Archive for June, 2007

Judging Freeney

June 29, 2007

Clark Judge of CBSsportsline.com weighs in on the necessity for the Colts to sign Dwight Freeney.
http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/10239978

Not much new in this story, but I did note today that Len Pasquareli pegged the Colts at about 3+ million under the cap (before signing rookies). Now, those numbers are rarely official, but it does give us all an idea of how important it is to get Freeney signed to a long term deal that can give the team just a tad more wiggle room. There is an undercurrent among some Colts fans to question Freeney’s value due to his reduced number of sacks. Don’t forget that the Colts faced 509 passing plays in 2005. In 2006, they only faced 415. That’s nearly a 20% drop in sacking opportunities. It would have been nearly impossible for Freeney to post the same sack totals. I don’t think he declined, I just think teams changed their game plans to account for him and also took into account that the Colts had horrible linebacking play (yeah, I mean you Gilbert). That is what makes him so valuable. Teams change what they do to avoid him. I look for Freeney to post double digit sacks again this year, and quiet his critics.

Take note as well that Freeney made several signs of good faith to the franchise. He’s a locker room leader, and don’t fool yourself that other players aren’t watching how this plays out. If Polian tries to screw Freeney, it will hurt the Colts in the locker room and their rep around the league. If he ponies up and pays him, it maintains positive cred with the players. Faulk and Edge, who are influential, have complained about Polian’s tactics before, but not signing Freeney to a long term deal after essentially promising him that they would AND after he did and said all the right things could haunt the team in future negotiations. The franchise tag doesn’t sound like a bad deal to me and you, but players HATE it. Keeping guys off of it calms the locker room storms. Let’s hope this deal gets done.

Everyone’s favorite fantasy QB

June 27, 2007

We here at 18to88.com do play fantasy football, but we try not to take it too seriously. Why? In fantasy baseball, your favorite team can win even if a guy goes 4-4 against them. Even if they lose, it’s just one loss out of 162. In FF, a good day by an opposing RB can KILL your real team. And every loss counts big. Therefore, we play, but try to be reasonable about it. For those of you who love the game and have ESPN insider, check out this great article by ESPN’s Eric Karabell about #18…

http://insider.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/2007draftkit/story?id=2917356&CMP=OTC-DT9705204233

The NBA has fallen so far in Indy that…

June 26, 2007

A sports blog run by two big Pacer fans can’t barely even find the time to comment on Jermaine O’Neal possibly getting traded. I like JO, always have. I kind of hope he doesn’t get dealt, just because I doubt they can get equal value. Lamar Odem and Andrew Bynum? Really? Alright, both just seem like guys to me. The Pacers are loaded with ‘guys’. Don’t think this deal would energize the fan base at all.
Doesn’t pump me up, that’s for sure.

Demond Sanders’ Comments: This is even less inspiring: They considered this trade to free up CAP SPACE. Is there anything less sexy than that? But that’s life in the crappy world of guaranteed contracts. JO’s huge contract is a preventing the Pacers from getting younger and better. I say if Larry & Donnie can find a way to get rid of Jamal Tinsley in the process OR get a top 15 draft pick then I’m for it. Maybe that’s why the Pacers and Celts appear to have backed out of the deal. Or maybe Boston realized it didn’t want JO.

All your base are belong to us

June 25, 2007

Apparently a Pats fan, quite possibly the Japanese programmer responsible for this piece of excellence, took exception to our claim that Pretty boy Tom was up for “Best Female athlete” in the ESPYS. We at 18to88.com always try to provide equal time to our dissenters. The comment is still available, but for ease of use, we are re-posting it here:

“Anonymous said…
They are not so beasts Tom Brady IS NOT what you say that little seriousness”

Well, I’ll be jiggered. I guess he put us straight didn’t he? I really don’t even know how to begin to respond to this. It’s a first, 18to88 has been rendered speechless. Congrats.

Is there a Pats fan out there who wants to take credit for lighting up the IQ meter with this? Come on, Sports Guy….I know it was you!

Demond Sanders’ Comments: Well, as for me, I voted for the Colts and Manning for every single ESPY they were up for. Because, in my humble opinion, they ARE so beasts.

