Archive for February, 2008

Jags sign Porter to big deal

February 29, 2008

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed WR Jerry Porter, formally of the Oakland Raiders, to a six year, $30 million contract. Porter will play alongside Troy Williamson who was added through a trade with Minnesota. Neither of these players have had significant production over the past two seasons, but that isn’t reason enough to discount their potential impact. When you’ve been catching balls from Jamarcus Russell and Tarvaris Jackson your numbers are bound to be less than stellar. Still, this makes you wonder if Jacksonville has given up on the much rumored notion of handing Randy Moss a gigantic contract. I think we’d all sleep a lot better if Randy Moss stays the heck away from the AFC South.

In other news, the Patriots defensive backfield got much weaker today. The Eagles have signed Asante Samuel to a six year deal which will no doubt be worth an enormous amount of money. I know the media has been ripping this guy for dropping that “sure pick” late in the Super Bowl, but I think it is a huge mistake to downplay Samuel’s impact. He has been excellent the past few seasons. He forced your offense to gameplan around him, which is somewhat unusual in this day and age. Will his loss be a death blow to the Pats D? No, but it isn’t going to help any. I like their front 3 very much, but that’s about it now that Samuel is gone.

Why I love the Colts

February 28, 2008

Enough said.

Links: Here’s yet another story about how Tony Dungy is set to headline EA Sports’ NFL Head Coach ’09. I hope they’ve improved this game because I heard the prior version sucked pretty hard.

The Colts gear up for the start of free agency tomorrow.

Bill Simmons and the citizens of Seattle warn sports fans everywhere that It Could Happen to You. I feel for Seattle greatly. Especially after reading these fan letters. I read Howard Schultz’s book about how he turned Starbucks into a global phenomenon. Somehow I don’t recall “screw over the entire city of Seattle” being one of his steps to success. Let this be a lesson to you: David Stern won’t stop until he’s turned every last professional basketball fan into a diehard NFL fan. My own moment came in the 2004 Eastern Conference finals against the Pistons when Stern oversaw some of the worst officiating in the history of athletics. No compound fracture, no foul.

Colts cut Morris and McFarland

February 27, 2008

The Indianapolis Colts have released LB Rob Morris and DT Booger McFarland. Both players suffered serious knee injuries in 2007 and were released today after failing their physicals.

DZ comments: That’s too bad, but not unexpected. I figured Morris was done. I sort of hoped against hope that Booger could come back and be productive, but it wasn’t meant to be. Now’s a good time to go back and remember all that Morris meant to the Colts. As for Booger, just go back and watch the KC playoff game.

Here’s a good piece by Mike Sando full of Bill Polian explaining why it’s better to pick late in the first round. Yeah, he really has had an unfair advantage drafting after 30 other teams for most of the decade. Lucky bastard.

Gratuitous, but largely funny.

Holy crap. #17 is the worst and best thing I’ve ever seen. I remember hearing about this, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the whole thing.

Dungy and FO

February 26, 2008

Due to his new gig as coverboy for Head Coach 09 (09! What three year old is numbering these games?), Tony Dungy gets interviewed by Bill Barnwell of the footballoutsiders in IGN. There’s not a whole lot of new info here, but it’s a nice piece.

Floyd Reese, yes the same Floyd Reese who said the Colts were taking a risk by cutting Corey Simon, calls Bill Polian one of his favorite talent evaluators.

Baseball season can’t get here soon enough.

Demond Sanders: Derek Schultz of XL950 covers the coaches in the hunt for the Indiana basketball job. Good stuff.

Monday Morning Combine

February 25, 2008

I hate the combine and Peter King is sort of annoying, but I’ll link him up anyway. He said a few things that interested me:
1. He claims the Rams will push to have the outcome of the Super Bowl overturned if Matt Walsh has the goods. Yeah, right, Peter. Cute story. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
2. He quotes Polian as saying the draft is deep at RB. I could seriously be ok with drafting a RB in the second round. A solid two back system is the way to go. Still, I doubt the pick will come that early unless they are really in love with a guy.
3. He says nice things about downtown Indy, so he gets props for that.

Back to football

February 23, 2008

With all the depressing crap happening with IU basketball, let’s go back to something cheery, huh? Making fun of the Patriots. I got this email from Sam Daughtery of the USAF

Below is a perfect example of why I despise the Pats. It is a response to an e-mail I sent to a friend that had some funny photoshop pictures of why it’s great that they lost.

