An attempt to be humorous and logical about the Buffalo Sports Scene.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Well Free Agency begins today. And its always exciting time in the NFL. Big stars sign huge deals. Albert Haynesworth signs one of those, oh my god, thats a lot of money deals. Then torn apart because he will never live up to the deal. But who cares, he'll be productive and its not my money.
But the Bills I do care about. Guys are coming in, mostly the guys you kinda heard of, but not really.
Like Drayton Florence and Jamie Winborn
And Harvard QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
But today the big name came into 1 Bills drive. That is Laverenus Coles. Well big, as in holy crap he is actually in town. And not big as Albert Haynesworth. But thats pretty big for Buffalo standards. Lets hope he doesn't leave town without a deal. He would be a nice complement to Lee Evans, and would make Trent Edwards better. And maybe take some pressure of James Hardy, so he can develop, leaving Josh Reed to do his thing and Stevie Johnson, to help out.
I love free agency, then when it dies down a bit, its NHL trade deadline, so should be a busy couple days of moves around here. Or not, then it will be depressing. Till the draft then the excitement will build again, for guys I've never seen or heard of. But there on my team damnit, so they must be good.
I'll be celebrating the Fiancees birthday this weekend, so no blogging here but I will be paying attention to any moves and come monday, some hard hitting analysis.
Well with the shootout loss to Carolina last night, they picked up a point, but they also lost their point lead against the Hurricanes, also the head to head tiebreaker. But I have zero idea how the tiebreakers work in the playoff standings, so I won't go into them. They are currently in Eighth place today. And only 2 points out of 5th. So really they aren't in a bad spot. There are plenty of games left and if Miller isn't as badly hurt, then the Team should be ok. Well, that's assuming they play alright and not give the puck up all the time and put Lalime in bad spots. The next 10 games will be big for this team. So lets look at the next 10 games. And they are not all must wins. But getting as many points as possible is key.
Saturday @ the Islanders
3/4 vs Canadiens
3/6 vs Coyotes
3/7 @ Senators
3/12 vs Panthers
3/14 vs Senators
3/20 vs Flyers
3/21 @ Rangers
3/25 vs Panthers
They have 6 games at home. But two of those are the back to back, one at home one on the road. Which make zero sense to me. They play the worst team in hockey next, the last game before the trade deadline. They have to win the game on Saturday. Then the game against the Habs is another huge one. The Coyotes game is a throw away. But then they have 2 against the Sens and two against the flyers. The flyers seem to far to catch, but they sweep the next two and the Flyers are back in range. Plus two games against the Panthers. Thats a split able series in my eye.
Hopefully the Sabres can go 7-3 in the next 10. But 6-4 or 5-4-1 wouldn't be the end of things. They need to create space. But they also need to keep pace. They can't let the Miller injury lead to an excuse. The Sabres can play well and win if they really want to. The trade deadline, will show what Regier thinks of this team. If they are sellers, the year is over. They do nothing, they are confident in the team. Buyers? It shows Darcy really likes the team and thinks they can go far, or next year. Which may give the team a nice shot in the arm.
Is Glen Metropolit still available?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
For the first part of the game they kept the shots down, pressured the offensive zone and I thought played well. Unfortunately Giguere came to play last night. The former Conn Smythe winner was in old form. And the mistakes the defensive made, were cashed in. At least Todd Marchant got a goal, the first since October, in his home coming.
The Sabres aren't finished, and there is plenty of time left in the season. I am just tired of the defeatist attitude that permeates the entire Buffalo Sports Culture. Its like oh well, its over, might as well except it. Why not sit back and let things unfold. You can't overreact to every little thing.
And one thing Paul Gaustad hasn't given up on this team, and neither shall I. Just be patient, and let things play themselves out. I don't think the Sabres are sellers at the deadline. I think they will pick up a few parts to help them now and next year. Even if they have to unload someone, like a Kotalik. Who I think could actually pull in a decent player in return.
But bottomline, Relax people. Its gonna be okay.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Marshawn Lynch got arrested. (again) I love this line though
Williams described Lynch’s arrest as “run of the mill, routine” for Culver City, an affluent section of Los Angeles where Sony Pictures (formerly MGM Studios) is located. He said the local police have arrested numerous sports figures and celebrities on a variety of charges.
