Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Quick Hits

On the Patriots - LaDanian Tomlinson Beef...
Bearing in mind that this is pointless, stupid, and a desperate attempt to fill airtime because everyone's run out of Colts vs. Pats stories, the fact remains that the Patriots' fans' defense of their players' post-game shenanigans is "He did it first." That didn't work so well in elementary school, and I suspect it shouldn't hold water now. Yes, Shawne Merriman is a steroid-snorting jackass and a lousy dancer. How exactly is that an excuse for going T.O. all over the Chargers' logo? Sooner or later, someone's going to start adding up incidents (the cold shouldering of Mangini, the clocking of the cameraman, the midfield dancing, the ridiculous "nobody respects us" kvetching) and realize that the "classy" label on the Flying Belichicks may be starting to wear a bit thin.

On Marty Being Marty...
You can blame him for going for it on 4th and 11 at the 30, no matter what Greg Easterbrook says about fourth down, but as the game-ender showed, maybe he knew something about Nate Kaeding that we didn't.

On Being Married to a Statistician...
Speaking of Easterbrook, he's fond of quoting the stat that the average NFL play gains five yards on average, and thus, it's worth going for it on 4th-and-anything-up-to-4.999998. Of course, being married to someone who chews up numbers for a living makes me look at this bold statement and wonder if by "average" he means mean, median, or mode. Or, to put it another way, 1 80 yard pass and 15 "stopped for no gains" average out to 5 yards per play, along with a former offensive coordinator looking for a new job.

On Barry Being Barry...
"Barry Fails Amphetamine Test, Blames Teammate, Giants Didn't Know!" Umm, not exactly. For one thing, the only sources we have for the Sweeney rumor are those ever-popular "unnamed". For another, Bonds failed a test for "a strong stimulant", a broad range of items that covers a whole lot of things besides amphetamines. Most of 'em are even legal. As for the Giants not knowing, BP's Will Carroll points out that this is utter hooey, as test results are communicated to the team as a matter of course. Throw in the fact that Bonds had to be aware that his test results would be under a microscope and that he'd be a complete flaming idiot to take greenies - and say what you want about the man, but he's not stupid - and all of a sudden this looks a lot less sensationalistic. It is, however, a fabulous story and a platform for moralizing, which no doubt is why those confidential results were leaked in the first place.

On Chris Webber Leaving Philly...
Leaving aside the numbskulls who are braying for the Sixers to punt the rest of the season and try to lose their way to Greg Oden - isn't that called "throwing games", fellas? - ditching Webber is a good move for all concerned. Regardless of whether or not he can still play - and the jury is still out on that one - he's a lightning rod for controversy on a team that just wants to lay low, and was the one player on the roster guaranteed not to get better with more playing time. So sayonara, Chris, and good luck in Detroit. You never stood a chance in Philly, but then again neither did anyone else. On the other hand, the timing of the move is curious. By all accounts, Webber was Larry Brown's fair-haired child during the wandering one's first tenure in Philly, a fact that drove Allen Iverson to distraction. So for Webber to go just as Papa Larry comes on board, either something's seriously wrong with his game or something's soured in the relationship. Billy King couldn't be smart enough to pull one of Brown's favorite props out from under him, could he? Could he?

On Becks Being Becks...
That "superstar" move is looking a lot less important now that word has leaked out that Beckham wasn't even going to be starting for his former club, Real Madrid. This is looking more like Willie Mays in a Mets uniform every day.

On the Benefits of Home Cooking...
Duke is 11-1 at home, 3-2 on the road. Of those 5 road games, 3 were played at a neutral site, and both games on an opponent's home court came after conference play started. Let's rephrase that. Duke didn't play a game at anyone else's building until conference play started. Their waxing at the hands of Georgia Tech in their first true "away" game of the year isn't just good basketball, it's karma.

On The Coach Being The Coach...
I would pay good money to hear what happens the first time the talking heads on Boston's WEEI dial up new BC offensive coordinator Steve Logan. Logan is sharp, opinionated, and distinctly intolerant of bullshit. That's going to go over very interestingly in the land of Ron Borges, Dale Holley, and the CHB.

The Eagles' Season Was Over When...
Dhani Jones got whistled for a ticky-tack personal foul on what could have been a sack of Drew Brees during the Saints' go-ahead drive. You could just see the air go out of the Eagles' D after that, a sort of collective, "Geez, what do we have to do to stop these guys?" That play, by itself, certainly didn't cost the Eagles the game - their inability to stop any running play of any kind did, along with the constant availability of the tight end slant over the middle. But it did visibly demoralize them, and it was the moment that made me say, "We're screwed."

On Andy Reid Being Andy Reid...
Do you think, just maybe, he's going to run the ball more when Donovan McNabb comes back? Naah.
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