Thursday, December 10, 2009


So three NFL teams are now 1-10, and they haven't even fired their
coaches. Which is more than can be said for Florida State and Notre Dame.

GREEN BAY (7-4) 34
Detroit (2-9) 12
THE STATS: GB QB Aaron Rodgers 28-39-348-0-3 TD, 124.7 rating.
THE STORY: Green Bay halts Detroit's 1 game winning streak.

Oakland (3-8) 7
DALLAS (8-3) 24
THE STATS: Dallas defense allowed just 13 points in last 2 games.
THE STORY: Oakland has scored only 115 points this season, which
makes them the suckiest team in a league filled with sucky teams.

NY Giants (6-5) 6
DENVER (7-4) 26
THE STATS: Denver defense holds Giants to 57 yards rushing, just
3-12 on 3rd down conversions.
THE STORY: Gotta love the tradition of Thanksgiving football in
Dallas, Detroit, and, uh, Denver.

Tampa Bay (1-10) 17
ATLANTA (6-5) 20
THE STATS: TB QB Josh Freeman 20-29-250-0-2 TD, 118.5 rating.
THE STORY: Show of hands from whomever drafted Josh Freeman on their
fantasy team.

Miami (5-6) 14
BUFFALO (4-7) 31
THE STATS: Buffalo 24 4th quarter points.
THE STORY: Buffalo is getting $10 million a game to play 5 regular
season and 3 pre-season games in Canada. $10 million? That's almost
the price of a Super Bowl ticket.

Cleveland (1-10) 7
THE STATS: CIN RB Larry Johnson 22-107.
THE STORY: 7th time this season that the Browns have scored in
single digits. That's 7 out of 11 games.

Houston (5-6) 27
THE STATS: Teams combine for 55 first downs, 10 scores, just 4 punts.
THE STORY: Colts earn the "z" next to their name in the
standings. That is, if you're on NFL.COM. On Sportsline, they got
the "y". Either way, it is a division title.

Carolina (4-7) 6
NY JETS (5-6) 17
THE STATS: CAR QB Jake Delhomme 4 interceptions, 0 touchdowns, 12.7
passer rating.
THE STORY: You know you're in trouble when your quarterback throws
almost as many interceptions as points your team scores.

Washington (3-8) 24
THE STATS: PHL K David Akers 4-4 FG, 1-1 XP, 13 points, game winning
32-yard FG with 1:48 remaining.
THE STORY: Eagles 2nd straight 4th quarter win, but would be more
impressive if the wins were against tougher teams than Chicago and Washington.

SEATTLE (4-7) 27
St. Louis (1-10) 17
THE STATS: SEA RB Justin Forsett 22-130-2 TD
THE STORY: I'm not certain the last time the Rams threw for just 95
net yards passing, but I think they were playing on Katella Avenue at
the time. That's in Anaheim.

Kansas City (3-8) 14
SAN DIEGO (8-3) 43
THE STATS: SD QB Philip Rivers 21-28-317-0-2 TD, 135.6 rating.
THE STORY: Loved this matchup of all-purpose backs. San Diego's
Darren Sproles had 9-17 rushing, 5-66 receiving, 5-88 kick returns
for 171 all-purpose yards; Kansas City's Jamaal Charles was 17-93-1
TD rushing, 3-54 receiving, 2-61 kick returns, for 208 total
yards. Can I still drop Sproles and pick up Charles?

Jacksonville (6-5) 3
THE STATS: SF QB Alex Smith 27-41-232-0-2 TDs, 96.8 rating.
THE STORY: Jacksonville had more first downs (18-15), more yards
rushing (96-52), and more yards passing (261-232). Naturally, they
lost by 17 points.

Chicago (4-7) 10
MINNESOTA (10-1) 36
THE STATS: Minnesota 537 total yards to 169 for Chicago.
THE STORY: Brett Favre for MVP, coach Brad Childress Coach of the
Year for bringing in Favre.

Arizona (7-4) 17
TENNESSEE (5-6) 20
THE STATS: TEN RB Chris Johnson 18-154-1 TD.
THE STORY: Tennessee has managed to win 5 straight games after
losing their first 6 games, which should be impossible. But this is
the NFL, which, "On any given Sunday, Monday, or Thursday...."