Oh so they target people with money. That's nice. But seriously someone surround Lynch with smarter people. Having a car running and with weed wafting through the air. Come on, that just signals the cops to come over and find something. Of course there was a gun. With the amount of NFL players that get shot, I'd have a gun too. They are walking banks to criminals. But the drugs are a non issue, the gun is.
Then of course the charges get reduced to Misdemeanors. So a little probation and some fines are coming his way, and probably a 1 game suspension from the NFL. Nothing to dent his season. Just a dumb way to get arrested. Marshawn may need a babysitter.
Then comes the dumb letter from the public.
Last year, Marshawn Lynch should have been charged with vehicular hit and run. However, after a period of the police begging him to come in and talk to them he finally pleaded guilty to failing to use sufficient care and paid a $100 fine.
Well maybe, if there was enough evidence, he would have been. The Police got a conviction, otherwise, he would have walked with nothing.
Had this been me, I would be writing this letter from jail.
Um no, the same thing would have happened. You can rape a woman and not get jail time. Its true, first time offenders hardly get jail time. Rip off your company for thousands of dollars. You'll only get 5 years probation and a fine. I guarantee it. But you'll have a felony on your record. That might hinder job hunting.
I guess he didn’t realize that he got away with one that time, so now he has been arrested in California on an illegal weapons charge. You’ll notice I didn’t say he was caught carrying an illegal gun, because by the time the Bills organization is done paying for this latest “mistake” I’m sure the story will be that he was on his way to the police station to turn in a gun he found in the street so some innocent child would not be injured.
Well, more like he or his posse was too lazy to registrer the gun. I bet it takes 100 forms to get a registered gun in California. And his posse may have things to prevent them from getting a legal gun. Most likely its to protect themselves from criminals, who target athletes, and have no problem killing them. Richard Collier anyone?
When are the over-priced-ticket- buying sports enthusiasts going to stop coddling these prima donnas who can’t seem to stay out of trouble? They are laughing all the way to the bank on our money.
Our money, pretty much goes to staff and game promotions. Ticket sales probably could only pay for a couple players, TV money is where things lie. They will keep him, because he's a great player and they need him. Trust me, most Bills fans want him on the team, because they can win with him. Sports fans care about winning, not having a bunch of choir boys. The Sabres don't get into trouble, but most people would take a criminal if it meant a Stanley Cup.
Anyway onto the Sabres.
While I was gone. They went 1-2, with two big losses to Carolina and Philadelphia. They won against Toronto and then beat the reeling Rangers on Saturday. They stand 8th place at the moment. 3 points out of 4th and 1 point of 5th. But are 1 point out of 9th and 4 points ahead of Pittsburgh.
Now with Miller out till maybe the end of the season. 4 to 6 weeks is pretty much the end of the year. The columnists will write the Sabres off. Well maybe they are in trouble maybe they aren't. They wrote the Devils off when Brodeur went down, but they survived. Why can't the Sabres? The defense has come back healthy. Vanek is out, but Paille is coming on. Tim Connolly is a point per game player. Roy is still there. Stafford is having quite the second half of the season. If Hecht and Pominville can return to form, this team won't be in bad shape. The Sabres have to go .500 to make the playoffs. I think they can pull that off with Lalime or a goalie they can pick up at the deadline.
Hey all I hear about the Sabres is they are soft, because no one took a run at Gomez. I see some of the national hockey stuff, and nobody is mentioning a dirty hit on Miller. What if everyone on the team thought it wasn't dirty? It looks bad, but maybe he tried to stop and his skates went out from under him. I would never think of Gomez trying to do that. But they were shorthanded already, and another penalty could have been deadly, it could have been 3-2 in a matter of minutes and then you go from a win, to a possible loss.
