofy pirate ship and decided it could do better. Like, peyote-trippin'-in-the-desert better. "All-Pro's" fictional stadiums include a dome where the retractable roof doubles as the wings of a giant, animatronic phoenix; an Americana-themed park where a replica Mount Rushmore towers over one of the end zones; and an outdoor facility made to look like an aircraft carrier, complete with fighter jets that launch missiles when you score. Touchdown accomplished?

2. Dirty Play

No blood, no dismemberment -- this isn't "Mortal Kombat" -- and nothing too over-the-top. Just the nasty-but-authentic stuff the NFL would rather pretend doesn't exist. Think late hits (with penalties), horse-collar tackles and aggressive defensive back chucks at the line of scrimmage (in our short time with the game, we saw one poor CPU wide receiver get thrown to the turf). The virtual Deacon Jones even deploys his patented head slap … and it's perfectly legal. Concussions for all!

3. Dance Dance Revolution

Just before 2K Sports shipped "NFL 2K5," the league had one of its on-field officials examine every touchdown celebration in the game -- and everything he didn't like, 2K had to remove. Guess what? All of those ditties are back in "All-Pro," along with user-selectable sack dances. Of course, this only makes the game's lack of Mark Gastineau all the more disturbing.

4. Make Your Own Legends

OK, OK, "Madden" has this too. But only "All-Pro" lets you take your created players online. Besides, the game's unique ability system and crazy-quilt roster of available former pros (Gale Sayers and Andre Ware in the same game?) practically demands that you add a few of your favorite old-school faces. Bo Jackson? Chuck Cecil? Ryan Leaf? The possibilities are endless. (Well, maybe not for Leaf, since "Throw Pass To Other Team" is not among the special abilities.)

5. The Real Killers Are Hiding In Section 117

One of the game's premade team nicknames is Assassins, and the team's theme stadium features a giant statue of a dude with a knife. Also, you can put O.J. Simpson on any team you choose. Just sayin'.

Julio Baptista and Brazil pound Argentina, 3-0 ….

The rollercoaster year of Carlos Tevez suffered a rare dip last night when his Argentina team were beaten 3-0 by Brazil in the final of the Copa America.

A dream showdown between the two power-houses of South America football produced moments of sublime quality - notably when Julio Baptista opened the scoring - yet it was largely Brazil's superior organisation and tactical discipline which proved decisive.

For the coach, Dunga, it was personal vindication after he had been criticised throughout the tournament for adopting a pragmatic playing approach which was perceived as alien to Brazil's traditional reliance on attacking flair.

Brazil have now won four of the last five Copa America tournaments and eight in total. As might have been expected of a tournament which had already produced a record-breaking number of goals, the final began in explosive fashion. Less than four minutes were on the clock when a somewhat hopeful long-ball was floated forward into the direction of Julio Baptista.

With little support in attack, he shifted the ball onto his right foot and then sent a powerful, looping shot beyond Argentina's stationary goalkeeper, Roberto Abbondanzieri. After scoring 16 goals in only five matches en route to the final with some several devastating displays of attacking football, it was predictable that Argentina's response would be swift.

Lionel Messi, who has been evoking comparisons with Diego Maradona for his performances during the tournament, found space on the left and crossed for Juan-Sebastian Veron to cushion the ball into the path of Juan Roman Riquelme.

The Boca Juniors play-maker shot sweetly beyond the Brazil goalkeeper Doni but against the post. With a formation designed largely to stifle the creative talent throughout the Argentinian team, Brazil settled into a rhythm which saw them defend resolutely with men behind the ball and look to play on the counter-attack. It was a tactic well suited to the conditions, with temperatures in Venezuela touching 40C.
Despite dominating possession, Argentina looked increasingly frustrated and suffered a potentially shattering blow shortly before half-time.

The Sevilla full-back Daniel Alves had only been on the pitch six minutes following an injury to Elano and whipped in a low, fizzing cross along the six-yard box.
Roberto Ayala, who was winning his 115th cap, tried to deal with the danger but badly misjudged his clearance and sent the ball beyond Abbondanzieri to give the pre-match underdogs a 2-0 half-time advantage.

Brazil continued to frustrate Argentina early in the second-half as the match become disjointed by a series of free-kicks and yellow cards. Tevez and Messi both tried to find space but found themselves regularly smothered by Brazilian bodies. Alex, who is soon expected to join Chelsea, was particularly dominant at the heart of the defence as Brazil continued to look hugely dangerous when breaking forward.

The pace of Alves was especiallly eye-catching and it was fitting that he should score the 69th minute goal which effectively sealed victory. The 24-year-old galloped beyond the Argentina defence from the right flank and brilliantly directed Vagner Love's cross beyond Abbondanzieri despite the tight angle.

FC Dallas rises from dead, score 3 in a row on the road to tie

FC Dallas orchestrated one of the best comebacks in franchise history Saturday night at RFK Stadium. After falling behind to an early goal by Luciano Emilio, another at the end of the first half by Fred, and a third at the beginning of the second half by Emilio, Dallas pulled back one goal quickly on a header by Carlos Ruiz. Jaime Moreno, orchestrator of two of the DC goals, left the game with a hamstring pull, and Coach Morrow brought on a fourth forward. While avoiding numerous dangerous DC counters, Dallas laid siege to the DC goal and managed to score twice through MLS All-star Juan Toja to secure the draw on the road.

Must Watch: Beckham and Bush – So cool.

Danny Ainge is loved by Celtics fans


Don said...

No Rangers talk after that great game last night?

Jake said...

^ Kill me. I'll be at the game Thurs. against Cle only cause the tix are $2/ea. I hope I don't see a few players in uniform during that game.

Dallas has the 10th best TE? Could've fooled me with all those Pro Bowls.

No WSOP talk Bob? Guess that isn't really a sport, but it is entertaining and going down to the wire.

CFB123 said...

So Gary Sheffield is the biggest racist in America. What a shock...or not. I'm sure Derek Jeter really appreciates the half-breed references there Sheff. The sooner that loser is out of the game the better. Congrats Gary, you just made even Barry Bonds look like a nice guy by comparison.

Bitterwhiteguy said...

Sturm, how well-organized was 'El Scorcho'? Were there plenty of aid stations and so on? I'm interested in doing it next year because I didn't hear about it this year until far too late, but I'd like your thoughts on how the race director fared with the new event.