Pittsburgh (6-5) 17
BALTIMORE (6-5) 20
THE STATS: PIT QB Dennis Dixon 12-26-145-1-1 TD, 60.6 rating, 3-27-1
TD rushing as replacement for Ben Roethlisberger (concussion).
THE STORY: Pittsburgh goes from division contender to tied for 2nd
wild card. And they just lost a tiebreaker to the Ravens.

New England (7-4) 17
NEW ORLEANS (11-0) 38
THE STATS: NO QB Drew Brees 18-23-371-0-5 TDs, 158.3 rating.
THE STORY: The game was going so bad for New England, that Bill
Belichick was considering changing his luck by changing sweatshirts
at halftime.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The NFL Story, Week #4


So the NFL wouldn't move the Monday Night Brett Favre vs. Green Bay
game at the Metrodome so that Major League Baseball could hold their
playoff game between the Twins and Tigers on Monday. I think we now
know which sport is the true national pastime, don't we???

Cleveland (0-4) 20
THE STATS: CIN WR Chad Ochocinco 3-24-2 TD
THE STORY: Bengals have won last 2 games with just :14 and :04 (OT)
left on the clock. At this rate, they will run out of game time to play with.

Detroit (1-3) 24
CHICAGO (3-1) 48
THE STATS: Despite losing, Detroit had 25 first downs to 14 for
Chicago, and outgained Da Bears, 398 to 276.
THE STORY: Tough way for Detroit to end it's first winning streak --
of one game -- since the 2007 season.

Oakland (1-3) 6
HOUSTON (2-2) 29
THE STATS: HOU RB Steve Slaton 21-65-1 TD, 2-24- 1 TD receiving.
THE STORY: Oakland's record (1-3) perfectly balances out the Bay
Area San Francisco 49ers (3-1).

Seattle (1-3) 17
THE STATS: IND DE Robert Mathis 3 sacks.
THE STORY: Seattle's only win was against 0-4 St. Louis; combined
record of opponents in their 3 losses is 10-2.

Tampa Bay (0-4) 13
THE STATS: Tampa Bay just 229 yards total offense.
THE STORY: The Redskins have been called the NFL's "best last-place
team" (see I'm
not sure that's meant as a compliment.

Tennessee (0-4) 17
THE STATS: JAX QB David Garrard 27-37-323-0-3 TD, 126.3 rating, 8-38 rushing.
THE STORY: Tennessee quickly becoming the darlings of suicide pools everywhere.

NY GIANTS (4-0) 27
Kansas City (0-4) 16
THE STATS: NY Giants WR Steve Smith 11-134-2 TD.
THE STORY: I couldn't help myself, so I looked it up. While Steve
Smith of the Carolina Panthers was on bye this week, in every game
this season, Steve Smith of the Giants had more catches and yards
than Steve Smith of the Panthers, and Steve Smith of the Giants has
more TDs (2) on the season than Steve Smith of the Panthers (0).

Baltimore (3-1) 21
NEW ENGLAND (3-1) 27
THE STATS: NE QB TOM Brady 21-32-258-0-1 TD, 100.8 rating, 5-11-1 TD rushing.
THE STORY: New England's 3 wins have been by 1, 16, and 6 points, an
average of 7.7 points per game. In 2007, the last time Tom Brady was
the everyday quarterback, the Patriots outscored everyone by an
average 19.7 PPG.

Buffalo (1-3) 10
MIAMI (1-3) 38
THE STATS: MIA RB Ronnie Brown 20-115-2 TD; Ricky Williams 16-85-1 TD.
THE STORY: Buffalo managed just 10 first downs, only 8 of which came
from the offense, 2 more from penalties. I'm not kidding.

NY Jets (3-1) 10
NEW ORLEANS (4-0) 24
THE STATS: Jets passing game: 112 yards passing, 3 INTs, 4 sacks.
THE STORY: Nice job, Saints, in beating the undefeated New York
Jets. Your reward? Your next game in 2 weeks is against the
undefeated New York Giants (4-0).

St. Louis (0-4) 0
THE STATS: San Francisco 35 points on just 228 total yards (3
touchdowns by defense).
THE STORY: St. Louis scored 3 touchdowns. No, not for the game, but
for the ENTIRE season.

Dallas (2-2) 10
DENVER (4-0) 17
THE STATS: Dallas just 3-14 on 3rd down conversions.
THE STORY: I've been watching all of the prime time football games
lately, and for a moment, I thought all of the Dallas games were
being played at home.

