Based on preliminary reports, here is the official story of Tiger Woods' solo car accident early on Friday morning.
November 28, 2009
November 26, 2009
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Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers! Stuff yourselves on Turducken and hope that you have the NFL Network so that you can watch the only halfway decent game on Thanksgiving Day.
My slide to mediocrity continues.
New England (+3) over NEW ORLEANS - The Patriots are looking frisky lately, and the Saints aren't going to go undefeated.
Indianapolis (-3.5) over HOUSTON - The Colts keep finding ways to win, and I don't think the Texans are all that great.
Oakland (+13.5) over DALLAS - Maybe the Raiders found their groove last week. The Cowboys certainly didn't look very good.
Jacksonville (+3) over SAN FRANCISCO - The Niners are really tanking, and the Jags might not be as bad as we thought.
Carolina (+3) over NY JETS - The Jets' only win since September? Beating the Raiders.
Holy crap, a week where I picked more winners than losers. At least both of my fantasy teams are in playoff position...
Oakland (+13.5) over DALLAS - In case you haven't noticed, the Raiders' defense is pretty good. And Dallas' offense has been nothing short of uninspiring of late.
Indianapolis (-3.5) over HOUSTON - And your official WTF line of the week.
Seattle (-3) over ST. LOUIS - The Seahawks have been pretty horrific of late but I still like them to win this game by more than a field goal.
PHILADELPHIA (-9) over Washington - The 'Skins have played six consecutive quarters of decent football, but if you are over 300 pounds and have a pulse, even if your last TV appearance was driving a big rig on Ice Road Truckers, you're now eligible to play offensive line for the 'Skins.
NEW ORLEANS (-3) over New England - The Superdome will be insane, the Saints defense is incredible (take it from somebody who benefits from having them in fantasy), and the Saints have done better against common opponents.
Magic 8 Ball (25-30-0)
DALLAS (-13.5) over Oakland - "Signs point to yes." (Cowboys will beat the spread)
HOUSTON (+3.5) over Indianapolis - "Signs point to yes." (Texans will beat the spread)
ST. LOUIS (+3) over Seattle - "My sources say yes." (Rams will beat the spread)
Washington (+9) over PHILADELPHIA - "My answer is no." (Eagles won't beat the spread)
NEW ORLEANS (-3) over New England - "Yes." (Saints will beat the spread)
HOUSTON (+3.5) over Indianapolis - I don't think the Texans' effort a couple weeks ago at Indy was a fluke. If only Kris Brown could make a FG...
PHILADELPHIA (-9) over Washington - The Skins still suck, and now Rock Cartwright is the starting RB. No offense to Rock who I like and have plenty of respect for, but that limits the offense even more.
Seattle (-3) over ST LOUIS - Two words: Kyle Boller.
ATLANTA (-12) over Tampa Bay - The Falcons at home against possibly the worst team in the league?
Miami (-3) over BUFFALO - I see the Dolphins taking care of business here, even in the cold.
Brien: NE, IND, OAK, JAX, CAR
Jason: ARI, ATL, MIA, NO, PHI
Jeremy: IND, NO, OAK, PHI, SEA
Russell: ATL, HOU, MIA, PHI, SEA
November 24, 2009
There are a lot of RIP blog posts and columns this sad evening in the Nation's Capital regarding the passing of a great owner, the man who brought hockey and basketball to Washington and put us on the national sports map, and the man who singlehandedly revitalized a large swath of Northwest Washington and supported our great city in so many other ways, Abe Pollin.
I am a child of the 80s and 90s. I never saw the Caps or Bullets win a championship. Hell, I considered it fortunate when they made the playoffs. But I know for damn sure how high of esteem EVERYONE in DC held Abe Pollin.
Abe put DC on the major sports map. Before Abe, we had the Redskins and the Senators (two incarnations of which had left town). Abe brought the NBA Baltimore Bullets to town in the arena that he built entirely with his own funds, the Capital Centre. Abe was also awarded ownership of the expansion Washington Capitals. The highlight of his ownership of the Bullets was their 1978 NBA Championship; of his ownership of the Capitals was their 1998 run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Later, Abe spent $200 million of his own money to build the MCI Center (now Verizon Center) on 7th Street in Northwest Washington. Contrary to popular belief, Verizon Center is not a publicly-funded arena. While the site of the arena is just a few blocks north of Pennsylvania Avenue and only about 12 blocks from the Capitol building, in the early 90s, prior to the building of the arena, the area was largely decrepit. It was Washington's Chinatown, and consisted of seedy restaurants and bars and wasn't all that safe after dark. Nowadays, the area is called "Penn Quarter," and is home to some of the priciest rents and arguably the most vibrant entertainment district in the City. Throngs of people line the streets, restaurants, and bars on game nights and concert nights. Verizon Center serves as the very model that many cities rely upon to justify the massive public expenditure on an arena in the hopes of revitalizing a portion of a city. I'll say it right here... the next owner of the arena and Wizards should return Verizon's naming rights money to them and rechristen the arena "Abe Pollin Arena."