Well they play the Ducks on Tuesday, so lets see how they come out. Jerry Sullivan and Gleason are probably writing off this team already. Because its an easy column, but I wouldn't doubt the Sabres to rally around their goalie. Plus Miller comes back rested for a Playoff run. Most people expect the worst, I see the possible good in every situation.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Well its the 2nd game of the home and home series between these divisional foes. Of course there has been a few days in between, so really its not really a home and home, but whatever. But the Sens come in after beating the Sabres 3-2 in a shootout. Or a 2-2 tie. After having a 2-0 lead into the third and letting the Sabres come back to tie it. At home. The pessimists look for a Senators win, but I don't think so, too many guys in the lineup fighting for time
Well who knows what the lineup will be for the Sabres with the injury to Vanek. But I'm thinking with the call up of Gerbe, they got him on the second line with Roy and Pominville. That's not what I call a big overpowering line. Derek Roy is tall compared with Gerbe. But as seen yesterday the kid is feisty. And might provide a spark. I think Paetsch is in on the 4th line, since that seemed to work of late. Sekera wants back in, but I'm sure he'll be held out. Ankles are tricky so more time the better. Plus the defense is better health wise. So he can wait a couple games.
The Sens will be pretty much the same as Saturday. Chris Neil is out, to everyones disappointment. So its pretty much the big line and Mike Fisher and Nick Foligino versus the Sabres. But wow Nick Foligino is a horrendous -17. Their scorers are on the ice alot. On the ice alot for the other team scoring. The Sens pretty much don't have balanced scoring. They don't have great goaltending and their defense isn't what it use to be. They need to shoot pucks at players to stop them now. But their struggles for over a year now, doesn't make me hate them less. I enjoy in their basement dwelling status. The Isles aren't far away. Hey Sens, might as well Tank for Tavares. Couldn't hurt right?
But the big news coming into tonights game. A new introduction video
Man this team is leading the league in sappy intro's. Plus of course theres a Goo Goo Dolls song mixed in there.
And yes Jason Pominville couldn't score on those kids either.
You may go, why are you talking about dogs on a sports blog. Well, during the show the color commentator kept on referring to it as "our sport" Are dog shows a sport? Aren't they more a beauty competition. Bikini contests would not be considered a sport. So why would a dog show be considered a sport? Is it because there is a winner and a judge? Miss America has winners and a judge. And no one calls that a sport. Its a contest for sure. Its basically a beauty show for dogs. And people love dogs. Those big dogs like St Bernards and Huskys are always a favorite since they look cuddly and friendly.
I would love for someone to explain to me what classifies this as a sport. In my definition, its not a sport, but what would I know. Are the dogs athletes or are the handlers? Or are they both athletes. Trying to control a doberman probably takes some strength and patience.
But there were 3 local dogs in the show that took best in breed, so thats pretty good in the dog show in the world.
The Great Dane
The Alaska Malumute
So we got the good dogs, don't those tiny annoying dogs. But real dogs, the kind that can pull a car. Well the bull terrier probably can't, but its cool looking. And that is what matters, whether you got a cool looking dog.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sabre fans always tend to go into panic mode. Good thing the team doesn't. When injuries happen I think certain guys look at it as their chance to impress. And with the trade deadline approaching it could be a opportunity to audition for a trade elsewhere. The Sabres don't go on the road till the 17th, and thats a 2 hour ride up to Toronto. Then its Philly 2 nights later(big game). If there was a time for Vanek to get hurt, now is a good time. They have made up ground and even if they go .500. They will still be in the hunt for 4th come early March. Plus there is one upside. Vanek gets a month rest before the big playoff push. He comes back a little refreshed, its not a leg injury or upperbody, its the jaw. He can still ride the bike, maybe skate, but he won't come back out of shape. Its unfortunate, but it may help come down to March when the Sabres need a star to step up, in case someone else is down.
Right now with Connolly back, the loss of Vanek isn't as painful. Timmy has 20 points in 20 games and a +4. Stafford has come alive, and Vanek was starting to heat up with Timmy as his Center. Crazy idea but, why not give Dan Paille a vote of confidence and put him with Timmy and Stafford. You need a left wing. The other option is MacArthur, but its flip a coin between those two. Paille needs a confidence boost, this maybe the best thing for him. Try it out against the Senators, if it doesn't work move someone else in. You need to save Dan Paille's season, or he's pretty much useless come playoff time. He can score and he can play two way hockey. He just doesn't believe in himself. Playing with Connolly will make him better and boost the confidence level. Stafford was struggling before being paired with Timmy. Now he's a man on fire.
