Monday, August 25, 2008

Redeemed Team

I am really proud of those guys. All 12 of them. They made America proud, and did it all the right way. They were classy. They were united. They were what USA basketball needed. Lebron, D-Wade, Kobe…I will always remember what these guys did in Beijing. Bravo!


With their elbows locked, smiles iridescent and extreme image makeover complete, the United States men’s basketball players took their final step into Olympic lore in the most appropriate way — together.

They pulled one another up to the gold medal podium on Sunday after a 118-107 victory over Spain in an old-fashioned shootout that could long resonate as a standard for international play. After hammering their opponents by an average of 30.2 points through their first seven games, the Americans outlasted the Spaniards in their first wire-to-wire test of the Olympics, a game as aesthetically pleasing as it was entertaining.

The United States never trailed in the second half but did not officially put Spain away until Dwyane Wade, unofficially the best player in these Olympics, drilled a 3-pointer with 2 minutes 2 seconds remaining.

Wade, who led the team with 27 points, stayed in that spot for a second and posed with his hands on his hips and a cocksure grin. If there was ever a night for the Americans to show off a bit, this was it: They had completed their long journey back from a disappointing bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Games.

Carmelo Anthony, a veteran of Team USA, said the squad had put “American basketball where it’s supposed to be — on the top of the world.”

After embarrassing the United States on and off the court in Athens, this so-called Redeem Team lived up to its moniker with vigor. The players guarded as if their meals depended on it, shared the ball as if they were starring in “Hoosiers” and made not even a wisp of trouble off the court.

Their performance here validated the formula of USA Basketball’s managing director, Jerry Colangelo, who had dozens of the country’s best players commit to the program for three years. The players’ defensive zeal and camaraderie were a testament to just how far the Americans had come from the petulant and selfish group in 2004.
“The fact that we had this team for three years was the telling difference in this game,” Colangelo said. “It was a great game. It was a pressure game from the get-go, and we never cracked. The fact that we were together for this period of time was the difference.”

And afterward, the Americans had a chance to tell everyone about it as a team. Just as they planned to walk up on the podium with their arms locked, the entire team showed up at a news conference designed to accommodate no more than six people.
They complimented Spain’s valiant play but talked about how their shared experience of the past three years had allowed them to fend off every Spanish run.

The United States shot 60 percent from the field. Aside from Wade’s late 3-pointer, Kobe Bryant came through with numerous clutch fourth-quarter shots. After Spain had cut the lead to 2 points in the fourth quarter and forced Coach Mike Krzyzewski to call a timeout, Bryant hit a shot that started a 12-2 run. He later made a 3-pointer to boost the lead to 8 with 3:10 remaining, putting his finger over his lips to quiet the crowd.

“Everybody wants to talk about N.B.A. players being selfish and arrogant and being individuals,” Bryant said. “Well, what you saw today was a team bonded together, facing adversity and coming out of here with a big win.”

The victory appears to portend well for USA Basketball. Although Krzyzewski is not likely to return as head coach, Bryant is one of five core players — Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard are the others — who said they would gladly return to play in London in 2012. LeBron James, Anthony and Wade said they would consider it when they must decide.

“I think it’s important to play for the national team now,” the assistant coach Jim Boeheim said. “I think that’s what Jerry wanted to do. That was the whole goal.”
The other goal was to end up atop the podium. Along they way, they contributed to an instant classic of a game.

“It’s going to elevate the image of basketball worldwide,” Colangelo said. “It was
one of the great games of all-time in Olympic history. The quality and caliber of player in this championship game was extraordinary. The bar has been raised, and it’s going to be even better next time around.”

No sooner do I highlight the health of the Cowboys OL over the last few years then they lose a key component of the Cowboys OL is lost for 6 weeks

Dallas Cowboys left guard Kyle Kosier will be sidelined for the first month of the season.

He is expected to miss up to six weeks after suffering a sprained right foot in Friday’s 23-22 preseason victory against the Houston Texans.

Kosier joins linebacker Kevin Burnett (knee), receiver Miles Austin (knee),
cornerback Terence Newman (groin) and linebacker Anthony Spencer (knee) on the team’s injured list.