“This sh** might be funny down there in Tennessee, but up here in New England, where our first sexual encounter is with someone other than our sister, this is not funny! Tom Brady already has more Championships that both mongoloid brothers combined. And I would make a bet he finishes with twice as many as the Manning queers! This e-mail has made me so mad I can’t even see straight right now. That horse tooth jackas$%#% in Indy has been in the league longer than Brady and he only has one ring even though he’s had all world type receivers for years! Talk about being an underachiever who takes up 20% of Indy’s cap space…….nothing but a horse tooth jackas#$%# who flaps his wings and lips at the line of scrimmage. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

Here was my response: “That’s exactly the kind of response I expected to get from most of the holier-than-thou types that live north of the Mason-Dixon line. If it wasn’t for the constant (let’s shove it in everyone face) attitude, they wouldn’t have to endure these types of e-mails.

This has been the first true test of New England fans and so far they have failed miserably. They are just as sore losers as they are sore winners. I would have no problem rooting for a team like the Pats if it were not for their horrible fans.

What surprises me about this person is with all that superior vocabulary & northern education, they couldn’t do get their point a crossed without name calling & cheap shots. This e-mail makes me glad that I’m a Southern gentleman.

Right on man. Right on. This was nice compared with some of the emails we’ve gotten. Here’s the pics that caused the problem in the first place. . .


That one is my personal favorite:

Back to football

February 23, 2008

With all the depressing crap happening with IU basketball, let’s go back to something cheery, huh? Making fun of the Patriots. I got this email from Sam Daughtery of the USAF

Below is a perfect example of why I despise the Pats. It is a response to an e-mail I sent to a friend that had some funny photoshop pictures of why it’s great that they lost.

“This sh** might be funny down there in Tennessee, but up here in New England, where our first sexual encounter is with someone other than our sister, this is not funny! Tom Brady already has more Championships that both mongoloid brothers combined. And I would make a bet he finishes with twice as many as the Manning queers! This e-mail has made me so mad I can’t even see straight right now. That horse tooth jackas$%#% in Indy has been in the league longer than Brady and he only has one ring even though he’s had all world type receivers for years! Talk about being an underachiever who takes up 20% of Indy’s cap space…….nothing but a horse tooth jackas#$%# who flaps his wings and lips at the line of scrimmage. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

Here was my response: “That’s exactly the kind of response I expected to get from most of the holier-than-thou types that live north of the Mason-Dixon line. If it wasn’t for the constant (let’s shove it in everyone face) attitude, they wouldn’t have to endure these types of e-mails.

This has been the first true test of New England fans and so far they have failed miserably. They are just as sore losers as they are sore winners. I would have no problem rooting for a team like the Pats if it were not for their horrible fans.

What surprises me about this person is with all that superior vocabulary & northern education, they couldn’t do get their point a crossed without name calling & cheap shots. This e-mail makes me glad that I’m a Southern gentleman.

Right on man. Right on. This was nice compared with some of the emails we’ve gotten. Here’s the pics that caused the problem in the first place. . .


That one is my personal favorite:

Sampson out

February 23, 2008

Kelvin Sampson is out as head coach at Indiana University. Here are my initial thoughts:

1.) How did a 2 pm press conference turn into a 9 pm press conference? This just seemed like a microcosm of the way the entire situation has been handled from the day it was announced that Mike Davis would resign.

2.) I have zero confidence in Rick Greenspan’s ability to hire the right coach for Indiana. He picked a winning coach in Kelvin Sampson. But it turns out that winning now isn’t as important as building a foundation for a great program.

3.) If he manages keeps his own job, Greenspan needs to hire a brilliant young coach who is looking for a place to spend the next 20 years winning championships. DZ likes Scott Drew because of his connections with Butler and Valpo. He turned around Baylor which is nothing short of amazing. I’m looking for someone a little more proven like Tony Bennett of Washington State or Brad Brownell of Wright State. I don’t think they need to try to hit a home run with a big name like Thad Matta or John Calipari or Mark Few. They can’t afford those guys anyway. Get a basketball mind who is savvy enough to carve his own legacy at Indiana.

4.) Don’t, under any circumstance, hire interim coach Dan Dakich. Interim coaches are a bad idea. They weren’t your first choice for a reason. Were talking about a guy who never went to the NCAA tournament in 10 years at Bowling Green. If he wants to be the next coach he better win it all this March.

5.) Indiana doesn’t need a Knight protege to succeed. Actually, that’s one of the things I think Greenspan got right with Sampson. Just get a great coach. Why limit yourself to a handful guys with spotty coaching records?

6.) I feel bad for DJ White. His career has unluckily coincided with some of the worst moments in IU basketball history. Karma owes this kid a banner.

7.) Was there ever a better time to look at your schedule and see 0-13 Northwestern?

8.) I think it’s great that Greenspan went out of his way to not refer to Purdue by name, instead calling it that “other team.”

9.) I know kids tend to come to a school for the coach, but these kids would be crazy to transfer. Okay it’s hard to say this with a straight face given how well Robert Vaden is playing at UAB. Hoosier fans are in for yet another rough year or two. I hope, as Mike Davis would say, help is on the way.