Good teams overcome injuries, and so far the Sabres have overcome them. This is just another test.
By the way, anyone else just love Matt Ellis' play. I swear the guy is what the Sabres needed on the 4th line. A grinder line that can play 10 minutes and punch in a goal here and then. Matt Ellis has 3 career NHL goals. 3! He has 4 all ready this year. Adam Mair is tied in his career high for goals on the year with 6th. He could score 10 goals. Who would think Adam Mair would have 10 goals on the year. Anyway. I always love the grinder lines. They just play without care and passion that its fun to watch.
Friday, February 6, 2009
I always think Montreal is the perfect opponent on a Friday night. They are the classic hockey team to me. And the marquee teams should be on Friday Nights. Boston should be saved for a Monday. They are winning but they aren't what they use to be. But Montreal is Montreal. Sure its wear Red night for heart health. And people are like that's dumb, you're playing Montreal, it will look like its a Montreal crowd. Well no, there will be Hab fans there. But today is the day they picked and they partnered up for a good cause. It just happens to be bad timing. Some people overreact to the dumbest things. We are way too concerned in how we look. People already look down on us, so who cares.
But this article actually shown some nice light on the Sabres. Darcy was asked about fighting in the NHL and comes off pretty well. A topic I really don't care about, but if staged fighting goes away, I'm perfectly fine with that. They are never good fights. No Passion. But its the start of the article that really gets me. Its by one of the top hockey writers, Eric Duhatschek
For clarity on contentious issues, a good place to start is usually Buffalo, where the Sabres represent one of the more forward-thinking bunches in the NHL.
Buffalo and Forward thinking is hardly ever in the same sentence.
Example: During the NHL lockout of 2004-05, when everyone around them was bemoaning the economic state of the league, the Sabres were busy trying to find ways of making the game more attractive for when they did get back to playing. So they ordered larger nets, at their own expense, to see what those looked like and the effect they might have on scoring. Also: For a game involving their minor-league affiliate, but staged at the HSBC Arena, they tinted the ice blue to determine if that improved the picture quality for a television viewing audience.
Also developing talent. Miller, Roy, Pominville, Vanek and Gaustad
The president, Larry Quinn, thinks the NHL needs a research and development arm (what smart business doesn't?). The coach, Lindy Ruff, has been on the job longer than anyone else in the business, belying the theory that the players eventually tire of hearing the same old, same old from the man behind the bench. The general manager, Darcy Regier, usually thinks before he speaks.
Hey nothing negative about the big 3. Bucky's head just exploded.
Coming out of the lockout, the NHL has seen remarkable growth in revenues, although Regier suggests that may not continue indefinitely – and he doesn't believe fighting represents a growth area for the league.
“I'm a big believer in forgetting about what I think, run the numbers, do the work, ask people, talk to the players, find out where they are on the issue. It's not going to be one or two people making the decision – and it shouldn't be.”
WOAHHHHH!! Research and asking people what they think? What about running a team from your gut. You know like newspaper guys. Where numbers aren't important and its all about perception. Jerry Sullivan just had a stroke.
Anyway onto the hockey game.
The Sabres are chasing the Habs and are only 5 points back of them. So its an important game to gain some ground if the Sabres want to be higher in the standings come April. They are hot, the Habs are not. But the injury parade continues. Spacek and Hecht are back, Gaustad is out. I guess the injuries have moved from defense to offense. LOOK OUT MATT ELLIS!
Well the Sabres have to look out for the usual suspects. Though some are hurt. Robert Lang is gone for the year, and maybe the best name in hockey Guillaume Latendresse is out. Along with Tanguay,Briesbois and Dandenault. Lots of letters, but only half are pronounced.
Andrei Markov leads the team in points with 40. Defensemen shouldn't lead in points, unless they are Bobby Orr. Kovalev has 36 points, which is alright, Andre Kostitsyn has 18 goals and 31 points. Koivu has 26 points and the Sabre killer Tomas Plekanec has 22 points. They really aren't a high scoring bunch. But are filled with plus players, so they play a strong defense.
I'm assuming Carey Price will be in net. He is a nice young goaltender with solid numbers. So the Sabres can't assume their offensive ways will show up. The Habs never scare me as a physical bunch, but Laraque is back, so there is a heavyweight out there.