FO diagrams a Colts play

June 25, 2007

Folks, footballoutsiders.com is the best football site around. I know I say it about once a week, but if you really want to know what’s going on in the game in depth, they offer just about the most thorough and unbiased analysis around. Check out this article explaining the Empty Double Slants route the Colts ran against the Titans in the second game last year. Marvin bobbled the ball and it was picked off, but the play worked as it was drawn up. Great stuff.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/2007/06/25/ramblings/strategy-minicamps/5192/

Jr. comes home

June 25, 2007

The scene in Seattle was electric this weekend as Jr. came back for the first time since demanding a trade early this decade. ESPN’s Jim Caple summed it up nicely here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/070625_griffey&CMP=OTC-DT9705204233

I love Jr. I have always loved Jr. As a Reds fan, he made the Mariners my second favorite team. I was glad to see him respond so warmly to the crowd. You could tell he really wanted to do something big for them. He got a hit in all three games so no one was totally left out. His second HR yesterday was beautiful.

Whenever Jr. is discussed, we mention the injuries and what could have been. Let’s stop for a second to note that he is about to pass Frank Robinson for 6th on the HR list. He has a fairly strong shot of passing Willie Mays at 660. He will likely finish higher on the HR list than everyone not named Bonds, Aaron and Ruth. That’s pretty freaking amazing for a guy who was hurt as much as he was. I think most Reds fans love him, but there have always been a few who don’t get it. There are some guys who want to say, “He always gets hurt! He doesn’t hustle!”. Not realizing that every time he got hurt in Cincy it was while hustling, and the management has asked him to take it easy. He’s not a young man anymore.

He’s the only squeaky clean slugger of his generation. Let’s thank him for that. All in all, he’s still Jr., and still one of my all time favorite baseball players.

ESPY’s=ugh

June 25, 2007

But at least the Colts are up for many of them! I think stuff like this is totally masturbatory for the sports world, but whatever. If you care, you can vote for the Horse in the following categories:
http://espn.go.com/espy2007/index.html#/vote/
Best Game (Colts 38 Pats 34)
Best Male Athlete (Peyton)
Best Female Athlete (Tom Brady)
Best Team
Best Moment (Dungy vs Smith in the Super Bowl)
Best Championship Performance (Peyton in LXI)
Best NFL Player (#18)
Best Coach (Tony Dungy)

If you were so inclined you could also vote for Bob Knight for best record breaking performance. We are not so inclined.

Rerunning a classic

June 25, 2007

If you have read 18to88 for any length of time, you know how we feel about the guys at coldhardfootballfacts.com. We don’t like the style (or lack there of), their biases, the odd way the pick and chose which stats to use and which to reject, or their steadfast belief that one specific brand of football is better than another. Mostly we dislike their shabby and totally unfair treatment of Manning over the years. They once ran a recap of all Manning’s playoff games and claimed it was a ‘fact’ that he had choked in them. They conveniently left off his brilliant games, and omitted details like Vandy missing FGs, dropped TD passes, and Jim Mora’s coaching. They just acted like the rest of the media, did no analysis and blamed Manning. Today however, they reran the article that made my year. They day they had to admit that all their ‘facts’ were wrong, and they had just been spouting the same stupid opinions that Terry Bradshaw and a million talking heads were blathering about because they were too lazy look at what was really happening:

http://coldhardfootballfacts.com/Article.php?Page=1291

Read, enjoy, and delight with us.


Demond Sanders’ Comments: Beauty. I especially like the part where the Colts became the only team in NFL history to beat the top three teams in scoring defense in the playoffs.

The Last Walk

June 23, 2007

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070623/SPORTS/706230547

The City’s best?

June 23, 2007

The AOL fan blog network has announced their results for the top 5 athletes currently playing in Indianapolis:

http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/06/20/citys-best-indianapolis-top-five-athletes

There is a lot right and a lot wrong with this article. Zombie Bob coming in at number 2 is quite sweet and very insightful. However, who in their right mind would have put Mike Dunleavy on that list even as a joke? What about Dallas Clark or Joe Addai? Or for that matter how about Michael Andretti, Danica Patrick, or Jeff Gordon? I’d bet you money any one of those three would have been more popular than AJ Graves.

How can you do a list about Indy and leave off race car drivers?

Demond Sanders’ Comments: Nice call on the drivers. Based upon their criteria some of their choices make ZERO sense. AJ Graves wouldn’t be recognized locally or nationally, and I can’t imagine anyone in Indy picking him as their favorite athlete. Try shaving once in awhile. Eric Gordon, as much as I love him, wouldn’t stand up to those criteria either (he might come this November though). Jermaine is highly recognizable on all levels, but he is not well liked locally of late.

All of the World Champion Indianapolis Colts are legit, of course. Heck, you could almost make the list entirely of Colts. My own list would go something like this: 1)Manning 2)Harrison 3)The Zombie Sanders 4)Reggie Wayne 5)Freeney 6)Dallas Clark 7)Addai 8)Robert Mathis 9)Tarik Glenn 10)Mr. Clutch