Sunday, July 31, 2011

Worst Owner in Sports

So I just read an article on The Shutdown Corner  on Yahoo sports that said the Redskins offered the Bengals two first round draft picks for Chad Ochocinco a few years ago only to have Mike Brown turn them down. Since that offer, Ocho's play has regressed and he was recently traded for two late round picks. I can't believe the Bengals didn't make that deal. But with Carson Palmer sitting at home rather than at some team's training camp, what did I expect? This is also the NFL team that doesn't have an indoor practice facility. If you don't have an indoor practice facility and your team resides in a cold weather state, are you really trying? A local high school team that is down the street from Bengal's headquarters has one but the Bengal's don't. All this makes me wonder is Mike Brown the worst owner in professional sports?

Who would be the other contenders for this title? Al Davis? Donald Sterling? Peter Angelos?  Frank McCourt? James Dolan? Micheal Jordan surely deserves a mention. As does Dan Snyder.

I know many will say Al Davis but in his defense, Al's way worked for a long time. The Raiders have historically been good and have only recently become a laughing stock. Also, if the owner spends money but just spends its foolishly, I'll give them a pass. So Angelos and Snyder are out. I'll give Jordan a pass too since he hasn't been a owner for a long period of  time so he has time to grow into the role.  That leaves us with McCourt, Sterling, Dolan and Brown.

Dolan spends a ton of money so he almost got a pass. I would rather my owner tried as opposed to never doing anything (see Pittsburgh Pirates). However, I just can't overlook all the crazy things that have occurred during his watch. Plus his infatuation with Isaiah Thomas is unnerving. Lawsuits plus constant GM and coach turn-over equals bad ownership.

Next we have Frank McCourt. If you can't make payroll, you suck as an owner. That's really all you need to know.

Mike Brown - team regularly sucks. The organization is ran on the cheap. The owner hurts the team rather than helps them win.

And finally there is Donald Sterling. Sterling runs the show on the cheap. He has been sued for discrimination.  He's been known to heckle and demean his players. His team never wins. Ever.

I think we have a winner. Sterling by a nose hair over Mike Brown. But at least LA basketball fans can cheer for the Lakers. Alas, poor Cincinnati football fans are stuck with only the Bengals. Who do you think deserves the title of worst owner? 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All-Time Team - Tight End

All-Time Tight-end - Mike Ditka

This position was perhaps the most difficult to pick. Its not that I have too many favorite tight-ends. Its just the opposite. I really don't watch the position like I do others. Plus its a hybrid spot. You got to block and you have to catch and I have never decided which aspect I think is most important. The tight-ends that I should use all have some quality that I dislike. For example, Shannon Sharpe looks like a horse. Sea Biscuit can not make my squad. Antonio Gates is as bad built as I've ever seen a pro athlete. I don't need him waddling down the seams for my team. Tony Gonzalez is too much of a pretty boy for me. No prancing around on my squad either. In case you haven't noticed, I like football players with mean streaks; guys with notorious dispositions. Therefore, Mike Ditka is the perfect guy to be my tight-end. While I never seen him play, he is in the Hall of Fame. His demonstrative demeanor as a coach leads me to conclude that he has the right temperament for this squad. I can still see him berating Jim Harbaugh for throwing that pick six against the Vikings. It was child abuse on national TV except Harbaugh was an adult. No matter how successful Harbaugh is as a coach, I still feel bad for him for that day.

Having Ditka on the squad provides many benefits. He can serve as Head Coach in pinch. He did win over 100 games in the league. He can get catering from his steakhouse. In fact, Ditka would be over all food and beverage. Brats and beer for everyone. Plus he'll have a stash of Levitra for the older players. Only thing he would not have a hand in is personnel decisions. We saw how that turned out for the Saints.

Jimmy Graham

I figure I should at least have a player I watched on the squad so I present to you Jimmy Graham. This kid has star written all over him. I know he is still unproven and raw, but I just love the enthusiasm that he brings to the game. With his work ethic, their is no doubt he will fulfill his potential. Plus I like the fact that he overcame racism (from his relatives on both sides of his family for being mixed) homelessness and poverty just to get to college. So he no doubt has character which is always a good thing to have on one's team. 

Who are your favorite tight ends? I bet I get some interesting picks on this one.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Way to go A.J.

