Archive for March, 2007

DeMulling returns to Indy (can he bring Marcus Pollard with him?)

March 31, 2007

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN reports that the Colts have reached a deal with all-purpose offensive lineman Rick DeMulling. DeMulling returns to Indy after two years with the Detroit Lions.

The Colts seem to have the ability to plug anyone into their offensive line and be successful, but it can’t hurt to sign a player who is already familiar with the blocking scheme. This isn’t the huge free agent signing some fans may be looking for, instead its another sign that this club looks not only for bargains, but safe bets at the same time. There aren’t many players who qualify as both of these things, but DeMulling would seem to.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2820086

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Sink or Swim…and why it doesn’t matter

March 30, 2007

I promised an update on the ‘Swim, tread, or sink’ take on free agency by Cold Hard Football Facts. They finally finished all the teams in the NFL decided that these teams were ‘swimming AWAY from the competition’ during free agency…

Indianapolis
Kansas City
Denver
San Francisco
Houston
Detroit
Cleveland
Tampa Bay

And thus you see why free agency is the most over hyped, over analyzed time in the NFL calender. Of the 8 teams identified as really doing well, only 2 made the playoffs this past season, and honestly one of those (the Colts) was on this list for basically sitting still and letting all their players walk.

Folks, first off the designation ‘swimming away from the competition‘ was clearly a poor choice of words by CHFF, since most of these teams are desperately trying to CATCH UP to the competition. But secondly, the whole free agency debate is irrelevant. If you can afford to sign big name free agents, it’s because no one on your team is good enough to get paid to begin with. Winners in March, losers in September.

Don’t sweat it Horseshoe faithful, not even the threat of losing the great Aaron Moorehead will dampen our spirits this offseason.

New OT suggestion…

March 29, 2007

Just an update on OT ideas, this one from everyone’s favorite homeless man, Bill Belichick.

http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2007/03/25/getting_in_the_coachs_head/?page=full

His idea is actually the best I’ve heard yet. He says the OT period should be a minimum of 7 1/2 minutes, followed by 7 1/2 minutes of sudden death. This would all but guarantee 2 possessions, and add end game strategy. I could buy that.

Pacers Rant (ESPN’s 2007 Franchise Rankings Released)

March 28, 2007

In May of 2004 I swore an oath to never watch the NBA again. The Pacers are my favorite team. It is hard to describe what a huge swing it has been to watch them go from Indiana’s favorite team (on any level) to a laughingstock. For years Reggie Miller and Donnie Walsh worked side by side (along with many other key figures) to make the Pacers the most consistent team in the NBA and one of the most watchable. I rarely missed watching them on tv. Most seasons I would watch about 60 of their games, 2 or 3 in person. I saved most of my money to see them in the playoffs. I’ve probably been to 20 Pacers playoff games over the years including Game 6 in 1998 vs. MJ and the Bulls and Game 4 vs. Kobe and the Lakers. I’ve seen them destroy AI and the Sixers many times. I’ve seen them beat the Knicks (the ultimate thrill). I was there the final home game when they finally broke through to the finals (the actual clinching game was on the road in MSG fittingly). I was holding a “Super Reggie” sign the night Reggie and Jalen Rose put up 40 a piece to beat the Sixers in 2000. I was there in 2004 when Reggie got blocked by Tayshaun Prince in the deciding play of the series.

Following the horrible officiating that I witnessed in that Pistons series in 2004 I swore I would never watch the Pacers play again because of what David Stern had allowed. I threw a classic sports fit that only my wife could really describe. That was the year that defense ruled the NBA and the average scores in the playoffs were in the low 80s. Terrible to watch, especially when you lose because you get mugged on every offensive play. I could go on and on.

The irony here is that I didn’t quit watching. I should have, but I didn’t immediately. It took awhile. Early the next season the brawl in Detroit occurred and the Pacers began their three year downward spiral. No one remembers how good they were in 2004. Reggie is gone and the team is trashed. I say all of this because only 5 years ago the Pacers topped every fan poll (specifically the one the Indianapolis Star did every year which showed who the favorite team in the state was). The Colts for years struggled to pull in more than about 10% of the vote even in the fantastic-to-watch early Manning years. It actually kind of pissed me off because I was a huge Colts fan as well. Basketball really is everything in Indiana. Or was. The good news is that in-state college basketball is getting ready for another heyday.