Hey remember when Ryan Miller couldn't get a shutout, and we all waited for that 1 goal to go in? Well he has 5 shutouts this year. He had 5 combined the previous 2 years. Looks like our boy is getting better. (knocks on wood)
Enjoy the game.
Well as one of Drew Stafford's biggest critics. Called him Lazy, and a bust and probably should be traded since you could get something for him. But of late, he has played like the Drew Stafford we all thought he could be. Hard working, scorer, and always strong on the puck. I'm sorry Drew for questioning you. You got a partner in Tim Connolly who has helped you become a better player and now you are on fire, capping it off with that nasty goal on Wednesday. Lets take a look at it.
In fact its very Tim Connollyesque.
Did you notice the other similarity? Teppo drives to the net on both goals. Thats when you know the team has things in order when the D is driving to the net on a rush. I think Teppo brings a little extra to the offense. The time off probably did him some good.
But enough of that, this is a apology to Drew Stafford. Who I have roundly criticized for a year and half now. He has been one of the best Sabres since the start of the year. Its not a Clarke MacArthur flash of good play. Its real solid play. He's had 6 goals and 14 points since the beginning of the year. He is also a +9 since the beginning of the year. So he's not slacking on the defensive side of the puck either. The Stafford Connolly and Vanek line has been on fire. It also lets Roy drop down to give Pominville some scoring chances. Because the Sabres have got to get him going. Plus Hecht is also struggling. There is a good amount of offense on this team, that isn't producing up to potential. Pominville, Hecht and Paille. But Stafford is not one of them.
Sorry Drew. I really like your play of late. Its the player I expected.
Lets just keep it up.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Hey you know a day like today, where the snow is lightly falling, in November would put a smile on your face. Like its beautiful and picturesque. But since its February, it makes you grumpy. Stupid Snow, please go away, I'm tired of you. That's how I feel about the Leafs. In November, its like ooo the Leafs, rivalry, beat em bad! Now its like ugh the Leafs. Because really its a lose lose situation. The Sabres beat the Leafs, they are supposed to, they lose, and its, these guys suck, they can't beat the Leafs, plus you have to deal with Toronto fans either way.
The Sabres are back home after playing 6 straight on the road and having the All Star Break mixed in. They haven't played at home since Teppo took a puck off his face against Carolina. Hey and guess who's back tonight. Appartantly he and RJ needed a vacation. He takes MAG's spot in the lineup and he can go back to Portland to learn how to play defense. This is also the first of 3 games against the Canadian teams in the Northeast division. These are much bigger games then the last 4. Which were an exhibition in my mind.
So we haven't seen the Leafs since the Sabres beat them New Years day 4-1. And they beat the Sabres 2-1 in December. This is the 3rd of 6 games, and its split so far. The Leafs continue to be out of the playoff race, as they seem to be most of the time since the lockout. Sitting 11th in the conference. 6 points back of 10th Pittsburgh and 10 points behind the Sabres. They are playing for next year and seeing who should stay and go. Its open audition time for Brian Burke. Which will lead to strong play from some.
The Leafs don't have any superstars, but a lot of mid range scoring. They just need that go to guy, that Mats Sundin was. Who that will be I won't know. But I'm sure Brian Burke knows, and he has some ammunition for deadline day to improve the Leafs. But here are some of the guys to watch for, many you know.
- Nik Antropov and Jason Blake both with 38 points.
- Matt Stajan who has 36 points
- Alexei Ponikarovsky who has 35 points
- Tomas Kaberle with 30 points, but also a -12
- Lee Stempniak, local kid doing good.
- Mikhail Grabovski who has 13 goals.
Another player to watch is Rookie Luke Schenn, who had quite the night on Saturday. He is coming along and good be one of the more rock solid defensemen several years from now. And was Tyler Myers defense partner. He plays in the NHL, Tyler is still with Kelowna. (Probably one injury from being on the Sabres though)
The Leafs will put in Justin Pogge tonight. Who has one good game, and one bad game. So I can't tell what will happen tonight. The Leafs have given up 186 goals this year, the most in the NHL. So this kid will be seeing some rubber tonight, lets up the Sabres can't put some past him early to shake him up. But he is having a nice year with the Marlies. But he ain't playing the Portland Pirates tonight.
