Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don Banks is an Idiot

That is the only way to explain this. I know that it is a week where we all have to write things that interest our readers, but c’mon. Eli Manning is suddenly the 4th best QB in the playoffs? He has 1 game, and he is lined up behind the QB trinity of Brady-Manning-Favre? Based on what?

Before I sound like a Romo-homer (I am), let’s just look at Phillip Rivers vs. Eli. Rivers leads his team to a 14-2 season, then an 11-5 season for a career starting record of 25-7, and has now also won his first playoff game. But he is 8th and Eli is now proven and #4? Win in Tampa Bay. But, if you are the flavor of the week, we launch you past Hasselbeck (Super Bowl), Romo (38 TD’s) and Garrard (won in Pittsburgh…twice, slightly tougher than Tampa Bay).

Oh well. Despite the fact that this story pulled me offside, I must remember 7 days ago, the darling of the NFL was Washington, and now they are looking for a new coach and have begun their offseason. In 7 days, look for a similar Giants fate.

Banks’ QB Rankings

The NFL's Super Bowl tournament is down to its elite eight, and here are the divisional round storylines that intrigue me ...

This year's elite eight quarterback lineup breaks down nicely into two very distinct groups of four. Four of them have won or played in a Super Bowl: Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Matt Hasselbeck. And four of them have never made the big game: Tony Romo, Eli Manning, David Garrard and Philip Rivers.

Our QB power rankings at the moment:

1. Tom Brady -- The league's newly minted MVP and Offensive Player of the Year.

2. Peyton Manning -- Somehow overlooked this season despite winning one more game in the regular season than he did during the Colts' Super Bowl run of last year (13-3 to 12-4).

3. Brett Favre -- A renaissance season for the ages for No. 4.

4. Eli Manning -- Riding two games worth of confidence and momentum into Dallas.

5. Tony Romo -- One touchdown pass, five interceptions, five sacks, three fumbles, one sore thumb and one over-exposed girlfriend (you know what we mean) in his past three games. For a second straight December, he went from Romo to No-Mo (as in, no momentum).

6. Matt Hasselbeck -- He owns four playoff wins in the past three seasons, and that's more than all but Peyton Manning among this group of passers.

7. David Garrard -- Pretty shaky first career playoff start last week at Pittsburgh, but he's coming off a superb and highly underappreciated season.

8. Philip Rivers -- A strong second half against Tennessee not only saved the Chargers, but it made Rivers the first San Diego quarterback since Stan Humphries (remember him?) to win a playoff game.

JJT on the private/public life of Tony Romo …I am tired of this matter…

Never has more time been wasted on something so ridiculous. It does not matter one iota – as mama used to say – whether Romo spent the weekend in Cabo San Lucas or South Beach or LA after leading Dallas to a 13-3 record and a first-round bye. It's his life; he can do as he chooses.

Don't forget, your Cowboys who won three titles in the '90s partied like rock stars Monday through Saturday and won on Sunday.

If Romo plays poorly and the Giants beat the Cowboys, Romo will be criticized all day, every day until the start of training camp. If he plays great, then the trip will be a great idea that helped him get away from football and relax.

What you must understand is that you don't own Romo, no matter how many jerseys you buy or how loudly you cheer.

So get over this obsession with his personal life. It's unhealthy.

Maybe you work 80 hours a week. Maybe you never take a day off. If that works for you, fine.

Sometimes, though, less is more.

Maybe you wish he was dating the girl next door instead of a well-known celebrity. Well, guess what? Millionaire athletes date beautiful high-profile women.

That's the reason everyone wants to be a quarterback. No one volunteers to play center on the first day of practice. "I try to do two things in my life," Romo said Wednesday afternoon, "work really hard at football and try to be a good person."

Romo owes you nothing except to prepare as diligently as he can and play with supreme effort. There's been nothing in his 27 career starts to suggest he doesn't prepare to win every week. All he's done in his first year as a full-time starter is shatter virtually every significant franchise passing mark and lead the Cowboys to the NFC's best record.

You say he has put more pressure on himself by taking a couple of days off – get over it.
The game is all about pressure. If you can't handle it – Quincy Carter comes to mind – then you ultimately fail. Romo has done nothing but handle the pressure every time he's been exposed to it.

White Out at Texas Stadium?

The Cowboys are asking fans to wear white to Sunday's game at Texas Stadium.
If you're one of the first 40,000 through the gates, they'll give you a cute, white rally towel to wave. Parking lots open at 10 a.m., gates at 12:30.

Mavericks encourage us by pounding Detroit

Another game, another night when the Mavericks looked better than they have all season.
But it wasn't the strong-defending, hot-shooting, on-a-roll Mavericks Avery Johnson was happy to see.

It was the check-your-feelings-at-the-door Mavericks that he wanted to see.

And that's exactly what he got as they took on one of the Eastern Conference bullies and didn't need any bodyguards, bashing the Detroit Pistons, 102-86, Wednesday night at American Airlines Center for their fifth consecutive victory.