Newman should be ready for the season opener against Cleveland on Sept. 7.
It will come down to the wire on Burnett, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Aug. 15. Austin is out four to six weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee, and Spencer will miss two to four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday.

While Burnett, Austin and Spencer are reserves, Kosier is a starter, and his possible extended absence is a huge blow to the Cowboys’ offensive line.
Joe Berger and Cory Procter top the list of possible replacements, though the Cowboys could move tackle Pat McQuistan back to guard.

Receiver Isaiah Stanback suffered a dislocated shoulder against the Texans. The Cowboys will continue to monitor him before deciding if he needs surgery.
His injury complicates a precarious situation at receiver. Austin’s injury had already left the team with no proven options behind top three receivers Terrell Owens, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd.

Osi out; Strahan in?

Former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan would consider returning to the team in the wake of Osi Umenyiora's season-ending knee injury, the New York Daily News has reported, citing an unnamed source.

According to the paper, Strahan, 36, who retired in the offseason after helping lead
the Giants to a Super Bowl championship, would come back with the Giants if offered an $8 million contract for this season, according to a source close to the seven-time Pro Bowler. "If the Giants make a sincere overture, it's a good chance that Strahan would consider coming back," the source said, according to the Daily News. "There are other things he has to take into consideration: the money and his contract with Fox."

Strahan currently holds a position at Fox Sports as an NFL studio analyst.

"But if the Giants really want him, they have a shot," the source said. "It's not out of the question."

The Giants appear open to the idea.

Co-owner Steve Tisch told the New York Post the Giants have warmed to Strahan returning.

"Would I like Michael to be a New York Giant this season? Absolutely. Absolutely," Tisch told the Post. "Will he be? I have no idea. I don't even want to put a percentage on it but things changed very quickly [Saturday] night and if one of the potential solutions is to reach out to Michael, worst-case, it's certainly worth a phone call.''

Strahan was in Greece on vacation Sunday when he heard the extent of Umenyiora's injury, the Daily News reported.

Strahan wouldn't confirm the possibility of returning in an interview with the NFL Network.

"I haven't heard from anybody else, so to say if I would or wouldn't is premature," Strahan said. "So I'm enjoying my retired life right now.

Understand the Tampa 2 Defense here

RudyJax asks whether Mike Sherman can be successful at A&M ….

What happened to Reggie McNeal?

Once again it will be Reggie McNeal to the rescue for the Toronto Argonauts.
For the second straight week, the Argos fourth-string quarterback will start at wide receiver when the CFL club takes on the Montreal Alouettes in a key East Division contest Friday night at Rogers Centre at 7:30 p.m. ET.

McNeal, 24, made his first CFL start in last week's game against Hamilton due to a rash of injuries at receiver. The six-foot-two, 205-pound former Texas A&M star was one of the Argos few bright spots in the 45-21 defeat, registering six catches for 101 yards, both team highs.

So when the Argos offence takes to the field against Montreal, McNeal will once again find himself looking to catch the football instead of throwing it.
"I just want to make plays, that's what I went out there to do," he said. "That's what I've been used to doing all my life.

Playing receiver is nothing new for NcNeal. Despite leading Texas A&M to the Cotton Bowl as a quarterback in his junior season, the native of Lufkin, Texas, was drafted in the sixth round of the '06 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, who immediately projected him as a receiver.

McNeal saw action as both a receiver and backup quarterback with the Bengals before being released by Cincinnati in September 2007. McNeal signed with Toronto the following month and was added to the team's practice roster.

But McNeal said a football player must be prepared to step in wherever he's needed.
"This is a team, man," he said. "You can't be selfish in here. Everyone has to play for the same goal. If they need me to help out and go play receiver, I will do it."
McNeal's best season as a quarterback at Texas A&M was in 2004 when he completed 200-of-344 passes for 2,791 yards and 14 touchdowns. He passed for more than 200 yards in 10 games and had a career-high 298 yards passing versus the University of Wyoming.
He also ran for a school-record 718 yards and scored eight touchdowns. But the Aggies' season ended on a miserable note as Tennessee defeated Texas A&M 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl.