San Diego (2-2) 28
THE STATS: PIT RB Rashard Mendenhall 29-165-2 TD; 2-26.
THE STORY: Pittsburgh starts a 3-game winning streak. How sure am I
that they will win 3 in a row? Next they play Detroit (1-3) and
Cleveland (0-4).

Green Bay (2-2) 14
MINNESOTA (4-0) 21
THE STATS: MIN QB Brett Favre 24-31-271-0-3 TD, 135.3 rating.
THE STORY: What's the big deal with Favre playing against his old
team? He's played several games against Atlanta.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


So Barack Obama said "He's a jackass." At first, I thought he was talking about Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, not Kanye West.

Carolina (0-1) 10
THE STATS: PHL defense 5 interceptions.
THE STORY: Good thing that Philly won by 28 points, because there is probably some wacky playoff tiebreaker that they will need at the end of the season, like "Largest point differential by a visiting team against a conference opponent in the opening week."

SAN DIEGO (1-0) 24
Oakland (0-1) 20
THE STATS: SD RB Darren Sproles 9-23-1 TD, 5-43 receiving, 180 yards on 8 kick and punt returns.
THE STORY: I really like the idea of two Monday night games to start the season. But why don't they call this second game what it really is -- Tuesday Morning Football ?

Tennessee (0-1) 10
THE STATS: PIT QB Ben Roethlisberger 33-43-363-2-1 TD, 89.6 rating.
THE STORY: Pittsburgh won with just 36 yards rushing. 36 yards? That means that Pittsburgh moved the ball less than the size of my my backyard.

DALLAS (1-0) 34
Tampa Bay (0-1) 21
THE STATS: 0 punts hit the scoreboard.
THE STORY: Nice win for the Cowboys, but there is plenty of time left for them to collapse again.

Detroit (0-1) 27
NEW ORLEANS (1-0) 45
THE STATS: NO QB Drew Brees 26-34-358-1-6 TD, 137.0 rating.
THE STORY: Drew Brees threw touchdown passes to everyone on the Saints. I think even the cheerleader caught one.

Miami (0-1) 7
ATLANTA (1-0) 19
THE STATS: Atlanta 0 turnovers to Miami's 4.
THE STORY: The Falcon's Matt Ryan threw a touchdown pass to some guy named Ovie Mughelli that was totally overlooked in fantasy drafts, while the Dolphin's Chad Pennington threw one to some guy named Ricky Williams who was also overlooked in most fantasy drafts.

NY JETS (1-0) 24
Houston (0-1) 7
THE STATS: NYJ RB Thomas Jones 20-107-2 TD.
THE STORY: Houston RB Steve Slaton (17 yards) is now tied for 55th place among the top rushers in the NFL.

DENVER (1-0) 12
Cincinnati (0-1) 7
THE STATS: Teams were nearly even in total yards, Cincinnati 307 to 302 for Denver.
THE STORY: The Broncos and Bengals managed to score just 6 points in the first 59:22, but 13 points in the final :38 seconds.

Jacksonville (0-1) 12
THE STATS: IND WR Reggie Wayne 10-162-1 TD.
THE STORY: Johnny Unitas was called "the greatest quarterback ever" by Sports Illustrated after he died. Peyton Manning now has as many regular season (118) and Super Bowl wins (1) as Unitas. Hopefully, Manning won't have to die for SI to call him "the greatest ever".

MINNESOTA (1-0) 34
Cleveland (0-1) 20
THE STATS: Minnesota 225 yards rushing.
THE STORY: Brett Favre was a perfect 25-for-180 yards and 3 touchdowns in his hand-offs to Adrian Peterson.

Kansas City (0-1) 24
BALTIMORE (1-0) 38
THE STATS: Baltimore 501 total yards to 188.
THE STORY: The Kansas City quarterback, who's name is not Matt Cassell, passed for 16-24-177 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 116.1 rating. You win a free ticket to next week's game versus Oakland if you know his name (answer below).

Washington (0-1) 17
NY GIANTS (1-0) 23
THE STATS: NYG DE Osi Umenyiora 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 defensive TD.
THE STORY: Umenyiora played for the first time since an injury wiped out his entire 2008 season. The media used the time to learn how to write and pronounce his name.

The Kansas City quarterback is Brodie Croyle.