"This is a tough team to play against," Johnson said. "You got to bring your hard hat. You can't bring your pacifier. This game tonight is not for whiners. I thought our guys didn't complain and focused on the game plan on both ends."

Mission accomplished. It was the Mavericks who looked like beasts and the Pistons who ran for cover early after falling behind by double figures in the first quarter and never getting closer than 14 points in the fourth quarter.

It's not a stretch to say the Mavericks are on a roll after their wipeout win. That it came against the Pistons, who had won 11 games in a row before losing to Boston and now the Mavericks, was uplifting. They are a lukewarm 9-6 against the Eastern Conference.

"I would say a lot of the Eastern teams have gotten better," Johnson said. "We haven't won as many close games. We weren't playing very good early in the year when we played a lot of those teams and we paid the price for it."

Perhaps all of that is true, but none of it applied Wednesday night. Dirk Nowitzki was superb again with 23 points and nine rebounds. He got excellent support from Devin Harris (19 points) and Jason Terry (15), who were alternated at point guard as much as they have been all season, rather than seeing a lot of time on the court together.

The Mavericks also shot well, hitting 10-of-16 3-pointers, which makes everything look better, of course. But the shots they took were mostly clear looks.

"We tried to get points in the paint," Johnson said. "We had a stretch where we shot some 3s, and we needed to take those. They were wide-open. But it was set up by us getting to the paint on penetrations."

Which was yet another example of the Mavericks not backing down from a team known for its strength and toughness.

"We're not the soft team everybody expects us to be," Harris said.

Meanwhile, The Detroit Paper takes a shot at the Mavericks in the top sentence

The Pistons did exactly what they knew they couldn't do Wednesday: They gave the Dallas Mavericks, one of the most notorious front-running, fair-weather teams in the league, the first punch.

By the time the Pistons got back on their feet, they were fighting up a 16-point slope. And once the Mavericks are feeling that good, no amount of fight was going to alter the inevitable.

"It's disappointing because we knew that team is a first-quarter team,"
Chauncey Billups said after the Mavericks posted a 102-86 victory before a rowdy, sellout crowd at American Airlines Center. "We let them get into a comfort zone and when you let them shoot where they want to shoot, they don't miss."

It was the Mavericks' fifth straight victory and it ended the Pistons' five-game
road winning streak. And Billups was right, the Mavericks didn't miss much -- hitting 56.8 percent on the night and making 10 of 16 3-pointers.

"Terrible," coach Flip Saunders said. "Against a good team, you have to set the tone early and we came out non-aggressive. We didn't contest on the defensive end and pretty much let them get wherever they wanted to go. We just didn't compete at the level we needed to compete."

Dirk Nowitzki, who averaged 28.5 points against the Pistons last season, busted them for 23, hitting 10 of 14 shots. Nowitzki, Devin Harris (19 points), former Piston Jerry Stackhouse (15 points) and Jason Terry (15) combined to make 29 of 45 shots.

"We knew we had to score because Detroit is a team that struggles to score at times," Stackhouse said. "Everyone came out aggressive and we played with a lot of confidence."

The Pistons couldn't get their offense unstuck for the second straight game, relying again on too many jump shots. They only shot 15 free throws. Dallas center Erick Dampier played 30 minutes and didn't pick up a personal foul.
Dampier, by the way, made all three of his shots, giving him a team-record 14 straight successful field goal attempts spanning three games.

"They just shot the heck out of the ball," said Rasheed Wallace, who picked up two quick fouls and was a picture of frustration throughout the game.
"That's how it flows some nights. Some nights you are hot like fire, other nights you are cold as ice. But we still went out and competed. Nobody gave up."

Modano/Turco lead the way in Chicago

Dave Tippett's theory of evolution regarding Mike Modano's game received a little support Wednesday night.

The Stars center tallied three assists and helped Dallas to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in a game that Tippett said proved how difficult it is to label Modano as a No. 1 or No. 2 center.

"Three points tonight and probably half of his time was on special teams," Tippett said, before referencing a story in The Dallas Morning News that asked what Modano's role is in light of Mike Ribeiro's new $25 million contract.

"As much as the media wants to make it out as No. 1 or No. 2, I look at it all on the same page," Tippett said. "There's certain people who do certain things that help our team win. Mike Ribeiro does things that help our team win, and Mike Modano does things that help our team win."

Wednesday's game was a perfect example of that, as Modano had just one shot on goal, struggled in the faceoff circle (2-for-9) and still came up with the three assists and was plus-2 in 22 minutes 52 seconds.

"That might be the easiest three assists of my life," Modano said after the Stars pushed their record to 25-16-4 (54 points).

Still, the 37-year-old said the team followed a tried and true formula to get the victory. Dallas dominated time of possession of the puck, had a 30-18 edge in shots on goal and got two great scoring opportunities on a third-period penalty kill with the score tied 1-1.

"You make your breaks," Modano said. "You work for your chances, and we seemed to have the puck a lot on that kill."