McNeal ended his college career on a down note, though, as the Aggies posted a 5-6 record in 2005. However, McNeal was invited to play in the East-West Shrine game in San Antonio and completed 9-of-11 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns in leading the West past the East 35-31.

McNeal says he's never surprised with what he does on the football field, be it at receiver or quarterback.

"I want to go out and be one of the leaders on the team and make plays and make things happen.," he said. "When the ball comes my way, make the play.

"That's what they pay us to do. When the ball comes my way, make sure I don't drop it and make something happen when I get it."

Chad Johnson is insane

“The problem with Michael Phelps is there’s no competition where he is,” Johnson said. “Now if he came to where I’m from, which is the inner city, Liberty City [in Miami], I was the three-time Charles Hadley Pool champ. . . . I know a couple people who could beat Michael Phelps right now. Seriously, I’m telling you. And I’m one of them.”

In Television news, It appears Timothy Treadwell is about to walk back into our lives

The documentary "The Grizzly Man Diaries" shares the same subject -- the eccentric bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell -- and producers as Werner Herzog's 2005 film "Grizzly Man." But the eight-part nature series, debuting on Animal Planet Aug. 29 at 9 p.m. EDT, couldn't be more different in its mission and tone.

" 'Grizzly Man' is so much a product of Werner's world view and interpretation of Timothy's life, that I wanted to go the complete opposite way with this series," says Erik Nelson, executive producer of both projects. "If Timothy didn't film it personally or write it in his diary, it's not here; I wanted viewers to enter his world without filters or a narrator telling you what to think."

Jewel Palovak, Mr. Treadwell's former business partner and also a producer on both projects, wanted to do the television series even before the idea for the film materialized. " 'Grizzly Man' just happened so quickly -- we had to finish it in six weeks to get it ready for the Sundance Film Festival," she says. "With his new show, I got to properly put together the tale Timothy wanted to tell."

Mr. Herzog, who was sent early cuts of the series but has not watched them yet, was unavailable for comment, according to a spokesperson.

A former drug addict turned amateur naturalist, Mr. Treadwell spent 13 summers embedded with the grizzly bears of Alaska's Katmai National Park before he and his girlfriend were mauled and devoured by one of his beloved creatures in October 2003. But as a budding filmmaker, Mr. Treadwell left behind an unusual legacy: more than 90 filmed hours and 10,000 photographs of his personal experiences with Katmai's wildest.

I have another weekend trip to Guatemala this week, and one place we are going is Tikal …this should be amazing.

Here is a take on the state of SMU this season …as they open Friday at Rice…

WE will get the full EPL Report tonight after Manchester United plays some Monday Night Football (At Portsmouth, 2pm, Setanta), but until then, here is the greatest goal of the season from the great Steven Gerrard, Gerrard!

And now, sports email:

Dude, that was freaking AWESOME!!!!! I stayed up last night for every second of the gold medal game between team USA and Spain. And then I hung in there for the medal ceremony. I was glued to the TV. I found myself cheering for both teams each time they scored. The energy and intensity was crazy. Man you could tell, those guys wanted it bad. I will always remember that game. I am definetely back into USA mens basketball. I am also now a lifelong fan of Kobe,Lebron,Dewayne Wade and everyone else on that team. They have been nothing but class throughout these olympics and even before that. I will never forget that game, and I will never forget these olympics. Freaking Awesome!!!!

Sports are fun

Here's a bit of useless but interesting fact bout the reach of Jamaican's Mr. Bolt's stride; After watching his domination of the 200 I took advantage of the wonderful technology of the DVR and slowed mo'd it.

Mr. Bolt was landing across the finish line on his 80th step (counting each left and rt step separate). By contrast the only other medalist ( cant remember if it was the S or B ) that ne camera had in pic the entire race that I could count, landed across the finish line on his 88th step. 10% more steps.


Here is the some additional and accurate data Bob. Share with your public. BE Sports Sturm. ;)

Here are Bolt's 10m splits from the race.