I'm sure there will be a large Leaf contingent tonight in HSBC, but we get RJ back, so that should make up for that.
Well Mel Kiper's understudy at Espn Todd McShay, has his own Mock Draft out there. And he differs from Kiper with the Bills selecting DE/OLB Aaron Maybin from Penn State. Well lets look at this kid and see if he really seems like a pick no one can pull part within 3 minutes.
Heres a selection from Randal Weida at FFtoolbox.com
"He has the frame to add more bulk without losing any speed, which is something NFL scouts will be looking at. Maybin has outstanding speed for an end, and is much stronger than his size would suggest. He does his best work coming off the edge and simply running by offensive tackles. Maybin isn't only a speed rusher though. He has excellent technique, and does a good job of using his hands to keep blockers from cutting his feet out from under him.
Maybin will be watched closely by NFL GMs because he has the potential to develop into a dominant and disruptive force. Maybin will likely be the first defensive end taken this spring, but NFL teams will likely have to wait for him to develop. He can help a team as a third down pass rush specialist in the beginning, but if he reaches his potential he could be a future NFL sacks leader. "
Maybin did have 12 sacks and 20 tackles for loss this year, no one on Penn State was even close to accruing the sacks that Maybin did. But at his 6'3 250 size. He seems more like a OLB to me for the Bills. A outside pass rusher is what they desperatly need. But having to wait, isn't an option. He seems to be the Terrell Suggs kind of player. Hopefully just as good.
Mike Mayock has him as the 4th rated defensive end in the draft.
But if they need a pass rusher. But I don't see why Orakpo isn't the pick here. I have my doubts about Texas players, but this is the type of guy they need. They need pressure and the guys Buffalo has now aren't getting the job done. Kelsey and Denney made their money off of Schobel and when he went down, they were useless. Seeing pressure from the front 4 can make a world of difference. It opens up the linebackers to do things and keeps the pressure off the secondary. McKee and McKelvin are decent players, and with Youbouty back they will have 3 solid cb's. Greer is probably gone for the money he wants.
Mel Kiper has Maybin going 10th to the Niners. So his Mock draft is a bit different.
I'll have to wait for Mike Mayock's mock draft, but I usually like his thinking. Anyway there are tons of mock drafts, and come the Combine, they will all be updated. The Draft is 2 1/2 months away, so theres plenty of positioning.
I think the Bills are looking defense with this pick, but if some offensive lineman drops, I could see them snatching him right up. Never have too many quality tackles, guards or centers.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Well its the end of the roadtrip tonight, with a 10pm start in Anaheim, against the 6th placed Ducks. Who actually have less points then the Sabres, yet higher in the playoff standings, sometimes life is unfair.
But the continuing injury saga to the blue line continues, with Spacek out. So the recently healthy Mike Weber, makes a cross country trip to Anaheim, from the old Anaheim affiliate Portland. This leaves the starting 6 corp on defense as.
Marc Andre Gragnani
Oh and Patrick Lalime is probably going to start. Oh boy. They better play like they did in Phoenix, well 2nd and 3rd period Sabres, not First period. Because it maybe 4-1 going into the second period.
The Ducks are a decent group of young players, mixed with older vets. The team isn't the same as the Cup champion team, mainly because JS Giguere isn't what he was. And now is replaced by Jonas Hiller as starter. Who has much better numbers.
The Ducks had a average January going 6-7-1, going 1-4-1 against Eastern teams. So the big bad tough Ducks, aren't that bad for the Eastern conference. And in Phoenix, the Sabres showed they can bang, when they want to bang. And with Peters and Kaleta in the lineup, there will be some toughness. If we are lucky a Peters Parros squareoff. Who doesn't want to see the mustochioed one duke it out with Peters? Well besides Andrew Peters' loved ones.
- Ryan Getzlaf is a beast, with 18 goals and 61 points on the year, and he has 85 penalty minutes. So you don't mess with Getzlaf.
- Corey Perry 16 goals and 44 points and also 72 penalty minutes.