Modano buzzed to the net on one run during the penalty kill and almost deflected a Sergei Zubov shot in. Twenty seconds later, Stu Barnes was teeing up a shot from the right point on the same run up ice. The shot dipped down and deflected off the ice midway on its path to the goal and then started knuckling. It slipped past Chicago goalie
Nikolai Khabibulin for Barnes' fifth goal in the last nine games.

"It was sort of a squib kick," Barnes said with a laugh.

"Barnesesque," Modano joked.

Still, it was exactly what the Stars needed to start a five-game trip – and it was a dagger to the heart of a Chicago team that is in the midst of a seven-game winless streak (0-5-2).

Sorry, Rangers Ownership, the evidence is in that DFW is now bigger than any city not named Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles …Now Spend More Money and Act like a Big City!

WE'RE NO. 4! WE'RE NO. 4!

If you arrived in North Texas during the past seven years, you're one in a million.
Dallas-Fort Worth is now the fourth-largest metro area in the U.S., up from seventh place less than a decade ago.

The Metroplex is adding about 1 million residents every seven years, according to the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The region's population has surpassed that of greater Philadelphia, Detroit and Boston, updated census figures show.

The growth has prompted the council of governments to start thinking seriously about
expanding its reach. The agency, the congressionally recognized official planning body for the region, will hold hearings this month on a proposal to extend the metropolitan planning area into all of Wise, Hood and Hunt counties and into previously untouched portions of Johnson, Parker and other counties.

Regional planners want to influence land-use decisions in those rural areas so suburban growth doesn't go unchecked, which could lead to even worse traffic and fouler air than we have today.

"We've got to have the whole region in this land-use relationship, or we're going to have leapfrog development," said Michael Morris, the council's transportation director.

How they rank

The most-populated metro areas (number of residents in millions):

1. New York, 18.82
2. Los Angeles, 12.95
3. Chicago, 9.51
4. Dallas-Fort Worth, 6.00
5. Philadelphia, 5.83
6. Houston, 5.54
7. Miami, 5.46
8. Washington, 5.29
9. Atlanta, 5.14
10. Detroit, 4.47
11. Boston, 4.46
12. San Francisco, 4.18
13. Phoenix, 4.04
14. Riverside, Calif., 4.03
15. Seattle, 3.26
16. Minneapolis, 3.18
17. San Diego, 2.94
18. St. Louis, 2.80
19. Tampa, Fla. 2.70
20. Baltimore, 2.66
Source: U.S. Census Bureau


I like the show today as usual.. one thing that everyone forgets.. ever since that laura miller aid released the mavericks parade route, no dallas team has won a playoff round, be it a 1 gamer such as desparados and cowboys or a series such as mavs or stars. Due to laura miller the pro teams have been denied in this city and it will make it extra difficult for the cowboys to win Sunday..
Think about it..


I'm a huge P-1 and occasional e-mailer. I've met you guys a couple of times -- most notably at Opening Day of the Rangers two years ago when I showed you and Dan the video of the WFAA streaker for the first time. That's my claim to fame. I use it to pick up chicks. Anyway, I'm not asking for too much, but just if you could link our new blog on yours. I'm a sports writer at the Denton Record-Chronicle, or the Wretched-Chronicle if you enjoy humor. Anyway, it's kind of brainchild so I'm wanting it to take off so it'll make me look good. Not too self-serving is it? Anyway, at least check it out. Keep in mind, it's just getting up and running, so don't expect gold -- yet. Thanks for your time. Love the show!

Also, a tv question for you...I've heard nothing but great things about The Wire. I tried to watch the first few episodes a while back and got kind of bored with it and gave up. Now I'm thinking I probably made a mistake. I love great television so I want to get back in it. Do you think I could start watching tonight without having seen the previous ones? I've heard from a few people that each season can kind of stand on its own. What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

Adam, I think it would be nearly impossible to start watching the Wire now and have any idea what is going on. I recommend the DVD’s and start at the start and prepare for genius television…

Sweet Child O Mine – Live from India

Crank Dat Romo


Jay said...

I am nervous as computer ab this whole thing but deep in my sports heart I believe the Cowboys will triumph over the hated G-men.


FME FC said...

When did pro-sports coverage turn into an episode of The View? First it's the hen cackling in the booth during MNF now we are worried about players taking a break, during a break? Let's bring back the men. Free Mike Vick!

Poncenomics said...

Don Banks IS an idiot, but that's beside the point.

Banks is assessing Brady and Peyton based on their performance this season. Favre, too, though I suspect he's also placing Favre there because of his career.

The remainder of the QBs are listing strictly on the last month. This explains why Eli gets #4 and Romo slips to #5. Of course, if he would assess EVERYONE that way, Favre would slip to 7 or 8 because if his dud in Chicago. But he doesn't, which is why he's an idiot.

Jay said...

I would like to say that the Ticket's announcement this morning showed me that Marketing people are really smart.

On an unrelated note I would like to make a major Blog announcement.

Sunday this week will be coming after Saturday and before Monday.

Also another huge announcement, I will be making a trip to Home Depot this weekend.

Also another huge announcement, Norm Hitzges will be at Man's Best Friend today selling autographed copies of his book "Greatest Team Ever."