Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beware, NFL

Above, the Cowboys send a message to the rest of the NFL about Tony Romo being back - "Now I have a machine gun, Ho, Ho, Ho"...

Links from around the sports landscape…

Pac Man will know this week …and I would not do this, but they just don’t ask me anymore…

Suspended cornerback Adam Jones and the Dallas Cowboys will know his fate in the next few days.

According to a source, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will decide before the end of the week whether to reinstate Jones or continue his suspension.

In an interview Tuesday on the NFL Network, Goodell said, "Adam has been through a period of time where he's gone through medical evaluations and I will be hearing from those personnel later this week. And we'll be making a decision some time in
the coming days with respect to his status."

What's certain now is the suspension will be at least five games.

Jones was suspended Oct. 14 for at least four games by the commissioner for another violation of the league's personal conduct policy. It came a week after he was involved in a alcohol-related scuffle with his bodyguard at the Joule Hotel and roughly six weeks after being reinstated from a 17-month suspension for repeated violations of the personal conduct policy.

Jones was ordered to undergo alcohol rehabilitation and other counseling. Jones missed the Cowboys games against the St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Goodell said at the time that he would re-evaluate Jones' status after the Redskins game.

Even if Goodell does reinstate Jones this week, it will be too late for him to play in Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Jones has completed his alcohol rehabilitation program in the Boston area and has returned to the Dallas area, where he will continue to be evaluated by clinical experts and await the decision from the commissioner.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and coach Wade Phillips said they would welcome Adam Jones back to the team if he is reinstated by the league.

Tracy Myers examines Turco’s uptick

Marty Turco does this all the time, making those little tweaks when necessary to right his game.

So with his rough start, the Dallas Stars goalie was doing them again. Getting his feet right, putting on the old skates, breaking out a new helmet and getting — along with his infant son — consistent sleep through the night.

Whatever the quick fixes and sleep pattern — and the practice work, of course — they’re working.

Turco has looked, well, more like Turco in the past five games. He’s lowered his goals-against dramatically from his first handful of starts, and has kept the Stars within striking distance of these recent games.

Maybe they’re little adjustments that only he notices, but it’s been a good foundation.

"Sometimes tweaks help you mentally and you can sustain and build from them," Turco said. "They’ve gotten me to feeling better consistently. I can’t say I’ve had a bad practice during this five-game stretch, and that’s a good feeling as a goaltender."

And here is what I wrote over the weekend on the same topic:

Marty appears to be rounding into shape since that fateful night in Boston. The team still is not playing well enough and it is going to take some further developments, but now that Marty has played 15 games, isn't it fun to break it down?

Marty Turco's Statistics

GamesGoals allowed per startSave Percentage

I realize that nothing is more team-oriented than the statistics of a goalie, but since he gets the big bucks when things go well, the numbers go on his ledger. Regardless, I told you back in October that there is no way he stays at that pace, and he has proven that easy bet a winner.

To see today’s new Stars Blog stuff Click Here

Break Up the Mavs as they win in Charlotte

Yes, Tuesday's 100-83 blowout was against the bottom-feeding Charlotte Bobcats. But, as coach Rick Carlisle said, "you can't complain about a win with the way it's been so far."

And it was a quality victory in more ways than one. The Mavericks ripped out to a 15-0 lead at Time Warner Cable Arena. They got big nights from their forward tandem of Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard. They made another argument that they are starting to get it – "it" being Carlisle's system.

And, with their second win in a row, they may be reaping some benefits from that ugly five-game losing streak that still darkens their record.

"Sometimes you dream about starting off undefeated," Jason Kidd said. "But sometimes
it's good to go through something that's going to test a team and see where our character is. Are we going to give into the slow start or fight our way out? And this is a group of guys that's going to fight their way out."

Even when the other team doesn't put up a fight.

The Bobcats were a lot like their fans on this night. They didn't show up. The arena
was less than half full on a bitterly cold night in Charlotte. The Mavericks forced the Bobcats to miss their first nine shots, were ahead by 20 at halftime and the lead never dipped below 11 in the second half.

Nowitzki had 32 points, Howard 21. The Mavericks dominated the rebounding department and held the Bobcats to 38.8 percent shooting.

Shield is so money

Much of that power comes from the seven year journey we've been on with these characters, always wondering how Vic is going to get out of his latest jam, how he's going to end up, what Shane's going to do, etc. To see Shane spiral further and further into impending doom -- now having inadvertently made his pregnant wife into a killer -- was devastating, even though he's a short-sighted, hot-headed, bigoted clown who has brought all of this misery on himself (and, unfortunately, on his family) because good guy or bad, you form attachments to people you've been watching this long.

And after waiting and wondering for years who was going to take Vic down and how, to see apparently him pull off the greatest Houdini act of his career -- to find a way to legally insulate himself from every murder, robbery and other crime he committed over a long and dirty career -- was stunning, especially since we know that he had to sell out Ronnie to do it.

But much of that power also comes from the actors. What praise is left to write about Mr. Michael Chiklis? Every time I think he's wowed me as much as he ever can, he gives a performance like the one in this episode. With Chiklis, your eyes are always drawn to that bald dome, to the muscles, the swagger and maybe the sneer, but all I can think about in this episode are his eyes. There are several distinct moments in the hour where Chiklis gives us a window into Vic's soul, and it's a terrifying glimpse each time. The first is right after he gets the news that Chaffee ok'ed the immunity deal (but before he finds out that it's only for him, not Ronnie) and you see all the relief at seeing what he thinks is the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The second is right after he sees the cops' (fake) arrest of Corrine, which he knows he caused with all his shenanigans. It's one of the few times in the run of the series where Vic seems to acknowledge, even for a moment, that his actions might have wronged other people, and it stands in stark contrast to the compartmentalized, guiltless look on his face at the end of the episode, after he's screwed over Olivia and Ronnie and gotten himself the greatest Get Out of Jail Free card of all time.

But the thing that has haunted my dreams, that left me shaken in that screening room and the rest of the day, was that long silence before the confession. Again, some of the power of that is cumulative. To paraphrase Shawn Ryan, "The Shield" usually moves at such a helter-skelter pace that when it actually slows down to "Mad Men" speed, those moments hit much harder than they would on a more conventionally-paced series. But dammit, look at Chiklis eyes, the set of his jaw, the utterly engimatic look on his face as Mackey debates whether he can really bring himself to do this: to finally own up to every last one of his sins to someone outside the strike team, and to destroy the life of the last strike teamer standing. Just a masterclass in acting, and one of the most striking moments I've ever witnessed in any TV drama.

Gretzky - Broten

Singletary’s now famous Vernon Davis rant


Josh said...

loved the "Now I have a machine gun" analogy on the air ... great seeing the picture on the blog.

Nice win for the Mavs who can take advantage of an injured Rockets team tonight. Then with home games against Memphis and Indiana, this team would, should, could be back to .500 in no time. Maybe this stretch of their schedule is enough to jump-start this bunch. Granted, that doesn't mean they're a contender. It just means they aren't necessarily the lottery team they looked like early on.

Anonymous said...

The great one really knew how to throw down, apparently.

I'd hate to see what Vic Mackey could do to Neal Broten with a phone book, though.