- Scott Niedermayer has 36 points
- Rookie sensation Bobby Ryan has 17 goals on the year
- Teemu Selanne has 28 points on the year
- What has to be a disappointment Brendan Morrison only has 18 points on the year, in 51 games.
So the Ducks have a couple good lines to deal with, after that they are kinda punchless so for the injury riddled Sabres, probably a good matchup. The Ducks are also without two key defenders in Beauchimen and Huskins.
And we may get to see Drew Miller, Ryan's brother and I'm sure might be mentioned on the telecast once or a million times.
Well this is a late one, so I'm probably going to be asleep. So I hope to wake up to a nice win in Anaheim, but if not. They'll end up 2-2 on the roadtrip and 3-3 for the total 6 games. Which is good, because it keeps them in the playoffs, and keeps them climbing on the 3 teams above them.
Well my Hall of Fame Predictions were way off. I still don't know how Chris Carter and Shannon Sharpe were left out. But still very happy with Bruce Smith and Ralph getting in this year. I honestly thought Ralph would be put in after his death. His public speaking of late isn't what I would want others to see, because he comes off terribly most of the time. But its always great to see more Bills get into the hall of fame. And with Rod Woodson going in, there's going to be a lot of red, white and blue and black and gold in Canton come August. The committee knows who they want to put in. But after looking at Claude Humphrey, he should be in. I don't know who was his presenter, but they must be terrible. Guys pre sack total era are really at a disadvantage. Without that cemented number, they really can't compete to a Derrick Thomas, who was a monster, but the numbers can tell you that or Dave Kreig. But the old players don't have the numbers, only stories from players. But those aren't reliable.
If you look at QB's from the 70's and prior. Their numbers are not even close to current hall of famers. Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, John Elway, Warren Moon. The hall of fame QB's from today, have significantly better numbers then Terry Bradshaw or Len Dawson. Many of them have higher Int to Td numbers. These days you wouldn't last 5 years if you threw a couple more picks then Touchdowns. Bobby Layne has 196 touchdowns to 243 Int's, with a QB rating of 63.4.
Trent Edwards has a career rating of 79.4.
Numbers are skewing who is a hall of famer or not. I'm sure when Drew Brees retires and has gaudy stats. Someone will make the case he's a hall of famer. "Look at the stats" they'll say. But really does anyone think of Drew Brees as a Hall of Famer? No. He hasn't done anything. But stats are skewing are look at greatness. Winning leads to greatness. Now throwing big stats, because you are in garbage time all the time.
The Hall of fame, needs to pan back and look at the player. Not the stats. Maybe thats why Chris Carter didn't get in. Someone said, what did he win? Did he lead to championships? The answer to that is no. Thats why he waits.
Well its nice to see the Super Bowl be nice and close and come down to the last play, let it be a fumble or a incomplete pass. I don't think it really mattered. But they should at least really reviewed it. Not the old we did it upstairs and said it was ok. That is not Ok.
But it had that up and down feel, not a whole lot of punts. A unbelievable interception return. That's something you'll see come Super Bowl 100 in the highlight packages. But anyone that says this game was boring not entertaining, doesn't like football. It had drama through out the second half. Though their was a slight lull in the late 3rd. To be fair I was washing dishes, so that could be the reason. Anyway. The 4th was great. This was better then last years game, which was a dull fest for 3 quarters, till some late trading touchdowns. This had challenges and tough calls, hits, and great plays. The game made up for the lack of great commercials. Which is actually a nice difference. Plus Bruce was pretty good, even with the crotch in the camera slide. The Boss does what he wants.
But what comes from last nights game. What does it mean?
That no matter how many times I see him and he looks like in full panic mode, Roethlisberger always finds someone. The safely is a good example, just fired and completed a 20 yard pass. Roethlisberger is my Tom Brady from several years ago. A guy that benefited from a great team around him, that was my perception, and it was wrong. Tom Brady is obviously one of the greats. And Ben maybe reaching that level, ruining another perception. He gets sacked too much, but still makes the play when it needs to be made. And last night was the perfect example. Really the Steelers offense moved the ball somewhat. The lack of running game and Hines Ward being hurt, slowed them down. So it rested on Ben. And when they needed him the most, he found Holmes, and won the game.