I'd like to give a shout out to A.J. Jefferson for becoming the first Dandy Dozen football player from North Pike High School (my Alma Mater). The Dandy Dozen is a preseason listing of the 12 best high school football players in Mississippi. Congratulations A.J. and good luck this season!

P.S. Damn AJ is already grown man big. High schoolers are huge these days.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

All time team - Offensive Line

Welcome back to my series on my all-time favorite players at each position. I remind you that these are not the players I think are the greatest at each position. These are my personal favorites. Today I discuss the backbone of any team - the HOGS in the trenches.

Left Tackle - Willie Roaf

Big Willie anchored the Saints offensive line for nearly a decade and then opened holes for one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history in Kansas City. To call him a great player would be an understatement. Roaf made the All-Decade Team for both the 1990s and 2000s. The soon to be Hall of Famer is also as classy as they come. He is a perfect choice to anchor the blind side.

Left Guard - Larry Allen

Larry Allen may be the strongest player to ever play in the NFL. His weight room feats are legendary. This strength allowed him to absolutely punish defenders. Now I am by no means a Cowboys fan but I always liked Cowboy linemen. Allen cemented his status as an all-time great in Super Bowl 30 when he leveled Greg Lloyd. Lloyd was one of the meanest and nastiest Linebackers ever and was in his prime at the time. Allen pulled and crushed Lloyd on a sweep. Crushed him in a way you rarely see in a NFL game. But that was Allen. A guy who physically stood out against his opponents.

Center - Dermonti Dawson

Dawson was a 6 time All-Pro and 7 time Pro-Bowler and was elected to the All-Decade team of the 90s. I know it may seem contrary to popular thought, but the Steelers may be Team Center. The team is know for their running backs, have a couple of Hall of Fame QBs and a slew of All-Pro linebackers. But actually, center is the team position of excellence. The team has Mike Webster at center in the Hall of Fame. Dawson is a HOF finalist. Jeff Hartings was an All-Pro and their current center Markice Pouncey seems bound for an excellent career after a very solid rookie year. I like Dawson the most of this bunch. He's an excellent athlete who had a great career.

Right Guard - Bruce Matthews

At right guard we have yet another member of the All-Decade team of the 90s. Matthews makes my team for his versatility and his longevity. Matthews was a 14 time Pro-Bowl selection and a 9 time All-Pro. He played Tackle, Guard & Center for the Oilers/Titans makinkg the Pro-Bowl as a guard and center. By having Matthews on this team, he can provide a back-up at all line positions. Also, as an added perk, I can have his family fill out the rest of the roster. His brother Clay Jr played 19 hard hitting years for the Browns (Bruce played 20 seasons). His nephew Clay III is now a hard hitting stud backer for the Packers. Did I mention Clay I had a 4 year OL run with the 49ers? Clay III's little brother Casey was drafted by the Eagles. Bruce's son Kevin is on the Titans roster to be coached by his dad next season. Then there's Jake who was a high school All-American that plays for Texas A&M. Yeah, I'd say football runs in their blood.

Right Tackle - Erick Williams

Damn! I can't believe I have two Cowboys on my All-time team.* That is such a disappointment. However, the 90s Cowboys line may have been the best ever so I have to give them their due respect. Williams crushed opponents just as thoroughly as Allen did. I firmly believe that the Cowboys success was based on the dominating offensive lineman they had. While everyone else on my line is or will be a Hall of Famer, Williams will not be. However, during his peak years, there were none better than him.

*Deion Sanders Cowboy years have been erased from my memory

So there you have it. Let the debates begin.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Three Cheers for the Yankee Captain

I have never liked the Yankees. Their obnoxious fans and loudmouth owner forever turned me off. Plus during my formative years, they just weren't any good. Throughout the 80s, they were a team in constant turmoil. George Steinbrenner feuded with his players, constantly fired his managers and even got exiled from Major League Baseball. But all this changed in the 90s when the Yanks called up a slew of stud young players.  These players would lead the Yankees back to prominence and end up dominating the 90s. Most prominent among those players was Derek Sanderson Jeter.

Over the weekend, Jeter became the first Yankee to ever get 3000 hits. He did it with same class and flair for the dramatic that he has always exhibited throughout his career. Jeter should be commended for always playing the game hard and being a consummate pro. So while I still can't stand the Yankees and still think most of their fans are completely obnoxious, I'll give Jeter a tip of the cap for a career that has redefined what it means to be great. Congratulations Derek.