10.) I thought it was interesting that the lawyer seemed to think that IU’s self imposed sanctions would still be sufficient. Sounds like wishful thinking, but I hope she’s right.

11.) I really don’t feel that bad about this situation. Maybe it’s because they just made Purdue look average the other night, but I’m not too broken up. I liked Kelvin Sampson and I wish him the best, but I think Indiana will be fine. If this was another school it might be a death knell, but the fans care too much in Indiana and that’s why the program will be back. Just pick the right guy this time. Please.

12.) I’ll agree with Bob Kravitz on one point. Indiana University needs to seriously rethink it’s leadership hierarchy. Can we get somebody that knows what the hell he is doing down there?

Related Links: Dan Wetzel of Yahoo says the players need to get behind Dakich and fast.

SI has a rumor that Indiana might be interested in Randy Wittman. Blech. Recruiting is such a huge part of the game. I don’t think you can take a chance on an NBA guy who has never done a day of recruiting in his life.

Seth Davis thinks Indiana is still a top five job. Would someone please treat it that way?

Greenspan screwed the whole thing up as badly as possible. There is no way to justify leaving him in that job. The best news is that a new AD will likely give Bill Lynch a short rope. Thank God for small favors.

Kelvin-wan Kenobi – Jedi Master

February 22, 2008

When I floated this theory to Demond yesterday, he made a “wewhoo wehooo” sound and said it was the nerd alert klaxon. I found this troubling since just Tuesday he excitedly called me to let me know that he had purchased Mighty Muggs for both us (no, it’s not weird for guys around 30 to play with vinyl dolls. Not weird at all). Still, I’m ignoring his advice because I think this theory is sound:

With Kelvin Sampson slated to hear his fate later today (I’m betting on a suspension until the hearing and then he’ll be fired), I wondered what kind of effect his dismissal will have on Hoosiers in terms of basketball for the rest of this year. There are basically three possibilities:

1. Kelvin Sampson is Qui Gon Ginn
This means that when the trusted mentor departs, the protégé goes totally nuts. His presence still lingers, but not in any meaningful way. Faintly, in the distance, we’ll swear we hear his voice screaming, “Jordan! JORDAN! NOOOOOO!”, as Crawford careens down court at full speed and takes an ill advised jumper in a 1 on 3 situation. This is the most likely scenario. If the Hoosiers let Sampson go, it’s likely this team will jump the rails. He has a strong connection to these kids, but they will all be playing out the string before they can graduate, transfer or join the Association. This will lead to disaster.

#2. Kelvin Sampson is Count Dooku

This is a scary scenario. Sampson could try to convince his players that IU is evil and lead them down a dark path. He could try and sink the season out of a need for vengeance against the administration. The players could angrily go about their business and things could get real dark, real fast. I’m going to assume that Kelvin Sampson is an idealist and that this kind of program assassination is not in his nature. I hope I haven’t underestimated him.

#3. Kelvin Sampson is Obi-wan Kenobi

Strike him down and he becomes more powerful than you ever imagined. The odds are long, but what a story it would be. If somehow, despite his suspension, Sampson manages to encourage and inspire his young men to rise above the controversy and hit a one in a million run all the way to the NCAA title. It might be his only chance to survive the findings of the NCAA hearing. Just as Eric Gordon rises up to take the game winning three in the tourney, he hears Kelvins voice reminding him to find the open man. He changes his mind, whips the ball to DJ White cutting to the rim for a dunk, and they hang medals around the necks of the Hoosiers.

Remember Kelvin will be with you. . . always.

Demond Sanders: What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this blog is now dumber for having listened to it. May God have mercy on your soul.

Ugliest One Year-Old Ever

February 21, 2008
I’ve never been fan of first birthday parties, but women really seem to dig them, so in honor of our many female fans (let’s see…there’s Coltsgirl and…um…my wife sometimes reads…and, ah…), we are going celebrate our first birthday anyway. One year ago, 18to88 got off to this rather inauspicious start. Since then we’ve posted 625 more times and our 6 readers proceeded to click on us 65,000 times. Thanks mom, BobM, and JC!

I want to give special thanks to Demond who wrote me one day last year to say, “We’re doing a blog. It’s called 18to88.com. Start posting.” And with precisely that level of thought and care we’ve proceeded ever since.

I’m going to celebrate by smearing cake all over my face.

LINKS:
Robert Vaden needs only to get drafted by the Pacers to become one of my favorite athletes ever. Playing at Pike and hitting a game winning three in the NCAA tournament for IU gets you part of the way there.

I griped most of last year about how I’m not a draft/combine guy. This list from SI is one of the reasons why. You just never know about any of these guys until they put on the pads and start hitting. One quibble…I wouldn’t list Vince Young as evidence the Wonderlic is irrelevant just quite yet.

This is a fairly creepy article. I’m dying to hear what Sheffield has to say. I never thought I’d utter those words.

Thanks Coltsgirl.