Abe didn't just revitalize a section of Northwest Washington by building an entertainment home for the wealthy to come spend their dollars and sit in luxury boxes. Abe spent millions of his own dollars on supporting various charities in the DC area. He did so in a very quiet manner and nothing bore the Pollin name.
And let me take a moment of this rambling post to clarify one of the greatest myths about Abe's ownership of the Wizards. While I personally hate that the team's name was changed from Bullets to Wizards, the name change was not in response to gun violence in Washington, D.C. Rather, Abe was so moved by the assasination of his close personal friend, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, that Abe changed the name to Wizards in the hopes of inspiring world peace and making one less popularized connotation to violence. As I read stories tonight, even the story on ESPN.com, it continues to spread the myth that the reason for the name change was gun violence in D.C. It was not the reason.
Abe, we DC sports fans will miss you. You da' man, you da' man. Or, as a caller to Sportstalk 980 put it so aptly tonight, you are a "mensch" of the truest form (Google it non-Jews).
Head to 1:58 for Abe's awkward white man rap dance
November 22, 2009
So we all know by now that Notre Dame lost to UConn yesterday, likely sealing the fate of Charlie Weis, who will join Bob Davie and Ty Willingham as the most recent Notre Dame coaching casualties. If you scan the message boards and some of the ESPN articles addressing the situation, folks at Notre Dame though seem to be under the mistaken impression that they will be able to walk out and get whatever coaching candidate they want. Guess what... you can't. Here are a few reasons why:
1) They're still an Independent
Notre Dame, while competing in the Big East in a number of different sports, chooses not to join up with the Big East for football, instead maintaining their Independent status. This robs Notre Dame of any of the traditional rivalries that makes college football so great. There is no Army-Navy, no Michigan-Ohio State, no Texas-Oklahoma, no Cal-Stanford... hell, not even a Virginia-Virginia Tech. This season, Notre Dame plays three Big 10 teams, one ACC team, four Pac 10 teams, two Big East teams, an independent (Navy), and Nevada (from one of those random western conferences). In 2010, they play Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, Boston College, Pitt, Western Michigan, Navy, Tulsa, Utah, Army, and USC. While Notre Dame may get up for their games against Michigan and USC, Michigan gets up for its game against Penn State and USC gets up for its game against UCLA. Notre Dame is nobody's rival anymore, there is no real juice to any of Notre Dame's games. High school recruits want to go to a college where every year there is going to be a game that mobilizes campus and is the game of the season for both teams. Notre Dame can't deliver that in its present state.
2) High academic standards
Obviously it's difficult for a head coach to recruit college football talent when they have to meet higher academic standards to be admitted to your school than they do to enter the other eight schools that are recruiting them. Not to mention the fact that other schools which have high academic standards, such as Stanford, and even Northwestern and Duke, are showing signs of life on the football field. Notre Dame no longer has the pull of being able to say, "we are the only team that has high academic standards that can also consistently win on the football field." This isn't a bad thing for Notre Dame, but it for damn sure makes the head coach's recruiting job a lot harder.
3) Delusional fans
Notre Dame's boosters still live in the 1980s and 1990s. They worship the days of Knute Rockne, Lou Holtz, the "Catholics vs. the Convicts" and most of all, the days when Notre Dame was a glamour team. They expect the same level of success year in and year out. You know what Irish boosters? They're not making any more movies about Notre Dame anymore. You don't have a glamour program. You have history. Guess what? So do a lot of schools. You expect that a new coach will instantly deliver the same level of success that the team experienced in a radically different age of college football. Guess what? Won't happen, unless your coach is a miracle worker. Why would any up and coming coach voluntarily subject themselves to the level of scrutiny that the Notre Dame alums place under their coach?
4) EVERYONE is on television these days.
Notre Dame used to benefit, in the days before widespread cable television, of their exclusive contract with NBC. The Notre Dame coach could walk into any high school kid's house and say, "If you come to Notre Dame, you will be on national television every single week. You will have the visibility that few other college students will have and NFL scouts will not be able to miss you." Well, now, the coaches of major Pac 10 teams, SEC teams, ACC teams, and Big 12 teams can make nearly the same promise, given that the ESPN family of networks covers the ACC and Big 10, CBS covers the SEC, Versus covers the Pac 10, and hell, on any given night of the week from Wednesday onward, you're liable to turn on your television and see a football game on national television. A few weeks ago it was Central Michigan-Toledo. Ten years ago those teams wouldn't have stood a snowball's chance in hell of appearing on national television. So yes, prospective high school student, if you come to Notre Dame, you will be on NBC every single week. But if I'm recruiting that same high school student from another school, I've got a lot of ammo in my arsenal to be able to pull out my team's schedule from the last five years and show a shocking number of times when my team played on national or regional television. Yet another way that the rest of the college football world has caught up to Notre Dame.
So Irish boosters, good luck, and maybe Touchdown Jesus will bless you with the next Knute Rockne... my guess is that you're looking at another coach who will bring you a sub-60% winning percentage because the college football landscape has changed since your glory days.