Take a look at these fan rankings from ESPN.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/franchiseRanks

You know, for kids!

March 28, 2007

Like most men, the WNBA and other women’s pro sports drives me nuts. It’s a sham league propped up by owners trying to fill their stadiums. Now, after the failure of women’s pro-soccer, some are clamoring to restart the league (insert Maude Flander’s voice here) “For the children”. Check out this amazing article:

http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/6595026?CMP=OTC-K9B140813162&ATT=2737

Bill Simmons already wrote the definitive WNBA article a few years back, so I won’t try to copy him. In the interest of full disclosure, I love women. I had a lot of friends who played women’s sports in college. I went to many women’s soccer games to root for my friends. I hope my daughter grows up to play high school and college sports. But I do NOT need her to find role models in professional athletes. In fact, I’d much rather she NOT look to athletes as role models, and I’m sure as hell not going to pay to prop up some sad sack pro league just so she can have someone to look up to. I’d rather invest that same money to help smart, competent, intelligent women working in any number of more productive fields. I want my daughter to grow up to be an amazing person, but not a pro athlete.

I’ll burn in hell before they get 2 cents from me. And that goes double for you WNBA.

More SNL stuff

March 28, 2007

Another positive review is in on #18 on SNL. This one comes from one of the more unlikely sources…Baltimore.

http://blogs.baltimoresun.com/sports_custom_maese/2007/03/peyton_makes_am.html

Also they linked to a funnyish article on alternative monologues for Peyton:

http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/sports/16963458.htm

Pasquarelli covers Colts strategy well

March 27, 2007

If you are STILL worried about the Colts losing so many free agents, you probably haven’t been reading this site much. But for those who are, check out:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2814561&CMP=OTC-DT9705204233

Len Pasquarelli adeptly covers the Colts philosophy. They are doing this offseason EXACTLY what they do EVERY offseason. This year, they got three nice picks added to their ledger because of the free agent discipline last year. Next year, they’ll probably get 2 or 3 more.

Missed Opportunity for High Comedy

March 27, 2007

Rumor has it that a joke about Tom Brady’s lack of wang control was cut from SNL. According to this report:

http://nfl.aolsportsblog.com/2007/03/26/snl-axed-manning-joke-about-tom-bradys-fatherhood/

The original joke about Brady having 2 more rings than #18 was supposed to include a quip about ‘that not being the only thing he has two more of’, referring to recent rumors of Brady impregnating every woman he comes in contact with.

Though it’s too bad this joke got cut, there is still time for SNL to redeem itself. I suggest a skit where Tom Brady goes to play in the NBA, because he would fit in so well.

Wait for it…

NFL Notes: Maroney hurt, Peter King stupid & Extra Picks for the Colts

March 27, 2007

Patriots RB Laurence Maroney has significant shoulder damage according to the Boston Herald.

http://patriots.bostonherald.com/patriots/view.bg?articleid=190898
Let’s be clear, I’m not happy about this injury. I want the Patriots to suck out of fear or ineptitude or late night feeding induced fatigue. I don’t wish injuries on anyone. I only even point this out to rub it in the face of Peter King who less than one week ago said that Maroney appeared ready for a 300 carry season, despite no reasonable reason to say that.

Sorry, Pete. Not looking good. Sure hope Sammy Morris can carry the slack.

In other news the compensatory draft picks were announced today. Don’t know what those are? Look it up! Or just read the article below. The short of it is the Colts get three pretty sweet picks. Here’s text from Colts.com:

The Colts, who last off-season lost four unrestricted free agents and signed one, were awarded third-, fourth- and fifth-round selections, the NFL announced Monday at the 2007 League Meetings.

“It’s the best we could have expected, so that’s a positive,” Colts President Bill Polian said shortly after learning of the additional selections.

“We’re happy with it. That’s a plus.”

http://www.colts.com/sub.cfm?page=article7&news_id=4722

Reviews are strong

March 27, 2007

#18 is recieving nearly universal acclaim for his job on SNL Saturday night…

From Foxsports.com
All in all, the Peyton Manning-hosted “Saturday Night Live” was probably the show’s best episode of the season, and arguably the greatest athlete-hosted episode the program’s ever had. The “United Way” clip will undoubtedly find its way to your office email inbox on Monday morning, and Peyton may even become a two-time host down the road. He passed every test with flying colors. Final report guard? An A!

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/6610132

Boo, as they say, yah