RT 0.165
10m 1.85
20m 2.87 (1.02)
30m 3.78 (0.91)
40m 4.65 (0.87)
50m 5.50 (0.85)
60m 6.32 (0.82)
70m 7.14 (0.82)
80m 7.96 (0.82)
90m 8.79 (0.83)
100m 9.69 (0.90)

So if we subtract his reaction time (.165) from his 40m time (4.65) we get 4.485s for a 40m least the way it is done in football with the runner starting on their own. After converting that to yards per second (9.7535yd/s) and then converting that to a 40yard dash time it comes out to 4.10 seconds not 3.5 like ESPN said which is what you get when you just convert the whole 100m time into a 40yd time (3.54 seconds to be exact....)

If you really want to get crazy with numbers Bolt covers 100m in 41 strides while Tyson covers 100m in 46 strides. Tyson can cover 89.1299m in the same 41 strides that Bolt can cover 100m. Tyson's split last year from the World Championships was 8.99 for the first 90m (41 strides) of the race....So I propose that everyone run the same amount of strides and see who is fastest.

I took out the reaction time for a simple reason. At the combine, the time starts at first player movement, not a gun like in track. Therefore, it has to come out to accurately reflect a 40 YD.

Mike P


So after picking Demarcus Ware over Shawn Merriman with the 11th pick in the 2005 draft the Cowboys and Bill Parcellss faced a lot of scrutiny. Does everybody remember Parcells whole outlook on drafting around that time frame? After dealing with the Antonio Bryants and Quincy Carters of the world, one word described what Big Bill was looking for...character. Ware was the poster child of character. Merriman was quite the opposite.

Merriman showed up to camp with like 30 lbs of muscle that he did not have in college. He stole the headlines after blowing up his rookie year and he quickly became the NFL leader in sacks. (of course he tested positive for steroids which in essence makes him a cheater) But that's ok Shawn...keep doing your lights out dance.

For those of you who live in a cave and don't know- Merriman will motion as if he were turning out a light switch after every sack or big if to say his hits cause the opponent's lights to go out. Jason Taylor commented once that Shawn should not have been considered for an award because he was on steroids. Merriman responded by sending Taylor a "lights out" T-shirt and a box of popcorn, mocking the fact that Taylor was at home during the playoffs while he his Chargers were still in the hunt. Class act huh?

I guess Shawn decided that his now famous celebration had become tiresome, announcing before the 2007 season that he would no longer do it. It only took 4 games for him to breakdown and showcase his oh-so-exciting gesture once again. I guess the temptation got too strong. During the 4th game he gets up after a sack on Damon Huard (wow big accomplishment there) and he's such an attention whore that he wants to crowd to cheer for him even more.

I can see the thought process going through his head as the little hamster in his tiny brain starts running on the wheel. I bet he was like "man I really need to showboat because that was a good sack...should I do the homerun swing? many people do that...should i do the axe chop? just doesn't feel right...well I guess I can do the lights is after ALL my signature move!" What a jackass...He is just another meathead with an over inflated sense of self worth and a fat bank account. Nobody will even remember him 10 years from now.

Now while all these semantics are going on Demarcus Ware is quietly becoming one of the best all around linebackers the game has ever seen. Not only sacking the qb constantly, but running back interceptions for touchdowns and chasing down rb's who try to swing to the outside. He is an all around phenomenal athlete and a leader in the locker room. I'm pretty sure he will be in the running for Defensive MVP this year.

While Mr. Merriman is busy flying directly from practice to LA to be an anchor on a Fox pregame show, Demarcus is at home with his wife and their recently adopted little girl.

While Shawn's testis are shrinking from steroid abuse, Ware is adding on lean muscle the old fashioned way...working for it.

While Merriman gets a sack against a putrid team like Kansas City and does a clown dance...Ware is chasing down Brian Westbrook from behind and tackling him for a loss...quietly returning to the huddle.

Oh did I mention Merriman's career might be in jeopardy? I wonder if Shawn will give the lights out signal as they put him under to do reconstructive surgery on his bum knee. I think the Cowboys made the right decision don't you?

Well time to get back to work-



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Good-bye to Generation Kill….Gen Kill sings Wheatus

Try watching this without laughing

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