St. Louis (0-1) 0
SEATTLE (1-0) 28
THE STATS: SEA TE John Carlson 6-95-2 TD.
THE STORY: The Rams need only 2 wins to match last year's total. And it is already unclear whether they can get them.

Arizona (0-1) 16
THE STATS: Arizona loses in spite of outgaining San Francisco in total yards, 299 to 203.
THE STORY: So what are the stats on a team coming off a Super Bowl loss, starting 0-1, and making it back to the Super Bowl?

Chicago (0-1) 15
GREEN BAY (1-0) 21
THE STATS: GB WR Greg Jennings 6-106-1 TD, 2-pt conversion.
THE STORY: Lambeau fans booed when Minnesota highlights were shown at the stadium. Why don't they just close all state offices on November 1st and call it a state holiday when Brett Favre brings the Vikings to Green Bay?

Buffalo (0-1) 24
NEW ENGLAND (1-0) 25
THE STATS: New England 2 TDs in final 2:06.
THE STORY: The Jets organization has been fined for failing to put Brett Favre on the injury report last season, in spite of his nursing a torn biceps tendon. What about fining the Patriots for putting Tom Brady on the injury report too often?

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead

Don Fehr, the soon-to-be former executive director of the Major League
Baseball Player's Association is calling it quits after more than 25
years at the helm of the strongest players union in professional sports.

Fehr will no doubt be anointed soon. Not to the Baseball Hall of Fame,
mind you, but by some sportswriter who will say that Fehr should be in
the Hall, much like sportswriter Bob Ryan has said that former baseball
union chief Marvin Miller should be enshrined.

But aren't honors like the Hall of Fame reserved for people who made the
game better?

Fehr's legacy is hard to pinpoint just yet, given that he presided over
two work stoppages in baseball, the loss of a World Series, and well,
all that pesky drug business.

I know what you're thinking, and yes, if the job of a union leader is to
get the best deal for his constituents, then Fehr did a great job since
taking over the union in 1983 from Ken Moffett.

But at what price? Fehr's hard stance led to an almost predictable,
quadrennial fear by fans that baseball would not get started in the
spring, would have to stop somewhere in the middle of the season, or
worse yet, not finish a season.

Not even two World Wars could stop the World Series. But Donald Fehr

In 1994, the player's strike and contentious labor situation led Major
League Baseball to cease play on August 12th. The playoffs and World
Series were cancelled when a collective bargaining agreement could not
be reached. That strike damaged the entire history of baseball. While
there is lots of blame to go around for that, Fehr should have his.

That 1994 strike continued well into 1995, causing the 1995 season to be
reduced to a 144 game schedule. There was also the "forgotten" strike in
1985. It only lasted 2 days, but it was no fun for those of us working
in baseball. I was part of the front office staff for a National League
baseball club in Flushing, New York, and it was a difficult few days, as
we had no idea what was going to happen to our lives or the game of
baseball that we loved.

Players, on the other hand, had no such fears. Unlike their blue collar
union brethren who walk picket lines, the players lost precious little
salary. The season was extended or games squeezed in, to make up for
lost games due to work stoppages. The players got paid, and paid well.

When $1 million wasn't enough of an average salary, Fehr got it up to $2
million. When that wasn't enough, he got the players to more than $3
million, and still climbing.

Climbing like the price of that ticket to Yankee Stadium. So Fehr's
outstanding representation of the owners was at the cost of higher
ticket prices and crass commercialism in baseball.

And then there was the drug testing. Fehr stonewalled on the issue as
long as he could, even as his own constituents were shooting more and
more junk into their butts. The players, the game, and the integrity of
its statistics all took a hit.

But Fehr insisted the problem wasn't all that big a deal, until the
evidence mounted. Then he claimed that he had underestimated the extent
of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs in baseball. To be
fair, there is some subtle evidence that he really did not know. He was
so confident that steroid use was minimal, that he agreed to a deal
whereby limited drug testing of ballplayers would occur, and a higher
level of testing and punishment would kick in only if the random testing
reached a 5% plateau. That level was reached, meaning that AT LEAST 1
in 20 players were cheating.

So Fehr was either ignorant of the extent of drug use in Baseball,
stupid for allowing wider drug testing if the 5% threshold was reached,
or criminal in trying to block further testing if he knew what was going

And Fehr left Baseball as the only sport without a salary cap.

So Don Fehr leaves his post having made the lives of baseball players
better. We're just not certain that the game of baseball is better.

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