Kurt Warner is one of the great Quarterbacks of the late 90's to Now. Without him the Cardinals are a 7-9 football team at best. Their defense is ok, they have no running game. But with Warner their WR's are studs. Matt Leinert looks to be turning into the new Aaron Rodgers. Just waiting for the old man to go away to get his turn. Of course he had his shot and blew it. Now he waits and sits. Because there is no way you take out Warner. I'm not sure what next year holds for Arizona. If Kurt goes back to Giants era Kurt, they are done and will miss the playoffs. But if its "Rams Greatest show on Turf Warner" then they will win the West again, and be dangerous in the playoffs.
I personally relaxed with my Fiancee and father. We had a little party. My gorgeous fiancee made great food, and had everything ready to go by gametime. The TV we got on Black Friday made the game look fantastic. HD was created for Football in my opinion, nothing looks better on a 52 inch screen like the NFL. Well the Dark Knight was pretty good. But Football is something else. It was a great night. My fiancee really wanted the Cardinals to win, mainly because she likes Kurt Warner, but who doesn't. I honestly was fine who won. I thought the Steelers would win, but was pretty excited when Fitzy, burst through the seem for the touchdown. A good game is what I wanted and a good game is what I got.
But hey lets look at some stats. Courtesy of NFL.Com
Roethlisberger 21 for 30 256 yards, 1 td and 1 int (not his fault)
Warner 31 for 43 377 Yards 3 tds and 1 int(so 4 td passes)
The quarterbacks were the story here. The running backs were pretty much non existent. Both teams were ready to stop the run, and make the teams pass. Which almost did in both teams.
Parker 19 rushes for 53 yards.
James 9 rushes for 33 yards.
Those are bad numbers, and I thought you could run on Arizona? I knew you don't run on the Steelers, because its pointless, and Arizona wasn't dumb enough to stick to the run, that and they got down early. Maybe the reason they almost won.
Holmes 9 Catches for 131 yards 1td.
Fitzgerald 7 catches for 127 yards 2 tds
Boldin 8 catches for 84 yards
Breaston 6 catches 71 yards
Wow, 3 recievers can get open and have good games. How is this done? Someone email Turk Schonert. Or maybe its the Quarterback, who can throw the ball and pick out recievers. But seriously the Cards had 3 recievers with 1000 yard seasons. 3! The Bills are lucky to get one every year. Imagine how good they would be if they had 3 guys. Wait they could be Super Bowl good.
James Harrison and Darnell Dockett
The Co defensive MVP's in my book. Both were forces on their side of the Ball. Harrison with the huge pick and td. Dockett with 2 sacks and 6 tackles. Of course Harrison had a lapse of judgement, when he tried to maim Francisco on a Punt, but whatever, the penalty didn't hurt. I think he can be forgiven for that transgression.
Troy Polamalu was pretty invisible, as was Adrian Wilson, though he led the team in tackles. Made solid tackles when they had to. Polamalu with a huge whiff on James early on. But both seem to be playing back to prevent big play. Of course Troy was nowhere to be found when Fitzgerald streaked for the go ahead score in the 4th quarter. Safetys can either be huge or disappear, because of the defensive game plan. Thats why you need dominant players up front. (a subtle hint to Russ Brandon)
But enough of game recaps, you probably wonder what my favorite commercial was? (ducking thrown objects) Well the whole lineup was pretty sorry, but of course there were a few favorites. Then that flower commercial, where if any guy laughed, their wife probably hasn't talked to them yet. But my personal favorite was the careerbuilder one. Sorry but Koala punching is kinda funny, especially when they have glasses and a cup of coffee.
Anyway, with the NFL Europe deep sixed and no Arena league, its a long stretch without real football.
So let the free agency and draft rumors commence!!!!!
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Stuff I read
- Best Book Ever
- Buffalo Pundit
- Buffalo Rising
- Chris Brown Blog
- Dueling Sabres
- First Time, Long Time
- Goose's Roost
- Gotta Go Back in Time
- James Mirtle
- Kuklas Korner
- MY Myspace
- Puck Daddy
- Sabre Rattling
- Sabretooth's House
- The Dukes of Awesome
- The Pens Blog
- Willful Caboose
- With Leather